Weekly News Links – Edition 26

We’re busy hosting Bitter’s mom this week, so I’ve taken a few days off and have dusted off “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” so we don’t have to go out all the time. Made a pretty good gratin potatoes with onions and sausage for lunch today. Tonight I’m going German and making a beer braised wurst platter with home made soft pretzels and store bought but doctored sauerkraut. But let’s see if I can get some gun news out the door before I have to start making the dough:

Irish democracy: Joe Huffman notes that I-594, the Washington State referendum-now-law that bans all private transfers, except in limited circumstances, is pretty much just being ignored. Yeah, that’s pretty much what we do in Pennsylvania too (though our ban is just on handguns and LTC holders are excepted for loans. WA has it worse.)

#FloridaMan: We must take action now to ban assault alligators, or at least limit tooth capacity.

Dave Kopel has a breakdown of the Virginia McAuliffe Deal. I think he’s wrong about possession though for DVROs. That’s 18 USC 922(g)(8), which bars possession. I believe indictments bar purchase but not possession, but not DVROs.

Gun Sales: Tam notes that she’s seeing a lot of old people, especially women, buying guns. Single stack nines seem to be the gun of choice. Given that old white women are the gun control folks key support demographic, this probably won’t end well for them.

Glenn Reynolds notes NRA is planning to spend significantly more in the 2016 race than they have in the past, noting that it was the Dems that wanted to make this election about gun control. Glenn also has a new paper out on the 2nd Amendment.

Everytown is doing a lot of hiring. That’s a hell of a lot of staffing up. This kind of thing is only possible because Bloomberg is infusing tons of cash into the group. The Brady Campaign would go bankrupt quickly if they did this kind of hiring, and that was true even before Bloomberg sucked all their oxygen away.

Shameless Bloomberg’s Sham Studies.

Looks like George Soros has been playing both sides of the gun issue.

Yes, mass shooters do look for gun free zones.

Off Topic:

This sounds about right to me: Ted Cruz needs to realize he’s velcro.

Follow up on GOP and Religion. Or pre-follow rather. This predates my post: “The establishment wing of the Republican Party has a religion problem. It’s not that the candidates it prefers are insufficiently religious – it’s that their professions of piety and faith aren’t working anymore, and nobody’s sure what to do about it.

Nothing like using a little blackmail to gin up support in the media.

Yes, next question: Have Republican overestimated the conservatism of their base?

I Really Hope This Video Was Set Up

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog takes on campus Political Correctness:

My first thought on watching this is was what a bunch of dour, humorless walking bags of vapidity kids today are. I could imagine my grandparents watching this video and the conversation going something like:

“No, I don’t like this. It’s not funny. The dog is crude and uses foul language.”

“Well, Grandmom, it’s a parody. He’s parodying political correctness on campus today. Triumph himself is a parody of the old Borsch Belt comedians.”

“The dog is crude, and swears too much.”

Have we circled back around? Are college kids today going to be more like my grandparents? I know comedy isn’t consistent across generations, and not everything is everyone’s cup of tea, but other than the one bearded guy who was trying not to laugh…. wow. I just really hope he set this up for the crowd to try to play the straight man.

No, NRA Cannot Remove Board Members. Only Members Can, and it’s Hard.

The media is of course delighting on giving NRA a black eye over Ted Nugent’s antics. CSGV, being liars, demand NRA remove Nugent from the Board. Except there is no provision by which “NRA” can remove a board member. I’m sure they know this and simply hope that their low-information, frothing at the mouth followers aren’t wise to the bullshit CSGV spends all day spewing on social media.

Now, NRA’s bylaws do outline a recall process. There’s currently one going on against Grover Norquist because he’s apparently too much of a muslim lover, or some other fever swamp bullshit (his wife is Palestinian). So if we wanted to recall Nugent, what’s the process? It’s not easy, and it would cost the NRA a lot of money. In truth it’s far easier just to wait for him to be up and vote him out. Here’s the process according to my copy of NRA’s bylaws:

  • You have to get the signatures of no less than 450 voting NRA members.
  • You need at least 100 signatures from three different states. For example, you’d have to get 100 signatures from, say, Texas members, 100 from Pennsylvania members, and 100 from Tennessee.
  • None of the signatures can be dated before the last Annual Meeting.
  • You must submit the completed petition to the Secretary no less than 150 days before the next Annual Meeting (so it’s too late for this year).
  • The petition must be ruled valid, which means you realistically will need to collect closer to 700 signatures, since you’ll get people signing who think they are voting members, but aren’t.
  • The Secretary has to arrange a hearing within 30 days, where both sides testimony are recorded, and a recommendation made as to final disposition.
  • The Secretary then has to mail recall ballots to all voting NRA members. It will also have a packet that will also contain letters explaining the accusations and defenses. Note that this would cost NRA a lot of money.
  • A majority of ballots have to be in favor of recall, after which the Board of Directors would appoint an interim replacement.

Board members only serve three year terms. This is an inefficient way to remove a Board member. In truth, if you can’t get rid of them through the normal Board electoral process, your petition will probably fail, and then you will have made NRA spend a lot of your money for naught. I would like to see Nugent off the Board, but I wouldn’t start, nor sign a recall petition to do so. Why? Because I think it would fail. In this era of Trump, preceded by years of jackbooted PC thought policing, I don’t think the membership have much patience for “you can’t say that.” People are not in a mood to be persuaded, or to think rationally about things like this.

UPDATE: Ted Nugent is actually up for election this year. If you want to get rid of him, tell everyone far and wide not to vote for him.

License to Carry Holder Saves Cop in Upper Darby

The Upper Darby Police Chief is a rabid anti-gunner. We’ve described his antics before, including this lovely quote:

“Our way of addressing the gun issue in America is to destroy them all,” said Michael Chitwood, township police superintendent.

Well, Mr. Chitwood, if you had gotten your way somehow, you’d now have a dead officer on your hands. It’s almost like that Wayne LaPierre guy isn’t so nuts after all.

It’s disappointing to hear about this. I grew up in Delaware County, and while parts of Upper Darby were a bit run down when I was growing up, it wasn’t the kind of place where you had to worry about lawless mobs. Sounds like things there have taken a turn for the worse. Then again, when I was growing up, the Upper Darby cops had a reputation. My Uncle was once on the receiving end of some rough “justice” while in their custody back in the late 60s, early 70s.

Policing works better when it’s a cooperative effort with the community, rather than lording from high. This is an example of that, and because the community (dare I say citizen militia?) stepped up, Superintendent Chitwood isn’t having to console a family and plan a funeral. Hopefully Superintendent Chitwood will have a change of heart about the value of an armed citizenry.

Helluva Comeback There, Ted

I never expected Ted Nugent would apologize for his jewish conspiracy laced post; it’s just not his style. But this is Grade A whackadoodle material right here:

Ted Nugent Response

There was always the question about whether Ted Nugent was really anti-semitic, or whether he noticed the pictures of a bunch of gun control advocates, and belted out a rant without really taking a close look at the picture, or what it was saying. I was willing to believe the latter. But I’m having a hard time figuring out how “Meanwhile I adjust my yamika at my barmitzva playing on my kosher guitar” isn’t mocking jews. If it’s not, I might suggest shock treatment for the Motor City Madman. An apt nickname, apparently.

Religion in Politics

In the last post, I mentioned that a big problem with Ted Cruz is that I don’t think he changes the red/blue electoral map enough to dig the GOP out of their current electoral hole. You hear about the GOP having a demographic problem, but if you ask me that demographic problem is society getting more and more secular, not less and less white. The strategy of running strong religious social conservatives, often from the south, and tailoring the campaign around themes that will please bible belt and heartland voters will at some point not work. This strategy has weakened the GOP’s position among rust belt voters. So what’s the rust belt? Basically the old industrial and mining areas of the north, probably best outlined by this map:


Rust belt voters are turned off by overtly religious candidates. Marco Rubio spends a lot of time talking about religion and talking about his faith. So does Ted Cruz. That’s a big part of how both of them got bested out by Kasich in northeastern state. All Trump has done is say he’s a presbyterian and flub a few bible verses here and there. That’s not much of a bone for a dedicated bible belter, but it’s enough for most rust belters. Rust belt voters still want their candidates to be religious, but not too much. They are skeptical of candidates who wear their religion on their sleeves. It’s a hard thing to explain, but was probably best summed up by Glenn Reynolds more than a decade ago, expressing some skepticism about a religious revival:

After all, skepticism about religious talk, and religious talkers, is also an American tradition. Back in the comparatively pietistic Eisenhower years, when my mother told her father that she was planning to marry a seminary student, his response was pithy: “Preachers are a sorry lot.” Remembering the preacher who used to help himself to the best pieces of chicken when he dined with my grandfather’s large and impecunious family (as a child, my grandfather always got stuck with the feet or the neck when the preacher visited, and he remembered that his whole life), he regarded preachers as socially acceptable parasites, who would be better off earning a living out in the world, as he had always had to do, instead of dressing better than their parishioners and telling other people how to live.

That’s a longstanding strain of American thought, too. In fact, the traditional American attitude toward religion — and especially religion in politics — might be summed up this way: “Religious, but not too much.”

This kind of attitude is most definitely found more prominently among the working class or recently working class rust belters. The more politicians sound like preachers, the more this very deep and old instinct gets triggered. Then you get working class voters not turning out for the GOP in Ohio and then another four years of a Dem in the White House. Trump, born wealthy and having gone to elite schools may not be one of them, but he’s speaking their language, and channeling their deep anger at what they think has been done to their country by both parties. If the GOP can figure out how to recapture rust belt voters in large numbers, you could see states like Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania very reachable for the GOP. That would change the map in a way that would make the Democrats have to climb out of a hole every election. They could get there, but they won’t pandering to religious conservatives.

If Trump wins the nomination, and then the White House, the GOP will never likely be the same again. Whether it will be better, I can’t say, but it’ll definitely be different.

Commentary on New Hampshire

There’s two things I wish I had blogged more about ahead of the start of the primary season, because if I had, maybe I could score a gig as a talking head, or some slick political consultant. I don’t know if there’s enough whiskey in the world to get me through a job like that, but I’ll bet it pays well.

The first thing I kept telling Bitter was that if the GOP donor class and political class don’t get their crap together and understand how pissed off and angry everyone is, and adjust their preferred candidate’s firmware accordingly, they are going to be very sorry. Over the past two administrations, the dry tinder of populism has been building up, layer upon layer. I said at the time that if the GOPe refuses to start doing controlled burns, someone is going to come along who has the guts to light the match, and set the populist fires raging. When that person comes, none of us are going to like who he is. Now if you had told me that person would be Donald J. Trump, I would have told you that you were nuts. But I predicted the rise of a Trump-like figure a few years ago.

The second thing I’ve been saying is that Hillary is not going to be the nominee. Hillary starts out as inevitable because Democrats like Hillary in theory. But it’s been a pretty persistent pattern that when Hillary starts opening her mouth, her numbers go down. She’s a robotic, dishonest, and unlikable candidate without a breath of political talent. Before the polls opened, you saw her setting her dogs on women voters who are abandoning her. Then she sent Bill out to mansplain to women why they need to vote Hillary. She’s just not a likable person.

None of this is to say that this whole thing is wrapped up. Hillary still has a decent chance at winning the nomination, and Donald Trump still has a decent chance at losing it. But the New Hampshire race has shown that Trump’s numbers are real. He faltered in Iowa because their caucus system requires a ground game, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for New Hampshire’s mostly open primary.

South Carolina is in a few weeks, so we’ll see what happens there. If Trump is strong in a southern state, it’ll be telling. I expected him to be strong in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. By Super Tuesday on March 1st, we should know who has staying power and who doesn’t. At that point it’ll become a question of whether there enough of a not-Trump vote to derail him.

I’m sincerely hoping Kasich’s performance was an anomaly, because I dislike him more than I do Jeb! I think Rubio might have blown it with that debate gaffe, just like Rick Perry blew his chances with an awful debate performance in 2012. I think Rubio’s got a lot of raw talent, but because every candidate these days is so afraid to gaffe, everything gets scripted and focused grouped by armies of campaign consultants and what you see on stage are essentially programmed robots repeating talking points. Trump took that playbook out and pissed on it. I think Rubio’s collapse is going to mean an end to scripted candidates and will require aspiring politicians to be better at thinking on their feet. There was a time when this was a necessary talent for public office seekers!

My problem with Ted Cruz is that he doesn’t fundamentally change the electoral map. Understand that with the current map, the GOP starts out the election in a hole it has to climb out of, because the Dems have more electors locked up out of the gate than the Republicans do. You get a race where you have to take all the deep red states, and then win a bunch of iffy swing states to actually win. In the last eight years, Colorado, Virginia, and Nevada have gotten more blue. Things aren’t looking good without rejiggering the map, and only Trump has the potential to do that. The big question is, will he rejigger it in a way that I like, or will I go from being in a coalition with a bunch of yahoos I don’t really like, to another bunch of yahoos I really don’t like. Probably. This is politics.


Ouch, That Had to Hurt: McAuliffe Hits Bloomberg

Bowl of PopcornIt looks like there’s a developing war between Governor Terry McAuliffe and Mike Bloomberg’s Everytown. I’m going to grab some popcorn and enjoy this. Nice, well-salted and buttery popcorn, with a 32oz soda to wash it down. This is better than Godzilla vs. Mothra. It’s good to have things like this that can make blogging fun again.

Brian Coy spoke dismissively of Everytown for Gun Safety, which is associated with former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, as a “group from New York” that does not have the interests of Virginians at heart.

Ouch. That could just as easily come from a pro-gun Republican. In fact, I think that’s what we’ve been saying. Still, I can’t blame Bloomberg for spending a few million to buy McAuliffe’s ear only to get spit on. Not to be outdone, Bloomberg is going to run anti-McAuliffe ads.

It’s pretty well known that Terry McAuliffe has presidential ambitions, and I think his watching Hillary deflate despite the heavy emphasis on gun control might have convinced him that this current anti-gun fervor on the Dem side is a fad that’s going to die with Hillary’s campaign and Obama’s presidency.

Get off My Side

It’s long past time we disassociated Ted Nugent from the NRA by not voting for him for Board. He went off the deep end long ago, and this aging rocker is long past his expiration date as being useful to the cause. Aging, angry boomers are this issue’s past, not its future.

How can you take his statement as being anything other than being anti-semitic? Is that what he’s saying? Because if it’s not he damned well implies it. The international jewish conspiracy is behind gun control? I know more than a few jews who must not be part of the conspiracy then.

I won’t often issue a non-endorsement for the Board, but he needs to go, and the nominating committee should be ashamed of themselves if they keep nominating him. I get that he could probably win by petition, but let him do it. Every endorsement by him of the nominating committee is just another punch in the face by people who want this to be an inclusive movement.

California’s Gun Confiscations a Mess

A few years ago California implemented a program to tie their registration databases into their background check databases, and then create a new database of people who have guns but are prohibited by law from owning them. Sounds great right? Well, only if you’re not a gun owner, or are and believe that these databases are actually accurate, which often times they are not.  California has been sending police door-to-door as they’ve been going down the list and taking guns, forcing false positives to prove their innocence.  Now this issue is finally getting media attention.

Phillips says, “It was traumatizing.”
And shocking for the retired nurse, now a stay at home grandma, who’d never been in trouble before.
“My first thought was ‘oh no what did my kid do.’ “
The officers were there for one thing.
“They were looking for the guns, because one was registered to me.”
Phillips didn’t know yet, but her name was listed in California’s Armed and Prohibited Persons Systems. She was now considered someone who wasn’t allowed to own, or be around, firearms.  So, all of her husband’s guns were confiscated, but not before being laid out on the front porch for neighbors to see.

Read the whole thing. If you spent enough time around pro-gun attorneys you’ll hear of cases far worse than this. You’d be surprised how many stories I’ve heard of mental health commitments being erroneously classified as involuntary, when in fact it was someone voluntarily seeking help.

We already know that a good number of NICS denials are false positives. The 2014 numbers say 14% of challenged denials were overturned, and there were 30,100 persons who have been issued a UPIN number. For those of you not familiar, if you challenge a NICS denial and win, you get a unique identifier that you give to the dealer upon each transaction, which lets the system know you’re cleared despite an erroneous record in the FBI’s database. In a lot of cases, it’s to clear up confusion with someone else with the same name and date of birth who has a criminal record.

So potentially, while California may be reaching a lot of genuinely prohibited persons in their wide dragnet, they will have a very large number of false positives. This is yet another reason we won’t agree to registration. We know from the registry the federal government already runs, the NFRTR — which is the database that contains NFA items like machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, and silencers — that the registry is a bloody mess that ATF has been trying to quietly clean up for years.

If California did not have registration, they could never have tried this kind of “common sense” approach using shoddy data that’s going to end up with and uncomfortable number of old ladies proned out on their front porches. And criminals? They don’t register their guns with the police.

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