Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's about Civilian Control of the military, no matter how much you want to pretend it isn't

In this case, the Second Amendment analogue comes from Virginia.

Delegate Mark Cole has proposed to amend the Virginia Constitution, to explain that the right to keep and bear arms is an "individual right", not connected with militia service. This would align with the new SCOTUS decision in Heller, where they argued that the first part of the 2nd amendment was not connected to the second part. HOWEVER, the language of the Virginia Constitution on this subject is much more difficult to dismiss:

Article I. Bill of Rights
Section 13. Militia; standing armies; military subordinate to civil power
That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.
Look carefully and you will see the word "therefore" between the militia reference and the right to keep and bear arms. Not sure how they can be separated when they are joined by a very explicit "therefore". In addition, the explanation would reference "self defense", "hunting" and "any lawful purpose" - all things that are not mentioned, or even hinted at, in the VA Constitution. Just look at the title and tell me that the writers were thinking of individual self defense, etc.

If Delegate Cole wants to explain Section 13, he could start by explaining why we have totally ignored the phrase: "that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty"!!!!!

The problem is that the issue of civilian control over the military is a major topic in democratic societies, with it having a healthy debate during the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries (and even now).  People who supported militias believed that they would not be turned into standing armies; however, history has shown that militias usually become an army if there is a long term conflict (e.g., English Civil War and American War for Independence).

As I have said before, the militia system was moribund by the time of the American War for Independence as Adam Smith pointed out in his Wealth of Nations:
A militia, however, in whatever manner it may be either disciplined or exercised, must always be much inferior to a well-disciplined and well-exercised standing army.
It is poor policy to take an obsolete section of the US Constitution which was intended to deal with matters of the common defense and turn it to the detriment of promoting the general welfare.

How much bullshit are alleged DGUs anyway?

In this case, the DGU that turned out to be false, when someone in Doylestown claimed that the Souderton mass shooter, Bradley Stone, had tried to carjack him.  Instead of making himself a hero, this claim diverted police attention and resources from the manhunt.
"We contend that he performed an enormous hoax that cost taxpayers a lot of money," Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said at a news conference Friday night. "This is terrible conduct. This is unacceptable conduct."

However  the police officers were suspicious about the claim, according to Heckler.

And well the officers should have been suspicious since the two locations are about 13 miles apart.  Mapquest says it would take about a half hour to drive this, which is probably optimistic given the stop lights and traffic.

Of course, the pro-gun side is happy to look at these incidents as proof that ""guns save lives" when the reality here was that it wasted police resources.

I have to admit curiosity as to how many DGUs are actually verifiable incidents: especially now that the Get Away With Murder laws have stopped any inquiry as to the actual events when someone claims "self-defence".  Short of a major amount of evidence to the contrary, the claim of self-defence stands.  In fact, even with evidence to the contrary, the claim can pass (e.g., Trayvon Martin).

Breaking, it seems that Bath Township detectives believe they have “overwhelming evidence” to prove a former Navy SEAL, Chris Heben, lied when he claimed he was shot during an altercation with three black men outside of a popular shopping center.

"We have overwhelming evidence based upon video, cell phone records and interviews that the shooting did not occur in the West Market Plaza and that Mr. Heben made false allegations to us," said Bath Township Police Chief Mike McNeely.

George Zimmerman recently pointed out that you should have insurance if you are going to go around shooting people due to the legal costs.

Nothing I haven't been telling you, but you all know the law better than I do.

Yeah. right.
See also:

Jim Jefferies - Gun Control

Machine Gun America

Machine Gun America (pictured) has been criticised for operating in an area that is historically family-friendly

The Daily Mail

A new attraction where children as young as 13 fire military-grade weapons in zombie, gangster and cowboy-themed simulators has been slammed by gun control campaigners.

Although management claim their Orlando, Florida, attraction provides a safe place for the use of firearms, critics claim it is unsuitable for an area known for its child-friendly attractions.

The website for the business - named Machine Gun America - states it is Orlando's 'first automatic adrenaline attraction'.

Torture is OK - Gun Control is Not

Buffalo News op-ed

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pro-life hypocrisy

I should make the caveat that as a man, I am highly unlikely to ever have an abortion.

However, since I like to live by the golden rule, I would not like to preclude a woman from having an abortion.

In other words, as the bumpersticker says, "if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament".

"If you don't like abortion, don't have one."

In my case, it is highly improbable that I would have an abortion.  So, whether or not I would have one is a highly moot point.

In fact, if anything, this is a subject which really is not of my concern, which I guess is why I would call myself in the pro-choice camp, which is a good thing.

Since if we were going to make other's reproductive decisions for them, there are a lot of you I wouldn't have ever allowed to have breed.

But, there are two issues here:
  1. does someone who is alive have a right to live their life free from the fear that it will be easily taken from them without legal process?
  2. does someone have the right to choose whether or not they should have a child?
The problem is that some people would like to impose upon the personal decision whether or not to have a child (2).  If we are going to go down that path, should government impose how many children should be in a family?

Additionally, I have noticed that this debate is often guided by one's religious beliefs, which facially means that any attempt by government to impose any regulation of family planning is a violation of the First Amendment.  In other words, if your decision to intrude on another's choice whether or not to have a family is based upon your views as a Christian, then it is a violation of the First Amendment to have government impose that on another.

I would also add that this is a government intrusion into medical decisions, which if you don't like it coming from "Obamacare", then you shouldn't want it coming from anyone else.

So, since it is not my decision to make, but one to be made by a woman with the advice of her doctor--it's best I keep my opinion to myself.

Which clearly makes me pro-choice.

Unless, you like other people telling you how many children you should have, you should mind your own business about this as well.

Otherwise, you are probably one of the people I wouldn't have allowed to have had children.

Dog Shoots Man in Wyoming

A Wyoming man is recovering in the hospital after his dog accidentally shot him. In a phone interview on Thursday, Johnson County Sheriff Steve Kozisek confirmed that Richard L. Fipps, 46, was hospitalized Monday after his dog stepped on a loaded rifle in the bed of his pickup truck and accidentally fired it. The rifle's safety was off, Kozisek said.
According to Big Horn Mountain Radio, Fipps was removing snow chains from his truck when he was shot in the left arm.