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This Could Be a Disaster for Gun Control Too

Bloomberg’s The Trace is touting a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll that shows a lot of voters rank Gun Policy very high on their list of concerns. From Bloomberg’s propaganda wing:

The survey indicates that Republicans’ traditional turnout advantage on the gun issue may have eroded: 16 percent of both GOP and Democratic voters ranked gun policy as their most important issue, along with 15 percent of independent voters.

Actually, if you read the poll, GOP voters rank 17%, with Independents ranking 13%. It’s an awful stretch to assume that this means gun control is ascendent. What they are hoping is that people just assume those are gun control votes. We know there are still some Dems who care about gun rights, and I’d be very surprised if most of those independent numbers are votes for gun control.

Gun Policy is very important to me too, and I’d tell a pollster that if asked.

At Least We’re Not The Only Ones

Maybe the issue is just that not enough people give a shit about guns, if both sides are resorting to dabbling in other issues:

Gun control advocates shift attention, money to other issues ahead of midterms

I think NJT is right: there’s a viable “gun rights only please” coalition. There actually isn’t one for gun control. But both sides are seeking safety in broader coalitions. It’s hard to read the pitching seas and know what direction to steer the ship. It’s comforting to follow. But are you following everyone to disaster?

The fundamental problem is in a realignment like we’re going through, no one knows where your pet issue will end up. There’s strong temptations to seek out coalition partners that might make sense in the short term, but in the long term aren’t beneficial. You just want to get through the storm.

The Campaign to Make Us Pariahs Continues

Opinion published in Sunday’s USA Today says the Boy Scouts should ditch NRA and create their own firearms training program. This is just one guy’s opinion, so I’m not sweating it. But it shows the concerted effort to place us outside the mainstream, likely coordinated by Bloomberg, is continuing.

The NRA needs the BSA more than the BSA needs the NRA. The BSA is perfectly capable of creating a firearms safety program of its own without the NRA participation.

You want to test that nice theory? If you ask me, this is a bigger threat to the Boy Scouts, because I believe we have the cultural power in the circles BSA depends on to end it as a national organization of any consequence. This would not be a wise fight for the BSA to pick.

The Populist Backlash & Transnational Respectability

We’re pretty clearly in the middle of a global nationalist populist backlash against transnationalism.

If you had to boil the current political climate to one sentence, I think that would be it. It’s not just true in the United States, but across the whole western world. Fighting against globalization is a fool’s errand. Eventually, globalism will win, because it’s technology that’s driving it. The real fight is over whether the global order will be arranged by those who wield economic and political power for their own benefit and for the benefit of people like them, or whether the global order will be democratic and driven and arranged in such a way as to benefit the most people. In either system, the nation state probably becomes less important. In the former system, transnational institutions become less democratic and more powerful as nation states become weaker.

Currently few of our transnational institutions are democratic. The UN certainly is not. The EU has some window dressing that’s democratic, but the EU at its core it’s an undemocratic institution. The transnational corporations at the heart of the global order are not democratic at all, and have hardly any accountability.

People pretty much everywhere are voting the people who have arranged this order out of power. The United States is not immune to the populist backlash, as we learned in 2016. Trump basically took office on a promise to restore strong nationalist institutions in order to check transnational institutions that a large portion of the population believed were stacked against them. Victor Orban of Hungary is cast from the same mold. All Trump’s rhetoric on trade, the wall, immigration, etc, fits that model. It also fits with trends that we see in Europe.

All this nationalist populism is extremely threatening to the people who are arranging transnational institutions to benefit themselves. Everything you’ve been seeing in the gun issue lately fits that. Google censoring pro-gun views? Facebook doing the same? Big transnational companies like Levi’s donating large amounts to gun control? Financial institutions refusing to do business with gun makers, the NRA, etc? NRA not being able to obtain basic business insurance? That’s all been the people who control these transnational institutions attempting to put the brakes on populist sentiment using the institutional power they maintain control over. You didn’t see this happening a decade ago because a decade ago a lot of these institutions didn’t exist, or hadn’t cemented power. Facebook literally went from nothing, to a transnational corporation that can and possibly does decide national elections in 13 years. Think about that.

Very little is more threatening to an established order than the idea that they might be the targets of an armed revolt. Despite what many people think, it’s not because transnational elites want to kill you. Few of them are potential mass murderers, and most of them really do believe the order they are establishing is kind, civilized, and will benefit humanity. In fact, mass murderers have more often been from populist movements. Nazism and Bolshevism were not movements of elites. What transnational elites want to maintain first and foremost is the acceptance and respect of other transnational elites who are like themselves.

In most countries, the established order can keep their thumb on the peasantry to maintain an order to their liking and still maintain respectability. In the democratic countries of Europe, ordinary people can still complain, and still participate in their democratic institutions, but they can’t complain that much. In authoritarian states like China and Russia, ordinary people can’t complain in any meaningful way at all. While China might be fairly concerned with respectability, Russia is not really at all.

It’s a different story here. Our peasantry can complain: with guns and bullets. It’s almost happened a few times recently in the US, so this isn’t some abstract possibility, only applicable in theory. We’ve seen it. And the people who did it are, for the most part, still alive and not in prison. Some people will argue this is a bug. I think it’s a feature. It’s a feature because while I believe in democratic institutions, I don’t worship at the altar of majority rule. We’ve seen that democratic institutions can be coopted. We’ve seen it’s possible for an indifferent and entitlted majority to ignore minority interests completely.

Whether some want to admit it or not, having an armed population is a significant check for minorities against the depredations of the majority. I’m not speaking only of racial or religious minorities necessarily here, though it’s true for them too. It goes back to the old quote from Al Capone: “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” To the kind of people arranging the transnational order, this is the Worst Thing Ever. Not necessarily because it threatens their power in the immediate, but because it threatens their respectability with other people like them.

Cliven Bundy and his family are still alive. Is there any reader out there who thinks Eric Holder couldn’t have given an order to ruthlessly crush the Bundys and anyone who came to their aid? Almost certainly he could have. Whether that would have set in motion a chain of events that would have escalated toward a much wider conflict I think is debatable, and I think it probably would have. But in the immediate, Holder could have wiped them out. There would have been bloodshed on both sides, but in the short term, Holder would have won. But he didn’t give that order. Why? Because he would have lost all respect from other transnational elites. Ruthlessly crushing rebellions isn’t a respectable business these days in those circles. That kind of thing might get you respect in Moscow, but not Davos.

They hate your gun because your gun is a threat to their respectability. They can never be the equal to the European transnationalists, because no matter how carefully things are arranged, as long as you remain armed, you get to have a say. You can force them to risk their respectability by behaving more like Tsar Vladimir, or having to actually listen to you and take your interests seriously. They find both options distasteful. Most pro-gun people intrinsically understand this. And yes, many anti-gun folks do as well. Bloomberg, I’m convinced, understands this completely.

Draw From Holster

With club elections now behind me, a new system to manage prospective members in place and seemingly working, I’ll have some more time now. I’m interested in bringing a Steel Challenge match to my club. The only problem is we don’t allow drawing from holster. Maybe I could get an exception for the match, but I think that’ll be a tough climb. The fact is there are some risks associated with letting any yahoo draw and fire from holster, and I’ve seen enough sloppy gun handling there to be wary of it even myself. But I’m also finding people will rise to the competence that’s expected of them… in other words, as I’ve been running matches, I’m seeing gun handling practices get better.

If I were to run a Steel Challenge-like match, I’d probably need to get people’s gun handling skills up before we could do anything like draw-from-holster. I’m curious what other people might have done in this situation, and how other clubs that allow draw from holster or allow limited draw from holster manage it. If you run a Steel Challenge match, which means it’s an open match, how do you know the shooter showing up actually knows how to do a safe draw? Is there ever any safety check? Pre-qualification? Do you police equipment? I’ve looked at other clubs in the area, and some allow it, but only for qualified people.

Tech Open Thread

It’s Friday, and I’m writer’s blocking trying to write up something persuasive defending the concept of Immutable Infrastructure in DevOps. Really, the client in question has at best Semi-Immutable Infrastructure: updates can be applied via the deployer for the systems that are now working under that paradigm. They don’t tear down the and rebuild their VMs for patches and security updates. And they still have a lot of stuff that works under the traditional “mutable” model.

But we are pushing the idea of eventually having all IT infrastructure adopt DevOps principles. For major OS or software releases, or in the event of a security breach or other problems with the system, tearing the system down and rebuilding it should be done. I approach DevOps from a traditional IT background. Most of my colleagues approach it from developer backgrounds. I’ve found that traditional IT folks are more resistant to DevOps principles than people with developer backgrounds. So I feel like when IT people exhibit skepticism, having “come to Jesus” myself from the same heresy, I should be the one to preach to them the DevOps gospel.

I’m curious if anyone out there has worked in this area. My current focus is doing a large, legacy database system as Immutable Infrastructure. Or at least Semi-Immutable Infrastructure if you’re a real purist (which I am not).

I Kept Saying This to Bitter All Week

Kavanaugh was really the “safe” pick for Trump. The Dems are running a real risk of galvanizing him beyond what he would have been if they had treated him no different than the GOP treated Sotomayor or Kagan.

I just went back and looked at my high school yearbook, and I can find multiple things I would never want spun in the court of public opinion in this political climate.

I was the exact opposite of a wild child. I was so tame I think I disappointed my mother.

Based on what I heard today, Kavanaugh was probably a harder drinker than I was at 18, but maybe not at 21. The most I could be accused of at 18 is raiding mom’s wine supply in the fridge, or sneaking a beer from dad’s stash. I didn’t attend wild booze parties in high school. By my early 20s I might have done some questionably legal things that involved young men, too much alcohol, flammable gases, fresh produce, and a large body of water. And for this I would never be able to serve on the Supreme Court today, by current standards.

I watched the spectacle today, and it was a disgrace. If the Dems wanted an FBI investigation they could have brought up the allegations when they became aware of them. But they didn’t. They held them until it was politically useful as a delaying tactic… and they kept pushing for the delay.

I agree completely with Glenn Reynolds: “Had he received a normal confirmation, I suspect Kavanaugh would have been a bit of an establishment squish. I rather doubt that he’ll be that now.

Ollie North Has Graduated from Angry Dana School With Flying Colors

New video from NRA defending Kavanaugh:

The commenters at Instapundit love it, which should show you I don’t really know crap about populist propigandizin’. But I’ll still throw in my $0.02.

At least it’s related to the gun issue, since getting Kavanaugh on the court will make or break the 2nd Amendment. This is the most important battle we’re going to have with our opposition. It might not be the most intense (I expect that will be the fight to replace Ginsburg or Breyer) but this will give us a much stronger 5th vote on gun cases. I don’t want to roll the dice with another pick of Trump’s. I’ve been saying to Bitter all week: “Can we hold a vote now? Why do they keep falling for these delaying tactics. Just hold the damned vote.” Also, this should be the last confirmation hearing ever. They are three ring circuses. This is one area I’m OK agreeing to now, because I don’t really feel like I’d be giving anything up not holding them for Dem nominees either. It’ll be better for everyone.

Anyway, my issue with this latest ad is that you could replace Ollie with Dana and the writing and delivery still work. I’ve heard Ollie North speak off the cuff. I know he’s capable of humor. I’d go even farther and suggest he’s actually a good and engaging speaker. It’s like NRA’s PR firm has two or three chords they know how to play, and somehow they’ve made a band out of it. Can they message around an individual’s strengths, weaknesses and quirkiness? If they could pull that off, it’ll humanize the person delivering the lines. It’ll make the message stronger.

Maybe the issue is you hear the songs for the first time and you like them. It’s only when you listen to the whole album you realize the band only knows three chords. But maybe that’s enough?

Wilson Out at Defense Distributed

The company is being taken over by Paloma Heindorff. This is very good news, because Defense Distributed continuing to exist as an entity will preserve the lawsuits that are at the heart of this whole matter. This is a huge issue for me because it touches on both the hacker, maker and gun subcultures. We have a right to tinker! There certainly is some right to be able to make and modify arms as well. But most importantly, we certainly have a right to share information, and CAD drawings are nothing but information.

The free exchange of information and ideas is the basis of a free society, and being told we can’t because some people like our Governor and Attorney General deem said information “dangerous” is a more dangerous a road to travel than any they imagine they can try to avoid.

I don’t understand all the people who think this is a setup. Why is it so hard to believe that a self-described crypto anarchist young man likes himself some hookers, frequented a site where it’s known you can find that kind of action, and either intentionally or accidentally solicited a girl who was underage? This is a known risk with soliciting prostitutes, especially in states where age-of-consent is a strict liability crime. Wilson certainly won’t be the first guy to get in trouble under these kinds of circumstances. Based on the evidence the police claim to have, I would not want to be in Wilson’s shoes.

Red Flag is Back in PA

NRA is alerting members on PA bill HB2227. This is the “Red Flag” bill that the GOP has started loving so much.

Under House Bill 2227, a law-abiding gun owner could lose their right to own or possess a firearm and then have the burden placed on them to prove the false nature of the petition in order to have their firearms returned.  This legislation does nothing to improve public safety, and allows for an extremely broad definition of who can petition to remove someone’s Second Amendment rights.

I know other groups are also opposing HB 2060. This basically mirrors federal law on PFAs, which is probably why NRA isn’t opposing it. If you want to throw opposition to HB 2060 into your letters, it couldn’t hurt. It’s not like I think gun control works worth a damn.

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