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 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.
Sep 17, 2014
Dave Hardy, who unlike me is a lawyer, looks at the Brady Center suit against Lucky Gunner and declares it weak tea. As a reader mentioned yesterday, LG is owned by former law students of Glenn Reynolds. If I were them, I’d be looking into what sanctions are available in Colorado against plaintiffs who file frivolous lawsuits with an aim to punch back twice as hard.
I believe the best strategy to discourage the Brady Center from continuing to harass and harangue people out of exercising their constitutional rights is to make sure they pay for this to the fullest extent available under the law. I believe in the past, our side was generally reluctant to play dirty with the Bradys, for fear of the negative PR associated with the big, bad gun industry attacking poor little gun control advocates. I think in this case, based on comments I’ve seen around non-gun sites, most people view this as suing car dealers for DUIs. We shouldn’t fear the news cycle on this one.
I think we should ensure that the costs for these legal adventures is borne as much as possible by the Brady Center. If the Brady’s don’t accomplish anything except enriching our pro-2A attorneys, I’m pretty certain this strategy will be declared a loser, and they will stop.
Sep 17, 2014
Quinnipeac has Hick down 10 points over Bob Beauprez. This is certainly welcome news, but we should be wary of getting cocky. I’d love to see Hick’s political career served up on a silver platter after he sold Colorado’s gun owners out to Bloomberg.
Dan Malloy in CT is down by six points as well among likely voters. Bloomberg and Obama sold these two guys on the idea that gun control was a winning issue, and it’s looking very likely both of them are going to see the demise of their political careers as a result.
Things don’t really look that good for Martin O’Malley’s presidential ambitions either. This sets things up so nicely for Hillary, you’d almost expect the big gun control push was concocted by Clintonites to pave the way for Hillary and ensure any potential rivals ruined themselves with voters.
The lesson here is not only that gun control won’t save you, it’ll quite likely ruin your political career. Bloomberg is selling politicians snake oil. It was conventional wisdom among Democratic circles that gun control was a loser of an issue, and I’m sincerely hoping that the 2014 elections send that message in a big, big way. This will be our first opportunity, post the big Sandy Hook gun control push, to express our great displeasure.
Sep 15, 2014
The Brady Campaign, no doubt in an attempt to thwart their slide into utter irrelevancy at the hands of the much better funded Bloomberg effort, has filed suit against a suburban Philadelphia gun dealer. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was intended to stop lawsuits like this, but PLCAA allows exceptions for negligence, and that’s what the Brady lawyers are arguing in the case of Fox v. In Site Firearms. They are also being careful to only make state claims, which will make it more difficult to remove it to federal court (where it could be more easily killed). The case against Gander Mountain in New York, for instance, the defendants failed to remove the case. I believe the Bradys are intending to blow a hole in the PLCAA a mile wide and deep, probably because this is an area of activism that Bloomberg’s outfits haven’t had much to do with. The Bradys are demanding a standard that essentially boils down to requiring Federal Firearms Licensees be clairvoyant. Let’s take a look at their complaint:
7. In Site, acting through its owners, operators, employees and/or agents, including the individual defendants named heron, unlawfully sold the handgun used to kill Officer Fox to Michael Henry (“Henry”), a known drug addict, who acted as a “straw purchaser” for Thomas.
8. Thomas was prohibited by federal law from purchasing or possessing firearms due to a 2005 felony arrest. Thomas also was the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fiance in 1999. Despite being unable to pass a background check himself, Thomas was able to acquire the 9mm Beretta from In Site by having Henry act as a straw purchase and illegally and fraudulently complete firearm purchase paperwork required under both federal and Pennsylvania law, falsely claiming to be the actual purchaser. See Bureau of Alcohol, Tobbaco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) Form 4473 and Pennsylvania State Police Form SP4-113.
This is a common means that criminals obtain firearms. In this case the firearm was sold unlawfully, but it’s the straw purchaser who committed the crime, along with the actual felon buyer. The dealer shares no criminal responsibility for a person who deceives the dealer about the legality of the purchase.
9. In fact, from April 10, 2012 through July 31, 2012, Henry straw purchased at least nine different guns for Thomas. Six of the guns Thomas bought through Henry were acquired from In Site. The gun used to kill Officer Fox is the only gun of the nine to have been recovered. According to authorities, the remaining guns are believed to remain in circulation in the criminal market.
Six guns in four months is hardly a high rate of gun buying, especially for a collector. If you’re a high volume business, are you going to remember someone coming in about once every three weeks to make a purchase? Is it even going to look suspicious? I know collectors who buy a lot more than this.
10. On each occasion that Henry straw purchased a gun for Thomas, In Site allowed Henry to submit and/or aided and abetted him in submitting the required Form 4473 and Form SP4-113, falsely claiming to be the actual and qualified purchaser of guns.
So filing legally required paperwork is now “aiding and abetting?” What next? Suing Buick dealers because they “aided and/or abetted” a DUI fatality by helping file for tags on a new car purchase? This is exactly what Brady is doing here. The analogy is perfect. They are doing the equivalent of suing the car dealer over a DUI fatality. Most people, I believe, agree such a thing is ridiculous. Remember, these are extremists. They are modern day Carrie Nations.
11. In Site was aware of facts and circumstances sufficient for it to have known or to have had a reasonable cause to believe that Henry was a straw purchaser and drug addict, who was not purchasing the handgun lawfully for himself but rather was profiting by making an unlawful purchase for another individual prohibited from buying a firearm.
How the hell were they supposed to know he was a drug addicts? Do drug addicts have that fact tattooed on their foreheads? Look, if the guy was coming in every couple of days and purchasing a gun in cash, I would agree they had reason to be suspicious. But six guns over four months is below that which could be reasonably expected of any retailer to notice.
The owner of In Site firearms is a retired West Norriton police officer. Does the Brady Campaign really think that a former cop is going to knowingly sell to a straw buyer knowing there’s a likelihood that illegally obtained firearm might be used against one of his fellow officers?
It’s also worth noting that Brady is not just suing the company, but the two owners personally, even given that the dealer’s wife died in 2013. Their arguments for “piercing the corporate veil” in this case are outlined in the complaint, and in my decidedly non-expert opinion very weak. They seem to focus on the fact that In Site is not the name of the company, calling it a “fictitious name,” and arguing that because the owners hold themselves as owners (it’s an LLC, they are owners), and because the entity, L & J Supply, LLC, uses their initials, this is grounds enough to reach beyond their corporation. This is patent nonsense! This gives you an idea of what scum we’re dealing with in the Brady outfit. I expect the owners should get their suit dismissed, as the proper target of the suit is their LLC and not them personally.
Later in the lawsuit, they turn NSSF guidelines against gun dealers, quoting them in the lawsuit:
“To simply have your customer fill out the required forms and undergo the criminal background check may not be enough under certain circumstances. By including a couple of questions regarding the identify of the actual purchaser in this area of presages screening, retailers can provide a valuable service to law enforcement and to their community without offending a legitimate customer.”
“An effective way to do this is to establish a store police that every potential handgun purchased will be asked the same sequence of questions. You may even want to post a sign in your store that informs the customer of this policy. The sign may read: To assist law enforcement it is our policy to go beyond the law in verifying the identity of the actual purchaser of a handgun.”
When I first got into shooting, I was in a few gun shops that have given me the third degree before they’d sell me a gun, and uniformly I’ve never done business with that shop again. Back then I didn’t have any idea about straw purchasing, and I thought the owners was treating me with suspicion because he didn’t really want to deal with newbs.
Treating your customers as potential criminals is generally not a successful business practice in retail. Most shops I’ve been to haven’t done this kind of screening, and it’s interesting that NSSF’s program is getting turned around against its own members in this suit. The Bradys would like to create a precedent that would mandate it, because it would be unwelcoming to new purchasers. I know if I had been given the third degree on my first purchase, I may have never made another one. The Brady suit goes on to describe what In Site should have known:
These red flags included but are not limited to the number and type of guns Henry purchased; that he was buying semiautomatic handguns; that he purchased multiple semiautomatic handguns; that he was the identified buyer of multiple guns on the same day; that he purchased six guns within a mere 14 weeks; that he purchased two of the same type of gun (a Colt 45) within two weeks of each other; the time frame in which he purchased multiple guns; that he paid for all of his guns with cash; as well as his drug use. In addition, upon information and belief, when In Site illegally sold Henry the six guns and Henry completed the firearms paperwork requiring him to state his address, Henry was living in a house for recovering drug addicts.
Do you know where the halfway houses are in your area? Do they publish a list of halfway houses to crosscheck against anytime someone offers a dealer an address? Does NICS do it? How the hell were they supposed to have known?
And sorry, I can’t resist, they sold him a Colt .45? Really? You couldn’t afford lawyers who perhaps knew something about guns? Colt 45 is a malt liquor beverage promoted by Billy Dee Williams. The actual name for that is the Single Action Army, which is not a semiautomatic handgun. But nit picking aside, they are demanding clairvoyance here. They are trying to achieve through lawsuit what they cannot achieve legislatively. They are trying to render PLCAA without meaning.
Let me tell you that if this works, and there’s a reasonable chance that it will, there is a very good chance gun dealers are going to become very unfriendly and unwelcoming places to first time buyers, and that’s exactly the point. It’s also worth noting that if this Brady legal strategy wins, NSSF will have played a hand in selling the Bradys the rope by which its industry will be hung.
Sep 8, 2014
The NFL & their anti-gun partners in the Atlantic County, NJ (feel free to post your displeasure on their FB page) prosecutors office would like to provide this illustrated to how to stay out of too much trouble:
That’s what a two game suspension looks like in the NFL. (Now, I’m sure the NFL would like to point out that if they taking a “beating” in the media and from fans over the incident, they may claim that the “discovery” that the victim is/was pregnant increases the suspension to six whole games, gosh darn it!) This is also the illustrated guide for how the Atlantic County prosecutors view not-so-innocent mistakes worthy of pre-trial diversion programs so that you never have to see the inside of a jail cell once you’ve lawyered up.
However, if you’re a black woman arrested after being pulled over for a vaguely claimed “unsafe lane change,” then you’re going to rot in jail for daring to believe that New Jersey recognizes your Second Amendment right to defend yourself.
We hope this illustrative guide was helpful to help you understand the slaps on the wrist standards for these two anti-gun groups. If you’re a man strong enough to take down a woman in one punch – and decide to do it against your pregnant fianceé – that’s no biggie, as long as you have a lucrative sports contract since you need to be out of jail to protect your image and support your family. However, if you’re a single mother whose children rely on you to provide for them without the comforts of a sports career, then you’re clearly a true danger to all around you and deserve to sit in jail while your kids are left to family and/or the system.
Aug 26, 2014
Dave Kopel wrote a wonderful article in the September issue of America’s First Freedom about the fake narrative of just being a stay-at-home mom that Shannon Watts created for herself. He highlights her political work as the Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan’s Public Affairs Officer during the same period that the governor was doing public events and public calls for gun control in the media, and yet Shannon claims she’s never ever worked on gun control before. Sure.
Shannon isn’t too happy about the fact that it uncovers her previous political career and work for a company hated by many of her followers – Monsanto – so she’s fighting back, but not because she can actually refute anything in the article. She’s getting women to argue with #MomsNotMaids because of the NRA publications department depiction of her.
This is one of those times when neither party is right. (Except Dave and his excellent article, which will be sadly overlooked – exactly what Watts wants.)
Watts is wrong because she’s effectively arguing that real moms don’t clean their family homes. Um, hate to tell you Little Miss Priss Spoiled Girl, but the vast majority of moms do clean their own homes and know many of these little tools quite well. (Well, except for the rotary phone – that was a relic even when I was a child.) Making sure their kids live in a home that’s safe and that they are fed is a very typical role for a mother, obviously not something that a woman as wealthy as Watts does because that’s work for the maids.
Watt’s vehement reaction against being portrayed as a woman who cleans a home is also inherently demeaning. What is wrong with being a maid? I know plenty of women – mothers, even – who clean buildings and houses for a living. Why does Watts consider a perfectly legitimate and honorable profession to be an insult? Again, this is illustrative of her stuck-up elitist out-of-touch Twitter rants.
On the other hand, whoever designed this little illustration for NRA is also in the wrong, too. Stay-at-home moms are a hell of a lot more than just cleaning supplies, rotary telephones, and nearly archaic coffee makers. I’m not even a stay-at-home mother, and I am insulted by this attempt to sum up their days like this. The stay-at-home moms I know today are frequently home-schooling their kids, getting the kids involved in many hobbies and activities, or are active in non-profit groups. Even the sit-com stereotypes of how stay-at-home moms get their entertainment (through the phone, in the illustration) isn’t accurate for today if they were trying for a failed version of tongue-in-cheek.
The concept of a paper doll playing dress up for a part isn’t inherently a bad illustration for Shannon Watts and her little effort to pretend she’s not a paid professional with years of experience in Democratic politics and PR circles, but they didn’t even do a good job of trying to creating a visual image of how one would dress up and fake being a stay-at-home mom today.
This comes on the heels of some really great media coverage of pro-gun women lately, and I suspect that’s another reason why Watts is trying to make the NRA look anti-woman. Unfortunately, they gave her the bait to do it.