The Bahamas authorities are stepping up efforts to confiscate guns from criminals, and are befuddled as to why there are still many shootings. Critics of the effort suggest the time is better spent stopping guns coming into the country. If the focus is on the gun, the program will fail. The focus has to be getting criminals off the streets, not guns. This is an island. Moreover, it’s an island where firearms are pretty much impossible to obtain legally. It is, in theory, the best type of arrangement for being able to keep contraband out of the country, and guns off the street. Yet they can’t. How do people have any hope of accomplishing that here?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Comment on Sandwichgate

I had a reporter contact me yesterday, but due to a communications mix-up with my co-blogger, which resulted in a, “I thought you were going to contact him,” “No, I pasted that blurb for you for you to send, not me,” conversation late yesterday, we never got back to him. Such things happen.

It looks like the reporter got the story on Sandwichgate (thanks to Cam or that name) out regardless. I should note that I never called for a boycott. Boycotts are something you organize, and I don’t have time for that at Annual Meeting. The NRA dumps a lot of money into a city when it comes to town, much of it on food. If there’s an establishment that’s supporting our opponents, I want people to be aware of it. What action they take from there is up to them.

I think this was a case employees trying accommodating an energetic, good looking young man that came into their shop sporting a cause. I doubt the employees thought much about the fact that they were making their company appear to insert itself into a controversial debate on public policy. Regardless, I think Primanti Bros has largely handled the situation poorly, as has been outlined by Bitter here. In my view the most damning accusation is selectively banning people from their Facebook page.

First rule of good PR is when you find yourself in a hole, to stop digging. They spent at least part of yesterday actively heaving dirt over their heads. I am pleased Primanti Bros has agreed to host NRA News cameras, and wear an NRA shirt. This will hopefully put this situation behind us.

On Primanti Bros & Their Gun Policies

It’s been an interesting 24 hours in the Pittsburgh food world, that’s for sure. For several hours, Primanti’s refused to respond to customer questions about their staff who showed off their MAIG t-shirts calling for increased federal gun control at a MAIG tour event. Then the media found out and started nagging them. Since, you know, embracing gun control just a few short months before the NRA convention is coming to town seems like a really bad business plan if you want to actually see any economic benefit from said convention. In general, being in the Pittsburgh area with lots of gun owners, being anti-gun probably isn’t the world’s greatest business model.

Then, suddenly, Primanti Brothers pops up in the comments and starts registering at online forums to respond with a statement simply passing it off as an employee wearing a shirt of a visiting guest. Yeah, but that raises the question about why a business allows such a behavior if they don’t want to be dragged into this kind of stuff. (Their excuse on NRA News was that they are a small business & don’t micromanage. BS. You have nearly two dozen stores across two states, you’re not a minor business. Under Mayor Bloomberg’s food policies, they are a big enough chain to require menu labeling.)

In their NRA News interview, they said several things that I found to be a bit odd or, at the very least, unprofessional. First, they preemptively brought up that they do have a policy of asking open carry folks to cover up their guns if some other customer doesn’t like it. Now, why would want to invite that storm on yourself? While you’ve been telling people all day that you allow all kinds of carry, now your spokesmen has just voluntarily admitted that they’ll ask the legal gun toter to get it out of sight (he didn’t elaborate on what they do if the OC’er refuses) when he was asked a simple question of whether or not they allow carry at all. (Put the shovel away, folks. You’ve dug your hole plenty deep.)

The other thing they have done is remove pro-gun comments from their Facebook page & release comments. NRA convention attendees I’ve spoken with privately & seen discussing it elsewhere have also reported that they are then banned from commenting or liking anything on the page again. Yet, take a look at what anti-gun & anti-NRA comments are allowed to remain. (Click the image to enlarge.)

I first wondered if the pro-gun commenters were crossing the lines of civility. But surely then, that the anti-gun comment saying that NRA members are unreasonable, unintelligent, and impractical would also qualify as uncivil? Or if it’s politics about the issue they want to keep away from their Facebook page, then surely the statement that guns only kill people would also qualify for removal? You know, the many posts about what a shame it is that Primanti Bros can’t stand for gun control without being called out it by NRA members seem awfully numerous and odd to remain if they just want the issue to go away.

Finally, the spokesman said something else on NRA News that rubbed me the wrong way. He said that Primanti Brothers isn’t pro-gun. He used that specific wording. He didn’t say, “We don’t have a specific policy on gun control politics or legislation.” He said they aren’t pro-gun. He also added that they weren’t anti-gun. But would he honestly tell the ACLU in an interview that Primanti Bros isn’t pro-speech? Or pro-right to practice a religion? Or perhaps the newspaper covering their next big news that they aren’t pro-freedom of the press? The right to bear arms is a protected & fundamental right. It’s one thing to not want to weigh in on specific battles, but it seems awfully odd of him to say they are not pro-Bill of Rights. I’d hate to have been a woman around there when they opened in the 1930s. Perhaps it was too soon after suffrage to be safely pro-suffragette. Again, what an odd thing to say if your company really just wants the issue to go away.

The original question of their view on our rights still stands to some degree. They don’t seem to be out leading a campaign to ban guns alongside Michael Bloomberg. But, they do appear to be trying to silence their gun owning customers who try to leave any form of public commentary while leaving up numerous attacks on NRA & gun rights. I was not calling for an organized boycott, but just noting that for those who do care about where they spend their money, it might be a legitimate concern. I don’t think that concern has been completely alleviated for some people.

In the NRA News interview, Cam did ask permission to come out to the same location with NRA shirts in tow for the staff. They did agree, so that’s worth something.

What Winning Looks Like

From Twitter, in regards to our attempts to promote Cam Edwards’s answer to CSGV promoting a link to a poetry slam:

CSGV Losing

Yeah, I enjoyed that. No doubt they will keep pimping that link over and over in the hopes of getting more people to watch it. We accomplished that in 24 hours, and entirely through grassroots efforts. NRA News made the video, but we promoted it. And just so we can beat them even more, feel free to click here and watch if you haven’t already.

Canine Sweeps? Really?

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the NRA Annual Meeting:

The convention is attended by a good number of families, and the exhibit areas are designed to be safe for children — the guns on display are disabled, no live ammunition is exhibited (canine sweeps will check daily for gunpowder), and attendees carrying weapons are barred from unholstering them. Manufacturers will be showing off their latest models, but firearms will not be on sale on-site as they would be at a gun show.

Gunpowder sniffing dogs in a room full of gun nuts? Those dogs are going to be acting like a hippy in a field of ganga. I’m going to bet they mean explosive sniffing dogs, and someone drew some conclusions. But I’m going to guess that the dogs aren’t present to root out live ammunition. My understanding is the primary safety precaution for guns on the floor is that their firing pins have been removed.

Media in Connecticut Not Happy

This is one area I’m really glad to disappoint them, but look at the arrogance in the reporting:

But the gun lobby cowed the committee into inaction by flooding the hearing room with more than 200 people in March. Ranking Judiciary Committee member Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, is right that lawmakers should listen to constituents. But they also have a duty to consider common sense and whether a bill would enhance public safety.

It wasn’t citizens who flooded the hearing, it was “the gun lobby.” That nefarious, nameless evil. We know better. Kudos to everyone who showed up to the committee hearing. That, more than anything, is responsible for the bill’s swift death.

Avoiding Anti-Gun Food in Pittsburgh

Apparently, the Pittsburgh equivalent of the classic cheesesteak is a sandwich from a chain of joints known as Primanti Brothers. Unfortunately for those of you who plan on attending the NRA meeting and want to try a bit of local cuisine, you should probably know that Primanti Brothers hosted Bloomberg’s anti-gun billboard campaign at their Pittsburgh stop back in February.

You can see from the pictures that they set up the truck at the front of the parking lot and then the staff invited Bloomberg’s crew behind the counter to promote anti-gun legislation while the staff wore the MAIG t-shirts. Know that if you spend your money at Primanti Brothers, you’re supporting a company that supports Bloomberg’s work to restrict our rights.

Senate Vote on Pigeon Shooting Ban

Looks like there’s going to be a vote on the pigeon shooting ban. I am not happy that legislators are going to be made to post a vote on this issue. It’s a real complication for gun rights, and I’m not keen to just hand a victory to HSUS, who you can bet will be back for more if they win this. A lot of suburban legislators who are otherwise friendly are going to get dinged for voting in favor of this. But considering there are a number of clubs that still do this kind of shooting, NRA is going to be in opposition.

I would advise you to call your Senators and oppose the ban. This is going to open up a can of worms I don’t want to open if this gets the thumbs up and heads to the house. It will complicate everything else we’re trying to accomplish.

Far Outside the Mainstream

Miguel picks off another gem from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence’s Facebook page. This guy apparently thinks we’re plotting to kill liberals, gays, Jews, and certainly all those scary furners. They claim we’re doing this so we can turn cannibal once the plan goes into place. I kid you not. I’ve long known some of our opponents are as nutty as rabid squirrels, but I didn’t think so many of them would be so quick to broadcast it in public.

I hold out the possibility that this was a lame attempt at humor, but it’s hard to tell. The real funny thing here is anti-semitism being attributed to a gun rights group founded by a Jewish man, and for Jewish people. Really? JPFO might be over the top, but I give them a break. They have 6 million reasons to take this stuff to a greater extreme.