The New Resistance to the 2A

You can see the resistance is shaping up around “sensitive places” doctrine and “good moral character.” I remember seeing a comment from Prof. Adam Winkler post-Bruen:

He’s generally on the other side of this issue, but fair criticism! I don’t think licensing can be permitted if the intention is to provide real limitations on government, and I don’t think it fits within the framework outlined in the majority opinion. The Court should have just thrown out licensing altogether, but I suspect Roberts and Kavanuagh didn’t want to go that far (as their concurring opinions saying shall-issue licensing is OK would indicate).

Most long-standing licensing regimes started out relatively lax and then got more and more restrictive over time. Licensing invites abuse from authorities, and future hostile courts will probably use that hook to limit the right. This hasn’t really played out yet, but I think you’re going to see the lower courts go along with a lot of these games.

Hopefully we maintain our pro-2A majority on the court, and Roberts and Kavanaugh will eventually see that licensing is an invitation for abuse. And unlike with marriage or protesting (two other contexts where licensing of a right is permitted), the ruling class are likely to remain completely hostile to the idea of the peasantry being armed. For non-discretionary licensing to work, there needs to be broad consensus that it should be non-discretionary, and you’ll never have that with guns.

Bruen Drops and It’s a Win

This doesn’t portend a return to blogging. Social media and Google have killed blogging as a thing, so I’m not inclined to return to the same level of activity I once had. But I wanted to note Bruen because it’s probably the most important thing to happen to gun rights since McDonald dropped 12 years ago. You can read the ruling here. At this point I have done only a quick skim, but my impression is that it is about as good a ruling as we could have hoped for. Is it ironclad? No. No ruling would be. My impression is that Kavanaugh and Roberts are the weaker of the Bruen majority, but they still joined the majority of the opinion and filed their own concurrence basically saying shall-issue was fine.

Overall it puts the kibosh on the lower courts Second Amendment Two-Step dance. They will have to come up with a more novel means of resisting the Second Amendment, and I suspect they will. But it will get harder for them. The Court pretty clearly wanted to emphasize Heller and signal to the lower court that it is not dead letter. The Court made quite clear that outlying laws were meaningless for 2nd Amendment analysis. So the fact that the Sullivan Law is over 100 years old by now doesn’t mean it’s constitutional because it has a long history: it is an outlier that new other jurisdictions have passed.

Long term it’s probably best not to rely on the Courts for protection. Just ask Planned Parenthood how well that’s working out for them. But we can use these reprieves to help repair the gun culture in these jurisdictions if the restrictions lighten things up a little. This is not over. There will never be a death blow to the desire of the nobility to control the serfs. Nonetheless we should use the circumstances presented to us for maximal advantage.

Breaking Silence Over Gun Control

For the past week since the deal was announced, gun owners have been wondering “What do we get out of this? How is it a compromise if all we’re doing is ceding ground.”

After reading the proposed language, I’m surprised by how much of this looks to me like it’s aimed at Mexican drug cartels. So what you have here is a bunch of Republicans who are probably retiring or will soon announce they are retiring, who love themselves some “law and order,” who are using Uvaldi as an excuse to get a wish list to target the cartels.

There’s also a few cases where they are requiring action from states, which the feds cannot do. The state can literally refuse to pick up the phone and there’s nothing the feds can do about it. This is well-established precedent. So know we know what the GOP worms got out of this: some drug warriorin’. And what flag waving Republican doesn’t love that?

Just go read them trying to define “dating relationship.” Are you kidding me? At least they didn’t apply it retroactively, and limited the prohibition to 5 years, but you know what would have been nice? To do the same thing with all of the Lautenberg Amendment. There would have been a compromise. But no. This just takes. The concessions are only things law and order GOP swamp creatures care about.

This bill is garbage and should be opposed, and any Republican who votes for this needs to be tossed out on their asses in a primary if they aren’t retiring.

The End of the NRA Era

Not too long after Sebastian started blogging, the gun club he had just joined had a member call for a vote to change the bylaws to end the 100% NRA membership requirement that had been in place since the place was founded in 1958. Word got down to Fairfax and they were worried only if the member had unexpected success because it was dues for hundreds of members annually and about 1,000 or so votes in key districts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. That vote happened, and it turns out that NRA had nothing to really worry about because it went down in terrible defeat. The NRA membership mandate was left in place, in part with the support of Sebastian.

Well, this year, Sebastian led the effort to end the NRA membership requirement in order to be a member of the gun club. He did it from a position of practical arguments for both protecting member money and functional aspects of the relationship that no longer worked.

Only now the club is much bigger which means more money to Fairfax and more voter contacts they didn’t have prior to these people joining. You’d think Fairfax would care this year when more is on the line. But they don’t. Even the really local and regional NRA Board Members don’t care enough to reach out. (Yes, I can confirm some were notified well in advance of the vote.) Combine that lack of concern from the NRA leadership with the fact that the member discussion showed that NRA messaging is so insanely out of touch with nearly anyone under 50 or so, and the requirement fell to resounding defeat. Nearly 3 to 1 to remove any requirement to join the NRA.

The relationship lasted for 64 years, but ended thanks to Wayne’s leadership that saw them bouncing checks on gun clubs, the complete collapse of services to the point where someone recently fessed up there are email addresses they don’t know that anyone left in the department had checked in two years, and membership staff who can no longer handle working with clubs bringing them enough dues income to pay most of some salaries.

We’re not the only club to end this relationship and stop bringing NRA new members who otherwise wouldn’t join their organization. In Southeast Pennsylvania, I understand that Southern Chester County Sportsmen’s & Farmers’ Association did the same a while ago. I learned of several clubs around the nation of varying sizes who have ended their 100% requirements. Forum posts & online chats indicate clubs in Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Georgia appear to have all cut these requirements. And if you study the past issues of NRA publications that list “Gold Medal” clubs where the biggest hurdle is often that 100% membership status, the number has been dwindling. Even when the add new ones, they often just replace those who have ended their involvement in the program – a possible sign they ended their 100% requirements.

The good news is that plenty of the under 50 crowd who spoke to end the NRA rule did advocate for joining at least some other gun rights group. It’s not that we’ve lost the next generation of shooters from supporting the cause – it’s that they spoke out and said that the NRA no longer represents their more diverse views of the world and politics.

The members spoke tonight, and NRA leaders I have spoken with pretty much made it clear they had no intention of listening.

Before any anti-gun readers get too cocky, the message wasn’t good for you. The NRA was seen as too squishy, out of touch with current gun rights debates, and not representative of the guns they want to own and shoot. This was not a sign of a weakening gun rights movement. This was a move back to the roots – gun owners turning out locally and encouraging multiple fronts and ways to tackle state and national issues. Last night was the kind of true grassroots work that shows generations of people will come together for discussion on making the 2A movement stronger in the long term.