Recent Posts From Tom Knighton
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) not only wants all the assault rifles, but she also has a plan for snagging all of the weapons she can get her paws on. Her plan now consists of a buy back program that will purchase the weapons from gun owners.
Feinstein says that this is just something they’re looking at right now, but as the Washington Examiner noted, there are others out there that appear to be further along in the decision making process:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., already discussed the possibility of a buy-back law for his state, but he made clear it would be a forced buyback.
“Confiscation could be an option,” Cuomo told The New York Times yesterday when discussing semiautomatic weapons. “Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
Australia implemented a mandatory buyback program in 1996 following a mass shooting. “The law banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns and put in place a mandatory buy-back program for newly banned weapons,” USA Today recalls. “The buyback led to the destruction of 650,000 gun.”
Gun rights had been enjoying a miniature golden age. Following the Supreme Court decisions of Heller and McDonald, gun rights advocates have kind of been skating on cloud nine. Even the halfhearted pushed by President Obama for more gun control, spurred on by violent crime south of the border, sputtered and died following “Operation Fast and Furious” came to light. Unfortunately, that seems to be changing.
More Americans prioritize gun control above Second Amendment rights by the widest margin since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new poll released Thursday in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
Forty-nine percent of those polled said it’s more important to control gun ownership, compared to 42 percent who say it’s more important to protect Americans’ rights to own guns, according to a Pew Research Center Poll.
A Christian group is urging the Motion Picture Association of America to give Quenton Tarantino’s new movie, Django Unchained, an NC-17 rating due to violence. In the process, they invoke the horrors of Sandy Hook Elementary School:
Via a press release:
Hollywood, Calif. – The Christian Film & Television Commission®, an advocacy group in Hollywood, is petitioning the Motion Picture Association of America to change the rating of the ultra– violent new western from Quentin Tarantino, DJANGO UNCHAINED, from R to NC– 17.
“This movie ends with two of the most violent scenes we’ve ever seen in more than 27 years of reviewing movies,” said founder and spokesman Dr. Ted Baehr. “As countless research studies and recent events in Connecticut have shown, some young boys and men like to imitate the violence they see in movies, TV, and video games.”
The movie shows blood erupting like lava from bodies when people are shot. Also in the movie, a slave is eaten by dogs and a man hanging upside down is threatened with castration.
“Rating DJANGO NC– 17 would be the right thing to do,” Dr. Baehr concluded.
Of course, the fact that there’s little evidence that this is true doesn’t really seem to matter. It also doesn’t seem to matter that the vast majority of people watch these movies, laugh at the “blood erputing like lava from bodies” because it’s ridiculous, and never hurt a human soul. After all, Tarantino has used this kind of thing before…in Kill Bill, the amount of blood that “erupted” from the bodies was probably measured in gallons…far more than the human body can actually contain. We didn’t end up with a rash of katana murders, now did we?
After all, none of that lets the nanny-types get in the way of you enjoying a goofily violent movie.
If you’ve been decrying the militarization of law enforcement, hold on to your hats boys and girls. because crap just got real.
Senator Barbara Boxer, seeking to be heard in the din of “do something” that has gripped the beltway, trotted out her own idea of how to prevent the Sandy Hook tragedy from ever happening again. Her brainiac idea? Bring in the National Guard:
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., proposed using National Guard troops to help make schools across the nation safer and avoid another shooting like last week at Sandy Hook.
“Three hundred million weapons are out there, nothing I know is going to change that. And in the meantime we better — we darn better — keep our kids safe,” Sen. Boxer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “And if we avoid looking at that question I think we are failing.”
The Save Our Schools Act (SOS) would allow the federal government to reimburse Governors who want to use National Guard troops in schools and is modeled after the National Guard program that allows governors to use the Guard to assist with law enforcement efforts related to drug interdiction activities.
“So we take a successful program and we say we’re going to add a new purpose,” Boxer said. “National guard troops could be used to help support local law enforcement agencies in protecting our children at schools.”
Because really? What could be more awesome than armed troops in our schools?
Now, if one believes that teachers shouldn’t be armed under any circumstances, why would you want armed troops hanging the school? After all, a teacher with a concealed carry permit - or even one trained at taxpayer expense - will most likely have their weapon in a very inconspicuous location.
Once again, with all the discussions of gun rights and gun control, the discussion of the so-called “gun show loophole” has surfaced. The thing is, most folks really don’t understand what this loophole is. I’m going to illuminate those of you who are unfamiliar with it as to what it actually is.
The idea is that if you go to a gun show, anyone can just walk out of it with a firearm that required no background check and no paperwork. In theory, you might, but there’s more going on there than the uninitiated realize.
The vast majority of guns sold at gun shows are sold by the vendors who buy booths at the shows. These vendors have a Federal Firearms License, or FFL. Because they have these licenses, they are required to go through all the necessary checks that would be required. They call the FBI and run a background check, make you fill out the necessary paperwork, the whole shebang.
So what is the loophole? Well, there really isn’t one. What spurred the discussion of a loophole is that often times, a regular guy will take a gun to a gun show in hopes of selling or trading it for another gun. I’ve seen FFL holders purchase these guns, then turn around and sell them a few hours later. However, there is nothing to stop that same guy from selling that gun to me instead.
Because the seller isn’t an FFL holder, he’s not required to run any kind of background check on me. This is what people are referring to as the gun show loophole. So why is it not?
Well, to start with, it’s no different than a face to face purchase by a couple of guys. It just happens to occur at a gun show. Any law that seeks to close this loophole will have to do one of two things.
Tragedies have a nasty habit of bringing out the fools. Regardless of what happens, someone will come up with idiotic ways to try and prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Almost universally, these people misrepresent facts to try and score points from those who don’t really understand the issue.
One of the latest is Amitai Etzioni, a University Professor of International Relations at The George Washington University, who has a piece he wrote up over at The Huffington Post. In it, he shows that even university professors can spout utter crap.
Etzioni starts by urging people to post “gun free zone” signs on their homes, and telling parents to tell other parents they’re hesitant to allow their kids over unless the house is “safe from guns”. Now, the fact that the vast majority of these mass shootings happens in so-called “gun free zones” seems to completely skip the part of Etzioni’s brain that computes facts.
Instead, he follows with a point by point counter argument to one liners by gun rights advocates.
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
• Tragically, it is the case that there will always be dangerous individuals, but they can kill a lot more with easy access to guns. On the same day as the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, a knife-wielding man targeted a primary school in a Chinese village. Twenty-two children and one adult were wounded, but none were killed.
Same sex marriage has been a hot button issue for a while, but proponents of it have been gaining ground lately. The latest conquest? Well, it’s not exactly a huge win, but it’s significant in that it looks to be none other than Newt “Moon Base” Gingrich is starting to come around:
WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he can accept the “reality” of marriage between same-sex couples as a “legal document issued by the state” — as strong a sign as any that the landscape for marriage equality has changed dramatically in the past year.
“The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to … accommodate and deal with reality. And the reality is going to be that in a number of American states — and it will be more after 2014 — gay relationships will be legal, period,” Gingrich told The Huffington Post in a story published on Thursday.
Gingrich “continued to profess a belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman,” Sam Stein and Jon Ward report, but “suggested that the party (and he himself) could accept a distinction between a ‘marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state’ — the latter being acceptable.”
Basically, Gingrich is saying he’s fine with civil unions between same sex couples, which is a significant step forward.
I’ve proposed before that we call anything performed by a member of the clergy a “marriage” and anything performed by the state a “civil union”, regardless of whether the participants are the same gender or not. It looks like Gingrich might just be on board with that.
The question was asked if former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford would or could make a comeback into politics after a scandal rocked his career. Well, it still remains to be seen if he can, but if not it doesn’t look like it will be due to lack of effort.
From CNN’s Political Ticker:
Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is launching a political comeback that may begin within days.
Sanford is planning to run for the Congressional seat he held almost a decade ago, a Republican source familiar with his thinking told CNN late Thursday.
“He’s looking all but certain to do it,” said a former top aide to Sanford, who did not want to be identified while prematurely revealing the plans.
A formal announcement will come soon, the source said.
Sanford’s previous tenure in the House has been described as fairly libertarian, with CNN describing “lonely stands alongside Rep. Ron Paul.”
Unfortunately, his career was severely sidetracked when he got busted with his Argentinian lover, rather than taking a hike on the Appalachian Trail like he had told folks. However, the narrative now includes his engagement to the object of his desire, a move that may make it easier for many voters to forgive him of his transgressions.
The first hurdle for Sanford will be the GOP primary, which should be sometime in March.
Remember that bailout of General Motors? It spurred a lot of emotions in small government types, most of whom knew that taxpayers would never see anything approaching a return on investment. Well, earlier today, we found out just how much taxpayers are getting boned for.
The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced plans to sell the government’s remaining shares of Detroit-based automaker General Motors in the latest in a recent string of moves by the administration to unwind controversial taxpayer bailouts stemming from the financial crisis.
Although the sale will allow the federal government to unload its investments in the auto industry company, it will almost certainly do so at a loss to taxpayers worth billions of dollars.
In an October report, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program estimated Treasury would need to sell the remaining 500 million shares at $53.98 per share to break even on its investment.
“This announcement is an important step in bringing closure to the successful auto industry rescue, it further removes the perception of government ownership of GM among customers, and it demonstrates confidence in GM’s progress and our future,” GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement.
Of course, that depends on how one defines “successful”, doesn’t it? To be sure, the numbers coming out of Detriot sound great, but there is still the question of whether a bailout of GM and Chrysler was the best option for the industry. However, that’s a topic for another day.
In light of the Sandy Hook tragedy, renewed calls for gun control is hardly surprising. This isn’t unusual. People, now terrified that the same thing could have happened to their children, turn to their elected officials to do something to make the problem go away.
This isn’t the first time this has happened either. After 9/11, people wanted something that would make sure this would never happen again. What we got was the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, and the Patriot Act. The Fourth Amendment was gutted in an effort to catch “terrorists.” Our ability to travel freely is now interfered with by a group of people who look more like the cast of a sitcom than a barrier against terrorist acts. But the politicians “did something.”
Now, in light of Sandy Hook, we find ourselves at the same crossroads. Battle lines are being drawn as you read this. People who don’t even consider themselves pro-gun control are calling for limits in the round capacity of magazines. Others are expecting gun rights advocates to defend reasons why certain features should be legal, rather than understanding that they don’t change the function of the weapon in any way and therefore a ban would be idiotic.
The kneejerking is normal. On May 31, 2012, I went through it myself. That’s the day I learned that Kimberly Lynn Layfield was murdered in a shooting at the Cafe Racer in Seattle, Washington. Kim was a good friend of mine from high school, someone I treasured knowing more than almost anyone else. My initial reaction? That my views on guns had been wrong for all these years. (For the record, I don’t know where Kim or her family stood on gun control on that day, nor how her family stands on it now)