what i have learned of news through osmosis

You know, for being a supposed “constitutional scholar / teacher / professor / lawyer / whatever-the-hell-else-he-claimed”, Our Glorious President does not have a damned clue about what his job entails, or what limitations are imposed on it by the Constitution: 

"In this year of action, the President will seek out as many opportunities as possible to work with Congress in a bipartisan way. But when American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer said.

[…]

"President Obama has a pen and he has a phone, and he will use them to take executive action and enlist every American… in the project to restore opportunity for all," Pfeiffer said.

And lest you think this is just the off-the-reservation, exhorting-the-crowd campaign-donation-begging (… oh wait) from one solitary White House paper-pusher, this is becoming a theme:

Obama has pledged to act, saying, “We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need.”

"The president sees this as a year of action, to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney told ABC News Sunday.

Allow me to speak plainly, Barry; you have neither the power nor the authority to “bypass Congress”.  Period.  If Congress has to be involved in a process – say passing a piece of legislation – you cannot simply… will… them out of the chain of events.  Unfortunately, the American people chose to elect you President, but note that word: “President”, not “Dictator”.  It would be tremendously helpful if you knew the difference and stuck to the job description of the former, not the latter. 

Here, let me help you out: go here, and scroll down to “Article II”

In similar news, we get this all-too-memorable news report

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole wrote in a memo sent Thursday to federal prosecutors that it will not be a priority to block landmark marijuana-legalization laws in the two states. The federal government also will not make it a priority to close down recreational marijuana stores, so long as the stores abide by state regulations, according to the memo.

In other words, the second-in-command of the federal agency responsible for enforcing the laws of the United States government just arbitrarily and single-handedly stated that it would not enforce the laws of the United States government.  In a just world, the Attorney General would have fired this man about five minutes later, issued a formal retraction, and done his damned job or resigned, but given that Eric Holder is still occupying that particular position, this is obviously not a just world. 

I will, however, disagree with Dr. Milton Wolf

Selective enforcement of the law is the first sign of tyranny. A government empowered to determine arbitrarily who may operate outside the rule of law invariably embraces favoritism as friends, allies and those with the best-funded lobbyists are rewarded. Favoritism inevitably leads to corruption, and corruption invites extortion. Ultimately, the rule of law ceases to exist in any recognizable form, and what is left is tyranny.

Selective enforcement is not the first sign of tyranny; it is just one of many symptoms of creeping tyranny.  I stand by what I said last year; given that Our Glorious President has not been rightly slapped down by Congress for overstepping his powers, given that the deputy Attorney General was not fired, and given that we have a disturbing history of re-electing the same morons in Congress over and over and over again who enable this gos-se, we are getting exactly the government we want. 

And when the President, deputy Attorney General, and, by extension, the Attorney General have all stated that they are going to ignore existing federal laws, how can you be surprised at news articles like this:  Connecticut recently registered 50,000 “assault weapons” and 40,000 “large capacity magazines”.  Ignore, for a second, the complete and utter stupidity of the arbitrarily-defined concept of “assault weapons”, ignore that the magazines being banned are, in fact and truth, normal-capacity magazines in the overwhelming number of cases, and ignore that registration of firearms never ends well for their owners; instead, just pay attention to the numbers.  By all definitions I am aware of (including Connecticut’s), an “assault weapon” involves a removable magazine.  Do the morons in Hartford really believe that 10,000 “assault weapon” owners somehow do not have magazines for their firearms?  And that the remaining 40,000 “assault weapon” owners only have one, single, solitary magazine for them?  And this is all without considering the “large capacity magazines” that are made for handguns… 

Are Connecticut politicians that stupid?  Well, they are politicians, I suppose. 

ThoreauDisobeyApparently the last speculative accounting of “high capacity magazines” and “assault weapons” in the state of Connecticut numbered them in the “tens of millions” and somewhere around 400,000, respectively.  To describe what is going on in the now-atrociously-mis-nicknamed “Constitution State” as “massive” civil disobedience would be something of a massive understatement. 

So what is the politicians’ solution to their employers informing them exactly what those employers think of the politicians’ idiotic laws?  Why, the state is going to offer an “amnesty” period for people to continue registering their firearms.  *headdesk*  While there may be one or two folks who got their paperwork in an hour late at the post office, I can guarantee you that the overwhelming majority of people who did not register then are not going to register now. 

We have a President – a representative sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” – saying, unequivocally, that he will ignore that document whenever he finds its restrictions inconvenient.  We have the deputy Attorney General – a man charged with upholding federal laws – telling his subordinates that they should instead ignore those federal laws.  And those are just the most-recent, big-ticket examples. 

Is it any great wonder that, with examples like those, the American people have decided that now is as good a time as any to start disobeying unjust laws?  Here is to hoping that more people find their own way to freedom

… *sigh*  There is a reason… actually, a lot reasons why I do not read news sites or newspapers or even watch the news on TV.  These three stories are simply things I stumbled across as my parents told me about news they had read recently and while I caught up on my comics reading.  And, no, I will not be watching Our Glorious President pontificate tomorrow on how allowing him to transition his Presidency to a Dictatorship-in-Everything-But-Name is better for everyone and especially him.  While that is in fact one of the very few things a President is supposed to do, quite frankly I have more important things to do… like getting my Torchlight 2 Outlander up to level 50. 

(“Disobey” graphic borrowed from Jack Daws.) 

bill stevens – the gun violence victim you will never hear about

Back on 28JAN13, Bill Stevens delivered the following testimony (transcribed as best I could) to the public hearing of the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group of the Connecticut General Assembly:

My name is Bill Stevens; I live in Newtown.

My fifth-grade daughter was in "lockdown" on December 14th, 2012. Unfortunately, her classmate’s little sister was murdered in Sandy Hook that day when "lockdown" and 911 weren’t enough to protect her from an evil person; not protect her from an assault rifle or some type of inanimate object, but from an evil person. Quite different from the elaborate security you all enjoy here at the capitol – it was fun getting frisked on the way in.

I’m not here to cite crime statistics, lives saved with guns, or the economic impact of the proposed asinine legislation – some of these gun control bills you have proposed – I will, however, read from the Connecticut state constitution. Section 15 reads very clearly – we all know what the Second Amendment says – but Section 15 in the state constitution says very clearly "every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." There’s no registration, there’s no permitting, there’s no background checks. It’s quite clear.

I’m frankly shocked by some of the testimony today. In case some here failed American History, there is something called a "Constitution" and a "Bill of Rights" and a process by which to amend it. The same goes for the state constitution. These rights are inalienable and endowed by our Creator – not you politicians – to all citizens regardless of gender, race, or creed. In order to limit the rights of individuals, there is something called "due process", and legislation is not "due process", so if you want to take my rights away, let’s go to court. And with regards to due process, the final report with all the facts on Sandy Hook will not likely be issued until this summer, which is stated clearly in the newspapers. How can any legislation be passed in good faith or good conscience without all the facts?

Again, gun ownership is a Constitutional right, but it’s not for everyone, and that’s ok, and shouldn’t make gun owners suspects regardless of how many guns they have or how much ammunition they may have. My guns are not dangerous; they are at home, locked up, collecting dust and cat hair.

But criminals and tyrants – tyrants, especially – beware: "lockdown" is not an option at the Stevens residence, and 911 will be dialed after the security of my home has been established. Why is that same security my daughter enjoys at home with her dad not available at school in Newtown? That is what you should be considering, not making her dad a criminal.

Charlton Heston made the phrase "from my cold, dead hands" famous. I will tell you here today you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold, dead hands.

*Slams the table. Walks away like a boss.*

Wow. What he said.

I love how he pointed out that we seem to value the lives of politicians more than the lives of our children. I love how he did not bother with the statistics of the conversation, but instead stuck to Tam’s core message of, "Where the hell do you get off thinking you can tell me I can’t own a gun? I don’t care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn’t. So piss off." I love how he notes that passing laws which force people to choose between their rights or remaining a "law-abiding citizen" is not the process upon which this country was founded. I love how he observes that states, and even the country as a whole, are considering draconian legislation in response to the Sandy Hook shooting without actually knowing most of the facts of that shooting.

And I love how Mr. Stevens’ testimony has received functionally no coverage in the mainstream media whatsoever.

The reason why not should be obvious to anyone familiar with the ongoing "gun control" debate – his words simply do not meet with the standard, anti-rights narrative. Here is a man who had a child at [update] a school near [/update] Sandy Hook Elementary when the murderer was running loose within its halls; by all rights, at least according to anti-rights cultists, he should be positively screaming for additional "gun control". And, you and I both know that were he to do so, his name and face would be plastered all over all of the major news organizations. But he did not, and he is not; instead, he is relying on the very antithesis of the motivations behind "gun control" – logic, reason, and respect for basic human rights.

So now it is incumbent upon us to ensure this father’s stirring, if a bit strident, testimony gets the exposure it deserves. Spread the word, and show that not all "gun violence victims" would disarm all on account of the actions of a few.

[Update]  Due to my misinterpreting Mr. Stevens’ testimony, I posted that his daughter attended Sandy Hook Elementary.  This is incorrect.  She attended Reed Intermediate School, a few miles down the road, but did know one of the girls murdered at Sandy Hook.  I apologize for the error.  [/Update]

the slippery slope of gun control

I would like to take a moment today to extend my sincere thanks to the legislatures of both New York State and Connecticut for proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that "gun control" is, in truth and fact, a slippery slope.

Anti-rights cultists come absolutely unhinged every time you mention the possibility of "gun control" itself being a slippery slope, and tend to immediately decry such mutterings as prima facie logical fallacies; it is true that the slippery slope can be a logical fallacy, but when you are seeing those trees whipping by your head, reality has to step in. Unfortunately, that reality is the slippery slope has been greased since at least 1934 and we pro-rights activists have been steadily losing ground in the name of "compromise" since at least then, if not beforehand.

The "gun control" extremists have always wanted more, more, more… First it was the National Firearms Act, then it was the Gun Control Act of 1968, then it was the Lautenberg Amendment, then the Brady Law, then the Assault Weapon Ban, then… then… then… Oh, we pro-rights activists have certainly made headway in the past few years, but even with all of the thousands of firearm-related laws on the books, there are still useful idiots clamoring for more! More! More!

Slippery slopes stop being fallacies when you can point to the obvious pattern.

Which brings us up to the modern examples. The state of New York already had an assault weapon ban – any rifle that could accept removable magazines and had two "military" features was prohibited. New York already had a "high-capacity" magazine ban, where "high-capacity" was arbitrarily and capriciously defined as "more than 10 rounds". New York already required all firearm dealers and gun shows to perform background checks on all firearm transactions. New York already had licensing requirements to own firearms.

In other words, New York already had a large number of the "common sense", "reasonable" "gun control" measures most anti-rights cultists out there want. They should be happy with that, right?

Wrong. Consider S2230-2013: Licensure, suspension and revocation of firearm licenses, which just passed the New York Senate [update] and was just signed by Governor Cuomo into law [/update]. It is a long read, but the low points are:

  • The two-feature aspect of the NY assault weapon ban is tossed and replaced with a one-feature test.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic rifles that can accept a removable magazine and have at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a thumbhole stock, a second handgrip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor / muzzle brake (they spelled it "break" in the legislation, amusingly enough) / muzzle compensator / threaded barrel, grenade launcher.
  • A ban on all new semi-automatic shotguns that has at least one of: a folding or telescoping stock, a thumbhole stock, a second hand grip, a fixed magazine in excess of seven rounds, an ability to accept detachable magazines.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" must be registered with the state within one year of the effective date, and registration is subject to "a review of disqualifiers by the State Police."
  • If they are not registered, possession of such "assault weapons" is a crime.
  • All such existing "assault weapons" may only be sold to dealers or out-of-state.
  • All magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds are banned.
  • This ban includes previously-"grandfathered" magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
  • Magazines that can hold more than 7 but not more than 10 rounds are "grandfathered", but may only hold 7 rounds.
  • All ammunition sales must be processed through firearm dealers.
  • All ammunition sales must include an NCIS check on the purchaser.
  • All ammunition sales must be recorded and logged.
  • All firearm ownership permits must be renewed every five years (some counties had permits that never expired).
  • All private sales of firearms must be executed through a firearm dealer.

And, like I said, those are just the low points.

So, let us see here… it is still possible to own an AR-15 in the Empire State, but it would have to have an unthreaded bull barrel, some kind of non-pistol-grip grip, and a fixed stock, and you can only feed it 7 rounds or less. Amusingly, though, an M1A without any kind of muzzle attachment would be 100% legal, despite throwing a larger bullet farther and with more energy; but that is about the only funny thing to be found.

At least 75% of modern semi-automatic handguns are functionally banned. What is that? They only banned handguns with certain features? Well, that is great… except they also banned all new magazines over 7 rounds of capacity, which means your Glock or XD or S&W is only useful for as long as its magazines last – the only <10 round magazines I am aware of are for single-stack firearms that already do not have capacities in excess of 10 rounds. Oh, I am (fairly) sure that enterprising companies will step in and start producing 7-round double-stack magazines for common firearm platforms, but let us consider something for a moment.

At some point in the past (hell if I know when), New York had no limitation on the size of a firearm’s magazine. Then, on 13SEP94, New York banned the sale of any new magazines that could hold in excess of ten rounds; however, old ones were grandfathered in.

Now New York is arbitrarily banning all of those pre-’94 magazines, even the ones previously grandfathered, but graciously telling you those greater-than-seven-but-less-than-11 round magazines of yours are grandfathered under the new law? Yeah, and how long will that "grandfathering" last until it, too, is arbitrarily legislated out of existence?

And this is all without even touching on the fact that registration has invariably preceded confiscation, even here in the United States.

Oh, you think I am sliding back into the realm of a logical fallacy again? I guess two data points are insufficient for you to be happy, huh? Well, recall that I mentioned Connecticut in the opening line of this post. The ironically-named Constitution State has an assault weapon ban (No, really. I have to wonder how the mother of the Sandy Hook murderer owned hers.), but does not have a "high capacity" magazine ban; they attempted to pass one in 2011, but it got nowhere.

Apparently State Senator Edward Meyer is unhappy with this situation, given 2013 SB 00122 he proposed:

That the general statutes be amended to establish a class C felony offense, except for certain military and law enforcement personnel and certain gun clubs, for (1) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate, transport, possess or use any gun except one made to fire a single round, (2) any person to fire a gun containing more than a single round, (3) any person or organization to receive from another state, territory or country a gun made to fire multiple rounds, or (4) any person or organization to purchase, sell, donate or possess a magazine or clip capable of holding more than one round.

Read through that again. It makes it a crime for you, as an average citizen, to own a firearm, of any type, if it can fire more than one round or a magazine if it can hold more than one round. Every semi-automatic firearm of any type, every revolver, and almost every rifle, pistol, and shotgun would be banned by this legislation; no grandfathering, no registration, just outright banned. Granted, this is just a bill at the moment and has a long way to go before becoming a law, but still.

Hell. With. That.

Hell with State Senator Meyer, hell with New York, and hell with any other politician who would propose any other similar legislation.

That little pleasantry dispensed with, however, this is why the "slippery slope" has been, and continues to be, a valid concern when applied to "gun control"; those who would unjustly deprive us of our rights and property are never happy until they are entirely successful, and they will keep chipping away, using different tactics – all in the name of "compromise", mind you – until we are left with nothing at all. First it is 10-round magazines… then seven… then five… then why do you need magazines at all? Then one shot rifles. Then why do you need guns at all?

"Gun control" is and always has been a slippery slope, precisely because those who advocate it want control… not over guns, mind you, but over you.

fair warning and good advice

Once again, I will not be attending SHOT Show (mostly because I will be saving up money for a significantly less exciting trip in the hopefully-near future), but those of you who are going should bear this in mind:

I just received some disturbing news about this year’s SHOT Show from a well respected member of the firearms industry. The mainstream media will be at the 2013 SHOT Show in force with the express purpose of furthering their anti-gun agenda.

(Emphasis in the original.)

If you are surprised by this, frankly, where have you been for the past month? SHOT Show is the first major, national firearm-related event immediately following the Newtown, CT shooting, and you can bet your very last bullet that every major news manufacturer (and I use that term intentionally) out there will be canvassing the convention looking for firearm owners to frame as the next Sandy Hook Murderer (name intentionally omitted). And, yes, that is exactly what they will be doing – they will not care about whatever facts, figures, or statistics you care to present, or how reasonable and level-headed you appear; they will only be looking at how best to portray you as a heavily-armed whackadoodle inches away from snapping.

So I concur with the advice of the folks at Great Satan, Inc.:

Here’s the best advice I’ve heard to counter this unwelcome infiltration: DON’T SPEAK TO THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AT SHOT SHOW. My friend in the industry made some suggestions that I’d like to pass on – Be polite, and rather than say “no comment”, just tell them that you are busy and can’t talk right now. Do not forget that these people are not reasonable people and do not want a discussion. Please realize that despite your best efforts, there is no answer or statement you can give that can’t and won’t be used against all of us.

(Emphasis again in the original.)

I will not go so far as to say you should avoid everyone with a camera or notepad (and neither does GS,I, for that matter), since a huge number of my gunblogging brethren will be there with their hardware, but I would get in the habit of asking attempted interviewers who they are and who they represent before responding.

Try not to give the anti-rights cultists any more ammunition than they already have.

(And for those of you who are going, we are depending on you for copious quantities of pictures!)

all i am going to say

Do not expect much of a post from me about the shooting at the school in Newtown, CT last Friday; I, for one, do not believe in using the blood of victims as a fuel to further my political goals, unlike your average "gun control" fetishist. My thoughts and prayers are unquestionably with the families of those killed in this horrific crime, though, and if you do want something to read, you should read this.

I will say this much: "gun control" failed those children. Connecticut has an "assault weapon" ban. It did not work. Schools are "gun-free zones". That magical forcefield did not work. It is illegal to carry a handgun in Connecticut in public without a license. That did not stop the murderer. The teachers and principal of the elementary school were disarmed by the force of law. Even though at least one of them tried to resist, he lacked the tools to do so effectively.

And yet, despite the abject and complete failure of "gun control", the answer is… more "gun control"? How does that even begin to make sense?

More to the point, how does it make sense to punish millions of law-abiding American citizens because one person chose to become a criminal? I am not responsible for other people’s actions. I am not accountable for other people’s actions. As such, I refuse to be punished for those actions. At least the asshole murderer (who shall remain nameless on this site, for reasons well-documented here) took care of his own punishment for us.

And one final comment: "gun control" remains racist, even to this day. Every month, Chicago sees more firearm-related fatalities than transpired in Newtown on Friday, with the overwhelming majority of the victims being of darker skin tones. "Gun control" extremists never seem to care about those people, though (probably because such caring would be something of a tacit admission that the draconian "gun control" in Chicago is not working out so well for the city). Likewise, we will probably never know how many thousands of Mexicans, and possibly Americans, were killed with firearms the federal government smuggled across the border into Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Unfortunately, anti-rights cultists do not seem to care about brown victims.

But give those blood-dancing, victim-exploiting vampires a school full of lily-white children murdered by someone using a firearm, and all of a sudden, it is "GAME ON!" (Yes, there were minorities represented amongst the Sandy Hook shooting victims, but there were also whites shot in Chicago; the point stands.) I do not think I can adequately describe my contempt for such people.

In the end, I hate that these children were murdered, but I also hate that people like Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School who attempted to stop the murderer bare-handed, were prohibited from employing tools that have a recorded history of stopping spree- and mass-shooters. "Gun free zones" demonstrably do not work, and only create an environment where mass-murderers know they will not encounter any kind of armed, effective resistance. How about we give up on a failed program and try something else?