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Currently Browsing: Anti-Gun Folks

Point-Counterpoint on SHARE

It’s a disappointment that we don’t have too many articles in the media anymore that are just chock full of good old fashioned disdain for shooters combined with an unbelievable ignorance of the hobby. As a citizen, that’s probably a good thing. But as a blogger, I weep. Dana Milbank in the WaPo last week has in spades what I’ve been missing.

It’s not the same with most stories. As Obama’s foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes once said “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.” That’s right there is what’s taken the fun out of it. Your average reporter spouting Bloomberg talking points is a nobody. And what fun is it going after a know-nothing nobody? But Dana Milbank is not a nobody.

Consider Title XV of the sportsmen’s bill, also known as the “Hearing Protection Act,” which makes it easier for gun owners to buy silencers for their weapons. The uninformed might suspect that silencers are used by people who want to fire weapons without being caught by cops or observed by witnesses. But more and more hunters are finding that conventional earplugs and muffs are not adequate for today’s weapons — for example, quail hunting with an M777 howitzer or grouse hunting with an FIM-92 Stinger missile launcher.

People who’ve never been around gunfire often do not really grasp how loud it is. I expect a 27 year old millennial with a journalism degree to be mostly clueless about the world. The reason going after people like Milbank is so much more fun is they are respected, but often times they don’t know any more than Ben Rhodes’ 27 year old ignoramus.

Chris Cox notes in the Daily Caller:

Milbank’s article, about a new piece of pro-sportsmen legislation, the SHARE Act, is littered with misleading and incorrect terminology to describe even the most basic firearms classifications, revealing how little he actually knows about guns.  His contempt for hunters, NRA members and gun owners in general is made clear through his condescending tone and misrepresentation of the facts.

Back to Milbank:

Among these recreational enhancements: […] Allowing people to bring assault guns and other weapons through jurisdictions where they are banned.

I think most everyone can agree that there’s no public good created by locking up generally law-abiding people in prison, ruining lives and families. I am particularly tuned to these concerns because I live in a gun friendly state that’s surrounded by states that are very hostile to shooters. I literally have the scour my car before I go into New Jersey because a single hollow nose .22 that’s escaped from my range bag can get me 5 years. I’ve had this happen.

Whether Dana Milbank wants to accept it or not, ownership of “assault weapons,” is very common outside of the jurisdictions that ban them. Even in those jurisdictions, in New Jersey, this is an assault weapon. There are still thousands, possibly tens of thousands of these in closets and safes throughout the Garden State, their owners completely unaware they are a heart attack and a 911 call away from possibly spending 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison. This is not some fanciful hypothetical: it has happened.

People have been arrested and jailed for transporting ordinary firearms through New Jersey and New York. Again, not some fanciful hypothetical: it’s happened, multiple times to multiple people. We’re not talking gang members or drug dealers here. These are people much like Dana Milbank, but who happen to enjoy shooting, and are not trained lawyers who understand all the ins and outs of legally owning firearms in this country.

People like Milbank should explain why they think it’s a public good for good people to rot in prison and suffer felony raps for technical violations of laws that have very little effect on people who engaged in other criminal activity.

Bad Satire Gets Confused with Reality

Apparently a number of gun control groups and at least one Brady Campaign Board Member were confused by a parody Facebook event. Looking through the Facebook Event, it even looks like it was mostly being enjoyed by the “Let’s make fun of those dumb, toothless, cousin humping rednecks” crowd. So either anti-gun groups are really, really dense, or they’re deliberately trying to use this anti-redneck parody to make gun folks look like people who are stupid and irresponsible enough to think shooting a hurricane will help things.

Which is it? I don’t know. I could see them believing gun owners are dumb enough to put something like this together for real. In that case, who’s the joke on here?

Baltimore Gun Task Force

Glenn Reynolds notes, “How many members of Bloomberg’s mayors-against-guns group wound up in jail?” in response to the news that there’s only one officer left standing after a bunch of federal indictments in the Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force.

My take? The US doesn’t culturally view such services as an important public good, so it is not a high status job in the mind of the public. If that’s the case, the people attracted to busting down doors for guns are those with bad incentives and attitudes. Bloomberg’s problem was that he self-selected a group of people that’s highly prone to graft and corruption, and the results were predictable.

Well, They’ve Been Out Branded by Bloomberg

John Richardson notes that Dan Gross is stepping down as head of the Brady Campaign. He will be replaced by co-presidents Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner. Co-Presidents? Really? Does that ever work?

The problem the Brady Campaign has is that it’s been outcompeted by Bloomberg. Brady has the problem of being dependent on fundraising from the general public, and the issue has a limited pool of donors. Bloomberg’s money has probably enabled Everytown et al to hoover up a decent chunk of Brady’s donor and support base. I haven’t given much thought to Brady these days, because they are largely irrelevant. Remember, the movement was on the outs before Bloomberg came along, and I can’t imagine things have gotten better for the groups without wealthy patrons.

Bloomberg Steals from the Little Guys?

I have to admit that I would expect Bloomberg’s people to be much more thoughtful about the optics of taking the work produced by individuals with far less cash in their bank accounts in this era of economic populism.

Bloomberg was smart enough to realize that after years of his political allies getting arrested – often for gun violence crimes or crimes against women & children – that Illegal Mayors Against Guns wasn’t going to go anywhere. Not to mention, actual grassroots gun owners in many non-urban areas successfully convinced several to very publicly disavow his agenda. He already had a lock on urban leaders, so he rebranded.

He can’t rebrand himself as “not a billionaire.” It is something that has worked against him repeatedly since it automatically paints him as a guy looking to come into states, throw some personal wealth around, and outspend any local voices. Because, well, that is exactly what he does in elections. Regardless, you’d think he’s still want to keep a softer image with it outside of election season so that he can try to build a network of allies to use in the next election season before he pisses them all off.

Nope, Bloomberg’s folks apparently want to promote the image of big, bad jerk billionaire because his partner Shannon Watts decided to take the work of a Houston-based independent photographer. Despite having licensing information clearly stated on his Twitter bio, Shannon swiped his work – how this man in a disaster area supports himself – and posted it to show how much she and her political partners “care.”

In fact, not only did she take it without paying for it, she didn’t even credit him for his work and the fact that he ventured out into the storm to capture the magnitude of the damage. She spent nearly $3 million on a house in the mountains, and her boss is worth about $53 billion, but their online advocacy efforts run through her Twitter page would rather take the (fantastic) work of others without credit or license than pay licensing fees to small business owners. In fact, even though the image is gone from her Twitter account, she refused to acknowledge the wrong and apologize or even wish him & his family well in the ongoing disaster.

Of course, it gets better. This theft of other people’s work goes beyond Twitter and photographs. NSSF’s Larry Keane found that state leaders for Bloomberg & Watts are using local government offices to request Project ChildSafe gun locks and slapping their own branding on them, pretending like they are responsible for the program.

Bloomberg the Billionaire only cares enough about gun safety to buy a little paper, send state leaders around to pick up gun locks provided by the firearm industry, and pretend he’s running his own program. Again, it’s a case of Everytown taking the hard work of people with fewer resources and pretending it is his own without any credit or acknowledgement. This is why class warfare rhetoric works with so many people. Outside of the walls of Everytown, this kind of behavior of taking credit for the work of those with less means rubs people the wrong way.

Internal Strife at Everytown

Looks like Kate Ranta is on the outs with Everytown. The reason? Everytown started to move in on the FoP, and some of their kookier members lost their shit because the FoP do not support their mission of disarming Americans with sufficient zeal.

Any readers out there who are cops should read this article, and have zero doubt these people will absolutely disarm you if they get half a chance.

On Thursday, I resigned as an Everytown Survivor Fellow after being blocked by the Survivor Network Facebook page for voicing my concerns about the sponsorship. My conclusion is that dissenting voices have no place in these organizations. You toe the line or you’re out.

Of course. They don’t need you. Bloomberg gives them plenty of money. Not having to worry about what grassroots members think helps them stay on message. If you’re no longer useful to them, they don’t want or need you.

Pardon Me if I Find Gun Control Groups’ Concerns About Suicide Prevention Hollow

This article talks about how gun owners are more receptive to suicide prevention efforts that respect gun ownership. You don’t say? It’s not like this community is unaware or doesn’t care a whit that firearms are an effective tool in the hands of someone intent on ending their lives. Believe me, we know. But pardon me I call the gun control crowd’s concerns about suicide prevention a load of crap because they keep trying to pass laws that make suicide prevention a crime:

The culturally tailored message was then used as part of a nationwide survey of more than 800 gun owners to determine the likelihood of it causing owners of firearms to engage in multiple key gun safety behaviors for suicide prevention – such as asking a suicidal person to give away his or her guns temporarily to another trusted individual.

Except Bloomberg has been going state-to-state trying to make that a crime. I have a standing order with family to remove my access to firearms if I ever have that kind of mental health crisis, but in states like Washington, where Bloomberg has been successful, that is a crime if you don’t first get the person in crisis to an FFL to pay hundreds of dollars to transfer the collection to the “trusted individual,” and then pay hundreds more once the crisis ends. The Oregon legislature was smarter, and made an exception to its laws, but there is a factor of “imminence” in the exception. Generally speaking, transferring a firearm to a “trusted individual” in Oregon is a crime. In Pennsylvania, this is also the case for handguns, unless the “trusted individual” has an LTC.

So don’t give me this bleeding heart shit. If gun control people gave a crap about suicide they wouldn’t be pushing for laws that criminalized gun owners for helping out friends.

PLCAA Showdown at Connecticut Supreme Court

Connecticut Law Tribune: “Amicus Groups Try to Sway Conn. Supreme Court in Sandy Hook Hearing.” This is an area where gun control groups and ivory tower law professors would be smart not to push these kinds of absurd theories of negligent entrustment, and hopefully the Connecticut Supreme Court isn’t going to buy it either:

Thirteen law professors specializing in common-law torts discuss how negligent entrustment should apply to Remington and Bushmaster. The professors filed their brief to “provide the court with further direction regarding the common law foundation of the tort of negligent entrustment, including relevant scholarship and judicial decision.”

The brief’s co-author, Stanford University law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, said negligent entrustment boils down to whether a defendant took adequate precautions. “And, here, the jury might ultimately find the defendant failed to take adequate precautions in their sale of military grade assault weapons to an untrained population,” according to the brief.

We left exceptions in PLCAA specifically so that dealers which violated the law, or who committed the actual tort of negligent entrustment, not this fanciful, bizarre tort being foisted by these law professors, may still be sued despite the general immunity provided by PLCAA. Under the theory proffered by those siding with the Plaintiffs, a tort would be created for any type of complex and potentially dangerous product, such as automobiles. Because drunks sometimes plow into school busses, Ford and its dealerships have to make a reasonable efforts not to sell cars to drunks. Why wouldn’t gas stations also have such a duty?

Currently under PLCAA, if someone walks into a gun dealer and says, “I’m really pissed off at my wife. Let me see that .357,” and the dealer sells it to him anyway, if he later kills his wife the family would still have a viable action against the dealer.

If the gun control crowd wins on these arguments, that selling an AR-15 to any civilian represents negligent entrustment because some people might do bad, evil, or stupid things with them, do you think we lack the political power and will to narrow PLCAA’s exceptions? The law is not a scalpel. Narrowing the exceptions to PLCAA will almost assuredly let some folks who ought to be open to suit gain immunity. But if the gun control groups win on this theory we will have no choice. I’d also expect a host of other industries who sell complex and potentially hazardous products to also start demanding immunity.

 

Opposition to National Reciprocity from Former PPD Commish

This seems like a silly assertion:

Twelve states — including Pennsylvania’s neighbor, West Virginia — do not require any permit or training to carry hidden loaded guns in public. If this bill becomes law, almost any person from these states would instantly be able to carry concealed in Pennsylvania, regardless of whether that person meets the commonwealth’s standards for carrying a concealed gun in public. This not only puts communities in danger, it makes it harder for law enforcement officers to do their jobs.

Surely we have such strict standards! Last I checked, if you can come up with 20 bucks and clear a PICS check you can get an LTC in Pennsylvania. It’s usually the other states that use us a bogey man.

It’s also funny that Ramesy talks a good game on how well trained police are, when under his watch at the PPD, the US DOJ found that training for his department was substandard.

Also recall, that this is the same guy who was allegedly carrying around a firearm without legally being a sworn police officer in Pennsylvania.

Did the Brady Campaign Explain the Risks? Why Aren’t They Paying Up?

Mother Jones has an article about the Phillips suit against Lucky Gunner, et al over selling the Aurora killer ammunition. Mrs. Phillips notes:

Working for the Brady Campaign became a flurry of media appearances and meetings with politicians, police, and survivors. The Brady leadership also encouraged Lonnie and me to sue Lucky Gunner, the dealer that sold the stockpile of ammo to Jessi’s killer. We agreed that dealers should have to take some responsibility. Shouldn’t they have to vet a buyer of military-grade weaponry? Or a buyer of bullets en masse? The primary goal of our lawsuit was to make the gun dealer change its business practices—at a minimum, to ask for proof of identity and do a background check.

The PLCAA does not exempt suits for negligence per se, which means that if Lucky Gunner violated the law, they can be liable despite the PLCAA protections. This is exactly the kind of lawsuit PLCAA was meant to stop: roughly the equivalent of suing a gas station that sold a tank of gas to a drunk. Lucky Gunner broke no law. They did not have any idea what the killer intended, just as no gas station could possibly know someone filling up is a drunk who might later that day get tanked and plough into a van with kids. The Aurora killer was not a prohibited person, because despite being out of his gourd, he never came in contact with the mental health system to become prohibited. He purchased his firearm legally after passing a background check.

Today, after nearly five years of activism, Lonnie and I continue to struggle. We filed for Chapter 11 protection in January because we could not afford to pay the legal fees for Lucky Gunner.

I’ll assume here that she means Chapter 13 protection, because that would be the typical filing for this kind of personal bankruptcy. But I think it’s terrible that she’s having to apply for personal bankruptcy when it’s the Brady Campaign that encouraged her and her husband to file a frivolous that was doomed the failure, and where the statute allows recovery of attorneys fees for such suits deemed frivolous. They should have warned them, and been ready to pay up when the inevitable happened. Sounds to me like they might have a pretty good case against the Brady Campaign and its lawyers!

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