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Pat Toomey Reaps the Rewards

Back in March, Sebastian called it when he noted that while Pat Toomey was touting support from CeasefirePA leadership, these are not people who would ever actually cast a vote for him. Granted, we thought that was more of a “won’t vote for you in the privacy of the voting booth” type of prediction, not a “will actively campaign against you despite doing what they wanted” kind of way.

But, it seems that’s how loyalty to gun controllers is rewarded. Toomey’s opponent has been endorsed by the very same group whose leaders were kissing his rear back in March, likely knowing all along that they would throw him under the bus come the run up to November’s general election.

Good call there, Pat.

You know what I was doing 6 years ago in November? Casting a ballot for you, Pat, when polls opened and spending the rest of the day standing outside of a senior citizen’s center asking voters to support your candidacy. You know what I won’t be doing this November? Telling anyone about your campaign – other than the fine readers of this blog about how you screwed us and fell for every pathetic lie from the gun control groups. You can rely on your new best buddies at Ceasefire to help out instead, Pat.

Oh, wait, no, you can’t.

Charges Dismissed: Podcaster Paul Lathrop Tells His Story

I had mentioned a while ago the Podcaster Paul Lathrop was in some legal trouble as a result of a false accusation. Mosey on over to the Handgun World Podcast to hear Paul Lathrop tell his story of being charged with a gun felony. Recently the charges have all been dismissed because the gas station the incident occurred at had video that disproved the accusers tall tale.

There are lessons to be learned here, so I think it’s worthwhile to listen. For those who just want a summary, my takeaway from it is:

  • Paul’s student driver gets under the skin of another truck driver for some perceived offense, and the other driver deliberately blocks them in.
  • Paul’s student driver flips the bird to the other driver, who then becomes enraged, gets out of his truck, and starts climbing up to the cab of Paul’s truck, at which point he informs the other driver that he’s armed. The other driver backs off. At no point was the gun brought out.
  • Both eventually depart the scene, but apparently the other driver called 911 with a tall tale about Paul getting out of his truck waving a big revolver around threatening to kill him.
  • Paul gets pulled over on the road and confronted by the Nebraska Patrol, who after taking him to the other driver to be identified arrest him. The gun he carries is a Glock 22, not a revolver. Prosecutor decides to charge terroristic threats, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Paul’s attorney obtains surveillance video from the scene that shows the other driver’s story to be false. The other driver won’t appear in court and perjure himself, and the prosecutor drops the charges.

From my point of view, the lessons are this:

  • If you get into a confrontation with someone where a gun is introduced into the situation either physically or as a warning, the first person to call 911 is presumed to be the victim, and that person should be you. If you are threatened enough to inform someone you’re armed, in the hopes that the fellow backs off, you’re definitely in “call the police” territory as well. If you don’t feel that threatened, you shouldn’t be introducing a gun into the situation in any manner.
  • I’ve written a lot about carrying defensive spray if you carry a gun, because the legal system tends to frown upon shooting people, or threatening to shoot people, for being belligerent assholes. It’s very useful to have force options that you can employ early on in a confrontation that do not have the legal implications of deadly force. In the situation described by Paul, he was in reasonable fear that the person climbing up his cab intended to use unlawful force against him or his student, in which case it would be justified to employ spray, not just threaten to use it. The standard for using force (but not deadly force) is “the use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.” (Nebraska 28-1409). Most states are going to be very similar. That’s a far lower standard than what is required for deadly force.

I’m surprised that the authorities didn’t become suspicious when the accuser said Paul was waving around a big revolver and the cops recovered a Glock 22. But the jurisdiction and prosecutor were apparently not gun friendly.

I’m glad he got the charges dismissed. Being falsely accused like that is a nightmare. Be careful out there folks, and if you end up in a confrontation with some jerk, be sure to cover your own ass by calling 911 and making sure the authorities know who the victim is.

Gov Christie isn’t done with the 2A

Hot off the ANJRPC’s presses:

Christie Vetoes Seek Shall-Issue Carry & Clean Repeal of Smart Gun Mandate!

Wednesday August 24, 2016: 

In a blockbuster announcement today, Governor Christie conditionally vetoed two pieces of anti-gun legislation (A3689 and S816), imposing dramatic conditions that would change them into pro-gun measures establishing shall-issue right-to-carry and repealing New Jersey’s 2002 “smart gun” law mandate with no strings attached.

That’s interesting. I mean, it’s certainly a push-back against his political enemies, and an indication that he’s not going quietly off the national political stage, but it also means he’s making a bet that a bold move now will be remembered in 4 years.

How’s That Flip Flopping Working Out for Ya Pat?

It’s no surprise that Pat Toomey is still getting attacked by the Democratic Party for being too pro-gun. You’re seeing all the groups that no doubt promised him cover doing their level best to pull his ass from the fire. So does this mean the Democratic Party is now to the left of Bloomberg and Giffords on guns? It would seem so. What Bloomberg and his ilk are doing is trying to show they can help Republicans in a tough election fight. I think that’s doubtful, but all that matters is whether Pat Toomey believes it.

I’ve been torn between wanting to see Toomey go down in flames this year and the utter terror of Hillary getting to pick Scalia’s replacement with a Democratic Senate. I also worry that if we have a Dem in the White House and a Dem Senate, we might see several more justices retire, which would cement the Court as outright hostile to the Second Amendment for a generation. If that happens, I doubt I will live long enough to see a pro-2A court, and most of the folks reading this probably won’t either.

Grand opportunities have been are are actively being flushed down the crapper when it comes to the Second Amendment because, based on the memes I see going around Facebook, GOP voters are completely ignorant and it’s only getting worse. If we had won in 2008 or 2012, we never would have gotten to this point.

Careful Out There

Tam relays a story about a homeowner shot by police, and draws a few lessons, the first of which is if you called the cops, don’t then go running around outside your house with a gun. Seems sensible enough. The second one is the money quote though:

If you are on the playing field when they show up and you hear “Drop the gun!” then you need to drop the gun. Seriously. Like it just turned white-hot. (This is a good reason to carry drop-safe pistols, BTW. I realize that carrying that 1904 Ruritanian army surplus Schnellblitzenselbstlader in 8.3mm semi-rimmed is really cool, but aren’t you going to feel funny getting shot twice when you drop it: Once in the junk by your own gun when it hits the ground ass-end first, and again in the gut by the responding officer because he’s startled by the gunshot?)

RTWT, as always, with apologizes to those who love their Schnellblitzenselbstladers.

Texas Professors Fail to Stop Campus Carry

Court ruled they didn’t demonstrate they were likely to succeed on the merits. They hilariously claimed it was a First Amendment violation. Even the University of Texas thought that was ludicrous, and the judge didn’t buy it either. Look, stupid people with PhDs: when a student sticks a gun in your face and tells you to shut up, that’s a violation of your First Amendment rights. It’s also a violation of a number of other laws as well, most of which are quite serious, as I’m sure most people with an 6th grade education can tell you. Someone merely having a gun is a violation of nothing, except in your apparently vibrant, child-like imagination.

The Texas university system being a taxpayer funded, state chartered institution, is ultimately controlled by the Texas legislature, who said gun on campus are fine. That’s pretty much the last word unless you can convince them to change their minds.

Possible Explanation for the Nasty Discourse?

Ace from Ace of Spades thinks political dishonesty may play a part:

Many in the GOP establishment do this for slightly different reasons. See, they’re supposed to be in agreement with the Tea Party’s core principles of reduced spending, reduced government, and greater individual freedom.

But, of course, they’re not so committed to those things. Oh, as a general rule, they favor them– but they’re very quick to sell them out in favor of some other priority, which they won’t admit is a greater priority, because they’re pretending their highest priority is reducing spending, reducing government, and increasing individual freedom.

Thus, John McCain, rather than honestly objecting to the parts of the Tea Party movement he disagrees with, or honestly expressing his opinion that we need a bigger government than Tea Partiers think we need, resorts to personal attacks: They’re Wacko-Birds. They’re Hobbits.

Read the whole thing. For a lot of readers here, I suspect you will relate to what he says. I know I do. But my experience writing on the gun topic for the past ten years has shown me that a lot of people really don’t appreciate honesty. That’s probably why sites that regurgitate what The Base wants to hear are more popular and draw a wider audience.

One reason I believe that online threads tend to go south so quickly is because the people arguing in them feel strongly about an issue, but don’t understand the issue well, and either can’t make a good argument, or have never given much thought to how complicated the topic actually is. After that, it’s pretty much guaranteed to descend into madness.

Years ago I thought the pro-2A side was a lot better at this, but in the past several years, our side has gotten a lot worse and the pro-gun control side is getting better at making their arguments. Not that their arguments are entirely rooted in sound facts, but they are getting better at spinning bullshit and making it look compelling to the uninitiated. They’re demanding we up our game, and based on what I’m seeing out there, we’re not up to it. I attribute this to two things. One is we’ve brought a lot of new people into the issue who have a lot of passion, but not much in the way of experience with or knowledge of how to argue the issue. The second thing I blame is the rise of conservative media that is better at telling people what they want to hear, and isn’t much interesting in grooming effective activists.

I think people who follow an issue closely do appreciate honesty in political struggles. I know I do. But I’ve never gotten more shit as a writer than I’ve gotten by telling people things they don’t want to hear, and most of that time what they don’t seem to want to hear is, “This issue is a lot more complicated than you think it is, what you want to do isn’t actually so easy, and there are going to be unpleasant consequences you’ll need to be prepared for and have a plan for dealing with.”

Getting too Wrapped Up In Your Own Views

Time has an interesting story on how most Americans think their views on guns are the majority view, even when they are not. This has been a consistent issue since I started writing about gun politics a decade ago. You see it all the time in people who whine about the Hughes Amendment (the 1986 machine gun ban), or various other this and thats we can’t change because it’s beyond our political power. For years I had to explain that the NFA was untouchable because the fact was that a majority of Americans (and I would argue gun owners) did not agree with us, and more importantly neither did a majority of lawmakers. There was no easy way to convince lawmakers that voting to repeal the NFA was in their political interests, and if we wanted to change that, we had to work on the people, not the politicians.

Now a decade later, I think getting suppressors/silencers delisted from the NFA may be within reach if we have a few favorable elections, and the Dems start falling apart the same way the Republicans are falling apart. The reason for that is we have very compelling arguments, both in terms of being kind to neighbors’ ears and also to our own. The arguments we can use for suppressors are easily understandable to people who don’t shoot. They are almost definitely understandable to anyone living near a shooting range in a suburban area, of which I can point to several examples near where I live. It might be possible for gun ranges to mandate suppressor use if they were deregulated. Right now that’s completely unrealistic, because your average shooter isn’t going to bother with all the regulatory compliance involved.

The article speaks of the “false consensus effect.”:

In a less formal sense, the “false consensus effect” was on display at the political conventions, where both parties presented their views on the virtues or dangers of owning a firearm as representing the common-sense attitude of most Americans. Republican nominee Donald J. Trump declared that he would “protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe,” while Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took the stage at the Democratic Convention to declare that “the gun lobby fights to keep open glaring loopholes that 90 percent of Americans want closed.”

This is why it’s important to be open with people about what you spend your weekends doing. The false consensus effect can either be our friend or our enemy. Which way that goes depends on us being good ambassadors.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 46

We’ll end the week on a news post. Been busy trying to make up for some lack of productivity in the beginning of this week.

The Nation: “Voters Are Ready to Punish Pro-Gun Politicians. There’s Just One Problem.” They claim the problem is voters don’t know the positions of their politicians. This is probably space prep for ad campaigns by Bloomberg against Ayotte and Rubio. If either of them go down the gun control folks will take credit. They are building their own narrative, and they are doing it successfully. Why? Because our people are living in a fantasy land, for the most part.

None of these activists are going to vote for Pat Toomey, and a lot of gun voters aren’t either. So what did Toomey gain by courting Bloomberg? Note who Toomey didn’t throw under the bus? The “values voters.” He’s still as pro-life as ever. When gun owners understand why that is, we might get somewhere. Why is that? Because they are a far more motivated minority than we are, and they get their hands into everything. You can’t swing a dead cat in DC without hitting a SoCo, even in issues that have nearly nothing to do with social conservatism. It’s not just DC either. Pro-lifers show up locally too.

This article overstates the degree to which the gun control movement is building real grassroots, rather than enjoying the largess and showmanship Bloomberg’s money can bring, but the pro-gun side has turned unserious and disunited. If we don’t change that, for all practical purposes, this article is correct.

TSA stops a passenger with a 3D printed revolver.

Interesting developments in Supreme Court opinions that aren’t about guns but affect gun rights. If you’ve ever been convicted of a Misdemeanor of the First Degree in Pennsylvania for refusing a DUI blood or breath test, you can now obtain relief from firearms disability.

Former soldier: “We need gun control now more than ever.” He doesn’t know the difference between a machine gun and a semi-auto. Any gun owner who supports gun control is delusional if they think they won’t be eaten last.

Hey, Dems are running ads attacking Toomey for being too pro-gun anyway. How’s that talking out of both sides of your mouth working for ya Pat? Even PolitiFact is calling Toomey on his record. The gun control vote was never up for grabs, what little of it there is. All Toomey did was piss off supporters he needs for fundraising and votes.

Legal Insurrection: “Maybe there’s something to the slippery slope argument after all.” Anyone who understands the political process knows that slippery slopes are very real. Only naive people believe it’s a fallacy.

#DisarmHate on rally on the National Mall. What’s hate, you might ask? You are!

Notice that the New York Times says “Donald Trump Courts the Gun Zealots.” Think they’d use “Hillary Courts Pro-Choice Zealots?” or “Hillary Courts Black Lives Matter Zealots?” No, if course they wouldn’t. That would be bigoted, and the SJWs would destroy them.

I never liked that the Libertarian Party seemed more interested in arguing about what libertarianism is, and defining people out of the tent rather than building a political movement of generally like-minded people. That said, I think the kids today could probably use a lesson on what libertarianism is (hint, it ain’t Bill Weld). Yeah, not this bullshit either. Then again, if you don’t play dirty, you’re not really playing.

Seen on the Internets: “This isn’t a case for the NRA. This is a case for Aerosmith.” Yet another case where you couldn’t have a discussion with someone because they lack the basic level of knowledge necessary to begin the discussion. Unfortunately, very few people can admit “OK, so you got me, I really don’t know much about this topic. Explain it to me.”

I think this is true: “Today’s Tech Oligarchs are Worse than the Robber Barons.” There was a time when tech people were almost universally anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian. Then some of us decided to become the man.

How Jon Stewart’s Culture of Ridicule Left America Unprepared for Donald Trump.” I was more of a fan of The Daily Show and Stewart when the show was a parody of the news. Once Stewart picked sides and got overtly political, but then would cop out with “I’m just a comedian,” when people would challenge him, his schtick got old quick. He’s another figure that became “the man” while always denying it.

 

Fact Check Sites Covering for Hillary on Guns

OK folks, it’s time to take a rare turn for me and turn on rant mode. Some foul language will proceed.

Ordinary media bias pisses me off, but the bias found at these bullshit “Fact Checker” sites piss me off more than you can imagine. Some of the poorly educated millennials that must run these sites can’t even seem to discern the difference between fact and opinion. That’s something I think mot of us learned in elementary school. If I can’t rely on these phony baloney fact check sites to understand the difference between opinions and facts, why should I trust them on anything else? When you present your opinion as fact checking, you’re not a fact checker, you’re a propagandist. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a propagandist, but a writer should have integrity enough to admit it when they’re doing it.

The Washington Post fact check site wants us to believe it’s four Pinocchios that Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe Americans can keep guns at home. Are you fucking kidding me? The same Hillary Clinton that said at a fundraiser:

The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.

Do you want to argue that she never said that? Is this is all a fabrication of the looney toons right wing media conspiracy and Faux News? Computer generated voiceover from Alex Jones’ secret sound lab? Talented impersonator? Because otherwise, the fact is that she said that. What the Supreme Court said, and what Hillary says they got wrong, was that the right to bear arms was a fundamental, individual right, unconnected from service in the militia, and in doing so they threw out Washington DC’s ban on having handguns in the home. Later in McDonald decision, they said the right applies to state and local government, and threw out Chicago’s complete and total handgun ban in the home. Hillary Clinton believes that was wrongly decided, and when behind closed doors not realizing she was being recorded, told donors as much.

So, sorry WaPo bullshit fact checkers, but Hillary said herself she doesn’t think you should be able to own handguns in the home. Residents of Washington DC and Chicago are Americans, and their laws said no handguns in the home. The Supreme Court threw that out and she says they were wrong. This is what we call an indisputable fact, in case they didn’t teach you that in whatever shitty journalism school you all went to.

Politifact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, is little better, claiming that Hillary doesn’t want to abolish the Second Amendment. They also just recently claimed that Clinton’s views don’t go against the Constitution.

 

The Supreme Court has ruled the Second Amendment guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms. Clinton supports gun control policies that gun-rights advocates call contrary to its interpretation.

Clinton said in her speech to the Democratic National Convention that she was “not here to repeal the Second Amendment.” In an interview on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Clinton said, “I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

PolitiFact earlier this year rated as False Trump’s claim that Clinton “wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment.”

I just established the assertion that Hillary has said she wanted to effectively abolish the Second Amendment is unarguably true. They act as if Clinton doesn’t personally break into the National Archives, rip the Second Amendment out of the original Constitution, stuff it down Sandy Berger’s pants and then set him on fire, well, you’re just a bunch of delusional right-wing jackals for believing what Hillary says to donors behind closed doors. PolitiFact.com are no better on the First Amendment:

Hillary Clinton does not agree with the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.

The Supreme Court held in the case that restrictions could not be placed on how corporations spend money to influence an election. In the opinion of the court, since corporations have the same rights as individuals, they are also guaranteed free speech under the First Amendment.

That does not mean Clinton does not believe in the First Amendment. It means she, like many others, does not agree with the court’s interpretation of the First Amendment in this case.

Let’s get something straight here assholes: if I tell you that the Court got it correct when they ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, that’s an opinion you jackass, not a fact. If I argue that Clinton’s position on Citizen’s United means she doesn’t believe in the First Amendment, that’s my opinion. There no facts to dispute here. I doubt the recent college graduate from journalism school who probably compiled this article has ever read Citizen’s United v FEC. Often times, if I make a horrible mistake and end up arguing in a thread on social media, sometimes I have to say, usually a good bit more politely, “Go read the whole decision, and at least then we can have a discussion based on the actual case, and not whatever caricatures of it you’ve picked up from social media memes and propaganda rags.” I don’t mean to just target lefties here. Read any internet argument about an area where you have a decent level domain knowledge, and you’ll quickly realize 95% of people in the thread have almost no idea what they are talking about.

Citizen’s United is a non-profit corporation, and like many political non-profits, it has a conservative bent. It is not a charity, but a 501(c)(4), just like the National Rifle Association, the ACLU, NARAL, etc. Citizen’s United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton before an election. Get that? They wanted to air a film critical of a politician prior to an election. That is the very heart of the First Amendment. If the First Amendment can’t protect Americans from pooling their resources to more effectively engage in political speech, you might as well rip the First Amendment from the Bill of Rights and stuff it down Sandy Berger’s pants for all the good it will do protecting our liberties. Personally, if you think Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, I feel pretty safe saying you don’t believe in the First Amendment. In fact, to be frank, if you think Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, you scare the hell out of me.

I don’t like that Bloomberg can outspend us all year long, and single handedly reverse the work of millions of individual gun owners, but he has just as much of a right to speak out on political issues as you and I do. Granted, he has the coin to have a voice far louder than me, and far louder than 5 million of us pooling our meager resources. I don’t like it, but it’s a cost we have to pay to be free. A world where we all speak individually is a world where individuals have no voice, and where Bloomberg and people like him will be the only voice. If you believe Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, you actually believe our First Amendment freedoms should be effectively without meaning, and that only the rich and the established deserve to speak freely.

I once thought the Internet was going to change politics for the good, enlighten us as a people, make us better informed, and make politicians and bureaucrats more accountable. Then social media came along, and boy did I turn out to be wrong! Trump and Clinton are really just manifestations of the social media zeitgeist and the cultural wasteland it has created.

Rant mode off.

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