Category Archives: News Stories/Events/Opinion

Fireclean v. Tuohy Dismissed

This morning, United States District Court Judge James C. Cacheris issued an order dismissing Fireclean v. Tuohy on jurisdictional grounds. This means that Fireclean could appeal this ruling or attempt to refile the case in Arizona (and, presumably, a separate filing against Everett Baker in New Hampshire) before the statute of limitations expires.

However, this is the third loss in a row for Fireclean relating to this case – denial of their motion for jurisdictional discovery, denial of their appeal of that denial, and the dismissal of the case – with no victories to show on their side over the last four months.

Continuing to tilt at windmills would seem ill-advised in light of this statement on page 25 of Judge Cacheris’ ruling:

“Plaintiff’s theory is that Baker and Tuohy conspired to publish a test that would show FIREClean is the same as Crisco or canola oil, even though they knew the test was inadequate to reach that conclusion, so as to attract more viewers to their blogs. Although such a conspiracy is logically possible, it is not plausible based on the facts in this record. The foundation of Plaintiff’s theory is that a critical review of FIREClean would attract more readers to the blogs. Criticisms of FIREClean being Crisco, however, were already commonplace online due to earlier published statements in the Vuurwapen blog, the Firearm blog, and George Fennell’s publications, among others. The Court finds no reason to conclude that an article affirming the prior tests would attract more readers than results disputing the prior test results. 

Furthermore, the record is replete with facts providing non-conspiratorial explanations for why Baker chose the Infrared Spectroscopy and NMR Spectroscopy to analyze FIREClean, including the advice of his professors, his personal research on the best testing methods, his available equipment, and the methods that two individuals with doctorates in chemistry used to test FIREClean. In sum, it does not plausibly or fairly follow from the facts alleged that Baker and Tuohy had a preconceived plan to conduct a fraudulent test so as attract more readers to their blogs by declaring FIREclean to be Crisco.”

Without the support of those who donated to the legal fund – large and small – and the truly excellent work of the legal team at LSKS, this victory would not have been possible. Thank you.

An Open Letter To Anti-Gun Politicians, Activists, and Citizens

Dear above-mentioned people,

A good compromise, in my mind, involves neither party getting exactly what they want, but settling for something that both can be somewhat satisfied with. There are few examples of true compromise in politics; most often, it seems that final legislation leaves both parties with very little to be happy with and very little resembling their original goals.

When lip service is paid to compromise and a party with a small advantage in political power attempts to ram through a bad piece of legislation, effective organization on the part of the opposition can kill the entire legislative effort and leave the party in power with nothing but spent political capital.

It’s no surprise that those efforts were an ultimate failure. Anti-gun politicians and PACs can make all the noise they want about how the NRA just won’t listen to reason, and that they really are okay with the concept of individual gun ownership. What really killed your chances of passing any kind of national legislation were the following two factors:

– Gun owners saw the proposed legislation as ineffective, not to mention an attack on their rights
– Gun owners saw the proposed legislation as failing to offer any real compromise.

I submit that changes could be made to existing executive orders and federal legislation which would offer gun owners a reason to believe that (perceived) anti-gun politicians really are as pro-Second Amendment as they claim to be. These changes would have effectively no negative impact on crime in America, for reasons I will discuss below.

If any or all of these changes were suggested in conjunction with whatever gun control legislation was proposed next, I think a lot more gun owners would at the very least listen to what politicians have to say. Of course, not all of these proposals are of equal “value,” but that value could be relative to the proposed legislation.

#1 – Remove Suppressors/Silencers From The NFA Registry

In 1934, the National Firearms Act was passed, which required the registration of all silencers, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and machine guns with the ATF. Along with this requirement was a $200 tax stamp per item. Today, the registration process takes six to twelve months, depending on a variety of factors.

Short barreled rifles/shotguns and machine guns are easily demonized and it’s harder to make arguments for their utility to non-gun people. Silencers or suppressors, on the other hand, are of great utility to almost all shooters in all situations, and there is little reason to outlaw them from a criminal standpoint. Why? They help protect hearing and they only reduce the sound of a gunshot by a small amount. They don’t completely or even partially hide the sound of a gunshot.

When I say that, I mean that a loud rifle – one with a muzzle report in the 170 decibel range – would be reduced to approximately 135 decibels at best. That’s still 20 decibels louder than the front row of a rock concert, and not hearing safe without additional hearing protection. With subsonic ammunition, a handgun might be a little quieter – say 130 decibels or so. This is a far cry from the way these devices are often perceived and portrayed. They would offer little to no benefit to criminals, but many benefits to honest citizens who shoot regularly and wish to not lose their hearing over time.

Current laws raise the barrier for entry into the silencer market too high. They also make ownership impractical as not many firearms sold in the United States are ready to mount a silencer out of the box. In other countries, such as New Zealand, using a silencer is seen as being a polite neighbor.

It would make sense for all parties to advocate for the removal of silencers from the NFA registry.

#2 – 50 State Reciprocity for Carry Permits With Decent Standards

Concealed carry is, of course, a contentious topic. Many people find the concept of private citizens carrying firearms hidden on their person abhorrent; others see it as a natural right guaranteed by the Constitution and its amendments (well, the second one in particular). I realize that not everyone will be very happy with what I propose here, but hey, this article is about compromise, right?

Ostensibly, every state allows concealed carry, although some jurisdictions effectively prevent the practice by heavily scrutinizing applicants or only allowing those with political connections to acquire a permit to legally carry a firearm. On the other end of the spectrum are states such as Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Vermont, which allow concealed carry of a firearm without any type of permit.

When you travel to other states, though, you quite naturally have to abide by their laws. For those who wish to carry concealed, it’s a complicated mess of which state recognizes which other states’ permits and vice versa. This often leads to a law-abiding and well-trained individual not being able to carry a firearm in a state which might allow residents of that state or certain other states to carry.

As an example, Nevada stopped recognizing Arizona carry permits because the latter reduced training requirements for carry permits. This is rather frustrating to me, and I must direct my frustration at well-meaning pro-gun groups such as the Arizona Citizens Defense League, which pushed lawmakers to allow carry without a permit (something I like and see the utility of) and reduce training requirements in order to acquire a state permit.

The latter point is something I don’t understand – if we’re going to jump through hoops and background checks and be listed in a state database in order to get a permit, we might as well get enough “training” to allow us to carry a firearm in a neighboring state with our shiny new permit. I certainly do not appreciate the results of that particular AZCDL effort.

Therefore, I submit that just as it uses the power of the purse to force states to limit the drinking age to 21, the federal government could force states to recognize concealed carry permits, especially if those permits came with stringent training standards and a criminal background check. How? Withhold federal grant money relating to law enforcement would be one possible solution.

The most passionate anti-gun folks won’t like this because “guns are bad” and the most passionate pro-gun people won’t like this because the “Second Amendment is (their) carry permit.” That said, something similar almost passed the Senate a few years ago, albeit without minimum standards.

However, the current system, in which many states only allow their own residents to carry guns, is simply illogical. Enacting a federal standard for a concealed carry permit – including training on use of force and accuracy/proficiency requirements – and requiring states to only recognize permits meeting those standards would have a positive effect on both the ability of citizens to carry firearms for self-defense (hooray, gun people) and the quality of character and training required to do so (hooray, people who think guns are bad and that 50 state reciprocity means felons can carry guns).

I saw an argument against 50 state reciprocity which basically went like this: “some states allow a right turn on a red and some don’t, and you have to obey the laws of each state when you drive there, because each state is different and has different needs.” This analogy does not fly.

If I am pulled over for a minor traffic violation due to a confusion of the law in another state, I probably wouldn’t even get a ticket. If I was caught carrying a handgun in New York City, I’d go to jail. Furthermore, there is no state which allows only residents of that state to drive cars in said state. Yet there are plenty of states which have that type of restriction on carrying a firearm.

A government-mandated (to please the anti-gun people) and privately administered (to please the pro-gun people) system for implementing this change is a possible amendment to this concept.

#3 – End Import Restrictions On Firearms Legal In The United States

Various federal laws and executive actions – the 1968 Gun Control Act and a 1989 executive order, as well as a 2013 State Department decision – have restricted the importation of certain types of firearms which are perfectly legal to manufacture or possess in the United States. Given a robust US manufacturing base, these actions seemingly have had little or no effect on the number or type of firearms available in the US. They have simply added to the complexity, cost, and burden of acquiring firearms which are functionally identical to firearms legal in the US.

They mostly affect three types of firearms: long guns (rifles and shotguns), handguns, and historic firearms (generally rifles).

In the case of the 1968 GCA “sporting purposes” requirement for imported firearms, the bottom line is that firearms have to go through a rather silly and pointless “test” of features, awarding points for each feature, in order to determine whether or not it can be imported – and this applies to all firearms, not just “assault weapons.” This silly “sporting purposes” test results in silly things like some Glock models being equipped with a “serrated target trigger” in order to pass the test.

Given that the Supreme Court recently recognized an individual right to own a firearm for self defense in the home, requiring that a firearm have “sporting purposes” would seem to be an unconstitutional regulation, as there is nothing sporting about self defense.

Next, we come to historic firearms. Traditionally, the Civilian Marksmanship Program imports – perhaps repatriates would be a better term – American firearms sold or given to other countries during their time of need. These might include bolt action or semi-auto rifles which date to the Second World War and before. They are largely desirable as nostalgia pieces and would offer no benefit over more modern firearms to criminals. Yet the Obama Administration saw fit to block the importation of M1 Rifles and M1 Carbines from Korea, for fear of their falling into the hands of criminals – although they did not cite any examples of the hundreds of thousands of other firearms distributed by the CMP seeing widespread use as “crime guns.”

Import restrictions on firearms are illogical and ineffective. They’re easily circumvented and serve no real purpose other than to offer a political victory to placate anti-gun action groups.

That’s Pretty Much It

If you (gun control proponents) want to prove that you really aren’t completely anti-gun, sincerely offer any or all of the above (and perhaps other things I haven’t thought of) as real compromises whenever you want some new piece of legislation to pass. Otherwise, you will keep meeting a massive and well-organized wall of resistance, effective enough to completely derail your efforts.

We don’t buy it when you say that you support the Second Amendment, but then take any possible action to limit the rights of gun owners. When you fail at big things like an assault weapons ban, you go for little things like halting the importation of Korean War relics, and you think that you did something to “stop gun violence.” Basically, you look at what pro-gun groups are saying and take the opposite position, regardless of the logic behind either side’s position.

We’re left with the impression that you really don’t mean what you say. That’s why we work so hard to oppose you wherever we can. If you want different results, you’ll need to change your actions, not just your words.

Respectfully,

Andrew Tuohy

Colt Defense Buys Colt Manufacturing

According to a press release on sec.gov, Colt Defense LLC has acquired New Colt Holding Corp., which owns Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC. Here’s the 8K. This seemed to be a possibility when Colt bought out Blackstone’s (an investment group) shares in Colt Defense back in March.

Back in 2003, Colt split itself in two in an effort to shield their substantial defense assets from civil liability. Such lawsuits haven’t had much of an effect on any company in the industry and the split probably had a significant (negative) effect on Colt’s efforts to develop new products. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry went full speed ahead with all kinds of new product development. Companies such as Smith & Wesson and Ruger sold zillions of AR-15s while Colt commercial rifle sales flatlined. Defense sales are down and will be down for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, it makes sense for Colt to consolidate and invest some money in bringing new consumer products to market and perhaps improving their ability to produce and market old ones. There appears to be no intent to move the company out of Connecticut, but their factory is a bit out of date compared to other companies in the industry, and they’ll need to make big strides to catch up to where they could have been a few years ago.

What does this mean for consumers?

It should mean a lot more Colt rifles on the civil market. It should also mean that Colt handguns (pistols and revolvers) will have more money and time devoted to them from a design and manufacturing standpoint.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Colt has to offer at SHOT 2014 and 2015.

I Will Be Conducting A Test Involving Oral IV

I am looking for approximately 20 to 25 volunteers in the Tucson area for a blind test of Oral IV, a “rapid rehydration ultra concentrate,” and several other methods of rehydrating the human body.

These methods may include various popular sports drinks as well as “Supplement Charge,” a substance with a remarkably similar description to that of Oral IV. To wit, both include these phrases in their advertising:

– Increases oxygen uptake at the cellular level
– Raises osmotic pressure level of cells to keep them strong
– Increases body enzyme production
– Enhance uptake of vitamins, macro minerals, proteins and other essential nutrients from natural food sources or dietary supplements

Other claims are similar, yet worded differently. Both descriptions also reference ions or ionic charges, crystalloid electrolytes, and other identical or nearly-identical phrases. Furthermore, both are intended to be mixed in small amounts with water. Supplement Charge, however, is much cheaper, at approximately $15 for enough fluid to “treat” 30 16-ounce bottles of water, while Oral IV is sold at the same price per package, although each package will only “treat” 4 16-ounce bottles of water.

If you are interested in helping me with this study, know that it will involve mild physical exercise and a urine test. I don’t yet have a timeline, but will be discussing this with those who email andrew@vuurwapenconcepts.com about the test.

That AR Charity Auction

I forgot to provide an update on the charity auction for Rogue Corps. The rifle ended up selling for $2050 to a man local to me, so we met at the range and shot it a little. He’s a good guy and he really seemed to like the rifle. I gave him his choice of upper receivers and muzzle devices, and he went with a flat top, folding rear BUIS and a Smith Vortex flash hider.

Rogue Corps received the funds back in February. Thanks to all who helped out by spreading the word about the auction.

Gear List and Info For Vuurwapen/Deliberate Dynamics AR-15 Course

As mentioned previously, I will be co-teaching an AR-15 course in Utah over Memorial Day Weekend. It will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 25/26. Here’s some info for those who may be interested in the course:

It’d be best to fly in to Salt Lake City on Friday evening, we should be able to pick everyone up from the airport. The range location is about 15 miles north of Tremonton, Utah. It’s pretty remote and the whole range is approximately 55,000 acres. This will let us do a lot of really interesting shooting.

With 55,000 acres and an 1800 yard known distance range, there will be no shortage of territory in which to learn.

Breakfast on Saturday will be at 0730, class starts at 0830. We will do some shooting at night on Saturday, but there will be a number of breaks throughout the day. We plan to wrap up Sunday late afternoon, but we’ll be around Sunday night in case anyone wants extra instructional portions or more one-on-one coaching.

The lodge where students will sleep and classroom portions will be held.

The cost of the class is $300. Lodging is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, up to you as to when you stay there, it’ll just be $50 per night to cover lodging and food. The rooms have bunk beds, so you’ll probably have a roommate.

Payment can be by check or credit card – we’ll be setting up a “product” on the Deliberate Dynamics webpage that can be purchased, if you’d like to pay by CC.

As for equipment, it’s pretty simple:

Rifle with sling
400rds ammo
3 magazines and one magazine pouch
Flashlight (weapon mounted preferred)
Eye/ear protection (day and night lenses)
Bag, backpack, OR bipod (bipod not required)
Sturdy clothing appropriate for outdoor use in potentially inclement weather
Kneepads/elbowpads might come in handy
At least two and preferably three sets of footwear are recommended (boots, shoes, and flip flops or shower shoes for the lodge)

All experience levels are welcome. We have a curriculum that new and seasoned shooters will learn a lot from. As long as you can handle firearms safely, you’ll be most welcome at the class.

I’m Teaching An AR15-Centric Training Course

Next month – over Memorial Day Weekend, May 25/26 – I will be teaching a class which will largely relate to the AR-15 platform. I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, and a fantastic opportunity has presented itself. Sniper Country in northern Utah offers a phenomenal environment for shooting – with a known-distance range out to 1800 yards – as well as a lodge which students may stay in as well as use for classroom portions.

The course has been designed to fill gaps left by other training courses that do not or cannot address certain skills and types of knowledge relating to the AR-15 rifle. The unique environment in which this class is held will allow the student to push themselves and their firearm beyond what they might have thought possible.

There will be an emphasis on making the time and ammunition invested by the student count. Students will receive a significant amount of classroom instruction which will be reinforced by range time tailored establish the skills discussed in the classroom. Marksmanship will take precedence over a high volume of fire, but the skills learned during the class may be applied to all aspects of shooting with an AR-15. Unique evaluation and feedback methods will be used to ensure that every student is learning and developing as much as possible throughout the course.

Classroom time will also be devoted to helping the student gain a higher understanding of the rifle – seeing it as a system, not as an assembly of discrete components. Through this process, the student will move from basic manipulation of the rifle’s controls to a thorough understanding of how and why the rifle functions – and malfunctions – as it does. The ultimate goal of the class is to enable the student to use their rifle in a variety of environments and situations with maximum effectiveness.

Because education is a primary consideration, two instructors will ensure that each student receives the instruction they need to develop necessary skills and knowledge. Jim Staley and I will be teaching the class. Jim was a Scout/Sniper in 1st Force Recon. My bio may be found at the “about” link on this blog.

The round count will be under 400 of centerfire rifle (.223/5.56/5.45 recommended). Price is $300 plus $50 per night for food/lodging (optional, but considering location, it’s a pretty good deal).

Temple, TX PD vs. Army MSGT

I like seeing the whole picture when I try to make up my mind about something.

When evaluating conduct between citizens and LE, it’s helpful to see video of the entire event. In the case of the Temple PD and that Army E-8, we don’t have the whole event on video. Just what appears to be a clash of egos. I instinctively dislike fat and/or disheveled cops (you may call me prejudiced, but any uniform should be worn with pride, not slovenliness). Furthermore, I don’t like an attitude among some in law enforcement that armed civilians are suspect. Fortunately, most cops don’t fall into either category.

That said, I also tend to dislike people who act irrationally when presented with something they don’t like. It dilutes any moral/legal high ground they may have had in the face of unjust action by a police officer. I also dislike people who think they won’t get any response when they sling an AR and walk around in anything but the most remote areas. Even if it’s perfectly legal in your area, most people don’t know that, and even many cops may be unaware of your behavior being legal and not probable cause for a stop. Unless you’re out there specifically to make a point about open carry – well, if you are out there for that purpose, then you definitely shouldn’t make the sort of statements the Army SNCO appears to have made. See my above comment about rational behavior.

When this person also has a history of making things up – then makes claims/charges that cannot be corroborated by their video – I become skeptical and do not wish to take a side.

I was once told by a state trooper during a traffic stop that if I reached for the handgun on my passenger seat, “it’s over.” The next words out of his mouth were “Now hand it to me.”

I could have thrown a hissy fit about “being disarmed” – or pointed out the cognitive dissonance involved in his statements. Shortly thereafter, I might have ended up with a free bullet or two from that trooper’s .40 caliber Sig, which he had his hand on in its holster, retention lever down. Or been arrested for some random charge, or gotten a much bigger traffic citation than he ended up writing.

But I chose to tell him verbally that I would pick it up with my left hand and pass it over. Then I did exactly that. He calmed down, we had a nice talk, and I ended up with no points on my license.

Sometimes, when dealing with police, it’s better to momentarily comply with their instructions than it is to make a mountain out of a molehill. If you so desire, you may contest the actions of the officer later without a high risk of damage to your person, your finances, or your career.

Gun Stuff That Doesn’t Sell During A Panic

Anti-gun folks like to say that companies in the gun industry are gleefully profiting hand over fist every time there’s some sort of panic, but that’s not very accurate. Some companies do well – if they can keep a regular supply of desirable products in stock – and others do not do well at all, especially small local gun stores. If a company sells their entire inventory of desirable items in a few days, and is unable to restock within 3 or 6 months, they will soon face financial ruin.

As we enter what is hopefully the downward side of the price curve of the Great Firearm And Ammo Panic Of 2012/2013, I think it’s time to reflect upon a few things.

Of course, it’s interesting to note which items are in the highest demand during such an event – the current price of .22LR (according to my friend Kristofer at J&G, 500rd boxes of .22 are selling for as much as $200 at gun shows) comes to mind, for example.

Since I was hoarding before hoarding was cool*, I’m not going to run out of .22LR any time during the next century. The lack of a perceived desperate need to acquire things right now has allowed me to step back and notice which items aren’t selling.

Pictures of bare store shelves within a few days of the election were enlightening when they showed items like the Kriss Vector still available. I found great humor in this, as I see the Kriss as a firearm hopelessly outclassed by everything else on the market. Apparently I’m not alone in this.

KRISS: The very last defense-oriented firearm to leave store shelves.

Local to me, there were plenty of Thermolds available when a near-fistfight broke out over the last PMag. I’m not joking about that – tensions were reportedly high.

It turns out that consumers aren’t crazy about magazines made of papier-mâché.

And as the panic winds down, we’re seeing things like PS90 mags and M4 barrels remain in stock for more than a few days at a time. I’m hoping that this means we’re seeing the end of the whole panic, with the least desirable tulip bulbs items becoming available first. If so, that means I can go back to my normal routine of randomly visiting gun stores to grumble about how they smell and how their prices are $10 too high, not my latest routine of just staying home because nothing good is in stock.

For manufacturers and retailers, this might be an important lesson about the current state of their product quality/desirability or purchasing processes. On the manufacturing side, if your semi-auto-related firearm product wasn’t backordered 50,000 times, maybe you need to work on making it better or more desirable (or maybe your marketing sucks). For retailers, if you haven’t been able to secure any shipments of desirable product, you might want to consider strengthening your relationships with suppliers.

In any case, I’m glad to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

*I stole this line from a friend.

Correcting People About Magazines vs. Clips

With all the hubbub regarding “gun control” lately, there has been an abundance of people discussing firearms, many of whom really aren’t familiar with them. This leads to their inevitable use of “clips” or even “magazine clips” when the word “magazine” would be more appropriate. This leads to another inevitable occurrence – a “gun person” correcting them on nomenclature.

Don’t get me wrong, using the right nomenclature and understanding the facts are important. Otherwise you end up with people like this (and frankly, this Congresswoman’s ignorance of the topic should be appalling to people on all sides of the debate). But at a certain point, that firearm owner making the correction can’t see the forest for the trees. I know what some news anchor means when they say “high capacity banana clip.” I know what they want to accomplish when they say “high capacity clips should be banned.” I don’t see the point of saying “it’s a magazine, not a clip!”

Low capacity banana clip.

I think it’s more important that I focus on the facts of why they should not be banned than to eagerly point out the ignorance of a person who doesn’t know the technical difference between a magazine and a clip. Yeah, we’ll score a few points by making them look bad. But we won’t win over the undecided members of the populace who really don’t care what it’s called. All they know is that it’s characterized as something so dangerous that it shouldn’t ever be in civilian hands. It’s this characterization which should be addressed, not the name attached to the characterization.

So if you take anything away from this article, which I have tried to keep very brief and simple… just consider the level of derisiveness you attach to your statements towards someone who says “clip” instead of “magazine.”