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Free Surplus Machine Guns!

Sorry fellow gun owners, but that kind of “hanging out on the limb” positioning is only offered to the neo-puritans in the religious fundamentalist movement. Surplussing machine guns to civilians? Well, that’s just crazy talk! I agree with Ace of Spades on this count:

He wants to make oral sex with a minor a felony in all cases — including in the case of minors having sex with minors. 15-17 year olds are allowed to have sex with each other (no crime), but if they have oral sex with each other, that would be a crime.

There is a certain contingent in the Republican Party that insists on defending this nonsense. Not everyone who defends it actually supports it; I think the idea is rather that just as the left observes the rule No Enemies to the Left, so should we refrain from knocking allies on the right.

I don’t support this rule. I used to see in the value in it but I no longer do. Things like this are embarrassing and counterproductive. I am tired of being associated with the Party That Really Wants To Patrol Your Private Sexual Choices Because We Know Better Because It’s In the Bible.

Read the whole thing. I think there can be arguments made on originalist grounds that Lawrence was wrongly decided, but this kind of behavior strikes me as no better than what the powers that be in New York and Chicago engage in with regard to the Second Amendment. They’ll restrict it any way they can, just because they think they can get away with it, regardless of whether it really makes sense or not, or lands people who are otherwise no threat to society in prison.

52 Responses to “Free Surplus Machine Guns!”

  1. Fiftycal says:

    They are not called the “STUPID PARTY” for no reason. I wonder, does the bill call for surveillance cameras in all bedrooms and the back seats of all cars? Motel rooms? Congressional offices? Otherwise, how would this “morality” law be enforced? Maybe if it called for everybody to have CHASITY BELTS installed at the local PD and the PD has a blue tooth connection to loosen them at designated times? Or maybe the voluntary citizens committee of “promoting virtue and preventing vice” would have the code to unlock the belt and WATCH until the act is finished (with their approval of course) and then the belts gets locked back on? Or maybe the dickwad of a politician can just move to Saudi Arabia. He’d fit right in.

  2. Andy says:

    Oh. Duh. Now http://www.space.com/24225-hand-of-god-photo-nasa-telescope.html makes more sense.

    God’s facepalm.

    Sigh. This is why I’m an ardent supporter of space travel research, so either of us can get away from the other.

  3. Andy B. says:

    Here is another link relative to the story, that I had stumbled over before coming back here and seeing this post. A self-described “Cuccinelli Conservative.”

  4. mike says:

    Did this guy study at the Todd Akin School of Government or something? These guys – and the people who vote for them – just need to stay in their little backwoods churches and keep practicing their snake handling or whatever.

    • You might want to start talking to your neighbors. You might be surprised how many would take exception to the proposed law, but not the broad intention behind it (attempting to discourage premature sexualization). And many of them will turn out to be your suburban or urban neighbors, who are going to take rather strong exception to the “little backwoods churches… snake handling” stereotype.

      • Sebastian says:

        I’m not sure that many would think putting their kids in prison for fooling around with their boyfriends/girlfriends is a role government should be playing. I’m sure there’d be wide agreement with traditional statutory rape laws, which does not seem to be what this is about.

        • You don’t know how pissed Mom and Dad can get when they find out their 15 year old is now known at school as “Blowjob Bonnie.”

          • mike says:

            True story time: There was a girl in my dorm we called “Blowie”. She was what folks would call a “Bible-Thumper” too, but she was 18. But it’s likely she spent years honing her skill. I guess in the Morality Police’s world, her pre-18 partners should have become criminals because BIBLE, or something.

      • Sebastian says:

        And I agree with you that laws in this area aren’t necessarily unconstitutional, but I’m not sure this particular one passes rational basis review.

        • That’s easy: oral sex dramatically increases the risk of HPV, which in some strains causes cervical cancer, a significant mortality risk for women. That another law has even greater risk of spreading HPV is not sufficient to strike down the oral sex law; only the oral sex law will be considered.

          Of course, the courts aren’t going to apply rational basis review in an consistent manner. It’s just a game that they play to strike down laws that the don’t like, and uphold ones that they do.

          • mike says:

            Clearly we need to outlaw oral sex then. Because the way to make something disappear is to outlaw it. Which is exactly how adolescent drug use was eliminated in America. Oh, wait..

            • I wasn’t arguing for the law, merely pointing out that rational basis is a joke.

              And quick question: do you think that drug laws have any impact on the level of use? Do they reduce it, even a little? If not, then you would not object to a ban on handguns, right? Laws don’t work.

              • mike says:

                I do think drug laws have an impact on use, but they also have an impact on availability among other things. For instance, since being federally outlawed, drugs are cheaper, more potent, and more available than they were. Not only that, but the police state has grown rather nicely as a direct result. The police has been fairly militarized, we are subject to random searches, and departments use seizures as an additional funding mechanism – because of drug laws.

                So using the drug law analogy for stopping teens from consensual oral sex, I think that’s the last thing people pushing these types of laws would want. It would just become more available and more potent, with a militarized Morality Police (let your imagination go wild).

                • HSR47 says:

                  “For instance, since being federally outlawed, drugs are cheaper, more potent, and more available than they were.”

                  So what you’re saying is that this law will make blowjobs cheaper, better, and more available? Where exactly is the downside?

                  /sarcasm

              • mike says:

                Oh, and to be clear – I don’t think the impact on use has been in the downward direction.

                • Sebastian says:

                  I think drug criminalization has probably tended to reduce levels of drug use below what they otherwise would be. Even prohibition reduced the amount of drinking going on. The question is whether it’s worth the unintended consequences of prohibition.

                  • mike says:

                    Maybe. I honestly couldn’t say – which doesn’t speak too highly of those drug laws. I do know from high school and college, that basically any kid could get all but the most exotic drugs without trying too hard. Google tells me that 40% of kids have tried weed. Would that be higher if the government didn’t make it “cool”? I don’t know.

                    • Sebastian says:

                      It might seem strange, but I think the strongest deterrent is not to kids. I think it probably tends to deter adult use more than kids and young adults. The older you get, the more you have to lose from a conviction… any conviction. Even a misdemeanor drug conviction can mean the end of a career for people in professional careers.

                    • mike says:

                      I’d agree with that for the very same reasons. But I think that works with legal things too – like excessive alcohol consumption. I think that’s a young person’s game outside of adults who haven’t gained enough to lose. I think when people mature, they act more .. mature. Does it provide an extra incentive to not get busted with something illegal? Sure. But those people who are deterred were never the problem. But the Drug War affects you and me nonetheless – and in very profound ways – while being even less effective than alcohol prohibition. At least alcohol prohibition didn’t pay for a civil war in Mexico.

                  • HSR47 says:

                    “I think drug criminalization has probably tended to reduce levels of drug use below what they otherwise would be.”

                    Perhaps. Perhaps not. There are, of course, the dueling examples of Portugal and Colorado.

                    “Even prohibition reduced the amount of drinking going on. The question is whether it’s worth the unintended consequences of prohibition.”

                    Sure, it may well have lowered the overall consumption, but it had a massive quantity of negative effects. With alcohol prohibition, most of these were fairly obvious, whereas with drug prohibition many are much less obvious. It seems to me that a large degree of this obscurity in the latter case is the direct result of the product being largely imported, rather than home-made.

                    • benEzra says:

                      Alcohol prohibition pushed alcohol consumption hard in the direction of easier-to-smuggle and more profitable distilled spirits, just as cannabis prohibition has pushed the market toward opiates and cocaine/meth.

      • mike says:

        Maybe, maybe not. But the funny thing about being surrounded by neighbors who want to impose their version of morality on me is that they’ll be surrounded by people who want to impose their morality on those same neighbors, even if American demographics shift far left, or maybe even Islamo-centric like certain Muslim countries in Europe (France and England come to mind).

        When you establish a framework that lets you impose your morality on your neighbors, it turns out they can do the same thing to you. Wouldn’t it be better to not go down that path, than to cross our finger and hope for the best? Granted, it would also be the choice that grants the most individual freedom – which scares people on the right as much as people on the left. Lefties think everyone is too dumb to think for themselves, and righties think everyone is too immoral.

        • Do you honestly think that there is any general support for a consistent libertarian model? Anywhere?

          • mike says:

            And for our next non sequitur, here’s a picture of a chimp riding a bike:
            http://i.imgur.com/dY48Ox2.jpg

            • Sebastian says:

              I’m not sure how much of a non-squuitur it is. I don’t think that you’re going to get our current society to buy into broad libertarian principles. So unless some new frontier opens up where we can run new experiments with new ideas, we’re kind of stuck with what we have. So the question then becomes how do you maximize liberty, given what you have to work with?

              I do have to somewhat wear the mantle of pragmatist, because theoretical constructs only interest me to the point where they can actually be implemented, and I don’t think you can implement most of the theoretical libertarian philosophy with the same voters we have now.

              • mike says:

                Point being, I didn’t bring a libertarian model of anything into the discussion. Clayton brought that in, and then immediately said it wouldn’t work. Ok, sure. Speaking of moon unicorns, I don’t agree that it would be a beneficial use of tax dollars to go up there and find them.

                Not telling people to live according to your beliefs about morality (at threat of imprisonment) isn’t a purely libertarian model. I think it’s just good manners. But, hey, that’s just how I was raised :)

              • benEzra says:

                One can try to push things in the direction of “live and let live” rather than trying to push things in the direction of “more and more statist control” as the Republican SoCons and the Democratic Third Way seem bent on doing. It is not either/or between pure libertarianism and pure statism; it is a continuum, and we should be trying to move the needle toward more individual choice/responsibility whenever we can. Sometimes that means pushing back against petty tyrants on the left, and sometimes it means pushing back against petty tyrants on the right.

                The Third Way left and the AFA right may grab a lot of the headlines, but there are a whole lot of people from one end of the political spectrum to the other who do not worship authority and who would prefer to live in a free country.

        • HSR47 says:

          “Lefties think everyone is too dumb to think for themselves, and righties think everyone is too immoral.”

          I’m not sure what political scale you use, but the only one I’ve found to be reliable is described here.

          By that scale, seeking to use the power of the state to enforce such policies is, by definition, a left-wing notion. The example of Massachusetts would seem to confirm this: Take the governing instincts of the Puritans and remove God and you are get Ted Kennedy and Elizabeth Warren.

          • mike says:

            You need to reset your scale. The guy trying to outlaw oral sex isn’t left-wing, even if you think it’s a good idea to redefine him as such, or redefine what he’s trying to do as such.

  5. Sprocket says:

    Unless they want President Hillary in 2016, the Republicans need to tell their idiot hillbilly wing to shut up and take a seat at the children’s table. The sad thing is, this clown styles himself as a “small government” guy. Oh the irony.

    • Jake says:

      Where’s the “+1/Like” button?

      Never underestimate the ability of the Stupid Party to snatch defeat from the hands of victory.

  6. tincankilla says:

    does anyone else think its creepy that some congressman is thinking hard about all the methods by which juveniles have sex?

    • No more creepy than Congressmen worrying about violent felons using guns. There are some real dangers associated with premature sexualization, not only physical but also emotional hazards.

  7. Stupid perhaps, but not unconstitutional. Of course, if the goal is to improve the morals of minors, why prohibit oral sex (which does not produce bad choices about abortion) but not genital sex?

    • mike says:

      Maybe their goals shouldn’t be to improve the morals of minors. That’s where these problems come from – I’m sure lots of people who believe the Earth is 6000 years old think this is a great idea. And people who think women should cover their faces and don’t need an education don’t think it goes far enough. Maybe morality isn’t the role of government? Churches, Mosques, and all that are where that kind of stuff belongs. This way people can handle snakes if they want to, instead of telling the rest of us that we need to be snake handlers so we don’t go to Hell. I believe there’s a special place in Hell for those people, btw.

  8. Fiftycal says:

    If the “goal” is to “improve morals” as defined by ???? why not REQUIRE attendance at the church of the governments choice? I mean, the Bill of Rights was written by old white men, long dead. You could take the koran and change the parts that said “allah” to “jesus” and found the church of Amerika or something. Bring along burkas and whip wielding posses for “the elimination of vice and the promotion of virtue” and we could have a theocracy for “the good of all”. Unless of course you try and FORCE your religious superstition on people like me. Then it would be handy to try and confiscate guns first.

    • As I mention above, that used to be the law in the U.S. That such laws went away was not because they were unconstitutional, but because there were few Christians who thought such laws effective. There is, however, a big difference between mandatory church attendance and trying to discourage underage sex. I can agree that trying to ban oral sex when vaginal sex is not similarly punished is pretty silly, but how, exactly, do you distinguish a law against bribing a 12 year old to have sex with you from the sort of “elimination of vice and the promotion of virtue” stuff that you find abhorrent? Or a law that prohibits deceptive business practices?

    • mike says:

      “Unless of course you try and FORCE your religious superstition on people like me.”

      That’s an interesting point. Such laws as the one mentioned above would be using government force to impose one group’s morality on everyone. That sounds inherently dangerous – especially to people who don’t share that morality, yet are causing nobody any harm from it. You have a group of busy-bodies who are convinced that they know the best way for everyone else to live. Note that the previous sentence applies to many people on the left and the right. Thankfully people are getting fed up with it.

      • HSR47 says:

        “You have a group of busy-bodies who are convinced that they know the best way for everyone else to live. Note that the previous sentence applies to many people on the left and the right.”

        There are two things I will point out here: First, there’s a difference between telling someone that you think there is a better way for them to live, and trying to use the government to force them to conform to that view. Second, view this.

        Telling someone (read: as one private citizen to another) that you think you know a better way for them to live their lives is, generally, something we all do. In and of itself, it is not a fundamentally leftwing or rightwing thing to do. In turn, using the power of government to enforce that view on others (with the exception of the proper place of government, that being to secure the rights/liberties of individuals) is fundamentally leftwing.

    • SPQR says:

      I don’t support the moralization, but morals are not “superstitions”.

  9. Fiftycal says:

    You mean like the difference between the “700 club” and Warren Jeffs radical mormon village where he is serving life for porking pre-teens? Is there no difference between “deceptive business practices” and religious superstition? You can handle all the snakes you want or give your money to charlatans. But don’t REQUIRE me to believe what you “believe”.

    • The laws in question don’t require you to believe anything (not that they could, anyway). The law prohibits particular behaviors. That is the distinction upheld in Reynolds v. U.S. (1878), prohibiting polygamy.

      You ask the question: “Is there no difference between ‘deceptive business practices’ and religious superstition?” The notion that deception, deceit, dishonesty are somehow wrong, and therefore should be punished by law is an expression of what you seem to think is religious superstition. In more than a few cultures, any form of trickery or deception of those outside the tribe is considered morally completely fine. The notion that laws and moral duties extend outside your own tribe is a universalism that appears in post-exilic Judaism. That religious superstition underlies all of American law.

      • benEzra says:

        “The laws in question don’t require you to believe anything (not that they could, anyway). The law prohibits particular behaviors.”

        That’s equally true of a lot of laws in the more hardline Muslim countries. There are certain laws against “particular behaviors” whose primary basis is the beliefs of a particular religion, and whose post-hoc rationalizations do not withstand scrutiny.

        The law does not respect freedom of religion if it requires everyone’s day of rest to be on the Sunday (aka the Lord’s Day) instead of Saturday (aka the Sabbath), for example. It is compelling behavior, but that behavior assumes a particular set of religious beliefs.

        • Nor did anyone pretend that they were respecting freedom of religion. The number of non-Christians in Revolutionary America was extremely tiny.

          • HSR47 says:

            Sidepoint: How is the individual mandate of the ACA materially different from a law mandating church attendance?

            • benEzra says:

              It’s not, in my opinion.

              A government big enough to make you attend church, or to tell you which day you may take as your day of rest, is certainly big enough to tell you to buy insurance.

              Remember the old adage, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” (I think Gerald Ford actually said that.) A lot of conservatives quote that in a solely economic context, but it is *just* as true in the realm of personal freedom, whether you lean left or right. A government big enough to enforce your moral code on others is big enough to bar *you* from living by it.

  10. By the way: I can’t figure out how anyone can justify a ban on oral sex based on the Bible. There’s no prohibition that I know of. The early Christian church looked disfavorably on oral and anal sex, I suspect, largely because it was associated with the pagan Greco-Roman culture, and that disfavor stuck around for a very long time. But unlike homosexuality, adultery, and incest, which are explicitly prohibited by the New Testament, there is no New Testament prohibition on oral or anal sex. (Homosexuality is pretty clearly prohibited, but not because of oral or anal sex.)

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