Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Third Blogiversary

Three years. That's how long the Ten Ring has been up.

Yosemite Sam and I haven't been posting as much as when we started. We told the world what we had to say and don't want to repeat ourselves too much.

We're certainly not going away though. You'll have to put up with my long essays and Yosemite Sam's rants. You'll have to tolerate our posts from the NRA convention this year. Maybe we'll even start repeating ourselves and post more often.

So, wish us a Happy Third Blogiversary.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Guns and Criminals

Alphecca posted a story about a violent felon who wants to use the Second Amendment to beat a gun charge. Commenters brought out arguments I’ve seen time again:
*Even criminals have the God-given right of self-defense;
*Criminals should not have unfettered access to guns;
*If someone can’t be trusted with a gun, they should be in jail.

This issue and arguments go right to the heart of our legal system. It puts a criminal in jail based on the severity of his crime, not what’s in his heart and mind. Punishment is based on actions. If a criminal steals a purse, we lock him away for say a year. That criminal may come out of jail with a true attitude adjustment and never steal again, or he may come out a worse criminal. We can’t tell which way that person will turn.

We know our system is imperfect, but the idea of locking away someone until he’s no threat is quite disturbing to me. We would have to rely on government to determine how long someone is a threat to the rest of us. I don’t want government to have that power. They don't have a crystal ball and I can't imagine a worse way to limit freedom.

That leaves us with the question of how to protect society. A violent felon will get a weapon by any means necessary. Therefore, the best defense we have is self-defense. We should make concealed carry permits easier to get or better yet adopt Vermont-style carry nationwide. We should be able to carry anywhere a police officer can carry—i.e., cops can’t carry a gun in jail and neither should we.

Violent felons have a legitimate right of self-defense, but they will abuse any tool—knife, club, gun—that they possess. As a society we should say certain criminals have proven themselves too violent to own a gun legally and bar them from buying a gun where the rest of us shop. It’s an expression of our outrage at their actions.

There is a selfish reason why I support restrictions. I don’t want to go to my favorite gun store and watch some over-muscled guy with prison tats and a pallor picking out a gun. He may want it only for self-defense, but….

At the same time, there should be a limit to any restrictions. First, the criminal has to have committed more than one truly violent crime. Then, if the released criminal stays honest for five years (or ten or whatever) all restrictions are lifted.

I know many won’t agree with having any restrictions at all and I am ready for the rotten tomatoes coming my way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Yosemite Sam, Cooper the wonder Basset, Tummy the cranky ole cat (you've never met him), and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. We're here in a thawing New Hampshire getting ready for breakfast and other Yuletide fun. Hope yours is special and here's a blast from the not so long past:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

State Gun Laws and Winter Wonderland

I'm already tired of winter and it doesn't begin officially until tomorrow. I already feel hemmed in and just not wanting to deal with slick streets, slippery sidewalks, digging snow off the car, and the thousand and one things you have to do when you are living in New England.

New Hampshire, where I live, is a gunnie paradise, but the weather sucks. I keep wondering if I can move to other places with good gun laws and good weather. So far, my career won't allow it. Perhaps after Heller/Parker, if the decision goes our way and is far-reaching enough (dream on), I could stop having to choose places to live based on laws that curtail a constitutionally guaranteed freedom. Not yet, but perhaps.

That's one of the many things unfair with the gun laws. One state will curtail your rights, but drive across the border and there is no curtailment. I'm all for federalism, but there are just some things that are fundamental and owning a firearm, or choosing not to do so, is one of them.

I am working at home today trying to get a giant project off my desk. There's a snowstorm going on right now and I am glad I had the option to work here. I used my Treo's camera to snap a picture of the snow. My car is the one that is parked in front of the two vans. Yes, it's a lump of snow.

We're being socked this year and it's been cold. Needless to say, Yosemite Sam and I are not doing any trap shooting like we did last December. See you all later.

Winter--You can have it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where I am Now

Well, let's see's been a week plus one day since I posted last. A lot has happened that I didn't discuss. There was a shooting in a church that a female, former cop, now concealed carry permittee stopped with extreme prejudice. She is a true American hero or heroine whatever is the accurate term du jour.

Me, I've had my head down and working away. Yosemite Sam and I have a lot on our plates right now. For one thing, we are remodeling our master bathroom. We're not expert carpenters, painters, tilers, and everything else we've been doing. That means we're doing a good job, but a slow one. It's really affected how often we get to go shooting. It's been a while and I hang my head in shame.

For that reason and others, hunting season was a bust for us as well. This remodeling needs to get done, though. You see, whoever built our condo carpeted the bathroom about ten years ago. You can imagine what that was like. Who the hell ever thought that was a good idea? We pulled up a corner of it a few weeks ago and found some wet rot on the tile surround. We had to reinforce/rebuild the surround. Fun. We're almost done though and there will be before and after pictures up here one of these days.

Another thing, I'm on travel right now and using a hotel computer to type this. I don't have unencumbered access, so please forgive the stream of words and perhaps a miSpelaling or two. Work brought me down here to Maryland. You know, it's a lot warmer here than New Hampshire where we have snow and ice on the ground.

I better run now. Catch up with you all later.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Law Professor and I Agree on Predictions Only

Where do I apply to become a law professor? Here’s what University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein had to say about the pending Heller decision:

“This spring, the Supreme Court will probably issue its first major ruling on the Second Amendment. Here's a prediction: Dominated as it is by Republican appointees, the court will adopt the individual-rights interpretation.…

At the same time, the court will recognize that reasonable restrictions are permissible - and thus will energize, rather than end, the national discussion about the regulation of guns.”
I said this about two weeks ago:

“I predict though that the Court will support an individual right to own firearms and I think that it won't be all that close (maybe 6-3 for instance). The reason it won't be close: the Court will add language like "...subject to reasonable regulation for public safety..." or some such wording. Anti-gun justices will see how useful such language will be.

Then, it will be off to the races to write laws that allow individual ownership while still infringing on our rights to keep and bear arms.”
Sunstein came to his conclusion from the opposite side of gun freedom. He doesn’t like the idea that the Supreme Court may very well agree that there is an individual right to own guns. However, we came to the same conclusion that the Court decision will likely include "reasonable" restrictions.

I can’t speak for Sunstein, but for me, the government will never give up its ability to regulate guns. It may agree that we can own them, but it will always try to determine what kinds of guns may be owned, how guns will be stored, when and where they may be used, what types of people may own guns, and so much more.

In fact, I believe that if the Bradyites and their partners had long ago agreed that gun ownership was an individual right, by now we would all be able to own only single-shot rifles, double-barrelled shotguns, and the only handguns would be Olympic-style free pistols.

If we do win the Court battle, we can never let our guard down.