Friday, March 21, 2003

Daryl Scott, whose daughter was murdered at Columbine, speaks at a Va. auditorium. Unlike Tom Mauser who has used his child's death at Columbine to call for stricter gun control, Mr. Scott claims gun control is not the answer: personal responsibility & being kind are.
Unfortunately Mr. Scott's worthwhile message doesn't fit into the anti-gun agenda of the mainstream press as well as Mauser's does.
An article from which deals with the NAACP lawsuit against gun manufacturers. It goes into a little detail about the judge whom the NAACP earnestly sought to preside.

This is a brief overview of the NAACP court case.

Robert Ricker has been enlisted as a witness for the NAACP in their case.
Ricker filed an affidavit on behalf of cities & counties in California who had attempted to sue various gun manufacturers. Despite his 'insider testimony' the suit was dismissed.

For background on Ricker, look here & here.

Look here for previous posts concerning the NAACP's court case against gun manufacturers, including the amicus curiae filed by the Klu Klux Klan on behalf of the NAACP.

Of note is that the NAACP has went to great effort to have a judge known for his anti-gun bias preside over the case, the NAACP has attempted to disqualify the plantiff's attorneys by calling them as witnesses, & the judge has decided the jury will serve only in an advisory capacity leaving him to make the final decisions on liability & remedy.

Keep in mind the lawsuit seeks a judgement against the manufacturer of a legal product (which undergoes strict federal, state & local regulations) because said product has been misused in crimes by purchasers who are 2 to 3 times removed from the plantiffs in the lawsuit. gun manufacturers sell their products to distributors, who in turn sell to federally licensed (and sometimes state & locally licensed) gun dealers who then sell the product to consumers who pass certain criteria ( background check, permit to purchase arms, etc...). It is not that different than suing a steel plant because the steel they produced was used in a car part that was used in a car that was stolen.
The NAACP suit, & similar ones are nothing more than attempts to control an industry through the judiciary rather than the legislature. The reason for this is that they keep failing to enact the strict anti-gun laws they desire, so they use lawsuits to achieve the same effect. It's much easier to convince a sympathetic jury consisting of only 12 people, (or a sympathetic judge in the NAACP's case) than it is to convince 270 members of Congress.

Two members of the citizen border patrol group Ranch Rescue have been arrested by Texas Rangers due to accusations from two illegal immigrants that they were pistol-whipped.

This is from Sierra Times. It's an account of citizen patrols on the border encountering large groups of illegals & receiving little support from the Border Patrol. It's written by Chris Simcox, editor of the Tombston Tumbleweed.

This is an article from the Washington Times which reports that the senate seems to find fault with border security. However they seem to be placing the blame on faulty operations at entry points. They mention nothing of the hundreds of miles of unchecked border in which there are no security checkpoints.

But the solution does not seem to be increasing patrols along the U.S./Mexico border, nor is it supporting the individuals who do so out of a sense of necessity. It obviously involves arresting Canadians who live on border towns & dash across the border for cheap gas. After all, if Canadians started buying up our remaining fuel supplies, such as this one did, we'd be in worse trouble than if hundreds of terroists slipped into the country with chemical & biological weapons via Mexico.

Look here for previous blogs about the state of our borders.

Update: the CIA says several Iraqi's who may be carrying chemical weapons are being hunted in Mexico. Meanwhile Mexican officials deny a search for Iraqi terrorists is being conducted in Mexico.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

That bastion of unbiased, accurate reporting, The Rocky Mountain News, has announced in an article that gun rights in Colorado have expanded. In typical Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post fashion, the article consisted of a statement & comments from one side of the issue. The gist of it was that Gov. Owens signed two bills into law which 'expanded' gun rights, the Governor explained why he signed them into law, & Tom Mauser wasn't happy because this will inevitably lead to more violence. & yes, in case you're wondering Columbine was mentioned twice.

Leaving the impeccable journalism aside, what happened is the Governor signed into law two bills that the legislature had passed: one standardizing a shall issue concealed carry permit system, & the other 'taking away' some 'local control' over rights pertaining to firearms.

The pre-emption law is a good first step, but it still leaves cities & counties too much latitude. To be optimistic though, not nearly as much as they had before. The government of Denver is unhappy about it & has vowed to fight it tooth & nail.

The other bill is merely a standardization of shall issue concealed carry permit laws across the state. I really do not see what the anti-gun groups are getting upset about. This new CCW law is in most ways the same or worse than the old system we had. RMGO provides an overview of the new CCW law & how it differs from the old one. If you'll note only 3 things are more lenient than the old law: the maximum time to issue or deny a permit; legalized concealed carry in a vehicle w/o a permit; & reciprocity to states that recognize a Colorado CCW.
Having a 90 day time limit is not something I see as an improvement. To be honest I am not positive what the old time limit was, but I seem to remember it was 30 or 45 days. I could be mistaken.
Reciprocity to other states is something the old system lacked.
Legalized concealed carry in a vehicle w/o a permit is already a part of state law, but one which the courts have interpretated into being almost ineffective.

The pre-emption law is good news, if it's seen as a first step. The CCW law however is a compromise in the finest NRA traditions & one which we could have lived without.
And to be completely fair, even if a genuinely better CCW permit bill would have became law, I would still be dissatisfied. Any law that says you must have a permit, pay a fee, & beg for governmental permission in order to exercise a Right is contradictory to the Right itself. For a more detailed look into my hardcore views on Rights, please browse the 'Publicola's Previous Blogs by Category' section on the left.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

A friend of mine led me to a publication by The Communitarian Network entitled The Case for Domestic Disarmament. It argues that the then current proposed gun control measures were not the answer: disarming the entire civilian populace was.

David B. Kopel & Christopher C. Little of the Independance Institute offer Communitarians, NeoRepublicans & Guns: Assessing the Case for Firearms Prohibition in response to the previously linked paper.

I would recommend reading both when time permits, as they are lengthy. I would especially recommend those who do not believe there are factions that do see total civilian disarmament as a goal to read both of these documents very carefully.

"...Moreover, unlike drug rehabilitation, prison construction, and the training of more cops, domestic disarmament can be rapidly implemented." Amitai Etzioni
A Texas Sheriff warns of unidentified troops near the border.

For previous a blog concerning our borders please look here.

To listen to Larry Pratt's Livefire interview of Jack Foote, head of Ranch Rescue look here for part 1, here for part 2, & here for part 3.
To listen to Larry Pratt's Livefire interview of Chris Simcox, editor of the Tombstone Tumbleweed look here. Mr. Simcox advertised for citizen volunteers to patrol the border.
& you thought 'Enemy of the State' was just a movie. An article called, " Smile for the satellites, suspect" by David Chernicky of The Daily Press examines the increasing use of GPS technology by police.
The Empire Needs New Clothes by Thom Hartmann. Summation: It's about oil, but not in the way you might think.
Note to conservatives: read it with an open mind.
Note to liberals: don't read into it vindication for demonizing a particular president.
Note to libertarians: No notes actually, I just didn't want ya'll to feel left out. You've probably known about this theory for a while anyway.
An article discussing current & future privacy violating... er, I mean airline security measures.
Take Personal Responsibility For Your Own Damn Liberty by Sean Haugh. It's mainly about some conflicts within the Libertarian Party but a good read nontheless.
It amazes me how unbiased, fair & even handed The Rocky Mountain News can be. This is an article about lawmakers & law enforcers urging the Governor to veto the pre-emption bill that just passed the legislature last week.
Again, very little was said about the pro-pre-emption side. As a matter of fact, the only thing that was said in support of pre-emption was that it would make the laws across the state unifrom conerning weapons. That was the last sentence of the second paragragh. The rest of the article was devoted to voicing the reasons for vetoing the bill. Mike Patty of The Rocky Mountain News wrote the article.
Wasn't it Glenn Reynolds who said that it was sad when a news story can be turned into a press release for an activist organization with minimal change?

What they aren't saying is that this pre-emption bill would be a first step in declaring that the Right to Arms is not subject to a city or county's whim. They fail to mention the Denver law which allows seizure of your weapon & automobile if a firearm is found inside of it. They don't dare bring up that they'd prefer you to be raped in killed in Denver than to shoot a rapist/murderer & take him out of circulation. They forget to mention that if citizens started to take their defense & the defense of their communities seriously then the cops wouldn't be quite as necessary. Or more accurately, the illusion of police necessity would be shattered if citizens realize they can & should defend themselves instead of being on hold for a 911 operator while they get stabbed.
Denver, a few other cities, & the police chiefs want you to depend totally upon the state & the city for your protection, even though they cannot provide it. This bill directly challenges their authority & a little thing like respecting the peoples' Rights won't stop them from trying to eliminate it. & thanks to the Rocky Mountain News & Mike Patty, that particular truth will be replaced by fictions designed to convince you of their good intentions.

Wasn't the press on our side once?
In Canada there seems to be a lot of citizen support for citizen self defense. Mr. Shand King is being charged with numerous offenses in connection with his shooting at thieves that broke into his business. To add insult to injury, the authorites have dropped charges against one of the robbers in exchange for testimony against Mr. King.
But the good people of Canada are contributing to his defense fund.

"A trust fund in support of a storekeeper who allegedly shot at would-be thieves is growing by leaps and bounds, says an anti-gun registry advocate.
'The support is good and there has been quite a bit of action,' said Jim Turnbull, president of the Canadian Unregistered Firearms Owners' Association."

Unregistered Firearms Owners Association. & we make fun of Canadians? For some more info on Canada's attempts to register firearms ( got a little ahead of myself) please look here.
In California they're trying to pass a bill that would charge a ten cent tax per round or component of ammunition. Of course, cops are exempt.

"...For purposes of this section, "munition" means a projectile
with its fuse, propelling charge, or primer fired from a weapon, or
any of the individual components thereof..."

I'm not sure what the going rate is in Cali but in Colorado Federal 210 Large Rifle primers are roughly $2.00 per 100. A box of 100 .30 caliber 168 grain BTHP Match will set you back around $20. A pound of IMR 4831 runs around $18. 100 Remington .30-06 Springfield cases will set you back a little over $20.

That comes to roughly 58 cents per round for the first loading, 38 cents a round for the second, third fourth & fifth loadings for an average of 42 cents per round (assuming no more than 5 reloads per case) That equates to $8.40 for 20 rounds compared to $16 per box of Remington 165 grain soft point ammo at Wal-Mart. So it costs a little less than half to roll your own with match grade bullets than it does to buy factory ammo w/o match grade bullets.

So assuming California prices are similar to Colorado, should this tax bill get passed 100 cases would run $30; 100 bullets would run $30; 100 primers would run $12. I shudder to think of each flake of powder costing 10 cents, but let's assume 10 cents per canister.

That's 91 cents per round for the first loading, 61 cents for each subsequent one for an average of .67 cents per round. (Again assuming no more than5 reloads per case) That brings it up to $13.40 per 20 rounds compared to the $18 you'd pay at Wal-Mart for factory ammo.
& the Cali calculations are based on the hope that they don't tax each flake of powder. There's 7000 grains of powder per pound, but powders don't have the same mass or density, so that could equate to 6,800 pieces of powder in one brand, 7,240 in another, & 25,923 in yet another. But just going on the assumption that if they did tax the powder by individual piece I'd assume for logistical purposes they'd round it up to 10 cents per grain by weight. I mean, who wants to spend all day counting how many thousands of flakes are in each pound of gunpowder? So at 10 cents per grain that comes to a $700 tax per pound of powder, increasing the cost per round to $7.91 for the first loading, $7.61 for each subsequent loading for an average of $7.67 per round. (Yet again assuming5 loadings per case) That would mean $153.40 per 20 rounds compared to $18 at Wal-Mart for factory ammo. I hope I am correct in assuming the legislators in Cali are not that far gone, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them tax per grain of powder rather than per can.
To sum up:
$16 per 20 round box of factory ammo w/ softnose bullets
$8.40 per 20 rounds of handloaded ammo w/ match quality bullets
If the tax bill passes this translates into:
$18 per 20 round box of factory ammo w/ softnose bullets
$13.40 per 20 rounds of handloaded ammo w/ match quality bullets
If the new tax means 10 cents per grain of powder:
$18 per 20 round box of factory ammo w/ softnose bullets
$153.40 per 20 round box of handloaded ammo w/ match quality bullets

Either way the ammo & component tax unfairly burdens the reloaders: the ones who for economy or quality control reasons load their own ammo. & let us not forget there are many people who shoot 'wildcat' rounds. Wildcats are cartridges that for one reason or another ammunition makers do not make loaded rounds of. So they have to load their own.

The majority of people who load their own ammo participate in some form of high volume shooting sport. Some hunt as well, but the typical reloader does it simply in order to target shoot more often, target shoot more efficiently, or hunt more efficiently. These are not typically the people involved in drive-by's.

The stated reason for the tax is to help recompense the state for the high cost of violence perpetrated with firearms. It would seem though, that the tax would target gun owners who are at a very low risk of committing gun violence. It's similar to saying that a tax is levied to defray costs from building new roads, but the ones being taxed the most are pedestrians.

California is in a budget crisis & they are looking to tax their way out of it. Gun owners seem to have a small voice in government out there so they are an easy target. It shouldn't be this way, as there are quite enough gun owners in California to make their voices heard, but alas, I fear apathy is the culprit. Then again I have also heard that in California, a situation exists in which the urban centers hold the most political influence & therefore neglect the needs of the rural parts of the state. Same thing occurs in Illinois, where Chicago controls the state, & In Michigan where Detroit usually has the last word. Or so I hear.
California could do other things to help curb the costs of violence & help trim their budget such as encouraging, not arresting people who carry arms for protection, keeping violent offenders in prison for the length of their sentence, stop socializing everything that moves & most things that don't, & perhaps most importantly to the budget, stop spending beyond their citizens means.
But in typical leftist fashion, they choose a means which accomplishes multiple ends: taxing their way out of a budget problem they created while punishing gun owners for crime & discouraging shooting sports by artificially inflating the costs.

My advice to people in California: Nevada, Arizona, Oregon or Revolution.

According to The Drudge Report, some of our Marines have been placed under British command.
I thought we went through this back in 1917?

Monday, March 17, 2003

Some people have seemed glad that Colorado has passed a CCW law. I do not understand the reason for joy as the old CCW system was in many ways better than this new one. But let me remind ya'll of something concerning the idea of begging governmental permission while paying a fee to not be arrested for the exercise of a Right

"A state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the federal constitution... The power to impose a license tax on the exercise of these freedoms is indeed as potent as the power of censorship which this Court has repeatedly struck down... a person cannot be compelled 'to purchase, through a license fee or a license tax, the privilege freely granted by the constitution.' —MURDOCK V. PENNSYLVANIA 319 US 105 (1942)"

Just some food for thought. For related reading on CCW & Rights I invite you to look here & here.
This bundle of newsroom joy is about our favorite trading partner. You know, the country that makes 98% of Wal-Mart's inventory. It seems that dragging people to execution sites is too bothersome, so they've started to make house calls.

"China is equipping its courts with mobile execution vans as it shifts away from the communist system's traditional bullet in the head, towards a more "civilised" use of lethal injection...Many public executions have been held in football stadiums so traditional execution methods are no secret. The condemned criminal is taken by open truck to the execution ground and made to kneel with hands cuffed and head bowed, before being shot in the head. Families who want to reclaim the body are charged for the bullet...Yunnan officials say most prisoners and their families prefer the injection."

If you ever thought about avoiding Chinese goods, please do so. China is communist. All business, including exported items, are overseen by the state & all profits revert back to the state. It's damn near impossible to find some things that have a non Made-In-China counterpart, but at least try.

The U.S. government's plan to pay Iraqi government workers is insulting to U.S. taxpayers according to libertarians.

Hell, I'm not crazy about tax money going towards our government workers.

"When the U.S. government briefly shut down during a Congressional budget dispute in 1995, 98 percent of the employees in some agencies were deemed 'non-essential' and told not to bother coming to work,' [Geoffrey Neale] noted."
The Toledo Blade has an article on the soldier of the future, which will be here around 2010.
Pep Boys in Tucson, Az. fires Navy Reservist alledgedly because his military duties took away time from work.
From Field & Stream: 25 Perfect Guns
NYC police are dismissing a recent spike in shootings.

I wonder if they've ever thought about how low the crime rate would be if people were encouraged to protect themselves, instead of being prosecuted for self defense?
In Canada a deal was made to drop charges against a thief in exchange for his testimony against the store owner he attempted to rob.

"Shand King, 45, owner of Audio 5.1, has been charged with causing bodily harm with intent, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm knowing the firearm is "unauthorized," and using a firearm during the commission of an offence. He is to appear in court April 9."

the, Feds are seizing web sites now.
"Safari Club Sponsoring bus journey to Albany to press its political agenda".

When I first saw the headline I thought, "They've finally got fed up with those statist tyrants & now they're going to take their state back! Hopefully it'll catch on."
How dissappointed I was when i realized it was simply a tour group.
Ted Nugent speaks at College Republicans rally at Northwestern.

"I didn't know what to expect," said Althen, a Weinberg senior, after the event. "He raised a lot of discussion, and he's the most exciting speaker I've seen on this campus."

I can't say I agree with all of his views but you have to admit he isn't as boring as most speakers at these kinds of rallies.
The Police Foundation has numerous anti-gun groups linked on their site, but no pro-gun groups. They disclaim any endorsement of any links they provide & suggest you contect them with links you'd like to see added.
So if you have the time drop them a note at & ask them to add GOA, JPFO, SAF, SAS & any other pro gun groups you can think of.
A tale of police & judicial misconduct against a gun owner in Sussex County, NJ.
Now I know my ABC's.
As for the condition of our troops, they're armed but they haven't been issued ammo yet.
The gist of the article is front line & permimeter troops have plenty of ammo, while everyone else is carrying empty wepons. The theory is that the less ammo, the less accidental/negligent discharges. They aren't overly worried about the grunts but the support personnel are viewed as less than safe.
Course this is what happens after a few generations of demonizing weapons & discouraging participation in the shooting sports: you get an army that is not competent enough to have ammo until the last minute. From what I recall every marine is suppossed to be trained as a Rifleman. Even the women. It'd be too much to hope that their philosophy of arms catches on with the other branches of service, I just hope they don't start immitating the more PC branches.
Of course now would be a good time to insert an M-16/M-4 joke, such as, "If they don't have any ammo for them, wouldn't that make them more effective?" Or perhaps "They don't have ammo for them yet because they cannot verify the existence of animals smaller than coyotes." But I won't engage in such cheap shots at military intelligence.