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“Improbably, the gun movement’s triumph has become a template for progressives, many of whom are appalled by the substance of the victories. The triumph of gun rights reminds us today: If you want to win in the court of law, first win in the court of public opinion.” – Michael Waldman, president of the NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice in ‘The Path to Safer Guns’ [at]

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  1. Waldman’s plea for safer guns is another impassioned rant by a man ignorant of both public safety and of how guns really work.

    One part, however, is quite accurate: public opinion must be positive towards firearms for the law to stand a chance. If we rest on our laurels now and call Heller the end of the story, well see the 2nd Amendment go the way of the 10th.

    • True. The job of defending liberty is never over, as our opposition verifies on a near-daily basis by vocalizing their wish-list of useless restrictions which would put us at the top of a very slippery slope.

      Vigilance, all.

    • Econ 101 dictates that if we gunowners wanted “safer guns”, we’d buy them. Waldman is suggesting we be forced to own safer (read less effective, less reliable) guns. Fortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way.

    • He does not really “get it”. He still thinks public opinion is shaped by the old media. What happened is a long march to build new media, or “anti-media” to educate the public. The “progressives” think that they can change public perception by flashy, shallow media campaigns, such as Bloomberg is now doing.

      That is not really how it works. Those people do not stay propagandised for long. However, that long hard road of scholarship, facts, and education is what got the gun culture where it is today.

      Waldeman simply refuses to recognize that the facts, the Constitution, and the culture are on our side. He dislikes reality, and is campaigning against it.

      • He does not really “get it”. He still thinks public opinion is shaped by the old media.

        What we need to do to help him and others “get it” is round up some scruffy mouth breathers and open carry rifles at the local Target or Starbucks. That’ll help the cause. Or something.

        It’s interesting that on the one hand, you acknowledge that public opinion matters. And on the other, you think that people who open carry rifles into stores – giving the worst PR possible without actually shooting anyone – is a really brilliant idea. The mind reels.

        • Actually most people here think that those openly carrying rifles in baby isles are nothing more than attention grabbing morons. There is a big difference between those guys and the rest of pro-gun supporters, like there is a difference between someone with a sign that says “God Hates You” and someone passing out fliers for sunday service with a smile and friendly greeting. Those open carriers are hurting gun rights more, far more than they are doing to help it.

      • Actually, I think a lot of the established mainstream liberal media has discredited itself so badly that they have lost a lot of credibility with much of the public. This is why you have the rise of conservative and alternative media.

  2. The author points to the evolution of car safety as a model for gun safety, then ignores the evolution of gun safety by invoking an ancient law banning loaded black powder rifles in the home.

    • Wow, there’s a lot going on here.

      “These days that public opinion is fractured. And gun control laws aren’t passing. Even a bi-partisan bill on background checks for gun purchases that had a 90 percent approval rating from Democrats and 84 percent approval from Republicans and independents failed to pass in the Senate.”

      I see Waldman trots out the old “everyone supports it, but we STILL could not get it passed” crap.

      How could that POSSIBLY be? If 84%+ of Congress supported it, WHAT STOPPED THEM?

      Wait…could it be that they did NOT support it? That their constituents did NOT support it? That your numbers are FULL OF FECES?

      “That gridlock has a chilling effect on technological innovation.”

      Bull snot, Waldman. Companies don’t “innovate” because of government, though I realize you think EVERYTHING stems from government. Companies innovate technology because they see a market path to making money.

      Geez, the subliminal statist thinking is sickening.

      ” Jim Schaff, vice president of Yardam Technologies. is quoted in this article saying, “The path to the consumer market is a challenging path… As a startup, there is only so much risk you can afford.” Yardam was originally working on smart gun technology, but switched paths because of the opposition it anticipated. “

      So, Mr. Schaff basically is making business decisions based on potential markets?


      Who would have thought THAT?

      You mean, he’s not risking HIS OWN MONEY to develop products based on some misguided and poorly conceived notion of “social consciousness” or to feed the political whims of the Progressive movement?

      You mean he’s a CAPITALIST? And worse…a capitalist that declined risking HIS OWN MONEY when a simple cost-benefit analysis showed he would probably not get a RETURN ON HIS INVESTMENT?

      I’m stunned. Truly stunned.

      Stunned that either an academic hack like Waldman fails to what’s right in front of him or worse…stunned that he thinks people are stupid enough to buy into his claptrap.

      • Excellent post all around. Former NC’er here in AZ now.

        The number of people who think “social justice” is a thing and not a buzzword staggers me.

        • Social justice is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s great as an individual ethic and even as a business ethic, but it’s a terrible foundation for lawmaking and government.

          The problem is that, like most of the progressive left’s favorite concepts, it’s shifty and nebulous. How do you know when you’ve achieved social justice? How do you legally define the social crimes your justice system will punish? Marxism and communism began as attempts at governing via social justice (economic equality for all!), and just look how well that turned out.

          Social justice could actually work as a libertarian construct, where individuals and groups voluntarily embrace it in the sphere of personal action. When government authority and coercive laws are involved, it’s a nightmare.

        • @Ing

          Social justice does not work on a libertarian personal level, because it’s all focused on imaginary injustices. If anything the precised social injustices will be worst on a libertarian personal level due to people being more focused actual the actual merits of individuals instead of forcing people to treat to unequal people as equals.

      • Indeed. And the sharp proliferation of women obtaining their CCW permits across the nation must be especially worrisome for those wanting to effect change in public opinion regarding individual gun ownership.

        Also: that Manchin-Toomey was unable to pass merely puts the lie to the claim that some push poll showing 80-90% support for “universal background checks” is in any way reflective of actual public opinion.

        As for government/legislative stimulus being required for private-sector innovation or market movement: I cite as exhibit A US oil production. Obama effectively clamped down on drilling on public lands, and yet the US has increased its oil production to all-time highs. Why? Because of drilling on private lands. The oil industry is thriving despite direct government (fiat) action in opposition to that success.

        As others have said: if the market wanted “smart gun” technology in its current iteration, the market would demonstrate its demand, with or without governmental impetus.

      • Even a bi-partisan bill on background checks for gun purchases that had a 90 percent approval rating from Democrats and 84 percent approval from Republicans and independents failed to pass in the Senate.” One might want to carefully examine that questionnaire as it did not state what the liberal media thinks it stated. Actually, one of the questions was if you thought Obama or LaPierre was correct and a slim majority agreed with Wayne.

    • Yeah, a sad story, but good grief…

      ” “I had really gone out too far on my own,” Smith said. “I came down along the river and ran along the side of Islamic Darfuri refugees … and they attacked me not knowing who I was or what I was doing, beat me pretty severely and raped me.” “

      Beyond “blame the victim” and into “victim blames herself.”

      They attacked not knowing who she was or what she was doing?

      I’m sorry, her lack of recognition of a firearm making a difference may be the least of her problems. She is COMPLETELY disconnected from reality in my estimation.

      (Maybe they attacked her precisely because of who she was and what she was doing?)

    • Dirk, she was in Darfur. If she had tried to defend herself she would more than likely be dead. Outnumbered a thousand to one with everyone armed is not the time to start a gunfight. OTOH, what a fool for being there! Term “asking for it” comes to mind.

      • I admire her courage for being there and being part of trying to improve the situation there. She volunteered for that, and I can’t blame her for it.

        But it is mind boggling that she accepted/accepts zero responsibility for her own personal safety while there. She put herself into harm’s way without a realistic assessment of what that entails.

        Sad; truly, truly sad. Sad that she was thus attacked, but also sad that she seems to really think “wishing” bad people did not exist (in Darfur!) makes it so.

  3. Let us not forget the police (chiefs and others) that support crap like this so-called Smart Gun technology, although they always seem to end up with an exemption.

    Let us all come together and say, for the safety of all, that any Smart Gun technology must be successfully used by a majority of police forces for a period of 10 years, before it can be legally required of non-police users.

    That will have two advantages; first, to make sure the technology is near-foolproof and mature before mandating non-police use, and second, it should prevent most police from lining-up to endorse it for everyone else, as THEY don’t want to be the guinea pigs / beta-testers either.

    • Yeah, and no increase in overall funding, either. They can keep lowering pay to enable the wonderful purchase of those essential smart guns, incidentally funding the R&D and initial tooling costs for production.

    • I’ve spent my lifetime in technology (computer engineering), working on bleeding edge stuff, and it is my strong opinion that mandating technology is a terrible idea. It is the very definition of putting the cart before the horse–cart being expectations and horse being technology.

      10 years of reliable service in police departments, coupled with favorable reviews from end users is enough to market any new technology without a mandate. People should be free to decide for themselves to adopt or not to adopt new technologies. They should be free to be early adopters if they believe or are curious enough to part with their money, and they should be free to reject technology that they do not want.

      If I’m coming together for anything it’s to say that mandating features is every bit as bad as banning them. Both are infringements and neither has a place in our laws and policies.

      • Perhaps I wasn’t clear; I was only proposing the 10-years-of-cop-use to kill the program, not because I endorse it.

        • No, I think you were clear enough. Don’t take that as confrontational; I understand what you’re getting at and I think we’re on the same side. Mandates are just one area in which I’m not willing to entertain half-measures or end-round tactics. I’d rather dispel the whole notion that any technology is infallible no matter how well it may seem to accomplish it’s intended function.

    • It has made my day that you put scholarly in quotes.

      Who pays these people to invent the tripe they promote? (rhetorical…I know that WE are paying them, and that’s about as screwed up a thing as I can imagine).

  4. Accidental gun deaths by real children, (14 Y/O and younger) is at the bottom of the for all the accidental ways that a child can die; below drownings, poisoning from chemicals under the sink and car wrecks.

    The rest of the 30,000 deaths by guns; over 18,000 are suicide, which are unaffected by methods,(outlaw guns and hanging or jumping off buildings becomes more common leaving the 18,000 number unchanged).

    So the final number of murder by guns(9000+-, because the rest are committed with blunt objects) would be unaffected by safety features on a gun. This is still on the bottom of the list of causes of Heath below medical mistakes which are in the 100’s of thousands, and car wrecks.

    These “intellectual elite” in the end; are using their positions of accumulated generational respect pioneered by their “scientific method” forbearers to prostitute themselves in the the attempt to “social engineer” a peaceful “utopia” by obfuscation, manipulation, misdirection and out right lies; they are destroying any respect for them and their “voodoo science”.

    They are destroying the base of any civilization; it is the trust of the people that the scientific, as well as the justice system will ultimately support truth, and punish lies and corruption; when that trust is gone; then nothing is left but tribalism and a dog eat dog law of the jungle.

  5. ST, I don’t think anyone who is Second Amendment supporter thinks of Heller as the end of the war.

    It is the first significant battle we’ve won since the attacks on our Second Amendment Rights began in 1933.

    I won’t consider the war won until;
    The1933 NFA, the 1968 GCA and Hughs Amendment are repealed.
    The ATF is disbanded and its functions are absorbed by treasury and the FBI.
    Federal preminince and national reciprocity regarding firearms becomes the law of the land.

    Until then, we are winning our battles, but the war is far from over, and I think most of us understand that.

    It is fun watching the anti gunners get all butthurt about losing public support, though.

    • “It is fun watching the anti gunners get all butthurt about losing public support, though.”

      Indeed it is, but as they lose, they get crazier and crazier.

      The problem with that is that this pendulum swings back and forth, and if they start gaining some support again, it will be while they are saying some truly crazy, desperate stuff. If that stuff starts gaining traction, our fight becomes all the harder.

      One of the most powerful weapons we have in this fight is to continue to show them for nuts they are…the stuff they say just simply is not grounded in any observable reality.

    • I’m with you on repeal of all of the federal infringements, but not on federal imposition of national reciprocity. Such a policy could be mandated by about a one paragraph bill, but when has the federal government passed a bill into law that isn’t hundreds of pages long? It’s those additional hundreds of pages beyond the very simple requirement of national reciprocity that would no doubt end up being many steps back in exchange for that one tiny step forward.

      Moreover, even on national reciprocity itself, anything the federal government gives, the federal government can take away and/or attach strings. The national reciprocity you actually get could be something you never wanted.

      Besides, reciprocity is already available, among most states you’d want to visit, anyway. I believe in state sovereignty and would expect the states to enter into their own bilateral, multilateral, or even unilateral, reciprocity agreements, as numerous states have. Let the states lead the way in marginalizing the federal government and nudging it out of relevance such day-to-day domestic issues.

      Finally, given that the federal government is the primary source of firearms infringement in this country, it makes more strategic sense just to try to eliminate those infringements than to try to enlist the federal government as an agent for advancement of freedoms. That is, it’s possible to dam a river and tame its destruction, but expecting it to reverse course or otherwise change its direction, is too much to expect.

      • Such a policy could be mandated by about a one paragraph bill, but when has the federal government passed a bill into law that isn’t hundreds of pages long?

        Such a policy is mandated by the Second Amendment. One SENTENCE long. Has been for quite a while. How’s that working out for us? It needs to be attacked on a state-by-state basis, firing all the petty tyrants until the right (already encoded) is enforced everywhere.

  6. I agree. The more strident and crazy they sound, the more they appeal to emotion while we remain calm and bury them under cold, hard statistics, the more we will win.

    If you engage an antigunner in public, you must remain calm and collected and meet hysteria with reason and composure.

    Remember, you’re not trying to convince them, a nearly impossible task. You’ve trying to influence the undecided onlooker.

    And even if we eventually get everything I outlined above, eternal vigilance will still be called for. It is one of the prices of Freedom.

  7. So according to this character who can attain an office at the NYU School of Law, in order to prevail in court you and cause must first and primarily be…popular? Boy howdy, THAT’S a relief. Now we can take those dusty 8 centuries of Anglo American jurisprudence and all that hard to read statute and precedent and just go ahead and up stick it all in one go. That whole Rule of Law thing is so last century anyway; sure it sounds like fun but you can’t dance to it and it’s too old for a hashtag.

    There is no convincing this caliber mentality so utterly mired in feelings and magical thinking. This joker makes the fictional Saul Goodman look like Clarence Darrow. For a character that was supposed to be a running gag, Saul spoke, theorized and did more law than this real life spoke model seems to grasp. The thing about a socialist, you can put them in a shirt and tie but once they start to speak it’s just like turning over the wrong rock in the desert, somewhat revolting and a mildly threatening.

  8. The secret to our success = Understanding that overblown (made up) stats, half-truths, blaming pieces of metal and/or polymer for all the ills in our country, and other flat out lies is a bad PR strategy.

  9. Guns ARE safer. Drop safe, trigger safety, passive safeties, loaded chamber indicators, grip safeties, magazine disconnect, regular safeties, decockers, etc. But that’s not the point to a gun grabber. NO GUN is his goal. No retreat, no surrender, no compromise with these a##holes.

  10. I’m rather astounded the tenor of the comments at the Huff Po article. Of the ones that immediately appeared under the article, not one agreed with the author. Did they all follow the link from here or something??

    • Yes, probably.

      The normal SluffPo readers are late risers, I’m thinking. Look for the nature of the responses to change around lunchtime…

    • That’s how it’s been for several years there. It’s not organized, but for quite awhile now there’s a been dedicated community of pro-gun rights commenters there who swoop in on every gun thread. I used to do it a lot myself until I was banned, but they’ve changed the system and anyone can comment from Facebook now.

  11. He forgets that it helps to win public opinion over when the truth is on your side….

  12. Today on the Twilight Zone: Americans are tricked into voting their own rights away — see it as “victory”.

    • Probably part of the “Social Justice” Package. Most liberal terms are NewSpeak from the Ministry of Truth.

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