Deadly Denial–Part 2

This is the second post in a series that hopefully will show that sticking our collective heads in the sand is not conducive for not only our health, but the health of our country.

“We need doctors, we needs scientists, engineers. We need all those people involved in government, not just lawyers…I don’t have anything against lawyers, but you know, here’s the thing about lawyers…I’m sorry, but I got to be truthful…got to be truthful – what do lawyers learn in law school? To win, by hook or by crook. You gotta win, so you got all these Democrat lawyers, and you got all these Republican lawyers and their sides want to win. We need to get rid of that. What we need to start thinking about is, how do we solve problems?” – Dr. Benjamin Carson, 2013 National Prayer Breakfast

I would hope that no one reading this finds the above surprising in the fact that our elected officials are not problem solvers.  Indeed, all one has to do is look at the antics of the politicians in Washington DC concerning sequestration understand that these folks are problem creators more than anything else.  Legislation to solve a “crisis” is now the hallmark of Congress creates more problems that what that legislation was originally to resolve.

We have all watched with more than a cursory interest in the pains of the funding of Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, and it seems that every couple of years that there is a threat of these programs going under unless additional legislation was passed to continue funding the programs.  And there are many people that have bought into the premise that the government would take care of them.  To which I wrote:

To rely on the government for anything long-term is stupidity at best and insanity at worst. – Equal Diversity

Doesn’t one ever think that Congress, among the thousands of hours spent crafting various bills and laws, come up with a solution to fund these programs without having to revisit the funding of these programs under a crisis situation?

Now I do realize that Congress is tasked, by law, to propose and vote upon a yearly budget which should include the above programs.  Except that Congress has not passed a budget in close to four years, and this is in violation of the Constitution.  The consequences of such fiscal irresponsibility has been the constant raising of the debt ceiling and the lowering of the credit rating of the United States.

Initially, the raising of the debt ceiling doesn’t sound so bad except that it means that Congress can borrow more money that will eventually need to be paid.  With interest.  Which is kicking the can down the road farther until that road runs out.

Lowering the credit rating means that the interest at which Congress can borrow money becomes higher, which increases the amount of money that will need to be paid.  This means that not only is the road running out, but the end is coming faster.

One-half of Congress and the Administration have a solution – raise taxes. The other half of Congress wants cuts in governmental spending.  The Obama compromise is to do both (sequestration).  Taxes have already been raised.  Here’s what the cuts look like, and the Congresscritters are having fits.

BCA-Chart-Revised

Now mind you, the cuts that are being talked about are a drop in the bucket when compared to the amount of deficit spending that Congress runs up every year.  And for those uninformed, deficit spending is spending more money than what is taken in.  But that doesn’t stop the fear-mongering sky-is-falling rhetoric by the Administration or by the Congresscritters.

From the post Congressional Fiscal Malfeasance:

We, as a country and as individuals, are now being bombarded by visions of gloom and doom that the “fiscal cliff” is coming, and that Congress must act or the sky will fall.  Never mind that it was these clowns that created this situation and the situation that created the financial meltdown in the first place (read the post “The American Dream or Nightmare?” for an in depth background).  And isn’t it highly suspicious that although this situation was pending, very few politicians or news outlets brought it up until after the election?

I have no doubt that the political parties are playing political brinksmanship with this “crisis’ in order to score political points with the electorate.  I also believe that both the Republicans and Democrats have had their talking points & strategies in place long before now… 

No, we do not have problem solvers in Congress, nor do we have honorable public servants in the halls of our Government.  We have people with personal agendas that are contrary to not only the best interests of the People of the United States, but of the country itself.  To quote Dr. Carson from the passage above:

“We need to get rid of that. What we need to start thinking about is, how do we solve problems?”

Any solution, any response to the sequestration should include some if not all of the following bullet points:

  • A plan to reduce deficit spending from the current levels to zero within the next ten years not covered in the points below 
  • Reduction or elimination of non-essential functions or departments
  • Elimination of duplicate departments (ex. Do we really need multiple law-enforcement departments such as DHS, FBI, ATF that engage in turf wars and overlapping responsibilities?)
  • Aggressive prosecution of waste and fraud within the governmental agencies, and those who benefit from it.
  • Removal of programs that cost money instead of saving it (the new projections of the spending on Obamacare show that this legislation will cost billions more than it was promoted to save)
  • Rewriting of the tax code to be fair for all (individuals and businesses), instead of increasing penalties for earning more (i.e., flat tax)
  • Elimination of foreign aid to hostile regimes – our enemies should not receive our tax dollars
  • Reduction of foreign aid to friendly regimes – we need the money here to resolve our financial crisis before giving it away

The final bullet point is stopping something that Congress likes to do to legislation passes by previous Congresses – changing the laws.  Congress needs to make a long term plan, pass the legislation to support it, and don’t change it.

No individual or business can remain viable if the country they are residing in is in a financial crisis.  Jobs are tentative, benefits to those who need them are reduced, and businesses will go out of business.  If you don’t believe me, look at the riots in Greece and France over losses of jobs and benefits, and perhaps you will see the future of this country if Congress doesn’t get the country’s financial house in order.

If our elected officials of either party do not enact legislation solving the financial ills of this country, then I propose We the People give them this:

 

hlg-layoff


Cross-posted to Wise Conservatism

Deadly Denial–Part 1

This is the first post in a series that hopefully will show that sticking our collective heads in the sand is not conducive for not only our health, but the health of our country.

“We can not play innocents abroad in a world that is not innocent.” – Ronald Reagan

Many of my recent posts have dealt with the issue of guns and gun control, otherwise known as gun banning.  For this post, that trend will continue.

Senator Diane Feinstein is the leading proponent of legislation to ban various types of firearms.  Indeed, if you look at her latest list and her past statements, she would like nothing more than to prohibit the ownership of any and all firearms, even though she is known to possess a license to carry a firearm.  I wondered why the good Senator is so anti-gun.  The answer is more simple than one would expect.

In 1978, Diane Feinstein was the president  of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  From Wikipedia:

On November 27, 1978, San Francisco mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by a rival politician, Dan White, who had resigned from the Board of Supervisors only two weeks prior. Feinstein was close by in City Hall at the time of the shootings, and discovered Milk’s body after hearing the gunshots and going to investigate.

It should also be noted that Dan White used a firearm that was issued to him by the City of San Francisco, and used a diminished capacity defense.

So now we have a clue as to why the good Senator is so passionate about banning firearms.  The Senator was good friends with Harvey Milk, and discovering his body would be extremely traumatic.  One of many reactions would be to remove the instrument of her friend’s death.  This would be the politically correct things to do – blame the tool, not the person.  After all, the person was not responsible for their actions, so it had to be that evil gun.

Some of you have absolutely no problems with guns disappearing from the face of the earth. Other people have a huge problem, and they have nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment.

Self-reliance and personal responsibility are two of the most important attributes one can possess in this life.  This means that the safety of your loved ones as well as yourself is in your hands, not the hands of the government nor in the hands of anyone else.  In many respects, that responsibility has been sacrificed by many people in the name of political correctness.  And this denial can be deadly in the wrong circumstance. 

Let’s get something out of the way first – government cannot solve all problems with legislation, regulations, mandates, and executive orders.  Many of the issues revolving around the problems in society stem from the lack of personal responsibility and disregard for others.  From an earlier post:

Social engineering by the pointy heads is a good place to start. According to them, it’s never the person that commits the crime or makes a mistake, it’s always someone else that causes the person in question to screw up. Bad parents or no parents, growing up in a slum, drugs, peer pressure, etc… are the reasons that defense lawyers use to try to get their clients off (and sometimes they do!). And the shrinks support it and testify in court to that effect.

The real problem is that we, as a society, are hooked on the quick fix, and tend to blame someone else when things turn to shit. In our society, to take responsibility for actions is almost a character flaw if the actions turn out to be wrong. It’s a career killer, and we look for someone or something else to blame for our screw-ups.

The bottom line is that we are responsible for our own actions, and we must weigh decisions with care, and accept the responsibility for those actions, right or wrong…

Over at Bad Bad Juju, Yabu posted the following (edited for brevity):

Story One: Many years ago my good friend, his wife and young daughter, were sitting in their den after dinner one night when two guys kicked in the front door. My friends had no dog, so they had no warning. The bad guys ripped the phone from the wall and told them to give ‘em all the cash and jewelry. One of the bad guys produced a knife and said he wanted the kid and his wife as well. Howard’s nine millimeter was tucked in the crease of his “sitting” chair two feet away. Think about this, two big guys in your home who want to steal your stuff and rape and/ or kidnap your family. Probably kill you, and no way to call for help. Howard grabbed his gun and shot the guy with the knife in the left cheek just below the eye, from about three yards. The round ricocheted off his cheek bone and traveled under the skin and exited his ear. He was down, but not dead.

Story Two: Many years ago my good friend, his wife and teenage daughters were driving on I40 from East to West in Tennessee, when they had a rear tire go flat. It was a New Volvo, but shit happens. They pulled over to the shoulder and called AAA. In about fifteen seconds a beat up piece of shit truck full of Mexicans (I said it, so what) pulled in real close behind them. His wife called the police. Three of the Mexicans carrying bats and a crow bar got out of the truck and approached. They were paying close attention to the ladies and speaking Spanish. Not really much of a choice there, so Mark drew his legally permitted weapon, and alternately pointed at the chest of the Mexicans. They ran back to their truck and drove away. Mark and his family were still sitting by the side of the road when AAA and the Police arrived.

Yabu’s friends took it upon themselves to take responsibility for their own safety, and rely upon the police for backup.  When you are in these types of situations, YOU ARE THE FIRST RESPONDER, not the police.  A personal experience backs this up:

Walking back to my car at night (I lived off-campus), a car pulled up and 4 huge guys got out. I weighed only 135 pounds at the time, and these guys weighed at least 190+ each. I started backing up while they were hooting and hollering about how they were going to “mess up the white boy” (they were black). One of them appeared to be getting something out of the back of the car (I think it might have been a baseball bat). I kept backing up, holding my briefcase in front of me while reaching around behind me under my coat to get my gun. I had just unsnapped the holster and told them that they really didn’t want to do this when a police car turned the corner.

What do you think would have happened if the police had not shown up at that time?  What if I did not have a weapon?  Please, use your imagination.

We all know that the world is a dangerous place, and this includes various cities & neighborhoods.  There are people who wish to rob, rape, and murder for the slightest of reasons, and no one can realistically pretend that it will not happen to them.  To deny this simple truth is naïve, stupid, and extremely dangerous.

I would like to ask Senator Feinstein a question in light of the above: If all guns are banned, and you are sitting home alone with no weapon, bodyguard, or police protection & someone breaks in to do you harm, what are you going to do?  I’m waiting…


Cross-posted to Wise Conservatism

Gun Control & Universal Background Checks

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx

In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings and others, our politicians in Congress feel that they must “do something” to end the killings of innocents.  This includes reintroducing gun control and universal background check legislation.  The politicians, as usual, have it all wrong as to what they can and should do.

Gun control is nothing more than a gun ban, period.  The intent is to deny and disarm the American public from weapons that can be used for sport (hunting or target shooting) or self defense (intruders to the home, people intent upon causing bodily harm, or from our own government).  Furthermore, the efforts to enact a gun ban is fully against the Second Amendment and against the following recent Supreme Court rulings:

  • District of Columbia v. Heller, which upheld an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes.
  • McDonald v. Chicago, which held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the States.

Universal background checks sound very appealing to the populace as a sound bite given by the politicians and the media until one looks into what such checks could actually entail.  While I have not seen any legislation concerning a universal background check, what is understood is that EVERY transfer, sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental, and loan of a firearm between any and all individuals must go through the process of a background check.

Let’s understand a few points on the existing system:

  • It is ALREADY a federal felony to be engaged in the business of buying and selling firearms, for livelihood and profit, without having a federal firearm dealers license (FFL).
  • It is ALREADY a crime for a federally licensed dealer to sell a gun without doing a background check – that’s all dealers, everywhere, including at retail stores, gun shows, flea markets or anywhere else.
  • It is ALREADY a federal felony for any private person to sell, trade, give, lend, rent or transfer a gun to a person that is known who is not legally allowed to own, purchase or possess a firearm.
  • It is ALREADY a 10-year felony to sell a firearm to a person who is a criminal, mentally ill, mentally incompetent, alcohol abuser or drug abuser.
  • It is ALREADY a felony to submit false information on a background check form for the purpose of purchasing a firearm.
  • All background check records are destroyed within 24-hours.

Now some of the potential additions to the above that have been floated around the Internet include the following:

  • Create a national firearm registry.
  • Create a national firearm owners registry (complete with fingerprints, pictures, and cross-referenced with the firearm registry).
  • Mental health records are to be a part of the registry (more on this later)
  • Private sales must include a background check through a licensed FFL dealer.

With the proposed universal background check in place, giving your 12-year old son a .22 rifle for Christmas (as my father did 40 years ago) would be ILLEGAL without having a FFL dealer run a background check on your own son!! Folks, this is getting to be both insane and inane.

Let’s stop, take a deep breath, and think about this for a few minutes.  If outlawing guns will eliminate murder by a firearm, then by the same logic, outlawing drunk driving, illegal drugs, and all crime would halt these activities as well.  Obviously, this has been done, and these incidents still continue. Prohibition was a roaring failure as is the war on drugs.  Criminal acts are still committed no matter what laws are made and penalties handed out.

I hope that you are beginning to see the point – any attempt to legislate the removal of evil behavior is bound to fail, and the illegal activities will continue. The human condition has been with us from the beginning of time, and removing guns from the scene won’t change that aspect.  Remember – the first recorded murder was committed with a rock.

Why the politicians are intent upon limiting and disarming the American public is cause for speculation by many people and pundits.  But I think that this quote hints at the reason:

“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.” – William S. Burroughs

Indeed, if the only people that have weapons are agencies of the government, can an oppressive and tyrannical government be far behind?  If one is paying attention to the antics of the recent administration, then one could argue that governmental overreach into the rights of the American people is no longer just speculation, it is reality (Obamacare, for instance, mandates that everyone will buy insurance from a governmentally approved entity).  And thinking of Obamacare…

One of the points from President Obama’s much publicized 23-Executive Order list (of which he did not really sign) is to “Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.”  In other words, to invalidate HIPAA privacy rules & patient rights and have that information logged into a national database. Does this really sound like the government is interested in your individual rights?

Not really, at least in my mind.  It’s all about power and control.  For example, the main concern of a national registry is that a registry is often the precursor to the confiscation of firearms. From Free Republic:

The Government will know who has legal possession of each firearm. They will know where the firearm is stored. When physical possession of the gun is desired, they can order you to turn it in. This has happened repeatedly. The historical examples include NAZI Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, and Cambodia. Recent examples include Kosovo, Great Britain, Australia, New York, and California.

The only purpose of gun registration is gun confiscation, whether it is done individually and piecemeal, as the legal requirements to own a gun become more and more difficult, or en mass, when the government feels the necessity to disarm its citizens in order to further its control.

Governments that push for gun registration distrust their people, and have earned the people’s distrust.

And I’m really distrusting this government and administration, and not only about what is written above.  But those are posts for another time…


Cross-posted to Wise Conservatism

A Letter To My Senators

This is somewhat of an interesting post.  Not only is this post number 700 of this blog in its various incarnations, but it’s an email to both of my Senators from Michigan concerning gun rights.

As readers of this blog know, I fully support the 2nd Amendment without reservation.  The 2nd Amendment provides for the ownership of firearms by the citizens of the United States for sport, hunting, personal defense, and as insurance against an oppressive & tyrannical government.

As such, I went to www.ruger.com to their page to sent a mass email to my representatives.  My Senators and Representative responded, with my Senators stating (more or less) that they were in favor of gun control.  My Representative, Mike Rogers, is a former FBI agent who fully supports the 2nd Amendment.

My email to the Senators is below:


Dear Senator Stabenow and Senator Levin,

I would like to thank you both for responding to an email concerning supporting Gun Rights, and this email is in response to the messages you sent. I would like to believe that you will personally read the following, and will not be read & simply filed away by your staffers.

I am currently not a representative of any political action committee, or a gun rights / control organization. I am an American Citizen writing to my Senators expressing my opinions concerning the rights of the citizens of the United States, and specifically on the issue of Gun Rights.

We all agree that the tragedies in Newtown, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Columbine, and other places are horrific and shocking. No sane person can be unmoved by the human toll that mentally unhinged people with weapons did in these places. However, Vice –President Biden stated just this past week,

“Nothing we’re going to do is going to fundamentally alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down to 1,000 a year from what it is now.”

What also must be realized is that no matter what weapon was used, each of these tragedies has something in common. Each of these locations was a “gun-free zone,” where the possession of a weapon was banned, and the perpetrators had free reign to commit their crimes.

Senators, these “gun-free zones” denied a person of the right to defend themselves from an armed aggressor with a firearm of their own. In other words, their Second Amendment rights were denied to them. This is, in my opinion, the greater tragedy. Armed teachers and ordinary citizens at the scene might have made a difference in stopping or limiting the carnage.

The Second Amendment of the United States states in part,

“The Right of The People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed.”

The Michigan State Constitution, Article 1 Section 6, states,

“Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.”

Senators, I will be blunt – Each of you took this oath:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

The Second Amendment to the Constitution did not limit the types or kinds of weapons that the citizens of the United States could possess, and is supported by the Michigan State Constitution, the State that you represent. The proposals that are being put forth by you and your colleagues to limit the types or kinds of firearms that a citizen may own are in direct violation of these Amendments, and thus in violation of your respective oaths.

The citizens of the United States and of the State of Michigan cannot be restricted by the type of weapon nor the amount of ammunition that a weapon may hold if the lives of their family and loved ones are at risk from a criminal or other danger. I believe that you will agree that nothing is more precious than one’s family, and that you would do anything to protect them with whatever means at your disposal.

It should also be noted that gun control is a failed policy. Indeed, the hometown of President Obama (Chicago, IL) has some of the strictest gun control laws, but one of the highest crime and murder rates. Connecticut has the same restrictions on so-called “assault weapons” as the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, but did nothing to prevent the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Senators, here is the bottom line of this message. Should you –

  • Continue to support gun control and/or gun banning legislation;
  • Support legislation requiring universal background checks that include the formation and maintenance of a database with registered gun owners and the weapons they legally own. (Understand that law-abiding citizens are not the criminals here, and should not be treated the same as murderers, robbers, and rapists who are in such databases.);
  • Continue to support “gun-free zone” legislation;
  • Support any legislation that will disarm citizens or otherwise limit their capabilities of defending themselves from threats;

I will support your opponents of any political party who will uphold the American citizen’s Second Amendment rights with time and/or funding the next time you come up for re-election. Should you decide support the American People by supporting the Second Amendment, I will support you in your re-election campaigns. I have never before supported a political candidate to this degree.

Sincerely,


And by the way, Happy Groundhog Day!