Tom Knighton

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The facts of life on high capacity magazines

Second Amendment

James Holmes is an evil man.  Sick?  Quite possibly, but evil none the less.  The same can be said of Jared Loughner who is responsible for the Tuscon shooting.  The two men, and the events they started, also have something else in common.  Both sparked the debate regarding high capacity magazines.

First, let’s clarify something for the non-gun folks who may be reading.  Most semi-automatic weapons are designed around specific magazines.  For an AR-15 or an AK-47, that is a 30 round magazine.  For a 9 mm pistol, it’s usually in the neighborhood of 15 rounds.  Those are properly considered standard capacity magazines, not high capacity.

Now that the bit of nomenclature is out of the way, I know that opponents of guns don’t see any reason why someone needs so many rounds in their magazine.  Well, let me touch on that one.  I probably don’t.  On that note though, neither do the vast majority of police officers in this country who could legally secure these so-called “hi capacity” magazines during the Assault Weapon Ban.  Law enforcement was exempt from the ban, yet how many officers legally discharge their firearms during the course of their career, not counting range time?  Very, very few.

Despite what the movies tell us, police officers find themselves needing to discharge their weapons remarkably few times.  Most police officers go their entire careers and never fire their weapons. The same is true for most private gun owners as well.

Bloomberg off the deep end

Michael Bloomberg

As if his last comments weren’t bad enough, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently gone off the deep end completely.  Despite Bloomberg being pro-choice, and the motto for pro-choice tends to be some variation of “my body, my choice”, he has apparently decided that government has at least some say in what a woman does with her body.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

Maybe it’s just me, but this really makes me bristle.  You see, I’m a father of two.  My wife was unable to breast feed our first child because her body just didn’t make enough milk.  With our second, we didn’t want to take the chance.  It was a choice, and we made it.

Obama calls for more gun control

Barack Obama

After a tragedy, there are things that happen.  Friends and families of the deceased try to come to terms with the event, journalists try to learn what they can about the event and the people affected by it, and if the tragedy involved a madman with a gun then a politician will scream for gun control.

This time, we have none other than President Obama calling for the gun control:

“A lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,” Mr. Obama said at the annual National Urban League convention in New Orleans. “They belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

“Every day, the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater,” Mr. Obama said. “For every Columbine or Virginia Tech,there are dozens gunned down on the streets of Chicago or Atlanta, here in New Orleans. Violence plagues the biggest cities, but it also plagues the smallest towns.”

I guess he thinks he can get it passed now?  After all, four years ago he said he wouldn’t try to pass gun control legislation because he didn’t figure he had the votes.  Now, he has lost control of one chamber of Congress, with a lot of politicians still battling to keep their seats.  Gun control is usually a loser issue for Democrats.

However, Obama clearly believes that the Aurora massacre will swing things his way.  He’s using the word “gun owners” to convey the idea that the very people who will be regulated share his belief that an “AK-47” belongs in a soldier’s hands.  Well, that may be true in a few places, but I haven’t met too many of those gun owners.

The tolerance of the left


Progressives are big on tolerance.  They want people to be tolerant of other for a variety of reasons.  They often cite religion as one.  Hey, I’m a libertarian.  Who am I to argue?  We’re all about tolerance too.

However, following the comments by Chic-Fil-A’s CEO last week regarding gay marriage, the left has responded quickly with calls to boycott. Jason touched on that last week, and I have nothing to add to that front except that while I think the boycott to be ultimately useless, it’s certainly their right to do it.

Things have gotten a little more intense since then however.  A couple of days ago, the mayor of Boston decided to block a franchise there:

The people of Boston will have to purchase their chicken sandwiches elsewhere: Mayor Thomas M. Menino has sworn that the franchise will have to fight city hall to bring its fast-food empire to Boston after Chick-fil-A’s president, Dan Cathy, said gay marriage is “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” The Atlanta-based chain is hoping to open a restaurant in a popular tourist spot near the Freedom Trail — a rather ironic choice in Menino’s eyes.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Menino told the Boston Herald on Thursday. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against the population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”

Bloomberg: Cops should strike until guns are gone

Nanny Bloomberg

New York Mayor Michael “Ban the Big Gulp” Bloomberg is at it again.  This time, he’s voicing some ideas that are, quite frankly, beyond the idiocy he routinely spouts off.  This time, he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he thinks police officers should go on strike until guns are outlawed.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told CNN’s Piers Morgan last night that he doesn’t “understand why police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say we’re going to go on strike, we’re not going to protect you unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.”

First, Bloomberg is actually asking law enforcement officers - you know, the people who can actually arrest criminals, take them to jail, and all that - to go on strike to affect political change in this country?  Really? That’s just downright terrifying…if any police officers were willing to actually do it.

The reason that it’s scary is that many people obey laws simply because of a fear of going to prison.  If there are no police due to a strike, then that deterent is no longer there.  Welcome to downright anarchy.  Bloomberg isn’t a complete idiot, despite his comments.  He knows this.  What he’s basically asking is that police use extortion techniques on the American people to affect change in gun laws.  Extortion happens to be a crime that police arrest people for!

But I’m sure Mayor Bloomberg won’t let that stop him.

Want to stop jobs from going overseas?


It seems a day doesn’t go by that I don’t see or hear someone complaining about jobs going overseas.  They invariably want the government to do something to keep jobs on American shores.  They blame “greedy corporations” for seeking profit and not looking out for the interests of Americans who desperately need jobs.

Well, those Americans really do need jobs, so here are some helpful tips to help bring those jobs back to American shores.

1. End the unions

Unions are a large chunk of the reason many companies have looked overseas for labor.  Unions, which once existed as a way to deal with abusive management, now seek to line pockets.  Not just theirs, but those of their members.  Through collective bargaining, they have jacked up wages for what are often unskilled positions to a point that borders on the ridiculous.  In some cases, that border is crossed.  Reports of auto workers with high school educations making six figure incomes while not filling any kind of management role are a prime example.

The thing is, non-union shops in the same industries often pay comperable wages.  They simply expect more work out of their employees, minimizing the number of people required.  Companies want the best workers they can get, and even without unions you won’t see wages plummet.  The best and brightest want to be compensated, and they will be.

However, if unions continue to push for more and more, then more and more companies will seek to move their operations overseas.

2. End the EPA

Free Market fights CO2 levels

Global Warming #PANIC

The left loves to label free market types as enemies of Mother Earth.  However, I’ve said for a while that the left should probably start looking at how the free market can actually help them attain their goals with regard to the environment.  For example, many companies have adopted so-called “green” practices, not so much because of a social conscious, but because it allows them to position themselves as if they have a social conscious.

According to some data that isn’t exactly burning up the mainstream media, it looks like the free market is having a more direct impact on the environment, particularly with regard to CO2:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) June energy report says that energy-related carbon dioxide fell to 5,473 million metric tons (MMT) in 2011.

That’s down from a high of 6,020 MMT in 2007, and only a little above 1995’s level of 5,314 MMT.

Better yet, emissions in the first quarter of 2012 fell at an even faster rate — down 7.5% from the first quarter of 2011 and 8.5% from the same time in 2010. If the rest of 2012 follows its first-quarter trend, we may see total energy-related carbon dioxide emissions drop to early-1990s levels.

Awesome for the left, right?  I mean, surely that means some of their efforts are starting to show results. Well, I wouldn’t be so sure.  You see, has another bit of data that should be considered:

Paranoia over Sharia law run amuck

Sharia #PANIC

On September 11, 2001, our world changed.  The vivid recollections are still far too fresh in many people’s minds for them to realize that it was over a decade ago that we witnessed the horrors of that day.  Also, many Americans have learned things about Islam.  Some of them true, others not.

Unforunately, they’ve taken those tidbits of knowledge, both factual and fantastic, and developed opinions.  Opinions that are a special kind of ridiculous.

Gov. Bill Haslam hired an amazingly talented business attorney to serve as the international director to handle the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s new focus on expanding the state’s overseas exports.

The new hire, Samar Ali, is a Tennessee native, Vanderbilt law graduate, a recent White House Fellow, a former associate attorney at Hogan Lovells and has one of the most impressive resumes of international humanitarian service I’ve ever seen.

She’s also Muslim.

As a result, several county Republican groups and a Tea Party group went berserk and began churning out petitions and resolutions calling for Ali to step down and for Haslam to receive “appropriate action.”

A couple of resolutions also condemn Haslam for allowing “open homosexuals to make policy decisions in the Department of Children’s Services.”

Apparently this small, but loud, group of local loons believe that anyone who isn’t Christian and straight shouldn’t have the opportunity to work for state government in Tennessee.

Obama: You didn’t build your business


President Obama has been accused of conducting class warfare.  His supporters, obviously, disagree.  They see Obama merely as fighting for the rights of the lower and middle classes against the all-powerful wealthy.  However, this latest quote from the president takes a shot that may just go astray:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.

Yes.  He really said that.

However, let’s look at the whole context:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

On Allies and Enemies

The recent discussion on Jim DeMint got me to thinking.  I can’t help but look around at libertarianism, and how far we’ve come in just a few short years.  We have become more a part of the political landscape than I thought we would be.  We have seen more and more activism for libertarian causes and candidates than I ever thought I would see.

And yet, we still manage to shoot ourselves in the foot.  Part of that stems from our choices of enemies and allies, and the idea that someone must be one or the other.

Take, for example, Jim DeMint.  Yes, he seems to say he likes libertarians.  He generally seems to like fiscal responsibility.  He generally seems like he wants small government.  We libertarians should love him…

…but a lot of us don’t.

You see, DeMint is not a fan of gay marriage.  He is a fan of the Defense of Marriage Act.  He also famously said that he didn’t see how you could be a fiscal conservative and not a social conservative.

Yeah, a lot of libertarians don’t like the guy.  Others, however, do.  Either is really fine with me.  I honestly don’t have an opinion on DeMint, though I have opinions on his positions. Maybe, that’s the way libertarians need to start viewing politicians from other parties.

Even though you may not like the guy, can’t we stand with him as an ally on shrinking the national debt?  We can then side with someone else on gay marriage.  We’re talking politics here, not a long-term romantic relationship.  There’s no need to be “faithful” to anyone here.

Tom Knighton

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Tom Knighton has been a blogger here at United Liberty since 2010. In 2011, he made history when he became the first blogger anywhere known to have purchased a newspaper when he purchased The Alba... Click here to read full bio

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