29 February 2008

Obama: Play up Class Warfare

This one will be more "stream of consciousness" as I peruse Obama's official campaign website...looking specifically for the official stance on issues, then compare with his voting record as reported elsewhere.

First of all, I'm impressed with his speaking voice and presentation. But I've known cheap furniture with good veneer before. People weren't terribly impressed with Fred Thompson (who was my first choice), but I think we'll look back and say he was probably the best the Republicans had to offer.

As good a place to begin with would be Civil Rights, since 2A definitely falls under that category.

"Pay Inequity Continues...Hate Crimes on the Rise...Efforts to Suppress the Vote...Disparities to Plague Criminal Justice System." I don't care for the class-warfare approach he's started out with. I thought he was for change. I could easily have heard this from Hillary or any other post-sixties hippie.

Not a thing about 2A mentioned at all on his site.

Over at OnTheIssues.org, there are four quotes related to gun control issues. Allow me to interpolate my thoughts along the way.

"You know, when the massacre happened at Virginia Tech, I think all of us were grief stricken and shocked by the carnage. But in this year alone, in Chicago, we've had 34 Chicago public school students gunned down and killed. And for the most part, there has been silence."
Not really. There is always the Anti knee-jerk response "ban guns! ban guns! 2A is the root of it all! The NRA is killing us!" And sundry other...what did Robb Allen call them...ah yes, PSHs...Which goes on for a few days until the psychiatrists up the Thioridazine dosages for the Demorrhoids that need them.

"We know what to do."

Do you, really? Like the way that congresswoman "knew" barrel shrouds?

"We've got to enforce the gun laws that are on the books. We've got to make sure that unscrupulous gun dealers aren't loading up vans and dumping guns in our communities"

Enforcing existing gun laws, yes. Fearmongering hyperbole, no.

"because we know they're not made in our communities. There aren't any gun manufacturers here, right here in the middle of Detroit."

Ahhh...so if people die in cars manufactured by VW, BMW, Porsche, and Renault, he'd be all for banning them, right?

I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manfuacturer's lobby. But I also believe that when a gangbanger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels someone disrespected him, we have a problem of morality.

OK, he goes from gun manufacturers to gangbangers. The two are not related. Also, if Mr. O is all for creating more gun-free zones in inner cities, he's going to wind up with a greater problem.

Here's a 1998 list of principles that Obama supports regarding Gun Issues:

  • Ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.
  • Increase state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.
  • Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.
Nannystateism and addressing unrelated symptoms.

By the way, criminals' choice of firearms are not semiautos. They still tend to favor cheap revolvers:
Studies of the guns used in homicides show that
large caliber revolvers are the most frequent type
of gun used in murder, but the number of large
caliber semiautomatic guns used in murders is

Nope, I'm not terribly impressed by Barack Obama. He's better than Hillary, but not by that much.

28 February 2008

Hillary, 2A, and the Nanny State

(Click on the title for the link)

I came across this site, while seeing how the other guys were skewering Riceman603's report on the U.S. and gun crime (feel free to drop by and add to the analysis--we may yet save another budding journalist from the path of mainstream media thinking).

He has links on how some of the potential presidential candidates handle 2A. In particular, there is Hitlery:

"We need to have a registry that really works with good information about people who are felons, people who have been committed to mental institutions."

"I would also work to reinstate the assault weapons ban."

"I think it's important to remember that the crime rate was driven down, & gun violence was driven down in the 1990s because of a combination of policies, like 100,000 police on the street and getting assault weapons off the street"

"We need to stand firm on behalf of sensible gun control legislation. We have to enact laws that will keep guns out of the hand of children and criminals and mentally unbalanced persons."

This is very telling about her philosophy on American government: The State is the answer to all your ills. Let the State handle them for you! And increase the Police to enforce the will of the State!

No thanks. Obama's preemptive jab on the Democratic Primaries no doubt held some truth to it:

I'll look into Obama shortly.

27 February 2008

...and I carry concealed

Excellent article that Sharp as a Marble found regarding a personal commentary on concealed carry.

Since permissions were explicitly by madrocketscientist on his post, here is his article in all its glory:

At any given moment, on any given day, I can legally conceal a firearm on my person for the defense of myself or others.

As a person who carries concealed, I have accepted an enormous responsibility to myself, my family, and to my community at large. I bear the responsibility to be aware, at all times, of my surroundings and of myself. I bear the responsibility of being trained and confident in the use of my firearm, and to take any and all measures to maintain control of myself, and my firearm, whether it is riding in the holster, or I have drawn it to confront a threat.

Before I can accept this responsibility, I had to be certain of my own moral center, to know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the two pounds of steel and plastic on my hip is more than an uncomfortable bit of weight. To know that should I reveal my weapon, the situation may escalate to a point where I must use deadly force in defense of myself or others, and to know that my skill and training may not be up to the task, and despite the firearm, I may die, and that I am OK with that

Before I can accept this responsibility, I must be old enough, I must have enough money for the permit fee, and I must subject myself to a complete background check, one that involves local, national, and possibly international police agencies. If I have any instances of violence in my background, or events that have demonstrated my inability to be careful, lawful, and responsible, I will be denied this responsibility.

Before I can accept this responsibility, I need to know how to use a firearm safely. I need to know the four rules and have them such a regular part of my daily regimen that I am always aware of them and never forget them. Depending on where I live, I may be required to bear the expense to attend firearms training, or demonstrate my skill with a firearm at the range, or demonstrate it during a mock combat scenario.

Before I can accept this responsibility, I have to have a firearm. I must do my research and choose a firearm that fits my needs, my lifestyle, and my hands. I must again have the financial resources to purchase this firearm, which can range from $200 to $2000. I must have a holster that can safely secure my firearm on my person for carry, and it is likely a good idea to have different holsters for different occasions or seasons.

Before I accept this responsibility, I must know the law governing it. I must know how I may carry, where I may or may not carry, and under what circumstances I may reveal, draw, or discharge my firearm; and I must know the consequences of being wrong in my ability to discriminate these circumstances.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand that I will be expected to maintain a higher standard of behavior than my fellow citizen, and, it could be argued, a higher standard than even the Police, as should I make a mistake with my firearm, I will be required to defend myself against criminal charges, and I will not have the resources and influence of the Police Union to support me.

As I accept the responsibility, I must understand that I can not be allowed to make a mistake with my firearm, as one mistake will result, at the very least, in the suspension of my responsibility, and should I be convicted, the permanent revocation of that responsibility, and possible loss of my freedom.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand the following:

  • I can not verbally reveal to anyone that I have a firearm in a manner that could be considered threatening, intimidating, or otherwise hostile without the existence of a credible threat.
  • I can not visually expose my firearm in a manner that could be considered threatening, intimidating, or otherwise hostile without the existence of a credible threat.
  • I can not draw my firearm in any manner without the existence of a lethal threat.
  • I can not discharge my firearm for any reason without the existence of a lethal threat.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand that I can not allow myself to become involved in an easily avoidable physical, or even verbal, altercation while in possession of my firearm, and that I am required to attempt to leave or defuse a tense situation that may escalate. I must make every reasonable effort to "turn the other cheek" so that should I be forced to fight, it is only in self-defense. I must always stay in control and keep a cool head. I can not give someone a piece of my mind in the parking lot, I can not belt the guy who is talking smack about my mother, I can not go drinking and get into a fight, I must avoid confrontation whenever possible.

As I accept this responsibility, I must understand that I can never be complacent as I carry, as I can not allow another to gain control of my sidearm, nor can I ever place an innocent in jeopardy because I am careless. I must make every effort, and bear every expense, in order to improve my skill with a firearm and my ability to safely use it.

I have to be better than a model citizen, I have to an exemplary citizen.

I accept this responsibility not because I think "guns are cool" or because I want to be a gangsta, or because I want to make someone my "beyotch", or because I want to be a hero, or because I am expecting trouble and want to be tough; I am not so shallow in my self.

I accept this responsibility because the police, as honorable and courageous as they may be, can not be everywhere. I accept this responsibility because criminals, and those that would do violence for their own purposes, respect no boundaries, and can ply their trade anywhere, from the slums to the gated communities.

I accept this responsibility because I firmly believe that the only person that is responsible for my defense is me, and that every citizen, not just the police, are responsible for the defense of the community. I accept this responsibility with the same honor and courage that calls me to the aid of others, whether they are in peril for their life, or they merely stumbled on the sidewalk.

I bear this responsibility willingly and with love because I am a citizen of this great nation, and I want to protect it and all her people, and this desire imposes on me a duty to defend her with my skill, my determination, and possibly my life.

My name is The Mad Rocket Scientist, and I carry concealed.

23 February 2008

Ode to a Moonbat Bishop

Iowahawk as a modern day Geoffrey Chaucer...

...cranking out a modern day Canterbury Tales

43 I liketh bigge buttes and I cannot lye,

44 You othere faelows can't denye,

...and lambasting moonbats in the process!

Grading the Graders, Revisited

The Brady Grades are out! New! Improved! Instead of giving out letters, they're giving out numbers! Wow!

Actually, the grades have been out for a while. The new format is a little more detailed, and the results tell a little more about the unrealistic expectations of the Brady Bunch.

And, as I stated in my last post, the great state of Alaska scored 4 points out of a possible hundred, and ranked 44th out of 50. I guess we must be doing something right.

I was looking at the list of the places where the Last Frontier came up short. I'd have to say, yeah, it pretty much describes how liberal we are in Alaska when it comes to 2A.

But I also saw some things in their lists that I don't think were entirely truthful:

Is it illegal to sell handguns to anyone under 21 years of age? No

State law does not restrict selling handguns to juveniles under the age of 21 by unlicensed sellers. Under federal law, only federally licensed dealers are prohibited from selling or delivering handguns or ammunition for handguns to any person under the age of 21. A strong state law is needed to stop unlicensed persons from selling handguns to those under the age of 21.

If you just did a cursory check on the list, you'd think that Alaska takes pride in flouting the under-21 law. Nope. Firstly, this is a little sticky in that it deals with personal property between private individuals, and I don't need to go into the ramifications of that. Those who prefer living in an Orwellian society might not see it as a bad thing, but I personally would prefer erring on the side of civil liberties.

Another thing this bit of propaganda fails to mention are the criminal codes against selling guns to unqualified individuals (felons, mentally unstable, etc).

Is there a waiting period on gun sales? No

Alaska: No state requirement that there be a waiting period for gun sales beyond the "instant check" in federal law. Police are not given any additional time to run a criminal background check to make sure the gun buyer is not prohibited from acquiring firearms. There is no "cooling off" period to help prevent crimes of passion.

Not entirely true. Gun dealers are governed by Federal Law, and all first-time resident handgun buyers within the State of Alaska must undergo a 5-day waiting period. Subsequent purchases are not subject to the waiting period. Nor are people who have a CCW permit.

But again, the wording of the line-item suggests that, by golly, you come to Alaska, and you can get yourself a pimped-out Desert Eagle with a minimum of hassle.

Another thing that caught my attention were the rankings vs. scores. 50 states were featured. Not a one scored 100% (the best was California, at 79). The overwhelming majority (43) of states scored less than 50%. Of those 43, 41 scored less than 30%.

That alone should tell you that the Bradys' expectations are totally unrealistic.

Here's another telling statistic. The Bradys' top performers (California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Hawaii) are all blue states.

As a matter of fact, the top 12-ranked states in Brady's list are all blue. Once you get to North Carolina (#13), you start seeing some mixture of red and blue, but I find it rather interesting the correspondence between political affiliation and favor on the Brady scale. Further evidence suggesting the Bradys are not the "non-partisan" organization their website claims they are.

At any rate, it's time to see if the Bradys really have a good feel for what prevents gun violence. Referring to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports they make available online, 2006 edition, I found that the Brady's consistent top performer in terms of gun ownership legislation, The People's Republik of Kalifornia, is also the biggest offender in gun-related crimes.

Combining reported instances of Murder, Robbery, and Aggravated Assault with a firearm, California's tight gun restrictions could not stop 49,700 people from being victims.

This, by the way, is close to twice of the combined firearm-related incidents reported by the bottom ten states--the poorest performers by the Brady grading system--whose total is 27,349 in all.

Some would come up with the argument, "Well, that's because California is so huge, and naturally, bigger populations will have bigger problems. What we really need to look at are per-capita totals for a more accurate picture of guns and crime."

Fine. The total population of the bottom ten states comes to around 21,505,087, about 59% of California's population of 36,332,437. Do the math, and you'll find that the combined per-capita firearm-related crime rate is still less than California's. Maybe not by the widest of margins (8% difference), but you would think that if the Brady grading system were an accurate picture of the measures needed to stop gun violence, the results would be much more in the favor of the Brady's highest performer.

Conclusion: The Brady measures don't really help prevent crime.

22 February 2008

CCW on campus proposed by TN legislator

I sent off an email to the editors of UT's Daily Beacon yesterday, doing my best to try to enlighten the overopinionated and underinformed (the two generally go hand in hand) about CCW issues. In short, I said:

- CCW doesn't apply to everyone--people seem to jump to the conclusion that, once it's passed--hoo boy, everybody will be packing heat under their coats. Nope, only licensees get to do it. Legally, that is.

- The process of licensing involves a fair amount of money, time, and background checks. This both serves to ensure that only those serious about taking up this responsibility do so, and winds up with citizens better capable of doing just that.

- Freedom of speech doesn't require quality of content, but if there is ever going to be any real meaningful discussions on CCW, 2A, or any other topic, the anti crowd really needs to do their homework and approach the forum from a more informed POV.

But, getting back to my native state--apparently, there has been a long-standing discussion in the Volunteer State about Concealed Carry on campus. State Representative Stacey Campfield is proposing a bill allowing full-time faculty and staff who are CCW licensees to be allowed to exercise their 2A rights.

Naturally, there's opposition among liberalism's clergy and laity to let one of their temples be defiled with anything conservative.

A UTPD special operations captain doesn't like the idea, saying that students and faculty need to be more familiar with evacuation routes.

I can see his point, but to me, it's almost like he's instructing people to be better targets...the school shootings that have happened were generally not committed by outsiders, but students also familiar with the schools they terrorized. That includes emergency procedures and evacuation routes, neither of which help stop a perp in a timely fashion.

I remember as a grad student at UT (1993-1995) waking up to the sound of gunfire one night in the parking lot behind my dorm (Andy Holt Apartments). At least, I thought it was gunfire. The police sirens that sounded a good half hour gave further credence to my suspicions, and it was confirmed in the Beacon a day or two later. Some kid still in high school was upset over a breakup with his girlfriend (a student at UT) and decided to take a SKS to her car. Riddled it with about a score of holes (maybe 30) before fleeing the scene.

KPD caught up with him (they are the only ones authorized to have a weapon on campus), but by then, the damage had been long done. Police simply cannot be everywhere, and cannot respond instantaneously to a crisis.

21 February 2008

VA Tech, 10 months later

It was the VA Tech massacre that brought me out of my previous hiatus. It's almost been a year since then, and since I've been gone from the Campus Attitudes Towards RKBA scene for a while, I'm curious as to what the discussions have been in Blacksburg since then.

For starters, we have a Feb 6 article lamenting Virginia's low Brady grade.

I missed the latest round of Brady report cards. From what I understand, they've revamped their system--slightly. Lemme check and see how my state did...we got an F in 2006.

Under their new system, Alaska scored 4 out of 100 points, and is ranked 44 out of 50.

Heh. We did better than the last time I reported on the Brady grades. But I'll focus on that in another post.

Virginia ranked 14, something that the president of VA's chapter of the Million Moonbat March is disappointed about, but not terribly surprised. She blames the so-called "gun show loophole" for VA's lackluster performance.

No additional commentary from the article's author, but it drew a spate of reactions from the pro-2A crowd (you have to love online papers that allow comments), calling the piece a nice, unbiased bit of reporting on behalf of the Brady Campaign.

I do remember immediately following the shootings how some pointed to the Appalachian Law School situation, and how allowing Concealed Carry could have significantly lowered the damage PsyCho did. Around February 8, this debate was revived by students and faculty visiting Richmond to help support legislation being discussed which they supported. One of the issues standing out was concealed carry on campus.

Well, someone didn't like the idea, and is his right, he wrote about it. And with it, the usual symptoms that this person probably needs his Thioridazine prescription refilled. Fears about concealed carry have been proven time and again to be nothing more than tales of the boogie-man. But unfortunately, when you're short on facts, what do you use to fill your argument's void? Emotion coming out of vain imagination.

In reality, Concealed Carry has with it a price tag that by and large screens out the riff-raff. The states that license it requires some sort of training--basic gun handling skills, situation awareness, and awareness of legal responsibilities and consequences. Furthermore, you are fingerprinted, subjected to a background check, and the cost of all this can run you half a month's pay and several nights' worth of classes. All of these factors pretty much insure that your licensees are solid citizens.

Happily, there are a few students on VT's campus who know this, and attempt to explain how things really work with CCW (as well as the Brady Bunch's campaign of misinformation). And this one's a freshman, to boot.

20 February 2008

The Sword and the Pen

I had always wondered if Leftists would treat the 1st Amendment the same way they jump on the 2nd when it comes to trying to control crime.

I found in an Illinois campus editorial something exactly along those lines. And, the double standard over 1st and 2nd gets played out pretty good.

Another piece of evidence came up in the NIU shootings, and people are looking at a book that was left by the gunman for his girlfriend in hopes to shed some light on why he did what he did. The book in question was a copy of Nietzsche's The Anti Christ.

The author of this article, that appeared in the op-ed pages of another Illinois university, states that this has spurred consideration for banning the works of Nietzsche.

I tried looking for articles supporting this suggested ban, but came up short. I don't know where he got the idea for even the suggestion of the ban, unless it came out of the usual scuttlebutt. Still, regardless of any attempts, real or imagined, to take this book out of general circulation, this fellow's reaction is what I want to call attention to.

On the one hand, he is all for gun control, if only to include it in a battery of preventive measures:

I am 100 percent for: increased gun control laws, increased preventive measures of universities and a continual search for trying to find out a motive for the event.

This event has compelled several laws and actions to be considered and possibly implemented so that such events will not happen again.

Typical Anti-2A knee-jerk reaction to a crime involving a gun--"I'll gladly sell that right if it will make me feel safer."

However, if covering all the bases in the interests of prevention also meant taking books off the shelves that could inflame certain ideas (that is, something related to 1A), he goes in exactly the opposite direction:
However, there is one action being considered that I don't support it at all.

That is the banning of teachings by Nietzsche, particularly his book, "The Anti-Christ."

Further on down:
I am against banning books in any situation, but banning this one as a causal result of what happened last Thursday isn't the right thing to do, will not erase what happened and will not positively prevent future occurrences.
Now, I tend to agree with him on the book-banning question. I certainly would not care to see a 1A right taken away, even if it meant a little extra security.

But I hope everyone sees the hypocrisy here. I remember once during the 1990s how someone mentioned that if Libs treated 2A like 1A, then everyone would have a right to a fully automatic rocket launcher.

He sees a lack of causality between Nietzsche and the shootings. In similar measure, while the gun was the instrument, it in of itself is not to blame. It was not the cause of the crime. And yet, people like this would gladly promote infringements on the Second, which generally haven't been the right thing to do, do not erase past tragedies, and have proven quite ineffective at curbing crime.

But more importantly, the Second shares space with nine other amendments that define our rights. Disregard one, and you set dangerous legal precedent for the rest.

17 February 2008

RKBA Campus Watch # 12.1

Things sure have been busy while I was gone. In the past, my graduate Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, hasn't shown up on radar regarding gun issues. At least, not in its campus newspaper, The Daily Beacon.

But in running a search through its archives, I found that this month has seen a debate revolving around Concealed Carry among those whose blood runs orange and white.

Therefore, I dub this iteration of the RKBA Campus Watch
The Volunteer Edition
The debate seems to have started February 1, with an article entitled, "UT campus should allow permit-carrying people to have guns." Written by a Sophomore in Finance, he expresses some concern about recent recurring attacks on campus. The author, who holds a CCW permit, puts forth the suggestion that licensed individuals should be allowed to carry their guns on campus.

Now, I want everyone to be aware of his approach to presenting the issue. He's not acting on some emotional response to a past campus shooting elsewhere in the country. He's focused on local problems. And the solution he offers, he presents from the instruction he got from the class he had to take prior to applying for his permit.

His key argument:

My handgun carrying permit instructor pointed out something very eye-catching and that is the fact that a person is less likely to go to a place where he knows someone else has a gun. By not being able to carry on the campus with a permit, the campus then becomes a prime place to attack someone, because those people who are going to do the crime obviously do not follow the campus guidelines for guns.

I think he could have worded this a little better, by saying that people with ill intent are less likely to go into places were the potential victims may be armed.

He even went so far as to conduct his own personal survey on the matter, and found opinion to be almost evenly split.

Published reactions were also split. Two of them, no doubt printed side by side, appeared four days later in the Beacon. The negative reaction came from a graduate student in computer engineering, and exemplifies the Finance Sophomore's observations of closed-mindedness among the antis.

It's not so much of a rebuttal as it is a rant. "Let's make it an integral part of campus life--pop quizzes where you have to clean guns! Hey, why stop there--let's throw guns out to the homeless, too! That'll stop crime."

It's amazing the depth of analytical ability that manages to get into the graduate school nowadays. Sheesh.

The positive reaction comes from a fellow who recently graduated from the Political Science department--again, stressing the issue of the state of campus safety, with adding additional comment about the rights of the citizen. Note that he was not advocating everyone carrying a gun, unlike the overboard reaction of the grad student above. That wasn't the stance of the original author, for that matter--only those who had taken the time to educate themselves about the responsibilities of carrying a concealed weapon for self-defense.

He said that guns are already around campus--carried by punk gangsta wannabes. Why should the good guys--those who put their guns away when the authorities says so--suffer for obeying the law?

A freshman in chemistry counter-reacts to this with more fear over "what if?" scenarios. What the boy needs to do is look at the results of what is.

Fact: Gun Free Zones are ripe targets for crime.

Fact: Concealed Carry deters crime.

16 February 2008

RKBA Campus Round-Up #12

Been away for six, seven months, and that means I have missed a whole semester's worth of Campus Editorials.

After doing the bit on Yale this morning, I figured I'd give the good 'ol Badger Herald a look-see. If ever there was a campus rag that regularly publishes gun-related student op-ed pieces, it's them.

And, so, I dedicate this edition of the RKBA Campus Watch to the Badgers, whose mascot's red sweater (I well remember the Cold War, despite the juxtaposition the MSM did with "Red" and "Blue" in 2004) and marching-to-the-left orientation is not lost on me.

Still, surprisingly, there was a pretty balanced representation of pro and con articles that were put out in the Fall semester of 2007. The leftists drone on with their stats to justify their fears. The gunners try their best to educate them. But the left keep coming back with the same tired, recycled points and figures that have been debunked for years.

Anyway, let's have a look at what the Herald put out since June 21, 2007, shall we?

First article...Sept. 27, 2007...starts off on a pretty positive note. For the President of UW's College Republicans put in a very sensible article about the right to Concealed Carry, and used an example that shows the sensibilities of the court system. Seems a pizza delivery fellow got robbed four times while at work. Twice he shot perps in self-defense. While he was cleared of any murder or assault charges because it was clearly evident he acted in self-defense, he nonetheless faced concealed weapons charges. It took the fourth mugging to get a ruling in his favor.

This isn't lost on the article's author. She quotes the state constitution, which allows for gun ownership specifically for the purposes of security and defense. But the way the courts see it, you have to survive violent attacks several times to show you have a security/defense need.

And, that, Mr. Xan White of Fail University, is the sort of death coming from a misinterpretation of law that I was talking about.

Good article, Sara. I hope your Dad got you a H&K for your 21st birthday, in at least .40, with 2 boxes of good practice ammo, and a box of Cor-Bon for carry.

I would that the rest of the articles were as reasonable, but unfortunately, Ivory Tower cluelessness reasserts itself the next month by a student who has wasted his academic career in that less-than-useful field of study known as Political Science (we'll see you behind the counter at the Chick-Fil-A come next September, bud).

His tack attempts to draw on "world opinion"via his travel experiences in Europe, which entails all the crime you could experience this side of the Atlantic, only without gun violence. Then he goes on to sing the praises of Europe, with its alleged lower gun crime rate than the United States, based on a 1998 study from an organization focusing on Epidemiology. Now, what germs and guns have in common is anyone's guess, apart from the title of a book by Jared Diamond, but then again, liberals have been known to make crazier connections in the not-too-distant past (Bush and Hurricanes, for example). But I digress.

But what about the rest of the crime you can enjoy in Europe, or the rest of the world, for that matter? The United States doesn't rank in the Top Ten as far as homicide is concerned. But according to GunFacts 4.2, p. 57 (hence the previous link), four European countries are in that list. And that comes from a U.N. study focusing on international crime.

Europe ain't safer--you'll get molested all sorts of ways, but hallelujah, it won't involve a gun!

T.S. Eliot said that April is the cruelest month, but it seems that October 2007 was the thoughtless-est month, at least in the town of Madison. A week after Mr. Europhile published his article, a Sophomore in English puts in her two cents' worth.

Her lament: that background checks are no guarantee of future mental stability.

Blink. Blink.


I don't think I have to say much more about that one. But I wonder if she would be as willing to be denied furthering her academic career on the grounds that her degree is no guarantee of future ignorance.

Fast-forward five days later to another Op-Ed by another Political Science major. Now, this guy seems a little smarter than the last one--he's backed up his hobby degree with something more practical--a degree in Sociology, which is something I can respect. Social workers are some of the more harder working, less-thanked selfless individuals I have ever known.

His article tends to reflect the sort of compassion you find in potential social workers--concern about children. Unfortunately, he makes the gross mistake of putting a lot of the blame on inanimate objects. And he isn't just talking about guns--he's talking about 2A as well, and how "accessible" it makes guns to kids.

However, there has been no correlation between gun availability and crime. Again, I turn you to GunFacts 4.2, page 19. As far as school shootings are concerned, it seems to be largely an urban phenomenon--rural areas have more ready access to guns, yet school shootings are nowhere near as common (pp. 17-18).

Personally, I'd blame it on a lack of supervision and parental involvement in the kids' lives. I had access to my Dad's guns (he kept a 1911 in the foyer closet), but had tasted enough discipline to know better than do something stupid or thoughtless with them.

It's kind of hard to tack down the next guy's position. A freshman in Computer Engineering points out the pros and cons of both sides, but swings towards the anti-side of Wisconsin's Concealed Carry debate. He shows some promise in that he has looked into what both sides have to say, but unfortunately, seems to have taken in too much of the assumptions that riddle the antis' thinking. Those assumptions all too often tend to be rooted in fear.

Take, for instance, his concern over the number of concealed guns making more guns accessible. Concealed carry in Wisconsin would be by license, and licensing is governed by certain criteria a person has to meet. It does not guarantee that everyone and their uncle would be carrying a gun. A right is not a requirement. You can easily decline to exercise it.

Then, there are concerns over "loopholes" in reciprocity. This, too, is taken into consideration by the powers that be.

But whatever his concerns are, most of them seemed to be based in the erroneous assumption that all guns will be used for criminal activity. And the overwhelming number of guns not used in crime simply does not justify that fear.

And, winding down 2007, a November article from another Political Science major--linked with History--which means that, unless he's going for a teacher position, going to grad school, or taking up a career writing books, he'll probably wind up behind the same Chick-Fil-A counter as Mr. Europhile, but as his shift manager.

Still, his training in history leads him to look deeper at the background of the Second Amendment--and unlike most of his other PoliSci compadres, and definitely most of his detractors in the comments section--finds it to assure individuals of the right to keep and bear arms.

No doubt there's lots more to dig up on other campuses elsewhere...watch this blog for more!

15 February 2008

Warming back up on Campus Editorials

It's certainly been a while since I've reported on the state of the higher-level ideological puppy farms known as the University Campus.

This time, the victim of my scrutiny is none other than the prestigious Yale, which just happens to rhyme with:

The article's thesis? "Death is human cost of misreading 2nd Amendment," which I wholeheartedly agree with, although not in the way Mr. White, a junior at Yale, presents his argument.

From the very get-go, Mr. White's article attempts to connect two unrelated incidents (and to which he admits are unrelated), and this is rather telling of his mindset. For example, he blames the death of Sean Taylor on a particular interpretation of the Second Amendment--but somehow manages to miss the criminal connections of the incident.

He also tries to connect legislation with public safety--unaware that, historically speaking, an increase of ink on paper in the lawmaking chambers around this country have made absolutely no impact on crime. A shining example was the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994.

And, following true to form, Mr. Xan "Condition" White attempts to connect the number of guns in this country with blood running in the streets--totally unaware that the number of gun related crimes in this country amount to less than .15% of estimated total gun ownership in this country.

Finally, there is the attempt to connect White's narrative with serious research. The 36 comments given this article have found none.

Like Barbarossa from the Kyffhäuser...

OK, long enough of a hiatus for everyone? Yeah, me too.

A friend stopped by from Florida last month, and told me that everyone-- everyone--back where I used to live really missed my writing. He was given specific instructions to give me one word from everyone when he saw me--WRITE!

He was my boss at the computer consulting firm I worked for in South Florida, and I made my mark on the company writing articles and putting together advertisements for them. He said I had a gift in that area, and I shouldn't let it just fall by the wayside.

So...on the heels of a CPR class I took earlier this week, it's time to breathe some more life back into this beotch!

And just in time to vent about elections, too. Barbarossa has arisen, honks (even though my beard has more grey in it nowadays than red)! Phear the Southern Expatriate of the North with the HK on his hip!

February Surprise?
All the gunbloggers know about the Illinois shootings. Seems the cruel month of April came early this year. No known motive as of yet, although the gunman has been identified as a NIU alumnus.

To nobody's surprise--certainly not mine--the Left's instrument of propaganda and thought manipulation known as Big Media starts leading the bleating chorus about the evils of guns, republicans, and the NRA.

But, as the folks over at Hot Air point out, as can anyone with a few hundred brain cells not damaged thanks to the recreational pharmaceutical activity en vogue in the '60s and '70s, the article does not mention how the notion of Gun Free Zones fails once again!

Neither does it mention how the shooter was off some medication he was supposed to be taking. How convenient.

What's worse, said article from the NYT tries somehow to make a connection between campuses and national parks, but only succeeds in showing that they really don't pay attention to what they're reporting about.

The Idiotorial Board sees "Parks." They automatically assume "Ford's Theater." But there is ZERO mention of that sort of park in a December 14, 2007 Letter to Secretary Kempthorne. Mentions lands managed by Fish and Wildlife Service, even mentions National Wildlife Refuges. Maybe the National Mall falls under these sort of "Lands," but I highly doubt it.

Most letters to Interior Secretary Kempthorne that I am finding online have nothing to do with national monuments. A lot have to do with undeveloped areas. And that's only from a cursory online search by an amateur blogger. You'd think the "professionals" would have picked up on that--especially those given editorial responsibilities.

Speaking of editorials, in the process of looking at some of the reactions to the NIU shootings and the once-again revived gun debate (don't worry, folks, it will die down as soon as it loses its marketability. Remember, Big Media isn't about the truth--it's about what makes money), I'm seeing again how journalists are so ill-informed about the Second Amendment.

Take this editorial, for instance, which I also found in the Anchorage Daily News from about two days ago. It's the old individual rights vs. militia argument again. He takes the latter, saying, in effect, that this position has been "buttressed" by about 70 years' worth of legal rulings.

Well, if that were the case, and 2A has indeed been officially interpreted as being relevant only to militias, then could someone please explain to me how I managed to buy five guns--including a military-style "assault rifle"--since 1999? Seems like this guy needs to look at theory vs. the real world just a little more closely.

OK, but that's Big Media. We'd expect that sort of a reaction from them. What is really interesting to see is how a few people who stand the most to gain or lose from this will leverage this incident.

Obama: "I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation"

Well, chalk one up for a proper interpretation of the Constitution, but his support for the DC ban on handguns shows a little too much inconsistency. Let me see your voting record, pretty boy.

Hitlary: recently slammed Obama for what she considered an about-face on the stereotypical gun-control stance. Yet, she mentioned "safeguarding and respecting our Second Amendment rights." Read that statement real carefully...what does she mean by "our?"

This is the same witch whose husband signed the AWB. Whatever she says, given her record on gun rights issues, I'm not that apt to believe it.

McCain: An article in the Sun puts him right of Bloomberg two days ago. However, this blogger says our memory needs to be longer than that.

Good to be writing again, guys. More to come, at varying paces, in the days to come!