Currently Browsing: Politics
Mar 7, 2017
There’s not much gun news, so I’ll give you a topic. One thing that doesn’t make sense to me about the Russian Agent theory of Trump is that the greatest geopolitical threat to Russia faces is cheap oil and gas. Oil and gas revenues represent 60% Russian exports, and 30% of its entire Gross Domestic Product. About 50% of the budget for the Russian government comes from state-owned oil and gas revenues. American Frackers are arguably a greater threat to Putin than the US military.
So if Putin were going to put a Manchurian Candidate in the White House, why would his man be generally supportive of American energy? Russia has put a lot of effort into anti-fracking propaganda in the United States. It would seem to me a top priority of a Russian stooge in the White House would be to halt pipeline construction and to use the EPA as a weapon to make hydraulic fracturing as expensive and unprofitable as possible.
Feb 27, 2017
Really, for most Dem politicians, gun control is preening virtue signaling meant to make sure the right people know they support right kind of people values. For Dems in safe urban districts, this doesn’t come at much of a cost. But what the Democratic Party faces today is that it’s been reduced to those safe urban districts. In order to come back, it’s going to have to appeal to people in the suburbs and exurbs. This is how the Dems came back strong in 2006.
Salena Zito argues that women with guns are the next threat to the Democratic Party.
A very important nugget from the poll: Like every woman interviewed at the outdoor show, an overwhelming 80 percent of them support the goals and objectives of the NRA.
So they represent a large chunk of white, suburban, conservative, pro-Second Amendment women who didn’t particularly like Trump but couldn’t vote for Clinton. They kept their opinions to themselves at dinner parties and pulled the lever for Trump in the voting booth.
Croney said that definitely described her.
Remember the Hillary Clinton that ran ads against Barack Obama in Pennsylvania for being too anti-gun? Yeah, if that Hillary Clinton had run for President, maybe she’d be in the White House.
I keep telling Dem friends, “Look, Hillary was a uniquely awful candidate. How bad is Hillary Clinton? She lost to Donald Trump.” It’s often a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. Hillary did literally nothing to have broad appeal. Her girl power campaign was alienating to men. That’s bad news when you need Black and Hispanic men to turn out for you in numbers that rival Barack Obama’s if you’re going to win.
Making gun control the centerpiece of her campaign only scared off voters who might have been open to her in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. That virtue signaling works for Dems in safe districts. It’s bad news in a nationwide race. Barack Obama ran both times downplaying his support for gun control. It was only after he didn’t have to face voters any longer that we saw his true colors on the issue.
Feb 26, 2017
I have to hand it to whoever thought this up. Seriously, this was brilliant. In this, the Era of Trump, this is the smartest bit of opposition activism I think I’ve seen so far. My hat is truly off to you.
For the people who fell for this: shame on you. Educate yourselves. They weren’t passing these flags off to ordinary people on the streets: they were passing them off to what are considered “core conservative activists.” And hey, you waved them with all the red white and blue passion we’d expect from people who only give a fuck about cheering their own team and not a damned thing beyond that.
The stakes are going up folks. If conservatives wants to be taken seriously, it’s time to start acting like that’s the case. Educate yourselves. If you took half the time and resources you spent cheerleading and tried to actually learn something, you might get somewhere.
Feb 24, 2017
Ted Cruz is predicting there will be a Supreme Court vacancy this summer. A lot of people are getting very optimistic about Second Amendment cases because we get to replace Scalia with Gorsuch. Even if Gorsuch turns out to be as solid on the Second Amendment as Scalia, that doesn’t get us anywhere. Recall that before Scalia stepped down, the Supreme Court still wasn’t taking gun cases, even when the lower courts were just as if not more blatant than the 4th Circuit Court of appeals was. We need to replace Ginsburg or Breyer if we’re going to get anywhere.
Interestingly, however, not too soon after Cruz made his prediction, Ginsburg told the BBC she’s not so sure how much steam she’s got left:
Asked how much longer she would stay in post, she said: “At my age you have to take it year by year. I know I’m OK. What will be next year?”
She added: “I’m hopeful however, because my most senior colleague the one who most recently retired, Justice John Paul Stevens, stepped down at age 90. So I have a way to go.”
I wouldn’t read too much into that, but that doesn’t sound like someone who’s intent on staying on the High Court until the bitter end.
Feb 22, 2017
For those of you who remember, Daniel Crowninshield set up a scheme whereby a person would purchase an 80% lower, then would pay him to use his CNC mills to finish it. The government argued that this amounting to manufacturing without a license. A novel theory, to be sure, but because they picked the right guy they never had to test out this novel theory in court.
Now, if you help people machine AR-15 lower receivers for profit, you can probably expect to spend some time in prison. Just a bit of general advice for people who might be tempted to try to walk the razors edge on violating or not violating the Gun Control Act: it probably will not look very good to a jury if you go by the alias “Dr. Death.” I mean, it’s a free country and all, but just sayin’. I’d also not advise not walking the razor on GCA while being a domestic violent misdemeanant, allegedly in possession of an unregistered machine gun. I’m sure that probably played into the decision to take the plea deal. Now the feds get to claim a scalp without having to test their novel theory of manufacturing without a license in court.
UPDATE: Along the same vein, attending open carry protests and making sure everyone knows who you are, and knows that you’er armed, when you have two felony raps is also not going to make things easy on your lawyer.
Feb 20, 2017
Tomorrow at Central Penn College in Summerdale, PA there will be a forum featuring David Keene, former NRA President, and Shira Goodman, Executive Director of CeaseFire PA. It runs from 7-8PM.
Keene has generally been a great spokesman for the issue. If anyone in the area wishes to attend, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s a bit of a hike for me.
Feb 16, 2017
The en banc Superior Court, in Commonwealth v. Goslin, has ruled in favor of the defendant without dissent:
We disagree with the trial court’s conclusion that the language of Section 912(c) is vague.
Rather, we conclude that, in order to ascertain the meaning of Section 912(c), we need not look beyond its plain language. The plain meaning of Section 912(c) provides two separate defenses: possessing and using a weapon on school property “in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity” as well as possessing “for other lawful purpose.” (emphasis added, as Chief Counsel Prince specifically argued this exact construction and noted the different verbs utilized related to the different provisions)
The Court concludes:
Although we are concerned about individuals possessing weapons on school property, we are bound by the broad defense that the legislature has provided defendants in such cases.
Josh Prince is raising money for legal defenses, as the case is headed back to lower court for a re-trial. I wouldn’t exactly go carrying firearms on school grounds because of this ruling, but it seems pretty clear the legislature intended to supply a broad defense for people engaged in legal activity. We now have the second-highest court in the Commonwealth recognizing that.
UPDATE: More discussion here. It looks like the DA is dropping the charges rather than going through with a re-trial. Josh Prince also points out that this only creates an affirmative defense. The DA can still charge you.
Feb 13, 2017
Gun news is pretty thin, so forgive an off topic post. I might have a news roundup this week, hopefully! These days I’m more worried that the country is literally coming apart in front of my eyes.
Maybe I have it bad because this area is kind of the front lines between Red and Blue America. We’re where Blue America starts to stop, with Red America starting out in the Western Exurbs. This week I have started to manicure my Facebook News Feed to cut out people who post non-stop political bullshit. It’s not just Facebook either. Bitter quit a neighborhood group because it descended into political bickering. It’s infected a lot of other civic institutions we’re involved with lately as well. It makes you wonder if this is what it was like to live in 1850.
But the coming apart back then was at least over a real issue; slavery. Today we’re coming apart because people are frothed up about the bad guys in the movie playing in our own heads. I really don’t want to live in an echo chamber. I’m actually disappointed I’ve never gotten more than a small handful of gun control advocates engaging in the comments, and I still have gun control blogs in my feed. I’m always open to an argument on the merits of an issue.
What I’m not into is thinking people I don’t agree with are Hitler, Nazis, Fascist, Socialists, or Communists unless those people really are those things. When we use those to describe people we don’t agree with, we cheapen those terms. If everyone is a Nazi then no one is a Nazi. If everyone is a racist, then no one is a racist. Hate, actual hate, becomes meaningless. This behavior is removing our rhetorical tools for confronting people who actually are all those things. I’m not into arguing over whether the movie playing in your head is any good or not, or commiserating with you over how nasty the bad guys are. I’m kind of appalled you think any of your Social Media friends give a crap.
I certainly have anti-Trump people in my social media circles who are offering thoughtful opposition to the Administration. These folks I don’t mind. Trump will need some thoughtful opposition over the course of his presidency. But I see precious little of that versus patent nonsense.
UPDATE: Also see: “About That ‘Punching Nazis’ Thing…“
Jan 31, 2017
It’s Neil Gorsuch. You can check out his profile on SCOTUSBlog here. As John Richardson noted earlier today, he’s not written any opinions on the Second Amendment, but he’s in the same mold as Scalia, except for not being very fond of Chevron Deference, which is fine by me. We don’t know exactly where he stands on the Second Amendment, but given his overall judicial philosophy, I’d find it doubtful he’d be against us. That will need to come out in the hearings.
Speaking of the hearings, I fully expect this to go nuclear, meaning the Republicans will have to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees the same as they were eliminated for lower court nominees by the Dems. I think they should do it, because they can be absolutely assured the Dems will do it if they control the Senate again in the future. They pretty much said they would. Don’t give GOP lawmakers room to be fools and unilaterally disarm.
It’s important to remember, Scalia was the strongest justice on the Court for the Second Amendment. Replacing him with someone just as solid is just not going backwards. I would have preferred someone with a record on the Second Amendment. We never had records on Roberts or Alito, but they both voted with us when it counted. Alito and Thomas are strong on this issue. Either Roberts or Kennedy, or both, are softer supporters. We need to get one more vote on there before we’ll be moving ahead.
UPDATE: NRA is endorsing the choice out of the gate. My guess is they have talked to him, and the speed of the release means they knew about it before it was announced.
Jan 31, 2017
The PA Game Commission has approved hunting with semi-automatic rifles:
For deer and bear, full-metal jacket rounds are not permitted and semi-automatics used for big game are limited to a five-round magazine capacity. The measure also carries a sunset provision that expires on June 30, 2020 to allow for a board review the measure.
Limited five rounds in the magazine or five round magazines? Though, I’m guessing a blocked 10 or 20 round mag would work if not.