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.

23 thoughts on “Weekly Gun News – Edition 28”

  1. At the very least, they should not be able to write criminal code through a ballot measure. Talk about two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.

    1. How about: New laws must be created through the state Legislatures, but can be repealed by either the Legislature or ballot measure.

      Since the Legislatures almost never undo their screw-ups, I think the People should retain that power by popular vote.

      Sound reasonable?

      1. Personally, I’m in favor of having a third House, the House of Repeals. But, yeah, I agree: we need a mechanism for repealing laws and regulations, and perhaps even making otherwise unaccountable bureaucrats much more accountable to the people.

  2. I first saw the “republican” objection to ballot issues in a legal challenge to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. I thought the logic was lacking then. I still do.

    Direct democracy is not incompatible with republicanism; in fact it enhances it by adding a bottom-up method to counter the top-down method inherent to representative government.

    What is objectionable is when a direct measure seeks to subvert a constitutional guarantee. In this case it’s the Right to arms.

    Background checks are unconstitutional. They call into question a person’s inherent Right to arms & artificially, unnaturally & immoral give power to the state to determine who may or may not enjoy a fundamental Right.

    So a ballot measure on increasing or decreasing the drinking age, speed limits on highways, or a host of other things would not conflict with the constitutional guarantee of a republican form of government. Ballot measures imposing upon a person’s ability to merely own or possess weapons, or to speak publicly about politics or religion, or to interfere with any other enumerated or Natural Right would not be compatible with constitutional guarantees.

    In fact, ballot measures can & should be used to strengthen &/or calrify the protections that some state constitutions neglect. If I recall in Louisiana it was through referendum that strict scrutiny was made the standard by which Right to arms cases were judged. The thing is to keep it simple, & to keep it principled. Oh & have tons of cash for the ad campaign. But it’s a tool gunnies should use (as long as we don’t follow Gottlieb’s example), not toss away.

  3. Dear Readers,

    The above linked article on the Universal Background Check (UBC) referendum in Maine is particularly egregious, and is essentially a paid placement propaganda piece by the proponents of the UBC referendum.

    There are numerous problems with this upcoming (UBC) Referendum.

    Below is a partial list of the consequences of this gun control proposal.

    1. The fact is that this would take away freedoms, and impose time and money costs, on Mainers who have traditionally exercised their private sale and transfer freedoms responsibly.

    2. The fact is that this referendum goes way beyond gun SALES, and also controls all but a few narrowly defined gun TRANSFERS.

    For example, loaning a gun for a couple of weeks to the trusted victim of domestic abuse for personal protection would require a trip to a gun dealer to process the “transfer” – both coming AND going.

    3. The fact is that police and prosecutors are already overburdened, and creating a whole new class of “victim-less crime” UBC “criminals” has no realistic chance of being fairly and uniformly enforced or prosecuted. Please see Portland Press Herald Letter to the Editor dated 02/11/16.

    4. The fact is that young people aged 18-20 would have a de-facto handgun ban imposed on them by this referendum; without any debate, due process, or discussion. Please see SUN JOURNAL Letter to the Editor dated 02/04/16.

    5. The fact is that former NYC Mayor Bloomberg is behind this referendum. He paid for the signature gathering, getting it on the ballot, and he will pay the millions to promote it via ads, direct mail, TV commercials, etc. He has made a mockery of the citizen’s initiative process in Maine.

    There are many other problems with the referendum, but I will leave the reader to ponder these five (5) concern areas on their journey to really, really understanding what this gun control referendum is about.

  4. Maybe I’m ignorant, but I didn’t know there was such a thing as a misdemeanor hate crime.

  5. The guarantee is for a fed gov that is republican. The states and the people of the states can have any state gov they want under amendment 9/10

    1. Apparently the Supreme Court has ruled that all houses of a State legislature must be allocated by population. I find that ruling to be very bizarre, especially considering that the national Senate is particularly forbidden from being population-allocated.

      The result of this is that in most states, the rural counties are at the mercy of the urban ones, because cities are more populous and more population-dense.

        1. So the states can reimplement Jim Crow then? No, when it comes to fundamental rights, the feds have a role to play. Your right to free speech, freedom of worship, right to bear arms, right against unreasonable searches and seizures don’t end because you cross from one state into another.

        2. I’m in favor of the Constitutional provision that requires Republican government; in particular, I don’t want my State setting up a dictatorship.

          However, the Supreme Court decision as I understand it specifically forbids the States from having a Senate based solely on equal representation for each county–which means that if a State were to adopt the United States Constitution, with minor adaptations to make it State-specific, then it would be declared Unconstitutional!

          It is this that I find mind-boggling.

          1. That’s the main reason I believe that case was wrongly decided. But we have to live with it

      1. I think that is what was meant in the original language. You probably know better though. But since the 17th amendment set the senate by popular election at the federal level, at least, it no longer represents each state. They represent whoever bought their election for them. The 17th needs repealing, on that, I think we can agree. And, none the less, these jerks ain’t taking my guns!!!

        1. I’m ambivalent on repealing the 17th Amendment. I don’t think it’s a panacea. It would trade one set of problems for another, in my opinion. Would the trade be favorable to liberty? That I’m far less certain of.

          1. I don’t think it’s a panacea either. I would rather have the problem closer to home. to my thinking the solution would then be closer to home is all. In some states it could make things worse for sure. In my state a recall back from washington would be a lot easier than trying to replace our establishment jerks through the current system.

          2. Oddly enough, I don’t think repealing the 17th Amendment is a panacea either, but I am nonetheless in favor of repealing the 17th. I actually like the philosophy that the State Governments themselves should have a house that represents them.

            Of course, one reason why repealing the 17th won’t do any good: chances are, the State legislators will just choose the Senators by popular vote anyway…

            One thing I would like to see: I’d like the Senate expanded to having three Senators per State, so that every State would be voting on a Senator *every* year. I think it would be good to have every State have a say in the Senate every election cycle…but that’s another minor tweak, that probably won’t amount to much…

  6. I have never understood why a constitutional “direct democracy” would be any less preferable than a constitutional republic of “representatives.” Clearly our “representatives” at present are approaching total non-functionality, anyway, and it might be nice to have the option to take back control from them.

    One doesn’t have to look very far for examples (e.g., in California) where the people established law or policy by citizen initiative and direct vote, that was subsequently overturned by the courts as unconstitutional — while similar laws enacted by legislatures in other states were also overturned. So, what was the difference? I really don’t see any reason to assume that “representatives” are any more or less constrained by a constitution than the people they allege to represent would be.

    I certainly haven’t kept up with it, but the last I knew, I understood that Switzerland has four branches of government, consisting of the executive, the legislative, the judiciary, and the people, via initiative and referendum, with some cantons having as many as 22 elections a year. That is not to suggest that the Swiss collectively always arrive at good answers, but their high reliance on direct democracy doesn’t seem to arrive at any more bad decisions than “representative” democracies.

    Regarding our constitution’s approach to “democracy,” it is well known that the majority of the Founders held a deep distrust of the common man — the fine rhetoric of a few of those Founders notwithstanding — and I’ve heard it said that actually only about 20 percent of the population were enfranchised with any opportunity to vote. I suppose that resulted from disbarment from voting all slaves, all women, and most non-property-owners, but it still is an indication that our founders never intended to be very small-d-democratic, and intended to reserve decision-making to their own class. That class is not serving us so well, these days.

    1. Republicanism, vs direct democracy, is an anti-majoritarian mechanism designed explicitly to protect minorities from The Mobbe.

      Our Republic has been watered down quite a bit since the Framing

      1. “an anti-majoritarian mechanism”

        But that would also suggest that, given that the de facto nobility and monied classes (who wrote and ratified the constitution) were always a numerical minority, they were setting up the system to protect themselves. But whenever a real grassroots minority emerged, like say the under-represented Whiskey Rebels in western Pennsylvania in 1794, the system crushed them. They seemed not to be protected, all that much.

  7. Keep in mind, the framers were referencing an absolute direct democracy, where the electorate could vote on any matter whatsoever. There is no practical difference between a direct democracy & a representative government so long as constitutional restraints are observed.

    For example, in Washington state a ballot question was used to impose upon a person’s Right to arms. That same damn law (slightly tweaked but basically identical) was pushed on us in Colorado by our representatives (bought by that nasty little fascist from nyc, who also financed Washington’s UBC laws). In neither case was the mechanism suspect, but rather the disregard for constitutional boundaries.

    In Colorado, we are no less burdened in our Rights because a legislature betrayed us than the folks in Washington are because the majority betrayed them.

    Course, Bloomie went with ballot issues after Colorado because of the recalls, which is why you’re seeing so many of them now. But it would be as effective for asserting our Rights if the NRA or some other organization started using it wisely (not as Gottlieb did in the UBC fight). It’d be expensive, certainly, but with the correct approach it’d be effective.

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