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Saying No to Bloomberg

NRA is launching an ad campaign to highlight what an insulting busybody Michael Bloomberg is to anyone who doesn’t want to live their life the same way he demands the little people live.

According to the WaPo, it’s starting out with a $500,000 buy in Colorado. USA Today says that it will also run nationally on cable. They also report a digital ad buy in other states like Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia.

This buy starts now, so they aren’t waiting until the elections to do it.

No Golden Era on Police Brutality

Tam has an excellent posts that doesn’t merely give you a sense of perspective, it clocks you in the noggin with it:

In the Sixties, they’d have already turned the dogs and water cannons on the Ferguson protestors. In the Twenties, Andy and Barney would have broken the old Potato-Digger out of the armory and started mowing them down. The po-po used to be pretty quick to go weapons-free on unruly crowds, especially if such crowds were made up of black folk or commies.

Read the whole thing. The reason I’ve had relatively little to say on the matter is because I just can’t find much to agree with in what’s floating around out there. I think this was a good opportunity to raise awareness of police militarization, but a lot of the people who are crowing that line now would take their ARs and body armor replace them with tie-die and daisies. They aren’t really my allies. More from Ace of Spades:

I do not mind that the police should have the capacity to Armor Up and employ Fallujah Room-Clearing Tactics in serious situations, in apprehending serious criminals after serious investigations.

I want them to have that capability.

However, I do not want (and will not accept) them employing that capability for routine warrant services in the service of confiscating a meager amount of contraband drugs.

In Ferguson, the situation, as I see it, is different. There were major riots. The cops are not making up some pretext for going Rambo. As a strictly factual matter, there was rioting, shops were looted and burned to the ground.

I can concede — and in fact I endorse — Mary Katherine’s unstated point that the militarization of police has gone too far and is being employed for trivial matters, while not agreeing with her that protecting against further rioting is itself a trivial matter.

Ace offers a lot to think about. I’m not sure I agree with everything he has to say. I still remain very uncomfortable with police pointing guns at people who don’t outwardly appear to be doing anything worth pointing a gun at someone for. But do I really have a problem with the cops using a heavy, armored vehicle as defensive refuge in a riot situation? Not really.

The more I think about this, the more I agree with Professor Reynolds: the root of the problem is attitude. That’s what we have to fix. While there may be no golden era of policing, we can go back to a previous era and find a set of principles by which an ethical police force can operate.

DC Still Presses for More Time

The District of Columbia wanted to keep their ban on carry by law-abiding citizens. The court said no. Then, DC said they needed 180 days. The court said that 90 days was plenty. Despite the fact that the sky did not actually fall during the couple of days of lawful carry, DC is still spending their time begging the courts for more time to decide how they can most restrict individual rights.

Philly Cop Under Investigation for Gun Violations

A Philadelphia Police Sergeant is under investigation by the department after he allegedly tried to anonymously turn in street guns that he obtained by “buying the weapons from neighborhood kids in an effort to get them off the streets.” His iterations may have been good, but the fact is that purchasing or taking possession of a handgun from someone who is not an FFL or your father or grandfather (or son or grandson) is a violation of Pennsylvania’s Uniform Firearms Act. A non-licensee can loan an officer, or someone with a PALTC a handgun, but if the firearm changes title, that’s a different ball of wax.

They wouldn’t cut you or me any slack if we got busted doing this. The officer in question seems to be in disbelief he’d be held to the same standard. Sorry Sergeant Ruff, but these are the “common sense” gun laws your Police Commissioner and Mayor support, and there’s no exception to the law for good intentions, and none for individual police.

Mark Steyn on Ferguson: Where Were the Dash Cams?

I haven’t had much to say about the Ferguson situation, because I’m just not sure there are any good guys here. Everyone seems to be acting badly. I’m also glad Mark Steyn channels my major issue about the case, which is why there wasn’t any dash cam:

The most basic problem is that we will never know for certain what happened. Why? Because the Ferguson cruiser did not have a camera recording the incident. That’s simply not credible. “Law” “enforcement” in Ferguson apparently has at its disposal tear gas, riot gear, armored vehicles and machine guns …but not a dashcam. That’s ridiculous. I remember a few years ago when my one-man police department in New Hampshire purchased a camera for its cruiser. It’s about as cheap and basic a police expense as there is…

… In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn’t have a camera, it’s a conscious choice. And it should be regarded as such. And, if we have to have federal subsidy programs for municipal police departments, we should scrap the one that gives them the second-hand military hardware from Tikrit and Kandahar and replace it with one that ensures every patrol car has a camera.

I couldn’t agree more. The state still has to prove its case (should there be one) beyond a reasonable doubt, but that’s going to end up being “he said, she said” rather than hard evidence, thanks to the lack of dash cam footage. In addition to the initial disproportionate response when all this got started, I also think it says something profound about the Ferguson, MO police department that in this day in age it’s elected to forego dash cams.

You don’t seem to hear the media speaking much about the lack of dash cams, probably because they are too busy showing the world what uneducated nitwits they are.

A New Day, A New Gun Ban Initiative

After the embarrassing political loss for a county office, we knew Bloomberg wouldn’t sit back and let that slide. Now he’s sending the Moms who are continuing to use their brand, despite being rolled into Everytown Against Illegal Mayors Who Hate Guns (or whatever their name is), after grocery stores thanks to images offered up by open carry activists with rifles.

So far, it seems like Kroger is willing to stand by their policy of just letting state and local laws prevail. The company spokesman told HuffPo, “We know that our customers are passionate on both sides of this issue and we trust them to be responsible in our stores.”

Our Drunk Founding Fathers

BenFranklinBeerA few years ago, a bar tab was discovered from a farewell dinner for George Washington, and it went around the Internet, stunning people with disbelief that any group of people could drink that much and still be able to walk home. Bitter was researching lineage societies in Philadelphia, and came across the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia, for Pennsylvanians of Scottish birth or ancestry. I’m not really into joining lineage societies, but most of them keep genealogical records. Bitter came across this amusing account:

“At the Annual Dinner in 1762 Benjamin Franklin was one of the guests. It was reported that the [St. Andrew's] Society was charged for replacing a considerable number of broken wine glasses and also for replacing three chairs, all reputedly broken by Mr. Franklin. A member of the Society subsequently waited upon Franklin and called to his attention the amount of damage he had caused. Mr. Franklin, however, far from offering to pay up, suggested he come to the next meeting to see how much more damage he could do. He apparently was a perennial guest at the Society’s annual dinners, but not the following year, when the members unanimously declined to extend an invitation!”

So I guess Dr. Franklin wasn’t the kind of guy you wanted to invite to dinner if the liquor was going to be relatively free flowing.

C-SPAN BookTV: Gun Control in the Third Reich

There’s always a lot of myths that go around about German gun control laws from the 1930s, and the rise of the Nazis to power. Stephen Halbrook has actually done the research, and you can see the talk he recently gave on C-SPAN. I’d love to be able to embed it, but it looks like C-SPAN isn’t blog friendly with their videos.

Halbrook Video

Giffords & Kelly Group: Get Help? Surrender Your 2A Rights

If you look at all the mental health “reforms” that the gun control crowd is pushing these days, if even half of them passed, the end result would be that I’d never seek medical help for any problem I might have with depression, alcohol abuse, or anything like that. I’d suffer through it. Since I’ve generally not had those kinds of mental health issues, I don’t anticipate needing that kind of help, but I do sometimes have issues managing stress, and these proposals would make me wary of even getting help there.

When it comes to guns, I simply don’t trust the medical profession, so I wouldn’t trust that if I went to see a medical professional, he wouldn’t report me to “the authorities,” and next thing you know I have a SWAT team pointing guns at my family while they torch the safe to get the guns. I don’t believe I’m on the only one who feels this way.

So do the anti-gun folks want to create even more stigmas that prevent people from seeking the help they need? We don’t even bother to keep people who are obviously and dangerously mentally ill off the streets. Also, what of the practical aspects? Where are all these “temporarily confiscated” guns going to end up stored? And at whose expense?

Criminal Everything

This isn’t gun related, and it’s not really a case of true over-criminalization (though it easily could be if the state wanted to go after the family for truancy caused by the school), but it’s still something that pisses me off about the nanny culture getting its panties in a twist over any type of non-conformity.

If you’re a school administrator, there are some battles worth fighting. Students who fight, drug or alcohol abuse that impacts the school environment, and maybe even a few slaps on the wrist for overly revealing clothing. Then there are things that aren’t actually disruptive to anyone other than a tight ass who feels an absurd need to punish those who do not engage in groupthink. The principal of Muscle Shoals, Alabama appears to be one of those people.

He kicked out a girl for dying her hair red. Yup, red. Not purple, not blue, not green, not glittery silver, just red.

For the record, those other colors were all colors that I dyed my hair in high school without ever disrupting the school. The closest you might consider a disruption was at the end of my junior year when the school newspaper used me for a trivia question and asked what my normal hair color really was, and no one could remember so they kept asking me throughout the day. Yup, that’s the extent of “disruption” that hair color caused.

Her mother seems to understand how to distinguish between actual problematic behavior in teens and a bottle of red hair dye:

“I dyed my hair when I was her age. I was excited it was that, [that] it wasn’t a tattoo that she wanted or piercings, or something. There are so many girls that do it and there could be worse things. As long as she’s a good student, hair is the least of my worries.”

I framed things the same way to my mom when she was initially skeptical of my blue hair experiment. I could do drugs. I could engage in risky sexual activity. I could get myself arrested. I could “rebel” in any number of harmful ways. Instead, I was an honor student goodie two shoes who rarely did anything against the rules and I just dyed my hair. Hair that grows back. Hair that can be dyed back.

Even though I said at the beginning that this isn’t related to gun issues, I think I need to take that back a bit. The principal’s inability to handle a student who dyes her hair red is engaged in the same kind of thinking of not knowing how to distinguish between a real disruption or threat and something that’s just a little bit outside of the lines of “group” behavior that leads to actions like Six Flags banning veterans wearing military-themed shirts from their parks because the military shirt has a firearm. I’m not sure how you fix that kind of stupid by people who simply refuse to think critically and use a little common sense.

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