Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Armed Citizen

Richie Chapman of Bowie, Arizona, did not know that in exercising his right to protect his property, he was also aiding in bringing a murderer to justice. Chapman was working at a Bowie RV store when a man entered and demanded all the money in the cash register. The man then pulled out a gun, prompting Chapman to draw his own gun and fire, hitting the robber. "If he had gotten a shot off, I would have been dead," said Chapman. The robber fled and was later apprehended at a local hospital. The man turned out to be Johnny Lee Williams, who was being sought in the kidnapping and murder of an East Texas Wal-Mart employee, Megan Holden. After being treated at the hospital, Williams was turned over to the FBI. (Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, 01/22/2005)

Gloria Turner remembers firing with one hand and dialing 911 with the other. Turner and her husband, Bobby Doster, had owned their grocery store for eight years and, although they were prepared for the worst, they did not expect it. But one evening, while the Turners were stocking their shelves, two teens walked in and demanded money. Turner recounts, "I was about to give it to them when the first guy said, 'You're not moving fast enough,' and pulls out a gun." The robber aimed at Doster and fired, missing him. When their attackers' gun jammed, the couple had enough time to retreat behind the counter and grab their own guns. A gun battle erupted in the store. When it was over, both robbers were dead. Sheriff Mike Smith said that the store owners would not be charged, adding that, "People have a right to protect their lives and their property." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, 01/25/2005)

Note: One of the robbers attempted to murder Bobby Doster. The criminals were killed after failing to commit cold-blooded murder because he wasn't "moving fast enough." How in the world did the question of "Will the owners be charged?" even arise? I once heard a wonderful quotation I wish I could source. A reporter in California asked a sheriff's deputy if a homeowner who had defended his family would be charged with a crime (yes, California is that far gone). The deputy's response was delivered with a straight face, though I know not how, "Ma'am, the homeowner would be the victim. We try not to charge the victim."

Crawfordsville, Arkansas, resident Clarence Cochran operated a small store out of his home that he called The Neighborhood Store. But one night the neighborhood erupted in gunfire when two men entered Cochran's store with the intent to rob it. One of the robbers shot at Cochran, hitting him in the stomach. Despite the wound, the 80-year-old Cochran was able to retrieve his pistol and fire at both men, killing one. The other robber, identified as Antonio BAss, fled but was apprehended at a nearby hospital. He was charged with aggravated robbery. Deputies on the scene said Cochran was alert and able to speak to them, although he was airlifted to the hospital as a precautionary measure. (Evening Times, West Memphis, AR, 12/27/2004)

Dr. Wesley Parkhurst served nine months in Iraq, but it was only after returning home to Henryetta, Olahoma, that he found himself having to use deadly force. The physician stopped to help a woman who had been assaulted by her husband, Gary Wayne Britt. Though she asked to be driven to her mother's house, Parkhurst wisely drove to the police station after Britt twice rammed the doctor's car. Outside the police station Britt confronted Parkhurst and advanced on him, despite Parkhurst's loaded .45-cal. handgun. Parkhurst fired two shots, both of which struck Britt, who was listed in stable condition at an area hospital Parkhurst was not charged. (Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 01/12/2005)

As Clyde Colley looked down at th gunshot wound in his leg and then up at his wife, he decided that if he did not do something, they would both die. Almost two hours earlier, two men had broken into their Sandlick, Virginia home, shot Mr. Colley and ordered the elderly couple to get on the floor. As one of the intruders held the couple at gunpoint, the other ransacked the house. Finally, Colley said that he was not feeling well and needed to go lied own. This excuse gave him enough time to get his gun, which he fired twice, killing one intruder and sending the other fleeing nito the night. As their phone lines had been cut, Mrs. Colley was forced to run down the driveway and flag down help. Police later apprehended the surviving intruder, Mazel Sexton, and charged him with numerous felony counts. Colley was not expected to be charged in teh death of the intruder, who was identified as Hubert Howard, Jr. (The Dickenson Star, Clintwood, VA, 12/22/2004)

A Hollis, New Hampshire man was awakened one night to the sounds of screaming in his back yard. The homeowner, Donald Narkis, grabbed his gun and headed downstairs when he heard glass breaking in the kitchen. Narkis fired in the direction of the intruder, who, undeterred, continued to advance as he screamed and smashed furniture. Together with his armed daughter, Narkis ordered the intruder onto the floor, but the man wouldn't stay down. Narkis fired again, but the shot hit next to the intruder's leg. When police arrived at the scene, the intruder, identified as Peter Camplin, compliained, "that psycho tried to shoot me." Camplin, who had moved into the neighborhood only months previously, was found to have a significant amount of cocaine and alcohol in his system. (The Telegraph, Nashua, NH, 01/19/2005)

Armed citizen stories are taken from American Rifleman magazine. You may subscribe to American Rifleman by joining the NRA. "If you have a firsthand 'Armed Citizen' experience, call NRA-ILA PR/Communications at (703) 267-1193. Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or in some cases, property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: 'The Armed Citizen,' 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400."

Friday, June 29, 2012

For Purposes of Fairness

During a debate moderated by Charlie Gibson, then Candidate Obama admitted that he was aware increasing capital gains tax would not increase revenue and disclosed his socialist motives for doing it anyway (video below):
GIBSON: All right. You have, however, said you would favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, "I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton," which was 28%. It's now 15%. That's almost a doubling, if you went to 28%.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And George Bush has taken it down to 15%.

OBAMA: Right.

GIBSON: And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28%, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

OBAMA: Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

Notice the inanity of candidate Obama's response. "Though raising capital gains tax will bring in less money, it's to make the rich pay their fair share and we need to fund all these great programs." If you bring in less revenue due to a tax policy that brings in less revenue, then you're actually reducing funding for all those great programs, Mr. Obama.

Why in the world would anyone enact a tax rate that discourages investment and decreases tax revenue in a difficult economy? That's not fair, that's just stupid.

A quick note to frequent readers:  I've posted this before, but found myself linking it so frequently in discussions, I needed a quick, easy shortened version.

Implications of Taxation and the Mandate

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” 17 U.S. 327 (1819) McCulloch v. Maryland

Source here.  I actually find this version of the quotation more compelling than the shortened and direct, "The power to tax is the power to destroy." by Daniel Webster.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Dissenting Opinion

There have been many explanations of why Chief Justice Roberts may have done what he did.  After reading the dissenting opinion, I find I reject all the "silver lining" interpretations.  Roberts is simply a traitor to the Constitution.  Here's why.
[T]o say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling. Taxes have never been popular, see, e.g., Stamp Act of 1765, and in part for that reason, the Constitution requires tax increases to originate in the House of Representatives. See Art. I, §7, cl. 1. That is to say, they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off. The Federalist No. 58 “defend[ed] the decision to give the origination power to the House on the ground that the Chamber that is more accountable to the people should have the primary role in raising revenue.” United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 U. S. 385, 395 (1990). We have no doubt that Congress knew precisely what it was doing when it rejected an earlier version of this legislation that imposed a tax instead of a requirement-with-penalty. See Affordable Health Care for America Act, H. R. 3962, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §501 (2009); America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009, S. 1796, 111th Cong., 1st Sess., §1301. Imposing a tax through judicial legislation inverts the constitutional scheme, and places the power to tax in the branch of government least accountable to the citizenry. [...]
 Roberts inverted the Constitution just as President Obama wants to, albeit in a different way.  President Obama wants to do away with our "charter of negative liberties" and replace it with one where the government has power and obligations.  No thanks, I prefer a carefully-limited government.
The Court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax. And it changes the intentionally coercive sanction of a total cut-off of Medicaid funds to a supposedly noncoercive cut-off of only the incremental funds that the Act makes available.

The Court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching. It creates a debilitated, inoperable version of health-care regulation that Congress did not enact and the public does not expect. It makes enactment of sensible health-care regulation more difficult, since Congress cannot start afresh but must take as its point of departure a jumble of now senseless provisions, provisions that certain interests favored under the Court’s new design will struggle to retain. And it leaves the public and the States to expend vast sums of money on requirements that may or may not survive the necessary congressional revision.

ACA, or Obamacare upheld

This is an initial response.  I'm not an attorney, so others will analyze the details, but here's what I'm gathering from the coverage I'm hearing.

President Obama has brought to pass his dream of fundamental change. America is no longer exceptional:  we're just like every other socialist country now.

People are talking about a repeal of the law by a Romney administration, but they seem to think it's that easy.

The President can't simply repeal things.  At least, a president who pretends to abide by the Constitution can't.  Romney would have to have the support of majorities in both houses of Congress to repeal the ACA.   He'd probably need a filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate.  I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I don't see that happening.  

Don't give up.  Get out and vote, get your friends registered and to the polls, but I think we've lost this one, along with the Constitution. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

James Hansen’s climate forecast of 1988: a whopping 150% wrong

Here's the post:  James Hansen’s climate forecast of 1988: a whopping 150% wrong

CO2 output has actually been much higher than Mr. Hansen's worst case predictions.  Temperature change, even if the observed data can be believed, has been lower than his best case scenario predictions.

In science, if your model doesn't work by accurately predicting the world, it's discarded.  It means your theory is bad.  The anthropogenic theory of global warming is clearly incorrect, so it's fascinating that it persists.

Arizona and State Sovereignty

In the U.S., we use the term "State" to mean a subdivision of the United States so frequently that we've forgotten what it really means.  A political state (or sovereign state) is classically defined as a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, has a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. (Thanks, Wikipedia--they're great for noncontroversial information.)

Thus, the United States of America is a political state.  Canada, Mexico, Germany, and such are states in the political sense of the term.  The next natural question would be, "Why are subdivisions of the political state of the United States of America called states instead of provinces, then?"  The answer is that they retain most of the rights of a political state, because the original 13 colonies saw themselves as independent political states.  They did not see themselves as provinces the way Canada has provinces.  They were sovereign states with very few limitations on their rights under the Constitution.  That is why the commerce clause exists--to prevent unfair treatment by one political state by another within the union, not to regulate every behavior of every individual in the state.

The SCOTUS ruling on Arizona's not so new and not so controversial law undermines the Constitutionally-preserved status of the states as nearly sovereign political entities and basically  turns them into provinces, as Justice Antonin Scalia dissented:  "If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state," wrote Justice Scalia.

So, we've thrown the 10th Amendment out, and instead of calling our subdivisions states we might as well be honest and start calling them provinces.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Armed Citizen

A St. Louis, Missouri, woman knew that she would have to defend herself late one night as she heard her garage door being kicked in. Despite the fact that 87-year-old Nina Sloan walked with the aid of a cane, she managed to retrieve her pistol and head toward the kitchen where she heard sounds of breaking glass. Seeing a hand reach through the broken glass to unlock the kitchen door, Sloan fired her gun twice. The intruder fled and Sloan called authorities. Police are investigating if this attempted robbery is related to one down the street the previous day. When asked about the incident, Sloan said, "I'm a good person, but I'm not going to let somebody run over me. you're going to break into my house when I didn't invite you? Oh, no!" (News-Democrat, Belleville, IL, 08/06/2004)

Note: Ms. Sloan, there's no "but" after "I'm a good person." You stopped a burglar, and probably made him think twice about ever doing it again, saving your neighbors from becoming victims. You're a good person, like most lawful firearms owners.

A Pittsylvania, Virginia, homeowner awoke at 2 A.M. to the sounds of a car driving into his front porch. David Lee Gammon retrieved his gun and headed to the front door as three men broke in and began shooting in his direction. Gammon returned fire, and the intruders fled to their car, which was found three hours later burning by the side of the road. The body of one of the intruders was found outside the car, dead from a gunshot wound sustained at Gammon's home. Michael Robin Wilson was arrested and charged with burglary, while Timothy Willard thornton was being sought on the same charges. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA, 07/23/2004)

Two men, posing as prospective gem buyers, held up a couple trying to sell their diamond through a local newspaper advertisement. The Webster, New York, couple had advertised the "loose diamond," and subsequently had several phone calls from two gentlemen who said they were interested in buying the stone. When the "buyers" showed up for a 4 P.M. appointment, they held the couple at gunpoint, bound them with duct tape and stole the diamond and other jewelry from the home. The two suspects attempted to escape in their Geo Tracker, but were soon persued by the local police, who had received a distress call from the victims. An officer followed the vehicle to a cul-de-sac, where the suspects fled on foot. A woman in the neighborhood, seeing one of the suspects heading straight for her house, warned her husband. He, in turn, armed himself with a .45-cal. handgun and prevented the man from entering. This allowed the police to corner the suspect, Robert L. McKnight, who was arrested and charged with robbery. Brian K. moton was arrested later and the jewelry was recovered. (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 08/02/2004)

Four burglars got a surprise while attempting to rob a Bowie County, Texas, home when the homeowner pulled in the driveway. Spotting the truck, one of the four burglars went outside and pulled a gun, but the homeowner pulled out his gun-which he kept in his truck-and began to shoot first. The four burglars escaped in a dark-colored four-door Ford Escort. It was not known if any of the burglars were hit. Bowie County Sheriff James Prince said that the homeowner has every right to protect his home and property, "especially if a burglar is pointing a gun at you." (Texarkana Gazette, Texarkana, TX, 08/17/2004)

An 88-year-old, Ripley, Mississippi, woman was just trying to help out a stranger who had knocked on her door and asked to use her telephone. But once she opened the door, the stranger forced his way into the house, raped her, and robbed her of $50. The woman somehow managed to get away from her tormentor and found her handgun, firing at the suspect three times and sending him fleeing from the house. With a clear description from the victim, the police immediately suspected 19-year-old Ryan Burks because of his prior run-ins with the law. Minutes later, when police arrived at Burks' grandmother's house, they found Burks bleeding from a gunshot wound under his arm. Burks has been charged with burglary and rape. The unnamed victim was treated and released from the hospital. (Southern Sentinel, Ripley, MS, 08/11/2004)

Around the Grand Rapids, Michigan neighborhood, corner store owner Leon Moody is well-known for his generosity, which is why it came as a shock that someone would try to rob him. According to Moody, the suspect walked into the store, pointed a gun at his face and demanded money. When Moody asked why he would do this, the robber threatened to "blow his head off for that money." Asking for a moment to gather the money, Moody reached down and pulled out his own firearm, then fired twice at the crook, hitting him once in the arm. The robber fled in a car, but was apprehened less than an hour later in the local emergency room. The unnamed suspect has been charged with assault with intent to rob while armed, and felony possession of a firearm. (Grand Rapids Press, MI, 07/07/2004).

Armed citizen stories are taken from American Rifleman magazine. "If you have a firsthand 'Armed Citizen' experience, call NRA-ILA PR/Communications at (703) 267-1193. Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or in some cases, property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: 'The Armed Citizen,' 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Armed Citizen

I bought another copy of From My Cold, Dead Fingers: Why America Needs Guns by Richard I. Mack. He gets a little deep into big government conspiracy for me, but it's kind of natural given his position. He fought and won in court against the attempt by the Federal Government to force local law enforcement to act on the Brady Bill or face penalties.

He's referenced some great information, though, including pulling quotations from various sources. Here are a couple of quotations from the founders taken from The Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Committee on the Judiciary U.S. Senate (1982):

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them." -Richard Henry Lee

"The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their arms." -Samuel Adams

The Senate Committee wrote on the topic, too: "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and the wording of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the Untied States, as well as the interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner."

On to the modern stories of self-defense:

James Shema, owner of Shema's Outdoor Sports in Merrillville, Indiana, knew immediately he was in a deadly situation. A man entered his store with a sawed-off shotgun, and ordered Shema, his wife, Kathy, and three customers to drop to the floor. As Shema moved toward the floor, he grabbed a .40-caliber handgun kept behind the counter and fired two shots at the robber. The wounded gunman fled the store and was soon apprehended by authorities who found him bleeding in the back seat of a nearby SUV. Shema said he just did what he had to do. "When he came in here with a shotgun and no mask on his face I didn't think he planned to leave survivors," Shema explained. (The Times, Munster, IN, 07/29/2004)

Roy Rhodes had closed his shop and was returning home just after midnight when he was attacked from behind by two armed men. One or possibly both men fired at Rhodes, who suffered a gunshot to his leg. Rhodes returned fire, killing one of the robbers. The other gunman was later aggravated and charged with aggravated assault. (Wacross Journal-Herald, Waycross, GA, 07/22/2004)

Note: Where's the 1st degree murder charge? Each state is different, but it's a solid deterrent to crime when the death of your accomplice, whether your direct fault or not, during the commission of a crime results in 1st degree murder charges. Hopefully Georgia has enacted such a law by now.

A young man was coming out of a bedroom in his grandmother's house in Gulfport, Mississippi, when he encountered two men who had entered the home. One of the intruders struck the young man on the head. The grandson said tha after he fell he grabbed a gun that was hidden under the bed and began firing at the two men, who then left and drove off in a gray Oldsmobile. No one was injured in the house, but at least one victim of the home invasion had been tied up with duct tape, police at the scene said. (The Sun Herald, Biloxi, MS, 07/27/2004)

Lisa Hansen awoke one morning when she heard someone moving around inside her house. She then heard someone run up her stairs and attempt to open her bedroom door. "I waited to listen and see how many footsteps I heard," Hansen said. Upon determining there was only one person in her house, Hansen grabbed her cell phone and reached for a gun she keeps under her bed. She ran out of the room, confronted the burglar and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. The would-be burglar turned out to be a teenager who lives in the neighborhood and had done some lawn woork for Hansen previously. The teen said he had only entered her home because he saw a man in there, but Hansen did not believe the explanation. Police later discovered Hansen's cousin's checkbook in the boy's pocket. (The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA, 07/09/2004)

Two Tennessee women responded to a knock at their door at about 1:30 A.M. and saw two masked men standing outside. The women, who are cousins, ran to an upstairs bedroom as the men kicked in their back door. Police spokesman Don Aaron described what happened next. "As one of them [the intruders] came to the doorway of the bedroom where the two women were hiding, the older cousin, who had retrieved a pistol from the nightstand, fired one time. The intruder was hit and died at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head," said Aaron. The other intruder fired twice but neither woman was injured. The deceased intruder was identified as Maurice Wilson who had been charged with 38 offenses in the past three years, Aaron said. (The Tennesean, Nashville, TN, 07/19/2004)

Note: There's no excuse for any lawmaker to ever prohibit any citizen from owning and carrying a firearm, but this is only underscored when it comes to crimes against women. One survey by the Justice Department reported that out of 32,000 attempted rapes, 32 percent were committed. When a potential rape victim was armed with a gun or knife, only 3 percent of attempted rapes were successful. (Reported in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Edgar A. Suter, M.D., March 1994, p.149.) Allowing a woman to arm herself thus reduces her likelihood of becoming a victim by a factor of ten! Given these facts, I can not help but believe that any legislator who enacts anything that prevents a lawful, competent woman from owning and carrying a firearm is an accessory to rape.

An East Oakland, California, market employee thwarted a robbery attempt at the 3M Market early one Saturday. The alleged robber, identified as David Mosely, was wounded in his head and back, and left the store. Police were called to a nearby apartment to investigate a call about a man covered in blood, but did not locate the suspect when they arrived. Mosely was arrested a short time later when he attempted to steal a car. He was charged with attempted robbery and taken to the hospital. (The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, 07/25/2004)

A Pacific Beach, California, resident heard someone breaking into his home at 1:52 A.M. Fearing for his wife and young child's safety, the homeowner retrieved a gun and fired at the intruder, who suffered a wound to his ankle and fled the scene. Police apprehended the suspect, took him for medical treatment and then to jail. (The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Deigo, CA 07/12/2004)

Armed citizen stories are taken from American Rifleman magazine. "If you have a firsthand 'Armed Citizen' experience, call NRA-ILA PR/Communications at (703) 267-1193. Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or in some cases, property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: 'The Armed Citizen,' 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

We'll stop blaming Bush when the problems go away

Remember Nancy Pelosi in 2010?  At what point do they admit their policies are exacerbating the problem?  With majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democrat president, they could have done anything they liked, so how can it still be Bush's fault?

Worse yet, the tired line about leaving Bush a surplus is simply a myth.  It didn't happen. It was projected, but it never materialized, because it was based on the incorrect assumption that internet stocks would continue to increase in value as they had been doing ad infinitum.  Further, since we only figure out times after years of analysis, it turns out a recession had already started before Clinton left office. So, can we blame everything on Clinton?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why the Left Really Hates the Free Market

Milton Friedman briefly explains below the principles of the free market.  It's the end that exposes why the Left truly hates the free market (A.K.A. Capitalism).

What he said at the end is:

"The problem is that in a market society, in a society in which people are free to do their own thing, in which people make voluntary deals, it's hard to do good.  You gotta persuade people and there's nothing in this world harder.

"But the important thing is in that in that kind of society it's also hard to do harm.  It's true that if you had a concentrated power in the hands of an angel, he might be able to do a lot of good as he viewed it.  But one man's good is another man's bad.

"The great virtue of a market capitals society is that by preventing a concentration of power, it prevents people from doing the kind of harm which really concentrated power can do."

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One Term Proposition

Lest anyone forget:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Armed Citizen

Andrew Atkinson was looking for trouble one Wednesday night as police were called to investigate a disturbance he had caused at a Malta, Montana, tavern. Still on the scene at the tavern, police were then called to a nearby home where an intruder had been reported. Robert Taylor said that a man, later identified as Atkinson, had forced his way through Taylor's front door. After a fierce struggle, the 59-year-old homeowner shot Atkinson in the leg. Both men where hospitalized, and Taylor was released with minor injuries. Upon his release from the hospital, Atkinson was to be arrested and charged with burglary, according to Phillips County Sheriff Tom Miller. (Great Falls Tribune, Great Falls, MT, 06/03/04)

When they heard two fugitives were on the loose in their Paradise Valley, Wyoming, neighborhood, Eugene Summers and his stepson, Bobby Allison, armed themselves with a shovel and a gun and took a look around Summers' property. They discovered two men hiding under a tarp in Summers' shop. One of the crooks snatched a crowbar off the wall and swung it at Summers, who responded by hitting the man in the head with his gun. When the accomplice approached Summers' stepson, Allison whacked him with his shovel. "They minded a lot better after that," Summers reported. Police arrived soon after and led the pair of criminals away in handcuffs. the men, identified as Christopher Sylvester and Joel Schott, were charged with buying and receiving stolen property and criminal entry. (Casper Star-Tribune, Casper, WY, 04/24/2004)

A female employee at the Tobacco Rack was in the back of the store when she heard someone enter about 7:15 A.M. The woman looked toward the entrance and saw a man holding a shotgun, pointing it down toward the floor, and possibly loading it. The employee drew a revolver and demanded the intruder leave the store. The gunman pulled his jacket hood down to cover his face, saying, "I'm going, I'm going," and left the premises. Police were looking for the suspect, who was wearing a baby blue, hooded jacket. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, AR, 05/15/2004)

Three men entered the Mount Vernon Liquor store in Colton, California, and attempted to rob the store. One man jumped over the counter and approached the owner's mother, who was standing there. Fearing his mother would be shot, the owner, Mr. Lee, fired at the bandits, striking all three. Police arrived to find one of the suspects dead in the doorway. His two accomplices were apprehended and taken to a hospital for treatment. no one else in the store was injured. Despite the robbery and one the previous year, the Lees said they planned to keep the store open as they felt an obligation to their community. (The Sun, San Bernardino, CA, 05/25/04)

During the entire robbery, Habib Howard focused on the gun pointed at him. The intruder had entered Howard's Carryout just moments before, walked to the back, picked up a 12-pack of beer and brought it to the cash register, where Howard had just relieved a female employee. Before Howard could ask for an ID required to purchase the beer, the man drew a handgun, pointed it at Howard and demanded money. Howard complied, opening the cash register and trying to back away. The robber demanded Howard place the money on the counter. Again he complied, and then stepped back. As he took the money and began backing out of the store, the robber raised his gun. Howard responded by drawing his own gun and shooting the gunman, who fled the store. The gunman and an accomplice, identified as Jose Custodia-Mota and Alberto Martinez, respectively, were apprehended and charged with aggravated robbery. (The Blade, Toledo, OH, 05/18/04).

Note: Anti-gun advocates tell you if you just comply with your attacker, chances are you won't be hurt. Mr. Howard complied, and was about to be shot for following that advice. It would appear to be a good thing for him that he had a backup plan. By the way, if you follow anti-gun advice, you have about a 25% chance of being harmed. If you are armed yourself, you have an 18% chance. I'll take the extra 7% margin, thank you. (From My Cold, Dead Fingers: Why America Needs Guns)

A 63-year-old South Phoenix homeowner was alarmed to see his living room window shatter and an arm come through the opening during an attempted break-in. Aware of other burglaries in his neighboorhood, the resident feared for his safety and fired at the intruders, killing one-identified as Ronald Freese. the other burglar, Freese's brother, Rudy, ran to a relative's nearby home seeking help for Ronald. Rudy Freese was arrested and charged with attempted burglary when he returned to the scene. He faces first-degree murder charges if found guilty of a crime that resulted in a death. (The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ, 04/30/04)

Note: "You're guilty of first-degree murder if your crime results in a death" laws are an example of an excellent way to take aim at criminals instead of lawful gun owners. If criminals know killing someone, or getting their accomplices killed will result in murder charges, they are less likely to commit a crime like this. Bravo, Arizona!

As her ex-boyfriend proceeded to kick in her back door, a Manor Township, Pennsylvania, woman called police and ran upstairs. Fearing help would not arrive in time, the woman locked herself in a bedroom and grabbed a rifle from under the bed. The man entered the home and raced upstairs where he began pounding on the locked door. When the woman's warning to stop went unheeded, she fired a shot, injuring him. Police arrived as the man was leaving and placed him under arrest. Said one investigator, "He wasn't there to deliver flowers. She was defending herself." (Lancaster New Era, Lancaster, PA, 05/06/04)

From American Rifleman magazine. "If you have a firsthand 'Armed Citizen' experience, call NRA-ILA PR/Communications at (703) 267-1193. Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or in some cases, property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: 'The Armed Citizen,' 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400."

Armed Citizen posts are intended to demonstrate how often lawfully armed citizens save their own lives and the lives of others, often without firing a shot, in the manner intended by the founders when they added the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. The national media doesn't report these stories, so someone has to.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This is the End of Democracy

A lot of people are making fun of this news clip today:

I really hope he's right for a very specific reason.  The United States of America is not, has never in the past been, and as long as we follow the Constitution, will never be a democracy.  We're a constitutional republic.  Democracies are inherently unstable and unfair things.  This video explains it well:

The progressive movement doesn't want people to realize your rights can't be stripped with a simple vote of the majority.  They want to be able to institute tyranny through mobocracy. 

So, I really do hope the progressive movement's push to make the U.S. a democracy with the help of its union thugs is now over, but suspect it will take more than just a failed recall to accomplish that.

Public Sector Unions Don't Make Sense

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” -George Meany, former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O, 1955 (Source here.)

“Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government…. The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” -FDR, 1937 (Source here.)

The distinction between private sector and public sector unions is one many people never make, especially in California and Wisconsin, but it's an incredibly important distinction.  Jonah Goldberg makes good points about the distinction and public sector unions here. 

Let me present a much shorter argument.  Private sector unions make some sense.  They have been effective in improving intolerable working conditions, and fighting for the rights of workers.  Competition might have accomplished the same goals if given enough time, unions got the job done quickly.  Private sector unions must follow the first law of all parasites:  don't kill the host.

Public sector unions are another matter.  There is no way to kill the host.  Some argue state governments can't even declare bankruptcy as towns like Vallejo, CA did.  When union demands made by union people usually to other union people (where's the healthy, adversarial process when the union is on both sides of the negotiating table?) are unsustainable, governments must simply tax more.  There is no ceiling, no limit, no profit margin to worry about.  You can't kill the host, you can only cause the taxpayers to flee or fight back.

That's why Wisconsin's recall election yesterday was so important.  It may be the beginning of the end for an unsustainable, illogical system of public sector unions across the nation which would benefit the taxpayer and advocates of smaller government everywhere in the U.S.

NASA | SDO's Ultra-high Definition View of 2012 Venus Transit

File this under Randomness.  Awesome Randomness.  Couldn't resist posting this incredible video of yesterday's Venus transit.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Girls, Guns, and The Problem with DC Firearm Laws

Thank you, Reason!

Jesse Jackson in Wisconsin

No matter who wins today in Wisconsin, it's important to remember some of the disgusting displays this very partisan recall election has evoked.

Serial adulterer, liar and race-baiter Jesse Jackson is in Wisconsin to help recall Governor Walker.  A local source listening to the radio in Milwaukee reported that Jackson said on a show there that a vote for Tom Barrett is a vote for Trayvon Martin.  (If audio or other sources become available, I'll link them).

He didn't stop there, though.  Jesse Jackson Compares Gov. Walker to Segregationist & Invokes Lynching of Emmett Till

Really?  Why stop there, Jesse?  Why not reveal that he's a Nazi, member of the KKK and a goat molester? 

How can you even call yourself a "Reverend" while violating commandments you claim to uphold?

7th:  Thou shalt not commit adultery.  (Exodus 20:14)
9th:  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)

(Whether you're Christian or not, you'd expect a "Reverend" to at least pretend to follow commandments he claims to believe in.)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Media's Priorities

Something is desperately wrong with the media's priorities when it comes to keeping secrets. 

Media hastily erase articles about Malia Obama’s appearance at One Direction concert
Several media outlets have again pulled or edited already-published articles about the activities of President Barack Obama’s daughter, even though the stories appeared to pose no active security risk to the first family.
Remember, they did this before with Malia's trip to Mexico.

I have no problem with keeping the President and his family safe, but redacting of apparently harmless material makes no sense given what the media is releasing:

Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran
Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons — even under the most careful and limited circumstances — could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks. 
That's right, confirming the U.S. did this and the particulars of how we did it not only mean we can't do it again at need, but endangers Israel by exposing details about their assistance and even provides justification for hostile nations and hacker groups to attack us.  It's almost like the New York Times wants to get the U.S. public killed rather than inform us, because knowing these things doesn't actually help us, the public, in any way.

It's as helpful to the public as when the New York Times released information on how we track terrorist finances, thus allowing those terrorists to change tactics to avoid being brought to justice. 

I'm strongly in favor of freedom of the press, but that's not what the New York Times is doing.  They're simply aiding and abetting enemies of the United States of America.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Armed Citizen

I took down most of my Armed Citizen posts following the NDAA scare.  I've been debating putting them back up.  I think I will over time.  Here was the first I posted on 04/11/2009.

Last weekend there were widely reported shootings. Today there was another shooting incident. Gun control advocates are delighted at the opportunity to showcase the evil of firearms.

The only problem is that firearms aren't evil. I've been thinking about doing this for some time, and these recent tragedies have convinced me that it's time to showcase the appropriate use of guns by lawful citizens, and how they save more lives daily than are ever lost to criminals misusing guns. That often happens with the simple defensive presentation of a firearm with no shots fired and no life lost.

These stories come from American Rifleman magazine. Don't worry, there's no copyright violation. In each installment of The Armed Citizen, they print the following: "If you have a firsthand 'Armed Citizen' experience, call NRA-ILA PR/Communications at (703) 267-1193. Studies indicate that firearms are used over 2 million times a year for personal protection, and that the presence of a firearm, without a shot being fired, prevents crime in many instances. Shooting usually can be justified only where crime constitutes an immediate, imminent threat to life, limb, or in some cases, property. Anyone is free to quote or reproduce these accounts. Send clippings to: 'The Armed Citizen,' 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030-9400."

Without further ado, the accounts of personal protection:

Employees at Texas Components were stunned when the daughter of an employee entered the business armed with archery tackle and a realistic-looking toy gun. Police say the crazed woman drew her bow and fired an arrow into an employee's chest, then pointed the fake pistol at others. Fearful for their lives, two employees, both of whom had concealed-carry licenses, drew pistols and shot the woman several times. She fled to an office and police were called. When the woman pointed an arrow at a responding officer, he shot her once more. The suspect and injured worker were both listed in stable condition at the hospital. (The Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX 01/20/2009)

Police say two suspected burglars have already been dealt a great deal of punishment. First, a homeowner caught the suspects rifling through his garage. "I asked him what the hell he was doing and he said, 'Cleaning the garage," the homeowner recalls. The homeowner ran inside to get a gun, and the suspects fled. Police caught one of the men hiding under a nearby vehicle. His accomplice was arrested after he brazenly broke into a second home. In that incident, the homeowner shot the suspect with a shotgun and held him for police. (The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK, 12/20/2008)

Ninety-year-old Berlie Mae Johnson was watching the evening news with her husband when two men burst through the back door. "Be quiet. Don't say a word. Don't move!" demanded one of the intruders as he put a gun to her head. "It's terrible. You expect at any moment..." she said, her voice cracking. "My nerves are shot. He'd probably have killed me." But her husband, Charles, age 91, came to the rescue. He grabbed his .38-caliber revolver from under a sofa cushion. One of the intruders fled immediately. "He saw the gun and, boy, he was gone," Mr. Johnson recalls. The other intruder was still threatening his wife, but a single shot from Johnson's revolver sen thim running. Johnson said he has a message for others: "Be prepared. Keep your doors locked. And be alert." His wife added, "And have a gun ready." (Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL 12/25/2008)

Note: It has been noted that the gun is the great equalizer. The aged, infirm and physically disabled have as much ability to defend themselves from harm as the young, fit and strong, so long as they have access to a firearm.

The owner of Midwest Grillz and Jewelry, Andre McKesson, let two men into his store while a third man waited outside. The men expressed interest in purchasing a decorative mouthpiece known as a grill, but an argument ensued. The man outside recalls hearing, "Why you playing games with us, man? Where's our teeth? Can you give a refund? Then give me my teeth!" Police say one of the men pulled a gun and fired two shots into the wall where McKesson had been standing. McKesson grabbed a semi-automatic rifle from behind the counter and killed both assailants. (Omaha World-Herald, Omaha, NE, 01/17/2009)

Note: Pistol vs. rifle usually has a predictable outcome.
2nd Note: They have grill shops in Omaha Nebraska?!

While fetching wood from her garage one evening, a 70-year-old woman heard what sounded like people fighting. "I looked over into the road to see what was going on, and about that time a guy comes running around the house," she explained. The woman ran inside, got her gun and dialed 9-1-1. The man circled the house, pounding on all the windows. He broke through the living room window and knocked over the television. The woman can be heard on the 9-1-1 tape yelling at the man, "You stay right where you're at!" Police say she aimed her gun at the intruder and told him, "If you come any closer, you're going to be dead." She then ordered him to the floor and he obeyed, collapsing into a fetal position. He remained that way until police arrested him. (South Bend Tribune, South Bend, IN, 01/06/2009)

A frequent customer at a convenience store noticed a man looking aroudn the store as if casing it. Suspicious, eh decied to go to his vehicle and call for help. "As soon as I touched my cell phone, I heard [the store clerk] screaming, "Help, help, help!" the customer explained. The 5-foot-4 man grabbed his Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistol from the vehicle and bravely ran back inside the store. Surveillance video shows the suspect hitting the female clerk with a beer bottle and wrestling her to the ground. The customer fired two shots, killing the suspect. Police found a knife and wad of cash on the attacker. (Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL, 01/08/2009)

I'd add to the statement in American Rifleman a few thoughts. Gun ownership is absolutely not for everyone. That's fine. Those of us who do own them request that you recognize we who own them only desire to keep ourselves, our families and you safe. There are simply not enough police to be everywhere at once, but there are enough armed, lawful citizens. You should never present a firearm defensively unless you are ready to squeeze the trigger. Being unwilling to do so makes the presence of the gun more of a hazard to you than a protection. Some people will say, "You must not draw a gun without firing or being willing to kill." That's not true. In fact, if you ever have to draw a gun in self-defense, it must be only with the intent to defend your life or the life of someone nearby. If you intend to kill someone with it, you will very likely be charged with a crime.

Drawing a firearm and squeezing the trigger sets in motion a complex legal process that can end with you incarcerated. Even in completely justifiable self-defense shootings, the assailant or his family may sue in civil court.

With all these caveats, is it worth owning a gun? Not for everyone, but I contend these risks are better than the risk of being helpless as a criminal does whatever he likes to you and your family as you wait for police to show up, assuming you even had time to dial 9-1-1.

I do everything in my power to make sure I never have an "Armed Citizen" story of my own. That's because while I'm willing to defend myself, aside from becoming a victim, I can think of nothing more abhorrent than harming another person deliberately. I hope all lawful gun owners see it the same way.

What's Fair?

Saying that the rich should pay their "fair share" is very popular these days.  The President loves to say it, as do Occupy Wall Street protestors and Lefties on social media.  When you ask them to define what's fair, most of them won't.  When actual numbers are mentioned, attitudes often changed, as we saw with Will Smith when he learned of French Socialist Hypocrite President Hollande's proposed 75% marginal tax rate.

When you ask the average American about real numbers, "What should the rich be paying," the responses are telling because the average American doesn't know what the rich do pay.
  • 80% think taxes on the rich should be lower than they are today.
  • 94% think taxes on the rich should be lower than what Obama says he wants to raise them to.
  • 98% think taxes on the rich should be lower than what Obama will actually allow them to be.
Source here (Stu Burguiere crunched the numbers, but he also linked the data from the Hill, so you can verify if you like).

I've written in the past about what a ludicrous notion President Barack Obama has of "Fairness" and if you haven't read it, you should have a look.  His version of fairness actually hurts investors, tax revenues and by destroying wealth that could be used to build business and create jobs, the American people.

What do the rich actually pay? Since 2003, the top marginal tax rate in the U.S. has been 35%.  The result has been more than most of us would ask of our neighbors:  The top 1% of earners in the U.S. pay more than 36% of federal income taxes.  1% of our population is carrying more than a full third of the tax burden, but they only make 20% of the income.

Anyone with any sense of fairness who doesn't demonize success would call that more than fair.  In fact, raise it much more and we'll likely see diminishing returns (it's a simple principle called the Laffer Curve).  The very simplified version is that if you take too much seed corn from a farmer in taxes, he doesn't have enough left to grow a larger crop next year, so there's a smaller harvest the following year and less corn to take in taxes.    Capital, or investment money works exactly the same way, but people seem to understand crops better.

Now let's really shock Will Smith (I'm sure he's reading).  In 1962, the top marginal tax rate was an insane 91%, and it was actually harming the economy.  It was bad enough that JFK himself lobbied for lowered taxes (quotations and sourcing in this post).  Some of the lowest rates were seen during the prosperous years under Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr., leading to the enormous prosperity seen through the Clinton administration.

Even staunch Lefties admit you shouldn't raise taxes in a stagnant economy (video below), though this admission makes the second half of Bill's comments nonsensical.  If taxation hurts the economy rather than helping it, why raise them at some point in the future?

The conclusion is inescapable.  Americans love the idea of their economic problems being solved by someone else, and the Left has so successfully demonized the successful, they're our target.  When you actually talk about fairness in terms of real numbers or the practical problem of fostering growth in our economy the truth comes out:  the rich are already paying a fair share (as are the rest of us) and raising taxes won't help.  The solution is to do the hard thing and really cut the size of an oversized Federal Government built during much healthier economic times.

Hotair with an excellent post on it here.
Walter E. Williams with more information here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Wisdom of C.S. Lewis

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”  ― C.S. Lewis