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Positive Signs

NBC News is reporting “Millennials Are Less Likely to Support Gun Control Than You’d Think.” There’s a component of that generation that borrowed radicalism from their late boomer parents. But for the most part Millennials are more open to letting people do their thing if they aren’t bothering anyone. They are tolerant to a fault, if anything. There isn’t a whole lot of busy-body in that generation. So there is hope. But like I’ve said many times, if we can’t get them voting on gun rights, it won’t matter.

From the Columbus Dispatch, “More African-Americans favoring owning guns, but racial inequity alleged on exercise of rights.

Smith’s forum reflects what researchers see as growing interest among African-Americans in gun ownership. But becoming a black licensed gun owner is not a risk-free prospect, a fact brought to light this month by the police shooting of Philando Castile, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon when he was shot in his car July 6, and by the presence at a Dallas rally the next day of perhaps 30 marchers openly carrying rifles.

Dallas police mistakenly labeled a black licensed gun owner as a “person of interest” after a black gunman who was not part of the rally opened fire, killing five police officers.

Read the whole thing. I’d expect that person would have been a “person of interest” no matter what color the protesters were. That isn’t intended to undermine the issue, because I think it’s real. It’s important that the RKBA movement keep spreading the history. If we can crack into the black community, women, and hispanics, the gun control movement has no viable future, even if Bloomberg keeps spending big.

Jerry Brown Signs Serialization Bill

Jerry Brown signed the bill that requires serial numbers on all firearms. The basic law says that anyone who manufactures, sells or transfers a firearm must have a serial number engraved on it that has been assigned by the California DOJ. Based on my reading of the bill, it exempts antiques, curios and relics, and any long gun manufactured before the Gun Control Act. So it will at least, as far as I can tell, not compel people to take collectable firearms and destroy their value by defacing them.

We Have to Reverse This

College rifle and pistol teams are coming under fire in the current fascist PC conformity that’s the current vogue in academia. What colleges and universities are doing is banning the groups from taking funding from NSSF and NRA to support their programs. The kids today are open to the shooting sports, because they don’t come with a whole lot of preconceived prejudices towards things. If we can get them hooked on shooting, it’ll be something they care about, and that will translate into something they vote on.

Quote of the Day

Charles C.W. Cooke commenting on the Massachusetts AG assault weapons ban reinterpretation:

In order to avoid the confusion and the caprice that this sort of behavior inevitably yields, I propose a better means of regulating the behavior of the citizenry henceforth: We could call it “the law,” and we could demand that it be written by “legislators” and subject to the strictures of a “constitution.” Crazy, I know.

The whole thing is a hot dumpster fire, but the Massachusetts Court system has been so biased against any idea of a Second Amendment right that the Supreme Court overturned them unanimously on stun guns. I know we’ve gotten this kind of arbitrariness and capriciousness thrown out in other states when they’ve tried it, but I don’t have a lot of faith in the Massachusetts Court system, or the federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.

New Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban

Via the Boston Globe. This was done entirely by executive fiat of the Attorney General. You can bet Bloomberg’s fingerprints are all over this:

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

It won’t apply to firearms purchased before the new rule, but from hereon out, this is the new rule. Things are just going to continue to get worse in blue-model states that Dems control. The only way we’re going to save them is federal preemption, either by the courts or Congress, and if Hillary wins, you can forget the Courts. If you live in those states, I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. And the worst part? Oregon, Colorado, Washington, all states that for now are blue but still good, are probably most in jeopardy. Pennsylvania is currently controlled by the GOP in both houses, but that won’t last forever.

Gun owners need to wake up, or things are going to get very, very bad in blue and purple states. If you’re in those states and still voting for Dems, you either a fool, or at the end of the day don’t really value your gun rights.

Give Me That Old Time Law and Order

The Cleveland Police Union asks that open carry be banned for the Republican National Convention. I can certainly understand why they would prefer this. I can certainly understand why they might just want to ban protests too. But the fact of the matter is that it’s just not constitutional under the laws of Ohio for the governor to do this. Fortunately, Kasich seems to know his limits.

Recall it was an armed march by the Black Panthers during Ronald’s Reagan’s stint as Governor of California that prompted the legislature to pass, and Governor Reagan to sign, the first ban on open carry in the Golden State.

Sometimes respecting constitutional rights makes the job of the police difficult. That said, if you’re planning to OC at the RNC, I’d keep it slung/holstered if I were you.

Quantifying the Social Costs of Guns

Professor Tim Smith has calculated “The Social Costs of Guns.”  Apparently if you use “market approaches” to artificially drive up the cost of gun ownership, it’s not really gun control, even though his proposal would cost me thousands of dollars each year. He does a calculation on the social cost of gun ownership. To Prof. Smith’s credit, he admits that the social costs of rifles are actually very low, because they are so rarely used in crime. But at the end he proposes an annual registration fee of $140 per firearm, to cover the social cost they impose.

A lot of people would give up on gun ownership under this scheme, so it’s a political non-starter. It would gut our political power to resist further encroachments, and the registration scheme it would involve would result in massive non-compliance by gun owners. So this is not something that would ever become reality even if it could be passed.

Some Good News

There’s a fair amount of GOP Congressmen that are defecting from the NRA-backed Coburn style terror watch list proposal, meaning Ryan doesn’t have the votes to pass it. This revolt is being lead by the House Freedom Caucus.

“If the bill becomes law, it will mark a massive expansion of the government’s ability to restrict gun rights on the basis of precrime—a crime not yet committed,” Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash (R-Mich.) posted in a lengthy diatribe on his Facebook page. This bill “is the actualization of dystopian fiction.”

Added Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), another Freedom Caucus member: “If it is a suspected terrorist and we have evidence to that extent, then Logic 101 [suggests] that person should either be in jail or out of the country.”

And in those two lines, you basically have the “law and order” versus “civil libertarian” division in the GOP. I completely agree that even delaying a sale 72 hours is denying someone due process unconstitutionally. It would seem to me many of the anti-gun Dems want to hold out for a harsher bill, which few Republicans will support. Combine that with the Freedom Caucus opposition to the bill and I don’t see how this passes. Let us hope.

Terror Watch List is a Horrible Issue for Us

I’m not entirely certain what kind of games the Republicans are playing here, but it’s looking like there’s going to be a vote on a House equivalent of the Cornyn bill, which would put a hold on people who are on the watch list for up to 72 hours (the current period allowed by the Brady Act). There’s virtually no chance this is going to end up passing since the Dems are pretty much universal in rejecting this proposal, so it’s dead in the Senate even if the House passes it. I think both sides are playing games trying to make a campaign issue.

As I’ve said before, the problem we have is that this does not fall along traditional party lines. The Republican Party has a healthy co-hort of “law and order” types who fall along the authoritarian side of the political spectrum. This part of the GOP coalition has never had much respect for civil liberties.

I don’t believe the NRA should be supporting this type of bill, since it looks to me like there can’t be any agreement, which means nothing passes. Why not let the Cornyn plan die in that case? What are we going to get in return for having a vote on this? What is the strategy here? Is it just disaster mitigation? Can we not hold the GOP together on this, or is there a real risk of losing GOP votes to a worse bill that might pick up Dem support?

The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period. Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing.

I get that it’s bad optics to support “guns for terrorists,” and that half of the country, more than half of the GOP, and probably an uncomfortable portion of the NRA membership care not a whit about the due process rights and civil liberties of people on the terror watch list. The ACLU opposes using these secret watch lists removing rights from people, as they should, but that’s because your typical ACLU type might be a raging liberal, but they aren’t authoritarians. There’s plenty of authoritarianism on both sides of the aisle, and that’s why I worry about this issue. It’s great for channeling the worst civil liberties instincts of both parties. The Republicans don’t care about civil liberties if it stops terrorists (or at least offers good theater for the public that it does) and Democrats don’t view there are any civil liberties issues when it comes to firearms. In their view it’s not a right: you may only possess arms as a privilege granted by the state.

Brown Vetoes 4 “Gunpocalypse” Bills, Signs 6

California FlagThe bills Brown signed were the worst of the bills. From the Firearms Policy Coalition:

The bills Brown signed, which will become law on January 1, 2017, are:

  • SB 880 (Hall) and AB 1135 (Levine): Bans common and constitutionally protected firearms that have magazine locking devices.
  • SB 1235 (de Leon): Now competes with Gavin Newsom’s Safety for All Act/Ammo Ban.
  • SB 1446 (Hancock): Confiscation of lawfully acquired, standard capacity ammunition feeding devices.
  • AB 1511 (Santiago): Bans the loaning of firearms.
  • AB 1695 (Bonta): Makes some non-violent misdemeanors punishable by prohibitions on owning firearms.

The bills Brown vetoed are:

  • AB 1673 (Gipson): Redefines “firearms” to include items that are not firearms.
  • AB 1674 (Santiago): Bans buying more than one firearm within a 30-day period.
  • AB 2607 (Ting): Dramatically expands who can request a Gun Violence Restraining order.
  • SB 894 (Jackson): Re-victimizes victims by criminalizing the failure to report lost and stolen firearms.

The only thing that’s going to save California is federal preemption.

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