Guns – Time to Try Something Different

I recently heard an anti-gun bigot saying, in relation to mass shootings, “What we’ve been doing isn’t working. It’s time to try something different.

He’s right, but I’ll bet he doesn’t know he’s right.

What his team has been doing isn’t working. It’s never going to work… unless the goal is to make mass shootings more common. It’s time to try something different, all right. It’s time to stop trying (or pretending to try) to prevent mass shootings with more “laws” which make it safer to be a mass shooter.

Past time. Long past time to get rid of all the anti-gun “laws”. All of them. Every single last one. Stop giving mass murderers what they want; what they need. Stop providing them with pools of unarmed– disarmed– potential victims.

Maybe disarmed victims are what the anti-gun bigots want. It’s not what I want. I want mass shooters to die in their attempt to kill people.

If you advocate anti-gun “laws” you are helping losers become evil losers. You are empowering them to murder more people. If the NRA “compromises” yet again they deserve to die as an organization.

So, yeah. It’s time to try something different because what you’ve been trying isn’t working.

Not one more inch.

Open This Content

Don’t Need Rescue from Everything

I’m surprised at how seriously people are taking the coronavirus. I’m even more surprised at how many believe government can save them from it, or that it’s even government’s job to do so.

This is the same sort of thinking that has led to the recent plague of “red flag” legislation.

If you believe you need politicians to save you from a virus or from someone’s gun, then you’ll keep handing control of your life over to anyone who promises to rescue you. Whether they actually can or not.

It’s not only diseases and guns. It seems almost everyone wants to be saved from something. Maybe they fear immigrants who don’t comply with unconstitutional anti-immigration legislation. Or maybe they want to be rescued from “inequality,” whatever they imagine it to be.

Others may want to be saved from weather, poverty, different political ideologies or other religions they don’t follow, or from rich people. Some beg to be rescued from their student loan debt or their own bad choices.

Drugs, other drivers, people who might appear to be smoking but aren’t, messy yards, backyard chickens, loud parties, tall grass, and more are all things someone out there wants government to save them from.

If this seems like a long list, you are right. Yet it barely scratches the surface. There appears to be no end to the number of things you could list that some people, somewhere at some time, have begged government to save them from.

Government encourages this pandemic of cowardice.

H. L. Mencken, a favorite writer of mine from early in the 20th Century, noticed this and called it out. He wrote: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

He’s right, and it’s working.

Were your hobgoblins listed above or are yours something else entirely?

It’s not that these things don’t exist, but making them into hobgoblins you fear irrationally is a path to slavery. You become so desperate to be saved you’ll accept those fanning the flames of fear as your self-proclaimed saviors.

Fear is the reaction to feeling you won’t be able to cope; of suspecting you aren’t enough. It’s a lie. You are enough.

You don’t need to be rescued from every little thing. I know you can do it without depending on government or its legislation. To conquer fear, get busy doing what needs to be done.

Open This Content

Glad Someone Finally Said “Enough”

As much as I appreciate sheriffs who refuse to enforce the latest blatant violation of the Constitution — so-called “red flag” legislation — I wonder where their courage to not do the wrong thing has been hiding until now.

Unconstitutional gun legislation — which includes every “law” concerning guns — has been enforced by those in these same offices since 1934. This newest violation isn’t worse than the others. This is an arbitrary, theatrical line-in-the-sand.

If they have ever arrested someone for carrying a concealed firearm without a license, or insisted a gun shop needs permission from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives before selling guns, then they’ve broken the law, which applies to their job by enforcing legislation that was illegal to impose or enforce.

If they would help arrest someone for mailing a gun, after selling it through an advertisement on the internet, to someone in another state who lacks the “proper license,” they have violated the Constitution in the exact same way they now say they won’t do.

If they would arrest someone for possessing or selling a fully automatic firearm without the government paperwork, they’re willing to violate the Constitution. As they are if they’d enforce the rules against shotguns with barrels declared “too short” or against safety equipment like suppressors (incorrectly called “silencers”).

How can anyone take these scofflaws at their word?

Even the Supreme Court ironically recognized the right to ignore unconstitutional “laws” — which they declared to not be laws at all — in the same ruling in which they unconstitutionally decided they have the final say on what the Constitution means: the Marbury v. Madison ruling in 1803.

Neither the Supreme Court nor anyone else associated with the federal government has the right to decide what the Constitution means.

The same is true of state officials deciding what the state constitution allows them to do to the people. This would make no sense. You can’t let someone decide how the rules that limit their job’s power will be applied or what they mean. It’s like letting the accused murderer dictate how his trial will be carried out and what evidence to allow.

Speaking of trials, the federal government won’t allow the Second Amendment to be used as an argument in favor of the accused when there is a “gun offense” in question — yet it is the only relevant factor.

I’m glad someone stood up and said “Enough!”

I’d be more impressed if they’d be consistent and stop breaking the law entirely.

Open This Content

Instead of Tax “Holidays,” How About Real Tax Cuts?

Writing at the Florida Politics blog, A.G. Gancarski reports on three sales tax “holiday” bills working their way through the state’s legislature. Two of the bills would lengthen existing holidays on school supplies and storm preparedness products. The third would expand the holiday habit to hunting and fishing items.

According to the Sales Tax Institute,  at least 16 states have sales tax holidays scheduled this year on goods ranging from clothing to school supplies to generators to guns.

I’m all for lower taxes, but tax holidays aren’t about lower taxes. They’re about three things: Social engineering, political grandstanding, and special interest pandering.

Social engineering entails using the tax code to encourage some particular spending versus other kinds of spending.

If I offer a tax deduction for contributions to your favorite church, but not for payments to your favorite liquor store, I’m trying to encourage you to go to church and/or discourage you from boozing. Requiring you to pay  sales tax on a lawn mower, a container of motor oil, or a bottle of Vitamin C no matter when you buy them, but not on a pack of ball-point pens, an emergency generator, or an AR-15 if you buy them between Date X and Date Y, has the same effect.

The politicians grandstanding on these holiday proposals are hoping you’ll notice, and credit them for, the small tax breaks on a few things at particular times — and not think to ask why everything else is taxed all the time. They’re trying to buy your vote, but they don’t want to pay full price for it.

And it should come as no surprise that the biggest supporters of tax holidays on Product X (and likely the biggest campaign contributors to politicians proposing those holidays) are the makers and sellers of Product X.

If the legislators proposing these tax holidays were serious about cutting taxes, they’d propose reducing tax rates on everything, all the time, not on a few things now and then. That would be good for all taxpayers, including lower-income citizens who don’t have as much discretionary income to waste on the politically favored item of the week.

Florida’s general state sales tax rate is 6%. Instead of reducing it to 0% for laptops this week and storm windows next week and ammunition the week after that, I’d like to see my state’s holiday-happy politicians propose cutting the general rate to 5% on everything, year-round.

Open This Content

“Red Flag” Laws Violate Human Rights

New Mexico politicians are hopping on the “red flag law” bandwagon; scheming to commit wrong in the name of imagined “safety.”

Red-flag legislation is all the rage, politically. I don’t call them laws because they aren’t laws. Laws can’t violate natural human rights; this legislation does. Imposing or enforcing legislation that violates life, liberty, or property in any way makes you the wrongdoer. It doesn’t change matters to write words giving yourself permission to violate people. Legislation can’t make wrongs right, and it is wrong to punish someone for something you imagine they might do.

It’s misguided to violate someone’s rights because they’ve done wrong. To do so before they’ve done wrong is pure evil.

Yes, unhinged people cause tragedies. The correct approach is an unyielding commitment to human rights. Don’t build a legislative maze making it harder for people to possess the proper tools with which to defend themselves. This is what red-flag legislation does. It causes tragedies everywhere politically unhinged people impose it.

Many people see an attempt by badged government employees to steal their property — to seize their guns — as a line in the sand that cannot be tolerated. It has already played out with tragic results in the states where such policies have been implemented.

It’s never about “public safety,” but about asserting government supremacy. However, both sides need to remember: the people always remain supreme over government.

While it’s claimed this legislation only targets those making violent threats, it will be abused.

The easiest way to make sure your intended victim can’t fight back is to report them as a risk and let legislation enforcement officers disarm — or kill — them for your convenience.

This legislation will also become “The Bitter Ex-Wife Revenge and Empowerment Act.”

The hijacked firearms are supposed to be returned to the rightful owner once the threat is over, but it doesn’t always happen. A friend of mine was acquitted after defending himself, without firing a shot, from an attacker. The attacker filed a false report after the incident. Upon acquittal, my friend was told he had to jump through months of bureaucratic hoops to get his property back. He did everything demanded of him, but by then his gun was mysteriously missing.

The state’s response was “Tough luck.”

Enemies of liberty often embrace communistic red flags. This time it’s the same story. Respect liberty — reject the red flag. There’s no legitimate reason to support this kind of legislation.

Open This Content

A Loophole for the Lawless: “Qualified Immunity” Must Go

On August 11, 2014, officers from the Caldwell, Idaho Police Department asked for Shaniz West’s permission to enter and search her home. They were looking for her ex-boyfriend. West authorized the search and handed over her keys.

Instead of entering and searching the home, though, the police brought in a SWAT team, surrounding the building.  “[P]olice repeatedly exceeded the authority Ms. West had given them,” a lawsuit she filed complains, “breaking windows, crashing through ceilings, and riddling the home with holes from shooting canisters of tear gas, destroying most of Ms. West and her children’s personal belongings.”

The “standoff” lasted ten hours. But it wasn’t really a standoff. The only mammal in the home larger than a mouse was West’s dog.

Then the cops went on their merry way, leaving West homeless for two months, with three weeks in a hotel as her only compensation.

She wants more, including the costs of repairing and replacing her ruined personal property, damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress, and punitive damages for the assault on a home she gladly authorized a search of, not an attack on. She deserves all of that.

She isn’t getting it — yet, at least — due to a loophole baked into a vile judicial doctrine called “qualified immunity.”

Qualified immunity protects government employees from liability for things they willfully decide to do while on duty, unless those actions violate “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”

The loophole is the phrase “clearly established.”

The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals ruled that “no Supreme Court or Ninth Circuit case clearly established, as of August 2014, that Defendants exceeded the scope of consent.”

How’s that for circular reasoning? “You can only sue over X if someone else has previously successfully sued for X. ” And no one CAN have successfully sued for X, at least since the loophole was introduced in 1982, because they would have been turned away on the same grounds!

The Institute for Justice wants the US Supreme Court to take up West’s case.

It should do so, and when it rules it should go beyond nixing the “clearly established” loophole and do away with the doctrine of “qualified immunity” entirely.

42 US Code § 1983 provides that “Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws” may be sued for damages.

Not just if someone has successfully sued on the same grounds before.

And not just if a “reasonable person” would have known better.

Government employees are supposed to know their jobs, including the limits on their authority. If they don’t, they shouldn’t be given guns and badges, let alone protection from liability when they exceed those limits.

“Qualified immunity” is the opposite of “equality under the law.”

Open This Content