Daily Hopechange – guns edition

Via the Rott comes this gem:

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., is hoping to pass a firearm-licensing bill that will significantly rewrite gun-ownership laws in America.

Among the more controversial provisions of the bill are requirements that all handgun owners submit to the federal government a photo, thumb print and mental heath records. Further, the bill would order the attorney general to establish a database of every handgun sale, transfer and owner’s address in America.

It also forbids the transfer of “qualifying firearms” to anyone who is not a registered and licensed gun dealer or collector. What makes a “qualifying firearm,” you wisely ask? “[A]ny handgun or any semiautomatic firearm that takes an ammunition clip.” So basically… everything except revolvers or single shot weapons. I knew I liked those wheelguns for a reason.

Three guesses as to what his justification is for this travesty.

“to protect the public against the unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with the unrecorded sale or transfer of firearms to criminals and youth.”

For the chidren! As long as you can somehow tie it back to that, any violation of rights or liberties is justified – at least in the mind of your average politician.  The bill even starts off with a tragic tale of a boy who used his body to shield a girl in the line of fire of a lunatic who decided he was going to shoot up a bus. Unfortunately, even had this law been in effect, the result would have been the same. Why? Because criminals don’t obey laws. This is a crucial cognitive disconnect present in nearly every member of congress, and especially the Democrats – these sort of registries and transfer penalties and fines and fees do not work on those who ignore the law. The only people who this kind of legislation affects are the law-abiding ones who don’t need to be tracked in the first place. It makes it even more inconvenient to buy or own a firearm, which means those aforementioned law-abiding citizens will be less likely to have one, which in turn means that when the aforementioned law-ignoring citizens decide they want a crack at his home theater system, he is left helpless – or even dead.

Self-defense is a basic human right, outlined and explicitly declared in the Constitution of the United States. “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” it says – and this law seeks, yet again, to infringe on that right. It seems so absurdly obvious that this would be the case that it never ceases to raise frustration levels in people like myself, Rott, and others – namely, people with basic cognitive skills who can recognize simple truths about reality. Unfortunately, very few of these sort of people get elected into public office.

“As soon as he saw me, his eyes went wide with terror.”

Not sure what to file this under so I’ll give it both the WTF and Awesome tags. The above quote came from a statement made by a man who had just chased off a would-be thief from his home – now, being the UK it wasn’t with a firearm, but the guy came up with a creative alternative:

Six-foot-tall fitness fanatic Torvald Alexander, 38, was wearing a full God of Thunder outfit – complete with flying red cape and tinfoil silver-winged helmet – when he spotted the raider in his front room rifling through a desk.

Mr Alexander, who runs building firm Alexander & Summers in Edinburgh, Scotland, said the burglar threw himself out of a first-floor window [ed: that’s second floor in American] of his £350,000 home in the Inverleith area of the city when he opened the door and confronted him.

The man landed on a roof outside the window, which broke his fall, enabling him to escape.

Click the link for the picture, it’s the best part of the story. Hat tip to Ace for this one.

There is hope after all!

Hallelujah, there’s still at least 5 people in power who think the Constitution means something. It’s kind of sad that I’m so overjoyed by such a simple affirmation of what is already there in black and white but we’ve just been going down the wrong path for so long…

For those not following this, DC v. Heller, it’s a case brought before the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the DC gun bans. However, their affirmation of the 2nd amendment extends far beyond DC: Chicago, New York, and other cities and states have similar laws in effect that are now ready for striking under this decision. Here’s the affirmation, straight from the decision released by the Court:

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Emphasis mine, but look at that! Three of the biggest anti-gun arguments I hear every day shattered in one fell swoop! Thank GOD for those justices right now. I feel like going outside and doing a happy dance.

For those wanting to know more, here are some great related links, which can then be followed for yet more links:

To quote Prester Scott: “We won. The Constitution won. Liberty won. Common sense and rationality won. It’s a fine day in America.”

Sex, Violence, and Politics

So Obama got endorsed by the Kennedys, I see. Pretty much puts the kiss of death on any conservative appeal he had because of his charisma, but the guy’s really just another new-school socialist anyway. Having him in the White House would be a nightmare, but I suppose it’d be less bad than Hillary…

Via Kim comes the reminder that Mardis Gras is child’s play:

Five days of frenzied festivities kick off on Friday, with the biggest parties in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Recife.

Latin America’s largest country stops work and indulges in a riot of drinking, dancing and parades accompanied by often licentious behavior.

The Health Ministry launched its annual safe sex campaign on Sunday under the slogan “Good in bed means wearing a condom.”

I find it just bizarre in general that these festivals exist, but never underestimate the stupidity of large groups of people. And there are people genuinely confused about the wildfire spread of STDs? I know I’m not anything remotely close to normal, and maybe my logic is just too abstract for most people, but if anonymous sex has all these negative consequences why not just… not do it?

Also from Kim is this heartwarming tragic tale of neighborly love senseless violence:

A father of three was murdered after going to a neighbour’s house to retrieve his son’s football. David Martin was allegedly stabbed with a samurai sword and a knife then bludgeoned round the head with a golf club. His wife and two youngest children watched in horror as an argument broke out and Mr Martin collapsed in agony.

Emphasis mine. “Hey guys, I was just wondering if I could get my son’s football back…” gets you beaten to death? What kind of insane world are we living in? What makes it even worse is that Mr. Martin’s father died in the exact same way – beaten to death trying to save his son from a group of misunderstood youth gang that should have been hung on the spot all those years ago. But they can’t do that, and with no death penalty to worry about, it’s pretty obvious that people aren’t worried too much about the repercussions – especially when the repercussions for said crimes are 6 years in juvenile for one offender while the others walk away.

This where I have to refer to LawDog’s excellent post on self defense. It’s becoming increasingly the case that criminals don’t fear the repercussions of what happens AFTER the crime, which I can easily attribute to our sluggish and ultimately ineffective justice system. This leaves you to provide him with fear on the spot. As LawDog points out,

Joe Critter does his first mugging. He is probably almost as scared as his victim, he’s not sure he wants to do this — but … hey! He got ten dollars (or sex, or a feeling of power, or whatever) but more importantly: he didn’t get hurt.

The next time, he’s a little less scared. He’s a little more sure. He gets five dollars (or sex, power, whatever) — and he’s not hurt. He feels his activities present less risk to him each time he has a successful (he didn’t get hurt) attack.

Twenty or a hundred victims later, Joe Critter not only doesn’t think mugging is risky, but the lack of risk has caused him to consider other, more violent actions. Because these actions don’t get him hurt.

On the other paw, suppose Joe Critter is in a place where self-defence is expected and encouraged. He figures the reward of wallet money is worth the risk of Rehabilitation Through Reincarnation, or Bodily Injury and attempts a mugging. The victim defends him or her self, and let us postulate that Joe scrambles away with powder burns and a bloody furrow along the ribs.

In contrast to the above example, for mugging number 2, the Risk part of Joe’s Risk/Reward assessment climbs, rather than lowers. Death — instead of being a philosophical possibility of his actions, is now a very real, concrete fact.

Go read the rest.

In happier news, new episode of House tonight. Holy crap, I’m actually excited about a TV show.