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Gun Control Has Never Worked for Democrats

Really, for most Dem politicians, gun control is preening virtue signaling meant to make sure the right people know they support right kind of people values. For Dems in safe urban districts, this doesn’t come at much of a cost. But what the Democratic Party faces today is that it’s been reduced to those safe urban districts. In order to come back, it’s going to have to appeal to people in the suburbs and exurbs. This is how the Dems came back strong in 2006.

Salena Zito argues that women with guns are the next threat to the Democratic Party.

A very important nugget from the poll: Like every woman interviewed at the outdoor show, an overwhelming 80 percent of them support the goals and objectives of the NRA.

So they represent a large chunk of white, suburban, conservative, pro-Second Amendment women who didn’t particularly like Trump but couldn’t vote for Clinton. They kept their opinions to themselves at dinner parties and pulled the lever for Trump in the voting booth.

Croney said that definitely described her.

Remember the Hillary Clinton that ran ads against Barack Obama in Pennsylvania for being too anti-gun? Yeah, if that Hillary Clinton had run for President, maybe she’d be in the White House.

I keep telling Dem friends, “Look, Hillary was a uniquely awful candidate. How bad is Hillary Clinton? She lost to Donald Trump.” It’s often a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. Hillary did literally nothing to have broad appeal. Her girl power campaign was alienating to men. That’s bad news when you need Black and Hispanic men to turn out for you in numbers that rival Barack Obama’s if you’re going to win.

Making gun control the centerpiece of her campaign only scared off voters who might have been open to her in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. That virtue signaling works for Dems in safe districts. It’s bad news in a nationwide race. Barack Obama ran both times downplaying his support for gun control. It was only after he didn’t have to face voters any longer that we saw his true colors on the issue.

It’s Important to Understand Just How Hostile The Courts Are

I see it all the time: people who believe the Second Amendment is an obvious, self-enforcing unmovable rock of American law. If you spend any time talking to gun owners, you will run into this. The basic idea that judges could simply interpret it out of the constitution is such an anathema to many people like this, they will often refuse to accept that it could happen.

In that vein, the 4th Circuit sitting en banc, in a 10-4 ruling deciding the fate of Maryland “assault weapons ban” have held that weapons that are “most useful in military service” are simply categorically unprotected. Because almost all modern firearms have a military pedigree, this interpretation would allow nearly any firearm to be banned.

The ruling was 10-4. Just let that sink in. That’s not even close. We have had to convince four additional judges to prevail here. A lot of people have done analysis of the ruling already, like Charles C.W. Cooke and John Richardson. What I want to do is look at a breakdown of the judges:

Majority

  • Judge King wrote the majority opinion, and was appointed by President Clinton.
  • Chief Judge Roger Gregory joined the opinion. He was recess appointed by Bill Clinton, but George W. Bush put him on the bench permanently.
  • Judge Harvey Wilkinson wrote a concurring opinion. He will never sit on the Supreme Court so long as there’s any life left in the National Rifle Association. He is a “conservative” judge, but one who hates gun rights. He was appointed by President Reagan.
  • Judge Motz was appointed by President Clinton.
  • Barbara Milano Keenan was appointed by President Obama.
  • James A. Wynn was appointed by President Obama. He joined Judge Wilkinson’s opinion.
  • Henry Franklin Floyd was appointed by President Obama.
  • Stephanie Thacker was appointed by President Obama
  • Pamela Harris was appointed by President Obama

Joined in Part

  • Albert Diaz was appointed by President Obama. He only joined the 2nd Amendment and 14th Amendment portions of the decision.

Dissent

  • William Byrd Traxler was appointed by President Clinton, and wrote the dissenting opinion.
  • Paul Niemeyer was appointed by President George H.W. Bush
  • Dennis Shedd was appointed by President George W. Bush
  • G. Steven Agee was appointed by President George W. Bush

Boy I sure am glad we taught the GOPe and those assholes McCain and Romney a lesson they won’t ever forget! Even if George W Bush and Reagan hadn’t flubbed a few nominations, we still would have lost because the 4th circuit Court of Appeals is absolutely stacked to the gills with Obama and Clinton nominees. You know the old adage that only the Republicans get court picks wrong?

Today the majority holds that the Government can take semiautomatic rifles away from law-abiding American citizens. In South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, the Government can now tell you that you cannot hunt with these rifles. The Government can tell you that you cannot shoot at targets with them. And, most importantly, the Government can tell you that you cannot use them to defend yourself and your family in your home. In concluding that the Second Amendment does not even apply, the majority has gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.

In addition, the majority holds that even if it is wrong when it says that the Second Amendment does not cover these commonplace rifles, Maryland can still lawfully forbid their purchase, even for self defense in one’s home-the core Second Amendment right. My friends do not believe this ruling impairs the rights citizens have under the Constitution to any significant degree. In my view, the burden imposed by the Maryland law is considerable and requires the application of strict scrutiny, as is customary when core values guaranteed by the Constitution are substantially affected. I recognize that after such a judicial review, the result could be that the Maryland law is constitutional. I make no predictions on that issue. I simply say that we are obligated by Supreme Court precedent and our own to treat incursions into our Second Amendment rights the same as we would restrictions on any other right guaranteed us by our Constitution.

Therefore I respectfully dissent.

Written by a Clinton Appointee. Sometimes they don’t get what they want out of a judge either.

Crowninshield Gets Three Years for Manufacturing Without a License

For those of you who remember, Daniel Crowninshield set up a scheme whereby a person would purchase an 80% lower, then would pay him to use his CNC mills to finish it. The government argued that this amounting to manufacturing without a license. A novel theory, to be sure, but because they picked the right guy they never had to test out this novel theory in court.

Now, if you help people machine AR-15 lower receivers for profit, you can probably expect to spend some time in prison. Just a bit of general advice for people who might be tempted to try to walk the razors edge on violating or not violating the Gun Control Act: it probably will not look very good to a jury if you go by the alias “Dr. Death.” I mean, it’s a free country and all, but just sayin’. I’d also not advise not walking the razor on GCA while being a domestic violent misdemeanant, allegedly in possession of an unregistered machine gun. I’m sure that probably played into the decision to take the plea deal. Now the feds get to claim a scalp without having to test their novel theory of manufacturing without a license in court.

UPDATE: Along the same vein, attending open carry protests and making sure everyone knows who you are, and knows that you’er armed, when you have two felony raps is also not going to make things easy on your lawyer.

“Guns in America” Forum

Tomorrow at Central Penn College in Summerdale, PA there will be a forum featuring David Keene, former NRA President, and Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFire PA. It runs from 7-8PM.

Keene has generally been a great spokesman for the issue. If anyone in the area wishes to attend, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s a bit of a hike for me.

Are They Going to be Real Volunteers This Time?

Moms Demand Action and Everytown (which is to say Bloomberg) are planning on flooding legislative sessions with activists. One wonders whether their “more than 100 volunteers” will once again be paid protesters, or whether they’ve found some real moms who care enough about the issue to give up a weekday. Florida has a very active session planned:

  • Bill to legalize open carry in Florida. Open carry isn’t my thing, but I don’t see why it ought to be criminalized.
  • Legalize carrying of firearms in non-sterile parts of Airports. If someone is intent on shooting up the place, they aren’t going to be deterred by a sign or a law on the books somewhere.
  • Allow firearms to be carried on college campuses. College students are adults. I don’t think it’s ever made any sense to restrict permit holders from carrying on college campuses.
  • Allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at any legislative meeting, committee meeting, county or local government meeting. Local government meetings are a magnet for kooks and crazies, which is why I’d like to carry a gun if I go to one. Again, not going to deter anyone intending to shoot up the place.
  • Legalize carrying firearms by permit holders in career centers? What the hell is a career center? This is a prohibition I’ve never heard of in any other state.
  • Require that courthouses provide temporary storage for permit holders. This is already the law in Pennsylvania, so I don’t see why Florida shouldn’t join the fun.
  • Expansion of stand-your-ground to place the burden on prosecutors to prove that there is no viable self-defense claim. This is what they’ll fight tooth and nail.
  • Ballot measure on eliminating the 72-hour waiting period for LEOs to buy personal handguns. I’d vote “no” on this. I don’t see why they shouldn’t have to follow the same rules as the peasantry.

That’s pretty ambitious, but Marion Hammer is a force of nature, unlike Shannon Watts, and the Demanding Moms, who are a force of Bloomberg. I know which one I’d be more scared of if I were a Florida legislator.

Important Ruling From PA Superior Court

The en banc Superior Court, in Commonwealth v. Goslin, has ruled in favor of the defendant without dissent:

We disagree with the trial court’s conclusion that the language of Section 912(c) is vague.

Rather, we conclude that, in order to ascertain the meaning of Section 912(c), we need not look beyond its plain language. The plain meaning of Section 912(c) provides two separate defenses: possessing and using a weapon on school property “in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity” as well as possessing “for other lawful purpose.” (emphasis added, as Chief Counsel Prince specifically argued this exact construction and noted the different verbs utilized related to the different provisions)

The Court concludes:

Although we are concerned about individuals possessing weapons on school property, we are bound by the broad defense that the legislature has provided defendants in such cases.

Josh Prince is raising money for legal defenses, as the case is headed back to lower court for a re-trial. I wouldn’t exactly go carrying firearms on school grounds because of this ruling, but it seems pretty clear the legislature intended to supply a broad defense for people engaged in legal activity. We now have the second-highest court in the Commonwealth recognizing that.

UPDATE: More discussion here. It looks like the DA is dropping the charges rather than going through with a re-trial. Josh Prince also points out that this only creates an affirmative defense. The DA can still charge you.

Delaware Non-Resident Reciprocity Back On?

A reader noted that the blurb about non-resident reciprocity ending in September has disappeared from the Delaware Attorney General’s web site. Does this mean it’s not happening? Let us hope so. Many of us in Pennsylvania have Utah and Florida licenses to be able to carry legally in Delaware.

The Senate Votes to Repeal Social Security Gun Ban

Passed by 57 Yeas to 43 Nays. Fortunately there’s no filibuster for this kind of action, so a bare majority is all that was required. It’s worth looking at the no votes, and seeing what that may portend for National Reciprocity or the Hearing Protection Act, should it come before the Senate. The following Senators voted “no” from states that Trump won:

  • Robert Casey (PA)
  • Tammy Baldwin (WI)
  • Claire McCaskill (MO)
  • Gary Peters (MI)
  • Debbie Stabenow (MI)
  • Sherrod Brown (OH)
  • Bill Nelson (FL)

Most of these folks are up in 2018. If we can avoid any “I am not a witch!” moments this election cycle, and not vote for the person Claire McCaskill spends $2 million campaigning for in the Missouri GOP primary, we might have a shot at flipping some of these.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 55

Tabs are filling up, so it’s time to clear them.

Governor Malloy’s proposal to try to balance the state budget on the backs of Connecticut gun owners, and the poor trying to exercise their Constitutional rights, is getting some backlash. We may be able to beat him on this. Malloy is one of the most unpopular Governors in the country.

Bloomberg’s money is back in Colorado working against us.

How to talk to people on the other side: “From one such night in Dover, Del., two images stick: Tea Partiers arriving early for the forum, clutching pocket Constitutions in their hands – and those same folks lingering afterward in the parking lot, chatting away with the NPR types, fervent but friendly.” The Tea Party was mostly a bourgeois movement that the GOP elites either ignored or actively undermined. That’s a big part of what brought about the Trumpening.

Why liberals should back Neil Gorsuch.

Neil Gorsuch is OK by Dave Kopel.

Maryland is looking to end campus carry, for the small handful of people who can actually draw a Maryland carry permit. It’s still worth fighting, because eventually we may be able to fix the carry issue through the courts.

Bans guns on planes, period, because common sense. If there’s one thing I wish I could get across to gun owners: people only value the rights they themselves enjoy. Few people have an ideological commitment to liberty. So you have to bring people into the issue.

Analysis true: “The Long-Abused Commerce Clause Will Now Bullet-Proof Concealed Carry Reciprocity.” I don’t have an issue with this, because I don’t see why we shouldn’t use the tools the left gave us. The power is properly found in the 14th Amendment, but its easier for the courts to weasel around that if they want to. The current commerce clause is harder without risking other laws built upon that edifice.

Vox: Why disabilities rights activists like me sided with the NRA on an Obama gun control rule.

Remember, they say they want “common sense” gun laws, but then do this when someone tries to open a shooting range. “‘I never would have moved to Ramsey if I knew this gun club would be there,’ she said. ‘It’s a matter of public safety. It might also jeopardize my property value as well.'” They either hate you, fear you, or some combination of both. That’s what drives them. How do you negotiate with this? You can’t. You just have to destroy them politically.

I’ve been wondering for a while whether Wayne LaPierre was planning to retire from NRA in the next Administration. It would probably be best if he retired during a period of relative stability. He is 67. Same age as my dad who’s been retired for several years now. I have no knowledge of any plans in this regard, but I’m betting Wayne retires in the next four years.

Joan Peterson, Board Member of the Brady Campaign, laments fake news among pro-gun people. When it comes to fake news and alternative facts, you can trust her. She’s an expert.

I’ve actually suspected ATF has wanted relief from the backlog of silencer paperwork for a while, but the previous Administration wouldn’t let them go there. I’m actually thinking repealing part of the NFA is within reach. I never would have believed that a decade ago. Hughes Amendment in 10 years? Who knows!

 

Blue State Tinkering With Reciprocity Agreements

Back when there was such a thing as a pro-gun Democrat, Delaware Governor Ruth Anne Minner signed a bill that granted the Attorney General of Delaware the power to enter into reciprocity agreements. Now it would seem those agreements are being modified, with Delaware to cease recognition of all non-resident licenses as of September 2017. This means that Pennsylvanians will no longer be allowed to carry in Delaware on a Florida or Utah license, as we can do now under the current reciprocity regime in the First State.

This is raising the stakes for getting National Reciprocity done sooner rather than later.

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