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MAIG to Run Super Bowl Ad

Jacob is reporting on Mayor Mike and Mayor Mumbles appearing in locally targeted Super Bowl advertising time for MAIG. When evaluating how serious a threat our opponents actions represent, I try to ask myself whether I’d think NRA was wasting their money if they were to do the same thing. I think if NRA were taking out Super Bowl ads, I would say it’s a waste, so my impression is that this is flushing money down the toilet for MAIG.

Have They No Shame?

CSGV has initiated a vicious and mean spirited attack against Emily Miller of the Washington Times. Just when I think the cretins at CSGV can’t possibly stoop any lower, I am proved wrong. Their string of vile and unprofessional behavior just continues to get worse. My guess is that what Emily did to upset them so much, is to be very effective in her testimony in front of DC City Council:

No, CSGV does not like having an attractive, educated and independent woman standing up to them and demanding the District of Columbia respect her and her rights. I have to wonder if half their anger is over gun owners not living up to the prejudices and stereotypes they have in their minds about the kind of people we are.

You see, they are supposed to be up against the kind of stereotype CSGV featured in their video. They can laugh, poke fun, and pass it around, safe in the smug satisfaction they obtain believing they are better and smarter than we are. They can remain safe in the notion that the right of those kinds of people don’t matter, and those folks are being done a favor, regardless, by limiting their access to objects that they are too incompetent to use without hurting themselves or others. But that’s not the case is it? Not with Emily, and not with the vast majority of the dedicated activists who have pounded CSGV’s political and cultural influence into the fatuous pagent of irrelevance that CSGV now parades in front of the public on a daily basis.

The 5 stages of grief in the Kubler-Ross model are worth mentioning, because I think it can be applied to watching their anti-gun movement slowly die on front of them. The Brady Campaign is still in denial. CSGV has clearly moved on to anger. The next step is bargaining, but there will be no bargaining; we are dedicated to their political extinction, and there will be no bargain. My advice to them is to quickly drink their way through depression, and get to acceptance as quickly as possible.

Taser Use Poll

The Volokh Conspiracy is running a poll to get a reader assessment of the following use of a Taser by DC Police:

Based on the information, that he was tearing down the signs and littering the streets with them, the police arguably had probable cause to arrest him for a crime. He resisted. So what’s the choice? Especially given two female officers and one male officer? The women certainly aren’t going to out wrestle an angry male. In my view, use of the Taser is appropriate, and you’ll notice it was quite effective at bringing about compliance.

The alternative is wrestling the guy to the ground, which is far more likely to result in injury to both officer and suspect.

UPDATE: A lot of folks seem to go with this:

I’ll buy that overwhelming force can sometimes be safer….but tasking can KILL someone…is that really a good idea?

Very rarely, yes. But wrestling people to the ground and using a baton can kill someone too, and is far more likely to result in injury than using a taser.

More on the Guns America Dustup

From Vuurwapen Blog:

There was a kernel of truth inside the rotten fruit of [Helinski's] statements, but the poor expression of his opinion has clouded the issue. In fact, he’s prevented a serious discussion of whether or not Media Day had too many attendees, choosing to focus attention on himself and his own “achievements” instead.

That was pretty much what I thought too. The idea of how to credential bloggers appropriately for an event like SHOT is completely legit. Helinski’s problem is that conversation didn’t need to be about him, but it sure did become that, and not in a good way.

Some News on Front Sight and California Carry Initiative

UPDATE: It looks like all parties, including Piazza, have come to an agreement on this issue.

Just as a follow-up on my linking yesterday to Kevin’s review of Front Sight, a reader from the CalGuns Forum pointed me to this, which shows Piazza, Front Sight’s owner, is throwing his weight behind a highly flawed ballot initiative in California to get concealed carry.

I’ve taken a look at the ballot measure, and it is indeed bad:

(a) The applicant has no history of medically diagnosed mental illness requiring medication or admission into a mental institution.

So depression that an anti-depressant is prescribed for will disqualify you? Years ago they used to institutionalize homosexuals. Is that still disqualifying if you’re a gay old codger and want a permit?

(e) The applicant is not under investigation or indictment for any criminal activities.

Under what circumstances is an investigation disqualifying? If your spouse dies suddenly, the police may investigate you, to determine whether or not there’s foul play involved. They might know foul play isn’t likely, but it’s their job to be sure. Is this a disqualifying investigation?

(c) The applicant has no history of substance abuse.

So a recovering alcoholic on the wagon for years can’t get a license?

(d) The applicant has no history of domestic violence.

What kind of history? What if they were the victim? This whole initiative reeks of someone who doesn’t know how to carefully draft legislation. Plus, I don’t know how ballot measures work in California, but here voters typically only see a summary. In that case, why not be careful and make a good shall-issue bill? It looks to me like this was put together by rank amatures.

I’d note that it also requires training for every renwal, of up to eight hours. I’ll give you one guess why Piazza, who’s training facility is located just a few hours drive from Southern California, is getting behind this. My problem with Front Sight has never been that it’s bad training, my problem is with its proprieter, who’s always, in my opinion, come off as a shameless self-promoter. That’s certainly a crowded field in this issue, but Someone at CalGuns has another theory on why he’s backing this.

The big problem with this initiative, is that we’re screwed whether it passes or fails. If it passes, it will likely moot all the carry cases moving forward in the 9th circuit. We’d then be stuck on arguing the specifics of the measure, rather than California’s restrictive discretionary regime. That’s not a good place to be in. Courts are reluctant to twart legislators, let alone the will of the people, on an issue they are hostile toward to begin with. Ballot measures are also not fixable by the legislature; it takes another ballot measure to adjust language.

If this measure loses, the anti-gun crowd will point to it and say “See, the people have rejected even this modest bill. That proves that they reject the radical NRA agenda.” I should note that if I had to put money on it, I’d put money on it losing. I’d not take a bet, or would bet in favor of a ballot measure on this issue in many parts of the country, but not California. This is doomed, and it’s only going to hurt the movement.

UPDATE: It looks like all parties, including Piazza, have come to an agreement on this issue.

Bean Heiress Getting Her Wookie Suit On

L.L. Bean is my favorite clothing store. I am not particularly wrapped up in fashion, as anyone who has ever met me will attest to. I just like the way their clothes fit, and like the flannel lined jeans in the winter. If I order something online in XL Tall, I know what I’m getting will fit me well. Other men’s clothing vendors are becoming like women’s clothing, where shit in the same size from two different vendors doesn’t fit the same way. That’s why I’m happy to see that the Bean family is getting their Wookie Suit on:

He even landed the coveted L.L. Bean endorsement – that’s Linda Lorraine Bean, heiress of the L.L. Bean empire and a lobster roll entrepreneur in her own right. She endorsed Paul on Saturday from her restaurant in the retail outlet mecca of Freeport.

Asked why she wasn’t supporting fellow New Englander Mitt Romney, Ms. Bean said “I’ve always been for Ron Paul”, according to a statement posted on Paul’s campaign web site.

I’m not enough of a Wookie Suiter to support Paul, largely for the same reasons Megan McArdle doesn’t like him, but it’s good knowing I’m not forking over my hard earned clothing dollars to dirty hippies.

Extinct Species are Better than Hunting

This video is a must watch from CBS on the economics of saving endangered species through hunting. Though a couple of the questions are a bit over the top (how do you kill something you love?), it’s overwhelmingly fair. And yes, the animal rights activist argues that she’d rather see a species struggle to survive than be raised in the United States and potentially hunted once the numbers are high enough.

The rule the mention that will basically slash the numbers of near-extinct animals to almost nil can be found here and has a bit of history to it. Consider this from the background information from the Fish & Wildlife Service:

With the exception of reintroduced animals, no sightings of the scimitar-horned oryx have been reported since the late 1980s. …

Based on a 2010 census of its members, the Exotic Wildlife Association (EWA) estimates there are 11,032 scimitar-horned oryx, 5,112 addax, and 894 dama gazelle on EWA member ranches.

Just on member ranches, there are more than 11,000 animals of a species that hasn’t been see on its original home turf in North Africa in 30 years. Yet, it’s not acceptable that these animals are raised and thrive in a new land according to an activist who purportedly wants the species to live.

I asked someone who knows animal issues and the federal government if this falls squarely on the Obama Administration. I was told yes and no. As it was explained to me, while the Fish & Wildlife Service was forced into the position by the courts, the Administration could have fixed the flaws in the original rule that allowed the hunts to take place. They didn’t, so now the hunts are ending.

As I’ve grown so fond of saying in recent years, elections have consequences. For these 11,000 scimitar-horned oryx, it’s pretty much a death sentence with possible extinction of the species. For hunters, it’s access to unique hunting opportunities where the profits will go back into recovering the species for future generations. For gun owners in general, well, it’s just another door closing on one the traditions for some in our community.

Update in Peterson v. Martinez

Peterson v. Martinez is a case challenging some provisions of Colorado’s concealed handgun licensing laws:

As Denver has an an open carry ban (which it has sued the state to protect this ban under the state constitution’s home rule provisions and won in district court), the combination of this factor and the state’s law against concealed carry without license combined together to deny Peterson his right to carry a functional firearm for personal protection while visiting Denver.

Let me give you a bit of background on this case. First, this is an as applied challenge, meaning that Peterson is not contending that Colorado’s concealed handgun licensing laws are facially unconstitutional, but that they are unconstitutional as applied to him, and his particular circumstances. If Peterson prevails on his challenge, anyone else similarly situated, meaning anyone who is not a resident of Colorado, and does not have a reciprocal license, would be able to assert the same claim. It would, in effect, carve out an exception for everyone, and not just him.

Either way, Peterson lost in District Court, in a decision that can be found here:

As discussed above, I conclude that residents and non-residents are not similarly situated in terms of the state’s ability to obtain information about and monitor the potential licensee’s eligibility for a concealed weapons permit. Because states “must treat like cases alike but may treat unlike cases accordingly,” Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793, 799 (1997), and this involves unlike cases, Colorado’s different treatment of non-residents does not violate the Equal Protection Clause. See Peruta, 2010 WL 5137137 at *10 (finding residents and non-residents to be situated differently for the purposes of concealed weapons permit in light of state’s substantial interest in monitoring gun licensees).

This disposes of all of Plaintiff’s constitutional challenges to Colorado’s requirement that only residents of the state are eligible to apply for concealed handgun permits.

The case is being reheard in the 10th circuit in March, and the news here is that my understanding is that Amicus Curiae are being given ten minutes of oral arguments, which would include Matthew Bower, representing NRA’s Civil Rights Defense Fund, Alan Gura for SAF, and Jonathan Lowy for the Brady Center. It should be noted that the court is asking for this special session, which strikes me as unusual, so this could be a very interesting case to watch. All parties involved are trying to get more argument time in before the Court of Appeals in this case. This is going to be an interesting case to watch, folks.

Things that Aren’t True

Adam Winkler has become notable in our issue for pissing off both sides, which is a pretty good sign that he’s a moderate on the issue. But some of his assertions I don’t find persuasive, and others can be taken in such a way that they are misleading. Now it’s possible this individual is mis-stating something, but this is just wrong:

So it’s worth remembering: The gun lobby didn’t always lobby for free access to guns (particularly not for guns for African-Americans). And the folks who wrote the Second Amendment were all in favor of a “well-regulated militia” whose members — at that time, the general (white) populace — had to declare, register and present to government agents on a regular basis all of their firearms.

To the best of my knowledge there was never any requirement that people register their firearms with any colonial or early-American government. When turning out for muster, they would be expected to bring their personal arm, which they were required by law to own, and that arm could be inspected to ensure it was in serviceable condition, and that the individual had enough ammunition to comply with the requirements of the act. But it’s not like they punched serial numbers on guns back then. Serial numbers are actually relatively recent phenomena, I believe not in common practice until the 19th century, and even then not uniquely identifying until the mid-2oth century.

So equating the requirements of the various colonial or early American militia laws to the modern conception of universal registration is a bit disingenuous. No one in colonial times was keeping records of the guns owned by your average John Smith militia member. It’s certainly valid to suggest that the founding generation were strong believers in the militia requirements of the day, which compelled able bodied men (and sometimes women) to arm themselves, keep their firearms in serviceable condition, and report periodically for muster and drill. It’s also valid to suggest that many founders, who didn’t view African American as citizens, or even individuals imbued with the same human rights as white folk, understood that many laws at the time disarmed blacks. But I’m not sure how that should inform us about the validity of modern gun control any more than it should inform us about the validity of anti-miscegenation laws. The pretext for many of the laws whic barred non-citizens from firearms ownership are repugnant to modern society, so I’m not sure they ought to inform us as to whether many modern forms of gun control are fine.

Review of Front Sight Training

You’ve probably seen their ads everywhere, but Exurban Kevin took a Front Sight Training course, and has an excellent review up here, here, here, and here, plus some overall conclusions:

Frankly, if I were a first-time shooter, I’d go with the NRA classes and private instruction with a proven teacher. Front Sight’s instruction was good, but their safety instruction, situational awareness training and after-action advice wasn’t up to what was taught in an NRA Personal Protection class. Plus, with an NRA class, you get a certification that is recognized nation-wide. With a Front Sight class, you get a certification that’s recognized in Pahrump, and bang for buck, I think an NRA class with a good teacher is the way to go. If you’re a new shooter and don’t know of a good NRA instructor in your area, then Front Sight is for you.

Front Sight has a good thing going, taking first-time gun owners and turning them into decent shooters and they certainly have a booming repeat business: Around half of the students in my class had a Front Sight membership of some kind or another. But are their Four Day Handgun Classes a good value for someone who already knows how to draw, shoot and hit center-mass twice in under two seconds?

In my opinion, no. But that’s just my body Thetans talkin’.

The last part is a joke. As he noted in the review, there wasn’t a hint of scientology in any of their training, and from what he’s seeing, it looks like Front Sight is the real deal when it comes to just being a training outfit.

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