Friday, December 28, 2012
NRA News Conference.
Monday, December 24, 2012
In the morning I'll continue the preparations (wrapping, cleaning, organizing and such) for the Christmas I'll celebrate some days hence. In the afternoon, in the interests of domestic tranquility, I will go forth and tolerate an event.
For those of you that are close with your siblings and your families, be grateful. The rest of us envy you a tad, even as we struggle to move on in a way that works.
May each of us in our own way and time find a moment of joy during the holidays.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
" The perfect is the enemy of the good" - Voltaire
We don't get to have the idealized and perfect versions of the NRA or any other organization, or even the ones we might like better. We get the ones we have today - as they are - warts and all. The NRA, SAF, CCRKBA, GOA, JPFO, NAGR and the many other local/state/regional/national pro-gun groups we have today are what we get to take to war with us.
Our blood dancing opponents will not be pausing while we perfect the moral and philosophical positions of our organizations or while we stage leadership purges. If they are not going to wait for the bodies to cool, whyever would they wait for us to organize a coordinated opposition to their emotion-driven tragedy-exploiting irrational trespasses upon fundamental human rights?
We are, after all, dealing with folks who have openly declared a desire to do SOMETHING before emotions cool and people become rational again...and who have been utterly clear about their ultimate desire to "take them all" (Feinstein).
So. For now, if you are really serious about our rights and not having BATFE or some other agency show up on your doorstep to collect your guns...put the NRA-HATE and other divisiveness on the back burner till we're out of the gator-infested swamp with velociraptors around the borders.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
An NRA Statement.
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters – and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown.
Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.
The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.
The NRA is planning to hold a major news conference in the Washington, DC area on Friday, December 21.
Details will be released to the media at the appropriate time.
Monday, December 3, 2012
Last year, he made Mom promise that this year that she would do Christmas at his house this year before he would allow his family to attend that years Christmas festivities. She agreed, and is sticking by that extortionate agreement.
I cannot bring myself to support an event at which my Mothers attendance is extorted by blackmail. I had initially planned to simply go ahead and do a later dinner at Mom's house and ignore the other event. Regrettably, my guest list is falling apart due to other commitments and various ailments imposed by the fates on some of the intended guests.
Pondering options, I have a 14-15lb Turducken reserved that I've already paid for...but cooking it for just myself seems a bit silly. As does making up the whole Christmas dinner for just myself.
Barring a new set of invitees, I am contemplating other options. Given that attending any event created through blackmail is deeply offensive to me, that rather rules *that* out as an option. It is quite bad enough that such a thing occur and that Mom not only go along with it, but try to make excuses for it.
At this late date expanding my social circle either to garner an invitation elsewhere or alternatively to gather bright shiny new guests seems both a bit self-serving for my tastes and - given my basically introverted nature - a bit unrealistic.
That, I suspect, leaves dining out as a moderately less cheerless choice than staying in for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Initiative 502 - Marijuana Legalization (WA)
Well, neither do guns and getting drunk but pot has some special federal complications - our friends at the ATF point out that if you lawfully (under state law) purchase, sell, use or whatever marijuana that you are barred (at the level of a federal felony) from the purchase or use of firearms or ammunition.
In other words, wave goodbye to the Second Amendment if you light up...
It took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol - why doesn't it take one to ban marijuana?
Credit to Dave Workman for his substantially more complete coverage of this topic.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
One of the problems with resistance to government policy is that when one writes a list of suggestions on how to go about it, one is more or less prevented from exercising those methods. Something about "telegraphing ones punches."
Nevertheless, given the potential for Shenanigans our re-elected administration seems to offer us, a few thoughts on how to slow or derail the more egregious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms seem worth examining. History offers a variety of peaceful and even lawful approaches.
Throwing sand in the works of a government initiative can take many forms - ridicule, malicious cooperation, active opposition, legal action, the creative use of process, and far more. All of these fall far short of rooftop methods of discussion.
The Penny Auctions of the Depression Era offer one model to examine. Simon Jester of Robert Heinleins "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" offers another. Yet another might be found in the artistic interactions with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens of Dr. David Swinson Maynard of 19th Century Seattle as described in Bill Speidels unbowdlerized version of Seattle's founder, Doc Maynard - "Please Clarify."
Malicious obedience is another option open to the creative monkey wrencher - it is difficult to resist those who are enthusiastically "supporting you" and particularly difficult for the arrogant (who already believe themselves far more clever than those that surround them) to detect. It is the strategy of giving those that would infringe upon liberty what they want, well past the point upon which the choke upon it and is blessed with endless variations on the theme.
Grassroots activism and networking, often made out as elaborate and complex activities (and if you try hard, you can certainly make them such) can be as simple as a monthly meal or a weekly beverage with friends that develops into a group of folks you can depend on in an emergency. But this is seldom achieved sitting on a couch typing on a laptop.
Taking steps to put fallback plans in place for food, water, and shelter while not exactly obvious are also more than a bit subversive.
All this is before we explore the grimmer aspects of resistance, and while we remain well within what (as a lay person) I understand to be the law.
This isn't intended to be some sort of comprehensive guide. It is a starting point from an armchair quarterback intending to stir thought, and perhaps even action. For me, I believe my resistance will start with a breakfast. We'll see where it goes from there. For others, their choices may vary widely.
Certainly once one casts aside the law as a petty restraint, or considers it as something that only applies to ones opponents, the range of potential options broadens significantly - at approximately the same rate the level of risk to ones honor, fortune, family, and friends. That is why we must strive to exercise all other forms of resistance before resorting to such - because the last time the pin was pulled on that particular grenade, we bought ourselves a civil war that the dust has yet to settle from even now.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Pondering this Secession thing
Yet, circa 1861-1865 approximately 750,000 folks got suddenly dead in the process of a rather vigorous discussion in which one set of parties sought to coerce the other set of parties to remain in the Union of the day. It seems they succeeded.
However, success through coercion doesn't necessarily mean right. In the American Civil War, once you get past the history written by the victors there appear to have been darned few saints and an awful lot of sinners when you start looking at the political leadership and the motivations on either side.
Practically, right or wrong, secession by force has some fairly major downsides. If we saw a second American Civil War play out today with the same rate of casualties as the first, we'd see right about 7.5 million graves filling up fairly rapidly win or lose.
Now, these are fairly soft numbers with the 1861 figures grabbed in a quick google search, and casualties derived by calculating the worst case 1865 casualty estimates against the 1861 population. The analysis also fails to consider that since the Civil War era when both professional and citizen soldiers were arriving on the battlefields of the day with mostly single shot rifles and the occasional revolver, technology has improved a bit.
In other words, we've gotten MUCH better at killing each other. Odds are quite good that casualties would be much higher, even from this armchair cowboys perspective. And just for fun, consider that we really don't know who gets how much of the military should we see a "festive secession" scenario - any more than our forefathers could guess the same thing in 1860.
For anyone with a shred of morals or decency, "festive secession" is clearly to be avoided even if one assumes that the kids on both (assuming their are only two) teams will refrain from getting REALLY festive and breaking out ABC sorts of gear.
Peaceable secession is a far less common creature, but as we saw in the devolution of the U.S.S.R or Eastern Europe it *can* happen - it is simply astonishingly rare.
If these folks signing these petitions are able to pull off a peaceful parting of the way, my hat is off to them. And at a romantic level, I wish them every success. I increasingly lean towards the school of thought that the U.S. is devolving into balkanized region divided by fundamental worldviews so incompatible as to make coexistence unlikely if not impossible.
I'm rather hoping that isn't the case. But in the meantime, I am hedging my bets at the best speed I can arrange.
Fundamentally, if you aren't willing to work at building a future, you should likely keep your yap shut in the presence of your betters. You may foul it up, you may get it wrong, you may even discover facets of your own sheer idiocy and your many and exciting personal flaws - but at least you've the courage and the commitment to TRY.
That said, once a good round of excoriation is gotten in - it is time to rebuild. It is yet to be determined whether rebuilding consists of a grand reform of the GOP or consigning the GOP to the dustbin of history alongside the Whig Party. The question of which is the superior choice is likely one that will be answered rather shortly.
But that is a grander question than most of us have before us. We can either double down on "let the wonks and the political geeks run things" or we can start organizing at the grass roots with an eye towards either taking over or replacing precinct, county, and state organizations. If the resistance is too great, we can fission off and endorse individual candidates.
The dirty little secret is that it's not that tough. Get a few like-minded sorts together and get together for either breakfast or a beer once a month (both at the same time is...seldom ideal). Make it an after-the-range snack, if you like. The key things are that it should be fun and regular.
Ask everyone to bring a friend, and about the time you hit 20 regulars? Split into two groups and start over. Meanwhile, have fun with it. Pass the hat for good causes. Maybe do a group activity or three. Hook up with another group if there's something similar in your area. Again, have fun with it.
You are having fun, but at the same time you are building a structure for 2014 and 2016. You are looking at each other to see who might be persuaded to run for office - either in general, or within the GOP...or perhaps you want to start a local political party like the Owl Party (or perhaps something more serious).
Think outside the box. After all, this is only the country and our freedoms we're talking about saving. But remember, if it's not fun - most folks won't be back for your next breakfast or beer session.
I haven't started this myself yet. January, I'm thinking. But this is where politics starts...a bunch of like minded folks sitting about kvetching and going on about how to do it better...until someone gets off their well-developed gluteus maximus and starts trying to make it better and drags their group of buddies along with to help them.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
And now to the Libertarians and the Purists
Besides, Stingray does it far better.
Let us, however, walk it through.
1) In politics you never get what you want - at best you get a series of increasingly less offensive compromises, and often you only get compromises of a similar level of foulness if not downright losses.
2) When voting and the choices are Evil, Less Evil, and On A Cold Day In Hell - the SMART person who actually CARES about consequences votes for Less Evil and tries for a better choice in the next round. This, of course, requires work as opposed to standing around whinging and posing nobly about how you are going to vote for Cold Day In Hell.
3) When you vote for Cold Day in Hell because Less Evil (or their brother, Evil Restrained By Thought of The Next Election) is insufficiently pure, you effectively vote (by taking your vote away from a viable candidate) for Evil (the unadulterated and unrestrained version).
When Unadulterated Evil wins and has no restraint (like, say, a need to worry about ever being elected again) the odds of dramatically bad things happening go from "so-so" under Lesser Evil to "Katie Bar The Door" under Unadulterated Evil with a taste for signing Executive Orders and ignoring little things like federal law and Constitutions.
While pointing all this out may be futile, I will continue to hope that you will discover a cure for your regrettably severe case of cranio-rectal infarction. In the meantime, those of us with more than a single branch on our genetic map will be busy about trying to do damage control after the howling cluster you and your progressive friends gave us on Election Day 2012.
Monday, November 12, 2012
A few thoughts for the Non-Democrat...
Now, to my friends of a GOP persuasion, I suggest you read on as this IS intended for you. Libertarians will be addressed later, mostly.
Y'all lost. You lost big. And you did it to yourselves.
You failed to vet your candidates. When a primary throws a whack job of one sort or another (Mourdock, Akins) your way - you need to stop being afraid of what folks will say and loudly distance yourself from the whack job early on. Support a write-in or a minor party candidate - if the voters have stuck you with a poo-flinging monkey as a candidate the only real options are whether you are going to get right there and smear poo all over yourself hanging out with the monkey...or distance yourself with vigor. The choice should be fairly obvious - the long term consequences of being associated with the monkey are rather grim.
You haven't figured out that the majority of the populace (you know, the magic number you need to vote for your candidates) are at best fiscal conservatives and for the most part simply want not to be hassled. The whole race and gay baiting thing is passe and counterproductive. In short, if you want to see GOP victories - you need to educate the evangelical section of the base rather than consistently caving to them.
Fiscal conservatism wins. An awful lot of folks like the idea of low taxes and a small government that doesn't get all up in their business - of keeping their very own hard earned money and spending it as THEY believe is important.
The majority of Americans today just don't get worked up about gay folk and don't see any point in selecting them out for either cruelty or some lesser form of protection before the law. Similarly, the argument is long over about the legality of abortion per se - the genuine argument today is at what point between conception and voting age termination of life becomes murder. A not unreasonable starting point might be asking that question - loudly.
Our immigration system is seriously fouled up and in need of reform - when not even the Immigration sorts are sure of the law, it is a clear hint that it is far too complex. But before we fix immigration, we need to fix something a bit more basic - secure borders. Perhaps we need to tie those two issues together - for every "x" number of miles of border verifiably secured, we offer "y" number of immigration amnesties to persons unlawfully present in-country but otherwise non-criminal.
If someone speaks English at a 12th grade level, holds a bachelors degree in a hard science and has a history of say - 5 - years of gainful employment in their native land, just perhaps they are of net benefit to the United States to admit. Take that as a starting point and discuss among yourselves and let the notions of decency and net benefit to the United States dominate the discussion.
Be economically courageous. Don't hesitate to call out waste where you see it, and to set policies that promote independence where possible and support where necessary. Keep in mind that regulation is the dead sticking albatross strung about the neck of the economy, and try and keep it to a necessary minimum.
Be bold. Propose abolishing outmoded and overzealous agencies. Run against the TSA that everyone hates. End the Department of Homeland Security.
Don't try and legislate morality - for the most part that is between an individual and their god(s) and none of your business. Stay out of the bedrooms of mutually consenting adults, and while you are at it, their relationships. Be the leaders of freedom - propose overturning DOMA and liberalizing the immigration marriage statutes.
In short...the politics of scapegoating are every bit as passe as the politics of victimhood, if not moreso, and it is high time that both were abandoned.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
The meaning of community... and "Save the Schnozz"
Oddly enough, not many of us hold those views. To us, community is at its most basic the gathering of our friends and family - those for whom we would willingly sacrifice, with a greater or lesser degree of cheer. It may extend beyond that - or not. YMMV. But at its fundamental level, community - to this viewpoint - is a voluntary sort of association.
I've been reading Books, Bikes & Boomsticks for years now, envying the talent even as I deeply enjoyed the snark (if her blog is new to you go back to the beginning and read forward - it is worth it). This October, I had the honor of meeting the delightful lady behind the keyboard in an undisclosed location in the American Mid-South-West and greatly enjoyed that encounter.
But as has been mentioned elsewhere, Tam has sprouted a medical problem and faces some fairly serious medical expenses. LawDog, OldNFO, EvylMichaelRobot, Jennifer, McThag, and Dennis of Dragon Leather Works are all putting together an amazing array of benefits to help Tam out. Guns, holsters, and other things are being donated for raffles and such.
But we need everyone to jump in and SPEND on these to make all this happen. So...go be a member of a voluntary community. Help Tam out.
SAVE THE SCHNOZZ!!!
On Mandates and Deference...
Did liberals and protesters lay down their signs, admit to their error and concede the American people had chosen another path? Did they engage in a vast rending of their garments and tearing their collective hair striving to redefine themselves as a party?
Now, in 2012, the regrettable President Obama has been reelected, with a popular vote count of 61,713,086 over Mr. Romney's 58,510,150 or 51% to 48%. If in 2004 you were among those in 2004 loudly declaring that Bush the Youger had no mandate, if you are claiming that in 2012 Obama has any kind of a mandate you are a raving hypocrite. Three-tenths of a percentage point a mandate do not make.
Obama deserves not a whit more deference today or in January than Democrats gave George the Younger after his reelection in 2004. In short, a grim smile and pointing out "we can wait four more years" is a perfectly appropriate response - or "we'll be happy to give you the precise cooperation and support you gave George the Younger," if one wants to be particularly bold about it.
We must pick our fights and, frankly, because we have the potential to be better than the Democrats and Progressives it is incumbent upon us to constantly review our positions. We must not be fanatics or "true believers" - our tenets were not handed down on stone tablets nor were they revealed by a burning bush. They are and must be drawn from a reading of history, the use of logic, and a boldly factual examination of failed and successful past policies and their inevitable consequences and side effects. And all of that needs to be considered in light of the views of the electorate.
A political party or coalition of parties is not a revival meeting. It is a coldly calculating body scheming how to get its particular priorities and candidates into place. The first step in that scheming is to determine what is possible, rather than what one would like.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Guns & Money
Well. It is well past the morning after the most depressing elections of my adulthood. With the help of the self-involved libertarians, the evangelical loon wing of the GOP, and the failure of what we shall laughingly call the leadership of the GOP we are doomed to 4 more years of a newly unleashed Obama, God help us all.
Within less than 24 hours of the election we have Sen. Diane Feinstein, Rep. Pelosi, and that stalwart Sen. Reid working on a new, improved and amazingly more far-reaching Assault Weapons Ban rumored to include anything semi-automatic, limit magazine size, and make no allowance for any grandfathered firearms.
Meanwhile, we have the Obama Administration itself suddenly cheerleading the U.N. Small Arms treaty - a back door into undermining the Second Amendment itself.
Valerie Jarrett wasn't kidding.
On the economic front, we face the ObamaCare taxes launching in January '13 (oddly convenient how they hit just after the election is over...). Of course, that'd be just the "five worst" taxes listed at that link - here are several others that'll launch in January and drain capital from the private sector and your pockets.
At the same time in the economic world, we have a "compromise" that involves tipping the U.S. economy over a cliff if either the GOP or the DEM fail to blink (blinking is unlikely at this point).
Not surprisingly, markets reacted swiftly and continue to react. The dollar is falling internationally when last I looked, and the stock market plunged today. Expect more of the same as folks bail to hide their capital in safer climates until the storm of a second Obama Administration passes in 2016. The question is whether once stung, they'll come back.
It's going to get interesting, now that we have a rabid socialist set free from any concern about ever needing to be elected again.
Start thinking about how to ride it out, and rebuild.
Friday, October 5, 2012
A few thoughts on death, illness, and exhaustion..
At 15 she was molested by a family acquaintance, and upon becoming pregnant was sent away to a home for unwed mothers where she birthed her eldest son - and was coerced, as was common in that era, into immediately giving up that son for adoption.
She returned home to an abusive step-father and substantial chaos. She struggled to survive over the years, dating and marrying and having three other children that she would raise as a merry-go-round of mostly dysfunctional men passed through her life. She lost one brother to alcoholism (he still lives, but is deeply troubled) and nearly a second. Another survived by distancing himself from the family. I know less of her sister and step-sister.
She honestly cared for all of her children, but through nature or nurture - or some combination thereof - she ended up with two children lost to recreational chemistry, and a third living a difficult existence in many ways paralleling her own. She took pleasure in later years in re-establishing a relationship, however cautious and distance, with her eldest son that she lost to adoption.
In the last years of her life, she distanced herself from her stepfather and as a result was largely prevented from communicating with her mother. Allegations emerge that she was abused by those co-resident with her - her meager possessions looted and her health sabotaged.
I am that eldest son adopted out at birth, and I am saddened by her imminent passing and that we did not have a closer relationship. We reached out, cautiously, to each other - with rather more caution on my side than hers. I hesitated to engage more closely for many reasons - but mostly because I saw nothing I could do to improve the situation, and much about the situation that was immensely destructive.
I don't know what comes next. We'll see. I don't expect it to be easy.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Support CalGuns & SAF
IMPORTANT: Pro-gun TV documentary needs your support!
Three. Tres. Trois. Drei. 三. Tatlo. Trzy. Tри. Ba. That's the number of days we have left to help Emmy® award-winning producer and writer Kris Koenig raise the remaining $35,000 needed to produce his TV documentary Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire, the first in a series of documentaries focused on gun issues in America. This project will only be funded if at least $65,000 is pledged by 12:41am on Friday, October 5.
Assaulted will take a critical look at a number of important legal and social elements including common semi-automatic rifles (often referred to as "assault weapons" by the gun grabbers), gun control legislative intent and efficacy, how 'product safety' is used as a means of gun control, and will show the ingenuity of gun owners dedicated to keeping and bearing their favorite firearms. The film will also address carry licensing, illustrating how some residents are treated differently than others by some law enforcement agencies - infringing on fundamental rights in the process. Finally, Assaulted will show how California is the front line in the gun rights battle in America.
"The road to Second Amendment freedom nationally will be paved through California," said Calguns Foundation chairman Gene Hoffman. "Ours is one of the very few states that does not have a 'Right to Keep and Bear Arms' provision in the state constitution and the California Legislature has worked very hard to set the standard for infringing on Second Amendment civil rights by passing a tremendous number of irrational gun control laws since the early 1920s. Assaulted is a great way to get the message out not only to other Californians but to people across the United States."
“I plan to show these issues through the eyes of the California gun owner,” explained Koenig. “All too often documentaries regarding gun ownership and 2nd Amendment issues show the extremes of the arguments, polarizing the issues and inflaming viewers’ emotions. What I hope to do is to present a large dose of common sense, facts and logic to the subject matter, just like a science documentary.”
Both The Calguns Foundation and the Second Amendment Foundation have contributed $5,000 towards the Assaulted documentary project.
"Yesterday was a pivotal day for our campaign," noted Koenig in a recent project update. "Many of you took up our call to double your pledge and have a friend match it. The result was a $3,500 increase toward our goal. Please help us continue this trend and reach out to others that want to see a film about the 2nd Amendment and public safety in America."
Don't delay - we only have three more days to help make Assaulted a reality. Please support this important documentary at the film's Kickstarter page, located at http://bit.ly/assaulted2a.
- $10 - HD digital download of the film.
- $25 - Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire Limited Edition DVD signed by the crew.
- $50 - The limited edition DVD + a "Crew" tee-shirt. Tee shirt will be delivered November 2012.
- $75 - Limited edition BluRay + a "Crew" tee shirt. Tee shirt will be delivered November 2012.
- $100 - The BluRay + "Crew" tee shirt + "Assaulted" ball cap. Tee shirt and ball cap will be delivered November 2012.
- $200 - BluRay + "Crew" tee shirt + "Assaulted" ball cap + "Assaulted" film poster signed by the crew. Tee shirt and ball cap will be delivered November 2012.
- $500 - Join the crew as they film "The Weapons Experience" by 7 Star Tactical at the Angeles Range in Los Angeles, CA. Get behind the camera experience and learn what goes through a director's mind when capturing b-roll and receive onscreen credit as an Assistant Cameraperson. Travel expenses are not provided and are donor's responsibility. Includes BluRay + "Crew" tee shirt + "Assaulted" ball cap + "Assaulted" film poster signed by the crew. Tee shirt and ball cap will be delivered November 2012.
- $1,000 (general) - SOLD OUT!
- $1,000 (FFL) - Listed as FFL supporter in the credits. Each FFL pledging $1000 or more will receive 50 limited edition DVDs for retail.
- $5,000 - Receive all the rewards and Co-Producer credits in the film. (1 remaining!)
- $10,000 - Receive top bill as an Executive Producer and all the rewards below. (2 remaining.)
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Facebook Replay, names changed to protect the guilty..
- GayCynic: Hmm. How many Governors of color are Democrats, again?
- Look it up yourself, but...
(4 out of 5)
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM)
Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NM)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
(4 out of six)
Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ)
Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM)
Gov. Mary Falin (R-OK)
Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC)
And from the other side of the aisle? Looks like the Democratic Party of today is really good about *talking* about electing diverse candidates...
And that's *before* we examine the less than sterling history of the Democratic Party on race, with special emphasis on the allegations regarding the connections between the Democratic Party and the KKK in the post-reconstruction South and again 1890-1930(ish) and the actions of Pres. Wilson (D) in re-segregating the Federal civil service during his administration. We can then attempt to examine just how many and of what party were busy during the Civil Rights era attempting to again (and, fortunately, this time failing) attempting to hold back progress through campaigns of terror, lynching and more.
Any claim that the Democratic party is composed of saints on diversity issues is a bit tainted by reality. Until relatively late in the game, the Democratic Party - particularly and especially in the South - was the party of oppression and fear. Until quite recently, a former Klan official served as a (D) U.S. Senator.
So. Readily granting that the GOP has not always been a shining star in the firmament, isn't there a *special* place in hell for those claiming their opponents are somehow uniquely flawed on racial issues when they party that they, of their own free will have chosen, has such a tainted past and ineffective present? A present where voter suppression is "ok" (as long as *right* votes suppressed) is an accepted tactic of the Democrats? (New Black Panthers case, 2008)...
Perhaps that special place might be the next bench over from the folks who run around falsely claiming military honors...
Neither party has been especially saintly, but...the image was a bit over the top in terms of misrepresentation. No hate at all is required to call BS on that one.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
U.N. Small Arms Treaty.
I think my response summarizes as: "See Last Post"
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
For every movement, a theme song...
Mr. Obama, I believe the community of presently law-abiding gun-owners has a response for you... a theme song, if you will...
We are DONE with compromise. We are done with ending with the crumbs of what was once a beautiful and desirable cake. We are done selling out cheap.
We want our rights, and we bloody well want them all. We are coming for you in the courts. We are coming for you in the legislatures and the halls of Congress. And we are coming for you at the ballot box. We hope those efforts are sufficient to make the necessary change.
We are tired of decades of mealy-mouthed apologists denigrating our nation while claiming to lead us. We are tired of being insulted by elitists and dictated to by theocrats. We are a free people with a heritage of freedom and while, as a nation, we've not always gotten it right - we've far more to be proud of than ashamed of and despite our failings, done better at taking care of and respecting our people than any other nation on earth during our brief national history.
In short, we're not playing the appeasement game anymore. We're playing to win. And while the issue of today is Second Amendment rights, you can expect the same fierceness on freedom of expression, the right to marry, and the laundry list of civil rights ill-advisedly limited and corrupted over the decades.
We're done playing your game. We're ready to play ours.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A modest Blogorado Proposal
Maypeacebewithyou and I were playing with some numbers, and came up with a way to get more noise for less cash - a group buy drop-shipped to Blogoradoville. The below is just a draft set of numbers. The other bonus is folks who buy in won't have to muck about with silly airline rules and weight charges on luggage.
Numbers aren't final. If you're a Blogorado Invitee go ahead and let one of us know, particularly if you want to buy in!
|.38 S&W||500||240.00|| ||0.48|
|.380 acp||1500||390.00|| ||0.26|
|.40 S&W||1500||449.70|| ||0.30|
|.44 Mag||1000||359.80|| ||0.36|
| ||7,069.75|| || |
| || || || || |
|Buy-in||20||353.49|| || |
| || || || |
Friday, July 13, 2012
Just around the corner...
One more reason it's important to carry...
So, I suppose, it's more important than ever that we legally carry - so we can defend this latest victim group, federal law enforcement officers, should the need arise.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
More GRPC stuff - Sidebar Image & Wordpress Implementation
Is the magic code to generate:
Now, in the wonderful world of WordPress, all is different. It's not where I live regularly, but here's how I did it on the Alt-Blog.
1) Say any necessary bad words relevant to dealing with an unfamiliar system. This will save you time later.
2) Sign in and then click on Manage My Blogs (top right, on a drop down menu under your sign-in)
3) Under the blog you want to add the GRPC banner to, click on Dashboard.
4) This takes you to the Dashboard or control panel for WordPress. Now, select Appearance and then Widgets
5) Now, click on the Image widget it and drag it to the Sidebar box, dropping it there. You'll then get a blank Image Widget Menu.
6) Having done the magic drag'n'drop, it's data entry time. Fill in the blanks exactly as below, then hit SAVE.
7) Now, go to your blog and test the link by clicking on the shiny new image.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
New bike. Is good.
More on other topics later.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Gun Rights Policy Conference
The 27th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) will be held in Orlando, Florida from September 28-30, 2012. This event is sponsored by the Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org).To add the GRPC banner and links to the top of your blog simply follow the directions below.
GRPC has traditionally been the place to meet national gun rights leaders and activists, to develop gun rights victory plans, and allow attendees a firsthand chance to hear movement leaders and make their voices heard.
There is no registration fee and attendees are only responsible for their own travel expenses (transport, food and lodging). Participants are invited to the no host receptions on Friday and Saturday evenings and a free lunch on Saturday. Each attendee will receive over $150 of books and materials at no charge. More information can be found on www.saf.org and www.thegunmag.com
With dozens of speakers, GRPC participants will examine critical issues such as: city gun bans, concealed carry, federal legislation, BATFE policies, gun show regulation, and state and local activity. The 2010 elections will be reviewed, the 2012 Presidential race discussed and recent and pending Right to Keep and Bear Arms cases will be analyzed.
We would like your help to get the word out and make the 2012 GRPC the biggest and best ever. We have attached a GRPC registration banner and hope that you will run it on your site with a link back to the GRPC registration page at (http://www.ccrkba.org/?page_id=2898). Any mentions of GRPC in your blog will be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or need a different size banner, please give us a call at (425) 454-7012 .
1. Sign into your Blogger account and choose the blog to which you want to add the GRPC banner and link.
2. Click on Design.
3. Click on Add-A-Gadget
4. Click on HTML/Java Script
5. Copy and paste (Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V) the code below into the “Content” box:
6. Click on Save.
7. Click on and drag the new HTML/Java Script block to the top of your page, right under the “header”. Release the mouse button, “Dropping” the element.
8. Click on Save.
9. Click on View Blog.
10. If it didn’t work leave a comment here.
The Gun Rights Policy Conference sounds like a really good thing - and if we can help it be bigger and better than ever, I think we should!!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Executive Privelege - A Long One...
Commenter 1: Don't question him, he taught Constitutional Law!........
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:26am · Reply
Commenter 2: How, praytell, does Exec privilege apply if Zero never saw the docs?
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:28am · · 1Reply
Commenter 4: I wanna know where the Oreo's touted "greater transparency in government than at any time in the past" plays into this...
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:36am · · 2Reply
Commenter 1: Renee, and then there's this from O on the subject back in 2007....
Obama in 2007 told CNN that Executive Priviledge was not a good reason to with hold information from Congress.
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:39am · · Reply
Commenter 4: someone in that committee needs to show this to him - and the committee
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:41am · Reply
Commenter 2: Remember, for liberals, history began this morning...
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:51am · · 1Reply
Commenter 1: Commenter 2, if they had a solid understanding of history (including their own political history) they probably wouldn't be liberals
Wednesday, June 20 at 9:55am · · 1Reply
Commenter 3: GC. US v. Nixon established the privilege. n the United States government, executive privilege is the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government.
The concept of executive privilege is not mentioned explicitly in the United States Constitution, but the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it to be an element of the separation of powers doctrine, and/or derived from the supremacy of executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.
The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon, but only to the extent of confirming that there is a qualified privilege. Once invoked, a presumption of privilege is established, requiring the Prosecutor to make a "sufficient showing" that the "Presidential material" is "essential to the justice of the case."(418 U.S. at 713-14). Chief Justice Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch's national security concerns.
Wednesday, June 20 at 5:50pm (16 hours ago) · Reply
Commenter 3: Also, "gunwalking" under George W. On this one GC,I must humbly disagree with all those who say it is an over reach. to cite him for contempt and undermine ongoing investigations and undermine internal deliberations for political gain is wrong. Where was the outrage in '06?07? 08 etc? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran a series of "gunwalking" sting operations between 2006 and 2011. This was done under the umbrella of Project Gunrunner, a project intended to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico by interdicting straw purchasers and gun traffickers within the United States. "Gunwalking" or "letting guns walk" was a tactic whereby the ATF knowingly allowed thousands of guns to be bought by suspected arms traffickers ("gunrunners") working through straw purchasers on behalf of Mexican drug cartels.
Wednesday, June 20 at 6:01pm (16 hours ago) · Reply
Commenter 3: Sorry for the rant
Wednesday, June 20 at 6:01pm (16 hours ago) · Reply
Commenter 3: Commenter 1, Bush did this six times. Obama one.
Obama exerts executive privilege in Fast and Furious: GOP suggests cover up - TwinCities.com
Wednesday, June 20 at 6:04pm (16 hours ago) · · Reply
Executive Privilege #'s:
Bush 1: 1
Obama 1 (but hey, he still has time).
Broken down by party: GOP - 10, DNC - 15
Holder Letter: http://tinyurl.com/6mrxllt
Now, simply asserting Executive Privilege does not mean that one is correct to do so, or that the assertion will stand up. Executive Privilege is not some Imperial Scepter to be wielded whenever a President gets a wild hair - limits upon it exist.
The Georgetown Law Journal in an article ("Showdown in the Rose Garden") that originates in a discussion of Bush II era exercise of executive privilege (U.S. v. Meirs) and the limits thereupon offers a number of excellent insights, particularly beginning at page 174-175 (pdf page 12).
As a point of logic, the unpunished misconduct of one actor does not typically excuse the misconduct of the same sort by future actors - making the "Bush did it" argument, whether either factual or fanciful, largely irrelevant. If Bush, Clinton, or any other prior president exercised executive privilege outside the bounds set upon it "THEY DID IT" is not a defense preventing adjudication of the matter in the current or future administrations.
Moving on, it is worth noting that U.S. v. Nixon (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=418&invol=683) evolved out of a criminal proceeding - not an exercise of congressional subpoena or contempt authority. Historically, these are substantially different areas of law. Assuming (which may be an excessive leap) that it remains relevant to the case at hand, the telling quote from the decision would seem to be
"However, neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances. The President's need for complete candor and objectivity from advisers calls for great deference from the courts. However, when the privilege depends solely on the broad, undifferentiated claim of public interest in the confidentiality of such conversations, a confrontation with other values arises. Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, we find it difficult to accept the argument that even the very important interest in confidentiality of Presidential communications is significantly diminished by production of such material for in camera inspection with all the protection that a district court will be obliged to provide.?"
At this point, not only has no claim regarding "military, diplomatic, or national security interests" emerged, but the refusal to provide the privilege log (individually detailing the documents for which privilege is claimed and the reason for such claim) No such claim or log appear to be about to emerge.
Mere presidential embarrassment does not appear to be a valid grounds for assertion of privilege; in fact, it can easily be argued that such testimony and materials that an administration would find *most* embarrassing (barring military, diplomatic, or national security considerations) are those which are most beneficial to the public to have drawn into both congressional and public view as a balance against the power of the Executive.
We might ask "well, why didn't the GOP drag bush out into the public courtyard?", but this is an inherently silly question. Barring outbreaks of sainthood (amazingly rare among politicians), the party of the offender will *rarely* if ever drag out their fellow party hack - in fact, it was a Democratic House under Bush that filed the abortive contempt charges against Bush officials. In turn, then Attorney General Mukasi's refusal to move the contempt charge forward in the courts to the disadvantage of his President is a powerful argument for the use of inherent contempt as the proper mechanism rather than the statutory process.
This has been a bit lengthy, but...
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Yes, there is a place for "Bar Carry"
The conversation began with a very distressed liberal gentleman going on about a rather distasteful sort pistol-whipping a couple of folks after "all of the above" had left a bar, and a couple of random shots discharged in the process - and then leaping to "there's no justification for guns in bars". Really?
Generally, pistol-whipping folks and random gun fire in an urban area are both activities to be frowned upon with great firmness. And, the gentlemen related, the Seattle police performed such grimaces with alacrity - however, he then launched into the diatribe about how folks who own guns should leave them in car s or at home, that there was no reason for carrying them into bars - ever.
The most dangerous part of a LGBT persons night is frequently between "bar and car." Soo...you want me to leave a gun unguarded in a car in a neighborhood known for car prowls? Or leave it at home? Or just hope for the best walking from bar to car in a neighborhood where a couple of guys just got pistol-whipped? And you expect me to go cheerily along with this?
At a minimum, I will support efforts to repeal the WA Bar Carry ban as both ineffective and actively counterproductive. Twenty states (or more) allow bar carry with neither the world ending, blood flowing in the streets, nor a noticeably higher amount of violence per capita in the bar visiting crowd. Nearby Oregon has had bar carry since dirt was invented, and bar carry was legal in Washington until 1984 (and may one day be lawful again). The notion is far from revolutionary and in some states (Virginia) legalization of the carry of firearms in bars by CCW/CPL holders has been shown to actually *lower* violence in bars.
So no, I don't have a problem with carry of firearms in bars by CPL holders until you can actually show me a substantial risk of harm based on prior evidence objectively accumulated in the 20+ states that allow individuals to make responsible self defense choices.
I do have a problem with those who would abandon reason and place LGBT folks (or folks generally, really) at greater risk of bashing by legislatively depriving them of legitimate means of self-defense as a sacrifice to a false assumption.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
YAY! A Walker win...
Just *one* such tweet about a Democrat, and what do we think would happen?
Now, how well do you think these Gentle Folks (tm) will respond if Obama implodes in November?
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Politicians National Anthem
If it seems familiar, just imagine a chorus line of Obama impersonators doing the number and it should all fall into place...
Monday, May 21, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
And finally, Mr. Romney
You dork. You numb-skulled fondler of inappropriate species.
It's a really basic skill. If you need to, hire someone to follow around behind you to shout "IT'S A TRAP!"...
The whole same sex marriage thing? You really should have just kept your mouth shut, because the issue costs you votes either way.
You come out supportive of same sex marriage? You end up pissing off the theocratic bigots amongst your base, and you need their votes no matter how loathsome they may be. You come out opposed to same sex marriage? You confirm the fears of any fence-sitters, you hand Obama a stick to beat you with, AND you peeve the younger voting demographic that's more libertarian in orientation (and thus largely favors same sex marriage) all in one fell swoop.
Shutting the hell up is the indicated alternative. A good second best is pointing out that marriage is simply none of the business of the federal government under our constitution and that on those grounds you oppose DOMA, just as you do many other extra-constitutional measures.
But no. You couldn't shut the hell up. You couldn't wrap your mind around "this is none of a Presidents business and can only hurt me."
You have a fragile candidacy facilitated only by broad distaste for the incumbent. The nicest thing most GOP folks have to say about you is, reluctantly, "well, he's better than Obama." You may, quite p0ssibly, have screwed the pooch.
Monday, May 14, 2012
My applause is muted..
I started out unamused amidst the post-election malaise of 2008 and after the smoke and mirrors railroading of ObamaCare through Congress, the failure of Obama Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute the obvious attempts at voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers, and the failed political set-up job of Fast & Furious orchestrated to promote gun control - at the cost of dead U.S. law enforcement agents and hundreds of Mexicans killed have only grown less amused over time.
The primary accomplishments of the Teleprompter President seem to be unusual skills at script-reading and hurling embarrassing or inconvenient associates under the allegorical bus.
Yet, as a gay man, I am told that I'm supposed to be thrilled at the recent so-called evolution of his views on same sex marriage.
If they were a difference that made a difference, I would be thrilled. If Obama had come out in support of repealing DOMA or in favor of legal efforts to declare its provisions unconstitutional based on the Full Faith & Credit clause of the federal constitution, it is entirely possible my hostility towards his re-election might be somewhat moderated.
Because, if he'd taken such steps, he'd actually be taking concrete steps towards making a difference and moving us forward towards an increasingly post-bigotry future. A day when race, creed, color, and orientation truly do not make a difference before the law, and the response to someone coming out is "so what?"
Instead, Obama strode forth and declared "“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
He will not be pushing for this to be included in the 2012 platform of the Democratic Party. He will not be pushing for a repeal of the regrettable Defense of Marriage Act. He will not be directing his walking misfortune of an Attorney General to question the constitutionality of a statute that flies in the faith of Full Faith & Credit.
Instead, he throws a sop to the LGBT community. Words, not action, confident that so long as he stops short of rounding us up and sending us to camps that few, if any, members of the community will commit heresy and deviate from supporting him. No real action, or even courage, however.
From this throwing of a bone, he baits the GOP into pandering to their own special bigots in the theocratic branch of the party. This, in turn, makes there panderers repugnant to those that support civil rights, equality before the law, and basic morality.
I'm pleased that a President, even this one, made supportive comments about same sex marriage. But that pleasure is tempered by knowledge that the statements are hollow political statements intended to buy off one constituency for cheap while inspiring the opposition to self-immolate.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
A few thoughts on North Carolina & Same Sex Marriage
While "FUCK YOU" is a good opener, and a fair statement of emotional viewpoint, it really doesn't do the issue or its proponents justice. Similarly, "How Dare You!" doesn't accomplish much. Regrettably, even questioning the species and mating habits of Amendment proponents is unlikely to really drive the point home.
It is, quite simply, time to bring the pain.
Whether at the state or federal level, I offer a modest proposal made up of a small bit of legislative action affirming the effects of Article IV, Section I of the federal constitution (bettter known as the "full faith and credit clause"). Perhaps it should be called the Civil Reciprocity Act, though others may come up with a more artful name.
The proposal is based on the old notion of "good enough for the goose", and goes a little like this - "The state of ______ only recognizes licenses, commissions, and authorizations issued by states and nations that recognize all licenses, commissions, and authorizations issued by this state. All other licenses, commissions, and authorizations shall become null and void upon their bearer entering within the boundaries of the state of ______."
I'm not hugely hopeful, but several days later, I'm still deeply annoyed.
And, in an aside, why are the Democrats still holding their Convention in a state that just modified their constitution to mandate discrimination - particularly one where the last time that state modified their constitution was to ban miscegenation?
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Things We Talk About...
What makes teenage boys socks so crusty and gross? I pick them up and they literally crackle. Ugh.
I'd have a guess at it being dry sweat. Do they wear leather shoes or breathable trainers? And also, sweaty feet run in the family. Both me and alfie have it. I can't wear trainers or enclosed shoes/boots because my feet sweat buckets. On the very rare occasion I wear stuff like that I have to wear vest tops to keep me cool xx
Umm. To put it delicately, what do boys do from 12-18+ that the pre-pubescent don't and the married do *very* discreetly if they know what's good for them?
GayCynic...please spell that one out to me because I think I know what you mean but I'm hoping its not that. lol
Ray: OH GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never even thought about that. It makes sense; we can't seem to keep any lotion in the bathroom either.
Ooohhh nooooo!!!!!! It ain't a nice thought to think your own son is doing stuff like that. At the back of your mind you know its gonna happen sooner or later, but actually thinking it is just wrong! lol
Eh, just go ahead and put a nice jar of lubriderm out into which you've dumped a tube of icyhot or capmax and stirred well (joking)...
Thats a good idea actually! instead of putting hand cream out, put some lubricant. Then your son might realise you know his game and stop...ya never know! lol xx
Stop? NEVER. Die of embarrassment? Perhaps. I.e., men are pigs. The younger sorts *usually* are less sneaky that the older sorts.
Well it aint gonna stop him permanently, obviously. But stop him from leaving the outcome on his socks. He might be a little more considerate/embarrased and use tissue instead. lol
I'm chuckling away over here, I'm sorry. It's not gonna be so funny when my little man does it though and I'll understand if you laugh at me as payback. lol xx
Ew. Ew ew ew. I was holding those socks with my BARE HANDS!!!!!!!!!!! There isn't enough hand sanitizer in the world....
Elbow-Length Gloves when cleaning the areas inhabited by bachelors and young men, that's all I'm sayin...
Haaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Rolling on the floor here. I wanted to suggest that the other day, AnonyMom, but figured a.) You didn't want to hear it and b.) You'd eventually figure it out.
MaleBuddy! You knew and didn't tell me! Shame on you! :-)
In the course of my (relatively short but pretty eventful) medical career I have been snotted on, phlegmed on, puked on, pooped on, bled on, peed on, cried on, got amniotic fluid on me and even a dab of melena (blood that's been through the digestive tract. It's the foulest smelling stuff and it sticks around) on my sleeve once (had to throw the shirt out. Smell lingered) but I have never been so grossed out as I was after discovering what was on those socks.
They were in my bare hands. MY BARE HANDS. Ack.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Another Gay-Bashing, Another Grouch....
That members of our community remain vulnerable saddens me. Between the stereotypes that we "can't fight back" and that "LGBT-folk don't matter to society or law enforcement", we're in a bad place as (at least in popular myth) safe targets for bullying and bigotry.
When we realize that not only (per the Supreme Court) do police and/or campus security folks have no duty to specifically protect any of us, but even should they be so inspired that more than likely by the time they can - under the best and most motivated of all possible circumstances - normally arrive just about in time to take reports from survivors and witnesses, do crowd control, and take notes for the investigators (who arrive yet later)...doing little or no good for the real victim laying on the pavement.
Finally, we fail ourselves as a community when we ostracize either those within our community who urge us to seek out realistic means of self-defense and safety strategy. Different individuals will face different ethical, philosophical, and legal issues depending on a variety of factors - but strategies include "run away, run away" at one end... and taking the steps necessary to competently and lawfully carry a blade or a firearm (or both) at the other.
Depriving ourselves of an honest discussion of options, particularly those that balance the difference in capabilities between a 4'5" 80lb twink or an asthmatic elder vs. those presented by a young, healthy, and musclebound aggressor (and/or several of his/her best friends), is a betrayal of both ourselves and our community.
I am saddened - and I am angry. It is long past time to break the cycle and shatter the stereotype of the LGBT community as a group of designated defenseless and helpless (and thus safe) victims.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
What to carry? Why?
Gah. The Ugly, it burns.
Monday, April 9, 2012
Thugs & Bakeries...
In a "progressive" city, that's not enough. Fire a worker, and you're guilty before the lawyers even show up. Mobs show up, invade your business and harass your customers.
Some small number of us have had enough. 1,500 customers apparently showed up on Saturday to show their support.
Monday morning it'll be 1,501 - I do believe the office needs some donuts. Or maybe a layer cake inscribed "thuggery is tacky".
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Arthritis in the hands, combined with a lack of confidence, defeated attempts at comfortable use of both double and single action fire out of the revolvers.
A quick switch to a Ruger MK III out of the rental counter was a huge help.
Now, the other issue Mom had - being startled by the loud gunfire of a larger caliber pistols in adjacent lanes at a busy range on a Saturday morning - I'm less certain of how to resolve.
Will look into the SPAA range and the range at West Coast Armory...see what else is out there..
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Mobs, Lynchings, and Toynbee
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Zimmerman - Martin; Fisking a Hit Piece
(well, doing it the other way around would be kind of silly...)
“Hang’m first. Hold a trial after we get done prejudicing the potential jury pool.”Clearly I’m behind with my homework. I need to find out more about these “Stand Your Ground” laws, of which there are apparently 21 around the US.
In general, “Stand Your Ground” statutes embed in statutory law what has long been supported by case law in the western states – that, should you be attacked or placed in reasonable fear of your life or great bodily harm (some also add “or the life or great bodily harm of another”)
“Under “stand-your-ground” you are presumed innocent if you claim to have been in fear of grave bodily harm or death, and acted in self-defense against an attack that occurs anywhere you have a right to be. It would be up to the state to prove that you acted recklessly and that your fears were unsubstantiated.”
The specific Florida statute can be found here.
It gives the benefit of the doubt to a person who claims self-defense, regardless of whether the killing takes place on a street, in a car or in a bar — not just in one’s home, the standard cited in more restrictive laws. In Florida, if people feel they are in imminent danger from being killed or badly injured, they do not have to retreat, even if it would seem reasonable to do so. They have the right to “stand their ground” and protect themselves.
So, you are suggesting that “innocent until proven guilty” only applies inside the home? Or that victims must flee younger and spryer (or bigger and meaner, or both) assailants or face charges? “Stand your ground” is not remotely a get out of jail free card for vigilantes. Such statutes make it very clear that the defense goes right out the window if you are the initiator of a confrontation.
Say what? In Florida, even in a situation where retreat is possible and safe, they can opt to stand still and kill someone?
Yes. If you take up a fun hobby of mugging, robbery, rape and sundry assaultive behaviors – in Florida and several other states you would save yourself time and energy by just taking up Russian Roulette. If your proposed mugging victim feels the knife you are waving at him/her translates to a serious threat of death or bodily injury…they can shoot you, decapitate you, drop a grand piano on you, or shot put you into the next county. In short, initiating violent crime becomes a throw of the dice on whether you, the criminal, will get to keep breathing.
The story that seems to be emerging is that knife-edge vigilante George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin walking along a street in a “gated community” and decided to follow him and call the police to report the fact that Martin was walking along a street; the police told Zimmerman to stop following Martin; Zimmerman went on following Martin anyway, and caught up with him and shot him. Is that about right?
At this point, we don’t know about how much of a knife edge that Zimmerman was or was not on. We know that, most likely (given that humans are fallible and busy LEO’s are on occasion moreso), Zimmerman made 46 911 calls in the months prior. A gated community typically implies that if one is reasonably attentive it becomes easier to determine who is a neighbor and who is a stranger, but is otherwise largely irrelevant to the case at hand. Following someone and calling it in to 911 is all well and good if you believe suspicious activity is happening – it is questionable, barring observation of a crime in progress, whether it is wise to engage the individual of whom you are uncertain in conversation. If the local police are warning you off, such a warning tilts the decision even more towards disengagement or (at a minimum) observation from a distance. If observed is an aggressor, things may go south rather rapidly if contact is made. In the Martin-Zimmerman interaction we know that conversation took place, we know that Zimmerman (a Latino, since that seems so important to some folks) was bleeding from the nose and the back of the head when officers arrived, and we think we know that a single shot was fired from Zimmerman’s gun, killing Martin (it is a long shot, but barring minor miracles, unlike on TV it is unlikely that ballistic evidence is fully analyzed quite yet…or that it *can* be; CSI Miami gets a lot more breaks than real cops, and bullets bend/smoosh/compress in ways that can compromise a match-up with a given firearm).
But they have this deranged law, so Zimmerman can just say it was self-defense, and the police can’t arrest him and prosecutors can’t prosecute him.
Actually, the law doesn’t say that. The law does mean that police actually must prove that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense once such a defense is claimed. They actually have to prove a case, and honor that entire silly notion of “innocent until proven guilty”. Granted, “innocent until proven guilty” may be a new concept for many – lynching in the press and on the ‘net is swifter, and in Zimmerman’s case we apparently have folks eager to go do the job out in the real world.
This is crazy. It’s stark raving nuts.
Well, if you were talking about the real world rather than the agenda-driven fantasies of professional agitators…perhaps. I’m pretty ok with an actual investigation (there are two, both the local Sheriff’s office and the U.S. Justice Department), bringing charges if appropriate, and then a jury trial. Certainly seems a more likely path to justice than “we all know”, the “person shot was young and black so of course a victim and harmless” (black has nothing to do with harmless or not harmless, and young doesn’t have an awful lot more relevance to matters).
The lawyer for Trayvon’s parents, Benjamin Crump, said at a news conference on Tuesday that Trayvon was speaking to his girlfriend on his cellphone minutes before he was shot, telling her that a man was following him as he walked home.
Trayvon told his girlfriend he was being confronted, Mr. Crump said. She told him to run, and he said he would “walk fast.” Trayvon was headed to the home of his father’s girlfriend after a visit to a convenience store, carrying Skittles and a can of iced tea.
Trayvon asked, “Why are you following me?” Mr. Crump said. The girl then heard a faraway voice ask, “What are you doing around here?” Mr. Crump added. Then Trayvon’s voice falls away.
“She completely blows Zimmerman’s self-defense claim out of the water,” Mr. Crump said.
For good or ill, a single unrecorded and unsubstantiated call doesn’t blow or not blow anything out of the water. It is indicative. It is, perhaps, a witness statement. But people lie. People forget. People get excited and unconsciously exaggerate. It is better than nothing, but not an awful lot. A single witness statement isn’t much to base any case on, let alone one that may result in imprisonment or worse should charges be brought and a party convicted.
Mr. Zimmerman had reported a “suspicious” person to 911 shortly before the encounter, saying a black male was checking out the houses and staring at him. Mr. Zimmerman, a criminal justice major, often patrolled the neighborhood. He had placed 46 calls to 911 in 14 months, for reports including open windows and suspicious persons.
In the 911 call, Mr. Zimmerman, using an expletive and speaking of Trayvon, said they “always get away.” The 911 dispatcher told him not to get out of the car and said the police were on their way. Mr. Zimmerman was already outside. A dispute began. Mr. Zimmerman told the police that Trayvon attacked him and that he fired in self-defense.
I do not defend Zimmerman so much as I defend logic, due process, and trial by law. I am not enamored of returning back to the bad old days of lynching – of anyone.
A “suspicious” person – because he was walking down the street. Aren’t there laws against calling the police for frivolous or invented reasons? That’s always been my impression. It’s also always been my impression that we’re allowed to walk down the street. Mind you, I do sometimes wonder, when I see those Neighborhood Watch signs in people’s windows – but I nevertheless retained the belief that as a matter of law we were all allowed to walk down the street.
Yes. In an area where access is controlled (see: “gated community”), seeing a stranger wandering about is suspicious. It may, or may not, merit calling the police depending on other factors. But “unusual” is worth reporting, even if only so that if someone’s house is broken into or some other bad acts occur, the odds of tracking down the perpetrator are somewhat enhanced. A cell phone camera is also a wonderful tool in such circumstances.
The state attorney in Tallahassee, Willie Meggs, who fought the law when it was proposed, said: “The consequences of the law have been devastating around the state. It’s almost insane what we are having to deal with.”
It is increasingly used by gang members fighting gang members, drug dealers battling drug dealers and people involved in road rage encounters. Confrontations at a bar are also common: someone looks at someone the wrong way or bothers someone’s girlfriend.
Citations, please? Is this simply the ranting of an over-dramatic opponent? (When somebody opposed something in the first place, it kind of reduces their credibility as an impartial analyst to be asked about “what’s wrong with this law” later…)
Under the old law, a person being threatened with a gun or a knife had a duty to try to get away from the situation, if possible. Now that person has a right to grab a gun (or knife, or ice pick, as happened in one case) and use it, without an attempt to retreat.
Even if that were true…you would suggest that if threatened with a gun you be required to out-run a bullet before you are allowed to defend yourself? That an asthmatic need go for a lung-wrenching sprint before self-defense is an option? Oddly enough, “Stand your ground” typically works out well – and if I were to speculate, will not stand up as a defense for Zimmerman. Simply because one presents a defense does not mean that it works. And simply because someone you don’t like utilizes a defense, doesn’t mean the defense itself is bad or the law dysfunctional.
We are a crazy people. We must be, to allow this kind of thing.
Not really, no. Because we don’t allow the kind of thing you are alleging.
Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says that his organization tracks laws in 21 states that extend the self-defense doctrine beyond the home. The usual label for such laws — “stand your ground” — is politically charged, he said, suggesting that a more apt label would be “Shoot first, ask questions later.”
And, if you are seeking balanced in your post (that funny fairness thing), I’m noting an absolute absence of comment in your post by any person not a member of a firearms prohibition advocacy group or not speaking from a pro-regulatory stance.
Laws like the one in Florida allow situations like the Trayvon Martin killing, he said. “We’re heartbroken, but we’re not surprised.”
Gross is, shall we say, less than an impartial commenter or analyst. Perhaps you can find either an impartial analyst or a quote from a similarly prominent figure that favors self-defense? It is your blog, just as my blog is my blog…but when you go out of your way to slant a post to drive a pre-determined conclusion – unlike in our respective living rooms, the odds are good that folk will either criticize or make fun of us.
I feel dirty.
You should. You are contributing to “trial by public circus”, undermining what (if any) justice may be found for Martin or Zimmerman, and either simply engaging in fraud or failing to do even the most minimalistic of research.
To be utterly clear. I'm not defending Zimmerman. I strongly suspect (as a non-attorney) that a case can be made that Martin's death was in fact wrongful, and that legal action will be taken successfully - certainly at the civil level, and probably at the criminal (though "beyond a reasonable doubt" is a standard that might be a difficult one to meet with the evidence publicly available.