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Five more questions from Tom

Tom has zinged me back on this five questions meme. I don’t intend to solicit five more but will answer Tom’s questions. Here they are:

1 – You’ve said in the past that you’re not opposed to all “common sense” gun regulation, just most. What, to you, constitutes acceptable gun regulation? In particular, I’m talking about regulations that do not currently exist but which you either support, or at least do not oppose.

One man’s common sense is another man’s kiss my ass. But as far as laws not on the books, I have never opposed registration nor databases. I oppose them to the extent they could lead to confiscation, but that is all. A registry/database could be an effective police tool and could also alert authorities to straw sales. In other words, it’s not a normal transaction to walk into a gun store and order 50 of the same gun. That could be a valuable lead to police, assuming they actually investigate as someone may actually have a need for 50 of the same gun.

I also wish that our government didn’t classify their gun laws as tax laws. If you possess a machine gun illegally, the crime you committed is a tax violation. Until recently, the ATF was a part of the Department of Treasury. If they want to pass gun laws, call them fucking gun laws. Hiding behind the guise to taxes is disingenuous and we all know what they’re up to anyway. And taxing a right is illegal.

The government should also train and properly equip the militia, that’s what well-regulated means. It should, of course, be voluntary to be trained and equipped. This can be done to an extent by restoring the Office of Civilian Marksmanship Program.

On current laws, I do support the National Instant Check System

However, some gun laws on the books need to be repealed. Most notably, the 1986 Hughes amendment (which bans the transfer of new machine guns to citizens), the $200 tax on NFA weapons established under the 1934 law, and a check needs to be placed on the ATF’s seemingly arbitrary ability to classify a gun as something else to regulate it (like them stating pistol with two grips is an Any Other Weapon, even though, by law, AOW’s are defined as not pistols; or the classification of certain shotguns has destructive devices/smooth bore rifles just so they can regulate them out of existence). Also, the 922 provisions that specify that imported rifles can only contain a certain number of non-US made parts need to go. Does it matter to anyone if a WASR-10 has 9 or 10 foreign made parts?

2 – Getting a dog: From a reputable breeder, or from a rescue group?

Depends. In my experience, rescue dogs can be problematic in their interactions with children and other dogs. If you get the rescue as a pup, it shouldn’t be a problem. Sometimes, though, getting an older dog from a rescue means they come with all the bad habits that likely got them placed in the rescue in the first place. If you’re going to have only one dog, a rescue would be fine in most cases. In addition to temperament, you don’t know what you’re getting in terms of health and longevity out of a rescue dog.

When you go to a reputable breeder, you should get good temperament, health, desired physical appearance, and ability. But it costs you and you’re not saving a rescue dog. Me and the Mrs. have one of each and we’ve had a few troubled times. Politically Incorrect Dog is of the age now where he is asserting his dominance over Politically Correct Dog. There have been a couple of skirmishes and PCD has always been dog-aggressive. He doesn’t play well with others. When our friends bring their dogs over, poor PCD often gets left in the house while PID plays with his company.

3 – Mary-Ann or Ginger?

Assuming I can’t pick both, Mary-Ann. Say, Lovey never makes the list!

4 – You often refer to yourself as a “small-l” libertarian. You believe that government should be severely limited in what it can and can’t do, and that taxation should be minimal. In your view, what specifically should the government (all levels, not just federal) be able to do; how should it pay for it; and do you really expect that a system such as you describe can, you know, work?

Due to the volume involved, I’m limiting this discussion to the federal level. The .gov should be able to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.

Granted, some things are subjective. All I want from the .gov is defense (though it should be cut back some), roads, health standards enforced (would you buy beef in a Libertarian world?), education (and only because it is the only way to do it in a cost effective manner that’s available to everyone), and a few other things on the federal level. The feds should not be telling me how many gallons per flush my toilet can have and they shouldn’t arrest me if I purchase a lobster tail that is less than 5.5 inches.

As for paying for it, use taxes and income tax. And if the government actually did only what it was supposed to do, there would likely be no deficit on current tax dollars.

Can it work? No, it can’t. The cornerstone of political careers is promising people shit that the government shouldn’t be giving them anyway. The way politics works is inherently against what libertarianism is about. Until people realize that politicians’ mouths shouldn’t be writing checks their asses can’t cash, it’s all academic.

5 – Thibodeaux: Real or made up?

Quite real. He was a commenter here for a while and I asked him to blog because he had some good stuff to say and because I needed to fill some space. He’s a bit passionate on occasion.

13 Responses to “Five more questions from Tom”

  1. Manish Says:

    And taxing a right is illegal.

    Seems to happen a lot..newspapers seem to have sales taxes as does internet access. Its hugely expensive to assemble a large group of people in a public area in terms of having to pay for police, permits, etc.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    You always do that. I need to include the qualifer that taxing a right to the point where it becomes burdensome is illegal.

  3. tgirsch Says:

    But one man’s “burdensome” is another man’s “no big deal.” 🙂

    And for the record, Lovey never makes the list because she’s already spoken for.

  4. Mike Says:

    “I have never opposed registration nor databases. I oppose them to the extent they could lead to confiscation” You are wrong on this point — registration always leads to confiscation, its only a matter of time — what part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

  5. SayUncle Says:

    Mike, I’m as pro gun as they get and if you don’t believe me, I’ll shoot you.

    When I say I don’t oppose something, I am not wrong. That is my opinion. Registration is not an infringement. Restricting access to guns, waiting periods, taxes, approval processes, etc., are infringements.

  6. Manish Says:

    fair enough..I’ve always been under the impression that you were opposed to basic taxes on guns. Of course, as tgirsch notes, burdensome is in the eye of the beholder.

  7. Publicola Says:

    manish,
    taxing a specific activity in a manner not consistent with other activities would be objectionable. In other words taxing a Right solely to A: make money off of it or B: discourage it is not cool. So sales taxes on firearms are fine since there are sales taxes on other objects. A tax on being able to purchase a firearm (such as the NFA’s tax stamp shceme) isn’t.

    Uncle,
    registration can be an infringemnt. Two words: chilling effect. A registartion process can be viewed as burdensome all by itself or it can be viewed as governmental discouragement of that activity. I know a lot of people who don’t buy firearms from certain sources simply because it involves some form of gun or gun owner registration. So a reasonable argument can be made that registration is an infringement even in confiscation is not imminent. (& yes I’ll argue with you about this till a few days after you shoot me 😀 )

  8. GORDON Says:

    “TH.iboDeaux” is actually a construct we created as a thought experiment at M.I.T. back in the 90’s. He’s an amalgam of THomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Jethro Tull, and R. Lee Ermy. We had originally tried to throw in some L. Ron Hubbard for colour, but the system kept rejecting the data, and we gave up on that.

    It’s nice to see the program still running, and fooling people.

  9. Thibodeaux Says:

    What is your major malfunction?

  10. Xrlq Says:

    When debating what is or isn’t an infringement, bear in mind that the original definition of “infringe,” and almost certainly the one meant by the Second Amendment, is a bit stronger than its more modern usage. Now, the word means “step on my toes in any way, shape or form,” i.e., if your dog trespasses on my front yard you’ve “infringed” on my rights. In 1791, it was more on the order of “destroy.” So an outright ban is clearly an infringement, as would be a tax so onerous as to have the effect of a ban. Waiting periods? Maybe if the period is something like a year.

    Before somebody flames me, no, that doesn’t mean I support registration or waiting periods. I think both are bad ideas. I just don’t think either is an unconstitutional “infringement” of anything.

  11. tgirsch Says:

    Mike:

    registration always leads to confiscation, its only a matter of time

    That’s odd. They haven’t taken my car yet. Or my dog…

  12. Xrlq Says:

    Or any of my guns, for that matter.

  13. markm Says:

    tgirsch: That’s because there isn’t a major political party that wants to take your car and your dog. But with guns… “Always” might be exaggerated, but it’s happened pretty often that a gun registration list became used to confiscate the guns later. Most notably, Hitler made sure to collect all the registered civilian weapons before he started sending people off to concentration camps. Most recently, Australia.

    Now, if everyone was clear that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right as important as freedom of speech, I woudn’t worry much about registration – because neither confiscation, nor taxing guns under the guise of a “registration fee”, nor making the registration process as burdensome as registering a car is in some areas would be allowed.