Sigh. One step forward, one step sideways, half-a-step back. At least that's the way it has seemed this past couple of weeks.
That we have placed the NRA, the Brady bunch and the ATF under the same washtub (as my teen-aged father and his brothers once did with a dog, a cat and a chicken) and are tapping the electric fence to it is undeniable. Yet the plainly audible barking-squawking-banshee-screeching harmony we sought has yet to manifest itself.
On the pistol-grip shotgun issue, although the NRA has yet to make a public sound, I am told that between the Homintern Lairds of Fairfax, the NRA-ILA and certain members of the board there is full auto, belt-fed finger pointing going on. This issue threatens their traditional arms-length symbiosis with the ATF. What will the ATF do? Will millions of NRA members become instant felons? "How did you (we) miss this and let it get to this point?" they are demanding of each other. They know that they will have to do something public about this after the accumulated self-damage they did in endorsing Dems in the last election. Their income is down, their membership is declining. They MUST do something that is against their most ingrained inclinations and they don't like it. Not even their Internet flacks like General Sebastian Snowflake are taking up this issue -- probably on orders. And yet, time is against them. What happens when the membership finds out that they have to turn in their property and the NRA knew about it all along? Step One: Dangle private parts over wringer washer. Step Two: Rotate handle. Step Three: Scream bloody murder as testicles are crushed. Yet what alternative do they have?
The Brady Bunch:
Nothing but silence, although we hear their lawyers are researching the subject diligently. Helmke and Co. still doesn't trust me, but they will find my footnotes indisputable. What then shall they do? They have been looking to take on the Obamanoid ATF and Justice department on the subject of weak-kneed enforcement and I have just given them two heavy clubs to beat Holder et. al. with. Time is not on their side either. For one thing, another competing gun grab organization may jump into the fray for the benefit of THEIR donor list and the Brady bunch will end up looking like me-toos. Second, if they do nothing they will be in the same spot as the NRA. When this comes out -- and it WILL come out -- they will look like the same sort of do-nothings. All talk and no action.
Reports are that the revoking of the Airsoft ruling was upon the order of the adults at Main Justice. Reports are also that the career of Teresa Ficaretta, former darling of the Chief Counsel's Office, is either hanging by a thread or is in freefall and we haven't heard the crash because she is somewhere between the roof of
the Concrete Asshole of the Universe and the bottom of the elevator shaft. Most of the recent screw-ups can be attached to her -- fairly and unfairly -- and even her so-called friends are running away from her as fast as straw-stuffed scarecrows from a napalming, praying they don't get set afire themselves.
They know now that EVERYTHING they have done, are doing and may do WILL be subject to congressional oversight under oath. And as I told a friend this morning, the televised testimony in front of Congress of CPT R.A. Bear, the stuffed child's toy that the ATF spent more than two years and millions of dollars chasing in the unsuccessful effort to bolster the economic Waco they were inflicting on an innocent man, will be worth a division of constitutional militia.
Main Justice has them on a short leash. Deputy Director Melson is only now fully understanding how the Chief Counsel's Office Cabal has sandbagged him and opened the agency to complete discredit in the bright sunlight of this Congressional new day. The agency is riven with purges and rumors of purges to come. The FBI is licking its chops that they will finally win the bureaucratic war they have been fighting since 1968. They don't want to enforce the gun laws, mind you, and they don't want ATF personnel, viewing them as beneath their standards. The administration will likely try to short-circuit oversight by folding the ATF under the preemptive rubric of "reform" -- the gun cop mission will go to DHS along with some of the personnel and the dregs will go to TSA so they can leer at and grope innocent airplane travelers for the rest of their sorry taxpayer funded careers.
But the ATF, hoist upon the petard of Chief Counsel's Office felonies, will be no more. Which is why we must get the word out before the malefactors can slip away into the bureaucratic night. In this sense, time is not on our side either. We've got the dog (ATF), the cat (NRA) and the chicken (the Brady bunch) all under the washtub, but the current to the electric fence has not shocked them enough -- the hands on the generator are not turning fast enough.
Which leads me to consideration of the disappointments of the past two weeks. We have made a breakthrough, but the follow-on force has yet to arrive to exploit it.
Speaking to this point, a fellow blogger wrote these words to me late last night:
What really gets me--and I shouldn't be surprised by now, but still get very disappointed--is the way this story is being suppressed--one would think the "gun groups" would be interested--not NRA, which we know is compromised, but you'd think Pratt at least would pick it up and give it legs. Naturally, it's not in the interest of the pragbloggers to tell their readers the people they revile have uncovered information they need to know -- but then again, anyone who follows them is too ignorant and brainwashed to discard their petty hatreds and understand the implications. . . And, of course, it doesn't fit the meme for "Authorized Journalists."
I think my biggest disappointment is in our regular readers, though---most of them are mere consumers and will do nothing more than offer the occasional anonymous comment -- God forbid they should actually make it a mission to spend five minutes every day sharing links via email or on forums.
If I ever decide to just hang it up and take care of Number One, their apathy at lifting a finger and helping spread the word will be the prime reason.
No idea how to break out of the obscurity box. It's amazing we get anything done.
I, too, have been disappointed with the failure to get the word out. For the only way this works is for the prags of ARF.com and the Class III folks at SubGuns to be fully informed of the precariousness of their positions.
I posted a challenge at SubGuns to fact-check me on both issues. The post only lasted an hour or two. After a burst of email hatred from the prags, the word has apparently gone out from the Lairds of Fairfax to studiously ignore the issue, lest we have a "Night of the Living Fudds."
Even Rachel Madcow has refused to take the bait.
So I must ask you, at least all of you who have yet to respond to my previous cries for assistance, to go back over the first issue -- the threat of Destructive Device classification of all twelve gauge pistol-grip shotguns -- and write letters, make phone calls, send emails and contribute discussion comments to every congressman, senator, guns rights organization and blog that you can. Chum the waters by pointing to the threat and asking everyone to look into it.
Only with immediate publicity can we beat the Feds to the punch. They are a bureaucratic colossus. We are nimble guerrillas. Let us act like guerrillas. Let us beat them to the punch. Crank the generator on the electric fence. Make them howl.
Please forgive me-I'm..."special" sometimes - but I'm just not clear on what you'd like us to do here...
Spread the word on gun-fora?
Call our CONgress-critter?
Lobby the lap-dog media?
All of the above?
All of the above. And more.
"I think my biggest disappointment is in our regular readers,..God forbid they should actually make it a mission to spend five minutes every day sharing links via email or on forums."
I have three friends with whom I correspond nearly every day.
All own guns, are 2nd Amendment zealots and have MBAs in finance. Yet when I send a link to the Sipsey Street Irregulars' blog site, an embarrassed silence follows. R.A. Bear? Chief Counsel's Office? Deputy Director? Huh?
Much of the material embarrassing to the BATF(u) is so recondite that even reasonably intelligent men are unable to properly understand it.
Can you back up one step, reevaluate your SITREPs and come up with something more readily comprehensible? I know lots of hard-corps gunowners who are looking to become more involved politically. Time is short. What can be done to bring them up to speed?
If you're looking for any kind of intelligent thought or discussion on subguns you are madly mistaken
Your "more" is on its way. Take heart, Dutchman, there are big days ahead.
MALTHUS--How much do you expect one man to do? You understand it. You break it down for them and spoon feed as required--you know your contacts and their needs, he does not. Mike has his hands full with the macro. He needs your support on the micro.
All of you.
Damn, but I hate to display my ignorance. Does this apply to shotguns possessing _only_ a pistol grip, or also to shotguns with a full stock that have a pistol grip attached (like the Knoxx Stock)?
If you own a pistol grip (an old Remington grip that use to go with a top-folding stock in my case), is that the equivalent of a Destructive Device, since it could easily be attached to an otherwise innocent shotgun? (Like possession of an auto sear was considered possession of a machine gun>)
I have written my congressman (in fact, I copied you on it) admonishing him to end the BATFE. I told the NRA when they called why I did not renew my membership and why they would not be getting any money from me. My friends have done likewise. Don't think that we aren't active, we are. Just because you are not aware of all of our efforts, doesn't mean they aren't getting done. I do have to agree with Anonymous that I don't understand a lot of your posts on the ATF as they are so cryptic. Perhaps if we had more understanding of these issues we could write more effective letters to our congressmen and senators.
Nevertheless, we are fighting the battle.
Of course a pistol-grip shotgun is a destructive device. That's what it's for: destroying anything or anybody who threatens me or mine. Especially F Troop goons.
But good luck enforcing that ruling, when you can buy a pistol grip stock for twenty bucks or thereabouts and replace the regular stock on your shotgun with it, all by yourself, in a few minutes.
Then there's the Mossberg and other "sets" that come with a 28"Bbl and an 18.5" Bbl, a pistol-grip and a shoulder-stock ALL IN THE SAME BOX.
IIRC, these came - new - with the PG attached.
NOW what do we have HERE??!!
For all the special people that can't read properly this is not about the ability to buy a pistol grip and chop down your barrel. The ruling is that a shotgun that was manufactured and sold with a pistol grip installed is limited only by it's overall length. That length is no shorter than 26 inches. To put it in perspective, a Mossberg 500 with a factory pistol grip can legally be cut down to just over 26 inchs in overall length. That means you may cut A WHOLE 1 INCH OFF THE BARREL!!
BFD, you want to cry and whine because of 1 inch? That's rich. You need to find something constructive to do with your time.
I dare you to approve this, I bet you don't. You don't the truth to be heard.
Oh by the way Mike,
Reclassifying shotguns to destructive devices will require a constitutional amendment. Good luck with that one.
I'm also a bit fuzzy on the actionability of these two items.
1) If memory serves, these are semi-auto variants of the MAC M10, which are open bolt and can easily be modified to be full-auto. However, they aren't actually full-auto out of the box. (IIRC, this was the ruling that made open-bolt guns verboten.) I think saying that there are 50k unregistered SMGs floating around is stretching it a bit. How about 50k easily converted SMGs?
2) Are there guns that were sold from the manufacturer that have either a barrel length of < 18" or OAL of > 26" and aren't SBS/AOW? I live in a state that doesn't permit SBSes but you can have AOW shotguns like the Serbu Super Shorty, the distinction being that the weapon must have a pistol grip and a barrel length of < 18", i.e. an SBS without the full-length stock. (The Taurus Judge gets around this by a) being only .410-bore thus not subject to NFA bore-size restrictions, and b) having rifling but no vertical foregrip to avoid AOW designation.) My understanding of the SBS/AOW law is that such a gun can't be rifled. Putting a rifled barrel on a short shotgun would classify it as a DD, as per the ATF ruling.
So: a pistol grip 12ga with smoothbore barrel > 18" wouldn't be subject to NFA registration (due to exemptions for sporting use of 12ga); the same thing with a barrel < 18" would be an AOW; and if the < 18" smoothbore barrel were replaced with a rifled one also < 18" it'd be a DD. That is, if I grok the convoluted laws and regs correctly.
So what did I miss?
P.S. How did someone manage to get sporting purpose designation for the .950 JDJ? Why don't you let the Brady bunch know about that one and watch them soil themselves. (Never mind that there's probably only one in existence and you have to fire it from a machine rest....)
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