I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving holiday. I am out at my dad’s in Berks County, with a gallon of my latest home-brew (Belgian Dubbel). My sister is allegedly coming, who I have not seen in some time.
One thing these days that really chills the enthusiasm for blogging is just how awfully annoying Internet advertising is becoming. I’m reluctant to link to a site that pops up a million things in front of you before you can even get to the article. The bad news is that almost every site these days is doing it, and it’s causing me to read a lot less news than I used to. Brietbart is a prime example of what I’m talking about. I’ve avoided using ad blockers because it tends to hide obnoxious ads from me, which means I don’t know not to direct all of you to say, some awful auto-play ad. It might fast become time to start using one, however.
I get why content providers are going to such lengths: because online advertising pays crap, and popping up ads drive click throughs, which drive money. I’ve never really understood why print advertising was worth so much, while online advertising isn’t. A relatively unobtrusive ad is really no different than a print ad. My theory is that online advertising, because you can measure effectiveness via click throughs, exposed print advertising as an emperor with no clothes, and so advertisers aren’t willing to pay the rates for the online analogue of print advertising. Why do that when you can get context-based advertising or micro targeting through social media? It’s hard for a content provider to compete with that.
I don’t suppose anyone was really surprised that a large number of local businesses were put to the torch by rioters after the Grand Jury came back with a “no true bill.” When I went to bed last night, it looked as if it might spread to other cities, but thankfully that didn’t happen. There’s still time though, but hopefully the holiday will calm everyone down and things won’t continue spiraling out of control. I don’t intend to cover the riots much here, unless something gun related comes out of it, like store owners defending themselves and their property with firearms.
I’m not buying Ben Carson’s “transformation” on guns. I think he wants to run, and realizes his position is going to be a problem for him in a GOP primary. It’s a good sign that he feels he has to do this, but he’s pretty low on my list of candidates I’d want to vote for.
I’ve seen several articles like this, which means someone is trying to drive a narrative: “American Mothers vs the American Gun Lobby” More like “Busybody Moms vs. Everyone Else’s Business.” Think more Carrie Nation.
The vagueness of I-594. We need to think of ways to make the unintended consequences good news stories, because convincing voters that Bloomberg is selling them snake oil is the only way we’re going to be able to beat him.
Not related to guns, but this is brilliant, which is precisely why the GOP will never do it.
Jim Webb looks to be throwing his hat into the ring for 2016. For Democrats these days, Webb would be pretty good on the gun issue. A lot of people think Hillary is going to walk away with it, but I think Hillary is weaker than a lot of people think. Democrats don’t have much of a bench, since most of their political talent has been sucked down the drain with the Obama Administration. Webb’s candidacy makes sense in case Hillary melts down. But I don’t think the left-progressive wing of the Democratic Party, who are now thoroughly in control, would get too enthused over a moderate like Webb, even if he managed to eke out the nod because there was just no one else.
The big problem on guns we’d have with Jim Webb would be Supreme Court appointments. He’d likely be expected to pick solid liberals. Even if he went with moderates, I think we’d have an uphill climb on the gun issue with any Democratic pick. Remember, the next President will pick replacements for at least two of the Heller Five, and realistically probably three, possibly four. A weak 2A supporting Justice would probably amount to a loss for a broad Second Amendment right.
Stanford Law Professor John J. Donohue have revised a study that shows John Lott is wrong, and more guns actually equal more crime. Looks like his premise is that you can’t count the years that were part of the decline in the crack cocaine epidemic. In other words, if you cherry pick your data, Lott is wrong. John Lott didn’t waste any time pointing out the flaws with the study, noting that Donohue used a statistical method that Donohue himself argued was misleading in a different context. Will you see the media reporting on that? I doubt it.
Based on a Facebook thread I saw about this topic earlier, a lot of people don’t like the idea of basing their rights on the outcome of statistical studies, and believe we ought to keep strictly to a rights argument. The problem with that is a rights argument only appeals to a certain part of the population. There are plenty of people out there who, if you asked them, would agree with a prohibition on speech or actions that “hurt someone else’s feelings.” There are voters out there who are swayed by statistical magic, because it makes them feel smart. We can’t let the other side own that field, because if we do, they own those voters.
No sooner do I see an article that Shannon Watts is attacking Jay Leno for speaking at SHOT, than Leno cancels the talk and starts his apology campaign. Like I’ve said before, Watts may be a radical. She may be the spiritual descendent of Carrie Nation, but she’s not a joke. In any political issue, money talks, and Watts has Bloomberg’s money behind her. Her grassroots network may be small, but she’s got Bloomberg’s cash to build it, and she’s finding battles where she can show people gun control can win.
A few years ago, the enemy was demoralized. Seriously demoralized. That’s important to win any struggle, whether political, or political by other means. My fear is gun owners these days seems pretty complacent. They seem to think that because we beat everything at the federal level back after Sandy Hook that means it’s all over. It’s not. It was just beginning.
These days, I’ve kind of felt like most anti-gun editorials are really more of a dog bites man story. But every once in a while, you’ll find one that dials up the stupid to 11, and you just can’t help but mock it. This is one of those stories:
As I flipped through the pages of this children’s activity book, my innocent curiosity quickly shifted to annoyance and then disgust. This was a book written for preschoolers to first graders with the intent of teaching kids not to play with the guns that they find through the hero-like advice of a large talking bird.
Yes, the abject horror of kids learning not to play with guns. What will that evil National Rifle Association think up next!? Don’t they know that a lot of kids are killed by guns every year? And that poor Trayvon, “with Skittles in one hand and iced tea in the other, was shot to death in 2012 via Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.” To borrow from Miguel a bit:
“We have to do something about all these kids who die from gun accidents.”
“Okay, we’ll create a program that teaches young children that guns are dangerous, and not to play with them.”
“That’s awful. You can’t do that. Think of all the kids that die from guns!”
A museum is having to return parts of an exhibit because the guns were on loan, and when I-594 goes into effect, that will be illegal. There will be a lot of little stories like this, and each one is ammunition that can be used to help defeat this in other states.
Despite the legal challenge against the new enhanced preemption law, the law is already paying off. Norristown council has revoked its lost and stolen ordinance.
In light of the recent amendments to the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, which grant an expansive right of legal standing to individuals and membership organizations to challenge a local gun control ordinance,” the ordinance said, “which further provide for exorbitant damages that can be shifted to the municipality if unsuccessful in defending its ordinance, council has determined that it is in the best interests of the municipality to remove any regulation of lost or stolen firearms.”
It’s amazing how these municipalities were so confident in the legality of these ordinances when they were being passed over objections that they were illegal, are now are suddenly not so confident with the near certainly they will be sued and held accountable.
Democrats in the Oregon Legislature say the outlook to expand background checks on gun purchases is better in 2015 than it has been in years, thanks to Senate seats they picked up in the Nov. 4 election and passage of an initiative with similar provisions in Washington.
Now defeating legislation in legislatures is something we’re pretty good at. This isn’t the ballot, so we have a better chance. I had wondered why Bloomberg didn’t target Oregon. I would think it’s a logical next step. But I suspect he got promises from Kitzhaber that he would push for a bill in exchange for Bloomberg’s support in his reelection. So Bloomberg decided to give him a chance to live up to his promise. If we beat this in the legislature, Bloomberg can always fall back to the ballot and get what he wants anyway. First he’ll try to get his money’s worth out of Kitzhaber, which is cheaper than a ballot fight, but he’s got the pockets to go for a full ballot fight if Kitzhaber disappoints him.