Good Thing I Skipped Indianapolis

May 6th, 2014

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Does the NRA know there are gun owners who aren't chest-beating hard-right conservatives? Seemingly not, because they've done a good job of scaring those people away.

Case in point: Sarah Palin's keynote address at this year's annual meeting.

Her speech was a collection of cliched slogans delivered in a way to best work the crowd, but little of it had anything to do with the 2nd Amendment. Instead, she used the podium as an opportunity to bash various White House policies, bemoan the lack of prayer in schools, and demean "clownish little 'Kumbaya'-humming fairy-tale-inhaling liberals."

Just when the …

Cert Denied for Drake

May 5th, 2014

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The Supreme Court has refused to hear arguments in Drake v. Jerejian. For the third term in a row, they've dodged the issue of bearing arms outside the home while the lower courts continue to defy and eviscerate the Heller and McDonald decisions. Furthermore, we have a fairly clear split since the 9th Circuit's ruling in Peruta.

As it stands, the right to self-defense is unique among civil rights. In many locations, one must demonstrate "good cause" or "justifiable need" to exercise it. Apply that logic to freedom of the press or peaceable assembly, and we would have universal outrage. …

Backlash

April 30th, 2014

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Everytown for Gun Safety is less than two weeks old, and it's already falling apart. Tom Ridge has announced his resignation, and he was supposed to be their star recruit.

I looked forward to a thoughtful and provocative discussion about the toll gun violence takes on Americans. After consultation with Everytown, I have decided that I am uncomfortable with their expected electoral work.

That's nothing new. He's not the first politician to be misled by Michael Bloomberg's recruitment speeches, nor the first to walk away in disgust.

Meanwhile, Everytown associate Shannon Watts has nothing better

Even a Stopped Clock…

April 29th, 2014

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I'm not a fan of Fox News in the least. Charles Krauthammer and Megyn Kelly are great commentators, but the overall flood of right-wing rhetoric gets grating after awhile. That said, Greg Gutfield has personally taken point on the issue of e-cigarette regulation, and he's well worth hearing.

He's been very vocal on the matter, and he makes some great points. What's more, he's on a nationally-syndicated show in a time slot seen by millions. Please take a moment to voice your support.

Also, somebody get him to upgrade from those awful Blu sticks.

Breakfast with Bloomberg

April 28th, 2014

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Quick, somebody tell me when that has ever happened?

Lamb should be better at her job than this. She's the communications director for Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Everytown Big Gulp Guns. She has also worked as press secretary for John Edwards and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'd think she can handle herself in a debate, but she stumbles and falls back on tired slogans.

If Bloomberg wants to blow $50 million to buy his way into heaven, he's welcome to try. Despite the bullying rhetoric and hubris, money doesn't buy the support or respect of normal people who actually, say, work for a living.

Proposed FDA Rule Changes for E-Cigarettes

April 25th, 2014

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The FDA has been making rumblings about regulating e-cigarettes for some time now. Today, they published their proposal [pdf].  It's 241 pages, but this is what I've gathered on first pass:

Expect a ban the sale of e-liquid to minors via the internet, but not to adults. There's no call for ban on those candy-flavored liquids that supposedly reel children into the habit. It doesn't look like they're going after liquid nicotine, either.

There are calls for labeling standards, but the industry never really opposed that. As far as the hardware goes, it looks like it will be exempt:

For purposes

We Need to Choose Better Heroes

April 24th, 2014

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So, Cliven Bundy's been running his mouth. For a guy who refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of the federal government, he sure does a good job of draping himself in the American flag. He also has things like this to say:

I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro (…) because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

April 18th, 2014

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The company line from the arch-conservatives is that Cliven Bundy won a battle against tyranny when he called in the militia to repel Big Gubmint from his land.  The truth is quite different.  Bundy broke the law, and when things didn't go his way, he called in a bunch of armed thugs to avoid the consequences.

Here's a memo to the Alex Jones fanclub: you have all been duped.  Using force (or the threat of force) to coerce others is the very antithesis of a free society.  You've been shown all too willing to use the tools of fascism under the …

About Those AR-15 Pistol Braces

April 5th, 2014

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Earlier this year, Sig Sauer started marketing an AR-15 pistol with a "stabilizing brace" that looks a bit like a short stock. As pictured here, it's designed to fit over the forearm.

People are claiming that the ATF, local law enforcement, or Bigfoot have been cruising public ranges and making arrests because some folks are using the brace as a stock. That's not true. They can't do that.

The ATF has classified this weapon as a pistol. Sticking it up to your shoulder does not turn it into a short-barreled rifle. I've already had arguments about this, so here's

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

April 2nd, 2014

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There's been something of a full-court press to demonize electronic cigarettes in the media lately. The idea is to present them as a public-health menace on the same level as tobacco, thus triggering extensive regulations. Senator Durbin, along with Blumenthal, Markey, Boxer, Heitkamp, and Lautenberg, has called on the FDA to step in.

And why? Because they're not already regulated. It's a grim tautology that implies every aspect of our behavior should be subject to government oversight. It's no coincidence that the politicians who have been the most vocal on this matter are also the biggest supporters of gun control in Washington DC.

It comes down to the same philosophy: meddling.

Goodbye, Piers

March 29th, 2014

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Piers Morgan signed off on his last CNN broadcast tonight. He didn't skimp on the melodrama.

But that’s where guns belong – on a military battlefield, in the hands of highly trained men and women fighting for democracy and freedom. Not in the hands of civilians. The scourge of gun violence is a disease that now infects every aspect of American life.

At least he finally came out and said it.

The gun lobby in America, led by the NRA, has bullied this nation’s politicians into cowardly, supine silence. Even when 20 young children are blown away in their classrooms.

I'd respond that …

Skadefryd

March 26th, 2014

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I'd like to say it couldn't happen to a nicer guy, but I'd be lying. California state Senator Leland Yee has been arrested on charges of corruption and bribery. What the Huffington Post (and many of his supporters) fail to mention is that he is also being charged with weapons-trafficking.

The grim irony is that Yee was one of the most vocal, persistent, and extreme proponents of gun control in the California legislature. Bills he sponsored included a ban on "bullet buttons," a bill to mandate so-called safe storage, a bill requiring

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