2nd Amendment Rights

Shocking story of what happened in New Orleans. We all saw what happened when only criminals have guns. Armed law abiding citizens are a tremendous deterrent to criminals. Law abiding citizens were disarmed (at a very vulnerable time) and told to depend upon the police which wasn’t available. Many people’s guns were lost and / or damaged during this process.

The Second Amendment states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

A few quotes from our founding fathers:

No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
—Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776.

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
—Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
—James Madison,The Federalist Papers, No. 46.

“…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
—George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380

“The Constitution shall never be construed….to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms”
—Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87

Remember to vote for candidates who support your 2nd Amendment Rights.

Energy Hypocrite

According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), Al Gore has used enough hydrocarbons to circle the globe while presenting over 1,000 Power Point presentations on climate change. Gore’s presentation was entitled “An Inconvenient Truth” and asks, “Are you willing to change the way you live?”

Movie includes footage of Gore and his constant air travel with two CO2 meters running at the bottom of the page that compare Gore’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with those of an average person. CEI also revealed that he recently used five large SUVs to haul his movie entourage a mere 500 yards at the Cannes Film Festival in France, all the while admonishing others to curtail their own energy use. Gore’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance can’t top that kind of comedy. Perhaps Gore would get more respect if he stopped lavishly using the hydrocarbon based products he preaches against?

Gore may be an energy hypocrite, but at least he was “honest” when interviewed:

Q: There’s a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What’s the right mix?
A: I think the answer to that depends on where your audience’s head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don’t think there’s a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.

I was always thought that the end never justified the means. Gore’s crying wolf might not have the desired impact if his credibility is lost due to misrepresentation of the facts. I do care about the environment, but do have to laugh at the chicken little approach.

Electronic Voting

I had a difficult time casting my primary votes this morning. First, the poll workers weren’t sure how to switch my declared party, but they eventually found the form. I didn’t really understand how this form correlated with switching parties since it was rather cryptic, but I trusted the poll workers. However, I was worried my vote wouldn’t count after they thought they had to perform another step, but couldn’t recall what it was.

Once we succeeded in getting past the paper work it was time for the poll worker to setup the Diebold voting machine. They scanned my voting card (which was shaped like a credit card) using a handheld device that looked like a VPN dongle on steroids. They hit the create button and it did its magic. However, when the poll worker inserted the card into the voting machine an error message resulted. It basically said that the voting card had been cleared and to remove it. The poll worker tried again and the same message resulted. The poll worker tried a third time and it worked. Please note that I did not touch anything during this process.

I voted and started to print the paper tally. The printer inside my voting machine sounded like an ancient dot matrix printer times ten. I guess I should have brought ear plugs with me. OSHA wouldn’t have stood for this noise level in a refinery without hearing protection. I printed the second page and it continued to rock the room. Afterward, the poll workers told me that I was the second person to vote using that particular voting machine and that they too had problems. They had three more machines next to it, and I thought about asking them why they didn’t have me use another machine. However, I didn’t have much time since my voter experience took so long, so I left feeling uneasy.

I was happy that I could see a valid paper trail was printed that reflected my votes. However, I worry about extra votes that could be added to make my vote mute. BTW, I am not the only person that thinks Diebold voting machines are insecure and unreliable pieces of junk.

Common Sense Prevails

We need to more tightly regulate spoons and forks. Spoons and forks are making America fat. America’s legal system needs to hold spoon and fork manufacturers and retailers responsible for America’s rotundness! Down with the spoons! Down with the forks! It doesn’t matter that the spoons and forks (built and distributed) were non-defective, our legal system must prosecute spoon and fork manufacturers and retailers for turning America into a grossly overweight nation. Then, we will bankrupt the spoon and fork industry. A lean, mean, healthy American utopia will be created. Woo hoo!

Substitute spoons and forks for guns. If only Josh would wrap this theme up nicely in one of his activist songs! *hint hint* Fortunately, the gun ban extremists have been prevented from bankrupting one of America’s oldest industries and succeeding in revoking the 2nd Amendment rights as promised in the Bill of Rights by default…

The “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (S. 397) passed in both the House and Senate. The “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” seeks to end predatory and baseless lawsuits initiated nationwide by the gun control lobby. These lawsuits sought to bankrupt a lawful, highly regulated industry by holding the manufacturers and retailers responsible for the unforeseeable acts of criminals. S. 397 passed the Senate in late July with a bipartisan vote of 65-31.

Joining LaPierre in commenting on this victory, NRA Chief Lobbyist Chris W. Cox added, “Our judicial system has been exploited for politics and Congress put a stop to that. Passage of the ‘Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act’ would not have been possible without the support of the 257 House co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. We appreciate the tireless efforts of Rep. Cliff Stearns and Rep. Rick Boucher and the Republican members of House leadership who worked to move the bill in this chamber.

“We are a safer country today because Congress passed this critical legislation and acted to save American icons like Remington, Ruger, Winchester and Smith & Wesson from politically motivated lawsuits. Our men and women in uniform abroad and at home now will not have to rely on France, China or Germany to supply their firearms,” Cox added.

During Senate debate earlier this year, the Pentagon stated its concern over the consequences if the American firearms industry was litigated into extinction. The Department of Defense stated that it “strongly supports” S. 397 citing, “that passage of S. 397 would help safeguard our national security by limiting unnecessary lawsuits against an industry that plays a critical role in meeting the procurement needs of our men and women in uniform.”

“I would like to thank our members who played a pivotal role in making this bill a reality. Together, we have saved the American firearms industry and protected the sanctity of the Second Amendment,” concluded LaPierre.

National Rifle Association of America
Institute for Legislative Action

Government Overstepping and Constitution Week

As was reported last week, in the wake of unspeakable crimes perpetrated by roving, armed gangs and individuals, authorities in New Orleans seized legal firearms from lawful residents, effectively disarming the very citizenry they are sworn to protect.

On Monday, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, and NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox slammed New Orleans authorities for this incredible action.

“What we’ve seen in Louisiana–the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster–is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves, ” LaPierre said. “For state, local, or federal government to disarm these good people in their own homes using the threat of imminent deadly force, is unthinkable.”

“The NRA will not stand by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who’re trying to defend themselves,” Cox said. “We’re exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans.”

To that end, NRA has put professional investigators to work on the ground in New Orleans and surrounding areas. News stories and members’ detailed accounts have been followed up on, but we need more information. Some of our best leads have come from rank and file law enforcement, but we need to hear from all directly affected citizens.

THE PEOPLE’S SECTION

As we prepare to celebrate “Constitution Week” (Sept. 17-23), it is important that we keep foremost in our minds the document that governs our great land and makes us unique–the Constitution, and specifically, its Bill of Rights.

Everything we at NRA-ILA do is governed by an unwavering commitment to the Constitution and its Second Amendment guarantee to bear arms. Sadly, however, not only is the Second Amendment constantly under attack, but so too are other integral parts of this work of genius. Sometimes attacks are obvious, like licensing, registration, and gun bans. Sometimes they are more subtle, promoted under the guise of innocuous sounding laws like campaign finance “reform.” Whatever, their form, however, they are all destructive, and must always be met with active resistance.

In particular, the Bill of Rights, which enshrines, among other freedoms, our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, should be viewed as “The People’s Section” of the Constitution. Unlike Articles I-III, which lay out the requirements and powers of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, the Bill of Rights designates no powers to the government. In fact, it does quite the opposite. The Bill of Rights restricts government encroachment on the rights on those it governs; on “we the people.”

Look at some of the verbiage in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law…” (First Amendment; “…shall not be infringed.” (Second Amendment); “…shall not be violated…” (Fourth Amendment); “…shall not be construed to deny…” (Ninth Amendment). These phrases protect the people; they don’t empower the government. In a way, the Bill of Rights is where we the people get to say “no” to the government.

Governments have powers. People have rights. Thus, the Second Amendment does not guarantee a privilege granted by the government to keep and bear arms. It explicitly guarantees the right of the people to do so.

Politicians must remember that they can’t carve out sections of the Constitution and Bill of Rights they don’t like, and profess support for the undivided document. You either support the Constitution and Bill of Rights, or you don’t. There are too many Chuck Schumers, Hillary Clintons, and Dianne Feinsteins who constantly work to set aside the Second Amendment (and, in the case of campaign finance “reform,” the First), while they profess to be upholding their sworn oaths to protect the entire Constitution.
We are blessed to have been given our freedom by our Creator and our system of government by great, brave men. However, it is up to each of us to ensure we keep it, and that the system works, by actively participating and speaking to others. Still today, the price of freedom truly is eternal vigilance.

Dean on Diversity

Dean on Defense: The “White Christian” party.
National Review
By Peter Kirsanow
June 10, 2005

During a discussion with minority leaders and journalists on Monday, Howard Dean declared that Republicans are “a pretty monolithic party. They all believe the same. They all look the same. It’s pretty much a white Christian party.” He further stated that “the Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people” and Democrats are “more welcoming to different folks, because that’s the type of people we are.” Dean continued to defend his remarks as recently as Thursday. …

In terms of sheer historical hostility toward minorities, the Republican party fares a bit better than the competition. For example, it wasn’t the GOP that opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. Nor was it the GOP that opposed the Thirteenth Amendment prohibiting slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment guaranteeing equal protection, or the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteeing voting rights. (In fact, Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act in greater percentages than did Democrats.)…

Moreover, it wasn’t the Republican party that opposed Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-lynching legislation or that filibustered or otherwise opposed more than a dozen other anti-lynching provisions during the 20th century. Republicans didn’t institutionalize Jim Crow, implement school segregation, or establish poll taxes and literacy tests to keep non-whites from voting. Bull Connor, George Wallace, Lester Maddox, and Orval Faubus weren’t Republicans.

It wasn’t a Republican who ordered the internment of Japanese-American citizens (or Italians or Germans) during World War II. Nor were Republicans behind the Chinese exclusion acts or licensing requirements that discriminated against non-white businesses and tradesmen. While Dean maintains that Democrats are more welcoming to non-whites, several major media organizations have noted that the aggressive GOP outreach to minorities is far more vigorous than that of the Democrats.

USA Today recently noted that whereas Dean has been spending the bulk of his time preaching to the converted, RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman has maintained an exhausting schedule appearing before predominantly black, Hispanic, and Asian audiences. …

The GOP may have been missing in action in minority communities in the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties but Howard Dean must not have paid much attention to what’s been going on recently. Republicans still have lots of work to do, but now they’re playing offense while Dean’s on defense.

Outrageous Sensitivity

According to Patrick Cronin of the Hampton Union (in Hampton, New Hampshire), Bryan Lafond just wanted to go to his school dance. The seventh grade student of Hampton Academy Junior High School thought it might be fun to go dressed as Santa Claus.

Bad move.

When he arrived at the dance, Fred Muscara, the interim principal, stopped him at the door. Dressing as Santa is, apparently, politically incorrect. Why? Let’s let Muscara explain that for himself:

“It was a holiday party,” the principal told Cronin. “It was not a Christmas party. There is a separation of church and state. We have a lot of students that go to Hampton Academy Junior High that have different religions. We have to be sensitive to that.”

First of all, the notion of a separation of church and state merely prevents the state from adopting an official religion. Dressing up as Santa at a holiday party doesn’t exactly qualify.

And furthermore, if Muscara is concerned that Santa is inextricably connected to Christmas, then one might well ask exactly which holidays are being celebrated at the “holiday dance”? Presumably Christmas, Chanukkah, and, I suppose, Kwanzaa. So what’s the problem?

But even more to the point: Santa is part of the secular celebration of Christmas — not the Christian religious day. Recall that there were no elves in Bethlehem.

What we have here is yet another example of a hysterical secularist leaping at any hint of religion — even when the offense isn’t remotely religious.

Full Article

Working on making April 15th just another day

I am a big fan of efficiency and consequently am for the elimination of the U.S.’s egregious and cryptic income tax code. I really like the FairTax (HR 25 and Senate bill 1493) which calls for taxing spending rather than income. Basically, all income taxes would be eliminated and you would pay a fair tax on the goods and services you purchase. This is a great system for rewarding saving and investing, instead of consumption, while maintaining the same amount of revenue to fund our government.

Check out the FAQ for the FairTax. The FAQ does a great job of answering questions that come to mind when contemplating the FairTax and its ramifications, especially in regard to its fairness, implementation, and level of compliance that can be achieved.

“The FairTax is a non-partisan proposal (HR 25/S 1493) that abolishes all federal income taxes, including personal, estate, gift, capital gains, alternative minimum, corporate, Social Security, other payroll, and self-employment taxes, and replaces them all with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax. The FairTax dramatically changes the basis for taxation by eliminating the root of the problem: Taxing income. The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend, not on what we earn. It does not raise any more or less revenue; it is designed to be revenue neutral. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.”

I e-mailed all the major presidential candidates requesting their support of the FairTax. You should too! We can save ~$250,000,000,000/year on compliance alone, i.e. tax return preparation and such. Let’s make April 15th just another day!