What it looks like when you’re ‘mugged by reality.’ At :30 in it gets serious… READ IT ALL
SOURCE: TheBlaze.com, Carlos Garcia
Viewers of the progressive cable news network MSNBC were stunned to hear a justification for 2nd Amendment gun rights after violence broke out in Venezuela by the government against their unarmed citizenry.
MSNBC news anchor Andrea Mitchell was speaking to their correspondent Kerry Sanders when he made what sounded like a common gun rights argument.
“This is taking longer than they thought,” said Mitchell of the U.S. efforts to unseat Venezuelan dictator Maduro, “despite the sanctions, despite the pressure, with the help of Russia and other outside forces, Maduro is hanging on.”
“Not only hanging on,” agreed Sanders, “but he appears to still control the military. You have to understand that in Venezuela, gun ownership is not something that is open to everybody, so if the military have the guns, they have the power. And as long as Nicolas Maduro controls the military, he controls the country.”
Sanders was unwittingly making the argument for gun rights in order to secure the liberty of the people against what often veers into government tyranny.
“And Juan Guaido and his supporters have tried to peacefully protest,” Sanders explained, “they have gathered in large numbers. What we saw today when he met early this morning and stood there in front of those wearing uniforms, appear to be rank and file members who have switched their allegiance. We have seen over the recent months, those who have switched their allegiance, but not en masse.”
The surprise defense of gun rights from a network that often defends and advocates for greater gun control was widely celebrated on social media by proponents of the 2nd Amendment.
Proposed firearm-specific tax hikes promise radically higher costs to gun owners. READ MORE
It’s no secret that the Garden State is hardly Eden for Second Amendment supporters, who are subjected there to some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation. But now Democrat Gov. Philip D. Murphy is targeting New Jersey’s law-abiding gun owners and would-be gun owners with proposals to increase by several orders of magnitude the mandatory fees state residents must pay to own or carry firearms. These anti-gun taxes would hit low-income residents the hardest, predictably pricing many of them out of the gun market entirely, even though they typically live in the state’s highest crime areas.
As reported in a New York Times article published on April 22, Murphy proposes to hike the fees for a firearm identification card from $5 to $100, a permit to own a firearm from $2 to $50, and a permit to carry a firearm from $20 to $400.
He additionally wants to impose excise taxes of 2.5% on firearms and 10% on ammunition.
The article states that although Murphy “is prohibited by state law from directing the new revenue toward specific programs,” he insisted “it would go toward anti-violence initiatives.”
The Times article mentions no evidence that Murphy’s plan would have any beneficial effect on violent crime, going so far as to say that “gun control advocates and researchers” were “not certain” that “higher fees alone would reduce violence.”
Indeed, as we have noted many times before, criminals typically go outside legitimate retail markets to obtain the firearms used in their offenses.
But research by economist John Lott reveals the most predictable outcome of raising fees for firearm-related permits, licenses, and mandatory training is simply to suppress the number of people who lawfully exercise their Second Amendment rights. Because fewer people can afford to participate in lawful gun markets, moreover, the promised funding for anti-violence initiatives never materializes. Meanwhile, the costs of policing low-income neighborhoods where law-abiding residents are disarmed may well increase.
All this presumably is not lost on Gov. Murphy, who believes imposing affirmative steps for voter registration (such as obtaining a state-issued ID) is tantamount to “voter suppression.” He can hardly escape the conclusion that punitive taxes aimed specifically at law-abiding firearm purchasers, especially when heaped upon the considerable delays and bureaucratic procedures New Jersey requires simply to keep a firearm in one’s home, are an even more drastic form of suppression.
Murphy’s proposals are so drastic and patently discriminatory that even some of his normally anti-gun Democrat colleagues are not enthusiastic. The Times quotes Democrat Stephen M. Sweeney, Senate President, as stating, “Just to check a box to say you did something, I’m not sure that’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to raise a lot of money.” Former Colorado governor and current Democrat presidential candidate John Hickenlooper agreed in the Times article that raising costs would “reduce” participation in otherwise lawful activity. “But I’m not sure that’s the right way to make policy,” he admitted.
Murphy himself, however, seems unburdened by such concerns, proving that he’s just as comfortable with hypocrisy and double standards as he is with infringing the Second Amendment rights of New Jersey residents.
President Trump vows to get the United States out of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. READ MORE
During his speech to the 2019 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum, President Trump announced that he would “unsign” the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) effectively withdrawing the United States from the treaty.
Officially signed onto by the United States in 2013 by former Secretary of State John Kerry, the ATT represented the most dangerous step yet taken by international gun ban advocates. By announcing that he will officially withdraw the United States from the treaty, President Trump made clear that he would not abdicate control over the rights of law-abiding gun owners to foreign bureaucrats. He then signed, in front of all in attendance, a formal letter to the Senate requesting that it halt the ratification process and return the treaty to the Oval Office, where President Trump would “dispose” of it.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of President Trump’s actions to protect gun owners from international gun control. As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox put it, ?“today in front of 15,000 NRA members, President Trump once again demonstrated his commitment to our Second Amendment freedoms and American Sovereignty. His commitment to un-sign the anti-gun United Nations Arms Trade Treaty that was forced on us by John Kerry and Barrack Obama, gives NRA members one more reason to enthusiastically support his presidency. Donald Trump isn’t afraid to stand on the side of freedom and defend our God-given right to self-defense and we couldn’t be prouder to stand with him.”
While never ratified by the United States Senate, even unsigned treaties can be dangerous when they attempt to bind the United States to refrain from any act that would defeat the “object and purpose” of the treaty. This type of vague policy statement is typical of the many intentionally unclear provisions of the ATT that we have repeatedly warned could be used by future administrations or foreign bureaucrats to restrict the rights of law-abiding American gun owners.
In fact, the ATT was drafted with the express purpose of allowing future foreign officials to be able to amend the treaty without the agreement of the United States. By requiring only 3/4 of the treaty signatories to create an amendment to the treaty, the future danger of the treaty to American gun owners was effectively limitless.
Please join us in thanking President Trump for putting the constitutional rights of American gun owners ahead of the interests of foreign gun control advocates.
The Swiss have had a long-standing and proud tradition of gun ownership. It’s being infringed on. READ MORE
On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud history of voting to protect their firearms heritage. In 2011, the Swiss electorate rejected a ballot measure that would have ended the tradition of militia members keeping their firearms at home and burdened law-abiding gun owners with federal gun registration and new acquisition requirements.
Less than a week after the November 13, 2015, terrorist attack at the Bataclan theater in Paris, the European Union expedited its pre-existing plans to amend the European Firearms Directive. The European Firearms Directive sets the minimum threshold of gun regulation that EU member states must enact.
Finalized in May 2017, the new European Firearms Directive included a significant expansion of firearms registration and licensing requirements. Moreover, the European Firearms Directive prohibited most gun owners from accessing the following categories of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms,
Any of the following centre-fire semi-automatic firearms:
(a) short firearms which allow the firing of more than 21 rounds without reloading, if:
(i) a loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is part of that firearm; or
(ii) a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 20 rounds is inserted into it;
(b) long firearms which allow the firing of more than 11 rounds without reloading, if:
(i) a loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is part of that firearm; or
(ii) a detachable loading device with a capacity exceeding 10 rounds is inserted into it.
EU member states were given 15 months to conform their national laws to most portions of the European Firearms Directive and 30 months to conform to the registration provisions.
Neutral Switzerland is not a member of the EU. However, the country is a member of the Schengen Area – a coalition of European countries that have abolished the border controls between their nations. As a member of the Schengen Area, the Swiss are obligated to comply with the EU’s firearms mandates. During the convoluted EU legislative process, the Swiss were able to secure a small concession from the EU to permit preservation of its longstanding tradition of allowing members of the militia to keep their service rifles after their term of service.
In December 2017, Swiss gun rights group ProTell made clear that the group would oppose the attempt to align Swiss gun laws to the European Firearms Directive by referendum if necessary. On September 28, 2018 both houses of the Swiss Federal Assembly (parliament) voted to revise the country’s firearms laws to comport with the EU’s mandate.
After the Federal Assembly capitulated to Brussels’s demands, Swiss gun rights activists made good on their promise. On January 17, the pro-gun referendum committee submitted the necessary signatures to put the changes to Swiss gun law to a popular vote on May 19. Voters will be asked if they “Ja” support the Federal Assembly’s surrender to the EU, or “Nein” do not want the country to adopt the EU gun control requirements.
The referendum committee has developed the “Nein” campaign to promote the pro-gun rights position on the ballot. The “Nein” campaign has attracted a wide variety of support, including backing from many of the various archery and shooting sports clubs and organizations, ProTell, the largest political party in the National Council the Swiss People’s Party (SVP), and militia organizations. The campaign materials highlight Swiss shooters from all walks of life and point out that the attempt to conform Swiss firearms law to the European Firearms Directive is wrong, hostile to freedom, useless, dangerous, and anti-Swiss.
The referendum campaign shows that there are many in Switzerland that possess a deep understanding of the vital role an armed populace plays in a system of ordered liberty. The referendum committee website published a piece from SVP National Councilor Werner Salzmann which explained,
There are three mechanisms of protection that have proven effective throughout history to prevent state arbitrariness and human rights abuses: the separation of powers, the right to freedom of expression and the right to private firearms ownership.
All three of these protections have always been exceptionally well developed in Switzerland. The power-limiting effect of the separation of powers is reinforced in Switzerland by the referendum and initiative right. So-called “hate speech” censorship, as in Germany, does not exist with us. And every law-abiding, mentally unremarkable citizen in Switzerland could always buy as many commercial weapons and ammunition as she wanted. [Translated from the original German using Google Translate]
The referendum committee’s fact sheets point out several of the specific problems with the European Firearms Directive. The EU laws would turn the right to own commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms into a privilege. The measure would curtail possession of the civilian versions of the military’s SIG SG 510 and SIG SG 550, which account for 80 percent of the rifles used in sports shooting. Casual shooters could face disarmament, as they would not be able to provide the proof of the need for a semi-automatic firearm required by EU law.
The campaign has also made clear that the 2017 additions to the European Firearms Directive are only the beginning of the EU’s gun control efforts. Article 17 of the Directive requires that every five years the European Commission must “submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a report on the application of [the European Firearms] Directive, including a fitness check of its provisions, accompanied, if appropriate, by legislative proposals…”
With the natural rights of the Swiss in the balance May 19, NRA will continue to monitor Switzerland’s European Firearms Directive Referendum and keep American gun owners apprised of the latest developments.
New York City asks the U.S. Supreme Court to take a break in reviewing NYC’s anti-second-amendment policies… That’s NOT how the Supreme Court works! READ MORE
Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in regards to last Friday’s attempt by the City of New York to dismiss the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al.:
“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years. Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward. We are confident that the Court will reject New York’s desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws.”
Seems that being a President Trump supporter and accepting a Christmas Card from NRA constitutes grounds for suspension. READ ALL ABOUT THIS.
Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges are two liberal arts institutions for women in the western part of Massachusetts. Both share a campus police department that until recently was overseen by Chief Daniel Hect, who took command February 18 of this year. Less than two months later, however, Hect finds himself on administrative leave after a wave of discontent following students’ scrutiny of his social media accounts. The main complaints, at least according to the students themselves, center on Chief Hect having “liked” tweets that in some cases were issued by the National Rifle Association and in others were supportive of the president of the United States.
An April 9 article by The Sophian student newspaper at Smith described Hect as being “surrounded in controversy” after “students at Mount Holyoke found his Twitter page and pointed out several tweets he had liked.” The three tweets mentioned included one in which another Twitter user had written “Stay the course Pres. Trump.” A second was by another Twitter user who wrote, “BUILD THAT WALL.” The third supposedly offensive post was by the NRA and simply stated, “The National Rifle Association wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas!”
The article continued, “After spring break, the Mount Holyoke student body rose up on social media against this new hire and the sentiments that he brings to the campus by urging students to attend a community forum on March 21 with Hect himself.”
What, if any, other evidence of those “sentiments” the students uncovered is not explained in the article. The article does mention several attempts Chief Hect made to engage with students and allay their concerns.
A March 28 article from the Mount Holyoke News detailed one such event, describing it as featuring “tension and tears.” According to that article, “The concerns at the heart of the event primarily involved Hect’s social media presence, particularly on Twitter,” and specifically, “many of his liked tweets come from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and President Donald Trump.”
During the event, according to the article, Hect described his professional background and his philosophy on campus law enforcement. He told the students that the department under his leadership plans to “focus on community engagement [and students] getting to know the campus police as human beings.”
Yet the article noted: Most of the night’s questions … circled back to what the new chief’s social media history revealed about his apparent political alignment. Conversation centered around Hect’s political ideology, with particular emphasis given to the topics of immigration reform, police brutality and his personal opinions on Trump and the NRA.
It also focused on a particular student who was drawn to the event by the “possibility of Trump-supporting chief of police” and who told the reporter she had trust issues with police, “especially someone I’d heard might be a Trump supporter.”
The article reported that Hect denied during the event that he supports Donald Trump and strongly condemned police brutality, adding that he had used his tenure at another department to weed out officers “we shouldn’t have in uniform.” He also apologized for expressing support for the border wall, calling it, “a huge mistake.”
Yet another Sophian article from yet another event where Hect tried to engage concerned students focused on his Twitter “likes.” An unidentified student mentioned in that article characterized “the tweets he liked” as “against her and her existence because, to him, she was an ‘illegal.’” Hect told students at that event he did not intend to resign.
This week, however, Hect was placed on administrative leave by both colleges.
A brief notice to the Smith campus community from college president Kathleen McCartney attributed the move to “members of our campus community hav[ing] voiced a lack of trust” in Chief Hect.” No further explanation was provided.
In an undated “update,” president Sonya Stephens of Mount Holyoke cited “concerns about the ability of Chief Daniel Hect to develop the level of trust required to engage in community policing” as the basis for his suspension from duty. The update flatly denied that Chief Hect was “put on leave for social media or political views” and insisted that neither is taken into account in the college’s hiring process.
What other concerns might exist about Chief Hect, however, remain unexplained.
Media coverage and the explanations of students themselves continue to focus on Hect’s social media likes and politics. Newsweek cited “[s]tudent’s frustration towards Hect’s political affiliation and personal beliefs,” as reflected in his “social media activity.” Masslive.com and the Daily Hampshire Gazette quoted the statements of the college presidents but gave no explanation for the students’ discontent other than Hect’s social media activity. Radio station WHMP reported on the story under the headline, “Joint Smith, Mt. Holyoke Police Chief Suspended for Social Media Activity.”
Meanwhile, a Dailywire article quoted a student who shared screenshots of the supposedly offensive tweets as stating that it was
unacceptable for someone in charge of keeping any community safe, let alone a campus as diverse as MHC’s, to be publicly displaying his support for hateful regimes and organizations, as well as for individuals who demonize migrants from Mexico or other latin american nations.
A glowing tribute to Chief Hect from the student newspaper at Denison University painted a very different portrait of the long-time law enforcement professional as he left for an appointment at Xavier University. “Denison wishes him nothing but the best,” it stated.
Unfortunately for Chief Hect, it was actually the worst that was yet to come.
The same judge threw out the state’s ban on high-capacity magazines last week as infringing on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. READ MORE
EDITORS NOTE: Just after running the story last week here in Midsouth, there was a development, and here it is:
A federal judge on Friday halted sales of high-capacity ammunition magazines in California, giving state officials a chance to appeal his order last week that allowed their sale for the first time in nearly 20 years.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez barred further sales until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals considers whether to reinstate the state’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 bullets.
But the judge said those who bought the extended magazines since his initial order a week ago may keep them without fear of being prosecuted while the appeal proceeds.
Hundreds of thousands of gun owners may have bought the magazines since Benitez threw out the state’s ban last week as infringing on their Second Amendment right to bear arms, said Chuck Michel, an attorney for the National Rifle Association and the California Rifle & Pistol Association who filed the lawsuit that led to the ruling.
Under Benitez’s order, no one in California is permitted to manufacture, import, buy or sell large-capacity magazines as of 5 p.m. Friday.
California has prohibited such magazines since 2000, though people who had the magazines before then were allowed to keep them. Benitez last week threw out both the 2000 law and a 2016 law and ballot measure banning possession even by those who had owned them legally.
“All the people who bought the magazines in the last week are protected from prosecution, but any further purchase of these magazines is illegal for the moment,” Michel said. “There was 20 years of pent up demand for these self-defense tools, and several hundred thousand people bought them in the last week, maybe more than several hundred thousand.”
Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who sought the stay, warned in a court filing that it would be difficult for the state to remove the newly purchased magazines, even if the ban is reinstated.
“California leads the nation when it comes to common-sense gun laws. We should all be ensuring the safety of our communities, not fighting against long-standing laws that improve public safety,” Becerra said in a statement. He added that he’s confident the ban is constitutional.
Benitez acknowledged in his six-page stay order that other judges, in California and elsewhere, have upheld bans on high-capacity magazines.
“The Court understands that strong emotions are felt by people of good will on both sides of the Constitutional and social policy questions. The Court understands that thoughtful and law-abiding citizens can and do firmly hold competing opinions on firearm magazine restrictions,” he wrote.
“These concerns auger in favor of judicial deliberation. There is an immeasurable societal benefit of maintaining the immediate status quo while the process of judicial review takes place.”
Sheriff Steve Reams, who serves a Colorado county opposed to gun legislation, takes a firm stance against what he sees as an unconstitutional new law. READ MORE
SOURCE: Fort Collins Coloradoan, by Nick Coltrain; CNN, by Bryan Howard, photo by Ken Tillis
Colorado houses controlled by Democrats, passed a new red flag bill HB19- 1177. This bill will allow the state government to take away guns from anyone they want for no legal reasons. However, one Colorado Sheriff is standing up to these tyrannical politicians claiming he will not enforce the new law and is willing to go to jail over it.
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said, “It’s a matter of doing what’s right.” He has also said, “If you pass an unconstitutional law, our oaths as commissioners or myself as the sheriff — we’re going to follow our constitutional oath first. And we’ll do that balancing act on our own.”
Reams stated on Monday, “It’s unlike any other red flag bill that has been introduced anywhere in the United States. The issue is the person who is having their guns taken away isn’t aware of this hearing taking place. They find out about the hearing after the fact.”
Reams has said, “I’m not bluffing,” when he said he will not enforce the bill.
According to CNN, all 64 counties in Colorado oppose the anti second amendment law that will be enforced onto them, and about half of those have passed resolutions opposing the bill, symbolically declaring their counties “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” That list includes Weld County, Reams jurisdiction.
Reams could potentially face jail if a judge ordered his department to seize a person’s firearms; if Reams refused, he could face contempt of court charges.
Reams outlined concerns similar to those raised by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and the Larimer County Commissioners in the lead up to the bill’s passage: It violates due process and other Constitutional rights, it takes away people’s home defense, it’s logistically difficult for sheriff’s offices that aren’t equipped to keep and return the guns, and it addresses a symptom of a mental health crises, instead of a person’s overall mental health.
“If they’re such a significant risk to themselves that they shouldn’t have a gun, my feeling is the better focus is dealing with the person,” Reams said. “So let’s look at a mental health hold or something along those lines.”
He called for instead reducing the requirements to place someone in a mental health hold, and increasing the requirements for freeing that person. State statute regarding mental health holds currently requires the person to represent an imminent danger to their self or others; Reams would like it to be closer to the lower threshold of a significant threat included in the red flag bill.
“The thought process of denying someone, or taking that object away and it being a way to make them safe, it misses the root problem,” Reams said. “Mental health is where we should be focused, and we just keep passing that buck along, keep kicking that can along, and that’s where I want to see that investment go.”
To be clear, Sheriff Reams doesn’t want to go to jail. He’d much rather the issues he sees with the bill be sussed out and the attention be shifted to helping those in mental health crises.
“(Going to jail is) the absolute last thing I’d like to do,” Reams said in an interview with the Coloradoan following a CNN story headlined “This Colorado sheriff is willing to go to jail rather than enforce a proposed gun law.” See it HERE
“I’d much rather see this get worked out in the courts and dealt with in the courts before it ever comes to that point,” Reams told the Coloradoan. “But if and when the time comes, and this issue hasn’t been worked out in the courts, then, yeah, this is the last choice that I have.”
The bill allows family, members of the household or law enforcement to petition a court to have an individual’s guns seized or surrendered. A similar bill was stifled by the Republican-controlled Senate last year. The new Democratic legislature was able to move it through, and Gov. Polis, also a Democrat, has pledged to sign the measure into law.
“This bill will give law enforcement and families the tools that they need to stop tragedies from constantly happening and save lives,” said first-term Rep. Tom Sullivan, who sponsored the bill with House Majority Leader Alec Garnett.
Reams said he saw the conflict in enforcing state law versus respecting people’s Constitutional rights — and not just the headline-grabbing right to bear arms. He cited concerns with unlawful search and seizure, due process and equal protections clauses as well.
“It turns the Fourth, the Fifth, and the 14th amendment on their heads,” he said. “It does things so backwards from what we understand about due process. Anyone who looks at this with an honest eye has to have concerns. The Second Amendment is the easy thing to say is under attack, and that’s a portion of it, but that’s not the main portion. But it doesn’t resonate in headlines to say we’re defending the 14th Amendment.”
Several law enforcement officials testified for the bill, named after Zackari Parrish, a 29-year old sheriff’s deputy in Douglas County. The husband and father was shot and killed in a New Year’s Eve 2017 shooting by a man who had exhibited increasingly erratic behavior.
State Attorney General Phil Weiser, a Democrat, has said sheriffs who don’t want to enforce the measure should resign. Gov. Polis said on March 26 that he believes sheriffs are committed to enforcing laws approved at the Capitol. Polis also said sheriffs have discretion to decide which issues to focus on.
Reams said he wouldn’t resign in protest over the bill because he was elected to do the job of sheriff. Most of the constituent feedback he’s heard has been positive, he said.
“If I were to walk away in protest, or resign in protest, I’d be saying I’m not in it for the fight,” Reams said.
The red flag bill is the first major gun legislation to make its way through both Colorado legislative chambers since 2013, when lawmakers passed universal background checks and banned large-capacity ammunition magazines after the mass shootings in Aurora and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Thirteen other states have passed similar legislation. Florida passed its version after the 2018 Parkland school massacre.
Their anti-gun activities continue to dig Dick’s a deeper hole. Huge losses signal that Dick’s is dead in sportsman’s eyes. READ MORE
For the last year we’ve been reporting on the bizarre saga of Dick’s Sporting Goods’ transformation from a relatively functional purveyor of mainstream sporting goods to a groveling symbol of modern corporate virtue signaling. Last Friday, new evidence emerged of just how much that crusade has cost the retailer.
It hasn’t been a pretty story.
Dick’s CEO Edward Stack — with evident pressure from the media and anti-gun lobby — has embarked on an escalating series of policies to restrict the chain’s sale of guns, at one point a significant part of the company’s revenue stream.
Whether Stack had a sincere change of heart on the morality of his business model or whether he naively sought to protect his company with a futile attempt to appease a frothing mob that hates guns and capitalism with equal fervor is anyone’s guess.
But Stack went so far as to formally collaborate with the Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety and to sign a letter endorsing gun control bills pending on Capitol Hill. His company even retained corporate lobbyists to press Congress for additional gun control.
Needless to say, these moves resulted in Dick’s becoming synonymous with Benedict Arnold in the minds of well-informed Second Amendment supporters. Shoppers and major suppliers in the pro-gun community stopped doing business with Dick’s.
Now Bloomberg’s own media outlet, Bloomberg.com, is reporting that Dick’s itself estimates the price of its anti-gun advocacy at $150 million in lost sales in 2018, or almost 2% of the company’s annual revenue.
And while anti-gunners insisted they would reward Dick’s with increases in their own business, the same article mentions a new Stanford University study that casts doubt on that premise. According to that research, “Respondents said they were more likely to buy a product to support a CEO’s political stance than they were to boycott in disagreement, but their actions revealed the opposite.” The article continued, “When asked for specific examples, 69 percent could name a product they’d stopped buying, and only 21 percent could recall a product they started buying.”
So it seems, unsurprisingly, that being boastfully anti-gun is a dumb idea for a gun store, as is counting on the professed loyalty and support of anti-gunners (who, let’s face it, probably aren’t likely to be the most athletically inclined people and to need the other types of wares that Dick’s sells anyway).
Nevertheless, Stack remains defiant. “It was worth it,” the article quotes him as saying.
Easy for him to say when he’s successfully elevated his own perceived moral standing with his high-society peers by gambling with the money of his shareholders, who of course assumed much of the financial risk for Stack’s very public moralizing.
But make no mistake, Ed Stack remains a fabulously wealthy man, and the Dick’s retail empire remains big enough that it may successfully reshuffle its business model to remain viable.
But Ed Stack has done gun owners a favor by allowing them a myriad of opportunities to express their pro-Second Amendment commitments simply by avoiding any sort of purchase they may otherwise have made in his stores. Be it guns, ammunition, or even kayaks or baseball gloves, there are plenty of other outlets eager to serve the pro-gun public without condescending to them and collaborating with organizations that would take away their rights.
Dick’s corporate largesse may buy Ed Stack the fleeting admiration of the gun control and media elites.
But gun owners have long memories, and they will hopefully continue to add to the 150 million reminders they’ve already given Stack.
Major 2nd Amendment boost! Judge overturns California’s ban on “high-capacity” magazines, the ban was “turning the Constitution upside down.” READ MORE
In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined last Friday that California’s ban on commonly possessed firearm magazines violates the Second Amendment.
The case is Duncan v. Becerra.
The NRA-supported case had already been up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on the question of whether the law’s enforcement should be suspended during proceedings on its constitutionality. Last July, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit upheld Judge Benitez’s suspension of enforcement and sent the case back to him for further proceedings on the merits of the law itself.
Judge Benitez rendered his opinion late Friday afternoon and handed Second Amendment supporters a sweeping victory by completely invalidating California’s 10-round limit on magazine capacity. “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he declared.
In a scholarly and comprehensive opinion, Judge Benitez subjected the ban both to the constitutional analysis he argued was required by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and a more complicated and flexible test the Ninth Circuit has applied in prior Second Amendment cases.
Either way, Judge Benitez ruled, the law would fail. Indeed, he characterized the California law as “turning the Constitution upside down.” He also systematically dismantled each of the state’s purported justifications for the law, demonstrating the factual and legal inconsistencies of their claims.
NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox hailed the decision as a “huge win for gun owners” and a “landmark recognition of what courts have too often treated as a disfavored right.”
“Judge Benitez took the Second Amendment seriously and came to the conclusion required by the Constitution,” Cox said. “The same should be true of any court analyzing a ban on a class of arms law-abiding Americans commonly possess for self-defense or other lawful purposes.”
Unfortunately, Friday’s opinion is not likely to be the last word on the case. The state will likely appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which has proven notably hostile to the Second Amendment in past decisions.
Nevertheless, the thoroughness of Judge Benitez’s analysis should give Second Amendment supporters the best possible chance for success in appellate proceedings, particularly if the case ultimately lands before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the meantime, Friday’s order prohibits California from enforcing its magazine restrictions, leaving its law-abiding residents safer and freer, at least for the time being.
To stay up-to-date on the Duncan case and other important Second Amendment issues affecting California gun owners, click HERE. And be sure to subscribe to NRA-ILA and CRPA email alerts HERE and HERE.