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By All Means, Keep Running on This!

Head of Louisiana Dems wants to repeal the Second Amendment:

The chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party is the most high-profile Democratic official in the country to date to call for a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Karen Carter Peterson on Tuesday shared a New York Times op-ed by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who argued that the Second Amendment should be repealed because the initial reasons for its creation are “now a relic of the 18th century.”

Thank you Justice Stevens, that gift is continuing to give. You see, the issue in building a coalition that includes working class whites is that they are historically unreliable voters. But I can’t think of anything that will get them out to the polls more than making 2018 a referendum on gun control with prominent Dems calling for repealing parts of the Bill of Rights.

I just listed factors working against us. Crazy ass shit like this coming from our opponents very much works in our favor. The mask is off. They don’t support the Second Amendment. It’s always been very apparent when they say it, it’s disingenuous. Now they are putting their cards on the table.

What are the Factors Working Against Us?

The thought has occurred to me that gun rights did better in the first two years of Obama’s term than we have so far after a supposedly stunning election upset. How did we get here, and what factors are working against us. I have a few things:

  • Bloomberg by far is the biggest factor. I’d follow that closely by Obama’s organization. Between them there is a lot of money, smarts, and organizational ability available to promote gun control. Those things are very important.
  • Trump is a highly divisive figure and is about the best lightning rod that the Dems could have asked for. While I think it’s true that any candidate who beat Hillary would have been Hitler, Trump galvanizes people in a way I’ve seen from no other President. People on the right didn’t much like Obama, but even Obama wasn’t the lightning rod Trump is. People generally liked Obama even if they hated his policies. Trump isn’t getting the same consideration.
  • Our activists are getting old and tired. They are not being replaced by people with youthful energy. If you look at analysis of the March for your Guns, the other side actually has the same problem. The general trend, if you ask me, is that millennials are far more removed from traditional civic life than past generations. I actually think millennials are more civic minded than my generation, but their views on civic life are very different. They are far less cynical than my generation, but they are also far more naive.
  • Decline in hunting. For all the bullshit about the Fudds you hear, those guys are really the minority of hunters. The fact is that most hunters support gun rights, even if they don’t hunt with the stuff you and I like to shoot with. Hunters are a natural and large base for the gun rights movement, and the idea that we’re going to be able to hold the line with just a bunch of IDPA and IPSC shooters is nuts. The decline in hunting will hurt us.
  • NRA has gotten complacent, far too reliant on gun owners self-organizing, and far too reliant on their main PR firm. I think they need to seek out a diversity on views about how they promote their public image. Unlike some people, I’m not viscerally opposed to Ack-Mac being involved with NRA, but I think NRA should invite in some competing views in that area. They also need to really start making major investments in traditional grassroots organizing. They need membership that are active rather than passive consumers of NRA’s product.
  • The Republican Party has no competition for the gun vote. The reason we did better in Obama’s first two years? The Dems were competing for gun votes with the GOP. You’re seeing a lot of Republicans take a stand on the assault weapons issue, but give into the gun control folks on other issues. They are letting Bloomberg demand a whole slice of our cake, offering him a half slice and then coming back to us and saying “See, we saved you half a slice. Don’t you love us?” No assholes, do something for us. They deserve to be richly punished, but they also know if the Dems are polling at 40% for repealing the Second Amendment, with sweeping gun bans and other restrictions polling even higher, they don’t have to do much for us. Again, we can take our ball and go home, but that basically means no one will give a shit what we think and we’ll get steamrolled. It’s forfeiting the game.

The common theme here is demographic trends are catching up to us. Bloomberg’s money is by far the biggest factor. There isn’t enough passion for gun control out there for it to self-organize, but if money is no object, and you have a lot of smart Obama people who suddenly found themselves out of a job and needing a cause, you can accomplish quite a lot with a top-down approach.

You Know How Vermont Had Almost No Gun Laws?

Those days are coming to a close. I keep saying that it doesn’t matter if polling of millennials says they don’t support gun control. If they aren’t willing to fight for it, it won’t matter worth a damn. If they put Democrats in power, they will start banning guns, accessories, and placing other restrictions. That is going to start happening in every state the Dems have a shot at, which is a lot. From the article:

“It didn’t change my mind,” Helm said of the Fair Haven case, “but it got me thinking a lot more in detail.”

Helm sees a generational shift eroding Vermont’s traditional gun culture. Gun owners are getting older, and young people are not as active on gun rights.

“It didn’t shift in the last month,” Helm said. “It started a long time ago, and it will go on for a long time. It’s going to go on a little harder and faster if we don’t put a stop to this.”

That’s from a lawmaker who voted against S. 55, a bill that will ban bump stocks (the bad broad bill Bloomberg has been pushing) raise the age for buying guns to 21 across the board, ban private sales, and ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. This seems likely to pass in Vermont.

This is the way it’s going to go folks, state-by-state. How likely do you think we are to get federal preemption if 15 states have the same laws as New York? What you’re seeing is our activist base getting old and tried, and not being replaced by millennials. If we don’t replace those people, how millennials poll on gun control won’t matter. By the time they are in charge, the generations of Dems they put into power will have already ruined us.

Stevens on Repealing the Second Amendment

I couldn’t have asked for a better gift. First reaction is that this is at least an honest position. I agree most with Glenn Reynolds on this particular op-ed by the former Supreme Court Justice:

1. Calls to repeal the Second Amendment are, despite whatever gyrations the callers go through, tacit admissions that the Second Amendment bars sweeping gun control.

2. Good luck with that, we’re more likely to see an amendment banning abortion pass than one repealing the Second Amendment.

3. The Second Amendment, according to the Framers (and some Supreme Court dictum) recognizes a natural right; repealing the amendment doesn’t extinguish the right.

4. Nothing could be better for the GOP in 2018 and 2020 races than for the Dems to make this an issue.

I think this is right. It’s also a good time to rehash Charles C.W. Cooke’s take on it. The one thing that can save the GOP from its own incompetence, sloth, and back stabbing is the Democrats taking positions far outside the mainstream and that are politically untenable. I actually wish they wouldn’t, because I’d like to put some epic punishment on the GOP, but I fear their chief competitor needs it worse at the moment.

But My Bump Stock!

I had a feeling someone was going to throw my position on bump stocks back at me for this quote in yesterday’s news links:

Believe me, these gun owners do exist. There’s a lot of people who will heartily embrace “Well, if it won’t affect me, I’ll support it.” That goes double if they think they can appease the opposition with someone else’s rights. These are fundamentally selfish people who don’t stand for anything.

Sure enough, it didn’t take long. I suppose I asked for that, but I do believe there’s a distinction. I believe in our current political situation, the ATF classification is the path of least damage to the overall gun rights movement. Recall that the NRA’s demand ATF reevaluate bump stocks came after Vegas, with Congress moving to pass a bump stock bill that would legally jeopardize a whole host of normal, fairly common activity with semi-autos in addition to some of the existing grandfathered machine gun stock. We’ve also now gotten screwed on that issue in a number of states, including now Florida, our nation’s 3rd most populous and that generally speaking has been gun friendly.

Do you want to win on machine guns? I’d like to. But we need to achieve a tremendous cultural shift on the issue if that can ever be achieved. To do that, we need that grandfathered stock. If we lose that, it will be irrecoverably lost. Forever. No coming back. There would be no way to build the familiarity needed to demystify them.

You can bitch and moan all you want about “I can’t believe the GOP would do this to us.” No politician is going to stick up for machine guns in the current climate, and whether we like it or not, that’s how the public perceives bump stocks or anything that fires like a machine gun. That shit is all better off flying under the radar.

I’m very sorry our great-grandparents abandoned Machine Gun Hill in the 1930s. None of us alive today were there. A lot of people seem to want to die on Bump Stock Hill. It’s not that I don’t want to fight, it’s that I’m not going to fight for something I can’t win or can’t defend successfully. I’m going to strengthen my lines against attacks on my flanks and leave that indefensible position to those foolish enough to fight for it.

The problem with the Fudd is that he’d rather trade all the other hills as long as the one he’s living on isn’t being actively attacked. His is a concession to avoid having to fight at all.

Not Bad Turnout for NJ

Not bad turnout for a state where most gun owners are resigned to the fact that Governor Murphy’s gun control package is likely to pass. Also, I give News 12 credit for fair coverage. Looking at the crowd size, I agree “hundreds” is the number:

(Sorry, the embed code doesn’t seem to work)

About 1/3rd of my club is from New Jersey. We’re right over the bridge. Close enough that we could shell Trenton (tempting, I know). Most people who are left there are resigned to the fact that they are second class citizens, and are now doing their best to fly under the radar. There are some that are actively defiant and still willing to fight, but I’d say they are a minority. In a generation, there won’t be much in the way of gun owners in the Garden State. They don’t have to take your guns. They are willing to drive a stake through the heart of our gun culture and wait.

Monday News Links

How about no? US Mayors call for an end to preemption. It would result in a patchwork of laws that no one would have any prayer of understanding.

Nothing like joking about murdering your constituents if you’re running for Sheriff in North Carolina. But by all means, stay home in 2018 because the GOP passed a bloated budget.

Miguel takes a look at “military style.”

The Federalist: “Why Good Fathers Prepare Their Sons for War

Believe me, these gun owners do exist. There’s a lot of people who will heartily embrace “Well, if it won’t affect me, I’ll support it.” That goes double if they think they can appease the opposition with someone else’s rights. These are fundamentally selfish people who don’t stand for anything.

If Politico actually believes this, they don’t understand organizing: “A small group of teenagers from Parkland, Florida, with no organizing experience or money has single-handedly energized the national movement for gun control after the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at their high school.” I actually stopped reading at that point, because the author of the story is either a propagandist, or too naive to be worth considering.

A lot of these people don’t really understand the nature of war, or how human beings assert power over one another. If power was just about killing, the Bundy family would have been charred corpses.

There is no epidemic of school shootings.

Delta went through great length to try to explain to use that rescinding their NRA discount was an effort to be politically neutral. That was a lie.

I Went to the March for Our Lives Protest. Here Are My 7 Takeaways.

USA Today: No great surge in youth support of gun control. From what I’ve seen, we get our values from our families; our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles. While a lot of my family are knee jerk liberals, the people I was closest to growing up, including my mother, were not knee jerk anything. They taught me to think for myself. The future belongs to those who have children. Raise them well.

Vox: “Realistically, a gun control plan that has any hope of getting us down to European levels of violence is going to mean taking a huge number of guns away from a huge number of gun owners.” But I am assured no one wants to do that, right?

Could #MarchForOurLives be a setback for gun control? The Republican Party took a terrible risk alienating college educated suburbanites to embrace issues important to white working class voters. Why? Because white working class voters are historically unreliable. But I can’t think of very much that will get them to turn out to the polls than gun control. Also, speaking as a college educated suburbanite: the Republican Party pisses me off, and I’d be a lot more willing to find better things to do with my time when it comes to elections if the Dems would lay off the gun control bullshit.

NRA ought to be reaching out to people like this to build a lawsuit. Punch back twice as hard.

Would Vox be pushing something like this if the subject were abortion? Didn’t think so. “A gun debate compromise: let cities and rural areas pass different laws

Sultan Knish: “March for Our Lives is funded by Hollywood celebs, it’s led by a Hollywood producer and its finances are routed through an obscure tax firm in the Valley. Its treasurer and secretary are Washington D.C. pros. And a top funder of gun control agendas is also one of its directors.

I Guess We’ll Find Out How Much Oregon Has Been Californicated

A semi-auto ban will be on the ballot in Oregon. This will take local organization to defeat. People can’t sit around waiting for NRA to “do something.” Fundamentally, no one knows your local gun community and what motivates them, and what messages will reach them better than you do. If you’re in Oregon, this article by Dave Kopel is a must read.

I don’t think it’s impossible to defeat this. We almost outright defeated Bloomberg in neighboring Nevada on Universal Background Checks. We have to show them that gun bans are off the table.

A Bump Stock Ban BATFE Haz

Completely unsurprising to anyone who has been following the process, ATF has essentially ruled that the distinction between the currently available bump stocks and the Akins Accelerator is one without a distinction, and that they were wrong when they classified Bump Stocks as not machine guns. Essentially ATF ruled the shelf where you rest your finger is the difference, since it allows the recoil of the rifle to successfully actuate the trigger as it’s pulled into the finger.

Does this mean a belt loop is a machine gun? Probably better not to ask that question. There are a lot of things we do that are honestly better off flying under the radar. Bump firing was one of them, but that asshole in Vegas brought the issue front and center. Home built firearms are another. You don’t have to spend much time in politics, or on social media, to realize the people are extremely irrational about guns and weapons in general. Libertarians are often too clever by half. We want to outsmart the system. But the system doesn’t care about your logical universe. ATF’s ruling here doesn’t really make any sense, but you know what? They don’t care, because it’s politically convenient.

And whether anyone will admit it or not, ATF is doing us a favor, because this doesn’t deal with cranks, doesn’t deal with match triggers, doesn’t deal with rates of fire or other bullshit the preferred bills that are passing are based on. I really don’t like that some people are likely to get screwed by this because they bought bump stocks and likely won’t hear of the reclassification. I do hope the feds exercise discretion.

I’ve said it before, but machine guns are lost. I can’t see beyond 20 years, so maybe by then it will change. Maybe by then we will have lost everything. Who knows? Our immediate goal is saving semi-automatic firearms, and in that fight we don’t need to do Josh Sugarmann any favors by helping blur that line.

If You Could Collect Insurance Money …

… for running your company into the ground, like you can for grease fires in restaurants, I’d be looking at the CEO of Dick’s really close if I were the underwriter. And yet, I’m sure there are still people out there who will shop at, even buy ammunition at Dick’s. You now have your answer: Dick’s wasn’t pressured. They caved because their CEO supports gun control. Stop shopping there. Seriously. Stop.

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