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senorpeligro
07-20-2012, 8:03 PM
Just an idea I'm kicking around. There seems to be some CGN members whom disagree with the direction that CGF is taking with litigation.

For the record, I don't know enough to form an opinion other than I believe that CGF is earnestly working to further the cause and has my continued support.

Perhaps those with different opinions could form a kind of think-tank of dissenting opinion, perhaps centered around a Wiki with non-anonymous edits to thrash out competing ideas. I propose making the Wiki (or other collaboration) tool publicly readable to maximize the "network effect".

CGF could continue to operate on the current "opsec" principle but would of course be free to cherry pick any ideas from the OPFOR.

This would also represent an "open source" vs "closed source" kind of approach without fracturing our cause.

What do you think? Crazy? Might work?

OleCuss
07-20-2012, 8:50 PM
I rather like the idea, but I think that us non-legal types would have to be excluded. An open forum discussing actual case details and plans would be a huge boon to those we do not want to help.

So you would have to get the relevant players together and cooperating.

Right now, they don't cooperate very well for reasons which I don't understand and don't want explained to me in this forum.

In this state, at least, the two primary centers for firearms litigation are:
1. CGF and its allied attorneys.
2. NRA allied with Chuck Michel's group.

CGF seems to have genuine antipathy toward Chuck Michel's group and seems very unlikely to cooperate with them any time in the near future.

I do not know whether Chuck Michel's group has a similar antipathy for CGF. But it looks to me like they are pretty uncomfortable on CGN now and that limits the opportunity to judge their attitude regarding CGF.

As best I can tell, this probably has to do with strategic and/or tactical approaches to firearms litigation in California.

It is reasonable to have differences regarding strategy and tactics. I'm not so sure that it is reasonable to generally ignore the other relevant parties and take potshots at them when the opportunity presents.

Net effect at this time is that I consider it doubtful CGF is going to be able to enlist any further legal assistance within this state. At this time I think there is something structural or strategic which is preventing that. It may be valid and appropriate or it may not be - I don't know what it is and may not be able to properly judge if I did know.

If one looks at what navyinrwanda (NIR) has recently pointed out as potential legal strategies, it will likely require more resources than CGF is likely to be able to provide anytime soon.

The most highly resourced group of relevance is the NRA. It is possible that Chuck Michel's group would be more willing to work with the likes of NIR in a collaborative endeavor.

Understand, I am not trying to denigrate anything that CGF has done, is doing, or is going to do. I think their contribution has been immense and will continue to be.

But they have not been anything like unfailingly successful. Important to remember that the ammo ban was not killed by the CGF suit but by the NRA one? The CGF suit (IIRC) basically failed on issues of standing. The NRA suit was either better founded and argued or their choice of venue was better.

My point is that throwing all our eggs into one basket may not be a great idea. We really need to have competing ideas rather than one monolithic one.

Anyway, I think I may be ranting now.

Back to the point. We need everyone working together. Given the evident antipathy of CGF to Michel's group and what I take as hints from others that CGF is not welcoming competing ideas. . .

My approach would be to go to Michel's group and ask if they would be willing to cooperate with CGF when possible and then see if CGF could set aside whatever their differences may be. One or the other will be open to the collaboration - hopefully both.

I'm sure I said the above incorrectly in many ways. Sorry. I mean no offense to anyone and if it appears to have been offered, it was unintended.

senorpeligro
07-20-2012, 8:55 PM
My point is that throwing all our eggs into one basket may not be a great idea. We really need to have competing ideas rather than one monolithic one.


This is what I'm getting at. At the moment I see various people contributing what may be garbage or gold in disparate threads. As a programmer, I am pre-disposed (and biased) towards an open source model, although I totally understand the need for "OPSEC" in the context of actually taking action. I'm hoping people like NIR and FGG have something worth working on, even if it's outside of the current strategy.

Obviously IANAL.

hoffmang
07-21-2012, 10:16 AM
One of the strategic issues here is not between the differences of opinions that may (or may not) exist between the groups of legal folks who are accomplished at firearms litigation. The real issue is between the competent and the folks on the wrong side of the Dunning–Kruger spectrum.

There were a lot of people back in 2009 who said we (and Alan Gura) were crazy to attack carry and that we were just going to lose. We still can lose. However, since then we've propelled the right to carry to the SCOTUS fast track, freed Sacramento County, freed Maryland and North Carolina to a lesser extent and now the doubters badly want to push their copy cat cases. Should we win carry, we will take the last real bit of oxygen out of the anti gun side. (If only one of 8M LTCers had been in that theater...)

The other place where you see tension is when those who are taking snide arguments against some of our litigation strategy are trying to get admissions out of us about what our actual strategy is. Not every case is designed to go to SCOTUS. We'd be in a world of hurt on SB-249 if we hadn't played certain things EXACTLY right.

Fundamental to all of this is a simple conflict. CGF wishes to create change. To do that takes taking risks. The classic and conservative firearms lawyers don't like risks. Conservatives for change is an oxymoron for a reason. It's the reason NRA-ILA was opposed to Parker/Heller until they were not.

-Gene

Californio
07-21-2012, 10:21 AM
I am an outsider looking in but this is what I see.

The "Old Guard" had never brought a 2nd Amendment Case to SCOTUS, they were probably afraid of the outcome and a majority of States had a 2nd Amendment clause in their State Constitutions.

Robert A. Levy, CATO Institute Chairman, for reasons unknown to me selected an unknown Lawyer, Alan Gura, to bring what became "Heller" Robert Levy financed Heller, not sure why Levy started the litigation.

The Old Guard tried to torpedo Heller as well as the Bush II administration.

Alan Gura went further and brought "MacDonald".

Alan Gura is the attorney of SAF.

So I think what you have is the Old Guard vs SAF.

You have the Gura Plan vs all the Old Guard attorneys.

If it was not for the Libertarian Robert A. Levy, there would be no "Heller".

NIR would not even have a place to stand if Heller had not been brought.

I see the Old Guard not worried about Civil Rights, they were worried about Due Process vs Privileges and Immunities because it could open up the can of worms of Civil Rights beyond 2nd Amendment Rights.

So Gura is about all Civil Rights and does not care if his litigation gives support to other Rights in his Firearms cases.

The Old Guard wants to advance Firearms but wants to keep the Genie in the Bottle when dealing with other Rights, such as Gay Marriage.

So I think you have the Young Guns that advocate Civil Rights for All and the Old Guard that still wants Selective Rights.

The History of Bad Gun cases all rest on the foundation of controlling Selective Rights, they just come back and bite you in the arse at a latter date.

So you really have a rift between the two camps that probably rest more on Moral Grounds than anything else.

All the early Bad California Firearms Laws were based on Racism and Selective Rights, 1924, California Supreme Court Case, Ramirez, lasted 50 years which denied Pistols to any Foreign Born

Citizens.

Feel to correct me, I am just an observer.

OleCuss
07-21-2012, 11:15 AM
One of the strategic issues here is not between the differences of opinions that may (or may not) exist between the groups of legal folks who are accomplished at firearms litigation. The real issue is between the competent and the folks on the wrong side of the Dunning–Kruger spectrum.

There were a lot of people back in 2009 who said we (and Alan Gura) were crazy to attack carry and that we were just going to lose. We still can lose. However, since then we've propelled the right to carry to the SCOTUS fast track, freed Sacramento County, freed Maryland and North Carolina to a lesser extent and now the doubters badly want to push their copy cat cases. Should we win carry, we will take the last real bit of oxygen out of the anti gun side. (If only one of 8M LTCers had been in that theater...)

The other place where you see tension is when those who are taking snide arguments against some of our litigation strategy are trying to get admissions out of us about what our actual strategy is. Not every case is designed to go to SCOTUS. We'd be in a world of hurt on SB-249 if we hadn't played certain things EXACTLY right.

Fundamental to all of this is a simple conflict. CGF wishes to create change. To do that takes taking risks. The classic and conservative firearms lawyers don't like risks. Conservatives for change is an oxymoron for a reason. It's the reason NRA-ILA was opposed to Parker/Heller until they were not.

-Gene

I much appreciate that, and you have no idea how much respect I have for you and CGF.

That said, there have been potshots taken at Chuck Michel and company which I think were unfortunate. I don't recall any by you in particular and I'd really rather not get into who did (I couldn't link a post anyway).

I'm hoping we can have at least a semblance of comity between all the firearms lawyers involved in the fight - even if for strategic and/or other reasons they aren't going to be friendly or collaborative.


In my profession I've been impressed at how offended people are if one professional speaks disrespectfully of another. It doesn't seem like it is the disrespected professional is the one who is most disliked.

Your post which I quoted above is close to what I would hope for. Although you did reference the Dunning-Kruger spectrum and competence, you at least did not necessarily apply that to a particular group or individual.

No one involved in any sort of litigation answers to me. But what I'd hope is that in the future all the players are accorded the maximum possible respect even if differences and sharp disagreements must be acknowledged.

(Of course, there are limits to what one can do for Birdt, Gorski, Nichols, etc. But even then we can admit the possibility that their motives might be correct.)

hoffmang
07-21-2012, 11:24 AM
(Of course, there are limits to what one can do for Birdt, Gorski, Nichols, etc. But even then we can admit the possibility that their motives might be correct.)

The best thing we can do to mitigate the damage caused by incompetents who are fighting for the right outcomes is to get there first and put the case on competently.

Also, don't forget how exposed the nacent 2A is to the criminal defense bar. You see this writ large in the MCDV cases.

I personally believe we take more risks in waiting on some of these issues than we do on pushing forward. We've balanced and calculated and I hope that we've chosen wisely on the things we're waiting on, but it's hard to remain true to the fact that we must prioritize and that means that things that everyone would like to see moving forward right the heck now - can not be addressed yet.

SCOTUS carry will sweep many cases off the battlefield. At that point the last round or two of major issues will come front and center but it takes a couple more years.

-Gene

OleCuss
07-21-2012, 11:31 AM
Californio:

I don't know all the ins and outs of what has occurred and will occur. I suspect you are fairly close in at least some of what you are saying.

Heller 1 really might be a wonderful illustration. NRA seems to have thought that Heller was a strategic mistake and tried to kill it. Gura and his compatriots thought the NRA was wrong - and turned out to be correct. But one has to understand that if Washington, D.C. had played the matter out correctly (not changing lawyers when they did) the result may have been different. While I'd agree that the NRA was wrong, I'm not sure they were as utterly wrong as some think.

The NRA's actions in McDonald left a bad taste in my mouth. Yeah, they got to take some credit for the win because they did the Due Process argument in the orals. Thing is, it is not at all clear that their oral arguments made one whit of difference. The P or I argument may have been what really tipped the scales and may have set the stage for additional victories in the future.

I think one must respect the NRA on the litigation side. One needn't agree with them, but they've got some pretty heavy hitting people on board and they bring resources. Much better if one can develop a working relationship with them where you can occasionally cooperate on some cases and on others agree to disagree and go your separate ways.

Especially after Heller 1 I can understand if SAF/CGF and similar maintain some skepticism of exactly what the NRA litigants are trying to do and whether their strategy is correct. But as a non-lawyer, I'm not sure the NRA legal types are all that bad at their jobs as it sometimes appears.

I can accept that CGF and its close allies are not going to be working hand-in-glove with the NRA and Chuck Michel's group. But I'm hoping that the disagreements can be polite and respectful of at least the persons.

OleCuss
07-21-2012, 11:37 AM
The best thing we can do to mitigate the damage caused by incompetents who are fighting for the right outcomes is to get there first and put the case on competently.

Also, don't forget how exposed the nacent 2A is to the criminal defense bar. You see this writ large in the MCDV cases.

I personally believe we take more risks in waiting on some of these issues than we do on pushing forward. We've balanced and calculated and I hope that we've chosen wisely on the things we're waiting on, but it's hard to remain true to the fact that we must prioritize and that means that things that everyone would like to see moving forward right the heck now - can not be addressed yet.

SCOTUS carry will sweep many cases off the battlefield. At that point the last round or two of major issues will come front and center but it takes a couple more years.

-Gene

I've also no doubt that you are or will be wrong on some of this. That's just the nature of the beast.

Even wise and thoroughly researched decisions go South on us from time-to-time.

But keep up the good fight!


I have difficulty being patient on getting a few more good cases through SCOTUS to help us along the way. But I keep remembering that a recent Circuit Court opinion was referring to Heller 1 as if it had just been issued. I don't think the courts see things on the same time scale as I do.

Gray Peterson
07-21-2012, 1:13 PM
One of the strategic issues here is not between the differences of opinions that may (or may not) exist between the groups of legal folks who are accomplished at firearms litigation. The real issue is between the competent and the folks on the wrong side of the Dunning–Kruger spectrum.

There were a lot of people back in 2009 who said we (and Alan Gura) were crazy to attack carry and that we were just going to lose. We still can lose. However, since then we've propelled the right to carry to the SCOTUS fast track, freed Sacramento County, freed Maryland and North Carolina to a lesser extent and now the doubters badly want to push their copy cat cases. Should we win carry, we will take the last real bit of oxygen out of the anti gun side. (If only one of 8M LTCers had been in that theater...)

The other place where you see tension is when those who are taking snide arguments against some of our litigation strategy are trying to get admissions out of us about what our actual strategy is. Not every case is designed to go to SCOTUS. We'd be in a world of hurt on SB-249 if we hadn't played certain things EXACTLY right.

Fundamental to all of this is a simple conflict. CGF wishes to create change. To do that takes taking risks. The classic and conservative firearms lawyers don't like risks. Conservatives for change is an oxymoron for a reason. It's the reason NRA-ILA was opposed to Parker/Heller until they were not.

-Gene

Let me also add to the chorus here in re the doubters. The doubters for this purpose does not include Chuck Michel, even though I might personally disagree with how and where the Peruta case was done at the appellate level.

There are three people in the state who are on the wrong side of the Dunning-Kruger scale and who are dangerous to our rights here.

1) Gary Gorski and his obviously stand in Sacramento carry plaintiffs who didn't jump on getting a carry license when it was announced in October 2009 (which means self defense and what they claim in court isn't really for real). If he was interested in for real defending his plaintiffs interests (and in fact their very lives), he would have told them to re-apply for a carry license right after it was announced (it was big news)

Mr. Gorski told Alan Gura in an email to basically perform a sex act on him.

Gorski also has two DUI's on his criminal record since filing the Mehl and Rothery cases. He also injured a woman who was riding with him after he was drinking.

2) Charles Nichols. Mr. Nichols has repeatedly stated that Alan Gura is in this for the money rather than for the right, and that SAF/CGF is anti-open carry. He also files litigations pro se (bad idea) with numerous structural deficiencies. His own case is floundering and it required him to carry a long gun with attached bullets, where he's now facing a criminal charge. He wouldn't accept that there are easier civil ways to get standing.

He also destroyed South Bay Open Carry, by filing an apparently perjured form to the California Secretary of State's Office. He was never an officer with the South Bay Open Carry organization, but he just filed for it.

The open carry community generally hates him because of it, but he keeps going on with no shame. He's right, everyone else is wrong if they disagree with them.

3) Jonathan Birdt. This guy misrepresented himself to a court during the middle of a negotion. He was suspended from the bar directly for 30 days, plus 2 years of suspended suspension probation.

I won't even go into the details about how he basically told me to perform a sex act on another CGF volunteer because he was pissed at what I was saying.

The people that oppose us tend to have impulse control problems, perjurous, and are people of poor moral turpitude. This is why they are considered a threat and not serious players. The only reason they are paid any attention is because of the threat to our civil rights that they cause with their poor litigation skills.

wildhawker
07-21-2012, 2:48 PM
OleCuss,

What everyone is exposed to here at CGN and in public generally is but a minute fraction of the actual data.

http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/wq-iceberg-underwater.jpg

Further, note that CGF & Cal-FFL affirmatively held back and deferred to NRA's program on SB 249 until NRA said to "go". There's just one example of how we continue to work with our friends at NRA.

The tension you see between some of us and the NRA's west coast press release mill is effectively 2 things: those of us members who want to see much more value for our money vs. the benefactors of inefficiency and irrational decision-making, and gun rights 1.0 vs gun rights 2.0.

We are all part of, and witnessing, a gun rights cultural revolution - for the better.

Much, much better.

-Brandon

wildhawker
07-21-2012, 2:52 PM
Gray,

Chris in Hawaii might disagree with your first point. I would, too.

-Brandon

OleCuss
07-21-2012, 4:19 PM
Brandon:

I think I was careful to indicate I don't know all the facts. But I think I'd tend to reject the "tip of the iceberg" analogy.

IIRC, the typical ratio for an iceberg is about 10% above water and about 90% below.

In this case I'm guessing it is less than 1% out in the open where people like myself see what is going on and probably somewhat more than 99% hidden from people like me. I happily admit that I am wildly ill-informed compared to someone like you.

I'm also not lobbying to hear more. . . I understand that there is a lot that I should never hear.

What I'm hoping will go on in the future (maybe more like "continue to go on"?) is some attention and thought to preserving the opportunity to work with others who are in the firearms arena.

There are some shots we just don't need to take no matter how irritated/disgusted we might be.

Birdt, Gorski, Nichols, etc. are another matter. They are irredeemable and cannot be assets to anyone but those who are anti-liberty. While I see no particular benefit from going out of our way to disrespect them, they can be peculiarly dangerous and attempting to minimize any cooperation and support by anyone is probably beneficial.

I do hope that CGF maintains an openness to working with others when they show themselves to be worthy of a certain amount of trust.

I think we are blessed to have you working for our freedom and I thank you for the extraordinary efforts you have made and continue to make.

bwiese
07-21-2012, 4:35 PM
I will also add that formus such as this ending up magnifying relatively minor differences in approach (if and when they do exist). Remember that two lawyers in a room can have 5 conflicting opinions ;-) and sometimes institutional behavior is different than behavior of others.

We do trust Our Great Boys in Sacramento and have pledged to do nothing to hurt them and we consult with them frequently.

As to speculators that have a granule of information or two, their chatroom opinions are just that.

There's a cost of not moving and a cost of moving, and we think at this point the cost of moving is much less. Many things are going our way, and I specifcally note that Ezell even though not a Supreme Ct opinion was very very important.

My personal opinion is that minor technical spats are resolved privately, and we save our fire for the antis and for reforming the State Organization and getting it to start doing some PAC-like behavior. Dropping $$$$ in certain districts can have a calming effect on new gun law introduction.

Californio
07-21-2012, 5:53 PM
If you read some of my Posts I referenced such remarks.

I have been self-employed since College, for all of only 5.5 years. I have great respect for Risk Takers, it is how things get done, its how I get things done.

Like you, I do expect Decorum between the differing parties.

Young people forget how much damage can occur, with errant language.

I would prefer the dirty laundry stay off the main page and under wraps, it does not serve any constructive purpose.

You and I have both picked up the vibe, I am sure many others have as well.

Type A's are a handful to control and we have a room full of them, which may be the Achilles Heel of the whole movement.

Maybe we need an Ambassador at Large, want to Volunteer:)



That said, there have been potshots taken at Chuck Michel and company which I think were unfortunate. I don't recall any by you in particular and I'd really rather not get into who did (I couldn't link a post anyway).

I'm hoping we can have at least a semblance of comity between all the firearms lawyers involved in the fight - even if for strategic and/or other reasons they aren't going to be friendly or collaborative.

wildhawker
07-21-2012, 6:00 PM
No thanks, we'll keep winning while everyone that wants to hugs it out.

-Brandon

whatpain
07-21-2012, 6:10 PM
i just want to say i appreciate the hard work and its a shame that it takes lawyers to secure our freedoms but that is what this country has come to i guess

wjc
07-21-2012, 6:26 PM
As long as Gene, Brandon, Alan et al can eventually get me 20 round mags, I'm all for 'em.

I'm a simple man with simple tastes.

:D

Gray Peterson
07-21-2012, 7:39 PM
Gray,

Chris in Hawaii might disagree with your first point. I would, too.

-Brandon

I'm speaking of the super crazies, not merely just dis honesty and back stabbing.

G60
07-21-2012, 8:13 PM
As long as Gene, Brandon, Alan et al can eventually get me 20 round mags, I'm all for 'em.

I'm a simple man with simple tastes.

:D

You might have to buy a few sets of four.

http://oldcarjunkie.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/1209095770ansen_sprint_slot_mag_large.jpg

wjc
07-21-2012, 8:41 PM
160392

:D

HokeySon
07-21-2012, 9:15 PM
***
Also, don't forget how exposed the nacent 2A is to the criminal defense bar. You see this writ large in the MCDV cases.
***


What do you mean by this?

Connor P Price
07-21-2012, 9:34 PM
2) Charles Nichols. Mr. Nichols has repeatedly stated that Alan Gura is in this for the money rather than for the right, and that SAF/CGF is anti-open carry.

This assertion by Nichols is one of the most foolish things I've heard, and shows in no uncertain terms that Nichols has no idea what he's talking about. A prominent DC Beltway lawyer with a 2-0 record at SCOTUS and history as a very successful Deputy AG in California could be making a lot more money doing something other than strategic civil rights litigation.

The dollar figures he brings in by winning a case my seem large at first glance, but I'd guess that he's actually losing quite a bit of money in opportunity costs and doing so only because he knows that it's the right thing to do.

wash
07-22-2012, 12:44 AM
He means the case of Drug Dealer v. Harris.

But as for the Achilles heel of our movement, it could be solved with a few litmus tests:

Would you rather lose your right to keep and bear arms or see the US government recognize same sex marriage?

Would you rather gain the right to carry a functional firearm in two years or sue for your own carry rights in a case that is destined to lose?

Would you rather upset the antis so much that bad legislation gets proposed or leave your empty gun in the car when you go to Starbucks?

There are probably a few more tests.

We are fighting the best we can but some people who would fail those tests keep setting us back and making things unnecessarily harder for us.

If anyone asks what same sex marriage and gun rights have to do with each other, if the bad court decisions that we want overturned get overturned, it may bolster the argument that equal protection of the law constitutionally protects the rights of same sex couples to marry.

If that bothers you more than losing your civil right to keep and bear arms, you aren't needed.

OleCuss
07-22-2012, 7:18 AM
No thanks, we'll keep winning while everyone that wants to hugs it out.

-Brandon

:grouphug:

Just for you, Brandon! ;)

hoffmang
07-23-2012, 9:52 PM
What do you mean by this?

I'm going to concur with Wash, but the best examples of this is that the California State Courts have already ruled that so called assault weapons are not protected arms by the Second Amendment because they are dangerous or unusual in a criminal case. Of course, "assault weapons" are no more dangerous than any other rifle (maybe less so) and they are exceedingly common, but hey - it's guns in a California state court so a judge must throw all signs of rational thought out to stop guns. Now if only he or she would disarm their bailiffs who have the exact same things...

-Gene

taperxz
07-23-2012, 10:00 PM
He means the case of Drug Dealer v. Harris.

But as for the Achilles heel of our movement, it could be solved with a few litmus tests:

Would you rather lose your right to keep and bear arms or see the US government recognize same sex marriage?

Would you rather gain the right to carry a functional firearm in two years or sue for your own carry rights in a case that is destined to lose?

Would you rather upset the antis so much that bad legislation gets proposed or leave your empty gun in the car when you go to Starbucks?

There are probably a few more tests.

We are fighting the best we can but some people who would fail those tests keep setting us back and making things unnecessarily harder for us.

If anyone asks what same sex marriage and gun rights have to do with each other, if the bad court decisions that we want overturned get overturned, it may bolster the argument that equal protection of the law constitutionally protects the rights of same sex couples to marry.

If that bothers you more than losing your civil right to keep and bear arms, you aren't needed.

This is cool^^^

For all the hard core conservatives out there, We will win using a "liberal agenda" Fight fire with fire.:D

wash
07-23-2012, 10:20 PM
Liberal agenda isn't winning things, it's a single issue agenda that wins.

Our judicial system is totally out of whack when the supreme court fairly regularly accepts "living document" theories of the meaning of the constitution instead of going with original intent and forcing the states to amend when they feel change is necessary.

We need a re-boot and a legislature that actually tries to protect our civil rights instead of destroy them.

The way to get there is using persuasive legal arguments to fix those problems but our margin of error is slim.

Winning is everything.