Thursday, December 3, 2015

Just The Facts, Jim

So apparently, James Wesley, Rawles over at survivalblog decided to issue the following howler today:
The tragic events yesterday in California’s Inland Empire deserve attention. I’ll just stick to the facts:
    The primary shooter, Sayeed Rizwan Farook, age 28, was American-born to parents who were from Karachi, Pakistan, and was described as “a very devout Muslim”.
    He recently traveled to Saudi Arabia.
    According to The Daily Mail, “Farook graduated from California State University, San Bernardino with a degree in environmental health in 2009.”
    The second shooter killed in the shootout was Farook’s wife Tashfeen Malik, a pharmacist, age 27, born in Pakistan but more recently a resident of Saudi Arabia, who had married Farook two years ago.
    The long guns used in the attack are banned in California, both by name and by description. Farook most certainly did not just walk into a California gun shop or a gun show and buy them. ALL long guns less than 50 years old are banned from private party sales in California. To legally possess a banned semi-auto rifle in California, it would have had to have been registered to Farook on or before December 31, 1999. But he was 13 years old in 1999, so that is impossible.
    The attack clearly took considerable planning and logistical preparation. It is highly unlikely that the “three crudely made bombs packed with black powder and rigged to a remote-controlled toy car” were assembled just before the attack. It also indicates that there might have been a wider conspiracy.
    To call this event simply “workplace violence” would be absurd. People do not drive home, methodically don multiple magazine pouches and gather up guns and pipe bombs, in a simple fit of rage.
    They dropped off their six month old baby daughter with a grandmother, before the attack. That is another sign that this was a premeditated attack.
These facts speak for themselves.
Calling for additional “gun control ” laws in the wake of this attack is ludicrous. California’s existing gun and explosives laws were clearly flouted so passing any more laws would be useless. We have the right to arm ourselves in defense against similar terror attacks! – JWR

Mr. Rawles, I have been a fan of your blog for some years, but you shouldn't write or opine on things of which you have no or grossly inaccurate knowledge.
Which, in this case, would be just about every "fact" regarding firearms contained in that post.

1) The long guns used in the attack are not "banned in California", neither by name nor description.
(In fact, one of them, the S&W MP-15, has only existed for a couple of years, and like most of the M-4geries sold, enjoys great sales here in CA. Duh. The other was a DPMS. Both are legally sold here.) I have owned identical models to both of them, and recently at that. And in fact, they're selling with spectacular success daily, and have done so for nearly ten-plus years, to the eternal consternation of DiFi and her toadies in Sacramento.

2) Farook, or anyone else lacking a criminal or mental health prohibition could, indeed, walk into any CA gun shop, and walk out with such weapons 10 days later, and probably he did precisely that. Just like any thousands of others have in droves, esp. since 2008.

3) Long guns less than 50 years old are not banned from private party transfers in California. They are not allowed to be transferred without federal paperwork and a waiting period, except to blood heirs, but that's another thing entirely from being verboten out of hand. Rawles is at best terribly unclear on what he meant to say, or at worst dreadfully mistaken on that entire point.

4) To legally possess the rifles in question, they merely need only possess the simple expedient of a "bullet button", a device which makes the use of a tool (as opposed to just your booger hook) necessary to change magazines. They are sold here, so equipped from the manufacturer, by the dozens every day, from San Diego to the OR border. And there is also quite a cottage industry in shipping lowers from all manner of places to stops en route (including in ID, Jimmy) where they install the CA-compliant devices for you before sending one's toys in to the Golden State. (And eliminating the need for those horrible contortionist stocks that go up, around, and over to not be "protuding pistol grips". Suffering cats, what abortions those are.)
This is basic firearms biz 101 stuff hereabouts.

The likelihood, without examining the weapons, nor having a detailed account of events, is that they may have used banned high-cap magazines (>10 rounds), and/or may have removed the installed CA-compliant "bullet buttons" from his weapon(s), and replaced them with the standard issue version, or screwed a workaround onto the mag release. They may even have acquired the weapons illegally, but there is no basis for concluding that they must have committed any such violations of law in order to obtain them. Assertions to the contrary absent documentation are entirely speculative, and fairly ridiculous.

As any of these actions would be felonies, having created the exact "assault weapon" CA imagined it was banning, the conclusions regarding the prep and time involved, and the futility of additional laws to stop such incidents are entirely valid. That the first actual felony (regarding the firearms, not the conspiracy nor the manufacturing of IEDs) was opening fire with them in the first place is why the entire encyclopedia of gun laws is asinine in the extreme. When the presenting symptom is death by bullet, a law is a poor excuse for a solution, and more than a tad late to the party.

But Farook-plus-one may, in fact, have performed no such felonious actions, and simply the pair of them opened fire, and changed legal 10-round magazines a total of as little as one - or none! - time(s) apiece, and nonetheless created the exact carnage recorded in a couple of dozen seconds. That's the takeaway point on how stupid laws regarding Gun Free Zones, magazine capacity, assault weapons, and waiting periods truly are in the real world.

At any rate, while gratuitously bashing the Califrutopian firearms laws is great fun (trust me, I live here, and I do it daily myself), if someone can't get the basic and actual facts straight on the first go, best to wait and do some simple research. Google is your friend.
I'm sure it looks easy to do color commentary on this from way up there in ID, but ignorance is no excuse on this. Doubly so for a former Californian who ought to know better, and who makes his living dealing out advice and consultation.

The truth here in CA about the gun restrictions we put up with, and the actual incident, is scary enough, without misinformation being passed by people who should know better, and from voices from whom we expect better due diligence than what we get from WaPo and the NYSlimes.

Party foul, first class, Jimmy.
"Grade: D   Needs Improvement".
And next time you "just stick to the facts", maybe perhaps just stick to the facts.


gamegetter II said...

It appears Mr. Rawles believes he knows all about the gun laws in Californistan,as he's a guy who is a prolific writer,he should know how to check his "facts".
That screed was something I would expect from the clueless dolts around and in DC,who have never seen a real gun.
Maybe it was done as clickbait,or maybe Rawles actually believes he has all gun laws,from every state committed to memory.
Whatever the reasons-it was a pathetic piece of writing from a guy who should know better.

Bonnie said...

I checked Rawles' blog to see if he corrected anything - not yet, maybe not ever. I once caught him in an error & told him he was wrong (which was obvious to anyone who read the linked article). He changed his headline, but never said a word about being wrong. Didn't say thanks either, the ingrate. :(

tweell said...

According to reports, the buttons were removed, hi-cap magazines used, and one of the carbines was modified to fire full-auto. They were legal when purchased, but definitely not so when used.

Aesop said...

So assuming the mainstream press who reported that got anything firearms-related correct (a first, likely), that means they were not "banned by name and by description", and they in all probability were purchased by walking into any CA gun store and buying them legally, over the counter, after dotting all the "i"s and crossing all the "t"s.
(And the report I read said that only one of the bullet buttons was successfully removed).
Which, once again, is contrary to everything Rawles stated, and exactly in line with everything I wrote.

These recent official revelations also argue against the entirely farcical cottage industry springing up around trying to gainsay that this was a long-planned terrorist attack, and trying to paint it instead as some spur-of-the-moment workplace dispute at an office party gone tragically overboard. (Because anybody could get carried away, bring their wife back, and together gun down 30+ people out of 80 or so attendees when they get pissed at a party, right?)

Which fairytales would be true, except for the obvious forethought of deliberately illegal importation of high cap magazines into the state long beforehand, the time to modify one rifle and attempt to modify the other for rapid magazine changes, and the failed attempt to try to modify one rifle to fire full-auto. (Oh, and buy body armor, destroy electronic records, and construct - poorly, thank a merciful heaven - eighteen pipe bomb IEDs.

These were clearly and beyond question terrorists, and they started committing felonies months before this attack came off, deliberately and with malice aforethought. And all of CA's silly-ass laws did absolutely nothing to even slow them down, nor ever could do so.

Which was about the only things Rawles got right in his entire piece.

tweell said...

Thank God for Allah's chosen's technical incompetence, eh? I have long thought that the skilled bomb-makers are a small minority of the terrorist community. The attitude that if Allah wills, my bomb will work (and when it should, instead of during assembly) cannot be a helpful one. Persians tend to be better than Arabs at this, as their culture has a place for the skilled craftsman, while Arab culture considers merchant and warrior as the only honorable occupations.

I don't read Rawles often any more, his content is written by others and he doesn't check for errors. His first book was mediocre at best, I didn't bother with the others.

Anonymous said...

Hey may have been completely incorrect there, but he sure as hell just made me cheer with this:


Anonymous said...

Not that I'm much of a JWR fan, but chastising him in the usual Aesop fashion after all the Ebola posts from a year ago? Weren't you predicting 4 billion dead by now?

Aesop said...

No, I extrapolated the numbers at the published rates of spread.
I also said that absent anything changing for the better, the virus would continue to spread, and that they weren't anywhere close to getting a handle on it in their own opinion.

In point of fact, they never did get a handle on it - never achieving a single one of their published "must accomplish" goals for the outbreak - and it does continue to spread. Nor do they know why it hasn't disappeared, nor spread farther than it did (other than ruthless quarantine by the surrounding kleptocracies), though it continues to thrive in West Africa to this very moment. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are all still in active outbreak. As Casey Stengel said, "You could look it up":

Nota bene that WHO still observes that the published numbers are probably less than 1/3 of the true number of cases and casualties.

The only thing changing is any reportage of worth or accuracy on the topic for the last year.
I'm sorry if the change in the rates of spread didn't bring about the unmitigated pandemic you were hoping for, but rest assured TPTB are just as stumped about that as you are. And we're still just one more Duncan away from starting the game here, yet again.

TPTB know less about it now than we did a year and a half ago, except for the unhelpful fact that not a one of the "survivors", is EVER virus free, and such in fact may be the exact reason they can't wipe it out currently: the long-term survivors may be propagating it anew, unbeknownst.

So the only certainty is that it's paused.
The current stats now have us spring-loaded to the exact point we were at in about June of 2014, forever, which takes away the first several steps to pandemic in perpetuity, which was six months last time, and we barely slowed it down as it was last time with the luxury of half a year's total inaction.

Sierra Leone alone is at Step 7 (out of 31) right now, all by itself.
And the stateside preparations for the next outbreak event are just as abysmally non-existent here now as they were then.
Fisk any or all of that at your leisure, brave Anonymous commentor.

Rawles, OTOH, booted actual facts well-distributed and known before he posted, and simply effed up the actual facts in common reportage, by the numbers, through inexcusably sloppy acquaintance with basic research. He was, in short, talking out his tailpipe.

The difference between the two instances is hard to grasp in what way, exactly?

Anonymous said...