There were quite a number of media roaming around the rally, so this naturally made me wonder how fair the media coverage would be. Only two news outlets have covered it, or at least put their stories online. The first is the Intelligencer:
The pro-gun protesters tried to shout down speakers throughout the 45-minute rally, even as Moore sought a moment of silence for victims of gun violence and as Kessleman spoke of his dead son.
“I thought that was disrespectful,” Avino said. “It’s a poor reflection on them.”
There weren’t any groups backing the protest, which was largely self-organized through informal communication networks, forums, Facebook, etc. Going in, it was hard to say what a smart tactic would be, because you don’t know what our opponents are going to focus on. If it’s a more vigil type rally, with speakers recounting lost loves ones, aggressive tactics would be boorish. But for an explicitly political rally, with calls to political action, chanting, etc, I don’t see why quiet opposition is necessarily the smart tactic.
This rally was not a vigil type rally, but it was explicitly political, with calls for action, including confiscation. More aggressive tactics were justified. When the line “for too many years Congress has done the bidding of the NRA,” our side cheered. When they called for bans on guns and magazine, our side booed. The speaker from New Jersey was heckled with calls to “Go back to Jersey!” When they tried to rally their crowd with “What do we want? Action!” and the pro-2A crowd drowned them out with “Freedom!” Cries of “leave us alone” were also often heard from the crowd when speakers called for action.
Where I think our side did cross the line was the few early hecklers during the moment of silence. Fortunately that quickly stopped, and our side did observe it, but those few early people own that quote above. Channel 10 News also covered the rally, I think a bit more fairly than the Intelligencer:
This was an unintentional laugh line during the Mayors Against Illegal Guns-sponsored rally in suburban Philadelphia today, but it reflected the non-sensical rambling of many of the speakers. Earlier this week, the local organizers of the MAIG rally told the media that they expected NRA would bus in people to oppose their gun control event. As is so common in the gun control movement, it was really a case of projection when the gun control crowd from OFA actually brought people in from DC.
The message of the MAIG-sponsored event was that we’re uncivilized if we don’t believe that more gun control is the answer and that 97% of American voters support Obama’s agenda of the background check bill and the modern sporting rifle ban. Not even Bloomberg himself makes such outlandish claims, but the speakers chosen to run his rallies argue that absurdity.
Interestingly, the rally featured a speaker who called gun confiscation plans “a political miracle,” and he made it clear that confiscation of at least some firearms was part of his larger agenda for the MAIG-sponsored rally. So the next time that Bloomberg says that he’s not trying to take guns from people, ask why his organization sponsored Rev. Robert Moore to talk about how wonderful confiscation was as a political goal. If Bloomberg wants MAIG to sponsor rallies, he can own the false statistics and the political agendas of his speakers.
When the anti-gun speaker says Congress has listened to NRA, cheers went up from pro-2A crowd.
The MAIG mayor who stepped up to the mic after the raving Reverend tried to claim that they were just pushing policies that respect people’s Second Amendment rights, but he did not denounce the previous claims that confiscation is a great political goal. Funny how they call us paranoid for pointing out when their own leaders are calling for taking guns.
They are importing mayors from cities with high crime rates telling us we should support their policies. Um, no thanks.
Pro-gun protesters were out in force. It was tough to gauge exactly how many were there compared to the anti-gun rally since gun owners were spread out down the sidewalks and actually at the back of the rally crowd. The rally crowd was crammed into a small space so that no matter how many turned up, it would look full. Overall, I’d say they were roughly equal crowds. If one side was larger than the other, it would be by no more than about 20%.
Neither side can claim a moral high ground on behavior. There were some pro-gun folks who crossed the line from respectful while agressive into flat out rude. However, the anti-gun crowd wasn’t exactly a model of good behavior with one little old woman going around trying to pick fights with “big bad gun owners” even after a cop stepped in and asked her to knock it off. Then a bunch of other older women walked back to the pro-rights crowd and spoke loudly about how the only reason we weren’t in support of more gun control is simply because we are not capable of any serious thought. The raving Reverend felt he needed to step up to the microphone in closing and remind his supporters that before they set out down the sidewalks and encounter the pro-gun crowds, they needed to remember that they are believers in non-violence, so they shouldn’t try to start fights.
There were many folks open carrying, but it really didn’t seem to make a difference with the crowd at the rally. Many were as visibly disgusted and annoyed by the people with peaceful signs and American flags as they were at the open carry crowd. They were simply that hostile to any kind of dissenting thought.
My protest sign for Bloomberg’s sponsored rally was somewhat subtle, but I feel like the branding of a nice “red state” company was like extra sugary frosting on top of the cake. (Sonic is based in Oklahoma, a state that is actively reaching out to gun companies being attacked in anti-gun states.)
NRA is alerting on HB 35, which passed the Delaware House by a 24-17 vote. Again, this bill isn’t just about firearm sale, it stipulates sales or transfers, defined as:
(3) “Transfer” means assigning, pledging, leasing, loaning, giving away, or otherwise disposing of, but does not include:
(A) the loan of a firearm for any lawful purpose, for a period of 14 days or less, by the owner of said firearm to a person known personally to him or her;
(B) a temporary transfer for any lawful purpose that occurs while in the continuous presence of the owner of the firearm, provided that such temporary transfer shall not exceed 24 hours in duration;
(C) the transfer of a firearm for repair, service or modification to a licensed gunsmith or other person lawfully engaged in such activities as a regular course of trade or business; or
(D) a transfer that occurs by operation of law or because of the death of a person for whom the prospective transferor is an executor or administrator of an estate or a trustee of a trust created in a will.
Again, if you’re cohabiting with someone, say, in a gay relationship because you can’t get married, if you leave town for three weeks and leave your firearms in the care of your significant other, you’re making an unlawful transfer. Why the need to restrict the duration in section (B) to 24 hours? If I invite someone on my land to shoot, and loan him a gun for the weekend trip, should I be charged with a misdemeanor?
Also, this amendment brings up an interesting point on banning private transfers: if you transfer your gun into the dealer’s inventory, and the prospective buyer flunks the check, what then? Are you out the transfer fee to get your own gun back? Delaware’s bill says no, but that’s another nail in the coffin of the proposed federal bill I hadn’t thought of. Currently, the answer would likely be yes, you’d have to pay and go through the 4473 and whole deal to get your own gun back. I think you still would in Delaware too, except the dealer couldn’t charge you for it. This also will make it less likely dealers will want to process third party transfers.
This is what “universal background checks” mean folks. It’s one of those things that sounds dandy until you start thinking about how it would need to be implemented. This bill still has to pass the Delaware Senate, and NRA is asking Delawareans to contact their State Senators.
ATF raids FPS Russia. Seems they are using a novel theory that if you take video of, say, shooting Tannerite, then make money off the YouTube videos, you need to have an explosives license because you’re “engaged in the business.” Sounds like bullshit to me. Sounds like his crime was having a high profile in a gun issue, and doing things that generally displease bureaucrats.
Clayton takes a look at some of the claims made about background checks working, and is skeptical of the evidence presented. I’ve always thought this BJS survey of criminal gun use, including where criminals were getting their guns, shows pretty clearly that all background checks have accomplished is shifting the source from retail, or lie and buy, to street sources which are more difficult if not impossible to regulate.
The latest language of S.649 can be found here. This is the bill that will be bought up for a vote. The “background check” language is identical to the language I analyzed in S.374. The rest of the bill is the same as S.179, Gillibrand’s trafficking bill. It’s essentially those two bills combined together into one bill. Needless to say, this bill is unacceptable and needs to be opposed, unless you want to have it be a felony in many conditions to hand a gun to a friend, such as plinking on your farm.
It’s not hard to see why tin foil hats are becoming quite the fashion statement in today’s political climate. Whether they started out with a purpose of making as many gun owners as possible into felons, that’s what the current so-called “background check” proposals do.
Anti-gun advocates like to say that we’re paranoid to think that they are really trying to go after our entire gun culture, yet it seems to me that we’re just remarkably well-informed and that we pay very close attention to the publicly announce plans of our opponents.
I’ve heard Nancy Lanza used as a poster child for safe storage by gun control advocates, thinking it was a bit premature to presume the guns were not stored in a safe manner. Now we seem to have a much better picture:
The guns used in the shootings were apparently all purchased by the shooter’s mother. There is currently no indication that the shooter attempted to purchase the guns and was denied. The gun locker at 36 Yogananda St. was open when the police arrived. It was unlocked and there was no indication that it had been broken into.
So we at least know she had a safe, and that it was unlocked when the police arrived. It’s not clear from reading the search warrants where the safe was in the house. Did he shoot her to get the key? If so, is there any “safe storage” law that would help?