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|From the Barrel of a Gun|
|Random Nuclear Strikes|
|Only Guns and Money|
|The View From North Central Idaho|
|Armed and Dangerous|
|Hell in a Handbasket|
|View From The Porch|
|Guns, Cars, and Tech|
|Irons in the Fire|
|Snowflakes in Hell|
|Shot in the Dark|
|The Smallest Minority|
|Sharp as a Marble|
|The Silicon Greybeard|
|3 boxes of BS|
|Of Arms and the Law|
|Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives|
|Monster Hunter Nation|
|Right to be Armed|
|The 1968 Gun Control Act|
|Rocketry Hobbyists versus the BATFE|
|Third Circuit rules New Jersey can continue to confiscate firearms from travelers|
|Government is just a term for things we do together|
|Protestors oppose guns for upcoming ESPN Games|
|Senate GOP willing to meet with Obama's Supreme Court pick|
|2016: Why I'm not voting for Bernie Sanders the Socialist|
|2016: Why I'm not voting for Hillary|
|Obama administration officials who maintained private email accounts|
|2016: The Republican Field|
|The Dark Side of Data Retention Policies|
|Major media is paid by government agencies for specific content|
|Senate ethics complaints filed against 10 Senators|
|300 days of IRS abuse|
|A technical note on content versus metadata|
|Boomershoot 2009: Media Day|
|Building a Boomershooter|
|About The Author...|
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One of the big advantages of a decentralized system of personal
transportation technology (like, say, personal automobiles and public
roads) is that it reduces the dependency of individuals upon the State
for their daily lives. It's hard to screw up a road, although
governments certainly put a lot of effort into it!
Generally, city governments seem to spend all their time complaining about traffic while begging for money to build extensive public transportation systems that aren't used. Austin, for example, keeps putting silly "light rail" public transportation systems on the ballot, then scolding the public when they say no -- and nevermind that the bus system is so inefficient that it would be cheaper to buy each passenger a humvee. (No, I didn't do that math, and I don't have a link handy to the person who did -- sorry).
Now a local news channel is complaining that Katrina evacuees who depended on public transportation in New Orleans are now stuck walking around Austin, because our public transport system sucks. Here's one story:
Every morning and every evening, rain or shine, hot or cold, Ivy Harris walks one mile from her apartment on Decker Lane in Northeast Austin to the nearest bus stop to get to her job downtown.Here's one case where "tough love" is encouraging the right decision. Relying on the State to provide your personal transportation may leave you without such transportation and unable to fulfill your own responsibilities. The appropriate response, rather than quitting your job, is to take steps to become responsible for yourself. In fact, the article closes on this note:
Some subjects interviewed for this article have since found ways to purchase vehicles, at times at the expense a tighter budget for food and other basic bills.Heavens, you don't say that they are making cost-benefit tradeoffs!
So what's the clear subtext of this article? "Vote for public transport to help the Katrina victims."
And that's why I titled my post "Do it again, only HARDER." Because this news story is doing nothing less than pushing everyone to fund the exact sort of system that produced individuals dependent upon the State for their personal transportation. The people they interviewed seem perfectly capable of learning from their mistakes and adapting to their new situation, so why is it so difficult for journalists to do so?
... with reports of "widespread" damage. Don't have any more
details, just the 5 minute blurb on the radio. I wonder what's
going on. More this afternoon, if the story warrants it.
UPDATE: Well, I guess it didn't. Can't find any references to it now, so it must not have been much.
... but I finally noticed an incoming link from Thought Flickr. Here's what he had to say:
Thanks for the compliments. It's stuff like this that keeps me blogging.
Fact is, I don't expect everyone to like guns. People have different tastes, and lots of people are understandably adverse to heavy metal things that make loud noises.
What I would hope for would be unversal familiarity with firearms, at least in the sense of the very basic operating principles of a handgun and rifle. These are militia weapons. It is our obligation as a free people to learn to use the tools that bought our freedom and which will, I hope, allow us to keep it. Every mentally-competent, non-criminal adult should be able to handle a firearm safely. Not because it is our right, but because it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our neighbors if need be.
It is our responsibility not only because our freedom depends on it, but because our civilization depends on it. Just imagine where we would be, right now, without firearms: most likely, still stuck in the middle ages, where armored knights and feudal lords ruled over peasants in their fields.
Learn the skills, then put them away until you need them later in life, if that's your preference.
... but only for 2 years. Perhaps this is why I hadn't heard of
Kwanza. After I recently started seeing mentions of it, I figured
the basic idea out from context, but it took this article to clue me in on the whole story.
I'm glad I spent so little time in public school.
If you've been wondering what the heck, too, you really do want to know the details.
.. and she's not about to tell us, apparantly, though she is willing to point us to an article in the Boston Globe, a well-known democratic mouthpiece. But it makes her think
the Democrats are planning to play the gun issue seriously in the next
couple of months -- that is, to make a real play for the pro-gun
vote. I don't mind being courted by the Left; as a libertarian
I'm probably more open to such attempts than the center-right, and I
get the impression that a lot of gun owners are similarly libertarian
by nature and Republican by necessity. But -- and this is a big
one -- can the Democrats be trusted after being the party of gun
control for decades?
I'll say this on the topic: they have absolutely no credit on this issue. Cash on the barrelhead or there will be no sale.
I've been avoiding the NSA wiretapping issue because it's fairly
complex, and my attention has been demanded on other things lately (and
will likely get a lot worse soon, as the holidays end and work ramps up
again). However, this post at SaysUncle
doesn't look good for the President. It's one thing to argue back
and forth about whether warrants are needed for one class of
surveillance or another, it's a different thing entirely to deliberately flout the law
when the judges in charge of issuing FISA warrants have begun to
examine your requests more closely -- and even deny some of them (a
literally unprecedented occurance in 22 years!).
If the true motive of the shift in warrant practices is to evade a FISA court growing less placid about issuing warrants, as has been alleged, I have only one word to describe the President's conduct on this matter:
I'm all for wiretapping the enemy in time of war. And I'm willing to cut a lot of slack when we're talking about international calls to suspected terrorists. But we're not talking about the enemy necessarily; we're talking about people the administration thinks might be the enemy. They might also be loyal American citizens. And the war on terror will most likely never end (just examine the fate of other "state of emergency" executive orders to see how many are still active).
But the key here is motive.
To deliberately evade the requirements of the law is to place yourself above it; and such a deliberate choice requires a response both swift and firm.
To do so over a mere 179 modified requests (plus two denied) from a total of 5645 is to demonstrate an outright contempt for the checks and balances necessary in a free society.
I have my doubts as to whether the "enemy press" has accurately identified the whole story. But if it has, the President has crossed the line.
UPDATE: The Hammer of Truth has similarly resisted calling for impeachment... but is now seriously considering it.
There's some controversy over whether radiation sensors require warrants when used by police searches. Volokh suggests
that the standard should be based on precedents about heat sensors
pointed at homes (warrants are required), combined with those that
indicate serious crimes don't get exceptions for being serious
crimes. I agree with that principle, but I think radiation is
distinguishable; among other things it poses an independent health
hazard in high enough levels.
While, say, directing X-rays through a building to a receiver on the other side would clearly be an unconstitutional search, merely checking for excessive radiation levels outside a building is quite reasonable and should be admissible in court.
The precedents for heat sensors are also correct; heat sensors are substantially more invasive (because many normal and legal activities generate detectable heat), and the level of heat at which a public health hazard exists is generally quite visible to the naked eye in the form of smoke and flame.
Once you start stepping on to (public spaces of) private property in order to conduct such a search, however, things rapidly become more complex. I would still be OK with people carrying detectors that can register hazardous-to-health levels of radiation, chemical agents, etc, so long as they remain in areas truly open to the public and don't need to make false representations in order to gain entry.
I say this because, as a private citizen, I might well want to carry a radiation detector along with me as an early warning of radiation hazard, if I could do so cheaply, and if there was a perceived risk -- consider, for example, the laboratory facilities at many universities.
Hat tip to Lay Lines for the story.
I live in a city that recently passed a smoking ban. While I
don't smoke, I don't particularly mind smokers; I'll avoid
overly-smokey environments by choice but can tolerate them without
discomfort. I think it's absolutely absurd to regulate smoking on
private property of any sort. If you're wavering on the issue,
read these comments from Jerry the Geek, discussing reports that the UK is taking steps to prohibit smoking in your own home for at least an hour before any government worker (health worker, police, etc) arrives.
That's where this stuff is going. It's hysteria aimed at destroying any pretensions to private control of property we have left. And just like gun control, it operates by incrementalism.
Kim suggests that no-knock warrants are a bad thing, and that when the
police screw up and raid the wrong house, the occupants of that house
should not be penalized for shooting back regardless of anything else the police might do.
1. I will grant, very reluctantly, the fact that occasionally the police will require extraordinary powers in order to catch serious criminals.He's almost right. I have two quibbles.
First, the minor one -- why restrict it to felonies? If an LEO gets shot, or the like, while executing a no-knock warrant on the wrong house, the occupants should get off scott-free for anything found in the search or anything they do to defend themselves. The LEO is there illegally, and that's that.
Second, the whole concept of no-knock warrants is repugnant to a free society. There are very narrow cases which arguably require such a warrant; the obvious ones are hostage situations or terrorists with the remote control to a bomb in their hideout. Outside of rare cases like those, nothing is gained by a no-knock warrant. They should not even be issued.
Given that, I see no need to restrict the self-defense principle above to cases where there was a mistake on the warrant; as far as I am concerned it should be applied to ANY and ALL no-knock warrants.
If the police make the decision to go in without knocking, they are starting a fight, and no one should be blamed for the actions they take in self-defense. Whatever the original reason for searching was on the warrant can be fought over in court, but any actions taken in response to the raid come with a get-out-of-jail-free card.
You may be thinking that this leaves no incentive for criminals to surrender rather than shooting back. I disagree. The incentive is simple. If they shoot back, the police will quite likely kill them on the spot. If they do not shoot back, they will quite likely live to face trial. That's a big incentive.
Seems like simple common sense to me. If you break into someone's house with your gun out, deliberately denying them the opportunity to consider their actions rationally and evaluate who you are and what you want, they are going to perceive a life-threatening emergency and shoot at you. Being a criminal doesn't change that, especially these days, when tiny little innocuous things are often felonies.
It used to be that Captain Ed could be relied upon for accurate, if
partisan, analysis of politics and political news. Though I did
not always agree with him, I respected his opinion and ability to
Unfortunately, while I still admire his ability to express his opinion, I no longer have confidence in his ability to analyze a situation and come to the correct answer without the guidance of a partisan weathervane. Here's why:
Nowhere in that resolution does it restrict the Bush administration from conducting its war operations within the US, and contrary to what Russ Feingold and Tom Daschle would have Americans think, laws do not enable government power but restrict them. That which is not explicitly forbidden is therefore assumed to be legal, and not the other way around, as a moment's thought will clearly show.This flatly contradicts the enumerated powers doctrine. Our constitution authorizes a limited federal government to take certain specified actions. While a case could be made for State governments operating in that fashion, the Federal government is explicitly limited by the Constitution and doubly so by the 9th and 10th Amendments.
This notice is a bit belated, but I'd like to offer congratulations to FishOrMan, who has won his appeal while representing himself, striking a small but personally significant blow for open-carry.
I've stayed away from blogging about the case for a couple reasons. First, it seems to me that his actions were on the borderline of what the law allows; normal open carry is arguably legal under state law, by way of an affirmative defense, but open carry inside a bank strikes me as exactly the sort of situation that might legitimately "warrant alarm", which would violate the law. Second, representing yourself in court is usually a very poor decision, and rarely bodes well for the results. Third, given that he was representing himself, any commentary I could have offered would have been uncomfortably close to legal advice, something I am not qualified to offer, and might well do more harm than good. And fourth, I was concerned that he had gotten himself into a foreseeable bad situation without adequately preparing for it, and thus put the whole concept of open-carry at risk in Washington State.
That said, I have been following the case personally, and I'm glad that he won.
I do have one caution, though.
Just because you won this one on a technicality doesn't mean you'll win the next one. Pick your fights more carefully, and make sure you're prepared to fight them before they start.
"Mr. Whitehead, it's now a war between us and you've fired the first shot. I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written that letter."Is this the sort of government official we want? I think not.
A while back I posted a hypothetical question about what should be done
concerning Class-III weapons (machine guns) that were captured from an
invading army. The weapons would be illegal to possess -- well,
technically illegal to transfer across state lines, I suppose, but for
all practical purposes illegal to possess -- and the people possessing
them would be instant criminals, quite possibly without ever knowing
it. The problem of war trophy firearms is not entirely
hypothetical, however, and it seems the NRA is taking steps to address it.
While the bill's provisions, which provide a 90-day amnesty period for registration of firearms acquired overseas between 1934 and 1968, are better than nothing, they aren't nearly broad enough.
You might want to write your Congressman in support of the bill anyway. If they get favorable attention from this they'll be more likely to expand it later.
UPDATE: FreedomSight is more critical of the bill. I don't disagree with his arguments (but see the note below on the surrender provision), but if we want our legislators to support the 2nd Amendment, we need to get that message across loud and clear. Unless you are very lucky (or own a lobbyist), your representative doesn't actually listen to anything you say, or read anything you write to him or her about; instead, their staffers take messages from the constituents and try to categorize those messages into a simple binary value on each topic the representive is tracking: yes, or no.
So, if the representative is paying attention to comments about this bill, his staffers will be trying to characterize all the comments they receive on the bill as either a yes vote or a no vote. They're not reading any deeper than that, and any information you write in with that doesn't fit readily into that paradigm is probably lost.
The way to get support from Congress on gun issues is to write in to support positive firearms legislation even if it has philosophical flaws. Like it or not, we won't be seeing Congressional repeal of most current gun control any time soon. When something positive does become available, we need to support it in order to encourage more positive legislation in our favor.
Finally, while I understand Jed's reluctance regarding the surrender provision the NRA didn't bother to mention, you only need to look at the alternatives to understand why it's there. Right now, people possessing Class-III weapons affected by this bill are subject to prosecution for a severe federal felony; there is no way they can get out of that, no matter what they do with the gun. The bill will provide an amnesty period, and after that amnesty period, it will provide an out for veterans in that situation, by allowing them to surrender the firearm upon notification that continued possession is illegal. The alternative for the veteran at that point is a federal felony conviction, prison time, and confiscation of the firearm at gunpoint, not continued peaceful existance.
That strikes me as an improvement, albeit a small one.
It seems that USA 3000 Airline has banned guns in baggage, according to David Hardy at Of Arms and the Law.
That's fairly silly; transport of firearms that way is extensively
regulated and quite safe when those regulations are followed. The
biggest risk is probably theft by a baggage handler.
I'm not sure what the airline thinks it has to gain from this, aside from scoring political points with people flying on the airline, who may not realize that transporting firearms that way is quite legal and reasonably common. But in deciding to forbid the practice, it has certainly made itself a target for a boycott from supporters of gun rights.
I would be interested to know the economic outcome of the decision; does it cost them more to ban the practice and suffer the boycott, or do their other customers appreciate it enough to make up for the business?
We probably won't ever find out.
David's post, linked above, has contact info if you want to give them a piece of your mind.
... really, it's the "Holy" bit that bugs me. Lacking reverence
for such commonly-revered things as the birth of a child allegedly
descended from an insubstantial Creator, I rarely bother to celebrate
much. But, being a fan of human happiness in general, if you wish
to celebrate on this day, I wish you much happiness from your
celebrations. I'll be busy doing something useful.
... well, I suppose that's always been obvious. Rather than
advocating repeal of the 2nd Amendment, a tough political sell but the
ethical course of action for their position, they prefer to ignore it
and pass legislation that blatantly violates it. But their lack
of respect for the law isn't limited to the Bill of Rights; Says Uncle caught them violating copyright law by using an image from Ponderosa Sports without permission. (I got the tip from Lay Lines, whose blog is alphabetically higher than Says Uncle).
It's not exactly uncommon on the web, though ethical web authors generally ask permission first. In a case like this, though, permission was neither asked nor given (and has in fact been explicitly denied). If sued over it, Diaz would probably claim non-commercial intent, but I'm not sure if that defense would fly; he may not be selling the image but he's sure selling an idea, and votes are the coin he wants for it.
Besides -- the suit would be a hell of a lot more valid than suing manufacturers for criminal misuse of their legal products.
So, I encourage Ponderosa to sue if they can find a copyright lawyer willing to donate some time to the cause. At the least we can inflict some legal costs on the VPC.
And I suggest their first move should be to send a DMCA takedown letter. After all, the best way to highlight a bad law is to use it.
|... but I'm not sure that running fake political campaigns to entice corrupt campaign workers into breaking the law is necessarily going to help. The government needs to stay out of the electoral process, because the risk of abuse is far, far too high. What if the fake campaign had won?|
Jerry the Geek questions another Geek (with a .45)
about the injuries allegedly sustained by Patricia Konie when she was
recently jackbooted, noting that the woman on the video is able to lift
her dog into a vehicle, and questioning whether she could have been
injured as badly as claimed in the lawsuit.
I don't have any more information than what's in the lawsuit, but I do understand a little bit about the nature of lawsuits. First, the text quoted in my own post on the story is from the complaint in the lawsuit; that's important, because it means the account therein was written by Konie's lawyer, and it was written to establish two things: the legal basis for Konie's claim for damages, and the extent of those damages.
Generally, courts do not issue awards randomly. They are usually based some combination of actual damages (eg, costs incurred in healing the injury, medical care, repairing or replacing property, etc), punitive damages (awarded without a showing of cost, to discourage violations), and legal fees (because the injured party should not have to pay their lawyer if the other party is clearly in the wrong -- the lawyer's fees are another cost to repair the original injury, except that they are not always awarded).
So when you file your initial complaint, you are looking to establish from the beginning the extent of the damages your client suffered, if not necessarily a precise accounting at that stage. You're going to have a hard time convincing the court to order damages for injuries that magically appear later on in the case, so you include everything you think you might claim eventually. Most likely that's all that's going on here. If the complaint says the injuries "may" require surgery, what he's really saying is that they haven't required surgery yet, but that they might.
Since the complaint was filed towards the end of November, and the press release is datelined mid-December, I'd say that the injuries did in fact require surgery between the time the complaint was filed and the press released issued. Since the press release is considerably more detailed about those injuries than the complaint, I'd say there are good odds that the medical care obtained in the meantime helped to diagnose the injuries that had been inflicted.
I don't know anything about dislocated shoulders, never having had one, but hypothetically, if I was being "evacuated" and one of my shoulders was dislocated, I would be lifting animals with the other arm. Just something to bear in mind.
Unless, of course, you are the Louisiana governor, Kathleen Blanco, who has issued an executive order to that effect.
I can understand, politically, why she might want to do this. It's undoubtedly difficult to hold elections after a devastating hurricane, especially when said hurricane exposed your own incompetence along with the incompetence of your political allies. You might rightly fear a backlash from the voters. You might even realize that you deserve a backlash from the voters.
But you do NOT suspend the elections indefinitely.
Not in America.
It seems that Patricia Konie, who was tackled by a cop on national TV as they "evacuated" her from her home in New Orleans, has decided to sue.
I don't blame her. In addition to confiscating her legally-owned
firearm, they broke and dislocated her shoulder.
Hat tip on this one to The Smallest Minority, Ravenwood, SaysUncle, Standard Mischief, and the Geek. But if they are going to beat me on timing, I'll have to swamp them with details...
Luckily, the Louisiana Courts have the appropriate infrastructure for me to offer detailed ongoing coverage of this case. I was able to obtain the complaint in PDF format, though I won't be posting that as it contains the plaintiff's home address. However, there are some damn good quotes therein, and I will gleefully excerpt those. Here's the meat:
On September 8th, 2005, defendants, acting under color of State law in an official capacity, and in violation of federal and state law, wrongfully trespassed on premises legally occupied by plaintiff at [address withheld], and committed the following additional torts against plaintiff, her person and her property:
Y'know, just as a hunch, I don't think letting the news cameras in to record the incident was wise of the officers involved.
The defendents in the case are:
Folks, we have a jackbooted-thugs-gun-confiscation case headed to court with a sympathetic plaintiff making 2nd Amendment claims.
Let me say that again. The significance may not be immediately clear.
HAVE A SECOND AMENDMENT CLAIM AGAINST JACKBOOTED THUGS KICKING
DOWN DOORS AND CONFISCATING LEGALLY-OWNED FIREARMS FROM LITTLE OLD
LADIES ON CAMERA.
Why, yes, I will be following this case in detail.
And speaking of which, the complaint (which was filed 11/30/2005) is
not the only action in the case. The court has issued a summons
for the defendants.
The case is before Judge Martin Feldman and Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles III.
That is, we do NOT have a First Amendment to prevent silly sayings on
money or the local Christmas tree. We have a First Amendment to
prevent the government from establishing a state religion complete with mandatory participation.
That is, we have a First Amendment to prevent exactly what the 9th Circus just ruled constitutional: Islamic role-playing in public school. Link by way of Althouse.
There is nothing wrong with teaching a course on comparative religions. There is a lot wrong about making that course mandatory, or having those in the course participate in the religious rites of the various religions involved.
|... apparantly can't be trusted to know the law. This is a problem, and it's one of the things that makes a national concealed-carry system attractive.|
... and while this notice is a bit belated (the story dates from November 17th),
it's still welcome. Even if I would prefer that the headline was
something closer to "Supreme Court rules McCain-Feingold Campaign
Finance Reform unconstitutional".
|Dave Kopel at the Volokh Conspiracy posted about Kristallnacht, citing two law review articles by Stephen Hallbrook, and linking it to gun control. Not exactly news to this audience, I suspect, but worth noting for the discussion it generated in the comments. There seem to be a lot of people who don't see the connection between gun registration, gun licensing, and disarming those you intend to destroy.|
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