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.

Damn Girl……One Shot, One Kill!

A female Montana Army National Guard Soldier graduated from the U.S. Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, Ga on Nov. 5, becoming the first woman in history to complete the course.

The Soldier began the U.S. Army Sniper Course in Sept. 2021. This intensive seven week course trains selected individuals assigned to sniper positions in the skills necessary to deliver long range precision fire and the collection of battlefield information.

Link

A momentous achievement. This course is not for the faint of heart, will or body. As a graduate of the Army Sniper School in 1992, I can attest first hand on what it takes to complete the course, and graduate to be qualified as a Sniper. Good on her!

Me on the Sniper School stalking course, 1992. Rifle is on front of me, in the drag bag.

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.

The (Still) Unconstitutionality of the Texas Abortion Law

The Firearms Policy Coalition filed an Amicus brief supporting the Plaintiffs in the current lawsuit against Texas S.B. 8 set to go before SCOTUS. The entire brief is worth the read, if you’re a gun rights policy nerd like me…….but the conclusion is below:

This case is important not because of its specific subject matter of abortion, but instead for Texas’s cavalier and contemptuous mechanism for shielding from review potential violations of constitutional rights as determined by this Court’s precedents. It is one thing to disagree with precedents and seek their revision or reversal through judicial, congressional, or constitutional avenues; it is another simply to circumvent judicial review by delegating state action to the citizenry at large and then claiming, with a wink and a nod, that no state actors are involved.

From Amicus’s perspective, if pre-enforcement review can be evaded in the context of abortion it can and will be evaded in the context of the right to keep and bear arms. While the political valences of those issues seem to be opposites, the structural circumstances are too similar to ignore. As with Roe and Casey, many States view Heller as wrongly decided. Those States, with the help of many circuit courts, have showed an ongoing refusal to accept the holding in Heller and a continuing creativity in seeking to circumvent any protections for, and to chill the exercise of, Second Amendment rights. It is hardly speculation to suggest that if Texas succeeds in its gambit here, New York, California, New Jersey, and others will not be far behind in adopting equally aggressive gambits to not merely chill but to freeze the right to keep and bear arms.

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.

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.

Biden Endorses Right-Wing Gun Position

So, Biden hypes a ‘massive’ effort to curb violent crime and crime involving firearms yesterday. After careful review of his statements….they can be summed up as…….actually enforcing existing gun laws. A position that the political Right has long advocated for. My, what courage……

Now, being the uncompliant and obstinate Libertarian that I am, I believe that nearly every firearm prohibition should be removed, beginning with the abysmal NFA.

P.S. – In another ironic tidbit….many GOP elected representatives – after having voted against a commission to illuminate the events behind the Jan 6th insurrection – are now calling for that very event, having bought into the specious allegation that the FBI coordinated and enabled the event; which was carried out by Trump cultists.

Wow, I actually agree with Cultist MTG

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Thursday introduce House Resolution 3960, known as the “Brian A. Terry Memorial Eliminate the ATF Act.…

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces a Bill to Abolish The ATF

Of course, this position against an unconstitutional agency notwithstanding, she’s still a perfidious piece of shit cultist. And the bill will go absolutely nowhere, but good on her for trying anyway. This bill wouldn’t have passed when the last Administration held the White House and both houses of Congress…….

The Next SCOTUS Justice and the 2A

I’m undoubtedly going to have some severe disagreements with the next presumptive SCOTUS Justice [though I’m certain the Mark Levins of the sock-puppet demographic will not refer to her as a “black-robed tyrant”], but at least Amy Comey Barrett seems to have a liberty-minded view of the 2nd Amendment [let’s hope likewise for the rest of the Bill of Rights].

From Reason Magazine:

In the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court recognized that the Second Amendment protects the right to own guns for self-defense. At the same time, the majority opinion mentioned some “presumptively lawful regulatory measures,” including “longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill.” But both Barrett and her two colleagues on a 7th Circuit panel, who upheld the federal and Wisconsin bans that Kanter challenged, agreed that Heller did not settle the question of whether the Second Amendment allows the government to disarm someone like him.

“The constitutionality of felon dispossession was not before the Court in Heller, and because it explicitly deferred analysis of this issue, the scope of its assertion is unclear,” Barrett wrote. “For example, does ‘presumptively lawful’ mean that such regulations are presumed lawful unless a historical study shows otherwise? Does it mean that as-applied challenges are available? Does the Court’s reference to ‘felons’ suggest that the legislature cannot disqualify misdemeanants from possessing guns? Does the word ‘longstanding’ mean that prohibitions of recent vintage are suspect?”

In addressing a question that she and the majority agreed Heller left unresolved, Barrett considered English common law, proposed and ratified provisions of state constitutions in the U.S., and firearm restrictions enacted in the 18th and 19th centuries. Her conclusion:

History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. Founding-era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons. Nor have the parties introduced any evidence that founding-era legislatures imposed virtue-based restrictions on the right; such restrictions applied to civic rights like voting and jury service, not to individual rights like the right to possess a gun. In 1791—and for well more than a century afterward—legislatures disqualified categories of people from the right to bear arms only when they judged that doing so was necessary to protect the public safety.

That rationale does not easily fit laws that take away the Second Amendment rights of anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony (or, under federal law, “a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year,” which is similar but not quite the same thing), no matter how long ago the offense occurred and whether or not it involved violence or even an identifiable victim. While Kanter ripped off Medicare (and therefore taxpayers), the government presented no evidence that his particular crime or any other personal characteristics showed he had violent tendencies that posed a threat to public safety.

More at the link.