Monday, May 27, 2013

Will Illinois Finally Get Concealed Carry?

So, Illinois is finally going to pass a concealed carry bill, according to the Chicago Sun Times editorial, which goes without a by line. A tip of the hat to David Codrea and the War on Guns website for pointing me to this piece.

The editors seem to believe in the magical thinking I was speaking about, that although they have been putting ever more draconian laws on the books for 40 years, with the result that crime has increased, the solution is to continue with even more draconian laws.  Let me disabuse them of the notion.  Most violent crime committed in the city is committed by drug gangs and others who have determined that they will take their chances without the protection the law provides.  In other word, they are what we call "outlaws."  Nothing you write on pieces of paper, no magical incantations, affect these sorts of people.  Now drugs are illegal in this country.  So what happens when a rival gang tries to take over another gang's territory, or steals its product and sells it at cut rate prices?  Gang members can hardly appeal to the police to rectify the situation.  Having turned their backs on the law, they are left to defend themselves as best they can, and being outlaws and thugs, they are insensitive to the need to avoid collateral damage in their attacks on rival gangs.

One solution to this situation is to allow private peaceably armed citizens to carry concealed handguns.  It has been shown that as these shall issue laws are enacted, in State after State, the violent crime begins to wane, and this effect apparently has staying power.  The effect continues to work even twenty years after such laws are enacted.  Now to magical thinkers, tinkering with their magical incantations to find just the right words, this may seem counter intuitive, but for those of us in the real world, we perfectly well understand.  The thugs only had to contend with other thugs before.  Now they have to figure that someone in the near vicinity may also be carrying, may not like being collateral damage, and might shoot back.  Outside of gang activity, home invasions, rape, robbery all are reduced because now criminals have to think about their natural prey being armed and ready to shoot them.  They may be amoral thugs, but they did not sign up for being killed by their victims.

But perhaps you wish to claim that people in the Chicago area so backwards that they will respond differently, and that you will have blood soaked streets as the citizens take the law into their own hands and mete out vigilante justice to the hapless drug lords who are just trying to make a living.  But you will find that a hard sell.  People living in Chicago today came originally from elsewhere, even if it was several generations ago.  If their relatives elsewhere did not react like so many barbarians to having a gun, why should Chicagoans?  The same arguments have been used in every State that has enacted shall issue laws, and in every State the results have been the same:  none of it came true.  And then there's the message you send if you appear to side with the outlaws and thugs.  But what else is one to conclude when governments and the newspapers oppose something that gives the victim, the true first responder, the tools they need to fight back at the moment an attack takes place?  Of course governments want to maintain the facade that they are all powerful against crime and that the citizen should depend upon these experts to "do something" about it.  But when Chicago becomes a contender for murder capitol, with higher rates of death than suffered by soldiers serving in the Iraq war, it has become pretty obvious that Rahm Emanuel is not controlling anything.  As the liberals like to say, time to try something new.   

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Gun Free Zones and Magical Thinking

I have mentioned before the magical thinking that seems to come over gun controllers that makes them think if they just draw a magical, invisible line around this or that facility, the people in those facilities will somehow be safe.  Here in North Carolina, the guys and gals who still believe in magic were in great abundance when creating our Concealed Handgun License law, and there are all sorts of magical invisible lines in this State.  You can not carry in such far flung places as Post Offices, Financial Institutions, Theatres, State Buildings, Hospitals, Restaurants that serve alcohol, Schools of any sort, along with any school related event, Parades, and protests.  If the Governor declares a state of emergency, something Gov. Perdue was prone to do at the drop of a snowflake anywhere in the State, we are all to go about disarmed.  Even the Raleigh Gun and Knife shows must get special dispensation from the State to allow any guns at all in the show!  Notice too that prosecution of this law does not require criminal intent, only the fact that it is violated.

Of course the gun grabbers throw out all sorts of excuses for making up these gun free, victimization zones.  For instance, it is asserted, without any evidence that the assertion is true, that guns and schools do not mix, that if students know there are guns in their building, they will be so distracted you won't be able to teach them anything.  But I have been around children with my gun, and they never notice it is there.  Indeed, unless the teachers themselves make a big deal of the fact, the children would probably be clueless.  Or, they will quote half truths such as alcohol and guns do not mix.  It would be true if concealed carriers were drinking the alcohol, but that is equally illegal.  Furthermore, if you look at States like Ohio or Virginia, where restaurant carry has been allowed, you don't find any more crime than you did before these States loosened their restrictions.  Meanwhile, the restrictions on Financial Institutions and Theatres are no doubt because of lobbying by special interests.  Wachovia Bank, a North Carolina native bank was very anti gun.  Even in Virginia where it is otherwise legal to carry into a Financial Institution, Wachovia branches were marked as no guns allowed.  Guess which banks usually got hit by robbers?

The idea of a "gun free zone" like a lot of other gun control laws, belong to a class of laws that make new crime in order to prevent supposedly worse crimes.  There is nothing inherently immoral about carrying a gun into a school, or a restaurant, or a Post Office, or...The gun has no moral agency in and of itself.  It depends entirely on the intent of the user.  Gun free zones, then are what the legal community calls malum prohibitum, or wrong because we say so. Possession of lock picking tools is usually illegal, even though possession of such tools is not in and of itself immoral. But possession of such tools is illegal to prevent someone from going out and breaking into another's property. Similarly, gun free zones prevent a person from having a gun in such a zone and committing a mass shooting.  And if everyone obeyed the law, all well and good.  But, and here's the conundrum, if everybody obeyed the law, there would be no need for gun free zones.

The problem that is not solved by gun free zones, or any other gun control law is that of the criminal, or what was once more descriptively called the outlaw.  The Devil was the first outlaw.  By defying God, the Devil set himself up as a law unto himself, rejecting the protection of God's law.  Human outlaws do the same thing.  So, human outlaws will ignore a gun free zone and carry a gun into such a zone if that is the most effective tool for the job.  Only the peaceably armed citizen will be harassed by ensuring he doesn't take a gun onto school property, or into a restaurant serving alcohol.  The peaceably armed citizen thus disarmed can not offer effective resistance to the outlaw, who has no concern for the law.  So, the State reveals itself as supporting the criminal class at the expense of the citizens who pay their salary.

The character from the daily comics, Pogo, famously said "We have seen the enemy and he is us."  More to the point, David Codrea's formulation that anybody who can not be trusted with a gun can not be allowed to roam the streets without a keeper is operative in reducing crime.  The person who believes that he is safe in a gun free zone because of some magical incantations and special signage is living an illusion, for there is no magic in the real world.  You can ban guns, but what about knives, swords, screw drivers, hammers, or fists?  The (formerly) Great Britain has already started down the path of banning these items, but they have a bigger crime problem than before.  (I wonder whether they will get to fists or not,) but in any case, it is a fools errand, since anything can be turned into a weapon.  Meanwhile, our cynical legislature will ban anything to appear to be doing something.  But until they demand that people act responsibly they will not really make progress on crime.  People who insist on being a law unto themselves must be removed from society.  It is not racist, it is not a lack of compassion, it is simply a fact.   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Man's need to feel secure trumps Second Amendment? I don't think so Mr. Jans St. David

The Benson News-Sun had an interesting letter to the editor that I had to comment on entitled Another View on the Second Amendment. Go read the letter, then come back here.

The first thing to note is that the author, one James E. Jans St. David is your typical uninformed individual on just how dangerous the situation he found himself in really was.  People don't shoot up public places very often, and in fact you are probably more likely to be hit by lightening than you are to be killed in such a situation.

Now, I carry my weapon concealed to avoid the sort of people like Mr. Jans St. David getting hysterical and either moving, or worse, calling the police about a man with a gun.  I also don't want to inspire such people to claim, wrongly, that I was brandishing it, or waving it about.  Indeed, the fact that I am carrying is no body's business but my own.  But that is my choice.  Others can make their own choices, and there is certainly a school of thought that open carry is needed to desensitize the public to guns, and to show that normal people carry them all the time.  It is a valid claim, but I don't see a weapon as a political agenda, I see it as a tool of self defense.

Mr. Jans St. David makes a startling claim with this:
My point is that in exercising his Second Amendment rights this young man just took away my freedom. Since when does the Second Amendment say that this young man has to wear his pistol in occupied public spaces, especially in these times when random shootings are so common? It seems to me that even in the Wild West, in some towns where violence was common, the town’s people made the cowboys check their guns when entering town as a safety factor from gun violence.
Notice how Mr. Jans St. David claims that the man took away his freedom. What did the man do, one wants to know? He says the man was looking around, and texting. Did the man have a sort of super vision that pinned people to the wall? No? Did he threaten, or make a move to make demands on anyone? No? It seems to me that it was Mr. Jans St. David who took away Mr. Jans St. David's freedom. The man with the gun could not, and did not control Mr. Jans St. David's irrational reactions.  Rather, he did that himself, and then simply transferred his emotions back on the man with the gun. So let's be clear, shall we, on who did what to whom. Furthermore, his behavior, that of looking around that so offended Mr. Jans St. David, I recognize as maintaining situational awareness so that you aren't surprised. I do this myself. If your purpose in carrying a gun is self defense, the most important form of self defense is situational awareness, knowing who is around you, and what they are doing.
Although I haven’t owned a hand gun or rifle in years, I believe everyone has the right to own a gun, but I think there is a proper place to display it. There is nothing wrong with taking the weapon to the shooting range or in the country while hiking, but why must you take it into a public place where families go for shopping or entertainment. Locking the weapon in the trunk while going to the Dairy Queen would seem appropriate to me, unless of course you are an officer of the law who is required to carry a weapon in the line of duty.
Now I am getting truly offended here. Mr. Jans St David very generously believes in a person's Second Amendment rights, then propose that that person shouldn't be allowed to exercise those rights. Oh, he is fine with having a gun at a shooting range, or out in the country hiking, unless one supposes if he and his family are on the same trail. Then, well...he'll  just have to lock his gun in the trunk, no doubt. If it were to happen that someone should come into the Dairy Queen with evil intentions, it does little good if the man with a gun has his gun in the trunk of his car. The whole reason he is carrying is self defense, but here you propose to disarm him any time he is in a place where pleasant activites are going on, and families might not want anyone to harsh their mellow. And irresponsible weasel that he is, our hero can expect little help from the likes of Mr. Jans St. James.

Meanwhile, the author is fine with police officers carrying because they are required to. If his letter is to be credited, then police officers must be a super breed of men, with greater moral judgement, and special powers of deduction not possessed by the ordinary citizen. Such special powers are no doubt brought to the pinnacle of perfection by the special training that the police receive. Of course the reality is somewhat different. The police are drawn from the ranks of ordinary citizens, are given a few weeks of special training, and sent out to keep order with their wits, a gun and a badge. They have no special powers, they are almost never there when a crime happens. That is not to bash the police, but to convey the reality that when you need them most, the police are usually somewhere else. It may come as a surprise to Mr. Jans St. David, but the police have no power that he did not delegate to them, and that he can not just as easily take back. Thus, while it makes sense to leave crime busting to those assigned to do it, when your are attacked, you must defend yourself as best you can.
I belive that storing your weapons in a locked gun safe is appropriate to limit access to only the owner and that it is not necessary to wear your weapon in public places. If you can’t take your weapon on a plane or in a ballpark to watch a baseball game or other public event, why should you be able to compromise my feeling of security/freedom at the Dairy Queen or any other public facility?

Are we reaching a point where to satisfy the Second Amendment that the baby sitter comes over wearing a pistol or the preacher at church wears a side-arm? How far does the Second Amendment reach?
So, now we get down to it. Mr. Jans St. David believes that he has a right, not mentioned in the Constitution, to feel safe and secure, all snuggled up in his security blanket, where nothing can ever go wrong, and this "right" trumps the Second Amendment.  But reality is quite different from Mr. Jans St. David's world.  In the real world, criminals with guns, obtained illegally in most cases, go where they will regardless of "gun free zones," gun control laws, and midnight vigils with candles, where people make weepy speeches and sing "Kum-by-ya."  In fact, many preachers do discretely carry a gun to protect themselves and their parishioners.  Preachers are often more aware of reality than most, and also take their responsibilities as Shepard to their flocks very seriously.  As for baby sitters, if they are qualified to carry a gun, that to me would be a plus.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fox News James Rosen Targeted by Regime

So is a Second Amendment blogger blogging about the trampling of the First Amendment?  To understand that, you must understand that the Second Amendment is designed to be a guarantee of the other rights in the Bill of Rights.  That is, if the people can not get relief form a rogue and tyrannical government  through the proper uses of the ballot box and the soap box, they may resort to the cartridge box.  In other words, I want all my rights protected, not just my Second Amendment rights.

I reported Sunday to you on the IRS scandal involving the targeting of Tea party, Conservative, Constitutionalists, and Patriot groups for silencing by intimidation. In denying these groups their rightful tax exempt status, the regime probably limited donations to these groups, and scared off others who didn't want to get involved and find themselves the targets of an IRS probe. The thuggery worked, and probably affected the 2012 elections. Certainly, it will have an effect on the 2014 mid-term elections. That is the reason for the IRS to be taking these actions.  By drying up the money that the groups and candidates use to get out their messages, they limit the speech of these groups.

Now comes reports that Fox News reporter James Rosen was named as a criminal co-conspirator in a DOJ probe into State Department leaks concerning North Korea. Rosen was simply doing his job, as have countless other reporters. Katie Pavlich has the story at You can click through her story to read about it at the WaPo as well. The HuffPo adds that journalists are outraged. I would hope so.

What these two scandals have in common is the attempt to intimidate people into not speaking up.  In one case, it is groups of Conservative people who get together, educate each other, plan actions to advance their cause: smaller government that stays within the confines of the Constitution, and lives up to the ideals of equal treatment under the law.  In the second case, it is to intimidate reporters into not reporting information the regime wants kept under wraps.  It has largely enjoyed such a situation with the MSM, who failed to tell us who and what this President was until far too late. Indeed, we have to learn from Pravda that Obama is a crypto communist according to the TheBlaze. From the Pravda article:
Well, any normal individual understands that as true but liberalism is a psychosis . O'bomber even keeps the war going along the Mexican border with projects like "fast and furious" and there is still no sign of ending it. He is a Communist without question promoting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so. How shrewd he is in America. His cult of personality mesmerizes those who cannot go beyond their ignorance. They will continue to follow him like those fools who still praise Lenin and Stalin in Russia. Obama's fools and Stalin's fools share the same drink of illusion.
I hope the targeting of James Rosen for doing his job has opened the eyes of the media to the reign of terror being unleashed in the United States. I'd like to believe that most liberals want the same things I do, but we disagree on how to go about it. I'd like to believe that, but it will require a press that scrutinizes and reports on the foibles of both parties, not just one sided reporting. A free people requires a free press.

Update 5/21/2013: Kirsten Powers of the Daily Beast, and sometime Fox News contributor has an article up at the Daily Beast excoriating the Lamestream Media yesterday entitled How Hope and Change Gave Way to Spying on the Press. The Daily Beast can not be considered a conservative outlet in any way.

Now it seems that Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News has had her computer compromised. The report comes from Katie Pavlich over at today. Ms. Attkisson can not be sure who got into her computer, but it is telling, coming at a time when we are finding out the DOJ has been looking at reporters e-mail and phone records.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

"For they have sown the wind, and shall reap the whirlwind" Hosea 8:7

The lies, deceit, and wrong doing uncovered during the grilling of the outgoing IRS Commissioner would take your breath away if not for the fact that if one was paying attention, one knew this was happening. What we didn't know was how widespread and systemic it was, nor did we have a full realization of how morally bankrupt the people running the IRS and the people carrying out the schemes really are. No one has died as a result of the IRS's harassment of Conservatives, TEA partiers, Constitutionalists, or Jews, but a comparison to Nazi Germany is in order because this is the direction the U.S. is headed unless we stop it. Hannah Arentd coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann, but the "ubiquity of evil seems to be more applicable in this case.

That the man heading a powerful agency of the government does not think it is wrong to treat opposing philosophies on governing with prejudice to those with whom he does not agree is simply amazing. His job was to fairly execute the tax law, a daunting task in and of itself. Deciding on the basis of their beliefs who should and should not receive tax exempt status was not in his job description.  Still, one wonders after the demonization by the DHS of such groups as "terrorists" if the Commissioner and his minions did not think that perhaps it was a good thing.  After all, such groups want to bring the entire government crashing down...except that isn't true.  What such groups want is to return government to its Constitutional scope.  If bloat is not good for the human body, it is also not good for the body politic.  One will never know what wonderful things might have been had the government not taken the money for taxes, and then squandered it on cronies like Solyndra, or bailing out the "To Big To Fail" banks, or "investing" in Government Motors.

I realize that I have a fairly savvy readership, but there are some things about tax exemption that I did not know, or forgot. You can find a Basic Primer on the IRS scandal at the American Thinker today by Jonathon Moseley. Its a good general introduction to a topic that is pretty dry, and that most will pass over simply because it is boring. But make no mistake, boring or no, these guys were engaged is silencing political opponents. Actually, Rush Limbaugh made a telling statement yesterday that puts the IRS scandal in perspective. He said that to the Right, the Left is uninformed or wrong headed. They are opponents to be debated and persuaded. But to the Left, the Right is the enemy, to be crushed and destroyed by any and all means possible. I leave it to you to imagine what the phase "any and all means possible" could mean if they got their hands on the whole of government, but a little 20th Century history should inform your imagination.

The hearings with the outgoing IRS Commissioner produced some incredible statements that, even if that actual acts prove not to have been explicitly illegal (and I find this to be unbelievable as well) will certainly put him in jeopardy of perjury. Hotair has some out takes of the hearing that you must see to believe here. Notice that in staging the roll out of the scandal at a sleepy meeting of tax lawyers on a Friday afternoon, they sought to blunt the news and hopefully make it go away. That act, trying to cover it up puts the lie to the notion that they did not know what they were doing is wrong. They knew it, but either did not care, did not think they would be caught, or figured that they would be shielded from prosecution as have the principles in the Fast and Furious scandal.

Whatever their reasoning, National Review's Kevin Williamson has the story of the Nine Lies of Lois Lerner.  In those lies we find out that in addition to slow rolling conservative groups' tax exempt status, they additionally passed information about these groups to left wing opponents.   I don't know what you call such shenanigans, but I call them political sabotage.  I also know that such acts are indeed illegal.  One wonders if Harry Reid had similar information from the IRS on Romney's taxes, and knew that what he was saying was a lie?  One wonders if that is why he spoke on the Senate floor, since speaking on the Senate floor exempts him from slander laws?  We will probably never know.

The Founders intended to protect political speech, not go go dancers, or Hustler Magazine, or any of the other uses to which "free speech" has been put.  What the IRS scandal represents is an attempt to silence political organizations with which they did not agree, while at the same time magnifying the political speech of those organizations with which they agreed.  Whether the President, or his Treasury Secretary ordered them to do it, or simply set the tone at every turn that led to the IRS taking actions that clearly violate the Constitution and laws of the United States, we can fairly conclude that President caused this to happen.  If the President had set a tone that required every agency to follow the law, and root out corruption, none of these scandals, from Fast and Furious to Benghazi, to the IRS scandal would now be plaguing the President.  But the Left always believes that the laws do not matter, that they are above the law, if what they are doing advances their cause.  It is time to tell them they must obey the same laws everyone else must obey.  That means someone goes to jail.

Update:  Fay Voshell writing at the American Thinker Sunday, May 19, 2013 has an interesting take on the IRS scandal unfolding.  She points out that what is transpiring here has echoes in the Stasi of East Germany, and in the Russian experience written about by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.  Go read Voshell's piece.

Bob Beckel, again on the Five, pointed out that Left wing groups were often once targeted, which makes a kind of tit for tat moral equivalence.  One thing that is different about the Left wing groups, is that that many of them took their orders from the Soviet Union.  Not all, and I don't condone harassment of anyone.  If the government has actionable intelligence of treason, and that is what it is, then act, as they did with the Rosenbergs.  But the United States should not be in the business of silencing people.  Being Communist isn't illegal, spying on the United States for a foreign power is.  Trying to persuade people that Communism is the way to go isn't illegal, but trying to overthrow the United States is.  Persuading people that part of the reason the government acts outside of Constitutional limits is because we are Taxed Enough Already is not treason, unless and until you formally revoke the Constitution.  Not prepared to do that?  Then stop harassing conservatives.      

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Instrumentalist Theory of Gun Control

I have been re-reading passages from Jeff Snyder's A Nation of Cowards and was struck again by the power of this writer's ability to get to the heart of matters. He starts of the book with an exposition of what he calls the "Instrumental Theory of Gun Control" and then very precisely shows the self contradictory nature of this argument.  Besides being self contradictory, the instrumental theory often criminalizes behaviors that are not in themselves criminal in order to prevent another type of crime.  So for instance, possession of guns defined as so called "assault weapons" is banned, even though such possession is in and of itself not criminal, in order to prevent mass shootings from occurring.  In so doing, legislators ban millions of people from possessing such weapons, while only a very few are prevented from carrying out their crimes.  Moreover, the millions so prevented resent the law, because they know the statistics, and respect for the law decreases. 

Most gun control proponents make statements, depending on the latest excuse for blood dancing in the news, like the following:

"Guns are killing our children daily on the streets of (name a city). We must get guns off the streets."

Or it might be the discredited theory offered by Kellerman : "A gun in the home is 43 times more likely to be used for a suicide,accidental gunshot death or a criminal homicide than to kill a criminal intruder is self defense. We must keep guns out of the wrong hands, and that means (name the latest gun control target such as universal background checks, or closing the gun show "loophole" or an assault weapon ban)."

As I say, they vary, but most follow a similar logic. Notice that it is the gun that seems to just jump up and start shooting on its own. It is as if the gun were given animating powers and a mind of its own. It is the gun that commits the suicide, or accidentally kills innocents, or criminally commits homicide, and it is the gun that refuses to kill the criminal intruder.  How perverse these instruments must be.  In framing the argument in this manner, gun grabbers absolve the criminal, and instead blame the tool that he used. But, as Snyder writes:

"We now arrive at the critical paradox of instrumentalism. In its gun control variation, its end point is to pass a law eliminating, or restriction access to the gun; that way lies salvation. But the act of passing and complying with a law, and the very notion of law itself, assumes that men are free, that is have the capacity to conform their behavior to a self-given rule of conduct. Instrumentalism thus leads always to the contradiction that men whose conduct is supposed determined by the power exercised by extremal factors (in this case the presence of the gun), and so who are not free and therefore cannot be responsible for the events which befall them (in this case experiencing a homicide in the home), propose to exercise a freedom they supposedly do not have by legislating to themselves a rule that, if adhered to (that is by exercising a capacity for responsibility they supposedly do not have), will free them from consequences just posited as beyond their control."

Well, if the instrumental theory of gun control has such flaws, then why make them?  Why subject yourself to such rhetorical abuse?  And why concentrate on gun violence to the exclusion of knife violence, blunt force trauma, beatings, or strangulation?  Is being shot with a gun somehow worse than these other ways of killing?  Would a woman being raped feel better about the fact if she were stabbed rather than being shot with a gun?  I think the reason for the language used, and the reason for the concentration on gun violence to the exclusion of all other violence is because of hate.  As Kurt Schlicter noted in a recent column entitled Dems Shoot Themselves in the Foot again on Guns published 05/13/1013 in

This isn’t about dead children. If saving kids was their real motivation, liberals would have long ago allowed the police to end the daily slaughter in Democrat-owned war zones like Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. No, this campaign is driven by elitist hatred for regular Americans who refuse to bend to their will, who defiantly live life on their own terms, and who stubbornly resist accepting the moral supremacy of the urban liberals who would rule them.

They want to show us who is boss, to put us in our place, to take away the proud symbols of – and the tools that protect – our independence for one reason and one reason only. They want to show that they can. They want to demonstrate that what rights we have come not from our maker but from them, to be granted or withdrawn as they please.

President Obama and his family go about their daily lives surrounded by the Secret Service, the Praetorian Guard of the White House, as do Vice President Biden. Michael Bloomberg has his armed police escort that even follows him to anti-gun overseas vacation spots. Senator Feinstein has a permit to carry her concealed handgun. Obviously these Progressives think their own hides are worth saving, but they also obviously have contempt for the lives of ordinary Americans. In a government that is working properly as the servant of the People, such a thing would be unheard of.  In a government that considers its citizens as such, instead of subjects to be taxed and squeezed while they are useful, then tossed away as soon as they are not, the opinions of the people would be considered in all things undertaken by the government.  Instead, we have unpopular programs foisted on us against our will, while the politicians who voted for these laws claim not to know what's in them.  And nobody is worried about being voted out of office.

Perhaps its true then, that we have become a nation of cowards.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Review: Control, by Glenn Beck

There are several books you should have on your bookshelves if you want to be informed about gun rights and the gun's effect on society in America. One of these books is A Nation of Cowards by Jeff Snyder. The book is a series of essays Snyder has written over the years exploring gun rights, and the hypocrisy and immorality of laws intended to infringe those rights. He starts from the individual's right to life, infers a right to self defense, and then finds that we have the right to the most effective defense, which today means a firearm. This was the same line of reasoning that resulted in the 2nd Amendment.  He explores the hypocrisy of a government that denies its citizens guns, then goes to court to claim they do not have to protect the individual. He questions whether a government that denies citizens guns can claim to have the consent of the governed. Voting is only half of the test of consent, for if your elected representatives refuse to stand for re-election, and you have no way to force them to, then what you really have is tyranny.  In addition, he explores the arguments for gun control, and finds them and immoral. Snyder is must read.

Then there is the work of John Lott in More Guns, Less Crime. Where Snyder explores the principles upon which our right to arms is based, Lott has taken the practical statistics, broken them down by county nationwide, and explored the trends over time. The book that results is definitive, exhaustive, and exhausting to read. But nobody has been able to refute Lott's work. The conclusion is that having more peaceable armed citizens carrying a gun results in less crime over time, and the effects, 20 years out, show that the effect is not diminishing. Thus principle supports the practical.  Lott is another must read.

You can now add Glenn Beck to that list with a book entitled Control. Beck contends that the real purpose of gun control is to control you and me. Put another way, what the gun grabbers unstated goal is to be able to impose their will unfettered by any objections from those they intend to rule. Guess what? He is right.

First some background.  I have been listening to Glenn Beck for almost 10 years now.  Unlike Hannity or Rush Limbaugh, Beck was not partisan, and told you what he thought.  More importantly, what he thought was well researched, and I kept discovering that the things he said, some of which seemed outrageous at first, were indeed true.  Interestingly, on one of my trips to Ohio, I got my wife to listen to Beck as well, and she also found what he said compelling.  Now, when my wife, who comes at things from a liberal and utilitarian background, and I, who looks at the same things through a prism of principled conservatism, find ourselves in agreement, that is a day to mark on the calendar. We have both been Glenn Beck fans ever since.  So, when Glenn Beck puts out a book on gun control, on a topic on which I feel pretty knowledgeable, but knowing his propensity for digging deeper that anyone else, I had to have a copy.

And Beck doesn't disappoint, but more importantly, his book is likely to reach a wider audience of people.  I often have the feeling that we in the gun rights blogging community are a circular choir singing to each other.  The people reading our blogs are often people already convinced of the need or desirability of having guns, whether for self defence of to deter the government from imposing a dictatorship.  It is necessary work, keeping spirits up and making sure we don't fall into defeatism because of the massive propaganda machine that tells us there is no way we can win.  But we often don't make any new converts.  Indeed, I have had the most luck making new converts with people at work or the range.  But we are fighting a cultural war for control of hearts and minds.  One or two people here and there just isn't enough, nor fast enough.  Glenn Beck has the third highest rated talk radio program, and he commands a huge audience.  So I was happy when he wrote this # 1 rated book on gun control. 

The book is laid out in three separate parts.  Part one attempts to put the truth to the myths and lies that are told about guns.  Here, as he so often does, he takes the gun grabbers words and responds to them.  You see quotes from Piers Morgan,  Representative Carolyn McCarthy, Nicholas Kristoff, Mayor Bloomberg  or other public gun grabbers, then you see a refutation of these statements, many times with statistics taken from the United Nations, National Institute of Justice or John Lott.  One interesting myth that I had never paid attention to was the claim that mass killings like Aurora Colorado or Newtown Connecticut "only happen in America" where our "lax gun laws" encourage us to murder each other in such gory explosions of blood because of "easy access to guns."  It turns out that this is a world wide phenomenon, and points toward causes other than American gun laws.
Which brings us to part two.

In part two, Beck answers the question: if additional gun control isn't the answer, then what is?  Beck takes an apparently discredited theory and gives it new life.  He thinks that violent video games in particular, and violence in entertainment such as books, television and movies cause some people to become mass killers.  Beck points out that most people viewing or playing these games will not become mass murderers as a result.  Indeed, one of the things he points out is how rare mass killings truly are.  It turns out that a person is less likely to die in a mass killing than to be hit by lightning.  And being hit by lightning is a pretty rare event.  Still, the research is compelling, and points to somewhere an economist might provide useful statistical analysis.  At the same time, Beck calls out the Hollywood elite who make money on films that promote violence while calling for more gun control.  After all, simply shooting your enemies has a certain kind of amoral satisfaction, and solves the problem in the short run.  But you can not shoot an idea, and until it is defeated with the light of truth, it doesn't die.  Gun rights are not about a bunch of Rambo vigilantes shooting their enemies,  but preventing violence wherever possible.

Which brings us to part three.

So, if gun control doesn't work, and we know that violence in entertainment may be at least part of the problem, what do we do about it?  Beck is clear that we don't need to government to impose more laws or regulations.  What is needed is for us to take personal responsibility for our families' protection both physical and from violent entertainment.  Hollywood has the right to make violent films and games.  But we don't have to watch them.  As for video games, parents need to become familiar with the rating system for video games, but in addition, they need to play the games to make sure they aren't violent.  You might even play the games with your kids.  We have wii and we have games such as golf, and bowling, that our grand kids like to play, and we often play with them.  More importantly, get the kids out of the video games and go outside.  Now, if you live in places like New York, finding a healthy outlet for your kids is more of a challenge than if they live near Stately PolyKahr Estates, but as they say, "if it saves just one child."

As far as guns, we already have a staggering number of laws on the books, most of which are not enforced even when we have the perpetrator dead to rights.  The NRA calls on the government to enforce the laws on the books, not because it agrees with those laws, but because it makes starkly obvious that if the government can't enforce the laws it has, it has no business making yet more laws that just infringe the rights of peaceable armed citizens.

Moreover, the call to enforce existing law points to the fact that many in both Congress and the commentariat don't know what the law currently is.  Bob Beckel of the Five on Fox News has called for background checks on Internet sales, as have others, claiming you can buy a gun from the Internet without a background check.  It is simply not true.  Let us say you buy a gun on or from  Both of these Internet sellers are Federally Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealers.  Once you pay them, they ship the gun to a local brick and mortar FFL of your choice.  That FFL then performs a background check, and ensures that all other laws governing the sale in your State are satisfied before turning the gun over to you.  Beckel simply doesn't know of what he is talking, but he is sure we need more gun laws.

Finally, the calls to enforce existing laws makes starkly clear that the goal of such laws is not to control crime, but to make owning and carrying a gun such a confusing minefield that the average person simply throws up his hands in disgust.  In balancing the possible protection that a gun provides against the potential consequences of unknowingly becoming a felon, the potential felon argument wins.  The peaceable citizen is thus psyched out of even getting a gun, making the job of eventually confiscating the rest that much easier.  If that isn't infringement, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn you may be interesting in buying. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Way Up North: Things That Make Liberals Angry

Way Up North: Things That Make Liberals Angry.  Go read, and add some things if you can think of them.  I had a recent "debate" with a "liberal" over taxes.  He seemed to think if was a good idea for the govenment to nudge us with the tax code.  I thought a flat tax with no deductions for any reason was the ultimate in fairness.  Doesn't matter how you earned it, you pay a flat rate.  If you make say, $10, you pay $1.  If you make $1 Billion, you pay $100 million.  Of course, our "liberal" friend was offended, because a flat tax is too "regressive."  Then he shut down any further debate by saying "Well, you just have no compassion, and I guess I have too much!"

Whew.  Now there's a leap.  He has compassion for other people so long as it is with other peoples money. When the Lord gave the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Samaritan used his own money and resources to help the man beset by highway men.  He didn't go around and take other peoples money, at the point of a spear, to perform his good deeds.  That is the difference between true compassion, and the phoney stuff "liberals" spout.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Waking the Dragon

This piece, in the Iowa State Daily blows me, and anything I might have to say about it away. Written by Barry Snell, a gun owner and user, the piece is an indictment of the anti-gunners as liars, not only about the role of guns in American society, but even worse about gun owners. I don't recognize myself when I read the things anti-gunners write and say about gun owners.  I also don't recognize the motives ascribe to me in their writings. Go read Snell: Waking the Dragon-How Feinstein Fiddled while America Burned. So, I'll just let Snell tell his story, and hope people will go read the entire article:
I’ve come to realize after the Sandy Hook shooting that the reason we can’t have a rational gun debate is because the anti-gun side pre-supposes that their pro-gun opponents must first accept that guns are bad in order to have a discussion about guns in the first place. Before we even start the conversation, we’re the bad guys and we have to admit it. Without accepting that guns are bad and supplicating themselves to the anti-gunner, the pro-gunner can’t get a word in edgewise, and is quickly reduced to being called a murderer, or a low, immoral and horrible human being.
Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because they tell us they don’t want to ban guns, only enact what they call “common sense gun laws.” But like a magician using misdirection, they tell everyone else they want to ban every gun everywhere. While some are busy trying to placate us with lies, another anti-gunner somewhere submits a gun ban proposal — proposals that often would automatically make us felons for possession. Felons, for no good reason. And you anti-gunners can roll up your grandfather clauses and stuff them where the sun don’t shine. If it ain’t good enough for our grandchildren in 60 years, it ain’t good enough for us right now.
Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because when it comes to their “We need gun control to save the children” argument, many of us can’t understand how an anti-gun liberal can simultaneously be in favor of abortion. Because you know, a ban on abortion would save a child every single time. I’m personally not rabidly against abortion, but the discongruence makes less sense still when the reason abortions are legal is to protect a woman’s individual rights. That’s great, but does the individual rights argument sound familiar? Anti-gunners think that for some bizarre reason, the founding fathers happened to stick a collective right smack dab at the top of a list of individual rights, though. Yeah, because that makes sense.
Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because they are purposely misleading to rile the emotions of the ignorant. We don’t trust anti-gunners because they say more than 30,000 people are killed each year by guns — a fact that is technically true, but the key piece of information withheld is that only a minor fraction of that number is murder; the majority is suicides and accidents. We don’t trust anti-gunners because we know accidents and suicides don’t count in the crime rate, but they’re held against us as if they do.
Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because they’re fine with guns protecting the money in our banks, our politicians and our celebrities, but they’re against us using guns to protect ourselves, our families, or even our children in schools. Legislative trolls like Dianne Feinstein cry havoc about me protecting my life, while standing comfortably behind armed guards —and the .38 Special revolver she got a California carry permit for. We don’t trust anti-gunners because they tell us our lives aren’t important, or at least are less important than the life of some celebrity like Snooki, who can have all the armed guards her bank account can afford.
Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because in a single breath they tell us that the Second Amendment is irrelevant today and should be repealed because semi-automatic weapons didn’t exist when the Bill of Rights was written, then turn around and say the First Amendment protects radio, television, movies, video games, the Internet, domain names, Facebook and Twitter. Carrying liberal logic on the Second Amendment through to the First Amendment, it would only cover the town crier, and hand-operated printing presses producing only books and newspapers, and nothing else. Even anything written with a No. 2 pencil or ballpoint pen would not be included. And those of you belonging to religions that formed after the 1790s? You’re screwed under liberal logic, too.
Gun people don’t trust anti-gun people because anti-gunners insult us for our opposition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (aka the “ATF”). We don’t trust anti-gunners because we know the ATF is hardly a law enforcement agency but is really a glorified tax collection agency that has abused, ruined the lives of, or murdered dozens of innocent gun owners through overzealous enforcement of gun-related tax and paperwork regulations. Just ask Louis Katona, Patty and Paul Mueller, John Lawmaster, Tuscon Police Lt. Mike Lara or any of the dozens of other victims of criminal ATF agents. Where was the ACLU for all that? And it doesn’t help that President Obama tried to appoint known anti-gunner Andrew Traver to be the ATF director. Check out the ATF’s “Good Ol’ Boys Roundup,” “Project Gunrunner” scandal and their loss of department guns for a little F-Troop entertainment sometime, too.
We want the crime and killings to stop as much as you do, so to my fellow citizens who are anti-gun I say: So long as you deny our humanity, so long as you malign our dignity, intelligence and wisdom, so long as you seek to shade us under a cloud of evil that we do not partake in or support, so long as you tell us that because we own guns we are terrible people, you will prove yourselves absolutely right in that we won’t come to the table to talk with you.
I want to send out a tip of the western hat to Sean Sorrentino of the blog "An NC Gunblog."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

We are just One Spree Killing Away from Expanded Background Checks

I said in my recent post entitled Gun Owners Not Out of the Woods Yet that Senate Majority Leader Reid plans to bring up his bill, S. 649, along with all of the defeated amendments, including the Toomey-Manchin amendment at a later date. Now, Neil McCabe has the inside baseball account of how Reid's Maneuver Sets Up Anti-gun Measures for Quicker, Easier Passage at

According to McCabe, the gun grabbers are just waiting for another spree killer to get the public panicked about guns again, and then they will strike.  These people have no sense of common decency, and therefore any shame that others might feel about dancing in the blood of innocents does not even occur to them.  I hate to sound like a broken record, but none of the proposals on the table at the moment would have stopped Sandy Hook, or any other spree killing that has occurred in recent history.  The facts have been pointed out to them numerous times.  They know the facts, and yet they persist.  Some, like Carolyn McCarthy may have tragic backgrounds that prevent them from believing the facts.  But most, like Senator's Feinstein and Schumer understand, but they persist.  It is difficult to credit such actions to any but bad motives.

The word "infringe" which is only used once in the Constitution, if I remember correctly, means:

1: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another <infringe a patent>

Now, a legally required background check before you are allowed to purchase a weapon infringes your rights by virtue of providing a prior restraint on your right to keep and bear arms.  If we take as an analogous case, the restriction on the 1st Amendment that you can not yell "fire" in a crowded theatre when there is no fire, that is not an example of prior restraint.  You can yell "fire" in a crowded theatre all you like, but if you do, and they find that no fire was present, you will be prosecuted.  This would be the same thing if anyone could purchase and bear whatever arms he chose, but if he assaulted or murdered someone with those arms,  he would be prosecuted.  In fact, this is what largely obtained before the Civil War in the country.  But because of the prior restraint on the purchase of guns, the background check becomes an infringement of the 2nd Amendment.  Similarly, if you had to ask permission before you said anything, and that permission was granted only if it fit with what a beauracrat wanted you to say, that would be analogous to what we have now with background checks.

If you wanted a background check system that doesn't violate the Constitution, it must be private, it must be voluntary, representing good and best practices among gun dealers.  Interestingly, I think that for their own self protection, gun dealers should perform background checks and refuse certain people according to their own sense of risk.  At most, the State might provide a database that the gun dealers could use to check up on persons they are suspicious about, or the gun dealer could use private background checks on the web, as many employers now do.  As to records, it probably would make sense to keep records for a minimum of 7 years, though I can see using the average purchase to crime time of 14 years as well.  But again, these decisions would be private, and the government could not access any record without a warrant.  Most of these provisions could be enforced not by government agents, but by liability insurers, who might insist that those they insure followed the guidelines of something like a National Gun Dealers Institute.

I know what you are going to say: "If a voluntary effort would have been Constitutional, why wasn't there a organization and best practices already set up?  Why did the government have to step in?"  It may seem a long time ago, but it has only been a generation or so, that people used to understand that guns were inanimate tools, incapable of moral agency.  Nobody expected a gun to just jump up and shoot someone on its own.  It was understood that the man that wielded the gun was the moral agent who determined if it's usage was for good or evil.  It was understood that the seller of the gun had no moral capacity, or legal claim to read the minds of those purchasing guns to refuse to sell to them.  Finally, there was no way to know a person's record, unless he was a very famous outlaw, and then...

In today's litigious society, with computer access to data about nearly everyone, I think it highly possible that some sort of voluntary effort would have developed.  But the government chose to short circuit that by setting up licenced dealers.  Of course, they did this not to protect dealers, but to gain control of who had guns, and where they are.  That's why they take advantage of any high profile shooting to try to advance their cause.  That is why they ignore the 2nd Amendment, and they hope you will too.  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Psychological Warfare on Americans

William A. Levinson again has an article at the American Thinker that you should take a look at.  Entitled The Beggars Mafia it reveals that what has been called "dancing in the blood of innocent victims" is really immoral psychological warfare. Those who are not prepared for it will surely fall victim to it. The real "beggars mafia" are a group of violent and amoral criminals in India who chop off the limbs of children in order to exploit them as beggars' props. Who, after all, seeing a child without an arm or legs, could resist.   Levinson makes clear that the modern day blood dancers don't go that far:
Barack Obama and his anti-Second Amendment allies, unlike the real Beggar Mafia, obviously had no hand in the deaths and injuries that they now seek to exploit. There is, on the other hand, ample proof that they are glad these deaths and injuries happened. Identifiable people in their camp have expressed open gratification that Adam Lanza slaughtered more than two dozen innocent people. Their own words provide far better proof than any argument that could possibly come from the National Rifle Association or other Second Amendment advocacy groups.
He then goes on to quote specific luminaries, including Rahm Emanuel, Ed Rendell, and of course our favorite Mayor Doomberg. It is obvious that these people are salivating over the fact that a mad man went into a gun free zone with a gun and killed so many children. Mayor Doomberg even expects another such event to spark still more gun control. But if you look at the situation in the cold, hard, light of reality, you will see that it is people like them, elected officials, who have set our children up for random slaughter by creating gun free school zones in the first place. For them now to say that we need more gun control, when it was the gun control their predecessors put in place in 1990 that caused the problem takes a great deal of chutzpah.

Levinson goes on to note that this type of psychological crime has been going on for at least 100 years.  He notes:
The Glorious Leader's exploitation of Sandy Hook families is strongly reminiscent of William Allen Rogers' cartoon of Woodrow Wilson with the "little lost children of the Lusitania." It has been proven, by the way, that the Lusitania carried rifle ammunition whose sole purpose was to kill German soldiers. Rogers' psychological crime therefore helped murder more than 100,000 Americans along with countless Germans with whom we had no legitimate quarrel. Compare the following Rogers cartoon to the Glorious Leader's cynical exploitation of Sandy Hook survivors.
Yes, that great Progressive President, Woodrow Wilson used the American children killed during the sinking of the Lusitania to get the public stirred up to go to war with Germany. Trouble was that the Germans were correct. The Lusitania was carrying war materiel to England, to use against Germany, and using the passengers aboard as human shields. Much as the blood dancers today, who know that their proposals will do nothing to prevent violence...gun or otherwise...Woodrow Wilson got us into a war we had no business fighting, and had full knowledge of the actual situation.

A corrupt group of people are doing their damnedest to stampede us into panicking so that they may pass another infringment of which the Constitution says may not be infringed.  We can not let them do it, and if they do, they must understand that we will not disarm, will not register, we will resist.