Friday, March 27, 2015
Any long-time reader of this blog knows that I loathe and despise the so-called animal rights group PETA. In addition to their legal grandstanding against events like the Possum Drop, they run an animal shelter in Norfolk, VA. Unlike the private shelters in my area that operate as no-kill shelters, the PETA shelter seems to operate on the kill'em all and let God sort them out principle.
Looking at the statistics from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the last 10 years, the lowest percentage of animals euthanized (killed) in any one year was 82.4% in 2013. In 6 out of the 10 years, they euthanized 90% or more of the animals received. In a couple of those years, less than 10 animals (dogs or cats) per year were reported as adopted.
In response to this abysmal record, the Virginia legislature enacted SB 1381 which clarified state law regarding private animal shelters. It says that "their purpose is to find permanent adoptive homes for animals." The Virginian-Pilot reports that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed the bill.
It should come as no surprise that PETA opposed this bill.
The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County) said he hoped PETA will reduce their extremely high euthanasia rate. If not, they will lose access to the drugs used to euthanize animals.
I guess PETA will have to go back to the old methods like using car exhaust.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sidney Thomas is getting his wish: an en banc rehearing of the Peruta and Richards cases. Judge Thomas was the sole dissenter in those cases. The only way to reverse the precedent in those cases was to have it reversed by the US Supreme Court or through an en banc rehearing of the case.
When an unnamed judge on the Ninth Circuit - widely assumed to be Judge Thomas - called sua sponte for an en banc rehearing of the case, it wasn't good news. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants were required to submit briefs arguing either for or against an en banc rehearing. The decision on whether to call for the rehearing was dependent upon the vote of the majority of the active judges on the circuit. Given the overall liberal nature of this circuit, I guess we should not be surprised by the rehearing.
Upon the vote of a majority of nonrecused active judges, it is ordered that this case be reheard en banc pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 35(a) and Circuit Rule 35-3. The three-judge panel opinion and order denying motions to intervene shall not be cited as precedent by or to any court of the Ninth Circuit.The panel sitting on the rehearing of the case will be Chief Judge Thomas, a Clinton appointee, and 10 other judges picked at random. In all other circuits, all active judges would sit for the en banc rehearing. However, given the number of judges in the Ninth Circuit, they have had to adopt different procedures.
The question on whether California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the State of California will be allowed to intervene in the case is still up in the air.
All in all, this isn't good news for carry rights in California.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
I missed this on Monday afternoon as I was preparing to leave on a business trip.
US District Court Judge Benjamin Settle of the Western District of Washington allowed the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund for I-594 to intervene as defendants to the suit brought by the Second Amendment Foundation. Judge Settle refers to WAGR and Everytown as "citizens and organizations operating in Washington State" in his order granting their motion.
WAGR is perhaps a local organization but the reality of considering Everytown as a local organization boggles the mind. Has the judge been watching too many programs on Syfy and magically teleported New York City to Seattle? It does go to show how the efforts of Bloomberg's minions to set up corporations in many states has helped them in this situation.
I'm at an out of town meeting so I'll let Dave Workman provide more background and insight into this.
Monday, March 23, 2015
B. Todd Jones is leaving as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives effective March 31st. Speculation on this started building on Thursday and it was confirmed on Friday by the BATFE itself in a press release.
Coming on the heels of BATFE's backpedaling on their M855/SS109 bullet/ammo ban, one might assume he was leaving to save the Obama Administration any more embarrassment over this debacle. Obama is famous for throwing people under the bus at the first sign of trouble.
I doubt that they expected the level of response from Congress, gun rights groups, and especially the public that they received. A reported 310,000 plus letters, faxes, and emails were sent to BATFE in response to their "ATF Framework". The typical response is probably less than 10,000 comments to a proposed change and more than likely a lot less than that.
That said, while the M855 debacle may have played some role in the timing of the announcement, it my firm opinion that it isn't the reason Jones is leaving BATFE for the NFL. One does not just leave one job one day and find a senior level position paying a multi-million dollar salary the next. It doesn't happen that way. It takes months for something like that to come together.
From a New York Post article published on Sunday, it seems that the NFL has been pursuing Jones for quite some time. The NFL needed an investigative counsel to show the world that they are serious about cleaning up the league. Who better than a former Marine who had served as US Attorney in two different administrations and who was now running the agency that dealt with firearms given the problems that many of their players seem to have with guns. The fact that Jones is African-American and that approximately 68% of the league's players are also African-American added to his allure for them.
“Jones is going to be in charge of the NFL’s personal-conduct policy,” the source said.The article in the New York Post goes on to say that the BATFE job was "wearing" on Jones. I'm sure it was as he had never managed anything larger than a US Attorney's Office. As the US Attorney for Minnesota, all he had to deal with was the local media and his friends in the Department of Justice. He wasn't being subjected to intense scrutiny by the national media nor was he being hauled up to Capitol Hill on a regular basis. Moreover, Eric Holder wasn't going to have his back anymore given his announced departure.
His work will involve “determining the length of suspensions and handing out fines,” the source said, adding that the job will pay “several million a year.”
“The NFL courted Jones for a while. They went after him, and recently things started heating up. The deal came very fast,” the source said.
Jones was an ineffectual leader at BATFE. He didn't clean up the Project Gunwalker mess left behind by Kenneth Melson. The heads of the Phoenix-based operation, William Newell and George Gillett, are still at BATFE. William McMahon was allowed to double-dip before he left for a security job in the private sector. And that is just the tip of the problematic iceberg that was the BATFE run by Jones. Given all of that, is it any wonder that he is taking the money and running?
Saturday, March 21, 2015
I'm lying in bed watching one of the Saturday morning new shows and perusing Facebook on my iPad when I see a post by Miguel Gonzalez. Miggy has a post on the proper tools to kill a spider which is not, as he opines, the .45 ACP. It is a flamethrower.
Now WWII generation flamethrowers are getting harder and harder to find. Not only that, they are expensive. I see one currently on Gunbroker with an opening price of $11,900.
Fortunately, some enterprising young men are working on bringing the flamethrower to the masses. They are starting an IndieGoGo campaign which goes live on Monday. I've read elsewhere that the final purchase price should be in the $799 range.
So, unless you live in California where they are illegal (imagine that!), you, too, can be the owner of your very own XM42 flamethrower. Other than killing spiders and taking out ISIS/Russian/Nazi pillboxes, I'm not sure what you'd do with it but why not.
Friday, March 20, 2015
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV) vetoed SB 347 this morning it was in the interest of public safety. SB 347 which passed both houses of the West Virginia legislature by overwhelming majorities. The bill would have made the state the fifth to adopt constitutional carry. While open carry is legal without a permit, concealed carry permits require mandated training and cost $105.
From Tomblin's press release:
“Throughout my career, I have strongly supported the Second Amendment, as demonstrated by my repeated endorsements and high grades from the National Rifle Association. However, I must also be responsive to the apprehension of law enforcement officers from across the state, who have concerns about the bill as it relates to the safety of their fellow officers. It also would eliminate the required gun safety training courses for those applying for a concealed carry permit. In light of these concerns and in the interest of public safety for all West Virginians, I have vetoed Senate Bill 347.”Another politician who had received high grades from the NRA at one time, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), was already under fire for his opposition to SB 347 in which he said West Virginians believed in "gunsense". That is one of the code words popular with Shannon Watts and the Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors. The Firearms Policy Coalition said that Manchin who claims to be a Life member of the NRA needs to be booted from the organization. As Sebastian noted today, he's not sure West Virginians much care for Manchin and we'll find out for sure in 2018.
The West Virginia Citizen's Defense League hasn't not commented publicly on the veto yet and are still considering their options. However, their Facebook page has a very active comment thread on it. It appears that a veto override will require a special session of the legislature.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle are indicating that they will vote in favor of the bill when it comes up again.
Del. Rupie Phillips (D-Logan, 24) supported the legislation in the House of Delegates and promised to do so again.Meanwhile, Del. Mike Folk (R-Berkeley, 63) has said the bill will come up again in the next session. He also dismissed the supposed concern that it would put law enforcement at risk.
“We spent a lot of time on this issue and I hate that we’re going to have to spend time again on it at the beginning of next year’s session,” Phillips said.
He dismissed claims that it would have put law enforcement officers at risk. “They assume (already) that every person is armed, so the safety issue is not a good argument,” Folk said.Given the overwhelming majorities in favor of the bill, 71-29 in the House and 30-4 in the Senate, I think it is a safe bet that when it comes up again, it will pass.
He is promising to bring the proposal up again during next year’s Regular Legislative Session.
“We’ll do it again next year and we’ll make sure we do it early enough that he can veto it next year and the same thing that happened with the pain capable bill will happen with this bill,” Folk said, referencing this year’s legislative override of Gov. Tomblin’s veto of the bill that would have banned abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Massad Ayoob is one of the few who have actually handled and shot the new Glock 43. The official announcement is tomorrow but since the news embargo has been broken more and more stuff is coming out about it.
Mas has done a short YouTube video on the G43. One thing he really likes about the pistol is the trigger reach which he says is just right for the adult male hand. He also answered one question I had about it concerning magazines with a finger grip extension. They will be available.
As I said yesterday, I'm sure they will sell a gazillion billion of these little guns. I'm going to hold off judgment until I actually shoot one which should be next month at the NRA Annual Meeting. Glock is holding a media event on the afternoon before the meeting begins and I intend to be there.
Historian and blogger Clayton Cramer will be the featured speaker at an event co-sponsored by the CalGuns Foundation and the Firearms Policy Coalition on March 29th in Sacramento, California. He will be speaking on the racist roots of gun control. Other speakers include Second Amendment attorneys Don Kilmer, Bradley Benbrook, and Stephen Duvernay, CalGuns Foundation chairman Gene Hoffman, and Firearms Policy Coalition president Brandon Combs.
More info on the event is below. If you are in the Sacramento area on the 29th, this sounds like an interesting event. On a personal note, it is great to see Clayton doing a public event like this given his stroke about a year and a half ago. If you can't make the event, Clayton has put together a YouTube video on the topic including PowerPoint slides.