Crocodile Tears

September 27th, 2015

There's a sad-sack story being circulated by gun-control advocates about Lonnie and Sandy Phillips.  In essence, the claim is that they're being bankrupted by an evil gun retailer who knowingly armed the Aurora movie theater shooter.

The truth is something altogether different.

The lawsuit itself [pdf] was an attempt to hold online dealers culpable because they sold ammunition without a background check.  There is no law in Colorado, or on the federal level, mandating such a practice.

Notice the "should have known" clauses:

Defendants in this case knew, should have known, or knew that it was substantially certain, that in


December 12th, 2014

A group of families, organized by the law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, is planning to bring a wrongful death suit against Bushmaster Firearms because one of the company's rifles was used in the Sandy Hook shooting. In theory, such a lawsuit would be forbidden by the Protection in Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. In practice, it's not as clear.

A Bushmaster rifle was also used in the 2002 DC Beltway shootings. The Brady Campaign brought suit against them, and the company eventually settled. Doing so set a terrible precedent, and the lawyers smell blood in the …

Bloomberg's Paper Trail

January 10th, 2014

There have been some questions about the exact relationship between Michael Bloomberg's New York City Hall staff and his employees at Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Judicial Watch obtained over 500 pages of emails through an FOIA request, and they have it posted here [huge pdf file].

The chain of emails begins a couple of hours before the Sandy Hook shootings on December 14, 2012 and continues through January. Their intention to take control of the debate, even before the White House and Congress have had a chance to respond, is almost immediately apparent.

Vesely v. Armslist Dismissed

August 4th, 2013

In 2011, a Canadian national named Demetry Smirnov illegally purchased a handgun that had been advertised on Armslist. He then used that handgun to kill Jitka Vesel. With the support of the Brady Center, Vesel's next of kin decided to sue Armslist for wrongful death.

This one had me a bit concerned. Although the PLCAA prohibits nuisance liability lawsuits against manufacturers of firearms, there isn't any explicit protection for sellers or event organizers. Had this been a win for plaintiffs, it could have set a destructive precedent, and it would have started a tidal wave of litigation.

Armslist filed a Motion …

Now for the Fallout

July 14th, 2013

It would be an understatement to say that people are angry at George Zimmerman's acquittal. The Department of Justice is reviewing a possible civil-rights case, and representatives for Trayvon Martin's family (read: Jesse Jackson and the usual vultures) are planning civil action.

It won't stop there. Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law will come under immense scrutiny in the coming weeks and months. Expect the same in other states.

When the ball started rolling in 2005, opponents referred to these as "shoot to kill" laws. The phrase "license to kill" was also thrown about quite a bit. The Brady Campaign erected …

Heidi Yewman

June 16th, 2013

Heidi is a board member for the Brady Campaign. A few years ago, she decided to manufacture a controversy out of Starbucks' non-policy gun policy. Starbucks refused to bow to the pressure, and they continue to allow patrons to carry in their restaurants.

A normal adult would look at that loss and say, "you win some, you lose some." A normal adult would get on with her life. Not Heidi. There is something very troubling about her logic.

In an article for Ms. magazine, she outlines a plan to buy a gun and pursue absolutely no training. She …

Brady Center v. City of Nelson, Georgia et al

May 21st, 2013

And now for something truly surreal. The city of Nelson (population 1300) has passed an ordinance that requires all heads of household to keep and maintain a firearm.

In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain and firearm, together with ammunition therefor.

Apparently, the school system could use some extra funding, but I digress.

Like the Kennesaw ordinance that presumably inspired it, the law …


February 1st, 2013

I'm on the Brady Campaign's mailing list. It's a long story, but nobody there has figured out that Pynchon Voltaire isn't my real name yet. Anyhow, they sent this out today in response to the Senate hearings:

We support President Obama's comprehensive plan to prevent gun violence. His legislative plan — which includes measures such as universal criminal background checks for all gun buyers — can immediately reduce gun injuries and deaths across America.

That's a pretty big promise to make, and it's an impossible one to keep. Of course, they really don't have to worry about it, since the general public …

A Time to Mourn

December 17th, 2012

Emotions are still raw from Friday's shooting in Sandy Hook. We want explanations. That's natural. The media and legal system will examine Adam Lanza's history and mental health in detail in the coming weeks, but in the final accounting, those answers may be inconclusive and unsatisfying.

Certainly none will come from politicians who jumped into the fray to capitalize on this. Less than an hour after the first reports, the Brady Campaign sent out a press release calling for new legislation. Dianne Feinstein and Charles Schumer spoke of it "finally being time" and of this incident serving as a "tipping point" …

New President for the Brady Campaign

February 6th, 2012

Since Paul Helmke stepped down last year, Dennis Henigan has been serving as active president. Today, the Brady Campaign announced that Daniel Gross would be taking the reins.

Gross was formerly the director of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence. I can't find much about their funding. They were previously known as PAX, who received a $200,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation in 2004, but the trail appears to stop there.

Given that the Brady Campaign's budget has fallen into the four-digit range, I'm curious as to whether this guy is bringing in further funding, as they can't be …

Mulford Act: Full Circle

October 10th, 2011

Today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 144 into law, making open carry of any sort a misdemeanor.

Since 1967, there's been a loophole in § 12031 that allows an unlicensed citizen to carry a handgun, as long as it's visible and unloaded. It's a questionable mode of carry, but at least it's an option when others are not available. Now, Californians don't even have that. Who's to blame? Portantino? Brown? Nope. We are.

For over 40 years, the whole technicality was something of an open secret, but it was never front-page news. That is, until a bunch of pro-gun …

At Least He Hacks Off the Bradys

August 18th, 2011

I was incorrect in a previous article, and I'd like to post a correction.  Steve Perry, the beloved singer from arena rock band Journey, is not running for the Republican Presidential nomination.  I regret the misunderstanding and assure the readership that swift punishment will be meted out.  There will be demerits.

As it turns out, the actual candidate is Rick Perry, shown here displaying some truly wretched muzzle and trigger discipline:

Way to set an example, Rick.

The Brady Campaign wasted no time putting the shot to good use, issuing a press release on the matter.

The Republican primary campaign has hardly begun and already it is being dominated by extremists. None as scary as Rick Perry who brazenly carries weapons — concealed and revealed. Even on the campaign trail!

Only an egotistical extremist would carry a loaded weapon into a crowd — encouraging others to do so.  Is this where America is headed? Is this the America you want for our nation’s children?

Heck, why not?  Let us not forget that Teddy Roosevelt was known to carry a pistol, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. He also kept a gorgeous engraved FN 1900 on the nightstand in the White House.  Of course, handguns weren't banned in Washington DC in the early 20th Century.  A modern President might find himself running afoul of the law by keeping and carrying a gun there.

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