Monday, February 11, 2013

The Shot Heard 'Round the World

The gun control fanatics have a very explicit goal: ban all firearms and have everyone turn them in.

They don't say so out loud very often, but they have explicitly stated this goal a number of times.

I don't think that they have much of a chance of getting this passed as a law anytime soon.   Depsite incredibly biased new coverage and an intense propaganda campaign against guns, almost 70% of Americans oppose a ban on firearms.

But let's speculate on what would happen if public opinion turned against guns, the Constitution was amended or the Heller decision affirming the Right to Keep and Bear Arms was overturned, and the Congress passed a law banning guns. 

I would assume that we would have 90% compliance with such a mandate.  After all, we are assuming that guns are so unpopular that this ban was passed in the first place.

So what happens to the remaining 10% that won't turn in their now-illegal fireams voluntarily?

10% of the gun owning population in this country is still a pretty big number.  It is estimated that 70-80 million people own over 300 million guns in the United States.   90% compliance leaves 30 million guns in the hands of 7 or 8 million defiant gun owners.

Too low a compliance rate, you say?  Ok, 99% compliance still leaves 3 million firearms in the hands of three quarters of a million gun nuts. 

How will the government forcibly disarm nearly a million people? 

A million pitched battles on ranches, in the suburbs, or in the crowded city streets?  The Revolutionary war started because the government was attempting to confiscate some guns.  The resulting battle and ultimately the war was touched off by the 'shot heard round the world' fired by one of a few hundred militia men.

Using the above assumptions there will be over 1,500 people per congressonial district and 15,000 per state that refuse to turn in their guns.  The new 'shot heard round the world' will be heard in every corner of the country.

This cold hard reality is why the gun banners always shy away from the question of confiscation, and all of their proposals grandfather in all of the existing guns.  They know that they will spark an outright civil war if they attempt to confiscate guns.

If they don't confiscate guns, then what is the point of having bans in the first place? 

The answer is control. 

Gun Control is not about guns. 

Gun Control is about control.

To Protect (themselves) and Serve (their political masters)

The police are one of the essential ingredients in a civil society.  They exist to keep the peace and enforce the law.

They are supposed to serve and protect the public.  Many Americans believe the police will protect them in the event that they are attacked or robbed.  We also believe that the police will go to great lengths to avoid harming the innocent or arresting the innocent.  We also view the police as a line of defense against unconstitutional laws.  We like to believe that the police will never enforce unconstitutional edicts or shoot down citizens for no reason.

More and more recently, none of this appears to be true.

During hurricane Katrina the police went door-to-door searching for weapons at the order of the government.  More correctly, they kicked in doors and confiscated weapons from innocent civilians.   This is grossly unconstitutional, and none of the confiscated weapons were ever returned to the rightful owners. 

The Governor of Massachusetts issues a state wide travel ban during a 'snow emergency', forcing citizens to remain in their homes during the storm.  The police were enforcing a totalitarian-esque  bans on travel without permission, formerly a feature of life only found in communist states.

Police in California are being attacked by a lone gunman that has a grudge.  The police have reacted as you might expect, launching a massive manhunt as they take precautions to safeguard themselves and their families.  They are also arming themselves to the teeth and gunning down innocent women merely because they were driving a car that resembled that of the suspects. 

There are hundreds of incidents each year in which the police raid the wrong house or are acting on bad information and kill innocent civilians who have done nothing wrong.

I am not deriding the police here -- they have an extremely dangerous and difficult job.

I am merely pointing out that those of you who are hoping that the police will 'be on our side' during protests or resistance against a tyrannical government are in for a big disappointment.  Oh, sure, there might be a Sheriff or two that refuses to enforce a federal law.  But the vast majority of the police will do exactly what they are told to do including shooting you in the face if they think you are a threat to their safety. 

There are many people in this country that fantasize about how things will be when Obama finally tries to confiscate guns.  They imagine that the police will refuse to act, or that the citizenry will form militia groups to resist gun confiscation.

Think about this: a lone gunman is hunting the police and they react by indiscriminately blasting any vehicle that happens to look like the one they are seeking.  Imagine what will happen if they have groups of citizens acting against them.   They will be leveling entire city blocks without regard for casualties.

Where will they get the firepower to do such a thing?  No problem. Almost every hamlet in America now has a SWAT team that is armed like an infantry platoon.  Almost every Federal agency, inlcuding the Department of Education and The Social Security Administration now have fully armed SWAT teams. The deparment of Homeland Security recently purchased 1.2 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition.  Since it is illegal to use hollow point ammo in a war against invaders, we can only assume that these rounds are intended for more domestic targets.

Human history is replete with examples of the police and the army subjugating the citizenry.  Don't think it can't happen here. 

In many ways, it already is happening here.

Your Papers Please!

Travel restrictions are one of the hallmarks of a fascist or communist state.  Internal visas and the constant checking of your papers for internal travel were regular features of life behind the Iron Curtain.  It is no coincidence that the phrase "Your Papers, Please" somehow sounds more correct in a slight Germanic accent.   This is such a widely accepted feature of life in a totalitarian state that in in Casablanca the entire plot revolved around travel restrictions imposed by a tyrannical occupying government. 

Americans have never had travel restrictions.  We have always been free to travel about the country as we please without interference from the government.

Not any longer. 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts banned travel during the recent 'weather emergency'.  Citizens were subject to arrest and fines if they left their homes during winter storm 'Nemo'.

Let me restate that: Governor of a state forcibly subjected every citizen to house arrest if they ventured out into the snow without the permission of the state.

A friend of mine had to travel during the storm in order to rescue his elderly parents from the cold.  He called the police to get permission to drive 3 miles to their home.   Permission was denied.  He was told that they could not give him permission to travel, but they advised him to do it anyway and hope that he did not get caught. 

In America.  He had to ask the government for permission to save his parents lives in America.

This is outrageous.  It is an affront to liberty and the Constitution.

It is also a sign of just how far the nanny state has progressed.   The government tells you how much soda to drink and when you can go out to playing the snow and when you are grounded and must stay in the house.

Are the people of Massachusetts so daft that they don't know when to come in from the cold?  Do they really need to be protected from their own stupidity by being locked in their rooms until the storm is over?

It is a sad day when the police are arresting people for no other reason than traveling without authorization.

Fascism has come to America in the form of the Nanny state.

Every American should be marching in the streets right now in protest over this event.  

Just don't forget your papers when you leave the house.

Monday, February 4, 2013

We Have Got To Do Something If It Saves One Life!

President Obama today opined on the subject of gun control in the wake of the Newtown shootings:

“We don’t have to agree on everything to agree it’s time to do something,”


This is utter nonsense.

He keeps demanding that we 'do something' while refusing to make a detailed proposal of his own or explain how any of the laws that his fellow democrats are proposing would have any effect on crime or have prevented the Newtown shooting.

What does he mean when he says "do something"?  No doubt he is echoing the mantra of the media who demand daily that something 'be done' about guns.

But what?  Everyone of the proposals put forward to date are either unconstitutional, ineffective, unrelated to the problem, or all of the above.

"But if it saves just one life" they bleat in response to the argument that what they proposing is not going to help solve the problem.  Since when is 'save one life' the standard we use when evaluating safety?

We don't use that standard when evaluating other aspects of modern life:
  • We could save 30,000 lives if we banned cars, but no one is proposing that, except, perhaps, for the Global Warming wackos.
  • We could save hundred or thousands of children is we banned bicycles, swimming pools, 5 gallon buckets, and electricity.  But we are not proposing to impose the 'one life' standard for those items
  • We could save several hundred lives a year by banning antibiotics. Hundred die each year, particularly children, due to allergic reactions to antibiotics.  Where is the call to ban them to 'save one life'?
We don't apply the 'one life' standard in these areas because it is an asinine standard.  It is a ridiculous standard for many reasons, but primary among them is that it does not consider relative risks or substitution.

If we banned antibiotics to save the few that die from allergic reactions, we would condemn millions to death by infection.  You have to consider more than one simplistic angle when making these safety decisions.  Using antibiotics is not absolutely safe but it is relatively safe, when compared to not having them at all.   So we consciously decide that despite the risks, we will use antibiotics.

It is tragic when people are murdered, particularly children.  But the absence of legal guns does not guarantee that you wont be murdered by one. Statistics indicate that the absence of legal guns actually increases the danger from guns.  The risks associated with non-gun ownership include increasing violent crime rates, including rape and assault.

Overall, gun ownership is a net positive to safety, particularly when you factor in the risks of totalitarian governments and the predation that has resulted in millions of deaths over the past century. 

Gun Control in the wake of Newtown

There has been a great deal of press recently about the tragic shootings at the Newtown elementary school.

This is a horrendous event that we all wish had never happened, and we all hope will never happen again.

There has been a chorus of people calling for gun control in an effort to prevent such an event from happening again in the future.  The problem is that none of the measures that have been proposed will have any effect on crime.

As we have noted previously, there is no room for gun control.  

All of the small gun control measures will fail. Even the most well thought out proposals will not work.

Here is a sample of one of the more cogent arguments:

I demand you press for legislation that closes the gun show loophole completely, once and for all.
There is no such thing as the gun 'show loophole'.  Private citizens are allowed to sell and buy guns from each other.  This is not a loophole, but an express provision of the current gun laws.  There is no evidence that 'gun show' guns are used in crime more than any other source of guns.   Most crime guns are stolen guns, with less than 1% being procured at a gun show.

I demand that ammunition designed to inflict massive tissue damage or pierce armor be completely banned except for the military and police.
His first reference is probably referring to hollow point ammo.  This ammo is used for hunting expressly because it is more lethal.  And almost any rifle ammunition will pierce armor -- they are simply too powerful to be stopped by body armor.  But by banning hollow point AND full metal jacket ammo, he is calling for a ban on all ammo.   It would be helpful if the people trying to regulate these things had at least some idea what they are talking about. Unless, of course, that is what he intends all along.

I demand that the sale and possession of all ammunition be regulated at least as stringently as Sudafed and other drugs, including strict monthly and annual purchase limits. Individuals found in possession of more than their allotment should be fined and jailed just like drug dealers.
Just like drug dealers? Since the war on drugs has been so effective?  The massive burden of administering such a program would cost billions with no real effect.  How many rounds is he envisioning for a limit?  A small limit would be impractical, making guns completely useless.   A large limit would not stop 99% of crimes.

Incidentally,  linking his ideas to the War on Drugs, he exposes the fallacy in the entire gun control argument.  Bans on drug have not worked.  Bans on drug components have not worked.  Bans on drug paraphernalia have not worked.  What makes the author think that a ban on ammo will work?

I demand you lead a call to ban and confiscate any weapon capable of holding more than 6 rounds of ammunition, being reloaded by a pre-loaded ammunition clip or otherwise capable of firing more than 6 rounds without pause for manually reloading each bullet or shell. Hunters and sportsmen can still own rifles and shotguns that meet these criteria. Handguns that hold 6 or fewer bullets would also be permissible.

This is a call for the elimination of virtually all firearms.  The only legal guns would be revolvers, some bolt action rifles, and some shotguns.   Everything else would be eliminated.  This is not only unconstitutional, but completely impractical and counter productive.  Never mind that if you were magically able to make all these gun disappear, it would be a matter of minutes before a steady stream of guns was smuggled over the border and into the hands of criminals.  How hard would it be to strap an AK-47 to each bale of illegal drugs?

A gun confiscation would be a disaster, likely leading to civil war and millions of dead.  With 20 million 'assault rifles' in circulation even a 99% peaceful confiscation would still leave 200,000 rifles to be seized from the cold dead hands of the owners.  Does the author really think that the death of 20 children justifies 200,000 dead and open civil war?

I have read the Constitution and nowhere do I find the words ‘stand your ground’, a complete perversion of the ‘duty to retreat’ common-law principle understood at the time the Constitution was ratified, or the concept of ‘concealed carry’. We must repeal laws that allow these dangerous and unnecessary practices.

The reason that these words are not in the Constitution is that there was no such thing as concealed carry in 1776 because everyone that carried a gun carried it openly.  There is no common law principle that says you have to retreat.  You are allowed to defend yourself.   The 'stand your ground' laws were passed as a reaction to insane court rulings where people were charged with crimes for shooting intruders in their own homes.  Americans believe that you have the right to defend yourself and do not subscribe to the insane notion that the outlaw has more right to be in your home than you do.  Furthermore, there is no evidence that these laws contribute to the overall crime rate. Most gun deaths are gang related or crimes of passion committed by people who live in the home already.  These laws are simply not a factor in crime rates.

I urge you to direct the Justice Department to prepare a brief detailing how gun manufacturers might be subjected to the same legal approach used against tobacco companies.

If we can sue GM and Ford for cars with exploding gas tanks, ban lawn darts, and restrict over-the-counter medication deemed to have potential criminal uses (e.g., Sudafed), surely weapons designed for no other purpose than mass killing can be sued out of existence as well.

This is a call for legal extortion.  Guns are designed to kill.  His complaint is that they are too good at that for which they were designed.  His proposal is not to subject the gun companies to the normal laws (warranty of merchantability, negligence, etc). After all, his complaint is not that the guns don't work, his complaint is that they DO work.   He is seeking the ability to sue a company because he doesn't like what they make.

This is a gross violation of the rule of law.

I urge you not to be diverted or bogged down by the efforts to enlarge the scope of problem to the point it becomes intractable and unsolvable:
    • A lack of religion in schools is not the problem.
    • A lack of men in schools is not the problem.
    • Mental illness is not the problem.
    • Video games are not the problem.
    • Quentin Tarantino is not the problem.
    • More guns are not the answer.
The unfettered and ineffectively regulated access to guns is the problem, plain and simple.

This is completely counter factual.  In simple terms, it is a lie.  Guns are more plentiful than ever, yer murder and crime rates are at all-time lows.  There is no evidence that access to guns is the problem, and there is ample evidence that gun control laws are the problem.  Look at the crime rates in places like Chicago and Washington DC and explain me how gun control is working.

I don't have a simple answer for the causes of crime, but I do know there is no evidence that guns are causing it.

The right of some to possess guns should never supersede the right of children to safely attend kindergarten without an armed guard at the door.

This get to the crux of his flawed argument: the right to safety.  There is no such thing.   
We do not have a right to safety, and we certainly do not have a right to safety 'without an armed guard at the door'.    There is risk in everything that we do.  Children are in far greater danger on the school bus than they are of being shot in the classroom.   If there is a 'right to safety' then why are police not legally required to protect you? 

This argument is fatuous.  Obama's children are protected by armed guards at school everyday.  Is this protection a violation of their rights?

Armed guards (or other armed adults) are the most effective and proven way to stop armed attackers.  To argue that children have a non-existent right to safety and a right not to be protected by the most effective means possible is the argument of a non-serious person.

These 20 children and 6 courageous adults of Newtown must not be allowed to die in vain. Their legacy must be that they were the last to be ignored in this endlessly escalating cycle of violence and death.

Again, the author is wrong.  The 'cycle of violence' is declining, not increasing.  49 states have passed concealed carry laws, gun ownership is at a all time high, and yet violence and murder are at all time lows.

In summary, not a single argument in favor of control stands up to the facts or logic.