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I’d Welcome Bloomberg to the Circus

Over the weekend, the big news was Mike Bloomberg talking about throwing his hat into the ring in 2016, especially if Bernie Sanders is the nominee. Gun folks should want him to enter the race. It will help keep his profile up, and there will be a lot of talk about his backing of gun control. If you notice, Everytown has distanced themselves from Bloomberg. He’s kept a low profile. When people think gun control, we want them to think Mike Bloomberg, King of soda control, Baron of bland food. If he enters the race, he’ll be in the spotlight again, and there will be a lot of talk linking him to his unpopular nanny state views, including Everytown. People will be talking about these things, and he’ll more than likely pull votes away from the Democrats. He’d also likely blunt the effects of a Trump independent run, should such a thing happen. I think overall it would be quite beneficial to have him join the circus that is the 2016 election.

Run, Mike, Run

While I can’t say as I’d vote for the man, I heartily encourage Michael Bloomberg to run for president as an Independent. Especially if he’s going to self-fund. All of my political enemies should have an expensive and impossible hobby.

Ballot Fight in Maine

Looks like Bloomberg has managed to buy his way to enough signatures in Maine that we’ll have ourselves a ballot fight there come election time. Like I’ve said before, unless we can punch him back hard with a loss in one or both of these states, he’s going to keep running this game in every state out there, and he has the money to outspend us.

Keep in mind that none of Bloomberg’s proposals make it illegal to change the title of a firearm (i.e. sell it to someone else) without going through an FFL. The ballot measure in Washington made any transfer (i.e. handing a firearm to someone else) illegal, except for certain limited exception. In Washington State currently, it is technically illegal to shoot with a friend on your own property, or on public land, or anywhere else that’s not a “bonafide shooting range” (i.e. well, we really don’t know what that means) or at a sanctioned match. Classroom training is illegal in Washington State, technically, if you use a firearm that you do not own. This has nothing to do with public safety. It has everything to do with sneaking restrictive measures in under the guise of something that sounds reasonable to average non-gun-owning voters.

Let us not also forget that banning private transfers and sales amounts to de-facto registration. Let us also not forget that after Sandy Hook NRA A-rated Senator Coburn offered a proposal that would apply background checks to all changes of title, but that dealt with our concerns regarding the de-facto registration component, and Chuck Schumer laughed it out of the room. Let us also not forget their refusal to exempt people with concealed carry licenses (who already have gone through the background check) from the private transfer ban, as we do here in Pennsylvania with handguns for temporary transfers (i.e. not change of title).

As the Mainer who notified me of this noted, “The UBC proposal is being driven and financed by out-of-state interests (read: Bloomberg). As a general rule, Mainers DO NOT appreciate being told how to live their lives by outsiders.” Spread the word, because if we don’t beat Bloomberg, this is coming to every state that has a ballot. Ballot measures come down to one thing: who spends the most money, and we cannot outspend Mike Bloomberg.

The Snowpacalypse is Upon Us

The panic really started at the beginning of the week, when my weekly trip to Wegman’s for the groceries saw she shelves cleared of many items. That’s telling, because Wegman’s is usually on top of that shit. It was worse than the week before Christmas. As soon as Pennsylvanians hear the word “snow” in the forecast, people head to the grocery store to stock up as if the Russians just launched all the ICBMs out of their silos and we only have 30 minutes to grab all the canned goods we can get our hands on. I’ve never understood this. We have plows, we have salt. Unless it’s piled up over the roads, you’re stuck inside for a day, at best.

I notice the fogey quotient was up pretty high this week, so I think a lot of it is old people. Old people seem to be more prone to panic. Either way, I’m trying to figure out whether to go to work tomorrow. It’s forecast not to start until later in the evening, but my commute is 45 miles one-way and that’s a long way to go if it’s heavy snow because they were wrong. Unlike DC, we know how to drive in snow, but the correct technique is slow and deliberate, and I’m not eager to do 45 miles of that.

Gun Control Defeated in Virginia

The anti-gun folks made a big push, saying hundreds and hundreds showed up to protest. Complaints were loud when journalists reported the actual numbers. About the size of a somewhat larger Friends of the NRA dinner, I’d say. Either way, the good news is they came up empty handed, and it would seem there’s some will to solve the problem Herring created by making Virginia a Constitutional Carry state.

As a great man once said, punch back twice as hard. We not only have to defeat their proposals, we have to make them far worse off than they would have been if they had just left well enough alone.

Look Who Had a Fast and Furious Gun

Looks like the Mexican police found a Barrett M99 in .50BMG El Chapo’s hideout, which was linked to the Fast and Furious program where ATF allowed guns to be sold to Mexican drug cartels. That scandal is the gift that just keeps on giving, isn’t it? Except it’s a gift no one wanted. I’ll forgive the nonsense of a bolt-action .50BMG being used for taking down helicopters (I suppose with a lucky shot, you could) since this is from a British paper.

Federal officials said they are investigating how many of the weapons found at El Chapo’s hideout originated in the U.S., and where and how they were purchased.

Any bets on whether they’ll find more F&F guns? It sadly does not surprise me that no one has gone to jail for this.

FBI Says It’s Stopping NICS Appeals

So overwhelmed are NICS examiners with the Great Obama Gun Rush, they are apparently considering suspending appeals for people who are denied (there’s an instant play ad for me on the link, so beware):

The surge of criminal background checks required of new gun purchasers has been so unrelenting in recent months that the FBI had been forced to temporarily halt the processing of thousands of appeals from prospective buyers whose firearm purchase attempts have been denied.

I’d argue there are serious constitutional implications with something like this, that is there should be if the courts were willing to take the right seriously, which they aren’t, so it’s a moot point.

But it’s interesting that Obama Panic is driving so many gun sales that we’re breaking the system. The article goes on to describe the woes of the NICS system, which relies on voluntary compliance from the states. The article implies that the overload currently being experienced contributed to the Charleston mass murderer (we don’t give these bozos the infamy they seek by naming them) slipping through the system.

During the background check, [racist murdering asshole]’s March arrest on felony drug charges was mistakenly attributed to the Lexington County, S.C., Sheriff’s Department, not the Columbia, S.C., Police Department, which actually made the arrest. The sheriff’s department operates the jail where [the murderer] had been detained.

The Columbia police report included information that [the dope smoking murderer] admitted to drug possession, which would have triggered an immediate denial by NICS, according to bureau guidelines. But that information was never seen by the reviewer because the FBI’s database did not include Columbia police contacts in its list of agency contacts for Lexington County purchase reviews. The reviewer did attempt to reach the Lexington County prosecutor’s office, which was handling the drug case at the time, but received no response.

The gun control folks are now making a push to end “default proceeds.” Essentially the FBI has three days to complete the check and make a determination of status. If the FBI fails to issue a denial or a proceed, the dealer is permitted to go ahead with the sale after three days. In the case of our racist, doped up murder boy here, the dealer waiting five days.

Default proceeds are intended to protect the rights of the public from the government being able to shut down all gun sales through either being unwilling or unable to process the background checks. Imagine, for instance, a Carrington level event, or some other natural or manmade disaster, which takes down large portions of our telecommunication systems, with NICS down and unreachable. You might want a gun in that kind of SHTF scenario? Under the existing system, sales could still proceed after three days. Under the system the gun control proponents propose, all legal guns sales would be shut down. Default proceed is non-negotiable, and a system that would shut down all gun sales in a serious national emergency ought to be unconstitutional.

History Worth Noting

Martin Luther King on Marxism:

“This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”

That strikes me as the fundamental dichotomy between individualism and statism.

h/t Instapundit.

More From the Clinton Files

Dave Hardy has a follow up article about his visit to the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock published in this month’s America’s First Freedom. This one is also well worth the read.

The Brady Campaign’s correspondence with the Clinton White House, revealed here for the first time, illustrates how well and persistently it has stuck with the agenda laid out by its first real leader. The goal is to make handgun ownership illegal: Along the way, remember that half a loaf is better than none, and if you have to, settle for just a slice. Take whatever you can get, and keep on asking for more. Anything that makes gun ownership more burdensome or risky is a step toward that goal.

I have linked this before in a news links post, but I would encourage you to read this very frank memo Dave found, from Jody Powell to George Stephanopoulos in 1994 speaking of the risks of pursuing the gun control agenda. In addition to the letter, it also includes gun control proposals that the previous version I linked did not include. I will quote from the letter:

In my humble estimation, the reason we never get the political benefit from gun control that the polls seem to promise is because our proposals are substantively weak. We have yet to propose anything that people believe will make any difference. The people who are generally for gun control don’t make it a voting issue because it has no real impact on their lives. On the other hand. the inconvenience and hassle of wading through another round with indifferent and incompetent bureaucrats and the fear that this is only the first step toward more radical measures are quite real to people who own guns. As much as I hate to say it, the NRA is effective primarily because it is largely right when it claims that most gun control laws inconvenience and threaten the law-abiding while having little or no impact on violent crime or criminals.

Read the whole thing. It’s quite an eye opener. The Clinton White House obviously went ahead with some of these proposals, resulting in the federal assault weapons ban in September of that year. Powell asked the Clinton Administration to consider carefully what the consequences could be of pursuing this agenda:

I support registration in principle. But two questions need to be asked. Are the people causing the problem going to comply voluntarily? If not, do you have a way to effectively enforce compliance? If the answer is “no” in both cases. consider whether the benefits are worth making Bob Dole majority leader.

And in 1994, Bob Dole would indeed became Senate Majority Leader. Obviously Powell supported many of these policies, but he understood the issue well, and tried to communicate the dynamic to the White House. The Obama Administration was a picnic in the park compared to the Clinton Administration. Unlike Obama, Clinton knew how to work Congress. Obviously Clinton did not achieve half of what he and the Brady Campaign wanted to accomplish, but he accomplished much much more than Obama.

ATF 41P Published in Federal Register

Caution Bureaucrats at WorkJosh Prince has the story. This starts the clock ticking, causing the regulation to take effect on July 13, 2016. He has created a website called Fight ATF 41P. At this point, it appears that Prince’s initial analysis is still valid, and we didn’t have any surprises sprung on us between the rule published by ATF and in the Federal Register. There was a lot of discussion on this topic when it originally came up the other week, and many were disappointed that Form 1s and Form 4s could no longer be e-filed for trusts and corporations.

The reason we ended up with 41P in the first place is because so many people were using trusts to get around the CLEO signoff requirement that ATF was overwhelmed with processing trusts, since trusts had to be vetted to ensure there were no problems with it, and there often were. ATF had been saying in NRA’s Firearms Law seminar for a while that they were looking carefully at the CLEO requirement, including possibly eliminating it, to cut down on the number of trusts. Unfortunately for ATF, there’s also constructive possession issues with NFA items that is likely to cause trusts to remain popular. For these reasons, it can’t really be argued that use of trusts for NFA items is a form of “malicious compliance,” but it certainly has the same features. One of the key objections to 41P is that it’s not abundantly clear who responsible persons are. It’s probably wise advice to take the broad view there. I don’t see any reason not to replace one headache at ATF with another.

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