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State Rep Trades Gun Fire with Robber

During an attempted armed robbery on the streets of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State Rep. Marty Flynn apparently pulled out his own gun and fired at the criminals.

Interestingly, Rep. Flynn refused to return an NRA questionnaire in 2012, so he was rated ?. On the only votes we’ve had recently, he did vote for strengthening preemption in HB 1243. He also voted against the private sale on long guns amendment.

Boosting Pro-2A Candidates without Mentioning Guns

This weekend, I was tied up helping out a solidly pro-gun candidate here in Pennsylvania. He happens to be an area state representative, and he knows both Sebastian and I are vocal advocates of the Second Amendment. As a Republican with a female challenger and the whole “War on Women” theme that’s used against all GOPers nationally, I lined him up as a speaker at my local women’s group meeting.

He earned several votes there according to what women told me later. He also connected with several women who are active in other groups and want to talk more about the topics he handles. He inspired women who don’t live in his district to want to help him out so he stays in office. He left a mark with a large group of women who vote, who participate in civic life in many areas of the community, and who will help spread the word to other voters about what a great guy he is to have in the office.

Yet, not once did he utter anything about his campaign. Not once did he say anything about guns. Not once did he even get into any form of politics. He earned those votes and positive associations just because he has other areas of expertise in his work with the community that were the highlights of his talk.

So, this is just a handy reminder that sometimes a candidate doesn’t have to walk around screaming “shall not be infringed” at every event. The lawmaker knows who lined up the invitation for him, and he knows the issues I care about that make me want to get his name out there in front of voters. If he had mentioned guns, I would have been mortified because it would have been so out of place in the context and wouldn’t have been the best way for him to take advantage of the type of audience he had in front of him. Not every voter needs to hear the same message that you do, and this was a great chance for me to offer up a resource for a different kind of message to different types of voters.

It’s also a reminder that even if you’re not the kind to go knock on doors and make phone calls, there are other ways you can boost a candidate’s name recognition. Are you a member of any kind of community group that has a need for speakers? Do you go to church and have groups there that do any kind of community service that could use a boost?

Look up the kinds of committees your lawmakers serve on or get a list of the types of community groups a candidate has served with to get an idea of their “expertise” topics that aren’t just guns. If you can’t find a common thread, then think any group you’re part of that might warrant some kind of proclamation that the lawmaker can secure and read/publicize that announcement. See how you can help them out in these more creative ways.

Accused Machine Gun Manufacturers in Court

There’s an interesting opportunity to listen to a federal case in front of the 9th Circuit today. If you have time and ability, you can tune in to hear Dave Hardy in US v. Rodman just after noon (Eastern).

Here’s a bit of background on the case.

UPDATE: It looks like it can be embedded, so here’s the video where it will be live-streamed later today.

Zero Tolerance of Gun Owners

You may have thought that zero tolerance had reached a low point with the infamous Pop Tart “gun,” but Lakes of the Four Seasons, an HOA in Indiana, has managed to take it even lower.

According to the reason they gave for firing a worker, even speaking words that indicate you might own a firearm are a violation of their “zero tolerance” on guns rules and is grounds for losing your job. The guy did not carry to work. He did not threaten anyone. He wasn’t spotted with a gun just off the job site. He merely acknowledged that he owned personal firearms at home. And that isn’t acceptable in the Lakes of the Four Seasons community.

For that thought crime, the residents of the neighborhood felt like he needed to be banished and have his source of livelihood cut off. Because he’s one of “them” who dares speak that he lives his personal life a little differently.

Pennsylvania Preemption & Pigeons

I like alliteration, and it seems that the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee might, too. Word has been spreading that the Committee might actually meet to move a pro-gun bill today. Of course, it comes with a word of warning that they might try to move the pigeon shooting ban out, too.

The Senate GOP has been the blockade to pretty much everything in Pennsylvania the last few years. On the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Stewart Greenleaf, has an ever worsening NRA grade as he constantly blocks pro-gun bills with opening doors to poison pill amendments. If you believe in free market wine, you can thank Chuck McIlhinney for blocking privatization.

I’ll be honest, even with an election year, I didn’t think that preemption had any chance to move at all in the Senate given how much they have gotten in the way of other reforms on our issue and others in the last couple of years. This is great news, and I’ll be calling my non-Judiciary Committee senator to let him know that if he wants my help this year, there better be a vote. I know my senator needs visible support from women based on the ads he’s running. I’m going to let him know that I’m happy to help, but only if there’s a vote and he votes for stronger preemption. Play the cards you’ve got – and helping a campaign is something everyone can do.

Tracking the Judicial Nominees

John Richardson has a great post outlining his research on a North Carolina judicial candidate whose name sounded a little familiar. It turns out that it’s because of his anti-gun statements in legal proceedings during his previous jobs.

Being an informed voter is vital to protecting your rights. For a quick guide, NRA has already released at least some of their grades for this year.

In Pennsylvania, we’re still waiting on some votes to take place on preemption (though it did just pass the House for the last time today, now it goes to the Senate), so we only have Congressional grades at this point.

Gun Nut Movie Review Disagreement

Caleb watched The Purge so you don’t have to and then reviewed it from a self-defense perspective. However, even though I have not seen the movie, not ever seen a single preview for this movie, and have less experience doing self-defense training with firearms, I know there is something fundamentally wrong in his review.

…if you’re under imminent threat, you get everyone in a central, easily defended location. I would consider the house to be under imminent threat for the entire 12 hours of the Purge, so before the event started, everyone would be ushered into the safe-room/bunker, which would be nicely equipped with cots, video games, food, weapons, and security monitors, and we’d all stay there. For 12 hours. Spending 12 hours with your family is a small price to pay for not getting murdered.

There are plenty of families for whom spending 12 uninterrupted hours together would be a guaranteed recipe for murder. I personally think his advice should have come with a disclaimer on that one.

I was mostly disappointed to learn that movies don’t always teach good self-defense techniques. This means that I might need to reconsider the method learned from my favorite crappy sci-fi flicks: nukes solve everything.

Blaming Ebola on the NRA

At first, I couldn’t believe the headline. But it’s real. MSNBC is really arguing that NRA is responsible for Ebola issues in the United States. Really.

The stupid is just a little much today.

Gun Control Off the Voter Radar

In this profile of planned gun control group election spending, there’s a key nugget of information quite relevant for the gun control crowd:

The subject barely registers in polling that shows voters far more focused on the economy and terrorism. This week’s Associated Press-GfK poll showed less than 1 percent of likely voters named guns as the nation’s top issue — a view that many House and Senate contests reflect.

It’s not completely surprising given headlines that make it appear like the new normal includes workplace beheadings and organ-liquifying diseases around the country.

That said, that also means our people also aren’t that engaged on the political front, or they are more motivated by other issues than guns. If something else is pissing them off to get engaged for our candidates, that’s still great. Though, if that description fits you, make sure campaigns and politicians know that you’re also motivated by gun rights. Telling a campaign coordinator that you’re motivated by Second Amendment issues goes much father than telling a pollster.

More Female-Oriented Political Advertising

Speaking of reaching out to more women, this is one of the first ads I’ve seen from NRA that really tries to hit at female voters.

It’s message is much closer to that of other female-centered general political advertising. It’s personal and has a specific story, which is a refreshing change from many of the ads running from the NRA commentators which are general “the world sucks and the sky is falling” kind of themes.

The fact is that advertising like this is much easier to identify with, even if someone has never been in that situation. A similar humanizing ad from Sen. Mitch McConnell is getting attention specifically because of how much it makes him seem like a real human instead of just some robot in Washington.

Just like a candidate isn’t likely to jump all over a sexual assault victim, they aren’t likely going to try and attack this woman who obviously believes that McConnell was key to her daughter’s return. These are ads that make lower information voters feel good and make them think, “Yeah, I can identify with that person if I was ever in that situation. If I can identify with them, then maybe I should consider the candidate they are backing.”

The only concern I have about NRA’s ad is that it may be assuming too much in that lower information voters have any idea who Bloomberg is backing. He’s a great guy to demonize because few people like wealthy billionaires who haven’t lived their lives telling them what to do, but that doesn’t mean they know which candidates he’s backing or exactly how he’s involved in their local races. It would be most effective if the ad was shared by local folks along with a message of which area candidates are anti-Bloomberg. Maybe that’s what we’ll see happen. With about an hour on Facebook, it’s already nearing 700 shares.

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