I Don’t Think That Headline Means What You Think It Means

The online version of Newsweek magazine had the most misleading headline ever related to the recent panic buying of firearms. Since I don’t think merely quoting it does it justice, here is a screen shot of it.

Do they mean gun rights advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America, the Firearms Policy Coaliton, or one of the many state-level groups?

Umm. No.

Once you start reading the article you come across comments from these “gun advocacy” luminaries.

“Fear has been the motivation for much of the increases in firearms purchases,” David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor for gun control advocate group Giffords, told Newsweek.

“A small percentage of the marketing to gun owners has been to encourage preparation for end times scenarios and zombie apocalypses.”

Chipman said the country’s current gun laws allow people to hoard weapons in the same way they are able to mass buy toilet paper.

Chipman, of the Cult of Personality Known As Giffords, goes on to say he is a gun owner himself. Of course he is.

Not to be out done is this advocate is the co-president of Brady United.

Kris Brown, President of the Brady gun control campaign group, also said she is “very fearful” that the number of friendly fire incidents involving children could also dramatically increase as millions of children who are not currently at school will be present in their homes with these new weapons.

Brown said the feeling of short term security and safety that is provided by purchasing a weapon is masking the actual risk that will be dramatically increased.

“I understand in any time of crisis there is fear, the desire to do something to try and create a sense of security, and safety is paramount. The same instinct as fight or flight is what’s kicking in here,” she told Newsweek.

“The reality is the purchase of a gun is actually going right into harm’s way.”

It’s always “for the children” with them.

Last but not least is that “stay at home mom of five” and former corporate PR flack Shannon Watts herself.

“Right now, there’s no question that everyone is worried about their family’s safety. We know there are risks associated with having a gun in the home, especially when kids are involved, which is why responsible gun owners store their guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition.”

Watts added the presence of guns in a house also increases the risks of suicide and domestic violence.

“The NRA has spent decades selling a myth that more guns make us safer, but if that were true, the U.S. would be the safest nation on earth,” she said. “Instead, we have a gun homicide rate that’s 25 times higher than the average of other developed nations.”

Watts suggested if people truly want to protect their families during these unsettled times, they should “wash their hands and lock up their guns.”

While I can’t disagree with Mrs. Watts on the importance of hand washing, the rest of her statement is all too typical of her.

The best thing I can say about that headline is that they didn’t characterize these gun prohibitionists as “gun safety groups”. Indeed, the author of this article specifically refers to both Giffords and Brady as “gun control advocate” or “gun control campaign” groups.

Useful Pawns Of Bloomberg, Inc.

I address this to all the women (and men) who wear their red Moms Demand Action t-shirts. I realize that you think, though misguidedly, that you are doing something to promote gun control so as to stop the criminal misuse of firearms.

How does it feel to learn that you are nothing but a useful pawn in Mike Bloomberg’s quest for more and more political power?

From the (progressive) paper of record aka the New York Times who just did a long story on the interrelationship between Mike Bloomberg’s charitable giving and his political ambition.

Everytown is managed directly by one of Mr. Bloomberg’s close lieutenants, John Feinblatt, a former New York deputy mayor whose wedding Mr. Bloomberg officiated in 2011. Numerous people connected to the group said it channeled Mr. Bloomberg’s priorities, including his strong preference for working with both parties.

The organization came into existence through an almost corporate-style merger: Mr. Bloomberg already had a gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, but he needed a grass-roots army to compete with the National Rifle Association. So it joined forces with an existing activist group, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, to form Everytown.

People involved in the group described being forced to communicate exclusively in canned talking points. Kate Ranta, shot twice by her ex-husband in front of her young son, was a member of Everytown’s network of survivors. She was asked to address a rally on the steps of the Capitol, along with her son. Standing beside Nancy Pelosi, then the House minority leader, and Representative John Lewis, she found herself stumbling over the text she had been given.

“Someone from Everytown wrote my speech. It was pushing their legislative agenda versus my authentic voice,” Ms. Ranta said. “I couldn’t say ‘gun control.’ It was moderate messaging — ‘gun safety’ and ‘gun violence prevention.’”

Other members greatly appreciated the new direction from Everytown. “A structure began to be put into place, and we could avail ourselves of the data that was offered so we could speak more intelligently,” said June Rubin, a Moms Demand Action volunteer in New York. “So we’re focused and single-issue and highly recognizable and speaking with one voice, and it’s powerful.”

The policy agenda was to be focused on tightening background checks; more radical ideas like banning assault weapons were off the table. “There were people who were very, very troubled by that,” Ms. Rubin said. “I became very pragmatic.”

More confrontational tactics were also rejected. After the mass shooting last year at a Walmart in El Paso, Tex., other groups organized protests to pressure the retailer to change its policies. But Moms members were discouraged from attending and told not to show any affiliation if they did. One Moms official told volunteers in a closed Facebook group that doing otherwise could “undercut our relations with responsible gun owners whose support we need.”

“Our goal is always to get results, and sometimes that means playing the outside game and sometimes it requires playing the inside game and working with partners who have shown themselves to be amenable to change,” said Maxwell Young, chief of public affairs for Everytown. “We’ve found Walmart to be an ally on gun safety and an example of a leader always willing to engage in productive conversations.”

You thought you could leave. You thought you could go your own way. You thought you and Everytown/Moms Demand were done with one another.

Not so fast.

Former members of Moms Demand Action, who had been cut off from private Facebook groups and blocked by leadership on Twitter, were surprised when they received emails from Mike Bloomberg 2020. Then they learned his campaign had rented the group’s email list, for $3.2 million, two days before he announced his candidacy in November.

It is like one of those messianic-led, off in the ozone cults. You try to leave but they will always come looking for you…because no one is allowed to leave.

But don’t feel too bad as you debate should you burn that red Moms Demand t-shirt. You aren’t alone. There aren’t many progressive or liberal constituencies that Mike Bloomberg hasn’t tried to buy on his way to grab for political power.

Climate change activists? Ask the Sierra Club.

Women’s rights? Ask Emily’s List.

Education policy? Ask NC’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson.

Abortion? Ask Planned Parenthood.

And the list goes on. Mike Bloomberg may engage in sexist and racist behavior and fly in a fleet of private jets but his money buys willful ignorance and useful pawns.

2A Sanctuary Movement Comes To Buncombe County

Buncombe County is one of the most liberal counties in the state. It is the sea of blue in an ocean of red here in western North Carolina. Cars are still covered with bumper stickers for Bernie from 2016 and for Obama from 2008. Of course, you see the Resist! bumper sticker everywhere.

It is against this background that I was a bit surprised when I heard at the January gun show that there was a move to ask Buncombe County Commissioners to make it a Second Amendment Sanctuary. I figured a few people would show up and the oh, so liberal commissioners would just roll their eyes.

I was right on the second part but extremely wrong on the first part.

According to local TV station WLOS, the entire Commission meeting room was filled and an overflow room had to be established.

Photo by WLOS Staff

A video clip of the meeting can be seen here.

People for and against making Buncombe a Second Amendment Sanctuary spoke for two hours. Given you are only allowed three minutes to speak, this was a lot of folks. From what I can gather, with few exceptions, most were in favor of making it a sanctuary county.

Amy Benedict of the Demanding Moms spoke against it. The clip above, unfortunately, doesn’t give her full comments. The on-air report noted her saying they weren’t “against guns but gun violence”. Right.

In the end, as I would have expected, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners did nothing. Nonetheless, it does let the Board and the public know that there is strong support for gun rights in my oh, so liberal county.

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.

Demanding Moms Channel CSGV In Comments About Lobby Day

When Ladd Everitt was the communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic), it was a favorite tactic to characterize Second Amendment supporters as “gun extremists”. CSGV’s Executive Director Josh Horwitz took it a step further by calling those who opposed the Obama Administration‘s efforts “insurrectionists“. I was one of those called a “gun extremist” when I challenged the sainted Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) over some of her comments.

In a news release about the VCDL’s Lobby Day next Monday, Moms Demand Action channels CSGV and calls it a “gun extremist rally”.

On January 20th, gun extremists – including out-of-state militia groups – will descend on the Virginia General Assembly, hoping to intimidate lawmakers into rejecting the democratic will of the people who, by wide margins, want (and voted for champions of) common-sense gun safety laws.

The Democrats won control due to court-ordered redistricting. The plan was devised by California-based special master Bernard Grofman of U. California – Irvine and intended to be most favorable to Democrats. It was approved in a 2-1 decision with Obama-appointed Judges Barbara Keenan and Arenda Allen in the majority. Republicans who opposed the new districts called it “legal indefensible” because it was so slanted towards the Democrats.

They portray Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions as “lawless county resolutions”.

Lawless County resolutions, or as gun extremists call them, ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’ resolutions, which threaten that officials will  disregard their duty to enforce duly enacted and constitutional laws, have no legal force. The resolutions also threaten the safety of communities nationwide by fostering distrust in law enforcement and may deter people from reporting individuals that may hurt themselves or others.

Since when did promoting respect for God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights become a threat to the safety of communities? That is the kind of argument one would have expected from racial segregationists who opposed school integration in the face of Brown v. Board of Education.

Overflow crowd at the Amelia County hearing

The news release continues and throws in “militia”, “white supremacist”, “Charlottesville”, and “Civil War” for good measure. I’m surprised they didn’t include “Boogaloo” as well. Remembering that Everytown and Moms Demand have the best PR flacks that money can buy, it is obvious that they want to scare both African-Americans and suburban “soccer moms” with this rhetoric. This is the sort of thing that Matt Bracken warned about in his comments on Lobby Day characterizing it as a Charlottesville-style setup.

They end this screed with a few words about their ultimate boogeyman – the NRA.

The NRA has yet to make any public statement disavowing the January 20th event or the various militia groups planning on attending. However, the NRA’s people and rhetoric are intertwined with the January 20th rally. The NRA put out a formal statement supporting the Lawless County resolutions, and former NRA TV personalities like Cam Edwards and Antonia Okafor are listed as speakers at the rally. The NRA has taken out billboards throughout Virginia ominously and baselessly warning of coming “confiscation” of firearms.

While the NRA hasn’t “disavowed” the VCDL’s Lobby Day, they haven’t supported it either. Instead, they came up with their own rally being held today. As to “baselessly warning” about confiscation, a magazine ban without grandfathering certainly meets the standard for confiscation.

We know the Demanding Moms don’t respect the Second Amendment. It is increasingly clear that they don’t support the First Amendment rights of their opponents. The First Amendment ends ” the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That is exactly what the many thousands of Virginians and their supporters from other states will be doing on January 20th.

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.

Only In San Francisco

Only in San Francisco do you have widespread defecation on the streets.

Only in San Francisco do you have a five-time deported illegal alien found innocent of murder.

Only in San Francisco are convicted felons now called “justice-involved persons.”

Only in San Francisco do you have an organization dedicated to the advancement of an enumerated civil right declared a “domestic terrorist organization.”

Say what? The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday that brands the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization”.

The resolution was sponsored by Supervisor Catherine Stefani (D-SF). She is an attorney, former prosecutor, and, according to her official bio, a “leader and spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.” Gee, no conflict of interest there, is there?

Catherine Stefani, Official SFBOS Picture

Reading the resolution is like reading some bizarre alternate reality short story. It claims that the NRA “incites gun owners to acts of violence” among other things. It goes on to claim that the NRA, by being advocates for gun rights, have armed those who have committed acts of terrorism.

You can read the whole thing at this link. Try not to gag when reading it.

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.

Yes, Thank You Moms Demand Action In NC

Mike Bloomberg, billionaire, former mayor of New York City, erstwhile potential Democrat candidate for President, and funder of all things gun control put out this tweet yesterday evening.

Yes, thank you for your continued support of a Jim Crow era law, the pistol purchase permit system, that was intended to keep African-Americans, union members, and Republicans disarmed.

Yes, thank you for your support of red flag laws that turn Due Process on its head and that will get innocent people killed.

Yes, thank you for making our schools less safe by your continued opposition to any policy that would let trained teachers and administrators carry firearms to protect the students under their care.

Yes, thank you for supporting efforts to introduce even more government interference into private affairs by demanding universal background check.

Yes, thank you for all you do to make North Carolina a less safe place for ordinary, law abiding Tar Heels and more safe for criminals who, by definition, ignore the law.

 There is plenty more for which we can thank the North Carolina contingent of Moms Demand Action but saving lives isn’t one of them.

When A Demcrat Says He Won’t Ban Your Guns, Look Closer

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Phillip Price is the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 11th Congressional District of North Carolina. He will be facing incumbent Rep. Mark Meadows (D-NC-11). I would be in Meadows’ district if I lived a mere 10 miles further south.

Price owns a company that deals in reclaimed lumber as well as continues to be a touring musician with his band called D. S. F. Earthcorps. He is also a self-proclaimed hunter and has been running the following ad on local TV stations saying no one is coming for his guns or your guns.

In a section on his campaign website called “Vision”, he devotes a page to “Common Sense & Guns” which features a banner photo of the Demanding Moms for Illegal Mayors. As he makes clear, he has their endorsement. Here is what he says on that page:

Gun Reform

Our schools, churches, movie theaters and concert venues are becoming targets for gun violence, and it is no longer enough to offer thoughts and prayers. We need change, and it is up to our elected officials to create it.

That’s why I support sensible gun reforms. I want to close the loopholes on background checks to buy weapons and ban gun purchases for those who have a history of domestic violence, violent mental illness or animal abuse. We must restore the ban on those semiautomatic weapons that have been used in so many attacks, and get rid of the large capacity magazines and bump stocks that make it even easier to hit multiple victims so quickly.

I’m a hunter and a gun owner and I stand with most Americans who already support these commonsense changes in policy.

After reviewing the campaign’s stance, I recently received the Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction, acknowledging my support for real reform.

If my vision reflects your vision, won’t you please volunteer or contribute to our campaign? Working together, our vision can become reality.

Not coming for your guns? Really? He says one thing on TV and figures he can tell the real story on his website because few people will read it.

Given his past run-ins with the law regarding marijuana possession, there are real questions as to whether he is a prohibited person or not. I don’t think most voters would take kindly to a prohibited person telling them they can’t have a semi-auto rifle, pistol, or carbine. Would you?