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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration sicced the IRS on TEA Party-related fundraising groups so they couldn’t raise money to get the Conservative message out to voters for the 2012 elections.   It was voter suppression at the front end, by muzzling First Amendment rights.

 

Wisconsin Democrats are applying the same principle on the local level, harassing and intimidating Conservative groups to suppress their fundraising.  Expect Dog Gone to screech about the Koch Brothers any minute now, under Berg’s Law.

 

Joe Doakes

Sad to say, I do expect it.

Time was, people on both sides valued a vigorous debate.

That was before the Democrats were taken over by Alinskyites.

Christie Vs. Paul

The left-leaning media – meaning “most of the media” – is tittering and cavorting about the sparks that’ve been flying between New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. “GOP CIVIL WAR”, they bellow, as if it’s something new.

It’s not.

There are three different definitions of “Conservative” in American political life:

  • Northeastern Conservatives: Comfortable with big government, socially moderate-to-liberal on social issues (defined broadly; it refers to education, welfare and immigration as much as abortion and gay marriage), assertive on defense, tolerant of massive intrusions in the interest of internal security. Their focus is less on shrinking government than on getting the best value for the tax dollar. Think Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Chris Christie – or for that matter Norm Coleman. Don’t think Michael Bloomberg; he’s not a conservative in any way, shape or form.
  • Western Conservatives: Favor aggressively limiting government. Generally socially libertarian (at least on a policy level; they may or may not be personally conservative), frequently vague on defense, favor law and order but opposing massive law-enforcement overreach. Favors shrinking government intrusions in the economy and personal life. Think the Tea Party and the pols that are aligned with it, including Rand Paul and, largely, Rick Perry.
  • Southern Conservatives: Comfortable with big government, conservative on social issues, hawkish on defense and law-and-order. There aren’t many major contenders from the Southern school in this campaign.  Huckabee’s a southern-con.  You could make a case Dubya was one, too. 

So the Christie/Paul kerfuffle isn’t just a battle between candidates; it’s a battle between fundamentally different schools of American conservatism.

And after reading both of them, it’s clear; they’re both right.

Christie Was Right – Libertarians, when it comes to national security, frequently are lost in la-la land. I’ve long since lost count of the Ron Paul supporters who sincerely believe that Iran would be a great friend of the US if we just acted nice to them (and left the Israelis to their own devices with no further ado). Not a few libertarians are just as lost in the fog as Vietnam-era anti-war liberals when it comes to one of history’s great facts; societies that practice war eat societies that would eschew it for breakfast.

Sure – the relatively peaceful, relatively liberal democracies of the West did in fact eventually defeat the warmongering totalitarian Nazis, to pick an example – but only at staggering cost and dislocation.

If you accept that war happens, and that sometimes those wars come to us against our national will, and that it’s better to win them than lose them, then some form of effort to gain intelligence about ones’ enemies’ intentions is one of those things that one trades for, among other things, casualties. And don’t kid yourself – intelligence-gathering has been an incredibly intrusive force in Americans’ lives in the pasts; FDR ordered his intelligence and counter-intelligence services to read every single piece of snail-mail, every telegraph, and eavesdrop on every single phone conversation entering and leaving the United States during WWII.

And like winning wars, staying a jump ahead of your enemies is an ugly, messy thing; it’s the sausage you really don’t want to see getting made. Like fighting crime – there’s a trade-off between liberty and effectiveness. A perfect police state might, hypothetically, be crime-free (at the cost of being, in essence, a criminal state itself); a pure libertarian state might be “Crime-free” in that, having no government, it recognizes no crime.

Say what you will about libertarian purism; if you stop short of anarchy, then defending your society from those who’d harm you is the most direct justification to have a government in the first place. It’s one of the few really good reasons to have a government; without defense (and courts to enforce contracts), really, what truly useful purpose do they serve that the private sector doesn’t do better?  If government can’t keep the people safe from foreign aggression, why have it in the first place?  Even libertarians that aren’t anarchists largely agree on this, right?

If you think you prevent airplans from crashing into skyscrapers, or underwear bombers from blowing your kids out of the sky as they come home from London, happens by just squirting good-will at the world, you are completely nuts. 

But Wait – Rand Paul Is Also Right! – But then you’re also nuts if you believe that government doesn’t take a mile for every inch you give it, or that “Defending the Nation” is a static, unchanging thing. 

All of you national-security hawks who say “The FISA Courts, into which was have no visibiliity and into which there is exceptionally limited oversight, are ample protection of due process for Americans” have apparently forgotten the IRS scandal.  Or Fast and Furious.  Or the trampling of the Fourth Amendment, or the growing militarization of the police. 

In short, law and order conservatives who are pollyannaish about government are no less addled than those who are pollyannaish about the role of unilateral good-will in keeping the world at peace. 

“We’re from the government and we’re here to help” is no less a joke coming from the NSA than it is from the Fish and Wildlife Service.   Just as liberals would suspend the Bill of Rights to cut CO2 emissions, some conservatives – especially the ones that are comfortable with “the System”, and there is nobody who can grow more comfortable with “The System” than a federal prosecutor like Christie – are perfectly fine saying “would you trade the Fourth Amendment for getting that drug dealer out of your neighborhood?”

As to defense?  The libertarians are wrong, we need a strong one.  But the definition of “a strong defense” changes, and changes radically, over time.  Is it the right time to engage the American military in an endless counterinsurgency that might be better suited to intelligence and proxies to carry out (uh oh, now the Libertarians and Liberals will get upset) when the Russians and the Chicoms are taking the world in a much more convention direction again?

The point being that re-assessing what the nation’s strategy actually is, and how the military forwards it, and what kind of military we need to do the job isn’t “anti-military”. 

Above all?  Due process needs to be more than just an inconvenient speed bump for the authorities – or what’s the point of pretending to be a “representative Republic” anyway?

Those Cows Left The Barn

I expect conservatives and libertarians to be exercised over the news that the White House is establishing a “Nudge Squad” – a group of behavioral scientists who will work with the government bureaucracy to try to help shape citizen behavior:

“Behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals,” reads the government document describing the program, which goes on to call for applicants to apply for positions on the team.

The document was emailed by Maya Shankar, a White House senior adviser on social and behavioral sciences, to a university professor with the request that it be distributed to people interested in joining the team. The idea is that the team would “experiment” with various techniques, with the goal of tweaking behavior so people do everything from saving more for retirement to saving more in energy costs.

The document praises subtle policies to change behavior that have already been implemented in England, which already has a “Behavioral Insights Team.” One British policy concerns how to get late tax filers to pay up.

On the one hand, it all sounds very Orwellian.  And it is; using the government to shape peoples’ behavior is a short and utterly undefineable step away from using it to shape peoples’ thought.

On the other hand?  Precisely what has the public education system been since its inception?

That Makes 50

The Illinois Legislature overrode Governor Pat “The Fascist Orc” Quinn’s veto of the bipartisan carry law, bringing the state at long last into compliance with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

“This is a historic, significant day for law-abiding gun owners,” said Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat who, in 10 years in the House, has continued work on concealed carry begun by his uncle, ex-Rep. David Phelps, who began serving in the mid-1980s. “They finally get to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

The Senate voted 41-17 in favor of the override after a House tally of 77-31, margins that met the three-fifths threshold needed to set aside the amendatory veto. Quinn had used his veto authority to suggest changes, including prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to one firearm at a time.

I have little doubt that the City of Chicago will continue to try to fight against the law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms; inconveniencing criminals is bad politics in Barack Obama’s hometown. 

But this is a great day for freedom.

Suck It, Fascist Pig

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (Orc) is trying his best to try to stymie the inevitable – also the will of the people of Illinois – by dawdling over his veto of Illinois’ bipartisan carry permit bill.

But the bill passed with greater than a 60% majority, and Quinn’s bitchy little veto is likely to get squashed like the legislative cockroach it is.

For days, Quinn has been pushing for alterations to a bill that would end Illinois’ status as the last state in the nation to ban the concealed carry of weapons in public, which the state must do by Tuesday to meet a federal appeals court’s deadline.

And here’s further proof – to paraphrase Fred Thompson in The Hunt For Red October – that Democrats don’t take a dump without trying to gull the low-information voter (with emphasis added):

Quinn recently has been highlighting Chicago’s violence, saying recent shootings show the need for tougher gun laws.

Chicago has the the “toughest” gun laws in the US today, if by “tough” you mean “against the law-abiding citizen”. 

This is so obvious, even Jane Kay and Doug Grow might understand it. 

“There will be a showdown in Springfield,” Quinn told the crowd gathered in Chicago for a bill signing on anti-gang legislation. Afterward he told reporters that lawmakers should examine his changes carefully.

“I don’t think they should override common sense. I don’t think they should compromise with public safety,” he said.

Because ten dead over one weekend “despite” a complete civilian gun ban isn’t “compromise” enough. 

P.S.:  By the way, don’t you dare say there’s media bias.  From the original AP story, with emphasis added by me:

While Quinn’s changes which include a one-gun limit and a ban on guns in establishments that serve alcohol have been embraced by Chicago’s anti-violence advocates, they’ve received a cold reception from lawmakers.

Pejorative much?

As if gun owners are “pro-violence advocates”?

Nick Coleman: Same As It Ever Was

Anyone remember this classic?

So, how is it that nakedly partisan bloggers who make things up left and right are gaining street cred while the mainstream media, which spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, are under attack?

Or this one?

“Bloggers don’t know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square.”

If you’ve been blogging in Minnesota any time at all, you know these quotes.

They’re from Nick Coleman, in his classic column “Blogged Down In Web Fantasy”, from 2004, in which he declared his sloppy brand of war on the Twin Cities bloggers (“Buh-LAW-gurs”, as he memorably pronounced the word on his unlamented radio show) that were starting to chip away at the sand castle he and his fellow “ink stained wretches” lived in.  The Strib removed the column from their website years ago, but its legacy lives on, in local blogger and national journalism circles.   In it, Coleman claimed that card-carrying journalists like himself were better than bloggers because they’d spent years covering the news, as opposed to bloggers, who merely work for decades and raise families and pay taxes and stuff.   Journalists know the rules and operate with accountability, he said (amid a column attacking someone he never did actually name, which was a dodge of accountability and against the rules for “journalists”).

This was when Nick Coleman was riding high – when he had a three-times-a-week column at the Strib for well into six figures, and a morning show at the local leftytalk station…

…where he indulged a curious predilection for crudely sexualizing people who dared to disagree with him (Go ahead – count the gay jokes in the link.  Only liberals on a liberal station can get away with that much homophobia).

Well, in The Boss’ immortal words, we’re still here and he’s all gone.  From the Strib and AM950 (which I’m told is still on the air, not that anyone cares), at least.  I’m not indulging in schadenfreud, here; I don’t believe in Karma, but what goes around comes around. 

But old journos never die – they just get jobs with left-leaning non-profits.

And they start blogs.   In which they do…

…well, pretty much exactly what Nick Coleman warned us about nine years ago.

The State He’s In – Nick popped up on the radar again.  After a stint writing propaganda for a think tank in Saint Cloud, a couple of college classes (in which a fellow student noted he described himself as a “recovering journalist”) and I-really-honestly-don’t-care-what-else, Coleman resurfaced as the “Executive Editor” of “The Uptake”, a videoblog financed by liberals with deep pockets; think a slightly-downmarket MinnPost with more video and less Brian Lambert.

There, he roams the same halls he used to roam.  And he gets positive reinforcement from other lefties:

That’s Coleman, in the jaunty racing cap. With (from L) Doug Grow (from the Joyce Foundation-supported MinnPost), Jane Kay, some minion, and Rep. Heather Martens (DFL-66A).

And he’s got a blog.  And he still knows stuff…

…about crudely sexualizing his opponents with all the grace of an eighth-grade locker room bully.

As to getting a story right, as opposed to just making things up?  Not so much.

Exhibit A:  The piece he wrote about the open carry activists canceling their get-together at “Open Streets” (we wrote about it this morning).

Remember:  He’s A Professional – I’ll add red emphasis to the frequent, dork-fingered sexualizations just to show how very, very juvenile the old duffer is.  Go ahead.  Scan it. 

The gun-slinging flashers who threatened to bring their guns to town and parade them around openly in Minneapolis and St. Paul have put their warm guns back in their happy pockets and backed down, running away at the first signs of gun-control Mommas and urban bicycling activists.

As someone said on my Facebook page: “Buncha candy asses!”

To be fair, “someone on my Facebook page” is no worse a level of sourcing than Coleman ever did during his “official columnist” career. 

And as we discussed this morning, the story had nothing – bupkesto do with “gun control Mommas and bike activists”.  Neither of them ever turned up in the decision.  Second Amendment human rights activists mix it up with the usual “gun control mommas” constantly, and win the debate – emphasis on the term “debate” – every single time.  Because the law, the Constitution, the facts and morality itself are on our side.

There are two absolute, incontrovertible facts to keep in mind:

  • It’s the threats, Stupid:  MN-RKBA – Minnesotans for the Right to Keep And Bear Arms – cancelled their Open Carry gathering entirely due to the threats of violence.  Legal firearms carriers know it’s best to avoid danger.  That’s what they did.  Period.  There was no more to it. 
  • Coleman is lying: He’s trying to help his buddies in the gun-grab movement (see the cozy little group hug photo above) squeedge a victory out of a year where they couldn’t exploit a mass-shooting into a political win at an all-liberal Minnesota state Capitol.  This is the closest they’ve come to one; Coleman is trying, in his ham-fisted way, not to waste the crisis. 

Let me re-emphasize this:  Coleman, and the dim bulb Jane Kay and habitual liar Rep. Heather Martens, are doing the end-zone happy dance over the non-news non-occurrence of a non-event.   

That’s it.  That’s their “victory”, the only one they had, even in a state run entirely by liberals.  For now.

That’s just pathetic.

Insert The Usual Boilerplate – Coleman lays out the scenario.  Sort of:

The story started Monday when a gun-owners group used its Facebook page to invite members to attend the first of this summer’s “Open Streets” events this coming Sunday in South Minneapolis. Although “attend” doesn’t quite cover it: The gun owners specifically were encouraged to bring their weapons and to flash them in public, carrying them openly for the benefit of all those in attendance at “Open Streets,” an ongoing series of good-humored street fairs promoting bicycling and pedestrian rights.

And – Coleman omits – the various virtues of neighborliness.  Second Amendment supporters have been doing events like this for years, most notably our “Open Carry Picnics” a few years back at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, where dozens of regular Minnesotans would gather, eat, talk with their neighbors – many with their legal firearms in plain view. 

If you heard about them, it wasn’t in the news.  The only thing that ever happened was a good time.  In the couple such events I attended (sans visble firearm; that wouldn’t be my style, even if I did own a gun and have a carry permit), I remember one person – white, upper-middle-class, female, oozing “Carlton College” attitude from every manicured pore – running to the park police and demanding mass arrests, and being politely rebuffed because we were doing something legal, in a legal manner. 

He Doesn’t Know Stuff!  – Coleman:

This Sunday’s kickoff event is scheduled for a 20-block stretch of Lyndale Ave. South, one of the south side’s gun-plagued corridors.

And there’s the conceit the left keeps trying – and with the dimmer members of our media and political class, succeeding – at passing off; the idea that guns are the problem.  That there’s a “plague” of guns prowling Lyndale from the Twenties through the Fifties, randomly picking off innocent passersby and kids doing homework in their living rooms.

It’s untrue, of course; we have a plague of people who use guns to enforce their gangs’ rules, protect their (illegal) business’ turf from competition, take out revenge for various slights (in a manner our modern urban culture glorifies), with guns.

Not a one of them has a carry permit.  Not a one of them passed a background check, taken the training course, or bought their firearms legally. 

Maybe Coleman doesn’t know the distinction.  Or maybe he, like the anti-gun groups with whom his “Uptake” shares funders, really really wants the distinction to be blurred. 

If it’s the former, he’s wrong.  If it’s the latter, he’s lying. 

Again.

The Original Classist Gangsta – Coleman – the child of a highly prominent legislator, the stepchild of a prominent publisher – loves to try to pound the outlines of his childhood into the rough-and-tumble Irish-Catholic-In-America myth.  He’s spent a career trying to portray himself as a Studs Terkel “Everyman with a Typewriter” type street journo. 

It’s a crock, of course; the last we checked, Coleman lived in a tony part of Saint Paul, near Grand and Summit, a leafy neighborhood dotted with private colleges and tudor homes.  And more power to him!

But watch Coleman wrap himself in the “urban activist warrior” flag:

 For some reason, the promise/threat of suburban gun flashersbrandishing their weapons along the avenue did not have a reassuring effect on the benighted city dwellers who prefer fewer guns, not more, on their streets.

(“Hey!  We don’t vote on civil rights!” Remember that from the gay marriage debate?)

A quick look at the city’s “shot spotter” maps, in addition to showing an alarming number of recorded gun shots on the city’s North Side (dozens each week), shows that there have been a couple dozen shots fired on the streets in the Lyndale-Hennepin area in the past two months.

Yep.  Now – can Coleman show us that any of them were fired by law-abiding citizens, much less carry permittees?

Of course not. 

Now, it’s time for some classism!:

Imagine how reassured you would feel when hundreds of bearded guys from Andover and Elko show up in North Minneapolis or the Summit-University area of St Paul (“Open Streets” events will take place in both of those communities later this summer) with Bushmasters and Brownings slung over their shoulders or Glocks and Rugers hanging from their paunches.

Condescension for People Not Like Nick is the main color in Coleman’s palette.  That and junior-high pseudo-sexual japery.

It’s also part and parcel of the most cancerous trait of the Left; the battle isn’t ideas versus ideas, or even people vs. people.  The battle they fight is Classes against Classes.  And they define the classes. 

At the very least, it’s a mark of intellectual laziness.  At the worst, it’s a cancer that’s killed millions in the last 100 years.

But let’s run with the thought; what if hundreds of guys from Elko and Andover and Forest Lake – some bearded and paunchy, some elderly and flinty, some young and smokin’ hot, but every last one of them a carry permittee with the legal right to carry a firearm – did show up at the festivals?

What would happen?

The smart money says “Not a damn thing” – other than anti-gunners acting out on their paranoia. 

Thought Experiments for The Unthinking – But since Nick’s in a mood to play hypotheticals, let’s come out and play, shall we?

Here’s a neat mental exercise: Try to imagine hundreds of inner-city residents carrying weapons at the Andover Family Fun Fest, July 13. Just because they can.

Nick, if you’re reading this;  let’s do indeed!

I’ll take you up on your challenge!  Let’s you and I get “hundreds” of “inner city residents” (by which I assume you mean “black people”, as opposed to “family guys who live in Saint Paul’s Midway”, like me), with legal carry permits, just like you had, and just like I may hypothetically have – complete with objective proof that they are law-abiding citizens that the permit conveys – and trek out to Andover on July 13!

And let’s see what happens!

Just think, Nick:  you and me can watch the hijinx unfold!

What do you suppose is going to happen?

Nothing.  Nothing is going to happen.  Oh, some ninny may run to a cop, who’ll investigate, see the “inner city resident” is a regular schlemiel with a carry permit, and gently tell the complainant to relax.   Just like happens with legitimate carriers all over the state or, more usually, doesn’t happen. 

More likely?  The “inner city” – which I suppose does mean “black” or “Latino” or “H’mong”  in Coleman’s mind – carry permittee will tell us to get tied; they have a live to live.

And they’ll be right. 

But let’s do get the ball rolling on this, Mr. Coleman. 

Heres’s How You Tell A Hack With A “Journalist” Badge He Got From A Box Of Cracker Jacks – Next, Coleman drops any pretense of “journalism” that may have evaded extinction, and openly parrots his whiny pals in the gun-grabber movement; I added emphasis to the really demented stuff:

Openly carrying firearms inside the Minnesota Capitol this winter helped gun-law opponents shoot down gun-safety legislation.

Coleman is regurgitating Heather Martens’ delusion that the law-abiding carry permittees who had notified Capitol security of their intent to carry, and visibly wore their legal, permitted firearms into the hearings, were doing it to “intimidate” the legislators.

It’s bullshit, of course.  It was a demonstration of “civil obedience” – showing the legislators that the law-abiding gun owner isn’t the cartoon that ghouls like Jane Kay and Nick Coleman and the City Pages portray to their audiences.  We’re regular schlubs who work day jobs and raise kids, just like everyone else.  And we vote. 

And it worked. 

But Coleman isn’t going to let facts get in his way:

But the tactic backfired this time. Maybe you can intimidate people in the Capitol, but not in the cycling community. Bicyclists wee outraged and told the gunslingers to stay away.

They wavered. Then they cracked. Finally, they called off the whole thing when the Gun Control Mommas stood up to them.

Let me put this as bluntly as it needs to be put:  Coleman is lying.

The “Gun Control Mommas” – “Moms Want Action”, Jane Kay’s toxic little astroturf group with fewer members than “the Uptake” has paid staff – had nothing to do with the cancellation. 

Neither did Coleman’s mythical “cycling community” (Note, Nick:  I’m part of the “cycling community”.  There was no memo). 

Coleman is making things up.  He’s taking correlations (a memo from the impotent Jane Kay, facebook proclamations from wannabe “biking community” spokesbots) and making up a causation.

He’s lying. 

The Gun Flashers ran for cover. By Thursday, the skedaddling gunsters canceled their Gun Wiggle, blaming the liberal media, bicycle punks and the “intolerance” of the mamas who opposed the plan they had clearly hoped would get them some media time and notoriety. Their plan worked, but not the way they hoped. The guns blew up in their faces.

It’s the closest the gun-grabber “movement” – really a collection of astroturf checkbook advocacy groups – have come to a victory in recent years.  And they’re jumping up and down like toddlers that just made a good pants. 

Candy asses.

 That’s big talk, coming from Nick Coleman, a nakedly (ew) partisan blogger who as we’ve shown makes things up left and right to gain “street cred”; a man who knows nothing about anything he wasn’t told by other people in his vanishingly tiny social circle, but who sat down to share his every thought with the moon. Like a grafitti artist holding a spray paint can between his knees, he’s tagging the public square, and doing it very, very badly. 

A man who’ll never answer for any of his lies and distortions because he’s never had to; he’s used and abused the “journalist/columnist’s” factual “get out of jail free” card while enjoying the protection of the Big Institutional Media system his entire career, and who now – let’s be honest – gets paid to parrot the lies he’s told to parrot. 

Same as he ever was.  Just much, much smaller.

UPDATE:  I didn’t even catch all of Coleman’s lies.  Attorney David Gross – one of the legal workhorses of the Second Amendment movement in Minnesota – left a comment which points out even more perfidy. 

One of many quotes worth reading (hence you should read the whole thing):

…Coleman was lying some more, as I read the published material, when he claimed that the Open Streets sponsors were against what Shelley had planned. I guess he can’t help himself from not letting the facts get in his way.
“Priem said Open Street organizers will not ask the gun owners not to attend. ‘Everyone is welcome at Open Streets,’ she said.”

Keep ‘em coming.

Stuck In The Security Theater

Over this past week since the NSA scandal broke, the national Salem hosts – Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt – have been defending the NSA’s stated data-mining practice.  On its surface, the case makes sense; they’re looking for patterns, contacts, things that point to terrorist contact in America.

And as far as that goes, it makes sense.

But I’m amazed that these learned guys have already forgotten the IRS scandal, and for that matter “Joe the Plumber”; once the government has information, it’s only as safe as the most partisan, lowest-integrity people who have access to it will allow it to be.

Joe Doakes from Como Park had some of the same thoughts.  He emails:

Liberals say, re: the NSA scandal: “I really don’t care if the government looks at my stuff if they are indeed looking for terrorists.”  [As we've seen, so do some conservatives - Ed.]

“Dear Mr. Jones. While looking for terrorists, we noticed you have done X. We’re forwarding this information to the local newspapers, your wife, your pastor and the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Just letting you know. Sincerely”

“Dear Mr. Jones’ Employer. While looking for terrorists, we noticed Mr. Jones has done X. The fact that you continue to employ him is suspicious, probably evidence you’re in cahoots with him. Please take appropriate action to clear your good name. Sincerely,“

“Dear Senator Z. While looking for terrorists, we noticed Mr. Jones has done X. We also noticed he gave money to your opponent, meaning your opponent condones people who do X. We thought you’d like to know. Sincerely,”

X can be anything unpopular that can be discovered by listening to your phone calls, tracking the GPS in your phone or car, examining your debit card charges, reviewing your e-mail or checking your web-surfing habits.

You bought a brick of .22’s (an arsenal), you clicked on a link in an email and found yourself on a porn site (sex maniac), you bought incandescent light bulbs instead of compact florescent (environmental terrorist), you have Not paid the hazardous waste disposal fee to throw away compact florescent light bulbs meaning you’ve been slipping them into the ordinary garbage (environmental terrorist), you attended a meeting of the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church (homophobe), the NRA (gun nut) or the GOP (all of the above).

If we could depend on the government to keep secret our private information and apply the law even-handedly, maybe it would be okay that they looked at everything. But recent scandals show us we can’t depend on that. Right now, we all hope the sheer volume of garbage collected will insulate us from the wrath being applied to any one of us in particular. Protection in numbers. Since I’m only one of a large flock of sheep, the odds are the wolf will go after another sheep instead of me.

Unfortunately, with the wolf having the power to sort through all sheep for tenderloin quality, the number of sheep provides me no protection. The rational response is tell the government nothing, prohibit them from collecting anything, and punish those who abused our trust.

Joe Doakes

Patterns of behavior aren’t without meaning.  And the Fed’s patterns these days should give any thinking person who cares for freedom plenty of pause.

Less Useless

In the wake of the Newtown/Sandy Hook massacre, as America’s political class and educational-industrial complex spun themselves into paroxysms of anxiety working out non-solutions (ramping up regulations on the law-abiding) and anti-solutions (useless fripperies designed to increase the theatrical “sense” of security without actually making anyone safer from the kind of atrocities that happened in Newtown)…

…one Minneapolis teaching assistant, actually did something useful; she brought her legally-permitted gun to school. 

As cops are teaching themselves – and others who are at liberty to use the knowlege – the best way to respond to an active mass shooter is immediately, with lethal force.  It’s ended not a few potential mass shootings, notably the shooting in Portland three days before Newtown, where a citizen pointing a gun at a man who’d just murdered two and still had hundreds of rounds of ammunition was all it took to break the killer out of his fantasy - which is the key step.  Mass-murderers are delusional narcissists lost in a fantasy world; interrupting the carefully-planned fantasy is the key to ending the shooting (at least before the plan reaches its end). 

But that’s just too practical a solution for the Minneapolis school system, or any other, apparently:

A Minneapolis education assistant has been put on a year’s probation and remains on unpaid leave after bringing a loaded handgun to Seward Montessori School the week after school shootings grabbed national attention in December.

The district identified the aide who brought the .357 Magnum gun to the school as Kathleen E. Scozzari, in response to a Star Tribune data practices law request. She is a 21-year district employee.

The 59-year-old northeast Minneapolis resident has been on leave without pay from her $19.90 per hour job since the Dec. 19 incident, in which her gun was recovered from her locked locker in a staff room. The incident occurred a week after the mass school shootings in Newton, Conn.

“She was immediately cooperative. She explained her motives to the police right away,” said attorney Sarah MacGillis, who represented Scozzari. “Her principal concern was protecting the students.”

Kudos to Ms. Scozzari for her motives.

Of course, it’s against the law – and against policy, which is that your children must be compliant, orderly victims, the better to be used as a helpless dependent in life, and posthumous political cudgel.

Provided your children look like the children of NPR executives. 

The story doesn’t mentioned how the staff detected Scozzari’s pistol.  Scozzari has a carry permit.

And I suspect there are not a few other teachers out there, in the wake of Sandy Hook, doing the same thing, only more quietly.

A State Without Limits

This one’s important, and needs some action on your part to prevent a corrosive overreach of government power.

I also got this one from GOCRA yesterday; it’s not a “gun rights” thing, but it’s an important civil liberty issue, and it needs your attention:

Minneapolis Police (as well as many other departments) use automated license plate readers to log millions of times, dates, and locations of cars every month. They know where you were, and they keep this data as long as they want.

A proposed law, House File 474 (and Senate companion SF385), would force police departments to immediately delete data on non-suspect cars (like yours).

This bill is scheduled for a vote [today] in the House. If you think that the police shouldn’t track the every move of innocent citizens, ask your state senator representative to support HF474/SF385.

Please get on the horn and contact your Senator and Representative, and ask them – politely – to vote “Yes” on SF 385 and HF 474.

The police have no need to be able to track everyone, everywhere, all the time.

None.

No Crisis To Waste

The anti-gun movement thought they smelled blood in the water; the Tsarnaev brothers had guns.

Which meant – to the anti-gun orcs – that they were an example of what any law-abiding schnook with a Glock might become.

But no – the Tsarnaevs had their guns illegally:

In the confrontation with police on the streets of a Boston suburb, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were armed with handguns, at least one rifle and several explosive devices, authorities say.

But neither brother appears to have been legally entitled to own or carry firearms where they lived, a fact that may add to the national debate over current gun laws. Last week, the U.S. Senate rejected a bill to expand background checks on gun purchases, legislation that opponents argued would do nothing to stop criminals from buying guns illegally.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was killed in the shootout with police, would have been required to apply for a gun license with the local police department where he lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

But there is no record of him having done so, according to Cambridge Police Department spokesman Dan Riviello.

Even if he had earlier received a gun license from somewhere outside Cambridge, that license would have to be registered with Cambridge police upon becoming a resident of the city, Riviello said. In Massachusetts, gun licenses are issued by municipal police departments.

“There is no record of him having a license to carry,” Riviello told Reuters.

The left so, so hoped that this would help re-start their failed gun grab efforts.

Universal Means Universal

James Taranto notes that while “Universal Background Checks” will have no effect on crime – serving as they do only to further harass and hamper the law-abiding, and price more low-income shooters out of the market – they will infringe on peoples’ privacy rights.

Currently, Federal Firearms License (FFL)-holding dealers perform these background checks online or via phone.  FFLs, by the way, are pretty tightly regulated; it’s not something you get for the asking.  On the other hand, Universal Background Checks would require all private transfers to get the background check.

And that means everyone:

Currently access to the FBI’s background check system is limited to licensed firearms dealers, who have an incentive not to abuse it lest they lose their license. If it’s opened up to all prospective sellers of guns–that is, to everybody–what’s to prevent someone from abusing it, say by requesting a background check on [Anti-gun WaPo columnist] Greg Sargent, who presumably has no interest in acquiring a gun?

The system only gives a yes-or-no answer as to whether the putative buyer is eligible to own firearms under federal law. But if you’re looking to dig up dirt on someone, a “no” answer on a firearms background check would give you a nice clump of it.

It’d put a big info-trawling tool into the hands of the unethical.

Think that won’t get abused?

Look at the last ten years in the history of Twin Cities’ leftyblogging and ask if you want that crowd to have access to a “there’s trouble here!” flag on every man, woman and child in the country.

Paymar: Above The Rules

I went to the House Public Safety Finance committee hearings on the Paymar and Lesch gun bills last night.

More on the event itself a little later.

But I thought this bit was interesting.

The hearings were scheduled for 5:30.  At around 4:45, House staff started passing out copies of an amendment that Paymar reportedly planned to propose for the bill.  Here’s the link to the amendment.  Paymar – the committee chair – waived the Legislature’s new 24 hour waiting period on amendments to get it in for the hearings.   He also passed the word that no public testimony would be taken.

Recap:  45 minutes before the committee hearings – which took place at 5:30PM on March 21 – the DFL committee chair distributed an amendment that fundamentally changed the tenor of Rep. Lesch’s bill.

Now take a look if you will at the time-stamp on the file.  I circled it, so that even can’t miss it:

9PM the night before. That’s right around 20 hours.

So I have a few questions:

Rules, Apparently, Are For Peasants: From the House permanent rules, section 6.22:

6.22 PUBLIC TESTIMONY. Public testimony from proponents and opponents must be allowed on every bill or resolution before a standing committee, division or subcommittee of the House.

Paymar’s amendment substantially changed Lesch’s bill, by adding a niggling background check restriction to a bill that largely focused on reporting information and sentencing criminals.

How does this not rate public testimony?

Ethics Are What The DFL Says They Are:  Paymar waived his party’s own rule on the waiting period for amendments to jam down a fundamentally bill-changing amendment, sitting on it for nearly a day after reneging on his “promise” to Rep. Hilstrom before dumping it outside the hearing room 45 minutes before the hearing.

If only the ethics committee could hear about it.

If Only We Had An Institution, Full Of Highly-Trained People With Years Of Experience Asking Questions And Who’ve Convinced Themselves That They Are A Monastic Elite Apart From Society With A Mission Of Keeping Institutions On The Straight And Narrow.  Perhaps With Printing Presses And Transmitters:  More on this later.

Michael Paymar is going to attempt to jam down amendments wrecking perfectly good bills – like Hilstrom’s and, to an extent, Lesch’s – which are supported by a bipartisan majority of the House.  He’s going to do it because the DFL’s lotus-eating metrocrat pandits find guns in the hands of the plebeians distasteful.

There’s really no other reason.

Paymar – The New Wes Skoglund

For a decade, I referred to former longtime Minneapolis machine senator Wes Skoglund by the sobriquet “Lying Sack of Garbage”.  The reason was simple; every time he opened his mouth on the subject of firearms and the Second Amendment, he lied.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Skoglund left office some years back, apparently out of fear that carry permit holders from the Crips were stalking him.  And for the years since then, Representative Heather Martens has had to carry the load of lying about gun owners, firearms and the Second Amendment, during what were the lean years for the gun-grabbing orc movement.

But it’s a new day for the DFL, and a new leader has stepped up.  Michael Paymar is everything Skoglund used to be.

After saying “Universal Registration” was off the table on Tuesday, he turned around and said it’d be offered as an amendment yesterday:

Only a few hours earlier, Paymar reached an agreement with a fellow committee member, Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, that gutted his universal background checks bill. In exchange, Hilstrom agreed to a bill that would extend background checks to private sales made at gun shows — but not to other private sales, such as those made over the internet or among neighbors or friends.

Paymar said at that time that the agreement kills universal background checks for all private sales, but that closing the “gun show loophole” was a major step forward.

On Wednesday he said, “The agreement we had with the Speaker is that Rep. Hilstrom would agree to the gun show loophole language, and that the Speaker would allow a vote on the House floor.” But once that more limited bill reaches the floor, Paymar said, an amendment will likely be offered to re-insert universal background checks.

“I refuse to let the Legislature take a walk on this thing,” Paymar said. “I refuse to let the leadership not be accountable for a bill not coming to the floor.” He added, “I can’t believe we’d walk away from the Legislative session and not have a vote on it, up or down.”

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, a member of Paymar’s committee and a leading advocate for gun-owners rights, accused Paymar of “trickery and deceit.” He said Paymar assured members Tuesday night that universal checks were dead.

“And now he’s overtly admitting, that was just for committee,” Cornish said. “I think he’s going to lose a lot of DFL support.”

Let’s hope so.

I’ll quote Paymar from the Strib piece again:

“I’m not giving up on this,” Paymar said. Once a bill comes to the floor, he said, “I am guaranteed that someone will offer an amendment that will offer each member, Democrat and Republican, the chance to vote on this issue. I want people to take a stand on this issue, up or down.”

So do I.  I want to see every Martha Forging DFLer put their vote on the line on that amendment. Oh, my, yes.  I surely do.

Michael Paymar.  The new Lying Sack of Garbage.

Once More Unto The Breach

Another Tuesday, another hearing:

VICTORY GOES TO THOSE WHO SHOW UP

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 19) at 10 a.m., the House Public Safety Committee will hear and vote of HF237, Rep, Paymar’s Punish Gun Owners Act.

We need to show up in large numbers to tell the House members to REJECT the infringing bill and instead hold a vote on Rep. Hilstrom’s Criminal Control bill, HF1325.

Please show up as early as possible for good seats, and wear a maroon shirt (or your GOCRA shirt, if you have one!)

The meeting will be held in Room 10 of the State Office Building.

I can’t make it, but if you’re anywhere near the Capitol I certainly hope you can.  And make sure you join GOCRA – the single most effective advocate in Minnesota for the law-abiding gun owner, and perhaps one of the most powerful grass-roots political organizations in the state.

Original Intent

I’ve never been much of a movie-goer.

Part of it is that for much of my childhood – the part where real movie addicts got “going to the theater” in their blood – my hometown didn’t even have a theater.  There were always other things to do.

Part of it is that I spend so very little time in front of the TV watching things – and while I spend plenty of time in front of the computer, it’s almost always writing, either for work or, well, this.    The rare times I sit still and try to just consume, I usually fall asleep.

So the list of great movies I’ve never seen, or seen parts of, but not in sequence, or not the the whole thing, is a very long one.

One of them, until this past weekend, had been Schindler’s List.  Believe it or not.

But it was on FX on Saturday night.  And I took a rare night of doing nothing, and chugged a Red Bull and watched the whole thing.

Never seen it?  Don’t go in on a night when you’re feeling down on the human race.  Here’s the scene where the Nazis decide to ship the Jews out of the Krakow Ghetto:

It gets worse, and more depressing.

It’s because humanity, at its core, is rotten.  That fact is at the core of the Judeo-Christian worldview, and it’s been proven in the absolute human absence of that worldview, which was one way you could describe the Holocaust.

How to describe humanity?  I’ll leave it – partly for a little comic relief – to one of the greatest philosophers of our time, Dr. Perry Cox:

With that in mind, what actually separates us – the United State of America – from what you  saw in the video above?

Two centuries of small-”l” liberal democracy?  Sure.

A legal system that, at the moment, works?  You bet.

But Germany was a western country.  It was part of Western Civilization; the home of Bach, Händel, Schubert, Einstein (speaking culturally, not in terms of borders), Kafka, Beethoven.  Not a “liberal democracy”, necessarily, by the time Hitler took office – Germany had suffered some very hard times.

And that’s the point.

It took a bad outcome to a war, and a decade and a half of economic misery to turn what was one of the wealthiest, most educated “first world” nations, the culture of Mozart and Schubert, into the stormtroopers.  It took a demigogue at the head of a mass movement, one who tapped into long-standing cultural antipathies toward a cultural boogeyman at an opportune time, to turn the nation of Göthe into the nation of Amon Göth:

Has our Democracy ever been threatened with this?

No – leaving out all of history’s imponderable ”what ifs“, we have not.

And how do we assure it stays that way?

You really have two options:

Have faith that government will always stay good.  Or at least “not evil”.  That judges and courts and laws and tradition will always hamstring not only the tyrants and murderers, but the tyrants who are murderers.  That, irreducibly, means trusting to human nature.  And it can, hypothetically, work.  And it can, hypothetically, fail miserably.

But that is the leap of faith that Second Amendment opponents like Alice Hausman and Heather Martens and Rahm Emanuel want you, The People, to take.

The other option?

Make sure the people – no, The People – are equipped to make certain government stays on the straight and narrow.  Make sure the people have not only the right to tell the government “you’re getting out of bounds”, but the ability to enforce it.

Want to see what the Second Amendment is about?  This is it.  Preventing what you see in Schindler’s List - preventing government from turning on the people, from metastasizing into a self-sustaining engine of evil.

That is the choice; trust in human nature’s desire to curb its worst aspects, or counterbalance it with sheer numbers.

I’m not saying the likes of Alice Hausman and Heather Martens are depraved totalitarians.

I am saying that depraved totalitarians need a society full of Hausmans and Martenses and Bidens and Emanuels and Michael Paymars, people more willing to empower government in spite of knowing the failings of human nature than they are to trust The People, to have a shot.

And that’s why some of us fight for the Second Amendment.

Be Intimidated!

Last week, it came to our attention that the local lefty alt-media was shilling for the DFL meme that anti-gun Representatives felt “intimidated” by the presence of all the gun owners – people with carry permits who’ve passed criminal background checks, and are thus most likely less apt to resort to violence than, well, the Representatives and Senators on the panels – in the audience.

I feel I should respond to this.

I’ll neither confirm nor deny that I have a carry permit, a handgun, or permission to carry in the Capitol complex.  If I do, I would never carry openly, primary out of deference to the warped sensitivities of the ones complaining; “pick your battles”, I always say.

But I’ll urge you, gun-grabbing DFL legislator, to be intimidated.

Be intimidated by the fact that I, like most of the pro-Gun Rights people I know, know more about the issue than you do.  Be intimidated that I make the anti-gun, pro-gun control argument better than you, and better than Heather Martens, for that matter – and can then turn around and destroy it.  With facts, history, the law, and a lot of style.

Be intimidated by the fact that I, and most of the pro-Gun Rights people I know, take that superior knowledge out to my fellow MInnesotans, one by one, and win them over, just as we have been for 25 years now.

Be intimidated by the fact that I am one member of what was, 10 years ago, one of the most amazing grassroots political movements in Minnesota political history, the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance which, with no help from corporate donors or Rockefellers or PACs, started rolling a big heavy rock up a very high, steep hill in 1995 – and won the issue in 2003, playing a key role in flipping the House of Representatives along the way.

Be intimidated by the fact that GOCRA, and other gun rights groups and the people they represent, are coming back bigger and tougher and more focused than ever before.

Be intimidated by the fact that our movement adds more people every day than will ever show up at a gun control rally, and that every one of those people understands the issue better than any of the anti-gunners, and most of  you legislators as well.

Be intimidated by the fact that we have energy, savvy, and the grim determination to crush you, rhetorically speaking.  We’ve been through this before.  We’ve run the marathon – the seven-year battle to enact Shall Issue.  You’ve run the sprint.  Who’s going to be still up and standing and fighting in a year?  Two years? Four years?

My gun – if I have one, and if I’m carrying it?  That’s literally, figuratively and statistically the least of your worries.

The Hill To Die On

We Real Americans – that defined as “Americans who support all ten Amendments in the Bill of Rights, the Second and Tenth as devoutly as the First and Fourth – know that giving any ground with the gun grabbers is a fool’s bargain.  The metrocrat Orcs will exploit any opening we Real Americans give them to harass us, badger us, turn us – the most law-abiding people in this country – into criminals.

The “assault weapon” bans are – or were – stupid, and would not affect crime in the least (or at least would never reduce it).  Magazine restrictions are also of no actual value as anything but harassing the law-abiding, as well as putting them (in rare cases) at a disadvantage to criminals.

But it gets worse.

This just in from GOCRA:  The worst of them all is up on the dock now:

The most dangerous bill this session is not a magazine ban, or an “assault weapon” ban. It’s universal registration, masquerading as “universal background checks.”

It’s called SF 458, and it will be heard on THURSDAY at the state capitol. GOCRA will be there to fight it. Will you?

I’ll give it my best shot.  Hope you can too.

Why is this bill so bad?  For starters, because it’ll tack $25 onto the sale prices of a firearm, plus $25 for permit to purchase – which makes firearms $50 harder to obtain for the poor (who are, after all, the ones the DFL wants to disarm…first).

Worse?  It’s registration!  It doesn’t go by the name, but that’s exactly what it is; a paper trail leading, over time, to every single gun in the United States.

This bill needs to be not just defeated; it needs to be crushed and humiliated.  Any outstate DFLer that supports it needs to feel the wrath of every gun owner in their district, sports or self-defense.  Any Republican who supports this abomination must be primaried and expunged from public life.

No retreat.

No surrender.

No compromise on the rights of the law-abiding.

No mercy for the politicians who get it wrong.

Here’s the hearing schedule; all hearings are in room 15 of the State Capitol. Get there two hours early to get a seat in the hearing room, or use overflow seating with a closed-circuit feed of the hearings.

Please let us know if you plan to attend (and which session) by sending an email to volunteer@gocra.org.

Thursday, February 21
Noon: SF 235, 458, 69

Thursday, February 21
6 p.m.:  Public testimony on SF 235, 503, 69, 458, 557, 520, 400, 413 and 568

Friday, February 22

Noon: SF 503, 557, 520, 400, 413, 568

You can read summaries of all gun grab bills at the Gocra website.

And remember; don’t commit a felony! Only liberals get away with gun crimes, so please remember to notify the DPS as required if you intend to carry at the Capitol. GOCRA’s simple instructions are right here.

Alice Hausman’s Illiterate Obsession, Part IV: They Sure Sound Scary!

Alice Hausman’s gun grab bill focused on so-called “assault weapons” - now turns to shotguns.

Shotguns are a fearsome weapon, close-in – deadlier than assault rifles in some cases; British special forces have long used the Benelli semi-automatic hunting shotgun as their favorite weapon in the jungle.

But this part of Hausman’s bill is no less bizarre and ill-informed than the rest of it; it’d ban any…:

3.16(4) semi-automatic shotgun that has one or more of the following:

(i) a pistol grip or thumbhole stock;

(ii) any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand;

(iii) a folding or telescoping stock;

(iv) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds; or

(v) an ability to accept a detachable magazine;

It’s aimed, seemingly, at weapons like the Russian-built Saiga…:

…which is basically a 12-gauge semi-automatic AK47.

But the Mossberg 930  - it’s semi-automatic, and holds eight rounds…:

…is also covered.

In the meantime?  It doesn’t cover pump-action shotguns with all the same goodies…:

…which are almost exactly as deadly.  But “pump” sounds quaint, while “semi-automatic” sounds, if you’re a DFL staffer or (who are we kidding) Heather Martens, vaguely evil.

I keep saying “it gets dumber”.  Because it does.  Stay tuned.

Alice Hausman’s Illiterate Obsession, Part III: Weird Looking Guns!

The next stop on our dissection of HF241 – Alice Hausman’s gun grab bill focused on so-called “assault weapons” - is, I’ll be honest, mind-bogglingly obtuse.

It would ban…:

 (3) semi-automatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:

(i) any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand;

(ii) a folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock;

(iii) a shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel; or

(iv) the capacity to accept a detachable magazine at any location outside of the pistol grip;

This is aimed at the various semi-automatic pistols that have been teased into a vaguely military-looking appearance, like the “Uzi Pistol”

…which are, literally, pistols with little collapsible stocks on them.  They are mostly famous for appearing in movies in the hands of gang-bangers, which is no doubt why Heather Martens some DFL staffer added them to the bill.

But it also includes our old friend the Mauser C96…:

…which can add a stock to make it a light carbine (for horse-mounted troops in the 1800s), and is a big collectible.   No, I had a friend who owned one.  It’s not that far-out.

(I didn’t forget the Browning HP35…

…which the DFL staff and/or Heather Martens didn’t think about, apparently because it’s not appeared in any gang-banger movies or TV shows, but also has a 13 round magazine, so the DFL will want to ban it anyway…)

Later today:  Yes, this bill gets dumber still.

Alice Hausman’s Illiterate Obsession, Part II: Huh-Wha?!?

The next section of HF 241 – Alice Hausman’s gun grab bill focused on so-called “assault weapons” - is a little bit confusing:

3.4(2) semi-automatic pistol, or any semi-automatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle with a fixed magazine, that has the capacity to accept more than seven rounds of ammunition;

Does this section mean “any semi-automatic pistol with a magazine capacity of over seven rounds” is banned, as well as fixed-magazine rifles?  Or does it only refer to “semi-automatic pistols with fixed magazines of greater than seven rounds”?

I’m not trying to be tendentious here; it could refer to semi-auto pistols with fixed magazines, although I can think of only one…:

…the Mauser C96, and it has an eight-round fixed magazine.

But I suspect it means “semi auto pistols with more than seven round magazines, or any semi-auto rifle with a fixed magazine of greater than seven rounds”.

Which means this pistol…:

…the classic Colt M1911 .45 calibre with its seven round magazine, is legal, while this one…:

…the SIG P220 .45 with its eight-round magazine, is not.

Huh?

Beyond that?  ”Semi-automatic rifles with fixed magazines” holding more than seven rounds include…:

…Grampa’s M1 Garand from World War 2.

The WW2-era Swedish Ljungmann I used to own?

Ten-round semi-detachable magazine (you could detach them, but only for cleaning or clearing jams).

Or the SKS – a Russian design that’s become one of the most popular deer-hunting rifles in America?

Yep, it’s got the ten-round fixed magazine.  It’s cheap (under $300 up until before the election) and ubiquitous – and, apparently, an “assault weapon” in Alice Hausman’s curious little world.

Alice Hausman’s Illiterate Obsession, Part I: Parts Is Parts!

HF 241 – Alice Hausman’s gun grab bill focused on so-called “assault weapons” – has morphed from a list of ugly-looking army-type guns into a recipe book written by people who don’t understand much about guns, but know they really really don’t like them.

Rather than write one long article about this deeply stupid bill, I’m going to break it down in terms of its pure, specious illogic over the next day or so.

The first part of the bill bans any…:

(1) semi-automatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and has one or more of the following:

(i) a pistol grip or thumbhole stock;

(ii) any feature capable of functioning as a protruding grip that can be held by the nontrigger hand;

(iii) a folding or telescoping stock; or

(iv) a shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel;

Put briefly, if the rifle has a detachable magazine (the thing that holds the bullets) it can’t have a pistol grip, a forward handgrip, an adjustable stock or – this is confusing – the wrong kind of thingie wrapped around the barrel.

So in other words, this Ruger Mini-14 is legal…:

…while this one is illegal…:

…even though the two are functionally exactly identical.

Exactly. As in, there is no difference, down to and including the magazine size.

Oh, it gets dumber.  Yes, the bill would ban this rifle…:

…which is functionally exactly identical to this rifle here:

Both are Ruger 10/22s, perhaps the most ubuquitous .22 caliber plinking rifle in the country.  They are mechanically identical – but one has furniture that offends Alice Hausman’s sensibilities.

Dumber still?  If you like sniping at varmints, this 10/22 is just as illegal as the “tacti-cool” one above:

It’s the same gun, with the “thumbhole stock”.  And if you want to have an adjustable stock, so your kids can shoot the same rifle you do?

Yep. Banned.

Every last one of them is precisely mechanically the same; same ten-round detachable magazine (it pops out of the stock just ahead of the trigger guard), same low-power .22 round.

In other words, Hausman’s gun grab isn’t aimed at even the most tangential definition of “Deadliness”; it’s entirely focused on cosmetic features that have nothing to do with a weapon’s effect.

They get dumber.   More later today.

Letter To Nick Coleman, “Executive Editor” Of The Uptake

I sent the following to Nick Coleman – the “Executive Editor” of Twin Cities’ videoleftyblog The Uptake, which appears to have jettisoned all pretense of being anything but, well, a videoleftyblog – after reading his email to the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance last night:

Mr. Coleman,

I caught your note to Andrew Rothman on Facebook.

As a rigidly law-abiding gun owner, I have a special interest in policing my own.

So if you would please: from whom are you getting this “growing sense” at the Capitol?

Any actual legislators you could name? Did they have complaints about any specific behavior, from any particular attendees?

If they felt intimidated, was there a reason they didn’t notify Capitol Security – who said, Mr. Rothman noted, that the crowd was better-behaved than most?

Finally, Mr. Coleman – as you have publicly acknowledged being a carry permit holder, how do people “find it possible” do do anything around you, knowing that you may be armed? It’s a serious question.

Thanks in advance.

Mitch Berg

Uppity Peasant

I’m not exactly expecting an answer.  The one time Nick answered a question of mine, it was…

…well, memorable.

That Growing Sense The DFL Lost That One

I used to read a lot of liberal bloggers.  I don’t so much anymore; part of it’s the time; part of it is that there are so few good ones.

A few Minnesota liberal blogs – one in particular, but I’m not naming names – have a particularly annoying habit when they get pressed in an argument with a rare conservative commenter; if it’s not going well for them, one of the blog’s writers will dig hard to wrench context hard enough to find some sort of offense in the comment; he’ll feign the Victorian Vapours at the (contrived) offense…

…which has the side-effect of taking the focus of the debate off of, well, the debate.

I’m not sure I’m surprised to hear this next story – that the Minnesota DFL is using the same precise tactic after having been shredded in the marketplace of public opinion last week.

am a little surprised at the person asking the questions.

From: Nick Coleman <[redacted]@[The Uptake].org>

Date: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Subject: guns at capitol query

To: [redacted]@gocra-mn.org

Joe, Andrew, et al:

There is a growing sense at the Capitol that the presence of so many guns during last week’s gun control hearings affected the process, or even intimidated Legislators. Would you please comment today for a story I am writing for The UpTake?

Is it possible to debate guns in a room full of guns?

Thanks,

Nick Coleman

Executive Editor, The UpTake

www.theuptake.org

651-747-[redacted]

Oh, good lord.

The “Growing Sense” is weasel words for “a conclusion that we can’t actually substantiate”.

A little background here: a carry permittee – a person who has passed a background check and taken a training course – can get permission to carry in the Capitol and the State Office Buildings by informing the head of Capitol security they intend to do so.

And those notifications spiked big-time before Gun Week, last week, as carry permittees – out of symbolism or the practical desire not to have to sweat storing their firearms in their cars – filed with the capitol cops.

Are some legislators intimidated by the existence of firearms?  No doubt.

Are they right to be intimidated by a population that is two orders of magnitude less likely to commit any significant crime than the general public?

No more than they would be to feel “intimidated” by exercise of free speech, worship, press (or radio) or assembly – although some of them are.  And they’re wrong then, too.

And the cutesy final question: “Is it possible to debate guns in a room full of guns?”  Given the reality – carry permittees are safer to be around than just about anyone – the answer is “just as possible as it is in a room full of speech, assembly or religion”.

But let’s cut the crap: the only “growing sense” is among the DFL Caucus’ PR flaks (and, let’s be honest, Alida Messinger and Carrie Lucking) that they need to do something good ‘n Alinsky-riffic to try to undercut the groundswell of popular opinion that swarmed the Capitol last week and humiliated the DFL representatives and their copy-and-pasted bills.

Andrew Rothman, VP of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, had a response too.  It’s below the jump.  And it includes a classic story about Heather Martens, from the late Joel Rosenberg, that is perhaps one of the best examples of the hyperbolic hypocrisy of the gun-grabber movement…

…and its’ new stenographer, Nick Coleman.

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