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.

What More Do They Want?

I’ve argued with several people that, say we agreed to give up our AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles, the next time there was a public mass shooting, would they and all the other pro-gun control folks throw up their hands, “Well, you know, we tried. But we’ve done enough,” and eschew any further gun control? I don’t know anyone who believes that the case. They certainly know that’s not the case.

And proof positive, I give you the reaction to the YouTube shooting in California.

What more do you want in California, seriously? They have everything you could dream of federally and more. But it’s apparently not enough. That should tell you everything you need to know.

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.

By All Means, Keep Running on This!

Head of Louisiana Dems wants to repeal the Second Amendment:

The chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party is the most high-profile Democratic official in the country to date to call for a repeal of the Second Amendment.

Karen Carter Peterson on Tuesday shared a New York Times op-ed by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who argued that the Second Amendment should be repealed because the initial reasons for its creation are “now a relic of the 18th century.”

Thank you Justice Stevens, that gift is continuing to give. You see, the issue in building a coalition that includes working class whites is that they are historically unreliable voters. But I can’t think of anything that will get them out to the polls more than making 2018 a referendum on gun control with prominent Dems calling for repealing parts of the Bill of Rights.

I just listed factors working against us. Crazy ass shit like this coming from our opponents very much works in our favor. The mask is off. They don’t support the Second Amendment. It’s always been very apparent when they say it, it’s disingenuous. Now they are putting their cards on the table.

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.

Stevens on Repealing the Second Amendment

I couldn’t have asked for a better gift. First reaction is that this is at least an honest position. I agree most with Glenn Reynolds on this particular op-ed by the former Supreme Court Justice:

1. Calls to repeal the Second Amendment are, despite whatever gyrations the callers go through, tacit admissions that the Second Amendment bars sweeping gun control.

2. Good luck with that, we’re more likely to see an amendment banning abortion pass than one repealing the Second Amendment.

3. The Second Amendment, according to the Framers (and some Supreme Court dictum) recognizes a natural right; repealing the amendment doesn’t extinguish the right.

4. Nothing could be better for the GOP in 2018 and 2020 races than for the Dems to make this an issue.

I think this is right. It’s also a good time to rehash Charles C.W. Cooke’s take on it. The one thing that can save the GOP from its own incompetence, sloth, and back stabbing is the Democrats taking positions far outside the mainstream and that are politically untenable. I actually wish they wouldn’t, because I’d like to put some epic punishment on the GOP, but I fear their chief competitor needs it worse at the moment.

But My Bump Stock!

I had a feeling someone was going to throw my position on bump stocks back at me for this quote in yesterday’s news links:

Believe me, these gun owners do exist. There’s a lot of people who will heartily embrace “Well, if it won’t affect me, I’ll support it.” That goes double if they think they can appease the opposition with someone else’s rights. These are fundamentally selfish people who don’t stand for anything.

Sure enough, it didn’t take long. I suppose I asked for that, but I do believe there’s a distinction. I believe in our current political situation, the ATF classification is the path of least damage to the overall gun rights movement. Recall that the NRA’s demand ATF reevaluate bump stocks came after Vegas, with Congress moving to pass a bump stock bill that would legally jeopardize a whole host of normal, fairly common activity with semi-autos in addition to some of the existing grandfathered machine gun stock. We’ve also now gotten screwed on that issue in a number of states, including now Florida, our nation’s 3rd most populous and that generally speaking has been gun friendly.

Do you want to win on machine guns? I’d like to. But we need to achieve a tremendous cultural shift on the issue if that can ever be achieved. To do that, we need that grandfathered stock. If we lose that, it will be irrecoverably lost. Forever. No coming back. There would be no way to build the familiarity needed to demystify them.

You can bitch and moan all you want about “I can’t believe the GOP would do this to us.” No politician is going to stick up for machine guns in the current climate, and whether we like it or not, that’s how the public perceives bump stocks or anything that fires like a machine gun. That shit is all better off flying under the radar.

I’m very sorry our great-grandparents abandoned Machine Gun Hill in the 1930s. None of us alive today were there. A lot of people seem to want to die on Bump Stock Hill. It’s not that I don’t want to fight, it’s that I’m not going to fight for something I can’t win or can’t defend successfully. I’m going to strengthen my lines against attacks on my flanks and leave that indefensible position to those foolish enough to fight for it.

The problem with the Fudd is that he’d rather trade all the other hills as long as the one he’s living on isn’t being actively attacked. His is a concession to avoid having to fight at all.

Not Bad Turnout for NJ

Not bad turnout for a state where most gun owners are resigned to the fact that Governor Murphy’s gun control package is likely to pass. Also, I give News 12 credit for fair coverage. Looking at the crowd size, I agree “hundreds” is the number:

(Sorry, the embed code doesn’t seem to work)

About 1/3rd of my club is from New Jersey. We’re right over the bridge. Close enough that we could shell Trenton (tempting, I know). Most people who are left there are resigned to the fact that they are second class citizens, and are now doing their best to fly under the radar. There are some that are actively defiant and still willing to fight, but I’d say they are a minority. In a generation, there won’t be much in the way of gun owners in the Garden State. They don’t have to take your guns. They are willing to drive a stake through the heart of our gun culture and wait.

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