Sounds Like a Winning Strategy to Me!

Dems to run on gun control as a central part of their platform in Georgia.

At the top of the ticket, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans have tried to outdo each other on new firearms crackdowns. And Democratic candidates down the ballot are embracing gun control not just as a policy plank, but as a central campaign theme this midterm vote.

All I can say for those thinking of staying home because the GOP is awful (and I won’t argue with that), if they win on this there will be hell to pay. We can take care of business in the primaries. The solution to the GOP sucking is not giving control to the Democrats.

Citibank Strangles Gun Owners

I’m in the process of cancelling my Citibank card as I write this. It will go into the shredder shortly.

The new policy, announced Thursday, prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21. It also bars the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. It would apply to clients who offer credit cards backed by Citigroup or borrow money, use banking services or raise capital through the company.

The rules, which the company described as “common-sense measures,” echo similar restrictions established by some major retailers, like Walmart. But they also represent the boldest such move to emerge from the banking sector.

And I just took the “common-sense measure” of shredding my card, after calling and cancelling. They noted I had been a card holder for 27 years, and asked what they did to upset me. I sure as hell told them. I also told them to delete all contact information for me, put me on their “do not market to” list and remove my phone number from their system. You don’t want this cancer spreading? Do what I did. Get Woke, Go Broke.

This was the first credit card I ever held. Got it when I was in college.


Edward Skyler, an executive vice president at Citigroup who helped craft the policy, wrote in a blog post that the company’s announcement “will invite passion on both sides.” But he stressed that the policies are “not centered on an ideological mission to rid the world of firearms.”

Deputy Mayor under Bloomberg. Time to stop laughing at Bloomberg. He’s starting to win, and he and his rich buddies can basically end us. The only thing we have as a defense is each other, and it’s absolutely imperative right now to keep NRA strong.

I am the NRA again

I’d let my membership lapse after the initial period through a combination of apathy and a mild distaste for the undertone of politics beyond their mission that I felt the NRA had allowed to creep into their advocacy.

But the recent organized and directed assaults on the 2A reminded me that they are still the most effective advocacy for firearms freedom, so I re-upped. And this time I can’t let the membership lapse, I went for the Life membership. At least partially so I can vote and pretend I have input.

I am reasonably sure I’m not the only lapsed member come back to the fold; I certainly hope not, anyway. And here’s hoping they can continue to be effective.

Regulation is Coming

While both he GOP and the Dems are still sucking up to the Silicon Valley money machines, eventually regulation is going to come. YouTube has suspended a lot more categories of legal gun videos. John Richardson has a lot more to say on this. The purpose of anti-trust law can be best understood as to prevent unaccountable political power, which Google now wields in abundance. As Stephen Green says over at Instapundit: “It’s time to regulate YouTube, Google, Facebook, and Twitter as common carriers.” I’m not sure common carrier regulation is the correct thing, but if Google is going to maintain a monopoly on online video, it’s going to have to be a lot more even handed with content. Ordinarily you don’t have a course of action for private businesses, but when those businesses are monopolists, that changes.

I’d also note for our legal people, and we have a lot of them, that there are civil remedies available under the Sherman Act. I’d also be looking at remedies under Civil Rights Act. I see no reason to wait for the state to act, when we could be filing suit now. A pretty well-targeted suit against Google would be a much more effective way to channel some populist sentiment than another Angry Dana video. Just sayin’.

This Means We’re Losing

David French think it’s high time the NRA got on board with Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and praises it as a good move. I don’t agree it’s a good move, but I think it’s probably a necessary one. French seems to think this will make a difference, but I’m going to bet you even if we pass GVROs in every state, we’re still going to have mass shootings. French seems to believe gun control will work. It won’t. It’s never worked. In the Parkland case, they had every opportunity to take action under current laws, and no one ever bothered. This would just have been one more crack the killer would have fallen through, and everyone knows it.

I worried when Bloomberg started pushing the GVRO issue that there was a chance this would get traction, and that’s what has happened. So what do you do if you’re NRA? Again, the hard line answer is to shout “no” louder, but that’s not going to stop you from losing in a dozen more states on a bill that, like California’s, has zero due process. You also have the White House on board with this idea, which doesn’t help things.

So what NRA has decided to do is rebrand GVROs as Risk Protection Orders (RPO), demand some level of due process, and become all for it. Looking over the RPO concept, it would actually have more due process than a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, which is already disabling. So this isn’t really the sellout some are claiming it is. I’d be thrilled to get this much due process for PFAs.

This is not the first time NRA has done a move like this. When it became apparent the Brady Bill had real traction, after years of fighting it, NRA declared that instant background checks were good and wholesome, and pushed that idea as an alternative to the seven-day waiting period the Bradys originally wanted. NRA’s position is eventually what we got.

I know hard-liners will be all “Negotiating Rights Away” yet again. By this point, I’ve heard it all. But let me ask you this: would we be better off with a 7 or 5 day waiting period for all gun purchases everywhere? Would we be better off if we had an assault weapons ban that had no sunset clause? Would we be better off with a dozen more states passing GVROs with no due process protections whatsoever? Would we have been better off if, as the original NFA intended, machine guns were defined as any firearm which could fire more than 7 rounds without reloading? As I’ve said, sometimes outright defeating your opponents isn’t an option. Sometimes it is a matter of minimizing the damage they are inflicting on you. If NRA had 10 or 20 million members, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But we don’t, so we are.

Weaponized Social Networks

This scenario is harrowing, and I already see some evidence of it. My mother’s side of my family and some friends on social media have gone commented and shared a lot on social media that aims to socially shame me and other gun people out of shooting and our opinions on the matter. It does not come close to rising to this level, but I see things headed in that direction.

One of the weaponized social networks I’m currently covering is a loosely connected network built on a newly emergent consensus morality (#metoo, etc.).  A consensus that it uses to successfully wield social, and increasingly, political power.

This moral network recently expanded with the addition of the #neveragain movement, after the Parkland shootings.  In the past, a movement like #neveragain would be focused on gun control through changes in government legislation.  Now that it’s part of this weaponized moral network, that focus is going to change.

Why?  This weaponized network isn’t interested in just changing legislation.  It’s far more ambitious than that.  It wants to change everyone‘s behavior and it is building the means to do it.  Here’s how.

Read the whole thing. I agree with Joe Huffman, who brought this piece to my attention:

Gun owners all need to “come out of the closet” and make it clear we are normal people. We do not have blood on our hands from the school shootings.

That really is the best thing we can do.

Likely an Old Debate

Humans are programmed in their brains to apply religious qualities to weapons. We do it, they do it. For many people on our side, it’s a talisman that wards off all evil. The attitude of “it’s just a tool,” is held by a very small group of people. I’ve found the tendency to view it as “just a tool” tends to roughly correlate to one’s level of training and experience. Experience and training demystifies the magic.

I believe this debate probably goes back as far as we do. No doubt Ogg was once pissed off that members of his tribe demanded he burn the shaft of his spear, and smash its point, because while he was out hunting one time, he had to kill Moog from the other tribe with it. The tribe shaman insisted the spear was now possessed of evil. Ogg’s hunting buddies insisted the spear was possessed of good Mammoth killing spirits, and only a fool would insist it be broken. Ogg shrugged it off and thought, “It’s a good mammoth spear, but I can make another.” Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re Ogg, and now that we have the technology, we’ve taken this ridiculous religious argument to the tribe of our entire country, even world. Ogg would probably think: “The more shit changes, the more shit stays the same.”

Walkout Wednesday

Say what you want about the school walkout thing, but it was brilliant. As in, “I wish I had thought of it,” brilliant. It’s times like this I wish I had kids, because I would have had them walk out with pro-gun signs and hand them out to likeminded teens. I’d definitely love teaching them the great pleasure of suing the government for fun and profit if they tried to stop them. The brilliance of it is that kids will take any excuse to get out of school, and these days we don’t really do discipline, so it was kind of inevitable that the schools would accommodate. A bit of ideological sympathy on the part of educators doesn’t hurt either. So you get nice big crowds that are more likely to impress lawmakers, and that can be spun to people who don’t understand activism as a huge generational shift on the issue. See, the future is gun control!

I don’t have kids, but for those of you who do, take a look at what Popehat has to say about the issue, and remember: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

I Think She’s Right

Ashe Schow:

Basically, the left had money and infrastructure ready to go for an all-out assault on guns and the NRA, they just needed the right moment — the right victims.

It’s sickening, when you think about it; they were basically waiting for children to die so that they could swoop in and blame everyone they dislike, instead of the actual shooter. They paraded grieving children in front of cameras without any care for their well-being just to help their cause.

And as much as it pains me to say this, and as much as I think this was a horrible thing for the Left to do; the right should learn from these tactics.

I think the reason for this is most of us really just want to be left alone, and aren’t really the rallying, marching, and organizing types. The reason the religious right was so successful within the right coalition, is they were the ones who really wanted the power to bring about social change that’s more amenable to them. My primary issue with the religious right was their failure to recognize that culture leads to politics. If you’re trying to use government to correct cultural trends you don’t like, you’re fighting a rear guard action, and you’re destined to lose. That’s why I think they will suddenly find themselves out in the cold when the current realignment finishes. If you want political power, you have to get people back in the pews.

Ashe Schow is at least as uncomfortable with these tactics as I am, but as we’re observing, they do work — especially when they are well-executed and well-funded. This is a big reason I called on NRA to up their game. Our movement is very good at self-organizing, but it’s exhausting for the people who have to put it together. As a movement, we’re firing on 3 out of 6 cylinders on a good day, because most of us have jobs and families. NRA has a great role to play as facilitator, but as I noted, parts of NRA seem overly focused on using members as passive consumers rather than as active change makers. We’re a lot better at getting people into pews than the religious right is. What we have remaining to do is to get them to do more than just listen to the sermons.

PA-18 Special Election Result

While Connor Lamb’s victory in PA-18 is bad news for the Republican Party, there’s a few takeaways that I think are worth looking at:

  • Both candidates were hand picked by the party. The Dems picked a pro-gun, pro-union Blue Dog who is the kind of candidate that traditionally won in that district when it was a Dem district. The GOP picked Rick Saccone, who ran on a platform of Right-to-Work, practically guaranteeing that unions, who are strong in that district, would spend and organize heavily against him. Candidates matter. We don’t elect parties in our system.
  • If the Dems replicate that strategy, which they will struggle to do where the candidate has to fight an actual primary, we shall be in good shape gun rights wise. Because that sell out by the GOP in Florida? They know all they have to do is be better than the other guy. The reason the Dems are so ra-ra for gun control is because it doesn’t cost them anything. If suddenly they have their majority back on a Blue Dog wave, we’ll be in the situation again where both parties will compete for our vote, as we saw in PA-18. It also gives the leadership something to lose.
  • On the downside, the Dem leadership sacrificed the last Blue Dog wave on the altar of Obamacare. But they got it, and the hapless GOP has so far been unable to undo it. What will the next Blue Dog wave be sacrificed for? Gun Control? It’s happened before, so I would not rule it out. Remember, what brought us to this present situation is that the NRA could not single-handedly save the Blue Dogs from voters angry at the Blue Dogs over Obamacare. That greatly changed the calculus for the Dem leadership, who then had nothing more to lose.

That said, the GOP is almost certainly in trouble for 2018. The Dems have more to defend in the Senate race, so I don’t know what chance I give them of taking the Senate, but I’d say it’s an uphill climb. However, if they can successfully execute a Blue Dog return to power, I’d say the GOP loses the house. That’s going to be hard, because it’s pretty apparent the Dems will celebrate for now, their progressive base isn’t happy they had to win that election with a conservative leaning Democrat.

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