Following the Anti-Gun Money

Dave Hardy reminds us that when you see new attacks from different groups that only may recently be jumping on the anti-gun bandwagon, you can usually follow the money back to Joyce, and now back to Bloomberg via Joyce.

On one hand, it’s handy that Bloomberg is responsible for it all because he’s such an easy guy for so many to hate. There’s nothing any normal American enjoys he hasn’t tried to regulate. Even people who applaud the success he has had in business tend to resent his attitude that he can just use his billions to buy public policies/offices he likes. On the other hand, he can spread his billions around to different groups and create different “faces” to his pet issues. It’s frustrating, but these reminders are handy.

LA Times Engaging in Right-Wing Paranoid Fantasy

That’s the refrain of anti-gunners everywhere. “No one wants to ban your guns,” “It’s right wing paranoia. It’s lunacy to think anyone is coming for your guns.” Then why is such an esteemed publication as the LA Times just fine with publishing:

As for handguns, assault-style weapons, etc., let’s have a flat-out ban. Beyond the histrionics of the gun lobby, there is no defensible reason for such weapons to be a part of our culture. They exist for one purpose: to kill. Yes, hobbyists also like to use guns for target shooting and other nonlethal purposes, but it’s hard to say that desire for sport outweighs the atrocious level of gun-related deaths in this country.

So they are coming for my guns then? Probably shotguns eventually too, once they figure out they are highly lethal instruments when compared to “assault-style weapons,” and especially handguns. But nonetheless, how can they argue that no one wants to ban guns when people are regularly calling for it? Am I not supposed to take this seriously? Is this person kidding? Is it just engaging in a little left-wing daydreaming? The fact is our opponents have no credibility on this. We know better. When they feel emboldened, they are quite willing to speak their true views.  From the comments:

“Totally agree: Let’s ban guns. It will never happen, but what a nice idea. Otherwise, Isla Vista will keep happening over & over & over again.”

“Awwww, you’re making the gun nutters cry … KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!”

“The author doesn’t go far enough. Repeal the Second Amendment.”

“Where did he say, “Ban all guns?” He said ban all handguns. But that’s alright, twist his words to suit your own predilections.” [Glad he cleared that up. I was worried for a second.]

“In virtually every other civilized country in the world, this would not be a particularly controversial proposal. But in America it will never be taken seriously, as evidenced by all the ridiculing comments below. For whatever reasons, Americans consider it vitally important — essential, in fact — that they be able to shoot other people. And so life goes on. Except for all the people who get shot.” [Very few countries ban handguns, actually.]

“What we need is legislation to stop people from killing other people with handguns and assault weapons that were designed specifically for that purpose – to kill people. Sporting rifles and shotguns are not made for that purpose, so leave them be. If you want to handle assault weapons, join the police or military where they are both appropriate and well-regulated.” [Jeez, you’d think shotguns and rifles weren’t extremely effective at killing people. If it can take down an Elk effectively with one shot, it’ll take down a person just fine.]

Granted, most of the comments are pro-gun, but that’s to be expected. Nonetheless, you can find this opinion to be common if you look among people who don”t like firearms.


UC Santa Barbara Shooter Sought out Gun Free Zone

Bob Owens notes that it was in the shooter’s 141 page manifesto that he was fearful of being stopped by someone with a gun. Our opponents have repeatedly told us that these people don’t really care where they commit their acts, and don’t really do that level of planning. These people might be deranged, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of a high degree of planning. As Bob notes, this and many other mass killers may be insane, but they are not crazy. They are capable of keeping themselves together enough to plan, to buy firearms, and in many cases fool therapists and law enforcement as to the extent of their derangement. And yet, the media brings us back to the gun laws. Always the gun laws:

The Second Amendment — regardless of your modern-day interpretation of it — doesn’t touch on one of gun control’s biggest problems: how to keep firearms out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them because of health concerns.

This passage from Monday’s Los Angeles Times is particularly wise. “The mental health system is imperfect, by design — a teeter-totter that weighs patients’ civil liberties against public safety. Rodger existed in the middle, on the fulcrum, simmering and disturbed, just beyond arm’s reach.”

No… he did not exist in the middle of the fulcrum, because at the very very beginning of the fulcrum, California law prohibits those people from buying or possessing firearms. He would have been forced to seek a firearm on the black market, being unable to buy one legally, and the cops just taken him for observation. It’s amazing how many journalists, who know nothing about the subject on which they are speaking, are busy peddling solutions. Before you can peddle solutions, you need to have a basic understanding of current laws.

SCOTUS: Police Can Shoot Someone in a High-Speed Chase

The Supreme Court says that a police-inflicted death penalty for someone who leads police on a high-speed chase is justified. It was a unanimous decision. It’s the law in many cases that police can use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect , but that’s usually limited to someone who has committed a forcible felony. Pennsylvania’s law, for instance, is the following:

However, he is justified in using deadly force only when he believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or such other person, or when he believes both that:

(i)  such force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape; and

(ii)  the person to be arrested has committed or attempted a forcible felony or is attempting to escape and possesses a deadly weapon, or otherwise indicates that he will endanger human life or inflict serious bodily injury unless arrested without delay.

You can read more about the case over at Scotusblog. What concerns me is that the high speed chase started when the driver got pulled over for a broken headlight. This wasn’t the case of a fleeing and dangerous felon. The passenger in the car was killed as well, but her claims weren’t at issue in this case; the Court only ruled about whether the driver’s rights were violated. I would hope the passenger would have a claim.

The New Media Darling

The father of one of the shooting victims, Richard Martinez, is likely going to be someone we’re going to be seeing a lot of. He’s been plastered all over the media ever since the shooting, because he was on the stump immediately demanding gun control and badmouthing the NRA by association its members. I have to admit to being completely dumbfounded by this. When my mother died, I needed some time. I have to admit to not understanding people who can charge right into a political debate after losing a loved one.

“What has changed? Have we learned nothing? These things are going to continue until somebody does something, so where the hell is the leadership? Where the hell are these people we elect to Congress that we spend so much money on? These people are getting rich sitting in Congress, what do they do? They don’t take care of our kids.

My kid died because nobody responded to what happened at Sandy Hook. Those parents lost little kids. It’s bad enough that I lost my 20-year-old, but I had 20 years with my son, that’s all I’ll have. But those people lost their children at six and seven years old. How do you think they feel? And who’s talking to them now? Who is doing anything for them now? Who is standing up for those kids that died back then in an elementary school? Why wasn’t something done? It’s outrageous!”

California has all the things that were proposed after Sandy Hook. All it takes in California is one cop willing to take a person in for evaluation for that person to earn a five year prohibition from buying or possessing a firearm. The shooters parents begged the authorities to do something. They did nothing. He wasn’t even worth a ride to a mental hospital. Because of that, the shooter was able to buy his firearms legally. I get the guy is angry, but his anger is entirely misdirected. He should be asking the authorities in California why they refused to take even the simplest action of taking him in for a 5150.

News Links for Wednesday 5-28-2014

It doesn’t quite feel like hump day this week, since Monday was a holiday, and I started the week on Tuesday in the office. My apologies for the dead air yesterday, but I was too tired on Monday and too busy on Tuesday to get anything up.

California Shooting:

It’s time to stop blaming the NRA and constitution for madmen. The idea that NRA is responsible for this is insulting enough, but it makes it doubly so that they are being blamed for an incident that happened in a state Brady rates as tops, with an A-, and that has a legislature the NRA only has minimal influence over.

Clayton Cramer notes that California already has enough gun laws. Note you don’t see that anywhere in the traditional media. Wouldn’t help the narrative.

The USA Editorial Board pushes the “gun violence restraining order” idea, which would mean your friends who don’t like you or don’t like guns could have your rights removed on a whim. Second Amendment rights at the whim of an angry ex! Yep. Sounds like freedom to me.

WaPo’s Paul Waldman: “Could the California shooting revive gun control?” Only if the conversation includes how everything the anti-gunners claim to want, California has, and why it didn’t work.

The New York Times manages to both propose laws that would have done nothing to prevent the UC shooter, and demonstrate to us that they are indeed coming after our guns in the same editorial. Quite an accomplishment! Remember, no one wants to ban guns, except semi-automatic pistols, semi-automatic rifles, and anything else they think they can get away with.

Democrats introducing more gun control in the house that would have done nothing to stop the UC shooter. You’d think some reporter would question them about this? But they are as eager to drive the narrative as the lying politicians.

Joan Peterson can’t convince me she’s not a prohibitionist. It’s an outright lie to write these things and suggest you’re not about banning guns. Fortunately, the Brady organizations are almost completely irrelevant in the current debate, and Joan is too.

This supposed celebrity I’ve never heard of is a prohibitionist too. But no one wants to take your guns. I don’t know if Thirdpower ever heard of him either.

The Never Ending OC Fallout:

Gun free zones work so well, Jack-in-the-Box has suffered three armed robberies since their decision to ask icky gun people to stay the hell out. We hear you loud and clear. Unfortunately for you, the criminals don’t care.

Things we don’t want to see: stories on why more businesses are going “gun free.” It’s the latest trend!

I don’t know if these guys are rifle OCers, but they got their event booted from Texas Roadhouse. What’s been happening with restaurants and long guns is going to be bad for all forms of carry, and particularly for people who open carry pistols. Restaurants are unlikely to make the distinction.

David Harsanyi of the The Federalist doesn’t think conservatives should boycott Chipotle. I agree boycotts aren’t effective, but if they don’t want me, I don’t want them. The problem with just ignoring all this is that eventually these companies will get bold enough to post, and then we have a big problem.

General Gun News:

Exurban Kevin is hanging it up, but because he got a job in the industry. We congratulate him.

Over at Volokh: More on Operation Choke Point.

Why I, an avid gun owner, hate Red Jacket Firearms.” I never even heard of this show.

Chris Cox: “We Love Our Moms and Trust Our Doctors, But We Still Don’t Want Gun Control

Alabama passes hunting with suppressors. There’s good news out there after all!

Author and pro-2A activist Ken Blanchard is running for public office in Maryland.

This is why we need some good evasion doctrine when it comes to the Second Amendment. Most of the stuff these people propose is shamelessly intended to evade the court’s constitutional pronouncements.

The lesson here is that if you find yourself in a position where the police want to take you to the loony bin, go voluntarily. This is especially true if you live in Pennsylvania. Make it clear you are going voluntarily. Make that clear to the attending psychiatrist too that you are there of your own volition. You don’t lose your gun rights if you go voluntarily, and even if they mark it involuntary, you give your lawyer something to work with.

Those Crazy Anti-Gunners:

The problem, Rep. Maloney, is that the same thing that happened with cars also happened with gun violence.

Fortunately, I don’t think anyone gives a crap what college presidents think. I sure as shit don’t.


Sonic and Chilis Still Being Targeted, But No Word Yet

I think this article that appeared on The Blaze document past events, so this does not represent fresh activity on the part of the Texas open carriers, but our struggle to stem the bleeding caused by their foolish behavior continues. These events are likely what roused Shannon Watts to target Chili’s and Sonic:

You know what normal people don’t do? Drag rifles around places with a camera in hand to gauge people’s reactions. So how does acting not normal somehow later translate into making something normal? I don’t know. I have not seen any response from either Chilis or Sonic yet. Sonic is telling anti-gunners they are taking their concerns very seriously:

Sonic is based in Oklahoma City and has its roots in Oklahoma. That they are considering revising policy should be a flashing white hot neon sign that OCing rifles around to restaurants is a horrible, horrible idea. Chili’s is also reviewing their policies. These statements were before the holiday weekend, so it’s possible both companies are standing by hoping that Watts and her small handful of followers run out of steam. Let us hope, because the rest of us don’t deserve to suffer for fools.

The California Shooting and Mental Health

I haven’t offered up much coverage of the California mass stabbing/shooting, largely because most everything that comes out early turns out to be wrong, and also the fact that I had a busy Memorial Day weekend, and needed some time to uncompress. It should be very telling to everyone that in Brady A-rated California, the top state in this nation for thorough gun control, their laws still did not prevent a crazy person from getting a gun. California has everything the antis say will fix the problem.

  • Universal background checks? Check
  • Very strong mental health requirements for gun ownership and possession? Check
  • Full registration? Check
  • Waiting periods before purchasing a firearm? Check
  • Magazine restrictions? Check

I want to especially focus on the mental health law in California, especially given Bob Owens piece this morning about how California is going to make it easy for your friends or family who may not like guns to deny you your fundamental rights with no due process. They are proposing to make a means for friends and family to petition to have you denied your Second Amendment rights. How many people you know, coworkers, etc, think you’re nuts just because you own a gun?

California already has strict laws governing firearms possession by the mentally ill. They are, in fact, very similar to Pennsylvania’s, though in some sense our law is more strict. Pennsylvania has the 302 commitment, and California has the 5150. Neither require any due process. I can just be a matter of a cop thinking your kooky enough to take you to the loony bin, and the attending physician agreeing to hold you for observation. In California, a 5150 earns you a five year prohibition from your gun rights. In Pennsylvania, it’s a lasting prohibition unless you petition to have your rights restored. But despite all this, someone still slipped through the cracks, because no one with the power to act acted. And, much as we can expect from politicians and gun control whack jobs, their proposed solution is more restrictions on the rights of ordinary people.

How Should Gun Reviews Work?

For those who might not have been following, there’s currently a huge backlash among gun writers over an article that appeared on The Truth About Guns bashing Richard Mann for a review he did of the R51 in NRA’s publication Shooting Illustrated. I’ve never been a fan of propping yourself up by tearing down others, which in my perusing of TTAG is their modus operandi. As I’ve said previously, I think their content can often be very good, so it’s a shame they aren’t better members of the community. There’s also the issue that there might be some personal animosity between the TTAG contributor and NRA Publications. That said, there is a legitimate debate over how gun and gear reviews should work.

Most print publications, and some new media publications, don’t do bad reviews. That’s not to say there’s dishonestly going on, just that if a gun or gear doesn’t pass muster, it’ll be returned to the manufacturer with feedback. This isn’t really just an issue with the gun community, since most media in any hobby have tended to work this way. The reason is because your advertiser base will tend to be the source of products you’re reviewing, and it’s never a good idea to pan your customers’ products in public if you want them to keep offering up test and evaluation samples, special visits, factory tours, access to insiders, etc. This is the way of things. There are exceptions, Consumer Reports exists and doesn’t take advertising because they sought to be an impartial source for product evaluation and wanted to build trust with consumers. Blogs also can achieve more flexibility because the advertising model is very different (and not nearly as profitable) than traditional media, but blogs still are dependent on access and good will from manufacturers if they want to get in early on the buzz about new products.

In an ideal world, I tend to think the objective model is better, and is what I prefer. A writer ought to give his honest opinion, and it should be a base expectation of manufacturers and product designers that’s going to be the case. But we don’t live in the ideal world. I don’t think the traditional model is evil incarnate therefore must be destroyed. I don’t rail against it. There is something to say for what your mother taught you, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it.” In the traditional model, bad products are deprived of the oxygen they need to succeed in the marketplace. As long as a writer is honest, and doesn’t try to tell you a turd sandwich is really pumpkin pie, I have no issue with a publication choosing to follow mom’s old advice. I also don’t have any issue with a publication that chooses to go the route of objective reviews, good or bad. Each has its own merits. But even for those of us who would ideally prefer the objective model, I’m pretty certain we’re not going to change that world by crapping all over it.

The Meaning of Memorial Day

I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day and take some time out to remember what the day is about – those who have fallen while serving our country.

Here’s a NYT piece that I highly suggest reading today. You might discover you have a little something in your eye that causes them to well up a bit at a few lines, or maybe not.

One of my favorite genealogy blogs puts this in the very real description of her fourth great grand uncle who was one of the first in her family to die for the freedoms we so value today because he died in the Battle of Trenton. He had no wife and no descendants, so he was almost forgotten to history except for a single mention in a pension application by his brother. It’s very touching to see that sometimes these little bits of history do have meaning.