Friday, April 28, 2006

A New Gun Argument

"Mayors Turn the Political Issue to Saving Lives"

Gag me with a spoon. This is getting a little old.

I'll quickly summarize:

Congress, and especially the senate, doesn't care about gun control anymore, so it's up to mayors to take up the charge.

I encourage you to read the article and send the author an email. Somehow I doubt E. J. Dionne Jr. will read my blog.

Update: I guess David at The War on Guns beat me to it. His entry is more detailed.

The Gun Culture, according to John Ross

This article made me think of a good book I've read - Unintended Consequences by John Ross. In the article, the PM states "many things about America I admire but I do not admire their gun culture".

I do. Below is an excerpt from the book. Ad Topperwein is a (real-life) world-record target shooter who works for Winchester. He's going to demonstrate the accuracy of the BAR recently designed by John Moses Browning (or course, also real). The events, as you may have guessed, really happened.

This is Ad Topperwein, who works for us. He's going to give a little demonstration of just how manageable this rifle is on single fire. I'll let him tell you what he's going to do." The factory rep stepped aside and took a seat. Topperwein held up some steel discs for the audience to see, and then addressed the crowd.

"It's very windy today, and we need a target that won't blow around so much. The fellows in the machine shop had some inch-and-a-half steel rod, and I asked them to chuck it up in the lathe and cut off some quarter-inch thick sections." He held one of the steel discs edgewise for the audience to view. "They shouldn't move around too much in the wind," he explained.

"What's this fellow think he's going to do with them?" John Browning whispered to his brother. "Shoot them out of the air with a seventeen-pound machine rifle that fires from an open bolt?"It soon became apparent that that was exactly what Ad Topperwein intended to do. The audience watched with rapt attention as an assistant took a stack of the heavy steel discs and stepped seven or eight paces away from Topperwein towards the ocean. Topp picked up one of the BARs that had just been used in the endurance demonstration, pulled back the bolt, and inserted a loaded twenty-round magazine. He held the weapon at waist level.

"All twenty face-on. Throw the next one as soon as you hear the shot," Topperwein instructed his thrower. The man nodded and tossed the first disc twenty feet into the air, spinning it like a phonograph record so that it did not tumble. Topp
threw the BAR to his shoulder and the gun fired as the disc neared the apex
ofits ascent. Immediately the thrower sent another disc aloft.

In less than thirty seconds Topp had fired twenty shots. The audience had strained to watch the discs move or to hear the impact of the bullets on them. It appeared that some of them had wobbled, but the muzzle blast of the weapon drowned out any noise of bullet impacting steel. "I think he hit a couple of them," Browning said to his brother with genuine admiration in his voice. At sixty-two, John Browning averaged over ninety-five percent at trap, and he could not imagine hitting a single one of the steel discs using a machine rifle firing from an open bolt. The audience watched the thrower walk around and pick up the twenty steel discs that lay on the ground. When he brought them over to the group for their inspection, John Browning drew his breath in abruptly. All twenty discs had 3/8" holes in them, very near the center in each case. The metal had flowed back in a lip around the circumference of each hole, as is typical when a high velocity bullet meets mild steel,
and each hole was washed with silvery metal from the cupro-nickel jacket of the .30 caliber bullet. "The current issue round is a 172-grain bullet, but I'm shooting up some old stock with the 150-grain slug. What the soldiers are getting now is much better at long range, but the 150 is faster up close, and it's a lot faster than the old Krag load," Topp explained. "It goes through quarter-inch mild steel without giving much notice." He removed the empty magazine from the gun and replaced it with a full one. "Put 'em all up again, same way, only edgewise this time," he instructed his thrower. "Stand a couple steps closer— this gets a little harder."

The man scaled the first disc upwards with its edge to Topperwein and the crowd, and Topp threw the BAR to his shoulder. This time when the gun fired, the blast was followed by a howling noise as the disc was driven spinning far out over the ocean. The thrower immediately scaled the next one into the air with identical results. In a
short time, eighteen of the steel discs had been sent screaming out over the water, hit on the edge by a one-third ounce bullet traveling at over twice the speed of sound. Topp had missed two of the targets. He put the BAR back on the table and went to pick up the two discs he had missed. Ad Topperwein examined them, then turned to the awestruck crowd.
"I don't have much experience with machine guns," he allowed, "but the BAR is one of the smoothest operating rifles I've ever fired. I think all of us should thank Mr. Browning here, not only for this superb rifle, but for all of the fine weapons he's put in the hands of our servicemen."

John Browning said nothing. He was still thinking about what he had just witnessed. John Browning wasalso part of the gun culture.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Kaci is confused

To the well-informed, thinking reader, an article like this would be laughable. To those who are slow or maybe just don’t know any better, I’ll try to help.

The decision of when a weapon is used is left entirely to the gun's owner.

One might conclude from this (true) statement that the harmful use of the gun by the owner should be regulated (no murdering other people) rather than the peaceful use (personal defense). Kaci sees it a different way:
There is a reasonable level of concern that every Kansan who receives this permit will not be able to handle the responsibility that comes along with being a gun owner. Sure there will be National Riffle Association members and some citizens who view this concern as an exaggeration. There will be those who argue this law is a victory for individual freedom that puts the power back in the hands of the people. But while they are celebrating, lives are being put in jeopardy as guns take center stage in violent activity throughout the state.
Let me paraphrase: “My conscience tells me that this is an issue of freedom, and that I’m on the wrong side of it, BUT I’m so afraid of what that might mean.”

Just last week five Kansas students were stopped by officials after allegedly planning a brutal attempt at opening gun fire on fellow students and teachers at their high school. Their actions would not have been prevented if it were not for watchful eyes; it seems all Kansans will be forced to be more aware after the implementation of this law.

Yeah, uh-huh… WHAT?? Two true statements that are totally unrelated to the last assertion. So why now will people be forced to be “more aware”? Is she capable of cohesive thought? Did the students have CCW permits? Is it legal to shoot people at school? What does this have to do with KS CCW? What? She just wanted to bring it up because it seemed like a good anti-gun thing to talk about? Oh, I see.

The new gun law does prohibit owners from carrying their weapon in places like schools, churches and government buildings. But there is no guarantee that violent individuals will particularly care, bringing the issue back to trust.

Do potential murders and rapists care where guns are prohibited? She’s right about the issue revolving around trust. I don’t trust criminals to obey laws, so I want to be protected wherever I go.

Those in favor of carrying concealed weapons would be naive to think guns won't end up in the wrong hands.

Oh, I see. So before KS had CCW only good people had guns, and now CCW might let guns get into the wrong hands. Now I get it.

Kansas’ problems with crime and safety can't be solved with a new gun law. The safety of citizens in this state can’t be left to backgrounds checks and waiting eriods.

I know she’s trying to prove that CCW is bad, and what she’s saying is true… But those seem like two very good reasons to repeal some restrictive gun laws.

There is nothing wrong with depending on the government and police departments to provide citizens with safety -- especially since it is their obligation to ensure domestic tranquility.

Oh Kaci, how naive you are. You just keep telling yourself that the police will always be there to protect you. Don’t bother to read about all of the unanswered 911 calls [2] [3], dismissed as prank 911 calls, or the court’s upholding the fact that police do not have an obligation to protect individuals.

More "things you should know"

Via the Smallest Minority, Someone takes a member of the Brady Bunch to task:

Brady doesn't care about children. Yes, children die of accidents, and on rare occasions those accidents are firearms accidents. The problem is poor parenting and poor supervision, not firearms. Irresponsible parents blame everyone but themselves - apparently some start early. If Brady actually cared about children and gun safety they might have some kind of safety training program - perhaps one like the NRA does.

Children drown far more often than they are accidentally shot. There are far fewer pool owners than gun owners. Therefore pools and their owners pose a significantly greater threat than gun owners. Now I'm certainly not for an outright pool ban. Then again, I don't have one, why should you? Let's start with the most dangerous looking ones, those kidney-shaped pools. Those are a kiddy deathtrap if I ever saw one. In fact, I would call those "assault" pools - they don't belong in people's yards. We had better include those oval ones too because they look like the kidney ones, a little bit. While we're at it I think something needs to be done about those above-ground pools, they tend to be less expensive hence "Saturday night special" pools. I'm more than a little concerned about the easy "concealability" of those remaining in-ground models while we're at it. They clearly must go. Is a bathtub a kind of pool?

The number you keep throwing around is an intentional deception. It isn't the figure on accidents, it's total "child" firearms deaths, and you define child as anyone under TWENTY. Sorry, nineteen-year-old drug dealers shot by police aren't "child firearms accidents". If you want the number of accidental firearms deaths for all people in the US ("children" under 99) it's about half of that. For actual children (as the rest of us define it) it's about a tenth of your number. Still a sad case of poor parenting, none should die, but the guns, pools, autos, cleansers, etc. aren't the ones to blame. It certainly isn't the epidemic you wish to paint it as.

"I Think Police Need Total Control"

[Via WOG]

State Rep. Mike Shelton said House Bill 2696 has placed the power of the law into the wrong hands."During states of emergency, I think police need total control. They don't need to worry who has guns and who doesn't. If the governor calls for Oklahomans to relinquish their guns, the public needs to do so," Shelton said.

Taking away guns during a disaster is even more ridiculous than "regular" gun control. Let's forget about the illegality of such an act for just a moment. Say the governor told EVERYONE to turn in their guns. Would those with criminal intent comply? Would the law-abiding comply? What you end up with is a bunch of easy targets. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Guns let you make people do stuff

This article is so absurd that it might take a while to get to all the flaws. I guess I'd better get started.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to bear arms, but it was written after the Revolutionary War when the British were still a threat to attack the newly independent nation. The purpose was for a militia to be kept ready in case the red coats came marching down the streets again. But we have that militia now, called the Army, the Navy and the Air force; I think they have us covered.
Wow. Thank you so much for the insight Mr. Historically Challenged. It floors me that he agrees that "the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to bear arms" but in the same breath dismisses it as irrelevant and outdated! Which is it? By the way, we had a professional Army during and after the Revolutionary War, and the militia is by definition separate from professional armed services (which include the National Guard).

Although I grew up in South Central LA where gang activity and violence are prevalent, and although I ran with a bad crowd and have been witness to gang shootings, I had never fired a gun.

Former gang banger? Loads of credibility.

And with that gun I felt like every gun totting renegade cop I've seen in my favorite movies. [...] Brandish a gun at someone and you can get him to do anything. That is the shear intimidation and power that a gun provides.

To this guy (Werner Gomez) a gun is just a way to boss people around. It's a tool, but a tool for taking freedom, not giving it.

Mr. Gomez, the Second Amendment exists to guard my right to protect myself from people like you.

Keep and Bear Arms put me on to this article. They're a good news source.

The Council of Tyrant Mayors Concludes:

  1. The representatives elected by the people don't know what's best for them, so their group of activist governors must take it upon themselves to advance their agenda outside the bounds of the working legislative process.
    Mayors from 15 major U.S. cities attending a gun control summit called the federal government "complicit' in illegal gun-related crimes and urged it to do more to get the weapons off the street Wednesday. [...] Bloomberg, who has made gun control a priority early in his second term, admitted that the mayors have little power to enact the measures he is promoting, but said the group would lobby legislators and use litigation to create reform.
  2. Crimes committed with guns are worse than the same crime committed without guns. They'll let you off easy as long as you don't have a gun.
    The mayors pledged to punish criminals caught with illegal guns to the full extent of the law,
  3. Dealers should be psychic and know who not to sell guns to. The hoops they already have to jump through to sell a gun aren't enough.
    [The mayors pledged to] find and prosecute gun dealers who knowingly sell guns to unqualified buyers,
  4. The government ought to spend your money developing technology that doesn't work in order to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens. [The mayors pledged to] develop new technologies to trace guns

Those sound like reasonable and constitutionally defensible measures to me!

Update: Looks like just about everybody is talking about this:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Lots of news, little time

I haven't had much time today, but here are some things to be aware of:

Check out (copy-paste). Get familiar with the enemy. Know how to defend your stance.

Gun buybacks are stupid. Even if a criminal did turn in a gun for (taxpayers') money, he'd just be doing it so he can upgrade to a newer one.

Know your place. A good post at TWOG.

If you don't stop in at Alphecca every Tuesday for the weekly check on media bias, you should.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Summit is for Mayors

Maybe you've heard of the summit of (gun-grabbing) mayors that's being headed by Bloomberg. What are they getting together to do? Bloomberg just wants to fight crime, right? You'd think so, but no. He want more laws. Not just more laws for his city, but more laws for YOU and ME. Bloomberg wants nothing more than to shove his ridiculous ideas that endanger citizens onto everybody else. From the NY Sun:

Mr. Bloomberg is hoping the new coalition will leverage its combined force against federal legislation [Protection of Lawful Commerce?? - ed] and what they call lax gun laws around the nation.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation thought that they could help Mayor Bloomberg fight crime. They wanted to come to the summit and show the mayors what steps the firearms industry is taking to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Do you think they will be allowed in?

The summit of mayors "is for Mayors," Mr. Bloomberg's chief spokesman, Stuart Loeser, said in an e-mail.

Yet a little farther down the article in the Sun, we see that it will include "a panel of 'leading experts' on gun crimes." You and I can guess what the hand selected "experts" will have to say about how to fight gun crime.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Gas prices - let's stick it to those greedy fat-cat oil companies!

Lots of folks have been talking about gas prices lately. Generally the comments are negative and people are looking for someone to blame. Do we even have a legitimate complaint against the price of gas? Who's really responsible for the high prices?
First off, we have the complaint itself. It usually goes something like this, "Prices are so high, it's putting the squeeze on Americans. The government ought to do something about it." Or, "Those fat-cat oil companies are getting rich off of our hardship; Make them pay!"

I won't argue that high fuel prices might put some people in a bind for cash. So do high utility costs, high food costs, and high haircut prices. It's the solution that's troubling to me. When any good or service becomes dramatically more expensive, rational people find alternatives. You either find a replacement or go without. For some reason, people feel ENTITLED to cheap fuel. Why? I suppose it's because it's been cheap for a long time. No matter what the reason, when prices go up on gas, the public wants blood. So, like any spoiled little brat, they cry for Mommy. Or Nannie. Or the Nannie State in this case - the US Federal Government. They whine to the State like a kid on a playground who wants a toy that someone else has. "Make him give it to me, I'm entitled!" Well unfortunately, I think these crybabies will someday get what they want - a fully regulated nanny/police state where there really are no freedoms, but the public is protected from evil corporate greed and unpredictable firearm owners. Just think about what you're saying when you cry out for the government to "Do something!", because all they know how to do is make laws. Laws restrict freedom. It's a one-way street that leads to oppression. So cry if you want. Just don't be surprised if you ever have a successful business that attracts the sheeple's attention. and your well-earned wages are garnished because you've done too well.

So if it's not the oil industry's fault, who can we blame for high gas prices? Look no further than your state and federal legislature and their well-armed tax collectors. Do you have any idea how much you put in the government coffers every time you fill up? To get an idea, check out

New York state levies a 32 cent/gallon tax on gasoline, plus about 8 cents/gallon for sales tax. Add to that the 18 c/g federal tax and you're looking at almost 60 c/g in taxes. That's roughly 20%, as showin in the graphic from conoco phillips.

Oil companies make about 7 cents/gallon. If you want to make your gas cheaper, your efforts would be better spent trying to repeal taxes.

It's the hole that matters

This is probably stupid, but maybe it'll summon a little interest in a newbie's blog. I want to talk about 9mm vs .45ACP. If you like, you can call it 5.56 vs. .308 or any of the other tired out arguments that riddle the gun boards and blogs alike.

These discussions generally use such wildly pseudoscientific terms as "stopping power", "knockdown power", "killing power", "hydrostatic shock" and magic formulas like the Taylor Knockout Formula. Such arguments largely misplace the emphasis on the bullet, but I'll get to that in a minute.

Let's pretend that we're a couple of rational thinkers who want to decide what caliber of pistol or rifle to use for defense or hunting or whatever. We want to kill something, or at least make it stop what it's doing. What are appropriate criteria for choosing such a weapon?

Accuracy. I don't mean go buy the most accurate special-made bolt action rifle. I mean shots that don't go where they're supposed to go don't count. Shot placement is the single most important aspect in stopping an animal (four or two-legged). You need a firearm that you can shoot well. The rest of the points don't matter if you can't hit what you're aiming at.

Cartridge. Now we can talk about what caliber is best. Let's take the .223 vs. .308 discussion for example. I think it covers all of the bases. These two calibers differ in a lot of different areas: cartridge weight, cartridge size, recoil, bullet mass, muzzle velocity, and of course, bullet diameter. There are more, but I think these are the pertinent attributes.

The .223 is lighter, so you can carry more rounds with less pounds. It's also smaller, so a .223 magazine holds more rounds than a similarly-sized .308 mag. The .223 also has less recoil which makes follow-up shots faster and full-auto controllability easier.

"So what!" the .308 enthusiasts will say. "The .223 is a mouse gun! It doesn't have enough stopping power!" "I heard a story about a soldier in [insert current conflict] who shot a bad guy 14 times with that Mattel gun and he kept coming! Use a .308 and that'll put 'em on his ass!"

Without getting all "physics class" on your ass, I'll assert that that's stupid. The impact of the bullet on its target is about the same as the impact to the shooter's shoulder. Deer don't get knocked over backwards by bullets and neither do people.

So what do you use as a measure of incapacitation? In short, it's the hole that matters. There are two ways to incapacitate a target - destroy the central nervous system, or facilitate a rapid loss in blood pressure. If you have any other ideas and can back them up with evidence, I'd like to hear them. CNS shots are hard to make, so we're left with going for rapid blood loss and the best way to do that is to make a big hole. That means it needs to be big around and deep, and surface area of the wound cavity is what we're measuring.

I'm not the best at explaining things, so if you disagree I suggest you do some reading here. I am a believer. If you can come up with a fault in the logic, I 'd like to hear it.

To summarize:

  1. Shot placement matters most.
  2. Consider all of the differences between calibers, not just wounding ability.
  3. When it comes to incapacitation, THE HOLE IS WHAT MATTERS.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Micro-stamping firing pins

It's just another ploy by the antis to make guns harder and more expensive to own - thinly veiled under the auspices of "crime prevention" or I guess more accurately, "crime solving". The idea is so stupid for so many reasons... But since when has reason ever stopped legislature?

First of all, the entire premise is flawed. Let's say that we could magically know the serial number of every firearm used in crime. Then we go to the magical (and illegal) gun registry database to look up said serial number. Who's name do we find? The CRIMINAL!! WE'VE GOT OUR MAN!!! No. You find the name of the person who lawfully purchased the gun first. Is the person who went through the background checks and registration schemes likely to be the one who perpetrated the crime? Heavens no. What is likely is that he sold it to someone else, who had it stolen by some thug who THEN used the gun to cap someone infringing on his turf or whatever other nonsense the creation might come up with. So, even if the technology did everything it said it would do and worked every time, it still isn't going to automatically solve criminal investigations.

Secondly, "micro-engraving" a firing pin wouldn't be a very good way to go about identifying the owner of the gun, even if that information would help. If the stamp is so small that you can't even see it, I'm guessing it can't be too robust. As things get smaller, they get easier to damage. It couldn't be too hard to remove enough material on the firing pin to render the engraving useless. Or you could just swap out the firing pin for one that didn't have a stamp on it. There are millions of guns out there already. The contention that it would only add "25 to 50 cents per firearm" is ridiculous as well. Think of the tolerances required!! If you read the article, you'll notice that one of the strongest proponents of the law just happens to be the person who invented the technology. There's nothing like the government mandated use of your product/service to boost the bottom line!! He stands to make a fortune if the bill passes, and whose money do think he'll be lining his pockets with? It'll be yours via the increase in cost of guns.

I don't think I can stand ranting about this anymore. Why is the disregard for law always counteracted by the creation of more laws?

Checkpoint ahead, be prepared to stop.

Be prepared to stop.

Drug checkpoint ahead.

All vehicles subject to search.

Have you ever come across these signs? I did, yesterday on the way home from work. I couldn't believe my eyes. I've heard of these things before, but I thought they were illegal. Actually, I heard a story about a time that the signs were set up with no real checkpoint and officers waited to pull over anyone caught turning around as a result.

Maybe that was the case last night, because there never was any checkpoint. I didn't have anything remotely questionable in my automobile, but I was rehearsing how to resist any search in my mind.

WTF?? Anyone have any information about these "checkpoints"?

Papers please??

Police! OPEN UP!!

If you haven't already heard, someone got away with taking a Honolulu cop's gun, uniform, badge, and other "gear" from his apparently unattended and unsecured vehicle. According to this story, two have been arrested in the case.

Also noted:
"Everything but the gun is still missing."
"The reason why we're going public with the number and name, we want to minimize the person's ability to use or misuse the uniform," says HPD spokesman Captain Frank Fujii. "Someone can do some real atrocities by impersonating an officer because they have the whole gamut."

Let me clarify that last statement. It should read, "Someone can do some real atrocities while impersonating an officer because so many Americans are ignorant of their rights and will unquestioningly do whatever the boys in blue tell them to do."

Do you know your rights as they relate to "unreasonable search and seizure"? If not, I recommend you read up.

This just in - Americans don't like being told what they can/can't do

The Second Amendment Foundation (press release, noting the trend of people leaving states known for oppressive firearm regulation:

"This is no mystery," said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. "Those states are infamous for their anti-gun attitudes. Countless times have we heard from people who have moved from those states because they wanted to escape the Draconian gun laws.
"The Census Bureau reports that New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles lost the most residents between 2000 and 2004," Gottlieb continued. "Anti-gun politicians and their restrictive gun laws have made it virtually impossible for average law-abiding citizens to get a concealed pistol license in Los Angeles or New York City. In Chicago, you can't own an unregistered handgun, and they no longer register handguns.

I'll admit, getting out of the commie state I live in is a temptation. Like a lot of people, I feel tied to my job and familiy that are in the area, but what price can you put on individual freedom?

I guess that heretofore I've decided that it's worth giving up convenience to buy guns to be around my family, my wife's family, and a good paying, stable job. I suppose that if it were to get substantially worse here, I'd have to seriously consider a move.

Have any of you ever struck out on your own to a feedom loving state? Anyone interested ought to check out one of a few "free state projects" going on. There seems to be one group that focuses on a few western states and one that's headed to the "Live Free or Die" state. Good luck to both.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

What I think - "Gun Free Zones"

The "gun free" zones I'm talking about are the ones created by state and federal legislatures. They often include:
  • Schools
  • Churches (or "places of worship")
  • Parks (including national forests)
  • Sporting events or concerts
  • Alcohol-serving establishments
  • Post Offices
  • Courts and other government offices.

You'll notice that many of the prohibited locations are private property. Here the government is dictating terms to property owners. "It's for your own protection". Thank you very much, but I know how obligated you feel to "protect me".

Any time you create a "gun free" zone, you create a ripe-for-the-picking population for criminals.

When it comes down to it, the government doesn't have any business making the rules for my property for me, and even if they did - it wouldn't help keep someone who's already planning a criminal act from doing so.

I do not think it means what they think it means.

Via Aught Six:

Everybody knows what a machine gun is, right? Well, at least gun nuts do, right? Of course, everybody knows that in D.C. it's any gun that can fire more than 12 rounds SEMI-automatically.

I could care less

Which means that I do, in fact, care substantially. I care when people say things without giving any thought to their meaning. Words HAVE MEANING. If you want to convey an idea, pick the right (and preferably real) words to do so.

I feel this way irregardless of how you may have been taught. Its you're responsibility to keep yourself from sounding like a moron.

Home "ownership"

Someone made a point in comments on this post:

My house is bought and paid for long ago, but if I don't pay the property taxes, the city and county will seize it, and me if I object. It's not mine and will NEVER be mine free and clear under this system.

He's absolutely right. Anything you have to make indefinite reoccuring payments on is not really yours. Property taxes may be the greatest evil of our government.

All I want is to be able to retire on a little homestead where I can fend for myself, but if I don't do something to make a few FRN's, the .gov will come a knockin' (or no-knockin').

I don't have any good solutions to this one, (other than aboloshing property taxes) so I'm open to suggestions.

Wal-Mart to stop selling guns at some stores

There are all kinds of news stories on the subject, but the gist of it is that the big retailer will stop selling guns at something like 1,000 of its stores. So what should the reaction of gun ownders be?

Boycott!! Let's make those liberal gun grabber anti-freedom !$#^*#%^$%('s pay!! Or maybe not. Maybe they're just in business to make money, and maybe guns don't sell very well in some of their stores. Maybe they'd make more money in some suburb Wal-Mart by using that floor space to sell fine imitation jewelery or designer towels. Who cares?

Wal-Mart selling less guns will take the pressure off of some small-business gun shops to sell guns at razor-thin margins. I'm okay with that. I say let the market work it out.

What I think - Property Rights vs. RKBA

The latest cause that the NRA is championing seems to be what they consider the "right" to have a gun with you wherever you go, especially to work. Several states are introducing and have introduced legislation that would force employers to allow employees to keep weapons locked in their vehicles in the company parking lot.

A pretty good discussion on this topic was had at The War on Guns (in the comments), and here is my response to the latest:

Reason said...
Anonymous said... My being armed does nothing to violate your property rights. You're right, it doesn't. Well, it doesn't UNTIL you think your "right to be armed" means you can be armed anywhere you please, including in my house. On my property, I have the right to set the criteria for admittence. If I don't (and you or the government do?), how can I call it mine?

What I think - The Second Amendment

To get the ball rolling, I thought it'd be a good idea to let you know where I currently stand on issues that I consider to be of importance. I'll take one at a time and try to lay out my thoughts on the issue. As always, I'm open to the possibility that I could be wrong about anything, but these are conclusions that I've come to based on what I know. Feel free to convince me otherwise.

First up - The Second Amendment. I know that's a big one to start on, but it's an easy one to explain. The text:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Download a scan of the Bill of Rights here.

Rather than getting all grammatical on your ass, let me just lay to rest a few assertions by those who would say this has nothing to do with an individual private citizen's right to posess and use firearms.

  • Myth number 1 - The amendment only protects the right of the Militia to have guns, and the Militia is the National Guard. My favorite way to counter this point (although not my idea) is to look at it this way: If the amendment stated, "A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed" do you think that would mean that only VOTERS should be allowed to own books? The first part of the amendment is just an observation; A militia (composed of regular citizens and "well regulated" meaning that they get together and practice) is necessary to keep a country free. It is certainly not a restrictive phrase.
  • Myth number 2 - The amendment guarentees a "collective" not an "individual" right. The First Amendment uses similar wording; Do you think does not apply to individuals?
  • Myte number 3 - The founders couldn't have envisioned the weaponry available today. The 2A must only apply to muskets. That one is pretty silly, but I've heard it. If that were the case, I guess the 1A must only apply to Gutenberg printing presses and not the internet.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

So it begins

For the first post ever to ReasonEngaged, I'd like to say thanks to those who got me interested, in whatever order I can remember it all.

It all started with ARFCOM, which isn't a blog, but got me reading about other peoples' ideas on the internet. Is there anything the hive mind can't solve?

My first toe on the water of the blogging community was reading Vox Popoli. I came across his site by doing a Google search for "Christian Libertarian" because I wondered if such a creature could exist. It was a quest for self-definition and what was really just a search for a sound set of ideals that [gasp!] compliment rather than contradict one another. What I found was a whole world where people state, defend, and even occasionally change their ideas.

The rest is sort of history... How I found each of my favorite blogs, I can't recall, but here they are:

SayUncle has excellent content and is updated frequently. He talks about things I'm interested in (guns and freedom) and posts pretty often.

The War On Guns is definitely the best commentary on gun issues.

Alphecca is another good gun-blogger. I especially like his weekly check on media bias.

The Smallest Minority is a good essay writer and is very good at picking apart faulty arguments.

I don't completely agree with any of these bloggers on every issue, but what I appreciate is that they all get me thinking. My goal is to do the same: Make YOU the reader engage your reason.