Currently Browsing: Gun Rights

Gun Owners Must Carry Liability Insurance

And if you actually offer that insurance, we’ll make it illegal and fine the companies offering it. Is there anyone out there who is still seriously going to argue that prohibition is a gun nut delusion? This is like Chicago mandating live fire training to own a gun with one hand, and then with the other hand arranging the city’s zoning code so that there could never be any ranges in the City of Chicago. What do you expect me to think? They act like anything short of showing up at my front door with a confiscation order is just nothing at all to worry about. Hey, I know, you can legally have guns, but the Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about bullets now does it? Go to hell. Do you think we’re stupid?

Gun Control in the Heartland

It looks like Democrats are looking to candidates from deep red districts to not give in on guns and to openly push their national gun ban agenda.

I received my home town paper today, and this is a full-page ad running in small town papers in Oklahoma from Fred Gipson who is running as a Democrat in Oklahoma’s 4th district which does have a college town, but is also largely rural.

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I wish I was back in town the day the candidate visited so I could introduce myself as a “female AR-15 owner, NRA Life Member, volunteer to fund programs that teach young people how to safely and responsibly use semi-automatic rifles & other firearms, and past Democratic pro-gun candidate volunteer.” All with a smile. Because even our insults back home are polite.

I think it’s safe to say that given the branding of his website and lack of events posted that he probably doesn’t stand a chance in a district where his incumbent opponent has consistently won with around 70% of the vote. But I don’t think it bodes well for us that one of the major political parties is running openly on gun bans even in pro-gun areas. It seems they don’t believe we’ll be around long enough to matter.

If you live in OK-4, it might be wise to let your local Democratic Party know that you expect them to find candidates who have a record of respecting the 2nd Amendment instead of running candidates who campaign on banning guns many local residents own and use responsibly. Telling the local leaders who have a voice at the state level that they are hurting down ticket races by pushing gun control candidates on the ballot can make a difference in how the political parties work with us instead of against us.

Just So You’re Aware What’s at Stake

Democrats want to make the 2018 election about gun control. To that end, Senate Democrats are working up a licensing regime for handguns.

Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would encourage states to do so by providing federal grants.

To qualify, states would have to require a gun purchaser be at least 21 years old, submit fingerprints and a photograph to local law enforcement, and undergo a background check.

“Just like you need a license to drive a car you should get a license to purchase a handgun,” Van Hollen said.

The Handgun Licensing Purchaser Act would motivate states through federal grants to require individuals to obtain a license before buying a handgun, something Maryland currently does.

I find it odd that Van Hollen would go after handguns. Going after rifles is the latest vogue in the gun control movement post-Heller. This harkens back to a movement more interested in restricting handguns. Of course, the reason the gun control movement switched from trying to restrict handguns to trying to restrict rifles is because they had almost no success trying to restrict handguns. Josh Sugarmann, ever the evil genius of the movement, realized that if the gun control movement went after a subset of rifle owners, those owners would be politically more vulnerable, especially given the confusion about AR-15s vs. M16s, etc.

Hope the Rally is Going Well

I was planning to be at the rally today in Harrisburg, but a stomach bug ruined those plans. I hope this year’s rally is a success, because if there’s any year we need to be successful it’s this one. Thanks to all those who turned out. I am not always a fan of the annual rally as a tactic, but this year turning out is important, since we have Republicans getting soft on us. I shall hopefully be recovered soon, in which case I will return to blogging.

Congressional Ballot Narrowing

I touched on this briefly in the news links yesterday, but a much clearer picture is emerging that the current focus on the gun issue is hurting Dems on the generic ballot. Also, this from the WaPo:

 The survey shows the GOP making a more pronounced shift among white voters, who now prefer Republicans by a 14-point margin over Democrats, up from five points in January. Republicans lead by 60 percent to 31 percent among white voters without college degrees, slightly larger than an 18-point GOP advantage three months ago.

White voters without college degrees are responsible for closing the gap? Gee whiz…. what issue could that demographic possibly care about that could account for this? I can’t imagine.

After watching some of the Facebook hearings with Zuckerberg, it became apparent to me we won’t be getting any regulation of Silicon Valley that it isn’t OK with. None of the lawmakers have any idea how any of this stuff works, and they’ll be ripe for regulatory capture.

Social media makes astroturfing a lot more effective, and you don’t even need a lot of money to do it. Lawmakers weren’t prepared, and it’s a new world they have no understanding of. There are Republicans who fell pretty readily for Bloomberg’s narrative post Parkland. Those Republicans, like Phil Scott in Vermont, need to be punished electorally for their transgressions. There are a number of Florida Republicans in that boat too. But we will have to pick our battles carefully.

Financial Pressure Being Put on Other Banks and Processors

Bloomberg had a plant at Citi, so that’s how they caved so quickly, but pressure is being put on other gun businesses:

The [New York State] pension, third largest in the U.S., contacted the chief executives of nine financial institutions including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc., American Express Co., Discover Financial Services, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., First Data Corp. and Worldpay Inc., asking them to assess risks and explore the cost of implementing systems that could reject purchases of firearms, ammunition or accessories.

I can’t think of what public safety impact is going to be had from driving gun businesses to use cash, which will diminish traceability. Think about it: some schmuck buys a gun and later uses it to murder his wife, if he pays for it with a card the cops will know where it was bought as soon as they pull his credit card records. If it’s cash, they actually have to trace the gun, assuming they even have it. We’re constantly told that Law Enforcement needs more tracing resources, and this would be removing one. So what’s the public safety function of this? I ask this as a rhetorical question, because we all know the answer. As Glenn Reynolds is fond of observing: “It’s got nothing to do with safety. It’s all about humiliating the flyover rubes and showing them who’s boss.

It’s also about acting, which forces us to react. PLCAA was such a reaction, and it immediately rocketed up to the top of NRA’s priorities. It was the major legislative achievement we got out of the Bush Administration. How would you like the major legislative achievement of the Trump Administration be a bill that doesn’t allow the financial industry to discriminate against federal firearms licensees, instead of SHARE or National Reciprocity? I can promise that Bloomberg would love it.

Actually, I think there are other options: such as a lawsuit under 42 U.S. Code § 1985(3). Ordinarily, Carpenters v. Scott would be a problem here, which held that 1985(3) did not apply to First Amendment cases where the state was not involved. But this would not be a First Amendment case, and with the involvement of the New York State Pension Fund, the state now is involved. It’s a long shot, but I’d still try it, if only to make some of these people burn money on lawyers.

There’s also tortious interference with contract, which Dave Hardy has talked about some. I don’t agree such laws should be applicable to boycott organizers, but a state pension fund using their market power as a form of intimidation to interfere with and harm another’s lawful business is a textbook case. I’d grab that chair in this bar fight.

World’s Smallest Violin, Right Here

It’s a shame, because I agree that turning schools into prisons as a solution to mass shootings is wrong, just like I think banning the killer’s gun is wrong. But the irony here is delicious. Sucks having to pay for the actions of a madman doesn’t it? So maybe now you know what it feels like to be a gun owner, and have people repeatedly trying to limit your personal freedom at any excuse they can find.

Regulatory Path for Bump Stock Ban

A very informative article over at The Hill for how ATF is to proceed with this, from someone who understands administrative law. As I noted when all this started, ATF uses does this stuff by policy with determination letters. If this goes through, it will be a regulation, which is harder to change. There is a whole rule making process, which this article describes.

I’m told by people in the know that a bump stock ban was coming one way or another. It was just a question of whether or not it would be a narrowly tailored ban, or a broad ban that put all semi-automatic firearms at legal risk. I personally do not wish to see what a hostile administration could do with a law that works according to “rates of fire.” As I’ve learned debating people on this, “rapid fire” is whatever rate of fire the person arguing with you is uncomfortable with.

What are the Factors Working Against Us?

The thought has occurred to me that gun rights did better in the first two years of Obama’s term than we have so far after a supposedly stunning election upset. How did we get here, and what factors are working against us. I have a few things:

  • Bloomberg by far is the biggest factor. I’d follow that closely by Obama’s organization. Between them there is a lot of money, smarts, and organizational ability available to promote gun control. Those things are very important.
  • Trump is a highly divisive figure and is about the best lightning rod that the Dems could have asked for. While I think it’s true that any candidate who beat Hillary would have been Hitler, Trump galvanizes people in a way I’ve seen from no other President. People on the right didn’t much like Obama, but even Obama wasn’t the lightning rod Trump is. People generally liked Obama even if they hated his policies. Trump isn’t getting the same consideration.
  • Our activists are getting old and tired. They are not being replaced by people with youthful energy. If you look at analysis of the March for your Guns, the other side actually has the same problem. The general trend, if you ask me, is that millennials are far more removed from traditional civic life than past generations. I actually think millennials are more civic minded than my generation, but their views on civic life are very different. They are far less cynical than my generation, but they are also far more naive.
  • Decline in hunting. For all the bullshit about the Fudds you hear, those guys are really the minority of hunters. The fact is that most hunters support gun rights, even if they don’t hunt with the stuff you and I like to shoot with. Hunters are a natural and large base for the gun rights movement, and the idea that we’re going to be able to hold the line with just a bunch of IDPA and IPSC shooters is nuts. The decline in hunting will hurt us.
  • NRA has gotten complacent, far too reliant on gun owners self-organizing, and far too reliant on their main PR firm. I think they need to seek out a diversity on views about how they promote their public image. Unlike some people, I’m not viscerally opposed to Ack-Mac being involved with NRA, but I think NRA should invite in some competing views in that area. They also need to really start making major investments in traditional grassroots organizing. They need membership that are active rather than passive consumers of NRA’s product.
  • The Republican Party has no competition for the gun vote. The reason we did better in Obama’s first two years? The Dems were competing for gun votes with the GOP. You’re seeing a lot of Republicans take a stand on the assault weapons issue, but give into the gun control folks on other issues. They are letting Bloomberg demand a whole slice of our cake, offering him a half slice and then coming back to us and saying “See, we saved you half a slice. Don’t you love us?” No assholes, do something for us. They deserve to be richly punished, but they also know if the Dems are polling at 40% for repealing the Second Amendment, with sweeping gun bans and other restrictions polling even higher, they don’t have to do much for us. Again, we can take our ball and go home, but that basically means no one will give a shit what we think and we’ll get steamrolled. It’s forfeiting the game.

The common theme here is demographic trends are catching up to us. Bloomberg’s money is by far the biggest factor. There isn’t enough passion for gun control out there for it to self-organize, but if money is no object, and you have a lot of smart Obama people who suddenly found themselves out of a job and needing a cause, you can accomplish quite a lot with a top-down approach.

You Know How Vermont Had Almost No Gun Laws?

Those days are coming to a close. I keep saying that it doesn’t matter if polling of millennials says they don’t support gun control. If they aren’t willing to fight for it, it won’t matter worth a damn. If they put Democrats in power, they will start banning guns, accessories, and placing other restrictions. That is going to start happening in every state the Dems have a shot at, which is a lot. From the article:

“It didn’t change my mind,” Helm said of the Fair Haven case, “but it got me thinking a lot more in detail.”

Helm sees a generational shift eroding Vermont’s traditional gun culture. Gun owners are getting older, and young people are not as active on gun rights.

“It didn’t shift in the last month,” Helm said. “It started a long time ago, and it will go on for a long time. It’s going to go on a little harder and faster if we don’t put a stop to this.”

That’s from a lawmaker who voted against S. 55, a bill that will ban bump stocks (the bad broad bill Bloomberg has been pushing) raise the age for buying guns to 21 across the board, ban private sales, and ban magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. This seems likely to pass in Vermont.

This is the way it’s going to go folks, state-by-state. How likely do you think we are to get federal preemption if 15 states have the same laws as New York? What you’re seeing is our activist base getting old and tried, and not being replaced by millennials. If we don’t replace those people, how millennials poll on gun control won’t matter. By the time they are in charge, the generations of Dems they put into power will have already ruined us.

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