Create reflection not reaction

As most people in the Washington State gun community know there is an I Will Not Comply! i594 event in Olympia December 13th. I plan to attend as do others.

I understand the strong emotions I’m picking up from a bunch of people. I have a lot of them myself. Just last week I retrieved the last of the guns I had loaned out*. That transfer wouldn’t have been legal had I waited until I-594 went into effect. A lot of the innocent, everyday type of things we do with guns will soon be illegal. The Second Amendment is no different than the First Amendment. If there isn’t an victim then it cannot be a crime to exercise that freedom in that way. But we have vile enemies who want to destroy our freedoms. We must stand up to them.

But we must be careful how we do this. Think back (I know most people aren’t old enough to remember, so do the research or trust me on this) how the civil rights protesters of the 1960’s accomplished things. And think how some of them made things worse.

The civil rights activists following Martin Luther King were peaceful and only used violence or the threat of violence for defensive purposes. Their firearms were concealed and in their homes and vehicles. Their firearms were not on display unless there was a really good reason for it.

The civil rights activists following the Black Panther Party** model had many guns on display.

Which side do you think got the most sympathy from people who “didn’t have a dog in the fight”?

The attitude from people at a distance from “the trenches” were that the Black Panthers were a bunch of criminals. When J. Edgar Hoover said they were, “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country” it resonated with a lot of people.

Hoover certainly wasn’t friendly to King and company either. Conspiracy theories of the FBI assassinating King have a lot more credibility with me than those that someone other than Oswald murdered President Kennedy. But the big difference is how the majority of people respond to us. If politicians claim we are threat to society we want the majority of people to realize that politician is off their rocker instead of agreeing with them.

When we disobey a law, such as Rosa Parks did when she refused to sit in the back of the bus, we want people to recognize the unfairness and irrationality of the law rather than thinking we need to be “put in our place”.

To that end present yourselves as calm, rational, peaceful people deserving of respect and trust. The media is going to be looking for the most outrageous examples to put on display. Do your best to give them nothing except those acts which will further our cause.

We want to create reflection upon what we are saying and doing rather than generating a reaction that results in broader support for repression.


*This gun was to a friend that had someone try to get in her apartment late at night. She lived alone, was unemployed, broke, and couldn’t even pay her rent at the time. I took her to the range, did a bunch of training, then loaned her a gun until she could afford her own. The transfer to her would not have been legal without a background check and fees under I-594. As this gun was rather old, I had purchased it second hand, I didn’t want it being in a registry, and I didn’t want to pay money to get my own gun back so I retrieved it.

I know she went shooting with in at least a time or two since I loaned it to her so I was very pleased to see it well cleaned and lubricated when I got it back.

Thanks E.

**From Wikipedia:

Originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

Initially, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of police officers and challenge police brutality.

28 thoughts on “Create reflection not reaction

  1. So…. Looking at the “extremes.” Which would make more of a reflection and test case? Loaning someone a single-shot cap-and-ball muzzle-loader sidearm to “test out to see if they want their own,” or loaning a .50 BMG (swapped between two CPL holders of course) so that the recipient could take it to a longer range and diagnose an accuracy issue? Just spit-balling ideas here.
    On the one hand, you have a BG check requirement for something that is essentially never used in crime and looks more like a movie prop or an actual revolutionary war era firearm of the sort even the rabid anti-gunners sometimes grudgingly admit the 2nd Amendment covers.
    On the other hand, you have something that is ALSO rarely if ever used in crime, but it a lot more scary looking, but has a “legitimate” reason to loan, and has a higher likelihood of drawing police attention as a “can’t let THAT one get by us” as a test case.

    • Unless you are working with a lawyer and gun rights organization I wouldn’t be trying to generate a test case. I think at this point we are just trying to get people to see the absurdity of the law. Hence, leave the scary stuff at home.

      • Perhaps an advertising campaign with examples of innocuous things (like your loan) that will require background check + fee + up-to-ten- (or 90-) day waiting periods?

        I don’t know precisely how we’d effectively get that information out to the uninformed masses, though. A blog with a post per example?

      • One important reason for this is that a black-powder gun might not qualify as a “firearm” for I-594 reasons. I would have to confess that I am ignorant on how I-594 is worded, but on the Federal level, these guns aren’t considered firearms. You could order them via mail, and do so without background checks. I’m not entirely sure about this, but you might even be able to own such a gun as a felon!

        For full sympathy, though, I would propose this: lever-action rifles aren’t covered by federal law if they were made before a certain year (1896, if I recall correctly), but they are after that year. Thus, you could find two such rifles, perhaps differing by a single increment in a serial number, to illustrate the silliness of such laws…

        Even then, I would agree with Joe: if you’re going to be trying to develop a challenge case, you had better be doing it with the help of a good lawyer!

    • I’m sure the police will be able to give you bunches of test cases once they get the details ironed out.

      The police will go someplace like here: http://www.armslist.com/classifieds/washington
      and they will find sellers willing to sell without those pesky background checks. Or they will go to a gun show and stake out the parking lot.

      The “I will not comply” guys will make it easy for them.

      • Organizations representing the majority of police officers came out in opposition of I-594 so I’m betting most police will ignore the “crime” unless it is someone they specifically don’t like or is a known criminal.

        • I’m betting they won’t. Police get paid to enforce laws and most of them take their jobs seriously.

          • Many of them take their oath to uphold the constitution seriously as well. You probably haven’t talked to many cops about gun laws. I have.

          • Sure they do. Like all of the cops who carried AND USED suppressed weapons in the state, long before it was legal for them to do so. There was no exemption for suppressors for LEOs in the state law, until that entire law was rescinded a couple of years ago.

            Yet, when I was taking firearms classes, many of them with SWAT team members, they just laughed when I told them they couldn’t legally use the suppressors they were screwing on to their carbines.

  2. I talked to a candidate for sheriff recently, who would have no qualms whatsoever about “breaking the law” if the conditions of his Oath demanded it.

    That’s the specific purpose of the Oath, after all– It doesn’t merely allow individuals to use their personal judgement regarding constitutionality, it demands it. The measure of a good cop then would be his accuracy and consistency in applying the constitution while on duty. That would require him to ignore whole categories of laws, at the very least.

    • The Supreme Court has already ruled on background checks (they are legal) so I don’t see how requiring a background check, if you are selling a gun, can be illegal or against the Constitution.

      • While many of us are not happy with background checks this law isn’t just about background checks. It’s about criminalizing simple, innocent, “transfers” that happen frequently. There is no exception for police officers either. If they arrest people for these “crimes” it’s going to be pretty rough when the defense attorney asks them under oath if they have committed the same “crime”. And don’t think there won’t be “stings” of politicians and police officers either. Selective enforcement will not be pleasant for anyone.

        • it’s going to be pretty rough when the defense attorney asks them under oath if they have committed the same “crime”.

          The answer will always be, “No, I have not been convicted of violating the BG check law.”

          Even if the cop has violated the statute, they will almost certainly not be arrested; even if they get arrested, they will almost certainly not be charged to the full extent of the law; even if charged, the odds they will be convicted seem low.

          When NY imposed the SAFE Act there was no exemption for cops loading up more than 7 rounds on duty. How many cops were arrested and tried?

          • “No, I have not been convicted of violating the BG check law.”

            And a decent attorney will come back with: “Non responsive, your Honor. Please direct the witness to answer the question.”

            Legal funz and games ensue when Popo, and possibly the PA gets made to look like a fool by the defense.

            It’s not about getting the Popo jacked up on a charge, it’s getting a defendant’s charge dismissed, or even possibly getting a directed verdict of acquittal, which is even more fun because there will now be case law appended.

      • If the SCOTUS ruled that despite the 13th Amendment, you could legally enslave citizens based on the color of their skin, would the ruling make the conduct constitutional?

        If the SCOTUS rules for a law, then there should be a strong presumption that it is constitutional, but the judges are not infallible. The court has overturned itself in the past. Rulings like Dredd Scott are infamous and taught to every school child. Sheriffs in the North in the 19th century refused to enforce the fugitive slave act and defied the Court’s ruling.

        Anyone who has sworn an oath to support and defend the constitution, who blindly follows the edicts of others without critical thought of their own, is “just following orders.” And even if the orders are Constitutional, the men tasked with following them must also decide if they are moral orders. Many men have competing oaths of loyalty to both the Constitution and some other moral ideal (faith, etc).

        Finally, your statement doesn’t relate to I594. You write:
        The Supreme Court has already ruled on background checks (they are legal) so I don’t see how requiring a background check, if you are selling a gun, can be illegal or against the Constitution.

        I594 is not about selling guns. The SCOTUS, to the best of my knowledge, has not ruled about the legality of bans on transferring simple possession (without transfer of title) without a background check. Nor has the Supreme Court of WA state. Thus, LEOs find themselves in a Constitutional grey area where they are required to make an individual judgement.

      • To put it bluntly, the Supreme Court pays *slightly* more attention to the Constitution than the other politicians in Washington. That means there may be 2 or 3 of them who pay attention to it occasionally — -as opposed to the one or so that we have in Congress.
        But most of them wouldn’t recognize a Constitutional principle if it conked them on the head.

  3. Especially watch your local news programms for another aspiring Piers Morgan stunt. If it’s broadcast on television, any prosecutor in the state can file for prosecution. Even better if the fool tries it out of state, the prosecutor can allege he/she/it is attempting to evade the law.

    • I think the whole ShirtStrom thing blowing up spectacularly on the SJWs is quite funny. I think the shirt company is going to have a new all-time-record-breaking bet-seller as people say “you know, if it can piss of just one left-wing hysteric, it’ll be worth it.”
      The backlash over the “outrage” about a rocket scientist’s shirt might go down in history as a turning point in the culture wars as a high-profile battle the radical perpetually-outraged feminists lost.

      • But there is no shirt company that makes that shirt. It was made for the scientist from his girlfriend, who found the fabric and thought it would make a cool shirt.

        Which makes the irony significantly greater. I, for one, thought the shirt was probably a little too unprofessional for a professional environment, even before seeing the details…but seeing one person point out that no one has been complaining about the appropriateness of what Kim Kardashian was wearing to work, when she oiled her body and bared all for a photo shoot, made the unprofessionalness completely worth it to me!

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  5. If I may be so bold as to distil MLK’s thesis on tactics to one sentence, it is that no positive change can come but through love.

    • I also remember a point being made that approaching the issue peacefully lays crucial groundwork in case things have to turn violent. This can be seen in the Revolutionary War: when tensions came to shooting, we were able to announce to the world, in detail, the actions that led us to this situation. We even did it twice, once as a “Declaration of the Necessity of Using Arms”, and another a year later, “Declaration of Independence”.

      Fortunately for America, the Civil Rights movement didn’t lead to violent revolution.

      Right now, in defending our gun rights, we are certainly in the early stages of peaceful demonstration. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep it there, and peaceful non-compliance of evil laws will likely be key to that!

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  8. I have been advised by the Attorney General’s office that I would need a good lawyer for whatever my problem with the I594 after the Secretary of State declares it passed on 4 December. I only allow shooters to use my rifles in Appleseeds to learn safe basic rifle marksmanship to 4 MOA. But the lawyers (looking for loot), are sure that temporary transfer means money has to go to find out if the person is safe, I take my rifle back and sit the shooter off the line if they aren’t. But then I have a brain, and know what I am doing… or did before I fell into this alternate America, so different from the one created back in 1775.

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