Monthly Archives: December 2010

Governor Christie commutes Brian Aitken’s sentence

Office of the Governor
Office of Constituent Relations
Post Office Box 001
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0001


Please see below the signed commutation order for Brian Aitken, signed by Governor Christie at 4:30 pm today.


WHEREAS, Brian D. Aitken was convicted of Possession of Dum-Dum
Bullets in the Fourth Degree in violation of N.J.S.A 2C:39-3(f)(l), Possession of
Large Capacity Ammunition Magazine in the Fourth Degree in violation of
N.J.S.A 2C:39-3(j), and Unlawful Possession of a Handgun in the Second
Degree in violation of N.J.S.A 2C:39-5(b) in the Superior Court, Law Division
(Criminal), Burlington County, New Jersey, and was sentenced on August 27,
2010 under Indictment No. 09-03-00217-1 to a seven-year term of imprisonment
with a three-year mandatory minimum; and

WHEREAS, the said Brian D. Aitken, caused to be made a written
application to the Governor for a Commutation of Sentence for the aforesaid
crimes of which he was convicted, and the State Parole Board, upon request of
the Governor in accordance with the law, has made an investigation of the facts
and circumstances concerning said application for a Commutation of Sentence;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS CHRISTIE, Governor of the State of New
Jersey by virtue of the authority conferred upon me by the Constitution of New
Jersey and the statutes of this State, do hereby grant to the said Brian D. Aitken,
a commutation of the aforesaid sentence to time sewed, and satisfied on
December 20,2010.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Brian D. Aitken’s release from the
custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections be effected as soon as
administratively possible, or within a reasonable period to allow for release
processing pursuant to customary policy and procedure. ,

This Order is subject to revocation at any time, at the discretion of the
Governor, without notice.

Privacy Notice: This e-mail address, e-mail message, and any attachment to this email message contains information that is privileged and confidential from the State of New Jersey, Office of the Governor.

All by itself

Are weapons simply tools that do what their wielders want? Or are weapons capable of independent action?

So, was the Samurai sword simply walking down the street, minding its own business, when it was forced to defend itself? Or was it a rogue Samurai (Ronin?) sword that callously attacked and injured a man?

According to the Terre Haute Police, a man was inside his home when he became upset that headlights from a car on the street were shining into his bedroom. That’s when police say he got into a fight with the man in the car. The man from the house eventually picked up a wooden club and then investigators say that’s when the man from the car pulled out a samurai sword.
According to detectives, in the middle of the fight, the man with the sword sliced off three fingers from the man with the club. Police say that the man was sent to an Indianapolis hospital to reattach his fingers.
Investigators talked to the man with the sword at the scene. Police are still hoping to talk to more witnesses and get a clearer picture of exactly what happened. In the mean time, the man with the sword is not facing any charges at this time. Neither man’s name has been released at this time.
The condition of the man who was taken to Indianapolis is also unknown at this time.

Ahh, I get it. There were two people involved. The way the story was written it sounded at first like the author was claiming that the sword acted alone. Makes you wonder if this is why the anti-gunners think that it isn’t the killer, but the weapon you have to control.

No one notices

I carry a gun a lot. I have a nice leather holster for my Springfield XD .45 Compact, which isn’t really a small gun.

It’s not nearly as big as the full size government model 1911,

but it isn’t tiny either. You’d think (if you never carried) that it’d be easy to spot, even under clothing. This must explain why many concealed carriers seem to think that they must carry tiny guns.

An incident Saturday night pointed out to me how unlikely it is that someone will notice my gun.

Saturday night I was over at a friend’s house for gaming night. Yes, dear friends, in addition to dressing funny and attending medieval re-enactments, I play the dreaded role playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Now that I have confessed my utter nerdiness to you all, I guess I must die of shame. I aspire one day to be a geek, but geeks have skills. I’m just a nerd. It could be worse, I could be a dork or a spaz, but I try not to look down too much on them because, but for the grace of God…

 Well, we were in the middle of gaming, and we got a knock at the door. When he answered the door, the owner found a young girl (18-25?) standing on his porch. She had a story about her cell phone not working and asked to use his phone. He invited her in and gave her his cell phone. My wife said something to us about a scam that’s been going on in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill are the “Triangle”) where robbers have one person get inside a house to use the phone in order to case the place for stuff to steal. They return during the daytime a few days later to clean the place out. Since the scout knows where everything is, they get in and out very quickly.

While she was on the phone, it appeared to us that she was talking to another female, complaining about a fight with a boyfriend. Now there are two problems. Either she’s legit, and she has an angry boyfriend who might kick the door down to get to her, or she’s a scam artist. I placed myself between the door and the rest of the group, and I made sure that my 70 lb dog was right in front of me. I also made sure that the host knew to stay out of my way in the event that the boyfriend showed up. While I was doing that, another person pulled out his cell phone and, pretending that he was going to the bathroom, wandered past her taking video of her. After a phone call that lasted just over 6 minutes, she thanked us and left. She ran down the street and jumped into a passing car.

We found the whole thing so suspicious that we called the police and told them all about it. As NC requires that Concealed Carriers notify the cops “upon approach” I pulled one of my concealed carry licenses out and showed it to him. Since I was in mixed company, I did not announce what that meant to anyone, but the cop grinned.

The Dungeon Master was confused, and asked what I had shown him. One of the other players told him I was carrying a gun. It just so happens that three of the people that I took with me to the NC Concealed Carry class were part of the game. I’ve carried at that game every month since I’ve moved down here, and the DM had no idea. He thought I must be carrying some tiny gun, since he had never seen it. Outside, later, I hiked up my sweatshirt and showed him my pistol, in its holster. He was stunned. It had never occurred to him that anyone could conceal a 4” barrel .45 caliber pistol while wearing street clothes. I’ve carried while wearing a sweatshirt, and I’ve carried under a simple short sleeve polo shirt. His reaction to the whole thing was priceless.

So when you are at the gun store, looking for that perfect concealable pistol, remember that there is no need to carry a tiny pistol. Bigger guns can have more powerful bullets, carry more bullets, and are much more controllable when you shoot. Just use some common sense about how you dress. Let my friend’s surprise teach you the most important lesson about concealment. Most people don’t notice. They are programmed not to notice. Don’t pick your gun to solve a concealment problem you aren’t going to have.   

The ATF’s latest power grab

If you purchase more than 1 handgun within about a week, your gun salesman is required to tell the ATF about it. The ATF wants to unilaterally impose the same requirement on some semi-auto rifles. Here’s the NRA’s take on that.
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has proposed that it be given emergency authority for six months, beginning January 5, to require about 8,500 firearms dealers along the border with Mexico “to alert authorities when they sell within five consecutive business days two or more semiautomatic rifles greater than .22 caliber with detachable magazines.”  A Washington Post story reporting on the BATFE proposal described that definition as being applicable to “so-called assault weapons,” but it would also apply to many rifles that have never been labeled with that term. 

The reporting requirement will apparently be imposed under the “authority” the BATFE has used in the past to demand reporting of other types of transactions from certain limited groups of dealers over the past 10 years, but the new proposal is far broader than any previous use of this authority.  Of course, there’s no law today that prevents dealers from reporting suspicious transactions (or attempted transactions) to the BATFE, and dealers often do so. The BATFE is also free to inspect dealers’ sales records—either for annual compliance inspections or during a criminal investigation.

NRA-ILA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, denounced the attempt to establish a registry of Americans who purchase semi-automatic rifles that gun control supporters ultimately want to see banned. “This administration does not have the guts to build a wall, but they do have the audacity to blame and register gun owners for Mexico’s problems,” Cox told the Post. “NRA supports legitimate efforts to stop criminal activity, but we will not stand idle while our Second Amendment is sacrificed for politics.”

The Post says “The plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revives a proposal that has languished at the Justice Department and in the Obama administration for several months,” and that the gist of the plan was proposed by Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) last year. It its August 2009 Blueprint for Federal Action on Guns, MAIG indeed proposed that “ATF should identify the long guns most linked to crime and require dealers to report multiple sales of such guns.”

The idea must have appealed to the BATFE, because in June of this year Congress’ Government Accountability Office released a report noting that BATFE officials had claimed that U.S. efforts to stop the smuggling of firearms to Mexico are hindered by “a lack of required background checks for private firearms sales, and limitations on reporting requirements for multiple sales.”

Curiously, in September, a draft of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office’s unfavorable review of BATFE’s Project Gunrunner, established to combat the trafficking of firearms to Mexico, didn’t mention multiple sales at all. But the final version of the review, released in November, mentions “multiple sales” 43 times and says “the lack of a reporting requirement for multiple sales of long guns – which have become the cartels’ weapons of choice – hinders ATF’s ability to disrupt the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico.”

Whether BATFE intends its plan as another expansion of its oft-criticized firearm sales record tracing empire, or to lay the groundwork for legislation or regulations restricting “assault weapon” sales, or to fatten the files the agency keeps at its National Tracing Center in West Virginia remains to be seen. And the legality of requiring sales reports on any long guns is also in doubt. When the Congress specifically imposed multiple sales reporting on handguns only, it implicitly stated its intention that the same requirement not apply to sales of long guns. 

However, it is crystal clear that some in the Obama Administration agree with those who believe the answer to crime is always more gun control. In September, MAIG blamed crime in states that have “strong” gun laws, on states that don’t have the same laws. And ever since President Obama took office, gun control supporters have been blaming Mexico’s crime problem on America’s gun laws.

The fact that Mexico’s multi-billion dollar drug cartels have machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, and other potent weaponry you cannot buy in the United States is, to gun control supporters, irrelevant. The fact that most of the cartels’ guns have never been on this side of the U.S. border is, as far as they are concerned, a trifling inconvenience. The fact that the cartels will never have enough “assault weapons” or any other guns from the U.S. to hand out to all the Mexican policemen, soldiers and politicians on their payrolls, is, in their view, an unimportant detail.  And the fact that the murder rate in the United States is at a 45-year low, while crime in Mexico is through the roof (the murder rate in Juarez is 115 times higher than in El Paso) is, they would certainly say, a contradiction best ignored.

To read the BATFE’s Federal Register notice about the plan, and for information on how to send your comments, click here (  Comments about the proposal will be accepted for two months; if you choose to comment, please state your firm but polite opposition to the plan.

Needless to say, the NRA will not only comment, but take whatever other action is appropriate to block this sweeping expansion of federal recordkeeping on gun owners.  Stay tuned.

Let the ATF know what you think of this mad power grab.

The “But it’s a Deadly Weapon!!!111eleventy” exception to the Constitution

Well, japete likes to show her ignorance.

There is a simple reason that background checks are required for sales through an FFL and not when you sell your gun privately. She has a blind spot toward the concept of Federalism. The Federal government only has the powers that have been delegated to it under the Constitution. Under the Gun Control Act of 1968,

The Feds have taken into their regulatory power anyone who fits that definition. That’s why it is called a “Federal Firearms License.” FFL holders have to follow Federal rules because it is a requirement of the license that the Feds mandate that they have. I don’t have a license, I’m not required to have a license, and therefore the Federal government has no power to control my behavior. In a banana republic the government can rule by fiat, but in the US, the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Now japete believes that the Federal Government can simply wave their pens and give themselves powers not delegated in the Constitution. The only reason that the Feds got GCA’68 passed is by pretending that gun sales fell under the definition of “interstate trade,” and was therefore regulated by them. This point is debatable, but for now we are stuck with the idea that if it moves from state to state, the Feds can regulate it. The question is, where does she imagine that the Feds have the power to stick their fat regulatory noses in to a private transaction between me and my neighbor? If I sold my neighbor my lawnmower, can the Feds intervene? No way in hell.

The gun grabbers keep imagining that guns are something different than any other legal product. They want to promote the idea that the Constitution has a “But it’s a Deadly Weapon!!!111eleventy” exception. Instead of arguing the merits (none) and demerits (many) of this foolish idea, maybe we should ask the more important question. Where, exactly, does the Constitution give the Federal Government the power to regulate private sales of firearms?

I’ve looked, there’s an “elastic clause,” but there is no “because I said so” clause.

Laws of North Carolina that need to change, Part 14 – Safe Storage Laws

A little girl defends herself with her mom’s pink Crickett bolt action .22 rifle.

I love how the Anchor starts this story.

This could not happen in North Carolina.

Here in North Carolina, the girl would have been helpless by law. You can’t even put the gun in a safe and give your child the combo. We need to repeal the safe storage act. We certainly don’t need to make it stronger. (PDF alert)

Remember, it’s not the size of the hedgehog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the hedgehog*

* There is a “House Hedgehog” in the historical re-enactment group I am part of. They are pretty small. And ferocious.

The “Build it Yourself” loophole

Colin Goddard is running around whining that the government has not yet closed the “Gun Show Loophole.” This “loophole” in the law means that citizens may sell their firearms to other citizens without either a Brady NICS check or filling out a Form 4473. 

In short, it means that if I want to sell my rifle to my next door neighbor, it’s legal. The Brady Campaign wants to make that illegal, because my next door neighbor might be a criminal. They like to call it the “Gun Show” loophole since calling it the “OMG, you might sell your gun to your neighbor who might be a criminal” loophole is pretty cumbersome, and focus groups full of hoplophobes said the Gun Shows were scary.

You may be aware that you can purchase basically every part of the standard AR-15 rifle online. Barrels, bolts, stocks, sights, whatever. Brownells has turned this into a business model.

Compare these two photos.

This is a photo of my lower receiver. I have not put it together yet because I don’t yet have enough money for the rest of the parts. (I take checks, cash, PayPal or money orders. Donations are not tax deductable)

This is a standard, generic AR-15 on the rack at any gun store. You can go online and buy every single part necessary to turn photo #1 into photo #2.

“Not a problem,” say the Bradys. (let’s take them at their word, even though we know they are lying) “You still have to get a background check to buy that lower receiver thingy, so we’re ok with that. “

Wait until they find out about the newest, latest, most extreme loophole imaginable. I call it the “Build it Yourself” loophole. Did you know that there is no law that prohibits you from building a firearm yourself, for your own personal use, without permission from any government? I’m not talking about assembling the parts of an AR, I’m talking about actually building the lower receiver yourself! It’s true. You actually only need a Federal Firearms license if you want to sell firearms. If you build guns to sell, or if you are engaged in the buying and selling of firearms as a business, then you need an FFL. If you are building only for yourself, no license needed. It’s like brewing beer for home consumption.

“But that’s got to be difficult and time consuming.” The Bradys might say.

For $185, anyone can buy a jig plus the slug of metal needed to machine yourself an AR-15 lower receiver. ANYONE. Even felons could buy this kit. If they completed the lower, they would be breaking the law, but since the 80% lower receiver is not a firearm, according to the ATF, there is no problem selling it to anyone. All you need is access to a standard bit of machine shop equipment and some time to figure things out, and you can turn this

 into this

with no laws broken. Don’t tell the Brady Campaign. They’d have a spazz attack if they found out how easy building an AR-15 receiver actually was.

The genie is out of the bottle. There’s no sense trying to stuff the cork back in. Gun bans and background checks, and basically every other gun control law ever created will only control those people who listen to and respect the law. The people who aren’t allowed to own guns have already demonstrated that they have no respect for the law.

UPDATE: I’d like to add, for more PSH from the gun grabbers, that if you make the gun yourself, there is no requirement in the law for you to put a serial number on it.

Murder is rarely the first crime

Our favorite gun grabber japete has spent her later years pushing gun control because her sister was murdered in 1992 by Russell Lund Jr., “The only son of the founder of Lund’s Inc., the Minneapolis food, oil, and real estate empire.” Wanting to know more about this crime, I ran across a book, Greed, Rage, and Love Gone Wrong, Murder in Minnesota, by Bruce Rubenstein. There is even a Google Books review online with most of the pages of the relevant chapter.

I will take japete at her word that she simply wants to spare other people the horror of their family members getting murdered. She’s also maintained that her brother-in-law, the murderer, had “undiagnosed mental illness,” but was “he was not a criminal or had trouble with the police.” This part, however, is not true at all. He was twice arrested for shoplifting, and had been diagnosed as a kleptomaniac. He was also 3rd banana in an “airline” that turned out to be a total fraud.

“It was a paper facade that fabricated phantom revenues to lure real investors.
For a while it was a spectacular success. Shrewd bankers gave the company loans that were never paid, to buy airplanes that were never purchased. Reputable law firms papered transactions that never happened and got stiffed for their fees. Three stock offerings backed by phony revenues yielded more than $30 million.
Russell Lund Jr. was one of the few that emerged unscathed. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers agreed that Russ was a pawn and a dupe and such a dunce when it came to business that he couldn’t possible have been culpable.
Nevertheless, for years after the trial Russ figured strongly in rumors that Flight Transportation Corp. flew cash to offshore banks for rich Twin Citians so they could evade taxes.
Russ left a packet of information about the Flight Transportation affair with a KSTP-TV reporter shortly before he murdered his wife and her lover. The killings short-circuited any plans the station might have had to follow up. The contents of the packet have never been made public.”

The whole thrust of the chapter devoted to this murderer is that the author believes that Russell Lund Jr’s wealth and personal friendship with the Minnetonka Chief of Police insulated him from the consequences of his actions. It’s hard to say from this distance, using only Rubenstein’s book, if he is correct. The #1 and #2 people in the Flight Transportation fraud received 35 and 25 year sentences for their roles, and the company attorney and 5 employees were either convicted or plead guilty to charges relating to the Flight Transportation scam. Was Russell Lund Jr. involved? We may never know. It’s hard to see how he could be unaware that millions of dollars were being scammed right under his nose, but it is possible. One thing’s for sure. If he was let walk by a friend or someone who was influenced by his wealth, that person must be feeling pretty guilty. Had Lund been jailed, it’s unlikely that he’d have been available to murder his estranged wife.

The most important thing to know about this is, the person who murdered japete’s sister was not the slightly odd, but perfectly law abiding citizen that japete insists he was. This matches what I have maintained all along. Normal people do not suddenly snap and murder people. Even in domestic murder cases, where you’d expect the correlation between prior criminality and murder to be weakest,

It is important to remember this. The gun grabbers want to paint gun owners as one short step from snapping and going on a murderous rampage. If they can convince non-gun owners that the nice guy next door who has a gun might someday kill them, they can get more votes for gun control. What happens when non-gun owners realize that it isn’t their law abiding neighbor with a gun that is the threat, but the known criminal who is the threat? The gun grabbers wish to keep us isolated from our neighbors by fear. They want to engender fear in the minds of our neighbors in order to turn that fear into power, power to take your gun.

I have no idea if japete knows better and is lying, or if she’s convinced that this lie is true. In the end it doesn’t matter much. The important thing is to keep telling the truth. Murder is mostly the province of the criminal class. Past behavior best predicts future results. A tiger does not change its spots. Possession of a gun, nor possession of a license to carry that gun concealed, indicates a possible future murderer. In fact, judging by the extremely low revocation rate of carry licenses, probably the best thing a woman could do to check up on a prospective boyfriend is to ask to see his Concealed Carry license. Let’s face it. Hiring a PI to do a background check is expensive. The Concealed Carry license tells you that the State has already done that check.

Remember kids, college students shouldn’t have guns

According to Colin Goddard, college students are too immature to carry firearms.

The reason that the gun grabbers don’t want college students to have guns is that robbers like this might get ventilated in parking lots if they did. And that would be bad.

Sounds like he was a fine upstanding citizen. Luckily for our hero he had a gun to equal the odds against him.

Long Beach, California Police show you what they think of civilian gun ownership

On a man with a gun call for a guy sitting in the backyard, the cops hid in the bushes, called for a helicopter, a K-9 team, and a mental health unit. Did they ever bother to tell him to drop the weapon before letting him have it with the shotgun? Nope. The gun? A “pistol grip” water nozzle.

Go to The Truth About Guns and watch the video of the press conference. It’s sad that the poor guy’s family has to learn what the Long Beach PD thinks of gun owners. The cops are going to make a lot of noise about how he “pointed” the “object” at them, and they had no choice but to shoot. They will never ask themselves why they were there in the first place. They had a call of a “man with a gun.” It will never occur to them that maybe it’s ok for a man to have a gun, even in California.