Tuesday, February 26, 2013

American voters must unite on fixing the real problem

Most Americans distracted from the real problem by political sleights of hand such as:

• drones,
• the 47%,
• fair tax,
• stimulus,
• abortion,
• flat tax,
• ObamaCare,
• inflation,
• deflation,
• TEA Party,
• health care,
• Arab Spring,
• gun control,
• fiscal cliff,
• War on Drugs,
• unemployment,
• War on Drugs,
• gold standard,
• sequestration,
• waterboarding,
• War on Terror,
• hanging chads,
• school lunches,
• United Nations,
• War on Poverty,
• gasoline prices,
• Federal Reserve,
• balanced budget,
• environmentalism,
• school shootings,
• cash for clunkers,
• Keystone pipeline,
• confusing tax code,
• alternative energy,
• union rights/power,
• Food Stamps (SNAP),
• Occupy Wall Street,
• homosexual marriage,
• First Lady vacations,
• presidential vacations,
• Balanced Budget Amendment,
• high-capacity gun magazines,
• homosexual Cub Scout leaders,
• First Lady's sense of fashion,
• Inflation and worthless money,
• attacks on American embassies,
• TSA groping and pornographic photos,
• selling guns to Mexican drug cartels,
• hints of religion in the public square,
• battle-scarred and dead American Warriors,
• a vice president with diarrhea of the mouth,
• politicians caught in myriad scandalous situations,
• amnesty for, or deportation of, illegal immigrants,
• bombing Libya and other inconsequential spots on the map,
• nuclear bombs in the arsenals of nations led by crazy people,
• global warming/cooling/climate-change or whatever the term-of-the-day is,
• etc.
All are nothing more than clever and effective diversions used by everyone in power (including the "news" media) regardless of political party label -- often staged -- from the real problem: Runaway government. The political elites know that we all have our favorite little causes such as those in the above list. The elites divide and conquer us by exploiting our differences on such relatively trivial interests.

In spite of our differences on all these issues, the vast majority of us can all agree on the one big problem: We have central, state, and local governments that are too expensive, too corrupt, too powerful, too wasteful, too arrogant, and too intrusive -- far worse the the British government our forefathers rebelled against back in 1776! We need smarter voters who know what the real problem is and who can keep their eye on the ball!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Utah Senator Evan Vickers and stealth gun control

The state senator for my little corner of the State of Utah, Evan Vickers, published part of the results of a survey he conducted recently. The survey results show how poorly informed the typical voter is (not that a politician would ever exploit that ignorance). Here we go:

Ban automatic assault weapons

The National Firearms Act of 1934 essentially did that in umm, 1934 with a tax, background check, registration, and government permission to own any automatic firearm.

Additionally, civilian ownership of any automatic firearm made after 1986 has been completely banned since the Gun Control Act of 1986 in umm, 1986. Apparently, 28.94% of the senator's constituents are unaware of this.

This restriction violates the Second and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution and must be repealed.

Ban the use of high-capacity magazines

High capacity magazines are magazines (clips to those too lazy to know or use proper nomenclature) which hold more cartridges than the gun was designed for. A 9mm Springfield XD pistol (one of my favorites), for example is designed to hold 15 cartridges in the magazine. The magazine is completely contained within the grip. The grip is designed to fit in the human hand. That is NOT high-capacity -- it is normal or standard capacity.

Only a magazine that extends beyond the grip to hold, say 30 rounds, would be a high-capacity -- and clumsy -- magazine. Gun banners chose an arbitrary number of 10 (now 7 in New York) and decree that a magazine that holds anything more than that is a high-capacity magazine when in reality; it is a politically-correct, crippled magazine.

Clearly, 27.48% wouldn't know a high-capacity magazine if they saw one.

Make our schools gun-free zones

All public schools (and neighborhoods within 1000 feet) in the US were decreed gun-free zones by the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 in umm, 1990. With some exceptions, all persons who enter those zones are required to be defenseless against violent attackers who violate the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. How's that working out for the 15.65% of survey respondents who think this is a good idea?

This restriction violates the Second and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution and must be repealed.

Require hands-on gun training with Concealed Weapons Permit Training

Senator Vickers reveals his lack of knowledge that Utah does not have a "Concealed Weapons Permit." We have a "Concealed Firearm Permit." Other weapons (eg a pocket knife) may be carried concealed without a permit in Utah. That basic ignorance is important considering that the ignorance is held by a state lawmaker, but not it's essential to issue he's addressing.

Some states require no permit or training (eg Arizona). Some require a permit with no training (eg Washington). Some require a permit with classroom-only training (eg Utah which does require "hands-on" training but no live-fire). Some require a permit with classroom and live-fire training (eg Nevada).

There is no significant training-related difference in accidental shootings, wrongful shootings, etc. by responsible adult civilians carrying concealed firearms between any of those groups (although civilians are statistically less likely to wrongfully shoot someone or to miss the target or commit a crime than are cops).

This shows that mandating a permit or mandating training of any kind has no measurable effect other than to impose an unnecessary and unconstitutional bureaucratic burden on responsible adults.

Should people voluntarily get some good training in gun safety and the laws of lethal force? Absolutely! Does it make any difference? The statistics say no.

Support the NRA's position to have more armed officers in our schools

Here, I must differ sharply from the NRA (of which I've been a life member since the mid '70s). I oppose the central government taking on another unconstitutional role as the NRA recommends – in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Armed officers in schools will likely be the first targets in any attack on a school. Now who’s gonna protect the kids?

Utah has the best possible school protection system in place. When they have a Utah Concealed Firearm permit, our public-school teachers and other staff have their right of self-protection restored. They don't need the permission of a principle, school board or anyone else. That permit constitutes permission from the central government and the State of Utah to have a gun in the classroom. They don't even need to, nor should they, tell anyone they are armed.

Their job doesn't become that of SWAT officers. They are not equipped or trained to run to the sound of gunfire. When a Utah public school is attacked, the armed teacher's (or janitor's, or secretary's) sole responsibility to protect self. By doing so, he or she, by default, protects all the students around him or her.

The beauty is that there is no single person (an armed officer) to eliminate before having free reign over the school. The attacker has no clue which rooms have the guns. That uncertainty is a very significant deterrent.

But, it's not enough. We need even more teachers and staff to carry guns in school. If they're responsible enough to be trusted around our children, they're responsible enough to have a gun too.

Encourage teachers, staff and administrators to receive concealed weapons training and arm themselves while in our schools

See the above paragraph. However, I oppose any mandate to receive training and I oppose designating specific individuals to have the gun.

Require background checks on individuals purchasing guns at gun shows

All firearms dealers are already required to run background checks for all gun sales regardless of whether the sale is in the store or at a gun show.

Only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows. Yeah, that's 2 percent too many. But criminals rarely get their guns from gun shows or other legal sources. They can't! They steal them or buy them on the black market.

It also is already unlawful for anyone to transfer a firearm to a restricted person (felon, addict, illegal immigrant, mentally incompetent, etc.).

The gun show "loophole" is only a sinister ruse to divert attention from the real goal: A background check on all private firearm transfers which would be permanently recorded in federal records. That includes a gift of a .22-caliber rifle from father to son or a woman allowing her husband to shoot a couple of rounds from her pink revolver.

The gun-banners know that the so-called "loophole" is fiction. That's why even they put quotation marks around the word "loophole"! Most voters are idiots and don't know or understand how they're being manipulated.

There is no authority in the US Constitution for the central government to do anything to restrict the People in owning and/or using arms. The Second Amendment specifically tells the government to never infringe the ownership and use of arms (including firearms and pocket knives). The Tenth Amendment clearly prohibits the central government from doing anything not specifically authorized in the Constitution. The Utah Constitution also restricts the imposition of any of the above gun-control schemes.

The results of Senator Vickers' survey clearly show that Utah needs smarter voters. But, that'd be inconvenient for politicians and other power-mongers. We need smarter voters.

To become a smarter voter, sign up for news alerts from the NRA and join the NRA!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Clinton and Obama in 2016?

Today, there was some speculation that Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama (aka Barry Soetoro) could be the Democrat presidential ticket for 2016. Some readers were quick to poo-poo the idea because they think that 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution forbids it. That's an incorrect reading/understanding to the amendment. But, it probably doesn't matter anyway. I'll explain.

The 22nd Amendment states "No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once...." (Emphasis mine.)

Note that a key word is "elected". Obama cannot legally be elected to another term. But, he can return to the oval office for a third (or more terms) if elected as vice president and the elected president leaves office due to death, resignation, impeachment, etc. or if elected as president in defiance of the Constitution (many say he already has been).

Considering his popularity with the moocher class and the big-government elites, I predict that

1 - If Obama were to run as president again in spite of, and violation of, the 22nd Amendment (and many believe there is no valid evidence that he was even eligible for election in '08 or '12), he would be reelected regardless of the Constitution and its 22nd Amendment or,
2 - If Obama were to run as vice president, his ticket would win regardless of who the presidential nominee is, but especially if his wife is nominated as president.
It's clear that the Constitution has little meaning for at least half the voters and even less meaning for virtually all of the politicians they elect. How can it have any meaning? Very few Americans or politicians have ever read and understood it. Most Americans don't care that 95% of what the central government does is prohibited to it by the US Constitution. I must conclude, therefore, that most Americans won't care if Obama violates the Constitution to return to the Whitehouse in 2016 or even if we ever have another presidential election. The elites and the moochers have their guy in office -- that's all that matters.

Without smarter voters, the Constitution -- with all its protections of Liberty -- is dead and buried. We need smarter voters.

Who's in charge of empowering the States?

On his Facebook page Utah's governor Gary Herbert says, "The ONLY viable solution to the national debt crisis is to streamline government and trim budgets, empower states, and allow the private sector operating in a free market to help the nation GROW to prosperity."

If the governor expects the central government to fulfill any of his expressed wishes, it is evidence that Utah made a very serious mistake in the 2012 governor election. It is naive, irrational, delusional, and futile to expect any of the three branches of government to do anything to reduce its power.

A key component of our "checks and balances" is expressed in the Tenth Amendment. It is up to the States to assert their rights and authority instead of meekly waiting for the central government to "empower states" as the governor is meekly wont to do.

Governor Herbert can start "empowering states" by supporting and signing legislation that pushes back against all unconstitutional federal laws, regulations, and policies. He has a chance to do just that with this year's HB.114 (Second Amendment Preservation Act). If he doesn't, he is only enabling an out-of-control oppressive central government and he is, by default, nothing more than a functionary of the central government!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stop the runaway spending!

I am always astonished at some of the unjustified spending that goes on in the Utah legislature. Sometimes, it seems we are trying to beat California to the Bankruptcy Court! For example, spending under consideration by just one legislative committee -- the Business, Economic Development and Labor Appropriations Subcommittee -- for this year includes the following items:

• Box Elder Boys and Girls Club - $35,000
• Cedar City Air Service - $400,000
• Hexcel - $2,500,000
• Hale Center Theater - $2,000,000
• Hope Lodge - $1,600,000
• Liquor Stores - $1,500,000
• Moab Music Festival - $25,000
• Museum of Natural History - $600,000
• Ogden Rodeo Museum - $50,000
• Pioneer Museum - $150,000
• Rio Grande Depot Security - $55,000
• Sundance Film Festival - $1,000,000
• Syberjet Taxiway - $400,000
• Topaz Museum - $250,000
• Treehouse Museum - $750,000
• Utah Shakespeare Festival - $5,000,000
• Wasatch Cooperative Market - $10,000

Total - $16,415,000!

I have listed only a few of the dozens of blatant assaults on free-enterprise and on the principle of limited government that are on that committee's agenda. An awful lot of the items on the list should be paying their own way (eg, Utah Shakespeare Festival) -- not a drain on the taxpayer.

I know "they" say that they bring tax revenue to the community. But should government be in the business of enhancing tax revenue? Should government be in the business of supporting selected charities or businesses (eg American Cancer Society or SyberJet)?

I say, "No!"

It is my opinion that all revenue-producing entities, whether government agency (eg, DMV) or private business (eg, a film/theater/music festival) must pay their own way or die a quiet death. Nor, should government be picking winners and losers by subsidizing charities and businesses.

If legislators think that such budget items are worthy of investment, they can invest their own money -- not mine!

If we had smarter voters, federal, state and local politicians would never get away with this crap. Instead, the voters would limit government to its proper role -- protecting our God-given rights. And our taxes would be negligible -- just like they were before that landmark year for the progressive movement: 1913.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Paranoia and guns don't mix

Some of the paranoid-delusional folks of Utah persist in raising a fuss about guns in public whether on the city bus or on the college campus.

Roughly 10% of Utah adults have a Utah-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm. Because their guns are usually concealed, nobody knows what portion of that 10% actually carry on a regular basis. (It oughta be all of 'em! They are, after all, trained to be safe and certified by the FBI as good and decent people.)

Assuming all permit holders carry a concealed handgun all the time they are clothed, all of the hoplophobes in the State must surely be scared to death that a tenth of the adults they see on the bus or in the Walmart are armed. However, the hoplophobes rarely see any of the omnipresent guns and thus happily and ignorantly go about their otherwise paranoid day.

But, let just one of those responsible gun owners carry his/her gun on the outside (yes it's legal Utah and many other States) of his/her sweater instead of inside, the hoplophobes start getting those panic attacks and start reaching for Xanax, Clozaril and 911.

So, is the problem really the gun or is it the twisted perception of the gun by those prone to mental illness -- the people who, when seeing or thinking of guns typically imagine themselves committing evil?

The answer, it seems to me, is simple: Keep guns out of the hands of hoplophobes and other crazy people. Then, leave the rest of us alone!

Taxpayer-funded dreams

My little home town, Cedar City, Utah, has a multi-million dollar "aquatics center" it can't afford. The center was ostensibly built to provide a pool for our local high schools whose old pool was razed a couple of years ago. Oddly, none of the four pools in the new center meet the needs of high school competitive swimming!

The aquatics center grew from a dream for a city recreation complex including a gym, a game room, bowling, and billiards. The dream was scaled back to an overgrown hot tub when people realized how expensive dreams can be. Now, there are rumors that the dreamers are back. They reportedly want to start by adding a gym.

If anyone wants to add a gym or otherwise enlarge that already bloated aquatics center project, I [facetiously] demand the center also include an indoor 20-lane 100-yard rifle range, an indoor 20-lane 25-yard pistol range, an indoor skeet range (for when Obamao visits our little town), and an indoor trap range.

The complex must include staff instructors and a range officer on each range (I'm retiring from Atlas Air in December and will need a job), a pro shop with gun rentals, gun/ammo sales, and a reloading room. If we build places for golfers to play, why not for shooters?

Since it's my idea, I expect a lane to be perpetually reserved for my exclusive use on each range. Hunter education classes and shooting clubs, of course, should get scheduling priority on the rest of the lanes.

In other words, dreaming is good. I only ask that people fulfill their extravagant dreams with their own labors and money -- not mine!

Something like this would be a good start for Cedar City's new indoor shooting complex:

Friday, February 15, 2013

The governor's a wimp!

I am troubled by statements Utah's governor continues to make regarding the defense of Utah's gun rights.

Somehow, Governor Gary Herbert seems to think that only emotion drives those who want to protect their right of self-defense. Yet, he doesn't seem to believe that emotion drives those who exploit firearm abuses and crimes to infringe the right of self-defense.

It would seem to me that the governor's perception of the ongoing struggle for the Constitution in general and for gun rights in particular is clouded by the very emotion he condemns. That emotion seems to be fear -- fear that Utah will expect him to stand up against the Feds as a leader for Utah's rights.

Contrary to his apparently emotion-clouded perceptions of the hundred-year-old gun-rights struggle, it seems to me to be perfectly rational and non-emotional to tell the emotional gun-banners to honor the Constitution. Honoring the Constitution starts with those who have sworn an oath to the Constitution -- elected officials like Governor Herbert.

If the governor won't lead the fight against federal violations of the Constitution, I urge him to at least get behind our brave sheriffs and our courageous legislators who are finally pushing back against more than one hundred years of egregious abuses by the "progressive" central government.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The NRA vs the anti-gun lobby and anti-gun politicians

As in the past, at only 4 million members, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is virtually powerless to do anything about new gun control except to make compromises -- even though there is no room in the Second Amendment for compromise.
[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The Leftist, anti-liberty organizations, companies, and individuals on the NRA anti-gun list literally overwhelm the efforts of the relatively puny efforts of the NRA to protect the civil rights of an estimated 100 million (and growing by an estimated 4.5 million new gun owners per year) gun owners.

Understand this: The NRA isn't so widely hated because it's powerful -- it's not. It is hated because it is doing the best it can to fight against evil.

If every person who has participated in the current gun/ammo/components/accessory buying frenzy were a member of the NRA, we wouldn't be having this gun-control debate! Feinstein, et. al. wouldn't dare cross their gun-owning constituents by introducing any new gun control!

If universal background checks, gun registration, bans of certain classes of firearms and magazines, or any other new gun-control legislation is imposed on responsible Americans (Does anyone really believe that gun control reduces criminal behavior?), the blame must be placed squarely on the shoulders of gun owners who selfishly don't support the NRA.

If you are a gun owner, are not currently an NRA member, and don't call 888-678-7894 and ask for the $300 life membership and get your friends and relatives to do likewise, you are a part of the problem! Offer expires 28 Feb 2013. If you don't have $300 to get a good deal on a $1,000 life membership, join the NRA as an annual or 5-year member today and still get a nice discount!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Utah's governor and federal tyranny

As I've written many times before, there is a paranoid move to impose even more gun laws on responsible Americans. As in other free States, most of Utah's sheriffs have stepped up to say they will not enforce illegal federal gun laws. The Utah State Legislature is working on legislation that would interpose between the people of Utah and unconstitutional federal gun laws.

On the other hand, Utah's Governor Gary Herbert is on record as not being willing to protect Utahans from unconstitutional federal laws.

I didn't vote for Governor Herbert because I've always thought he's too wishy-washy on the Constitution and Liberty. This is only one of several examples.

Article 6 of the US Constitution says, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land...."

"...in Pursuance thereof..." means that only laws which are constitutional are valid.

There is nothing anywhere in the US Constitution that authorizes the federal government to regulate arms in any way. Lacking that authority in the Constitution, the central government is therefor prohibited from regulating arms. Being unauthorized usurpation of power, ll federal gun regulations are illegal and unenforceable without the cooperation of corrupt or ignorant judges and cops.

The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." In other words, if the Constitution doesn't specifically authorize the central government to do something (eg, regulate arms, Medicare, Social Security, ObamaCare, education, housing, food stamps, etc.) it must keep its hands off.

Governor Herbert took an oath to support and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That includes federal enemies in Congress, federal courts, the Whitehouse, and federal bureaucracies. Utah elected him to not only run Utah's government, but to interpose between the people of Utah and federal tyranny. Governor Herbert has chosen to not protect his constituents against ObamaCare, gun laws, or any other federal overreach. Herbert is a coward.

But, it's not all his fault -- Utah needs smarter voters.

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition. — Thomas Jefferson (Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank, 15 Feb 1791)

[T]he several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes,--delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force....but, where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy. — Thomas Jefferson, 10 Nov 1798

The states, then, being the parties to the constitutional compact, and in their sovereign capacity, it follows of necessity that there can be no tribunal, above their authority, to decide, in the last resort, whether the compact made by them be violated; and consequently, that, as the parties to it, they must themselves decide, in the last resort, such questions as may be of sufficient magnitude to require their interposition. — James Madison’s Report on The Virginia Resolutions (1799-1800)

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which...concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. — James Madison, Federalist #45

If the federal government has the exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers, warned the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions' authors (James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, respectively), it will continue to grow – regardless of elections, the separation of powers, and other much-touted limits on government power. — Thomas E. Woods