Friday, February 17, 2017

Jesus Needs A Rear Sight


The Houston Chronicle has published a series of photos of members of the Sinaloa Cartel. They come from the blog El Blog Del Narco. It shows these Mexican drug cartel soldiers getting ready for what is presumably a leadership war now that "El Chapo" is in a US prison.

The one that caught my eye was of a cartel member named Jesus Mendoza. He has a cigarette dangling from his sneering lips, a black chest rig, and an AR15. He's a bad-ass and he wants you to know it.

Photo courtesy of El Blog Del Narco

Jesus would be a more effective bad-ass if he had a rear sight on that AR15 carbine.

Just sayin'.

Comment Of The Day


President Trump held a news conference yesterday and, from what I'm reading, it was pure Trump.
The heads of the media personalities are still exploding and they don't know why.

The best comment came in response to a post by Professor William Jacobson regarding the news conference. VaGentleman had this to say:

I’m reminded of the scene in ‘Patton’ where he is standing on the hill overlooking the battlefield and shouts, “Rommel, you bloody bastard, I read your book!”. Alinskyites, take note.

Charles Heller of Liberty Watch Radio, JPFO, and AzCDL made the nearly the same point when we recorded him for an interview with The Polite Society Podcast. He urged gun rights activists to read the Rules for Radicals and use them.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

11th Circuit Rules Against Florida In "Docs V. Glocks" Case


The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling en banc found that parts of  the State of Florida's Firearms Owners Privacy Act were unconstitutional restrictions on the freedom of speech. This 10-1 overturned an earlier ruling by a 3-judge panel of the 11th Circuit that had ruled in favor of the act. The case, Wollschlager v. Florida, had been euphemistically called  the "Docs v. Glocks case". The State of Florida had brought this case to the 11th Circuit on appeal from the US District Court for the District of South Florida.

In reaction to anecdotal evidence that some doctors, particularly pediatricians, were refusing treatment to children whose parents refused to answer questions regarding firearms as well as "interrogating" children regarding firearms outside the presence of their parents, the Florida Legislature passed the act in 2011. The Firearms Owners Privacy Act added provisions to medical privacy concerning firearms ownership and included disciplinary measures for violating this privacy. The provisions at issue were the ones dealing with record keeping, inquiry, anti-discrimination, and anti-harassment.

There were two majority opinions on this case from the court. The first by Judge Adalberto Jose Jordan, an Obama appointee, found that:
Exercising plenary review, see ACLU of Fla., Inc. v. Miami-Dade County Sch. Bd., 557 F.3d 1177, 1206 (11th Cir. 2009), and applying heightened scrutiny as articulated in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc., 564 U.S. 552, 563–67, 571–72 (2011), we agree with the district court that FOPA’s content-based restrictions—the record-keeping, inquiry, and anti-harassment provisions—violate the First Amendment as it applies to the states. See U.S. Const. amend. I (“Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech[.]”); Stromberg v. California, 283 U.S. 359, 368 (1931) (“[T]he conception of liberty under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment embraces the right of free speech.”). And because these three provisions do not survive heightened scrutiny under Sorrell, we need not address whether strict scrutiny should apply to them. We also conclude, this time contrary to the district court, that FOPA’s anti-discrimination provision—as construed to apply to certain conduct by doctors and medical professionals—is not unconstitutional. Finally, we concur with the district court’s assessment that the unconstitutional provisions of FOPA can be severed from the rest of the Act.
He concluded by remanding the case back to District Court so that their permanent injunction could be amended to reflect the findings of the Court of Appeals.

Judge Stanley Marcus, a Clinton appointee, agreed with the other majority opinion but was rather skeptical that the anti-discrimination section of the law wouldn't be used to also regulate speech.
I also worry that the discrimination provision appears to be a variant of the harassment provision. Because the majority opinion strikes down the harassment provision, my concern is that the state will now use the discrimination provision to punish harassing conduct. The Act defines neither harassment nor discrimination. It seems to me that the same speech that constituted harassment could now constitute “discriminatory harassment”3 and thus be prohibited.

However, I also recognize that the Supreme Court has stated that anti-discrimination provisions prohibiting discriminatory conduct “do not, as a general matter, violate the First or Fourteenth Amendments.” See Hurley v. IrishAm. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Grp. of Boston, 515 U.S. 557, 571–72, 115 S. Ct. 2338, 2346 (1995). Based on this guiding principle, and on a narrow reading of the provision, I would not strike down the discrimination provision. But I remain skeptical of the government’s motivation behind this Act. And I urge that in all future cases reviewing content- and viewpoint-based speech regulations we remain steadfast in our resolve to protect speech and be wary of any law that muzzles entire categories of speech.
Judge William Pryor, a Bush appointee and presumed finalist for the recent Supreme Court vacancy, also wrote a concurring opinion. He argued that both the First and Second Amendments were important. However, in the course of protecting one right, another right should not be slighted.
We should not be swayed by the argument that the First Amendment may be curtailed when other constitutional rights need “protection.” In this context, “protection” is a misnomer. The Constitution protects individual rights from government infringement, but freedom thrives on private persuasion. That the government may not establish a religion, U.S. Const. Amend. I., or ban handguns, U.S. Const. Amend. II, does not suggest that private individuals may not start a church or give away their guns. The Second Amendment is not infringed when private actors argue that guns are dangerous any more than when private actors support the positions of the National Rifle Association. The “theory of our Constitution” is that “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.” Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting). The Florida Legislature overstepped the boundaries of the First Amendment when it determined that the proper remedy for speech it considered “evil” was “enforced silence,” as opposed to “more speech.” Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 377 (1927) (Brandeis, J., concurring).
Finally, Judge  Gerald Tjoflat, a Ford appointee, wrote a blistering dissent which called into question the appropriate level of scrutiny applied by the majority opinions. Unlike the rest of his colleagues, he found that FOPA was narrowly tailored and would have passed even strict scrutiny. He concluded:
The majority and I agree that Florida possesses a substantial interest in protecting both Floridians’ reasonable expectation of privacy during medical treatment and the full exercise of their Second Amendment rights. If that is so, then it is hard to imagine a law more precisely tailored to advance those substantial state interests than the one presently before us. The Act does not categorically restrict the speech of medical professionals on the subject of firearms. Instead, it simply requires an individualized, good faith judgment of the necessity of speech related to firearm ownership to provide competent medical care to a patient. The individualized assessment of medical appropriateness required under the Act does not foreclose the ability of a physician to question a patient, but instead carefully weighs that right against Florida’s undoubtedly substantial interest in regulating the medical profession to protect the constitutional rights of all Floridians. In my judgment, the Act “narrowly protects patients in a focused manner in order to advance the State’s compelling interest in protecting the Second Amendment’s guarantee to keep and bear arms and patients’ privacy rights in their medical records, exactly the sort of tailoring [even] strict scrutiny requires.” Id. at 1201.

Therefore, I respectfully dissent from my colleagues’ judgment that the First Amendment requires us to declare Florida’s well-considered legislative judgment unconstitutional.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

House And Senate Have Both Approved Overturning Social Security Rule


The House approved House Joint Resolution 40 on February 2nd and the Senate approved it today by a vote of 57 yea to 43 nay. This overturns the Social Security Administration rulemaking approved on December 19, 2017 which would have made certain recipients who require help with their finances as prohibited persons. The rule would have deemed them mentally deficient and reported up to four million recipients to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS database. The Joint Resolution now goes to the desk of President Donald Trump for his signature.

It should be noted that it wasn't just the gun community that opposed this rule. Many in the civil rights and mental health community opposed it as well including the ACLU.

The 57 Senators in favor of overturning the rule included every Republican, Democrats Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND), Manchin (WV), and Tester (MT), and Independent Angus King of Maine. In a sign that elections have consequences and that the gun prohibitionists' money applied in tight races can have an impact, both Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-NV) voted to deny the rights of senior citizens. It also goes to show that some of the Democrats in states which President Trump carried are starting to feel the heat.

Just so there is no confusion as to who voted for the rights of senior citizens and who did not, the yeas and nays are below:
Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---57
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
King (I-ME)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Strange (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs ---43
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)


The NRA issued a statement this morning soon after the vote was taken applauding the move by the Senate.
NRA Applauds Senate's Bipartisan Vote to Respect Due Process for Gun Owners

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded the U.S. Senate's passage of H.J. Res. 40, a joint resolution to revoke a final rule made by the Obama administration that would strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights. The resolution passed by a bipartisan vote of 57-43.

“Today’s Senate vote was the next step in rolling back some of the egregious government overreach that characterized the Obama era,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Congress is reversing a last-minute, back-door gun grab that stripped law-abiding Americans of their rights without due process.”

Late last year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) finalized a proposed rule to ban certain recipients who use a representative payee from owning firearms. This ill-conceived action stripped some of the most vulnerable Americans of their right to keep and bear arms without due process.

The NRA immediately opposed the Obama administration's efforts when the proposal was first announced in summer of 2015. The NRA has fought every step of the way to ensure that social security recipients are not stripped of their rights without due process of law.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is allowed to dispose of any actions an outgoing administration initiates in its final six months. This rule was implemented during that time frame. The bill received bipartisan support, passing the House last week House by a 235-180 vote. Today's bipartisan Senate vote of 57-43 is the next step in reversing Obama’s unconstitutional gun grab. The bill now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

“We look forward to President Trump signing this important legislation into law,” concluded Cox.

The NRA thanks Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for their work on this important legislation.

UPDATE: I received a press release from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-WY) which applauded the overturning of the SSA rule. I think his comments hit to the heart of the matter.
“Today’s resolution of disapproval will stop the Social Security Administration from stigmatizing people with disabilities and stripping beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The Social Security Administration is not a court of law and it is unacceptable that it take any action against a beneficiary without due process. Congress has done the right thing to stop this overreach and repeal this rule.”
The gun prohibitionists at the Brady Campaign are gnashing their teeth over this vote and are, of course, pleading for money.
Dear (my deceased mom),

The gun lobby lap dogs in Congress have done it again. This week, thousands of Americans jammed Senate phone lines with calls. America’s mayors, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials spoke out. And Brady supporters like you flooded their Senators’ inboxes with emails.

But the gun lobby lap dogs in the Senate ignored these warnings. They listened to the corporate gun lobby instead, and voted to roll back critical protections that kept guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses that make them a danger to themselves or others.

Still, our collective voices made a huge difference in this fight. Your calls and emails swayed several Senators who might have otherwise voted the wrong way, and came within just a few votes of victory.

You got us close, but today made it clear that the fight isn’t over. Gun lobby lap dogs in Congress may be listening to the corporate gun lobby instead of the voices that matter most - yours - but we’re going to hold them accountable.

We won’t back down, we won’t be silenced, and we will continue to fight.

You can join the effort to keep pressure on these lap dogs. Your contribution now will keep us one step ahead of the gun lobby’s plan to make America less safe.

Thank you for all you do,

Kristin Brown
Chief Strategy Officer
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
You will never sway politicians by calling them "gun lobby lap dogs". Remember what Jeff Knox always reminds us, we are the gun lobby. It isn't just Chris and Wayne in Fairfax. It is you and me and everyone else who believes in freedom. As to those senators whose votes were swayed, I wish the Brady Campaign would name names. I'd like to know who is against due process and civil rights for senior citizens.

Hickok45 On The GP-100 In .44 Special


Ruger recently released the GP-100 in a five-shot, .44 Special version. It was one of the firearms I had wanted to shoot at the SHOT Show before life intruded. The cartridge itself seems interesting and I had hoped to try out the world's greatest dentist's Ruger Redhawk with that cartridge today but it is raining.

Hickok45 just released a video today reviewing this fine revolver. Given the way it shoots, I'd love to have one and have been seriously considering buying one. It won't be this month as my everyday driver needed new brakes plus new tie rod joints which just shot my gun buying budget. The kid in me objects but the adult in me realizes that being able to stop and steer the car is more important than a new shiny GP-100 in .44 Special.


John Farnam's Observations On Coatings And Acidic Sweat


If you don't subscribe to Farnam's Quips then you are missing out on a lot of good information and astute observations.

Today's edition is no exception. In it John talks about the second day of the gun writer's conference being held at Gunsite. The day, from what I can tell, was devoted to coatings and metal treatments for firearms among other things.

I'll let John tell what he learned about coatings and metal treatments:
Observations:

All metal treatments, even high-tech ones, have “side-effects.” Nothing is perfect!

For external guns surfaces, polymer is a good choice. Robar’s version is Roguard or Poly-T-Two. Both are very acceptable, and can be an any color.

Also suitable for external surfaces is QPQ, otherwise known as Tennifer or Melonite. Very hard. Also very suitable for rifle bores. However, it is so hard that subsequent machining is nearly impossible!

For internal parts, NP3 is the way to go. NP3 has integral teflon, which gives it natural lubricity. However, it is slick and thus not the best choice for slides. And, it has a silver/grey color. Other colors are not possible.

“Hard chrome” plating is obsolete. There are superior choices for surface treatment today. Hard-chrome barrels are notoriously inaccurate, because of inherent unevenness of the plating.

Nickel plating is also mostly obsolete. It is of interest only by those who want “shiny” guns.

Ceramic coating (Cerakoat) has excellent high-heat tolerance and are thus suitable for some parts of full-auto guns. However, ceramic has no inherent lubricity.

Smoking and coffee-drinking lowers blood PH, making bodily fluids, particularly sweat, acidic and thus corrosive to pistols worn close to the skin. Smokers and coffee-drinkers typically have to deal with rusty guns, even in dry climates! They will particularly benefit from modern, high-tech metal treatments.
While I don't smoke and never have I do drink coffee. I didn't realize that coffee drinking would make sweat acidic. Actually, I never thought about it one way or another but it make sense that acidic sweat is more corrosive to handguns.

If you want to subscribe to Farnam's Quips, shoot John an email at dtiquips@clouds.com .

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Using Brady Campaign's Tool To Urge Passage Of S.J.Res. 14


The Brady Campaign is going all out to make sure senior citizens who have trouble managing their finances remain as prohibited persons. It is not merely that they will be prevented from purchasing a firearm but that they will be considered a prohibited person under the Gun Control Act of 1968. While those affected have not been adjudicated as mentally defective as provided by GCA '68, the Social Security Administration still would report them as such to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS Database.

The Brady Campaign is saying that there are 11 undecided senators. They don't name them. If your home state senator is one of these undecideds, the Brady telephone tool connects you to their office. If not, then you are connected at random to one of the other senators. I just tried it and I wasn't connected to either of the senators from North Carolina who, by the way, I had already called urging passage of S.J.Res. 14.

I love using the resources of the anti-rights gun prohibitionists to advance a pro-rights agenda!

Breaking news: We're within just a few votes of victory and we need you!Dear ,
The time to act is now!
Yesterday, we asked you to email your Senator and demand that they vote no on a bill to roll back protections that keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others.
TODAY the Senate is expected to vote on whether to erase a critical part of the Brady background check law that prevents people most at risk from accessing guns.
Please take one more action now to let key, undecided senators know we need them to vote against rolling back the protections of the Brady background checks.
Call one of the key senators today and tell them to vote NO on Senate Joint Resolution 14! Thank you.
Kristin Brown
Chief Strategy Officer
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Monday, February 13, 2017

CalGuns, SAF Seek En Banc Hearing In Waiting Period Case


The CalGuns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the other individual plaintiffs in Silvester v. Harris - now Silvester v. Becerra - have filed for an en banc hearing in the 9th Circuit. The original suit sought to overturn the 10-day waiting period California imposes on firearms purchasers who hold either a California carry license or a Certificate of Eligibility.

Judge Anthony Ishii of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California had found that the waiting period violated the Second Amendment. His ruling was reversed by a 3 judge panel of the 9th Circuit in mid December 2016. That opinion in that ruling caused me and others to just shake our heads at some of its assertions.

More on the decision to seek an en banc hearing in this release from CalGuns:
CGF, Others Seek Review by Full 9th Circuit Court in Major Second Amendment Lawsuit Challenging California Gun Waiting Period Laws

SAN FRANCISCO (February 13, 2017)¬¬¬¬¬¬ – Today, attorneys for The Calguns Foundation (CGF), Second Amendment Foundation, and two individual plaintiffs filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seeking en banc (full-court) review of a wrongly-decided opinion that overturned the trial court’s judgment that California’s Waiting Period Laws violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

CGF Executive Director Brandon Combs, who is also an individual plaintiff in the case, issued the following statement:

In December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals bizarrely ruled that even a person legally carrying a concealed handgun as he buys another gun at retail needs to be 'cooled off' for another 10 days before exercising his Second Amendment rights and taking possession of a constitutionally-protected firearm.

We believe that the Ninth Circuit’s panel opinion was wrong as a matter of law. Not only did the panel incorrectly decide the Second Amendment issues in favor of the State of California, but in doing so it ignored important legal rules that govern the review of a lower court’s judgment after a trial.

After undertaking significant discovery, depositions, and a three-day bench trial, Federal District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii issued his Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, which held the State of California’s 10-day waiting period laws to be irrational and unconstitutional as applied to three categories of gun purchasers.

As our attorneys noted in the petition they filed for us today, “maintaining the proper standard of review for fact-finding in constitutional litigation is a matter of exceptional importance that is worthy of en banc review.”

We hope that the full Ninth Circuit will correct the panel opinion’s numerous injustices and affirm the judgment of the trial court. However, we are prepared to take this case to the Supreme Court should that extraordinary action be necessary to restore the fundamental, individual Second Amendment rights of law-abiding people.

The petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc can be viewed or downloaded at www.calgunsfoundation.org/silvester.

Jeff Silvester, et al. v. Attorney General Xavier Becerra (formerly titled Silvester v. Kamala Harris) is supported by civil rights organizations The Calguns Foundation (Sacramento, CA) and Second Amendment Foundation (Bellevue, WA).

The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.