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Dueling Studies

Stanford Law Professor John J. Donohue have revised a study that shows John Lott is wrong, and more guns actually equal more crime. Looks like his premise is that you can’t count the years that were part of the decline in the crack cocaine epidemic. In other words, if you cherry pick your data, Lott is wrong. John Lott didn’t waste any time pointing out the flaws with the study, noting that Donohue used a statistical method that Donohue himself argued was misleading in a different context. Will you see the media reporting on that? I doubt it.

Based on a Facebook thread I saw about this topic earlier, a lot of people don’t like the idea of basing their rights on the outcome of statistical studies, and believe we ought to keep strictly to a rights argument. The problem with that is a rights argument only appeals to a certain part of the population. There are plenty of people out there who, if you asked them, would agree with a prohibition on speech or actions that “hurt someone else’s feelings.” There are voters out there who are swayed by statistical magic, because it makes them feel smart. We can’t let the other side own that field, because if we do, they own those voters.

Fastest Zero to Capitulation Yet

No sooner do I see an article that Shannon Watts is attacking Jay Leno for speaking at SHOT, than Leno cancels the talk and starts his apology campaign. Like I’ve said before, Watts may be a radical. She may be the spiritual descendent of Carrie Nation, but she’s not a joke. In any political issue, money talks, and Watts has Bloomberg’s money behind her. Her grassroots network may be small, but she’s got Bloomberg’s cash to build it, and she’s finding battles where she can show people gun control can win.

A few years ago, the enemy was demoralized. Seriously demoralized. That’s important to win any struggle, whether political, or political by other means. My fear is gun owners these days seems pretty complacent. They seem to think that because we beat everything at the federal level back after Sandy Hook that means it’s all over. It’s not. It was just beginning.

The Horror: Eddie Eagle

These days, I’ve kind of felt like most anti-gun editorials are really more of a dog bites man story. But every once in a while, you’ll find one that dials up the stupid to 11, and you just can’t help but mock it. This is one of those stories:

As I flipped through the pages of this children’s activity book, my innocent curiosity quickly shifted to annoyance and then disgust. This was a book written for preschoolers to first graders with the intent of teaching kids not to play with the guns that they find through the hero-like advice of a large talking bird.

Yes, the abject horror of kids learning not to play with guns. What will that evil National Rifle Association think up next!? Don’t they know that a lot of kids are killed by guns every year? And that poor Trayvon, “with Skittles in one hand and iced tea in the other, was shot to death in 2012 via Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.” To borrow from Miguel a bit:

“We have to do something about all these kids who die from gun accidents.”

“Okay, we’ll create a program that teaches young children that guns are dangerous, and not to play with them.”

“That’s awful. You can’t do that. Think of all the kids that die from guns!”

First Victim of the Washington State Transfer Ban

A museum is having to return parts of an exhibit because the guns were on loan, and when I-594 goes into effect, that will be illegal. There will be a lot of little stories like this, and each one is ammunition that can be used to help defeat this in other states.

Enhanced Preemption Law Paying Dividends

Despite the legal challenge against the new enhanced preemption law, the law is already paying off. Norristown council has revoked its lost and stolen ordinance.

In light of the recent amendments to the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, which grant an expansive right of legal standing to individuals and membership organizations to challenge a local gun control ordinance,” the ordinance said, “which further provide for exorbitant damages that can be shifted to the municipality if unsuccessful in defending its ordinance, council has determined that it is in the best interests of the municipality to remove any regulation of lost or stolen firearms.”

It’s amazing how these municipalities were so confident in the legality of these ordinances when they were being passed over objections that they were illegal, are now are suddenly not so confident with the near certainly they will be sued and held accountable.

The Oregon Shoe Drops

Because here it comes:

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature say the outlook to expand background checks on gun purchases is better in 2015 than it has been in years, thanks to Senate seats they picked up in the Nov. 4 election and passage of an initiative with similar provisions in Washington.

Now defeating legislation in legislatures is something we’re pretty good at. This isn’t the ballot, so we have a better chance. I had wondered why Bloomberg didn’t target Oregon. I would think it’s a logical next step. But I suspect he got promises from Kitzhaber that he would push for a bill in exchange for Bloomberg’s support in his reelection. So Bloomberg decided to give him a chance to live up to his promise. If we beat this in the legislature, Bloomberg can always fall back to the ballot and get what he wants anyway. First he’ll try to get his money’s worth out of Kitzhaber, which is cheaper than a ballot fight, but he’s got the pockets to go for a full ballot fight if Kitzhaber disappoints him.

Russia Easing Rules on Concealed Carry

Perhaps after years of strict gun control and astronomical violent crime rates, the Russians government is finally coming to their senses. But this part is also interesting:

In addition, the amendment softened requirements for foreigners bringing arms into the Russian Federation or purchasing arms on Russian territory. The grace period for foreigners awaiting a license from the Interior Ministry for firearms has been increased from 5 to 10 days.

Not that it would make me any more likely to visit Russia, but it would help. I’d be more wary of their drivers, to be honest. The article notes that “The legislation also forbids carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol,” which I suspect disqualifies a more than significant part of the population.

The Long Game With Bloomberg

KeepCalmIgnoreI decided not to include John Richardson’s excellent piece on the I-594 aftermath in the news links, because it is good enough to warrant extra attention. You can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. John thinks he’s figured out Bloomberg’s formula for which states to target, which I think is pretty good. One thing I would add is that in some states, like Oklahoma, the Attorney General can alter the title of an initiative if they believe it is misleading or inaccurate. So that’s another factor that Bloomberg may have to consider when evaluating whether to target a state.

Joe Huffman notes that he’s been busy recalling guns:

I understand the strong emotions I’m picking up from a bunch of people. I have a lot of them myself. Just last week I retrieved the last of the guns I had loaned out*. That transfer wouldn’t have been legal had I waited until I-594 went into effect. A lot of the innocent, everyday type of things we do with guns will soon be illegal. The Second Amendment is no different than the First Amendment. If there isn’t an victim then there cannot be a crime to exercise that freedom in that way. But we have vile enemies who want to destroy our freedoms. We must stand up to them.


*This gun was to a friend that had someone try to get in her apartment late at night. She lived alone, was unemployed, broke, and couldn’t even pay her rent at the time. I took her to the range, did a bunch of training, then loaned her a gun until she could afford her own. The transfer to her would not have been legal without a background check and fees under I-594. As this gun was rather old, I had purchased it second hand, I didn’t want it being in a registry, and I didn’t want to pay money to get my own gun back so I retrieved it.

This ties into what John mentioned about the Bloomberg strategy being to attack the basis on which the gun culture is spread and passed on. That he’s able to hide this under the popular notion of universal background checks is so innovative, if it wasn’t so evil I’d have to admire its ingenuity. Unlike other foes we’ve encountered, John is right, Bloomberg is not a moron.

We’ve had to live under a similar regime in Pennsylvania for a very long time, but in Joe’s scenario, I would have at least two options here. One is to loan her a shotgun, since our law only applies to handguns (though, the anti-gun folks are trying to change that). The other would be to have her apply for a License to Carry Firearms, since it’s been legal to loan a handgun to an LTC holder. But mostly, we deal with the law by ignoring it. Most people in Pennsylvania have no idea it’s technically illegal to handle someone else’s handgun if they don’t have a License to Carry, and it’s probably the most frequently broken gun law in this Commonwealth, but for the most part, people get away with it. I suspect that Washingtonians will turn massive non-compliance into a similar sort of situation that we live with here.

Jon Stewart Mocks NRA for Opposing Ivory Ban

I stopped watching The Daily Show a long time ago, because Stewart is a partisan hack that plays the “I’m just a comedian” card any time someone challenges him on his hackery, or lack of command of the issues. So I wasn’t surprised to see Stewart mocking NRA for opposing the Obama Administration’s ivory ban.

Ivory has been illegal to import since 1990. What the Obama Administration has done is to shift the burden of proof to owner to prove that the ivory in question was imported before 1990. This means if you’re selling an antique or pre-ban guns with ivory, Fish and Wildlife Service can come arrest you and then only later drop charges if you can prove the provenance of the ivory (the ivory, mind you, not necessary the gun it’s on) to the satisfaction of FWS officials.

Did Stuart or his writers ever stop to think that a lot of old and antique guns have ivory grips, or ivory as part of their furniture? Do they realize that old and historic power horns are made of ivory? Sure, there are plenty who have a proven pedigree, but how many people have old family heirlooms that aren’t papered? That’s why NRA, along with a lot of musicians (who supposedly Stewart doesn’t think are crazy) opposes the Administration on this ban. This is not even considering the effects it will have on grandfathered pieces in the hunting community.

Obama’s proposal is radical, and upends the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty, but Stewart is so ignorant, he and his writers don’t even realize what this measure does. NRA is right to oppose it. So are musicians. Guilty until proven innocent is not the American way, and I fully expect NRA to oppose laws which make it easy for gun owners to end up in prison.

Tuesday 11-18-2014 News Links

As happens every week or so, I have more stuff in the tabs than I could possibly comment on:

Not News: DC Police Show a profound lack of respect for Second Amendment rights.

As Joe Huffman likes to say: Don’t ever let anyone convince you they aren’t after your guns.

Say Uncle: Registration leads to confiscation.

They don’t really care about jobs, if those jobs are in disfavored industries that employ and empower their political enemies.

The 11th Circuit has upheld the Florida law prohibiting doctors from asking about gun ownership. I had thought there were First Amendment issues, and I still think that, but apparently the courts don’t agree. Maybe if the AMA and other medical groups would stop pushing doctors to be political operatives, this kind of thing would not be necessary.

Sunnyvale’s magazine ban is going before the 9th Circuit. The 9th has been more friendly to gun rights than I expected, but given that one of our influential scholars on this has already pre-conceded this ground, I don’t expect it to go well.

Dan Malloy actually lost in Newtown. I’ve been looking, and that’s the only place I’ve seen that, along with the original Ammoland article. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

Apparently O’Malley was silencing dissenting voices in law enforcement over the implementation of the new draconian gun control laws in the Old Line State. Not surprising. Law enforcement rank and file are not on their side. It’s that protecting the narrative thing again.

New Jersey raises the fee for a handgun carry permit, among a general increase in fees for various governmental services. I’m not sure how they expect this will raise money, given that NJ practically doesn’t issue handgun carry permits, unless maybe they are seeing the writing on the wall and figure they at least can get more coin if the courts force them to issue.

Dave Hardy notes just how badly journalists can misunderstand gun laws. Yet out of the other side of their mouths, they’ll tell everyone how common sense these laws are, even though they don’t understand them.

I guess I’m not the only one who noticed that Giffords and Kelly have been very quiet since the election. Her old seat was lost to a Republican. There’s also the issue, I think, that Bloomberg is showing that gun control is only successful when backed by rich billionaire assholes willing to spend millions on it, and Giffords and Kelly are not rich people.

Watch out Florida. Looks like they are eyeing a ballot measure there for a transfer ban.

This looks like the kind of common sense gun reform we can all get behind. I’m often surprised by how byzantine some aspects of Texas’ gun laws are.

Miguel on gun control advocates:

“We cannot have people shooting! It is loud and bothers me. I don’t wanna hear it”
“OK, we are then gonna approve the use of silencers so the noise does not bother you.”
“You can’t let people use silencers! It is not safe because I cannot hear the shooting!”

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