Psychological evaluations for gun buyers in New Jersey

This proposed legislation is just step one. Ultimately, wanting to own a gun will be defined as a psychological disorder (see Catch 22). And there's a bill requiring home inspections, too.

Thu Jan 30 08:54:05 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Florida goes for nullification of federal firearms laws

Alphecca points to this article and comments:
Whether it stands a chance, or not, of passing is irrelevant. It’s another state that would pass a SYMBOLIC gesture of disdain for the overreach of the federal government. The problem (as already seen in a recent court decision) is that it’s probably unenforceable and would be struck down as (correctly or incorrectly) unconstitutional. Still, it’s the thought that counts . . . I guess.

It's actually a little trickier than that. While the state governments cannot themselves nullify a federal law, their legislatures can certainly declare that in their opinion the federal law is unconstitutional and should not be enforced. They can certainly deny funding for any of their state agencies to assist in enforcing the law, and even provide civil or criminal penalties for state actors who do attempt to enforce those laws. All of those actions are within the state legislature's power to control state agencies and budgets.

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Thu Jan 30 06:28:11 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cruz calls for independent prosecutor in IRS scandal

... because a prosecutor who has donated over six thousand dollars to the Obama campaign is not independent. The proper term for that is appearance of impropriety.

Read the letter Cruz sent to Holder demanding an independent prosecutor. The same page has widgets to leave a comment with the IRS.

Wed Jan 29 05:20:08 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


It seems Philadelphia got some federal grant money -- nearly a cool million -- in order to run some gun buyback programs. They did run the programs, but over half of the money they got went to corruption rather than legitimate expenses, including an unofficial raise for the program director, $28K in missing gift cards that were not traded for a gun, $40K in rental for a building to operate in for only a month. The program did collect almost three thousand guns, but at a cost of nearly $300 each (only $100 of which was the gift card they gave to the person turning in the gun).

I suspect that these programs are basically money laundering for campaign expenses anyway.

Hat tip to David Hardy for the story.

Wed Jan 29 05:13:04 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

UK Independence Party wants to legalize firearms

From the Telegraph:
The Ukip leader has said it is party policy for hand guns to be legalised and licensed in the UK despite being banned in the UK for the last 18 years... Mr Farage said the current ban on the guns, which were made illegal following the school shooting at Dunblane in 1996, was "ludicrous."

He's right that the ban is ludicrous, as is taking this long to even bring up changing it. He still wants some sort of licensing policy, but hey, small steps in the right direction are still in the right direction.

Hat tip to Lott for the news.

Wed Jan 29 05:05:38 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why the NSA data seizure is like gun registration

Randy Barnett explains.

I tend to think that anyone who would be convinced by this argument doesn't need to be convinced, but just in case...

Wed Jan 29 05:02:50 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama plans to bypass Congress

It looks like the State of the Union speech this Tuesday is going to be a big deal:
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday that President Obama will offer "practical" proposals to move the country forward this year and suggested the president will take executive action to advance his agenda when Congress doesn't cooperate.

"If Congress doesn't act, the president will," Pfeiffer told "Fox News Sunday."

Pfeiffer's comments mark the second time this weekend that he has attempted to prepare Americans for what Obama will say in his State of the Union address Tuesday before Congress.

On Sunday, Pfeiffer said those proposals will include efforts to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

That is the language of a dictator, not a President. Obama has no power to take "executive action" on any of those issues.

Tue Jan 28 16:57:50 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Flawed research

NBC is promoting a series of misconceptions and misleading anti-gun studies in it's "Health" section. Although they try to avoid presenting details, it's clear to anyone with knowledge of existing research that they are stretching quite a ways to reach conclusions suitable for propaganda use. I'll go through their story and show what they are hiding below the fold.

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Tue Jan 28 07:27:32 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Eugene Volokh explains why they went to the Washington Post

This is real opinion outreach from the libertarian perspective into the mainstream:
What's more, on many issues many people in the middle haven't heard much of one side's arguments (or often of either side's arguments). The comment I quoted reflects that: Having a few contributors who are pro-gun-rights and skeptical of the effectiveness of gun control equals, in the commenter's mind, "going gun nut." That seems like a sign of a cocoon in which certain arguments are seen as just out of bounds for normal, reasonable people -- which in turn is a sign that those arguments are very rarely heard by people of his circle. We aim to change that!

If it puts the sensible, rational, and realistic version of libertarianism in front of the Post's reliably liberal readership, on a regular basis, then it could be a huge victory.

Tue Jan 28 03:39:51 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Emily Miller writes on the Abramski case

She calls out a detail I hadn't been aware of previously:

Mr. Abramski, a former police officer, bought the firearm in his home state of Virginia in 2009 because he could get a good price as former law enforcement. The next day, Mr. Abramski met his uncle at a gun dealer in Pennsylvania. Mr. Alvarez filled out the same NICS background check and passed. The two men filled out forms with the dealer to transfer ownership of the firearm.

In other words, these two men complied with the law on interstate firearms sales by going through a licensed FFL for both the initial purchase and the subsequent sale of the firearm. What they did would have passed muster under all the "gun show loophole" or "universal background check" laws in the country. The ATF is prosecuting Abramski because he sold the gun too quickly. If he had sold his uncle a gun he had in his safe at home, and bought himself a new gun to replace it, everything would have been just fine. Not only was there no prohibited person involved in the transaction, both the original transfer and the private sale were conducted through a licensed dealer with a background check.

I'm thinking this should be a slam dunk win in the Supreme Court.

Mon Jan 27 12:33:59 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Doubling Down on Abuse

Schumer calls for using the IRS to suppress the Tea Party:

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) proposed using the Internal Revenue Service to curtail Tea Party group funding during a speech on how to "exploit" and "weaken" the movement at the Center for American Progress on Thursday.

Arguing that Tea Party groups have a financial advantage after the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, Schumer said the Obama administration should bypass Congress and institute new campaign finance rules through the IRS.

Naked tyranny.

The IRS does not exist to suppress political opposition to those in power.

Mon Jan 27 08:43:42 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Disqus comments enabled

... in the hopes that their spam filtering will require less time than manually deleting spam comments in moderation.

Mon Jan 27 07:52:27 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Verizon releases transparency report

Reason's blog has a good summary of the Verizon transparency report, including the scary statistic that just over 10% of the requests for customer information they received were based on a warrant with probable cause. That means 89% of the requests were not based on a warrant.

Mon Jan 27 07:52:11 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Newspaper seeks to create national CCW database

From Fox:
A national newspaper chain with nearly 100 publications and 1.6 million readers is considering building "state-by-state databases" on concealed weapons permit holders, according to an internal e-mail.

They say they don't plan to publish it, but that doesn't mean they won't use it. One obvious way to use it without publishing it would be to note in their stories whenever someone with a concealed-carry license is accused of a crime. I'm sure there are other ways to use it, and simply creating the database is wrong... and that's assuming I trust their word not to publish it, which I don't.

That said, I think most states make it difficult or impossible to get the lists, and for good reason. It won't be as easy to compile as they think.

UPDATE: They have backed off already.

Sun Jan 26 07:43:58 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Dinesh D'Souza indicted

Dinesh D'Souza was a prominent political opponent of the president during his campaign. Now, he's being charged with campaign finance violations -- allegedly reimbursing others for their political contributions in a Senate campaign, which is illegal because... umm... well... because fuck the people and the First Amendment they rode in on.

Dinesh challenged Obama well enough to get noticed and make the enemies list. Now, in the runup to the 2014 elections, they are taking him out of action early on -- just like the IRS is keeping the Tea Party tied up in red tape and forms in triplicate.

It says something about how far our society has disintegrated -- a word I chose carefully -- that I don't even question whether this is a real charge or just politically motivated bullshit. It's an election year. The man is a well-known critic of Obama. Of course the charges are political bullshit. I'm not talking about presumption of innocence here, I'm talking presumption of guilt on the part of the prosecutors. I'm talking deprivation of rights under color of law. I'm talking about corruptly influencing an election by prosecuting your political opponents. Right here, in America. Just like one of the tin-pot dictatorships Obama grew up in.

UPDATE: More information here.

Fri Jan 24 06:48:15 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun control criminals

The case for gun control is usually made on the basis of reducing violent crime, whether from committing mass shootings or smaller scale murders and robberies. But the people actually charged under gun control laws are rarely the violent criminals -- after all, if you have charged a man for murdering almost thirty people, an additional charge of doing it with a weapon he wasn't allowed to have is rather pointless. You can only fry him once, after all.

The people who actually get charged with violating gun control laws are different. They are, to put it bluntly, honest citizens who made a simple mistake navigating a complex combination of federal, state and local laws, many of which are explicitly designed to make gun ownership complex and legally dangerous in order to discourage it.

A couple recent cases should illustrate the point.

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Fri Jan 24 06:24:55 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's whitewash panel fails to whitewash NSA spying

Hit and Run has key quotes from the New York Times and Washington Post coverage. It seems someone leaked those reports to the newspapers of record. Randy Barnett explains some of the problems with the NSA bulk data collection program by analogizing it to gun registration from his no-longer-in-pajamas perch at.. the Washington Post?! What?

Oh, yeah, and the Volokh guys sold out to the Washington Post. Experimentally. Or something. That's news. I expect Jeff Bezos (Amazon techno-capitalist libertarian and new owner of the Washington Post) might have had something to do with that. I wish them luck and hope they don't get stuck behind the pay wall there.

Thu Jan 23 08:50:29 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why everyone should own a gun

Thu Jan 23 08:27:46 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Wendy Davis tries to change the subject

It seems she doesn't want to talk about her personal history since the truth came out. Instead, she wants to talk about guns. That is, Wendy Davis, a Democrat running for governor of Texas who has in the past tried to bar gun shows from public property, wants to get the gun vote.

Since she tried to change the subject, I will point out that according to her divorce records, the court entered a temporary restraining order at her husband's request preventing her from "using illegal drugs or consuming alcohol within 24 hours before or during" her contact with her children.

In the context of firearms I would note that such an order, entered during divorce proceedings without an evidentiary hearing, should be taken with a grain of salt. Normally, however, such orders are issued on the basis of "He's a man, and I'm a woman, and we're arguing a lot due to the divorce, and he's scary when he gets angry at me and yells at me." If Wendy's ex-husband, kind-hearted enough to pay her way through law school, felt it necessary to request a court order Wendy not to conduct her child custody or visitation while drunk or high... well, where there is smoke, sometimes there is fire.

UPDATE: heh.

Thu Jan 23 08:27:24 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The intended result of microstamping laws...

... is a gun ban for poor people. I don't doubt there is some firearms manufacturer out there willing to buy microstamping equipment to sell into a market, like California, that allows nothing else. Their products will sell at a significant price premium justified only by the political rules they are forced to follow. The honest poor, unable to afford that price premium, will be left defenseless. Criminals will simply smuggle in guns from other states, or steal them. There is no price premium on smuggled or stolen guns, nor is there any crime reduction from the technology.

Thu Jan 23 08:04:20 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Geithner retaliated against credit rating firm

An executive with Standard & Poor's parent company said in a new legal filing that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned him that the credit rating firm would be "looked at very carefully" following its decision in 2011 to downgrade the credit rating of the United States.

The legal document was filed as part of a case the Justice Department brought against S&P in February 2013, alleging the company defrauded investors in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis by giving risky mortgage bonds its highest rating. The company has alleged the suit was brought in retaliation for the downgrade -- a claim Justice officials have dismissed.

I believe them. As the Instapundit is fond of pointing out, Obama has been threatening to audit his enemies since 2009.

What's almost as disturbing is the way that since that downgrade, few credit rating agencies have dared to make similar calls. It's like they know there will be a cost from the government to announcing the truth. And the media is deceptively reporting the debt limit fights as if raising the debt limit is necessary in order to protect the credit rating -- when, in fact, raising the debt limit continually is what is threatening the credit rating.

Thu Jan 23 01:32:22 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Failure to comprehend

The writers over at Legal Insurrection pulled out this portion of Obama's speech on the NSA:

First, everyone who has looked at these problems, including skeptics of existing programs, recognizes that we have real enemies and threats, and that intelligence serves a vital role in confronting them. We cannot prevent terrorist attacks or cyber-threats without some capability to penetrate digital communications -- whether it's to unravel a terrorist plot; to intercept malware that targets a stock exchange; to make sure air traffic control systems are not compromised; or to ensure that hackers do not empty your bank accounts.

Your bank accounts, air traffic control systems, and stock exchanges are protected by standardized encryption software which the NSA has gone to significant effort to weaken and compromise. Events have already proven that the NSA cannot stop terrorist attacks even when they have the information to do so. If they can't stop people hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings, they certainly cannot stop a hacker from emptying your bank account.

Strong, uncompromised encryption can.

In order to be secure, we must be able to keep secrets.

Wed Jan 22 09:15:30 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Gun registration legislation in Oregon

David Codrea at the Examiner quoting from an alert (the alert itself appears to be down due to traffic volume):
"So let's review," the alert continued. "Floyd Prozanski's background check bill requires that when you give a gun to your best friend, or your cousin, or your uncle, that the State Police record the recipient's name, address, sex, (and social security number if they choose to give it) and the make, model, caliber and serial number of the gun!

After registration comes confiscation, as we have seen in New York quite recently. The only use for a registration system is confiscation; there is no way to use it to prevent crime. In fact, it creates new crime: having a gun that isn't registered to you, or not having a gun that is. It's already illegal for a criminal to have a gun, so they don't care whether it is registered to them or not. Laws like this will be applied only against honest gun owners who didn't think they needed to keep a record of who they sold their personal property to -- or, as happened recently in Maryland, by police who want to harass gun owners.

Hat tip to Alphecca for the story.

Wed Jan 22 08:32:30 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Public turning against NSA, unimpressed by Obama reform proposals

53% opposed, 40% supported. 73% of those who had heard about Obama's proposed reforms believed they would not make a difference.

The public doesn't like Obama's abuse of our intelligence agencies, and except for his hard-core supporters, doesn't trust him to fix the problem.

Wed Jan 22 08:00:39 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Sort of missing the point...

In the past, we had universities that taught men vital skills that enabled people to contribute to the larger society, and we had finishing schools that taught women to marry well and manage their households -- contributing to a smaller, but no less important, society. Then, we had feminism, where everyone was supposed to get a job without any gender bias and be equal in the home and the workplace. Now, it seems we are back to finishing schools for women, except I don't see how a degree in "the politics and culture of food" can possibly help a woman to run a household. A kitchen, maybe -- though a degree in the politics and culture of food makes me question whether any actual cooking is involved.

I was briefly puzzled at what would motivate someone to write an article defending her daughter's decision to get an admittedly useless degree. Then I checked the bottom of the article for the "about the author" section:
Randye Hoder writes about the intersection of family, politics and culture with a focus on Gen Y and Z. The views expressed are solely her own.

It seems that Time is willing to pay her to do something very similar to what her daughter will end up doing: writing about nothing in particular.

I wonder how her daughter feels about her mother describing the college degree she spent four years acquiring as useless? My facility at critical thinking may not be as highly developed as that of a humanities student with a four-year degree in the politics of food (my degree is in STEM, after all), but I don't need a degree in interpersonal relations to predict that the author's relationship with her family will not be improved by this article. And I've got a hunch the author's walls are transparent.

Tue Jan 21 05:51:58 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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