Friday, September 05, 2003

Thanks to End the War on Freedom I've found this report (you have to scroll down to the bottom of the post) that the McCarthy-Conyers HB 2038 (The Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2003) has 100 co-sponsors.

For previous posts on HB 2038 look here & scroll down to the middle of here.

& from this post I offer you the following excerpt:

"Yes, I know we have a Republican controlled Congress. Yes I know there are more anti-gun Democrats than there are anti-gun Republicans. But there are more anti-gun Republicans than there are pro-gun Democrats & Republicans combined. Look here for the House of Representatives. Look here for the Senate. Anything less than a "B" rating means they are not oppossed to voting for gun control if it suits them. According to my calculations there's 18 pro-gun Senators & 176 pro-gun Representatives. That's counting the B minus among the pro-gun. !8 out of 100 & 176 out of 434.
There are 64 anti-gun senators & 201 anti-gun Representatives. That's counting D, F & Not Rated. 64 out of 100 & 201 out of 434.
In the Senate it would merely take the F,D & Not Rated Senators to vote for the McCarthy-Conyers assault weapons bill for it to pass. In the House it would take 17 C rated Representatives in addition to the F, D & Not Rated Representatives for it to pass. The Senate would have enough votes to negate a presidential veto, but it'd take 261 or so from the House, which would mean 60 C rated voters in addition to the F,D & Not Rated.
As for Bush? It could go either way, but considering his past record on gun rights I doubt he would veto it if it came across his desk.
So if we go by GOA's rating system, which I find to be much more honest than the NRA's recomendations we find there is a very clear anti-gun majority in both houses of Congress. & if the elected officials vote according to their GOA rating, then it is possible that the McCarthy-Conyers Assault Weapons Ban would become a reality."

Things are not looking good. Let em put it like this: 51 votes in the Senate & 218 votes in the House would pass this bill. Bush would not veto. The House has 100 cosponsors for this version of the Assault Weapons Ban. There are 205 anti-gun Representatives according to GOA's rating system. There are 56 Representatives who could go either way, & that's being optimistic as they tend to be anti-gun. So it'd merely be a question of whether enough of the 105 anti gun Representaives & 56 possibly anti-gun Representatives would vote for this bill. I'm assuming that the cosponsors would vote for it, so that's almost half the battle before the bill is even up for a vote in the House.

Note: for some reason blogger published this before i completed the post. I see the "improvements" they made are taking effect!

& what does the NRA have to say about it? Not a damned thing that I can find. Of course I could have missed something so if anyone has any info on the NRA making a recent statement on this please forward it to me.

What will likely happen is that either the McCarthy-Conyers assault weapons ban will pass without much of a fight from the NRA, or the most likely scenario is that they will fight the McCarthy-Conyers bill while giving the wink & nod to a less expanded Senate bill that just makes the current assault weapons ban permanent. The NRA will claim that in order to fight the more restrictive bill they had to let the current law be re-authorized. They'll claim a victory 'cause they'll alledge that their actions prevented a more restrictive law from being passed.

& as long as the NRA doesn't see a mass exodus of members they'll continue compromising away our Rights for their own gain. Same with the Republican Party: as long as people vote for the Republicans to prevent Democrats from getting elected then the Republican party has no incentive to change.

& if you look at the GOA ratings page I think you'll be suprised at just how many Republicans don't vote to protect your Right to Arms. Remember that every gun control law that was passed was not done so by a majority consisting solely of Democrats. If Republicans had fought some gun control laws would have passed at leats one of the Houses, but certainly not all gun control laws would have passed.

There has been much talk about the proper way to repeal these laws. Some advocate legisolation, saying that doing it through the courts would require activist judiciaries & that's undesirable. But I feel that the courts are the only way to solidly put down these gun control laws.

If the legislature repeals a law then while the law is no longer active, the theory that the legislature has the authority to enact or repeal these laws is intact. It merely reinforces the erroneous idea that the legislature giveth & the legislature taketh away.
Whereas if the courts strike down a law it is in effect saying that the legislature has exceeded its authority & has no cause to enact such laws.
One approach relies on the benevolence of the legislature, the other relies on the courts limiting legislative power.

I'll take the latter approach every time.

& I do not consider it judicial activism when the courts limit the authority of the legislature to make laws on a certain subject. According to Marbury vs. Madison that is the function of the courts - to ensure that Congress & the Executive branch as well as the courts themselves do not exceed their respective constitutional limitiations.

But it looks like the McCarthy-Conyers HB 2038 stands a good chance of passing if it ever comes up for a vote.

The Serfdom Times has this post in regards to a latter written by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx) in December of 2002. I cannot find a copy of the letter in question, but I have no reason to doubt its authenticity.
It was concerning the proposal to approve presidential authority to send troops into combat as oppossed to declaraing war.

"I reminded the committee of the words of James Madison, who in 1798 said, "The Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. It has accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."
It was after that when the Chair stated that declaring war is "anarchronistic, it isn't done anymore ..." It was a jaw-dropping admission... but there was more.
The Chair went on to say that the Constitution had been 'overtaken by events, by time' and is 'no longer relevant to modern society.'
The Ranking Minority Member called the declaration of war 'frivolous and mischievous'."

But alas, no record of these statements exist.

"Little did I know that no one watching the hearing over C-SPAN -- not a single person of what statistically is an audience of several million Americans -- even heard those inflammatory comments.
When my staff called C-SPAN to get a copy of the video record to document these outrageous statements, we were told "technical difficulties" prevented that portion of the proceeding from being recorded.
... and that same portion of the proceedings was also the only part missing on the internal record the House makes of such official hearings."

& I don't blame them one bit. Damned if I'd want to be on record as saying the Constitution doesn't matter anymore. Course not saying it or believing it would be the method I would chose.
It would seem that not only can the IRSS not convince a jury that not filing a tax return is against the law, but their help desk isn't that helpful.

"The investigators concluded that approximately 500,000 taxpayers who visited the centers during the course of the study, from July to December 2002, could have received incorrect responses to their tax law questions."

I wonder if one of those incorrect answers was, "Yes, you have to file a return & send us money"?

"IRS employees provided complete and correct answers to 45 percent of the questions asked by auditors, and correct but incomplete answers in 12 percent of the cases.
IRS employees told the auditors to do their own research in IRS publications (search) to find the answers in response to 12 percent of the questions, despite an IRS policy banning the practice.
Incorrect answers were given to 28 percent of the questions. The questions most commonly answered incorrectly dealt with the earned income tax credit, education credit and dependents.
The Internal Revenue Service (search) disputed the calculations, but agreed the agency needed to improve its record. Henry O. Lamar, commissioner for the division overseeing individual tax returns, said the accuracy rate is closer to 67 percent when the results are recalculated to exclude instances when taxpayers were referred to other publications or could not get any help."


I leave you with a quote from the works of James Madison specifically from The Federalist No. 62:

"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?"

David Codrea points us to this Sacremento Bee poll of the recall candidates views on gun control.

The poll asks if a candidate would sign or veto the following bills, some of which have passed into law & the rest of which are still pending:

• SB 52 and AB 35: Requires Californians who attempt to buy a handgun to complete a two-part exam at the place of purchase to prove they can safely handle and operate the firearm.
• SB 950: Requires the state Department of Justice to check handgun purchase records back to 1991 on every person who falls into a prohibited class (such as felons) to determine whether they had previously purchased handguns. The agency and local law enforcement can take action to determine the status of the weapon and take it off the street.
• SB 682 and AB 496: Overturned a 1983 law that immunized manufacturers against certain liability claims when their weapons cause harm.
• SB 489 (Load Indicator and Magazine Safety Disconnect, by Sen. Jack Scott): Would require most semiautomatic pistols that are newly designed after Jan. 1, 2006, to have a clearly understood load indicator or a magazine safety disconnect. By Jan. 1, 2007, most newly designed pistols would have to have both devices. Handguns that are already approved for sale in California (on the roster before Jan. 1, 2005) would be exempt until/unless they were redesigned.
• AB 50 (Ban .50-Caliber Sniper Rifles, by Assemblyman Paul Koretz): Current law restricts certain "assault weapons" that have specific military features and specific models, such as the AK-47 series. But there is no general restriction on the sale of armor-piercing, .50-caliber military sniper rifles. AB 50 would ban these rifles. People who own them would be required to register them and could not transfer them without a special license from the state Department of Justice.
• SB 35 (Ballistic Fingerprinting Bullet Collection by Sen. Jack Scott): The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives maintains a ballistic fingerprint database of crime guns and bullets or cartridges recovered at crime scenes. The database is not allowed to include non-crime gun data (such as ballistic fingerprints of guns before they are sold). SB 35 would require, before a gun is sold, that bullet and cartridge samples be sent to the California Department of Justice. The samples would be available for entry into a future database. SB 35 would set deadlines for the gun industry to develop an automatic ballistic fingerprint collection processes on new firearms."

If you assummed that Lt. Gov. Bustamante would have signed all the bills in question you'd be correct.

If you guessed that Sen. McClintock would have vetoed all the bills in question, you'd be almsot right. He'd have signed SB 950 which conerns doing a purchase records check to determine if a felon purchased a handgun prior to his conviction so the state could disarm him/her. I'm not happy about that but I can see how some people would think this is a good idea that would only disarm felons. Of course I'm not thrilled about disarming anyone who's not incarcerated let alone the implications of registration necessary to accomplish those checks, but I'll save that discussion for another time.

If you think that Mr. Schwarzenegger would veto all or sign all then you'd be incorrect. He'd have signed all except two, & those he vetoed with an explanation.

SB 682 & HB 496: "Gun Manufacturers should operate under the same liability laws as other manufacturers, & held accountable for safety & other product defects."

SB 35: "This issue should be addressed when technology & costs are more clearly understood."

It seems like Mr. Schwarzenegger is taking a pro Right to Arms stance on those two bills, but there's a certain amount of ambiguity involved & his willingness to sign the other bills makes me think he's not as pro Right to Arms as he'd like people to believe.

Let's look at the first one about SB 682 & HB 496:

"Gun Manufacturers should operate under the same liability laws as other manufacturers, & held accountable for safety & other product defects."

It would appear he's saying that gun manufacturers should be held liabel for issues relating to the product & not its negligent or criminal use. But by his voting to veto a bill that did repeal protections the gun manufacturers had that other indurties didn't he would be contradicting himself. The fact is, as asinine as it may be Ford has no legal protection from a person filing a lawsuit because someone used a stolen Mustang to kill someone else. usually protection in such cases is granted by judges who dismiss the case before it is able to cause too much distress. Then again we are relying on California judges for that kind of protection aren't we?
The "safety & product defects" language causes concern. He could mean what I think of when I think of a safety or product defect, which is a mechanical problem that causes a firearm to operate in a manner that deviates significantly from its design. An example would be a firearm that releases the hammer & fires a cartridge when the safety is applied even though the trigger is not pressed. Or a firearm that rapidly de-constructs itself (i.e. blows up in your face) when using the ocrrect ammunition.
However gun control advocates have maintained that a firearm's design was inherently flawed & unsafe because a negligent person thinks the firearm is unloaded, applies pressure to the trigger & shoots someone he did not intend to. Hell, some gun control advocates think that any gun that can chamber & then fire a cartridge exhibits a "safety & product defect"

On to the next one, SB 35:

"This issue should be addressed when technology & costs are more clearly understood."

What he is saying is that he opposes it now because it's very expensive & hasn't been proved to be effective. A California study said as much about a year ago, & no state which has a similar law has reported a single conviction from it to my knowledge.
But he is not ruling out the possibility of discussing it at a later time. Perhaps if it weren't so expensive or perhaps if there were merely statistics to show it had some benefit he would be in favor of it.

So he's stance on those two particular bills could swing either pro Right to Arms or anti Right to Arms.

Given his position on the others though I'll remain skeptical.

Mr. Schwarzenegger does approve of:

Forcing Californians to pass a written test before purchasing a firearm

Having records searched for a prior purchase of a firearm by a recently convcited felon

Requiring all pistols to have a loaded chamber indicator & a magazine disconnect feature

Banning/heavily restricting all .50 caliber rifles

The conclusion? Mr. Schwarzenegger seems to be for gun control except in certain instances where the financial impact would possibly be unjustifiable to achieve those ends. Lt. Gov. Bustamante is not concerned with the cost. & Sen. McClintock is against gun control except when he believes it applies only to convicted felons.

For those Californians who come here all I can tell you is that I hope that Sen. McClintock wins. I doubt he'd be able to make any conrete differences considering the nature of the legislature, but at least someone in a position of authority would be able to call up the California militia when things get too bad.

I still recommend leaving the state, but I understand how that is difficult. If I were a Californian I'd want to stand my ground & try to win my state back, or die trying. But know that we're hoping for y'all.
More bad news from California:

"BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 4 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence today heralded passage of SB 489 (Scott), which will make California the first state in the nation to require chamber load indicators and magazine disconnect devices on all newly designed semiautomatic handguns. The modifications could prevent as much as 24 percent of all unintentional shootings."

Following 4 basic safety rules could prevent 99% of accidental shootings even with firearms with no external or internal safety features, but that'd require widespread education about firearms handling.

No, what this will do is up the price of firearms & to a certain degree compromise the design of certain firearms as well as lowering the overall number of firearms available for sale in California.

A loaded chamber indicator is not a big deal. They're typically on semi-automatic handguns allready. They're called extractors. AN extractor is a piece of metal that fits into a slot in the slide. It has an end with some sort of angle on it that captures the rim or base of the cartridge between it & the slide & more or less holds it close to the breech face while the cartridge is being chambered. After the cartridge is fired the extractor pulls the case out of the chamber as the slide moves back, Hence the name: extractor. But the extractor protrudes from the slide when it has a cartridge in its grip. When there is no cartridge in its grip it fits more or less flush against the slide.

Wanna turn it into a loaded chamber indicator? Paint the part of the extractor that fits into the slot in the slide at the breech face red. That's it. If you have some fingernail polish then you too can make a loaded chamber indicator.

I am unaware of any semi-automatic handgun that does not use an extractor in such a manner that it cannot be used to confirm or refute the presence of a cartridge in the chamber.

But magazine cut offs are another matter. It typically uses a firing pin block, which prevents the firing pin from being struck by the hammer. It is actuated by a button inside the magazine well that is depressed when the magazine is inserted. So with a magazine inserted the button is depressed & the firing pin block is moved out of the way so the hammer can strike the firing pin whcih in turns strikes the primer & fires the cartridge. when the magazine is not inserted the firing pin block is in place & the hammer cannot strike the firing pin. On striker fired firearms I assume it works to disconnect the trigger mechanism itself, but I admit I'm not too certain about the mechanics of magazine disconnect safety's in regards to the specifics.

The reason for that is the only use I will ever have for knowing how a magazine disconnect feature operates in a specific pistol is so I can disable it as soon as possible. They are useless to me as I practice very safe handling of firearms & choose to rely on the safety betwixt my ears (as the folks back home say) rather than pieces of metal &/or plastic that give a false sense of security.

There is another reason. I want to be able to fire my pistols if the magazine is not inserted all the way. Pistols are a last ditch defensive tool. You use them at fairly close ranges. & when you use them a lot of things can & will happen. Accidentally hitting the magazine release as a home invader or 3 approaches is not good. It's even worse when the sound of that magazine on the floor means that the cartridge in the chamber is useless to you. So I am not a fan of magazine disconnect safety's & if I can help it I will not have them on any pistols which I may one day have to use for defense.

But because of the extra mechanisms involved in magazine disconnect safety's it complicates the internal working of a firearm. Unless a pistol was designed with that feature then it's going to take some re-designing to accomodate it. In some cases I would asume that it simply cannot accomodate it. Therefore the supply of new pistols in California will become scarcer. which I have no doubt is seen as a plus to those that voted for the bill.

So California is one step closer to a disarmed populace. No, not a big step. But California seems t be using every strategy they can think of to make purchasing arms more difficult. Limiting the type of arms that can be purchased is merely a gradual way of enacting prohibition. they're just doing it certain features at a time rather than banning everything outright.

If you're in California I'd advise getting out, unless you're busy setting up the groundwork for the Resistance.

Irwinn Schiff will get a hearing before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals over a District Court Judge's ruling that his book may not be published & his customer list must be turned over.

"His attorney, Michael Stein, said the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a District Court order that would have required Schiff to provide the government with the names of people who have bought Schiff's books since 1999.
The court also will look at whether a federal judge can ban the sale of Schiff's book, as U.S. District Judge Lloyd George did in June."

Of course given the 9th Circuit's track record I'm not so certain this will be a positive experience for anyone.

"In June, George ordered Schiff to stop selling or distributing his books. Stein said Schiff has complied with the order.
But Schiff refused to turn over his customer list and his database, which holds the names of 18,000 people who have contacted him, but might not have bought anything from him.
'People's rights to privacy are being trampled on,' Stein said.
Federal prosecutors asked George to hold Schiff in contempt of court for failing to turn over the information.
Stein and Lichtenstein said they would attend today's scheduled contempt hearing in federal court, but the appellate court's decision will stay the contempt issue."

I don't agree with Mr. Schiff on a good portion of his views. However I admire his courage. He is risking jail time in order to keep his list of customers from being turned over to the government. Undoubtably the government would immedietely hand over said records to the IRSS & audits galore would ensue. But Mr. Schiff is trying to prevent citizens from being harrassed merely because they purchased his books. & the agency he is trying to protect them from is perhaps the most feared of all government agencies among the general populace. Basically they're armed enforcers with incredible power to seize your property & possibly even seize you. The only difference between the IRSS agent & a mob enforcer working on a protection racket is that the government won't prosecute an IRSS agent.

In any event, I wonder fi the NRA's leadership would risk jail time rather than turning over their membership list?

For previous posts on economics, including more details about Mr. Schiff & alternatives to the progressive income tax please look here.
Alphecca's New & Improved Weekly Check on the Bias at Yahoo with Double Barreled Graphics By Request is up. (September 3rd Edition)
Just a reminder: Roderick Pritchett's trial for obeying all gun laws will be on September 15th in Chicago. If you're one of those unfortunate people who live in the area, please stop by the court room & show your support for Mr. Pritchett. If you're not familiar with Mr. Pritchett's circumstance, please look here.

Thanks to Random Acts of Kindness for the reminder.
The Spoons Experience has an excellent post concerning the weapon used by the shooter in Chicago a few weeks back.

Matt Rustler of Stop The Bleating has a post here & here on the same subject.

& Kevin Baker of The Smallest Minority has a less polite post concerning said events.

Kim du Toit has this post.

Say Uncle has this post.

I'd say they pretty much have things covered.
Got Life insurance? Health insurance? Collision & liability insurance for your vehicles? Homeowners insurance?
David Lee Roth suppossedly got paternity insurance in the 80's. Jennifer Lopex reportedly got ass insurance in the 90's.
You can get all kinds of insurance on all manner of things if you're willing to find the right company & dish out the right price.

However, ve are here to tell you about some insurance dat is absolutely critical to ze zugzezvul operation ov the nation. Vithout it the very lives of your fearless & trusted leaders vould be jeopardized. Dis insurance is therefore critical to the populace & you vill like it or be deemed a traitor & punished accordingly.

Tyrant insurance.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I am not a citizen, nor resident of California. Therefore concerning the upcoming recall I have no dog in the race so to speak.
Being a news junkie however, I do have opinions about the recall, specifically who is deserving of support & who is not. These opinions bear no weight unless you happen to agree with them & be eligible to vote in California. I am not sure how many Californians visit this blog on any sort of regular basis so I may well be expanding this effort for naught. Nevertheless i feel the answer to the age old question is yes, a blogger is still a blogger even if he/she blogs in a forest with no one to fisk him/her.

Hugh Hewitt is the host of a very popular conservative talk radio show. I listen to him whenever possible. He's very entertaining & perhaps one of the best showmen in radio. That being said I do not find him without fault.

Michael Medved hosts another very popular conservative talk radio show. I also listen to him whenever possible. His show is definitely political, but often focuses more on the cultural effects of politics than the mechanics, although he touches on that as well. That being said I do not find him without fault.

Annika is the host & proprietor of a very popular & well written blog. She is a conservative in California which makes her rare if not downright endangered. She is perhaps one of the best new bloggers I have found recently. She's entertaining without sacrificing intellectual depth. & through the correspondences we've had on various subjects I have come to regard her as a friend. That being said, with the most sincere regret I do not find her without fault.

What fault do I find with Mr. Hewitt, Mr. Medved & Ms. Annika respectively? While being conservative Republicans they have all endorsed Arnold Scwarzenegger. & since Mr. Schwarzenegger is running as a Republican you might be wondering why I find their endorsement of him as a fault. Allow me to explain:

Mr. Schwarzenneger has views that are more aptly described as liberal rather than conservative. Without going into too many of the details I feel he would be a Republican in name only, unless the Republican party is finally making the official shift to the left that they have been doing in practice for decades. In short his policies as Governor would be less beneficial than most would think. In fact they could even be harmful.

But the supporters of Mr. Schwarzenegger I mentioned above know this. They admit it freely. Not so much that Mr. Schwarzenegger may be harmful to California, but that he's not the "best" conservative Republican candidate out there.

So why do they endorse Mr. Schwarzenegger? Because Mr. Schwarzenegger has the best chance of winning.

For republicans &/or conservatives in California it comes down to two choices: Mr. Schwarzenegger, who does have some good ideas but on the balance is not as conservative nor as Republican as most (conservative Republicans that is) would like; & Sen. Tom McClintock, who is perhaps the most qualified Republican candidate for Governor that California has seen in a very long time.

Most of the things that Mr. Schwarzenegger's supporters say makes him a good candidate (repeal of the car tax, measures to revive business, measures to stop mass immigration from California, etc...) are things that Sen. McClintock has been advocating for some time. Further, the things on which Mr. Schwarzenegger drifts a bit, Sen. McClintock stays true to the course.

But Mr. Schwarzenegger has one thing over Sen. McClintock that his supporters have latched onto & are holding onto for dear life: He would be much easier to get elected.

So instead of opting to put their support behind a candidate whose views would better serve California but would have a slightly tougher time getting elected, they put their backing behind a candidate whose views are less than ideal & in some cases could be harmful but has the potential to be an easier win.

I've seen the same logic before. Mostly it comes form the NRA when they try to explain why they supported a gun control bill. The most typical example is the NRA's support of the current Colorado Concealed Carry law. The NRA pushed firmly for this law because it was Shall Issue whereas the previous law was May Issue. In doing so they totally ignored another CCW bill that was introduced at the same time but soon tabled. The new CCW law is not much better & in some cases worse than the old CCw law & definitely inferior to the proposed but tabled CCW law. So why did the NRA push for an inferior CCW law? Because they claimed the better CCW law wouldn't pass.

What we have is a situation that can be desribed most aptly as a self fufilling prophecy: If you put all of your effort behind plan B on the assumption that plan A will fail, then regardless of plan B's outcome, plan A will fail.

The parallels between this so called pragmatic view of the California recall & various laws backed by the NRA are obvious. In both cases a better option is ignored because of a perceived or claimed difficulty in seeing it through. Also, it is claimed that any opposition for the more idealogically correct choice would be in effect a vote for the idealogically wrong choice.

But a strong counter to these arguments is the annoying little idea that if support was given fully to the better qualified candidate or idea then perhaps he/she/it would win out over the ill qualified candidate or idea.

Ms. Annika has a very thoughful essay explaining her reasons for supporting Mr. Schwarzenegger. Her main argument is that Mr. Schwarzenegger has the best chance of winning & therefore voting for another candidate, even one more qualified & in ine with her political philosophy would split the Republican vote & in effect put yet another Democrat in office.

Since Mr. Hewitt & Mr. Medved have expressed the bulk of their views on air & Ms. Annika has conveniently put hers in print, & Mr. Hewitt's, Mr. Medved's, & Ms. Annika's views tend to overlap I will reluctantly pick on her as a representative of the pro-Schwarzenegger-because-he-can-win group. I need to come up with a cathcier name though...The Easy Arnold Crowd? The Schwarzenegger Shoe-In Folks?

"The message will be sent, and the liberal experimenters will shake in their boots all across the country, BUT ONLY IF WE WIN! Those five words are the most important words in this whole essay.
Because if we lose, they breathe a sigh of relief and go back to business as usual..."

That is the heart of a very well written & almost persuasive essay. But let's examine the 5 words that Ms. Annika & others are so fixated on: But Only If We Win.

Winning seems to be the operative word. Don't get me wrong - winning can be a very good thing. But just as important are answers to the questions "How did you win" & "What did you win"?

Let's examine the former: How would Californians win in the recall? I would venture to say that winning would encompass putting someone in place whose social & economic policies are better for California than the sitting Governor. Honestly this wouldn't be hard. So let's answer the question by saying that winning would be accomplished by voting for someone with compatable politics to our own.

Mr. Schwarzenegger certainly does have that big "R" beside his name, but does that make him a Republican? Sadly enough, nowadays it does. In the olden days, back when dirt was just an idea that hadn't been patented, Republicans held the banner of 'small government' proudly before them. (Well, except for that Lincoln thing, but the discussion on the damage he did to the concept of federalism will have towait for another time.) The Republican Party is increasingly the party in favor of "smaller goverment...than the Democrats want, but not by much". So for those who just wish to see a Republican in office no matter how left-leaning &/or Socialist &/or Democrat-like (that was what you call a necessary triple redundancy) his policies are, then all other arguments are negated & we need only look for the candidate with the best chance of winning.

But should an "R" beside the name need to be backed by a center-right to right wing view of things, perhaps going so far as being labeled 'conservative' or (heaven forbid) 'libertarian' then the candidate who would make winning possible would change. It would no longer be Mr. Schwarzenegger, but Sen. McClintock. If it takes more than having the "R" beside the name then McClintock's election would be the goal of winning.

Now let's examine the latter question: "What did you win"?

In all probabilty the policies of Mr. Schwarzenegger will be little different than the policies of any center-left Democrat. So while his election may make things a little better for the Republican party, having added one more victory & office holder to their roles, they would not necessarily make things better than when Gov. Davis was in control. What would be won by Mr. Schwarzenegger's election is not dissimilar from what the NRA claims as a victory any time a gun control bill they approve of passes: The party claiming victory gets bragging rights & perhaps a little more clout, while the individuals whom the party is suppossed to represent gets screwed. No dinner. No flowers. No movie. No warm caresses. No phone call the next day. At best you get word from a friend that they thought you were o.k. in bed, but it was necessary to move on.

With Sen. McClintock you get a Republican in the old sense of the term, & possibly a libertarian leaning conservative (depending upon how you define those terms). There is little danger of Sen. McClintock adapting a more leftist/socialist/Democrat stance on things. If he's standing firmly against those things in the face of an election, chances would be slim (though not non-existent) that he'd betray the principles he has espoused after he was elected. With McClintock you'd most likely get what you see.

& let it be known that I say all of this with a grain of reservation, as poltiicians are the most unpredictable of creatures. One can usually count on their personal greed & lust for power to predict their actions, but sometimes they attempt to satisfy those cravings in unexpected ways. So anything is possible, although I believe that my conclusions are more probable than not.

"But is he right for California? i think that's the wrong question to ask. The question i ask is: can he win?"

To that I must disagree. That line of reasoning - the pragmatic approach - is one of the most direct & immediete causes of our political situation. Voting for a candidate based on his potential to win rather than his fitness for the job is no different than picking a mate based not on the quality of their character but the likeleyhood of their fertility.

So I submit that when it comes to disregarding the question of "should he win?" to give preference to the question of "can he win?" then you've already lost.

But to answer Ms. Annika's question - Mr. Schwarzenegger can win the election. However I don't think he would be correct for California unless Ms. Annika feels that correctness leans left of center, or more towards socilaism &/or libera;ism (in the modern political sense of the word). & knowing Ms. Annika she's probably a rather dangerous shade of red at the thought of me implying that. So Mr. Schwarzenegger would be able to win, but not right for California. In effect that's buying a $2 raffle ticket trying to win a $1 jackpot. Sure, the chances of winning are probably good (after all, how many people would be willing to buy a competeting ticket?) but by winning you end up losing.

"A caller to the John and Ken show said that he'd never vote for Schwarzenegger because he's in favor of the assault weapons ban. My question to that person is this: What do you think Bustamonte is going to do to your Second Amendment rights?"

This one I couldn't leave alone. The argument is that even though Mr. Schwarzenegger is against the Right to Arms, his Democrat opponent is just as oppossed if not more so to people exercising their Rights. That might be a compelling argument (although not to me personally) in a two candidate race, but this is not a two candidate race. There are many other candidates & one of them happens to be a Republican who is very much for the Right to Arms. In fact, here's a speech Sen. McClintock gave in 2001 called Freedom & Firearms.

But let's assume for the sake of argument that the only two candidates are Mr. Schwarzenegger & lt. Gov. Bustamonte. Both are against the Right to Arms. so who does a voter who cherishes his Right to Arms vote for? Neither. eeven if it meant not voting for eithe rone in a two person election that would be the onyl choice. It'd be nice to write in "None of the Above" on the ballot, but if that weren't possible then staying at home would be prefferable to helping either one get elected.

Most people view politics as a game, & with any game being on the winning side becomes important. But politics is not a game - it can literally be a matter of life & death. Sometimes there is no choice to be made - where a vote for either candidate would be a vote for your own demise. Practically speaking the effect of the vote will make no difference to you - either way the candidate who wins will do you harm. But there is no advantage to voting for one or the other given the obvious outcome. Voting would only matter if there were other issues involved on which the candidates disagreed & you had an interest in. But for the single issue voters it would be more beneficial to stay at home loading ammo or spend some time at the range in preperation for attempts at confiscation. Yelling, "but I voted for that guy!" will not make him reconsider a gun confiscation bill, nor will it persuade his lap dogs from breaking in your door & attempting to take your arms.

But as I said it is not merely a choice between the two. It is choosing to choose between the two. sen. McClintock is a viable option, despite what others (especially Mr. Hewitt) would say. So the answer to Ms. Annika's question is not describing how horrible it would be for gun owners under Gov. Bustamonte, but describing how nice it could be under Gov. McClintock.

"It's not a matter of principle. It's simple math. A vote for McClintock is a vote for Bustamonte. A vote for Ueberroth is a vote for Busamonte. No amount of impassioned argument will change that simple fact."

Actually the fact is not so simple, & it definitely can be changed.

What do you think would happen if, instead of everyone asking Sen. McClintock to drop out so that Mr. Schwarzenegger can receive the support of many more Republicans, that mr. Schwarzenegger was asked to drop out so Sen. McClintock could recieve the support of many more Republicans? What if Mr. Hewitt, Mr. Medved & Ms. Annika decided to endorse Sen. McClintock? That could shift things decisively in Sen. McClintock's favor.

The similarities to the recall in California & many gun control laws is startling. You have an option that's bad (Lt. Gov. Bustamonte or an original draft of a gun control bill), an option that's a little better (Mr. Schwarzenegger or an NRA approved gun control bill) & an option that's markedly better than the previous two choices (Sen. McClintock or a Ron paul/GOa approved counter to the gun control bill) But instead of sticking to principles & seeing through a difficult fight, the ones who should be backing the best option settle for an inferior option based on political expediency.

But what we are left with is a self fufilling prophecy: they all respectively believe that sen. McClintock has no chance of winning & that Mr. Schwarzenegger has the best chance of winning so they support Mr. Schwarzenegger despite his views. Perhaps if they shifted their support then others would be influenced & sen. McClintock's chances would be greatly increased.

As it stands now, Sen. McCl;intock doesn't have a very good chance of winning - not because he isn't the right candidate but because those who should support him have turned their backs on him for the sake of an easy VINO. What's a VINO you may ask? That'd be a Victory In Name Only. Funny, it seems to rhyme with RINO - Republican In Name Only.

Despite this & despite assertions that a vote for McClintock is a vote for Lt. Gov. Bustamonte, I council voting your conscience. In My case that would be Sen. McClintock, as he seems like the only candidate who would have some reverence for an individuals' Rights.

& I cannot stress enough that it pains me to be in such disagreement with Ms. Annika. I disagree frequently with Mr. Hewitt & Mr. Medved & that doesn't seem to bother me. In fact I often disagree with the methods & logic they use to arrive at conclusions I do agree with them on. But I assume that anytime you disagree with someone you respect as well as like it's a little more difficult than disagreeing with someone whom you just like or are entertained by.

One other thing...all this is theoretical for me on two fronts: I'm not a California voter, nor likely will I ever be & second - I do not believe California can be 'fixed'. Containment is the best that can be hoped for. There are a lot of good people in California & I wish them all well (some of my best friends are Californian!), but California's internal structure & political nature are so far gone that nothing short of a revolution (yes, I mean the kind with guns & people storming the capitol) will be able to set things right. Considering the nature of the majority of voters in California I doubt this would happen, or in the event that it would the system that replaces the current one there would likely be worse than the one in place now. But whoever does win the recall election will not likely be able to set things straight. Postpone the inevitable for a time perhaps, but I fear California is lost.

Monday, September 01, 2003

An 85 year old British subject was fatally stabbed in a home invasion.

"An 85-year-old retired butcher who was stabbed to death after he got out of bed to confront burglars would not have thought twice about tackling the men and 'having a go', his family told police.
Eric Hingston was found by his wife Audrey, 81, with a stab wound to the neck in the bedroom of their flat in Plympton, Devon, at 3.50am yesterday."

Sadly, in Great Britain this is preferable to having a person use deadly force in justifiable self defense.

"Det Chief Insp Tony Carney, who is leading the investigation, said: 'It is a tragedy that this should happen to elderly people enjoying their retirement. It ranks among the worst crimes I have seen in 29 years' service'."

Really? I'd think that disarming an entire people & making them subject (pun intended) to the whims of criminals in & out of government would be the worst freakin' crime that has happened in the last 29 years. Although to be fair it started quite a while before that.

But the detective in question needn't worry about that. ya see he's a member of the elite class - government employees. he can be armed. He can defend himself with minimal risk of prosecution.

The blood of Mr. Hingston is not soley upon the hands of the man who stabbed him, but on every freakin' cop & lawmaker who made damned sure that Mr. Hingston couldn't defend his own life. It's on every jurist & juror who voted to convict a person who defied the law by having or using an implement in self defense. & it is on the entire populace of Great Britain for allowing themselves to be turned into a sheep like people with an abhorence for self protection & those who practice it.

But I cannot scream across the ocean too loudly because the same things are happening bit by bit here.

It seems I'm not the only one to see that Sen. McClintock is a better choice than Mr. Schwarzenegger:

"McClintock doesn't need anyone to tell him what to think or what to say. Motivated by a strong Jeffersonian philosophy of limited government and with a 20-year track record of carefully dissecting the problems confronting California, McClilntock is perhaps overqualified to be governor. And, look what his dark-horse candidacy has accomplished in less than a month..."

Of course I doubt that anyone who wasn't around when the earth was experiencing its first sunrise could be called overqualified. But that speaks more to California's very messed up situation rather than to anyones qualifications.
"Only two outcomes now seem likely. First, H.R. 2038 will continue to engender little resistance from the NRA. Second, the NRA will mount an offensive against 2038 and the assault weapons ban will be reauthorized in its 1994 configuration. The NRA will claim victory and send out solicitation letters to Life Members like myself informing us how lucky we are that the NRA kept those radical Democratic alternatives from becoming law."

That is from Jim Duensing's piece entitled Who's The NRA? Give it a read.
Via Kim DuToit I was pointed to an essay by Vin Suprynowicz called THE LIBERTARIAN.

An excerpt:

"Suppose the president of the United States got fed up tomorrow with some band of recalcitrant rebels operating in your city. For our purposes (as well as for his), it doesn't matter whether he chooses to condemn these folks as drug dealers, home schoolers, child abusers, tax resisters, or obstreperous gun nuts who refuse to turn in their "murderous, paramilitary" arms as ordered.

The president orders the National Guard and the FBI's thousand-strong, black-shirted paramilitary "Hostage Rescue Team" into your city to clean out the pockets of "antisocial, bandit resistance" under an emergency decree of martial law.

Quick: With the weapons you have on hand, and the degree of organization currently maintained between yourself and your neighbors (envisioned by our founding fathers as members along with you of your local militia), is your ability and likelihood to resist this unconstitutional incursion on your liberties by a few thousand professional soldiers armed with tanks, helicopter gunships, and fully-automatic M-16 rifles more closely akin to the condition of the citizen farmers who met General Burgoyne at Saratoga, armed with weapons (start ital)better(end ital) than the standard British army issue musket -- that is to say, of a "well-regulated militia, necessary to the security of a free state," whose right to keep and bear military style arms (like the householders of today's free and peaceful Switzerland, each expected to keep a fully-automatic machine gun in the closet) has never been "infringed"?

Or would your circumstance be more closely akin to that of those medieval peasants we were discussing, whose only chance of survival was found in laying down their scythes and pitchforks, dropping to their knees, and begging the king's soldiers for mercy?"

Now, as they say, go read the rest of it.

Gary Gorski, the counsel who has appealed Silveira vs. Lockyer to the Supreme Court of the U.S. is not happy with the NRA's attempts to take credit for the work he's done.
It seems that the NRA issued a press release that implied they were working on the Silveira case prior to their filing of an Amicus Curiae brief in support of SCOTUS hearing the case. (Here's a saved screenshot of the NRA press release.)
But in fact, the NRA attorney who is credited with fighting for Second Amendment Rights in California had filed an Amicus Curiae brief asking the Ninth Circuit to dismiss the case entirely. For a decent review of the NRA attorney's actions, read this piece by Brian Puckett. In fact, The NRA attorney had stated that the NRA's California affiliate, the CRPA, would most likely file an Amicus Curiae in opposition to Silveira being heard by SCOTUS.

So the $2 question is why did the NRA, through their attorney & the CRPA at first oppose Silveira vs. Lockyer but now support it? I have some theories but I'll ponder them a while longer before I speculate further on the matter.

Incidentally, Mr. Gorski has this press release in which he expresses the opinion that because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has delayed a ruling in Nordyke vs. King, that things are looking promising that the Supreme Court will hear Silveira vs. Lockyer.

Donations are still needed & very much appreciated for the Silveira vs. Lockyer appeal to the Supreme Court, so give what you can.

Since I mentioned Mr. Puckett earlier I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend reading Brian Puckett's A Plan to Restore the Second Amendment