Maryland Appeals Assault Weapons Case to En Banc Court

Maryland (or Murrlnd, as it is known around here) has decided to appeal Kolbe v. Maryland to the entire panel of 4th Circuit judges. As NRA’s Annual Firearms Law Seminar notes, the 4th is pretty stingy with En Banc review, and this case did not overturn the ban, merely vacated the lower court ruling and sent it back for rehearing. So there’s a good possibility the 4th will deny the appeal. Let us hope. We need this case to delay, delay, delay, as long as we can delay it. We need to buy time to hope for favorable changes on The Court.

Weekly Gun News – Edition 27

You’ll have to bear with me here. Last Friday I lobbed the tip of my finger off with a mandoline slicer. I couldn’t get it to stop bleeding. While I applied pressure to the wound, deciding whether cauterization on a hot stove burner would be more or less painful than dealing with emergency care, Bitter threatened to knock me out with a frying pan and drag me there unconscious if need be, so away I went. There’s too much CYA and waiting in emergency medicine today. Horrible experience. The stove would have been less painful. They tried to convince me to throw out my slicer, since they see a lot of injuries from mandolines, but to me if I want to slice the tips of my fingers off, damnit, this is America. Patch me up and get me on my way! I am wearing a sock around my finger to cover the little super glue strip thing they put over it. Supposedly it’ll fall off when it’s time. But it does make typing problematic. Links are easier:

Charles C.W. Cooke: Heller was not an empty decision. It was a pretty strong opinion, if you read it as a whole, rather than cherry picking, as the lower courts do. Hopefully future courts will someday take it seriously.

Apparently Jeb Bush tweeting about getting a gun as a gift is pissing off all the right people.

Tam: “Well, which is it, Atlantic Magazine? Is the AR platform an underpowered jammomatic, like you had Major General Scales write? Or is it a nearly-automated, death-spraying killing machine, like you had Mark Obbie write?” (Quoted from the Book of Face)

Joe Huffman takes a look at how concealed carry has grown over the past decade or so. Herring was a fool to tinker with concealed carry in Virginia, given those numbers. Not all those permit holders are Republicans, you know.

Speaking of that, gun sales are surging in blue Delaware.

You really have to wonder when the other side is going to realize that absent PLCAA repeal, which Hillary will fight for, the whole lawsuit strategy is just a waste of time and money.

Randy Barnett, who I think would make a great compromise candidate for Obama, writes in USA Today about Scalia’s effort to restore the right to keep and bear arms.

Clayton Cramer has a new paper circulating on whether gun rationing laws have any effect.

Charles C.W. Cooke notes that the Dems’ borking of Robert Bork set the precedent. As an interesting side note: if it had been Bork confirmed instead of Anthony Kennedy, we never would have won Heller. Bork was opposed to the individual rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, though I believe he’s come around now.

Also from Charles C.W. Cooke: “Heller Is Reason Enough for the Republican Senate to Take Its Time Replacing Scalia.

Daily Caller: Scalia Replacement Is the Line in the Sand For Gun Owners.

Kane says she won’t run for another term as Attorney General. She shouldn’t even finish out her current one.

Moron: Congressional Candidate Dan Muroff says it’s “not sporting” to use a semi-automatic weapons for self-defense. It’s not sporting to break into my house in the middle of the night. This ain’t a golf game, Dan.

The US is the only industrialized country to lead in selfie deaths. Clearly we must regulate cell phones more strictly, and it’s just common sense to ban selfie sticks.

The Washington Post thinks the anti-gun groups should stop bellyaching over McAuliffe.

Constitutional Carry gets pulled from the schedule in West Virginia.

Ted Nugent would have saved himself a lot of grief if he had just said this from the beginning. Or you know, just been more careful.

Expect to see more stories like this which play down the massive increase in the number of permit holders.

Pennsylvania ranks 4th overall in carry permits per capita.

Off Topic:

Joel Kotkin: The Religious Right is Being Left Behind. Whether one thinks it’s bad or good, it is hard to deny it’s demographics.

I’ve always thought that John Boehner was a dim bulb. This just confirms it.

Millennials like socialism, but they have no idea what socialism is. When socialists ideas are tested on their own, millennials don’t like them.

Fact Check Site “Politifact” Fails to Get It, Again

People often rightly complain that these fact check sites are partisan hack jobs, and much of the time I think that accusation carries some weight. But much of the time it reeks of laziness, combined with not really wanting to take the time to understand the issue at hand in any detail.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe stated that Virginia law bars private sellers from getting background checks.

“Under Virginia law, if you are a non-federally licensed dealer, you cannot get a background check even if you want one. We changed that law.”

That is completely accurate, and a correct understanding of how the system works now. But that doesn’t stop Politifact from rating it “mostly false,” since you can pay an FFL to process the transfer. Way to miss the point, boneheads.

McAuliffe’s statement was completely accurate. Under the new law the State Police can run a person for free without having to have an FFL process the firearm into his inventory, and then process it out again, with all the accompanying forms and NICS checks. If a person at a gun show wants to check out a prospective buyer in a private transfer, he can go over to the Virginia State Police and ask for the check on the buyer.

Politifact is also not considering that the $25 to $35 dollar price dealers in Virginia will process private transfers for will go up if it’s mandated. That’s a bargain basement price around these parts, where transfers are mandated to go through FFLs for handguns. The cheapest FFL I could find around here that would do a transfer charged $35 bucks for it. Some shops charge as much as $50 bucks.

We’ve often argued that it would be preferable if there were a system where a person could run a check on themselves and then present it to a potential seller, who could then verify the certificate is genuine. There are ways to do this. Tom Coburn essentially offered that kind of system after Sandy Hook and Schumer rejected it. McAuliffe appears to have listened. Too bad Politifact didn’t.

Range Owner Sued for Refusing Muslims

Filed under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also under Oklahoma’s anti-discrimination laws. Personally, I don’t think incidents like this reflects well on the shooting community. I think there are debates to be had over the definition off public accommodation, and whether current civil rights law successfully balances property rights and a right to free association with a functional, pluralistic society. There are fair points own both sides, but that’s not the issue I’m speaking about here.

I don’t defend radical jihadists. If you follow an interpretation of Islam that believes in spreading the faith through conquest, beheading unbelievers, razing villages and raping women, I don’t have any issue labeling you a barbarian and treating you as such. All the abrahamic religions are violent and barbaric if you want to dig through and find passages in the scriptures that support that kind of thing.

But if you follow a mellow interpretation of the faith, as the Kurds do, and as a lot of other muslims around the world do, I don’t have a problem with you. I’m not willing to paint every Muslim with the same broad brush any more than I would make Christians own Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple, or gun owners own mass shooters. I care more about what you do, rather than what you profess to believe. If a couple of guys come onto a shooting range and start shouting “Death to America” as they shoot, I wouldn’t blame any range owner for booting them and tipping off the FBI.

I think people are right to be concerned about the spread in popularity if violent, fundamentalist interpretations of Islam. I don’t think that makes one bigoted. But to me, you take people as they come, as individuals first, and members of whatever group you may or may not like second.

Podcaster in Trouble

Thanks to John Richardson for letting everyone know about The Polite Society Podcast’s Paul Lathrop’s legal troubles. Go read John’s post about it, but to make a long story short, Paul’s real world profession in trucking. While instructing a student, he seems to have gotten into a confrontation with another driver who went back to his truck, called 911, and accused Paul of threatening him with a gun. Paul denies the charge, and Paul’s student claims he never saw a gun.

I know it’s always been a big fear of mine that someone will get pissed off at me on the road and call in a false report of me threatening them with a gun, then have the police stop me only to find, surprise, a gun. Paul is not the first instance I’ve heard this happening. I seem to recall, though I can’t find a link, of someone beating a brandishing charge because the alleged victim described the gun as being silver, and the gun found on the accused was black. But you can’t always count on being that lucky, or have cops who will arrest first and let a judge sort out the he said, she said.

I’ve always heard lawyers say, “The first person to call 911 is generally presumed to be the victim.” Being the first to call and conflict deescalation is something to keep in mind out there. But sometimes trouble manages to find you, even if you did everything right.

Tie Cases Will Be Reargued

So notes SCOTUSBlog. Typically when the Supreme Court is even numbered, splits uphold whatever the lower court ruling was. This indicates cases that split will be reheard when the next justice is confirmed. We have no Second Amendment cases before the Court currently, but the stakes in this election keep getting higher and higher, and yet the three ring circus carries on.

We’re going to need more than hope to hold the Senate firm on not voting on Obama’s nominee. It’ll take a lot of letters, e-mails and phone calls to keep Senators in line.

This may be all I have for today. The news cycle is not thrilling. Maybe a news post tomorrow.

Concern for the Future

I like to think of myself as a happy warrior when it comes to advocacy on this issue and others, and I’m generally optimistic things will work out for us in the end. I like following the old (and probably fake) Bismarck quote that God had special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America.

But for the first time I’m feeling real concern that the doomsayers are right, and we’re essentially screwed. It’s not just Scalia dying, though that puts the Second Amendment and limits on the federal government in jeopardy. I’m worried we’re about to get into a major war with this damned fool thing. Meanwhile, who do the voters like? A one man clown show and a kooky old socialist from Vermont. Donald Trump has accomplished one thing: making me think that maybe that Ted Cruz guy isn’t so bad after all. I think voters are sorely mistaken about Donald Trump. I believe if he were elected, he’d govern as a centrist, but as a haphazard centrist. I don’t think Donald Trump believes in conservatism. I don’t think Donald Trump believes in libertarianism, liberalism, or progressivism. I think Donald Trump believes in Donald Trump. How would he govern if elected? I don’t know, and I don’t think anyone else can credibly claim too know either.

With everything going on in the world and in our country, this sorry lot is the best we can do? I didn’t really like George H.W. Bush, or Clinton, or George W. Bush, but I never had quite so impending a feeling that we’re just totally f**ked that I have right now.

The Fight Over Scalia’s Seat

Mitch McConnell came out pretty quickly and said that the Senate would not confirm a replacement for Scalia until after the election. The left is, naturally, in full outrage mode. I don’t really care. The Senate has to hold firm, because the very existence of the Second Amendment as any kind of meaningful right is at stake. I really enjoyed this bit of snark from Jim Geraghty this morning:



Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell should just give this speech:

We should not confirm any Obama nominee to the Supreme Court except in extraordinary circumstances. They must prove by actions not words that they are in the mainstream rather than we have to prove that they are not . . .

This is just a prologue considering the constitutional harm and dramatic departures that are in store if those few are joined by one more ideological ally. We have to, in my judgment, stick by the precepts that I’ve elaborated. I will do everything in my power to prevent one more ideological ally from joining Sotomayor and Kagan on the court.

That, of course, is a speech from Chuck Schumer from June 2007, with “Bush” replaced with “Obama” and “Roberts and Alito” changed to “Sotomayor and Kagan.” Watch the video; the audience at the American Constitutional Society gave it roaring applause at the end.

Read the whole thing. The Dems would never be so stupid as to confirm a justice that would fundamentally alter the makeup of the Court in the last year of a Republican Administration. Kennedy was confirmed in Reagan’s last year, but the vacancy occurred in 1986. The Senate rejected Robert Bork, then Douglas Ginsburg withdrew after it came out he once smoked a doob. Kennedy was a compromise candidate the Dems were relatively pleased with.

I tend to agree with Charles Cooke that the GOP should probably have remained open to acceptable candidates. If Obama decided to float Prof. Randy Barnett or Prof. Akhil Amar as compromise candidates, I would argue the Senate should take them pretty seriously. Neither Profs. Barnett or Amar fit nicely on the left-right spectrum, but neither are likely to greatly offend either side.

On the other hand, it would seem likely that President Obama has until February 22nd to make a recess appointment, since the Stupid Party decided to afford him that opportunity. Of course, let’s not give him any ideas either.

Why Are Anti-Gunners So Violent?

Former anti-gun Governor of New York, and Client Number Nine is now apparently being investigated for assaulting a woman. I’m a pretty firm believer in the projection theory for this. These are people who barely have any self-control, don’t really have their lives together, and pretty much assume everyone else must be the same sad, wretched mess they are. What’s worse is politics seems to attract these very types of people. You can find them on all sides, except on the right it tends to manifest itself as social conservative sex scandals.