Apr 24, 2014
I know it’s from Media Matters, but it’s pretty much just Clive Bundy speaking for himself:
I wouldn’t have too much to say about this if he just used the word “negro.” My grandparents used to call them “colored people,” and never quite managed to adopt the modern sensibilities on the topic of race relations. They were not racist people, but held on to a lot of old ways of thinking on the topic. But as bad as my grandparents, who were a generation older than Bundy, could get on the topic of race, I could never imagine them saying anything like this. There’s even a part at the end, not mentioned by the Times, where he says “Down there, they were probably growing their turnips.” The context seemingly suggesting that they were happier enslaved “down there,” growing turnips.
Patrick H made what I think is the best argument in the previous comments:
We still fight to let the KKK protest. We still fight to let Nazi’s speak about Jews however they want. Why? Because its freedom.
Remember the quote “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist…”
Whether Bundy deserves our support should ONLY be on whether he is right in his fight (whether that’s because he is right, or because who he is fighting), not because he has unpopular opinions.
It’s a fair point. We defend the right of the KKK to speak and protest not because we agree with them, but because we believe their freedom to do so. We defend a lot of things in this society in the name of freedom that we find repugnant. In fact, that is the definition of freedom-loving. But this argument forces me to admit that it’s not just this late statement that makes me reluctant to support this situation.
What freedom is at stake here? Is there a right to use public land without paying fees? Is there a right to use public land at all? Every post and argument I’ve seen which argues this situation is bigger than Clive Bundy, bigger than grazing cattle, bigger than turtles, etc, still has me scratching my head trying to understand how this is so. There are certainly grievances at work here at legitimate as the Mississippi is wide, but a lot of us have grievances with this Administration. What makes this one special?
As we mentioned previously, BLM is currently engaged in a big land grab along the Oklahoma and Texas Border. Here you’re talking about real private property rights being put at risk. This is most definitely a freedom issue, and I’d be more inclined to agree that it’s much bigger than any individual person affected.
I will say this: I do believe Cliven Bundy and his family have a right to not be needlessly killed by their government. Given how heavy BLM and other federal agencies were rolling in, it was clear there was the potential for another Waco-like situation. I don’t blame anyone for stepping up to make sure that didn’t happen. I’d agree that was the right thing to do. But I think if you’re going to start a civil war, it had better be over something very important. That citizens have the right to not be murdered by their government is that important, but one family’s use of public land is not. The big problem I have with the Bundy Ranch situation is it’s hard to tell where the line between stopping another Waco, and starting a civil war over one familys’ unfettered “right” to graze on public lands starts and ends.
UPDATE: Here are his full remarks:
Apr 24, 2014
These men were killed or maimed fighting the idea that there were people who were “better off as slaves.”
While I’ve had quite a bit of sympathy to the idea of standing up to an overreaching federal government, my instinct on the Bundy situation was to keep him at arm’s length. To be frank, the dude set of my alarm bells. Now I notice a direct quote of Bundy in the New York Times that would seem to suggest that I was right be wary:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
I get the greater point he’s trying to make, that life on the dole is degrading and dehumanizing, but really? Blacks were better off as slaves picking cotton? As if slavery, slavery is not a degrading and dehumanizing institution? I might agree that welfare doesn’t help the poor in the long term, but slavery was evil.
Sorry, this isn’t someone I’d want to take a bullet for, and it’s hard to fathom why anyone else would too, now that this much is clear. While I certainly don’t support Fed snipers or SWAT teams turning this situation into a bloody conflict any more now, than I did when I wrote this, I don’t stand with racists who think slavery was a better institution for Blacks than welfare.
Apr 21, 2014
Mens Rea is a basic component of common law. It suggests that for serious offenses, the state must prove that you had a “guilty mind.” In other words, you consciously chose to commit the illegal act. There are exceptions to this, usually for crimes which are not very serious. For instance, speeding is a strict liability offense. It doesn’t matter if you tell the officer you didn’t know you were speeding. But in serious cases, like felonies and high misdemeanors, prosecutors generally have to prove mens rea in addition to actus reus. So along comes our fascist friends at CSGV and VPC, what’s their advice on this important legal matter?
However, gun control advocates told the Star that it is difficult to prove a buyer’s intent to purchase a gun for a felon. “You don’t want to make a prosecutor prove someone’s state of mind,” said Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “That’s almost impossible.”
“It’s extremely hard to prove [the straw buyer] lied about their intent when they bought the gun,” said Kristen Rand, a lobbyist for the Violence Policy Center, which seeks stricter regulation on firearm sales.
It may be a tall burden, but having to prove state of mind is a barrier prosecutors should have to climb in order to earn convictions for serious crimes. That’s part of our legal tradition when it comes to the rights of the accused. Perhaps the folks at CSGV and VPC should consider moving to a country where protections for the accused are considerably weaker, and gun laws are very strict. I’d suggest Russia, because if you believe things like this, you don’t belong in America.
Apr 21, 2014
Barron Barnett recently had the electronic lock on his Liberty Safe go TU, and had to have it drilled. He offers some advice on safes and what you can do if you ever find yourself in this situation. I’m glad to hear that it’s not an easy feat to get into the safe, especially since I also have a Liberty, though my lock is mechanical. One thing I’d point out though, is getting in can be an easier operation if you’re unconcerned about saving the safe and just want in.
Apr 21, 2014
Well, we were hoping maybe we’d get an early decision on cert for the Drake case, but it was not to be this morning when the Supreme Court made announcements. We shall soon see whether we’re going to head back to the Supreme Court. Needless to say I’m going to be very nervous if the Court denies cert, since I don’t think we have much in the way of meaningful protections with just the current two cases, and the Heller Five aren’t getting any younger. Let’s see what we have in the way of links today:
NBC laments money in politics one week, and then another week cheers a rich billionaire putting $50 million in to politics. They aren’t against money in politics. They are against our money in politics.
Everytown for Gun Safety (God I hate that name) seems to be launching in cities around the country. Here’s one in Las Vegas. Here’s one in Denver. Note the close in shots so you can’t see how sparsely attended the events are.
Mayor Squidward, Michael Nutter, is joining up with Everytown. Because Philadelphia is just Everytown, USA for sure. Philadelphia is certainly unique in many ways, most of them bad.
John Lott: “What the press is missing in Bloomberg’s anti-gun push.”
Hot Air takes on EGS’s first ad.
Why Bloomberg’s Nanny Campaign Will Backfire.
EGS is misleading people about the guns used at Columbine. They were textbook straw purchases, where a legal buyer stands in for the actual buyer, who is prohibited. In this case the Columbine killers were juveniles.
Jacob is skeptical that Dems are really happy about Bloomberg’s $50 million dollar pledge. Well, if he runs ads against Pryor, Landrieu, or any of the other Dems up in red states, it could help them. No better way to advertise your bone fides than getting attacked by Bloomberg.
Jacob also notes that Cuomo could be in trouble. I’m skeptical that he’s vulnerable enough to lose re-election, but if we could pull that off it would be epic.
And finally from Jacob, Five ways gun control advocates fail.
Well, trolling EGS on Facebook was fun while it lasted. Of course, they have their work cut out for them to get rid of all the state and local pages.
Chicago reducing crime by cooking the books? They are just making concealed carry look better.
Civil Rights victory in Massachusetts. Massachusetts? Yes. Massachusetts.
Victor Davis Hanson: “Cliven Bundy and The Rural Way“, and Breitbart: “Cliven Bundy and the Origins of the American Abundance Revolution.” This is still something to keep and eye on, especially given that Reid would seem to be looking for paybacks. Hey, solar farms don’t build themselves, you know.
The United States of SWAT.
Hillary Clinton’s legacy: “She has no legacy. Everything she’s done, except getting preferential treatment from the Democrat establishment, was a failure.” That must be why they are grooming Chelsea.
Apr 21, 2014
The funny thing is, they know they have to convince a fair number of gun owners to go along with their schemes, which is why a poster like this is just so damned full of fail:
Something must be really wrong with that rifle if it’s shooting out the whole cartridge like that. To enlighten our gun safety experts at Everytown, the bullet is the shiny thing at the end (they also aren’t usually silver, unless you’re hunting werewolves), and that’s the only part that goes down the barrel. I kind of thing if you’re going to lecture fellow Americans about “gun safety,” you ought to at least get the basics correct. And notice that’s a rifle bullet. I thought you guys were giving up on the whole “assault weapons” thing? And outrunning bullets is exactly what these folks expect us to try to do because they are strong believers in a duty to retreat.
UPDATE: Miguel has more background.
Apr 21, 2014
I have to admit, I did a double take when I saw this headline come across my Google Alerts: “Rifle association hit by polls, forced to cancel national event.” I was concerned that something horrible had happened overnight or during the morning, ahead of the NRA Annual Meeting, forcing them to cancel everything (as happened in Denver the year Columbine happened). But no, it turns out this article is about the National Rifle Association of India. The problem? A national “all India” match came too close to election day, and apparently election day has special consequences for gun owners in India:
It has had to cancel an all-India shooting event because its members received notices from the police asking them to surrender their weapons during the election period.
This, despite the Commission (EC) exempting the sports body from impounding its weapons during the poll season.
Indians have to surrender their firearms during elections? We’re somewhat fortunate in this county that such a thing would be impractical (where would they put them all?) because I could totally see the antis trying to do something like that here.
Apr 21, 2014
Paul Lathrop, of the The Polite Society Podcast, and John Richardson of No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money, take a look at what appears to be a pretty serious privacy breach going on with NAGR. To make a long story short, it appears that there’s some kind of misconfiguration or mistake in forwarding web forms:
When asked if the rest of the emails looked like the email he provided to us he stated, “Yes. It’s random questions from people who visited their “Contact Us” page, then forwarded by someone within their organization for follow-up or review. Some of them contain some very specific personal information, like the USPS worker who details which facility he works at in pursuit of an answer to a legal question.”
I’d say that’s a pretty serious issue, and one that ought to be addressed rather than shrugged off. What’s even more disturbing is that in the comments, other people report getting similar e-mails, which means it’s not just going out to one person by mistake.
I am not a fan of NAGR, as anyone who’s been following this blog for some time would know, so I should get that bias out of the way first. I don’t encourage people to join and suggest gun owners have no dealings with them or any of Dudley Brown’s other organizations. This would seem to be yet another example of amateur hour.
Apr 20, 2014
To all who celebrate: Happy Easter. Bitter and I got a really good deal on a Smithfield ham the other day, and so we intend to bake that along with some sides. Given that I am a ham fiend, and don’t get to eat it very often, I’m starving myself now in anticipation.
Apr 18, 2014
John Richardson has put together and excellent article of how our opponents in the gun control movement live. I do have to hand it to Bloomberg for taste. His North Salem farmhouse’s quaint, understated quality is quite nice I think. For those of us who can barely afford one home, and certainly can’t afford hired armed security, and who struggle to be able to donate $50 dollars to the cause every now and then, let alone $50 million, no, we certainly won’t take this personally.