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Buckle Up


The 2022 “short session” begins on Feb 1.

The former House Republican “leader” Christine Drazan announced her plans to resign from the House completely to concentrate on raising money for her bid for governor, however her resignation does not become effective until Jan 31.

This means that Drazan could continue to collect her state paycheck until the very last minute, but it also means that the process to appoint her replacement could not begin in time to have anyone in place to represent the district she is resigning from until the session is under way.

While it’s not clear exactly how much time this will take, there is no question that whoever actually gets the appointment will be missing the important opening days of the session, including the vote on whatever rules are adopted.

Now a good case could be made that it makes no difference since no Republican vote matters (unless it is to, once again, support the insane policies of the left like the Republicans did last session.)

However, learning the ins and outs of the how Salem works is a long process and whoever gets picked is going to be at a disadvantage even bigger than being in the irrelevant minority.

Certainly Drazan knew all this when she announced she was taking a powder to raise more money, so it’s safe to say her primary focus is not the best interests of her caucus.

There are a number of bills on our screen at the moment.

SB 1577

This is Jim Manning’s second try at criminalizing privately made firearms.

HB 4149

This bill claims to hold liable any person or public body for damages that occur in a  “gun free zone”  if the victim could have protected themselves had they been armed.

While that sounds like a good idea, the sponsors of the bill could not resist the urge to bow to identity politics and add a provision that provides treble damages if the victim is a minority.

What motivates this kind of effort to further divide us is a mystery, except that the sponsors may have the delusion that this kind of meaningless gesture might slide their bill past the “BIPOC” caucus that controls the legislature.

We are willing to go out on a limb here and say it’s not going to work.

HB 4073

This is Marty Wilde’s effort to outlaw self defense in Oregon.  You have to get to the bottom of the bill but here is the relevant part:

SECTION 6. Notwithstanding ORS 161.190, the justifiable use of physical force in selfdefense or in defending a third person under ORS 161.205 (5) is an affirmative defense when the defendant engaged in, directed or otherwise participated in wrongful conduct that was intended to cause the victim to be unavailable as a witness, and did cause the victim to be unavailable.

We know, it’s gibberish, but here is the translation into English.

If you act in self defense, and the person against whom you defended yourself dies, you no longer have a presumption of innocence and will be presumed guilty.

As with virtually every bill now introduced, they politicians have injected a racial component. In their notes on the bill they included this:

1. Justified use of physical force: The law should not presume that a homicide victim acted unreasonably in his last moments. As the law stands, if a defendant files a claim of self-defense, admitting that they caused the death of another person, they must prove nothing; instead, the state must disprove their claim, beyond a reasonable doubt. This becomes an obvious problem when the victim cannot testify because the victim is deceased by the defendant’s own hand. This is particularly important in cross-racial homicides, where the perception of threat is often unreasonably greater due to unconscious bias.

This bill is, no doubt, in response to this incident where the Deschutes DA has abandoned any pretense of seeking the truth as he becomes an advocate for “the victim” even prior to having the facts.

SB 1510

While not a gun bill, this proposed legislation gives one more indication of the focus of our legislature, where every single issue comes back to the assumption that Oregon is a despicable racist state.

The bill would prohibit police from stopping a car for the following reasons:

(a) A headlight that is not in compliance with ORS 816.050 or 816.320, and the vehicle has a headlight that is in compliance;

(b) A taillight that is not in compliance with ORS 816.080 or 816.320, and the vehicle has a taillight that is in compliance;

(c) A brake light that is not in compliance with ORS 816.100 or 816.320, and the vehicle has a brake light that is in compliance;

(d) A taillight that does not emit red light as required by ORS 816.080 (2); or

(e) A registration plate light that is not in compliance with ORS 816.090 or 816.320. (2) A police officer may issue a citation for unlawful use or failure to use lights under ORS 811.520 or operation without required lighting equipment under ORS 816.330 based on circumstances described in subsection (1) of this section only if the police officer has already stopped and detained the driver operating the motor vehicle for a separate traffic violation or other offense.

While completely ignoring the reality that missing lights can be very dangerous, and that getting pulled over for a faulty light might be the only way a motorist even knew about the problem, the stated reason for this bill is very telling. During an informational hearing on this bill during legislative days, House Judiciary Chair Janelle Bynum was asked why this bill was needed.

Her reply was “Because black and brown people are dying.”

We have not noticed the highways of Oregon littered with the bullet ridden bodies of black and brown people gunned down by racist cops because they had a missing taillight.

But this is the way our legislature rolls.

You may recall we alerted you to a bill draft by House Rep Greg Smith that purported to be a repeal of the anti-gun measures in SB 554 but was actually a gift to anti-gun democrats.

After you pressured Smith to fix or pull this bill, he contacted us and said it would be fixed.  As of now we have seen no actual legislation corresponding to his draft.  We’ll keep watching but that is good news for now.