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Update on Operation Choke Point Lawsuit

The FDIC has been ordered to turn over documents. This should be fun. As you may remember, Operation Choke Point was the Obama administration’s effort to bully financial institutions into dropping their business ties with the firearms industry, effectively starving the industry by denying it access to financial services and capital.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 62

I have to admit, it’s getting hard making this even a biweekly feature. Let me throw out a theory: the worst thing in the world that could happen to the National Rifle Association is for their opponents and the media to ignore them, following the late Brian Anse Patrick’s book on the subject. NRA has certainly gotten a lot of negative media attention, but almost none of it related to guns. The media isn’t writing much about the subject these days. In fact, the best gun news coverage out there is done by Guns.com, owned by the name Chicago-based media company that does Cracked.com. None of this is good news for the NRA.

Tamara Keel: How to Carry Concealed In a Purse (If You Must).

What universal background checks really mean. It’s one of those things that sounds good, so it polls well, but when the rubber meets the road, it’s a lot more complicated. Technically loaning a firearm is illegal in Pennsylvania too, but we except loans to LTC holders.

Carry permit holders up to 14.5 million. You have to wonder how much the spread of constitutional carry is going to put a damper on these numbers… not that I’m arguing that isn’t a good problem to have.

Everytown is winning at the state level, according to themselves. If you get enough media to share, maybe it’ll be true!

This is the kind of garbage the media is putting out these days. What is even the point here?

Same kind of trash. Seriously, this stuff isn’t even worth linking. And it’s not because it’s taking a contrary point of view, or pointing out something uncomfortable. It’s just bad, as in not good.

From the same source, you’re also starting to see progressives question gun control again: “For all the root causes of gun violence, the history of gun control research has never conclusively shown evidence of progressive gun legislation working.

The NRA As Church.

Kevin has shared my disdain of Carry Guard, and I’m glad he’s writing about it. He believes NRA is throwing its own training and instructor program under the bus. I think he’s right.

Gun control folks seem to have a fondness for armed guards these days.

What do you know: the PSP actually have to back up their assertions with verifiable facts to deny someone an LTCF.

Jury nullification hampering feds efforts to prosecute Bundy supporters. It would probably help if the federal government hadn’t blown its legitimacy with the locals.

Guess who’s getting $2,000,000 from Google? I first saw this over at Clayton’s, and at first I was thinking they were only funding the interruptor model, which isn’t gun control. But further investigation shows they are donating to a coalition of groups that includes Everytown and the Brady Campaign. I miss the days when corporations feared taking political stands and risking alienating customers, but when you’re a monopoly, that’s less of a concern.

Constitutional Carry: One Year Later.

These Charts Help Explain NRA Politics

Larry Keane of NSSF: “Unpacking The Pew Research Center’s Latest Gun Survey.

The Akins Accelerator 2. The only thing it lacks from the first one is the spring. If you recall, ATF classified the spring as a machine gun.

It’s goal of passing the SAFE act having been achieved, New Yorkers for Gun Safety seems to be closing its doors.

Maybe the Brady Campaign can use the $1.1 million in attorneys fees they are getting from the State of Florida to pay off the debt they owe to the Phillips family.

Black woman writes about getting a gun for protection. NY Times readers don’t like that one bit.”

OSU study tries to paint gun control opponents as extreme.

California bullet button regs.

DC Circuit Overturns “Good Cause” Requirement

This opinion was just handed down today, before Judges Griffith and Williams who were in the majority, and Judge Henderson who dissented. I’d note that Judge Griffith was a George W. Bush appointee. Judge Williams was a Reagan appointee, and Henderson an George H.W. Bush appointee. Elections do matter, and as I’ve said before, we can move the ball forward even with very flawed candidates.

 

 

This point brings into focus the legally decisive fact: the good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self- defense needs, where these residents are no more dangerous with a gun than the next law-abiding citizen. We say “necessarily” because the law destroys the ordinarily situated citizen’s right to bear arms not as a side effect of applying other, reasonable regulations (like those upheld in Heller II and Heller III), but by design: it looks precisely for needs “distinguishable” from those of the community. So we needn’t pause to apply tiers of scrutiny, as if strong enough showings of public benefits could save this destruction of so many commonly situated D.C. residents’ constitutional right to bear common arms for self-defense in any fashion at all. Bans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have to flunk any judicial test that was appropriately written and applied, so we strike down the District’s law here apart from any particular balancing test.

Finally, a court willing to reject interest balancing approaches to the Second Amendment! The ruling upholds licensing for carry, which is disappointing, but at this point eliminating “good cause” requirements and rejecting the assertions that entire cities can be off limits to carry is a step in the right direction.

We pause to draw together all the pieces of our analysis: At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions. These traditional limits include, for instance, licensing requirements, but not bans on carrying in urban areas like D.C. or bans on carrying absent a special need for self-defense.

One thing I’d notice, however, as we look toward this case possibly moving forward, is that Justice Kennedy has not announced any retirement, and it’s getting late in the summer. The Court goes back to work September 25th.

Not So Smart Gun

Really, this can never work without some kind of electronic primer. Anything else is just feel good theater.

Did the Brady Campaign Explain the Risks? Why Aren’t They Paying Up?

Mother Jones has an article about the Phillips suit against Lucky Gunner, et al over selling the Aurora killer ammunition. Mrs. Phillips notes:

Working for the Brady Campaign became a flurry of media appearances and meetings with politicians, police, and survivors. The Brady leadership also encouraged Lonnie and me to sue Lucky Gunner, the dealer that sold the stockpile of ammo to Jessi’s killer. We agreed that dealers should have to take some responsibility. Shouldn’t they have to vet a buyer of military-grade weaponry? Or a buyer of bullets en masse? The primary goal of our lawsuit was to make the gun dealer change its business practices—at a minimum, to ask for proof of identity and do a background check.

The PLCAA does not exempt suits for negligence per se, which means that if Lucky Gunner violated the law, they can be liable despite the PLCAA protections. This is exactly the kind of lawsuit PLCAA was meant to stop: roughly the equivalent of suing a gas station that sold a tank of gas to a drunk. Lucky Gunner broke no law. They did not have any idea what the killer intended, just as no gas station could possibly know someone filling up is a drunk who might later that day get tanked and plough into a van with kids. The Aurora killer was not a prohibited person, because despite being out of his gourd, he never came in contact with the mental health system to become prohibited. He purchased his firearm legally after passing a background check.

Today, after nearly five years of activism, Lonnie and I continue to struggle. We filed for Chapter 11 protection in January because we could not afford to pay the legal fees for Lucky Gunner.

I’ll assume here that she means Chapter 13 protection, because that would be the typical filing for this kind of personal bankruptcy. But I think it’s terrible that she’s having to apply for personal bankruptcy when it’s the Brady Campaign that encouraged her and her husband to file a frivolous that was doomed the failure, and where the statute allows recovery of attorneys fees for such suits deemed frivolous. They should have warned them, and been ready to pay up when the inevitable happened. Sounds to me like they might have a pretty good case against the Brady Campaign and its lawyers!

Because I Don’t Know the Answers, It Means There are No Answers!

These days, you don’t see much in the way of ridiculous op-eds on guns being published in the papers. Neither the media or the NRA are paying much attention to the gun issue today, and media is all too happy to attack NRA over their latest nothing-to-do-with-guns attack ads.

Every single one of these old lady’s complaints could be successfully addressed by training. It would relieve her of our ignorance on this topic. But I suspect she’s not about to seek training, because the parade of ignorance that is her op-ed wasn’t about that.

But I do have to hand it to her writing an op-ed about guns. She seems more interested in the gun rights battle these days than NRA is, at least.

NDAA Would Allow 1911s to be Sold Through CMP

Good news if it passes:

Included in the NDAA was an amendment I offered that would allow the Army to release excess 1911 pistols from storage and transfer them to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for them to inspect, grade, prepare for sale and sell the pistols to the public.

Now if we could just get an exception to the “once a machine gun, always a machine gun” rule and allow semi-auto converted surplus M14s to be sold through CMP.

Quote of the Day: Policing

Tam commenting on the recent shooting of an Australian woman by an apparently jumpy Minneapolis cop:

Policing is generally something folks get into because they knew they always wanted to as a kid, or because it’s a reasonably easy gig to land getting out of the military. It’s the ones who suddenly decided in their thirties that they wanted to drop everything and be Batman and a Force For Good that worry me.

I think people also go into law enforcement because their parents were in law enforcement. But the point is very well taken. Read the whole thing.

One More Thought …

Following up on the previous post … in the great monopolies of the 20th century, IBM and Bell Labs, to name the big players, maintained great laboratories of innovation. If they were going to be monopolies, they wanted the public to feel they were benefiting from it. We’re still benefitting from much of the innovation today that has come out of those two monopolists in the 20th century.

The robber barons of the 21st century will captivate the public imagination with space travel, supersonic transport, electric cars, and other wonders. They will do their best to bring us the future we were promised, so we will also remain happy with our monopolies and accept their political power.

There has to be a balance. I don’t believe the economic and social policies of the 20th century will achieve what we need, and I notice a lot of the elders in my life are myopically still fighting yesterday’s battles, and settling old scores which don’t honestly matter anymore.

One thing I do believe is that Trump and Obama are both transformative figures. They are two peas in a pod, even if neither they nor their supporters could ever accept that. Both are products of the 20th century post-WWII political arrangement. Sooner than most anyone else, they came to understand the post-WWI arrangement was breaking down. Wishing to make their mark on the world, both are now locked in a struggle to replace that order, but neither of them are really in a position to do so. Something will replace that order, but whatever it will be, and whoever will be its standard bearer, has not fully developed.

I Guess it Took Modern Day Robber Barons to Realize This

One area where I’ve always departed with libertarian market purists is on anti-trust, but I could never really articulate it well until now:

One place where I break with the Borkian consensus on antitrust is that I don’t think the Sherman Act was about maximizing consumer welfare so much as it was about inhibiting the growth of unaccountable political power. (The drafers of the Sherman Act, of course, weren’t aware of Bork’s theories.) We’re seeing a lot of unaccountable political power here, and it’s going to get worse if nothing’s done.

I probably couldn’t have come to the conclusion in my 20s, but these days I think political power and economic power aren’t really separable. The latter breeds the former.

If you worked in tech in the 1990s, you remember Microsoft using its monopoly in operating systems to essentially strangle Netscape. By the time the government came around to dealing with that, technology had moved on. Back then I felt it was a pretty good example of how anti-trust law wasn’t really well suited to a post-industrial economy such as ours. But Microsoft’s great accomplishment was swindling IBM out of their monopoly on computing. Jeff Bezos has laid waste to main streets across this country. Google has absconded with the advertising revenues of all the local news rags we grew up with. Don’t even get me started on Facebook.

And we all cheered while they were doing it. What a fool I feel like for believing technological and free market progress would eventually solve all our ills. I might not believe Trumpian populism is the answer, but I can’t help but say we’re in a hell of a pickle now.

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