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Hashtag Activism to the Rescue!

Remy’s got a new video on hashtag activism – the most powerful tool the world has ever known! Or something…

#TheSecondAmendmentReallyMeansFreeGunsForMeNOW – Did it work?

Anti-Gun Group Confessions

The leader of a gun control group here in Pennsylvania told a Lancaster, PA outlet that they don’t consider actual prosecutions of crimes to be a relevant factor in pushing gun control laws.

In the more than five years the law’s been on the books, not one person has been prosecuted.

“It’s just to lord it over law-abiding people and threaten them with it — which is wrong and immoral,” said Jonathan Goldstein, the NRA’s attorney on the case.

Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA, agreed that prosecutions aren’t the point of the law.

So, if enforcement isn’t the point of passing gun control laws, then what is the goal? Is it to score a “victory” to use in fundraising for more gun control group salaries? Or is the goal to create a patchwork of such complicated laws that no one wants to bother trying to become a lawful gun owner? These are questions the paper isn’t willing to follow up on, even though it should be a little odd that a gun control group spokesperson is indicating she doesn’t care if there’s any enforcement of the laws she claims are sooooo vital to public safety.

Maryland Gun Policies in Pennsylvania to Come?

Remember the headlines about Maryland police officers possibly targeting gun owners for stops?

Well, we could be looking at the similar attitude against guns and their owners coming to Pennsylvania highways. The Maryland State Police Superintendent was just appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to be the new head of the Pennsylvania State Police.

Elections have consequences, and this is just one more reminder for those guys and gals you know who are choosing to sit home and pout rather than trying to find a coalition so that they – and their rights – aren’t under constant attack.

Not Great on Guns to Outright Confiscation

Our current Congresscritter, Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, jumped on board with the “must look squishy” stance after Newtown and decided to sponsor gun control in the House even when it became clear there would be no vote.

It’s not a shock at all. No one actually believes he has a spine on any issue, but that’s part of why some people vote for him. Even our biggest frustration with him isn’t so much that he puts his finger in the air to try and guess the wind direction before taking a position, but that he’s actually not very good at it from a political strategy standpoint. (Of course, he might argue that he wins elections, and that’s a valid argument.) However, in all of that, he didn’t get on board with a gun ban, even though local folks thought he would in the wake of anything controversial. So, that’s at least something positive in the less-than-ideal political reality.

Rep. Fitzpatrick also pledged to term limit himself. He’s not running in 2016, which means it’s an open seat that only very slightly leans Republican in voting habits. It’s up for grabs for either party. The first to start the process of running? A local lawmaker who pushed banning possession of semi-automatic firearms – confiscation. In his statement, State Rep. Steven Santarsiero complained the gun ban legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein to be too moderate and pro-gun for his liking. Lovely.

This speculative field of alternative candidates who have grades doesn’t look good for gun rights, either. (Though some on that list haven’t run in an office to have an official grade or put out an official statement on the issue. And one, Jim Cawley, just announced a cushy non-profit CEO job today, so it’s safe to say he’s not interested.) Given the passion with which we oppose the policies of the officially declared candidate, this is a race we will be watching closely.

Sebastian and I have already spent dinner conversations on the subject, and we’d like to see one of the state senators from the area run. For Pennsylvanians who follow politics, we’re thinking Sens. Tommy Tomlinson or Chuck McIlhinney. One advantage to McIlhinney, beyond his previous A rating, is that it would help clear the path to liquor store privatization once Gov. Wolf is out of office. On the other hand, Tomlinson probably has the better demographic appeal. His name recognition is also spread across the most populous parts of the Congressional district. Tomlinson was last rated A-, and he did take a walk from us once on the issue of reciprocity a few years ago. As a consequence, he lost his endorsement and came back around on the major recent votes to earn back an endorsement. Tomlinson also won in 2014 after a big “war on women” attack in a Democratic area, so that’s a plus.

Does anyone else have any known open seat issues where there’s a not unreasonable chance that the seat will flip from (reasonably) pro-gun to an extreme anti-gun fringe candidate? Are you already looking around the political field for candidates to help early in the race?

Criminal Charges Recommended for Bloomberg’s Best

The best Attorney General that Mike Bloomberg’s money could buy is facing possible criminal charges at the recommendation of a grand jury. According to sources, they are recommending perjury and contempt of court for her role in leaking confidential grand jury materials to the press in order to embarrass opponents.

I’ll stick by the argument that the frequently GOP-leaning voters in the middle of the state who valued their football program over their gun rights and the rule of law are the ones responsible for sending her in on a wave election.

History Buffs and Family Stories

Yesterday afternoon, my best friend from college met Sebastian and I at the DAR library since she knows she’s DAR-eligible, but doesn’t really know much about that family history. It was handy that she brought in the insignia from various family members so I could easily look up their numbers, and it was amazing to see the men who she can call 6th great grandfathers. Two of them were part of the Lexington Alarm.

Yup, my best friend from college actually descends from two different men who were part of those shots heard round the world. As Sebastian put it, she can actually say she’s from a family that used firearms to defend their guns and ammunition from being seized by the government. It’s really quite amazing the risks they were taking at the time.

In her family, the son of one man married the daughter of the other, and I don’t find that surprising at all. One of the first tips I see in researching Revolutionary War patriots is to look for more of them in the in-laws. In my research, it’s very common to find that families actually engaged in supporting the cause tended to see their kids marry. I guess when you take such a radical position on something, your family tends to find other families who are just as passionate.

Yesterday, I found notes on a distant cousin’s application that showed one of my ancestors served under his future father-in-law. I’m not sure if the marriage was before or after the shared military service yet. I also found through these notes that a woman I believe to be my 5th great grandmother is considered a patriot in her own service because she defended her house during a British attack over their attempts to get the ammunition that was being stored there.

I know that genealogy of someone else’s family isn’t high on the reading list, but it really does remind me of something Sebastian said a while ago. At some point, a personal family history is your country’s history.

Passing on the Gun Culture

I guess this is one way to ensure that your descendants will know you were an active member of the pro-gun culture by carrying concealed all of the time. From FindAGrave, this is the inscription on the linked headstone:

Here lies Bill Burch, who never missed a day of church;
He loved his family, friends and fun,
And on his ankle was always a gun.

I noticed that it’s for a cemetery in Maryland and then realized that the partially concealed emblem must have been the representation of a police badge. Suddenly, that made sense given the location.

Still, you have to give the guy and his family some credit for highlighting role of lawful concealed carry in Bill’s life. Also, they provide the full name at the top of the stone, along with a nickname and full dates. Bill’s 3rd and 4th great grandkids will love them for it.

He Hunts, He Fishes, He Doesn’t Like Modern Sporting Rifles

I admit that I had to do a double take when I saw the Facebook image and news flash across my screen that NSSF has invited Bill Engvall to be the new headliner at SHOT this year. I mean, they bill him as a target-shooting hunter, what would possibly be bad about that?

Well, except Engvall is on the record promoting the idea that no civilian should be allowed to own an AK-47. He also said in that video that he’ll compromise with people calling for an outright repeal of the Second Amendment and ban guns that shoot too many rounds that would ruin meat while hunting.

When fans challenged him on Twitter at the time, he dismissed the concerns of his “redneck” fans: “My Twitter account blew up. All these country fans of mine, and redneck fans were like, ‘Are you a Communist? You can’t take away our guns!'” I even remember challenging him on the issue at the time, and he stood by his statements that civilians shouldn’t be allowed to own them. I was rather shocked that he was responding at all, but he did.

I find it interesting that Engvall is now more than happy to run and deposit the check issued by a group that gets their donations from companies that make and sell the very guns he wants to ban.

I get that Jay Leno’s cancellation put NSSF in a bad spot, but it seems there had to have been better options. To the best of my knowledge, other than mocking his fans who disagreed with him a few months after the incident, I’ve never heard Engvall try to make the situation right by educating himself on the issue. Even Jim Zumbo made the effort after his anti-“modern sporting rifle” remarks.

PA Attorney General Won’t Defend Gun Law

Simply because she doesn’t like it, Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced she’s refusing to defend the preemption law that passed the Pennsylvania General Assembly earlier this year. The law is being challenged with a lawsuit by a senator who didn’t support it.

While Kane’s office pretends that it’s no big deal to kick it over the Governor’s office to defend, she does so knowing that the legal team will change next year. Governor-elect Tom Wolf isn’t willing to say he’ll defend it, merely that his team will review it only after they take office. In other words, don’t expect anything from him.

In regards to both offices, these elections were largely lost because many voters value Penn State football over their gun rights. I guess those voters didn’t learn the first time that elections have consequences, and now we’re all going to suffer for it.

The only possible good news is that it may take a while for this to get any kind of court date. Until it is actually thrown out, it’s still the law. Because of that, as the article notes, attorneys representing municipalities with gun control ordinances on the books are still encouraging them to repeal quickly. Since Pennsylvania doesn’t seem to be much of a priority for the big bucks of gun control these days, maybe the cities won’t bring them back.

Stop Loaning Your Tools Immediately

If you live in Washington, you probably should stop loaning out certain tools since you might be violating gun laws, according to a letter that Joe Huffman linked. The letter notes that the definition of firearm is so broad that it includes flare guns and nail guns. That means that outfits like Home Depot and Lowe’s need to start running background checks pronto. It also means that loaning certain equipment to your buddy without a check is now illegal.

Of course, regardless of poorly written gun laws, there are many people who would advise against loaning out tools anyway since sometimes they don’t come home.

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