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Antis Back to Being Disillusioned?

I don’t take E.J. Dionne’s post in the Washington Post as a sign the other side is feeling all that good about things. Once it became apparent gun control wasn’t a hobby horse that anti-gun politicians could ride anywhere after the Charleston massacre, they quickly switched gears and got on the confederate flag hobby horse and took that to town instead. It’s always a good sign when our opponents are admitting that hearts and minds have to be changed before their issue is going anywhere. When I see our opponents whining like this, it’s music to my ears.

Sure, we have “hearts and minds” issues, like legalizing friggin’ machine guns, but I’d much rather than that problem than theirs. If their best argument is that guns will cause you to commit suicide, we should look up and thank our lucky stars, because even objectively, that argument sucks.

Act 192 Overturned by Commonwealth Court

While the news today is going to be all King v. Burwell, I’m sorry to report some more bad news on the gun front. Act 192 has had a short but glorious run, having briefly given teeth to the preemption law passed in 1974. But now Commonwealth Court has ruled that the law violates Pennsylvania’s “single subject” requirement for bills. No word yet on appeal. A few things should be noted.

  • Preemption is still the law in Pennsylvania, just as it has been for 41 years. If you’re busted under a local gun control ordinance, those ordinances are still unlawful. You can challenge them and win. The difference now is it will probably take being charged to have standing to win.
  • The law did a lot of legwork in convincing many local communities to repeal their illegal ordinances. This erased a lot of effort the other side put into passing them. I doubt very many of those communities will re-pass their repealed ordinances. We have to keep an eye out though.
  • Stu Greenleaf bears a significant part of the responsibility for having to attach Act 192 to a metal theft bill at the last minute. He controls the Senate Judiciary Committee these types of bills have to clear through before hitting the floor. The GOP has a 30-20 majority in the Senate. To be honest, I’m thinking about donating money to Greenleafs Dem opponent, even if his opponent is a nut, just to get Greenleaf out of the Senate and to put the Judiciary Committee into more reliable hands.

The real loss here is that the cities that fought may now get their lawsuits dismissed. As long as Tom Wolf is Governor, the only possibility we have for getting this passed again is a veto override, and last time we didn’t have quite enough to accomplish that. [UPDATE: A reader corrects me, and it did pass with a veto-proof margin last time.] Also note that Greenleaf still controls Judiciary, so there’s that issue too. It will continue to be difficult to get pro-gun legislation advanced so long as he is controlling that key committee.

It’s one thing to put your foot in your own mouth …

… and quite another to put your foot in 5 million other people’s mouths. After a tragedy, NRA usually doesn’t have much to say other than thoughts and prayers for the family. And why would they? Let the media and politicians start throwing blame in NRA’s direction; it only makes it stronger. The debate is going to come to us regardless, so it makes sense for our side take the high road while nerves are still raw, and let the other side be the ones seen as not letting a crisis go to waste. Of course, it would be nice if everyone were on board with this.

The media, of course, quickly picked up on Cotton’s post, and before he could even delete it, headlines went around like: “NRA Board Member blames victims for church massacre.” Here’s what Charles Cotton actually wrote on a Texas gun forum Jun 18:

And [State Senator Clementa Pinckney] voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.

I think some of the headlines about this were overwrought, but that’s not to excuse Cotton’s statement. I have no disagreement with repealing government mandated restrictions on carrying in churches. Whether or not carry is allowed in a church should be between a church and its parishioners, not between a church, it’s parishioners, and the state. Even if carry were legal in churches in South Carolina, it would seem very likely none of the parishioners would have been carrying. I agree they should have the choice, but I don’t think the law in this case would have fundamentally changed the outcome.

But I don’t want to detract from the main issue here: whether it’s appropriate to second guess the voting record of a Senator who was ruthlessly murdered only the evening before, and on top of that to do it on a public forum as an NRA Board member. The answer for me is an emphatic no.

NRA Board members have one thing, just one thing to do in the wake of a tragedy like this: shut up. We’ll have our say eventually.

I Guess Pat Toomey Didn’t Learn His Lesson

I had hopes that perhaps Pat Toomey was largely bamboozled by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer, and after experiencing the backlash first hand, would leave the gun control issue alone for the rest of his term, and perhaps even kiss up to us by giving us a few critical votes before he’s up for re-election. Alas that is not to be:

Though the effort is far from being fully formed, Toomey also said he’s looking for opportunities to reintroduce something related to combating gun violence.

“What I’m trying to figure out is, is there something that could get the support of the 60 votes that we would need in the Senate,” Toomey said. “Joe Manchin was and is a great partner and someone I will continue to work with, and I’m open to exploring what is possible.”

We all know that “combating gun violence” is a dog whistle for gun control. If it’s not, then Toomey needs to be more specific about what he’s going to specifically propose rather than blowing dog whistles for the other side. He’s already lost any support I might be willing to give time or money wise. He’s quickly trying to ensure I don’t vote in the Pennsylvania Senatorial election in 2016. Toomey has been a real disappointment.

Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of political moderation. The last hard-core conservative we had in statewide office was Santorum, and he only lasted two terms. I fear the lesson the PAGOP took from that is moderation in all things, rather than the fact that Santorum’s positions on social issues and advocacy for government involvement in America’s bedroom turned off a lot of socially liberal Republican and independent voters in the Philadelphia suburbs (which contains about 2.4 million of the state’s 13 million population).

So why is Toomey cozying up to gun control advocates? In my opinion, he’s buying Bloomberg’s silence. I believe the PAGOP is scared to death of Bloomberg’s money, and are very concerned he’ll flood the airwaves at election time with attack ads painting Republican candidates as radical on the issue. But really, Pat Toomey should be more afraid of us than Bloomberg, and I have a feeling he may find that out in 2016.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 5

I know we missed the gun news last week, but this week we have some tabs to clear! I’ve also been busy with extreme home brewing. I’ve been wanting to make more lagers. The problem is, I still won’t them very often, and I don’t want to have to buy a whole refrigerator just to lager the occasional lager, nor do I want to use my kegerator and then not have beer on tap for eight weeks while it ages. So what about using one of those big gatorade coolers (which I already have in my equipment inventory) to jacket water around a carboy fermenter? Then cooling the water with a Peltier cooler? Turns out it works, but thermoelectric coolers are a pain in the ass because they a) take up a lot of DC current and b) don’t like being controlled by ordinary thermostats. They need PID control with the output filtered to smooth out the pulse-width modulation. They also don’t like being wired in parallel, which is a problem when you’re dealing with a 15VDC 6A device. So I’m trying to decide between driving the 3 TECs with 3 of these, or one of these, with the TECs wired in series. Or maybe just build my own current source, which is the ideal way to drive TECs. Anyways, enough of that. Here’s the news:

Obama backs Australian gun laws. Remember that Australia engaged in mass confiscation of all semi-automatic rifles and pump-action firearms. At one time, this was considered a losing issue for Democrats. He also condemned the big gun rushes that follow his pronouncements. I would encourage readers to go to your local gun store and disappoint the President.

Add Uber to your list of anti-gun companies. They banned guns for drivers and passengers. I’m sure the criminals will be the first to comply!

John Lott points out what the VPC doesn’t want you to know about justifiable homicide statistics.

Joe Huffman refutes one of the big straw men built up by gun control advocates.

The judge who awarded attorneys fees to Lucky Gunner explains his ruling. LG will donate all the money to a gun rights charity. Please go and vote for a responsible gun rights group. I think it would be a real shame if GOA were to get that money. Might as well burn it.

A surprise to no one, it turns out that compliance with New York’s SAFE Act is practically non-existent. They can erect their utopian laws, but it doesn’t mean we have to go along with their scheme. Even when registration was tried in Canada, the compliance rate was low.

It’s be awfully nice if we could convince people that walking around a Wal-Mart racking a shotgun is, frankly, just being a jerk for the sake of getting people to pay attention to you. One of these days, one of these clowns is going to get his ass shot, and I’m not going to feel sorry for them.

More carrying guns at people.

The killer in Charleston looks to have purchased his firearm at retail and cleared a background check, despite the fact that he shouldn’t have. Our opponents are wringing their hands demanding to know how this happened. Well, you know, government is mostly incompetent even on a good day. Do you wonder why we don’t like relying on the government for our personal security? If they want to do that, fine. But don’t force that choice on me!

It’s open season now that the Supreme Court has basically given the lower courts free reign to ignore Heller. The bill in New York has passed the Assembly.

Puerto Rico has gone constitutional carry, and for purchase, federal law is now what’s controlling, since a court tossed their gun control laws. SAF took this case through Puerto Rico Commonwealth Courts. I don’t know how long this will last, but it’s an interesting development.

Are New York Republicans the biggest impediment to getting New York’s ridiculous knife laws repealed? I can totally believe this. Remember, without Republican cooperation, SAFE would never have passed.

Speaking of Delaware (linked in the previous article), it’s in trouble. The truce is off, and it’s a blue state. Once the blue establishment becomes convinced the gun vote can’t hurt them, you have nowhere to go but down. I hate to be a pessimist, but we are fast becoming two Americas, and the courts aren’t going to do anything to stop it. Worse? Their America is growing.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, activists are trying to show the gun vote can still hurt.

Remember, the media are the enemy. They are bitching about losing access to permit data. Given what happened in New York, they have no room to complain. The media has shown nothing but contempt for gun owners.

Martin O’Malley is still a git. I think Bernie Sanders is probably a bigger threat to Hillary.

Bill Clinton: “You can’t have people walking around with guns.” Does that include his armed security detail? No. Of course it doesn’t.

An old lady who worked Intelligence in WWII died, and they found she was still keeping a Sten submachine gun in her house.

Charles C.W. Cooke takes Obama to task for his gun control proposals, none of which have a thing to do with the Charleston shooting.

Colt: Free to a good home! Only comes with hundreds of millions of dollars of debt!

Ace on NRA’s “Extremely Strong Grip” on Congress: “Obama’s real enemy is now, as it as always been, a powerful special interest lobbying group called The Majority of American Citizens.

In New Jersey, if your spouse is a prohibited person, you are too.

Off Topic:

Is the New Deal in trouble? We can dream, can’t we? The Supreme Court has done the right thing for raisin growers.

Ace describes Obama’s technique of trying to channel “stray voltage.”

Words of political wisdom

“[I]n politics, sincerity isn’t as important as results.” (Source)

I don’t care (much) about a politician’s personal preferences, or his historical votes, I care about how he votes on the next vote. The voting record has some predictive value, certainly, and statements from the politician should be taken into account; but the secret of the universe is, things change, people change. Politicians change because people change. If they don’t, they get voted out of office, or don’t get elected to higher office.

How Does the US Rank in Terms of Rampage Shootings?

According to this piece put together by IJ Review, we’re in the middle of the pack for the years 2009-2013. Norway is a small country, and the attack on the AUF summer camp was horrendous. Same with Finland. It’s a small country and that will tend to drive stronger per-capita numbers when “lightning” finally does strike. It would probably make more sense to consider the European Union as a whole rather than individual countries, but the point is still made: these incidents are hardly limited to the United States and hardly uncommon outside of it, as our Commander-in-Cheif has claimed. This is not even considering the horrendous attacks that have occurred in other parts of the world that involve weapons other than firearms. Only a few days after the shooting in Charleston, a man in Austria plowed through a crowd with his vehicle, then got out of his car and started stabbing people. Three dead, with thirty people injured and ten critically injured.

The biggest conceit of the left is that evil does not exist, because man can be perfected, if only you put the right people in charge. One reason many hate on gun owners so much is because we’re in the way of that perfection. We’re a constant reminder that people are fundamentally imperfect, and capable of heinous things even under very civilized conditions. We insist on living as if things were that way, and refuse to go along with their utopian dreams.

The Pope is a Hypocrite

Not being Catholic, and therefore believing the Pope is just a man like any other, I don’t think much of pointing out that the Pope is a hypocrite for declaring that weapons producers and sellers can’t possibly be Christian, and using all manner of pejoratives to describe them. One has to wonder if this includes the weapons producers who make the firearms for his Swiss Guard, which include SIG, Glock, H&K, and Styer? Is that not a who’s who of top global small arms companies? Surely the Swiss Guards themselves are Christians? So how, exactly, are the companies who manufacture, and the people who ultimately sell firearms to his armed guards suddenly not Christians?

This is ludicrous, but I wouldn’t expect much more from someone who very much seems to believe in Liberation Theology. He should disarm the Swiss Guards before he casts stones at others.

This isn’t good news, folks

A lot of people are pointing to a CNN article that references an official statement that the shooter bought the pistol used in the attack himself (and thus passed a NICS check), rather than being given one; despite being under indictment for a disqualifying charge. This is being used as a talking point about the uselessness of BG check. That’s not a good argument against universal background checks, though, certainly not one for our side. It’s an argument for doing away with NICS, yes, but replacing it with the kind of invasive and lengthy background check that predated NICS, and is still in use in NJ and some other places.

We need to be very careful about handing talking points to the other side – pointing out flaws in NICS gives them ammunition to replace it with an actual background investigation.

Another Day, Another Search Warrant

In most states, such headlines aren’t often about search warrants issued against your own Attorney General. In Pennsylvania, it’s the new normal after Mike Bloomberg bought us a new Attorney General who has seemingly decided that laws on leaking confidential materials to the press don’t apply to her.

Of course, I also have to thank the good voters who backed her because their loyalty to Penn State without taking into account her position on gun rights or even whether she would be competent.

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