Stabbed In The Back Again

Eight years of Obama brought no new gun control at the federal level. Three years of President Trump has brought an unconstitutional ban on bumpstocks, no Hearing Protection Act, no national reciprocity, and now a call for more gun control in the wake of the murders in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

If he thinks that Democrats will trade gun control for funding a “the wall”, he is sadly mistaken. They will do a bait and switch saying they will support “the wall” after passing red flag laws and universal background checks (and other gun control) but then do nothing about funding the wall.

Right now I don’t give a big rat’s ass about a wall along the border that would have marginal effectiveness. I do care about any denigration of the Second Amendment and gun rights.

By the way, all indications are that virtually every mass murderer in the last 10 years has gone through a NICS check. These bills would do nothing to have prevented them from obtaining the firearm in question.

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.

Was This Intended Or Unintended?

Where you place paragraphs in a story makes a difference and can lead to different interpretations of your argument. Today’s Wall Street Journal provides an excellent example of it in a story on the flaws of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The story is in the Southeast paper edition of the Journal but does not appear online. The only thing online is an infographic on the failures of the system.

Consider this paragraph.

And then there are private sales. Background checks aren’t always required when sales are made by private sellers, those people who make only occasional guns sales from private collections.

It was immediately followed by this paragraph.

Several mass-shooters have purchased guns they shouldn’t have been able to buy. 

The story by Ashby Jones then goes on to give examples of how both the Virginia Tech mass-murderer and the Sutherland Spring First Baptist mass-murderer were able to obtain their weapons, though prohibited persons, after passing a FBI NICS check. The story does detail how the Virginia court and the US Air Force had failed to submit the records for inclusion in the FBI’s databases.

By placing the second paragraph immediately after the paragraph on private sales, the reader is at first led to believe that the mass-murderers obtained their firearms from a private seller which we know was not the case.

If that second paragraph had added “due to the failure to submit disqualifying records to the NICS database” or “even though they passed background checks”, then it would be understood that the killers obtained their firearms due to a failure of the system and not due to the negligence or greed of a private seller.

Is this a case of unintended juxtaposition? Is it a case of tight editing for brevity in the second paragraph? Or is it, more problematically, a case of using the structure of the story to convey an argument for so-called universal background checks.

I don’t know but I do know that the wrong impression is initially given by the structure of the story.

If this came from the New York Times or the Washington Post I would say it was intended to mislead. Since the Wall Street Journal tends to be more neutral on firearms issues, I could go either way. Nonetheless, this is a case of the mainstream media, intentionally or unintentionally, pushing the narrative for universal background checks which is wrong.

Loophole Here, Loophole There, Everything’s A Freaking Loophole

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When dealing with the enemies of freedom everything they don’t approve of is a loophole.

Internet loophole? Check.

Gun show loophole? Check.

Background check loophole? Check.

Sen. Richard “I served in Vietnam (not!)” Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) have come up with a new loophole that MUST be closed. That is the ammunition sale loophole. To that end, they have introduced the Ammunition Background Check Act (S.2627 / HR 5383) The bill would require instant background checks for the purchase of ammunition.

Excerpts from their joint press release:

“Ammunition sales should be subject to the same legal requirements as firearm sales, and that includes instant background checks. The same laws that prevent dangerous individuals from purchasing firearms also prohibit them from amassing arsenals of ammunition, with one major loophole: there are no background checks for ammunition sales to enforce the law. Closing this ludicrous loophole is a common sense component of a comprehensive strategy to reduce gun violence,” said Blumenthal.


“This common-sense legislation simply enforces existing federal law, and will make it harder for criminals to amass hundreds of rounds of ammunition without so much as sharing their first name with a gun store clerk,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Closing this absurd loophole will not by itself stop the next mass shooting tragedy. But this popular approach must be part of our larger strategy for ending gun violence. Studies show it can help keep ‘bad guys with guns’ from perpetrating another mass slaughter like the one we witnessed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in my Broward County community, or the thousands of other acts of gun violence that devastate communities across the country. It takes more than just a gun to take an innocent life. It also takes bullets. We need to do all we can to make sure neither of them ends up in the wrong hands.”

There are enough gun control buzzwords in those two paragraphs that you would be an automatic winner in buzzword bingo!

While the bill text is not yet available, their release indicates that the purchase of ammo would be through a FFL who would be required to do a NICS check or, if the seller was not licensed, then the seller would have to have a FFL conduct the NICS check. Since I don’t have the bill text yet, there is no word whether or not components would be require background checks.

If components are not regulated (and they should not be), then the enemies of freedom will have multiple new loopholes to rail about: the smokeless powder loophole, the brass loophole, the primer loophole, etc., etc.

For those not old enough to remember, after the passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968 all ammunition sales including .22 rimfire ammo were required to be logged into a bound book. The requirement for .22 rimfire ammo sale logging was repealed in 1982. Finally, the Firearms Owner Protection Act of 1986 finally repealed the requirement that ammo sales be logged in a bound book. The repeal of that requirement was supported by the ATF as they said it had little law enforcement value. While Bluementhal and Wasserman-Schultz quote a number of academics in support of their bill, they don’t quote anyone in law enforcement which is telling.

This is a ridiculous bill brought by two ridiculous legislators. It should be relegated to the scrapheap of history just like they should.

H/T  The Captain’s Journal

Big News Out Of Nevada On Question 1

One of the biggest supporters of the universal background check initiative, Question 1, in Nevada has changed his mind. Casino owner Steve Wynn had given $50,000 to Nevadans for Background Checks. This is the Bloomberg front group that was pushing the universal background check initiative in the state.

As you can hear in the video below, Wynn changed his mind after two of his executives explained all the ramifications of the law.



The NRA released this statement in response.

“This stunning reversal by Steve Wynn – a member of Michael Bloomberg’s gun control advisory board — could be a game changer,” said Robert Uithoven, Nevadans for Freedom campaign director. “Like many unsuspecting Nevadans, Mr. Wynn believed the Bloomberg campaign’s false claims that Question 1 would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and make Nevadans safer. After taking a closer look at the poorly worded initiative, Mr. Wynn told Fox News he now opposes Question 1, along with Governor Sandoval, Congressman Heck, Attorney General Laxalt and 16 of the 17 elected sheriffs in Nevada. ‘I don’t think anyone knows the extent of the overreach that [Question 1] would allow.’ Wynn went on to concede that the NRA Nevadans for Freedom is right when we say that this measure will criminalize the commonplace activities of Nevada’s law-abiding gun owners. The truth is Question 1 will not make Nevadans any safer. It will instead cost law-abiding citizens time, money, and freedom.”

Coming as it did just before Election Day, I am unsure of the real impact of this change of heart given the extent of early voting in Nevada.


My friend J.D. Smith of the AR-15 Podcast told me last week that he thought that despite Bloomberg’s multi-million dollar ad campaign the outcome was looking better for Question 1 failing. J.D. attributed this to a strong grassroots effort. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that he is correct.

UPDATE: Steve Wynn’s conversion on the road to Damascus was too little and too late. Question 1 passed in Nevada by 50.45% to 49.55%. In real terms, the vote was 558,586 yes and 548,685 no.

I have real qualms about whether the SHOT Show should be continued to be held in Las Vegas. The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando is larger and the area has approximately the same number of hotel rooms.

Why Are These Official Hotels For The SHOT Show?

The SHOT Show always has a number of “official” hotels where their travel company has negotiated special rates for attendees and exhibitors. One of the pluses of staying at one of these on-the-Strip hotels is that there is shuttle bus service to the Sands Expo Center.

For those that are not aware of it, Question 1 on the ballot in Nevada is on universal background checks. It would criminalize the sale or transfer of a firearm between private individuals unless a background check was performed by a FFL. While there are limited exceptions to this, the first offense is a gross misdemeanor and the second offense is a Class C felony.

This initiative was proposed by Nevadans for Background Checks which is a front group for Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors. Tara Paone is a listed as a director of this group. As Jeff Knox notes, she is also the Treasurer for Everytown and was listed as a director in Washington State’s I-594 universal background check initiative.

I am firmly of the belief that if this initiative passes that the SHOT Show, Safari Club International, and other firearms related organizations should forever move their trade shows and conventions out of that state. You don’t reward states that don’t respect your civil rights. The LGBTQ community is very good at this.

That got me to questioning who was financially supporting the initiative and who was funding the opposition. Here is where it gets interesting. There was the big money (over $100,000) donations from Everytown and from Seattle billionaire Nick Hanauer. Hanauer spent over $1 million in a successful effort to pass Washington’s I-594 initiative. These type of donations were expected. What I would not have expected were substantial donations from a number of the casino and hotel companies.

  • MGM Resorts International – $25,000 – 1/22/2016
  • Caesar’s Enterprise Services LLC – $25,000 – 12/29/2015
  • Wynn Resorts Ltd. – $50,000 – 9/29/2015

There is nothing like biting the hand that feeds you. Just so you are aware, let’s see what hotels and casinos belong to each of these groups. I’ve noted whether it was an official hotel or not as well.

MGM Resorts International 

  • ARIA
  • Bellagio – Yes
  • Vdara
  • MGM Grand – Yes
  • Skylofts at MGM Grand
  • The Signature at MGM Grand
  • Mandalay Bay
  • Delano Las Vegas
  • The Mirage – Yes
  • Monte Carlo – Yes
  • New York – New York – Yes
  • Luxor – Yes
  • Excalibur -Yes
  • Circus Circus – Yes
  • Anthology Suites & Villas
  • Bally’s – Yes
  • Caesars Palace – Yes
  • The Cromwell
  • Flamingo – Yes
  • Harrah’s – Yes
  • The LINQ – Yes
  • Paris – Yes
  • Planet Hollywood – Yes
  • Rio
*Caesar’s Enterprise Services LLC is a spin-off from Caesars Entertainment. It was set up in 2014 to protect the company in case they had to declare bankruptcy.
  • Wynn Las Vegas
  • Encore
So what does this leave in the way of official hotels whose owners have not donated to Bloomberg’s universal background check initiative?
  • The Ventian – owned by Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands
  • The Palazzo – owned by Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands
  • Elara – owned by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations – owned by Hilton
  • SLS Las Vegas – owned by Sam Nazarian’s SBE Corp.
  • Stratosphere – owned by American Casino & Entertainment Properties LLC
  • The Cosmopolitan – owned by Blackstone Group (investment bankers)
  • Treasure Island – privately owned by Phil Ruffin
  • Tropicana – owned by Hilton
  • Trump Las Vegas – owned by you know who
  • Westin – owned by Marriott International
If you are staying in one of these hotels, you have a decent assumption that you are not subsidizing the anti-gun forces. It makes me glad we finally settled on the Westin instead of Bally’s.
There are plenty of other hotels, motels, and casino properties where you can stay in Las Vegas that are not part of the cabal trying to steal your rights. You might want to go here to check on alternatives.
This leaves the opposition to the initiative. The NRA-ILA has been very active from what I have read but Bloomberg has bought most of the air time. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the NRA Nevadans for Freedom has spent about $140,000 on ads. This contrasts with the $800,000 spent by the Bloomberg group. I have read that the NSSF’s #GunVote is doing some work against the initiative but I’m not sure what. I do have a question on various Nevada shooting forums asking about it.

“Don’t NYC My Maine Gun Rights”

My late father lived in Maine for many years after he retired from the Army. Even though he was a born and bred Tar Heel he was accepted by the locals. He lived in Medomak which is on Muscongus Bay.

I spent my (first) honeymoon in the Rangeley Region at a camp on Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Rosanne and I gave serious consideration to moving to Maine. We joined the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and took a local paper. We never did make the move but I still love the State of Maine. I guess that is why I am so afraid for them with Bloomberg’s money trying to buy gun control there.

Ginny Simone does a good job of showing how Bloomberg and his money is trying to buy the election. I’m glad that there are organizations like the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. politicians like Gov. Paul LePage, and others like my friend Genie Jennings who will be speaking at GRPC fighting this tooth and nail.

Bloomberg’s Minions Win In Oregon

With apologies to all my good friends in California, Oregon, and Washington State but the Pacific Coast is not also called the Sinister Coast for nothing. Yesterday, the Oregon House of Representatives voted 32 to 28 to concur on SB 941. This follows the 17-13 vote on April 14th by the Oregon Senate to pass the bill.

Governor Kate Brown (D-OR) indicated through her spokesperson that she would be signing the bill. According to The Oregonian, she is a gun control supporter of long standing. Brown assumed the Oregon governorship when ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-OR) resigned the office under a cloud of scandal. 

Senate Bill 941, according to its summary, would:

Requires private person to complete transfer of firearm by appearing with transferee before gun
dealer to request criminal background check or shipping or delivering firearm to gun dealer in
certain circumstances. Specifies exceptions for family members, law enforcement, inherited
firearms and certain temporary transfers. Punishes violation by maximum of one year’s
imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both, or maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment, $250,000 fine, or both, for
second or subsequent offense.

[Requires] Authorizes Department of State Police to notify [local] appropriate law enforcement
agency when, during criminal background check performed prior to transfer of firearm, department
determines that recipient is prohibited from possessing firearm.

Authorizes court to prohibit person ordered to participate in assisted outpatient treatment from
purchasing or possessing firearm during period of treatment if certain criteria are met.

Declares emergency, effective on passage.

Unlike the I-594 which passed in Washington State, SB 941 is a bit more clear about what is a transfer and what isn’t. The bill says a transfer is a sale, gift, loan, or lease of a firearm with certain exceptions made for “temporary transfers”.  Among the exceptions are when at a range whether for just target practice or a class; when hunting; when sent to a gunsmith or someone who customizes firearms; and when loaned to prevent “imminent death or serious physical injury” but only as long as needed to prevent death or injury. I will say that last exception is a bit vague. How do you determine when the threat begins or ends?

The vote for this bill was along party lines. In the Senate, 17 out of 18 Democrats voted for the bill while all 12 Republicans plus St. Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) voted no. Meanwhile in the House, 32 out of 35 Democrats voted for the the bill while all 25 Republicans voted no along with Democrat Representatives Jeff Barker (D-Aloha), Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay), and Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie).

Excuse this tangent but what I found so striking about both houses of the Oregon Legislature is that they are so overwhelmingly white. I don’t mean just predominantly white – I mean lily white or, as Procol Harum sang, a whiter shade of pale. The only minority in the State Senate is a Republican woman – Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem). In the House, it is barely better. Rep. Lew Frederick (D-Portland) is the only African-American while Representatives Jessica Vega Pederson (D-Portland) and Joe Gallegos (D-Hillsboro) appear to be the only Hispanics in the legislature. According to US Census figures, Oregon is 77.5% white, 2% black, 4% Asian, and 12% Hispanic which includes “white Hispanics”.

If Oregon was either a Southern or conservative state or both, the Justice Department under both Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch would have been all over them demanding answers. Since it isn’t, all is well.

Back on topic, I think the politicians who voted to preserve the Second Amendment rights of Oregonians should be recognized.

In the Senate: Senators Baertschiger, Boquist, Ferrioli, Girod,Hansell, Johnson, Knopp, Kruse, Olsen, Thatcher, Thomsen, Whitsett, and Winters.

In the House: Representatives McLane, Barker, Barreto, Bentz, Buehler, Davis, Esquivel, Gilliam, Hack, Hayden, Heard, Huffman, Johnson, Kennemer, Krieger, McKeown, Nearman, Olson, Parrish, Post, Smith, Sprenger, Stark, Weidner, Whisnant, Whitsett, Wilson, and Witt.

 (The Democrats are in italic)

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.

Joe Manchin Said He Supported The Second Amendment, Too

Democrats running for the US Senate from red states love to say they are for the Second Amendment.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he was for gun rights, boasted he was endorsed by the NRA, and even showed himself shooting a rifle at the “cap and trade” bill. That was in 2010. In 2013, he introduced a bill that would “only add gun checks to online sales and gun shows.” That was a myth among many other problems.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) said she supported the Second Amendment in 2008 when she won against a lackluster Liddy Dole in the Obama landslide. That didn’t stop her from voting for Manchin-
Toomey in 2013 along with gun prohibitionists like Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Now comes Kentucky Sec. of State Alison Lundergan Grimes who is running against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). She said she disagrees with Obama on guns, coal, and the EPA. She even ran an ad showing herself at the skeet range. She even chides McConnell’s waving a Kentucky long rifle a’la Charlton Heston at the 2014 NRA Annual Meeting saying, “That’s not the way you hold a gun.”

Then she was a guest on the Kentucky Sports Radio show in which she said was for the Second Amendment but supported closing the mythical “gun show loophole.”

I’m sorry but if you say you support closing the non-existent “gun show loophole” (sic) then that means you support universal background checks. Answering a question about whether you’d support banning any guns by saying “I support the Second Amendment” is nothing more than obfuscation. You want to appear gun friendly but you are supporting exactly the same thing as Bloomberg, Watts, and the rest.

Mitch McConnell is not my favorite Republican. I think what he’s done to undercut the non-establishment wing of the Republican Party is stupid politics. However, I vote the Second Amendment and he supports gun rights. I am also well aware that we are but one Supreme Court justice away from seeing Heller and McDonald overturned. The only way to ensure Obama doesn’t get a chance to seat another Kagan or Sotomayor on the Supreme Court is with a Republican-majority Senate. If Grimes wins, that isn’t going to happen.

UPDATE: Alison Lundergan Grimes’ support for closing the non-existent gun show loophole gets a “hallelujah” from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic).

Can we get a “hallelujah”? Thank you Alison Lundergan Grimes, for good old fashioned common sense.

We were told growing up that we are known by our friends. If these are her friends, well…..