Tough Positions

It’s always hard when you’re part of a group that large segments of society look down upon, to know when jettisoning your wackos (and every group has them) is the preferable thing to keeping them. On the one hand, the wackos hurt the image of your group with the public at large. On the other hand, they often times make significant contributions to your group’s activism, and ostracizing them will actually hurt more than it will help. I say this in answer to a question in one of Clayton’s posts:

If it is a tiny minority, why do supposedly respectable gay rights groups like Lambda Legal and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force feel the need to defend it or provide legal advice about how to deal with the legal consequences? This would be equivalent to Focus on the Family providing instructions for Christians about how to get away with assaulting homosexuals–confirming a false and nasty stereotype.

Gays are at a point now where they ought to think about shedding their wackos, and distancing themselves from gays who choose to have sex in public places. But as the article that Clayton updates with points out, a lot of these guys are living normal, respectable lives, outside of their bathroom habits.

I’m not sure why it’s so hard to believe that these guys aren’t necessarily gay.  If you’re a mainstream, out of the closet gay guy, you don’t need to resort to public restrooms to get your cheap thrills, you can go to a gay bar and pick someone up.

But if you’re in a marriage, and have absolutely no dignity, or care little for your commitment for your spouse, a cheap thrill at an airport bathroom while on a business trip might seem a convenience with little chance of the wife finding out. Affairs and prostitutes cost money, and time. Hotels show up on credit cards.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending sex in public, but I’m also not sure I’d dismiss the notion that this might not be a problem that’s limited to the gay community.

Politics of Scandal

Republicans seem to be rather eager to throw Larry Craig under the bus for trying to get a hummer in a public restroom, which is only entirely appropriate.   But they haven’t been so eager to distance themselves from Senator David Vitter, who seemed to enjoy soliciting prostitutes.

Surely some will claim it’s because Craig is gay.  That might have something to do with it; I mean, we’re used to politicians and prostitutes, gay sex in public restrooms not so much.   But I think it probably has more to do with the fact that Idaho has a Republican Governor, and Louisiana has a Democrat Governor.  It’s funny how that works, isn’t it?   I think if Idaho were run by a Democrat, Republicans would quickly become OK with whatever Senator Craig wants to insert into his mouth.

It’s a Service Rifle

Kevin points out that Tom Gresham wants to find a different name for the AR-15.   Well, there’s a class of high-power competition where the AR-15 belongs, which is called service rifle competition.  Why not call it that?  I also agree with Kevin on “semi-automatic rifle” but I’ll one up him and say “self-loading rifle” since a lot of folks have no idea what semi-automatic means.

Ah.  I thought I was having deja vu writing this.

The Craig Transcript

Via John Lott, we have a copy of Larry Craig’s transcript with the undercover officer. What continues to baffle me is why Craig didn’t fight it. I’m glad, however, that Craig got to feel, as a person who makes the laws, what it feels like to be subject to them. Personally, if this were me, and I was just being nervous fidgety in the stall, and was innocent, I would shut the hell up and tell the cop I’m not saying a damned thing to him until I have an attorney present, and I would fight the charge, and I would win.

Let me be clear here, my personal opinion is that Craig was probably trying to solicit sex in a public restroom. That’s what I believe as a citizen. What I’d believe as a juror or a judge is that there’s no way the state can meet it’s burden based on the evidence that’s being presented here, and my vote would be for not guilty.

But this undercover officer played Craig like a fiddle, and he plead guilty. Too bad for him. It happens to people all the time. Know your rights, and stand up for them. I’d say I feel sorry for Larry Craig, but I don’t. Once the “I’m a Senator!” card failed to work, he found himself an ordinary citizen, unprepared for dealing with a slick talking undercover officer. Am I the only one who thinks it’s poetic justice? Maybe I loathe politicians a little too much.

Gun Blogging Etiquette

I’ve noticed that it looking like Tom King is censoring some posts by anti-gun folks over on his blog. I should note that I have no problem with bloggers deleting posts that are threatening or just plain trolling, and banning commenters on that basis, but the prejudice against doing that should be very high. I am worried specifically about this:

For the record, Tom King censored a link to VPC which discussed FOPA and how the NRA was trying to reinstitute its provisions.

Tom King thinks the link is suspect even though the NRA fully admits to sponsoring FOPA or the McClure/Volkmer bill.

Tom then posts again clarifying:

I intend to run this as an open forum with all views allowed as long as they are coherent, tasteful and based in fact. If you post a statement or statistic that is suspect, I’ll ask for verification before posting it. I will not deal in innuendo, hysterics or cliche. Those are the rules on this blog follow them or leave.

Emphasis mine. Now, I will say that it’s Tom’s sandbox, and he can definitely set any rules he wants for his blog. But we don’t do things like this in the gun blogosphere. Let them post their hysterics, cliches, and faulty data, an let our people tear it apart. That’s how it works. If Tom wants to be taken seriously as a gun blogger, you have two choices really; allow a free comment section with a very very strong prejudice against censorship, or close comments. I would recommend against the latter.

I’m afraid of Tom keeps censoring anti-gun views, even if, in his view, their facts are wrong (I would hardly disagree), I’m going to have to suggest to all my readers and fellow bloggers that we ignore him.

We’ve spent a lot of time, here in the pro-gun blogosphere, trying to build a reputation of being willing to debate the anti-gun people on the merits of their arguments, and they’ve lost every time. By censoring links because you don’t like the data, you undermine what the rest of us are trying to accomplish, and lower us to the level of the anti-gunners, and I simply can’t abide by that.

UPDATE: Tom King responds to our posts. Like I said, your blog, you’re rules. I don’t argue with that. But I still think letting them be boneheads, out in public for all to see, is the best policy.

UPDATE: Left rudder thinks it’s proof that we’re not interesting in Reasoned DiscourseTM. If that’s the case, why am I, and one of the top gun blogs, criticizing Tom for it then?

LCB Reforms

Shocking news.   The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has discovered that operating more like a business than a government agency leads to more profits and increased sales!  Who knew?   I also like this development:

The PLCB is also pushing to allow convenience stores to be licensed to sell takeout beer.

Last week, the state Supreme Court announced it would consider whether a Sheetz convenience store in Altoona may sell beer to go without also allowing its customers to drink on premises, as was required by an earlier Commonwealth Court opinion.

The case is considered a test as to whether convenience stores statewide will be able to begin selling beer to go.

It would be nice to be able to buy beer in convenience stores, or license beer takeout places.   Our laws in this regard have been antiquated and need to change.  But look who’s protesting?

Such a move would give the agency more license revenue, but it is being opposed by beer industry representatives, who say it would be unfair competition to beer distributors.

So to the beer industry in Pennsylvania, any competition is “unfair”.  What a crock.  These guys make me happy I brew my own beer.

Forest Services Changes Shooting Policy

According to SAF:

Under the old interpretation, the USFS, particularly in Colorado’s Boulder Ranger District, had been preventing the public from recreational shooting within 150 yards of any road on the presumption that a road is an “occupied area” under the language of Federal Regulation 36 CFR 261.10. But the memorandum, issued by Joel Holtrop, deputy chief of the National Forest System, clarifies the regulation.

“Roads are not inherently considered occupied areas under 261.10(d)(1),” the memorandum notes. However, there remains a prohibition against shooting across or along a forest road, or any body of water adjacent to a road. The Aug. 29 memorandum was sent to all regional foresters, station directors, and other personnel including USFS law enforcement supervisors.

This is good news for people who shoot in National Forests.