Saturday, January 22, 2011

At Least One Leftie Gets It

Dan Baum, in this article at the Huffington Post shows that at least one leftie gets it about gun control:
I'm not one for slinging statistics, because everybody can read into them what he wants to see. One, though, seems pretty hard to ignore: The rates of murder and other violent crime have dropped by about half in the past 20 years -- one piece of unalloyed good news out of the past two decades. During those same 20 years, gun ownership has gone way up, and gun laws have become far looser. 
Gun guys are convinced there's a causal relationship -- they say that criminals become timid in the face of an armed citizenry. I think the crime drop has more to do with changing demographics and smarter policing. Either way, it is obvious that more guns and looser gun laws did not cause crime to rise. We on the left, who have an impulse toward ever tighter gun laws, need to look squarely at that. If what we want to do is reduce violent crime, perhaps we should continue what we're doing. While it may be true that nothing can be done to keep guns out of the wrong hands, it is plainly false that nothing can be done to reduce violence. Lots is being done, and quite successfully. It just doesn't involve restricting guns.
I myself have written about this as well, but it is just terrific to see a liberal Democrat admit that gun control does not work. While more guns may not result in less crime, the last 20 years has shown that more guns does not necessarily lead to more crime. Now the left will have to come up with something more creative than a simple knee-jerk reaction.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Local Groups Drive Gun Rights Litigation - Not The NRA

The left wing press always gets this wrong: the NRA is the source of all evil pro-gun developments in the United States. The reality is that the NRA, while an extremely effective lobbying and legislative organization, its record for litigation is thin, at best. Most of the recent landmark litigation concerning gun rights (District of Columbia v. Heller, McDonald v. City of Chicago) are the result of the efforts of grass-roots organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and the Illinois State Rifle Association. These organization, and those like them in other states, have been doing the heavy lifting over the last ten years ot so to further gun rights in the United States.

In the past on this blog I have attempted to follow the various cases that are in progress, but in the aftermath of Heller, so many cases were filed that it overwhelmed my capacity to monitor the progress and post it to Left Coast Conservative. Fortunately, this is no longer necessary. The Calguns Foundation has a wonderful web page that not only lists the current status of pending litigation, but also established case law and Supreme Court decisions, and even has a primer describing how the federal courts work. Everyone who has an interest in the current status of gun rights litigation should consult this page often because it is updated regularly.

Once again, the grass-roots organizations are carrying the heavy load to further gun rights by educating gun owners. While I do not want to belittle the efforts of the NRA, they is not the whole story. And when one realizes the extent of different groups that promote gun rights, I cannot help but be optimistic.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

American Rifleman Cover Features Banned Guns

The February 2011 issue of American Rifleman arrived in my mailbox today, and I was immediately struck by a coincidence: the cover features two handguns that will never be sole in California: Springfield Armory's XB(M) Compact, and Remington's R1 1911. One new pistol built to a 100 year old design, and one new pistol built to a 21st century design, but both are “unsafe” according to the state of California.

What make these guns unsafe: the lack of a magazine disconnect feature, required for new pistol models to meet California “safety” requirements since 2007. Note: for all you non-gun people out there, a magazine disconnect is a mechanical device which prevents a pistol from firing if the magazine is removed from the gun. All serious defensive handgun shooters believe them to be an unsafe “Mommy” feature because magazine disconnects often prevent magazines from falling free during reloads, and render a person defenseless if they cannot insert a magazine fast enough during a reload. No police department that I know of would use a pistol that has a magazine disconnect.

What makes all of this utterly galling is that my pistol, a Kimber Custom II, is functionally identical to the Remington R1 pistol, but is sold in California because it is “grandfathered” in before the new requirements of 2007. So am I now shooting an unsafe pistol. The California DOJ thinks so.
It is nothing more than a creeping handgun ban.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Victory - California Enjoined from Enforcing AB962!

Yesterday, January 18th, California gun owners dodged a bullet: AB962, the new ammunition control law prohibiting, among other things, mail order ammunition deliveries, was enjoined from enforcement by a Federal judge. You can read about this decision in the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) press release.

But no one who follows California firearms politics thinks that this is the end of the story. First of all, the law is still on the books, and the lawsuit may still proceed to trial. Second, the state might appeal the decision, which the CRPA thinks is likely, attempting to have the injunction removed. And even if Ab962 is ultimately struck down by a Federal court, then the legislature can pass new legislation that corrects the “unconstitutionally vague” language by listing the prohibited ammunition explicitly.

If that does come to pass, even then we are not out of options. Other lawsuits that have bee dismissed, particularly OOIDA v. Lindley, which attacked provisions of AB962 that attempted to regulate common carriers, something that has already been found to by unconstitutional.