Currently Browsing: Gun Rights
Apr 16, 2014
I have quite a lot of stuff today, so let’s get to it:
From Ann Althouse, who notes Dick Morris saying that Janet Reno threatened to spill the beans on Waco if Clinton fired her.
The medical profession would seem to persist in the notion that guns are a public health issue about which their profession should do something about. Maybe we need to start making lists of gun friendly doctors so we can avoid the insufferable busybodies. More here from the Daily Caller.
Holder wants your tax dollars to fund smart gun research.
Hey, did you know we legalized short barreled rifles in a deep blue state? You still have to comply with the National Firearms Act, but this shows it’s not just red states we’re on the move in.
Like a layer cake of fail. To be fair, a lot of CC people are prone to poor carry choices as well, but they aren’t advertising them to the world to be mocked. The original telegraph article is here.
Why you should be sympathetic to Cliven Bundy. Meanwhile, Slate plays right for ginning up a racial argument for something that has nothing to do with race.
Glenn Reynolds has a new law review article out, “The Second Amendment as Ordinary Constitutional Law.”
The assault weapons rebellion. What if there were an assault weapons law, and no one complied? Gun owners in these states really shouldn’t avoid jury duty in these states. Get on there and acquit your fellow gun owners. If authorities won’t prosecute cases because they can’t get convictions from juries, it doesn’t really matter what the law says.
Clayton Cramer has to be risking carpel tunnels this past few weeks with a review of “This Nonviolence Stuff’l Get You Killed,” a review of Stephen Halberook’s “Gun Control in the Third Reich,” and a dismantling of Justice Stevens flexible history when it comes to his views on the Second Amendment.
Also, another mass stabbing. Five dead. Maybe mass killers have figured the mass shooting has jumped the shark, and can’t garner the media frenzy it used to.
NRA has endorsed Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary. This will no doubt upset a lot of tea party folks, but NRA has a long standing policy of endorsing friendly incumbents over friendly challengers, and for good reason.
The New Jersey GOP is way behind when it comes to the gun issue. Several years ago I was speaking with a higher-up person in the New Jersey GOP who agreed that they had not done enough to cultivate this voting constituency, but nothing seems to change.
How to estimate Pi using a shot pattern. It’s actually Monte-Carlo sampling.
Looks like the politicians in Chicago are learning from big city pols in other preempted states, that you can shift blame for your failures by blaming the weak gun laws, which you obviously can’t do anything about. Previously, they blamed laws in the ‘burbs, or in other states.
Looks like cultural condescendence towards gun owners extends to the hispanic-left as well.
SayUncle notes that the media is always quick to blame right-wingers for mass shootings, and go all quiet like when it turns out to be a Democrat with ties to the KKK.
Growing pains among New York’s pro-gun community. I wouldn’t classify it as growing pains. It’s a sign of life. In any state with a healthy gun rights movement there are many competing egos. It’s often not helpful at all, but it’s like the rain. Not much you can do about it.
A new SAFE compliant semi-auto rifle. I like this a lot more than the Fugly AR abomination. Looks like they probably put the recoil spring along the gas system, similar to the LR-300. This eliminates the need for a buffer tube.
Uncle Sam reviving the feudal practice of collecting debs from next of kin. The feds continue to piss away their legitimacy.
Instapundit on establishment criticism of Rand Paul: “If you criticize GOP candidates more harshly than you’re criticizing Democrats, you’re doing it wrong.” “Doing it Wrong” could be the GOP byline for this past decade.
Five police officers found lying, and why it is so rare.
Apr 15, 2014
The case is Commonweath v. Scarborough. This case largely revolves around the legality of the stop, but there are issues at play that should concern any Pennsylvania gun owner.
First is whether or not there’s an equal protection issue with state law singling out Philadelphia. Pennsylvania is an open-carry state, in that you can carry a firearm openly in this commonwealth without a license, the sole exception being “cities of the first class” (i.e. Philadelphia). In Philadelphia, you may only carry a firearm (openly or concealed) if you have a License to Carry Firearms. The court rejected the equal protection issue, which would be the expected result. But they went farther, which is very concerning:
The class created by Section 6108, “persons located in Philadelphia,” is not based on race, national origin, sex, or illegitimacy. The right at issue under Section 6106, “the right to carry a concealed weapon,” and the right at issue under Section 6108, “the right to carry a firearm on the streets of Philadelphia without a license,” are not fundamental rights. They manifestly do not rise to the protection afforded by the Second Amendment’s general guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.
They could have, actually, cited existing Third Circuit precent that there is no right to bear arms outside the home. That was decided in the case of Drake v. Filko, which challenged New Jersey’s restrictive permitting scheme. That is now on appeal to the US Supreme Court. So federally, there is no right to carry a firearm in Pennsylvania outside the home, because of a grave error made by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. As Alan Gura mentioned in his law review article:
The Third Circuit supplied a great example of how far off the rails a “step one” analysis may veer when history is given short shrift. Upholding New Jersey’s requirement that handgun carry applicants demonstrate “justifiable need” to exercise their Second Amendment rights, a panel majority held that carrying a handgun for self-defense “fall[s] outside the scope of the Second Amendment’s guarantee.” Even though Heller had expressly held that to “bear arms,” as used in the Second Amendment, is to “carry” arms for the purpose of self-defense in case of confrontation, the Third Circuit rejected an appeal to “text, history, tradition, and precedent,” stating that “we are not inclined to address this contention [that the Second Amendment guarantees a right to publicly carry arms for defense] by engaging in a round of full-blown historical analysis.”
And now we have PA Superior Court giving the right to bear arms the same short shrift. Our Supreme Court has generally been more amenable to the right to keep and bear arms, but only barely so. It may be the case that the state may require a license; our side has generally conceded that when confronting restrictive licensing regimes in court, but that’s quite different than suggesting there’s no right at all, or that such a right is not “fundamental,” when that was the holding of our federal Supreme Court.
Apr 13, 2014
I’ve heard of people in New York burning their registration forms, but this act if defiance also earns my seal of approval*:
* Well, I don’t actually have such a seal, but if I did, I’d stamp to hell out of this one.
Apr 10, 2014
This will be a shorter one, since this has been a relatively slow week. I spent all of yesterday patching systems to deal with the Heart Bleed vulnerability in OpenSSL, including the system this blog runs on. People are saying it’s likely an accident, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it’s a deliberate fault injected into the source code by the NSA. Either way, the news:
What…. is the muzzle energy of an experimental Navy railgun that hurls a 20lb projectile at Mach 7? Sean got the right answer. About 21,201,337 ft/lbs. Wow. At that speed you don’t even need explosives. The impact energy is more than sufficient.
The truth accidentally slips out.
Civil rights victory in Tennessee. Knife rights!
Why are anti-gun activists so violent?
Bob Owens reviews the R51. I still want one, but I might wait until they work the bugs out.
PDB: Guns I Hate. I have a Mk.III that was also designed by lawyers. Note how successful the LCP has been? That was designed by George Kellgren rather than by lawyers.
Obama requests 1.1 billion of your tax dollars to promote gun control.
The Democratic candidate for governor in Idaho calls NRA’s questionnaire ‘biased and loaded’ and is refusing to answer it. OK, A.J., feel free, but we take question marks to be Fs, and good luck trying to win an election in Idaho with your attitude.
Charles W. Cooke: Smart Guns are a Dumb Idea.
MDA is fighting against legalizing open carry of pistols in Texas. In the vast majority of states, the only thing MDA has accomplished is to make them more pro-gun.
Eric Holder wants you to wear his special bracelet if you want to be able to use your firearm. No word on whether he’ll be smuggling smart guns and bracelets to Mexican drug cartels too.
Teacher suspended for starting a rail gun project with his students. I’ll believe we have a STEM shortage when the powers that be start acting like it.
Turns out MAIG isn’t all that helpful to associate with if you have higher ambitions for public office, even in Connecticut.
Your papers. Zeh are not in order. Cradle and grave of liberty, indeed.
Apr 9, 2014
In regards to the whole Brendan Eich’s purging from the Mozilla Foundation, Tam notes that we’ve engaged in a good bit of that type of thing in our community. In fact, a very sharp analogy to the Brendan Eich situation is one that had its genesis with this very blog. But I do think it’s a bit different. If Eich had been the CEO of a gay dating site, and had spoken in favor of Prop 8 in the media, and then his donations to anti-gay candidates was uncovered, I would, of course, fully expect the gay community to eat him alive. They’d actually be fools if they let that slide.
What happened to Eich would be more the equivalent to us discovering that say, Roku’s CEO had once donated a few thousand bucks to a pro-gun control PAC*. That would generally not register very high on our giveashitometer as a community. What we tend to get really outraged over are members of the community betraying us; we don’t like turncoats. For people who just disagree with us, we’re more likely to argue to the point our opponents are ready sharpen a pencil to gouge out their ears, or defenestrate their Internet router, than we are to try to ruin their personal lives. I wouldn’t say we’re totally incapable of the same kind of mob mentality, but I’d say on the whole, most of us don’t have time for that kind of crap.
* Just using that as a hypothetical example. I don’t even know who their CEO is, let alone his voting or donating habits.
Apr 7, 2014
You would never have seen numbers like this in the mid-1990s. Most people seem to favor restrictions on felons and the mentally ill, but beyond that there’s sharp division. Even on this particular topic:
Just over half of Americans (53%) see a national registry of firearm owners as reasonable, while roughly half say the same of outlawing fully automatic firearms (49%). Fewer Americans favor limiting either clip sizes (41%) or the number of firearms an individual can own (34%).
So we’re not even at a bare majority on outlawing fully automatics these days? I remember when we were pushing 2/3rds of American supporting semi-auto bans (granted, likely out of confusion, but still) in the 1990s. The poll also still show that there’s a significant gap between Republicans and Democrats on this issue, though it’s worth noting you still have about 20% of Dems who aren’t too fond of more gun control.
If these numbers are real, you could very well see a major sea change in this issue once we’re rid of Obama.
Apr 7, 2014
It’s Monday, and once again it’s time to free the tabs. I’m in the middle of working on a new blogging system with Bitter, so we can more easily share interesting stories, so she can share more of the editorial burden. There’s always a handful of stories I keep in the tabs that might illustrate some concept, or that merit more than just a link, and many that are just link worthy, because I don’t have much else to add. So on with not adding much:
Can we design around the SAFE act? Of course we can, but the result is the world’s ugliest rifle. Unfortunately for the antis, they are just as capable as what they banned. Dave Hardy also looks at the development of the pistol grip. Uncle: “They’re complying with the stupid law to show how stupid it is.”
While thousands of New Yorkers rallied outside against gun control, dozens of anti-gunners were inside calling for yet even more gun control in New York. But there’s no slippery slope or anything. That’s paranoid right-wing delusion.
Looks like someone let an NRA candidate questionnaire leak in Oregon.
If you can believe it, the California Democrats say the solution to Leland Yee running guns is to pass more bans. It’s hard to believe they can be this literally stupid. But if course that has to be the answer, because if people like Yee can still get illegal firearms, that calls into question the whole regime doesn’t it? Instapundit has more.
New study on concealed carry shows it deters murder. Meanwhile, in Chicago, crime continues to plummet, and we’ve had the first concealed carry holder defend himself. As Professor Reynolds is fond of saying: the science is settled!
The Tavor is selling well. It’s on my want list and I don’t really dig bullpups all that much.
“The only brave thing you did was leaving the house with that sweater.”
Scott Brown has a gun problem. Yeah, abandoning us sure helped him win re-election in Massachusetts, didn’t it? Sure as hell isn’t helping him now.
Lots of civil disobedience going on in New York too.
Civil Rights Victory in Kansas! This should probably dispel the myth that NRA doesn’t support open carry.
Mexicans exercising their fundamental human rights to self-defense and the tools to affect it.
Shannon Watts stigmatizes veterans with PTSD.
Proliferation of automatic weapons in Australia. Most of them home made. But they told me the idea that under very strict gun control, people would only make their own illegal guns, was right wing lunacy?
To be clear to fools and useful idiots like Bill Maher, it’s freedom I’m in love with, not the guns. If you believe in keeping something from me because it’s dangerous, you don’t really believe in freedom. You believe, in fact, that I’m an infant.
John Lott: Bloomberg’s fabricated numbers.
Josh Prince: “Does a PA Bar Applicant Have to Disclose that He/She Filed For or Obtained a License to Carry Firearms?”
As I noted last week, you can tell we’re getting back on track with moving forward because there’s more hysterical articles appearing in the media talking about blood in the streets if we get our way.
Attorney Jonathan Goldstein and Shira Goodman, Director of CeaseFire PA, go head-to-head in a Lancaster City forum.
The Overprotected Kid. This is rather long, but worth reading. The play they are establishing in Wales is much like the play I grew up with, only way cooler. Much better than play dates and soccer practice.
Apple and Google’s wage-fixing scheme. I’m a long way off from suggesting tech workers need a union, but it would be nice to compete on a level playing field.
The rise and fall of professional bowling. Both my grandmother and mother were avid bowlers, and I used to watch professional bowling with my grandmother on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. I used to be an avid bowler myself, but a combination of time and a lack of places to bowl cheaply put a damper on it.
Skynet inching closer to reality.
Apr 7, 2014
I meant to get this out last week, but things were entirely too busy, so I’ll have to get it out now, with less analysis than I’d like, so people have a chance to make it in before the midnight deadline. ATF is proposing to alter the definition of what counts for the purposes of being adjudicated “mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution.” This has special concern for Pennsylvania gun owners, given ATF has begun counting 302 commitments for the purposes of such adjudication. The 302 commitment has absolutely no due process requirements at all. All it takes is basically a cop and the attending physician at the loony bin and you’ve got yourself a 302 prohibition both at the state and federal level.
I’d encourage folks to read Attorney Josh Prince’s submission regarding ATF 51P:
While the comment period closes on Monday, April 7, 2014, at midnight, we are requesting that our readers review our Comment, which can be downloadedhere, and submit Comments in support, especially in relation to 1) excluding those individuals, who where committed under the age of 18 from the purview of Section 922(g)(4); 2). excluding those individuals, who, post-commitment, served the state or federal government in a capacity where they were provided a firearm; 3). excluding those individuals, who, post-commitment, obtained Federal Explosives Relief; and 4). excluding any commitment that lack all of the due process guarantees. You can find our arguments relating to these issues and others in Section V (pg 34) of our Comment.
I’d also remind folks that this isn’t about whether or not mental health prohibitions should apply at all, that’s an argument that has to be made to Congress and not ATF, but we want ATF to interpret Section 922(g)(4) in a manner that’s respectful of due process and doesn’t strip the rights of Americans who present no danger to themselves or others.
Apr 7, 2014
This one was a few weeks ago at my alma mater, featuring John Culhane, Professor of Law and Director of the Health and Law Institute at Widener University School of Law. I had worried about Drexel starting a law school and buying a medical school. Such things inevitably brings politics on campus. When I went back in the early-to-mid 90s, it was mostly an engineering school. Most of us didn’t have the time to join the PC brigade, or engage in other perpetual outrages. That was for Penn students.
I thought I had remembered Professor Culhane from somewhere, and I managed to dig up exactly where I heard of him. He’s been peddling the idea that we can just tax those evil gun manufactures and make them pay:
But there is a simple and direct way to make them accountable for the harm their products cause. For every gun sold, those who manufacture or import it should pay a tax. The money should then be used to create a compensation fund for innocent victims of gun violence.
I’d say he gets an A for creativity, but this isn’t a new idea. It’s also likely unconstitutional. The courts have generally looked down upon taxing schemes designed to create a burden on the exercise of a right. (See Volokh, Implementing the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, pg.1542-1544). It was unfortunate I was not able to attend, because it would have been fun to throw some abortion rights cases at him, which used substantial burden analysis, and argue that his proposal is akin to what right-to-life groups have tried to impose on abortion, in terms of raising its costs.
Apr 3, 2014
That’s the question Jeff Soyer asks, in regards to NYSRPA bailing out of the repeated protests at the State Capitol. I’ve been thinking about how to approach this topic, because I don’t really have any fundamental beef where NYSRPA thinks their focus ought to be, and I tend to agree with the notion that protests are among the less effective methods of activism out there unless it’s used very judiciously. It certainly has its place, but endless protesting and rallying just squanders grassroots energy and conditions both lawmakers and the public to ignore it. At some point, we have to be heard at the polls.
Let me quote from Tom’s comments:
There have been many studies and surveys done regarding the population demographics of the people of this country and state our research tells us New York State is divided in this manner (Numbers rounded): Rabidly Anti-Gun 22% Somewhere in between 46% Avidly Pro Gun 32%
Fellow gun owners I submit this to you for your consideration. We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. These are the soccer moms, the guys who say I’ve never shot a gun but would like to try it and the people worried about their safety. How do we do that? Not by standing on stage screaming obscenities at Cuomo and certainly at large rallies where people stand on stage, pound their chest and tell the attendees to prepare for war. That frightens the very people we want to attract to our side, the people who will insure 2nd Amendment Rights for our grandchildren.
I’ve said before that what we need to buy acquiescence from that 46% more than anything, but that’s conditioned on there being a generally favorable environment for our issue. There can present circumstances where acquiescence is not enough. Where the political elites and politicians are actively hostile, you can buy all the acquiescence in the world and it won’t amount to a hill of beans. If the great middle are not willing vote gun rights, it doesn’t matter if you convince them that the SAFE act was unconstitutional, unfair, and useless. If they then go ahead and vote for Cuomo again, you haven’t gained anything. You have to not only win that 46% over, but win them over enough to convince them to vote against the people who did this to you.
Or, you can depend on the Courts to save you. While I wish the Federal Court case against the SAFE Act all the luck in the world, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has demonstrated nothing but unusual hostility towards the right to keep and bear arms. Beyond the Second Circuit, I’m not convinced the Supreme Court is in a position to help us out any further on gun rights. I’ve love to be wrong, but I’m not optimistic.
I believe bringing the rogue states back to America will necessarily involve federal preemption, but I can’t promise that will work. Even if it does work, it involves a years long wait for the Obama Administration to end, and then some time to push a hopefully Republican President and Congress to act. You could easily be looking at “Second Amendment Restoration Act of 2018″ or maybe even 2022, to be more realistic. And that’s making a lot of optimistic assumptions.
In the mean time, I can understand why Tom might believe his organization is better off playing good cop to other groups’ bad cop, and he’s probably right about that, given areas they have chosen to lobby and litigate. But until the calvary actually appears from over the hill, New York gun owners are surrounded. Their backs are against the wall, and many of them have been rendered felons for refusing to take part in Cuomo’s utopian daydreams. While in ordinary times, I’d quickly agree that overheated rhetoric helps nothing, but what of difficult times? During difficult times I think it’s necessary, as Thomas Jefferson said, to remind officials that the people still possess “the spirit of resistance to government.” We are a people who threw off our previous form of government because its previous officials conspired to disarm us. Today’s officials would do well to remember that, so I’m not going to suggest anyone is in the wrong for reminding them.