Apr 30, 2014
Mark Glaze is announcing that he’s stepping down in June:
The executive director of the gun control group founded by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which has emerged as a leading counterweight to the National Rifle Association, said on Wednesday he would step down from the organization in June.
Mark Glaze actually works for a DC-based PR firm called The Raben Group (which you can find out from the poorly redacted E-mails from the NYC FOIA dump). My guess is there isn’t a whole lot to read into this. The Bloomberg organizations have been staffing up, and my guess is they want their own hired staff doing most of the day-to-day work. It almost never makes financial sense to keep using consultants for long term needs, unless they have knowledge so specialized you can’t really hire in for it.
I would imagine another client would be a welcome change of pace for Mark Glaze, regardless of what’s going on. If I had Bloomberg as my client, talking about how his ticket to heaven was assured, and various other missteps, I’d probably quickly develop a serious drinking problem. It’s not just Bloomberg either. Shannon Watts is a walking PR disaster in her own right, as her very ill-considered response to Slide-Fire over the photobomb indicates. Her smartest option was to shrug it off, and she chose to go 180 degrees in the other direction. There’s just a lot of bullshit that goes along with being high-profile in any controversial issue.
As much as I might oppose Bloomberg organizations, they have displaced our previous opponents and set themselves up as the leading opposition in a very short amount of time, which is no easy accomplishment. When Glaze says he “planned to do some consulting,” I’m guessing he’ll be working for another client. As we always do with our opponents who decide to move on, we wish him the best of luck in future endeavors.
Apr 30, 2014
The details of Operation Choke Point came out in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, but now more details are coming out suggesting that the DoJ may be pressuring banks to cut access to the financial system to gun shops as well, citing this article from a few days ago:
The Libertis’ battle with BankUnited began last month. For seven years, they say, they had no problem with the Miami Lakes-based bank. T.R. had run a gun store in the Garden State, and when he opened Top-Gun Firearms on Calle Ocho, BankUnited operated the account.
But when T.R. decided to retire and let Elizabeth take the store online — under the new name Discount Ammo-N-Guns — the Libertis found themselves suddenly under fire.
A March 12 letter mysteriously informed them that BankUnited was closing their checking account “pursuant to the terms and conditions listed in our Depositor’s Agreement.” It gave the Libertis three days to transfer their cash elsewhere. When the Libertis called BankUnited for an explanation, they were politely informed that none would be forthcoming.
Stories like this often come out and there is often more going on than the parties are saying, but even the original Wall Street Journal article noted that ammunition sellers were among the targets. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that Holder wants to go after gun dealers as well. This certainly merits concern and further investigation.
Via SayUncle, who also notes they are going after porn. They told me if I voted for Mitt Romney, dour puritans would go after guns, drugs and gambling, and they were right!
Apr 30, 2014
Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has decided she’s fed up with the legislature not taking on issues she wants them to address, but a pro-gun bill seems to have been caught up in their political fight.
She vetoed the nearly unanimously passed bill that mandates law enforcement sign for the transfer of any item regulated under the NFA within 15 days if the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving it.
Fallin says that she’s going to keep vetoing bills until the House does what she wants. So, I would suggest that Oklahomans let her know that they want her to respect their rights rather than use the Second Amendment as a pawn in her negotiations with the legislature, which she is apparently vowing to continue.
UPDATE: It looks like a KnifeRights bill got caught up in Fallin’s political games, too.
Apr 30, 2014
Cam Edwards interviewed Dr. Eric Dietz, director of Purdue University’s Homeland Security Institute, who studied various responses to active shooters in schools. According to the research, the presence of a school resource officer improved response time by 80 percent over waiting for police, and they found that casualties could be cut by 2/3 if a school resource officer had access to a firearm during an active shooter situation.
Along these lines, NRA is actually putting up cash to help schools deal with safety concerns. Kyle Weaver, director of General Operations, announced that the School Shield program distributed over $200,000 in grants around the country this year. He said that these grant recipients and their projects would be featured on NRA News over the coming year.
Apr 30, 2014
Some of the links for today might be a bit old. Sorry if that’s the case, because I didn’t have time to really do much hunting while at Annual Meeting, so there’s a bit of a gap. But here’s a try:
This .223 pocket pistol has to be the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a long time. The .223 is a rifle cartridge. It uses slower-burning rifle powder, meaning it needs a rifle-length barrel to build up speed. Maybe you can stun and confuse your attacker with the massive fireball that will result from all that unburnt powder exiting the barrel, but I doubt a 55 grain .223 bullet fired from a pistol-length barrel will do all that much to stop him. I’d wager you’d be better off with a single shot .45ACP.
Bloomberg’s dollars just aren’t enough, pointing out that $50 million isn’t actually a whole lot of money. Maybe so, but how much more is he going to put in? Money in politics matters. It is possible for someone like Bloomberg to buy legislation. Don’t believe it isn’t.
Dave Kopel: First Amendment Guide to Second Amendment. How the First Amendment can be a guide to interpreting the Second.
Some questions don’t make sense in a free society.
West Side Last Shift takes a look at the insurance anti-discrimination bill in Florida. I had a coworker who told me she was turned down for homeowners insurance because of gun ownership. Much like the parking lot bills, I can’t get too enthusiastic about this either, because it is anti-free-market. But insurance is already pretty regulated, and we’d never tolerate discrimination like this in other contexts.
John Lott: Bogus Gun-Control Numbers.
NRA’s Worst Nightmare is America’s Moms, says the Daily Beast. Yeah, because we’ve never had to deal with that phenomena before. No. There was never a failure of a previous incarnation of this idea. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Meanwhile, 18,000 women, many of them moms, came to NRA.
Why are we so conflicted about manhood in the modern age? Long read, but very insightful.
MDA would seem to stand for Moms Doubling Attendance.
Our opponents continue to misunderstand the nature of conflict. Most of the time the powers that be don’t want you dead, they want you compliant. It’s like a kid that doesn’t want other people to play with his toy. He can accomplish that by breaking the toy, but then he doesn’t have the toy anymore.
I didn’t even know there were rocket companies that made gun stuff.
West Chester University looking to revise its weapons policy. A step in the right direction.
Military to destroy 1.2 billion worth of ammo. What a waste.
Oligarchy in the 21st Century.
A graphic example of the failure of gun free zones.
Apr 30, 2014
I’ve been planting my rear in a Herman Miller Aeron Chair for the better part of a decade. Back around 2003 the previous company I worked for acquired another company out in San Diego that was about to go tits up. We mainly wanted their technology and a few key employees who understood it, but it also came with a heaping shipment of Aeron chairs. I snatched one up immediately, figuring it was better to ask for forgiveness than permission. It’s hands down the best chair I’ve ever owned. When our company finally went tits up in 2011, I was the last employee out of the building, and since the wind-down team had to hold on to our chairs through the asset auction, I took two Aeron chairs home.
Everything was fine until just before we were ready to head to Annual Meeting, and I stood up from my chair and the right arm broke clean off; the bolt head having separated completely from the shaft. Given the chair is about 14 years old at this point, that’s not a bad run. But I’m loathe to spend money on a new one. The trouble with fixing it is that Herman Miller pretty heavily controls its parts distribution, and there are only certain approved parts that can be sold, like lumbar pads and arm rest pads. There isn’t a arm rest bolt to be found on all the Internets that doesn’t look like a cheap non-hardned knockoff.
Herman Miller demands you to take the chair to an authorized service center to be repaired. I have a real problem with forcing customers to screw themselves out of hard-earned cash. It’s a chair, not a Saturn V rocket engine. I can fix it myself given the proper part. My guess is Herman Miller knows the .com crash flooded the secondary market with their chairs, and they know they are very well built and last forever. So they have to manufacture ways to extract money from the used market, and probably hope you’ll just buy a new one. Except that one with all the bells and whistles, a new Aeron pushes close to 9 or 10 bills.
So I’m kind of pissed off at this whole thing. I’m wondering if anyone out there knows of either a good Aeron knockoff that’s well built and comfortable, or knows a good source for Aeron parts outside of official Herman Miller channels. I’d also be open to getting a broken one to use for parts if it’s cheap enough too.
UPDATE: I found a solution! The chair lives!
Apr 29, 2014
In the case of dealing with Slide Fire, Shannon Watts just cannot let their slights against her go and she’s launching yet another hashtag to make her point that she really doesn’t like gun companies.
First, Slide Fire puts up a billboard and she’s offended that they announce their products are as American as apple pie which offends her as a mother. So, she starts a campaign to end it that doesn’t seem to go anywhere and it kind of fades away quietly.
Second, the billboard comes down and she proclaims victory, only to have the company come out and show that they only rented the space for a set period of time that had come to an end. Her campaign had nothing to do with it, and her “victory” is mocked just as she’s making a similar misstep with Staple’s.
Third, a company staff member showed up, took a picture with her, and then introduced himself. She wasn’t happy with that, but when Slide Fire wanted to publicly share their thanks to her for promoting their brand and making the single, local billboard campaign a nationwide viral success, well, she’s really unhappy now that people actually know she posed with a company representative.
Her unhappiness takes the form of a Twitter hashtag and a Facebook post where she tries to blame every uncomplimentary word online about her on the company that rents billboard space.
Apr 29, 2014
Jersey City’s extra forms for getting purchase permits are ruled illegal. The plaintiff filed an application using only the required forms, but the police denied him arguing that his non-compliance with the additional extra lawful requirements made him “a ‘threat to public health, safety and welfare’ and had not demonstrated ‘good repute within the community’.” The Court rejected that argument, and more importantly, rebuked the lower court who played the typical Jersey game of not allowing gun owners to make a proper case. From the case:
McGovern appeared pro se at the hearing. The judge repeatedly declined to allow him to present evidence supporting his attempted legal argument that Jersey City had demanded unauthorized information as part of the application. The judge also would not allow McGovern to cross-examine Brusgard about his qualifications to determine who may receive a handgun permit or his knowledge of the law in that regard. The judge stated that the only purpose of the hearing was for McGovern to prove he was not disqualified under the N.J.S.A. 2C:58-3 for a handgun permit. The Assistant Prosecutor representing Jersey City also repeatedly objected to any attempt by McGovern to develop information pertinent to his legal positions and arguments.
In this case, McGovern argued that the court had in fact reversed the burden, placing it on him to prove he was qualified rather than on the state to prove he was unqualified. Eventually we need to attack New Jersey’s entire regulatory regime for firearms, but for now this is a significant victory, given how rampant abuses like this are in the Garden State.
Apr 29, 2014
Bitter and I arrived back late last night, and had to return the rental car early this morning. So things are running a bit behind. I have some more thoughts on NRA that have been developing since Annual Meeting, but it’ll take a bit to figure out exactly what I want to say. Indy was a good convention. But it seems that no NRA Annual Meeting can be complete without the requisite article by a pearl clutching reporter who is shocked, shocked, about what’s going on behind those doors. This year’s award has to go to Cliff Schecter, Bloomberg stooge, and all around vile human being.
I’m pretty certain the only one who is terrified of the NRA Annual Meeting is Cliff Schecter and his fellow travelers. It seems odd that NRA would credential media known to be hostile, but as anyone who’s read Brian Anse Patrick’s book on NRA media coverage can tell you, NRA feeds off this kind of hate. If anything, NRA is better off leaving friendly media to their own, and giving hostile media the “Right this way Mr. Schecter. We’ve prepared a tour of the floor for you that we sincerely hope will fulfill your every prejudice and stereotype about NRA members, and make the hate flow from your fingers with ease!,” treatment.
As I walked past a row of AR-15s mounted on the wall on my right, I noticed a J.Crewed-out family who might have come from Bethesda or Greenwich—two parents and their son, 12 or so—checking out the action on the wall. I looked around for more like them and started to notice that while in the minority, they were definitely there, wandering the halls looking at the merchandise. For a moment it was comforting, but it suddenly occurred to me that their nonchalance about taking their kids to an arms bazaar might be even more eerie than the shaved-headed, ZZ Top-bearded guys who smelled like month-old cheese and looked like they’d been locked in their bunkers the past week making love to their antique Lugers.
The condescension there is so thick you could plant a flagpole in it. First is the surprise that people who looked “J.Crewed-out” would be in some third world backwater like Indianapolis, which can’t even support a proper art gallery! And not only does it seem Indianapolis has cultured and upper-middle-class looking people, but they bring their kids to NRA Annual Meeting. Sacrebleu!
Of course, as much as Mr. Schecter might want to think we’re the short bus rejects, I’d just like to point out that one thing I did not do this weekend was wander around the show floor sniffing other men’s beards, and I’m pretty certain that was the case for probably all of the 75,200+ other attendees. Talk about weird.
Apr 28, 2014
Total attendance? 75,267. That didn’t beat our phenomenal record last year in Houston, at the height of the anti-gun hysteria, of 86,228, but if you took Houston out, it would have beat the St. Louis figure of 73,740, which was the record up until Houston. We did not get the details as we did last year, due to the fact that NRA no longer allows cell phones or other electronic devices in the Board Meeting. When Bitter came out to let me know, she missed the rest of the numbers.
The Internets go to Robb Allen, who noted: