Monday, April 19, 2004

We're moving. Pixy has graciously offered space over at for Publicola & we're going to give it a go. As far as I know this site will still be here & accesible, but the new posts will be at the new site (makes sense doesn't it?).

The new address is

It'll take a few days to a few weeks to get everything in order over there, but the new posts will be there as of today.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Cheney spoke at the NRA convention on Saturday. Kerry made a statement prior to Cheney's address. Tom Mauser (father of a victim at Columbine High School) was denied entrance to the NRA convention despite his literally wearing his murdered son's shoes. Here's the article from which the following fisk is based.

"PITTSBURGH - Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) portrayed President Bush (news - web sites) and himself as champions of the Second Amendment ?— and Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) as a potential threat to gun owners ?— in a speech at the National Rifle Association's 133rd annual convention Saturday."

Oddly enough, if I portray myself as cantaloupe that does not make it so. Champions of the Second Amendment? Not the one I've been reading all these years. Perhaps he should have portrayed himself & Bush as champions of the 2nd Amendment with reasonable exceptions.

"John Kerry's approach to the Second Amendment has been to regulate, regulate and then regulate some more,' Cheney said, citing votes against legislation that would protect gun makers from lawsuits and in favor of allowing federal authorities to randomly inspect gun dealers without notice."

& Bush's approach has been to enforce, enforce & enforce so more the gun control laws we have on the books - despite their conflict with that whole "...shall not be infringed..." thing.

"Cheney lauded the NRA for its safety programs and said the best way to prevent gun crimes was to enforce existing laws. Federal prosecutions of crimes committed with guns increased 68 percent under President Bush, he told the crowd."

Funny, the lying bastard didn't mention how many of those laws he seeks to enforce pass constitutional muster. Nor was it mentioned how many of those gun crime prosecutions involved a person or persons with no harmful intent who just happened to possess something verboten or not have their papers in order.

"Bush 'has shown you respect, earned your vote and appreciates your support,' Cheney said."

Bush showed me respect? Earned my vote? Appreciates my support? Damn skippy I'm not included in the "you". Bush has bitch-slapped gun owners, told them eveything'll be okay if they just use a little more make-up to cover the bruise so the family won't talk, & then tells us he's a saint compared to the other abusive pimps out there.

"Cheney did not address the federal assault weapons ban, which expires in September, and which the NRA maintains has been ineffective."

Damn right he didn't address that. Neither would a prudent man discuss his approval of wife beating with his wife right before he takes a nap. Cheney didn't bring it up cause he knows that gun owners wouldn't be able to cling to the "Bush is pro-gun" lie if confronted so directly with his bullshit.

"Kerry, in a statement issued before Cheney's address, said 'most voters don't know that (Bush and Cheney) are standing against major police organizations and breaking their promise to renew the assault weapons ban ?— which helps keep military-style assault weapons out of the hands of criminals and terrorists."

& Kerry doesn't know that all federal gun control laws based on prior restraint stand against the 2nd amendment of the constitution of the united States. But one good thing about Kerry is that most people see through his bullshit. I don't think anyone - Republican or Democrat - will actually argue that Kerry is pro-gun. But both Republicans & Democrats think Bush is.

"Earlier in the day, Tom Mauser, whose son, Daniel, was killed with an assault weapon in the Columbine High School killings five years ago, tried to enter the convention hall where the NRA was meeting, seeking to urge Cheney to support extending the assault weapons ban. Mauser was turned away by a security guard..."

I do not know for certain Daniel Mauser was Murdered with an "assault weapon" or not. The murderers had a Tec-9 which was mentioned specifically by the "assault weapons" ban, but I never heard if they determined who was killed by what. Since the Tec-9 fires the 9x19mm cartridge it is very possible that he was killed by either that particular weapon or a pistol chambered in that cartridge. I seriously doubt Mr. Mauser recognizes the problems with ballistic matching of a projectile to a particular firearm, but it is possible that the Tec-9 was the only 9mm weapon they had, or that the rifling differed significantly from the pistols they may have had.

In any case Mr. Mauser doesn't seem to grasp that the "assault weapons" ban did not prevent two deranged people from committing a horrific act of murder. Neither does he realize that since they were prepared to break the laws concerning murder, possession of weapons & explosives on school grounds & a host of other laws that the AWB probably wouldn't have made them alter their plans.

Mr. Mauser also does not realize that the problem wasn't the instruments used - it was the people who were using them. Daniel Mauser would be just as dead if they'd have used muzzle-loaders. In fact if you average the number of people killed or wounded at Columbine from the time they started shooting until the time they presumably killed themselves you'll find that the rate of fire was under 3 rounds per minute per murderer. That's a little slower than the Minutemen were expected to accomplish in the 1770's. So "assault weapons" didn't enable the murderers to do anything they couldn't have done using230 year old technology & techniques.

But Mr. Mauser is a sad case. I cannot fathom the pain he went through in losing his son & feel a great amount of pity for him because it has warped his logic.

"Mauser, who marched three blocks to the convention hall literally in his son's shoes, said before the march that continuing the ban would be common sense.
'What is the useful purpose to these weapons? ... They are the weapons of gangs, drug lords and sick people.' Mauser said. 'It is a weapon of war and we don't want this war on our streets."

They are also the weapons of freedom fighters, of people who will be free & of people who will not be forced to give up that freedom even to their own government. A sick person is not one who espouses the ownership of arms, but one who thinks that through a law the good as well as the bad will give up their arms & leave peaceably forever. It is further evidence of sickness that a person thinks that I & others such as myself will acquiesce to a law demanding us to give up our arms without first enduring the war in our streets that Mr. Mauser claims is a bad thing.

"Mauser called the NRA 'an organization with a Field-and-Stream-magazine membership but a Soldier-of-Fortune-magazine leadership."

Ya know, I keep hearing about this radical leadership in the NRA. Where the hell are they & who the hell are they?

I'm tired of everyone getting it backwards: the NRA membership is typically more pro-gun than the NRA leadership. If you presented detailed questions to both, I think you'd find that it's the leadership who are in favor of gun control far more than the members.

But some of this is starting to leak out in the mainstream press. This MSN video touches on that. Angel Shamaya of is interviewed & has some pretty harsh (well for him mild) words for Bush's support of the AWB. However you should keep in mind that the press is mainly interested in this angle because it's anti-Bush.

I have no problems with airing grievances against Bush - as long as the grievances are based on substantive issues instead of a general bias. If you want to trash Bush on his record or his views then I can understand that. But the bulk of the opposition to Bush is based on either a personal dislike of him (he's uneducated; he has no tact, etc...) or a misunderstanding of him (he's shrinking the government too much; he's too pro-gun, etc...).

The video has a couple of interesting thing sin it;

First of all they reporter says the NRA has launched its own news network to "get around" campaign finance laws. That's like saying a person joined the military to "get around" federal firearms laws. The NRA started its own news network simply because that was the only legal avenue left to them to get their message out in the months prior to an election. It'd have been real nice if the reporter had mentioned the constitutionally questionable nature of those campaign finance laws (yes I know how SCOTUS ruled - they were wrong) but since reporters are immune to those same laws I doubt she was aware. After all if it doesn't affect a reporters livelihood it couldn't violate the 1rst Amendment could it?

Next we have LaPierre saying that gunowners know the difference between Bush & Kerry on the 2nd Amendment. What difference? What freakin' difference is there between a man who calls them reasonable regulations & a man who calls them common sense gun laws? One fakes to the left while the other fakes to the right but they both try an end run around the constitution. Now I have no doubts Kerry would be a messed up president, but I don't think he'd be much worse than Bush. Their methods would differ but they'd both be the wrong methods to achieve the wrong goal. But focusing strictly on the firearms issue I see abo-freakin'-lutely no difference between Bush & Kerry.

"President Bush's support of the "assault weapons" ban is an embarrassment. He should hang his head in shame." A bit harsh you say? Those were the words of Angel Shamaya. Considering the source I'd think it was on the mild side. Honestly I'd expect Mr. Shamaya to start talking about tar & feathers, but perhaps he did & the reporter thought it best to not air that portion of the interview.

In the introduction to Mr. Shamaya's statement the reporter said his website ( has "tens of thousands of followers" (emphasis mine). First I'd be surprised if didn't have a hit count of 6 digits, but I suppose that it could be in the 70 to 80 thousand range. But does it strike you as odd that a web site & political organization has "followers'? I can understand "members" & I could understand "visitors" but "followers"? Maybe I'm just reading too much into it but it seems like the reporter was trying to subtly plant the idea that you should equate the people who visit with a religious group. After all, the word "followers" is rarely used unless you're talking about a cult of some sort. The NRA has "members", not "followers". Jim Jones had "followers". But as I said perhaps I'm just reading too much into it.

Just for laughs pay close attention to the segment of Kerry with the side by side & orange vest. I'd be hard pressed to find a better visual for "Fuddite".

It goes on to say that most NRA members are supportive of Bush. The two people interviewed to support this statement never said they support Bush wholeheartedly; rather they feared Kerry would be worse than Bush.

Don't be fooled - the only reason the mainstream media is airing this story &/or others like it is not to spread the truth but to garner opposition against Bush. They don't care if he's pro or anti gun as long as they can use it against him. But despite their ill intent the word is getting out. It'd be a beautiful thing if Bush did a turn around & started being actively pro-gun, but the skeptic in me doubts that will ever happen. What I do think is possible is for the election to send a message to the Republicans that the half assed approach to being pro-gun (i.e. relying more on reputation than action) isn't going to cut it. But that's real difficult when the NRa leadership is constantly being called extreme.

Just out of curiousity if the leadership of agroup who supports every federal gun law on the books is consiered pro-gun in the extreme, then what would I be labeled as? Extreme extreme? ultra extreme? Uber-extreme? Course if you're thinking that most of the mainstream press couldn't even imagine people with my beliefs exist let alone label them, then you're probably correct.