Larry Correia on NYAG vs. NRA

Larry Correia summed up my opinion on the matter better than I could possibly have:

1. Wayne LaPierre is super corrupt, so every negative thing he is accused of is probably accurate. He was past his expiration date a decade ago.

2. There was a fight in recent years to keep the NRA to its mission and not just be the WLP slush fund, but Wayne won.

3. However, the narrative of “New York politicians try to destroy the NRA right before election” is probably going to be the biggest political fund raiser in history.

4. Because gun owners mostly don’t know who WLP is, don’t really know what the NRA does good or bad, but they are loyal to the IDEA of what the NRA does.

5. Which means that even if they dissolve the NRA, all those gun owners, their money, and gun rights activists aren’t going to suddenly vanish (sorry, libs). They’ll go to other orgs, some of which are more focused and dedicated to the mission than the NRA is. (however, some of these can/will be just as inept/corrupt).

6. Even with the WLP and Ack/Mack clown show, the NRA is still the 800 pound gorilla with the clout, reach, and contacts, so ideally WLP gets burned at the stake, the NRA cleans house, and refocuses on its actually mission.

7. If #6 doesn’t shake out, expect to see one of the current smaller orgs turn into the new NRA.

8. After a year of record gun sales to newbs thinking we are on the verge of societal collapse, with blue flu and mayors letting chaos reign, the whole “only the police should have guns” argument falls flat. Even the usual gun control parrots are remarkably silent about “assault weapons” while Black Lives Matter is carrying them. Nobody wants gun control right now, so this might actually be a good time to shake up the NRA.

9. That said, we had better get our shit together FAST, because the left’s moral compass is a wind sock, and though they hate the police and love them some AR-15s today, they’ll be happy to go back to banning guns tomorrow and bragging about how they’ll send the police to kill you if you refuse to turn them in.

10. NRA leadership can suck AND New York can be a bunch of hypocritical douches for only going after the non-profits they don’t like. These two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Just because New York consistently sucks doesn’t mean WLP is an innocent victim here.

Mixed feelings on NYAG vs. NRA

From NPR:

The attorney general of New York took action Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.”

Attorney General Letitia James claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that she found financial misconduct in the millions of dollars and that it contributed to a loss of more than $64 million over a three-year period.

The suit alleges that top NRA executives misused charitable funds for personal gain, awarded contracts to friends and family members, and provided contracts to former employees to ensure loyalty.

I have mixed feelings on this announcement.

On one hand, the announcement is brazenly political and is clearly targeted at an organization that NY doesn’t like and who has been (for better or worse) a staunch supporter of President Trump. The NRA has contributed millions of dollars across the country in support of Trump and gun rights, which no doubt really bugs those in NY. The timing of this announcement is clearly meant to kneecap the NRA and Trump leading up to the election and likely distract from various shenanigans in NY. I’m not surprised the NYAG is going after the NRA, especially this close to an election, but still find the whole thing very, very shady, particularly the threat to dissolve the NRA. I would not be shocked to find that Bloomberg, his money, and his influence in NY had something to do with this investigation and its timing.

On the other hand, the NRA has had this coming for a long, long time. There’s been a lot of rot at the top, particularly around Wayne LaPierre, that’s since spread throughout the organization. Those trying to change things from within the system have had a rough go of it, have been fired, asked to resign, etc. Things like WLP’s closeness to Brewer, and Brewer’s wanting to give AckMac the boot and handle all the NRA’s business are highly shady. From what I’ve read, the NRA’s relationship with AckMac had been problematic for a long time, and there’s been a lot of dirty laundry getting aired over the last year.

I can only hope that the NRA takes this as an opportunity to clean house, starting at the top, trim a bit of the fat, and get back to its mission of representing gun owners, supporting and lobbying for gun rights and the shooting sports, supporting ranges throughout the country, offering training and certification, and promoting safety and responsibility. This situation, while obnoxious, can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get their house in order while saving face: the NRA board could boot WLP and his cronies for the alleged fraud, waste, and abuse, thank the NYAG for uncovering such scandalous behavior, and reiterate their dedication to protecting people’s rights and doing so in a proper, above-board way. Alternatively, the NRA could take the path of portraying the NYAG as an outside enemy forcing them to take actions like getting rid of WLP and his allies, while also quietly taking actions internally to reform and prevent such future issues, and thus rally the troops. I’d prefer the former, but would accept the latter, so long as the NRA gets things sorted out.

Although I’ve been an NRA Life Member for nearly two decades, I haven’t always agreed with them (some times even mostly disagreeing with them!), to the point of telling their fundraisers they won’t see an additional contribution from me until WLP and his cronies are gone.

Still, I recognize that the NRA is a large organization that does a lot of undeniably good things, much of it stuff that doesn’t make the papers (like supporting shooting ranges, school teams, competitions, training and certification, promotion of safety, etc.).

Even in the political realm, they’re the 800lb gorilla that the actions of more diffuse, smaller gun-rights groups can’t really replace. The NRA also tends to take a lot of heat in the public eye and keep it away from smaller, more focused groups. Their state-level affiliates like the California Rifle and Pistol Association do yeoman’s work at protecting gun rights, and having the NRA’s national support backing them doesn’t hurt. Even though I don’t always agree with them, they serve a valuable and hard-to-replace role.

If the NYAG ends up dissolving the NRA, that wouldn’t get rid of gun owners and their efforts to protect their rights, but it would be a big setback with wide-ranging political implications.

Having the NRA not recognize that it has a massive opportunity to clean house and refocus would turn such a setback into a catastrophe.

Donations

I subscribe to a few anti-gun newsletters to keep tabs on what the opposition is doing. The other day I got an email from the Giffords group (formerly ARS; funny how anti-gun-rights groups keep changing names) asking for a $3 donation.

Instead, I ended up donating $25 to the NRA-ILA and $25 to the NRA-PVF (and that’s even though I’m already a Life member), plus I bought some stuff at MidwayUSA and chipped in a few bucks through their NRA RoundUp program.

Once the move to the US happens, the kids are settled in, and we figure out a household budget, I’ll need to get the wife and kids signed up as NRA Easy Pay Life members and see what budget we have for periodic donations to gun-rights groups.

Attempting to de-legitimize the NRA and gun rights supporters

Although the pro-gun-rights side has numbers, a real grassroots movement, political influence, court cases, and intensity on our side (at least for now; who knows how our representatives will sell us out), the opposition has a substantial presence on social media and a willingness to use it. This has been made clear by a concerted effort to de-legitimize the NRA, supporters of gun rights, and millions of gun owners and sympathetic Americans.

As an example, various Hollywood stars are now calling for Amazon and other streaming service operators to remove the NRA TV channel or app from their services.

Why? Because they don’t like what they have to say and they are actively trying to make the NRA and its members seem to be not only less legitimate, but instead monstrous accomplices of mass murderers.

Certainly, Amazon and streaming services have the right, as private enterprises, to include or not include any channel or app with their services. It would be well within their rights to remove or de-list the NRA TV channel or app, but I argue that this is both a bad idea and extremely troubling. The content that NRA TV is producing is of interest to a wide audience (else they wouldn’t make it), is lawful, and does not harass, defame, or otherwise harm others. De-listing them would move Amazon and others from a mostly-neutral platform provider to an arbiter of content, which is something I very much doubt they wish to be.

Similarly, people have been pressuring a variety of companies (including Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, First National Bank of Omaha, etc.) to sever their longstanding partnerships with the NRA. I also find this troubling, but less so than the attempts at de-listing the NRA TV app. Again, private enterprises are free to partner (or not) with whomever they choose, but I don’t understand why they bend to the whim of a noisy group of activists who likely don’t use their product or service anyway. Perhaps they think it avoids bad PR and protests on social media? I have no idea: blogs aside, my only use of social media is sharing family photos and the like on Facebook with family and friends since I have a large extended family scattered all over the place. I studiously avoid Twitter like the plague it is.

But I digress: it appears that the initial attempts at de-legitimizing the NRA and gun owners, in that several companies have publicly de-partnered with the NRA (though it likely has little effect over all, and many partnerships like the NRA-branded credit card are likely to be replaced quickly by a more NRA-aligned proivder) has been moderately successful.

How could we, as the gun owning community, counter this? I’m open to suggestions.

Media: reciprocity is making the sky fall!

H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, passed out of the House of Representatives yesterday and is now headed for the Senate. As expected, the media is beside itself with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Let’s look at the New York Times’ article about it, starting a bit into the article:

Together, the measures were the first gun-related bill to pass through the chamber since two of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Tex., in the fall.

While technically true, it seems a bit misleading to conflate lawful carry with the criminal misuse of arms. Still, par for the course for the Times.

But the background check measure was not enough to win over most Democrats, nor did it persuade law enforcement officials in some of the largest cities, including New York, who say the legislation would force locales with strict gun laws to bow to places with few or no gun restrictions.

So, the Democrats are against improving the NICS system. Got it. Nice to have that on record. Ss for forcing locales with strict gun laws to “bow” to places with few or no gun restrictions, good. Those strict laws are unjust.

Democrats said the measure would jeopardize public safety and set a dangerous precedent for overriding states’ rights to determine their own laws.

States can determine their own laws, but that doesn’t mean those laws are right, just, or constitutional. Restricting honest people from effectively protecting themselves is a terrible thing.

The House bill would not force states to change their own laws, but it would treat a concealed-carry permit like a driver’s license, letting individuals allowed by one state to carry a concealed weapon with them into another state.

Seems perfectly reasonable. What’s the issue here?

It would also allow visitors to national parks, wildlife refuges and other federally administered lands to legally carry concealed guns. And it carves out a provision that would let qualified permit holders carry concealed guns in school zones.

Good.

Law enforcement officials from major cities like New York and Los Angeles, where strict gun control laws are aimed at handguns, warned that the bill would usurp states’ authority to set their own laws and effectively impose the lax laws of Southern and rural states on densely populated cities.

Excellent. Nullifying or overturning unjust laws is a good thing, whether it’s overriding laws mandating racial segregation in the South or laws that restrict good people from protecting themselves.

Treating carry permits like any other state-issued license or certificate, like a driver’s license, marriage license, etc. is only logical. If I can drive from Arizona to New York without having to get a driver’s license from each state in between — even though those states all have somewhat different traffic laws — I should be able to do the same thing with a carry permit. The fact that one has a carry permit means that one has been vetted by both state and federal background checks, and is one of the most law-abiding people in the country. These are the people who should be encouraged to carry wherever they can.

In short, all the things that the New York Times and other media are complaining about are the very things that I’m pleased to hear. Now, if only the Senate can get this passed and signed into law. One can hope.

Numbers

The Women’s March on Washington claim that “over 1 million [people] in Washington” and “over 5 million [people] worldwide” marched the other day. Very cool. I’m happy to see people peacefully exercising their rights and making their voices heard.

Assuming their numbers are accurate, and I have no particular reason to doubt them, I find it interesting how these marchers are — according to both themselves and the media — are part of some mass movement that should influence public policy and to which politicians and other people of influence should particularly listen.

Yet, the NRA with its 5+ million members (not to mention other groups, like the GOA, SAF, etc. with hundreds of thousands of members) is a fringe group of cousin-humping rednecks that should be mocked, denigrated, and ignored by those in positions of authority.

Funny how numbers mean different things.

I’m shocked: NPR runs reasonably-balanced article about AR-15s

The media seems to be going into spasms of anti-gun hysteria, all focused on the AR-15. I wouldn’t be surprised if they started claiming that AR-15s are responsible for nails in your tires, cracks in the wall, mosquito bites, and that annoying itch on your nose that only starts once you’ve picked up something heavy.

Imagine my shock when I saw an article at NPR saying, in essence, AR-15s and similar rifles are pretty ordinary, common guns that average people own for normal, non-mass-shooty things.

They seem to love quoting anti-gun UCLA professor Adam Winkler, but even he had this to say:

“These are widely available in gun stores all across America. They’re incredibly popular firearms among hobbyists and gun enthusiasts…They’ve really caught on, just because of their military styling and because of their ease of use and customization. They’re very highly customizable. You can put on your own component parts to it, take things out and easily put new things in. So some people have likened it to the iPhone of guns.”

[…]

Despite its popularity, the AR-15 is not widely used in violent crimes. The rifle’s size makes it difficult to conceal, so most criminals tend to choose something smaller, like a handgun, Winkler says. Even most mass killings are carried out using other types of weapons such as handguns, he says.

Wow. They even quoted the Gun Owners of America website about why people like such guns.

Of course, they couldn’t help quoting the anti-gun tabloid New York Daily News, nor the ambulance-chasing attorney representing Sandy Hook parents in their lawsuit against gun manufacturers, but the bulk of the article is talking about how modern firearms are popular and normal.

Did I roll out of bed and find myself in some sort of bizarro opposite world?

Social media roundup, part 2

Back in late 2013 I checked how popular various pro- and anti-gun groups were on Facebook at Twitter. I figured I’d repeat the analysis to see how things have changed in the intervening years. Newly-added groups or individuals are bolded.
Gun Rights Groups:

  • National Rifle Association (Facebook): 4,360,790 (2013: 2,748,839) +58.64%
  • National Rifle Association (Twitter): 294,000 (2013: 191,692) +53.37%
  • Gun Owners of America (Facebook): 1,107,856 (2013: 276,867) +300.14%
  • Gun Owners of America (Twitter): 68,300 (2013: 22,786) +199.75%
  • Second Amendment Foundation (Facebook): 378,722 (2013: 119,810) +216.1%
  • Second Amendment Foundation (Twitter): 11,200 (2013: 4,962) +125.72%
  • National Association for Gun Rights (Facebook): 4,274,248
  • National Association for Gun Rights (Twitter): 7,424
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (Facebook): 205,747
  • Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (Twitter): 1,442

Gun Industry:

  • National Shooting Sports Foundation (Facebook): 348,490 (2013: 157,718) +120.96%
  • National Shooting Sports Foundation (Twitter): 41,800 (2013: 21,104) +98.07%
  • SHOT Show ? run by NNSF (Facebook): 96,866 (2013: 44,573) +117.32%
  • SHOT Show ? run by NSSF (Twitter): 51,400 (2013: 23,649) +117.35%
  • Glock, Inc. (Facebook): 1,475,378 (2013: 614,185) +140.22%
  • Glock, Inc. (Twitter): 158,000 (2013: 63,336) +149.46%
  • Smith & Wesson (Facebook): 1,184,344 (2013: 680,937) +73.93%
  • Smitth & Wesson: (Twitter): 140,000 (2013: 54,447) +157.13%
  • Sturm, Ruger & Company (Facebook) 493,549 (2013: 345,734) +42.75%
  • Sturm, Ruger & Company (Twitter): N/A (Ruger appears to have no Twitter presence anymore.) (2013: 18,310)

Gun Control Groups:

  • Americans for Responsible Solutions (Facebook): 177,283 (2013: 89,414) +98.27%
  • Americans for Responsible Solutions (Twitter): 1,671 (2013: 210,708) -99.21%
  • Mayors Against Illegal Guns (Facebook): N/A (MAIG no longer has a Facebook account.) (2013: 19,271)
  • Demand Action ? MAIG on Twitter (Twitter): N/A (MAIG no longer has a Twitter account.) (2013: 26,860)
  • Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America (Facebook): 442,548 (2013: 122,938) +259.98%
  • Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America (Twitter): 36,500 (2013: 12,254) +197.86%
  • Brady Campaign (Facebook): 112,893 (2013: 58,650) +92.49%
  • Brady Campaign (Twitter): 25,600 (2013: 17,170) +49.1%
  • Violence Policy Center (Facebook): 58,268 (2013: 20,571) +183.25%
  • Violence Policy Center (Twitter): 3,926 (2013: 1,934) +103%
  • CSGV (Facebook): 198,066 (2013: 46,314) +327.66%
  • CSGV (Twitter): 13,800 (2013: 9,575) +44.13%
  • Shannon Watts (Facebook): 1,166
  • Shannon Watts (Twitter): 11,800
  • Everytown for Gun Safety (Facebook): 905,324 (Everytown didn’t exist in 2013, but was formed from MAIG.) +636.41%
  • Everytown for Gun Safety (Twitter): 56,500

What can we learn from these numbers?
Compared to the 2013 stats, all entries on the list except Ruger (who discontinued their Twitter account) and ARS (who lost essentially all of their Twitter readers, for whatever reason) had significant growth.
The NRA alone has more than 2.3x the number of Facebook followers of all the gun control groups combined. The National Association for Gun Rights is nipping at the heels of the NRA, with 98% of the number of followers. The GOA has only 58% the followers of all the gun control groups combined, though they dominate all the gun control groups except Bloomberg-funded Everytown.
The Brady Campaign (5.9% of gun control followers) and VPC (3.1%) are more or less rounding errors, with ARS (9.3%) and CSGV (10%) being only slight better.
Everytown alone has 47% of the total number of gun control followers. Everytown + MDA make up 71% of the total number of gun control followers, though the GOA + SAF have 10% more followers than Everytown + MDA. Glock alone has 9.5% more followers than Everytown + MDA.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a Colorado no-compromise gun rights group, has more Facebook followers than any gun control group except Everytown and MDA.
Recently I’ve seen gun control advocates suggest that they have enough people on their side to join the NRA en masse, outnumber the gun owning members, and either dismantle the organization or vote in NRA elections to change the group’s position on issues. Although absurd on its face, the proposal is even more laughable when you consider that the grand total of people who’ve clicked “Like” to *any* of the gun control groups on Facebook is less than half the number of people who’ve done so for the NRA even though clicking “Like” involves no expense or effort. Actually joining the NRA requires the expenditure of actual money for 5 years to get voting privileges, something essentially none of the gun control advocates are willing to do.
Every single one of the gun-rights groups is a membership organization funded by dues-paying ordinary people. None of the gun-control groups have dues-paying members, and while some individuals and groups donate money to the groups, the vast majority of the funding for Everydown and MDA (the only groups that matter) comes from Bloomberg and other wealthy elites.
Gun control groups are basically paper tigers, though backed by Bloomberg’s billions, at least two of those tigers have a bit of a bite. We should be wary.

Spin and the NRA legal challenges in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recently passed a law that allows membership groups (read: the NRA), including those without legal standing (that is, they haven’t been directly harmed by a law), to sue cities that have enacted gun laws that violate the state preemption laws. If they win, the plaintiff would be entitled to attorneys fees.
It’s no surprise that clueless anti-freedom people such as Elanor Clift (who recently penned this missive) try to spin this situation as horrible and the NRA as some sort of soulless monster intent on stripping “common sense gun laws” from poor, helpless cities.
For example ((I’m leaving out the absurd misunderstanding of the so-called “Florida loophole” that Ms. Clift makes and am focusing solely on the preemption issue.)),

Ed Foley, the mayor of Jenkintown, a borough in the Philadelphia suburbs, told the Daily Beast that the NRA forced him ?to choose between public safety and financial solvency.? […] Under the threat of a lawsuit brought by the NRA, an ordinance in place since 2010 requiring Jenkintown residents to report lost or stolen firearms at the police station was rescinded in a public meeting. ?It was a hold-your-nose vote,? says Foley. ?It?s such an innocuous law, and it doesn?t do anything to restrict anybody?s right to have a gun. I don?t know why the NRA isn?t a bigger supporter of the police. The police want the law.?

Naturally, they focus on how reasonable and “innocuous” that law is, and that the “police want the law”. Who could argue with something as sensible as requiring that someone who had their gun stolen report that theft to the police?
Indeed, I agree — in principle — that such laws are not an undue burden on honest gun owners, subject to certain conditions. I do, however, think that they’re useless: honest people would report their stolen property to the police anyway and seek reimbursement from their insurance company. Straw purchasers, who the law is seemingly aimed at, probably wouldn’t. Thus, the law would essentially only affect honest people while doing effectively nothing about straw purchasers.
But I digress. The effectiveness or innocuousness ((Which is, I was somewhat surprised to discover, actually a word.)) of a particular law is not the issue. The issue — which is conveniently ignored by anti-gun writers — is that such laws violate state preemption law and are thus invalid. The new law allowing challenges to such invalid, illegal “laws” seeks to remedy this without requiring that someone be made a sacrificial lamb by violating the law and challenging it in court.
If the people of Pennsylvania think that lost-and-stolen laws are a good idea, they’re welcome to write and submit a bill in the state legislature. Such a law would be perfectly legal everywhere in the state. However, cities and other localities lack the legal authority to pass gun laws — any gun laws — in the state, and it’s wrong for them to ignore preemption, even if they have the best of intentions.
Hat tip to Sebastian.