Common Sense Has Passed

Having no time this weekend due to work & “honey-do” lists to post anything of my own, Bad Bad Juju came to the rescue.  He had this announcement posted on his site:


Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

–Author Unknown

A Short Post on Gun Control & The Second Amendment

This is going to be a short post because I worked all day yesterday, and I’m bushed.  I have lots of stuff to do around the house today before going back to work tomorrow.

Over the past week, much has been said by the political parties, the media, and the various special interests on the issues of gun control and gun rights.  I’m not going to rehash every argument, pro or con, for each of the pundits for each side.  I have neither the time nor the patience for such nonsense except to make the following opinionated statements.

The Second Amendment as written and upheld by the Supreme Court states that each citizen may own a weapon for their use.  Limits on the use were not stated in the decision nor in the Amendment.  Unless you are a criminal or mentally incompetent, that is your right.  You do not have to own one, but it is your right under the Constitution to have a firearm or firearms.

An assault rifle is a weapon used by the military that is fully automatic.  In other words, if the trigger is held down, the weapon keeps firing until the weapon runs out of ammunition.  Such weapons are generally not available to the public except under a special license.  All weapons used in the multiple murder scenes of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Columbine were semi-automatic in nature.  A semi-automatic is one trigger pull equals one round fired.  It irks me that the media doesn’t get this right, but I’m not surprised either (more on this later).

Additionally, just because a weapon looks like a military weapon doesn’t mean that it is like a military weapon.  The AR-15 and it’s variants are the civilian, semi-automatic versions of the automatic M-16.  Our politicians focusing on what the weapons look like instead of their function shows their absolute ignorance of the weapons.  But politicians, like the media, never let facts get in the way of their respective agendas.

The agendas of the media and politicians has taken a liberal or progressive direction, each seeing themselves as agents of social change.  While their intentions are good and potentially noble, the unintended consequences are often worse than just leaving well enough alone.  As this post is about guns, let’s take a look at two instances of where guns were banned in Chicago and Washington DC.

When personal ownership of weapons was no longer legal in either city, the crime rate soared.  People were murdered and robbed almost at will, and the police were powerless.  When gun ownership was restored in Washington DC, the crime rate declined.  In Chicago, where guns are still banned, criminals still managed to kill over 500 people last year with guns that weren’t supposed to be in the city.  I have stated it before, and I’ll state it again:

“… criminals do not operate under the same social norms as the rest of society. They will always find ways to get a firearm and commit the crime because they do not obey the law, and will do almost anything to achieve their goal, i.e. illicit material gain or harm to another person.”

The politicians and the media are fighting so hard to ban firearms from the population, and I just really do not understand the media’s position other than the people in charge of the media only see themselves as to be in a better position to advance their brand of social justice, i.e., equality across the board for everyone (with them in charge, of course).  The only outcome of this action is to make everyone equally helpless, including the media types.  Which brings up this final thought for this post…

The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of the press without interference from the government.  The Second Amendment guarantees the rights of the People to bear arms.  The First Amendment stands on the shoulders of the Second Amendment, for only if there is a free People can there be Free Speech as there is the threat of the People rising up against an oppressive, tyrannical government.  If the rights of the People to bear arms is limited or is outright banned by the government, can censorship of the Press by the same government be far behind?

Gun Control or 2nd Amendment Rights?

“The Right of The People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.” – Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Let’s first strip off the emotions that are associated with tragedies like Sandy Hook, Colombine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora.  Yes, the horror of losing loved ones to crazies with guns can tear holes in lives and hearts, and nothing, nothing, can bring back the children, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters.  I can fully understand the passions, emotions, and reactions to blame anyone & anything for the loss, and the intense desire for such events to never happen again.  For those that were lost, and those that remain, we grieve with you.

But at the same time, there are those who take such tragedies and try to turn the events to their advantage.  I look at the politicians, the media, and other self-serving leeches that come out of the woodwork to foist their visions and will upon the rest of the people that had nothing to do with such atrocities.  I’m reminded of the following quote from writer William S. Burroughs:

“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.”

But what has happened in the United States is that the population at large is now looking to and dependent upon the government to protect them and provide for their needs.  Apparently, the individual is no longer responsible for anything including their own safety.  Uncle Sam (or his affiliates) are now wanting to take even more of that responsibility for the individual’s safety (these are code words for “control of the individual”).  I’m can foresee something like the below video happening for those select few who will be legally able to own a gun (WARNING – graphic content!!)

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One of the things that the gun control crowd seem to forget is that criminals, by their very definition and actions, do not follow social norms nor do they follow the law.  In other words, criminals perform criminal acts such as robbery, rape, and murder.  The criminal is responsible for the crime, not any implement that he would be using in the commission of the crime.

On the other side of the coin, is there any question that the previously mentioned tragedies were committed by people with mental problems? I have stated before that there are people in this world that should never, ever, be near a weapon because they are not responsible for themselves or mature enough to handle the responsibility for handling or operating a weapon.

But the reactions of the politicians, media, and gun control people to any crime or tragedy involving guns is to remove the guns, not to place the responsibility on person committing the crime (or if responsibility is assigned to the perpetrator, it’s almost a footnote).  Their responses are not fully thought out as to the potential consequences of their actions.  For instance, here’s this commentary from Judge Jeanine Pirro:

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The media is to report the news, not create the news.  The unintended consequences is that the Journal has now named unarmed citizens for criminals to rob or worse.  The people with weapons have a chance to defend themselves, but they should not be put in such a position, i.e, potentially targeted.

But the media, the politicians, and the gun control groups always start pointing off to statistics, facts, figures, and such to support their position.  So do the gun rights groups.  Here’s a video that uses published government statistics on both sides of the pond:

Puts a different spin on things, doesn’t it?

I know for a fact that Detroit, a city just South of where I live (and work very near) had 375 homicides in 2012, and 224 homicides in 2011.  Do I feel safe?  No, I do not.  For instance –

Back when I worked for the old Chrysler, I was assigned to work third shift at a Chrysler plant in the middle of Detroit.  I was told by our own security that I was NOT to stop at any stop signs, and to run red lights if there was no traffic on my way to and from the plant.  Additionally, it was known that the Detroit Police did not patrol the area because it was too dangerous for them.

I already know that the police will, most of the time, show up after the crime has been committed to investigate and clean up the mess.  The thoughts of the police riding over the horizon & stopping a crime in progress is more the exception than the rule.  In other words, you are ultimately responsible for your own safety.  And as shown in the first video in this post, to rely on government to control your safety is not conducive to the health of your family or to you.  Here is video from a victim’s standpoint:

The last statement says it all why the politicians don’t want the American people to have weapons.  And it is absolute insanity for the government to restrict access to a weapon to a law-abiding citizen.

The media has done their best to support the politicians in portraying guns as evil tools of criminals, and shaming those people who want to have weapons for personal protection.  The latest act of a media shaming is the Journal News publishing an interactive map of gun ownership (see above video with Judge Jeanine Pirro).

It is a personal choice whether to own a weapon or not.  But it must remain your right to make that choice.  That right is guaranteed by the Second Amendment, but will only remain our right as long as We The People hold the politicians (and the media) accountable for all their actions.

Kicking the Can–Again!

I really, really like Michael Ramirez –

Our politicians did not do anything to solve the fiscal cliff during the last-minute, middle of the night negotiations.  In fact, all they really did is kick the can down the road again.

The politicians created this crisis over a year ago, sat on it, and true to a previous post, political brinksmanship was fully in force with both parties of both Houses of Congress and the President weighing in on resolving “the crisis”.

What a load of horse manure!!

The Republicans caved with the “promise” that the all important spending cuts would be addressed later.  The details of this debacle are:

They won Obama’s signature on $1 trillion in cuts over a decade after using the debt limit as leverage, but were forced into a humiliating surrender a year ago after trying to block an extension in payroll tax cuts. And in the last major act of the 112th Congress, they were forced to swallow legislation that contained next-to-no spending cuts, raised tax rates on the wealthy while keeping them even for the middle class and boosted deficits by an estimated $4 trillion over a decade.

And now, the newly enfranchised Congress will begin by raising deficits. National flood insurance legislation to help victims of Hurricane Sandy will create slightly more than $9 billion in red ink if it passes as expected on Friday (it did – Tom). A follow-up disaster aid measure that Boehner has said will be brought to a vote on Jan. 15 would add $27 billion — more if the bill grows, as seems likely, after it is reconciled with a $60-billion Senate version.

Meanwhile, the national debt climbs higher and higher for another two months (when Congress will address the issue – again!).  And I have no doubt that yet another set of political Band-Aids will be enacted to temporarily fix this upcoming issue (from Townhall.com):

Legislation passed this week to avert the “fiscal cliff” could still leave in place deficits averaging more than $900 billion a year over the coming decade if Congress fails to follow its tax increases up with further spending cuts or tax hikes, the nonpartisan scorekeeper for Congress said Friday.

The Congressional Budget Office also says the measure should reduce the risk of recession this year by not slamming the economy with a huge tax increase.

The CBO issued a study in August predicting a $10 trillion deficit over the next 10 years if Congress simply followed existing tax and spending policies instead of following the laws that threatened a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

This weeks’ cliff law would cut $700 billion to $800 billion from CBO’s 10-year, $10 trillion deficit estimate. But it also leaves in place across-the-board spending cuts that would cut more than $1 trillion from the budget over that time.

Somehow, I don’t think that various Congresscritters are going to allow spending cuts to their favorite programs…

No, it’s going to be more of the same BS with the same result – more taxes, more spending, more debt, and a lower credit rating for the United States.  And we’re going to be in the situation below, only worse:

We’ll be in an inner tube or treading water before long.