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Good Read

This is rather long, but worth the read. The summary:

The historian of American statecraft and spycraft and conservative political philosopher Angelo Codevilla talks about the ruling elite, Jonathan Pollard, and the rise of the techno-surveillance state—and the consequent demise of the American Empire

For one fool or another …

… please vote. Especially if you’re in Virginia.

Targeting Judges for Following the Law

The Mayor of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Chief Executive targeting a judge for following the law is despicable, and I hope gun voters will have Judge Joseph James’ back come election time. It’s a consequence of having elected judges in Pennsylvania. If Judge James had ruled the other way, we certainly would have done the same. But in this case, the law is unambiguously on our side. Do you remember the judge that threw out the preemption enhancement because it was unconstitutionally attached to a metal theft bill? I don’t. Because the law was plausibly not on our side. The judge had to make a call that’s within the space of the law. In this case, they are looking to throw their weight around and intimidate the judiciary into using political expedience rather than the law to inform their decision making.

To me, this looks like a couple of petty tyrants upset they didn’t get their way.

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.

The Dems are Too Elite! So Bring Me Their King!

I agree with Cam Edwards: bringing forward Mike Bloomberg as the cure for the elitism of the Democratic Party is like dropping someone off in the desert to cure heat stroke.

I think the Dem elites are scared to death of Liz Warren, the left-populist candidate. I don’t think they mind rhetoric, as long as at the end of the day, the tech elites are permitted to do what they want. Their real fear is to have someone in the White House who won’t play ball.

The thing with having a monopoly or oligopoly is: people have to be convinced you’re making their lives better. Zuck particularly has a real problem there. Amazon and Wal-Mart have changed shopping, and I want to love Amazon, but go take a look at any small town main street. I think people are starting to ask real questions about whether we’re really better off for all this change. Even I am, and I’m a lot more change tolerant than average.

No Path for Bloomberg

Cam is right here. The Dem elites are getting the vapors that their preferred candidate is melting down, and they might be dealing with a left-populist candidate who’s not sympathetic to their bullshit. This will be a key thing to look for:

If Elizabeth Warren becomes the Democrats’ chosen candidate in 2020, don’t be surprised if Bloomberg and his gun control groups don’t spend a lot of money supporting her. Instead, I would expect tens of millions of dollars to flood into states around the country in a bid to reshape state legislatures along with the U.S. Senate and Congress.

Grassroots gun control supports shouldn’t have any issue with Liz Warren. If there isn’t much money for her from gun control supporters, it’s a strong indication of who is really calling the shots in the movement.

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.

The Spy Who Talked to Me

Glenn Reynolds links to an article that suggests Marina Butina was railroaded. I met Maria Butina briefly at an NRA function at the annual meeting. I still have her business card. She was completely up front that her organization had the blessing of the Kremlin. I remember her saying that, and saying that they were not an opposition group, since such things aren’t allowed.

I didn’t think much of it because at the time the UN Arms Trade Treaty was among the buzz, and the Kremlin was opposed. So I figured the outreach was to build alliances against the treaty. I don’t recall her claiming she was just a little old Russian girl from Siberia who started a gun rights group, though she did pitch she was hoping to build an RKBA movement in Russia.

I take the Spectator article with a grain of salt. I accept that Butina is probably sitting in prison for engaging in what a lot of foreign nationals in DC routinely do. I accept that she was unlucky enough to get caught up in the Russian collusion narrative and that her activity would never have risen to the level of being noticed otherwise. I do agree she wasn’t a spy in the sense most people understand it. But she is, in my opinion, guilty of what she was charged with, along with a lot of other foreign nationals that will never be unlucky enough to get caught up in a red scare-like whirlwind.

Politician Believe in Being Reelected

Kirsten Gillibrand now says she never really believe in the 2nd Amendment.

Now that she’s being called out for her hypocrisy, the presidential hopeful is spinning the policy shift as a “simple mistake.”  “I didn’t do the right thing,” Gillibrand told CNN‘s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” Wednesday. “I mean, I think someone who can’t recognize when they’re wrong is far more concerning if you can never admit when you’re wrong. And not only was I wrong, and not only should I have cared more about gun violence in other parts of my state or other parts of my country, I just didn’t.”

It’s easy. When she was a Congresswoman from upstate New York, it was beneficial to her politically to be pro-gun. When she became Senator of New York, it was beneficial for her to be anti-gun. What politicians never want to admit is that their views are fungible depending on political expedience. It goes back to the old Groucho line: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

Even your favorite politician who tells you how much he loves the Second Amendment, in most cases, is telling you that because it’s politically expedient. Our great task is to make it politically expedient. There are true believers out there, but they are rare.

Armed Resistance in Venezuela

Miguel, who is an expat from Venezuela, notes that one civilian armed with a pistol stopped a National Guard advance. Remember, the people who spew all this bullshit about the government having tanks, jets and nuclear weapons don’t really get what armies are for. The purpose of an army is the imposition of political will. It’s not just to kill people and destroy things. Armies do those things, of course, but the overriding goal in using an army is to impose your political will on other people. That becomes much harder and more complicated when the people you’re looking to do that to are universally armed and willing to resist. The problem in Venezuela is there’s not enough of either.

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