Fisking the Deseret News’ anti-CCW article

So my local paper ran a really dumb anti-CCW editorial. It was so riddled with nonsense, distortions, and falsehoods that it was just begging for a fisking. As usual, the original is in italics and my comments are in bold.

In our opinion: Utah gun law that canceled USU speech is an embarrassment

The only embarrassment here is the dreck that passes for writing at the Deseret News now.

The inability of Utah State University to impose reasonable protections for a speaker who had received death threats is more than just an embarrassment to the state. It is alarming.

No. It isn’t, and we’ll get to why later. This is typical breathless editorial speak, used by the willfully manipulative to sway the useful idiots. When you start breaking down the actual facts it is neither alarming nor embarrassing. It is Utah following the rule of law as opposed to the freak out cause of the day.

It should not, however, be surprising, especially to anyone who remembers the struggles a decade ago over Utah’s loose concealed permit carrier law.

I remember the “struggles” rather well. In fact I’m one of the people that testified against the University of Utah’s highly paid lobbyist in front of the Justice Committee at the State Legislature.  Like this editorial, all he could do was appeal to raw emotion and wishful thinking.

It’s time to revisit that law and allow schools the freedom to protect the public.

Let’s see… Historically, what has protected the public better? Law abiding types carrying firearms for personal defense, or No Guns Allowed signs?  Think hard.

Rather than repeat myself, here is an essay where I broke down in great detail why Utah allowing concealed weapon permit holders to carry firearms inside of schools makes sense. I wrote it after Sandy Hook, and it has become one of the most widely read essays on the topic of gun control there is.

Basically, whenever they start talking about “protecting the public” their ideas usually do the exact opposite.

It’s time Utah law stood up for safety, not the empowerment of bullies.

I’m curious about the definition of “bullies” here. A loaded term. You couldn’t possibly mean the public speaker who demanded a state change its policies to suit her ill-informed opinions on safety, and when she didn’t get her way—even though a suitable work around was readily, legally, available—instead asked for a boycott of the entire state until they gave in to her whims?

A decade ago, the University of Utah decided to continue enforcing a 25-year-old campus ban on firearms despite a new law that made concealed weapons fair game at schools.

A state institution having to obey state law? Crazy.

That resulted in a lawsuit that ended in 2006 when the Utah Supreme Court ruled the university had no authority to impose a policy contrary to state law.

Yep. It was a very sad day when the U discovered that despite wasting tons of tax payer and tuition money on a case that basically consisted of screaming Academic Freedom over and over again, our state constitution still applied to them.

The university — the only institution of higher learning in Utah willing to carry the fight — next tried to lobby and work with lawmakers to craft a compromise.

Their “compromise” was just their same old illegal ban in a fancy new wrapper. We exposed it for what it was and defeated it.

What they ended up with was a 2007 law that allows any student living in a dormitory to specify that he or she does not wish to room with a concealed weapon permit holder — nothing more.

Yep. Because before that their suggestions included things like declaring whatever building they wanted off limits at any time (which quickly turned into All of Them).  They had a long wish list of restrictions to make CCW so incredibly cumbersome and difficult to legally comply with that it would have been a de facto ban.

This wasn’t just about students either. It also affected everyone that worked for the university as well. Professors, employees, clerks, didn’t matter. They were out of luck.

Churches, it should be noted, also expressed concern over the law and, unlike schools, were allowed to publicly declare their own no-guns policies.

The finer points of law elude the Deseret News. Our CCW law treats different types of property in different manners. Churches are private property. A private university would be private property. The University of Utah is owned by the state and paid for with tax payer funds.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns this newspaper, subsequently registered its no-gun position.

As a Mormon and a professional writer, it offends me that my church owns a newspaper that sucks this badly.

The church issued a statement asking us not to carry guns at church, but then left it up to the discretion of the local bishops. In the decade since the only time my CCW has ever been of concern to any of my bishops was when one wanted to know if I was prepared to shoot a bear (long story, but yes, obviously).

The issue, both then and now, is not about the wisdom of allowing people who have passed special courses to legally carry a concealed weapon. This makes sense under the Second Amendment to the Constitution, although it should not apply under all circumstances and it is a myth to believe the issuance of such a permit is a guarantee against crime.

Wow. There’s a lot of BS in that paragraph. He pays lip service to the Second Amendment, then immediately says to infringe the one that says it shouldn’t be infringed. Also, nobody believes that a permit is a guarantee against crime. That’s a straw man. Trust me, I taught the Utah CCW course to thousands, and nobody thinks of their handgun as a cross that wards off vampires.

No, the issue is common sense.

Common sense suggests that it is a lot harder to commit mass murder when your targets can shoot back.

Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak about how women are portrayed in popular media, and especially in video games.

I’ve never gotten into GamerGate here on the blog, but basically Anita Sarkeesian is a professional victim, Social Justice Warrior, who thinks you are enjoying yourself wrong, and if you disagree you are a racist, homophobic, misogynist.

If you are a regular blog reader who followed Sad Puppies at all, same thing, same crusaders, same song, different industry.

Late Monday, someone sent an email to about a dozen USU offices threatening a deadly massacre if she were allowed to speak. It threatened “the deadliest school shooting in American history.”

As somebody who has gotten lots of death threats, anybody who sends a death threat is scum. They are vermin.

However, they are also a fact of life on the internet, and if you have enough of an audience and take a stand for anything, you will receive threats against your life. That big gun control blog post I linked above? That one had a million readers in the first month and got me on Huckabee. I had several “caring liberals” threaten to murder my entire family over that one.

Any moron with an internet connection can send a threat. The last thing you want to do is publicize these things. The people sending the threats are losers seeking attention. By publishing their threats far and wide and cancelling events, you’ve given them power.

School officials and law enforcement said they determined the threat was not credible, but that really didn’t matter.

Hold on… The TRUTH didn’t matter?

It wasn’t just the USU police, but the FBI that specialize in internet crimes that said this threat was bunk. Hell, I’m not exactly a cybercrimes expert, but I read it and scoffed. It was written like it came from somebody whose knowledge of weapons and violence came from reading the newspaper (hint, actual gun experts don’t talk about their “semi-automatic” weapons).

Not to mention they tracked it back to originating in Brazil, so he’d have to fly to another continent, catch another flight to Utah, and last time I looked the TSA frowns on pipe bombs in your carry-on luggage. So logistically after he comes to another hemisphere, he could try to illegally procure weapons as a non-resident or procure bomb materials on unfamiliar territory, without attracting attention, all while planning an attack on new ground in a very short period of time, and then pull it off in a place where the audience can shoot him.

Since I’m guessing this guy isn’t Frank Castle, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it.  

Under Utah law, Utah State University had no choice but to let people with permits carry guns into the hall, and they had no mechanism for determining who had such a permit and who was, in fact, carrying a weapon.

Wow… No. Does anybody fact check anything in these things? There are several mistakes here.

First off, USU did have a choice because there is a provision in the law for a normally open to the public establishment to temporarily become a Secure Facility. The legislature worked this out with the US Secret Service prior to presidential and vice presidential visits. The facility may be secured, and CCW prohibited, provided that admission is controlled, and lockers are provided for any guests who are carrying firearms so that they can safely store their weapons. Then they control the entrance and exits. That usually means guards and metal detectors.

USU chose not to go this route because the FBI said the threat was bunk.

Next error, there is no mechanism for determining who had a permit? Uh… It is a little laminated red card with your picture on it you carry in your wallet like a driver’s license or any other state issued ID. If you want to make sure a permit is legit, you can call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification and they can tell you if a permit is valid or not in a couple of seconds. Gun dealers do this every time they sell a gun in Utah to a permit holder when the buyer fills out a 4473 form for the BATF. Hell, the database is online! Police can access it whenever they want.

And another problem, he says there is no mechanism for determining who is in fact carrying a weapon… Think about that critically for a moment.  There is no way to know if the hypothetical mass murderer is carrying a weapon either, because he sure as hell isn’t going to tell you, and he’s certainly not going to decide to call it a day and not go commit the couple hundred felonies he had planned because of your No Guns Allowed sign.

News flash, the people who get permits aren’t the ones you need to worry about.

Sarkeesian, who said she has spoken in the face of death threats elsewhere, canceled her speech, citing concern over that law.

And then Sarkeesian called for all of her followers to boycott the state of Utah.

So give into the demands of a professional victim, or continue to protect our children from mass murder… tough call.

Common sense would dictate that a university could prohibit weapons and set up metal detectors at an event that has been targeted with death threats.

USU actually had the option of doing just that and creating a legal Secure Facility, but they chose to listen to the FBI, save their money, and not hassle their students and faculty instead. Go Aggies.

If an armed officer were present, this would be a much more effective counter to any attack than the crossfire of multiple weapons carriers.

Oh bull crap. So in the last decade of us allowing guns in schools, do you have any examples of these terrible Wild West style crossfire shootouts between multiple permit holders in Utah? Heck, expand it beyond Utah. Of the millions and millions of permit holders out there, do you have any examples of these hypothetical mistaken identity crossfires?


Not that any of this would actually matter, because come on… why the hell would somebody smart, capable, and wise enough to take the necessary steps to carry a gun to provide for their own safety want to listen to a professional victim feminist whine about gamers for an hour? I’ve got a gut feeling that hall would be the closest thing to a gun free zone on campus that day regardless.

As far as armed officers being present, I would suspect that the USU police would have an officer present at any large speaking engagement, especially one with any sort of potential for conflict of any sort.

But common sense has been brushed aside.

You keep using the term, but last time I checked “wishful thinking” and “emotionally laden nonsense” weren’t synonyms with “common sense”. If you say something stupid and then call it common sense, that doesn’t make it sensible. It is still stupid. Sort of like “social justice” or “economic fairness”.  

For whatever reason, the gaming community has attracted an element that threatens to kill feminists.

And Social Justice Warriors have attracted an element that threaten to kill conservative authors. Cry me a river.

Such threats should not be taken lightly,

I’m doing a book signing at the U of U bookstore on Halloween day. Since these are Larry Correia fans, I’m assuming there will be so many concealed weapons there that it will be like the opposite of a gun free zone, and probably the safest place on campus.  :)

nor should arguments that a room full of people with concealed weapons is a deterrent to a deranged criminal be given credence.

A room full of people with concealed weapons isn’t a deterrent to committing violent crime? Maybe if your bad guy is on a kamikaze mission.  And hate to break it to you, but if that’s what you’re up against, he isn’t going to give a crap about your cops or metal detectors either. For anybody else not trying to commit suicide, getting shot a couple dozen times by bystanders is usually a pretty strong deterrent. That’s why mass shooters keep attacking gun free zones instead of shooting ranges or police stations. I go into great detail on that point in the above link, so basically let me say that paragraph is one of the most willfully ignorant piles of dreck I’ve ever had the displeasure of fisking.

Utah lawmakers need to change this silly and potentially dangerous law.

That’s the beauty of having fifty states. If you don’t like this one, feel free to pack your stuff and go to one of the other ones more to your liking. Utah actually loves our kids, so we don’t feel like making it easier for psychopaths to kill large numbers of them to placate your angst.



Booger Hook off the Bang Switch MHI shirts

Mike Williamson and Toni Weisskopf were having a conversation and it turned into this. Plus, Mike was kind enough to use one of my favorite guns ever.

I have a Book Signing on Halloween, University of Utah bookstore.

On Halloween from noon to two I’ll be signing books at the University of Utah bookstore, along with Brad Torgersen and Robison Wells.

Urban Fantasy Story Bundle (no, I’m not in it, but a friend is).

Peter Wacks asked if I’d spread the word for him, so because a friend asked:

Then I looked in there and saw that the bundle includes stuff from Jim Butcher, Dave Farland, and Kevin Anderson, it is like I know half of them, and the bundle of books is CHEAP. So good deal on lots of stuff.

French Grimnoir cover prints on sale, 25% off.

Vincent Chong is having a sale on all of his limited edition prints, 25% off.

He is the one who did the art for the excellent French covers of Hard Magic, Spellbound, and Warbound. I picked up a Magie Brute for myself to frame.

Magie Brute

Malédiction (2)

warbound_french_cover (2)

Back from New York City

The lovely Mrs. Correia and I spent most of the last week in NYC. She said I was a lot funner to travel with having just finished a book and not having started the next one, than when I’m actively working on one, because then I feel guilty the whole time like I should be working. Between that and the good company, this was the best trip I’ve had there.

NYC Times square

We spent a few days sight seeing. Jim Minz is one of my editors and he used to live in NYC. Jim makes a really good tour guide, and every night he took us someplace awesome for dinner. I’m an adventurous eater. I’ve already proven that if some culture somewhere considers it food, I’ll try it, when I go somewhere I like to eat what the locals eat (who the hell travels far away and eats at TGI Fridays?) and nowhere has better food than New York. Over the week I ate goose liver (twice, they sure do like it on Iron Chef, but not my thing), rabbit (first one I didn’t shoot myself, come to think of it), duck (same), octopus (never actually shot an octopus), sea bass, scallops, clams, squid, eel, oysters, swordfish, lots of pizza, and a sea urchin. As a man with an iron stomach who will eat anything, I’m happy to say that my earlier encounters and opinions formed about sea urchin were accurate, and even in one of the best sushi places in the foodiest city in the world, I’m happy to not eat any more of that mooshy beast. However, the restaurant? Best sushi I’ve had in my life, and I’m a sushi fan. Holy moly. That was good.

NYC washington

This was like my third or fourth time in NYC, but it was my wife’s first. However since she grew up right next to San Francisco and I’m a country bumpkin, she does a whole lot better in big cities than I do. Truthfully, I don’t like crowds. I don’t like people bumping into me or touching me. So I’m good in Manhattan for a few days, and then I need to get back home, where the entire island of Manhattan could fit inside a single ranch, but we only have 10,000 people. Plus, here on Yard Moose Mountain we don’t have a single stop light in our entire county, In four years, I can count the number of sirens or horn honks I’ve heard on my fingers. In New York, the honking NEVER STOPS.

And sorry, New Yorkers, Central Park is not “getting back to nature” nor is it “a quiet and contemplative place”. My wife wanted to go for a run in Central Park and one of the locals assured me, I kid you not “Oh, don’t worry, Central Park is perfectly safe… Just don’t go there after dark, because you’ll get murdered.”

NYC comiccon

At the actual con I was swamped the whole time. Baen decided to send a bunch of books for me to give away, and when Toni says “a bunch” she’s talking tons of books. I gave out and signed over a thousand copies of Hard Magic and Monster Hunter International and talked for a bit with almost every one of those people who got one of the freebies. Luckily New Yorkers aren’t vigorous hand shakers like at SLC ComicCon, so I can still feel my right hand.

It is always fun to meet fans, and as usual my fans were awesome.

Chuck Gannon and Ryk Spoor were the other Baen authors there, but they didn’t get to stay as long. Chuck and I got really good at telling people about the other guy’s books, because really, after you’ve told a complete stranger the plot synopsis of your novel 200 times, it is good to tell them somebody else’s plot synopsis for a while.

I ran into a bunch of people I know. The place is lousy with authors.

I’ve plugged Jonathan Maberry’s work on here before, you guys know I’m a fan, and we’re even writing a team up Franks & Ledger story for an anthology next year, but I’d only met him in person once, and that was five years ago. Like the day before flying out I’d been having an email conversation with another author, Chuck Dixon, who I have never actually met in person. However, Chuck’s picture, he’s a stocky guy with a beard. So when Jonathan walked up to the booth and said Hi Larry, my brain filled in the blank and I called him Chuck Dixon. Jonathan stood there for a moment, confused, waiting for the punchline while I slowly realized I screwed up.

NYC maberry

Thankfully, Maberry is a stud, understands the author brain damage that sets in at cons after you’ve already talked to hundreds of people. Plus, he pointed out that he’s taller than Chuck, so I will file that away for future reference. Don’t feel bad Chuck and Jonathan, when I get mistaken for someone else, it is usually this guy, and it is usually at a TSA checkpoint.


Then I ran into somebody else. Internet gun nuts should recognize.


I’ve known Marko Kloos for something like fifteen years now, but this was actually the first time we’ve ever met in person. We were both moderators on The High Road way back when. Marko’s career has really taken off, he’s one of the bestselling authors in sci-fi right now, and we both have houses with cool names. So of course, what happens when you get two libertarian, anti-authoritarian, gun nut, bestselling authors together in a place where we’re not allowed to pack heat or shoot high powered rifles off the porch? We went on a crime spree, obviously.

No. I kid you not. Since this is New York, I bet me and Marko stealing meatballs from the Javit’s Center was like sixteen felonies, so I will speak of it no more. But we were justified. Rage against the machine! Fight the power! Stick it to the man! (or if you’re going to have a cash only line in the food court that is like 40 minutes long, put up a damned sign!)

Meanwhile, because New York is Templar territory, the lovely Mrs. Correia was taking odd jobs from random pigeon coops, and leaving a trail of bodies in her wake.

NYC assassin

The wrist blades are hot.

I had a great trip, but after a few days of the big city I’m just ready to go back to Yard Moose Mountain. (this readiness to go home is much stronger when I’m on the subway for some reason… Oh, hey, look at all those giant rats scampering along the tracks) Compared to New York, Utah is quiet, clean, and efficient. Basically, Utah is America’s Germany. So of course, because I said that at some point while remarking on the never ending chaos that is New York, fate decided to laugh at me when I got home.

After riding a train to Newark, and then riding a monorail squished against a sweaty Italian man, and then a five hour flight to get home, my brain was mush. So then we took the shuttle to the giant economy parking lot where we’d left our car. This is a very big parking lot, and we are very tired, but since I’m an experienced traveler, I always take a picture of the sign when I park here, no problem. I was looking for F4…

Only because I had bragged to some New Yorkers how efficient Utah was in comparison, there was no F4, and the Salt Lake Airport decided to go ahead and change all of the signs in their 500 acre parking lot while we were gone, just to mess with us. You’d think they’d warn people riding the shuttle, or maybe put up a sign, or a flyer, or something, but nope. It was kind of sad, watching hundreds of confused, jet lagged travelers dragging their roller bags through the construction zones, hopelessly lost, until they perished in the dust.  Half an hour later we found our car (I love the little key fobs that make your horn honk) and drove home.

This was my 13th and final convention for the year. I do believe I am now done until LTUE in February. As much fun as that was, I will never do 13 conventions in a year again.

BOOK BOMB! Chaplain’s War by Brad Torgersen

Today we are Book Bombing Brad Torgersen’s debut novel, Chaplain’s War.

A chaplain serving in Earth’s space fleet is trapped behind enemy lines where he struggles for both personal survival and humanity’s future.

The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy.

The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle. What good is a Chaplain’s Assistant in the interstellar battles which will decide the fate of all?

More than he thinks. Because while the mantis insectoids are determined to eliminate the human threat to mantis supremacy, they remember the errors of their past. Is there the slightest chance that humans might have value? Especially since humans seem to have the one thing the mantes explicitly do not: an innate ability to believe in what cannot be proven nor seen God. Captured and stranded behind enemy lines, Barlow must come to grips with the fact that he is not only bargaining for his own life, but the lives of everyone he knows and loves. And so he embarks upon an improbable gambit, determined to alter the course of the entire war.

The reason I do these Book Bombs every month is to get some more attention for a worthy author who could use a career boost. I steer people toward Amazon because they have a sales ranking system that updates every hour. The more people we can get to purchase the book on the same day, the higher it goes in the ratings. Once it gets onto the various bestseller lists for its genre, even more people see it.  Success breeds success, and the the author gets a lot of new fans.
If you want to order it somewhere else, that’s great too. Even though it doesn’t boost that sales rank number for the day the most important thing is that the author GETS PAID.
We have learned from prior Book Bombs that if you leave reviews after you’ve read the book, that really helps too. The reviews help the book get more attention that lingers for a long time after the initial BB sales spike.
Why pick Brad? Well, first off the book is excellent. Brad is one of the most talented writers I know. He’s been nominated for all the awards (but don’t let that scare you, he’s actually good). The story that this novel is based on was the Sad Puppies nominee for best novella. A bunch of really sharp sci-fi authors expect great things from Brad.
Brad is a friend of mine. He is one of the members of Writer Nerd Game Night. He’s an all around good dude. Brad’s day job is being a computer weenie for a bunch of hospitals, and one weekend a month and two weeks a year (HA!) he’s a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army National Guard. The goal of this Book Bomb is selfish. I want Brad to make a ton of money as an author so he can quit his day job and just write books for our amusement nonstop.
Right now the paperback is at: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,032 in Books
and the Kindle book is: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,822 Paid in Kindle Store
As the stats change throughout the day I’ll update these numbers so we can see how we are doing. The higher he gets, the more likely Brad is to GET PAID!
So please tell your friends and spread the word. Let’s help out an great new author.
EDIT: we’ve started moving upwards
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,840 in Books
 EDIT: Still climbing

Way to go guys, but we’ve still got a way to go before we get Brad onto the 1st page of the bestsellers.

EDIT: Okay, now we’re talking. The paperback is:

And the Kindle:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,117 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

EDIT: Still climbing

EDIT: Paperback slowed down, Kindle kept going.


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