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Is America Crazy?

Ace of Spades asks the question, and speaks to the reason I don’t blog as much as I used to:

Half of America now consists of barely-functional lunatics, and it’s best to avoid them for all sorts of reasons.

I know I’m a bad blogger for not jumping on all of these Freak-Outs. I have felt guilty sometimes about not jumping on the internet on a weekend — for example, during the Charlottesville incidents.

I do this for selfish reasons: I do not wish to be amidst madman shrieking and by being amidst them, become infected with madness myself.

But I sometimes justify this selfish aversion to doing my job as actually doing my job: As I do not wish to be infected by the viral lunacy consuming half of this country, so too do I not wish to be a vector of that lunacy, infecting other people.

I am now much more involved with my local gun club than I used to be. That started out of necessity, but I’m finding I like being able to do something to promote and preserve the shooting sports that’s not political, and that gets me away from the RSS feed, Facebook, and constant stream of news and commentary that must be followed to have something to blog about.

I’m also going to get back into camping. Maybe buy a canoe. I don’t know much about canoes, but it seems like something I might enjoy taking up, and we could use the exercise.

I don’t plan on quitting blogging, but these days I need more of a break from the news than I used to.

New California Regulations

From Bearing Arms:

The question is whether these new regulations would stand up to judicial scrutiny. I have no doubt that California courts will find these rules constitutional, but would it survive higher courts? I have to believe they don’t, if for no other reason that this is a clear attempt to restrict an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’m not a legal expert. This is something for the legal experts to hammer out.

I give approximately no chance that state or federal courts will strike down these regulations. Remember, the 9th Circuit has, so far, successfully overturned Heller’s direct ruling striking DC’s safe-storage law. SCOTUS let them get away with it.

The only way this regulation is going down is if there is a chance on the Court. Otherwise it’s going to go the same way every other case has gone: there might be a temporary victory at one level of the court if we get the right judge or judges, but it’ll be undone. California prevails en banc, and SCOTUS refuses to hear the case.

California can do whatever it wants to gun owners. Pretty soon, New Jersey will be in the same position, once Christie is gone.

Bloomberg Steals from the Little Guys?

I have to admit that I would expect Bloomberg’s people to be much more thoughtful about the optics of taking the work produced by individuals with far less cash in their bank accounts in this era of economic populism.

Bloomberg was smart enough to realize that after years of his political allies getting arrested – often for gun violence crimes or crimes against women & children – that Illegal Mayors Against Guns wasn’t going to go anywhere. Not to mention, actual grassroots gun owners in many non-urban areas successfully convinced several to very publicly disavow his agenda. He already had a lock on urban leaders, so he rebranded.

He can’t rebrand himself as “not a billionaire.” It is something that has worked against him repeatedly since it automatically paints him as a guy looking to come into states, throw some personal wealth around, and outspend any local voices. Because, well, that is exactly what he does in elections. Regardless, you’d think he’s still want to keep a softer image with it outside of election season so that he can try to build a network of allies to use in the next election season before he pisses them all off.

Nope, Bloomberg’s folks apparently want to promote the image of big, bad jerk billionaire because his partner Shannon Watts decided to take the work of a Houston-based independent photographer. Despite having licensing information clearly stated on his Twitter bio, Shannon swiped his work – how this man in a disaster area supports himself – and posted it to show how much she and her political partners “care.”

In fact, not only did she take it without paying for it, she didn’t even credit him for his work and the fact that he ventured out into the storm to capture the magnitude of the damage. She spent nearly $3 million on a house in the mountains, and her boss is worth about $53 billion, but their online advocacy efforts run through her Twitter page would rather take the (fantastic) work of others without credit or license than pay licensing fees to small business owners. In fact, even though the image is gone from her Twitter account, she refused to acknowledge the wrong and apologize or even wish him & his family well in the ongoing disaster.

Of course, it gets better. This theft of other people’s work goes beyond Twitter and photographs. NSSF’s Larry Keane found that state leaders for Bloomberg & Watts are using local government offices to request Project ChildSafe gun locks and slapping their own branding on them, pretending like they are responsible for the program.

Bloomberg the Billionaire only cares enough about gun safety to buy a little paper, send state leaders around to pick up gun locks provided by the firearm industry, and pretend he’s running his own program. Again, it’s a case of Everytown taking the hard work of people with fewer resources and pretending it is his own without any credit or acknowledgement. This is why class warfare rhetoric works with so many people. Outside of the walls of Everytown, this kind of behavior of taking credit for the work of those with less means rubs people the wrong way.

I Have To Agree on Armed Protests

SayUncle comments on the Second Amendment Foundation’s position on armed protests.

“We are not a fan of armed protests and highly discourage that,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of the SAF. “Firearms serve a purpose, and the purpose is not a mouthpiece. It’s to defend yourself. If you are carrying it to make a political point, we are not going to support that.”

I wouldn’t go to one of these protests unarmed, but it would be concealed. But I agree with Uncle: I wouldn’t go to one of these protests where both sides are idiots.

What you’re going to end up seeing are states passing laws against protesting while armed or starting to use laws on the books against parading while armed.

Internal Strife at Everytown

Looks like Kate Ranta is on the outs with Everytown. The reason? Everytown started to move in on the FoP, and some of their kookier members lost their shit because the FoP do not support their mission of disarming Americans with sufficient zeal.

Any readers out there who are cops should read this article, and have zero doubt these people will absolutely disarm you if they get half a chance.

On Thursday, I resigned as an Everytown Survivor Fellow after being blocked by the Survivor Network Facebook page for voicing my concerns about the sponsorship. My conclusion is that dissenting voices have no place in these organizations. You toe the line or you’re out.

Of course. They don’t need you. Bloomberg gives them plenty of money. Not having to worry about what grassroots members think helps them stay on message. If you’re no longer useful to them, they don’t want or need you.

Eclipse Watching

The lack of posting is because I was away on vacation. We decided to go camping along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had previously done this trip back in my 20s, but called it quits at Asheville. This time I endeavored to go to the true summit of Mount Mitchell, and finish the entire length through western North Carolina. Brief stop in the Smokeys, then onto Nashville were I watched the eclipse with my Uncle in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Mount Mitchell

Weather was perfect, both for Mount Mitchell and for the eclipse. Totality does make all the difference in the world. It was quite a spectacle. I saw the standing waves in the first minutes of totality’s recession. Approaching totality the light was strange. Shadows were fuzzy and sometimes crescent shaped. It was like the whole earth was being lit by a very white LED light.

Other than that, I was glad to get back into some camping. Things will return to normal around here as soon as I get my bearings back.

Can’t Both Sides Lose?

Henry Kissinger is rumored to have said, in regards to the Iran-Iraq war, “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose.” That pretty much sums up how I feel about what happened in Charlottesville. For those of you who are wise enough to avoid social media, it has been non stop “fascism and nazism descending on America because a few hundred idiots got together and Charlottesville and did what idiots tend to do.

I’m told variously I have to speak out. No I don’t. I down own kooks. I don’t own those people any more than people who voted for Bernie own that dude who shot Steve Scalise, or people who voted for Hillary who own this guy. Let’s establish that we all think murdering people is wrong, that violence is bad, socialist authoritarianism, whether national or international flavor is bad, fascism is bad. I’ve always been more of a pragmatist than a hard ideologue, so I’m OK condemning a whole host of isms.

So no, I definitely don’t own a few hundred loser white supremacists or antifa protesters who decided to get out of mom’s basement for a day and beat each other up over a statue.

I’ll leave you all with Ace of Spades:

But as John Sexton points out, you can’t expect a culture to praise all sorts of Identity Politics — flat-out racist groups and gender supremacists — but say that one group doesn’t get to play by the same rules.

Either it’s all poisonous garbage, or it’s all got something of merit to it.

I believe the former. But the media — and the establishment right political class — cannot continue with this incoherent claim that Identity Politics are permissible for e everyone except The One Group Which is Truly Odious and Cursed by God.

People will not accept that. No one will accept his subordination without a fight of some kind.

I agree. It’s all poisonous garbage, and if we don’t abandon it for the good of the country, it’s only going to get worse.

Standing

Standing has always been a useful concept for courts who don’t want to hear or decide on the specifics of a case, to have a convenient way to dispose of the case without having to reach there. So the FBI has been taking NICS check data and cross referencing it to the Terrorist Screening Database for a number of years now.

Here you have two theories of standing. One is that because the cross reference didn’t in any material way affect your ability to buy a gun, you have no standing to sue. Only someone who is singled out for different treatment because of the cross reference has standing. The other theory is that because your purchasing information has been used in a way not authorized by law, that the mere act of having your data cross referenced to another database creates standing in and of itself.

Guess which theory of standing was adopted by the federal courts so far? If that theory holds, no one would have standing since the FBI doesn’t use the screen to influence the person’s NICS status. It presumably just creates an alert. The cross reference might be illegal on the part of the FBI, but no one can challenge it.

Washington State is Probably Lost

Gun owners there are on borrowed time, at this point. Washington State has a fairly iron-clad preemption law, but that didn’t prevent the Washington Supreme Court from upholding Seattle’s gun and ammunition tax. You can find the full opinion here.

One wonders how much Seattle could get away with taxing guns. $50 per gun? $100 per gun? A dollar per round of ammo? It wasn’t even close. Only a single justice argued that Washington’s preemption statute forbids any ordinance touching on firearms at all, which it clearly says.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 64

I’m pretty much back to 100% since my several day stay in the hospital. I’m surprised how much it took out of me considering they weren’t doing anything to me other than monitoring for a dangerous side effect of the Sotalol they started me on. I felt worse coming out than I did going in! Now I have some mental cycles to spare on a news links post:

Detroit Metro Times on Constitutional Carry: “In this case, there’s another reason; your average good ol’ boy doesn’t like paying the $100 application fee for a concealed weapon permit, plus subsequent fees every few years to renew the license.” Or maybe, just maybe, the fee disenfranchises vulnerable populations of their right to self-defense, and serves to perpetuate white privilege. If it cost $100 to vote, they’d throw a screaming fit. Remember your Alinsky: Make them live up to their own standards.

Hard to argue: “No knock raids should be banned except in cases of imminent threat to life.

I’ll be honest, I’m not optimistic the GOP controlled Congress is going to accomplish anything important in the next two years. But if all we get out of Trump is another two solid Supreme Court justices, it might be enough to move the ball forward a good bit.

NRA-ILA: Poll shows overwhelming support for more background checks is actually underwhelming. Well, we know that. Last time Bloomberg put the issue before the actual voters he very nearly lost in one state, and outright lost in another, both of which were purplish blue states. Even in a deep blue state he didn’t win by the margins polls said he should have.

SAF has won a FIOA action to find out how much revenue Seattle is collecting from its gun tax. The tax was never intended to raise revenue. It was meant to prevent the wrong kind of businesses from operating in Seattle. No different than if they were trying to drive out book stores or newspapers with punitive taxation.

Annette Evans: “There Is No Crying in Shooting.” Having once gotten a bit of powder residue behind my eye protection and into my eye, I’m not so sure!

Yes, we do love ourselves some good old fashioned law and order, don’t we?

A plea deal is probably the best this guy’s attorney was going to get. To me he seemed rather unbalanced.

Bloomberg’s The Trace: “The NRA’s New ‘Carry Guard’ Program Has Some Certified Trainers Seeing Red.” They link primarily to this article. I don’t really have a problem with NRA selling concealed carry insurance, but I do have a very big problem with it undermining its own long standing training programs in favor of something that to me looks very poorly thought out.

I’ll give NRA credit for doing some reporting that a decade ago we’d never have seen anywhere other than the blogosphere.

NRA is pushing ballot reform in Maine. This isn’t directly a gun topic, but the ballot has been Bloomberg’s primary tool to achieve wins. He lost in Maine, but generally speaking if you have enough money, you’ll win ballot fights. They’d be foolish not try to shut these mechanisms down. Personally, I think ballot measures should be unconstitutional under the Guarantee Clause, but what do I know?

 

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