Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mobs, Lynchings, and Toynbee

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
- George Santayana (1863-1952)

Does one really need to say more?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Zimmerman - Martin; Fisking a Hit Piece

Shoot first, plead self-defense later
(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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cool New SCOTUS decision!!

Read about it over at the Volokh Conspiracy (because, after all, he's a really smart lawyer...and, at a minimum, I'm not a lawyer), but basically think of it as a 9-0 SCOTUS-applied swift kick between the legs to the entire EPA.


On the Zimmerman-Marting Shooting

What we can be fairly sure we know:

1) We know that Trayvon (Tayvon? I've seen both spellings) Martin is now deceased, was 17yo at time of death, and died as the result of a gunshot wound.

2) All parties seem to agree at this point that the gunshot wound resulting in Martins death resulted from the intentional discharge of George Zimmerman's lawfully carried 9mm pistol

3)Zimmerman was and at this point remains a lawful holder of a Florida Concealed Carry License.

4) We know that Martin was black, for traditional definitions of that word.

5) We know that the local County Sheriff has declined charges at this time. State and Federal investigations continue.

6) We know that a great deal of race-baiting and demagoguery has taken place subsequent to events.

We Don't Know:

1) That Zimmerman was white (beyond inheriting a surname of Germanic origin). Available pictures are not terribly indicative. Nobody appears to have researched beyond the surname, leaving open the question of actual heritage (to the extent it's even relevant).

2) Why members of the black and progressive communities are so eager to resurrect the fine old tradition of "damn the evidence, let's not investigate - let's have us a lynching!!".

3) Whether Zimmerman was guilty of "murder" under FL law. (note, there are several - not just one - ways for someone to get unlawfully dead. Getting it right is *important*.)

I think I can reasonably, based on the very limited data currently available, say that I disagree with Zimmermans choice to make contact or to continue surveillance without some person or persons being clearly and immediately at risk. That analysis is subject to change *based on further evidence/data*.

I cannot support trying to make our proposed defendant defenseless before he is even charged (a particularly bad notion in light of the stated intent of a vigilante group), trying criminal defendants by internet petition, and reviving lynching as a community hobby in even the slightest degree.

Between the blood-dancing hoplophobes and the race-baiting profiteers we may see a landscape so obscured by fear, propaganda, and general hooliganism that it will be impossible to empanel an impartial jury to try Zimmerman - meaning that regardless of guilt or innocence, without an impartial jury he may go free.

A bit of artistic expression, well executed..

If you like the image, the artists site makes lithographs and prints and such available at - go, buy! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Inviting your comment...

I'll hold off on my comments till later...view and comment, please...

Frankly, I'm not entirely enthralled by either officer or attorney technique here...the near-threatening tone of the attorney post-script is both offensive and makes me wonder if SPD has again sunk so low that such instruction is actually *necessary*...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FB Economy 101, Part Deux

Anonymized FB'r: So what you are saying is that because of all of these regulations we have in place, we have some of the most expensive gas in the world... oh wait...

There is no need to give money to the worlds richest companies - they are already doin their damnedest to explore, refine and produce, they don't need help. Besides, we are *exporting* oil. So we don't have a supply problem.

The economy is doing better now than it has been in the past few years. One cannot claim we are 'sabotaging the economy' given the economic facts at hand. Please present evidence.

Gay_Cynic: We have fuel costs that we have some elements of control over is point the first. We are not entirely helpless at the mercy of external players. Whether or not we wish to exercise the controls we clearly have is up to us and our elected representatives.

I agree there is no need to give money to some of the worlds wealthiest companies. However, when we *stop* (as opposed to just say "let's not give them more, faster"), it's a pretty good bet that the response will be a shrug by executives and an increase in the prices they charge down the line at least equivalent to the "subsidy" that was terminated.

Nobody just passively sits and eats bright shiny new costs or reduced revenues. So, we cut off the "subsidies". Yay. At the point in the supply chain we choose to cut a long-extant subsidy, this has the effect of a new cost. That entity jacks up their prices to cover this new "cost" interfering with their revenue stream...and the next one downstream, noting the exciting new price of goods they are buying...does the same...until we come to the hapless end-user.

The problem with fuel/energy pricing is that it's a fundamental cost. In other words, when fuel prices go up for end users, the operating costs for everyone from truck drivers to airlines to Metro increase - followed shortly by inflationary activity as everything downstream adjusts. When it suddenly costs more to ship a 100lbs of wheat or Billy Joe Bob the thick-necked receptionist to their respective destinations, it rather shortly costs the bakery more to get flour or the employer to get Billy Joe Bob to show up (as Billy Joe Bob can do math and figure out that losing money to go play receptionist is a bad deal)...

In short, stable or declining energy prices tend to support economic growth. Increasing energy prices tend to suck up capital that could be used to hire employees, do R&D, or just get some flour at a decent price to make a loaf of bread.

Then, just to make it even more special, as energy prices (and as a result operating costs for both individuals and businesses) increase...the odds of compensating salary increases diminish due to reduced profits/earnings.

For energy prices, insert any other *fundamental* cost. Water would be another variable I'd describe as a fundamental cost.

So sure. Go ahead and whack the long-extant subsidies. Then watch the fun.

Anonymized FB'r: That sounds like fear tactics to me. Give me the data.

Gay_Cynic: For a *quick* skim, see below. Happily, Google is a resource available to all.

Basic economics are by definition not fear tactics.

WA Tax #:

Fed Tax:


Oil & Transport Costs:

Side Article:

Anonymized FB'r: So why gas prices? And why now? Why not cut defense spending, and *increase* oil subsidies?

Really, the meta question is: what is your *actual* end goal. Talking about oil subsidies is talking about a symptom, not the problem.

Gay_Cynic: Why set ourselves up for a yet worse problem "x" number of years down the road? (re increasing subsidies)

Eventually, oil subsidies (and much other federal spending) need to end...simply because they are not affordable. HOWEVER, "all at once" may not be the ideal strategy in our current economy. I would suggest that a gradual shift to a balanced federal budget is probably the best approach for our nation, but have my doubts (based on the number of political oxen that would need to be gored in even a gradual shift) about political feasibility.

I would suggest that a guiding principal might be"even if it feels good, do nothing in passion or that looks to make things worse". And my comment on gas prices (equally applicable to diesel, heating oil, etc) is based on "whatever you do, don't make things worse". I can get behind backing off that particular set of subsidies *a little bit at a time* so the economy has time to adjust, and hopefully, improved alternative energy options can emerge. Flinging ourselves over the cliff for either funsies or on some philosophical jihad seems...ill-advised.

The law of unintended consequences exists *everywhere*, but in my writ in 30' tall letters of fire across the sky when it comes to economic matters. Caution is thus a much greater virtue than showmanship.

Anonymized FB'r: I would assume we would back off subsidies gradually (if they are significant compares to the revenues of the companies affected.) After all, Congress would have to approve such things.

Gay_Cynic: Regrettably, the current proposal (and let us be gracious, and assume that political brinksmanship and "make the other guy look bad" are significant motivators in this) does not appear to endorse gradualism. And $4 billion isn't peanuts for anyone, I don't think. Nor is this new...

And...a little bit ago our Energy Secretary was advocating euro level gas prices to force alternative energy acceptance (of course, cynic that I am..."at what cost" is my instinctive response..)

Anonymized FB'r: Obviously shocking the economy with doubled gas prices (Euro equivalent) but phasing out the subsidies seems good. I'd take a measured approach. Now what would be really keen would be to phase them our and *not* re-spend the money. Lower our taxes instead. But, fat chance of that happening either :)

Le Sigh. Progress, I suppose.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A redacted FB education on the economy...

GayCynic: (status update) "end subsidies for big oil" = "drive up fuel prices as newly inflicted costs are passed through"...seems like a simple enough if/then bit of logic for most folks to understand.

Yet, our President seems to think this will lower gas prices how?

Other Conversationalist: Gas prices are a red herring. We can't really affect them here because the market is global.

GayCynic: Oh, we can affect them in MANY ways. A couple of the more direct ways is "increase expense at any link in the distribution chain" and everything downstream of "point of tweak" gets more expensive to end-consumer.

Thus...increasing taxes, "removing subsidies", imposing mandatory environmental measures, requiring the use of decades obsolete refining equipment (by refusing to permit construction of new refineries), and restricting development of new and geographically closer (thus lower transport cost, and risk) supplies...

All drive fuel prices, and are all well within the control of (variously) Congress, legislatures, and even town and municipal councils...and let us not forget the various "special governmental districts & entities".

We can and do affect end user fuel prices. It's just that other folks (i.e., each person/group along the extraction/refinement/distribution chain) *ALSO* affect those prices...

But for a quickie look at how much we affect end user pricing...take a look at the percentage of the per gallon price is made up of fees & taxes imposed by the governments we elect. For good or ill, a quick look shows WA grabbing $.375/ga at the pump and the Federal .gov snapping up 18.4 cents/ga for a total of 55.9 cents/ga before we figure in sales tax (which is also collected on gasoline). The kids in Olympia can raise, lower, or suspend those taxes.

No, it's not beyond our control...and that is only addressing one of the variables we actually can affect.

My point is that it "we're going to end subsidies to big oil" will translate almost immediately to "we're going to raise the end cost of fuel to consumers" as the increased costs will be passed right down the supply chain, and shortly after we'll weather another inflationary wave as the cost of delivering goods of all sorts (including workers to their workplaces) impacts the economy.

One could do a better job of sabotaging the economy, but it would take work.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In responding to liberals discussing gay-bashing...

Just a suggestion...while events are "in progress", causation is rarely relevant. Before or after we can address which attacker suffers from which pathology while the miscreant (if after) ideally occupies a cell, a hospital bed, or the morgue.

And then we can address which pathology (if any) is likely curable in someone that attacks LGBT folks simply because they are LGBT when, whatever the cause, it has advanced from irrational motivations (see: bigotry, hate) or biochemical challenges to actual physical violence.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gay-Bashing in Houston...

In response to a gay-bashing in Houston (5 guys w/ baseball bats v. 2 unarmed men)...

Carrying or not carrying has very little to do with being a "real man".

And then we have that little set of reality issues that involve the large and increasing number of women that carry, and not only carry serious firearms, but wield them as well or better than the average guy. Google "Julie Golob" or "Breda the worlds deadliest librarian".

But do, if your ethics allow, get your Concealed Pistol License. Contact your local Pink Pistols chapter (or call around to the local gun groups if you don't have a chapter handy - these days the comments I hear after a bashing is reported in the gun community consist mostly of "Goddamit, why weren't they armed?") and find someone to visit the range with you (pick a range with a rental counter or a new friend with a really impressive collection...not only are you learning to shoot, you're testing for what gun works with YOUR a variety is good).

Consider training. Learn the rules of firearms safety. Learn to hit what you shoot at. Learn the local laws regarding both use of force and firearms carry. Practice.

NO SELF DEFENSE STRATEGY IS A SURE THING. "Run away, Run away" and "Be where the trouble isn't" are still the two very best self-defense strategies even if you are so heavily armed that you clank when you walk. Regrettably, they aren't always available.

Five guys with baseball bats, to any vaguely rational person, make up what's called "deadly force". Frankly, so does one guy with a baseball bat or a crowbar. Skull fractures and other impact injuries are no laughing matter and can easily be lethal.

When you fight back, you aren't just saving yourself. When you fight back, win or lose, you shatter the meme that the LGBT community is composed solely of wild-eyed pacifists that are vulnerable and easy targets for every bully that comes along - hate-driven or not.

After all, when was the last time you heard of a group of 5 youths with baseball bats attacking a cop or a biker?

It isn't just hate that's our enemy. It's also the idea that we're a safe target.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When somebody else has a good idea...

Sometimes the best you can do is share it. Blogger suggests liking the Second Amendment Foundation on FaceBook...maybe even bring them up even with the Brady Bunch...

Sounds good to me...

Let the Blood Dance Begin...

Ok. Here in WA we've had a series of children ventilating themselves or each other in recent weeks, with all the teary-eyed blood-dancing of the hoplophobes and the petty tyrants pushing for safe storage laws and such.

Problem is, you can't outlaw stupid. Negligence, murder, menacing, assault - all are already illegal. "Making things more illegaler" is a sort of pointless display of overwrought emotionalism, stupidity, or more malicious agendas at play - the one thing it won't do is accomplish anything positive.

The first case here was a 9yo child of felons and misfits who took one of many loaded guns laying about his criminal mothers and ex-con boyfriends abode (hint - just by HAVING guns they were committing bright shiny new felonies). The kid, sensibly enough based on what I'd read of his situation, decided to run away - and threw the pistol in his backpack...that later that day discharged at the kids school, injuring another child rather severely. The mother and boyfriend face criminal charges and the boy has already plead guilty to charges.

Next we have a cops kid that found a gun floating around in Officer Dad's glove compartment and shot her brother, killing him.

About this time we have local professional hand-wringer Ken Schram of KOMO4 television go on air with an overwrought demand to pass legislation mandating "secure storage" with criminal penalties. Schram, of course, didn't bother to check existing legislation before tossing his public hissy fit (negligence is already criminalized)...nor display any real understanding of actual gun safety.

Now, this morning, we have a WA CPL holder up from Oregon [0912, 3/14 - correction from friend] that stopped at a gas station for his special and fatal moment of stupid. He got out of the car, removed his gun and placed it under the drivers seat with two toddlers (3 and 4) in the car, and proceeded about filling the tank. The mother got out and proceeded into the store leaving the toddlers unsupervised. The 3yo got the gun and killed himself.

The ritual blood dance is scheduled to begin shortly, quite possibly with Schram sallying forth clad in grass skirt and coconut bikini* to throw another of his spittle-flinging over-dramatic rants complete with hip-swaying and hand-gestures about the EEEEEVILS of gun ownership generally, and any gun not secured in a block of concrete specifically.

FELLOW GUN OWNERS - if you don't want stupid legislated all over you, stop with the stupid yourself. Don't be leaving guns where untrusted folks can get at them - and in general, toddlers and pre-teens are not on the list of "those to be trusted unsupervised in the presence of firearms, power tools, or vehicles" even if they are brighter than the average elected.

*Schram may not show up in the suggested costume, but I'd argue it'd fit right in with his mode of presentation, IMHO. Certainly wouldn't make any less sense than the odd noises that occur when he opens his mouth.

Friday, March 9, 2012

On the Seattle Ruling....

If you look at the Seattle Times article this morning, or Workman's column yesterday, there's a teeny tiny point we've missed thus far in our celebrations.

Mayor McGinn & City Attorney Holmes have effectively sworn a blood feud against WA pre-emption - that happy little provision in WA law that means that we don't have a patchwork quilt of petty anti-gun fiefdoms (you know, like NYC) with the laws changing every time you cross a city or county boundary.

Both McGinn and Holmes issued statements after Thursday's ruling saying the city would ask the 2013 Legislature to give cities the authority to restrict gun use in public places.

"A park is no place for a gun," McGinn said. - Seattle Times, March 8 of 2012

The 2012 election is IMPORTANT, and not just for un-electing the Obamanation. As gun-owners we desperately need folks to *vote for* (candidates) to run against known hostiles like State Senators Adam Kline and Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

With the "oomph" the radical Seattle (D) Caucus already wields, allowing them to hold both Houses of the legislature with McGinn and Holmes on the war path seems a bad choice.

Similarly, we have a critically important Governors race coming up this fall that we could lose big in...

It's not paranoia when they announce they really are out to get us...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Gay Cynic: We do not measure ourselves against the deeds of others, but against our own principles of what is good, decent, and necessary. This is because any other approach is merely a race to find who can find the skankiest bit of mud in the manure pile." - quoted on SayUncle, 3/8/2012
Thanks for the kind quote! Now, if we can just get more folks to wrap their head around the concept....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tam hits it out of the ball park again...

See here - Tam cogently and tersely refutes two of the more common (and sillier) memes about the so-called flaws with libertarianism.

READ THIS. It's good for your brain.

Trigger-lock madness....

It seems the Seattle Times is pontificating in favor of anti-gun foolishness again, this time pushing for a trigger lock law. My response....

The Brady Campaign is the Col. Klink of firearms issues - ask them about a given course of action, and if they support it, it's probably a bad idea... even on the days when they have good intentions.

We already have laws that:

1) Bar felons from owning guns (the childs mom & boyfriend, who being criminals, weren't especially attentive to the law).

2) Create criminal punishment for a wide variety of negligent acts, including leaving guns where a child gets them and proceeds to commit wrongful mayhem. (The current reckless endangerment statute).

3) Create civil penalties for negligence of every sort imaginable and a fair number that could be argued to be specious.

4) Criminalize both assault and homicide.

Yet, amazingly, bad things happen. Criminals (surprise!) violate the law and, if they aren't caught, KEEP violating the law.

And with each new law passed, we convert some number of law-abiding citizens into criminals either through ignorance of the new intricacies or their personal "level of stubborn" having been reached - and with many of these "look-busy" statutes, for no good purpose beyond looking busy.

We don't need another law that just runs up the tax bill, creates additional tragedy, helps legislators look busy at great expense - all in the name of making something already illegal, illegal...

Every "bad act" conceivable with a firearm (or a pointy stick, for that matter) is already addressed under law. And more than a few innocent acts.

Enough of the hoplophobic anti-gun bed-wetting. Put the blame on the felons in possession (a federal felony charge nobody has bothered to bring quite yet), the parents with bad gun handling and safety practices (already chargeable), the family that raised a boy so desperate to run away that he gathered a firearm into his bug-out bag, and finally a very misguided little boy.

Leave law-abiding WA gun owners alone - by and large a far more responsible and law-abiding group than either the general populace or the membership of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gotta Love it....

Kids over at CCRKBA come up with some pretty cool stuff....
buy some and support your gun rights...better yet, buy some AND a life membership...

Exchange with a CapHill Liberal...

Anon Lib1: and 7 others posted about Andrew Breitbart.

Anon Lib1:

Remember this "greatest hit" of breitfart?

After Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts died in 2009, Breitbart tweeted, "Rest in Chappaquiddick" and called him "a special pile of human excrement." When critics questioned his tone, he tweeted they "missed my best ones!"

· · 1 9 Minutes ago· near Kirkland ·

Anon2 A dead ass clown, is still a ass clown.
6 Minutes ago · 1

Gay Cynic We do not measure ourselves against the deeds of others, but against our own principles of what is good, decent, and necessary. This is because any other approach is merely a race to find who can find the skankiest bit of mud in the manure pile.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Regional Variations in Semantics

Some terminology is both complex and highly regional - as became apparent in discussing a hot-button term with a friend from abroad...
"In the U.S., back in the day "nigger" was rude, and "colored" was what polite folks said. Then came the announcement that "colored" was condescending and rude, and "negro" was the proper term. Then "negro" was bad'n'wrong, and "black" was polite. Then "black" was inaccurate, and African-American was the proper term. I lost interest in following the reasoning at about "black"...."
Le sigh. I'm able to go along with as much of 4 rounds of "re-branding" to accommodate folks comfort and such before I start to suspect it's all just a con game to perpetuate a sense of guilt and social awkwardness as a lobbying tool - at which point I begin to find it difficult to play along.