Comment Of The Day

The comment of the day comes from Jim Shepherd of the Outdoor Wires. He concludes his discussion of the 4th Circuit’s majority opinion in Kolbe v. Hogan with this:

But don’t forget, that if this silly ruling were to survive, it wouldn’t be much of a reach- at least for lawyers and legislators- to extend the withdrawal of protections to everything from bolt action rifles and pump shotguns (trench guns in World Wars I & II and Vietnam) to the venerable cowboy action lever guns carried by the U.S. Army in the 1800s.

Will this one head to the Supreme Court?

But with the District of Columbia and Chicago still thumbing their noses at the high court after rulings that should have repealed their oppressive anti-gun regulations, what real difference would it make?

When it comes to protecting the enumerated right defined in the Second Amendment, the United States Supreme Court isn’t just divided.

It’s toothless.

Why should any state or local official be concerned with the “supreme court” and its rulings if the court itself lacks the conviction to compel compliance?

Unenforced rules aren’t rules, they’re suggestions.

Jim is absolutely correct. The Supreme Court has had multiple opportunities to reinforce and correct misinterpretations of their rulings in Heller and McDonald. Every time they have blinked and let them go unchallenged.

Erin Palette was correct to call Supreme Court nominations “the Kardashians of politics”. By extension and given their reluctance to take another Second Amendment case, I’d call the justices themselves “the Kardashians of politics”.

“The Kardashians Of Politics”

The headline comes from an analogy made by Erin Palette on Episode 130 of the GunBlog Varietycast regarding nominations to the Supreme Court. Sean Sorrentino and Erin were discussing the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. They also noted that there are currently 117 district and appeals court judgeships waiting to be filled.

Erin said, “Supreme Court nomination are the Kardashians of politics.” As with the Kardashian of the day, they get virtually all the attention unlike your neighbor down the street. However, that neighbor down the street will have a far stronger impact on your life than the Kardashians. Likewise, the judges that will fill those empty District Court and Appeals Court slots will probably have a stronger impact on your constitutional rights – and especially your Second Amendment rights – than the justices on the Supreme Court. The reason, of course, is that very few cases ever are accepted for certiorari by the Supreme Court.

You can listen to the discussion between Sean and Erin here starting at the 22:20 mark.

I was struck by Erin’s analogy and how apt it was with regard to not only judicial nominations but also politics at the local, state, and national levels. With even local newscasts discussing Trump said this and the Democrats said that, it is hard sometimes to remember that County Commissioner Billy Bob Jones will have a bigger impact on your day to day exercise of your Second Amendment rights. How Commissioner Jones and his colleagues grant variances or pass zoning ordinances will determine where you can buy a firearm and if there is a range where you can practice with it. Moreover, unless you live in a state with statewide firearms law pre-emption, Commissioner Billy Bob and his good friend Councilwoman Maura McGillicuddy will determine where you can carry, the penalties for a firearms discharge in the city even if it is in self-defense, and even what firearms and accessories you are allowed to possess.

I’m not saying either national politics or Supreme Court nominations are irrelevant like the Kardashians. Rather that for every 10 minutes we spend on those, we need to be spending the other 50 minutes of the hour on stuff closer to home.

This Is Really Kinda Sad

I received a press release yesterday from the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence (sic). From what I can gather it is a new LGBTQ group that has jumped aboard the gun control bandwagon and is setting up a political action committee (PAC) to support candidates who support gun control.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the nation’s worst mass shooting in history and stalled efforts in Congress to implement gun reform, members of the LGBTQ community today announced the formation of the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence (Pride Fund). This political action committee (PAC) will support federal candidates who will act on sensible gun policy reforms and champion LGBTQ equality.
In the first few days of fundraising, the organization has raised nearly $20,000. Pride Fund plans to have a strong impact in November and is well on its way to raising its initial goal of $500,000 for this election cycle.
“The Orlando massacre was yet another senseless act of gun violence in America and the LGBTQ community and our allies are united in the call for action on commonsense gun reforms. We are tired of Congress’ inaction, so we are adding the strength and organization of the LGBTQ community to help end gun violence,”said Jason Lindsay, Pride Fund founder and executive director. Lindsay is a seasoned political operative with 12 years of experience working in politics, government and campaigns. He also served for 14 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq in 2003.
During the 2016 election cycle, and beyond, Pride Fund will actively support candidates at the national level who are willing to take on the gun lobby. The safety of our community depends on electing LGBTQ-supportive candidates who will also vote for gun reform measures.
Pride Fund will be working with like-minded groups all across America. Together, we aim to:
  • Mobilize the LGBTQ community and our allies,
  • Raise funds to counter the gun lobby, and
  • Campaign to ensure victory in November 2016 and beyond.
“This is a call-to-action for all Americans to stand up and take political action to end gun violence. Pride Fund gives the LGBTQ community and its allies a strong, concentrated voice to fight back against politicians who are unwilling to act on this important issue. While it will take strong citizen action, fundraising and political muscle to take on the robust financial power of the gun lobby – the LGBTQ community, with the help of its allies, has succeeded before and we plan to do so again,” Lindsay said.
Pride Fund seeks grassroots engagement and donations that will allow our community to meet its goals. Each year, the gun lobby spends tens of millions of dollars to influence Congressional elections and legislative action. Pride Fund gives our community a unique voice to fight back by supporting candidates who champion diversity, equality, and – most of all – sensible gun reforms.

Coming on the heels of the fantastic work that Erin Palette has done with her Operation Blazing Sword and the growth in membership of the Pink Pistols, I find it sad. This is because the LBGTQ community has long been the target of violence due to their sexual orientations. Rather than promoting self-reliance and advocating for the right of self-defense, this organization is actively seeking to remove the one tool that gives the equality of strength. A firearm, properly used, makes a 110 lb. lesbian equal in stopping power to a 220 lb. man who objects to her sexual orientation.

A quick note on Jason Lindsay. According to LinkedIn, Mr. Lindsay is a long-time Democrat operative having worked as a field organizer for Hillary Clinton for President, a staffer for former Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), and former Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC). He parlayed that experience into a job as a Congressional Relations Officer with the Department of Veterans Affairs where he has worked since 2011. I am presuming that he hasn’t updated his LinkedIn page to reflect that he has left Veterans Affairs to run this PAC. One has to wonder if Mr. Lindsay has, in the immortal words of George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, “seen my opportunities and I took them.”

What makes Mr. Lindsay’s efforts even sadder is that he himself is an Army veteran having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and is a former Army Reservist. I don’t care if he was a REMF while serving in Iraq but, at the very least, he should understand the role of armed self-defense given his military service.