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.
I was disconnected from social media outlets almost all day on Friday, so I didn’t hear about the movie theater shootings until Friday night. Since the topic is all over social media, I’ve been asked a number of times what I think about gun control.
My standard answer to the gun control question (which is one I picked up somewhere, but don’t recall where) is:
Gun control, as far as I’m concerned, means using both hands.
Of course, I don’t mean to make light of a terrible situation, but it’s a real tragedy that anti-freedom groups jump on a situation like this one as an opportunity to stress the need for more restrictive gun laws.
As if criminals obey the gun laws. Gun control laws disarm law abiding citizens while giving criminals notice of where unarmed victims will be.
It’s baffling that people argue with this logic. If a criminal is going to use a gun to commit a crime, would he be more likely to choose a location where people are known to carry guns for protection, or a location where guns are banned?
Gun control laws, very simply, are a form of prohibition. And, as I’ve said a number of times before, prohibition just does not work. We are fools if we let ourselves believe that gun control laws protect anyone but criminals. Gun control isn’t about guns; it’s about control.
Governments do one thing well. They make things illegal. They have done so with startling efficiency since before the ink was really dry on the Constitution. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they fail to understand the fallacy of legality.
The idea itself isn’t really that hard to comprehend. Most know it on some level at least. That idea is that the legality of an act only matters to those inclined to follow the law. By definition, those that will run afoul of a law aren’t likely to follow laws in the first place.
Where the fallacy of legality kicks in is where government enacts laws in the name of public safety. For example, take the old Texas law that forbid Suzanna Hupp from taking her gun into a diner where she was eating with her parents. Hupp was inclined to follow the law because she was law abiding. Unfortunately, George Hennard wasn’t so inclined. He rammed his pick-up truck into the diner and began to shoot patrons. Two of the dead were Hupp’s parents.
Honestly, this isn’t a difficult thing to comprehend. Unfortunately, we see far too often that those we elect to “lead” don’t grasp the basic concept.
Laws exist as grounds for people to know what is acceptable and what isn’t, not as a way to hamstring the law abiding but as grounds for the non-law abiding to understand they are crossing the lines of decency. They should serve as the expectations of what humans should do.
For example, laws against murder don’t hamstring the law abiding (despite smart remarks to the contrary). Instead, the level an expectation that people should not kill and that those who fail to comply will be punished.
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Operation Fast and Furious, which actually is not an effort to catch illegal drag racers. Instead, it’s an operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) where it’s been alleged that BATFE agents let tons of firearms flow south of the border by people they knew to be buying for the Mexican drug cartels. One of these guns was reportedly used to kill US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
The gun rights community, predictably, is up in arms (pun unintended) about it. Some are going so far as to claim it is all part of an effort to push forward increased gun regulations here. Yesterday, President Obama claimed executive priviledge regarding documents that Congress and subpenoaed. They had ordered them eight months ago.
Now, first let me address the conspiracy theory regarding using Fast and Furious being a way to push forward regulations here. I might have had something to do with that one. Months ago, on a blog that is no longer up on the net, I wrote that if I were inclined towards conspiracy theories, I would believe such a thing. After all, the use of American guns by drug cartels was cited by both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as reasons why we needed tougher gun regulations in the US. This was while Fast and Furious was going on and sending a proverbial buttload of guns down to Mexico…guns that BATFE knew about and did nothing to prevent.
Of course, a report from CBS News from December, 2011 looks like I might have been on to something:
Seattle is having a very rough time right now. They have experienced more murders so far this year than they did all last year. Police are looking for answers, and Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz has something - not someone - to blame.
Seattle police officials Tuesday said the outbreak of violence through Memorial Day weekend and since the beginning of the year has more to do with guns than with gangs.
Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz and Assistant Chief for Operations Paul McDonagh said that, while gang activity has played a role in the jump in homicides this year — 15 to date compared with 21 in all of 2011 — the common denominator is the use of firearms.
“A person who has a gun is more likely to use a gun,” Metz said after the weekly council briefing.
Frankly, there are things I would like to say to Metz that don’t really belong on this kind of website. For the record, this was published yesterday with no mention of the six more that were killed at the Racer Cafe.
I was informed this morning that one of the dead who’s identity hasn’t been officially released was Kimberly Layfield. That name means nothing to most of you, but it sure as hell means a lot to me. Kim was a very special friend. We went to high school together and were pretty tight in those days, over 20 years ago. I lost touch with her after I joined the Navy, but thanks to the internet, I caught up with her several years ago. It was like old times. There is something like a .001% chance it’s not her though, and I still pray it’s not, but I’m not holding my breath.
Freedom shouldn’t be all that complicated. Unfortunately, it apparently is.
Far to many people feel that freedom really only means freedom for the things they like. Oh sure, the Second Amendment is sacrosanct, but the freedom to not have to hear Christianity rammed down someone’s throat? No, that’s a whole other ballgame. The fact that the First Amendment prevents the establishment of a state religion - and Christianity is a relgion - appears lost on many of these folks.
For a nation to be free, and I mean truly free, then we must tolerate things which we may find objectionable. Drug use, prostitution, alcohol consumption (and yes, there are people who still want alcohol prohibition), or whatever. It doesn’t matter, because real freedom must mean that people have the freedom to do a certain amount of bad things.
Should that mean people are free to rape, murder, rob, or anything else? Absolutely not. Those all involve violating the rights of another, and that should always be off limits. I can’t think of a living soul who argues otherwise though I’m sure such fools exist.
However, there are a lot of laws that dictate what I can and can’t do with my own body. Take, for example, laws that prevent me from consuming raw milk. Personally, I think it’s not a smart thing to do. However, I still believe I should have the right to consume it if I so choose. After all, consuming non-pastuerized milk hurts no one but myself.
Many people can see that, and agree with me. However, many of those same people will argue that drug use is a whole other ball game. After all, they say, drugs create a whole world of crime around it. That is true…but only because of prohibition. There is zero evidence that legalizing drugs would do anything but decrease the crime that surrounds drugs.
I spent my Easter at a shooting range about an hour west of my home. My wife had to work and I did not have plans to see family, so had some extra time to occupy myself with. I decided to put that extra time to use breaking a shotgun I purchased about a month for home defense. While my shoulder handled the 2 1/2 inch target shells pretty well, the 3 inch magnum 00 buckshot I shot pretty much made it raw.
While on my way to and from the range is a drive down a Mississippi country highway that takes me through mostly timberland and cattle country. While on that drive I got to thinking why I love guns so much. Was it because I liked the sensation and the sounds and smells of an explosion? If it was, I can get that thrill by using fireworks and I don’t buy fireworks. While I do enjoy shooting, the enjoyment alone obviously can’t be the reason why. I’m also not a hunter, so obviously that’s not why I own guns. The reason why I own firearms is simply because I can.
All throughout history, what has distinguished a free man from a slave or even a subject is the ability to possess and own weapons, or as the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution puts it, “to keep and bear arms”. You’re probably asking yourself, “how is this relevant in an age of tanks, drones, jet fighters, and other high-tech weapons?” Well, all those fancy weapons are controlled by people and all people die just the same once you strip away all the fancy technology. There are numerous examples of that in the 20th and already in the 21st century from France to Afghanistan. Subduing a free people, especially a well-armed people, is still very difficult.
Now the three types of guns you should own are; a .22 Long Rifle caliber weapon for simple and cheap marksmanship practice, a home and/or self defense weapon(s), and a militia duty weapon (aka a homeland security rifle).
Gun control is in the news again. Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the Tuscon shootings, when alleged gunman Jared Loughner killed six people and injured thirteen — including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is still recovering from her injuries. The Daily Caller reports that despite lobbying from gun control activists the White House has offered little more than a nod in their direction, perhaps fearing the impact of any new anti-gun legislation on the president’s reelection efforts in key swing states such as North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. But gun control activists aren’t backing off; progressive news program Democracy Now! reports that one survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, Colin Goddard, is pushing for new gun curbs.
A very different story has also been in the headlines. A recently widowed teen mother, alone at her isolated home in Oklahoma with her 3-month-old son, shot and killed an intruder on New Year’s Eve. 18-year-old Sarah McKinley of Blanchard, Okla., said that she had to make a choice between her son and the intruder, 24-year-old Justin Shane Martin when Martin busted down the door to her home. “I chose my son over him,” said McKinley in an interview with CNN, describing her decision to fire the 12-gauge shotgun that killed Martin. No charges will be filed against McKinley and prosecutors have said that an alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Dustin Louis Stewart, may actually be charged with Martin’s murder.
This week marked the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Many Americans today would be surprised to learn that the Bill of Rights was adamantly opposed by some of the Founding Fathers, including Alexander Hamilton. Why? Hamilton explained in Federalist No. 84, declaring “I…affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous…For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” This alluded to the rule of “inclusio unius est exclusion alterius” (the inclusion of one thing necessarily excludes all others), whereby the very enumeration of certain rights as being free from regulation implied that all others were subject to the general legislative powers of the Congress.
Hamilton understood that the Constitution strictly limited the powers of the federal government, and feared a bill of rights would open the door for expansion of congressional power. James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution”, agreed there was not necessarily a need for the Bill of Rights, but was also not opposed to one. As he explained in an October 1788 letter to Thomas Jefferson, “My own opinion has always been in favor of a bill of rights; provided that it be so framed as not to imply powers not meant to be included in the enumeration. At the same time I have never thought the omission a material defect, nor been anxious to supply it even by subsequent amendment, for any other reason than that it is anxiously desired by others. I have favored it because I suppose it might be of use, and if properly executed could not be of disservice.”
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, a piece of common sense legislation that protects the rights of gun owners in states that have concealed carry laws. Below is the speech I have on the House floor in support of the measure (transcript below):
Today the House will consider HR 822, a long-overdue measure to assure that states recognize the concealed weapons permits issued by other states.
This very simple measure has unleashed a firestorm of protests from the political left. I noted one polemicist, who obviously has not read the Constitution, fumed that this is a Constitutional violation of states’ rights enshrined in the tenth amendment.
What nonsense. Article IV of the Constitution could not possibly be more clear: “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records, and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”