Shifting

Before we go anywhere, an important note about the frequency and content of the Midnight Run.

The Midnight Run has been updated almost once a week, since November 2013. Over time, the style has evolved. The updates in July versus the updates that surrounded it taught me one thing and it needs to be addressed.

Put simply, the news has gotten repetitive. There is very little motion from week to week in the Midnight Run’s main focuses; gun rights, survivalism, etc.. But shifting to the July updates, which cover a single topic in-depth, rather than multiple topics in rapid succession, not only led to a better update but also led to a much more thorough and clinical discussion of the Run’s main subjects. They were, to be direct, a more interesting, more entertaining, and frankly more fun-to-write series than what has become attempting to find a narrative out of extremely little movement. In addition, since the launch, I have taken on several projects unrelated to the Run.

All of this is to say that the Midnight Run is changing. Starting after next week’s update, the Run will enter a bi-weekly update format. Regular news work will more regularly give way to longer form discussions on survivalism, first aid, gun rights (and individual rights in general), and more. This switch will lead to two major things. The first is being able to go in-depth on a topic, the second is to be more analytical than focusing on the bullet points of a particular story. These have always been the Run’s strongest points, from the Tactical Reviews, to the Blowback and post-Blowback updates this year and last.

It’s about time I play to those strengths on a more regular basis. The final weekly update of the Run will be next week, and we will then be bi-weekly from that point onwards.

So with that out of the way, let’s get to business. This week, the Southern Poverty Law Center says Charlottesville proves the need for gun laws, an update on the Bergdahl case, and an update on Rep. Scalise’s recovery.

1.) Charlottesville. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which at this point is known as a left-wing outfit that sees conservatives as hate groups, saws the events of Charlottesville prove the need to change open carry laws in the state. This is, of course, despite the lack of any incidents involving firearms and one involving a car. The president of the organization said that “Peaceful protesters being met with men carrying military-style weapons. Many of those unarmed were probably intimidated. I certainly think I would have been.”

It has lead to a really interesting situation where the SPLC and the ACLU, two groups known to be fairly-left leaning, are taking two completely different tacts to the event. The SPLC is going after gun laws, the ACLU is defending the right of the protesters to speak, regardless of how repugnant their views are. (As we have discussed here multiple times, supporting someone’s rights is not the same as supporting their actions.

2.) Bergdahl. The trial of Bowe Bergdahl is taking its sweet time to get started. The latest development suggests that the trial will now be one resting on a single judge and not a trial-by-jury. Bergdahl’s lawyers wanted it this way, arguing that it would be near impossible for an impartial jury to be selected.

This case has been almost three years in the making.

3.) Scalise. The headline on the Daily Wire is all you need to know, “Scalise Must Lear To Walk Again After Congressional Baseball Shooting“. The 51-year-old Scalise was shot on June 14 as Congressional Republicans were gearing up for the annual baseball event between the GOP and the Democrats. House Speaker Paul Ryan would only say that Scalise would need to relearn how to walk again, but that he is speaking, and joined a conference call this week to discuss the GOP’s agenda for the fall.

Ryan, however, was unequivocal about the fact that Scalise has a long road to recovery ahead of him.

Next week, we enter our new bi-weekly schedule with a ton of notes on Harvey, and survival of natural disasters.

Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

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.