Virginia is for Shooters


I

t used to be that Virginia is for lovers. Now it seems that Virginia is for shooters.

For the second time in nearly three years, Virginia is the scene of mass killings with firearms. In another horrific episode, Christopher Speight, a contract security guard with a permit to carry concealed weapons, is accused to slaughtering eight people in rural Appomattox County, including his sister, brother-in-law and a four-year-old boy. When State Police tried to corner him with a helicopter, Speight is said to have nearly shot it down.
According to media accounts, Speight, described as a low key, “Christian” man, had anywhere from 25 to 40 guns in his possession and lived to target shoot and, on occasion, hunt. He had had a concealed weapons permit for about 10 or so years, but the press says he liked the evil-looking .233 cal, AR-15 variations of the venerable M-16 assault rifle.
The media can only speculate on what triggered Speight. The Norfolk-born man who had had no previous record started acting strangely when his mother died a few years ago. He suspected that his sister and her husband, both of whom he is accused of shooting, of scheming to wrest property from him.
This might be just another horrific domestic situation, save for another horrific fact. On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a Virginia Tech student, dressed himself up in a flak jacket and went on a campus shooting spree that resulted in 33 deaths, including his own by his own hand. Cho managed to buy guns and ammunition despite serious questions about his mental stability. He was able to arm himself without being noticed by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is supposed to flag criminals and the mentally ill..
It was the worst campus massacre in this country, but it didn’t seem to cause much of a dent in Virginia’s pro-gun focus. I remember blogging about the need for gun control after the Tech slaughter and I was told to “shut up” by another Bacon’s Rebellion columnist.
Now, we have a pro-gun governor, Bob McDonnell, who is a staunch defender of what he believes are Second Amendment rights of individuals to bear arms. But McDonnell is not exactly passive on the issue. As Attorney General he filed an amicus brief supporting a legal challenge to the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, something other large urban areas have adopted to check violent crime. It seems to work.
The gun lobby has high expectations for McDonnell. On the day to honor Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot down by a gun-toting sniper in 1968, several hundred people rallied for gun rights. They want Virginia to loosen gun laws to allow people to carry handguns in more places and make access to them easier. They are backing about 30 bills that would let one buy more than a gun a month, allow concealed handguns in bars if the toter doesn’t drink booze and prohibit businesses from banning legal handguns from cars parked in company lots.
Del. Charles Carrico wants the state to ban federal authority over guns made and sold in Virginia, giving them some kind of special Old Dominion stamp of approval.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not totally against guns. I got my one and only weapon when I was 11 or 12 and lived in the country where all boys had to to have guns. It is a Savage 63, single action, bolt .22 cal. with a Mannlicher stock. It is still in my closet although I haven’t fired it since the early 1970s when I took out a cottonmouth in Carolina with a head shot.
I don’t mean to be flip. Virginia can’t shed this crazy gun love. Speight seems to be a stunning example of the love of gunpowder and bullets that the atmosphere in this state helps foster.
But there’s a price to pay for going easy on firearms. Ask the families of the 32 at Tech or the eight in Appomattox.
Peter Galuszka

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91 responses to “Virginia is for Shooters”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    He probably owned the guns for personal protection.

  2. Grover Leoning Avatar
    Grover Leoning

    My first impression of this recent event was that it was just more in-bred rednecks taking their kind out of the gene-pool, so it is a net gain for society.

    On the more civilized side, it is confounding that gun control advocates never seem to think that that by having ready access to a firearm, such serial murders can be stopped or at least mitigated.

    In the Cho/Tech case, had the campus not been made a "gun free zone" by the clueless Administration, one of the faculty, staff or students could have dropped Cho like a sack of potatoes as soon as that crazy Korean brandished his puny 9mm.

    If readers acquaint themselves with the attempted massacre at the Appalachian School of Law, you will learn that students who had ready access to their own weapons were able to stop a crazed Nigerian "student" who was intent on killing both faculty and classmates at that school.

    Everyone needn't pack a sidearm, but if citizens have ready access to weapons and are properly trained in their use, when someone thinks of starting trouble, having the prospect of being on the receiving end of hot lead from citizen-defenders is enough to dissuade all but the most insane.

    This redneck Speight even surrendered, rather than accept incoming rounds from the State Troopers. Had one of his family had access to a weapon and were trained to use it, this too, could have had a different outcome.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    "…never seem to think that that by having ready access to a firearm, such serial murders can be stopped or at least mitigated."

    ——————————

    Oh, they thik about it all right, but the evidence is just the opposite. It is ready access to (more than 25) firearms that allows this kind of thng to happen.

    Law abiding gun owners have their guns, locked in a readily accessible safe, often diassembled, with the ammunition someplace else.

    Lawless people and the criminally insane always have the huge advantage of surprise. Even if you have a loaded gun in your pocket, a mugger can kill you before you know what happened.

    Now, if EVERYONE is carrying, then maybe your second or third or fourth companion can exact revenge before the shooter gets to twenty or so.

    But lets be at least partly realistic here. Even in police shootouts with highly trained officers, the miss to hit ratio is very high.

    Your average dumb blonde with a loaded 22 in her purse is likely to be shaking like a leaf while all this is going on.

    Grover has been watching too many Rambo movies. I think gun licenses should be givven to everyone with one proviso: No testossterne in their blood.

    RH

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    "if citizens have ready access to weapons and are properly trained in their use, when someone thinks of starting trouble, having the prospect of being on the receiving end of hot lead from citizen-defenders is enough to dissuade all but the most insane."

    ——————————-

    Yes, that could happen, but the opposite result is far more likely.

    Besides, we could just as easily train people to throw a bolo. Deadly accurate and extremely incapacitating at any reasonable range.

    I don't have anything against guns or gun owners, but I hate lousy arguments and misuse of facts. It renders those who present them as untrustworthy in my eyes, and therefore unworthy of handling firearms.

    That guy surrendered after a cold and hungry night outdoors. You don't suppose that sobering up might have been an additional consideration to facing hot lead?

    Not a good idea to advertize if you have guns in your home: they are a prime burglary target.

    RH

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    I'm in a room with four people with guns.

    I'm in a romm with four people without guns.

    Which room am I safer in?

  6. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Depends on how big your knife is.

  7. Groveton Avatar

    The US Supreme Court has clearly ruled that the Second Amendment does indeed equate to an individual right to gun ownership. Guns, they not just for militias anymore.

    However, the US Supreme Court (in the same ruling) ruled that states could regulate guns. I read the opinion and (as a non-lawyer) it seemed to allow one gun per month type restrictions. I'll defer to any lawyer on the blog for a different interpretation.

    I personally believe that Virginia's current regulations are constitutional, fair and reasonable. One gun a month should do people just fine. In fact, I believe it is one handgun but I might be wrong. I have never tried to buy in bulk.

    Guns and booze don't mix. That isn't hard to understand if you've ever been hunting with a bunch of guys who are half crocked.

  8. take a look at this:

    List of countries by firearm-related death rate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

    The only country that comes close to us in Firearm Homicide is Northern Island.

    The other high-ranked countries use guns for suicide.

    the U.S. rate is 3.7 per 100,000

    France = .44
    Canada = .76
    Australia = .44
    Japan = .02 (yes… .02 )
    England = .15

    If you buy Grover's theory, all those other countries have a problem – no?

    We freak out when someone gets on a plane with explosive poop in their pants

    but mass murders are getting to be a dime-a-dozen…

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    I'll bet the Texas rate is highr than the US rate.

    I believe the situation in UK is that you can own guns, but ammunition is highly restricted. They treat it like a prescription for habituating drugs.

    You have to fill out an affadavit as to why you want it, and where you plan to use it. It has to be countersigned by the range or hunting rights owner, when it is used, and if not used in the specified time, returned.

    Japan had some mass murderers, but they used poison. Still, the gun situation there is unusual. I guess if you can't get along with your wife, instead of shooting her, you commit hara kiri. It probably also helps if mistresses are more or less tolerated.

    RH

  10. Anonymous Avatar

    We also have a higher percentage of our population in jail than any other country but two, last I heard.

    One of them was North Korea.

    You think maybe our jails are charter schools for violence?

    RH

  11. Anonymous Avatar

    Peter Galuszka is a statist. Remember that pesky 2nd Amendment that tells us what is necessary for a free state. The only place where the constitution says something is necessary. The Constitution never says the President, the Congress, or the Supreme Court is "necessary"… The founding fathers knew that an organized, well-informed, and well-armed citizenry is necessary for a free state and it beats tyranny everytime…

    BTW Gun sales are way up and crime is way down…

    Wilkes 45

  12. Anonymous Avatar

    "BTW Gun sales are way up and crime is way down… "

    ———————————

    BTW the market is way down ever since it was evident that Brown would be elected in massachustts.

    RH

  13. Anonymous Avatar

    "The only place where the constitution says something is necessary. "

    ———————————–

    True enough, but the constitution goes on to create the systems of checks and balances that requires our thee part system of government. Necessary need not be explicitly stated in this case.

    And,there ae prior documents:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…."

    There is ittle doubt that the constituion allows ua the right to bear arms. In the context of the Declaration, it is for the express purpose of allowing us to ovethrow the government, by force if necessary.

    Not that firearms will do us muchgood when the government has fighter jets and helicopters.

    But the Declaration says that governments are instituted among men to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Please explain to me how it is that guns do that better than government.

    I once had a truckload of drunken deerjackers, spinning donuts with their four weel drive vehicle in the crop field in front of my home.

    I might have gone out and opened fire on these drunken legal gunowners, but I called the government. Government, eventually, sent out a crew of guys who get paid for shooting at people.

    The deerjackers no longer have guns, or the right to carry them.

    I still have life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    You probably helped pay for it.
    Thank you.

    I am not anti-gun, or anti-gunowner, but I really hate lousy, obfuscating arguments. You probably have a gun. You have that right. You have the right to defend yourself with it if the problem ever arises and you have sufficient access and opportunity.

    Good Luck.

    Just don't expect me to swallow the rest of that that line of garbage.

    RH

  14. Anonymous Avatar

    Let me get this straight.

    Peter Galuzka is a statist, and you prove it by invoking the Constitution.

    RH

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    Yes governments are necessary.

    No I don't own a firearm.

    I really hate lousy, obfuscating arguments.

    What a revelation.

    Wilkes 45

    Actually gun ownership was Virginia law in the 1600s and 1700s preceding the Declaration. In addition, folks would take their guns to church and train after church due to the great distances one would have to travel.

    So sorry to hear of your deer tyrants…

  16. Anonymous Avatar

    I believe in equality of rights.

    You have the right to own a gun.

    I have the right to be protected form idiots and nuts and drunks with guns.

    When those two rights are EQUAL, we both win.

    Lets make a deal. I won't work to infring your rights, and you don't work to infinge mine.

    RH

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    Statism refers to a political philosophy that "sovereignty is vested not in the people but in the national state, and that all individuals and associations exist only to enhance the power, the prestige, and the well-being of the state. The fascist concept of statism, which is seen as synonymous with the concept of nation, and corporatism repudiates individualism and exalts the nation as an organic body headed by the Supreme Leader and nurtured by unity, force, and discipline."

    The Constitution would be the opposite of that.

  18. Anonymous Avatar

    Equal rights not equal outcomes.

    You have the right to protect your life, liberty, and property. You do not have the right to force others to protect them.

    Have fun!
    Wilkes 45

  19. Anonymous Avatar

    My "gun" is a pre civil war, percussion cap revolver. It is probably one of the original surviving artifacts from the early days of the farm.

    Oddly enough, it was manufactured in the factory of one of my distant grandparents, Eli Whitney.
    Whitneys have been in the family name ever since, and my brother's middle name is Whitney, and his son's name is Whitney.

    That gun makes me feel strangely safe.

    Probably should't admit I have it. It isn't registered, and the government will probably try to take it away.

    RH

  20. Anonymous Avatar

    "Statism refers to a political philosophy that "sovereignty is vested not in the people but in the national state,….."

    ——————————-

    Way over my head, but it seems weird to me. It is particularly weird to project such a convoluted philosophy on a relatively unknown other, as if it were some kind of epithet.

    I don't see the point, other than an elaborate kind of insult of the sort, "Your Mother wears combat boots".

    The state IS sovereign but it derives its power from the people, as I understand it.

    That power is not absolute, however, because the government still has the obligation to protect the minority from the majority. Otherwise, we lose the right to life, liberty and the pursuit…

    RH

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    "You do not have the right to force others to protect them."

    ——————————–

    I didn't force them to, I paid them to.

    They took the job willingly. Probably with a deep seated desire to exert force.

    It is not my place to determine how THEY pursue happiness.

    I don't want to do social work, but I'm glad there are people who do.

    RH

  22. Bill German Avatar
    Bill German

    this is clearly the domino effect. people watch the news and it just feeds on itself and more and more people go crazy and start killing. the only solution is to ban guns completely.

  23. Anonymous Avatar

    Why doesn't the domino effect occur in Japan, or even France?

    Lord knows the French are a little testy, and the Italians are evenmore exitable than Texans. Japanese can certainly afford guns.

    Banning guns isn't the answer.

    I'd prefer to have the right to own a gun, have an abortion, or build a home on my property — even if I never use them.

    I'd prefer to protect the right of others to do the same.

    I expect the same from them.

    When I see a mugger assaulting someone, I expect to jump in, and if I ever need help, I expect others to provide it.

    I just happen to have a well refined definition of what constitutes a mugging, whether it comes from the Republican side or the Democratic side.

    I could care less if you are proselytizer or an atheist, a conservative or a liberal, a gun user or a vegetarian.

    If you want to convince me of a policy it is pretty easy: show me how it makes at least one person better off and no one worse off.

    The geek who shot muggers on the subway is an urban legend. So is the African immigrant who mistakenly and innocently took 50 rounds (out of two hundred fired) in the lobby of his apartment, by the police.

    I'm truly sorry for the hundreds who have been killed by nuts and drunks with guns, or machetes, or cars, or poison, or explosives,or arson or garrotes.

    But I don't blame cars or matches or knives or rope for that any more than I do guns.

    I believe it is a rare case when an armed citizen successfully repels boarding pirates, but I would not deny him the right to choose to try.

    Nuts and criminals are a separate problem, no matter how they are armed.

    I'm even willing, and inclined, to believe that, using my own criteria, the facts are against rabid gun advocates.

    But the anti-gun crowd has not made their case any more factually or less emotionally than the gun advocates.

    We kill hundreds of thousands of deer every year, and yet deer still manage to kill and damage many of us. Lets get rid of guns entirely, and see what happens.

    If we really want to get rid of weapons of mass destruction, lets start with nukes and and one-sided laws.

    We can reduce the circulation of guns the same way we do with cigarettes and booze and tax cheats: put a high tax on them, and subsidise anyone who tuns one in.

    When we think the price is "too high" we will have enough guns in circulation.

    RH

  24. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Wilkes 45,
    Can you plese define what a "statist" means? Is that some codeword for the "Going Rogue" underground? As for crime statistics dipping, it very well could have to do with the changing demographics in inner cities (and maybe handgun bans).

    Peter Galuszka

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    RH When you are sovereign, your power is absolute. We the People, the sovereigns, have created the government for and by the people. Here is the phrase used to ratify the Constitution…

    "declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution, being derived from the people of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression, and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will: that therefore no right of any denomination, can be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified, by the Congress, by the Senate or House of Representatives acting in any capacity, by the President or any department or officer of the United States, except in those instances in which power is given by the Constitution for those purposes: and that among other essential rights, the liberty of conscience and of the press cannot be cancelled, abridged, restrained or modified by any authority of the United States."

    But that is not force… There was a contract involved by willing parties. Perfectly fine.

    Don't confuse the rule of law, which is to protect the minority with sovereign power. Each individual has natural rights and the power to protect them from tyrants.

    Statism is defined in a previous post.

    Some folks just want the government to do everything and take everything. I am not one of those because it fails big time.

    Wilkes 45

  26. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Wilkes 45,

    "Some folks just want the government to do everything and take everything."

    What riles me about you Tea Party types is how you are so loose with your definitions. I have never said that I want "the government to do everything." Please point me to the blog postings where I do so.

    When the Founding Fathers erected the Second Amendment, they did not have in mind individuals owning and storing dozens of firearms with magazines of 30 rounds apiece filled with bullets capable of piercing armor. Nor did they envision automatic pistols with large magazines of the type Cho used with such precision.

    What I am pointing to is the modern atmosphere of violence and gun adoration that some people subscribe to and many others pay for with their lives.

    Geez we have eight dead people including a four-year-old and we have to listen to little poli sci lectures from the conservatives.

    Peter Galuszka

  27. " Some folks just want the government to do everything and take everything. I am not one of those because it fails big time"

    it depends on your definition of "everything" and more often than not, your idea of "everything" would be different from another persons even though both of you would agree with your top statement.

    That's the problem with the anti-govt folks.. they all got their axes to grind … but different axes.

    We used to treat drunk drivers like we do folks with gun fetishes in that when a drunk driver killed someone it was often viewed as an "unfortunate" accident.

    then people got fed up with that concept.

    I think many of us are getting fed up with a system that allows the gun crazies to go around taking out whoever they don't like any more.

    and somehow… NOT doing this is wrong because.. the govt is known to be incompetent…

    interesting logic. Let's get a bunch of folks that think this way and form a 3rd party.

  28. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    One point I'd like to see discussed is at what level of weaponery does the Second Amendment become irrelevant?

    The "Founding Fathers" who fostered the Second Amendment lived in a time of flintlock pistols and rifles — single shot deals that took a bit of time to reload.

    Today, that is obviously not the case. But where do yiou draw the line? Should machine guns be banned from individual ownership as they are? What's the difference between them and assault rifles in 30-round mags that can be fired in bursts of three rounds? Should individuals be allowed to have Squad Automatic Weapons (SAWs? What aout Abrams tanks with several machine guns and artillery? Can they fit in the average driveway? How much is too much? Should everything be allowed. Where do you draw the line?

    Peter Galuszka

  29. Groveton Avatar

    Peter asks some good questions. There are limits to "the right to bear arms". Nobody (that I know) thinks I should be able to install surface to air missles on the roof of my house. Oddly, those missles would be a lot more useful in stopping a tyrant than my Glock.

    Peter wrote:

    "When the Founding Fathers erected the Second Amendment, they did not have in mind individuals owning and storing dozens of firearms with magazines of 30 rounds apiece filled with bullets capable of piercing armor. Nor did they envision automatic pistols with large magazines of the type Cho used with such precision.".

    I'm not sure what the Founding Fathers envisioned. The Second Amendment is poorly written (which is out of character for the Bill of Rights). However, the Founding Fathers loved their guns. Even toffy, effete Thomas Jefferson …

    "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government"

    "As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives [only] moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion to your walks.".

    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.".

    I suppose it comes as no surprise that NoVa's ultimate "man of action" (George Washington) held similar views …

    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.".

    Pretty clear to me that the Founding Fathers liked their guns.

  30. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    In answer to Peter's question: I would draw the line at RPGs. And hand-held anti-aircraft missiles. And I really don't think citizens should have tactical nuclear weapons either.

  31. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Seriously now, I am torn. I don't own a gun, and I've never shot one (once, a 22) since I was 12 years old). So, I'm no gun nut.

    But I do remember something that Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote. Perhaps it was Gulag Archipelago, I'm not sure. But we was describing how the NKVD would raid the homes of Stalin's enemies in the middle of the night, arresting them when they were most frightened and helpless. Hardly anyone resisted. Then, as I recall, he wondered, what would have happened if the victims of Stalin's terror had fought back? What if each victim had had a gun and managed to take out at least one NKVD goon before succumbing? (It's been so long since I read the passage that I can't be how sure I've injected my own thinking into what I read, but I'm not too far off.)

    Ever since then, I've thought that an armed citizenry is protection against a totalitarian state. Americans have much to fear from
    the leviathan state, but so far, political arrests in the middle of the night is not one of them. The episodes that Peter alludes to in this post are tragedies. An armed citizenry undeniably has its drawbacks.

    But I'll accept occasional random violence by armed citizens if that's the price we pay to ensure America never becomes a police state.

    (Given how many on the left feared the depredations of the evil,
    stupid-but-cunning chimp, the torture-inflicting, wiretapping, Constitution-shredding George W. Bush, I would think they would be sensitive to how precarious our democracy is and easily we could collapse into a police state.)

  32. Groveton Avatar

    The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.

    — Hitler, April 11 1942

  33. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Jim,
    Having lived in the USSR and then Russia (although not during Stalin's purges, obviously), it may interest you to now that average citizens were allowed to have hunting rifles and shotguns. I'm sure they had to register them and I believe handguns were illegal.
    But gun-minded Soviets got around that by having "gas" pistols sort of like pellet guns that could be easily retooled into real guns.
    I once had a maid (part of YPDK, or KGB-infilitarted diplomatic service corps, who was around when we went through the Oct. 3 and 4 1993 uprising with about 1,000 casualties. We had something like eight hours of almost straight machine gunning. The woman actually said, "I wish I could get one of those — for the dacha." I later fired her when I found she had a gas pistol in her purse within reach of my two young daughters.
    Later I visited Izevsk, a once-closed military city that is home to the AK-47. They actually make semi-automatic, hunting versions of AKs. I could have bought one and shipped it home. Perfectly legal.
    And while I was there, a local police official had planned a big raid against the huge underground weapons trade in which AK workers would steal parts, sneak them out and they'd end up in Cyprus or somewhere for reassmbly and sale. AK-wielding gunmen broke into the policeman's house and shot five of his family to break up a planned raid. About 30,000 people attended their funerals as did I and a photographer. It was one of the wierdest news stories I ever stumbled upon.

    Peter Galuszka

  34. James A. Bacon Avatar
    James A. Bacon

    Interesting. Things have changed since Stalin's day.

    I don't see any signs that Putin wants to re-establish a totalitarian state, but if he did, perhaps knowing that much of the population was armed and dangerous might think twice.

  35. back to Devil's Advocatory.

    It's true that Washington and the forefathers did not envision the advancement of weaponry but how about this.

    At that point in time, the most advanced weaponry was the same weaponry that they advocated ownership of.

    Since they could have specifically advocated something lesser than current technology and did not.. did they, in fact, advocate that citizens have access to whatever level of technology that was available – as a check on government that would use that same technology against it's citizens?

    People ask – "where do we draw the line"?

    I ask "what forefather or founding document told you to draw the line"?

    In drawing that line, are you not violating the intent of the founding fathers and their founding documents?

    Grover and Wilkes45 ask if those with evil intent would be so bold if they knew others also had guns?

    I ask. "Why not make Mac 10's legal to put even more doubt in the minds of the nefarious?

    so who gave you the right to draw that line?

  36. Anonymous Avatar

    "A sovereign power has absolute sovereignty if it has the unlimited right to control everything and every kind of activity in its territory. Historically, it is doubtful whether a sovereign power has ever claimed complete absoluteness, let alone had the power to actually enforce it.

    Internal sovereignty is the relationship between a sovereign power and its own subjects. A central concern is legitimacy: by what right does a political body (or individual) exercise authority over its subjects? "

    Wickipedia

    According to the Declaration we protect our our rights to live and work through the imposition of governments whose sovereignty is limited by drawing its powers from the consent of those governed.

    In the US context, A statist would be one who supports governments which obtain their power by consent of those governed.

    I don't see that this is any kind of epithet, but it is a rather pathetic attempt to create an insult out of noble metal.

    As Wilkes points out himself the power granted under the constitution are derived from the people, but still those powers are and have been granted. The people may ostensibly take them back, but so far we have not. Which means government still has the power we gave it, and it has limited soveregnty as a result.

    Wilkes' views and fears of total soveignty are unfounded and inaccurate, in my opinion. He and others have invented a philosophy that does not actually exist and are applying it to others as an insult, absent evidence the others think anything of the kind. It boils down to "if you disagree with me, then the only way you can reach your conclusions is if you are a statist (fascist, communist, terrorist, liberal, hippy – pick your favorite epithet)." it is a cheap trick.

    Clearly, the reason our founding fathers wanted to allow us to bear arms – for protection against the government – is pretty much a thing of the past, unless you think it means any kind of arms. Even then, the cost of an attack helicopter will preclude most of us from owning one. We would have to enter into some kind of agreement (a rebel government) to buy one for us, and we would all chip in.

    Probably, the sovereign government controlled by everyone else, would have something to say about that.

    Still, as a matter of historical artifact, we do have the right to own certain weapons, and banning weaons is unlikely to solve the problems we have with truly violent people.

    I'll agree that each individual has natural rights, but the idea that they also have the power to individually protect themselves from tyrants, is mostly wishful thinking now.

    That is one of those things you will have to let government do for you.

    RH

  37. Well I think you could ask the Ruskies about how well attack helicopters work against the "poor" Taliban who "only" have RPGs.

    Come to think of it, you could ask that same question of the Americans over there.

    which brings me back to this.

    Jim says that he'd draw the line at RPGs.

    My question is – do you think the founding fathers actually intended for citizens to have whatever technological equivalent of RPS would be available in a time and place as a check against a despotic regime?

    I know some tea bag people "out there" who are ….pun intended …. up in "arms" about Pelosi/Reid and other evil doers.

    I'll bet you that both of them would shape up real quick if they knew citizens were driving around with RPGs in their gun racks.

    saaaayyyy… haven't I actually seen some signs recently about "watering" the tree of liberty.

    shazaaammmm

  38. Groveton Avatar

    It would be an interesting point of historical research to see if the founding fathers place any limits on the right to bear arms while they were alive and governing. There was certainly field artillery, ships had cannons, etc. Could anybody buy a cannon and mount on his private sailing vessel?

  39. Anonymous Avatar

    A quote for RH from Sam Adams…

    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

    "invented a philosophy that does not actually exist" Nice and how does that happen exactly?

    G-Ton: As eluded to earlier, it was required in Virginia by law that every man between the 16 and 55 was required to have a firearm and serve in the militia. One could not travel lawful without a firearm. It was required for their own protection. The militia was intended to be a bottom up organization to keep representatives in line between elections. The only remains of the militia are the "unorganized militia" and they have no authority. You will also note that the General Assembly still has a Militia and Public Safety Committee.

    As previously stated, a well-organized, well-informed, and well-armed citizenry was always the intent of the founding fathers to guard against tyrants. I wonder how well it worked for Switzerland in the first and second World War.

    Wilkes 45

  40. Anonymous Avatar

    It was required in Virginia by law that every man between the 16 and 55 was required to work on the roadways for two weeks everyyear, and bring his own tools, too.

    What has that got to do with today's reality? How does an unorganized and unauthorized militia protect me from today's government? Let alone a alrge collection of individual gun owners.

    I already said I have no problem with guns or gun owners or gun rights, such as they are. I just happen to believe that a gun owner who has the temerity to attempt to convince me that I am somehow safer because of all these guns – is an idiot.

    You can have all the guns you want and shoot cans or deer or burglars or anything else that is legal, just don't try to convince me that those guns are somehow protecting me from the state: that idea is a quaint artifact of history.

    RH

  41. Anonymous Avatar

    I see your Sam Adams quote is the leading header at The Anarchists Library.

    I suppose a Statist is the opposite of an Anarchist.

    RH

  42. Anonymous Avatar

    When Sam Adams made that quote it was in a cll to arms: for men to rise up and fight to protect the state.

    RH

  43. Anonymous Avatar

    Here are instructions on how to hunt white-tail deer using a 12 lb mountain howitzer.

    http://www.buckstix.com/howitzer.htm

    RH

  44. Anonymous Avatar

    The "poor" Taliban who "only" have RPGs weren;t doing very well until they got a lot of Stinger Missiles, which are hardly the same as RPG's.

    RH

  45. Anonymous Avatar

    Yes Cannons are still legal. One that fires fixed ammo such as a 76mm howitzer (sp) or a 20mm rifle can still be registered with the NFA branch of the BATF with a Form 1, a.k.a form 5320.20

    muzzle loading cannons that fire black powder do not need registrations, such as a bowling ball mortors or golf ball cannons. hoever thayre may be considerable tax to be paid.

    A 16 inch breach loading naval cannon is apparently also legal, but there are practical considerations.

    For large projectiles the ammunition is considered a destructive explosive device and anything over a half inch carries a tax of $200 per round.

    RH

  46. Anonymous Avatar

    Excerpts from Historic 2010 Speeches for Virginia's Rights given at the largest rally in the modern history of Capital Square in downtown Richmond, VA on MLK Day 2010…

    Please share with friends, family, and neighbors… and be inspired…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEgkhZISNUU

  47. Anonymous Avatar

    For those statists who tout the virtues of progressive government, here is a book that might be of interest to you: “Death by Government”.

    http://www.amazon.com/Death-Government-R-J-Rummel/product-reviews/1560009276/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

    Deaths under godless secular socialist progressive communist regimes in the last century:

    People’s Republic of China
    Body count: 73,237,000
    1949-Present (57+ years and counting)

    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    Body count: 58,627,000
    1922-1991 (69 years)

    Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic
    Body count: 3,284,000
    1918-1922 (4 years)

    Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    Body Count: 3,163,000
    1948-Present (58+ years and counting)

    Cambodia
    Body Count: 2,627,000
    1975-1987 (12 years)

    Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
    Body Count: 1,750,000
    1978-1992 (14 years)

    Vietnam
    Body Count: 1,670,000
    1975-Present (30+ years and counting)

    People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
    Body Count: 1,343,610
    1974-1991 (17 years)

    Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
    Body Count: 1,072,000
    1945-1992 (47 years)

    Chinese Soviet Republic
    Body Count: 700,000
    1931-1934 (3 years)

    People’s Republic of Mozambique
    Body Count: 700,000
    1975-1990 (15 years)

    Socialist Republic of Romania
    Body Count: 435,000
    1947-1989 (42 years)

    People’s Republic of Bulgaria
    Body Count: 222,000
    1946-1990 (44 years)

    People’s Republic of Angola
    Body Count: 125,000
    1975-1992 (17 years)

    Mongolian People’s Republic
    Body Count: 100,000
    1924-1992 (68 years)

    People’s Socialist Republic of Albania
    Body Count: 100,000
    1946-1991 (45 years)

    Republic of Cuba
    Body Count: 73,000
    1961-Present (45+ years and counting)

    German Democratic Republic
    Body Count: 70,000
    1949-1990 (41 years)

    Wilkes 45

  48. Anonymous Avatar

    Which only goes to prove my point.

    In the modern world, a militia of muskets is little protection against a rogue government.

    Kind of a silly list, since we don't really have a comparable one of plce with no state have we? And it is a bit of a reac to compare someone who advocates, say, compassionate treatment of the insane and indgent, with a communist totalitarian regime.

    Your position seems equally totalitarian to me, only totally opposite, one is as bad as another, in my book.

    Now, how about a listing of death by religion?

    RH

  49. Anonymous Avatar

    How many of those people were killed by guns?

    How many of the guns were supplied by capitalist nations?

  50. well.. it would take more than the guns we allow for those folks to overthrow totalitarian regimes and the US has an ample history of supply weaponry to groups trying to overthrow other governments – and as far as I know, none have succeeded in part because the weaponry that any state/regime has is far more than citizens have.

    We only need to look at places like Bosnia to see what happens when citizens are very well-armed and anarchy ensues.

    If wilke45 was on target – then we could just arm citizens in Somalia and Yemen to achieve a Democratic uprising…

    instead.. those countries have warlords…. who essentially rule because weaponry by itself without an "organized" militia is futile……

  51. Anonymous Avatar

    Agreed.

    And how many of those totalitarian "states" were initially founded by anarchists?

    RH

  52. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Wilkes 45

    Having lived and worked in the USSR and then Russia for a total of six years, I really don't need a primer on how many people died under "letist" regimes. Please don't insult my intelligence.
    And by the way, you conveniently have left off Hitler's Germany. How come?
    Or for that matter, do you have a body count of how many people died under the British Empire? Or how many Native Americans were killed by the folks in Washington?
    Peter Galuszka

  53. Anonymous Avatar

    Not my list. Chalk the National Socialist Party up for 7+ million more.

    Most of these folks had their weapons confiscated, their property taken, and then starved to death…

    So what deterrent is out there for you to protect you and your family from governments and religous crusades?

    RH Anarchy is the opposite of totalitarian government. Neither are good. A republic, which is what our founding fathers created, was intended to be a limited government with few powers and the rule of law, not the whim of man, was supreme. They created the constitution to restrain the government and place it as far away from totalitarian rule as possible by dividing power as much as possible and getting the representatives closest to the people to deal with local issues.

    An organized, well-informed, well-armed citizenry is the only way to insure tyranny never gains a foothold. The rule of law is the most important difference between our revolution and the rest of the world. Our founding fathers did not just have a revolution and place themselves in power. They created a Constitution that would limit their power and to keep future tyrants in check.

  54. Anonymous Avatar

    Another sad mass murder story:

    NY dairy farmer kills 51 cows, commits suicide.

    "Local farmers buried the cows outside the barn Friday. They would not discuss Pierson or what had happened, but one of the men said these are hard times to be a farmer."

    At least the cows are protected from statism.

    RH

  55. Anonymous Avatar

    "An organized, well-informed, well-armed citizenry is the only way to insure tyranny never gains a foothold. "

    Really? The ONLY way? Kind of a totalitarian way of thinking, isn't it?

    How does that work, exactly? Assasination?

    Isn't assassination usually ( or often) a path TO despotism?

    RH

  56. Anonymous Avatar

    "They created a Constitution that would limit their power and to keep future tyrants in check."

    And the constitution is what? An outline for how to run the state. Our revolutionary fathers were statists.

    Is it the Constitution that limits power and keeps tyrants in check, or is it an armed citizenry?

  57. E M Risse Avatar

    It is truly inspiring to see the denizens of this Blog come together to unanimously thrash Anonymous Wilkes 45 Caliber – now you know his / her full name.

    In the past, these same frequent commentors have shown no compunction about articulating differing views of reality.

    However, when a certifiable right wing nut comes forward they responded as one:

    “Are you nuts Wilkes 45?” Democracy at work.

    Electronic communications hands anonymous wing nuts a Megaphone to broadcast their delusions and it also provides a vehicle to link up with others who have similar delusions.

    Yes, as frightening as it is, there ARE others who hold views like those of Wilkes 45. Twenty percent of any population will believe almost anything, e.g. the earth is flat. In a democracy the 80 percent make it clear that the 20 percent do no speak for them.

    Unwittingly, Wilkes 45 makes the case for Fundamental Transformation in governance structure.
    It is doubtful that Wilkes 45 would make the same statements to the residents in his Dooryard or Cluster, to his church congregation or at the annual meeting of his / her children’s PTA.

    Wilkes 45's comments are especially dangerous in the current time of Transformation as EMR will point out in forthcoming post.

    EMR

  58. Anonymous Avatar

    "RH Anarchy is the opposite of totalitarian government."

    ————————–

    I only brought it up because your chosen Sam Adams quote is also the lead header for "The Anarchists Libraray"

    Considering the rest of your comments I have to assume that isn't an accident, yet you concede that government is necessary.

    Now our only dispute is to determine how much government is necessary.

    ——————————

    However much we dislike it, government has advantages over us as individuals with size, staying power, purchasing power, etc.

    We have advantages over government in terms of agility, up to a point, but we are also highly perishable.

    Rather than tea party government into a sieve, would it make more sense to recognize its strengths AND its weaknesses? Capitalize on one and improve the other?

    As long as we can determine that through its economy of scale government can give back to us in value more than it costs us in dollars, what reason could we have for wanting to choke off government dollars?

    Sure, we could have more freedom and more choices as to what to do with the dollars reserved (our own dollars), but in the end we might still have fewer dollars, and fewer dollars worth of goods and services.

    We would have traded our freedom(dollars) for even fewer dollars.

    The key issue here is the phrase "As long as we can determine that….."

    How do we determine that, if we don't, or won't look, and cannot agree on metrics?

    If we start off with the idea that the best government is ALWAYS the least government, then we refuse to look.

    If we start off with the idea that there is NO RIGHT TO POLLUTE, then we refuse to look, to find the best balance between restricting our freedoms and letting each other live.

    If we start off with the idea there is ONE TRUE RELIGION, we may blind ourselves to epiphany.

    If we start off with the idea than an armed citizenry is the ONLY way to avoid despotism, some despot will eventually sneak up on us with a new idea.

    —————————

    OK, some people are so disgusted with government that they claim it is SO BAD, that no matter what it tries to do, we only get 75 cents out for every dollar we spend.

    How does that make it any different from Wal-Mart, or any other big business that operates as a continuing enterprise.

    The question isn't whether government wasted 25 cents building a dollars worth of highway, it is whether you (Really, now), could have done better on your own.

    So, when was the last time you came to a sign that said STATE (ist) MAINTENANCE ENDS here, and the road got better?

    The state has its problems, lets work on those rather than kill the state.

    RH

  59. Anonymous Avatar

    The question you ought to be asking is why does 18 cents even go up to the federal level transportation department and is guaranteed to come back down to Virginia at least 95 cents on every dollar.

    We already have the interstate system built. We maintain it at the state level. Why do we still have a 17-18 cent split between federal and state gas tax? It is so those folks that know better can attach their rules to your money. Why do we still need a Federal Highway Administration with its current scope and size when we have no federal highway construction program to move forward? A relic from the 1950s?

    Wilkes 45

  60. Anonymous Avatar

    I'll take everything that EMR said as a compliment. I like how you pretend. What color is the sky in your world? It enjoyable to see the denizens rise up…

    I challenge you to look up Wilkes 45 and see who I am… You might even learn something.

    At least you were forced to think today.

    Both the Constitution and an informed, armed, organized, moral citizenry are required. The well-armed portion is meant as a deterrent such that no one is foolish enough to overthrow the rule of law.

    Our founding fathers believed in the sovereignty of the individual and the merits of federalism. I think you are an idiot if you believe they were statists like Peter.

    I'll apologize in advance that I don't fit neatly into any of frames of reference. You are all adults and you can deal with it.

    Wilkes 45

  61. The Righteous Offender Avatar
    The Righteous Offender

    I was just thinking about this the other day. What's with Virginia and people going completely nuts?

    Virginia is for Shooters.
    that should totally be on the brochure!

  62. trying to get a grip here…

    the price of gun-toting vigilance is the occasional gun nut gone berserk and taking out citizens he's there to protect from govt evildoers….

    sayyy… seems like we had a deal like that in Bosnia a couple years back – no?

    so… the more citizens with guns.. the more responsive govt is ?

    well hells bells.. why do we mess around with this idea of voting … anyhow… all it gets us is folks like Pelosi and Reid.

  63. Anonymous Avatar

    Was the guy who killed the abortion doctor a liberal? They guy who shot the Oregon police oficers? etc. etc.

    We are really in danger from the liberals here.

  64. Anonymous Avatar

    "We already have the interstate system built. We maintain it at the state level. Why do we still have a 17-18 cent split between federal and state gas tax? "

    I agree such questions should have readily available answers.

    I don't think we need guns to get the answers.

    Anyway, you are avoiding the point, which is that some things government does better.

  65. Anonymous Avatar

    I think you are an idiot if you believe they were statists like Peter.

    ================================

    Hey, these guys founded a state. What else would you call them?

    Peter hasn't, yet.

  66. Anonymous Avatar

    The founding fathers managed to throw over a king, a kindom, and an empire with a musket toting militia. They published seditious heresy in the middle of the night, published under false names, lest they be hung for treason.

    They were also astute historians. They created an organizational structure for their new state based on all they could glean from Rome, and Greece, and Persia, and Europe.

    In the end it took more than muskets: it took a great Navy, supported by the French, who had their own agenda. Greene set up Howe for defeat by using the vast interior wilderness to his advantage.

    It took a lot more than an armed citizenry.

    Now, if you took the founding fathers and hit the fast forward button to today, and if you suddenly infused them with another two hundred years of political and armed history; would tey write the same Constitution today?

    What would they think if they saw the judicial branch put the other branches up for auction to the highest bidder – in the name of free speach?

  67. Anonymous Avatar

    "The well-armed portion is meant as a deterrent such that no one is foolish enough to overthrow the rule of law."

    You mean like the guy who shot the judge?

  68. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Wilkes 45
    I really don't know who you are and you haven't really defined what a "statist" is. I gather it is anyone who believes that some sort of public control of weaponery of any type, including anthrax pods, tactical nuclear warheads and cluster bomb units, is necessary. You haven't responded to any such questions.
    I just hope you are not a true gun nut. I remember visiting a gun show in the Midwest some years ago. It was a celebration of right-wing, violent crazies. You had your militias. You had your "identity Christians" sort of like Ku Klux Klaners who believe they are the "true Jews" And you had your "ZOG ("Zionist Occupation Government) types who are rapid anti-Semites who believe that Jews control all U.S. government and run "black helicopters" to hunt down true American patriots. Could these folk be just a shade away from tea baggers and "Going Rogue" Palinites?
    Or are we just talking about someone who's been playing violent Wii games on his harddrive for too long?

    Peter Galuszka

  69. Anonymous Avatar

    Yesterday, I was working outside when I heard two shots off in the forest. A few moments later there was a third. I assumed a dear had been dropped, and then dispatched.

    I thought, "Gee, guy, don't take the shot unless you have a good one.

    But then later there were more shots, like six in a row. (I think you are limited to three rounds in the gun, but I could be wrong.)

    Afterwords,there were more and more and more rounds fired, maybe a hundred in all, or more. Some of them in very rapid succession. So either there are a dozen guys out ther "driving" the deer or it is target practice.

    But what hunter would go target practice in the woods during season? It is no wonder that my neighbors with horses get nervous.

    RH

  70. Anonymous Avatar

    Statism refers to a political philosophy that "sovereignty is vested not in the people but in the national state, and that all individuals and associations exist only to enhance the power, the prestige, and the well-being of the state."

    Give up your guns because it is the safe thing to do!

    Here is the question for the great denizens…

    What deterrent is out there for you to protect you and your family from governments and religous crusades?

    Wilkes 45

    BTW I love how law-abiding citizens of the current political movement are protrayed by statists… "true gun nut", "right-wing, violent crazies", "militias", "identity Christians", "Ku Klux Klaners", "rapid[sic] anti-Semites","tea baggers" and "Going Rogue", or "playing violent Wii games".

    The current civil rights movement that the Tea Party is responsible for is the same as MLK and Ghandi and it has already shifted the paradigm. Keep feeding it statist hate and it will only respond with passionate love of country. In America and Virginia, the sun is rising.

  71. Anonymous Avatar

    OK, I will bite:

    Who is Wilkes 45?

    The Colonial Williamsburg site has a nice summary of the 18th century member of the House of Commons after which Anonymous Wilkes 45 Caliber styles himself. John Wilkes won his seat by bribery. He was a thorn in the side of George III for which some, but not all, ‘founding fathers’ that was worth overlooking his myriad shortcomings.

    The item opens like this:

    “Member of Parliament, political agitator, friend of freedom, demagogue, wit, libertine, pornographer, and shameless self-promoter, England's John Wilkes was to colonial Americans an idol.”

    http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/summer03/wilkes.cfm

    It is a interesting bit of history but, like Anonymous Wilkes 45 Caliber, John Wilkes was not the sort of person in which to put trust – unless you admire demagogues, shameless self-promoters or want to buy some pornography.

    Neither the original nor the pretender are the sort of person one would look to for advice on establishing a functional governance structure in the 21st Century – much less a rational source for relevant historical facts.

    Peter is right. Anonymous Wilkes 45 Caliber falls in one of the categories he spells out.

    EMR is right too: Anonymous Wilkes 45 Caliber is a dangerous byproduct of internet isolation and wing-nut distillation.

    One can only hope he does not really believe his own “anti-sustainable trajectory for civilization” ranting.

    JRB

  72. Anonymous Avatar

    JRB Very nice!

    But that would just be Wilkes.

    Wilkes 45 is even more impressive.

    "George III was furious, and ordered the arrest of the author of No. 45. The attorney general and the solicitor general were asked whether the paper warranted prosecution. April 27 they announced their opinion—it was seditious libel, designed to turn public opinion against the king—and drew up a warrant for his arrest. The prosecution, though, made procedural blunders that Wilkes used to his advantage. First, they issued a general warrant, which named "the authors, printers, and publishers, of a seditious and treasonable paper intitled 'the North Briton, number xlv,'" but gave no names. General warrants were of dubious legality, since they authorized the king's officers to seize anyone they suspected. Forty-nine people, most of them innocent, were arrested. More troublesome for the government, Wilkes claimed parliamentary privilege: as a member of the House of Commons, he was immune from arrest for anything short of treason or breach of the peace.

    A series of trials began to consider the legal and procedural questions. Wilkes adored the limelight. Before a large crowd in the Court of Common Pleas, he said his case would "teach ministers of arbitrary principles, that the liberty of an English subject is not to be sported away with impunity, in this cruel and despotic manner." His trial, he said, would "determine at once whether English liberty be a reality or a shadow." Wilkes prevailed: the court ruled that he was exempt from prosecution and that the general warrant was invalid. The precedent is still cited in American courts."

    Wilkes 45

  73. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Wilkes 45,
    I imagined you might be related to John WIlkes Booth, Not true?

    Peter Galuszka

  74. Anonymous Avatar

    Of course you did Peter… Your narrow viewpoint would not allow anything else!! (which has been a delightful counter-melody in this whole convo)

    Once again, I do not fit nicely into any mold you try to put me in.

    I remain, the nearly famous…

    Wilkes 45

  75. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Wilkes 45,
    Game over. At least I have the balls to identify myself.
    Peter Galuszka

  76. Anonymous Avatar

    "The current civil rights movement that the Tea Party is responsible for is the same as MLK and Ghandi and it has already shifted the paradigm. Keep feeding it statist hate and it will only respond with passionate love of country."

    Whew! Good drugs.

    —————————–

    So let's say I'm a statist.

    I beleive that soveriengnty is not vested in the people, but in the state.

    Which is, however, still elected by the people.

    We have a state with limited powers.

    Among those limitations is one that says the state is required to protecct minorities, no matter how noxious or noisome.

    I support the state in that endeavor.

    Where, exactly, is all this liberal hate you talk about?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "true gun nut", "right-wing, violent crazies", "militias", "identity Christians", "Ku Klux Klaners", "rapid[sic] anti-Semites","tea baggers" and "Going Rogue", or "playing violent Wii games".

    MAYBE, just maybe, you need to look in the mirror. Stereotypes are unfortunate, but they do not get that way by accident.

    O the other side we have "Tree huggers", "Environmental terrorists", and maybe som other fairly radical operations, but where is the "liberal militia", the "liberal anti semite", "liberal Hidden Society in white robes?

    We have Sarah Palin celebrating "Going Rogue", which last I new meant to cheat and swindle. Maybe we need a "liberal" author to write a book "Be honest and Play Fair"

    ——————————–

    Recently one of my right wing frinds was going off on a long canned tirade about how climate change is a hoax. He went so far as to suggest there was no way than man could permanently affct the environment.

    So I interrupted him and asked "What happened to the passenger pigeons?"

    He hesitated, but just for a heartbeat before returning to a canned speach about free markets, so I interjected again:

    "The passenger pigeons were exterminated by a free market."

    ——————————-

    He and I are friends, because we listen to each other. We take mutual interest in those times when we reach the same conclusion from opposite directions.

    Those conclusions are likely to have some basis in reality.

    I'd like to have a lot more conservative friends like him, but they are hard to find.

    RH

  77. Anonymous Avatar

    OK, you lost me.

    200 years ago an unelected King sent his hired henchmen to wreak havoc on unnamed persons who wrote things he did not like.

    What has that got to do, today, with persons you deem to be liberals, who think that, maybe, times have changed and government has more worthwhile work to do than merely stand guard over a sparse dominion of agrarians threatened mainly by Indians and pirates?

    Work that cannot, and will not, be done by free enterpise, or individuals, whether they are armed or not.

    You hae already conceded that we need government. You, then, must be a partial statist.

    Now all we have to talk about is what is necessary, and what is efficient.

    RH

  78. Anonymous Avatar

    "…that the liberty of an English subject is not to be sported away with impunity, in this cruel and despotic manner."

    Well yes, and well he might complain, there being so few.

    What were the rights of an English subject in 1745? What liberty did he actually have?

    You had the Magna Carta (much amended) and the English Bill of Rights.

    You had the right to petition the King. Whoopee.

    The right of Habeus Corpus. (honored mainly in the breech)

    You had the right to elect parliament ( providing your class had suffrage).

    And you had the right to speak in Parliament.

    That was pretty much it.

    No wonder he was hyper defensive.

    RH

  79. Anonymous Avatar

    So Wilkes:

    Tell us what you think will happen now that the various unofficial armed militias are authorized by the Supreme Court to spend as much as they like to elect anyone they can find favor in?

    RH

  80. Anonymous Avatar

    "Despite the pouring rain, nearly three hundred Tea Party supporters from across the state gathered on the steps of the Washington State capitol for the “Sovereignty Winter Fest” on January 14. The event featured state legislators, candidates for state and federal seats, Tea Party leaders, and other far-right activists from around the region. It was designed to support a series of state’s rights 10th Amendment “sovereignty” resolutions in the Washington legislature.

    …………………

    This turn away from anti-tax and anti-healthcare rhetoric towards state sovereignty language points to a possible radicalization of the movement.
    While some participants clung to their umbrellas, others held on to the Confederate Battle Flag and the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. There were signs with slogans like “Kick Ass America. Remember 9-11,” “Armed and Dangerous with my Vote,” “Had enough? Reclaim State Sovereignty,” “The 10th Amend. States Rights. Yes We Can,” “FOX News for the truth,” and “Kill Government Take Over NOT our Freedom.”

    "State representative Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) began the day with a discussion of House Joint Memorial 4009, the so-called State Sovereignty Resolution, which was originally introduced in January 2009. Similar to other bills around the country, HJR 4009 declares that “the State of Washington hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.

    The day before the rally, the bill failed on a 36-58 party line vote."

    …………………

    "With a pistol strapped to his hip and a cell phone headset in his ear, Darin Stevens, head of the Spokane 9.12 Project, gave a tortured reading of a section of the Declaration of Independence. After his presentation, Stevens spent considerable time chatting with Martin “Red” Beckman. A name familiar to many northwest human rights observers, particularly those in Montana, Beckman is known for his anti-Semitic writings, his defense of militias, and his eviction from his Montana property by the IRS for refusing to pay taxes."

    ================================

    Hundreds of Tea Party supporters?

    That is not a political party of even a decent rally.

    Most family reunions are that big.

    The confederate Battle Flag? Really? In Washington State?

    What they don't tell you about the "tortured" reading of the Declaration of Independence is that the reason it was tortured is that the guy can barely read.

    RH

  81. BTW the market is way down ever since it was evident that Brown would be elected in massachustts.

    Actually the market is down because the idiot in charge announced he is going to tax all the banks.

  82. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Roy F.
    The markets have been up (a little) the last two days. So much for blaming Obama for a two or three day stock event. Actually, I am critical of Obama for NOT doing more to crack down on banks. I love how they got great breaks which some have used to pay bonuses while average taxpayers got none. ALso, you seem to forget (conveniently) that it was Bush and Paulson who built the bailout. Paulson's first version was a thin, two-page document that your ordinary Joe couldn't use to get a loan for a pickup truck.
    It's fine with me if you ant to criticize, but at least so intelligently and with facts.
    Thank you.
    Peter Galuszka

  83. yes… let's blame Obama for putting FDIC-like rules on financial institutions that were using loopholes to function as banks… while keeping silent about your view about FDIC itself.

    Let's make this simple.

    Are you in favor of FDIC or opposed to it?

    are you a man of principles or just more stinky politics?

    just as I thought..

    FDIC is yet another sneaky liberal plot to justify Obama's way of governing…

    yup…

  84. Anonymous Avatar

    "As Attorney General he filed an amicus brief supporting a legal challenge to the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, something other large urban areas have adopted to check violent crime. It seems to work."

    Would you care to provide evidence to support this assumption?

  85. Gooze Views Avatar
    Gooze Views

    Anonymous,
    What "assumption" are you talking about? Please let me know if McDonnell did NOT file an amicus brief and, of cours,e provide me with your "facts."

    Peter Galuszka

  86. Anonymous Avatar

    BTW the market is way down ever since it was evident that Brown would be elected in massachustts.

    Actually the market is down because the idiot in charge announced he is going to tax all the banks.

    =================================

    I didn't say why, just since.

    In case you missed it, it was a sarcastic reference to those who argue post hoc propter hoc fallacies.

    The usual argument is that the market dislikes uncertainty and the current cause of uncertainty is whether Bernanke will be confirmed.

    The proposal is not to tax all the banks. However it is in accordance with the intent of the TARP legislation which is to ensure that the banks and not the public pay for the bailout – eventually.

    But we all know that taxes to corporations just get pased through – to us.

    This is a bad idea not because he is proposing to make the banks pay for what they did to us, but because it is a sham.

    RH

  87. Anonymous Avatar

    "The conservative young filmmaker who tarnished the reputation of a liberal activist group with his undercover videos has been arrested for allegedly trying to bug Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans.

    … two others, Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, are accused of pretending to be telephone company employees, according to federal court records …

    Flanagan, 24, is the son of acting U.S. Attorney William J. Flanagan, who runs the Western District of Louisiana federal prosecutors' office in Shreveport.

    O'Keefe, 25, became a conservative hero last year when he and a friend pretended to be a pimp and a prostitute while secretly videotaping several regional offices of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). "

    WAPO

  88. FDIC "works" by charging banks a fee and of course that fee gets incorporated into your services.

    the question is – do you want the govt forcing the bank to pay a fee for insurance that will make you whole if they fail?

    There are banks and financial institutions that do not insure your money and there are those that do.

    What the FDIC does is assures you that a particular level of insurance is provided and it's guaranteed

    as opposed to someone telling you they are "insured" and it turns out they are insured for 1/100th of what you have at risk.

    This is really no different that govt laws that require…say a pharmaceutical to provide in that tablet what the label says is in that tablet.

    You can go to 3rd world countries where there is no assurance that what's on the label is what's in the jar.

    the basic question is – is this a legitimate role of government

    and folks.. despite the all the hurrah from the tea party folks – most every American TRUSTS the FDIC, the CDC, the Consumer Product Safety, the FDA, etc, etc.

    the argument is about how much is "too much" and the problem is if you ask 10 people, you're going to get 10 answers.

    sorta like folks who condemn Congress especially the incumbents except their own guy.

  89. Anonymous Avatar

    I don't think the new proposed tax is anything like the FDIC insurance fee.

    It is more of a temporary thing (proabely woul become permanent though) to collect money from the investment banks to pay back TARP.

    Some TARP money has been paid back, and some TARP loans even made money. But there are still a lot o bad assets that could will go south.

    This is designed to cover those losses, as I understand it.

    Anyway, the complaint here is another example of how Obama can do ntothing right. He was wrong on TARP and now he is wrong to try to get it back.

    RH

  90. Anonymous Avatar

    Nice letter in the paper yesterday.

    Ex-marine goes to the gun range to rent a gun and shoot off a few rounds for fun.

    Afterward an employee tries to sell him a gun, but the marine says he doesn;t need one.

    "Why not?" asked the employee.

    "I'm not angry at anyone."

    RH

  91. If you want a unique experience, go attend a gun show in Va and do a little "people watching" and play this little game as you watch "do I want this guy to have a gun"?

    heh heh

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