We’ve been listening to Alfie Boe’s Bring Him Home ever since it (finally) arrived from the UK a week or so ago. One of the songs he covers is “On the Street Where You Live,” a favorite of mine from My Fair Lady.
This evening, after comparing a few versions of the song, Sebastian made the following observation. This might be a romantic song, but if you tried to sing it today, you’d only end up with a restraining order. For those of you unwilling to enjoy a show tune, here are the key lyrics:
I have often walked down this street before;
But the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before.
All at once am I Several stories high.
Knowing I’m on the street where you live.
Are there lilac trees in the heart of town?
Can you hear a lark in any other part of town?
Does enchantment pour Out of ev’ry door?
No, it’s just on the street where you live!
And oh! The towering feeling
Just to know somehow you are near.
The overpowering feeling
That any second you may suddenly appear!
People stop and stare. They don’t bother me.
For there’s no where else on earth that I would rather be.
Let the time go by, I won’t care if I
Can be here on the street where you live.
Michael Bane thinks this might be the start of other shotgun rulings. It’s certainly possible, but the root problem is how to interpret the sporting purposes clause. Congress wrote a bad law, which is bound to lead to poor interpretations of it. ATF’s assertion, at it’s core, is that there would be hardly anything that wouldn’t be importable if IPSC and IDPA were considered to have a sporting purpose, and thus it would render meaningless something Congress clearly intended to have meaning.
There’s two thinks I think we need to advocate here. One is that the sporting purposes clause be eliminated. The second is that destructive devices are increased to any firearm firing fixed ammunition with a bore diameter of greater than one inch. This is hardly radical, since the UK allows shotguns up to two inches, and doesn’t have any overall restriction on bore size. At the very least, we should demand any shotgun be legal outright, not under exception.
I’ve been reluctant to speak about the accusations going around the blogosphere about the extent that ATF was facilitating trafficking to Mexico. Not that I would put something like this past ATF, but serious accusations require evidence, and until today I hadn’t seen any. Having been in a position of having sensitive information shared with me, it never seemed a good idea to broadcast the fact publicly, rather than directing the information quietly to folks who have the power to do something with it. Otherwise you risk tipping off whoever’s ox is going to get gored, and hand them an opportunity to destroy evidence and discredit your source.
But now we have real evidence that whoever Codrea and Vanderboegh have been speaking with is the real deal, and is actively working with the office of Senator Chuck Grassley, as shown in this letter here, and also here, and as detailed on David Codrea’s examiner site. Grassley’s office notes that there has been “detailed documentation” which “lends credibility to the claims and partially corroborates them.” We will see where Grassley’s office goes with this.
The whistle blower in this case deserves quite a bit of praise. Federal whistle blower protections are applicable on paper, but are nearly non-existent in practice. Working with Grassley’s office is probably a career ending move for the agent in question, and on top of that he will need to retain a lawyer during this whole process. It’s not clear who’s come forward with this information at this point, but my hat’s off to them.
Investigator: “So, you’re not one of those, you know, dealer guys, right?”
Seller: “No. No tax, no form, you don’t have to do transfers or nothing.”
Investigator: “Yeah, yeah.”
Seller: “Just see an Arizona ID and that’s it with me.”
Investigator: “So no background check?”
Investigator: “That’s good, because I probably couldn’t pass one, you know what I mean?”
The seller sold the gun for $500.
This transaction is already a felony under existing federal law. Why is this a case for new laws? If the guy’s going to sell the gun anyway, is he going to give a crap if the law requires a background check on top of it? More from John Richardson here. They keep saying these transactions are legal, but they aren’t.
And the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which will be sending a representative to tomorrow’s hearing, previously adopted a resolution (PDF) calling for a “uniform data retention mandate” for “customer subscriber information and source and destination information.” The group said today in an e-mail exchange that it still supports that resolution.
Good to see they aren’t limiting themselves to defecating only on Second Amendment rights.
FYI, Maine’s NRA State Liaison is John Hohenwarter, who we interviewed here a few months ago, in regards to Pennsylvania matters. This is a significant victory for us, but you can bet they aren’t going to give up after this setback.
The real shame of it is, this guy pretty clearly was quite a collector, and you an guarantee each and every one of those firearms is now going to be destroyed. If there really are Title II firearms among the collection, as the article says, they will be lost forever to the civilian market. I would be surprised if there are not also historical pieces that will be lost.