Aug 23, 2016
Tam relays a story about a homeowner shot by police, and draws a few lessons, the first of which is if you called the cops, don’t then go running around outside your house with a gun. Seems sensible enough. The second one is the money quote though:
If you are on the playing field when they show up and you hear “Drop the gun!” then you need to drop the gun. Seriously. Like it just turned white-hot. (This is a good reason to carry drop-safe pistols, BTW. I realize that carrying that 1904 Ruritanian army surplus Schnellblitzenselbstlader in 8.3mm semi-rimmed is really cool, but aren’t you going to feel funny getting shot twice when you drop it: Once in the junk by your own gun when it hits the ground ass-end first, and again in the gut by the responding officer because he’s startled by the gunshot?)
RTWT, as always, with apologizes to those who love their Schnellblitzenselbstladers.
Aug 23, 2016
Court ruled they didn’t demonstrate they were likely to succeed on the merits. They hilariously claimed it was a First Amendment violation. Even the University of Texas thought that was ludicrous, and the judge didn’t buy it either. Look, stupid people with PhDs: when a student sticks a gun in your face and tells you to shut up, that’s a violation of your First Amendment rights. It’s also a violation of a number of other laws as well, most of which are quite serious, as I’m sure most people with an 6th grade education can tell you. Someone merely having a gun is a violation of nothing, except in your apparently vibrant, child-like imagination.
The Texas university system being a taxpayer funded, state chartered institution, is ultimately controlled by the Texas legislature, who said gun on campus are fine. That’s pretty much the last word unless you can convince them to change their minds.
Aug 22, 2016
Ace from Ace of Spades thinks political dishonesty may play a part:
Many in the GOP establishment do this for slightly different reasons. See, they’re supposed to be in agreement with the Tea Party’s core principles of reduced spending, reduced government, and greater individual freedom.
But, of course, they’re not so committed to those things. Oh, as a general rule, they favor them– but they’re very quick to sell them out in favor of some other priority, which they won’t admit is a greater priority, because they’re pretending their highest priority is reducing spending, reducing government, and increasing individual freedom.
Thus, John McCain, rather than honestly objecting to the parts of the Tea Party movement he disagrees with, or honestly expressing his opinion that we need a bigger government than Tea Partiers think we need, resorts to personal attacks: They’re Wacko-Birds. They’re Hobbits.
Read the whole thing. For a lot of readers here, I suspect you will relate to what he says. I know I do. But my experience writing on the gun topic for the past ten years has shown me that a lot of people really don’t appreciate honesty. That’s probably why sites that regurgitate what The Base wants to hear are more popular and draw a wider audience.
One reason I believe that online threads tend to go south so quickly is because the people arguing in them feel strongly about an issue, but don’t understand the issue well, and either can’t make a good argument, or have never given much thought to how complicated the topic actually is. After that, it’s pretty much guaranteed to descend into madness.
Years ago I thought the pro-2A side was a lot better at this, but in the past several years, our side has gotten a lot worse and the pro-gun control side is getting better at making their arguments. Not that their arguments are entirely rooted in sound facts, but they are getting better at spinning bullshit and making it look compelling to the uninitiated. They’re demanding we up our game, and based on what I’m seeing out there, we’re not up to it. I attribute this to two things. One is we’ve brought a lot of new people into the issue who have a lot of passion, but not much in the way of experience with or knowledge of how to argue the issue. The second thing I blame is the rise of conservative media that is better at telling people what they want to hear, and isn’t much interesting in grooming effective activists.
I think people who follow an issue closely do appreciate honesty in political struggles. I know I do. But I’ve never gotten more shit as a writer than I’ve gotten by telling people things they don’t want to hear, and most of that time what they don’t seem to want to hear is, “This issue is a lot more complicated than you think it is, what you want to do isn’t actually so easy, and there are going to be unpleasant consequences you’ll need to be prepared for and have a plan for dealing with.”
Aug 22, 2016
Time has an interesting story on how most Americans think their views on guns are the majority view, even when they are not. This has been a consistent issue since I started writing about gun politics a decade ago. You see it all the time in people who whine about the Hughes Amendment (the 1986 machine gun ban), or various other this and thats we can’t change because it’s beyond our political power. For years I had to explain that the NFA was untouchable because the fact was that a majority of Americans (and I would argue gun owners) did not agree with us, and more importantly neither did a majority of lawmakers. There was no easy way to convince lawmakers that voting to repeal the NFA was in their political interests, and if we wanted to change that, we had to work on the people, not the politicians.
Now a decade later, I think getting suppressors/silencers delisted from the NFA may be within reach if we have a few favorable elections, and the Dems start falling apart the same way the Republicans are falling apart. The reason for that is we have very compelling arguments, both in terms of being kind to neighbors’ ears and also to our own. The arguments we can use for suppressors are easily understandable to people who don’t shoot. They are almost definitely understandable to anyone living near a shooting range in a suburban area, of which I can point to several examples near where I live. It might be possible for gun ranges to mandate suppressor use if they were deregulated. Right now that’s completely unrealistic, because your average shooter isn’t going to bother with all the regulatory compliance involved.
The article speaks of the “false consensus effect.”:
In a less formal sense, the “false consensus effect” was on display at the political conventions, where both parties presented their views on the virtues or dangers of owning a firearm as representing the common-sense attitude of most Americans. Republican nominee Donald J. Trump declared that he would “protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe,” while Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took the stage at the Democratic Convention to declare that “the gun lobby fights to keep open glaring loopholes that 90 percent of Americans want closed.”
This is why it’s important to be open with people about what you spend your weekends doing. The false consensus effect can either be our friend or our enemy. Which way that goes depends on us being good ambassadors.
Aug 19, 2016
We’ll end the week on a news post. Been busy trying to make up for some lack of productivity in the beginning of this week.
The Nation: “Voters Are Ready to Punish Pro-Gun Politicians. There’s Just One Problem.” They claim the problem is voters don’t know the positions of their politicians. This is probably space prep for ad campaigns by Bloomberg against Ayotte and Rubio. If either of them go down the gun control folks will take credit. They are building their own narrative, and they are doing it successfully. Why? Because our people are living in a fantasy land, for the most part.
None of these activists are going to vote for Pat Toomey, and a lot of gun voters aren’t either. So what did Toomey gain by courting Bloomberg? Note who Toomey didn’t throw under the bus? The “values voters.” He’s still as pro-life as ever. When gun owners understand why that is, we might get somewhere. Why is that? Because they are a far more motivated minority than we are, and they get their hands into everything. You can’t swing a dead cat in DC without hitting a SoCo, even in issues that have nearly nothing to do with social conservatism. It’s not just DC either. Pro-lifers show up locally too.
This article overstates the degree to which the gun control movement is building real grassroots, rather than enjoying the largess and showmanship Bloomberg’s money can bring, but the pro-gun side has turned unserious and disunited. If we don’t change that, for all practical purposes, this article is correct.
TSA stops a passenger with a 3D printed revolver.
Interesting developments in Supreme Court opinions that aren’t about guns but affect gun rights. If you’ve ever been convicted of a Misdemeanor of the First Degree in Pennsylvania for refusing a DUI blood or breath test, you can now obtain relief from firearms disability.
Former soldier: “We need gun control now more than ever.” He doesn’t know the difference between a machine gun and a semi-auto. Any gun owner who supports gun control is delusional if they think they won’t be eaten last.
Hey, Dems are running ads attacking Toomey for being too pro-gun anyway. How’s that talking out of both sides of your mouth working for ya Pat? Even PolitiFact is calling Toomey on his record. The gun control vote was never up for grabs, what little of it there is. All Toomey did was piss off supporters he needs for fundraising and votes.
Legal Insurrection: “Maybe there’s something to the slippery slope argument after all.” Anyone who understands the political process knows that slippery slopes are very real. Only naive people believe it’s a fallacy.
#DisarmHate on rally on the National Mall. What’s hate, you might ask? You are!
Notice that the New York Times says “Donald Trump Courts the Gun Zealots.” Think they’d use “Hillary Courts Pro-Choice Zealots?” or “Hillary Courts Black Lives Matter Zealots?” No, if course they wouldn’t. That would be bigoted, and the SJWs would destroy them.
I never liked that the Libertarian Party seemed more interested in arguing about what libertarianism is, and defining people out of the tent rather than building a political movement of generally like-minded people. That said, I think the kids today could probably use a lesson on what libertarianism is (hint, it ain’t Bill Weld). Yeah, not this bullshit either. Then again, if you don’t play dirty, you’re not really playing.
Seen on the Internets: “This isn’t a case for the NRA. This is a case for Aerosmith.” Yet another case where you couldn’t have a discussion with someone because they lack the basic level of knowledge necessary to begin the discussion. Unfortunately, very few people can admit “OK, so you got me, I really don’t know much about this topic. Explain it to me.”
I think this is true: “Today’s Tech Oligarchs are Worse than the Robber Barons.” There was a time when tech people were almost universally anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian. Then some of us decided to become the man.
“How Jon Stewart’s Culture of Ridicule Left America Unprepared for Donald Trump.” I was more of a fan of The Daily Show and Stewart when the show was a parody of the news. Once Stewart picked sides and got overtly political, but then would cop out with “I’m just a comedian,” when people would challenge him, his schtick got old quick. He’s another figure that became “the man” while always denying it.
Aug 17, 2016
OK folks, it’s time to take a rare turn for me and turn on rant mode. Some foul language will proceed.
Ordinary media bias pisses me off, but the bias found at these bullshit “Fact Checker” sites piss me off more than you can imagine. Some of the poorly educated millennials that must run these sites can’t even seem to discern the difference between fact and opinion. That’s something I think mot of us learned in elementary school. If I can’t rely on these phony baloney fact check sites to understand the difference between opinions and facts, why should I trust them on anything else? When you present your opinion as fact checking, you’re not a fact checker, you’re a propagandist. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a propagandist, but a writer should have integrity enough to admit it when they’re doing it.
The Washington Post fact check site wants us to believe it’s four Pinocchios that Hillary Clinton doesn’t believe Americans can keep guns at home. Are you fucking kidding me? The same Hillary Clinton that said at a fundraiser:
“The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”
Do you want to argue that she never said that? Is this is all a fabrication of the looney toons right wing media conspiracy and Faux News? Computer generated voiceover from Alex Jones’ secret sound lab? Talented impersonator? Because otherwise, the fact is that she said that. What the Supreme Court said, and what Hillary says they got wrong, was that the right to bear arms was a fundamental, individual right, unconnected from service in the militia, and in doing so they threw out Washington DC’s ban on having handguns in the home. Later in McDonald decision, they said the right applies to state and local government, and threw out Chicago’s complete and total handgun ban in the home. Hillary Clinton believes that was wrongly decided, and when behind closed doors not realizing she was being recorded, told donors as much.
So, sorry WaPo bullshit fact checkers, but Hillary said herself she doesn’t think you should be able to own handguns in the home. Residents of Washington DC and Chicago are Americans, and their laws said no handguns in the home. The Supreme Court threw that out and she says they were wrong. This is what we call an indisputable fact, in case they didn’t teach you that in whatever shitty journalism school you all went to.
Politifact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, is little better, claiming that Hillary doesn’t want to abolish the Second Amendment. They also just recently claimed that Clinton’s views don’t go against the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has ruled the Second Amendment guarantees the right of citizens to bear arms. Clinton supports gun control policies that gun-rights advocates call contrary to its interpretation.
Clinton said in her speech to the Democratic National Convention that she was “not here to repeal the Second Amendment.” In an interview on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Clinton said, “I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”
PolitiFact earlier this year rated as False Trump’s claim that Clinton “wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment.”
I just established the assertion that Hillary has said she wanted to effectively abolish the Second Amendment is unarguably true. They act as if Clinton doesn’t personally break into the National Archives, rip the Second Amendment out of the original Constitution, stuff it down Sandy Berger’s pants and then set him on fire, well, you’re just a bunch of delusional right-wing jackals for believing what Hillary says to donors behind closed doors. PolitiFact.com are no better on the First Amendment:
Hillary Clinton does not agree with the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.
The Supreme Court held in the case that restrictions could not be placed on how corporations spend money to influence an election. In the opinion of the court, since corporations have the same rights as individuals, they are also guaranteed free speech under the First Amendment.
That does not mean Clinton does not believe in the First Amendment. It means she, like many others, does not agree with the court’s interpretation of the First Amendment in this case.
Let’s get something straight here assholes: if I tell you that the Court got it correct when they ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, that’s an opinion you jackass, not a fact. If I argue that Clinton’s position on Citizen’s United means she doesn’t believe in the First Amendment, that’s my opinion. There no facts to dispute here. I doubt the recent college graduate from journalism school who probably compiled this article has ever read Citizen’s United v FEC. Often times, if I make a horrible mistake and end up arguing in a thread on social media, sometimes I have to say, usually a good bit more politely, “Go read the whole decision, and at least then we can have a discussion based on the actual case, and not whatever caricatures of it you’ve picked up from social media memes and propaganda rags.” I don’t mean to just target lefties here. Read any internet argument about an area where you have a decent level domain knowledge, and you’ll quickly realize 95% of people in the thread have almost no idea what they are talking about.
Citizen’s United is a non-profit corporation, and like many political non-profits, it has a conservative bent. It is not a charity, but a 501(c)(4), just like the National Rifle Association, the ACLU, NARAL, etc. Citizen’s United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton before an election. Get that? They wanted to air a film critical of a politician prior to an election. That is the very heart of the First Amendment. If the First Amendment can’t protect Americans from pooling their resources to more effectively engage in political speech, you might as well rip the First Amendment from the Bill of Rights and stuff it down Sandy Berger’s pants for all the good it will do protecting our liberties. Personally, if you think Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, I feel pretty safe saying you don’t believe in the First Amendment. In fact, to be frank, if you think Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, you scare the hell out of me.
I don’t like that Bloomberg can outspend us all year long, and single handedly reverse the work of millions of individual gun owners, but he has just as much of a right to speak out on political issues as you and I do. Granted, he has the coin to have a voice far louder than me, and far louder than 5 million of us pooling our meager resources. I don’t like it, but it’s a cost we have to pay to be free. A world where we all speak individually is a world where individuals have no voice, and where Bloomberg and people like him will be the only voice. If you believe Citizen’s United was wrongly decided, you actually believe our First Amendment freedoms should be effectively without meaning, and that only the rich and the established deserve to speak freely.
I once thought the Internet was going to change politics for the good, enlighten us as a people, make us better informed, and make politicians and bureaucrats more accountable. Then social media came along, and boy did I turn out to be wrong! Trump and Clinton are really just manifestations of the social media zeitgeist and the cultural wasteland it has created.
Rant mode off.
Aug 16, 2016
Kathleen Kane has finally, after pressure from her own party’s Governor, and pretty much every other Dem in the state, chosen to resign: “I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and I wish them health and safety in all their days.” I doubt Josh Shapiro, the Dem candidate for AG in 2016 (who is promising to somehow implement bans on rifle transfers a la handguns in the commonwealth), is going to want the fresh stench of Kathleen Kane’s trashed career wafting over his campaign.
It’s worthwhile to keep in mind that Attorney General is a good stepping stone for Governor, and Bloomberg made his significant investment in Kane in part because he had high hopes that she was a winner, and it would be nice to have a friend in the Governor’s mansion. It is not without considerable snickering that I’ve watched her come apart at the seams.
Aug 15, 2016
This is a very interesting read, with lessons for the gun rights movement:
This idea of one-sidedness can help us debunk a few more misconceptions. How do books get banned? Certainly not because they offend the average person –most persons are passive and don’t really care, or don’t care enough to request the banning. It looks like, from past episodes, that all it takes is a few (motivated) activists for the banning of some books, or the black-listing of some people. The great philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell lost his job at the City University of New York owing to a letter by an angry –and stubborn –mother who did not wish to have her daughter in the same room as the fellow with dissolute lifestyle and unruly ideas.
The same seems to apply to prohibitions –at least the prohibition of alcohol in the United States which led to interesting Mafia stories.
Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance. The same can apply to civil rights.
Read the whole thing. The question for us is, “who are more intolerant?” If we’re going to come out on top as a movement, we have to be intolerant of their intolerance. We have to be as insistent that we be left alone as those who believe we ought to be interfered with.
What made me very uncomfortable with this article was that I believe he’s right, and I’m becoming less convinced gun owners have it in us to drive the culture. Sure, I do believe we’ve been successful at growing the culture. But I believe there is a lack of awareness among the new arrivals that everything we have today is a result of a few tenacious and stubborn bastards, many of whom are dead and or getting old. Who will replace them?
Aug 15, 2016
What killed the tea party:
What began as an organic, policy-driven grass-roots movement was drained of its vitality and resources by national political action committees that dunned the movement’s true believers endlessly for money to support its candidates and causes. The PACs used that money first to enrich themselves and their vendors and then deployed most of the rest to search for more “prospects.” In Tea Party world, that meant mostly older, technologically unsavvy people willing to divulge personal information through “petitions”—which only made them prey to further attempts to lighten their wallets for what they believed was a good cause. While the solicitations continue, the audience has greatly diminished because of a lack of policy results and changing political winds.
This is a lesson gun people could use as well. We’re all going to have to become a lot more politically sophisticated to survive what is coming, and that means being able to recognize charlatans after your money, who have no real organization backing them up, when you see it.
One reason the left wins and the right loses is the left is a lot more politically sophisticated.
Aug 11, 2016
Kansas City Star and a number of other media outlets report on his passing. It’s not secret that he and I did not get along, but having watched my mother slowly succumb to cancer over the entirety of my teen years, it’s not a fate I would wish on anyone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. When I lost my mother, there was a palpable sense of relief that the struggle was over. She was free, and so in some sense were the rest of the family. The real grief doesn’t hit until later, and in odd ways. I hope his family can find comfort in some of the same things I have.
I had come to appreciate that regardless of whatever disagreements I may have had with Mike Vanderboegh strategically, he was quite a powerful public speaker and organizer (organizing gun owners is herding cats on a good day), in the way I could never hope to match. His work with David Codrea to break open Fast and Furious turned out to be top notch citizen journalism, despite a lot of initial skepticism. It was fine enough work that others in the media lined up to take credit and cash in.
I will always think of him any time I put on my big Russian hat to go shovel the driveway.