Not The Way To End 2013

I went 56 plus years without breaking anything more serious than a toe. Ending that streak was not how I wanted to end 2013 or begin 2014.

I misjudged a step and got what we thought was a badly sprained ankle. The radiologist begs to differ.

There is a fracture of the medial malleolus without significant displacement. There is also a possibly spiral fracture of the distal fibula without significant displacement or angulation.

 My knowledge of human anatomy is somewhat lacking so I had to search the Interwebs for some pictures of these bones. Translated to plain English, I broke the ankle bone on the inside part of my leg and probably broke the other leg bone near the end.

The nurse, physician, and X-ray technologist at the urgent care center where I went this afternoon were all really nice and really great. They did a really quick job of splinting my leg once they confirmed it was broken.

I am fortunate that it isn’t worse and that it doesn’t hurt more. While I was offered some powerful pain meds, ibuprofen seems to be keeping the pain and discomfort at bay. My biggest problem is learning to use crutches without causing myself more harm.

I have gained an even greater respect for those in our armed forces (or anyone, for that matter) who have suffered much more traumatic injuries to their lower limbs. Being forced to rely on crutches for even this limited period really puts the inconvenience of it all into perspective.

I am lucky to have the Complementary Spouse who is a highly experienced registered nurse caring for me. She makes sure I am doing things right and avoiding doing stuff that would make it worse.

I go to the orthopedic doctor tomorrow to get my “real” cast. With luck, I’ll be able to ditch the crutches sooner than later.

UPDATE: First, let me thank all who have sent their good wishes. I really appreciate it.

Met with the orthopedist this morning. He said my bones were very strong which kept the break from being worse. He also noted that the force had to be pretty strong to have broken my leg.

The doc said no surgery was indicated and that I could get by with an orthopedic boot instead of a cast. The boot will make it easier as I can take it off when needed.

All in all, while I wouldn’t have wanted to break my leg, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could be.

Light Blogging Until The New Year

Blogging will be sporadic until the New Year.

We are out in the frozen tundra of flyover country visiting family as well as cleaning out the Complementary Spouse’s mother’s house getting it ready for an auction. Grace is now living in a senior living center now and it is time to sell.

It is incredible how much stuff can be accumulated over 84 years of life, 50 years of marriage, and three kids!

My job is to sort through the financial records deciding what to keep and what to toss. The only problem is that they kept records of such good detail that it would cause a tax accountant’s heart to flutter.

So, in the meantime, enjoy playing with your presents and cherish your time with family.

Ralphie Meets Mikhail

We’re all gathered in the den watching A Christmas Story and that got me to thinking. I know there are tons of Photoshops of Ralphie with an AR15 but I wondered if there were any Photoshops of Ralphie with an AK. With Mikhail Kalashnikov passing away yesterday, I thought it would be more appropriate for Ralphie to have an AK.

And voila!

And if he doesn’t get some more control, he’ll shoot someone’s eye out!

Lithuanians Go Heavy – SCAR Heavy

The Ministry of Defense for the Baltic nation of Lithuania is purchasing the FNH SCAR-H PR for their military’s land forces.

Lithuania’s Ministry of Defense has ordered FN SCAR-H PR semi-automatic rifles for the country’s armed forces. The 7.62 mm rifle is produced by Belgian arms manufacturer FN Herstal.

The contract is worth 9.6 million litas (US $3.9 million), the ministry said in a statement. Deliveries of the weapons are scheduled to begin in 2014.

The FN SCAR-H PR rifles will be supplied to the Lithuanian land forces. The weapons are to be fitted with rifle scopes made by German manufacturer Schmidt & Bender. The amount of rifles ordered was not disclosed by the ministry.

The Land Forces have 3,500 regulars and 4,700 volunteers or reservists.  It is composed of one heavy mechanized infantry brigade of three infantry battalions and one artillery battalion.

Given the size of the contract and that it is for a semi-auto rifle, I’m guessing it is intended for arming their equivalent of the squad designated marksmen and not for universal use by the Land Forces.

The Land Forces are currently equipped with the Heckler & Koch G36.

90% Support Universal Background Checks?

You know how all we’ve heard for the past year is that 90% of Americans support universal background checks? Well, not so fast.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation has released a poll today that shows only 40% of Americans want universal background checks at gun shows. The difference in the poll results is because contextual detail was added to the question. Instead of asking do you want to close the “gun show loophole” or other such nonsense, the poll points out that most sales at gun shows are conducted with background checks and are by FFLs.

The poll goes further. Only 39% of respondents thought that requiring a background check for transferring a firearm between friends or family members would reduce violent crime. That’s a long way from 90% in my calculations.

The poll was conducted in November for NSSF by McKeon and Associates. The poll sample included over 1,200 respondents and contained a margin of error of +/- 4.1%.

The release on the poll results with more details is below:

Americans Don’t Think ‘Universal Background Checks’ Extension for Gun Shows Are Needed, National Poll Finds
Conn. — Only four out of ten Americans support so-called “universal
background checks” at gun shows after being informed that the vast
majority of firearms sales at these shows are transacted by licensed
retailers that already conduct such checks through the National Instant
Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as required by federal law. The
poll results stand in contrast to the vague claim often reported in the
media and attributed to gun control proponents without important
contextual detail that 90 percent of Americans surveyed support
“universal background checks.
findings were the among the results of a national scientific poll of
more than 1,200 Americans conducted in November by McKeon &
Associates and released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation
(NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.
The McKeon poll found that only 40 percent of respondents said that
extension of “universal background checks” to private transactions at
gun shows are necessary, while 53 percent said they are not necessary
and 7% said they did not know.
Americans polled also said by a combined 74 percent margin that
conducting background checks against an incomplete database was not
effective at all or not very effective while 54 percent said that
requiring background checks for transferring guns between friends and
family members was not at effective at all or not very effective in
reducing violent crime.
links to hi-res JPG
poll also discovered that 92 percent of Americans agree that the states
should submit all records of persons federally prohibited from owning a
firearm to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems
(NICS), passing legislation if needed.
70 percent of the survey sample also said that did not believe that
government should mandate that all firearms produced incorporate “smart
gun” technology should it become commercially available. Only 17
percent approved of a mandate, while 13 percent didn’t know.
links to hi-res JPG“We
commissioned this poll to help determine where Americans stood on the
various aspects of how the NICS system actually works today,” said Larry
G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “When
properly informed of relevant details, it turns out that only four out
of ten, not nine out of ten Americans support so-called ‘universal
background checks’ at gun shows or for firearms transfers. The poll
also found that Americans want a National Instant Criminal Background
Check System with a dependable and accurate database, which supports the
goal of the FixNICS initiative we launched in 2013 and will continue in
links to hi-res JPGThe
poll conducted Nov. 6-7 has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent.
Respondents self-identified as 33 percent Democrat, 26 percent
Republican and 41 percent independent. As to ethnicity, 62 percent of
respondents said they were Caucasian, 18 percent African-American, 11
percent Hispanic; and 9 percent, other. As to age, 20 percent of
respondents said they were 18-30; 36 percent, 31-45; 23 percent 46-60;
and 21 percent, 60 or older.

A Tradition Returns

The “real” ‘Possum Drop returns!

Last year, Clay Logan, organizer of the annual New Year’s Eve Possum Drop held in Brasstown, North Carolina, had to resort to using an opaque box covered with pictures of an opossum.  That was because of a ruling that PETA won from an administrative law judge.

This year, tradition returns due to the General Assembly passing a law specifically allowing the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to issue permits for events such as the ‘Possum Drop.

From the Asheville Citizen-Times:

The famous New Year’s Eve ’Possum Drop might be back to normal this year under a permit issued by North Carolina on Friday.

The state Wildlife Resources Commission says Clay Logan, owner of Clay’s Corner, has permission to capture an opossum, which he plans to lower in a clear plastic box in a parody of the ball drop in Times Square.

PETA is not taking this change in the law well. They plan to file a lawsuit in Raleigh to stop the event from using a live opossum.

Martina Bernstein, PETA’s director of litigation, said the group will be back in court Monday to argue the license fails to comply with state law.

“Opossums are shy, timid animals, and PETA has presented (the wildlife commission) with overwhelming evidence supporting its position that dangling a live opossum above a stage amid fireworks and raucous crowds is cruel and causes stress that is likely to kill the animal days or weeks after the event,” she said in a written statement.

If PETA is so unalterably opposed to this event, I might suggest Ms. Bernstein could volunteer to dress up as an opossum and take the place the live opossum being used in the ‘Possum Drop. She would be taking a risk as I’ve never seen an opossum yet that has safely made it across the road.

Christmas Comes Early For The Second Amendment Foundation

Thanks to the City of Seattle’s obstructionism, the Second Amendment Foundation is $38,000 richer. SAF had filed a public documents request regarding the city’s gun buyback held in January of this year. While SAF received some documents, hundreds more were “accidentally overlooked” in anti-gun Mayor Mike McGinn’s office.

The Second Amendment Foundation had sued the city in King County Superior Court back in July  for violating Washington’s Public Records Act.

From SAF:

BELLEVUE, WA The Second Amendment Foundation has accepted a $38,000 settlement from the City of Seattle for the city’s failure to release public records about the city’s gun buyback in January.

As part of the agreement, the city has acknowledged that it did not promptly or properly provide all of the documents sought by SAF under the Public Records Act. SAF was represented by Bellevue attorney Miko Tempski.

“It is a shame that this had to drag out so long,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but the important thing is that the city, and outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn’s office has been held accountable for sloppy handling of our request. One would have thought the city had learned something earlier this year when the police department had to pay the Seattle Times $20,000, for also not providing requested documents.

“Maybe the citizens of Seattle can consider this a Christmas gift from the departing mayor,” he remarked. “This would not have been necessary had McGinn’s office done its job.”

SAF had pursued e-mails and other documents related to the January buyback, which was conducted in a parking lot underneath I-5 in downtown Seattle. The operation was something of an embarrassment that even Washington Ceasefire President Ralph Fascitelli had advised against, the recovered e-mails revealed.

Earlier the city had supplied some of the requested documents, but a story in the Seattle revealed there were other materials that had not been provided to SAF by Mayor McGinn’s office.

“It seems hard to conceive,” Tempski said, “how you could accidentally overlook hundreds of documents and how that could be unintentional.”

“The settlement,” said Gottlieb, “will help SAF continue its legal work. Hopefully, we will see better performance from a new city administration in January.”

The Second Sunnyvale Lawsuit

I’m a few days late on reporting this but on Monday the NRA filed suit in US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division against the City of Sunnyvale and their Measure C which contains a magazine ban. The lawsuit is entitled Fyock et al v. City of Sunnyvale et al and is being handled by California attorney Chuck Michel. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief on the grounds that the new ordinance violates the Second Amendment.

This makes the second lawsuit against the City of Sunnyvale over Measure C. The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed their lawsuit a week earlier in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

The NRA-ILA gives more details on the lawsuit and why they brought it in the release below:

Several Sunnyvale residents have filed a lawsuit supported by the National Rifle Association, challenging the City’s recent ban on the possession of magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds. The federal, Second Amendment-based legal challenge is part of a campaign of nationwide litigation filed and supported by a variety of individuals, civil rights groups, and law enforcement officers and associations. The coordinated lawsuits seek to confirm that the Second Amendment protects these common standard-capacity magazines for self-defense and sporting purposes.

Firearms equipped with magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds have been around for nearly two centuries. Today, these firearms are possessed by millions of law-abiding citizens for a variety of lawful purposes, including self-defense. And the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that self-defense is the “central component” of the Second Amendment.

As most gun owners already know, magazines holding more than ten rounds are standard equipment for many popular pistols and rifles throughout the country. In fact, most pistols in the United States are manufactured and sold with magazines holding between ten and seventeen rounds.

The overwhelming majority of states have not banned law-abiding citizens from owning standard-capacity firearms. And only a handful of states refer to such firearms and magazines as being “high-capacity.” The label “large-capacity magazine” is, of course, a term created by anti-gun zealots in an attempt to ostracize what, in reality, is the absolute norm nationwide. Some in the gun ban lobby have even started referring to magazines over ten rounds as “mega magazines.”

The majority of law enforcement officers in the United States acknowledge that banning standard-capacity magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds will not increase public safety. There is now a growing trend of law enforcement organizations actively opposing and challenging these measures in court. The San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association (SFVPOA) recently filed a lawsuit challenging San Francisco’s recent ban on the possession of standard-capacity magazines. In Colorado, a broad coalition of law enforcement officials filed suit against that state’s recently-enacted ban on common magazines. Earlier this year in New York, the State Sheriffs Association, the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and individual law enforcement officers filed an amicus brief in support of a challenge to the state ban on common rifles and magazines. And in Connecticut, a coalition of individual law enforcement officers and the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund filed another legal brief in support of pending challenge to similar laws.

The Sunnyvale ordinance essentially allows for confiscation of any prohibited magazines and, because of state laws restricting their transfer, they cannot be replaced. Sunnyvale’s ordinance took effect on December 6, 2013. Residents of Sunnyvale then have until March 6, 2014 to turn over their lawfully-possessed magazines to the police, remove them from Sunnyvale in the few cases where it might be legal or transfer them to a licensed firearms dealer.

Lawyers at Michel & Associates representing the plaintiffs will seek an injunction to prevent Sunnyvale from enforcing this law. The plaintiffs are prepared to appeal this case as high as necessary to have this misguided ordinance declared unconstitutional. This important Second Amendment issue may ultimately be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

By allowing residents and visitors to Sunnyvale to only possess reduced-capacity magazines, the City has arbitrarily limited the number of rounds that its law-abiding residents have to protect themselves and their loved ones. Hunters and sport shooters traveling through Sunnyvale with these magazines can also be prosecuted, even if they are unaware of this law.

Even active law enforcement officers are forced to surrender their magazines and cannot possess anything but reduced-capacity firearms for self-defense in their homes. Although this law strangely exempts some retired law-enforcement officers who are authorized to carry a concealed firearm, it only exempts magazines possessed by active law enforcement officers while acting in the course and scope of their duties.

Police officers who have any magazines over ten rounds in their personal collections, or any magazines they were authorized to purchase for off-duty use, must dispose of those magazines. If they don’t, the officers will become criminals. The same is true for active law enforcement officials in San Francisco where the City Attorneys Office confirmed that only official-duty magazines issued by the Police Department are exempt.

Family members of law enforcement officers are also at risk. If an officer leaves the house without locking his or her magazines away, anyone who is present in the home will be in violation of the law. These misguided laws also place thousands of state and federal law enforcement officials who travel through Sunnyvale and San Francisco in jeopardy. Many off-duty law enforcement officials lawfully carry a firearm with a magazine that holds more than ten rounds when traveling in other cities and states. Every time these officers travel into San Francisco or Sunnyvale, they will be in violation of the law and subject to criminal prosecution.

Sunnyvale’s decision to limit law-abiding citizens to magazines holding a maximum of ten rounds endangers the public by giving violent criminals an advantage and decreasing the likelihood that a victim will survive a criminal attack. Of course, criminals who wish to carry out violent attacks will not be thwarted by the City’s restriction since they ignore all gun control laws. Criminals will simply continue to do what they have always done – buy and possess magazines on the black market or carry multiple firearms to complete their violent crimes.

The Sunnyvale magazine ban is part of a gun control package known as “Measure C” – a ballot measure that was passed by Sunnyvale voters earlier this year. Litigation has already been filed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation challenging the law’s ammunition sales registration requirements, which are preempted by state law and violate state privacy protections.

All the case documents can be found on the Michel and Associates website here.

CalGuns Does A Little Digging Into Sunnyvale And Finds A Treasure Trove Of Hypocrisy

After the City of Sunnyvale (California) passed Measure C which included among other things magazine bans, the CalGuns Foundation decided to do a little digging using California’s California Public Records Act. What they found out was quite interesting and just show hypocritical the city’s own policies and practices are when it comes to firearms and magazines. For example, residents of Sunnyvale aren’t allowed to possess magazines with greater than a 10 round capacity. However, police officers are required to have loaded 20 round magazines in their issue AR-15 along with two spares stored in the trunk of their police cruiser.

Another example is that the City of Sunnyvale’s Public Safety Department, Traffic Safety Unit has not one but two Heckler & Koch MP7 Personal Defense Weapons. You and I couldn’t own one of these even if we paid the $200 NFA tax stamp because of the Hughes Amendment. However, Sunnyvale considers these essentials weapons for a unit whose mission is “to ensure the safe and orderly flow of pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular traffic.” Could someone in Sunnyvale please explain to me why a motorcycle cop needs a full auto sub-machine gun to stop jay walkers and to make sure bicyclists stay in the bike lanes?

Read CalGuns release below and make sure to scan through the documents that they obtained from the City of Sunnyvale. They make for interesting reading.

ROSEVILLE, CA — In response to the City of Sunnyvale’s recently-passed (and now infamous) Measure C – sweeping new and unconstitutional gun control laws that directly [negatively] affect law-abiding people — The Calguns Foundation (CGF) sought out public records to better understand the City’s own policies and practices as they relate to firearm/magazine acquisition and possession for its employees and contractors.

Measure C passed on November 5, 2013, in a low-turnout election and took effect Dec. 6, giving gun owners until March 6 to comply with the new regulations, including an outright ban on the possession of “large-capacity” magazines holding more than 10 rounds — even those ‘grandfathered’ under state law. A number of firearms organizations have subsequently announced legal actions against the City to block the law from being enforced and, in at least one case, have it judicially declared as unconstitutional.

On October 29, 2013, CGF executive director Brandon Combs sent this request for information under the California Public Records Act. Our request consisted of the following 6 classifications of public records:

1. Public notices, bid documents (including specifications), contracts, purchase orders, payments, and other such records reflecting expenditures by the City for the acquisition of firearms, including makes, models, and quantities;

2. Public notices, bid documents (including specifications), contracts, purchase orders, payments, and other such records reflecting expenditures by the City for the acquisition of firearm accessories and firearm parts, including makes, models, and quantities;

3. Public notices, bid documents (including specifications), contracts, purchase orders, payments, and other such records reflecting expenditures by the City for firearm repair and/or modification, including records going to the type of repair(s)/modification(s) and its/their cause(s);

4. Policies, manuals, guides, and other such governing documents addressing the City’s requirements/standards/rules for firearms, firearms accessories, and firearms parts used for City business, including but not limited to law enforcement, whether owned by the City or not;

5. Policies, manuals, guides, and other such governing documents addressing the City’s rules for personal acquisition of firearms, firearm accessories, and/or firearm parts by its employees and contractors; and

6. City authorizations or records addressing personal acquisition of firearms, firearm accessories, and/or firearm parts by City employees or contractors.

On November 20, 2013, the City replied to our request and sent these responsive documents, some 97 pages of policies and purchase orders. In its own records, the Sunnyvale acknowledged several key arguments relating to effective self-defense and implicitly concedes that we are correct about common semi-automatic firearms and their necessary components, like magazines. For example:

  • Unloaded firearms are useless and not tactically-appropriate for self-defense;

  • Modern semi-automatic firearms provide significant upside to those who are forced to use them for self-defense; and

  • Magazines having a capacity greater than ten (10) rounds — “large-capacity” in government elitist-speak — offer such material benefit that they are specified for City employees and provided to them at taxpayer expense.

The City records we acquired as part of our audit will continue to be scrutinized by us, by you, and, hopefully, the news media.