Month: April 2023

Friday Feedback

This has been an interesting week for me. I’m working on a project where I’m being required to do much more frontend work than I normally do. This required me to actually learn Bootstrap’s grid system. It is astonishing how much I learn when I read the code instead of just reading the documentation.

Another part of this was learning about citations and what they mean. This became critical when reading Judge Lindsay Jenkins’ Memorandum Opinion and Order regarding the Illinois AWB + LCM ban.

Consider the following: “561 U.S. 742, 767 (2010)”. This is an official reference to McDonald. “561” is volume 561 of U.S. which is “United States Reports”. The same case can be referenced via the “S.Ct.” reporter, which is “Supreme Court Reporter”. And finally, there is “L.Ed.” and “L.Ed.2d) which is the “United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition”.

The next number, in our example “742”, is the page number in the printed reference. The “767” after that is the page from which this particular quotation was taken.

Here is the quote of interest to me:

In that vein, the Court noted that “[f]rom the early days of the Republic, through the Reconstruction era, to the present day, States and municipalities … banned altogether the possession of especially dangerous weapons.” Id. at 899–900.
Herrera v. Raoul, Memorandum Opinion and Order, (2023) ECF No. 75

Id. is Latin for “idem” meaning “the same”. In citations, it means the same citation just used. This means I have to find the correct citation. This particular Judge is good with his citations. Whereas most people put the citation immediately after the quotation, this Judge puts them close. He mentions McDonald v. City of Chicago and a line later he gives the citation.

This reference is to pages 899 through 900. Somewhere on those two pages of the printed reporter will be the quote he is citing.

Now I don’t remember anything in Heller, McDonald, or Bruen that said that there was a history or tradition of banning the possession of especially dangerous weapons. The judge quoted them; therefore it must be there. Maybe he pulled it out of context?

The text of the McDonald opinion is available from multiple sources. What isn’t available from most of those sources is a version with the page numbers as used in the cited reporter.

After a bit of looking, I found it at the Library of Congress. I verified it was the correct version because it starts at page 742. Time to find his quote.

Oh shit, there it is:

From the early days of the Republic, through the Reconstruction era, to the present day, States and municipalities have placed extensive licensing requirements on firearm acquisition, restricted the public carriage of weapons, and banned altogether the possession of especially dangerous weapons, including handguns. See Heller, 554 U. S., at 683–687 (Breyer, J., dissenting) (reviewing colonial laws); Cornell & DeDino, A Well Regulated Right: The Early American Origins of Gun Control, 73 Ford. L. Rev. 487, 502–516 (2004) (reviewing pre-Civil War laws); Brief for Thirty-four Professional Historians and Legal Historians as Amici Curiae 4–22 (reviewing Reconstruction-era laws); Winkler, Scrutinizing the Second Amendment, 105 Mich. L. Rev. 683, 711–712, 716–726 (2007) (reviewing 20th-century laws); see generally post, at 931–941. After the 1860’s just as before, the state courts almost uniformly upheld these measures: Apart from making clear that all regulations had to be constructed and applied in a nondiscriminatory manner, the Fourteenth Amendment hardly made a dent. And let us not forget that this Court did not recognize any non-militia-related interests under the Second Amendment until two Terms ago, in Heller. Petitioners do not dispute the city of Chicago’s observation that “[n]o other substantive Bill of Rights protection has been regulated nearly as intrusively” as the right to keep and bear arms. Municipal Respondents’ Brief 25.
McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010) at 899-900

That is pretty damning language. Why didn’t I know about this?

Oh, here it is, “Stevens, J., dissenting”. Yes, that is Associate Justice Stevens in his dissent to McDonald making this statement. When he quotes back to Heller you have to be cautious because he will often cite back to his own dissent.

In conclusion, this judge decided to justify his acceptance of “historical record” of firearms regulations because the loosing side in McDonald thought, incorrectly, that there were such historical regulations.

On the fun front, a Henry Golden Boy in .22 followed me home. She is very sweet. I need to do a bit more hole punching to get it fully zeroed, that’s just fun.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Did any of you listen to the Mean Mary music from Tuesday? Should I be looking for different types of music for you’ll?

VPC: Silencers are “Military-Bred.”

What does that even mean? that they were created by the or for the Military? Does any body in VPC knows how to use Google? Hiram Maxim came up with the silencer and the car muffler about the same time in 1902. The War Department did not begin to look into silencers till March 1909.

And silencers were pretty much abandoned by the War Department October of the same year.

If your cause is righteous, why lie?

Layers and Layers of Editorial Oversight: The arsenal of Jack Teixeira.

You may have heard of Airman Jack Teixeira who was arrested for allegedly obtaining and releasing super-duper secret military information in some gaming community. Some have raised the question how is it possible that a lowly Airman could have access to such important material, but then I remember it is our new Military which was not very smart to begin with and lately they are more into crossdressing officers and electric tanks so leaving a computer server unsecured with a crapload of sensitive info is not beyond the realm of reality.

Now, the government wants this kid bad, so bad indeed that the prosecutors released pictures of an alleged arsenal belonging to Teixeira and that he researched mass killings plus talked shit in the internet.

Here is a photo of the “arsenal” (Don’t laugh just yet.)

I believe the orange tips gives it away:

You can laugh now.

Kinda explains the lack of ammunition in the photo, right? Plastic BBs do not make for thrilling and convincing cases.

The link above is from USA Today, the same one that seriously brought you the chainsaw attachment for the AR 15. That they missed something as subtle as a federal regulation instituted in 1992 is completely understandable.

“But Miguel, what about the misuse of arsenal?” Well hell, anything beyond 2 firearms and 50 rounds of ammunition is an arsenal for the Press. I won’t even ask how many weapons you have within 3 feet right now or the USA Today editors would be giving birth to rabid kittens in the coffee room.

Hawaii is going to be the Mecca of suing gun makers

This is a new bill in Hawaii: HB426

Establishes standards of conduct for firearm industry members. Authorizes any person who has suffered harm because of a firearm industry member’s violation of the standards of conduct to bring a civil action. Authorizes the attorney general or any county attorney or public prosecutor to bring a civil action against a firearm industry member for violation of standards of conduct.

The devil is in the details and the details are how the State of Hawaii defines the standards of conduct.

“Firearm—related product” means a firearm, ammunition, a firearm precursor part, a firearm component, or a firearm 10 accessory that meets any of the following conditions:
(1) The item is sold, made, or distributed in the State;
(2) The item is intended to be sold or distributed in the State; or
(3) The item is or was possessed in the State and it was reasonably foreseeable that the item would be possessed in the State.

“Reasonable controls” means reasonable procedures, acts, or practices that are designed, implemented, and enforced to do the following:
(1) Prevent the sale or distribution of a firearm-related product to a straw purchaser, a firearm trafficker, a person prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal or state law, or a person who the firearm industry member has reasonable cause to believe is at substantial risk of using a firearm-related product to harm themselves or another or of possessing or using a firearm—related product unlawfully;
(2) Prevent the loss or theft of a firearm-related product from the firearm industry member; and
(3) Ensure that the firearm industry member complies with all provisions of federal or state law and does not otherwise promote the unlawful manufacture, sale, possession, marketing, or use of a firearm-related product.

§134-B Firearm industry members; standards of conduct.
(a) It shall be a violation of this part for a firearm industry member to fail to comply with any requirement of this part.
(b) A firearm industry member shall:
(1) Establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls;
(2) Take reasonable precautions to ensure that the firearm industry member does not sell, distribute, or provide to a downstream distributor a firearm-related product that is abnormally dangerous and likely to create an unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety in the State; and
(3) Not engage in any conduct related to the sale or marketing of firearm—related products that is in violation of this chapter.
(c) For the purposes of this part, a firearm—related product shall not be considered abnormally dangerous and likely to create an unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety based on a firearm’s inherent capacity to cause injury or lethal harm.
(d) There shall be a presumption that a firearm-related product is abnormally dangerous and likely to create an unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety if any of the following is true:
(1) The firearm—related product’s features render the product most suitable for assaultive purposes instead of lawful self-defense, hunting, or other legitimate sport and recreational activities;
(2) The firearm—related product is designed, sold, or  marketed in a manner that foreseeably promotes the conversion of legal firearm-related products into illegal firearm—related products; or
(3) The firearm—related product is designed, sold, or marketed in a manner that is targeted at minors or other individuals who are legally prohibited from accessing firearms.

Hawaii has effectively codified the Sandy Hook case into law.  If they decide that the way a firearm is marketed is attractive to children or prohibited persons, that is a violation of the law and makes gun companies liable.

They also say that “features render the product most suitable for assaultive purposes,” i.e., what they typically try to ban as assault rifle features, make the firearm abnormally dangerous and therefore make gun companies liable.  It doesn’t matter if these features are standard for a multitude of guns legal in a majority of states, Hawaii considers them abnormally dangerous.

Tie this together with the part of the bill that says “Take reasonable precautions to ensure that the firearm industry member does not sell, distribute, or provide to a downstream distributor a firearm-related product that is abnormally dangerous.”  A gun maker makes parts, those parts go to distributors and retailers.  Somebody buys a pistol grip or a barrel shroud or something else and puts it on their gun in Hawaii.  That, the way I am reading this, makes the gun company liable.  The gun company didn’t take reasonable precautions to stop a part that somehow magically makes the gun more assaultive from getting to a Hawaiian customer, and therefore can be sued.

Here is where this bill really turns to shit:

§134-C Violations; who may sue; relief.
(a) An act or omission by a firearm industry member in violation of this part shall constitute an actionable cause of action.

(b) A person who has suffered harm in the State because of a firearm industry member’s violation of this part may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) In addition to any lawsuit filed against a firearm owner pursuant to section 663-9.5, the attorney general or any county attorney or public prosecutor may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction in the name of the people of the State to enforce this part and remedy harm caused by a violation of this part.

(f) If a rebuttable presumption is established pursuant to 21 subsection (e), the firearm industry member shall have the burden of showing through a preponderance of the evidence that the firearm industry member established, implemented, and enforced reasonable controls.

(g) An intervening act by a third party, including but not limited to criminal use of a firearm—related product, shall not preclude a firearm industry member from liability under this part.

The firearms manufacturer is assumed to be guilty and must prove their innocence that they took reasonable precautions.

Even if the gun was used illegally, and possibly obtained illegally, the firearm manufacturer is still liable.

Pretty much this bill exists to make it possible for Hawaii to use the attorney general to engage in state-funded lawfare against the firearms industry with the deck stacked against it.  It is the antithesis of the PLCAA.

This bill will pass, the key will be it getting struck down.

Until then, brace for a flurry of bad faith lawsuits against gun makers.

It’s been the same shit for 40 years

I canceled my subscription to Fox Nation.  It renews at the beginning of May so before it expires I’m finishing up my watchlist.

Fox did a documentary series called Scandalous.  One two-part episode, titled  Subway Vigilante, was on the Bernie Goetz shooting.

The amazing thing about watching that is that it could have taken place last year, in terms of how the shooting was covered by the media and the politics involved.

Crime was at epidemic proportions in New York in the 1980s, largely due to a lack of policing and prosecution.  One of the facts that I learned was the Goetz had been previously mugged, beaten up, and his property stolen.  The mugger was arrested and charged with only criminal mischief.

This is exactly what we see today.  The lack of prosection and the pleading down of serious violent crimes to petty offenses by career criminals has led to crime waves in major cities across the country.

Goetz applied for a concealed carry permit in NYC and it was denied for lack of good cause.  This is important because in his first grand jury trial, he was only indicted for gun possession.  It stood out to me how tectonic the Bruen decision is and how vital it is that it is fully enforced in places like NYC.

After the first grand jury failed to indict him for attempted murder of the four people he shot, the Manhattan DA took another crack at it.  They offered the men shot by Goetz immunity in exchange for their testimony.  All the men shot by Goetz had extensive criminal records.  One was even in prison for assault, robbery, and rape at the time of the second grand jury.

The Manhattan DA had no problem not prosecuting violent career criminals and rapists, but had a huge grudge against a man who shot career criminals.

Between the first and second grand juries, the DA and the media tried and convicted Goetz in the court of public opinion.

The narrative went from a meek man who defended himself against four thugs on a subway to a white racist who shot four black boys.  It was largely on the basis of that narrative that they got the second grand jury to indict.

Every aspect of the Goetz media coverage and trial was present in Zimmerman and Rittenhouse cluster-fucks.

Citizens who defended themselves from career thugs, who ended up being accused of being racist murderers.

Another aspect that hasn’t changed is the way The Narrative rebrands self-defense as “taking the law into your own hands” or vigilantism.  It is fundamentally not vigilantism to use force to defend oneself at the moment of imminent bodily harm.  But by rebranding it that way, the people who support The Narrative can get ordinary citizens to turn against the idea of self-defense.

Again. something used against Zimmerman and Rittenhouse.

For forty fucking years Progressive politicians and The Narrative they push have been the same.

They don’t do anything to tamp down crime until an honest person shoots a career criminal, then that person gets the full weight of the law thrown against them.

Even though race played no role in the motivation for self-defense The Narrative will make the matter into one of white racism and black victims.

If they can’t convict you in court, they will convict you in the court of public opinion and ruin your life afterward.

There is so much detail that I’m glossing over, but I could probably sit down and write a book that compared the media and government tactics across the Goetz, Zimmerman, and Rittenhouse trials that without names, you couldn’t tell the difference between them.

Your rights are selfishness!

Matt Driscoll, over at The News Tribune out of Tacoma, Washington, has an opinion.

The reason you are angry about an emergency bill that bans most/all semi-automatic rifles in the state of Washington is because you are selfish.

On Tuesday morning, less than 48 hours after the close of the 2023 legislative session, reason and decency prevailed in Washington — at least for one shining moment.

There you have it, reason and decency prevailed when the legislature passed and the Governor signed into law a bill that strips you of your Second Amendment protected rights. Of course, he has to mislead by saying more than 50 assault-style weapons were banned.

First, the ban lists not just firearms by name, but entire classes of weapons. It doesn’t ban the Colt AR-15, instead it bans AR15, M16, or M4 in all formsWashington State, 1240-S. In addition, it also bans by feature, some of those features are:

  • semi-automatic rifle with an overall length of less than 30 inches
  • “Assault weapon” conversion kits, part, or combination of parts
  • A semi-automatic center fire rifle that accepts a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:
    • Pistol grip
    • Thumbhole stock
    • Folding or telescoping stock
    • Forward grip
    • Any sort of muzzle device
    • thread barrel
    • Grenade or flare launcher
    • A barrel shroud unless it on a fudd gun
  • A semi-automatic rifle that has a fixed magazine that accepts more than 10 rounds
  • And more!!! Including pistols

This bans almost all modern semi-automatic rifles. It seems to be even worse when it comes to pistols. Their definition of a “shroud” would include most slides. If your semi-auto, center fire pistol, takes a detachable magazine, it is an assault weapon under Washington State law.

Matt says this is reason and decency in action.

But you know what? Forget about our fractured politics for a moment and, instead, consider what Washington’s newest gun law will actually do. Just as important, contemplate the little it asks of citizens in return.

You are giving up so little for what this law will actually do. Let’s see what Matt thinks this law will do.

Umm, nothing. He doesn’t actually say what he thinks this law will do.

There’s just a litmus test: Either you believe your perceived individual freedoms outweigh the overall safety of society and our children, or you don’t. It’s that simple.
It’s amid this backdrop that opponents of Washington’s ban on assault weapons trot out the same tired arguments in response. Guns don’t kill people, they contend, people do — and besides, the only ones likely to be affected by any new gun regulation are law-abiding citizens. Criminals are criminals, after all, and no new regulation or restriction will solve all our problems. If someone has the will to kill, they can find a way to do it, no matter their weapon of choice.

Don’t miss this little gem, that one that every gun infringer puts out there, the “it is just a start”. There’s also little question that reducing gun deaths in America will take more than new regulations…Matt

But there’s also what the research and common sense tell us, and juxtaposed with the me-first objections from the right, what the contrast reveals about the battling priorities at stake in our national gun debate shouldn’t get lost in the noise.

You have a politicized cultural gun fetish. I promise you that it is not a gun fetish, at least mine isn’t.

It’s a declaration that the health and safety of all of us are more important than someone’s selfish right to do whatever they want, regardless of the societal toll.

And he closes with standards, he gets to define what “the right to keep and bear arms.” means. Besides, it is just a small price to pay for you to give up some of your rights.

Washington assault weapon ban about more than gun rights