Friday, November 27, 2009


via The Liberal Viewer.

The Biggest Conspiracy and Coverup of the 20th Century

De Rosa World has been running a fantastic month-long series of posts about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The latest episode is about the bullets or about the "magic bullet" I should say.

Inasmuch as no complete bullet of any size could be located in the brain area and likewise no bullet could be located in the back or any other area of the body as determined by total body X-Rays and inspection revealing there was no point of exit, the individuals performing the autopsy were at a loss to explain why they could find no bullets.

Lee Harvey Oswald's murder and Jack Ruby's death and the subsequent Warren Report which determined no other shooters where involved besides Oswald, was probably the beginning of my life-long cynicism and distrust of the government. I had always thought these attitudes in me had begun during Viet Nam, but Daisy helped me trace it back to the Kennedy assassination when I was 10 years old.

What's your opinion? Do you think conspiracy theories are the stuff of liberals or conservatives? Or do they perhaps cross over into both camps? Do you agree that the government did a con job on the American people back in the 1960s? How does it compare to the more blatant conning Bush and Cheney did in 2001, associating Saddam Hussein with 9/11?

Please leave a comment.

Guns are Still Bad News for Women

The Republican American reports on a man who just snapped.

The 53-year-old handicapped man who held police at bay for nearly 10 hours Tuesday after shooting his wife in the thigh is now being held on $500,000 bond on first-degree assault charges.

According to the warrant for his arrest, Lavoie, a native of Thomaston, told his friend Vincent Braucci Jr. during a late afternoon phone conversation Tuesday that he didn't mean to do it. Upset and remorseful, he still maintained his wife of 23 years was having an affair.

The Baltimore Sun reports on a man accused of shooting his girlfriend.

A gunman who surrendered to police in the shooting of his girlfriend in Parkville has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and with using a handgun in a violent crime.

Jeffrey Alan Mewbourn, 46, was being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Mewbourn, who shared an apartment with Joyce Daniels, 44, and her two children on the 1000 block of Halstead Road, is accused of shooting her during a domestic dispute Tuesday. Police say Mewbourn fled while Daniels, injured in the upper body, appealed to a neighbor for help. Daniels was taken by ambulance to Sinai Hospital and is expected to survive.

Florida AP reports on a man who shot and killed his wife outside the courthouse over the divorce settlement and then committed suicide by cop.

The man accused of shooting his wife to death outside a Sarasota County courthouse was troubled by money woes and the end of their 26-year marriage.

Court documents and interviews indicate Alan Provencal had been growing increasingly unstable after a judge awarded about half of the couple's assets to his wife, Carolyn Provencal.

A court hearing had been scheduled for Monday. Moments before, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says Alan Provencal shot his wife in a courthouse parking lot near Venice.

North Port Police shot and killed Alan Provencal after he allegedly raised a handgun toward officers.

I honestly don't understand why there was so much resistance to my original post entitled "Guns and Women." The chart which I reprinted came from David Hemenway's wonderful book, Private Guns Public Health. Its obvious message, that high gun states have much higher rates of men committing domestic violence with guns against women, seems indisputable. But let's say someone is very wary of statistics. Let's say we take all statistics with a grain of salt.

Every single day there are stories like the ones indicated above.

What's your opinion? Are guns bad news for women in particular? Is asking the question an insult to women? Or is it perhaps an insult to men?

Please leave a comment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving - Conservative Style

Reason TV has outdone themselves and given us a truly amazing Thanksgiving message. Watch for the last 10 seconds. Please tell me what you think about it.

Census Worker's Death Ruled a Suicide

We discussed the gruesome hanging death of the Kentucky census worker Bill Sparkman when it happened. Alan Colmes Liberaland wrote an article pointing out how everyone was fooled on this one. According to Alan's take on it, not only did the left presume it was red-neck government bashing, but the right had their own misconceptions.

While the left is accused by the right of wanting Sparkman’s death to be because of wingnut anti-government behavior, it’s the right which developed agenda-driven theories. One winger wanted to know if Sparkman was a child predator. Conservative talk show host and former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgcock supposed Sparkman’s death was the result of open borders, the act of some errant illegal immigrant.

Yet questions remain. One original story made it quite clear it was murder.

"The only thing he had on was a pair of socks," Weaver said. "And they had duct-taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.

"He was murdered," Weaver said. "There's no doubt."

Weaver said the body was about 50 yards from a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck.

What's your opinion? Is it possible that it really was a murder and it's now being covered up? That shouldn't be too hard to imagine given what happened on these days in 1963. Or do you believe the latest reports from the coroner that it was an elaborately staged suicide?

Please leave a comment.

Gun Owners on Health Care

Talking Points Memo ran a fascinating story about the hyper-vigilance on the part of gun owners when reviewing the Health Care Bill. (via Phuck Politics and Laci)

You might not necessarily think that health care reform would end up in the crosshairs of the gun lobby. But you'd be wrong. Gun Owners of America have been raging against the Senate health care bill for all sorts of imagined threats to the Second Amendment, and now the White House has taken notice.

What exactly are their concerns? Well, for instance, "Special 'wellness and prevention' programs (inserted by Section 1001 of the bill as part of a new Section 2717 in the Public Health Services Act) would allow the government to offer lower premiums to employers who bribe their employees to live healthier lifestyles -- and nothing within the bill would prohibit rabidly anti-gun HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from decreeing that 'no guns' is somehow healthier."

The White House says: "Section 2717 section creates guidelines for insurers to report on initiatives that improve quality of care and health outcomes, and it specifically lists what types of programs would be involved - such as smoking cessation, physical fitness, nutrition, heart disease prevention. There is no mention of guns, and there is no language that could result in higher premiums for gun owners or lower premiums for people who do not own guns."

I call that hyper-vigilance bordering on paranoia. Or could there be another explanation? Is it possible that the folks who are jumping on this bandwagon are happy to have any excuse to oppose President Obama? Doesn't it often seem that the conservative Obama bashers are a little bit too pleased to express their negative opinions?

What's your opinion? Is the concept of "healthier lifestyle" going to eventually include the question of gun ownership, in your opinion? Or is this just another excuse to oppose something they're already opposed to?

Please leave a comment.

Philadelphia's Officer Tepper

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on another incident of police violence. This time Police Officer Frank Tepper shot and killed an unarmed man.

When a brawl erupted on Elkhart Street in front of Tepper's house during a family party, he went outside to break it up, police said. Tepper told police he was attacked and fired his gun in self-defense.

The shot killed William Panas Jr., who lived nearby and who eyewitnesses said also had been trying to stop the fighting.

Witnesses said Tepper appeared intoxicated during the fight, which included members of his family and others from the neighborhood. No one but Tepper was armed, and police have reported no arrests in the fight.

The sad part is this could have been prevented because Tepper had had a history of this kind of thing.

Seven years ago, an Internal Affairs investigator warned Philadelphia Police Officer Frank Tepper, now accused by neighbors of fatally shooting an unarmed 21-year-old man Saturday night in a fit of temper, against taking the law into his own hands while off duty.

Tepper had gone in search of a teenager who bullied the officer's 8-year-old son at a playground near the family's Port Richmond home, according to the report. Tepper ended up in a scuffle with local youths, spraying Mace at them, taking a punch to the face, and drawing his gun before on-duty police arrived.

Imagine all the other incidents during these seven years that didn't result in a report. People, whether they're police officers or not, who have serious anger management problems should not be allowed to have guns. This was one of the categories I mentioned in The Famous 10%.

Rage (including road rage). 1%

One of the most frightening types of rage is called Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). It is estimated that 4% of the population has yearly episodes. I say not a single one of them should own a gun. I realize some of these guys also suffer from depression and may have even been counted under "Alcoholics and drug addicts," so we can cut the 4% in half twice and settle on 1%. I'll throw in the regular rageaholics and road rage maniacs for free. 1%.

Recently Sebastian said, "I think a lot of times you won’t let go of things you don’t really have any evidence for, like your Famous 10%."

That may be perfectly true, that I "don’t really have any evidence for" this theory. But is that reason to say you don't agree with it? Isn't there a place for common sense and honesty to step in and admit that 1% of gun owners probably have this problem?

About Officer Tepper, do you think he should have been removed from duty after the first incident seven years ago? Do you think his work colleagues knew about his problem and helped cover it up? That's how it usually goes with cops, doesn't it? That's how it usually goes with gun owners as well, don't you think?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rare Black Powder Gun Death

The Charlotte Observer reports on the accidental gun death which involved a muzzle-loaded rifle.

Galen Elijah Ruble told police he thought his muzzle-loading rifle was unloaded when he pointed it at his friend's head and pulled the trigger, according to Boone police.

But Jay Derby, a 20-year-old student, was killed Sunday during a party at Ruble's apartment near Appalachian State University.

On Monday, Boone police charged Ruble with involuntary felony manslaughter.

"This is negligent. You don't point a gun - it's not a toy," said Boone Police Captain Jim Wilson. He said Ruble, also 20, is distraught about the shooting, which has rocked both families.

Police say Derby went to a small party at Ruble's apartment this weekend. About 12:30 a.m. Sunday, police say Ruble went to his bedroom and came back with his .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle, intending to scare his friends.

He told police he expected only a small pop from the gun's percussion cap.

On a muzzle-loading rifle, the percussion cap explodes when the trigger is pulled - setting off the main gunpowder charge and propelling a slug down the barrel. The gun is loaded by pouring powder and a slug into the muzzle.

Derby was declared dead at the apartment when paramedics arrived.

That's a sad story, one friend killing another. How is it possible for someone who owns a muzzle-loaded rifle to be so ignorant of the basic rules of gun handling? Pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger for a joke, should be such a taboo action that no gun owners would ever do it. Instead, it happens.

With gun registration and proper gun control regulations people who want to own guns could be required to do a bit more than some cursory training course. In some places nothing at all is required. The result is the fact that we have foolish and preventable tragedies like this.

Please feel free to comment.

Here It Comes: Gun Registration

The Seattle Gun Rights Examiner published an article about the possibility of gun registration coming in the near future.

Did Attorney General Eric Holder recently “spill the beans” on the Obama administration’s desires to implement some kind of national gun registration scheme?

Holder, a perennial anti-gunner who was involved with the Clinton administration’s anti-gun schemes, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 18 and a transcript of his remarks that were not part of his prepared statement is revealing.

In the Attorney General's statement I didn't see anything specifically about gun registration. Some pro-gun folks are referring to Holder's remarks that gun information is "to be retained and then to be shared by law enforcement," as if this is tantamount to registration. What do you think? Is sharing information the same as registration?

The Examiner article contains a video of Nancy Pelosi speaking earlier this year. What the pro-gun crowd is interested in is when the Speaker of the House said, "We don’t want to take their guns away. We want them registered."

My own observation is that there's more than paranoia and conspiracy theories here. Gun registration is coming. It's an inevitable part of any comprehensive gun control agenda. It's necessary in order to close the loophole regarding private sales of guns properly.

One interesting thing is when Ms. Pelosi referred to the spate of high profile shootings which happened earlier this year, she said 53 people were killed between March 10th and April 4th. Not one of the pro-gun apologists who were so thoroughly analyzing this video in light of Holder's comments bothered to mention that along with those 53 who lost their lives during that bloody month in highly publicized shootings, another 2,000 or so died from gun violence. The daily toll is upwards of 100, that's every day, day in and day out.

What's your opinion? Isn't it about time something was done about the free flow of guns in America? Do you agree that total registration of all guns, linking them to their proper owners would help diminish the flow?

Please leave a comment.

Jared T. Cox Sentenced to Three Months reports on the sentencing of Jared Cox for having purchased the gun for Sebastian Olivares-Coster with which he killed one and wounded two. We recently discussed Sebastian when he changed his plea to guilty.

A Helena man who supplied the handgun that a juvenile used to kill one teenager and seriously injure two others last June was sentenced Monday to three months in federal prison.

Jared was 22 and Sebastian 17 last May when the older boy purchased the handgun supposedly because the younger Sebastian wanted it for home protection.

Cox said he bought the gun from a private party and also purchased ammunition. The two men went to a shooting range twice because Cox wanted to make sure Olivares-Coster knew how to safely handle and fire the .45-caliber Tanfoglio pistol.

This is what I have a problem with. Private sales of handguns make it too easy for them to get into the wrong hands. This case is a perfect illustration. Gun registration would often take care of cases like this. Probably the man who sold the gun "privately" to Cox, was perfectly within the law. Then, Cox himself, who broke the law about providing guns to minors was probably acting in good faith. Let's face it, there not all that much difference between a 22-year-old and a 17-year-old in many cases. These were two young guys, one wanted a gun and the other could get it.

If each gun is registered to a particular owner, people who are acting in good faith would in many cases refuse to break what they see as minor laws. The Judge who sentenced Cox to only 3 months obviously didn't consider him a major threat to society. Even the law itself is "a misdemeanor federal charge of giving a juvenile a handgun."

What's your opinion? Is there too much easy movement of guns and does this contribute to the ease with which guns get into the wrong hands?

Please leave a comment.

Gillibrand and McCarthy

The Daily News reports on the reconciliation which has taken place between Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. They've indeed come a long way since last January when we discussed them last.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is scheduled to appear tomorrow with another former House colleague and onetime political opponent, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

Gillibrand is to join the Long Island congresswoman, Mayor Bloomberg, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, the Brady Campaign and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence at John Jay College for a so-called "major announcement" (according to a press release) of a "new federal measure to combat gun violence."

When it was decided that Ms. Gillibrand would replace Hillary Clinton as N.Y. Senator, Gillibrand enjoyed a full endorsement from the NRA. This has changed dramatically.

Mayor Bloomberg, who has made getting illegal guns off the street a personal crusade, also expressed dismay over Gillibrand's selection last January by Gov. David Paterson to fill Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat.

But Gillibrand has worked assiduously since then to prove she has learned the error of her ways, starting with a visit early in her Senate tenure to a Brooklyn school after a 17-year-old student there was shot and killed by a stray bullet.

McCarthy, like her fellow would-be Gillibrand challengers in the House, has backed off her plans to challenge the junior senator when she runs in hopes of keeping her seat next year.

The congresswoman is a Bloomberg ally. She crossed party lines this summer to endorse the mayor for re-election, citing his gun control efforts and also appeared in a TV ad on his behalf.

What's your opinion? Did the NRA misunderstand the position of Gillibrand before or did the Senator actually change? Does changing one's position on gun control add to the credibility and strength of the newly acquired stance? I often hear that about Prof. Kleck, the fact that he supposedly moved from anti-gun to pro-gun means something. Would the same thing work for Senator Gillibrand?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deadly Shooting in Oregon reports on a deadly police shooting in Cornelius, Oregon. Listening to our friend kaveman, I was starting to think the State of Oregon was some kind of Pacific Paradise of Peace. In a recent discussion about guns in bars, he said one can even drink while carrying a gun. "Hasn't been a problem," says kaveman.

I realize this story has nothing to do with drinking, or at least that wasn't written, and it has nothing to do with the law which allows concealed carry in bars, but it does give us a glimpse into what happens from time to time even in Oregon.

Reports came in that a man was shooting from a moving vehicle. The police naturally gave chase. The pursued man turned out to be one Shawn Schumacher, 28 years old, and not interested in surrendering to the cops.

Cornelius officers and a sheriffs deputy tried to set up spike strips "to flatten the tires of Mr. Schumacher's vehicle" at North Adair Street and North 13th Avenue. However, they ran out of time.

Instead, they said Schumacher took care of stopping himself. Driving "very fast" through Cornelius, he collided with a Ford van while attempting to pass on the right in heavy traffic.

The impact with the van caused extensive damage to Schumacher's vehicle, rendering it immobile. It was reported he was slumped over the steering wheel immediately after the crash.

A sheriff's deputy and two Cornelius officers approached Schumacher's crashed vehicle. As they did, they said Schumacher "emerged with a handgun in each hand and started shooting at them."

Schumacher is believed to have shot at least one bullet into a patrol car. The deputy and officers said they returned fire.

Schumacher was struck with more than one bullet, and was pronounced dead at the scene. The deputy and police officers were not harmed during this incident.

I'll bet he "was struck with at least one bullet." In a case like this, if he was struck with fifty bullets, it would be justified, wouldn't you agree? Would you consider this a case of "suicide by cop?"

This could be a discussion for another day, but these incidents of suicide by cop must skew the numbers. Each one would be counted as a justified shooting and not a suicide. Isn't that right?

What's your opinion? Do incidents like this one happen everywhere? Is Oregon just a susceptible to this kind of violence as everywhere else?

Please leave a comment.

Bloomberg's War on the Illegal Possession of Guns

The New York Times reports on Bloomberg's war on the illegal possession of guns. Actually the title of the article incorporates the misleading expression "illegal guns." I use the lengthier "illegal possession of guns" in order to avoid a tedious discussion about the wording. This is one of the favorite pro-gun tactics of arguing, picking something minor and focusing on it rather than the real question.

At City Hall, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city officials announced the takedown of an illegal gun sales operation in Brooklyn...

Mayor Bloomberg blamed “extremists in the pro-gun movement” for lax gun laws, and said, “We have to come together as a society and say we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Maybe that's where I've been going wrong. I always blame all gun owners. No wonder they get so upset with me. Even Mayor Bloomberg reserves his blame for the “extremists in the pro-gun movement.”

In the Brooklyn case announced on Monday, Mr. Bloomberg, joined by the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, said that for three months this summer, two men sold dozens of guns to undercover officers from an apartment in East New York. Officials said the guns, most of them purchased at pawn shops and gun shows in Florida, and brought by car to New York, were worth more than $40,000.

What's your opinion? Is Mayor Bloomberg lying when he says guns are coming into New York City from out of state? Is it unreasonable to suggest that stricter controls in Florida would have an impact on what happens in New York?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

The Existentialist Cowboy wrote a wonderful post comparing America to Rome.

Like the U.S. today, the Rome economy was 'militarized', the empire over-extended, the battles fought by mercenaries. The currency might get you into the Coliseum for the 'games' but little else. Thus --bread and circuses were popular. When the Praetorian Guard auctioned the Roman Empire to Didius Julianus the sale was completed in Greek Drachmas --not worthless Roman Sesterices.

Some two decades ago, it was decided by the global financial elites that the framework for the global economy shall consist of:

1) A global derivative-based financial system, controlled by the US Federal Reserve Bank and its associate global banks in the developed countries.

2) The re-location from the West to the East in the production of goods, principally to China and India to “feed” the developed economies.
The entire system was built on a simple principle, that of a FED-controlled global reserve currency which will be the engine for growth for the global economy. It is essentially an imperialist economic principle. Once we grasp this fundamental truth, Bernanke’s boast that the “US can produce as many US dollars as it wishes at no cost” takes on a different dimension.

What do you think? Is the American Empire on the decline? Il Principe has often written about this. Here's one example.

The NRA vs. Bloomberg

WNYC News reports on the latest in the battle between the NRA and Mayor Bloomberg's MAIG.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a known gun control advocate, and has built a national platform to stem the flow of illegal guns into cities and towns. The group he co-founded in 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has grown from 15 to 526 mayors. Its success has raised the ire of gun rights groups, most notably the National Rifle Association.

The showdown between the NRA and Mayors Against Illegal Guns is playing out across the country: in blogs, on the editorial pages of newspapers, and at countless gun clubs.

Now there's a number I hadn't seen before. I've been reading 450 and dropping. Now after some losses the count is 526.

Mayors who decide to leave the MAIG generally do so as a result of pressure from the NRA. When too many of their voters express the NRA opinion, some mayors decide to get out. It's politics. Some don't give in to those threats and bullying tactics.

Bill Barnett is the mayor of Naples, Fla. - and a gun owner - and says he received nearly a hundred emails and angry phone calls from people who'd gotten the NRA mailer. He says the mailer distorts the coalition's goals: "It amazed me that someone would read the postcard and it was almost like Pavlov's dogs, that they would say, if they said this is the truth, then this must be the truth."

And Barnett says he's staying in the mayors coalition.

Mayor Barnett is referring to the NRA claim that Bloomberg plans to take more and more rights away until gun rights all but disappear in America. It's a fear tactic that Barnett says is untrue. But I can attest to the fact that it is extremely diffuse on the internet. The pro-gun crowd is nothing if not united all singing the same tune, or is that barking in unison like so many Pavlov's dogs.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Guns Save Lives posted a response to all the recent gun control talk generated by the Ft. Hood incident. Responding to a letter citing the terrible tragedies of Ft. Hood and Virginia Tech as examples crying out for gun control, the article reminds us of this.

...both of these massacres occurred in gun-free zones. So, thanks to progressive legislation, the murderers in both cases were assured that they would be gunning down unarmed individuals.

It goes on to list several quotes from the Iowa Carry site.

Even anti-gun Clinton researchers concede that guns are used 1.5 million times annually for self-defense.

Armed citizens shoot and kill at least twice as many criminals as police do every year (1,527 to 606).

Only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The "error rate" for the police, however, was 11 percent, more than five times as high.

States which passed concealed-carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5 percent, rapes by 5 percent, aggravated assaults by 7 percent and robbery by 3 percent.

In 1982, Kennesaw, Ga., passed a law requiring at least one firearm in the house. The residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89 percent in Kennesaw, compared to the modest 10.4 percent drop in Georgia as a whole.

What do you think about these claims? Is the fact that no footnotes or links were provided a big problem? People often complain about that in my writing. I don't mind it really, I think there's plenty here to talk about. What do you think?

One thing that comes to my mind is there are a lot of statistics here. Isn't it likely that other researchers have come up with different results, sometimes opposite results? Isn't that the nature of statistics in the gun control argument?

Combining the first two points, does it mean there are 1.5 million defensive incidents which result in only 1,500 shooting deaths? Is that due to the old idea that brandishing the weapon accounts for most of the 1.5 million? I have to say, it sounds a bit far-fetched to me, no matter how you put it.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

Meteor Becomes Meteorite

via Meteorite Hunters

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fair Warning From Breda

On the pro-gun blog called The Breda Fallacy this post was entitled fair warning.

I am now and forevermore going to be deleting comments by mikeb302000 because all he ever does is come here and try to stir up arguments. This is not a person who wants a real debate, or who can be swayed to a more 2A-friendly mindset. He's a troll, despite all attempts to appear otherwise. He knows nothing about guns except he that he hates them, and us. He's also been using my blog to link to his own posts in the comment section, seeking blog hits and attention and I simply won't allow that.Anonymous comments will be closed down until further notice as well.

At the moment there are 10 comments, every single one in agreement. Now, I don't know about you but after hearing repeatedly how the major anti-gun sites don't allow comments, as if it were proof of their inferiority, for a pro-gun blogger to say what Breda said and ALL of the pro-gun commenters express agreement is extremely funny. What do you think? What's your opinion?

By e-mail I sent Breda this response.


I swear to god you've got me completely wrong - except for the part about wanting to link back to my blog for the hits. The rest is wrong, really.

I'm getting some enjoyment out of seeing your and your commenters hypocrisy, deleting my comments on your part and approving of it on theirs, after reviling the so-called anti-gun sites for not accepting comments. But, I'm mainly sorry about your decision. It's what I would call ironic hypocrisy.

I thought you were a tough girl or at least that you try to encourage that perception. My challenging you on your sloppy muzzle control, if you noticed, was met with a number of agreeing comments by pro-gun guys. When you posted that video I was one of the first or perhaps the first to comment and I think it was rather respectful. My other comments on your site were not all that frequent or all that "troll-like" to warrant your decision, in my opinion. I certainly don't think you're afraid to debate with me or that you realize I'm right and you're wrong and that's why you're doing this. So what could it be?

Anyway, it's your blog, you do what you like. I hope you don't mind too much if I link to you from time to time, starting with this one entitled "Fair Warning." And of course, you're more than welcome to comment on my site. I probably won't find it necessary to delete yours unless you call me names or something, but I don't think that's your style.

All the best,



I wanted to say something else about this oft-repeated accusation that I don't change my mind no matter how convincing the arguments against me.

It is true on the major issues of gun control and gun violence I haven't, but there are some examples of things I have changed on. One is the 90% of guns confiscated in Mexico, another is the AWB, there are others.

But the bigger point is I haven't changed my mind because I don't find the arguments convincing. I could accuse the pro-gun writers of this as well. After all I've said, you guys still don't get it. What's the matter with you? You must be mentally ill or lying. There's no other explanation, so I guess I'll have to break off discussions.

I don't do that because I enjoy the discussions. That's the bottom line, isn't it?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Nashville Judge Claudia Bonnyman

Reuters reports on the controversial ruling in Tennessee concerning the right to bring concealed weapons into bars and restaurants. Yesterday, Sebastian referred to it as a setback for gun rights.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - A judge on Friday blocked a Tennessee law that allowed people to bring handguns into restaurants and bars.

The law that took effect in July allowed handgun owners with permits to pack their pistols in places serving alcohol, providing the establishments made more than half their profits from food.
Nashville Judge Claudia Bonnyman said the law was "fraught with ambiguity" and ruled in favor of a suit brought by restaurant owners who argued gun owners would not be able to determine if an establishment met the criteria.

"We will have vigilantes shooting up bars all over," said Randy Rayburn, the owner of three upscale cafes, who led opponents of the law.

Supporters were considering a possible appeal, or new legislation.

The comment of Randy Rayburn seems a bit over the top, but as the owner of three establishments, he should know. Presumably he's been in the bar and restaurant business for some years and has had plenty of experience with the type of clientele who would now be allowed to bring their guns along. I would listen to him and the other owners who oppose this legislation.

What's your opinion? Do you think Judge Bonnyman is bringing a little common sense into the Tennessee gun debate?

Please leave a comment.

Smuggling Guns to the Zetas

The Houston Chronicle reports on the latest take-down in the ATF's attempts to stop the flow of guns into Mexico.

A Houston windshield repairman has admitted to helping manage a part of a broader conspiracy to traffic more than 300 military-style weapons across the border, part of a plea deal requiring him to tell federal agents about the ring that supplied weapons to Mexico's fearsome Zetas drug cartel.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has taken down more than a dozen U.S. citizens the agency contends purchased weapons to help fuel a protracted war that has taken thousands of lives south of the border.

The latest, and one of the more significant players, was Christian Garza, 26, who admitted in federal court Friday to conspiring to lie to gun dealers about where the weapons were headed.

Although the Houston Chronicle is still talking about "military-style weapons," a description that no one really likes, they do get the problem exactly right: "the agency contends purchased weapons help fuel a protracted war that has taken thousands of lives south of the border."

No mention of the percentage, no blaming the U.S. entirely for the problem, just simply stating that these smuggling operations "help fuel" the war.

The interesting thing is what Christian Garza did.

The crime by which investigators repeatedly snag culprits is that when they purchase guns for the cartel, they claim on an official application that the guns are for their own use, when in fact they are not.

This is referred to as "a straw purchase." The gun control suggestion about registering guns to specific owners would put a big obstacle in an operation like this. After several purchases, the buyer could be required by the ATF to produce the weapons to prove they've not been smuggled. Is that too much government intervention for the gun owners? Is that too invasive into the rights of gun owners? I don't think so. What's your opinion?

Please leave a comment.

Glenn Beck's Plan

Glenn Beck's web site reports on the preview of his 100-year Plan.

When we refuse to allow our children to receive a trophy for participation, we are on the road to restoring the meaning of merit in our Republic. When we insist that no one is too big to fail, we will be able to learn from our mistakes, and when we demand that we are self-reliant, we will ensure that others can rely on us, not the government.

Those are three interesting qualifiers. I suppose the first one is debatable and poorly chosen as an indicator of the loss of "merit in our Republic." Some people say the over-emphasis on competition in schools is damaging to the vast majority who don't end up as "winners." But overall, I don't think this is a major indicator of anything.

The second idea, that "we insist that no one is too big to fail," seems consistent with all the Beck attacks on the President. This could be another veiled threat, rousing people to resist the President to the point of bringing about his downfall.

The third idea about self reliance is again encouraging resistance rather than cooperation. The divisive nature of Glenn Beck's suggestions do real damage in my opinion. His messianic pretentions, all the while calling Obama "The One" and other mocking and derogatory epithets, is a fascinating show of salesmanship, which is exactly what this is all about.

All of the above will culminate in The Plan, a book that will provide specific policies, principles and, most importantly, action steps that each of us can take to play a role in this Refounding.

"Refounding?" Can you get more divisive than that? What's your opinion? If Beck cared about the country, don't you think he'd use his pulpit to preach cooperation and support of the duly-elected President and work from within that framework for change? Or do you think the concept of overthrowing the oppressive government as Thomas Jefferson understood it is relevant today?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.