The Future of the Gun: The Atlas Society Asks Frank Miniter

November 22, 2023 00:58:03
The Future of the Gun: The Atlas Society Asks Frank Miniter
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Future of the Gun: The Atlas Society Asks Frank Miniter

Nov 22 2023 | 00:58:03

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Show Notes

Join Atlas Society CEO Jennifer Grossman for the 180th episode of The Atlas Society Asks where she interviews New York Times bestselling author Frank Miniter. Editor-in-chief of the NRA's political magazine, America's 1st Freedom, Frank is the author of The Future of the Gun, which explores new developments in gun technology that could make today’s firearms exponentially safer and smarter if anti-gun lobbyists weren’t halting progress in its tracks.

Frank Miniter is a New York Times bestselling author, journalist, and political commentator who has written both fiction and nonfiction works. He has been an editor for both Outdoor Life and American Hunter. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the NRA’s political magazine, America’s 1st Freedom.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the 180th episode of the Atlas Society asks on this Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve, my name is Jennifer Anju Grossman. I go by Jag. I'm the CEO of the Atlas Society. We are the leading nonprofit introducing young people to the ideas of Ayn Rand in fun, creative ways, including or graphic novels and animated videos. Today, we are joined by Frank Minitur. Before I even begin to introduce our guest, I want to remind all of you who are watching us on Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube. You know the drill. Go ahead and use the comment section to queue up, start asking your questions for our guest, and we'll get to as many of them as we can. So our guest, Frank Minitor, is a New York Times bestselling author, journalist, political commentator, who has written both fiction and nonfiction. He has been an editor for both Outdoor Life and American Hunter. He's currently the editor in chief of the NRA's political magazine america's First Freedom. Among his many books are The Ultimate Man's Survival Guide and one that we're going to focus on today, the Future of the Gun. Frank, thank you so much for joining us. [00:01:28] Speaker B: Oh, thanks for having me here. [00:01:30] Speaker A: So, in doing my research for this interview, I couldn't help but notice that your parents raised quite a cadre of accomplished journalists and writers, including your brothers Brendan and Richard. Was there anything your parents or your grandparents did that put you all on this similar path? [00:01:53] Speaker B: Oh, I had incredible grandparents that lived right down the road. There was literally a trail through the woods to Grandma's house in upstate New York at the end of the Schwangunk Ridge, which faces the Cascale Mountains. So a rural upbringing. But when you went down to her house, you went into her home, you found what it could have been a classic movie set in the 1940s, bookshelves from floor to ceiling. My grandfather would be smoking his pipe and his smoking jacket. My grandmother would take off her reading glasses and ask what we were reading and would expect us to talk about what we were reading. And we'd pull books off the know. It could be William F. Buckley, it could be George, orwell it could be Ayn Rand and hand it to us and talk to us about it and expect us to come back and talk again. And those intellectual discussions that would happen in that place were just astounding amazing. And that translated with me and my brothers as we followed our careers. [00:02:43] Speaker A: So do I understand correctly that it was either your grandmother or grandfather who put Atlas Shrugged into your hands? What was that like? [00:02:51] Speaker B: Oh, absolutely. That would been my grandmother. Yeah, she said I must read it, and I didn't have a choice. And, of course, you start first page, and those books just read, so well, I started with Fountainhead, and I'm glad I did, because that leads to atlas Shrugged. I mean, they're not the same novel or anything, but it's good to read them in order, whichever way. Yeah. It was powerful as important what they introduced to us and that old school kind of thinking, that foundation that they had in ethics. They're about Catholics, but of an ethics that they had. It isn't cool today, but on top of that was always this adventure that they were going always going to doing something. And my grandfather loved big game fishing. My grandmother loved her gardens and things outside, of course, literature, there's always this feeling of adventure. You went to that house and, of course, the depth of literature. [00:03:41] Speaker A: Well, and of course, there is a through theme throughout all of Rand's novels and, of course, explored more fully and systematically in her philosophy of objectivism, of self ownership, of independence, of not sacrificing yourself to others or sacrificing others to yourself, and a sense of protecting yourself and not being disarmed. I think that Ein Rand has a quote that if the enemies of America wanted to destroy it, it would start by disarming its citizens, both physically and intellectually. [00:04:26] Speaker B: Yeah, my first guns were my grandfather's, and he gave them to me to try hunting and to start hunting, and he taught me to shoot. It was that basic experience. But he was a cop. He spent his career as a police officer in Brooklyn who had always wanted to be a botanist and retired to the country and started his farm and had beehives and make his own maple syrup and his gardens and his vineyard and all these things. So there was this depth in that character that was going on. But guns shooting was just a fundamental thing you were supposed to learn because you're supposed to be able to stand up on your own feet and understand how to do that kind of thing. So from a very early age, I thought it was just a very normal thing to have a gun wreck over your bed. [00:05:05] Speaker A: So you talked about Rand's novels as being full of adventure. You have lived a life of adventure in many ways. You've run with the bulls in Pamplona. How many times? [00:05:20] Speaker B: I've been in the street over 20 times with the bulls. My God. [00:05:23] Speaker A: All right, so you relayed some advice. If you're not down, to stay down until the bull passes. Tell us about that. And are there any lessons there for navigating today's? Culture and politics, right, well, a Spanish. [00:05:39] Speaker B: Fighting bull has his horns sharp and they're facing forward, not like a rodeo bull where they often saw them off. So his horns are there and they're facing forward and they're sharp. So if you get knocked down and you stand up in front of a bull, he'll drive that horn right through you and kill you. Which happened to an American there. I think his name was Peter Tacio. I ran in the same spot he ran. What happened is he got knocked down, he jumped up, and he tried to run again, and the horn went right through his heart, and he died almost instantly. So, yeah, it's staying down. The bull will actually try not to step on you because it doesn't want to hurt itself. It doesn't care about you necessarily, but it doesn't want to hurt itself. But there's a whole ethic to that fiesta and the running with the bulls, because if you harass a bull, you slap him, you change his direction, he'll become a suito. They'll come out of that group because they're in a group, six bulls running with six steers on purpose to keep them kind of tamed and together going down that half mile of streets to the arena, and they'll try to get them out of the arena without hurting anybody. They're basically a freight train going down there unless one of them gets pulled off. When that happens, they'll start attacking somebody. They'll pick somebody, and they'll just start goring him over and over again until he's out of their sight. And then they'll pick somebody else until the Spanish come with their sticks and push him on. So you don't want to harass the bull, and if you do, you've caused trouble. So there's actually an ethic beneath that thing. And when you run into the arena, they try to get the bulls out, but then they lock you in the arena, and there's 18,000 people in this arena all watching you, where they're going to fight bulls later in the day. And they'll let cows go that know how to throw people. And this is a Spanish rite of passage. The cows run back and forth. And I've seen this too often with Americans where they get in there, they don't understand the rules, what's happening there. They don't respect what's happening there. And they try to harass the ball and try to pull its tail and try to grab its horns and do steer wrestling. When that happens, the Spanish, the mozos will grab that guy, and they will beat him into a fetal position. And it's not a joke, and the audience will cheer for them to do it because guy's broken the rules, and he's disrespecting that animal. There's a code beneath that that you have to understand once you start to dig down into that. And before I went, I found being a journalist, I found a guy from the a guy named Juan Macho. I mean, of all the names, his name is Juan Macho, and he's an American runner, lives in Miami. He's getting fairly old now, but he would train people, show people how to run. He showed me every part of the run, what to do. What was interesting about it to me is lot of fear in people when you first get into the street, right? You haven't run before, and the bulls are going to come and you're afraid. But if you know what's going to happen, and you know how to behave, you know what to do and what not to do. It helps you control your fear, because actually, the greatest fears, the deepest fears people have are of the unknown. And if you understand it, this goes across life. If you understand what's going to happen, you're much more able to control your fear. [00:08:18] Speaker A: Interesting. I'm surprised that the kind of animal rights crowd hasn't shut down this tradition that it survives. And speaking of that crowd, one of your earlier books was part of a series, the Politically Incorrect Guide to Hunting. Can you explain how vegetarians and vegans depend on hunting for their food as well? [00:08:42] Speaker B: Right. I first want to say I don't have any problem with veganism and vegetarians. That's a lifestyle choice, and it's completely fine. And if you take the right vitamin supplements, it could be a very healthy and good way to live. I only have a problem with them. They take a moral point. They act like they're on some high ground and say, I'm above all that meat. And so I do talk about that. Right in the beginning of that book, and I've done this many times to people, I look at them and say, you know, there is blood on your salad. And now they lose it. They don't like to hear this kind of thing. This is reality. But every farmer who grows crops of any kind has to control the wildlife population so that wildlife will just eat his crops, insects, mice, deer, geese, whatever, will eat his crops. So he has to control and deal with those wildlife populations. I even talked to a vegan recently who lives in New York City, and all of her vegetables, according to her, come from a garden they have on top rooftop. This has become popular down there rooftop in Brooklyn. They grow their stuff, and that's all she's eating. I said even then, okay, aren't you dealing with mice and rats and pigeons and insects? Don't you have to spray? Don't you have to do all these things? Isn't your building taking up space on this planet and so on? You're part of the community that we're living in. The world's. Ecosystems are here, and you are part of them. You can't opt out here you are. You're a part of them. So there is blood on your salad. And it's understanding that dispelling those great lies. Environmentalists too often tell us today that humans are evil and bad, and you pull them aside and all nature is going to be better without us. No, we're part of nature. What we have is we bring it to nature is an ethical idea. We bring that ethical idea in. We balance things. We live with nature. But understanding that and doing that correctly takes understanding what I just said there's blood on your salad. That you have to come to terms with that, with your mortality and others, animal mortality and find the balances that are in that. And hunters are used by game managers in every state in this country to manage game populations and then to pay for the conservation of those wildlife species. It's this wonderful system we have in this country, and it's been explored around the world, parts of Africa then, too, where animals were destroyed, the big game populations were gone. And David said, Wait a second. If we sell, if we can bring in some hunters to create some economic incentive to have this wildlife brought back, would that help these game populations? And it sure has. I've been in places in Namibia, for example, where the game populations, everywhere you go, you're running into herds of wildebeest and all sorts of things. And it's because hunters are there, economically incentivizing farmers to have that wildlife back on their range. It's a great system that, unfortunately, too much environmentalism is trying to pull down. [00:11:08] Speaker A: All right, well, speaking of meat, I want to get to the meat of this interview, which is your book, The Future of the Gun, especially as it relates to our audience's keen interest in defending Second Amendment rights. It's about the future, but it's also a history of sorts. What does the history of the gun have to teach us about the future? [00:11:33] Speaker B: Well, I would start in the past, but about the future. This is a basic individual right. It's a natural right that has changed the mean. It ended feudalism in part when it came in in Europe, and people could finally have a flintlock pistol in their pocket as they traveled the roads, and they could protect themselves. It was part of the reason why we ended up with destroying the idea there's a divine right of kings, that kings were akin to God. We're all equal under these rights. They had to deal with the individual nature, the autonomy of that individual breaking out of serfdom that started to break, that whole idea that opened it up. And it wasn't just a philosophical battle. It wouldn't have made it there without the literal tool of freedom being in the arsenals of democracy being in people's hands. And it was certainly true in this country from the very founding, from the very beginning, that without that tool of freedom, first of all, we wouldn't have won our freedom from the British at the time, but we wouldn't have kept it and we wouldn't have it now. Because it is a great equalizer between all of us that you have the ability to protect yourself until help arrives. [00:12:38] Speaker A: Well, talk a little bit about the American Revolution and the arms that were used both by the Redcoats and by the Patriots, and how that factored into the ultimate outcome. [00:12:52] Speaker B: Well, right. The initial battles, right, the British sent troops, the Concord, Lexington, and what they were after were arms depot, cannon, but also small arms that were held by the early American colonists that were there they wanted to take their arms away, to disempower them as they continued in this process of subjugating them. And the Americans said, British are coming. The British are coming. No. And they got their arms, their private guns and from the arsenal and were there to meet them when the British showed up. And then the shot that was fired around the world happened. We don't know who shot it, but it began. And the Americans won those initial battles because what they had were rifles. They were small arms makers, gunsmiths in America that were rifling barrels, usually in fairly light calibers, but they could shoot much longer distances than the British usually carried what was called a brown best, a very big, heavy caliber, smooth boar musket. Now, it shot a very large projectile, but in baseball terms, it's like the knuckleball that floats and is coming into the base instead of as regards to a fastball, which spins the rifling in a barrel, spins that bullet to make it more accurate down range at a much greater distance, it's more accurate. So our early Americans there were able to use rifles to shoot the British at longer ranges, and they did that. They'd fall back and shoot and fall back and shoot, and we're able to push the British back, then back into Boston. We finally out of Boston. But it was that early Americans Armaking and that ingenuity and that technology of the gun that enabled them to win those initial battles. [00:14:27] Speaker A: All right, I've got a lot more questions for you, but I don't want to get behind, as I so often do, with all of the audience questions that are coming in. So I'm going to take a break because I see quite a few good ones coming in from our regulars. Frank, I know you've written a lot about Masculinity and Manhood. Candice Moreno on Facebook, one of our regulars says, why do you think so many men today lack confidence or any sense of self assuredness? I see that, and it's just really heartbreaking. They feel very lost. Maybe part of it is know, in today's intersectional, identity politics, they really do come out at the bottom of the heat. But there's also the culture of safetyism and overprotective parenting, not letting people, young people, take risks and gain a sense of resilience and confidence. But you're the expert, so what's your take? [00:15:27] Speaker B: There's been a war on the rite of passage that creates boy, that turns boys into men, that grows them up into being real gentlemen of honor, that will take care of themselves or autonomous, but also take care of ladies or chivalrous and all these things. There's been a war on that. It's been seen as the patriarchy and seen as something you have to tear down in order to build up women, but it just isn't true. Both help each other, men and women. Whatever your intention, are you're helping each other grow up to what you should be. But we've instead so much in our culture over a couple of generations now, has been tearing down these ideals that are supposed to build boys up. I have an eleven year old son, and I take him on adventures all the time. And I tell him, you have to challenge yourself first. You have to use your head. And I poke him right in the forehead. Use your brain first, but then we can have adventures together. And those adventures will teach you all about yourself, your body, your strengths, your weaknesses. And when something happens in your life, you'll be able to overcome those challenges, whatever it may be. You'll be able to deal with it because you've dealt with yourself and your physicality in that very basic way. But too often we're protecting them to such an extent, we're tearing them down to a certain extent that we're destroying the philosophy that makes a man a man. [00:16:39] Speaker A: All right, on Instagram, my Modern Gault, also one of our regulars. How do we deal with politicians who claim to be pro Second Amendment, but go back on the words such as Tony Gonzalez in Texas. Not familiar with him, but maybe you are. [00:16:54] Speaker B: Yeah, I don't know his particular record, but we voted them out. That's how we deal with them. The NRA, for example, does the NRA's Political Victory Fund does a rating of all the politicians before an election, and they use their real votes and their real stances. And if they haven't been elected to something, they fill out questionnaires, and that gives where they really are, and it's not a partisan way of looking at them, whether there's a D or an R next to their name or whatever, it doesn't take any account of what rating they get. So that rating will tell you, if you look it up, where they stand on the Second Amendment. So use that and vote them out if they're not for your freedom. [00:17:31] Speaker A: Okay, I'll take one more. We've got loads coming in, and I promise I'm going to try to get to all of them. Zach Carter on Facebook what do you make of Biden mocking citizens saying they wanted guns to resist tyranny by saying they'd need nuclear weapons? [00:17:47] Speaker B: Yeah, he said Americans don't have s, so they can't possibly stand up. Just look around the world. Look what just happened in Israel. There were a few with small arms that protected themselves and their communities because they were trained just on small arms against the terrorists that came for them. And they were able to save quite a few lives in that process. And it's the same here. This individual from I've interviewed, just way too many victims of criminals, of violent criminals come to their homes. Women, men have come to their homes and who weren't armed at the time, but are now, and understand what this freedom is now, to believe that there's some moral stand telling we should disarm people in order for some greater good. What? 1.67 million, according to the latest study from Georgetown, armed self defense uses of guns in this country every year, mostly over 80% of them without people even firing a shot in order to protect themselves. It's very common for people to use guns to defend themselves. It's very important. It's a woman's right. As well as a man's. Right. In fact, it's more critical for the women and those who are maybe weaker, maybe elderly and so on. It's just so critical, this moral, this fake moral ground that I see on the other side. It just makes me sick when I just see these victims that I've interviewed in my head. [00:19:02] Speaker A: It's interesting because I remember in your book you talked about how in the 1860s, colt ran newspaper ads featuring women with Colt revolvers with ad copy. God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal. So more than half a century before women got the right to vote, advances in firearms were contributing to women's liberation big time. [00:19:31] Speaker B: Yeah, that happened, like, over 150 years ago that was going on. And it wasn't just cult savage. You go to their headquarters, there just beautiful ads from the 19th century up showing women with firearms learning to defend themselves, protect themselves until help can possibly arrive. For all of us. It's so critical right now. If you look at the recent gun sales since 2020, women make up 40%. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 40% of those new gun sales are going to women who are realizing, wait a second, I have to protect myself because the police can't be everywhere all the time, and we don't want them everywhere all the time. That would be a police state. Right. They can't be everywhere all the time. I have to protect myself until that help can arrive. And that requires me to take on my civil liberties, my Second Amendment rights, which are right there and have been there from the founding. [00:20:19] Speaker A: Well, I'm contributing to that statistic because I live on top of a mountain in Malibu, kind of rural area, and a lot of friends say, why do you own guns? Why do you go to the range? And I said, It's relatively peaceful up here, but it only takes one, and I'd rather feel prepared. Okay. I'm seeing a lot of questions that get to a point that you covered. In the book, you cite historians who assert that prior to 1989, the term assault weapons assault weapons did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. In fact, it's a political term used to manipulate public opinion. I also learned that AR doesn't stand for assault rifle, but rather the manufacturer armalite. Can you help dispel some of the confusion? Oh, yeah. [00:21:13] Speaker B: You could look at the history, what I was talked about first in the late 80s assault weapon, that they wanted to popularize that and use that as a way to take those semiautomatic firearms away from people. It's very well documented. The NRA has gone through this many times. I've written about it many times that this was a direct idea from them, through them, thinking about it, speaking about it, publicizing it, and then getting out there and spending the money to make these guns feared and hated. But this is a semiautomatic fire, and we're talking about the air type rifle. It's been around since the late 19th century. In that first decade of the 20th century, major arms makers, remington, Savage, had what they called automatic rifles. That was literally ran ads. Remington ran ads for the automatic rifle. They weren't automatic. They were semiautomatic rifles. They were very popularly sold, very popularly owned them, and many popular semiautomatic pistols way before the AR 15 was invented in the 1950s and the 1960s. So it been around forever. And at the same time, the AR 15 was sold to the military, became the M 16. Right. At the same time Colt was doing that, they were selling it to average citizens in 1964. You look at the early issues of American life. Woman at the same time that was happening, there were ads from Colts to sell these semiautomatic rifles to people in that same caliber in two, two, three remington it's been around forever. It's not a new technology. It's a very old technology. So to go after it now, it's pointing at the gun instead of pointing at the real problem, which is the criminal element in our society and those with mental health issues and so on. We have to keep from getting firearms in the first place. To do that, we need to work together to stop them getting it. Blaming guns when there's 400 plus million guns in this country, semiautomatic firearms are the most popularly sold across all the platforms. Shotguns, pistols, rifles. It's not going to work. It hasn't worked, and it won't work. It's a political idea that's, unfortunately, being used to demonize a certain type of firearm. [00:23:14] Speaker A: Despite all of that effort. You mentioned statistics that, according to the FBI, only 5% of murders are committed by killers using rifles, with AR 15 type rifles making up a much smaller fraction of that. Almost four times as many murderers use knives as used rifles. Am I getting that right? [00:23:37] Speaker B: Yeah. Knives is about 1500 murders a year. In the United States. Rifles is about 300 murders. So it's even more lopsided than that. And that's all rifles, about 300 murders per year. This is the FBI crime statistics. You can look them up very quickly. So what percentage of that is AR type rifles is unknown, because the FBI doesn't go deep into its data to try to get that from the police departments that give them this data. So we don't know. But we're talking about just a tiny, tiny percentage. Way less than 3% are AR type rifles that are used in Merzon is here every year. So they're blaming that type. It really doesn't make any sense, even on that basic statistical ground. [00:24:18] Speaker A: All right, back to our audience questions on Facebook. George Alexopoulos asks Frank, what do you think about people who say people should be allowed hunting rifles and all other guns should be banned? I think we know what you're going to say about that. [00:24:35] Speaker B: I don't know what a hunting rifle is compared to another rifle. I hunt with ars. It's a great platform to hunt with semiomatic rifles. I've said now have been around forever, way over a century in this country. So to try to differentiate them, it's been tried by Congress, it's been tried by certain states, and it always goes down to cosmetics. That's what we have to get to. What is a scary looking one to a certain demographic? Other than that, how would you possibly differentiate that? [00:25:04] Speaker A: My modern Gault on Instagram asks thoughts on gun buyback programs in general. [00:25:11] Speaker B: Well, they don't work. They've never worked. It's not the right way at all to go about it. If someone doesn't want to have firearms in their house and wants to get rid of their guns, they can sell them. They can give them the police department or so on. But to have some inner city or some mayor doing a buyback, I've never seen a stat where that's helped at all. In fact, I've embedded with ATF agents in different communities and I've asked them, where are the illegal guns coming from? They're almost all coming from thefts of one type or another. And then they enter a black market. And I said, well, what are they selling for on this black market? And he said, well, typically only about $200 more than retail. That's a tiny markup for a firearm. So there's a very big fluid market out there. You can go after that all you want, but you're not going to stop the criminal from getting the gun that way. Instead, what you have to do is go after that small percentage of violent criminals that we have in the society, which is actually tiny. I've sat down with victims of this stuff. In fact, I've sat down with criminals who've told me they wouldn't have committed the crimes they did if it wasn't for the general of the gang. They're in telling them as a soldier that they have to go commit this crime. If you just go after that violent person telling them to do that, that small fraction of people. And I've had so many police officers tell me this, you can stop so much of the crime. There was a stat that came out of New York City not that long ago, said if you just went after 2000 people, these 2000 violent people are causing most of the violence in this city, you'll stop almost all of it. I hear that across as I really get down deep into the weeds with police officers who are actually. Doing this work yet it's a tiny percentage. You have to go after those violent criminals and lock them up. And if you do that, you're solving the problem. Going after guns. No, there's too many guns and you're taking away too much freedom by doing it. [00:26:56] Speaker A: All right. Talking about law enforcement on Facebook, michael Stossen asks, what do you make of the push by leftists for more social workers to resolve violence instead of police? [00:27:09] Speaker B: Well, if there's a crime going on at my home and a social worker shows up instead of a police officer, I'm going to be pretty frightened. I don't think that social worker is going to be able to deal with that criminal. In that case, I would imagine that's how most people would feel. I have no problem with more social workers and working with people, especially people who don't really want to be violent. Most people don't. And working with them and trying to rehabilitate. I have nothing that's programmed in prisons. Trying to rehabilitate and so on. There's so much important work that can be done there. But to send a social worker instead of police officer or to defund a police department to fund social workers is so counterproductive and counterintuitive. It just baffles me that people would even go there. [00:27:51] Speaker A: All right, well, the title of the book is The Future of the Gun. So let's get to some of the new technology. Not only that you cover in your book, but the book was published almost ten years ago. So, I mean, I'm sure that the pace of innovation has only proceeded exponentially since then. Gerald Gerlock on Facebook asks, do you think 3D printing technology is going to make firearm regulation obsolete in stopping criminals from getting firearms? [00:28:22] Speaker B: Yeah, well, it already is. People have always made their own guns. You can go back to the founding, you'll find that people do that. I know people who've made their own guns. I know an individual who is South Africa, and he lives in the United States now, but he has a bunch of what are called bush guns. And they're guns he bought just as novelties from people in the bush, from very rural people in Africa, just making shotguns on their own that he found just to be novelties. This is not an uncommon thing. And right now with 3D printing and where it's gone, there's just no way to stop somebody from printing a gun to then try to go after the copyright or to go after the follow the FBI is going to follow certain people. I just don't understand how you possibly do that. I know today they're after ghost guns and this kind of thing where people are manufacturing their own guns or taking the serial numbers off guns and fine, go after any criminal element that's trying to do that. But again, target the bad guy trying to target the gun. In this case, it's owned. It's out there. There are just hundreds of millions of them. They're important to our freedom, to us defending ourselves to be out there targeting the guns again. Yeah, 3D printing is just the next step in what's already been going on. You just can't possibly target guns and expect to have the outcome that they'll tell you you can have. At the gun control groups. [00:29:41] Speaker A: Talk about some of the innovations that you cover in your book and maybe some of the innovations that have happened in the intervening nine years. One would think that with artificial intelligence and machine learning, that firearms are going to change. [00:29:58] Speaker B: And they have a lot. I predicted when I wrote that book that guns are going to come more ergonomic, they're going to fit more hands, that more people are going to be able to shoot them effectively and work their actions, their triggers, so on. I've talked to so many women and gun trainers who've gone into a store, and there's someone trying to hand them a revolver, and they have a hard time actually pulling the trigger on that. Instead, semiautomatics have come so far for them. They fit their hands. Which one? You got to find one that fits you. The slides are easier to pull back. They're able to shoot more. The way they've come along in that regard is just astounding if you go back to the 1990s and went to a gun store, most people wouldn't find a gun that fit their hands. You're a big man, and okay, you could pick up a 1911 and so on, a Glock, you'd be fine. But most people are going to have trouble and have to make do. It's not true any more. Guns now fit you. The caliber choices out there, the lights, lasers, all the things you can do with them to make them safer and more proficient, it's just awesome. The training out there has gotten so sophisticated. The NRA has, what, 125,000 certified trainers around the country. You can find [email protected] anywhere. Wherever you are in the country, just go to that website, put your zip code in, and all these trainers will show up that you can go to and take courses. Where it's gone to is amazing. This is why, also safety has gotten so much more accidental. Shootings are so tiny compared to what they were just a generation or two before. The training from the NRA especially, it's just changed so much of this country. Yeah, guns, the technology. But what I really wanted to know, as I wrote that book, is I interviewed so many engineers of the firearms companies, but what's the next big technology? Because the enclosed cartridge with the primer shooting a bullet, that's like mid 19th century stuff. It's been perfected. The bullet has come so far, especially the last 20 years, controlled expansion bullets and all the stuff that they can do. But you're still looking at the same basic idea. And I would ask this question, and they told me about all sorts of patents they were working on controlled impulse technology, different things, but nothing that was right on the horizon. So we're not looking at anything big that's going to change firearms. [00:32:12] Speaker A: No. Star Trek. Phasers. No. Star Trek. [00:32:14] Speaker B: Phasers. Boy, wouldn't that be fun? But no, they're not here yet, and they're not likely to be here anytime soon. [00:32:22] Speaker A: Well, there also are some concerns with technology advances and whether or not it could be used by an overreaching state. There's concerns about central bank digital currencies and whether that would increase government's ability to punish dissidents, as we saw, for example, during the lockdowns and mandates, particularly in Canada. So Clinger 21 on X asks, don't smart guns pose risks like, quote, smart homes where they can be abused by those with ill intent, like police who can hack into someone's home without consent? [00:33:04] Speaker B: Right. President Biden has actually talked about that in weird ways. He will speak he likes the idea that some central authority can turn off a person's gun, potentially, right? Just go into the computer and log on and turn off their gun if they're not behaving or whatever, not taking. [00:33:25] Speaker A: Their vaccine, not wearing their mask, right. [00:33:29] Speaker B: Where they're going to go. And that's completely true. When I did the book, I found one smart gun maker who'd found a way to convert a 1911, very simply into a gun that would only work for one user. But he got so much pushback from government entities that wanted to take that technology and other technologies to control the populace. He just backed out of just it wasn't worth. Know all the gun rights organizations, the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and so on, they're not opposed to smart gun technology. It's out there. You can just google that. They're not opposed to it. What they're opposed to is mandates, making it mandatory, where you have to have this electric thing put into your gun. I mean, a gun is a mechanical instrument designed to save your life, and it's a very functional mechanical instrument. You just take care of the gun a little bit, and it'll survive generations. And it'll fire when needed to fire to stop that bad guy who potentially is trying to get you. It's a tool designed to save your life. Do you really want to put a battery in that gun and have to rely on that battery in a life or death or death situation? Personally, I don't, but if somebody does, I have no problem with them buying that firearm. And that's how gun rights groups feel. Fine. If you want to buy that firearm, I get it. You have a young kid in your house, and this is what you feel, it makes you feel more safe, fine. But don't tell us it has to be mandatory. But that's always we're getting from Biden and from states like New Jersey, they're trying in California, they're trying to make this mandatory that you have to have this sort of technology. [00:34:58] Speaker A: All right, also on X, still getting used to saying that. Mach Five asks the UK has no guns, but knife violence is at an all time high. Why isn't this metric cited more? And you share an anecdote also from these killers with butcher knives, right? And them being totally unafraid and the crowd just being paralyzed. So maybe speak a little bit to examples where countries are completely disarmed, or at least the law abiding citizens are disarmed. [00:35:34] Speaker B: Yeah, they do tend to get more dangerous in UK. Specifically. I talked a lot to Scotland Yard trying to figure out their metric and how they come up with the statistics they do, because the FBI, the uniform crime Reports are pretty good, and it's pretty easy to see where they're coming from. The PDS that send in the information they do is about one, I think, well, maybe it's a size two thirds of police departments actually send them data. So it's a pretty good metric, and I get where that comes from. But comparing that to UK's was impossible, and for lots of reasons that I found that they put roadblocks on purpose, that they don't want their real homicide rate to be known. They're hiding it all the time. So I found it impossible. And I go into that in the future of the gun, that it was not possible to compare the two rates because the violence in the UK is actually a lot higher when you really start to dig down into it than it's being told in the most violent countries in the world, especially Central America, south American countries. Russia was very high. It's just so hard to compare. There's an awesome Harvard study. They came at it from the perspective that they wanted more gun control, these researchers, and they ended up backing off and going, wait a second. You actually can't compare the crime rates in these different countries. You can't compare the murder rates. Here's why they went through all the reasons why. And actually, as you look at America, go to the areas of America that have the most legal firearms, right? Just go into those areas and the homicide murder rates tend to be much lower. Why is that? It's a hard thing to equate to get into it because big cultural questions. But to say that the murder rate is akin to the number of guns, it's just not true. And it is also isn't true. The UK is safer. [00:37:17] Speaker A: All right, well, these are all great questions. So everyone keep them coming. You make my job so much easier, though I did really enjoy the book. Let's put the graphic back up again. The future of the gun. Any plans to update this anytime soon? I know you got a couple of book projects kicking around that you're not ready to talk about yet. [00:37:42] Speaker B: Well, these days I'm the editor in chief, Venerates magazine. Americans first freedom. And we're just digging into these topics all the time. You can find it at A one f.com. We're constantly digging into this stuff, and there's a lot of books out there and a lot of great books on guns, gun rights. So I don't see the point in doing another one right now. But I'm watching it, and we're in an interesting time where millions and millions of new people have bought guns since 2020, right? And they're coming in and they're learning how to protect themselves. And all the instructors I talk to and I interview a lot of them, they all tell me their classes were all booked up and they can't possibly put on enough classes to deal with all the students they have who want to learn how to use their freedom. So there's this huge upsurge in interest in this right to defend oneself that's going on around this country. So I see things changing, and I'm watching for this inflection point that we're going to hit right now. Unfortunately, it's become a partisan issue when it should not be a partisan issue. No part of the Bill of Rights in American should be a partisan issue. And a Second Amendment, you don't have to go back very far to find when it was not a partisan issue. It didn't tell you anything, whether a congressman had a D or an R next to their name. Unfortunately, now it tells you a lot, and it should. This is a freedom issue, a basic freedom issue, but so many have bought guns over the last few years, and well over 100 million people in this country own guns as it is that I just can't imagine that it's going to remain a partisan issue for very long. I think we are going to reach a point when the Democratic Party is, especially on the national stage, is going to have to wait a second. This is a freedom issue. It's a big civil rights issue. We have to back off and embrace these people because there's so many of them. They're voting against us. [00:39:25] Speaker A: All right, well, you mentioned NRA and all that's going on with the magazine, all that's going on with the instructors. Of course, there's also what you guys are doing on the legal front. Miriam Stein on Facebook asks, can you explain the NRA's new case to the Supreme Court? [00:39:44] Speaker B: Yeah, this is a very important case. It's a First Amendment case. NRA. V. Volo. And the Supreme Court just accepted it just about a month ago, said, yes, we will take this case near this case. It's a case in which the State of New York used a regulatory agency, department of Financial Services, to go after the NRA directly and its associations with financial institutions, insurance carriers, try to break those relationships and to try to financially harm and destroy the NRA. In fact, the governor at the time, Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, was telling his officials to do this, outwardly speaking, that he wanted to destroy this association. We're talking about a civil rights association of millions of members across this country, and he wanted to destroy it. How far does Volk left possibly have to go? But that's what he wanted to do, and that's what the agency is then geared up to do and direct First Amendment infringements so that the Supreme Court took this case. It's just so important. And you look at it, the amicus briefs to it. I mean, so many attorneys generals have written amicus briefs. ACLU, in support of the NRA, wrote an amicus brief arguing that this cannot be allowed to happen. Government entities cannot be allowed to just destroy individuals or associations at their will. They can't just say, I don't like the politics of this group. I'm going to destroy them because it behooves my power that can't be allowed to happen in this country. That's what that case is all about. [00:41:07] Speaker A: Ron Pershing on Facebook asks, did you hear about Liberty Safe willing to give the police an override to unlock one of their safes and seizing persons firearms? Was that justified or an overreach without a warrant? [00:41:31] Speaker B: It certainly is, and I believe that that company did backtrack and is now going more according to the law, because without a search warrant, we do have Fourth Amendment rights. Without a search warrant, they should not have access to that. [00:41:46] Speaker A: All right, again, my modern golf coming in on Instagram. Do you think there's a pathway for reformed convicts to get their voting rights back or own firearms? You actually have a very moving story in the book about that. [00:42:03] Speaker B: I sure do. And nonviolent balance, I believe, should be given a pathway back to getting their freedom. And it's been defunded. Even applying for your freedom to the ATF, that part of it has been defunded. Or you can't actually apply to get your freedom back, you have to go to court through states. It's a hard process right now to get that freedom back. And I'm not arguing that violent felons obviously should be able to buy guns. I would never argue that. But somebody who traffic tickets, I guess I wouldn't get to the felony conviction. But a lot of things will get you to a felony conviction that are not violent. And to say that those people should be disarmed for the rest of their life, it's their freedom. They should get that back. It's horrifying to me. And the Supreme Court may take that up with this Romini case they just heard a hearing on, and it's going to be decided later next year, so that may be decided in that case. [00:42:58] Speaker A: Now, we've done many podcasts, including one most recently with Jim Pethakukas, author of The Conservative Futurist, on how regulation fundamentally stymies innovation that is the font of all future productivity advances in progress. Talk a little bit about how efforts to regulate gun ownership and production are stymieing advances with regards to firearm innovation. [00:43:28] Speaker B: Well, we're at a place right now where the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, is trying to write its own laws, and it is being pushed back. There's a lot of cases going on with this right now, but it's trying to write its own laws around Congress so we can ban certain firearms and types of firearms. It could just outright take these things away from people in a free society, in a democratic republic. I don't see how that flies, and it shouldn't be allowed to. But that certainly is taking away innovation in some of those restrictions and that threat of litigation and going through this process of having the ATF show at your door and having to fight back and forth, certainly. And I've talked to gun makers about that, and they've answered, off the record, they don't really want to bring on the ire of their regulatory agency. But that it is that when they make a new firearm, that they're rigorously thinking. Not just what's in the bounds of the law, which they should be doing, but what might the ATF do or other regulators do or new administration do to us here? So we have to take all this stuff into account as we create this tool for people to use. [00:44:39] Speaker A: Looking back, who do you think has been the best president or some of the best candidates historically with regards to the. [00:44:50] Speaker B: Oh, wow. You know, Trump gave us people on the Supreme Court who actually believe in our freedom. And I just can't overstate know, Reagan made mistakes with some of the people he put on the court. I would argue Bush made mistakes, some people on the court. Trump did not. I know the Federal Society had a lot to do with that, but his empowering and looking at judges from a certain wow, what he gave us was people who actually looking at the law and applying it as it is written, as the Constitution has passed. What was the original ten? What was it supposed to be which matters? I'm not a complete champion. I'm a fan in many ways. But what he did for us there with the wow. [00:45:37] Speaker A: You know, you had a striking quote near the end of the book, which you'll be seeing emblazoned across social media on the Atlas Society's social accounts. And that was, quote, a disarmed populace is a populace that will come to resent the police as officers are set above citizens and seem more like masters than servants. Do you see this resentment as possibly feeding into the anti police sentiment that we've seen erupt in 2000 and 22,021? [00:46:15] Speaker B: Yeah, this is a deep philosophical point, and as I've interviewed community activists, even former gang members, I've asked them this question because I was coming to that position as I dug deeper and deeper into it. That a disempowered part of the populace. And then you have gang members who empowered, they potentially have firearms. You have police who are empowered, and they obviously have firearms. And so then that middle part of the community. If you're in, say, New York City, and the average person can't realistically own a firearm and carry it in defense, you've then disempowered the general populace and the store owner and so on. And I asked these people that question, and when I had time to talk to them and it was one on one or one on two, and they could really get into it, it would always be this light bulb would go off, this epiphany they would have and they go, you're right, I'd never saw it that way. But that's 100% how I feel. The cops come onto my street, they're judge dredd and they're rule enforcers. And a young guy doesn't like the rule enforcer. Whether you're a good guy or a bad guy, you don't really like the rule enforcer. So they already felt negative toward that. A gang member had power on their street. They were someone to look up to. They could take your life. They had guns, they were threatening, they were powerful. Whereas the average store owner, shop owner, businessman, they were disarmed, they were sheep in between these two forces. So where are they going to gravitate? A lot of them gravitate to that gang, and they go there. That's where the power is. That's where they feel strong themselves when they get that first gun from the gang. And wow, this is powerful. Look what I have. I have life or death in my hands. And then I asked them, wait a second, what if the average person could own a gun, could carry a gun, how would you feel on the street? And they say, well, first of all, I wouldn't commit so many crimes, but second of all, I would feel differently about that person. I would look up to the shop owner, or more, I would see them differently in the power structure on that street. That's pretty primal stuff and pretty basic, but it's also very philosophically deep that to that level. That the resentment against police who are coming in as enforcers, often from outside the community, because the people are disarmed where the police are not. It's a deep fissure. [00:48:17] Speaker A: Interesting. All right, another question on Facebook, alex Moreno, do you think the federal assault weapons ban will ever be repealed? [00:48:28] Speaker B: Well, it was in 2004. It expired at sunset. It was loud at sunset by President Bush at the time, and there were studies done during it just after it did the ten years from 1994 to 2004, when it was in effect, did it lower crime rates, did it result in less shootings? And the results were, no, it didn't. It was negligible. It was hard to determine either which way. Of course, such a tiny percentage of criminals use AR type rifles anywhere. Seven rifles of any type anyway, that it was already hard to measure, but no, it did not affect, it did not reduce any of that. It's gun free zones that make us more dangerous. If you look at statistics, you find out it's over 90% of the criminals who decide sociopaths or terrorists decide, I'm going to kill as many people as I can. They purposely, and you can read their manifestos and see this, they purposely pick a place that will not have guns. They purposely do not want someone to shoot back at them, and they go to those places. Almost all of the cases it's that happening. [00:49:34] Speaker A: So what is the current state of the pro second amendment movement? I am an outsider to this, but it seems that there was a schism or some controversy a few years back with regards to the NRA. Without getting into the weeds, any perspective on the current status of the pro gun lobby? [00:49:56] Speaker B: This is a big, important, positive time in the gun rights movement. We're post. New York State Rifle Association versus Bruin. Now, New York state rifle association is an NRA affiliate group. It's a state group that's part of the NRA. The NRA paid for that case and millions of dollars in order to get a case all the way through the courts up to the supreme court. So it funded it, its lawyers were behind it. So it was an NRA backed case, is where we put it. But it was and that case came down on the side of freedom for the second amendment rule that in order for a gun control law to pass muster, there has to be an historical precedent for it, right? So you have to look at the history of the second amendment as it has been applied, as it was originally, and so on at the term when the second amendment was put in place, the US. Bill of rights, and when the 14th amendment was put in. You got to look at the history that around the country has turned into this amazing period of time. There's so many court cases. I'm running a feature in the next issue on it where I had Stephen Halbrook, an author and constitutional scholar, go through it all. There's so much going on, it was hard to even put into a 2000 word feature. How much is going on right now? It is such a critical time. If you look back, though, at any of the civil rights we have in our US. Bill of rights, look at any of them and you'll find out when the states went to the supreme court and decided, okay, it also applies to the states, when it became that kind of universal right, there was always this big constitutional period of cases then deciding, what does this right actually mean? Shall not be infringed. It was pretty plain to me. But what does that actually mean? How does it apply? So we're in this incredible period that's going to go on to the next decade or the next generation as this gets worked out in the courts. So I'm just hoping that all these gun owners you have in this country, there's so many of them and so many enthusiasts for our freedom that they don't disengage and say, okay, we won these battles. Now we can walk away. No, now we're in this incredibly important time when we have to stay in this battle. As this fight gets completely defined, we can win this freedom and keep this freedom for future generations. [00:51:56] Speaker A: So what are some of those key upcoming battles, let's say, in the next year or so? Can we expect a push for pre planned legislation in response to the next big shooting? [00:52:10] Speaker B: Well, I hate responding to Tragedies in that way because you have to look at them and see, how can we actually solve that? And the biggest problem you run into with that, and I've done this, is every time I try to talk to the other side of the gun control groups, they won't talk to anyone who just reprint their propaganda. They literally will not do interviews, won't talk to you. They only deal with media that will just reprint their talking points, which is a lot of the media, unfortunately. So the conversation then stops, and there's no real back and forth going on. How can we actually come to solutions? You look at all the gun owners in this country, well over 100 billion of them, if you just talk to them, instead of demonizing them, ask them to help you find a few bad guys, the next possible killer who's out there, and so on. And they will. They'll see them go, Wait a second, there's a problem here. They'll help you with all these different things at the gun rangers, the gun trainers and so on, work with them. They're not a problem. These people love their freedom. They don't want to cause any ma'am. I don't know any NRA member that wants to do any of this. I don't know NRA member who's done any of this kind of thing. They want to help, so engage with them. But instead, the gun control movement sees them as the enemy, their political enemy, and are pushing them in one direction and won't talk to them. So it actually isn't. I would talk to the gun control groups. I would love to. I've tried so many locke, well known gun researcher has tried many times. He's engaged them again and again. They just say, no, we will not talk to you. So it's this dead end conversation that isn't happening because of the gun rights groups. It's happening because of that gun control left. And until they lose a few elections, they're not going to open up again. I said earlier, becomes less of a partisan issue on the national level. They're not going to open up again. So we can get back together because the solutions. Are right there. I mean, targeting the criminals, the sociopaths, the people who actually need, really, mental health services, it's so critical, yet so often we're not able to have that discussion. [00:54:01] Speaker A: Yeah, well, that seems to be kind of the modus operandi, not just when it comes to discussing gun control and the Second Amendment and the statistics about how this kind of regulation actually impacts public safety. It seems to be the mo when it comes to climate change or the COVID mandates and vaccines, and sadly, sometimes it's even the mo when it comes to objectivism. But as our founder David Kelly said, if we are right, we have nothing to fear. If we're wrong, we have something to learn. So I think that's the better attitude to take when it comes to trying to find the truth and trying to kind of make our way through the divisions. What's next for you, Frank? We've come to the top of the hour. Anything that you wanted to add or where we can follow you, especially for when those fiction novels get converted into audio? I'll be looking forward to that. [00:55:08] Speaker B: That'll be soon. And, yeah, my third novel following the same character. And these are political novels with a pro gun guy, but he's not deeply political. He's taking on the status where things are now. This next one is a thriller on China that is very topical, is very real. I have a lot of experience in Washington, DC. In congressional hearings and interviewing Congressmen. I interviewed President Trump in the Oval Office and so on. I spent so much time in the inside of the Beltway, and I understand that crowd. So bringing them onto the pages and giving them a hard time where they deserve it, it's a lot of fun, but it's also important. [00:55:51] Speaker A: Well, I appreciate you joining us on this Thanksgiving eve. What is going to be on the menu for tomorrow, both in terms of the repast and the conversation? Do you guys talk politics around the table or what are you looking forward to tomorrow? [00:56:08] Speaker B: We're not shy of politics in my family. We love politics. I happen to kill a Turkey this year. A wild turkey for the table. I like to hunt. [00:56:20] Speaker A: You're going to have some Wild Turkey with your Wild Turkey? [00:56:23] Speaker B: I will. And one of my favorite aunts will be there who is not always so pro hunting. And she'll have some Wild Turkey, I hope, with me. And we'll have just lovely discussions about it. [00:56:32] Speaker A: Fabulous. Well, wishing you a wonderful, lively, and delicious Thanksgiving tomorrow, and we'll be in touch. We'll keep following you. Thank you. [00:56:45] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:56:46] Speaker A: Thanks also to all of you who joined us on this Thanksgiving eve. I'm sure many of you are traveling or preparing, so I really appreciate your joining us, asking so many great questions. As usual. I see a lot of our regulars, many of whom are donors and supporting the Atlas Society, some who have yet to make that next step. So if you enjoy our content, if you enjoy our programming, please consider before the end of the year going to the website and making a donation. If you're new, all of the new donations to the outlet site are going to be matched by our board, so take advantage of that, make them pay up, and then, of course, make sure to join us next week. I'm very excited. That our friend Akira. The dawn. He is the producer of Meaningway collaborations with people such as Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson. We commissioned him to do a trilogy tribute based on Einran's Anthem and that's pretty darn cool. So make sure to join us next week and we'll see you then. Thanks.

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