There's a few more just as good over at the Feces Flinging Monkey.
I may have to blogroll him. That's good stuff.
They go by names that suggest power and danger — the "Streetsweeper," the TEC-9, the MAK90, the AK-47.As opposed to, say, the Marlin 336, the Mossberg 500, the Remington 7400, the Browning BAR, the ... but you get the idea. It's not the weapon, it's the human being behind the trigger.
And that's exactly what these military-style assault weapons bring. The power to kill indiscriminately.
Now there is fear here that the bullet-spraying semi-automatic weapons are heading back to American streets.This assumes that they A) were on the "street" in any numbers to begin with, and B) the law had anything to do with them leaving. Neither of which assumption can be proven given the available data.
The gun debate in the United States has moved back to the forefront as a 1994 ban on assault weapons lurches toward an expiry date and it promises to become a pivotal issue in the next presidential election.Politics. Ain't it a bitch?
U.S. President George W. Bush surprised many when he distanced himself from the powerful National Rifle Association during the 2000 campaign, advocating an extension of the assault-weapon ban that ends in September, 2004.
But there are signs here that Bush now appears to want to have it both ways, tacitly supporting the extension to court suburban support in key states, while doing nothing overtly to stop a move that could see Congress simply avoid a vote on the extension and let it die.
That would be a powerful nod-and-wink to the firearms lobby, which, by some accounts, poured $1.6 million into the 2000 Bush campaign.Wow. $1.6 mill? Out of a total of $193,088,650 according to OpenSecrets.org. Boy, I bet they really noticed that slightly less than 1%. And now he rewards them by saying he'd support extension of the ban. What a backstabber, eh?
"Does George W. Bush want to be known as the pro-assault weapon president?" said Joe Sudbay, the public policy director of the Washington-based Violence Policy Center.No, he wants to be known as Mr. President. He's a politician.
"He may be trying to have it both ways now, but it will be pretty clear by Sept. 13, 2004. He either supports the extension or he doesn't ... he either extends it or he doesn't."Whoa. Thanks for that stunning piece of logic.
The 1994 law made it illegal to import, manufacture, transfer or possess 19 types of semi-automatic weapons, although the law was "grandfathered," meaning anyone who legally owned such weapons before that date could retain them."Loophole! Loophole!" he screams.
Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican and House of Representatives majority leader, said last week he didn't believe the extension would come to a vote in the Republican-dominated House. DeLay's statement drew a surprising rebuke from the Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, showing that the gun ban does not easily cut across Republican-Democrat lines in this country.That's the beauty of it. They don't have to "back a measure." Just not vote "yes" on any new bill proposed to revoke the sunset.
While many Democrats are fearful of defeat if they are targeted by the gun lobby in the coming elections, there are many Republicans representing so-called "soccer mom" suburban constituencies who could become electoral toast if they are seen to be backing a measure which would bring the deadly weapons legally back to the streets of America.
White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer said last week Bush has not had any change of heart from his 2000 campaign promise. But he offered no explanation as to why Bush has given no presidential muscle to the promise. He has not been shy about stumping the country pushing for his tax-cut proposals, but has said nothing publicly about assault weapons.I think Up-Chuck overestimates just how much Bush can lead the members of the House around. The gun question is an entirely different question to constituents compared to a tax cut. Nobody except a member of the democratic party elite opposes keeping more of their own money.
"The House does everything the president wants," New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer said. "He wants a dividends tax cut, they do it. He wants one bill or another, they jump. In fact ... they say `how high?' He's got to walk the walk (on guns). If the president wants this bill to come to his desk, it will. If the president doesn't, he can have his minions whisper to the House, `kill the bill,' and he'll never reach it."
In 1994, the ban passed the House by a mere two votes, but it has been something less than a rousing success, even the anti-gun lobby concedes.So LETS RENEW IT! Yeah, that sounds like Democratic logic.
Many weapons manufacturers simply cosmetically changed the specs on the weapons to circumvent the ban, cynically adding "AB" to their model numbers, indicating they were changed "after the ban.""Loophole! Loophole!"
In 2000, 28,653 died of gunshot wounds in the U.S.; 94 children and teens in Louisiana alone. The gun death rate during that year was 10.4 per 100,000 population.Down from 34,050 and a rate of 14.84 in 1981. And your point is....?
The Violence Policy Center released a study last week indicating that 41 of 211 law enforcement officers gunned down in the line of duty between Jan. 1, 1998, and Dec. 31, 2001 — almost one in five — were felled by assault weapons.A report which I illustrated misidentified 19 of the 41 weapons as "assault rifles." Five of the 19 were "banned" handguns, but the other 14 weapons identified as "assault rifles" weren't on the "banned" list either by description or name at all. As I said in my earlier piece:
Four (4) with M1 Carbines, eight (8) with SKS rifles, two (2) with Mini-14's, three (3) M-11's, and two (2) TEC-9's. First, the M1, SKS, and Mini-14's are not and have not been classified as "assault weapons" - no lethal pistol grip on those guns. They look like "nice" semi-automatic rifles because they have the pretty non-lethal wood stocks, rather than the ugly, lethal plastic and metal ones. The M-11 and the TEC-9 are not rifles, they're handguns. That's NINETEEN (19) of the 41. And, if these guns were created "solely to kill people," what of the other 170 officer deaths? They were killed with weapons designed to tickle people?This piece is much the same.
Now, according to this site between the years of 1998 and 2001 (inclusive) there were 229 officer deaths by firearm, not 211. And according to this table the number of police deaths, at least for the last couple of decades (and excluding the 72 killed in the Twin Towers in 2001) has been apparently unaffected by the relative explosion in the mid 1980's of "assault weapons" (as defined by the law) into the general populace. They're trying to make it sound like the presence of "assault weapons" has somehow added 41 deaths that otherwise would not have occurred. The evidence does not support this. But that's the conclusion you're supposed to draw. "Ban 'em, and these cops would have lived!"
During a three-week reign of terror last October, the Washington snipers used a modified Bushmaster assault rifle, an XM15 M4 A3. The company's sales have soared since 1994.And, as I have pointed out elsewhere, the "Washington snipers" fired a single shot at each victim. They could just as well have used a target rifle. Their choice of weapon was irrelevant.
The teens behind the 1999 Columbine massacre used modified TEC-9s.No, according to the Denver Post, only Kliebold had a Tec-9. And aren't you forgetting the SAWED-OFF SHOTGUNS BOTH OF THEM CARRIED? Not to mention the fact that they were also carrying "a backpack and a duffel bag filled with bombs." And you're worried about a TEC-9?
"There's not a dime's worth of difference in the performance characteristics between the guns on the banned list and the guns not on the banned list," said NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre.Hey, they didn't misquote him!
Anti-gun advocates want an even tougher ban to replace the 1994 law, but, right now, there is little hope in Washington the law will be improved. It is more a question of a dogged fight to keep the status quo.It didn't work, so LET'S DO IT AGAIN ONLY HARDER!
Bryan Miller of Philadelphia knows something about fight and he doesn't buy the conventional Washington spin."...but somebody was going to die, anyway." Yup. And he could have used a non-banned Browning Hi-power. Or a sawed-off shotgun. His choice of a Tec-9 was immaterial. Someone was going to die.
Miller joined the advocacy group CeaseFire PA after his brother, an FBI agent, was slain at District of Columbia police headquarters in 1994. It was a case of mistaken identity. The gunman, carrying a concealed TEC-9, was looking for the head of homicide. Mike Miller was in the "cold case" squad.
"He went the wrong way ... but somebody was going to die, anyway," Miller said. Since then, Miller has worked tirelessly to control guns in his country.
"These guns are ugly," he said in an interview.WE HAVE A WINNER!
"We have tapes of those kids firing away in Columbine. We have families of victims and people like me who have lost loved ones to these guns.My condolences. Seriously. But you and the families didn't lose their friends and loved ones to "those guns." You lost them to the bastards pulling the triggers. And until you figure that out, you've got a helluva lot of people on my side opposing you.
"We have lots of support. And we are just getting started."
You know the world is changing when the anchors on the morning news show start talking about honor and integrity. Not merely talking about it, but calling for its return in near reverent tones. Strong, yes, but reverent as well.Go read. Leave a comment.
Such conversations are delightful, and things I thought I would never hear on a nationally broadcast news show. At least I did not think I would ever hear them in a positive context. Such values started coming under attack back in the late 60s as I was coming up, usually in an attack on all virtues.
Such things were Western Imperialism, the path of the white, middle-class male, and as such to be denigrated. They represented moral absolutes, and in the age of cultural relativism that was not allowed since it would imply, infer, or flat out state that some values were better than others.
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one *makes* them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on the guilt."Can you say "Zero Tolerance" boys and girls? I knew you could.
"It stands to reason that self-righteous, inflexible, single-minded, authoritarian true believers are politically organized. Open-minded, flexible, complex, ambiguous, anti-authoritarian people would just as soon be left to mind their own fucking business."3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?
-- R.U. Sirius in 'How To Mutate and Take Over The World'
"One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them."Be trustworthy. Trust, but verify. And above all else - THINK!
-- Thomas Sowell
When somebody makes a prejudicial comment about Republicans in my presence, I play a private game. I replay the sentence in my mind—only I substitute a word like "black" or "lesbian" or "Mexican" in place of the word "Republican." In performing this verbal sleight-of-hand, it becomes increasingly apparent that the speaker of the sentence may harbor views not generally considered to be tolerant or open-minded.No, really?
The bigotry of America's Left-leaning intelligentsia is based upon cold logic that unfolds in the following predictable, if venal, fashion: I'm very smart. I'm well educated. So are most of my friends. I give generously to liberal causes. I'm a kind and caring human being. I defer to nobody in my exemplary set of values. I care about equality. I believe in a just society. These values are integrated into the core of who I am. I work diligently to teach these values unto my progeny. And these are just the values that, generally speaking, have been represented by the policies and actions of the Democratic Party.Yup. That about covers it. It never occurs to them that they might be wrong.
The corollary logic continues: I don't have much respect for the values of the Republican Party. Oversimplified, Republicans stand for the rich, for the status quo, for selfishness, and for war-mongering. These logical trains of thought are tinged with intellectual arrogance and gross stereotyping. Of course, some liberals who speak ill of Republicans have an ulterior motive. They use the tactic to undermine the credibility of all Republicans, who must be evil, stupid—or both.
Reagan, and his crowd, were a bunch of cowboys. NRA supporters are dumbfucks from Wyoming. The Christian Right is the imbecilic underbelly of the South, led by money-grubbing preachers. George W. may have gone to Yale and the business school, but he's basically a shallow frat boy and—yikes!—a Christian. Locals who line up with such thinking tend to be knee-jerk right-wingers with low IQs.
In short, the justification for bigoted comments directed at those with whom the educated Left disagrees politically is based on two foundations: 1) We're a lot smarter than they are; and 2) We're better people than they are. That logic leads to three inescapable conclusions: We're right. They're wrong. QED: All Republicans are assholes.
As the debate continues on whether to extend the federal assault-weapons ban, firearms experts say the ban has had only a slight financial impact on gun manufacturers, CNS News reported May 27.Bushmaster makes nothing but "assault weapons" as defined by these morons. And they've had a 900% increase in sales! Ooooh! What a great law!
"As an overall industry, the ban didn't have that much of an effect one way or the other," said Andrew Molchan, publisher and editor of the American Firearms Industry, which tracks production and sales of firearms.
While some smaller companies may have suffered more of a financial impact, Molchan said large gun manufacturers maintained profitability because they successfully adapted their products to match the law's requirements.
Bushmaster Firearms of Windham, Maine, for instance, increased its sales by 900 percent since the 1994 ban. However, the company is opposed to the ban's extension.
Gun-control advocates argue that allowing the ban to expire would erase the progress made in fighting crime caused by assault weapons.What progress? The incidence of "assault weapons used in crimes" is so low that you can't draw a statistical conclusion! And it also depends on how you define assault weapons. In this piece I showed that the
"We'll see the manufacture of what are now banned weapons returning to circulation," said Rob Wilcox, spokesman of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "They obviously have a certain appeal to the criminal element."Oh yeah. Criminals really dig those flashhiders and bayonet lugs.
"I don't even move off the stool. It's a totally different thing going on for me - a totally different muscle to exercise..."Ahem. There goes one fantasy....
This is where Michael's argument, based on a single axis, breaks down. The people he refers to as "liberals" aren't liberal. For lack of a better term, we'll have to call them "leftists" for the moment. The vocal leftist movement which has been revealed in the last year in the US manifests as being elitist (i.e. not liberal), idealistic (not realistic) and conformist (not tolerant). There's a lesser dedication to equality (over inequality) but it's not totally consistent because it is a side effect of a basic choice of groups over individuals and to some extent of socialism over capitalism. And within the US right now, they're revolutionaries because they strongly disagree with the status quo. It is because they are revolutionaries that we tend to categorize them as being "leftist"; it has nothing to do with liberalism as such (especially since they aren't liberal).Excellent piece. Go read.
FEELING LUCKY, PERP?
That's the choice New York's mindlessly enforced gun laws force upon otherwise law-abiding people.
* Mohammed Dramy, a 40-year-old Gambian immigrant, was shot dead Tuesday during an apparent robbery in Harlem.
The perpetrator is still at large.
* Meanwhile, two bodega employees, Jose Acosta, 69, and Victor Alejandro, 23, are alive following an attempted armed robbery the same day.
And it's a perp who's dead.
Sadly, Acosta and Alejandro are now charged with criminal possession of a weapon.
As three armed would-be robbers entered their store waving guns, Acosta pulled out a .22-caliber pistol, fatally shooting one; the others escaped.
Now, Acosta and Alejandro are looking at jail time.
Which is better than being dead.
But is it fair? Of course not.
Should they have sought a gun permit?
Yes, but the complicated application process in New York City dissuades people from applying.
At best, it takes six months to get a so-called "premises" permit for one's home or business. And now it appears that the city has sharply reduced the number of licenses it approves.
Meanwhile, the bad guys have no trouble whatsoever finding weapons - and they never will, no matter how many gun-control laws are passed.
Acosta and Alejandro face a trial for using an unlicensed weapon to defend their business - indeed, their very lives.
Even so, they're better off than Mohammed Dramy.
All things being equal, Acosta and Alejandro need to be let off the legal hook.
And New York needs to reform its gun laws.
Myth:The Lawsuits are simply designed to bankrupt the gun industry.I guess no longer designing or marketing qualifies as "changing the way" it's done.
FACT:The lawsuits are actually designed to change the way gun makers design and market their products.
In fact, the lawsuit filed by the NAACP doesn't even ask for money damages, just changes in the way manufacturers do business.But as I've pointed out, it isn't necessary that the gun control groups win. The gun manufacturing industry isn't that big. The NAACP lost its lawsuit, but not before the trial ran FIVE WEEKS. How much did the legal fees run? All the case preparation? And that's one trial.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is surreptitiously arming his war veterans and violent youth brigades with guns so that they can crush the planned street protests to topple his regime next week.And the eUNnuchs will sit and wring their hands and, at most send in some people to take a guess at how many died. If Mugabe lets them in.
Army sources promised chaos and bloodshed on a scale never seen before, if protesters tried to march into Mugabe's official residence in Harare.
CS SPRAY MAN FACES LEGAL ACTIONWhy arrest both, you might ask?
I acted in self-defence says disabled robbery victim
A DISABLED man who used CS spray to fight off a robber is now facing the threat of legal action.
Wheelchair-bound Nicholas Ashworth, aged 22, sprayed his alleged attacker in the face with the CS spray.
He then climbed out of his wheelchair and limped across the road as the man screamed in pain. A passing police patrol spotted him in distress and stopped at the scene. Officers then arrested both men.
A police spokesman said that they were investigating the illegal use and possession of CS spray.That's right! You can't carry mace! Or pepper spray! Or anything else the State considers an "offensive weapon" - even if you use it in self-defence as this poor guy did. England - where it's safe to be a mugger, or a home invader, or a carjacker, or...
(1) The Supreme Court has not heard a case on the fundamental right to keep and bear arms since United States v. Miller in 1939 — 64 years ago. The Court hears First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment cases virtually every year. And if only four of the nine Justices decide to hear the case, it will be heard.If this means anything to you, go over to their site. Go to the bottom of the page AND DONATE.
(2) There are conflicts between federal circuit courts that need to be resolved by the Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit Court's ruling in Silveira is directly contrary to the Second Amendment findings in the Emerson case from the Fifth Circuit Court. Furthermore, six Ninth Circuit Court judges dissented in Silveira because they thought Judge Reinhardt's ruling on the Second Amendment was wrong. Six dissents are rare and a huge factor in the U.S. Supreme Court deciding to grant certiorari (to hear the case). Those six votes in Silveira may be the most important votes for the individual right to keep and bear arms in the entire past one hundred years.
(3) The conflict of circuits is long-standing, another factor in granting certiorari. Emerson conflicts with the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and Eleventh federal US Courts of Appeal. The Supreme Court may have refused to hear Emerson because the certiorari petition (the formal request that the Supreme Court hear a case) focused primarily on the commerce clause, instead of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
(4) The certiorari petition in Silveira is thorough and complete but for minor edits and additions. Hundreds and hundreds of careful hours of research and writing have gone into this important project. It cleanly presents the clear Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights of individuals to keep and bear arms for family, home, business, and community defense. It is a civil case, not a messy criminal defense. And it does not have wasteful side arguments that clutter other firearms litigation.
(5) Extensive modern scholarship suggests that Emerson and the dissenting views in Silveira have the better argument regarding the meaning of the Second Amendment. The Silveira certiorari petition references over twenty of the relevant books and articles, and develops the points succinctly.
(6) Since 1939 the Miller case has been cited to support negative decisions in every federal circuit but the Fifth in Emerson. The Silveira cert petition exposes the poor reasoning of Miller thoroughly and asks that those parts of it that are historically and constitutionally wrong be overruled.
(7) Silveira presents the Supreme Court with an opportunity to write on a clean slate, to overrule Miller, and to overrule Presser v. Illinois, which refused to apply the Second Amendment to the States. There is an overwhelmingly powerful argument on our side: the Fourteenth Amendment, and the fact that most of the "individual right" amendments have been ruled as applying to the states. For example, Massachusetts cannot deny its citizens freedom of the press, because they are protected by the First Amendment; nor Wyoming force its citizens to testify against themselves, because they are protected by the Fifth Amendment.
(8) The lower court decision in Silveira was written by the most-reversed federal circuit judge, Stephen Reinhardt, a notorious liberal activist judge. The dissents, however, were written by several very well respected circuit judges: Kozinski, Kleinfeld, and Gould, and joined in by an unusually large group of additional dissenters. They send a strong message to the Supreme Court to hear Silveira and reverse Reinhardt.
(9) Specific detailed issues about different kinds of firearms, i.e., what the anti-gun crowd mendaciously calls "assault weapons", are reserved for trial by the Silveira certiorari petition, since there has been no trial to determine facts as yet. The Supreme Court is not a trial court and will only hear the fundamental constitutional questions raised by the Silveira certiorari petition — that is, does the Second Amendment, like so many other Amendments, apply to the states? And is it an individual right, like all the other rights spoken about in the Bill of Rights? These questions have become extremely important in both legislation and in politics in the last few years. The Court will have to deal with them -- and we believe they will deal with them now, rather than later.
(10) The certiorari petition, brief and other materials in Silveira make a deliberate, carefully crafted effort to persuade all nine Supreme Court Justices of the need to recognize a strong individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Arguments are being developed that should resonate with the various viewpoints held by the different Justices. The individuals working on Silveira have decades of experience in Bill of Rights litigation before the Supreme Court with a great deal of success in other very difficult areas of law. Earlier Second Amendment activists largely slept through the civil rights movement and made no progress at all for individual Second Amendment rights until Emerson. Every effort is being made to present the Silveira arguments in ways that maximize prospects for success.
The 40-year-old man stabbed two flight attendants and injured two other people before he was overpowered by crew and passengers aboard QF1737.No more "Let the experts handle it."
Has she just gotten caught up in pop culture’s latest wave of anti-American angst, the most notable aspect of which (lately) is this notion of an outdated Second Amendment? When she declared her disdain for gun owners, she did so with great conviction and a big smile. I smiled back at the time, simply marveling at the sort of hubris - or ignorance - that must be required to second-guess some of the greatest political and philosophical minds of the 18th century.
I can't decide if I should invite her to the range or buy her a ticket to Rwanda.
1. Semiautomatic assault weapons (like AK and AR-15 assault rifles and UZI and MAC assault pistols) are civilian versions of military assault weapons. There are virtually no significant differences between them.Well, they're SEMI-automatic. I call that "significant."
2. Military assault weapons are "machine guns." That is, they are capable of fully automatic fire. A machine gun will continue to fire as long as the trigger is held down until the ammunition magazine is empty.Nice of you to make the distinction
3. Civilian assault weapons are not machine guns. They are semiautomatic weapons. (Since 1986 federal law has banned the sale to civilians of new machine guns.) The trigger of a semiautomatic weapon must be pulled separately for each round fired. It is a mistake to call civilian assault weapons "automatic weapons" or "machine guns."Well, hell. Nice of you to FINALLY make the distinction after telling all your buddies back in 1998:
Assault weapons - just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, COUPLED WITH THE PUBLIC'S CONFUSION OVER FULLY AUTOMATIC MACHINE GUNS VERSUS SEMI-AUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS - anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."Seems you were encouraging confusion back then.
4. However, this is a distinction without a difference in terms of killing power. Civilian semiautomatic assault weapons incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly. They are arguably more deadly than military versions, because most experts agree that semiautomatic fire is more accurate—and thus more lethal—than automatic fire.Wait a minute. What?
5. The distinctive "look" of assault weapons is not cosmetic. It is the visual result of specific functional design decisions. Military assault weapons were designed and developed for a specific military purpose—laying down a high volume of fire over a wide killing zone, also known as "hosing down" an area.Which is it, "accurate semi-auto fire" or "hosing down" an area? Make up your damned mind.
6. Civilian assault weapons keep the specific functional design features that make this deadly spray-firing easy. These functional features also distinguish assault weapons from traditional sporting guns.Again, accurate fire or spray fire. Which is the deadly one again?
7. The most significant assault weapon functional design features are: (1) ability to accept a high-capacity ammunition magazine, (2) a rear pistol or thumb-hole grip, and, (3) a forward grip or barrel shroud. Taken together, these are the design features that make possible the deadly and indiscriminate "spray-firing" for which assault weapons are designed. None of them are features of true hunting or sporting guns.And who said the Second Amendment was a protection for "sporting guns?" If I recall correctly, the 1939 U.S. v Miller case hinged on whether or not Miller's "shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches" was a suitable militia weapon. Well, if semi-automatic "assault weapons", by your definition "incorporate all of the functional design features that make assault weapons so deadly" then they fill the bill, don't they? They meet the Miller test, and are then protected by the Second Amendment, right?
8. "Spray-firing" from the hip, a widely recognized technique for the use of assault weapons in certain combat situations, has no place in civil society. Although assault weapon advocates claim that "spray-firing" and shooting from the hip with such weapons is never done, numerous sources (including photographs and diagrams) show how the functional design features of assault weapons are used specifically for this purpose.Well, as you yourself pointed out, this is less lethal than aimed fire. Pick a position and stick to it, would you?
9. Unfortunately, most of the design features listed in the 1994 federal ban—such as bayonet mounts, grenade launchers, silencers, and flash suppressors—have nothing to do with why assault weapons are so deadly. As a result, the gun industry has easily evaded the ban by simply tinkering with these "bells and whistles" while keeping the functional design features listed above.Aw, gee, sorry that the rules were so stupid? So were we. But we were sorry that they were stupid and passed. Your buddies tell us that the "Assault Weapons Ban was a big success" and needs to be renewed, but you're telling us it was useless? And still needs to be renewed?
10. Although the gun lobby today argues that there is no such thing as civilian assault weapons, the gun industry, the National Rifle Association, gun magazines, and others in the gun lobby enthusiastically described these civilian versions as "assault rifles," "assault pistols," "assault-type," and "military assault" weapons to boost civilian assault-weapon sales throughout the 1980s. The industry and its allies only began to use the semantic argument that a "true" assault weapon is a machine gun after civilian assault weapons turned up in inordinate numbers in the hands of drug traffickers, criminal gangs, mass murderers, and other dangerous criminals.Don't lay that off on US. You guys were the biggest marketing boost these weapons ever had. Every time you try to ban something you quadruple the market, if not more.
1. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. HeinleinAnd that's the SHORT list. At present, I've got something like 1,000 books in the house, and that's only because I had to get rid of 400 or so because I had no more space to store them (kids, you know.)
2. Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Vol. I, Edited by Robert Silverburg
3. Dune, Frank Herbert - possibly the most finely constructed novel I have ever had the pleasure to read.
4. Understanding Physics, Isaac Azimov (non-fiction) - A trilogy, excellent for a high-school student. Clear explanations of basic physics for the layman.
5. The Past Through Tomorrow - A Future History, Heinlien, a collection of his short stories tied together.
6. Barrayar, Lois McMaster Bujold. Hell, ANYTHING she writes with Miles Vorkosigan in it, but Barrayar has one of my favorite scenes.
7. Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology:, Isaac Asimov - a chronological compilation of short biographies of history's greatest scientific thinkers.
8. 1632, Eric Flint - If you consider yourself a patriotic American, this book is a helluva romp. And an interesting history lesson.
9. The Deed of Paksennarion, Elizabeth Moon. This is a fantasy, which I don't read a great deal of, and the story drags a bit in the middle, but the ending redeems it. Wholly.
10. The General, David Drake. A five-part series that I've re-read probably ten times.
A 43-year-old father died of a heart attack at home after bypass surgery at Wellington Hospital was postponed twice this month.But there's more. According to Kiwi Pundit:
Kapiti man John Russell was admitted to hospital for the scheduled operation both times but was sent home because of a shortage of intensive care beds. He died on his kitchen floor the following week, on May 17.
He had been waiting five months for his operation.
Capital and Coast District Health Board papers issued yesterday show Mr Russell is one of 12 heart patients to have their operation postponed recently.
The postponements occurred despite figures showing the health board has reduced the number of patients waiting longer than six months for elective heart surgery to 36.
Wakefield hospital was available just around the corner, but last year the state hospital board terminated a program that would have allowed patients to be referred to the private hospital if necessary.And he has a link to this business story with details about how the private hospital's cardiac surgery unit is underutilized.
Dear UNC-Wilmington Board of Trustees:
It has recently come to my attention that a feminist student at UNCW has taken offense to a sticker on my office door which reads "So you're a feminist . . . Isn't that cute." I found this out after obtaining a copy of a letter her father wrote to you, the Board of Trustees. I could comment at some length on the obvious hypocrisy of this student's decision to ask her father to defend feminism for her, but I won't. Let me get straight to the point: I did not put that sticker on my office door.
Right before I woke up I dreamed I had an assignment: write a bad feature story in the style of the New York Times. When I woke I had the last sentence still in my head; I stumbled next door to the studio, woke up the Mac, and typed this sentence:ROFLMAO! Go read. He's got some interesting things to say about beer, too.
Over in the field, a hound was hunched over excreting a “striver,” the local’s term for the hard, elegantly tapered stools for which the wild dogs are renowned.
I recounted this dream to my buddy Bill, the copy editor who sits a few feet away from me at work, and we agreed that a “striver” would be the new term for a piece of writing that was painstakingly crafted, produced with some difficulty, and was an absolute piece of crap.
A Tucson police officer was fatally shot Monday afternoon while chasing a man involved in a hit-and-run collision in Midtown, authorities said.My condolences to his friends and family. My thanks for his willingness to sacrifice.
Officer Patrick K. Hardesty, 40, became the first Tucson Police Department officer to be killed while on duty in 21 years.
Police said late Monday that the man detained after the shooting had been charged with first-degree murder in the officer's death. He was identified by police as John Montenegro Cruz, 33.
No motive for the slaying has been released.
"What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled," said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. "The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous."So, politics should be, by definition unpricipled? No wonder they thought Bill Clinton was great.
Acquainting a new generation of television viewers with the monstrosity of Hitler is a commendable public service by CBS, for if we are serious about "Never again," then we must be serious about remembering how and why Hitler was able to accomplish what he did. Political scientist R. J. Rummel, the world's foremost scholar of the mass murders of the 20th century, estimates that the Nazis killed about 21 million people, not including war casualties. With modern technology, a modern Hitler might be able to kill even more people even more rapidly.That's simplistic, in my opinion. Simply having guns does not mean that they will be used with effect. There's a cultural / philosophical aspect to the question as well. For example, I think the philosophy of self-defense has been stripped from the English through decades of government propaganda. But without the means with which to defend yourself, there's not a philosophy out there that will save your ass, or your people's, when the excrement hits the rotating air impeller.
Indeed, right now in Zimbabwe, the Robert Mugabe tyranny is perpetrating a genocide by starvation aimed at liquidating about six million people. Mugabe is great admirer of Adolf Hitler. Mugabe's number-two man (who died last year) was Chenjerai Hunzvi, the head of Mugabe's terrorist gangs, who nicknamed himself "Hitler." One of the things that Robert Mugabe, "Hitler" Hunzvi, and Adolf Hitler all have in common is their strong and effective programs of gun control.
Simply put, if not for gun control, Hitler would not have been able to murder 21 million people. Nor would Mugabe be able to carry out his current terror program.
Lena and Ralph Casey telephoned their daughter, Teresa, at 4 a.m. Saturday with an urgent message: A burglar was rustling through the community grocery they own next to their home.Go read the rest. My condolences to Mrs. Thompson and the rest of their family.
Teresa and her husband, Ricky A. Thompson, arrived within minutes, armed. Ricky Thompson confronted the intruder inside the store, authorities said.
A gunfight broke out. The two men fired across the small aisles, moving around the store as bullets ricocheted.
Thompson, 43, a well-known mechanic and firefighter in Seven Springs, was struck in the chest and killed.
The burglar was hit at least four times. He fled the store, carrying a canvas duffel filled with batteries, a loaf of bread and other goods. Outside the store, Ralph Casey fired a few shots as the man ran from a side door and darted between parked vehicles.
Then, Teresa Thompson jumped into a Monte Carlo, plowed through a wooden fence in front of the Caseys' home and knocked the intruder down, injuring his legs.
She said in an interview later Saturday that she jumped out and, with her adult daughter, Nita, grabbed pieces of the broken fence and beat the man on the head.
"He still had the gun in his hand," Mrs. Thompson said. "He tried to shoot, and I think it went off, but it missed. Then I took the gun. I tried to shoot him with his own gun. But it was jammed up."
She asked the man why he was there, what he was doing.
"He said he was hungry," Mrs. Thompson said. "My husband's dead, and he said he was hungry."
The problem isn't the guns, it's the total inability of the police to police the streets! If people carrying illegal thought the might get stopped and arrested it might deter them. But the chances of them being arrested are about zero. We don't need more laws we just need to enforce the very strict ones we already have. We need less "sound-bites from Ministers and more Police on the streets. After all, when did you last see a Police Officer on the beat?
This Government's standard response to such problems is to launch a spin campaign to convince the public that they are taking action - it is far easier than doing something effective.
The new legislation should offer an amnesty for those who surrender their weapons to police within a time frame. We have seen this policy of amnesty in parts of Africa such as Angola and Sierra Leone.
Namabanda Mubukwanu, UK
We should also ban toy guns for children. I can't think of a sicker, more twisted 'toy' and corrupting influence on a child. And the age limit should be raised for movies that feature an excessive use of guns. Never mind 18, we should introduce a 21 certificate for violent films. And maybe the BBC could help by not showing as many war films at Christmas and on Sundays. Drop the violence completely.
Iain Harrison, UK
Ban gun shop websites! I just put in gun shop in a search engine and came up with at least 700 results. This is too much.
The latest figures prove that the government's current legislation on firearms is not working. Will making this legislation tougher solve the problem? In a word - no. The people that are obtaining these weapons are the kind of people that have no respect for the law or their fellow citizens. Why not stop wasting money on actions that are all show and no substance and tackle the real problems like how are these weapons getting here in the first place and why aren't they getting destroyed the moments they are impounded?
Gun crime is hugely related to how guns are portrayed in the media, especially the music industry. Some gangster rappers glamorise guns in their music. If that can be tackled, then gun crime will fall.
How about prison for the rest of their natural lives with hard labour and no chance of parole if a gun is used in any crime? Make the punishment a good deterrent!
Deterring crime with severe sentences is a very ineffective measure. Unless one lives in a police state, criminals just assume that they won't get caught. A more effective method would be to extend the weapons amnesty concept by offering a reward for weapons that is set higher than their street value. Of course, this has to be handled carefully to avoid fuelling demand. It would also face opposition from the tabloid reading types, but if it works, so what? Fighting crime shouldn't be the crude popularity contest that it is.
One obvious solution is to make them illegal. If that doesn't work then, er, make them more illegal. Oops, sorry, I forgot, the government tried that and it didn't work. How about banning people from wearing clothes, so they can't hide a gun if they have it?
Dave Tankard, UK
I doubt that tougher penalties alone will work. The government should go for a complete ban on the import of all replica guns, and a ban on air guns, except in licensed clubs. If it puts a few gun shops out of business, then I would rather my taxes be used to buy them out than see the current trend in shootings continue.
Once again the government, with the backing of various police chiefs are looking at bringing in new laws to "control gun crime", despite having the most draconian laws in Europe which they appear singularly unable to enforce! I take it the law abiding will suffer as usual?
Funny isn't it - the government announce all kinds of things they're going to do about gun crime, and then days later we find out that the rate has doubled since they came to power. You don't think they're cynically managing the news (and you) do you? No, perish the thought!
Andy Edmonds, UK
Five years for every round possessed and 10 years for every round fired, that would be a deterrent. An Uzi clip being fired would put someone in jail for 450 years, that would deter all but the most hardened criminals.
Guns will become inaccessible to law abiding citizens. Criminals however will still be able to get their hands on weapons.
"It was all about 9/11. Proves my point, which isn’t really mine at all and is crushingly obvious besides, but one I’ve been making for years anyway: Star Trek TV shows explicitly mirror the geopolitical climate of its times. Each one is an analogy for the era in which it’s conceived. I’ve written this before but I’m too lazy to find it in the archives, so I’ll repeat myself. Warning: this will contain small fragments of unbelievably dorky insider references. Apology: I know this is of limited interest. Explanation: it’s my website. Accusation: you think I’ve cared one whit about Buffy for seven years? No. Have I said one word against the Slayer? No. I respect people’s adoration of the show. I understand these things. Hell, I still watch Twin Peaks reruns.
"The original show was your post-Kennedy New Frontier view of the future, with an oversexed cowboy at the helm. You wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Kirk’s first command had been the NCC-109. We all know what that show was about; it’s been pecked to death, so let’s move on.
"Next Generation was the New World Order version of Trek. The Enterprise wasn’t a warship threading its way through uncharted seas - it was a space-faring UN agency with a career diplomat in the captain’s chair. A French diplomat, for heaven’s sake.
"In the original series, the Klingons were the Soviets. In the Next Generation, they were still the Soviets, but now there was a chilly entente. This was a smart move, dramatically speaking; it allowed the show to more time with the Klingons, who were far more fun than any of the stuffy wads-o-rectitude on the Enterprise. (You can trace the entire Klingon subculture to the episode where Riker has a brief tour of duty on a Bird of Prey.) All of a sudden everyone realized these guys were actually alcoholic pirates with a mean sense of humor and a complex social code. And who were the humans? Sober missionaries who never got involved, just showed up to sign treaties. Booooring.
"Oh, NextGen did give us a new species: a villainous bunch of misshapen dwarves called the Ferengi, whose social system was ordered entirely around profit. Capitalists."