search
top
Currently Browsing: Anti-Gun Folks

No One Should Have to Own Crazies

I for one am glad that Ladd Everitt, formerly of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and now working for George Takei’s new gun control effort, has decided to start a column at Medium.com. His latest piece contains some glorious schadenfreude, into which I shall delve.

First, credit where credit is due: Ladd Everitt is at least trying to own up to the political violence on the left just like he’s demanded Second Amendment advocates own practically every act of political violence that’s come along since… well… as long as I can remember. I’ll give him points for being consistent. But maybe the issue is that he’s just wrong, and that it’s fundamentally unfair to blame the actions of kooks and whack jobs on people who are in no way, shape or form responsible for their actions.

Hodgkinson didn’t come to his violent anti-government extremism by way of right-wing politics (as is common with mass shooters). Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders volunteer. He loved Rachel Maddow. He couldn’t stand Karen Handel. He said things like, “I have never said ‘life sucks,’ only the policies of the Republicans.”

You can’t get away from it, can you Ladd? You have to tie the nuts to your opponents, don’t you? Jared Loughner thought that the US government was using grammar to control our minds. Loughner wasn’t on the left or right spectrum: he was a paranoid schizophrenic, who, like many mentally ill people, slipped through the cracks of the system and was never put “into the system” until after he committed an act of violence.

The Pulse shooter? In his mind, at least, on a revenge mission for ISIS. The San Bernardino shooters? Same deal. The Charleston Church Shooting? I’m pretty sure everyone was uniformly disgusted by his actions, and I’m pretty sure no one in the mainstream conservative movement advocates or condones that kind of racial violence.

Ladd, you don’t own Hodgkinson any more than I own Roof or Loughner. Neither does Bernie Sanders own Hodgkinson. And you know what? Sarah Palin has never owned Loughner either. Maybe your insufferable insistence on spouting this kind of nonsense is why no one is listening to you.

If there are some on the left who have bought into the NRA’s perverse “Insurrectionist Idea” regarding the citizen / state relationship, make your voices heard now. Suggestions that the solution to our political problems can be found at the end of a gun barrel must no longer be might with silence by progressives. It’s time for a robust debate about the civic health of our democracy.

No Ladd, they’ve bought into the caricature that exists in your head. This “Insurrectionist Idea” has always been a straw man bandied about by your former boss. The “Insurrectionist Idea” you imagine is not part of nor has it ever been part of any mainstream conservative or libertarian thought.

This might be a shock to you Ladd, but I too an concerned about this country’s apparent descent into the type of madness we’ve been seeing. I’m also concerned about the nastiness, the factionalism, the anger, divisiveness and thoughtlessness we’re seeing today. I don’t want to see this descend into pitched street battles or even worse any more than you do. But the solution is not, and has never been, to disarm people who scare us. A disarmed populace is going to be more easily bullied by extremists factions than a confident and armed population. Think Weimar Germany.

Revolution or “insurrection” is not a mechanism for settling differences over health care, welfare policy, immigration, or any number issues that bedevil us today. We’ve never believed that. To quote Judge Kozinki’s dissent in the Silveira case:

The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

That’s what most of us believe, Ladd. We don’t think it’s OK to start shooting elected officials because an election didn’t go our way. Neither did another group of people who actually used this “Doomsday Provision”:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

This is what we believe. Maybe it’s true that some disturbed people don’t get the details right, but we don’t own those people. Neither of us do.

Can Someone Tell Me What This Has to Do With Gun Rights?

It’s one thing for NRA to take a black eye over something like “Can you believe NRA wants to let people buy silencers?” or “NRA wants old ladies to be able to carry guns in church. Church!” But why the fuck does the NRA need to take a black eye over the Manchester Bombing?

Is NRATV a means to spread news about RKBA arms issues, or it is conservative entertainment akin to Fox News? Look, I get if you’re pressured to produce hours and hours of content, it’s hard to only talk about RKBA issues. I share the struggle. But this is getting out of hand.

You can say these people don’t actually speak for NRA all you want in the disclaimers, but the fact is they do. Dana Loesch was speaking for NRA as far the public was concerned long before she had any official sanction.

I don’t expect this will blow up into anything major, since I’m not seeing it spread in the media beyond Salon, but the day NRA suffers a major setback to its core issues because it’s bringing along a lot of ancillary issues with their own baggage that don’t need to be brought along is the day I start joining the malcontents.

Out of Touch, Even in Flyover Country

You say this like it’s no big deal:

Rob Quist and Nancy Pelosi are not going to take our guns. Threatening the Second Amendment would be political suicide. Quist supports a registry for assault rifles only. This old Marine sees sense in controlling a weapon designed only to kill people.

Jesus. Why not just donate to Greg Gianforte and save yourself some typing?

First off, Democratic politicians threaten the Second Amendment all the time. This being a prime example: he only supports forcing the registration of the most popular rifles in the US. That’s all. No Second Amendment implication there at all. No sir! Why yes, we Second Amendment advocates think there just ain’t nothing wrong with any regulation that don’t have the government come and take em.

Montana is having a special election this Tuesday for Congress. Dems are pouring tons of money into Quist’s campaign in hopes of taking the seat and building momentum to flip Congress in 2018. If the Dems end up in power again running on gun control in places like Montana, you can kiss our whole agenda goodbye. Whatever you might think of Trump, the solution is not to put the Dems in power in Congress.

Pro-Gun Myth of the Day: False Flags

I have often seen articles like this presented as false flag operations by people on the pro-2A side of the debate, or at best that they are anti-gun activists trying to burnish their creds by pretending to be gun folks.

For decades I was a member of the National Rifle Association and had its conspicuous round insignia on my cars and trucks. I was even enrolled into the “National Rifle Association of America Millennium Honor Roll.” It wasn’t that I thought the NRA and its members had some ill intent when I decided to discontinue my membership; it was because of the evermore unlikeable image of the NRA to many people. An organization that used to mostly represented hunters and sport shooters, and even wildlife conservation has become a spokesperson for the manufacturers and marketers of military-like assault weapons. If you want to see this trend, just go to a gun show and see all the black and camouflaged semi-automatics that are replacing the aesthetically appealing guns with contoured fine wooden stocks and elegant inlays and engraving. These new quasi-machine guns have all sorts of unusual configurations and often are collapsible to be more easily concealed. The guns displayed at shows more and more like those in news photos of confiscated gang weapons.

But the idea that there aren’t people out there who think this is a myth. There are, actually, a fair number of them, though they are increasingly in the minority within the gun culture. Why? Because they are dying off. Look at the picture of the dude on the article? He’s almost certainly pre-Boomer. That’s the cohort you’ll find the largest number of this type in.

Call them Fudds, call them whatever, but they are real. The shooting sports went through a major transformational change during the past several decades, and the divisions that transformation created are, in my experience, almost wholly generational.1

There is significant anxiety among many older shooters about the new shooting culture, and that’s what you see expressed in the above paragraph. That’s why they always yearn for the good old days of “aesthetically appealing guns with contoured fine wooden stocks and elegant inlays and engraving.”

Make no mistake, this guy is not pro-gun, as it’s defined in the current movement. He’s more on the side of the Brady Campaign than NRA. But really, he’s only in favor of guns and shooting sports he likes. The rest of you who have different tastes can go to hell. If you spend enough time around gun people, you’ll run into this a lot more often than you’d be comfortable with.

1 I’m making gross generalizations here. Of course there are exceptions. I know many more pre-Boomer shooters who “get it” than don’t. But you don’t find this attitude as much among younger shooters who actually shoot and participate in the culture in some meaningful way. Unfortunately, “I don’t like and am possibly scared of your shooting sport,” is common across the Board, even if there isn’t as much drive to go join the Brady Campaign or speak out about it in a newspaper.

Shannon Watts: “A Self-Promoting Tyrant”

Daily Caller has run an article about woes in the gun control movement. It looks like Shannon Watts is running people off:

“Two beliefs unite nearly all gun control supporters: background checks save lives, and Shannon Watts is a self-promoting tyrant.”

Fake News? Or someone leaked to conservative media, knowing there’d be deniability. Possibly a shot fired across the bow at Shannon Watts? A warning to mend her ways? If I were on their side I’d want to be rid of her because, as I’ve said many times, she’s just not very good at what she does. Starting with picking the wrong side if what she was interested in was self-promotion.

Ms Watts: if you were looking for opportunities for shameless self-promotion, you really can’t beat the pro-gun side. I would have suggested taking up IDPA or USPSA. Or maybe establish your own state group and intimidate your way to power and influence (far more, I might add, than you have as Shannon Watts, gun control advocate).

You’d have tons of attention. Don’t even get me started on the potential a YouTube channel might hold! You’d have thousands more followers than you could ever hope to have with Everytown. Additionally, you can’t swing a dead cat in the gun rights movement without hitting other shameless self-promoters. We’re used to it. We don’t complain much. And the opportunity for networking and perfecting that craft are far greater than anything you’ll find in the very tiny gun control movement. You know, it’s not too late, Shannon. I can guarantee you’ll rise to far greater heights as a chick with a gun than you will as a chick who wants to control them. So what do you say?

Bloomberg’s $20 Million Mistake

This is a lovely harsh rebuke to the Bloomberg allies who are trying to convince their supporters that the evil Republicans are to blame for not having total background checks on every single firearms transfer. They point out that, no, the gun control groups pushing the initiative are 100% to blame for the “mistake.”

A Funny Inside Joke, But …

When you go to a rally, put on their gear, and hold their signs, you’ve um… joined their rally. I don’t blame anyone for going to cover a Mom’s Demand Action rally, watch the inanity, or record it for public consumption, but I’m pretty sure adding to their numbers by putting on their t-shirts and posing for their photo ops is a bad idea. I’m not sure who the joke’s on here, but I have a feeling it’s not on Shannon Watts.

UPDATE:

Thinking about this a bit more, if you really wanted to get a group of people together and screw with Shannon Watts — make sure everyone has a fake but not obviously fake e-mail. If you want to get bold, throw in a few that might not be obvious to an anti, but would be hilarious to anyone in the know. Sign up using the fake e-mail. Get their t-shirt and signs. Get a few more for the kids back home. Then leave the venue, find a trash can, take a picture of their signs and gear in the trash can, and then post the picture somewhere they are sure to see it. Effect?

  • They will know they were had.
  • They’ll upload a bunch of false e-mails to their list, which might raise suspicion with their list provider when they bounce.
  • They’ll get a second “We’ve been had” moment when they get the bounces.
  • They’ll probably be denied that tactic for subsequent years, since they won’t want to waste a bunch of money on t-shirts knowing gun folks might be around looking to trash them.

If they insist that you put the shirts on to be photographed, the gig is up. Don’t do it. But giving them a fake e-mail is still worth a hoot. I’m sure you guys can think up plenty of funny e-mails in the comments that wouldn’t look obviously fake.

ARS Poll Finds NRA “Overrun by Lobbyists”

Gabby Giffords outfit conducted a poll of gun owners that shows people think NRA has been overrun by lobbyists. I, for one, want them to be overrun by lobbyists. That’s what I pay them for.

I’ve come to the conclusion that polls are very effective at telling you what people like to tell pollsters. For any other purpose, they are bullshit. I took a closer look at the poll here. What’s interesting is the same poll shows a plurality of those surveyed thought NRA represented their interests as gun owners. Also note Question 5:

Since the 1930s, silencers have been regulated the same way as machine guns and short barreled rifles: to purchase a silencer, the buyer must have a clean criminal record and register the silencer with law enforcement. Do you support the current law regarding silencers, or would you support changing the law to deregulate the sale of silencers?

See what they are doing? It’s all about how you ask the question. Not only is this an incomplete picture of the process, but they build up current policy, and then ask the person being polled whether they’d like to tear down what they previously established was good and wholesome. Let me ask the question another way, loading it in the other direction, while still being entirely factual and truthful:

Since the 1930s, silencers, which can reduce the noise of a gunshot to a safer level, have been regulated the same way as machine guns and short barreled rifles. Would you support changing the law to regulate silencers the same way rifles, handguns, and shotguns are regulated, requiring only an instant background check and ATF purchase form?

Do you think think they’d still get 73% opposed to deregulating silencers if the question were asked this way? Or would they perhaps see the numbers flip in the opposite direction?

They asked about constitutional carry in a better way than a lot of polls I’ve seen, but it’s still loaded in the same way:

Currently, most states require a permit to carry a concealed handgun in a public place. To get a permit, a person must complete a basic gun safety course, have a clean criminal record, and pay a processing fee. Some have proposed letting people carry a concealed gun without a permit. Do you think the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed handgun in a public place should be continued, or do you think it should be removed?

First, they elevate the permit process in the mind of the person they are polling. It’s being sold as a very good thing (a sharp contrast from the demonization of the process years ago. This is a win for us. In order to fight constitutional carry, they have to implicitly agree that shall-issue is good. This is the same thing they have done and keep trying to do to us on background checks). After the permitting process is being sold as a good thing, they then asked the person if they’d like to tear it down. You’ll never see them ask this question like this:

Currently, most states require a person wishing to carry a concealed handgun in public to apply for a license to do so. Do you support allowing anyone who can legally possess a handgun to carry one in a public place without first having to obtain a license?

You’ll never see it asked that way, because it doesn’t load the question. There’s no attempt to build up the status quo and then ask whether you’d like to tear it down. In the case of the silencer question, I loaded to get the answer I’d like. In this case, I take the reader’s knowledge for what it is. I build nothing up. I state it only as it is. Do you think they’d still get 88% in favor of the status quo if it were asked my way? Hell, it dropped 8 points just asking more directly in Question 8, even after they already loaded the results with Question 7!

I also note in the poll that 35% are Democrats versus 39% Republican, with 26% being independent or other. Since we’re loving ourselves some polls here, Pew’s surveys (and I’d note with surveying rather than polling, that it’s harder to load “Do you own a gun?” and ‘What is your party affiliation?’ so take that for what you think it’s worth) show that 49% of self-identified gun owners are Republican, 22% are Democrat, and 37% are Independent. How did PPP and ARS end up with Democrats so much more represented in their poll and Independents and Republicans so much less represented, versus what Pew found in their survey with a sample roughly twice the size of this one?

Bloomberg Pledges 25 Million to Fight Concealed Carry

Looks like they’ve brought on some new staff to fight National Reciprocity. They are planning to play defense at the federal level and go on offense in the states.

Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and funded by the billionaire former New York City mayor, is hiring several new top staffers and turning much of its attention to state legislatures, while moving to a defensive posture in Washington as it tries to stop what’s known as “concealed carry reciprocity” from becoming law. That will include starting to score congressional votes, like the National Rifle Association does, to guide spending decisions more directly.

Who the hell cares if Everytown scores votes? How many dues paying members do they have? The answer is none. You can find in their Form 990 they don’t have any members except the Board of Directors. The big question every reporter should ask Everytown: what percentage of your organization is funded by Michael Bloomberg? The Form 990 also largely answers this question: Everytown spends almost nothing on fundraising. In 2013, they engaged two fundraising organizations which raised $100,000. That’s a drop compared to Everytown’s approximately 36 million dollar budget. Compare that with the Brady Center which raised 1.7 million in donations via fundraising for about 5 million in money raised overall. Why doesn’t Everytown need to spend more on fundraising? Because you don’t need to when you have one donor who can sign multi-million dollar checks.

The biggest thing they have going for them is that I don’t think the GOP really wants to pass this. Certainly, it is not a priority for them.

What’s the Opposite of a Second Amendment Lawsuit?

New Jersey legislators are suing Governor Christie over New Jersey’s loosened concealed carry permit requirements. Note that Christie did not make New Jersey in any way, shape or form shall-issue. He just made it such that someone facing bonafide threats could qualify. That’s more like Maryland’s standard. It’s almost as if they don’t want the peons able to protect themselves at all! From ANJRPC:

“Although 43 states recognize the right to defend yourself with a firearm outside the home, New Jersey remains one of a handful of backward states that apparently prefer their citizens to become victims – except for legislators, who themselves hypocritically enjoy the armed protection of State House security,” said ANJRPC Executive Director Scott Bach.  “Only in the Garden State do lawmakers actively block those facing serious threats from defending themselves. New Jersey’s days denying right to carry to its citizens are numbered.”

Let’s hope they are numbered. Whether the case comes from the Third Circuit or some other, I don’t care.

« Previous Entries

top