Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gun Nut, Oscar Pistorius Gets Away With Murder - He'll Serve Only 10 Months

Oscar Pistorius held the hands of family members after being sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday. 
CreditPool photo by Herman Verwey

The New York Times

With a judge seeking to strike a balance between mercy and retribution, Oscar Pistorius, the South African track star, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. 

The athlete’s defense team said the law under which he was punished calls for him to serve only one-sixth of the prison term — 10 months — before he can be placed on house arrest. He was also given a suspended three-year term on separate firearms charges.

Do Rights Have Limits?


All rights come with limitations, that's the point. Do you have a problem with that? In other words the "shall not be infringed" part of the 2A is not to be taken literally at least not in its extreme sense.


My problem with your statement is that it is inexact, and that this lack of specificity leads to the erosion of rights. The government's ability to proscribe speech that directly incites violence or illegal activity is not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited" it is because direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech.

The government can't stop asshole racists from calling for the elimination of the rights of other races because that still falls under the category of protected speech. Meanwhile, it can stop them if they are holding a rally and calling for the people at the rally to start lynching passers by.

Similarly, non-protected weapons, e.g. nuclear weapons, can be proscribed, but whatever weapons are protected, but whatever weapons are covered, for the sake of argument let's say at least muzzle loaders (though I think, and the court has agreed, it goes further), cannot be outlawed.

As for the felons issue, the constitution says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law--the prohibition on felons, as well as other aspects of infamy, attach to them by the operation of due process. This isn't a matter of the right not being absolute--it is a matter of them losing a right as a punishment for a crime they have been convicted of.

This is why I have this huge problem with your inaccurate, sloppy legal statements.

Mr. Anonymous is apparently being serious when he says the limits on free speech are "not because "the right to free speech is not unlimited."" That's got to be one of the best pro-gun spins I've ever seen. He goes on to explain that the reason is simply because those forms of speech that are not protected by the 1A are "direct incitements to violence are not considered protected speech." His circular logic boggles the mind.

Moving on to guns, he informs us that " whatever weapons are protected,""cannot be outlawed." I wonder how he understood the AWB before it was allowed to expire, or for that matter, the strict rules in places like NY and NJ.  How does "cannot be outlawed" work in those cases, I wonder.

About felons he has no problem for the simple reason that "due process of law" was followed.  By that logic, I suppose anything goes as long as it receives due process. Sounds like good news for the gun control movement.

Texas Man Kills his Brother and Gets Away with Manslaughter

Local news reports

Russell Brand on the State of the Union

Monday, October 20, 2014

OK, this gave me a real chuckle as a dog person.

Although, I would categorise Congress as being more the out of control type of dog that needs some serious discipline since it is pigging out on treats...

Then again, bad owners end up with bad dogs.

Congress needs some serious "yank and spank" (and stick a bark collar on them to keep them from filibustering).

See also:

Justice Ginsburg Sees What Motivates Texas' Voter ID Law: Racism

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (The Washington Post / The Washington Post/Getty Images)

The LA Times

As  one might expect, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had no difficulty putting her finger on the point of Texas' voter ID law: it's openly racist. 

Ginsburg's colleagues voted 6-3 to allow the Texas law to remain in effect for the upcoming election. But as she observed in a scathing dissent issued Saturday, the measure may prevent more than 600,000 registered voters, or 4.5% of the total, from voting in person for lack of accepted identification. "A sharply disproportionate percentage of those voters are African-American or Hispanic," she wrote. 

The law's intent is "purposely discriminatory," Ginsburg concluded. Citing the U.S. District Court ruling that declared the Texas law unconstitutional, she observed that since 2000, Texas has become a majority-minority state. That gave its Legislature and governor "an evident motive to 'gain partisan advantage by suppressing'" the votes of blacks and Latinos.

Is there any better testament to the bankruptcy of Republican political ideas than the party's consistent effort to win elections by limiting the vote?

Lead Poisoning at Gun Ranges


The Charlotte Observer reports

A confused 38-year-old father in Kentucky rarely crawled out of bed.

A conservation volunteer in Iowa lost feeling in his hands and feet.

A 5-year-old girl in suburban Seattle doubled over in pain and vomited.

The cause of their suffering: lead poisoning. The source: dirty gun ranges.

Indoor, outdoor, public and private, gun ranges dot the national landscape like bullet holes riddling a target, as the popularity of shooting has rocketed to new heights with an estimated 40 million recreational shooters annually.

But a hidden risk lies within almost all of America's estimated 10,000 gun ranges: firing lead-based ammunition spreads vapor and dust filled with lead, an insidious toxin.

Thousands of workers, shooters and their family members have been contaminated at shooting ranges due to poor ventilation and contact with lead-coated surfaces, a Seattle Times investigation has found.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/19/5248781/lead-exposure-at-gun-ranges-a.html#storylink=cpy