Glenn Reynolds: “I always say that if I ever quit blogging, it’ll be because I can’t take following the news anymore. It’s depressing.” I remember growing up my aging barber telling me “After a while, the idea of dying doesn’t scare you as much. In some way’s you’ll get happy about the idea of checking out. Look at the shit going on in this world today. And I probably haven’t seen half of what you’ll see. I’ll be happy to be taking a dirt nap.” Of course, the younger me that was told that was also promised flying cars, moon bases, and men on Mars. Today, I can play Pokemon Go!
I think about that a lot these days. I’m really glad my Grandparents didn’t live to have to make the choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It also doesn’t say anything good about our politics that my grandparents, who have been dead for 20 years, would still know both candidates.
UPDATE: This somewhat related WaPo article is a good read. I also did not really appreciate my grandparent’s generation until they were gone, though mine were working class people from South Philly and not upper crust like the authors. Yes, that generation had their issues, but their progeny would have whole subscriptions.
Have you noticed the cognitive dissonance that many supporters of “common-sense” gun control have been exhibiting as of late? I’m not sure it’s possible to support more gun-control laws and oppose “mass incarceration” or “excessive policing” policies. How can someone argue that young men of color are overpoliced, while at the same time calling for more non-violent-offender gun laws to be placed on the books?
Cam goes on to ponder why the media was quick to jump on NRA’s lack of commentary, then cautious commentary on the Castile shooting, but isn’t asking Bloomberg about his “stop and frisk” policies that he promoted as mayor, which even he conceded disproportionally jailed minorities for non-violent offenses.
Some unfortunate news from Pennsylvania Superior Court. I believe Superior Courts mean this is now law in the entire state, so currently, it is now illegal to carry weapons on school property. The law states:
§ 912. Possession of weapon on school property.
(a) Definition.–Notwithstanding the definition of “weapon” in section 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime),”weapon” for purposes of this section shall include but not be limited to any knife, cutting instrument, cutting tool, nun-chuck stick, firearm, shotgun, rifle and any other tool, instrument or implement capable of inflicting serious bodily injury.
(b) Offense defined.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses a weapon in the buildings of, on the grounds of, or in any conveyance providing transportation to or from any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school.
(c) Defense.–It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.
The Superior Court ruled that “other lawful purpose” needed to have a sanction from the school. In other words, the lunch ladies can have knives in the school, because their purpose is to cook lunch for the kiddies. The janitor can have a screwdriver, but not a student.
Statutes that are vague or unclear are supposed to be interpreted in a light most favorable to the defendant, but this very clear language, which exempts lawful purposes, was read to favor the state. The law already carved out an exception for the lunch ladies when it said “It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course,” but then it went on to create a separate defense, the “other lawful purposes” defense, for the chef dropping his kid off at school on the way to the restaurant with the knives he just got sharpened.
As Josh Prince notes in his article, this appeal was pursued by a pro-se defendant, meaning a guy representing himself. That’s usually an invitation to disaster, as it was here. Nonetheless, the law is clear here, but there is no rule of law. They offer us the illusion, and not even a very good illusion, that there is rule of law, all the while ruling however they damned please.
First NRA ad of the season:
Republicans do love themselves some law and order. The reason I am worried about this one is that both parties covet their secret lists and neither cares all that much for civil liberties. Plus, American Populism is on the rise again, and that particular school of thought has always favored law and order over civil rights.
Whether we want to admit it or not, Trump’s instincts on this have a home. There’s plenty of people out there if you said, “Well, what if someone proposed a law that no one on the terrorist watch list could attend mosque?,” wouldn’t see any problem there. But I will say that at least the populists are consistent.
Guilty until proven innocent is what this is, and if this were introduced as a bill to prevent people on these lists from publishing, attending mosque, or using social media, there would be outrage, and justifiably so. The people behind this affront to constitutional liberties:
- Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). So much for her holding firm.
- Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
- Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
- Jeff Flake (R-AZ) WTF? He must love himself some “law and order” and secret lists. This is the kind of stab in the back I’d expect from McCain!
- Tim Kaine (D-VA)
- Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Dude is an AR-15 shooter. For real. He also must love himself some secret lists and “law and order.”
- Angus King (I-ME).
The no-fly list itself ought to be viewed as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to travel. This bill doesn’t have a number yet, but get ready to call your lawmakers and demand they vote no. There’s enough leftist groups uncomfortable with this crap that they have no excuse to vote yes.
Note now there’s an assumption that “if you can’t board a plane in this country, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun,” as if it’s perfectly accepted that the government can keep secret lists of people that interfere with the right to travel. See how they did that?
Note Pat Toomey isn’t on this list. Must be an election year, or his bill is coming soon.
Probably not the nationality you’d expect though. Several reports say he attempted to grab a police officer’s handgun that was not secured, but initial reports are often full of unsubstantiated details.
OF course, this was a nominally gun-free zone, and the guy’s plan relied on the fact that it was being enforced by people with guns…
(My local media are playing up the fact that the attempted shooter was a resident of Hoboken for a while. Why that has any relevance, I’m not sure).
I wanted to elevate this comment from Divemedic the other day to a full blown post, so folks could understand how this could end up playing out if the Dems, Toomey and Bloomberg get their way:
My son is on [the Terror Watch] list. He is listed as a suspected terrorist. He was even visited by DHS agents, and his passport was revoked.
Now, I raised my son better than that, and he is most certainly not a terrorist, so how did he wind up on that list?
My son is a travelling nurse. He flies all over the world, treating and transporting patients from one place to another. It pays very well. He recently got paid for a 4 day trip, escorting a patient to Australia, and was paid $4000 for 4 days’ work. This week, he is in Milwaukee, and is being paid $12,000 for ten days’ work. In between trips, he works at the local trauma centers, and was one of the nurses on duty this past weekend in the Orlando area.
Now that you have the background, here is how he wound up on the terror watch list:
A known terrorist was arrested, trying to enter the country with my son’s passport. Well, not his actual passport, but a forgery with all of his information on it.
In all of his travels, he once had to go to the Dominican Republic to bring a patient home. While he was there, a government official photocopied the passports of the entire crew: 3 members of the flight crew, a respiratory therapist, and my son. Those photocopies were sold to people who make forged identity papers, and that information was used to create fake papers.
My son received a visit from DHS, they revoked his passport, and he had to apply for a new one. His name, birth date, and other information is now on the suspected terrorism watch list, because that information is now known to be used by terrorists.
This proposed law would prevent my son from buying a firearm, even though he has not broken a single law, nor is he likely to.
And remember, the Dems don’t want there to be any way for you to get off the list. They rejected the Coburn/NRA bill because it would provide for that. That’s because the goal is not to protect us from terrorists. The goal is to make as many people prohibited as possible so gun ownership becomes more burdensome and legally risky than it already is.
The gun control folks are targeting Heidi Heitcamp, the only pro-gun Democrat left in the Senate. Holding out the possibility that Everytown thinks attacking Heitcamp helps her (which it probably does in North Dakota), they would be foolish to weaken her, and here’s why:
This is what the 2018 Senatorial Elections look like. You have potential Dem pickups, if they are very lucky, in Nevada. The rest the GOP has a solid lock on. But the potential GOP pickups are pretty astounding, assuming the GOP doesn’t blow it, which I have full confidence they can do! But some of those pickups are probably a given, even if the typical suck sets in.
The main reason I’m not dumping on Toomey too much, even though he’s pissed me off and lied to us, is because I need his R ass in that seat, and even though he’s a worm, if he wins he’ll keep the Dems from picking up that seat.
The Dems just need to pick up 5 of those, and we’re defending a lot of purple states this time. We don’t really have any plausible pickups except for maybe Nevada, but probably not, unless we’re very lucky, and the GOP is not usually lucky. We have a whole lot to lose. Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Florida. Do you feel good about that map? I don’t.
If the Dems were to pick up the Senate in 2016 and the White House, the Second Amendment is almost certainly dead, since the Heller and McDonald decisions would either be reversed or limited to their specific facts (which is pretty useless unless you live in Chicago or DC). If we lose the Senate, and win the White House, we’re more likely to get another Souter, since the Dems are certain to block all but the squishiest nominee. So the GOP has to hold the Senate in 2016 if we’re going to hold the line.