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Pat Toomey Reaps the Rewards

Back in March, Sebastian called it when he noted that while Pat Toomey was touting support from CeasefirePA leadership, these are not people who would ever actually cast a vote for him. Granted, we thought that was more of a “won’t vote for you in the privacy of the voting booth” type of prediction, not a “will actively campaign against you despite doing what they wanted” kind of way.

But, it seems that’s how loyalty to gun controllers is rewarded. Toomey’s opponent has been endorsed by the very same group whose leaders were kissing his rear back in March, likely knowing all along that they would throw him under the bus come the run up to November’s general election.

Good call there, Pat.

You know what I was doing 6 years ago in November? Casting a ballot for you, Pat, when polls opened and spending the rest of the day standing outside of a senior citizen’s center asking voters to support your candidacy. You know what I won’t be doing this November? Telling anyone about your campaign – other than the fine readers of this blog about how you screwed us and fell for every pathetic lie from the gun control groups. You can rely on your new best buddies at Ceasefire to help out instead, Pat.

Oh, wait, no, you can’t.

Charges Dismissed: Podcaster Paul Lathrop Tells His Story

I had mentioned a while ago the Podcaster Paul Lathrop was in some legal trouble as a result of a false accusation. Mosey on over to the Handgun World Podcast to hear Paul Lathrop tell his story of being charged with a gun felony. Recently the charges have all been dismissed because the gas station the incident occurred at had video that disproved the accusers tall tale.

There are lessons to be learned here, so I think it’s worthwhile to listen. For those who just want a summary, my takeaway from it is:

  • Paul’s student driver gets under the skin of another truck driver for some perceived offense, and the other driver deliberately blocks them in.
  • Paul’s student driver flips the bird to the other driver, who then becomes enraged, gets out of his truck, and starts climbing up to the cab of Paul’s truck, at which point he informs the other driver that he’s armed. The other driver backs off. At no point was the gun brought out.
  • Both eventually depart the scene, but apparently the other driver called 911 with a tall tale about Paul getting out of his truck waving a big revolver around threatening to kill him.
  • Paul gets pulled over on the road and confronted by the Nebraska Patrol, who after taking him to the other driver to be identified arrest him. The gun he carries is a Glock 22, not a revolver. Prosecutor decides to charge terroristic threats, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Paul’s attorney obtains surveillance video from the scene that shows the other driver’s story to be false. The other driver won’t appear in court and perjure himself, and the prosecutor drops the charges.

From my point of view, the lessons are this:

  • If you get into a confrontation with someone where a gun is introduced into the situation either physically or as a warning, the first person to call 911 is presumed to be the victim, and that person should be you. If you are threatened enough to inform someone you’re armed, in the hopes that the fellow backs off, you’re definitely in “call the police” territory as well. If you don’t feel that threatened, you shouldn’t be introducing a gun into the situation in any manner.
  • I’ve written a lot about carrying defensive spray if you carry a gun, because the legal system tends to frown upon shooting people, or threatening to shoot people, for being belligerent assholes. It’s very useful to have force options that you can employ early on in a confrontation that do not have the legal implications of deadly force. In the situation described by Paul, he was in reasonable fear that the person climbing up his cab intended to use unlawful force against him or his student, in which case it would be justified to employ spray, not just threaten to use it. The standard for using force (but not deadly force) is “the use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.” (Nebraska 28-1409). Most states are going to be very similar. That’s a far lower standard than what is required for deadly force.

I’m surprised that the authorities didn’t become suspicious when the accuser said Paul was waving around a big revolver and the cops recovered a Glock 22. But the jurisdiction and prosecutor were apparently not gun friendly.

I’m glad he got the charges dismissed. Being falsely accused like that is a nightmare. Be careful out there folks, and if you end up in a confrontation with some jerk, be sure to cover your own ass by calling 911 and making sure the authorities know who the victim is.

Careful Out There

Tam relays a story about a homeowner shot by police, and draws a few lessons, the first of which is if you called the cops, don’t then go running around outside your house with a gun. Seems sensible enough. The second one is the money quote though:

If you are on the playing field when they show up and you hear “Drop the gun!” then you need to drop the gun. Seriously. Like it just turned white-hot. (This is a good reason to carry drop-safe pistols, BTW. I realize that carrying that 1904 Ruritanian army surplus Schnellblitzenselbstlader in 8.3mm semi-rimmed is really cool, but aren’t you going to feel funny getting shot twice when you drop it: Once in the junk by your own gun when it hits the ground ass-end first, and again in the gut by the responding officer because he’s startled by the gunshot?)

RTWT, as always, with apologizes to those who love their Schnellblitzenselbstladers.

Texas Professors Fail to Stop Campus Carry

Court ruled they didn’t demonstrate they were likely to succeed on the merits. They hilariously claimed it was a First Amendment violation. Even the University of Texas thought that was ludicrous, and the judge didn’t buy it either. Look, stupid people with PhDs: when a student sticks a gun in your face and tells you to shut up, that’s a violation of your First Amendment rights. It’s also a violation of a number of other laws as well, most of which are quite serious, as I’m sure most people with an 6th grade education can tell you. Someone merely having a gun is a violation of nothing, except in your apparently vibrant, child-like imagination.

The Texas university system being a taxpayer funded, state chartered institution, is ultimately controlled by the Texas legislature, who said gun on campus are fine. That’s pretty much the last word unless you can convince them to change their minds.

Getting too Wrapped Up In Your Own Views

Time has an interesting story on how most Americans think their views on guns are the majority view, even when they are not. This has been a consistent issue since I started writing about gun politics a decade ago. You see it all the time in people who whine about the Hughes Amendment (the 1986 machine gun ban), or various other this and thats we can’t change because it’s beyond our political power. For years I had to explain that the NFA was untouchable because the fact was that a majority of Americans (and I would argue gun owners) did not agree with us, and more importantly neither did a majority of lawmakers. There was no easy way to convince lawmakers that voting to repeal the NFA was in their political interests, and if we wanted to change that, we had to work on the people, not the politicians.

Now a decade later, I think getting suppressors/silencers delisted from the NFA may be within reach if we have a few favorable elections, and the Dems start falling apart the same way the Republicans are falling apart. The reason for that is we have very compelling arguments, both in terms of being kind to neighbors’ ears and also to our own. The arguments we can use for suppressors are easily understandable to people who don’t shoot. They are almost definitely understandable to anyone living near a shooting range in a suburban area, of which I can point to several examples near where I live. It might be possible for gun ranges to mandate suppressor use if they were deregulated. Right now that’s completely unrealistic, because your average shooter isn’t going to bother with all the regulatory compliance involved.

The article speaks of the “false consensus effect.”:

In a less formal sense, the “false consensus effect” was on display at the political conventions, where both parties presented their views on the virtues or dangers of owning a firearm as representing the common-sense attitude of most Americans. Republican nominee Donald J. Trump declared that he would “protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe,” while Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy took the stage at the Democratic Convention to declare that “the gun lobby fights to keep open glaring loopholes that 90 percent of Americans want closed.”

This is why it’s important to be open with people about what you spend your weekends doing. The false consensus effect can either be our friend or our enemy. Which way that goes depends on us being good ambassadors.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 46

We’ll end the week on a news post. Been busy trying to make up for some lack of productivity in the beginning of this week.

The Nation: “Voters Are Ready to Punish Pro-Gun Politicians. There’s Just One Problem.” They claim the problem is voters don’t know the positions of their politicians. This is probably space prep for ad campaigns by Bloomberg against Ayotte and Rubio. If either of them go down the gun control folks will take credit. They are building their own narrative, and they are doing it successfully. Why? Because our people are living in a fantasy land, for the most part.

None of these activists are going to vote for Pat Toomey, and a lot of gun voters aren’t either. So what did Toomey gain by courting Bloomberg? Note who Toomey didn’t throw under the bus? The “values voters.” He’s still as pro-life as ever. When gun owners understand why that is, we might get somewhere. Why is that? Because they are a far more motivated minority than we are, and they get their hands into everything. You can’t swing a dead cat in DC without hitting a SoCo, even in issues that have nearly nothing to do with social conservatism. It’s not just DC either. Pro-lifers show up locally too.

This article overstates the degree to which the gun control movement is building real grassroots, rather than enjoying the largess and showmanship Bloomberg’s money can bring, but the pro-gun side has turned unserious and disunited. If we don’t change that, for all practical purposes, this article is correct.

TSA stops a passenger with a 3D printed revolver.

Interesting developments in Supreme Court opinions that aren’t about guns but affect gun rights. If you’ve ever been convicted of a Misdemeanor of the First Degree in Pennsylvania for refusing a DUI blood or breath test, you can now obtain relief from firearms disability.

Former soldier: “We need gun control now more than ever.” He doesn’t know the difference between a machine gun and a semi-auto. Any gun owner who supports gun control is delusional if they think they won’t be eaten last.

Hey, Dems are running ads attacking Toomey for being too pro-gun anyway. How’s that talking out of both sides of your mouth working for ya Pat? Even PolitiFact is calling Toomey on his record. The gun control vote was never up for grabs, what little of it there is. All Toomey did was piss off supporters he needs for fundraising and votes.

Legal Insurrection: “Maybe there’s something to the slippery slope argument after all.” Anyone who understands the political process knows that slippery slopes are very real. Only naive people believe it’s a fallacy.

#DisarmHate on rally on the National Mall. What’s hate, you might ask? You are!

Notice that the New York Times says “Donald Trump Courts the Gun Zealots.” Think they’d use “Hillary Courts Pro-Choice Zealots?” or “Hillary Courts Black Lives Matter Zealots?” No, if course they wouldn’t. That would be bigoted, and the SJWs would destroy them.

I never liked that the Libertarian Party seemed more interested in arguing about what libertarianism is, and defining people out of the tent rather than building a political movement of generally like-minded people. That said, I think the kids today could probably use a lesson on what libertarianism is (hint, it ain’t Bill Weld). Yeah, not this bullshit either. Then again, if you don’t play dirty, you’re not really playing.

Seen on the Internets: “This isn’t a case for the NRA. This is a case for Aerosmith.” Yet another case where you couldn’t have a discussion with someone because they lack the basic level of knowledge necessary to begin the discussion. Unfortunately, very few people can admit “OK, so you got me, I really don’t know much about this topic. Explain it to me.”

I think this is true: “Today’s Tech Oligarchs are Worse than the Robber Barons.” There was a time when tech people were almost universally anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian. Then some of us decided to become the man.

How Jon Stewart’s Culture of Ridicule Left America Unprepared for Donald Trump.” I was more of a fan of The Daily Show and Stewart when the show was a parody of the news. Once Stewart picked sides and got overtly political, but then would cop out with “I’m just a comedian,” when people would challenge him, his schtick got old quick. He’s another figure that became “the man” while always denying it.

 

Attorney General Convicted on ALL Charges

Pennsylvania’s proud first female Attorney General hasn’t been able to practice law for months. Tonight, she was found guilty of perjury, obstruction, and other counts of abusing her official position in order to exact illegal revenge on an opponent.

Did I mention that the Clintons are huge supporters?

It shouldn’t be surprising that Kathleen Kane’s attorney indicates that she’s still not going to make any move to resign. The woman won’t give up, despite widespread calls from her party to resign. She has not yet been jailed, but she must come back to court tomorrow to surrender her passport, and she was issued a warning that any hint of retaliation against witnesses will put her behind bars immediately.

History is Made By Determined Minorities

This is a very interesting read, with lessons for the gun rights movement:

This idea of one-sidedness can help us debunk a few more misconceptions. How do books get banned? Certainly not because they offend the average person –most persons are passive and don’t really care, or don’t care enough to request the banning. It looks like, from past episodes, that all it takes is a few (motivated) activists for the banning of some books, or the black-listing of some people. The great philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell lost his job at the City University of New York owing to a letter by an angry –and stubborn –mother who did not wish to have her daughter in the same room as the fellow with dissolute lifestyle and unruly ideas.

The same seems to apply to prohibitions –at least the prohibition of alcohol in the United States which led to interesting Mafia stories.

Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance. The same can apply to civil rights.

Read the whole thing. The question for us is, “who are more intolerant?” If we’re going to come out on top as a movement, we have to be intolerant of their intolerance. We have to be as insistent that we be left alone as those who believe we ought to be interfered with.

What made me very uncomfortable with this article was that I believe he’s right, and I’m becoming less convinced gun owners have it in us to drive the culture. Sure, I do believe we’ve been successful at growing the culture. But I believe there is a lack of awareness among the new arrivals that everything we have today is a result of a few tenacious and stubborn bastards, many of whom are dead and or getting old. Who will replace them?

Segregation and the Shooting Sports

Shooting competitions from club to collegiate level are rarely segregated by gender, so why do the international shooting groups always insist the little ladies be put in a special category?

This is something I’ve wondered, but never really looked into. I’d love to see the actual arguments of the decision makers, but I’m not quite sure how many original records are really available from the International Olympic Committee or where they could even be found if they are accessible.

However, a few stories I found indicate that I’m definitely not the only one to take notice. And while it’s only a couple of anecdotal incidents that seem to make the news is, the trend does appear to be that when a woman wins over a man, various nations get together and demand that women be booted from the sport. They were largely mix gendered from 1968 until 1980 for most disciplines, though that lasted until 1992 for shotgun.

The WSJ highlighted gender segregation in the shooting sports back in 2012, and they pointed to 1976 in Montreal when Margaret Thompson Murdock tied with her male American teammate in smallbore. He requested a shoot-off, but they weren’t allowed under the rules of the time and the judges declared him the winner. She took silver, but she still holds the title of being the first woman to win a medal in shooting at the Olympics. After that, the article notes that it was primarily European teams who wanted women cut from the competition against men.

In 1992, a Chinese woman took the first ever gold medal in a mixed skeet competition. Not only did the IOC move to segregate the sport in reaction to this result, but they refused to offer skeet to women at all in the next Olympics. It is interesting that the two times that women actually do well and the first reaction of the international body is to kick them out of the boys’ club.

I have seen some people argue that women may have an advantage in shooting rifle standing because of their hips. I’m kind of mixed on my feelings there because, just like men, women don’t all have the same shape. But, I’m open to the argument since I’m far from an expert on that type of competition.

But those issues don’t apply in shotgun or pistol. In this updated article on the topic, the WSJ quotes Kim Rhode, “I’d love to compete against men.” They note that she regularly competes against men here in the US.

The International Shooting Sport Federation defends the segregation in the article by claiming that female participation has skyrocketed. But that kind of seems absurd. If it’s a mixed competition cut into two separate competitions, then of course female participation will increase – so will that of men! You have more spots to fill that must be filled by gender rather than strictly by scores. When they are allowed to compete together and only the top shooters are allowed to move on, then fewer members of both genders will be present.

Even if you want to say that they meant more women are participating at lower levels of competition than the Olympics, I would point out that it’s true across the board and not just for internationally sanctioned disciplines. Every shooting sport in the United States is seeing increased female involvement and it has nothing to do with some international bureaucrat deciding that little ladies need to be put into their own class to keep them from taking medals from the boys. There’s no reason these types of increases can’t happen in other countries.

Back when I was shooting silhouette, some of the longtime shooters would talk about how it wouldn’t take much for me to set a women’s long run record for air gun on at least one animal. Here I was just goofing off at club shoots only some of the time, and when I looked up the records, all it would have taken was one good day to get one. That actually made me feel a bit worse rather than better once I thought about it. They had to show incredible dedication to the sport to even imagine setting a record, but I could have put in only a little more practice to hold the women’s version of the title. It just seemed very unfair that a new female in the sport could achieve so much more than a male who started at the same level. But, hey, since it’s a domestic competition, at least the rules did allow the male and female to compete against one another in the first place. Women can beat men, and vice versa, in the meaningful competition.

Hillary and the Second Amendment

Charles C.W. Cooke has a pretty good article challenging the left’s “You paranoid sensationalist gun nuts always thinking people want to take your guns! Of course Hillary doesn’t want to repeal the Second Amendment.”

As anybody with an elementary understanding of American law comprehends, one does not need to call an Article V convention in order to effectively remove a provision from the Constitution. If, for example, Donald Trump were to claim tomorrow that the First Amendment did not protect an individual right to speech, how do we imagine that the press corps would react? Do we think that the New York Times’s editorial board would nonchalantly say “well, that’s fine because he hasn’t called for Article V repeal”?

Even without overturning Heller, her nominees would still have the opportunity to narrow to meaninglessness. Sure, outright bans might never come back, but de-facto bans, like the one that exists in New York City, could be upheld. Even Washington D.C. responded to Heller by enacting restrictions that were still quite onerous, and would never be considered acceptable in the context of other Constitutional rights. Chicago fared a little better, but only because the 7th Circuit was unusually cooperative, and it bolstered the negotiating position of the rest of Illinois, which favors gun rights. Without a fourth and strong pro-2A Supreme Court ruling, the Second Amendment is already dead letter.

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