Sunday, February 15, 2004

Okay, since no one offered to, I'll fisk the Denver Post article myself...

"Kill the Wild West gun bill"

Nice title. But for me it conjures up visions of making Colt 1873 Single Action Army revolvers illegal.

"Rep. Greg Brophy's attempt to turn Colorado streets into the gun-slinging Old West will only jeopardize the rights of responsible gun owners."

Now let's examine this for a second. What the Denver Post is saying is that if you assert your Rights you'll jeopardize them. Huh? I wonder if they'd say that if a bill passes to allow newspapers to speak ill of incumbents that it would jeopardize the 1rst amendment?

The "wild west" is partially a myth. True, it was a bit less regulated than most of the periods in american history that followed it, but not any worse than the periods which proceeded it. The mythical wild west was a creation of dime store novels, traveling shows & finally motion pictures. For further reading on he origins of the mythical wild west I recommend Cowboy: How Hollywood Invented the Wild West by Holly George-Warren.

But it's not surprising that the Denver Post would make such an assertion. After all, if they saw it in a picture it must be true right?

I will point out that in the wild west - both mythical & actual - open carry of firearms was not uncommon. The Denver Post has been against any citizen carrying openly & against people carrying concealed, so I suppose their paranoia about one mode of carry gets confused with the other.

So it's an inaccurate analogy in that the mythical wild west to which they refer was a place where people carried openly as opposed to concealed (although I'm sure small revolvers & derringers were carried concealed, the majority of arms were carried openly).

& don't get me wrong - if a person wants to carry openly or concealed that's their business - not that of the state or county or city or any other construct aside from an owner of private (i.e. non-government) property. My point is merely that the Post doesn't seem to know what the hell it's talking about.

"Lawmakers should promptly shoot down Brophy's House Bill 1281 when it's heard in committee next week."

I bet the writer patted him/herself on the back for 2 or 3 minutes over the "cleverness" of that sentence.

"The proposal allows anyone who can legally possess a handgun to conceal it in public. Brophy says it allows law- abiding citizens to conceal firearms 'without going through the burdensome and expensive process of acquiring a permit."

& the problem is...?

"In reality, it's a giant leap backward from the responsible concealed-carry law approved last spring."

Ah, they refer to the "shall issue" law that is more restrictive than the "may issue" law that it replaced.

But note the use of the word "responsible". In the context of the sentence another word such as "restrictive" or burdensome" would have been a better more concise. But that would have alerted readers to their true intent.

"For nearly a decade, The Post has prodded lawmakers to approve a reasonable concealed-carry proposal that respected the government-protected rights of gun owners while balancing the need for public safety."

note the keywords: "reasonable", "balance" & "safety". We've seen "reasonable" before & we'll see it again. It's the politically correct way to rebuke any attempts to retain something you have as selfish. By "reasonable" they really mean "more restrictive".

"Balance" is inappropriate, as they assume that there must be an equal share for something to be correct. This simply isn't reality. In this case however, they mean "imbalance". What they want to do is balance their feelings of public safety with your Right to carry the means to defend yourself. Balancing an actuality with a potentiality seldom accomplishes anything other than restricting the actuality. I wonder if they've ever contepmlated Aristotle's answer to the question of which came first; the chicken or the egg? Didn't he say that actuality trumped potentiality?

In any case the "balance" they desire is an unfair one as it seeks to make the exercise of a Right more burdensome so they can "feel" safer without being safer.

In reality the public safety is much better served by not interfering with a person's Right to arm his/herself. That's because in reality the cops cannot be everywhere at once & the vast majority of the time they show up after a crime has been committed. People with harmful intent do not obey laws about carrying weapons in a certain manner & those laws tend to put the people without harmful intent on unequal footing. The public safety is much better served when a person with harmful intent has to face the possibility that his victim may be able to fight back successfully.

"For too long, the state was a patchwork of inconsistent laws that varied from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It was confusing and, in some cases, responsible gun owners were denied concealed- carry permits based solely on their residence."

I somehow doubt the sincerity of the Post being troubled by people not being able to get permits based solely upon where they live. & also the troubling aspect to the Post is not that the laws were varied & confusing (as they are big proponents of local control trumping individual Rights) but that some sheriffs were giving permits to people that weren't residents of their respective counties.

"But lawmakers continually closed their eyes to the problem."

Ah, not really. There were a few attempts at passing a more lenient concealed carry law than the may issue system that was in place. But to the Post this was not addressing the problem. The problem wasn't that the laws were too confusing or burdensome, but too lenient.

"Finally, the legislature last spring approved Sen. Ken Chlouber's proposal that required a criminal background check and fingerprinting of those wanting to carry concealed weapons. The applicants also must successfully complete a certified firearms-safety course and pay $100 for the license. The National Rifle Association joined The Denver Post in backing this responsible bill."

Don't get me started on the constant betrayal of gun owners by the NRA. But may I point out that fingerprinting & criminal background checks were present in the may issue system that this new law replaced. The training classes are new as is the permit fee, making the process more expensive as well as burdensome on the applicant. But I assume that the Post feels that the economically challenged don't need to defend themselves since they have raised no objections to this or any other firearms related fees imposed by the government. In fact they were upset when a bill was withdrawn that would have charged gun purchasers for the redundant background check performed by Colorado.

"Chlouber's bill also included a "naked man" exception to allow denial of a permit to those who have no criminal records but are demonstrably unstable. His bill was essentially the same one the legislature passed in the spring of 1999 but which was prudently withdrawn right after the Columbine massacre."

Ah yes - the "naked man" exception, which makes the "shall issue" concealed carry law no different in principle than the may issue law it replaced.

But now if their Post had really been upset by the may issue system's unfair & disproportionate treatment of gun owners & had backed it being replaced for a decade, & further approved of the law which replace dit, then why was it "prudent" to withdraw a proposal to change the old law with which they disagreed? Feelings trump reality for most anti-freedom people. I see the Post as no exception. I simply see no reason whatsoever that would justify withdrawing a bill they claim to support because of the Columbine murders.

"Unfortunately, the legislature didn't stop there. It also passed Senate Bill 25 - an offensive intrusion on local affairs. It strikes down local rules on where and how firearms can be carried, including the ban in Denver and other cities on carrying a gun openly."

As I said earlier, the Post openly supports a city or county impeding &/or prohibiting your Right to Arms as an individual. Don't believe that they find one manner of carry preferable to another - they detest the idea of a mere peasant being able to defend his/herself. Contrasting one method with another is just a subtle tactic in their overall desire to have us all defenseless.

"It also voids Denver's ban on certain assault-rifle 'look-alikes,' a law already upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court."

Since Dred Scott v. Sanford upheld that a black man wasn't entitled to individual rights that slavery was morally justifiable? Or that since courts convicted people in the 20's of drinking or possessing alcohol that Prohibition was a good thing?

The Denver Post was correct in referring to the ban on "...assault rifle 'look alikes'..."

Assault rifle is a phrase coined by Hitler to describe what had been called the Machinenpistole 43. Hitler thought that this was inaccurate & christened it the SturmGewehr 44 which translates into Assault Rifle 44. Since then the practical definition of assault rifle has been a compact rifle or carbine that fires a cartridge of intermediate power & is capable of fully automatic fire. The ban Denver had was like the federal ban in that it only affected rifles with cosmetic similarities to assault rifles, but it erroneously called them assault rifles just as the federal ban does. Denver (& the feds) view certain aesthetic features as constituting an assault rifle despite the fact that the mechanism employed by these alledged assault rifles is no different than the mechanism employed by countless rifles that have been used for hunting for the last 100 years.

For instance the Remington Model 740 is not considered an assault weapon by most assault weapon bans, even though it is semi-automatic & feeds from a magazine. (From the factory it comes with a 4 round magazine, but I've seen after market magazines available with up to a 10 round capacity. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some after market magazines that had a capacity higher than that.)The Olympic Arms GI-20 Model would be considered an assault weapon by most bans because it has the politically incorrect pistol grip as well as a 20 round magazine. This despite the fact that it functions with a similar mechanism & is capable of only firing in the semi-automatic mode. & what is seldom brought up is that most of those alledged assault rifles &/or look alikes are chambered in cartridges less powerful than the cartridges available in lever action rifles in the 1890's. But if you have a pistol grip, telescoping or folding stock, flash hider (which doesn't actually "hide" the flash but rather diverts it to the side so it won't interfere with the shooter's vision) &/or can accept a magazine that holds more than 10 cartridges, it's feared as an assault rifle by most firearms ignorant politicians & the media.

Another example is the lowly Ruger 10/22. From the factory it is not usually considered an assault rifle, but if you add this stock (& take out the weld so it folds as it was designed to) then it's an assault weapon. The rifle would function the same regardless of which stock it was in; it just looks scarier to some people in a folding stock with a pistol grip.

But what the Post is advocating is that a city or county should have the authority to prohibit possession or ownership of a certain type of firearm based solely on arbitrary aesthetic standards - this despite the Colorado Constitution's prohibition on interfering with the Right to keep & bear arms.

"Colorado Constitution Article 2 Section 13. Right to bear arms.
The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons"

Aside from the last part (about concealed weapons) I'd say Colorado's Constitution is spot on. Clearly it prevents any interference with an individual's exercise of said Right. But the Post would rather assert the idea that a city or county can negate the Rights of an individual.

"Senate Bill 25 is being challenged in court."

& that means the tax dollars of the good people of Denver are going towards a lawsuit designed to take away their Rights.

"The Post supports Coloradans' right to protect themselves, but Brophy's proposal removes the valuable safeguards now built into Colorado law."

That's a lie; the Post does not support a Right - rather it argues in favor fo a privilege. Anytime you have to ask (or in this case beg & bribe) permission it's not viewed as a Right, but rather as a privilege graciously granted by government. Rep. Brophy's proposal would actually make Colorado treat individual Rights with the proper respect. So to oppose it but yet claim you support an individual's Right is contradictory.

& those safeguards that are currently in place now? What safeguards? The concealed carry law here merely erects hurdles for those who have no harmful intent while doing nothing - I repeat nothing - to prevent someone with harmful intent from carrying. In fact since it's a bit of a chore & expense in getting a permit to begin with, most with harmful intent can be reasonably sure that their victim will be unarmed.

Has anyone ever not broken a serious law because to do so would entail breaking a minor one? Does the Post really expect us to believe that someone who wants to rob a liquor store or shoot up a school is going to change his/her mind because he/she couldn't get a concealed carry permit???

The only safeguard society will have is that every person has the unfettered Right to carry the means of self defense. It won't decrease crime but it will cause a shift from confrontational crimes to non-confrontational crimes. It's basic logic; a person who wishes to steal will try to find the path of least resistance. Now that path is someone whom they're reasonably sure isn't carrying. If Rep. Brophy's bill hadn't been killed by the cowards in the Committee of State, Military & Veteran's Affairs at the urging of the hypocrites who claim to be gun Rights groups (NRA, CSSA) then the person intent on stealing would be more tempted to wait until your car was unattended before trying to steal it, rather than slapping you around until they got the keys from you.

"We have always opposed Vermont-style 'warm body' concealed-carry bills. In that state, anyone who can legally own a firearm can conceal their weapon."

Which means they have never supported the Right to Arms. By the way, what problems has it created for Vermont or Alaska for that matter? Granted, the cultures of those two respective states differs somewhat from Colorado, as does the population & economy, but I have seen nothing to indicate that no-permit-required carry laws have affected Vermont or Alaska adversely.

"This bill should be killed in committee. It doesn't meet the standards Gov. Bill Owens has set for gun laws, so it's likely to be vetoed if approved, anyway."

So because an anti-Rights governor with a pro-gun image won't approve it then it's a bad law? I've seen weaker reasoning, but not since elementary school. The "standards" our governor has set for gun laws are atrocious. One of his standards for a concealed carry bill was that no carry would be allowed in schools. That means instead of a parent or teacher being able to nip a Columbine-like incident in the bud, the school would be locked down while waiting on the sheriff's department & then further waiting would ensue as the sheriff's department would discuss how best to approach the situation for a few hours. I'd trust the governor's judgment on anything "gun" right after I took singing lessons from Yoko Ono.

"Lawmakers should save Gov. Owens the extra work and put an end to this bill now."

The Denver Post should save it's almost irreparably shattered reputation (along with trees & ink) by not writing anonymous editorials that attempt to justify why I should continue to be a criminal should I exercise a most basic, fundamental Right.

The Post contradicts itself in its own article. It either hasn't clearly thought out the issue, or it's dealing from feelings & other abstract motivations rather than facts & sound logic.

The Post got its wish as the bill was killed in committee, but rather than rejoice they should mourn. I guess they still fail to realize that an assault on one Right is an assault on all. I wonder if they'd have felt differently if the bill was trying to correct a law that made the carrying of a newspaper concealed in a briefcase a crime?

& as usual here are the names of those on the editorial staff:

"The members of The Post editorial board are William Dean Singleton, chairman and publisher; Bob Ewegen, deputy editorial page editor; Todd Engdahl, assistant editorial page editor; Peter G. Chronis, Dan Haley and Penelope Purdy , editorial writers; Mike Keefe, cartoonist; Barbara Ellis, news editors; and Fred Brown and Barrie Hartman, associate members."

Since it was not a signed editorial I assume that all those named agree with the opinions expressed in the editorial. So as usual I encourage anyone who has business dealings with these people to refuse to trade with them as long as they hold such a disrespectful view of your Rights.

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