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RIP Antonin Scalia

Posted: February 13, 2016 by ShortTimer in Conservatism, US Supreme Court

Died out at a ranch in Marfa, TX last night.

The test is over the long run does it require the society to adhere to those principles contained in the Constitution or does it lead to a society that is essentially governed by nine justices’ version of what equal protection ought to mean?

He was an originalist, looking for what the Founders meant, and he stuck to the text.  The Constitution meant what it said, not what someone pretended they wanted it to say.

His importance couldn’t be understated as someone who understood that laws mean something, that they have to mean what they say.  There’s no subjective “interpretation”, there’s “what does it say?”  A strong basis of what the rules are, of lawfulness, allows for stability and certainty.  It’s the kind of things nations need, markets need, individuals need.

There will be others who eulogize him far better than I do in these few sentences, but he was someone who let you know what the rules were, and someone who sought to make them clear.  His rulings helped make for a nation closer to one where there’s no need for a law degree to understand the laws that you have to live within and follow, no need to worry that laws would be made unequal because someone wanted to make themselves “more equal”, and no need to worry someone would use laws you couldn’t understand and couldn’t follow against you.

He will be missed, and his passing marks a potentially terrifying shift further from liberty.

If it’s to be believed, Republicans in the Senate are going to try to hold the line against progressive leftist tyranny until such time as at least the next president can appoint a justice:

mcconnell senate scalia announcement 160213We the People have been let down by the likes of McConnell enough that we know that statement’s not worth the paper it’s printed on or the electrons that show it on a screen… but here’s hoping that the election year prompts, as Milton Friedman would advise us “to get the wrong people to do the right thing”.

Update: IA Senator Chuck Grassley is also saying no to any confirmation this year.

“The fact of the matter is that it’s been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year,” Grassley said.

“Given the huge divide in the country, and the fact that this president, above all others, has made no bones about his goal to use the courts to circumvent Congress and push through his own agenda, it only makes sense that we defer to the American people who will elect a new president to select the next Supreme Court Justice.”…

In his remarks, Grassley called Scalia, who died Saturday at the age of 79, “an intellectual giant.”

“He had an unwavering dedication to the founding document that has guided our country for nearly 230 years,” he said of Scalia’s interpretation of the Constitution. “His humor, devotion to the Constitution and quick wit will be remembered for years to come.”

Everybody’s already read about the Oregon standoff with the Hammonds (and the Bundys), how the Hammonds were convicted of arson for burning some land clear, how they were sentenced and the judge said they didn’t deserve the mandatory minimum because it was clear they were doing a range burn with a purpose that wasn’t vandalism or destruction, and how things went to hell from there when another court said they had to serve mandatory minimums because that was the law, right or wrong.  Then the situation got worse, with federal law enforcement escalating things and with ranchers (many of whom were not originally involved) also escalating things.

Congressman Greg Walden’s speech is something that was lost in that discussion, because it was easy for people disinterested in the situation to write it off as some reactionary militia action or some ranchers whining about not getting more free land to graze on.

Its worth watching if you’d like backstory to the whole standoff, and why there are some folks who are still mad about it today.

Frankly, the congressman explaining how the administrators of federal land went back on agreements written into law is the kind of thing that should offend everyone, but it’s lost because the messengers were coopted by the Bundy clowns.

Doritos, NARAL, and Sci Fi

Posted: February 8, 2016 by ShortTimer in Culture, Philosophy, Science
Tags:

In the last few weeks, I keep piling up stories that will probably be strung together in a few Field Day posts, but this story from HotAir I didn’t want to leave on the back burner and get to later.

The title is “I suppose we should talk about that Doritos ad“.

This is the ad:

And this was the response from NARAL:

And a screenshot in case it disappears:

naral superbowl 50 tweet humanizing fetuses

So they’re opposed to humanizing human offspring, because it’s some tactic of the anti-choice movement.  Humanizing fetuses is… bad?

NARAL’s twitter feed sounds like the hard leftist craziness it is, but as they’re not the kind of people I follow on twitter – Twitchy does a fine job of keeping up on that sort of thing anyway.

Not sure why they use the statue of liberty as their twitter avatar, seeing as how she’s in favor of accepting those poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free, not yearning to crush the lives from people who will never breathe, but I guess irony escapes them.

I’m a sci fi fan (and I don’t care that it’s become SF or “speculative fiction” to clean up the image of bug-eyed monsters from the 50s), and from the perspective of most humanist sci fi, I can’t see any way that NARAL doesn’t come across as utter monsters.

I just spent part of this morning watching SFDebris Star Trek reviews – I enjoy seeing what someone else has thought of classic (and not so classic) episodes of the past – and even if I don’t always agree with the takes that he has on them, I usually gain some greater understanding of the episode and story.  This morning one episode review I watched was his review of Star Trek: Enterprise Similitude.

Enterprise was the prequel spinoff series that aired in the late 90s early 2000s and fared poorly.  Especially compared to The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 (which was highly underrated), Enterprise was weak.

The story Similitude involves the chief engineer getting seriously injured after an engine mishap, the ship getting stuck in some kind of anomaly that was decaying the hull, and the need to save the engineer.  So the highly unethical ship’s doctor decided to make a clone of the engineer by using some alien critter larva, then force-grow the clone, and basically strip it for parts.

Thing is, the clone is recognized as a person.  Even though it was grown for the specific purpose of being harvested for organs, the clone is a copy down to neurological pathways of the original, so it has his memories and knowledge (dubious science, I know), and is fully self-aware and more than a little opposed to being used for parts.  In the end the clone cares more for the comatose engineer and the memories of trying to make things right for his/their lost sister and family, especially knowing it’s force-grown and will age and die in a few days.

Even in this mediocrely written sci fi, there’s some understanding that something is being done with life – that life isn’t something to casually throw away, and that a human life (or near-human life) is a valuable life – and that virtue of life is acknowledged even if it’s a force-grown clone created with a specific purpose.

Plenty of folks on twitter smacked NARAL around by pointing out the definition of a fetus is “a developing human”, but the whole thing strikes me as something both telling and sinister.  It shows the character of people who are in NARAL and those who support it, and it’s really disturbing.

From an alien perspective, an alien may or may not care for the idea of terminating gestating offspring, but denying that a gestating offspring is still a member of the parent race is just nonsensical.

If aliens from Zeta Reticuli said, “yeah, we kill our offspring when it’s inconvenient for us because we value the agency of full-grown Reticulans over those of our larva”, you might well find them offensive, especially depending on their history and culture.

If they said, “yeah, we kill our gestating fetuses when it’s inconvenient for us because those things aren’t Reticulans”, you’d probably find them to be poorly written or a race in absurd denial in order to justify their actions.

The problem for NARAL might be that saying you should be able to kill offspring – which is their position – then makes it solely a question of timing.  The argument I remember hearing in college philosophy courses was the “future like ours” theory, that means you could kill off the weak, crippled, or handicapped, but that you shouldn’t kill off the strong in the womb.  The same argument also began to apply to “future like ours” as in what can be provided for the offspring, thus it’s was okay to kill the strong if you were poor and couldn’t afford an ideal future for that offspring.  There was also an argument that human offspring aren’t capable of independent life before a certain time period, and that makes it okay to kill them because they’re not individual beings yet – this is intended to be a trimester argument, but its logical conclusion would include newborns and children up to a few years of age who couldn’t survive in nature without assistance (an argument that has been made before).

Those last parts become unpalatable and monstrous to most of society right now.  Using sci fi/speculative fiction to explore the concepts, there’s not necessarily a reason they couldn’t become or be considered acceptable, given the proper framework.  Maybe a warrior group kills the weakest of its offspring, or an overpopulated planet exterminates them, but even then there’s a reason.  The warrior race wants to be stronger, the overpopulated planet is concerned with its stability – they understand the offspring are theirs, but deny them life for a reason (albeit ones we may not agree with).  I still couldn’t see a writer coming up with any kind of logic to a race that would deny its own offspring, unless it were an intentional flaw in the race – like some kind of adherence to an obsolete philosophy from when they were warlike or too numerous to survive that they now take as gospel.  It might work for an group with a strict collectivist mentality that’s harshly enforced, or for a group that steadfastly believes in some throwback idea that they don’t realize they’ve outgrown.

Human cultures in the past have engaged in practices like those, but concern for our species and enlightened concern for all humanity has moved us past that… except for the people who want to drag us back.  NARAL denies the humanity of a developing offspring that even infanticidal cultures of the past would not – because the infanticidal cultures of the past acknowledged it as a decision, either an ugly one or one they simply choose to be willfully apathetic about due to circumstance – while NARAL is afraid of the moral bankruptcy or perception of callousness that comes from acknowledging what they’re advocating.

It’s a pretty powerful piece.

It’s also being decried in the comments as either a good thing because guns=bad, or by people who are Australians (or claiming to be or speaking for them) who say it’s bull.  Except it’s no fabrication.

The Australians I know who are/were into the shooting sports confirmed it for me years ago.  There are lots of restrictions, and there are restrictions based in which region you live (New South Wales vs Queensland vs Northern Australia, etc.).  There were mandatory buybacks – which are confiscation with a gift certificate.  There are laws like having to leave your firearms at a club rather then be able to take them home (no self defense), a limit on the number and or type of firearm you can own, where you can and can’t use it, and how they have to be inspected and can be revoked as per whims of the police.

A couple years ago I had some interesting conversations with an Australian who’d been a police officer and firearm afficionado (until the ban came and his guns went away) and a New Zealander.  The Kiwi delighted in giving the Aussie grief about how his rights had vanished into a revoked privilege.

Another Aussie I know who was a prolific collector finally just quit because the licensing and legal hassles pushed him out of the hobby he enjoyed.  And he was someone who through family was in a financial position to not have to worry about it.  Of the Aussies I know who were gun folks, only one bothered to keep jumping through the hoops to please a government that actively sought to legislate, regulate, and restrict his natural rights into nearly non-existent and easily revokable privileges.

I’ll start with newest first, as more reports of massive violence against women in Europe on New Year’s Eve has been slowly reported.  HotAir has a piece detailing mass sex assault in Finland by “refugee” “asylum seeker” “immigrants” from the Middle East & North Africa, which wasn’t reported by the Finnish police for a week because it’s just not something they or anyone else in Europe wants to talk about.  Mind you it’s gotten so bad that Norway has begun teaching immigrant men not to rape, because to them, women are property – at best.

“Men have weaknesses and when they see someone smiling it is difficult to control,” Mr. Kelifa said, explaining that in his own country, Eritrea, “if someone wants a lady he can just take her and he will not be punished,” at least not by the police.

British Youtube personality Sargon of Akkad spent a good amount of time breaking down that story almost line by line.  For quick backstory, he did video game reviews and videos about tumblrisms and atheism and other typical youtube commentariat stuff, and then when Gamergate broke, started looking at how political progressives are trying to shape first the video game world and then he looked at education and then the world itself.  He’s been looking at things like intersectional feminism (basically progressive leftism in function, though with a different paint job) and the illiberal left.  I’d say that’s most of the left, but he’s sort of like what you’d get if you took a self-described open-minded everyday liberal from the past – say only as far back as the 1980s – and introduced them to today.  Specifically, he’s not a cultural relativist.  He also tends to make videos on topics of the day that include original sources – things that even 24-hour cable news doesn’t have time to show, but that as someone who makes their own videos – he can allocate time to show.  (Quickie backstory is here because one of his videos is going to be linked below.)

Which leads us to the next big story: Cologne (Köln), Germany, along with other German cities, had a mass sex assault on New Years Eve committed by Middle East & North African men which was then hushed up.

“Shortly after midnight, the first women came to us,” an unnamed police officer told the local Express newspaper.

“Crying and in shock they described how they had been severely sexually harrassed. We went to look for women in the crowd. I picked one up from the ground. She was screaming and crying. Her underwear had been torn from her body.” …

“The crimes were committed by a group of people who from appearance were largely from the North African or Arab world,” Wolfgang Albers, the Cologne police chief, told a press conference.

Eyewitness description, including the confession “I thought it was right-wing propaganda, but this was real”.  Apparently a suspect arrested said (paraphrasing – but not by much) “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me.”  The woman mayor responded by saying women should stop asking for it if they don’t want to get raped by organized gangs of men in the streets, because women are lower on the progressive stack than Islamic rapists.

And of course it was covered up by media, police, and politicians – because it was politically awkward.

Internal communication from the police from the days immediately following the attack, published late Thursday night by newspaper Welt am Sonntag, reveals that the police had identified 71 of the around 1,000 attackers by Jan. 2 — most of whom were recently arrived Syrian refugees. Acting on this information, police had made 11 arrests, but chief Wolfgang Albers allegedly covered it all up because it was “politically awkward.”

“We currently have no intelligence on the criminals,” Albers said Jan. 4. “The only thing we know is that they were between 18-35 years old of North African or Arab appearance.”

The emails apparently show Albers was well aware of the fact that most of the attackers were in Germany under refugee status. (RELATED: Germany’s Largest Broadcaster Apologizes For Not Reporting Sexual Assault Attacks)

“Only a small minority were North Africans, the majority of the checked perpetrators were Syrians,” the documents reveal.

Albers also said the attacks were more in the nature of robberies rather than sexual assaults. A police officer told WamS, under condition of anonymity, that a majority of the attackers were after “sexual amusement.”

“What actually happened was the exact opposite,” the officer said. “For the mostly Arabic offenders, sexual assault was the priority, or, to express it from their point of view, their sexual amusement was the priority. A group of men would circle a female victim, close the loop, and then start groping the woman.”

 

Sargon covers a lot of this, though the last report indicating there was a cover-up came after his video was made.  It’s worthwhile – he includes the eyewitness’s video linked above, and provides a bit more backstory.  Just keep in mind that what he’s suspecting by the end of the video, that there was some kind of media/authorities coverup because it’s not politically correct – is in fact what’s happened and been found in the last few days.

Taking it back to the US, this would also be why so many people in the US do not want any Middle Eastern immigrants allowed in at all, or why they don’t want Middle Eastern muslim immigrants, or why even some on the left are skeptical of it.

Frankly, I’m in the “don’t let people in who are actively hostile to our values and don’t want to assimilate and don’t let in masses of people whose ranks are rife with terrorists and their sympathizers” camp.  Kind of a long title, I guess.

Middle Easterners (Christians, muslims, zoroastrians, or whatever) like the interpreters that worked with the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan for years are the kinds of people we should be letting in.  They wanted to improve their lives and home countries, but because we have a president who decided to end a war through retreat, we’re leaving those nations worse than they were in 2008, and we at least owe it to those who worked hard with us to give them a chance here where they won’t be killed by the Islamic State or the warlords the president has chosen to leave in charge of those nations.  Interpreters and their families are the types who would be willing to assmiliate.

These are often people who come from a violent savage culture where women are things for abuse, gays offend Allah enough they must be exterminated, and anyone who disagrees with their totalitarian religion is either someone who must be subjugated and controlled or murdered.  Those who throw off that culture because it’s difficult to escape in their home nations can be welcomed.  Those who bring it with them should never be allowed in, and when discovered should be kicked right back out.

Europe has the problem in that making statements about relative cultural worth are often shot down, because in Europe, culture typically is taken to equal ethnicity.  This leads to nationalist groups (and most specifically, nationalist socialist) groups who are on the “right” in Europe just because they favor protection of their own national identity and excluding immigrants because of their national/ethnic identity.  It’s an important distinction to understand that the “right” in Europe is sometimes a socialist protectionist group that’s often as concerned with ethnic identity of a nation rather than standing for the idea that newcomers should culturally assimilate to the same values & virtues.  This is how groups like Euro-right-wing “Golden Dawn” in Greece are all for expelling immigrants to Greece and protecting the Greece socialist state for ethnic Greeks.  They recognize their nation-state as an ethnic identity as well, and it colors how they see the world.  Europe’s old world problems are still there, and they still go to them.  (Probably the closest thing to the modern “right” in Europe to compare to from US would’ve been the leftist socialist/union groups of the early 1900s US that were both economically and ethnically protectionist.  They’re only “right” because they’re left-wing national socialists as opposed to far-left-wing international socialists.)

Europe today, because it won’t acknowledge that muslim culture (specifically as practiced in the Middle East & North Africa) is fundamentally opposed to western values, has no defense and no understanding of the problem.  Europe has so villified its own nations’ identities (remember you can very easily go to prison for things you say over there) that it’s hard for them to say that men who go together in organized groups to attack women are predatory savages.

They’re going to suffer the consequences of bringing in all the “refugees”, and it’s still going to take a lot of people being hurt for them to begin to understand what they’ve done.  Some of them will deny it while they’re being attacked, too – there will be more victim blaming, and some victims will blame themselves because they weren’t open-minded enough to know they deserved it.  Their entire value system has become one where they believe in the progressive stack and they believe they’re on the bottom due to fanciful fabrications of nonsensical guilt.

Europe is in for some hard times.

Alternately titled “leftists saying what they really want, but also using it as clickbait“:

The president zoomed in on exactly the right point Tuesday: What about the rights of those killed by gun violence to live free from terror?

There is no right to freedom from fear.  It also could never be achieved.  Some people fear the dark.  Some fear light.  Some fear clowns.  Some fear bees.  Some fear the unknowable, unfeeling empty vastness of space.

As a technical point, those killed aren’t alive, so they can’t live free from anything.

President Obama said a lot about guns in his teary press conference Tuesday, but the one thing that he is not saying, despite all the howling from the right, is that he intends to take away Americans’ guns. Yet equally significant is the realization that individual citizens are unwilling to free themselves of the destructive weapons that are wreaking havoc on our society. Numerous Americans care more about their individual freedoms than our collective freedoms, and they are unable to see how these individualistic desires undermine the essential fabric of a democracy.

All freedoms are individual freedoms.  If individuals within a group have no freedom, there is no freedom.  Restricting individual rights to free speech also means restricting a “collective” right to free speech by removing voices that the government doesn’t like.

Much like the bumper sticker slogan, my guns must not be working right, because they haven’t wreaked any havoc.

This democratic fabric includes the Second Amendment that has been contorted, misinterpreted, and applied in a way that destroys its intended meaning and threatens the safety and stability of our nation.

Here comes the usual “the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says” argument.  The only people contorting it and misinterpreting it are those trying to destroy its meaning in order to disarm the populace.

And as the president pointed out on Tuesday, this grotesque emphasis on the Second Amendment impairs other Americans’ ability to freely exercise many of the other 26 amendments.

Try exercising your Third Amendment rights without any way to resist.

Come to think of it, your First is easily extinguished, as we’ve seen on college campuses where a mob can simply push a reporter out of public spaces.  Your Fourth is pretty hard to defend if you can’t protect your own home.  Your Fifth is a lot easier to have ignored if the police and prosecutors simply threaten you.

As President Obama forges a lone path toward gun regulation, we must wonder how we as a society have arrived to a point where “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” has morphed into allowing individual citizens to possess firearms for their individual protection with little to no concern about the security of a free state.

There’s not much security to a free state when only the government and its agents have guns.  In fact, that’s not a free state at all, that’s a tyranny.  That’s exactly what the founders were discussing.

And then there’s this asshole comment:

It is well documented that gun sales and gun-related deaths have increased since Obama came into office, but the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (PDF), which opened the floodgates and redefined the Second Amendment, rarely receives mention.

Murder is down.  In 2007 there were 17,128 murders.  In 2013 there were 14,196.  Numbers have been on the decline for decades.

Murders with firearms are down.  2010 saw 8,874 murders with firearms.  2014 saw 8,124.

DC v Heller didn’t change the Second Amendment functionally for most of the nation.  Many state constitutions already cover the right to keep & bear arms even more specifically as a personal right of self-defense.  There were no “floodgates” to open.  Places that have historically been anti-gun are still throwing up barricades to exercise of rights that are still being fought against in court.

The court’s decision in the case went against 70 years of legal interpretations of the Second Amendment that stated in United States v. Miller that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” the state militia, and the Amendment “must be interpreted and applied with that end in view.”

Brown v Board of Education went against nearly 60 years of legal interpretations justifying segregation, too.  It also corrected a historic wrong.

US v Miller was a bullshit ruling.  The arms-infringing National Firearms Act of 1934 which Miller was challenging says that a shotgun with a barrel under 18″ requires a $200 tax stamp to own, buy, or sell.  $200 in 1934 amounts to $3500 today.  It’s a financial barrier to firearms ownership and exercising of rights.  It’s a poll tax for guns.

The court magically ruled that a shotgun under 18″ barrel length isn’t suited to any kind of militia use or any other use (despite the fact that agencies from the FBI to USBP to IRS all use 14″ barreled shotguns today in manners that are entirely consistent with the uses the judges said they couldn’t be used).

Miller was a bank robber who argued against laws that would’ve sent him to jail not so much for bank robbery, but for effectively owning a piece of pipe that was less than 18″.  The court decision was made in such a way that Miller could never travel to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling, and Miller was killed before the ruling came down and he could’ve effectively challenged it.

It’d be like if the Miranda decision were never made because Miranda were killed before being able to make the challenge to SCOTUS.  Mind you, Miranda was a kidnapper and rapist who was convicted both on initial trial and on retrial after SCOTUS review – it’s said good court decisions can often come from bad people.

In Heller and then in McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court in a pair of 5-4 decisions determined that federal, state, and local governments could not create restrictions that could prevent an individual the right to possess a firearm in the home for self-defense. The intent of the Second Amendment had shifted from allowing citizens to own firearms so that they could band together in an organized and regulated militia run by either local, state, or federal governments to allowing citizens to own guns for their own purposes so long as they fell under the individual’s definition of self-defense.

Let’s reference Blackstone, which is part of where the Second Amendment came from:

a public allowance under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression

And that’s just pulling a quote from wikipedia.  The founders knew that restrictions turned into strangulation of rights, and that’s why they eliminated that part – and stuck simply to a codified recognition of protecting the tools of self-preservation.

To borrow from Tom Gresham:

A well-educated people, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed.”  Now, ask if this means that only well-educated people could keep and read books, or does it mean that everyone can have books as a means to produce a well-educated people?

Clickbaity McDailyBeast goes on:

Not surprisingly, countless Americans purchased more and more firearms to protect themselves from the “inevitable” moment when the government or “Obama” was going to forcefully take their guns away. Not surprisingly a byproduct of this new interpretation of the Second Amendment has been a rise in unregulated militias or American terrorist groups who challenge the authority of federal, state, and local governments.  Ammon Bundy and his posse of men who call themselves the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom who just this week forcefully took over a federal building in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon are just one such iteration of this emboldened unregulated militia movement in America.

Actually, this “new interpretation” is pretty much what most state constitutions have always said.

“American terrorist groups”?  I think the Bundys are basically the same kind of people the president would support if they were a union blocking a factory.  The Bundys just want to take over their agricultural means of production – which means public land they don’t feel like paying for.  No real difference from the union members who try to take over industrial means of production except that the unions try to take from private citizens they view as class enemies while the Bundys want to take over from a government they view as a class enemy.

Frankly I find both of them reprehensible, but neither are very good terrorists.  Unions haven’t been effective terrorists since the Wobblies, and ranchers haven’t made effective terrorists since the Johnson County War.

The Oath Keepers, formed in 2009, are one of the largest unregulated militia movements in the nation, and regularly you can find them injecting themselves unnecessarily into conflicts. In Ferguson, Missouri following the death of Michael Brown, Oath Keepers arrived carrying semi-automatic riffles so that they could prevent looters from destroying property, and many of them said that they saw nothing wrong with taking the life of a looter to prevent the destruction of property. They also advocated that Ferguson residents obtain firearms so that they could protect themselves from the police.

So they wanted to protect people who lived there from armed mobs that were burning their homes and businesses?  And they wanted Ferguson residents to protect themselves against police they viewed as threats to the community?

I tend to view the Oathkeepers as a bit silly, but reading it from this Daily Beast goofball, he makes them seem positively balanced.

Also, I don’t think trying to provide stability for a community, however misguided, makes them terrorists.

Instability, terror, and death are the inevitable outcomes of a heavily armed citizenry, yet in the 1846 case Nunn v. State of Georgia, an integral case that the Supreme Court used in the Heller decision, the state of Georgia—my home state—argued that arming citizens and allowing them to openly carry firearms created a safer environment. And the referencing of this decision only continues the Supreme Court’s idyllic reimagining of America’s Southern states.

Lolworthy.

Georgia in 1846 was a slave holding state where African Americans were counted as three-fifths of a person and were not allowed the right to vote.

The 3/5ths compromise was so that states that weren’t slave states wouldn’t be outnumbered in congress by slave states.  Slave states wanted black slaves counted as whole persons for purposes of distribution of representatives.

Firearms at this time were regularly used to keep blacks in line and sustain the South’s racist, oppressive society.

Dumb.  Gun control was used to keep blacks in line – The Racist Roots of Gun Control is a good read that explains it.  If only the powers that be in racist slave states had firearms, they would’ve had them to “keep blacks in line” as well – and if they needed more arms, they would’ve expanded the authority of the state.

Short version of that section is basically he thinks that guns=racism.

But far from rejecting that old logic, we’ve embraced it, and the application of the South’s antithetical principles have brought instability, danger, and a disregard for human life to rest of the United States. Armed and dangerous and unregulated militias are on the rise, in addition to the numerous lone-wolf attacks that befall schools, offices, shopping centers, and public spaces at a disturbing frequency.

Except they haven’t brought violence.  Those “lone wolf” attacks aren’t from “unregulated militias”, they’re from individual lunatics who can’t be stopped with laws and who are frequently jihadis – adherents to a terrorist ideology.

Right now the Second Amendment is being applied in a way that takes away the rights of thousands of Americans each year, and the president must address this crisis to ensure the safety and stability of not just the American citizens who are threatened by gun violence, but also the ideals and institutions that govern our society that are being threatened by the archaic notions of stability from a racist and oppressive society and the unregulated militias of today that openly advocate armed conflict against the government.

Nice try playing the race card.  Gun control was used against the black man to control the black man.  Take the guns from the free men of all colors today and you just put your faith in government, which between 2000 and 2008 I’m sure this clown would’ve opposed as Bu$Hitler would’ve been his boogeyman of the day.  Take all the guns from the free men of Georgia in 1846 and you have a slave state controlled by a government that would expand its authority until blacks (and poor whites) were controlled anyway.

Obama is not going to take away America’s guns. I would argue that he should, as countless Americans have displayed a gross misuse of the social responsibility that comes with gun ownership, except that using force to attempt to disarm people of their firearms might inevitably lead to more violence and bloodshed.

Obama is not going to take away America’s presses.  I would argue that he should, as countless Americans have displayed a gross misuse of the social responsibility that comes with the written word, except that using force to attempt to silence people might inevitably lead to… he’s gonna disarm them first, right?  Well then no problems!  On to our glorious utopian future!

Gun owners should want to regulate and reduce their gun usage for the greater good, but our society is too consumed with the myopia of employing lethal force to resolve minor disputes that it cannot imagine an environment without widespread gun usage. And countless Americans are unable to see that their gun usage actually jeopardizes the very freedoms and liberties they have chosen to fight for and defend via the barrel of a gun.

Ah, the “greater good”.  He should’ve said “for the children” instead.  Gets more feels that way.

Lethal force isn’t used for minor disputes, unless you consider human life something of minor consequence… of course being a big control freak statist… he probably does.

Widespread gun ownership, bearing arms, and possession of arms, does not necessarily mean usage.  I burn down targets at the range, but I have yet to use a firearm in to resolve any dispute inside the US.

Actually, declining gun usage and ownership, and trusting the state with arms and force is what jeopardizes freedoms and liberties, because no man can legally take another man’s rights away – but a government can, and governments do.

On to stupidity part 2 “America should regulate bullets“:

When I chaired the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, I was grateful that we had authority to regulate lead in household paint. Banning the use of lead-based paint in homes has prevented brain damage in countless children over the years.

So why wouldn’t Congress allow us authority over another dangerous consumer product often made with lead?

Specifically, why not bullets?

Although it may seem unbelieveable, at one point I was a child.  I don’t remember ever looking at walls and thinking “I should start chewing on paint chips”.  When I was at an age younger than that, my family lived in and worked in an environment that would be considered dangerous for a child today… but my parents kept me from eating screws, nails, and construction debris.  Congress wasn’t needed to protect me as a child.  Nor was it needed before 1972 when it was created.

As to why not bullets?  Because ammunition is a key component of arms.  And because you’re trying to come up with a backdoor regulation scheme to go after something you don’t personally like.

Why not have some chaste religious zealot decide that the risk of STDs that condoms don’t actually prevent means the CPSC can regulate condoms in order to cut down on sex that the zealot doesn’t like?

This idea isn’t new. In 1974, the CPSC’s first chairman made clear his belief that the agency could probably regulate ammunition, and a court agreed — whereupon a frightened Congress passed laws making it impossible even to try. Now is the time for the president to begin pushing to correct that mistake.

I can’t help but hear that last line said like Dick Jones in Robocop saying: “I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake… now it’s time to erase that mistake.

The slavering regulatrix can’t even begin to fathom that there are people who don’t regard her totalitarian state as something desirable, nor that their representatives would seek to prevent tyranny which she demands through any means possible.

How can we do more when the National Rifle Association has persuaded Congress to put roadblocks in front of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research into gun deaths? When more than half of Americans oppose tighter gun control even after a year of such bloodshed?

Support for gun control has been falling dramatically.  People know being disarmed doesn’t make them safe, and doesn’t make anyone safe.

The NRA opposes CDC “research” because it’s “research” that will be pushed into the kind of conclusion that statists desire.  Stats will be massaged until they get the “right” answer demanding more regulation, more control, and less freedoms.

James Holmes bought more than 4,000 rounds online before his 2012 rampage in a Colorado movie theater. Twenty years ago, when purchases were offline, it would have been tough to spot someone like that. Today it would be easy.

Why should my old agency be the one to do the regulating?

No one should be doing regulating.

James Holmes is a wonderful example of how there are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men.  Holmes was working on neuroscience/neurosurgery before he snapped.  He was being trusted enough to become the kind of person you call when you need someone to stab around in your brain.  On paper, he looked like a fine upstanding young man.  He also spent time making IEDs and rigging his apartment to explode.  Take away ammo and he’d use something like a pressure cooker bomb and fireworks.  Or he might just kill patients for decades on the operating table.  It’s not the tool he uses to cause the harm, it’s the person doing the harm.

When someone who may be dangerous is prevented from buying ammunition, any gun he has hidden becomes like a car without gas: a useless hunk of metal.

Yeah, and he can go buy a few gallons of gasoline and he has a firebomb ready to go.  He can also start playing with chemicals and explosives like were used at the worst mass killing at a US school in history – the Bath School Disaster of 1927.

There are many ways to move ahead. We could license ammunition purchases like drivers, ban online purchases and mandate background checks for buyers. But it would be pointless for me to outline the precise steps that should be taken up front — except for the first one: ending Congress’s disgraceful attempt to chill research. Funding to study regulating ammunition should begin now.

Congress was wise enough to see through that.  It’s not “research”, it’s funded justifications for tyranny at the expense of a constitutionally recognized right.  The author of this anti-freedom screed outright says she wants more restrictions on a right, and she wants to backdoor it with a bureaucracy that’s largely unaccountable, and she already has her answers.  If the CDC came out with the same conclusions the FBI shows in crime stats (referenced above) that gun crimes are down, and that they found John Lott’s study (More Guns, Less Crime) is the case, she’d demand more research until such time as her answer is reached.

This would be like Congress funding research for the CDC to analyze the effects of unpleasant speech on the public in order to go after the First Amendment, or funding research into the the effects of lethal chemicals and execution methods to undermine the Eighth Amendment.

Times and cultures change.

Tyrants never do.

From the ATF’s facebook page (click comments on the link to open it up):

atf facebook & furious 160106

Screenshots and assorted shenanigans here, including an ATF agent telling people to “get off this page”:

atf facebook & furious 160106 get off this page

In for a penny, in for a pound:

atf facebook & furious 160106 cartels

Nice.