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Litigiousness

Two mothers who lost sons to gun violence joined ministers and an activist Tuesday (a week ago) in a lawsuit against three Chicago suburbs, alleging that weak oversight of gun shops has allowed criminals to easily obtain weapons flowing into a city besieged by gun violence.

The lawsuit accuses Lyons, Riverdale and Lincolnwood communities of violating the civil rights of residents in Chicago’s largely African American neighborhoods by failing to take concrete steps to make sure gun stores are not selling weapons to people who shouldn’t be allowed to carry them.

“Those illegal firearms are flowing into a pocket of communities violating the civil rights of the individuals who reside there, who are afraid to go near their windows or let their children play in the park, much less their own yards,” said Kathleen Sances, a member of the Coalition for Safe Chicago Communities, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

I suspect these victims of gun violence were probably misguided yutes (gang members or wannabes), based on the crime history in Chicago.  Perhaps the phrase above should be amended to read who lost sons to gang violence.

I also suspect between the local police oversight and the BATFE that gun shops in Chicago probably have more inspections than most in other cities with lower crime(?)

h/t Maddened Fowl, Fox News

Gay Marriage DOES NOT EQUAL (Necessarily) CCW Reciprocity!

Courtesy of NRA-ILA (in part)

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which concerned whether same-sex marriage is a right protected by the U.S. Constitution.   Although the case did not address the right to bear arms, some pro-gun advocates began debating whether the Court’s reasoning and analysis had application to national concealed carry licensing reciprocity.

This is a reasonable question. If states that formerly did not sanction same-sex marriage now have to recognize all marriages from states that do, shouldn’t that also mean restrictive “may issue” concealed carry jurisdictions have to recognize concealed carry licenses from less restrictive “shall-issue” jurisdictions? Some commentators went even further, insisting that Obergefell has conclusively settled the national reciprocity issue in favor of gun owners.

Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. In particular, we strongly advise concealed carry license holders not to assume Obergefell provides them with the legal basis they need to carry without an in-state license in strongly anti-gun states such as Maryland, New Jersey, or New York. Doing so at this point would still subject the traveler to arrest and criminal prosecution. 

This is so for a number of reasons, chief of which is that the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled squarely on the question of whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a loaded handgun in public, and if it does, whether states must recognize each other’s permits. The landmark cases of Heller and McDonald only concerned the question of handgun possession in the home. 

Until the Supreme Court rules on the issue conclusively, certain reliably anti-gun jurisdictions can be counted on to exist in a state of denial and defiance. If states and lower courts can ignore a congressional statute like Firearm Owners’ Protection Act – and they do – they certainly can ignore arguments that the philosophical bases for interstate recognition of same-sex marriage compel interstate recognition of concealed carry permits.

But there is a lesson gun owners can draw from Obergefell.  An uncontested fact mentioned in Chief Justice Roberts’s dissent in the case is that no society was known to have permitted same-sex marriage before 2001. Now, in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court has found it to be a fundamental right that cannot be overturned by any state legislature or popular referendum. Whatever one’s view of same-sex marriage, the incredible shift in this area shows what is possible when people dedicate themselves to a common cause. 

That is the true lesson of the Obergefell decision for gun owners, who should not rest until Second Amendment rights are similarly respected in all 50 states.  That is why the NRA will continue to lead the fight in the legislative, legal and political arenas to secure national right to carry reciprocity so that all Americans can defend themselves everywhere they are legally entitled to be.

I’m reminded of the early days of (sometimes) concealed gun ownership.  We (young turks) kept reading and re-reading the statutes, looking for loopholes to throw at the police, should we get nabbed carrying a concealed weapon.  (This was pre-permitage).  The problem was, neither were we legislators, nor lawyers, nor were we reading the case law.  And we weren’t local prosecutors looking to hang their hat on some young turk to show we were anti-crime!

Lets let this play out in the courts!  I sure-as-hell wouldn’t be playing fast and loose in California and Maryland with a concealed weapon these days!   

Eyes In The Sky

The Illinois State Police recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to add “unmanned aircraft” to its list of tools for the next two years. In a statement released to the Sun-Times Media Wire, the police department said that it was intentionally avoiding the word “drone” because “it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information.”

Because an unmanned aircraft is not a drone.

RIGHT?

Guess it all depends on what the meaning of IS is…

h/t Ars Technica, Freedom Writer’s Publishing

The Universe Plays A Joke On Government

Most of you regular readers know I HATE giving the government money.  Doing so burns my libertarian soul.

I’m still driving Ol'(insert old-timey lady name here), my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.  Basically, because I’ve no other choice.  And, it’s registration involuntary ownership tax time again.

With the precursor of emissions testing.

(I always stop here to remember how the State legislator who forced through the emissions testing requirement soon left the legislature to work for the contractor who obtained the initial contract.  No dirty politics here, no sir!  :-))

ANYWAY…

I arrive just after the testing station opens and find I’m second in line.  I’m a little worried, as my car sometimes stalls at idle, and sometimes the pollution control gimmick sticks in the engine and dashboard warning lights illuminate.  Getting tested with dash lights on is a no-no!  They’ve not come on in a few weeks, so I feel they are due.

I pull up when ordered, exit the vehicle, the guy does his testing, and she PASSES!

HUZZAH!

I re-enter the vehicle and crank her to start and leave, as instructed…

AND THERE IS A BACKFIRE!  THE TESTING STATION (AND MY CAR INTERIOR) FILLS WITH SMOKE!  But, as the car is running (and there is no obvious fire or dash warning lights), I drive away victorious!

And return home (after depositing appropriate gift funds to cover costs) and pay on-line to obtain my State license tags for yet another two years!

(To those of you who help me pay to keep my car registered and insured – I salute you!)

And to the State, who forces me to go through this nonsense every couple years to extort revenue from me – you already received my salute!

bronx

I Drive A GM Car

Not by choice.

My beloved ’89 Isuzu Trooper (Molly’s Trolley) gave up the ghost in 2002.  I traded in her carcass for the only ‘decent’ car I could then qualify for.  A 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.

Which I still own and sometimes drive.  In 2015.

Because my being on disability means I just squeak by, and cannot afford car payments.  My last significant repair cost over $700, which I borrowed from my roommate and paid back @ $100/month.  Plus my rent.  Ouch.

I’ve oft had fantasies of getting some extra funds.  Paying off long-overdue bills and maybe getting a slightly newer car.

And, considering the questionably available maintenance and longevity of the Olds, she still runs.  Sometimes.

So, why not a GM car?

Here’s why (from Say Uncle):

First, I (and you) foot the bill for their mismanagement and union kowtowing. Now, this:

Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

Good thing Dave-the-genius-mechanic is moving out-of-state!  Wouldn’t want him to get in trouble for tinkering with my car.  After all, he just repairs Airbus A320s for U.S. Air American Airlines!

Guess I will now always need a G(overnment) Motors –  approved shop!

And the sad part (aside from Dave leaving the State!:-( ) is of all the beater cars I’ve owned, THIS is the one who lasted the longest!

Index, Index, INDEX!

The lovely and brilliant Tamara reminded us again of basics.  And reminded me, as well:

Continuing Education

I cannot speak for anyone else, but as much as I lecture others in these pages regarding complacency, I, too, can fall victim to it.  (Duh)

Not just the almighty INDEX (NOT placing one’s index finger in the trigger guard until one is ready to shoot – and where exactly DO you place it?  ALTHOUGH, I’M PRETTY GOOD AT REMEMBERING THIS PART!), but…

When was the last time you checked your weapon for function and safety?  Are all the mechanical parts in good repair?

AND, appropriately lubricated?

How about the magazines (speedloaders or speedstrips)?  Clean and functional?

And the ammunition?  When was the last time you changed it out for newer stuff?  Is your ‘one-up-the-spout’ (aka The Barney Bullet) seated correctly?  Or has months of recharging your sidearm crushed the case mouth?  Or seated the bullet farther inside?

How about the function and maintenance of the holster?  When was the last time it was cleaned, oiled, inspected for damage?  And the belt…

AND WHAT ABOUT YOU?

When was the last time you did a dry-practice exercise?  Including a reload or two?

And do you know the latest nuances in your State’s criminal law statutes?

Not unlike driving a car – one does it every day.  When was the last time you checked the tires?  The oil?  The transmission fluid?  Your brakes?  Reviewed the traffic code?

Do you always wear your seat belt?  (I’m a libertarian, and I do!)

But I’ve not done everything above with regard to my sidearm and it’s equipment.

I need to, more religiously.

Negative And Positive Spin On Pending National CCW Legislation

First a NEGATIVE, in part…

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

From time to time I read about proposals for a national law requiring reciprocity of concealed carry permits between the states. The most recent example is the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, introduced by Senator John Cornyn, R-TX.

Sadly, I have some bad news about this proposal, and about a national CCW reciprocity law in general: It would be unconstitutional under the Tenth Amendment.  (Fill Yer Hands)

Second, a POSITIVE response, in the comments…

14th Amendment.

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Simply declare that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental right, that denial of the right to carry a firearm for lawful self defense is denial of liberty, and that this law is passed under Congress’s 14th Amendment power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the liberties of our citizens.  (Sean D. Sorrentino)

I believe Sean with the Internets with this one!

Of course, I’m certain the federal government probably disagrees with both gentlemen’s assessments.

Especially, that constitutional law professor in The White House.

Residency Requirements Struck Down!

Go Rick Go!“We” score a Victory – and Alan too!
Civil Rights UpdateOpinion in PDF via InstaPundit

From the CONCLUSION:

Accordingly, the Court DECLARES that 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3), 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.99(a) are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions. The Court will issue its final judgment separately.

SO ORDERED on this 11th day of February, 2015.

[Emphasis in the original]

Related:

Civil Right Victory in Federal CourtShall Not Be Questioned
Win in Court!, Breaking NewsMaddened Fowl
Ban on FFL handguns sales to nonresidents struck down!Of Arms & the Law

Courtesy of Not Clauswitz et al

In English  – Non-residents may now purchase firearms in Texas, and presumably anywhere else it is legal.

Could removal of ridiculous restrictions on citizens BE any cooler?  – Chandler Bing

Of course, this was from a federal district court.  And as the bloggers above suspect, until there is an edict from the BATFE, I don’t see much of this kind of activity.

I see a Supreme Court battle in our future.

Drug Stores

Remember when we called a spade a spade?  Not pharmacies?

I remember, as a grade-school kid, going into Skaggs Drug and buying CP potassium nitrate in 4 oz. bottles.  No one questioned me.  There were no forms to fill out.  No one asked if I was making rocket fuel or gunpowder from it.  (I was!)

And I still have all my eyes, hands and fingers!

Here it is some 50 years later, and my roommate not only acquired the crud I had (and am finally getting over, thank you!) but it progressed into some kind of respiratory infection.  Antibiotics and numerous pills later, she too is finally getting better.

And one of the medications prescribed was sudephedrine.  You know, the stuff that can be distilled into methamphetamine. 

And I had to present my driver’s license (which they swiped into the cash register computer system) and then sign for it.  For the 12 tablets!

Not only am I annoyed at this invasion of privacy, but for THIS amount?  When the Mexican cartels are buying it by the ton and making meth and exporting it here?

PITA.

The Travis McGee Reader recounts a similar story.  Go there and read it.

The shed a tear for our loss of more freedom, once again.

And, if you can, go launch a bottle rocket.bottle rockets

D’UH! (How DOES One Say D’UH in Hebrew?)

One of Europe’s most prominent Jewish organizations is petitioning the European Union to pass new legislation that would permit Jewish community members to carry guns “for the essential protection of their communities,” according to a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sadly, a leader in the European Jewish community  NAMED COOPER (ironically), disagrees.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that while guns could help Jews defend themselves against an individual attack, only authorities can protect them against a mass attack like those carried out in France.

“As to personally being armed, such a move could help when a Jewish person is threatened by thugs, but won’t help if G-d forbid, Charlie-type terror attacks are launched,” Cooper said.

And, of course, the ever more anti-Semitic Europe will continue to debate this, while not only the Jewish community, but most Europeans, are unable to defend themselves against crime or terror.

Except, of course, the Swiss!

While France, in response to the recent attacks, pushes for MORE gun control laws!

D’UH, indeed.

h/t Firehand

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The Four Rules

1. ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.

2. NEVER POINT YOUR MUZZLE AT SOMETHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY.

3. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO SHOOT.

4. KNOW YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEYOND.

Certified EVIL!

FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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