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Currently Browsing: Anti-Gun Folks

Pardon Me if I Find Gun Control Groups’ Concerns About Suicide Prevention Hollow

This article talks about how gun owners are more receptive to suicide prevention efforts that respect gun ownership. You don’t say? It’s not like this community is unaware or doesn’t care a whit that firearms are an effective tool in the hands of someone intent on ending their lives. Believe me, we know. But pardon me I call the gun control crowd’s concerns about suicide prevention a load of crap because they keep trying to pass laws that make suicide prevention a crime:

The culturally tailored message was then used as part of a nationwide survey of more than 800 gun owners to determine the likelihood of it causing owners of firearms to engage in multiple key gun safety behaviors for suicide prevention – such as asking a suicidal person to give away his or her guns temporarily to another trusted individual.

Except Bloomberg has been going state-to-state trying to make that a crime. I have a standing order with family to remove my access to firearms if I ever have that kind of mental health crisis, but in states like Washington, where Bloomberg has been successful, that is a crime if you don’t first get the person in crisis to an FFL to pay hundreds of dollars to transfer the collection to the “trusted individual,” and then pay hundreds more once the crisis ends. The Oregon legislature was smarter, and made an exception to its laws, but there is a factor of “imminence” in the exception. Generally speaking, transferring a firearm to a “trusted individual” in Oregon is a crime. In Pennsylvania, this is also the case for handguns, unless the “trusted individual” has an LTC.

So don’t give me this bleeding heart shit. If gun control people gave a crap about suicide they wouldn’t be pushing for laws that criminalized gun owners for helping out friends.

PLCAA Showdown at Connecticut Supreme Court

Connecticut Law Tribune: “Amicus Groups Try to Sway Conn. Supreme Court in Sandy Hook Hearing.” This is an area where gun control groups and ivory tower law professors would be smart not to push these kinds of absurd theories of negligent entrustment, and hopefully the Connecticut Supreme Court isn’t going to buy it either:

Thirteen law professors specializing in common-law torts discuss how negligent entrustment should apply to Remington and Bushmaster. The professors filed their brief to “provide the court with further direction regarding the common law foundation of the tort of negligent entrustment, including relevant scholarship and judicial decision.”

The brief’s co-author, Stanford University law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, said negligent entrustment boils down to whether a defendant took adequate precautions. “And, here, the jury might ultimately find the defendant failed to take adequate precautions in their sale of military grade assault weapons to an untrained population,” according to the brief.

We left exceptions in PLCAA specifically so that dealers which violated the law, or who committed the actual tort of negligent entrustment, not this fanciful, bizarre tort being foisted by these law professors, may still be sued despite the general immunity provided by PLCAA. Under the theory proffered by those siding with the Plaintiffs, a tort would be created for any type of complex and potentially dangerous product, such as automobiles. Because drunks sometimes plow into school busses, Ford and its dealerships have to make a reasonable efforts not to sell cars to drunks. Why wouldn’t gas stations also have such a duty?

Currently under PLCAA, if someone walks into a gun dealer and says, “I’m really pissed off at my wife. Let me see that .357,” and the dealer sells it to him anyway, if he later kills his wife the family would still have a viable action against the dealer.

If the gun control crowd wins on these arguments, that selling an AR-15 to any civilian represents negligent entrustment because some people might do bad, evil, or stupid things with them, do you think we lack the political power and will to narrow PLCAA’s exceptions? The law is not a scalpel. Narrowing the exceptions to PLCAA will almost assuredly let some folks who ought to be open to suit gain immunity. But if the gun control groups win on this theory we will have no choice. I’d also expect a host of other industries who sell complex and potentially hazardous products to also start demanding immunity.

 

Opposition to National Reciprocity from Former PPD Commish

This seems like a silly assertion:

Twelve states — including Pennsylvania’s neighbor, West Virginia — do not require any permit or training to carry hidden loaded guns in public. If this bill becomes law, almost any person from these states would instantly be able to carry concealed in Pennsylvania, regardless of whether that person meets the commonwealth’s standards for carrying a concealed gun in public. This not only puts communities in danger, it makes it harder for law enforcement officers to do their jobs.

Surely we have such strict standards! Last I checked, if you can come up with 20 bucks and clear a PICS check you can get an LTC in Pennsylvania. It’s usually the other states that use us a bogey man.

It’s also funny that Ramesy talks a good game on how well trained police are, when under his watch at the PPD, the US DOJ found that training for his department was substandard.

Also recall, that this is the same guy who was allegedly carrying around a firearm without legally being a sworn police officer in Pennsylvania.

Did the Brady Campaign Explain the Risks? Why Aren’t They Paying Up?

Mother Jones has an article about the Phillips suit against Lucky Gunner, et al over selling the Aurora killer ammunition. Mrs. Phillips notes:

Working for the Brady Campaign became a flurry of media appearances and meetings with politicians, police, and survivors. The Brady leadership also encouraged Lonnie and me to sue Lucky Gunner, the dealer that sold the stockpile of ammo to Jessi’s killer. We agreed that dealers should have to take some responsibility. Shouldn’t they have to vet a buyer of military-grade weaponry? Or a buyer of bullets en masse? The primary goal of our lawsuit was to make the gun dealer change its business practices—at a minimum, to ask for proof of identity and do a background check.

The PLCAA does not exempt suits for negligence per se, which means that if Lucky Gunner violated the law, they can be liable despite the PLCAA protections. This is exactly the kind of lawsuit PLCAA was meant to stop: roughly the equivalent of suing a gas station that sold a tank of gas to a drunk. Lucky Gunner broke no law. They did not have any idea what the killer intended, just as no gas station could possibly know someone filling up is a drunk who might later that day get tanked and plough into a van with kids. The Aurora killer was not a prohibited person, because despite being out of his gourd, he never came in contact with the mental health system to become prohibited. He purchased his firearm legally after passing a background check.

Today, after nearly five years of activism, Lonnie and I continue to struggle. We filed for Chapter 11 protection in January because we could not afford to pay the legal fees for Lucky Gunner.

I’ll assume here that she means Chapter 13 protection, because that would be the typical filing for this kind of personal bankruptcy. But I think it’s terrible that she’s having to apply for personal bankruptcy when it’s the Brady Campaign that encouraged her and her husband to file a frivolous that was doomed the failure, and where the statute allows recovery of attorneys fees for such suits deemed frivolous. They should have warned them, and been ready to pay up when the inevitable happened. Sounds to me like they might have a pretty good case against the Brady Campaign and its lawyers!

Because I Don’t Know the Answers, It Means There are No Answers!

These days, you don’t see much in the way of ridiculous op-eds on guns being published in the papers. Neither the media or the NRA are paying much attention to the gun issue today, and media is all too happy to attack NRA over their latest nothing-to-do-with-guns attack ads.

Every single one of these old lady’s complaints could be successfully addressed by training. It would relieve her of our ignorance on this topic. But I suspect she’s not about to seek training, because the parade of ignorance that is her op-ed wasn’t about that.

But I do have to hand it to her writing an op-ed about guns. She seems more interested in the gun rights battle these days than NRA is, at least.

Unhinged

When it comes to issue advocacy or issue activism, I’ve never believed it’s beneficial to do battle with a caricature in your head about what the other side is like. You have to study their arguments, study their behaviors and inclinations, and how they organize themselves.

At the end of the day, if you don’t feel like you could successfully hold your own on their side of the debate table, using their arguments, you’re probably not being thorough enough in understanding your opponents. To defeat their ideas, and confront who they are, you need to actually know them.

That’s one reason I will read Ladd Everitt’s column. I want to share some tidbits from his latest:

The modern-day NRA is a white supremacist group that — because of the success of its lobbying at the federal, state and local level — is given broad legal authority by the government to sell weapons to the general public for profit.*

NRA is a multi-billion dollar a year organization, and only a small fraction of its revenue comes from the gun industry, either directly or indirectly. Brownells the company is, first and foremost, an accessories company. So is MidwayUSA. Both are some of NRA’s biggest corporate contributors, most of it being through the “Round-Up” program. That means that the donations are still sourced from individuals in small amounts. This is not bullshit. These are verifiable facts.

I’ve spent a lot of time at NRA meetings, much of which has been in environments frequented by ordinary members. I have never heard any white supremacist rhetoric in my entire history at Annual Meeting. In fact, I seem to recall last year NRA honored Josephine Byrd, the plaintiff on the Wilmington Housing Authority case, to the cheers of 20,000 or so apparent “white supremacists” in the room. I can also recall this past meeting, a line of people lined up to meet Colion Noir. Sound like the behavior of white supremacists? I don’t think so, especially given the number of people lined up were black. I also recall this supposed white supremacist pro-gun community rallying behind Shaneen Allen. I could go on.

I’m not going to claim that all 5 million NRA members are bastions of racial tolerance and understanding. Like any group with that many people in it, there are going to be some that are racist assholes. But I’m not really angry with Ladd for saying this. In fact, I hope he keeps doing it.

They are All-In at this point on a strategy to make conservative whites repeat gun customers for life (this includes white law enforcement officers as well, as recently highlighted by Radley Balko in the Washington Post).

Yes. Please keep this up, because this is not the rhetoric of a person who is concerned with winning. I think both Balko’s article and Ladd’s statement here are important. Our opponents have spent a lot of time and money trying to demonstrate to the public that the cops are on their side. There’s an important reason for that. Here you see them conceding the point. They might not be directly conceding it, but you can’t accept that Radley Balko has a point without also acknowledging a lot of NRA’s member support comes from cops and law enforcement families.

NRA has made a huge gamble, or perhaps that ought to be yuge gamble, in lashing their ship to Donald Trump. NRA’s bet is that essentially the Democrats will not come back from the wilderness by doubling down on the Obama coalition. To make a come back, they will need to soften their rhetoric and come back to the center, remembering that the Dems last time came back by a process that encouraged pro-gun Democrats.

My fear is and will remain that it’s a very risky bet, because I’m not sure the Dems are wrong about demographic trends. NRA hasn’t done as well as it needs penetrating outside its traditional demographic. It’s made some progress, but I worry not enough. But NRA has been playing Trump’s game since before Trump made it cool, and they are very good at it.

I will continue to rail against NRA dragging itself into the right culture wars, because I do ultimately think while we may see short term benefit in it, long term it’s not a winning strategy. But I’ve made big bets against the NRA before and turned out to be wrong.

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.

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