55 thoughts on “Why Gun Rights and Hating on Gays Don’t Mix”

  1. If it is a copyrighted photo then it was a poor move. Otherwise I see nothing wrong with what he did. The subpoena is clearly outside the bounds. It should be obvious to anyone that there is much “left-wing hate” here.

      1. Perhaps, but political groups use a variety of materials to form opposition research and ads. As long as its a valid 501(c)(3) or (c)(4) group he violated no law to warrant that kind of invasive search and his attorney should definitely fight it. If it’s a copyright issue then thats another thing, but again, I would hope they win on 4th amendment grounds.

        As for how it helps further the cause of gun rights? Obviously no it doesn’t, but NAGR is a fine group overall. I don’t believe NRA would do something like this since they truly are a single issue group and it has been largely successful for them on a national scale.

        1. I can’t consider a partisan group like NAGR to be “good” when they were beating up on Reid when he was saying nothing with many words post-Newtown.

          And, um, what have they accomplished?

      2. Since they did change the picture they could claim a derivative work, altho I’m not an expert, there is a legal basis to use part of a copyrighted picture to make a new image. Not sure where the line is drawn as to how much of an original can be used in a new work though.

        First question is how did they get ahold of the picture to begin with? And why did they use it when they could just as easily have either had a couple guys pose like they were kissing, or photoshopped together two pics of guys posing like they were kissing someone? Stupid move.

        1. Derivative works are only legal to the extent you have rights related to the original.

          This would have to come under Fair Use, which is very complicated with lots of case law, and I’ll bet plenty for political use. Given the political nature of the use I wouldn’t even begin to assume it doesn’t fall under this exception—assuming the defendants can get a fair trial, which sounds rather unlikely.

          1. To further complicate the issue, however, we’re also talking about violations of privacy. To what extent did this couple seek the limelight in this particular issue? If they did a lot, then that will bolster the fair-use-particularly-for-political-reasons…but if they didn’t do much at all, then they have a much stronger case.

            But that’s independent of copyright–news photographers have gotten in trouble for taking pictures of people on their porches. (I have a particular case in mind that I learned about in my Journalism class, of a picture of a woman early in the morning, being used in a weather forecast. She won the suit.)

  2. Ummm… As far as I can tell, the reason the gun rights and hating on gays don’t mix is that hating on gays is 1) not in accordance with a system of keeping your nose out of other people’s business and 2) completely off-topic and unhelpful. This is why I get so pissed off that our rights have become a D VS R situation. The Democratic party leadership surely wants to take away a big chunk of our human rights, but news flash- so does the Republican party leadership. It sure would be nice if politicians could just keep theor prodnoses OUT of people’s business.

    1. I haven’t seen any rights related to gays that the GOP leadership want to take from you, Wolfman. Sorry. Anyone can get married. You want to change the definition. To “change” the platform to support your nebulous definition of “supporting rights” is to actually become activist, and the GOP won’t be activist on an issue that is anti-traditional values.

      The anti-gun opposition (and that includes both D and R) hates the gun culture and everything that goes with it. They hate the overwhelmingly pro-gun rural areas, and the values they hold. They will stop at nothing to run roughshod over those areas electorally to get their way.

      That all being said, cards on the table, I write this as a guy that supported Ron Paul in the last election and would like to see the GOP embrace true “limited government” federally in which many of these tiresome issues (including liberal redefinition of marriage) would be taken out of the purview of government control anyway.

        1. Honestly, the problem isn’t that the government prohibits same sex unions, it’s that the government is even involved in a religious institution in the first place.

          Personally, I believe that the government’s involvement in the institution of marriage is in violation of the constitution.

          I would rather the government got the hell out of the issue of marriage, and instead left the issue of “same-sex marriage” up to individual religious institutions.

          If your local church wants to perform marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples, that’s the business that church and it’s members. If I’m not a member of that church, it’s not my business what they do, and I have better things to worry about.

          1. The government does not prohibit same-sex unions. It does not recognize them. Big difference.

            Some states used to actually prohibit interracial marriages. Virginia threatened the Lovings with 25 years in prison if they both returned to Virginia together. If a gay couple moves to Idaho, what will happen to them? Crickets chirping.

            1. “Some states used to actually prohibit interracial marriages. Virginia threatened the Lovings with 25 years in prison if they both returned to Virginia together. If a gay couple moves to Idaho, what will happen to them? Crickets chirping.”

              A decade ago, it was a minimum 5 year prison sentence.

  3. Sebastian, your attack is seriously outrageous.

    Reading the article and giving minimal benefit of the doubt to the attacked parties, the principle you’re putting forth is that no one in gun politics should be associated with any other cause that could get their RKBA efforts in trouble. That this offends your liberal sensibilities is just icing on the cake of a standard I can view as no less than intolerable. Hmmm, in all senses of that word.

    1. Along those lines, Harold, I’m still waiting to see polling data that indicates that a candidate won an election primarily on the gun rights (pro- or anti-) issue as the top issue people voted on. That just doesn’t seem to happen anywhere, including the deep South. If we can ever hope for a solid RKBA majority in congress, there is going to have to be some sort of non-aggression pact. I just don’t see that happening without one side or the other going libertarian, a move I would support (federally).

      1. I doubt you’ll see that. Exit polling is notoriously skewed to the left, no doubt due to a selection bias presumably those who are willing to tell a nosy stranger who they just voted for and why. Any polls before them are based on likely voter models … which can only be validated by exit polls….

        There are some things for which we just don’t have data, and perhaps its better that way, I’m reminded of post-1949 Hong Kong’s wild economic success, which is in part credited to a guy who refused to collect economic statistics, believing they would only be used for ill (this was while the U.K. was in the thrall to full blown old school, nationalization styled Socialism).

        And, hmmm, come to think of it, no party and very very very few candidates have good enough records on the RKBA for that to likely be decisive in a positive way:

        E.g. on the other hand we are pretty sure a lot of politicians have been forced to spend more time with their families after voting for gun control. We’ve all heard the larger stuff; recently I read an anecdote of a Wichita area Democrat who was talking to someone in the general aviation field, about how he’d helped save that from the lawyers (the The General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, and to say it saved it is no understatement).

        The constituent was thankful, but regretfully told him he couldn’t vote for him due to the AW ban. When the soon to be ex-Congresscritter started the “Why would you need…” his constituent interrupted to say, “Don’t tell me what I need….”

        Enough Americans don’t like being controlled and vote on that that this will continue to be a potent issue for the foreseeable future.

  4. This just smacks of the “divide and conquer” politics they’re after. Shave off and discredit any gun rights groups by any means.

    It discourages me to see others helping that effort. At this point, we have an accusation. Can anyone else here say that they haven’t said or done something that would be politically objectionable or violate the left’s definition of the correct PC position on it?

    1. I think using someone’s wedding photos without permission, as seems to be the case here, goes beyond PC or not PC. I also don’t think there’s anything PC about suggesting that gays deserve the same respect and treatment in society as anyone else.

      What if that had been a black man and a white woman, and the same thing was used to try to defeat a candidate who supported allowing mixed race marriages? Would it be PC to suggest that such a tactic was loathsome?

      1. I get what you’re saying, but at this point, it’s an accusation rather than a fact.

        And no, I’m concerned that he’s involved in that, as I don’t agree with those politics. But I don’t want to see the pro-gun movement sliced and diced based on fringe politics.

      2. “What if that had been a black man and a white woman, and the same thing was used to try to defeat a candidate who supported allowing mixed race marriages?”

        I’ve done some research into the matter, and everything I have found indicates that the ENTIRE reason for government involvement in marriage was to prevent “interracial” unions.

        The groups lobbying a pro-gay agenda seem to think that they can fix a problem of government by adding MORE government; I prefer the opposite solution: Get the government the hell out of the institution of marriage.

        1. And that’s just it. It isn’t the RMGO that did this, but Dudley Brown. And the SPLC is simply using this angle to get at the RMGO.

          What about the GOA and the accusations that the president was involved with white supremacist groups? What about the next little thing somebody finds out about LaPierre?

          I don’t have to agree with every other person about their politics on other issues. I just have to make sure they’re doing what they can on this issue.

        2. I’ve done some research into the matter, and everything I have found indicates that the ENTIRE reason for government involvement in marriage was to prevent “interracial” unions.

          That is going to take some pretty strong evidence. Government has been involved in the marriage business for a very long time — well before any concern about interracial marriage, which was a 17th century idea — one that Christian Europe found completely unremarkable.

  5. Dudley Brown has been dividing gun owners for years. He never misses an opportunity to snipe at other gun groups. I find him to be a loathesome opportunist, so I will put my biases against him on the table. When you’re high profile in any issue, you have to be careful. If someone from NRA’s leadership got wrapped up in something like this, I’d call for their head too. There’s a big difference between you or I, and someone running a pro-gun organization. To some degree, when you step up to that level in an issue, you lose a good bit of flexibility in terms of your behavior and what you lend your name to.

    1. Sure. NRA is a one issue group and I respect that. It’s just that there is no politician that can win on gun politics alone. It’s an issue that requires diverse electoral and campaign strategies and a ground game in all regions in all 50 states. Like you pointed out, Obama didn’t win anywhere near 51% of the country. The 51% got added up town by down, house by house. It’s a strategy that makes sense.

    2. Dudley Brown has been dividing gun owners for years. He never misses an opportunity to snipe at other gun groups.

      I’m certainly willing to believe that … but has he done that to any great effect? I can’t remember ever hearing of him or the NAGR until I got that curious fundraising package I mentioned, and then after someone shared a photo of their’s attacking Reid front and center, due to a posting of yours I dived into their 990s. They seem to be legit, but very small time operators.

      Ah, reading their “peacock” Wikipedia entry (which the usual suspects really want to delete), they claim to have done stuff way west of me, a lot west of Colorado.

  6. Government involvement in marriage has to do with property rights and powers of decision-making (at least nominally.)
    And as long as two heterosexual, serially-adulterous, previously-divorced, sterile, adults can get married, I don’t see any reason to limit governmental marriage to heterosexuals.

    1. The historical interest of secular American governments in marriage generally was division of common property, support of biological children of the marriage, and alimony. Alimony is pretty well gone under American law, and division of law can be handled quite sufficiently by contract. Child support is really the only remaining interest, and homosexual couples are guaranteed to have no biological children.

      Sterile or overage straight couples are free-riders on government recognition of marriage; if governments chose to exclude such couples from marriage, they would certainly have a legitimate basis for doing so. At least one argument against doing so is that in some cases this would be a serious invasion of privacy, but you could make the argument that if you don’t want the invasion of privacy, don’t ask for governmental recognition of your relationship.

      At the core, however, we are confronting a big question: may governments impose religious or other moral codes on others? Anyone that isn’t an anarchist has already answered that question in the affirmative. Anyone that supports same-sex marriage but argues that polygamy doesn’t deserve the same protection needs to explain why a practice widely practiced for thousands of years and which produces biological children deserves less protection than a practice which is entirely novel.

      A lot of this is about one group demanding that they be given an official stamp of approval: “You’re okay.” At least half of the population is at least uncomfortable doing so, and some of those who are saying, “okay” are doing so because of a steady drumbeat of propaganda telling them they are homophobes for not approving.

      I have never been thrilled with the libertarian proposal to have the government simply disengage from the definition of marriage, but I am willing to do so now. The efforts to suppress freedom of speech by the homosexual activists, with the really outrageous example of suing an American pastor because he spoke in Uganda and the Ugandan Parliament afterwards considered an extreme criminal statute about homosexuality (even this New York Times account is terrifying in its implications for free speech. We are reaching the point where I would rather see marriage completely disengaged from the government rather than reward these fascists.

      1. In the past century or so, taxes and benefits (governmental and non) have been structured differently depending on marriage status.
        And arguing that the legal benefits of marriage can be handled by contract law and powers of attorney are disingenuous, when a marriage can be had for cheap and all those contracts require a lawyer and are subject to being broken in court or just plain ignored. Abuse of the legal system or outright refusal to honor contracts of homosexuals is much too common Assn event.
        Your parade of horribles are examples of abuses of the system, how about we address these abuses directly?
        I believe I’m summarizing you when I say that marriage as a sacred institution was basically destroyed by the changed in divorce laws in the middle of last century. Given that, we’re left with the contractual and other legal benefits. We’re not going to deny those to the childless and atheists, so your argument leaves me entirely unconvinced. They are seeking approval, just as interracial couples did and do seek approval for their relationships. The point that a majority of people disapprove is meaningless, an example of appeal by mob approval.

        1. I’ve given the “contract law” aspect a lot of thought, and have concluded two things.

          First, how many of us understand what kind of legal contract we enter into, when we get married? How many of the terms are good, and how many hideous? Wouldn’t most couples do well to discuss these things beforehand, even if they ultimately just settle on a well-established broilerplate contract?

          Second, why should we have to petition a State to change the terms of our contract? Why should the terms automatically change, just because we move to another State? Indeed, many men are on “marriage strikes”, either intentionally or not, because they see the disintegration of a marriage, and they see how the Law itself really hurts men. Wouldn’t it be far better to make marriage a contractual institution? In this way, men wouldn’t have to worry about legislative reform to get the reform that is badly needed.

          Thus, I don’t think the desire to relegate marriage to contract law is disingenous in the least.

          1. I won’t make Ian’s argument above, but will point out that when it involves children, who by definition cannot be parties to a contract, you need another model or metaphor. And if you view marriage as a system for providing the best possible environment for the raising of children….

      2. “homosexual couples are guaranteed to have no biological children…”

        Aren’t children born within a marriage deemed to be the children of the married couple unless that status is challenged and tested? So if two women married and one of them happened to be just a few weeks pregnant…. The guarantee just ran out!

        Utilitarian arguments don’t hold water on that issue. Religious ones fail under the First Amendment. What’s that leave, personal revulsion? There’s plenty in this world turns my stomach but unless it involves initiating fraud or force against others, there’s no reason for it to be a matter of law.

        I’d be happy if the Feds stopped recognizing *all* marriages. Why should tax status change? Why should some person to whom one has only a legally-removable bond get special rights in re your medical treatment, court testimony, inheritance, etc?

        But my real reason for writing is to illustrate how this is a wedge issue. Do you want to keep your gun rights, or do you want to go officially snub queers? Which one’s gonna do you the most good? Pick one and stick with it.

        1. Good point, and WHY does the govt give tax breaks to married couples to start with?
          I assume it’s to leave them more money to raise kids with, if this is correct then isn’t homosexual couples getting married just a tax dodge? As they will never produce any children to raise, which in reality is like getting a tax deduction you are not qualified for, so it is fraud as far as I’m concerned.

          1. There isn’t much of a tax break for married childless couples, and it can be a tax penalty for two professionals who make approximately the same amount of money; Google marriage penalty sometime. (I got bit by that one year.) The tax code subsidizes parenting, I’ll admit, but does so regardless of the method of acquisition of the squirming tax breaks. And it’s not impossible for homosexuals to have biological children, either.
            (Side note, there is one common-law benefit of marriage impossible to duplicate by contract law.com and that’s spousal privilege in testimony…)

        2. Do you want to keep your gun rights, or do you want to go officially snub queers?

          Not an either / or question. There’s a pretty large overlap on those who believe in the Second Amendment and those who back traditional notions of family from what I’ve seen…. but I’ll note that there’s one whack of a lot more evangelicals who get mobilized for politics than gun owners. So losing 10% of the evangelicals by opposing the traditional definition of marriage is going to hurt you more than losing 10% of the gun owners who want to be tolerant of a group that skews anti-gun anyway. YMMV.

      3. Marriage being stated as a fundamental right, 14 different times, by the Supreme Court, changes that “legitimate”. Sterile or overage straight couples cannot be denied the right to marry, either.

  7. I read the article, and I am a bit mystified on what basis RMGO’s internal documents are legitimately open to the discovery process. There is a legitimate question about copyright violation, and perhaps determining if RMGO has some part in the producing of the mailer might be legitimate — but this sounds like a fishing expedition intended to intimidate RMGO and other political groups into telling their employees that what they do after hours is something that their employer can control.

    1. I would imagine they probably aren’t… but I also don’t know what their attorneys know. If it’s just a fishing expedition, it ought to be defeated if challenged.

  8. This has been done before by the same people.

    “By the same people” I mean, just because the up-front name on the news story and the head shot are different, doesn’t mean the same personalities aren’t the “brains” behind doing the same things they did before. These are all front groups, and not legitimate single-issue organizations. Their goal is to raise money and support stealth “Christian Right” candidates. Their agenda can never be trusted to be pure, regarding whatever their front issue is. The candidate in the referenced story was a consultant to GOA at the time. Now he works with NAGR.

  9. And the whole conversation here is exactly my point. If “they” can use elements like this to divide us and splinter off people from support based on their views on other issues, we’re lost. That is exactly their goal, and it makes me sad to see “them” succeeding right here.

    1. Ummm, perhaps I’m missing something, but that would appear to be a RMGO event, not a NAGR one.

      I’m two states to the east of the Rocky Mountains, we’re pretty disjoint from them. The NAGR, on the other hand, has been sending me begging snail mail, so I’d like to know what they do beside trash Harry Reid before it’s clear that should be done.

        1. That’s nice, but is entirely irrelevant to the question of “What has the NAGR accomplished?”

          1. Well, since you can’t look it up yourself, I’ll get you a link.

            As a lobbying organization, I don’t expect you to be the target of their efforts. Just like the NRA, they collect money and use it to lobby government, but with a “no compromise” direction. They just don’t get the major media coverage like the NRA does.

            You could equally ask “what has the NRA accomplished”, with similar results.

              1. OK, maybe I need education on NAGR. But from what I’ve seen, the RMGO has been useful on area gun issues. And Colorado, with it’s growing bluish hue, is a serious concern. It also has some bills coming down soon that are as ugly if not uglier than the national ones.

                I know enough about Dudley to know that he’s on “the other side” of some issues from me. But I also haven’t seen him using RMGO to affect those issues.

                For me, I’m very concerned on the NRA’s history of “compromise”, and have been trying to find if there are any good organizations aside from them that would be appropriate to help get moving.

            1. And evidently you can’t be bothered to read a whole conversation before jumping into it, for if you had you would have noticed my skeptical comments on the Wikipedia entry.

              I need something more than bald assertions; unlike the RGMO I know they file their IRS Form 990s since I’ve read them all, but they don’t tell me much other than that it doesn’t look like it’s a complete scam.

              However any claim they are an effective lobby as you claim at the national level as their name would imply is belied by their failure to have a registered one as Sebastian notes.

              Sure, they’ve hooked up with Rand Paul for their pre-Newtown fundraising, but that’s not quite the same thing.

              1. And yes, I haven’t read all 49 responses here, so thanks for telling me what I should bother and not bother to do.

                1. It’s only the most basic politeness to read them before jumping in and bringing up issues that have already been discussed, or worse yet, accusing someone of not doing something they already did.

                  I’m telling you what you “should bother to do” before making the above mistakes you made. Especially since there were only 40 comments before you began commenting.

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