Law Abiding?

A friend pointed out a Twitter post by a Nathan Rubin. His Twitter bio says he’s an “award winning” author and Democratic activist. His book, Boomers to Millennials: Moving America Forward, does have some awards but it doesn’t look like it sold too many copies. Amazon puts it in the top 1.9 million best sellers.

Here is what Rubin wrote on Twitter:

So unless I am a compliant sheep and turn in my ARs and AKs, I will be considered (by him) to be an irresponsible criminal. Hmm.

David Burkhead gave the best response to this nonsense on Facebook.

You can’t call yourself a law abiding American if you don’t return fugitive slaves to their owners. You can’t call yourself a law abiding Chinese if you don’t report any disagreement with Mao to the authorities. You can’t call yourself a law abiding German if you don’t report the presence of any hiding Jews.


See how that works?

The only one I’d add is that you couldn’t call yourself a law abiding Soviet citizen if you didn’t report someone criticizing the Communist Party to the KGB. In Stalin’s time, that was enough to either get you an ounce of lead along with an unmarked grave or a trip to the Gulag Archipelago.

I think that is the dream in the back of the minds of the authoritarian gun prohibitionists.

Further Proof That The Camera Market Is Declining

The Instapundit linked to a post on the OM Blog that digital camera sales are declining sharply. The reason, of course, is the rise of the smart phone and the improvement of its photo taking ability.

Camera sales are continuing to falling off a cliff. The latest data from the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) shows them in a swoon befitting a Bollywood roadside Romeo. All four big camera brands — Sony, Fuji, Canon, and Nikon — are reposting rapid declines. And it is not just the point and shoot cameras whose sales are collapsing. We also see sales of higher-end DSLR cameras stall. And — wait for it — even mirrorless cameras, which were supposed to be a panacea for all that ails the camera business, are heading south.

My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 100 that used 126 film and flash bulbs. I eventually moved up to 35mm with a used Canon Canonet QL 17 rangefinder which I picked up for $10 in an antique store. My first single lens reflex didn’t get purchased until I was well into college. It was a Canon AE-1 with your standard 55mm prime lens. I think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 at one of the camera stores in New York City.

The really cool kids had Nikons. They were way out of my price range especially since I was just an amateur. Nonetheless, I lusted after them.

Today the Complementary Spouse and I went to a church bazaar in Hendersonville. By the time we arrived, prices had been cut 50%.

The first thing I saw was this Nikomat EL priced for $2 meaning I paid one whole US dollar for it! The Nikomat was the Japanese market version of the Nikkormat. It has one minor dent on the viewfinder housing, some brassing of the body, and a little dust. It came with the Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens.

On the same table I saw another Nikon for sale. It was the Nikon FM which also cost me $1. Given I had picked up my last Nikon for $35 at Goodwill, I think I did damn good getting not one but two classic Nikons for $2.

I think if you need any proof that the film camera market is dead this was it.

I do have a couple of digital DSLRs (Canon and Olympus) but like most people I use my cell phone for the quick shots. I could upgrade them but, like most rifles in terms of accuracy, they can do more than I am capable of doing. Adding insult to injury, I took the pictures of my new Nikons using my iPhone.

I’ll leave the final word to Om Malik from his OM Blog.

But mostly, our pictures — even the best ones — function as glorified postcards on Instagram, Facebook, or some other messaging app. No one on WhatsApp cares if you made a photo in 50 megapixels or 12 megapixels Just as, in the cloud, no one gives two hoots if your server is Sun, Dell or HP.


I have a five-year old camera, and I can’t conceive of a convincing reason to get a new one. The one I own was very good at the start of its life, it cost me a lot of money, and I suspect it has a long life ahead of it. And to be clear, I am extremely fond of my camera. I find absolutely no joy in the demise of the standalone camera.

Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game

The legendary baseball manager Casey Stengel is reported to have said, “Can’t anybody here play this game”, in reference to the abysmal performance of the 1962 New York Mets. That became the name of a book by Jimmy Breslin telling the story of that season.

https://www.baseballhistorycomesalive.com/the-great-yankee-manager-casey-stengel/

After reading of Rob Pincus’ experiences yesterday at the preliminaries of the NRA Board Meeting, the Stengel quote was the first thing that came to mind.

After checking in at the security desk around 12:30pm, Rob was removed from the meeting area…. not a meeting room, not from trying to steal a free lunch with the Directors… from the entire meeting area at the hotel. He was at first told that he could not come back until Saturday Morning for the main Board Meeting. After challenging that he believed that Members were allowed to attend Committee Meetings, security relented and said he could return at 1:30 on the afternoon, but would not provide any details about what committees were meeting or in which specific rooms.


Rob returned to the meeting area at 1:30pm, the scheduled time for the Legal Affairs Committee. He was greeted by the same security supervisor that escorted him out of the area less than an hour before. He was told specifically where to sit in the room… and a security guard at next to him.

It only gets worse in Rob’s own words.

“The thing that is bothering me right now: NRA claims 5 million Members. Members are ostensibly allowed to attend these meetings. Social media is on fire in regard to the crisis at the organization. There was only one committee meeting this afternoon, one of the most important ones, the Legal Affairs Committee.


There were less than 10 empty chairs in the room and I was basically given a personal security escort. The NRA wasn’t prepared for Members to attend, nor did they appear to want Members to attend.


After the meeting went into Executive Session, I went to the Secretary’s Office adjacent to the meeting room to request a schedule of the meetings scheduled for the next day and, as the staffer was writing them down for me, Security showed up and told me I needed to leave. Rudely. They would not even let the staffer provide me with the information. At that point, NRA Director Robert Brown came over to see what was going on and Security insisted that I leave the entire meeting area forcing the Director to walk out into the hallway to finish his conversation with me. Security was smug and increasingly aggressive as the short moment went on.”

This is NOT how to play the game. All it does is show fear and you never want to show fear.

Here is how it should have gone.

“Mr. Pincus, thank you for registering and attending. We rarely get members coming to these meetings. We are glad to have you here.”

“Here is a list of the committee meeting and times. Which committee meeting did you want to attend first? Oh, the Legal Affairs Committee? Bob (big security guard) here will show you how to get there. The room is somewhat out of the way.”

When the Legal Affairs Committee went into Executive Session, the Chairman should have said, “Mr. Pincus, we are going into Executive Session to discuss (whatever). I hate to do this but I’m going to have to ask you to leave the room. If you’ll head to the Secretary’s desk, I’m sure that they will be happy to point you to other committees. We really do hope to see you again tomorrow at the Board Meeting.”

The proper way to have done all of this was to kill Rob with kindness. Butter should not have melted in their mouths. Even if Rob was aggressive, which I don’t think he was, your goal was to disarm him with politeness.

Treating Rob like some interloper who had dog shit on his shoes was stupid. All it did was show fear and weakness which is the last thing any organization should want to do.

Whoever decided that this was the way to treat Rob or any NRA member who shows up to the meeting deserves to be fired. Immediately if not sooner. It was stupid, it was counterproductive, it was bullying, and it creates more bad PR and attention for the NRA at a time when they can least afford it.

About Those CEOs Calling For More Gun Control

If you saw the news yesterday, one of the biggest stories was that 145 corporate CEOs were calling on the Senate to enact gun control. The headlines made it seem like a good portion of the S&P 500 was calling for action on gun control.

Having read the list, the reality is much different.

Out of that list of 145 CEOs, only six are heads of S&P 500 companies. Those six companies are Ecolab, Gap, Interpublic, Omnicom, Royal Caribbean Cruises Lines, and Twitter.

Of the large non-S&P 500 companies on the list, you did have the usual suspects like Bloomberg LP, Levi Strauss, and DICK’S which wouldn’t have surprised anyone. The heads of Levi Strauss and DICK’S have been pretty vocal for a long time now. Moreover, could you have had such a list without Bloomberg LP? Not likely.

Only 47 out of the 145 companies have more than 500 employees. The rest are identified as being the CEO of companies with less than 500 employees. In other words, you aren’t talking about captains of industry.

You are talking about Jeff Sellinger who is listed as the founder and CEO of HipDot. You know! HipDot – the makers of cosmetics featuring Sponge Bob Square Pants.

OK. So maybe you don’t know about HipDot. I’m sure you know about Quartzy and SkySafe. The former is the maker of online lab management software and has 60 employees while the latter is an anti-drone company whose software prevents drones from entering secure airspace.

My point in all of this is that while these CEOs most certainly had the right to make their views known, they are no more significant than yours or mine. The media made it sound like corporate America was turning against the gun culture and the reality is that most of these companies are niche players located in gun control bastions like California.

You can read the letter and see the list of all the CEOs below:

CEO Senate GVP Letter Final Signatories 12 by jpr9954 on Scribd

Save The Second Meetup

Save the Second is having a pre-NRA Board Meeting meet-up in Northern Virginia tomorrow evening. I have put their notice below:

The BoD Meeting is quickly approaching. Save The Second is planning a gathering with STS followers and fellow concerned NRA members at the Washington Dulles Airport Hilton on Friday, September 13th at 6:00pm. Yes, that is the same meeting location as the NRA Board of Directors meeting. Not only will you have a chance to meet and discuss NRA issues with like minded members, but we will also be discussing the plan for Saturday morning. Hopefully, we will have the chance to converse with a few NRA Directors of the Board as well. If you plan on attending the meet up on the eve of the BoD meeting, please RSVP on the official Facebook event. This is a night you will not want to miss. 


What: Save The Second Meet-up at the Fall BoD Meeting
When: September, Friday 13, 6:00pm
Where:  Hilton Washington Dulles Airport 13869 Park Center Road Herndon, VA  20171

Remember – Save the Second is the only organization that can reliably get Marion Hammer to show up for a NRA Board meeting!

And she would have you think that they are ineffective. I think not if they can do this!

Thanks For The PR, Marion!

There is a concept in public relations called strategic silence. While normally you want to respond to critics, sometimes it is advisable to do nothing. This is especially true when you are a large organization and the critic is small and not well-known. It is counterproductive.

Marion Hammer obviously never learned this.

Yesterday, the Washington Times ran a commentary by Ms. Hammer attacking Save the Second. It also had a condescending attack by her on Alan Gottlieb of SAF and CCRKBA as well as on the late Neal Knox. Her purpose in this op-ed seems to have been to defend Wayne LaPierre as well as position the NRA as the be all and end all of the Second Amendment.

Some attackers, including some of the NRA’s own members, have created an outfit that calls itself “Save the Second.” 


The organization is most definitely not about saving the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 


It is about destroying the National Rifle Association. Save the Second has never done anything to save the Second Amendment. It was created to oust NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre and take control of NRA


Save the Second maliciously encourages the harassment of NRA board members who oppose attempts to oust NRA leadership.

There are many in the Second Amendment community who have not heard of Save the Second. They have now.

Save the Second is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established for the sole purpose of reforming the NRA so that it can be a more effective advocate for the Second Amendment and gun rights.

One of the original founders – Anthony Garcia – was one of the organizers of the successful recall effort in Colorado. (Corrected – I had both Ron Carter and Anthony as organizers while it was only Anthony.) The recall was to replace prominent Democrats who passed universal background checks and a magazine ban. Those Democrats had been funded by Michael Bloomberg and the opposition to their recall was funded by his millions as well. Both Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron were recalled and a third Democrat resigned before she could be recalled.

Ms. Hammer continues:

Leaving the NRA in the hands of a bunch of novices who haven’t done 1 percent of what Wayne has helped the NRA accomplish is a pure recipe for disaster.


You may think they’re well-meaning but they likely couldn’t figure out how to run the NRA or a 50-state legislative operation, period.


From all appearances, Save the Second is just an extension of the 22-year-old failed coup attempt against Wayne by led by the late NRA board member Neal Knox, whose son is gun-rights supporter Jeff Knox of the Firearms Coalition.

Oh, I think they could figure out how to run a 50-state legislative operation. After all, the blueprint for the NRA’s grassroots efforts did come from former BOD members Tim Knight and Sean Maloney who just happened to work with Ron and Anthony in the Colorado recall effort.

As to the “failed coup attempt” of 1997, this is actually a rewriting of history. I have been going back and re-reading Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War. Just as now, there was a call for financial audits as well as a “management audit” ordered by the NRA Board of Directors in 1996. There were serious concerns about a decline in assets and a “failure to manage, poor internal controls, too much reliance on outside vendors, and too many multi-million dollar agreements without written contracts.” (As an aside, I really suggest buying the Kindle version of this book to learn more.)

Then, as now, the chief resistance to financial openness was Wayne LaPierre. Then, as now, his chief backer was Marion Hammer. The two have a long-term symbiotic relationship which seems to have little to do with protecting the Second Amendment and all about protecting their perks.

Ms. Hammer concludes by saying, ” Our country needs the NRA. And Wayne LaPierre is the only person who can lead us through this hate-storm. ”

She is half right. We do need the NRA. However, we need an effective NRA with an effective Board focused on the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, it seems that the most effective people such as Chris Cox, Jennifer Baker, Emily Cummins, and David Lehman are all gone having been forced out due to Wayne’s paranoia fed by William Brewer III and Josh Powell.

Now that you know about Save the Second thanks to Ms. Hammer, they plan to be at the NRA Board of Director’s meeting this Saturday morning. It is being held at the Hilton Washington Dulles. Save the Second will be presenting the member’s petition calling for a vote on mandatory attendance at NRA Board meetings. If you are in the area, I hope you will attend.

9-11 Plus 18

It has been 18 years since a group of Islamofascists hijacked four planes bound for the West Coast. Two were crashed into the Twin Towers, one was crashed into the Pentagon, and the fourth never made it to its target thanks to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93.

Our local news made the point in its evening broadcast that, with few exceptions, kids in school today have no memory of the event because they weren’t even born yet. I have vivid memories of that day. For me they are indelible yet these children will only learn of it through books, the media, and the memories of those of us old enough to remember.

We need to keep those memories alive for posterity.

Dear Larry J. Merlo

Read More

This is an open letter to the CEO of CVS Health.

Dear Mr. Merlo:

I have been a customer of CVS and its predecessor chain Revco since the early 1980s. That is when I moved to Waynesville, North Carolina. I received fantastic service from Ken Holland, R.Ph., who has long since retired. The advice and consultation I received from Ken proved invaluable over the years.

Due to a change you announced on September 5th, I can no longer ethically or morally patronize your stores.

The announcement read:

We support the efforts of individuals and groups working to prevent gun violence (sic), and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure our stores remain a safe environment. We join a growing chorus of businesses in requesting that our customers, other than authorized law enforcement personnel, do not bring firearms into our stores.

This goes to the heart of my ability to provide for my own self-defense and that of my family. I am a law-abiding citizen with a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit. I have gone through multiple background checks including both criminal and mental health. I have been fingerprinted. I have had training.

My wife and I are the type people you want shopping in your stores and pharmacies. However, in an effort to curry favor with those who would put us at risk, you don’t want us in your establishments. That is your choice and it is our choice to move our patronage elsewhere.

I totaled the amount I spent on prescriptions alone with CVS this year. It amounts to $213.23 as of September 4th. I realize that this is only 0.00097% of your fiscal 2018 compensation of $21,939,098.

This is only a drop in the bucket compared to what you make as CEO of CVS Health. However, if just a fraction of the approximately 17 million plus concealed carry permit holders decide to shop elsewhere, that could impact your corporate bottom line. It is not like there aren’t other options outside the major chains.

I wish you the best as you try to explain to your board and others why you don’t want us, the most law-abiding citizens in the country, as your customers any longer.

Sincerely,

John Richardson

UPDATE: I had a prescription waiting for me at CVS. Rather than picking it up, I had it moved to another local pharmacy today. In doing so, I saved $13 over the price that CVS was charging. That is a win-win in my book!

Another Illegal Mayor

Michael Bloomberg and his Mayors Against Illegal Guns can sure pick them. The newest member of his slate of illegal mayors is Jasiel Correia II of Fall River, Massachusetts.

The good mayor and his chief of staff Genoveva Andrade were just arrested on Federal charges. The indictments include bribery, extortion conspiracy, extortion and aiding and abetting, wire fraud, and filing false tax returns

From Business Insider:

The 27-year old mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, was arrested Friday morning and charged with a slew of crimes, including extorting legal marijuana businesses for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, federal prosecutors said.


Jasiel F. Correia II, the mayor, was arrested along with his former chief of staff, Genoveva Andrade. Beyond the bribes, Correia has been accused of extorting a building owner for cash and a Rolex watch in exchange for activating the water supply to a commercial building, and demanding that his chief of staff give him half of her salary in return for appointing her and allowing her to keep her city job, according to prosecutors.

Correia would get anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 in bribes to issue “non-opposition letters”. These letters are a Massachusetts requirement that marijuana businesses are required obtain from the local head of government. Without these “non-opposition letters”, they could not open for business. Correia has issued 14 of these letters.

As I’ve said many a time in the past, this organization should be renamed Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors given their criminal activities.