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Future of the Gun Rights Movement Open Thread

I am swamped, and probably will be all week. So I don’t have as much time to post anything. One thing to talk about is the future of the Gun Rights Movement. Here’s some things that we have to look forward to:

  • We’ll almost certainly get National Reciprocity at some point. I think there’s probably a good chance we don’t get that until 2018, unless the NRA has found a few extra votes to get past 60 in the Senate.
  • If Trump lives up to his word on Supreme Court picks, nearly all of the people on the list he floated were acceptable from a Second Amendment point of view. My fear is that we’d need to replace one of the Heller dissenter with a solid pro-2A vote, because either Kennedy or Roberts is soft on the Second Amendment. To be honest, I don’t think it’s Kennedy, so I’m not certain Kennedy’s retirement would fix anything.
  • NRA did very very well with Barack Obama in the White House. Will they keep 5 million members? I know they’ll be claiming that number for a while, even if it drops back to 4 million. But will NRA have issues holding members?
  • I think we can get suppressors delisted from the National Firearms Act. Talk of repealing Hughes or delisting machine guns from NFA are fantasy land. The next step after suppressors would be SBRs and SBSs.
  • I’d like to see simple legislation that states may not restrict the sale or possession of any firearm, ammunition, magazines or other firearm accessory if possession of those items would generally be legal under federal law. That would end the era of state gun bans.

Levi Strauss Being Anti-Gun is Nothing New

Big news that hit yesterday is that Levi Strauss CEO doesn’t want firearms in their stores. I’ve gotten to the point, after Shannon Watts’ various shakedowns, I couldn’t care less what they say: if they don’t post against it doesn’t mean anything. But Levi Strauss has a history, and it’s a big reason I don’t buy their products, and haven’t for a number of years. I planned today to outline this in detail, but I noticed that Miguel beat me to it, so I don’t have to! That’s good. I’m working against two deadlines until Monday.

I buy my jeans from L.L. Bean. I love their flannel lined Double-L jeans for the winter. L.L. Bean’s owners are libertarians, so there isn’t an issue there. They are also located in Maine, and wouldn’t you rather help the economy of a state that told Bloomberg to go eff himself this past election, rather than help the economy of San Francisco?

More Culture Killing Gun Legislation in New Jersey

New Jersey is going to be so screwed when Christie leaves office, it’s not even funny. Dems are looking to impose onerous regulations on shooting ranges in New Jersey with the aim to prevent suicides. This is not about preventing suicides, it’s about destroying the gun culture in New Jersey.

Every gun owner would be required to present NJ firearms credentials to the owner or operator of a range before being allowed to use their own firearms on that range, every time they use the range. What if you’re from out of state?  Sorry.  What if the club doesn’t have staff to check credentials?  Too bad.

I won’t take a firearm into New Jersey, even legally. But I know people who compete over there. This will effectively end that if they don’t have a non-resident FID card (which is really a good idea to have if you’re going to be transporting firearms in New Jersey).

Shooting activity could only occur where staff exists to check credentials.  Unstaffed ranges would lose members (because members wouldn’t be allowed to shoot there), many clubs would be forced to close.

This would essentially close every club in New Jersey. It would make it impossible to bring new shooters into the sports, since they would essentially need to apply for and receive an FID card before they could even try it out. This would destroy the shooting culture in New Jersey, and that’s exactly what it’s intended to do. Suicide prevention is a ruse. Christie has shown a willingness to veto legislation like this, and will probably continue to do so as long as he’s in office, but it’s going to be hell to pay if Christie is replaced with an anti-gun Democrat.

But Will Stu Greenleaf Get the Message?

Change the states, and this could easily be Republican State Senator Greenleaf’s political epitaph if he doesn’t quit blocking our bills:

A powerful south Florida state senator who repeatedly sidelined popular gun rights legislation lost his seat Tuesday, opening the door for campus carry and open carry in the Sunshine State.

Florida State Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, chairs the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and in 2015 refused to hold hearings on a bill to allow legal concealed carry on public colleges and universities. Diaz de la Portilla was also a fly in the ointment when it came to derailing an emergency concealed carry bill the year before and in 2016 was key in killing bills on campus carry and open carry, refusing to even meet with advocates.

The Dem replacing him is also rated F, but taking one F and replacing them with a more junior F who doesn’t chair a key committee can be a win overall. Senator Greenleaf, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee, who is the reason enhanced preemption had to be stuck on another bill, should think about that. Like Florida, the Pennsylvania GOP Senate majority could absorb the loss of one seat, and I’d be happy to donate to or volunteer, even for the most Kumbaya singin’, tree huggingist hippie, if they looked like they had a credible chance of getting him out of our way.

The Biggest Winner of 2016?

Even Bloomberg’s “The Trace” admits NRA was the big winner of the 2016 elections. Of their seven big ticket races, only Joe Heck of Nevada was a loss. Nevada is probably a solid blue state now. All groups use safe incumbents to bolster their win percentages, but we won most of the important races. The way I see it, here’s what we can hopefully accomplish, in order of importance.

  1. A good, strong solid replacement for Scalia.
  2. Another good, strong solid Justice replacing either Breyer or Ginsburg.
  3. If Kennedy chooses to retire, and he probably should, someone more solid to replace him.
  4. Civil rights legislation that rolls back state infringements on the RKBA.
  5. National reciprocity.
  6. Hearing Protection Act (delist suppressors from NFA).

The very first item of importance is the Supreme Court, because through the Supreme Court, we can preserve this right for generations. We can reverse our fortunes in states like New York, New Jersey and California. Behind that is Congressional legislation to restore Second Amendment rights using Congress’ Section 5 powers under the 14th Amendment. Even with a more “conservative” court, there are going to be some things that are better for Congress to do, like National Reciprocity, or establishing a sort of national preemption.

A lot of people will balk that I put delisting suppressors at the bottom of my list. That helps make things better for those of us in friendly states. Too many Americans, about a third,  are living in states where Second Amendment rights are routinely infringed upon. We have to fix that. We can’t allow people like Bloomberg to continue bifurcating this country into places where the Second Amendment is respected and valued and places it’s absolutely pissed upon. That’s not how our rights are supposed to work. Your right to free speech is the same in New York City as it is in Peoria. Your Second Amendment rights should be the same.

You should not fear your job moving to California, New York, and New Jersey and have to choose between your family and livelihood, and your Second Amendment rights. You should not be forced to leave your home to retain your rights because the powers that be in your state disapprove of it. The Bill of Rights guarantees birthrights for all Americans, hell for all humans. Restoring that idea for all of the Bill of Rights, not just rights favored by elites, should be our top priority.

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

I figured the competing endorsements, of Toomey by the Bloomberg Camp and McGinty by the CeaseFire Camp (as if they were separate: Bloomberg funds CeaseFire) was to create a situation such that no matter what the outcome, victory against the evil gun lobby could be declared. This article in the Dallas News backs that up, because it looks to me like prepping the ground space for this narrative. See, Toomey loses to McGinty, it’ll mean the people want gun control. And if Toomey gets re-elected, it’ll mean the people want gun control. You can see how Bloomberg can use this effectively.

McGinty is attacking Toomey for not being gun control enough, which was entirely predictable. She argues his background check effort was largely window dressing, which is absolutely true. Toomey was trying to have his cake and eat it too, apparently believing Bloomberg’s bullshit polling on the issue and thinking his money would help him. If Toomey loses, it’ll be because most of us “stayed home.” It won’t be because he wasn’t gun control enough.

There is a strong undercurrent within the GOP in Pennsylvania that this is a safe issue to equivocate on, which was probably true decades ago when the GOP maintained their political machines in the ring counties. Growing up in Delco, hard to believe today, but a lot of Dems registered as Republicans because that was the only way you could have an actual vote. Plus, if you wanted county jobs, you had better belong to the right party, and that wasn’t the Dems. If there are any older Delco readers, you probably remember the “War Board.” A lot of GOP elders have not really fully grasped the consequences of the collapse of that system. The GOP leaders have clearly not been opening the cross tabs on a lot of these polls and seeing how wide the gap is by party affiliation. Those cross tabs show that Democrats overwhelmingly support gun control, and Republicans overwhelmingly support gun rights. Independents? They lean a bit more Republican on the issue than Democrat. This should be especially noted in a state, like Pennsylvania, where if Republicans win state-wide office, it’s going to be by a hair’s breath. Toomey needs every vote he can get, and there are a lot of us that feel he stabbed us in the back.

And it’s not necessarily just because he went against us on this one issue of background checks: his record of disagreement on that issue was pretty clear going in. It was the manner in which he went about it where the real insult came. Toomey could have signed onto Tom Coburn’s Amendment. He could have actually read the FOPA provisions in his bill that would have effectively gutted its protections. He could have acknowledged his mistakes. But instead of that, to add insult to injury, he took Bloomberg’s money, endorsement, and allows ads to run that try to out-gun-control McGinty? Yeah, screw that, Pat.

Toomey is also wrong about background checks: they always poll great when people are asked about them abstractly. When people start having to think about the actual policy implications of what the gun control groups actually want, then maybe they don’t poll so well. We saw this in Washington also, that the policy specific doesn’t vote tally nearly as well as it polls, even when put to the people in a deep blue state. That Nevada’s initiative is polling at 54% gives me a little hope we can reduce Bloomberg’s margin a good bit this go-round, or perhaps even defeat him outright. Gun control has historically over-polled on ballot initiatives.

As for Toomey, I couldn’t care less about his fate. Defeat would at least show the GOP that there is no room to equivocate on this issue, and that touching Bloomberg or his money in exchange for equating on gun rights is a fatal move.

The “Yes” Vote Heard Round the World?

LA Times: “If California voters approve stronger gun control, the message sent at the ballot box will be heard across the U.S.” That’s the whole idea. They are trying to send a message to politicians that the people want more gun control, and they are being successful at doing so. It won’t matter that the only reason they are being successful is because Bloomberg is willing to spend big money. You can lament the ballot all you want, and I certainly don’t believe in lawmaking by referendum, but Bloomberg picked a strategy where money is king, and he’s executing on it very well. He is exactly what I long feared: someone with the both the money and strategic thinking to understand where and how to fight.

The reality is this: the one thing that correlates strongly to whether or not you reflexively do or don’t support gun control (and for most people, who don’t spend 10 minutes thinking about political issues, it’s reflexive) is whether you own a gun. California Democrats have been using red tape to frustrate people out of owning firearms for the past 30 years, and they’ve largely succeeded. Those who were most passionate have, by now, left the Golden State for more permissive states. With each encroachment, it becomes harder and harder to stay and fight.

They are trying to repeat this in more and more states. They’ve likely succeeded in tipping Colorado. They are tipping Washington State. They’ve started tipping Oregon. They are now trying to tip Maine and Nevada this election. Who will be next? When will our people abandon the cartoon reality pushed by conservative media and actually get serious? I suppose we shall see.

Amratix to Release Second Smart Gun?

According to ComputerWorld, the company is planning to introduce the iP9, a 9mm pistol. This company couldn’t even make a reliable .22 pistol.

The iP9 is expected to retail for about the same suggested retail price as the iP1 — $1,365, which is more than twice the price of many conventional 9mm semi-automatic pistols. While smart gun technology will always bring with it a price premium, Tweraser said that’s to be expected, and he compared it to a Tesla electric car.

You could get a decent defensive pistol and a quality quick-open safe with that kind of money, and that would be a far better option. As long as politicians are interested in smart-gun mandates, there’s no way they are going to get any retailers to sell this thing, because we’ll ruin any retailer that cooperates with Armatix and thus cooperates with the politicians looking to pick smart guns as the winner out of the gate.

I have no issue with smart gun technology per se, if it were allowed to succeed or fail in the open marketplace, but politicians who hate guns are never going to allow that to happen. If this ends up on the market, it will be mandated, as is already the case in New Jersey. So screw Armatix: if they think you’re getting back into the US market without a fight, they’re dreaming.

Enhanced Preemption Passes Senate

Passed by a 30-19 vote. Unfortunately, that’s not a veto-proof majority. It takes 33 votes to override a veto, and it’s hard to see which votes there could be switched. NRA is asking folks to reach out to their State Reps to try to get this passed in the House. It’s worth at least sending to Wolf and making him take a position on it, which unlike Republicans in Congress, PA GOP lawmakers have shown a willingness to do.

Sandy Hook Lawsuit Dismissed

This is old news by now, but I wanted to report on it anyway because it’s big news: the lawsuit against Remington has been dismissed under the PLCAA. I was perhaps too quick to pass judgement on Judge Barbara Bellis when this story originally came to light. I corrected later that day after reading the opinion more thoroughly. Now it appears that Judge Bellis has done the right thing under the law:

 

 

Although PLCAA provides a narrow exception under which plaintiffs may maintain an action for negligent entrustment of a firearm, the allegations in the present case do not fit within the common-law tort of negligent entrustment under well-established Connecticut law. A plaintiff under CUTPA must allege some kind of consumer, competitor or other commercial relationship with a defendant, and the plaintiffs here have alleged no such relationship.

Remember that their theory was that selling AR-15s to civilians at all constituted negligent entrustment. If this novel theory of that concept had been allowed to proceed, it would have rendered the PLCAA effectively meaningless. It’s a good thing for us the Judge in this case wasn’t buying it.

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