Grasping

Anti-gun activists look to remain relevant, MDA tries to spin a victory out of Open Carry in Texas, and part of the 1968 Gun Control Act is struck down.

1.) Remnants. In an effort that is almost doomed to fail, anti-gun Senators are continuing to push for gun control legislation despite Republican control of both houses. The goal this time seems to be to settle for a possible “high capacity” magazine ban, limiting mags to only ten rounds. The theory being that limiting the rounds reduces the damage a mass shooter can do.

In other words, it is an accross-the-board ban to deal with a single, rare issue. (Recall Everytown’s universally panned attempt to inflate the number of school shootings.) It goes without saying that there is a much larger agenda at hand there.

2.) Goalposts. And now, a shot-and-chaser set of stores.

Let’s start on Februrary 15. Moms Demand Action head Shannon Watts said that open carry was “unsafe” and that the NRA is “normalizing” said unsafe behavior The logic being that open carry “makes it harder for people to ascertain who is and is not a member of law enforcement.” Of course, they admit that 40 of 50 states have some form of allowance for OC.

That’s the shot, now the chaser.

Fast forward two days later. February 17, 2015. Texas Governor Greg Abbot reaffirms that he will sign any open carry legislation that comes to his desk. While the bills on offer are not the constitutional carry bills that groups like Open Carry Texas (to be clear, Open Carry TEXAS not Open Carry Tarrant County) wanted, open carry is still very much on the table, as is campus carry.

Shannon apparently took to Twitter to say that MDA still hasn’t lost because no bill has gotten to his desk and anything that does will still require permits.

So the best victory available is suddenly supporting open carry with a permit, apparently.

3.) Stand Your Ground. The controversial-for-some-reason Stand Your Ground laws are back in the news this week, with bills in both Texas and Georgia looking to repeal their respective states’ SYG statutes. The Georgia one hasn’t been getting much play (and has almost no chance of passing regardless) while the Texas one at least has one or two articles documenting it.

But a lot of the “outrage” around SYG is based on a misunderstanding of its role in self-defense law. All it does is remove the “duty to retreat” from the equation. The use of force itself must still be justified. As “Law of Self Defense” author Andrew Brancca wrote in 2013, the concept of the law is actually over 136 years old. The article was written in the context of the Zimmerman case. He writes in part:

….the imposition of a generalized duty to retreat made defeating almost any claim of self-defense child’s play for hyper-aggressive prosecutors. In a fight for your life your attention is focused sharply on staying alive–at least, if you survived we can assume that was the case. After allocating the cognitive bandwidth to staying alive, there’s often not a whole lot left to allocate to identifying and carefully assessing the prospects for safely retreating down that particular path, or through that particular door, or behind that particular obstacle.

But in the cool, safe environs of a court room, the Prosecutor will point to ALL of these avenues of escape and demand the jury ask why not one of them were pursued–why they were not even attempted? And if he can convince them that a reasonably safe avenue of retreat existed and you failed to take advantage of it, failed to meet your generalized duty to retreat, before using deadly force, your use of that force is not justifiable under the law. Your entire claim of self-defense collapses out from under you, and instead your conduct has become an unlawful killing.

4.) Constitutional Carry. While Constitutional Carry is no longer a certainty in Texas, the concept has been gaining traction elsewhere. Lawmakers in the Colorado Senate and Montana House each approved their takes on the subject of permitless carry.

5.) Nullification. The concept of outright nullifying federal authority on firearms came back into focus this week with the ATF’s sudden interest in banning a common type of “green tip” ammo. ShallNot.Org has an excellent recap of that fight, broken down state-by-state.

Constitutional carry plus a reassertion of both the Second and Tenth Amendments. It’s a good time to be following gun news.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

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