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Good stuff

Sebastian notes his meeting with NRA folks:

I was also quite pleased that the NRA is realizing that they need to have a better presence in the new media, and want to work more closely with bloggers.

We look forward to it.

25 Responses to “Good stuff”

  1. Standard Mischief Says:

    Bad link. try this one HTML-ized.

    (Why WordPress does not make search engine friendly URLs as default, I have no idea)

  2. Kim du Toit Says:

    Yeah, like the lawyer types who infest today’s NRA will have anything to do with us roughnecks…

  3. Bitter Says:

    Name a fucking name, Kim. Before you go around attacking the lawyers of NRA who work their asses off on behalf of clients looking for the right cases, name some fucking names or exact situations.

    I can name far more “lawyer types” at NRA who have ventured into prisons and scummy courtrooms going to bat for clients at either no or low-cost in order to secure fair decisions and good precedent for other gun owners than you could name of lawyers in general.

    There are good men and women out there every day who are working on behalf of gun owners, even the “roughnecks” like you and others who will read this comment, to find the best possible cases to move the ball forward.

    That kind of comment, unless you have specific cases to bitch about, is nothing more than flinging shit for the sake of grabbing attention and it’s nasty and uncalled for.

    I’m not always about defending the NRA for the sake of being a cheerleader, but I do demand accountability when you make accusations. And considering I’ve actually gone out of my way to meet these people, I take particular offense to the fact that you’ll lump them in and fling shit at them.

    You’ve even blogged about good cases before, Kim, saying you’ll rejoin NRA when they win. (And they will, no worries there.)

    Flinging shit when you feel angry without reasonable documentation of cases that will set good precedent for gun owners and don’t include assholes flagrantly violating the law on the sake of principle before trying to change the law is unacceptable to any reasonable person. As it should be for anyone who has benefited from their work and research or known someone who has.

  4. Snowflakes in Hell » Blog Archive » It Has a Distinct Sound Says:

    […] the intensity of her anger by the nuances of the keyboard pecks.   It’s rather amusing, when not directed at me […]

  5. Call me Ahab » Blog Archive » Word of the now Says:

    […] to Sebastian, I have a textbook example of a total pwn, via blog comments.  Here is the wild pwn, in all it’s natural […]

  6. gattsuru Says:

    Joaquin Jackson, Mrs. Bitter.

    Tell me that, if the owner of an evil black .223 ever gets in trouble with corrupt or illegal laws, he or she and the folk that elected him or her will consider that a worthwhile use of their time and money.

    The NRA has some great people doing great stuff out there, and I don’t mean to disparage that. But at its core, the voting membership is made of folk who could afford to pay a thousand dollars to get access, nevermind the time and economic cost it takes to keep up with internal NRA politics and votes. They care about CCWs that cost four hundred bucks. They can ignore Pittman-Robertson; hell, they’d probably support it since there’s no one else ‘willing’ to pay for wildlife conservation.
    David Petzal can do that. Joaquin Jackson certainly found it easy.

    I can’t. I’m a .22LR fan; for the cost of a vote in the NRA I could get a new gun. For a life membership, I could get a half-dozen, and the higher rankings would earn me a dozen decent guns and more ammo than I’ll need this life. As I don’t have those, it might be a good guess I don’t have that sorta reliable and disposable income (partly because I end up donating to causes like Reds or Mr. Du Toit directly… but that’s beside the point).

    Maybe the NRA’s type of compromise is necessary. I dunno, and I can’t claim to know. I don’t like letting the other side define what battles we can even argue, regardless of the law and what is right, because some people somewhere might shit their pants, but maybe it’s something the NRA just can’t avoid.

    But, Mrs. Bitter, I don’t think you or anyone can honestly argue that the NRA will fight for those very things they just compromised. They couldn’t be effective if they did. They can’t help every sorta folk if they didn’t.

  7. Bitter Says:

    Dude, read Kim’s comment, he’s going after NRA lawyers. Joaquin is not a lawyer. Believe me, if you’ve met him, you would know he’s not a lawyer. You are trying to change the argument into something that was not discussed. Open another damn comment thread if you want to discuss the other people in NRA. Kim attacked the lawyers, and the funny part is that of all you who bitch about NRA, it’s the lawyers involved that you’d like the most.

  8. Sebastian Says:

    Joaquin Jackson is a Texas Ranger. He’s not your stereotypical board member.

  9. straightarrow Says:

    Have you been told yet that it is their site and you are there by invitation that can be rescinded? Not yet?

    They will.

  10. gattsuru Says:

    He didn’t say lawyers. He said, to quote “the lawyer types who infest todays NRA”. I can see a certain connection with folk who try to weasel from ‘assault weapon’ to automatic weapon.

    If you insist on an NRA lawyer turned asshole, it’s not particularly difficult to find people like Bob Ricker. Even some of the less assholic ones, such as Stephen Halbrook, do not exactly escape the “infestation” description — it’s hard to enjoy the company of someone who has both documented the evils of Nazi gun control and registration, then turns around and tells the district court that he’s asking for registration, and that he’s asking for it and other “reasonable restrictions”.

    I’m sure it’s a necessary compromise to make, but that doesn’t mean it won’t bite us in the backside later when we realize registered gun owners are being harassed, or that Mr. Halbrook would or even should be trying to support other groups. I sure wouldn’t want him trying to get rid of FOIDs or protect someone who didn’t have one.

  11. Sebastian Says:

    Actually Jackson would probably be more comfortable with roughneck types than most of the other board members.

    As for Halbrook, no one has a better track record of winning gun cases in the federal courts. No one.

  12. Bitter Says:

    Bob Ricker’s antics are always called out by NRA. The guy became anti-gun after going to work on the gun issue, how the hell can anyone stop that from happening? If you always use that standard, you would turn away a Brady staffer who suddenly saw the light and became pro-gun. That would be a massive win for us, but you would throw them under the bus. My god, you people are impossible.

    As for Halbrook, see Sebastian’s comment.

  13. gattsuru Says:

    Actually Jackson would probably be more comfortable with roughneck types than most of the other board members.

    That is so very, very discouraging.

    As for Halbrook, I dunno. That may be the case.

    What I know is that a political group that 33 million Americans would claim to support sent their top lawyer into court to argue that registration is a reasonable restriction. That may very well win us Parker — I can’t claim to know — but it means that California, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York are pretty much kaput on that term from a Constitutional viewpoint.

    It’s great that he has a good track record. But he’s a ‘lawyer type’. The same as everyone else

    The guy became anti-gun after going to work on the gun issue, how the hell can anyone stop that from happening? If you always use that standard, you would turn away a Brady staffer who suddenly saw the light and became pro-gun.

    Er… no, that doesn’t logically follow. An individual who works as to X can eventually move to not-X and his or her earlier statements don’t hurt much; even if they do bring up ten-year-old statements, it’s not much of an issue when the quoted person can bring up what made them change their mind. The contrawise is not the case — we can yell about Mr. Ricker’s idiocy, but he’s got control of what his words mean.

    We know that lawyers are in it for the money — with law school costs and what money provides, I can’t blame them — but we also have to recognize that if hire people who are just in it for the money, sooner or later the next version of Soros is going to be quite capable of paying them more. We can’t afford to hire people just cause they like the color of money : we have to pay attention to whether they’re actually into the whole human right thing.

  14. Xrlq Says:

    What I know is that a political group that 33 million Americans would claim to support sent their top lawyer into court to argue that registration is a reasonable restriction.

    IOW, what you “know” is a bunch of crap. To say that the Parker plaintiffs argued for registration is as ignorant as it would be to argue that the NAACP argued for the separate but equal doctrine in a series of cases that preceded Brown, without which Brown itself could not have happened. The gun lobby is wisely pursuing the same strategy here: go after the low-hanging fruit first. I don’t know if gun registration infringes the RKBA or not (I suspect it does not, given the rather stringent 18th Century definition of “infringe”), but I do know that it would be suicidal for the gun lobby to argue that position before the Supreme Court has even ruled that there is a RKBA to infringe in the first place. Think GOA: 30+ years of no compromise, and about as many results.

  15. gattsuru Says:

    IOW, what you know is a bunch of crap. To say that the Parker plaintiffs argued for registration is as ignorant as it would be to argue that the NAACP argued for the separate but equal doctrine in a series of cases that preceded Brown, without which Brown itself could not have happened.

    I didn’t say anything about the Parker plaintiffs. On the other hand, I did talk about Mr. Halbrook, who said, and I quote the transcripts:

    Halbrook : Your Honor, we are here wanting to register handguns. We are not wanting unrestricted access. We’re not here asking to carry them, other than in the home.

    Court: You’re saing that the government can impose reasonable restrictions?

    Halbrook: Yes, your honor. Yes, your honor.

    This wasn’t the natural result of dealing with the courts or the existing law, like Plessy (which, by the way, was a case where the existing law stated separate but ‘equal’, and was a complete lose for the Defendant) or the cases building up to Brown (‘separate but equal’ was only used by both Brown and the ten previous cases as an example of unlawful acts).

    This was an NRA-funded, NRA-supported lawyer, pleading for registration and confirming that, yes it would indeed be a reasonable restriction. So would a complete ban on both open carry and concealed carry. I’ll admit I’m not a civil rights cases scholar, but I’d be amazed to find out that any single attorney involved in the civil rights movement pleaded for separate but equal doctrine.

    The NRA has done great things, and I don’t think I need to list them. Mr. Halbrook has done great things, and while I shouldn’t have to list them, I’ll simply start with the samples : he’s stopped convictions in other countries from robbing the rights from our citizens, dealt with some damned insensible sentencing laws, and knocked a few teeth out of the Brady Act.

    They also rely on the strategy of compromise, and accepting no shoes today for boots tomorrow.
    I’ve seen how well that’s worked. Sometimes it’s great. Other times…

    I’ve been given the choice of not executing a Constitutional right, risking conviction for looking at people funny, or spent months and paid hundreds of dollars and had my name and home address published in the Sandusky Register. The NRA and local affiliated group’s compromise here, by the way, also destroyed every affirmative defense on the books. I see good, lawful gun shops closed from the sheer burden of ridiculous ATF ‘law’ enforcement, that never even involves a court battle. It’s still a necessary compromise, though; the NRA spends too much time quoting ATF information and law to want to fight all but the most abusive cases. In other areas, well, if they stuck with the first few compromises we saw on the PLCAA there would have been a riot, and I will not be surprised to see the DOJ ammo studies it compromised into existence aren’t used to ban .50 caliber weapons.

    :shrug:

  16. Xrlq Says:

    This wasn’t the natural result of dealing with the courts or the existing law,

    Sure it was. Halbrook wasn’t arguing for registration, but against a purported “registration” scheme that amounted to de facto prohibition. Sure, he could have said “my client doesn’t want to register his guns, either, but that’s beside the point,” but the rhetorical point was made stronger by saying “look, this guy is actually TRYING to register his guns, and you bozos won’t even let him do that!”

    To have argued that registration was not a “reasonable” restriction for constitutional purposes would have been extremely unhelpful to his client, and in any event would have bordered on the frivolous. There is no constitutional prohibition on registering anything. It may be a bad idea, but that’s not the kind of “reasonableness” courts are talking about when discussing the constitutionality of a challenged statute.

    like Plessy (which, by the way, was a case where the existing law stated separate but ‘equal’, and was a complete lose for the Defendant)

    Nonsense. Plessy didn’t apply an existing separate but equal doctrine; it was the case that created it. The only “existing law” prior to Plessy was the Fourteenth Amendment, the same one that was ultimately used to strike down that doctrine in Brown. In any event, Plessy wasn’t the case I was referring to; of course the NAACP didn’t support that (nor did they even exist at the time it was argued and decided). The point was that everyone remembers Brown but conveniently forgets the less sexy, but crucial, cases the NAACP won to lay the groundwork for Brown. If they had taken on the separate but equal doctrine directly from the beginning, they almost certainly would have lost. Instead, they won a series of cases using the exact same tactic you decry coming from Halbrook: arguing in effect that the separate but equal doctrine itself was okey-dokey, but that School District X or School District Y had failed to adhere to the “but equal” test. Only after winning a bunch of cases like that were they in any position to deliver the argument that carried the day in Brown, namely that separate could never be equal.

    Similarly, if you think you have a viable argument that registration always infringes the RKBA, great, but before anyone wastes the courts’ time and set back the gunnies’ cause by another century, let’s try winning a few cases against the most egregious offenders first.

    This was an NRA-funded, NRA-supported lawyer, pleading for registration and confirming that, yes it would indeed be a reasonable restriction. So would a complete ban on both open carry and concealed carry.

    Halbrook said no such thing. Re-read your own quote. All he said was that government may impose reasonable restrictions on guns – the Second Amendment equivalent of saying that government may prohibit people from falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. He never said that any particular controls were reasonable, he merely pointed out that his client wasn’t interested in challenging registration schemes or carrying anywhere outside his home. Which was true, and crucial to his case.

  17. gattsuru Says:

    To have argued that registration was not a reasonable restriction for constitutional purposes would have been extremely unhelpful to his client, and in any event would have bordered on the frivolous.

    And why are you insisting that he needed to argue anything? Why not simply state that the clients supported reasonable restrictions (which the court required him to repeat), rather than giving examples that are pretty much the best examples of unreasonable restrictions?

    There is no constitutional prohibition on registering anything. It may be a bad idea, but thats not the kind of reasonableness courts are talking about when discussing the constitutionality of a challenged statute.

    Yeah, the right to privacy has somehow turned into the ‘right to privacy of whatever local liberals approve of’, I’m afraid. I’d still be amazed to find out that “shall not be infringed” means so low a scintar that registration (and the likely associated denials and monetary charges) would be acceptable, though. Even Miller decided that, if a military use for the sawed-off was displayed, that the associated ‘stuff’ would have been an infringement.

    Plessy didnt apply an existing separate but equal doctrine; it was the case that created it

    Are you actually using a history book, or just picking stuff off the top of your head? Plessy v Ferguson discussed an already existing law, the type of which had been common in the South for decades before. The very law Plessy challenged had been enforced for a good five years already, with successful smaller court cases, and Plessy really only got as far as it did because he was an attempt by a group of both white and black folk trying to get rid of the law.
    It gave additional momentum to the segregationist movement, legitimized it by providing SCOTUS ‘permission’, and was a horrible loss because of it, but I don’t think that’s really something you want to bring up as a great example for the civil rights side. Separate but equal certainly wasn’t what Plessy and the rest of the civil rights movement were arguing for in any visible manner.

    Only after winning a bunch of cases like that were they in any position to deliver the argument that carried the day in Brown, namely that separate could never be equal.

    That’s odd. Every single record I can find show that the handfuls of previously successful cases argued against “separate but equal” by arguing precisely that the entire doctrine as expressed by Justice Brown was patently false. I can not, searching through every one of those cases available, find a point at which it the pro-civil rights side admittedly “separate” was acceptable — all were successful by only showing the subject to be not equal.

    if you think you have a viable argument that registration always infringes the RKBA, great, but before anyone wastes the courts time and set back the gunnies cause by another century, lets try winning a few cases against the most egregious offenders first.

    Yes, because it’s so incredibly excellent to argue for the recognition of a human right in a manner that’ll only allow it to be applied meaningfully against absolutist laws in DC and two cities (which will also require incorporation we’re not likely to get this decade), while also legitimizing ugly and/or bigoted laws in dozens of cities and several states. No, wait…
    Jeez, by that standard, Plessy should have pressed for separate and unequal simply to make sure that blacks got facilities at all.

    He never said that any particular controls were reasonable, he merely pointed out that his client wasnt interested in challenging registration schemes or carrying anywhere outside his home. Which was true, and crucial to his case.

    He was asked if the government could put reasonable restrictions on firearms, *volunteered* that he and his plaintiffs wanted registration and a complete ban on open and concealed carry, and then affirmed that he would accept reasonable restrictions. While you can weasel your way by noting that he said nothing about whether they’d accept unreasonable restrictions, it is still fairly obvious how he wanted the court to interpret his words.

    Tell me this. When the SCOTUS denies cert on Parker and one random civilian a year passes registration in DC (or accepts cert and goes either way), you accidentally carry a .22LR cartridge or a single primer or a single pellet of birdshot into the hellish area and park somewhere (a felony without a license, and one with no mens rea requirement). After the basic agrees with the law, tell me what you want. How fast do you want Halbrook, with his wonderful record but just having told the very same district court you’re appealing to that ammunition registration and carry is somehow lawful?

    And you can shout fire in a crowded theater, even falsely. The current scheme passed by the Supreme Court is that your speech must be likely to result in imminent lawless action, not just clear and present danger. That’s been the case for thirty-five years.

    I understand that there are going to be reasonable restrictions, and there are even some I support. On the other hand, I find it hard to consider a complete ban on any type of carry outside the home, and ownership registration, to be way, way past the point even the fuddiest of duddies would go.

    Maybe it’s something that Parker’s lawyers needed to say. I dunno if it’d be worth it even then, given the SCOTUS tendency to stick with an interpretation for sixty-odd years, but I’m sure the lawyer types would know better than me.

    But no matter how important winning it is, it shouldn’t have been the voice of 3 million dues-paying gun owners and an additional 30 million attention-paying gun owners saying he wanted registration and carry bans.

  18. Xrlq Says:

    And why are you insisting that he needed to argue anything? Why not simply state that the clients supported reasonable restrictions (which the court required him to repeat), rather than giving examples that are pretty much the best examples of unreasonable restrictions?

    Again, he didn’t say registration or bans on carrying were reasonable. All he did was stress that his client wasn’t challenging either, ergo, the court could find for his client without having to tackle those issues. “My client isn’t arguing for X, all he wants is Y” is a fairly standard tactic aimed at winning X today, while leaving Y for another day.

    Id still be amazed to find out that shall not be infringed means so low a scintar that registration (and the likely associated denials and monetary charges) would be acceptable, though.

    Why? No other constitutional amendment is interpreted that broadly. Even the First Amendment, prefaced with “shall make no law” without the “infringed” qualifier, allows some restrictions as to time, manner and place. If the Second Amendment were applied the way the First is, Chicago or DC-style “registration” would clearly constitute an infringement, and NYC’s byzantine system probably would, as well, but most others would pass muster.

    It gave additional momentum to the segregationist movement, legitimized it by providing SCOTUS permission, and was a horrible loss because of it, but I dont think thats really something you want to bring up as a great example for the civil rights side. Separate but equal certainly wasnt what Plessy and the rest of the civil rights movement were arguing for in any visible manner.

    I never said it was. I said that the early cases leading up to Brown began not by taking Plessy on directly, but by pointing out that individual school districts had failed even to abide by the separate “but equal” rule. Only after a series of apparently (but not really) Pyrrhic victories were they in a position to credibly argue that separate can never be equal. Arguing that gun registration is always an infringement is a much more aggressive position, as very few registration systems in the U.S. are all that onerous.

    He was asked if the government could put reasonable restrictions on firearms, *volunteered* that he and his plaintiffs wanted registration and a complete ban on open and concealed carry, and then affirmed that he would accept reasonable restrictions.

    No, he didn’t. Go read your own quote and show me the part in which he said either he or his client wanted a ban on open or concealed carry. You made that up.

  19. SayUncle » Hang together Says:

    […] light of comments here regarding NRA and gun rights and who is doing more and selling out and what not, listen […]

  20. Bitter Says:

    I just noticed the accusation that lawyers are in it for the money. Try telling that to the guys who are limited at billing out for about a quarter of what they would be making in the private market. Do you know anything about how the legal system works and how people function in it? If you don’t, admit it. Although your comments clearly demonstrate that you’re making shit up.

    In fact, I’ll test you: What is the average rate at which NRA lawyers get paid? How does it compare to what a lawyer of comparable experience gets paid in a traditional practice? Numbers, please.

  21. gattsuru Says:

    Xrlq : “Were not here asking to carry them, other than in the home.

    That sounds a bit like a ban on carry outside of the home.

    Bitter : The publicly available information doesn’t seem to support the “quarter of what they would be making in the financial market”, at least the stuff I’ve found, but I know too little about the subject to debate it and thus take your word for it.

    My statement came from what information I could find on Robert Ricker, who’s finances appeared to be better than average for a lawyer in his field during his time at the NRA, and better again once he switched sides. My apologies if my statement as to lawyers better than him sounded like a descriptive rather than analytic trait.

  22. Bitter Says:

    In other words, you made a statement that was patently false about a subject you know nothing about just for the sake of attacking NRA.

    The difference is, I actually know numbers. Let me tell you, what these people give up when compared to what they should be making and adding in people like you who are ready to throw them under the bus in a heartbeat while making false statements about their motivations, most people don’t deserve the benefits that those guys win for them in the courts. They don’t get their names attached to the cases, they do it all for the cause. And you show this kind of appreciation to them.

    When you’re really ready for battle, come prepared. Don’t suddenly extend your definition of lawyers to include non-lawyers who happened to have caused problems, and in fact did partially because he fits more in that roughneck category and didn’t think about the future use of his words given the context and constraints of the show. Don’t pull out a single example from years ago that happened to be a big fluke in the entire history of NRA’s legal battles and expect anyone to take you seriously. Don’t fling shit attacks about their motivation when you know you don’t actually have numbers to back it up.

    If you’re going to attack, make sure it’s credible. And choose your battles wisely. You picked a fight on lawyers, be prepared to argue and understand the legal issues like a lawyer. That includes protocol, context and details that pull from years of case law. If you can’t do that, don’t pick the fight.

  23. Xrlq Says:

    Xrlq: “We’re not here asking to carry them, other than in the home.”

    That sounds a bit like a ban on carry outside of the home.

    It may “sound” that way to a mindless NRA-basher bent on finding something mindless to bash the NRA about, but to us lawyer types … spit … who are more interested in winning cases than in losing them, it sounds more like he was appropriately narrowing the scope of what his case was and wasn’t about. He didn’t say a ban on carry was OK, only that it was irrelevant to his client’s case, ergo, the court could rule in his client’s favor without having to tackle the thornier issue of what restrictions, if any, the government may impose on carry outside the home. That’s the next case, for the next client – the guy who really does want to carry a gun outside his home. It’s not this case, however, and Halbrook was right to stress that fact.

    Bitter : The publicly available information doesn’t seem to support the “quarter of what they would be making in the financial market”, at least the stuff Ive found, but I know too little about the subject to debate it and thus take your word for it.

    As you should. As one of those “lawyer types” who recently turned down an interview for a position with a major gun rights group on account of the piss-poor pay, I can vouch for that figure firsthand. Granted, it was slightly more than one-third of what I make, but that’s because I work in-house. My classmates who stuck with major firms easily earn 4x what I would have made there.

  24. Joe Says:

    All the above cr*pola is why my favorite RA Heinlein quote is…. “The Year They Hanged the Lawyers”

  25. MichaelG Says:

    Xlrq wrote:
    “… saying that government may prohibit people from falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater.”
    I am *so* tired of hearing that example and it is actually a rather bad one to use in relation to a RKBA discussion. Because the government can not
    prevent people from yelling fire anywhere. What they can do is lay down consequences upon someone for having yelled it inappropriately. On the other hand the government can, has and does, at many levels, infringe upon ownership and carrying of arms. (And not just firearms.)

    To try to use the fire analogy in a RKBA sense, the government has essentially handcuffed us (I use to live in NJ & now live in IL) to prevent
    us from defending ourselves because some people are afraid that we
    might start punching and hitting people indescrimently. The 1A equivalent
    will be when the laws require us to wear gags that may only be removed
    after receiving written permission from a government person who has
    examined us in relation to some criteria that was established without
    elected representation voting upon it.

    Bitter, you jumped all over what Kim wrote about NRA lawyers, but
    I don’t see you providing any openly verifiable facts to support your points
    either. Frankly I got tired of your no compromise support of the NRA sometime ago and stopped reading your blog because of it.

    I agree with what SaysUncle wrote about supporting the NRA without
    necessarily agreeing with everything they say or do. Rather like having
    a really good friend, that sometimes votes for candidates that you hate.

    Frankly, I joined the NRA this year for three reasons:
    1 – The rifle range I wanted to join required it.
    2 – I felt it needed more people like “Uncle Ted”.
    3 – Reasons 1 & 2 finally got me over the worst of my fear on being
    on someone’s list as a gun owner. Which I had long before Red Dawn.

    If the NRA had a presence in NJ neither I nor the politicians noticed over
    the 20 years I lived there. And other than the IL State Rifle Assoc, I’m
    not seeing a lot of NRA presence here either.

    MichaelG
    I think that the fire thing is finally going to get me to write a new entry
    in my blog.