Your government at work

Government should not be deciding what people should be able to do with their property.

Mon Jan 28 03:43:27 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another Biden rebuttal...

This one uses Biden's own words against him.

Folks, we can win this.  We can do better than just winning. If we can hold the line now -- if we can stop not just the assault weapons ban, but the standard-capacity magazine ban and the universal background check legislation -- and then punish the legislators who voted for gun control in 2014, we will prove that gun owners are still a force to be reckoned with in politics. 

Make no mistake, they are coming after us now because they are afraid.  They can read the writing on the wall.  They have seen the Supreme Court decisions in Heller and MacDonald.  They have seen appellate courts strike down Illinois' concealed carry prohibition, and now all 50 states have some form of concealed carry law.  They think we are ignorant, illiterate, innumerate, uncultured... in short, that we have cooties.  It drives them nuts that we are right about the Second Amendment and that we are winning court battles, so they decided to strike out at us where they have the advantage -- in the legislature.

We can stop them.

We will stop them.

Write your senators today.

Mon Jan 28 03:42:24 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A good rebuttal to Biden's hangout on guns

I would quibble with only one small thing here.  The speaker makes the argument that an accurate rifle would allow someone in a Katrina-type crisis to target someone and shoot to disable, without using lethal force.  That's incorrect; if you're using a firearm, it's lethal force.  Shooting to disable is a bad idea and could actually get you in legal trouble.   

Other than that, good rebuttal. 

Mon Jan 28 03:42:05 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What we can expect on gun control

At least, according to the Washington Post:
Aides say there probably will be three main packages of gun-control legislation over the coming months, with one anchored by the assault-weapons ban, which is considered the most difficult. Another set of proposals will include an effort to establish universal background checks for all firearm sales in retail stores, gun shows or private exchanges. The other piece would include limiting the size of gun magazine clips.
As far as this goes, it seems accurate enough to me.  It's no big trick to know what's coming down the line; the hard part will be stopping the legislation.

Most of the article is about Reid and whether he will support Obama's push for gun control, or try to sideline it.  Reid is a Democrat, but has been supported by the NRA in the past, and while Reid has been in charge of the Senate he hasn't let gun control come up -- until, perhaps, now.

Nevada voters, you can help him decide.

Be polite.

Mon Jan 28 03:41:41 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reason examines what government employees do with databases

When the cops ask you if you have something to hide, you can point to articles like this for examples of what you have to fear even when you've done nothing wrong.
Most of the violations seem of the creepy but routine variety that you would expect of government officials who have too much power at their fingertips and little fear of consequences that, theoretically, include criminal charges, sanctions or ill-defined "disciplinary action." Among these was an Oviedo police officer who "made unauthorized searches in D.A.V.I.D. to look up a local bank teller he was reportedly flirting with."
Because cops shouldn't have to ask a pretty girl for her number, they can just look it up.  Right?

Potentially more troubling are the database incursions into the records of a state trooper who had the nerve to arrest a Miami police officer at gunpoint after she observed him swerving his car in and out of traffic at speeds up to 120 MPH -- his usual behavior, it emerged later. Police officers around the state apparently took umbrage at this breach of professional courtesy.

The information retrieved by those 88 snooping cops included Watts's "home address, picture, Social Security number, date of birth, and detailed vehicle description." After the data incursions, she received threatening phone calls, vehicles driving by or idling in front of her home on a cul-de-sac, prank pizza deliveries ...

Because cops should be above the laws they are employed to enforce, and anyone who says differently should be stalked and harassed until they shut up.  Right?
This isn't an isolated incident by any means. IRS data is a tempting target, given that money is involved. A former employee of the agency was sentenced to 105 months in prison for using tax data to craft $8 million in fraudulent returns. Then again, sometimes IRS agents just peruse the database for personal information about celebrities and neighbors. In that case, the nosy agent's targets included a Who's Who of Hollywood and professional sports.
Because privacy doesn't apply to the government.  Right?

Mon Jan 28 03:41:02 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Quicken is anti-gun

A Williamson County gun dealer recently learned a credit card processing company no longer wants to do business with him.  "We go through all the hoops and all the steps and at the end of the day it's still a struggle to get the same services anybody else would," said Nick McMillan.  McMillan received an email from Intuit Payment solutions informing him the company was no longer interested in processing his credit card sales.

Banks and other financial institutions are feeling the pressure.  They did something similar to this with online gambling websites located outside of US jurisdiction -- just convince the financial institutions not to allow such sites to transfer funds. Never mind that the sites -- like McMillan's gun store -- was legally owned and operated.  Obama and Rahm are applying leverage to achieve things that they do not have the power to achieve through law.

How do we fight it?  That's a tough question.

One answer is to make the economic impact of caving to the administration's demands as large as possible -- that is, for gun owners to boycott businesses that don't want their business.  (That's why I've created a new category on this blog, Anti-Gun; we can at least record the businesses that make life hard on us and make life hard on them in return).

Another answer is legal; businesses that have their accounts closed due to pressure from the administration could sue.  Eventually, someone will -- but it's a tough legal fight against an administration that can pay its legal bills with tax money.  Since the pressure is indirect, it's hard to put together such a case.

Neither answer is particularly promising, and I don't have a better one. 

Mon Jan 28 03:38:12 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

American Bar Association supports gun control

The American Bar Association endorses Feinstein's semi-auto ban.  They don't really have anything new to say about it.  Why an association of lawyers has an opinion about firearms regulations is an open question.  They certainly have no expertise about it.

Mon Jan 28 03:22:51 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Biden even more of an idiot than usual in gun chat

On Thursday, Mr. Biden faced questions about the efficacy of a ban on some semiautomatic rifles. The vice president noted that those weapons are involved in only a small fraction of gun deaths but said the restrictions make sense because police officers are outgunned on the streets by criminals with high-powered firearms. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and other Democrats unveiled legislation Thursday to ban certain types of semiautomatic weapons.
Mr. Biden, police are not "outgunned".  Not only are legally-owned semiautomatic rifles very rarely used in crime, police can carry their own semiautomatic rifles and are often authorized to carry the fully-automatic version.

But let me ask you this, Mr. Biden: why do you want ordinary, law-abiding citizens defending their homes and their families to be outgunned by criminals on the streets?

Don't worry, you don't actually have to answer.  It's rhetorical.
Mr. Biden said that in the past, the NRA has been resistant to even less controversial measures because the organization argues that "it's a slippery slope" toward more restrictions on guns. Both the left and the right sometimes take absolutist positions, the vice president said, but the vast majority of Americans agree on certain basic principles relating to gun safety.
Yes, Mr. Biden, we do.  The NRA's four rules have become standard gun safety practice.

Oh, I see.  You meant gun control, not gun safety.  My bad; I forgot you were lying for a moment.

We do agree on some basic principles, even then.  We agree that it should be illegal for criminals to possess firearms and use firearms to commit crimes.  We agree that people who make a living selling guns should check the background of people who buy guns to make sure they aren't criminals.  And we agree that other than that, law-abiding honest folk should be able to buy and sell guns with a minimum of hassle and interference from government busybodies.

Mon Jan 28 03:20:49 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Rahm goes after banks on gun control

Another source here.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking his gun control push to private banks and asking major lenders in Chicago to stop doing business with firearms manufacturers.

In a letter to TD Bank and Bank of America on Thursday, Mr. Emanuel asked the CEOs to force gun manufacturers they do business with to "find common ground with the vast majority of Americans who support a military weapons and ammunition ban."

Well, this explains some of the activity we've seen from various banking and financial companies recently.  It's despicable for an elected politician to pressure companies to stop doing business with law-abiding citizens, especially when the business is a protected Constitutional right.

But the Chicago pol did just convince city officials to divest $5 billion in pension fund investments from companies that manufacture guns.

And that effort is reverberating among states. New York and California have both halted pension investments in companies that do business with the gun industry, according to various media reports.

This is just as reprehensible.  They do not own those pension funds.  The funds -- and properly, control over those funds -- should be owned by the investors, that is, the people whose pensions have been paid into the funds. 

Sebastian has more details on what sort of demands are being made.

  • Promote gun control, including new hurdles for lawful gun and ammunition purchasers;
  • Give support (assuming financial since there?s no other that would make sense here) to cities to fund new record keeping options that would supposedly be used to share criminal records with NICS;
  • Conduct a background check on every single firearm and ammunition transfer -- all the way down the line;
  • Stop producing their most popular products;
  • Dedicate any research budget for new product development to so-called "smart" guns;
  • Use any remaining product development budget to create an ammunition registry;
  • Harass every customer at every sale about the history of firearms training;
  • Redesign all existing products to include, at minimum, 4 serial numbers;
  • Fund gun buyback programs; and
  • Stop support of gun shows.

This is not about crime, not even massacres.  It's about bigotry, and hatred, and trying to destroy people who make the so-called liberal elites uncomfortable.

Mon Jan 28 03:18:53 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Of Cake and Compromise

Lawdog explains why we won't compromise on gun control, not even a little.

Mon Jan 28 03:17:39 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New Yorkers don't seem to be planning to register their firearms...

Assault-rifle owners statewide are organizing a mass boycott of Gov. Cuomo's new law mandating they register their weapons, daring officials to "come and take it away," The Post has learned.
I'd be willing to bet that they said it in the original Greek.
"I've heard from hundreds of people that they're prepared to defy the law, and that number will be magnified by the thousands, by the tens of thousands, when the registration deadline comes," said Brian Olesen, president of the American Shooters Supply, one of the largest gun dealers in the state.
Doesn't sound like the law is going to be very effective.
Dicker quotes a Cuomo administration official admitting, "Many of these assault-rifle owners aren't going to register; we realize that." Which means that state officials were merely posturing rather than entirely ignorant of history when they penned the law and jammed it through. As I've written before, gun laws traditionally breed massive levels of non-compliance -- even in places where you might think people have no strong history of personal arms, or of resistance to the state."
One of the secrets that government tries very hard to keep is that government cannot actually enforce the laws it passes.  It can make examples of specific individuals, but government is helpless to enforce laws that are opposed by large segments of the population.  Look at the drug war for an obvious example. Decades of escalating, ever-more-draconian enforcement efforts, and people who want drugs can get drugs.

The only thing Cuomo's gun law will do is punish thousands of law abiding gun owners who had no reason to break the law... until now.

Oh, and one other thing.

Those are gun owners in New York.  New York has had strong gun control laws for almost a century.  They have had experience tolerating gun control laws.  If a similar law passes nationally, do they think compliance will be higher in Texas?

Mon Jan 28 03:16:30 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sheriff urges ctiizens to get gun training

It's a sad world when a sheriff can call on citizens to learn to defend themselves, and get accused by other sheriffs of calling for vigilantism.  Self-defense is not taking the law into your own hands.  Vigilantism would be going out to hunt down criminals, not defending yourself when they attack you.

Mon Jan 28 03:12:06 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Legal Insurrection has the goods...

... on the anti-gun advocate who compared gun owners to Nazis and rabid dogs, got publicly schooled by a veteran on the 2nd Amendment, and then tried to lie about what happened.

Mon Jan 28 03:09:29 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

John Lott debunks the 40 percent myth about gun sales

Gun-control advocates have recently been throwing around an impressive new number. President Obama used it last Wednesday, claiming: "as many as 40 percent of guns are purchased without a background check." Vice President Biden and everyone from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to USA Today repeatedly use it. That "fact" provided the principal support for his first announced gun-control proposal, "universal background checks." But unless you include family inheritances and gifts as "purchases," it is simply false.
Funny how the anti-gun case falls apart when you look at the facts, isn't it?

Mon Jan 28 03:09:00 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Paypal is anti-gun

We knew this already, but they've caved to Obama's pressure on the issue.

Mon Jan 28 03:07:15 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Recess appointments ruled unconstitutional

President Barack Obama just suffered a humiliating defeat in federal court. A top federal appeals court has removed three presidential appointees from power, and invalidated all actions they?ve taken over the past twelve months.  
This is a small victory for the Constitution, but it is a victory.

Mon Jan 28 03:06:46 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Holder prepares gun control measures

Dave Hardy at Of Arms and The Law thinks they won't amount to much, and that the real fight will be in Congress.  I think that's accurate, but I'll tell you the proposals anyway.
Give local law enforcement agencies access to the gun sale database that is maintained by the FBI, and preserve records of denied weapons sales indefinitely.
Hang on a minute.  The "gun sale database" that is maintained by the FBI?  Isn't the FBI forbidden from maintaining such a database?

I never believed they would actually follow that law if they had the information available, and it looks like I was right.

Currently, law enforcement agencies cannot perform a NICS check when transferring, returning or selling weapons that have been confiscated, seized or recovered. The new rules would change that, allowing officials to perform a background check on people who receive those weapons to ensure that they are permitted to own a gun.

This is a somewhat tricky one.  It's going to be used to delay returning firearms to their owners, and to generally harass any of us who have interactions with the police.  Take an obvious scenario: you have a concealed carry permit and are legally carrying concealed.  You happen to witness a car accident where someone dies, and when the police respond, they ask to disarm you while they work the scene, and you agree to be polite.  Then they interview you, say you're free to go, and you can have your gun back ... in a month or so, after they have had a chance to run a NICS check on you.

That's exactly the sort of abusive police BS that this rule will enable.

Holder is also proposing that the NICS hold on to records of denied weapon sales that are more than 10 years old. When the NICS was established, the Justice Department ordered that the records be moved to a storage facility after 10 years, which Holder says is no longer necessary.
I suppose the records are computerized now and no longer need to be physically transferred to save space.  I don't see any harm in this at first glance.
The proposed rules would also give Native American tribes access to NICS. Currently, only federal, state, or local agencies can perform the checks, which leaves out "domestic dependent nations" recognized by the United States.
I don't know what impact this will have.

Comments on the proposals are due March 28th.  I doubt that Holder will care what any of the comments say, though.

Sat Jan 26 01:52:41 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Publicola is blogging again

... with thoughts on strategy.  He's right, in that being passive on the gun issue is seen as an invitation for restrictions.  He also has a state of the state for Colorado, if that's where you call home.

Fri Jan 25 10:06:00 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Did Feinstein pull a David Gregory?

Short answer: Yes, except that the police gave permission and actually claimed to be in possession of the weapons used in her presentation.

Brian Weiss, a spokesman for Mrs. Feinstein, told The Washington Times, that, "The weapons were under Washington MPD possession the entire time." He said that the office "coordinated with the department" and the U.S. Capitol Police.

A spokesman for the Capitol Police, Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, responded two hours later that his department "helped the transfer within the building" of the firearms, which were then "in possession of law enforcement there." He would not say what agency was overseeing the contraband weapons, nor who authorized breaking the city's assault weapons ban. It is unclear if any law enforcement agency has the power to overturn the city's firearms ordinances on its own.

If the weapons were supposedly in possession of the police at all times, and if Feinstein asked for and received permission to use them in her presentation, isn't that an admission of unprofessional political bias on the part of the police?

Also, it's important to dispose of the Constitutional question here.  The relevant clause reads:

...shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses, and in going to and from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
In DC, possession of any firearm that can fire more than 12 rounds without reloading is considered possession of a machine gunPossession of a "machine gun" so defined is punishable by up to 10 years in prisonA felony is any crime punishable by more than one year in prison.

The Speech and Debate clause does not protect Senator Feinstein in this case.

Fri Jan 25 05:59:13 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Reason on Benghazi

What difference does it make, Secretary Clinton?

Clinton's statement may set a new standard for politically motivated evasions of basic truth and decency. Seriously: What difference does it make? Just for low-stakes starters, there's a guy in California who was put in jail basically because the Obama administration said his stupid, irrelevant video trailer for "The Innocence of Muslims" was to blame for anti-Americanism in Libya and beyond. President Obama went to the United Nations and bitch-slapped free expression in front of a global audience on the premise that "Innocence" was the cause of the attack on Benghazi. Our own U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, took to the talk shows to peddle a line that was either wilfully misleading or simply totally wrong (Rice was the admin's point person in early appearances about Benghazi partly because, as Clinton explained yesterday, she doesn't like doing Sunday morning shows!).

Contra Clinton, it makes a great deal of difference because understanding how this all happened is the first step to making sure it doesn't happen over and over and over again

What he said.

Fri Jan 25 03:06:56 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bill in Texas legislature to criminalize TSA abuse

HR 80 adds an offense to the penal code for, essentially, being a TSA agent:
SECTIONA1.AASection 39.03, Penal Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (c-1) to read as follows:
(a)A public servant acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he:
(1) intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he knows is unlawful;
(2) intentionally denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, knowing his conduct is unlawful; [or]
(3) intentionally subjects another to sexual harassment; or
(4) as part of a determination of whether to grant another person access to a publicly  accessible venue or form of  transportation, intentionally and without probable cause:
(A) touches the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing;
(B) removes a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian of the child or a person standing in the stead of a parent or guardian of
the child;
(C) otherwise engages in conduct constituting an offense under Section 22.01(a)(3); or
(D) harasses, delays, coerces, threatens, intimidates, or effectively denies or conditions access to the other person because of the other person ?s refusal to consent to  (A), (B), or (C).
(c-1) For purposes of Subsection (a)(4), ?public servant? includes:
(1) an officer, employee, or agent of:
(A) the United States;
(B) a branch, department, or agency of the United States; or
(C) another person acting under a contract with a branch, department, or agency of the United States to provide a security or law enforcement service; or
(2) any other person acting under color of federal law.
Note that it is still possible to legally screen people, just not to touch their genitalia, separate minors from their parents, or try to harass them.

Hat tip to 3 Boxes of BS.

Fri Jan 25 02:59:03 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

House Dems propose opening gun manufacturers to civil liability

This would pretty much just be repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.  In a just world, it wouldn't matter, because manufacturers should not be liable for criminal acts committed with their products.  But the left can always find a judge willing to help them out, and even if the Supreme Court eventually overturns, a determined campaign could bankrupt manufacturers with legal fees.  We can't just stop the big stuff.  We need to make sure nothing gets through.

Fri Jan 25 02:57:10 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Veteran stands up for First and Second Amendment at Chicago anti-gun forum

This was a supposedly informational presentation in the Chicago area that compared the NRA to a rabid dog, gun owners to Nazis, and claimed that the 2nd Amendment was not relevant to the modern world.  The audience is clearly hostile to the presentation, and finally a veteran speaks up.  3 minutes of video, well worth watching.

Fri Jan 25 02:56:12 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Holder requests court to block Fast and Furious document release

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that Holder's and Obama's desire to continually hide these Fast and Furious documents is "ironic" now that they're so gung-ho on gun control. "It is beyond ironic that the Obama administration has initiated an anti-gun violence push as it seeking to keep secret key documents about its very own Fast and Furious gun walking scandal," Fitton said in a statement. "Getting beyond the Obama administration's smokescreen, this lawsuit is about a very simple principle: the public's right to know the full truth about an egregious political scandal that led to the death of at least one American and countless others in Mexico. The American people are sick and tired of the Obama administration trying to rewrite FOIA law to protect this president and his appointees. Americans want answers about Fast and Furious killings and lies."
Fast and Furious is proof that the Obama push for gun control is not about crime; not about safety; not about stopping mass murders.  Obama doesn't care about murdered Mexicans, murdered border patrol agents, not even the 500+ murder victims in his home town of Chicago last year.

He only cares for passing stupid, symbolic gun control laws.

Fri Jan 25 02:55:40 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's ATF director nominee

As you may recall, one of Obama's much-publicized 23 anti-gun executive orders was directed at himself.  He ordered himself to promptly nominate a candidate for director of the BATFE.  (Why he needed to order himself to do it rather than just doing it is unclear).  His choice to head the agency most directly concerned with regulating firearms is Todd B Jones, the current acting director.

Jones is notorious within ATF for retaliating against Fast and Furious whistleblowers. In July 2012, Jones warned ATF agents not to "jump their chain of command" and said if they did there would be "consequences." Issa sent Jones a letter the same month, warning about retaliation.

"ATF has earned a reputation for vindictiveness when it comes to retaliating against its employees. Unfortunately, despite prior assurances from senior ATF officials, it appears that Acting Director B. Todd Jones has yet to change this reputation, as he recently upbraided Special Agent John Dodson in a private meeting at ATF headquarters. These apparent attempts to silence critics of the Bureau are potentially illegal and certainly counterproductive.(2) As I have previously stressed, direct communications with Congress are both vitally important and protected by law," Issa wrote.

Not exactly a good way to clean up an agency that is, at best, a rogue operation deliberately smuggling firearms to drug cartels in an effort to justify gun control laws that infringe the rights of law-abiding Americans.  At worst, of course, BATFE was merely following orders from Obama -- something which can be neither proven nor disproven until a court lifts the executive privilege shield from the documents involved.
Jones was also in charge when embattled ATF supervisor Bill McMahon was receiving paid leave from the Bureau while accepting a six figure salary at J.P. Morgan, the bank that controls ATF credit cards.
McMahon was one of the figures involved in Fast and Furious, in case you lost track.

BATFE has always had trouble with its reputation as a law enforcement organization.  It seems Obama is quite satisfied with the agency's performance so far and would like more of the same.  We can only hope the Senate will disagree.

Fri Jan 25 02:55:26 CST 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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