Thursday News Links 09-11-2014


It’s the anniversary of 9/11, and I don’t really have much to say after 13 years. Maybe after 40 we’ll have sales at Penny’s. If it hasn’t been apparent, I’m suffering a bit from blogger burnout. Most of that is because I really just don’t have the time right now. In truth, these past few weeks have been quite generally unproductive, so I don’t think it’s just blogger burnout, but burnout in general. The cure for burnout, for me at least, is usually a vacation, but even if I had somewhere to go, I have things I need to spend money on that aren’t a vacation, like digging a fallout shelter in the back yard. I kid for now, but if the Bear keeps terrorizing the countryside, I might not be kidding. I never had high hopes for this Administration, but if you had told me the Cold War might be back on like in the good old days, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Andrew Cuomo won his primary, but not nearly by the margin he should have as a well-funded incumbent against poorly funded challengers. Jacob notes in the link that it’s being acknowledged that Cuomo’s support for the SAFE Act is a big reason why he fell short of expectations.

Please note some of the unintended consequence of the “law and order” stance of “throw the book at criminals who violate our guns laws.” I’d personally love to see the “law and order” strain in the center-right coalition die the quiet death is richly deserves. I get why we’ve wagged that dog int he past, but it’s always been an unsavory business, and it does us no good to pretend otherwise.

More accurate headline: The NRA Pissed Off the Wrong Billionaire, or maybe the right one. In fact, the effort in Washington State to end private transfers of firearms is headlined almost exclusively by billionaires. Remember, it’s OK to buy democracy, as long as it’s the right people doing it.

Remember, it is unlawful to carry weapons on public transportation in Illinois.

Mother Jones thinks “These Women Are the NRA’s Worst Nightmare.” I hate to tell you Mother Jones, but no. We’ve been through much worse than the likes of Shannon Watts. I’d much rather have Bloomberg and Watts as opponents than the Brady’s, who were a D.C. power couple even before they got into gun control. I’d much rather have an unpopular and failed Obama Administration in the bully pulpit than a popular are politically adroit Clinton Administration. There is no comparison.

Why gun control groups have moved away from the assault weapons bans? It’s naive to believe it’s not still on the agenda. They are just looking for ways to score a victory without rousing our community to oppose them, and they’ve learned assault weapons bans tend to do that. They will ban any gun they can get away with politically if you give them half a chance.

SayUncle notes that using wasp spray as a defensive spray, as an article suggests, is a violation of federal law. I also doubt very much it would be effective. Actual defensive sprays have their place, but I wouldn’t use one to stop a home invasion. Home invasions are deadly force situations.

SayUncle notes that the guy in WalMart who was shot dead holding a BB gun was likely swatted. Bob Owens is also on the case.

Eugene Volokh: The Last American Jurisdiction with a Total Handgun Ban. There’s an awful lot of pacific territories that are unfriendly toward guns. It’s good to see that might be changing. John Richardson has more background not he case. Bitter’s grandfather was stationed on Tinian in World War II as a mechanic, but was shipped back to Hawaii only a few months before this most famous aircraft went rolling down the runway there with it’s rather infamous payload.

The Second Amendment isn’t just about firearms. Someone ought to tell that to Mike Honda.

Thirdpower has snapshots of the rally and counter-rally at Chuck’s Gun Shop in Cooke County. They headed to Pennsylvania right after, but didn’t say where until the lawsuits were filed. I’ll have more to say on that later.

Panera Bread has caved to Shannon Watts. I suspect they wanted to avoid the kind of Bloomberg funded ad campaign currently being waged against Kroger. Where would their movement be without rich assholes? It’s the same play, however. Panera doesn’t actually change it’s policy, but instead releases a statement saying guns are icky so Shannon Watts can fundraise off another “victory.”

Bloomberg getting bored with gun control? I’m not relaxing. It doesn’t take much effort to write checks, and Bloomberg can outspend NRA every year for the rest of his life just by occasionally cleaning out his sofa cushions.

NRO: Anatomy of a GOP Disaster, talking about the Corbett Campaign. The biggest complaint against Corbett from the center-right is that he’s been a do-nothing governor. To me, that’s hardly a sin. I worry more about what politicians are going to do to me than for me. But being a loser Republican this year has to take a special talent, when you look at how other states are faring poll wise.

Anti-gun people won’t give up on this ridiculous notion that guns cause suicides. I can state this very confidently: owning a firearm does not increase my risk of death by suicide one bit. If I die from my own hand it’s going to be by fried foods and booze.

Another mass knifing in China. He stabbed 8 children and a teacher, three fatally.

A lot of anti-gun folks really are terrible people, but let’s not pretend we don’t have assholes on our side too. Though, to be honest, I’ve never seen anything like this on our side.

A teacher in Utah has an accidental discharge while, well, having an… err… intentional discharge. A professor in Idaho also screws up. This obviously is not going to help our cause. While I still strongly believe most people who carry are safe, there is a small number of buffoons out there who will ruin it for the rest of us. We’re probably very fortunate the Missouri Legislature chose to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of a bill that would allow limited carry in schools, and also preempt local communities when it comes to open carry.

From The Firearm Blog: Guns, Ignorance and Superstition in Africa, and The Winchester 94 in WWII.

Mike McDaniel of Bearing Arms: A Submachine Gun Primer.

Remember, gun control works.

10 thoughts on “Thursday News Links 09-11-2014”

  1. Before Nanny Mike we had John Hechinger putting his personal fortune into HCI and the Brady Bunch. Eventually they don’t see the returns they expected and they cut off the funding. I see this lining up with Mayor Mike. He’s going to take a beating in WA state and another one with the senate. He’ll pull back funding. Watts will fade away, and Mike will go back to running his media empire until he dies.

  2. Argh…can we do away with the wasp spray thing already? The “federal law” you “violate” falls under environmental protections, IIRC.

    Yes, it’s a piss-poor way to defend yourself, unreliable, etc etc…but nobody is going to Federal prison for using it on a burglar.

    In other news, I’ll miss Panera…

  3. In regards to the MoJo story, I would have to say, “with enemies like these, who needs friends?”

    Also, in regards to the “violation of federal law” it may well be only EPA and environmental in nature, but I’d be willing to say that anyone who follows the advice to use bug spray to defend themselves (if they survive it) is going to face a lawsuit for it. And I wouldn’t put it past the .gov to pursue charges for violating FIFRA in such a case.

  4. Cuomo winning the primary was a foregone conclusion, but Teachout carrying huge swaths of upstate and getting a third of the vote was surprising even to me. Like I’ve said before though, Cuomo’s problem is just as much progressives thinking he’s too much of a sellout than it is moderates and conservatives joining forces against him over the SAFE act. I suspect Astorino still doesn’t have a realistic chance to win.

    I think we’re pretty much screwed in keeping an ally of the 2A in the governor’s office here in PA, voters (including fudds) are too concerned about their pensions and the Sandusky scandal and not about Wolf’s anti-gun stance or his desire to make PA as business and middle-income friendly as NY by the end of his term. The key will be to supporting the state reps and senators (regardless of party) who are Pro-2A and can essentially limit Wolf to a bully pulpit.

  5. Corbett’s implosion has been impressive.

    PA is in a slow motion fiscal nightmare. My family has some land in the rural areas and the property taxes are INSANE. Most of them go to fund a crappy local school, and a huge slice of that funding goes for pensions. Alaska got smart and transitioned new hires to a defined contribution plan a few years ago which at least stopped the financial ship from taking on more water. PA’s local governments (and the state which picks up the tab) are going to be increasingly squeezed on this issue. Wolf’s election means the financial bleeding will continue for years.

    On the gun rights front… PA shooters have no fricking clue how bad it can get, how quickly. You’d think they’d have a clue given how close NY and NJ are but they don’t seem to get it. PA has pretty good laws now but that can change rapidly.

    1. If there’ one thing I’ve learned throughout all these years and travels, it’s that most states are in financial trouble, some are just more creative at cooking the books than others. Here in PA, something like 80% of your property tax bill is your school tax. As much as I can’t stand hearing the crying from school districts for more money, at least this gives you some options on where to live. There are plenty of places in PA you can reside and pay practically nothing in taxes (my in-laws are a great example).

      I used to live in VA, where there are no local school districts, just county ones, and you don’t pay a school tax, since the county has a revenue sharing agreement with the school board. People here in PA seem to think that’s the answer, but I can tell you that it isn’t. The supposed “jobs friendly” and “great place to raise a family” VA is in just as much trouble financially, and the Republicans on my county board were practically tax-and-spend liberals who treated the RSA with the school as sacrosanct. VA also never diversified it’s economy (something Pittsburgh at least has) and nearly every federal budget cut or shutdown brings the state to its knees.

      As for gun rights, PA is a curious specimen. The economic implosion of western PA decades ago might have had the silver lining that the people who stayed were Democrats due to their pro-union stance, but very socially conservative. I’m only 10mi south of downtown Pittsburgh and my Democratic state rep actually SPONSORS Pro-Gun legislation and is rated 100% by the NRA-PVF, something upstate Republicans in my home state of NY can’t even manage to do.

      Pittsburgh is actually attracting a lot of younger people now, as much as I worry about what that means to gun rights, PA still has massive tracts of rural countryside between here and Philly that vote reliably Red. IMO we need to keep up the fight but I don’t predict PA falling into the anti-gun abyss as quickly as some might.

    2. “Corbett’s implosion has been impressive.”

      Maybe because he has been so transparent.

      I don’t know if the Democrats are saving their best for last, in terms of campaign ads, or thinking the polls say they don’t need to work hard, but if I were them I would concentrate on the Corbett gasoline tax, which hits almost everyone, and the poorer you are, the harder it hits you. I’d be producing TV ads showing gas station signs, that would emphasize “This is what your gas would cost today if it weren’t for the Corbett tax, and this is what it does cost; and here is what it would cost if this was 2015 — all so he wouldn’t have to tax his buddies in the fracking industry.”

      The point being, it doesn’t take much to paint Corbett as a stereotypical Republican stooge for the corporations, and trying to do analyses to refute that is just too esoteric to reach the average voter with sound bites. Also, both sides are spending too much time on whether or not Corbett cut funds for education (“did” – “didn’t” – “did” – “didn’t”) when the analysis of that is confusing even for the sophisticated voter. As a result people which just believe the side they already have chosen to believe, or, just not care about the issue.

      But, everyone understands the gas pump, and the decision to tax the consumer directly, rather than taxing an industry.

      1. Wolf is running ads here that highlights Corbett’s transportation bill “hiking gas prices” and “sticking it to the middle class”. Of course it’s ironic since Wolf is actually quoted as praising Corbett for said bill.

        You are right that the biggest dings on Corbett are the most effective sound bytes…not taxing the evil gas corporations, cutting education funds for poor little Jimmy and Sally, passing a new tax at the pump. Any digging into these issues reveals it’s not so cut and dry, but as we all know most people have their minds made up. Pissing off teachers and PSU alumni (who seem to make up 90% of PA it feels like) doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  6. Sebastian, your wife has the coolest American ancestry from the Revolution to WWII! Her family tree is a course in American History! Loved reading the Enola Gay links!
    Respectfully, Arnie

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