Thursday, April 28, 2011

Walmart likes to make money.

From the WSJ, Walmart to start selling firearms in more of their stores.  They never completely stopped, except (so far as I know) in California.  And why did they stop in California?  Because the folks at Walmart couldn't manage to follow all the stupid California firearms sales transaction laws (start at Cal. Penal Code Sec. 12070 and read forth...see you in a year.)  Normally you would probably start making cracks about the folks that work at Walmart, but in fairness I know licensed FFLs in California that have to double-check the regs and guides when doing a transaction.

In free states you fill out at 4473, the clerk makes a call, usually gets an answer in a few minutes, and you're on your way out the door.  In California, you fill out the 4473, give a thumbprint, do the Hokey Pokey, ask Senator Fineswine "PRETTY PLEASE, MAY I?!", answer some other questions for the State, hand over your money, and then wait.  Ten days.  Ten long, painful, aggravating days.  So that Walmart folks were screwing up really does not surprise me. 

Here's to hoping that some of those stores will be in California, but I'm not holding my breath.  Then again, there is plenty of money in this state and Walmart wants money.  Sounds like a fair exchange to me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Make your discontent known

Apparently, bitching loudly in the TSA "Fuck my civil liberties" lines gets you targeted for additional or more intrusive "inspection".

If find that interesting only because every time I've found myself in a TSA line, I purposefully bitch loudly and clearly and not once have they ever screwed with me.  It may also help that I throw my California State Bar card in the "change/keys/other crap" trays, right on top, for the screeners to see. 

Yes, I'm saying "I dare you.  I fucking double-dog-dare-you, asshole."  I guess they don't like the dare.  And it's nice to remind my fellow passengers how  a nation of free men and women should not EVER stand for this abuse silently. 

Basically since that last flight a couple of years ago, I won't fly any more.  Period.  I'm just not going to.  Maybe that means "they" have won or the terrorists have won or some other obscure entity has won.  Don't care. Not playing their goddamn game anymore. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Self-defense for the disabled

The first time I gave this any thought was when I heard about the Palm Pistol.  Now it looks like there will be some serious consideration of who the disabled are, their vulnerabilities, and the need to give them the tools of self-defense.

In fairness, I think the statistics presented need to be further broken out in order to have a meaningful and honest discussion.  For example, how many of the rapes and sexual assaults take place in institutional settings versus in the home or in public spaces?  Who are we calling the "disabled"?  Is this strictly about the physically disabled, or will we consider persons like one of my sisters-in-law, who has a mental disability (perpetually stuck at the mental age of a 6 to 10 year old child)?  How many of these crimes were committed by persons known to the victims? 

I also find it interesting that one of the prime movers of the gun control movement, the Brady Campaign, has its founding in the tragedy involving James Brady.  He is disabled, though I'm not sure to what extent any longer. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eh?

What the hell is a "Gender Education Specialist"?


Link.

Second paragraph.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This is progress?

Article here.

How exactly is this progress, folks?  How does this Professional Crook (aka Politician) get to tell me how I may or may not (in this case) protect myself? 

Personally, I'm not a fan of open carry in California (since it's unloaded open carry).  However if someone wants to utilize that method of carry, that's their call, not mine.

But, these guys in Sacramento, they know better.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Thoughts on Permitless Carry

Wyoming passed permitless concealed carry recently, and it looks like Montana is poised to do the same.  However, there is one niggling aspect of both pieces of law that bothers me.  Each restricts permitless carry to residents only. 

The question that comes to mind is whether or not a state may confer a benefit on its citizens and not on visitors (i.e. those with no intention to make the state their residence).  There have been plenty of cases about similar things, the first which comes to mind is Saenz v Roe (526 U.S. 489 (1999).  It's not on point for two reasons.  First it deals with persons who move to another state and plan to stay (establish residency) and it was about welfare benefits, not firearms. Shapiro v Thompson is another one from 1969 that forbade durational residency requirements to receive welfare benefits in Connecticut.  Both cases established a line of reasoning that announced a "right to travel" (an implied, not express, right) and which said infringement (of at least some sorts) on the right to travel is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. 

More to the point, the Court has also considered Article IV Privileges and Immunities arguments in the resident/non-resident context in Baldwin v Montana Fish and Game Commission (1978).  In that case Montana was sued because it charge non-residents more for certain hunting privileges than it did to Montana's citizens.  There the Court held that hunting was not a type of fundamental activity that Article IV's P&I clause was meant to protect. While it came out in the negative, the holding is illuminating because a distinguishing fact was the non-fundamental nature of hunting. 

Fast-forward to Heller v DC and McDonald v Chicago and you have some new landscape to consider.  The Court has held that the right to protect oneself is a fundamental and individual right.  In that light, where is the basis for a state's argument that the right to self-defense evaporates upon crossing state lines, assuming the party in question is not disqualified from the possession of firearms?  I can't see a very good one, unless the question is analyzed with only rational basis scrutiny.  Also, the "in the home" aspect of Heller and McDonald is pretty easily done away with by the "sensitive places" discussion in Heller.  Had the Court not foreseen "keeping" and "bearing" arms being a right protected beyond your front door, it would never have engaged in the "sensitive places" discussion, as brief as it was. 

In the interests of a more thorough consideration, I also gave thought to a case from 1985, Supreme Court of New Hampshire v Piper, where New Hampshire sought to forbid non-residents from becoming members of the New Hampshire State Bar.  The Court struck down that rule, creating a 2 prong test.  If such a law is to survive, non-residents must be a "peculiar source" of the "evil" the state seeks to eliminate, and the discriminatory act must be the best way to address the problem.  I can't see a bunch of non-residents rolling into Montana or Wyoming, carrying w/out permits but otherwise legal gun owners, being a "peculiar source" of any "evil" in this case. 

So it is beyond the state to foreclose upon the right to carry outside the home for residents or non-residents, though the state certainly may limit the method (i.e. concealed vs. open).  And that's where the biggest wrinkle comes in.  Both Montana and Wyoming are open carry states.  I haven't checked the specifics on their open carry limitations, but I'll wager they are far more liberal than California's unloaded-open-carry formulation.  If so, loaded-open-carry may be the only saving grace for the Montana and Wyoming laws. But even then, in the Piper case, the discrimination in the method of carry may not ultimately survive absent the requisite existence of a "source" of "evil" to be dealt with.