A great resource
Ruger has posted a page that lets you easily email your Representative, Senators, Governor and other officials. You can use their form letter or compose your own.
Infographic on the candidates' positions
From the transcript:
"QUESTION: President Obama, during the Democratic National
Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the
hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to
do to limit the availability of assault weapons?
OBAMA: We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and
I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of
hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can
But there have been too many instances during the course of my
presidency, where I've had to comfort families who have lost somebody.
Most recently out in Aurora. You know, just a couple of weeks ago,
actually, probably about a month, I saw a mother, who I had met at the
bedside of her son, who had been shot in that theater.
And her son had been shot through the head. And we spent some
time, and we said a prayer and, remarkably, about two months later,
this young man and his mom showed up, and he looked unbelievable, good
But there were a lot of families who didn't have that good
fortune and whose sons or daughters or husbands didn't survive.
So my belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we've
already got, make sure that we're keeping guns out of the hands of
criminals, those who are mentally ill. We've done a much better job
in terms of background checks, but we've got more to do when it comes
But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for
soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets. And so what I'm
trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce
the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault
weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other
sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago,
there's an awful lot of violence and they're not using AK-47s.
They're using cheap hand guns.
And so what can we do to intervene, to make sure that young
people have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there's
violence on the streets, that working with faith groups and law
enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control.
And so what I want is a - is a comprehensive strategy. Part of
it is seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in
amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.
But part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get into
these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before
CROWLEY: Governor Romney, the question is about assault weapons,
ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on
– on guns and taking guns away or making certain guns illegal. We,
of course, don't want to have automatic weapons, and that's already
illegal in this country to have automatic weapons. What I believe is
we have to do, as the president mentioned towards the end of his
remarks there, which is to make enormous efforts to enforce the gun
laws that we have, and to change the culture of violence that we have.
And you ask how - how are we going to do that? And there are a
number of things. He mentioned good schools. I totally agree. We
were able to drive our schools to be number one in the nation in my
state. And I believe if we do a better job in education, we'll –
we'll give people the - the hope and opportunity they deserve and
perhaps less violence from that. But let me mention another thing.
And that is parents. We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids.
Wherever possible the - the benefit of having two parents in the
home, and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms,
single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies,
they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great
Because if there's a two parent family, the prospect of living in
poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will
– will be able to achieve increase dramatically. So we can make
changes in the way our culture works to help bring people away from
violence and give them opportunity, and bring them in the American
The - the greatest failure we've had with regards to - to
gun violence in some respects is what - what is known as Fast and
Furious. Which was a program under this administration, and how it
worked exactly I think we don't know precisely, where thousands of
automatic, and AK-47 type weapons were - were given to people that
ultimately gave them to - to drug lords.
They used those weapons against - against their own citizens and
killed Americans with them. And this was a - this was a program of
the government. For what purpose it was put in place, I can't
imagine. But it's one of the great tragedies related to violence in
our society which has occurred during this administration. Which I
think the American people would like to understand fully, it's been
investigated to a degree, but - but the administration has carried
out executive privilege to prevent all of the information from coming
I'd like to understand who it was that did this, what the idea
was behind it, why it led to the violence, thousands of guns going to
Mexican drug lords.
CROWLEY: Governor, Governor, if I could, the question was about
these assault weapons that once were once banned and are no longer
I know that you signed an assault weapons ban when you were in
Massachusetts, obviously, with this question, you no longer do support
that. Why is that, given the kind of violence that we see sometimes
with these mass killings? Why is it that you have changed your mind?
ROMNEY: Well, Candy, actually, in my state, the pro-gun folks
and the anti-gun folks came together and put together a piece of
legislation. And it's referred to as an assault weapon ban, but it
had, at the signing of the bill, both the pro-gun and the anti-gun
people came together, because it provided opportunities for both that
There were hunting opportunities, for instance, that haven't
previously been available and so forth, so it was a mutually agreed-
upon piece of legislation. That's what we need more of, Candy. What
we have right now in Washington is a place that's gridlocked."
I didn't see this part of it --from the transcript, it seems as if Romney goes into Fast and Furious, then at Obama's request the moderator cuts him off. If so, that underscores both a bias and what Prof. Brian Patrick describes as the media's self-image in which they are high priests of information. There will be a "town hall," but the moderator has reviewed, and presumably screened, all questions. There will be a debate, but the moderator will decide what can be argued. You're not to hear about Fast and Furious, because it is outside the moderator's decision about what you may hear.
You have to fly lower to get under the radar screen
Obama National Cochair a venture capitalist who's closed down firms and laid people off. The Denver Post of course ignored the news, and when they wanted to run it as a full-page ad, made them delete the reference to his campaign position. (Reason: they charge thousands more for ads for political purposes than for ads to, say, sell something. So much for the MSM being there to foster awareness, etc., etc.).
That's a heck of a platform!
I can remember when the very best you could hope for was something like "We support the Second Amendment." Heck George Bush Sr. resigned from the NRA and imposed import bans, and even his son said that he'd sign a renewal of the "AW" ban. But the current GOP platform is:
"We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We acknowledge, support, and defend the law-abiding citizens’ God-given right of self-defense. We call for the protection of such fundamental individual rights recognized in the Supreme Court's decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago affirming that right, and we recognize the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. This also includes the right to obtain and store ammunition without registration. We support the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be, and we support federal legislation that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend their homes and communities. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners. We oppose legislation that is intended to restrict our Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the ill-considered Clinton gun ban. We condemn the reckless actions associated with the operation known as "Fast and Furious," conducted by the Department of Justice, which resulted in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent and others on both sides of the border. We applaud the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in holding the current Administration's Attorney General in contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with their investigation into that debacle. We oppose the improper collection of firearms sales information in the four southern border states, which was imposed without congressional authority."
UPDATE: I'm not saying this is a guarantee of what a party or a candidate will do .... although I doubt Obama will run on a platform anything like this! But look at it in terms of evolution of how a party wants to be seen. [corrected, and italics tag closed] That offers a key as to what they see is in their own partisan interest, and that is a good predictor of political behavior.
The 1996 GOP platform devoted one sentence to the right to arms, and then dealt at length with the gun control measures it would push anyway:
"We defend the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. We will promote training in the safe usage of firearms, especially in programs for women and the elderly. We strongly support Bob Dole's National Instant Check Initiative, which will help keep all guns out of the hands of convicted felons. The point-of-purchase instant check has worked well in many states and now it is time to extend this system all across America. We applaud Bob Dole's commitment to have the national instant check system operational by the end of 1997. In one of the strangest actions of his tenure, Bill Clinton abolished Operation Triggerlock, the Republican initiative to jail any felon caught with a gun. We will restore that effort and will set by law minimum mandatory penalties for the use of guns in committing a crime: 5 years for possession, 10 years for brandishing, and 20 for discharge."
The platforms give us insight into what politicians, esp. GOP politicians, judge are the positions that will gain them office or keep them there. In 1996, it was lip service to the Second Amendment, then tell everyone all the forms of gun control you support in reality. In 2012, the key to political survival is instead lots of discussion of the 2A, and none about the virtues of gun control.
The 2000 GOP platform said:
"We defend the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and we affirm the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. Because self-defense is a basic human right, we will promote training in their safe usage, especially in federal programs for women and the elderly. A Republican administration will vigorously enforce current gun laws, neglected by the Democrats, especially by prosecuting dangerous offenders identified as felons in instant background checks. Although we support background checks to ensure that guns do not fall into the hands of criminals, we oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as a violation of the Second Amendment and an invasion of privacy of honest citizens. Through programs like Project Exile, we will hold criminals individually accountable for their actions by strong enforcement of federal and state firearm laws, especially when guns are used in violent or drug-related crimes. With a special emphasis upon school safety, we propose the crackdown on youth violence explained elsewhere in this platform."
It actually says more about enforcing firearms laws than about the right to arms.
The 2004 GOP platform had this to say:
"Republicans and President Bush strongly support an individual right to own guns, which is explicitly protected by the Constitution's Second Amendment. Our Party honors the great American tradition of hunting and we applaud efforts by the Bush Administration to make more public lands available to hunters, to increase access to hunting clinics and safety programs for children and adults, and to improve opportunities for hunting for Americans with disabilities.
We believe the 2nd Amendment and all the rights guaranteed by it should enable law-abiding citizens throughout the country to own firearms in their homes for self-defense. We applaud those seeking to stop frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers which is a transparent attempt to deprive citizens of their 2nd Amendment rights. We oppose federal licensing of lawabiding gun owners & national gun registration as a violation of the 2nd Amendment and an invasion of privacy of honest citizens"
The 2008 GOP platform provided:
"We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court's decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We call on the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend themselves, their property, and communities.
We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to returning members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as violations of the Second Amendment. We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime."
Not in a million years,
but this would be interesting.
Sobering thoughts about the upcoming election
To quote the First Lady, "You’re here because you know that in just 13 months, we’re going to make a choice that will impact our lives for decades to come … let’s not forget what it meant when my husband appointed those two brilliant Supreme Court justices … let’s not forget the impact that their decisions will have on our lives for decades to come.”
And let's not forget that both Heller and McDonald were 5-4 decisions.... and that two members of the majority are now 76, and will be 80 in four years.
Of course it takes more than an election. In Heller, two of the four dissenters were Republican appointees (Stevens was appointed by Ford, and Souter by the elder Bush.
Rahm Emanuel gets the boot
Story here. An Illinois appellate court rules he cannot run for mayor of Chicago because of a minor problem -- there is a one-year residency requirement and he only moved back to Chicago in October. (That didn't stop the trial court from ruling that while he was in DC he was actually in Chicago).
David Kopel on the 2010 election
Here's Dave's thoughts about the result. It was, of course, good news.
Candidate for AZ governor
I met Buz Mills at the annual NRA meeting. It's not often you see a serious gubernatorial candidate who owns Gunsite Academy -- I don't suppose that leaves much room for doubt on his Second Amendment views.
What reminded me of this was word that he's filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case involving Arizona's publicly-funded elections statutes. Those allow a person to run in the usual way, with donations, or to opt for public funding (sorry to say no politician ever offered to fund my job searches), but also has a provision that if someone funds his or her own election, a matching amount of public money will go to their opponent. Mills is pointing out that his opponents are drawing millions of public money for their campaigns, while they just had a referendum to increase the sales tax because otherwise the State would allegedly go insolvent.
Can we run this guy for President?
Texas governor Rick Perry, out jogging without a security detail but with a .380, pops a coyote who was giving his daughter's dog some hungry looks. His spokesman explains there is no report: "People shoot coyotes all the time, snakes all the time," Mange said. "We don't write reports."
Don Kates on the California gubernatorial race
"I have been asked to comment on the up-coming California
gubernatorial election: Of the Republican candidate, an immensely
wealthy woman named Meg Whitman, I know nothing except that she is the
former Chief Executive Officer of eBay and that she is alleged to be
anti-gun by some people who claim to know and that the allegation is not
surprising to anyone.
SPECIFICS: Whitman has no interest in meeting with gun groups to solicit
their support; Whitman has supported Barbara Boxer; Whitman supports
"environmental" lawsuits that are anti-hunting but makes no attempt to
gain the aid of gun groups on environmental issues.
In contrast, I do know Jerry Brown. We went to law school together
though we were not big buddies. And when I contacted him about
supporting the pro-Second Amendment position in the McDonald case, he
filed an influential pro-Second Amendment brief with the US Supreme
Court. I know that he personally made the decision to do this,
overruling his staff; and he wrote the brief himself. (He is an able
lawyer.) When he was assailed by anti-gun forces, his response was that
the 2d Amendment is a "civil rights issue.""
Bill Clinton agrees with NRA
"Clinton added that the National Rifle Association also played a bigger role than it's credited in turning over Congress during the 1994 Republican revolution. "They were mad about this whole weapons ban and the Brady Bill, and they probably took 15 of our House members out. That was their number, they said between 15 and 20, and I'd say, at least on the low side, they were right," he said."
Campaigning in the grand style
In North Carolina, it's time for full auto fundraising.
"By adding $25 to D'Annunzio's campaign kitty, supporters got the opportunity to fire an Uzi or an MP-5 submachine gun.
"I was so good the first time," said 56-year-old Victoria Schott of Charlotte, "I'm going to do it again.""
Just when you think you've seen it all...
Self defense in the grand style
"Startled burglar pleads for his life." Can't say as I recommend his approach, tho.
We had a Judge Meehan here, Marine, former LEO, great fellow. One night he finds someone crawling in his bathroom window, which was right the tub. He grabs the guy by the back of his collar and yanks him in, sending him head-first into the tub. Then he rolls him over, sticks his .357 up his nostril and while the guy is still upside down begins shouting "GIVE ME ONE REASON I SHOULDN'T BLOW YOUR BRAINS OUT, RIGHT NOW!" In the meantime his wife called 911, and the police soon arrived. I suspect that burglar was "scared straight" that night.
LA City Attorney's race
One contender is Carmen Trutanich, law partner of pro-gun attorney Chuch Michel, and Trutanich's opponent is trying to use that against him.
Hat tip to reader Ambiguous Ambiguae...
Fight for L.A. City Atty position
Carmen Trutanich, partner to pro-gun attorney Chuck Michel, is one of the last two contenders, and the race is getting pretty combative:
"Trutanich cast Weiss as a legal “novice” with little to show for his two terms on the City Council. Weiss hammered Trutanich for representing polluters and sharing a law practice with an attorney for the National Rifle Association, among other gun groups.
At various points during the hour-and-a-half debate, Weiss stood inches from Trutanich, jabbing his finger in the air and demanding that Trutanich disclose all of his firm’s clients.
“You are a walking, talking conflict of interest. You need to tell the people of this city who the conflicts are, and how much its going to cost us,” Weiss said, arguing that the city would be forced to spend millions of additional dollars on outside counsel if any of Trutanich’s former clients faced the city in court. “Please do us a favor now, rather than on July 1, of fessing up on who your clients are."
“Here’s a guy who is in the back pocket of almost every developer in the city telling me to disclose something?” Trutanich retorted. Questioning Weiss’s accomplishments, he continued: “He fell asleep on his shovel and woke up to run for city attorney. There’s an entitlement about him -- he feels he’s entitled to this job and he’s not, because he’s done nothing to deserve it.”"
Ted Cruz to run for Texas Atty General
Story here. As TX Solicitor General, Cruz wrote one of the most important of the Heller amicus briefs. He'll run for AG if the current AG, a friend of his, decides to run for higher office.
Via the Volokh Conspiracy. where he gets high marks from commenters. e.g., "the dude like Paul Clement has star quality," "The best oral advocate I saw during those four years," "Ted Cruz is awesome. He should win in a landslide, and he will be phenomenal. He's hugely talented, brilliant, and very principled."
Howard Nemerov now writes for the DC Examiner
His first article analyses the elections in terms of NRA vs. Brady endorsed wins.
Glad *I* didn't get elected...
I voted the other way, but from this post on Chronicles of Higher Education, Obama has my profound sympathy"
As a professor and an author, I speak with hundreds of female undergraduates and graduate students in their 20s and 30s. I know what they want: They want both careers and families.
They want to be teachers, lawyers, engineers, biologists, doctors, and professors. They want to open new businesses, make scientific discoveries, improve the environment. They believe that finally the barriers have fallen and all careers are open to them. But they also want a family. The members of this new generation will defer marriage and motherhood many years to focus on their careers. Still, they expect to find a life partner and have at least one child before their biological clock runs out.
Gad. The poster only wants President Obama to enable them to open new businesses, get tenure, make scientific discoveries, eliminate the cost of childcare, but also to give every professional a child (which would get Michelle rather miffed, and far exceed the ability of any post-teenage male). At this rate, President O is going to be invoking his limited Article II powers in a hurry.
Ill Senate seat for sale on Ebay
Right here, and for a lot less than governor Blagie... Bloga... Blagev... the Governor of Illinois was asking, too!
Gov. Blagojevich arrested
Anti-gun IL governor Blagojevich was was arrested this morning on federal corruption and bribery charges. Investigation also involves his choice of pres-elect Obama's replacement in the Senate.
UPDATE: USA Today says that his chief of staff, John Harris, was also arrested. Charges involve soliciting bribes in exchange for the Senate appointment, and threatening to withhold State money from the firm that owns the Chicago Tribune, unless the Tribune fired editors who'd criticized him. It adds that he took office on a pledge to clean up after the former governor, who is serving time for corruption.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Rick Moran reports that the Senate deal was that he'd appoint someone to the seat in exchange for either a lucrative job, or appointment to a cabinet post in the new Administration. He says the evidence reveals
"a man either so corrupt that he saw little downside to his actions or, sadly and perhaps more likely, that the years of investigations had taken a toll on his mental well-being and he had lost touch with reality. With federal investigators swarming about him and his cronies, he came up with the idea to sell Obama’s Senate seat? And the scheme to exchange favors with campaign contributors? And to seek a cabinet posting — with federal investigators ready to indict him? How could he have possibly thought he could get away with all of it?"
Hat tips to readers Carl in Chicago and Jack Anderson...
BTW, blogging will be slow today. Recovering from some "medical issues."
The morning after
1) It'll probably be full employment for second amendment lawyers for four years. For decades we played the safety position. Now we're front line.
2) Maybe, just maybe, the Repubs will remember that they came to power as small-government conservatives, and fell when they became big-government conservatives.
3) The Demos have some problems unsolvable by government, and will screw up much of the others. Obama's messianic message means the disappointment will be all the greater. Like the Repubs, they'll let power go to their heads in a year or two. If the Repubs do ask "What would Goldwater do?" they may return in 2012. But, then, if they could have figured that out, they'd never have gotten to this point.
4) The market will go up. Much of the economy is based on circular reasoning. People think it's prosperous, they spend and it becomes prosperous. Up to today, the media (a/k/a the extended Obama campaign) has run it as doom and gloom. Starting today, and accelerating with the inauguration, they'll run it as happy days are here again, and the economy will respond accordingly. Until the next bubble pops. Because the market is full of gamblers, who can't quit when they're ahead.
[Typo fixed, thanks).
Campaign dirty tricks against gun owners?
NRA reports that gun owners in key States are receiving phone calls, fraudulently claiming to be from NRA, and stating that it has endorsed Obama.
Gun issues in the election
At Politico, Roger Simon asks why Palin and the old fellow aren't using the gun issue. OK, so her running mate's record on the issue isn't exactly perfect -- it's a heck of a lot better than that of the opposing ticket. If a candidate only argues issues where one side is 100% and the other zero, he isn't going to have a lot to talk about.
Cooper Arms exec backs Obama, perhaps with illegal contribution
USA Today ran a story noting that Dan Cooper, owner and CEO of Cooper Arms, is backing and contributing to Obama. It said he's given $3,300, "on top of the $1,000 check he wrote to Obama's U.S. Senate campaign in 2004, after he was dazzled by Obama's speech at that year's Democratic National Convention."
Snowflakes in Hell notes that he's caught flak, and is now claiming that he donated nine months ago, with the purpose of defeating Hillary, and that's he's now given to McCain. Snowflakes eats up that alibi: there's no record of a McCain donation. It appears it was after the convention. But as it was the ILL senate race, he was hardly motivated by seeing Obama defeat Hillary.
[Comment on how he might have gone over limits deleted here, since I investigated and show hard date in the post above. Basically, OpenSecrets and other secondary sources were picking up on FEC errors, and then adding some more of their own.]
UPDATE: I followed Bitter's suggestion and looked up the FEC records. Very confusing, since they have under his name and address two different Daniel Coopers who donate to Obama, and other errors, so I checked the images:
1/17: a New Yorker, no job given, donated $2100.
2/6: An Ohioan, CEO of Cooper Arms, gives $1000.
2/6: Sane person and occupation gives $800
2/6: Same person and occupation gets a refund of $800.
2/6: Same person and occupation gives $1000.
No reason given for the refund (-800), and the listing of cumulative donations doesn't match anything (they show for most of these cumulative donations of $3100 or 3200). Egad. All are for the primary tho, and the Ohio Cooper seems to have given $2800, going over the limit, which was probably remedied by the refund).
Gun political website
GunVoter.com. It's an online forum. At the bottom is a forum for state races, and subdivisions for each State. If you know something about a candidate in your state, you can post it, and if you want to know, you can check them out. A very interesting idea.
A one-on-one view of Obama and the gun issue
The Exec. Director of the Illinois State Rifle Ass'n has this to say:
"I lobbied Barack Obama extensively while he was an Illinois State Senator. As a result of that experience, I know Obama's attitudes toward guns and gun owners better than anyone. The truth be told, in all my years in the Capitol I have never met a legislator who harbors more contempt for the law-abiding firearm owner than does Barack Obama.
In closing, I'd like to remind you that I'm a guy who has actually gone nose to nose with Obama on gun rights issues. The Obama I know cannot even begin to identify with this nation's outdoor traditions. The Obama I know sees you, the law abiding gun owner, as nothing but a low-class lummox who is easily swayed by the flash of a smile and a ration of rosy rhetoric. The Obama I know is a stony-faced liar who has honed his skill at getting what he wants - so long as people are willing to give it to him."
Hat tip to read Ambiguous Ambiguae.
Read the entire piece. It's hard-hitting, and from a guy who lobbied the IL legislature for 15 years.
Obama spokesman gets grilled on Fox over NRA ads
Breitbart video here. The interviewer eats the Obama spokesman for lunch.
Hat tip to reader Jim Kindred...
NRA ads churning up a battle
NRA is running anti-Obama TV ads, and FactCheck.org claims that they're false. Gist of the article seems to be: NRA says Obama is antigun, Obama's campaign denies it, therefore NRA must be lying. Duh....
It's being picked up by pro-Obama blogs under titles such as "Fact checkers find that National Rifle Association is spreading flat-out lies".
National Review Online has a point-by-point rebuttal of the FactCheck article.
Obama's not much of a speaker
Gad, here's some YouTube video of him when his teleprompter broke down. I've heard comment that he's good reading a teleprompter and helpless otherwise, but this is pitiful. He must not have done courtroom work, is all I can say.
New disease spotted
Palinosis. It has a sudden onset; symptoms include dementia, frothing at the mouth, panic attacks, and rage.
Election getting foul already
Facts: back in 2000, Alaska enacted a law barring police departments from charging victims for rape investigation kits. Sounds logical: if somebody shoots at me, I wouldn't expect to pay for the ballistics test. A reporter for a small town newspaper hunting for the "other side" interviews their police chief, who opposes the bill because the cost to the town is high, they like to bill the victim's medical insurance "when possible," and the offender ought to be made to pay the cost as restitution. OK, arguments, but you didn't convince me.
The significance of this: eight years later someone deduces that Sarah Palin (whom the reporter did not interview) was mayor of the town then and had hired that police chief. Title of posting: "Sarah Thinks Rape Victims Should be Charged for Their Own Rape Kits." Ending of it: "The more we learn about Sarah Palin, the more we learn about how corrupt she is."
(Click on the linked story or just click on it here to get the newspaper story).
UPDATE: did a quick google and found other postings such as "BREAKING: Palin Charged Rape Victims For Their Rape Kits??!!" "Sarah Palin Revictimized Rape Victims" etc.
Obama may have made Freudian slip:
"If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.
So he tried again. “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’ he said."
Hat tip to reader Jack Anderson....
I regret to report
I regret to report that this is not a genuine image of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. My heart was broken by this debunking. Hat tip to Dan Gifford (sigh)...
In light of "identity politics," folks have been seeing Sarah Palin's nomination as intended to peel off women voters. But might nominating an attractive woman who loves to hunt and shoot be aimed at a different demographic?
McCain picks Gov. Sarah Palin for VP
She's an NRA lifer, which is good, and a hunter. Gotta say, she adds more to his ticket than Biden adds to Obama's.
Obama actually supported a gun owner, once
Story here. OK, maybe it wasn't the type of gun owner most of us would care to be around, but it must count for something.
Hat tip to reader Jim Kindred...
What doesn't work in Chicago may also not work in Cheyenne
With regard the Demo platform acknowledgment that "What works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne," it's worth noting that:
"This election season, for instance, the residents of Obama's hometown are being murdered at a clip not seen in five years.
Murders have risen 18 percent over a year ago. Assaults in the city involving guns are also rising. City officials, Police Supt. Jody Weis and the police force are increasingly coming under criticism."
Update: Fighting for Liberty notes:
Homicide rate: Chicago 16.4, Cheyenne 3.5
Robbery rate: Chicago 555, Cheyenne 40
Smackdown of Demo platform on guns
Blog devoted to Obama and the gun issue
Right here. It's just getting going, but I figured folks might want to get in on the readership ground floor!
Obama's gun problem
My friend Jim Warner has a column on the subject.
In the meantime, the Demos keep digging. Their draft platform (pdf) at p. 43, states:
"We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition,
and we will preserve Americans’ continued Second Amendment right to own and use
firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but
we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together
to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements, like closing the gun show
loophole, improving our background check system and reinstating the assault weapons
ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals."
OK, we got beat in Heller, want regulation anyway.
1) What works in one area may not work in another. Ah, they rediscovered federalism!
2) No they didn't. We want (national) bans on AWs and other national regulations. These are going to be imposed in Cheyenne, too. The federalism works only one way: stricter local laws are OK, less strict local laws are not.
Hat tip to reader Jack Anderson....
I guess John Edwards is off the short list for VP
His explanation doesn't do him much good, either. Yeah, he did her (and apparently was trying to last week) but he doesn't love her and he's sure the child isn't his, but sired by one of his staffers. I suspect there are quite a few who don't demand that a politician keep his zipper shut, but do expect him not to be a cad afterward.
HT to reader Jack Anderson....
More on Obama and Joyce Foundation
Heller's effect on the Presidential campaign
Bob Novak writes on it in WashPo.
Hat tip to reader Jim Kindred...
Musings on gun issues and political labels
Saw an article, not good enough to merit a link, which referred to NRA and "right wing gun nuts."
Set me to wondering: why would the Second Amendment be seen as "right wing" and calls for more gun control concisely be seen as "left wing," or conservative and liberal, respectively.
Orwell was decidedly on the British left, yet had considerable respect for individual arms ownership. I see this as quite consistent: the working class should have arms for its defense, and almost all disarmament schemes exempt corporation's security guards, so gun control disarms the worker while arming capital, in a left view.
The gun control cause is hardly consistent with other liberal/left assumptions about the world, e.g., the First Amendment. There the assumption is that if the government has power, it will abuse it for its own political ends. As to most civil (i.e., noneconomic) liberties, the same assumption holds true, with the additional Jeffersonian view that the individual is the best judge of his/her needs. If anything gun control would be more consistent with social conservativism, i.e., with John Adams rather than Tom Jefferson: the individual is not by nature virtuous, they are made so by social norms and government). Yet the social conservatives tend to oppose it.
Assune that man is not logical, but psychological. I think certain segments of the modern American left have an emotion-based dislike of that which is traditionally American, and most segments of the modern American right have emotional like of that which is traditionally American. An aspect of what Neitzsche called decadence, using it in a special term: a great fondness for that which is strange, foreign, not-you. Perhaps even the terms used give clues. "Liberal" is now in decline, perhaps since it sounds pro-freedom and open-minded. "Progressive" is rising as a self-descriptor, with its suggestion the the American status quo is at the very least not good enough (and no hint of open-mindedness; only the stupid or evil could resist progress.) Here, non-American is good and anti-American even better; you must tolerate beliefs you would repudiate here (oppressing women, killing gays, mandating religion, violence over trifling things) if they are undertaken by an "other."
Bob Barr's candidacy
Here's a good post on it.
At first I thought this was satire...
But I think he's serious. With friends like this, Obama needs no enemies.
NRA is "smearing" him as antigun, when actually he only favors registration, waiting periods, training requirements, ban on guns that are too cheap, one gun a month, ban on State CCW permits, no gun shop within five miles of a school, AW ban, and a few other trifles. Okay.
UPDATE in light of comment. I love a debate. Attached in extended remarks is the NRA statement. It seems to me that the blog post agrees that he did about 2/3 of the items it alleges. What of the remaining 1/3 can be denied? Or is the argument that the NRA post is accurate, it's just that these are all good things?
In which event, isn't this a little like arguing that ACLU has "smeared" Candidate Smith by truthfully saying he is anti free speech, just because he supports requiring a permit, with education requirements, before a person may criticize the government, imprisoning anyone who "falsely accuses a government official of misconduct," outlawing "speech that offends anyone without reasonable cause," etc., because the person expressing this view thinks that no one should criticize the government without knowing its business, or make false statements, or should offend others without cause? While I personally would subscribe to that code of conduct, I would (1) immediately vote against any candidate who advocated it as a legal code and (2) consider any such criticism to be no "smear," but rather a statement of truth and a benefical warning that the candidate was unworthy of my vote. A candidate who will not trust me to speak freely, or to own a 20 round magazine, is unworthy of my own trust in high office.
Don Kates on Hillary and the VP slot
It's long, and as usual, brilliantly reasoned and clearly expressed. I'll put it in extended remarks below. Basically, he reasons Hillary has (sort of) asked for the VP position -- because she doesn't want it.
Now, this is a shocker
I suppose only a cynic would say that Hillary's switching positions around because Montana holds its primary Tuesday, and her position on gun control isn't popular with voters there. Hmmm... good thing I'm a cynic.
Hat tip to Dan Gifford....
UPDATE: When she changed her position, she forgot to tell Chelsea, who was telling folks in Billings that "We also need to do more with gun control. And my mom supports- naturally what she supported in New York. Which is: we have different gun control laws in New York City than we do in upstate New York."
Hat tip to reader Fifty Cal...
I suppose this settles one question
I.e., Would Hillary REALLY kill someone to get into the White House?. Or at least try to give someone else the idea?
I know the Clinton ambition and ruthlessness were powerful, but I didn't think they were totally unlimited.
I guess this settles the question of whether Obama might pick her as a running mate. The joke about the Vice President having nothing to do but read the obit column in the Washington Post might be a little too true. Sorta hard to team up with someone who be slapping their legs in glee if the heard you had been killed.
McCain announces Justice Advisory Committee
Story here. I have no knowledge of what such a critter does, but the story says it would advise him on judicial appointments. What stands out to me is that it includes:
Sandy Froman, the Tucson attorney who is former NRA President.
Prof. Eugene Volokh, a quite pro-2nd Amendment academic and operator of the Volokh Conspiracy;
Prof. Orin Kerr, a member of the Volokh Conspiracy.
Charles Cooper, whom I recall filing some pro-2A amici, tho the memory is faint.
Former Sen. Phil Graham, with whom I've gone shooting.
Sen. John Kyl, quite pro gun.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson.
UPDATE to comments: Nope, a different Frank Keating! Former Gov. of Oklahoma, not former convictee in AZ. I actually have a bit info regarding the other. McCain was junior Senator, and the senior one, Dennis DeConcini, talked him to going along for a meeting with the agency that was investigating Keating's savings and loan. Supposedly, it was just a meeting to encourage the regulator to act quickly and not delay a ruling any farther. At the meeting, however, DeConcini bluntly pressured the regulator to act favorably to Keating. Who, it turned out, had been ripping off the S&L blind, or equivalent conduct (I forget now).
I was told by officials at the U of Arizona that the outcome made the football games a bit difficult. Both Senators had seating in the, I forget the term, the fancy box seats up on top. McCain was so angry at DeConcini that, to avoid a conflict, they had to work things out so neither Senator entered or left at the same time, and neither passed the other during the game.
Hat tip to Joe Olson....
NRA celebration to be loaded with former candidates
The Kentucky political blog PolWatchers reports that the NRA's Celebration of American Values in Louisville will be attended by John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Karl Rove, several senatorial candidates, Those backing Ron Paul won't be left out, as he's having his own rally on the 17th.
Clinton and McCain can sleep easy
This endorsement tells us Obama's candidacy is doomed. Moore has never yet endorsed a candidate that didn't crash and burn. I mean, last time around he backed Wesley Clark, who flamed out two weeks later. Then he went with "anybody but Bush," and we know who came out on top there.
Update: a comment bounced by the spam filter is in extended remarks, below
More on the campaign...
Here. Must be rather disheartening to Brady. Two candidates very favorable to you, falling over each other to tell the public that they're not, and accusing the other of being your true ally, treating such status as a horrible thing.
Busy today, so blogging will be light.
Dave Kopel on the PA primary
Dave has an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal.
Hat tip to reader Marcus P. ...
UPDATE: He's off a little on steel. It was known, at least as far back as the Romans, but nobody could mass produce it until the 19th century. Up thru the middle ages, it was common to make weapons of iron, with a steel cutting edge welded on.
More dancing around the gun issue
Story right here.
Hmmm... rural folk are bitter, and that's why they "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
It's a pretty strange observation from a fellow who has spent the last few months trying convince people that:
1. Really likes the Second Amendment;
2. Is quite religious; and
3. Absolutely opposes free trade agreements.
Hillary finally mentions guns
From the Boston Globe:
"Clinton talked about gangs and drugs as a cause of homicides, but mentioned guns only in passing. She noted "a direct correlation between the illegal gun sales and homicides," as she proposed a new initiative to crack down on interstate gun trafficking and allow federal agencies to share information on the transfer of guns. In addition, Clinton said she would work to renew the assault-weapons ban, signed by President Clinton in 1994 but allowed to lapse a decade later."
McCain has "work to do with gun owners"
Yep, he certainly does.
Maybe this is this question we should be asking.
Reader Carl in Chicago adds a comment, replying to comments, which the spam filter for some reason blocked:
"I'd love to see a more pro-2A front-running candidate. Probably all of us would.
But regarding voting your principles, protest write-ins, and just staying home on election day, sometimes I fear that some of us have never taken any lessons from Don Quixote.
If you don't comprehend Cervantes, I can use a poker analogy. When you play poker, you play the hand you've got and you make the best of it. Sometimes (very rarely) you win a big pot. Other times, you win a small pot. Sometimes you break even. And yes...sometimes you lose with the hand you have.
But one thing's for certain. You're damned well guaranteed to lose if you fold.
Please folks, don't fold on this. Folding is for when it's time to invoke the purpose of the 2A...and that time sure ain't now."
Reader Renaissance Man responds with a comment, again blocked by the spam filter (which I cannot figure out, but it does stop a hundred or so spams a day, selling everything from viagra to forklifts):
"Carl, the poker analogy is completely bogus. As I commented in a different thread, what we have here is similiar to a labor negotiation. We have power, but the only way to use that power is to cause ourselves short term damage to effect long term gain. A strike causes temporary loss of income which negatively affects the worker and his or her family. However, by accepting such damage the workers as a whole are able to gain a better contract.
The same thing is at work here. As long as the Republican party knows that it will get unquestioning support from gun owners because Democrats are "more evil" then we have NO power. Only by operating en masse and denying McCain the Presidency will we be able to gain or regain the power that we should have."
Obama aims for gun vote
This election is getting complicated.
Obama's Smoking Gun?
It's a Townhall column by Sandy Froman.
Clinton and Obama on the 2A
Alphecca has a post on the subject. Who'd ever have dreamed that someday the two leading Democratic presidential candidates would be claiming they supported the Second Amendment individual right? (Both have fallen back to "but we can regulate it").
I've been involved in this issue for decades, and so have a long term view. It's been steadily downhill for the other side.
1960s: they think they can get national registration and permit systems, at a bare minimum. In fact, the predecessor to the Brady Campaign opposes national registration and permits because it's a sell-out, a compromise that would deprive them of even more. They get GCA 68, which the Washington Post denounces as a worthless compromise. Second Amendment? Hah, we all know that only protects a State's right to have National Guard units!
1970s, early. Still pushing for national registration and permits. No luck.
1970s, late. How about a ban on "Saturday night specials"? Nope. Or snub-nosed handguns? Nope again. Angry that the Carter Admin. made campaign promises and won't follow thru (I've got the memos somewhere, where a low-level govt official says that the message that there will be no push from the Administration had better come from somebody with a higher pay grade). A handful of law review articles claiming Second Amendment protects an individual right.
1980s. Fall WAY back to measures so minor that they sometimes outlaw nothing at all, or outlaw things nobody has. Supposed plastic guns and armor-piercing bullets. Only apparent motive is that the gun movement will be forced to defend them and thus take a PR hit. That is one very flimsy strategic goal.
Gun movement gets Firearm Owners' Protection Act. Gets it even though House is Democratic, and its leadership VERY strongly opposed. Majority of House signs discharge petition that gets it out of Judiciary Committee.
1990s: Antigunners finally score a few victories, Brady Act, AW "ban" (which is meaningless in impact) the wiping out of home FFLs (which hurts, but in terms of the overall strategic goal doesn't do a lot Back in 68 the idea had been to make FFLs easy to get, because FFLs have to keep records of gun sales, see picture ID, etc.). As a result, Demos lose control of both houses and the White House.
All the big names in constitutional law begin endorsing an individual rights view of the Second Amendment.
2000s: Antigun cause consists of calling for narrow things (so narrow I can't even recall them now -- secure storage, trigger locks sold with guns, etc.). Even these fail. AW "ban" expires and neither party wants to touch the issue.
2008: Democratic candidates don't even argue collective rights anymore.
Clayton Cramer's candidacy and an Army of Davids
Comment here. This may just have serious meaning for us all. Perhaps running for office is no longer limited to people who have devoted their lives to that one pursuit, and those who have loads of money.
Profound and well-written piece on political thought
By David Mamet. No, it's not about the election. A few samples of his insight:
"'I observed that lust, greed, envy, sloth, and their pals are giving the world a good run for its money, but that nonetheless, people in general seem to get from day to day; and that we in the United States get from day to day under rather wonderful and privileged circumstances—that we are not and never have been the villains that some of the world and some of our citizens make us out to be, but that we are a confection of normal (greedy, lustful, duplicitous, corrupt, inspired—in short, human) individuals living under a spectacularly effective compact called the Constitution, and lucky to get it.
For the Constitution, rather than suggesting that all behave in a godlike manner, recognizes that, to the contrary, people are swine and will take any opportunity to subvert any agreement in order to pursue what they consider to be their proper interests.
To that end, the Constitution separates the power of the state into those three branches which are for most of us (I include myself) the only thing we remember from 12 years of schooling.
The Constitution, written by men with some experience of actual government, assumes that the chief executive will work to be king, the Parliament will scheme to sell off the silverware, and the judiciary will consider itself Olympian and do everything it can to much improve (destroy) the work of the other two branches. So the Constitution pits them against each other, in the attempt not to achieve stasis, but rather to allow for the constant corrections necessary to prevent one branch from getting too much power for too long.
Rather brilliant. For, in the abstract, we may envision an Olympian perfection of perfect beings in Washington doing the business of their employers, the people, but any of us who has ever been at a zoning meeting with our property at stake is aware of the urge to cut through all the pernicious bullshit and go straight to firearms."
Hat tip to reader Matt Carmel, of OSHA Data.
Demo candidates may have interesting debate coming up
April 16 debate in Philadelphia. details here. Hard to duck the gun issue in that venue -- a city whose political leaders want lots more control, in a State where gun ownership and NRA membership is remarkably high.
Aye, an' he must have given the Blarney Stone a big smooch!
It looks as if Obama... or perhaps it should be O'Bama... is actually an Irishman!
Someone play "Danny Boy" at one of his rallies so we can see if he breaks down in tears. That'd seal it!
Thought on next election
Ed Whelan, at The Weekly Standard, has some serious thoughts about the power to appoint Supreme Court justices. Whoever wins in November will likely get to appoint 2-3 justices on their first term, and perhaps as many in their second.
Via the Volokh Conspiracy...
Hillary v. Obama
Assessing those two on gun rights issues is a little like debating who was better on freedom of expression, Hitler or Stalin, but.... over at the LA Times blog, Tim Cavanaugh points out one distinction. When the bill to forbid seizures of lawfully-owned guns in the wake of a natural disaster came up, Obama voted for it, and Hillary voted against.
Via Instapundit, who notes that Obama seems to think the Second Amendment is about hunting, and thus has favored complete bans on handguns and semiauto firearms of all types.
McCain's constitutional qualifications
Now that it's turned to running down McCain, the NY Times has an article questioning whether he meets the constitutional requirement of being a "natural born" citizen. He was born in the Panama Canal Zone, of citizen parents.
Apparently there was a statute passed by the First Congress that included persons such as he among "natural born." I wonder if "natural born" didn't have special meaning then. We still refer to persons who are made citizens after birth as "naturalized," made natural something, rather than made citizens.
UPDATE. Jim Lindgren points out, on the Volokh Conspiracy, that "natural born" indeed was a term of art at the time of the Framing, and under it McCain is clearly "natural born." Blackstone and other sources used "natural born" to mean one who owed allegience to a sovereign from birth, and listed children of ambassadors born over the seas (at the time, the citizens most likely to have left and taken families with them) as "natural born."
UPDATE: laws vary as to what constitutes being born within the country's domain. Some include military and civilian flagged ships, etc.. Ditto with parentage. At least 40 yrs ago, France said you were a citizen if you were born elsewhere but your father (not your mother) was French. We used to use these features to try to create hypotheticals where a person had a maximum number of multiple citizenships. French father, some other mother, born on a British ship while docked in NY harbor...
Commentary on Obama and the Heller case
At Direct Democracy.
"Obama tells everybody what they want to hear! Who cares if it's irresponsible bullshit?"
What's interesting is that this is from an ANTI-seccond amendment type, complaining about Obama's claiming to support an individidual right.
Nothing like "campaign reform"
The Demo National Committee, through Howard Dean, alleges that Sen. McCain is violating McCain-Feingold. The McCain campaign responds to the charge of hypocrisy with the charge that Howard Dean did the same thing in 2003.
This story needed a little editing...
The Newsday story is about Hillary Rodham Clinton and a criminal case she defended long ago:
"Rodham was paid a $250 retainer for her services, minus 10 percent for court costs, records show. In her book, Hillary Clinton says the case spurred her to create the first rape hotline in Arkansas.
In 2005, while working in a laundry, she stole several hundred dollars worth of checks from her boss to buy drugs. She is now living in a halfway house and looking for work."
In context, the "her" is Hillary and the "she" is the victim of the crime,
Ken Blackwell has an article on Obama in the NY Sun.
"Senator Obama recently gave us a disturbing foretaste of the contradictory doublespeak we could expect under an Obama presidency"
"Noting that some argue that the Second Amendment only grants state governments the power to arm National Guard units, Mr. Obama said he rejected that view in favor of the widely held belief that the Second Amendment — like the rest of the Bill of Rights — involves rights held by American citizens. "
"[L]ater in that same story it says that in the same news conference where he spoke about an individual's right and the Second Amendment, Mr. Obama also said he supports the D.C. gun ban."
"That's like saying you have the right to worship as you choose, but the government has the power to ban attending church. Or that you have the right to free speech, but that government has the power to stop you from speaking about any subject it wants. Or that you have the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, but that anything the government wants to search at your house is automatically reasonable."
Hillary Clinton's undergrad paper.
Last night the link was up, then failed. Reader Jack Anderson just emailed a link that works. Maybe it was site maintenance.
Online here. I think she ought to have taken to heart one quote from its subject:
"There are two roads to everything--a low road and a high one. The high road is the easiest. You just talk principles and be angelic regarding things you don't practice. The low road is the harder. the task of making one's self-interest behavior moral behavior."
John McCain and the Hanoi Hilton
My friend and fellow gun attorney has an article out on the subject. Jim is author of the first law review article attacking McCain-Feingold, so it's not like he's a big McCain supporter. He's a straight shooter, and spent years in the Hanoi Hilton, and was tortured, so he's an eyewitness to what's under discussion.
By way of background, apparently there are internet rumors going around that are getting pretty wild -- down to claiming that McCain collaborated with his captors and as a result was assigned to a cushy hotel room with two ladies of the evening. I'm waiting for the followup in which he was taken aboard a U boat to celebrate Hitler's 90th birthday in a secret bunker in Antarctica.
More comment in extended remarks below.
McCain, and an Oregon iniitiative on gun shows
Story in the Oregonian.
Column on McCain
I'm rooting for Fred Thompson, and dislike McCain's pushing "campaign finance reform," a/k/a "Congress shall make some laws ... abridging freedom of speech." But for all that I have to say this column on McCain does ring true.
More trouble for Romney
His speech a while back mentioned watching his father march with Martin Luther King, in Grosse Point, MI. Then it was shown he wasn't there, and he explained he didn't mean "saw" literally.
Then the issue arose whether his father had marched with Dr. King at all.
His campaign came up with two witnesses that said they'd seen the two marching there, back 40+ years ago. OK, that was impressive, and the story seemed at an end.
But the Boston Phoenix, which broke the original story, has investigated and reports that on that day Dr. King wasn't in Michigan, he was speaking to the AFL-CIO in Brunswick, NJ.
Via the Carpetbagger Report.
Mitt Romney endorses AW bans, again
Right here. He dances around on the issue, says he signed the MA state ban (but dances on just why: in his version it was because it made owner licensing less stringent, too) and in the end allows "We also should keep weapons of unusual lethality from being on the street."
Hilarious -- until YouTube starts yanking them
Bitter put me on to Red State Update, a collection of hilarious videos. But I just noticed that they're hosted on YouTube, and about a quarter of them have been taken down in the last hour or two.
The world turned upside down...
Two candidates with an "F" rating on an issue, fighting out which of them is more un-electable on it.
Update: Obama's campaign is now disavowing the questionaire, and stating that he supports “common-sense limits, but not banning” handguns.
If I was Brady Campaign, and had any hair, I'd be pulling it out just now.
Taking politics way too seriously
Some whack job just ran into a HIllary campaign office claiming he has a bomb strapped to his chest.
If police sharpshooters get the right setting, he may become quite literally a whack job.
Huckabee gets an endorsement
Mike Huckabee got the endorsement of the Republican Sportshooters Committee. The fellow has pretty impressive gunnie credentials; doesn't seem to have enough backing to get the nomination (the media having already decided that the primaries are Guliani vs. Romney and Hillary vs. Obama), but might have a shot at VP.
Gun blogger on Fred Thomspon steering committee
Gun blogger and author Michael Bane is on the newly formed steering committee of Sportsmen for Fred Thompson.
I like Fred Thompson more by the minute
Now he's wandering around gun shows, and wishing he had more time and money to spend there.
Maddened Fowl has some interesting postings on automobiles being used in slayings and mass slayings. (skim down on the page). Crackhead crashes car into crowd, 40 injured, a dragster goes out of control and kills six, "With today's high performance assault cars, there are many deaths & more injured..."
"Don't mess with the sportsmen"
That's Scott Bach's suggestion to politicians, based on races in, of all places, New Jersey.
More on Texas Land Commissioner
Here's a detailed article on Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. I know him pretty well, and as the article says, he has firm beliefs and will tell you frankly about them. How he got ahead in the world of politics escapes me.....
Fred Thompson and the UN
I'm out of town again, so blogging will be light for a few days, but Fred Thompson's criticism of UN disarmament measures has drawn some criticism from those who say there's nothing out there, and SayUncle weighs in with a devasting counterattack.
Guliani hires NRA director Joe Allbaugh
I can see why the FEC is investigating Stephen Colbert
Yeah, he says he's a comedian and not a real candidate, but if he keeps writing material like this he's soon going to be a viable candidate.
"Our nation is at a Fork in the Road. Some say we should go Left; some say go Right. I say, “Doesn’t this thing have a reverse gear?” Let’s back this country up to a time before there were forks in the road — or even roads. Or forks, for that matter. I want to return to a simpler America where we ate our meat off the end of a sharpened stick."
Hat tip to The Anchoress.
Fred Thompson on 2nd Amendment & the UN
It's at the Field and Stream blog.
Post on candidate Bill Richardson
Over at Jim Pate's blog. (I've known Jim for years, didn't know that he blogged):
"What really caught my attention was a question that Brian Williams asked him in the first Democratic debate that I watched. I don't remember much of the question or the answer, but I recall Brian Williams saying that Bill Richardson had the highest National Rifle Association rating of any Presidential candidate, Democrat or Republican. My jaw dropped. A Democrat has the highest NRA rating? That doesn't speak well for the Republicans, does it?
As I did some research in preparation for this post, I found that Richardson has actually received a decent mark from another conservative/libertarian organization: the Cato Institute. In the Cato Institute's Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2004, Richardson received a "B," which is in stark contrast to Mitt Romney's "C" and Mike Huckabee's "D."..."
Mitt Romney on banning "extreme weapons"
Red's Trading Post has received a letter from Mitt Romney, in response to a question about his understanding of the Second Amendment, which to my mind shows... he has none:
"I strongly support the Second Amendment right of Americans to keep and bear arms. I am proud to be among the many decent, law-abiding men and women who safely use firearms."
" I also recognize that some types of extreme weapons, those which were not meant for hunting, sport, or self-defense, have no business being on the streets."
Strange happenings in Louisiana
They elect an Indian-American governor who is pro-gun, anti-tax, wants to go after corruption -- is that allowed in LA? I thought they had laws against this sort of candidacy.
Ron Paul and gun rights
Reader Mechanic recommends Noel Gibeson's blogpost on Ron Paul and gun rights.
UPDATE: dwlawson, of Chicago Handgun Rights comments, in a comment blocked by the spam filter:
I'm having a hard time staying with Fred. He needs to get it in gear and get out there. I really like RP as well and he's battling like he means it. I've contributed to both, but not sure how my vote will go in the primary yet.
If Rudy or Mitt gets the primary nod, I doubt I will vote for them. If we can't elect a real pro-rights candidate we deserve Hillary.
Great cover story on the presidential race
In Radar magazine.
Rudy overdoing it a bit
From the Wall Street Journal Online:
"The fact is that people inside the Giuliani campaign are appalled at the number of times their candidate has felt compelled to interrupt public appearances to take calls from his wife. The estimate from those in a position to know is that he has taken such calls more than 40 times in the middle of speeches, conferences and presentations to large donors."
What Rudy's wife REALLY said during the NRA event
Now, THIS is funny.
Guliani was about to muff it...
Stop the ACLU catches Rudi slipping as he is saved by the phone call from his wife...
“After all the second amendment is a freedom every bit as important as the other freedoms in the first ten amendments. Just think of the language of it — ‘the people shall be secure’ –let’s see, this is my wife calling…”
Whoops... lots of places you can slip up on the language of the Second Amendment, but it's not a good idea when addressing an NRA conference!
Michelle Malkin at Hotair is on the story, too, and notes that Rudi has a habit of being interrupted by phone calls from his wife during a campaign speech.
On Friday, Rudy Guliani is explaining to an NRA conference that he really's isn't antigun.
And on the same day, NYC is arguing in court against a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against gun dealers that he initiated.
C-SPAN to cover GOP candidate remarks to NRA Friday
Story here. It'll be on C-SPAN2 at 9 PM EDT.
For some reason the MSM has been referring to this as addressing the "rank and file" of NRA which (apart from TV coverage) it isn't.
In the meantime, Guliani and McCain spar on the gun issue.
Fred Thompson and the NRA
Seems there's a dispute as to whether he's a life member or an endowment member. Story here.
Guliani & Paul repeat stance on guns
In the debate last night:
GOLER: Mayor Giuliani, Senator Fred Thompson -- and we do wish he was here -- says the Virginia Tech tragedy might have been lessened if some of the students had been allowed to carry guns. He also says that...
He also says he never felt safe in your city because of its gun control laws. What do you have to say to him about either of these assertions?
GIULIANI: Well, I would say to him the FBI would disagree with that. New York City was, during the years that I was mayor, the safest large city in the United States. In fact, in 2000, which was one of the last years that I was mayor, it was 191 for crime in the country.
For example, in Boston, there was a 59 percent greater chance you'd be the victim of a crime than in New York City. In many other cities, there was 100 to 300 percent greater chance that you'd be a victim of a crime than in New York City.
One of the things I accomplished as mayor of New York City was the impossible.
GIULIANI: I took a city that was the crime capital of America, and I made it not only the safest large city in America, I made it safer than 189 small cities. So, I mean, people have their right to their own feelings. The reality is, you were safer in New York than just about any other city in the United States after I was mayor for about three or four years.
GOLER: And the idea of letting college students carry weapons?
GIULIANI: I think states have a right to decide that. I mean, states have a right to decide their gun laws. The second amendment grants you the right to bear arms.
We have a federal system. A lot of these issues work in America where we have people of different views and different conscience because we are a federal system. We allow states to make different decisions.
The focus of our laws should be on criminals. That's what I did in New York City. I reduced shootings in New York City by 75 percent. And I did it by focusing not on guns but on criminals. Putting them in jail, putting them in jail for long periods of time when they committed crimes with guns, and it worked.
GOLER: Congressman Paul, another gun issue for you, if you will. You have said that the 9/11 attackers might have had second thoughts if they'd felt that some of the passengers aboard the airplanes might have been armed.
We have seen airplanes -- airflights diverted because people heard Arabic on planes, because they heard Muslims praying. What do you think it would do to the travel industry of this country if passengers felt others were carrying guns aboard, sir?
PAUL: Well, first off, you're quoting me incorrectly.
GOLER: I'm sorry.
PAUL: I said the responsibility for protecting passengers falls with the airline, not the government -- not the passengers. The airline's responsible for the aircraft and the passengers.
If we wouldn't have been dependent on the federal government to set all the rules, which meant no guns and no resistance, then the terrorists may well have had second thoughts, because the airlines would have had the responsibility.
PAUL: But we assumed the government was going to take care of us. After 9/11, instead of moving toward the direction of personal responsibility and private property and second amendment, we moved in the opposite direction. We turned it over to the federal government. And look at the mess we have now at airports.
I mean, the airlines -- private industry protects their property all the time. People who haul around money in armored trucks protect their money all the time. But here is one example when the federal government was involved and they messed it up, and if we put the responsibility on the right people, respected the second amendment, I sincerely believe there would have been a lot less chance of 9/11 ever happening.
Hmm... Guliani's pitch could be interpreted as (1) "I believe in the Second Amendment, but don't believe the 14th Amendment incorporates that as against the States, so States are free to experiment but the Feds are not," or (2) "I believe in the Second Amendment, but in a version of that that leaves government free to pass whatever laws it wants anyway." I tend to suspect version (2) is the one intended here.
At a policy, rather than constitutional, level, one would have to ask: if states should be free to experiment, would you favor repeal of a fair portion of GCA 68 -- e.g., the prohibited person categories -- in favor of a provision that simply says no person shall sell a firearm to someone prohibited by state law to have it.
Soros group gets $775,000 fine
America Coming Together just got hit with a $775,000 fine by the FEC. It was one of those astroturf groups, supposedly a popular movement, in reality funded by George Soros and others, and financed at over a hundred million bucks.
All I can find at the FEC website is a pdf of the complaint. It was filed in 2004, and asked the FEC to dismiss it so a lawsuit could be filed to enforce it, pointing out that the election would likely occur before FEC could decide the issue. I gather FEC didn't dismiss it -- and so the decision comes three years after the election. Showing about how much good the system is. A few tidbits are in extended remarks below.
Hat tip to Bill Taggart....
Karl Rove's parthian shot
I say this is Rove's greatest move yet: make Cheney president, establish a conservative military government -- and do it all at the instigation of the Left, and with the endorsement of the Huffington Post.
"Rove was a genius," they'll mutter while watching endless O'Reilly Factor re-runs in the re-education camps, "an evil genius."
[OK, just for the record: I do not really think that Karl Rove set this up to make Dick Cheney a military dictator with the approval of the Huffington Post, nor that the left should be sent to re-education camps, or that, if they were, they should watch endless re-runs of the O'Reilly Factor. Even in a military dictatorship, some limits of decency should apply.
John Edwards and straw man transactions
(To be fair, there's no indication that Edwards knew he was the beneficiary of a straw deal -- that is, it sounds as if the donor knew very well that he was setting up thousands of dollars in straw donations, but at least just now there is no indication that Edwards knew of the arrangements.).
Ted Nugent gives considered opinions on '08 race
Since this IS Ted Nugent, I suppose a "strong language" caveat would be superfluous...
(UPDATE, Sat. morning: Jim W.. had a comment that was blocked by the spam filter for some reason, so I added it in extended comments below).
Fred Thompson on NY gun laws and suits
If you like law or sausages...
... don't watch either being made. The House of Reps big fight over who won the vote the other night... here's the WashPo's rundown (I'd assume biased as usual) of what happened:
"Democrats appeared to have won the vote, but with the voting time apparently having expired, GOP leaders persuaded three Latino Republicans who had voted with the Democrats to change their votes. At the same time, Democrats say, five Democratic lawmakers who had voted with Republicans were scrambling to change their votes as well. With two of the GOP votes changed, Democrats gaveled the vote shut, 214 to 214, and declared that they had won. But the public tally showed that the Republicans had won, 215 to 213, just as the vote was declared for the Democrats. The official final tally was 216 to 212 in the Democrats' favor....[E]lectronic records on the vote disappeared from the House's voting system and on the House clerk's Web site."
One might ask why, if the time for vote had expired, the voting was still going on. And why, in those closing seconds or at most minutes, the GOP managed to persuade three members to change their votes, and at the same instant five Demos suddenly decided to change their votes as well.
I have a guess. It's not uncommon, on a controversial issue, for congressmen to make a private deal along these lines: "We five will vote against you UNLESS you come within five votes of winning. Then we'll switch and vote for you. You in turn will not criticize us to your members (or if deal is made with political party, will not hold it against us), if you don't get within five votes, since we would have sided with you except that it made no difference."
Advantage to legislators making that deal: if the motion fails, you voted against it, and those who opposed it will think you were on their side, while those who were for it won't hold it against you.
My guess is that the three Repubs and five Demos who suddenly were trying to change their votes had made deals like that. And cutting off the vote was timed for an instant when those in power *thought* the changes had made the vote go their way, but they mistook the timing a bit.
Welcome to Washington...
Richardson flip-flop on gun shows?
I rather liked what I watched of the ones last night, if only because it made the candidates' pandering to people so obvious. I mean -- the lesbian couple who asked, if you were president, would you let us get married, and every candidate saying yes. How about "No, because the president of the US doesn't issue marriage licenses. And marriage is not a federal issue, talk to your state legislature. And if you want a constitutional amendment, or to be protected against one, the president doesn't even have a veto power over those. So I can't do a blamed thing in the area, talk to someone else."
Joe Biden, as would be expected, came down hard on a guy who asked about gun control (and referred to his rifle as his baby):
QUESTION: Good evening, America. My name is Jered Townsend from Clio, Michigan.
To all the candidates, tell me your position on gun control, as myself and other Americans really want to know if our babies are safe.
(MM : Mr. Townsend shows the audience a black rifle - looks to be an AR but not totally sure. Some on AR15.com think it was an AK)
This is my baby, purchased under the 1994 gun ban. Please tell me your views.
COOPER: Governor Richardson, you have one of the highest NRA ratings.
RICHARDSON: The issue here, I believe, is instant background checks.
RICHARDSON: Nobody who has a criminal background or is mentally ill should be able to get a weapon. That is the key, and that includes gun sales. That includes gun sales at gun shows.
The key is going to be also attacking poverty, bringing people together, dealing with those kids in the ghettos that are heavy users of gun violence and they are victims of gun violence, to make sure that this country attacks the core problems of poverty, having child care, bringing parents together.
COOPER: Senator Biden, are you going to be able to keep his baby safe?
BIDEN: I'll tell you what, if that is his baby, he needs help.
I think he just made an admission against self-interest. I don't know that he is mentally qualified to own that gun. I'm being serious. Look, just like me, we go around talking about people who own guns. I am the guy who originally wrote the assault weapons ban, that became law, and then we got defeated and then Dianne Feinstein went to town on it and did a great job.
BIDEN: Look, we should be working with law enforcement, right now, to make sure that we protect people against people who don't -- are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they're either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record, and...
COOPER: We got one more question. Before...
BIDEN: ... I hope he doesn't come looking for me.
BTW, the Influence Peddler says that Biden's claim to have filed the first AW bill is a bit of ... plagiarism?
Political effects of the JFK assassination
[Via Instanpundit] Ed Driscoll has a review of the book "Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism."
The theme is that the liberal movement was unable (at an emotional, subconscious level) to deal with the fact that a popular (and regarded as liberal, anyway) president had been killed by, well, a communist who'd defected to the Soviet Union and demonstrated in favor of Castro. In trying to cope, it (1) went off on conspiracy theories that tied in the government and/or (2) on anti-Americanism: Oswald hadn't killed him, America somehow had. It wasn't helped by the fact that in the early 60s a major liberal theme had been the dangerousness of right wing movements -- now turned on its head by the identity of the assassin. If he'd just been a John Bircher, everything would have fit together emotionally -- but he was quite the opposite.
I wonder if it deals also with the assassination of Robert Kennedy, gunned down by a palestinian -- a third worlder, as it were. A neo-nazi, maybe an Israeli fanatic, would have fit emotionally, but not a palestinian.
I recall reading a similar commentary on 9/11. Not quite so striking there, but again liberalism (already much modified) is faced with a horrific crime committed by people it tends to idealize -- third worlders. Ah, here it is, in the form of a novel. Do read the intro first -- part of the novel's plot is that a group of self-absorbed types have founded a think tank, so if it reads a little strangely, that's part of the plot. The key to the colors mentioned is that in the novel he breaks down political thought on emotional lines. Red=anarchic fighters (good fighter pilots). Blue = rules conseratives. John Aschcroft. (good cops and military). Orange = Jeffersonian, sometimes an early liberal. Green = the modern liberal/left. Not allowed to be judgmental, must be sensitive to everything, esp. that which is different from you.
Mike Huckabee on the 2nd Amendment
He sounds pretty solid. (I'm not sure which party he's with, but he might be scouting for a VP slot, too).
Op-ed on the 2nd Amendment and Ron Paul
Here it is.
Fred Thompson news
There's a comparison of Ron Paul and Fred Thompson over at Republic Renaissance. (Since the blog has R. Paul's picture in the margin, you can guess how the comparison works out).
And Thompson himself has a post over at Powerline. (Hat tip to David McCleary and to Instapundit).
Marion Barry walks again
A federal magistrate rules against revoking his probation for failure to file taxes while on probation for not filing taxes.
Bad sign for John McCain
A fellow staked out about 20 "elect McCain" type URLs, is selling them on Ebay, with opening big of $150 for the lot, and is unable to get a single bid.
Via The Kausfiles.
Some interesting polls in early primary states suggest Ebay's market reflects political reality. [Via Instapundit].
Courtroom fallout from US Atty firings
[Hat tip to David McCleary]
Instapundit on Bill Richardson
Instapundit suggests there are several reasons to like Bill Richardson.
UPDATE: Here's a nice piece on him in the LA Times.
Indicted Rep. Wm Jefferson required to give up guns
Friends of Fred Thompson
I just added a sidebar on the left, for donations to Fred Thompson. You can get the html for your own sidebar at Friends of Fred Thompson.
[I don't like that he voted for McCain-Feingold, but I think he's strong on just about everything else I value.)
BTW, if anyone wants to stick their own favorite candidate's websites in the comments, feel free. I think I set the spam block to moderate anything with more than 2 htmls, to keep out the &%$#^ spambots, so you might want to stick to one for sure or maybe two. If they don't appear promptly, it just means they were held for my clearance. Spambots will come up and post 5-10-20 webpages, for everything under the sun.
Fred Thompson website
I've established a rough website for Sportsmen for Fred Thompson. There is no organization by that name yet, but I'm sure there will be one, and then I'll turn it over to them. I'd appreciate any links to the page, as I'd like it to have a decent Google rating by he time he declares and such a group is set up.
Take the test
Who said it, Al Gore, or the Unabomber?
[Via the Volokh Conspiracy]
Update: one of the comments suggests you might take a similar test: Porn Star, or My Little Pony. The link couldn't posted since "porn" is blocked due to the thousands of spam comments using that term. (I even get spam for fork lift buying sites).
Fred Thompson may declare around July 4
The Politico has the story.
Leading candidates' positions on firearms
The Miami Herald has a brief summary.
Fred Thompson quotes Don Kates on the 2d Amendment!
Right here. This is staggering -- a possible presidential candidate who understand the Second Amendment, down to having read the scholarship on it. No "I support the Second Amendment" (leaving you to guess what I think it means). Instead, he quotes Kates, and observes "Unfortunately, the [NY Times] article falsely portrays the individual right argument as some new interpretation held only by a few fringe theorists. The truth is very different, as civil rights attorney and gun law expert Don Kates has pointed out recently."
I just realized -- what he's quoting comes from an email Don sent out, via Dan Gifford, to a small number of pro-second amendment types. Don doesn't even blog. His email was mentioned on John Lott's blog and one this blog, that's it that I can find.
One way or another, Thompson is interested enough in the right to arms to pick up on postings to scholarly email lists on the subject, or else hangs around pro-gun blogs. This is just incredible.
Anybody have a mailing address for him? I want to send him a copy of my Second Amendment documentary.
Fred Thompson -- now there is a candidate I could vote for!
Just read his article in Nat'l Review Online. A few excerpts:
"The statistics are clear. Communities that recognize and grant Second Amendment rights to responsible adults have a significantly lower incidence of violent crime than those that do not. More to the point, incarcerated criminals tell criminologists that they consider local gun laws when they decide what sort of crime they will commit, and where they will do so."
"In recent years, however, armed Americans — not on-duty police officers — have successfully prevented a number of attempted mass murders. Evidence from Israel, where many teachers have weapons and have stopped serious terror attacks, has been documented. Supporting, though contrary, evidence from Great Britain, where strict gun controls have led to violent crime rates far higher than ours, is also common knowledge."
A caricature, and a great quote. I'd happily vote for anyone who can come up with “After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.”
When they were filming "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" in DC, the cameraman remarked to me that, what with working Hollywood, he was accustomed to dealing with gigantic egos. But, he added, the egos of Washington astounded him.
More on Romney and hunting
AP story here.
Mitt Romney--"lifelong hunter."
Well, it might be true in a very narrow sense. He went hunting once at age 15, and a second time last year. Story here.
More on Guliani on guns
John Lott has an interesting Guliani quote to the effect that gunmakers must know they are feeding an illegal market because they make 600-700% of the number of guns needed to fill the legal market,
Marion Barry continues to self-destruct
Former DC mayor (and present councilman) Marion Barry managed to avoid being jailed for a probation violation today. He'd been convicted of failing to pay income tax for 1999-2004, and given probation on the condition he start paying taxes and obey the law. Well, he sorta forgot to file his 2005 DC and Federal returns. And last November he tested position for cocaine and pot.
Gad, the guy is 71 years old. I think it was Cicero who remarked, of a skirt-chasing Roman senator, that old age has embarassments enough, one need not add to them those of youth.
Don Kates' take on Guiliani
An email from Don Kates:
Throughout his political career Bill Clinton’s "position on the Second
Amendment" was a bald-faced lie. Every time the subject arose he falsely
proclaimed his "belief in the Second Amendment." Insofar as there was
any truth in this scam, what Clinton meant was that he believed that the
Second Amendment does not mean anything.
Rudy Giuliani employs the exact same scam in the exact same way by
proclaiming that he believes in the Second Amendment. By carefully
reviewing his assertions in the context of his record it is possible to
ferret out his real beliefs and intended program. He believes that
people living in low crime areas may be allowed (as a privilege, not a
right) to have guns for sport. But no one other than public employees
and the politically powerful has a right to possess firearms for
self-defense. Worse yet, he believes the key to reducing crime consists
of disarming everyone who believes in a right to possess arms for
self-defense and who lives in an area where the incidence of crime is
such that they have some likelihood of using arms for self-defense.
Giuliani is, in short, a paradigm Republican, i.e., someone who is
dedicated to the interests of Big Business and for whom the rights of
little people are, at best, easily dispensable in the interest of public
safety (read Big Business).
If I were Sarah Brady faced with a contest between Hillary and Rudy I
would vote for Rudy. Each wants to ban and confiscate guns. But it is
far less likely that a Democrat could get away with trying to outlaw gun
ownership than that Rudy could do so. Remember that Harry Truman could
not end the Korean War, but Eisenhower could. And that no Democratic
president could come to detente with Russia or China but Nixon could.
Hot news from Drudge Report
Bill Clinton gropes, and may sleep with, his wife.
Mitt Romney's shifting positions
National Review Online has a nice summary.
More on Guliani and guns
Here. Don't think he quite gets it that the constitution right isn't about duck hunting.
[hat tip to Dan Gifford]
NSSF alert on Guliani
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has issued a statement regarding Guliani's candidacy and record.
Alphecca on guns and the next election
Alphecca has a good post on the issue, with notes that New Mexico's Richardson might be a Demo candidate solid on guns and on western issues.
Which tends to minimize his chances of getting elected -- I mean, it sounds as if a measurable portion of the Demo party is now finding Hillary too right-wing for their tastes. And of course the media has decided that the contest will be between her and Obama.
Guliani dancing on second amendment
Captain's Quarters has the transcript:
"HANNITY: You inherited the gun laws in New York.
GIULIANI: Yeah. And I used them to help bring down homicide. We reduced homicide I think by 65, 70%. And some of it was by taking guns out of the streets of New York City. So if you are talking about a city like New York, a densely populated area like New York, I think it's appropriate. You might have different laws other places and maybe a lot of this gets resolved based on different states, different communities, making decisions. We do have a federal system of government in which you have the ability to accomplish that.
HANNITY: So you would support the state's rights to choose on specific gun laws?
GIUILANI: Yeah. A place like New York that is densely populated or maybe a place that is experiencing a serious crime problem like a few cities are now. Thank goodness not New York but some other cities. Maybe you have one solution there and in other place more rural, more suburban, other issues you have a different set of rule.
HANNITY: Generally speaking do you think it's acceptable if citizens have the right to carry a handgun?
GIULIANI: It's part of the constitution. People have the right to bear arms. Then restrictions have to be reasonable and sensible. You can't just remove that right. You got to regulate consistent with the second amendment."
OK, so he respects the Second Amendment ... and thinks New York City's gun laws are consistent with that. That's a firm position for you. The Bill of Rights protects this liberty -- but doesn't prevent putting the strictest and most arbitrary government permit sytems upon its exercise, if a state or locality (or presumably, the national government) thinks there is a need.
Funny spoof of Webb's State of the Union reply
"Let me share with you this deguerrotype of my great great great great grandfather, a penniless drunkard and street-corner pugilist who sat in a Dublin jail, until he was paroled and came to Virginia in 1724, just in time to join in the massacre of the peaceful Massapequasimolie Indians. I would hope you draw strength from this tomorrow when you return to your janitorial duties, brooding about the hour when you will rise up against the robber barons of the beef trust, but none of you are likely to have understood those historical references anyway.
But let me get to the real reason we are here, besides your mandate to disband the Mark Foley Man-Boy Love Association: to change course in Iraq."
That's just the beginning...
Presidential candidates' ratings
Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Dave Kopel rates the candidates on Second Amendment issues.
Of possible GOP frontrunners, Gilmore draws nearly perfect. Of possible Demo frontrunners, none get near. Gov. Richardson of NM does get a high ranking, altho his chances for Demo nomination don't seem high (if only because the press has decided this is a Hilary vs. Obama race).
Debate: Romney v. Romney
More on Romney's record
The Boston Globe notes that Mitt Romney's gun position has, er, varied a bit over years. As have his positions on other mattters....
Mitt Romney backtracks on support for gun laws
The Boston Globe has the story.
"That's not going to make me the hero of the NRA," Romney told the Boston Herald in 1994.
At another campaign stop that year, he told reporters: "I don't line up with the NRA."
And as the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Romney lauded the state's strong laws during a debate against Democrat Shannon O'Brien. "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them," he said. "I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety."
He now touts his work as governor to ease restrictions on gun owners. He proudly describes himself as a member of the NRA -- though his campaign won't say when he joined. And Friday, at his campaign's request, top officials of the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation led him around one of the country's biggest gun shows.
Looking forward to John Conyers as House Judiciary chairman
He's already got his first citation for ethics problems, and Congress hasn't yet convened. The GOP at least had the decency to obtain power before abusing it.
Just about sums it up
Sen. Evan Bayh, on throwing his hat into the ring for the Demo presidential candidacy in 08:
""We need someone who can deal with the dysfunction here in this city so that our government begins to empower our people to fulfill their potential."
On the other hand, some of us would feel mightily empowered of Washington would just leave us alone and let us fulfil our potential.
Politics and whatnot
The Hill has an interesting perspective on how the Democrat/progressive/left/liberal (or whatever title you'd prefer) learned to play the game while it was a minority in Congress... a useful perspective for their opponents, who now must play the game. Go for the cause, rather than partisan gain, try to gain beachheads in both parties, etc..
Former Sen. Edwards, Walmart, and why DC is the way it is
Hmm... former Senator John Edwards, a serious critical of Walmart, is said to have tried to buy a Playstation 3 at that retailer.
His explanation: he knew nothing of it. He just happened to mention wanting one for his kids, a staffer overheard, and he instructed a campaign volunteer to go out and get one. The volunteer in turn called Walmart and dropped Edwards' name in an attempt to pull strings and get one.
I'd believe it. But it tells you a lot about national politics. A moderately big figure (former senator, unsucessful VP candidate) has only to be overheard wanting something, and his staff rush to satisfy him and kiss up (even at personal expense of several hundred bucks). They hand it off to a volunteer, who deems it a sacred quest. The volunteer figures he can drop the boss's name and get special consideration, over a game system, of all things.
If you want to know how the corruption/scandal cycle works in DC, just figure this is a tiny example. They guy on top is treated as a demigod, and starts to believe it.
Election and next term
The Brady Campaign is rejoicing. The New York Times announces that New York (led by Chuck Schumer, the "giant of Brooklyn") is back in power and that Rep. Charles Rangel, likely future chair of Ways and Means, "sketched out an expansive federal agenda: Teaming up with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on gun control, passing new tax incentives for urban job programs, and redirecting federal money to New York in return for the outsize tax collections that the federal government makes here."
Yup, this is the same spiel where he uttered the famous “Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?” Of course NY comes off worse than MS in terms of federal taxes collected vs. those spent. Federal income tax is progressive -- individuals, and states, with high incomes payment. Federal civilian expenditures are (hopefully) the other way round -- less goes to rich states and more to poor. Apparently the NY delegation finds that liberal financial principle objectionable when applied to them.
UPDATE: Here's an article from the LA Times on the new Demo majorty and the gun issue.
Ideas for new political parties
Wikkipedia has a page devoted to frivolous political parties.
I particularly like the Rhino Party of Canada (at one point the country's fourth-largest party), whose platform included:
repealing the law of gravity,
reducing the speed of light because it's much too fast,
paving Manitoba to create the world's largest parking lot,
tearing down the Rocky Mountains so that Albertans could see the Pacific sunset, or moving them one metre west as a make-work project,
making all sidewalks out of rubber to prevent inebriated people from hurting themselves when they fall down
adopting the British system of driving on the left; this was to be gradually phased in over five years with large trucks first, then buses, eventually including small cars and bicycles last,
selling the Canadian Senate at an antique auction in California,
Pro v. antigun count
At the Volokh Conspiracy, Dave Kopel has an early-evening count of the electon impact on gun issues. Net result: a tiny loss in the Senate (1.25 votes), a larger but not disasterous loss in the House (14 votes). It's interesting how many major races involved essentially a pro-gun and anti-war Demo vs. a pro-gun and pro-war Republican. (Virginia and TN being clear examples, with the Demos running conservative, pro-gun types who are Demo in little more than oppositon to the war in Iraq).
I don't know how it is in the rest of the country, but I've been getting 2-3-4 pre-recorded calls a day, disembodied voices urging me to vote for my party's candidates. I find those quite annoying.
Got the same before the primary, when the local party was touting some hitherto unknown as a challenge to Randy Graf. All it did was to firm me up to vote for Graf as the fellow who wasn't tying up my telephone. I encountered Graf later and mentioned it, and he said his campaign had gotten so many responses like that that they resolved never to try it.
Anyway, if you want the NRA endorsements and grades, here they are.
Gun control: this election's non-starter
A perceptive article in the Univ of Chicago Maroon.
"Rather, it seems that the silence on gun control is the result of Democrats finally realizing that no one actually gives a s**t about gun control because, frankly, it is irrelevant."
[Hat tip to Joe Olson]
Brady files FEC complaint against NRA, GOA
News release here, but no details. A general guess: under the various finance campaign laws, a nonprofit can advocate the election or unelection of a candidate, but only in messages to its members, not in any aimed at the general public.
UPDATE: Second Amendment Fdn. has filed a complaint against Brady, on the same grounds, pointing out that their press releases, circulated on the internet and by wire service, also reach their nonmembers.
VA Senate race
Countertop has his take on the Allen-Webb race in Virginia, Lively comment section, too. (Via Instapundit).
Kopel on elections and the gun issue
Dave Kopel has a post at National Review Online, regarding the upcoming elections and the firearm issue.
His thoughts are essentially: if the House goes Demo, there will be antigunners in the relevant leadership slots and thus risk. If the Senate goes Demo, Harry Reid is pro-gun, as are, to greater or lesser degrees, a majority of the Demo senators, which should give insurance.
I know he's got a good read on the local race for the House. Randy Graf won the nomination, fighting the GOP establishment's last second pick, and winds up with the national GOP withdrawing all support. The Demo candidate is leading by 8-10 points and will likely win.
Dead folks voting
The Poughkeepsie Journal is reporting a study indicating that 2,600 New Yorkers managed to cast ballots after they were dead. These political zombies were for some reason very partisan; Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 4:1.
[Via The Volokh Conspiracy].
Florida Atty General race
Just got an email from United Sportsmen of Florida:
Whether Walter "Skip" Campbell, Democrat Candidate for Florida Attorney General, is flip-flopping, playing chameleon or plain out lying, one thing is clear -- that's not the kind of man you want for Attorney General (or any other elected office).
Campbell told the NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida that he supported legislation to protect the right of law-abiding citizens to have lawfully owned firearms locked in their private vehicles when their vehicles are parked in business parking lots.
Campbell then changed his position when appearing before the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which represents anti-gun businesses that want to ban guns from private vehicles if they are parked in parking lots while customers shop.
The Palm Beach Post reported (10/25/06) that Campbell said Florida businesses should be able to restrict the rights of employees and visitors because "the rights of the property owners are "sacrosanct" because they pay property taxes and insurance."
We find it egregious that Campbell, a man seeking the office of Attorney General, would put the desires of anti-gun, big brother business owners and managers above the well established constitutional and statutory rights of law-abiding citizens.
On the other hand Bill McCollum, Republican candidate for Attorney General, kept his word and stood up for law-abiding gun owners saying, "If my wife or one of our children are working late at night in a law office or any other facility and they go out to the car, I want them to have the ability to have a gun."
Candidate says he hangs out at Playboy parties
Senate candidate Harold Ford has stated he attended a Playboy party, according to HotAir.
Considering Congress, it's probably just a last minute character-building pitch to the voters, and an atempt to distance himself from Washington. A guy who hangs out at Playboy events is probably not gonna send sexual emails to teenage boys, right?
[Update: yup, Harold Ford, not Harrison Ford. Corrected.]
David Zucker campaign commercial
The always-enjoyable Instapunk has a post on YouTube's semi-censorship of the hilarious David Zucker campaign commercial (see link below). The page requiring that you subscribe to YouTube has apparently been removed.
As far as proposals to boycott YouTube over that and deletion of Michelle Malkin, etc., Instapunk remarks:
"I also have no problem at all with maintaining my purely symbolic boycotts of products I don't like or find helpful in any way. Boycotting the New York Times is a particular pleasure. Ditto with Detroit's giant gas-guzzling SUVs, lilke the Cadillac Escargot and the Lincoln Nasticator. I haven't decided about the Hummer yet. I mean, I know it's a fuel hog and all, but if I get the assault rifle I asked Santa for this Christmas, it would look super cool mounted on the dash of one of those leviathan Hummer truck things."
For a sample of why I say Instapunk is always enjoyable, try this post on the Foley page scandal, which begins: "Leave it to the Republicans to come up with the ultimate oxymoron, a boring sex scandal."
David Zucker's campaign commercial
It's available on YouTube, and just hilarious. Word is that Zucker, producer of "Airplane" and "The Naked Gun," presented to the GOP, and after they stopped gasping they turned it down. Too bad. It might have been the one campaign ad everyone would have been happy watching.
I remember Glenn Reynold's prediction, during the last election, that future elections would see privately-produced campaign ads that would be more timely, more searing, and far more funny than anything a political party could put out. Looks like that call was right on.
Bob Corker (GOP Senate candidate) interviewed
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has a podcast interview of Bob Corker, who's running for the Senate in Tennessee. Among the topics is his view of the Second Amendment.
Debate on McCain, guns, and all else
There's a debate on John McCain, gun laws, and all else over at the Knoxville Sentinel blog.
Rep. Harold Ford
SayUncle has this posting on Rep. Harold Ford, who is running for re-election in Tennessee. His voting record and ratings are, to say the least, very interesting.
Sounds like some nasty politics in Colorado's governor's race, with gun law issues involved.
Walking fine lines in ILL
In Illinois, Gov. is trying to convince southern ILL voters that he really isn't antigun, despite.... welll, everything that he's done in office.
Future governor's race in FLA
The Miami Herald has an article on likely candidates for the governor's race in that state, and where they stand on gun issues.
Supreme Court rules in Vermont campaign finance case
The Supremes just issued a ruling (pdf file) striking down the Vermont campaign limits, which limited total campaign expenditures and put a very low ($200-400) limit on contributions.
The vote is 6-3, Breyer writing for the majority (four of those votes come in concurrences). Dissenters are Souter, Ginsberg and Stevens.
Notes: it emphasizes the vitality of Buckley v. Valeo, which is esp. interesting given that Breyer is writing (many saw him as trying to underline Buckley, at least in other contexts, and going toward a "the government can regulate as it pleases" standard). Alito's brief concurrence argues it was not necessary to consider whether Buckley should be overruled, as the parties mentioned that point only in passing. Kennedy's concurrence expresses his skepticism with regard to campaign finance regulations generally, in light of the First Amendment. Thomas and Scalia's concurrence suggests that Buckley didn't go far enough in protecting First Amendment freedoms (which puts Breyer's invocation of the case, and his pitch to stare decisis, in an interesting context -- he may have been trying to reinforce that caselaw against future attack from the argument that it didn't go far enough, rather than to answer the state's suggestion that it went too far).
Stevens dissents, arguing that Buckley's opposition to expenditure limits should be overruled, and Souter and Ginsberg contend that the Vermont statute should have passed muster because its limitations were not proven to sufficiently impact campaigns.
Headline on Drudge right now is "DEMS ANNOUNCE PLAN TO WIN BACK CONGRESS."
When I click on the headline, I get only "Safari can’t open the page “http://www.democraticleader.house.gov/” because it could not connect to the server “www.democraticleader.house.gov”"
I just (3:29 PM MST) tried six times and got the same response each time.
This is not a good technological start, people. Esp. since the Republicans managed to access it somehow, and their rebuttal page IS up.
[UPDATE: as of Sat. morning, it's working]
Democrats and gun control
Larry Pratt has an interesting article on Democrats and gun control.
American Chronicle article
Jeff Knox has a perceptive article on the politics of the gun issue in The American Chronicle.
Demos backing away from gun issue
An interesting article on how Democrats are realizing that their support for gun laws costs them critical votes. Strange to see this in the Boston Globe.
Barone article on politics
Michael Barone has an interesting column USNews.com, on the core problems facing the Democratic Party. His thesis is that there are more self-identified conservatives than self-identified liberals, with the result that, to win, a Demo has to be more conservative than a Republican has to be liberal. The Demos by and large do not understand this, and think the remedy for their ills is to "energize the base" or express themselves better. But energizing the base is taken to mean stir up the left -- which just puts them in a worse spot. Nor will demographic changes save them, since many hispanics, and a fair proportion of African Americans, are in fact conservative.