Lawless

Antifa, political violence, and gun confiscation.

This week could not have been worse.

1.) Antifa. The group famous for starting riots in Berkeley was also in Charlottesville, although the national media didn’t seem to want to give them much attention. Gruntworks republished their excellent history of the group, and it’s also worth noting that the group put a few journalists in the hospital and then tried to lie about it.

Granted, a meeting between two groups of the worst people in the country (neo-Nazis and Antifa) was never going to end well. As Jonah Goldberg notes, however, given the history of Antifa and their penchant for violence, “fighting Nazis doesn’t man ‘antifa’ the good guys.”

In other words, yes Neo-Nazis are scum of the Earth with a completely backwards worldview….but that only means that there were two incredibly violent groups there instead of one. (Also, as one of the most efficient Nazi killers was Joseph Stalin, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a great person.)

2.) Political violence. But, it’s now worth discussing the broader picture of political violence, and frankly who has the upper hand in that. Now, we’ve all seen almost cartoonishly over-the-top 3% pages; people who seem to think that a violent overthrow of the government is no more complicated than opening a Chick-Fil-A.

But as David Hines points out over at Jacobite, political violence is something the right-wing cannot win at for reaons ranging from organizational structure to the force of the media behind the left-wing extremists. (Again, notice how people are conveniently side-stepping Antifa’s brutality.)

He has additional thoughts on the Charlottesville events from Jacobite that are also worth your time.

Kudos to my Insov colleague Catty Conservative for finding those bits.

3.) Oregon. Gun confiscation, by simply filing a petition with a court. Guns.com gives us the following description:

The law, SB 719A, allows police, or a member of a subject’s family or household, to file a petition with the court which could lead to an order prohibiting firearms possession if it is believed they pose an imminent risk to themselves or others. The bill passed the Senate 17-11 in May and the House 31-28 last month, picking up only one Republican supporter along the way.

Gun-rights supporters basically said it allows people who aren’t qualified to be making any sort of judgement on a person’s mental state or point-of-view to be allowed to take someone’s firearms based on that judgement regardless.

4.) Talking to Klansmen. Finally tonight, there is a note from, of all places, the Independent Journal Review about a black man who got a ton of people in the KKK to leave the organization by talking to them.

It is an incredible story, really. A man who has put a pretty significant dent in the Klan’s numbers through a hobby of befriending white supremacists.

Absurdism

Doubling down on “domestic terrorism” rhetoric, and how Gorsuch is an “illegitimate” Supreme Court Justice.

1.) Baltimore. First, we’re going to kick off with something that was going on during the last Midnight Run. Baltimore had basically called for this past weekend to be something of a ceasefire. In other words, declaring that the city could at least make the effort to literally go two days without somebody being shot to death. It lasted one day, but many who called for the ceasefire see that as progress. (And, in semi-fairness, it is. Though the fact that “a day without murder” is progress speaks to the dire circumstances Baltimore is in.)

Essentially, the weekend initiative is seen as the start of a movement.

2.) NRA. You know things have gotten desperate when the NRA is spun as a “domestic terrorist threat” (despite the collapse of violent crime rates, the phenomenon of crime dropping around NRA conventions, and of course the the surge in gun permits nationwide). But that apparently is exactly what has happened, as Democratic Representative Kathleen Rice labeled the NRA’s members as domestic terrorists. She singled out NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, who responded on the organization’s streaming video network. This also has led to an expansion of the NRA’s now long-running “Freedom’s Safest Place” campaign, taking direct aim at the cozy relationship between anti-gun politicians and a large portion of the news media.

3.) Wisconsin. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, meanwhile, has taken a considerably different tack to handling his city’s spike in violent crime. According to Guns.com Chief Koval says that the surge can be traced to a few dozen people.

“Whenever we have an incident command post following a serious shooting or homicide, I am always amazed that the same names keep coming up on every board!” Koval said. “Sometimes they are friends of currently affected parties to the crime, sometimes they are family members, or have children in common, or have gang ties . . .but the overlapping spheres of connectedness are uncanny.”

So, obviously, he intends to go after the “few dozen” people directly. It is a bit different than Sheriff Clarke’s approach for the last few years, but it certainly appears to be a solid plan regardless.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

Grab Bag: August 2017

Michael Bloomberg vastly overstates gun deaths, a lawmaker in Ohio wants elected officials to carry, and a few stories from Team Rubicon to reinforce basically all of July.

1.) Bloomberg. Did you know that more Americans have been killed in the US than the entire history of military deaths (yes, including Civil War and WW2.) Of course, the Civil War alone saw upwards of 600,000 deaths.

It has all of the characteristics of a new anti-gun campaign; simultaneously over-dramatic and wrong on a historic level.

2.) Ohio. Following incidents around the Ohio Capitol (and of course the Scalise shooting), a lawmaker in Ohio is proposing to allow elected officials to carry in government buildings. The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Nino Vitale, said “there’s so much of a hyper-charged negative culture that people think if they disagree with someone’s viewpoint on something the way to resolve that is take a gun out on someone and take their life.”

He notes that, while no direct threats have been made on his life, there have been incidents of Vitale being followed into committee rooms, the Capitol parking garage, and having “less than pleasant” (a rather obvious euphemism) conversations.

It should come as almost no surprise, however. In a culture as outrage-driven as this one, where death threats are almost the default setting in any outrage-mob gathering, it stands to reason that legislators and other elected officials would want to be legally able to defend themselves. The Scalise shooting made that blatantly obvious.

3.) Team Rubicon. There is a story from disaster relief/veteran assistance network Team Rubicon that I want to bring up this week as we get into August. Midnight Run: Improvement, and it’s prequel from last year, Lethal Ignorance, were built around the simple concept that stronger people lead to stronger communities. To reinforce that point, I with to turn to three reports from the blog of TR, all of which highlight that concept in a different light. Whereas both Improvement and Lethal Ignorance were built around the individual, these reports are more about the experience in a team environment helping with disaster relief. (Severe weather being point 7 in Lethal Ignorance.)

The report, titled “Service is a Lifestyle“, is written by Army veteran Jeremy Gaal. It is a short, quick read from Salt Lake City, Utah on how assisting in disasters (which, for the record, is not limited to military and first responders, Team Rubicon also is open to civilians.) both is much appreciated by the survivors and is immensely gratifying to the people involved.

4.) Severe weather. It is worth noting that we are entering what WTVT FOX13 meteorologist Paul Dellegatto calls “prime time for tropical development.” Thankfully, we got through most of summer with nothing like the Georgia tornado outbreak. However, the key lesson from the Georgia outbreak, considering that Georgia isn’t in Tornado Alley (nor are the three states to the west of Georgia, for that matter), and that it was the middle of winter, “it can’t happen here” is dead wrong.

As we wrap up the summer months, it is prudent to be aware of severe weather, and the final weeks of the 2017 hurricane season.

And if you have the ability, whether with Red Cross, Team Rubicon, or CERT, try to get involved. As with Lethal Ignorance and Improvement; the reasoning is the same. Improve yourself, to be ready to help those around you.

Stay alert. Stay informed. Stay free.