Friday, August 23, 2019

"Compromise," Huh?

The Washington Examiner reports, David "Camera" Hogg and his "March for Our Lives" group have released their newest "gun control" plan as a "compromise" (embedded link in original):
March For Our Lives recently unveiled their sweeping new gun control plan, which includes:
  • A national licensing and registry system for guns and ammunition.
  • A ban on high-capacity magazines.
  • Raising the age for all gun purchases to 21.
  • A federal version of Extreme Risk Protection Orders, commonly known as "red flag" laws.
  • A limit of one firearm purchase per month.
  • A ban on all online firearm and ammunition sales or transfers, including gun parts.
  • The creation a "National Director of Gun Violence Prevention," who will report directly to the president.
Click through to the embedded link, and you get some more details. In addition to the above, the plan includes "a multi-step approval process" (including background checks, in-person interviews, reference checks, "rigorous" mandatory training, a 10-day waiting period, and fees), new fees on firearm and ammunition sales (with higher fees on "bulk" items), a "buy-back" program to reduce the number of "firearms in circulation" (read: privately-owned guns) by 30% — that's around 100 MILLION guns, for those following along at home — licensing fees and "refresher training" which must both be renewed every year, and a few other "goodies".

Also sought is a commitment from the next President to revisit the Heller v. District of Columbia decision's interpretation of the Second Amendment as an individual right, as if that didn't have 200+ years of jurisprudence supporting it.*

And they're billing this as a "compromise".... Right....

I don't know what kind of literary education they offer at Parkland high schools, but this is an egregious misuse of the word "compromise". Either that, or he's lying. (I know which I would bet on.)

But that's his offer, so in the spirit of real compromise, let me make mine:
First, toss your Soviet-approved "Five-Year Plan" in the trash. Then:
  • Repeal the Brady Act, the Hughes Amendment, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the National Firearms Act of 1934, and every other "gun control" law, regulation, and policy on the books.
  • Cease all federal monetary grants to any state or city who doesn't do the same, and arrest and charge every official in those places under 18 U.S.C. 241 and 242.
  • Disband the entire BATFE except for the alcohol and tobacco units, which we'll send to the FDA.
  • Get rid of the 4473 forms and publicly destroy all the paper "firearm transfer" records the ATF and FBI have been storing for the past several decades.
  • In return for the above, we'll allow the FBI to keep the NICS system provided it becomes 100% voluntary and opened to private citizens, in case they decide to verify the backgrounds of their children's babysitters.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list; just a starting place.

So now, let the negotiations begin.

Because that's how compromise works in the real world.

David "Camera" Hogg is, of course, welcome to weigh in in the comments below, as are our regular readers (all five of you fine folks!). Unlike many/most anti-freedom bloggers, we here at Not One More Gun Law do not moderate or delete comments; we welcome the discussion.

Stay safe out there.

[Hat tip to Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger. If you're not reading his stuff, you really should.]
------------
* - There, revisited. "March for Our Lives" is welcome to cover my consultancy fee of $250 per hour, with a 40-hour minimum. You're welcome, Mr. Hogg.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Quote of the Day — LawDog (August 15, 2019)

From his blog:
[I]f you take nothing else from this, understand that there are no people on this world, there are no people in all of recorded history, as good at insurgency as the Americans.

[...]

You want to see an insurgency that would make the Hindu Kush jealous?

You want to hear the ghosts of empires whisper, "That was dumb"?

Listen to the idiots who think they'll just have the military take our guns.
The only thing missing is a mic drop.

Go give LawDog some comment-y love to welcome him back.

Stay safe.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Quote of the Day — Adam, RN [@aginorr] (August 14, 2019)

Posted on Twitter:
Why do we have the 2A.

I direct you to Hong Kong.

Right now.
Some additional background, from Legal Insurrection.

This could end very badly for the citizens of Hong Kong, and Americans should take note.

Stay safe out there.

[Hat tip to Joe, who comments, "I have nothing to add." Neither do I.]

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

On the Recent Shootings... (Part Two)

[Part One here]

Continuing with my thoughts related (sometimes tangentially) to the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

For this installment, I'm going to explore the importance of Free Speech, and how social media giants' de-listing, censoring, blacklisting, and banning of certain kinds of speech may contribute to politically-motivated attacks. Just like the last post, this NOT intended IN ANY WAY to excuse or diminish the heinousness of the attacks; rather, it's an attempt to explain how various environmental factors might lead an individual to believing his/her violent actions are justified.

After the shootings, President Trump gave a speech in which he said (among other things, not all of which I agree with*), "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul."

He's on the right track here, but he's not taking it far enough. Hateful ideology must be condemned, but it also must be confronted and challenged. However, as we'll see, that doesn't always happen as it should.

A few years ago we covered how so-called "hate speech" is and must be protected under the First Amendment (link goes to the first of a four-part series — I encourage you to read all four, and not just because I wrote them). My beliefs on that have not changed: The best cure — possibly the only cure — for "hate speech" is not censorship; it's more speech.

In other words, the best and only way to end "hate speech", hateful ideology, and bigotry (including white supremacy), is to challenge them in the marketplace of ideas. Call it an "arena of discussion" if you like, in which conflicting viewpoints are tested on their respective merits, and the most reasoned, logical, and fact-based wins. This is how minds are opened and opinions get changed.

But...

What happens if the biggest, most commonly-used platforms for discussion censor and/or limit exposure of "offensive" ideas?

What happens if "violent rhetoric" is banned from the open marketplace of ideas — where it might be challenged and proven wrong — and instead is relegated to a corner of the Internet where someone finds like-minded individuals, similarly banned from the mainstream?

What happens if, instead of encountering level-headed people to refute the violent rhetoric and show the individual how his ideas are incorrect, he finds a niche discussion board filled with people who say, "You're right"...

... and then follow that up with, "You should do something about that."

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and every other major social media site have actively and documentedly been censoring certain kinds of political speech for years. They mostly target inflammatory individuals and groups on the conservative side, but anyone talking about politically-motivated violence (and who isn't Leftist or Islamic) is forced to remove their post. The problem is, that leaves questions unanswered, in a vacuum of information.

As we all know, nature abhors a vacuum. The human mind similarly abhors unanswered questions.

That vacuum will be filled, and the questions will be answered. Where it could have — and should have — been addressed in a public setting by level-headed people with facts, it will instead be fed in private by other hate-filled people with more violent rhetoric.

I don't intend this to be an accusation against social media conglomerates (okay, maybe I do, just a little), and I don't believe they are willfully complicit in the attacks. My intent is merely to point out how censorship — especially of controversial or "offensive" topics — tends to produce the exact opposite of what it tries to limit. Banning hateful speech from a platform is a "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard) approach; it's fundamentally no different from posting a "Gun Free Zone" sign to prevent violence, and works about as effectively.

Just as banning guns removes the ability and opportunity for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and stop crime, banning "hate speech" removes the ability and opportunity for rational people to engage and defeat hateful ideology on its merits. Unless and until the ideology is defeated, it will fester and metastasize, and when paired with the inflammatory political rhetoric I wrote about last post, we will see more attacks like these.

This is why, on questions of "liberty vs. safety", I will always side with liberty. Freedom is not the problem — it's not guns, or social media, or even video games — and so limiting freedom cannot be a valid solution.

The real problem is hateful ideas and beliefs, and the solution is to counter them with truth.

More ideas and speech, not less. Debate and discussion, not censorship.

President Trump said that racism, bigotry, and white supremacy must be condemned. He's half right; it must be condemned, but it also must be challenged and defeated. And that can only happen when and where freedom of speech allows the discussion.

I welcome all readers to share your thoughts in the comments. I'd love to read what you all think.

And as always, stay safe.
------------
* - He also said, "Mental illness and hatred pulled the trigger, not the gun," which enraged anti-gun Leftists, but he has that exactly right, too. Where he is wrong is in calling for restrictions on video games — which are another form of free speech — and advocating "Universal Background Checks" for firearm purchases, which last I checked, both shooters passed.

Monday, August 5, 2019

On the Recent Shootings... (Part One)

Wow, has it really been over a year since we posted here? I guess it has.... It's amazing how life gets in the way of blogging.

But then, something happens that forces a person to have these things called "ideas" and "thoughts", many of which are or could be relevant for blogging. Such is the recent mass-killing events in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Other bloggers have posted up their input, and I don't care to rehash their well-reasoned thoughts. Miguel and J.Kb over at Gun Free Zone have made several observations, and they're pretty astute guys.

To sum up: Yes, they were white males (does that even matter to anyone other than professional race-baiters?). Yes, they bought their guns legally, and passed background checks. Yes, they were loners that maybe could have benefited from a social intervention before these events. Yes, they were hate-filled individuals taking out their grievances against an innocent public. No, they were not NRA members, and probably did not vote for Donald Trump. Heck, the El Paso shooter's "manifesto" seems to take Democrats and Republicans both to task equally (and as Miguel points out, he accurately predicted the media's response to his actions).

And it's safe to assume none of the "gun control" proposals we'll see in the upcoming days would have prevented either tragedy.

So instead, in this post and the next (possibly more), I am going to focus on two, very specific, thoughts I've had recently, directly or indirectly related to both events. Some of these are purely mine, and some are born of conversations my lovely wife, Mrs. Archer, and I have had in the aftermath.

For this post, I'm going to discuss the escalating political rhetoric, and some ways that feeds events like these.

It's long been noted that for the Left, political violence is like a knob; at the low end it consists of angry speech, and as it turns "up" progresses to yelling, screaming profanity, protests (and blocking opposing protests), riots, physical violence against individuals (case in point: the assault and beating of Portland independent journalist Andy Ngo), physical violence against opposing groups, and (historically) all the way to genocide of scapegoated populations.

For the Right, political violence is a switch, with just two settings: "Vote" and "Shoot F@#$ing Everybody"*. The Right believes in the "four boxes" — the soapbox, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box — and emphasizes they should be exercised in that order.

For civil society to be maintained, cooler heads must prevail. However, the hotheads (mostly but not entirely from the Left) are actively preventing cooler heads from being heard. That "slow simmer" on the Left's knob could look like some to be a "cold civil war", and while I don't believe either of the recent mass-killers hails from the political Right — at best, they appear to be anarchist or socialist, not really Left, but not Right, either — with all the violent speech flying, it's really no surprise that some individuals feel sufficiently threatened or outraged to take the "cold civil war" and decide it's time to go "hot".

Note that this is NOT IN ANY WAY offered as an attempt to excuse their actions, or the murder of (last I heard) 34 people by two @$$holes with chips on their shoulders. But put in context, it might explain a few things — namely, how one person might feel their actions, no matter how heinous, are justified in their own minds.

Stay safe out there, everybody.

[Edit: Part Two.]
------------ * - I disagree with that label, but I didn't make it up; I'm just borrowing the concept.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tab Clearing — March 28, 2018

Please excuse this "filler" post: My browser is starting to get overloaded with open tabs that I haven't yet used but want to keep handy. Maybe you'll find them useful and/or informational, too.

David B. Kopel has a two-part series about the "assault weapon" hoax over at Reason.
A reprint of a 19th century essay by Frédéric Bastiat: The Law.

Open Letter to Virtue Signaling Gun Grabber. Highly quotable.

Another series, this time by BJ Campbell at Medium.
NRA-ILA on Oregon Ballot Initiative to ban "assault weapons" and "large capacity magazines".

Jesse Kelly at The Federalist: Why a Good Father Prepares His Sons for War. Interesting read, and not for the reasons the title implies.

Sultan Knish: Who Runs March For Our Lives? As always, follow the money. Daniel Greenfield does, and as you might have guessed, it's not "organized and led by students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School".

Sarah Hoyt, writing at PJ Media: Of Laws And Men. Challenging the "There ought to be a law" crowd.

Enjoy!

Stay safe.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

[UPDATED] Oregon Gun Ban Measure Introduced — Measure 42 43

[UPDATE] Ballot initiative 42 is now ballot initiative 43. According to Ballotpedia, the original petition was withdrawn to "fix a technical error in text" and then re-filed — and re-numbered — as initiative 43. The title and contents of this post, including links, have been updated to reflect this change. [/UPDATE]

We now have a ballot measure number for the proposed ban on "assault weapons" and standard-capacity magazines I wrote about in my last post.

Measure 43. (A PDF of the measure's text is available at the link.)

It's every bit as bad and overreaching as one might expect:
  • Defines "assault weapon" as a semiautomatic rifle with ONE or more of the following:
    1. pistol grip (which goes further to describe how the firearm is gripped, it includes language such that any type of grip "resulting in any finger on the trigger hand in addition to the trigger finger being directly below any portion of the action of the weapon when firing");
    2. "protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand";
    3. folding, telescoping, or thumbhole stock;
    4. a "shroud attached to the barrel, or that partially or completely encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned, but excluding a slide that encloses the barrel";
    5. forward pistol grip;
    6. flash suppressor, muzzle brake, muzzle compensator, or threaded barrel designed to accept one of these;
    7. bayonet mount; or
    8. grenade launcher or flare launcher.
  • "Assault weapon" ALSO includes semiautomatic pistols and semiautomatic (centerfire AND rimfire) rifles with fixed magazines that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition (IF I'm reading this as graciously as possible); semiautomatic, centerfire rifles with an overall length less than 30 inches; semiautomatic pistols that accept detachable magazines and have any of features #2, #3, or #4 listed above, or can accept a detachable magazine outside the pistol grip, or has a "threaded barrel capable of accepting a flash suppressor or forward pistol grip".
  • "Assault weapon" ALSO includes semiautomatic shotguns that have a pistol grip and folding or telescoping stock; or have a fixed magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, or can accept a detachable magazine; or has a revolving cylinder.
  • "Assault weapon" ALSO includes any "conversion kit, part or combination of parts from which an assault weapon can be assembled if those parts are in the possession of under control of the same person."
  • Defines "large capacity magazine" as "any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds or any conversion kit or combination of parts from which such a device can be assembled". They graciously provide an exception for magazines permanently altered to hold less than 10 rounds, .22 caliber tubular magazines, and tubular magazines contained in lever-action firearms.
  • Requires registration with the State Police of all "assault weapons" and "large capacity magazines" if you intend to keep them after January 1, 2019. This includes criminal background checks, which are run by the State Police, and which they will be allowed to charge for just like they do for retail firearm sales. Currently it's $10 per transfer, but they are ALWAYS trying to pass legislation to raise that, most recently to $27. (No word on whether the State Police must conduct one background check for each gun owner, for each form submitted, or if they will conduct a check for each item being registered.)
  • Makes possession of an unregistered "assault weapon" or "large capacity magazine" a Class B Felony.

Yes, mere possession of an unregistered inanimate object will be punishable the same as first-degree aggravated assault!

And that's not even getting into the fact that magazines typically aren't manufactured with unique serial numbers. What will they register?

Also, there are no exemptions for .22 caliber firearms, which means that your Ruger 10/22 is now an "assault weapon"; it's semi-automatic, uses a detachable magazine, and has a section of the stock that wraps around the underside of the barrel, or in other words, "partially ... encircles the barrel, allowing the bearer to hold the firearm with the non-trigger hand without being burned".

Yes, this wording basically bans ALL semiautomatic rifles, and many semiautomatic handguns and shotguns, and makes no exceptions for caliber or historical significance. M1 Garands and M1 Carbines would be covered, as well as semiautomatic M14 clones. So would the "Broomhandle" Mauser C96, since its magazine inserts forward of the trigger and not in the grip.

And yes, this wording bans any pistols you have with threaded barrels for sound suppressors, since if it's threaded for a suppressor it's capable of accepting a flash suppressor. Even if you don't have one. Even no such device exists for your model of pistol.

Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't go for a .50-caliber ban.

[UPDATE] Reading through the bill again, I find a few other choice nuggets:
  • A person seeking to register an "assault weapon" or "large capacity magazine" must also "submit evidence satisfactory to the Department [of State Police] to establish that" such items are stored "securely ... pursuant to existing law and ... as provided in any rules and regulations adopted by the Department specifically relating to assault weapons and large capacity magazines".
    • Here's the kicker: There currently is no "safe storage" law or statute in Oregon. This would allow the State Police to not only create "safe storage" rules and regulations from whole cloth, but also force you to comply with them before you are eligible to register your private property.
    • Personally, I believe this is a "due process" violation, as you would be required to prove your innocence before being found in compliance. It is also a Fifth Amendment violation, as attempting to register (as required by law) potentially requires you to self-incriminate about what a nameless somebody in the State Police might consider a "safe storage" violation.
  • Also included in that "submit evidence satisfactory to the Department" clause, an owner of an "assault weapon" or "large capacity magazine" may only possess them on their own property, on others' property only with the express permission of the owner (and must be securely stored; so forget carrying your concealed handgun with your "large capacity magazine" in public), on the premises of a licensed firearm dealer or gunsmith, at a "legal gun range" (though this term is used in several places, it is not legally defined anywhere in ORS), at a firearms competition or exhibition, or while transporting between these "approved" places.
  • You may not sell or transfer your registered private property, except to a licensed dealer or gunsmith for repair.
  • You may not ever purchase another "assault weapon" or "large capacity magazine".
  • You must report the loss or theft of an "assault weapon" or "large capacity magazine" within 48 hours of the discovery of loss or theft.

Sounds great, right? [/UPDATE]

Right now, it's in the first stage of the referendum process, gathering sponsorship signatures. They only need 1,000 for this — that should be a breeze in ultra-"Progressive" Portland(ia) — so expect that to happen quickly. Then the state's Attorney General will draft an "impartial title" for the measure (if there is such a thing for this type of measure).

After that comes the big petition drive. Since this is a petition for a statutory change and not a constitutional change, the threshold to get it on the ballot is lower: 6% of the number of votes in the last gubernatorial election, or 88,184 signatures. Again, in uber-liberal Portland(ia), that shouldn't be too hard, especially if they mislead prospective signers on the effects of the bill — which they will; giving the (probably undeserved) benefit of doubt, I'm not entirely sure they realize themselves what they're proposing.

The advice from the last post still applies: wake up every gun owner you know, get them registered to vote if they aren't already, and implore them to vote "No" on this monster. Oregon is a 100% absentee voting state, so all most of them have to do is mark "No" and mail the ballot. Should be easy peasy, but it's going to take all hands on deck come election day.

Even better, though, would be if we build up a large group of pro-gun activists to reach out to non-gun-owners and get THEM to vote against it, too. If we're going to beat this thing, we CANNOT let a small minority try to carry all the burden for the rest.

My next project will be to come up with photos of firearms they want people to think they're targeting, versus what's actually covered, and circulate the comparison as a meme. It'll post here first.

As always, stay safe.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Call to Action — Oregon Anti-Gun Group Launching Ballot Measure to Ban "Assault Weapons" and Standard-Capacity Magazines

From Oregon Firearms Federation:
03.15.18
Anti civil rights groups are meeting tonight to launch a ballot measure to ban modern firearms and feeding devices.
At this point, they're probably just starting to gather petition signatures. But if they get enough — and let's be realistic, they will — it will go to a general vote. As OFF notes, ballot fights in Oregon are typically won in Multnomah County; it's the population center of Portland(ia) and carries WAY above its weight in (blue) votes. No doubt that's why the anti-gun groups are choosing a ballot initiative fight versus petitioning the Legislature; they think they can get more restrictions more easily.

The worst part is: historically, they're not wrong.

The counter-solution is to Get Out the (Non-Urban) Vote. We will need to engage all gun owners for this one. If you're registered to vote in Oregon, make sure you cast your ballot. If you're not registered, get registered. And if you know any gun owners who aren't registered, offer to take them down to get registered. We're going to need everyone on board.

I'm not going to bull-s**t you, it's an uphill battle we're not likely to win. My biggest hope is that since this is an off-year election, the Multnomah County liberals won't feel like putting in the effort. Don't count on that, though; I fully expect money to flow freely from out-of-state anti-gun billionaires to fund advertisements in support of the measure. The pro-gun side will not be able to match those resources.

Therefore, for the pro-freedom side, "staying home" is not an option if you care about your Second Amendment rights...

... especially since Oregon votes 100% absentee. You can stay home and still vote; there's no excuse for failing to mail your ballot.

I'll post an update as soon as the signature-gathering is complete and we have a measure number.

Until then, stay safe.

Friday, March 9, 2018

"Baldr Odinson" Being Disingenuous Again

*tap tap* Is this thing still on? Yes? OK.

My apologies to our dear readers for the lack of content. Life tends to interfere with blogging, and when life speaks louder, you have to listen or get left behind.

My thoughts are not yet collected on the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Every time I turn on the news, it seems, the narrative has changed again, the "authorities" appear even more amateurish, and the "children" are even more exploited by the media.

It's painful to watch, really.

So instead, today we'll visit our old friend and resident Oregon anti-gunner, Jason Kilgore, a.k.a. "Baldr Odinson". He's had quite a lot to say about the Parkland shooting, little of it accurate or true (he IS an anti-gunner, after all). One recent post in particular, however, needs some fisking fact-checking, as he's (intentionally) omitting certain very-important truths.

Let's get started below the fold. As always, his words will be in block-quoted italics, and most of his links will be omitted.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

There is so much we need to be thankful for. Most of all, for the Shining City on the Hill that is America. This country continues to be the last, best hope of mankind and we should treasure the positive impact it has made on the world's condition.

Treasure, protect and enhance. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Open Letter to Mika Brzezinski

Lifezette:
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski said Monday on the show that supporters of the Second Amendment who don’t want to talk about gun control in the wake of Sunday’s mass Texas church shooting are “cowards” — even though two armed Texans reportedly chased the gunman down.
Dear Mika,

I am a Second Amendment supporter who is perfectly willing to talk about "gun control" after the atrocity in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Contrary to what you seem to believe, I'm not alone, either. There are many, MANY of us out here.

But you and your boy-toy, Joe Scarborough, will never allow me — or any of us, for that matter — on your show. Hell, I doubt either of you would even be willing to post anonymous comments here.

Why is that?

Is it because you know, deep in your two-sizes-too-small hearts, that the pro-Second-Amendment side of this conversation has facts, evidence, scholarly research, and SCOTUS decisions supporting our point of view, while you have name-calling?

Is it because you don't want to be intellectually trounced challenged on national television?

Is your self-styled public image as the all-knowing moral compass of America too delicate to risk in a real, honest-to-God unscripted dialogue?

I wonder....

You said, "Like exactly when can we have this conversation? You're cowards."

Let me make this absolutely clear: We're having this conversation right now. We've been having this conversation for upwards of 30 years! We have it again after every terrorist attack and after every time some disaffected loser decides to take out his perceived personal grievances on innocent victims! Every. Single. Time! We never stop having this conversation, because there is always someone like you who says our rights should be restricted and we need to have a conversation.

Here's the truth, whether you choose to see it or not: The conversation has been happening all around you. You have just never truly participated.

And I for one resent being called a coward, when you choose to not participate directly in that conversation you claim you want to have, and which I have been actively engaging in for years.

Who's the coward here? (Hint: I'm here, and I'm not going anywhere. I don't even edit or delete comments, unlike many pro-"gun-control" bloggers. Ergo, it must not be me.)

So any time you feel like you want to have that conversation — REALLY have that conversation, with someone who talks back — feel free to drop by and leave a comment. Hit up my e-mail (it's right up there in the upper-right corner of the blog), and we'll talk. I'll even be polite and not resort to name-calling and/or histrionic wailing! But you'd better bring your A-game, because I will be quoting SCOTUS, citing rigorous scholarly research, using logic and reason, and bringing facts and truths you may find inconvenient and prefer to ignore.

Until then, you can keep your self-deluded moral supremacy to yourself.

Sincerely,

Archer

[via David Codrea]

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Free Speech, Free Association, and the NFL

My thoughts on NFL players' "protest" against the National Anthem


There's a lot of noise coming out about NFL players "protesting" the National Anthem by either "taking a knee" instead of standing, or staying in the locker room instead of being on the field. A lot of great minds have weighed in on this, and even though I'm a bit late to the game (no pun intended), I have a few thoughts to share.

[TL;DR version: Dear NFL players: Nobody is questioning your right to protest. What you do on your own time is your business, but on that field, in that uniform, you are not on your time; you are on ours, and we expect you to conduct yourself accordingly.]

The history on this issue has been documented better elsewhere, but here's a very short version, as understood by yours truly:
  • The first "protester" was quarterback Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers and currently a free agent, who remained seated during the National Anthem last year, to protest racial oppression and mistreatment of "people of color" by police.
  • Since then, other players have joined in, kneeling "in solidarity".
  • This year, President Donald Trump weighed in during a rally in Alabama, saying in part [edited for language], "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired!'"
  • Currently, whole teams are kneeling or retreating to the locker room during the National Anthem, and the "protest" against racial injustice has become synonymous with anti-Trump rhetoric.
(At this point, I want to offer some serious KUDOS to offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, of the Pittsburgh Steelers. A former Army Ranger who served three tours in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor, Villanueva stood alone with his hand over his heart for the National Anthem; the rest of the team stayed in the locker room.)

More below the fold.

Monday, July 31, 2017

On Mr. Jake Mace — Kung Fu and Tai Chi Master, and Idiot

Anybody out there ever hear of a Mr. Jake Mace, of Phoenix Longevity Arts?

I recently ran across his YouTube channel, and as a practitioner of martial arts I found myself enjoying his take on techniques I know (usually by a different name) and learning a few new things, too.

Unfortunately, he has an "opinion about guns", too.

No, he's not strictly "anti-gun", per se. He's... well...

I'll just let him say it:


My attempt at a transcript (bold emphasis in original)*:
Hey, everybody, it's Jake Mace, with JakeMace.com.

During meditation, my unconscious mind and the universe send me thoughts sometimes, and I wanted to share with you guys one of these thoughts today.

I live in the U.S.A. and a lot of people around me — friends, and family members — they own guns, and they use guns. A lot of them have guns, but they don't use guns; they just feel safe having a gun in the house protecting them — "protecting them".

And the way that I've always thought about guns, comes from the path of a martial artist, Chinese kung fu and tai chi guy, who thinks about guns like he thinks about any other weapon in the martial arts.

And so when I have brand new students join my program, they first learn empty-hand skills, of some grappling and some striking, some fitness, conditioning, breathing, meditation, and stance work.

And then once they have that down they go on to the bo staff. The bo staff is the first weapon that they learn how to use, and you guys have been getting our bo staff DVD and bo staff from JakeMace.com.

Once they learn the bo staff they go on to many other weapons in a proper order: nunchucks, short stick, then they go on to the broad sword, sometimes they go on to daggers, chain whip, and the highest state of weapon is the straight sword, called the
jian. The Chinese martial artist values the straight sword as the elite of the elite in terms of weapons.

And in my opinion the reason why this is is because back in ancient China, of all the modern-day weapons that were available to the ancient warrior, the straight sword was the most advanced form of weaponry of the time.

I've been to the
Bing Ma Yong, the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, China, and you can see that China was the first ones to bronze and chrome out their weapons, so that when they would go against an opposing army it was no contest! The chromed out steel weapon or bronze weapon is infinitely stronger and more modern, and therefore better at killing, than a futile weapon of the other countries at that time.

But China has a tumultuous past, and many of those ancient warriors died out through the ages, through the millennia. And so in today's world, guns and bombs are the most advanced form of human weaponry.

And so it blows my mind when a lot of human beings, especially in my social circle in America here, have guns, because guns should be valued as a weapon that is more advanced than even straight sword. And so I feel that if you're going to own a gun, and use a gun in life, you should have to earn your keep by learning bo staff, nunchucks, stick, dagger, broad sword, chain whip, sai, etc., etc., on up the chain, and prove your worth to get to the gun level.

And the reason why this is important is because when you are able to buy the most elite weapon just because you give somebody money, and you now own a killing tool right in front of you, you don't have any of the discipline, and the focus, and the training, that goes behind the responsibility of owning a killing tool of that magnitude.

So I'm curious right now, what do you guys think? In the comments down below, tell me your thoughts. Do you think that anybody should be able to get a gun, the "most modern form of killing" in today's age? Or should a gun owner have to prove themselves with horse stance, empty-hand fighting, grappling, stick fighting, bo staff fighting, chain whip, dagger, and on up the chain, and then, when they're a 5th Black Master of whatever style that they're studying, they have a ceremony, bow to the teacher, and the teacher presents them a certificate of mastery, with a gun on top. Because now you have the focus, training, determination, and responsibility that goes behind owning the gun.

Because if you guys are like me, the more skillful the martial artist that you meet, the better the fighter that you meet, the martial artist with more deadliness in their hands and more training in their experience, is usually the most responsible with that training possible.

I can't tell you how many gun owners are so proud of their guns, they want to show them off to all their friends all the time. Well, I'll tell you what: a martial arts master doesn't go into their friend's situation, into a social situation, and show of all their punches and kicks and throws and grappling, OK? They're humble about it, and they keep their killing abilities safe and humble on the inside. I think gun owners should do the same thing.

So tell me in the comments down below what you guys think. I really want to know what you guys think. Hit 'Like', subscribe to my channel, and get yourself the training, because as martial artists, we have to prove ourselves on up the chain, from empty-hand, weapon, to ultimate killing tool, because if we don't train, we won't have the responsibility and the focus needed to handle a weapon of that magnitude.

Thanks for watching guys. I can't wait to see you back here for our next video, and also on any of my social media, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
In short, he's OK with you having a gun for self-defense, but only after you've also trained for a couple decades in empty-handed defense and a plethora of traditional martial arts weapons (bo staff, nunchaku, three-section staff, butterfly sword, broadsword, chain whip, straight sword) to develop your focus, discipline, and humility** the exact same way he has. Then, and only then, would he "allow" you to own a gun.

Needless to say, anyone older or more frail, or who doesn't have time or money to devote several hours of every day — for several years — to training (read: anyone with school, a job, life, or family), need not even apply. The Carol Bownes of the world, who need a means of self-defense right now, are equally on their own.

In his mind, the prerequisites of gun ownership — focus, discipline, and humility — can only be learned via martial arts. So if you instead chose to spend your child- and young-adulthood in school and college and earned an advanced degree in a STEM discipline, learning skills like logic, advanced mathematics, critical thinking, analytics, etc., you still don't have the focus or discipline to own a gun. Nope, you don't know kung fu, so even though your life's work keeps his lights on, keeps his car running, and — oh, yeah — keeps the spectacle of the Internet alive so that he can continue posting videos ... you aren't worthy of owning a tool to defend your life.

There's a word for this mindset: elitist.

It's a basic "might makes right" mentality. If you don't already have the might, you never will.

What's interesting to me is not only how devoted he is to elitism and "might makes right", but also how far off he is from the very principles of kung fu he professes to teach. Taking kung fu as a tangible skill, it is very much like a gun: a smaller, less-physically-strong defender can prevail over a larger attacker, or even several attackers. Often, just the difference in carriage — the confidence and posture with which the intended victim moves — is enough to deter an attack even before it starts. The defender doesn't even need to be a "master"; in many cases, mere proficiency is good enough.

I did leave a comment or two on that video (hey, he asked for it, didn't he?). However, YouTube's comment filter being what it is — a giant ball of mystery fail to anyone outside YouTube Corporate HQ — you cannot view my comments unless you are logged into YouTube or Google as me. Therefore, here are the screenshots for posterity (click to embiggen):
If you feel like leaving your own, maybe you'll have better luck getting through YouTube's insanely stupid filter.

Or, you can not feed the troll. That's OK, too. :)

Stay safe, and don't give your money to charlatans pretending to be experts.
------------
* - Wow. Writing out that transcript and putting [strong] tags on his emphasized points makes him sound even more off-base than I originally thought, and that's saying something.
** - We won't even get into how "humble" a person could be, when they make their living showing off on YouTube.

Monday, May 1, 2017

On Wealth Redistribution

Because I hate wasting good material at an away game.

To expand on a comment left at this post at The Captain's Journal, to whit, that the reason for big push for wealth redistribution — that invariably guts the middle class — is to burn the generational bridge between the poor and the elite.

All wealth redistribution schemes benefit the elitists, either directly or indirectly. What they don't get from the middle class, they get from the poor when the poor spends what they get from the middle class.

Either way, the rich get richer, the middle class is made poor, the poor get poorer after enjoying a (very) brief windfall, and the path to real wealth is destroyed, effectively turning America into a caste society.

You've heard it said, "Never let anyone tell you nobody wants to take your guns." While true, that's not the whole story; they want your wealth and everything you've earned or made for yourself and your family, too. They want it all.

And as with anything they use the government to get, they'll send men with guns to demand and enforce it.

That is the reality behind wealth redistribution, and why it must be resisted at every step.

Stay safe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

St Louis Crime Stats

       St Louis City is trumpeting a drop in crime in 2016. All but two of the crime categories; robbery, assault, rape, attempted murder, etc., were up. Property crimes were dramatically down, mathematically driving the decline. (BTW, this implies a bike stolen from a yard has the same weight as murder.) Somehow, murders remained the same (better hospitals - poorer marksmanship?)

        I suspect St Loo did something similar to LA: they cooked the books. Years ago, the Los Angeles police refused to take reports of crimes, claiming a non-existent budget shortfall as the reason. To no-ones surprise, crime did dramatically decrease - in the reports. Murders were a bit harder for the pencil-whippers, as it was difficult to ignore all those nasty corpses leaking all over the place. LAPD, affectionately known as LAP Dogs, had to report that murders were higher that period. The Chief at that time failed in his bid to become mayor, but soon became a much loved and corrupt inner city city councilman.

       Here in the Loo - Chief Dotson was quick to blame it all on the official whipping boy of failing gubermints everywhere: Itz da guns!

        Dotson also attempted a run for mayor, largely on his record as a "crime fighter." However, the hard-left city board of aldermen vowed to fire him from his top-cop job if he ran. He quit the race. He'd have been a poor choice for mayor - the other likely candidates are worse.