John Feinblatt (above left) is the president of Michael Bloomberg’s awkwardly named Everytown for Gun Safety. He’s celebrating the recent spate of “bad news” for the NRA. As prominent members of the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex are
paid wont to do, he’s also accusing the NRA of lying about gun legislation.
Given his prominent position in the anti-woman anti-gun and anti-freedom anti-self-defense field, one of the greatest fundraising scams schemes of the 21st century, I’m pretty sure that Feinblatt is quite familiar with the myriad forms of lying which lay at the foundations of their cause.
His latest HuffPo bloviation, Amid Bad Weeks For The NRA, Gun Lobby Misleads The Public About Dangerous Bill, goes something like this:
It’s been a bad few weeks at NRA headquarters.
First, the gun lobby lost …
Stop right there! You’d think that someone as involved in the anti-civil rights movement as Feinblatt would understand the difference between the NRA and the NRA-ILA.
The first is an organization founded in 1871 to train those Damned Yankees how to shoot straight, and has expanded its focus over the decades to include training civilians and cops in gun safety, range safety and self-defense, organizing competitive shooting matches, protecting, enhancing, and training safety officers for shooting ranges, teaching gun safety in schools, etc.
The NRA-ILA is (as the name says) a non-tax-exempt legislative lobbying arm representing the millions of members and tens of millions of active shooters across the country.
Anyway, back to the schadenfreude:
First, the gun lobby lost in the court of public opinion. The Pew Research Center released its annual survey of Americans’ opinions on guns – and the clear majority of us oppose the gun lobby’s policy priorities. …
Actually clear majority of Americans are opposed to the NSSF’s FixNICS initiative, a program aimed at:
improving the current NICS system by increasing the number of prohibiting records states submit to the FBI databases, helping to prevent illegal transfers of firearms to those who are prohibited from owning firearms under current law.
Oops! In fact, the survey says that eighty-nine percent of Americans favor “preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns,” with seventy-three percent strongly favoring it.
This is how people like Feinblatt pretend that anti-gunners are the reasonable ones, and we “gun nuts” are the, well, nuts.
They also count on the general public’s ignorance of the subject. For example, 83% of the Pew poll respondents support “barring gun purchases by people on no-fly or watch lists.”
My sister Kathleen and I aren’t allowed to discuss politics, because I am insanely libertarian and she is a Democrat. A few visits ago, however, she asked me how anyone could justify opposing this measure (keeping people on the no-fly list from buying guns).
So I explained the differences between the no-fly list and the terror watch list, and pointed out that no one knows how you even get on the no-fly list much less how to get off it, because the criteria are classified.
She wound up agreeing that maybe I was right.
Feinblatt doesn’t actually mention universal background checks (UBCs), but I want to point out an interesting little tidbit about the Pew poll question on the subject; the poll shows that 84% are in favor of “requiring background checks for private sales and at gun shows.”
Did you catch that? It’s subtle, and I freely admit that I missed it the first few times through, but let me edit it and then read the question again: Are you in favor of requiring background checks … at gun shows.
The way they have the question phrased, they’re strongly implying that background checks aren’t currently required at gun shows. Nope, no bias in this poll.
But enough about the Feinblatt’s B.S. about B.S. poll questions. What other defeats has the NRA suffered?
Next, the gun lobby lost before one of its legal challenges could even reach the Supreme Court. SCOTUS declined to hear the NRA-backed suit Peruta v. County of San Diego – a denial consistent with decisions by four federal appeals courts.
Each ruled that the Second Amendment, contrary to gun lobby ideology, does indeed allow states and localities to decide who can carry concealed guns in public.
For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.
The only problem with their “reasoning” as applied by those courts: these laws were designed to fight the “assassins and robbers” who would hide their weapons to better carry out their evil. People in general could, would and did carry guns openly; that was what gentlemen and honest laborers did.
In fact this is why the 9th Circuit originally ruled in Edward Peruta et al.’s favor; since the Supreme Court ruled in Heller that the Second Amendment’s core right is that of self-defense, and since California effectively bans open carry, then in order to get a permit to carry concealed, citizens should not have to show “good cause” beyond personal self-defense.
Naturally, later court rulings and Feinblatt completely ignore the meaning of Heller’s historical analysis, jumping instead on the threadbare excuse it allows them to rule against law-abiding citizens arming themselves for self-defense.
The fourth federal appeals court decision which Feinblatt obliquely refers to is from the 3rd Circuit Court, Drake v. Filko, out of that bastion of firearms liberty, New Jersey. In Drake, the Court at least had the originality to use a different phrase from that paragraph, and its accompanying footnote to determine:
We’ve been violating peoples’ natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional rights for so long now, that these violations qualify as “longstanding” and they are therefore “presumptively lawful” so we don’t even have to consider whether they might not be constitutional.
Okay, maybe that isn’t exactly what they said, but it is certainly the gist of the decision.
All I can say is it’s a good thing this Court wasn’t the one deciding Brown v. Board of Education or Loving v. Virginia. No doubt they would have held that segregation and anti-miscegenation laws, having been so longstanding, were therefore presumptively lawful.
Now we come to the worst part of the NRA’s weeks, and the “dangerous bill” they are misleading the public on:
With the losses piling up, the gun lobby and its allies are getting desperate. … And as the gun lobby’s “guns for anyone, anywhere” agenda stalls in DC, one congressman is trying to jumpstart it with the argument that enacting “Concealed Carry Reciprocity” would be akin to the current system for recognizing driver’s licenses across state lines.
As you might imagine, Feinblatt and his crew are vehemently opposed to the idea of national reciprocity. So much so that he spends the next 500 words or so explaining how permits to carry are nothing like driver’s licenses and how horrible it would be if a law-abiding gun owner from, say, Georgia, or Wisconsin, or Tennessee, or Indiana, or Texas, or … anywhere were able to visit New York City without facing the prospect of having to spend 3 ½ years there at the taxpayers’ expense.
Feinblatt drones on and on about how some states don’t require training, don’t require live fire tests, don’t prevent “stalkers or abusive dating partners or drunk drivers from carrying.”
Then there are other states that don’t allow sheriffs to arbitrarily “deny applicants who have red flags and pose a public danger,” all of which, as far as I can tell, convince Feinblatt that as soon as this law passes we will have blood in the streets, road rage rampages, parking lot shootouts, etc., ad nauseum.
Yes, these are all the same arguments we’ve heard every single time a state started debating “shall-issue” permit laws, and none of these scenarios came to pass.
In fact, the best the antis have been able to claim lately is that in states where shall-issue passed crime rates went down, just not as fast as they would have without passing shall-issue.
What this all boils down to is the usual fear-mongering with a soupçon of innuendo and lies. As always, the best way to deal with that is by employing the clear, pure light of truth. As John Lott points out in this piece from The Hill:
Permits have been revoked for firearms-related violations at rates of thousandths of one percentage point. Civilian permit holders are less likely than police officers to be convicted of a firearms violation.
So, Mr. Feinblatt, take a couple of deep breaths and relax. No matter how much you’d like to think otherwise, the sky is not falling. It’s going to be OK. Really.