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I Got Nuthin’

Nothing on topic I can think of. But this story about blue collar wages rising faster than college grad wages is interesting. The old I get the more I think the economy is almost entirely psychological. Sure, I do believe things like “If you print money, you will eventually get inflation,” and I’m sure money does have some degree of velocity, but I think increasingly that malaise drives bad times and eras of good feelings drive good economic times.

In this very divided country, are we going to see a bifurcated economy where depending on who’s in power drives who gains and who falls behind? It strikes me that the Obama years were very good for the very top and very bottom, and not so good for most other people. I can tell you that I personally am not feeling the booming “Trump Economy.” But I live in an area that doesn’t swing too hard in good times or bad times. I am also a college educated professional, so not in the current “era of good feelings” group.

Hope at Last

About 1/3rd of my club are residents of New Jersey. We’re a stones throw from the river, and so we’re convenient to all of Central Jersey and even have a contingent from North Jersey. It’s been utterly depressing watching them go through everything with Murphy’s last batch of gun control laws knowing that more is probably coming. Also, when they ask “What can we do?” Having to answer, “Nothing, unfortunately. Only the courts are going to save you. If you’re voting, writing to your reps, you’re doing what you can. But the fact of the matter is you’re outvoted. Moving here [PA] is the only way you’re getting your gun rights back quickly.”

I’m hoping the Supreme Court will give them some welcome news. I’d like to be able to tell them things are about to get better. I want them to have hope. If Roberts wants to play his minimalist games he should come talk to these people and tell them in their face it’s not the court’s job to save them, as he did in NFIB.

Just as an aside: the people who say the immigration issue is tied to gun rights aren’t really out in left field. I still advocate NRA should not take a position on immigration as other gun groups have done, but the fact is that of the worst states for gun control, California has 27% foreign born. New Jersey and New York are is 22%. They are among the top 5 states with foreign born populations. In contrast, Pennsylvania is 6%.

Of course not every immigrant favors gun control, and I don’t think immigrants as a group are clamoring for more gun control. But I believe they are on balance more likely to tolerate it, which allows progressive elites to impose it on the deplorables without suffering much for doing it.

That’s not to say you can’t have large number of immigrants and still win on gun rights. Florida has the highest foreign born of the gun rights leaning states at 19%, with Texas following up at 16%. So it is possible to absorb a large number of immigrants and still maintain gun rights. Maybe once you cross the 20% mark, it’s pretty much over. But it probably helps that both those states started pretty opposed to gun control in the first place. That’s not true of New Jersey. Though it was once true of California. I don’t think immigration explains all of it, but the correlation can’t be ignored.

Where Great Britain Never Was

This is going viral in the gun-o-sphere:

I know, I know, UK cops saving the world one Buck 110 at a time. I think my father might have had one of those.

But just some historical notes for the curious: the PSNI are the Police Service of Northern Ireland. They are the successor organization to the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who were regarded, and not without justification, as thugs with badges by the catholic population of Ulster. PSNI are the kinder, gentler RUC that were created under the Good Friday Agreement, which governs Northern Ireland’s relationship with the British mainland.

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, but it is not part of Great Britain. The Northern Irish are Irish, not British. Though many are Scots by descent. Great Britain is Scotland, England and Wales.

Because of the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland are not subject to the same gun laws found in Great Britain. You can still legally own a handgun in Northern Ireland. It is the only part of the United Kingdom where self-defense is an acceptable and valid reason to own a firearm. However, they are still governed by the ridiculous UK knife laws, which is seems to Royal Ulster Constabulary Police Service of Northern Ireland are enforcing. Locking knives are strictly forbidden under the Knife laws, as are knives with blades longer than three inches. The Buck 110 both locks and has a blade that’s 3.75 inches long.

Don’t Expect Miracles

I’m seeing a lot of gun owners out there having unrealistic expectations about what this case will accomplish. I don’t think you’re seeing the beginning of the end for Second Amendment litigation. But maybe the end of the beginning, if we’re lucky. As I wrote on Zuck’s Facebook of Horrors:

Kennedy retires and now you have Kavanaugh, who penned that very strong Heller II dissent as a circuit judge. Now instead of having two Weeble Wobbles on the Court, you have one. You also know that your remaining wobbler is a judicial minimalist who doesn’t agree with upsetting legislative apple carts needlessly. This is, I’d note, not even considering what the other justices might know about RBG’s actual condition.

So why not use this case if you’re the four strong pro-2A judges? If you need to, you can narrow it up quite a bit to keep Roberts on board. You can please his inner minimalist. It only affects a few hundred legal gun owners in NYC, after all. But if Roberts is feeling frisky, you can use it to say a lot about the right to bear arms outside the home. You can use it to smack down the 2nd Circuit, which has pretended Heller and McDonald never happened. You can go a lot of places. And if RBG leaves the court for health reasons? It’s a different ball game. I think this case makes a lot of sense, and I’m optimistic.

The fact that it’s an outlier law that exists in literally no other jurisdiction can help Kavanaugh build on this “history and tradition” model because this law is so far removed from that. It’s about as far removed from that as you can get. I think Roberts would also like moving away from standards of review. I think I’ve read some writings of his critical of “levels of scrutiny” that’s been adopted in the First Amendment context and abused by the lower courts in the 2nd Amendment context.

At best, you’ll get a ruling with a lot of helpful dicta that will make the lower courts start taking the Second Amendment more seriously than they have been. This case won’t fix everything having to do with carry. That will take more time and probably more cases. There’s also the possibility that Roberts will insist on keeping the case narrow, and we won’t get much in the way of helpful dicta.

I view this case as testing the waters: the pro-gun justices, believing or perhaps knowing they have a majority, now want to see how a Second Amendment case shakes out, and do it with a case that isn’t high stakes and has a lot of flexibility.

I serve on a decision making body roughly the size of SCOTUS, and I can tell you where my fellow directors stand on things, and can even usually predict where they’ll fall on new issues. And I talk to them all the time. But you never know once you get a discussion going in a meeting where things will actually go. When the stakes are high, you proceed cautiously, even if you’re pretty sure you have the votes on an issue going in.

Back to the Supreme Court Goes the Second Amendment

Looks like SCOTUS has granted Cert in NYSRPA v. City of New York, which challenges the city’s prohibition on removing a licensed firearm from the City. This is great news. It would seem Kennedy’s retirement may have changed things, and this is a case where the stakes are not that high if Roberts goes wobbly, since it would only affect New York City, which already sucks. Here’s hoping for a strong opinion from SCOTUS. The Second Circuit is in serious need of a smackdown on this issue.

More on the Realignment

Ace of Spades doesn’t get the people who don’t want their elected politicians to fight for their interests. He points out:

I think the biggest difference between the cuck and non-cuck wings of the Republican party (apart from the cucks being liberals) is that non-cucks valorize audacity and aggression, whereas cucks valorize caution and defensiveness.

In a period of relative political stability, caution and defensiveness are what get you through. There are apple carts that don’t need upsetting, so people will tend to select for those traits. The problem is we’re in the middle of the political realignment where everything is up for grabs, and new arrangements are being negotiated. In that kind of political environment, audacity and aggression are what will get you through, but it’ll take a while to move aside all the people who rose under the last period of political stability.

I’m not always happy about the battles Trump picks, but he’s a fighter. He is a harbinger of the realignment. We will need more politicians who fight.

Commentary on the Shutdown

It’s been fun to watch social media, and all the people on pointing fingers at anyone but themselves. If you really give a shit on the issue to the point of inflexibility, you’re part of the problem. I don’t really think a border wall will accomplish what people expect it to, but can’t you give the dude his wall? What’s it to you? Do you really believe in completely open borders? Because you can have that, if you’re willing to give up the welfare state. But you can’t have both open borders and a welfare state. Five billion dollars is sofa change for the federal government, so lets not pretend this is about money.

Likewise from the other side, a wall isn’t going to keep out visa cheaters, which is most of the illegals these days. So maybe be willing to work a bit with Nancy to end the impasse. Both Pelosi and Trump need a face saving way out. But that’s probably not possible. Both Trump and Pelosi’s base has each of them locked into a no win scenario, with neither side able to give an inch without their base crying “surrender,” “traitor.”

The algorithms have driven everyone mad. It’s like we don’t know how to deal with other human beings anymore. The Terminator movies were wrong. Skynet never had to kill a single human. Just set them against each other.

Bleeding Oregon

Thought of the day, and I guess open thread: if the shit is going to hit the fan, so to speak, I think it’s going to start in a blue state. The excrement will be put in motion by narrow minded urbanites forcing policies on rural people that ruin them. What state will this happen in? My prediction is Oregon. Portlandia has basically lost its mind, and the rest of the state is culturally the mountain west.

Oregon will be the 21st century Bleeding Kansas. Lets hope it works out better for them than it did for Kansas.

A Must Read – On NRA Hate

NRA Board Member and Magpul EVP Duane Liptak is addressing the NRA hate that’s popular as of late. The growth in NRA hate does not surprise me. We’re on the defensive, and there’s a lot of people who don’t understand there’s such a thing as a no-win scenario. So when NRA does things like push ATF to reclassify bump stocks instead of rolling the dice with legislation, people who think there’s a pathway to victory on bump stocks get all bent out of shape. There isn’t. At least not at any price I’m willing to pay.

I’ll start out by saying I’m about as hard core libertarian on gun laws as it gets, as in mail order suppressed FA belt feds for everyone. Let’s also get out that pretty much everyone in the NRA building is pretty far along that line, as well. I was talking to Chris and crew about strategies to open the registry during the Bumpfire stock litigation while we talked about how to fight some of the things we know are coming. They’re on board, really.

That’s been my experience as well. But there’s what I ideally would like things to be, and there’s reality. And we have to live and work in reality. The reality is the hill to die on is saving semi-autos. I realize that, a lot of other people realize that, and NRA realizes that. Read the whole thing.

Pelosi’s “Background Check” Bill Eliminates C&R Transfers

Are you a type 3 FFL, Collector of Curios and Relics? John Richardson has some preliminary language. By my reading, transfers have to go through a dealer, importer, or manufacturer. So if you have a C&R, you could buy from Century or a dealer at a gun show, but you couldn’t buy from another C&R license holder. This renders the C&R considerably less useful, since you’re most likely to find good pickings in the hands of other collectors.

I’m beyond believing they just don’t know how to write legislation. I don’t know, maybe they don’t, and don’t really care who they impact. I’m sure if you asked Bloomberg he’d happily eliminate C&Rs entirely. So why would he care if his lawyers who wrote this shit are clueless?

If they were willing to work with us, they’d already have some kind of background check bill. But background checks are not their goal here. Sneaking other shit into the bills is their goal. De facto registration, even if not de jure, is the goal. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this has jack shit to do with background checks.

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