Free Markets, Free People

Guns and Gun Rights

Feinstein’s assault weapons ban will not be in final Senate bill

Emily Miller, writing in the Washington Times, reports:

Gun control efforts on the nation level lost a major battle when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a bereft Sen. Dianne Feinstein Monday that her so-called assault weapon ban bill was getting pulled from the gun package coming to the floor next month. Her legislation, which passed the SenateJudiciary Committee last week by a straight party line vote, is the only one of the four gun-related bills that passed out of committee that Mr. Reid axed.

Mrs. Feinstein insists she will not be ignored. The California Democrat plans to bring two amendments up during the gun votes — to ban firearms that have one cosmetic feature that makes them resembles military weapon and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Mr. Reid said Tuesday that “her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes — that’s not 60.”

However, Mr. Reid’s calculation was really less about vote counting and more about keeping the majority in the upper chamber.

“The Democrats know that Feinstein’s ‘assault weapon’ ban is suicide at the polls for them come 2014,” Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation told me Tuesday. “It is so extreme that even the Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want it as part of their package.”

So ‘whoohoo’, huh?  Yeah, sort of, but Miller entitles her piece “RIP national assault weapons ban”.  RIP?  Hardly.  If you think Democrats, or at least Feinstein, are going to quit on this, you’re wrong.  Just consider how long they pushed for government mandated health care.  The fact that they couldn’t muster 40 votes in the Senate is, to those who would take your guns, another temporary setback.  Despite the fact that studies have shown no positive link a decline in gun violence and the last assault weapon’s ban, they’ll continue to try.  Trust me on that.  This isn’t about safety, it’s about controlt:

Mrs. Feinstein insists she will not be ignored. The California Democrat plans to bring two amendments up during the gun votes — to ban firearms that have one cosmetic feature that makes them resembles military weapon and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Right now Democratic Senators are reading the electoral tea leaves and know that such a vote, at least for those in states where their seat isn’t safe, is electoral poison.  As soon as they see or feel that the electorate’s opinion has shifted, they’ll gladly vote for such a ban.  The lack of votes isn’t about principle, it’s about keeping their jobs.

“The Democrats know that Feinstein’s ‘assault weapon’ ban is suicide at the polls for them come 2014,” Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation told me Tuesday. “It is so extreme that even the Democratic leadership in the Senate doesn’t want it as part of their package.”

Mr. Obama does, of course. And so they’ll continue to try.  And they’ll use the incremental approach instead.

And there’s something else to consider here – the politics of the Reid move.  He’s taken the step of removing the most controversial parts of the gun control attempt.  But there’s still more for the Senate to consider.  And Reid is trying to use his removal of the “extreme” parts to demand a corresponding move (i.e. “compromise”) from the GOP in support of what’s left.

The background check bill is the most contentious of those three, and lawmakers are still working behind the scenes to find a compromise that can garner 60 votes in the chamber.

Sen. Joe Manchin III, a West Virginia Democrat who has been trying to work out a compromise, said Tuesday he was optimistic on that front.

“I’m still working very hard, and hopefully reasonable people will look at reasonable proposals and something will happen,” he said.

And what would that compromise bring?

Currently, all sales by licensed firearms dealers must go through background checks, but transactions between private individuals do not. Lawmakers are looking for a way to extend checks to almost all transactions without also creating a record-keeping system that gun rights supporters fear could turn into a gun registry.

How could it not turn into a defacto“gun registry”?

And who wants to bet that some GOP Senators end up supporting it?

~McQ

Is the GOP about to be co-opted by the Democrats … again

It all starts with what could be described as a very simple act – the acceptance of a premise.   As soon as one side accepts the premise of the other side, the other side has won.  It simply becomes a matter of how bad the damage is.

In this case, the premise that seems to have been accepted by the “old ladies” of the GOP leadership is that some sort of federal “gun control” legislation is necessary  because of “mass killings” and our “children”.  From Ammoland:

You might think that with Republicans in control of the US House of Representatives there would be no way ANY gun control legislation could reach the floor.

But sadly we are already beginning to see so-called “conservative champions” folding to pressure from the anti-gun media to sell-out gun owners.

Former Vice Presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, has stated that he would support legislation that bans private sales at gun shows.

In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, along with the help of Rep. Scott Rigell (VA), Patrick Meehan (PA) and others, have stated openly that they will work together with anti-gun Democrats from Maryland and New York to tighten restrictions on private firearms sales and expand background checks.

Possibly even more upsetting has been Senator Tom Coburn’s willingness to work alongside anti-gunner Chuck Schumer (NY) to propose “bi-partisan” anti-gun legislation in the Senate.

Make no mistake, so-called “expansion” of background checks is little more than a blatant attempt by anti-gunners to register all firearms and gun owners in America.

That is why Representatives Steve Stockman (TX-36) and Paul Broun (GA-10) have drafted a letter to Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership urging them to require the support of the majority of Republican members in the House before bringing any anti-gun bills to the floor.

This so-called “Hastert Rule” would mean that 117 Republicans would have to support a particular bill before it had any chance of getting a floor vote, not just the support of the anti-gun elitist in leadership.

So the premise seems to have been accepted by the GOP leadership if this report is accurate.  And, if it is accurate, then they’re going to try to fashion some sort of gun control legislation to address a problem that the type of gun control legislation they’ll propose won’t effect.  What it will do, however, is create a new law that will put legal gunowners in criminal jeopardy if they desire to sell their firearms and don’t follow the new rules to a ‘t’ (and, my guess is the new rules will likely be mostly unenforceable – they’d only be enforced retroactively if a gun involved in a private sale that wasn’t “background checked” was used in a crime).

The criminals?  Those who are likely to commit mass killings?  Yeah, they’ll comply.

Meanwhile, if you believe that Congress has no right to “infringe” on 2nd Amendment rights, prepare to be sold down the river by the GOP.  They’ve already accepted the need and the premise, it’s now just a matter of figuring out what the “compromise” will be.  What should be clear, however, is that if anti-gun legislation does get passed, it will be your 2nd Amendment rights that will be compromised and the GOP will be complicit.

~McQ

Mexico wants tighter gun control in the US and the names of gun owners

Given Fast and Furious, I’d suggest that Mexico ask for the names of gun runners instead.  We’d top that list with the names “Barack Obama” and “Eric Holder”.  However:

On February 18th, Sentinel reported about a new law passed by Mexican legislators – a mandate for a formal request of our US Senate to create and share a gun registry of all commercial firearms in the border states with the Mexican government and police. Private gun ownership names and addresses would then be in the hands of the Mexican government  and police that all agree are filled with corruption.

In the past, I’d unhesitatingly say, “yeah, not going to happen”.  With this administration, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they tried to comply.

Mexican ambassador to the U.S., Eduardo Medina Mora, said he hopes the Newtown shooting “opens a window of opportunity for President Obama” to pass tighter gun control laws.”

“The Second Amendment and the regulations adopted in the U.S. is not, never was and never should be designed to arm foreign criminal groups,” the nervy ambassador said.

Mexican activists in Mexico City have passed in a petition with 54,000 signatures asking for tighter US gun control.

Of course they have – the murder and mayhem among their criminal class is out of control and epidemic and they need someone to blame.  And, of course, this would provide a wonderful premise on which to clamp down on private ownership of firearms, Constitution be damned.

Of course realty says that, stipulated, even if they could and did do this, nothing would change:

George W. Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William and Mary, doubts tighter gun control laws in the U.S. will greatly affect violence in Mexico. Cartels, Grayson said, can easily find AK-47s and other assault weapons on the international market – places such as China, France, Brazil and Israel.

“The lion’s share of weapons used by cartels come from the United States, but having said that, if the Virgin of Guadeloupe were to stop the flow of weapons southward it would be a nuisance for the cartels but it certainly would not end the bloodshed,” Grayson said.

Ultimately, he said, Mexico would do itself a favor by looking domestically for the roots of the drug war – fixes are badly needed to the country’s corrupt judicial system, military and police force.

But reality and facts have never before stopped a political agenda.  Arms such as those the cartels use are readily available from dozens of international arms dealers.  Screwing the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment wouldn’t change that one iota.

And they know that.  But, as pointed out the other day, this isn’t about facts.  This is about a social and political agenda.  In the case of such agendas, pretty much anything is considered fair, to include ignoring facts, science and the Constitution.

Let’s see if anything develops from this.

~McQ

Assault gun ban: Not that science and facts will stop the left from pushing for it

Science and facts dont stand a chance against myth and ideology:

Justice Department researchers have concluded that an assault weapons ban is “unlikely to have an effect on gun violence,” but President Obama has not accepted their report as his administration’s official position.

“Since assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide and the existing stock of guns is large, an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence,” the DOJ’s National Institute for Justice explains in a January 4 report obtained by the National Rifle Association. “If coupled with a gun buyback and no exemptions then it could be effective.” That idea is also undermined by the acknowledgement that “a complete elimination of assault weapons would not have a large impact on gun homicides.”

The research in that report didn’t stop Obama denouncing “weapons of war” during his State of the Union speech on February 12.

We’ve pointed out any number of times that deaths by rifle, any sort of rifle, are less than 500 a year.  Less that blunt objects – clubs, baseball bats, etc.

But that’s not going to stop these people.  Facts are inconvenient truths, to borrow from the biggest myth maker of all – Al Gore.

There’s a reason for the desire for this ban.  It’s a foot in the door.  And, once they declare it’s not enough, the precedent is already set.  As I mentioned on the podcast, the left is into incrementalism.    They will incrementally sneak up on every freedom we have left.  And, if they have their way, take them away.  In the name of “safety” and “security”.  And you know what Ben Franklin said about that.

~McQ

Joe Biden is counting on the “legitimate media” in the gun control effort

Obviously, even Joe Biden is not dumb enough to call it the official propaganda arm, but apparently you “social media” types are, well, illegitimate:

Biden said that it was important for the media to dissuade the American public from the idea that the Obama administration was prepared to do something unconstitutional on guns.

“To be very blunt with you, we’re counting on all of you, the legitimate news media to cover these discussions because the truth is that times have changed,” Biden added, warning that people would continue to “misrepresent” the White House’s plans for gun control.

“The social media that exists out there, the tragedies that have occurred, the Supreme Court decision affirming that its an individual right to bear arms – all give a lie to the argument that what we’re trying to do is somehow unconstitutional, or somehow goes after the legitimate right to own and bear arms and to hunt and protect yourselves,” Biden added.

Of course, Joe Biden has never been known to tell a whopper, has he?

And yes, he thinks we’re all idiots out here in flyover land.

~McQ

The left’s false moral equivalency concerning guns

Leave it to former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago Rham Emanuel to provide us with the example. George Will tells the sorry story:

Politics becomes amusing when liberalism becomes theatrical with high-minded gestures. Chicago’s government, which is not normally known for elevated thinking, is feeling so morally upright and financially flush that it proposes to rise above the banal business of maximizing the value of its employees’ and retirees’ pension fund assets. Although seven funds have cumulative unfunded liabilities of $25 billion, Chicago will sacrifice the growth of those assets to the striking of a political pose so pure it is untainted by practicality.

Emulating New York and California, two deep-blue states with mammoth unfunded pension liabilities, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) has hectored a $5 billion pension fund into divesting its holdings in companies that manufacture firearms. Now he is urging two large banks to deny financing to such companies “that profit from gun violence.” TD Bank provides a $60 million credit line to Smith & Wesson, and Bank of America provides a $25 million line to Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Chicago’s current and retired public employees might wish the city had invested more in both companies. Barack Obama, for whom Emanuel was chief of staff, has become a potent gun salesman because of suspicions that he wants to make gun ownership more difficult. Since he was inaugurated four years ago, there have been 65 million requests for background checks of gun purchasers. Four years ago, the price of Smith & Wesson stock was $2.45. Last week it was $8.76, up 258 percent. Four years ago, the price of Sturm Ruger stock was $6.46. Last week it was $51.09, up 691 percent. The Wall Street Journal reports that even before “a $1.2 billion balloon payment for pensions comes due” in 2015, “Chicago’s pension funds, which are projected to run dry by the end of the decade, are scraping the bottoms of their barrels.”

So we have the Mayor of Chicago using, well, Chicago style “politics”, to make a “moral statement” that likely few of his citizens agree with and hurting an already failing retirement system by demanding stocks that are doing well be dropped. We call that “moral preening” and, of course, it’s no skin off his back – he’s not the one losing the money – retirees are.  Screw serving the public welfare – his job.  He’s all about hurting the public welfare to make a private moral statement.

As for the false moral equivalency? Here you go:

Nevertheless, liberals are feeling good about themselves — the usual point of liberalism — because New York state’s public pension fund and California’s fund for teachers have, the New York Times says, “frozen or divested” gun holdings, and Calpers, the fund for other California public employees, may join this gesture jamboree this month. All this is being compared to the use of divestment to pressure South Africa to dismantle apartheid in the 1980s.

Guns are as evil as “apartheid” and thus should be dealt with the same way. Because everyone knows that owning a gun is precisely the same as being an oppressive racist using the power of government to enforce your racism.  Or moralism.

Never mind the fact that:

Guns are legal products in America, legally sold under federal, state and local regulations. Most of the guns sold to Americans are made by Americans. Americans have a right — a constitutional right — to own guns, and 47 percent of U.S. households exercise that portion of the Bill of Rights by possessing at least one firearm.

The left, as it usually does, is going to demonize an industry just as they have the fossile fuel industry. Amusingly, that too is one of the left’s “apartheid divestment” moves.

Moral grandstanding, however, offers steady work, and the Chronicle of Higher Education reports a new front in “the battle against climate change”: “Student groups at almost 200 colleges and universities are calling on boards of trustees to divest their colleges’ holdings in large fossil-fuel companies.” Of course, not one share of those companies’ stock will go unsold because academia is so righteous. Others will profit handsomely from such holdings and from being complicit in supplying what the world needs. Fossil fuels, the basis of modern life, supply 82 percent of U.S. energy, and it is projected that they will supply 78 percent of the global increase in energy demand between 2009 and 2035, by which time the number of cars and trucks on the planet will have doubled to 1.7 billion.

Of course, that’s not a problem for fossile fuel companies because their stocks aren’t going to go without a buyer.  Institutional investors who actually are interested in helping build wealth in a portfolio will snap them up.  What will suffer? University endowment funds, that’s what. Most people would call that sort of moral preening a “self-inflicted wound”. It won’t change a thing, it’s moral relativisim at its worst and someone else will be happy to take the dividend income those boobs are foregoing.

Next up?

Institutions of higher education will, presumably, warn donors that their endowments will be wielded in support of the political agenda du jour, which might include divesting from any company having anything to do with corn, source of the sweetener in many of the sodas that make some people fat and New York’s mayor cranky. Or anything to do with red meat, sugar, salt, trans fats, chickens not lovingly raised . . . .

Bet on it.

~McQ

MLK is spinning in his grave

I wonder what Martin Luther King would say on the day  a black president is sworn in for his second term – a day that also celebrates King’s birth. You hope he’d be pleased. But my guess is, since he was more concerned with the content of your character than the color of your skin, that might not be the case.

Why? Because of the ongoing assault on our rights. For instance the gun control distraction that involves an Attorney General who is possibly the greatest hypocrite and biggest criminal in Washington.

What am I talking about?

Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.

Judicial Watch had filed, on June 22, 2012, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious and “specifically [a]ll records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by President Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012.”

The administration has refused to comply with Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, and in mid-September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder’s denial. That lawsuit remains ongoing but within the past week President Barack Obama’s administration filed what’s called a “motion to stay” the suit. Such a motion is something that if granted would delay the lawsuit indefinitely.

I don’t care what anyone says what happened with Fast and Furious was criminal. And the ongoing cover-up is also criminal.  The “most transparant administration ever” is, in fact, the most opaque.

As for the hypocrisy, well that’s easy, especially given Fast and Furious.

Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the government will consider “imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals” while talking about gun control to U.S. mayors.

ERIC HOLDER: And to consider a series of new federal laws imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals.

Who is the biggest “gun trafficker” we know of?

Eric Holder.

~McQ

Question of the day: how do you enforce “universal background checks?”

A part of the legislative gun control package and executive orders President Obama has set in motion includes this:

Mr. Obama would require background checks for private sales between individuals, including those at gun shows and via the Internet. Expanding the checks is the “single most important thing we can do,” a senior administration official said.

Sounds reasonable on the surface, right?

But then the deeper question – how would this have to be accomplished?

Well, let’s see – there’s no way to track how well this law is being followed unless you are able to identify all the guns that this requirement would cover.  And, of course, it would cover every existing gun out there now, right?  Isn’t that what “universal” means?

So what is required?

Ah, gun registration.  Every single, solitary gun that is legally held by the public would have to be registered so the Fed could then track sales and ensure that “proper background checks” were executed.  If not, then we have a new crime with which to prosecute citizens and populate our jails.

Oh, and the crimnals?  Yeah, they’ll play along, won’t they?

Can’t wait to watch the gang-bangers in Chicago line up to register their guns and do background checks before selling them.

Absurd.  And useless.

~McQ

This is what the 2nd Amendment preserves

So you don’t think people should have guns. You think they’re dangerous. You think they should be banned. Well, here is what they are for. This happened about 10 miles from my home.

A Georgia mother hid her two 9-year-old twins and shot an intruder, Paul Ali Slater, several times during a home invasion on Friday, according to multiple media reports.

The Loganville mother said she didn’t initially answer when someone knocked on her door around 1 p.m. Friday. When the visitor began repeatedly ringing the doorbell, she called her husband at work.

When the suspect went into the closet where the family was hiding ,the woman fired six bullets at the suspect, five of which hit alleged suspect Paul Ali Slater in the face and neck area.

“He opens the closet door and finds himself staring down the barrel of a .38 revolver,” Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman.

She was in obvious fear of her life and her safety and that of her children. She had a means of self-defense. She had an “equalizer”. And, apparently, she used it well, well enough that she was able to escape unharmed with her children to a neighbor’s house.

And remember this was all before police were able to respond. She had called her husband as the home invasion was taking place and he called 911.

Her husband has it right:

The victim’s husband said he’s proud of his wife.

“My wife is a hero. She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do as responsible, prepared gun owner.”

By the way, she is not a “victim”. However she would have been had she not been armed.

This is the way it is supposed to work.

~McQ

Should we ban “assault” hammers?

Because they kill more than all rifles each year, including “assault rifles”.

In 2005, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618.

And so the list goes, with the actual numbers changing somewhat from year to year, yet the fact that more people are killed with blunt objects each year remains constant.

For example, in 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

Where is DiFi when you need her.   License hardware stores. Register hammers. And get those nasty looking “assault hammers” off the market.

And by the way, there is no right to a hammer, is there?  No Second Amendment for hammers or clubs. Where are the Democrats on this?

By the way, I assume you can do the math concerning the minute number of deaths in the US by rifle and figure out that for the most part it would be considered statistical noise if we were talking about anything else.

~McQ