A Compromise on Immigration?

This is what I’ve been saying for a while as the immigration debate has heated up. I don’t have a problem with people who want to work and desire a better life coming to this country. But the same fear that New Hampshire has of Massachusetts immigrants, and the whole West has of California immigrants works on a national scale too. What I fear from all those immigrants isn’t their presence, but the fact that they will consistently vote for the same types of people and ideas that ruined the place they came from. It turns out that if Republicans offered that compromise, it might just work. So OK, they can stay (Green Card), but because they broke the law to come here, they can’t ever naturalize (Vote).

Monday Pre-Holiday Link Fest

I’ll be visiting with relatives most of this week, which I’m sure is the case with many of you. But I’ve been gathering some news. This is one of those days when I have a lot of ideas for a post, but not a whole lot of time to actually type it all out. For now, here is the news:

The real reason MAIG and MDA got together!

Why we carry.

Why are anti-gun activists so violent?

Uncle bets that it was easier for Chris Cheng to come out as gay in the gun community than it was to come out as a gun guy in California.

An I’m a gun owner, but….” guy turns out to work for OFA. I wouldn’t make the mistake of believing those guys aren’t out there. They are. But there have been times when I’ve become convinced it’s a tactic by our opponents.

Hollywood is planning to make a series slamming the National Rifle Association. The only way to hurt them is to stop consuming their crap. Cut the cord! Support unbundling!

Hope for Chicago? If inner city voters stop believing their politicians’ nonsense about the high crime rates being a result of weak gun laws, those politicians will be in a lot of trouble. Then they’ll actually have to do something.

It’s not that I hate your company.” I totally sympathize. I probably get three of these types of things a day.

Dave Kopel looks at Colorado Sheriff’s duty to enforce statutes.

Seattle has settled a lawsuit with the Second Amendment Foundation.

More disabled people oppose assault weapons restrictions. So do the federal courts want to pretend that the Second Amendment rights of disabled people don’t matter?

If gymnastics was easy, they’d call it football.

Kalashnikov Dies at 94

Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the famed AK-47, has died at 94.

The story highlights that he was self-taught, never finished high school, and was a tank mechanic before inventing the rifle. They also report he invented a lawnmower. He also made several adaptations to tanks that were eventually adopted by the entire Red Army.

A Holiday Visit to Hampton National Cemetery

Sorry for the lack of posting today, but I was otherwise pre-occupied with travel. Today we ventured down to Hampton National Cemetery in Hampton, Virginia to visit Great-Great-Great Grandpop Erven’s final resting place, and drop off a wreath for him. I had spent all of Wednesday scanning his pension file, so I was eager to finally complete his story, and his story ends at Hampton in the year 1906.


Wreath’s Across America had managed to wreath most of the new part of the cemetery, but fell short for the one section of Civil War veterans that represented Sam Erven’s neighborhood. Most of these Union Civil War veterans seem long forgotten, as was he until I found him. I don’t think my grandmother, who shared his last name until she married my grandfather, ever knew anything about her great-grandfather before she died. We fixed his unit’s badge to his wreath, the purple clover of the 3rd Division, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac. I thought it was a nice touch. He had been widowed for several years, and a very recent discovery that he may have decided to live out the last years of his life in sin and debauchery made me want to go the extra mile. I figured after struggling to collect a meager pension for getting his thumb and lung all shot to hell, he deserved a good bit of boozing and whoring it up behind Rebel lines at the end.

Tips of You Ever Want to Research at the National Archives

I’ve finished with both my Civil War ancestors at the National Archives. I was really completely unprepared for how this whole thing was going to work, so I thought I might share some tips of anyone else decides to do some research there.

  • You can bring your own flatbed scanner. I knew this ahead of time, so I brought mine. But a lot of documents are larger than the standard 8.5×11, so a standard consumer scanner meant for modern documents will fall short. If you can afford it, take a large format flat bed. The Archives does have one, but it’s usually being used by someone else.
  • Be well hydrated ahead of time. They don’t allow any food or drink in the research room for obvious reasons, and it’s warm and dry. I was nearly ready to swill straight out of the Potomac by the time I got done.
  • Don’t bring any more equipment than you can carry in. They do provide carts if you absolutely can’t carry your scan-o-magic 8000 deluxe, but everything is searched going in and out. No bags, or anything you can stuff anything into. They don’t check your pants though, so Sandy Berger is still good.
  • The archives provides free locker space, but bring a quarter for the key slot. They also have a cafeteria.
  • The research room is under guard and heavy surveillance. It’s pretty safe to leave your stuff and go catch a break.
  • Bring a power strip. They have plugs under the desks, but one is occupied by your desk lamp. I chose to go without the desk lamp.
  • Civil War pension files tend to be much much larger than you would expect. It took a good solid two hours to scan each one, though I have an 8.5×11 scanner, so I had to do a lot of shifting of larger documents to capture everything.
  • The Archive staff are incredibly helpful and nice.
  • It’s really easy to get a researchers badge. Basically follow a power point presentation on how not to destroy history, and on how they do things, and it’s yours. Pay attention though because they explain how you request and check out documents.

I was really surprised. It’s interesting to hold original documents that your 3x great grandfather wrote by hand in ink. Because the Archives stores these documents under pretty ideal conditions, 150 year old documents look better than some of my family documents from the 1950s and 60s.

And just for those anti-gunners that act like no gun ever killed someone before Satan invented the semi-automatic firearm and marketed to paranoid gun nuts, reading the description of what happened to my 3rd great-grandfather at Antietam was pretty horrific. I’d like to see someone tell him that those old muskets weren’t fine killing machines.

First, the mini ball blew his right thumb clean off. Then it entered his chest about 4 inches below the nipple. It blew one of his ribs apart. According to one surgeon’s report, the ball passed between his lung and liver, and exited near his spinal column. Another later physicians report said the lung had been shot through, because he later received a pension increase for that wound due to breathing issues. I would think shot through the lung would be fatal back then, but maybe his lung was nonetheless still damaged. I’m sure there were bits of rib floating around in his body.

The New Helicopter Moms

Moms Demand Action may become Bloomberg’s Helicopter Mommies Merged with Illegal Mayors with the news that Bloomberg is merging the two groups now that he’s leaving office. Now the gun control women won’t just be known for anti-gun antics, but they carry the weight of Bloomberg and his attempts to control everything you eat and everything you do – just like a helicopter mom.

The Political Power of Gun Owners

Right now, if all goes according to schedule, Sebastian and I are likely in the National Archives looking over the Civil War pension applications from two of his ancestors and one of mine. This new genealogy hobby has opened the door to new political issues for us since, as you might expect from an overly expansive government, there are efforts to shut down resources utilized by genealogists. Since someone, somewhere might possibly misuse data, we must ban the estimated 80 million genealogists in the country from access to vital information!

What I found interesting and relevant to post on this blog was a peek at the influence of NRA on the political process compared to some other interest groups.

Back in 2012, there was a hearing held on the uses and value of the Social Security death records, and genealogists were not even on the witness list. In fact, it goes further than that:

No genealogist has ever been permitted to testify at a hearing regarding the SSDI. Melinde Lutz Byrne, at that time President of the American Society of Genealogists, sat in the hearing audience when Commissioner Astrue uttered his remarks. Her in-person testimony was banned by Chairman Sam Johnson.

Can you imagine a situation where Congress would refuse to listen to any pro-gun group at all on any major gun issue? Let’s face it, even if they only invite NRA to try and pick on them, even anti-gun lawmakers tend to want to hear from the opposition for at least political points. That doesn’t mean they take the pro-rights arguments seriously, but at least they allow a voice to be heard. The genealogists can’t even be heard – not even once.

I just found that to be an interesting little perspective on how hard gun owners have worked to be taken seriously. Now we just need some 2014 election wins to help remind lawmakers why they should keep listening to us.

DC Changes Law, Threatens Jail to Registered Gun Owners

The District of Columbia has changed their registration law, and they estimate as many as 40-50,000 gun owners may face up to a year in jail if they don’t make an effort to learn about the change in the law.

On Jan. 1, DC gun owners will have 90 days to jump through the entire gun registration process all over again. This means in person stops at the police department and all sorts of bureaucratic headaches. However, not jumping through these hoops (all over again) will mean that in 180 days, they are illegally possessing firearms and will face jail for it.

The media is highlighting that there are concerns that not all gun owners will learn about this change in the law, and that could cause unintentional non-compliance with extreme consequences.

California Handgun Roster Challenge

The oral arguments on this challenge were held this week, and Gene Hoffman has an update.

Congratulations, Florida!

According to law enforcement, Florida is on track to reach 1 million background checks for gun purchases in 2013. The brisk holiday gun-buying season has already driven them over the total number of background checks run last year.

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