Posts belonging to Category Civil Rights

Freedom For Me, But Not For Thee

This post from Instapundit about freedom of the press got me to thinking.  It’s gotten to the point where I don’t watch any of the major national networks for news (ABC, NBC, CBS), nor do I watch CNN.  The bias permeates every word and phrase of their reports to such an extent that I find myself screaming at them within seconds.  I only watch local news and read the papers (although the AP and other national reports are quickly identifiable as such by their bias, even if they didn’t have the byline to identify their source).

Anyhow, Instapundit’s correspondent was curious if freedom of the press would survive a hostile public as more and more people conclude that the press is anti-American.  Given our rather mix-and-match approach to the constitution these days, that’s not so far fetched a question as it might appear.  My first thought would be to give the journalists a dose of Second Amendment treatment and see how they fare.  No, I don’t mean shoot the bastards (although that thought is strangely tempting).  Instead, I mean to expose them to the same treatment that the Second gets in this country.  Namely, create a patchwork of conflicting and unconstitutional laws that vary from state to state.  Create unconstitutional national laws that can put them in jail for 10 years for a first-time paperwork violation, and consequently bar them from reporting for life.  Require background checks to buy reporting equipment.  Constantly harp on them about whether they really ‘need’ that printing press or those video cameras.  Create special taxes on video supplies.  Get local city councils to zone existing news buildings out of existence, forcing them to move to the country.  There are probably a lot more I could come up with, but you get the picture.

And when they complain that this is unconstitutional, respond with a disingenous answer about how the term ‘press’ really doesn’t apply to them. 

If I seem a bit peeved by the press these days, it’s only because these very same smug bastards who report on everything the U.S. does with a sneer would be calling for the heads of gun owners if we were even half as reckless with our guns as they’ve been with their reporting.  If I didn’t have the Internet as a source to know that there are good things happening on the ground in Iraq and all I based my impression of the situation on were the ‘mainstream’ press, I’d be pretty pessimistic about the situation.  Joe Sixpack, coming home from work and flipping over to Peter Jennings in the evening, probably thinks Iraq is turning into another Vietnam.  Or at least that’s what I gathered from the last time I tried to watch that sorry bastard Jennings and his socialist cohorts on ABC last Friday.

Confluence Of Moonbats

Humans are prone to try to find connections in things that may at first seem unrelated.  It’s one of the traits that has allowed us to make sense of the world around us and formulate scientific laws through empirical observation.

However, examining the website of Confluence Against Gun Violence (a group that’s planning protests at the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh) I’m starting to be convinced that a number of things are related in such a way as to form a giant hairball of stupidity.  I can only hope society survives the wretching required to cough this sucker up.  I suppose that it remains to be seen whether this is so.


They seen very sincere in their hatred of the NRA, as if it were somehow an organization that sprang fully formed from the gates of hell with the sole purpose of pushing lethal death machines on unsuspecting rubes (like yours truly).

As usual, they’re planning to trot out the memory of victims of violent crime in their candlelight vigil to remember the victims of “gun violence.”  I am always moved when an innocent person is killed by a criminal (or through an act of stupidity), but I fail to see how the NRA or I could be responsible for this.  And assigning blame to an inanimate object is just silly.

But this, along with their “Teach In” entitled “Militarism and the NRA” got me to thinking a bit.  The very term “gun violence” is a collectivistic thing that seems to hold all guns and gun owners responsible for the actions of criminals.  And that’s where our fundamental difference lies, one that is likely unbridgeable in our lifetimes.  The antis see this as some kind of societal, collective issue that is addressable through the public sphere in the legislature and in the courts (when the legislature rightly ignores them).  We, on the other hand, understand that this is an issue of personal responsibility that cannot be collectivized (further, it makes no sense to even try).  Combine this with the fundamental right of a sentient being to self-defense and most gun-owners’ understanding of the evils of socialist schemes and you’ve got a impasse that cannot be resolved without fundamental changes to either side (which would effectively eliminate the side that changed).

How did I get to the evils of socialism from “Militarism and the NRA”?  Of late we’ve seen the socialists and communists coming out of the woodwork and scurrying around like roaches at the antiwar rallies.  The topic of militarism was the final link in the chain between the anti-gunners and the barking moonbats. 

It should be interesting to see just what kind of people show up for these protests.  I’ll be taking my camera to the annual meeting and depending on the scheduling I may try to get some shots of the crowd.  I’ll have to be careful not to get sucked into the hairball, though…

Getting It Backwards

As usual, the British are getting things backwards when it comes to dealing with crime.  The latest comes from West Midlands, where the police have issued a warning to iPod users: ditch the white headphones or pay the price.

Fashion-conscious music lovers are apparently being targeted by muggers. The Times tells the sorry tale of 22-year-old language student Roland Baskerville, who lost his 20GB model on the mean streets of Birmingham: “I was walking down the road near to my home when a man who was walking the other way pointed at my headphones.”

The thief then asked Baskerville if he was listening to an iPod and, receiving an affirmative answer, he “pulled a knife out and started waving it at me, saying: ‘Well hand it over, then.’ I gave it to him and he ran off. He must have known I was wearing an iPod because of the white headphones.”

I have a novel idea.  How about locking up the bastards who are preying on innocent people instead of telling the people not to have nice things?!

I guarantee you that this kind of crap is much less likely to happen in Texas for one simple reason.  If you pull a deadly weapon on me while I’m walking around with my iPod mini, I’m going to respond in an unfavorable (to you, at least) fashion. 

We get more of what we condone or tolerate.  By meekly submitting to robbers and other thugs we’re sending a message that it’s OK to rob us.  If a few of these bastards ended up dead it’d send a better message.  I’ll take the safety of the streets in states where law-abiding people can carry weapons over the faux-safety of England’s streets any time.

Punishment And Citizenship

This item from Michele got me to thinking.  It served as a catalyst to bring together a couple of different issues concerning the right to vote that were brought up recently.  In this case, it was about restoring the right to vote to convicted felons.  I’m of the opinion that once one is fully released (not on parole or probation), then one should be a full citizen again (debt paid, all rights restored).  But (there’s always a ‘but’), in my world sentencing would be quite a bit harsher:

  • No parole.  No early release.  You serve every single day of your sentence.
  • Crimes would have sentences commensurate with their impact.  E.x. There wouldn’t be the need for a debate over civil commitment, since child molesters would be in for life.
  • No multiple bites at the apple.  Anyone convicted of a second crime involving violence gets life.  Period.

Of course, at the same time we would need to get rid of a bunch of nonsense federal felonies and anything else that doesn’t relate to harm caused by one person against another.  We have too many damn felonies these days for pissant little things like dumping grass clippings in the wrong place (this would seem suited for the civil court system) or owning a piece of metal that is 1-inch too short (sawed-off shotgun).

Anyhow, I’m hoping the combination carrot/stick approach of full rights restored after harsh punishment would deter future offenses, but if not, then the two strikes and you’re out rule would clean up any idiots that fall through the cracks.

On the other hand, there has been a lot of (justified) furor concerning the “S Factor” article (the one that held that the only reason George W Bush could be elected was that people were so stupid).  The author suggested that some kind of literacy test should be required to vote.  One commenter at some site (which I can’t recall right now) suggested that the right to vote should only apply to those who were landowners (as the founders originally intended). 

I’ve been considering this for a while, and I think it might not be such a bad idea to establish some kind of “productivity” test for voting.  The original idea of allowing only landowners to vote was to foster the idea of civic involvement among voters.  But I think ownership of land is not necessarily the best test, given that there are people who are productive in society that don’t own land or a home.

Another alternative would be that you had to be a taxpayer to vote (Neal Boortz even suggested once that you get a number of votes, proportional to the amount of taxes you paid; perhaps one vote for every $5000 in taxes).  However, on further thought that bugs me too, in that it could deny the vote to spouses who choose to stay home and raise children.  These people are doing something productive and deserve a say in the vote.  So, that brings me around to the idea of the criterion being that anyone who is currently accepting an unearned benefit from government (welfare, food stamps, etc) would lose their franchise temporarily until they were off the government benefit (I’ll probably get labelled as a hard-hearted mean-spirited grinch for suggesting any such thing, so I can probably just go ahead and say that I’d prefer to see the government out of the business of handing out our money).

Despite the cries of discrimination that this may bring, I think this helps in two important ways.  First, it encourages people to be productive and work, rather than relying on the government for everything.  Second, it prevents the dangerous ability of people to vote themselves more largess from the government when they aren’t contributing to it (of course, I suppose this is the exact goal of certain groups in trying to get more and more people hooked on Uncle Sugar).