Our Opponents Really Are Un-American

I don’t really require someone to buy into much to consider themselves a good American. As long as you accept our basic tenants of human liberty, and foundational principles of our nation, I’m pretty open to the idea that we may disagree, but we disagree as fellow Americans. But one of those foundational principles, I think has to be that the Declaration of Independence is the moral justification for this country’s entire being. If you don’t accept the Declaration, well, then we really aren’t anything more than some misguided subjects of the British Crown. You might be an American in the sense that you were born here, but pardon me if I don’t agree you’re a good American. Such is the case with some of our opponents:

I am having a really difficult time figuring out what is so controversial about what Herman Cain is saying. Here’s the video they are so roundly criticizing:

It seems to me that Cain is speaking of “alter and abolish” in the terms of our normal democratic process of putting our government up before the people every 2 to 4 years and the people deciding whether they want to keep it or toss it.

Pardon me, but if you can watch this segment here, and think Cain is calling for every member of that audience to take up arms, and March down to Washington, and overthrow the government, you not the ones that should be calling us paranoid. You are, in fact, delusional, or just very much out of touch with the kind of crowd Cain is speaking to.

I am also comfortable in saying that if you don’t believe that Americans have the power to “alter or abolish” their government, even if it’s through peaceful means, through the ballot box, and through the hearts and minds of fellow Americans, this isn’t the country for you to be living in. If the Declaration of Independence makes you uncomfortable, I am quite fine with saying you’re a poor American. I think some of our opponents need to think long and hard about which country they belong in.

MAIG Mayor Makes Ridiculous Argument Against HR822

The Mayor of Milwaukee, and MAIG Mayor Tom Barrett says that HR822 is a bill fit for the nation’s gun traffickers:

Gun traffickers with a permit to carry concealed weapons from another state would be able to easily travel to our state with a variety of firearms in tow, and police would be unable to stop them until they actually witnessed an illegal gun sale.

Do we have evidence of a wave of gun traffickers are getting concealed carry permits? And since when can the police in Wisconsin “stop” someone for transporting a firearm with no other probable cause to believe a crime is being committed. Last I checked transporting firearms was not a crime.

This just goes to show the utter ridiculousness of MAIG and our opponents. It’s like Bloomberg is asking all his flunkies to do op-eds and the Mayor of Milwaukee decided to phone it in instead of spending any time making a serious argument.

Some Technical Difficulties

It turns out our WordPress caching plugin has been broken since we did the migration. That might help explain some of the issues I’ve been noticing with performance. It might also explain why some people weren’t seeing the posts from today while others were.

I should be fixed now, and hopefully pages should be loading a bit faster.

Let Us Review the Definition of “Assault Rifle”

Since some folks can’t seem to get it straight, and are undermining efforts to get away from the boat anchor our opponents tied around our necks, it’s worth a review:

  • Can be fired from the shoulder.
  • Capable of Select Fire
  • Fires a cartridge of intermediate power, between a pistol and full length rifle cartridge.
  • Feeds from a detachable magazine.

If any one of these aren’t true, it’s not an assault rifle by definition. Even the dictionary on this computer says:

A rapid-fire, magazine-fed automatic rifle designed for infantry use.

Last I checked, there weren’t any infantry that were issued semi-auto rifles. The fact of the matter is when people hear the word “assault” being used as an adjective to describe a noun, they are automatically going to be more inclined to agree that whatever that noun is describing ought to be banned. Assault is a crime, after all, or something you do in war. It would be interesting, for instance, to poll on “assault weapons” verses “personal defense weapon,” and see how the results differ, even though PDWs are nearly universally NFA weapons, with the exception of civilianized versions that are made carbine length and only fire semi-automatically.

The fact that we’ve not gotten to just over half of Americans opposing a ban on “assault weapons” is mostly through a decades long education among the general public, and other gun owners in particular, to make them understand the truth in the issue. Had it not been for that term, this would likely have happened much faster, and it’s questionable whether there ever would have been support enough to pass the 1994 ban in the first place.

While I’m not a huge fan of the particular term NSSF has chosen to label semi-automatic rifles that are based on military patterns, I completely understand why they feel the need to do it, and support efforts to move away from a term that automatically makes folks think of a crime. To the extent that people on our side have embraced that term, it’s done nothing but play into the hands of our opponents.

Any politician is going to take polls with a grain of salt, but they largely do this on the gun issue because they all believed the polls about how people felt about assault weapons, until they passed the ban, and many of them lost their seats over it. Even Bill Clinton acknowledges that. Maybe it’s arguable that MSR isn’t the best term… but what I don’t think is arguable is that the “assault weapon” boat anchor has been a huge problem for our side, and we should move away from that language.

NRA Ad on F&F

As election season approaches, we can expect to see more in this vein:

Getting holder out would be a great victory, but if Holder hangs on this will be a campaign issue if the Republicans will be willing to make it one (which so far, they have not been). Either way, NRA will hopefully have the money to run ads like this in important markets for Obama, like Pennsylvania, during the 2012 elections.

So either he fires Holder, or we use Holder as a boat anchor to drag down the entire administration’s re-election prospects. Not too concerned about how we carve this turkey, as long as Obama doesn’t get to pick the next justice on the Supreme Court. Let’s hope that Justice Ginsburg can hang in there just a little longer.

The Guns Will Come Out, Tomorrow

Concealed carry takes effect in Wisconsin tomorrow. My Google alerts have, since the bill was signed into law, been filled with stories of various local political bodies, and fearful businesses and community groups wringing their hands over what this is going to bring. You’d think, given that this has happened in so many other states with relatively little fanfare, people would be able to take an objective look at things, and conclude that there won’t be colander-faced gangs roaming the highways of the Badger State tomorrow trying to steal your “juice.” But hysterical people are going to be hysterical, no matter what the evidence, and anti-gun folks are some of the more hysterical people I’ve run across in politics.

There’s also at least one other aspect of this that ought not be ignored. From a friend in Wisconsin:

WI will cut its Brady score in half next time they bother to count.

And that, friends, is a good enough reason as any to celebrate this Halloween.

I’ll Have the Mammoth Steak, Extra Rare

Apparently a restaurant in Berlin is featuring a menu made up entirely of “paleolithic cuisine!” I’m not one for trendy food fads, but this is one I’d give a try. The only problem I see here is that quite a lot of the meat our paleolithic ancestors fed on are no longer available, possibly because we hunted them all to extinction. Some humans are revolted by that possibility, but it just makes me want to celebrate our species’ success as an apex predator. This cuisine seems a good way to do that.

I’m going to bet a paleodiet actually turns out to work pretty well for people in terms of weight loss, and controlling all the naughty stuff your doctor warns you about. It’s just a hypothesis, but we evolved as hunter gatherers, and didn’t develop agriculture until fairly recently. It seems reasonable that our bodies just don’t deal well with the types of food agriculture produces in abundance. Of course, we also didn’t live until 80 on average until very recently, and considering nature doesn’t give a flying rats behind about your fitness beyond prime reproduction and child rearing years, it’s quite possible we get sick and die beyond those years no matter what we eat.

But maybe if this cuisine catches on, it’ll create a market for using our biomedical technology to bring back the mammoth. Jurassic Park aside, I’ve always thought that would be a rather cool experiment.

Subscribe to Comments Feature Enhancement

Someone (I can’t remember who) asked if the subscribe to comments feature, which will send you an e-mail alert on future comments, could provide a link to the specific comment, rather than the comment section as a whole. This was never a problem in the past, because I didn’t have threaded comments enabled, but now we do, and that makes finding the new comment more difficult.

The plugin I use does not have many options, but it was fairly easy to find and make the change in the PHP code. That plugin hasn’t been updated for years, so hopefully I’ll remember I made a change if it ever does. Either way, the e-mail will now link directly to the new comment.

Winning: Headlines I Never Thought I’d See

A lot of my readers have been in this issue for a long time. What got me concerned about Second Amendment rights was the federal government thinking it was constitutionally unproblematic to ban “assault weapons,” all the way back in 1994. Those of us who paid attention back then remember how the media treated the issue, and remembered how shooters, collectors, and people concerned about the Second Amendment couldn’t get a fair shake. So chalk this up to headlines I’d never thought I’d see:

CBS Carries NRA’s Water On Flawed Gallup Poll

For those of us who remember the media environment in the 90s: did you ever think you’d see left-wing media complaining that CBS News was carrying NRA’s water? Granted, Media Matters are paid shills of George Soros and Joyce, but it’s still satisfying to see. The media environment has gotten considerably better just in the past few years; good enough it’s actually getting harder to find really ridiculous reporting on the issue. That might be bad news if you’re a gun blogger, but it’s good news for the Second Amendment. Granted, the major papers still editorialize against us regularly, but the actual reporting is better, and our point of view is getting a fairer shake. Our opponents are aware of this, and it’s probably part of the reason support for gun control has been declining. Media Matters can try to spin this all they want, but that Gallup poll is bad news for gun control advocates, and everyone knows it.

More on Instructor Certification Non-Discrimination

Following up on the post from Friday, about the State of Texas threatening to revoke certification of a Texas man who ran a radio ad stating he won’t teach muslims, I have some additional thoughts for folks who are troubled by this. Let me state up front that this whole issue is an example of why requiring training to exercise a right is problematic. If this guy were in Pennsylvania, where we do not require training, this would be largely a non-issue, because the man would be free to teach whoever the hell he wanted, and not much would be implicated in terms of the right to bear arms. He is still free to teach or not teach who he wants in Texas, but the question at hand is whether it’s appropriate for the State of Texas to prohibit discrimination as a condition of holding a certification to teach their required concealed carry course.

My position is that it’s not inappropriate for the state to mandate this. By the state issuing instructor credentials, and requiring anyone wishing to carry a firearm to take instruction from a certified instructor, it makes those instructors an instrument of the state, and an instrument of state policy. In this instance, I believe the state may instruct the people carrying out its public policy that they may not discriminate. In fact, I believe that’s what’s morally required, given the exercise of a right is at stake.

I’ll put this in different terms, since prejudice against muslims is more prevalent today, and not as widely condemned. I’ll take it back 80 years or so, to the Jim Crow era. Texas has the same policy, except they allow discrimination by certified instructors. You’re a black man, and want to get a permit. You can’t find any white instructor who will teach you, and there aren’t any black instructors in your area because getting the certification is difficult and expensive, and there are only a handful of black instructors in the whole state. For the most part, this hypothetical black man has been disenfranchised out of his right to bear arms. If I were a fair minded federal judge, and this case came before me, I’d toss the training requirement, and make it clear to the State of Texas that it either needed to fix the discrimination problem, or go without training.

I don’t like training being a condition of accessing a right, because the cost alone puts its exercise out of reach of many. In my opinion, if the state is going to require training to access a right, it had damned well do its best to make sure the required training is widely available and affordable, and part of that can be an anti-discrimination policy that applies to instructors that are certified by the state under its training program.

Many states solve this problem by either not requiring training, or accepting privately certified instruction, and perhaps Texas should as well. That would largely remove the state from the equation in regards to this guy in Texas, though I would still argue if he were NRA certified, he should lose that certification too because I just flatly don’t agree with the kind of discrimination he’s practicing on general principle, and NRA, as a private entity, is perfectly free to set non-discrimination policies for the instructors it certifies.