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The Endarkenment Continues

Tam this morning:

Not only do we think Our Guy can do no wrong, but when Their Guy is in the big chair, we blame everything bad on him. The elected executive of our republic has metamorphosed into some Frazer-esque sacral king, on whose luck rides the success or failure of the harvest and the path and frequency of Gulf coast hurricanes.

Six years into this Administration and I’m frankly tired of politics, and not all that makes me feel disillusioned is to be found on the left. I had hoped that the Internet age would turn out to be a more enlightened than the age of mass media which precedes it. But then social media came along, and I suddenly realized that the Internet could be worse; much worse.

I’m still an optimist, though. My theory is that with the baby boomers retiring, and suddenly finding themselves with a lot of time on their hands, they’ve decided to resettle old scores, and turn the whole country into Del Boca Vista, writ large.

Things will settle down once Xers move toward retirement to take over from the boomers. We’ll be too busy helicopter grandparenting to generate this much drama.

How’s that SAFE Act Working Out for Ya?

Murder in New York City is up 20%. Now, it’s quite possible to argue this is a side-effect of electing a socialist mayor who picks fights with the NYPD, but it’s quite certain in this case that gun control isn’t helping, a fact that New York State Rifle and Pistol Association has been pointing out.

Unfortunately, I don’t think any of the supports of the bill care that it’s ineffective. They knew that when they passed it. All the politicians care about is that after Sandy Hook and Webster, something had to be done, and SAFE was something, so therefore it had to be done. This is the most powerful force in politics, and when it’s set in motion, bad results are nearly always guaranteed. Now crime is up 20% in New York, and the usual suspects will be clamoring for something to be done. God help us on what that something is going to be.

Perhaps the Most Absurd Argument by Antis I’ve Seen in Some Time

Last legislative session Ohio passed a comprehensive pro-gun reform bill, as many of you may remember. Earlier this week, the Executive Director of Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence “writes in opposition to HB 234, which deals with gun regulations,” to a Cleveland paper. Now, I’m not any kind of high-price political consultant, nor do I hold any kind of political science degree, but I think I’m on safe grounds when I say that the time to “write in opposition” to a bill is before the bill is passed and signed into law by the Governor. I had to check the date on the article to make sure it wasn’t post dated. But it gets better.

One of the provisions of the law is that it made an Ohio CHL a substitute for a NICS check. This is pretty common in other states which meet the federal standards. But Ms. Thorne doesn’t like that:

Let’s say your neighbor Bob wants a gun or applies for a concealed weapons license. He has to pass a background check before he can get either. Everything checks out, so now he’s a “good guy with a gun.” One day, Bob commits a crime. Previously, since Bob now has a record, he can’t buy more guns. However, under the new law, his concealed weapons license allows him to bypass that background check, allowing him to buy more dangerous weapons.

No. If Bob is convicted of a crime that strips away his gun rights, he cannot possess or purchase firearms, and his concealed carry license will be taken from him. This is finding a loophole where there is no loophole. Bob won’t be able to pass a NICS check or have a CHL to present to the dealer. He’ll have to either put up a straw buyer (illegal), buy the gun on the streets (illegal), or steal one (illegal) like every other criminal.

It’s time that we all start taking responsibility for the presence of gun violence in our society. Studies show this public health risk doesn’t discriminate. Gun violence is not just limited to urban areas. In fact, gun violence is increasing across the country, while decreasing in cities.

This is called making up facts. Gun violence is pretty much limited to urban areas, and even there, usually only in a handful of places. Gun violence absolutely does discriminate, or our nation wouldn’t be spending so much time debating about horrifyingly high numbers of black-on-black violence. But nonetheless, gun violence has been going down across the country, not up. And it’s been doing this while we’ve been liberalizing our gun control laws nearly across the board.

The solution lies in personal conversations to create culture change. We can’t be afraid to talk about gun violence.

We’ve been talking about gun violence for years. Our assertion has always been it’s the culture of violence that’s the problem, and it’s not going to be solved by taking guns away from ordinary people, which is what gun control does (criminals still get them). It’s been our assertion that gun control laws interfere with the right of the people who need firearms for self-protection the most: the majority of people who are stuck living in violent neighborhoods who are not themselves violent. We’ve been having this debate, and we’ve been winning. Suddenly the other side acts like the debate has never been had. It has been, and you lost.

ATF Comment on M855

RealClearPolicy wrote and article about the M855 issue, and managed to get this comment from BATFE:

Green-tip rounds were classified as AP [armor piercing] in 1986 because the steel penetrator is what is considered the core. It’s the regulatory process, and everyone can argue semantics and perhaps it’s not written very well, but that is the story behind it. … Having the additional component behind the tip isn’t enough to get it out of AP classification.

Only if you unilaterally rewrite the law, which is what they did. If the law is actually followed, any rounds which contains lead, which M855 does, cannot fall under the definition of armor piercing.

(B) The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—

(i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or

(ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

So does it fall under subsection (i)? No, because it’s not made entirely from those elements. Does it fall under (ii)? No, unless you count the steel penetrator as part of the jacket, which would be twisting the definition of jacket to an extreme.

h/t to Dave Hardy.

Judge Issues Stay in Pittsburgh Case

After a Pennsylvania court refused to issue a stay in the Lancaster preemption case, in Allegheny County, a judge has issued a stay in NRA’s lawsuit there. This means that the case by NRA against Pittsburgh over that city’s illegal firearms ordinances won’t be able to proceed until the Pennsylvania courts resolve the constitutionality of Act 192.

Opponents of Act 192 argue that it violates Pennsylvania’s constitutional requirement that a bill may only be of a single subject matter. As we noted previously, enhanced preemption was attached to a bill about metal theft. Pennsylvania courts have generally been deferential to the legislature on matters of germaneness, but it’s not a slam dunk case for either side.

Regardless of the outcome, Act 192 has been a powerful message to local municipalities that the General Assembly means what it says when it comes to Pennsylvania’s 1974 preemption law. Guns rights are a matter of statewide concern, and the General Assembly is the only body that may lawfully regulate firearms in this commonwealth. For 40 years local municipalities have thumbed their noses at the law, and that’s changing one way or another.

Another Anti-Second Amendment Court Ruling.

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts rules that a stun gun is a “dangerous and unusual” weapons, and thus not protected by the Second Amendment, so banning them is fine. No need for a Second Amendment analysis, as there is just no right at issue here.

We acknowledge that stun guns may have value for purposes of self-defense, but because they are not protected by the Second Amendment and because a rational basis exists for their prohibition, the lawfulness of their possession and use is a matter for the Legislature.

How long is the Supreme Court going to let lower courts thumb their noses at them? The next level of appeal for this is the Supreme Court of the United States. Maybe it might be worth trying a non-firearm case. Also, note, the Court here only recognized there was a Second Amendment right to a gun in the home. That’s it. It’s like they never even bothered to read the rest of the decision, which recognized the right as not being one limited to the home.

What They Think of You

NRA Testimony starts at about 4:25. After that, anti-self-defense advocates start at 5:20. We’re all just a bunch of unstable people just itching to shoot people, apparently. It even includes a defense attorney arguing that it’s wrong to put the burden on the state, when it comes to self-defense.

Note that NRA was the only one to speak in favor of the law. Where were all the gun owners?

News Links for Monday 03-02-2015

March is here, but it still feels like February. I hate to drop a news link dump, but I’m feeling positively uninspired by the current news cycle. So here we go:

Alan Gura: Putting Teeth in Heller’s Promise.

Dave Kopel:”Lyman Trumbull’s role as a Second Amendment champion was somewhat accidental, for he was not a “gun guy”; he didn’t carry a gun for protection, even when traveling,  and his preferred sports were sailing and croquet. The reason that he ended up doing so much for Second Amendment was that  during public career of 1840-96 he was always an ardent champion of the working man. In congressional statutes and in court cases, he defended Second Amendment rights because those rights were necessary for the working man to resist oppression by the wealthy–for the freedmen in the Reconstructed South to  protect themselves from de facto re-enslavement, and for the immigrant laborers of the industrial North to defend their rights to organize and protest.

Yeah lady, Trayvon did bit the crap out of Zimmerman, which is why he got shot.

I guess DC decided they didn’t want the negative publicity a denial would undoubtedly cause. Being the squeaky wheel is not usually a bad strategy.

NRA is trying to whip up action in Congress to fix the issue with M855 ammunition. Looks like a modification to the language may be in process which would also restore some other ammo ATF has banned in recent years. It would also end this nonsense of “as soon as someone makes a pistol,” we get a ban.

Arizona moving on legalizing SBRs, SBSs, and suppressors. Wait, I thought they were already legal in AZ? Something tells me a reporter is confused.

Glenn Reynolds has some interesting thoughts about the Third Amendment at USA Today.

Joshua Prince is trying to get the names of people who donated to Lancaster’s defense fund. I’d bet it’s all politicians or former politicians. Price has argued in the past that it’s a conspiracy to violate state criminal law to donate.

Rand Paul tops the CPAC straw poll. I believe the future of the GOP is more libertarian than conservative, and while I think Paul will do better than many think, I think there are enough foreign policy hawks in the GOP to ensure he doesn’t win. At least not this time. I blame Putin!

Mass shooting in South Korea, where guns are banned.

Drone control will be about as successful as gun control. It’s only going to deter people who mean no harm.

PowerLine Blog discusses the M855 ban. This is really getting some serious traction. Bob Owens thinks this “may spectacularly backfire.” I agree. I think Obama might have bitten off more than he can chew with this.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you these people don’t want to take your guns. They were ready to celebrate a broad ban on ammunition, before they were corrected. BTW, I’m seeing it go around gun circles too that they are looking to ban all 5.56mm/.223 ammunition. Overall, that might end up being a good thing if it helps some people get off their butts and do something.

Campuses that allow guns: good enough for Shannon Watts’ kids.

Hey, when you demand they use strict scrutiny, it’s surprising what the courts are willing to do.

Eric Holder: It’s just too hard to prosecute people for lawful self defense.

Constitutional Carry is doing well in Kansas.

I guess publishing the information on handgun license holders isn’t a wise career move in the long term. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for her.

Giving ATF asset forfeiture powers. What could possibly go wrong?

Philly news station: Man shot after verbal dispute. What they didn’t note is that the man who was shot ended up that way because he was arguing using a knife. They don’t want to admit that ordinary people can defend themselves — doesn’t fit the narrative.

NRA Convention vs. CPAC

Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review did this interview with a Philadelphia radio station yesterday, and I loved a comment that he made about the size of CPAC – a general right-of-center, every issue you can imagine convention – versus the NRA annual meeting which is largely single issue.

“And this is going to sound ungrateful, but it’s small because I’m used to the NRA convention which is Madison Square Garden-sized.”

This is the argument I used for years with people in the conservative movement when pointing out that they need to look more to what the NRA has done over the years. It seemed like the gun issue was so often overlooked, yet the NRA consistently turned out more people to participate than anything that was happening in DC circles. So it’s kind of funny to hear Cooke mention the vast difference in size for an event that wants to represent an entire “side” of the political aisle and the many different issues that come along with it.

Besides, the NRA convention is more fun in my experience. I was sick of CPAC by the time I went for the fourth time. Most of my friends felt the same way when I was in DC. But I still look forward to the NRA convention. While I’ve shifted what events I tend to visit at the convention, there’s still something interesting going on each day. I like that it’s a chance to dig deep into the issue – whether it’s connecting with other people passionate about grassroots, the law, or just getting out to shoot.

Anyway, go listen to the interview since I think it’s a really good one beyond the NRA comparison. I’ll have to add Cooke’s new book, The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future, to my wish list now.

Not just gun control

Remember, it’s not just guns they want to control. I find several parts of this whole fiasco disturbing. Right from the beginning of the article, DHS and FAA held a “conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener.” When one of those attendees (who runs a small drone shop) posted a picture and notes from the conference, DHS asked him to take it down (he complied).

Then we get to the meat of the issue – that a drone manufacturer unilaterally chose to add all of DC to their drones’ internal “no-fly” map. First, of course, that their drones have a “no-fly” map in the first place, and secondly, that “DJI is preparing an update that will increase the number of airport no fly zones from 710 to 10,000, and prevent users from flying across some national borders.” This is of course, pointless, as there are other manufacturers as the spokesam for DJI points out. Wired also points out that this won’t prevent terrorism, because there will always be workarounds, legal or otherwise.

Sebastian noted a while back about the wishes of gun-control advocates to be able to erect “no-smartgun” zones at will. It looks like their counterparts in drone control will get that wish. I can only hope that DJI gets what Smith and Wesson got from firearms enthusiasts when they kow-towed to the government.

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