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Gun Control is for “Wealthy, White Individuals”

Wow. Just wow. One of the former city officials who backed the Bloomberg/CeasefirePA effort to enact local gun control laws said that his city needs to fight on behalf of gun control because he wants to keep the city safe for “white, wealthy individuals.”

Michael Donovan, a former member of city council who supported the lost and stolen gun law, said Allentown should be joining other prominent Pennsylvania cities in their fight against the state law.

“Allentown is the third largest city in the state,” he said. “It is claiming a renaissance for wealthy, white individuals who wish to be safe. I believe the mayor has a responsibility to join the fight against this law.”

No, I’m not kidding. The gun control ally really did say that out loud to a reporter. But, it got buried at the bottom of the story. Do you think if he was a Republican that this would be at the very bottom of the story?

The standard is so good, we should double it

An article in Slate is just fine with saddling gun owners with hefty legal fees to get a charge based on an unlawful ordinance thrown out, but not with making the towns pay legal fees to defend them. And the article even links to an analysis (and judgement) that the harassment laws are “unenforceable.” But the laws are still on the books, because there’s no real cost to the municipalities. To be fair to the author (though not to the headline writers) the article references a couple of real incidents where law-abiding gun owners were harmed. On the other hand, it takes uncritically and without support statements by the anti-gun side that the laws are effective, unused, and harmless.

These kinds of municipal ordinances designed to harass gun owners are primarily signalling mechanisms, intended to show that the municipality doesn’t want “those kind” of people here, and were expected to be risk-free; because they would only be used against those not able to defend themselves either in the courtroom of law or public opinion. Funny how laws violating civil rights work out that way. But now that the state is making them put up or shut up, most are folding.

It’s a bit of a shame that the enabling language had to be tacked onto a different bill, giving the deep-pocket municipalities a chance to strike down on the “germaneness” grounds. Sebastian probably has a better idea of how that’s going to fly in PA courts than I do.

Incidentally, the article claims the NRA refused requests for an interview. Good for them, there’s not a chance in the world that an interview with a Slate reporter with an axe to grind would have helped. And as usual, the comments section is rather more pro-gun than not, which is another indication of how little grass-root the other side has left.

Why Do Teachers Need Special Self-Defense Standards?

Our community is often upset, rightly so in my opinion, when police are given special powers that ordinary citizens lack. For the most part, the justification standards for use of force and deadly force is the same for an ordinary citizen as it is for the police officer. Police officers, of course, sometimes have different powers to apprehend, and also have qualified immunity (which is why a citizens arrest is never a smart idea). I think it’s an important tenet of our Republic that all citizens are equal before the law, regardless of whether they are agents of the state or not. I know we don’t often live up to that, but I think that is an ideal to strive for.

So that leads me to question why other people, people who are often agents of the state, need special powers to protect themselves? I could see a bill that prevented a teacher who exercises their right to lawful self-defense from being fired. That’s really just employment law. But it appears the bill says:

… an educator is justified in using force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event in defense of the educator’s person or in defense of students of the school that employs the educator if, under the circumstances as the educator reasonably believes them to be, the educator would be justified…in using force or deadly force, as applicable, in defense of the educator or students.

I’m not really certain what this even accomplishes, but I admit to being ignorant of any detailed knowledge of Texas self-defense law. The rest of the article leads me to believe that the sponsor of this legislation, Rep. Dan Flynn, is Texas’ very own version of our Daryl Metcalfe. Thinking of it that way puts this in an understandable context.

This is well past the last straw for me

It’s been a while since I’ve considered Governor Christie as a potential for my vote in either the primaries or the general election next year, but this would have pushed me off the fence if I was still on it. Vaccine choice is where he decides that the government doesn’t know best?

If you don’t want to vaccinate your kids, that’s fine, but then you can keep them out of contact with other people’s kids; who might not have a choice. As an image macro I saw going around the book of Face the other day put it, “I can’t bring peanuts into school, but you can bring measles?”

Hashtag Activism to the Rescue!

Remy’s got a new video on hashtag activism – the most powerful tool the world has ever known! Or something…

#TheSecondAmendmentReallyMeansFreeGunsForMeNOW – Did it work?

How’s Gun Control Working Out for Pat Toomey?

National Journal pointed out way back in 2013 that his staff seemed to recognize he had made a mistake. Now Brietbart is noting that Toomey’s polling isn’t looking too good.

It’s never been smart politics to stab the people who helped you get elected in the back. That’s especially true when your potential upside isn’t there at all. No one votes on gun control, except a handful of anti-gun activists who care about the issue. On the flip side, there are a lot of us, and we vote the issue. He never should have let Joe Manchin and Schumer talk him into it. I may still end up voting for him, depending on what he does for us between now and 2016, but he’s lost me as a volunteer for good. He’s has, so far, represented everything that’s wrong with the Pennsylvania GOP, in my view, and I’m hardly a dogged tea party type.

Real AR-15 or Replica?

See this local news story about a robbery that happened in North Philadelphia today:

There’s some speculation in the comments that it’s a replica, because the carry handle looks off. I agree it looks larger and differently shaped than any real AR-15 carry handle I’ve seen, so I’m open to the idea that it’s a replica. But that could also be a lensing effect on the camera making it look bigger than it really is. Other than that, it looks like the real deal to me, but I agree that carry handle and sight is off. What do you think?

Though, I do have to say, with that one handed grip, I don’t know how he thinks he could fight off a grab. That’s practically begging for a bolder store clerk to rip that AR right out of his hands. I don’t know if I’d have the guts to do it, but it’s certainly doable.

DEA and ATF Team Up to Monitor Phoenix Area Gun Shows, Says ACLU

According to the ACLU, the DEA and ATF were conspiring to use license plate readers at gun shows. Presumably all this was because, war on drugs, and because, terrorism or something like that. You have to wonder with as pervasive as the surveillance state is becoming, with technology enabling it to ever greater heights, how long we have until there’s de facto registration even without the government even needing to resort to 4473s. Just watch a gun range for a while via drone or satellite, and just start compiling a list. Soon you won’t even need people to do this. You won’t even need to specifically focus the camera on the gun range. It’ll all be done algorithmically by computers, compiling tons and tons of data to be called up and analyzed any time the powers that be want to scrutinize someone.

The scary part is, I don’t know if there’s a good way to stop it. The chest pounders among us would perhaps suggest such a state deserves “Second Amendment remedies,” and it’s hard to argue that such a persuasive surveillance state has any legitimacy. But the technology will be there. Would you trust anyone with it?

Quote of the Day

Seen on the Internets:

The Libertarian Party couldn’t organize a gangbang in a whorehouse; they’d all rather sit around and argue the ethics of making people wear a rubber.

I’ve never understood the purpose of the Libertarian Party, because it never seemed to me to be all that interested in the political process. Other than running someone for President (which is kind of doing step 100 when you’re not even making it to step 5), it’s always seemed to me to be more of a philosophical society, spending most of its time and energy arguing over what libertarianism is and isn’t.

Probably the reason I’ve always preferred the term “classical liberal.” I definitely don’t fit the LP definition of libertarian, but nor am I really comfortable with the label conservative.

First GOP Shindig of the 2016 Election Season

Did anyone even know about the Iowa Freedom Summit? I didn’t, but it was essentially the launch of the 2016 election season for the GOP presidential hopefuls. Jim Geraghty has a pretty good assessment of the event, including assessments of the candidates. I only had time yesterday to tune in to two speeches on YouTube. I watched Scott Walker’s performance, because I was interested to see how he did. Walker has a touch of midwestern boring, but it was a solid speech. I like Walker’s record, but I’m concerned he might not be fiery enough on the stump to really connect with voters. The other was Chris Christie, who also delivered a pretty solid performance, but I agree with Geraghty that in a GOP primary he’s a second tier candidate:

If Bush and Romney are both in, you have to wonder how many big donors stick by him. He did better in his Iowa appearance than some might have expected, and he’s undoubtedly going to be a dominant figure in the debates. But he’s positioned himself in opposition to the rest of the party way too often, and you can’t win the GOP nomination from the Jon Huntsman slot, as the Republican nominee most acceptable to the Acela class that can’t stand Republicans.

Christie has strong political talents, but I think the compromises he’s had to make in a deep blue state controlled very decisively by the Democratic Party in every other aspect, is probably going to be too much for GOP voters anywhere other than the Northeast.

I want to like Rand Paul, but the unfortunate thing about Rand is that he shares something in common with Jack Kennedy; the biggest concern many people have is his father. I can accept that Rand is his own man, but I am very wary that he’s going to bring along the same baggage with him. If he can show he’s bringing along a different coalition, I might be open to him, but I’m not if he’s using his dad’s political apparatus. I also I’m not too keen with Tsar Vlad trotting around Eastern Europe in “quasi-isolationist non-interventionism,” as Geraghty puts it. I think after two more years of smart diplomacy, the next President is going to be in a real foreign-policy pickle.

On guns, any of these guys would be better than Obama, or Hillary, or Elizabeth Warren. I know, I know, “but… Carson,” “but… Christie,” “but… Mitt.” Yeah, we know the problems with those candidates, but the most important thing we need out of the next President are Supreme Court justices who are solid on the Second Amendment. Any Republican President is going to be expected to choose from the party’s short list. See the Harriet Miers nomination to understand what happens when Presidents don’t go that way. You’re not going to see any Republican President promoting an Obama nominee to the high court, or a liberal law professor. The only time this goes sideways is when the other party controls the Senate. By the reverse token, even if Jim Webb ends up winning in 2016, there’s little chance you’re getting a pro-2A justice out of him, no matter how much he might “support the Second Amendment” otherwise. The party divide on this issue has unfortunately become that strong.

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