A Day of Meetings

Couldn’t break away to post even a simple news story. Things at work are busy, and will be for several weeks. Once I got home, I had promise to take Bitter to Mike’s York Street Bar and Grill. For those of you who read my Memorial Day post, I’d point you to the bit I quoted about the War of 1812:

The drafted militia assembled at Thomas Bean’s tavern, Warminster, Sunday, the 18th of September [of 1813], to march to Marcus Hook. General Smith and his staff were there. A large concourse of people came toether to see them off. The troops were formed in hollow square, when the Reverend Thomas B. Montanye delivered an appropriate address. They marched to Philadelphia, and thence to their destination in steamboats. The drafted militia were encamped in the court-hosue yard at Doylestown a day or two.

As I mentioned, it’s still a tavern. I’ve been to a few historic taverns which were still being run as taverns, but what I liked about this one is it wasn’t trying to be anything more than an ordinary community tavern, much like it probably has been through it’s entire 200+ year history. We got to eat in the original portion, rather than the modern addition. They’ve had to prop the interior up with a steel frame, to augment the original wood and stone construction. But the food and service were good, and you can’t argue with the history. Though I wonder how many of the regulars even know about it. They don’t advertise it.

More Gun Control Passes in NJ

Unfortunately, this is a bit of a dog bites man story for a state like New Jersey. The bigger question is what Christie does, because if he signs this stuff, he can kiss his presidential ambitions goodbye. From ANJRPC:

Today (May 30), the New Jersey State Senate passed its remaining package of 10 gun bills in a largely partisan vote, following procedural delays and additional committee hearings since the last Senate voting session on May 13. Many of the bills in the entire legislative package passed by the Senate this month will now move back to the Assembly for concurrence with changes made in the Senate, and whatever passes the Assembly will then move to the Governor’s office.

There may be new Assembly committee hearings on some of the bills passed by the Senate before the full Assembly votes on the entire bill package in June. We do not anticipate that the Governor will take action before July on any of the bills that reach his desk.

Absent from today’s Senate agenda were simple, easy fixes to longstanding issues that have plagued law-abiding gun owners, which ANJRPC has been pressing for months. These include an “Aitken’s Law” concept (to prevent law-abiding gun owners from being turned into criminals for hypertechnical transportation violations); enforcement of the 30-day permit issuance deadline already required by law but ignored by permitting authorities; and extension of handgun permits to one year. We will continue to press for these fixes to be added to the legislative package of gun bills.

Here are the bills that passed the Senate today:

S2723 (Throws out existing FID cards & replaces with driver license endorsement or other form of ID; suspends Second Amendment rights without proof of firearms training, including for all current handgun owners; imposes 7-day waiting period for handgun purchases; ends all private sales; effectively creates a registry of ammunition purchases and long gun sales; additional impacts.)

S2178 (Bans fifty caliber and similar firearms. The current version was amended to make the bill effective immediately – specifically to prevent law-abiding citizens with pending orders for these firearms from taking possession of them. Grandfathering of those who already own these firearms has been added – but the guns must be registered, and owners could have civil liability if the firearm is used in a crime. This bill impacts firearms with a muzzle energy of 12,000 ft-pounds, even if under .50 caliber, and possibly other firearms. Gun bans like this are based on the false, unsupportable idea that society will be safer if one particular tool is removed, which fails to recognize that someone intent on doing evil wi ll not be stopped or deterred merely because one particular tool is not available.)

S2485 (Suspends Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens based on a secret government list – no due process. Ignores the presumption of innocence to which all U.S. citizens are entitled. Can be abused by government officials to ban guns to demonized classes of law abiding citizens, including military veterans and gun owners.)

A3717 (Submits mental health records to NICS – no stated requirement of due process, despite repeated requests since February.)

S2467 / S2471 (Prohibits investment of state pension funds in companies tied to manufacturers, importers, or sellers of so-called “assault” firearms for civilian use.).

S2804 (Makes possession of firearms a first degree crime for those previously convicted of serious crimes or engaged in commission of a serious crime. This bill targets violent criminals in possession of guns. During committee testimony, ANJRPC urged legislators to add a corollary “Aitken’s Law” provision to protect law-abiding gun owners from severe unintended consequences of NJ gun law generally, but they declined to do so).

S1133 (Significantly enhances bail requirements for certain gun crimes. As originally written, carried potential for extreme unintended consequences against law-abiding gun owners. Committee amendments were added in response to ANJRPC testimony to preclude this possibility – enhanced bail requirements now only apply to those engaged in, or previously convicted of, serious crimes.)

S1279 (Increases the penalty for unlawful transfer of a firearm to a minor from third to second degree. As originally written, carried potential for extreme unintended consequences against law-abiding gun owners. Committee amendments were added in response to ANJRPC testimony to ensure that temporary transfers to minors for instruction and training were exempted. Existing law would already exempt temporary transfers for target practice and competition.)

S2801 (Increases the statute of limitations for prosecution of theft of a firearm from 5 to 10 years).

S2552 (Would protect private identity information of individual gun owners from public disclosure.)

ANJRPC will be issuing additional alerts as information is available.

Public Wants Senate to Move On

The latest poll shows that 62% of the American public wants the Senate to move on from gun control. Only about 33% want them to have another vote. But I thought gun control was popular? I thought 90% of Americans were demanding gun control now? Also:

Data collected since 1993 by the Pew Research Center show that Americans are more closely divided on gun policy now than they were in the 1990s.

Respondents indicated 50 percent support for “gun control” and 48 percent for “gun rights” in May 2013, according to Pew. By contrast, the polling firm found 67 percent support for “gun control” and 29 percent support for “gun rights” in March 2000.

Even less popular now than it was a decade ago. That’s not a mandate for what people like Bloomberg want to do, no matter how they try to spin the polling.

California Moves to Ban all Semi-Autos with Detachable Magazines

The California Senate passes a draconian gun bill, which, according to the Firearms Policy Coalition, will effectively bans all semi-automatic firearms, and requires registration of those remaining. No more bullet buttons, no more anything. No state that’s ever managed to pass a certain number of gun laws has ever done anything except get worse. Once they have broken gun owners as a voting bloc, they’ll do what they please, when they please to us. Colorado is starting to tip, but it is not too late for Colorado. The rest of the states are either going to be saved by the courts, or by federal preemption. For approximately 1/3rd of the US population, they effectively don’t have a Second Amendment right.

All Ricin, All the Time

Fox is on it. So is NBC News. Throw in the WaPo and the Wall Street Journal too. Even the Montreal Gazette. It’s a big story, no matter how you cut the deck. A lot of folks are skeptical, but for me it’s just a matter of incentives and math. I don’t believe this is an intentional setup, and would be very surprised to find MAIG was this stupid, or that it was someone on their side who has a beef with Bloomberg. Disgruntled employee, it could be, but again, I doubt it. Disgruntled employees tend to get caught quickly.

I’d be very surprised MAIG ginned this all up, as some have speculated. The wider a fabrication is, the more likely someone is to talk, or blow the whistle, and now you have the NYPD and FBI involved in the case. Bloomberg also isn’t stupid enough to risk all his credibility on a move like this, so it’s likely the action of a deranged, lone wolf. Actually, it’s not just credibility on the line, with the FBI involved, it would come with criminal charges if this were a hoax.

The next speculation is that it’s an anti-gun person trying to make our side look bad. The math would suggest that on any side of a political battle, you will have some small percentage of kooks, whack jobs, and sociopathic nuts. I don’t know why it’s hard to believe someone who believes in gun rights couldn’t do something like this, when you consider we’re dealing with tens of millions of people who share that political viewpoint. The number of people dedicated to the gun control viewpoint is vanishingly small in comparison. It’s not that I don’t believe the whakadoodles on their side couldn’t do something like this, but the fact that gun control is mostly astroturf, and that doesn’t play well for our odds. It’s just not that hard for me to believe that some sociopath who got a bug up his ass about Bloomberg’s organization decided to poop in the punch bowl and do something like this. We have a huge number of people who agree with us on the issue, and it’s just a fact that some of them, however small, are going to be crazy, impulsive, and willing to do something rash. That needn’t reflect badly on the millions of the rest of us who aren’t, though the media is certainly going to try.

The New York Times a Tool of the Brady Campaign

Sorry for the late start this morning. Insomnia can be a harsh mistress. Emily Miller notes that the New York Times is a tool of the Brady Campaign, with a leading story that drags up cases from the early 2000s that show the industry doesn’t care about curbing the use of guns in crime. Much like Ford and Toyota don’t care about drunk drivers, because they make and sell cars.

How to Give the Gun Control Groups the Moral High Ground

Committing acts of terrorism against the anti-gun folks is a pretty sure way to help their cause and harm ours, and at the end of the day it’s some poor staffer who will be the ones opening the letters. You an expect them to play this up to the hilt, and paint themselves as the victims, and gun owners as a bunch of ricin mailing terrorists. Ridiculous that someone would do this.

Who’s Pitching This Bagdad Bob Storyline?

BobGunControlDynamicI can believe a lone story about NRA’s demise, but when two sources write essentially the same story, someone is shopping this meme around. The first question is who, and the second question is why. As Joe points out, NRA has had a banner year, and so did other groups. Who’s passing these articles around to media outlets is hard to say, and speculation wouldn’t accomplish much. But I will speculate on the motive. No one wants to sink time, resources or money into a cause that they think is lost. This is aimed more at convincing the supporters of gun control than it is anyone else. If they are to build a grassroots movement, they first have to convince people that the cause is not lost, and that it is winnable. I suspect a lot of groups are seeing interest in the topic fade. The media certainly seems to have moved on to other issues, given that I’ve seen a precipitous drop in news stories about gun control. This is worse news for our opponents than it is for us, so you get the Baghdad Bob routine. This is probably a good sign things in the gun control movement are not as swell as they are making things out to be.

Bloomberg’s money can still certainly do a lot of damage, but only in the sense that the ads he finances can help paint candidates and politicians as being out of touch with the mainstream, and only as far as he can conceal who’s financing the ads. What they need genuine grassroots activism, but that’s hard to come by when people think gun control is a lost cause.

UPDATE: The Philadelphia Daily News throws in their two cents as well, on the demise of NRA meme: “Have six sweeter words ever been uttered?” I can think of six words to describe this article, but none of them are sweet.

UPDATE: The Guardian joins the meme.

More on the Illinois Shenanigans

John Richardson tells the story:

Senate President Cullerton’s aim is to preserve home rule on firearms laws. His strategy seems to be to use the Raoul bill as his bargaining chip. In other words, he’ll be willing to trade off the worst parts of the Raoul bill in exchange for the ability of Chicago and its suburbs to still have their local gun control laws.

Read the whole sorry story. I’d suggest no deal. If they ram through a crappy bill, we’ll see them back in court. You can’t have the Second Amendment mean something different than it does in Peoria. That the right should be uniform is a basic tenant, otherwise it’s no right.

Hate of the Day

Maybe I should start a new feature, instead of quote of the day. It would be hard to run out of material. Oh the many ways we are hated and loathed:

“Your group” is full of morbidly obese, chain smoking, lower economic, disenfranchised people who just look plain miserable. Gun lobbying is giving them a target for the anger and despair in their govt.

RTWT. I could stand to lose a 20 or 30 pounds, but I’m not morbidly obese. I don’t smoke. I’m on the upper end of the curve for household income, and I’m decidedly not angry. If we look pissed off, it’s because people like this just won’t leave us the hell alone. Leaving us along is all we ask. It’s pretty easy. If you enjoy life, enjoy it, and stop trying to interfere with our enjoyment.