Saturday, February 01, 2003

The NY Times reports that the VPC is making a push for the ban of all .50 caliber rifles, claiming that they are an ideal weapon for terrorists who wish to shoot down planes. They also have a press release stating that .50 caliber rifles are easier to buy than handguns. The press release is being used to promote a 'study' of theirs which supposedly shows the danger of rifles chambered from this cartridge to commercial aircraft.
The good folks over at have a few pages that attempt to counter some of the statements made by the VPC. Start here & at the bottom of the page there'll be other links that follow up on the subject.

Let's deal with just a couple of things from the VPC's 32 page 'study':

The VPC claims the sales are unregulated.

All firearms sales from a licensed dealer are regulated by the GCA of '68 & further by the Brady law. A background check from the FBI must be satisfied for the purchase of any rifle, including .50 caliber rifles.

The VPC claims that due to lax federal record keeping that the number of .50 caliber rifles in civilian hands is unknown.

Actually a federal law prohibits any kind of gun registration on the federal level. The purpose of this law is to keep the government from being in a position to easily disarm the populace. Whether or not you feel that such a law is necessary it is currently a law & the reason for not knowing who owns a firearm or how many specific types of firearms are in civilian hands. So it's not lax federal record keeping that is the cause of this, it's a law.

It is easier to purchase a .50 caliber rifle than it is to purchase a handgun.

Yes it is. However in only two specific ways: according to the GCA of '68 a handgun may not be purchased across state lines. It must be purchased in the state of residence of the buyer. The Brady law, I believe, amended the GCA of '68 to allow the purchase of rifles & shotguns across state lines. The other way handguns are more restricted is that handguns may be purchased only by persons 21 years old & over, where as the age restriction on long arms, which includes the .50 caliber rifles, is only 18.
To put this into perspective, say a terrorist wanted to buy a .50 caliber rifle through a gun store. He must be at least 18 & have a clean enough record to get by the FBI's background check. He must also be a U.S. resident & if not a citizen must have additional approval from several government agencies. Assuming he meets all the criteria he must have the $1,000 to $10,000 to purchase the model of rifle his heart desires, then lug the 35 lb. 4'+ package to wherever he's going.
For a handgun the terrorist must wait until he's 21 & may only purchase at a store in his state of residence & again, must meet all the above requirements. But he need only come up with $150 to $900 again, depending upon his model of choice & then slip it into a bag or pocket after he leaves the store.
The theory is that handguns should be more tightly regulated not because of their power, but because of their concealability. You notice when someone walks around with a 35 lb, 4'+ rifle in their pocket. The same is not true of a handgun. & again, the same background checks & criteria must be met for the purchase of either a handgun or a .50 caliber rifle. So the statement that .50 caliber rifles are easier to obtain than handguns is factually correct. However both are subject to the same background checks & other criteria which take the substance out of their effort to cause alarm over this fact.
& it should be pointed out that the VPC along with other gun control groups, pushed very hard for the passage of the Brady Bill, which instituted these F.B.I. background checks & have repeatedly made claims to their effectiveness in preventing arms from falling into the wrong hands. But it seems that the background checks they demanded are not sufficient for them in the case of .50 BMG rifles.

The VPC claims that such rifles have no sporting use & are a significant danger to commercial aircraft.

People have been using the .50 BMG cartridge chambered in bolt action & semi-automatic rifles for close to twenty years now. In the southwest they are extremely popular among target shooters who use them in competitions up to 2,000 yards. The VPC's assertion that they have no sporting use is false, & is a cleverly designed trap. The GCA of '68, which was written by Sen. Dodd, contains the sporting use test for the importation of arms. Actually the GCA of '68 wasn't the first law to use the sporting use test to determine eligibility for importation. In fact it seems that Senator Dodd lifted the entire language of the GCA of '68 from a Nazi law passed on March 18th of 1938. What the VPC attempts is to cause a debate over whether the .50 caliber rifles do in fact serve a sporting purpose. They obviously hope most will conclude that they do not, but therein lay the trap. If you get so caught up proving or disproving a particular arms sporting purpose, you will accept the sporting purpose clause as a legitimate test. In fact the Constitutions prohibition on the federal government from enacting any laws that interfere with an individuals' ability to own & possess weapons does not mention a sporting clause exception. In fact it asserts that the ownership of weapons is essential for a militia, & therefore it can be correctly assumed that military weapons, or weapons with a non sporting purpose, are the specific objects of protection. So to argue that a .50 caliber weapon has a sporting purpose is irrelevant, as sporting purpose is a clause in a law that is in direct contradiction to the U.S. Constitution.

The VPC's claims that the .50 caliber rifle presents a danger to civilian aircraft.

Again, this is a mis-statement of a fact designed to create a public outcry. A .50 caliber rifle is no danger to anything. A person with a criminal intent is a danger to almost anything.
As for a .50 caliber rifle being the ideal choice for taking out a plane or a helicopter, this is not necessarily the case.
In a purely military function where stealth & secrecy were not an issue, then a .50 caliber rifle could be used to disable aircraft on the ground. Disabling airplanes in flight is possible, but highly unlikely. More or less the plane would have to be coming right at you at a steep angle, say 15 degrees or so. Helicopters would be easier targets, but only if they too were fairly close to the ground & to the rifleman. But before you get to excited keep in mind that these rifles are heavy, designed to be shot from the ground, & fire a single projectile. Airplanes & helicopters travel at some altitude, & travel at a good speed. Skeet shooters aim at a clay target traveling at roughly 30 miles an hour. They use lightweight guns that propel multiple projectiles in a pattern which usually covers a 30 inch circle at 40 yards. They shoot at these targets from between 10 & 50 yards. It takes much practice to develop your skills where you would hit 50% of the targets you aim at. Aiming a 35 lb. rifle that fires a single projectile at a target moving 300+ miles an hour that's anywhere more than 25 yards distant is the epitome of optimism.
Were stealth to be a consideration, it would be much easier & much more effective to use a .30 caliber rifle, similar to the one your granddaddy hunted deer with. They would be just as effective in piercing the aircrafts covering as a .50 BMG rifle, & much easier to move into & out of concealment with. The VPV doesn't mention that a commercial aircraft has a relatively thin covering & that some BB guns could penetrate it.

Again though, we are left with not whether a weapon is dangerous, but whether the owner of said weapon is dangerous. Were the VPC to get their legislative wish then the .50 BMG would pose just as credible a threat to aircraft as it does now. But law abiding civilians would not only be denied a source of enjoyment through extremely long range target shooting, the states respectively would be denied a tool in the hands of their militias.

This push by the VPC for the ban of a particular type of arm is merely a step in pushing for a ban of all civilian possessed arms. They are attempting to create a fear in the public of a rifle that has been legal to own ever since it's creation. & the methods they use, both in the media & in the legislature, will be used again & again until no one owns arms outside of the military & police. The VPC even has a site devoted to the ban of all handguns in civilian possession. It would be illogical to assume that anything short of a complete & total ban on all civilian firearms would appease them. 'Assault weapons' were the first step, then .50 caliber rifles. 'Junk guns', or 'saturday night specials' would be next, followed by all handguns & ultimately all arms.

Friday, January 31, 2003

This isn't exactly current news, but I thought it'd be worth devoting some space. Keep in mind that due to the nature of this blog, no attempt was made to contact any of the concerned parties. Although having a party for the concerned might have merit. Better yet, a party for the unconcerned.

I happened upon this some time ago in The Federal Observer. The story originated it seems in the Walkerville Weekly Reader. At first I was a little skeptical of the authenticity of the article so I decided to check out the NAACP's website. Under their archived press releases I did find a link entitled
but the link was a cyber dead end.
So the date was right, the topic seemed right, but the link no longer existed. Hmmm.
When in doubt, consult the enemy. The Violence Policy Center, that bastion of misrepresentation, mistruth, & misconception did have a copy of the original complaint filed by the NAACP in the United States District Court in New York. I cannot find the link currently on the VPC website, but the URL shows it is still in their archives. I also happened upon a copy of the NAACP press release thanks to some diligent copy & pasting over at The Federal Observer.

Now the obviously humorous part of the story involves the KKK filing the amicus curiae in support of the NAACP, but of note is what appeared on the NAACP website a few years later. The question asked on a poll was, "Have the recent sniper shootings changed your mind about gun control?" Granted, polls are polls & not exactly a concrete indicator of anything except that a poll was conducted, but it is curious that out of twenty-one responses two were neutral & three were for more gun control. That's 10% neutral, 15% for, & 75% against more gun control. Let's assume for a moment that this very unscientific method reflects the feelings of the NAACP's members overall. That would mean an organization that filed a lawsuit in order to put most small gun stores out of business & put very strict conditions upon any dealers left in business, as well as seeking unspecified monetary damages, did so with 3/4 of its members not in favor of gun control. & because of said lawsuit the NAACP has refused to do anything to support an individuals', even a black individuals' right to own & posses weapons.
Goes to show ya, the NAACP, like some other civil rights groups such as the ACLU give their full & unequivocal support to the nine amendments in the Bill of Rights.
More on the Toledo man raided by the BATF.
As usual the press seems to only feel the need to report one side of the story. For the heck of it let's point out some examples of errors in reporting:
The first is that it seems no attempt was made to obtain Mr. Kirk's side of the story. This is a glaring omission in the light of quotes from the Toledo policeman & Mr. Kirk's neighbor.
The reporter makes mention of Normal Capacity magazines (usually called High Capacity, even though they typically were designed to hold a certain number of rounds by the factory) & states that they are illegal. But instead of explaining the law concerning them (they’re only illegal if manufactured after a certain date under federal law) or mentioning if it's a federal, state, or local law that prohibits them, a quote is given from the Toledo policeman explaining the supposed dangers of magazines that hold a large number of rounds. The statement by the officer is a bit dramatic, but depends heavily upon "what if" to justify the reason these magazines are "dangerous". Assuming that the magazines were in fact capable of holding 90 rounds per magazine, in order for the policeman’s' fear to be realized, the owner of the magazines must first convert the weapon which the magazines were designed for from semi automatic to full automatic, then shoot at some seemingly innocent person.
The reporter does make mention that the guns the BATF were looking for were not found as part of the raid, but instead of questioning why Mr. Kirk was held & why his property was confiscated he attempts to justify the suspicions of Mr. Kirk as a dangerous subversive by making reference to some seemingly ambiguous writing Mr. Kirk had lying around his home.

"He talked about Ruby Ridge, Waco, employee shootings in factories where somebody apparently went in and shot up a factory, fellow employees or managers or whatever, Tim McVeigh. He talked about the presidential shooting outside the White House. He called it the White House shooter,' said Allen."

If you read the above carefully you will see that in these notes that Detective Allen mentions none make any specific mention of evil intent. In fact, there seems to be no intent at all. It does not say what aspects or even what opinion Mr. Kirk had of these subjects only that he "talked about" them. The only specific reference to anything is that he "...talked about the presidential shooting outside the White House. He called it the White House shooter." That seems about as damning as calling the shootings in the D.C. area last fall the D.C. Sniper Shootings. In general the reporter & Detective seem to be attempting to damn Mr. Kirk by implication even though he seems to have said nothing particularly damning. Last I heard there was a constitutionally recognized right to talk & even write about any number of subjects & it was also commonly believed that should an opinion one way or the other on the above subjects been expressed that would have been constitutionally protected as well, as long as there was no intent of committing any harmful action.
If Mr. Kirk's writings would have been an analysis of what the criminals involved in some of the shootings did wrong, coupled with a plan to commit a crime correctly based on the same scenarios, & having a reasonable belief that Mr. Kirk intended to carry out those plans then perhaps the reporter would have been correct in reporting the writings of Mr. Kirk. But given the above all that was reported were the constitutionally acknowledged & protected writings of Mr. Kirk.
The quote by the neighbor seems to be in the same vein: trying to damn by implication rather than by fact. The neighbor is expressing an opinion about the need for Mr. Kirk or anyone to have a certain amount of property. Until a lot of laws change there is nothing illegal about owning or possessing a certain number of items, or a certain amount of property. There are many different reasons for people owning a large amount of arms, some of which the majority of use would deem legitimate. Gun collecting for example: just trying to own one copy of every arm used by the allies in WW2 would make a considerable collection, especially if one considers all the variants of certain types of weapons. Also some target shooting requires multiple firearms, & to be a truly consummate hunting aficionado, one must have several weapon types for the main categories of game to be pursued ( i.e. a .22 rimfire rifle &/or pistol for small game, a .22 centerfire rifle for varmints, a medium bore centerfire rifle/pistol for large game, a shotgun for fowling, etc... ). however the most compelling argument against using a quote like this in a news story is simply that it's no ones damned business if a person has 2 guns or 200 guns as long as he commits no crimes of violence with them. But the reporter in question throws in the quote to legitimize the idea that Mr. Kirk had an excessive amount of weapons & by questioning his reasons for having that many weapons it is implied that there can be no good purpose in owning an 'arsenal'. This tactic becomes very obvious as a means to prejudice the reader against something the reporter dislikes if one substitutes the word 'books' for 'guns'

"Well, I don't think anybody needs to have that many [books] to be honest with you. What's the sense of having that many [books]?" said Leslie Beavers, a neighbor.

Most people would find that a ridiculous statement to be quoted in a report about any police activity in this country. But guns have been demonized fairly effectively by the media in this country, so as long as the correct noun is used few would question the inclusion of an obviously biased opinion about an inanimate object.

"According to detectives, Kirk told police he was a gun dealer. But, court records show he was only a dealer between 1989 to 1992"
In a strictly grammatical sense Mr. Kirk was not dishonest in his statement. He said he was a gun dealer not that he currently is, & the next sentence verifies that he was a gun dealer. Although this could be just a misunderstanding of what Mr. Kirk meant, it could also be that he meant he is currently a gun dealer. But since the reporter did not contact Mr. Kirk to verify anything that was said, let alone get his side of the story, we can't be certain.

"He faces three felony charges because of the guns found in the house...Police say the also found 16 boxes of ammunition and magazines that hold 90 rounds, which are illegal...Agents did not locate the exact guns they were looking for, but they found the illegal gun parts, and some strange notes written by Kirk...Police charged Kirk with receiving stolen property because one of the guns came back as stolen. He's also charged with two counts of "possession of a dangerous ordinance" for the illegal magazines...And, police say he did not have handgun identification cards for the weapons found in his home."
This is a compilation of what the reporter claims Mr. Kirk did in violation of the law. Let's take them one at a time shall we?

"He faces three felony charges because of the guns found in the house."

Now that would mean he did 3 things that were illegal, but let's add up all the allegations:
1. One of the guns is assumed to be stolen, & he's been charged with receiving stolen property.
2. The magazines were illegal, presumably under federal law, but possibly under state or local law.
3. Since two "illegal" magazines were found, that's one count for each magazine
4. He did not have Handgun Identification Cards for the weapons found in his home. But the article made no mention of charges being filed for this reason.
5. Mention was made of 'strange notes' found in his home. This is not a crime, but the context implies something less than honorable in his having them.
6. There were 16 boxes of ammunition found. Again, nothing illegal or even uncommon, but it implies some nefarious purpose.
7. Police seized 30 guns from his home including a .22 derringer, a 9mm Uzi, some pistols & several high powered rifles. It is perfectly legal to own all the above as well as to own 30 or more firearms.

So even though Mr. Kirk was only charged with 3 crimes, 7 things were mentioned that at least imply some sort of wrongdoing, even though the actions weren't necessarily illegal.

The 16 boxes of ammunition mentioned in the story is really an inadequate description. First of all no mention is made of the size of the boxes, or the amount of ammunition in each box. It could have been 16 boxes of .22 LR ammunition with one cartridge of ammunition in each box. Or it could have been 16 boxes measuring 10'x10' filled to the brim with ammunition. There simply aren't any details to go on, only the vague sense that the reporter felt that 16 boxes of ammo was excessive. Actually for a 30 gun collection, 16 boxes are not unusual. In fact I know people who shoot competitively & they go through several 10's of thousands of rounds per year. It is not unheard of to have several thousand rounds of ammo on hand, especially if you have a weapon chambered in a caliber that is massed produced. Just like at Wal-Mart, buying in bulk is a lot cheaper for some of us.

Again, as a factual matter, I was wondering if anyone has ever seen a "25-millimeter pistol'? The reporter mentions a plurality of them. I am sure that .25 caliber pistols were found, but if someone has invented a pistol firing a bullet with a one inch diameter, please let me know. & please let me know if anyone has been crazy enough to attempt to fire it!

The above critique doesn't go into too much detail of the arrest & charges, but mainly concerns the lax reporting, or possibly the reporting with an agenda.
As far as the charges themselves:
If the magazines are illegal according to federal law, then the law should be struck down. As I will keep repeating until everyone can say it with me, “federal gun laws are constitutionally prohibited". If they are state or local then what you have is a law that makes possession of an inanimate object which by itself is fairly harmless an illegal activity. I'll expand on the reasons why this is wrong in other posts, but to keep this one brief I'll just say that it does hurt the efficiency of the militia & is contradictory to state & local interests.
If a gun was stolen & it can be proved that Mr. Kirk knew the gun was stolen then it's a legitimate charge, although something I'll get to in a minute may invalidate it.
Mr. Kirk's lack of a handgun identification card is not something I would call a crime. I assume that Ohio's handgun registration/permit system has the same racist roots that most other states registration/permit systems have, which does not endear the idea in general to me. But most people see no problem with having this last offspring of Jim Crow alive & well. Briefly any laws requiring registration or permission to obtain a gun or a type of gun are again harmful to state & local interests concerning the arming of the militia & since they impose conditions on the exercise of a right they should have been nullified by a court long ago.
The main thing that I notice is that the BATF obtained a search warrant to look for "illegal" machine guns. Not considering that this is enforcement of a federal gun law (everyone together now - federal guns laws are constitutionally prohibited”) it seems that despite not finding what they were looking for, they confiscated arms as well as writings. I would ascertain that since the objects specified in the search warrant were not found, then they had no authority to confiscate other objects that were not specified in the warrant. The idea is that when a search warrant is obtained, the place to be searched & the items to be searched for are to be clearly stated. If in the course of searching for something, say heroine, you come across something else that is obviously illegal, say marijuana, it is reasonable to confiscate the marijuana even though it was not specified in the warrant. However, if looking for heroine you also find a shoe, it is not permissible to confiscate said shoe.
So the agents of the BATF did not find the items specified on the warrant. That did not stop them from confiscating property which is not illegal to posses, such as firearms & writings. Therefore the admission of any of the non specified items into evidence should be denied. As to the magazines, federal law prohibits possession if they are manufactured after a certain date. State or local law may prohibit them completely, but no details of the law are mentioned, so we'll assume it's federal. Magazines manufactured after a certain date are marked "LEO Only" along with the date of manufacture. Since it is not mentioned if the magazines in question were marked in that manner, we'll assume that they weren't, which means that they were not in fact illegal to posses, the obvious question of legality of the law aside. (One more time,” federal gun laws are constitutionally prohibited) Also the question of how they were found should be brought up. Even if they were illegal to posses according to federal state or local law, if they were inserted into a weapon that was not the subject of the warrant, then prying to determine their legal status could be viewed as going beyond the bounds of the warrant. If the reporter would have been more thorough, perhaps we would have enough information to intelligent dissect these questions.

Now keep in mind that this story mentions nothing about "obstruction official business" or being charged with not having a handgun owners identification card as is mentioned in the previous story.

So the errors in reporting have been noted except for one: why didn't the reporter question any action on the part of the Law Enforcement Officials? They seemed to confiscate a large amount of property that was not material to any charges against Mr. Kirk, & even alluded a sinister nature to the property that he legally held. & while they did mention that the articles being searched for according to the search warrant were not found, no question was made of confiscating Mr. Kirk's property anyway.

233 years ago a revoltuion started brewing in this country with the help of the press over incidents much like this one. I do not prepose that the press should currently incite people to arms, but I would suggest that they report things fairly & point out wrongdoing on the part of the government.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Attorney General Ashcroft has stated that Bush's federal gun law enforcement program is a success. I wonder if A.G. Ashcroft has heard of the Cato Institute or what they have to say about Project Exile/Safestreets?
I never expect much from the media, the mainstream media at least, concerning firearms related issues, so I can't say I am suprised that the only conflicting position that was offered in the article concerned the harshness of the sentences. Still, i think it'd be nice if they were to call Larry Pratt of GOA or Aaron Zelman of JPFO every now & then to get an alternet perspective.
Seems that Project Exile, a federal gun law enforcement program backed by the NRA, may be a tough sell in Baltimore.
The Cato Institute claims in a study published in MAY of 2002 that " is unconstitutional, wreaks havoc on federal courts, allows prosecutorial mischief affecting the racial composition of juries, and will likely lead to a mindless "zero tolerance" policy for technical infractions of gun laws. The report also shows that Second Amendment rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, are wrong to support the plan."

Of course if one keeps the constitution in mind, then "Federal Gun law" would be in the running with "Military Intelligence" & "Batfe as a member of the Justice Department".
Seems some people are wondering what changes will occur in the BATF now that they're the BATFE & under the Justice Department instead of the Treasury department now.
But the people mentioned in the article needn't worry. I'm sure that Ashcroft will not hinder the BATFE in their pursuit of non violent gun owners even when they haven't commited any crimes.
Although it does bring a question to mind.Which is the more blatant contradiction in terms: Military Intelligence or the BATFE as a member of the Justice Department?
& speaking of Animal rights Orwellian style....

" These rules are based on good welfare. We don't want to come across as the nanny state, but the important thing is to see pigs happy in their environment and they like to forage with their noses."

The Government is not ready to recommend specific toys, however, because they know of no firm manufacturing playthings for pigs. "

It seems that the BATF have led another heroic raid that not only violated a citizens rights, but resulted in two misdemeanors.
As the folks at put it "Reminds one of the nazis. 'The Jew was charged with not wearing the Star of David to identify him as a Jew."

I thought I saw something on this the other day but I cannot find the appropriate link.
Regardless i still find the logic used to justify the practice of criminally penalizing gun owners for mere possesion a bit reminiscent of Animal Farm, where the Pigs keep changing the laws to suit their needs. What is really amazing is that in Animal Farm only the pigs could read so the changes in law were not easily verified as they would simply erase the old laws & write the new ones in their stead.
Most of us can read but that apparently hasn't made much of a difference. In Animal farm they just erased the old laws & wrot enew ones to justify their behaviour. here it seems they don't bother erasing the old laws to write new ones that justify their behaviour, they just explain how the new laws & old laws don't conflict, usually because the old laws don't mean what they say.

Ah, Orwellian analogies. possibly a true sign of paranoia you say? I say it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you.
This is a letter I wrote to a reporter who wrote about a domestic violence incident. Ms. Jameson is the Charlotte Observers pop music writer

On guilt & abuse...

Ms. Jameson,
I no longer live in Charlotte, but I grew up there & in between gigs it was my home for a long time.
I still have family & friends out there & to tell ya the truth I still miss the Double Door on Monday nights. Assuming Les Moore & the gang are still there, I'd recommend going if you haven't already.
I tell you all this for no apparent reasons that I can think of, except to explain why I happened across your story & that I'm familiar with the area & its people.

I understand from the tone of your article you are glad that the victims' were able to get the better of their attackers, but feel guilty because it resulted in their deaths.
This is something I have felt at times & have noticed in others. As a human, subject to all the emotional twists that come with drawing breath, I can understand how you feel. I can't say I didn't feel the same way myself, especially when I was younger.
One of the biggest problems I see though, with peoples views about this kind of thing is that sometimes one misplaces pity & that more or less tricks you into feeling sorry for the aggressor, or feeling guilty if you don't.
It is the same kind of emotional response that causes many people to oppose gun ownership or use: the rationale being that since guns are used to kill women in domestic violence that they should be outlawed.
But as you pointed out restraining orders don't help. Usually if the man doesn't have a gun that doesn't make him any less lethal than if he had a firearm. As your story pointed out, the one man had a baseball bat & it could have just as easily been a large stick he found. The point is as equal as women may be when it comes to most things, physically few women are equal to men & any contest of strength is usually going to favor the man.
The obvious solution seems to escape most people, that being that women should be armed & trained in the use of weapons as this is the only thing that can equalize the odds. In all honesty, a 200lb 6'2" man with a gun is usually no more of a threat than a 120lb 5'2" woman with a gun. & to tell you the truth if I was on a battlefield & had to choose between the two to face as an enemy I'd pick the man - he'd make a bigger target.
But arms are only tools & the real determining factor is not who is better equipped, but who has more desire. You can have the most reliable, accurate pistol available but that won't do you much good if you hesitate to use it when you have to.
This brings us back to the main reason I wrote you: attitudes.
I believe what you feel is a modern phenomenon. I'm sure it happened here & there but I doubt many people 100 or 1,000 years ago would have felt any guilt over being glad an attempted murderer was dead. I have not delved too deeply into the reasons, but the guilt over defending yourself seems to be much more common now, & seems to grow more common with each new generation.
Another thing I feel is different is best exemplified in a quote from your article

"An S.C. law allows the use of deadly force to protect your life or that of another, said Detective Marc Kitts."

Now this has varied a bit over the centuries, but it is also a fairly recent attitude. Not that the State grants permission for defense, but that the State would presume it was in a place to grant that permission.

I spend a lot of time trying to defend my rights. It started several years back when I noticed all the gun laws & prohibitions & from there it grew to a deeper understanding of rights & power & a whole bunch of other topics I wish I didn't have to deal with.
Basically what I have learned is that the concept of inherent rights, or natural rights, or God-given rights started to evolve a few thousand years back. The idea is that they exist naturally in humans but only become noticeable when they are threatened, & it wasn't until governments started governing did many people notice their existence, let alone what they meant.
To make it brief (or as brief as I can) the people who started this country placed a lot of value on rights. Some were collective true, but some were individual & of these are the inherent ones. The governments they set up attempted to restrict governmental interference with these inherent rights, to a point & for a while at least.
Self defense is one of those inherent rights. It is necessary to defend yourself, your family, your community, your state as well as your country. Even if that means the taking of life, & even if that life is human.
An integral part of this right is being able to own, possess & use weapons. To an extent they are the great equalizers. They make a 72 year old woman as formidable to attack as a 25 year old man. Until we reach a point where not only criminals are eliminated from society, but governments are incapable of oppression or war, then weapons will be necessary.
So my point is that it is disturbing to see it reported that government allows you to defend yourself. Self defense was a right long before any governments sprung up, & the general idea is that government cannot regulate or prohibit a right it did not create. & it burns me up to see anyone presume to dictate the terms of you being allowed to defend yourself. NC's requirement of a permit with a fee to carry a weapon is of a particularly insulting nature to people who value freedom. It's depressing that people would try to justify that particular practice & ones like it, but such is the attitude of people today.

I know how you feel because I have felt that way too. But you shouldn't feel guilt over being glad that man is dead. Neither should you feel exuberant joy over his death. Be glad that his victims lived. & take hope that maybe this will spark a revolution in attitudes.
From the time I was an early teenager I had women friends who would get abused in some form. It'd always break my heart when they'd go back to the guy & get beat up again. & occasionally when they'd try to get away the guy wouldn't leave them alone.
Part of the solution would be in educating women to see what their situation is & to learn the warning signs, or at least (as there sometimes are no warning signs) get the hell out when things go downhill. But most importantly I would hope women would learn that they must take care of themselves. Even when it comes to self defense, & even if it comes down to deadly force.
Women who defend themselves & kill their assailant may feel the guilt that you do. They may have a tough time dealing with those emotions. That I'm afraid is probably a by product of the generations that we have, which are in some cases a bit too pampered in my opinion. But I guarantee that it is easier to deal with those emotions than it would be to deal with the emotions resulting from being raped or maimed. & it is definitely preferable to deal with those emotional difficulties resulting from self defense than it is to die.
& there are some positive effects for the community as well as the individual if women were to start fighting back. How many of those domestic homicides you referred to in the article would have happened if the women would have been armed & mentally prepared to defend themselves? Probably the same number, but the difference would have been that not all of the victims would have been fatalities. Face it, if the Klan knew they'd have had two or three of their 'cross burning social club' riddled with buckshot every time they lit a match on someone’s' lawn, cross burnings would have been a short lived fad. It’s the same with domestic violence. Granted, it'd take a complete social evolution to totally eliminate it, but start treating the women who do defend their selves as positive role models & have every other session of the support group put in some time at the range & the guys ( & women ) who do feel the urge to beat up their ex will think twice about it.

So while I do understand what you feel, I thought you should know of an alternate viewpoint. I don't sympathize with the assailant & my only regret is that a potentially decent human being made some very wrong decisions & justifiably ( in many senses ) met his demise. Yes, it'd be nice if he had gotten some form of rehab & started making more intelligent decisions, but 'what ifs' & "contemplation" & "wishing it didn't happen" & "wishing it'd just go away" & "marches" & "vigils" & "restraining orders" & "having 911 on speed dial" won't save your life if your ex-boyfriend decides to take out x years of some complex out on you. Being prepared mentally & physically to defend yourself will. Being armed wouldn't hurt. Understanding it's your responsibility & no one else’s will help. Understanding it's your right should be mandatory.

I hope you see that killing in & of itself isn't wrong, or even right. It just is. & sometimes, as in the example you wrote of, it's necessary. I don't think I'm callous for feeling the way I do. I just think it is sometimes better to over-ride emotions with logic. Not all the time, but sometimes it is necessary for our own survival. Emotions after all do make us human, but it is logic that allows us to survive.

Forgive the rambling nature of this. I am too used to explaining very simple concepts in very elaborate terms for the sake of clarity to even pretend being capable of writing a short letter.

I think you for your time & if explaining any part of my particular viewpoint in more depth would help you in any way, feel free to write.

Take care,

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

What do you think the people that started this country would think if they came back & saw what we’ve done with the country they started?
After reading this I bet there first question would be, “So when did the British re-conquer the States?”
Admittedly I’m no scholar but I do read. From what I have read about Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Franklin, etc. I’m sure they’d be more than a little surprised to find a persons property being confiscated by the state while being charged with possession of arms & patrolling the border. I bet they’d be more surprised that we let this happen.
The Constitution is simply a document that constructs a federal government. In doing so it establishes what power the federal government will have & most importantly it limits federal government to having only the specific powers granted in the Constitution. Just to be on the safe side the Bill of Rights spells out certain things that the federal government is never supposed to do.
One of these things that the Constitution does not grant power over & specifically prohibits is the interference with the right to own & possess weapons. The reason for this is stated in the first part of the Second Article to the Bill Of Rights, better known as the Second Amendment. That reason being to encourage a militia. But yet we find that today, a mere 214 years later, that the laws of the united States, the U.S. Code has a whole section devoted to firearms regulations. Title 18 Chapter 44 contains all the federal firearms laws.
Somehow there is a discrepancy between Article 2 of the Bill of Rights & Title 18 Chapter 44 of the U.S. Code. In any event the gentlemen in question have been charged with carrying arms in contradiction to federal law. I’m sure this is just some kind of oversight that can be resolved by looking at the language of the constitution. Our friends at JPFO have even provided this in case language is a problem. You gotta admit that anyone who would translate the Bill Of Rights into Hebrew, Japanese, Arabic & Russian is dedicated. But the simplified Chinese shows they are very serious about getting the message out!
It seems though that just a simple re-read of the Constitution would settle the question, but there has been much debate about exactly what those 27 words actually mean. The courts have been little help & the one time friend of freedom, the Press, has abandoned us as well, either remaining neutral or supporting the ‘collective rights’ interpretation which states the Constitution only prohibits the federal government from disarming the National Guard.
In very simple terms the Second Article to the Bill of Rights means the federal government can pass no laws prohibiting the possession or ownership of arms by an individual because armed individuals are necessary to keep a State free.
Enter G.W. Bush. Contrary to many past administrations he has shifted the idea from the Second Article in the Bill of Rights being a collective right to an individual right. Republicans cheered. The NRA cheered. Gun owners relaxed.
But what they failed to hear was that Bush didn’t just say that owning & possessing arms was an individual Right, but it was a right subject to “reasonable” restrictions.
Republicans didn’t hear. The NRA asked for more money & cheered. Gun owners were too relaxed to notice.
In fact the Bush administration, through Attorney General Ashcroft, has asked the Supreme Court not to hear two very significant firearms cases: one being an appeal of the Emerson case, another being an appeal of the Haney case. & in the case of poor Mr. Bean Ashcrofts Justice Department argued in favor of upholding a federal gun law as well as defending congressional neglect in a process of appeal. & our highest friends, those on the Supreme Court, ruled that because Congress stopped funding for an appeal process, that didn't amount to a denial of an appeal, & went on to say that the BATF, not the courts were in a better position to determine who should own & possess arms. Republicans didn't care about a 'felon'. The NRA asked for more money & cheered. Gun owners were taking a nap.
Unfortunately most people are so used to the idea of federal gun laws that few noticed the lack of media attention given to the aforementioned cases. Fewer still noticed Bush’s qualifications of a constitutional prohibition. I hope the gentlemen in Arizona fight this in court, but I would not be surprised if a plea bargain is arranged.

Monday, January 27, 2003

The subject of rights is what I'll be focusing on. Or perhaps the rights of the subject. It's all a matter of perspective.
Many things I will say & type will seem strange, especially to those whose educational requirements were mandated by the state. The government's schools of neccesity teach a view that emphasizes the governments power, even if that comes at the expense of the people. Some of what I do will be geared toward correcting that. Some will be geared toward showing you how to correct it yourself. the rest will be my attempts to formulate the views I have into a concise unified form. I am in the process of enlisting others to help or hinder me as the case may be. Any feedback is welcome, especially corrections. Just e-mail me.

There will be a prize in the form or written congratulations to the first person who deciphers the meaning of my name, and a bonus congrats if the historical contexts of said name ( or written name as the case may be ) is discovered.

I guess this is it. Let the blogging begin.