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AWB Upheld: This is Unfortunately Becoming Unsurprising

A federal judge has upheld the Maryland assault weapons ban that was passed in the wake of Sandy Hook.

Blake, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, wrote that she was not convinced that assault rifles such as the AR-15 are used regularly for self-defense. She wrote that they seemed to be “military style weapons designed for offensive use.”

Blake did not rule on whether the weapons or magazines are protected by the Second Amendment. But even if they are, she wrote, the bans are a legitimate way for the state to enhance public safety.

The law “seeks to address a serious risk of harm to law enforcement officers and the public from the greater power to injure and kill presented by assault weapons and large capacity magazines,” she wrote.

Of course, we’ve seen Bush appointees rule this way too, so this isn’t meant to single out Clinton appointees. I should again emphasize how much judges are culturally skittish of gun rights. Gun rights are a movement of ordinary people. Elites have never liked the peasantry to be will armed. Nontheless, we usually lose in district court. Some of our best victories have been disasters in federal district court. So we will appeal, and press on.

The Dignity of Being Armed

I’ve generally believed when you make a decision to be armed, you try to do your best to be armed in all circumstances where you can. But sometimes, you just have to give in. Caleb seems to be in the same place, describing that there are no good solutions for jogging. When I used to bike regularly through Fairmount Park in Philly, I usually figured out a way to carry. It’s not difficult if you eschew the typical biker spandex and go with shorts and a loose t-shirt. You’ll probably print a bit, but if it’s legal, who cares.

But I don’t really concern myself anymore about difficult situations. When that comes up, I just leave it at home. I’m working in New Jersey now, which means generally not carrying very often. I don’t want to risk strapping on in the morning and then forgetting about it if I get called on-site. Do I worry about being unarmed? No. Not really. The more I’ve thought about this, the more I think mindset is more important than the weapon. Firearms are just tools. It’s the mindset that makes them weapons.

Statistically I’m taking a much bigger risk indulging in my love of fried foods and distilled/fermented beverages than I am leaving the gun at home. Caleb’s probably doing more to protect his life jogging than he would spending equivalent time driving car while armed. For most suburban dwelling middle class folks, the odds that you’re ever going see the balloon go up are smaller than being in a serious car wreck, or coming down with a life threatening illness before you’re 60.

But even for suburban dwellers, the odds of being the victim of a violent crime over a lifetime is not so insignificant as to make it something to just casually dismiss. Most of us know a few people in our lives that have been victims of violent crime. Maybe we only know a few more than have ever had cancer. Over the years thinking about this, I’ve come to the conclusion that carry is not a numbers game. If it were, we’d spend less time with the guns and more time at the gym, and we’d try to fly and take trains instead of driving places.

I believe the reason we all carry is because most of us demand a high level of personal autonomy, and the individual dignity that comes with that. That’s why people who have a weak sense of individuality don’t understand it, and why it’s such an affront to collectivist thinking. I’d much rather die in an accident, or from a health issue, than die on someone else’s terms. I can’t honestly think of a worse way to go.

If I were one of the 40,000 Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar, staring down the ISIS horde, I’d much rather having a gun in my hand, pondering a strategy for taking at least 5 barbarians with me, than have to contemplate submission. Even if submission would mean living, I’d rather die on my own terms, as a free thinking and acting individual, than submit to the barbarian horde.

That’s probably also why I’m not keen on spending more treasure helping the Arabs, but I’m willing to do so for the Kurds. The Arabs have largely thrown down their weapons and submitted when confronted. The Kurds are fighting, and at the end of the day I’m always going to be willing to throw my lot in with people who are willing to stand up for themselves, even against terrible odds. The reasons the Kurds are fighting barbarians are the same reasons we carry. It’s not about statistics, or odds, it’s about dignity.

Sorry for the Dead Air

Bitter has come down with a cold, so she has not been in the mood to do much blogging. I came home today to see her on the sofa, watching a foreign movie that involved two guys who had just killed a bear by impaling it from underneath with a spear, set inside a church. Apparently this involved some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare. I said “What movie is this? I must watch this from the beginning,” since I figure any movie where two guys run a large brown bear through in a church probably involves all kinds awesomeness to arrive at the scene.

Either way, I’m still billing at the client, and about to take a second on. Today was to be my last week at the current client, but they extended me until the end of September, or I run out of work, whichever comes first. My bet is the end of September comes first.

Fourteen years ago, I invested in a small consulting company when it was a start-up. That is now my current employer. Two and a half years ago, I came on board to work on special projects. We wanted to take up special projects, because we don’t want to be in the consulting business long term. The consulting business has lasted 14 years, and has thrown off enough extra money to support my (and several others) efforts for the past two and half years to try to come up with a line of products that people might want to buy. But consulting is a tough business to be in, especially when you’re a small outfit. Unfortunately, we need the consulting business alive to provide the cash flow to fund the special projects.

This winter sucked. I can’t express how much it sucked, both in terms of weather and lost economic productivity. I wish I could say it was all the weather, but a lot of other unhappy things are just hitting at the same time. In consulting, it can be like that, and if you’re not Very Big Consulting, you can only take so much bad luck.. So that’s why I’m out billing instead. As long as I’m out in the field, even if it’s part time, I’m making money instead of costing money, and the company needs that right now.

Personally, I think it’s all a conspiracy by the Obama Administration to deliberately wreck the economy. That way the people who have to do all the work to support the technocratical terror he’s constructed don’t have time to complain ;)

Monday News Links for 8-4-2014

The slow trend in gun news unfortunately continues, and I have been more in the mode of trying not to do filler, or veer off topic too much. But I do have some tabs built up from late late week and into the weekend, so let’s see if we can get a news post going:

Bloomberg’s paid stooges aren’t too keen on a new Army pistol because that means gun nuts will want them. Well, I don’t have a 92F, so that may not be the case for me.

From Nick Johnson: Arms and the Several States.

Even NRA is mocking Bloomberg for his epic ad fail.

No, the main obstacle is that smart guns are an answer to a question no one asked. At least no one who actually buys guns.

No… not after your guns at all!

Who knew that Cor-Bon made such projectiles of exploding death?!

This could be a saving grace when it comes to gun control implemented by the Obama Administration.

I’m pretty sure a seminar at the NRA Annual Meeting on sausage making draws a bigger crowd.

D.C. may try to get around the recent ruling in our favor by passing Maryland style may-issue.

Florida doctors told to just ignore the Florida law, at least that’s the advice they are getting from the AAP, which would seem to have taken a lesson from the Obama Administration.

Everytown for censorship has been getting parody videos pulled down even though parody is protected speech. It’s always surprised me how little they can roll with the punches. Watts particularly can’t seem to accept when she makes mistakes.

Oak Ridge offering accent reduction to southerners. My Philly accent attenuated a good bit during college, which is ironic given I went to school in West Philadelphia. But being around other people who didn’t have the accent changed the way I talk.

Some Unfortunate News

I just got a call from Clayton Cramer from the hospital. It seems he had a mild heart attack, and then a mild stroke due to the angioplasty procedure to deal with the blockage in his heart. This quite surprised me given that he’s been doing so well since his aortic valve replacement.

He asked me to post this, since his blog won’t be updated for a few days and he wanted everyone to know what happened. Clayton has been a great contributor to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, so any thoughts and/or prayers you can send his way are appreciated. For a guy that just had a stroke that affected speech, he was pretty intelligible on the phone, so I’m hopeful he will make a speedy recovery.

Rifle OCer Busted for Poor Muzzle Discipline

Tam links to the case of a guy who carried a long gun, an AR-15 specifically, into Sky Harbor airport to get a cup of coffee. Apparently he muzzled a woman when he unslung the firearm, and is now facing charges for it, namely two counts of disorderly conduct with a weapon. The Arizona Revised Statutes defines Disorderly Conduct in this manner:

13-2904. Disorderly conduct; classification

A. A person commits disorderly conduct if, with intent to disturb the peace or quiet of a neighborhood, family or person, or with knowledge of doing so, such person:

  1. Engages in fighting, violent or seriously disruptive behavior; or
  2. Makes unreasonable noise; or
  3. Uses abusive or offensive language or gestures to any person present in a manner likely to provoke immediate physical retaliation by such person; or
  4. Makes any protracted commotion, utterance or display with the intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a lawful meeting, gathering or procession; or
  5. Refuses to obey a lawful order to disperse issued to maintain public safety in dangerous proximity to a fire, a hazard or any other emergency; or
  6. Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

B. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 6 is a class 6 felony. Disorderly conduct under subsection A, paragraph 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 is a class 1 misdemeanor.

I’d say muzzling people at an airport qualifies as reckless handling, and I’d even go a step further and suggest carrying an AR-15 in an airport could also amount to reckless display, if it was carried in a manner that could be interpreted by a reasonable observer as being ready for use (e.g. at the low ready).

It’s interesting that a state with a strong cultural heritage of open carry has mechanisms in place to deal with the worst attention whoring aspects of rifle OC. I honestly don’t have a problem with these charges. Muzzling people is reckless behavior.

Advertising Strategy Fail

By now you’ve probably all seen the giant ball of fail that is the latest Everytown ad:

At first I thought it was a Glock ad. Probably because it goes pretty much the same way as the well known Glock ad, only without the humorous twist at the end. Well, it turns out that even the women over at the highly lefty show “The View” thought the ad was a good argument for having a gun.

Quote of the Day on Executive Overreach

National Review’s Yuval Levin hits on what I really don’t like about the Obama Administration:

In one sense, the approach the president is said to be contemplating does fit into a pattern of his use of executive power. That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive. That’s how moving to compel nuns to buy contraception and abortive drugs for their employees became “they’re trying to take away your birth control.” This strategy needlessly divides the country and brings out the worst instincts of people on all sides, but it has obvious benefits for the administration and its allies. Liberals get both the substantive action and the political benefit of calling their opponents radicals and getting their supporters worked up. Obama’s legalization of millions would surely draw a response that could then be depicted as evidence of Republican hostility to immigrants, rather than of Republican hostility to illegal executive overreach that tries to make highly significant policy changes outside the bounds of our constitutional order.

It’s not that he’s liberal. I’ve been through liberal presidents in my lifetime. Despite Clinton being far more damaging on guns than Barack Obama could ever dream of, I never developed the visceral dislike of Clinton Administration that I have for the Obama Administration. Maybe that’s partly psychological. The Clinton years were good. I look back fondly on that time in life. In contrast, the Obama years have been hellish both financially and in always feeling like we’re living on the razors edge just a hair’s breath away from losing everything we thought we believed about this country.

Philosophically, I think Barack Obama is a fairly conventional progressive in the mold of Woodrow Wilson; another ends-justify-the-means president who isn’t above flaming the worst instincts in the populace if it benefits the promotion of his political agenda. But I also can’t help but to take a swipe at Republicans here.

You know what makes Republican cries of overreach ring hollow? Maybe because your guy did it over the howls of the left during the last Administration? I would be the first to agree that Bush’s crimes with executive overreach pale in comparison to Obama’s, but Bush set the stage. You reap what you sow. I’m deeply angry at the Obama surveillance state, but it was Bush who laid the foundation for it. Let’s not kid ourselves.

Many people on the right call on President Obama to be impeached for a his overreach. Like the author of this piece, I am more sympathetic to handing out green cards more liberally than the majority of conservatives. But if he unilaterally, and without legal authority, implements amnesty without action by Congress, I believe he ought to be impeached. That would be a bridge too far for me when it comes to illegal executive actions. I know the consequence of that is President Joe Biden. I’d take it.

However, you know what makes impeachment politically impossible for the Republicans? You know what makes Obama invite the very idea? Progressives well remember what happened the last time Republicans decided it was a good idea to impeach the last Democratic president over the very important topic to the future of the country: lying about whether he did or did not get a blow job from another consenting adult.

Impeachment is serious business. It should only be for very serious things. But when the GOP made President Clinton only the second President in the US to be impeached by the House, over being dishonest about blow jobs, they cheapened the very idea. Along comes a president who has actually done some things I think may deserve impeachment, and sorry guys, you surrendered the moral high ground.

So Obama won’t be impeached. And you can thank Newt Gringrich for that.

Another Strategy From Gun Control 2.0 Which Worries Me

The other side is prepping the ground to try to expand the category of prohibited person. This is why I don’t lightly dismiss Gun Control 2.0 — prohibited persons is a topic I’ve wondered why they didn’t push for years, especially after having success even in a GOP Congress in the late 1990s on the topic of domestic abusers.

Who wants to stand up for the rights of wife beaters, stalkers, brawlers, drunks, or other low lifes? Defending against this kind of attack requires persuading people think about big picture things. Unintended consequences are not typically a concern for people who don’t think much past “something must be done!” It takes a deeper understanding that most people simply aren’t willing to take the time to develop. In this sound bite world, dominated by low information voters, this is a topic our opponents have a natural advantage.

In the early 2000s, I thought the Internet was going to make more people enlightened. As anyone who has ever spent any time on Facebook, or read comment sections on YouTube videos can tell you, that’s just not going to be the case. The left is now far better at reaching LIVs via the Internet than we are by far. The right dominated the early blogosphere, but the left does social media much better than we do. Conservatives put all their faith in money changers who preach to the choir, rather than investing energy in activism that was highly effective at reaching and persuading people who had barely any education on conservative ideas.

The reason we gun folks are better off relatively from the conservative movement is that we never quite drank the same kool aid. Granted, the fact that our hobby is fun and doesn’t take a deep understanding of any particular philosophy is a great asset. I think we should play to our strengths. Our best bet is to continue to be evangelists for the shooting sports and armed self-defense to anyone who shows even a hint of an open mind.

News Links for Tuesday 07-29-2014

It’s hard to argue it has been a good week for the antis. First, that which they claim can never and has never happened, happened again. Someone stopped a mass shooting before it qualified for their definition of mass shooting. Then, DC went kinda-sorta-but-not-really constitutional carry for 72 hours after a surprise Saturday ruling in favor of the Second Amendment. It’s not surprising, then, that they’ve been awfully quiet. But rest assured, they know it’s been a bad week. Here’s the news:

Colorado predicted a huge number of background checks would be performed once they banned private transfers, because they based their estimates on the bogus 40% number. So it’s not surprise by anyone except those that buy into anti-gun propaganda that their numbers are way way off.

CSGV trying to wrap its collective head around the defensive shooting at Mercy Fitzgerald.

Guns have no place in the workplace. Yeah, tell that to Dr. Silverman. This guy didn’t seem to care enough to actually obey something written on a piece of paper by HR.

I’m betting no one except Eleanor Holmes Norton thought the 72 hours DC had nothing to say about carry was “madness.”

Joe has a look at what the anti gun folks think of us in cartoons: here and here.

I have to agree with Tam on Facebook today: I didn’t see this coming either.

Turns out, gun control is bad for the local economy.” The people voting for gun control don’t care about jobs for those kinds of people, who do that kind of work. They aren’t reliable enough Democratic voters.

I appreciate the quote, and the characterization of our blog as “influential,” but it was Bitter that wrote that and not me.

Self-defense for me, but not for thee.

This nonviolent stuff’ll get you killed.

The next media fad issue over stand your ground.

It’s time for conservatives to stop defending police. They say one bad apple can spoil a bunch. The problem is, we don’t do anything about the bad apples, so the consequences are inevitable.

I’m pretty sure if the Boston Police Commissioner had his way, having a rifle or shotgun in the city would be as difficult as having a pistol. But this is how the 1st Circuit Court of appeals has decided to treat a fundamental right.

Is the speed limit too low? Yes. Next question.

Off Topic:

Your “Craft” Rye Whiskey is probably from a factory in Indiana.

No Labels? No results, No problem! My local GOP rep is a member of this group, and regularly touts it. As far as I’m concerned, the less Washington accomplishes, the better off we all are. This group is only a way to appear to LIVs that you’re an advocate for “doing something,” and “getting along.” Personally, I’m sick to death of LIVs.

Apparently something has a really compelling case for putting “Happy Birthday,” in the public domain. If this ends all the endless stupid birthday chants at chain restaurants, I’m all for it.

Very cool collection of colorized old timey photos. Since we’ve gotten into genealogy, I’ve spent a lot of time with old family photos.

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