Friday, September 28, 2007

Why We Support Thompson

Back in June, Yosemite Sam mentioned we support Fred Thompson for President even before Thompson was officially in the race. Now that he is in the race, I want to explain our reasons.

As you can imagine, our primary reason is protecting the Second Amendment and with it our gun rights. We believe Thompson supports and will help protect these rights if he is elected President. We both know that Thompson is not a perfect candidate. Speaking only for myself now, he doesn't have a lot of experience and no executive experience. In fact, he has about the same experience as Barack Obama and John Edwards. So why Thompson?

I know he has made a few questionable votes in his Senate career, but no Senator can be pure thanks to the practice of tacking riders to necessary bills (like spending bills). Even with that, I believe he respects the Second Amendment. He campaigns in gun stores and at gun shows. More importantly, he vocally supports gun rights.

Unrelated to gun rights, Thompson has charisma and can speak well. He projects authority. He probably learned some of that in his acting career, but we've had about seven years of a President who cannot speak eloquently or project authority or charisma. The ability to talk and connect with people is a significant skill in a leader. It may seem like a small thing, but eloquence matters.

Those are the positive reasons to support Thompson, the others are negative in the sense that he's not any of the other candidates. Let's look at the Democratic field. Believe it or not Hillary is not the worse of that field for gun rights. I don't think she would actively campaign against gun rights, but she would be more than happy to sign any anti-gun bill that crossed her desk and veto any pro-rights bills. Let's not even imagine what her Supreme Court appointees would be like.

Obama is a Chicago pol--enough said. Edwards would probably do pretty much what Clinton would do. Let's not even mention Kucinich. Other than the also rans, that leaves Bill Richardson. He's not a perfect Second Amendment supporter, but at least he gives it credence. If it turned out to be a Giuliani versus Richardson race, I would go for Richardson. Still, I would worry about what the Democrats would do to gun rights if they held the House, Senate, and White House.

On the Republican side, McCain has proven he's no friend of gunnies. Giuliani is a New York City pol--enough said. Romney did little to remove onerous gun laws while governor of Massachusetts. The rest of the field doesn't have a chance, so I will ignore them except for Ron Paul.

Paul is an interesting figure. Some of his ideas intrigue me. He certainly would be a great supporter for gun rights. But his foreign policy thoughts are unworkable and perhaps dangerous.

Paul lost me completely though when he didn't repudiate 9/11 "truthers" completely and immediately. I don't believe he is a truther, but he's too close for comfort.

This post is not about the merits of truther arguments. I have read or viewed their arguments and came to the conclusion that all but a handful of them are self-deluded fools. Truthers irritate me even more than anti-gunnies. My irritation is nothing compared to Yosemite Sam's.

Thus, the field has narrowed down to Fred Thompson and Bill Richardson as a reluctant second choice. This is not the best of reasons to support a candidate, but the process of elimination leaves only these two.

Thus, run Fred run.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Proud NRA Apologist

Sebastian has a post up that addresses a critic that thinks he is an apologist for the NRA. As both Denise and I have frequently stated, we are proud members of the NRA and think that the NRA is the most effective gun rights organization that we have.

Anyway, I left a comment at Snowflakes and thought that it may be of interest here as well.

Quoted from Sebastian's post:

"If you’ve ever spent any time talking to real people about the gun issue, you know that most people believe that some level of gun control is necessary."

My comment:

Here Here. I think we in the gun rights community often forget this fact. We have gun control in this country because the citizens of this country wanted it. We fool ourselves when we get the idea, amplified by our group think, that the general public is interested in removing the gun control laws. They aren't. Particularly law regulating fully automatic firearms.

For example, I was talking to my aunt about 4 years ago, who is not really anti-gun, and mentioned that machine guns ought to be fully legalized. She said, No Way.
If you talk to most Americans, they will tell you the same thing.

We have nearly 50 years of lies and propaganda to overcome and it will only be defeated by hard work and persistence. In particular, work needs to be done to bring women into the gun rights fold. We are having some success. What we don't need is members of our own community calling the most effective gun rights organization we have, the NRA, a gun control organization. It is silly and destructive.

I will readily admit that the NRA isn't perfect and has made mistakes. But it is the most effective gun rights organization we have. I urge anyone reading this to become a member. Add your voice to the membership.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Bloggers--A Welcome

I had a little time to do some blogroll maintenance this morning. It’s like cleaning house, you gotta do it once a year or it just gets away from you (I’m joking I clean house at least once every six months).

I removed a few blogs and could have taken out more. I used ad hoc criteria—if a blogger hadn’t posted for awhile but the blog was still up and had something on the front page, I left it in. I hope they return to blogging. If the blog was “not found” or had nothing on the front page, then out it went.

I added three blogs and probably should add more later.

Call Me Ahab” is really a name and address change. Ahab has moved to snappy new digs. He dropped his former blog name “What Would John Wayne Do?” I loved the name of the old blog, but “Call me Ahab” resonates too, especially for someone who reads as much as I do.

I want to welcome “New Jovian Thunderbolt” to the roll. He is fairly new to gunnie-hood and mentions several times the influence "Ten Ring" has had on his interest in shooting. We are flattered and your blog is now a daily read.

Finally, we are welcoming a professional blog: Outdoor Life Magazine’s “Gunshots.” The magazine brought together several excellent gun writers and told them to go forth and write. Michael Bane is among the writers. Yosemite Sam and I are also flattered and happy to see “Ten Ring” listed on their blogroll, despite my recent dearth of posts.

There is a certain ego-boost to this blogging thing. It's great to hear how we inspired someone to go shooting. Appearing on the blogrolls of so many bloggers that we respect is certainly welcome. If you would like us to add your blog to our blogroll, just put a message in comments.

Also, we recently had an e-mail problem, so if you e-mail or have e-mail us and not gotten an answer, your message was probably spam-filtered out of existence. Such is life in the digital world.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Let Me Eat my Steak in Peace

I'm not always popular here at work. I work in Massachusetts and most of my co-workers are to the left of Lenin. I don't look for political or social discussions, but I don't hide them either.

When people found out I was a gunowner, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth, let me tell you. I am, so far as I know, the only gunowner now in this building with about thirty employees. I italicized "so far as I know" on purpose, because you never know.

I'm also a carnivore. We have a vegatarian here who preaches her diet like Billy Graham preaches Jesus. She has added a new theme to her sermon. Not only does meat equal murder, but also meat equals a bigger carbon footprint. Like I care. Besides, I'm doing my best to increase my footprint given my 40 mile one-way commute.

I checked the InterTubes for information on her sermon and found an article that discusses some Japanese study on meat production. It made me wonder what a vegetarian diet's impact would be. What about here in New England when one's fresh fodder must be shipped in? What carbon footprint would that leave?

Besides, I love steak. I'm a woman and I'm not "supposed" to admit that. I'm supposed to love green salads with a teaspoon of lean chicken placed so artfully on top and then drizzled with no-calorie vinegar. I guess I didn't get the memo and if anyone sends it to me I'll sic Cooper the basset hound on them. Granted, he would lick you senseless, but dog slobber is a serious matter.

I'll say it again--I love steak. I love it medium rare, juicy, and with just a hint of char around the corners. I broil it, grill it, or saute it depending on my passion at the moment. I've always loved steak and my love affair has aged to where I avoid the round and chuck steaks and go for the loin cuts. Perhaps it's more a function of income.

I basically told my co-worker that she would have to pry my steak out of my cold dead jaws.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anniversary of 9/11

It is 9/11/2007. Six years after we were viciously attacked. In fact, we were attacked on Tuesday, the same day of the week as today. Six years ago, that Tuesday was bright and clear. Today it’s cloudy, cool and drizzling. Appropriate in some way.

I thought about writing a memorial post and realized I had done so a year ago today. In that post, I said all I could say now. Give it a read if you wish.

Today I only wish to say that I still grieve for those innocent people killed on 9/11. I still loathe the bastards that did it. I am still angry at those people who spin conspiracy theories simply because they cannot accept the truth. I still honor the courageous passengers of United 93. I will never forget and I will never forgive.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The NRA Thing Again

You know, I really hate going over old ground. The third post I ever made to this blog, back in December 2004, was why I support the National Rifle Association even though it is not the strongest Second Amendment champion out there. I'll rephrase now for clarity. It is the only pro-Second Amendment organization that the gun banners fear and loathe and that's enough for me.

This week, Kim DuToit mentioned again why he doesn't join the NRA. His commenters chimed in. A few even said they would not join or they would quit because one of the NRA's board members disparaged civilian ownership of "assault weapons."

Since then, Sebastian and Ahab both have vocally supported the NRA. Sebastian later asked for ideas to improve the NRA. Their posts are worth your time.

I really hate this internal sniping at each other. The NRA is and should be a "big tent" organization. It should include hunters, Cowboy Action Shooters, bullseye shooters, and black rifle aficionados. By providing a home for all of these types of shooters, it provides them a voice that is much stronger than it would be otherwise.

Look at Gunowners of America. They are a "no compromise" group and that's great. We need them. But, they have no political clout. The NRA and the AARP have the loudest voices in American politics today. Do gunnies who decry the NRA want to give up that clout and that voice?

Being a "big tent" organization means that the NRA cannot please everyone all the time. NRA leaders also know that politics is the art of compromise. Thus, they may make a political decisions to support something or not support something for political reasons.

Let's take a look at the Gun Control Act of 1968. It was going to pass no matter what. The political assassinations of the 1960s, the arming up of radical groups (Weathermen Underground, Black Panthers, etc.) scared liberals and conservatives alike. The NRA helped protect gun owners rights by being at the table to help craft compromises. I believe that we would have lost a lot more in 1968 if the NRA had simply yelled "no compromise" and refused to take a seat at the table.

This argument does not do much for the blood pressure of those gunnies who quote "...shall not be infringed." They argue that every gun law, or at least most of them, are unconstitutional. You know something, they're probably right. Many gun laws have no basis in the Constitution or the Second Amendment.

No matter how true this is, the United States has always had some sort of gun laws. In the 18th Century, slaves could not own guns. Most white landowners were required to own a non-rifled musket (useless for hunting) and show up at militia practice. In the 19th Century there were laws against concealed carry, and even possessing a gun in some Western towns if you were a stranger.

We have gun laws now. Way too many of them. Many are unconstitutional, but asserting that loudly gets you no where except maybe jail (depending on your actions). The laws must be repealed and new laws must be stopped in their tracks. The only way to do that is through politics. The NRA is the best positioned lobby we have to fight for gun rights. Also, don't forget that anti-gunnies have a voice and they use it.

The courts do not offer us much either. They are the ones who basically decide what is Consitutional. We all know that courts are not really on our side. Even if we win a sweeping Supreme Court victory we will still have some gun laws. Any decision they hand down will include words like, "subject to reasonable regulation." Congress and state lawmakers will decide what is reasonable.

I am as strong a believer in the Second Amendment as anyone out there. I give money to pro-gun groups every two-weeks in payroll deductions. I buy a lot of guns and a lot of ammo. I run this blog. I vote and I write letters and make calls to Congresscritters. I know the NRA has done stupid things in the past and will do so in the future. I know they're not perfect, but their collective voice has helped be retain my gun rights through too many attempts at stripping them from me.

I urge people to join the NRA and vote in board members that support your idea of the Second Amendment or your favorite shooting sport. If you don't, then you have no voice in the one pro-rights organization that Congress and state legislatures actually hear.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Mandatory Health Care--No Way!

This is a non-gun post (unless I figure out a way to bring guns in later). Yosemite Sam and I played tortoise this weekend. That is, we pulled our shell in and didn't read the news, watch the news, or listen to the news. We had fun, but stayed blissfully unaware of everything else.

You miss stuff when you do that and you realize everyone is talking about important stuff. For instance, Presidential Candidate John Edwards is calling for universal health care. But, he doesn't stop at that.

He said, "It [his plan] requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care." and then, "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK." He mentions mammograms and possibly mental health visits (this is not very definite).

I really hate this idea. First off, I may not want to visit a doctor and that's my choice. It may not be the smartest choice, or not, but it's my choice. Further, if you visit a doctor who recommends a treatment, what happens if you refuse that treatment? What if that treatment's a diet and you can't resist those cupcakes and you fail to meet your goals? Will they fine you, put you in a fat camp and sweat it off you, or what?

What if the doctor advises you to take a psychotropic drug because you said you got sad when your cat died? What if a doctor asks if you have guns and then orders them taken away for your own good (I knew I could sneak guns in here somewhere)?

I wouldn't vote for Edwards if he was running against Jack the Ripper. I might, however, want to sell him hair gel and retire early. What a putz.