Justice Thomas Asks Question for First Time in 10 Years

And it’s a gun related case. You can see the transcript here.

JUSTICE THOMAS: Ms. Eisenstein, one question.

Can you give me ­­ — this is a misdemeanor violation. It suspends a constitutional right. Can you  give me another area where a misdemeanor violation suspends a constitutional right?


MS. EISENSTEIN: Your Honor, I ­­ I’m thinking about that, but I think that the — the question is not — as I understand Your Honor’s question, the culpability necessarily of the act or in terms of the offense.

JUSTICE THOMAS: Well, I’m — I’m looking at the ­­ you’re saying that recklessness is sufficient to trigger a violation — misdemeanor violation of domestic conduct that results in a lifetime ban on possession of a gun, which, at least as of now, is still a constitutional right.

Emphasis mine. If you’re in a Super Tuesday state, please consider the future of the Second Amendment is riding on this election. I don’t care whether you pick Cruz or Rubio, but please God, we can’t have a nominee that doesn’t even understand how the courts work picking Scalia’s and probably three other replacements. Anybody but Trump!

Did Twitter Help Destroy the Small Blog?

Gun news is short today, so I’m going to link to an article over at Instapundit talking about whether Twitter helped destroy the conservative ecosystem. I’m not so sure. I started blogging in 2007, before Twitter was really a thing, and I noticed trouble for the ecosystem before Twitter started getting really popular.

If I had to point out two factors that killed the small blog, it was two things. The first is the disappearance of reliable and timely inbound link tracking like pingbacks. Google can do this, but it’s not as good as what used to be out there. So it’s harder today to tell when a blog is linking to you, in order to keep a conversation among a community going.

The second factor that killed off the small blog was the arrival of commercial blogging. It’s hard for hobbyists to compete against people who are getting paid, and most of those commercial operations came with competent and well-executed SEO strategies that sucked all the Google love out of the room for people who did not have the time or inclination to compete.

I’ve never noticed that Twitter is all that consequential traffic wise for blogs. Maybe other people have different experiences. While my largest referrers are still other blogs, Facebook has been licking the heels of other blogs for a while in terms of where my traffic comes from. A lot of conservative bloggers are abandoning Twitter, and just using it to push links, since Twitter has chosen to take sides in political debates and ban or stifle opposing thought. I never honestly embraced Twitter all that much, except for very brief periods of time. I’d be pleased if the platform went away. It’s tough say anything intelligent in 140 characters or less, so I’m not surprised it tends to appeal to the worst kinds of people.

McAuliffe Signs Compromise Legislation, Bloomberg Proceeds to Shoot Himself in the Foot

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the deal that offers Virginia near universal reciprocity in exchange a few things he wanted that don’t honestly amount to much. I guess now I can shred the applications for Utah and Virginia non-resident permits. Bitter’s family is in Nashville, and Virginia is an awfully large portion of that trip when we decide to make it. We had actually worked out a plan that bypassed Virginia, but it added about an hour to the trip.

Bloomberg, however, is having none of this:

“Governor McAuliffe cut a backroom deal with the NRA. It betrays both gun violence survivors and gun safety advocates and endangers the safety of Virginians. We expected more from Governor McAuliffe – and we will continue pressing him to stand up for the 91 Americans a day killed by gun violence and hundreds more who are injured.”

Early on in Bloomberg’s gun control activism, you could find his spokespeople saying they wanted to bring NRA’s “take no prisoners” approach to the fight for more gun control, believing that it was the key to NRA’s success. What they failed to understand is the breadth and depth of NRA’s support among ordinary Americans. Ordinary Americans who may not be all the quick to anger, but when roused, can become a force of nature. McAuliffe likely noticed this and that’s why he looked for a face-saving way out.

What did Bloomberg offer grassroots-wise? A 3000 signature petition and sad letters from a small handful of victims. Virginia has 363,274 residents with permits, according to John Lott’s survey. Not everyone who has a permit is an NRA member, or even a Republican. Bloomberg isn’t going to win trying to pay NRA’s game because he fundamentally can’t play NRA’s game. There isn’t enough breadth or depth from the gun control movement.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 28

I was worried for a bit I wouldn’t have enough news, but I think I can give a news post a try:

Smart: Given the death of Justice Scalia, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association is declining to seek review by the Supreme Court of the Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the SAFE Act. The stakes just keep rising, and the voters just keep failing.

Can’t stop the signal.

Police in the UK seize an “arsenal.” Only this time it really is one.

Hillary ought to be upset at the lawyers preying on Sandy Hook families with hopeless lawsuits.

NRA eliminates women’s division in small bore rifle shooting, because the ladies can shoot just as well as the men.

SayUncle: “I guess [this] appeals to the same sort of person who buys truck nuts.

Only the police can be trusted with guns.

It’s official, we have a ballot fight in Maine this November. Ballot measures should be unconstitutional, because they violate the guarantee clause of the Constitution, which guarantees every state a republican form of government.

The astroturf group comprised of nannying billionaires is trying to run another ballot measure in Washington State.

Opposition growing to Gavin Newsom’s ballot initiatives in California.

Yet another attempt by our opponents (namely Mike Bloomberg) to expand the class of prohibited person. They’ll keep doing this until a speeding ticket will cause you to lose your Second Amendment rights.

Maybe because gun control is an issue of old white women: “Why Don’t Bernie Sanders’s Millennial Supporters Care About His Record on Guns?

Glenn Reynolds on Leland Yee getting 5 years: “I added the stuff in caps because the LA Times left it out of the headline.” Left out the little things, like the fact that he was gun running for tong gangs and wasn’t just run-of-the-mill corrupt.

Charles C.W. Cooke covers Iowan anti-gunners going ape shit because the state wants to allow kids to shoot handguns with adult supervision. Does anyone for a minute doubt what these people would do if they had the political power?

Constitutional Carry passes West Virginia Senate overwhelmingly. It’s passed before. The Governor vetoed it.

What Could have Given Crooks The Idea that NRA’s Outdoor Show Would Have Light Security?

There was bound to be a price to pay for Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse’s one man crusade against NRA because they wouldn’t agree to being shaken down by the grifters that run that city. Given all the headlines about his withdrawal of police presence at the show, it looks like some crooks got the message. First at the Civil War Museum display NRA sponsored, and now a missing submachine gun that was stolen and caught in tape.

Way to go Mayor Papenfuse. Your childish antics have put more guns “on the streets” than 99% of gun owners.

Reid Won’t Retaliate over Scalia Replacement

Harry Reid is saying the Democratic Minority won’t retaliate against the GOP for refusing to consider Obama’s replacement for Justice Scalia:

Neither side expects the political chasm over the issue to significantly affect legislative business for the rest of the year. Bills to overhaul prison sentencing, combat heroin abuse, and reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration still have a chance of passage, as does a patent bill.

That’s partly because Democrats have announced they will not engage in reprisal obstruction.

That’s because both side are using the issue to rally the base. Politically, it’s a bet, and as Trump is looking to lock in the nomination, the Dems are probably liking their odds. No sense in blowing everything up if you think you have a winning hand. If you look at things from the Dem perspective, Trump will crash and burn, and the Republicans could either outright lose or be weaker in the Senate. The best they could do right now is a compromise candidate. From the Republican side, the idea that a Democratic President and possibly Democrat Senate raises the stakes in this election substantially.

It’s good news for the Second Amendment that Reid won’t try to force a replacement now. Given GOP turnout numbers in the primary vs. Dem turnout numbers, I’m comfortable with the bet.

Is Donald Trump a Nazi? Second Hitler?

This article over at Instapundit talks about the accusation. I don’t think so, anymore than I thought Obama was a communists. I think Trump is a populist authoritarian in the Jacksonian tradition. He’s also arguably an attractive candidate to “national greatness” conservatives. I don’t like Trump because I don’t like authoritarian populists, and I think national greatness is achieved through liberty rather than a strong man. But I don’t think Trump is a fascist in the European tradition. I don’t notice his brownshirts roughing up left-wing activists on the streets. He doesn’t even have brownshirts. Trump seems to be to fit into American traditions, it’s just he fits into ones I don’t like.

As I’ve said, I don’t think Trump will govern from the far right. I think he’ll govern as a haphazard centrist. I don’t believe Trump is an ideologue (that’s Ted Cruz). I think Trump will go in whatever direction sufficiently strokes his massive ego. It can certainly be successfully argued that Trump is a narcissist, but to be honest with you, you won’t rise much above state senator these days without having at least some narcissistic tendencies.

I’m bringing this up now because Trump is close to having a lock on the nomination. His victory in Nevada yesterday was decisive. I may be sitting out this primary for the lack of any acceptable candidate by the time Pennsylvania’s primary rolls around in April. Or hell, maybe I’ll switch parties and vote for Bernie.

But damn it all, just when you think we’ll have an election that’s slightly less depressing than normal, I’m proved disastrously wrong.

Private Transfer Bans and Murder Rates

Clayton Cramer has this video outlining his study on the effects of private transfer bans on murder rates:

I think it would probably make sense to control with states that didn’t pass private transfer bans. If murder rates are declining generally (as they were in the mid to late 1990s), or rising generally (as they were in the late 1960s), it would mask the true effect. I think it would be more accurate to say that, for instance, California’s murder rate increased faster than states that didn’t pass such a ban. Maryland and Pennsylvania are both listed as success stories, but during those periods in question, murder was falling generally.

New Jersey Drops Charges Against Corrections Officer

Be careful when you leave America, as the old Uncleism says. A Pennsylvania corrections officer got nicked on a gun charge in New Jersey after being a victim in a DUI accident on the way back from Atlantic City. I was worried about this guy, since he got in trouble after Chris Christie suspended his campaign. Fortunately, it’s now being reported that the charges against the corrections officer have been dropped by the Gloucester County prosecutor.

This is how lasting cultural change begins. I know a lot of people were skeptical about Chris Christie’s candidacy, and I don’t honestly blame them. But it would seem that the powers that be in New Jersey are seeing real pressure about being outside the borders of the American norm. I have little doubt had this guy not been a corrections officer, but instead been ordinary Pennsylvania LTC possessing Joe Sixpack, the result would be different, but it is at least progress to see a New Jersey prosecutor do the right thing without needing a pardon from the Governor.

Board Elections and the Norquist Recall

By now many of you are getting your ballots for NRA Board. We used to do endorsements, but not being able time or money wise to go to Arlington for a few days and sit in on committee meetings, I can’t tell you I’m connected enough these days to offer a truly informed opinion. I can tell you the Board members we’ve gotten to know over the time we were more active. In the past we’ve endorsed Tom King. I think Tom is supporting Trump this year, but we won’t hold that against him :) We’ve also endorsed Carol Bambery before, along with Sandy Froman, and Graham Hill. You can see our whole list from this cycle previously here. I would not change my votes. In the past we’ve only endorsed people we either know directly, or who we’ve heard from people we know directly need some help and are worthy of help.

I’d also note that Ted Nugent is up this year. While he apologized for posting that last anti-semitic post, the excuse he offered was that he was not careful. I think he’s given way too many black eyes to NRA the past several years, so I’m not inclined to vote for him. He’ll make it anyway on name recognition, but I won’t be part of electing him to another term.

As for the recall of Grover Norquist, I will be voting no on that. In the past I’ve expressed skepticism over Norquist because if you look up “DC insider” in a dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Grover. Sometimes those folks have different agendas, but I’m told Norquist has been very effective at helping NRA out. Also, the “charges” against him look like bullshit and quackery to me, and apparently the person leveling them didn’t even bother showing up to the hearing to make his case.

Todd Rathner is a fellow Board Member and a lobbyist. He’s been spearheading a lot of these knife rights bills, and is generally pretty effective at getting shit done. So if he’s saying it would be a huge mistake to boot Grover I believe him.

Many voting yes and advocating for a yes vote are doing so because Norquist has advocated positions in favor of amnesty. Whether I agree with Norquist on that issue or not, I am steadfastly against NRA taking any position on immigration policy, so I’m happy to vote no on the recall of Grover Norquist.