Dec 28, 2016
Brian Anse Patrick died of cancer unexpectedly (for us) at age 62, of cancer. I ended up at the lunch table with him at the law seminar in Louisville this year, and if he was terminally ill, he certainly didn’t look or act it. I had met him several times at the law seminar, but I don’t think he was a reader, and never remembered meeting me previous years. But he was always really glad to meet someone who read his books and would strike up a conversation enthusiastically on those topics. His real area of academic expertise was propaganda.
Please, if you’re a 2A academic scholar, I would strongly encourage you to go into hiding until next week. We’ve already lost Don Kates. Now this.
Dec 28, 2016
Generally speaking, I’m pretty indifferent to the struggles of the glitterati, but the news that Debbie Reynolds died less than a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, was pronounced dead is heartening. Carrie Fisher is an icon of my generation because she was, for a lot of us, their first crush. Even if it was irrational, you remember that. Carrie Fisher in the role of Princess Leia didn’t really do it for the young me, but Kathy Coleman in the role of Holly Marshall of Land of the Lost fame certainly did. I don’t want to jinx her. Please, Kathy Coleman, If you see 2016, RUN… just like you did from Grumpy and Alice. Don’t let it get you!
My paternal grandparents were sweethearts from childhood. They lived right around the block from each other in their South Philly neighborhood. My grandmother used to tell me stories of sitting on top of hidden liquor crates with my grandfather that her father was smuggling to Atlantic City on behalf of his employers (ever see Boardwalk Empire? My great-grandfather worked for Nucky). No one would ever suspect a family man traveling to the Jersey Shore for the weekend with the kids.
My paternal grandparents had known each other their whole lives. My grandfather had a couple of strokes in 1996, and a big one killed him that same year. My grandmother went very quickly downhill. She completely lost the will to live. I’ve come to think you get to a certain age, you can actually will yourself to die, or at least give up fighting the inevitable. Whatever cause of death she had on her death certificate, she died of a broken heart. So I can sympathize. I can’t imagine that kind of thing being in the public eye. Such is the price of celebrity.
Dec 28, 2016
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Years all rolled into one: Bloomberg spent 20 million dollars in Nevada to secure a razor thin win, and he still gets nothing. The Attorney General in Nevada checked with the FBI and the law as it was written is simply not implementable. The FBI stated that states can’t commander federal policy on the matter, and that they refuse to conduct the checks in accordance with the way Bloomberg’s new law requires. How is this so? Hilariously, it’s a pretty simple mistake.
The issue is that Nevada is designated as a Point-of-Contact (POC) state, meaning that, like Pennsylvania, they have a state background check system that is designated by the FBI to conduct background checks under the Brady Act. Bloomberg’s new law states that the checks have to be conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Check System. Given that Nevada is a POC state, the FBI will not conduct checks on behalf of Nevada. The law cannot be complied with, and is therefore completely unworkable and unenforceable.
Never interrupt your enemy when they are in the middle of making a mistake, and always have a backup plan in case your main plan fails. In this case, it looks like we did.
It’s hard to believe Bloomberg sunk 20 million dollars into this with such a glaring error. I will admit I did not read the ballot initiative carefully enough to notice this, but once I started reading the opinion it was obvious. Nevada is a POC state! FBI doesn’t allow dealers to use NICS.
No doubt this won’t be the end of this controversy, since I imagine they’ll attempt to get a judge to bend the plain wording of the language to match Bloomberg’s drafter’s intent rather than what they actually wrote. I imagine someone at LCAV is seething right about now. We’ve benefitted a lot from their lack of real expertise and experience in this area of law. To be honest, their people just aren’t very good, and we should be thankful for that.
Dec 28, 2016
Whether it is true that seven children per day die from gun violence depends on whether you define 18 and 19 year olds as children. One could argue that it’s a matter of opinion (which I’d point out would put it outside the realm of ‘facts’) but as an objective criteria, we can look at how the law defines it. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are not considered children legally. They would be tried as adults if they commit crimes.
There’s no universe where this claim should be rightly considered “Mostly True.” In one sentence gun control advocates have set the mental picture of Sandy Hook, which sadly involved elementary school children. Then they suddenly switched context without mentioning to the reader they were doing so, promoting statistics that involve legal adults. Gun control groups were hoping that readers wouldn’t follow through; that it would push the right emotional buttons by making people think they’re discussing young children. When Politifact rates statements like this as “Mostly True” they are helping the gun control movement promote a deceptive narrative. They have made themselves part of this deception, whole hog.
If Politifact had a shred of honestly, they would have a rating of “Deceptive” or “Misleading” for situations like this where the underlying facts may be technically true, but are presented in a way that is clearly intended to mislead the reader. But they won’t do such a thing, because Politifact has no integrity. They were created to promote narratives that benefit a certain political viewpoint. In that sense, they are serving their purpose. But the real danger is that organizations like Facebook are planning to include outfits like Politifact to police what has been widely derided as “fake news.”
As much as I’ve been involved with the gun issue, these days I’m becoming more concerned about the future of free expression, especially in a world where Silicon Valley oligarchs are conspiring with the media to decide on what you and I get to see or not see.
Dec 27, 2016
I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Ours was a bit of a mixed bag since Bitter’s grandfather died on Friday at age 91. Her other grandfather died when she was a year old, but both her grandmothers are still living. Enough about that, maybe I have some news I’ve been collecting. Some of it might be a bit dated, but hopefully obscure enough you might not have seen it:
Looks like Miss Sloane was a box office bust. This is a good cultural indicator, but when is it ever fun to pay someone to give a political lecture. There are plenty of people on the Internet who will give you one for free!
The EU agrees to new gun control laws. I’m sure that’ll work just great!
Apparently Bloomberg’s people proffered a film plot from a small-time filmmaker in order to turn it into a statement on behalf of gun control. I’d argue they ruined his film by bringing politics into it.
The microstamping suit in California has been reinstated. I think we’re going to see a lot of movement on legal cases now that there will be an Administration change. However, it’s probably worth noting that replacing Scalia with another judge who’s solid on the issue doesn’t get us anywhere. I’ve said for a while I think Roberts is the soft underbelly of the Heller majority, and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Chicago is trying to get everyone fingerprinted to get FOID cards. If Republicans suggested such a thing for voting there would be (justifiable) outrage.
More good cultural indicators: minorities continue to arm up. I don’t blame them. If even half the things being spread about Trump were true, they’d be fools not to. Also, The Liberal Gun Club says they are seeing a membership surge. Come for the panic, stay for the freedom.
Charles C.W. Cooke is writing in America’s 1st Freedom: “The trappings of true grassroots organizations (like NRA) are curiously missing from gun control groups. Where are their conventions? Where are the bus tours, the meetups, the magazines, the marches?”
Texas is floating a bill to make carry licenses free. I have a better idea: why not stop requiring them in the first place?
Local news story on silencers. I think we’re going to win on this, largely because I think we’ve found good arguments, and the other side basically has nothing. Why do they hate our hearing?
David Keene: “Heller ruling just the start on gun rights.”
Bring back the blue dogs! This is spot on, which is exactly why it will get ignored.
Gun owners fit no stereotype. Back when I got into shooting I didn’t fit the stereotype either, but the older I get the more I fit the stereotype.
Blood in the streets, they say, if Trump signs a reciprocity bill. That argument was worn and tired twenty years ago.
USA Today: “Trial reveals Roof’s gun purchase went unchallenged by store owner.” The real headline would be “FBI cocks up background check on Roof.”
Victory in PA Commonwealth Court over local ordinance banning guns in parks.
Prof. Nelson Lund: “The Right to Arms and the American Philosophy of Freedom”
The Brady Campaign are celebrating failure in their fundraising campaigns. To be fair, spinning loss as victory is about all they can do. All the movement in this issue has been the result of Bloomberg, and as John Lott has argued, he doesn’t have much to show for the money spent.
The Hill: “What Gun Groups Want from Trump.”
Gun sales surged ahead of new California Assault Weapons Ban.
The Blaze: “As it turns out, NAGR is just one of a pack of ankle-biter groups, all of which trace back to Mike Rothfeld. Among this web of Rothfeld groups are Campaign for Liberty, Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership, and Council for Freedom and Enterprise.”
Dec 21, 2016
Good news for those of you who live in Delaware County: there’s a new range opening in Upland, Race Street Range. Delco desperately needs more places to shoot that are mostly available to the general public (as opposed to private clubs that are hard to get into if you don’t know someone). Currently, there are public ranges in Yeadon (Double Action) and Chadds Ford (Targetmaster). I’ve never been to Double Action, but Targetmaster isn’t a place I’d go anymore. One of my visits there, I saw a staff member part-way down range fixing a jammed target hanger while people on the far end were still using the range. When the staff don’t follow basic safety rules, that’s bad news. Maybe they’ve cleaned up their act since then, but that was enough for me. Upland is a good location. It’s close enough to the market without having too many soccer moms. Chadds Ford is practically soccer mom central, and I remember Targetmaster had a terrible time opening back in the late 80s/early 90s.
Having this new range succeed in Upland will be a huge boon for the shooting culture in Pennsylvania. When I lived back home, if I wanted to shoot I used to drive all the way up to Classic Pistol, closer to where I live now. There are half a million people who live in Delaware County, and now shooting will be more accessible for them. Of the suburban counties, only Bucks County and Chester County have a reasonable number of public ranges of the kind that service people just getting into the culture.
Dec 19, 2016
The Second Amendment as an individual right is a lie, and gun owners are stupid people who lap up and regurgitate everything the NRA says, and are “primed to trade in ‘fake news’.”
There’s an old adage that one should never interrupt your enemy when they are in the process of making a mistake, and I’m certainly not going to. I think we were even accused of being Russian stooges in there, but I’m not sure.
This is why they have lost, and why for the foreseeable future they will continue to lose. For the most part, we went out into the culture with a mission to persuade and change minds, and save the handful of states where the law and/or culture has already been rigged against that, we’ve succeeded. The only reason the gun control movement has seen any success at all is because Mike Bloomberg is a good strategician, and has the will and capability to outspend us. If it had to depend on the minds at the Brady Campaign, the issue would have made no gains whatsoever in the past five years.
Dec 16, 2016
I can’t find much to argue with in Eric Raymond’s note to Democrats, and of course I agree that gun control is a losing proposition for Democrats and always has been. ESR and I live in the same general area, so he’s probably seeing a lot of the same things I am.
My only comment is that one should never underestimate the Republican Party’s ability to completely and utterly bork things up. It’s their majority to lose, but I have faith they can do it! I don’t buy notions of permanent majorities, or even generational majorities. I wouldn’t suggest that the Dems merely waiting around for the GOP’s self-destructive tendencies to go to work isn’t a viable strategy.
Dec 15, 2016
I don’t know how many of you follow “The Trace,” which is part of Mike Bloomberg’s new media strategy. It’s actually a pretty soft-sell type publication when it comes to gun control. They obviously have a pro-gun control bent, but they also do some decent reporting on the issue. So I admit, I use them as one of my sources. I tend to think “The Trace” is to the gun control movement was Guns.com is for us. Guns.com also does some decent straight reporting on the issue, bit with a bit of a pro-gun bent.
Anyway, I noticed since the election that The Trace has gone from more of the soft-sell to a much harder sell. I don’t know if that’s part of a deliberate strategy change, or whether a lot of people over there are just pissed off at the election results. Not that I’m complaining: the hard sell is a lot easier to make fun of, and it should provide some good material in the future. The mainstream media has gotten pretty boring with their gun reporting, and the fever swamp places like Media Matters are so hilariously over the top as to be hardly worth paying attention to. It’s self-parodying.
Dec 15, 2016
Via Thirdpower, I have been informed that David Lawson, who along with his wife Colleen were co-plantiffs in McDonald v. Chicago, narrowly survived a house fire along with his mother. Sadly his brother and niece perished in the fire, and the home itself is a total loss. People are raising money for them. What an awful thing to have happen. I can’t even imagine.
I first met the Lawsons when they were bloggers, before McDonald v. Chicago. They had to take their blog down, and they couldn’t explain why. We didn’t find out until later, when the case was announced. Then it all made sense.
If you want to help them out, kick some funds to the gofundme campaign.