This is sort of an off topic post, but it ties back to guns in the end, I promise. By now most of you have heard the controversy over Rowan County Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis not issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and being jailed for contempt of court for refusing to obey court orders to issue them. A lot of conservatives have been arguing that to jail Ms. Davis, but not to jail anyone involved in failing to enforce immigration laws in sanctuary cities, amounts to a double standard. On the surface, it might seem like the same issue, but they are subtly different, and legally quite different.
First, we go back to the time before the Civil War, and before the 14th Amendment. Under the original constitution, the states were understood to enter into the union with their sovereignty intact, with both the federal government and state governments being separate sovereigns. So how does this work in practice?
In 1793, Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Act. A number of states actively undermined the Act by refusing to enforce it. In the early 1840s, the Commonwealth Pennsylvania was sued, and the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that while federal law was supreme over state law in this area, the states were under no obligation to enforce federal warrants against runaway slaves, or to otherwise enforce federal law. This is pretty much directly applicable to federal immigration warrants. San Francisco is no more obliged to enforce federal law than Pennsylvania was in 1842. But this is not the end of our story, because something very calamitous happened, and that was the Civil War.
The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments are known collectively as the Reconstruction Amendments. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, and the Fifteenth Amendment provided voting rights for black men. But the Amendment we’re really interested in here is the 14th, which provides that:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This was a radical idea. So radical the Supreme Court would mostly redact it out of the constitution. It wasn’t restored until later in the 20th century, and even today it is not fully restored. What the 14th Amendment essentially did was waive the states sovereignty to a limited degree. When it comes to protecting rights and equality before the law, the federal government is supreme over any state law. This was the intention of the people who drafted the amendment in the first place.
Kim Davis is in jail for contempt because the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a due process right to marriage under the 14th Amendment. San Francisco officials are not because immigration is a matter of ordinary federal law. A lot of ink has been spilled about whether the Obergefell decision was right or wrong, or about whether it should have been decided as an equal protection issue rather than the strange reasoning Justice Kennedy used in his opinion. But that’s neither here nor there, because legally same-sex marriage is now a right, and state officers can’t interfere with its exercise by denying marriage licenses (one can wonder why marriage licenses are constitutional in the first place, but that’s another post).
I said I would tie this whole thing back into guns. Well, I won’t tie it back, the Supreme Court already did in 1997 when it handed down its opinion in Printz v. United States, an NRA funded case challenging the constitutionality of the Brady Act. The Brady Act made a key constitutional error, in that before NICS was in place, it required local police and sheriffs to conduct background checks on prospective gun purchasers. Most police departments were overwhelmed, because the gun control crowd has never understood that buying gun isn’t solely the domain of a small handful of nutty extremists, but something ordinary people do every day. Jay Printz was a Montana sheriff, and sued the federal government arguing that as an agent of the State of Montana, he was under no obligation to enforce the Brady Act. This case bought us into the modern era of the anti-commandeering doctrine.
The idea that the states can’t be forced or commandeered to enforce federal law is pro-freedom. As gun owners, the states act as a bulwark against future infringement by the federal government on our Second Amendment rights. Sure, the feds are always free to enforce their own laws, but the truth is the feds don’t have the resources to counter widespread civil disobedience on the part of gun owners to whatever gun control schemes they may concoct in the future. Enforcement of federal law generally requires willing cooperation by the states. There will be times when you might not agree with a state’s defiance of federal law or policy, but as someone who believes strongly in a limited federal government, I would never argue the states simply don’t have the right.
Charles Cooke has his say about CSGV’s “swatting” tactics: “To call a first responder and to alert him that you are scared of a man with a lethal weapon is inevitably to set his heart racing and to raise his adrenalin level to the breaking point. If there is a better way to increase the chances of a mistake, I would like to know what it is.”
This ignorant mistake by Vox is funny, but it’s not the first time it’s happened. Dave Hardy (at least I think it was Dave) told me a story that the National Rifle Association actually used to be in the same building as the National Recovery Administration, and they used to get each other’s mail.
Note they had to top off this screaming ball of fail with unsafe gun handling on the video to boot. Of course, to be fair, I’m not sure how you get the tip into the muzzle without sweeping your digits, due to the inherent dangerousness of this design. If you absolutely positively have to risk your spinal cord and kidneys by carrying small-of-back, there are far better options.
I saw in a comment section of the Internets that derp can neither be created nor destroyed. Higher level derp, if destroyed, can only transform into more lower level derp. Conservation of derp. I now believe this to be a legitimate scientific theory. More study is needed.
This solution really isn’t any better than Mexican Carry. In fact, it may even be worse, since that doesn’t necessarily require you to stick your booger hook all around where the bullets come out of.
What to look for in a holster:
The holster retains the gun sufficiently as to prevent it from falling out. The test I usually use is if the gun dumps when you turn the holster upside down, you should adjust it so it won’t, or find another holster if you can’t adjust it. It should still take some force to break the retention.
It should protect the trigger guard and essentially make it impossible for anything to engage the trigger.
It should keep its shape to allow the gun to be re-holstered easily and instinctively. If you have to pry your holster open to re-holster the gun, your holster sucks and you should find another one.
Along with a good holster, you need a good belt. The best holster in the world won’t work well if your belt is insufficient.
I use the Comp-Tac Infidel. A few years ago I would not have recommended their belt clip models (as opposed to the loops), because their clips were insufficient and were prone to working loose from the belt. I had this happen to me twice, though thankfully not in socially problematic situations. The redesigned clips work much better at holding the gun in place and gripping the belt, and are not prone to letting go without deliberate force being applied to pry the clip away from the belt.
I’m glad to see Bob Owens joining the call the contact their coalition members and confronting them with some of the hateful and non-peaceable rhetoric they cultivate and promote. Demand to know why they support this. Note there are mainstream churches who are part of CSGV. If you’re a Presbyterian, Methodist, Jewish, Catholic, or any of the other religions represented, you have a right to demand answers over what is done in your name.
It’s not often I’ll get involved in the comments at Raw Story, since they aren’t really much above Gawker in the slime pits of the Internet, but a hit piece they put out on Colion Noir really pissed me off. First, is the misleading headline. He never said that. But some of the comments, including one person pasting a picture of an Oreo cookie, struck me as just outright racist. Others were more couched, but equally racist, such as suggesting this is all being orchestrated by “devious white people,” because Colion can’t be expected to hold his own opinions, you know. You see that theme repeated a couple of times. Colion is “shilling” for the NRA. He can’t possibly have come to his opinions on his own, I guess. Certainly he did not have a highly successful YouTube channel long before NRA even approached him. No sir! He’s a “dancing puppet.” who “sold his soul.” He’s a “token.”
Yeah, right. We’re the racists? Sure. I’m not the one who thinks opinions need to have a color.
Latest quote from Andy Parker is “They messed with the wrong family.” Who’s they? The murderous scumbag who actually messed with your family saved the taxpayers the trouble of a trial by offing himself as the police closed in on him. I did not mess with your family. Neither did the NRA, or it’s 5 million other members. We didn’t do anything except express our opinions and advocate for a cause we feel is important. By the same token, I’m not responsible for every drunk driving accident because I oppose alcohol prohibition, and think 18 year olds ought to be allowed to buy a beer. Would you blame the other NRA, the National Restaurant Association, if he had used a meat cleaver? Exxon if he used gasoline? Would you go further and say that people who drive and consume gas, or people who have a meat cleaver in their home kitchens “messed with the wrong family?”
Look, I’m sorry your lost your daughter. I really am. If I could go back in time and stop it, I would. But I didn’t mess with you, dude. I didn’t do anything to you. And I’d sure appreciate the same courtesy.
This is unbelievable. Bloomberg’s “The Trace” web site has shown itself very adept at building straw men so they can tear them down, but this takes the cake. Their argument seems to be that because the gun confiscations after Katrina weren’t universal, that means that NRA is exaggerating. The city confiscated approximately 800 firearms in the wake of Katrina. No one at the time ever argued it was a mass confiscation. We were aware at the time that many of the confiscations were carried out by “out of town” law enforcement.
But hundreds of Americans have their civil rights violated at the time they most need them, and no big deal, right? Note how Bloomberg’s Mouthpiece goes into detail later about bizarre conspiracy theories, and then tries to conflate mainstream gun rights opinions with them.
I have to admit I just don’t understand how some people go through the grieving process. For me it’s a deeply personal thing and not something with which to involve the rest of the world outside of immediate family and close friends. When my mother died when I was 20 years old, I found all the attention surrounding the funeral to be more stress inducing than the actual loss itself. I was happy when all that was over. But hers was not a sudden and unexpected death. It was untimely — she was 43 — but she had been fighting the cancer for years.
I imagine sudden an unexpected is a different experience, and I’m sure burying a child is more difficult than burying a parent. But it’s very difficult to understand how grief could manifest itself in attention seeking behavior. For that reason, I don’t really understand Andy Parker, the father of the anchorwoman who was murdered on live television. A former candidate for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, he’s seemed to seek out the limelight in the wake of the murder of his daughter. He has vowed to take on the NRA. I can actually understand that, even I think the anger is misplaced. Someone’s bound to shove a camera in your face after a high-profile incident like this, and I can understand lashing out in anger, especially when the person responsible took his own life rather than allowing the victims family to get any sense of justice. But then he goes and demands to know why key politicians aren’t calling him, then stating later in another press interview saying he’s going to buy a gun himself. He’s been writing op-eds in the Washington Post. It’s been reported in the news Parker has been in contact with Bloomberg’s people and Giffords. It’ll be interesting to see if which group, if any, will pick him up.
At the risk of sounding completely cold hearted, this behavior strikes me as very odd for someone mourning. Perhaps I just don’t understand it. Everyone grieves differently. But I have been around more than enough grieving people in my lifetime to, I think, declare this a very strange way of going about it. I’ve seen people who use the opportunity of deaths, marriages, births, etc, and attempt to make such public events all about them. But we usually think of those people as insufferable boors, don’t we? I’m not saying that’s what we’re seeing here, but if this is one of many means of grieving, I sure would like to understand it. It’s very difficult to wrap my head around making a media spectacle, and blaming your own tragedy on millions of fellow Americans who had nothing to do with it, and who also believe it’s awful and senseless.
They claim it’s a business decision. You can see an interview with Wal-Mart over at The Firearm Blog. People there seem skeptical that it’s purely a business decision. I can see why people are skeptical, but I’m willing to take them at their word. First, we know that sales of ARs have been off. The Great Gun Rush is over. Second, when I’m in the market for an AR, I’m generally not thinking Wal-Mart. The type of folks who buy guns at Wal-Mart probably aren’t going to be the type to move ARs off the shelf unless there’s another panic. I don’t have difficulty believing this is indeed a business decision, and not due to pressure from anti-gun groups.
Now, opponents of the petition will have to explain why the right of a 9-year-old to shoot an automatic weapon is so important.
“My read on pro-gun activists right now is they are facing tremendous cultural pressure, and being asked tough questions that they weren’t five years ago about … how extreme the pro-gun movement has gotten,” says Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in Washington.
Except I’m not going to accept the premise. This is not about gun rights, primarily. The issue is bigger than that. This is about the rights of parents to raise their children in the manner they see fit, provided they aren’t abusing them on putting them in grave danger. Letting a kid shoot, even shoot a machine gun, is statistically less dangerous than letting them play football. It’s none of anyone’s business where, when, or how a parent teaches their child to shoot. The state has no business poking its snout into parental choices like this. None!
“Laws say that children can’t drink, can’t drive, can’t vote. But they can shoot fully automatic assault weapons. That hasn’t changed,” Mr. Vacca’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, says on the petition.
In many states, they can, under supervision of parents. The states that absolutely prohibit minors from drinking (like Pennsylvania) I think are wrong, and I would advocate repealing those laws. European children don’t seem any worse for wear for having more tolerant laws in this respect. Children can drive motor vehicles, if it’s not on public roads, and voting doesn’t have anything to do with the freedom of parents to raise their children how they see fit.
When you make something illegal for minors to do, you’re really limiting the parental freedoms of parents, and inserting the state into the parent child relationship. The people pushing this petition should answer why they also are not banning children from participating in other organized sports, or riding bicycles, which have astounding rates of injury. Sports contribute to 21% of all the traumatic brain injuries among American children. Every year approximately 50 children die in sports related injuries. Statistically, the shooting sports are safer than golf. The folks pushing this need to explain why they are singling out a relatively safe activity, while ignoring other sports that are far more dangerous.