Thursday, December 29, 2016

Our President's Narcissism, and Our Part in Feeding It

For anyone so interested, it may be useful to be reminded periodically, that America was not always as it is, and that Americans, too were much different once upon a time.  Kevin Williamson, over at National Review has a piece on Obama's Last Days that bemoans not only the apparent narcissism of the President himself, but our attitude toward this cult of personality. We citizens could nip this sort of thing in the bud by not paying it the attention that the President so craves. But we don't. It wasn't always so.
To be a republican in the 18th century was to be a radical. The American founders were deeply suspicious of pomp and circumstance: It is not mere coincidence that the ban on an official national church (that, and not having a manger scene at city hall, is what “establishment of religion” means) came in the first item on the Bill of Rights. Many republicans of the founding era were so suspicious of religious bureaucracies that it was not a foregone conclusion that the Catholic Church would be tolerated throughout the colonies. (Indeed, for a time it wasn’t.) And they were even more suspicious of the claims of royalty. In the person of the English king, they found a compound of those sources of suspicion: a hereditary monarch who was head of state and church both.
The idea that a large, complex society enjoying English liberty could long endure without the guiding hand of a priest-king was, in 1776, radical. A few decades later, it became ordinary — Americans could not imagine living any other way. The republican manner of American presidents was pronounced: There is a famous story about President Lincoln’s supposedly receiving a European ambassador who was shocked to see him shining his own shoes. The diplomat said that in Europe, a man of Lincoln’s stature would never shine his own shoes. “Whose shoes would he shine?” Lincoln asked.
As I have noted in the past, the idea of nobility was like putting lipstick on the pig. So called "noble families" started out as the most ruthless, most murderous thugs in the region, who bullied murdered, and forced their way until they were given control. Usually, they had to continue to be more ruthless and murderous than everyone else because any sign of weakness they showed would have been the end of them as another nearly as ruthless and murderous creature would take their place.  These people then took the wealth of the people as taxes, in return for guaranteeing the peoples safety.  Of course, they never kept their promise, but the peoples wealth was taken nonetheless.  Funny how that works.

No one who demands respect by virtue of noble birth, should receive any more respect than that given to any man or woman by virtue of their humanity.  Nor should one who is wealthy by reason of noble birth be allowed to keep it.  It was stolen, truly.

American Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, indeed any official should be shown the same respect due to anyone else, and no more. These people are a self selected bunch, who have by hook or crook, convinced enough people to vote for them.  As a result they have been given great responsibility, and temporarily the perks that go with that job.  The perks that go with the job are not personal attributes but rather taxpayer concessions to facilitate performing their job.   For example, former Presidents receive lifetime Secret Service protection at taxpayer expense.  We do this to ensure that Presidents actually leave office, knowing they will be protected from those they may have hurt with their decisions during their time in office.

 The constant obsession with the Presidents comings and goings, what he ate for breakfast, and when he last farted should be of no more concern to us than that of anybody else.  The President should shine his own shoes, for crying out loud.  In a health republican polity, the President would be like the School Principal.  Yes, you know who he is, and have a vague idea what he does, but
in your day to day activities as a students, your teachers and your work are more important.  Nobody idolizes the Principal.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Raising a Middle Finger to Gun Control Libtards

Here's a good one from Kurt Schlichter that I missed a year ago.  But Bearing Arms pointed to the article, and it is a doozy.   The article entitled Gun Rights Advocates Have a Devastating New Argument Against Gun Control. Here It Is. published by the Independent Journal Review. You would expect, of course, that if it is so devastating, it must also be quite sophisticated and subtle. But Schlichter doesn't do subtle.
American gun owners are beginning to respond with a fresh, powerful argument when facing anti-gun liberals. Here it is, in its entirety. Ready?
“Screw you." That’s it. Except the first word isn’t “Screw.”
That's it? We just raise a middle finger and go about our business? As it turns out, yes, and the reason why is the rest of the story, so to speak.
It’s not exactly a traditional argument, but it’s certainly appropriate here. The fact is that there is no point in arguing with liberal gun-control advocates because their argument is never in good faith. They slander gun owners as murderers. They lie about their ultimate aim, which is to ban and confiscate all privately owned weapons. And they adopt a pose of reasonability, yet their position is not susceptible to change because of evidence, facts or law. None of those matter – they already have their conclusion. This has to do with power – their power.
You can’t argue with someone who is lying about his position or whose position is not based upon reason. You can talk all day about how crime has diminished where concealed carry is allowed, while it flourishes in Democrat blue cities where gun control is tightest. You can point to statistics showing that law-abiding citizens who carry legally are exponentially less likely to commit gun crimes than other people. You can cite examples of armed citizens protecting themselves and their communities with guns. You can offer government statistics showing how the typical American is at many times greater risk of death from an automobile crash, a fall, or poisoning than from murder by gun.
But none of that matters, because this debate is not about facts. It’s about power. The liberal anti-gun narrative is not aimed at creating the best public policy but at disarming citizens the liberal elite looks down upon – and for whom weapons represent their last-ditch ability to respond to liberal overreach.
I certainly hope that one of the first bills to come before the Congress is the National Reciprocity bill currently circulating in Congress. Regularizing the carrying of firearms across State lines is fits the true meaning of Constitution as regards regulation of interstate commerce. Just as a driver's license issued by one State is recognized in the other 49, so a permit to carry should be recognized. The only problem I see with this is that it will make permanent the regime of concealed carry permits, which were always intended as a step back to Constitutional carry that obtain before.

The original reason for concealed carry permits was a public attitude that honest people carried their weapons openly.  Only criminals carried concealed.  In those days, the early 19th century, it was perfectly acceptable for people to go about publicly armed.  Today, the public does not want to see weapons, and open carry is discouraged.  While it is perfectly legal, you will make a spectacle of yourself if you open carry, and anything that might conceal even a portion of a weapon such as a coat will earn you a visit from the police. Most concealed carriers I know appreciate the laws allowing open carry as a way to avoid a visit from the police because their the wind accidentally blew their cover garment and momentarily revealed their concealed gun.

In any case, you now have permission to raise a giant middle finger to those who want to control your use of a gun.  Kurt Schlichter and I authorized you to do it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Left Suddenly Discovers the Value of Having Guns

David Codrea has an interesting article on liberals who are suddenly buying guns over at Oath Keepers entitled Rush by 'Liberals' to Buy Guns Refutes Progressive Narrative and Raises Hypocrisy Quetions. The gun grabbers, who are mostly Leftists, have been telling us for years that we need only rely on the police-never mind that hiring someone to defend you does not absolve you of the responsibility to defend yourself. Now, suddenly, here they are buying guns for self defense? Does anyone else smell a rat? Are Leftists now preparing to demonstrate Mao's axiom that power grows out of the barrel of a gun? As I have always suspected, the Left hoped to get the rest of us to give up our guns, but they never intended to give up theirs. That was just a convenient ruse.

The 9mm vs. .45 debate continues

I occasionally check into various forums dealing with 1911 style handguns, if for no other reason than to keep up with the latest poop being jawed about.  One of the classics debates that people (especially those new to these forums) is oil versus grease for maintaining your pistol.  There are partisans for each, with a known set of reasons for each choice, and then there is the great majority who use whichever product is most effective in their particular environment.  Similarly, the other classic debate is the fabled 9 mm versus .45 ACP.  This debate can be extended to include .38 Spl, .357 Magnum, and .40 S&W or 10 mm. Bearing Arms has the usual debate ender when these arguments get started at 9mm vs. .40 vs. .45 which is better for self defense?

I get asked every now and then by people who are new to shooting: "What gun should I get?" often followed by "Which bullet is best for self defense?"  I tell them the same things.  If you are new to guns, take a basic course to learn how to shoot safely.  Rent some guns you are thinking about and try them with a box of ammunition.  See which ones you shoot the best.  It is better to carry a .32 ACP that you can shoot well, than a .45 ACP that you can not.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

On the Political Meaning of saying Merry Christmas

I say Merry Christmas to everyone I meet, and if they seem not to appreciate my "Merry Christmas," I tell them I hope they will take it in the spirit in which it is given.  But, truth be told, I do not feel very merry this year.  The birth of the Christ child as always is an exciting time for me, but I feel the weight of our failure as Christians to proselytize our neighbors, and the Muslims in our midst.

This singular duty was brought home to me in an article in today's American Thinker entitled Christmas in a Time of Religious War.
Now, to the rub. This is not the time for lighting candles in town squares, hashtags of peace, vigils and prayers for understanding. It is time to spiritually prepare ourselves for battle. We need to spiritually go to war with the ideology of Islam as it is being practiced and believed by millions, not just a few million, but it seems hundreds of millions, so yes, we are going to war with Islam.
I have tried to wake up members of my own congregation, but it seems many are still lost in the dream of political correctness and peace through ecumenical dialog. I have even had people try to convince me that all religions teach essentially the same thing. My answer is no, they do not. Only one religion teaches that the only way to the Father is through the Son. For only one is its central character not just King, but Prophet and Priest. Man no longer needs a mediator, because Jesus is our mediator, our Lord, and our Savior. Furthermore, the God of Creation, who knew us before the world was created, and carefully planned and timed his salvation of His Creation, has seemingly delivered an unlikely President to us.
There is hope. Reports say that the Christians of Egypt, living under the most horrible dhimmi conditions, are heartened by the election and words of Donald Trump. As the Soviet prisoners languishing in the Gulag were heartened by the words of Ronald Reagan, so now are the hearts warmed by the members of the persecuted church by the words on Donald Trump. Think about that for a moment.
.This most unlikely of leaders, this most unlikely of Christian leaders, has spoken in defense of the persecuted unlike any President in memory. The man who so many mocked has shocked the world. What lies in Donald Trump’s heart, I don’t know, and certainly those who speak so derisively of him don’t know either. Nor do we know how God has chosen him and how He will use him. But I do feel that Providence is at work here. Who among us will mock that?
I pray each day for our new President, that he will be the kind of leader we need at this time. The Bible is full of unlikely leaders who turned out to be the ideal man for their time. I pray that Trump will be such a leader.

Meanwhile we Christians are fighting a Spiritual battle with not only Islam, but also with the Left. Why, does the Left seem drawn to Islam, one wonders? Islam seeks to kill homosexuals, subjugate women, and demands that atheist and agnostic or irreligious submit to their god. Yet the Left seemingly prefers Islam to the simple persuasion that Christianity offers.  What can explain the apparent suicidal attraction these people have with a program that surely wants to kill them all.  Fay Voshell answers that question in another article at American Thinker entitled Preferring Herod to Jesus.

Voshell notes that the Left has always had a soft spot in its heart for tyrants and dictators. Their gushing descriptions of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, and more recently Castro are sickening to anyone who has looked at the history of these dictators with anything like clear objectivity. It is this same yearning for a dictator that drives the Left like lemmings jumping off the cliff, toward the object of their obsession, only to realize to late that their obsession is a rendezvous with a horrendous death.

I hope you will read both articles 000today, and after the Christmas gifts have been passed out, the dinner has been eaten, and the game watched, ponder these thoughts as you say another "Merry Christmas!"

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Idea of America: Immigration

From the beginning, the United States has attracted immigrants to its shores.  People came, and brought their various cultures and skills with them for freedom and liberty.  Freedom means to be free from something or someone, whereas liberty means free to do or be what one wants.  Within the law, both are to be had here in the United States.  I have lived overseas, and I have visited other countries. I enjoyed both, but I am an American, and I strained at my leashes when overseas.

I mentioned in my first post on the idea of America that I was speaking with a Russian immigrant.  I well remember meeting this woman at the airport, and I remember being at her wedding, and helping her get her papers in order.  I have no problem with immigrants-who come in legally, obey our laws, and who want to acquire the "idea of America."  She now is married to a friend of ours, has a son, a job, and she enjoys her freedoms and liberties here in the United States.  Sure, she goes back to Russia on occasion, but just like me, she always returns.

Acquiring the "idea of America" means first of all, understanding that we are a nation of laws, and that no one (including Hillary Clinton) is above the law.  It requires that each potential immigrant learn English, to the best of his or her ability.  Having lived overseas myself, I understand that everyone has different abilities when it comes to languages, and even though a person might have no trouble learning one language does not mean that he will be able to learn another with equal facility.

Acquiring the "idea of America" means learning the history leading up to the Declaration of Independence, and understanding that seminal document.  It also means learning the history of the Revolution, and the Constitution. One can not hide out in an immigrant community and allow criminals to continue to rule the lives of people in those communities.  One does not have to give up his or her culture to come to America, but one does have to give up his old way of life. And why wouldn't you?  You have come here to be free, so be free!

Acquiring the "idea of America" means using ones skills to add to America, make a living for oneself and ones family, and be able to contribute to bettering the lives of those around you.  If you have come to suck off the welfare teat, then you are not a true American.  Go home, we don't want you.  If you have come to change America, its Christian heritage, its laws, then leave.  We don't need you either. America is unique in the world, there is no other. There are enough places to go where they already practice what you preach.  Go there and be happy.  If you want to come to America because you think we are easy pickin's, again you have picked the wrong target.   While some have tried to show a softer side of America, we are still the land with a rifle behind every blade of grass.  Don't awaken the sleeping giant.  We are still the country that managed to send fresh homemade fruitcakes to our boys serving in WWII,  Imagine what message that sent to German generals?

So, welcome to America, but be prepared to do the hard work necessary to become an American, or go home.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Idea of America, Then and Now

Yesterday, I wrote about the "Idea of America" and what that (used) to mean.  One thing it used to mean was that somewhere, at least one courageous editor would publish a piece on the recent Senate report on Planned Parenthood.  Some editorial might just propose that Planned Parenthood should not be funded with taxpayer dollars. But here is a story about what it means today.  Phelim McAleer has a piece today at entitled The Senate Report on Planned Parenthood that No One is Talking About. You may recall that the Center for Medical Progress made a very devastating investigative film showing Planned Parenthood people talking about selling baby parts quite matter of factly, as if they were talking about some chicken for dinner. While Planned Parenthood claimed selective editing and taking these words out of context, the Senate did its own independent report.  McAleer:
Matching up documents and invoices the Committee found just how one $15 an hour “technician” spent an hour of his time in early summer 2014.
“For Example on one day in June 2014, the ABR technician obtained a 20 week old fetes at a [Planned Parenthood] clinic. From that one fetus, ABR sold its brain to one customer for $325; both of its eyes for $325 each ($650 total) to a second customer, a portion of its liver for $325 to a third customer; its thymus and for $325 and another portion of liver to a fourth customer; and its lung for $325 to a fifth customer. These fees are merely the service fees for the specimens themselves; ABR separately charged each customer for shipping, disease, screening, cleaning and freezing, as applicable. So from that single fetus for which ABR paid a mere $60, ABR charged its customers a total of $2,275 for tissue specimens, plus additional charges for shipping and disease screening.”
In the recent kerfuffle of so called "fake news," one point is often lost. We have always had "fake news" to one degree or another. People, being people, will always slant the news one way or another. But to out an out not report on something that is so disgusting, so inhumane, frankly so evil goes beyond the faking of news. This is willingly giving cover to the selling of baby parts, thus becoming an accessory after the fact.  Now, no, one can be charged for failing to report this, but that does not mean that they are therefore off the hook.  If the press wants to regain the trust of the American people, reporting on things like this instead of doing pieces on the need to "manage fake news" would be a good start.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Idea of America

Years ago, we had a visit from a woman who had immigrated from Russia, and married a friend of ours.  She was seeking citizenship, and I was attempting to explain why so many people flew the Flag of the United States of America from their homes.  I told her that the United States is not a place so much as it is an idea.  The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution defined what America was intended to be.  Rather than being patriotic about a King, with whom you probably disagree, or the old blood and soil sort of patriotism, people who showed their patriotism by flying the flag were expressing an idea.  I don't think she understood.  But saying it out loud cemented the thought firmly in my mind.  The idea of what America is, is contained in the words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  i don't apologize for either.

Today, Frank Minter had a piece at the National Review entitled The Myth of Flyover Country's "Real America", which expresses the thing I tried to convey all those years ago. For no matter where I go, I carry with me the "idea" of "real America." Indeed, I suspect this is what truly irritates people when they encounter Americans in a foreign land. You can take the person out of America, but you can't take America out of the person.
Trump is a New Yorker. He built his real-estate empire from Manhattan. He raised his children on New York’s swanky Fifth Avenue. He then became a reality-TV star, and emerged as the hero of the forgotten working class across Middle America. He is preparing to be president of the United States. This presents an opportunity to crush the oft-repeated conservative claim that the only “real America” is out there, somewhere, away from Washington, D.C., and the coasts.
This “real America” myth is a nostalgic throwback to a time that seems simpler by comparison, more polite and value-based. This Mayberry idealism may seem harmless, just a romantic look back to the old values expressed in Norman Rockwell paintings. But it’s not harmless. Saying this “real America” is lost or nearly lost is destructive to the Republican party and to real equality.
.First of all, American was never as simple as a Robert Frost poem. Second, this “real America” view implicitly excludes all the good, hard-working Americans who just happen to live in towns and cities that don’t resemble Mayberry. Does the “real America” view mean that small-business owners who are struggling, working almost every waking hour as they raise children in Los Angeles, New York City, or Miami, somehow aren’t real Americans? We shouldn’t be surprised that many read that message into it.
I suppose as an "official old fart" and a "curmudgeon emeritus," that I read what the conservatives are saying and I know what they mean.  I too have a certain nostalgia for what we had, and I feel the loss of some aspects, while being grateful that others are long gone.  But I also know, and have always known, that participation in America does not depend on ones race, or national origin. That to participate in America requires first an acceptance of the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence; that all men are created equal under the law; that all me possess certain unalienable rights. Second, that those rights are not yours until you take them, defend them, and make them yours.  Finally, unlike some of my impatient neighbors ( and most Democrats) I look at our republican form of government as a feature, not a bug.

Republicans have never played the identity politics game.  That we leave to the Democrats and the Left.  We even have a "gay" wing of the party called the Log Cabin Republicans.  But you don't know that because they wish to live their lives, and be left alone.  Indeed, that is what all real /Americans want.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Housecleaning at the Voice of America

Tom Tradup over at has an article of particular interest to me entitled Housecleaning at the Voice of America.

I have been interested in radio since I was a kid, and our Boy Scout troop visited a neighbor who was a Ham. A "Ham," as you may know, is the affectionate name for an Amateur Radio operator. I remember looking at all the QSL (conversation acknowledgement) cards on his wall commemorating various QSOs (two way conversations over radio) he had had, and the wonderful equipment and gadgets surrounded the operating position in his "radio shack." In time, I became an Amateur Radio operator, and I have visited the VOA transmitter site in Washington, NC. So, it disappoints me to discover that one of the iconic institutions from my youth has been brought to such a sad state as this:
The present day VOA—once the bastion of America’s Cold War efforts to battle Communism through broadcast arms Radio Free Europe and, more recently, Radio Marti—bears little resemblance to the pro-USA agency taxpayers came to expect. For example, few taxpayers I know would approve of articles VOA distributed this Fall in Russian, Urkranian and other languages calling Donald J. Trump “a dog,” “a pig,” and other derogatory terms. And lavish waste and mismanagement continues to be of concern by those charged with Congressional oversight.
I can only hope that VOA again becomes the strong Voice of America, and not the Voice of American Losers.

It's That Time Again. The War on Christmas

Peter Heck has an article today at the American Thinker entitled It's Not a War on Christmas;It's a War on the Constitution Heck starts out with this:
One of the most bizarre traditions of the holiday season for me is to watch those who assail the purpose and meaning of Christmas become apoplectic when someone weary of their politically correct antics refers to the behavior as a “war on Christmas.”
It seems to me that if you don’t want to be accused of warring against Christmas, you should stop attacking people’s public celebration of it. Stop attempting to deprive the community you live in of its collective expression of the significance of the holiday just because you don’t share their convictions. When you do that kind of thing, don’t be surprised when people point out your petulant childishness.
While the Constitution clearly sets aside certain rights that we all have by virtue of our Creator and our humanity, and takes these out of the realm of democratic decision, thus protecting minority rights, nowhere does the Constitution dictate a right not to be offended.

Indeed, the Founders knew, if we have forgotten, that being offended is a choice.  One can choose to be offended, taking another's words and actions in the worst possible light, or one can choose to take them in the best, and not be offended.  And even when one can not find any way to take something other than as a provocation, one can always choose to pray for that person.  Oh, that's right, you don't believe in a higher power, so all you can do is be perpetually offended.  Well, I am sorry for you.

Heck writes again:
You can be an outsider. You can be different. And in America your rights are protected from majority coercion to violate your unique conscience. But only in the mind of a narcissistic lunatic would those rights include some bizarre ability to deprive the majority of their public expressions just because you take offense.
Governments can and should reflect the values of their people. If you don’t share those values, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that allows you to harness the power of government to silence them.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Another Reciprocity Claim Conservatives Should Make

Rafael A.  Mangual, writing in National Review today, notes that there is an Other Reciprocity Argument that Conservatives Should Make. That other argument is that...well, I'll let Mangual tell it:
It seems likely that Trump’s victory, coupled with the Republican majority in Congress, may soon bear fruit for many gun owners. Though the president-elect is more than a month away from taking office, reports are already circulating about legislation drafted by Representative Richard Hudson (R., N.C.) to require national reciprocity for concealed-carry permit holders — an idea Trump endorsed on the campaign trail. The bill would pave the way for concealed carriers licensed in one state to have their licenses recognized by other states that allow concealed carry. However, the Constitution may actually already require national reciprocity for the more basic right to keep a gun in the home — not because of the Second Amendment, but because of the constitutional right to travel.
The emphasis was not in the original, but was added by me.

Its a good point, and one I would like to see formally recognized.  Mangual claims to have had to give up his right to a gun in the home when he became a resident of New York. He formerly lived in Illinois, where he legally bought a gun for home defense.  But when he took the job in New York, New York law apparently prevented him from keeping his gun in his home.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Celebrating Bill of Rights Day

Today, 15 December 2016, marks the 225th Anniversary of the passing of the Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791.  To commemorate that event, the American Thinker has an article, by Craig Seibert entitled Reclaiming the Bill of Rights.. The Bill of Rights were thought not to be needed, that the Constitutions enumeration of powers clearly prevented the Federal Government from exercising any power that was not enumerated. But some States insisted, and would not ratify without a Bill of Rights. So Madison's first task in the new Congress was to compose such a bill. Seibert writes:
The states submitted 189 ideas. James Madison took those ideas and distilled them into 17. Congress reviewed these 17 and approved 12 of them to be sent to the States for ratification. Ultimately, the States ratified 10 of them. These became the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and you will find them in any copy of the Constitution you download or find in print.
Over time, just as Congress and the President have managed to turn the General Welfare clause into, as one Congressman called it the "good and plenty clause" to be able to do whatever they wanted, so the Bill of Rights has been so twisted it is no longer recognizable.
We can see these huge restrictions on power expressed in both the 1st Amendment and the 10th Amendment.
The 1st Amendment states –

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
This first five words of this amendment, “Congress shall make no law”, basically removes everything that follows from the field of federal jurisdiction. If Congress can make “no law” then there is “no law” for the president to enforce and there is “no law” for the Supreme Court or federal courts to rule upon.
As originally designed, freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition were completely left to the realm of the states and could not be prevented, molested, or controlled by the federal government in anyway. Talk about freedom!
If you are sick and tired of opening up your paper and finding that some federal judge or federal court is bullying some school or community about a prayer at a football game, a scripture verse in a graduation speech, a Christmas play’s spiritual reference, or a display of the Ten Commandments in a public venue, you would be highly aligned with the founding fathers and their fear of what the federal government would become -- a national bully to the people’s freedom of self-government.
In the same way, the Second Amendment has been attacked, and the courts have generally upheld that attack. The Second Amendment states-
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Congress has a little more freedom with this amendment, as they can regulate the guns we may possess, as long as those guns have military utility. The States of course, may enact laws infringing on weapons, but not Congress. Thus, New York's Sullivan Act, despicable as it was, was perfectly legal. But, if you are now going to interpret the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment as applying to States in the case of other rights, then you must for Second Amendment rights as well.

Under a properly operating Second Amendment, each State would enroll every able bodied male between the ages of 18 and 45 into the State militia, and each member of such militia would be required to train with his current version of the Army's infantry rifle.  He would be required to maintain that rifle and whatever ammunition in good shape, and be ready at a moments notice to activate in defense of his State.

While I welcome the sanity that the McDonald decision represents, under a proper interpretation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, it should not have been needed.  Seibert again:

They (the courts-ed) have achieved this huge usurpation of power beginning in the 1920s with an expansive interpretation of the 14th Amendment which they insist gives them the right to dictate to the States and to the people what their 1st Amendment rights are. Rather than being inalienable and protected, they are dictated by our federal overlords.
So on this Anniversary Day, “what are we to do?” Well, to begin with, get and read a full copy of the Bill of Rights. Read and understand its original intent. Share these ideas with others. Suggest that the federal courts and federal government are out of control and have usurped power that is not theirs to take. And when the fight comes to your door in your local school or local community, get together with others and take the shield of the Bill of Rights and take a stand.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bob Dylan, Nobel Laureate?

I find I must agree with George Will on this:  While Bob Dylan surely is a fine song writer, a good performer, and a so-so singer, he does not deserve the Nobel Prize for Literature.  George Will's article is at the National Review, entitled Nobel Laureate for 2015 Revisited.

 As I have noted on several occasions, the arts in particular, have taken a stunning beating by the Left, to the point that like so much about society, what remains of the formerly great art of Literature is species of unseriousness that boggles the mind.  What is great art?  Is Piss Christ really art, or just rude self expression? Shouldn't anything we call "art" be more?

I have to confess that I am a Bob Dylan fan.  I am also a Stevie Nicks fan.  But while I like Stevie Nicks' music, I would not consider her for a Nobel Prize.  The choice of Bob Dylan for a (formerly prestigious) Nobel Prize says more about the prize itself, than it does about Bob Dylan.  Go read George Will's article and see if you don't agree.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

A tip from Matt Vespa over at indicates that a National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill is in the Pipeline for Next Congress. The bill will surely pass in the House, and Trump would surely sign it if it came to his desk. The problem will likely be in the Senate, where Democrats will filibuster the bill, and it will be hard to find 60 votes for cloture.

I am of two minds on the topic.  On the one hand, there is no reason that concealed carry permits should be treated any differently than driver's licenses.  While each State has its own driver's license requirements, all States have to accept the driver's license of every other State.  As a matter of public safety, I can not see why we could not come to some agreement.  Indeed, passage of such a bill would tend over time to make the States more uniform in their requirements.  In any case, one would still have to abide by the laws of the State in which one might be traveling.

Years ago, when I was living in Northern Virginia, I attended a Gun Rights Policy Conference in Louisville, KY.  At the time, Virginia had reciprocity agreements with both Kentucky and Ohio, but not Pennsylvania or Maryland.  Virginia did not allow me to carry into restaurants that served alcohol, even though I couldn't drink because I would still be carrying after I went back to my vehicle.  Kentucky had no such restriction, but Ohio's laws were even stricter than Virginia.  Back in those days, a concealed carrier had to arm and disarm himself several times a day to stay within the law.  Indeed, there are still places where one is obliged to disarm if one wants to go into those places, but they are fewer now.  On my way home, I disarmed before going into Pennsylvania, and remained so for the rest of the trip home.  Such is the life of a Concealed Carry holder.

On the other hand, the idea of permits for carrying concealed was always a temporary solution on the way back to Constitutional Carry. Constitutional Carry is the actual law of the land.  The Second Amendment acknowledges the right of every law abiding United States citizen (and those residing legally in this country) to bear arms.  One reason given is for defense, but it seems obvious that it is for any legal reason. Those reasons do not have to be spelled out to anyone, and no one may be compelled to justify himself before exercising the right.  I am always a little surprised by the demands of anti-gunners that those of us who choose to carry a weapon explain ourselves.  Perhaps more enlightening would be why they choose not to.

Constitutional Carry ultimately makes sense because of two facts: 1) The criminals will be carrying whether the law allows them to or not.  They are immune from having to fill out a 4473 form, or registering their weapons.  They will carry because a gun is a tool of their trade.  Since they can not go to the police for protection, they must be able to defend themselves and their illicit inventory.  2) Law abiding citizens occasionally find themselves in encounters with criminals and are forced to defend themselves or their families.  The National Rifle Association routinely publish a column in their monthly magazine The Rifleman entitled The Armed Citizen.  The stories in The Armed Citizen are news stories from around the country of people who have successfully fended off home invaders, convenience store robbers, gas station robbers and so on. The Armed Citizen has little trouble filling up a column every month.  Indeed, you can read such stories ever day at   Keep and Bear Arms.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Good Man

The National Review had an article by David French today entitled Anti-Gun Hysteria is Hazardous to your Health, in which he makes the point that:
Simply put, if you’re standing at a bus stop, and you know the person to your left is an armed concealed-carry permit holder, and the person to your right does not have a carry permit, the person to your right is statistically a far, far greater threat to your life than the permit holder. That’s just a fact. Indeed, that person’s hands and feet are more dangerous to you than the permit holder’s gun. Applying the New York Times’s own preferred data set, more people were murdered by fists and kicks in 2015 alone than were murdered by firearm-wielding concealed-carry permit holders in the last ten years.
Those are the statistics, and I urge readers to click on the link and read David French's article. French has written a post that presents his beliefs more personally at the Corner, National Reviews combination blog and meeting room where writers share their thoughts on varous topics related to their areas of specialty. In the Corner, French writes:
Unless my reading comprehension is failing, she’s either implying I’m “evil” or implying its rather hard to discern my goodness simply because I’m trying to defend my family against threats. This is truly absurd. I live in rural Tennessee. If I call my friends at the sheriff’s office, they’ll come as fast as they can, but the laws of physics dictate that they won’t reach my house for several minutes. What am I supposed to do while I wait? Should we just go ahead and die so that people like Ms. Crampton will still think I’m one of the good guys? ”How sad,” she’d say, “that thugs murdered such a good family.” Does she have any idea how unbelievably callous this statement sounds to a person under actual threat?
Caroline Crampton can’t un-invent the firearm, take firearms out of the hands of criminals, or alter human nature — including the reality that evil men seek to harm the innocent. I have a natural right of self-defense. Government can choose to recognize and protect that right — or it can choose the path of tyranny — but don’t for one minute pretend that tyranny is virtue or that involuntary vulnerability is in any way “good.” A good man protects his family if he can. A good man will shoot an intruder to save his wife and children. A good man gives his family the tools and teaching they need to protect themselves. I aspire to be a good man. Crampton’s politics have blinded her to reality. That doesn’t make her evil, but it does make her wrong.
The emphasis is mine.

And there it is, for most of us.  All of the evil motives for having and carrying a gun that are projected on us by the Left are hogwash.  We just want to be able to protect our selves and our families in a dangerous world, or at least have a fighting chance to do so.  That I will probably never need to use my gun is something I thank God for daily, but "probably" does not mean I absolutely will never need it.  I also aspire to be a "good" man.