Jun 8, 2015
The nomination for the
Police State, I mean State Police, Commissioner has been recalled as of this morning. It looks like it’s a good news/bad news scenario.
Marcus Brown will continue as Acting Commissioner, giving him the ability to continue to abuse his power violating the rights of Pennsylvanians to criticize him and his decision relating to his office. Brown has a history of publicly backing Martin O’Malley’s extreme gun control proposals. The agency he ran in Maryland was accused of targeting gun owners to find any reason to pull them over and search them. The bad news is that he is free to continue these practices (those documented on video and alleged) here in Pennsylvania for the moment.
The good news is that the Pennsylvania Senate has to formally accept the recall, and they have indicated they will not unless Gov. Tom Wolf agrees to nominate someone else. That would get Brown out of the office, and may we’d be lucky enough that he’ll leave Pennsylvania. The flip side of that coin is that anyone nominated by Wolf is unlikely to be friendly to Second Amendment rights.
UPDATE: And that didn’t go well for Wolf… The Senate moved forward with a vote regardless of the recall request and voted Marcus Brown down. That’s good news for those of us who have a little respect for the rule of law.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what the process is now that Brown has officially been turned down by the Senate. I would hope it means he’s hauled out of his office as Acting Commissioner right now, but I realize that’s a bit of hopeful thinking.
May 6, 2015
Once upon a time, Sebastian compared the historical concept of a militia to something like that of a modern volunteer fire department. I thought that was a pretty good analogy at the time, but since then I’ve learned that Philadelphia actually has a private military organization. The First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry is a purely volunteer, privately organized cavalry troop that has been called into federal military service as needed since 1774.
Our opponents in the gun control movement have often derided the idea of “private militias,” even though they played a significant role in the founding of this country. The history page of the First Troop notes that even though they had been operating in defense of Philadelphia alongside the Continental Army, it wasn’t until 1811 that “a law was passed authorizing a regimental organization of the cavalry.” They weren’t even incorporated under state law until 1863.
Today First Troop requires prospective members to also be currently serving in the National Guard, but reading the troop’s history page is an interesting look back at volunteers who felt a duty to country and community. As our founders understood it, the concept of a privately organized citizen militia was not about “insurrection,” as our opponents claim, but about service.
Apr 21, 2015
It seems that Mike Bloomberg’s gun control cash can’t buy PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s way out of more legal drama.
Kane is being sued by a former agent from her office because he says she fabricated a story about him, claiming that he says his sting was only targeting black people. He claims that he never said that, and he says it seriously harmed his reputation as an investigator. He even took a polygraph test that he says he passed.
In fact, the story highlights that Kane claims she had a sworn statement by the agent’s boss that the agent suing her did say it. The problem is that there was no sworn statement. There was an unsworn statement (aka no legal accountability if they prove the boss lied) written more than a year after the supposed racial comment. To top that off, it was only written after Kane made her public claim. In other words, Kane made the claim that the agent with 20 years on the job made a statement. Then, four days after she issued the public attack, the agent’s boss magically writes up a statement fitting the narrative Kane told the media.
This woman is not just incompetent, she belongs in jail. It seems a grand jury agrees with me on the issue of criminal charges in another matter. Even the outlets that endorsed her think it’s time for her to get out of the office. Of course, I’m surprised she hasn’t put a fat target on the media since she already hinted she would sue them for reporting on her many ethical problems.
Remember folks, this woman won partly due to the huge financial investment made by Mike Bloomberg specifically because her views on gun control. She has repeatedly screwed with our reciprocity agreements, and she started lobbying against federal pro-gun bills before she even took office. But, hey, all those voters in the traditionally Republican parts of Pennsylvania felt like a vote for her was a vote for Penn State. No, it was a vote for corruption and abuse that not even the Philadelphia media can tolerate.
Apr 20, 2015
It’s a few days old, but I just came across this piece in the WaPo talking about why it is anti-hunting advocates put targets on attractive female hunters.
The article notes that celebrities and anti-hunting advocates don’t attack or issue threats against male hunters at nearly the same rate as they target women or frequently even with the vitriol that they reserve for women.
Ultimately, it comes down to sexism in their movement. Women and guns, oh my! The article quotes a Vanderbilt professor, Kelly Oliver, who said:
“We expect men to be hunters, but we’re surprised when girls are hunting … Whatever we think about hunting the ‘Big Five’ in Africa, it’s clear that we still have issues with women and girls carrying guns and using them.”
Ah, gotta love sexism on the part of the animal rights activists that forces women into a box of pre-selected labels and hobbies just because of their sexual organs. Oh, wait, isn’t that what they often accuse us of doing?
The article does cite another professor who claims it isn’t sexism that motivates these attacks, but they are rooted in other judgements against the women hunters – their race, their socioeconomic status, and even their nationality. However, the second professor doesn’t appear to answer the challenge of why these attacks target female hunters when men share the same types of photos without nearly the level of antagonism. That’s still gender bias at work, even if the people issuing Twitter threats may also have an issue with a hunter’s race or class.
Apr 20, 2015
Pew Research released a poll showing their highest documented support for gun rights, and 63% of their respondents said the best way to protect yourself against crime was with a gun. The survey also specifically says that Americans do not believe that more gun control will keep them safe.
Pew says that there’s a disconnect between perceptions of crime rates and actual crime rates. That’s not at all news for anyone who reads Free Range Kids and the kind of attitudes they are trying to battle with a little sanity and a lot of information. What I find interesting is that, in my experience, the serious gun owners I know do realize that crime is trending downward. It’s the people I know who either don’t own guns or who just have one locked away somewhere who believe crime is on the rise.
Apr 16, 2015
Sorry for the Tax Day silence yesterday. We figured you could all use a break to either a) file at the last minute, or b) drink away your sorrows at just how much you owe. Of course, when you realize how much you pay in alcohol taxes, it may be enough to make you start brewing your own beer.
I’m doing a little research on a historical gun I photographed at the meeting, but I did want to share these random photos from the Nashville NRA Annual Meeting that I thought were mildly interesting, but not quite enough to support an entire post.
The first item is the visual right across from the Mom Demand Action from Illegal Mayors in Everytown. Sebastian & I had to do a double take when we saw the faded painted brick on this building that was part of the backdrop for their press conference. See if you catch what we noticed.
Somehow this just seemed so terrible fitting to have at the Nashville convention. I almost wanted one as a souvenir.
Finally, I love the North-South Skirmish Association‘s booth each year. This year’s highlight was this set up from the only all-women’s mortar team in last year’s competition. According to the gentleman we spoke with, the women on the team compete in full women’s costumes and they placed 8th out of 63 teams.
I really need to get Sebastian down to their annual event in Virginia. I mean how can you miss this?
Member units compete in live-fire matches with original or authentic reproduction Civil War period muskets, carbines, breech loading rifles, revolvers, mortars and cannons.
They compete with cannons and mortars! Seriously, it’s a pretty fun event to just watch. The competitors really look like they have a good time.
Apr 14, 2015
Because my entire family in the area came out on Sunday of the NRA annual meeting, I managed to check out a few things I normally wouldn’t check out and see things through a fresh perspective. Like any event of this size, there was good and bad with it. Even with the bad, I think there’s great potential, but it’s just a matter of finding the right people who can pull it off.
NRA specifically hosts an NRA Youth Day on the last day of the convention. I’ll be honest, with as many kids as I saw on Saturday, I think they should consider doing at least something kid-focused on both weekend days in the future. The number of families keep growing at every convention, and they have such a great opportunity to offer something special that stands out for the kids.
Even if they never grow up to be gun owners, my niece and nephew will grow up remembering that they attended an NRA meeting and that everything seemed nice, normal, and fun. Even if they don’t grow up to be activists, there’s a good chance they won’t ever be voters for the other side of the issue since they realize that good, normal folks own firearms without incident because of their trip to the annual meeting.
When we arrived about half an hour after the Youth Day area opened, the room was still a little sparse. A few activities weren’t really going, the prize table was just a big empty spot, and there weren’t a ton of kids. However, this did make it easier to talk to some of adults doing demo stuff. For example, I talked to Bob who was dressed up as a frontiersman and manning a display of various antique arms. While my 6-year-old niece may not have been thrilled, I was certainly enthralled when he mentioned a colonial-era gunsmith family I’d never heard of before – a name that just happened to be a line in Sebastian’s family tree and, according to this guy, from a few counties over… More research is now needed. (Related bleg: Who knows about the Honaker family of gunsmiths, reportedly connected to Pennsylvania at some point?)
One of the best features, in my opinion, was the exhibit floor scavenger hunt. They printed a sheet of sponsors and told the kids to go get signatures from each of the sponsors with booths. When all were marked, the sheets would be returned to the Youth Day area and exchanged for raffle tickets. I loved the idea since it gives parents an excuse to see the floor while their kids get something fun in return.
Some of the people signing the programs were really sweet to my niece, and she got a kick out of the trucker hat Winchester gave out to the kids. I would actually love to see this expanded a bit. Inviting groups with consistently interesting booths to participate might be a fun idea. For example, even though they aren’t sponsors, why not reach out to a collector group with a cool display to see if they would be willing to offer some kind of little hand out to kids? It gets families across more of the exhibit hall and checking out more sections to cover every interest. As it was, the area covered by the sponsors on the list spread across less than half of the hall.
Apr 3, 2015
Not even Bloomberg’s riches could cushion Kathleen Kane’s fall from grace. The Philadelphia Inquirer has a scathing call for her to resign.
They highlight that it has recently come out that she personally intervened to revoke subpoenas for men with apparent ties to the mob, and then got a $25k political donation out of it. She did eventually decide that maybe she should return it, but it’s clear they assumed she should be “rewarded” for her effort derailing the corruption investigation.
As a close Clinton ally, I’m sure that we’ll soon hear the claim that this is all part of War on Women and that it’s clearly only because she’s attractive. There’s just no way that anyone could think she’s incompetent based on the fact that she’s looking at potential criminal charges for her actions in office and is now tied to two cases of stepping in to derail corruption investigations into political allies. Clearly, it’s just because she’s a woman. /sarcasm
Apr 2, 2015
Chris Christie is clearly trying to boost his pro-gun credibility in whatever way he can given the extremely anti-gun legislature he deals with since he signed a full pardon of Shaneen Allen today.
This is wonderful news for Allen, and it will hopefully send a message to New Jersey’s police officers and prosecutors. New Jersey isn’t exactly going pro-gun, but maybe there will be a little more sanity in the enforcement of the laws.
Mar 26, 2015
According to legal sources, it seems the Ninth Circuit has issued an order for an en banc hearing in Peruta. It might be the bit of pessimist in me, but I doubt this is good news for gun owners in the Ninth Circuit.