Currently Browsing: Guns
Oct 16, 2014
It would appear that Pennsylvania gun owners may need to work a little harder to educate our opponents.
I don’t mean that we need to educate them on how firearms actually work or on the historical lessons of the Second Amendment – they’ll never listen to those messages.
What our opponents need is a return to elementary school spelling classes, perhaps with a mix of middle school civics to supplement their lessons.
This tweet, with the creative spelling of amendment, went out to at least 26 Senators. I get that typos happen (don’t even get me started on how many people I see who add an extra ‘m’ to the word), but in a call to action tweet sent from a professionally staffed organization to over one half of the members of a legislative body, that’s a pretty sad mistake.
I hope that people on our side of the issue will remember to double check your tweets and messages before you start writing to lawmakers.
Oct 16, 2014
Unlike the federal government, but like many other states, Pennsylvania’s constitution has a germaneness requirement for bill amendments. Article III, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states:
No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except a general appropriation bill or a bill codifying or compiling the law or a part thereof.
My concern about the addition of A10397, the preemption enhancement, to House Bill 80 is that H.B. 80 is about metal theft. That would seem to violate the germaneness requirement. Now, I suspect, though I’m not certain, that because the Senate attached this amendment to a House Bill, that it will go to conference, and the House can strip out the metal theft language and essentially make H.B. 80 a preemption bill only. If the legislature is intent on having a metal theft bill, they can always pass it later with a different bill number, or in a different session. But I do still believe there is a way to save the preemption enhancement on the germaneness issue.
We are, however, getting really close to the election, and this also could have been a last ditch effort for lawmakers to get on record so NRA’s lobbyist will release their grades. I’m not sure what there’s time to do or not. It’s looking like Corbett is going to be toast, and I think it’s a safe bet Tom Wolf will veto the measure. But Corbett will still be able to sign as a lame duck. To me the important thing is we get this done.
BTW, the pigeon shooting ban passed the Senate 3 to 1. NRA is opposing the pigeon shooting ban, but I personally think they are fighting a losing battle on that topic. Wayne Pacelle, head of the phoney-baloney Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is no doubt pleased, even if it still has an uphill climb in the House. If you think those people are going to stop with pigeon shooting, you’re a fool. HSUS is an anti-hunting group, and any victory they get is a step closer to their goal of ending hunting. Unlike the anti-gun groups, they are very well funded, and have a highly motivated, rabid, and broad base of grassroots activists. That’s one reason I believe that, long term, hunting in the United States is probably doomed if trends among hunters keeps going the way it’s going. The time to stop arguing about what hunting is, and stand together, was yesterday.
Oct 15, 2014
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.
Oct 14, 2014
There’s a long way to go, but I-594, the Washington State initiative than would ban private transfers, even handing a gun to someone else on a private range, for instance, to teach them to shoot, is losing public support. These next few weeks will be critical for reaching low information voters. Without reaching those people, we don’t stand of a chance of winning. Both sides will be vying for their votes. Hopefully this ad will help:
I used to hate class warfare until certain classes started to think they were entitled to rule. I think the jab at Seattle billionaires who are backing this measure will resonate.
Oct 14, 2014
From a poem written about dead North Korean dictator King Jong-Il:
So this is the Gun
that in the hands of an inferior man
can only commit murder,
but when wielded by a great man,
can overcome anything.
As history has shown,
war and carnage belong
to the weak.
General Kim Jong-il,
the General alone,
is Lord of the Gun,
Lord of Justice,
Lord of Peace,
Lord of Unification.
Ah, the true leader of the Korean people!
The propagandists for the North Korean regime understand what it means to be a disarmed people, and trick the people into rejoicing in it. They get the symbolism. Our opponents the gun control movement do too. They would happily write similar poems. Perhaps their ideal state would not be Kim-Jong Il; it would be a happier state, for your own good, and all. But they at least are philosophically sympathetic to the idea expressed in this sycophantic poem.
Oct 9, 2014
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.
Oct 8, 2014
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.
Oct 8, 2014
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.
Oct 3, 2014
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.
Oct 2, 2014
By now, most of you have probably heard about Defense Distributed’s october surprise. They have chosen to make CNC milling more accessible to the masses with a machine that you can use to make receivers for about $1500. It looks like the mill starts with an 80% lower. The Wired article talks about how milling machines typically cost tens of thousands of dollars, but there are affordable mills out there that you could do more with.
My friend Jason, who has experimented with making firearms and written about it here on this blog, has a Taig mill. It would cost you a few hundred more dollars to build a protective enclosure around it, which he would recommend, since he once had a bit break off and fly across the room and embed itself in the wall before he decided to build one. This is, of course, about double the price of DD’s mill, but with a full blown Taig setup, you can make receivers from a block of aluminum.
Nonetheless, this move significantly increases the accessibility of home built firearms, and I believe that is going to be both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing, because it is now irrefutably true that gun control can never work. It is a curse because there are plenty of political elites who haven’t yet figured that out, and this gives them a new issue.
3D printing and CNC milling is new as a mass market technology (it’s existed for a long time, but only as industrial technology that was priced beyond what an ordinary consumer could afford). Being a new technology it’s going to scare people. People are more easily frightened by technologies they don’t understand, and between all the billionaires arrayed against us, and a media able and eager to whip up public fears about guns, we could end up in a tough spot.
Our opponents in the gun ban movement have always had more luck with issues that don’t affect all that many gun owners. Remember that when the assault weapons hysteria was at its zenith in the late 80s and early 90s, not very many gun owners were familiar with the AR-15 or AK family. High-power shooters were still using the M1A, largely. That unfamiliarity bred opportunity for our opponents, because as long as you could keep your M1s, M1As, M1 Carbines, and Mini-14s, they had a lot more leeway to get the ratchet on the nut, which could always be tightened later.
The way I see it, the gun ban crowd has several options to deal with this:
- They could change the definition of an unfinished lower. This could be done at a whim, as what constitutes an 80% lower is ATF policy, not federal regulation. It wouldn’t even require ATF going through formal rule making. They could declare tomorrow that now that 80% lowers are firearms, and create a new 70% standard.
- They could require an FFL for all manufacturing and end home gun making. This would require an act of Congress. It would be completely useless to control people manufacturing with criminal intent, but there are plenty of people out there among the public, and even more in elected office, who are quite happy to criminalize behavior that frightens them, and they don’t think anyone should be doing anyway.
- They could restrict CNC and 3D printing technology as a whole. I view this as the least likely option, but if more people find things to do with this technology that scares political elites, you could see a move for this.
So far we have not had any major issues with criminals utilizing this technology. I believe the reason for this is economic — you can buy a gun off the streets in most crime ridden neighborhoods cheaper than you could make one using a CNC machine or a 3D printer. If a criminal want an untraceable gun, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper and easier to dremel the serial number off a gun than to make one from scratch in a garage. But that won’t get us off the hook. A lone wolf criminal or nutcase using this technology in a high-profile incident could be all the pretext the politicians, media, and gun control crowd need to get the ball rolling to restrict home gun building and gun smithing.
I believe Cody Wilson* is playing with fire. I’m not saying he shouldn’t do it, but we all should be aware of what’s going on here, and not kid ourselves. This might convince some people who were already disposed to be skeptical of gun control that it is now impossible, but it’s just as likely to frighten the hell out of the type of people who are easily frightened by new and scary things. Which type of person do you think there are more of?
* Pssst, Cody…. The BYO community could really use a decent home anodization kit. Just saying.