Firearms

Steve Boron: “Conservatism Wins,” especially in tough districts

Protecting gun rights, cutting taxes, reducing spending, and stopping Obamacare. These aren’t issues you’d expect a Republican to run on in a blue district, like Michigan’s 16th House District which consists of the cities of Wayne and Westland. But Steve Boron says it’s the only way Republicans can win over Democrats and Independents.

Steve Boron talks with a voter over the phone. He estimates that his campaign has placed over 15,000 live phone calls to voters in his district.

Steve Boron talks with a voter over the phone. His campaign has placed over 15,000 live phone calls to voters in Michigan’s 16th House District.

“A lot of voters are disengaging from the political process because they feel neither party represents them,” said Boron. “Instead of being ‘Democrat-lite’, Republicans need to take a stand for conservative principles and inspire their base to get out and vote.”

Steve Boron is a 20-year member of the UAW, the owner of a small solar panel business, and a lifelong resident of Westland. On paper, he seems unlikely to be a free-market conservative – let alone a Republican candidate for State Representative. But Boron says his background is his biggest strength.

“I’m a blue collar worker and a union member just like most people in the district. Voters here will trust me before they trust a career politician or a wealthy CEO,” he said. “I understand what issues matter to my community and how to tailor the conservative message to win over their support.”

Campaign Strategy

When asked whether he has any proof his strategy works, Steve Boron responds that he is simply “retooling” Barack Obama’s successful re-election strategy.

“Obama won in 2012 because he moved to the left, fired up his base, and got out the vote,” Boron says. “It made me wonder, ‘why can’t Republicans improve on that model?'”

Boron points out his training at the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership and experience as a grassroots activist were also formative in his understanding of political strategy.

“We’re focusing heavily on voter identification and microtargeting. Once we know where a voter stands on a few issues, we know how to communicate to them,” he said. “For example, every supporter of the Second Amendment we identify will be targeted with a message about my ‘A’ rating from the NRA and the endorsement I received from the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners.”

You Betcha! (6)Nuh Uh.(2)

Candidate Rick Snyder (2010) vs. Gov. Rick Snyder (2012) On Guns

Originally posted on MIOpenCarry.org (Reposted with permission)

According to OnTheIssues.org, in 2010 then gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder’s campaign website contained the following in regards to whether or not he would support the 2nd Amendment and the rights of gun owners:

“In one word: absolutely. I actually own three guns myself. I have a 12 gauge shotgun and two .22 rifles that I use for target shooting. I believe the 2nd amendment also protects the right of citizens to have a gun in their home to protect their family and property. I also support the rights of gun owners to responsibly carry their gun, as long as they have attained the legal permit. While I’m not an avid hunter, I support the industry and believe it plays an important role in our economy and quality of life. It also can have a valuable environmental conservation impact and I would work to streamline the processes so that hunters get better customer service from the state and local governments. We have a long tradition in our state of supporting gun rights and the hunting industry in Michigan and I would continue to support that tradition as Governor.”

Now there are two big problems with the highlighted portion. The first problem is that rights and permits are mutually exclusive. A right, by definition, is something that belongs fundamentally to everyone, as opposed to a permit which gives you the ability to do something you could otherwise do. The second problem is that when Gov. Snyder was given the opportunity to backup his words he folded.

You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(0)

Rick Snyder on Gun Free Zones

I wish it weren’t true, I really do, but here’s the thing: the reason we still have gun free zones in this State is Gov. Rick Snyder.

Let’s review the political landscape in Michigan.  Michigan’s legislature is divided into two chambers: A senate and a house.

The Michigan Senate is made up of 38 members (26 Republicans and 12 Democrats – As of this writing).  The Michigan Senate has had this composition since January 1, 2011 and this composition will remain in place until the end of December this year (2014).

The Michigan House is made up of 110 members (59 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and 1 “Independent” Democrat – as of this writing).  The Michigan House has had this composition since January 1, 2013 and this composition will remain in place until the end of December this year (2014).  Between January 1, 2011 and through December, 2012 the composition was 64 Republicans and 46 Democrats — 9 votes short of a supermajority (66%) of Republicans.  The latter amount represents the composition when SB 59 was passed in 2012.

Let’s talk about SB 59, as ultimately passed by the legislature.  SB 59 would have (in brief):

  1. Overhauled the process to get your CPL to make getting your CPL much simpler, with one person (your local Sheriff) being solely responsible for issuing your CPL or facing financial penalties in Court for denying you without a lawful reason (as specified in MCL 28.425b)
  2. Force the CPL Issuer to grant a person who completed a nominal amount of additional training an exemption to the Concealed Pistol Free Zones outlined in MCL 28.425onearly eliminating concealed pistol free zones in Michigan.
  3. Made it illegal to open carry a firearm in a location described in MCL 28.425o.

While the third point rightfully posed some controversy in Michigan’s second amendment community, especially open carriers, Michigan’s “Big 3” (Michigan Open Carry, Inc, Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, Michigan Gun Owners) Firearm organizations voted (via their Board of Directors) to Support SB 59 as it ultimately passed and urged the Governor to sign it.

Ultimately, Gov. Rick Snyder decided to veto SB 59.  He didn’t veto it because he’s so pro-gun he opposed making it illegal to open carry in a 28.425o zone, no…not at all.  In fact, that language was added to the legislation at the Governor’s insistence.  Rather, the Governor opposed SB 59 because (according to his veto letter) he wanted to weaken preemption:

“While we must vigilantly protect the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, we also must ensure the right of designated public entities to exercise their best discretion in matters of safety and security,” he said. “These public venues need clear legal authority to ban firearms on their premises if they see fit to do so.

So all those publicly owned pistol free zones described in MCL 28.425o?  Snyder wanted them to be able to ban guns, contrary to the State’s preemption law outlined in MCL 123.1102.  Senator Mike Green, lead sponsor of SB 59, refused to cave into this final demand of the Governor to weaken preemption, so the bill passed as it did and the rest is (as they say) history.

Senator Mike Green Later reintroduced SB 59 in the next (current) session as SB 213.  Sadly, SB 213 has gone nowhere because the Governor doesn’t want to address/eliminate Pistol Free Zones.  Since the Governor is a Republican (like a majority of the State House and Senate) the Republican majorities won’t take up the issue.  After all, many of the members do not want to further embarrass/alienate their parties Governor on the matter prior to an election.  Many of these members are counting on their Governor’s support during the election season (both the Primaries and the General Election) to help them get re-elected.  Fearing the Governor will withdraw his support from fellow Republican members who pass legislation supporting the elimination of 28..425o zones, the legislature has sat on SB 213.  Would this be the same if the Governor didn’t belong to the same party as a majority of the state legislature?

To answer that question, let’s look at history of previous legislature and Governor.  In 2006 the legislature passed Michigan’s version of “Stand your Ground”, the Self Defense Act of 2006.  Not wanting to alienate gun owners prior to the November election of 2006, Governor Granholm signed the law in July of 2006.

This political situation aside, it’s possible SB 59’s veto would have been overridden.  SB 59 passed on final passage with the following support, House: Yeas 68 Nays 41; Senate: Yeas 27 Nays 11.  In the Senate a 2/3’s majority to over-ride a veto is 26 votes.  In the House it is 74 votes.  In other words, the Senate had enough votes and the House would have only needed to flip 3 votes.  Of course, given fear of losing support of the Govenor, the legislature wouldn’t over-ride the Governor’s veto even if the votes were there.  This recently happened in Missouri where the Republican Legislature overrode the Democrat Governor’s veto on pro-gun legislation.

In fact, even the Liberal Huffington posts seem to suggest gun free zones are a bad idea.

You Betcha! (17)Nuh Uh.(0)

Transparency? Nahh, we don’t need that.

Yes, it’s long, but I highly recommend watching the whole thing (well, you can probably skip the part that the 10A guy starts talking, he was missing the mark all over the place).

Yesterday (1 October 14), the House Criminal Justice Committee finally heard testimony on Rep. Tom McMillin’s HB4914 (introduced back in July 2013). This legislation would require that law enforcement agencies report every six months on the usage of their SWAT teams.

From the language of the bill:

Sec. 3. Beginning October 1, 2013, and every 6 months after

that date, any law enforcement agency that maintains a SWAT team

shall report all of the following information to the office of the

attorney general using the format developed under section 4:

(a) The number of times the SWAT team was activated and

deployed by the law enforcement agency in the previous 6 months.

(b) Without identifying an exact address, the approximate

location within or outside of the jurisdiction of the law

enforcement agency to which the SWAT team was deployed, including

the name of the county and the city, village, or township, and the

zip code.

(c) The reason for each activation and deployment of the SWAT

team.

(d) The legal authority, including type of warrant, if any,

for each activation and deployment of the SWAT team.

(e) The result of each activation and deployment of the SWAT

team, including all of the following:

(i) The number of arrests made, if any.

(ii) The type of evidence seized, and whether property was

seized.

(iii) Whether a forcible entry was made.

(iv) Whether a weapon was discharged by a SWAT team member.

(v) Whether a person or domestic animal was injured or killed

by a SWAT team member.

But we don’t need reporting for these sorts of things though, right? I mean, bad raids never happen in Michigan!

Well, apparently the Republicans on the committee think otherwise. For example, Rep. Joseph Graves finds it worrisome that the officers would have to go back and justify their actions (7:20 in the clip). Heaven forbid a SWAT deployment be justified, or even just tracked! Further he goes on to say that filing a report of the incident doesn’t take it away (8:58). Really? I didn’t think about that.

However, that’s just one of the many gems coming out of Team-R in this hearing. The amount of stupid coming from them just boggles the mind.

Yup, just shows Team-R is all for transparency!

You Betcha! (21)Nuh Uh.(0)

Ignorance And The Blissfully Demanding Moms

If you don’t know who Moms Demand Action is, I will give you a quick update.  MDA was founded after the Sandy Hook shooting, by a professional communications exec Shannon Watts and is now funded by the billionaire nanny-statist Michael Bloomberg.  The group is a national organization with chapters in many states, including Michigan.  This group is comprised of both men and women with stated good intentions of reducing “gun violence.”

The problem is, they have no idea what they are talking about.

Look, I’m sure most of the people in this group mean well, but good intentions are about as useful as a “no guns” sign during a mass shooting.  If the gun analogy doesn’t work for you then go with a drainage plug in a boat at the bottom of a lake.  It sounded good at one point, but it’s pretty useless now.

People who carry guns for protection understand this and much more. These are people who understand that we are all responsible for our own safety, and they put forth a great deal of time and effort towards accepting that responsibility.  In essence, these are people who take the time to learn our laws and how to live within them, because for them, being mistaken about a law, even with good intentions, can mean years of prison time.  Their life as they know it is on the line.

What does it mean for MDA and the other side?  Well, not much.  At the worst they just look a little silly which they just can’t seem to stop doing.  They have no real investment in this topic and it shows!

Take for instance a recent MDA protest outside of an Ann Arbor Kroger.  Essentially, MDA wants Kroger to ask customers to not bring firearms into their stores like a few other chains have recently.  Forget for a second the obvious flaw that a simple request will do nothing to stop someone who already has no interest in following our laws, and instead focus on these comments from the MDA rep Kristen Moore at the event:

Moore said that concealed pistol carriers are different.

Those with CPL’s had to go through much more extensive background checks and training to lawfully carry their weapon, she said.

So they are not worried about CPL holders?  Well, at least they acknowledge the lengthy process CPL holders have to go through to become licensed.

But here’s the thing.  Kroger has a liquor license.  Under Michigan law it is illegal for people to possess firearms on the premises of such an establishment, except under a few enumerated circumstances.  One of those being for those who have a CPL.

Did you catch that?  MDA isn’t worried about CPL holders but is protesting outside of a place where only CPL holders may possess a firearm.  Brilliant!

Or how about the time when the Michigan leader for MDA Linda Brundage said a Michigan bill to expand background checks to all long-gun sales was needed to help prevent shootings like one that had just happened in the area.  She never did explain how requiring background checks on long-guns would have stopped a shooting where a “properly licensed and registeredpistol was used.  I guess we are left to our imagination on that one.

Or the time when Rep. Jim Downsend (D-Royal Oak), a big MDA supporter, said:

We have gun safety in this state […] because of the explosion of organized crime in the 1930’s – Tommy guns shooting up people on every block. That is the reason we started trying to get our arms around getting guns off the streets.

If you are like me then you know right off the top of your head that Michigan’s gun-control act is Public Act 372 of 1927. In case you are wondering, yes the act was passed in 1927, 7 years before the federal government. I even keep a copy of the original wording printed off and highlighted at my desk. Despite repeated requests, Rep. Townsend has yet to explain how events in the 1930’s drove legislation in the previous decade.

I could go on and on about this stuff as there is no shortage of of these people just having no idea what they are doing. Like Andy Schor’s (D-Lansing) gun-control bill meant to ban firearms in certain places that would actually increase the presence of openly carried long guns! My goodness did he miss the mark on that one! Did I mention he is another MDA supporter?

Maybe one of these days the demanding moms and their supporters will invest some time into actually getting a clue. Although, achieving a functional level of understanding usually causes one to leave the pro-gun-control side, which probably explains a lot.

You Betcha! (10)Nuh Uh.(0)

An Open Letter to Gov. Snyder – You need gun owners

Phillip Hofmeister (President of Michigan OPen Carry, Inc.) addresses Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan regarding his stance on guns.

Governor Snyder,

I am a frank man, as many people who know me could echo to you, so I will get straight to the point: you need gun owners this November.  I know you have read the polling numbers, it’s real close — you might lose.  Those few ten-thousand gun owners that won’t vote for you (along with me) may make the difference.  Aside from the people who mindlessly follow the NRA, you don’t have them.  I know many of them are planning to do one of the following regarding their vote for Governor: under-vote, vote third party (Libertarian or Constitutional), or vote for Mark Schauer (just to teach you and the Republicans a lesson).

I’m not sure which I will do yet, but I do know this: I won’t be voting for you. The purpose of this letter is to express what you can do to win my vote (and more importantly my personal support and endorsement).  It’s simple, really.  I only ask you to do 2 things:

  1. Work with the State Legislature as well as Michigan Open Carry, Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners, and Michigan Gun Owners in sincerity and earnest to repeal MCL 28.425o and have the repeal signed into law before November’s election.  If you don’t know how to contact those organizations, that’s okay – your chief legislative assistant (Mr. Posthumus) does.  This move will make a huge electoral impact as Michigan has approximately 450,000 CPL holders — most of them active voters.  If you’re looking for legislative Sponsors I would consider approaching Sen. Mike Green or Rep. Joel Johnson.
  2. Send an open, published letter to State Republican Chair Bobby Schostak (and his successor, should he be replaced next cycle) that says the following: if the State Party holds its convention in a venue that bans firearms, you will not attend.

Yes, between now and November the NRA-ILA will sing your praise for passing its FOIA Package.  I will yell just as loudly, that FOIA package accomplished nothing.  Here’s the thing you and the NRA-ILA don’t want people to know: these records were already exempt from FOIA under Mager V. Department of State Police (Michigan Supreme Court, 1999, 460 Mich. 134).  I will make sure as many people know this simple fact as possible — that despite all the NRA’s praise, signing this bill accomplished nothing.

So really, that’s it — those two, small things.  Let’s face it: the anti-gunners are already going to vote for Mark Schauer so you won’t be losing their vote as it has already been lost.  Not to mention, the number of pro-gun voters in Michigan seemingly far surpasses the number of anti-gun voters.  All you have is gain.  Do these two things and I will travel the state with you as well as sing your praise on every social media.

 

I look forward to working with you to accomplish these goals.  Mr. Posthumus knows how to contact me.

Rick Snyder

Rick Snyder is no friend of Gun Owners, at present.

You Betcha! (25)Nuh Uh.(0)

Calling Mi GOP, Do you really support gun rights?

Mi GOP Supports gun rights, right? Nah The death of a perception...

Many of you may be aware that I was asked to disarm nearly a year and a half ago at the Michigan GOP State Convention.  Just a few weeks ago (8/23/2014) at the Michigan GOP State Convention in Novi, my dear colleague and good friend Tom Lambert (Vice-President of Michigan Open Carry, Inc) followed in my footsteps of having my rights disregarded or minimized by the GOP.

You Betcha! (28)Nuh Uh.(1)

Snyder is a no-good piece of **** on guns

The thoughts of Michigan Open Carry, Inc's president on Rick Snyder.

I know I’m preaching here to many that already know this. I’ve said it before, but I feel the need to say it again. Rick Snyder is a no good piece of “s” when it comes to gun owners. It’s my humble opinion that we would be much farther along in Michigan if Virg Bernero had be elected governor in 2010.

Is Virg a strong pro-gun politician? Far from it — exactly the opposite, in fact. If Virg was dictator, every gun would be banned. That being said, Virg is a Democrat. Why is that important? In 2011/2012 we had well over 2/3rds Republicans in the State Senate. The State House was just short of a 2/3rd Republican majority. Given this, it was like pulling teeth to get both houses to adopt pro-gun legislation. Why? RICK! Both the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader have over the past 3 years done nothing but carry the water for our dear Governor. You see, you don’t get to become the Speaker of the House nor the Senate Majority leader by willfully breaking the 11th commandment: thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican. Both of these guys and most of the Republicans in the legislature won’t pass something unless Rick is okay with it.

As it happens, Rick isn’t very pro-gun for a Republican. It’s rumored his roommate was shot in college and that has made a long term impression on him regarding guns.

If Virg had been elected, on the other hand, the super-majority pro-gun legislator would have sent him pro-gun legislation, just to spite him because he’s a Democrat. Of course, he would have veto’d it — but that is okay. With 2/3rds of each chamber we would have easily over-ridden his veto. Regarding the 2 or 3 missing votes (Republican wise) in the House, I could have found them on the Democrat side of the aisles in people like Richard LeBlanc in 2011/2012. I maintain if Virg had been elected, Michigan would be a constitutional carry state right now with fewer Pistol Free Zones.

Now, I’m not going to tell anyone how to vote this year…but I plan to vote for a Republican legislator and a Democrat Governor — even if said Democrat is flaming anti-gun.

 

These thoughts are the views of Phillip Hofmeister and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Michigan Open Carry, Inc.

You Betcha! (17)Nuh Uh.(9)