I Love A Happy Ending

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, the vultures at the Brady Institute for Gun Grabbing filed a large, punitive lawsuit against Lucky Gunner, an ammunition vendor where Adam Lanza apparently purchased his ammunition.

The courts threw out the suit with prejudice, ordering Brady to pay over $111,000 in court and legal costs to Lucky Gunner.

Lucky Gunner is donating the entire cash award to gun rights organizations around the country – depending on their vote totals in a national poll.

And the good folks at the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance would deeply appreciate as many votes as they can get.

Whilst Travelling

What is one thing, besides mountains, that Colorado has that Minnesota doesn’t?

Amy Klobuchar giving them the unvarnished facts about her beliefs:

Senator Klobuchar was the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate when she took office in 2007. She was interviewed by Walter Issacson, CEO of the Aspen Institute, in one of the first events of the 2015 Aspen Ideas Festival.

“What I will never, ever forget was this one mother who said they were all in the firehouse after the shooting,” [at Sandy Hook] said Klobuchar. “And one by one, the kids would come in from the school. After about a few hours had passed, the parents that were left knew that their kids were never coming back into that firehouse.”

Her story left the entire room quiet, the silence only being punctured by sniffling and crying.

“So when you sit there with those parents and think of the courage that they have and think that the Senate did not have the courage to pass a simple background check bill, it was really the lowest,” said Klobuchar, adding that the possibility that the Senate could do something about gun control would be a step forward.

Hmm.  She seemed pretty quiet about background checks in 2012 and 2014…

…here at home, at least.

Amateur Hour

Let’s say, hypothetically, that you want to join a gun rights group.

Let’s say that you don’t read this blog – or worse, you read it, but don’t take it seriously. So you don’t know, or haven’t taken seriously, the news that the group “Minnesota Gun Rights”, is basically a Potemkin fundraising front the transfers money from Minnesota to Iowa, and spends a bare minimum of it on Minnesota political campaigning.

You send in your hard-earned money.

And when you do, the website shows you this: 

“These are the people that we report to – not a boss 1,000 miles away who doesn’t understand Iowa and what Iowans want”.

That may be the most hilariously ironic slip of all this group’s hilariously ironic slips.

If you were this fictional person, who might now be wondering “hey, maybe there’s a point to all the things that people’ve been saying about Minnesota Gun Rights“, you might follow up by asking the people looking out for your Iowegian Minnesotan gun rights a few questions:

  • What “backroom deals” are you referring to, and what specifically was wrong with them?  What rights did they cost me, or anyone, in Iowa Minnesota?
  • Precisely what “bribes” are you referring to?  That sounds pretty serious, so please be very specific.
  • What rights have existing groups – the NRA, GOCRA and others – “bargained away”?   Again, since I’m a concerned shooter, this sounds really serious.  Please be very, totally, utterly specific.

Let me know if you hear back from them.

Wherever you live.

Pod And Fury…

The Tea Party and me go way back.

In 2009 and 2010, I spoke at a couple of the big Tea Party rallies, including the big Tax Day 2010 rally at the Capitol, as well as more in other, smaller locales.

That’s me. Tax Day, 2010, addressing a couple of thousand people at the Tea Party rally on the State Capitol Mall. First person to call me a Camicia Nera gets smacked.

At the time, the Tea Party was a fairly organic thing; lots of little groups of people, angry about Obamacare and taxes and immigration and gun control and the general sense that Obama was going to sap the bejeebers out of whatever liberty, economic future and choice we had left.

One of my big memories of my big speech was asking the crowd “How many of you voted Republican in 2008?”. About half the crowd cheered.  “How many voted Democrat?”  A few people cheered, gingerly.  “How many voted Ron Paul?”   Many cheered lustily.  “How many would rather jab a screwdriver into your skull than vote for Ron Paul?”  Other cheered with gusto. “How many of you didn’t care because you hated politics?”  Many, many cheered.

What made the Tea Party so fun at the time was that it was that, as I discovered in my speech, it was a little bit of everyone.   And it worked; the Tea Party, and its outpouring of energy, was disproportionally responsible for flipping both chambers of the Minnesota House in 2010.

It was the biggest political tent I’d ever seen – because nobody involved knew enough to try to keep anyone out (except, of course, for liberals carrying signs designed to make the Tea Party look bad; we kept them out pretty handily).

The Tea Party – at least a part of the big, decentralized whole, anyway – seems to have unlearned that vital lesson.

Jack Rogers and Jake Duesenberg have built up a pretty big network of Tea Party groups around the metro.  The groups involve big monthly meetings, speakers, lots of education…

…and, well, I’m not sure what.

The other day on the Tea Party podcast with Jack Rogers and Jake Duesenberg, they took a run at the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance – one of the most accomplished, successful civil rights groups in the state.

Here’s what they had to say:

To closely paraphrase Duesenberg (it’s the first half of the clip above) – GOCRA does some big things, but they do it by playing the political game with politicians.  By doing this, they make incremental improvements, but fail to go for the BIG improvements in gun rights.

I think Duesenberg is trying to compare GOCRA’s approach – he calls it “Access-Based”, which to the non-access-based is a term that means “belonging to the country club” – with some of the more confrontation-based groups, whose model is based more around making a big noise (almost always in front of people who vigorously agree with you).  Groups like “Minnesota Gun Rights”, the Iowa-based group we’ve written about in the past, as well as some of the “liberty” groups that focus on building large groups of followers, and then…

…well, we’ll get back to that.

Of course, if you want to focus on confrontation, it helps to show you’re able to go politically medieval on your opponent.  For example:  while GOCRA certainly can work the “access” angle, they can also bring the political pain; ask the Capitol legislative assistants and receptionists how many phone calls they get when GOCRA puts out a call to their troops to melt the phone lines.  The phone lines melt; tens of thousands of calls, emails, letters and visits follow.  And behind those calls are votes; when GOCRA decided to confront the outstate DFLers in 2002 on “Shall Issue” carry reform, every single outstate DFLer that’d voted against carry permit reform lost their election.   Carry permit reform followed in the next session.

After 25 years of “access-based” lobbying mixed with “kicking opponents asses at the polls”, GOCRA has achieved something any grass-roots group should sit back and study; we’ve got a legislature where the GOP is 100% pro-gun, and where even the DFL is about evenly split, giving pro-gun forces a solid majority.  Think how much shooters in Colorado – where the push this past session was led by the “confrontation-based” National Association of Gun Rights, and was a complete fiasco – would like to have such a situation.

And between the combination of access-based influence carrots and “Bring the Pain!” political sticks, GOCRA got a hell of a lot done this session; barring gun confiscations in emergencies, repealing the capitol felony trap, expanding carry permit reciprocity, and bringing Minnesota into line with federal law on Suppressors and purchase of long arms in noncontiguous states.   Is there more to do?  Absolutely; much of it depends on getting a GOP governor into office.

So what has the Tea Party done lately?

I’m not saying that to needle Jack and Jake; I say let a thousand flowers bloom.

But when you say “GOCRA would like…” to a legislator, they sit up and pay attention – either because they like or respect GOCRA and its leadership, or because they loathe but fear them for what they can do at the polls.   And when you’re trying to get policy passed, being liked or feared are equally useful.

So here’s your question:  when it comes to influencing votes on policy, do people like and respect the Tea Party (or Jake’s guest, “Liberty Minnesota”, a libertarian group that seems to spend a lot of time riffing on Republicans and, occasionally, obliquely, DFLers) enough to extend themselves on their behalf when  it comes to voting on policy?

Or, failing that, do they legitimately fear what the Jack and Jake Brigade is going to do to them at the polls in November?

As someone who was doing the Tea Party before the cool kids were involved, I’d love to see the Tea Party legitimately do all three.

Can anyone honestly say they do?

Because until they do, they’re no better than the Libertarian Party; a bunch of people sitting around a room vigorously agreeing with each other.

Bonus Question:  To pick a constitutional liberty out of the ether for an example; how do you think “Constitutional Carry” – changing Minnesota to a “no permit” state, like Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona or Kansas – is going to happen:

  • Via a judicious combination of carrots and sticks, both during sessions and on the campaign trail, to get the Legislature to pass it, or
  • People sitting around in rooms bellowing about how awful it is that it hasn’t been passed yet?

Any bets?

Bloomie Hits The Bricks

As I was digging around through the Campaign Finance Board’s lobbying reports yesterday, I happened upon this little bon mot among “Everytown for ‘Gun Safety'” “Minnesota’s” various disclosures:

Click to see full-size

Click to see full-size

First – to the surprise of absolutely nobody who hasn’t been marinading their head in “progressive” kool-aid – “Everytown for Gun ‘Safety'” “Minnesota” is (see the upper red rectangle) based in New York City; it is about as Minnesotan as open displays of emotion and capable professional sports (I say this so as not to jinx the Twins with unseemly optimism).

And in the lower rectangle?

They’re gone.  Done.  Hanging up their scolding sticks and sending their monogrammed checkbooks back to New York and jabbering away into the sunset.

This, after outspending the pro-human rights, Real Americans who support our civil liberties by a lopsided margin.

I’m sure they’ll be back for 2016, of course – if not as “Everytown”, as something else; maybe “No More Dead Children Inc” or something equally measured and rational.

But for now?  It’s like the Germans racing back across the Rhine in the summer of 1944.

And that’s a good thing – if you’re on the right side.

Pooing Where They Eat:  The funny part – if you’re a Real Minnesotan – is that when Bloomberg rolled into town with his armored car full of cash, he basically told the local pro-gun-confiscation group, “Protect” MN, and “Moms Want Action”, to sit down and shut up and let the competent folks do the thinking.

And so while in the past election and session Everytown disclosed a metric poop-ton of spending, as we pointed out yesterday, “Protect” MN spent not one dime on lobbying.

Again, have no fear; Bloomie will be back.  So will the blow-dried slickee boys who tried to browbeat the legislators during this past session and election.

Now would be a fine time to join GOCRA and MNGOPAC, by the way.  If you don’t keep Bloomberg and the gun-grabbers at bay, who will?

You Have To Order It In Austrian

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The South Carolina church shooter killed people for their race. He owns a Glock. Which is made in Austria. So was Hitler. Who also killed people for their race.

It all makes sense, now. Stop the Senseless Slaughter! Immigration Reform Now! Ban Austrians, All Their Works!

What the heck, it makes as much sense as the other people seizing this tragedy to flog their pet agendas.

Joe Doakes

It’s time the President got tough on Rhodesia.  I’m sure he’ll put Joe Biden on the job.

The Smell Of Defeat?

For well over a decade, “Protect MN” – it’s changed its name several times since it started way back when – has been the dotty, not-too-bright face of the gun control movement in Minnesota.

While the wave of Michael Bloomberg money in 2013 moved the center of gravity over to “Everytown for Gun Safety” and its “local” affiliate, Heather Martens has remained an inescapable farce in Minnesota politics.

Force. I meant force.  Honest.  I’ll catch it in post-production.  Sorry.

But a correspondent who follows these things found this bon mot during some recreational reading of state Campaign Finance Board filings.

Continue reading

A Tale Of Two Churches

First things first: Like every human being with a living soul, I abhor the violence that took place yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina.

While one can expect the Obama Justice Department’s to politicize this episode for all it’s worth (more later), in this case the hate crime investigation seems entirely warranted; the alleged shooter, who seems at first glance to be a fairly demented young man, gives off a lot of the surface signs of being motivated by some form of racial hatred or another, rather than mere insanity.

Continue reading

The First Amendment Is My Voter Registration

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My neighbor just renewed her Permit to Vote.  She’s good to go for another five years.

You didn’t know about that?  Oh yes, it turns out that voting is not a Right protected by the Constitution, it’s a Privilege given by the government to those who qualify.  Applicants must be over 21 years of age, reside in this country legally, take a class at personal expense, demonstrate proper technique before a certified evaluator, show photo ID and submit an application with payment of fees to the County, authorize release of medical data and criminal history . . . it’s fairly involved, requires planning ahead and costs a bit of money.  But the permit is necessary to ensure the integrity of the election process which is the foundation of American government, so it’s a common sense voter-control requirement.

Wait, did I say Vote?  I meant Carry.  Sorry, my bad.

Joe Doakes

This could lead to all sort of “Vote Safety” legislation

Bigger, Badder, Here-er

Fresch Fisch, from Saint Paul, emails:

Currently happening, June 11 to 16. Alexandria MN.  5600 students high school Trap students participating in the MN High School Clay Target Championships! Six full days, six divisions, 900+ students per day.

You say, just what does the largest shooting competition in the world look like? A drone’s eye view!

I was there Sunday and it was totally awesome.

http://mnclaytarget.com/

Not only is it the fastest growing high school sport in Minnesota and America, but it gives the world’s Bloombots acid reflux.

And that alone is an unalloyed good.

The Times They’ve Been A-Changing

When I first got involved in politics, and political punditry, 30 years ago the gun control movement was pretty much at its apex.

The media glibly reported that “85% of Americans favored gun control” (although naturally they never broke out what form of gun control those 85% favored).

Accurate and honestly reported or not, the surveys had a point; a plurality, if not a majority, of Americans were uncomfortable around guns.

I’m not exactly sure what the answer to this poll question would’ve been in 1985 – but the verdict today is unmistakable:

 A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters would feel safer living in a neighborhood where nobody was allowed to own a gun over one where they could have a gun for their own protection. Sixty-eight percent (68%) would feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed, while 10% are not sure.

The national survey of 977 Likely Voters was conducted on June 8-9, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

This poll is not grounds for complacency, much less overconfidence.

But it does show how powerful at least one facet of conservative ideology can be, when a group of motivated grassroots people search their minds to it, and devotes the time and patience it takes to make the changes stick.

“Six Rounds Is All You Need”

A woman in Detroit shows why magazine limits lead to dead innocent civilians:

DETROIT, MICHIGAN — Around 3am Tuesday morning, 5 men entered a Detroit home, however they became quickly aware that they picked the wrong house.
The 34-year-old woman inside the home is a concealed carry permit holder, and she wasted no time firing on the suspects. The suspects ended up exchanging shots with the woman, and she suffered a gunshot wound to her leg.

Of course, being a news media story, it is entirely focused on irrelevancies – she was in her house, so her carry permit was irrelevant.

The real point is this; sometimes thugs are the obliging enough to come to you in ones and twos.

Drama

I got this in the mail from Minnesota’s largest Iowa-based gun rights group:

Dear Helmut,

 

SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.

That’s the message supposedly “pro-Second Amendment” State House Leaders in St. Paul are sending to Second Amendment supporters all over Minnesota on Stand-Your-Ground.

Now, I’m counting on you to remind them who they were elected to represent in the first place!

Of course, as we noted a few weeks back, Minnesota’s legislature not only passed five fairly important pieces of Second Amendment human rights legislation – Permit Reciprocity, barring confiscations during emergencies, eliminating the capitol felony trap, and legalizing federally-permitted suppressors and buying long guns in non-contiguous states – but they passed it with a bipartisan majority in both chambers, including the DFL-controlled Senate, and Governor Dayton signed it.  He’d promised to veto any bill including legalized suppressors, but – here’s the amazing part – he was actually convinced, in a rational, factual, lucid discussion with a Second Amendment activist, to change his mind.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on this:  the Governor flipped on suppressors after a second amendment activist who’d spent years building relationships at the capitol got a five minute window to argue the case.

Not by stomping and banging the table.

Which brings us back to the letter, from “Minnesota Gun Rights'” Chris Dorr:

The truth is, after the results of the 2014 elections –-where gun-grabbers were defeated in droves at the polls — I know many Second Amendment supporters were counting on the new House majority to keep their promises to defend and advance critical self-defense legislation. . .

Which, as noted above, they did.

But that’s apparently not what the letter is about:

But just recently, several Minnesota State Representatives signed an open letter plastered all over Minnesota’s political blogs stating Stand-Your-Ground was going nowhere!

I can’t tell you how incensed I became when I read this open letter!

Mr. Dorr – please do tell us how incensed you were.

Also, please tell us about this letter that said “Stand Your Ground” was dead.  Because I can only remember one open letter from legislators this past session; this one.

And I’d love to know what you’re talking about, since “Stand your Ground” wasn’t really on the agenda this session.  The Governor vetoed it, and after a year of propaganda after the Trayvon Martin circus, it’s kinda a hard sell in a DFL-led Senate.  It’ll be back, someday – ideally with a pro-Second-Amendment Senate and Governor.

‘Til then, it’s just…well, stomping your feet and pounding your desk.

Of course, I know many weak-kneed and anti-gun politicians hate organizations like Minnesota Gun Rights because we don’t cut smoky backroom deals, or hit the cocktail circuit with them at the state capital.

Y’see, Chris, that’s the kind of talk that impresses people who’ve never had to try to convince a politician, or a voter, to change their vote.

In fact, the only “convincing” that Minnesota Gun Rights has done this past session was to persuade 16 pro-Second-Amendment legislators that MGR was all flannel shirt and no Paul Bunyan:

 

Included in the list are all the authors of all five Second Amendment bills that passed.  And Tony Cornish, the chair of the House Public Safety committee, who shepherded all five bills through the House unscathed, and a genuine Second Amendment hero in Minnesota.

And – let’s let this sink in for a moment – Steve Drazkowski, author of our last Stand Your Ground Bill.

The bill that Minnesota Gun Rights is wrapping itself in in this letter.

And now, the call to action:

That’s why I’m counting on your IMMEDIATE action.

With session out, the time to identify, prepare and mobilize for 2016 is now, and I’m determined to turn up the heat like never before…

That would actually be entirely accurate; any actual heat from MGR on the issue would be unprecedented.

…with a massive program, including:

>>> Generating 25,000 YOU WORK FOR US! petitions from all over Minnesota insisting the State Legislature passes Stand-Your-Ground;

>>> Using email, social media and Internet ads to mobilize an additional 10,000 Minnesotans from all over the state;

>>> Working the blogs and granting media interviews to explain exactly why Stand-Your-Ground would make Minnesota freer and safer;

In other words, stuff that any guy can do for free, on Facebook and via email.

>>> Paying for hard-hitting radio, newspaper and internet ads to ensure politicians are feeling the most heat right before they’re forced to vote.

Which brings up an interesting question.

“Minnesota Gun Rights” has been raising a lot of money for a long time now.  In the 2014 cycle, they dropped literature in one district (Roz Peterson’s), which had no discernible effect on the race, and a few in Ron Latz’s utterly safe DFL district, which was really more of a frat prank than a campaign activity.   Reportedly, four of them, airing on one day before the election, on AM1130 – 99% of whose audience would vote pro-Second Amendment no matter what. For a grand total of about $800-1,000.  Not “before they were forced to vote”, but before election day.

For all that fundraising, we get Facebook, a few reams of literature, and one day’s worth of radio ads targeting people who are going to vote pro-gun anyway.

For this, they’re fundraising?

So please sign your YOU WORK FOR US! petition and submit it to me along with your most generous contribution of $100, $50, $30 or at least $10!

For Freedom,

Chris Dorr
Executive Director

P.S. Just a few weeks ago, several Minnesota State Representatives signed an open letter plastered all over Minnesota’s political blogs stating Stand-Your-Ground was going nowhere!…

Wait – didn’t we read that already?

It’s like…deja vu.

In so many ways.

#HumanLivesMatter

In recent months, New Jersey has become the poster child for draconian gun control laws.

Charles CW Cooke tolls the butcher’s bill of innocents killed to assuage government’s need to feel like it is of some use:

There can be few clearer illustrations of the folly of draconian firearms regulations than this. The killer was a convicted felon who had previously been found guilty of weapons offenses and aggravated assault, and who is now on the run from federal authorities. The victim was a “bubbly, well-liked,” law-abiding woman who did not want to run afoul of the government even when she sensed that her life was in danger. If “government” is just another word for the things we do together, then, frankly, we failed — and damnably. All Carol Bowne asked was that she be permitted to exercise her right to protect herself in her own home; instead, she ended up bleeding to death in her driveway, as the paper-pushers and know-it-alls decided whether they would deign to indulge her request, and her killer sped away, without fear of retaliation or injury.

Looking at the hell New Jersey put Shaneen Allen through – an ordeal that only ended when Chris Christie reacted to national revusion over his state’s persecution of an innocent, law-abiding woman in the only way a human with a soul could -it’s easy to wonder who New Jersey think the real criminals are.

The Good Guys Win One

Governor Dayton has reportedly signed HF878, the Public Safety omnibus bill that included five second-amendment-related provisions:

  • Barring thengovernornfeom confiscating guns during states of emergency

  • enacting carry permit reciprocity with several other states
  • allow Minnesotans to buy long guns in non-contiguous states
  • eliminated the capitol felony trap
  • allows Minnesotans to own and use their federally-licensed suppressors.

This is a big win for human rights.

Thanks to Governor Dayton for heeding the overwhelming will of The People, and signing the bill.

Thanks also to a newly-active NRA, to MN-GOPAC and to GOCRA, as well as to the legislators who made it happen.

And thanks to you, the Real Minnesotans, for speaking out so loudly and clearly.

What does this mean for next session? More on the show this weekend, and on the blog next week.

Make My Day, Part II

A few hours ago, we discussed the fact that public safety omnibus bill containing five very important expansions of Second Amendment rights has passed the House, the Senate, and the conference committee with a bipartisan majority.

Now, here’s what we need you to do about it.  Minnesota’s Second Amendment activists – GOCRA, MNGOPAC and the (newly-active) NRA are asking for your help.

And they’re asking for it today.  Even right now.

Get On Those Phones: Minnesota’s Second Amendment advocacy groups have called upon you, the Second Amendment supporter, many times to contact your legislators. And you – we – have delivered; your calls and emails have crushed all opposition in the past. All but the most ardent metro Democrats fear and respect Minnesota’s Second Amendment movement.

Now, it’s time for Governor Flint- Smith Dayton to know your polite, civil wrath.

Here’s The Plan: here’s what we need to do:

1. Call Governor Dayton and ask him to sign SF878
Telephone: 651-201-3400
Toll Free: 800-657-3717

2. Email Governor Dayton:.

3. Sign the petition to Gov. Dayton.

4. Share on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #notSilentMN

We need to go beyond lighting up his phone lines.

We even need to go beyond breaking all previous phone call records.

We need, figuratively if not literally, to melt the capital phone system into a puddle of copper slag. We need to give the governor’s staff PTSD from the sheer number of incoming phone calls. We need to cause the capital phone system to violate laws of quantum physics.

Start now.

Seriously. Pick up your phone, and call the governor’s office at 651-201-3400 or 800-657-3717

Be polite – but let him know that an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the legislature is not to be trifled with.

Make My Day

Here’s the good news: over the weekend, an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Republicans and Democrats, in both the House and Senate, voted for the public safety omnibus bill as finalized by the conference committee.

How overwhelming was the majority?

Here’s how overwhelming:

IMG_3647.JPG

That is a veto proof majority in both the House and the DFL-controlled Senate.

How important is this? This bill will:

  • Abolish the capital felony trap – by recognizing that the Capitol police have instant access to the database of carry permit holders, just like every other cop in the state of Minnesota.
  • Bar the governor for ordering the confiscation of firearms during emergencies. The governor of Minnesota has immense, wide-sweeping emergency powers, almost completely unregulated by law. This will prevent the situation that new Orleans residents ran into after Hurricane Katrina, with government officials and police going door-to-door to confiscate firearms, rendering citizens defenseless in the face of looters.
  • Legalize the ownership of federally licensed suppressors – mufflers for guns.
  • Allow Minnesotans to buy a long arms from non-contiguous states.
  • Make Minnesota permits reciprocal with many more neighboring states. This is great if you, hypothetically, constantly wind up having to stop at gas stations in Moorhead or East Grand Forks, to avoid inadvertently becoming a felon in North Dakota. Again, hypothetically.

So that’s the good news.

The Bad News – Governor Flint- Smith Dayton has said that he will veto the bill, over the suppressor provision.

Of course, the photo above – the votes for a bipartisan, vetoproof majority passing the bill – might give Governor Flint-Smith Dayton pause. Getting a veto overridden is embarrassing.

You know what else would give her him pause?

We’ll talk about that at noon.

 

Event Of The Social Season

“Protect” Minnesota – the gun grabber group that’s been washed away from the front of Minnesota’s gun-grabber crowd by a sea of Michael Bloomberg money – is having an event.

And not just any event.  Nosirreebob – it’s their “signature” event (emphasis added):

Dear Heinrich,

I’m pleased to invite you to our signature annual event at the Capri Theater on Monday, June 29.

SAFE: A Benefit to End Gun Violence is a celebration of community and safety featuring a musical theater concert to benefit Protect Minnesota. Directed by Joshua Campbell, SAFE! is a concert with performances from some of the most renowned local theater artists: Aimee K. Bryant, Ann Michaels, Jennifer Grimm, Kasono Mwanza, Tre Searles, and Katie Bradley.

So I wonder if the esteemed cast and crew are getting paid for this “benefit?”  Director Josh Campbell appears to be a working actor/director (much respect!) – i.e., one would expect he’d be too smart to do it gratis.

The show features songs from pop, rock, and musical theater that celebrate safety and community with short plays, scenes, and monologues reflecting on gun violence interspersed throughout. If you’ve been with us the past two years, you know that this will be a show you won’t want to miss.

Now, this will be the third year for this particular event (or so Rep. Martens’ email says); representatives of the Human Rights movement have found themselves barred from the event in the past.

But I may just try to make a point of being there on the “red carpet” to see who shows up

(It’s Monday, June 29th at 6:30 PM at the Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway)

 

The Racism Of The Gun Grabbers: Part MMMXLVIII

I’ve had the occasional liberal complain to me that I’m being overly broad when I say that all gun control efforts are rooted in racism.

Why yes, of course, gun control’s history is rooted in the ongoing effort to disarm black slaves, freedmen, and citizens from colonial times through the Jim Crow era.

And yes, modern gun control was launched as a white liberal response to the inner-city riots of 1968.

“But surely things have changed”, they say.

Surely they have not; the secret committee that issues carry permits in Illinois, with no review and no accountability, is denying permits to law-abiding black people at a rate vastly higher than white Illinoisans (Illinosians?  Illlinoids?):

One such example, Michael Thomas was puzzled that as a former Air Force reservist who routinely carried a gun during military service and has never had a run-in with the law, was turned down, even though the law does not afford police the discretion to deny permits to those who meet the prerequisites and who are not legally prohibited. But Thomas is just one of more than 800 people who have been denied licenses by the board. This board meets behind closed doors and keeps its records and reasoning secret. Even when applicants meet all the criteria, the board says they have no obligation to explain themselves… even when it seems clear that the only disqualifying factor is the color of the applicant’s skin.

Thomas wrote to the Illinois State Police, requesting a review of the decision, assuming that it must have been a mistake.

“I have never been arrested or convicted of any offense, either misdemeanor or felony, in the state of Illinois or any other state,” Thomas explained in his letter. “I have no criminal record of any type.”

The state police sent him a letter back, saying that the board’s decisions couldn’t be reviewed. Thomas, they explained would have to petition a court in order to appeal.

Fortunately, guns remain the one area where the the tide of liberty is rising, and all boats are being lifted: 

So that’s what Thomas did. He joined 193 other Illinoisans – many of whom happen to be African Americans – in filing lawsuits against the state police. Interestingly, few Caucasians who applied for the permit in Illinois have found themselves denied, even when their records are a bit more tarnished (though without felonies), than Thomas’s squeaky-clean background.

It’d be unseemly for a Second Amendment supporter to deny a state – even a state as patriarchal and authoritarian as Illinois – its’ Tenth Amendment rights to administer laws reserved to it the way its elected representatives decide.

Unless, of course, the 14th Amendment is being piddled on.

Here’s hoping this case has the same impact as Heller and McDonald.

 

Tone Sharks

If I ever need to describe the term “laborious”, I merely refer my listener to “any time public radio tries to prove that it isn’t biased to the left”.

A few years ago, I heard “Weekend All Things Considered”‘s anchor, Bob Simon, carry on an extended conversation with that noted champion of media balance, Ira Glass, on the sheer preposterousness of the idea that National Public Radio was biased to the left.  Glass referred to a series of studies that NPR had carried out, which included a process of “tone analysis”.

Now, I’ve found no evidence on way or another of what was or wasn’t covered by this “tone analysis”.

And the reason the concern isn’t entirely idle came roaring back at me this morning while listening to an NPR newscast referring to a Milwaukee woman who set up a group representing families of, as the newscaster put it, “black men killed by police and vigilantes“.

They’re referring, of course, to armed citizens – many of them also black, by the way – who used lethal force in self-defense, and then overcame the serious legal hurdles involved in defending their own lives from immediate threats of death, as judged by courts that are frequently deeply unfriendly to self-defense.

And of course, “Vigilante” is a bad thing, to “progressives”.

And then I looked further; to National Public Radio, pretty much every citizen that uses lethal force in self-defense, especially when government a can’t or won’t defend them, is a “vigilante”.

Just wondering if the “tone analysis” missed this bit?

Thanks For Nothing, Checkers Players

In recent weeks, we’ve spoken of the plague of Second Amendment activists who believe that by putting all of our effort into Constitutional Carry – making all state gun laws equal to Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, Arizona and Kansas – we’ll solve all our problems.

Note:  this works only in thoroughly libertarian-conservative states like Kansas, Alaska, Wyoming and Arizona, or places with ornery shooting traditions like Vermont.

How counterproductive would it be in a more purplish state, like Minnesota?

Well, in Minnesota, the Human Rights movement focused mostly on passing practical, attainable legislation (like the Omnibus Public Safety bill, which needs your support).

How about Colorado?  Formerly a red state, now pretty much sickly purple and likely to keep sliding, the legislative movement to repeal the post-Sandy-hook magazine restrictions (Coloradans are limited to 15 rounds) faced an uphill battle at best.

Enter “Rocky Mountain Gun Owners” – affiliates of the same “National Association of Gun Rights” that is also the parent for the controversial “Minnesota Gun Rights”, as well as similar groups in Iowa, Mississippi and Kansas.   RMGO joined with the anti-gun Bloombergers in opposing a public safety omnibus bill that would have repealed the magazine ban.

How did that work?

How do you think?

RMGO and NAGR stomped their feet and demanded full Constitutional Carry, from a legislature that’s controlled by anti-gun Democrats, and will likely remain that way for some time.

The problem with these groups is that playing checkers very loudly is no substitute for knowing how to play chess.

Much more on this in coming weeks.

In The Interest Of Investigation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Democrats keep telling me how easy it is to buy guns, easier than buying fresh vegetables.

I have cash. I’m a willing buyer. How do I find one of those sellers?

I’m not worried about the background check – I could pass – I just want to buy one of those “off-the-street” pistols all the cool kids have.

I presume the sellers are mostly criminals. Sadly, I spend all my time around bureaucrats. I’m like those guys in “Office Space” trying to find a money-launderer . . . I don’t know any criminals, or even where to look for them.

Any SITD readers know any criminals looking to make a quick buck selling me a pistol for cash? Or I’d take an assault rifle, if that’s more convenient. Either one.

Joe Doakes

I wish some of the puling lower vertebrates that make these claims – like Heather Martens – would actually go out with a video camera and try to prove it.

That would be pretty interesting.

Perspective

While legalizing firearm suppressors has gotten most of the attention this legislative session, I think the most vital part of the Public Safety Omnibus bill is Rep. Newberger’s “Katrina Bill”, which would bar the state government from confiscating citizens’ firearms during a state of emergency.

How important is this?  As we speak, in Maryland, the government is clamping down on the availability of ammunition…

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…which is another way of making civilian firearms useless.  Of course, during Hurricane Katrina, the local police went door-to-door, confiscating firearms.  Current Minnesota law allows the state governnment even more-onerous leeway than Maryland law.

And a quick note to the “Minnesota” gun groups that advocate focusing only on “Constitutional Carry”; even if that were to pass, it wouldn’t affect state emergency powers.

This bill needs to pass.

The LA Times Is To “Science” As Public Rest Rooms Are To “Rest”

I’ve been beating up media figures and their attempts to besmirch the Second Amendment and its defenders for most of the past thirty years, in one form of media or another; talk radio, newsletters, email list-servers, the blog, and talk radio again.

And I’ve noticed two major trends:

  • As the actual facts about guns and society get out to real people, and the pendulum swings ever-further in favor of human rights,  the true, die-hard orcs just get worse and worse, and sloppier and sloppier, at plying their dubious trade.  Example:  Heather Martens has never been one to fall back on fact in stating her case (she’s never once in her career made a substantial, factual original statement), but lately she’s sounded more and more like a banana-republic dictator protesting the health of her regime as things swirl down the drain.
  • On the other hand, the orcs continue to excel at their one useful skill; manipulating a biased, gullible and un-bright mainstream media.  And the latest tool toward that end is “science”.

No, really;  Harvard professor David Hemenway pretty much leads off his piece in the LATimes by not only trying to wrap himself in “science”, but admitting that it’s a tool for bludgeoning people into obeisance:

 

One of the reporters I complained to said that he had covered climate change for many years. He explained that journalists were able to stop their “balanced” reporting of that issue only when objective findings indicated that the overwhelming majority of scientists thought climate change was indeed happening, and that it was caused by humans.

So we’re off to a great start.

Hemenway’s goal; to do to coverage of the Second Amendment what politicized science has done for coverage of climate change.

And the method toward this “science” is the kind of intellectual clown car that might pass muster with leftybloggers, but not with anyone who can outthink sea monkeys:

So I decided to determine objectively, through polling, whether there was scientific consensus on firearms. What I found won’t please the National Rifle Assn.

The NRA might not have been “pleased” by what Professor Hemenway had to say, but only because they, like all of us pro-human-rights media activists, are so un-freaking-Godly bored by refuting the same intellectual effluvium, over and over and over again.  Which, naturally, they have done.

But this is my article – and to paraphrase the great Dexter, it’s a wonderful day to throw rocks and garbage at BS that’s mislabeled “science”: 

My first step was to put together a list of relevant scientists. I decided that to qualify for the survey the researcher should have published on firearms in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and that he or she should be an active scientist — someone who had published an article in the last four years. I was interested in social science and policy issues, so I wanted the articles to be directly relevant. I was not interested in scientists doing research in forensics, history, medical treatment, psychiatric issues, engineering or non-firearms (for example, nail guns, electron guns).

Most of the scientists who were publishing relevant articles were from the fields of criminology, economics, public policy, political science and public health.

So let’s recap:

  • Hemenway sought “scientific consensus” – a term that is itself unscientific.
  • He sought it primarily from “researchers” in fields that are, except for public health, not really “sciences” at all, and are generally famous for their shoddy standards and politicized nature of their research.
  • He sought it from people working at institutions (and even moreso, academic departments) where Constitutionalist, Originalist, conservative/libertarian thought has been largely extinguished, where academics who exhibit same can find their tenure denied and careers threatened.
And his conclusion:

This result was not at all surprising because the scientific evidence is overwhelming. It includes a dozen individual-level studies that investigate why some people commit suicide and others do not, and an almost equal number of area-wide studies that try to explain differences in suicide rates across cities, states and regions. These area-wide studies find that differences in rates of suicide across the country are less explained by differences in mental health or suicide ideation than they are by differences in levels of household gun ownership.

I’ll let you read the entire thing at your own leisure; the howlers keep coming.

I’ll sum it up for you; Hemenway:

  • managed to find a stratum of academics who manage to generate “scientific” effluvium about the danger of guns that manages to ignore the statistical fact that while the number of guns has skyrocketed and the liberality of gun laws has vastly increased in the past 20 years, violent and gun-related crime has dropped by half
  • found “public health” researchers who claim – via “metastudies”, or studies of other studies – that suicide is related to the availability of guns rather than mental health, even though the suicide rates of many nations that strictly control or ban guns are vastly higher than ours.
There are times that I wish the orcs could at least come up with an advocate who’d make it interesting.

Our Brahmins

Even in the wake of Heller and McDonald, Washington DC’s old-boy-and-girl network clamps down hard on civilian ownership of firearms.

Except for celebrities, and members of the political class:

By confirming that “members of Congress may maintain firearms within the confines of their office” and that they may transport otherwise illegal guns through the city — without any of the requisite checks, natch — the Metropolitan Police Department is effectively admitting that the standard rules do not apply to the political class. This, I suppose, should not be too surprising — this is the same police department, recall, that revealed earlier this year that it is happy to apply the city’s strict firearms laws to everybody except celebrities — but it grates nevertheless. Clearly, had Representative Buck not been a member of Congress, his behavior would have rendered him in violation of a broad array of harsh regulations — many of which carry felony charges.

It’s reminiscent of the eighties and nineties in New York City, when the average schnook couldn’t get a permit to carry a gun – but celebrities (Bill Cosby, William F. Buckley), government officials, and even media figures like the radical anti-gun NYTimes publisher Arthur Sulzberger, could; it was all in the connections.

But tying it directly to membership in the political class?  As Charles CW Cooke notes:

“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States,” the Constitution promises. Do tell.

Indeed.

With all the good news for gun owners lately, it’s hard – but essential – to keep in mind that the Orcs still hold sway in much of the country, and our freedom to defend our freedom is only incrementally safer than it was 30 years ago, and not until the last orc is wiped from public life will that change.