It’s All Part Of The Plan To Destroy The Gun Culture

Jay Leno was supposed to be the headliner at the NSSF’s State of the Industry Dinner at the SHOT Show. Under intense pressure from the gun prohibitionists, he cancelled his appearance. See the statement from the NSSF below:

We are clearly disappointed by Jay Leno’s decision not to perform at the 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry Dinner. He unilaterally cancelled his promised appearance due to pressure from the anti-gun lobby, which included false statements about our industry and its commitment to genuine firearms safety, which we attempted to personally correct with him, but to no avail.

We are not deterred by their publicity seeking nor are we unfamiliar with the bullying political tactics of the gun control groups that seem to have as little respect for the First Amendment as they continually demonstrate with regard to the Second Amendment.

We are proud of the many programs that we run that meaningfully contribute to public safety including our long standing Project ChildSafe and Don’t Lie for the Other Guy initiatives in addition to our members everyday work in compliance with comprehensive federal and state laws. We will not allow the lawful commerce in firearms nor our industry to be demonized and we will continue to speak out for the Second Amendment rights of the millions of law-abiding citizens who are our customers.

Despite Mr. Leno’s cancellation, we look forward to having our biggest and best State of the Industry Dinner to date with a performer that respects the contributions of our industry and the customers it supports.

I originally was going to title this post, “The Spine of a Jellyfish”. In other words, the man has no spine if he can’t stand up to the shrill Mommies and the ne’er do wells at CSGV.  Saying it was a mistake to have signed on to do the gig just compounds it in my eyes.

While I still believe that, I also understand this is not about one aging comedian. Rather it is part of a coordinated effort to destroy the gun culture by making it an anathema. That is part of the long game behind so-called universal background checks given how it restricts transfers and not just sales.

How do we counter this?

In my opinion, the best way to do it is the grow the grass-roots and with it the gun culture. We need to make personal outreach efforts to friends and family and take them shooting. We have to stop whispering about our gun ownership. We need to take a page from gay rights activists and their “We’re Here – We’re Queer – Get Over It” movement. I can’t think of something with a nice alliteration right now but you get the idea. We have an enumerated civil right to keep and bear arms and we should never forget that. We also have an enumerated civil right to free speech, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition the government to redress grievances. We need to start doing more of all of that and it needs to start today.

Russia Is Better Than….

Who would have ever believed that Putin’s Russia now provides better gun rights than the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and most of California. Russia, unlike DC and aforementioned states now allows self-defense as a valid reason to be issued a carry permit.

From Russia Today:

In an amendment to its tough gun control laws, the Russian government eases restrictions, allowing citizens to carry licensed weapons for the purposes of ‘self-defense.’

Until now Russian gun enthusiasts were only permitted to carry firearms for hunting or target shooting after obtaining a license through the Interior Ministry. Russian gun licenses are to be renewed every five years, and applicants face strict background checks and are required to take gun safety courses.

The addendum to the law now lists self-defense as a legally acceptable reason for carrying a weapon.

 Permit holders are not allowed to carry in schools, nights clubs that serve alcohol, and mass public gatherings. Carry while under the influence of alcohol is also prohibited. Self-defense weapons allowed include handguns, shotguns, stun guns, and tear gas/OC but not swords or rifles.

I wonder what America’s own would-be oligarch Michael Bloomberg thinks of this.

Quote Of The Day

Remington Outdoor Company recently cut more jobs at its plant in Ilion, New York. Part of the reason was declining sales of Remington firearms and part was due to New York’s SAFE Act passed in 2013 according to a letter from Remington CEO George Kollitides.

New Yorker Against Gun Violence Executive Director Leah Gunn Barrett says that public safety trumps economics.

Critics love to use the New York SAFE Act as a whipping boy, but let’s face it, that law is keeping New Yorkers safe and keeping New York communities safe and our kids safe and guns out of the wrong hands, to me that’s more important.

And just how many murders, robberies, etc. were committed with an AR-15 in New York, Leah?

We Need #CrowbarSense

Sometimes the tweets from Shannon Watts of Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors cause me to just shake my head. We know she is trying to shake down the Kroger chain of stores because they won’t kow-tow to her regarding lawful carry of firearms in their stores. This Kroger policy extends to their subsidiaries such as the Harris Teeter grocery chain here in North Carolina.

As part of Watts’ shake down efforts, she sends out tweets like the one below in the hopes that her unthinking minions will uncritically re-tweet it.

Reading the linked story at NBC Charlotte, one finds that a man armed with a firearm and a crowbar robbed a Charlotte Harris Teeter in the pre-dawn hours of Monday. The armed robber forced some employees back into the store at gunpoint. He then forced one employee and a witness to smash a jewelry display and put the jewelry into a bag with the threat of shooting another employee. The robber then escaped with the jewelry.

Under North Carolina criminal law, this is a violation of § 14-87 (Robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons) which is a Class D felony. The robber’s actions of forcing the people back into the store meets the state’s definition of kidnapping which, since no one was reported injured, is a Class E felony. We don’t know if the armed robber was a felon. If he was, he would be in violation of both Federal and NC law concerning being a felon in possession of a firearm. And this is just a start. Looking at sentencing guidelines, the robber is looking at a minimum of five years for the armed robbery and two years for the kidnapping offense if this was his first brush with the law.

Armed robbery is a crime. It has nothing to do with the lawful carry of a firearm in a grocery store to protect oneself and one’s family against harm. Posting this Harris Teeter grocery store against legal carry would only add one more charge to the armed robber’s long list of crimes and would leave a whole lot of other people defenseless.

Perhaps since the criminal used a crowbar in the commission of his crimes, we now need #Crowbar Sense. It is as logical as #gunsense.

Those Jokers In New Jersey

New Jersey judges have quite the sense of humor. On Monday, the judiciary system raised about 80 of their court fees. The money will be used to pay for bail reform, increase monies going to Legal Services of NJ, and an improved electronic filing system. They expect to raise $42 million in revenue from these increased fees annually.

Included in the increases are these:

Among the increases taking effect: Filing a lawsuit, an appeal or for divorce costs $50 more. Filing a small claim costs $35, up from $15. Permits to carry a handgun cost $50, rather than $20, and it now costs $50 to appeal a denial of a permit to buy a handgun.

The fee for getting a permit to carry a handgun might as well be $1 million given that it takes an act of God to get a New Jersey carry permit and even an act of God might not help. As Frank Fiamingo, President of the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, said:

What permits to carry a handgun? New Jersey does not issue permits to carry a handgun to law-abiding civilians. Unless you walk into the court with some thug holding a gun directly to your temple, you will be denied, and then denied upon appeal. The entire system is rigged to keep free people from exercising their natural human right to defend innocent life.

Tell Me Again How Gun-Free Zones Are Safe And Crime Free

The gun prohibitionists argue banning guns in certain locations make them safer. They especially push this argument with regard to schools and universities. The argument against allowing firearms on university campuses is that college students are impulsive irresponsible drunks who would go around shooting up the place. At least that is the impression left by the Brady Center from their amicus brief in the case of D’Cruz* v BATFE (later renamed Jennings v BATFE).

So it was with interest that I read this notice sent out by the Western Carolina University Police Department last Wednesday.

WCU Police are investigating a report of an armed robbery that occurred at approximately 9:15pm this evening. Suspects are two white males and one black male. Armed with what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun and a baseball bat. Occurred in the area of the old Brown cafeteria. Suspect #1 is described as a white male, mid 20’s, 5″8″, thin build, facial hair, white t-shirt, blue jeans, dark colored knit type hat, armed with a handgun. Suspect 2 is a white male, mid 20’s, no further description. Suspect 3 is a black male, mid 20’s 5’10”, thin build, dark t shirt. Suspects were last seen in the area of the Old Brown Cafeteria. Police are searching the campus for the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call WCU PD at 828-227-8911. Thanks. University Police

Didn’t these miscreants know that the University of North Carolina and all its constituent institutions like WCU are supposed to be gun free? I’m sure the baseball bat was only for use in intramural games.

The only firearms allowed on campus are those of concealed carry permit holders which must be kept locked in their cars. And even that modest measure upsets the university’s administration.

So I would say to the university chancellors and police chiefs who were united in their opposition to any guns on campus, tell me again how gun-free zones are safe and crime-free.

* James D’Cruz, the original plaintiff, was demonized and vilified by the Brady Campaign. Josh Horwitz of CSGV even wrote he “sounds like a school shooter.” I wonder what they would make of the fact that James is now a first year law student at Harvard Law School.

I-594 And The Aftermath – Why Washington State And Who Might Be Next (Pt. 2)

My first post on this topic looked at the long game being played by Michael Bloomberg and his minions at Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors. Some have postulated, and I would tend to agree, that the ultimate goal of these initiatives is to discourage new entrants to the gun culture rather than merely imposing a universal background check system state-by-state.

Since last Tuesday when Initiative 594 won in Washington State, I’ve been thinking about the factors that led to Washington State being chosen as the test bed and what they may tell us about who gets chosen as the next target (after Nevada).

The first, and most obvious factor, is that the state must have some form of initiative process. The initiative process and the referendum were children of the Progressive Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement, unlike today’s progressives, was not synonymous with liberalism. If anything, it was a reaction to the masses of immigrants to the United States and the impact that they had on politics in cities and states. The Progressive Movement was anti-political machine and what better way to take power out of the hands of Tammany Hall and other political machines that catered to new immigrants as well as from the “robber barrons” than through the promotion of direct democracy. The key components were the initiative, the referendum, and the recall.

The states that adopted the direct and indirect initiative are primarily west of the Mississippi. Of the 21 states that offer some form of initiative, only four are east of the Mississippi. These are Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Ohio. A little explanation of the difference between the two types of initiatives. The direct initiative such as was seen in Washington State means the proposals that qualify go directly to the voters. By contrast, an indirect initiative is a petition to a state legislature to pass a certain bill and then, if they fail to do so, it goes to the voters to decide. This is the process used in Nevada.

The next factor that I thought would have an impact was the proportion of the state’s residents that were actually born there. I call this the “Californication” factor. In other words, people move from California to other states such as Nevada, Oregon, and Washington and bring their California attitudes with them. We see a similar pattern in the East as in-migrants from states like New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have altered the politics of states like Florida and Maine. I think state natives are less likely to be swayed by Bloomberg’s efforts.

Another factor that I thought should be considered is the degree of urbanization of the state. Urban dwellers are less connected to the land, less likely to have come from a hunting family, and more likely to see firearms as a crime problem. By contrast, the higher the percentage of gun ownership, the more likely people are going to be to stand up for their gun rights.

Below is an Excel spreadsheet that I composed using these factors along with which party holds the governorship, did the state vote for Obama, and has Everytown/MAIG registered a 503(c)(4) or (c)(3) in that state.

I have ordered the states by their average rank based upon the variables seen. The lower the average rank, the more likely the state is to be a target for Bloomberg and his henchmen (or henchmoms, as the case may be).

Let me explain how I derived the ranks for each variable.

Initiative Type – I considered the direct initiative to have less political impediments for Everytown so it was coded a “1” while the indirect initiative is a “2”.

Percentage of Urbanization – This data was taken from the Iowa Community Indicators Program which looked at the urbanization of the population of a state. This is 2010 data. I rank ordered the state from most urbanized to least urbanized.

Percentage of State Native Born – This looks at the percentage of the state’s residents that were born in that state. The rank goes from the lowest percentage of state native born to the highest percentage of people born in the state in which they are residing.

Percentage of Gun Ownership – This data was taken from estimates of gun ownership by state as of 2007. I rank ordered the states from least percentage of gun ownership to most percentage of gun ownership.

Governorship – I originally coded states with Democrat governors as a “1” with states having a Republican governor as a “3”. Upon reflection, I reversed it because a state with a Republican governor should create more impediments to gun control and thus would encourage the gun prohibitionists to seek ways around the governor.

2012 Presidential Election – This looked at who won the state:  Obama or Romney. I considered states that chose Obama would be more likely to look favorably on gun control and thus were coded a “1”. An alternative view is that these states have more low-information voters.

Everytown 503(c)(4) – Has Everytown or MAIG registered a political action non-profit in that state? If so, it means they have prepared the ground in advance of seeking an initiative. The impetus to look for this variable came from a column by David Codrea describing the move to the states by Bloomberg. This data is up-to-date as of yesterday. More states have been added since David’s first alert on their moves.

Examining these rankings, it then comes as no surprise that Nevada was the next target for a universal background check initiative. They had the lowest average of any state. The degree of urbanization – 94.2% – and the small number of state native born – 24.3% – made Nevada an ideal candidate. The fact that many of the state’s in-migrants come from California adds to the problem.

Likewise, Arizona, despite the lowest Brady Campaign score of any state (50), is also a prime candidate for a push for universal background checks. They have a highly urbanized population – 89.8% – and the second lowest number of state native born – 37.7% – of the states with an initiative. The saving grace for Arizona is that they have a robust gun culture even though their actual percentage of gun ownership is rather low.

Rounding out the top five, California and Colorado already have universal background checks and Massachusetts requires a permit to own a firearm.

Washington State came in at number six on this list. So why was Washington State chosen for the first test case instead of Nevada or Arizona? If I had to guess, money had a lot to do with it as well as a compliant media. Bill Gates had previously shown a willingness to donate to an earlier Washington State gun control initiative and Nick Hanauer was fully on board. Combine that with only two major media markets in which all three major papers endorsed the initiative and you can see why Washington State was a prime candidate. The top billionaires in Nevada tend to be either outright conservatives like Sheldon Adelson or tied to the gaming industry where they might not want to rock the boat.

Finally, there is Oregon which is sandwiched in between California and Washington. It has endured a considerable amount of in-migration from California. I don’t know enough about the gun culture and its strength in that state. The state has been trending much more liberal in the last couple of decades which could be problematic. I’d still put the state on a watch list.

I am open to suggestion on how to improve these rankings. If you can think of factors that I haven’t considered and for which I can get reliable data, please let me know. I’d be happy to add them to this data analysis.

I-594 And The Aftermath – Why Washington State And Who Might Be Next (Pt. 1)

We underestimate our enemies at our peril. The Washington State universal background check initiative, I-594, should have taught us that. We may think that Michael Bloomberg is a rich, power-mad little Napolean or, as Michael Bane calls him, a nastly little Fascist. However, he did not get to be rich by marrying the right woman or picking the right parents. No, he saw a need and devised a way to fulfill it. Along the way, this insight and his skills made him a very rich man. The bottom line is he is not stupid and he can think strategically.

Likewise, it is easy to dismiss Shannon Watts as an up-marrying, social climbing PR flack who attached herself to gun control as a  way to rejuvenate her ailing career. However, she didn’t get to be a VP at Wellpoint without some degree of talent and a mastery of public relations tactics. We have seen that with the way she created the appearance of a win for gun control – even it if wasn’t – from the announcements by companies like Starbucks and Chipotles that they didn’t want guns in their stores. Perception is reality and the perception is that guns were banned there even if it was merely an unenforceable polite request to leave the guns at home.

Thus, when I read this post from Hyperion 1144 on Reddit, a light went off. The goal of Bloomberg wasn’t universal background checks. It was to kill the gun culture in America by strangling its ability to bring new adults into it. We always say that taking someone shooting is a great way to inoculate them from the claims of the gun prohibitionists. If that is made too hard by the restrictions on transfers in I-594, then we can’t achieve this inoculation.

I-594 is a not a tactical move by gun confiscationists, it is a strategic move.

This law was created by smart, wealthy, well-funded persons who are playing the long game, and if gun owners don’t start running a long-game strategy to match, we are done for within two generations.
Washington has passed Initiative 594, a law marketed as requiring background checks on all sales, but which in reality has criminalized the act of touching any gun you do not own. This means that if you don’t own a gun in Washington State, it is now illegal for you to touch a gun.

I haven’t yet seen an article, comment, or post anywhere that takes into account the long-term cultural implications of such a regulation. I-594 is literally a legislative vaccine against the spread of gun culture.

How is someone curious about guns in Washington state supposed to learn about them about now? They won’t be able to go shooting with friends, they won’t be able to go to friends house to be shown how to field strip a 9mm. Gun classes have likely been outlawed. Gun rentals are likely gone now, too.

The only way to learn, now, is to buy a gun and learn by yourself, completely on your own. No one can help you, since they can’t touch your gun and you can’t touch any of theirs.
This law is intended to isolate us, to prevent us from spreading ideas, knowledge, information, culture. This law, played out of over years and decades, means that gun owners are now likely limited to two pools of people in the future:

1) The children of gun owning families.
2) The rare, entirely self-motivated individual who is willing to trek into an unknown world completely alone.

Played over years and decades, this is how you slowly disarm a population without getting substantial complaints from that population.

The only way we maintain our 2nd Amendment rights is to fight for them. The only people who will fight for them are people who understand firearms, and the reasons for owning them, well enough to be willing to fight. The only way most people come to an understanding of this is if someone else taught them or helped them to understand.

Now, virtually all non-familial acts of teaching and culture-sharing are illegal. In the long-term cultural sense, I-594 is the single most dangerous piece of gun control legislation ever conceived.

It makes the NFA and the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban look childishly simplistic by comparison. This time, they didn’t ban certain mechanical or cosmetic features. They didn’t ban full-auto or select fire or short-barrel rifles.

This time, they banned a culture, our culture.

If this stands or spreads, we are done for.

I think the author, Hyperion 1144, makes a lot of sense and we need to get that message across to all gun owners – Fudds, Threepers, Prags, or what other subgroup of gun owners you can think of.

As to the last sentence in the Reddit post, it has spread to the state of Nevada. This was not unexpected as a universal background check bill passed the Nevada legislature last year but was vetoed by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV). Everytown President John Feinblatt said as much after I-594 passed calling it just the beginning. The group fought off an attempt by the Nevada Firearms Coalition to keep it off the 2016 ballot. The only change made to the wording of the ballot initiative was make sure voters knew the penalties for violations would be a gross misdemeanor for first offenses and a felony conviction for the second offense. This is identical to Washington State’s I-594.

Sebastian has some ideas on how to fight off Bloomberg on the ballot initiatives. I haven’t digested all of it yet but it sure has set off a storm of comments.

David Codrea notes that the effort in Nevada was something he warned about last year. Back then, David did some investigative digging into the Nevada effort and found the fingerprints of Bloomberg all over it. Unfortunately, not enough people listened at the time.

Part 2 of this post will be an effort to identify future targets of Bloomberg’s opportunism.

“The Second Amendment Was For When The British Were Coming”

If I were a book publisher, I’d be offering Emily Miller a book contract right now. That’s because you know she has another one in the offing with the way she is being treated by the DC Police as she tries to get a DC carry permit.

The headline comes from what a DC police employee said to Ms. Miller regarding the Second Amendment. He said it really doesn’t apply to the District because it “was for when the British were coming.” You can’t make this stuff up.

Katie Pavlich gives her take on Ms. Miller’s travails here.


California Gun Shops Suing Over First Amendment Violations

Four gun shops in California are suing California Attorney General Kamala Harris over a state law that prevents them from advertising handguns for sale. Penal Code Section 26820 which dates back to 1923 prohibits dealers from saying they have handguns for sale on their buildings. This includes even having a picture or drawing of a handgun posted where it can be seen from the street.

The suit, Tracy Rifle and Pistol et al v. Kamala Harris et al, alleges that the California law is a violation of the First Amendment rights of the gun shops and their owners. The complaint notes that handguns are lawful items and that the “First Amendment protects the dissemination of truthful, nonmisleading commercial information about lawful products”.

The attorneys for the plaintiffs are Stephen Duvernay of the Benbrook Law Group and Prof. Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law. Prof. Volokh also runs the well-known legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy.

The lawsuit is being supported by the California Association of FFLs, the CalGuns Foundation, and the Second Amendment Foundation.

The release about the case from the Firearm Policy Coalition is below:

November 10, 2014 (SACRAMENTO, CA) — Four California gun dealers are filing a federal lawsuit today against California Attorney General Kamala Harris over what they say is a violation of their First Amendment civil rights. Stephen Lindley, who heads the DOJ’s Bureau of Firearms, is named as a co-defendant in the case.

Tracy Rifle and Pistol, a firearm retailer and indoor shooting range located in San Joaquin County, was recently cited by Harris’ Department of Justice for having pictures of three handguns in window signs that can be seen outside the store. California Penal Code section 26820, first enacted in 1923, bans gun stores from putting up signs advertising the sale of handguns — but not shotguns or rifles. An adjacent window image at Tracy Rifle, which shows a photograph of an AR-15 rifle, was not cited by the DOJ.

“I run one of the most heavily regulated and inspected businesses in existence, but it’s still illegal for me to show customers that I sell handguns until after they walk in the door,” explained Michael Baryla, the owner of Tracy Rifle & Pistol. “That’s about as silly a law as you could imagine, even here in California.”

While California gun dealers cannot display even the word ‘handgun’ at their stores to passersby, adjacent businesses and anti-gun protesters are not prohibited from doing as much. The court filings argue that the law operates as unconstitutional speaker, content, and viewpoint-based discrimination, in addition to having other legal problems.

Similar statutes banning handgun displays can be found in places like Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, D.C., but the California Department of Justice appears to be the only state agency enforcing provisions like the challenged ban.

The lawsuit claims that this restriction violates gun stores’ First Amendment rights, by severely restricting truthful, non-misleading commercial speech. Lead counsel Bradley Benbrook said about the lawsuit, “The First Amendment prevents the government from telling businesses it disfavors that they can’t engage in truthful advertising. This case follows a long line of Supreme Court cases protecting such disfavored businesses from that type of censorship.”

Though the case doesn’t claim a Second Amendment violation, plaintiffs do argue that commercial advertisement of constitutionally protected products and services — whether abortion, contraceptives, or guns — is especially clearly protected under the First Amendment.

The plaintiffs are also represented by Benbrook’s colleague Stephen Duvernay and Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who has written and taught extensively about the First and Second Amendments. Before joining the UCLA faculty 20 years ago, Volokh clerked for Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also operates the popular legal blog “The Volokh Conspiracy,” now hosted at the Washington Post.

California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, the state’s firearm industry association, joined gun rights groups The Calguns Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation in support of the case.

The lawsuit’s other plaintiffs include Sacramento Black Rifle of Rocklin, Ten Percent Firearms of Taft, and PRK Arms, a Fresno-based dealer that operates a chain of three stores in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley, as well as business owners Robert Adams, Wesley Morris, and Jeffrey Mullen, respectively.

A copy of the complaint can be viewed at