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Weekly Tab Clearing: Tales from the Internets

It’s time for another tab clearing. Last week was kind of slow, so I tended to use more stories rather than sit on them. So it’s taken until today to have enough to make a post worthwhile.

Thirdpower contrasts the Illinois State Rifle Association, and notes that it outperforms CSGV when it comes to grassroots. Not surprising. Being an anti-gunner is a dour, humorless existence, given that they can’t even take a joke. Being on our side is more fun.

Glenn Reynolds new law review article is number two on SSRN. Let’s see if we can make it number one. The download link is here.

Molly Smith is speaking out on the Second Amendment in the Daily Caller. I met Molly and her family out in Nevada at GBR a couple of years ago, and she’s quite an incredible shot. I owe someone a hat tip for this one, I think Extrano’s Alley.

In another attempt to put Second Amendment advocates on the defensive, Mayor Rahm is proposing a surtax on ammunition sales. An important thing to keep in mind is political capital goes both ways. If Mayor Rahm reaches too far, he’ll create a backlash and we’ll end up getting more than we otherwise would.

This old guy does not exist, because it’s a well known fact that people never defend themselves with a gun.

John Hinckley is trying to get out of his mental hospital. Doctors say his condition is in remission. Needless to say the Bradys aren’t too keen on his being released, which I don’t blame them for. He says he wants to be known for something other than being a  would be assassin. Don’t worry John, we also know you as a stalker of Jodie Foster, so don’t let your stinkin’ thinkin’ get you down.

Robb Allen got the Kriss out to the range. We’re still jealous here.

A robbery suspect dropped his gun after he tried to rob some folks in a hotel, and they pepper sprayed him. He later returned asking to buy the gun back that he dropped. They sprayed him again, and he fled. Police found and arrested him and are charging him with Stupidity in the First Degree.

Joe Huffman has been covering Markey’s Law every Monday. There’s a hefty amount of Markley’s Law happening fairly regularly among our opponents. We’re particularly incensed at Markley’s Law, since at least one half of our writing team has nothing to compensate for.

If you have an FN Five-Seven, beware the dangers of reloading. I didn’t realize the Five-Seven was a straight-blowback pistol. That’s surprising to me considering how powerful the round is.

A Great People in Decline

Sometimes it’s hard to believe this is the same country that weathered the blitz and defeated Hitler. I guess they were lucky the Tommys wading onto Gold, Juneau and Sword weren’t only trained up to level 1. Of course, the big fear in all this is how much deeper down the hole to we have to go before this is us.

Some of the Most Shameless Exploitation I’ve Seen Today

I was ready to nail the Brady Campaign with this one, but I don’t think it’s them.  A progressive group in Ohio is piggybacking onto the shooting tragedy at Chardon High School in order to build up their mailing list. Don’t let the sympathetic words there fool you, the information they are asking for is valuable, and is meant to build up a list. While I can’t make any connection between this registrant and gun control groups, I would not be a bit surprised to find out these names will be going straight to a gun control organization. If folks out there want to start digging, this would be worthwhile if a connection could be made. Can you imagine if NRA set up an e-mail honeypot for, say, removing restrictions of guns in schools? Our opponents would be all over it, deriding the organization as monsters for so blatantly exploiting a tragedy. And you know what? They’d be right. But we’re correct to call our opponents out for their shameless exploitation.

As Thirdower points out, there’s a double standard when it comes to our opponents. It’s perfectly fine for them, leaders of the gun control movement, to exploit a tragedy for political ends. They are good guys, after all, fighting bad people like us. I’m not allowing them to get away with it. They are not good guys. The leaders of the gun control movement are horrible people, who are shameless about exploiting the tragedy of others in order to enhance their political mission and fundraising. The thoughtful and human response during a tragedy like this is thoughts and prayers for the victims and their families. I get annoyed with people on our side who are quick to jump on gun free zones even before the blood of the victims is cleaned off the floor. There will be a time for the politics, but that time has to come after the families have at least buried their loved ones.

How NRA Manages Its Member List

Apparently Santorum is hitting up gun owners in Michigan by slamming Mitt, which has some NRA members upset. NRA guards their membership list very very carefully. I’m actually surprised by folks who think they sell it, or would lend it to a campaign. While organizations on the left and the right regularly sell or lease member lists, politically it’s a stupid move for any organization that aspires to grassroots power. NRA is not going to want politicians or political groups to have direct access to their membership except through them. That’s part of what makes the endorsements valuable.

Just to give you an idea of how closely they guard things like member lists, on our Friends of the NRA committee, we sometimes do mailings to members to promote our dinner. NRA does allow committees to do this, but you have to tell them what zip codes you want, and HQ prints out the labels. On the day you’re going to stuff envelopes, someone from NRA brings the labels already pre-printed for us to affix to our materials, and helps us put together the mailing. NRA won’t even give out member info, even very small subsets of it, to volunteers.

As an NRA Election Volunteer Coordinator, I have my own list that I build. I don’t have access to NRA members directly. It would probably be easier for EVCs to have access to NRA member information in their district, but they just won’t do that. So any concern about whether your member info is safe, it absolutely is. Even gross statistics, like how many NRA members are in Pennsylvania, or my district, is something they don’t discuss publicly. It’s better to keep politicians guessing.

Today’s Random Stupid From the Gun Control Crowd

This is from the Brady Campaign. Sometimes I really wonder where they come up with this stuff?

It’s like they fell in the shower, and hit their head, and this random and completely false thought occurred to them, and since it sounded good they just felt the need to share. Though maybe it’s just Brady getting back to their usual role in making stuff up in an attempt to deceive. Howard Nemerov has some thoughts on Brady’s new President:

The Brady Campaign recently announced their new president, Daniel Gross, an advertising professional turned gun-control promoter. Gallup rates advertising professionals among the lowest for honesty and ethics, and Gross provides a corroborative case study.

Read the whole thing. I’d almost rather think this was more the shower scenario I described rather than a deliberate attempt to mislead. With an Army of Davids ready to fact check on a moments notice, this kind of dishonestly will do nothing but further erode their fading organization’s already damaged credibility.

Castle Doctrine Moving in Minnesota

An officer of 35 years speaks out in favor of Minnesota Castle Doctrine, which passed the Senate this past Thursday. We’re very close in Minnesota to getting Castle Doctrine through the legislature, but it will still face the obstacle of the Governor’s signature, who indicates he’ll veto. Someone more in tune with Minnesota politics will have to chime in with odds on an override. The votes have been pretty lopsided, however, in favor of the bill.

Another thing I’d like to see changed in Minnesota? Reciprocity. Come to think of it, Nevada, Oregon and Maine could use some fixin in that department too. But Minnesota wins are always especially sweet victories, because it’s the home of our favorite Brady board member.

MAIG Getting Ugly?

A Denver Gazette article on MAIG getting nasty, and a failed attempt to get the Mayor of Colorado Springs to join the group. Some of you may know that Dave Kopel’s father, who is a legend in Colorado politics, died recently. This is of note from MAIG’s ED:

Mark Glaze, executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, addressed David Kopel on Twitter one day after his father’s memorial service.

“As a Colorado native I recall him well,” Glaze wrote of Gerald Kopel. “Wonder what he would think of his son calling electeds liars. #apple fell far from free (sic).”

As anyone who is active on the Twitter gun community can attest, there’s nothing wrong, in the mind of our opponents, spewing hate at gun owners. We’re not people, you see. We’re monsters. So anything goes.

Stupid of the Year

Apparently no one clued this guy off that it’s bullet resistant armor, as he apparently decided the best way to make sure it worked was to shoot himself in the abdomen with a 10mm Glock. I consider this to be about as smart as testing the airbags in your car by driving it into a concrete wall at 40MPH.

It’s interesting, but in the early days of kevlar body armor, the inventor convinced police the stuff worked by shooting himself with it using a .38 service revolver, which was the standard sidearm of most police at the time. I get it’s smart marketing, even if it’s stupid gun safety, but at least that guy chose a relatively modest round that was unlikely to push the armor to its limit. That pales in comparison to testing soft body armor with a round as powerful as a 10mm, though. I think I recall the shooter saying that it was a level II vest. If that’s the case, 10mm is definitely on the upper end of what that vest would have a prayer to stop. I’d say this guy is lucky.

The M.O.D. Squad

While reading “Against All Odds,” I had to laugh about this:

Buckley’s rationale for [refusing compensation for confiscation] was simple: “We’ve got a right to get poison out of society.” He denounced the Springfield, Mass., handgun manufacturer Smith & Wesson as “merchants of death.”

Anyone else suddenly inspired to watch a comedy tonight?

Learning from the Past

Dave Kopel wrote an article for the February edition of First Freedom that I believe should be mandatory reading for every gun owner in the country. In it, he tells the story of Massachusetts gun owners who faced an all out confiscation measure that was put to the ballot in 1976. There are lessons for every type of political scenario we face in 2012, even if confiscation is currently off the table as long as Heller and McDonald are allowed to stand.

I think some of the tidbits from the article very much relate to the issues we face today. For example, the issue of whether NRA should back pro-gun Democrats:

The leader of the “People vs. Handguns” organization was the popular Republican John Buckley, the sheriff of Middlesex County. Buckley was fresh off a 1974 win against a pro-gun challenger. Alongside Buckley was Robert diGrazia, the police commissioner of Boston who was appointed by the staunchly anti-gun Boston Mayor Kevin White.

At the insistence of Buckley and diGrazia, the Massachusetts handgun prohibition lobby did not think small. Confiscation would be total, with no exemption for licensed security guards or target shooting clubs. Even transporting a handgun through Massachusetts (e.g., while traveling from one’s home in Rhode Island to a vacation spot in Maine or a target competition in New Hampshire) would be illegal, except for people with handgun carry permits (which, as of 1976, were almost never issued by most states).

Buckley had the benefit of “incumbency” in the election for the Sheriff’s office because he was appointed by a Republican governor, according to this history of the office.

Kopel also highlights the plans for anti-gun groups to take the confiscation plan far beyond the borders of the Bay State, and how this plan has still been used in recent history.

A Buckley speech to the Conference of Mayors detailed “How to Circumvent the Legislature for Gun Confiscation in 37 States by the Initiative Petition.”

Eventually, it was hoped, the mass of state and local bans would provide the foundation for a national ban. …

The tactics of the national gun-ban groups are to use state and local bans as the starting point for national bans.

By 1994, only four states and a handful of cities had passed bans on so-called “assault weapons.” Two of the states (California and New Jersey) had far-reaching bans, while in Maryland and Hawaii, the ban was only for “assault” handguns. Yet this four-state foundation was enough for the gun prohibition lobbies to be able to push a national ban into law in 1994.

To me, this is one of the biggest problems we’ve faced in the pro-gun movement. While not screaming that the sky is falling at every turn, making gun owners realize just how close we have been to actually dealing with the knock at the door by Dianne Feinstein is something we are really only starting to overcome thanks to the internet.

I recall a story from the 2004 Pittsburgh NRA meeting where I was told an activist from Massachusetts sat down at a bar for a meal next to a guy from Pennsylvania who also came in for the convention. When the Massachusetts resident described what it was like to be a gun owner in the Bay State, the guy from Pennsylvania argued that he was exaggerating because things like that simply can’t happen in America.

Oh yes, they can. They can, and they do. I wouldn’t be shocked if that same Pennsylvania guy was actually floored by the news with Heller that the Second Amendment had never been interpreted as an individual right by the Supreme Court. For many of these types, it’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they find it hard to swallow that other citizens allow governments to act so badly without fixing it at the ballot box.

Go read the entire article. Come back here to discuss it if you like. It’s really eye-opening and worth your time.

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