Friday, March 26, 2004

This week on Armed Females of America, I wrote an article called "Turning schools into victim disarmament zones." When I sat down to write, I tried to control my ever rising temper from boiling over and spilling onto my keyboard. But now that I think about it, more needs to be said...

...not just about school victim disarmament zones, but about stupid, worthless, gutless, clueless, tyrannical politicians who breed this atmosphere of paranoid hoplophobia in which we live. So here goes ...

The schools are just the beginning. Schools are a way to indoctrinate the population into the mindset of government dependence, destruction of freedom and mindless obedience from a very young age. Public schools are under the control of the politicians - both local, state and federal. Their funding depends on how well they parrot the political agenda of the moment and how loudly and wetly they kiss the derrieres of the politicians setting the political agenda. They are taught that armed guards in schools are there for their protection, but students themselves are not worthy enough, intelligent enough or responsible enough to also take a modicum of responsibility for their own safety. They are taught that firearms in the hands of the armed police are necessary tools, while firearms their parents may own must be locked away, because in the hands of the "civilians" they aren't. The children are pounded with propaganda about the absolute need to lock up your tool of self defense and encouraged to nag their parents into using government-provided locks (obtained by stealing money from the taxpayers, of course) to disable their firearms. They are taught that water guns, GI Joe guns, small knives to cut their fruit, laser pointers and even rubber bands can be used as weapons and must not be tolerated.

These same children, who are endlessly inundated with hoplophobic, paranoid, bigoted garbage about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, citizen militias, guns and freedom, grow up to be paranoid, bigoted college students who spend their days growing their armpit and leg hair (for women) and facial hair (for men -- and even some women) as long as possible, washing as little as possible and spewing socialist propaganda disguised as "progressive," for the children, for a better world, common good policy for a brighter future and a sunny, green world filled with rare insects, tropical birds, killer cougars and a few unwashed humans.

Is it any wonder, then, that the bureaucrats and government flunkies of today are so indoctrinated into the disarmament mentality? After all, you cannot impose your version of utopia on an unsuspecting public without quelling insurrection, can you? You can't force an entire population to be dependent on the omnipresent, ever-benevolent state, without taking away their means of smacking down or destroying that state should it become tyrannical, can you? And you certainly can't expect the sheep to worship the state without removing the concepts of freedom, of personal responsibility and of individual rights from their minds.

I am convinced that this is the true purpose behind the increasingly absurd zero-tolerance policies of our public schools. This is why they expel gold twinkies from their rectums at the very thought of a kid wearing a shooting sports T-shirt to school. This is the real reason why they force the children and teachers alike to worship at the altar of victimhood, disarmament and government dependence. That's why they lock down schools at the mere thought of an armed intruder, locking every disarmed and helpless body inside with the potentially dangerous criminal and force the frightened, vulnerable students and teachers to wait for the armed police protectors to arrive, compelling them to depend on government guns for their very lives.

Because once they take away every last shred of dignity, personal responsibility and freedom, individuals who have the gall to shake off the tentacles of government control can be easily beaten down by the state without too much protest from the rest of the sheep.

Think about it -- aside from the gun rights community and freedom advocates, who raised an eyebrow when Ron Dixon was prosecuted by NYC for defending his family against a violent repeat offender who broke into his home without getting several-hundred dollar permission from the tyrannical panty wetters of New York? Who was outraged when Hale DeMar was harrassed by the foul, cowardly, statist cops in Wilmette, IL for daring to protect his family with a firearm, instead of cowering in his locked bedroom and waiting for the donut munchers to arrive? Who protested when Melvin Spaulding had to spend time in jail for using a firearm to protect his 63 year old friend from being kicked to death by a band of thugs? And who is raging now, as Edwin Marte, who had the nerve to stop an armed robber from robbing the Ramon Food Market in Queens without getting permission from the nanny state, is being prosecuted for using an "illegal" tool of self defense to protect life and property?

Are the people of America angry? Are they incensed? Are millions of Americans angry at this injustice? No. A few thousand dedicated gun owners and gun rights advocates are. The rest of the indoctrinated American sheep, go about their daily business, watch Friends, gorge on McDonald's burgers and delude themselves into thinking they are free.

Whew! I feel better now.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

In the comments to the post below I found the following from Linda Seebach:

"I am distressed when people I generally agree with behave in a disgraceful manner to advance our shared views.

Threatening the newspaper's staff members, most of whom have nothing to do with the decision, if it publishes something you do not approve of is beneath contempt.

As you probably know, the Rocky supported making Colorado a shall-issue state, so we have no animus toward guns. And as far as I know, no one here has ever contemplated putting the state's list of concealed-carry permit holders online. We have, however, opposed measures to make the permit list secret (in furtherance of the principle that government records should be open whenever possible). And we opposed a bill to end the sharing of permit data between counties (it lost).

You could threaten us with harm for some of our positions, and the anti-gun people could threaten us for the rest. In either case, the tactic would be thuggery. It discredits your views."

There are a few factual discrepancies that keep me from agreeing with her admonition.

For starters the idea that I or any other blogger threatened a newspaper's staff because they were going to publish something I or we didn't like is an oversimplified & inaccurate representation of what happened. I point this out because of the typical negative connotation of ?threat? which I don't believe applies: in the sense that a threat is a warning then it could be used accurately, but I think "ultimatum" better describes what was relayed than to say we "threatened" anyone.

If an ultimatum or threat was offered solely because a newspaper's intended content would offend, then I would agree that using any coercion beyond persuasive logic or consumer retaliation (a boycott) would be unacceptable in that circumstance. A punitive response (other than the boycott) wouldn't be generally acceptable if the issue was only a papers' intellectual content.

But the issue wasn't about publishing an opinion that I don't agree with; it was about publishing a list of names which in a pragmatic sense could be directly harmful to those whose names are published & in a principled sense would cause harm to the people's privacy. That differs greatly from an op-ed that calls for more gun control. One affects everyone who may or may not agree; the other affects a specific group of people who have no choice in the matter.

Put another way: I don't agree with wearing sandals with socks. I also don't agree with unprovoked violence against an elderly person. It would be unacceptable if I smacked down someone just because of a serious lack of judgment in footwear options, but justifiable if I smacked down someone who was beating up their grandmother. What the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel was about to do was much closer to beating up their grandmother than it was to making a fashion faux pa. & since I don?t think it's "thuggery" to stop someone from beating up their grandmother I have to disagree with that characterization of my actions as well.
Now what was "threatened" would not cause any harm to the newspaper staff if their reasoning about publishing the list of permit holders was valid. After all, if publishing public records is no cause for concern then publishing legally obtainable info on the staff of a paper shouldn't cause a problem right?

But we all know this is not the case. What would be substantive is the loss of privacy suffered by both parties. Now to say that it's acceptable to compromise the privacy of gun owners because the law allows it is bullshit pure & simple. To go further & say that finding legally obtainable info on a newspapers staff is somehow different is also bullshit. There simply is no difference in publishing permit holder's info & publishing newspaper staff info. Neither was accused of any crime or claimed to be a threat to the public & the public can gain no useful insight in finding out how & who doesn't have permission to carry a concealed weapon.

Why would I have done it if the actions in general aren't cool? By publishing names they would have crossed the line from making flawed policy recommendations into causing substantive harm to gun owners. The only way to counter such a direct affront is in kind.
My goal was not to publish the info of the staff out of spite or vindictiveness, but to make the paper aware that if their actions were acceptable then I wouldn't have qualms about stooping to their level. In doing that I hoped the paper would see that if it's wrong for me to publish the info of their staff then it'd be at least equally wrong for them to publish the names of the permit holders.

There simply is no public interest whatsoever in publishing a list of people who have concealed carry permits. The only things such a list could be used for would be to discriminate against people with such a permit & to discourage the more privacy conscience people from applying for a permit. I can see no pragmatic argument which outweighs the privacy & safety concerns of permit holders. & in principle what they were advocating is making a list public of those who would exercise a distortion of a Right. I cannot fathom that a list of library card holders or church members would be seen as "newsworthy" by any paper in this country. Despite at least one reporter missing the point entirely, y'all wouldn't dream of publishing info that's perceived as being available through the Patriot Act, would ya? & despite the name & photo of Kobe Bryant's accuser being widely available on line & in the tabloids the Rocky wouldn't publish it would they? That's cause despite the info being available to the public it would serve no public interest to make that info available in a paper & could possibly cause harm to those whose info was published. So again I come back to an attempt to discourage & demonize permit holders as the only valid reasons for publishing such a list.

Luckily, everybody won: the permit holder's info was not published by the paper & I didn't feel i had to publish the info of their staff. They decided (quite correctly) that their actions would be inappropriate. Whatever the cause I'm glad for all concerned that no info was published.

Now about the Rocky Mountain News:

I'm usually much more severe with their sister publication* the Denver Post. That doesn't mean the Rocky is without fault - not by a longshot.
Now have you or anyone at the Rocky staff really examined the "shall Issue" law we have in Colorado? Have you ever studied the law it replaced? Or did an in depth look at proposals to replace both of them? I have & you're more than welcome to view my conclusions here. The short story is that the "shall issue" CCW is a step backwards from the "may issue" law it replaced. & both were inferior to a proposed but quickly tabled CCW law that was introduced around the same time. & All three are inferior to the Vermont/Alaska style law that was proposed but killed in committee a little over a month ago.

The NRA backed the "Shall Issue" law & opposed the others so to most people they assume that the "Shall Issue" law was a good idea. But as far as the interests of gun owners are concerned the NRA is falling short in a lot of areas. You're welcome to view my previous posts on the NRA here. In fact I'll go so far as to advice you or any other newspaper that if you want to make the NRA look bad in a story you're wasting your time with the anti-gun groups. You'd be far more effective talking to gun owners who are disgruntled with the NRA's tactics & strategy.

But all this is to say that equating support for Colorado's current "Shall Issue" law is not effective proof that the Rocky is not hostile towards guns or gun owners.

You go on further to state your opposition to making the list of permit holders "secret". Now here's the deal: I am not a fan of CCW permit laws. They compromise what should be considered a Right & place undue burdens on those who would simply want to protect themselves w/o having to run afoul of the cops. They're nothing more than prior restraint based laws designed to desensitize a populace as to their Rights. That being said I disagree wholeheartedly that a list of any gun owner who is not a violent habitual felon should be publicly accessible. It's making public a system of gun owner registration & were the objects of said registration exercising any other Right enumerated in the federal & state constitutions respectively then there'd be all kind of hell raised at the idea of it being part of a law.

Let's suppose a law was passed that required all newspaper staff to be licensed. Would you honestly say that this information should be a matter of public record? How about a license to belong to a religious organization? Again, would a public record of whose Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, Catholic or Hindu be acceptable? Would there be any valid reason whatsoever for you to be able to look at a record & determine whether your neighbor works for a newspaper & what religion they practice considering the state ran a background check & determined them to be okay people?

& the law you refer to about sharing permit holder information is described inaccurately. I assume you were referring to Rep. Crane's HB1205. The bill would not have ended the "...sharing of permit data between counties...": rather it would have eliminated a statewide gun owner data base. Now in the "Shall Issue" law we now have a sheriff may at his/her discretion share info with another law enforcement agency for the purpose of confirming the validity of a permit. That wouldn't have been changed. What would have changed is that instead of 2007 as originally specified in the law, the date would be moved to 2004 to abolish a statewide database on permit holders.

Now why the hell would you oppose a bill that merely moves the abolishment of a statewide database up 3 years but still allows for confirmation that a permit is valid? Did you or anyone at the Rocky staff actually read the bill & attempt to understand what it means? The language is very plain & fairly simple. It's a two page bill that changes the law by invalidating one sentence in one paragraph & changing the year from 2007 to 2004 in another paragraph.

The only reason for opposition to said bill would be if you were also opposed to the statewide database of law abiding gun owners being done away with in 2007. So in 2006 are we going to argue the merits of gun owner registration all over again, or did the Rocky simply make a knee-jerk reaction to what it perceived to be a pro-gun law?

As I've said the Rocky is by comparison a decent paper as far as gun issues go, but it's by no means perfect & I'd spend more time on the Rocky's errors if the Denver Post weren't as bad as they are.

But I'll make you an offer (don't get all happy I make the offer to any & every paper that will listen) if you wish to discuss the situation with publishing the names of CCW holders, Colorado's gun laws or any & every other firearm related issue I'll be more than happy to accommodate you. I can meet you in person, call you, have you call me, or simply exchange e-mails. It can be on the record, off the record or anything in between. I'll be more than happy to publish anything that we discuss here unedited. This is open to you or anyone at the Rocky or any other newspaper so your anonymity can be preserved. & I'll even go so far as to grant you amnesty if your paper publishes CCW holder names & I respond in kind (well as long as you're not the one pushing for it). & to make the offer even sweeter I'll be more than happy to take you or any other newspaper employee to a range & teach you &/or them about safe firearms handling, marksmanship & perhaps most important to your line of work the actual differences between types of firearms.

& in case you're wondering what's in it for me, it ain't the publicity. The way I see it if I can make some headway into changing the attitudes of one reporter in a (& I'm being generous here) paper that's only moderately biased &/or ignorant about firearms then perhaps it'll cause factual articles to be published at least occasionally instead of the usual gun control organizations press releases being printed as news articles.


*Ms. Seebach has informed me that I am mistaken in the nature of the relationship between the Rocky Mountain News & the Denver Post:

"...the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post are not 'sister papers.' They are owned by different companies and fiercely competitive in the field of journalism. Only the non-journalism part, advertising, circulation, printing and the like are shared, but all that is outsourced to a third company, the Denver Newspaper Agency, which is in turn jointly owned by the companies that own the papers."

So I stand corrected.

Another thing that was brought up was that my attempts to differentiate between "ultimatum" & "threat" were unconvincing to Ms. Seebach. Hopefully this will make it clearer:

The word "threat" is usually perceived as an unprovoked & unjustifiable preemptive measure (i.e. "I'm gonna kick your ass"). The word "ultimatum" is generally perceived as a retaliatory warning dependent upon another's action (i.e. "if you don't drop the gun I'll shoot you"). I simply feel that because my actions were an attempt to respond in kind to what the paper in question was considering that the word "threat" was an inappropriate description in the context Ms. Seebach meant it. (The dictionary will point out that "threat" can be defined as merely "an indication of something impending" with no other implications, but from her later use of "thuggery" I assume Ms. Seebach was not referring to "threat" in that sense).

An Indiana newspaper was thinking about publishing a list of CCW permit holders. For some background please see this previous post by Nicki & this previous post by me. The Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel decides to do the right thing.

"After listening to many of you and reading pages and pages of e-mails, as well as consulting experts in ethics and law enforcement, we've decided not to provide easier access to this public record on our Web site. The prospect of harm seems to outweigh the potential for public good. Those who want the information will have to request it from the State Police and pay $25 for it."

About 3,000 people contacted them & the vast majority of them opposed making the list public. What they didn't mention was that some bloggers contacted them & said if any CCW permit holders names are published then all the legally obtainable information of the newspapers staff will be posted on the net in blogs, message forums & any other venue that it can be posted in. I have no idea if that had any effect at all on their decision but I'd like to think so.

There were a few disturbing things mentioned in this paragraph towards the end of the article:

"While we reached this conclusion after much thought and discussion, anyone with programming skills could purchase the list from the state and provide searchable access to it online. So, while the debate over what The News-Sentinel does with the list is over, perhaps we've started a useful conversation about who should have easy access to this information. Twenty-one states allow the public at least some access to this data, and 23 close the records, while six states issue no permits, according to research by The Plain Dealer in Cleveland."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is a paper in Ohio that threatened to do the same thing & bloggers responded appropriately. But that there's contact between the two papers is interesting.

But the first two sentences could be taken as a request from the newspaper for an anonymous individual to post the list on the net. Hell, I'm damn sure it is. If they feel that they shouldn't publish the list because the "...prospect of harm seems to outweigh the potential for public good..." then why are they suggesting that some other person or entity could post the list? It seems to me that they just want to avoid the responsibilty & consequences of publishing the list but they'd still like to see the list published.

They did list some of the more compelling pragmatic arguments for not publishing the list (while ignoring the principled ones) but then they turn around & mention that anyone with some basic computer knowledge could publish the list & perhaps the topic is still open for public discussion.

I'm glad (for a number of reasons) that they decided not to publish the list, but I am disappointed in their veiled plea for someone else to publish it for them.
NYC is at it again. No, they weren't handing out tickets to people helping with traffic control in an emergency again.They didn't arrest another person & his 1 month old friggin' kitten again. They didn't scare anyone else literally to death in a no-knock raid again. They didn't even suspend a cop because he refused to obey an unlawful order again. They have done this kind of thing before, most notably in the Bronx to Mr. Dixon. This time the bastards in Queens are prosecuting a person solely because he had the means to defend himself.

"Devin Keitt, 26, allegedly tried to rob at gunpoint the Ramon Food Market on 107th Avenue in Ozone Park at 8 p.m., cops said.
But he was foiled by Edwin Marte, 35, who shot Keitt once in the head with an unlicensed gun, police sources said."

So a guy shoots someone that's robbing him at gunpoint. But instead of being lauded or at the least left alone guess what happens to the good citizen:

"Police sources said Marte is facing a weapons charge and Keitt is facing attempted robbery and weapons charges."

WTF??? The guy was defending himself but because he did it without having his papers in order he faces persecution prosecution. I'll grant that NYC isn't as bad as England yet but you have to remember England didn't just morph overnight into a place where exercising a basic human Right was verboten; they got there through incremental policies that eventually culminated into what it is today: a victim disarmament/criminal encouragement zone.

Now I'll grant that there could be more to the story than was reported, but unless the clerk was holding the guy's infant at gunpoint immediately prior to the robbery then I just don't see how it'll make this anything less than a sick & twisted version of what should have happened.

As I was searching for contact info I happened upon this page from the NYPD site. If you'll note at the bottom they have a banner ad offering a $1000 reward for anyone who rats out a person with an "illegal" handgun. The phrase "self-serving, elitist, statist bastards" comes to mind but more importantly it probably guarantees they'll be less than sympathetic. In fact, here's an interview Angel Shamaya had with a NYPD officer about this bounty on unlicensed self defense tools. Now to shed some more light on this I refer you to this page which is nothing more than an advertisement for the NYPD's rent-a-cop program! Those elitist bastards have a vested financial interest in making sure the populace is disarmed: $30 per hour for the cop plus an additional 10% of the total to NYC.

& on top of that, the NYPD gets the cash from the handgun licenses:

"$255.00 - Made payable to the New York City Police Department, must be paid by certified check or money order.
$99.00 - Made payable to the New York City Police Department, must be paid by certified check or money order."

Capone wished he had it so good.

In NYC you're forced by law to obtain a permit to have a handgun in your own home or place of business. The permit process is expensive, invasion & time consuming. I can't speak for most of New Yorkers but if I was paying damn near $8 a pack for smokes I sure as hell couldn't afford the $400 for a permit. & that's even if you find some way of justifying licensing a Right. This previous post on concealed carry permits explains some of the reasons why permits in general are violative of our Rights. Though it's focus is concealed carry I don't see much difference between the situation with NYC's handgun possession permits.

But if you won't believe me then perhaps you'll believe SCOTUS:

"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)

What should happen is for the officers making the arrest & subsequent theft of Mr. Marte's property be arrested themselves for the violation of Mr. Marte's Right to Arms. And any DA who gave the word to press charges against anyone for exercising their Right to Arms without the required government permission slip should likewise be arrested along with any of their inferiors who carried out their orders. But at the very least Mr. Marte's property should be returned to him & all charges dropped immediately.

I encourage each & every one of you to take a few minutes & let the statist bastards government officials of NYC know that you, as a potential tourist, aren't making any plans to visit as long as they disrespect the Rights of U.S. citizens.

Now I'm not exactly sure how things work in NYC so if anyone has any advice on how to streamline the following list to be more effective feel free to let me know.

What I can give you is the following info:

Queens Police Dept contact page

Queens DA Richard Brown's contact page
(718) 286-6000

Mayor Bloomberg's contact page
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
FAX (212) 788-2460

NYPD Police Commissioner Kelly's site (Kelly is a Vietnam vet Col. USMCR)

I would assume that the mayor & the Queens DA would be the people who could potentially get things done, but I could be mistaken.

Call them & demand that A: Mr. Marte's weapon be returned (as I assume they've stolen confiscated it) & B: they drop all charges based on any weapons possession laws. Then tell them that you & your family (remember they'll probably think we're all inbred interrelated so let's use it to our advantage) will not set foot or spend any cash in NYC until flagrant infringements of a person's Right to Arms are stopped.

Update: I received the following from a fellow over at Brutal Hugs

"One person you might want to add to the list of people to contact is City Council Speaker Gifford Miller - he's planning on running for mayor. As for somebody that might actually
do something to help this guy, I'd suggest Helen Marshall, Queens Borough
President. Intervention in situations like these is pretty much the kind of thing she's in office for."

If anyone has contact info for these people lemme know & I'll post it here. & much thanks to the guys at Brutal Hugs for dropping the info to me.

Further Update:

Brutal Hugs is on the ball again. Here's the contact info they sent.

Helen Marshall is at 718-286-3000 Her website is

Miller's contact info:
District Office
336 East 73rd Street (Suite C)
New York, New York 10021
Tel: (212) 535-5554
Fax: (212) 535-6098


City Hall Office
City Hall
New York, New York 10007
Tel: (212) 788-7210
Fax: (212) 788-7207

Well I can finally say that I've heard "Ready on the right; ready on the left; all ready on the firing line" shouted over Camp Perry as the National Matches begin. Granted it was said something close to 60 years ago & I've never actually been to Camp Perry, Ohio but beggars can't be choosers.

From this post at No Quarters I found a site that has thousands of downloadable & streaming movies. (No - not those kind of movies!) The majority of them aren't feature films but if you dig a little you can find soem that are entertaining.

For example I stumbled across a movie that shows kids using guns.< sarcasm > Kids, I tell you! < /sarcasm > It features a boy named Jimmy & his sister Mary. I'd assume Mary is about 16 or 17 but Jimmy is at most 15. < sarcasm > It was made around 1946 by those evil gunmakers. Imagine, even way back then subjecting a porr innocent teen to the horrors of firearms! < / sarcasm >

In truth it was made by SAAMI & shows a boy whose father sends him to various shooting tournaments to gain instruction from some of the top shooters of the day & then the father takes the kid hunting. It's called Making of a Shooter. The journey includes (but is not limited to) the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio where his sister Mary is shooting in the rimfire class. ( sweet little innocent Mary - forced to hold & use one of those evil objects! have they no shame? < /sarcasm > The main focus of the film is gun safety but seeing the matches back then was what made it worth it to watch.

There's another one that looks interesting called Bird Dogs. I haven't watched it yet But I definitely will after I get done posting. I had some cousins back home who raised bird dogs & as a result have a weakness for watching bird dogs in action. To give you an idea how bad I am I have watched Biscuit Eater every time I've seen it was playing.

There's another oen I have yet to see called Man to Man. It was made by Remington Arms Company Inc. & Peters Cartridge Company in 1947 & is supposed to be about "Salesmanship and psychology instruction for gun dealers".

There's a section which has newsreel-type films of the Korean War & both World War 1 & World War 2 as well as actual newsreels.

There are also sections about the military, the atomic bomb tests, patriotism, political campaigns & elections, political science, & propaganda (mainly U.S. WW2 era films).

The ones that look most interesting to me are The Truth About Taxes which is described as "Republican party campaign film on behalf of Wendell Willkie for U.S. president in the 1940 elections"; Despotism, which measures where a society stands between democracy & despotism; The Powers of Congress in which "Mr. Williams drops off to sleep for a few minutes to find himself confronted with a world in which Congress has been suspended and federal authority dissolved"; & a Newsreel film that's listed as [Knife-Thrower and Children] where a Texas knife thrower gets his kids into the act - well sort of. The last one seems interesting just because it should give a massive coronary to any of those people who think anything less of complete nannyism is child endangerment. < sarcasm > Ya think ya know about child endangerment? well we got your child endangerment right here & it ain't got nothing to do with their "feelings" < /sarcasm >

But hit the main site & browse around if you want to see some rather interesting old flicks without turning off the PC.

Monday, March 22, 2004

SCOTUS heard oral arguments today on Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the state of Nevada. I posted previously about Mr. Hiibel's case but the short version is that a cop asked him for his I.D. & he refused to give it. He & his daughter were subsequently arrested. Her charges were dismissed when it was brought up that her resisting arrest was legally impossible since she committed no offence to be arrested on in the first place. Mr. Hiibel however was found guilty of "delaying a piece officer". Through the wonders of modern technology you don't have to take my or anyone else's word for what happened; Mr. Hiibel has a site that has video, audio & a transcript of the arrest as well as copies of the legal documents involved.

Now let's look at some of the things reported from the oral arguments:

"Nevada senior deputy attorney general Conrad Hafen told justices that 'identifying yourself is a neutral act' that helps police in their investigations and doesn't - by itself - incriminate anyone."

The smart ass in me would be quick to point out that prostrating yourself while chanting, "Hail ye blue defender of the state for you are armed" is a neutral act, yet I'd love to see a judge foolish enough to uphold a law requiring it in this country.

But the more reasoned approach is to point out that identifying yourself is not a neutral act. Hell, the statement he made contradicts itself. How can an act be neutral if it helps an investigation? & suppose the cops have an outstanding warrant for you: identifying yourself would lead to incrimination now wouldn't it? Going a little further let's say you're a gun owner who has a CCW permit in a state where the CCW records are available to the cops. By identifying yourself you're letting the cop know you have more than a reasonable chance of being armed. Now if you're in a school zone or other safehaven for criminals where being armed is a no-no, then you've just provided Officer Friendly with probable cause for a search. So by identifying yourself you are giving the state a leg up if it decides it wants to prosecute you.

Also let's be clear: the 5th amendment to the U.S. Constitution says in it's relevant part "No person...shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."

This is erroneously referred to as the clause against self incrimination. While the purpose of the clause may be to prevent compelled testimony which may be used against a person in a court of law it's a misnomer to use "incrimination" in the description. Here's why:

If we assume the protection to be solely concerned with preventing compelled testimony that will incriminate a person, then we have to have a presumption of wrongdoing on the person's part. In effect no one would use this unless they were guilty & it would be taken as an admission of guilt. But the wording is clear in that it simply refers to testimony without making any distinction between incriminating testimony & general testimony.

The whole idea is that you may testify about yourself & by doing so give the state justification for prosecuting you even if you were not aware you could be prosecuted. A perfect example is if you're asked to testify about your whereabouts on a particular day at a particular time. If you respond that you were in a certain area alone around a certain time then you could be made a suspect in the investigation of a crime committed by a person that meets your general physical description. Now you would not have to be aware that the crime happened at all but by providing testimony you could have given the state enough cause to prosecute you for that crime despite your being innocent.

If "self incrimination" were taken to heart then you could be compelled to testify because you would not (in the example above) be aware that your testimony could incriminate you & you wouldn't think you could assert the 5th amendment as a reason to not testify.

& any use of the clause against "self incrimination" would render any pleadings of "not guilty" irrelevant: if only those guilty of the stated charge could refuse to answer, then what juror wouldn't see this as anything less than an admission of guilt to that act?

So it's more appropriate to understand that a clause preventing compelled self incrimination would be a self defeating clause since only those that are actually guilty may use its protection & by consequence it would offer no protection at all for anyone. has a much more in depth examination of the clause against self testimony & you should give it a read if you want to know more about its history & the way the courts currently treat it.

Responses in a different vein were supplied to the deputy attorney generals statements:

"But if that is allowed, several justices asked, what will be next? A fingerprint? Telephone number? E-mail address? What about a national identification card?
'The government could require name tags, color codes,' Hiibel's lawyer, Robert Dolan, told the court. "

Now Dolan's response was good simply because of its subtlety: he didn't come right out & say that this was the tip of a slippery slope that would led America to resemble Nazi Germany, but I have little doubt that visions of a yellow star with the word "Jude" written on them didn't pop in the minds of all who were present.

Unfortunately the deputy attorney general from Nevada wasn't the only one making arguments for compelled self identification:

"Justice Antonin Scalia, however, expressed doubts. He said officers faced with suspicious people need authority to get the facts.
'I cannot imagine any responsible citizen would have objected to giving the name,' Scalia said."

Justice Scalia probably can't imagine a lot of things. I'm sure he can't imagine that despite his being a constructionist & openly opposed to the arguments in favor of a "living constitution" that a lot of freedom loving people would question his judgment because of statements like the one above. Justice Scalia is probably the best friend that gun owners have in SCOTUS right now, but that is more because of the assumed anti-gun/pro-government make-up of the court rather than his purity when it comes to the Right to Arms. It would have been interesting to hear if he wanted to grant cert to Silveira or not & the reasons why, but odds are that won't happen anytime soon.

"Justice Sandra Day O'Connor pointed out the court never has given police the authority to demand someone's identification, without probable cause they have done something wrong. But she also acknowledged police might want to run someone's name through computers to check for a criminal history."

Though her statements seem cool on the surface (at least the first one) if you look closer you'll see that she sees no problem with compelling identification if there is probable cause of a crime or for a general records search. In can be inferred that she does not view self identification as being protected by the 5th amendment, since the 5th would apply even in the face of probable cause. Her last statement assures us that she feels compelled identification can be justified. But if the court were to apply a probable cause standard for compelled self identification then I assume identification would still fall under the 4th amendment's protection.

Needless to say I disagree with Justice O'Conner's statements. Identifying yourself is a form of testimony & falls under the 5th amendment's protection against self testimony. To attempt to nullify the 5th amendment arguments yet support the 4th amendment arguments is simply inconsistent with the nature of providing I.D. One could argue that a warrant could be issued in accordance with the 4th amendment that requires a person to I.D. themselves but compelled self testimony concerning identity would do an end run around that. Then again the courts have ruled that giving fingerprints aren't a form of self testimony so this isn't a big surprise. (Needless to say I disagree with that as well). The only way an argument based on the 4th but negating the 5th could work is if an I.D. is not a form of testimony & to arrive at that conclusion we'd have to simply ignore the arguments where a data base error leads to prosecution, or a list of warrants leads to an arrest, or where a license of some sort in that person's name (such as an occupational license or a firearms license) gives probable cause.

Oh, lest I forget, guess who was on Nevada's side in this case:

"Nevada is supported by the Bush administration and two criminal justice groups..."

Bush opposed Haney, Bean & Emerson but supports a case that penalizes those who don't have their papers in order. Wait, that's a common thread, not a distinction isn't it?

I don't really want to make any predictions in this case. I'll leave that to the various lawyer-bloggers who care to comment on this. But I will say that I don't have much more faith in the courts to respect our Rights than I do in the legislature. So let's just leave it at my being more than a bit concerned about the outcome.

Why is it that everytime I think I can leave the NRA alone for a while they go & say something "ig'nent"?

Chuck Mikel is an attorney & member of the California Rifle & Pistol Association. The CRPA is the state affiliate for the NRA. In a story about the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors considering a ban on the sale of .50 rifles we find this gem from Mr. Michel:

"The message that legitimate hunters and target shooters get from this is that 'you don't count and that we don't care about your sport,' he said"

First of all, what exactly constitutes a "legitimate" hunter? Is it simply someone who is not a poacher? Is it someone who hunts for meat instead of a trophy? I assume he intends to insult millions of children here & abroad by insinuating that Robin of Locksley was not a "legitimate" hunter. (if you've forgotten, re-read almost any Robin Hood story & you'll see he became an outlaw for poaching the King's deer.)

But the bigger picture is that Michel only attempts to justify "sporting" use of firearms. Self defense isn't something anyone could legitimately call "sporting" & resisting a tyrannical government through force of arms is definitely not "sporting". (although it's better to have a "sporting" chance than an unsporting one.)

& if you look closely, most gun control laws claim to protect arms for "sporting" use. The other side of that is that any arms which don't have a "sporting" use are fair targets for licensing, registration or outright prohibitons. Does anyone wish to look through the records & count how many times someone said that "assault weapons" have no "sporting use" back in the early 1990's? Legitimizing a "sporting use" ideaology is just throwing the door open a little wider for gun control laws.

Now hopefully this next part will scare the hell out of you: go through your house & list every firearm you own that does not have a specific sporting use. Most of your shotguns & .22 rifles will be okay, as will any single shot, lever action, double barreled or pump action rifles. Some bolt action rifles & possible a semi-automatic rifle like the Remington 7400 or Browning BAR (definitely not to be confused with the 1918A1 or A2 BAR) will be okay. (note: is it just me or does the autoloaders that are likely to have a "sporting use" look more like air rifles than real firearms?) Certain revolvers will probably make the grade as well as long as they have a barrel that's over 5" &/or have special features such as a thumb rest for use in pistol matches (think bullseye competition).

But any military surplus rifles (even bolt actions), most semi-automatic rifles (except the Remington & Browing mentioned above), all pistol caliber carbines (with the sole exception of Ruger's carbine in .44 magnum), all semi-automatic pistols & any concealable revolvers not chambered for .44 magnum or some other appropriate hunting cartridge will not have any legitimate sporting purpose. & don't come whining to me about High Power Rifle or IDPA matches - they won't care. If you cannot hunt with it or shoot in a recognized target compeititon (& remember the ones who write the laws don't even realize that High Power matches have used military arms since their inception 100 years ago or that handguns can be used for hunting) then it won't be protected under the "sporting use" doctrine & will be subject ot bans at the whim of the legislature. Self defense &/or defense against a tyrannical government won't be considered "sporting use".

When The NRA & its state affiliates start arguing that "sporting" is a secondary defense of the Right to Arms while the main one is simply defense then I'll consider joining them.

a big deal has been made about another quote from Mr. Michel in the same article:

"A .50-caliber rifle is a pea shooter for a terrorist," he said. "The real problem is not the gun, it's the ammunition. If you use explosive ammunition, it doesn't matter what the caliber is."

The next paragraph includes the following:

"Such explosive, armor-piercing ammunition is already illegal, he noted."

So taken altogether I don't see this as being incorrect. However while technically he may be correct this has got to be one of the worst examples of a quote in defense of gun ownership.

First of all he admits there is a problem. He then attempts to shift the focus from the firearm to the ammunition. Then he attempts reassurance by pointing out that explosive ammo is already illegal.

He takes the defensive & gets tangled up in doing so. If I were a gun control advocate I could teach any 7th grader how to pick apart his statement. It's a shame when both sides are able to use your own statements against you isn't it?

I don't know how many times this must be repeated, but there is no "problem" with .50 caliber rifles. Hell, there's no problem with any firearm. I have yet to see one isntance where a .50 caliber rifle has been used by a criminal or a terrorist (government agents excluded) against a civilian target in the U.S. Now potentially it could happen, but potentially covers a lot of ground. The potential is there for a person to hijack a bus (another mobile civilian disarmament zone I might point out) & run it into some sensitive structure such as "...(t)elecommunications towers, industrial plants such as oil refineries, and railroad cars..." to name a few examples that were listed by proponents of the .50 caliber ban. But we don't go around banning buses do we? Hell, we haven't banned airplanes & they were the instrument used in a terrorist act that resulted in the murder of 3,000+ people in NYC! So banning something that has the potential for use by terrorists makes no sense especially considering that we don't ban things that have actually been used by terrorists.

But Mr. Michel took the low ground & consented that there is a "problem" to be dealt with. He shifts the blame to the ammunition that could be used in a terrorist attack. Now would you like to know the biggest "problem" we have with ammunition in this country? Mil-Surp .30-06: sure, it's $0.20 someodd a round now but the supply is drying up. That's what I consider a "problem". Again I have seen no examples of "...explosive, armor-piercing ammunition..." being used by a criminal or terrorist in this country (government agents excluded). I haven't even seen any meaningful examples of armor piercing ammunition being used by a criminal or terroist (government agents excluded). Any armor piercing ammo that has been used in any way did not affect the outcome any differently than non-armor piercing ammunition would have. I don't want to repeat myself so I'll refer you to this previous post. Scroll down a bit & you'll see where armor piercing ammo is discussed. The gist of it is that almost any rifle, including those chambered for cartridges that are over 100 years old, can pierce armor with ordinary hunting ammo. In the post I'm mainly discussing bullet proof vests, but any light armor can be pierced by a common hunting rifle using common hunting ammo at certain ranges. It's simple physics that a projectile with a certain amount of momentum has a certain amount of energy & if sufficient it will cause the projectile to penetrate a certain material such as steel. Now of course there is ammo made specifically to penetrate armored targets. But no civilian target in the U.S. has ever been attacked succesfully with armor piercing ammo when regular hunting ammo would have failed.

So there is no ammunition "problem" unless you feel that all ammunition should be banned. (well of course there is that faction of gun owners who think that ammo prices should be lower than they are, but that's another topic altogether).

But the final mistake he made was in stating that explosive, armor piercing ammo was already illegal. In doing so he knowingly or unknowlignly gives credence to the idea that prohibitons work. He simply cannot argue that prior restraint based gun control is ineffective after saying that.

Not to mention he's incorrect unless he's simply referring to California. It doesn't include an "in California" qualifier to his statement about the laws concerning ammo so if one assumes he meant a Federal law then he'd be incorrect. API, or Armor Piercing Incendiary ammo is still available through legal channels in most states. There's not much of it left but API rounds are available except in states which have banned it. Now before you get all upset let me reiterate that there has never been an instance of API ammo being used in any violent criminal action by a criminal or terrorist (government agents excluded). I do believe that California bans any ammo that can start a fire & if so that would include incendiary ammo. If there is a California law banning explosive &/or incedniary ammo (like I seem to recall) then Mr. Michel would be correct in his statement, although it'd have been helpful if the reporter made it clear he was referring to a California context & not a national one.

But Mr. Michel did not help as much as he thinks he might have. His statements could easily be used against him & gun owners in general. In a single article he's legitimized the "sporting use" mindset of moderate gun control laws; he's admitted there's a problem concerning ammunition (when there isn't one) & he's claimed that gun control has solved that problem (the explosive ammo ban).

I admit I'm pretty hard on the NRA. I don't approve of their actions concerning gun control & their actions lead me to believe that through ignorance or malice they are more of a hinderance than an asset to the Right to Arms. I really wish this wasn't the case. I wish the NRA would turn themselves around & start fighting the good fight. But with statements like those of Mr. Michel my belief is reinforced that the NRA management (both state & national) is out of touch with the gun owners they claim to represent.

I've been discussing Bush, Kerry & the election with some friends as of late. Aside from trying to figure out who in the Democratic Party thought Kerry was a better contender than Edwards or Dean (& more importantly why they thought so) the question of whether to vote against Kerry or to vote against Bush has been at the forefront of the conversations.

There are many arguments for & against voting for Bush which I won't go into yet. I will say that I'm not a one issue voter - at least not in the traditional sense. However I have one issue which is a litmus test & that's the Right to Arms. My reasoning is that if a person isn't going to respect the Right to Arms, then odds are he won't respect any other Rights unless it's to his/her advantage. If they pass the Right to Arms test then I'll look deeper to see if they're acceptable to me.

Kerry definitely isn't a "Right to Arms" kinda guy. But then again neither is Bush. Angel Shamaya of published his response to a fund raising letter for the Bush/Cheney campaign which hits some of the highlights of Bush's unfriendliness towards gun owners.

All that being said is to explain why I find the following amusing:

"Ireland Lawmakers Want Unarmed Bush Visit"

Leftist lawmakers in Ireland don't want Bush's Secret Service agents to be armed while he's in their country. They said Ireland's police will protect him.

Why do I find it amusing? Well, cause when Bush was Governor of Texas he supported the idea of requiring prior government permission to carry a weapon for self defense (yes I know most people view Shall Issue CCW laws as an improvement, but it's still gun control & it's not ther best solution available). Then there's the statement made by Ashcroft that is supposed to reflect the White House policy on the 2nd amendment. Ashcroft said that the 2nd amendment protects an individual Right to arms, but that it's subject to "reasonable" government regulation. The qualifier makes the new policy different from the old one only in the means: the end is still the same. Then there's Project Exile & its variants which strictly enforce every unconstitutional federal gun law on the books. Bush was oppossed to arming pilots & now even though the pilots are "Federal Flight Deck Officers" as oppossed to ordinary peasants subjects citizens the Justice Department is still dragging its feet & making it difficult for a pilot to carry arms. Add onto that the Iraqi constitution which says arms can only be had with government permission & Bush's support of the "assault weapons" ban & I find it funny that Bush is being faced with the same kind of gun control that he thinks is reasonable: prior government approval required for owning &/or carrying weapons.

After all, what's good for the goose etc...

So the big question is will Bush submit himself to "reasonable" gun cuntrol as imposed by a duly authorized government, or will he take the stance he took when he said that America doesn't need a permission slip to defend itself?

He could gain a lot of votes from gun owners who aren't happy with his stance by refusing to go unarmed & using that as a basis for turning around his domestic policies regarding guns. Hell, if ol' Dubya came out & said that he'd leave the Secret Service agents at home if that's what they wanted, but if they wanted him to attend that he'd just strap on a pistol his damn self. After that if he turned around & demanded that congress & the states repeal any & all laws which make carying a weapon for defense subject to government approval I see no reason why he'd have to campaign any further to make it to '08 in the White House.

The odds of him pursuing that course of action approach zero, so he'll have to hti the campaign trail hard & spend a lot of cash if he wants to squeak by in November.

Let me be clear in case any of you have any contacts with anyone in the Republican Party who might be able to get a message to Bush: if he wants to win this upcoming election there's nothing he could do better than to repent of his views on gun control & actively pursue the repeal of (redundancy alert) every unconstitutional federal gun control law on the books. Unless he does that he's going to lose far more gun owner votes than he'll ever hope to gain in gun control advocate votes. & if any - I repeat any - more federal gun control laws are passed then in 2005 he'll be looking for work.

Bush the Elder made two mistakes that cost him the election in 1992: he reneged on his "no new taxes" promise & he alienated gun owners by signing an executive order that banned the import of "assault weapons". Ruby Ridge didn't help a bit either. So gun owners & a lot of people who didn't care for increased extortion Government sponsored theft taxation sat that one out. The result was Clinton.

In '94 there were some major changes in Congress cause a lot of gun owners were upset about the Brady Bill & the "assault weapons" ban.

In 2000 Bush won because Gore was seen as being a gun owners' nightmare. The Republicans also gained control congress in no small part because gun owners felt the Republicans would do a better job of not passing gun control laws than the Democrats would.

So now it's 2004 & things are gonna be close. There are quite a few Senate races that are going to be decided by how the incumbent voted on the renewal of the "assault weapons" ban a month ago. I wouldn't want to be a PR man on the campaign staff of any Republican Senator who voted for adding the renewal of the AWB to the Lawful Commerce in Arms bill. That'd be doubly true if he/she also voted to add McCain's gun show "loophole" amendment to it.

So we have Bush on one hand & Kerry on the other. I have no doubts that Kerry would be the worst choice for a president we've had in a while as fas as international affairs are concerned. Domestically though I see very little difference between the two. & other issues aside they both fail my litmus test.

Kerry is unlikely to see the light. Bush however has a chance. A slim one but a chance nonetheless. That chance is solely dependent on his supporting the Right to Arms. Flowery cmpaign promises or pics of him hunting ducks won't fool anybody: he would have to become an actual defender of the Right to Arms. He'd have to make some efforts at progress - not just saying the words but acting on them. & he'd have to do some things that would contradict his current & earlier views & statements. But he could pull himself up by the bootstraps & be a two term president - the first two term president whose name starts with "B". (Note: it would be incorrect to say that G.W. would be the first two term president in his family. Althugh the relation is distant, the Bush family is connected [several cousins down the list & several removals] to the Lincoln & Roosevelt families).

& he could pull it off by the proper handling of Ireland's request that he comes to their country defensless & following through on it domestically. It'd be interesting to see if he does the correct thing but to my skeptical mind it'd be interesting to find out if he even is aware of the concerns of gun owners.
There are two new posts over at The Shooter's Carnival which may be of particular interest to those of you who prefer Mil-Surp rifles.

One is about the correct ammo for the M1 Garand & the other attempts to explain the differences between 308 Winchester & 7.62x51mm NATO.

Other articles of interest to Mil-Surp lovers out there would include:

Shootin Cheap: Surplus Guns In General by James Rummel

Assault Weapons Ban Primer by Say Uncle

Build An AR15 by Say Uncle

To Be Alive Under A Perfect Sky by James Rummel (about the .30-40 Krag-Jorgenson rifles)

Range Report: Bulgarian Makarov by The Smallest Minority

The Proper Use of the Rifle Sling by Publicola

The 5 Main Firing Positions For Rifle by Publicola

Plus a host of other articles covering everything from gun safety to economical purchasing to maintenence to range reports. Go give it a read.
Not only do we have a winner in the trivia contest, but we have a winner who provides links to substantiate his answers!

Gunner of No Quarters correctly answered the following questions:

Which firearm was used as the basis for the Blas Tech DL-44?

Gunner: DL-44 (was the) German model 1896 "Broomhandle" Mauser

Which firearm was used as the basis for the Blas Tech E-11?

Gunner: E-11 (was the) British Sterling Mk4/L2A3 submachine guns

Which firearm was used as the basis for the Blas Tech DLT-19?

Gunner: DLT-19 (was the) MG-34

Unfortunately we have no prize for the winner which is a shame cause he provided the correct answers (& links) in record time (especially considering these were the first trivia questions I've had on here) but I will encourage everyone to hop on over to his blog & not only read his further thoughts on the freedom to travel, but check out his spirited defense of Homer Simpson against the health food police as well.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

For those of you who don't have a lot of time & must choose between gun pics & girlie pics I have some solutions for you:

Courtesy of Rocket Jones we have Babes & Guns.

On a more serious note there's Armed Females of America (no pics but great articles)

The Liberty Belles site does have a pics section.

The Gun Zone offers us Racy Firearms Images.

For actual gun & girl porn (membership required) you can always visit

This has been your weekly public service announcement (like anyone's still on this page.)

The lovely (& talented) Annika has some gun trivia up this morning.

Seeing her post has inspired me to post some trivia here. But there'll be a slight departure. Some people like gun trivia. Others like movie trivia. So I thought I'd try to cater to both tastes.

Break out your VHS copies of Star Wars. (for you Star Wars geeks that'd be Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope)

George Lucas essentially took all the elements of a classic action/adventure story & melded them into his 1977 space fantasy. But that's not all he borrowed.

There are 3 weapons I'm thinking of that appear in Star Wars Ep. IV - ANH. In the movie they were "blasters" which fired a bolt of energy, but they were based on real world firearms.

One was the Blas-Tech DL-44. Han Solo carried a modified version of this blaster. For the helluvit here's a pic of Han Solo's rig.

Another was the carbine used by Imperial Stormtroopers which I believe (though I could be mistaken) was called the Blas Tech E-11 Trooper Rifle. Here's a schematic of it that shows its configurations.

The final one is not as common as the previous blasters. I am not sure of it's nomenclature (I think it's either the Blas Tech DLT-19 or the Blas Tech A-280) but I have seen it simply referred to as an Imperial Repeater Gun. For simplicity?s sake I'll just call it the Blas Tech DLT-19. The places where it's clearly shown are in the scenes where the Imperial Stormtroopers are searching for the escape pod on Tatooine (although this pic was the best I could find & it only shows the Stormtrooper in the background as having one), the scenes where they are searching for the droids in the Mos Eisley space port & aboard the Death Star when Han Solo & Luke Skywalker are masquerading as Stormtroopers with Chewbacca as their prisoner (Han is carrying the Blas Tech DLT-19).

As I've said all three blasters are based on actual firearms. So here are the questions (like you didn't see them coming already).

Which firearm was used as the basis for the Blas Tech DL-44?

Which firearm was used as the basis for the Blas Tech E-11?

Which firearm was used as the basis for the Blas Tech DLT-19?

I'll post the correct ones when I see them appear in the comments (or if more than a few days elapse without anyone participating).