Sam Harris On Guns + My Own Thoughts

Anybody interested in the problem of gun violence and America’s unique relationship to firearms (should be all of us), should take the time to listen to this podcast by Sam Harris. It’s probably the most sane and level-headed analysis I’ve heard on the subject in a media landscape dominated by hyperbolic zealots on either side of the spectrum. It’s one-and-a-half hours well spent.

Let me share, briefly, my own feelings on the subject. To set things straight from the get-go, let’s agree to the following: It is indisputable that America has more guns per capita than any other western civilized country we care to compare ourselves to. It’s also indisputable that we have more gun deaths (total and per capita) than any other advanced  nation. It is much easier to get hold of a gun in America than in any other modern, first-world nation. The correlation between the number of guns in our society and the high occurrence of gun violence can hardly be denied. If we cannot agree on these things, don’t bother reading further; you are not a reasonable-minded person.

Still, a few years ago, for whatever reason, I got it into my head that I wanted to own a pistol. The local gun shop in the neighboring town of Monroe informed me that the state of Connecticut requires one to have a gun permit in order to buy a handgun. They kindly offered to provide the training necessary to get the certification. After a six-hour course, including firing a total of twelve shots (the only shots I had ever fired in my life at that point) with a .22-caliber revolver at a shooting range, and passing a 30-question written “test” (open-book, discussion with the other people taking the class allowed, and self-grading of said test), I was given a diploma certifying that I had fulfilled the state-mandated requirements. At the local police station I submitted my application and finger prints for a criminal background check and after about six weeks received notification that I could pick up my pistol permit at the state police facility in Bridgeport. I now had the state’s blessing to own and carry a gun in public.

That very same day I headed off to a gun shop and, on the advice of the store clerk, bought a 9mm Springfield XDM semi-automatic pistol with a total capacity of 19+1 rounds (legislation passed after the Sandy Hook massacre now prohibits me from loading it with more than ten rounds when not on my property, which is rather good news for the 11th person I plan on killing).

Next stop was the shooting range where I had previously “qualified” by shooting a revolver twelve times. The inadequacy of this qualification soon became apparent when I discovered that I didn’t know how to load the magazine of my newly acquired pistol; small wonder as this was the first time I’d ever held a semi-automatic pistol in my hands. Let me repeat this since it’s not insignificant: I was licensed by the state to own and carry any kind of legal firearm, yet I had never operated, and did not know how to load my pistol.

No matter how hard I tried I could only stuff a couple rounds into the magazine before it jammed. I finally sought the help of the range officer on duty, and after he also failed to load up the magazine, he finally discovered the problem: the store clerk had sold me two boxes of .40 caliber ammunition to go with my 9mm pistol.

What I’m trying to say here is that even in Connecticut (and even after Sandy Hook), the requirements to own and carry a pistol, are woefully inadequate. It is absolutely crazy to allow somebody with the training I received to own, buy and carry, openly or concealed (which is the law in CT) any kind of firearm.

I agree with most, if not all, of what Sam Harris said in his podcast, and have become more convinced than ever that what I said in a previous post is true: we need to repeal the second amendment of the US constitution. Or rather, repeal and replace, since I don’t want to ban guns. But the way 2A is worded makes it very difficult to come to any kind of consensus as to what it actually means in practical terms. The gun nuts (the Ted Nugent fan boys) will always point to “the right of the people” and “shall not be infringed”, while the gun grabbers (Bloomberg et al.) will emphasize “a well regulated militia”, and they will both be right. My own vision for a revised 2A might include words to the effect that gun-ownership is indeed an individual right, but not any gun for anybody at any place, and the power to regulate requirements and limitations is given to congress. I believe Sam’s analogy to the requirements to get a pilot’s license is appropriate and sound. I say this knowing full well that any member of Congress who proposes a repeal of the second amendment will have committed political suicide more effectively than declaring an unbelief in Jesus.

 

Gun Control And The Latest Mass Shooting In Oregon

“Here we go again, singing the same old song…” The latest mass shooting in Oregon, The Young Turks’ call for gun control, and my response to The Young Turks.

gun-control

Gun control: do we need it, and what form should it take to have any effect?

I watched the TYT video below (I sometimes watch TYT videos when I’m happy and tranquil and feel the need to be miserable and angry) and felt compelled to respond. I like my response so much that I thought I’d share it here.


Other countries have plenty of guns. Granted, not nearly as many as America, but still enough to create way more havoc than they actually do. The problem is easy access to guns coupled with an uninhibited willingness to use them on fellow human beings. Per capita gun-ownership is much higher in America than in any other country we like to compare us to, but per capita use of the guns available to them is much lower in those countries. We have, plainly speaking, a much more murderous culture than other Western, civilized nations.

It’s always amusing to hear the liberal armchair-intelligentsia like Ana Kasparian and the rest of The Young Turds say, “we don’t want to BAN guns, just have ‘common sense’ gun legislation”. Be specific please. Exactly what kind of common sense gun control that doesn’t involve an outright ban or something close to a ban do you think would affect a dramatic reduction in a short amount of time of guns in the hands of people willing to use them on other people?

You’re being disingenuous if you’re not calling for some sort of ban or severe restrictions. And to achieve that, you must get rid of 2A. This is the most important part. Current interpretation of the second amendment to the US constitution (however much you might disagree with SCOTUS, and I agree 2A is shoddily written in the extreme, but the supreme court of the United States has the last word) is that gun-ownership in America is an individual right. I, as an individual, have a personal right to own and carry guns that is protected by the constitution.

I have (at least) two things that Cenk Uygur, Ana and the other turdish sidekicks don’t have. 1) A gun, and 2) a piece of plastic that shows that I have been vetted by the federal government (FBI), the state of Connecticut, and local law enforcement; that I have been fingerprinted and photographed; that searches have been made in all available databases, and found that I have no criminal history and am not a violent person. I am, as far as the government is concerned, a documented good guy. Gun control has been applied to my person and I have been found fit to own and carry guns. Also, I’m not a cuntish, weasel-faced liar.

Go after 2A or SHUT THE FUCK UP! I would respect you for doing so. It’s a (the only) reasonable approach to what you want to achieve. I might even agree with it. Personally I see no reason in a modern society why it should be a constitutionally protected right to own and carry guns. You can come up with all sorts of feel-good laws that make it more difficult for me to enjoy my hobby, but will do exactly zero to address the problem at hand. I am willing to sacrifice some of my rights, but only if the solution proposed has a chance of making a real difference. If you think that stronger, universal background checks would make even a tiny dent in gun violence in this country you’re either stupid, a lying self-serving cunt, or both.

So, to summarize: You need to dramatically reduce the number of guns floating around, and you need to change a culture that fosters and glorifies violence. Whining like little bitches on YouTube doesn’t count.


Power To The People – A Short Treatise On A Tattoo Proposal

Rather than going the traditional route of making a “long story short” (which never turns out to be the case anyway), I will attempt to answer a simple question, or rather, a series of simple questions, detailed and to the point, complete with examples, digressions and stream of consciousness ramblings as I see fit and necessary so as to ensure, to the best of my ability, that what I’m trying to convey comes across clearly. Or to obfuscate it completely.


As a man matures and grows older, he starts to ponder his place in the universe, what function, if any, he has in the greater scheme of things. As the process of coming to terms with the meaning of his life, his position in the cosmos, the restraints placed on him by circumstance and the environment, and whatever effect he can reciprocate on his surroundings etc., develops (I’m reasonably sure that this sentence is grammatically correct), he may find in his heart an urge to express his philosophy to the world, and so it became that I decided I wanted a tattoo.

Having obeyed the rules (mostly) for more than half a century, being a closet rebel, a natural born free thinker trapped in a world of Jante’s Law, and having come to the conclusion along the way that I don’t much like them, it didn’t take me long to come up with a general objective of what I wanted to express with my tattoo. From the rather generic idea that the rules suck and I didn’t want to take it anymore, I put my creative powers to work and reduced the general concept to the concise (or so I thought) phrase “Power To The People, Death To The Machine“, which neatly covered my feelings, and, if not precisely self-evident, I thought the wording would be pretty self-explanatory to the Common Man of average intelligence (I may have been wrong). So as any self-respecting, pseudo-intellectual, radical arm-chair subversive worth his salt, I immediately decided to translate my dictum (which I by the way make no claim to be the originator of (I generally subscribe to the notion that any thought worth thinking has already been thought by someone else and I have little of original value to contribute to the greater discourse of mankind), but I assure you that it is not deliberate plagiarism) to Latin. And this is where the real story begins. But more about that later.

First I want to say a few words about the design I have in mind. I imagine a Soviet-era, propaganda style clenched fist on my upper arm/shoulder with the slogan split in its two halves on separate banners top and bottom. I’m not a big fan of strong coloring and heavypower to the people, death to the machineshadows, so I’m leaning towards a distressed, faded look. I’m not much of an artistic type myself, so I’m sure the tattoo artist can give some helpful input. I have a specific guy in mind (he did my wife – twice!), but around here there are almost as many tattoo parlors as churches, and it’s probably a good idea to shop around to make sure the artist understands my vision, and, not unimportant, has the skill. References and portfolios need to be checked out, for sure. Disclaimer: this may never come to fruition (and whether or not I actually end up getting inked is irrelevant to this particular story) at all (I have a hard time committing myself to irreversible body art, ref. my earlier statement about a lifetime of following the rules), but I reckon it’s a reasonable bet that I only have approximately thirty-or-so years left of breath in me, the ten last of which may possibly be spent wearing old-man diapers drooling in front of a TV stuck on the shopping channel at some godforsaken home for the old and unwanted, waiting to die. So if not now, then when? My inner, unfulfilled rebel is getting aroused as I write these words.

So about the Latin translation. I don’t speak Latin. I can make myself understood in the English speaking world (though not fluently), the Scandinavian countries, except Iceland, insomuch as they qualify as a Scandinavian country; I have the scantest knowledge of German (less than conversational) and I know how to tell a guy he’s a cock sucking faggot in Spanish, that’s it. As you can see my linguistic circumstances are a bit foggy, and maybeLorem Ipsum DlolorRot Amet the subject for another post. I’m almost 100% certain that an online translator would get it wrong and should I choose that route I would run the risk of being permanently embarrassed every time I walked by the Latin departments of any of the Ivy League universities. Luckily I have a friend with a linguistic fetish who dabbles in Latin recreationally (I shit you not!) who helped me figure out a reasonable translation of several possible variations that I believe captures the essence of what I stand for (thanks, bro!). “Power To The People, Death To The Machine”, or as Lucretius would (or not) have said (depending on the validity of “machinae” used figuratively in classical Rome, which is still up for debate), “Potestas Vulgo, Mors Machinae“; it rolls off the tongue mellifluously, but still with gravitas, both in English and Latin. The perfect motto, beautifully raw and simplistic, yet plainly signifying both a moral principle as well as a call to action.

For my own edumecation as well as the elucidation of my reader(s?), I will now break down and analyze my proposed slogan in an exercise to make sure any reasonable reader will understand it close to the way it is intended and as I do:


Steppenwolf MonsterDeath To The Machine – First of all, what do I mean by “the machine“? Obviously not a typewriter (for those of you old enough to know what that is) or any mechanical apparatus. No, it is a figure of speech denoting an organization/institution, or organizations/institutions, that have grown beyond the intention of their makers, and reached a point of singularity, or near-singularity, where they take on a form of self-awareness and certainly don’t obey their masters, become uncontrollable, and instead of serving as a means to an end, becomes its own, self-justified end. The legendary rock group Steppenwolf called it the “Monster” in one of the best rock songs to come out of the 70’s, or any decade for that matter, by one of the most underestimated bands ever. (The Sex Pistols and Madonna are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, but not Steppenwolf. Really? REALLY?!?)

 

More often than not such Machines are to the detriment of its original creators and the people they were set in place to serve. Examples might include imperialistic and bellicose governments, such as the US government; organizations within the government such as Dept. of Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA who, originally created to protect The United States Constitutionsociety from crime and enemies, foreign and domestic, now spy on society at large, collecting our communications in vast databases without our knowledge and for what nefarious purposes we can only imagine. It could be the military industrial complex that president Eisenhower (R) warned us against in the 50s, that requires, and lobbies for, wars to make a living. Same thing with the private incarceration industrial complex, that requires, and lobbies for, criminals to lock up to make a profit, resulting in America having the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world, mostly due to non-violent drug users falling victim to the The War On Drugs and three-strikes-and-you’re-out (or in, as the case might be) legislation. It could be an increasingly militarized police force edging ever closer to an outright police state, police brutalityrunning roughshod over the Bill of Rights with impunity. It could be a President instructing his legal council to whitepaper him authority to torture suspected terrorists and assassinate American citizens with unmanned, flying killer robots without the due process guaranteed in the Constitution. It could be a commercial health care system preying on human misery and suffering, where keeping you sick, medicated and hospitalized is the best business model ever devised and the only losers are you and me. It could be an economic system that rewards excessive risk taking with other people’s money and downright fraud to the obvious detriment of investors. It could be too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-prosecute. It could be the revolving door connecting Congress and K-Street. It could be an election system where money matters more than votes and public office is effectively up for sale to the highest bidder. Obviously all the lobbying required to keep the wheels of The Machine oiled and running smoothly invites widespread bribery and corruption, making the will of the people less relevant than the amount of money paid for services rendered and expected. It could be politicians less interested in serving their constituents than protecting their jobs, i.e. getting reelected at any cost. It could be mayors exercising near-dictatorial powers, banning soda, outdoor smoking and deciding what kind of food you can eat (yes, I’m talking to you Bloomberg). It could be a nine-person politicized Supreme Court with lifetime appointees that can’t be fired (what could possibly go wrong?). It could be you, thrown over a barrel and buttfucked by a huge red, white and blue faux patriotic cock. I could go on and on, but hopefully by now you get the picture.

DeathDeath (to the machine) – What do I mean by “death” in this context? Obviously (I hope!) not that we should go out and physically kill all the collaborators that constitute the machine (many of us are unwitting participants). While they are biological entities, the individual matters little, since The Machine is more like a hive mind acting in unison, but not giving a second thought to why, perhaps not even aware that there is a why. By death I mean fixing the system, reigning it back to its original intent and a proportional size. Ideally this would be accomplished by the democratic provisions built into the original Machine (poorly devised as many of them were from the beginning and broken further since), but the keen observer will see that we are now dealing with a catch 22 situation. The Machine dictates the agenda as well as methods and ritual, while the populous that put it in place becomes ever more catatonic and ignorant, an instrument for The Machine, dazed and confused as they are by a steadily increasing diet of reality TV shows, Toddlers and Tiaras, Octomom and Honey Boo-Boo. I certainly am not about to incite violence and insurrection; my explicit recommendation is to fix, and if we’re beyond that point, replace, in a peaceful manner. I am not agitating for mutiny and overthrow of the government. That would be illegal, and I am nothing if not the reincarnation of Gandhi. We are encouraged to petition our elected leaders; President, Senators and Congressmen alike. Feel free to do so if you please, but have no illusions that contacting your rep will make an iota of difference (unless your petition is wrapped in a really big check). Your vote counts for nothing unless you live in a few select voting districts in a few select battleground states (due, of course, to a badly flawed Constitution). However, I am not optimistic about the future. If the current trend continues unabated, I do not see the United States surviving in its current configuration (a corporate oligarchy in the form of a two-party dictatorship in the guise of a democracy) one or two centuries from now. Make of it what you will. This article has already been flagged by the NSA. Remind me to get some sunblock for my upcoming trip to Guantanamo.

Power To The People can be split into (or so I’ve been told) three different questions:

  1. What is “the Power””
  2. What is “the People”?
  3. And why on Earth should the Power be given to them?
  1. Power is what the people for the most part don’t have. Power is what, ideally, should result from a government by the people, for the people and of the people. Power can be an illusion given to us in order to placate us by the corporate oligarchy, the two-party dictatorship, and every corrupt little politician more interested in lining his own pockets rather than doing the People’s work. Power is the ability to determine one’s own future without having to apply for permission. Real power, benign power, is to do unto others what you would like others to do unto you. If religion is opium for the people, than the illusion of power is benzos for the people. So far it looks like Big Brother is winning at this time.
  2. The People (as of the time of writing this) are the mindless, comatose chattel drugged and dazed by the aforementioned corporate overlords and their puppets, the government. The lowest voter participation in the civilized world bears testament to the fallacy that America is the greatest democracy in the world. The people are those who confuse happiness and greatness with Wal-Mart, Disney, a military greater and stronger than the next 15 nations combined, and all-you-can-eat buffets. The people are those who think freedom is the Second Amendment, all the while Big Bad Leroy Brown is molesting the nine other Amendments in the Bill Of Rights behind their backs. The People are in dire need of a wake-up call.
  3. The Power shouldn’t be “given to them” (the People). For one thing those currently in control of the Power won’t give it away without a fight. The power has to be taken back. Preferably by peaceful means if possible using the laws and courts. I’m not suggesting assassinating the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelsons of this world. But we do have dynasties in America that differ from the old European aristocracies in little but name. Think the Kennedys, the Romneys, the Bushes, industrial barons who throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries built their empires and vast fortunes on the backs of the destitute worker who bought into the idea of “The American Dream” that was fed to them by their Masters. Power that is “given” is nothing but a privilege on loan. Power must be taken.

Having said all this I have no illusions that things will get better, at least not in my lifetime, before they get worse. Much worse. I don’t rule out a second American Revolution or Civil War; a complete balkanization of the North-American continent. One could argue that a citizenry that dies with a smile on its face from obesity related diseases induced by pizza with cheese-filled crusts delivered conveniently to their doors, complete with a side of Cinna-Bons and a two-liter of Pepsi, and thinking they’ve made it in life, deserves no better. But that would be mean and snobbish.

I am reasonably certain that the People will lose in the fight for power/freedom (greed and the lust for personal power and enrichment always trumps idealism and a sense of fairness and justice), but I am nothing if not an idealist; it has been my curse since I developed a mind of my own at around the age of six.

Finally, I would like to point out that to the degree I am a philosopher (we all are, it does NOT require a college degree), I am more of a big picture kind of guy, leaving it to others to figure out the minutia. Don’t take everything I say too seriously, but on the other hand it ain’t meant to be a joke either.

Connecticut: Lawsuit Filed in U.S. District Court Challenging Constitutionality of New Firearms Law

Not to sound repetitive, but I just want to make sure the word gets out that we’re not taking governmental abuse and overreach lying down. I’m not saying “from my cold, dead hands“, but I strongly oppose the manner in which, as well as the content of, Governor Dannel Malloy et al’s recent attempt to circumvent democratic process and undermine the 2nd Amendment. If you have an agenda, promote it openly, don’t try to sneak shit past the electorate with lies and deception. Just sayin’.

From my in inbox, courtesy of The National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action:

Connecticut: Lawsuit Filed in U.S. District Court Challenging Constitutionality of New Firearms Law

Bridgeport, CT – Yesterday, a widely-anticipated lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, challenging the constitutionality of the new firearms law that was passed hastily by the Connecticut Legislature in response to the tragic shooting in Newtown by a disturbed individual. Despite this new law being called “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety,” Connecticut’s new firearms law makes Connecticut citizens less safe. This lawsuit seeks immediate injunctive relief and a ruling declaring the new law unconstitutional under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It alleges that Connecticut’s new firearms law violates the Second Amendment, and makes both citizens and law enforcement less safe by depriving citizens of modern firearms that are in common use throughout the country for self-defense.

Brought on behalf of individual gun owners, retailers and Second Amendment groups, this lawsuit seeks to vindicate the constitutional rights of citizens who are harmed by the broad prohibitions and unworkable vagueness of the new law. This legal challenge focuses on Connecticut’s ban of more than 100 additional commonly-owned firearms, demonizing design features that provide improved safety, accuracy and ease-of-use features, including magazines that hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. This lawsuit also challenges the practical bans imposed by the new law on an even broader array of firearms due to the new law’s vague language and interpretative confusion combined with severe criminal penalties.

Plaintiffs bringing this lawsuit include an elderly widow who lives alone in a rural area where the emergency response time of a lone resident trooper serving the area is 45 minutes, a Rabbi whose synagogue in the Bridgeport area was broken into by intruders, a young professional woman whose efforts to defend herself are made more difficult by the loss of an arm due to cancer, among other individuals. In addition, retailers whose businesses have been severely harmed by the law have joined this lawsuit, which was conceived and organized by fellow plaintiff organizations: the Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League (CCDL) and the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen. Both organizational plaintiffs represent large numbers of Connecticut citizens whose rights to own the firearms of their choice for self-defense and other purposes such as sports shooting and hunting has been infringed upon by the new law.

Bob Crook, Executive Director of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, says, “This law will do nothing to prevent a tragedy or solve the problem of crime committed with guns. Instead of violating constitutional rights, we need to get serious about addressing violence and mental illness.” He continued, “Two recent independent studies by Pew and the federal government have just revealed that gun homicides are down almost 40% and general crime involving guns has dropped a whopping 70% since 1993, which corresponds with the elimination of the federal assault weapons ban. In contrast, the few areas of the country where gun crimes have increased dramatically are the very places where local or state governments have banned or severely restricted gun ownership by law-abiding citizens.”

This Connecticut lawsuit, along with similar legal challenges in New York and Colorado are expected to better define the extent of a responsible citizens’ right to own a commonly used firearm of personal choice for self-defense, defense of family and other lawful uses. Each of these states has enacted new firearms laws that, despite law-makers best intentions, make citizens and law enforcement less safe against criminals and the mentally ill who do not obey these laws.

Your NRA will continue to work in Connecticut and in other states across the nation to support and protect our Second Amendment rights.

PS
I realize that I may start to sound like a gun nut to some, and that I will have to diversify the targets of my ire to maintain my cred as a sane member of society. Stay tuned.

Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League Litigation Update 05/22/2013

From my inbox:

Lawsuit Filed in Connecticut U.S. District Court

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, Hiller Sports, MD Shooting along with several individuals have filed as Plaintiffs in a legal complaint that is intended to overturn the recent ban on guns of common use in the State of Connecticut.

Here is the official filed complaint.

Here is the official Press Release.

This is a big day for gun owners across Connecticut!

CCDL Executive committee has been advised to not discuss the case publicly.

We are also asking our members to not discuss or debate any aspect of this legal action on our Facebook page, or any other social media that may be controlled by CCDL. This is for the good of the case

I am cautiously optimistic, but not in the short term. The Machine is growing bigger and more unruly by the day, and is getting closer to acquiring a will of its own, independent from its makers.

How Much Does Newtown Love Their Children?

After the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut on Dec. 14th 2012, the entire nation has been up in arms about how this event was the tipping point, that we, as a nation, must take prompt and meaningful action to prevent future tragedies. If twenty dead children and six dead teachers doesn’t move us to take the necessary steps to protect our children, then we are all morally bankrupt. I firmly agree.

Politicians and activists all the way from the President himself down to grassroots activists on a local level, have made the rounds, parading parents of the victims around the country promoting stricter gun legislation, banning this and banning that, making teary-eyed speeches lobbying for “common sense” laws in the name of dead children.

On Tuesday April 23rd voters in Newtown rejected a budget that added $770,000 to the school and town budgets to hire extra police officers and unarmed security guards in all of the town’s private and public schools.

That’s how much Newtown loves their children.

Newtown is a fairly affluent town and the combined total of the school and town budgets were $111,000,000.

Gun Nuts Go Crazy Over Jim Carrey’s Blasphemous Spoof Of Charlton Heston

Gun nuts all over America are getting their knickers in a twist over comedian Jim Carrey’s Charlton Heston spoof and mockery of gun nuts, rednecks and hillbillies. Guys, you need to unclench, pull out the stick and relax. Even shit aimed at you can be funny. And this is. Funny as hell. Life is too short, if you know what I mean. (Click the expand button in the lower right corner to minimize the impact of the annoying iTunes ad.)

Gun Control Myths – Facts Matter

This is the reason why bans on high (aka standard) capacity magazines will not work. Never mind the strong likelihood that a criminal will disregard the ban in any event. Facts matter. Don’t believe everything your elected officials tell you.

Connecticut: Attention Gun Owners and Sportsmen—You are Immediately Impacted by the State’s New Draconian “Gun Control” Law

From my not-really-so-good friends (final status still to be determined; currently I’ve signed up for a one-year protest membership against the hypocritical, dishonest and self-serving politicians on both sides of the aisle, both locally here in Hartford, CT and in Washington) over at the NRA, here is the short version of Connecticut’s new gun law.

Parts of the law went into immediate effect on April 4th, but I had to wait for an email from the NRA to get a decent rundown of what the new law actually means for CT residents and gun owners.

I have a conflicted relationship with the NRA (I’m warming up to them, though), and at this point still will not recommend anyone to join, but will instead provide a link to Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) for those who want to become active and/or support the cause locally. If you want to join the NRA I’m sure you can find them on the Internet on your own.

Here is the text of the legislative alert email I received from NRA-ILA (National Rifle Association – Institute for Legislative Action):


On April 4, Governor Dan Malloy (D) signed Senate Bill 1160 into law and, as expected, this law contains many onerous and damaging provisions that will only penalize responsible gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut. Some provisions of this law are effective immediately, while others will go into effect in several months.

It is critical that you stay tuned to www.nraila.org to understand the impact of this new gun control law. Your NRA is doing everything in its power to reverse this dangerous law that has no affect on criminals and only impacts responsible gun owners and sportsmen in Connecticut.

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:

  • There is an immediate ban on the sale or purchase of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
  • If you currently have a state Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers, you may only load 10 rounds into your firearm when carrying for self-defense pursuant to a Connecticut permit to carry pistols, even if your magazine has the ability to accept more rounds.
  • You may not carry a firearm for self-defense if the magazine “extend[s] beyond the bottom of the pistol grip.Many commonly owned handguns have magazines with floorplates that “extend beyond the bottom of the pistol grip, and could therefore be affected by the new law.
  • Due to physical characteristics, more than 100 firearms are classified as “assault weapons” and are banned immediately. Click here to see the full list.
  • With limited exceptions, individuals have to be at least 21 to purchase any semi-automatic centerfire rifle. This runs contrary to the current federal age limit of 18 to purchase any long gun.
  • All firearms sales, deliveries and transfers, regardless of where they take place, must go through a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer or through the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP).

EFFECTIVE ON OCTOBER 1, 2013:

  • Individuals over the age of 18 must obtain an “ammunition certificate” to purchase ammunition and magazines.
    • The fee (tax) for this certificate is $35 and must be renewed every 5 years.
    • You will be subjected to a criminal background investigation.
    •  If you already hold a valid state Permit to Carry Pistols and Revolvers or newly created “long gun eligibility certificate,” you are exempt from this additional requirement to obtain a separate “ammunition and magazine certificate.”
    • You can apply for this certificate beginning on July 1, 2013.

EFFECTIVE ON JANUARY 1, 2014:

  • All currently possessed magazines that have the ability to hold more than 10 rounds must be registered with the DESPP no later than January 1, 2014 under procedures that are still to be determined.
    • Any non-resident who moves into Connecticut after January 1, 2014 will have 90 days to permanently disable, sell to a gun dealer or take out of state, any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds
  • Any semi-automatic centerfire rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and has specific cosmetic features, certain semi-automatic pistols and certain semi-automatic shotguns are immediately classified as “assault weapons” and must be registered with the DESPP by January 1, 2014.
    • Any non-resident who moves into Connecticut after January 1, 2014 will have 90 days to permanently disable, sell to a gun dealer or take out of state, any firearm that is now classified as an “assault weapon.”
    • Click here to see if your firearm will need to be registered by January 1 under the new law.

EFFECTIVE ON APRIL 1, 2014:

  • Individuals must apply for a “long gun eligibility certificate” through the DESPP to purchase any rifle or shotgun. You are exempt from this requirement if you have a Connecticut permit to carry a pistol or revolver; a pistol or revolver retail sales permit; or a pistol or revolver eligibility certificate.
    • The fee (tax) for this certificate is $35 and must be renewed every 5 years.
    • You must complete a DESPP- approved firearms training course.
    • You must submit fingerprints with your application.
    • The DESPP commissioner will have 60 days after the receipt of your application to issue the “long gun eligibility certificate,” which can then be presented to a licensed firearms dealer to purchase a long gun.
    • You can apply for this certificate beginning July 1, 2013.

It also remains uncertain as to the total implications to out-of-state hunters or individuals traveling through Connecticut. Your NRA will continue to keep you updated as the egregious provisions of this poorly drafted and deeply flawed law are analyzed.

Virtual State Of The Union Speech – The Right To Self Defense

Food for thought. Not vouching for the statistics he quotes, but nevertheless interesting and a crafty way to state your case. I personally find it hard to disagree with a lot of what he says.