Saturday, November 25, 2006

New York Times is at it Again

Alphecca points us to one of the New York Times classic anti-gun editorials. It laments a bill that Senator George Allen of Virginia is introducing in his last few weeks in office. Allen wants to force the National Park Service to allow concealed carry in National Parks where state law allows the practice. If passed, this will be a victory for law-abiding gun owners.

Of course, the New York Times doesn’t think much of this idea and goes in full attack mode. Let’s dig a little deeper into their arguments. The editorial features Allen’s name several times especially the fact that he is an outgoing senator. It doesn’t mention that his successor, James Webb, promised to introduce just such a bill if elected. Therefore, it’s likely he will support Allen’s bill in the next Congress.

So much for politics. The editorial dives right into fiction when it says, “America’s confusion about the Second Amendment is now nearly total. An amendment that ensures a collective right to bear arms has been misread in one legislature after another — often in the face of strong public disapproval — as a law guaranteeing an individual’s right to carry a weapon in public.”

There is so much wrong with this statement that it boggles the mind. First off, if America is confused about the Second Amendment it’s only because anti-gun media and scholarly people have tried to cloud the issue.

There was no confusion about the Second Amendment through well over 170 years of our history. It’s only recently that a “collective right” model was introduced. Even so, this model is now shot so full of holes that an anti-gun legal scholar like Laurence Tribe agrees the Second Amendment protects an individual right although society can establish some limitations.

On another level; what the hell is a collective right? Do we have a collective right to vote? If so, does that mean individuals can not vote and that only the body politic can? How would that work? It’s a contradiction in terms.

And speaking of voting, the editorial’s very next sentence illustrates anti-gunnies’ anger at gun owners’ recent victories over concealed carry. It says, “And, in a perversion of monumental proportions, the battle to extend that right [public carry] has largely succeeded in co-opting the language of the Civil Rights movement, so that depriving an American of the right to carry a gun in public sounds, to some, as offensive as stripping him of the right to vote.”

Of course it’s a civil right. It’s embodied in the Bill of Rights. The right to defend oneself is possibly more basic than the right to vote itself. If you take self-defense away, you're left with citizens who must rely on government to keep him or her from harm and more importantly to hope that the government will not harm that person. I guess creating such creatures is the point after all—silly me.

The editorial ends with a paragraph that embodies all the sneering elitist mentality that gunnies have heard over the last thirty years. In a nutshell:
--if you want to feel safer, increase government spending;
--concealed carry supporters gin up irrational fear, so that they can carry their guns in parks, schools, and churches of our lands; and,
--Allen’s bill, if passed, would only make us less safe.

Why is it that anti-gunnies can’t see that concealed carry has not turned states into Dodge City? Why is it that they will never give credit to the man or woman who lawfully protects his or her life or that of another with a gun? To answer my own questions, such independence doesn’t fit into their mentality and it doesn’t fit into their paradigm of increased government. It's not part of their vision for America.

Maybe there's another way to look at this editorial. When your foe stoops to such blatant disregard for truth and ignores facts contrary to their argument, they realize they are losing. One can hope anyway.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Remembering a Teacher

I don't normally post results of online quizzes that I take. I do take them every now and again and sometimes get a laugh--sometimes not. Tam at View from the Porch took one and I followed her link. It helps you determine if you deserve your high school diploma.

I took it and surprised myself. I did well. I was not the best student in high school. I had an exceptional English teacher in my senior year. She made me understand that I had skills and abilities I had too long denied. She inspired me to buckle down and I pulled my grades up and earned decent college admission test scores.

I went to an in-state university and thrived. Four years later I attended a very competitive graduate school paid for with a teaching assistantship and a University sponsored job. I'm not sure why I did so well in college, but if it hadn't been for the skill of that one teacher I would never have had a decent career and life.

I must thank Miss Thomas. Here's to you where ever you are. You're not forgotten.

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
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Monday, November 20, 2006

Common Sense Gun Safety

I haven’t posted much serious stuff for a couple of weeks now. Work has been obscenely busy and then there’s the laziness factor. Perhaps a better expression may be I took a vacation.

I found a link to an editorial that sparked me out of my procratination rut. David Codrea of War on Guns links an editorial from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The editorial states that guns can and should be made safer. Its hook is a doctor saying that guns are not regulated for consumer protection.

That’s true. Guns were specifically exempted from the purview of the Consumer Products Safety Commission. It is a consumer product, but the problem (if not the reason for the exemption) is that the gun issue is a political football with too many people wanting to ban them. I might feel a little better about “gun safety” cries if those who make them knew a little about guns and respected gun rights.

I like owning, shooting, and carrying safe guns. I don’t like guns that are made of pot metal. I once picked up an RG revolver that felt like a cap gun. I wouldn’t trust a gun that was notorious for firing if dropped. I would be leery of carrying a self-defense gun that tends to light primer strikes that don’t reliably touch off a round.

However, I don’t want a doctor or the co-director of the Center for Gun Policy & Research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (as mentioned in the editorial) decide what’s safe. I especially don’t want to have politicians and bureaucrats make that decision. That’s already happened in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts’s Attorney General felt that guns weren’t safe enough. He almost unilaterally used “consumer protection” laws to ensure that many high quality, trustworthy new guns are banned from sale in that benighted place.

His regulations reduce consumer choice and responsibility. I own a modern copy of a cowboy “Peacemaker” revolver that is well made, but has an old fashioned firing pin that could lead to an accidental discharge if I dropped it. That is, it would if I carried it with the hammer over a loaded chamber. I also know enough not to buy a gun made out of pot metal.

When these doctors, scholars, and politicians talk about safe guns they’re really talking about ways to take guns out of people’s hands. They want to make sure guns are expensive, hard to use, and kept out of “those” people’s hands.

They also want to idiot-proof what is a deadly weapon. Guns (like chain saws, cars, and welding torches) have certain inherent dangers. No matter how safe you make a gun its function is to propel a small piece of metal very fast at whatever a user aims at. If that user is an idiot and points it ay his head or his friend no safety lever is going to help. If the user is a criminal, no safety gadget will save his victim.

The only thing that certain safety features might stop is a curious child shooting herself or another, but such shootings are rare. Such accidents are always a tragedy. Equally, a child falling down the stairs, drinking household chemicals, or being struck by a car are tragedies. Gunnies have a responsibility to ensure their guns and ammunition doesn’t fall into the hands of a young child (and why a child is not being supervised is another matter entirely).

The best prevention of gun accidents for adults and children is education. People need to learn that making a semi-auto safe is counterintuitive. You remove the magazine and then rack the slide to extract the chambered round. They need to understand that any mechanical safety, no matter how new, can fail. Most of all, they need to understand basic gun safety rules.

Doctors, scholars, and politicians for the most part don’t want to support gun safety training especially when real guns are handled and shot. Such training is really the best “common sense” “consumer safety feature” they could support.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

National Ammo Day/Week

We are now in the middle of National Ammo Week with Ammo Day falling on a Sunday, November 19. The day just happens to be blogger Kim duToit's birthday. He started National Ammo Day a few years back. It's an effort to call attention to ammo sales as a way of telling would-be gun banners that we are out here.

Last year, Bill and I celebrated it in fine style. A number of bloggers and an online forum (and I can't find the site thanks to net nannies) suggested buying ammo at Wal-Mart and tried to coordinate it to fall on the same day and near the same time. I don't know if it registered enough on Wal-Mart's books to make a difference, but still people bought ammo and that's the important thing.

A few people argued with me about supporting ammo sales at Wal-Mart. I still think it's a good idea to have as many ammo outlets as possible and in many types of stores. We rarely buy ammo there though. We prefer to roll our own 12 gauge shells and several pistol calibers. For other needs, we take good care of our usual ammo dealer.

So, this year, buy early, buy often, but buy ammo wherever you can this week. If you can, but some ammo this coming Sunday even if it's a box or two of .22 rounds at Wal-Mart or any other dealer open on Sundays. More importantly, have fun while shooting it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Shopping List

Michael Bane has put together a list of firearms and accessories to buy before the probable new rounds of Democratic Party inspired gun control laws.

His list includes:

1.) AR-15 platform rifle.--We have one already, but I will probably get at least one more.

2.) Magazines--I think this is the easiest thing to purchase. Buy as many as you can afford because any new Assault Weapon ban will surely include a capacity limit on magazines.

3.) .50 BMG rifles--Tougher, but we will try to find room on the old VISA card.

He has others and they are all good suggestions. Be sure to participate in National Ammo Day on November 19th and the week preceding. I wouldn't put it past them to try to pass some kind of ammo ban.

Freedom on the chopping block

Via Bruce, here is an article from the Union Leader that examines the causes and possible consequences of Tuesday’s election.

This paragraph particularly stands out:

“When it became clear that Democrats had won the state Senate, the first thing out of party vice-chairman Ray Buckley's mouth was the proclamation that Democrats would regulate businesses by banning smoking in restaurants and bars, raising the minimum wage and trying to force down health care costs. He did not even mention education funding.”

Here we have it as bold as it can be. The agenda is to turn New Hampshire into Massachusetts lite.
The question that needs to be asked is: Which freedom will be the first to be placed on the chopping block by our new overlords?

Our freedom to smoke in bars and restaurants?
Our freedom to drive without seatbelts?
Our freedom to not be taxed into the Stone Age?

Maybe Ray Buckley should put forward a proposal to change the state’s motto from “Live Free or Die” to “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Peoples Republic of New Hampshire

or to borrow from Mark Steyn, The Granite Granola State.

Ever since we moved from Texas to the Northeast, I have looked to New Hampshire as a kind of haven from the Leftist lunacy that has taken over this part of the country. I remember driving north to New Hampshire, the first time, on old Route 3 and how the sun seemed to come out and the gloom faded as we crossed the border. This effect was due to the widening of the road at the New Hampshire border, but there was also an emotional element of leaving, for a short time at least, the statist and anti-freedom laws and policies of Massachusetts.

When we finally moved to New Hampshire in 2003, I was overjoyed to finally be represented by people who actually agreed with my view on politics. People that believed in a Constitutional right to bear arms and that the best kind of government is a limited one. 2004 was a setback with the election of a Democratic governor, but I took solace in the fact that New Hampshire had a Republican Legislature, two Republican U.S. Representatives and two Republican U.S. Senators.

Last night, almost all of that ended.

As I stated in a previous post, there was some worry that U.S. Representative Charlie Bass would lose to anti-war candidate Paul Hodes. Well, Hodes won 53% to 45% for Bass. If that was the extent of the bad news, it would be bad enough, but that is just the beginning. My U.S. Representative Jeb Bradley lost to liberal Democrat Carol Shea-Porter 51% to 49%. This race wasn’t supposed to be close and Jeb should have been reelected by a comfortable margin.

Neither Paul Hodes nor Carol Shea-Porter returned their NRA questionnaires, but I think we can all surmise what their grades would have been. Both of them are from New York State and both preach the usual platitudes that we have heard from the left wing of the Democratic Party for decades. If these two candidates had been Democrats in the vein of Webb in Virginia or Ford in Tennessee, I could take some solace, but they are typical, Left wing, Northeastern liberals who will gladly vote to raise our taxes into the stratosphere, give amnesty to illegal aliens and pass laws that seek to strip away our right to bear arms. So much for “Live Free or Die”.

But that isn’t the end of it. The Democrats also took the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the Executive Council and may take the State Senate. They now virtually run this state lock, stock and barrel. The chances of passing a Castle Doctrine bill are slim to none. We should instead be prepared to face increasing taxes, including a state sales tax, income tax or both, more state spending and the appointment of the kinds of judges that my Massachusetts friends love so much.

All of this happened because voters wanted to send Bush and the Republicans a lesson. Well I hope all of those people enjoy the high taxes, loss of gun rights and growth in state spending that will be the cost of delivering that message. We lost two NRA “A” rated U.S. Representatives who were good friends to gun owners because people wanted to send a message. Now we have two carpetbagger, New York, elitist U.S. Representatives that will probably trip over themselves to vote for every gun control bill that comes along. Expect a new Assault weapons ban and a .50 caliber ban early on in the new session of Congress.

As you can see, I am not overly happy with New Hampshire today. I don’t even know whom to blame. Some would go after those Massholes who move up to New Hampshire and vote the same way they did back home, but I’m not so sure. In the 2004 election, the southern counties, with the most residents formerly from Massachusetts, went for Bush. I think the issue is more complex. Whether we like it or not, New Hampshire is surrounded by liberal Northeasterners and is bombarded by their media. That has to have an effect and the result is to push New Hampshire to the left.

Whatever the reason, I’m finding it much harder to see New Hampshire as some kind of redoubt from the general Leftist climate here in New England. It’s starting to seem that it is only a matter of time before New Hampshire becomes little more than Massachusetts North and when that happens, it will be a sad day for all of us. As for myself, I’m looking towards Utah or Texas with a lot of interest.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day and Voting

Today is Election Day. That day in which our voices are heard. I've confessed to ennui with politics this year. Bill and I've encouraged gunnies to exercise their "pedal franchise" and move to freer states. But, it all comes down to getting out to the polls.

I'm not happy with the Republicans given their recent track records on guns. I'm even less happy with Democrats given their long-term track record on guns. Third party candidates are possibilities, but I'll like that choice better when the parties are stronger.

In other words, I can't tell you how to vote. I will vote primarily on gun rights issues. Vote your own conscience, but vote.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New Hampshire, Live Free or Die?

In this post, I discuss the importance of voting for the Republicans in order to best secure our 2nd Amendment rights. While the Republicans are far from perfect and have seemed to embrace big government, the election of a Democratic Congress would be a disaster for supporters of small government and individual liberties.

Denise highlighted in this post, why liberty minded individuals should move to more freedom loving states and away from gun banning states. Here is a perfect example why this is so important. The District 2 House election here in New Hampshire is now at a dead heat. The current Rep. Charlie Bass is being challenged by Democrat Paul Hodes.

Hodes does not live by the New Hampshire motto, Live Free or Die. Hodes is a die-hard statist who wants the entire Democratic agenda. Tax hikes, expanded entitlement programs, etc. etc. Bass may be far from perfect, but he has an A rating from the NRA and Hodes is a question mark, which means he probably didn’t return his survey.

The fact that this election is even close is troubling. It shows that there are already many people in New Hampshire who are being swayed to vote for someone who thinks that government is the solution. That is against everything that New Hampshire is about. We need more freedom loving people, like Bruce, to move to New Hampshire and out vote these statist pricks.
Time is critical. I really think that New Hampshire is on the brink. A few elections and it may well become a carbon copy of Massachusetts. High taxes, "Common Sense Gun Laws", the entire litany.
I am sick of good places being turned into socialist shit holes because people want to send a message or want one more benefit from Uncle Sugar. So come help us man the line and if you already live in New Hampshire and also live in District 2, be sure to get out and vote for Charlie Bass.

A Site to Read, The Cornered Cat

I’d like to point out a site that’s on this Internets tube-thingy that Al Gore invented. It’s been up there awhile, but it’s new to me. The Cornered Cat is about women and guns. It takes its name from one of the most dangerous things in the world, a cornered cat.

Bill (Yosemite Sam) and I have a cat who has more than a little Maine Coon Cat in him. He’s not as large as a pureblood Maine Coon Cat, but he’s about 16 pounds of muscle, hide, and the fat that a pampered lazy kitty gets over time. We’ve accidentally cornered him with say a vacuum cleaner every once and awhile and have paid the price, so we agree that a cornered cat is dangerous.

So is a woman who’s cornered and put into a position of flight or fight. Unfortunately, a woman is not trained to fight and so many of us have a "nice girls don’t do that" mentality. We need to shake it off, because there are a handful of men out there who rape and kill for the fun of it.

I don’t want to exaggerate the danger. Not every woman will be attacked. Almost all men are fine people—I married one. But the danger is real and women cannot ignore it. Society may not advocate ignoring danger, but society doesn’t want us to arm ourselves and seek training. In this, society is wrong. Sometimes, it even seems to make it difficult to arm and train ourselves. We have to find knowledge where we can.

The Cornered Cat gives you that knowledge. It features many lessons on how to equip and prepare yourself for something that will hopefully never happen to you or to a woman in your life. It’s comprehensive and its advice is good. Go give it a read.

Oh, and putting modesty aside, the people behind The Cornered Cat asked Bill and me permission to re-post our gun nut series (the eight part one on the sidebar) on their site. I feel so flattered.