Just 9%? JUST 9%??!

According to a Rassmussen poll 9% of Americans, and I have to use the term loosely here: “Just 9% Want No Limits on What Federal Government Can Do.”

These people live in the wrong country. I, for one, would be happy to contribute to the purchase of one-way tickets to North Korea for all of them.

These views are overwhelming shared across virtually all partisan and demographic lines.

The only exception is America’s Political Class. By a 54% to 43% margin, the Political Class believes the federal government should be allowed to do most anything. Mainstream voters reject that view by a 94% to three percent (3%) margin.

Shotgun Sellout

‘Shotgun Sellout’: House Democrats cut special deal with NRA

House Democrats held a shotgun wedding between campaign finance “reformers” and the National Rifle Association today in announcing a carve out for the powerful gun lobby in a bill responding to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

The “Shotgun Sellout” exempts large organizations from the most burdensome regulations of the DISCLOSE Act, “Democratic Incumbents Seek to Contain Losses by Outlawing Speech in Elections,” while pistol whipping genuine grassroots groups. …

Draft amendment affecting the NRA as part of a “Manager’s Amendment” for consideration this week in the House Rules Committee:

Exempt section 501(c)(4) organizations” are also exempt from new reporting requirements. These are organizations which have qualified as having tax exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code for each of the 10 years prior to making a campaign-related disbursement, that had 1 million or more dues-paying members in the prior calendar year, that had members in each of the 50 states, that received no more than 15 percent of their total funding from corporations or labor organizations, and that do not use any corporate or union money to pay for their campaign-related expenditures.

NRA members, especially, should call the NRA at 1-800-672-3888 and ask them why they don’t defend the First Amendment as strongly as they do the Second.  They should withdraw their support and urge a vote against the DISCLOSE Act.

State speech registry

In the spirit of those states criminalizing (see yesterday’s post) the videotaping of police, State Senator Bruce Patterson (R-District 7) wants to register journalists: he is not asking, yet, to criminalize those who write without a license, he merely wants to get the list of exceptions in place.

Since Senator Patterson was mentioned for this proposal on Fox News, he’s been defending himself on the floor of the Michigan Senate by pointing out the difference between “voluntary registration” and “licensing.”

He’s right, there is a difference, but there remain some problems with this semantic defense:

1), What responsibility is it of the taxpayers of Michigan to be paying to create and administer such a registry?

2), What business is it of the State of Michigan to put its imprimatur on information or on individuals’ speech, flawed or otherwise?

3), Since among other things, the law would require applicants for the State conferred title of “Michigan registered reporter” to possess: a) “Good moral character”; b) a degree in journalism; and c) submit three writing samples: 3a) How does the State make a determination of moral character? 3b), If no degree is required to be a “Michigan legislator”, why should “journalists” have to have one? 3c) Who is going to grade the writing samples; on what basis?

Senator Patterson does not deserve the title “Michigan legislator;” probably could never have achieved it under his rules for “journalists;” and certainly should not be allowed to keep it. Apparently term limits are working in favor of that outcome.

MSNBC. Fail.

I’ve been out of town for 10 days, so I’m quite late to this party. I do not normally reach this far back news-cyclewise, but I’ve had several conversations that make me think it’s worthwhile. Some people don’t know what I’m about to demonstrate.

Protesters against Big Government, at Tea Parties and health-care “town halls,” have been the object of scatological insult by prominent national “news casters” and have been portrayed by Democrat leaders as traitors, dupes, insurance company stooges, Nazis and, most often, as racist. Ignoring the protests didn’t work, so the protesters themselves must be discredited. No protest can be about policies, they are all caused by mouth breathing knuckle draggers who would be most comfortable wearing white sheets.

Here’s an MSM example:

You will note that MSNBC’s video shows dramatic closeups of the rifle while the bobble-heads decry the racial overtones of “white people” showing up with guns when the black president is in town.

Camera angles can be manipulated, however, and MSNBC went to some trouble to support their “protesters are white racist, gun-crazed fanatics” narrative. You have to wonder if the bobble-heads even knew the real story.

If the camera angles had been honest, as they are in this local news story, they would have shown the man carrying the rifle.

This coverage honestly conducted and it actually is news, even if none of the people at the local station actually know what a machine gun is.

So, the reason for a tardy post on this is conversations I’ve had where people had only seen the MSNBC video and didn’t know the melanin content of the guy with the gun.

Maybe he is a racist. Maybe not. What he is not is a white racist. He is also not a fanatic. As he states, he is simply exercising a Constitutional right.

Judging Sonia

Sonia Sotomayor may be as wooden as Al Gore and more prone to spoonerisms than George Bush, but even I have to admit that she is fundamentally clueless about the 2nd Amendment.

In answer to a question from Senator Leahy … Well, let’s have a shortened version of the pandering exchange:

LEAHY: Thank you. And in the Second Circuit decision, Maloney v. Cuomo, you, in fact, recognized the Supreme Court decided in Heller that the personal right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the Constitution against federal law restrictions. Is that correct?

SOTOMAYOR: It is.

LEAHY: … We all know that not every constitutional right has been applied to the states by the Supreme Court. I know one of my very first cases as a prosecutor was a question of whether the Fifth Amendment guaranteed a grand jury indictment has been made applicable to the states. [?] The Supreme Court has not held that applicable to the states.

Seventh Amendment right to jury trial, Eighth Amendment prohibition against excessive fines, these have not been made applicable to the states. … but would you have an open mind, as — on the Supreme Court, in evaluating that, the legal proposition of whether the Second Amendment right should be considered fundamental rights and thus applicable to the states?

SOTOMAYOR: Like you, I understand that how important the right to bear arms is to many, many Americans. In fact, one of my godchildren is a member of the NRA. And I have friends who hunt. I understand the individual right fully that the Supreme Court recognized in Heller.

She acknowledges that many Americans think the right to bear arms is important. Someone she knows belongs to the NRA. She has friends who hunt. There’s nothing in her answer that actually acknowledges we have a 2nd Amendment.

Let’s walk through it. Indeed, the 2nd Amendment does not grant the right to keep and bear arms. The 2nd Amendment merely recognizes a right that existed before the Constitution was a gleam in James Madison’s eye.

Ms Sotomayor’s understanding that the right to bear arms is important to many Americans is as irrelevant as it is ignorant. Many Americans would like to have Nationalized health care, but that does not make it a Constitutional right. If no Americans considered the right to keep and bear arms important it would still be their right.

One of her godchildren is a member of the NRA? Perhaps this is very indirect evidence of the empathy she would apply to any decision before SCOTUS involving her godchild’s rights under the 1st Amendment, but I doubt it.

She has friends who hunt? That must be in an Amendment I missed, because the 2nd Amendment has nothing whatever to do with hunting. That idea is a far-left-wing trope, invented in an attempt to lose fewer votes when trashing the 2nd Amendment.

The 2nd Amendment is about the right to self defense. The Founders assumed you have the natural right to defend yourself against individuals who would harm you and against a government that would steal your liberty. The 2nd Amendment does no more, or less, than acknowledge that you have this right, independent of the Constitution.

Petty politics vs. The Spirit of ’76

In Rhode Island the Bristol Fourth of July Committee, members found here, has banned the Rhode Island Tea Party folks from the Bristol Independence Day parade – forever.

The Tea Partiers’ offense was wiping their feet on an American flag, no wait, that was Obama’s associate Bill Ayers that some sympathizers, who were independent citizens and not part of the Tea Party parade contingent, passed out copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence while walking alongside the float.

The Bristol parade czars determined, several days after the parade, that the Constitution and the Declaration are “fliers.” Apparently, unless you pay $200 or $300 dollars per “runner,” passing out fliers is against the rules, which state:

There will be no distributions or fundraising by any float applicant. No objects of any kind may be thrown, sprayed or otherwise distributed to spectators from any entry (i.e., candy, silly string, snappers, advertisements, etc.) Failure to comply will result in immediate removal from the parade.

Immediate removal did not occur, despite the fact that Jim Tavares, chairman of the parade’s float committee, claims to have “confiscated” several copies of the subversive offending Founding documents himself. I do not think he would claim not to have recognized them. This decision, then, seems the result of deliberation – probably political deliberation – because it’s hard to believe the parade committee would claim they were owed an advertising fee in this case.

I can understand wanting to to charge local businesses an advertising fee to hand out offers to deliver milk and eggs (which were handed out, without approbation, so we assume the fee was paid), but I cannot figure out where copies of the Constitution are advertising for anything but liberty, or how they could be considered on the same level as candy and silly string. Apparently, a majority of the 109 members of the Bristol Fourth of July Committee do think one or the other of these characterizations is accurate.

Governor Carcieri is wondering about this decision, as is the Providence Journal.

Visit the Rhode Island Tea Party site for updates. Good luck to them.

Were I a RITP member, I’d consider legal action absent an apology. And though I am not an RITP member, I would contribute to a fund for the purpose should such a challenge be pressed.

Cubs v Dodgers – April 25, 1966

33 years ago today Rick Monday suppressed the “free speech” of a couple of trespassers. Of course, this particular attempt at expression of free speech was not free speech at all. The rest of us are not required to provide the venue, something the left has never understood.

Which is why they want to re-instate the “Fairness” doctrine.

H/T MC

The 17% solution

The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.

The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.

What’s true, an ATF spokeswoman told FOXNews.com, in a clarification of the statistic used by her own agency’s assistant director, “is that over 90 percent of the traced firearms originate from the U.S.”

But a large percentage of the guns recovered in Mexico do not get sent back to the U.S. for tracing, because it is obvious from their markings that they do not come from the U.S.

“Not every weapon seized in Mexico has a serial number on it that would make it traceable, and the U.S. effort to trace weapons really only extends to weapons that have been in the U.S. market,” Matt Allen, special agent of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told FOX News.

…In 2007-2008, according to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced — and of those, 90 percent — 5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover — were found to have come from the U.S.

But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.

In other words, 68 percent of the guns that were recovered were never submitted for tracing. And when you weed out the roughly 6,000 guns that could not be traced from the remaining 32 percent, it means 83 percent of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico could not be traced to the U.S.

…But Tom Diaz, senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, called the “90 percent” issue a red herring and said that it should not detract from the effort to stop gun trafficking into Mexico.

“Let’s do what we can with what we know,” he said. “We know that one hell of a lot of firearms come from the United States because our gun market is wide open.

Existing laws already give the United States all the power required to stop any guns from crossing the border into Mexico. All that’s needed is to enforce them, i.e., secure the border. If that’s too hard for Mexico, what difference could some new US gun laws make?

More here.

Drugs, guns and wacky pols

President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Attorney General Holder and some lesser lights in the Democrat hierarchy have, of late, periodically referred to the weapons and other munitions possessed by Mexican drug gangs as a problem that originates in the United States.

One item of supply and one of demand figure into these comments. The demand side, from a U.S. perspective, is for drugs. As long as it is immensely profitable for Mexican drug lords to smuggle drugs into the American market, they will constitute a demand for weaponry to defend their business. In sum, we supply the cash with which the Mexican criminals purchase military hardware.

The drug claims seem likely to be true. We have failed deter the north bound drug traffic by failing to defend our border in general. The President has shown he can stop cross-border traffic involving legitimate Mexican truckers when the Teamsters get upset, but, like George Bush, has responded with less vigor to patrolling our southern border against illegal Mexican incursion.

The weapons claim is either a lie or an admission that we cannot enforce our own laws. No weapons of the type being touted are able to be legally owned by American civilians. You cannot legally buy an automatic weapon. You cannot legally buy hand grenades. You cannot legally buy an rocket propelled grenade or a launcher for it. There is simply no legal civilian channel for these weapons. Therefore, if American civilians are involved in the arms flow to Mexico, they are already committing felonies the United States – according to Obama, Clinton and Holder – is powerless to prevent. And this claim would also require that the civilians smuggling such weapons are fools. It is not credible that highly restricted weapons are being smuggled, in quantity, across our borders twice when they need never enter the U.S. at all.

If Obama, Clinton and Holder think these weapons are being stolen from U.S. military or police supplies the law-enforcement problem is even greater. Fortunately, neither U.S. civilians nor our military are exporting automatic weapons, hand grenades or RPGs. Even the LA Times has pointed this out.

Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semiauto-matic and conventional weapons [Sic. Semi-automatic weapons have been conventional civilian arms for 100 years.] purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Why then, do the Democrat bigwigs keep bringing up the idea that military grade small arms are entering Mexico from the United States? Simple, if they can tie the ownership of conventional hunting and self-defense weapons to border violence and drugs, they will perhaps get a chance to further regulate these standard civilian arms. Certainly, the records of Obama, Clinton and Holder show they would welcome such an opportunity.

However, far be it from The Other Club to simply complain. There is a solution to both problems. First, legalize the drugs and then tax them to within 80% of the street value. The revenue would be more than the cap-and-trade carbon tax, without damaging the economy, and the government could reduce the death toll from bad drugs while also starving the Mexican drug cartels. They would no longer be able to afford, nor have any use for, military grade weaponry.

Second, as a matter of consistency, since Nancy Pelosi considers enforcement of our immigration laws to be un-American, require Mexico to grant Second Amendment rights to its own citizens. After all, the claim is that they do have full Constitutional rights as soon as they cross the border, legally or not. They might as well enjoy the same rights in Mexico. Isn’t it un-American that they don’t? Besides, maybe allowing the average Mexican citizen to defend himself would help law enforcement there.

Update 7:16PM
Congressional testimony here on the topic.

And here on the success of Mexican gun control laws. They do need a Second Amendment.