Currently Browsing: Guns
Sep 30, 2014
The Second Amendment as a Normal Right. It is rightfully harsh on how some federal circuit courts have treated the Second Amendment. Here’s an expert:
Suppose a state were to prohibit abortion at 20 weeks of gestation absent a doctor’s certificate of “medical emergency,” invoking “documented risks to women’s health and the strong medical evidence that unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age.”30 In a world where Kachalsky-style “scrutiny” applied to the abortion right, it simply wouldn’t be the courts’ job to second-guess a legislature’s regulatory oversight of the medical profession in the important interests of patient safety and prevention of cruelty. Yet when Arizona enacted just this law, the Ninth Circuit wasted no time striking it down:
Allowing a physician to decide if abortion is medically necessary is not the same as allowing a woman to decide whether to carry her own pregnancy to term. Moreover, regulations involve limitations as to the mode and manner of abortion, not preclusion of the choice to terminate a pregnancy altogether.31
The court properly made quick work of the theory that a fundamental right is not infringed when everyone is free to exercise it upon proving need.32 “The presence of a medical exception does not make an otherwise impermissible prohibition constitutional. The adequacy of the medical exception has no bearing on whether the prohibition is permissible in the first place.”33 Regardless of what the legislature may earnestly believe to be required in the interests of health and safety, the Supreme Court has guaranteed a woman’s right to terminate pregnancy until viability.34 “The twenty-week law is unconstitutional because it bans abortion at a pre-viability stage of pregnancy; no health exception, no matter how broad, could save it.”35
Heller and McDonald leave no doubt that the Second Amendment must operate similarly, as a normal constitutional right…
Read the whole thing. The courts seem to know how to treat rights when a case involves a right that judges favor.
Sep 30, 2014
I am just now starting to really like some of the efforts to market more feminine gun accessories.
For years, the extent of actual gun gear related to women was having something come in pink. Pink is fine. Plenty of women like pink, and it’s great that their market is served. But when I see pink guns, I think of how much my 6-year-old niece would like it.
I have never liked pink. When I was a girl, my preference was purple. As an adult, it’s all shades of brown and shiny like rose gold – which another company just released to the market recently.
But when I saw this pop up on Jacqueline Janes’s Facebook page, I fell in love.
This is beautiful, and feminine, without a trace of pink.
It’s almost like men in the industry are starting to realize that adult women probably shouldn’t be exclusively marketed to like 10-year-old girls. Or, maybe women have finally taken over enough spots in the shooting world that they could now voice their opinions that the novel pink offerings are cute and all, but they aren’t really attractive. (In the case of the pretty fleur-de-lis hand guard, it’s a woman-owned company from the looks of it.) It’s nice to really start to see more variety in the pretty gun gear market.
Sep 25, 2014
The case is Binderup v. Holder, filed in the Eastern District of PA. The plaintiff was convicted years ago of Corruption of Minors for having sex with a 17 year old. In Pennsylvania, Corruption of Minors is a misdemeanor, but has a possible sentence of up to five years, so it applies for the purposes of a federal prohibition. Corruption in Pennsylvania tends to occur for one of two things, alcohol and sex. Often both. Furnishing liquor to minors in Pennsylvania can cost you your gun rights. So can sex between a 18 year old and 17 year old. The age of consent in Pennsylvania is 16, so the charge is not Statutory Rape, but Corruption of Minors is still an option for the prosecution.
This is an “as applied” challenge, meaning the statute was challenged as applied to this person’s individual circumstance. It was not a facial challenge to the statute as a whole. This would presumably apply to other persons similarly situated to this defendant. To read more details about this case, see Of Arms and the Law and also Alan Gura’s blog, who is the attorney who argued this case.
Slowly but surely, we are chipping away here and there. The other side may brag about our defeats, but we’ve also had some very important and circumstantial wins. There are a lot of people in Pennsylvania, who are no threat to anyone, who have gotten caught in this trap. Now there may finally be some relief for them.
Sep 24, 2014
Bob Owens at Bearing Arms caught one MDA chapter leader, and volunteer for the Carolyn Maloney campaign, suggesting that Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels was a pretty insightful guy. I would bet money that Alison Martin had no idea who Joseph Goebbels was when she uttered that statement of support, and when she found out, she deleted her Twitter account because it was embarrassing.
That said, the quote in question is one that has been attributed to Goebbels, but I can’t find any evidence that quote is actually his. I don’t believe if her statement was uttered in ignorance that it lets Ms. Martin off the hook — far from it. It shows a dangerous ignorance. The fall of the Weimar Republic and rise of the Nazis is a recent history that describes a country making the slow (and democratic!) descent into the madness of a mass murdering police state. I would also wager that Ms. Martin has never read Orwell. Perhaps she can learn something from another quote from George Santayana:
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Sep 23, 2014
It seems that as long as you have the right political views, you can break gun laws and get a slap on the wrist. If you don’t, you’ll end up facing serious charges and years in prison.
Compare these two situations:
1) In New York, an activist who promoted the SAFE Act that made carrying a gun on school property a felony even if the person has a license to carry, decided to carry his gun to a school after the gun control law took effect.
When the school was raided by SWAT officers and went on lockdown for a call about a man with a gun in the building, Dwayne Ferguson did not disclose that he had his gun. It was only when officers started patting down every person in the school did they find his gun. The school noted in their statement that he had an opportunity to disclose his possession to officers, and he chose not to do so, forcing everyone else to face a search.
For his refusal to disclose his accidentally carried, and otherwise licensed, firearm into a prohibited place, Ferguson’s charges were dropped from felonies and he received community service with a conditional discharge.
2) In New Jersey, a single mother from Philadelphia crossed a bridge with her license to carry a gun issued by Pennsylvania thinking that it applied across the border. It did not. When she was pulled over for a vaguely state violation, she willfully disclosed to the officer that she was a licensed gun owner.
For her cooperative attitude during her accidental carry situation, he had her arrested and the prosecutor considers her, as an otherwise lawful gun owner, such a danger to the community that he refuses to even consider the idea of a diversion program because it would mean she would not be put behind bars for years.
It would appear that having the right political views can go a long way in convincing a prosecutor not to press charges in these gun control cases.
Sep 23, 2014
John Richardson noted that the ATF is now asking all C&R FFL holders about whether or not they sell any of their collections online.
Sep 22, 2014
Bitter’s mother and grandmother are on their way back to Tennessee, after spending the last week up here with us. Things turned a bit cold up here for folks used to Oklahoma summers. It’s starting to feel more like fall now and less like summer.
Don’t ever let anyone try to tell you that no one wants to take your guns from you. The NJ Star-Ledger calls for Australian style confiscation. Check the comments for people debunking “It worked for Australia!” propaganda.
The changing face of target shooting. Our opponents will do everything humanly possible to halt this trend. Keep that in mind when analyze proposed legislation to gauge their strategy.
Politico: “Gabby Giffords gets mean” The best way to fight back is to help out the politicians she’s attacking, both on the streets and in the voting booth.
John Richardson has a good piece on racial profiling on Form 4473. Why they are doing this now is an interesting question.
Alan Gura on DC’s may-issue shenanigans “In America, the police don’t determine what rights we have good reason to enjoy. You don’t need a good reason to speak, to worship, to vote or to carry a gun for self-defense.”
Doctors groups seem to quite often be comprised of petty tyrants who know how to run your life better than you do. Here’s another example. You hear this a lot from gun control advocates: only federal gun laws are effective, because otherwise you can just go to a state with weaker laws. Well, then why do they keep trying to pass more controls at the state level then?
The war against accurate rifles. They’re going to hate particle beam weapons. More on that topic here.
Has Attorney General Kane offered a gift to gun owners? It seems improbable, but Josh Prince is going to try to put to some use.
SayUncle is done with the NFL. The NFL is an anti-gun organization.
Daily Caller: Top 3 Myths of the Second Amendment.
Shannon Watts: “Now, for the first time in our country’s history, there is a well-financed and formidable force positioned to take on the Washington gun lobby.” Well financed by a single billionaire asshole who has his own private armed security.
Even some Democrats are acknowledging Shaneen Allen doesn’t deserve to go to jail. This is what gun control means. When you heavily regulate a consumer product that’s widely legal most everywhere else, it necessarily means good people will go to prison. Democrats should think long and hard about that before passing everything our opponents (who are fine with gun owners going to prison) ask for.
NRA is getting involved in the race for Jim Gerlach’s old seat. I’m guessing Mike Fitzpatrick isn’t getting help this year. Fine by me, since I’ve been nothing but disappointed in him. Fitzpatrick has taken endorsements from gun control groups. Fitzpatrick has said previous he plans to step down in 2016. If this is not the case, he needs a primary challenger.
More about where NRA is spending its money this year.
Dave Kopel: New anti-gun strategies.
Headline of the century?
Republicans need to figure this stuff out if they want to win elections. They are way behind. A big question in my mind is whether this will work for a run-of-the-mill candidate and not the new messiah incarnate.
The Fourth Amendment may be sick, but it’s not dead yet.
Sep 19, 2014
With Washington ready for a ballot initiative fight this November and the accompanying debate over who is and isn’t showing up, I thought it would be important to look at a couple of historical votes relevant to the subject of ballot initiatives.
One is recent history. Very recent. As in, yesterday. There were were many polls showing that the Yes and No votes on Scottish Independence were in a dead heat, and even some showing that Yes was taking the lead in the days prior to the vote. The real result was a 10 point vote against independence with massive turnout.
Another, more relevant example, is from Massachusetts in 1976. I’ve posted about how important it is for gun owners to read about and learn from this example before. It shows why we keep fighting, even in sometimes clearly uphill fights. From Dave Kopel’s article on the ballot initiative fight:
Early polling suggested that a handgun ban would pass handily. Further, in the 1974 election, voters in several state legislative districts had overwhelmingly supported measures instructing their state legislators to vote for strict anti-gun legislation. …
The final poll, a few days before, had showed Question 5 with a 10-point lead. Everyone anticipated a long night waiting for the election results. Everyone was wrong.
Handgun confiscation was crushed by a vote of 69 percent to 31 percent. Of the approximately 500 towns in Massachusetts, only about a dozen (including Cambridge, Brookline, Newton and Amherst) voted for the ban. Even Boston rejected the ban by a wide margin.
There are notable differences in that it was certainly a far more extreme policy than Washington. However, it still shows that what people feel they “should” tell a pollster may not match how they vote in a closed voting booth. That’s the kind of tendency that Washington activists need to appeal to there.
Now, NRA cannot, even if they empty their entire campaign war chest into Washington State and completely ignore the rest of the country, outspend Bloomberg and Bill Gates. They can’t. Just accept it right now that you cannot look at this situation strictly through the lens of campaign finance reports. I’m not in Washington, but I do see some evidence of NRA work. There’s a Facebook page they’ve created that partially documents some of their work, and I can also say that from the moment I met our new EVC coordinator back in March, she’s been aware of this and trying to work with local activists to make sure they have what they need and help them out. Even in our Friends of NRA program that isn’t political, we saw record turnout for people showing up to participate, even though they couldn’t quite open their wallets as much as last year. Fights like this aren’t accurately portrayed in financial reports.
These issues are complex, and there’s a chance that we may lose. However, if gun owners study their history on ballot initiatives, they’ll know these things are won with volunteers on the ground and that sometimes polls on policy efforts to support more gun control are very, very wrong when you actually stick a ballot with that issue in front of someone’s face.
Sep 18, 2014
Back in 1938, a Texas hunter decided to get ready for his hunting trip by posing for cameras in DC. That Texas hunter was Senator Tom Connally.
The caption from the Library of Congress: Looking forward to a hunting trip in his native state as soon as Congress adjourns this week, Senator Tom Connally, Democrat of Texas, checked his guns and did a little fancy shooting for the benefit of the cameramen at the Capitol today, 6/14/38.
I can’t even fathom how that would go over today.
Sep 18, 2014
Bob Owens notices that CeaseFire PA has jumped quick on attempting to exploit the ambush murder of two Pennsylvania State Troopers by a crazed gunman. They are claiming that murders committed with long guns has doubled since 1996. That number is, of course, a complete fabrication. Bob looks at the actual figures and notes the number of murders with long guns has, in fact, halved. Bob notes:
The attempt to target long-guns comes after numerous media outlets sympathetic to gun control curious chose last week to abandon their 30-year fixation on so-called “assault weapons.”
Apparently, they’re now going to go after bolt-action rifles used for hunting, calling them “sniper rifles,” comparing their owners to “insurrectionists” and”terrorists” as they attempt to push universal background checks as a de facto gun registry.
I don’t think that can be stressed enough. If they get the “background check” bill they want, there will be de facto firearm registration in this country. We already have this for handguns in Pennsylvania, and nationally there is registration for firearms bought at retail through 4473. But the exceptions are important. Because you can buy, sell, and trade firearms privately, when the knock comes, they can’t prove anything. If that knock comes (don’t ever let anyone tell you they aren’t out to take your guns), you don’t want to be in a position where you have to turn it over, or admit to another serious crime.