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Wells Fargo Resists Union Threats Aimed at Getting It to Drop Gun Manufacturer Clients

"I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy."

The American Federation of Teachers is demanding that Wells Fargo drop its relationship with gun manufacturers (and with the NRA). To its credit, Wells Fargo isn't budging. As the response from the CEO said (alongside the usual, and understandable, we-hear-you-and-we-want-you-to-be-our-friends business-speak),

As I have publicly stated, I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.

I'm not a Wells Fargo customer, but I'm considering switching from U.S. Bank (for practical reasons, not political ones), and this raised Wells Fargo's standing in my mind. Indeed, I even called their customer service line to pass along my compliments.

The attempted demonization of the NRA and gun manufacturers also helps support, I think, many gun owners' worry that many gun control proponents' endgame isn't just "reasonable regulation" but outright bans.

Today, they might not have the political power to accomplish that on a national level, or in most states. But most successful ideological campaigns go in many steps. Diminish the power of the NRA now, and you might be able to get more gun restrictions soon. Get more gun restrictions then, and there may then be fewer gun owners year as a result (especially if you've made it harder for gun manufacturers to operate, and perhaps increased the cost of guns as a result). Diminish the number of gun owners, and you might further diminish the power of gun rights organizations, and then get more gun restrictions after that.

Of course, reasonable people may think that outright bans on guns are good -- many of my friends think so, and while I disagree with them, it's a quesion that turns on empirical predictions and moral judgments that different people make differently. But whenever I hear people mocking those who worry about slippery slopes to broad gun bans, I find myself pretty skeptical.

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  • PeteRR||

    What we're being pushed towards, I believe, is devolution. The southern and plains states, with Texas as the heart of it, will resist any attempts at banning guns at the national level and the alphabet agencies will face civil disobedience from those state and local authorities. What happens next depends on how bloody minded the feds are willing to be.

  • ||

    Sounds good to me. The cities are completely reliant on the urban areas for all of the essentials for living.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Would be interesting to see what the police do when told to seize the guns from the Crips, Bloods, MS-13, etc.. Probably ignore them as the law will be written to have "voluntary" turn in or buy back programs.

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    I know you didn't mean to, but the references to street gangs and the guns they may have in their possession, will be read as a dog whistle to racists. I'm not calling you out as one, as I understand your point. However, critical thinking isn't a thing for the modern Leftist and they will assume the worst when given an inch.

    Just take their argument, down that well lubricated slippery slope, to the logical conclusion: The Left wants all the guns, period. If we can all agree that's what they want (and it is), we can have the actual conversation that needs to be had, something like this:

    When you ban all the guns, what is your (The Left) plan to guarantee compliance with mandatory buybacks/confiscation orders? Answer me that and you'll find you've turned into the thing you march in the streets against today.

  • Clayton Cramer||

    Nonsense. The advanced technology of the sophisticates will allow them to 3D print vegetables and tofu!

  • TxJack 112||

    You have no idea how correct you are. Having been born in and living in Texas my entire life, I can assure you this is state that will never submit to any government. Texans distrust government, even our state government which is why every office except one (Sec of State) is elected. Texas has fought the Federal government at every turn when needed. We have been at the front filing lawsuits to stop Obama's immigration policies as well as other fights. Democrats in the cities have been pushing for years to "turn Texas blue" yet lose more ground every year because most Texans live outside the cities. In addition, those moving here from other states like California are not progressives, but conservatives sick of being ignored and forced to live with laws imposed by insane, out of control state governments. When people say this state will become blue or purple, they are people who have no understanding of our culture or our history which for Texans is everything.

  • ||

    I'm not as optimistic as you are.

  • PeteRR||

    I've lived in CA and NJ, and now in TX and I can see it first hand. Even the Democrats, the school teachers, the social workers in this state are armed.

  • dgeorge||

    Can you imagine teamsters in 1894 against money transport or passengers from Winchester or Colt because they made repeating rifles?
    It wouldn't surprise me. On the one hand the stage coach drivers might have been for gun control, but when the gang was chasing them they were glad a few passengers were armed and shooting back.
    A driver with four-in-hand and one guy "riding shotgun" on a mud wagon doin' 5-10 mph just wasn't enough against the whole Hole-in-the-Wall gang on horseback.
    I know, they were in Wyoming, but you know what I mean.

  • dgeorge||

    Wells Fargo, stagecoaches, riding shotgun... I get it!

  • WJack||

    "Government workers, however, don't generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers." F.D.R. considered this "unthinkable and intolerable."
    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/02/18

    Now the teachers union, which appears to be responsible for many problems in public education, is turning its attention to control of the populace.

  • MGould||

    Governments in general create and sustain the conditions and the environment for private markets to thrive and generate profits. Whether it is roads, the electrical grid and physical infrastructure, or laws and rules to keep marketplaces fair for everyone (to the extent that's actually true), governments and government workers DO contribute to generating profits.

    If you and FDR think public sector unions are only interested in or involved with getting more taxpayer money for member salaries, than neither of you know what you are talking about. You've obviously never been a member of a public sector union, or have any experience in the efforts they make not just for their members, but for taxpayers in general. Perhaps learn something before spouting ideological nonsense on social media.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Need a cancer doctor have survived cancer?

    There are far too many instances of unions working only in the interest of expanding their membership through hook or crook to accept your version of them as nice people. It is common practice for unions to protect even the worst teachers, making it so hard to fire them that they are kept on payroll with no useful duties. If you think that is proper altruistic behavior, then I can only conclude that you yourself are a union big wig.

  • Sarcastr0||

    But management has even more examples of abusing labor so. Looking only at one side of the cost/benefit ledger is usually a sign of outcome-oriented reasoning.

    I do like your super-silly conclusion about the only reason someone would defend unions. Should I conclude you must be some corporate fat-cat because you don't see problems on the other side?

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I was specifically referring to government labor unions. I assumed that from the context.

  • Sarcastr0||

    So you believe that the government-as-manager is not free of problems? Look at how labor is treated in public universities, for instance. Or the the Department of Education's latest shenanigans.

    I know the talking point is that the government is on both sides of the bargaining table, but that doesn't understand how government works, how incentives work, or any of the history of government dealing with it's own employees.

    And no, I'm not involved with public unions in any way, I just know people who work for the government.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Right, good, stay on-topic if you can.

  • Sarcastr0||

    An unexpected dodge. I'm responding to your comment, after all.

  • FlameCCT||

    Seriously Sarcastro? Or were you being sarcastic about AFGE's latest whining? IMO AFGE's actions during contract negotiation is a prime example of how public unions are only concerned about getting more members and taking more tax dollars. I would also note that unlike their whining, a union can be decertified. I would further note that the government can also set wage scales with or without union approval. IOW AFGE is lying about what is occurring.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Isn't the purpose of a union to maximize the benefits for their members?

    I'm not equipped to get into an analysis of labor law. But from what you admit, the government is acting adversarial to labor, which would imply the negotiation would end in a happy middle.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    The D of Ed is following the law. Why am I unsurprised that you called that "shenanigans?" And it's laughable to cite one example of the government pushing back in negotiations as representative of the rule. Do ypu also contend that pension and retirememt requirements were always negotiated between to adversarial counterparties?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm not saying it's illegal. I'm saying that the government can use it's power to screw with it's workers just like any private organization. That is precisely the sort of legal but bad behavior that unions are supposed to check.

    Pensions have been screwed up in both public and private arenas - it's a prime example of short-term thinking all around.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Government workers shouldn't be allowed to vote. Th US government has become its own biggest special interest group.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Government workers shouldn't be allowed to vote

    Neither should internet political commenters. But here we are.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Glad you agree to both cases then. No doubt you will self-enforce.

  • Sarcastr0||

    No worries - I live in DC, my vote doesn't count anyhow!

  • I'm Here, for MOAR Hihn||

    This comment explains so much. Also, good.

  • ||

    LOL. The public section unions are out for themselves and no one else. YOU must be a public "worker" to spout such nonsense.

  • MGould||

    And you must be a right wing douche bag to so confidently display such ignorance. I am an air traffic controller, and my union works with the FAA and the airlines and private pilots in hundreds of ways, from efficiently updating equipment and rules, to giving airlines a voice in running the system, and many other initiatives. That's why the controllers union has the backing of airline associations and private pilot associations. My union even publicly endorsed the bill to privatize the FAA introduced in Congress two years ago.

    I've been controlling traffic as a public "worker" for 31 years. I'll wear the scorn of morons such as yourself as a badge of honor.

  • Eidde||

    Didn't the air traffic controllers union have some kind of misunderstanding with management under Ronald Reagan?

  • SIV||

    Firing the union air traffic controllers was Reagan's second greatest achievement. Number 1 was defeating Soviet Communism.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    So your single experience outweighs everyone else here. Gotcha. No need for further comment.

  • Sarcastr0||

    To be fair, most here (myself included) seem to be speaking from at best secondhand authority without any direct experience.

  • FlameCCT||

    Are you are saying that NATCA learned their lesson after the PATCO fiasco?
    Are you saying that NATCA acts differently than the AFL-CIO with whom their affiliated?

  • TangoDelta||

    Have you heard of CALPERS? It stands in direct opposition to what you've just stated.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "...have any experience in the efforts they make not just for their members, but for taxpayers in general. "

    How precious. Sure, and businesses and corporations are always trying trying to help the community.

  • Tionico||

    is THIS why unions, as a group, "donate" some seventy percent of union "dues" (read: confiscated funds) as political contributioins, and some ninety percent of ALL those "contributioins" are to democrat party candidates and/or policies/laws promoted by the union leadership?

    If unions were truly neutral (fat chance THAT will even happen) why do they even give a dime to political campaigns?

  • Dadlobby||

    Being in a public sector union in NYS I never had issue with their negotiating work issues and salaries. When I was in the AFL-CIO, AFSCME I took great umbrage at their political activities "on my behalf" which were counter to my libertarian beliefs. The NYS Comptroller (who controls the ENTIRE public employee retirement system fund) has begun to pressure credit card companies to not allow gun sales with their cards. Both the AFT and the AAFL-CIO are in the pocket of Democrats who are now socialist and believe that government knows what's best for you taking both your income and ability to decide for yourself what you do on a daily basis. They both would undermine the Republic with tyranny exercised for their moral good applied to you and paid for by you.

  • Hank Ferrous||

    There we were, thinking Operation Choke Point was dead. Vile practices live on with censorious asshats. For the children.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Don't devalue censorship.
    Agree with them or no, boycotts aren't censorship.

  • ||

    There may have been a good reason why classical tolerance of expression was summed up in the epigram: "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!" That has a different feel than: "I disagree with what you say, I think you are evil for having said it, I think no one should associate with you and you ought to lose your livelihood, and anyone who doesn't agree with me about all that is skating on pretty thin ice as well, but hey, at least I don't think you should be arrested for it!"

  • Brett Bellmore||

    More a case of, "I don't think I can get away with having you arrested for it yet, but I am looking into good locations to site the camps at."

  • ||

    They certainly would desire that.

  • Nige||

    Is that what you're doing Brett? You have a tendency to accuse the left of the stuff that's bubbling up in the sewers of your own psyche and then using that imaginary rationale to justify your actions. Kinda hit bottom with the whole cynical nihilism of supporting Trump and kept digging.

  • KevinP||

    No one wants to ban or confiscate guns. Ever! It's a crazy and paranoid idea!

    Democrat Candidate for Sheriff Daryl Fisher Suggests Killing People to Take Their Guns - and audience applauds

  • Hugo S. Cunningham||

    A direct individual boycott is personal choice, not censorship: "I will not do business with this gun manufacturer."

    A secondary boycott-- forcing neutrals to join your boycott-- is an act of war. Congress has deployed secondary boycotts (aka blacklists) with great effect against various enemies of the United States. They intervene from time to time, however, to restrict such warlike instruments from domestic disputes.

  • Sarcastr0||

    So you would outlaw secondary boycotts as unlawful warfare or some such? If money is speech, you can't do that.

    Also comparing what a private entity does to what Congress has done is ignoring exactly the distinction I said you need to make.

  • Hugo S. Cunningham||

    Congress has outlawed secondary boycotts in labor disputes since 1947, without constitutional challenge from SCotUS.

    Whether an organization (some of whose members are compelled to join and who disagree with its policy in this matter) should have the same right to boycott as a bona-fide individual is a separate question.

    I am not necessarily calling for a blanket Congressional ban on secondary boycotts. Congress should act carefully in narrow sectors, and only after determining that the disease is worse than the cure.

    I am, however, encouraging people to examine secondary boycotts skeptically, as something much more intense than direct boycotts-- potentially a milestone on the road to civil war.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Secondary strikes are not secondary boycotts, though. I wouldn't imagine they have the same issues.

    potentially a milestone on the road to civil war

    You're too smart to be so melodramatic. What factions would even fight?

  • Hugo S. Cunningham||

    Secondary strikes are a subset of (type of) secondary boycott(s). Congress decided that they were uniquely pernicious to civil comity, worth banning.

    Civil war? I don't see a territorial war of conquest like the Civil War of 1861-1865. More likely-- decentralized acts of sabotage: "You destroy my livelihood? I'll destroy your livelihood!" If a critical mass of the public hate the "gun-grabbers of California" (or, mutatis mutandis, the "gun-worshippers of Texas") more than they hate foreign enemies, the possibilities for mischief by hostile foreign intelligence operatives are endless. Said operatives need not identify who they are actually working for.

    In that context, calls by the government of one State to boycott businesses in another State are notably corrosive.

    The potential division of the American economy into mutually exclusive progressive and conservative halves reminds me of the split of national churches into Northern and Southern sections before the Civil War of 1861-1865. So much for "bonds of affection" and "mystic chords of memory."

    Both Right and Left have been running "advertiser boycotts" for years against media people they dislike; that is a lost cause. The Left's attempt to politicize common utilities like Wells Fargo (banking) and Fed-Ex (shipping), however, is a dangerous escalation.

  • Rigelsen||

    Are you really this dense, or do you just play it on TV?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm really that dense. Please enlighten me.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    I'm not sure who he was responding to.

  • Hank Ferrous||

    I did specifically choose not to use the term censorship for a reason, words mattering and all. Good follow up comments, I see. Reason gives me some hope.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I see one line about how liberals are all Nazis and gonna send people to the camps.
    I see one line about how secondary boycotts can send us into civil war
    I see one line personally insulting me.

    I do not see a lot of reason, nor much supporting your choice of words.

  • nicmart||

    Credit card issuers had no problem refusing to allow Americans to use their cards to buy ads on Backpage.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    The credit card issuers made no such restrictions until they were demanded by government agencies including the regulatory agencies that govern the banking industry. To suggest that they did so voluntarily is nonsense.

  • Tionico||

    Backpage and its activities are NOT protected by the Constitution. The RIGHT to keep and bear arms, and thus to freely trade in them as producer and/or consumer, ARE protected by the US COnstitutioon.

    Using the power of their numbers for anything other than issues directly relating to their collective bargaining obligations is theft. If even ONE of the members of that union oppose the move to drop "gun manufacturers" as clients, then the move to misuse their influence is wrong. Union members, if they want gun regulation action, should join Bloomburg's Mad Mamas, union members who want to protect our right to arms are free to join NRA. Whether Winchester is a client of Wells Fargo is of no concern to any union.

  • dwb68||

    To be completely fair, businesses are in business to make money, and virtue signalling does not pay the bills. You simply cannot run a company while making half the country mad.

    In any case, the American Federation of Teachers is very bad at actually running schools, and I doubt that their ability to run politics is any better.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    You simply cannot run a company while making half the country mad.

    AFT isn't half the country. They're a vocal minority.

    If businesses are going to cave to the left's demands because it passes the cost-benefit analysis to get them to shut up, then lovers of liberty have to flex our own financial and speech muscles to change that cost-benefit calculation. If we play nice and try to be completely fair, we'll get steamrolled by the left which doesn't do either.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They're not doing it because of cost-benefit analysis. They're doing it because the left have gotten people into decision making positions in them who don't care about the cost benefit analysis.

    The march through the institutions is a real thing, I've been watching to progress most of my life.

  • Sarcastr0||

    CEOs are not known for their pro-government leftist sympathies, Brett.
    Between this and the 'liberals are just waiting to put us into camps' I'm beginning to think you might not like me, Brett!

    'They want to destroy America and they've infiltrated everywhere that's doing something I don't like!' Now where have I heard that before, and how did that go for America?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    This is one of those, "How dare you believe your lying eyes!" topics, then, where you're offended if people don't reject the evidence of their senses, and forget anything inconvenient?

    Sorry, I'm going on 60, and I've been watching this thing proceed for decades. The march through the institutions is quite real.

    Note that the topic of the discussion here is a corporation bucking the trend by refusing to tell paying customers to go away. This is notable because a lot of other corporations ARE telling paying customers to go away. Are willing to lose money to advance a political cause.

    Exactly what you'd have me pretend isn't going on.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You appeal to the evidence of your senses, but it seems a bit more emotional than that.

    Have you considered that the change that you've seen in the last 40 years or so has been just natural social change, and not brought on by some secret cabal?

    As was noted above, this can be explained by consumer-facing corporations believing you net gain customers by playing against Trump. Or, you know, your secret liberal infiltration thing.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Ah, another appeal to the arc of historical justice. As usual you provide no counter evidence and just more gaslighting.

    Alienating consumers is never a good idea period. If you want to try to make the case that corps have to choose a side, then make it. But for those of is living in a world slightly more advanced than the Manichean, good luck.

  • bernard11||

    This is notable because a lot of other corporations ARE telling paying customers to go away. Are willing to lose money to advance a political cause.

    I suppose you have the financial and marketing analysis to prove this. If not, then your paranoia is getting worse.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    See Dick's Sporting Goods'. Next question.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Really bernard? You're daft enough to ignore that this is, and has been, happening?

    Or are you just trolling?

  • bernard11||

    Some people have stopped shopping at Dick's? OK. I believe that.

    Will it damage the company long-term? Show me. Or is that too much to ask?

    "March through the institutions." Get help.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    I canceled all of my associations with Dicks sporting goods and made sure in every case I let them know it was because of there position on guns.

    Tell me how I do that with the AFT. I'd love to take my money away from the public school system, but I'm not allowed to do that, and they will ultimately take away my life if I try.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I believe pro-gun absolutists to be anti-gun absolutists' best friends, and vice versa.

    It reminds me of the extended period during which each of George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden was the other's greatest enabler.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Another good example is the Democrat and Republican teams, both of which appear to be about as representative of values as pro-wrestling or the NFL.

  • dgeorge||

    I think you're right, it's symbiotic. We see gun sales rise every time there's a push for a ban and I'll bet the anti gun groups raise more money after every shooting. Each side has high paid lobbyists, media advisors and regular staff working overtime.
    As long as government has the power, both sides will thrive. Of course the media will use the conflict for ratings as well.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Prof. Volokh and pro-gun absolutists are free to prefer Wells Fargo -- despite its odious, criminal practices aimed at customers -- for flattering positions favored by pro-gun abolutists. Some liberals object.

    Others -- moderates, liberals, RINOs, libertarians -- are free to reject companies for siding with backwardness and bigotry, or to choose vendors that promote tolerance, progress, science, reason, and education. Some conservatives whine about this.

    The same principle applies to schools -- from our strongest universities, operated in the liberal-libertarian mainstream, to the hundreds of censorship-shackled, nonsense-teaching, third-tier (or worse) campuses controlled by conservatives. An American should be able to attend Berkeley or Biola, Harvard or Hillsdale, Reed or Regent, Amherst or Ave Maria (and should be prepared to live with the lifelong consequences of such a choice).

    May the better ideas win, and freedom prevail.

  • the original jack||

    Poor Artie... you never quite know if it is actually him posting or one of the many spoofers who have nailed his style down perfectly. Must be tough living life as a Poe's Law example.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Why 'poor Artie?'

    America has been adopting my preferences for the entirety of my lifetime.

    I have been very fortunate -- able to overcome a lousy childhood consequent to effort, skill, education, the generosity of others, and luck; able to enjoy a fine life with the help of a good government and the benefits provided by those who preceded me; able to live in a successful, modern community.

    I have a good family. The Stones and Springsteen are likely to tour America soon.

    Don't worry about Arthur Kirkland.

    Worry about the half-educated, intolerant, gullible losers in our depleted backwaters. And ensure there is a strong lifeline for the smart, ambitious young people who wish to escape our southern and rural communities and seek education, modernity, and opportunity on good campuses or in strong cities..

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Bigot, thy name is reverend.

  • Curtisls701||

    In my life, I've lived in both urban and rural areas of this country. There are plenty of half-educated, intolerant, gullible losers in our decaying cities, just as there are plenty of educated, tolerant and discerning individuals in rural areas of the country.

    Let's not cast aspersions based on geography.

  • TxJack 112||

    Seriously? Your post without a doubt the most arrogant and intolerant I have ever read. If to be "educated, tolerant and enlightened" means I have to be complete ass like you, I prefer to remain ignorant in my "backwater". As for people wanting to "escape" southern or rural communities, that only shows you are an urban elitist which again is nothing more than an arrogant ass.

  • Kroneborge||

    As an educated person that finally escaped the cesspool of Southern CA to move to rural Oregon. I say screw Urban living. It's too crowded and something about urban living has a tendency to warp the mind and turn people into statists.

  • TxJack 112||

    Our universities are operated by anything but libertarians. When you suppress speech for any reason, you are no longer serving the cause of freedom. I love it when you and others like you immediately associate tolerance, progress, reason and education with those on the left and strip it from anyone on the right. That one statement demonstrates the arrogance of a fascist, not a libertarian. Are you seriously going to attempt to argue that Berkley has not engaged in wholesale censorship? If you do, you are a fraud and a hypocrite. Columbia, UCLA, USC and a host of others have successfully silenced all speech except that they approve by claiming it is "triggering" to students. Those students are not learning they are being indoctrinated. I will not attempt to argue the conservative universities like Liberty are not as bad, but at least I am honest.

  • Kroneborge||

    Of course Liberty isn't a state funded school

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    I keep seeing references to "pro-gun absolutists". Care to identify any by name, state their allegedly absolutist position and explain what, exactly is "absolutist" about it and maybe contrast it with a "non-absolutist pro-gun position"? Or are you just spouting plausible-sounding jargon, Artie?

  • Harvey Mosley||

    While I appreciate that Wells Fargo is refusing to give in to the threats from hoplohobes I do not and will not use them as my financial institution. Based upon their track record I just don't trust them. But your statement that "Prof. Volokh and pro-gun absolutists..." shows your intolerance. You are classifying everyone who doesn't agree to your so-called "reasonable restrictions on gun ownership" as a pro-gun absolutist shows that you are just another wannabe gun grabber. Its too bad really. You hold some positions that I strongly agree with. But your bigotry, hate, and intolerance always makes me question myself when I find that I'm in agreement with you on those issues like ending the war on drugs and forcing the "drug warriors" to find honest jobs.

  • the original jack||

    I dropped my Liberty Mutual home and car insurance last week because of their pulling their ads from the Ingraham show. I sent a nice letter to corporate explaining why.

    I have also dropped Office Depot from our preferred list of vendors and switched over to Staples.

    If companies want to play politics, then they will pay a price.

  • ||

    Good for you. Thanks for letting me know about Office Depot. I wasn't aware of that, but I'll happily drive the extra 4 miles (from where I live) to go to Staples instead.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Good work. I would prefer we could all just shop where we want to, and not have to think about politics in our purchasing decisions, but the left started it, and we'll get steamrolled if we don't counter. We have to change their cost-benefit analysis to include pissing off liberty lovers as a nasty risk.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Quit whimpering, wingnut. Not only is it a sign of weakness, but in this case it also is a sign of ignorance or delusion because you don't know what you're yammering about.

    How long have Focus on the Family and other right-wing groups been conducting enthusiastic, well-publicized national boycotts against those who favor progress, education, science, tolerance, and reason?

  • VinniUSMC||

    Quit whimpering

    Seems like someone needs to take their own advice.

    Would that the Reverend were actually a person of "progress, education, science, tolerance, and reason" and not just a raving, bigoted lunatic. Have you become best of friends with Hihn yet?

  • BadLib||

    I suppose you should thank the Obama administration's FTC for blocking the Office Depot/Staples merger in 2016 so you have that option.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    Well, I moved away from Google to Duck-Duck-Go because of Google's firing of the schmoe Damore. So far, though, Google hasn't folded.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    If companies weren't responding to public consumer actions, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    I use a lot of google services and unfortunately can't boycott them, but I'm pretty confident a company that does hiring on the basis of feelz will see a change of direction regardless of what I do, or they will go under.

  • ||

    The left has been completely exposed in the past month. They lost the last shred of credibility that their goal is not to repeal the 2nd Amendment or "interpret" it out of the Constitution. It's that simple. They don't believe that gun ownership is a good, and thus, any costs imposed upon it are necessarily a good.

  • KevinP||

    Survey: Majority of Democrats want to ban semi-automatics, half want to ban all guns


    Quotes:
    The key takeaway from a YouGov survey released this week ... shows a significant number of self-identified Democratic respondents support the idea of total gun confiscation.

    82 percent of surveyed Democrats say they favor a ban on semi-automatics, which would include not just rifles like the one used in the Feb. 14 Parkland massacre, which claimed the lives of 17 people, but also most handguns.

    That's a hell of a ban.

    Amazingly enough, this isn't even the survey's most shocking find. That distinction goes to how respondents answered the question: "Do you favor or oppose … [banning] the sale of all handguns, except those that are issued to law enforcement officers."

    If you can believe it, Democratic respondents were split on this question. Forty-four percent said they would support such a ban, while a oh-so-slightly larger 46 percent said they would oppose it.

    That's not all! The survey also found that Democratic respondents were loosely split on whether the Second Amendment ought to be repealed. Thirty-nine said they'd oppose it, while 41 percent said otherwise. The broader population, on the other hand, overwhelmingly opposed the idea by 60 percent to 21 percent.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    My guess is that most Democrats don't know what semiautomatic means, other than that the evil black rifles are semiautomatic.

  • ||

    Exactly. And that's why the push for "assault weapons" to be banned is so disingenuous. When you point out that you can easily make one that functions the same but without those evil cosmetic features, they say, "Well, then ban those too." Of course, that means banning every magazine loaded semi-automatic, which is basically every firearm useful for self defense. Bolt and lever action guns are good for snipers and hunting. That's it.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    Woe to the guy who owns a WWII-era Garand M1.

  • Nige||

    So you're saying your efforts at being a sneering know-all gun-nerd smart-arse backfires? It happens.

  • KevinP||

    "sneering know-all gun-nerd smart-arse"

    Tolerant and inclusive progressive alert!

  • I Callahan||

    Well maybe people who know nothing about a subject should just STFU about it. At least that's what I'd do...

  • Nige||

    My guess is you think that's important!

  • ||

    I think the only way you can reconcile 82% supporting a ban on all semi-autos and only 44% supporting a ban on handguns is that they don't know that most handguns are semi-autos. I doubt the 38% think that handguns should be allowed, but only revolvers.

  • Voize of Reazon||

    Actual, you wish! In the new world you will only be permitted single-action revolvers.

  • operagost||

    Show them some videos of trick shooters doing the two-handed rapid fire trick and they'll ban those too.

  • MatthewSlyfield||


    "Do you favor or oppose … [banning] the sale of all handguns, except those that are issued to law enforcement officers."

    If you can believe it, Democratic respondents were split on this question. Forty-four percent said they would support such a ban, while a oh-so-slightly larger 46 percent said they would oppose it.


    I wonder home many of the 46% that said they would oppose it oppose banning hand guns and how many oppose exempting law enforcement.
  • Joe_dallas||

    "Of course, reasonable people may think that outright bans on guns are good -- many of my friends think so, and while I disagree with them, it's a quesion that turns on empirical predictions and moral judgments that different people make differently. But whenever I hear people mocking those who worry about slippery slopes to broad gun bans, I find myself pretty skeptical."

    I concur that there good arguments for greater gun control based on empirical data and good arguments for retaining current structure of gun control based on empirical data.
    My concern with the slippery slope is the williness to ignore the text of the constitution with 2A and the williness to ignore other unrelated constitution provisions inorder to achieve the preferred policy result.

  • Joe_dallas||

    "Of course, reasonable people may think that outright bans on guns are good -- many of my friends think so, and while I disagree with them, it's a quesion that turns on empirical predictions and moral judgments that different people make differently. But whenever I hear people mocking those who worry about slippery slopes to broad gun bans, I find myself pretty skeptical."

    I concur that there good arguments for greater gun control based on empirical data and good arguments for retaining current structure of gun control based on empirical data.
    My concern with the slippery slope is the williness to ignore the text of the constitution with 2A and the williness to ignore other unrelated constitution provisions inorder to achieve the preferred policy result.

  • Mr. Dyslexic||

    What about your williness to ignore the letter g?

  • WoodChipperBob||

    The letter g gives him the willies.

  • Joe_dallas||

    This comment is to only point out the dishonest mischaracterization of the historical record in Stevens Heller dissent.

    Steven based the dissent on the supposed "original meaning" in that he cited multitude of historical writings discussing the right of the people to form militias for common defense. While at the same time claiming that the multitude of historical writings discussing the individual right never occurred. Never once in the dissent did Stevens address the contrary citations in Scalia's opinion.

    FWIW - I am of the opinion that 2A confers both rights, the individual right and the citizens right to form militias for common defense - its really the only natural reading of the text. Its strains grammar to argue that the two rights are mutually exclusive so that only one of the two rights are conferred.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    I am of the opinion that 2A confers both rights, the individual right and the citizens right to form militias for common defense

    The prefatory clause which mentions the militia does not confer any separate right. It's just there to justify the right to keep and bear arms. If the founders could do it over again they would no doubt leave the prefatory clause out, given how it's been used to contradict the plain meaning of the amendment. If James Madison had a time machine that could visit the future, there is little doubt a lot of the imprecise language and loopholes the statists have exploited over the years would be closed.

    Regardless, the militias mentioned in the prefatory clause were clearly expected to be controlled and organized by the states.

  • Longtobefree||

    Wrong.
    Militias are volunteer military units, under their own elected leaders. The members of the unit authorize their leader to offer services to the government, often with restrictions on place and/or time. If the government accepts the conditions, then, and only then are the militia members under control of the states, and then only in accordance with the restrictions.
    The volunteer aspect is a critical and defining aspect of a militia. While a government official may 'call out the militia', it is up to each individual member do determine if they will respond to that particular call.
    Remember the sixties poster "suppose they gave a war, and no one came?". Well, that is why the founding fathers preferred a militia.
    The militia is mentioned in the prefatory clause to clearly show that military grade weapons are included in addition to everything that could be considered an arm.
    The reason that the national guard is not 'the militia' is that those members are under the control of the government, and cannot refuse a government order.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Joe, there are not any historical writings—not one—to support the notion that the 2A was enacted to create (or to protect) a federal right to guns for self-defense. The record has been ransacked in search of that gun advocates' holy grail, and it has never turned up. Just cite, after cite, after cite, all attesting the militia purpose.

    That doesn't mean founding-era society didin't believe in guns for self-defense. It did. Which is why Scalia was able to turn up all his tangentially, applicable-seeming, sort-of, citations. None of them say what Scalia concludes from them—that it was the founders' intent to put arms for self-defense in the Constitution, instead of just leaving the issue to the states and the status quo. For that reason, Scalia's cites don't really need refuting.

  • ||

    Agreed. The right to guns was for defense of the state, not self-defense. It's still an individual right.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Agreed. The right to guns was for defense of the state, not self-defense. It's still an individual right.

    Its both rights - there are not mutually exclusive

    The best evidence for the Second Amendment meaning of ''bear arms'' is in the original draft of the Amendment proposed in the First Congress by James Madison: ''The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well-armed, and well-regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.''

  • Bruce Hayden||

    That isn't what I got from Heller. Should ask EV here, who was cited favorably there by the majority.

    Thing is, that self-defense is a natural right, and, indeed, one of the most fundamental. That is why it is essentially listed first in the Declaration of Independence. Nothing more natural than doing what it takes to stay alive. Something we have in common with many lower order animals. You can abstract all you want, but that is what you get back to - that self-defense is one of our most fundamental natural rights.

  • Longtobefree||

    It is self evident that if a individual has chosen to keep and bear arms against a potential call of a militia, that the same individual is therefore quite capable of improved self defense.
    It is not rational to claim that an individual has a right to keep and bear an arm, at his own expense, and not use it for self defense; but only use it for defense of a government.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Concur -

    Nor is it rational or logical to believe 2A gives a person the individual right to own a gun when the government gives the individual permission to own a gun (when serving in a militia) as is argued under the collective rights theory. If that is the right that 2A gives, what purpose does 2A serve? Certainly such an interpretation would have zero value - Just Why would anyone waste any time ratifying a phantom right.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Joe, the point was to assure the federal government did not infringe the state-by-state prerogative to maintain militias governed by state officials, and used for state purposes according to the distinctive needs of individual states. Not to put too fine a point on it, militia clauses came out of the South, partly because slave holding states were in perpetual fear of slave revolts. Southern states could not have tolerated a federal constitution which left the national government free to deprive them of that security by abolishing the militia right.

    Likewise, southern states would not have tolerated a national government which decreed a right of every person to bear arms for self-defense—threatening as it would to put arms in the hands of slaves. Nor could they tolerate a federal constitution which asserted that slaves were not persons—and thus not entitled to arms under a national charter if it guaranteed arms—lest the South be deprived of representation in Congress for want of those persons (ultimately, 3/5ths of persons).

    Southern states had a pressing need to decide for themselves—without federal meddling—who could be armed, and who could not be armed. Nationalizing the problem was the last thing they could tolerate. I speculate that is why the question of arms for self-defense was never broached at the Constitutional Convention—because everyone knew it was a deal breaker for the South.

  • Joe_dallas||

    One defect in your statement
    The word state in 2A refers to society/the community/groups of people - It does not refer to one of the 13 original states or any of the other states as the came to be admitted to the union.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Joe I guess you are saved from ipse dixit on that because it's also Scalia dixit. But what saves Scalia? He's wrong on arguments he makes against the notion of collective rights in the Bill of Rights. No doubt you can read the right of petition as an individual right, but in context of history—if you know the history—it's also clear reference to petitions from various colonial legislatures to the King—which the King ignored—prompting Ben Franklin to call that disregard the single most important prompt for the revolution.

    More generally, why would assuming that meaning discredit the relevance of the history summary my remark sets out? None of the history relies for its truth on that interpretation.

    If you wanted a better critique, you could complain that I'm indulging here and there in conclusory speculation that isn't explicitly recorded in the record. Problem there would be that there is a great deal of historical text which supports those speculations pretty strongly, but circumstantially, or by implication of other arguments the record does record. The record is too extensive to let me develop that argument here though, because characters. But that's what you should say.

  • FlameCCT||

    History is replete with militias being formed of people that chose to serve in one, bringing their own skills and arms (including rifles, knives, etc.) IIRC the defense of New Orleans against the British included a militia gathered by Andrew Jackson. It was made of volunteers that agreed to serve for a period of time under Jackson's leadership.

    Seriously, does anyone not read nor understand US History?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Seriously, does anyone not read nor understand US History?

    Well, we did after all create the public school system to keep that from happening.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Lathrop " I speculate that is why the question of arms for self-defense was never broached at the Constitutional Convention"

    Your speculation is probably correct since the provisions of the BOR generally wasnt discussed at the constitutional convention. Vastly more discussion was done at the states ratifying conventions and when the 12 proposed BOR were introduced in congress post constitutional convention.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Scalia is wrong because Stephen Lathrop says so. How's that for ipse dixit?

  • jph12||

    "Likewise, southern states would not have tolerated a national government which decreed a right of every person to bear arms for self-defense—threatening as it would to put arms in the hands of slaves."

    Like the First Amendment and the vast majority of the Constitution, the Second Amendment was a restriction on the federal government, not the states. The Second Amendment placed no limitations on states. That the Second Amendment recognized an individual right to bear arms no more prevented states from restricting gun ownership by slaves than the First Amendment barred official state religions.

    Not that slaves being able to buy and own guns was really much of a concern. They could barely own anything else, and nothing without their master's permission. Why would guns be any different?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Likewise, southern states would not have tolerated a national government which decreed a right of every person to bear arms for self-defense—threatening as it would to put arms in the hands of slaves.

    Uh, the primary Supreme Court decision your side rests its case on for gun control is Cruikshank--a decision that overturned the convictions of a white mob that attacked and killed black men who were bearing arms.

    Quite frankly, the gun control case has about as much legal legitimacy as Dred Scott does for dealing with humans as property.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Joe, there are not any historical writings—not one—to support the notion that the 2A was enacted to create (or to protect) a federal right to guns for self-defense.

    Your pulling the same dishonest stunt Steven pulled in his dissent

  • Bruce Hayden||

    Let me suggest that you reread Heller.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Bruce, let me suggest you point to whatever it is you think I missed in Heller. Do that and I will try to respond.

    I didn't assert what I said without reading Heller, or without reading Madison's Notes on the Federal Convention, (multiple times, I keep it handy to dip into while I watch baseball games), or without reading the Federalist Papers, or without reading state constitutions (as they were in the founding era) of Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, plus others. Plus also the various protestations of various anti-Federalists and sort-of-Federalists, plus (I think) every conceivably relevant source usually cited by pro-gun advocates—problem being that those are few and far between, because much of what gun advocates cite is irrelevant for sound historical reasons—like purporting to explain stuff that happened years earlier with later occurrences or remarks—or like suggesting that cultural factors present during the Founding era show founders' intentions, when they expressed those intentions otherwise, explicitly—both of which are part of what trips up Scalia in Heller.

    I drew also for context on these issues on two books by historian Edmund Morgan: American Slavery American Freedom, and, Inventing the People.

    Of course there is a lot more. I am not going to list it all, but those are sources which are especially relevant. For history, rely on sources like those. They will show you why you shouldn't rely on Scalia.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Stephen, this is a bit of misdirection. The right is the right to keep and bear arms for ANY lawful purpose. The right to self defense was one of those rights so widely assumed to exist that it was not thought necessary to enumerate them, which fall under the 9th amendment.

  • ||

    without reading state constitutions (as they were in the founding era) of Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, plus others.

    Hahahahaha

    If that's true, how the hell did you miss Article IX, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790:

    That the right of citizens to bear arms, in defence of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned.

    I mean its literally RIGHT THERE.

    Or maybe you don't know what you are talking about.

  • epsilon given||

    I would have to add that, with the amendment being right there, it immediately demolishes Stephen Lathrop's claim that the Second Amendment was there to protect slavery, and slave state interests: Pennsylvania was literally the first colony/State to ban slavery, in 1780.

    Additionally, this right protected by the Pennsylvania Constitution means (1) the 2nd Amendment in the Federal Constitution truly applies only to the Federal Government (before the 14th was passed, at least), and (2) that the right was indeed intended to be applied to individuals, and not to militias -- after all, why does Pennsylvania (and other States who had similar provisions in their Constitutions) need a provision to protect the rights of States to create State militias?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Joe, assuming you mean "Stevens," what is the "dishonest stunt" you have in mind? Is it noting that the actual historical record offers no support for Scalia's a-historical conclusions, arrived at by a-historical methods, but called "originalist" anyway? Noting that is the dishonesty?

    You must mean something else, right?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The dishonest stunt was Stephens characterizing his interpretation of the 2nd amendment as an "individual" right, and his systematic misreading and ignoring any evidence against him.

    I won't defend Scalia in this regard, because, while he was somewhat better, he still wasn't very good.

    Stephens would have turned the 2nd amendment into an 'individual right' to keep and bear arms only in the context of military service. A 'right' to keep and bear the gun you were directed to by your military command, if and when you were directed to.

    Never would the founders have used the phrase "right of the People" to describe an obligation to comply with the orders of government. "Rights" are always things you can do even if the government doesn't want you to. They're things you don't need permission to do.

    Stephens characterized this as an "individual right" because he had to pretend he wasn't trying to extinguish a major constitutional right. But what he would have turned the 2nd amendment into wasn't a "right" at all.

    As far as the contrary sources Stephens ignored, the comment limit here, and the fact that I'm leaving for work in a moment, preclude listing them. But I expect you're as acquainted with Tenche Coxe or Judge Storey as I am. And just ignoring them as Stephens did.

  • Joe_dallas||

    Concur

    The Historical record extension discusses
    1) the individual right keep and bear arms
    2) the right for the common defense/the right to form militias for the common defense and the right to keep and bear arms for the common defense.

    In sum the text of 2A and the historical writings show that 2A protects both rights A) the individual right and B) the right to form militias for the common defense

    Scalia got the first right correct, - he missed the boat on the second right. In scalia's defense, that issue was not before the court, so it was moot.

    Stevens Heller dissent argues that 2a only protects the individual right while serving in the Militia -
    What Stevens intentionally ignored and the supporters of stevens dissent argue is that there is no historical writing for the individual right. (not true)
    Further - The supporter of Stevens ignore the absence of historical debate on limiting the individual right to only the service in the militia.
    Do they seriously believe that there would have been zero debate if such a limitation was intended in 2A

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Is it noting that the actual historical record offers no support for Scalia's a-historical conclusions

    Other than the instances he actually cited.

    This is why it's impossible to treat the gun control argument as legitimate--its proponents inevitably resort to lying when it suits their case.

  • ||

    Wrong. Just wrong. Just look at PA's Constitution of 1790:

    "That the right of citizens to bear arms, in defence of themselves and the State, shall not be questioned."

    Hmmmm defense of themselves sounds an awful lot like self-defense, doesn't it?

  • epsilon given||

    Pennsylvania doesn't count, though, because obviously the right was only meant to protect the Southern States from the possibility of slave revolt and the possibility of the Federal government removing slavery, and since Pennsylvania was the first State to ban slavery, it must follow that the Pennsylvanians who created this particular Constitution were delirious, and thus cannot be trusted.

  • KevinP||

    I moved all my credit card business from Citibank because the leftist CEO decided that he wanted Citi to get into firearm politics.

    They lost $80k worth of annual business.

    And in the process, I discovered that Capital One has a Spark Cash card that offered a better deal than Citibank! Win Win!

    Eugene, as you point out, the gun ban crowd keeps saying that "we don't want to attack law abiding gun owners". And then they proceed to attack law abiding gun owners by preventing them from lawful business in guns.

  • the original jack||

    When I switched my home insurance account from Liberty Mutual for the same reason my agent found a better policy for me and also saved me $400 a year. I call that a victory.

  • KevinP||


    As I have publicly stated, I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.

    I like this statement. I wonder if we can make this into law?

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Can we shorten it to "I do not believe that the American public wants banks"?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I wonder if we can make this into law?

    Pro-capitalism small-government conservativism strikes again!

  • ||

    Georgia did, at least for firearms

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    The attempted demonization of the NRA and gun manufacturers also helps support, I think, many gun owners' worry that many gun control proponents' endgame isn't just "reasonable regulation" but outright bans.

    That would be a reasonable thing to suppose if there were the slightest indication that NRA policy wasn't the extremist monstrosity gun-control advocates say it is. But judged by its advocacy, today's NRA is stark raving mad—not just about guns, but about politics.

    To cripple policy debates about gun control, the NRA uses political clout to suppress collation of information about guns used in crimes. It encourages federal laws to deprive states of police power. It urges gun owner defiance of law. It threatens insurrection.

    The NRA is not content with the status quo on guns, but schemes continuously toward one insane objective: a nation in which so many people—including the feckless, the addicted, the insane, and the criminal—in every publicly accessible venue imaginable—will be armed and dangerous, that no one else will have a reasonable choice except to go armed as well.

    That dystopian vision is beyond reckless. Understanding EV is a pro-gun advocate, and a fundamentalist wrt the 1A and 2A, I am still shocked to see him endorse the NRA.

  • PeteRR||

    Amazingly not one single facet of your post is true. You're looking in the mirror at what you believe to be true about the NRA, and by extension the 5 million members, and 10s of millions of Americans who believe the NRA represents them, and imagining it's a piece of clear glass. The NRA is simply the collective will of gun owners who want the right to keep and bear arms infringed to the minimal amount possible and who support laws to keep the ineligible from buying or possessing firearms.

  • the original jack||

    For long time readers of Volokh we know that Stephen lives in non-factual fantasyland and has a strong tendency to just make up new meanings to words that are better able to suit his arguments.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    PeteRR, I am not aware of any instance during the last several years where someone has proposed a specific policy to "keep the ineligible from buying or possessing firearms" which the NRA has not opposed. In public, in general, the NRA mumbles about how it's better to keep guns out of the wrong hands than to pass other kinds of gun controls.

    When it comes to specifics—some proposal to track who sold crime guns, for instance, so law enforcement can know how guns get into the wrong hands—the NRA always, every time, opposes. By now, you have to be pretty gullible not to notice that NRA policy in action is the opposite of NRA policy when it's all just talk. Maybe I'm mistaken, and you can supply an example to the contrary. Always happy to be corrected.

    And as for the will of the NRA's members, how do you know? Tell me what you know about the NRA–ILA — the NRA's self-described lobbying arm. How much money do they spend? Where do they get it? What do they spend it on? Who decides? How is the organization governed? If you can't answer those questions, then I think you have to concede your notion is incorrect that the NRA is all transparency and the will of the members.

  • Careless||

    PeteRR, I am not aware of any instance during the last several years where someone has proposed a specific policy to "keep the ineligible from buying or possessing firearms" which the NRA has not opposed.

    SL doesn't pay attention, therefore the NRA is rabid and insane!

  • Jerry B.||

    "When it comes to specifics—some proposal to track who sold crime guns, for instance, so law enforcement can know how guns get into the wrong hands—the NRA always, every time, opposes."

    Because this requires registration. But the government would never use registration to later confiscate firearms, just ask former Australian gun owners.

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Jerry B, it does not require registration. It requires only the will to do it, by studying existing records which are already required, and kept, and used regularly to trace a crime gun to its initial seller and initial purchaser.

    What the NRA lobbied against, and continues to lobby against (successfully), was a proposal to collate that information to discover which among licensed gun sellers are habitual suppliers of guns to criminals. Examination of purely local police records have already shown that such dealers exist. If you can think of a defense for that conduct by the NRA, please explain it.

    By the way, it's actually worse than that, with other hobbles for gun crime researchers also imposed. That leaves no question whatever that the NRA prefers that gun-industry-related factors contributing to gun crime remain out of sight—even at the cost of increased gun crime—and that the NRA has used its clout in Congress to make sure the federal government keeps it that way.

    Google Tiahrt Amendments if you need more information.

  • epsilon given||

    Heck, just ask gun owners in New Orleans!

  • FlameCCT||

    Does it hurt to be that ignorant Stephen?
    Every firearm produced is tracked by a serial number. Said number can then be used to track it to the FFL that sold the firearm. Anytime an FFL buys a firearm, they are required to register the firearm; all FFLs including pawn shops, gun shops, even big box stores. The same for internet sales, which must be shipped to an FFL; who then processes the mandated federal paperwork and background checks, etc. prior to turning the firearm over to the individual that purchased it.

    Most law abiding firearm owners will even require a copy of a drivers license and bill of sale when selling a firearm in an individual transaction.

  • KevinP||

    Latherop: I am not aware of any instance... [of] a specific policy to "keep the ineligible from buying or possessing firearms" which the NRA has not opposed.

    The NRA supported and continues to support instant background checks to be performed by FFLs. The NRA also currently supports red flag laws which are carefully and narrowly written to support robust due process.

    But hey, since Lathrop is not aware of these instances, they don't exist! Freedom! Free at last!

  • regexp||

    The statement that that "NRA is simply the collective will of gun owners" is so ludicrous it could only come from a extremist organization like the NRA. The NRA doesn't represent this gun owners interest. And as the NRA's membership numbers have been steadily falling over the last five years - others plainly feel the same way.

  • PeteRR||

    I'm sure you can point to hard numbers showing a decline in membership.

  • FlameCCT||

    You mean that wishes and projection don't count as real data? ;-)

  • KevinP||

    Recent polls show the NRA with a nearly 75% approval rating from self-identified gun owners. Its approval rating in the general public hovers between 50% and 60%. Obviously, this statement is so ludicrous that it could only have come from an extremist organization like Reuters.

    Reuters, March 12, 2018: [After a month of media demonization], the NRA still has an overall 54% favorable rating

  • Longtobefree||

    Please provide an example where the NRA takes any position other than the second amendment gives a constitutional right to keep and bear arms to American citizens.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You know, the irony of that comment is that the NRA is actually about the most moderate pro-gun organization around. They actually rely upon hyperbole like yours to reassure their members that they're not into compromise!

  • BigChiefWahoo||

    Are the NRA's positions objectively "extremist", or just objectionable to you? I think people who advocate policies I disagree with are "insane". too. So what?

  • WJack||

    It is self-evident that net tax consumers, i.e., govt. employees, have a natural built in adverse interest and consequent desire to control the tax producers. Many problems (including the one that is the subject of this article) would not occur if the right to vote, or join a union, was restricted to net taxpayers.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    This is so spot on, and I wish the phrases 'net tax consumers' and 'net tax payers' would become the labels that drove all policy discussions.

  • bernard11||

    Would you also exclude members of the Armed Forces from voting?

    What about those who work for, or own part of, companies that do business with the government?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    As to that latter case, absolutely.

    Government should always be the last resort of action. Giving businesses the opportunity to vote themselves a contract will never lead anywhere good.

  • Longtobefree||

    Will Wells Fargo take the next step, and refuse to do business with AFT and all of it;s members? In a totally 'see how it feels?' kind of way?

  • 73ag||

    Hypersensitivity vs reality. Although I am not concerned about a slippery slope on broad gun bans, Prof Volokh's position is notable.

  • Tall Paul||

    Wells Fargo's management has done some stupid things lately, but at least it is smart to enough not to let itself be pushed onto the slippery slope of succumbing to interest-group demands that it blacklist certain customers. Of course, the fact that there are hundreds of other banks that would be more than glad to accept the business of the NRA and gun manufacturers probably also played a role in the decision.

  • BillyG||

    I can think of some additional business sense for not boycotting the NRA. If Wells Fargo boycotts the NRA, the NRA members would most likely boycott Wells Fargo. How much money do you think the members have currently in deposit at Wells Fargo? Boycotts can go both ways.

  • Joe_JP||

    " outright bans on guns"

    Like the ones that D.C. v. Heller deems constitutional?

    If limits of libel, child porn & perjury -- to cite an incomplete list -- can lead to "outright bans" of certain types of speech, I can understand why certain bans of guns might be appropriate.

    And, Eugene Volokh found at least two "libertarian" positions in key Supreme Court cases this term as going too far. At some point, maybe, he will see the same on this question. A complete "ban" of guns is not very likely given broad support of a basic right of gun ownership. Many of the people who support regulations (and bans of certain types of weapons -- clearly persona non grata to many here) themselves own firearms.

    I am not surprised at EV's position here but fears of the "demonization of the NRA" are to me overblown, especially given their own demonizing that many gun owners at time find distasteful.

  • Careless||

    No, I'm afraid that Heller did not decide that it was constitutional to ban all guns.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I find it interesting Prof. Volokh sees the NRA still as a proxy for gun rights.

    Seems to me they've gone far off that reservation in the last couple of years.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They're not the most reliable gun rights organization around, but they're still on the right side most of the time.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Sure - you share their paranoid view of America politics.

    But for a guns rights organization, they sure do spend a lot of time talking about a bunch about media conspiracies and the deep state and eeeevil elites who love children getting shot.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Look, I'm quite familiar with the range of pro-gun organizations, and you're free to think me paranoid, but the fact remains that the NRA is actually the most moderate of the significant pro-gun organizations. The SAF or GOA or JPFO are all far more 'extreme' (consistent!) in their positions. You wouldn't have seen them, for instance, backing the 1984 FOPA even after the machine gun ban was added. The NRA has twice had membership uprisings substantially changing the board of directors, over their 'moderation' getting to be too much for the membership to stomach.

    As for 'paranoia', describing talking about media conspiracies as "paranoid' after the revelations about Journolist and its successor Cabalist is hilarious. Ditto for the deep state, after Project Choke Point and Fast and Furious.

  • Sarcastr0||

    As I said about your paranoid view of American politics.

    I do not track pro-gun organizations, but even if the NRA is the most moderate, it's a fallacy to say that means they're a proxy for gun rights.

    I don't want to ban guns, and yet I find the NRA damagingly crazy and am all for them being boycotted out of existence.

  • DJK||

    Paranoid = learning the lessons of history from gun control tactics practiced in other countries.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Disagree - the NRA's Deep State-cum-media/UN conspiracy rants are pretty uniquely American.

  • BillyG||

    Do you acknlowlege Project Choke Point as having targeted, among others, Gun Stores? With the intent of Project Choke Point to freeze the targets out of the banking system.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Operation Choke Point was a 2013 initiative of the United States Department of Justice, which would investigate banks in the United States and the business they do with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering.

    This sounds like another 'if you assume the people doing this are evil, this sure looks evil!'

    There was a lot of Congressional investigation and IG pushback, and yet nothing came out implying that there was any hidden agenda other than that firearms were among the things regulated.

  • Absaroka||

    "companies believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering"

    I get why businesses that handle a lot of cash are attractive for someone wanting to slide drug profits into the banking system on the QT, but can you help us out on where Billy Bob's Hunt-n-Fish Emporium comes into the picture?

    Do you think people pass a lot more bad checks at gun stores than Best Buy? Or are gun dealers typically handling lots of cash in ways that supermarkets or gas stations aren't?

    The FFLs I know seem like pretty typical small businesses as far as cash handling and fraud goes.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I don't know the stats. I could speculate about the general anti-government stance you can find in those stores you might have extra under-the-table shenanigans, but I honestly don't know better than you do.

    The Congressional concerns were not with the reasoning behind including gun stores, they were with the overbreadth of the policy.

  • Absaroka||

    "I could speculate about the general anti-government stance you can find in those stores you might have extra under-the-table shenanigans,"

    I think someone's ...ahem ... unfounded generalizations about other groups they don't know well might be peeking out juuuuust a little.

    "The Congressional concerns were not with the reasoning behind including gun stores, they were with the overbreadth of the policy."

    And gun owners' concerns were that, since gun stores aren't noted for financial shenanigans, that the real motivation was something besides suppressing financial shenanigans. I mean, having the census ask about citizenship is just one of those harmless questions the census asks, right? No reason to look for alternate, unstated - even denied - motives? If Jeff Sessions tries to de-bank Planned Parenthood centers because, you know, he thinks they are probably futzing with the cash drawer, nothing to see there?

    (I've donated regularly to PP for decades, but I realize that they aren't beloved across the political spectrum, so if an administration from the side that generally doesn't like them starts sniffing around, I'm not naive enough to not suspect an agenda)

  • Sarcastr0||

    since gun stores aren't noted for financial shenanigans That's begging the question pretty hard, no?

  • Absaroka||

    Well, let me repeat myself: Do you think people pass a lot more bad checks at gun stores than Best Buy? Or are gun dealers typically handling lots of cash in ways that supermarkets or gas stations aren't?

    I think we all get that cash businesses can be used for money laundering. I think car washes are one of the classics - the inputs are pretty hard to track, unlike a store where receipts have to match the inventory that has passed through. Don Corleone can just take the legit cash from washing cars and match it with the drug or loansharking profits.

    But explain for me how gun shops can do that in some way that a bookstore can't? Their most expensive items all have serial numbers, after all, recorded in bound books, etc, etc. I'll be happy with any hypothetical mechanism other than 'FFLs are all cousin humping rednecks who must be up to no good'.

  • Sarcastr0||

    And I shall reiterate - 'do I think' is not a great metric for anything but outcome-oriented thinking.

    The only evidence we have is the dog that didn't bark, Republicans in Congress had loads of problems with the program, but lacking foundation to loop in gun dealers wasn't one of them.

  • Absaroka||

    "...but lacking foundation to loop in gun dealers wasn't one of them."

    Really? Letter from Senate Banking Committess

    It's a free country, believe what you like - but if the Pence administration starts scrutinizing Planned Parenthood clinics more closely than, say, Cosmetic Surgery centers, remember that we just take the assertion that PP is unhygienic at face value.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Your parallel with Planned Parenthood only holds if you are convinced that they are as likely to launder money as gun dealers are. I don't buy that, and I don't think you do either.

    The Banking Committee letter does indeed accuse the Administration of having no metrics for why it targeted gun dealers. I was seeing that Rep. Issa's disapproving letter challenges only the jurisdiction of the FDIC, not the merits.

    I'd be interested in seeing whatever paper trail the FDIC provided Congress. But look how far in the weeds we are. Even assuming everything you've asserted, this is pretty weak tea support for the NRA's shadowy leftist conspiracies to tyrannize us all after disarming us.

    Face it - the NRA is stoking conspiracy theories and violent anti-Democratic paranoia. They are bad and should feel bad.

  • Absaroka||

    "Your parallel with Planned Parenthood only holds if you are convinced that they are as likely to launder money as gun dealers are. I don't buy that, and I don't think you do either."

    I think that the evidence that PP doesn't sterilize its surgical instruments as well as cosmetic surgery places is just as strong as the evidence that gun dealers are hotbeds of money laundering - to wit, there not only isn't any such evidence, but there also isn't any reason to suspect there would be evidence.

    "Face it - the NRA is stoking conspiracy theories and violent anti-Democratic paranoia. They are bad and should feel bad."

    Which, if true, post-justifies Choke Point because.....?

    Take a deep breath and look where you're going - you just said that it's OK for government enforcement actions to target groups because some members of the putative group are making pure speech ('conspiracy theories and violent anti-Democratic paranoia') that you don't like. That's just not OK, no matter how vile the speech. I don't want the IRS auditing NAMBLA just because it is a disgusting group.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You think. You have no idea. That is exactly the point. And yet you keep going back to 'I think.'

    This isn't an argument about Choke Point. Neither you or I have the expertise or info to know what's going on there. You brought this up when I said the NRA is into some craziness.

    Where am I arguing the government should shut down the NRA?

  • Absaroka||

    I entered the conversation when you posted about Choke Point: "nothing came out implying that there was any hidden agenda other than that firearms were among the things regulated."

    So I'm having a conversation about Choke Point :-).

    So there are two possibilities here:
    1)When Justice was making up their list of businesses, they looked at the data and said - 'lookee here - we're finding gun stores doing money laundering all the time - way more than hardware stores or book stores - the hard data is right here'
    2)Or, they didn't like gun stores and said 'Hey, we can make their life a little bit miserable'.

    I tend to think (your fav words!) that
    1)if they had the hard evidence in #1, they could have shut down the congressional inquiries right away by providing that evidence
    2)there doesn't seem to be any functional reason (in terms of how they do bookkeeping, how cash is handled, etc) why money launderers would prefer gun stores to bookstores or supermarkets or hardware stores or .... Money launderers have well known preferences for businesses that have a lot of cash inputs that aren't closely tied to inventory. If you can point out something I'm missing there, I'm all ears, but Occam's razor seems to me to point to a bit of animus.

    That said, you are welcome to your faith in the purity of motives at Justice. I ask only that you remember that faith in the future.

  • epsilon given||

    DJK, you're not going far enough. Paranoid = taking prominent gun-control activists at their word that gun laws are to get people comfortable with gun bans, and thus every gun law is a good first step towards total gun confiscation.

    Are you really being paranoid when they are, indeed, out to get you?

  • KevinP||

    But for a guns rights organization, they sure do spend a lot of time talking about a bunch about media conspiracies

    Which media conspiracies are you referring to? The news blackout on how the five Parkland gun control activists have been successfully astroturfed by the media and the Left?

    Why Did It Take Two Weeks To Discover Parkland Students' Astroturfing?


    Quotes (but read the whole article):
    "Can you believe these kids?" It's been a recurring theme: the remarkable effectiveness of the high school students who created a gun control organization. In seemingly no time, the magical kids had organized events ranging from a national march to a mass school walkout, and they'd brought in a million dollars in donations from Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney.

    On February 28, BuzzFeed came out with the actual story: Rep. Debbie Wassermann Schultz aiding in the lobbying in Tallahassee, a teacher's union organizing the buses that got the kids there, Michael Bloomberg's groups and the Women's March working on the upcoming March For Our Lives, MoveOn.org doing social media promotion and (potentially) march logistics, and training for student activists provided by federally funded Planned Parenthood.


  • Sarcastr0||

    That's not what astroturfing is, this is magnifying existing grassroots. Unless you think the students' positions and initial national attention are fake.

  • bernard11||

    Oh wow. So some sympathetic organizations helped out. Scandal!! Astroturfing!!

    That really is a desperately stupid argument.

  • ||

    Nope. Its astroturfing because a couple of kids were pushed hard by big organizations and the media.

    Its a valid argument

  • WJack||

    Seems to me those who fear Trump and who are not suffering from an irrational fear of guns ought, for obvious reasons, to consider joining the NRA.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Trump and his hapless, can't-keep-up supporters will be swept back to the inconsequential curb soon enough, enabling America to return to a course of liberal-libertarian progress at the expense of conservative aspirations.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHA NOPE

  • epsilon given||

    Liberal-libertarian progress? I think you're smoking something.

    It's been a long time since "liberal" had anything to do with "libertarian". Indeed, I would love to see you compare the Libertarian Party platform with the Democratic Party platform (the party that has all the "liberals") and see just how much matches up.

    (Hint: the Libertarian Party's position on guns makes the NRA look tame. Indeed, L Neil Smith, one-time Libertarian Presidential candidate, once wrote an essay explaining why kids especially -- and in particular, 6-year-olds -- should be free to carry guns.)

    (Another hint: Democrats think government should be kept out of the bedroom, sort-of, and that's the extent of liberty they wish to see in America. Libertarians want liberty in everything.)

  • Sarcastr0||

    Have you listened to the NRA lately? NRA is less about guns and more about partisan politics. Moreso than even the GOP, the NRA is all in on the Trump train, dude.

  • Jerry B.||

    Do you really think the anti-gun movement isn't about partisan politics?

  • ||

    Exactly. The left hates guns because the right is important to white, non-urban conservatives. People liberals hate.

  • Sarcastr0||

    There are lots of lobbying organizations involved in partisan issues that manage to stick to the issues and not to go off about how the party on the other side is evil.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Like the AFT, AFCSME, and Planned Parenthood?

  • Sarcastr0||

    First, saying 'look over there' does not absolve the NRA.

    But even looking over there, it only underscores the point about the NRA's extremism. Say what you will about unions and partisan politics, they are nowhere near the NRA in demonizing the opposing party.

  • KevinP||

    As an actual member of the NRA, I have observed that the NRA has worked hard over the years to be bipartisan and has often supported pro-gun Democrats.

    Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the far left, and moderate and pro-gun Democrats have been essentially wiped out.

    If you would like the NRA to become less partisan, there is a sure fix - try to make the Democratic Party less anti-gun.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the far left, and moderate and pro-gun Democrats have been essentially wiped out.

    Did you even bother to check whether there are pro-gun Democrats in Congress?

  • ||

    When the left has resorted to attacking all conservatives as evil people (and are declaring conservatives and gun owners equivalent) it's not a surprise.

  • WJack||

    A "Liberal – Libertarian" - has there ever been a documented sighting?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Pot. Prisons. Overcriminalization. Gay rights.

  • Longtobefree||

    Except for the fact that the liberal 'solution' in all those examples is more laws and less freedom, and the libertarian solution is more freedom, less laws.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Could you please go into some more detail?
    Jail is a helluva imposition on liberty. Decriminalization of pot is pretty clearly less laws almost regardless of the regulations you put into place isn't it? What about decriminalizing sodomy?

    And I have no idea what you're talking about regarding overcriminalization - that's literally about less laws, lighter sentences, and more freedom.
    And the prison-industrial-complex isn't exactly a friend of freedom wither.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Gay rights - libertarian position is to get government completely out of relationships (i.e. marriage, domestic partnerships, common law marriage, only allowing two partners in a relationship, etc...). The liberal position is to expand the number of allowed relationships from 1 up to 3.

    Pot - libertarian position is just to go ahead and let anyone use it and anyone sell it. The liberal position is to heavily regulate and tax it.

    Prisons and over over criminalization - Liberals want a lot of victim-less crime laws, libertarians don't. Eliminate whole classes of laws and regulations, and a lot of the prison issues go away.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I have a number of factual issues (e.g. your complete elision of sodomy and jumping straight to marriage), but even assuming your facts, your examples fail.

    You provide examples that libertarians have more extreme solutions than liberals, not that liberal solutions always move from the status quo to 'more laws and less freedom.'

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    You are right - I wasn't trying to demonstrate the premise "move from the status quo to 'more laws and less freedom.'", only to demonstrate that liberals aren't all that interested in real freedom, only freedom as they define it.

    As to sodomy. I glossed over it because I'm kind of under the impression that no one been prosecuted for it any time in the last decade. I could be wrong. I certainly think it shouldn't be a law... Is any party actively pushing for it to be enforced?

  • Sarcastr0||

    'real freedom.' Is that like 'real America?'

    You don't have a special claim on what liberty is such that you can declare those who disagree with you anti-freedom. I'd get into definitions of freedom, but from your use of it, 'freedom' seems more a rhetorical talisman to you than anything else.

    And now you're arguing a criminal law isn't an imposition on liberty so long as it's not enforced? You're not a libertarian, you're a Republican with shame issues.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Uh, OK.

    Please define freedom for me?

  • Ben_||

    Libertarian on gay marriage: "Let's get the government out of everyone's life, including their marriage.

    Liberal on gay marriage: "We need to make some new rules to create a new privilege for one of our client groups. They have become lucrative allies and are helping us maintain power."

    --

    Libertarian on pot, prisons, overcriminalization: "The government punishes too many people for things that are none of the government's business. Let's cut down on that as much as we can."

    Liberal on pot, prisons, overcriminalization: "We have some polling data that says these topics are important to one of our client groups. In order to encourage this specific group to vote for us (so we can maintain our power), we need to make some noise on these issues. Maybe change a law or do something on the margins. Just enough to get out the vote."

  • Sarcastr0||

    Haha.
    Libertarians are pure, but liberals always have some self-serving agenda behind everything and never really mean it!

    Making politics into a cartoon is no way to go through life.

  • Ben_||

    So no argument then. No refutation. No explanation of what the underlying philosophy is.

    When did liberals (or "progressives" in the modern US sense) ever refuse power instead of wielding it? Claim whatever motives you want for it -- wielding power is wielding power. It's the opposite of libertarianism.

  • ||

    If you consider all rights to begin and end with getting high, killing babies, and having gay anal sex, then yes. Otherwise, no.

  • Ben_||

    Even if you think getting high is evil, kidnapping people and holding them against their will (a. k. a. arresting them and imprisoning them) is more evil. Let's not create more evil. Please.

  • WJack||

    SarcastrO,

    Google is your friend:

    Hint, a cat and dog have many things in common, but they are different animals . . . doubt there will ever be a combination of the two.

    Libertarianism versus other Political Perspectives:

    http://liber,tarian.jimeyer.org/

  • Sarcastr0||

    So you're one for whom libertarian means maintaining ideological purity, but also getting into bed with the GOP when it's convenient?

  • WJack||

    Just pointing out - words ought to mean whatever they mean and not what we say they mean.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Which you manage to disobey by declaring your own definition definitive.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And why would you want to get out of bed with team blue? It's warm and snuggly.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I mean, do whatever you want, but when people call themselves libertarians and wag their fingers at the GOP while voting Republican every time and blasting Democrats? That's not a philosophy, it's just branding.

  • Longtobefree||

    "I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy."

    Ever tried to use a credit card to buy weed where it is legal?
    Bought any bitcoin with plastic lately?
    Let me know where I can use a credit card to play the lottery.
    Etc

  • DJK||

    The banks aren't necessarily at fault or making any choices for the things you've identified.

    Weed: It's illegal at the federal level, Congress has broad interstate commerce power, and the banks generally have operations in multiple states. Moreover, the most tortured super-broad reading of the commerce clause involved a weed case.

    Bitcoin: You can buy Bitcoin with credit cards....

    Lottery: This is generally decided by state laws. In most states, the legislatures have made it illegal to buy lottery tickets with credit cards. In some states, like Arizona, credit card purchases are completely legal and will be processed by the banks.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The American Federation of Teachers is a fundamentally fascist and borderline criminal organization. Their record is such that their endorsement or use of a tactic is enough to discredit it in my eyes. If they came out against cannibalism, I would have to consider it.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Love that intro sentence.
    Someone who is fundamentally fascist is the sort who might without offering evidence call organizations they disagree with borderline criminal.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He learned it from you.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    They use their electoral muscle to protect their racket of collecting money from people with whom they disagree politically. I'd call that borderline criminal, amd if you wouldn't I have to wonder about you.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You didn't name a crime. You're just using criminal to stand in for 'I don't like what they do.'

    Using your electoral muscle to maintain the status quo is legal. In fact, it's normal. It's the same thing corporations do all the time. It's the same thing the NRA does about gun laws.

    Also note that there are at least colorable policy reasons for that money being collected based on free-rider problems. Reasons I actually do agree with - unions provide a valuable service to all workers regardless of the workers' party affiliation.

    Wonder about me all you want, but I reserve the term criminal for people who have broken a law I can name.

  • ||

    Uhh, how exactly is the NRA forcibly collecting money from people with whom they disagree?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I hesitate to engage you, but to clarify, the NRA does the same thing as in 'Using your electoral muscle to maintain the status quo.'

    Your mileage may vary on whether union dues should reflect free-rider issues. But doing that is certainly not criminal.

  • epsilon given||

    Last I checked, States don't have laws requiring people to be members of the NRA and to pay dues to them. Unions, however, are a completely different kettle of fish in that regard.

  • bernard11||

    The attempted demonization of the NRA..

    Wow. That's rich, Eugene. The right - your buddies - has gone off the deep end in demonizing its opponents, and you're worried about this? That's astonishing hypocrisy.

    LaPierre and Loesch give froth-at-the mouth speeches about gun control, accusing Democrats of wanting to crush freedom, saying (LaPierre),

    ""The elites care not one whit about America's school system and schoolchildren,"

    or (Loesch) claiming the media loves mass shootings because they are so profitable.

    "Many in legacy media love mass shootings. You guys love it. I'm not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many of the legacy media in the back,"

    Meanwhile the right spreads lies and insults about the Parkland students.

    Your hero Ted Cruz calls their appearance on CNN "infomercials."

    And if that's not enough for you, Eugene, read this comments section, or any other that deals with guns.

    "Demonization of the NRA is stopping reasonable action." Effing ridiculous!!

  • ||

    All of that is true. The left desires a form of tyranny where they are in charge and all normal Americans are their servants.

  • bernard11||

    Thanks for providing additional evidence.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I wouldn't put it quite so stridently, but I will note that by supporting the NRA (and not just their rights but their substance), Prof. Volokh seems to be at the very least condoning a lot of ARWP's worldview.

  • bernard11||

    Too strident? Maybe.

    But EV seems happy to criticize all sorts of things his ideological opponents do - some of which deserves criticism - in the interests of free expression, reasonableness, etc. But we don't hear a lot when his allies engage in unsavory behavior.

  • FlameCCT||

    LMAO.

    Seriously dude, that is some awesome sarcasm. Or were you being serious? Especially in light of your support for unions (AFT, NEA, etc.) where many have no choice in joining. Or your support of the ACLU which continues to drift from civil liberties whereas the NRA has had the same position on the 2A since training/teaching/supporting all Americans especially POC just after the Civil War?

  • Sarcastr0||

    The NRA's position on the 2A may or may not have changed, but their methods sure have. As has their position on things well beyond the 2A. Certainly they used to support gun control laws (mostly 1960s attempts to disarm scary Blacks) and now they are knee-jerk in opposition against any motion at all.
    This shift is well documented. There was the coup of the leadership in the 80s towards more partisan activism, and then the rightward swing during Obama, and then these new apocalyptic videos of the last couple of years.

    I'm not sure what the free-rider problem of collective bargaining has to do with the NRA. I can deplore the methods of an organization regardless of it's membership policies. Dunno why you brought up the ACLU, since I know you don't support hidebound resistance to change for principal's sake.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Whereas the unions started off as thugs and never changed. It is amusing that you can't seem to find any example of radical positions on the left (*cough* planned parenthood *cough*).

  • Sarcastr0||

    Planned Parenthood talks about abortion being under attack, and has Republican folks saying exactly that.

    The NRA talks about America being under attack, and says there can be no quotes because it's secret.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The NRA changed enormously when some wingnuts misappropriated the organizational franchise during the 1970s and 1980s. Before then, NRA leaders recognized the wisdom of sensible safety regulations and rejected the right-wing gun absolutism that fuels today's NRA.

  • Naaman Brown||

    NRA opposed federal gun registration as part of the 1968 Gun Control Act.
    Sen Joseph B. Tydings' federal gun registration bill was defeated after the NRA testified against it as an education association for gun owners.
    LBJ hated that federal gun registration was not part of the 1968 Gun Control Act and said so at the signing ceremony.
    Someone in Congress, and it was not Jacob Javitts nor Thomas J. Dodd, they said it was not them, contacted the FBI to investigate the NRA as an unregistered lobby with a view to deprive NRA of its educational association tax status.
    NRA decided the only thing to do stop this was to organize and register a lobbying arm.
    Once the lobbying arm was registered, FBI terminated their investigation.
    First task was to assure that Joseph Tydings was not reelected in 1970.
    If it were not for left wing antigun absolutism, there would not be an NRA-Institute for Legislative Action.
    NRA-ILA was created by you, for you. Enjoy Wayne LaPierre, people like you created him.

  • bernard11||

    Your extremism is not your fault?

    What a load.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Haha, I do love it when they cut their own agency out of the equation.

    'Your strident anti-Naziism is why I'm a Nazi'
    'You were so annoying calling people racist I've actually become racist.'
    'Trump is an a-hole, but I blame you!'

  • KevinP||

    Certainly they used to support gun control laws (mostly 1960s attempts to disarm scary Blacks)

    The NRA was founded after the Civil War in 1871 by Union Army generals. It was largely apolitical and was focused on sports and training. It did not object to many gun control laws, but was certainly not a proponent of them. In fact, resistance by the NRA helped keep handguns out of the onerous 1934 National Firearms Act.

    The wave of gun control in the 1960s, aimed at disarming blacks and troublesome minorities, changed the NRA. A member revolt in 1977 overthrew the old order and made it advocate vigorously for the right to be armed for self protection by all responsible citizens.

    I am a brown-skinned immigrant, naturalized citizen, libertarian-leaning 20-year member of the NRA. Thanks to the NRA, I am able to own and carry a firearm to protect myself and my family in most of the states of the Union.

    An exception: the tolerant and inclusive states in which the NRA has limited influence. Like New York, where I was given a license restricted to "target shooting and hunting" only. Unrestricted licenses for self-protection are given to only the wealthy and influential.

    After twenty years in the NRA, I can confidently say that those who insinuate racism to the NRA and gun rights activists are liars and frauds. Perhaps they can have a conversation with one of the NRA's spokesmen: Mr. Colion Noir

    http://www.mrcolionnoir.com

  • Absaroka||

    "...changed the NRA..."

    I dunno. Suppose you have an organization where the basic objective is 'keep guns away from crooks, and available to the law abiding'. Then you have a timeline like this:

    Date - Proposal - Organizational position
    1930's - 'let's outlaw Tommy guns' - 'OK'
    1960's - 'let's do background checks at gun stores and ban mail order' - 'OK'
    2010's - 'let's ban all semiautos, put serial numbers on every cartridge, repeal the 2nd, ...' - 'not so fast...'

    I don't think that's evidence the organization has changed. I bet the 1930's NRA would have opposed the 2018 gun control agenda if had been proposed in 1930.

    If the American Automobile Association supported traffic lights and speed limits in 1920, and opposes a complete ban on cars today, I don't think I'd characterize that as 'the AAA changed its position'.

    (not really disagreeing, BTW - I just find the 'NRA has changed, the filthy beasts' narrative to be pretty odd)

  • KevinP||

    When the NRA and the gun lobby works hard as it has in recent years to guarantee gun rights to EVERYONE, the biggest beneficiaries are the traditionally marginalized - minorities, women and the poor, who regain their right to own and carry guns free of discriminating laws and legal practices. Minorities, women and the poor can now protect themselves with guns in their homes in the San Francisco housing projects - thanks to the gun lobby. They can compulsorily obtain licenses to carry concealed handguns regardless of the favor and discretion of the sheriff in 42 states of the Union - thanks to the gun lobby.

  • epsilon given||

    But minorities can't possibly be in favor of being armed! Otherwise, you might have organizations like the "Pink Pistols" for LGBT gun rights awareness, or "Jews For the Preservation of Firearms" or even "Black Guns Matter".

  • Naaman Brown||

    1960s? Scary Blacks? I remember that NRA was criticized in The New Republic in one of their TRB commentaries for supplying a gun club charter to Rob Williams of Monroe North Carolina to organize a black guard to protect his community from the KKK who had the local sheriff riding shotgun. FBI Cointelpro used trumped up kidnapping charges against Williams to run him out of the country because they saw Willliams as more charismatic than MLK. TRB also attacked the NRA because their Harlem civilian marksmanship clubs for possessed over 100 rounds of .22 LR.

    Don't give me BS that NRA acted against scary blacks in the 1960s. We were accused of defending scary blacks in the 1960s. And Rob Williams, in all his wanderings in exile, kept his NRA membership card. Screw politically correct historical revisionism.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Gun control in the 1960s was predicated on fear about blacks and guns. The NRA supported such 'common sense' gun control legislation at the time.

    I'm not saying they're racist now, but they were certainly a product of their time back then.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The NRA in the 60's had been largely coopted by the system, and was preparing to transition into being a historical society. The membership saw that, didn't like it, and changed the NRA's board.

    While the NRA likes to talk about its long history, the Cincinnati revolt was a major turning point. It put the NRA under the control of people who weren't just hard nosed about opposing gun control, but who also had an objectively verifiable connection to the Civil Rights movement. (Though less through the NAACP than CORE.)

    So, you might be right about the 1960's NRA, but you're not about the NRA that armed the Freedmen or the NRA of today.

  • Sarcastr0||

    That is a good point - if I'm going to argue that the NRA is no longer what it was, bringing up it's past is irrelevant.

  • bernard11||

    BS. You don't remember that at all.

    You read about it somewhere and decided it would sound better if you claimed to have remembered it yourself.

  • Naaman Brown||

    I like the video of the Great Gun Debate at Kings College London between Rebecca Peters of Soros' IANSA and Wayne LaPierre of NRA. I have the DVD.

    The transcript of the debate posted by Peters/IANSA and the uncut video from Kings College is telling in its omissions.

    Just as the omissions from the full transcript of the Barnes interview versus the selected quotes used by Rather in the Bush memos broadcast are telling.

    You can demonize the NRA with cherry picked snarks. It is not convincing me that gun control proposals are not more social cost than social benefit.

  • bernard11||

    And then we have this kind of stuff.

    Demonization of opponents, Eugene? Or did you miss all that?

  • Jerry B.||

    So he's right up there with the comment posters I've seen bewailing the thousands killed every year in the U.S. by assault weapons?

    (Here's a hint. It's way less than that. You can look it up.)

  • bernard11||

    Anonymous comment posters vs. a high-ranking Administration official.

    See the difference?

  • Jerry B.||

    If he was expressing his private opinion, not making official pronouncements, can't see much of a difference.

    Then there's Chuck Schumer, conflating the NRA and Al-Qaeda.

    "Unless the President personally intervenes here, it looks like terrorists are going to have an even easier time avoiding detection by law enforcement. The President has a choice: He can give the NRA a Christmas present and make it easier for an Al-Qaeda operative to avoid the police, get a gun and shoot up a mall. Or he can do the right thing, keep the Brady Bill intact and keep the public safe."

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Dom.....ontrol.htm

  • bernard11||

    You don't want to see a difference.

    Besides the different nature of the people making the comment, there is a difference between making a misstatement of some general fact and making a personal attack on named individuals.

    But you wouldn't admit difference no matter what. Some guy on the Internet posting an incorrect statistic is just like an Administration official spreading lies about specific individuals.

    That's ridiculous, Jerry.

  • bernard11||

    This in no way conflates the NRA and Al-Qaeda.

    It says that liberal gun laws, favored by the NRA, make it easier for terrorists to get guns.

    How is that false?

  • WoodChipperBob||

    I find it interesting the way you conflate 'career government bureaucrat serving in acting role because the administration hasn't appointed anyone' and 'high-ranking Administration official' despite the article being very clear that that's the case.

    More accurate would be to call him a "high-ranking bureaucrat" since his official position is the same under the current administration as it was under the last one, and he's merely 'acting' in his current role because Trump has left a lot of jobs unfilled.

  • bernard11||

    More accurate would be to call him a "high-ranking bureaucrat" since his official position is the same under the current administration as it was under the last one, and he's merely 'acting' in his current role because Trump has left a lot of jobs unfilled.

    No. That would be completely inaccurate. Can you read?

    Kevin Sabo, who was originally hired for a career position in budget analysis at the DOI in 2016, was promoted to the political role of acting chief of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs at the Bureau of Reclamation when the Trump administration came into power in 2017,

    So he was put into a political job by the Trump Administration, most likely because, as the article you claim to have read makes clear, he is a career Republican, but hardly a "career bureaucrat." He does have a felony record, by the way.

  • KevinP||

    Please watch and share this profanity-laced interview with David Hogg, one of the astroturfed Parkland student gun control activists. This is what they are all about:

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/david-hogg-wild


    Quotes from the 17 year old:

    "When your old-ass parent is like, 'I don't know how to send an iMessage,' and you're just like, 'Give me the fucking phone and let me handle it.' Sadly, that's what we have to do with our government; our parents don't know how to use a fucking democracy, so we have to."

    "It just makes me think what sick fuckers out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children, and honestly just get reelected. What type of shitty person does that? They could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn't take action, because they all still see these dollar signs."

    To Senator Rubio: "What about the $176,000 you took for those 17 people's blood?
  • Sarcastr0||

    Please watch and share this profanity-laced interview with David Hogg, one of the astroturfed Parkland student gun control activists.

    Oh, no, curse-words.

  • Absaroka||

    Let's clean up the language: "It just makes me think what sick people out there want to continue to sell more guns, murder more children, and honestly just get reelected. What type of unpleasant person does that? They could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn't take action, because they all still see these dollar signs."

    That kind of hate doesn't help, from either side of the debate.

    (I'm glad he isn't "stoking conspiracy theories and violent anti-2nd-amendment-supporting-politician paranoia", because that would make it OK for Trump to sic the IRS on him)

  • Sarcastr0||

    I was about to ask the same of you? Hasn't the NRA said the exact same thing about the media and elites loving dead children? Is it OK if the NRA does it?

    As for Hogg, I disagree with him, but I think he's deserved a platform on which to speak (as have those from Parkland who disagree with him). The tone policing strikes me as fair, so long as you keep your standard applicable to all sides.

    I will admit I take some delight in the disproportionate rage and fear Hogg seems to stoke in some on the right.

  • Absaroka||

    "Is it OK if the NRA does it?"

    Nope. I'm going to do a bad job of paraphrasing a quote I saw a few days ago: "demonizing your fellow citizens is a good way to win elections, but a lousy way to run a country" (apologies to whoever's quote I'm mangling). We need to stop viewing people who disagree with us as monsters.

    " Hasn't the NRA said..."

    True confessions - I don't really listen to what the NRA says. I tend to form my opinions on 2nd amendment topics by spending time with WISQARS, the late lamented UCR reports, books, or journal articles. The discussions in the popular media generally are pretty loose with the facts. Heck, so are a lot of the journal articles :-(

    "I will admit I take some delight in the disproportionate rage and fear Hogg seems to stoke in some on the right."

    I don't take any delight at all in vitriolic debate. Tempers are so high we can't even hash out a common view of the facts.

    My sense is that Mr. Hogg's demeanor will ultimately not serve his cause well, but then I'm not very good at PR; I may well be wrong.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I will admit I take some delight in the disproportionate rage and fear Hogg seems to stoke in some on the right.

    It's not so much rage and fear, as recognition of what happens when a socially awkward teenager with no life experience and a massive chip on his shoulder is granted authority and legitimacy beyond what he's capable of exercising.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Yeah, that's the stuff
    :-D

  • bernard11||

    What "authority" has he been granted, other than the right to speak up?

    I guess it's OK with you to demonize Hogg, and to threaten a violent attack on him, but please don't say anything nasty about the NRA.

  • epsilon given||

    I also can't help but notice that it's horrible to criticize Hogg in any way, shape or form, because "He's just a child! Won't anyone think of the Children?!?" yet when his fellow students -- including ones who have been shot, or who lost relatives in the shooting -- speak out about how Hogg doesn't speak for them, no one is giving them nearly the same amount of national attention that Hogg is getting.

    It's as if being a victim only matters if you have the right political opinions!

  • Arcxjo||

    I've experienced way more violence in my life from union thuggery than from gun owners, so good on WF.

  • Definitely Not Tulpa||

    "Union Threats Aimed at Getting It to Drop Gun Manufacturer Clients"

    Gee, it's like a sentence designed methodically to trigger libertarians.

  • I Callahan||

    And yet it's 100% true.

  • dgeorge||

    It's not a surprise to me. On the one hand the stage coach driver's union was probably for gun control, but when the gang was chasing them they were glad a few passengers were armed and shooting back.
    A driver with four-in-hand and one guy "riding shotgun" on a mud wagon doin' 5-10 mph just wasn't enough against whole hole-in-the-wall gang on horseback.
    Robbers aren't targeting schools, but what if shooters go after school buses?

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    "The attempted demonization of the NRA and gun manufacturers also helps support, I think, many gun owners' worry that many gun control proponents' endgame isn't just "reasonable regulation" but outright bans."

    And worry we should - let's change a few nouns in the next paragraph and see that all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again:

    "Today, they might not have the political power to accomplish that on a national level, or in most states. But most successful ideological campaigns go in many steps. Diminish the power of the TOBACCO COMPANIES, and you might be able to get more TOBACCO restrictions soon. Get more TOBACCO restrictions then, and there may then be fewer SMOKERS as a result (especially if you've made it harder for TOBACCO COMPANIES to operate, and perhaps increased the cost of TOBACCO as a result). Diminish the number of SMOKERS, and you might further diminish the power of TOBACCO rights organizations, and then get more TOBACCO restrictions after that."

  • I Callahan||

    Fun game. Let me try:

    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to LIGHT UP AND SMOKE CIGARETTES, shall not be infringed."

    Nope, doesn't fit. There is no such amendment to the US constitution, so it's not a valid comparison.

  • epsilon given||

    The point is, there are people who advocate that we do for guns what have been done for tobacco. It's very easy to see what has happened with tobacco....and we who are for gun rights are supposed to sit back and take it, when applied to guns?

  • OtisAH||

    Union threats, huh? Sounds scary.

    My two questions are:

    Why is being anti-union considered a libertarian position?

    And

    Why would anyone have a positive view of a company that defrauded millions of its own customers just because of some perceived anti-union victory?

    Wells Fargo literally stole from its customers. We know this. And yet "I'm not a Wells Fargo customer, but I'm considering switching from U.S. Bank (for practical reasons, not political ones), and this raised Wells Fargo's standing in my mind. Indeed, I even called their customer service line to pass along my compliments." I mean, hey, you do you,

    And would it be uncouth for me to mention that Wells Fargo ending its relationship with gun manufacturers and/or the NRA in no way equates to a bank telling consumers what legal products people can buy? Are we to believe that if WF didn't make money off of Remington, people would not be able to buy Remington rifles? Who reads that CEO's quote and says "Yeah, freedom!" instead of "Dude, what?"

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Why is being anti-union considered a libertarian position?"

    It wouldn't be, if unions were content to have only voluntary members, and didn't routinely engage in coercive violence.

    "Why would anyone have a positive view of a company that defrauded millions of its own customers just because of some perceived anti-union victory?"

    Because people's opinions are more complex than thumbs up, thumbs down. You can dislike a company for one reason, while still noticing they're doing something admirable in another respect.

    And this isn't an anti-union victory, it's a company standing up to demands that it conspire to attack a civil liberty. The demands just happen, in this instance, to be routed through a union.

  • OtisAH||

    How is petitioning a company to drop a client an attack on a civil liberty?

  • OtisAH||

    And what civil liberty is at risk if WF drops Remington as a client?

  • ||

    Because if a person can't use the banking system, he's effectively disenfranchised from society.

  • OtisAH||

    You seem confused. Generally. Specific to this instance, I asked what civil liberty is at risk if WF dropped a client and you mumble-wrote something about Remington becoming disenfranchised from society, which doesn't answer the question.

  • Ben_||

    Libertarians don't like bullies. And unions consistently side with totalitarians and statists.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Part 1
    [sarcasm]Banning card gun sales will take a huge bite out of crime.[/sarcasm]

    The last DoJ NIJ Bureau of Justice Statistics survey on Firearm Use by Offenders (over 2,000 sample of state prison inmates whose last offense involved possession or use of a firearm) that I downloaded showed that:
    12% acquired guns from retail sources (gun shops, pawnshops, flea markets, gun shows).
    44% acquired guns from friends or family (often criminals themselves)
    44% acquired guns from burglars, fences, thieves, black marketeers, drug dealers, street dealers.

    A lot of retail sources allow credit/debit card transactions. My last gun buy in ten years I used Visa at a sporting goods store. These initiatives could have stopped my card use but would not have stopped me from drawing cash from an ATM. I suspect the vast majority of card gun sales are to relatively lawabiding citizens who own and use guns for noncriminal purposes.

    Gun control can shut down credit card use by that 12% legal gun source reported by criminals. In twenty-three years, DoJ NIJ BJS FUO surveys saw the percentile go from 21% legal source (79% gray or black dark market) in 1991 to 12% legal source (88% dark market) in 2004 (largely due I think to NICS and gun dealers cooperating with ATF to identify straw purchasers for illegal dealers -- see the DoJ OIF report on Operation Fast and Furious). Personally I know the 88% dark sources do not use cards or run background checks.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Part 2

    The progressives are willing to throw the 2A in the woodchipper, along with due process (ordering all aid recipients with fiduciaries should be treated as dangerously incompetent mental cases without adjudication or appeal), 4A (see Norval Morris "Honest Politicians Guide to Grime Control" - random stop'n'frisk because no right to privacy in public), 5A, and any emanations or penumbras of 9A or 10A, if the object is guns.

    According to H.L. Mencken "The Uplifters Are At It Again" 1924, the Progressives flush with success at banning alcohol in the 1920s turned their sights on guns. What's next, TeeTotal Crusaders pressuring stores to not allow card sales of alcohol?

    It is a lot to pay for little return when other policies could be more efficient and less costly (see repeal of the Canadian rifle and shotgun registry, see repeal of the Maryland ballistic fingerprint program).

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Gun control can shut down credit card use by that 12% legal gun source reported by criminals."

    This is equally consistent with gun control just bolstering the black market, of course. And the 12% legal gun source could consist mostly of legal purchases by people who hadn't yet been identified as criminals.

  • vek||

    Well, this makes me feel better about having some Wells Fargo accounts!

  • hoptygopty||

    Same. I've seen a click-baity title earlier that suggested WF was on board with civil disarmament. Was going to start looking to refinance 2 properties from them. But this states otherwise, and calms my nerves.

  • Ben_||

    Legal question: Conspiracy against civil rights is a felony. What's keeping a US Attorney from pursuing Dicks Sporting Goods and Citigroup and others for conspiring against 18-21 year olds' 2nd Amendment rights?

  • hoptygopty||

    "reasonable people may think that outright bans on guns are good"

    Unless those people stand to be the ruling dictator after the showdown, I don't see how that position is reasonable.

  • billdeserthills||

    Hearing this almost makes me wish I hadn't closed my Wells Fargo business checking. However since the reason I closed it hasn't yet changed (Wells encouraging illegal aliens banking) I'm just gonna go ahead and cheer Wells on...

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