Good News From Florida

Buried in the news of the week amongst the Senate votes on gun control and the bombing at the Boston Marathon with the subsequent manhunt for the Chechen bombers, was the defeat of one of Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors in Gainesville, Florida. The last time I had reported on Mayor Craig Lowe, he had just been arrested for driving under the influence with property damage.

In the run-off election for mayor of Gainesville, Lowe lost to former City Commissioner Ed Braddy.

In a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a margin
of more than two to one, the Republican Braddy defeated the Democrat
Lowe by almost 10 percent of the vote. With all 35 precincts reporting,
Braddy had 7,258 votes (55 percent) to Lowe’s 6,007 (45 percent).

Lowe was one of the 30 mayors featured in a recent MAIG video demanding “a plan”.

While Lowe’s DUI undoubtedly played some role in his defeat, Braddy attributed his win to a campaign message of making Gainesville more affordable for both people and business. He also pledged to run a more open City Hall.

While campaigning, Braddy said that differing or contrary viewpoints were not welcome under Lowe’s leadership. He said the city should do away with more restrictive rules on public comment at City Commission meetings, including the requirement to sign up in advance to speak at the 6 p.m. time for general comment.

“City Hall is open to the people,” Braddy told a cheering group of supporters at The Warehouse restaurant. “The people will be welcomed at City Hall.”

Why am I not surprised to read that Mayor Lowe wasn’t open to differing or contrary viewpoints. That seems to be the modus operandi of all gun prohibitionists.

Misleading Infographic Of The Day

Normally, I like infographics. Used correctly, they convey a lot of useful information in an understandable format. However, they can be misused.

An example of infographic misuse is shown below. It comes from Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors and their Demand Action project.

What the infographic doesn’t tell you is that Harry Reid (D-NV) set the bar at 60 votes for any amendment to S. 649 to forestall any efforts at a filibuster. It was part of the motion to proceed to consideration of the bill and to accelerate the discussion. Otherwise, there would have been 30 hours of debate and Harry Reid didn’t want the details of Manchin-Toomey subjected to that much sunlight.

Moreover, their argument that five senators representing four states which comprise 1.4% of the US population is specious. You could make the equally valid argument that the six senators from three states – Vermont, Rhode Island, and Delaware – put Manchin-Toomey over the 50 vote mark. These three states, by the way, represent a mere 0.8% of the US population.

Jame Taranto of the Wall Street Journal in his Best of the Web Today column calls these efforts “a thuggish majoritarian rhetoric”. It helps put this infographic – which is nothing but authoritarian propaganda – into perspective.

Could It Be He’s An Actor?

The NRA released a video ad this morning that takes aim at Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors’ ad that feature a bearded guy on the back of a pickup truck. The ad suggests that the actor – and we have to assume that given his lack of gun handling skills – take one of the NRA’s gun safety classes.

I like it. Punching back twice as hard is the way to go.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

In a move that can only be considered imitating the National Rifle Association, Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors plan to “grade” legislators on how they vote on gun control as well as their public statements.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the nonprofit group financed by Bloomberg (I), will unveil a scoring system Tuesday to award lawmakers grades of A through F, much like the National Rifle Association, which has derived much of its power by deploying letter rankings against politicians at election time. The group’s strategists briefed The Washington Post on the plans ahead of Tuesday’s announcement.

“For decades, the NRA has done an admirable job of tracking to minute detail how members of Congress stand on gun bills. We’ve simply decided to do the same,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is chaired by Bloomberg and is made up of more than 900 mayors from across the country.

 Glaze says they are trying to provide “guidance” to well-heeled donors who back gun control. The Washington Post notes that they are aiming this squarely at senators on the bubble in states like North Carolina and Montana. While their constituents do not back gun control, these senators depends on donations from states like New York and California to get elected or re-elected. This is the same threat that was used successively in Colorado against wavering Democrats.

The one thing that Bloomberg can’t imitate is the grassroots supporters of the NRA.

“The reason NRA scorecards are effective is that they have the weight of
approximately 5 million dues-paying members and tens of millions of
other supporters behind them,” NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said. In
a dig at Bloomberg, he added, “We’ll take that over the purse of one
billionaire any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

 When I start seeing Friends of MAIG banquets and fundraisers, then and only then will I believe that there is significant grassroots support for gun control. Until then, I will keep pushing my legislators to earn their “F” from MAIG.

Note To Demand Action – We Aren’t That Gullible

Demand Action to End Gun Violence (sic) is a project of Mayor Bloomberg and his Illegal Mayors. This week they have been tweeting a “breaking” message about a new 50-state “analysis of gun violence”.

I’d like to believe that no one would be so gullible as to believe this “analysis” was unbiased and accurate. The sad reality is that this report from the Center from American Progress, a “progressive” research and advocacy group, has been picked up by a number of media outlets including MSNBC. I guess given the record of the media running with sham stories I shouldn’t be surprised.

The first indication that this is a biased report is who wrote it. The authors – Arkadi Gerney, Chelsea Parsons, and Charles Posner – all have links to either Bloomberg or Obama. Gerney preceded Mark Glaze as the executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Parsons was general counsel to the New York City
criminal justice coordinator prior to coming to the Center for American Progress. Finally, Posner worked for a Democratic polling group and Organizing for America prior to coming to CAP. To think that any of these authors would put out a report on guns that could pass the smell test is ludicrous.

The second indication that this report is a sham is the reliance on data and ranking from groups such as the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Violence Policy Center, and MAIG. While they do use some data that is valid, how they twist is not.

Finally, you need only read the “recommendations” to understand that this “analysis” was not at finding the truth but to promote advocacy for more gun control. They want universal background checks, a definition of “dangerous people” that goes far beyond felons and the mentally ill, a ban on “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines”, and stronger laws against trafficking.

 This report is proof positive that the old saw that “figures lie and liars figure” is true.

Sen. Jeff Flake – “A Bridge Too Far”

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was a guest on NBC’s Meet The Press along with the odious Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Among the questions they discussed with Chuck Todd of NBC was gun control. Schumer gave the usual answers but as you can see in the video below, Flake called universal background checks “a bridge too far”.

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Sen. Flake is one of the senators that is being targeted by Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors in their $12 million ad campaign. MAIG was out front about hoping to influence Flake’s vote on gun control issues. That he has come out saying that universal background checks are a no-go for him is good news.

He is one of the co-sponsor’s of S. 480 – NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013. This bill aims to clarify the mental health exclusions to firearms ownership.

No More Nanny? No More Mumbles?

What in the world is Mayors Against Illegal Guns going to do next year?

Their more well-known co-chair, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is term limited and can’t run again for mayor of New York City. Meanwhile, his erstwhile co-chairman, Mayor Thomas “Mumbles” Menino, announced yesterday he won’t be running for a sixth term.

Given that the whole organization runs on Bloomberg’s money, I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave Bloomberg some sort of honorary title like Chairman Emeritus and let him continue to run the organization behind the scenes.

As to Mumbles, unlike many of his other mayors, at least he won’t be spending his retirement in prison.

A Hearty Cheer For Sean!

Sean Sorrentino of An NC Gun Blog made the news yesterday. He, in his own words, crashed a MAIG press conference held in Durham, North Carolina. I think when they saw Sean there they assumed he was one of them. After all, he is a younger looking guy with a ponytail. Oh, little did they know!

Sean asked them about Sen. Harry Reid’s S.649 which is an amalgam of a number of gun control bills.

That bill would have criminalized something I did last year. My wife wanted to learn to shoot my Ruger 10/22. I took my rifle to a friend’s farm and gave it to him. My wife went up to his farm and he taught her to shoot it safely out on the “back forty.” Then he put it in her truck and she brought it home. He had the rifle for about 4 months. S649 would put all three of us in Federal prison for 5 years each, minimum. I asked the mayors, “How would making me, my wife, and our friend Mike into federal felons keep criminals from selling guns to each other on the streets of Durham, Morrisville, or Chapel Hill?”

It was a good question and one that has an obvious answer. It wouldn’t.

As a side note, I recently participated in a webinar put on by the UNC School of Government recently. One of the last questions asked came from the town attorney of Chapel Hill. He wanted to know if a “large capacity assault weapon” could be considered a weapon of mass destruction under NCGS 160A-183. That statute says a town or city can prohibit “any weapons or instrumentalities of
mass death and destruction”. He was told it wasn’t and that the town was preempted from regulating firearms. I mention this because it goes to show just how far towns run by Mayor Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors are trying to go.

Go to Sean’s blog, read the whole account, and watch the video. Sean deserves a lot of credit for going there and standing up for what is right.

Another One For The Road, Mayor Lowe?

Mayor Bloomberg can add another of his fine group of mayors to the Illegal Mayors file. Mayor Craig Lowe of Gainesville, Florida was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on charges of DUI with property damage. According to reports, Mayor Lowe was found asleep behind the wheel of his wrecked Honda Civic this past Thursday. He failed the field sobriety tests administered by the FHP.

Booking Picture – Alachua County

According to the story in the Washington Free Beacon, Mayor Lowe, a Democrat, is in a run-off election on April 16th. He is due to appear in court on April 11th.

Mayor Lowe was one of 30 mayors featured in a recent MAIG video “demanding a plan”. He appears at about the 19 second mark and is given the honor of saying “Newtown” in their list of mass shootings. He looks considerably better and more polished in his dark suit and lavender tie than he does wearing a green-striped jumpsuit as in the picture above.

Illegal Mayors have a way of disappearing as if they were disgraced members of the Soviet Politburo. Instead of not being seen at the May Day parades, they disappear from the MAIG website. A screen capture of their webpage taken this morning still shows Mr. Lowe as a member in good standing of MAIG. I wonder how long that will last.

The Fine Hand Of Bloomberg And Bill Drafting

The New York Post reported yesterday that sources within Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration are blaming the Brady Campaign and Bloomberg’s people for all the problems with the new NY SAFE Act. That is, of course, beyond the fact that the bill was rammed through both houses of the New York State legislature with very no discussion.

A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.

“The governor thought the limit on the size of [gun] magazines would only apply to assault-style rifles, not to handguns,’’ said the source.

“That’s why there’s the big problem now with handguns, among other things in the statute.’’

The legal sale of virtually all semiautomatic handguns will soon be impossible because Cuomo’s law limits the size of bullet-holding magazines to seven shots, virtually none of which are manufactured for sale.

“Much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff,” the source said. “That’s why there are so many problems with it.’’

As Michael Bane has reported many times, the new gun control bills in Colorado were drafted by Bloomberg and his people and have definitions that are peculiar to New York law and not Colorado law. This especially relates to the definition of transfer of a firearm.

Meanwhile back in February, in Minnesota, Rep. Alice Hausman, the prime sponsor and ostensible author of HF 241 – the Minnesota “assault weapons” (sic) ban – left the hearings on her own bill and let Heather Martens, a lobbyist from the gun control group Protect Minnesota, explain the bill. Hausman told a reporter later that she really didn’t understand her own bill. That bill also had a different definition of “transfer” as well.

As used in this section, “transfer” means a sale, gift, loan,
assignment, or other delivery to another, whether or not for consideration, of an assault

When the BATFE speaks of transfer of a firearm, they mean the transfer of ownership or title. Under normal commercial law, a sales transaction or transfer of title requires an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and the offering of consideration. Consideration is the cash or other remuneration paid for the item. Without those three actions, the transaction or transfer is void and didn’t occur. Notice that the Minnesota law explicitly removes the third element from their definition of transfer.

I’m sure a close examination of any of the other gun control bills involving semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and background checks that have been introduced in many state legislatures would show these same similarities. What Michael Bloomberg and his billions can’t achieve on a national level might be achieved on the state level if we aren’t on guard. As Michael Bane said to Tom Gresham on Sunday during his interview on Gun Talk, they were blindsided in Colorado.

UPDATE: It seems like Mayor Bloomberg isn’t pleased with the reports that Cuomo is blaming the drafting of NY SAFE on him.

Asked about that criticism today, Bloomberg erupted in anger.

“What did we do, put a gun to their head, if you pardon the pun, and force them to write legislation?” he said, during a press conference in Brooklyn about helping the unemployed get jobs. “Is that the allegation? That we were up there with automatic weapons with expanded capacity magazines forcing them to write a bill?”

“That’s the kind of journalism that I find troublesome,” he continued. “You’ve got a source that isn’t willing to put their name on the bill and the reporting of it wasn’t in the context of, is that credible? But they were forced by guns, or a knife at their throat, to take our ideas. If they took our ideas, I’m flattered. I hope they did. And I don’t know whether they did or didn’t, and I don’t know whether they got it accurate or not.”

In a latter statement from one of Bloomberg’s press spokesman, they said they wanted micro-stamping in NY SAFE but never said anything about magazines. Hmmm.

Jacob at has more on this along with some analysis. Sebastian discusses this buck-passing and the reliance on polling by some politicians in a post this afternoon. I suggest reading both.