Nov 25, 2014
One thing these days that really chills the enthusiasm for blogging is just how awfully annoying Internet advertising is becoming. I’m reluctant to link to a site that pops up a million things in front of you before you can even get to the article. The bad news is that almost every site these days is doing it, and it’s causing me to read a lot less news than I used to. Brietbart is a prime example of what I’m talking about. I’ve avoided using ad blockers because it tends to hide obnoxious ads from me, which means I don’t know not to direct all of you to say, some awful auto-play ad. It might fast become time to start using one, however.
I get why content providers are going to such lengths: because online advertising pays crap, and popping up ads drive click throughs, which drive money. I’ve never really understood why print advertising was worth so much, while online advertising isn’t. A relatively unobtrusive ad is really no different than a print ad. My theory is that online advertising, because you can measure effectiveness via click throughs, exposed print advertising as an emperor with no clothes, and so advertisers aren’t willing to pay the rates for the online analogue of print advertising. Why do that when you can get context-based advertising or micro targeting through social media? It’s hard for a content provider to compete with that.
Nov 25, 2014
I don’t suppose anyone was really surprised that a large number of local businesses were put to the torch by rioters after the Grand Jury came back with a “no true bill.” When I went to bed last night, it looked as if it might spread to other cities, but thankfully that didn’t happen. There’s still time though, but hopefully the holiday will calm everyone down and things won’t continue spiraling out of control. I don’t intend to cover the riots much here, unless something gun related comes out of it, like store owners defending themselves and their property with firearms.
I’m not buying Ben Carson’s “transformation” on guns. I think he wants to run, and realizes his position is going to be a problem for him in a GOP primary. It’s a good sign that he feels he has to do this, but he’s pretty low on my list of candidates I’d want to vote for.
I’ve seen several articles like this, which means someone is trying to drive a narrative: “American Mothers vs the American Gun Lobby” More like “Busybody Moms vs. Everyone Else’s Business.” Think more Carrie Nation.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought Jay Leno was spineless.
“Never let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.” A continuing series.
Things are looking up for gun owners in North Carolina.
“The Court does not know how Defendant or the BOF prioritizes projects, but dealing with an unconstitutional law should be towards the top of the list.”
The vagueness of I-594. We need to think of ways to make the unintended consequences good news stories, because convincing voters that Bloomberg is selling them snake oil is the only way we’re going to be able to beat him.
Shocker: English professors in Utah don’t like campus carry.
DC inches closer to contempt.
Not related to guns, but this is brilliant, which is precisely why the GOP will never do it.
Nov 25, 2014
Jim Webb looks to be throwing his hat into the ring for 2016. For Democrats these days, Webb would be pretty good on the gun issue. A lot of people think Hillary is going to walk away with it, but I think Hillary is weaker than a lot of people think. Democrats don’t have much of a bench, since most of their political talent has been sucked down the drain with the Obama Administration. Webb’s candidacy makes sense in case Hillary melts down. But I don’t think the left-progressive wing of the Democratic Party, who are now thoroughly in control, would get too enthused over a moderate like Webb, even if he managed to eke out the nod because there was just no one else.
The big problem on guns we’d have with Jim Webb would be Supreme Court appointments. He’d likely be expected to pick solid liberals. Even if he went with moderates, I think we’d have an uphill climb on the gun issue with any Democratic pick. Remember, the next President will pick replacements for at least two of the Heller Five, and realistically probably three, possibly four. A weak 2A supporting Justice would probably amount to a loss for a broad Second Amendment right.
Nov 24, 2014
If you live in Washington, you probably should stop loaning out certain tools since you might be violating gun laws, according to a letter that Joe Huffman linked. The letter notes that the definition of firearm is so broad that it includes flare guns and nail guns. That means that outfits like Home Depot and Lowe’s need to start running background checks pronto. It also means that loaning certain equipment to your buddy without a check is now illegal.
Of course, regardless of poorly written gun laws, there are many people who would advise against loaning out tools anyway since sometimes they don’t come home.
Nov 24, 2014
This weekend, Sebastian and I had the chance to tour Christ Church in Philadelphia. I had never been before at all, and he had never really been on a real tour of it.
The history there is just amazing. It’s quite humbling to realize that the baptismal font still in use today has been around since before most people have paper records of their family’s baptisms – over 600 years old and it was used to baptize William Penn in 1644. As the tour guide pointed out, the chandelier they planned to light that afternoon for a wedding is the same chandelier that was in place (and likely lit) for Benjamin Franklin’s daughter’s wedding.
Another bit of history that I did not know stuck out to me after seeing incredible artwork in the form of stained glass. One of the scenes featured in the glass is the prayer given before the Continental Congress on September 7, 1774. The delegates asked the local Anglican minister open the session with a prayer. Following tradition of the time, the 36-year-old opened with the scripture that happened to be designated for that day, Psalm 35.
1 Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9 And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22 This thou hast seen, O Lord: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
It’s rather amazing how that so perfectly fit the circumstances of that very day. However, the real highlight of our visit was getting to see the actual book of church meeting notes from July 4, 1776.
Nov 24, 2014
I’m really quite stunned at how Bloomberg’s money can buy at least some traction in elections when his groups encourage people to engage in behavior that makes them the family member whose invitation you hope gets lost in the mail.
Bloomberg and the moms are once again asking people to bring their Thanksgiving meal to a grinding halt by starting up a fight gun control and politics.
I’m almost afraid to give them any ideas, but I’m pretty sure their Christmas promotion will be instructions on how to tell your gun owning family members that Jesus hates them and Santa will burn all of their children’s toys. For the wedding season next year, they are probably working hard on a guide on how to insert politics into the bridal party toasts. Think your family reunion events are safe and limited to debates on how close that horseshoe really landed? Think again. Look for the Everytown Guide to Using Family History Stories to Lecture Current Descendants on Contentious Topics coming out this spring.
Even though we’re labeled the gun nuts, our holidays are filled with conversations about family, friends, and maybe that really good baked cranberry recipe I got from Michael Bane years ago (that my mom still makes every holiday).
Nov 21, 2014
The title is basically my all-time favorite Heinlein line. It was chosen to describe a secondary character, in explicit contrast to ‘He played the hands he was dealt.’ (Because the character in question would absolutely stack the deck and commit other shenanigans along those lines). It’s a useful thing to remember the difference between the two statements when it comes to politics. There’s plenty of ways in politics to “stack the deck,” but in the end, you have to eat what is set before you.
Thus the money paragraph of Megan McArdle’s post on the President’s no-good, very-bad, horribly-wrong speech about immigration
At this very moment, someone is preparing to explain to me that most of these things are only true because the left-wing MSM is so darn unfair to the Republican side. Assume, arguendo, that you are right. Now let me ask you a question: So what?
If the left-wing MSM is indeed biased against you, then your strategy needs to take that into account. Do you have a plan for compelling the left-wing MSM to treat you fairly? If not, then you should not settle upon a course of action that would work, if only this fact were not true. You don’t launch your cavalry regiment against a Panzer battalion on the grounds that you could beat the Germans if only they didn’t have all those darned tanks.
This applies to more than the immigration/impeachment debate kicked off yesterday. It’s all of politics, including firearms politics. The MSM is against us. The judiciary is no better than neutral, and more usually hostile. Those are facts on the ground, that have to be dealt with. We do not live in a perfect world, we live in one where the very notion of armed self-defense by the public is disdained by the policy makers, and the average voter doesn’t care because it makes no difference to them. That’s what has been set before us. We can season the dish, but we are going to eat that food, because that’s all there is.
Nov 20, 2014
Stanford Law Professor John J. Donohue have revised a study that shows John Lott is wrong, and more guns actually equal more crime. Looks like his premise is that you can’t count the years that were part of the decline in the crack cocaine epidemic. In other words, if you cherry pick your data, Lott is wrong. John Lott didn’t waste any time pointing out the flaws with the study, noting that Donohue used a statistical method that Donohue himself argued was misleading in a different context. Will you see the media reporting on that? I doubt it.
Based on a Facebook thread I saw about this topic earlier, a lot of people don’t like the idea of basing their rights on the outcome of statistical studies, and believe we ought to keep strictly to a rights argument. The problem with that is a rights argument only appeals to a certain part of the population. There are plenty of people out there who, if you asked them, would agree with a prohibition on speech or actions that “hurt someone else’s feelings.” There are voters out there who are swayed by statistical magic, because it makes them feel smart. We can’t let the other side own that field, because if we do, they own those voters.
Nov 19, 2014
No sooner do I see an article that Shannon Watts is attacking Jay Leno for speaking at SHOT, than Leno cancels the talk and starts his apology campaign. Like I’ve said before, Watts may be a radical. She may be the spiritual descendent of Carrie Nation, but she’s not a joke. In any political issue, money talks, and Watts has Bloomberg’s money behind her. Her grassroots network may be small, but she’s got Bloomberg’s cash to build it, and she’s finding battles where she can show people gun control can win.
A few years ago, the enemy was demoralized. Seriously demoralized. That’s important to win any struggle, whether political, or political by other means. My fear is gun owners these days seems pretty complacent. They seem to think that because we beat everything at the federal level back after Sandy Hook that means it’s all over. It’s not. It was just beginning.
Nov 19, 2014
These days, I’ve kind of felt like most anti-gun editorials are really more of a dog bites man story. But every once in a while, you’ll find one that dials up the stupid to 11, and you just can’t help but mock it. This is one of those stories:
As I flipped through the pages of this children’s activity book, my innocent curiosity quickly shifted to annoyance and then disgust. This was a book written for preschoolers to first graders with the intent of teaching kids not to play with the guns that they find through the hero-like advice of a large talking bird.
Yes, the abject horror of kids learning not to play with guns. What will that evil National Rifle Association think up next!? Don’t they know that a lot of kids are killed by guns every year? And that poor Trayvon, “with Skittles in one hand and iced tea in the other, was shot to death in 2012 via Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.” To borrow from Miguel a bit:
“We have to do something about all these kids who die from gun accidents.”
“Okay, we’ll create a program that teaches young children that guns are dangerous, and not to play with them.”
“That’s awful. You can’t do that. Think of all the kids that die from guns!”