Archive for the ‘Second Amendment’ Category

Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 4

ObamaLegacyPart4   <– PDF

That Mr. Obama and his administration demonstrated contempt for the rights of the people is clearly evident throughout his term in office.

“Operation Fast & Furious” was probably a White-House directed scheme to denigrate the Second Amendment by attempting to show that only drug dealers and murderers would sink low enough to own a gun. This was to be accomplished by having BATFE help straw buyers purchase guns in the US (a felony), then to smuggle them to Mexico (a felony and a violation of Mexican law), and then to hand them over to drug cartels (in violation of Mexican law) so those same weapons could be tracked, the new users caught and prosecuted, all to demonstrate that only evil sinister drug-dealing lowlife criminals have guns and therefore all Americans should be willing to give them up.  But of course, government incompetence being what it was, the drug cartel killed a large number of Mexican citizens and some Americans as well.  But that was not a problem until one of those weapons was used by a Mexican drug dealer to kill a Border Patrol Agent named Brian Terry on 14 Dec 2010.  Then, and only then, did the scheme become a problem (i.e., when a federal employee became a victim).  A few BATFE insiders ratted out their leadership, exposing the plot, and Mr. Obama was forced to use Executive Privilege to cover up the whole episode and his role instigating it.  The net result: raises and promotions all around, as usual.  Fortunately, the propaganda effort against the Second Amendment failed.

Mr. Obama also illegally used Executive Orders to expand background check on firearms transactions.

Ms. Lois G. Lerner, director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit since 2006 until 2013, led the office while a scheme was being implemented to deprive conservative organizations their proper tax-exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(4). Specifically, instead of using the usual process to determine eligibility, the IRS, with Ms. Lerner’s full knowledge, proceeded to implement a delaying tactic to prevent the candidate organizations from using their rights under the law to participate in the 2010 and 2012 elections.  They did so by requiring extensive and impossible requirements in the applications:

  1. By demanding information that could not exist (“What books are your members reading”);
  2. By asking whether any of their members intended to run for elective office;
  3. By demanding a list of donors, the amounts donated, and how the donations were spent;
  4. By demanding copies of all web pages, blog posts, and brochures ever used by the organization;
  5. By demanding copies of all emails sent or received by organization members.

After the scandal came out, and the IRS’ own Inspector General castigated the IRS for its use of “inappropriate criteria” conduct, Ms. Lerner testified before Congress on 22 May 2013:

“My professional career has been devoted to fulfilling responsibilities of the agencies for which I have worked, and I am very proud of the work I have done in government. I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

After the IRS failed to produce subpoenaed emails (pretending all the hard drives and backup tapes had been destroyed), the Department of Justice then proceeded to conduct an “investigation”, including allegation of harassment of some organizations by the BATFE, FBI, and OSHA, but in the end no action was taken other than to excuse the IRS. On 23 Oct 2015, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter J. Kadzik issued a report which concluded that although there was considerable mismanagement:

“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

Both his and Ms. Lerner’s statements are true: no corruption, no violation of regulations, no political or discriminatory action occurred because the IRS was simply implementing the official ideological policy of the Obama administration. More raises and promotions all around, and Ms. Lerner is now enjoying a quiet happy retirement.  She is also the patron saint of the IRS, having gotten away with everything.

Mr. Obama illegally appointed officials without the consent of the Senate while the Senate was not in recess (Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, & Richard Griffin to National Labor Relations Board, and Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

Mr. Obama illegally granted exceptions and exemptions via Executive Order to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (aka “Obamacare”), violating and superseding express provisions of the law:

  1. 15 Feb 2013: Abolished the high-risk pool (the money allocated for it had been spent for advertising)
  2. 20 Feb 2013: Insurance companies were allowed to double deductibles
  3. 11 Mar 2103: Delayed implementation of the small business option program
  4. 2 Jul 2013: Delayed employer reporting contrary to the ACA
  5. 30 Sep 2013: Provided subsidies to members of Congress & their staff, not provided for in the ACA
  6. 23 Oct 2013: Delayed the individual mandate from Oct 2013 to Feb 2014

 

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Practical Gun Control (complete)

PracticalGunControl_complete   <== PDF version

Dear readers:

This post contains the full 8-part series on gun control.  Due to its length (33 pages), it is available only as a PDF.

Thanks for reading,

EDD

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Practical Gun Control, Part 8 (end of series)

PracticalGunControlPart8   <== PDF version

We have seen thus far that gun control does not have any positive benefits: it certainly does not reduce crime, nor affect suicide rates.  It is a well-known fact that the places in America with the strictest gun control suffer from the highest crime rates.  So why do so many politicians continue to introduce and vote for legislation that restricts the keeping and bearing of arms by the citizens?  Note that I singled out, as they do, the citizens; there are exactly zero gun-control laws on the books that negatively affect the arms possessed by government and its employees.  I believe there are two classes of gun-control advocates at the political level.  First is the wishful thinker who actually believes that regulation of liberty and property will lead to a “safe and just” society.  The second is the more obvious: these are the ones who seek absolute power over the people.  Both agree that more government is the solution to man’s problems in modern society, conveniently forgetting that governments are staffed by men with the same inclinations, faults, ambitions, and criminal tendencies in about the same proportion as society in general.

The first category of gun control advocates are an odd lot to be sure.  These are the one who believe out of blind confidence in their fellow man (for there is no evidence to support it) that the death rates from accidents, crimes, and suicides can be made arbitrarily low if only the rate of gun ownership can be made arbitrarily low.  They believe without reason or facts that the primary cause of untimely death and injury is you, the citizen, exercising your rights.  They believe that with suitably strict regulation, the evil within men that leads to crimes will be suddenly expunged, and we will, by simple rule of law, enter into a period of peace, harmony, and happiness; primarily because they have confidence that everyone else (including the current gun-owning future/potential criminals) are just as benevolent deep down as they are; the problem is not the evil motivation of men, only the hardware they possess.  I do not need to point out that this type of thinker is divorced from reality, and even worse, is willing to reject all the contrary evidence in order to maintain their self-imposed fictions.  The British have been disarmed within the past twenty years; but the streets of that nation are not safer than before.  A British soldier was recently fatally stabbed and nearly beheaded on a London street in broad daylight by two fanatics who were happy to explain it all to the camera while holding the bloody axes and knives in their hands.  The people of Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angele shave been disarmed within living memory, but those places are likewise more dangerous than they were prior to the 1960’s.  I am doubtful that anything can be done about this first class of gun control advocates; with contrary facts in plain view, they persist in seeking to “educate” the people about the virtues of disarmament.  They are wildly successful because most members of the popular media and most famous celebrities agree with this basic (false) notion about the inherent goodness of men; hence the ubiquity of their propaganda campaigns.  Repeat a big enough lie often enough and pretty soon it becomes part of the mechanical subconscious, especially among the young.

Now before we get to the second type of advocate, it is important to understand the common attributes of all gun control laws [1].  The common characteristics are:

a.  Manufacturing, sale, and importation of firearms and ammunition, or parts thereof, to be performed only by enterprise or individuals licensed by the government

b.  The principal components of all firearms must be labeled with a serial number.

c.  Only persons of a certain age, who are of sound mind, and have not been convicted of crimes are eligible to own firearms

d.  Records of all sales and transfers are to be maintained by the licensed dealers and manufacturers, including name and address of recipient and serial number of firearm

e.  Government organizations at all levels are exempt from all provisions.

It is not necessary to analyze them any further, for all the desired power and ultimate disarmament flows from these few provisions.  Once these general conditions are in place, it is a simple matter to further alter the regulations to impose taxes on possession, requiring licenses for ownership of guns and ammunition (not only manufacturers), make people liable for the actions of others, make them liable to surprise inspections, restrict the nature and type that may be possessed, regulate ammunition, restrict the types of persons who may buy and sell, and even cancel licenses as necessary to make gun and ammunition ownership impossible.  Then the government has all the power.

But what is the underlying motive for governments to enhance their arbitrary power by obtaining a monopoly on personal arms?  There are probably three general reasons, given, as shown previously, that gun control leads if anything to more dangerous conditions for the people.  First is the desire or belief that regulation of every aspect of everyone’s lives will lead to a perfect society; in this respect the politicians are infected with the same delusions as the first class, which also infected Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.  But it also means that the government would have both the means and the motive to purge the nation of “undesirables”, same as Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, the military dictators in Guatemala, the Ottomans in Turkey, Pol Pot in Cambodia, and the temporary internment of American citizens of Japanese descent by Franklin Roosevelt in the U. S.  A second possible reason is that governments want power for the sake of power such that their jobs are made easier and less dangerous, as they will have nothing to fear from the people.  This would allow the government to have a monopoly on the commission of crimes with no possibility of retribution or prosecution.  It also makes life easier for the criminal element, who would become the natural allies of the government.

Licensing leads invariably to registration, and registration leads to confiscation as soon as the political conditions are right. Once the government knows who has what types of firearms and ammunition, it is a simple matter to target those people for taxation, restriction, and eventual confiscation (or as U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder put it, “mandatory gun buy-backs”).  In America, the politicians are proud to point out that the federal gun control laws prohibit the establishment of a registry of gun owners.  But there is a fallacy to this argument, namely, that although it is technically prohibited, there is no penalty associated with violating it, and, lacking specific definitions and penalties, no one can be prosecuted.  If a secret federal registration of gun owners exists in America and is uncovered, the worst that can happen to the government employees is a month-long taxpayer-paid administrative leave/vacation during the “investigation” followed by raises and promotions.  The goal of all gun control, historically considered, is the disarmament of the people; the most efficient path to disarmament is registration and confiscation under the rubric of “public safety”.  History has shown that it takes only a few sensational crimes, as in Great Britain, Australia, and the U. S.to get the politicians babbling about “public safety”.

The politicians in America are likely to use the recent United Nations “Arms Trade Treaty” to implement a de facto registration of gun owners in America.  They can claim deniability by saying they did not realize the treaty could be used as an excuse by the bureaucracy to supersede the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  This treaty protects and defends the same entities that have been responsible for at least 100 million mass murders by governments; but restricts you, the individual, from possessing tools necessary to defend yourself.  The U. N. accuses you, the individual, of being the cause of worldwide mass murder.

If the police chiefs, mayors, governors, members of Congress, and the President wish to claim that public safety demands that your Second Amendment rights be restricted, let them first swear under penalty of perjury that they have permanently disarmed the ethnic mafias, the Cripps, the Bloods, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), the Hell’s Angels and all the other professional criminal gangs, and further let them swear under penalty of perjury they have disarmed all non-affiliated criminals. Let them swear under penalty of perjury that no criminal will ever acquire arms. Let them swear that no officer of the law will ever commit a crime.  Let them swear that all their bodyguards are disarmed.  They will never do any of these, since they know it is impossible, and will accuse you of making unreasonable demands.  Secondly, they will not do it because if all the aforementioned persons were disarmed (an impossibility, but for sake of argument), the only guns left would be in the hands of normal citizens, which are not a threat to public peace or safety.  Their refusal only proves that they respect the criminals more than they respect your rights.

It would be wise to recall the basic principles of the U. S. Constitution and its allocation of legitimate powers, as explained by Hamilton and Madison.  First, no legitimate government can exempt itself from the laws [The Federalist No. 57]:

I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass o society.  This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together.  It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathies of sentiments of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.  If it be asked what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of society?  I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant, manly spirit which actuates the people of America– a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate anything but liberty.

Secondly, the American people have a legitimate right to resist tyranny [The Federalist No. 28]:

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success against those of the rulers of an individual State….

The obstacles to usurpation and the facilities of resistance increase with the increased extent of the state, provided the citizens understand their rights and are disposed to defend them.  The natural strength of the people in a large community, in proportion to the artificial strength of the government, is greater than in a small, and of course more competent to a struggle with the attempts of the government to establish a tyranny….

 I think I have shown that there is no practical formula for “gun control”, as it magnifies the powers of the criminal element the government alike at the expense of the people.

References

[1]  Jay Simkin, Aaron Zelman, “Gun Control”: Gateway to Tyranny, Milwaukee, WI: Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, 1993, pp. 84 – 93

[2]  http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/

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Practical Aspects of Gun Control, Part 7

PracticalGunControlPart7   <== PDF version

Dear readers:

This essay continues the statistcal aspect of gun control started in part 6.  Because of its length, it is available only in PDF format.

Thanks for reading,

Ed Duvall

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