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NRA Convention vs. CPAC

Charles C. W. Cooke of National Review did this interview with a Philadelphia radio station yesterday, and I loved a comment that he made about the size of CPAC – a general right-of-center, every issue you can imagine convention – versus the NRA annual meeting which is largely single issue.

“And this is going to sound ungrateful, but it’s small because I’m used to the NRA convention which is Madison Square Garden-sized.”

This is the argument I used for years with people in the conservative movement when pointing out that they need to look more to what the NRA has done over the years. It seemed like the gun issue was so often overlooked, yet the NRA consistently turned out more people to participate than anything that was happening in DC circles. So it’s kind of funny to hear Cooke mention the vast difference in size for an event that wants to represent an entire “side” of the political aisle and the many different issues that come along with it.

Besides, the NRA convention is more fun in my experience. I was sick of CPAC by the time I went for the fourth time. Most of my friends felt the same way when I was in DC. But I still look forward to the NRA convention. While I’ve shifted what events I tend to visit at the convention, there’s still something interesting going on each day. I like that it’s a chance to dig deep into the issue – whether it’s connecting with other people passionate about grassroots, the law, or just getting out to shoot.

Anyway, go listen to the interview since I think it’s a really good one beyond the NRA comparison. I’ll have to add Cooke’s new book, The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future, to my wish list now.

Charges Dropped in New Jersey Antique Gun Case

It would seem that someone gave the Cumberland County, NJ prosecutor a clue that putting an elderly man away for 10 years (likely life in his case) is not really an appropriate move for someone who collects 18th century stuff and managed to pick up a flintlock pistol. Charges have just been dropped without further comment from the DA.

Brady Campaign Backs Down from Promises to Anti-Gun Pols

It would seem that the Brady Campaign staffers were making funding promises to Pennsylvania officials that they may have had no intention of keeping.

Back when Pennsylvania municipalities were regularly passing gun control ordinances, several cities only went through with the measures that violated state preemption laws because the Brady Campaign/Center promised, via MAIG and CeasefirePA representatives, to pay for the defense of those ordinances if the cities were sued.

Well, now the threat of lawsuits is looming and the Brady Campaign is telling the media that they never made such promises by claiming that the person who made the promises wasn’t really speaking for them.

While the local Fox affiliate dug up city records from Lancaster and Erie that showed they made those promises, we recalled another instance in Radnor. Except, Radnor lawmakers demanded the promise in writing. From Sebastian’s 2010 report on that meeting:

Commissioners seemed skeptical when CeaseFirePA mentioned that the Brady Campaign would pick up the tab for any lawsuits against the ordinance, and indicated they’d want it in writing. It’s my opinion the Bradys will be very reluctant to put anything into writing, so I think that’s a strategy to use going forward. Get your local politicians to demand that. If the Bradys don’t deliver, that’s another point, and it may start the politicians wondering whether the promise is worth anything.

It seems that now we have the proof that the Brady promises on this issue really were worthless.

In Lancaster, the pledge came from Max Nacheman who represented MAIG and Brady at the time and would later represent CeasefirePA. In Radnor, it appears that Commissioner Elaine Schaefer called the Brady Campaign herself and got the pledge that the group would defend the town. So the Brady Campaign is now trying to claim that the exact same promise made in at least 3 different cities via at least 2 different people, was really just some random miscommunication?

Yeah, that’s totally believable.

It would seem that town officials are now learning what we’ve been trying to tell them for years – you can’t believe the false promises the anti-gunners tell you when they are trying to get their agenda passed. They need something to call a “win,” and if your budgets take a beating due to legal expenses because they told you to do something illegal, they don’t care. It’s still a “win” for their agenda even as taxpayers lose.

Not the Brightest Gun Shop Burglars

Today has had a bit of excitement in Bucks County. One of the local gun shops was the location of a “standoff” between police and two men from Philadelphia who were attempting to break in.

After stealing a vehicle, the suspects entered through the roof and figured they would go through the ventilation system. They managed to remove at least a sheep mount from the store before the cops managed to get them out of the building.

These ever-so-brilliant suspects realized that they would be caught, so they figured they would call 911 and claim they found a dead body somewhere else in town and the police who were already set up outside and trying to get them out would just leave and let them walk away. That just got them another criminal charge out here in Bucks County.

According to reports, they tried to claim that they just randomly broke into that building because they were homeless. Sure. Stealing a truck, driving to a gun shop, getting at least some product out of the building, but it was just because you wanted to get warm? Oh, and there just happened to be drugs on them, too. Yeah, no jury here will buy that sh*t.

However, it turns out that neither one of these geniuses likely knows what it’s like facing a jury. Sure, they both have arrest records from Philadelphia, but the vast majority of their charges were nolle prossed.

One of the suspects appears to have quite the history with guns, as he was arrested for illegally carrying firearms at 15. He has a record that’s 4 pages long filled with many charges involving theft, burglary, and assault. Yet, this is the same city filled with people demanding more gun control. It’s clear that they aren’t making do with the laws they have, and now a suburban gun shop and neighboring stores are paying for those decisions not to prosecute.

Stagecoach Mary – The Well-Armed Woman of Montana

I have to admit that I adored reading this write-up on Mary Fields of Cascade, Montana. She was the second woman and first African American to deliver mail for Wells Fargo Co.

In her stay in Montana, she took on many tough traditionally male jobs and those were sometimes dangerous enough that she would slap a gun on her hip. Even beyond being a well-armed woman, the legends surrounding her seem pretty epic. Consider that the article says she was “one of very few black people in the new state at all, and most likely the only one with a pet eagle.”

By the time she retired from her mail route, apparently her birthday was celebrated as a local holiday for the school kids.

Suing Because – GUNS!

So a California gun dealer is being sued for being in business. Not for supposedly doing anything wrong or making a sketchy sale, but for existing in the first place.

In December, a shoemaker who had a business next to a firearms retailer, was bringing coffee over to his business neighbor. Unfortunately, robbers were running out the store at the time and knocked him down on the sidewalk outside of the business. When he fell, his head hit on the sidewalk and he died days later.

The family is suing claiming that the gun store is negligent for not being robbery-proof. Their argument is that because the store was robbed before, the owners didn’t take any effort to secure it in a way that their husband/father would not have died.

The first link has security footage that shows the shoemaker was knocked down outside the premises, so that means the only security measure that the store owner could have taken to ensure this action could not happen would be to wall off all entrances and exits so that no one could possibly access the sidewalk from inside the shop.

So, really, the gun shop is being sued because they exist at all, not over security concerns that would have had any substantial impact on the situation. In fact, the lawyers actually told the press that they reason they consider the owner negligent was because she allowed customers to enter the building freely during business hours.

It’s just sad because it sounds like the shoemaker and the gun shop owner were friends since he brought her coffee every day. If it was really as unsafe as the shoemaker’s wife and children claim it was, then why did her husband and their father choose to enter the supposedly “dangerous” premises every day?

Gun Control is for “Wealthy, White Individuals”

Wow. Just wow. One of the former city officials who backed the Bloomberg/CeasefirePA effort to enact local gun control laws said that his city needs to fight on behalf of gun control because he wants to keep the city safe for “white, wealthy individuals.”

Michael Donovan, a former member of city council who supported the lost and stolen gun law, said Allentown should be joining other prominent Pennsylvania cities in their fight against the state law.

“Allentown is the third largest city in the state,” he said. “It is claiming a renaissance for wealthy, white individuals who wish to be safe. I believe the mayor has a responsibility to join the fight against this law.”

No, I’m not kidding. The gun control ally really did say that out loud to a reporter. But, it got buried at the bottom of the story. Do you think if he was a Republican that this would be at the very bottom of the story?

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.

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