Author: Derek

Supreme Court Ruling on Bump Stock Ban Is Not The Ruling You Think It Is

The US Supreme Court struck down ATF’s rule banning bump stocks last week. Here’s The Reload’s coverage.

I listen to some legal podcasts. This is the legal equivalent of staying in a Holiday Inn Express. They have given some insights on how lawyers and judges see things as opposed to the general public. So, what insights did they impart about the ruling?

First and most important, this ruling was less about defending the Second Amendment, and more about telling Congress to do it’s damn job. The ruling is good, as a gun owner, due to ATF’s tendency to suddenly criminalize items that it said were perfectly legal. What the Supreme Court emphatically did not say was that a bump stock ban passed by Congress would be against the Second Amendment. If anything, their concurrences/dissents made it perfectly clear they wouldn’t have a problem with such a ban. And let’s be real, the general public has a fear of fully automatic weapons in the hands of people not in the military or police.

Second, we, as gun owners, need to stop relying on the dicta of “in common use” as a magic phrase to protect us from equipment bans. It’s not an official standard, and it can’t protect us like a rule ordering the use of strict scrutiny would’ve been.

Third, I don’t think “text, history, and tradition” will be the panacea some of us think. It feels like an originalist’s version of “making up what we want the Constitution to say”. I liked the levels of scrutiny as they had decades of precedence on how they should be determined or proscribed. It really comes down to having a process that has less “play in the joints” when it comes to rights. Especially rights that don’t have a long track record of protection – like say free speech.

So, what is the point of all this rambling? The courts are not our friends. When we start getting the Second Amendment edge cases, there will be other things that come into play. Stealing from a couple of “legal theories” that I heard on Advisory Opinions, we will be at the mercy of the “Bad Man Stays In Jail” and “Bad Cases Make Bad Laws”.

We still need to work with the legislatures, which means electing people who will actually get stuff through Congress and not grandstand for the television. We need to do outreach to those who are curious and try to meet them where they are at. The commanding heights of culture? Yeah, we need to change them, but I’m not savvy enough to opine on methodology.

As for me? I will do my best to be a good ambassador and voter.

Monday Links

This week is a bit long. Reason starts us out.

First, a couple of articles relating to Hunter Biden’s conviction. One on the constitutional question of his conviction. I lean on the charge is bullshit, because I think the whole premise of banning people who might use drugs is bullshit. If they had convicted him on having the weapon on him while intoxicated, that would be a more reasonable charge. Anyways, this whole thing goes back to the infamous laptop, and we have an article on the media’s failure to own up to its mistakes on their coverage.

Reason covers the secret recordings of Alito done “Project Veritas”-style. The best descriptor of this story is that it’s a Rorsach test of your political priors.

Maybe charging teens with felonies for vandalism isn’t a good idea. Particularly if you’re going to ramp up the charges because you’re offended. Particularly in light of your failure to react the same when it wasn’t one of your sacred images.

On the good news front, preliminary UCR data shows deep declines in crime. More indications we’re coming out of the crazy that was the COVID lockdowns. I blame the lockdowns more for the sharp uptick in crime, and it looks like we’re trending back to baseline, at least in terms of crime.

Trump announced he wants to exempt tips from income tax. On one hand, I like this because it reduces the amount of bullshit reporting people have to do – or put them in jeopardy if they forget to do. On the other hand, I don’t trust Trump to get anything done if he’s elected (ask the gun lobby how much legislation they managed to get signed). On the gripping hand, I’m not sure I like the downstream impacts – either on the federal deficits or how wages will get structured in the labor market.

Let’s ban flavored vaping for the children! What do you mean teen smoking goes up in response? Is vaping a good habit to have? Probably not. Is it orders of magnitude better than smoking tobacco? Fuck yes. I swear, public health officials should be forced to take real economics. You know, the one where you learn there are no perfect solutions, only more optimal trade-offs.

Going on to other news.

I have a Ground News aggregation on how US soldiers are nine times more likely to die by suicide than combat action. Suicide is an epidemic in our society. Particularly for those of us who fear getting help will result in our guns or livelihoods being taken away. For gunnies, I’m going to recommend going to the Walk The Talk America site.

More Fulton County drama, but this time in the Young Thug trial. The judge wanted to jail the defense attorney for contempt after said attorney refused to disclose how he learned about an exparte meeting between the judge and the prosecution. The Georgia Supreme Court reversed that. Still, the defense lawyer made the baller statement of if the judge was going to throw him in jail, could he be jailed with his client so they could work on his defense?

The NYT reports on the FAA investigating how titanium used in Boeing and Airbus airliners came from a questionable Chinese source with fraudulent documents. One wonders how many more body blows Boeing can suffer before the company gets radically realigned.

Speaking of the NYT, the Economist did an investigation on if the NYT bestseller list is politically biased. To almost no one’s surprise, it is. (Paywall warning.)

AP reports that Armenia is getting tired of Russia’s shit and is withdrawing from their “security alliance”. Considering the recent series of conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, I’m concerned this is the first step before a major flare-up.

The Firearms Blog reports a San Antonio officer was put on indefinite suspension after he took home guns from a recent buyback.

A story going around the local stations reporting that half of parents who visit Disney end up in debt from the trip. Okay, yeah, Disney’s been jacking up prices for years. However, I look at this as more of an indictment of young families budgeting ability.

Let’s go on to some lighter items.

War is Boring looks at deploying military tech, including drones and helicopters, to deal with – feral hogs. I’ll be honest, going on a hog hunt is one of those things I’d like to do.

Finally, The Verge has a look at the Excel World Championship in Vegas.

Monday Links

Going to be shorter this week. We start off with Reason.

Reporting on Dr. Faucci’s latest appearance before Congress. It will probably be a generation for us to get a real accounting of the mistakes surrounding COVID. If Faucci’s hubris is not included, I will be very surprised.

A trio of senators want to mandate insurance coverage for IVF. Because health insurance isn’t expensive enough. Now you want to make them cover even more expensive treatments. How about a bill to decouple health insurance from employment and let insurers sell policies across state lines? Then let folks make the decision as to what coverages they need/want.

The Maldives have decided to deny entry to anyone with an Israeli passport. Really, because that’s going to do something?

Now on to other stories.

From Ground News, an aggregation on Boeing’s new spacecraft lifting off. I like the idea of competition in the space realm. Not sure I’d trust Boeing considering it’s recent troubles.

Streamlight has an article on travelling with flashlights. Personally, for travel through the airport, I keep a small Streamlight in my pocket. My Pro-Tac’s get packed away in my checked luggage.

After all of the rigamarole surrounding Disney and the State of Florida, the new entity has agreed on a fifth park. This is really a case of business as usual once the politics of the day subsides.

For our last entry, I have this nifty video from TFB.

Ward Manor Happenings

Kilt Fitting

The Wife’s nephew is getting married in a couple of months. After some discussion with the bride, it was agreed I could wear a kilt – as long as I did the whole formal kilt thing. So, after some emailing with the proprietor of Lothian Kilt Rentals, The Wife and I trekked up to Tarpon Springs for a fitting. Which was a good thing because the formal kilts are very different than my 5.11 kilts. Let’s just say it’s a good thing The Wife will be there to help me do up all the buckles. I do regret not getting a pic of me in the full gear, but I will make sure to post one from the wedding.

Nephew’s Birthday

We trekked over across the state for my nephew’s birthday shindig. One of the things he asked to do was a mini-tournament between Nephew, Rocket Engineer Brother, The Brother, and me. In L5R Empire Edition. With sealed deck boxes. I managed to put together a Unicorn deck, but damn am I out of practice. I went 1 and 1 with REB curbstomping me with his Lion deck, and me out-honoring my nephew against his Crab deck. My prize? A little trophy with a horse on it labeled “Not My First Rodeo.”

FPC Red Dot

When I bought my S&W FPC, I put a Sig Romeo red dot on it. I wasn’t really happy with how quick it drained the little battery, and it didn’t seem to hold very well. So, I swapped it out with a Vortex. I prefer the single bead red dots. Now I just need to get some BIUS, but those will have to wait until I get some more cash.