Sunday, June 29, 2008

Politics and Heller

I missed a phone call yesterday from a high-speed national political reporter asking how Heller would play here in the Rocky Mountain West, accepted as one of major battlegrounds in November.

First, here's an interesting take on the subject from Eric Raymond over at ARMED & DANGEROUS:
Barack Obama has demonstrated, at least, great tactical cunning in his campaign. Therefore, I’m certain that right now he’s wishing the Heller ruling had come down 7-2 or better and he didn’t have to deal with what McCain is going to do to him over this issue.

I’ll finish by re-quoting McCain’s delicious, deadly zinger:

“Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today’s ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right — sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly,”

The sting here isn’t just McCain’s “sacred right” appeal to gun owners, it’s the way he links Obama’s anti-firearms record to the sense of elitism, entitlement and disdain for traditional American values that radiate from the man. These traits play well in Berkeley and on the Upper West Side, but they lose national elections.
We've all been thinking about this issue. Bottom line (for me) comes down to 2 points:
1) The "new" politics of b-HO is really the same old politics of lies that is in the DNA of Chicago and Cook County, IL. This means that there's no point in even listening to what he says — he's an opportunistic liar, like every other Chicago pol I've met. And I've met a bunch. Rather, he will do what he has done before, and that is nothing in our favor.
2) Although b-HO'd dream of nullifying the Second Amendment is now off the table, our ability to exercise that ennumerated right is still at risk, and we have no reason to believe that b-HO won't use the substantial powers of the Presidency (remember Bill Clinton?) to chip away at the right.
There has been a lot of political commentary to the effect that Heller takes guns off the table as an issue this fall. That analysis is consistent with the view of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party and the MSM (which of course may be redundant)...the Bubbas have their precious Second Amendment, so now they'll chill, pop the top on a Bud and tune in NASCAR...

In the West, we're locked in a winner-take-all battle centering on what vision of the previously Wild West will prevail — will we be expat urban dwellers surrounded by millions of acres of a look-but-don't-touch park sprinkled with "acceptable" outdoor activities in specific areas, or will we continue a lifestyle that includes farming, ranching, hunting, fishing and shooting in addition to trendy mountain biking and rock climbing (and yes, I do both).

Just like in the cult movie Highlander, there can be only one.

It has taken us two years to beat back a U.S. Forest Service initiative to ban recreational shooting on public lands, and my sources inside USFS and other agencies tell me that "beat back" is indeed the operative words...we haven't won by a long shot. Should Obama be elected, those antigun/antihunting elements — and they are one in the same, as my sources agree — within the federal agencies that administer public land will be emboldened to close literally millions of acres first to recreational shooting, next to hunting.

There are numerous other RKBA issues that Heller did nothing to settle — the flawed technology of ballistic fingerprinting, bullet serialization, one gun a month laws, so-called "assault weapon" bans (there's still one in place in Denver, BTW), the endless number of "nibbled to death by ducks" strategies employed by our enemies. An Obama Presidency would no doubt support and enhance those efforts.

Denver's mayor, whom I know and like as a person, is talking new gun laws as a way of avoiding the brutal reality in the Mile High City that after dark, the gangs own the streets. It takes a computer and a mapping genius to figure which parts of Denver belong to which Mexican, Central American (including MS-13), Asian or genuine all-American gang of thugs rules the turf. It's easy to talk new — and, as usual, worthless — laws directed against the law-abiding rather than addressing the real issue.

Typically, Democrats in Colorado (and most of the Rocky Mountain West) have been relatively gun friendly...some, such as Congressman John Salazar, copped an NRA endorsement. Governor Bill Ritter's campaign negated the gun issue by coming out in support of recreation shooting on public land while his Republican opponent largely ignored or took the gun vote for granted. In the fall Senatorial race, we see Boulder liberal Democratic Congressman Mark Udall frantically distancing himself from his former closest buddy, antigun fanatic Diana DeGette...I fully expect to see Udall out whacking Bambi any day now.

In the West, being blue on a local level doesn't guarantee a state majority for Obama. Western conservatism carries a strong tinge of the libertarian, which is why I live here. Outside of the expat urban centers like Denver and Boulder, the West is gun, arther than latte, country, and we are not fools.


Anonymous said...

As a former Chicago denizen, this is the one thing that scares me the most. Chicago has a history of ordering the police to do things with no law to back it up, just because there is no check and balance. And like good little fascists, they readily comply.

With b-ho, and a demonrat majority in Congress, they will pass laws and the lawyers will be busy trying to undo them. Until b-ho packs the courts.

Think there was an outcry when a handful of federal prosecutors got axed by Bush? There will be stunning and deafening silence when b-ho axes ALL of them (like BJ did BTW) and replaces them with folks out to make criminals of all of us.

And the Forest Service, BATFE, IRS, FBI, Commerce, ICE and every other organization will be turned loose to shut prominant pro-gun people down.

MB, on your podcast this week, you noted that the NSSF came out with a strong statement in favor of handguns due to "action item" 163.

Well, guess what? If any of the above named Feds show up at Ruger's or Barlett's or Springfield's doors and said sell out or we will shove the entire fed bureaucracy up your ass AND you will go to prison - then and only then will we see the folks put their lives where their current beliefs are now.

And yes, I do think it will be that bad with b-ho. The NSSF damn well better have an action item on that one, or the industry will be whittled back to just the gummint contractors.

Anonymous said...

You said:

"Although b-HO'd dream of nullifying the Second Amendment is now off the table,"


It was a 5-4 decision, and two of those 5 are likely to retire during the next 8 years (including the author!). A two-term Obama Presidency could EASILY undo Heller and finally adjudicate the Second Amendment out of existence.

Listen to the arguments of the anti-gun left against the decision. They keep saying the decision was judicial activism by the far-right and a break from decades (even centuries) of precedent - lies, but calculated lies. The media will lap it up. The new cases being litigated in Chicago and San Francisco won't even make it out of district courts before the election, let alone percolate their way up to SCOTUS. The left is working NOW to lay the groundwork to overturn Heller under a more liberal Obama-appointed SCOTUS. Their aim is to make Heller the Dread Scott of the new millennium, so that an anti-gun court can nullify it with a new Brown v Board of Education down the road.

If this had been a 7-2 or even 6-3 decision, with at least prominent liberal in the majority, things might be liberal. But as it stands today, the issue is FAR from off the table and is in grave danger of outright reversal if Obama is elected President.

Anonymous said...


"If this had been a 7-2 or even 6-3 decision, with at least prominent liberal in the majority, things might be liberal."

sorry, got ahead of myself while typing. that last word should have been "different."

still waking up over here on the left coast...