Bloomberg Dumping Another 1.5 Million Into Virginia

This time is a cool 1.5 million, in addition to the $700,000 he pledged yesterday. He means to drown us in money, and unfortunately for us, he has enough to do it:

Less than two weeks before Election Day, Everytown for Gun Safety on Thursday announced that it would spend $1.5 million in TV and online ads for Democrat Jeremy McPike. He is running against Manassas Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II (R) to succeed retiring Sen. Charles J. Colgan (D-Prince William).

Bloomberg thinks he can buy his way to victory, and unfortunately, he may be right. This is big big money; far more than NRA could ever afford to dump into a single race in a single state. If he wins, you can bet he’s going to be talking about the tide changing, and how he showed NRA can be beat in its home state.

The big question was always how much Bloomberg was really willing to spend. These gestures indicates the answer is big-big money, and that he’s willing to do it at the state level where this kind of money is unheard of.

This is not good for us. Whether we like it or not, his money can overcome our grassroots energy if he’s willing to spend enough of it. Hal Parrish’s campaign web site can be found here. NRA-PVF can be found here.

Yes, it is possible for one rich asshole to buy power in our Republic if he has enough and is willing to spend enough to do it. Bloomberg seems able and willing. I’m sorry that’s the case, but it is just is. Grassroots is the only way we can counter it. But will it be enough? Will enough people step up?

Hearing Protection Act Introduced

Silencing is Not a CrimeThis just in from NRA:

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced its support today for the Hearing Protection Act. Sponsored by Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05), the legislation removes suppressors from regulations established under the National Firearms Act of 1934.

“Suppressors significantly reduce the chance of hearing loss for anyone who enjoys the shooting sports,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of the NRA and our 5 million members, I want to thank Rep. Salmon for his leadership on this important bill.”

Prevailing regulations requires buyers to send an application to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), pay a $200 tax, and pass an arduously time consuming ATF background check. Under Salmon’s bill there will be no application, no tax, and buyers would be required to pass the same National Criminal Instant Background Check (NICS) as law-abiding guns owners.

As a leading voice in the industry, the American Suppressor Association has provided valuable insight to the creation of the Hearing Protection Act.

“Suppressors benefit all involved in hunting and the shooting sports. It’s time to bring the law in line with modern technology,” said Cox.

It is currently legal to hunt with a suppressor in 37 states. 41 states allow private ownership of suppressors.

This is good progress. It’s a long way from getting a bill introduced to actually getting it passed, but this is a good first step. It should put to bed the myth that NRA doesn’t do anything for NFA owners.

Now how about we try something novel, and actually try to pass this thing, and put it on Obama’s desk and dare him to veto it. Then the 2016 nominee can explain why they want hunters and shooters to go deaf, and for people who live near ranges to constantly have to put up with the sound of gunfire.

More Anti-Gun Money in Virginia Race

As if Bloomberg’s 700 large weren’t enough, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly’s group are poised to spend $600,000 of other rich people’s money in Virginia races this year. They’ve been going after big donors as well, and it’s paying off. That’s 1.3 million dollars of anti-gun money being spent in a single state. That’s way more than NRA can afford to spend in a single state.

It was depressing to read this article, “How to Build a Digital Elephant, The GOP’s Biggest Obstacle in 2016,” this morning just after waking up. It’s essentially a story of how Silicon Valley oligarchs have built an impressive machine that the Republican Party is ill prepared to match, and it seems like a lot of candidates are making the same mistakes Mitt Romney made, in not getting his ORCA system off the ground until the election, where it spectacularly failed for lack of ever having been tested. What we’re seeing, essentially, is a bunch of rich billionaires buying Our Republic by creating an impressive analytical machine that helps Democrats reach low-information voters in large numbers with messaging compelling enough to them to get them to turn out, both at the polls and on the ground.

This isn’t the first time this has happened in our country’s history. William Randolph Hearst‘s yellow journalism machine managed to buy him enough influence to start a war. FDR coasted into office, and was re-elected three times largely because he understood how to use radio, when other candidates didn’t. It’s widely believed that Kennedy managed to defeat Richard Nixon in the 1960 election because he looked better on Television, and knew how to use Television. Obama almost definitely won the Presidency and re-election, because the people backing him understood how to use social media better than anyone else. Can the GOP learn in time?

Tying this back to gun rights, I don’t think the NRA is at all using these kinds of sophisticated analytics to understand its membership and other people NRA interacts with to understand more about them and how to motivate and message to them. Bloomberg has a ton of money to buy solutions to these problems, and if he figures this out before NRA does, we’re finished.

I like Glenn Reynold’s suggestion, “Meanwhile, if the GOP were smarter it would be pushing Google-unfriendly changes in tax and IP law, and couching them in Democratic buzzwords to make it hard for Obama to veto them. That would encourage Google to back off of the partisanship.” Not just tax and IP law, send a bill to Obama ending the H1-B program. That will really kick Google in the nuts. The GOP needs to learn to be ruthless to their enemies. Their unfortunate problem is they think their enemies are conservatives.

Bloomberg to Dump 700,000 into Virginia State Senate Race

I believe this is part of Bloomberg’s strategy to destroy NRA, because if he can turn Virginia into an anti-gun state, the real gun folks at NRA will be hard pressed to live there, and after a while NRA will be staffed by political hacks who aren’t shooters and couldn’t care less about promoting actual gun rights. Think about it. How many of you would take a job in Maryland if you couldn’t live in Virginia? NRA will be no different.

This is huge money for a state senate race, or as Donald Trump would say, “Yuge!” It would be a handsome sum for a candidate for Governor, or for a U.S. Senate seat. It is absolutely unprecedented to dump 700 grand into one State Senate race like this. But $700,000 is pocket change for Bloomberg.

The race is expected to be one to watch, and it will be a key race for determining whether the the GOP manages to retain control of the upper house in Virginia. The GOP is in a tough position, because out of six Senators retiring, four are Republicans. They have more to defend. I believe Bloomberg is trying to send a signal here:

  • If his candidate wins, he gets a step closer to his goal of turning Virginia into an anti-gun state like neighboring Maryland. It will bolster his reputation immensely. It will make Republicans in marginal districts very very fearful.
  • Even if he loses, he signals to anti-gun Democrats that he’s willing to spend big. Like I said, this is huge money, and it will make a lot of other up-ticket Dems wonder what he might be willing to spend on their races.
  • He can still strike fear into the hearts of state and local GOP politicians in challenging districts. If he’s willing to spend this kind of money in a race, it could make some of them back away from gun rights in fear of what that money can do to persuade less informed voters.

This kind of money, to be honest, even if he loses, he still wins. It might not be fair that one rich asshole can come in and boost a whole movement to challenge millions of middle-class grassroots Americans, but the fact is that in this country, money talks, and the more money you have, the louder you can talk. Bloomberg has a lot of money. Seven hundred grand is nothing to him. So what can you do?

  • Bloomberg’s target is Glen Sturtevant. He will need money yesterday. Even if you can only donate 10 bucks, that can pay for a few lawn signs, or a pizza for volunteers.
  • And speaking of volunteers, if you live anywhere near that district, I’d offer to help out on the ground. Grassroots is the only tool we have to counter Bloomberg. We can’t outspend him, because our movement doesn’t have any rich billionaires of our own that can afford to spend that kind of coin.
  • Donate to NRA’s Political Victory Fund. This is our collective pool of money to challenge Bloomberg. I will tell you for certain, NRA cannot afford to match Bloomberg’s spending in this one state senate race. NRA-PVF has about 8.4 million dollars of cash on hand right now. Mike Bloomberg’s net worth is 38.5 billion.
  • Get the word out that Everytown = Mike Bloomberg. It’s all him. It’s all his money. It’s one rich billionaire trying to hijack Democracy from ordinary middle-class Americans. Bloomberg is not a likable guy. Part of the Everytown move is to distance the organization from it’s founder and pocket book, because they know this. Hand Bloomberg around Everytown’s neck like the albatross he is, and make them wear the unpopularity of their funder.

Bloomberg’s money is a big deal. Gun control organizations have always struggled to raise money, and this is more money than the movement has ever seen. It’s more money than we could ever hope to raise, and it’s aimed squarely at our rights. Our only hope is to counter his money with grassroots energy, and we have to make that happen in the upcoming Virginia elections.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 17

I missed last week, due to being too busy. You might think these kinds of all linky-no-thinky posts are easier to put together, but not really. They take longer than two thought out posts. The hard part is going through everything and figuring out what stuff is still good and relevant, and then copying and pasting all the articles, spread across three different devices. That’s why I sometimes get links wrong. But here’s a try:

Dave Kopel has some commentary on the recent 2nd Circuit decision upholding the SAFE Act.

Steven Halbrook is probably the leading effort on German gun control and its effect on the holocaust. He writes about it at Investors Business Daily.

The big news, though only tangentially gun related, is that Joe Biden decided not to run. This will clear the way for Hillary Clinton, who is making gun control the centerpiece of her campaign. I think this is a good thing, because I believe Biden would have been a much stronger candidate.

BTW, polls don’t look good for Hillary’s tactic of making gun control a central campaign issue. This might be why her campaign was trying to walk back her comments about Australian style confiscation was something that “would be worth considering doing on the national level”

Democrats in Wisconsin are running on gun control too.

Must read: “The Legal History of ‘Dangerous or Unusual Weapons’

It was reported that gun control groups were forging an alliance with Black Lives Matter, but one of their leaders said the article was clickbait. Take a look at these people. I’ve seen more racial diversity at an NRA convention.

Reason notes some statistical trickery used by the other side. The big thing is cherry picking data, and controlling for other factors assumed to contribute to violent crime, like urbanization. You can choose what you control for to get the outcome you want.

It looks like distrusting the government has become a thing. Can’t imagine why.

Someone managed to slip a win past the PLCAA. It’s not impossible to do, since dealers can still be sued for negligent entrustment and negligence per se. The Bradys celebrate the win, but it wasn’t theirs. They withdrew from the case after pissing off the judge, if you recall.

Salon is really about as much of a sewer as Twitter often is these days, so it’s not too surprising to see them publish an article which advocates anyone buying a gun to have to be shot first.

Here we go with the smart gun crap again. I’m fine with the idea, as long as it wins in the marketplace and not through government mandates. The problem is, as soon as it’s viable, it will be mandated.

Comment of the week: “Looks as if she should try to infiltrate Jenny Craig.” If you know what lawmaker that comment is about without looking, congrats, you’re as awful a person as I am.

New York City is now using backscatter radar to spot concealed weapons. Yeah, this is probably not constitutional. But I don’t see why they won’t use it, and then claim the pretext for the stop was they noticed a bulge, rather than using an experimental technology.

Poe’s Law says that any sufficiently extreme viewpoint is indistinguishable from parody. This might be such a case.

Campus Carry ended in California. I’m sure this will deter mass shooters.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Same to this guy too.

Unintended consequences of banning private transfers.

Gun control has more racial disparities than the drug war. Both have been just about as successful too.

Rare takes on that awful SNL skit about guns.

This is a long read, but it’s more evidence that mass shootings are driven by publicity and infamy of the shooters.

Putting to Rest Gun Control Myths

This article is a year or so old, but I thought I’d re-post it, because it is another one you should keep in your list to save for use when some gun control supporting person starts yammering on social media. Given Hillary is making gun control the centerpiece of her campaign, you’re gonna need it, for sure.

Some myths busted here are the “bad apple gun dealer.” Another part of the article busts the myths about where criminals really get their guns from:

Over the years the ATF and other government organizations have tried to answer this difficult question. In 1991, the ATF estimated that 37 percent of armed criminals obtained firearms from street sales, 34 percent from criminal acts and associates, 8 percent from relatives, 7 percent came from dealers, and 6 percent from flea markets and gun shows. More recently, a Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state prison inmates convicted of gun-related crimes determined that 79 percent of them bought their firearms from “street/illegal sources” or “friends or family.” These “illegal sources” included thefts of firearms, black market purchases of stolen firearms and straw purchases.

Can someone explain how you stop this without making firearms exponentially much harder for the law-abiding to obtain? You can buy the book this article is based on here.

Second Circuit Upholds SAFE Act, Mostly

This is not really much of a surprise, as the Second Circuit has been in open defiance of Heller and McDonald since the Court handed down those decisions. The Second Circuit sustained the unconstitutionality of the seven round load limit, made by the lower court, but also invalidated the ban on the pump-action Remington 7615.

You can read the whole opinion here. They followed the same reasoning as the Heller II court, arguing that they are indeed in common use, and typically possessed for lawful purposes. But they put all that aside and said they could be banned anyway. The reasoning is even worse than in Heller II.

Heightened scrutiny need not, however, “be akin to strict  scrutiny when a law burdens the Second Amendment” — particularly when that burden does not constrain the Amendment’s “core” area of protection. The instant bans are dissimilar from D.C.’s unconstitutional prohibition of “an entire class of ‘arms’ that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for [the] lawful purpose” of self‐defense.94 New York and Connecticut have not banned an entire class of arms. Indeed, plaintiffs themselves acknowledge that there is no class of firearms known as “semiautomatic assault weapons”—a descriptor they call purely political in nature.95 Plaintiffs nonetheless argue that the legislation does prohibit “firearms of a universally recognized type—semiautomatic.” Not so. Rather, both New York and Connecticut ban only a limited subset of semiautomatic firearms, which contain one or more enumerated military‐style features.

In other words, it bans an entire class of arms, but we’ll just use some trickery and tell you how it really doesn’t. After that it’s your basic Intermediate Scrutiny two-step. One wonders why the Court of Appeals even bothered with the first part of the analysis.

Again, the lower courts are in open revolt against Heller and McDonald, and I do not think the Supreme Court has any stomach to put the revolt down. If we can win the White House in 2016, we need to call on Congress to save the states which treat the Second Amendment as if it were toilet paper.

I Guess Bloomberg Forgot to Tell the Israelis Civilians Don’t Stop Mass Shooters

From a story over at Breitbart talking about how Israelis who can’t gun licenses are still arming themselves with whatever they can find:

“[O]nly 2.5 percent of the population can legally carry a firearm,” the Times of Israel reported in 2012. “But those who are licensed to carry a weapon have proved capable of acting swiftly and effectively time and again to neutralize attackers during acts of terrorism.”

Armed civilians have often stopped terror attacks.

I’d note that more than 2.5% of the US population can legally carry firearms. If it works in Israel, why would it suddenly not work here? No, if you’re an American you’re apparently more likely to shoot yourself with it.

How’s That “Corporate Gun Lobby” Meme Going?

This article from CNN Money destroys the notion that NRA is funded by the gun companies and is primarily concerned with selling guns for the industry. Keep this article link handy when you see this meme pop up on the Internet. It pops up often. There’s an important psychological reason that the gun control groups push this meme hard. No one really feels bad for corporations, and especially people on the left feel empowered by taking on entrenched corporate interest.

If NRA is just a corporation representing merchants of death out of make a profit, you can call them terrorists and keep smiling at yourself in the mirror. If you’re fighting to stop the tainted profits of an evil industry, you can go to bed at the end of the day feeling righteous.

But if instead you are calling millions of your fellow citizens terrorists, and fight to take away something your fellow Americans cherish and believe is very important, rather than being a Social Justice Warrior speaking truth to the corporate death machine, you instantly transform into a horrible person.

So don’t let them get away with telling themselves and their fellow travelers soothing untruths. Remember this article, and spread it forth. No one can accuse CNN of being conservative stooges.