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The Biggest Winner of 2016?

Even Bloomberg’s “The Trace” admits NRA was the big winner of the 2016 elections. Of their seven big ticket races, only Joe Heck of Nevada was a loss. Nevada is probably a solid blue state now. All groups use safe incumbents to bolster their win percentages, but we won most of the important races. The way I see it, here’s what we can hopefully accomplish, in order of importance.

  1. A good, strong solid replacement for Scalia.
  2. Another good, strong solid Justice replacing either Breyer or Ginsburg.
  3. If Kennedy chooses to retire, and he probably should, someone more solid to replace him.
  4. Civil rights legislation that rolls back state infringements on the RKBA.
  5. National reciprocity.
  6. Hearing Protection Act (delist suppressors from NFA).

The very first item of importance is the Supreme Court, because through the Supreme Court, we can preserve this right for generations. We can reverse our fortunes in states like New York, New Jersey and California. Behind that is Congressional legislation to restore Second Amendment rights using Congress’ Section 5 powers under the 14th Amendment. Even with a more “conservative” court, there are going to be some things that are better for Congress to do, like National Reciprocity, or establishing a sort of national preemption.

A lot of people will balk that I put delisting suppressors at the bottom of my list. That helps make things better for those of us in friendly states. Too many Americans, about a third,  are living in states where Second Amendment rights are routinely infringed upon. We have to fix that. We can’t allow people like Bloomberg to continue bifurcating this country into places where the Second Amendment is respected and valued and places it’s absolutely pissed upon. That’s not how our rights are supposed to work. Your right to free speech is the same in New York City as it is in Peoria. Your Second Amendment rights should be the same.

You should not fear your job moving to California, New York, and New Jersey and have to choose between your family and livelihood, and your Second Amendment rights. You should not be forced to leave your home to retain your rights because the powers that be in your state disapprove of it. The Bill of Rights guarantees birthrights for all Americans, hell for all humans. Restoring that idea for all of the Bill of Rights, not just rights favored by elites, should be our top priority.

Enjoy This

Well, Mr. Obama:

trumppresidentelect

If you’re going to do a mic drop like that, you better be damned sure. As it is, his arrogance got the better of him.

More Predictions I Wish I Had Shared

Jim Geraghty is a regular read for me, and he notes: “Let’s begin with the obvious: I did not see that coming.” I need to start going with my gut more often, but I’m reluctant to make public predictions when the data is all over the place. I liked Glenn Reynolds “It’s 2016, anything can happen” schtick. But my prediction to Bitter a few weeks ago was “He’s going to tear through the rust belt, because he’s speaking their language. His supporters that think he has a shot at New York are nuts. Upstate will go Trump handily, but they can’t outvote New York City. If the T region of our state turns out, Trump has a shot at Pennsylvania. He could win it. The working class guys love him. They won’t listen to their unions.” I thought there was a decent chance Trump might lose a few unexpected western states that might possibly cost him the election, despite tearing through the rust belt states. Trump’s style seems more offensive to westerners. Trump lost Nevada, but the rest of the west held except for the states Republicans can’t ever win in.

I thought that Mitt Romney would have been the type of Republican Pennsylvanians would vote for, because when I was a kid growing up, he was. But most of those old time “good government” Republicans, the Rockefeller Republicans, are now Democratic voters. They are gone from the GOP. Trump won on the backs of rust belters who feel their best days are behind them. Those people used to vote Democratic, but now feel justifiably abandoned by the party. They were never very warm to Republicans either, which is why turnout was a problem until Trump. I believe Trump’s coalition shows a way forward for Republicans, if they can understand Trump’s liabilities while understanding his victory as well. What kind of candidate would it take to keep those voters turning out?

To All the Gun Voters Who Worked Hard: Thank You

I spent a lot of time and effort trying to convince people, despite serious flaws in their record on the gun issue, to vote for John McCain and Mitt Romney. I thought Barack Obama was going to be a disaster for gun rights, and he very nearly was! I don’t regret what I did, because we’d be 7-2 on the Second Amendment right now on the Supreme Court if McCain had won. I feared one of the Heller Five would not make it to the end of an Obama second term, and I was right. I did not expect the GOP to grow a pair and block Obama from putting a third Justice on the Court, but thank God they did. Even if the best McCain could do is Papa Bush, we’d at least be 6-3, which is a better place to be than 5-4.

But I can’t ask people to do something I am not willing to do myself, and I just couldn’t work up enough enthusiasm to shill for Trump, and my down ticket races were Toomey and Fitzpatrick. A lot of people were enthusiastic for Trump, and did the necessary and often unenjoyable ground work needed to win elections. The future of the Second Amendment will probably owe them a debt of gratitude. I’m sorry I could not join you this time, but I will continue to do what I can to fight the good fight in a future of hopefully better candidates.

I do not trust Trump, but hopefully he at least knows where his bread is buttered and gives us some decent Supreme Court picks. I am hopeful he’ll be a better President than I expect. The people have spoken! God help us, they have spoken.

Good Night for Gun Voting

If the today me went back in time a year and told the last year me we will elect Donald Trump President, the last year me would have worried at what point in the next year I will develop a severe drinking problem. That would be doubly the case if I had told last year me that the Republican candidate would turn Pennsylvania red. There is now some hope that we can replace Scalia with someone who is strong on the Second Amendment, and that is damned important. Let’s look at the winners and losers from a gun rights point of view:

Winners

  • The background check issue can no longer be credibly claimed to be a 90% issue. Really, it couldn’t after Washington State, but at this point it’s too close to call in Nevada and Maine. Looks like it will barely eek by in Nevada and be defeated, again barely, in Maine. Bloomberg spent a metric shit ton of money on these, and the best he could manage is a nail biter. People will tell pollsters anything that makes them feel good. When people actually weigh the policy implications of ending all private sales of firearms, they aren’t nearly as enthusiastic. This is a mixed bag for Bloomberg, but I think he’ll keep trying.
  • The NRA. They dumped a ton of money into running ads for Trump and helping with getting our people to turn out. The NRA hats I saw in line at my polling place tells me we were out there. Trump owes us big time, and we had better make sure he remembers that.
  • Pat Toomey eked out a victory, but his margin was smaller than Trumps. People did undervote! I think we would have been better off if he had lost, but hopefully he’ll “come back to Jesus,” so to speak. Bloomberg pretty clearly cost him votes.
  • Pennsylvania Dems. The top of the ticket, Trump and Toomey, might have won, but the GOP lost all the other state wide races. This tells me that Pennsylvania went red because of Trump, not because of any major shift in the electorate. Further, a lot of those people who voted for Trump either split their tickets, or only voted for Trump.
  • Brian Fitzpatrick. He replaces his brother, Mike Fitzpatrick in the seat for PA-08. I am not pleased that he only rated B from NRA, but Santarsiero wanted to ban semi-automatic firearms, and go door to door. Screw that carpetbagger! He can go back to New Jersey if he wants a second political career. The other ring county GOP congressmen all retained their seats. Pat Meehan is no great friend to us, but no great enemy either, and won re-election. Ryan Costello, however, retained his seat, though that district is such a gerrymandered monstrosity, so it’s hard to argue that’s really a ring county district. No other upsets in the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation.

Losers

  • The State of California is a lost cause. Their gun control ballot initiative won comfortably. That initiative instituted background checks for ammunition purchases and banned magazines holding more than ten rounds.
  • Washington State voted for the Bloomberg initiative by what looks like a healthy margin. This initiative implements “Gun Violence Restraining Orders” which allow people to have their rights taken away by anyone who is willing to testify that a person is off their rocker. Expect Bloomberg to bring this to other states via ballot.
  • Hillary Clinton. Oh, her tears are sweet. I am skeptical of the orange one, but I will enjoy this. Never in my life have I seen a candidate so worthy of losing. She’s an awful politician, and I mean that in the way if I said you were a good politician, it at least would mean I admire your talents in getting 50%+1 people to think you’re not such a bad person. How bad is Clinton? She lost to Donald Effin Trump. That’s how bad she is! She ran on gun control as a major centerpiece of her platform and it did not help her.
  • Gun control as a winning issue for the Democrats. Seriously guys, it’s a stinker. Put Bloomberg in the corner and you’ll be a lot better off. I actually have a pretty open mind about things, and I’m a very reluctant Republican. But I won’t vote for any candidate that supports the kind of crap your candidates have been peddling. Seriously, stop listening to Bloomberg and Obama. They are a big part of the reason you have ended up here!

Feel free to share more winners and losers in the comments! Obviously I don’t follow every local race or issue.

So Long, Kirk

The Senate is one of those situations where there is no easy answer for the gun voter. There are atrocious Republicans who deserve the boot, but we have to remember the Supreme Court factor on the Second Amendment issue. It gets complicated.

There has been debate here over the role Toomey plays in that calculation. While I held my nose and voted Toomey this year, I did withhold other support for him.

However, one seat that I’m really not sorry to see flip is Illinois – Mark Kirk. It’s not just because he was anti-gun to begin with. He decided to go piss on my other pet group with a blatantly racist attack. This wasn’t an SJW-defined racism that is really just a case of “you disagree with me!” type racism accusation. What Kirk did was make a judgement specifically attacking a woman because of how she looks based on half of her heritage.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), seeking to unseat Sen. Mark Kirk (R) in Illinois, invoked her family’s military service while answering a debate question.

“My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution,” Duckworth said. …

Kirk was offered a chance to rebut. “I’d forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington,” he said.

Duckworth’s mother, Lamai, is Thai, but her late father, Franklin, was a Marine veteran whose family roots in this country trace to before the American Revolution.

From basic opposition research, he would have known she was a) a veteran who lost her legs serving her country, and b) from a family of veterans. That’s simply the basics you’re going to know since you’ll know she’s going to hit you on military issues. He didn’t have to know that she’s actually a member of DAR, but that’s not what he judged her on. He judged her based on just one half of her family history that’s visible in her skin tones and used it as an attack. That is racist. It’s also sloppy opposition research. He should have known she’s a member of DAR since she has spoken to the group and the Illinois state society did actually use her as a model for a statue honoring women who have served the country in our military. There is simply no defense for his statement at all.

Needless to say, that kind of attack reflects poorly on the whole party. Given that he was bad on guns anyway, I just can’t say that I’m sorry to see him go. Because Kirk clearly burned the bridge to his re-election, I made the decision on Toomey to help try and keep the Senate. To see someone booted who would sink as low as Kirk did in order to try and oust an opponent, I think I’m okay with my decision.

Voting Today…

Let’s just say that it was interesting. We live in what’s considered a bellwether county in a swing state. Our voting location is rather unique because two precincts are divided into two rooms that are next to one another. One line is full of mostly apartment dwellers and the other mostly those who live in single family homes.

Because of the division, there end up being some observable demographic differences. In 2008, the line for the apartment folks was down the hall, down another hall, down a third hall and rounded back, and then out the door of the building. It is typically a very minority-heavy line. The line for the single family home neighborhoods is more white, and it really didn’t exist in 2008. In 2012, the apartment line was much shorter, though still long and largely minority. There was a line for the other precinct was one of the longer lines we’d ever seen there and mostly people with other family members.

How did these trends reflect in results? In 2008, well, Pennsylvania was never really in play and that showed. In 2012, our county went more red, the state was less solidly blue, and everything was a bit closer.

Today, the precinct for the apartments was still very long. However, unlike previous elections, there were a substantial number of white voters. I almost wasn’t sure which line we would be in because of the change in demographics. Regardless, we ventured down the hallway toward the precinct line that is practically non-existent just to make sure.

Then, shocking, we had a line. We had a line that went out into the hallway, turned a corner and snaked around, and then came back toward an entrance. It was still shorter than the other line, but wow. We had to wait half an hour. The guy behind us isn’t a regular voter, so he waited in the wrong line for an hour before he found out and still went waited in our line with a great attitude. I have no idea who he was voting for, but if demographics in polling mean anything this year – and I’m not sure how much they do in this area if I’m honest – then our line was pretty old, largely men and older couples voting together, and fairly pale skinned. The woman standing out with Democratic Congressional materials who we suspect came from New Jersey was looking very, very unhappy at the people coming in.

If there’s one rule that Sebastian and I share in this election is that we’re not making predictions. There have been too many surprises both nationally and locally. This definitely has to go down as one of the strangest election seasons I’ve ever lived through. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

Busybodying May Be The Most Powerful Force in the Universe

How much have busybodies infiltrated the corridors of power? Enough that the National PTA has a position on guns, and it’s so badly done, you almost won’t believe it. Their definition of a semi-automatic assault weapon is hysterically ignorant. There’s one part of the position I’m somewhat OK with, “require knowledge of appropriate firearms use and safety practices.” I agree, so let’s get rifle teams back in our high schools, and have the team members run the gym class where the kids get introduced to that kind of thing.

Most of us here are Dems, Republicans, Libertarians, etc. But if we had to really pick a party that would truly represent us, it would probably be the “Leave Me the Hell Alone” Party. The problem is, because we’re the types that like to be left alone, we don’t really seek out offices and avenues by which we put ourselves in the position of running other people’s lives. We’re just not into that. You do your thing, I’ll do my thing, and as long as you’re not screwing up my shit and I’m not screwing up yours, we’re good.

But the busybody, especially the morally crusading busybody (lets face it, most gun control activists come off as Gladys Kravitz types to me), have every incentive to seek out those kinds of positions. You can even see it in this election: the DC-based religious right establishment is ready to have a cow if Trump wins, because the people they claim to represent put him there! The system picked out the worst moralizing crusaders and sent them to DC because they are the ones with the right incentives to get into those kinds of positions. To give government more power is to give moralizing busybodies more power, because that’s what’s attracted to government.

Most of us don’t want power to rule others: we want to be left alone. But in order to be left alone, you have to seek enough power to make them leave you alone. That, I think, is our great Catch 22.

Don Kates Dies

This is a real loss for our community:

I’ve received the following. For those who can remember the beginnings of the 2A movement, Don was the person who took it mainstream, with his article in the Michigan Law Review. He thereafter served an invaluable function in reaching out to academia […]

His work represented a key foundation of the Heller and McDonald decisions. I think it’s reasonable to argue that without Don Kates there would have been no Heller and McDonald. It would be awful for his memory if those cases end up reversed or limited to meaninglessness by future courts. Let us hope that does not happen.

Big Brother of King Country

I rank the “third-party doctrine” as one of the gravest sins against the Constitution; and were I able, I would expressly repeal it via constitutional amendment.

Because otherwise you end up with stuff like this, where King County is using store loyalty card data to enforce pet licensing.

 

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