Monday, September 27, 2010

The NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF Political Candidate Selection Policy Is Broken!

I’m an NRA Patron Life Member and I’m saddened and I’m angered by The NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) and the NRA-PVF (Political Victory Fund)!

In his recent interview with National Review, Chris Cox, head of the NRA-ILA said, "One of the primary reasons that the National Rifle Association and gun owners continue to have success at the federal, state, and local levels is because we’re a single-issue organization. We have our longtime election slogan of "Vote Freedom First," which obviously means we're hopeful that our members and gun owners put Second Amendment issues at the forefront when they make those decisions.

I follow Chris's admonition, "Vote Freedom First." And, like the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF, I am a single-issue voter. My single issue is freedom!

Cris continued, "Those decisions have allowed us to build a bipartisan majority now that has proven to be not only beneficial but, I would argue, invaluable to protecting and promoting the Second Amendment....We are a non-partisan organization, and we don't base any grade or any endorsement on a party affiliation."

Although I am registered as a Republican, my voting is generally non-partisan. Much to the annoyance of my bride, I also am willing to vote for non-incumbents and for candidates of other parties because, as you know, not all Republican candidates defend freedom and the Constitution to the extent demanded by their oath of office.

Chris also said, "Sometimes it can get a little more difficult from a political standpoint because we have a very incumbent-friendly policy. Our commitment is applied regardless of party, whether it's Congress or the state legislature. It's important for us to stand with those who stood with us."

Standing with a politician who does not fully embrace freedom and the Constitution to the extent demanded by their oath of office simply because of one issue – gun rights – or because he's an incumbent or because he got funding for a nice shooting range is inconsistent with freedom – especially when that incumbent faces a challenger who better fits all aspects of freedom.

I welcome the NRA-ILA's and NRA-PVF's stand as single-issue organizations. I acknowledge that this is thier job. I expect the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF to endorse and financially support candidates who clearly are on the side of the Second Amendment – in word and in deed. However, if the full record of an incumbent is inconsistent with freedom as a whole, I also expect the NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF to have the sense to either stay out of the race altogether, or throw its weight behind a challenger if his Second Amendment record is at least as strong as that of the incumbent.

I have long sensed that the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF tend to avoid getting behind candidates with a poor or marginal likelihood of winning an election -- no mater how strong they are in fighting for freedom. Chris' comments confirm that. I understand why – it gives the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF the appearance of being a king-maker. But what is the cost of that image? We keep getting NRA-endorsed politicians who suck away our overall freedom!

Because many Republican candidates and many in the Republican Party leadership tend to ignore the principles of freedom described in the Republican Party Platform and protected by Constitution I have stopped sending money to my Party. Instead, I donate directly to individual candidates who are single-issue candidates (ie they "Vote Freedom First").

The same principle applies to my support for organizations such as the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF. Because the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF endorse and financially support candidates who, while satisfactory on one issue, are otherwise hostile to our other freedoms and because the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF fail to endorse challengers who are at least as strong on gun rights as the incumbents and who are stronger in all aspects of freedom, I can no longer, in good conscience, donate to the NRA-ILA and the NRA-PVF. Instead, my money will go directly to the best overall candidates such as Sharon Angle (Nevada) and Morgan Philpot (Utah) because, in spite of the NRA's past and present support for the incumbents, the challengers are far better for freedom. I tell my friends and relatives to do likewise. Having to do so makes me sad.

It appears that I am not alone. The NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF are apparently getting a lot of pressure from gun-rights activists who are unhappy with the NRA's endorsement policy. We don't like seeing our donations go to support gun rights and destroy all other rights.

I'd like to move up to Benefactor Life Membership in the NRA, but doing so would also be financing an organization that does not fully support my freedom. That makes me sad.

I vote freedom first – in the polling booth and with my checkbook.

Among others, I support:
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Gun Owners of America
Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership
National Association for Gun Rights
Second Amendment Foundation

All that said, I still support the other efforts of the NRA and urge all gun-owners and other freedom lovers to join.

Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist
Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist

Neal Knox: The Gun Rights War
Neal Knox: The Gun Rights War

Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns
Out of Range: Why the Constitution Can't End the Battle over Guns

Uniform laws regarding arms

Both the US and Utah Constitutions protect the right of individuals to own and use arms. I think it is significant that both constitutions specify "arms" (arms are defined in my dictionary as "weaponry: weapons considered collectively") -- rather than the more restrictive "firearms." Therefore, I suggest that appropriate Utah laws that address "firearms" be amended to substitute the word "arms." In my opinion, the most critical of these Utah laws to be amended include 53-5a-102, 53B-3-103, 63-98-102, and 76-10-500.

Since knives and archery equipment are included in a wide variety of what we commonly know as "arms" they are protected by both the US and Utah Constitutions. The legislature therefore, needs to take steps to ensure that local lawmakers don't make laws that make travel around the State difficult with any constitutionally-protected "arm."

An example where this change is necessary would be where some Utah jurisdiction follows New York City's example and bans certain pocket knives. Since a pocket knife is such a common tool, such local laws could put an innocent person in legal jeopardy should he cross some invisible political boundary.

We have more than enough laws to punish negligence and bad behavior. It is generally unnecessary, in my opinion, to regulate inanimate objects such as "arms."

The Second Amendment applies to knives too!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gun-free zones kill again!

Once again, a bad guy has proven the absolute folly of "gun-free" zones such as schools, churches, federal buildings, court houses, and even military installations. On 20 September, the "gun-free" killing zone was a US Army post, Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas.

Ironically, military bases, where this shooting occurred, are well-known for being excessively restrictive on firearms in the hands of responsible people -- even soldiers who have been entrusted with guns during combat.

How was a retired serviceman able to gun down two defenseless women? Because policy- and law-makers seem to believe that regulating an inert peice of steel and plastic somehow makes criminals behave! Because the government thinks its better to keep it’s armed service members unarmed! That’s right. Our military men and woman are banned from carrying the weapons they are trained and trusted to use in the heat of combat. President Clinton authored this asinine policy back in 1993 when he declared all military bases "gun-free" zones. But because of Clinton’s ingenious policy of unarmed armed forces, this psychopath was able to shoot innocent people before could arrive on the scene.

Unfortunately, like all restrictions on law-abiding people, this ban does not affect criminal behavior -- it only leaves responsible people defenseless. I cannot understand why creators of "gun-free" zones don't understand that simple concept. Those who favor and establish gun-free zones need to rrationally reconsider their restrictions on the right of good people to defend themselves.

The courts, including the US Supreme Court, have repeatedly ruled that the police have no obligation to protect individuals or even groups. In fact, it is not reasonable or wise to expect them to do so. Violent crimes are typically over long before police have a chance to respond as was the case in today's tragedy. All the cops can do is collect evidence and maybe find the attacker. Additionally, we don't want a nation where police are so prevalent that they can stop all crime before it happens.

One of our most basic human rights is our right to protect ourselves and our families from harm. "Gun-free" zones (ie military installations, most schools, most churches, federal buildings, many businesses, and even court houses) by definition deprive law-abiding citizens of the most effective means of self-protection -- a gun. These disarmed potential victims are left completely vulnerable to attack by those who, by definition, disobey laws such as gun bans.

Experience and reason clearly indicate that "gun-free" zones do nothing but assure criminals and terrorists that they will find unarmed victims defenseless against a homicidal rampage. The only people who have guns in "gun-free" zones are criminals, members of the elite (who create special rules for themselves so they can carry a gun or have armed bodyguards) and maybe a cop or two.

I can't quite decide whether "gun-free" zones are an illusion or an hallucination. But I do know they are evil. I hold the authorities who establish "gun-free" zones just as accountable for the deaths and injuries as the shooter himself. It is reckless and foolish to assume that disarming good people causes bad people to behave as they should. It is my firm opinion that any person, government, agency, business, school, church, or any other entity that creates a "gun-free" zone must also provide absolute security and safety for all who enter therein.

Utah's legislature is one of countless government entities that have established "gun-free" zones and/or have provided for businesses, churches, and government agencies to establish "gun-free" zones. I believe every State legislature and Congress must promptly pass legislation requiring all entities that establish "gun-free" zones also provide absolute security to include armed guards and full screening for weapons.

We must no longer tolerate any attempts to disarm law abiding citizens with silly schemes that criminals will never obey. Tragically, there will be shootings in "gun-free" zones again, but they will happen with, or without any gun laws anyone can think of. Disarming victims is not the solution! Fortunately, enlightened businesses understand that simple fact.

Note: I am a retired Army officer, so I have standing to rant about silly military policies.

Related reading:

40 Reasons to ban guns
40 Reasons to ban guns

Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defence
Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defence

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition

Armed-Citizen Solution To Crime In The Streets: So Many Criminals, So Few Bullets
Armed-Citizen Solution To Crime In The Streets: So Many Criminals, So Few Bullets

Shots in the Dark: The Policy, Politics and Symbolism of Gun Control
Shots in the Dark: The Policy, Politics and Symbolism of Gun Control

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Secure the border!

Our entire political system is so corrupt that it does not have the integrity to even protect the nation from invasion.

Arizona's Governor Brewer and Arizona's legislature are struggling with this invasion and many other States are joining the fight -- against the arrogant wishes of the federal government whose job it is (according to Article IV, Section 4 of the US Constitution) to protect the States from invasion.
Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion....

The "leadership" of this nation is surrendering our nation's sovereignty and identity to foreign invaders. Rather than defend the nation against invasion, Obama and his administration have plans that include the issue of executive Orders and departmental pronouncements that limit the ability of law enforcement to do its job and a re-tasking of federal agents and bureaucrats to other "more important" duties and not take action to secure the border. Meanwhile an estimated 3,000 new invaders cross our borders very day and eight percent of births in the US are to parents who are here illegally!

It is estimated that ten percent of Mexico's citizens now lives in the US! Fifteen percent of Mexico's labor force is working in the US! In 2005, Mexico received a record $20 billion in remittances to family members from migrant workers living in the US! That is equal to Mexico's 2004 income from oil exports and dwarfs its tourism revenue!

History proves that amnesty in any form only encourages more waves of illegal aliens. Please remember that past amnesties for illegals -- the "one-time-only" amnesty of 1986 for nearly 3 million illegals and the six subsequent amnesties -- did not solve anything!

The most important job Congress and the Whitehouse have to do right now is to defend this nation from invasion!
→ Secure the border! Mine the southern border if necessary!
→ Enforce all immigration laws!
→ Train and deputize all local and State law enforcement officers to assist federal officers in enforcing immigration laws.
→ Deny all federal money from any and all cities and States that give sanctuary and other special considerations to illegals.
→ Prohibit assistance to all illegals except for assistance necessary to prolong life long enough for them to leave the country.
→ Terminate the nation's "anchor baby" scam.
→ Abandon the scam known as “guest-workers.” This term has only been developed to obfuscate the fact that our government has been grossly negligent in controlling an invasion by foreign nationals.
→ States, Congress, the Whitehouse, and government agencies must take down all Spanish-language government websites except for sites related to legal immigration, tourism, and international trade. There is absolutely no legitimate reason for any US politician to have a website in any language other than English. The mere existence of congressional and Whitehouse websites in Spanish is proof enough that US politicians hold no loyalty to US citizens and legal voters.
→ Establish English as the official language of the United States and ban all government business in any other language except for business related to legal immigration, tourism, and international trade.
→ Impeach judges, congressmen, and presidents and terminate bureaucrats and political appointees who oppose, resist, or delay the full application of Article IV, Section 4 of the US Constitution.
→ Require the man occupying the Whitehouse, and all future candidates, provide unimpeachable proof of natural citizenship.

Politicians love to talk about immigration reform. Our immigration laws do not need any reform. However, the administration's immigration policy does need reform -- reform to bring policy into compliance with the law!

I don't understand why I should have to, but I must remind the President and every congressman that they each swore an oath to the US Constitution -- all of it -- including the Constitution's mandate to defend the States against invasion!
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution....
One essential, beautiful, and inspired difference between the United States and other nations is that our government officials owe their loyalty to the Constitution -- not to any person, political party, special-interest group, and certainly not to the nation's invaders!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Addressing Poverty in America

Today, the news includes a story which claims that 1 in 7 Americans live in poverty. Another article reports, "the number of people living in poverty rose by 3 million in 2009 to 44 million, the highest level in the half-century that the government has kept track."

Isn't it interesting that, after dumping trillions of taxpayer dollars on the poor, they remain poor? Why can't the do-gooders see that imitation charity doesn't work?

Having traveled to 124 countries over the past 40 years, I can say with complete confidence that we Americans do not really know what poverty is other than some arbitrary number established by bureaucrats and politicians. Very few in the US live in the profound poverty seen in much of Asia and Africa.

The few Americans that truly are poor are in two general categories:
1 – Those with a mental defect that renders them unable to make competent decisions about their own welfare and
2 – Those who should know better, but make poor decisions about their welfare.

We, as a society, have a moral obligation to help those in category 1 by providing adequate facilities to care for them -- through charity, not government -- and, as appropriate, prepare them to rejoin society.

We also have a moral obligation to stop bailing out those in category 2! Most Americans who are below that arbitrary poverty line are there because they make bad decisions and our feel-good social programs insulates them from the natural consequences of those bad decisions.

Most American homes in category 2 has, at a minimum, a car, a television, and the latest in cell phones. These families have shelter, furniture, appliances, food and health care -- all paid by expecting government agents to extract money, by threat of force, from productive citizens. They have all the street drugs they want at prices they can afford. They adorn their bodies with tattoos, gold, and designer jeans. They elected the President of the United States and a substantial portion of Congress and thereby control much of the political agenda of this nation as well as who gets nominated to the federal courts. Yet, they want more from those of us who earn our way through life.

We must stop expecting and allowing government to usurp our individual obligation to be charitable.

We must stop paying people who don’t work.

We must stop giving “earned” income tax credits to, or otherwise subsidize, those who are underemployed.

We must restore traditional marriage and old-fashioned famiies as the foundation of society. Marriage is America's greatest weapon against child poverty.

We must abandon policies and attitudes that discourage mothers from staying home to raise their own children.

We must stop paying single girls and women to have babies.

We must end government policies, legislation, and regulations that financially punish families with unemployed and underemployed fathers who stay with their families.

We must restore the First Amendment by ending the ban on religion, and the moral compass it provides, from the public square.
Welfare is another of our major problems. We are a humane and generous people and we accept without reservation our obligation to help the aged, disabled, and those unfortunates who, through no fault of their own, must depend on their fellow man. But we are not going to perpetuate poverty by substituting a permanent dole for a paycheck. There is no humanity or charity in destroying self-reliance, dignity, and self-respect...the very substance of moral fiber. — Ronald Reagan

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. — Reverend William JH Boetcke (1873-1962) German-born Presbyterian clergyman, 1916 (often erroneously attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking. — P. J. O'Rourke

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. — Dr. Adrian Pierce Rogers (1931-2005)

You can't get rid of poverty by giving people money. — P.J. O'Rourke

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. — Benjamin Franklin (On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor, London Chronicle, Nov 1766)

Free enterprise has done more to reduce poverty than all the government programs dreamed up by Democrats. — Ronald Reagan

The liberal view is America in a permanent state of decline. They want everybody to believe that everybody else in this country is barely hanging on, and that the only solution is more and more of what has created the poverty circumstances. Because it is liberalism that creates poverty, promotes poverty, extends poverty, and spreads it -- and they want eight more years of power to keep doing it. — Rush Limbaugh, 6 Jun 2008

In order to avoid poverty, just do three things: finish high school, marry before having a child, and don't have a child until you're at least twenty years old. Only 8 percent of people who do all three of those things wind up poor, but a staggering 79 percent of those who fail to do them wind up in poverty. — Bernard Goldberg, Arrogance, p 12

In our attempt to blame poverty on prejudice, we have taught the poor to be prejudiced against the basic values necessary to sustain a free and civil society....We've taught them there are no real absolutes to the human condition -- except perhaps that the highest value in life is to acquire things. — Star Parker
Related reading:

Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us)
Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us)

Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State
Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State

Uncle Sam's Plantation: How the Welfare Bureaucracy Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It
Uncle Sam's Plantation: How the Welfare Bureaucracy Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can Do About It

Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama's Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security
Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama's Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security

Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism
Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Congress: Read the bills!

Over the past several months, congressional "leaders" have rammed through extremely expensive and extremely bad legislation with inadequate debate and study. These bills include the absolutely evil "stimulus" and "health-care" bills and the truly horrendous proposed "cap-and-trade" tax bill.

Most Congressmen are lawyers, and many others are businessmen. They know what “fiduciary responsibility” is. For Members of Congress, fiduciary responsibility should mean reading and understanding each word of every bill before they vote.But Congress has not met this duty for a long time. Instead,
• Congress carelessly passes mammoth bills that none of them have read. Sometimes printed copies aren't even available when they vote!
• Often no one knows what these bills contain, or what they really do, or what they will really cost.
• Additions and deletions are made at the last minute, in secrecy.
• Congress combines unpopular proposals with popular measures that few in Congress want to oppose. (This practice is called “log-rolling.”)
• Votes are held with little debate or public notice.
• Once these bills are passed, and one of these unpopular proposals comes to light, congressmen pretend to be shocked. “How did that get in there?” they say.

This egregious lack of responsibility must end immediately! Congress has been out of control and out of touch for decades. The so-called "stimulus" bills are yet more examples of legislative constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the pen. The fact that the president and Congressional "leaders" are eager to pass 1,000-plus-page bills without giving congressmen or constituents a chance to read it proves that they only have evil intentions that would never pass muster if conducted in the open. How can the majority of congressmen (especially their "leaders") possibly sleep at night?

Much of the legislation that comes out of Congress contains poorly-worded verbiage and virtually all legislation contains earmarks and/or laws that should never see the light of day. Nevertheless, Congress persists in rushing to pass these poorly-written bills without reading them. The seemingly perpetual "stimulus" bills are an excellent example.

If Congress passes bills with secret provisions inserted at the last minute (ie approval for the infamous AIG bonuses) or bills with badly-written sections or bills which exceed Constitutional limits, each congressman voting for the bill is just as guilty as the person(s) who snuck it in. Every congressman who votes for such legislation is morally responsible for the unintended consequences of the poorly-worded laws they pass.

Every congressman must cosponsor and fight for immediate enactment of the Read the Bills Act. Failure to do so clearly indicates a congressman's complete satisfaction with the profoundly corrupt way things are done in Washington.

If the "Read the Bills Act" (RTBA) were in force, Congress would craft much better bills. Some members of Congress claim that RTBA is impractical, even though it could have prevented the destructive aspects of horrible bills such as the scam-stimulus bills, while still allowing Congress to pass as much as 8,000 pages of legislation each year -- far more than we really need.

Note: Unfortunately, because the "Read the Bills Act" doesn't require all congressman be present for the reading and can't make anyone actually listen while a bill is being read, I don't think it'd do much good even if Congress passed a "Read the Bills Act". I propose the "Read the Bills Act" be amended to require each congressmen take a comprehensive test on the content and effects (including any and all unrelated amendments) of a bill. The test must include questions on the constitutionality of each element of the proposed bill. No congressman who scores lower than 90% would be eligible to vote on that bill. Any congressman who scores below 90% for 5 consecutive bills would be ineligible to vote for the remainder of his term in office. This testing would force congressmen to pay attention to his job. (I also suggest similar testing for voters. We have the congress and president we have because at least two-thirds of the voters -- from both major parties -- are idiots.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Inconvenient debt

Crime Rates Continued to Fall as Firearm Sales Soared in '09

As firearms and ammunition experienced record sales in 2009, the nation's crime rates continued to fall, a new report from the FBI shows. During 2009, violent crime declined for the third straight year, with an estimated 5.3 percent drop from 2008 figures. Homicides were down 7.3 percent. The FBI statistics undermine a favorite argument of anti-gun groups and some mainstream media that "more guns equal more crime," especially when you consider that the decrease in violent crime in 2009 occurred at the same time that firearm sales were surging.

More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition

The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong
The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong

The Forgotten Man

Related reading:

The Real George Washington
The Real George Washington

The Real Thomas Jefferson
The Real Thomas Jefferson

The Real Benjamin Franklin
The Real Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The NRA takes credit for gun-rights litigation successes

I plan to attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in San Francisco this month. I was looking forward to hearing NRA leaders speak at the Conference. Unfortunately I understand that the NRA will not be represented. I think I know why.

• The bulk of the work that lead to the successful Heller and McDonald decisions was done by Alan Gura and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). Indeed, the NRA actually opposed the Heller case!
• In spite of the fact that the SAF (the sponsor of the GRPC) is doing the heavy lifting in litigation to advance gun rights, the NRA has brazenly stepped in to take credit for every success in the gun-rights struggle. The Chris Cox column in the September issues of the NRA magazines, in the October issue of Guns & Ammo (wherein absolutely no reference was made to the SAF) is one of many examples of this theft of credit.

I therefore can understand the reluctance of the NRA leadership to face the music at the GRPC.

The entire NRA leadership owes an apology to the SAF, to every member of the NRA, and to every gun owner in the nation for not giving due credit to the SAF and other gun-rights activists. Without that apology, the NRA leadership has no credibility in the legal struggle for gun rights. Without that apology, my donations will go to the SAF -- not to the NRA, NRA-ILA, NRA-PVF, etc.

I am a Patron Life member of the NRA. I ardently support the NRA and urge every gun owner to join the NRA. Without the NRA, our gun rights would have been lost by now. Every gun owner who is not an NRA member is riding in the wagon while the members pull. But the arrogance of the NRA leadership is increasingly making my support awfully hard.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bring American firearms back from Korea!

Earlier this year, the Obama administration chose to block the government of South Korea from selling antique US-made M1 Garands and M1 carbines to American collectors.

The Clinton State Department is considering "alternative options" to deal with these classic rifles. Historically, such code words have meant cutting them up and melting them down. Hillary Clinton's State Department claims the destruction of collectible war relics is for the protection of Americans.

I cannot understand how these rifles and carbines could be considered risky when they already are offered for sale by the US government through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). In fact, the congressionally-mandated CMP puts on summer camps that teach boys and girls as well as adults how to handle the Garand properly and safely. As expected, the CMP sales and training programs are not only accident and crime free, they are an important part of fostering firearm safety throughout the nation.

Fear of these military arms is unfounded and irrational, since these firearms have no more firepower than firearms that have been used by hunters, target shooters, and other gun owners for over 100 years. These guns, and the people who seek to own them, are far less dangerous than our current out-of-control federal government.

I find it unlikely that this new ban on the return of US-made firearms to the US is about safety or crime prevention. The bottom line is that the President and the Secretary of Defense are simply pursuing their lifelong goal to ban and confiscate all firearms in the hands of anyone other than government agents. This is simple a backdoor assault on Constitutionally-guaranteed gun ownership -- an assault which is cleverly conducted outside the legislative process with the hope that nobody notices. As long as the destruction of these rifles stays under the public radar screen, the gun-grabbers will have achieved their goal.

Present and future generations must have a chance to experience this piece of history at an affordable price. Congress must immediately take action to reverse the State Department and allow these priceless war relics to return home.

We must never permit arrogant US politicians do here what their ilk did in Australia:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Out-of-control government wages

Obama and the news media like to get worked up into a frenzy over a handful of corporate CEOs making huge amounts of money. Yet, they have nothing to say about out-of-control union wages and, especially, government civilian employee wages.

The Commerce Department recently announced that personal incomes fell in metropolitan areas throughout America last year -- except those with higher concentrations of federal jobs. Private wages fell 6% in 2009 while federal government civilian pay rose 2.6%!

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, federal civilian workers now earn double their private sector counterparts! For 2009, federal civil servants’ combined pay and benefits averaged $123,049, compared to the private employee average of $61,051 in total compensation! While workers in the private sector watch their jobs disappear and their salaries stall, privileged federal bureaucrats (taxpayers support one over-paid bureaucrat for every 100 taxpayers) enjoy earnings that reach twice the size of the very workers in the private sectors who pay them.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis noted that, since 2000, overall inflation-adjusted federal civilian compensation has grown 37% since 2000, compared to 9% for employees in non-government jobs.

The problem isn't limited to wages nor is it limited to the federal government. In many States, just the lucrative union-demanded retirement plans for government civilian employees exceeds the taxpayer's willingness and ability to pay.

Over the past two years, the US economy has lost 7.3 million jobs while the government sector added 98,000 civilian jobs!

Has anyone in government considered who ultimately pays the bill for all those bureaucrats? As far as I've been able to learn, only one -- US Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri recently said, "Government jobs don't pay the bill; they are the bill!"

Government does not create wealth. Never has. Never will. It does not create jobs that create wealth. Never has. Never will. It only taxes the wealth created in the private sector. Always has. Always will. When those taxes are used for essential government functions such as national defense, life is good. When those taxes are used to pay bloated salaries in bloated, unconstitutional government agencies, life becomes a struggle.

Congress and each State's legislature must immediately adjust all government wages (including those for congressional staff to match wages for comparable jobs in the private sector.

Congress must immediately enact legislation to phase out and sunset within 10 years all federal agencies, programs, regulations, and laws for which there is no constitutional authority or mandate.

Related articles:

It's Time to Freeze Government Wages

Comparing Pay in the Federal Government and the Private Sector

Why We’re Boiling Over: Federal Salaries Now Twice That of Private Sector

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HR-5523, the Firearms Freedom on Federal Lands Act

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Nevertheless, bureaucrats and even elected officials persist in infringing on that right, violating the US Constitution.

HR-5523, the Firearms Freedom on Federal Lands Act will protect the right of individuals to bear arms on Federal lands administered by the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

This bill would restrict Federal regulations that prohibit an individual from possessing a firearm in any unit administered by the United States Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management if the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm and the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Forest System or the Bureau of Land Management is located.

Congress must immediately enact the long-overdue HR-5523, the Firearms Freedom on Federal Lands Act.