Archive for November, 2005

November 30, 2005

Fun with headlines

Headlines, if I wrote them:

Canadian Government Falls, no one – not even Canadians – notices.

U.S. reportedly planting stories in Iraqi, U.S. papers

US Christian Group Names Captives in Iraq, Blames US, UK and surprisingly not selves, terrorists.

Counter-Terrorists Worry About Illegal Immigration – No shit

CCW in Wisconsin

A deal has been reached in the bill to allow CCW in the state:

Police could check whether the owner of a car they stop is carrying a concealed weapon under a compromise that sponsors of a bill to let Wisconsin residents carry hidden weapons have reached with law enforcement groups.

Sponsors say the amendment eliminates police lobbying organizations’ major hang-ups with the Republican-authored bill. The bill’s authors and representatives of several law enforcement groups planned a press conference this morning to announce more details.

More:

Under the measure, whenever an officer runs the registration of a vehicle he stops, a screen would pop up alerting him if the owner has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, said Casey Perry, executive director of the Wisconsin Troopers Association.

Some states require CCW holders to notify police when stopped. A similar bill passed there in 2003 but Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed it. Looks like it’s coming, if you ask me.

TSA to allow pointy things

Having realized that to date no plane has been taken down with toenail clippers, the TSA says we can keep our scissors. The AP:

Airport security screeners are reportedly going to let passengers bring sharp objects on board airplanes again. Today’s Washington Post says the Transportation Security Administration plans to announce security changes Friday.

Sources quoted by the paper say the new rules will allow things like scissors in carry-on bags. The reasoning is that such items are no longer regarded as the greatest threat to airline security. Homeland Security Department officials are said to be more concerned about preventing suicide bomb attacks at airports. Officials want screeners to focus more on finding things that can explode rather than things that are sharp.

Good.

Dan McKown update

Heartless Libertarian has more on the CCW holder who attempted to engage the Tacoma mall shooter:

“I’m looking at this guy,” McKown said. “He’s a kid. I would have had to shoot him in the head.”

McKown just wasn’t ready for that. It’s not easy to shoot someone in the head, McKown said. McKown also didn’t want to get in the way of the police if they were handling the situation

HL asks CCW holders a simple question: are you prepared, psychologically, to take another person’s life?

Not in my face

Blake links to a piece on the Miami PD:

Miami police announced Monday they will stage random shows of force at hotels, banks and other public places to keep terrorists guessing and remind people to be vigilant.

Deputy Police Chief Frank Fernandez said officers might, for example, surround a bank building, check the IDs of everyone going in and out and hand out leaflets about terror threats.

“This is an in-your-face type of strategy. It’s letting the terrorists know we are out there,” Fernandez said.

Papers please. This is truly abysmal. The police should not randomly accost citizens. Ever. This will make people leery of the police more than anything else. In Miami, it’s like the terrorists have won. Where’s the ACLU? Oh:

Howard Simon, executive director of ACLU of Florida, said the Miami initiative appears aimed at ensuring that people’s rights are not violated.

“What we’re dealing with is officers on street patrol, which is more effective and more consistent with the Constitution,” Simon said. “We’ll have to see how it is implemented.”

As Blake says:

So, the police surrounding a bank and checking everyone’s IDs for no apparent reason is not a violation of people’s rights?

Gunner has more on this lunacy.

All eyes are on it

The Supreme Court has will hear an abortion case:

The court will hear arguments on a 2003 New Hampshire law requiring minors tell at least one of their parents 48 hours before having an abortion. The only exception is if the girl’s life is threatened.

Opponents of the law say that exception is not enough. They want girls to be able to obtain an abortion immediately without prior parental permission in cases of medical emergency.

I don’t really see a reason why a parental notification requirement is a bad thing. However, the importance of the case is the court will take up the sacred cow of politics. It will be interesting to watch. I find the pro-abortion crowd’s opposition to the law a bit odd. Seems they, like gun control advocates who endorse any gun control law no matter how silly, oppose any limits just because.

Oak Ridge High School Follow Up

On this Oak Ridge High School birth control article nonsense, R. Neal sums it up best:

Setting aside the debate as to whether birth control is an appropriate topic for a high school student newspaper, it’s sad that the “abstinence only” crowd has driven these students to seek out the information on their own and share it with their classmates. Good for them.

Ayup.

Idiots with Guns

Reader Don writes:

My step daughter [name withdrawn] playing with her boy friend’s, AK-47. [Her boyfriend] is the photographer.

Obviously she doesn’t remember a thing I told her. But then, when they are 17 you can’t tell them anything anyhow.

Hopefully, posting her photos on Idiots With Guns might shock her as much as shooting her boyfriend would.

Actually, it’s Xavier that runs that series (Part 1,Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5). I couldn’t find his email so I’ll run my own submission to Idiots with Guns. Far be it from me to turn down a reader request, so, here’s idiocy number one:

Keep your finger off the trigger unless you’re ready to shoot! Here’s another:

Never point a weapon at something unless you’re willing to destroy it.

Update: Meanwhile, here’s some idiot terrorists with guns.

November 29, 2005

Heh, indeed

Seriously, that’s funny.

To censor or to publish?

The administration of the Oak Ridge School System is caught in a Gordian Knot as it tries to explain it’s decision to censor and confiscate 1800 editions of the Oak Ridge High School newspaper. School System Superintendent Tom Bailey was reported as saying that an article detailing different birth control methods and a two-page feature about student tattoos and body piercings were the reason for the decision.

The story has leaped to national coverage and has created an Internet Blogging response. On local radio WNOX’s George Korda agreed with the schools decision and referenced that a school newspaper is like any newspaper and the editor has the privilege to decide what should be printed. Korda noted that the principle of the high school was the final editor of the newspaper. A Supreme Court decision backs up Korda’s contention.

The paper’s Editor-in-Chief Brittany Thomas, a senior, did not see it that way. The Knoxville News Sentinel reported, “Brittany Thomas said the American Civil Liberties Union and the Student Press Law Center are trying to secure lawyers to represent the students in a controversy that has made international news.”

Condemnation of the censorship and seizure has come from far and wide. University of Tennessee journalism professor Dwight Teeter said, “This is a terrible lesson in civics,” “This is an issue about the administration wanting to have control. Either the students are going to have a voice, or you’re going to have a PR rag for the administration.”

The decision has been made that the school newspaper will be reprinted without the article on birth control. In today’s Oak Ridger newspaper we learn, “The article about birth control will be pulled totally. The article about tattoos will have some editorial revisions made, and the paper will be reprinted in its entirety and distributed to students,” School System Superintendent Tom Bailey told The Oak Ridger by phone after a meeting with Oak Ridge High School Principal Becky Ervin Tuesday morning.

Today we also learn that the schools website has also been taken off the air. But as in all things in cyberspace the article can be read here. After reading the article it is clear that the entire reason for the censorship is a quote from Dr. Charles E. Darling with the Anderson County Health Center, “If you get a pregnancy test done and you find out that you are pregnant, you can make sure that your parents do not know. Also parental consent is not needed to obtain birth control.”

Is there anything wrong with what Dr. Darling said? Is it consistent with current law? If so, then how can this censorship be tolerated? What is wrong with the article? The students should pursue the right to publish this edition of the school newspaper. If people have a problem with the law as is stands they should move to change the law but censorship cannot be tolerated at any level. Exactly what lesson are we supposed to learn here?

Update: This will be the topic on Inside TN on WBIR Sunday morning at 9:30 AM.

What bias?

My Google News Alert for pit bull sent me the headline that read York, PA Farmer Attacked by Pit Bull. Trouble is, when you go to the story, the farmer was actually attacked by a bull.

Again?

This guy moves blogs more often than I move my bowels. Geez, find a spot and stay in it.

Eye-opening visit

My in-laws came over the other night. One of my nephews is five years old. And he can’t wipe his own butt. I discovered this when he visited our bathroom, finished up, and began calling for his mom. I thought it was odd. After they were gone, I said to the wife Did you know he can’t wipe his own butt? She said He’s only five, like it was the most normal thing in the world. I still found it odd but I am apparently the only one. I figured by that age, kids could wipe their own butts but I figured wrong, I am told. Apparently, that’s the age in which they start learning how to wipe their own butts. Then it occurred to me that I have at least five years of butt wiping ahead of me.

Quote of the day

Kirk in comments:

Unless the bill is subtracting a gun law I am against it…

International gun comparisons

Don Kates compares international gun ownership stats with murder rates:

Anti-gun advocacy is built on decades of erroneous claims that the United States, with the world’s highest gun ownership rate (true), has the highest murder rate (false). Russia’s recently disclosed murder rates since 1965 have consistently exceeded U.S. rates despite Russia’ ban of handguns and strict control of long guns. Since the 1990s Russian murder rates have remained almost four times greater than American.

And:

If more guns mean more violence, nations with high gun-ownership rates should have high murder rates. But two international studies comparing gun ownership with murder rates in 36 and 21 nations (respectively) found “no significant correlations.”

Via David.

Yeah, right

This will go over about as well as a request to ask someone to hit themselves in the head repeatedly with a hammer:

The Tennessee Department of Revenue is encouraging online retailers to begin collecting sales tax for the state two years ahead of the deadline for them to do so.

The state delayed implementation of the streamlined sales tax initiative until 2007 after retailers complained about increased paperwork. Nevertheless, a multistate agreement to move to the system took effect in October, and retailers are being reminded of that.

Encouraging? Unless you’re mandating it, it’s not going to happen. No one wants to pay the tax (well, I’m sure some folks do but smart people don’t). No one wants to do the additional bookkeeping for the tax. And wasn’t there some sort of congressional deal that put a moratorium on taxing internet sales? More:

The Streamlined Sales Tax Project is an agreement by 18 states to simplify sales tax laws by establishing a uniform system to administer and collect the taxes on nearly $3.5 trillion in retail transactions annually. The idea is to collect sales taxes based on where the buyer lives, rather than on the place of sale.

Always with the hands in the pockets. Feh. And, since I’m known to pick a nit or two, this is a stupid statement that I see all the time:

University of Tennessee economist William Fox issued a recent study estimating that state and local governments will lose $18 billion in sales tax revenues this year because of online purchases.

Stupid economists. If expense is greater than revenue, that is a loss. Not collecting money that you’re not entitled to is not a loss. It’s called not collecting money you’re not entitled to.

Apparently, major retailers aren’t gearing up for it because most states haven’t agreed yet. I think a good plan of attack would be opposition to states contemplating signing the agreement.

The internet wants to be free and we should let it.

Impeachment?

Phelps says that U.S. Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts should be impeached for violations of the Logan Act.

We’re winning

The NRA reports that gun ownership in the US is at an all-time high; the number of gun owners is at an all-time high; the number of states with right to carry provisions is at an all-time high; that, despite the fact gun laws are becoming less restrictive, that crime is at a 30 year low.

Good.

Bum Deal

That was the name of the story that I saw pushed on local TeeVee all during the holiday. They kept saying that other cities were shipping their homeless people to Knoxville, where we are apparently quite generous to the homeless. Bear in mind, the commercials always said that other cities were shipping their homeless here and implied it was some sort of conspiracy to do so. So, I waited anxiously for the story and here it is. The headline:

Communities in surrounding states are busing their homeless to Knoxville

Consistent with the commercials. On to the story:

6 News has discovered that as word gets out about the city’s many homeless shelters, many facilities in surrounding states are providing bus tickets to homeless to come to Knoxville.

OMG, they’re shipping their homeless here. But there’s more:

A crisis intervention center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina called Helping Hand provides bus tickets, but does not ask questions about where the person wants to go.

The center helps pay the fare and just send the riders on their way.

“We’re not moms. We’re not the truth police,” said Adrian Weatherwax, director of Helping Hand. “We go by what they tell us. If they come in here and tell us I have a job in Knoxville, Tennessee, these are adults, these are not children. I’m not going to check and make sure they really do have a job there.”

So, you see, there is no conspiracy to ship the homeless to Knoxville, despite the days long build up implying such. Apparently, folks give out bus tickets to wherever a person says they want to go, provided they have a good reason to go there. Quite misleading, if you ask me.

He’s back

Marc is back for good. He’s also selling his HK93, the real deal and not the imported parts kind.

November 28, 2005

Another Damn Lawyer With A Blog

This was going to be a quote of the day post but there was too much. Check out The Trigger:

Scientists say that every 19 seconds in the United States, another lawyer starts his own blog. If this trend continues, every lawyer in the country will have his own blog by the fall of 2032.

And:

I’m a thirtysomething (semi-libertarian) conservative lawyer in Chicago, Illinois. That tells you three things about me:

1. I usually vote Republican;
2. I often don’t feel very good about it; and
3. My vote never matters anyway.

With snark like that, I can’t help but read. But I recommend he get out of Chicago.

Joint Combat Pistol

Les has the skinny on SOCOM’s request for a joint combat pistol in 45ACP. They want a shot counter, which I find a bit odd. Reading the specs, it’s difficult to find a gun that fits the bill. So, let’s play a game. Which gun do they want?

1911 – Out since it’s not DA/SA or DA.
Sig – Out due to mag capacity
Glock – Out due to modular grip
H&K – Out due to modular grip
S&W M&P/Walther – Could be in but I’d guess it’s too new and not enough testing

What do you guys think? I’m guessing H&K and Glock will offer modular grips or Sig will work something up.

Update: Or those LDA 1911s by Para.

It’s a secret

Standard Mischief takes a good long look at The NRA’s sooper-seekrit New Orleans judgment:

You see, the NRA was widely criticized for not jumping in right away and filing a suit. I myself blogged, “… when the seize orders came down, and enough members called the NRA, they finally issued a wishy-washy press statement…”, yet in their own pleading, they claim they had every right to file suit, even if they are unsure which of their members were harmed. They do, however, seem to have waited until they could get a Mr. Buell Teel on board with them. Whether or not that was a wise move on their part, I’m not going to say, as I am not a lawyer.

He also discusses how, during the DC sniper incident, that AR15 owners had their weapons illegally seized for ballistic fingerprinting. I’ve heard this claim bandied about before but never any evidence of it. Anyone know if this really happened or is this one of those things gun owners got excited about but was really nothing?

Local boy in the news

The Tennessean has a decent piece on Barrett Rifles. Sure, it’s filled with some of the bogus scare tactics about 50 calibers but it’s a good read.

Oppose HR 1415

This bill looks to improve the supposed instant check system (20 minutes is instant? – Ed.). However, despite NRA support, Rivrdog notes that it’s a bit fishy:

Why in the name of the Devil does the legislation want ALL misdemeanor violations reported? Easy answer, it’s because at some point, there will be a Federal move to deny people with any conviction other than a civil offense for traffic the right to keep and bear arms.

Update: Having found the bill, I don’t see the requirement that ALL misdemeanor violations reported. Is there a newer version?

Gun Tests

In response to me expressing my displeasure about gun magazines, many readers recommend Gun Tests. I’ll have to check it out.

RINO Sightings

Don Surber has the latest NSFW edition.

November 26, 2005

Fumento up to old tricks

Mike Fumento, who I’ve talked about before, poked fun at us insignificant blogs before starting his own. He also acted like a prick in an exchange between himself and Rich Hailey.

Now, he’s using sockpuppets in comments at other blogs and to change his Wikipedia entry.

Once a prick, always a prick.

NFA Audit

David Hardy reports that the OIG will audit NFRTR. Good. I don’t have high hopes of getting that mess straightened out but maybe the ATF will come under scrutiny as a result. Given that their own agents testify under oath that the NFRTR is “corrupt” and inaccurate, some scrutiny would be good.

November 25, 2005

Interesting

I was watching Jeopardy and the category was Guns. One of the answers was something like These have been regulated since 1934. The question was What are machine guns? The contestant got it right despite all the hooey lately equating assault weapons with machine guns.