Our Idiot Judiciary

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Court of Appeals released its opinion (unreported, but available on the court website) in Hockenson v. State.  I find it troubling.

I grant there’s a difference between having a fundamental right in the first instance, and petitioning to have that right restored after commission of a crime.  But the explanation given by the Court of Appeals reveals an anti-gun mindset which explains why Second Amendment jurisprudence lags so far behind First Amendment cases.

The guy was 19 when he committed an assault and got 5 years of probation.  It’s been 15 years since the offense during which he completed his probation, served in the military, married, has a child and holds down a full-time job.  If anybody could be said to have ‘turned his life around,’ it’s this guy.  But since there are no set standards to determine “good cause” to restore your rights, the court is free to act on whim.

In this particular case, the trial court denied the request because the ‘violent facts surrounding the conviction do not demonstrate the maturity of judgment necessary for the court to find a significant level of comfort with restoring his rights.’  Well, duh.  He was a dumb kid.  He did a dumb thing. If you’re only going to look at what happened at the time of the crime, ignoring everything that has happened since, then nobody can ever have his rights restored.  The trial court’s rationale is idiotic but since there are no standards (and the judiciary is composed entirely of Liberals appointed by Democrats who carefully avoid setting standards that would ensure equal justice for all), the Court of Appeals lets the ruling stand.

It’s particularly galling to compare this case with Democrats’ insistence on freeing killers and restoring their rights, not because of anything the felon has done to turn his life around, but solely because they want to pump up the number of likely Democrat voters.

Joe Doakes

But Hockenson served in the military, is a shooter, and is raising his kids, so he’s probably Republican.  Not a priority.

As Kevin Williamson points out in The End Is Near – it’s really absurd that we give judges as much untrammeled authority as we do, since so many of them are idiots.

 

Overheated

So yesterday, the Feds handed down a yuge win for people who’d make firearms using 3D printers.  A settlement with “radical libertarian” Cody Wilson – who first posted 3D printer files for firearms on his website “defcad.com”, was settled on First and Second Amendment grounds.

And Big Left – in this case, through technology site “Wired” – is having the predictable fit:

“This should alarm everyone,” says Po Murray, chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, a Connecticut-focused gun control group created in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013. “We’re passing laws in Connecticut and other states to make sure these weapons of war aren’t getting into the hands of dangerous people. They’re working in the opposite direction.”

When reporters and critics have repeatedly pointed out those potential consequences of Wilson’s work over the last five years, he has argued that he’s not seeking to arm criminals or the insane or to cause the deaths of innocents.

Let’s take a step back for a moment here.

Street criminals don’t have access to 3D printers.  They don’t spend the money for the materials – which are, by the way, still pretty exotic and expensive – to do 3D printer projects.  They don’t have the hobbyist’s drive to do the tinkering that inevitably follows building your own firearm, even from kit parts, much less from parts you “build” yourself using a bleeding-edge technology.  They don’t spend the money on that tinkering (gunsmithing is not a cheap hobby).

The people you need to worry about are the ones who will send their friend or girlfriend or grandma to buy a gun, or steal one of the 400,000,000 that are already out there, in (generally) working order, ready to go.

This reminds me of the “Plastic Gun” controversy 30 years ago, when Glock started marketing polymer-frame guns; “they’ll go through airport security”, Big Gun Control chanted, unaware that the Glock has a barrel, bolt and springs made of enough good ol’-fashioned steel to perhaps even wake up the TSA drone operating the scanner, no matter how hung over they are.

And it reminds me – it’s impossible to have a rational debate about firearms, gun laws, gun crime or the Second Amendment with 99% of the antis – because their entire “knowledge” of the issue comes from erroneous or context-mangled “research”, word-of-mouth gleaned from the ignorant but effusive, dystopian fantasy, and agenda-driven narrative.

 

“Common Ground”

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is eating a plate of galbi and kimchi at Mirror of Korea on Snelling Avenue.  Lost in a gustatory reverie, he fails to notice Avery LIBRELLE has entered the restaurant.  

LIBRELLE:  Merg!

BERG:  (Shaken from his bliss) Oh, hey, Avery.

LIBRELLE:  It’s time for us to find common ground on commonsense gun violence legislation.

BERG:  Well, that’s great.  So what do you propose for that “common ground”?’

LIBRELLE:  Our common ground should include background checks, bringing back Obama’s law preventing the mentally ill from easy access to guns, bans on certain types of guns, online restrictions, stop exploiting the Second Amendment.

BERG:  Huh.

LIBRELLE:  Yes, these would be hard to do but we have to start somewhere.

BERG:  OK.  Well, one of the important exercises of finding common ground is defining the ground we do not have in common.  OK. Let’s go through this one at a time.

Background checks – we already have them. If you’re talking about “universal background checks“, they have two huge problems; people to get guns illegally today, will still get them exactly the same way when they are “universal“. And there is no way for “Universal” background checks to work without a national registry of who has actually taken background checks, and for which firearms. If you want to ask for a registry, say it in is many words – and watch for the consequences.

I’m not sure which Obama era law you’re talking about; there are already laws against violently mentally ill people getting guns.   It’s already supposed to be reported in some form to the NICS database.  But the reporting is extremely uneven, as are the standards for who is considered “violently mentally ill”. Also, many state level laws have no due process; a malicious denunciation can and does deprive people of their rights. In what other area do people find that acceptable?

Banning certain types of guns – well, then you are anti-gun. “Assault weapon” bans had absolutely zero effect on crime from 1994 to2004; they are used in far less than 1% of all firearm homicides nationwide. It’s security theater and no more.

Not sure what you mean by “exploiting the Second Amendment“; it sounds like another way of saying “stop standing up for your rights”.   I’d love a clarification.

Finally – you say “We have to start somewhere” – and we have! Were you aware that firearm homicides are down 50% in the last 20 years? That firearm homicides at schools are down 75%?   And that’s almost entirely due to policies the NRA and us law abiding shooters have pressed for.

This is why when people ask for “commonsense gun laws“, I asked if they get into specific policies immediately. None of the ones that people on the left are calling for will do a bit of good. Ever.

LIBRELLE:  Typical conservative.    I give you some common ground, and you don’t accept it.

BERG:  “Common ground” can’t be dictated!   But I’ll do my bit, here:  how about  we start with getting the Department of Justice to take straw buyers seriously, and start intervening with at risk youth before they join gangs, and maybe come up with a “Red Flag” law that doesn’t trample due process?

LIBRELLE:  But what do any of those have to do with school shootings?

BERG:  School shootings are a tiny fraction of the homicides in this country, compared to gang violence and…

LIBRELLE:  I don’t care about any of that.   And you’re being a typical conservative.  I’ve told you what our common ground will be…

BERG:  You’re not “seeking common ground”; you’re trying to…

(But LIBRELLE’s attention has wandered already)

WAITRESS:  Hey, si…er, ma’… (Looks at BERG, at a loss.  BERG shrugs.  WAITRESS continues) Would you like to have a seat?

LIBRELLE:   Is your kimchi non-GMO?

(And SCENE)

PS:  Every single one of Avery’s words is a very close paraphrase of something I’ve heard from liberals on social media or in person in the past week.

Common Sense Gun Laws!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Gun control advocates insist that if we could have all firearms registered, and government permits for every transfer, then crime would be non-existent.  Everyone would register their firearms, non-registered firearms would be confiscated, no guns on the street means no crime.  Easy.

In the entire country of Mexico, there are only 3,153 firearms.  That’s the total number registered for private individuals to legally own.  I suspect that number does explain the violent crime rate in Mexico.  But not the way gun controllers believe it does.

Joe doakes

And every decade or so, some of them figure it out, and move on to greener political pastures, to be replaced by a new generation that thinks they’ve discovered the holy grail with “common sense gun laws”.

When All You Have Is A Hammer…

Every so often on social media there will be a flurry of Memes claiming Congress is on the very brink of adopting one owner is United Nations resolution on firearms or another as the law of the land.

On the one hand, it’s never true, as such – at the moment, our Congress, like the Minnesota state legislature, is very lopsidedy controlled by proponents of the Second Amendment.

Which is not to say the United Nations isn’t up to some of their usual bureaucratic, impotent mischief.

Ted Bromund at Forbes attended an event at the UN with her name only and, well, UN bureaucrat could love: the Third U.N. Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. It is referred to throughout the article as RevCon Three of the PoA.

The whole article is worth reading, and I hope you do.

Because there’s always something to learn, especially for me – because while the flurry of photo Memes claiming the UN is on the brink of banning guns in the knighted states are always wrong, it’s not for lack of trying on the part of, well, the UN and American gun grabbers:

On Thursday, 17 nations, including Mexico, proposed including civilian possession in the PoA. Last Friday, we had a visit from Wear Orange, of Everytown for Gun Safety, financed by Michael Bloomberg. They clearly see the PoA as relevant to domestic gun control. The best illustration of why came on Wednesday, when in a side event on domestic gun control laws an Australian representative stated that “every gun shop that disappeared was a point from which guns could no longer be diverted.” In other words, according to the gun controllers, the way to control the illicit arms trade is to make sure there are no legal places to buy guns, which will ensure that no legal guns exist to become illegal. The Australian representative went on to point out that the most important source of crime guns in Australia is thefts from legal gun owners. That sums up their point of view nicely: legal gun owners should be deprived of their right to buy a gun so that, when a thief invades their house, they will not have a gun that can be stolen. Also, they will be defenseless. The problem, by this way of thinking, is not the thief: it is the law-abiding gun owner, who should be punished accordingly.

In other words – well just about everything you read on social media is false, that doesn’t mean it’s not necessarily true.

I’ll have to work on that sends to help it make more sense.

It’s A Start

Americans like their guns:

The Small Arms Survey estimates there are 393,300,000 civilian-owned firearms in the United States. The survey, performed by the Graduate Institute of Geneva, estimated the United States military has about 4.5 million firearms. It put the number of firearms owned by police throughout the United States at just over 1 million.

That means American civilians own nearly 100 times as many firearms as the U.S. military and nearly 400 times as many as law enforcement.

Let’s do the math:  there are 8,000 homicides a year, divided among 400 million guns.   That means roughly one gun out of 50,000 is used in a homicide per year (assuming each gun is used once, which is far from true.

Amerian guns are actually safer, crime-wise, than American citizens are.

I’m Not Saying…

…that gun control activists are stupid.

I am saying they sure hope you’re stupid, and are trying to make you more so

“Protect” MN posted this:

Now, I get that you can’t judge a book by its cover…

…but do you see this guy standing m line at Cabelas filling out his paperwork while waiting for his NICS to come back?

While I strive to remain civil, I’m at a loss to remember a less…cognitively adept public figure than Nancy Nord Bence.

The Real Resistance

“Resistance” implies one is fighting an all-powerful status quo.

LIberals in liberal cities are not the “resistance”; they are “the power”.

And teachers?  People in the public education system?  Going against the herd in the world of public education is truly resistance.

And teachers who have decided that their and their charges’ lives are worth more than the vague blandishments of security theater may be the bravest resistance of all:

On a recent morning in Newcomerstown, Ohio, a row of teachers stood in a line with guns drawn and moved slowly toward a row of steel plate targets.

As the teachers advanced, bullets pinged off the metal with each round they fired.

The teachers had come to take part in Faster Saves Lives, a voluntary training program run by an Ohio-based nonprofit that has taught more than 1,300 school staff members to carry and use firearms since 2013. (Faster stands for Faculty/Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response.)

“My students are my kids, basically, and I want to be able to protect them just like I would protect my own son,” said a 34-year-old Ohio teacher of students with special needs who participated in the program and spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern that by going public, she or her school could be targeted by a shooter.

I suspect – and all the evidence that actually exists supports me on this – that the opposite is the case.

Anyway – more, faster, please.

Down The Memory Hole

There was another mass shooting the other day

One dead, 21 wounded – pretty ghastly, and could have probably been much worse.

But there are no marches; Alyssa Milano is nowhere to be found; David “Boss” Hogg is silent about it.   No celeb has soiled themselves with outrage.  Even Minnesota’s gun control groups, always hovering like ghouls looking for any hint of gunny ugliness, have kept mum.

There’s a reason for that:

This was gang warfare. And it’s probably the most common form of gun violence seen in major cities on a yearly basis. But nobody is talking about it the way they will if a deranged white guy with a rifle commits the far more rare mass shooting of that type. There’s a gun violence problem here that could be addressed, making a serious difference. But places like Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, Illinois still have municipal leaders who can’t bring themselves to pass harsher laws to put away first-time offenders who commit gun crimes. They prefer to focus on justice reform, emptying the prisons more quickly and blaming the police.

One dead, 22 injured. But that’s not even a drop in the bucket compared to the death tolls in Baltimore and Chicago just this year alone. Background checks aren’t going to solve this. Enforcing the laws we already have on the books and getting illegal firearms out of the hands of criminals will.

But nobody seems to want to talk about that.

The victims don’t look like the children of NPR executives.

The community (Trenton, New Jersey – where strict gun laws ensure this sort of thing can’t happen, donchaknow) doesn’t look like Crocus Hill or Kenwood.

The violence isn’t telegenic enough to really manipulate people all that well.

And so I’m gonna guess most of you haven’t heard of the shooting.  I’d only caught a snippet somewhere – and it wasn’t on NPR.

You Got Problems. Joe Doakes Has Answers.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Chicago PD needs to get guns off the streets of those neighborhoods.  You know what would get guns off the streets?  Stop-and-frisk.  Don’t even bother to arrest the people in possession – that raises all the Fourth Amendment defenses and exacerbates racial disparity in convictions – just take the guns from people who shouldn’t be carrying them, and auction the guns to lawful buyers to fund midnight basketball programs.  Who could possibly object to that?

Joe Doakes

No rational person.

But then, I’m tacitly repeating myself, here.

“But Why Do You Need An Assault Rifle?”

Philadelphia man kills two home invaders with his AK47 (which liberals seem to have forgotten about in the past few years)?

The anonymous homeowner said he shot and killed the men — 17-year-old Demond Barnes and 28-year-old Azell Witherspoon — after retrieving the gun from a hall closet during the incident Friday.

When progressives get exercised about firearms, they are given to claiming that “assault rifles” are “designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible”.  It’s untrue, of course; they’re designed for two things; to never, ever jam, and to not run out of bullets before your attacker runs out of attack.

Mission accomplished.

 

As They Pour On The Vinegar, They Add A Splash Of Honey

California proposes a “no buy list” for guns, for people who fear they might commit suicide:

Assembly Bill 1927 would allow at-risk individuals to put themselves on a voluntary no-buy list, which would prevent them from purchasing guns from a licensed dealer. The bill was approved by the Assembly on Wednesday and is now in the state Senate.

Often, people at risk of suicide are well aware of their vulnerability, especially if they have chronic mental illness. Research shows that suicide is almost always an impulsive act during acute distress. A no-buy list, which recently passed in Washington state, allows suicidal crises to pass without a gun nearby. Once the crisis passes, individuals can take themselves off the list.

How to respond?

  1. While suicide may be an impulse, I’m going to guess buying a gun on impulse to check out is rarer than Erin Maye Quade going to a NASCAR race.  People who commit suicide by firearm tend to have owned them for  years, decades, without incident.
  2. Any bets on how long it’ll stay “voluntary” if it’s passed?  I say two years, outside.

Tragedy

Fashionista Kate Spade commits suicide.

The popular designer, who shot to fame with her line of eponymous purses, told her only child, 13, that it was not her fault in the letter, which was found nearby after Kate was discovered ‘unconscious and unresponsive’ by her housekeeper on Tuesday morning.

She is survived by her husband Andy, who is the brother of actor David Spade, and daughter Frances.

Clearly, if we’d had common sense scarf control, we’d have saved just one life.

The Juggernaut Strikes

It’s convention time.

Time for groups trying to influence the political process to wield the power of their numbers, finances and organizing skill to benefit the candidate they choose.

For a group with serious power – human, financial or moral – it’s time to apply that power to the endorsement of candidates for key state offices. And the big office at play in this weekend’s state conventions will be Governor.

Pressure groups, grassroots organizers, PACs and lobbies will be judiciously applying their clout to the candidates that seem most closely to track their interests and goals, with the skill and restraint of an eye surgeon operating around an optic nerve (or, in the case of Education Minnesota, a street worker jackhammering a piece of cement).

Which brings us to “Protect” Minnesota.

Yesterday, the criminal-safety group gave its “Orange Star” to gubernatorial candidate and state auditor Rebecca Otto.

The Otto campaign, being led by Rebecca Otto – which has been flailing in the candidate count lately, and which fired its manager last week – no doubt took some encouragement in the vote of confidence. It’s probably the only “good” news the Ottos got last week.

And the Orange Star right before the DFL convention might tend to indicate that the group was playing it a little safe, endorsing a female candidate who is anti-gun – but hasn’t wrapped herself around the issue, either.    That’d be an interesting signal of pragmatism from the group.

Well, until a little bit later – when this came out:

On the veritable eve of the convention, they gave another orange star to CD1 congressman and putative front runner Tim Walz, who has flipped from an “A”-rating from the NRA and the Gun Owners Caucus to being a rabid anti (for purposes of swaying the metro progressives he needs to win the convention, no doubt before flopping before the inevitable primary challenge to try to woo outstate voters, including his gun-owning base in the south of the state.

Still – two coveted orange stars would indicate that “Protect” MN was taking a broad, pragmatic stand against Erin Murphy, who has all but made campaign videos of herself pantomiming going door to door to seize guns; she’s that anti-gun.   It’d be an interesting take on “P”M’s part.

Until a few minutes later, when this arrived in our inboxes:

So – on the eve of the DFL convention, “Protect” MInnesota has basically gotten behind…all the DFLers?

They’ll exercise a keen focus on…everyone?

With such mad political skills, it’s hard to believe Nancy Nord Bence hasn’t taken the state by storm.

 

Five Questions

You can’t talk about everything with everyone.  That’s just not how people are.

Charlie Martin notes that there are five signs to look for to know if you can or can’t talk with someone about climate change.

Example:

5. Are they willing to question the “accepted” values for actual warming?

The apparent mismatch between the modeled values and the measured values for temperature lead to the next question. The number of interest is the global average surface temperature, or GAST. One argument that comes up sometimes is that this is not even a meaningful number, but that’s wrong and kind of silly. The Earth has a surface, every point on it has a temperature, and the average of that temperature can be computed. Of course, we don’t have thermometers on every point on the Earth’s surface and we aren’t recording the temperature for every thermometer we do have. But that just turns GAST from a measurable value into a statistical quantity, with an error interval.

The whole thing is worth a read.

And it occurs to me – we need a similar scale to judge whether it’s worth trying – or possible – to discuss guns.

It’s a concise but useful list:

Do perpetrators ever find their way into the story?  If they describe “gun crime” without ever putting someone at the trigger?  If they realize that a gun without an evil person to use it is an inert object, while an evil person without a gun is an evil person who’ll switch to fertilizer, trucks,knives, gasoline or planes, you might actually have a shot at a conversation.

Do they realize what has actually happened with crime rates?   If they still think that crime rates are rising, you’ll be in for a tough slog.

Will they examine their own chanting points?   When you point out the fact that Universal Background Checks can not, logically, affect crime in any way?

Do they use the phrase “Right to be Safe?”: If they believe there’s any such thing, there’s going to be a failure to communicate.

Do they know the difference between security and security theater?  If they natter on about magazine sizes, without mentioning gang violence,

If you can get 2-3 of those to break right, you might have a shot.

You might also have a miracle on your hands.

 

 

Ghouls Just Want To Have Fun

Over the Memorial Day weekend “Protect” Minnesota just couldn’t help itself; they had to appropriate a solemn national observance to their mission:

Normally, something like this would end up in me wading into the fever swamp to smack them down.

Especially when you get people like this chiming in:

(Would someone please tell me what the “Right to be Safe” is?   Is it the same as the “Right not to have a car accident?”    There is no such right – merely a responsibility to drive carefully.  There is a responsibility to protect one’s self, family, property and community.  That’s it).

Continue reading

A Good Guy With A Gun

A man walked into an Oklahoma restaurant…

… It sounds like the beginning of a joke. It’s not. He opened fire, injuring four.

Then, a good guy with a gun saved the day:

A man “opened fire” Thursday in an Oklahoma restaurant, leaving at least four people injured, before he was fatally shot by a bystander, police said.

I’m going to guess there aren’t going to be a lot of restaurant shootings in Oklahoma anytime soon.

Nancy Nord Bence Throws In The Towel

The Reverend Nord Bence sent out one of her tl;dr news releases yesterday, including this curious little passage:

There will be no Protect Minnesota protest at the Capitol today.

The pro-gun rights Majority is dug in, no sensible gun bills will be passed today, and we’re not going to give them the satisfaction of smugly walking past our protesters any more this session.

Now, if you’re not Nancy Nord Bence, you might think that today – the last substantive day of legislative activity, when all anti-gun bills have been scrubbed from existence – would be the perfect day to go to the capitol in your ELCA hair and your orange shirt and your waves of uninformed sanctimony and try to gun-shame some people who were elected by a decisive majority of voters.

And you’d be right!

But then this isn’t about Nancy Nord Bence wanting to send a moral message by her/their absence.

No. It’s about this:

Photo courtesy Brian McDaniel.

They rallied on Saturday, when there was still a long shot of getting something passed (had hell frozen over on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon).  Nancy Nord Bence put out a call for warm, uninformed bodies to come to the capitol to shake down the thunder on the legislators.

And that’s what they got.

Nord Bence tried to put a brave face on it:

They’ve made their beds. We will remember. And we’ll spend all summer and fall helping the electorate to remember as well.

Oh, so will I, Nancy.

So will I.

This Is The Minnesota Gun Control Movement

Joe Campbell is a PR flak for an agency that does “work” for “Protect” Minnesota, Minnesota’s ghoulish gun-grab group.

Rob Doar is a friend of this blog, a married father and a guy who works his butt off for civil rights, having spent this past session lobbying, pretty much on his own time for the MN Gun Owners Caucus.  He’s one of the good guys.

This is what Joe Campbell tweeted about Rob:

It’s hard to have a civil debate with people who are garbage.

 

A Good Guy With A Gun: Multitasking

A good guy with a gun and a baby, attacked by four thugs, fails to become a tragic statistic:

Four men were at a McDonald’s in Memphis’ Orange Mound neighborhood when they attempted to rob the father, police said. David Chase, who witnessed the attempted robbery from across the street and called 911, told WREG the father fought back.

“They jumped out of the car and they started fighting him and trying to take his wallet and stuff,” Chase told the news station. “He was fighting them. He dropped his baby and started fighting them and the child was just sitting on the concrete.”

Chase said he heard three to four gunshots. The father is believed to have shot at least one of the suspects.

Fingers crossed for the good guy.