Posts Tagged ‘Guns’

Jason Villalba, The King of Thin-Skinned Twitter Blockage

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Texas State Rep. Jason Villalba, ostensibly a Republican, seems to be going out of his way to alienate actual Republican voters.

First he was among the (sadly many) Republican Representatives to vote to reelect Joe Straus Speaker, then got caught praising Straus’ progressive agenda.

Next came Villalba’s introduction of H.B. 2918, which attacks the rights of photographers, bloggers and CHL holders under the guise of protecting police from being assaulted by cameras.

Naturally, this has lead to a raft of criticism on Twitter and elsewhere. (There’s aeven a Recall Jason Villalba Facebook group. Since Texas does not have any recall election mechanism for state-level officials, I presume they mean to back a primary challenge to him in 2016.)

So what has Villalba’s reaction to this criticism been?

Villiba Block

So go ahead and add “thin-skinned” to the list of Rep. Villalba’s flaws…

Rep. Jason Villalba’s War on Photography, Bloggers and Gun Owners

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

There’s been much talk about how State Rep. Jason Villalba’s House Bill 2918 criminalizes bloggers filming police officers, especially if they’re CHL holders who happen to be lawfully carrying at the time. Worse yet, it takes the “some animals are more equal than others” approach to First Amendment rights, declaring MSM employees as “real journalists” and bloggers, citizens journalists and everyone else as second class citizens.

Texas State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Texas) has found himself at the center of controversy after filing a bill that would make it a crime for bloggers and independent journalists — as well as regular citizens — to film police officers. Despite the backlash from free speech advocates, Villalba is insisting that his bill “does not infringe on constitutional rights” or “limit liberty in any way.”

The current law, Section 38.15(1) of the Texas Penal Code, makes it a crime if anyone “interrupts, disrupts, impedes, or otherwise interferes with a peace officer while the peace officer is performing a duty or exercising authority imposed or granted by law.”

The bill, HB 2918, adds to the definition of what constitutes “interfering” with an officer’s duties, and would make it a Class B Misdemeanor to film, record, photograph, or document the officer within 25 feet while that officer is performing his official duties. That distance is extended to 100 feet if the person is carrying a concealed handgun. There is an exception for news media, but the current language of the bill does not include bloggers, independent journalists, or private citizens, and it is not clear whether online media outlets would be included in the exception either.

The fact that CHL holders are statistically among the most lawful citizens, having already passed an extensive background check, seems lost on Rep. Villalba (who seems to be trying very hard to win the title of worst Republican state representative).

The bill would also prevent people from recording their own encounters with police, which adds a due process violation cherry on top of Villalba’s disdain for the first and second amendment.

However, the unconstitutional stupidity doesn’t stop there. If you read the actual text of the bill, there’s no allowance made for private property. So if I’m filing a police officer arrest someone in the street 15 feet in front of my house, Villalba’s proposed law says I’m committing a crime.

Being a police officer is a difficult and necessary job, but ordinary citizens filming them aren’t endangering their lives. Rep. Villalba seems to have no understanding that the right retained by the people themselves are part of our Constitution’s series of checks and balances.

Villalba’s bill addresses no demonstrable abuse and attempts to limit the rights of citizens for no clear gain. It’s almost certainly headed for the dustbin of legislative neglect, but one wonders why Rep. Villalba felt the need to introduce it at all…

NRA Forces Obama To Cry Uncle on AR-15 Ammo Ban

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Well, that didn’t take long:

The National Rifle Association (NRA) was instrumental in stalling the Obama Administration’s initial attempt to ban commonly used ammunition for the most popular rifle in America, the AR-15. The announcement that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will suspend its proposed framework to ban M855 ammunition validates the NRA’s assertion that this effort was nothing more than a political maneuver to bypass Congress and impose gun control on the American people.

“Today’s announcement proves what we have said all along — this was 100% political. President Obama failed to pass gun control through Congress, so he tried to impose his political agenda through executive fiat. But every gun owner in America needs to understand Barack Obama’s hatred of the Second Amendment has not changed,” said Wayne La Pierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association.

BATFE first floated the ban on February 13, and unlike Obama’s other bad executive orders, this one ran straight into the buzzsaw of an active, articulate, organized bloc of voters.

From Fast & Furious to Mayors Against Illegal Guns Moms Demand Action Everytown USA Gun Sense to the latest ammo ban, has there been a single national gun control attempt under the Obama Administration that hasn’t ended in miserable failure?

Highlights from Governor Abbott’s State of the State Address

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave his State of the State address yesterday, and there’s plenty to talk about. Some highlights:

  • “Last week, Comptroller Hegar reported that sales tax revenue in January increased by 11 percent, surging to an all-time record. It’s the 58th consecutive month of year-over-year sales tax growth.”
  • “But the best way to create more jobs is to permanently reduce the business franchise tax.I will reject any budget that does not include genuine tax relief to Texas employers and job creators. I will also insist on property tax reduction. It’s time for property owners – not government – to truly own their property. My plan calls for a $2 billion reduction in the business franchise tax and a $2.2 billion reduction in the property tax burden.”
  • “To keep Texas the premiere model for opportunity, we must constrain the size of government and maximize the liberty of individuals. To protect taxpayers from government growing too big, we need a constitutional amendment that limits the growth of the state budget to population growth plus inflation.”
  • “To keep Texas the premiere model for opportunity, we must constrain the size of government and maximize the liberty of individuals. To protect taxpayers from government growing too big, we need a constitutional amendment that limits the growth of the state budget to population growth plus inflation.”
  • “Many of us have ridiculed states like California and Illinois as bastions of failed big government. You’ll be surprised to learn that Texas has more full-time state employees per capita than California and Illinois. That’s shocking – it must be changed. That’s why my budget requires most state agencies to reduce their general revenue spending by three percent.”
  • “I will expand liberty in Texas by signing a law that makes Texas the 45th state to allow Open Carry.”
  • So far it seems that Abbott is serious about governing as he campaigned…

    District Court Rules for Gun Owners on Interstate Handgun Sales

    Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

    Dwight just alerted me to the ruling in Mance vs. Holder (decision linked thanks to the indefatigable efforts of the tireless Instapundit) which strikes down the federal ban on interstate handgun sales.

    The Court concludes that Defendants [Holder at. al.] have not shown that the federal interstate handgun transfer ban is narrowly tailored to be the least restrictive means of achieving the Government’s goals under current law. The federal interstate handgun transfer ban is therefore unconstitutional on its face.

    Possibly more later, when I’ve had time to digest the full ruling and its implications. It’s a virtual certainty that the Obama Administration will appeal.

    Dan Patrick Sends Three Second Amendment Bills On To Committee

    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

    Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced that he’s sending three pro-Second Amendment bills to the Senate State Affairs Committee:

  • Senate Bill 11 (SB 11), An act relating to the carrying of concealed handguns on the campuses of and certain other locations associated with institutions of higher education, by Sen. Brian Birdwell (SD22).
  • Senate Bill 342 (SB 342), Relating to providing for the open and concealed carrying of handguns without a license and to related offenses and penalties, by Sen. Don Huffines (SD16).
  • Senate Bill 346 (SB 346), Relating to the authority of a person who is licensed to carry a handgun to openly carry a holstered handgun, by Sen. Craig Estes (SD30).
  • Except for the effectivity date, the campus carry bill is essentially identical to Birdwell’s SB 182 in the 83rd legislative session, which was killed in 2013.

    SB342 provides for essentially unlimited constitutional carry, while SB346 would authorize open carry only for CHL holders. I think it’s canny of Patrick to advance both at the same time. Some squishy republicans may balk at universal carry, but voting for SB 346 will allow them to split the difference and still appear pro-gun.

    One possible snag for any pro Second Amendment bill: the Senate Criminal Justice Committee is still headed by Democrat John Whitmire. However, since Whitmire is considerably more pro-gun than the average Democrat this may not be a problem.

    Will Speaker Joe Straus kill pro-Second Amendment bills in the House? He’s killed some in the past, but he’s also been very careful not to leave his fingerprints on the knife. Given how Straus has crowed about endorsements from the NRA and the Texas State Rifle Association, I’m guessing he won’t go to the mat to kill popular Second Amendment bills supported by a clear majority of senators. Straus is another reason I think SB 346 is more likely to pass than SB 342.

    Hsoi/John Daub Shooting Follow-Up

    Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

    A bit more information on the Hsoi/John Daub self-defense shooting of autistic home invader Jared James has come to light that wasn’t in my original story.

    The original news reports said things like James “forced his way onto the threshold of one of the homes.” What they actual meant was he battered at the door so hard he broke the frame:

    Also, new information shows that the late Mr. James was not quite the “gentle giant” some reports tried to paint:

    This fall, for reasons that she [the mother] didn’t understand, [Catalina] Leverette [the mother] said her son had developed a tendency toward unpredictable outbursts, at times running through the house yelling. She knew the police had responded to calls about her son, and newly obtained police reports show two calls in 2014 for an “emotionally disturbed person” involving James.

    Also this:

    “On Dec. 11, [police] took James to a psychiatric hospital under court order.”

    The James shooting was a tragedy, all right, but it was a tragedy of the health system not being able to get a mentally ill man the type help he obviously needed.

    Operation Choke Point’s Smoking Gun?

    Thursday, January 15th, 2015

    Via Instapundit comes updated news of Operation Choke Point, the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional attempt to force the banks and credit unions used by gun dealers (and other targeted businesses, most of which are entirely legal) to close their accounts. Bank regulator’s have denied they were doing this in the past, but now a gun business owner has recorded a credit union manager telling him the Feds have forced them to close his account.

    Here’s a Fox News report on the case:

    Imagine the media outcry if a Republican administration were using the same tactics against abortion clinics or gay bars.

    The new congress should investigate this along with Fast and Furious…

    If You’re Wondering Why Stuff From Hsoi is Down…

    Monday, January 5th, 2015

    this news story should answer the question.

    Short summary: John Daub, AKA Hsoi, had to fatally shoot a home invader who turned out to be autistic. It sounds like a justified shooting, but I’m sure one of the first things a defense attorney would say is “Take your gun blog down now.” Especially since he lives in Travis County.

    (I don’t know Daub personally, but he’s on the blogroll, we follow each other on Twitter, and we both know the folks at KR Training.)

    (Hat tip: Dwight via email.)

    Wendy Davis Admits She Was Lying About Open Carry

    Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

    Granted, that’s not what the headline says. But we all know that’s what she means.

    Sen. Wendy Davis said in a Monday interview with the Express-News that she opposes allowing the open carry of handguns and that she wishes she had a do-over on the support she expressed for the idea in her ill-fated run for governor.

    Everyone who saw Davis embrace open carry knew she was lying. Everyone, supporters and opponents alike, saw her clumsy, ham-handed lie for exactly what it was: blatant political pandering, and a left-wing media darling’s laughable attempt to move to the center to run statewide in Texas. Indeed, it was so blatant that it probably did more harm than good, helping reaffirm Davis’ reputation for dishonesty.

    So transparent was the lie you wonder why she even bothered. It’s also a mystery why she’s offering up a mea culpa for it just now. I suspect she may be trying to snag a job with a Democratic Party house organ like Media Matters or MSNBC.

    Davis admission reaffirms a basic political truth: there’s no such thing as a pro-gun Democrat. When push comes to shove, they’ll betray gun owners whenever the Party demands them to…