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Demographic Talk

Cam Edwards asks:

Gun control groups massively outspent Second Amendment organizations in the Virginia elections that brought Democrats control of the state legislature, dropping at least $2.5 million into more than a dozen races in suburban swing districts. Yet we hear all the time about the NRA’s spending, and how politicians who support the Second Amendment are really just “in the pocket of the gun lobby.” Why shouldn’t the same be said of politicians who rake in even more cash from anti-gun groups?

Because it’s OK when they do it. I’ve said before, they aren’t against money in politics. They are against your money in politics. The issue for Bloomberg was that in his early efforts, it became apparent Virginia would only be bought at a higher cost. All Bloomberg had to do was boost spending and wait for the demographics of Northern Virginia to tip the state.

What demographics, you might add? For 40% of people in Fairfax County, English is not their first language. It has been flooded by new immigrants. Most of those immigrants are going to be working in service jobs for federal workers and government contractors who are the main source of income for the areas. Other than the defense industry, those demos aren’t exactly rich farming grounds for Republicans. And the Dems have historically owned immigrant communities. These aren’t favorable demographics for gun rights. Sorry, but that’s just the truth.

The bluing of the Philadelphia suburbs is another beast. One factor is the ring counties are also dealing with out-migration from cities where Dems routinely get 80% of the vote or more. The other is the shifting political coalition plays against the GOP here.

Blue collar workers are traditionally the democratic voters in the ring counties. Educated upper middle class households used to form the GOP’s core base around here, and that has shifted to being the core Dem base. That trend started with Bill Clinton. While the blue collar vote is changing, it’s not changing fast enough to offset losses. Upper middle class voters are leaving the GOP faster than blue collar workers are coming over to it. The GOP leadership that have held power here, really since the Civil War, have also not adapted well; they are still partying like it’s 1985 and running candidates that appeal to their old base. Fitzpatrick held on because the Dems ran an awful candidate against him. That luck likely won’t hold.

“But Western PA has almost all gone red!” That’s great, but Western PA is also depopulating. Pennsylvania’s demographics haven’t changed even a fraction of what Virginia’s has. But gun owners are going to have to get their acts together to fight off what’s coming, because the fact is when elites decide they prefer a certain policy, say, gun control, they will usually get their way eventually. I don’t for a minute believe gun rights is a lost cause, but we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and expect to keep winning.

Irish Robert Visits Newtown

Gun control isn’t going to save this guy. He might rival Hillary for the title of most awful candidate I’ve seen in my life.

Despite what Bloomberg’s money has convinced many Dems of, I still don’t see it as an issue lighting the fire under the Dem base. Otherwise Beto would rank, which he doesn’t. The reason gun control is hot right now is because it’s been associated with Trump, and everything the Bad Orange Man associates with is awful. The people who voted for him are awful. So gun people are awful, and we have to get back at them.

It’s really sad what our politics have degenerated to. I used to enjoy arguing for gun rights, and while I still do believe taking a newb shooting and breeding familiarity is one of the best ways to help our cause, I’m coming to believe that no one these days is interested in any kind of reasonable political conversation. Political discourse is absolutely ruled by the aggressively ignorant. Make more shooters and rally those we already have. I think right now that’s the only thing that matters.

Very Good News

Preemption in Pennsylvania is safe for now. But don’t take it for granted. They are attacking preemption everywhere, and they aren’t going to stop here.

Be sure to vote next week on November 5th. Especially if you’re in Virginia.

Rally in DC

It looks like some folks associated with Save the Second are planning a rally in DC on Saturday November 2.

I always hate writing articles like this, because I don’t like pooh poohing other people’s work. Any effort for the cause is appreciated, and I’ve learned over the years not to look a gift horse in the mouth by critiquing volunteer efforts.

But my skepticism of rallying as a tactic is still alive and well. It’s not that it doesn’t work, but in order for it to work you have to turn out numbers that make politicians stand up and pay attention. For DC, that’s a huge number that have to turn out, and it’s harder to generate numbers in DC than it is in other places. Making a DC rally a success takes a lot of organization and money. If you’re depending on people to get there on their own, you’re probably not going to turn out the numbers needed to really put the scare on lawmakers. Making a rally or march on DC work is a gargantuan effort, and it takes a combination of top down and bottom up organizing if it’s to truly be a success. You can joke all you want about Bloomberg buying a bus and boxed lunches, but that’s how it’s done. The reason Bloomberg’s outfits struggle with rallying is they lack the bottom up component that is necessary for making it successful. Our error has traditionally been assuming that bottom up is all you need. It’s not. It’s a lot of work from the other end too.

So if you’re not about putting out that effort in both directions, the rally is an exercise in growing your list. That could be important, especially in the battles ahead both internal and external. But even if list growth is the goal, is a DC rally really the thing to accomplish that? That’s the big daddy. You need a lot of organization and money, and November 2 is awful close.

Signs and Portents

Politico reports on what is alleged to be a White House proposal (PDF link) for increasing background checks. Only, something is kind of fishy about it. The Politico story quotes a White House spokesman

As far as the document circulating on the Hill, [Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman] added: “That is not a White House document, and any suggestion to contrary is completely false.”

And when I actually read the (alleged) document, I have my doubts. It’s possible that the White House drafted a proposal that starts with the premise that there are Unlicensed Commercial Sales, and that there are commercial sellers who are not licensed dealers, but that doesn’t seem all that likely to me. Unless they’re expanding the definition of “commercial sales” to include all sales (there’s a reference to “Manchin-Toomey draft legislation” as well, which I haven’t seen the current iteration of).

Anyway, with the White House disavowing the proposal, and the Republican Senate refusing to move without clear guidance from the White House, things are looking a bit less grim? No reason to stop paying attention, though.

Community is Probably Now More Important than Ever

Don’t be that lone shooter. Get involved in something related to shooting. Training new shooters is a great contribution. Get involved in clubs. Get involved with other shooters somehow. Figure out how to plug those people into a network.

Because citizens around the world have chosen to let a small handful of companies do gatekeeping on the Internet, we’re going to face challenges building the Late Professor Brian Anse Patrick called “Horizontal Interpretive Communities.” If you don’t know what those are, read the book. While the tech monopolies are going to throw challenges at us, they aren’t going to be able to enact perfect censorship. We will need to get creative. We will need to fly under the radar.

Red Flag

USA Today is running an op-ed from Michael Hammond, Chief Counsel for GOA (oops, didn’t notice this was a year old).

But there’s a larger issue: If the Constitution can be suspended in a secret hearing, where does this lead? 

What if this newspaper could be shut down for 21 days without due process — based on a secret complaint? Or an individual could be arrested or imprisoned for 21 days? Or tortured?

I was reading NJ AG Gurbir Grewal’s directive to law enforcement about enforcement of New Jersey’s ERPO. I don’t even like the idea of the police walking out of someone’s house with a sharp pencil with this kind of due process. Guns aside, if the state wishes to seize my property, I have a right to due process. I shouldn’t be able to lose property just because the police think I’m an asshole.

And don’t give me “the police have to have probable cause to … blah blah blah.” We all know there’s a gulf between what things ideally should be and how they work in practice. “Upon arriving at the scene, based upon my training, knowledge and experience, I determined that Mr. Smith was a danger to himself and his family,” will be to red flag laws what, ​”I smelled marijuana coming from the car,” is for traffic stops.

That Some Condescending Click Bait Right There

I’m reluctant to help the troll troll, but it’s one of those things where I don’t like the tone at all, but I’m not really sure he’s all that wrong in some of his points. I do think gun owners need to get serious.

But when it comes to reconnecting disconnected young men to their communities, getting them off the online fever swamps, and out of their parents basements, the gun culture isn’t part of the problem, it’s part of the solution.

The Left: “These disconnected young men living in the fever swamp of the chans are murdering our citizens where they live, work and shop!”

Also the Left: “Let’s enact policies that will further alienate young men and remove their sense of citizenship and community.”

What Money Can Buy

The Democratic Debates last night were basically who could out gun control the other candidate. Before Bloomberg came along, the gun control movement had virtually no organization or money. He changed all that. We can pat ourselves on the back that gun people will self-organize in the absence of leadership, but if you have the money to buy a top down organization, it doesn’t make it any less effective.

When super wealthy elites decide they want something, they will usually get their way. They might not with this issue because we have so many people who care. But it’s going to be an all-hands-on-deck fight.

Overarching, and across the world, is the fight over globalism. I’ve said in the end globalism will win, because it’s being driven by technological change at its root. The struggle isn’t whether we have transnational systems where the nation state plays a less important role: that will happen. The struggle is whether globalism will be a democratic movement that is controlled by the people for the people’s benefit, or whether it will be a aristocratic movement that benefits the transnational aristocrats. It’s been set up as the latter, and the people are, across the globe, calling foul.

The struggle over the RKBA is downstream of that fight, but what we’re seeing I think fits in the overall struggle. It’s a theme repeated throughout history that aristocrats do not like their subjects being armed. So it was practically inevitable that when the people started asserting themselves against this cultivated global order, the counter-reaction was the aristocracy returning to their traditional fears and anxieties about armed peasants. That anxiety is acting itself out among the pool of Democratic candidates.

Cam & Company is Back

This time at Bearing Arms.

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