There’s Probably a Window for Passing National Reciprocity

After Obama was elected, you saw a lot of hot air from the right about secession movements. Now with Trump, there’s talk of Calexit and other secessionist movements that are still mostly hot air, but are perhaps a little more serious. I think it’s likely the talk will get a little more serious as the years go on.

I think it’s highly unlikely the United States will crack up, but the world wide trend is away from technocratic edifices like the EU and our own federal system and toward greater decentralization and autonomy. It’s not just here. It’s happening everywhere.

What would be the problem with California independence? The big problem is that California has no means to defend itself unless robot armies start replacing foot soldiers. Would the California Republic get to keep the nukes it has? Would it get to keep the San Diego Naval Base? What about the ships? What about California’s share of the National Debt? You can see the issues.

If you were to take a group of people who didn’t really want to fight a war over these things, and think about what a negotiated partition would look like, it would look an awful lot like the kind of weak federalism enshrined in our Constitution before the reconstruction amendments. That’s probably where we’re going if trends continue. Secession would turn into a sort of disarmament talks… namely disarming the federal government as an instrument of national policy in the name of getting along and preserving a national market and common defense.

I don’t think the 14th Amendment will suddenly get ignored, or end up repealed. People will likely leave in place the functions they are accustomed to: enforcement of civil rights, etc. What does that mean for gun rights? Gun rights being vigorously enforced by the Courts, Congress and Executive branch as part of our understanding of civil rights is not something we’re accustomed to, because it’s largely not happened. The blue states will fight federal action to protect gun rights tooth and nail. If it doesn’t start happening soon, at some point that’s going to become a negotiating point between the Bluexit folks and the Redexit folks, and we’re probably not getting national gun rights policy after that. States like California and New York will remain awful. So in my 30,000 view of where the overall trends are going, we have a window, and that window is going to start closing probably within a decade.

28 thoughts on “There’s Probably a Window for Passing National Reciprocity”

  1. Huh? is this about the possibility of national reciprocity, or bluexit secession?

    We can speculate about secession and balkanization all we want but that question has already been asked and answered.

    If traditional political models hold any value any more then there is a conventional wisdom that there is about a 9 month window from the start of the new president’s term to get significant or “controversial” legislation passed. We are 1/3 way through without even a mention of either national reciprocity or hearing protection act. The prospects go down for passage by about 1 percent per day.

    Once the budget gets passed, congress shifts into reelection mode. Posture bills are introduced, position statements issued but nothing outside of normal congressional business gets accomplished. This shift will take place about the October, 2017 time frame. From that point on, there will be a virtual stalemate. critical bills will pass – budget, appropriations, etc, but policy changes are extremely unlikely as the minority tries to magnify wedge issues and the majority tries desperately to hold on to power.

    I believe there is about a 10% chance that national reciprocity gets passed.

    1) the congressional republicans have shown they are out of touch with America, the Republican base, Trump and Trump voters. The introduction of “Ryan care” is being received about as well as the GWB nomination of Harriet Meiers (SP?) for supreme court justice. It’s so far out of touch as to be comical.

    2) the freedom caucus, is rightly pointing out that house leadership is making excuses not to do what they promised and have previously voted on. Leadership is behaving stupidly, basically a 100% position reversal by propping up ACA as a new entitlement. This is the political “assassination of arch-duke ferdinand’ within the republican party. Conservatives who supported, campaigned for and back conservative candidates are saying out loud – “Wait, what? We don’t support that!”

    Essentially, this is bogging down congress.

    3) The dems are playing smart chess as the republicans think they’re playing checkers. They’re effectively wedging every issue, slowing down as much as they can, and fighting Trump tooth and nail. The democratic civil war has already been fought and won by the batshit crazy left – socialism now, socialism forever. Moderate dems have been brought to heel, and the middle or southern dam wing is extinct. All that remain are loyal to the coastal socialist / Pelosi – schumer wing of the party.

    The republicans meanwhile who lied for generations about reducing government now have their put up or shut up moment since Trump actually won and it’s not looking good for the congressional republicans. Now they’re actually having to look at cutting, not just bloviate about looking at cuts. This is bad for them because not so secretly, they want to use entitlements to get voters just like the dems.

    In these short 9 months, we have to work around the Easter break, summer break, labor day break. there is precious little time to move congress to get bills on to the floor and frankly Ryan doesn’t want to do it and neither does McConnell. Now, if they have a really good feeling that republicans will face primary challengers at the mid terms if they fail to pass pro gun bills they may reevaluate, but their current assessment is that they don’t need to do anything pro-gun. Their current model suggests that they can tell us to go F*** ourselves, because who are we going to vote for, them or the dems ?

    so, not much time to work with at all.

      1. Yes, there are the perennial pro-2A bills. We all know of them, and we’ve all followed them. The MSM has covered them many times in their typical tone. They are not hidden or ignored – both sides profit from the publicity.

        The only question is if the GOPe does more with them than virtue signal to voters. That’s their typical M.O.: front a bill then let the Dems block it, all so they can collect votes and donations for the next election. That’s what 2A is for Congress: a constant electoral machine. Like I said, both sides profit from the exchange.

        I’m waiting for the inevitable calls to elect more Republicans to the Senate, and to send more money to the critters “because Schumer blocked your rights”. That’s all the GOPe does with serious pro-2A legislation. Meanwhile they cut $1T in taxes for their buddies, in spite of Schumer.

        We’re not going to get excited or give credit until they do something other than tease. It’s getting kinda old, frankly.

  2. ” the world wide trend is away from technocratic edifices like the EU and our own federal system and toward greater decentralization and autonomy.”

    Not long ago I would have applauded that, but that was before the Trump/Le Pen/Wilders era sobered me about the facts of human nature.

    Forgive the cliche’, but the Roman Empire didn’t collapse overnight. It collapsed over enough generations that quite possibly a lot of people who lived it didn’t notice that anything much was changing. But it was followed by almost a millennium halt in the progress of technology, and in some cases the loss of technology, all overseen by warlords.

    Forgive me, but I see almost nothing to be optimistic about in the foreseeable future. Unless you have the wherewithal to be a warlord.

  3. Let me start by saying if California leaves, which I don’t think will happen, I believe you would see NJ and HI join in on the party soon after. That being said, if National Reciprocity wins in congress and the POTUS signs it, we gain nothing in 10 states. Those anti gun states will make STATE laws that make it close to impossible to carry there. (Not in car? No Hollow Points(NJ)? No rounds in chamber, or in the firearm. The list will go on. Make up yours.

    I think we will win LONG term, by the SCOTUS taking and approving some high profile cases from those states. (Or Federal Districts) So Ruth Ginsburg retiring? Hoping so.

    IF we don’t get it in next 18 months(NR) we won’t get it again until DJT gets(IF) reelected. 4 year terms, are 18 months to do stuff with running for reelection for remainder of term time.

    Lastly, revisiting my CA, HI and NJ leaving thought, The Rs would rule for a LONGGGG time since all the far leftys would run to these states.

  4. If I were a Dem, I would be praying for National Reciprocity, and perhaps working covertly to move it forward.

    Nothing else will provide such a foot-in-the-door for the federal government to eventually control the issuance of firearms carry permits. Eventually make it tough enough, and they can effectively reduce the number of permits nationally.

    For an analogy, it was quite recently announced that shortly Pennsylvania drivers licenses would no longer be acceptable as federal ID for things like boarding airplanes. I believe that has now been delayed, but it illustrates how federal standards can be imposed once they have a foot in the door.

    I believe it was nearly 35 years ago that Photo ID was imposed on Pennsylvania drivers licenses as a federal standard, at which time I predicted drivers licenses would become the de facto internal passports they have come to be.

    Now just imagine what they’ll be able to do with carry permits.

    1. If they had the political power, they’d do that anyway. Whether we passed National Reciprocity or not. Ironically, one of the powers that the bill could probably rest on comes from the Felon-in-Possession statutes. So in some ways, we’re turning that around on them. That federal precedent was already set, and used against us.

      1. “If they had the political power, they’d do that anyway.”

        They will gain the necessary political power when the anti-gun states (e.g., the ones with training requirements, like Texas) start screaming that they’re required to accept permits from states (like a certain one close to us) where people can just walk in, ask for a permit, and get one.

        IMO, it will remain unconstitutional for awhile for the federal government to legislate permit issuance requirements for the states — just like it remains unconstitutional for the feds to legislate, say, emissions inspections for our automobiles — but federal demands will be enforced via withholding of funding for law enforcement, most likely. Exactly like auto emission inspections were imposed on Pennsylvania by the threat of withholding highway funding. In the latter example, even the penalties on motorists for non-compliance was dictated by the feds, something they clearly cannot legislate directly, under the constitution.

        At present, such independence as the states have in the issuance of carry permits survives because the residents of say, California don’t know or care what the requirements are in Pennsylvania. But, already many states base their reciprocity agreements on whether or not a potential reciprocal state has standards equivalent to their own. If the feds impose reciprocity, you better get new ear protection for the screaming that will come from states that won’t accept (e.g.) Pennsylvania’s “shall issue” standards.

        After that, the next question will be, whether Pennsylvania’s Real Gunnies will fight to keep our independent state standards, or knuckle under to tougher standards, on the chances they may someday want to carry in West Japip. I am not optimistic about the latter point.

        1. I was just watching parts of Trump’s latest torchlight rally (a rally for what purpose wasn’t clear; still campaigning against Hillary, as near as I could tell) and it reminded me of this thought, which I forgot to include:

          You seem to assume that our political scenario will remain some approximation of what we knew before maybe a year-and-a-half ago. For example, that there will be a Republican Party that at least somewhat reflects the party you are used to. Or, Democrat Party, for that matter.

          That will only be true if some huge wad of shit doesn’t hit our fan, as seems increasingly likely. As I speculate elsewhere, the push-back to a catastrophic failure of the Trump Administration could be unpredictable but tremendous.

          I think you’ve reasoned that nothing fundamentally has changed, and that’s a respectable opinion. Respectable, but unreasonably optimistic, in my opinion.

          I’ve seen a lot, from the Cuban Missile Crisis to Vietnam to the crash of the Nixon Administration, and I’ve never seen anything quite like what we’re living right now. Yet everyone seems to be trying to make it fit their own familiar templates.

          1. “I’ve never seen anything quite like what we’re living right now.”

            Me neither, though that means a lot less coming from me. And I agree people are trying to make it fit their own familiar template. But I’m not sure what else people can do. Things are changing, very quickly. Probably faster than anyone can cope.

        2. “Exactly like auto emission inspections were imposed on Pennsylvania by the threat of withholding highway funding.”

          You REALLY need to update your legal education. One of the things overlooked in the Roberts Obamacare was the part where Obama tried to force states to set up their Obamacare exchanges by withholding all their Medicaid funding if they didn’t. The ruling said basically that they couldn’t withhold the existing funding, only the funding added by Obamacare. It’s why Texas didn’t bother with that crap.

          No one’s gotten a case through the court system applying that to past decisions yet, but it’s coming.

  5. I can’t conceive of any scenario where CA leaves or even negotiates a compromise to get more autonomy. That ship sailed in the 1860s. The screws are going to clamp down on their gun control games and I don’t see any effective way for them to push back, long term.

    I am really worried about the Republican leadership. They seem utterly out of touch with their own base. I just don’t see them moving with any urgency at all, even where they have am obvious mandate to act.

  6. “I just don’t see them moving with any urgency at all…”

    I theorize that they see the potential for a massive push-back in the event of whatever national disaster/upheaval the Trump administration may produce; and while Trump may be their president, they have no idea what that will be. So, they are still walking on eggshells, fearful of going “a bridge too far.” (Again mixing metaphors.)

    By now both factions should be wary of regarding any electoral outcome as a “mandate to act.” Any faction gaining a propaganda advantage is at best temporary.

  7. The Federal gov owns 45% of CA. They can pay for it before they secede.

    Good luck with those water rights too.

    Reality check: They will never secede.

    1. We want to make it easy for them, not hard. Secession logic says they will leave when there is less pain to leave than to stay. Lots of things in progress will make staying painful-defunding sanctuary cities, national reciprocity, restricting immigration, forcing the costs of Medicaid expansion back on the states, breaking the leftist bias on the courts. Making it easy to leave involves not demanding painful concessions like national debt reimbursement and US enclaves in blue territory like San Diego. Weatherman is correct that we didn’t reimburse the Brits or the Tories after the revolution and we don’t want to try to impose that on CA. And we definitely don’t want to do a Lincoln on them. After they secede, it would be good to have trade and travel relations with them. And if NY, NJ, MA, etc want to join them, good. My only demand is that regions (counties, congressional districts) that want to stay get to decide on their own like West Virginia did.

      Bottom line is we want them gone because we don’t have a prayer of preserving a constitutional republic with them in the union. Without them we have a chance.

    2. With or without secession, California really should be in control of that land. The same goes for other Western States, and Alaska.

      Strictly speaking, it’s unConstitutional for the Federal Government to have more land than is necessary for buildings necessary to administer their laws.

  8. “The Federal gov owns 45% of CA. They can pay for it before they secede.”

    A sincere historical question: What portion of the colonies did the British crown “own” at the time we declared independence? Did we reimburse the Brits?

    I’m not trying to be sarcastic, because I’m not sure that government “ownership” was calculated the same way in those days. But supposing that the Crown still retained the power to issue land grants, etc., it effectively owned all of the unclaimed land; and we took it, and kept it. We also confiscated property from Loyalists, to the best of my knowledge, without compensation.

    1. true, but we fought for it and defended it. Do you seriously think CA will go to war over it? They want it handed to them, along with water rights. Good luck with that.

      1. I say let ’em go. Then when they go full commie and come crawling back in 5 years, don’t let them in.

  9. The 14th amendment was supposed to be given teeth EXCLUSIVELY through the powers granted to Congress in article 5. SCOTUS was never supposed to be able to intervene within the states, but was only supposed to police the boundaries of the powers granted to Congress in Article 5 of the 14th Amendment.

    Read Raoul Berger’s Government by Judiciary. I know Sebastian reads the 14th Amendment more like Randy Barnett does, but I think you guys should at least give Berger a read and an honest look.

  10. If CA were to seriously try leave, they would force to vote by county like Ireland. That would effectively chop off San Diego, the Northern quarter of the state, and much of the desert.

    It would just be the coastal area from LA to Napa counties. Good riddance.

  11. “If CA were to seriously try leave, they would force to vote by county like Ireland.”

    I’m interested in Irish history, and I seriously don’t know what you mean. To the best of my knowledge Ireland has never voted on anything “by county.”

    If you are referring to the partition of the Six Counties in 1921, at the time of (tentative) “independence” following the Anglo-Irish War, that was imposed by British, and accepted by some of the war-weary rebels. But not all of the rebels accepted it, and a large faction of the IRA walked away from the Treaty and continued to fight; resulting in the Civil War of 1922. But in any case, no “vote” was held by anyone, except the ruling cadre of the IRA at the time.

    Sinn Fein is currently making noises about seeking an all-Ireland referendum on reunification, now that Brexit has created (again) a “hard” border between the Republic and the Six Counties. When both the UK and the Republic were in the EU, it created a “soft” border that was economically advantageous, but will cease to exist once Brexit is finalized. But, any such referendum on the issue will be a special initiative, and not part of the normal process, either in the Republic or the Six Counties.

    “26 + 6 = 1”

    Tiocfaidh a’r la’!

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