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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.

Prep for Arizona Ballot Initiative?

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly have formed The Arizona Coalition for Common Sense. It looks like they mostly intend to push ending private transfers and sales. Last round Bloomberg barely eked out an electoral victory in Nevada, lost outright in Maine, and then lost in Nevada because the law was poorly drafted and demanded the FBI do something the FBI won’t do, which is run background checks on behalf of a point-of-contact state.

We’ve seen this pattern before. Bloomberg usually does push legislatively for a bill first, then comes in with the ballot only when the bill fails. Oregon’s Democratic legislature, for instance, preemptively surrendered on the issue, so no need for a ballot run there. Arizona’s legislature is not likely to play ball, however. Can we beat Bloomberg in Arizona, as we beat him in Maine?

Note they keep pushing the statistic that background checks are a 92% issue, when they have never come anywhere close to that at the ballot box.

Arrest for Guns in Schools

Firearms Attorney Joshua Prince notes that in the recent case of a man in Upper Darby getting arrested for having a firearms in school, the Chief of Police may have violated the LTC privacy laws by releasing his LTC status to the press. Also, the arrest would seem to be in violation of the recent Superior Court decision Commonwealth v. Goslin.

Chitwood is an absolute shit to gun owners, and I would love to see a nice judgement against him. I’m not sure I agree that the reporter, Stephanie Farr, would be liable, since she should be protected under New York Times v. US. It’s the bozo who leaked it that’s liable.

McAuliffe Vetos Carry for People Protected by Protective Order

The Virginia legislature put several carry bills before the Governor, related to allowing people who were the subject of a protective order (i.e. the protectee, not the person the order is against) to carry firearms without a permit for 45 days (giving them time to seek a permit, and offering relief from training costs). Surely such a modest measure would meet with little resistance from a governor in favor of common sense gun laws, correct?

Nope, veto. Now it’s back to the legislature for an attempted override. If Trump and the GOP were smart (I know, I know), they’d put Virginia back in play by building up population around Norfolk with some Navy spending, and moving some federal agencies from Virginia to Maryland.

Better She Mind Someone Else’s Business Other than Mine

I have Google Alerts set up for the leaders in the gun control movement, so I know when they are making the news. Shannon Watts’ alert has been very quiet. No one was really paying a lick of attention to her until a few days ago when the alert I have for Shannan Watts blew up in a frenzy, because apparently she can’t keep her nose out of the business of people she doesn’t have the first clue about. Oh well, I’d be happy if she would rather be the legging police than the gun police. Spandex came into fashion in the 1980s. It mercifully went out of fashion until recently. How quickly we forget the horrors.

I kind of like it that even when Shannon Watts scores, she still kind of loses. I’ve often said she’s not terribly good at what she does. We should be thankful for that.

UPDATE: Miguel thinks she might be gearing up to run for a political office. If she’s looking for federal office and not looking to be put up as a sacrificial lamb, she’s going to have to move. Her district is R+9. The other district near her is R+11 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index. That’s a tough hill to climb for someone with talent, and Shannon Watts has never impressed me.

Saccone to take on Casey

According to CBS Pittsburgh. Republicans have not been doing well in state-wide races, generally, and I question whether Rep. Saccone has enough state-wide name recognition. But I can’t think of anyone better. The PA GOP does a pretty awful job of developing talent and moving them up the ladder. Of the state-wide state offices that are typically stepping stones to Senator or Governor, the Dems now control all of them. Casey’s advantage going against Santorum was name recognition, in that his father, Bob Casey, was a Pennsylvania Governor. Saccone has an uphill climb, so he is going to have to be a stellar candidate. I’d suggest if he can’t learn to channel some of that good ol’ populism that was Trump’s schtick, he’s probably doomed. One advantage Saccone has is he hasn’t been in office all that long. It’s a lot harder to pull off populist everyman when you’ve held office as long as some voters have been alive.

A Day Without Moms Demand

Today is the “Day Without Women” protest. I’ve long written in favor of smart activist tactics, and written against dumb ones. This has had the side effect of limiting my audience, because sometimes dumb activist tactics are very self-satisfying. Perhaps a feeling of righteousness and being part of something you think is contributing something has value of its own? Perhaps that is something I should consider, but it’s just never been my drug. If gun owners were mounting a similar “Day Without Gun Owners,” I’d call it out for useless activism that serves no purpose other than the contribute to activism fatigue (most people have lives to live).

Mom’s Demand is taking part in the Day Without Women, and why shouldn’t they? In fact, if they want to make it the year without women, please do. Decade? Century? I would strongly encourage it! Keep your people basking in that self-satisfied nothing, Shannon Watts. Don’t you ever change.

You Know What Makes Guns Get Left in Cars? Gun Free Zones

Bloomberg’s propaganda media outlet “The Trace” is busy promoting the idea that cars are not gun safes again. The great irony in this is that Bloomberg’s organizations also promote laws that create a patchwork of restrictions on taking guns into places like post office’s, restaurants, parks, public transit, etc. You know what people do when as part of their daily errands have to go to one of these places? Yep, you guessed it: leave their guns in their cars. You might wish people would just leave them at home, but that’s not going to happen. You might wish that the law banned people from carrying firearms outside the home entirely, but now all but five or so states allow most law-abiding people to do so, and that’s not going to change. Gun free zones encourage people to leave guns in cars. If Bloomberg’s organizations feel this is a real problem, they would end their opposition to measures that encourages people to keep their firearms where it is least likely to be stolen: on their persons.

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