Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category

Tender Hearts & Soft-Boiled Brains" and "Death & Taxes

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

We Americans like to think of ourselves as 320 million humanitarians. While it’s true that we tend to be charitable, even going so far as to help our enemies around the world when they’re hit by a natural disaster, sometimes our better nature flies in the face of commonsense.

For instance, in recent weeks, we have welcomed thousands of Central Americans into the U.S. and then transported them around the country even though we know that many of them suffer from chicken pox and tuberculosis. In the old days, when America actually had borders and a sense of self-preservation, even legal immigrants were turned away if they were found to have communicable diseases. In some cases, sick children were separated from their nuclear families and sent back to their relatives in Europe and Asia until they were healthy enough to return.

Now we go so far as to allow those suffering from Ebola to be brought back from West Africa. While it’s true that the doctor and the nurse in question are not only both Americans, but are heroic examples of humanity, having become infected while treating others who had the disease, it is sheer insanity that they were brought home to be treated. If they could treat others in Africa, there was no sensible reason they couldn’t have been treated there, rather than risk introducing the disease to North America.

Speaking of the Central American border-crashers, George Will has pointed out that there are 3,143 counties in the United States, and then used that number to suggest how easily we could accommodate the newcomers, as if the solution to the problem was to simply divide the 65,000 kids, dispersing, say 20 or so to each county. For my part, I think there is more than enough empty space between George’s ears where we could safely stash them.

What I would be willing to consider is dropping those kids off at the White House and at the homes of Hollywood and Manhattan liberals who are sobbing into their crying towels over their plight. That way these select few could adopt, feed, house and school, the kiddies on their own, without expecting the American taxpayer to pick up the tab for these mini-freeloaders.

Speaking of kids, I have come to the conclusion that the move over the past few decades to remove competition from sporting events involving youngsters, lest anyone come to regard himself as a winner or, worse yet, a loser, has infected our military. Whereas in the distant past, we waged wars with the idea of winning them and making our enemies say “Uncle!” we now play for ties, lest others think badly of us or are embarrassed for having lost.

Speaking of the military, I am in no way an isolationist, but I think before we enter into defense treaties with other nations, we require that they maintain the largest military they can possibly afford. If they’re going to keep relying on our military to protect them, thus treating us as mercenaries, we should send them a monthly invoice, payable on demand. At least that way, we could afford to restore the military force that our own gutless administration, using sequester as an excuse, has decimated.

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The new Democrat US Senate candidate looks to be pretty anti-gun, especially for Montana

by John Lott on Monday, August 18th, 2014

This is article 556 of 556 in the topic Gun Rights
 

This Republican ad using Amanda Curtis’ own words seems to be pretty damning (more of her videos are available here).  Did the Democratic nominating committee actually look into this candidate before they nominated her?  I guess the question is whether she will drag down other Democrats who are running for office in Montana.

Here is some more information on her.

[Montana Shooting Sports Association] tracked 24 gun-related votes cast by Curtis in the Montana House last session.  Curtis voted anti-gun on 23 of 24 opportunities.  For that, she scored a miserable 2.6%.  A 59% score would have earned her an “F” on gun issues.  She is well below F-, if there is such a thing.

Curtis  voted:
NO on a bill to encourage manufacturers to move to Montana and create new jobs if those manufacturers make firearms (HR5).
NO on two bills to protect hunters’ hearing by allowing sound reduction for hunting (HB205 & HB27).
NO on a bill to prohibit the university system from suspending the Montana Constitution (HB240).
NO on a bill to allow investigators working for public defenders to carry firearms for self defense (SB133).
NO on a bill to exempt from criminal “disorderly conduct” charges a hunter who fires a shot at a deer or elk (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB446).
NO on a bill to allow people located inside city limits the same ability for self defense as those outside city limits (HB304).
NO on a bill to allow a person eating at a restaurant that serves beer to provide for his or her self defense (HB358).
NO to medical privacy for gun owners (even the Governor disagreed with her on this bill) (HB459).
NO to preventing newspapers from publishing the private information about people who have been issued a concealed weapon permit by the local sheriff (the Governor disagreed with her on this bill too) (SB145).

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Concealed carry permit holder uses gun to defend himself against three gang members, fatally shots one of them

by John Lott on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

This is article 555 of 556 in the topic Gun Rights
From the Orlando Sentinel:

An armed Lakeland man killed a 14-year-old gang member in a shootout Wednesday evening after both drew guns and opened fire, according to the Lakeland Police Department.

At 7:49 p.m., Smith and two unidentified companions began taunting Canteen in the courtyard outside his Oregon Avenue apartment before the teen drew an handgun, a witness told police.

Canteen also had a handgun and, according to Canteen, the teen began shooting at him first, striking him several times in the “upper extremities,” police spokesman Sgt. Gary Gross said in a report.

Canteen said he returned fire, striking the teen “numerous times.”

This was not the 5-feet 8-inch tall, 130-pound teen’s first brush with violence. State records state he was a convicted felon arrested twice since age 12 for armed robbery with a gun, once for battery on a public or school employee and once for burglarizing a home. . . .

The Orlando Ledger has some useful information on Smith and his family.

. . . Wednesday’s incident was not the first shooting to affect Davion Smith and his family.
Records show he was arrested in November 2012 following a shooting at the Lakeland farmers market in which a 79-year-old man was wounded. Davion Smith and six other teens were each charged with armed robbery and attempted murder, the Polk Sheriff’s Office said at the time.
Smith’s brother, 15-year-old Bayshawn Kelly, who is also a documented gang member, was shot in April this year during a gang-related drive-by shooting, police said. Kelly was hit in the arm and back, but recovered.
A few weeks later, Kelly was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm stemming from a separate drive-by shooting, police said.
Smith’s cousin, 15-year-old Shyhiem Morris, was wounded in a drive-by shooting in early May. At the scene of that shooting, Patricka Smith told The Ledger that she didn’t understand all the violence among Lakeland’s teens. . . .

Here is later Ledger article from August 12th with Smith’s mother explaining that Davion’s arrest record didn’t involve anything serious.

Davion’s mother, Patricka Smith, said she knows her son wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t deserve to die.
Davion, who was known as DayDay, was a star on the football field and always had a smile on his face, his family said.
He was one of five children and was generally respectful, his mother said.
He had a few problems in school and had been arrested before, but Patricka Smith said none of it was serious. . . .

Having read a lot of these cases, if Canteen was not a concealed handgun permit holder, that information would surely have been released within five days of the shooting.

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Michael Bloomberg and other gun control groups target Milwaukee’s Sheriff David Clarke

by John Lott on Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is article 32 of 32 in the topic 2014 Elections
I have met Sheriff Clarke and I have had the chance to be interviewed by him on his radio show.  If Bloomberg’s money makes a difference in this race, it is something that we will hear a lot about.  From Fox News:

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who through his political group has publicly committed to spending $50 million on gun-control politics in 2014 – has paid $150,000 to air a series of television ads targeting Clarke’s conservative pro-gun policies.
The money from Bloomberg’s Independence USA super PAC is more than what Clarke and Moews have spent on their entire campaigns combined.
Bloomberg spokesman Howard Wolfson told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that he decided to get involved in the sheriff’s race because it allowed him to shape policy on a local level.
“The issue of guns is one that (Bloomberg) cares an awful lot about and there’s a very clear contrast on that issue in this race,” Wolfson told the newspaper.
But Bloomberg isn’t the only person pumping cash into the primary.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee spent $400,000 on its own anti-Clarke ads.
Clarke, who is running as a Democrat but regularly aligns himself with conservative Republicans, spoke at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in April. The NRA, who calls Clarke a “rising national star,” has come to Clarke’s defense, soliciting donations from its members on his behalf and buying online ads for his re-election bid. . . .

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The Regime Uses Words And Phrases Designed To Bamboozle Us All

by Bob Livingston on Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is article 452 of 452 in the topic Government Corruption
The Regime Uses Words And Phrases Designed To Bamboozle Us All

THINKSTOCK

 

Most longtime readers know that I have often warned that our government has evolved into benevolent totalitarianism.

This is a gentle term for fascism. No, we don’t have the jack boots and the swastika. Our system is far advanced from that. Our fascism today is so advanced over Nazi Germany and fascist Italy of World War II that our system actually appears benevolent.

How could this happen? The answer is: reverse semantics. Every writer and every talking head in America refer to the U.S. as a democracy of free market capitalism and individual privacy and property rights. This is a big laugh to any sober, thinking person.

Well, the system and its paid politicians still repeat those high-sounding terms. They use the terms like “privacy” and “free market” as sedatives to the crowd. The terms “private” and “freedom” no longer mean what they once did. They are cruel deceptions that fool the mind yearning for human freedom.

The fact is that in America we have massive regulation and regimentation. But, of course, it’s “in the public interest.” It all spews forth out of “democracy” as if a biblical word and a holy sanction.

We live in a fiction of freedom perpetuated with semantic corruption that has evolved us into economic fascism and tyranny. Language and words that support a free society have been turned inside out.

With this propaganda of reverse semantics, opposition has been neutralized. True words, true meanings of patriotism and freedom have become the farce and illusion of fascism.

A “Patriot Act” is the cover for treason. “Free healthcare” is the cover for collectivism and forced medication. “Gay rights” is a cover for stolen liberty, increased State control and the creation of thought crimes. We have bought organized crime with a pretty face and twisted language.

And I say to you, millions of “educated” and vain intelligentsia, you bought the scam of American fascism too, the same as the millions of illiterates — if you weren’t busy perpetrating it.

Here are more examples of reverse semantics at work:

  • Free press: Six mega-corporations control 90 percent of all that you read, watch or hear. This is down from more than 50 companies 30 years ago. The so-called “journalists” from those organizations operate in an echo chamber founded by a left-wing activist, Billy Wimsatt.  More than 1,000 of these front-line “journalists” and editorialists from such organizations as CNN, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, U.S. News & World Report, among others, along with members of progressive (i.e., socialist) think tanks and activist organizations like Center for Media and Democracy and the American Legislative, Issue Campaign Exchange and American Sustainable Business Council, are members of a secretive and closed Google group called Gamechanger Salon in which they meet online to exchange information, ideas and strategy to promote progressive ideas, policies and candidates.
  • Immigration reform: Along the southern border an invasion is taking place perpetrated by Barack Obama policies and pronouncements and intentional lack of border security.

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Police in Britain now regularly carrying guns, anti-gun activities upset, claim no benefit

by John Lott on Sunday, August 10th, 2014

This is article 553 of 556 in the topic Gun Rights
From the BBC:

In a little-noticed move, a small number of police officers are now routinely carrying sidearms while on patrol in parts of the mainland UK. . . .
It’s a sight that once would have been unthinkable. In this corner of the Scottish Highlands – an area with one of the lowest crime rates in the UK – the officers showing up to a relatively workaday disturbance are armed.
Although every police force has a firearms unit, for decades it has been an article of faith that in the mainland UK, almost uniquely among major industrialised nations, the police do not carry guns as a matter of course.
But with little fanfare at first, a policy of routinely allowing specialist officers to wear sidearms as they walk the streets of Scotland has come into being. . . .

Meanwhile, an anti-gun activist in Scotland opposes police carrying guns.  From the UK Daily Record:

. . . Dr Mick North lost his five-year-old daughter Sophie when killer Thomas Hamilton struck at her school.
The anti-gun activist has slammed Police Scotland Chief Constable Sir Stephen House for suggesting armed bobbies could have stopped the massacre.
At a force summit in June, the country’s top policeman highlighted the mass murder of Sophie, her 14 primary 1 classmates and teacher Gwen Mayor as a reason why units should not spend “an extra five, 10, 15, 20 minutes” arming themselves.
Dr North said: “I can’t see how any armed police would have stopped Dunblane.“It took 15 minutes until any police officer arrived at the school when the incident was all over in three minutes.” . . .

Some notes: I agree that it is very doubtful that police could have arrived quickly enough to stop the attack at Dunblane.  But does that mean that there won’t be a few other times when speed might save some lives.  Of course, my response is to speed up response time to these tragedies by getting rid of gun-free zones, not by disarming even police.  It is hard to see any benefits from having police being disarmed.

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Continued massive coverage of the Taylor Woolrich story: What happens when a woman is being stalked but not able to defend herself

by John Lott on Saturday, August 9th, 2014

This is article 554 of 556 in the topic Gun Rights
KGTV San Diego: “College student wants right to carry gun on campus

Fox 5 San Diego: “Dartmouth student from San Diego wants to carry a gun on campus
Red Alert Politics: “Darmouth College student advocates for concealed carry on campus
KTOK 1000 Oklahoma: “Why David Boren et. al. Need to Re-think Their Gun Policies
MyFoxChicago: “Ivy Leaguer with stalker may drop out over anti-gun policy
The UK Daily News: “College student threatens to drop Dartmouth if the school does not allow her to carry a handgun on campus to protect herself from a ‘stalker with a rape kit’
Business Insider: “Dartmouth Won’t Allow Student To Carry Gun For Protection, Despite A Man Allegedly Stalking Her For Four Years
Fox 5 San Diego: “Dartmouth student from San Diego wants to carry a gun on campus
China News: “美女学生长期遭老男人骚扰欲携枪防身遭校方拒绝 [The beautiful woman student suffers the old man to harass for a long time wants to take along the gun self-defense to suffer the school authorities to reject]”
The Blaze: “Ivy League School’s Response to Student Requesting to Carry a Concealed Handgun to Defend Herself From Dangerous Stalker
NBC News in San Diego: “Dartmouth Student Seeks Right to Carry Gun to Protect Herself Against Stalker
The Washington Times: “Stalked student may drop out of Dartmouth over no-guns policy
Inquisitr: “Gun Control Rule At Dartmouth College Denies Taylor Woolrich Protection From Stalker With ‘Rape Kit’
Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com: “Female Campus Carry Advocate and Dartmouth Student Details Stalking: “They Found a Rape Kit in His Car”
Katie Pavlich at Townhall.com: “Mother of Virginia Tech Victim Advocates For Concealed Carry on Campus
The Truth About Guns: “Dartmouth College Denies Stalker Victim Right to Armed Self Defense, Perpetuates #waronwomen
Rare: “Dartmouth wouldn’t let this woman carry a gun to fend off her stalker
Breitbart: “Dartmouth Student to “Drop out” unless she can carry gun to fend off stalker
Newsbusters: “NBC Highlights College Student Fighting for Right to Carry Gun on Campus
News World Today: “Dartmouth Won’t Allow Student To Carry Gun For Protection, Despite A Man Allegedly Stalking Her For Four Years
Independent Journal Review: “Student Tormented By Stalker May Have To Drop Out Because College Won’t Allow Her To Defend Herself
Georgia Newsday: “Stalked student will ‘drop Dartmouth’ for not allowing her a handgun
The Examiner: “Female student not allowed to carry gun to protect self against predator
NewHampshire.com: “Woman stalked by man, 67, caught with rape kit says she’ll drop out of Dartmouth if not allowed to carry a gun
MyFoxChicago: “Ivy Leaguer with stalker may drop out over anti-gun policy
Voice of San Diego: “Student from SD Takes Stand on Carrying Gun
BizPacReview: “College student stalked for 4 years makes impassioned plea to carry a gun for self-defense
Campus Reform: “Dartmouth student denied concealed carry despite aggressive stalker
Heavy: “Taylor Woolrich: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Opposing Views: “Dartmouth Won’t Allow Student To Carry Gun To Protect Against Stalker

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Canadian mail order guns from 1902 to 1975

by John Lott on Friday, August 8th, 2014

By almost 2-to-1 vote, Missouri approves stronger constitutional protections to own guns

by John Lott on Thursday, August 7th, 2014

This is article 551 of 556 in the topic Gun Rights
Bloomberg’s gun groups claimed that this change would hurt safety in Missouri.  Voters overwhelmingly rejected the claims.  An explanation of the changes to the Missouri Constitution are available here at KFVS Channel 12:

Missourians voted to strengthen the state’s gun rights law when they headed to the polls on Tuesday, Aug. 5.  This ballot measure reads as follows:

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?”

Currently, the U.S. Constitution grants American’s the ability to keep and bear arms.
Missouri state law also protects that right.

Essentially, voters were asked to decide if this right to keep and carry guns should be an “unalienable right” just like American’s rights to life and liberty.

That would mean the right is impossible to take away and if it was challenged in court, this amendment would give Missourian’s the highest level of legal protection.

Senator Kurt Schaefer, a supporter of the change, says if passed, Missouri would have the strongest gun rights in the country. . . .

The St. Louis Post has this discussion of the outcome of the vote:

And Amendment 5, reitervating the U.S. Constitution’s right to bear arms, won by almost 2 to 1. . . .

The “right to bear arms” referendum (Amendment 5) will reiterate the U.S. Constitution’s similar guarantee, but with more specificity, making that right “inalienable.” Supporters argued it was needed because of attempts to restrict gun rights on the national level.

Opponents argued that it would be an unnecessary duplication of the federal Constitution’s Second Amendment and that it could impede enforcement of reasonable firearms restrictions.

After the vote, the group “Moms Demand Gun Sense in America” issued a statement warning: “Today Missouri voters approved a gun lobby-backed proposal that could gravely undermine public safety.” . . .

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Dartmouth Student Is Stalked for 4 Years, Wants Right to Carry Gun

by John Lott on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

This is article 550 of 556 in the topic Gun Rights
Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at  Wednesday, August 6, 12.27 PM

Here is the first part of the story that was the lead up at Fox News:

A 20-year-old Dartmouth student says she may have to give up her Ivy League dream and drop out of school because the prestigious college won’t allow her to carry a gun — to protect herself against a predator.

Taylor Woolrich, a junior, says Dartmouth administrators told her they won’t let her carry a gun on campus, even though she lives in fear of a man who has been stalking her since she was a high school student in San Diego. 

“It’s absolutely unfair,” Woolrich said about her attempts to have the school make an exception to its weapons ban. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with.”
Woolrich was 16 years old and working in a San Diego café when she says a man came in to buy coffee and then kept returning throughout the day, staring at her for long periods of time and trying to flirt with her. The man, 67-year-old Richard Bennett, kept this up for days, she says, even sitting outside the store for an entire day and then following her home, demanding that she talk to him and saying he was “trying to protect her.” 

She filed a restraining order, but it did little to keep Bennett away. Woolrich says he constantly harassed her during her first two years at Dartmouth, stalking her on social media and sending messages in which he “promised” to fly across the country to see her at college. 

“I thought they were empty threats, but when I came home from school last summer, he was at my front door within eight hours of my plane landing,” she said. “That’s when I realized how serious it was.” 

Woolrich and her family called the police, and Bennett was arrested. A search of his car uncovered a slip noose, a knife, gloves and other items. 

Bennett is currently in jail in San Diego County, accused of violating the restraining order and felony stalking, as well as other charges. His next court date is Aug. 20. If convicted, his maximum sentence would be four years. 

Woolrich says she inquired about obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon in California and learned that the minimum age to get one is 21, though exceptions can be made under special circumstances. She says the Sheriff’s Licensing Division told her she could qualify, and she learned the same exception can be granted in New Hampshire, where Dartmouth is located. 

But Dartmouth administrators told her she was “absolutely not” allowed to carry a weapon on campus. She says she tried to plead her case and was told to speak with several campus officials, all of whom provided little to no help. 

“There’s no option. There’s no one to go to. They don’t want to hear my case,” she said.
Many colleges across the country have banned guns on campus to prevent mass shootings and accidental shootings by irresponsible or inebriated students.

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