Category Archives: Life is Not a Bumper Sticker

Crazy Idea

arottenchestnutThis goes along with the bumpersticker politics of the, as Dear Leader says, “false choice” between schools and bombs.  But this time, it’s schools and prisons.

But the big question here I want to ask, and Morgan has asked it as well, what do they mean by “fully funded”?  What percentage of funded are they now?  What dollar amount would make them “fully funded”?  They don’t have a concrete answer.  It’s pretty much always “more”.

Not to mention the fact that … if you did this, you might have your schools overrun by criminals.  Just a thought.

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Propaganda Devoid of Fact


Sombody’s been drinking OBAMAKOOLAID
– philmon

The discussion that spawned my last post was a thread responding to this e-poster (right).

Hard to imagine how a single Tea Party representative could “deregulate the whole state”.  But apparently they want you to believe that, thanks to the Tea Party, no laws were broken and the company gets off scott free.

I’d also like to know just what a “GOP Company” is.

And while I’m sure FEMA is distributing water, so are those eeeevil capatilists Coca-Cola, Pepsi, BB&T Bank in North Carolina, and some 7-Eleven stores.  This attitude that “capitalists” don’t care and we “need” government to save us every time something happens is  … sadly, dominant.  And demonstrably false.  But it’s the meme put out by statists, because statists want to be in charge, get all the credit, and basically tell everyone how they will run their lives.

There’s a market for this worldview as well.  Or we wouldn’t have the administration we have now.

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But, Corporations!

TeddyRooseveltAgain, on one of those political e-posters on Facebook (right)

The idea behind this quote sounds great.  I get it.  But things like this are seldom as simple as they sound.

As an example, here at the University back in the late 1990’s, the registrar’s office decided that as a recruiting tool, it would offer an email address to every student. the idea, and it’s not a bad one. It sounds simple, but it’s not really that simple.

Simple, right?

What do you mean by “student”?

Turns out the answer to that question wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Everybody THOUGHT they knew what “student” meant and that it would be super easy to implement. But when people that other people thought were “students” weren’t getting their email addresses … we had to dig deeper. When do you start being a student? Are you a student during the summer between spring and fall semester if you are not taking summer classes? Are you a student during the intersessions? How do we know you’re really coming back in the fall? Things like that. Different people had different answers, and all of them thought THEY were right. (And then there’s the question … does the information we need once we made a decision exist in the data?)

Here, everybody assumes that a corporation is a big behemouth money-making capitalistic monster that exists solely to suck the life out of … well, you know how they are portrayed in the movies.

But there are all kinds of corporations, really. Corporations really amount to a tax status and limits liability with respect to losses for a particular organization. Lots and lots of corporations are not-for-profit and/or are set up specifically for promoting certain causes.

I suspect it’s that last category that is really against disallowing corporate contributions to campaigns (though the big commercial ones probably like to keep their options open as well). And most of them act as a collecting point for smaller contributions which they then use to contribute – helping the average citizen “put your money where your mouth is”, so to speak. Or they’ll actually go out and solicit money from a big commercial corporation. So which corporations will be allowed, and which wouldn’t?

People would just find ways around it anyway — like set up NPO’s for certain causes, fund the NPO’s (and perhaps write off the “contributions”) and then the NPO would contribute. For every well-meaning rule out there, there are loopholes, and if none exist, they will develop.

But … back to the real problem … the corrupting influence of large amounts of money, or streams of revenue to be siphoned from) … and how to minimize their impact on the electoral process (and wouldn’t it be nice if we could limit their impact on the lobbying/legislative process as well?)

What to do?

We COULD limit the contribution TO individuals. No commercial corporations, no NPO’s. Just one name, one contribution to one candidate per race, and no contributions to candidtates that do not represent your district. You must be a citizen to contribute. And we’ll limit it to $100*(GDP/”2013 GDP”) per one and only one real bona-fide human being, per campaign as a way to tie it loosely to the value of a buck in the future.

I could get behind something like that. But then, of course, how do you prove it or keep track of it? It’d be as verifiable as voter rolls or websites that accept credit cards from your maid in Dubai. And if you try to limit it to citizens you’ll likely be accused of being a racist anyway.

Citizens United did not overturn the Tillman Act (signed by TR 1907) which is what I suspect this e-poster is subtly criticizing. CU was not about contributing directly to campaigns, but was rather centered on what kinds of films or ads corporations could make and release near elections as limited by McCain Feingold. Basically, what happened is CU challenged “Fahrenheit 9/11” as a giant political ad to defeat Bush in the 2004 election cycle, and the court ruled that that film was not political speech because it was a “commercial” film (despite the fact that Moore specifically stated that’s why he made it). So Citizens United started cranking out politically motivated films and releasing them commercially, and they got challenged on a Hillary film they made for 2008.

The court decided to be consistent. Whether it was good or bad in the first place is up for debate.

Ultimately, the question of free speech is dicier in these instances than critics would like us to believe. If a company wants to make a movie, and that movie is in any way supportive or critcal of a movement or a party or a candidate … limiting the legality of doing that does, in fact, limit freedom of expression. A bit less so if they are only limited from airing them within 30 or 60 days of an election, though I can see people getting into what constitutes support or criticism. I think the courts have stuck to not mentioning a candidate by name in the past. You have to draw a line somewhere. But Farenheit 9/11 did mention a candidate by name and the court let it slide. The Hillary movie got locked up in court until after the election. You could argue that it’s corporate speech, but your average citizen doesn’t have the resources to make and release commercial movies, and it’s hard to argue that movies and ads aren’t expresssion.

In the end, the best protection from the corrupting influence of money is an educated public … and by educated I don’t mean just passing K-12 … I mean knowing the founding principles and the logic behind them and keeping abreast of what’s going on in the country and the world and applying them. I think that’s about the best we can do.

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I’ve only seen it once, but I recognize a cut and paste talking points memo when I see one.  This one was in the comments section of a facebook post.  And said post ironically was about how most of us really don’t want to hurt each other and how that is a good thing.  But it devolved from there, and an Obama-bot posted


I didn’t spend THAT much time on it, but … did a quick-fisk.  They’re not all bad.  Most of them are pretty mundane.  “GREAT” … not so much.  So here they are.  My comments in italics.

1. Passed Health Care Reform:

A monster of an expensive, massively intrusive trojan horse regulatory nightmare that encourages people not to hire or hire full-time, and that over 50% of the people don’t want.

2. Passed the Stimulus:

Spent yet more money that we don’t have and got nothing in return but a big bill for our children and grandchildren

3. Passed Wall Street Reform:

How reformed is Wall Street really?

4. Ended the War in Iraq:

Because it wouldn’t have ended without him.

5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan

Again, all part of the plan before he got there.

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden

Using intelligence he campaigned against.

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry:

Ford did fine without bailout money.  What he did was bail out UAW’s unaffordable benefits plans.

8. Recapitalized Banks:

Bailed them out.

9. Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:


10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi

Um … I think the Libyans had a bit more to do with that than we’re giving them credit for here

11. Told Mubarak to Go:

And look what that got us.

12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies:

But claimed credit for the eventual fruit of the two actual cases of waterboarding.

13. Improved America’s Image Abroad:

Laughable!  The whole world is laughing at us.

14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending:

And this is good why?

15. Created Race to the Top: schoolspending

More money ostensibly thrown at education that may be well-meaning, but will, in the end, likely have the same kind of result that tripling what we spend on each student since 1970 has.  Which is, pretty much nothing.  The only thing that’s racing to the top is the amount of money we’re spending.

16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards:

Unfunded demands on the economy, raising costs for consumers

17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis:

Spend huge sums of money we don’t have expanding government more

18. Passed Mini Stimuli:

So he gets credit for doing the same stupid thing twice.  Nice.

19. Began Asia “Pivot”

What the hell does that even mean?

(update:  apparently it means we’re “pressuring China” on civil rights.  Because 1) “Pivot” sounds cooler, and this Lakoffian administration certainly couldn’t just come out and say what it means on anything, like who we’re pressuring and on what … and 2) of course NO president has ever pressured China on civil rights before. EVAH!!!!)

20. Increased Support for Veterans:

Golf clap for whatever this might be referring to.

21. Tightened Sanctions on Iran

Which are having what effect?

22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants:

Had a meeting to plan meetings to talk about a series of meetings to begin …

23. Passed Credit Card Reforms:

We keep using that word “passed” … as if the President “passes” anything.  Congress “passes” things.

24. Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws:

Golf clap.  Not that the federal government should have anything to say about compensation outside of what it pays its own employees.

25. Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court:

Which is awesome, if you’re a liberal bent on Fundamental Transformation.  Yes, honey, I love you so much that I want to change you into someone fundamentally different that who you are.

26. Improved Food Safety System:

Golf clap.  I know, people were dropping like flies from our unsafe “food system”

27. Achieved New START Treaty

Whose terms were in dispute before the ink dried.  Basically, it says if Russia doesn’t like how much anti-nuclear missile defense we develop, it reserves the right to pull out.  Quite ambiguous, arbitrary — not much of a treaty.

28. Expanded National Service:

More government programs to spend money on.  Government-funded community organizing.

29. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection:

I like those things.  But in politics, and especially with this guy (he’s turned it up to 11) — things aren’t always what they say they are.  Hopefully it’s not too draconian on property rights.  If we’re talking about harmful amounts of pollution, everybody’s for a clean environment.

30. Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco:

Truly a great accomplishment.  I mean, wow.  </sarcasm>

31. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders

Sounds great.  What does it mean?  And how much did THIS cost us?

32. Passed Fair Sentencing Act:

Reduced penalties for crack possession.  Ok, that’s fine.

33. Trimmed and Reoriented Missile Defense:

Reoriented?  That could mean lots of things.

34. Began Post-Post-9/11 Military Builddown:

I assume this means post Iraq/Afghanistan war build down.  Well good job, then.

35. Let Space Shuttle Die and Killed Planned Moon Mission:

Changed the once great NASA to MASA … Muslim Appreciation Social Administration

36. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology:

And lost our shirts in the process, gaining us … nothing.

37. Crafting Next-Generation School Tests

Seriously? Crafted? Personally?  My my, this man is talented.

38. Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges:

Because profit is bad, and there’s no way the market could take care of this dangerous scourge.

39. Improved School Nutrition:

Golf clap.

40. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections

All crimes are essentially hate crimes.  Crimes are actions. The actions are punishable. Motives should not be punishable.

41. Avoided Scandal:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Fast & Furious, Bengazi, IRS, Journalist wire-tapping, Solyndra, New Black Panther voter-intimidation dismissal, Pigford  ….

42. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill:

Well that is part of the job of the exective branch, good for him for faithfully executing this as he swore to do.

43. Created

Really, we are definitely scrounging for “Great Accomplishments” here, aren’t we?

44. Pushed Broadband Coverage:

Which government has no business pushing. 

45. Expanded Health Coverage for Children.

Ah, that’s that Affordable Health Care trojan horse again

46. Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide

Signed on to the religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming, despite the mounting evidence that it is overblown at best, and even the IPCC recognizes there’s not much would be able to do to even slow it significantly without slashing the world’s standard of living by 80% – and it’s 50 times more expensive to TRY to stop it than it would be to adjust to and deal with any warming.

47. Expanded Stem Cell Research

Meaning providing government FUNDING for EMBRYONIC stem cell research, I assume.  Meaning the government will fund research using babies killed by abortion.

48. Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers:

Another racially determined government cash cow for cronies to abuse.  See “Pigford Scandal”

49. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence:

Really?  They somehow couldn’t form the words themselves?   “Two words.  First word.  Sounds like ‘eclair’ …. “

50. Killed the F-22:

That might be a good thing.  It did seem a bit Industrial Military Complexy.  On the other hand, if development were finished on it under Obama, it would likely show up here as a “Great Accomplishment”.  Cause that’s how they roll.

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Agree to Disagree!!!!

An “un-battle” cry. A true sign of the “open” progressive mind. I mean, how reasonable! How tolerant!

I know I keep going to the well of anectotes (one might even say “Sea of Knowledge”) that is The Phantom Tollbooth. Milo wanted to go bring back the princesses Rhyme and Reason from The Castle in the Air – but he had a problem. He needed the permission of the two kings of The Lands Beyond, brothers King Azaz and the Mathemagician – always fighting over whether words or numbers were more important, and since long ago one refused to agree with anything the other said.

Milo found a way around it.

“Has Azaz agreed to it?” the Mathemagician inquired.

“Yes, sir,” the dog assured him.

“THEN I DON’T,” he thundered again, “for since they’ve been banished, we’ve never agreed on anything —and we never will.” He emphasized his last remark with a dark and ominous look.

“Never?” asked Milo, with the slightest touch of disbelief in his voice.

“NEVER!” he repeated. “And if you can prove otherwise, you have my permission to go.”

“Well,” said Milo, who had thought about this problem very carefully ever since leaving Dictionopolis.

“Then with whatever Azaz agrees, you disagree.”

“Correct,” said the Mathemagician with a tolerant smile.

“And with whatever Azaz disagrees, you agree.”

“Also correct,” yawned the Mathemagician, nonchalantly cleaning his fingernails with the point of his staff.

“Then each of you agrees that he will disagree with whatever each of you agrees with,” said Milo triumphantly; “and if you both disagree with the same thing, then aren’t you really in agreement?”

“I’VE BEEN TRICKED!” cried the Mathemagician helplessly, for no matter how he figured, it still came out just that way.

Now, as Bill Cosby once said, I told you that story to tell you this one.

There’s a young man in our extended family who if fairly apolitical, which means he is easily swayed by progressive “arguments” … er … sleight of word.

He would get in arguments with my #2 son, who is definitely on the Constitutional Conservative side of the fence, and as soon as Mr. Apolitical ran out of logic to back up the position he’d been fed by the proggies that abound (which usually took exactly one pointed question) … he’d shut down the entire discussion by tersely chanting “Agree to disagree! Agree to disagree!”

And I found myself in a similar situation last week when a couple of times a guest started pushing the progressive point of view, and I … stopped an echo … by asking a pointed question or pointing out some facts that ran contrary to the narrative … and I got the same thing.

“Well, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree.”

Sounds all noble tolerant and stuff … but intellectually it makes zero sense. It’s almost like saying, “what difference does it make”?

Well, of course, the truth makes a great deal of difference – and we weren’t talking about what flavor ice cream is better or how we like our steaks.

We were talking about war, terrorism, racism, domestic spying on random citizens, and trust in government officials. Agree to disagree? How ’bout we get to the bottom of it, because it does make a difference. “Agree to disagree” means you think it doesn’t.

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Ah, yes.  Tragedy?  Well, never let a crisis go to waste, as Saul Alinsky taught ’em.

Saw this on facebook today….

taxespayMmmmm.  Yes.  Ok, show of hands of people who don’t think taxes should pay for police and firefighters and EMT’s?

Out of 10,000 people in the crowd here … oh, I think I see three.  The guy 50 yards to the right of Ron Paul, and a couple of anarchists in dreads passing a phattie back and forth.

So what is the implication here?  Since you’ve agreed to farm out some of our essential security services to local government, whenever we want to expand the size and scope of government and rationalize why more of other people’s money really isn’t theirs because they “didn’t build that” … just … shut up?

Yup, I think that’s pretty much what they’re saying.

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10% Facts, 90% Snark

I’ve long thought that part of our problem as conservatives is that we’re generally serious people when it comes to making important decisions in life — and that when we argue we actually make arguments.   This means the person making the argument has to actually take the time to construct one, and the person listening has to listen to and digest an often complex and more often than not boring rhetorical structure that takes more brain power than emotional reaction.

In other words, I find that most liberal arguments are about 10% fact and 90% snark.  And snark is cool.  Snark is fun.  Snark puts down the other guy, which, by Einstein’s theory of relativity, puts “up” the snarker.  Not only is it easier to be a liberal, it’s more fun – and you can always blame the consequences on someone else.

So this link was given specifically to me and my friend Whitehawk via facebook for us to respond to….

Phil, Gavin-we need this why?

The United States is making a gigantic investment in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, billed by its advocates as the next — by their count the fifth — generatio…n of air-to-air and air-to-ground combat aircraft. Claimed to be near invisible to radar and able to dominate any future battlefield, the F-…

The “challenge” was thrown down because he perceives I am against any cuts in defense spending, ever (I point out to him that this is an erroneous assumption).  He gets to point to cost overruns and development problems during the R&D phase of a new weapon and snark, “We need this, why?”

And I have to talk about pros and cons.  Which is much less fun to read or to repeat.  But here it is:

If you look carefully back on everything I’ve said in the past about cutting defense spending, you’ll not find one place where I said I was unilaterally against it, especially where waste and fraud are concerned.

What I am against is cutting defense spending just because it’s defense spending and it’s n% of the budget or the GDP or that it’s more than the GDP of some country or that it’s designed [duh] to kill. What I have said is at least it is one of the enumerated powers of the Federal Government, and it isn’t where I would look first. But show me waste and fraud, and I’ll be right there with you voting for the axe.

Now … do we need this plane?

From what I’ve read, it would be a plane that would be nice to have, except for the fact that it doesn’t exist. This article makes it sound like it is never going to exist, and it may be right, I don’t know.

A half-billion per plane indeed sounds shockingly ludicrous if that is in fact what they’ll end up costing — which the article indicates could well be the case (right now they’re figuring the $161 million will likely triple, in part because it thinks we won’t buy as many of them which will up the R&D cost per plane). I would hate to watch as one of them malfunctions and crashes, or gets shot down … seeing a half billion literally go up in smoke.

On the other hand, I’d like to see it compared (inflation-adjusted) to the R&D phases of the F-16’s and F-22’s they are being built to replace as well as the handy B-2 “Stealth” — I imagine they were fraught with cost overruns and problems as well and there were probably articles written about what a waste of money they were and that they’d never live up to expectations.

There is some irony in watching people who crow about all of the tangential technological advances that have come out of R&D that happened to be Government funded (both in military and space programs) as an argument to why Government spending is superior to private-sector spending suddenly get all wobbly-kneed when it comes to defense. Wasn’t it Paul Krugman who in the past couple of years suggested with a straight face that preparing for a Mars Invasion that everybody knows isn’t coming would produce a massive economic boom? What if these fighters could fight off Martians? Sounds like they’d be better able to do it than F-22’s, at least, and what difference does it make anyway since Paul’s premise included the knowledge that the Martians would never come and it was the spending that mattered?

That all being said, since I disagree vehemently with Mr. Krugman on stimulus spending … can we get by with F-22’s for now — and by that I mean, could we buy 2,500 new f-22’s to replace the old planes for a lot less? Yeah, I think that should be looked at. But I don’t have all of the arguments pro and con available to me immediately to make an informed decision on it this morning.

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Your Obligatory CT Shooting Post

Like the rest of the US (well, like the rest of normal, sane people, that is), I was greatly saddened by the attack on a school in Sandy Hook, CT today. A gunman shot his own mother, then drove to the school in her car and used two handguns to mow down 24 more people, most of them children. The total death toll, including the shooter (who committed suicide), now stands at 28. (Is it wrong for me to console myself with the knowledge that at least this monster is no longer among us?)

For much of the day, I’ve been avoiding the story because stories like this are very upsetting to me. (I have a bad habit of visualizing what’s happened, and the efforts to save the lives of the wounded.) Obviously this is going to be an extremely difficult and painful Christmas for their familes, coming as it does only two weeks prior to the holiday season. The families will be working through this and dealing with their grief for years to come…and it’s been said that you never really get over the death of your child, even those children who’ve grown to adulthood. I hope never to find out whether that is true.

Of course, I’ve asked myself the same two questions everyone else has today:

1) Why did this happen?
2) Would more gun laws have prevented this act of terrorism?

(A side note: I refuse to refer to deliberate acts of wanton human violence as “tragedies.” A tragedy is an accident, or a misfortune that follows as a result of acts of God. A death in a hurricane storm surge is a tragedy. A plane wreck due to mechanical malfunction or weather is a tragedy. A propane tank exploding and killing the propane guy is a tragedy. Etc. An act of murder is not.)

As to point number one, nobody really knows. At this writing, the police are still investigating and attempting to determine possible motives for the shooter. It goes without saying that he had serious mental health problems, or as I would prefer to say, was just plain evil. It’s against my religion to go around calling people that word since I’ve been taught since childhood that we’re all sinners…but I think you know what I mean. Normal, sane, non-evil people don’t shoot innocent people, especially a classroom full of little kids trying to get an education.

As to point number two, I’m disgusted – disappointed but not surprised, that is – that the bodies of the children in the morgue weren’t even cold yet, when already the usual suspects began calling for more gun control:

Four editorials…from just one media source….all of them pushing the usual nonsense: That more laws would have prevented this mess. To wit:

“How many more deaths and mass shootings will it take for Washington to begin to lead the country in a deeper conversation about sensible gun controls? What will it take for our politicians to take firm and principled positions on gun policies and stand up to the gun lobby in this country? Surely this is a moment that calls all of us to reckoning. “

Uh huh. Well, we’re all familiar by now with Rahm Emmanuel’s famous maxim: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” We’re hearing the usual calls for America to stand up to the gun lobby, enact meaningful, common sense, responsible, reasonable gun control….whatever that means.

I wish the Left could get it through their collective heads that the guns are already here, and that more laws aren’t going to change that. All you really need to do is take a look back at Prohibition, if you want an example of the observation that even the good guys don’t necessarily give up what they consider to be an acceptable activity just because some law says they should. (Isn’t this a common argument deployed as part of the effort to decriminalize cannabis? Why would it be different for guns?)

Furthermore, most proposed gun control legislation that I’ve heard about – state or federal – simply attempts to restrict sales in some way. Most of it doesn’t attempt to deal with the arms that are already “out there” and would be grandfathered-in under any new laws. All the laws – even if properly enforced – usually attempt to do is to stop them from changing hands…or place additional restrictions on manufacturing or importation of firearms. ( A few laws do attempt to deal with possession of existing weapons…usually proposed by the same people who swear up and down that we can’t possibly find and round-up all the illegal aliens.)

One law in particular that I’m hearing mentioned a lot right now is the federal assault weapons ban. This Clinton-era legislation was enacted in 1994 and expired in 2004. The ban prohibited or restricted a number of common enhancements found on modern AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles, such as large capacity (10+ rounds) magazines, thumbhole stocks, pistol grips, flash hiders, and other so-called “evil features.” The ignorant among us still haven’t figured out that (with the possible exception of the high-cap mags), all of these enhancements are purely cosmetic and do absolutely nothing to increase the ballistic performance of such rifles, or make them “deadlier” in any way. All they did was reduce the tendency of these rifles to look “scary” or “military-style.” Even the ban on high-cap magazines really didn’t do anything, since there was nothing prohibiting a malicious person from just carrying around a bunch of pre-loaded 10-round mags, and as any shooter can tell you, it is possible to change mags in just a couple of seconds.

The tragedy (there’s that word again) is that violent crime actually went UP during the 10 years following enactment of the 1994 ban. Furthermore, according to FBI crime statistics, fewer than 2% of all gun-related crimes (before or since) were committed with weapons that would have been affected by the legislation.

It did, however, cause a great deal of hassle for legitimate, law-abiding owners of such rifles, and so the legislation is also frequently credited with the Democratic Party getting its clock cleaned in Congress in November of that year.

Of course, the sunset of the assault weapons ban hasn’t resulted in an increase in shootings by so-called assault weapons: in fact, just the opposite. Thanks to the work of reknown criminologist John Lott writing in a 2005 article, we now know that crime has actually decreased since then (

Well, more than nine months have passed and the first crime numbers are in. Last week, the FBI announced that the number of murders nationwide fell by 3.6% last year, the first drop since 1999. The trend was consistent; murders kept on declining after the assault weapons ban ended.

Even more interesting, the seven states that have their own assault weapons bans saw a smaller drop in murders than the 43 states without such laws, suggesting that doing away with the ban actually reduced crime. (States with bans averaged a 2.4% decline in murders; in three states with bans, the number of murders rose. States without bans saw murders fall by more than 4%.)

And for those of you who’re convinced Fox News is “biased” and “tells lies,” it’s a NFM (non-Fox media) source which published Lott’s article.

Here in California, our very own State Sen Leland Yee is up to his old tricks again:

Connecticut School Massacre Renews Call For California ‘Bullet Button’ Ban

Yee, for those of you not familiar with him, is a senator from San Francisco (big surprise, I know) who earlier this year wrote a piece of ill-fated legislation known as the “bullet button ban.” SB249’s intended purpose was to put teeth into California’s existing assault weapons ban by banning the so-called “bullet button,” which is a small device which allows centerfire rifle magazines to be changed quickly with the use of a tool. Such as the tip of a bullet. (Modeled after the federal law of the same name, the existing California law contains most of the same features, as its federal predecessor, but unfortunately no sunset was placed on California’s legislation. It remains one of only a handful of states in the Union which still prohibit three or more “evil features” described above.) Yee saw a report on a local TV station which showed AR15 owners safely changing magazines at a gun range, with the use of the bullet button, which allows centerfire rifles in California to legally use detachable magazines. Yee decided this was an outrage and immediately set to work attempting to remedy the “problem.”

Fortunately, after a public outcry, Yee’s legislation died in an Appropriations committee in the CA state legislature, after the committee members were informed that banning AR15’s and other common semi-autos would have mandated a “buy back,” which would have cost the state billions that it doesn’t have. Yee, undeterred, promised to reintroduce his ill-conceived bill the following session. But he got a head start on this today:

”“In a year with so many appalling acts of gun violence, this is the most shocking of such tragedies. While we do not have all the details behind this senseless and unconscionable massacre, it is a sad and horrific reminder of what is possible when guns get into the wrong hands. We must limit access to weapons that can result in such catastrophe and mass murder,” said State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo).

Yee said he anticipated reintroducing a bill in January that would prohibit assault weapons from having devices known as “bullet buttons” and “mag magnets,” which allow semi-automatic weapons to be easily reloaded with multiple rounds of ammunition.”

Anyway, what’s really interesting is that the types of weapons that would be affected by a revived federal assault weapons ban, existing California law, or Yee’s proposed bill wouldn’t have prevented what happened today in CT, even if you buy into his phony statistics and absurd rhetoric….because a rifle wasn’t used in the CT shooting today.

”At least three guns were found — a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols, inside the school, and a .223-caliber rifle in the back of a car, authorities said.

So that means this entire gun-grabbing conversation has been about…..NOTHING!

As for me? When I heard this horrible story on the news today, my first thought was simply, “What if someone else on the scene had been armed?”

Have you ever noticed that none of these horrible acts ever seem to take place at…..a gun store? A gun show? A gun range? A shooting tournament? Really, anyplace else where people are likely to be armed? When was the last time you read about someone shooting up one of these places and taking dozens of innocent lives?

No. It’s ALWAYS a “gun free zone:” a school, a mall, a church, a movie theater, a political rally. Places were people not only likely aren’t armed, but where there are usually active policies in place to disarm the law-abiding, including registered holders of concealed-carry permits. Does anyone else find this odd – there are few (if any) malicious shootings in the places where weapons are lying around (sometimes even loaded weapons)….but many in places where there are policies prohibiting the carrying of weapons?

My theory is simple – the monsters and lunatics who perpetrate these acts are crazy, sure…but only to a point. They intend to die by their own hand (or be captured alive, as in Jared Loughner’s case) and then only after taking a fair number of innocent bystanders with them….not be stopped cold by a concerned citizen who levels a legally-carried weapon at the shooter, in effect saying, “Your rampage ends here.” BOOM. For that matter, I’ve noticed the media isn’t interested in reporting that 40 states now have some form of legal concealed carry, and blood not only isn’t flowing in the streets, but violent crime has stayed the same or actually dropped in all of them. They also do not report that concealed carry actually saves lives….but fortunately the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action steps in to fill the gap in coverage (

So what’s the answer? I don’t know. Arm the teachers, perhaps? If a safe and responsible way could be found to arm our schools, I’d be in favor of it.

What I can tell you for sure, though: I’m pretty sick and tired of domestic terrorism (and that’s really what this is) being used as a pretext to further crack down on the rights our forefathers fought and bled and died to give us. Today is a time to mourn the dead and pray for the living, not engage in cheap political opportunism.

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