Post H.R. 38 Rant

I should be happy that HR 38 has passed the house, but I can’t muster a whole lot of excitement. We’ve done that before, and the Senate has always been the problem house. I’d like to think “We got this!,” but I know realistically we have a hard time getting 60 votes in the Senate. If FixNICS isn’t enough to give a handful of GOP Congressmen cover enough to vote in favor, how do we get to 60 votes in the Senate? Unless the filibuster rule changes, and at this point, I think it should, the Senate is a body that can confirm judges and pass budget bills, and that’s it. Maybe the FixNICS sweetener will get it 60 votes.

I got invited to participate in a Town Hall by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick last night, and we tried to get in a question about his vote on HR 38. It was interesting that he fielded two callers asking about the Bill, but neither of them knew he had just voted against it, or knew much about it. We made clear to staff queuing callers that we did know how he voted, but the clock ran out and we never got our question in. To the callers he did take, he stated he had issues with the bill, but supported it in concept. Of course, he never stated what those issues were, because he’s a worm. He even wormed his way out of saying whether he voted for or against it. Allowing your constituents to get arrested by the State of New Jersey for bearing arms is not supporting the Second Amendment, no matter how often you say you support it.

All three of them, Fitzpatrick, Meehan, and Costello, are scared to death of Bloomberg’s money, and the ads he could afford to run in this media market. None of this was a factor when the gun control movement was in dire financial straits. Bloomberg coming in with big money was all it took to undo years of progress we had made with lawmakers in this area. I had wondered why Bloomberg wasn’t running ads here, whereas he was in other swing or blue state GOP districts. Now I know; he had their votes in the bag already.

Costello was OK on the issue before Bloomberg brought his billions. Fitzpatrick’s seat has a had a history of anti-gun Republicans, and the Curt Weldon, who held Meehan’s seat for years, was always squishy too. So this isn’t new. But we’re going to need a lot more organization in the Southeast if we’re going to counter Bloomberg’s money. We’re going to need people to care, not take their rights for granted, and be willing to show up and be counted. That’s been the struggle. NRA seems to no longer be interested in real grassroots organization, and has instead started promoting a culture  that only serves to feed anger and outrage on issues unrelated to guns. How are we going to use all that anger? We have to do this ourselves.

Let us not just talk about Delaware Valley Republicans, who invented the anti-gun Republican, after all. I’d also like to talk about retiring Congressman Massey and Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert, who is spreading the same bullshit. You see, Rep. Massey never supported H.R. 38, if you talk to his constituents. But once it became apparent he’d have to post a vote on it, he started spouting a bunch of nonsense about the FixNICS component of it. So now he gets to go down as Paul Revere sounding the alarm against a boogeyman of his own creation while posting a vote against us. Representative Gohmert seems to have joined him in this.

And yet, a lot of our people are buying this posturing hook, line and sinker. They are politicians. They don’t like the bill. They don’t want to vote for the bill. But rather than coming out and just stating they don’t and have never supported federal civil rights enforcement, they invented a narrative that turn them into the heroes. Even GOA, run by the Pratt family, who I’ve suspected have strong reservations about federal civil rights enforcement, didn’t feel they had the juice to come out against H.R. 38, but they sure were willing to spout bullshit. Another person I’ve long suspected of opposing federal civil rights enforcement is Dudley Brown, and he did not defy expectations either. Do you know why Bloomberg and the anti-gunners were against combining the two bills? Because they feared it would get us the 60 votes we needed to actually pass National Reciprocity, which they know will be a disaster for them. FixNICS is the same kind of thing we’ve done a million times. What’s the old saying? You can lead a bureaucrat to water, but you can’t make him do his fucking job? Or something like that.

I get that GOA and NAGR hate NICS, and I don’t think it’s worth a whole lot either. But as long as it’s the law of the land, and for the foreseeable future it will be, we have an interest in seeing it function well and do what it’s supposed to do. If extra funding for NICS gets us the biggest civil rights victory since FOPA, I’m willing to make that trade.

16 thoughts on “Post H.R. 38 Rant”

  1. Since FOPA? I think I’d find it hard to argue this isn’t bigger than FOPA.

    1. If FOPA hadn’t happened, they would have successfully destroyed the gun culture. That had to happen for survival. If we don’t get NR, it would just suck. But we’ll live to fight another day.

      1. Without concealed carry they will eventually succeed in killing gun culture. This is an increasingly urban country. The only gun culture that fits in with modern America is based on self defense. That’s what the antis in CA/NY/NJ are so afraid of, that’s why we must win this.

  2. More seriously, how many of the Democratic Aye votes are still in office? We can assume we’ll lose 2-4 Republican votes. Are there 12 Dems who will vote yes on their own hook or under NRA pressure?

    (I don’t think so, but it’s an interesting though experiment)

  3. Speaking of the Senate, I’m thinking our only hope is for it to get attached to some other must pass item, like the budget.

    Which we have the Democrats trying to wheel and deal stuff into, so what’s stopping the Republicans from tacking on; reciprocity, HPA, as well as the Dream act for the Dems, and get it all passed today.

    1. I don’t think it can be a budget bill, because that would break the budget bill’s ability to be passed under the “no filibuster” rules (I could be mistaken).

      I think any attempt to attach this to a must-pass bill would end up with it being a poison pill. Besides, there may not be a simple majority at all in the Senate to get it into a must-pass form.

      1. They certainly view it as a poison pill, they certainly say it’s a poison pill, but put it in the budget bill to prevent the shut down today with the Dream Act and force them actually follow through (or not as I bet they’d do).

  4. NRA seems to no longer be interested in real grassroots organization, and has instead started promoting a culture that only serves to feed anger and outrage on issues unrelated to guns

    Yeah, they’ve been irking me lately.

    I’m a Life Member.

    So imagine my surprise to get a mailer asking me to join the NRA (and the name and address are right, and I haven’t moved or anything…); but that’s just normal NRA marketing incompetence, I’m used to that.

    What got my goat was, glancing at the contents, preening about the NRA “supporting the President” in general and all of that, not tied specifically to actions on the Second Amendment.

    I am half seriously considering calling them and discussing ending my Life Membership, because this is not the organization I signed up with.

    1. (And note that while I don’t like the President and didn’t vote for him, I don’t hate him.

      I’d be about as annoyed if they’d done this under a more traditional Republican* President like G.W. Bush.

      * I mean, obviously, no Democrat in my lifetime’s gonna have a chance at the slot, right?)

    2. There’s a reason I’ve not re-upped since my membership expired a couple of years back.

  5. I really hate the organizations getting up in arms about this. National Reciprocity is a BIG DEAL. HUGE! A small little bill like Fix NICS isn’t bad enough for our side to turn down National Reciprocity.

    And I’m pissed and Meehan too. These squishy Republicans need to go.

    But it was nice seeing 6 Dems vote for it!

  6. I’ll take NICS for NCCR.

    Heck I’d give em bump stocks too if that’s what it would take.

    NCCR will destroy the state gun laws. That would be a big F-ing deal.

    1. Might destroy state law. It would still have to stand the courts. Who might write out the non-resident permit reciprocity.

      1. One step at a time. We have to win this battle before we get to fight the next one. There are 8 Red State Democrats up in 2018. Will they stand with Schumer or with their constituents. I don’t know but if they do the former it becomes a hammer. National Park carry wasn’t a poison pill for the stupid credit card bill so there must be something this can be attached to.

  7. Haven’t we learned from experience that Bloomberg’s money is toxic, in that it is counterproductive? Bring it on! Fool!

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