Archive for the ‘United States Constitution’ Category

From my9NJ, last month:

shaneen allen pa nj

27 year-old Shaneen Allen wanted to protect her family. She took a gun safety course, applied for and was granted a concealed carry permit and she purchased a gun.

“One of my family members, he thought it was appropriate for me to get one because I’m a single mother and I have two children and I work two jobs and I work late and getting up at that time of night I got robbed twice last year and he felt the need for me to get my license to protect me and my kids,” Allen explained.

However, while Allen, from Philadelphia, was covered to carry a gun in Pennsylvania, she made the mistake of crossing into New Jersey with the weapon and now she’s facing a mandatory minimum of three-years in jail.

Allen said that she didn’t know her permit didn’t apply to New Jersey so when she was stopped for a minor traffic offense she told the police about her gun and her permit to carry. In this case, being honest may have cost her.

“The judge tried to tell me that telling the truth messed me up, my life up and the cop said the same thing. Me opening my mouth and speaking out he said I’m one out of ten people that spoke up and was honest and that got me in trouble,” she said.

She’s facing a lot of prison time for the mistaken assumption that she has rights:

After hearing about the case, most people thought there’s no way she would do time for an honest mistake. Well, yesterday she was in court and she can now face a maximum sentence of 11.5 years in prison. Ten years for possession of a weapon and another 18 months for possession of the bullets.

Hollowpoint ammunition is illegal in NJ.  Hollowpoints to NJ legislators are scary evil death bullets.  To those who understand how guns work, they’re effective at energy transfer and thus more effective at stopping threats to one’s life, and they also tend to not overpenetrate and are thus safer for anyone who might be standing behind a threat to someone’s life.

Allen’s attorney Evan Nappen discussed how a person with no prior offenses could end up spending a decade behind bars for being honest.

“New Jersey’s gun law is as unforgiving as a prosecutor or judge wants to make it. Either of those two, the judge or the prosecutor could have taken steps to relieve Shaneen from this situation, but it didn’t happen,” he said.

Nappen said that not only did the judge not dismiss the case, but the prosecutor will not allow her into a pretrial intervention to avoid jail time.

And now her life is being destroyed:

Allen is a single mother of two boys with no criminal record who was working three jobs at the time she was arrested. She said she got the gun to protect herself because she was working late nights. Now since the incident, Allen has lost her jobs, is in danger of losing her house and is struggling to support her family.

“I’m not even proven guilty and I have this hold on my criminal background right now and it’s stopping me from working. Every time they run it they’re gonna see pending or unlawful possession. I feel like I’m already made a criminal,” she said.

Her lawyer did make some good points and had no problem understanding that gun control has racist roots:

When asked for a comment on the case, Evan Nappen, Esq., stated, “New Jersey has a history of racist and sexist gun laws. Women are denied the means of self-defense against larger stronger men.”

New Jersey’s earliest gun laws banned Blacks and Indians from possessing guns. Apparently, not much has changed. End the madness. Pass the national carry reciprocity law in which gun licenses would be recognized by every state and be treated much like drivers licenses. No more innocent victims of New Jersey draconian, racist, sexist gun laws, that are out of step with the rest of America.”

original6465700x700 gun control favored by racists photo by oleg volk-

Now, let’s put this NJ obscenity in context of the Constitution:

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.

I must’ve missed the asterisk that adds *except in New Jersey, where the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall result in 10 years in prison for possession of arms and no less than 1 1/2 years for possession of ammunition for said arms.

Even with the Heller decision’s half-unconstitutional assertion that only arms in common use are protected (which is wrong and it’s wrongness is explained here), Shaneen Allen’s rights would still be inviolate.  The McDonald v Chicago and now Palmer v DC victories make it clear that you can’t have outright bans on possession of firearms or even carrying of firearms.  In no world does the right to bear arms mean you can’t bear arms.

otis mcdonaldOtis McDonald of McDonald v Chicago, to put a face with the name.

The NJ law is wholly unconstitutional, as it denies the natural right of self defense to people from outside the state (and inside the state, too).  If you’re a tourist in NJ, you’re either a criminal or a target.  If you’re a peaceable, peaceful citizen who’s working hard to obey laws, you’ll find yourself the target of the state and statist supporters who demand you be crucified in the name of hoplophobia.

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In contrast to the perpetual media stereotype, and interestingly if you’re on the left and don’t understand that gun rights are universal human rights for everybody, in the Chasing NJ video, it’s the heavyset white guy who’s defending Shaneen Allen, while the black woman demands she be made an example of because it becomes the responsibility of the “registered” gun owner to know every law that can be used against you, even if such laws cannot coexist with the Constitution.

The Constitution is the law of the land, so that argument should be moot to begin with, but assuming the Constitution has no weight in NJ (which apparently it doesn’t), then there’s still the idea that a loyal minion of the state must know all the laws.  I don’t think the black woman demanding Shaneen Allen be crucified has ever heard of laws like the Lacey Act, the Migratory Bird Act, or Wickard v Filburn, which are laws and rulings that mean a clever law enforcement officer could arrest her for the clothes on her back and make a charge stick based solely on the content of the cloth.

The law certainly could get her if she decided to have lobster for dinner one night, so anyone advocating the position that there should be radically different state laws – especially those that somehow operate in absurd violation of the Constitution – had best start getting reading.  “Ignorance is no defense” works if you have 10 or 20 or even 100 laws, not when you have thousands of feet of laws on bookshelves.

And unlike those examples, again, there also is not a specifically enumerated right in the Constitution specifically outlining that the pre-existing natural right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

If NJ were to treat the Thirteenth Amendment like they do the Second Amendment… well… actually things would be about the same for Shaneen, but for the woman in the media telling Shaneen she needs to go to prison for a decade things wouldn’t be so good.  She’d suddenly be wondering how she and Shaneen are being treated so poorly and not understand that it was her own desire to undermine the Constitution.

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Also, if NJ Governor Chris Christie wanted to be a serious candidate for president, Shaneen Allen would already be released.

But he’s a RINO who supports illegal aliens and more unconstitutional infringements on citizens’ rights.

No, it’s not Army Lt. Col. Robert “We Will Pry The Gun From Your Cold Dead Hands And Then Round You Up Into Camps” Bateman… but it is a military guy.

Here are some choice quotes from this guy’s announcement, maybe they’ll help you guess:

I believe in responsible firearms ownership, and that Americans should be able to responsibly enjoy the sport.

Thinks the Natural Law right of self-defense that is the Right to Keep and Bear Arms recognized as a restriction on government to stop infringments and thus written down as the Second Amendment is a “sport”.  Got it.

We can’t bury our heads in the sand when it comes to firearms legislation. The NRA needs to actively participate in the legislative process not dodge it.

But the NRA-ILA already does that.  Well, let’s see what else he has to say…

I don’t think idiots should be allowed to purchase or own firearms…more to come later.

Responsible gun ownership is taking an NRA or equivalent firearms safety course to learn how to handle a firearm safely. Over 50% of my range visits in Nevada I’ve encountered unsafe handling of firearms.

Universal firearms initial safety training and all state CCW should be a no brainer. Just like LEOs need to standardize training methodology.

Maybe a friend of Harry Reid’s from Nevada?

If my professional accomplishments and expertise … don’t qualify me to some degree then I don’t know what to tell you.

Well, he has professional accomplishments… maybe some military experience.  Y’know, McCain has military experience, and he supports compromise and being a “maverick” by supporting the other side a lot.  Good thing this guy isn’t all about pissing off people who he claims to want to represent.

If you’re not pissing some people off then you don’t stand for anything.

Oh.  I guess not.

Much of the problem is that he won’t tell readers where he stands, instead making an announcement to run and following it with things like this when asked to outline his positions:

I’ll do that once I’m ready and have my package.

You are joining the ranks of those on here who’ve made ungrounded statements. I’ve read and defended the US Constitution. When I run I’ll outline my position in detail, members will vote, and that will be that.

Because it’s not something I can address in detail in five minutes. I have a family, a business, and a book I’m on deadline to finish. Out here.

A very sharp commenter named Christina Hernandez responded: “…really? I guess we’ll all have to play the fool, and vote for you to find out what’s in you..”

And the response is thus: “what didn’t you understand about me explaining my position in detail once I start my run in 2015?”  Because it’s sooo hard to explain a position more than just say things like compromise and get common sense gun laws, and cite his credentials that are ultimately unrelated to an understanding of the Constitution.  But I suppose explaining positions is more difficult than getting snippy and saying you’re too busy to talk to the little people.

…being a citizen and a member of the NRA qualify me to run for a board seat. I’ve never advocated for “new legislation” I only said that the NRA needs to take an active role in the national conversation instead of sticking its collective head in the sand. I’m a gun owner and believe in the 2nd amendment.

Never advocated… except in the same string of posts where he says that it’s time to compromise and create gun legislation.

Not participating in the process is a mistake. The NRA has taken the position of the Sierra club…not willing to compromise and create gun legislation that makes sense. If you refuse to participate then you end up with silly laws that end up hurting responsible gun owners.

I’m not advocating more gun laws, and compromise comes in many forms.

He has some interesting comments on that:

Compromise comes in many forms. I fought the Sierra Club for a gun range in CA in 2007. They would not even sit down and here us out. If they did it would have been a “compromise”, I don’t think it’s in any organizations best interests, including the NRA, to be uncompromising when it comes to having an intelligent conversation about major issues, guns included.

Sitting down and hearing someone out if you don’t have to is a waste of compromise.  If the Sierra Club can get their way 100% in that case, why should they sit down and compromise?  All they would be doing would be giving up something they want.  If they didn’t need to sit down and talk because they held all the cards, why should they compromise?  It’s in their best interest, and their specific interest, to get what they set out to do, not to surrender part of what they already have.

Why would you have a conversation with someone in order to compromise if you don’t have to?  That’s voluntary surrender.

His responses to those critical of his “common sense compromise” and “I won’t give details” are mostly a variation of “You’re stupid and you can’t fix stupid.”

Man, I wonder what he thinks of the NRA?  Oh, this:

From my perspective the NRA is great at drumming up hard core right wing support through sensationalizing the “gun issue” with the main incentive of driving membership revenue…. AND they have been great at waving the flag when it suits their purpose.

So you must be wondering who it is… maybe Joe Manchin?  Matt Damon?  Michael Moore?

Who is it?  Why it’s Brandon Webb, Navy SEAL sniper and SOFREP writer, who announced his decision to run for the NRA board of directors.  His first exchange highlights who and what he is, if the quotes above (all in that same FB post) seemed strange, you can read them in context and see how he responded to a very early question about the Second Amendment as a tool against tyranny:

webb 11

But if you question him and his desire for “compromise”, you’re a “crazy”:

webb 6

Navy SEAL, SOFREP guy, frequent guest and on-air buddy of real conservative Andrew Wilkow, what could go wrong?  Except that Webb won’t explain his positions, talks surrender with the other side, gets snippy and angry at people who question him, threatens physical violence against people who question him, and admits virtually no real firearms culture experience before his work for the government.  All of that combined doesn’t look good at all.  (As a side note, I’ll be emailing Wilkow about this, because I suspect he may have some harsh questions for Webb.)

Thing is, when you start saying stuff like the statements above it makes you look like somebody who’s an enemy of rights because you’re speaking the language of the leftist, not a friend of rights, and bandying about “compromise” when compromise invariably means surrender.

Compromise is “just the tip” with a rapist.  No means no.

And of course responding that stating no principles and calling for compromise and saying you should have universal training, “idiots” shouldn’t own guns, and calling the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms a “sport” means that anyone who questions you is a “crazy”.

Which he follows up like this:

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Compromising and making more gun legislation by finding common ground with the enemies of gun rights is compromising on the Second Amendment.  Furthermore, he already states that he is opposed to “idiots” and believes in “universal  firearms initial safety training”.

webb 9webb 10

No idiots… and universal initial safety training.  If you wanted a handgun in Michigan, up until around 2008, you had to have a “safety inspection” of your pistol.  It was simply registration and a chance for the police to inspect you.

He’s upset about idiots, and the 50% of unsafe people at the range in Nevada, and he wants universal safety training.  And he only learned about guns in the military.  No chance for statist leaning there!

He’ll also kick your ass if you disagree with him.

The one thing he makes clear again is his desire for compromise.  Back in January 2013, he made the point as he was discussing Sandy Hook… starting with some favorite things from the left anti-gun playbook:

In 2008 America had over 12,000 deaths at the end of a firearm, compared to 11 in Japan, skew for population ratios and it’s still a massively high number.  …

I don’t have all the solutions on this issue but I do know that I’m personally ready to compromise to limit mass shootings, and I’m ready to have an intelligent conversation on this issue.  If leading gun organizations like the NRA don’t take a leadership role in proposing realistic solutions, then they will have failed to truly represent gun owners.  …

Sometimes change, and healthy debate, as difficult as it can be at first, is a good thing. After all it was once within our constitutional rights to own and enslave other human beings. I believe in the 2nd Amendment and our right to bear arms but, if we continue to do nothing on the issue (mainly a mental health one) of mass shootings then we can expect more of them in the near future. Remember that when you kiss your kids goodbye on their way to school.

What he’s saying through this stupid sentence is that the Second Amendment is like slavery, because it’s ultimately an obsolete right in these modern times, and that’s why it’s going to go away.  He views it as a “sport” he’d like to keep, so he can train people or something, and if you don’t compromise, well, remember that Japan doesn’t have killings like Sandy Hook, so it’s your fault.

Unless he’s batshit crazy and he’s pro-gun and pro-slavery, and laments the loss of slavery.

Now today he’s come out with this post on his own blog to “clarify”:

I never shot much as a kid, aside from shooting clay pidgeons off the bow of the boat I worked on. I hunted quite a bit, but it was with my spear gun, not a rifle. I learned to shoot in the Navy, and only became an expert with a weapon by the time I finished my first SEAL platoon work up.

Dissecting this, the lack of firearms familiarity as a child wouldn’t necessarily be a strike against him, as there are plenty of compromising Fudds who used guns as kids, but it also means he’s further from having a Western tradition of valuing firearms intrinsically, even if not having examined the beliefs that lead to that tradition.

What we also see is that he was introduced to guns in an institutional setting, with control and order and structure and the state running things.

My first exposure to the firearms hot button came when I spoke out in defense of school shootings and compromise on my personal blog.

Yeah, which means before then he hadn’t even thought about it.  Let’s make this clear – before 2013, he was simply someone who used firearms as a tool for the state, and whose exposure to firearms before then was very limited and in very regimented, controlled military settings.  Or in California, where gun rights are infringed upon, which is why he doesn’t understand that NICS checks do take minutes, not days.

Many people I’ve encountered on social media lately have misinterpreted my position on the 2nd Amendment. Lately, I’ve heard people develop wild and ungrounded conclusions about my position on the 2nd Amendment. Some think that I’m automatically talking about Americans giving up their right to keep and bear arms, and 2nd Amendment compromise. They couldn’t be more wrong.

He couldn’t be more wrong.  Let me borrow from Law Dog to explain how compromise works, Brandon:

gun compromise law dog

Or to put it another way, “just the tip, baby”.

In the dark corners of the Internet they lurk, call names, and make ridiculous emotion-based (not fact-based) assumptions. I’ve heard it all, and I’ll take this on the chin. To be honest, I could have been clearer on my position in the past. However, do keep in mind that the word “compromise,” a term I’ve used before, comes in many forms; sometimes it includes sitting down with your adversaries and having an intelligent conversation and debate on major issues.

Oh, look, an ad hominem argument…

They’re all lurking internet trolls calling me names!  They’re making ridiculous emotion-based arguments!  But I’m the better man, I’ll suck it up.  I’m so magnanimous, I’ll even admit I could’ve explained things better.  They just misunderstood what I was saying, and they misunderstood how I meant compromise.  You see, compromise can mean intelligent conversation because they don’t want to engage in debate.

obama jesus 1

Picture totally unrelated.

That way we can get real, positive, common sense laws enacted.

But Webb digs the hole deeper:

What have I learned since getting out of the Navy in 2006? Few things will stir people up in this country like the 2nd Amendment. It’s right up there with gay marriage and abortion. And I’ve learned that you can’t have a conversation with a fanatic.

He didn’t know that before 2006.  Yet he claims to be a super badass guy who knows everything about guns who served from 1993 onward, and yet didn’t understand the importance of the Constitution and rights.

That last little link there goes to AR15.com calling him out.  If you have the time, read it.  The folks there have seen his type before and call him out for what he is.  Him calling them “fanatics” as a name-calling term is another ad hominem.  His Churchill line also fails… as it comes from a great man who responded to tyranny thusly – with no compromise:

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Webb goes into non-detail details:

I’m Canadian-born American citizen by birth (by a US parent).
I grew up hunting fish (Halibut, Yellowtail, Bass, nothing was safe) and Lobster in the kelp forests of the Channel Islands with my spear gun.

Neither of which means a thing, except that he’s definitely lacking in the Western tradition of instrinsic understanding of firearms ownership.  By itself, wouldn’t be an issue.  He could learn later in life, but all he’s learned since 2006 is that people get upset when you tell them “I’ll just put in the tip, baby”, and 50% of all civilian and therefore non-SEAL gun owners are unsafe idiots who should not have guns.

Then he goes on to introducing himself as a SEAL sniper, in case you forgot.

I bought my first gun when I was a new SEAL at Team 3. I still have it – an HK USP .45.
Favorite gun manufacturer: Rifle-Blaser Handgun-HK
I was an M-60 Gunner in my first platoon (It’s one bad ass area weapon!)
I am a certified SEAL sniper, sniper instructor, and US Army-trained stinger missile gunner.
The snipers in the Teams used to go on Navy-sponsored hunting trips, mostly white tail.
I shot my first buck in 2002 at 443 yards with my issued .300 Win Mag in Washington State.
I served in the Navy from 1993-2006.

So?  What this says: “I didn’t own or use guns until I was already thoroughly ingrained in an institution of government – an institution that is still the crux of my identity – did I mention I was a SEAL?”

A Snap Shot Perspective of My Views on Gun Ownership & The 2nd Amendment

The 2nd Amendment is inherent in America’s cultural DNA

But not his.  And he compares it to slavery.

I believe everyone who owns a gun should attend a basic firearms & range safety qualifications course and that these courses should be standardized

The NRA should be like PADI or NAUI and encourage gun ranges to only accept NRA basic qualified shooters on the range.

Translation: “I believe in tyranny of the experts.”  Requiring qualifications for a right means that the right is now predicated on meeting criteria which are ultimately arbitrary.  Citizens of New York City can exercise their rights, provided they’re properly licensed.  Oh, so those rights are infringed and functionally eradicated?  Oh, well, at least they’re properly licensed.

Also PADI and NAUI (diving groups) are more about liability for shops, from what diving folks say on the subject.  Quite a different thing.

Background checks are a good idea but should take minutes, not days

Translation: “I don’t understand how NICS works.”  Background checks do take minutes in most states, just not California, where he’s from.

Often gun laws are made by people who don’t use, own, or understand firearms

Translation: “Did I mention I was a SEAL!?!  I know everything about guns and I should teach you!”  Lon Horiuchi knows a lot about sniping, but that doesn’t mean he knows jack about the Constitution.

Mass shootings have to be dealt with head-on or America will face more gun restrictions and erosion of 2nd Amendment rights.

Translation: “This is why I push for compromise and working with people who want restrictions and erosion of rights.  Because when you compromise with them, you get compromise, and compromise means good.  You’re a crazy and a fanatic if you aren’t willing to compromise becasuse they’re going after you.  And you’re crazy if you think compromise means compromise.”

NRA training needs to be brought up to date

Translation: “I really, really, really love organizations and institutions.”

Dogs/handlers at schools and colleges are better than armed guards, in my opinion. Dogs are an incredible resource to use in these situations

This one I’m not even sure I can make fun of.  It’s so baffling in its stupidity outright.  If I were able to ask him a question, I’d say “Brandon, if there was a threat to a school of an armed shooter, would you rather have a dog there or a Navy SEAL sniper as a guard?”  And if he said “I think the dog would be better”, I would just have to walk away, because the man is daft.

I believe we should be able to concealed-carry and open-carry where practical (e.g., not on an elementary school campus or an airplane)

“Dogs will magically protect you on campus!  And we’ll have dog pilots!  They’ll protect the skies!  Dogs everywhere!”

Guns are guns and people should be able to own and obtain a permit to own everything, short of an anti-tank weapon or WMD, if they’re properly trained/certified

Translation: “I do not understand the difference between rights and privileges, between having a right and begging permission.  I have no idea how certification or training is used as a tool of tyranny.  But I’m a SEAL and I love me some government!”

The NRA should take a strong leadership position when it comes to legislation affecting ownership pro and con, not just a “supporter” of legislation. The perception from the left is that the NRA is an uncompromising organization

Translation: “I believe in making friends with the left by compromising and giving them part of what they want.  If they want your rights, I will give them some because it’s not nice to not compromise.  But I will never compromise on the Second Amendment.  I will just allow reasonable restrictions and permits and training and certifications and compromise.”

No means no.  I don’t care if a rapist thinks a woman’s a frigid witch – no means no.  She shouldn’t compromise to make the rapist feel better.

Also, is the man wholly ignorant of the NRA-ILA?

I believe the 2nd Amendment is a right we should keep and hold dear

“But I believe we should compromise in order to give up some of the right so we can keep organized and certified and permitted sports.”

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And in case you wanted even more on this:

MAC/Sturmgewehre over at Military Arms Channel has a very solid post on why Brandon Webb shouldn’t be allowed on the board.

And Soldier Systems posted Webb’s last piece and spurred some interesting conversation:

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Donating time to your own foundation as a defense against being called out for being somewhat self absorbed?  And then the “get a life or move to a communist country”?

And then there’s this:

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The threats he made were in response to a PM criticizing him posted in its entirety here.

There’s also already a Facebook page dedicated to stopping him.

And the source for this quote, from his website:

From my perspective the NRA is great at drumming up hard core right wing support through sensationalizing the “gun issue” with the main incentive of driving membership revenue…. AND they have been great at waving the flag when it suits their purpose.

The rest of the quotes above can be found either at the FB post he made announcing his run or in various links provided.

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Update: Sipsey Street Irregulars linked back to us here.  I will note that the email I sent to MV was bluntly harsher and more critical of Webb (not quite polished for publication), and was simply to provide a quick rough summary of everything that’s gone on so far, and why much of the firearms community, myself included, have come to the decisions we have, and I have.  So it’s a lot more terse and acerbic.

Now, as for some constructive criticism – Webb could actually listen to the people who disagree with him rather than accuse them of not wanting to have “intelligent conversation” merely because they disagree with him.  He could listen to why they say the things they do, rather than get defensive.

webb a13 there you go again i run gun sites so im pro gun and youre an idiot

I wonder if Brandon Webb can see that the Sierra Club got what they wanted – his range being cancelled – by not compromising.  They got what they wanted by not wavering on their principles, and they didn’t need to talk to him.  It would have never benefited them to even talk to him.  The Sierra Club beat out Brandon Webb by never backing down, and yet he can’t see that Dave Webb there is trying to tell him that compromise only lets you lose incrementally.

The best interest of the Sierra Club and what they believe was to keep Brandon Webb’s range from ever coming into being.  They didn’t win by “intelligent conversation” and “compromise” with their ideological enemy.  They won by sticking to their principles.

He might start to understand the vehemence with which his vague, contradictory, mushy statements and gun-grabber-sounding statist authoritarian words are being met if he would allow himself to listen to people who are disagreeing – and why.

A stupid op-ed from WaPo:

In 1947, Sen. Harley Kilgore (D-W.Va.) condemned a proposed constitutional amendment that would restrict presidents to two terms. “The executive’s effectiveness will be seriously impaired,” Kilgore argued on the Senate floor, “ as no one will obey and respect him if he knows that the executive cannot run again.”

Which is as stupid today as it was then.  Presidents will be obeyed and respected based on their character and what they do for the nation.  Respect can be lost, and accepting obedience can be replaced with grudging obedience, disobedience, or outright defiance depending on the president.

…the argument of our first president, who is often held up as the father of term limits. In fact, George Washington opposed them. “I can see no propriety in precluding ourselves from the service of any man who, in some great emergency, shall be deemed universally most capable of serving the public,” Washington wrote in a much-quoted letter to the Marquis de Lafayette.

And Washington would’ve burned the city named after him to the ground for the actions of the Obama administration in arming narcoterrorist cartels and hushing it up, in targeting citizens for political reasons with the IRS, and leaving an ambassador to die in Libya while smuggling weapons to Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria.  Washington may still agree with his statement then in theory, but that would require a moral people of politically interested citizens, an uncorrupted voting system, and parties that were not rooted in socialist redistribution and Marxism – an ideology that didn’t exist in the late 1700s.  As the Daily Caller notes in picking apart the WaPo op-ed:

Zimmerman is untroubled by the prospect that long-term control of executive apparatus, along with the natural advantages of incumbency, might smooth the way for continuing rule by a president regardless of genuine popular will. The Obama Internal Revenue Service targeted the president’s political enemies before the 2012 election. The history of presidents for life in other nations shows ever-growing popular votes for the incumbent that in most cases masked widespread popular discontent.

The bureaucracy that existed in Washington’s time was miniscule in comparison to what we have today.  The unelected bureaucrats were few in number, and the legions of regulators simply did not exist.  While Washington’s theory may still hold up, it doesn’t address the problems that the Daily Caller bit notes.  The ever-growing popular votes for the incumbent are also often indicators of widespread voter fraud by dictators who will never relinquish power.  With institutions like ACORN actively engaged in voter fraud, and Democrats demanding that voters never have to show ID – so they can engage in more fraudulent voting, there is a great threat of political leftists simply taking over through manipulation of the electoral systems – even by outright controlling who counts the votes.

Quit Stalin' and get countin'!It’s not who votes that counts, it’s who counts the votes.

Zimmerman at WaPo goes on:

Only in 1940, amid what George Washington might have called a “great emergency,” did a president successfully stand for a third term. Citing the outbreak of war overseas and the Depression at home, Democrats renominated Franklin D. Roosevelt. They pegged him for a fourth time in 1944 despite his health problems, which were serious enough to send him to his grave the following year.

To Republicans, these developments echoed the fascist trends enveloping Europe. “You will be serving under an American totalitarian government before the long third term is finished,” warned Wendell Wilkie, Roosevelt’s opponent in 1940.

Economically, people were suffering under it.  And if you were an American of Japanese descent, he was vividly proven right.

H

Zimmerman at WaPo continues with more voices from supporters of camps past:

“I think our people are to be safely trusted with their own destiny,” Sen. Claude Pepper (D-Fla.) argued in 1947. “We do not need to protect the American people with a prohibition against a president whom they do not wish to elect; and if they wanted to elect him, have we the right to deny them the power?”

The people of Minnesota didn’t want Al Franken, but they got him anyway, due in part to illegally voting felons (which the Democrat party favors… because they vote Democrat).  The people of many states don’t want the dead or nonresidents voting… but they do anyway.

Zimmerman finishes:

It’s time to put that power back where it belongs. When Ronald Reagan was serving his second term, some Republicans briefly floated the idea of removing term limits so he could run again. The effort went nowhere, but it was right on principle. Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.

Translation:

“It’s time to put that power back in the hands of ACORN and the Democrat party.  Republicans thought about the idea, just like ending the filibuster, but we opposed it then as tyranny, but now we’re okay with it because we think we’ll win and dominate you with a reign that will last 1000 years.  The effort went nowhere because no way we’d let Reagan be around for another four years, but it’s a good thing now because Obama has an 8 year incumbency and all of the bureaucracy to target his enemies so he can win and be president for life.  Barack Obama should be handed re-election just like Hugo Chavez and citizens should be allowed to vote for him – or be targeted for opposing dear leader.  Anything less diminishes our party power and you’re a bad person if you disagree with me.”

That’s the real crux of it.

Washington is correct, given a population of moral citizens who are politically-interested yeoman farmers, an uncorrupt voting system, and no savage oppression of the citizenry with a massive bureaucracy.  In his time, it would work.  In his time, the federal government existed on customs, tariffs, and duties, not a progressive income tax administered by a ruthless, unaccountable, politically-driven bureaucracy.

Washington’s ideal worked up until the New Deal’s economic policies dragged a harsh market correction in 1929 into a decade of misery and liberal fascism.  Washington faced with the situation of 200 years of advancement in society would probably look at it and say: “If we restore civic virtue in the American people to what it once was, we should have no reason to preclude ourselves from retaining the service of any man the public requires, but as the current system is largely incompatible with such widespread virtue, I understand the necessity of limiting consolidation of power by one man and one party, lest tyranny take firm hold and our Constitution be trampled further.”

Followed by: “What do you mean I can’t carry a modern rifle on the streets of my own city?”

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Update: Looks like this idea has been bounced around a bit more.  Jazz Shaw at HotAir covers a few more folks’ discussions of it.

From ForeignPolicy, Rosa Brooks writes a piece called “Blood on the Constitution”:

Here we go again. With 12 dead bodies at Washington’s Navy Yard, not including that of the shooter, Americans are back to the usual handwringing: Why, oh why can’t we stem the tide of gun violence?

People, this is not rocket science. (Yes, I’m mad).

That’s the best way to write a modern liberal column.  Impotent Rage!

Americans currently have crappy gun-control laws, “crappy” being the technical legal term for “hopelessly, pathetically inadequate,” especially when compared to other countries‘ laws. Yes, those countries with fewer guns and fewer gun deaths — they have much tougher gun-control laws than the United States does.

Those “other countries” being the usual suspects: cold-weather politemongers of Canada (who have abandoned their long gun registry as pointless and a stupid failure), ethnically whites-only no-guns Australia, under-siege religious-ethnic bonded Israel, unarmed UK, genetically homongenous Norway, and genetically homogenous xenophobic and occasionally murderously totalitarian Japan.

And why do we have crappy gun-control laws? Because of the Second Amendment, which gives Americans a constitutional right to crappy gun-control laws. That’s why we fought a war against the British: We wanted to the right to kill each other, instead of being killed by foreign enemies.

At least when leftists write mad, they write what they feel.  And she’s right, in her own warped worldview.  But we’ve had some of the kind of gun control laws she’d like in the past.  They were instituted so America’s slave underclasses and minorities and undesirables could be kept down.  Just the way she likes it – she just adjusted her sights to oppress the serfs of the Country Class.

The real reason we have the Second Amendment is to preserve a free state – as opposed to a tyrannical oppressor state.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

- Thomas Jefferson

And remember, he was referencing Shay’s Rebellion at the time – a domestic insurgency against perceived tyranny.  And it was viewed as a good thing, because it was necessary to keep the government honest.  Yes, that was TJ supporting armed rebellion as a way to keep government in check.

Brooks real complaint is that the classic liberal enlightenment document that the nation is based on must be destroyed.

For its time, the U.S. Constitution was a pretty impressive document, if you leave aside certain small details such as slavery, which was considered A-OK by the Founding Fathers, and women’s rights, which were considered not A-OK. But let’s give the Constitution’s authors a break; they lived at a time when slavery was widespread not only in the United States but around the globe and women were still considered semi-chattel in most of the world. For its time, the Constitution was not bad at all.

But for our time, it stinks.

First off, it was broad enough that “all men are created equal” in founding documents can easily apply just as well to everyone.  And things like the 3/5 compromise were written to slowly abolish things like slavery.  Also, amendments, how do they work?

Whenever I teach constitutional law, I ask my students if they’re happy that they live in a nation with the oldest written constitution in the world. They all nod enthusiastically. Then I ask them if they’d be equally pleased if our neurosurgeons operated in accordance with the oldest anatomybook in the world, or our oil tankers steered using the oldest navigational charts in the world, or NASA’s rocket scientists used Ptolemaic astronomy to chart the path of the Mars Rover.

Frankly, having the world’s oldest written constitution is not something to be proud of.

From here she goes into a leftist diatribe about how the Constitution sucks because it’s old, and thus it’s irrelevant and needs to be destroyed to represent her chosen vision of a modern world because remember, she’s mad.

But she’s got some specious argument there about age being a condition of obsolescence.  A counterpoint would be to ask students if they think their mathematicians should continue to use the Pythagorean Theorem, or if they should use the positions put forth in the Kama Sutra in their dorms.

soha ali khan

Picture of Soha Ali Khan unrelated.

Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.  Often it means it’s tried and true, and especially as human nature tends to be rather consistent, the Constitution works rather well, just like the Quadratic Formula and cowgirl.

And boy, have circumstances changed lately. To return to gun deaths, the framers could never have imagined weapons technologies like those used in Newtown or the Navy Yard. But because the U.S. Constitution is amazingly difficult to amend (incredibly, women still have no text-based constitutional guarantee of equal rights), Americans are stuck with gun rules from more than two centuries ago.

The Founders were very, very smart men.  They were inventors themselves.  They also had privately owned cannon at the time – ordnance, not arms; and they were well aware of rapid firing weapons, anti-personnel munitions, and all kind of other assorted nastiness that could be used for evil intent.  Keep in mind that was also an era where swords were still commonplace, and unlike a gun, you don’t have to reload a sword ever.  Also, medicine to treat wounds in the 1700s was much more limiting. thus survivable wounds today would often have been fatal wounds then.

The Constitution is difficult to amend for a reason.  It’s so a bunch of mad shrews like Brooks don’t just go out and change it willy-nilly.  Anger-fueled madness triumphing over reason is how with the likes of Carrie Nation and later iterations of the temperance movement, we eventually got Prohibition, which no one but some progressive anti-freedom anti-drink busybodies wanted.  Government driven by progressive do-gooders inflicted Prohibition on the population, and murdered 10,000 US citizens for our own good.

Crime statistics of individual man on man pale in comparison to 10,000 murdered by the government in the name of “the common good” against “fiend intemperance”.  And that’s from a mostly benign government.  Government is the problem.

oleg volk government killing

This may help explain why the U.S. Constitution no longer gets much global respect. Just a few decades ago, the overwhelming majority of nations around the globe modeled their own constitutions on it. Today, that’s no longer true.

Just why other democracies are losing interest in the U.S. Constitution as a model is an interesting question, and there are undoubtedly a thousand and one reasons.  But I’ll bet the Navy Yard shootings just added 12 more.

Guess what, Brooks?  I don’t care too much what other countries do with their constitutions.  I like ours just fine.

I also don’t care because most of the world isn’t founded on the idea of a representative democratic republic based on Enlightenment ideals of the individual as the most important element of society.  Most new governments are filling themselves up with collectivist declarations of the special rights of group A or group B, not with the declaration of the Natural Right of Individual X.  They exist only to empower the Ruling Class at the expense of the ruled, to balance different balkanized groups against one another while the truly powerful play a game of favorites with resources they steal from the population.  It is a game of plunder, where Brooks and her Ruling Class plunderers distribute it for the good of their own personal power as the Ruling Class.

It’s worth noting that her bio includes this:

Rosa Brooks is a law professor at Georgetown University and a Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation. She served as a counselor to the U.S. defense undersecretary for policy from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a senior advisor at the U.S. State Department.

She’s been a high-level advisor in the Obama administration, and a professor of law.  She teaches students that the Constitution must be destroyed, and she advises government to destroy the very document that governs the government.  She is one of those Ruling Class elites who of course would demand that you be disarmed.  It makes her job of administering your resources and deciding how you will be controlled that much easier.

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And as a complete counterpoint to her nonsense:

It’s very much worth it to take a few minutes and watch, even though the very last part is a chest-beating call for belligerence by Kerry that is logically inconsistent.

Never go there.

From the smugly sanctimonious “you’re an idiot because even someone from Mars knows the Second Amendment means nothing here, pissant” NYT:

A subset of visitors to New York City looks, on the surface, just like the rest. Some are high profile, like the boxer this year, and the football player, and the Tea Party leader from California. They are joined by the anonymous: the military wife from Minnesota, and the hazardous waste expert. There was a minister, and a surgeon, and someone in pest control.

What sets them apart is what each brings along on a visit to the city. A handgun. The guns are legally owned, with the home state permits all in order. The visitors have locked the gun in a box and checked it at the local airport, as they were told to do by the airline. But for these visitors, the trip to New York will almost certainly end in handcuffs and felony weapons charges, and their flights home will leave without them.

Short short version: everything’s illegal, you will go to jail you provincial serf.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Jack Ryan said visitors should know better. “New York gun laws are not exactly a secret,” he said. “If you were on Mars and you wanted to know who had strict gun laws, I think most people would know they’re pretty strict.”

“Pretty strict” and “absolute prohibition” are two different things.  New York is a Constitution-free zone.

And remember, they want to bring their absolute prohibition to your neighborhood, too.

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I’m cheering for the coyotes.

wiley coyote pet eating

The NSA’s PRISM program that looks at Americans’ emails and online interactions and phone calls and basically every electronic communication made, has made the news in the last couple days after the story was broken by the UK Guardian (and it tracks credit cart transactions, too).

The best description has come from a whistleblower talking to the Washington Post:

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

Obama (after someone brought him what to say) has had to go so far as to deny spying on US citizens, which is a certain type of lie:

With 310 million people to listen in on, the government’s computers are doing the listening.  Then somebody listens later, as they’re storing all the data forever.

Even the leftist ACLU is coming out against Obama’s spying on US citizens.

Obama’s gone out to say that you just have to trust him, to trust the Great Leader, to make good choices for you.  The Constitution, which he routinely ignores, will somehow be used to keep this in check where we can’t see it, and we just have to trust the government – the same government which uses the IRS to target political enemies, spies on reporters and now on everyone, hushes up the deaths of ambassadors, and arms narcoterrorist cartels in Mexico.

But those who want coercive paternalism in government, a government that dictates to the people, are getting what they asked for.  And for those who truly love Obama (and a few who just love the power of the state), it’s a good thing that the government is spying on you.

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Remember this is what the liar said before he got into power, before he had the power to target his enemies with the IRS and track everyone with an intelligence system that was supposed to be used to track foreign communications, not domestic.

Everything he said was lip service or outright lies.  It was a way to condemn Bush because Bush actually tried to target terrorists, but by using surveillance tools many people were at best skeptical of.  Not because Obama disliked the power, but because he disliked the targets.

Obama has ignored the law when it was inconvenient for his entire term in office.  There are no national security letters, there is simply spying.  There is no more ignoring the law when it’s inconvenient, there’s ignoring the law always.  The Constitution does work, and he hates it, so he ignores it.  The law isn’t subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, it’s simply ignored as dictators do what they wish.  Justice isn’t arbitrary, it’s ignored.  Unless it’s social justice, which is just grievance-based violence given a thin veneer of civility.

He has stayed true to his claim that “violating civil liberties” isn’t the way to enhance national security, and he’s stuck with that.  He’s using violations of civil liberties for consolidation of power, not for national security.  It has nothing to do with national security, only political power and political security.

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Bush’s use of Joe Biden’s Patriot Act was intended to go after terrorists and used as such, but was overly broad and would be susceptible to abuse.  Liberals with their virulent hatred of Bush loathed the national security apparatus, because they project their own traits onto others.  As liberals would abuse power to target their political enemies, they believed Bush would use it to come after them.  It was easy for many to dismiss the liberal complaints, because Bush wasn’t going after them.

Problem was that it set up an apparatus for government to potentially or actually do things beyond the scope of the Constitution.  Bush could’ve, but pretty much didn’t.

Obama can, and does.

With laws extensive enough to ignore the Constitution or hide in secret where there would never be Constitutional authority to keep them in check, we lost the rule of law and ended up with the rule of men.  Bush was mostly benign.  Obama has been almost wholly malevolent.

Now that the left is in charge and has been for 5 years, they do have the tools to use against their political enemies, and they are doing so.  They are getting the big brother they wanted, and they are getting the control they wanted.

obama 1984-

As one last insult to the citizenry, because the government is totally unaccountable to the citizens it was created to serve, the “debate” will be in secret, too.

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As a note on the media, the NYT went out and condemned spying on US citizens, going so far as to say that Obama “has lost all credibility”.  But like the good minions of the left they are, they went out and changed that because they remembered they’re Obama’s minions.

The New York Times edited its damning editorial condemning the Obama administration for collecting phone call data from Americans to make it less stinging shortly after the editorial was published online Thursday afternoon.  …

NewsDiffs also showed that several other modifications had been made to the editorial, but none as significant as  its change to the originally broad condemnation of the Obama administration.

The leftist media will try to turn this into a good thing.  The media meme will be that he only spys on us because he cares about us, and he only beats us because he loves us.

From the Right Scoop, last month – Obama speaking in Colorado to push for citizen disarmament and greater state power (video at the link):

The opponents of some of these common sense laws have ginned up fears among responsible gun owners that have nothing to do with what’s being proposed, nothing to do with the facts, but feeds into this suspicion about government. You hear some of these quotes:

I need a gun to protect myself from the government.”
We can’t do background checks because the government’s going to come take my guns away.”

The government’s us. These officials are elected by you. They are elected by you, I am elected by you. I am constrained as they are constrained by a system that our founders put in place. This is a government of and by and for the people.

Quickly, common sense dictates that criminals and madmen never follow laws, so the laws only impact good people who should never be disarmed.

From there, remember, this is the same guy who was responsible for targeting his political opponents through the IRS.  He’s the same guy who tapped the Associated Press’s phones and targeted journalists reporting things that made him look bad.

Obama’s not constrained at all by the Constitution.  He’s actively ignoring the Constitution.

Those officials are not elected, they are appointed, and those officials are engaged in political campaigns to build the empires of their political masters – targeting enemies so their patrons will succeed.  The police chiefs he goes to for gun control are appointed, the mayors who support him win elections through their appointed goons who engage in the Curley Effect to create political empires through handing out taxpayer money to pay voters.  The IRS stooges he has targeting political enemies are appointed as well – and all believe they are the Ruling Class, above accountability, and above you.

Obama’s lying.  This is a government that operates on its own, with no regards for the citizen; a government that targets citizens, and has tax collectors like eyerolling IRS twerp Shulman targeting unpopular groups and then smirking about it.

(There’s a lot of important nonverbal communication going on with Shulman.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s very relevant.)

Obama shipped guns to the narcoterrorist cartels, he let an ambassador die in Benghazi and then lied about it (and it’s suspected worse was going on than that), and he’s currently engaged in a war on journalists.  And yet he tells you that it’s all “rhetoric” that makes it difficult for everyone to compromise and surrender to his good ideas…

We’ve got to get passed some of the rhetoric that gets perpetuated that breaks down trust and is so over the top that it just shuts down all discussion.

No, Barry, you’re a wannabe tyrant.  And Americans don’t negotiate with tyrants.  There is no “discussion” with tyrants.  There is no “just a little bit” of oppression.  There is no talk and talk and talk and “compromise” with tyranny.

His actions are targeting citizens who disagree, and targeting journalists who might accidentally report the facts or say something he doesn’t like… his words are diplomatic – and telling you everything you see and hear is wrong, and he’s just so reasonable and means well for you and it’s good if you let him do good things for you.  But remember the definition of diplomacy: the art of saying “nice doggy” until you can find a rock.

Via HotAir, David Brooks at NYT wants so much more government involved in your life, but it’s so sad that sometimes so much more good government that will tell you how to live doesn’t turn out perfect like it should.  Aww.. poor statist tyrant:

Most government workers are amazingly dedicated and talented, and they put in a level of commitment that is far out of proportion to their salaries.

But we’re also seeing government workers, who, far from checking their own desire for control, have taken it out for a romp.

Brooks is an idiot.  At the bottom of the page, it notes that he’s filling in for Paul Krugman, who’s also an idiot, so he must be competing with Paul Krugman for some inter-office idiocy award.

Auditing low-level agents at the IRS do not “take their desire for control out for a romp”.  Doesn’t work that way.  They may agree with the IRS conservative crackdown plans and go along with them, but the guy doing the paperwork does not come up with schemes and machinations.  The mid-level manager gal doing the office paperwork to make sure the guy doing the lower paperwork doesn’t come up with these schemes.  She may go along with them, but they have to be passed down to her from someone with the authority to be able to waive all the concerns about repercussions for IRS personnel doing something wrong and getting fired.  Normal people do not get together to “take their desire for control out for a romp” at the low level, as though there’s some spontaneously generated lust for power in people who double-check math all day.

It’s hard to tell now if the I.R.S. scandal is political thuggery or obliviousness. It would be one thing if the scandal is just a group of tax people targeting the most antitax groups in the country. That’s just normal, run-of-the-mill partisan antipathy.

Sure, it’s okay if they target people who try to restore the nation to founding priciples.  That’s okay.  It’s fine if you’re tax collectors who target people who want the tax burden reduced through legal means and legislation.  Of course that’s fine.  No problem with that kind of targeted oppression by government whatsoever.

It’s just as okay as if the government targeted any other group that the government didn’t like.  Because after all, the citizen exists solely for the government to deem either worthy or unworthy.

It would be far worse if the senior workers of the I.R.S. have become so isolated by their technocratic task that they didn’t even recognize that using the search term “Tea Party” was going to be a moral and political problem.

Gee, it’s too bad they didn’t come up with a more clever way to target those sniveling teabaggers.  If only they had been smart enough not to outright say they were targeting the Tea Party.  Then they could’ve gotten away with it.

Everyone is treating the I.R.S. issue as a bigger deal, but the Justice Department scandal is worse. This was a sweeping intrusion that makes it hard for the press to do its job. Who is going to call a journalist to report wrongdoing knowing that at some future date, the government might feel perfectly free to track the phone records and hunt you down?

I would have thought a dozen Justice Department officials would have risen up and splashily resigned when they learned of the scope of this invasion. Aren’t there some lawyers in the Justice Department, and, if so, did they go to law schools where the Constitution is left unassigned?

The DOJ smuggled guns to narcoterrorist cartels and hushed it up and you and your reporter friends helped hush it up.  Brooks, when the DOJ decides to make you sign your own confession Soviet-style, you will have earned your statist utopia and all the hard labor it will sentence you to until the end of your days.  Maybe after a few decades in the ground, they’ll even take the time to posthumously rehabilitate you.

We clearly have a values problem in the federal government. We clearly have a few or many agencies where the leaders don’t emphasize that workers need to check themselves, or risk losing what remains of the people’s trust.

There is no “values problem” in the fedgov.  There is a fedgov that is unconstrained by the document that created it.  Men are the same, that’s why we have a Constitution.

We have a Constitution, and that creates our government.  The Constitution is what creates the government and limits it – it is the laws by which the government is created and those it must abide by.  When government ignores the Constitution, as it has been doing, it should have no trust – because it is an entity of domination composed of men with power – whether malignant or benign.   When it ceases to be an entity that exists at the behest of the citizen, it becomes oppressive.  A massive, distant power composed of men with power and no constraints are never deserving of any trust.

I generally support the little behavioral nudges that Cass Sunstein describes in his outstanding book “Simpler” — the subtle policy shifts that induce people to save more, or eat healthier.

Ah, David Brooks, lickspittle for tyrants.

I’d trust somebody with a minimalist disposition like Sunstein to implement these policies.

That’s so precious that you want to be dominated, David.  You’re so vanilla.

But I wouldn’t necessarily trust the people at the I.R.S. or Justice Department to implement them.

Guess who you’re going to get?  Guess who’s going to be running your health care?  Guess who’s been hushing up the murders of your Mexican neighbors to the south?

Cass Sunstein is a tyrant wannabe, along with all of his authoritarian ilk.  Revisit his rave review of “Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism”.  They want to coerce you – to force you – into something they think is good for you.  Brooks wants to be coerced – to be forced – into something someone else thinks is good for him – and he wants you forced as well.  Everybody knows what’s best for you, and they’re going to force it on you, because they’ve decided you need to be forced into what they think you should be.  Brooks wants to be dominated and be controlled by government.

Brooks wants a bad government to dominate him, he just wants one that doesn’t spank too hard.

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But I’ll end this with a quote from a tax collector and freedom fighter:

samuel adamsIf ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

A fair number of highlights.  Good speech.

Some folks don’t like his delivery (just a tad melodramatic at times), but few can argue against the actual message.