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Gun control Tag

Retailers including Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Sears have reached a $300K compromise with New York regulators who say that the outlets' sales of toy guns violate state law. Federal law requires that toy guns display an orange strip to indicate non functionality, but New York law goes further by banning the sale of black, blue, silver, or aluminum imitation guns. (New York City goes even further---your mock glock needs to be transparent or brightly colored in the Big Apple.) Officials also hit a total of 67 online third-party sellers with cease-and-desist letters in an attempt to prevent indirect sales from slipping across state lines. For their part, the New York AG's office is sticking to their guns (I'm so, so sorry) over the controversial crackdown; officials claim that their regulations work to keep citizens safe from mix-ups with law enforcement:
“There have been instances in states around the country in which police officers have mistaken toy guns for actual guns,” Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general, said in an interview. “It’s an absolutely unnecessary risk, because toy guns, as New York law requires, can be easily distinguishable.”

Ah yes, the media and gun control. Senator Cruz joined PBS host Tavis Smiley Tuesday. Smiley seized the opportunity to peg Sen. Cruz on gun control. "To me and to others who've seen this, it seemed in bad taste, but maybe that's my assessment," Smiley said. "We all know what happened in Charleston the other day, and you were on the campaign trail after this happened, here's what you said on the campaign trail." Smiley then showed Sen. Cruz a clip bearing a HuffPo watermark, dated June 19 when Cruz was addressing a crowd in Iowa. "We need a second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. You know the great thing about the state of Iowa, I'm pretty sure y'all define 'gun control' the same way we do in Texas -- hittin' what you aim at," Cruz explained as the audience chuckled. "Gun control is hitting what you aim at. Those comments were made after this tragedy the other day in South Carolina the other day, was that in bad taste?" Smiley asked.

Here's an interesting article about how it might have been a good thing if the attendees at the Bible study meeting in Charleston had been armed. That's not just a fanciful thought. Mass murders, even mass murders at churches, have been thwarted before by a good guy wielding a gun and stopping the bad guy (and here I use the word "guy" in the completely non-PC sense that includes "woman"):
Murray had already shot and killed two people in the parking lot when he burst into the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Before he could pull the trigger again, however, the 24-year-old shooter was gunned down by Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard with a concealed-carry permit. That was eight years ago, but even though Ms. Assam was credited for saving as many as 100 lives that day, a dozen states continue to restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in churches — including South Carolina.
There have been quite a few similar cases of a law-abiding citizen with a gun (often an ex- or off-duty police officer, but not always) stopping or even preventing a mass shooting. A list of similar incidents can be found here. That there are not even more is probably due to the fact that mass shootings are actually quite rare to begin with---despite our perceptions that they are common, and despite the fact that even a single one is too many---and so it is not surprising that there are not so very many cases where a witness pulled a gun and even tried to stop such a shooting. Another reason is likely to be that mass murderers understand that they will be more likely to achieve their goals if they attack people in a gun-free zone, and so many attacks occur in such places. But the shoot-em-up fantasy of someone like MSNBC's Bob Shrum appears to lack any real-world precedent:

Gun control has never been a winning issue for Democrats but that hasn't stopped them from trying. In the wake of the Charleston shootings, Obama is pursuing the issue with renewed vigor. Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico reports:
Obama: I'm not giving up on guns SAN FRANCISCO—Wrapping together his frustrations with the country’s continuing problems with racism and his own inability to make progress on gun control in the wake of the South Carolina church shooting, President Barack Obama stood before a bipartisan gathering of mayors here Friday and declared, “It is not good enough simply to show sympathy.” “The apparent motivations of the shooter remind us that racism remains a blight that we have to combat together. We have made great progress but we have to be vigilant because it still lingers,” Obama said. There must be a popular outcry for gun control, Obama said, to change the minds of a Congress that he said he knows right now won’t touch the issue. “I refuse to act as if this is the new normal or to pretend that it’s simply sufficient to grieve and that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing the problem,” he said.
FOX News pointed out Obama's political conundrum on Friday night:

Do you like the idea of tax dollars being used for research to support gun control? Two Democrats introduced legislation last week for that very purpose. The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action reported:
Legislation Proposes $60 Million for Anti-Gun Research On Monday, NRA F-rated Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation to authorize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to give $60 million of the taxpayers' money to anti-gun activists over the next six years, to conduct "research" promoting gun control. The two longtime anti-gun legislators say that their bill is necessary for two reasons, both of which are hokum: First, they say, Congress in 1996 "almost halted entirely" all funding of gun control research, the operative word being "almost." In 1996, Congress did stop the CDC from funneling millions of the taxpayers' dollars to anti-gunners to conduct "research"--pitiful by academic standards--designed from the get-go to promote a political agenda against a constitutionally-protected right. However, it didn't shut off the spigot through which millions of dollars flow to the same anti-gunners from leftwing philanthropic foundations. For example, the Joyce Foundation alone has given several million dollars to a variety of anti-gun groups and individuals every year since 1996.

Hillary is set to announce her presidential run today. At the same time, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is holding one of his anti-Second Amendment events and the NRA is holding its annual meeting.  Hot Air reports:
The well monied former New York mayor and head honcho of Everytown for Gun Safety is holding his own event in Tennessee to focus attention on politicians who aren’t willing to sign on to ever increasing restrictions of the rights of gun owners.
This is just the sort of attention that Democrats are not eager to bask in.  According to the Washington Times:
The near unity among Republicans on gun rights contrasts with the Democratic divide on the issue, underscoring how the politics appear to have swung in the GOP’s favor. “It is a loser for the Democrats and so they shy away from it — except in Washington, D.C., or New York, where they have a strong liberal constituency and where it is not going to cost them votingwise,” said Robert A. Levy, of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute.

The Democratic Party has been unable to sway public opinion on the issue of gun control, but that hasn't stopped the Obama administration from using the Department of Justice to harass legal gun dealers under a program called Operation Choke Point. Guidelines designed to discourage banks from doing business with illegal and heinous operations involving things like human trafficking and child pornography are now being applied to legal and legitimate businesses which are deemed "high risk." Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller filed this report yesterday:
Audio Tapes Reveal How Federal Regulators Shut Down Gun Store Owner’s Bank Accounts Conversations recorded by a Wisconsin gun store owner provide perhaps the clearest glimpse yet into how the federal government uses regulators to target legal firearm and ammunition sellers. “Our hands are tied by it,” a regional manager with Heritage Credit Union told Hawkins Guns owner Mike Shuetz of federal regulations which forced the institution to close Shuetz’s bank accounts in November. Recordings of Shuetz’s conversations with the manager and a bank teller, which were published online by the U.S. Consumer Coalition, make it clear that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) examined the credit union’s books and forced it to close Shuetz’s account — a move he blames on a Department of Justice initiative called Operation Choke Point. Schuetz’s saga began on Nov. 13, when he says Heritage Credit Union informed him that it would have to close his bank accounts.

The ink on 2015 is barely dry, but that hasn't stopped liberals from continuing their push for increased gun control. Seizing on the still-raw emotions of the shooting at Sandy Hook, Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker outlined what he calls their "moral work":
The Newtown Lawsuit and the Moral Work of Gun Control The news that the parents of the children massacred two years ago in Sandy Hook, near Newtown, Connecticut, by a young man with a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle, were undertaking a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer was at once encouraging and terribly discouraging. The encouraging part is that those parents, suffering from a grief that those of us who are only witnesses to it can barely begin to comprehend, haven’t, despite the failure to reinstate assault-weapons bans and stop the next massacre, given way to despair. Like Richard Martinez, after his son was murdered by a weapon that should never have been in the hands of a lunatic, or anyone else, for that matter, they’re allowing themselves to be angry, and then turning their anger into action: they’re naming the business that helped kill their children and asking a court to hold that business responsible. The filed complaint—the numbered paragraphs give it an oddly religious feeling, like theses nailed to a church door—is worth reading in full, however painful that might be, not only because of the unbelievable suffering and cruelty it details on that terrible morning but also because it offers, in neatly logical fashion, an indisputable argument: the gun manufacturer is guilty of having sold a weapon whose only purpose was killing a lot of people in a very short time.
John Hinderaker of Powerline wrote an excellent response to this which you can read here. Leftists claim to support the rights of law abiding gun owners when it's politically convenient, but they will never stop pushing gun control.

Remember when Vice President Joe Biden stupidly told people to fend off intruders by firing a shotgun into the air? This is worse. I'm not a lawyer or a gun owner but as I watched this for the first time, I couldn't help but wonder how many laws the boy in the video was breaking. Yehuda Remer of Truth Revolt names a few:
New Anti-Gun PSA Advocates Breaking The Law A new PSA created by director Rejina Sincic shows her irrational fear of firearms in a disturbing new video. The video shows a boy stealing his mother’s handgun from her dresser, places it in a backpack, brings it to school, and at the end of class gives it to his teacher saying, “Can you take this away? I don’t feel safe with a gun in my house.” Bearing Arms writes that the video is “advocating that teens commits multiple felonies—several of which could lead to injury or death through negligent discharge of the weapon.” What Sincic fails to point out as she advocates for this kind of behavior is the multiple felonies that the boy breaks. “[S]uch an act would result in the boy facing numerous felony charges (exact charges depend on state laws) possibly including weapons theft, unlawful possession of a weapon by a minor, illegal concealed carry of a weapon, carrying a weapon onto school property, assault, and brandishing,” writes Bearing Arms.
Watch it below: It's obvious that the people behind this video have no understanding of gun laws or safety protocols.

In the haze of the recent news about Cuba, you may not have heard that Dr. Vivek Murthy has been confirmed as the new Surgeon General of the United States. Tanya Somanader of the White House blog reported:
The Nation's Doctor: Dr. Vivek Murthy Is Confirmed as Surgeon General The Surgeon General is America's doctor, responsible for providing Americans with the best scientific information on how to improve our collective well-being. Now, Dr. Vivek Murthy will be the next physician to don the lab coat of the Surgeon General after the Senate confirmed his nomination today. "I applaud the Senate for confirming Vivek Murthy to be our country’s next Surgeon General," the President said following the confirmation. "As ‘America’s Doctor,’ Vivek will hit the ground running to make sure every American has the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. He’ll bring his lifetime of experience promoting public health to bear on priorities ranging from stopping new diseases to helping our kids grow up healthy and strong."
Dr. Murthy supported Obama's candidacy for president and was also an integral member of "Doctors for America" which has ties to Obama's campaign machine "Organizing for America." In a 2009 column, Michelle Malkin connected the dots:

The New York machine is responding to the tragic death of 12 year old Tamir Rice by reigniting its own war on realistic looking toy guns. Tamir Rice was killed in Cleveland last month after police officers mistook his pellet gun for a deadly weapon. According to New York law, it is illegal to sell a toy gun missing a tell-tale orange stripe, marking it as a fake as opposed to a hot gun. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is firing cease and desist letters to Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and Kmart, retailers that have all allegedly sold toy guns lacking the stripe, arguing that those sales took place in violation of New York laws intended to keep both civilians and officers safe. Via Bloomberg:
“When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said today in a statement. “Retailers cannot put children and law enforcement at risk by selling toy guns that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.” Schneiderman said his office found that toy guns banned in the state have been widely available online and accessible to New Yorkers. Some were advertised as “realistic looking” and “full size,” including imitation assault rifles, shotguns and pistols, he said. Since 1997, four people have been killed in New York when law enforcement mistook toy guns for real ones, he said.
In a recent article in New York Times Magazine, Jay Kang makes a great point (albeit floating in a sea of progressive order victimology) about these types of laws, and putting the burden on manufacturers and retailers to "keep us safe." The problem? Kids will be kids. Boys will be boys. If the draw of realistic weaponry overpowers the draw toward "safety first," you can kiss those orange warning stripes goodbye:

For those of you who are new to the blog, or who have not been paying attention, Legal Insurrection filed a FOIA suit against the District of Columbia seeking records related to the non-prosecution of David Gregory and NBC News despite their clear violation of D.C.'s gun law by possessing a 30-round ammunition magazine. We are represented by Judicial Watch, which has done a wonderful job. It's a real credit to them that they work hard to dig out the truth not only on big issues like IRS targeting, but also smaller issues like how draconian D.C. gun laws are not enforced against the famous and connected D.C. elites. In the Gregory case, NBC News was warned by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department that possession of the magazine was illegal, and that NBC News should use a photo not the real thing, but NBC News ignored the warning and used it on Meet the Press. Gregory OAG Email Dec 21 2012 NBC to MPD4 Legal Insurrection was one of the first to note the violation of law, and we pursued the story in a long series of posts. Despite the clear violation of law, the D.C. Attorney General, Irvin Nathan, decided not to prosecute Gregory or any NBC News personnel.

Last week,49-year-old Larry McQuilliam went on a ten minute shooting spree in Austin, Texas. The only fatality was the shooter himself, when a mounted Austin police officer dropped McQuilliam from 312 feet with a single, strong handed, shot. McQulliam unleashed approximately 100 rounds in an attempt to shoot up a federal courthouse and Mexican Consulate. He had the words "Let Me Die" written on his chest in marker. According to CNN:
He said investigators found a map that included 34 locations marked as targets in McQuilliams' possessions. The majority of the locations were either government buildings, including the ones that he attacked, or financial institutions, Acevedo said. The map included two churches. Investigators also found a book, "Vigilantes Of Christendom," the police chief said. Inside the book was a handwritten note that discussed McQuilliams' rank as a "priest in the fight against anti-God" people, Acevedo said. According to Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI's San Antonio division, McQuilliams had mentioned to some people that he was upset because he couldn't find a job and because, in his view, immigrants were able to get more services than he was. Authorities believe McQuilliams acted alone.

At this year's American Bar Association annual meeting in Boston, ABA President James R. Silkenat took the opportunity to tout the ABA's Standing Committee on Gun Violence. The Standing Committee is one of the ABA's advocacy wings, and is affiliated closely with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
"Part of our mission as an association is to defend liberty and deliver justice," Silkenat said at the program, "Combatting Gun Violence: A Role for Lawyers and the Bar." Someone "who cannot go to the laundromat, the movie theater or school, without fear for their safety, is not truly free—even if he or she can vote or have the right to legal counsel," he said.
Other gun control advocates went on to trot out the recent death of James Brady as a boon to their argument for stricter background checks and waiting periods:
Opponents of gun regulations cite the inconvenience to potential gun buyers of waiting periods associated with background checks, said Jonathan Lowy, director of the legal advocacy project of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. He noted that James Brady once said, from his wheelchair, "I guess I'm paying for their convenience." Lowy cited a well-known argument from the head of the National Rifle Association, that "the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He noted that victims of the assassination attempt were protected with the guns of the Secret Service.
James Brady was the victim of a terrible act of political violence. He spent over three decades in a wheelchair because of his injuries, and lawyers and policymakers owe it to people like Brady to take care in their examination of the law. There is a difference, however, between advocating for strong, constitutionally-sound policy, and using worst case scenarios to swindle the public into believing that the mere presence of a gun bodes ill for the safety of the American people:

US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois yesterday handed down a stinging defeat to the City of Chicago, and it's mayor Rahm Emanuel. Despite clear Constitutional direction derived from D.C. v. Heller, and McDonald v. Chicago, the city of Chicago had insisted it possessed the power of law to deny almost all otherwise lawful purchases and transfers of guns in the city. Federal District Court Judge Edmond E. Chang, however, disagreed:
Three Chicago residents and an association of Illinois firearms dealers brought this suit against the City of Chicago (Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sued in his official capacity, which is the same as suing the City), challenging the constitutionality of City ordinances that ban virtually all sales and transfers of firearms inside the City’s limits.1 R. 80, Second Am. Compl. The ban covers federally licensed firearms dealers; even validly licensed dealers cannot sell firearms in Chicago. The ban covers gifts amongst family members; only through inheritance can someone transfer a firearm to a family member. Chicago does all this in the name of reducing gun violence. That is one of the fundamental duties of government: to protect its citizens. The stark reality facing the City each year is thousands of shooting victims and hundreds of murders committed with a gun. But on the other side of this case is another feature of government: certain fundamental rights are protected by the Constitution, put outside government’s reach, including the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense under the Second Amendment. This right must also include the right to acquire a firearm, although that acquisition right is far from absolute: there are many long-standing restrictions on who may acquire firearms (for examples, felons and the mentally ill have long been banned) and there are many restrictions on the sales of arms (forexample, licensing requirements for commercial sales). But Chicago’s ordinance goestoo far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms, and at the same time the evidence does not support that the complete ban sufficiently furthers the purposes that the ordinance tries to serve. For the specific reasons explained later in this opinion, the ordinances are declared unconstitutional.

As the racialist wing of our body politic suffers through the Kubler-Ross seven stages of grief at the "Not Guilty" verdict in the Zimmerman trial, we find that they are currently transitioning from the "Anger" to "Bargaining" stage. How do we know? Because all they...