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NRA Convention vs. CPAC

Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review did this interview with a Philadelphia radio station yesterday, and I loved a comment that he made about the size of CPAC – a general right-of-center, every issue you can imagine convention – versus the NRA annual meeting which is largely single issue.

“And this is going to sound ungrateful, but it’s small because I’m used to the NRA convention which is Madison Square Garden-sized.”

This is the argument I used for years with people in the conservative movement when pointing out that they need to look more to what the NRA has done over the years. It seemed like the gun issue was so often overlooked, yet the NRA consistently turned out more people to participate than anything that was happening in DC circles. So it’s kind of funny to hear Cooke mention the vast difference in size for an event that wants to represent an entire “side” of the political aisle and the many different issues that come along with it.

Besides, the NRA convention is more fun in my experience. I was sick of CPAC by the time I went for the fourth time. Most of my friends felt the same way when I was in DC. But I still look forward to the NRA convention. While I’ve shifted what events I tend to visit at the convention, there’s still something interesting going on each day. I like that it’s a chance to dig deep into the issue – whether it’s connecting with other people passionate about grassroots, the law, or just getting out to shoot.

Anyway, go listen to the interview since I think it’s a really good one beyond the NRA comparison. I’ll have to add Cooke’s new book, The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future, to my wish list now.

Not just gun control

Remember, it’s not just guns they want to control. I find several parts of this whole fiasco disturbing. Right from the beginning of the article, DHS and FAA held a “conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener.” When one of those attendees (who runs a small drone shop) posted a picture and notes from the conference, DHS asked him to take it down (he complied).

Then we get to the meat of the issue – that a drone manufacturer unilaterally chose to add all of DC to their drones’ internal “no-fly” map. First, of course, that their drones have a “no-fly” map in the first place, and secondly, that “DJI is preparing an update that will increase the number of airport no fly zones from 710 to 10,000, and prevent users from flying across some national borders.” This is of course, pointless, as there are other manufacturers as the spokesam for DJI points out. Wired also points out that this won’t prevent terrorism, because there will always be workarounds, legal or otherwise.

Sebastian noted a while back about the wishes of gun-control advocates to be able to erect “no-smartgun” zones at will. It looks like their counterparts in drone control will get that wish. I can only hope that DJI gets what Smith and Wesson got from firearms enthusiasts when they kow-towed to the government.

Another one bites the dust

While not herself a Mayor Against Illegal Guns, NJ State Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D) has been a consistent and loud voice against the RKBA in NJ’s legislature, and is a close political ally of MAIG member Mayor Colleen Mahr (D) of Fanwood, NJ. So there’s some fresh schadenfreude for me to find in the news that she’s resigning ahead of a couple of scandals involving residency and political payback, and that the state AG’s office is investigating her and her husband’s actions.

She’s run twice that I know of for the US House of Representatives, getting beaten both times; so just a reminder that NJ isn’t entirely a lost cause.

Federal District Court Upholds California’s Handgun Roster

The case is Pena v. Lindley, a Calguns Foundation case challenging the constitutionality of California’s handgun roster. A roster that was created specifically for the purpose of banning cheap handguns. Not a right for the poor, I guess. Under California law, handguns that don’t appear on the roster are illegal to sell. Manufacturers have to pay recurring fees to stay on the list. The firearms have to be micro-stamped. They have to be drop tested. Otherwise they may not be sold.

There was no intermediate scrutiny two step. The court ruled that the Second Amendment wasn’t even implicated here, and this was among the kinds of regulations that were “presumptively lawful,” per Heller. The statute survived rational basis review, which is all that the court felt was required. The court believed that as long as you could still buy some handguns, the state was perfectly justified in banning large numbers of them. The judge also wasn’t buying the equal protection arguments in the case, so police can be a special class of citizen as far as the judge is concerned.

This is unfortunately not shocking, that a federal judge would so summarily dismiss a restriction on a fundamental right. We’ve seen it time and time again. Needless to say this will be appealed. It’s worth noting the judge in this case was a Clinton appointee.

Sad Panda Alert: Gun Control Fail in Vermont

At least for now, we seem to have pushed Bloomberg back, so there are gun control supporters in Vermont and New York City now who are very sad pandas. Bloomberg doesn’t have the ballot to use in Vermont, so he had to try for a traditional attack through the legislature. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for him, in this kind of fight it’s our grassroots advantage can trump his pocketbook, because all that is required is direct action. When it comes to a fight that involves buying support from low-information voters, Bloomberg’s money is  more useful. Nonetheless, they say they aren’t going away:

“We have a very long view on this,” Braden said. “Two years ago, there wasn’t any way any gun provision would be debated. This is a long-term campaign to really change the conversation, so we can pass legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”

It looks like they might still get a felon-in-possession law in Vermont though.

He said many of his constituents who oppose expanding background checks support the mental health and felon provisions. As for requiring Vermonters who are conducting private gun sales to go to a gun dealer for a background check, Sears said his constituents have been more consistently opposed.

But I thought 92% of gun owners supported Bloomberg proposal?

UPDATE: Think Progress are sad pandas too, but this time because when gun control comes threatening, it strengthens the hand of gun rights groups more than it does gun control groups.

Averting a DHS Shutdown

Off topic, because gun news is a bit thin right now. Instapundit notes that Republicans have agreed to run a clean DHS funding bill, whereas previously they decided to use this to make a point on Obama’s immigration power grab. A 92-2 vote means that even some of the hardest core tea party types voted to drop the immigration issue. Why?

I tried to argue unsuccessfully in Instapundit’s comments that shutdowns almost never work out in favor of the GOP. They nearly always take a hit in the polls, and take the blame. Given the countries current vulnerability to attack, and our ascendent enemies, I can’t really get all that worked up that the GOP didn’t want to get near the cliff, less some jihadist decide to push them off it with an attack during or near the shutdown, for which the GOP will nearly certainly be blamed in the media. I think one of the other commenters had the right idea:

Never take a hostage you’re not prepared to shoot. Attach the amnesty prohibition to EPA funding. Nobody cares if EPA shuts down. Let the greens and la raza fight it out among themselves.

Now that’s just crazy enough to work!

Sometimes You Need to be Reminded Why Social Media Sucks

Somehow my post about FedEx refusing to ship Cody Wilson’s CNC mill has generated far more Facebook drama than I’m used to. I don’t honestly do much to cultivate my Facebook presence, because for the most part I hate Facebook.

First, Facebook’s late policy of charging me money to access the audience I worked to create annoys the ever living hell out of me. I’m not sure how almost every other post of mine ends up “outperforming 95% of your other posts,” and surely you want to give Facebook money so you can access your followers? If you don’t, we’ll be sure to only show your posts to about 1/8th of your audience, so pay up!

Yeah, screw Facebook, even though it’s my number two non-search engine referrer behind SayUncle. Facebook is evil.

Let’s also remember that Facebook is anti-gun owner. You remember Brain Aitken right? He was prosecuted in New Jersey for activity that is legal in nearly any other state (transporting an unloaded firearm), and is only a free man because of being granted clemency by Governor Christie. Facebook is arguing his plight to get custody of his son back violates its policy of advertising firearms.

I do social media, because you just kind of have to these days. That’s not to say I like it. Compared to what blogging was in its heyday, it’s a vast wasteland, much like Cable TV.

Charges Dropped in New Jersey Antique Gun Case

It would seem that someone gave the Cumberland County, NJ prosecutor a clue that putting an elderly man away for 10 years (likely life in his case) is not really an appropriate move for someone who collects 18th century stuff and managed to pick up a flintlock pistol. Charges have just been dropped without further comment from the DA.

Emily gets to carry her gun

Emily Miller’s application for a carry permit was approved. About time.

My guess is they figured that doing so and hoping she went away was better than the alternative

Brady Campaign Backs Down from Promises to Anti-Gun Pols

It would seem that the Brady Campaign staffers were making funding promises to Pennsylvania officials that they may have had no intention of keeping.

Back when Pennsylvania municipalities were regularly passing gun control ordinances, several cities only went through with the measures that violated state preemption laws because the Brady Campaign/Center promised, via MAIG and CeasefirePA representatives, to pay for the defense of those ordinances if the cities were sued.

Well, now the threat of lawsuits is looming and the Brady Campaign is telling the media that they never made such promises by claiming that the person who made the promises wasn’t really speaking for them.

While the local Fox affiliate dug up city records from Lancaster and Erie that showed they made those promises, we recalled another instance in Radnor. Except, Radnor lawmakers demanded the promise in writing. From Sebastian’s 2010 report on that meeting:

Commissioners seemed skeptical when CeaseFirePA mentioned that the Brady Campaign would pick up the tab for any lawsuits against the ordinance, and indicated they’d want it in writing. It’s my opinion the Bradys will be very reluctant to put anything into writing, so I think that’s a strategy to use going forward. Get your local politicians to demand that. If the Bradys don’t deliver, that’s another point, and it may start the politicians wondering whether the promise is worth anything.

It seems that now we have the proof that the Brady promises on this issue really were worthless.

In Lancaster, the pledge came from Max Nacheman who represented MAIG and Brady at the time and would later represent CeasefirePA. In Radnor, it appears that Commissioner Elaine Schaefer called the Brady Campaign herself and got the pledge that the group would defend the town. So the Brady Campaign is now trying to claim that the exact same promise made in at least 3 different cities via at least 2 different people, was really just some random miscommunication?

Yeah, that’s totally believable.

It would seem that town officials are now learning what we’ve been trying to tell them for years – you can’t believe the false promises the anti-gunners tell you when they are trying to get their agenda passed. They need something to call a “win,” and if your budgets take a beating due to legal expenses because they told you to do something illegal, they don’t care. It’s still a “win” for their agenda even as taxpayers lose.

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