Sunday, February 28, 2010

Judge Andrew Napolitano for president!

Judge Andrew Napolitano for president! (Watch all five video clips.)

The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land
The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land

Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws
Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Utah Is Number One For Gun Rights!

This news kinda makes a guy feel proud. The anti-gun folks at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence have named Utah as the state with the best gun rights.

Gosh, Sarah Brady, thanks for the compliment! But, sad to say, we still have some gun-related civil rights we need restored. We hope to earn an even lower score than zero on next year's Brady Campaign report.

By the way, a fellow blogger has correlated crime rates with Brady Campaign scores. It seems the Brady Bunch has again inadvertently proven that more guns equals less crime. Again, it kinda makes a guy feel proud.

Repeal Virginia's One-Gun-A-Month Law!

Virginia (among others) imposes a silly one-gun-a-month limit on gun sales. This limit is supposed to reduce the number of guns that get into the black market and into criminal hands. It doesn't.

Here's a newsflash for advocates of this law: For decades, it has already been against federal law for anyone to transfer a firearm to irresponsible persons such as felons and the insane. Therefore, there is no need to restrict the gun-buying habits of law-abiding people!

Here's something else that anti-gun activists and the ignorant masses don't comprehend: The current one-gun-a-month restriction only affects legal firearm sales. Criminals (who, by definition, disobey the law) effectively have no purchase limits -- they can buy as many guns as they can afford. If they want more, they simply steal 'em!

No new legislation will ever stop criminals from being criminals -- only strict enforcement of the law including imprisonment and/or execution can do that.

Stop passing ever more laws that only infringe the rights of law-abiding people! Repeal them instead!

Recommended books:
George Tooley's Beginner's Book on how to Handle Firearms Safely
George Tooley's Beginner's Book on how to Handle Firearms Safely

Guns 101: A Beginners Guide to Buying and Owning Firearms
Guns 101: A Beginners Guide to Buying and Owning Firearms

Utah Must Enact SB.11 (Utah State-made Firearms Protection Act)

The States need to start drawing a line in the sand to defend the 9th and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution. Better yet, the States need to regain the ground they have ceded to the federal government over the past several generations.

SB.11 (Utah State-made Firearms Protection Act) gives Utah an opportunity to help lead the fight against the usurpation of power by the federal government. While SB.11 doesn't go far enough, in my opinion, in defending State and individual rights, it is a long-overdue and essential step in the right direction.

Reportedly, Utah's Governor Herbert thinks this bill is unconstitutional. Yet, Article I Section 10 of the US Constitution lists the specific things that states are prohibited from doing. SB.11 clearly doesn’t do anything prohibited by this section. On the other hand, the Constitution doesn’t grant Congress the power to regulate intrastate commerce (The States have certainly allowed Congress and federal bureaucrats to usurp power over a lot of that). Therefore, under the 10th Amendment, the Utah Legislature has sole authority to regulate commerce that occurs wholly within Utah. SB.11 simply identifies and defends that right for one small class of commodities (In fact, I told my legislators that the legislature should have expanded SB.11 to encompass all intrastate commerce.).

Failure to implement this bill is nothing but signalling resignation and submission to to an all-powerful central government that was never intended or described by the US Constitution.

Failure to enact SB.11 puts Utah on the wrong side in the fight against a bloated and intrusive central government.

Failure of the States to stand and fight for their 9th and 10th Amendment rights indicates acceptance of a role as mere functionaries of the central government rather than their true status as sovereign States.

Recommended book:
How the West Was Lost: The Theft and Usurpation of State's Property Rights
How the West Was Lost: The Theft and Usurpation of State's Property Rights

Monday, February 22, 2010

Orrin Hatch Doesn't Get It (As Usual)

At a town meeting at Utah's American Fork Junior High School on 17 February, Utah's Senator Orrin Hatch claimed, "If we fractionalize the Republican Party, we are going to see more liberals elected." He claimed that "extreme conservatives" are to blame for the 2008 defeat of Sen. Gordon Smith, a politically moderate but fiscally conservative Republican from Oregon. Hatch said if the Tea Party had not backed a constitutionalist candidate in that race, Smith wouldn't have lost to Democrat Jeff Merkley.

Senator Hatch, why should conservatives tolerate, let alone vote for, a moderate candidate? Why should anyone vote for a candidate simply because he or she is the pick of an out-of-touch party machine? And, just what is wrong with supporting a constitutionalist? Instead of moderates, shouldn't the GOP party machine be putting up constitutionalists in every political race? Shouldn't a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee be a constitutionalist? Shouldn't all politicians be constitutionalists?

As usual, Hatch has it backwards. Here is who is tearing the GOP apart:
• RINOs in the GOP who have abandoned the traditional Republican Party Platform
• GOP party leadership (including Senators Hatch and Bennett) who are out of touch with its constituency
• GOP legislators (including Senators Hatch and Bennett) who have abandoned the Constitution
• GOP politicians (such as 2008 Presidential Candidate John McCain) who campaign for the moderate and even liberal vote yet never campaign for the core GOP vote.

Senator Orrin Hatch is a part of the problem. (Perhaps the late Ted Kennedy was his best buddy for a bit too long.) Senator Robert Bennett is even more of a problem. They must return to the principles underlying the US Constitution and the traditional party platform or be removed from office.

I think the root of the problem is that Senator Hatch places his Party above principles. He even appears to place Party above his oath of office!

On taking office, every Senator takes the following 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.

Congressmen (as far as has been disclosed to the public) do not take an oath to any political ideology, political party, party leader, king, or president. They take an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Sadly, the senator's comments indicate that party trumps principles in his mind.

As a member of the US Armed Forces, also took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Unlike most politicians, I take that oath seriously. I therefore cannot vote for Utah's current senators again unless they solidly return to the Constitution.

When GOP leaders return to the traditional party platform and to the US Constitution (which they have sworn to defend), the GOP will sweep a vast majority of the elections. That is the true change we the people have always sought. Until then, Republicans do not deserve to be the majority party and Hatch and Bennett are helping to drag it down.

The so-called Tea Party movement is a big part of the grassroots of the GOP. You'd better pay attention, Senator Hatch!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Enemy of the US Constitution

I am deeply concerned by statements recently made by a police officer in East Palo Alto, California.

An East Palo Alto detective reportedly made flippant remarks regarding harassing and even killing another human being for simply exercising an enumerated right guaranteed by the US Constitution.
"Haha, we had one guy last week try to do it!" the detective said, referring to a Redwood City man who strolled into the Mi Pueblo Food Center in East Palo Alto on Jan. 27 with a gun on his hip. "He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat!"

After several more comments in the thread, the detective apparently joked that officers should shoot the advocates, who have made recent headlines throughout the Bay Area for sipping coffee at cafes and performing other everyday acts with visible weapons.

"Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night!" the detective wrote. "Should've pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement ... 2 weeks off!!!"

I remind the law enforcement community in general, and this East Palo Alto detective in particular, that all law enforcement officers swear an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. As a retired military officer, I took that same oath and still consider that oath binding even in my retirement.

It appears that at least one East Palo Alto police officer, like far too many members of the military and law enforcement community, is one of those enemies of the US Constitution.

This detective's comments are unforgivable. His comments bring discredit and shame upon the law enforcement community. They are symptomatic of a rogue cop who disdains the rights of the people he has sworn to defend.

For his egregious disregard of his oath of office, this detective must be terminated immediately.

Additionally, it appears there is an urgent need for very member of the East Palo Alto Police Department, up to and including the Chief, to receive immediate and comprehensive refresher training on the US Constitution, the rights it protects, and the obligation a law enforcement officer has to defend those rights.

Every active and former military service member and law enforcement officer should visit to renew their oath.

Recommended books:
The Proper Role of Law Enforcement
The Proper Role of Law Enforcement

You & the Police!
You & the Police!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Obama Staff Meeting

How can anyone be so disrespectful of his staff or of the office he holds or of a national heirloom such as the desk he uses as a mere footstool? Sadly, I'm not surprised that a man so poorly prepared for leadership would act this way.

The doofus can't even talk to a few 6th-graders without teleprompters! (← Ya gotta click on that link. It's a hoot!)

And, why do those teleprompters always have to be angled to keep his arrogant snoot so high in the air? Who voted for this guy and why?

Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country. — Samuel Adams (Boston Gazette, 1781)

The man with no known birth certificate has made this nation more of a global joke than even the last Democrat to hold the office of President.

Recommended book:
The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate
The Case Against Barack Obama: The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media's Favorite Candidate

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Utah Asserts Its Sovereignty!

Over the past several decades, Congress has abused the interstate commerce clause of the US Constitution to violate virtually all of the US Constitution (particularly the 10th Amendment) by imposing excessive regulatory and legislative burdens upon the people and on the States. Sadly, the States' governors and legislators have allowed this to go on -- until very recently.

More specifically, the federal government has abused the interstate commerce clause to infringe a Constitutionally enumerated right -- the right to keep and bear arms. The federal government even believes it can go so far as to impose federal control over intrastate gun manufacture, sale, and ownership! This is a direct infringement on Utahns' right to keep and bear arms, protected by the state and federal Constitutions:

• The US Constitution guarantees that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
• Utah's Constitution Article 1 Section 6 guarantees our right " keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes..."

The State legislature has wisely and courageously passed SB.11 (Utah Made Firearms). SB.11 simply and plainly states that there is no federal authority to meddle in the manufacture and sale of guns made in Utah and remaining in Utah. They will still be subject to State background checks, and if they move outside of Utah, they would become subject to federal gun laws. Two States have already passed nearly identical bills, and 22 other States are considering similar bills. I am proud that Utah is leading this effort to put the federal government back in it's place.

There is some concern among some that enforcing SB.11, and similar bills in other States, may result in expensive litigation between those States and the federal government. My response is, at what price are they willing to sell their liberty and rights? Regarding the price of our rights, this is what our founders said, in the Declaration of Independence, they would pay: "...with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." Our generation must do no less! As the States band together in the 10th Amendment cause, they will push the federal government back into it's place. That is worth any price. Utah must help lead that fight!

While I am disappointed that SB.11 does not go far enough to assert Utah's 10th-Amendment rights (and I have told my legislators that is my belief), this bill is a small step in the right direction. I urge Governor Herbert to sign this law immediately. The federal government must be stopped!

Recommended book:
From Luby's to the Legislature: One Woman's Fight Against Gun Control
From Luby's to the Legislature: One Woman's Fight Against Gun Control

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Safety "Experts" vs Gun Safety

I came across some safety brochures by LAW Publications today and thought they might be useful in my gun safety classes. However, upon closer examination, I found flawed information that casts doubt on the credibility of these publications. Here are some examples in only one brochure:

Myth: Their We Can Work Together To Stop Violence brochure says, on page 2, "Think especially hard about having a weapon of any kind in your home. A firearm is more than forty times as likely to kill or injure a family member than it is to prevent a crime from being committed."

Fact: Their "more than forty" number is a cherry-picked and flawed fact from a single flawed and cherry-picked study (Arthur L. Kellerman, Protection or Peril: An Analysis of Firearm-Related Deaths in the Home, New England Journal of Medicine, 1557-60 1986). That study's sample is so small it cannot be correlated to the nation as a whole with any meaninful significance. Of the 43 deaths reported in this study, 37 (86%) were suicides -- people who, lacking a gun, would likely have picked another means of exit. Other deaths involved criminal activity between family members (ie drug deals gone bad). Kellerman admits that his study did "not include cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by the use or display of a firearm." He also admitted his study did not look at situations in which intruders "purposely avoided a home known to be armed." This is a classic case of a “study” conducted to achieve a desired result -- make guns look evil.

Fact: In his critique of Kellerman's “study”, Dr. Gary Kleck (Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America, 1991), a Criminologist at Florida State University, notes that the estimation of gun ownership rates were “inaccurate”, and that the total population came from a non-random selection of only two cities. According to Kleck's analysis of FBI, CDC and other major violence studies and databases, the presence of a gun in the home is much more likely to prevent a crime without bloodshed than hurt a family member.

Fact: In another book, Targeting Guns (1997), Dr. Kleck, reported that guns prevent an estimated 2.5 million crimes a year -- that's 6,849 every day! Often the gun is never fired and no blood (including the criminal’s) is shed.

Fact: Every day, 550 rapes, 1,100 murders, and 5,200 other violent crimes are prevented just by showing a gun. In less than 0.9% of these instances is the gun ever actually fired. (Source: National Crime Victimization Survey, 2000, Bureau of Justice Statistics, BATF estimates on handgun supply).

Fact: You are far more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a gun. In episodes where a robbery victim was injured, the injury/defense rates were: Resisting with a gun, 6%; Did nothing at all, 25%; Resisted with a knife, 40%; Non-violent resistance, 45%. (Source: British Home Office – not a “pro-gun” organization by any means).

Fact: Of the 2,500,000 annual self-defense cases using guns, more than 7.7% (192,500) are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse. When a woman was armed with a gun or knife, only 3% of rape attacks are completed, compared to 32% when unarmed. The probability of serious injury from an attack is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for women resisting with a gun. (Sources: Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey and Smith, T: 2001National Gun Policy Survey of the National Opinion Research Center: Research Findings. National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, Dec 2001)

Myth: LAW Publication's We Can Work Together To Stop Violence brochure says, on page 2, "If you absolutely believe in owning a firearm of any kind, make sure that they are properly and safely stored away. They should be unloaded, trigger-locked, and put in a protective gun case with the ammunition stored separately."

Fact: A personal protection firearm is useless if unloaded, locked and separate from its ammunition. Perhaps that is LAW's intention -- to make it useless.

Fact: 15 states that passed "safe storage" laws saw 300 more murders, 3,860 more rapes, 24,650 more robberies, and over 25,000 more aggravated assaults in the first five years. On average, the annual costs borne by victims averaged over $2.6 billion as a result of lost productivity, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and property losses. "The problem is, you see no decrease in either juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides when such laws are enacted, but you do see an increase in crime rates." (Source: Prof. John Lott, Safe Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime, Yale School of Law, Mar 2000)

Fact: Only five American children under the age of 10 died of accidents involving handguns in 1997. Thus, the need for “safe storage” laws appears to be low. (Source: Prof. John Lott, Safe Storage Gun Laws: Accidental Deaths, Suicides, and Crime, Yale School of Law, Mar 2000).

Fact: In Merced, California, an intruder stabbed three children to death with a pitchfork. The oldest child had been trained by her father in firearms use, but could not save her siblings from the attacker because the gun was locked away to comply with the state's "safe storage" law. (Source: Sierra Times and various wire services, Sep 2000).

Fact: California has a trigger lock law and saw a 12% increase in fatal firearm accidents in 1994. Texas doesn't have one and experienced a 28% decrease in the same year. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics, 1995)

Fact: Trigger locks are perhaps the worst possible way to secure a firearm! A safe gun owner and user never allows anything inside the trigger guard or near the trigger unless his sights are on the target and he has made the decision to fire -- and then, only his finger goes in there. Even with a trigger lock properly installed most firearms can still be loaded and cocked. The simple act of removing a trigger lock from such a loaded and cocked firearm can bump the trigger with disastrous results. No one should ever suggest or recommend the use of a trigger lock! Ever! There are far safer ways to secure a gun such as free cable locks distributed by Project Child Safe.

Fact: Legitimate gun safety experts and shooting organizations, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), teach that all firearms must be kept out of the hands of unsupervised children and irresponsible persons such as criminals and addicts. That objective can be safely accomplished in many cases without locks. Although he kept them out of reach of small children, my father never locked up his rifles. His guns never hurt anyone because he taught his family proper respect and handling of firearms.

Fact: While seldom-used arms such as a hunting rifle should, indeed be stored separately from its ammunition, a personal-defense firearm must be readily usable if it is to be of any use at all. Most violent encounters are, by definition, vilolent -- they occur with little warning and are over in seconds. There is rarely time to fumble around in a darkened bedroom looking for keys and locks and ammo. That very insanity, imposed by the District of Columbia, resulted in last year's landmark "Heller" Supreme Court decision.

Myth: On page 4 of We Can Work Together To Stop Violence, LAW Publications suggests to, "Organize a community weapons exchange or drop off program...."

Fact: According to the federal government, gun "buy-backs" have "no effect" on crime or gun accidents. (Source: Preventing Crime: What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising, National Institute of Justice, July 1998)

Fact: "Buy-backs" remove no more than 2% of the firearms within a community. The firearms that are removed do not resemble guns used in crimes. "There has never been any effect on crime results seen". (Source: Garen Wintemute, Violence Prevention Research Program, University of California, Davis, 1997)

Fact: Up to 62% of people trading in a firearm still have another at home, and 27% said they would or might buy another within a year. (Source: Jon Vernick, John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, Sacramento and St. Louis studies)

Fact: More than 50% of the weapons bought via a gun "buy-back" program were over 15 years old. Most guns turned in are simply inoperative junk. On the other hand, almost half of firearms seized from juveniles are less than three years old -- new, working guns that are very unlikely to be turned in on one of those so-called "buy-back" programs. (Source: District of Columbia buyback program).

Fact: Forensic testing on guns that are turned in have found some to be crime guns and, because these "buy-back" programs usually trade a gift card or a toaster for guns with no questions asked, the person who committed the crime with that gun is never caught. That's a mighty fine crime prevention plan, eh?

Fact: "They [gun "buy-backs"] do very little good. Guns arriving at buy backs are simply not the same guns that would otherwise have been used in crime. If you look at the people who are turning in firearms, they are consistently the least crime-prone [ed: least likely to commit crimes]: older people and women." (Source: David Kennedy, Senior Researcher, Harvard University Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice, in an appearance on Fox News, 22 Nov 2000)

Fact: According to a variety of sources, the actual effect of gun "buy-back" programs is to: Disarm future crime victims, creating new social costs; Give criminals an easy way to dispose of evidence; Cause guns to be stolen and sold to the police, creating more crime; Encourage people who are most vulnerable yet unlikely to commit crimes (elderly, women, etc.) to sell their guns; Encourage people to buy cheap guns or worthless and sell them to the government for a profit; Keep stolen guns from being returned to their rightful owners.

Myth: On page 4 of We Can Work Together To Stop Violence: "Youth organizations and schools need your support in keeping guns an dother harmful weapons out of the lives of children and teens...."

Fact: The shooting sports can be a wholesome and perfectly safe activity for youth and their families. Several youth organizations (4-H, Boy Scouts, countless schools, etc.) conduct shooting sports activities wherein participants learn safety, leadership, personal responsibility, equipment maintenance skills, etiquite, marksmanship, and physical and mental discipline unmatched in nearly any other sport.

Fact: The shooting sports are among the safest. Most other popular sports for children and teens result in a higher rate of hospitalizing injuries than do the shooting sports. (Source: American Sports Data, Inc.)

Fact: Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even less delinquent than non-owners of guns. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ-143454, Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse, Aug 1995)

Fact: Instead of turning "guns and other harmful weapons" (ie archery equipment) into forbidden fruit, why not advocate youth programs that are effective in teaching the responsible use of these technologies. It is my opinion that firearm training is as important for the safety of our youth as is sex education. Both programs should be responsibly taught in our schools.

Fact: The brochure does have some good information. I commend their recommendation, on page 2, to get firearm safety training from a certified instructor and to ensure that children know "what to do to if they should come in contact with a firearm or other dangerous weapon..." Training is the key to safety -- not locks and bans.

Recommended book (free download):

Gun Facts