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Sign-Up For Firearms Law Seminar in Louisville

If you are a lawyer headed to NRA Annual Meeting and are looking for CLE credits, or really anyone interested in Second Amendment Law, I highly recommend taking a look at the Annual Firearms Law Seminar. Last year’s panel speakers were quite good. This year’s speakers include “Stephen Halbrook, Ernest Myers, David Kopel, Joseph Greenlee, Teresa Ficaretta, Jonathan Goldstein, Derek DeBrosse, Brent Weil, NRA-ILA attorney Chris Zealand, and NRA Office of the General Counsel attorney Sarah Gervase.”

Jonathan Goldstein is a local gun-rights attorney that NRA has used on some of their more high-profile suits in Pennsylvania. HE’s speaking about “Preemption: The Next Frontier in Firearms Regulation & Litigation” Jonathan is a good speaker, and pretty entertaining. Dave Kopel and Joseph Greenly are speaking about a “A Second Amendment Roadmap through the Federal Circuits.” For a preview, see Dave’s article in the WaPo on the subject. Lots of other good stuff.

I should note the Early Bird signup ends this Friday, so if you were thinking about going, you might want to sign up before then to get the discount.

California Looking to Expand “Gun Violence Restraining Orders”

They haven’t even been in place for four months, and already the rest of the camel is coming under the tent. Via the Firearms Policy Coalition:

Authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the bill massively expands a controversial law that has only been in place for 4 months. At present, current law permits family members and peace officers to petition a court, in secret, in order to restrain an individual from possessing firearms. AB 2607 compounds this measure by adding, to the list of qualified petitioners, employers, coworkers, mental health workers, and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school.

There’s way too much potential for abuse with this, and as FPC has pointed out, it would put gun owners in fear of seeking any kind of health treatment for fear an anti-gun doctor will report them to the authorities, causing them to get raided.

They are showing their cards. They want to be able to deny you a fundamental, constitutional right on the flimsiest of evidence with no due process, and if Hillary wins in November, they will almost certainly get away with it.

Epic Troll, But Not Helping

I have to join Steve from the Firearms Blog in suggesting that this isn’t the best way to help the public image of gun shows. We’ve spent a lot of effort over the years to bring this issue out of the shadows and into the mainstream. When I first started going to gun shows back in the late 80s, early 90s, it was pretty much your stereotypical middle aged white males, and some fathers would bring their boys. Today I see mom and families going, sons along with daughters. This didn’t happen by magic. It was a deliberate cultural struggle to make gun shows seem mainstream to your average person, despite a huge effort by anti-gunners to make them seem shadowy. Guys who do crap like this don’t help things. In fact, they help Bloomberg.

How Much Did the Gun Control Rhetoric Help Hillary?

Hillary laid the gun control rhetoric on strong in Connecticut, and it also happens that of all the states Hillary took in the “Acela Primary” she won Connecticut by the thinnest margin. While the fairly parse polling in Connecticut showed the race close, she didn’t effectively beat the margin of error in the polling averages. Additionally, while she took Newtown, she lost 5 out of the 8 surrounding towns to Bernie. She had been building on her lead earlier in the month. I’ve noticed that Hillary tends to do better the less she opens her yap.

I’m not saying guns was the prime motivating factor here, it’s just that often Democratic candidates retreat to the gun control rhetoric believing it will help them, when it’s pretty apparent it doesn’t. Donald Trump is running on a pro-Second Amendment platform, and comfortably blew Hillary out of the water on primary vote count in both Newtown and in every community surrounding it.

Bad News for Hillary

Polling done by the NSSF shows that 72% of Americans disagree with Hillary Clinton on repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Even a plurality of “Strong Democrats” favor PLCAA. Independents and voters who lean Democrat overwhelmingly support PLCAA.

Ultimately, I think people get that you don’t sue Seagrams from Drunk Driving accidents, and don’t sue McDonalds over the obesity epidemic. Culturally, I think we’re very well off with the right to keep and bear arms, despite an overwhelming cultural campaign over the past few years to try to consign us to the dustbin of history. Unfortunately, I think over the past several, gun rights politically is being swept along by winds from a brewing political storm of historic proportions, and our destiny is now well beyond our control.

Clinton stands a very good chance of winning in November, not because she’s popular, but because the Republican Party is not united, and may be in the process of completely cracking up. Obviously, with the court the way it is, we won’t have a Second Amendment if Hillary picks the next few justices on the court.

Tomorrow’s Pennsylvania Primary

Because of a desire to cast a vote for Fred Thompson some years ago, am still registered as a Republican. I never got to vote for Fred, because he didn’t make it all the way to Pennsylvania. They said he didn’t act like he really wanted the job, which for me is a plus. No sane person would want to be President. But because I did not switch back to Independent, I get the sheer joy of casting my vote tomorrow in the primary. I say that with the upmost sarcasm, but I do have a Congressional primary race I want to have a say in.

For the PA-08 Congressional primary, I am voting for Mark Duome. Andrew Warren got a C on his questionnaire from NRA. Unsurprisingly, Brian Fitzpatrick did not even bother to turn in his questionnaire. His brother was not very strong on the issue, and I always believed him to be a weasel. I believe if the chips are down, Fitzpatrick will betray us, and I don’t have much faith in his brother either. He’ll be way to afraid of Bloomberg’s money.

For the State Attorney General, NRA has not issued any endorsement. Last time John Rafferty ran for his PA Senate seat, he was rated A- and endorsed. Joe Peters has an AQ rating for this race, meaning he answered well on his questionnaire, but does not have a record on the issue. Rafferty probably has better name recognition in these parts, and that’s going to be key to getting the AG’s office back in the hands of someone who won’t muck about with reciprocity agreements, and who isn’t claiming power to ban private transfers of long guns, as some Dem candidates are doing. That probably tips me more into the Rafferty camp. We have to win this one.

Then we get to the big race. It looks like Marco Rubio is still on the ballot, so I will vote for him in protest to the remaining candidates, or I just won’t vote at all. I could write a whole overly long post of all the problems with Trump, but I’ll go with my gut instinct that he’s a swindler. Now, to a large degree all politicians are swindlers, but I get the same bad feeling about The Donald I got about Obama. I think they share a good many weaknesses. I’m also still not convinced Trump isn’t a stalking horse for Hillary, joining the race to put the GOP in disarray, but who has beat all expectations.

Despite polls that show Cruz polls better than Trump against Hillary nationally, Cruz doesn’t change anything. He’s still going to be struggling in the same swing states. He will have to win Florida and Ohio to win, and Cruz has lost everything west of the Mississippi except Maine and Wisconsin. He lost The South to a guy from New York City. I don’t think he’s a naturally likable candidate. The only strength he would have in the general election is that neither is Hillary. That leaves Kasich, who I’ve heard enough stupid crap from to just say no. He’s also only won one state, and it was his home state. Obama has successfully driven Republican voters bat shit crazy. He deserves credit for that. Very well played.

Be sure to check your delegates. Remember, it’s likely to be very very close, and these delegates are not bound on the first ballot. They can vote for whoever they want. So be sure who they say they are pledging to in your Congressional District. For those of you in the 8th Congressional Distict:

  • Barry Casper, Trump
  • Deborah Evangelou, Cruz
  • Jim Worthington, Trump
  • Sean Shute, Trump
  • Robert Loughtery, Popular Vote
  • Marguerite Quinn, Popular Vote
  • Gene DiGirolamo, Unknown. He’s the PA rep for the district down from mine.

You only vote for no more than three. I could not find any information on alternates, but you can only vote for three and there are three running. I will vote for Evangelou and DiGirolamo. The ones who are committed to the popular vote are likely to be Trump supporters. This only reflects my preference for Cruz over Trump if things at the convention go down to the wire. This is the only strategic voting I’m doing in this primary.

So that’s my slate. Be sure to head to the state store and stock up tomorrow. You deserve it if decided to pick from this sorry lot!

Administration Report on Smart Gun Technology Coming This Week

Remember when President Obama ordered the military and federal agencies to come up with a plan on how to promote smart-gun technology through the procurement process? Well, that report might be due out this week:

Sources in and out of government say the administration is about to put forward a report from the agencies on the way forward on smart guns. The document could be released as early as this week, these sources say.

Its exact recommendations are being closely guarded by the White House, but it’s likely to reopen a years-long debate on whether smart guns ultimately can cut down the number of accidental shooting deaths — 500 in 2013 alone, 30 of those under age 5.

Bicycles kill more people in accidents every year. Accidental poisoning kills 38,851 people every year, and 76 of those were children under the age of 5 (via Poison Control Center). Unlike accidental shootings, which thanks to community education efforts have been on the decline, accidental poisonings among both adults and those under 5 have been increasing substantially. So why all the attention on this issue? To me, the answer is clear. This isn’t about saving the lives of children, it’s about gaining political advantage over those rubes in flyover country.

We have to be ready for this. Any manufacturer who cooperates with this shit gets the Smith & Wesson treatment. For those readers who are young, gun owners nearly drove the iconic gunmaker out of business because they cooperated with the Clinton Administration to enact back door bans for civilians. Military and police contracts represent a small percentage of the industries overall business. If a company wishes to lose all their civilian business entirely, by all means, bow to pressure from this administration or the next.

Science Nerd Post: Reactionless Drive

EM DriveI’ve been very intrigued by this supposed reactionless EM drive. When I first heard of it, I was very skeptical, since it violates every law of physics we think we know. Hell, I’m still skeptical. But the fact is that several teams have built one of these contraptions and have measured thrust being generated. Now in MIT Technology Review, we’re offered a theory by which this drive could legitimately be producing thrust. As much as I think there’s probably something else going on here, I really hope this is true. At the risk of people accusing me of being a Debbie Downer again, this late election season has convinced me the only long term hope for libertarian-minded people is getting the hell off this rock and leaving the world’s troubles behind. I’m becoming more convinced that free people need a frontier, because without one, eventually, the meddlers, swindlers, and sycophants of the world catch-up to us.

PA Gun Rights Group Pushing Write-in Campaign Against Toomey

Senator Pat Toomey has no primary challenger in Tuesday’s Republican primary. Pennsylvanians for Self Protection are urging GOP primary voters to write in “2A” in place of voting for Senator Toomey:

Pennsylvanians For Self-Protection (PA4SP) a non-partisan, non-profit gun rights advocate based in the Southeast yesterday recommended it’s members to write-in “2A” for 2nd Amendment when voting in the Republican U.S. Senate Primary. The write-in vote is a protest for Senator Pat Toomey’s strong support for gun control legislation. As Toomey is running unopposed in the Primary Election, the write-in vote is symbolic and a message to Toomey. PA4SP cites Toomey’s campaign ad where he is endorsed by a board member of the anti-gun group CeasefirePA as the final straw. In the past, CeasefirePA has called for laws that would restrict the rights to own and purchase firearms placing them at the mercy of criminal predators.

“Pat Toomey has consistently sided with the gun grabbers. He wants to do something about mass shootings in this country, we all do, but making it harder for law abiding people to protect themselves with legal firearms isn’t the way. We need to send him a message to remind him that the 2nd Amendment is a right.” said Dave Sager, President of PA4SP.

Toomey is the co-sponsor of the infamous Toomey-Manchin Gun Bill introduced after the Newtown Shooting in 2012. Critics slammed the bill as bad legislation, doing nothing to stop mass shootings and creating more problems than solving.

“Pat Toomey can’t point to a single mass shooting that would have been stopped by Toomey-Manchin. It’s bad legislation and we don’t need more laws for the sake of laws. We need to enforce current federal gun laws that provide strict penalties for guns used in crime.” offered Carlo Grilletto PA4SP’s Vice President.

Pat Toomey has betrayed legal gun owners. It is important for legal gun owners to let him know it.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never done a write-in before, and have no idea how you’d go about one with the new electronic fraud voting machines. Instructions on how to do a write-in would probably help boost this effort, since a lot of people aren’t going to want to ask poll workers.

The only thing that makes me wary of something like this is that if you set out to send a message, you really need to be sure you can send it. If you throw down, and don’t end up generating enough momentum for the targeted politician to really take notice, you signal weakness.

It’s a shame there was no primary challenger this cycle, but I suspect the GOP is concerned about holding the seat. Next election Toomey will be running in an off year, which to me is when a primary challenge will have better odds of success. The big question in my mind is whether we’ve only lost Pat Toomey on this one issue, or whether he’s embracing a strategy of trying to survive as an full on anti-gun Republican, like Mark Kirk. Time will tell.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 34

I’ve been keeping up with the news this week, it’s just that there isn’t much of it. Note that I am not complaining about this. No sir. I know what happens when I complain about slow news. I am totally fine with slow news. So I will make an attempt to clean out my tabs of items I do have:

California is going to a very bad place, gun rights wise. Any state controlled by Democrats is at grave risk right now.

Study shows no relationship between gun ownership and suicide.

Dog Bites Man: Corruption in NYC regarding permit issuance. More from Dave Hardy on this.

Hillary Clinton talks to Jim Gardner of Action News about how she plans to bring gun control to Pennsylvania. She restates there are “too many guns.”

A World of Their Own: They believe gun control is at a tipping point, and support is at an all time high. No one who lived through the 90s would believe this. Polling shows that this isn’t true, though there’s a recent uptick we ought to be concerned about. Bloomberg’s money is very dangerous to us, and I believe that’s driving the numbers.

President Obama’s legacy: One hundred thousands jobs generated by the firearms industry. That’s probably a better track record of manufacturing job creation than anything else you can name that Obama is responsible for.

ATF is proposing changes to form 4473. Adam Kraut has the run down.

Well, this is comforting: French police say they’ll try to get their response time down to 20 minutes at the next terrorist mass shooting.

Shit like this is why we’re dealing with Trump. Even lefty Vox is starting to understand the politics of condescension is destroying this country.

Charles C.W. Cooke: Civil rights and the Second Amendment.

Constitutional Open Carry has passed both houses in Oklahoma. Right now Oklahoma allows open and concealed carry only with a license.

Campus Carry passes in Tennessee.

Chelsea Clinton knows the stakes in this race: “It matters to me that my mom also recognizes the role the Supreme Court has when it comes to gun control. With Justice Scalia on the bench, one of the few areas where the Court actually had an inconsistent record relates to gun control.

When you cite a new study, and then tell me it comes from the VPC, pardon me if I don’t take it seriously. Sugarmann has always been a charlatan, but he used to be a lot less transparently so.

Is full-auto fire practical?

Off Topic:

The problem with socialism is that sooner or later it runs out of other people’s money. But there might be hell to pay before that finally happens.

Glenn Reynolds in USA Today: Make America European Again!

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