The Washington Times is reporting. Reid noted in a conference about the Zika virus that, “I think we’ve taken a bite out of the NRA. I think they’ve done enough damage.” The threat is still from the bill the squishy Republican are getting behind, essentially the “no-fly, no-buy.”
The measure by Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, attracted 52 votes of support in a procedural vote last week, yet it fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a potential filibuster and advance, leaving the effort in limbo.
That doesn’t seem to fit Reid’s optimism. 52 is a good bit shy of 60. But we shouldn’t get cocky.
This is real Baghdad Bob shit right here. Basically, to sum up, the NRA is increasingly dependent on the firearms industry for money, because $14 million has been donated by gun makers over the years. The author even mentions NRA’s revenue is $310 million from membership dues. Do you even math!?!?
But even with that, white men are headed to political extinction, gun ownership is in decline, especially among women, because the General Social Survey says so. NRA is facing stiff competition from Larry Pratt and Dudley Brown, most of its members secretly hate the NRA and disagree with it. Members will probably revolt just like Republicans did against the establishment because they secretly support gun control. 3D printing will be the end of the NRA because it will dry up that 14 million a year because it will put all the manufacturers out of business.
Seriously, Sarah Ellison ought to stick to writing about topics she knows about, and should also stay away from math. Last I checked $14 million dollars was 4.5% of NRA’s revenue from individual members. We call that “not really a lot.” Ms. Ellison could also use a lesson in discerning propaganda from gun control groups from actual research.
This article at Forbes titled, “Gun Policy Is Hard,” gets it right, mostly. I would encourage you to go read it. I’ll wait….
One of the authors assertions is that we shouldn’t so quickly dismiss the suicide argument. I’m not sure what the author thinks can be done to prevent someone who is suicidal from using a firearm without seriously restricting firearms generally. We can’t read people’s minds, and I don’t see any solution that doesn’t involve making firearms generally difficult to obtain, which is a non-starter with us for good reasons. That brings me to the argument I want to address:
Gun-rights supporters often argue every increase in gun regulation, no matter how tiny, is just one step on the path to the ultimate goal: prohibition. The NRA, in particular, has resisted nearly any gun-control proposal, partially because it warns against the boogey man of prohibition.
I think Eugene Volokh pretty successfully and decisively destroyed the notion that slippery slope arguments are a fallacy. The reason we make slippery slope arguments is because we’ve seen it happen. New Jersey and New York both started with licensing, and in New York’s case licensing and registration. Massachusetts also passed licensing and registration. California implemented bans on carrying firearms and enacted stringent waiting periods (15 days). With the sole exception of New York (who’s licensing law dates back to the early 20th century) all these restrictions were passed during the first wave of gun control in the 60s and 70s. All of those states have successfully passed numerous more onerous restrictions since. California’s long slide, which is continuing as we speak, started with the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Ban in 1990.
The reason that has been successful is because each incremental restriction reduced the number of gun owners over time, and thus reduced our political power to fight new restrictions. During the second gun control wave in the 1990s, a lot of gun owners left these restrictive states for greener pastures, and the ones that remained tended to be either politically inactive and/or naive, further reducing our political power in those states.
The biggest predictor of whether or not you support gun control is “Do you own a gun?” If the answer is “yes,” you’re statistically unlikely to support very much gun control. If the answer is “no,” then you’re statistically likely to support more sweeping gun control. We’ve seen in history that even very minor restrictions, like California’s 15-day waiting period dating back to 1976, and the 5-day waiting period dating back to 1965, and the three-day waiting period dating back to 1956….. see where I’m going with this? Each incremental restriction reduces our political power, and over time that has added up to a rout. California is reaching the end. We are facing utter defeat there. An entire state of 38 million people is about to become like New York City, where firearms are not technically banned, but effectively very difficult to obtain and use.
So no, gun owners are not committing a logical fallacy worrying about the slippery slope. It’s real. Ask any state where these “reasonable common sense” measures have taken hold. All of them have only gotten worse over time. There no states that enacted gun control legislation during the first (60s & 70s) or second (90s) wave of gun control that have not gone on to enact more.
This is not a Second Amendment case, but rather one of statutory interpretation with the Lautenberg Amendment, which prohibits people convicted of Misdemeanor Crimes of Domestic Violence (MCDV) from possessing firearms. The question is whether reckless conduct qualifies as a MCDV, or whether the federal statute requires knowing, intentional conduct. The Court ruled that the statute makes no distinction. Justice Thomas dissented, with Sotomayor joining parts I and II of his dissent. Part III of Justice Thomas’s dissent argued that because this is dealing with a fundamental constitutional right, that the Court should read the statute narrowly to avoid the constitutional issue. From Thomas’s dissent:
Finally, and most problematic for the majority’s ap- proach, a person could recklessly unleash force that reck- lessly causes injury. Consider two examples:
1. The Text-Messaging Dad: Knowing that he should not be texting and driving, a father sends a text mes- sage to his wife. The distraction causes the father to rear end the car in front of him. His son, who is a passenger, is injured.
2. The Reckless Policeman: A police officer speeds to a crime scene without activating his emergency lights and siren and careens into another car in an intersec- tion. That accident causes the police officer’s car to strike another police officer, who was standing at the intersection. See Seaton v. State, 385 S. W. 3d 85, 88 (Tex. App. 2012).
In these cases, both the unleashing of the “force” (the car crash) and the resulting harm (the physical injury) were reckless. Under the majority’s reading of §921(a) (33)(A)(ii), the husband “use[d] . . . physical force” against his son, and the police officer “use[d] . . . physical force” against the other officer.
But this category is where the majority and I part com- pany. These examples do not involve the “use of physical force” under any conventional understanding of “use” because they do not involve an active employment of something for a particular purpose.
This strikes me as correct, and an unintended consequence of the majority’s thinking. Here’s another passage from Part III of Thomas’ dissent:
A mother who slaps her 18-year-old son for talking back to her—an intentional use of force—could lose her right to bear arms forever if she is cited by the police under a local ordinance. The majority seeks to expand that already broad rule to any reckless physical injury or nonconsensual touch. I would not extend the statute into that constitutionally problematic territory …
… Today the majority expands §922(g)(9)’s sweep into patently unconstitutional territory. Under the majority’s reading, a single conviction under a state assault statute for recklessly causing an injury to a family member—such as by texting while driving—can now trigger a lifetime ban on gun ownership. And while it may be true that such incidents are rarely prosecuted, this decision leaves the right to keep and bear arms up to the discretion of federal, state, and local prosecutors.
Worth noting that no other justice was willing to join that.
Is justice served by this law? This woman already lost one kid. If she goes to jail the other kids ends up in the state foster care system. Now in this case, given the criminal history of this woman, maybe the kids are better off in state care. But is that always the case? Is the behavior in question so bad that it’s worth breaking up families over?
Is the law going to deter the irresponsible behavior? I’ve often argued that in most cases when it comes to accidental shootings (which are actually pretty rare) the kinds of people who need to be deterred are the kinds that won’t be deterred. The fact is that most of the people reading this don’t need a law to tell them to do what is necessary to keep firearms secured from kiddies and other irresponsible persons. It’s difficult for me to believe that the potential loss of a child is not more of a deterrent than the law.
Is the law enforceable? As with most laws regulating personal behavior in the home, enforcement is only going to occur when the police become aware of a violation, which is only going to happen after an accidental shooting, the very thing the law is meant to deter.
Generally speaking, I’m skeptical of any law that controls people’s behavior in their own homes. My issue with safe storage laws in general has been:
They usually apply a one-size-fits all solution. There are a lot of ways to secure firearms. Some solutions, like trigger locks, are outright dangerous for someone who is uneducated on how to use one.
They usually don’t exempt households without children. I have no kids, and while I have a safe to secure my firearms from burglars, when I’m home we have unsecured firearms, and there’s no risk to either of us with that.
They are not enforceable, and the people they will be enforced against are already dealing with the loss of a child. When a child is accidentally poisoned (which happens far far more often than firearms accidents), we don’t generally charge the parent for leaving prescription drugs, drain cleaner, etc unsecured. We don’t charge pool owners for accidental drownings (also happens far more often than firearms accidents) if they left the gate open.
I think incidents like these are best left as torts when multiple parties are involved, and something for child services to investigate, and dealt with through family court if necessary. I’m not sure charging a mom who just lost a kid with a felony is really justice.
The struggle continues. Remember that time is our greatest ally. Generally speaking, once people stop feeling and start thinking, we usually do OK. Its your job, individually, to try to get people to think. Due process is a serious concern for everyone. Even when you leave the domain of constitutional rights, I doubt you’d find support for revoking drivers’ licenses for people on FBI watch lists. Keep the conversation going, and as always, catch more flies with honey.
The Week: “How Democrats Cynically Abandoned All Principle on Guns.” “A five-year ban on anyone who is merely suspected of being involved in terrorism is an egregious violation of due process and constitutional rights — and it goes without saying that the people targeted by these investigations will be largely Muslims.”
Even Gawker thinks this terror watch list stuff is bogus. I don’t think this issue falls along the traditional right/left device. If falls along whether you’re an authoritarian or a civil libertarian, and since politicians tend more toward the authoritarian side of the spectrum, that’s what’s going to give us trouble.
AMA Looking to Profit from Orlando Shooting. The AMA is probably a bigger enemy on this topic than the CDC. The CDC is always out to please its political masters, whereas the AMA will always publish stuff that puts gun rights in a bad light.
It never ends. House Bill 1770, sponsored by “Ban Them All” Rep. Steve Santarsiero, has been bottled up in committee to suffer the fate such an affront to civil liberties deserves. However, Santarsiero has filed a discharge petition to get it to the House Floor, so we could be seeing a vote. One thing I would be sure to stress in any correspondence with Republican lawmakers is that the FBI director does not want this legislation. This will play to many lawmaker’s “law and order” instincts, and perhaps offer them some cover to vote no. Follow NRA’s link and use their “contact your legislators” feature. Change the default message to your liking. It’ll help if they aren’t all the same.
It’s worth noting that Santarsiero is running for Congress in this district.