Archive for November, 2008

Bend over, indeed…

November 30, 2008

because, yep, here it comes again

Drug cartel gangsters waging a criminal insurgency against Mexican society and government are making the Houston area their marketplace of choice, as they spend millions of dollars statewide buying military-style weapons and ammunition.
Gangsters have honed in on this city because of its glut of gun shops, its proximity to the border, and its long-established networks for smuggling narcotics into the United States, federal law-enforcement officials said.
The surge in fraudulent purchases comes as more than 4,000 people have died in Mexico’s criminal underworld violence this year.
Authorities can point to numerous crimes, including the infamous 2007 Acapulco Massacre to illustrate the carnage brought on by Houston-bought guns that have gotten into the hands of ruthless killers.

To help Mexico keep drugs out of the United States, the U.S. government needs to increase the number of federal agents fighting weapons trafficking, Sarukhan said, and to develop better intelligence as to who’s buying the guns, where they’re buying them and where they’re taking them.
The number of ATF agents assigned to the Houston region, which stretches from near Del Rio to the Gulf Coast, has increased 12 percent in the past two years.
Current interpretations of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms, make such investigations difficult, agents said. Federal law prohibits the government from having a long-term database of weapons or ammunition purchasers.

Whoa, did you catch that last part? To help Mexico keep DRUGS out of the United States, the GUN trafficking methods need to be beefed up. Nothing about tighter border security to keep better track of what’s going into and coming out of Mexico or to keep the guns on this side and the drugs on that side, and nothing about taking the stratospheric profits (and thus, the incentive to get them here) out of the drugs themselves. As one of the commenters said, funny how the Chron spins the story to make the gun stores the problem and not the illegal immigrants (or, for that matter, the porous border). I see that Carter’s Country, Academy and the other stores in Houston were mentioned as having done nothing wrong here, and in any event, from what I understand the FFLs as a group tend to police themselves pretty stringently anyway. And, of course, if the damn Mexican government officials would pull their heads out of their asses and recognize their own citizens’ natural, God-given right of self-defense with the best tools available, the illegal gun problem, well, it wouldn’t be as much of a problem. (And don’t you love how the reporters point to the Constitution as making the fix more difficult?) Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, friends, and the phenomenon written about here is just another illustration of the fact that she will NOT be denied. And it’s also yet more proof that, as long as you have a War On Drugs, you will have a War On Guns. You cannot have the first without having the second. It really is just that simple, and it’s a lesson we should have learned with the failed Prohibition experiment back in the 1920s and 1930s. And I know what’s going to follow in the pages of the Chron — in fact, I’d lay money on it. Mark my words, to follow this story will be another Chron editorial advocating the passage of another semiautomatic rifle ban, this time with teeth, under the guise of “being a good neighbor” and “helping our friends south of the Rio Grande fight the scourge of illegal drugs and gun violence.” Nothing about tightening the borders, nothing about our insane drug laws, nothing about Mexico’s insane gun laws. Nope, just as it’s always been, it’s going to be about OUR guns and OUR right to keep them being infringed upon.

I don’t know if I’d want even one of those…

November 29, 2008

…or, I Get Referrals, Part Whatever…
from somewhere in Korea, Smith Wesson 325.
That looks to be a pretty nifty little weapon, if you have to have something so light that doesn’t leave brass lying around. I don’t know if I’d want one of those, though, considering they have that internal lock on them. That would seem to me to be just one more thing to go wrong. I’ve read reports here and there of those ultra-light post-Clinton agreement S&W revolvers locking up involuntarily under certain conditions; granted, though, those were with the magnum revolvers and very hot loads. Still, though, I’d stay away, though your mileage may vary of course. If I had to have a wheelgun, I’d look for maybe a 3″ Ruger GP100, or 4″ if I was feeling froggy. I had a 4″ at one point and would love to get another.

…the hell?

November 27, 2008

…and I thought that Jim Zumbo made a boneheaded move, well, this from South Dakota-based H-S Precision ranks right up there with that:

I just got off the phone with one of their employees about the report that they printed a Lon Horiuchi endorsement on the back of their catalog.

It is true.

It’ll be fun to see how AHSA-clowns like Bill Schneider spin that. In the meantime, the words of the late, great Jeff Cooper come to mind:
“The Federal agent who shot Vicki Weaver in the face, deliberately, while she was unarmed and holding her child is named Lon Horiuchi. Remember that name. He is still walking around loose. That man must eventually pay for his crime, here or hereafter. Lon Horiuchi.”

Lessons not learned…

November 26, 2008

From this morning’s Chron

Texas officials plan to test cell phone jamming technology after a prison system lockdown and search turned up hundreds of smuggled mobile devices.

Let’s see, we have what’s supposed to be one of the most secured environments around, yet contraband still finds its way in. There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

Ok, now THIS was good…

November 25, 2008

Not that I didn’t think a guy like David Hardy would have a sense of humor, I just never would have expected something so sharp

I suppose I must mention his (George Will’s — ed.) piece in WashPo. I mean he is a famous writer who wears a tie and always looks like he never got over being buggered with a turnip during freshman hazing at an Ivy League school (and has a classical education so he would recognize being buggered with a turnip) but can still use baseball analogies in every article, even if discussing his appendectomy, just to show he’s one of the guys. Provided all the guys in question have been buggered with turnips as a prelude to a really classical education.

OK, I tired of his writings years ago and rarely read them. Just as he probably rarely eats turnips. But I digress.

But Will (who is probably as frightened of firearms as he is of turnips) maintains it is a disputed right (hey, there was a dissent!) and now the Court will have to … shudder … decide what it means, and that means policy makers (i.e., the Obama Admin., Nancy Pelosi, the California and Illinois legislatures, etc.) will be unable “to function as laboratories for testing policy variations.” Policy variations as to … hmmm… expressly-stated constitutional rights. But, where the question is at all close, Will argues that conservativism requires deference to elected policymakers, especially those at the local level. “Judicial conservatism requires judges to justify their decisions with reference to several restraining principles, including deference to the democratic branches of government and to states’ responsibilities under federalism.”

I think Americans in 1791 chose their policy variations.

*snerk* One gets the idea, yes, that David Hardy’s not a fan. When I see such ham-fisted, doctrinaire analysis of something that really should be cut and dried, it really turns me off too. And that’s exactly what Will’s analysis of Heller was. He got so caught up in his little rule book that he missed the whole damn point of what the court did in Heller — that is, they stood up for individual liberty, which is what I for one thought conservatives were all about, intellectuals and their little rulebooks be damned. I suppose I should be fair and mention that Will was riffing off another conservative judge’s analysis of Heller, but even so, that still doesn’t change the fact that Will was more or less agreeing with that analysis. You see Hardy pointing out some of those elected policymakers Will contends the courts should defer to. I must say, that was brilliant. One gets the idea that those rules would allow for some flexibility so as not to give said policymakers free rein to piss all over the rights that so many have fought and died to protect, but I guess in the world of pointy-headed intellectuals like George Will that isn’t the case. I keep thinking of one of the first things the great Bill Whittle wrote — just substitute “conservative intelligentsia” for “Europeans,” and it fits perfectly:
“We are, and remain, the descendants of people who had had quite enough of being told what to do by inbred aristocratic fops and unelected, intellectual sadists. When Europeans call us simplisme, they show themselves incapable of recognizing the difference between intelligence, of which we are amply endowed, and intellectualism, that circle-jerk of coffee table revolution and basement politburo planning that we have never had much patience with.”
Maybe it isn’t quite fair at first glance to lump Will’s bloviations in with Europeans’ attitudes toward the American ethos and way of life, but it’s quite obvious to me that all of this is a game to him and those like him, just like Communism worked fine at the coffee table but was an unmitigated disaster when put into practice. “Rights? Who said anything about protecting your rights, you declasse rubes, there are rules that must be followed here!” Once again, he’s gotten so caught up in the rules that he’s completely missed the object of the entire exercise. I guess such is par for the course for intellectuals, but my blog-friend Ted had a great example of what their level of thinking leads to:

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a great line about intellectuals proving that Black is White, and promptly getting run over at the next crosswalk.

A-yep. Thing about it is, though, in this instance they’re trying to get us ALL run over…

I got yer ambiguity right here, Sparky…

November 24, 2008

…or, One more reason intellectualism seems to get such a bad rap on the right these days…

Of conservatives’ few victories this year, the most cherished came when the Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller, held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. Now, however, a distinguished conservative jurist argues that the court’s ruling was mistaken and had the principal flaws of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 abortion ruling that conservatives execrate as judicial overreaching. Both rulings, says J. Harvie Wilkinson, suddenly recognized a judicially enforceable right grounded in “an ambiguous constitutional text.”
Writing for the Virginia Law Review, Judge Wilkinson of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Heller, like Roe, was disrespectful of legislative judgments, has hurled courts into a political thicket of fine-tuning policy in interminable litigation and traduced federalism. Furthermore, Heller exposed “originalism” — the doctrine that the Constitution’s text means precisely what those who wrote its words meant by them — as no barrier to “judicial subjectivity.”

Since 1973, the court has been entangled in the legislative function of adumbrating an abortion code, the details of which are, Wilkinson says, “not even remotely suggested by the text or history of the 14th Amendment.” Parental consent? Spousal consent? Spousal notification? Parental notification? Waiting periods? Lack of funding for nontherapeutic abortions? Partial-birth abortion procedures? Zoning ordinances that exclude abortion facilities? The court has tried to tickle answers for these and other policy questions from the Constitution.
Conservatives are correct: The court, having asserted a right on which the Constitution is silent, has been writing rules that are detailed, debatable, inescapably arbitrary and irreducibly political. But now, Wilkinson says, conservatives are delighted that Heller has put the court on a similar path.
In Heller, the court was at least dealing with a right the Constitution actually mentions. But the majority and minority justices demonstrated that there are powerful, detailed, historically grounded “originalist” arguments for opposite understandings of what the Framers intended with that right to “keep and bear arms.”
Now the court must slog through an utterly predictable torrent of litigation, writing, piecemeal, a federal gun code concerning the newfound individual right. What trigger locks or other safety requirements impermissibly burden the exercise of this right? What registration requirements, background checks, waiting periods for purchasers, ballistic identifications? What restrictions on ammunition? On places where guns may be purchased or carried? On the kinds of people (e.g., those with domestic violence records) who may own guns? On the number of gun purchases in a month?
Judicial conservatism requires judges to justify their decisions with reference to several restraining principles, including deference to the democratic branches of government, and to states’ responsibilities under federalism. But, Wilkinson writes, Heller proves that when the only principle is originalism, and when conscientious people come to different conclusions about the Framers’ intentions, originalist judges must resolve the conflict by voting their preferences.

Hoo-boy, where do we even begin?
I fail to see how anyone with a shred of intellectual integrity could say with a straight face that the Second Amendment is “ambiguous constitutional text.” Taken all by itself it might be, but taken in tandem with the Founding Fathers’ commentary on an armed citizenry, it gets to be as clear as a freshly-washed window — that is to say, the Second Amendment clearly and unambiguously protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. Why is this part of the debate still even stirring, let alone fully alive?
As for the court having to “slog through an utterly predictable torrent of litigation,” well, so the hell what? It deserves to be asked why all those laws were passed in the first place and whether or not they amount to a violation of the Second Amendment. It would seem to me that things like gun registration and licensing run afoul of the Fourth Amendment by undermining the right to privacy enumerated therein. Those two measures have already been ruled to violate the Fifth Amendment in certain instances. In Haynes v. U.S., the Supreme Court ruled a felon cannot be forced to register or license a firearm because in doing so, it’s basically forcing that felon to admit his crime — which, therefore, makes it a violation of the Fifth Amendment. I don’t see why it couldn’t be argued that licensing and registration would violate the Fourth Amendment due to a compromising of a “reasonable expectation of privacy” as defined by Justice John Marshall Harlan in Katz v. United States. After all, once those license & registration records are out there, likely as not they’re going to be made public record, which leaves the door open for — you guessed it! — wholesale violations of privacy from sea to shining sea at the hands of anti-gun public officials such as, say, Dick Daley or Mike Bloomberg, through their willing accomplices in the mainstream media.
As far as deference to the democratic branches of government…all righty then, what if those democratic branches of government were engaging in widespread violations of natural rights, sort of like they were in D.C. and continue to be in Chicago and New York City? What then? Will throws out all this mumbo-jumbo and expects folks like me to just lap it up, but he makes it all out to be way the hell more complicated than it really is. The term “idiot savant” and the phrase “missing the forest for the trees” come to mind, because that seems to be exactly what George Will is and exactly what he is doing here.

Mmm, yeah, big surprise there…

November 22, 2008

Say what?

Barack Obama’s choice for Attorney-General, Eric Holder, has stated that he favors ‘reasonable restrictions’ on free speech on the Internet.

Par for the course, I suppose. Obama and his evil minions don’t have any respect for the Second Amendment…what in the hell makes anyone think they’d have any respect for the REST of the Bill of Rights? I did see quite an interesting comment at Gateway Pundit, though…

Oh, don’t worry so much; it’s just the internet.

You wont find “internet” in the Bill of Rights”

After all, how can it be speech? You’re writing, not talking. Right?

Oh, now that is just golden. Using the very same logic many of the gun prohibitionists use! “The Second Amendment didn’t protect AK-47s, just muskets!” Of course many media outlets don’t use that exact line of reasoning, but they use something so close as to be indistinguishable, that is, “The Founders couldn’t have visualized assault weapons!” or something to that effect. Should be interesting to see how they react when it’s their ox getting gored…but then, likely as not it’ll be the blogs and conservative media getting clamped down on rather than the bigger MSM outlets. And just like the hunters throw the pistol & semiautomatic rifle owners under the bus, the big MSM outlets will do the same to the blogs and smaller, more conservative media outlets, making the undermining of the Constitution and the Founders’ Republic that much easier. Nothing good can come of this…where will it end?
(h/t David Codrea)

A little Friday morning gun talk

November 21, 2008

Interesting

Numerous and frequent complaints from the troops have led to some U.S. Department of Defense efforts to find a new pistol to replace the current M9 9mm weapon. It’s not just nostalgia.

Most of the military people issued a pistol, will rarely have to use it. But those who do, like Special Forces, want more firepower than a 9mm round can deliver.

Many key members of Congress are determined that the Department of Defense will not end up with several different new pistols. Congress is telling the brass, If they don’t like the M9, then agree on a new one. But so far, the services have not been able to agree. Thus the saga continues.

Take that with as small or as large a grain of salt as you like, but it’s still food for thought, I think. I’d be interested to know why the services can’t agree on a new sidearm. My guess would be that some of them want to go back to the tried-and-true Government Model 1911, while others feel that wouldn’t be a good route to take because of the different manual of arms or reduced round capacity. As far as the different manual of arms goes though, I don’t see why it would be that big of an obstacle. As long as you remember that manual thumb safety and your Four Rules you should be okay. I know there are those who will bring up the point that none of our NATO allies are clamoring for a bigger pistol round, but why exactly is it that the Americans are? I don’t know how nostalgia could be the beginning and the end of that. Who’s to say that those who want the bigger round don’t remember how well it worked when it was the issued equipment? If it hasn’t already been done, it would be quite interesting to see what the soldiers thought who’d actually fired pistol shots in anger over in the sandbox…

Shut up and go away already, Kathleen…

November 20, 2008

Ok, this whole martyr woe-is-me act from Kathleen Parker has gone way the hell beyond any useful shelf life it might have had. As if all the crap she’s been spewing before wasn’t bad enough, now she’s gone right up to outright bigotry:

…the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn’t soon cometh.

I think it’s safe to say Kathleen Parker’s more or less jumped the shark. It’s bad enough she was ridiculing Sarah Palin and by association the base Palin energized when she was campaigning with John McCain, but this is just beyond the pale. There was absolutely no need for this. If Mike Huckabee had been the GOP standard-bearer in the election Parker might have had a point, considering Huckabee seemed to have few if any qualms about turning the country into a borderline theocracy. But since we had arguably the most middle-of-the-road candidate in the race, Parker’s just showing her true colors…and as we can see, they turn out to be pretty damn ugly. And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we see some sort of backlash here, in the support going up for the more overtly religious candidates like Huckabee. More likely though, most conservatives are by this time tuning Kathleen Parker and her fellow pundits out, or, in the case of Jonah Goldberg, calling them out for the bullshit they’re spewing:

I don’t know what’s more grating, the quasi-bigotry that has you calling religious Christians low brows, gorillas and oogedy-boogedy types or the bravery-on-the-cheap as you salute — in that winsome way — your own courage for saying what (according to you) needs to be said. Please stop bragging about how courageous you are for weathering a storm of nasty email you invite on yourself by dancing to a liberal tune. You aren’t special for getting nasty email, from the right or the left. You aren’t a martyr smoking your last cigarette. You’re just another columnist, talented and charming to be sure, but just another columnist. You are not Joan of the Op-Ed Page. Perhaps the typical Washington Post reader (or editor) doesn’t understand that. But you should, and most conservatives familiar with these issues can see through what you’re doing.

A-yep. It looks really bad for us to be calling out people like George Clooney and the Dixie Chicks for their faux-martyr bullshit when we have people ostensibly on our side doing it too…although it’s been said that people like Kathleen Parker are angling for a new audience. I believe it too, but that doesn’t make their drama-queen hysterics any less infuriating.

Yeah, this really surprised me…

November 19, 2008

right here

When Mad Jack McCain announced the choice he’d made of Palin as a running mate late last summer, I was delighted and surprised. It wasn’t simply the only smart move the Hanoi Senator had made during his campaign, it was probably the only smart move any Republican had made since Eisenhower ended the Korean War.

One so-called female so-called comedian referred to Palin as a “…little freaked out, intimidated, frightened, right-wing Republican, thin-lipped bitch”, unintentionally describing herself by temperament, if not by political persuasion. She also warned the vice presidential candidate that she (Palin) would be gang-raped by her (the comedian’s) “big black brothers” if she (Palin) visited Manhattan.
This to a real woman who, at least by implication, knows how to deal with a rapist the way a rapist ought to be dealt with, not with a little plastic whistle or a sisterly candlelight vigil, but with… well, let’s just put it this way: there are places in Alaska where you’re not allowed to venture unless you’re carrying at least a .357 Magnum.

What was the surprise? That it came from L. Neil Smith, one of the most strident large -L libertarians out there. I honestly never thought I’d see someone like him have such glowing words for anyone on the national level of either of the two big parties. Call me crazy, but I’d say that endorsement’s worth a hell of a lot more than any from the pundits from the Northeastern establishment media. And I’d also say the fact that L. Neil Smith holds her in higher esteem than the aforementioned pundits is incontrovertible proof that she and more politicians like her are exactly what the Republican Party needs to lead them out of the wilderness.