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.
Aug 10, 2016
Charles C.W. Cooke has a pretty good article challenging the left’s “You paranoid sensationalist gun nuts always thinking people want to take your guns! Of course Hillary doesn’t want to repeal the Second Amendment.”
As anybody with an elementary understanding of American law comprehends, one does not need to call an Article V convention in order to effectively remove a provision from the Constitution. If, for example, Donald Trump were to claim tomorrow that the First Amendment did not protect an individual right to speech, how do we imagine that the press corps would react? Do we think that the New York Times’s editorial board would nonchalantly say “well, that’s fine because he hasn’t called for Article V repeal”?
Even without overturning Heller, her nominees would still have the opportunity to narrow to meaninglessness. Sure, outright bans might never come back, but de-facto bans, like the one that exists in New York City, could be upheld. Even Washington D.C. responded to Heller by enacting restrictions that were still quite onerous, and would never be considered acceptable in the context of other Constitutional rights. Chicago fared a little better, but only because the 7th Circuit was unusually cooperative, and it bolstered the negotiating position of the rest of Illinois, which favors gun rights. Without a fourth and strong pro-2A Supreme Court ruling, the Second Amendment is already dead letter.
Aug 10, 2016
A lot of hay is being made out of Trump’s statement on Hillary’s nominees to the Supreme Court:
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the 2nd Amendment,” Trump told the crowd in Wilmington, N.C. “By the way, and if she gets to pick if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do folks. Although the 2nd Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
I didn’t take this as an invitation for people to off Hillary or her nominees, but as an indication that we had the political power to block her nominees. That the left, and many people in our issue, are taking his statement this way is a form of self-immolation. The implication is that we would do such a thing, and are inarticulate enough to announce it publicly. And maybe Trump really believes that. Who knows? But I don’t think we should help them out by jumping on it ourselves.
It should be apparent by now that Trump doesn’t stop for two seconds to consider whether and/or how he should say the shit that moves to the tip of his tongue. I’m not going to engage in hand wringing over this one. This is what we’ve come to expect.
Aug 8, 2016
Another week, another set of tabs. Been getting out and walking a lot. I’m trying to keep it at a mile a day, average. I do notice it brings my BP down for hours afterwards, sometimes rather dramatically. Doctor doubled my originally low-dose of beta blockers, but I’m not convinced it’s doing much of anything. I got the most results from the diuretic. People keep telling me it takes a bit to get the med cocktail right, but I’m not the most patient patient. Anyways, the news:
Another week, another Bloomberg Mayor gets busted in a meth in exchange for sex sting.
Dems see a glimmer of hope for gun control in Hillary. If she wins, it won’t be an endorsement of gun control, but a rejection of Trump. But that won’t be the narrative.
For Dems, gun control no longer a third rail.
Investor Place: “Sturm, Ruger & Company: RGR Stock Is Still a Solid Long-Term Pick.”
Gun on campus in Texas: the world won’t end this time either.
Remember, rural white males are the only demographic in this country that it’s still OK to make fun of.
Bloomberg endorses Toomey.
Junk science on gun control. Anytime they won’t share data, that study shouldn’t be paid any attention to.
Pastor wins AR-15 in raffle with intent to destroy it. Except he had another parishioner keep it for him, which is a violation of the Bloomberg backed law they recently passed. We told you that this law was intended to trap innocents, and you didn’t believe us.
Not a surprise: ATF illegally hoarding personal information associated with multiple sales forms.
Charles C.W. Cooke: “People of all races and both genders are taking advantage of loosened gun laws.”
Funny how that works: “But fearing more lone-wolf attacks on their soil, Germans are requesting self-defense weapons permits in record high numbers and experts say citizens across every socioeconomic class from ‘workers or professors.’”
Mic.com: Selling bullshit propaganda to millennials. They have to lie. If people knew the truth they might start agreeing we have enough laws.
Miguel also digs into some press stories involving and finds there’s often more to it. There almost always is. That’s why I don’t publish this week’s outrages anymore. The press used to at least claim to strive for truth and objectivity. Back then it was fun to go after the media. Now there’s almost no sport in it.
A review of “Hillbilly Elegy,” a book that explores the state of Hillbilly America (i.e. Trump Country).
A modern day Rorke’s Drift. These guys deserve recognition, and not what they got, which was having their bravery buried to cover up that the British Army dropped in undersupplied soldiers into a no-win situation.
I’d vote for Clint Eastwood for President over either of those two, or Gary Johnson.
SayUncle takes a look at the pros and cons of Trump.
Lessons in unintended consequences of legal arrangements: in China, apparently if you get hit by a car, you better run if you can, because the driver will probably try to hit you again to kill you.
Don’t Tread on Me now officially declared racist by Obama Administration, meaning an employer allowing it to be worn to work could create a hostile work environment liability.
Aug 8, 2016
Funny how once places that stop respecting your right to keep and bear arms usually stop respecting you altogether:
New Jersey already draws ire for not letting drivers pump their own gas. But the state might ban them from having a cup of coffee behind the wheel too.
Keep in mind that using a cell phone (other than hands-free) is already illegal for everyone in New Jersey, as is texting while driving. Though, given what I see from Jersey drivers on the Turnpike, maybe having a breakfast burrito and driving might be a bit much for them.
Wisniewski said he has seen people try to multitask while driving, even reading newspapers behind the wheel, according to News 12 New Jersey. The law, he said, is meant to educate, not punish motorists.
Oh, so there’s no fines associated with it then? A big problem with politicians in general is that they think we’re fucking stupid, and treat us as such.
H/T to Instapundit
Aug 4, 2016
After victories on background checks in both Washington State and Oregon, the gun control movement is now looking at making Oregon and Washington the eighth and ninth states to ban “assault weapons.” They antis are calling this “The West Coast Wall.”
If the Legislature does nothing, or decides on a substitute, voters would make the final call in November 2017, assuming the petition drive gets enough signatures to force the issue.
Remember, ballot measures go to whoever spends the most money generally, because voters tend to be completely ignorant of complex issues. I’ve been saying for a while now, we’re in a lot of trouble. Guns lost in 2008. The issue lost in 2012. In 2016, Trump gets the nomination, who is an unserious candidate with very serious shortcomings. That said, if Hillary wins, I think it’s over. At that point, it’s a matter of how much we can slow Bloomberg’s drive to get a couple more states in his column. It will no longer be an offensive game. We’re already starting to see that.
Obvious targets for the antis: New Hampshire, Maine, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Colorado… basically any place that Dems are competitive but still have not fallen to anti-gun forces. How long before Virginia, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin become in play?
If you think about it, we’re in big heap trouble if we can’t start making our case. It doesn’t take political involvement, necessarily. Get involved in clubs, and get them involved in the fight. Get involved with local politics on behalf of gun rights. Get FFLs involved. Volunteer to work gun shows for NRA. All this stuff is important. We’ve become lost as a movement because we’ve allowed Obama to drive us crazy and lose all sense. We’ve driven away Democrats who might have some sympathies. We’ve forgotten how to be a single-issue movement. We’ve grown too dependent sharing stupid, ill-informed, and often false memes on social media rather than educating ourselves. We’ve fallen victim to talking heads and media companies that tells us soothing things we want to hear, play on our emotions and weaknesses, and feed our worst instincts rather than help us become more effective at the game.
That is what I’ve tried to do here for a decade, and in the past four years I’ve slowly watched things get worse. Things have to start getting better, and fast, or we’re done for.
Aug 4, 2016
This is what’s going to kill us, to be honest:
“I don’t see any evidence that important Senate races are going to be decided on guns this year, even after Orlando,” said Wes Anderson, the National Rifle Association’s longtime pollster.
Gun control advocates are also preparing for a low profile in November. Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control group started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has so far targeted only one candidate, New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a leader of the group told American Media Institute.
The Democrats are running the most anti-gun campaign in the party’s history. If we can’t make guns an issue in this election, we might as well start buying PVC tubes, shovels, and cosmoline now, because that’s where they are going to end up if the Dems are rewarded for this bullshit.
Aug 4, 2016
I get that California gun owners are in desperate straits, so I don’t really blame them for desperate measures, but this is a desperate measure that’s practically guaranteed to fail and backfire. NRA is smart for not getting involved. There’s always a tendency among people active in politics to assume their positions are more popular than they really are. The reality is that most of the voting public doesn’t know bunk about your pet issue, taxation, deficits, etc. Most of the public thinks most of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. They point out that California beat the handgun freeze proposal in 1982, and that is true, but the demographics of California have changed greatly since 1982. Take a good hard look at those numbers. They do not add up to this being winnable.
At this time the NRA and other gun groups are not on board. Giving them the benefit of doubt, I believe the reason for their lack of involvement at this time has to do with the fact that they have played ‘defense’ and what we are doing here is ‘offense’.
No, the reason NRA is not on board is likely because ballot fights cost a ton of money, the victory almost always goes to the side that spends the most money, and we cannot outspend Bloomberg, Silicon Valley oligarchs, and all the other lefty groups in California that are guaranteed to pour money into defeating us.
I hate to say it, because it pains me to say it, but California is lost if we can’t save it through the courts or federal preemption. Given that the GOP is a hot dumpster fire right now full of unserious and stupid “elites” and an unserious and naive base, both are looking pretty unlikely. In the past I’ve been reluctant to tell people to move out of their states, rather than stay and fight, but at this point that’s what we’re looking at. It’s time to move out of California if you live there and are a gun owner. The only thing this ballot measure is likely to accomplish is giving Bloomberg another head on his pike, and that’s going to help carry California’s bullshit to other states, not prevent it.
Aug 2, 2016
I have been a Mac user off and on (mostly on) since College. Bitter also became a convert. Since Tim Cook has taken over Apple, it’s been downhill from there. Not only has Apple’s quality control suffered under Cook, but the company has become overly political, and taken sides in the culture wars. Everyone knew Steve Jobs was a hippie, but he was careful to keep Apple out of controversial issues. Now Apple has decided to purge firearm emojis from their operating system, and replace them with water guns. Yeah, fuck you Tim Cook.
This weekend I did something I hadn’t done in years: installed Windows on one of my Macs. I did not do this for full time purposes: there’s a game I’m playing that works on both Windows, Mac, and Linux. But it turns out that Apple’s OpenGL support on Nvidia hardware has been a hot mess since Yosemite. The creators of the game apologize profusely for the problems, but the fact is that the constant crashing and weird screen artifacts are caused by bugs in Apple’s NVidia drivers. Additionally, I lose about 10fps over Windows, again, because of bad OpenGL support on the Mac. These aren’t the only persisting quality control issues Apple has been having. I could go on, and on.
So I may start transitioning to the PC world. For me it almost feels like selling out, but I’m not sure Microsoft is the evil empire they used to be. Now that’s Facebook and Google. Apple, I worry, is headed for tough times again. I was still loyal during the reign of Michael Spindler and Gil Amelio. I have been through tough times with Apple, but they have become “The Man.” They have abandoned me as a user, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t also abandon them. If I move to the Windows or back to the Desktop Linux world (Linux on the Desktop honestly still sucks), I’m certainly not going to pay the price premium for Apple’s hardware.
Congratulations Tim Cook. I’ve stood by a lot of suck from Apple, but you’re a sucky bridge too far.
Aug 1, 2016
Says Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign:
“There is a very specific type of gun that we want banned – none of them,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign. “All we are trying to do is keep guns out of the hands of people we all agree that shouldn’t have them. Whether you love or hate guns, you agree that a convicted violent criminal, domestic abuser, someone who is dangerously mentally ill, or a would-be terrorist should not be able to get their hands on guns.”
Could have fooled me, Dan. Yep, not for bans at all. I have no idea how anyone could think otherwise. I get that Gross is a serial liar on par with Hillary Clinton, but this really stretches credulity. They are absolutely supportive of banning specific types of guns. If the Brady Campaign wished to change its stripes, it would have removed any reference to these pages. All gun control organizations favor banning any gun they have the political power to ban. Assault Weapons were just convenient targets after the movement to ban handguns went nowhere. It has nothing to do with crime control.
Massachusetts only had two crimes committed with “Assault Weapons” in the past five years, yet their Attorney General still chose by fiat to grossly expand the ban. The only proponent of gun control who’s been willing to be honest about what a farce this issue is has been Professor Adam Winkler. In some ways, this issue has been beneficial to gun rights activists because it motivates our coalition to action. As I’ve said before, I’d hate to be dealing with a gun control movement that was very careful to not overreach.