Evil Termites

 

Because our gasoline is so very expensive (due to gross over-taxation) I usually gas up at the independent station at the intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and Bouquet. While I was there the other day filling the tank on my happily un-PC gas-guzzling SUV, I noticed a billboard – a sign – on the south side of the intersection. It read:

“CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER GUNS

Our Congressman Steve Knight Has an A from the NRA

Call Him and Ask Why”

Below that was a line naming the sponsors of the sign, a local Dem/socialist activist group.

When I moved here in 1984, like many people one of my main motivations was to escape the leftist swamp of LA city. The Santa Clarita Valley was an oasis of conservatism. Pickup trucks abounded. My wife’s BMW was a rarity. Cows grazed on the grounds next to College of the Canyons, a common sight when one took the Valencia Boulevard off ramp from I-5. Where the mall is now was nothing but vast onion fields from which hot air balloons launched on Sunday mornings if the wind was calm.

If you’ve ever wondered where Cinema Drive got its name, there was a small multiplex theater located on the intersection with Valencia Boulevard, with a little Sutter’s Mill restaurant on the other side of the street, one of the very few eateries in the area.

We were regularly mocked and ridiculed by the nabobs in LA, particularly those in tony enclaves like the Westside and Beverly Hills. “Redneck cowboys” and “hicks” was a pretty common theme.

Meantime, we “hicks” were enjoying a “small town” quality of life that attracted other like-minded people, and so our valley grew in population, which drew further development in the form of businesses relocating to the area, and amenities – such as the mall and restaurants – opening, further enhancing the area’s desirability, and drawing evermore people eager to enjoy the area’s ambience.

Of course, some of those people happened to be some of the same folks who previously scorned and mocked us, and recently included a Westside lawyer who carpetbagged his way here just in time to qualify himself to run for Congress as our local Representative. But I’m sure that was all a big coincidence… right?

It’s always been interesting to me how leftists move to conservative areas to enjoy a better lifestyle than the place they’re leaving behind, but then try to impose the same political agenda that turned their prior home into the very swamp they’re trying to escape.

They’re like evil termites. They wreck the home they live in, then fly off to find some new home to wreck.

Anyway, I decided to check further, and confirmed that the dreaded NRA did, indeed, give Knight a 93% back in 2016, which sounds like an “A” to me. Great! Even more reason to vote for him (as if there was any doubt to begin with)!

I have no idea why our local lefties think this is somehow a negative. Do they think the NRA is some faceless, shadowy, monolithic conspiracy of evil villains scheming to somehow subvert the will of the people while sacrificing little kids to their nefarious agenda? A bunch of solitary old childless misanthropes sitting around in their bathrobes plotting to cache an armory in the dream of overthrowing the government? Illicit gunrunners and covert international weapons dealers swindling their way to vast riches?

What nonsense. Time for a reality check. It’s an organization of millions of like-minded everyday people, some of whom are probably your neighbors, who think that the Second Amendment literally means they have a right to own guns; who have families – including kids – of their own; who actually believe they have the right to have the tools necessary to protect their kids and family; and who want to share the shooting sport experience with those family members, as hard as that might be for leftists to grasp.

And as far as I know, not one single NRA member has ever been involved in any mass shootings anywhere.

The whole meme of “CHOOSE CHILDREN OVER GUNS” creates a false dichotomy that should more believably and accurately be stated as “CHOOSE CHILDREN AND GUNS”.

These election-year anti-gun jihads usually don’t work out too well for the left outside of urban metro areas. Just ask Al Gore and John Kerry. If there’s anything that can motivate those gun owners who are usually pretty lazy about voting, this is it.

As Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”. I hope that sign stays right there through November.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

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The Kabuki of Gun Control

 

Kabuki… Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers… Kabuki is a term used by American political pundits as a synonym for political posturing” – Wikipedia

Another day, another anti-gun screed. Or – as was the case on 29 March – two, when The Signal published a letter by Richard Myers entitled “No fear of guns” and a column by Anthony Breznican entitled “Stop saying that Parkland students are fakes, actors”.

Myers’s letter was a reaction to my column of March 15 (“The Second Amendment and the Militia”) in which I outlined the legal and historical context of gun rights. He didn’t even try to dispute any of the facts in my column, he simply indulged in an emotional outburst echoing the standard anti-gun talking points.

“As for your claim that we need a present day unorganized militia in the event our government becomes tyrannical, I can only say—baloney”, he rants. Well, okay. I’m probably not going to get a flat tire, either, but I still keep a spare in my trunk. Better to have a spare tire – or a gun – and not need it, than to need one and not have it.

Breznican’s column is allegedly a rebuttal of one by Ron Bischof that was published on 22 March as “Talking about school safety”. Breznican writes: “…writer Ron Bischof suggests a conspiracy theory…”.

But in reality Ron does no such thing. What he actually says is: “Isn’t it rational to conclude they’re being orchestrated by media producers and other organizations with political objectives?”

After all, if the news media is truly objective, as Breznican suggests when he writes: “When those individuals don’t wish to be interviewed, it’s important and ethical to respect that. When they actually do want to talk, it’s vital to listen”, then why haven’t the major news media been giving any attention at all to the many Parkland survivors who hold views opposing those being expressed by the kids whose faces are plastered all over the place while screeching for gun confiscation?

That’s not a “conspiracy”. It’s political Kabuki. The fact is that according to a USA TODAY/Ipsos poll taken after the shooting (Link) fewer than half of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 think more gun laws would prevent mass shootings. But we don’t hear much of anything about them.

That’s because the worker bees of the major media are, by a very large margin, living their lives in the left-wing echo chamber. Antipathy to gun rights is in their nature and their culture, so their natural inclination is to seek out and publicize those who agree with, and validate, their own prejudices and agenda. It’s so ingrained that it doesn’t need a “conspiracy”; the script is already well-rehearsed.

Political Kabuki.

As to Breznican’s various other claims about the Supreme Court Heller decision and how Congress should act and all of that, it’s interesting to note that retired (thankfully) Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed column published in the 27 March edition of the New York Times in which he calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment.

Though I vehemently oppose such a repeal, and think it has absolutely zero chance of actually happening – just look at any map and tell me where enough states would approve such a thing – I do think his column does something important.

It’s one of the very rare instances when an anti-gunner proposes substantive changes to gun laws in a way that actually conforms to the Constitution. And it puts the lie to the constant refrain of “We support your right to own a gun, BUT…”.

Stevens’s column was Kabuki-free.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

The Second Amendment and the Militia

 

 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” – Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

 

When it was written in the late 18th Century the Second Amendment was contemporaneous, clear, and concise; easy to understand by all who read it. It was very short, because it was meant to be all-encompassing in its application.

But language usage evolves with time, and in the intervening two+ centuries the language of that amendment has become archaic, making it vulnerable to misinterpretation. Unfortunately, every time gun control becomes a hot political issue, such as now in light of the recent Parkland school tragedy, we see the hoplophobes (anti-gun faction) attempt to exploit that vulnerability by trying – either through ignorance or cynical manipulation – to advance the claim that the gun rights protected by the Second Amendment only apply to uniformed militia organizations such as the National Guard.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The United States Code is the body of the permanent general federal statutes of the country. According to “10 U.S. Code § 246 – Militia: composition and classes” the militia is defined as:

“(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in Section 313 of Title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are—

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”

In other words, all law-abiding citizens, and those who have applied for citizenship, are members of either the organized (uniformed, such as the National Guard) or unorganized militia if they’re of military age.

Further, the right isn’t limited just to those of military age. The reference to the “militia” is simply recognition of the fact that a militia might at times be necessary and it would be drawn from the at-large citizenry. That is why the amendment protects “the right of the people”, and not just “the right of militia members”. The right isn’t restricted to only those in one of the militias.

For those extremist hoplophobes who make the absurd claim that the word “militia” refers to the active-duty military: why would the Founders need the Second Amendment at all when the Constitution itself, in Section 8, gives the federal government the power to “raise and support Armies” and “maintain a Navy”. In fact, that same section also states that the government may “provide for calling forth the Militia”, clearly distinguishing the Militia as being a separate entity from the regular armed forces.

I believe that if the exact same amendment were to be written today in modern language, it would go something like this:

“Recognizing that the protection of a free State may require the activation of a civilian militia in addition to the standing military, and that the militia is composed of the citizenry at large, the right of those citizens to keep and carry arms in order to be proficient with their use shall not be infringed.”

The words “free State” are also crucial to understand. The Founders were engaged in a revolution against what was the legitimate government of which they were citizens. As described in the Declaration of Independence, their grievances justified that revolt, and they were very aware that any government has the potential to become tyrannical.

That potential included the government they were forming. They wanted to make sure that the citizenry had the ability to remove that government should it become another tyranny, no longer a “free state”, and the way to do that was to ensure that the citizenry had the means to do so: arms. Guns. The same guns as the rest of the military, which they are expected to provide at their own expense.

Many people today scoff at the idea of average Americans rising up and overthrowing the government, saying that the idea of civilians standing up against American military might is ridiculous. I guess the Taliban haven’t yet gotten that memo.

The ragtag Minutemen started such a revolution against the single most powerful military on the planet… and won.

And what was it that caused that “Shot Heard ‘Round the World”? The Redcoats were marching on Lexington and Concord to confiscate the colonists’ guns.

That’s right. The precipitating event of the American Revolution was an attempt at gun control.

So, as we can see, the real purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect the right of law-abiding civilians to possess and use the same personal weapons as the rest of the military in order to assure a defense against enemies both foreign and domestic.

 

 

©Brian Baker 2018

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

Truth Will Out

For decades, the debate over gun control has raged through the body politic of this country. Gun rights organizations have consistently fought efforts by the gun-control/ban lobby to impose registration of gun ownership, citing a concern that lists of owners could potentially be used in the future as the basis for confiscation of privately-owned firearms.

Those fears have consistently been scoffed at by the gun-banners as being “paranoid fantasies”, despite the historical fact that such lists have been used to do just that in countries such as pre-WW2 Germany, Cuba, China, Russia, Australia, Laos, the United Kingdom, and many others.

The gun-banners response? “It can’t happen here.”

The problem is, it already has happened here, and things are positioned for it to happen again on a massive scale.

confiscationDuring the Hurricane Katrina disaster, New Orleans police went to the homes of registered gun owners and illegally (as later determined in the courts) confiscated legally owned and registered guns from their owners.

And now, we have Connecticut. A few months ago, the state enacted a Draconian semi-auto gun ban and limits on ammunition magazine capacity. Residents were given a limited time frame to register those guns and magazines they currently owned. No new guns or magazines would be allowed to be owned in the state. Per the law, anyone who owns any such unregistered device after the deadline is guilty of a felony.

The problem for the state is that the deadline has passed, and as of now, only about 50,000 people have complied with the law, with the number of people failing – or refusing – to comply being estimated at being as high as 300,000.

Apparently, most of the gun owners in Connecticut are tired of silly laws that don’t do anything to actually reduce crime (as they won’t, because crime is a function of behavior, not tools).

So now the state has sent out threatening letters to those gun owners – begging the question of why, if the state already knows who they are, the registration is even necessary – informing them that if they don’t dispose of the guns out of state they’ll be subject to criminal prosecution.

First of all, the state is going to flood its courts with hundreds of thousands of criminal cases based on this law? And let’s not forget that conviction requires a unanimous jury verdict, while exoneration requires only one “Not Guilty” vote. So, lots of luck on getting convictions.

Further, this idiotic law has achieved only one thing: turning formerly law-abiding citizens into unindicted felons. On top of all of that, they’re being deprived of their private property without “just compensation” as required by the Fifth Amendment (a sure-fire cause for appeal of any criminal convictions).

But most importantly, it clearly puts the lie to the gun-banners’ historic claim that their ultimate goal is anything Lies 2short of the elimination of private gun ownership, and illustrates their willingness to use confiscation as their means, in spite of their repeated denials.

Remember: the state already knew who these people were through records of gun purchases. This registration scheme did nothing other than to provide them an excuse to initiate confiscation actions and criminal prosecutions.

And the gun haters wonder why we gun owners don’t believe a single thing they say…

©Brian Baker 2014

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

CommissarObama copyYou’ve really got to hand it to Commissar Obama. When it comes to going all in on his socialist agenda, he’s certainly wasting no time at all now that he never has to face the electorate again.

The latest example is the hysteria over the tragic shootings at the elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. There are several illustrative elements I think are worth considering. First, how is this incident any different from the one that took place in Aurora, Colorado in a movie theater during the premiere of the latest “Batman” movie (and of which I wrote a few essays ago)? Why didn’t that massacre, with a much higher body count, lead to these panicked Chicken Little gun control efforts from our socialist brethren?

I’ll tell you exactly why: that shooting took place only a month or two before the next national election, and the socialists know that gun control is an election-killer for them, whereas this event happened as absolutely far as possible from the next election, so they’re banking on the electorate’s short attention span in making this the most opportune time possible for them to try to realize their dream of imposing Draconian gun restrictions.

Then there’s the added benefit to Comrade Obama of using this event, and its headline-grabbing nature, to distract everyone from the very real and immediate problem that is facing this country, and his arrogance and ineptitude in dealing with it, namely our looming fiscal insolvency. It’s a classic case of presidential sleight-of-hand: “Hey, look! We need to save the kids and ban guns! Don’t pay any attention to what my other hand’s doing!”

It’s pure, sheer political cynicism, chicanery and hypocrisy of the first order.

Speaking of hypocrisy and chicanery, whatever happened to the investigation into “Operation Fast And Furious”, in which Eric Holder and the BATF ran thousands of full-auto assault weapons into Mexico in an effort to gin up a fraudulent case that American gun laws were too lax, resulting in the deaths of over 300 Mexican citizens and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry?

Anyway, here are some points to consider. The Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings both took place in venues which are already under stringent gun restrictions. In fact, Connecticut already has an “assault weapon” ban in place ( Link ), as does Denver ( Link ), of which Aurora is a suburb and under its jurisdiction, under Municipal Code 38-130. So, in light of that, how would any new federal laws have prevented these killings? They wouldn’t have, plain and simple, as both shooters were already violating “assault weapon” bans.

I hear a lot blather about how the Second Amendment was written in the 18th Century and therefore only covers the technology of the time, i.e. flintlocks. Using that rationale, I guess the First Amendment right of free speech only covers hand-operated movable-type printing presses, then, and not the internet, TV, radio, movies, computers, automated printing presses, or telephones of any kind.

The blather continues with the usual nonsense that the Amendment only covers members of the active duty military and National Guard because it mentions a “well-regulated militia”. Here’s the complete text:

“Amendment II

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

MinutemanAnd what is the “militia”? It is the body of the whole populace of able-bodied law-abiding citizens, as defined by the Founders in their contemporary writings and encoded by Title 10 US Code, Section 311. And, as mentioned in the Amendment, this is an issue of “a free state”; it doesn’t mention deer hunting anywhere. It’s about freedom from government tyranny, a condition assured by an armed populace capable of resisting oppression.

This is a country founded on the principle of equality, with no “privileged classes”, and the cops and soldiers are just citizens like everybody else. EVERY citizen has an equal right to equal weaponry. If the cops and soldiers can have them, so can any other law-abiding citizen.

Otherwise, we don’t have an “equal society”; we have a ruling class – the “privileged” – and a subject class – all the rest of us.

Thanks, but I think I’ll pass. I’m not anyone’s “subject”. I’m a free man, and citizen with full rights.

© Brian Baker 2013