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Jon Stewart Mocks NRA for Opposing Ivory Ban

I stopped watching The Daily Show a long time ago, because Stewart is a partisan hack that plays the “I’m just a comedian” card any time someone challenges him on his hackery, or lack of command of the issues. So I wasn’t surprised to see Stewart mocking NRA for opposing the Obama Administration’s ivory ban.

Ivory has been illegal to import since 1990. What the Obama Administration has done is to shift the burden of proof to owner to prove that the ivory in question was imported before 1990. This means if you’re selling an antique or pre-ban guns with ivory, Fish and Wildlife Service can come arrest you and then only later drop charges if you can prove the provenance of the ivory (the ivory, mind you, not necessary the gun it’s on) to the satisfaction of FWS officials.

Did Stuart or his writers ever stop to think that a lot of old and antique guns have ivory grips, or ivory as part of their furniture? Do they realize that old and historic power horns are made of ivory? Sure, there are plenty who have a proven pedigree, but how many people have old family heirlooms that aren’t papered? That’s why NRA, along with a lot of musicians (who supposedly Stewart doesn’t think are crazy) opposes the Administration on this ban. This is not even considering the effects it will have on grandfathered pieces in the hunting community.

Obama’s proposal is radical, and upends the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty, but Stewart is so ignorant, he and his writers don’t even realize what this measure does. NRA is right to oppose it. So are musicians. Guilty until proven innocent is not the American way, and I fully expect NRA to oppose laws which make it easy for gun owners to end up in prison.

Tomorrow is the Day

This is an unusually good piece with Wayne LaPierre. He often comes across as kind of wooden and teleprompted. But this is pretty good:

And I can’t argue with the message. This election is the first major election where we get to express our disapproval of the politicians who sided with Bloomberg and conspired to punish us for the actions of a madman in Newtown, CT. There’s a good chance we can get both Hickenlooper and Malloy tomorrow, but that isn’t going to happen unless we vote.

Candidate X or candidate Y may not be ideal, but punishment first. We’ll deal with the new boss’s issues in time.

Blaming Ebola on the NRA

At first, I couldn’t believe the headline. But it’s real. MSNBC is really arguing that NRA is responsible for Ebola issues in the United States. Really.

The stupid is just a little much today.

Upsetting the Right People

I have been rather skeptical of NRA’s ads which wander out of the realm of gun rights and into the realm of the vague and lofty. These are the NRA “good guys” (whoever they are) commercial spots:

But I’ll say this, they are at least sending the right people into spastic fits. I continue to be skeptical that this foray into the high and inspiring is going to work, but then again, I’m a cynical bastard compared to most people.

Friends of the NRA Dinners: Why We Win

It’s becoming a tradition of mine at our Bucks County Friends of the NRA Dinner to pick out the kitschiest thing I can find and aim to win it. Last year I got the NRA branding iron. The year before that the tobacco walking stick. This year was the NRA fan:

NRA Fan

This was won on silent auction. Our silent auction items weren’t doing very well this year, so I managed to get it for cost. Friends of the NRA Dinners raise money for things like the East Stroudsburg South rifle team. Half the funds we raise stay right here in Eastern Pennsylvania.

There were 200 people at our dinner last night, which is a record for us. I’d note that’s a bigger turnout than Shannon Watts can draw to a national protest even with all of Bloomberg’s money. Our people also paid 45 dollars a person to attend (which really just covers the cost of the meal). We didn’t do as well in our raffles and auctions as last year, but that’s been typical for most dinners. In 2013, for obvious reasons, people were a lot more eager to open their wallets for the cause. Overall we’ll end up raising more than $15,000, which mostly goes to fund youth shooting programs.

That’s from one dinner, in one county. Our budget each year to promote the dinner? Five hundred dollars. Our staff? About ten volunteers. I’d challenge Shannon Watts to set up a dinner for Moms Demand under similar restrictions, and see how many people they can draw. Both Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia all have dinners as well, each raising that much or more (in the case of ChesCo, significantly more). Lancaster County has a dinner that draws 800. They can’t even seat them all in a room, and so have to resort to buffet hot seating. It’s standing room only during the auction. So, Shannon, up for the challenge?

 

 

Those Heartless NRA Members

We all know that the NRA leadership are really demons placed on this earth to make humanity hurt as much as possible – at least that would be our “knowledge” if we listened exclusively to the mainstream media.

So, with that perception from those in the media, the WaPo seemed a bit shocked that Wayne LaPierre has agreed to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and donate money to further research for the disease. He’s on a trip right now, so as soon as he returns, he’s going to do it.

I just have to say that I really hope the NRA staff gets very, very creative with this and actually shows NRA staff having fun and wiling to make the world a better place.* (more…)

NRA Wins in Court Over Florida’s Gag Law

I have mixed feelings about the NRA-backed bill that prevents doctors from asking about gun ownership, because I believe that the government should never have the power to control speech in that kind of manner.

I realized that many professions are regulated in these kinds of terms, but I’m not sure that all bad advice ought to be illegal advice, and I’m not sure why we can’t protect our privacy with a polite “Mind your own business, doc.” But apparently the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees with me, and delivered NRA a win in the case.

In the ruling, the three judge panel ruled: “In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct—which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy—the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters. As such, we find that the Act is a legitimate regulation of professional conduct. The Act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient’s care.”

On the other side of the coin, the medical profession has politicized itself far and beyond what I think is appropriate, and this is a greatly needed shot across the bow at the AMA and the AAP. They would be wise to issue new guidelines to doctors telling them to learn to mind their own business when it comes to topics that have nothing to do with the practice of medicine, like gun ownership.

I am loathe to punish pediatricians who want to talk to parents about guns in the context of other dangerous household articles, or to punish a doctor who talks to a patient about guns because the doctor and patient are both gun enthusiasts. The latter is in my opinion pretty unambiguously free speech.

But doctors have abused their position to promote a political agenda, and this is what they have reaped by doing so. NRA has more weight to throw around Congress and State Capitols than the medical establishment does, and they would do well to remain cognizant of that fact.

Rolling Stone Article on Larry Pratt and GOA

The big question I have is why is the “American Independent Institute” funding a story about Larry Pratt and Gun Owners of America, and why now? I don’t make any secret that I’m not a fan of either Pratt or GOA, and this article outlines a lot of the reasons why. But I’m at a loss for what motivated it. Rolling Stone has been doing a lot of hit pieces on guns lately, at least one of which was supremely stupid. If the purpose was to make gun owners and the gun rights movement look like far-right lunatics, I don’t think the article succeeds at that, since it continually highlights the differences between GOA and the rest of the movement. It does succeed at making Pratt look like a lunatic. But what do our opponents have to gain by attacking Larry Pratt and GOA in such a manner, and attacking now? Are they hoping to raise his profile in the hopes to keep using him as a foil? Hardly seem to be the way you’d go about it if that were your goal.

Chicago: Helping Us Keep Parity with Bloomberg

The City of Chicago has been ordered to sign over yet another near million dollar check over to the NRA for the case of Benson v. City of Chicago:

The Benson case was consolidated into Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago and that case challenged five aspects of Chicago’s law: (1) the ban on any form of carriage; (2) the ban on gun stores; (3) the ban on firing ranges; (4) the ban on self-defense in garages, porches, and yards; and (5) the ban on keeping more than one gun in an operable state.

Of course, fighting civil rights lawsuits isn’t cheap, so really this is just reimbursement for costs incurred fighting lawsuits that wouldn’t have any reason to exist if the City of Chicago wasn’t determined to evade the Second Amendment by hook or by crook. But it’s always good to hear the City of Chicago being a top NRA donor. Will we need to issue Rahm a gold jacket? He’s been donating at that level.

Banning the Second Amendment

Waves were made in the gun community with a claim that a university is trying to stop a student from starting a Second Amendment-themed club, but further review shows that the student may not have expressed his intent or the situation clearly.

As someone who has been through the process before, it’s incredibly important to come up with a clear plan before approaching officials about something like this. According to the school, the student said he wanted a student group to organize a change in their gun policy. They didn’t tell him he couldn’t do that, but that a simple goal like that didn’t fit the requirements for an official school group that may be eligible for funding. That’s a perfectly legitimate response from the school, if that’s the case.

Now, if he wanted to start a Second Amendment group that does a wide variety of activities and may also have a campaign to change the school policy, that’s a very different request. Knowing the difference between those two requests will make a difference between denial and approval – unless there is real bias going on.

Clearly, there are cases of extreme anti-gun bias in academia, so it’s not out of the question that there is a problem. However, I find it telling that the latest reports say the student admitted he really didn’t know about the process of starting a club and he plans to work on the statement of intent for the group. That tells me that the school’s defense is likely accurate.

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