Lobby Day Crowd Estimates

First off a disclaimer. I was not at the VCDL Lobby Day in Richmond on Monday. I was in Las Vegas at Industry Day at the Range. Secondly, I am not an expert on crowd estimation.

Numerous media reports have said the attendance at Lobby Day was 22,000. They break it down to 7,000 within the fence and the remainder outside.

From VCDL Facebook Page

I spoke to both friends of mine that attended and Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon who have described the size of the crowd. On that estimate of 22,000, I am raising the BS flag.

Gutowski described to me some of the crowds in the side streets. One street was filled sidewalk to sidewalk for three blocks deep. Another 2-3 side streets had were packed similarly 1-2 blocks deep.

From VCDL Facebook Page

Officials in the Northam administration and their allies in the media would like you to believe the crowd really wasn’t as big as it actually was. If you throw out an exact number like 22,000, it sounds authoritative and the gullible media will go with it.

This is the converse of when the Demanding Moms and other gun control groups have events. There they stage photos to make the crowd look larger than it really is. The prime example is the NRA Annual Meeting that was held a few years ago in Nashville. The late Bob Owens called them out on it. They said 500 attended which the media reported and Bob showed how they staged the photo which actually had about 150 people in it.

From VCDL Facebook Page

I think when all is said and done, the crowd of gun rights supporters attending Lobby Day on Monday probably was double the official figure and approached 50,000. Whether Democrat legislators in Virginia will take notice and temper their plans is the real question.

Somehow I doubt it.

Some People Will Believe Anything!

March for Our Lives, the children’s crusade against firearms, has just shown their gullibility and ignorance. If it involves guns, they will believe anything an anti-gun politician spews out.

They have retweeted an absolute lie told by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D-PA). He wants people to have the impression that it was the National Rifle Association that sued him after his autocratic redefinition of what constitutes a firearm. Shapiro knew that throwing the name “NRA”, the term “ghost guns”, and tying it into crime was red meat for your average ignorant anti-gunner.

Look at the first page of the application for an emergency preliminary injunction. That action is being brought by a Pennsylvania FFL, a New Hampshire FFL, a manufacturer and dealer in what are called 80% lowers, and the Firearms Policy Coalition. No where do you see that the NRA is involved in this case. Indeed, if you had attended the Meeting of Members at the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting, you know that that old guard had nothing but disdain for attorneys Josh Prince and Adam Kraut. Don’t forget that Marion Hammer has called Adam “the enemy within”.

Shapiro sent out his original tweet the day after the application was filed. He knew or should have known that the NRA had nothing to do with this case.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has consistently held that unfinished forgings or castings that are “completely solid and un-machined in the fire-control recess area” are not firearms and not subject to the Gun Control Act of 1968. See the attached determinations beginning on page 67 of the application for an injunction. Moreover, BATFE doesn’t even use the term “80% lower” or “80% frame” which is more of a marketing term than anything else.

As Josh Prince notes in his law firm blog, only the Pennsylvania General Assembly has the power to write law and it cannot be delegated. In other words, Shapiro’s “legal opinion” is making law and therefore invalid.

With regard to Shapiro’s claim that he is being sued by “companies that fund the @NRA”, only Polymer 80 exhibited at the most recent NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Having a booth at a national show which attracts thousands of gun owners is smart business for Polymer 80. While the NRA does gain some marginal revenue, “funding the NRA” is not Polymer 80’s purpose in being there. Just like we are all the “gun lobby”, so, too, we are all “funding the NRA” through our memberships.

Politicians and their PR flacks will say anything to push their position. Sometimes it is true. More often it is either the shading of the truth or an outright lie. I’ll let you decide what Shapiro was trying to do with his tweet.

March for Our Lives’ tweet, on the other hand, is a demonstrable lie. Like naughty children, they should be sent to their room with no TV, no phone, and no Internet to think about the consequences of their lie.

Shannon Tells A Whopper

The pantheon of lies include the check is in the mail, I’ll respect you in the morning, and I’m from the government and I’m here to help. Thanks to Shannon Watts, we can add another one to that list.

In an email to the Demanding Mommies as reported by Mother Jones, she wrote:

Watts said that Bloomberg’s entry into the race would “ensure gun safety remains front and center during the 2020 election season” but affirmed that nothing would be asked of its volunteers to support Bloomberg’s candidacy. “We are a single issue organization—but none of us live single issue lives,” Watts wrote. “I want to be clear that it is entirely your choice regarding how you spend your volunteer time in this election and which candidates you choose to support. Elevating the voices of all gun sense champions is part of what you do every day, and that should continue.”

Yeah, right. Tell me another one, Shannon. Without Bloomberg’s money backing you, Everytown, and the Demanding Mommies, you would be just another out of work PR executive who snagged a rich husband.

Remember, They Have To Lie To Win

Stephen Gutowski of the Free Beacon alerted readers to this on Twitter. Shannon Watts, the head Demanding Mommie, intentionally misquoted Marion Hammer who was testifying on the proposed constitutional amendment in Florida that would effectively ban all semiautomatic firearms.

At a Tallahassee hearing on prohibiting assault weapons, @NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said: “How do you tell a 10-year-old girl that the rifle she got for Christmas is an assault weapon and she has to give it up or risk arrest on felony charges?” #flapol https://t.co/aPVGTNYbx1— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 16, 2019

Marion Hammer is not my favorite person as anyone who has read this blog knows. However, I happen to believe that you really should quote what the person says accurately regardless of whether you agree with her or not.

In this case, what Marion really said is much more innocuous. Indeed, I think only the true believer gun prohibitionists would object to it.

From the Tampa Bay Times with the actual quote:

“How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to government or be arrested for felony possession?”

Shannon Watts knows how to play to an audience. If she has to lie as she plays the audience, so be it. Case in point -she was in Charlotte this past week for an event at Johnson C. Smith University billed as a “community conversation” on “gun violence” (sic). My friend Josette from Grass Roots North Carolina was in the audience and heard Watts say, ” there is NO background check to purchase an AR.” I’m sure some in the audience might believe that but it is an out and out lie. If called out on it by you or me, we’d be accused of bullying the “stay-at-home mom of five” which, by the way, is another of her inaccuracies.

Hyperbole And Lies

We have come to expect both hyperbole and lies from the gun prohibitionists. The email I received today from Mr. Gabby Giffords (aka Capt. Mark Kelly, USN (Ret)) of Americans for Responsible Solutions contained both. The letter was advocating the addition of people on the so-called terrorist watch list to the NICS banned list.

Kelly’s lie was particularly egregious but not surprising.

Just a few years ago, al-Qaeda encouraged potential terrorists to to take advantage of loopholes in our laws, saying “America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms. You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?”

While this is a quote attributed to al-Qaeda, no effort was made to correct it. Just as I learned in catechism classes, there are sins of commission and sins of omission. This was a sin of omission as he knew full well that fully automatic firearms are covered under the National Firearms Act, that they are highly regulated, and that the supply of new firearms is constrained by the Hughes Act.

By repeating the lies of terrorists, he was trying to sow fear in the minds of the uninformed. He then blames the evil “gun lobby” for blocking efforts to expand the NICS banned list which conflates those of us who oppose using the terrorist watch list with terrorist themselves.

The reason Mark Kelly has to use lies and hyperbole is that his argument is weak. If he had a good argument, he could just state the facts. Since he doesn’t, he can’t.

I Didn’t Know That ISIS Had Attacked Paris, Maine

Sometimes you just have to shake your head in wonder about the things that come out of the mouth of Barack Obama. The video clip below is a case in point.

Obama made these comments while in Paris, France. You know where on November 13th, eight ISIS terrorists killed 132 people in a set of coordinated shootings across the City of Lights.

I’m guessing he must have confused Paris, France with Paris, Maine. The former is the French capital while the later is a small town in western foothills region of Maine near Sebago Lake.

Likewise, he must have confused the Norway where 69 were killed and 110 wounded at a youth camp in 2011 with Norway, Maine. I mean, it is right next door to Paris, Maine. Besides that area of Maine has a slew of summer camps for kids. Any reasonable person could see how he got confused by this especially since Denmark, Maine is just about 25 miles away.

January 20, 2016 cannot get here soon enough.

If You Are “Better Than This”, Why Lie?

The Brady Campaign has just released a new public service announcement featuring celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Mariska Hargitay, Rosanne Cash, Liev Schrieber, and Anthony LaPaglia. It features their “We Are Better Than This” slogan.

What this PSA doesn’t feature is the truth. When Liev Schrieber says that anyone can go on the Internet and buy as many guns as they want without background checks, that is not only misleading but a lie. When Anthony LaPaglia says convicted felons and the mentally ill can go to a gun show and buy guns, it is misleading. Dealers who operate at gun shows do NICS checks just like dealers in storefronts. Why would a felon risk going to a gun show where there is always a police presence (and probably undercover agents as well) when he or she could get a stolen gun from one of their criminal associates.

It Is A Shame When Sad Pandas Have To Lie

As might be expected, the Brady Campaign released a statement yesterday condemning the passage by the House of HR 822 – the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. The statement is replete with plays to emotion, the parsing of language to create the wrong impression, and at least one outright lie.

Let’s look at the first part of the statement.

Washington, D.C. – Just hours after Gabby Giffords spoke publicly for the first time and shared her painful but remarkable story of recovery from being shot in the head, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would force states to allow dangerous, violent and untrained gun owners from out-of-state to carry loaded, hidden guns in virtually every state.

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, H.R. 822, is the first major gun bill taken up and passed by the House since the January 8 Tucson shootings and is an affront to victims of gun violence everywhere, especially those who have lost their lives and been wounded since the Tucson tragedy. The bill the Brady Campaign has named the “Packing Heat on Your Street Act,” passed despite concerns about overriding states’ rights from moderate Democrats and some Republicans.

The battle over the legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate.

“This legislation is so dangerous that it would trample a state’s ability to set its own rules and training requirements concerning who carries loaded, hidden guns in public and override basic state possession laws setting minimum age limits to possess handguns,” said Dennis Henigan, Acting President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s deplorable that the first major gun legislation passed by a house of Congress since the Tucson shootings is one that would make it easier for the Jared Loughners of the world to pack heat on our streets and in our communities. It’s deplorable that they did this so soon after Gabby Giffords shared her remarkable and moving comeback story. She and all gun violence victims deserve better from Congress.”

As we see, the Brady Campaign goes straight for the emotional heartstrings. It brings up the image of a recovering Gabby Giffords – who by the way supports gun rights – to denigrate this bill. They call it an affront to “victims of gun violence”. They call forth the image of the deranged Jared Loughner as the image of the concealed carry permit holders nationwide. The same person who, if both school officials and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dubnik had done their duty properly, would not have been eligible to purchase a firearm.

They then move into parsing their language.

Under H.R. 822, people with violent arrest records and gun owners with no training could be granted a concealed gun permit in one state and carry in almost any other state. Local law enforcement officials would be powerless to stop it.

National and state law enforcement organizations, such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major Cities Chiefs Association, strongly oppose the measure because more loaded, hidden guns in more communities will undermine public safety. So do 34 national faith-based organizations that make up the Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence coalition.

An arrest for any crime is not the same as a conviction for a crime. However, the Brady Campaign tries to make it seem that an arrest is the same as a conviction.

They then speak of law enforcement groups such as the IACP and the Major Cities Chiefs Association opposing this bill without ever saying these groups have well-known anti-gun agendas. It gets even worse when they bring up Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence without saying that they themselves helped found this organization!

Finally, they resort to outright lies and distortions about HR 822.

The Brady Campaign and other gun violence prevention groups have warned that H.R. 822 is an even more dangerous bill than when it was originally proposed, thanks to an amendment sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that passed the House Judiciary Committee in October. The amendment overrides a state’s authority to enforce its basic limitations on gun possession on concealed carriers from other states even if they are ineligible to possess a handgun in the state where the carrying occurs.

For example, under Tennessee law, Tennessee residents with concealed weapons permits may be prosecuted for violating the state’s law forbidding handgun possession by people “while under the influence of alcohol.”

Under the version of H.R. 822 that has now passed the House, this same prohibition would be unenforceable against someone with a concealed carry permit from another state who is caught with a gun in Tennessee while intoxicated. The prospect of a concealed weapon permit holder being arrested while armed and intoxicated is hardly fanciful, since the state legislator who championed Tennessee’s law allowing guns in bars was arrested recently for possessing a handgun while under the influence.

“We’re now calling on the Senate to consider the serious implications of supporting such a law.” Henigan said. “The American people are counting on you to keep their families and communities safe from gun violence.” The Brady Campaign has identified three key reasons that the “Packing Heat on Your Street Act” would undermine the safety of American women, children, men, and our communities.

The legislation would override state laws, forcing states that have tight restrictions on who can get concealed weapon permits, such as New York and California, to allow gun-toting people from states, such as Florida, which repeatedly have given dangerous people licenses to carry.

The legislation forces states to allow untrained, out-of-state visitors to carry loaded, hidden guns, even though studies repeatedly have shown that laws making it easy to carry concealed guns do not reduce crime, and, if anything, increase violent crime.

The legislation forces states to allow out-of-state permits, even though state concealed weapon licensing systems operate under different rules, apply widely varying standards, ultimately endangering law enforcement officers and the general public.

Section 2 of HR 822 explicitly says the possession or carrying of a concealed weapon – with the exception of the eligibility to carry or possess – is subject to the same limitations that a resident of that state would be under.

`(b) The possession or carrying of a concealed handgun in a State under this section shall be subject to the same conditions and limitations, except as to eligibility to possess or carry, imposed by or under Federal or State law or the law of a political subdivision of a State, that apply to the possession or carrying of a concealed handgun by residents of the State or political subdivision who are licensed by the State or political subdivision to do so, or not prohibited by the State from doing so.

Thus, a resident of North Carolina visiting New Jersey would be subject to the same rules and regulations as a resident of New Jersey. The only difference is that the North Carolinian wouldn’t have had to been kidnapped like New Jersey resident Jeffrey Muller in order to have been granted a permit to carry.

There have been no reputable studies done that show any increase in violent crime as a result of shall-issue concealed carry. Any study done by gun control advocates such as the Violence Policy Center doesn’t count as a reputable study. Indeed, if anything, there is a negative correlation between murder and other violent crimes and the level of gun ownership nationwide. Linoge has done two very rigorous studies on this.

The Brady Campaign needs to just give it up. They can’t even lie convincingly anymore. Moreover, as Bitter pointed out on Twitter yesterday, none of the Representatives voting no on HR 822 said it was because of the Brady Campaign. They have become sad pandas indeed.