Quote of the day—john personna

I will say that if someone suggested a reasonable boundary and a buyback, it would matter to me how generous it is. Paying 150% of 2012 market price would seem pretty fair. It would not even hurt the economy if you printed money to do a lot of that. If money is traded for guns, and guns are destroyed, the wealth remains the same.

john personna
December 28, 2012
Comment to Taxing Ammunition
[He has no clue as to what wealth is.

And more generally he also has no clue as to the fundamentals of economics. As the supply goes down the price goes up. 150% of 2012 market price would be a buyers market when the supply is being forcibly set to zero. The people actually willing to sell their firearms and accessories at 150% of 2012 market price could get 200% or perhaps even 2000% on the black market.

I can only conclude liberalism is a mental disorder. This becomes a dangerous delusion that they are the superior ones and should be in charge.—Joe]

Random thought of the day

It appears to me there may be a problem with the meanings of words in the gun control debate.

Many anti-gun people want to “ban assault weapons” or “ban high capacity magazines”. I think what they really want to do is abolish them. I think when they hear and say “ban” they believe, at some level, that a ban will quickly result in abolishment. I’m not convinced they have distinguished the two in their minds.

“Ban” and “abolish” are very different things. As difficult as it is to get a controversial law through the legislature and signed into law that is child’s play compared to abolishing something so easily made, popular with millions of people, and with tens or hundreds of millions of them in existence.

Most recreational drugs are banned but we haven’t come close to abolishing them.

Most political jurisdictions in this country have banned prostitution. I’m certain the worlds oldest profession is a still viable career option for someone with the proper physical attributes.

Many beverages containing alcohol were banned during the first part of the last century. People were smart enough to realize banning it didn’t abolish it, it never would, and the ban was repealed.

A ban on certain types of guns or gun accessories with no hope of approaching abolishment is pointless as a potential solution.

Perhaps when someone suggests a ban we should ask them if they really mean abolish. It might help them realize the difference and the difficulties.

The necessity of an accurate problem statement

Many times I have heard, “Both sides can’t be right.” While there are certainly times when this is true there are also lots of times when it is not true but it appears to be true on the surface.

My classic example is the Civil War. If it were true the war was entirely about slavery and those fighting for the south were fighting to preserve slavery then sure, only one side can be right. But if those fighting for the south were fighting to preserve states rights while those in the north were fighting to end slavery then both sides could be right. They are “talking” past one another, but they could both be right.

A similar thing happens in some gun control debates.

One side (exaggerated to make the point) can claim, “Innocent children should not be shot! Ban all guns!” The other side can claim, “Banning guns will not make the children safer! Let good guys carry guns in schools to protect them.”

Although the proposed solutions are at complete odds with no possible compromise between the them both sides are fighting for what are almost for certain equally valid truths. Innocent children should not be shot and banning guns will not make children safer.

While I cannot claim any extraordinary expertise in this endeavor it is going to be far more productive to identify the things you do agree with one another on before engaging in a battle over the things you disagree on. Compromise may be impossible, but there might be solutions that are agreeable to both/all sides if you can realize you have a common goal. For example a orthogonal solution may work without stomping on either side.

What’s an orthogonal solution? In the case of the school shootings a solution to “ban guns” versus “good guys with guns” an orthogonal solution would be to “ban schools”. For example if children were to be taught online supervised by their parents or in much small groups there wouldn’t be such large groups of tempting, nearly helpless, targets.

There may be many solutions to a problem but without a clear problem statement and agreement that common ground does exist people are likely to get stuck pushing their solution rather than solving the problem.

Problem statements drive the solution. Incorrect and unarticulated problem statements limit the range of solutions.

In the case of school shootings examine the following problem statements, somewhat exaggerated to make the point:

  • There are too many guns brought to schools.
  • Good guys are prohibited from protecting themselves and our children at schools.
  • An unacceptably high number of children at schools are being injured and killed by people with guns and other weapons.

Depending on the choice of problem statement the range of solutions are completely different. And there may be other problem statements beyond what I have enumerated above. Defining the problem correctly is frequently more difficult than finding solutions.

I know it’s tough but finding common ground and accurately defining the problem not only leads to a broader range of solutions but it also gets people working to solve the problem rather than fighting each other. Work on problem statements rather than fighting with others. We are better than this.

Quote of the day—Robert J. Avrech

If the Los Angeles riots taught us anything, it’s that you’re a fool if you count on the authorities to protect you in times of civil chaos — in fact, at any time. In the end, only I can protect my family.
 
I’m never, ever going to allow myself to be outgunned by the bad guys. All the gun laws that are on the books—and there are thousands of them—just make it that much easier for the barbarians to amass weapons and for law-abiding people like you and me to be at their mercy.

Robert J. Avrech
Emmy Award winning screenwriter. Religious Zionist. Republican. Movie fanatic. Gun owner.
December 18, 2012
Jew Without a Gun
[Via Ry.

Before the experience of his family in the L.A. riots he did not own a gun. The L.A. riots were the motivating force to change that. For me it was Ruby Ridge.—Joe]

Is this a mandate?

The NRA has an approval rating with the public of 54%. Congress has an approval rating of 9%.

One could make the case that NRA has a mandate to evict Congress and take over at least half the legislative branch of our Federal government.

I’m not sure the financial crisis our government is facing would turn out any better but at least we could be certain there wouldn’t be any distracting gun ban bills being introduced while they were trying to get a budget passed.

NRA fisks Feinstein’s proposed firearms ban

The NRA did a good job on this. They included some of the deliberate deception by Feinstein on her website:

On her website, Feinstein claims that a study for the DOJ found that the 1994 ban resulted in a 6.7 percent decrease in murders. To the contrary, this is what the study said: “At best, the assault weapons ban can have only a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders. Our best estimate is that the ban contributed to a 6.7 percent decrease in total gun murders between 1994 and 1995. . . . However, with only one year of post-ban data, we cannot rule out the possibility that this decrease reflects chance year-to-year variation rather than a true effect of the ban.  Nor can we rule out effects of other features of the 1994 Crime Act or a host of state and local initiatives that took place simultaneously.”

You know they know they are in the wrong when they have to lie in order to have any hope of winning.

We don’t need to lie to win. We are better than this.

What is the purpose?

One has to wonder what the real purpose of publishing the names and a map of all the people that have a license to own a gun.

Let’s think about this a little bit. What would be the purpose of publishing the names and a map of the following people who are also exercising their constitutionally protected rights?

  • All women who have had an abortion.
  • All people of Jewish heritage.
  • All Muslims.
  • All people in an interracial and/or gay marriage (may not be constitutionally protected in all jurisdictions).
  • All people who have written letters to the editor hostile to a government official or policy.
  • All people with ancestors who were slaves.
  • All people who are members of the ACLU and/or NAACP.
  • All people who have invoked their right to have an attorney present when being questioned by the police.
  • All people who have invoked their right to a jury trial when accused of a crime.
  • All people that voted for Obama.

Certain rights are specifically enumerated and protected because they are known to be subject to disapproval and attack by certain people and government authorities. By publishing lists of people that have long been known to be at higher risk of disapproval and attack I can only conclude one thing. That information has a high likelihood of being used for criminal purposes by fanatics hostile to certain categories of people. Furthermore anyone that published such information would be highly suspect of intending the people on such a list to suffer adverse consequences for their exercise of their constitutionally protected rights.

Show me some data or a logical argument why my conclusions unfounded. Show me a reason why I should believe the people that would do such a thing have the best interests of the targets of such a list at heart. Show me why I would be unjustified in accusing them of desiring that harm come to the people on their list.

Quote of the day—Alan

Let me be perfectly clear and up front.

Hell no.

No Registration, no confiscation and no compulsory buy-backs.

Molon Labe you deluded bitch.

Alan
December 26, 2012
Molon labe
[I think it is unlikely to come to that at the Federal level. There might be a state or two that try it. But it will be ignored and/or evaded and it won't go far.

The cops know better and won't have anything to do with it except in places like New Jersey where they are already jack booted thugs who prefer the police state tightens the screws at every opportunity.

Still, it's good to give the politicians some clarity on your position.—Joe]

This makes sense to me

The things politicians say and the laws they write and the regulations that come from them are so irrational and that I frequently say, “It’s just a law. It doesn’t have to make sense.” But given some of the other crazy stuff I have seen by comparison this makes sense to me:

The executive order would also hold bullets and high-capacity magazines accountable as accessories to a crime.

Frank said he was glad that targeting scopes were exempted from criminal responsibility under the new law of the land. “Let’s face it,” Frank said, “targeting scopes are kind of gay. Therefore they must be given special consideration.”

Under the executive order, guns convicted of a crime would be melted down and turned into speculums and other probing devices for use by the TSA at airport inspection checkpoints.

From Stanley via email at work.

Befuddled or brilliant?

Last Friday the NRA responded to the Newtown shooting with a proposal “to help make sure this never happens again” that included attacks against video games, violent movies, and called for an active national database of the mentally ill and armed police officers in every school.

As I mentioned in a Tweet at the time, “Way to go @NRA. Trash the First Amendment in an attempt to save the Second. We all lose.”

And alienating all the gamers? Grrr… Now that was a big mistake.

One could go on to criticize the police office suggestion as well. How could they be paid for? Wouldn’t they just be the first ones shot in a similar attack? Isn’t this another step closer to a police state?

And a national database of the mentally ill? That’s not going to encourage people to get help or for family and friends to feel good about pushing someone to get treatment. Way to alienate still another group of people that don’t need to be alienated.

Even traditionally strong supporters of the NRA had some criticism of the NRA statement.

How can an organization that urges “Vote Freedom First” take a swing at video games and violent movies and hope to be taken seriously?

nra_freedom2

It’s like they are hopelessly confused or even incoherent.

On the other hand there are people saying (H/T to Sebastian):

Suddenly, the gun banners had to argue two ridiculous positions. The first was that allowing trained educators or police having weapons in schools is a danger. The problem is that people generally like and trust teachers and cops. The second position was even worse, that armed personnel or police are somehow utterly useless against untrained, amateur creeps who seek to confront six-year olds. All over America, millions of parents noted how none of the wealthy gun banners were disbanding their personal security teams and thought, “You know, I think I’d like having a cop around my kid too.”

Particularly amusing are the liberals who transform into green eyeshades misers with the public purse when it comes to cops in schools. The folks who can’t spend enough dough on fudge-smeared, patriarchy-challenging performance artists suddenly become thrifty Scotsmen when it comes to doling out a few shillings to put a cop on campus.

You know, he does sort of have a point there. Instead of pushing for the banning of guns or magazines our opponents have been deflected onto other topics. And that might just put us into an easily winnable position.

I don’t know if it that was befuddlement or brilliance but in the short term it just might have been a winning play.

Gun bans are impossible

Via email from Cody R. Wilson, Managing Director of Defense Distributed:

Just a reminder, the lower is the regulated portion of the gun and is what is being printed. The uppers and the other parts have no serial numbers and are not tracked.

A suggestion to the Brady Campaign, VPC, CGSG, etc.: The game is over. Give up.

Holiday depression

Christmas has a strong tendency to irritate me. I get grumpy and depressed.

This year is particularly bad. There are some things still unresolved that I don’t want to talk about and there are some really bad things going down.

I have three first cousin’s. They are my mom’s brother’s children. Larry was always the closest to me. He was closer in age and very smart and funny. Cousin Larry died day before yesterday on Christmas Eve.

Just a few days ago while I was in Idaho I learned he went into hospice care a few miles from where I live in the Seattle area. I planned to visit after I got back. Perhaps today or tomorrow. Then I got an email from Larry’s brother that he died as my brothers, Dad, and I were driving home from visiting my mom in the rehab center on Christmas Eve.

Mom broke her hip a couple weeks ago and needs extra care and therapy after the surgery. She also has Alzheimer’s.

A couple hours ago I got an email that Mom has been transferred to the emergency room. A little while later a follow up call and email gave me more details. She had a mild heart attack, there is fluid in her lungs, and she is having difficulty breathing.

There were some really nice things that happened too but this is turning out to be a “Christmas to remember.”

Show some compassion

I say the prosecutors should show some compassion and only ask for a moderate penalty in this case:

In a nationally televised interview examining the place of gun control, NBC’s David Gregory may have violated the District’s gun laws.

DavidGregoryMagazineCrime

The law (DC ST § 7-2506.01) says:

b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term “large capacity ammunition feeding device” shall not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.

I had difficulty tracking down the punishment but it appears this could be the potential outcome (DC ST § 22-4515):

Any violation of any provision of this chapter for which no penalty is specifically provided shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

It appears (I am not a lawyer!) this might also apply (DC ST § 22-1805a):

(a)(1) If 2 or more persons conspire either to commit a criminal offense or to defraud the District of Columbia or any court or agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, each shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, except that if the object of the conspiracy is a criminal offense punishable by less than 5 years, the maximum penalty for the conspiracy shall not exceed the maximum penalty provided for that offense.

(2) If 2 or more persons conspire to commit a crime of violence as defined in § 23-1331(4), each shall be fined not more than $3000 nor the maximum fine prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy, whichever is less, or imprisoned not more than 15 years nor the maximum imprisonment prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy, whichever is less, or both.

Since it is a victimless crime I say prosecutors should fine everyone involved $500 and six months for the possession and $500 and six months for the conspiracy. I’m opposed to victimless crimes in their entirety but one of the ways to get rid of such laws is to prosecute them vigorously. Half the maximum penalty sounds about right to me.

Say Uncle (with more links here and here) and Sebastian also have some thoughts on the topic.

Quote of the day—World of NewsNinja2012

At the end of 2010, there was an estimated 17.5 trillion dollars in United States retirement assets, including 3.1 trillion in 401k’s and 4.7 trillion in IRA’s. The idea that those who thrive on money and power would permit such an alluring trove to go untapped is laughable.

World of NewsNinja2012
December 25, 2012
Full Steam Ahead On Obama’s Theft Of IRA’s And 401k’s
[H/T to a Tweet from Adam Baldwin.

I think the "Full steam ahead…" title is an exaggeration but I do think long term there is a significant threat that politicians will claim IRA's and 401k's will "have" to be confiscated "for the good of the country", "social justice", or some other buzz phrase. "Complications" will ensue when they find very few buyers for the confiscated stocks, bonds, and precious metals. In the following political seasons similar justification probably will be given to private ownership of homes, land, and other private property. If the "complications" don't reach "interesting" levels after the confiscations of the retirement funds they will when they start confiscating homes.

The "fiscal cliff" of next week is little more than a road turtle compared to the Grand Canyon at the end of the unfinished bridge our financial train is headed for at full speed and full power.

"Interesting" times are ahead.—Joe]

Quote of the day–David Hardy

I wonder why the pitch for signing omits the strongest reason: “pontificating, under-informed, supercilious twit, whose arrival here was in violation of the legal prohibitions against importing foreign insect pests.”

David Hardy
December 23, 2012
White House petition to deport Piers Morgan

Quote of the day—THElaughingMAN ‏@travis1100

@suscitate @crazytrkdriver2 @mooreguns Your a paranoid idiot then sad lifes scary with no gun i guess or just a tiny penis (most likely)

THElaughingMAN ‏@travis1100
Tweeted on November 26, 2012.
[It's another Markley’s Law Monday! Via a Tweet from Linoge.

Yeah, I know. I'm mining for diamonds in all the wrong places.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Al-750574

Semi automatic weapons have no business in a civilian’s possession. Hunters use rifles and bows not assault weapons so I think they would be agreeable. Time for a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

Ammunition will be registered and signed for just like sudafed in a drugstore. There will be a one time purchase limit per month unless exception made in advance. For all of you folks saying that won’t work; that it will cause a black market, you are right but we have to try otherwise we will be Gotham City in no time.

Al-750574
December 20, 2012
Comment to Boehner says House could consider Biden gun panel’s proposals
[Spoken like a true unicorn believing lefty. Shorter version, "I know it will be like prohibition with murderous gangs run by people worse than Al Capone. But we should do it anyway."

Hunters don't use semi-autos and will be agreeable?

That much stupidity and ignorance should be painful. But then perhaps they are so close to a vegetative state they don't feel pain anymore.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Brent Budowsky

Military-style assault weapons should be banned in ways that honor the Second Amendment…

Brent Budowsky
December 19, 2012
The NRA and the USA
[And:

  • Our governments should censor and ban religions in ways that honor the First Amendment.
  • The military should be housed in our private homes in ways that honor the Third Amendment.
  • The police should search and take money from random pedestrians in ways that honor the Fourth Amendment.
  • The police should beat confessions from suspects in ways that honor the Fifth Amendment.
  • Slave owners should treat their slaves in ways that honor the Thirteenth Amendment.

Brent buddy, You need to rethink things. Think about being gang raped in a way that honors your body then get back to me. It just doesn't work that way.—Joe]