Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

Warm and Fuzzy versus Fangs and Venom — Predators Know the Difference.

December 17, 2012
Coyote_arizonaWikipediaC1

Coyotes prefer prey WITHOUT fangs and venom, thank you, very much.

Rabbit_in_montana

Coyotes, the media and Progressive elites — pragmatic predators all — prefer THESE as prey…

Rattlesnake_Dance_01

… Over THESE, as prey, although both are edible. Do we know WHY?
Yes, we do, even if the wizards in the media-government complex do not.

Just as a hungry coyote understands the important difference between a rabbit and a rattlesnake, a would-be armed robber, or a glory-seeking spree killer, understands the difference between a victim who may be armed, and one who certainly is not.

Both the rabbit and the rattler can be eaten, but preying on rattlers involves considerably more risk than preying on rabbits. Why? Fangs and venom, that’s why. A coyote or a human predator that chooses the wrong prey is more likely to end up floating, face-down, in the gene pool.

There has been supportive chatter in the media-government complex  for decades, on the efforts of the UN and American “Progressives” to  get small arms out of the hands of individuals, and make them a government monopoly.

The media tend to chide Americans who cherish their Second Amendment right, for being afraid the UN wants to take away “their deer rifles.” Silly Second Amendment types! All the UN is concerned about, the editorials say, is “rocket launchers and machine guns.”

Of course, that’s a lie. The UN, whose membership is composed mainly of tin-horn dictatorships and bankrupt, socialist dis-utopias, and the Progressives, who cherish their own safety enough to hire armed bodyguards, want to relieve all of us of all of our firearms, down to the last pellet gun and antique flintlock. It’s for our own good, right?

Hardly.

The UN’s problem is that an armed populace is a terrible inconvenience to a would-be despot. Armed citizens may not go along with certain kinds of government excesses, such as pogroms, purges, gulags, concentration camps and slavery.

Armed citizens introduce an element of risk and expense to such ventures that discourages governments from undertaking them. Beneath their veneer of compassion and care for our collective safety, the Progressives share the UN’s concerns.

Armed citizens are also a nuisance to the dictator next door, whose stupid policies have wasted all his country’s resources. He must now prey on his neighbors to satisfy his needs, and “reallocating their resources” may be difficult, if his neighbors are armed. Charitable by nature, perhaps, they may not share the great leader’s vision for their future. Their privately-owned weapons may frustrate their acquisitive neighbors’ plans long enough for regular military forces to show up and end them altogether.

On a much smaller scale, armed citizens are also a nuisance to the individual predator, who dislikes assuming the risk of attacking a crowd of rabbits, only to find that one or more of them has hidden rattlesnake fangs and venom, and the will and skill to use them in his defense, or in defense of innocents around him.

America’s founders understood this principle of nature (and of human nature), and built the individual right to be armed into our Constitution.

Coyotes, armed robbers and dictators understand this principle.

Someone, please explain it to the nation’s media-government complex, and to our Progressive elite.

A Kinder, Gentler Martial Law

May 29, 2012
A kindler, gentler martial Law

GOP senators have appealed to President Obama to soften the impact of martial law imposed before the national election.

Republican Senators Offer Alternative Plan for Martial Law

(Washington, October 29th, 2012)

In the wake of President Obama’s declaration of martial law last week, just weeks before the 2012 general election, moderate Senate Republicans have proposed some alternatives to the President’s executive orders authorizing indefinite detention without trial and civil asset forfeiture.

The measures were described as “draconian” by former talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who has not been heard from in several days. Senate Republicans Olympia Snow, John  McCain and minority leader Mitch McConnell came forward today with what they call “a reasonable alternative” to the emergency measures. They say they have met with Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin to negotiate the release on recognizance of several Republican senators, congressmen, and state governors, all of whom had been “very critical” of the emergency measures.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell spoke for the group:

“In this time of crisis, we must reach across the aisle to our colleagues and come to some sort of compromise on these executive orders. While we appreciate the urgency and severity of the situation that faces the President, we believe it is possible to deal with our unfortunate circumstances with a more moderate, measured approach.”

“We propose to allow those thousands of Americans being held incommunicado and without legal representation or charges being filed, to be released on their own recognizance from the detention camps around the country, after signing an agreement not to participate in political activity.

“They should be allowed to return to their homes, if they have not been demolished or re-assigned to needy immigrant families. They should wear a GPS-enabled house arrest ankle bracelet and keep authorities advised of their whereabouts at all times.

“Of course, we would expect the President’s National Stability Police Force to continue to hold anyone who is a real security threat, but we expect that such detainees would be tried and convicted or released within a reasonable period.”

Saying they were trying to reach missing Congressional colleagues to get a consensus in support of the compromise, McConnell expects to be allowed to meet with the President’s chief of staff to present the proposal “within the next few weeks.”

“Legalize it”? Maybe It’s Time.

October 18, 2011

Dried marijuana "bud," Courtesy of Wikipedia. NOT my photo! ("Eees no' mine!!")

Let’s just say I know enough about smoking marijuana (having been college-aged in the late 60’s) to know how apt is the term “wasted” in that context… but let’s also say that I could have passed a random, pop drug test any time over the last forty years, and I could do so at right this moment.

While I am not chomping at the bit for the legal right to hit the pot store on the way home from WalMart, it is hard NOT to see the cost of the “war on drugs” on our Constitutional rights. And, no, you don’t have to be a Paulistinian, or even a classical Libertarian to see it.

“]”]”

Would you trust your rights to "Good" Attorneys General -- Ashcroft (L) and Thornburgh (R)

”]”]”]”]If we give government the power to knock down doors without first serving a warrant, and to seize private property without due process or even criminal charges (among a host of abuses justified by the “War on Drugs,” not to mention the “War on Terror”), we are giving that power not just to a John Ashcroft or a Dick Thornburgh; we’re giving it to a Janet Reno and an Eric Holder. That’s not just stupid; it’s reckless and destructive.

What have we given up from the Bill of Rights, just to ignore the inherent evil of no-knock warrants and civil asset forfeiture? If a government acting in our best interests can abuse these procedures, what can a government that holds us in contempt do with them?

Legalizing marijuana would break away the current markets for marijuana from their very close relationship with the markets for heroin, cocaine, meth, hot guns, stolen property, prostitution, human and drug smuggling, terrorism, etc., draining tens or hundreds of millions of dollars from that income stream, and diverting it into taxable income streams. It would also unclog thousands of slots on pending court case calendars and empty prison and jail cells of people who otherwise wouldn’t be there, making room for the people who really should be locked up.

The statists graciously accept all our offers to surrender our rights for alleged safety or other benefits, regardless of the “war” allegedly being fought — drugs, poverty, terrorism, income inequality…

They know from history that such rights, once surrendered, are seldom restored, except by force and the spilling of lots of blood. At some point, it will be too late to get them back without that terrible cost.

We’re not there just yet, but we’re awfully close.

With (Drunk Driving) Friends Like These, Gun Rights Advocates Don’t Need Enemies

October 14, 2011

Curry Todd's mug shot, which will be used by gun control advocates from now on as a poster for their cause. Thanks, Curry. Oh, and thanks for driving drunk, too.

Sometimes you just want to slap yourself on the forehead and ask, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Tennessee state representative Curry Todd should have a real sore forehead by now, having embarrassed Tennessee gun rights advocates by being arrested for driving drunk.  But wait! There’s more! He had a holstered .38 Special in the car with him. But, wait! There’s even more!

Curry Todd was the “driving” force behind the new state law that removed the prohibition against carrying a concealed weapon WITH A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT into a bar or restaurant where alcohol is served. And yes, Todd was also charged with the possession of a firearm while intoxicated.

You can be sure the irony of a gun-rights advocate being arrested for a gun law violation has not escaped notice among the foaming-at-the-mouth gun-haters. Take some anti-nausea medicine and read The Tennessean online, and the comments about the related stories, if you want to see anti-gun Schadenfreude on full display.

But, something is missing in all this coverage. Where is the outrage against a drunk driver?

While having a gun in the car when he was driving drunk was illegal and utterly stupid, there is nothing to indicate the firearm ever left the car, that it ever left the holster, that it was ever pointed at anyone or anything — and certainly — no evidence that it was ever used to harm anyone.

What could much more easily have resulted in tragedy that night was not the gun.

Forgive me if I sound a little strident about this, but the deadliest weapon in this story wasn’t IN the car; it WAS the car.  Thousands of pounds of steel that could have easily killed a whole crowd was being operated by a guy who was drunk, according to the police report. And, if you doubt the police report, check the mug shot, above. What is it about driving drunk that is not at least as repugnant to people on either side of the Second Amendment issue as the fact that a firearm was present?

Why do I seem strident about anybody driving drunk? It’s personal. Somebody very close to me was killed by a drunk driver, and it’s not something one forgets.

On June 6, 1994 (yes, the 50th anniversary of D-Day), I got a hysterical call from my mother-in-law, telling me between sobs that my 19-year-old nephew — her oldest grandson, and my wife’s oldest nephew — James Robert Anemone, had been killed, along with his 17-year-old serious girlfriend, by a drunk driver. It’s another story entirely, but James was as close as I have ever come to having a son, and I was as close as he would ever come to having a father.

James and his girl were both sober. The drunk was a minor with a history of driving drunk and public intoxication charges, and he was drunk enough that evening that his blood alcohol level would have put a non-drinker into a coma. But this guy was used to being drunk, and he was used to driving drunk and getting away with it — until he crossed the center line and hit two innocent people head-on,  and killed them. With his car.

Curry Todd’s gun was never a danger to anyone, but his car and his drunken state were a danger to everyone unfortunate enough to share the road with him.  Guns are used  hundreds of thousands or millions of times a year to prevent crimes, but I know of no reports of drunks using their cars to prevent a crime; and tens of thousands of deaths each year result from drunk driving.

Which will get more attention from the “mainstream” press in the Curry Todd incident — the gun, or the car piloted by the guy in the mug shot, above?

Now, what do gun rights advocates do about this ugly situation?

Do we all crawl into a cave and abandon the cause of gun rights? Not just NO, but, HELL NO. We can do what I am doing , here — we can offer Curry Todd the opportunity to redeem himself somewhat in our eyes by offering his resignation from the legislature.  At the very, very least, he should humble himself before the public with a sincere, deeply-felt apology, and a hard commitment to dealing with his alcoholism.

And, he needs to promise his constituents, his colleagues, his family, and methat he will never get behind the wheel drunk again.

Guns and Firewater — The Magical Bloodbath That Didn’t Happen

August 16, 2011

The Kinman Bar, courtesy of Wikipedia. What Leftist "Journalists" picture when they think about letting concealed carry permit holders carry into places that serve alcohol.

As Old Lodge Skins said in the classic movie, Little Big Man, “Sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Remember those blood-soaked gunfights in places that sell alcohol, when Tennessee allowed us permit holders to carry concealed into them? You don’t? Perhaps that’s because they didn’t happen.

When Tennessee legislated to allow concealed carry holders to carry into places that sell alcohol, The Tennessean promised us that there would be a bloodbath because of voodoo. Yes, voodoo. The presence of two, inanimate objects in the same space — alcohol and firearms — was magically supposed to trigger carnage and wholesale death.

While Tennessean “journalists” may think alcohol is OK, we know that 99% of them find firearms to be inherently evil. Since we also know that these same “journalists” believe in magic, we are not surprised that they imbue inanimate objects with magical power.

We heard plenty about the “pouring gasoline on a fire” outcome that was clearly ahead, when we allowed law-abiding gun owners to carry their evil objects into public places. So, where are the stacks of reports of gun violence since the law passed?

Well, of course, not being dependent on magical thinking allowed the rest of us to understand that the predicted mass killing by firearm was no more likely before the law went into effect than after. As has already happened in dozens of other states, nothing new happened.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=334117

Guns are NOT inherently evil.

Alcohol is NOT inherently evil.

Objects are NOT inherently evil.

BEHAVIOR may certainly be evil (though it may be impossible for Tennessean “journalists” to wrap their tiny minds around that), but inanimate objects are… inanimate objects.

Irrational fear of firearms is… irrational.

Thanks for letting me clear this up. The “journalists” at The Tennessean may now resume their magical thinking.

It’s NOT the ECONOMY, STUPID! It’s the FREEDOM!

July 5, 2011

It's NOT THE ECONOMY!

Why does any public discussion of our stumbling, staggering, bleeding economy dissolve into accounting-speak — deficits, debt, bonds, seasonally-adjusted unemployment figures, tax deductions, accelerated depreciation, corporate tax loopholes, taxing the rich, oil-depletion allowances, big oil, big tobacco, jobs training, college tuition, blah, blah, blah, ZZZZZ?

BECAUSE IT’S SUPPOSED TO. Whether it’s the baffled and hackneyed vice president or the Decepticon-in-Chief telling us we need to blame some fictional Monopoly-man villain, or the super-caffeinated Congressman Paul Ryan speed-talking to us about the his budget plan, we are soon lulled into a haze of indifference by the “hate-the-rich” blather, or the “dismal science” jargon.

This is by design. The Left blames the “rich,” and the Right blames the Left. Neither side in the argument will dare a passing glance at the real issue behind all the class-warfare rhetoric and financial minutiae – the metastatic intrusion of government into every aspect of our lives, consuming our freedoms and transforming our country from a beacon of freedom into an addled, paralyzed, stupid, Euro-socialist dinosaur.

In short, the real issue is the loss of freedom.

When a whole country tries to move back into its parents’ basement, somebody has to pick up the tab, and here we are. A nanny-state is an ever-expanding expense, and the trade of freedom for an illusion of security always, always, always has the same result. The number of people willing to make that trade exceeds the number of those who refuse, and, as Margaret Thatcher famously said, “…sooner or later, you run out of other peoples’ money.”

Then, one of a small number of things happens. One has happened so often that no one should be surprised, but some always are: mass murder and mass graves.

In the Twentieth Century,  socialism — under its two major brand names, Communism and Nazism — took off its mask of compassion and equality of result, and showed the naked face of absolute dictatorship. It tried to reduce its operating costs and remove inconvenient political opposition by killing a hundred million or more human beings.

It never works, but don’t look for this cost-cutting measure to be abandoned permanently. Scrape the socially-acceptable, compassionate-statist veneer off of any socialist, and the dictatorial, mass murderer is always there, waiting for its moment in the sun.

Another approach is by simply printing “money.”  This doesn’t work either, as the Weimar Republic and Zimbabwe have already proven, as if proof were necessary. Sooner or later, the rest of the world catches on that the “full faith and credit” of the officially-sanctioned counterfeiting ring is meaningless.

No matter how many zeroes the print shop adds to the bill denominations, they still buy less and less, and finally, they are worth more as paper than as currency. This is but another, intermediate step to the murderous dictatorship, or to chaos and destruction.

The rarest but most blessed outcome is an awakening of the people to the reality that they are better off trusting themselves and leaving themselves to their own devices and to the mercy of their friends and relatives, than to trust any government to provide for them.

Of course, this sort of awakening is also likely to be bloody, because the beneficiaries of “other peoples’ money,” and the people who maintain their positions of privilege and power by handing it out, do not often give up their free rides voluntarily.

Some of the calcified and impoverished European socialist states are now experiencing a tentative rebirth of freedom; they have hit the financial wall, and can no longer ignore the inevitable. The trade of freedom for security always ends the same — security and freedom both expire. Whether these states, currently teetering on the razor-edge between freedom and slavery, will fall toward freedom, or away from it, it is still too early to tell.

Which way our own, uniquely-blessed country will fall, will be largely determined in the next few months.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the issue, not the economy. Will we choose freedom, as our forefathers did over 235 years ago, or slavery? The economy is an effect, not a cause. The economy will heal if we choose freedom.

If we choose slavery, we will get the economy we deserve.

Show Me Your Criminal’s License!

January 18, 2011

Would it have helped if he had a license?

It was inevitable.

Mindless, reflexive calls for the abridgment of the Second Amend rights of law-abiding Americans arise like dandelions in spring, right after a high-profile shooting. It’s time to get uncivil (that means, “honest”) and call these proposals what they are.

They are fraudulent, unconstitutional efforts to limit the possession of firearms to government-approved persons, and to disarm citizens. While most of these proposed laws will make it more difficult to own or carry a handgun legally, they will do nothing to limit the use of handguns in the commission of crimes. The gun-control fetishists  know this, and it doesn’t matter to them. Making the lawful possession of firearms by citizens impossible is exactly what they intend.

Here’s my counter-proposal to these useless measures.

Let’s license violent criminals. Any criminal must obtain a picture ID from the federal government that certifies he (or she, or “other” —  let’s be inclusive) is a government-licensed criminal.

Before committing any violent crime involving a firearm, the criminal must present a valid Criminal’s License to the intended victim. Failure to do so would subject the criminal (if caught, if prosecuted, and if convicted) to severe penalties, such as denial of all but basic cable service while in prison.

Skeptics will heap scorn on my proposal.

They will call it naive.

Why would a violent criminal go to the trouble to obtain a license to commit crimes, when he (or she, or “other,” of course) is completely capable of committing crimes without it? Why would a criminal intentionally incriminate himself (or herself) by applying to the government for a license to commit crimes?

Why would any criminal, even a complete idiot, tip his (or her) hand to his intended victim(s) by presenting his (or her)criminal credentials before his attack?

I submit that any criminal stupid enough to abide by burdensome gun laws is stupid enough to apply for a criminal’s license. Law-abiding people will not commit crimes, because they are — well — non-criminals.

A restriction on the Second Amendment has nothing to do with “fighting crime,” and everything to do with depriving non-criminals of the right of self-defense, which is neither granted by, nor can be revoked by, government.

What happens when the federal government decides to quit pussyfooting around, and makes any private citizen without government connections a criminal, simply because he or she owns a (formerly) legal firearm? Why, all the local law enforcement agency has to do is print out a list of gun owners, and send the SWAT team out to knock on your door.

If you don’t answer your door, and let the troops walk off with your firearms, they can kill you, put your spouse in prison, condemn your house and auction it off, and put your children in (“gun-free”) foster homes.

Why? Because you’re a criminal. And, an unlicensed criminal, to boot.

The panting opportunists and jackals who want to capitalize on the Arizona massacre to curtail our rights are contemptible.

They should be scorned and defeated at every opportunity.

YOU’RE TOO STUPID!

October 14, 2009

For decades, the government has been telling you that you’re stupid. Are you too stupid to get tired of that?

You are too stupid to buy a car you can afford, and one that gives you and your family a chance of surviving a collision, rather than one that will crush like a paper bag because it had to lose weight to meet CAFE standards.

You are too stupid to manage your own health care. You need the government to choose your doctor, and to determine if, what, when and how you will receive medical care; and whether you and your loved ones will die because their care is too expensive, or rationed to those in a more favored political class.

You are too stupid to decide for yourself what the truth is, so government will decide who gets to use “public” airwaves to tell you what to think.

You are too stupid to buy a toilet that flushes the first time, a light bulb that doesn’t contain poisons you need a HAZMAT team to dispose of, or to set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature, just because you are the one paying the utility bills.

You are too stupid to distinguish honest expression of news and opinion appearing on the Internet from scams and lies, so government will move in, as in China, and allocate Internet access to the sources that get bureaucratic blessings.

You are too stupid to know how stupid racism is – especially of you are white, or non-white but conservative – so you need government to impose racist standards on hiring, college admissions and just about everything else.

You are too stupid to be responsible for your children’s education. You don’t have an education school degree, so you are not qualified to provide your children with moral education, let alone to home-school them. Government will provide them with all the knowledge and wisdom they need, thank you very much. And government will encourage your children to bring their wisdom home and lecture you  for not buying a hybrid deathtrap car and for running too much hot water, and for not standing whenever Barack Obama appears on TV.

You are too stupid to examine the actual positions of political candidates and decide for yourself, based on those positions, which are more qualified for office. Instead, you need government to restrict the right to run for office to members of one or the other establishment political party. “Independents” and “third parties” should get every possible obstacle thrown in their way, because you are too stupid to see their names on the ballot. The burden of choice would overload your stunted intellect, and you would be incapable of making the right decision.

You are FAR too stupid to own a firearm, because firearms, all by themselves, cause crime and suicide. You are incapable of learning which end of the gun the round comes out of, or how the unload a weapon and make it safe, or how to distinguish a home invader seconds away from crashing through your front door from your mother-in-law getting a midnight snack.

Some of us are at the end of our patience with genuinely stupid, selfish, socialist, statist do-gooders telling us we are the stupid ones.

Are you?

Numbering the Bullets — and Backdoor Gun Control

December 11, 2008

In the Spring of 2008, some Tennessee lawmakers were pushing a bill (HB 3245/SB 3395) that would require all bullets sold in the state to be laser-engraved with a unique serial number. Tennessee is one of several states in which this scheme was  floated. Such initiatives will probably resurface, like a recurring infection, after the first of the year.

I’m sure that the legislative sponsors sincerely believe that the technology to do this exists, that it is “relatively” reliable and inexpensive, that it won’t impose an undue burden on legal gun owners, and that it will result in solving more firearm crimes.

Most are also sincere (one hopes) in the belief that this bullet ID database will not be used as a back-door method of identifying legal handgun owners, in order to make the confiscation of their handguns at a later date more convenient. For a government that no longer trusts its citizens with the right of self defense by handgun, this is a logical way to go.  Most legislators, that is. Unfortunately, there may be some who eagerly await such a confiscation move, and who hope that an ammunition database will make it easier.

As to the technology, please allow an Information Technology administrator and firearms enthusiast to express some skepticism. Yes, it is certainly possible to laser-engrave a very large amount of information onto a very small surface area. One only has to look at a photo taken through an electron microscope of an integrated circuit “chip,” showing the circuit paths etched by a laser. The individual conductive paths make a human hair look like a giant redwood, by comparison.

However, integrated circuits are not fired under tremendous heat and pressure from the breech of a firearm, forced down the barrel of that firearm at 500 to 1000 miles per hour, and distorted or even shattered on impact. Have the bill’s sponsors seen objective studies that show how much of that etched code is still readable after the short, stressful life of a fired bullet? Or, are they taking the word of the measure’s proponents?

Then there’s the challenge of storing and recovering those codes from a government database. By some estimates, 10 billion rounds (that’s ten times one thousand times one million) of the more common handgun ammunition types are manufactured in the United States alone, every year. Even if, as some of the “ammo coding” proponents suggest, the code would “only” narrow the field to one box of twenty to fifty rounds of ammunition, we are still talking about generating, etching, and keeping accurate track of something like half a billion (that’s five hundred times one million) unique codes — each year. And each year, add another half a billion.

Ammunition has a shelf life measured in years, or even decades, if properly stored. So, a bullet coded one day may not be fired until ten, or twenty years later. Am I supposed to believe that a government that can’t even keep track of ten or twenty million illegal aliens (We don’t know how many, do we?), or the illegal use of a 9-digit Social Security number, will be able to track one, unique “ammo code” code out of five billion, back ten years, to the manufacturer, seller and, ultimately, to the buyer? Sorry. I don’t. Even if the information is entered accurately (and it often isn’t, judging from other forms of government record-keeping), it can be lost, altered or destroyed.

Does anyone know what it will cost to maintain the database — personnel, hardware, software — that houses this information? Do the legislative sponsors have any realistic estimates? Or, are they listening to the moist whispers in their ears from the manufacturers of laser engravers, database administration programs and computer servers, who will be scrambling for the contracts to accumulate and maintain this enormous, and always-growing mountain of data?

Does anyone dispute that the burden of this process on the ammunition manufacturers will drive up the price of their products? One ‘Ammo Code” proponent’s Website (www.ammocoding.com) estimates that a laser engraver will cost “only” $300,000 to $500,000. Of course, an engraver would be needed at the end of each production line. If a manufacturer runs batches of the five or six most popular handgun ammunition types at one time, that’s “only” a few millions of dollars in up-front costs, plus the cost of labor to operate and maintain what must be a fairly complex piece of equipment, plus the extra time and space added to the manufacturing process, and their attendant costs.

This could only look attractive to the manufacturer of the engraving machines, it seems to me. How many of them are lobbying for these bills in state legislatures around the country, and counting the added revenues as they drift off to sleep?

Of course, the gun control lobby has to be enthusiastic about anything the drives up the cost of personal protection via handgun, even a little. If the price of ammunition can be pushed high enough to put  it out of reach for a single mother in the projects, with a minimum wage job, an abusive “ex” who likes to drop by and beat her, and a neighborhood full of crack dealers and pimps who don’t seem to have any problems getting handguns and ammunition, so much the better.

And then, there’s the problem of privacy. Does anyone not know about information theft? A former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency “misplaces” a laptop with top secret documents on it. Tens of thousands of credit card numbers go missing because somebody was patient and skillful enough to penetrate a corporate network and steal them.

Even if you choose to ignore the deliberate misuse of “private” information within government (the browsing of passport data files at the State Department, or the illegal possession of private FBI files by White House staff come to mind), incompetence, laziness and corruption make the theft of such information as ammunition ownership not just likely, but nearly inevitable. Do we really want that sort of information lying around?

Criminals typically obtain handguns on the street, or by stealing them. In the jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws on the books, a criminal can still get a handgun (or even a machine gun, if the price is right) in hours or even minutes. A criminal is someone predisposed to have no more regard for firearms laws than for any other laws, or he would not be a criminal. Would the criminal not also find ways to circumvent the “ammo codes” by getting his ammo on the street, from sources that are less than scrupulous about their record-keeping? As the history of gun laws repeatedly shows, an ammunition code law would only burden those who buy their ammunition legally. The criminals would skate.

Millions of pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates and other drugs are smuggled into the US annually by entrepreneurs who know a market when they see it. Will they not see a market for uncoded, or unregistered ammunition? Does anyone with a toehold in reality doubt it?

This “ammo coding” initiative looks like a scam advanced by an unholy alliance of opportunists who see a chance to profit from it, and power-hungry people who don’t trust John Q. Public with the means to defend himself with a handgun.

The legislative sponsors of these bills need to take five steps back and look at them from another point of view — and then, back away from them, completely.

Life and Death in a Gun-Free Zone – Observations on the Virginia Tech Massacre

November 6, 2008

(4/30/2007) The Virginia Tech atrocity has awakened the anti-Second Amendment propaganda machine. The recent editorial in my local paper followed the Gannett papers’ party line perfectly, with a good sample of the usual lies and canards in support of gun control. WND carried a link to a disturbing column on how to confiscate legally-owned firearms from American citizens.

I won’t even address those abuses of the truth. My reaction is personal, not political.

I worked  in a job that took me inside school buildings, all over the school district, to large and small buildings, filled with toddlers to teenagers. I have a state-issued carry permit, which means my background and criminal history have been checked, and the state and county have decided there is no compelling reason for me to be denied my right to carry a concealed handgun — except, of course, in or around a school building. School buildings are “gun-free zones.”

Virginia Tech’s administrators gave themselves a pat on the back in 2006, when they helped defeat a bill in the Virginia House of Delegates that would have allowed  those students and others who had a valid carry permit to carry their firearms on campus.

They congratulated themselves on making the campus safer.

In a fantasy world where everyone obeys the rules, they would have been right. A brutal lesson in reality, in the form of a mass murder, showed them how stupidly, criminally wrong they were. People who had done no wrong paid for this hideous lesson with their lives.

For years, I have asked myself, “What would you do, old man?” What would I do, if a killer came into the school building I happened to be working in, and started making his way to posthumous celebrity by harvesting the lives of innocents. The killer might be a loner with a grievance against the world, a zealot with a political point to make (Remember Beslan? The Russians do), or he might just be a monster fueled by the worship of evil and of himself, as the VT killer appeared to be. No matter.

He would be confident, because he is a well-armed killer, in a gun-free zone. He has time, as the VT killer had, to stroll the halls, and pick out targets, reloading when the mag runs dry, relishing the fear and pain he causes, basking in the screams, seeing the blood as impromptu art. Reconciled to his own death as the dramatic climax of the action thriller of which he is the star,  producer and director, he picks his targets, punches holes in them for the life to drain out, and moves on.

What would I do? I walk out of a room to the sounds of gunfire and screaming. I turn a corner, and see a man take careful aim with a firearm, and pull the trigger. A teacher, stepping between the killer and a student, winces and falls, a bullet in the stomach. Bodies are all around her; the students she couldn’t save.

The shooter’s back is to me. He wants to put another bullet into the teacher who is crying and writhing on the floor, but the hammer falls on an empty chamber. I know he is nearly deaf at the moment, because the shot I just witnessed was incredibly loud in this concrete-floored, high-ceilinged hallway, and it is not his first. I have a few seconds to — what?

Run out the nearest exit, leave the dead and dying, the killer, and his future victims to their fate? Can I live with myself if I survive that way? The screams will haunt my sleep; the regrets and self-recriminations will poison my every waking moment from now on.

Do I run quietly up behind this rabid animal, uttering a quick prayer, and hope to pick up a weapon on the way to bludgeon him with? Finding none, do I try to strike him with my bare hands? He is a young man, fueled on adrenaline and hate, at least, reconciled to his own death, the star of the show.

I am an aging, unarmed, nonathletic civilian, and I did not make up my mind this morning that this was my day to die.

Do I strike him? Where? Do I tackle him? Kick him? What if his hearing recovers just enough to detect me coming up behind him, just as the new magazine slides home, and the first round goes into the breach? Have I just made my wife a widow? Have I added her to the killer’s list of battered lives? Will I have time to regret choosing my livelihood over my right — my obligation — to defend myself and innocent others against harm, by carrying my legal handgun into a “gun-free zone”?

All of you who have supported the idea of “gun-free zones”: these are the choices your deluded idea of “safety” have left me with. Me, and anyone saddled with a conscience, and the quaint concept that the innocent deserve to be protected against evil, even at the cost of our own lives.

Thanks for the “gun-free zone.”

I feel safer already.