It’s via Bloomberg’s propaganda outlet The Trace, that we learn of a “successful” use of Vermont’s Bloomberg-bought-and-paid-for “Red Flag” law:
They say through interviews, investigators learned the suspects planned to get guns and bring them to school Dec. 18 at noon to shoot a student. They learned a second student volunteered to get guns from a relative.
One suspect was taken to Porter Medical Center for psychiatric counseling and treatment in the custody of DCF.
Prosecutors got an Extreme Risk Order so the guns could be seized from the other student’s relative’s home.
Woah, back up there. Let me make sure I understand this: Red Flag laws mean that if I’m targeted by a conspiracy by two individuals related to me to steal my property and misuse it, that I can lose my guns? Who’s the victim here? How can this possibly be constitutional?
Remember this: Bloomberg’s people consider this a success. A man was targeted to have his guns stolen, so the state decided to come in and steal them first. This is success, according to them. It’s how the system is supposed to work. It used to be the solution to something like this would be to lock up the thieves. Conspiracy to commit a crime is illegal, if they took any steps to further the conspiracy. Once they were on the police radar, this is what should have been done.
Pittsburgh is looking at bucking preemption again. The risk here is that we now have a Dem Supreme Court who has already demonstrated they have absolutely zero respect for the rule of law by, without having any lawful authority, usurped the legislature’s power to determine how legislative districts are drawn.
If they repeal preemption, which is plainly spelled out in law, and which has been previously upheld by several previous PA Supreme Courts, in my opinion they will have become an utterly lawless, tyrannical body, with no legitimacy that is worth anyone’s respect. No more than a criminal enterprise, acting under color of law.
Do the Dems keep wanting to raise the stakes?
This is absolutely worth your time. I read this early this morning when I couldn’t sleep.
French elites have convinced themselves that their social supremacy rests not on their economic might but on their common decency. Doing so allows them to â€œpresent the losers of globalization as embittered people who have problems with diversity,â€ says Guilluy. Itâ€™s not our privilege that the French deplorables resent, the elites claim; itâ€™s the color of some of our employeesâ€™ skin. French elites have a thesaurus full of colorful vocabulary for those who resist the open society: repli (â€œreactionâ€), crispation identitaire (â€œethnic tensionâ€), and populisme (an accusation equivalent to fascism, which somehow does not require an equivalent level of proof). One need not say anything racist or hateful to be denounced as a member of â€œwhite, xenophobic France,â€ or even as a â€œfascist.â€ To express mere discontent with the political system is dangerous enough. It is to faire le jeu de (â€œplay the game ofâ€) the National Front.
The only ideas I see coming out of tech elites are “Universal Income” for the deplorables, which presumes the real issue is economic rather than one of dignity and meaning. The solution is not welfare for those left behind. That will end very badly if that’s all they’ve got. But what is the solution? I don’t have one. I wish I did. But I don’t see any of this headed good places.
As the article points out, the fundamental question of our day is over globalization. In the end, we’re all going to end up living in a smaller world. We won’t stop that. It’s just a question of what globalism looks like and who it benefits. The current system being set up by transnational elites is untenable. They won’t admit it, but it is. They will probably put the world through hell figuring that out, and I think this is just the beginning.
I’ve had to do a lot of hard thinking as political coalitions have shifted around. It’s enough to really make you question your values. Do I feel any kind of solidarity with France’s Yellow Jackets? What if I do? What does that make me? I’m sure a lot of you are struggling with the same things. I keep coming back to this:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
I think I still believe that. I think I’ve always believed it. We’re a country that had a bourgeois rebellion. The French took the same ideas and had la Terreur.Â The article I pointed out noted that in many ways the French Yellow Jackets have it worse than we do. What are we going to do when it’s our turn?
I’m getting spam today saying “My man has carried a bomb ([some random explosive here]) intoÂ the building where your company is conducted” and they will set it off if they aren’t paid some bitcoin. That’s meme comical. I haven’t laughed so hard since somebody set up us the bomb.
Look, if you’re going to get all technical, please learn the difference between a primary explosives, secondary explosives, and blasting agents, if you want me to take you seriously. Also, use of proper English grammar and vocabulary would also be helpful. Best comment I’ve seen so far:
The venn diagram of people who know how to pay them in Bitcoin and people who would fall for this is very small.
Apparently there are businesses all across the country evacuating over this. I have a feeling whatever Nigerian basements these guys are sending this stuff from is going to get found and raided relatively quickly by third world cop standards.
I should preface this by noting that over the past two years, I’ve focused on things other than keeping up with internal NRA gossip and goings on. We still know people there, and still can give some Board members a call to find out what’s going on, but for the most part, I’ve been focused on other things. So people who ask me what’s going on in Fairfax, I don’t likely know more than you do at this point.
That said, I’ve noticed a few things going on at NRA over the past several months. One is that The Trace is actually doing some quality reporting on NRA’s internal issues. Granted, you have to understand the lens through which they want to present things, which is to make NRA look bad generally, but they are doing interesting work if you read it with a critical eye.
Second, whatever is going on at NRA, there are people willing to leak to The Trace either because they are that disgruntled, or to gain the upper hand in internal battles by outing their internal opponents dirty laundry in a way that will cause embarrassment. Either way, it tells me the internal quibbles are bad enough that there are people who think airing dirty laundry to the enemy is better for the organization than letting their internal opposition win. That’s not a good situation to be in.
I know there are reformers out there trying to make a difference, and I’m open to reformers. But I’m not seeing anything out there I feel like I could get behind. So I offer the following advice for reformers, which you can take or leave. I don’t really care either way:
- If you’re going to come in hard and strong, openly claiming to represent an upending of the status quo, and challenging the Board’s powerful members (I’m talking to you, Adam Kraut), you better be coming with an army behind you. NRA has 76 Board members. One, two, or three people aren’t going to change the Board, and you can absolutely expect any organization to circle the wagons against an avowed revolutionary.
- Even if you can get one, two, or three reformers on the Board, you’re better off learning the Board’s politics and working with it. At this stage it’s important to not be seen as having personally antagonized people. Otherwise the body is going to do everything they can to keep your reformers out of the loop and keep them as powerless as they can manage.
- Every organization I’ve ever been involved with has a handful of practices that are culturally destructive. You won’t be able to fix all of them. Take them on one at a time. Your allies for each will probably be different. You may not even be able to get the worst practices. Stick to what’s doable, and what’s doable is going to depend on what you can find allies for.
- Even people who agree NRA needs reform need to understand the political situation and know what limitations we face. There are times when retreat is necessary. Generals who don’t understand when they need to retreat in battles lose armies and lose wars. You have to know when a position is untenable, and the best option is to fall back and regroup. Here’s an unpleasant truth: bump stocks are not a tenable position. Machine guns or anything that shoots like a machine gun is not a tenable position. Saving semi-automatic rifles is a tenable position, and they are under severe threat in a number of states, such as Washington, Oregon, and probably soon to be Nevada and Colorado. Machine guns were lost in 1934. That was the time to fight, and our grandparents and great-grandparents blew it. We’re in a “save what we can, where we can” situation with respect to machine guns, and the bump stock issue threatens to upend that whole applecart. I just use this issue as an example. But fighting everything, everywhere, all the time, 100% is a recipe for losing. “No compromise” is a recipe for losing. We do not have the numbers to always get our way.
I’m not saying revolution is bad, necessarily. In 1977 it was necessary. Maybe it’s necessary again. But the NRA of today is very different than the NRA of 1977. For one, it’s about 5x larger. Over the years it’s also put mechanisms in place to thwart revolutions. It would be very difficult if not impossible to pull off another Cincinnati Revolt. If there’s NRA is to reform, it’s probably going to come incrementally.
Pick one or two issues. They can be big issues. Even issues that is likely going to make some staffers cringe. But be realistic about what you can achieve. Be very careful about attacking people personally. If you do so, you better be sure doing so will gain you more allies than it’ll cost you. If you’re going to aim for the king, you had better not miss.
Dicks Sporting Goods says it may have to close its Field and Stream stores because of poor sales. Still, they say they don’t regret their choices and would make the same choices again if they were given a do-over. It’s not many companies that will deliberately and knowingly piss away significant business while telling investors they are happy to have cost them money. I notice they are rated a sell currently.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc holds several negative signals and is within a wide and falling trend, so we believe it will still perform weakly in the next couple of days or weeks. We therefore hold a negative evaluation of this stock. Due to some small weaknesses in the technical picture we have downgraded our recommendation for this stock since last evaluation from a Hold/Accumulate to a Sell Candidate.
Sounds about right to me!
Why does everyone in the gun issue think a Lame Duck passing of National Reciprocity is possible? It’s not. Not happening. Wasn’t going to happen in any known universe of possibilities.
Lame duck sessions are when you might get an outgoing party to do something for an important constituency they didn’t want to otherwise do if having to face re-election. It’s not a magical time where you can get anything you want. First, the Lame Duck House has already passed National Reciprocity. They weren’t the problem.
The problem is getting 60 votes for cloture in the Senate. The votes for that aren’t there, whether it’s a lame duck session or not. The only option would be to eliminate the filibuster, and while I do think the filibuster should be taken back to what it used to be prior to the 1970s, I have a bad bad feeling if we did that now, we’d very much come to regret it in the not too distant future.
The only way we’re likely making progress is to have the courts firm up the 2nd Amendment a bit, and make Bloomberg reel some. Strategically, I think the number one goal should be to get gun bans off the table. You cannot ban handguns, rifles, and shotguns, no matter what they look like, and what ergonomic features they have. Semi-automatic firearms are categorically protected. We also need some kind of protection for common accessories, like magazines. If those are off the table, we’re on much better ground for moving carry forward. I’ve never agreed with putting carry first on the priority list. We need bans off the table, first and foremost.
Dave Hardy noticed something in John Paul Stevens’ piece on writing his memoirs:
He said he had taken an extraordinary step in trying to head off the decision. Five weeks before Justice Antonin Scalia circulated his draft opinion for the majority, Justice Stevens sent around a draft of what he called his probable dissent. He said he could not recall ever having done anything like that.
â€œI thought I should give it every effort to switch the case before it was too late,â€ he said.
The effort failed. But Justice Stevens wrote that he helped persuade Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who was in the majority, to ask for â€œsome important changesâ€ to Justice Scaliaâ€™s opinion. A passage in the opinion, which Justice Scalia had plainly added to secure a fifth vote, said the decision â€œshould not be taken to cast doubtâ€ on many kinds of gun control laws.
As Dave notes, this is pretty strong evidence that Kennedy was the weak member of the coalition, and his replacement by Justice Kavanaugh may tip the balance. Of course, that assumes there was only one weak link, not two. But this is very encouraging. It’s clear that Stevens targeted Kennedy to flip, and when he wouldn’t he at least convinced him to water down the ruling. Indeed, those passages have been latched on by lower courts and gun control advocates to render Heller and McDonald largely meaningless.
This is very good news, because at some point the Republicans will be out and the Dems in, and Dems are still competitive in dozens of states with currently reasonable gun laws. We really do need strong court protections for the Second Amendment, and we’re not going to get them through Congress.