Quote of the day—Damon Root

So what happens next with the Alabama abortion ban? Planned Parenthood and other groups have already vowed to fight the law in court. Assuming such cases come before a federal district court judge who follows Supreme Court precedent (which those judges are supposed to do), the law will be ruled unconstitutional under the Roe/Casey precedents (which it is). The state, assuming it still wants to press the fight, would then appeal to the federal appellate court, which may not even take the case. But let’s say it does take it, and that those judges also follow precedent and strike down the law. At that point, having lost in the lower federal courts, and assuming the state is still under the same conservative leadership, Alabama would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

But there’s no guarantee that SCOTUS will take the case either. Indeed, it is even possible that the Court might prefer to sit this one out. Why? Because even those conservative justices who might want to see Roe/Casey overturned might still prefer to see the precedents gradually weakened and narrowed over time, via a series of cases, rather than simply obliterated in one fell swoop.

Damon Root
May 17, 2019
The Supreme Court Probably Won’t Kill Roe Yet
[What I wonder about is the response of the political left to the new restrictions to abortion. Will this energize them and result in them taking control of the U.S. House, Senate, and White House in 2020? Or will early and decisive court defeats of the abortion restrictions result in them becoming complacent for the election next year?—Joe]

Amazing

I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve long said it is irrational to expect people to be rational. But yet, I’m still amazed at times. This is my current example:

Donald Trump’s proposal to move migrants into sanctuary cities raises logistical, legal issues

A myriad of logistical and legal obstacles await President Donald Trump if he follows through on his threat to place migrants arriving at the border into so-called sanctuary cities, a move apparently designed to punish Democrats for refusing to support his immigration policies.

Donald Trump’s use of government power to conduct corrupt, vindictive operations smells like Watergate,” said Becerra, a former congressman from California. “It’s a sobering reminder that our nation is only as strong as our democratic institutions and the rule of law.

And declaring your city a sanctuary for illegal aliens is legal? The last I heard aiding and abetting a criminal is illegal.

The politicians of “sanctuary cities” are only concerned with the rule of law when it is to their advantage. Either you have to conclude that liberalism is a mental disorder and/or they are knowingly committing criminal acts. It either case these politicians should be tried and sent to prison.

Quote of the day—Anna M. Barvir

First, each day judgement is delayed is another day Plaintiffs are denied the exercise of their right to choose common magazines for the fundamentally important purpose of self-defense. Denial of a fundamental right is irreparable injury—even if for a moment.

This ongoing constitutional harm is no less severe simply because, as the State argues, the exercise of that right has already been prohibited for two decades. Mot. 9:26-10:3. In fact, it perhaps makes the continued denial of the right worse.

Anna M. Barvir
April 3, 2019
VIRGINIA DUNCAN, et al.,  v. XAVIER BECERRA
PLAINTIFFS’ OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT’S EX PARTE APPLICATION TO STAY JUDGMENT PENDING APPEAL

[And yet, the stay was granted.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Val Finnell

I’m certainly disappointed in the vote today, and as soon as the mayor signs [the bills], we’ll be proceeding with the private criminal complaints [against] council members who voted for the measure and the mayor if and when he signs.

Val Finnell
April 2, 2019
Pittsburgh approves gun-control bills; opponents threaten suit against city
[Pennsylvania has a preemption law. I hope they enjoy their trial and paying the lawyer bills of the gun rights groups who challenge the laws.—Joe]

California requests stay of Judgement on standard capacity magazines

I can’t find where the California has definitely stated they are going to appeal but they have stated they want a stay of Judgement:

TO THE COURT AND ALL PARTIES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE ATTORNEYS OF RECORD: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Defendant Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as the Attorney General of the State of California (“Defendant”), hereby does apply to this Court for an order, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62, staying the Judgment entered in this action on March 29, 2019 (Dkt. No. 88) pending appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Specifically, Defendant requests that the Court stay the Judgment—which declares California Penal Code section 323101 unconstitutional and enjoined from enforcement—to preserve the status quo pending appeal as it existed prior to entry of the Judgment, whereby, during the pendency of the appeal, section 32310(a) and (b) will remain in effect and section 32310(c) and (d) will remain subject to the preliminary injunction issued on June 29, 2017 (Dkt. No. 28).  Defendant respectfully requests that this Court rule on this stay application by April 5, 2019.

My expectation is that if they get the stay they will drag their feet to so to as infringe upon the rights of the people in the 9th Circuit for the longest possible period of time.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs, C.C. Michel, says:

Duncan v. Becerra lawsuit — California DOJ files a motion asking Court to stay its ruling allowing acquisition of 10+ round magazines in California. Opposition filing coming soon.

I look forward to Michel’s filing. I’m hoping it will be as entertaining as the ruling by judge Roger T. Benitez. It’s not going to happen, but for a day or two I’m going to fantasize him saying the California AG and anyone who enforces laws such unconstitutional laws should be prosecuted (http://bit.ly/EnjoyYourTrial2).

You can follow the court filings here.

I’m expecting an outbreak of exploding heads

Although it was not well known until a few days ago (and here), last March an Illinois court ruled that requiring a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card was unconstitutional.

Last Friday a court threw out a ban on “assault weapons”.

Over the weekend Mueller’s report was released and stated, “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” And today it is reported Trump is looking at turning the tables on those involved in the witch hunt.

Today it was ruled anyone who is a member of the Firearms Policy Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, Inc., and Florida Carry, Inc.can keep their bump stocks while the case goes through the courts.

Now this:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday announced that it is siding with a district court ruling that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The move is an escalation of the Trump administration’s legal battle against the health care law.

The DOJ previously argued in court that the law’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

Perhaps the mass delusion is coming to an end and the political left and mainstream media (but I repeat myself) will get in closer touch with reality.

Just kidding!

I’m expecting an outbreak of exploding heads.

New Zealand gun registration

Nearly ten years ago I blogged about the state of New Zealand gun registration and licensing wasn’t going quite like what the ant-gun people had planned. Once upon a time they had “lifetime gun licenses”. When the anti-gun people decided that wasn’t good enough the went to 10-year licenses in 1992. The told the “lifetime licensed” people to turn the guns in or renew their licenses. 50K of those, about 22%, of those people who were already “on a list” openly refused to comply.

By 1997 the 10-year license wasn’t good enough and they wanted 3-year licenses.

And you know what they want now.

Just say no to gun registration. If they persist, tell them Μολὼν λαβέ because we know how this story ends if we don’t.

Bump-stock court news

This is interesting:

FURTHER ORDERED, on the court’s own motion, that the effective date of the Bump-Stock Rule, 83 Fed. Reg. 66514 (Dec. 26, 2018), be administratively stayed in its application only as to the named Appellants in appeals Nos. 19-5042 and 19-5044, pending further order of this Court.  The purpose of this stay is exclusively to give the Court sufficient opportunity to consider the disposition of this highly expedited appeal, and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of the appeal.  See D.C. Circuit Handbook of Practice and Internal Procedures 33 (2018).

The “named Appellants” include Damien Guedes, Shane Roden, Firearms Policy Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, Inc., and Florida Carry, Inc.

Early this morning, before I read the above, I had boosted my monthly donations to the Firearms Policy Foundation by a factor of 2.8. I also boosted my monthly donations to the Second Amendment Foundation by a factor of 8.0. These donations are pre tax and matched, dollar for dollar, by my employer.

On my way back from the range at lunch time I picked up another 2,500 bullets for reloading.

What have you done recently in fight against the forces of evil?

Striking back

The political left dominates both conventional and Internet social media outlets. This bias is so overwhelming that it probably isn’t possible to recover from the adverse public perception generated by their bias by public discourse. If an environment where the free exchange of political thought is possible has to be someplace other than the media. Gun ownership is but one case in point. Our retention of gun owner rights and even freedom of political thought must be recovered via other means. I’ve been thinking for some time now that other means is the courts. That is why it was absolutely critical that Hillary Clinton not be allowed to appoint Federal judges.

So, its off to the courts and this looks like a good start:

Nunes sues Twitter, some users, seeks over $250M alleging anti-conservative ‘shadow bans,’ smears

California GOP Rep. Devin Nunes filed a major lawsuit seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages against Twitter and a handful of its users on Monday, accusing the social media site of “shadow-banning conservatives” including himself to influence the 2018 elections, systematically censoring opposing viewpoints and totally “ignoring” lawful complaints of repeated abusive behavior.

Although federal law ordinarily exempts services like Twitter from defamation liability at all levels, Nunes’ suit said the platform has taken such an active role in curating and banning content — as opposed to merely hosting it — that it should face liability like any other organization that defames.

“Twitter created and developed the content at issue in this case by transforming false accusations of criminal conduct, imputed wrongdoing, dishonesty and lack of integrity into a publicly available commodity used by unscrupulous political operatives and their donor/clients as a weapon,” Nunes’ legal team wrote. “Twitter is ‘responsible’ for the development of offensive content on its platform because it in some way specifically encourages development of what is offensive about the content.”

If Twitter and other leftist social media platforms get slapped down for their bias and collaboration in defaming those with different political beliefs it will not only make them less inclined to do this in the future it will also enable more people to realize the political left has an evil streak.

Sanctuary cities and counties

We live in interesting times:

Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic said law enforcement officers do not have to enforce the new initiative on semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15s because his office won’t prosecute those cases anyway.

“I don’t agree with this law and I am not going to prosecute someone under this law as it is now, with the wording that is has,” Brusic said Thursday.

Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell, Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer, sheriffs in Lewis and Ferry counties and Republic Police Chief Loren Culp all have said they will not enforce the new law.

There is also this:

GraysHarborI-1639

We now have sanctuary cities and counties. Assuming the stores play along you can buy your guns there. Just don’t flaunt it and you can ignore the stupid laws.

In the mean time the cases filed by SAF and the NRA will work their way through the courts.

Missing or stolen firearms

In states with “safe storage” laws private citizens would be facing heavy fines and probable jail time for this:

According to the audit conducted by MCSO along with the ATF, 50 guns were found to be missing from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

The 50 missing or stolen weapons include:

  • 29 fully automatic weapons
  • 20 short barrel shotguns
  • 1 short barrel rifle

Note that these are all NFA class firearms. My guess is that why they know they are missing. The ATF had a record of them and asked to verify their existence. I wonder how many non-NFA firearms are missing or have been stolen and there are insufficient records to answer such questions.

Gun case accepted by SCOTUS

This is, almost for certain, great news:

U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday stepped into the divisive issue of gun rights by agreeing to take up a challenge backed by the National Rifle Association to New York City’s strict limits on handgun owners toward transporting their firearms outside of the home.

The nine justices will review a 2018 lower court ruling upholding the city’s restrictions after three gun owners and the NRA’s New York state affiliate sued claiming the regulations violated the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

The case will be heard and decided in the court’s next term, which starts in October and ends in June 2020.

The New York case concerned people who have licenses to have guns at home, known as “premises” licenses, who are already allowed to take unloaded guns to shooting ranges within New York City. The plaintiffs said the city’s rules forbidding them from taking their guns to ranges or other homes outside city limits amounted to a “draconian” transport ban.

Small steps which have a high likelihood of success are required to make sure we don’t stumble along the way. This looks to me like a good step in the right direction.

Agitators

Twitter suspends account that helped ignite controversy over viral encounter

Twitter suspended an account on Monday afternoon that helped spread a controversial encounter between a Native American elder and a group of high school students wearing Make America Great Again hats.

The account claimed to belong to a California schoolteacher. Its profile photo was not of a schoolteacher, but of a blogger based in Brazil, CNN Business found. Twitter suspended the account soon after CNN Business asked about it.

The account, with the username @2020fight, was set up in December 2016 and appeared to be the tweets of a woman named Talia living in California. “Teacher & Advocate. Fighting for 2020,” its Twitter bio read. Since the beginning of this year, the account had tweeted on average 130 times a day and had more than 40,000 followers.

Late on Friday, the account posted a minute-long video showing the now-iconic confrontation between a Native American elder and the high school students, with the caption, “This MAGA loser gleefully bothering a Native American protester at the Indigenous Peoples March.”

Molly McKew, an information warfare researcher who saw the tweet and shared it herself on Saturday, later realized that a network of anonymous accounts were working to amplify the video.

Speaking about the nature of fake accounts on social media, McKew told CNN Business, “This is the new landscape: where bad actors monitor us and appropriate content that fits their needs. They know how to get it where they need to go so it amplifies naturally. And at this point, we are all conditioned to react and engage or deny in specific ways. And we all did.”

Basically someone, who probably is not a U.S. citizen, deliberated created a narrative and publicized a fake story to inflame millions of people against each other in this country.

We live in interesting times.

Whidbey Island plane crash

Today started out fairly typically for me as I went to Whidbey Island for a pistol match at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club. The weather was beautiful and I took a few pictures on the ferry and, as usual, tweeted one of them:

We started shooting on time and things were going fairly well for me considering nearly everyone else was shooting Open class guns and I was shooting Limited.

Then about 11:15 a plane engine could be heard louder than usual and changed tone. Perhaps it went from moderate power to full power?

I wasn’t paying much attention. I was under a shelter and couldn’t see the sky. Others, at the end of the shelter could see in the direction of the sound and looked at the sky. They announced that it went down and very shortly after that we heard the thump as the plane hit the trees in the woods.

The event director, Steve, stopped the match and someone ran off the 200 feet or so to the restaurant to use the land line. The cell service is poor to non-existent depending where you are on the range so that was probably the most reliable means of calling it in. There was another plane in the air and circled the area where the plane went down. We talked about it for a bit. What should we do? What could we do? The woods were very thick. I wasn’t even sure we could make it through the woods from our direction to the plane crash area. Surely the airport, on the other side of the woods, would be the better approach. I told the event director, “I don’t think there is much we can do.” He agreed. And we finished shooting the match.

We just finished, and hadn’t even figured out who won the match when someone in firefighter clothing showed up. He asked us to shut down the range. They couldn’t find the plane from the other direction and wanted to try from our direction. “And can some of you guys help us search?”

We immediately agreed. As we started toward the woods where the plane went down we could smell the fuel. The firefighter told us that if we found the plane we should stay away because of the fuel. We didn’t want to risk starting a fire or getting caught in a fire.

We walked at a brisk pace down the road from the falling plate range past the open pistol bays to the trail that led into the woods. There was an archery target set up about 50 yards from the end of the road at the bottom of a draw with a trail to it. The walking was easy enough to there but the trail then disappeared.

Continuing straight was light brush and easy enough. But my impression from where the other match participants had indicated the plane went down it was off to our right. No use in us all staying in a group and since we didn’t really know where it was at, spreading out was probably the best plan even if the going was rather tough. I was wearing thermal underwear, blue jeans, a t-shirt, a sweat-shirt, my Boomershoot M-65 field jacket, gloves, eye and ear protection. I was basically “armored” against the brush. It was just below my chin. I could see over it for moderate distances. Most of the other people in the group were significantly shorter than I and would not have been able to see more than a few feet had they tried to navigate through this brush. I had to push it away and step over small fallen trees and watch for holes and ditches. It was slow going.

It was probably only about 225 yards into the woods when I came out of the thick brush into relatively thin brush within about 100 feet of the plane ahead and to the right of me:

image

The picture below shows more context:

AerialViewAnnotated

I yelled several times to announce that I had found it and kept my distance for a while.

There was no smell of fuel so I approached a little closer. The plane was badly mangled, upside down, and backward from the direction of flight. It had flipped after hitting the trees.

From the time the plane went down to the time I arrived at the site it was just under 30 minutes.

There were no sounds and no movement. I figured the pilot was dead or unconscious. I couldn’t tell if there was more than one person in the plane.

I took a picture and waited for the search and rescue people to arrive and take control of the scene:

20190112_114550

The firefighter was the first to arrive after about two minutes and he radioed to others and informed them there was one person alive and one dead. I then saw the person moving their left arm occasionally. He asked me to use my cell phone to call 911 so they could get GPS coordinates to guide other rescue crew to the site. He radioed that there was no way for a helicopter to get in and to send in someone with a chain saw to cut a trail out.

A woman showed up from the west and began helping. I used my knife to cut a few cables holding the left wing to the body of the plane and then she and I moved the wing to get better access to the people in the plane.

More people showed up. Some were from the pistol match and some were wearing emergency clothing and radios:

20190112_115158

We continued moving small trees and debris from the body of the plane and made plans to move the plane to get access to the female passenger.

When the plane was clear of debris we lifted the tail of the plane straight up. The engine of the plane was mostly broken off and the body hinged on the remaining metal that attached to the engine area. We held it directly on it’s nose while the rescue workers cut the seatbelt on both sides and pulled the woman from her seat. She moaned and cried out about her leg. They worked her free of the debris as gently as they could and moved her away from the plane to examine her as we tipped the body of the plane on over and gently set it down. Someone examined the male pilot for 30 seconds or a minute and announced, “There’s nothing.”

A man with a chainsaw arrived from the west and the original firefighter asked us to help the chainsaw guy clear a path. In part, I think he wanted us to leave so he and the other rescue people could examine the female passenger with a little more privacy. There were about 10 or 15 people onsite now and that was more than enough to help clear the path to the road to the west.

I headed back to the range to collect my gear and report to others that I was going to be later than expected for my appointments that afternoon.

As I drove away I came across two people from the match just outside the main entrance. They had walked out to the west and then down the road to the gun club. I drove another couple hundred yards and found a group of three walking down the side of the road. I offered them a ride, which they accepted and I took them back to the range and their cars.

News stories about the crash:

When will they figure out they are stupid and give up?

It happened again:

Police in Vermont say they can’t conduct mandated background checks required by a new law on private gun sales. The Department of Public Safety last month told lawmakers they are not allowed to access the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System used to vet gun transfers by licensed firearm dealers.

Signed by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott last year among a spate of gun control laws, Act 94 requires virtually all gun transfers, including those between private parties, to first clear a background check. The problem is that Vermont is one of 36 states and territories that do not have a “point of contact” access to NICS, forcing them to rely on the FBI for all firearm background checks performed in the state. While federal firearms license holders can run their checks through the system, the state cannot.

This also happened in Nevada too.

Some of these people pride themselves on their ignorance of guns and gun laws but you would think after one major blunder they would cure their ignorance. One has to conclude they are stupid. I suspect the problem is that as people capable of remedying their ignorance do so they have a high probability of changing sides.

This doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. But it does mean it is a weakness that may be vulnerable to attack.

Quote of the day—RussianBot (@JamesWSchuler)

When you consider that most people figure out how to ask a question before leaving grade school, yet journalism is almost entirely populated by people who needed an additional four years of secondary education to crack that nut, it all makes sense.

RussianBot (@JamesWSchuler)
Tweeted on November 30, 2018
[It’s not entirely true, but it has a strong leaning in the direction of truth.—Joe]

If you subsidize something you will get more of it

Seattle homelessness spending tops $90 million:

In 2015, the year former Mayor Ed Murray declared a state of emergency over homelessness, Seattle budgeted about $50 million to address the crisis. Four years later, Mayor Jenny Durkan’s recently released budget proposal calls for about $90 million in homelessness spending next year, and Seattle’s City Council is looking to add more.

homelessness-Three-years-WEB

It’s a extremely basic lesson of economics. If you subsidize something you will get more of it. By making it easier for people to live with little or no income more people are tempted to go that route and to move here from other places.

Good precedent

Via email from Rolf.

Federal court declares New York ban on nunchucks unconstitutional

A federal court says New York’s ban on nunchucks, the martial arts weapon made famous by Bruce Lee but prohibited in the state for decades, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The more things which declared protected the easier it is to make the case than things just a little bit “up the ladder” are protected also.

It’s sad we have to start so low in some jurisdictions but it’s good we are getting decisions in our favor.

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb

If a citizen is law-abiding in his home state, he or she is going to be law-abiding in a different state where they might find a firearm they want to buy, but the interstate sales ban prevents that. Citizens can purchase all sorts of other goods across state lines, but why not the one tool that is specifically mentioned and protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment? That simply defies logic and common sense.

Alan Gottlieb
CCRKBA Chairman
November 26, 2018
CCRKBA SEEKS SCOTUS REVIEW OF MANCE INTERSTATE HANDGUN SALES CASE
[While it’s true that many anti-gun people steadfastly oppose logic and common sense (see examples in this post), it is probable that in this case, at some level, there is a logic to this situation. Such a law makes perfect sense and is entirely logical to anyone that who is of the mindset to deny people their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms. Such people are the enemy of our country and the U.S. Constitution.—Joe]

SAF, NRA FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INITIATIVE 1639

It’s nice to see the NRA and SAF working together.

From the Second Amendment Foundation web site:

SAF, NRA FILE FEDERAL LAWSUIT CHALLENGING INITIATIVE 1639

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging gun control Initiative 1639 in Washington State, on several grounds.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. In addition to SAF and NRA, plaintiffs include gun dealers and young adults in the affected age group.

The lawsuit challenges the measure on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale to otherwise qualified adults under age 21 of certain rifles.

“We are also considering additional legal challenges,” SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb confirmed. “We are disappointed that too many Evergreen State voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition. This initiative is an affront to the constitutional rights enshrined in the Second Amendment and the Washington state constitution, especially for young adults.

“We’re determined to fight this egregious measure because constitutionally-protected rights should never be subject to a popularity vote,” he stated. “The wealthy elitists behind I-1639 want to turn a right into a regulated privilege. This measure was only designed to have a chilling effect on the exercise of a constitutional right by honest citizens while having no impact at all on criminals, and we cannot let it go unchallenged.”

“The NRA is committed to restoring the Second Amendment rights of every law-abiding Washingtonian,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “I-1639 violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts people at risk. This lawsuit is the first step in the fight to ensure that Washingtonians are free to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.

“The NRA will fight to overturn this unconstitutional initiative. We will not sit idly by while elitist anti-gun activists attempt to deny everyday Americans their fundamental right to self-defense,” concluded Cox.

“While a handful of billionaires spending millions of dollars were able to buy votes, it is our hope they can’t buy the judges,” Gottlieb said.

I find this very interesting. I don’t think anyone has challenged it on the grounds of the initiative violating Washington state law such things as being limited to only one subject, the font was too small to read, the strikeout and other formatting of deleted versus new text was incorrect. It’s possible this was deliberate and we won’t be seeing such a lawsuit for many years and only if this lawsuit fails.

If they can defeat it in Federal court on constitutional grounds it is gone for good so we won’t have to fight it at the ballot or legislature again and it protects other states. But if it is defeated on the basis of ballot procedures and formatting then we won’t be able to fight it on a constitutional until it is passed again. The biggest downside to this is that we will have to live with it until the Federal Courts rule on it. If the district court doesn’t rule in our favor it probably will have to go all the way to SCOTUS because it is unlikely the Ninth Circuit court of appeals is going to rule in our favor on all the aspects of this law.