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VCDL Sues Katie Couric

Bearing Arms is reporting. I don’t honestly think they have a case, and expect it will be quickly dismissed.

The Defendants manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: they wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing universal background checks by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.

Yeah, I’m not sure that’s legally defamation. Additionally their claims of harm are somewhat dubious. One claim is that an FFL holder lost business for being thought a fool, and the same for the attorney.

Sadly, this is freedom of the press. The recourse we have as gun owners is to not watch or subscribe to their content, and not to agree to be interviewed by hacks like Couric.

Primary & Secondary School Weapons Ban to be Reconsidered

Good news from Firearms Attorney Joshua Prince regarding the Pennsylvania Superior Court case that ruled “other lawful purposes” language in the Pennsylvania school weapons ban didn’t include legally carrying a firearm, but instead meant that lunch ladies could have knives in the kitchen, or other such school related activity:

After the decision, Mr. Goslin contacted me and we, pro-bono, filed a Motion for Reconsideration/Reargument en banc, wherein, inter alia, we argued that the Superior Court should permit new briefs to be filed and oral argument, after vacating the court’s July 6, 2016 decision. Today, the Superior Court GRANTED the motion, withdrew the July 6, 2016 decisions and scheduled re-briefing and argument.

That’s definitely good news. Hopefully we can get a better result on appeal. If this case loses, it would technically be a serious violation to drop your kid off at school with a firearm in the vehicle, or even to turn around in a school parking lot on the way to the range. What about a sidewalk that transits school property? The “other lawful purposes” was what prevents this law from applying to ordinary people, rather than only to people who don’t have lawful intent.

A Lesson for Gun Voters

Could gun owners suffer the fate of black voters who are loyal only to one party and thus taken for granted? It could be argued this has happened to us.:

The captured group theory was put forward by Princeton political scientist Paul Frymer in a book first published in 1999, “Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition in America.1 He argued that politicians focus their attention on white swing voters, and that the two-party system is structured to push aside the concerns of black voters2 because they consistently and overwhelmingly favor one party.

Eventually, if there is no pro-gun insurgency within the Democratic Party, we’ll just get baked into the election numbers for the GOP and there won’t any good reason for the Dems to improve their standing with gun voters, and the the Republicans won’t have to work very hard to please us.

A Country Falling Apart at the Seams

I don’t really spend time participating in comment sections anywhere, but I do occasionally skim comments to gauge the mood. I’ve been appalled at how full of nastiness and vitriol the comments are even among many of my “happy warrior” sites like Instapundit. Most of this would seem to be coming from the new “alt-right” crowd. Let me offer an interview of Jonah Goldberg by Hugh Hewlett which I don’t even think ought to be controversial, but apparently is among some folks:

Jonah Goldberg, author of “Liberal Fascism” is big on the philosophical roots of political movements, and believes we ought to have nothing to do with the core, racist alt-right, and shouldn’t aid in expanding the use of the term. Because of Jonah’s comments here, I noticed this over at Instapundit of all places:

Jonah is a hundred times worse than the vaguely defined Alt Right. They are not traitors to their own side of the political spectrum. They are not trying with all their force to get the Alinsky communist government weaponizing Islamophilic mega-criminal Hillary Clinton elected president.

Jonah is part of what is in fact a Jewish cabal (prominently led by himself and Bill Kristol and backed by numerous other prominent Jewish conservatives like Ben Shapiro), created expressly to betray the strong majority of Republican voters who chose Trump as their nominee. Trump took the lead on the issue Republican voters most care about: stopping illegal and jihadist immigration. Establishment Republicans always betrayed the voters on this issue and now this de facto Jewish cabal is doing the same.

I’m not going to be a participant in a political coalition with racists and anti-semites. Note that I’m not saying I believe that every, or even the majority of Trump supporters are racist and/or anti-semitic, and I actually don’t believe Trump himself is either, but Trump was shameless enough willing to dog whistle racial politics to audiences eager to embrace it. This has emboldened some very distasteful individuals who now don’t feel so marginalized.

I also noticed recently that J.D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy (which I have not yet read, but I’ve been reading a lot of his commentary) takes a beating in the comment section of National Review over his article on why race relations have gotten worse. I don’t think there’s anything particularly ridiculous about Vance’s statements here, yet in the comments, you see comments like:

What a gigantic heap of baloney. White failure to empathize with black problems is responsible for all the problems in the black community? Good grief. Black behavior is responsible for problems in the black community. Vance is just another dizzy excuser of black pathology.

I know from a decade of blogging that reading comprehension is not the strong suit of a lot of people, but did this well-liked commenter read the same article I did? I didn’t get the impression Vance was making excuses so much as trying to promote understanding. Understanding among factions is a critical thing if we’re to avoid being at each other’s throats all the time.

One of my big problems with the anti-PC movement coming from alt-right camp is that there are some things that you don’t say… not because of PC conformity, but because decent people don’t say shit like that. I feel pretty confident in saying that if you utter “Jewish cabal” in public, you suck as a person and I don’t want anything to do with you. If that makes me PC, well, so be it. This is not the kind of thing I’m willing to tolerate or look past for the sake of political coalitions, and I’m glad there are other people who feel the same way.

How did we get here? Unlike a lot of people, I don’t blame Trump or his supporters. Trump is a symptom, not the cause of the disease, and I don’t think most of his supporters represent the kind of nasty discourse we see above.

In the current political situation, both parties have weak coalitions. The fastest growing party in this country is no party. Granted, most of those “independents” tend to lean one way or the other, but increasingly Americans aren’t all that interested in party politics. Johnathan Chait alludes to the weakness of the party system in his article, “Why American Politics Really Went Insane,” but I think Chait glosses over the fact that the Democratic Party’s leftist nuts are just as radical and out there as the Republican Party’s newly rediscovered alt-right whack jobs.

Barack Obama was, in fact, the transformational President he claimed to be. He was transformational in the sense that he realized (or perhaps accidentally stumbled upon) that the Democratic Party could build a stronger coalition than the one previously constructed by Bill Clinton. The limits of the Clinton Coalition showed with the Obamacare vote, and the devastating election results for the Democrats that followed. The Dems never really got what they really wanted out of Obamacare, but it cost them control of Congress, most state legislatures, and most governorships. Bill Clinton’s coalition was simply not capable of delivering European-style Social Democracy to US shores.

But the 2008 election results showed opportunity if that same coalition that easily swept Obama into the White House could be reproduced reliably.

What Democratic strategists figured out (and this is very much a “Chicago politics” divide-and-conquror style of running things) is that if money and grassroots effort was funneled to causes that helped nurse identity (racial, sexual, gender, etc) grievances, a thoroughly progressive coalition could be maintained that didn’t require catering to moderate suburban voters, as Clinton had done. But in order for the coalition to work, turnout among those groups needed to remain at Obama-like levels. The results had to be repeatable.

I don’t believe the fact that most people view race relations at an all time low is any accident. The Democratic political class engineered this in order to shore up their political power. That this would fuel the rise of white racial politics isn’t a bug, it’s a feature, and the hateful people coming out of the woodwork and participating in this nonsense are actually playing right into their hands.

This is not to let off the Republican Party off the hook in all this. They went into the 2016 elections thinking it was business as usual, which of course meant running someone else named Bush. I marginally more identify with “elites”, and I thought this was the very definition of insanity by the donor class. It would have been a moronic move even in a normal election year to line up behind Jeb!, but it was a disastrous one this year. The problem the GOP has is that they are beholden to the same wealthy interests as the Democrats. The difference between a Republican Wall Street Banker and a Democratic Wall Street Banker are not nearly as great as the difference between any Wall Street Banker and an unemployed coal miner from West Virginia, or some poor dude working two jobs to pay the rent and back child support. That gap in understanding is the real cause of our political woes, if you ask me. All this racial and gender bullshit is nonsense ginned up by our supposed rulers.

See, if working class whites, working class Blacks, and working class Hispanics suddenly realized they have more political interests in common with each other than they do with their wealthy coalition partners in the major parties, they might just figure out that if they vote together, they have the power to call the shots, and that would be the real disaster if you were to ask the donor class of either party. So best to keep the working classes divided against each other before they realize it. As for the rest of the rubes? Let them have bread and circuses culture wars!

That’s my cynical take on it all. I’m not comfortable with believing this, because class is something Marxists obsess over, and I’m not a Marxist. If we had a growing economy that was lifting all boats, I don’t think we’d be in this mess. But we don’t have that, and given the advances in automation and robotics, it’s going to be hard to achieve the kind of growth for the working class. The post World War II order is now coming to an end, and I don’t know what will replace it. But I don’t like what I’m seeing so far.

NRA Endorses Dem for MO Governor: A Good First Step on the Road Back

NRA has endorsed Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster for Governor of Missouri, and at least some of the media has taken notice. The current state of affairs we have reached with this election is not inexplicable.

It actually started after Al Gore’s defeat when the Democratic Party began to accept that gun control as an issue was hurting it. The thinkers and strategists that built the 2006 comeback did so on a “blue dog” strategy, of running Democrats who could win in their districts, which included being pro-gun if that’s what it took. Obama largely laid off the gun issue in his first term, largely because gun control threatened the seats of his blue dog coalition. In 2010, the blue dogs decided to en mass, unbox the tantō Obama had laid before them proceeded to commit ritual suicide one after the other…. by voting for Obamacare. The resulting political backlash was so severe that the gun vote couldn’t protect them, despite NRA endorsing a large number of Democrats.

Additionally, despite NRA’s endorsement of Harry Reid in the past, in the 2010 election cycle they experienced a backlash from their membership, largely driver by talking heads and conservative radio shows, most of which don’t give a rat’s ass about gun rights short of its usefulness to them for promoting conservatism as a whole or promoting themselves. The official line was that judicial votes now matter, and I think they ought to, but the perception (in politics, it’s perception that matters) was that NRA stiffed the Majority Leader because he was a Democrat, and their membership are conservative voters rather than single-issue voters.

After the death of the blue dog coalition, and Harry Reid getting stiffed, the Democrats no longer viewed being amenable to gun rights as being in their political interests. Then Bloomberg comes along with a huge pot of money and that seals the deal. If there’s ever going to be a bipartisan consensus on gun rights again, it’ll happen because the Dems have political talent to protect, and that has to start somewhere. Long term safety for this issue will only come if there’s a bipartisan consensus to protect gun rights. As long as this issue is tied to only one party it is tied to the fortunes of that party, and the fortunes of any political party go up and down as the political winds blow.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 47

No, I’m not dead yet. Just busy, and to be honest, I needed a long holiday before I start back with work, doctors, and more doctors. Saw the eye doctor today about the persisting scintillating scotoma in my field of vision. He couldn’t find anything obviously wrong, but there’s a few more tests he wants to do, so back in two weeks for those. BP is down to almost normal, but stubbornly doesn’t want to drop to normal even with the doc having boosted the doses of my meds from light to more typical. The slog continues. My dad says I need to get used to the suck, since it doesn’t get better with age. But back to the news, which probably doesn’t help any of this:

Demand high in Pennsylvania for concealed carry permits. Now if only those folks would all vote the issue!

Eugene Volokh: “Can some people who have finished their felony sentences recover their Second Amendment rights?” We’ve done better on this front with the courts than I thought we would.

Massachusetts AG Healy is continuing her power trip, going after Remington and Glock for selling “unsafe” products. Note: Glocks are not available for sale to civilians in Massachusetts, only police officers. If I were Glock, my response would be to withdraw from the LEO market in Massachusetts entirely and give Healy the long finger from Georgia.

PJ Media’s Liz Sheld: “How Can You Love Guns Knowing They Kill So Many People?” I’ve never killed anyone, nor do I have plans to. I’m not morally on the hook for what other people do. You don’t see people asking Chefs about loving their knives, or baseball players about their favorite bats. Both can be weapons. People only ask about guns because they don’t like the kinds of people that like guns.

Three cheers for vandalism from the comments at Raw Story. A lot of these kinds of folks would be perfectly willing to put us all in camps. Meanwhile, our people don’t seem to have any arguments short of cheap insults. We used to be better than this, but I think perhaps all the sensible people have fled the fever swamps that internet comment sections have largely become.

State ballot measures in 2016 reflect shift to the left.” They talk about Bloomberg spending big. Ballot fights are a rich person’s game, and the left has all the rich ones. The Kochs on the “right” (they are really more libertarian than right) seem to mostly enjoy flushing their money down the think tank toilet rather than spending it on things that matter.

Fighting Bloomberg’s ballot measures as best we can. We have to convince Bloomberg that there are limits to this ballot strategy. I think we need to cut his margin in at least one state, and beat him outright in at least one state. Otherwise our options start looking like a choice of bad, terrible and disastrous options, and we don’t want to end up there.

Roll Call: “PA Senate Race Could Come Down to Guns.” A lot of people I respect on the issue believe Toomey has to lose if we’re going to prevent the GOP from seeking refuge under Bloomberg’s wing. I’m not sure that they are wrong. When I say I’m conflicted on the issue, I really am conflicted.

Dave Hardy looks at the effect of the Obama’s court appointments. He’s been able to sharply shift the federal courts to the left because the Republicans were stupid and didn’t play dirty with them Dems when they were blocking all of Bush’s nominees, and then went easy on Obama. The Dems would have never made that mistake. A big reason we lose is because the Republican politicians are, quite bluntly, not very smart people. The Dems wins because they are better at playing The Game, both strategically and tactically. GOP pols never would have lined up to commit ritual suicide on something like Obamacare, yet a large number of Dems did. They sacrificed their political careers for the sake of the party’s long term goals.

Georgia and South Carolina are getting reciprocity. Why doesn’t South Carolina just sign a better reciprocity bill altogether? They have one of the worst statutes in the country.

I keep thinking the gun bubble will eventually burst, but it just keeps going up.

Bloomberg is dumping a lot of money into the effort to prevent Missouri from going Constitutional Carry. What’s is he scared of? Surely this will provide his group with plenty of evidence of how blood will run in the streets to use in other states, right?

I’d hope a science writer would know that 4.25 light years is not “just outside our solar system,” anymore than Jupiter is “just outside of Manhattan.” but it’s good to know there might be other life sustaining planets out there, because the life on this planet is getting to be damed tough to live with.

Amazon is piloting a 30 hour work week. I’ve seen a lot of conservatives on social media deriding this for making us more like those lazy Europeans, but for knowledge workers, it’s fiction that people can be mentally on your game more than 6 hours a day. Sure, you can work longer, but with diminishing returns for the remaining hours.

Drinking after work is sexist? Haven’t we been through this crap before?

 

No, ATF is not Banning Ammunition

Firearms Attorney Josh Prince has the rundown on the nitrocellulose reclassification, and it seems the statement in the newsletter was a mistake which ATF has since clarified. I had not reported on the supposed ammo ban until I could verify it was real, because something about it set off by “there’s more to this than people are saying” detector. It would seem there is no need to panic. These days, it’s very important to not believe everything you read on the Internet. There’s a lot of incentive to sensationalize these days. We have become what we once hated.

Pro-Gun Group I’ve Never Heard of Supports McGinty

Apparently American Gun Owners Alliance, a group I’ve never heard of until reading this article, is “encouraging its members to support McGinty”, apparently unaware that there is the option to not cast a vote in that race if you think Toomey is unacceptable. Go ahead and do that. I wouldn’t blame you. This is the kind of shit that makes me want to beat my head against a brick wall repeatedly. Seriously guys, you have more options than voting for one party’s candidate or the other if you want to send a message.

And to be clear, I’ve expressed before that I’m not sure it’s in our short term interests to knife Toomey’s candidacy in 2016, as opposed to 2022. So I’m also sympathetic to the groups that are reluctantly holding their noses. Sure, McGinty will be more junior than Toomey, but I feel a lot better about our chances to boot Toomey from that seat in an off year primary and holding the seat than I do about getting rid of Kate McGinty if she gets in. There’s also the possibility that Toomey can be convinced that his political self-interests resides in “coming back to Jesus,” so to speak. Stranger things have happened.

And That’s Just People Who Will Admit It to Strangers

Household gun ownership is increasing. That tells me we definitely have a decent amount of uninitiated people entering the shooting world. Most of us experienced in the issue aren’t going to talk to random people calling to ask about guns in the house.

But let me talk for a minute about the actual poll. I’m going to assume below that you skim the poll.

Household gun ownership: It’s good news that overall household gun ownership has increased, but if that’s all happening in red states, it actually doesn’t help us. What I see is an increasing divide between Republicans and Democrats on the gun issue. If that managed to marginalize the Democrats so they couldn’t win elections, that would be fine, but it does not appear the Democratic Party is in decline. A big increase in household gun ownership in swing states would be great news. We have some good evidence that it’s increasing in blue states, but real polling would be helpful.

Gender gap: The gender gap on the issue is still very significant. It would be interesting to see gender cross tabs broken down by race. I suspect we’re doing much better with white women, but not doing as much to reach minority women.

Generation gap: There’s no serious generation gap on the issues the Dems are likely to be able to achieve on, except for a federal database of gun sales. Unfortunately, millennials aren’t very big privacy wonks. Millennials do seem, however, to have figured out the “assault weapons” issue is bullshit.

Overall I’d say the poll is good news. But I’m worried about anti-gun attitudes becoming a shibboleth among Democrats. If they can achieve that kind of cultural unity, and still win elections, eventually our goose is going to get cooked.

But I Thought Gun Control Was a Winning Issue?

The Boston Heard thinks that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy shot “shot the Dems in the foot” with her new autocratic “Assault Weapons” Ban. But how can that be? Hillary and Obama think gun control is a winning issue. So much so that Hillary has chosen to make it a centerpiece of her campaign.

Nonetheless, in deep blue Massachusetts, she finds herself in the middle of a backlash, even from liberal members of her own party. Gun bans have never been popular, no matter how much they want to delude themselves that they are. I keep saying the worst thing the Dems and gun control movement could do to us is to drop the assault weapons issue entirely, repeal all the state bans, and push hard on issues that sound reasonable to the uninitiated, but actually quietly nibble away at our political power. Bloomberg almost seems to get it, and that’s why he worries me.

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, who notes: “Punch back twice as hard, as a famous man says.

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