Sunday, September 25, 2016

California Gunmageddon

The deadline has come and gone.  No official word yet on the actual count, and apparently the 'counters' on the sponsoring web site are incorrect. 

I could go through the tactical blunders with this petition drive, but I'll hold off for now.  Suffice it to say that I was involved early on, providing legal advice and suggestions to the organizer.  Then the NRA got involved, and I got shut out.  That, in itself, doesn't bother me - more resources (which I don't have) are good, and too many cooks, etc. 

What does bother me is that they didn't play dirty.  By 'dirty' I don't mean encouraging illegal methods for gathering signatures.  I do mean using every trick available, and within the bounds of California Election Code, to get ink on the petitions. 

Opportunities for thousands of signatures were lost, and the opportunities were lost early on.  Since the clock was against us to start with, that may have been a fatal blunder.  I guess we'll know over the course of the coming weeks whether or not they nailed their own coffin shut.  Me?  I'm not playing ball with these new laws.  De Leon, Hancock, Brown, and the rest can go play in traffic for all I care. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Begging to Create Unjust Law

Fairness in the Law

Came across this "op-ed" today, which Gavin "Buddy of Shrimp Boy Chow" Newsom is using to further his statist disarmament agenda.

Is the Law, at least ideally, supposed to treat all men and women equally, regardless of gender, race, religion, political affiliation, and most importantly, occupation?  The last category is the proverbial sore thumb.  You see, Gavin is an elected official, and as such he has a security detail. 

So, while Gavin Newsom will seek to disarm every single law-abiding citizen in California , in concert with ongoing efforts in the California legislature, Gavin will not be giving up his armed guards. 

That's right.  Gavin, because he has somehow been deemed "special", will still be adequately protected by people with guns.  The rest of the population will be at the mercy of 911.  The proposed laws Newsom pushes force an unfair set of circumstances on everyone.  The political elite maintain their security details, the proletariat is left to the good graces of overworked and understaffed police forces. 

Logically, this makes no sense.  Criminals perpetrate crime, regardless of the law.  Those who don't want to break the law will in turn be squeezed into a smaller and smaller box, wherein the textual liberty they are guaranteed takes on a hollow meaning.  Meanwhile, criminals will continue to operate outside the law, sometimes punished, sometimes unpunished. 

More bluntly, the op-ed demonstrates the sheer lack of critical thought by our opponents.  If a bad person does something bad, then we must restrict, punish, castigate, incarcerate, and otherwise restrict the bad actor.  Laws which ensnare and punish both the good and the bad are not sensible.  They restrict those without evil motive, and they are ignored by those with evil motive.  Given the above, please explain how Newsom's proposal creates the desired outcomes. 

There is no impact on the outcomes.  Gavin will create a multi-tiered "security" privilege (he gets security and guns, we get nothing), inherently unfair and unjust.  At the same time, with outcomes unaltered by any significant margin, Gavin et al gain advantage and power over the non-elites, to further impose their will upon the masses.  "Give them an inch and they'll take a mile" grossly underestimates the problem.  The reality is more akin to "You can vote yourself into the Gulag, but you can't vote yourself out of the Gulag."

And all of this ignores the liberty argument - that is fodder for another day.  Stopping at the idea of creating unjust laws, we are reminded that men and women, far smarter and better than I, have repeatedly reminded us that an unjust law is no law at all.  An unjust law is oppression wrapped in the cloak of democratic mob rule, stripped of republican safeguards (please note the intentional small 'r') put in place in the late 18th century. 

You, dear voter, ignore these safeguards at your own peril.  I will not vote for the Gulag.  I will not vote to infringe on others.  I will not vote to punish the good for the acts of the bad to comfort a grieving, misguided, and exploited parent.  I will, until the day I draw my last breath, accept that life is dangerous and unpredictable when accompanied by maximum liberty.  I will also accept that life is more dangerous and unpredictable when accompanied by mob rule and the destruction of liberty.  Do not be fooled.  There is no security in the State apparatus, only false promises.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The past year or so has seen many pro-rights and anti-rights developments. 

The California Legislature, once again, is showing it's collective indulgence for the moronic wit hthe current crop of bills.  I won't even bother to list them, but let's just say that they want just about every semi-auto rifle out there registered as an assault weapon. 

The intellectually deficient Lori Hancock from Berkeley wants to take any magazine that *might* be able to hold more than 10 rounds, i.e. blocked and sealed 10/30 and 10/20's.  I'm not sure what other foolishness Sacramento is working on, but I'll stop with those and spare you.

My solution is really simple.  If the legislature passes, and the governor signs, any of these anti-freedom, anti-rights, bigotry-induced Bills, engage in acts of counter-intimidation.  Power submits only to greater power, and that submission rests on fear of the greater power.  The same way the Legislature has made you afraid to be a gun owner, the same way past legislatures made people afraid to admit they were gay, or afraid because they had the wrong skin pigmentation. 

Extreme?  Not at all.  We tried the tools our ancestors left us.  We've tried the ballot box, the soap box, and even the jury box.  None have worked.  What boxes do we have left?  Or would you rather just live in a cage, take on the chains like a Good Little Slave, and beg for scraps?   Multiply -you- by almost 40 million Californians.  Should a handful of simpletons in Sacramento be allowed to enslave 40 million human beings?  Or would it be more feasible to cull the bad apples out of Sacramento?  100 ruined lives or 40 million ruined lives?  It's a moral and ethical quagmire, but one I suspect we should all enter. 

At some point, each of us will be called upon to make a decision, live with that decision, and explain that decision to our friends, neighbors, spouses, and children.  We might even have the chance to explain it to a jury.  I think it will be easier to make the decision having already weighed the moral and ethical implications of the available choices. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

California - The Failed State

This post isn't actually about guns.  It's about some misleading media memes.

Yes, public opinion has shifted on other issues like climate change (still undecided, here) and gay marriage (ain't the government's business in the first place). 

What the current Idiot in Chief further chooses to miss is that attitudes on guns have been changing too, just not in the direction he'd like. 

It's very simple, folks.  Concentrating extensive power in a centralized governing authority comes at the cost of surrendering basic economic, political, and a civil freedoms.  To suggest that it wouldn't "happen here" is both naive and indicative of a mental disease or defect. 

So look at the subtext.  When mayors start getting city councils to pass restrictive local laws, you end up with a patchwork of regulations and vast inconsistencies from one city or county to the next.  In California we already deal with that reality, and it's getting worse.  Have a CA CCW?  Can't carry certain ammo in San Francisco.  Own pre-ban standard capacity magazines and live in Sunnyvale?  Sorry, you have to move or get rid of them.  But, everyone outside of Sunnyvale can keep them.  Passing through Sunnyvale with your pre-ban magazines?  Don't get pulled over.  What was legal 100 yards behind you is now a misdemeanor, because of an administrative border you just crossed.

So, make compliance hard enough and a couple of things will happen.  First, some folks will give up on owning guns.  They want to be lawful, but the laws make being law-abiding impossible.  If that isn't disgustingly perverse, yet so unsurprising, I don't know what is.  Second, some folks will leave the State and go live where legislatures and mayors and the like understand the Olde Parchment of 1787 (as I like to call it, since it's no longer a valid or functional Constitution). 

Some people will scream for the State or Feds to preempt local laws and return uniformity.  And in California, that will either never happen, or happen in such a way that restrictions become more severe.  Either way, you can't win here. 

Still, bad guys will steal guns, use them in crimes, and let the law-abiding gun owners pay the ultimate price -- much to the glee of the California Assembly, Senate, Governor, and Courts.  The good guys are an easy target.  "The law works" if you get convictions, regardless of the underlying context.  DA's get to rack up a body county, Sheriff's get to keep the jails full and funded, and the collective bleat of "BUT WE DIIIIIIIIID SOMETHING!!!" will go on ad nauseum.

And let's not forget the Courts.  In California, from the smallest Superior Court to the California Supreme Court, the benches are populated by simpletons or agendists, bought and paid for like any other politician.  Yes, that's right.  A member of the Bar is saying, flat out, 90% of the judges in California are intellectually dishonest graft-mongers with no sense of morals, let alone judicial ethics.  The whole lot of them ought to be keel-hauled, but then that would be insulting to the keel of a fine ship.  The rot continues up the vine to the 9th Circuit as well.  Some of those judges are honest and good men and women.  Again, maybe 10% of them take their oath as mandate.  The other 90% just have an agenda to push, and they don't care what laws or rights get trampled in the process.  They're not stupid people, they're just not the kind of people that deserve to sit on the bench.  Unless it's a park bench, feeding the birds.  That might be OK. 

California is a corrupt and failed State.  From the smallest city council, to the highest courts, nothing functions as it was meant to.  You and I pay the price. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Buy good tools to start with

A brief anecdote about why you should buy good tools from decent companies.

Thirty years ago, my dad had a little Buck 309 pocket knife.  I remember it well, as he used it for most every cutting task imaginable.  One day, he used it for some unimaginable task and broke off the large blade close to the pivot.  Since he had another one, he gave me the busted one.  I was 10 or 11, it was a knife with one working blade and one busted blade. 

That stuff is treasure to young boys.  I don't know why -- it just is.

Fast-forward 30 years, minus 2 weeks.  I still have that busted knife.  Again, I don't know why -- sentiment, maybe? (dad is still around, thankfully).  I got a wild hair and decide to send it to Buck under their "Forever Warranty".  To be clear, I did not say "Oops it just broke".  I said "Dad used this for years, he busted it, I don't know how.  Can you fix it?  I'll gladly pay, as it has sentimental value."  Not trying to beat them out of anything, I just wanted it fixed so I could carry it.

Last night a small box shows up from Buck.  In the box is the old knife, unrepaired.  Insert sad face here.  Next to it, in some wrap, is a brand new 309 and a little note saying to take care of this one, and that it too is a warranted knife.  I'm carrying that new knife today.  Buck has reinforced my desire to remain a customer (wouldn't have changed if they didn't fix the old knife), as I've been a customer myself for 25 years, too. 

Maybe it's cheap PR for them.  Maybe they know that sometimes the line between "use" and "abuse" gets blurred, whether on the trail or in the trades.  Maybe they really are just a decent company that wants happy customers (after all, it led to this blog post, right?) to spread the good word.  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

An Open Letter To The California Senate

State Senators:

I initially considered that this letter should be addressed to Senator Kevin DeLeon only.  On reflection, given the gravity of the attack on a fundamental civil right embodied in Senate Bill 808, I suspect the entire Senate should read these words:





Should the Assembly pass a version of SB 808, and should Governor Brown sign that legislation, the above words are what you will reap.  I have drawn my line in the sand.  I will no longer allow you to defecate your misplaced verbiage on my fundamental human rights. 

The State has no right, and certainly no moral or ethical grounds, to interfere with what I may or may not build in my garage. 

The State has no basis in fact to claim that such interference will reduce levels of violent crime.

The State sponsor of SB 808 has no factual or functional grasp on the subject matter he seeks to regulate and infringe. 

In short, I will defy your law.  I will disobey the State and all its agents.  I will conspire to assist others in doing the same.  I will rebel against this infringement on my civil rights and this incursion into my sphere of privacy. 

Make no mistake, I fully understand that to defy the likes of State power necessarily invites the risk of punishment and penalty.  If you like, you may start by taking away my license to practice law.  You may try to arrest me, try me, and imprison me.  I will make every effort to live free.  I will not live in fear of your immoral and unjust exercise of authority.

I have been a law-abiding gun owner for a long time.  Retaining the title of "law-abiding" requires that I continually cede bits and pieces of my fundamental rights in the names of "security", and "safety".  The premise that doing so is somehow sensible stands at odds with notions of justice and fairness, not to mention logic and reason.  I can no longer follow your edicts in good conscience.  I am obligated to follow just laws, and free to ignore those laws which are unjust.  This bill is an example of injustice and a corruption of reason. 

I will continue to actively recruit other like-minded individuals (if any exist) to stand united in defiance of your folly.  No longer shall we pass silently into the night.

Monday, September 2, 2013

(n)Obama and ATF - Screwin You Two Ways From Sunday - Changes to NFA Regs.

In short, an NFA trust used to be a legal and legitimate way around a CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) that would not sign off on an NFA transfer (Title II firearms). 

Obummer and Friends want to undo that regulation.  Might as well start hammering them now.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thirty-four and counting...


Personally, I think it would be interesting if FFL's stopped processing certain transactions as well, i.e. LE-exempt transactions.  That would add a little more sting to the effort.  I don't see an Equal Protection issue, not a Federal Civil Rights Act issue.  There might be something buried in ATF regulations, or maybe in various state statutes (CA may have one) about having to process certain types of transactions, so more research would be required.

That would either 1) dry up the supply to LE (slightly) or 2) force LE to engage in certain questional transfers (illegal ones, I mean). 

If we're going to do this, it should be all-in.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Brain Dump

What's wrong with "May Issue" (i.e. California) permit systems.  They let the Sheriff play favorites.  That doesn't sound conducive to exercising the right of lawful self-defense, does it?

Kachalsky may be going up to SCOTUS.  Petition for cert. filed, amici briefs coming in.  HT Dave Hardy for the list.

Compare Kachalsky with Madigan.  The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Posner writing, smacks down "No Issue" in Illinois.  Illinois AG Madigan has filed a petition of rehearing en banc.  Either way, we have a 7th/2nd Circuit split, so SCOTUS is likely to consider the question.  At least Scalia thinks so.  And I'm inclined to agree with him.  I predict this will refine the contours of the "most acute" language found in Heller, as applicable through MacDonald.  I also think we'll see something giving more guidance, if not an outright bright line, for necessary levels of scrutiny for different facets of the right. 

More gun companies (I think we're up to 7 now) are outright refusing sales to law enforcement in states with restrictive non-LE rules for ownership of firearms or parts.  This is good, and pressure should be brought on some of the bigger names, like Smith &Wesson and Ruger.  A quick way to make your voice heard is here (thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition). 

The Colorado house today passed a magazine capacity limit, along with some other dreck.  Magpul, presently located in CO, is threatening to pull out, taking their tax revenue and 600 jobs with them.  Good on Magpul. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Just and the Unjust

Excerpt of some comments I made on a Facebook posting last night.  I thought I'd share, as I'm always open to criticism.

A couple of thoughts. First, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, both of the State and the Nation. And unlike many of my colleagues, I actually think the oath means something about circumstances much bigger and more important than just me.
More importantly we have to ask a semi-philosophical question. Does the Constitution enable only the passage of just laws, or does it enable the passage of any law, just or unjust?

I think the answer is self evident, but not easy. The Constitution is based upon Natural law and demands limited government, two preexisting concepts which depend upon protection and enforcement only through just laws. An unjust law by definition degrades a human being, a just law elevates and promotes the value of the person. An unjust law is anathema to Natural law, so the Constitution cannot contemplate a structure of unjust laws within its framework. To suggest otherwise implies a dysfunctional absurdity.

We have problems with the above argument when we examine the original text and its implicit support for slavery (i.e. the 3/5th's clause) and lack of universal suffrage (among other flaws). Slavery is perhaps the ultimate example of an unjust institution. At the founding, then, the document was internally flawed and suffered internal contradiction. However, the Founders admitted the document was imperfect and would be imperfect, and allowed for the Amendment process in order for future generations to correct those flaws. Men like Jefferson and Hamilton expected that in decades to come the document would ultimately be corrected, in essence pushed towards the notion of "more perfect" (though not absolutely ever perfect).

Lo' and behold that is precisely what happened some 89 or 90 years later, by way of a massive internal convulsion we call the Civil War. Some decades later we started on the path to correct issues with universal suffrage for women and other areas where Civil Rights needed to be addressed. So, with that understanding in mind, it then becomes consistent to say the Constitution is, in fact, a framework which contemplates only the passage of just laws. Anything unjust defaults to being unconstitutional.

So, then you have to ask if the current push for gun control amounts to unjust law imposing upon a preexisting Natural right. I think the question answers itself. There can be nothing elevating or just about restricting the right of a human being to defend herself, provide for her family, or lend his life and arms to the defense of his community. Some counter this with the supposed injustice of armed violence in our communities. To that I would answer that evil men are not just and they choose to operate outside the bounds of civil, rational society. The injustices committed by evil people are not to be remedied by exacting a price on those who abide by the just laws of society. At the same time exacting retribution on the good, then, is indeed a heresy against justice. The form of this heresy being unjust laws, no good member of civil society is bound to obey them.

Someone or something much bigger than me will ultimately judge my action or inaction. I simply know where I stand and what I will and will not do. If we must hang, let us all hang together.