Aug 13, 2014
There’s a very scary reality that someone with as much money as Bloomberg can put more than $150,000 into a county sheriff’s election and not bat an eye. Money can make things very, very tough to fight when someone saturates the airwaves with a common message during election season.
However, there’s a silver lining in that, ultimately, money doesn’t vote. People vote. That reminder was sent to Mike Bloomberg again last night when the county race he invested so heavily in managed to stay in the hands of a sheriff who believes in the right to defend yourself and your family.
David Clarke retains his office as Milwaukee County Sheriff this morning, even though the Bloomberg-backed challenger is refusing to concede today. Boy, he sure knows how to pick the classy candidates.
Aug 12, 2014
What if someone stabs you in the neck in your own home? You might call 911 for assistance, right? Well, doing that will end up with the police breaking open your gun safe in New Jersey – just so they can see if you have anything they can nab you on, rather than the person who assaulted you.
That’s just what happened when a man called 911 after his wife stabbed him in the neck. They police demanded that he open the safes so they could remove his securely stored firearms. He didn’t cooperate, so they called in a crew to force them open and then arrested him for having too much black powder and ammunition, according to the article. The police also admit that they aren’t closely cataloging the guns, just tossing them in barrels and they’ll get around to it later.
Aug 8, 2014
In a case where being polite and cooperating with police quickly turned into commands that a reasonable person would not have felt were optional so that they could leave, the Arizona Supreme Court said that in order to conduct a frisk of a person, “officers must reasonably suspect both that criminal activity is afoot and that the suspect is armed and dangerous.”
The case stems from a stop where multiple officers approached a man who was on the street having a conversation with a woman. They admit that he was polite to them and cooperating fully, and prosecutors apparently tried argued that such polite behavior at the beginning of a stop is a sign of consent to a later search. One of the officers spotted a bulge on the waistband and asked if the man was carrying a firearm. The man admitted that he was, and that’s when officers started commanding him to put his hands on his head, disarmed him, and then later arrested him once they found out he had a prior felony. (The article doesn’t say what that prior record was about.) The Court said that the stop was illegal and therefore they threw out the conviction for being a felon in possession.
Gun issues aside, I’m quite impressed with this quote from the opinion in the article where the Court’s decision said, “police interactions with members of the public are inherently fluid, and what begins as a consensual encounter can evolve into a seizure that prompts Fourth Amendment scrutiny.”
Aug 8, 2014
According to this letter to the editor, the writer was contacted by Bloomberg’s group to protest the GOP Senate candidate in Iowa. Bloomberg’s people offered to pay for parking, admission, buy them food, and provide him with a t-shirt to wear.
He notes that it seems a little odd that the Democratic Party is attacking the candidate for “special interest money” while looking the other way for groups supporting the Democrats who are paying people to appear involved in their community. It’s not surprising to those of us who watch politics, but it’s a reminder that many people would be shocked by the hypocrisy and find it news that Bloomberg goes so far to try and buy elections.
This is a remarkably effective letter, and I would like to see more of them when people come across examples like this in their communities.
Aug 6, 2014
Ballot initiatives are risky things. In the end, Missouri’s gamble on strengthening their constitutional protection for the right to keep and bear arms paid off with a final result of 61%-39%.
However, that still shows that upwards of 40% of the voters in a primary election in what is perceived to be a red state were opposed to protecting the right to bear arms.
Ballotpedia notes that the new amendment makes the following changes:
Section 23. That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned
; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those duly adjudged mentally infirm by a court of competent jurisdiction.
According to their late July tallies of spending by advocates and opponents, Bloomberg’s new group alone spent more than the pro-gun side, but still lost.
Aug 4, 2014
News is breaking today that James Brady died at 73 years old. As most of you know, he’s the man that the Brady Campaign is named after.
I honestly don’t have much to add since I don’t remember the assassination attempt (I was only 3 months old), and that’s interesting to consider when you look at the Brady Campaign branding. For many of their post-Newtown followers, today’s news articles may be the first time they are hearing about the context of the name.
Jul 29, 2014
We knew the District of Columbia would likely file for a stay to the ruling allowing carry, and they did yesterday near the close of business. This morning, the federal judge granted it, but only for 90 days instead of the requested 180 days. This is one reason most people were urging folks not to carry in DC while this case in process.
It will be interesting to see what happens come October 22 – the deadline. It’s clear that the DC police proved they could come up with a somewhat workable policy on the fly with multiple memos that covered most situations for lawful carry. I see no reason why the DC City Council can’t come up with a clearer policy similar to the Police Chief’s in 90 days – assuming they don’t just appeal this and hope for more favorable decisions.
Jul 28, 2014
Alan Gura posted the memo that went out the DC police officers about how to handle carry situations. He specifically posts this important detail with the memo:
The District has indicated that they will seek a stay of the decision. If a stay were to be granted, this policy would doubtless change, and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to update this blog post in real time. So be careful out there.
Looking at the memo and the scenarios they outline, it does appear that anyone caught carrying will have all of their information taken down and the police will pursue “potential further investigation” even if they are perfectly lawful to carry at the time they stop you.
Jul 28, 2014
Well, we’re to Monday morning and it appears there’s no change in the situation from Saturday evening when it comes to the Washington, DC gun situation. In fact, last night Emily Miller was reporting on Twitter that the DC police have apparently conceded on the carry issue for the time being.
Dave Kopel notes that before you strap a gun on your hip and head into DC, you should probably try to find out more about this very fluid situation.
As of 1:30 a.m. ET on Monday morning, I was not able to find a copy of Chief Lanier’s order on the websites of the D.C. Police, D.C. Attorney General, or city government. It would be helpful for non-residents who seek to comply with the D.C. government’s interpretation of the current situation if the order were speedily made available to the public.
And he also reminds people that there are many laws on the books that were not invalidated by the court.
Nothing in the District Court’s opinion invalidates the D.C. ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Nothing in the opinion addresses the numerous federal and D.C. laws which prohibit carry in a huge number of locations within the District–such as most federal buildings, lots of federal property, as well as schools and colleges. (The D.C. “school” ban even encompasses a school of cosmetology whose students are all adults.)
Jul 25, 2014
Many of you have probably read the story that broke yesterday evening about the doctor who saved his life and is credited with saving numerous others by pulling out his own legally carried firearm and shooting a mental patient who had just shot his caseworker and tried to shoot the doctor. But I have to say for a case that’s still unfolding today, the Daily News has probably the best story I’ve seen on the situation and people involved.
They highlight that the shooter was known as a threat to himself and others, having been involuntarily committed by his local police department two times in the last 5 years and has a known criminal history of firearm and drug offenses. It will be interesting to see if he stole the firearm he used given that he does have a history that includes robbing a bank, according to their research.
They tracked down neighbors at his last known address and none of them were remotely shocked. They said he was clearly deeply troubled, and a friend of an ex-girlfriend of the shooter even said that the guy was a heavy, heavy drug user and claimed he got violent with the girlfriend and kicked her in the stomach while she was known to be pregnant.
In other words, this is a violent, drug addicted mentally ill person who, while in “care,” was allowed to roam the streets and continue committing crimes up until he murdered a woman who was trying to help him in cold blood and tried to take out the doctor, too. The police chief stated that he believes the shooter would not have stopped with the people in the room, and he credits the doctor with keeping the tragedy from turning into a mass shooting.
The shooter was clearly prohibited from possessing firearms, and Pennsylvania already has mandatory background checks on private sales of handguns. You’d think this would make it clear to the other side that the problem lies with our mental health and legal systems. But, no, they still blame the gun even though one in the hands of a lawful owner helped save lives.