Why We Use The Wrong Argument Against Red Flag Laws

Sean Sorrentino opened my eyes regarding red flag laws. In a segment originally posted to the Assorted Calibers Podcast, he said we shouldn’t argue on due process grounds. Instead the argument against red flag laws is that they don’t work.

These laws arrest the gun and leave the dangerous or troubled person on the streets. There are a myriad of ways that they still can harm either themselves or us. You need only look in your kitchen or medicine chest to know that.

You may not agree with Sean on whether or not due process is afforded to the person in question. However, it is hard to argue that these laws are effective.

I met with Sean last week while he and his lovely wife were coming through the area on vacation. I mentioned I really liked that segment. He graciously has uploaded it to YouTube specifically so I could embed it. My thanks to Sean for doing this.

Free Speech And Banned Books

There is a long history of banning books both here in the United States and abroad. Books that come to mind are D. H. Lawerence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and a whole host of others. In more recent times, the Supreme Court has rejected efforts to ban books just because someone didn’t like it. See Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982)

Here is a book that you need to buy that many in the gun control industry would like to see banned. It is called The Liberator Code Book: An Exercise in Free Speech. The book is exactly what it says it is – the 3-D printing code for the Liberator pistol in book form. Think of the $15 cost of this book as a donation to the advancement of free speech.

Years ago, the US government tried to control an encryption program called Pretty Good Privacy or PGP which was freely available on the Internet for download. They started a criminal investigation of Phil Zimmerman who was its creator for exporting “munitions without a license”. Starting to sound familiar to what the government wanted to do to Cody Wilson? It should. What Zimmerman did that stymied the government’s efforts was to have the entire source code published as a book by MIT Press. The code could then be read by OCR programs and voila! While the government can and does control the export of munitions, it does not control the export of books.

Fast forward to this year. The US Department of Justice realized that they could not win a free speech case against Defense Distributed and advised the State Department to come to an agreement with Cody Wilson et al. The State Department took this wise advice, signed the settlement, and US District Court Judge Robert Pitman dismissed the case with prejudice on July 30th. Dismissing the case with prejudice means that neither party can reopen the lawsuit.

As I’ve written before, the attorneys general of 21 states are now suing in Federal court in Washington State to prohibit Defense Distributed from sharing the code. Judge Robert Lasnik granted them a temporary restraining order. However, that order only applies to the Trump Administration, Defense Distributed, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Conn Williamson. As you should know by now, a coalition of four California-based gun rights groups set up www.codeisfreespeech.com and have published the code for the Liberator and other firearms on the Internet. They have had hundreds of thousands of downloads since the site went live despite the efforts of Amazon Web Services and Facebook.

This has always been a free speech case despite what the gun control industry, the anti-civil rights state attorneys general, and the gullible media would have you believe. Printing the source code in a physical book serves to doubly reinforce that.

As Sean Sorrentino notes on Facebook, this book leaves the anti-civil rights attorneys general two arguments:

1. “Banning digital code files that can be used to manufacture and object is fundamentally different than banning a physical book that holds the same exact information.”


2. “We must also ban this book.”

Even anti-gun judges are not going to look too favorably upon either argument and the US Supreme Court certainly will not.

So go buy the book!

“The Kardashians Of Politics”

The headline comes from an analogy made by Erin Palette on Episode 130 of the GunBlog Varietycast regarding nominations to the Supreme Court. Sean Sorrentino and Erin were discussing the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. They also noted that there are currently 117 district and appeals court judgeships waiting to be filled.

Erin said, “Supreme Court nomination are the Kardashians of politics.” As with the Kardashian of the day, they get virtually all the attention unlike your neighbor down the street. However, that neighbor down the street will have a far stronger impact on your life than the Kardashians. Likewise, the judges that will fill those empty District Court and Appeals Court slots will probably have a stronger impact on your constitutional rights – and especially your Second Amendment rights – than the justices on the Supreme Court. The reason, of course, is that very few cases ever are accepted for certiorari by the Supreme Court.

You can listen to the discussion between Sean and Erin here starting at the 22:20 mark.

I was struck by Erin’s analogy and how apt it was with regard to not only judicial nominations but also politics at the local, state, and national levels. With even local newscasts discussing Trump said this and the Democrats said that, it is hard sometimes to remember that County Commissioner Billy Bob Jones will have a bigger impact on your day to day exercise of your Second Amendment rights. How Commissioner Jones and his colleagues grant variances or pass zoning ordinances will determine where you can buy a firearm and if there is a range where you can practice with it. Moreover, unless you live in a state with statewide firearms law pre-emption, Commissioner Billy Bob and his good friend Councilwoman Maura McGillicuddy will determine where you can carry, the penalties for a firearms discharge in the city even if it is in self-defense, and even what firearms and accessories you are allowed to possess.

I’m not saying either national politics or Supreme Court nominations are irrelevant like the Kardashians. Rather that for every 10 minutes we spend on those, we need to be spending the other 50 minutes of the hour on stuff closer to home.

Sean Asks The Pertinent Questions

Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog attended Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler’s press conference today held at the NC State Fairgrounds. Troxler used the press conference to defend his position that legal, permitted concealed carry holders would be barred from carrying at the fair.

Sean was not ready to let Troxler off the hook. He asked two very pertinent questions regarding personal safety.

First, he asked if Troxler hadn’t just announced to every criminal that people going to and from the parking lots would be defenseless. Troxler passed that question off to the police chief of the fairgrounds.

Second, Sean then asked the chief if a person feels unsafe, will the police provide an escort. Here’s the response he got.

There you have the Department of Agriculture’s Chief of Police, Joel Keith promising not only uniformed police patrols in the parking lots, but armed escorts for anyone who asks for one.

So there you have it. Chief Keith, backed up by the Wake County Sheriff, Donnie Harrison, will provide you an armed police escort back to your vehicle. After they’ve made it illegal to defend yourself, I think it’s the least they can do.

Thanks to Sean for asking the pertinent questions of the powers that be. Now if I were a fairgoer, I’d demand that police escort. They made a promise and they should stand by it no matter how inconvenient.

No More Silence Except For Supporters Of Civil Rights

As I mentioned in my weekend roundup, Kaaren Haldeman, North Carolina state director of Moms Demand Action, refused to let Sean Sorrentino into their event at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Durham on Saturday. Sean says in his blog today that it was projection on her part. While she might have disrupted a pro-rights event, he would have never disrupted their event especially in a house of worship.

Moms Demand Action are trying to use their supposed moral superiority to stifle any discussion of their proposals for more gun control. In a republic, it doesn’t work that way. Both sides of a debate should and must be heard for us to survive as a free society.

The video from the event is below. Sean, who has been studying this for a long time, makes the excellent point that most violent crime is committed by those with a criminal past.


BOLO is an acronym often used by law enforcement to mean “be on the lookout”. It is often used by cops (or cop shows) to mean a stolen car or a criminal suspect. If you are a concealed carry permit holder living or visiting North Carolina, I might suggest another thing to be on the lookout for.

This is all that is required to post a store or restaurant against the carrying of firearms. While other states may require more explicit or more extensive measures to post a premises, North Carolina does not. Carrying a firearm on a posted premises is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina.

It seems that not only are the gun prohibitionists trying to encourage owners to post their premises but some of their activists are taking it upon themselves to “unofficially” post the business. Sean Sorrentino at An NC Gun Blog has the full story of a business in Greensboro that was “posted” by one of these activists.

Fortunately, the gun owner who was buying dinner at this establishment questioned why they had “posted” their premises. Not only had the business not done this but by going through their security tapes they were able to identify the anti-gun activist who had done it.

My suggestion if you do see one of these decals on the door of your favorite store or restaurant is to ask to speak to the management. It may turn out that they aren’t anti-gun but rather are victims of a hoax perpetrated by gun prohibitionists. If so, I’d suggest contacting Grass Roots North Carolina with the information. Their contact info is here.

And if the business is really posting their premises and is anti-gun, report that information to GRNC’s High Risk Restaurant Project.

Ways To Spend A Rainy Afternoon

There are many different ways you could spend a rainy afternoon.

You could curl up with a good book.

The rain on the roof could make a nap even more enjoyable.

Or, you could shoot a full-auto Thompson submachine gun.

This past Wednesday, Sean Sorrentino and I did the last on the list. Thanks to one of Sean’s readers, artist Guy Smalley, we had a great time with Guy’s Thompson Model 1928 W.H. We also shot a number of other rifles and pistols but the Thompson was the highlight of the afternoon. You can see Guy holding his Thompson with its 50-round drum magazine below. Sean has posted a video of him loading the drum magazine. Through the wonders of editing, it came out OK despite me being the one taking the video.

Due to the weight of the Thompson plus the Cutts compensator, the Thompson at full auto is very controllable. The muzzle didn’t rise that much and it was very easy to keep on target regardless of whether you were firing in short bursts or letting it run.

Some of the other firearms we had available to shoot range from Sean’s Templar Custom AR-15 to my IBM M-1 Carbine to a whole ton of Guy’s firearms. You can see some of the assortment in the next two pictures.

Table 1
Table 2

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time enough to fire everything but we did get to fire quite an assortment.

We ended the afternoon firing Guy’s AR-50 .50 BMG rifle. The muzzle break reduced the felt recoil tremendously. It kicked less than the Mosin-Nagant Model 44 pictured above. They both tore some big divots into the hillside in which we were shooting.

One of the more interesting aspects of the afternoon is that Guy and I live less than a 5 minute drive apart but had never met before even though we live in a little town. I think we’ll be doing some more shooting together in the future.

I want to thank both Sean and Guy for providing great company on a wet afternoon.

A Hearty Cheer For Sean!

Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog made the news yesterday. He, in his own words, crashed a MAIG press conference held in Durham, North Carolina. I think when they saw Sean there they assumed he was one of them. After all, he is a younger looking guy with a ponytail. Oh, little did they know!

Sean asked them about Sen. Harry Reid’s S.649 which is an amalgam of a number of gun control bills.

That bill would have criminalized something I did last year. My wife wanted to learn to shoot my Ruger 10/22. I took my rifle to a friend’s farm and gave it to him. My wife went up to his farm and he taught her to shoot it safely out on the “back forty.” Then he put it in her truck and she brought it home. He had the rifle for about 4 months. S649 would put all three of us in Federal prison for 5 years each, minimum. I asked the mayors, “How would making me, my wife, and our friend Mike into federal felons keep criminals from selling guns to each other on the streets of Durham, Morrisville, or Chapel Hill?”

It was a good question and one that has an obvious answer. It wouldn’t.

As a side note, I recently participated in a webinar put on by the UNC School of Government recently. One of the last questions asked came from the town attorney of Chapel Hill. He wanted to know if a “large capacity assault weapon” could be considered a weapon of mass destruction under NCGS 160A-183. That statute says a town or city can prohibit “any weapons or instrumentalities of
mass death and destruction”. He was told it wasn’t and that the town was preempted from regulating firearms. I mention this because it goes to show just how far towns run by Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors are trying to go.

Go to Sean’s blog, read the whole account, and watch the video. Sean deserves a lot of credit for going there and standing up for what is right.

Hey, I Know That Guy

Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog was the featured guest on Triangle Tactical’s podcast this past week. He and Luke discussed the New York Boycott, restaurant carry in NC, SB 124, and concealed carry statistics for North Carolina.

I am a big fan of podcasts and rarely even listen to the radio when I drive anymore. I’m glad to find another North Carolina based gun podcast to add to my podcast listening rotation. The Triangle Tactical podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher Smart Radio.

NC Democrat Party Doesn’t Get It

Democrats in North Carolina took it on the chin in the 2012 elections. They lost the governorship, the lieutenant governorship, many seats in Congress, and stand at less than one-third of the members of each house of the General Assembly. Given that you’d think that they would be trying to establish positions that would help them regain lost ground.

Sean at An NC Gun Blog reports on how they just don’t get it. Clay Pittman, press secretary for the NC Democrat Party, issued a rambling, stream of consciousness, release attacking Gov. Pat McCrory for calling the gun prohibitionists “foolish” for their efforts to enact a new “assault weapons” (sic) ban. As McCrory correctly points out, all it is doing is increasing gun sales.

When Sean pressed Pittman on his statistics and position, he got a reply that said to check the NCDP party platform and that the state party will support Obama’s gun control agenda. He said what Democrat members of the General Assembly do is up to them.

I think Sean’s suggestion to write and call Democrat state senators and representatives to ask if they support this policy is a good one. My own state representative, Joe Sam Queen, is the only Democrat left in the General Assembly west of Asheville. I think one of the reasons he survived this election is because he wasn’t bad on guns. He isn’t great but he isn’t bad either.

So if you live in North Carolina and have a Democrat state senator or representative now is the time to put them on the spot. Force them to either agree with Pittman’s statement or disavow it. If they agree with it, make sure they are targeted in 2014.