Well, that didn’t take long….

As I opined here, here and here, it didn’t think it would take long for a SCOTUS ruling upholding Texas’ egregious* abortion law [SB8], to translate into similar efforts regrading firearms. Precedence may rear it’s legislative head.

Here comes Gavin Newsome:

If states can shield their laws from review by federal courts, then CA will use that authority to help protect lives. We will work to create the ability for private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in CA.Twitter

Is it going to work? With California, it’s hard to say….but file this under, watch what you wish for….

*I’m not commenting on the topic of abortion itself rather the means by which this law is enforceable.

Observations on Local Protests

For over a year now, there has been a Saturday morning protest by BLM supporters in the town nearest to me. Mostly white, as I live in a rural, mostly white county. And mostly older folk. They stand along the side of the road at the main ‘downtown’ intersection, holding signs and waving at passers-by. They aren’t obnoxious, and you could drive right by without knowing they were there, if you weren’t paying attention…..and let’s be honest, most drivers aren’t these days.

Recently however, a ‘counter-protest’ has appeared across the intersection from them. Well within their rights, this protest is an odd smattering of signage for supporting the police, “defending the military” [whatever that means], anti-vaxx, and a mashup of ‘patriot’ slogans.

Now, I don’t consider myself any sort of support of BLM, though unlike most Conservatives, I will readily admit to the largely untaught racist history of policing in this country. But the BLM folks seem decent enough and end their vigil at 1100 am with a prayer.

The counter-protest…….are not that. A small group of screeching and obnoxious [also white] folks who spend their morning literally screaming across the road….often just repeating the same phrase over and over….and over and over again, until their voices start to give out. They also cross the road frequently to i guess intimidate the BLM folks? There is a police officer resent at these events, that I don’t believe was found to be necessary prior to the counter-protest.

I find this tactic odd. Ostensibly, the goal of a protest is to raise awareness and convert folks to your position on a issue. Now, one can argue that a protest is likely to generally appeal only to those who already hold said position and it;’s all really a waste of time. I wouldn’t argue with that.

But, if your undecided/uninformed on an issue, and were observing both protests….which tactic would cause you to learn more, or speak to the protestors?

I believe that I suffer from a militant practicality, so I’m handicapped in the ways of social norms and peculiarities….but I don’t see the value in acting like an asshole. But that’s certainly where a particular political demographic finds itself.

The Cheapening of Veterans Day

Not just Veterans Day to be fair, but nearly everything that we (used to) hold in humble reverence.

This week is when we start seeing social media awash in memes and proclamations, exhorting that “if you support Veterans” you’ll share/repost some meme or another……that may or may not actually depict U.S. service members to begin with.

This is garbage.

If you support Veterans, go visit somebody at a care facility; go tidy up a forgotten grave site; attend a short commemoration hosted by a Veterans group, or a church, or the Boy Scouts; give a couple of dollars to a worthy charity. Heck, lobby your elected Representatives to lower the drinking age for serving military, to the age of enlistment. If you’re old enough to fight and die in the name of your country, you should be able to legally crack a cold one.

But good grief, stop proliferating the cycle of lazy, numbed garbage. It’s bad enough that we’re inundated with the commercialization of these remembrance days.

I’m fortunate enough to have the honor of participating in a once in a lifetime event today, and I’ll plan to post about it tomorrow.

Thoughts on the Virginia Elections

Though I’m an Oregon Duck [U of O] through and through, Virginia has been my adopted state since late 2008, when I retired from the Army [or the John Wayne Lifelong School for Wayward Boys].

I’ve watched several elections here with varying amounts of interest, this a bit more so than others……even though there was no Libertarian candidate in any of the races I could have cast a ballot for. Some random thoughts below:

Good on Winsome Sears for winning [though I really don’t get the business attire/firearm photo that seems to be trendy among the virtue-signalling Right]. It’s a good win for the Virginia GOP, though most Virginians are waking up this morning and researching exactly what the hell the Lt Gov even does.

More concerning to civil liberties, is the AG race, which last time I checked, is still too close to call.

Youngkin is secretly thanking McAuliffe for handing him the victory, by way of his asinine comment during the last debate. All most knew about him before then was that he liked basketball. His rhetoric of an enormous education budget is worrisome, especially if he doesn’t throw a bone to the large home-school population of this State, like all of his GOP predecessors failed to do. Since the 1977 Gubernatorial election, the party out of power in the White House, has only lost one election for Governor. In 11 out of 12 elections, only Terry McAuliffe has bucked that trend during the Obama Administration…..so this isn’t exactly a momentous occasion.

The Second Amendment Foundation [of which I’m a member] published the following:

“Old Dominion gun owners were not about to allow anti-gun Democrats enjoy another two years of power after what happened in January 2020. They knew what Terry McAuliffe’s return to Richmond would mean for their Second Amendment rights. His party’s politics of attacking gun owners, and their outrageous record of eroding gun rights brought gun owners to the polls to say enough is enough.”

“What is most gratifying, was to see savvy gun rights voters ignore the despicable last-minute ad buy by desperate Democrats to suppress the gun vote by painting Republican Glenn Youngkin as an anti-gunner, when it is their own candidate who has a deplorable record on gun rights.”

To be sure, Youngkin seemed like and empty suit [or fleece vest] up until McAuliffe’s education gaffe. He never really took a strong position, that I saw, on 2nd Amendment Rights……..even in a year where SCOTUS started hearing oral arguments [today I believe] in a landmark NY case.

So, Trump…..or overt lack of ties to Trump aside…we’ll see how a Youngkin Administration pans out for civil liberties. I have an open mind, but I’m not exactly brimming over with confidence in any Republican.

TRUTH Social?

I’ll admit to not having much to say about Trump’s nascent social media platform…….beyond the irony of the name.

The sheer irony.

Oh, and for a “pro-free speech” venue, the terms and conditions, are likewise fascinating.

Users are not allowed to “disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.”

Is there a viable market for echo chambers? Not merely to survive, as there are already a multitude of those venues that cater to nearly every political and social bent in existence…….but to compete against forums that allow discourse between disparate points of view?

I don’t think Twitter and Facebook et al, are terribly concerned. But what do I know……I’m not on any of them.

“Partisan Free Passes”

An excellent observation by “D” at Liberty’sQuill, posted almost in it’s entirety. I recommend many of D’s other pieces as well.

Today political emotion is almost a virtue, and self-awareness is in short supply. A substantial majority of Americans regularly excuse or defend worrisome views, troubling behaviors, and double standards – but only when their political compatriots are in the wrong. For example, politicians often appear to exchange scripts when power shifts in Congress. Borrowing and spending was a capital idea last year, but now it is irresponsible; a disturbing exercise of federal authority is dangerous today, but last year a similar action represented a common-sense solution to an intractable problem.

Not so long ago the capitol police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt inadvertently pulled back the curtain on another example of this bipartisan hypocrisy. The officer in question contended he made the right choice, and many progressive web warriors agree. Yet even in a progressive digital utopia this wholly rational view is mixed with exaggerations and illiberal generalizations – mental shortcuts that are often wrongly associated with conservative Americans. In a similar manner, many conservatives complained about law enforcement’s tentative response to rioting and looting during the spring and summer of 2020. But after Ashli Babbitt was shot conservative affection for decisive law enforcement action suddenly declined. Invariably political emotionalism leads to hypocrisy, and occasionally even political oppression.

If America is going to have a peaceful and stable political future, politically engaged Americans must resolve to hold their ideological compatriots to the same standard they have established for their political opponents. Absent this act of self-honesty, partisan anger and chronic “misrepresentations” will imperil the freedom, happiness, and security of this great country.

Partisan hypocrisy is never not fascinating to me….

Pet Issues and Precedent, Continued

Alan Dershowitz illustrates my concern about the Texas abortion legislation being used as precedent for other issues, in Democratic monopoly states:

Consider this out-of-the-box proposal: Liberal, pro-gun-control states could apply the Texas bounty approach to gun control. New York or Illinois, for example, could declare that gun crime has gotten so serious that the private ownership of most handguns should be deterred. It would be unconstitutional for the state to authorize the criminal prosecution of those who facilitate constitutionally protected gun ownership. But the state could, instead, enact a gun-bounty civil law modeled on the Texas abortion law. It would empower any citizen to sue for $10,000 anyone who facilitates the sale or ownership of handguns.

Gun-ownership advocates would rail against such a law as circumventing Heller, just as abortion advocates are railing against the Texas law as circumventing Roe. But it would be hard for the courts to uphold the civil mechanism of the anti-abortion law without also upholding the identical mechanism in the anti-gun law.

Creating this “shoe on the other foot” challenge would bring home the dangerous implications of the Texas bounty approach which, if not stopped, could undercut the authority of the Supreme Court to enforce other constitutional rights.

Texas could, for example, next apply it to gay marriage — any private citizen could sue anyone who performed or facilitated same-sex marriages — thus circumventing Obergefell v. Hodges. New York could then apply it to Citizens United v. FCC and offer a civil bounty to sue any media outlet that ran corporate political ads. Any state could simply target any Supreme Court precedent it doesn’t like and deter its enforcement by authorizing citizens who oppose it to sue. This would empower every state to effectively overrule Supreme Court decisions, as some southern states unsuccessfully tried to do following Brown v Board of Education in 1954.

Apparently, I’m a Domestic Terrorist. Sweet!

Earlier this year, the anti-Civil Rights group “Coalition to Stop Gun Violence” issued a press release in support of Terry McAuliffe’s run [again] for Governor of my adopted state of Virginia.

In this now deleted release [the internet is forever geniuses], they rail against the GOP challenger [who doesn’t really seem to stand for anything, based on his TV ads] by stating:

“His willingness to say anything for a vote is deeply troubling, as we’ve already seen him cozying up to those with deep ties to those at the forefront of the insurrectionist movement, like Senator Amanda Chase and the domestic terror organization, the Virginia Citizens Defense League.”

As a member in good standing of said Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, apparently that makes me a domestic terrorist. Knowing the source, I guess I’ll wear that label with some amount of pride.

Honestly, I’m more upset at being implicated in the same sentence as batshit crazy Amanda Chase.

Pet Issues and Precedent

I’m watching in fascination, both the various legal analyses of the newly implemented Texas abortion law….and the even newer pursuit of one-upsmanship on the part of a couple of other states.

Whether it’s the Left on issues like gun control or the Right with abortion……one wonders if they ever stop to calculate the second and third order effects……as well as the very real fact that their legal victories…..can serve as precedent when tables are turned, or in jurisdictions where they aren’t in the majority.

To this end, an OpEd in the WSJ notes:

“This one delegates exclusive enforcement to private citizens, who are authorized to sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion after six weeks. Citizens who prevail in their civil lawsuits are entitled to at least $10,000 per abortion along with legal costs.”

The law sets an awful precedent that conservatives should hate. Could California allow private citizens to sue individuals for hate speech? Or New York deputize private lawsuits against gun owners? Texas argues that abortion providers don’t have standing to challenge the law because the state isn’t enforcing it and neither at this point is any private citizen. Thus there is no case or controversy, which is what courts are supposed to settle. This is technically correct and it is why the five Justices declined to enjoin the law.

The entire article is behind a paywall, but this and another snippet can be found here.

I have little doubt that this law will be struck down, not because it effectively skirts settled law, but for the manner in which it does…..and the horrible precedent it sets. Snitch lines/website? Blanket legal standing for unaffected Citizens to sue?

This is a dangerous road that political myopia built.

Reasons Why I Carry – Example#….OK, I Lost Count

“I’m going in there with 20 strong men, I’m going to speak to the school board and I’m going to give them an option. They can leave or they can be removed ” said Steve Lynch who is running for PA Governor, “Make men men again”, he said during Freedom Rally today.

And….

At protest in Santa Monica today before the vote on mask-mandate, Jason Lefkowitz has the home addresses of each LA City Council member on his sign. He says they are going to the homes of whoever votes for it, and if it passes, it’s “civil war, get your guns.” From @chadloder

Soon is coming the time for patriots to grab muskets from over the mantle, secure shot and ball, and prepare to defend our nation from the Cult of the Unmitigated Asshole. Those self-aggrandized snowflakes who allow their impotent rage to convince them that they’re victims because of <insert baseless reason here>.

A reckoning is indeed coming, but they mistakenly reckon that the cause of Patriots is on their side.

They will be proven wrong.