Sunday Funnies: Buffoonapooza

What a stupid week. No one could make this up. I stole the term Buffoonapooza from PowerLine because it’s perfect for the week. I thought it was going to be almost all Beto, even Biden and Corn Pop couldn’t top him, and then along comes the New York slimes and their Kavanaugh fake news, and then to top it all, here comes Justin Trudeau. I haven’t a clue what more could be in store for next week. Well, might as well get started.

The whole thing leaves you wanting to know what store sells this:

And, of course

 

Of Rights and Needs

The gun confiscation people (who want us to believe that they simply want ‘common-sense gun regulation’) make a lot of noise about what we need. In the first place, they haven’t a clue what living in the middle of Nebraska is like, let alone Alaska, but they think one size fits all legislation is just fine. They’re wrong of course.

But that is not the real point. The Constitution and especially The Bill of Rights is the American guarantee of the freedom and the sovereignty of the people and no one else.

It harks back to Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

As we all know the Declaration is not law, I like to call it a mission statement. That mission is to create a country of free people, who can say and do as they please without fear of the government. The Consitution and the Bill of Rights were written to secure these rights through time.

Shortly after the Constitutional Convention, Pennsylvania called a convention to consider it, including whether it needed a Bill of Rights appended. John Smilie warned:

“Congress may give us a select militia which will, in fact, be a standing army-or Congress, afraid of a general militia, may say there shall be no militia at all. When a select militia is formed; the people in general may be disarmed.”

Carrying this point forward Tenche Coxe a prolific writer on the Consitution and the rights of Americans wrote this:

The power of the sword, say the minority of Pennsylvania, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for THE POWERS OF THE SWORD ARE IN THE HANDS OF THE YEOMANRY OF AMERICA FROM SIXTEEN TO SIXTY.  The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. What clause in the state or federal constitution hath given away that important right…. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

In short, the Founder’s would have had, in fact, did have, no problem with the citizens’ possession of any and all military weapons. Remember the most advanced weapons of the day were the Pennsylvania rifle, the Brown Bess musket, and bronze smoothbore howitzers, all of which are to this day unregulated.

And yes, this argument does indicate that the National Firearms Act of 1937 is unconstitutional (this is where the licensing of fully automatic weapons and some other devices came in). As the Supreme Court originally ruled only to be pressured by the Roosevelt administration’s court-packing scheme.

You see we are not talking here of needs, we are talking of the rights of a free citizenry, and what may suffice to keep it free.

An interesting note is that Coxe served in a subcabinet role in the Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison administrations. In Jefferson’s administration, you will recall that this was during the Napoleonic Wars, he was responsible for military procurement. In that capacity he wrote to the President:

The free people of these states may be estimated at five millions. The men able to bear arms may be computed at one million. It is respectfully believed and it is most anxiously suggested that measures for the immediate acquisition by purchase, importation and manufacture of muskets, rifles and pistols to arm our one million of effective free men … should be taken into consideration.

I suspect many of us have seen this meme lately

The Founder’s, including the founder of the Democrat Party emphatically, say “YES!

 

Of Guns and Men

So  Alicia Colon wrote about guns on American Thinker yesterday. It’s actually pretty good. So read it.

If there were ever a survey asking gun owners why they buy guns, I’d wager the majority of them would say that it basically is for protection. The Second Amendment was not written for hunters but for the people’s self-protection, including protection from tyranny. The first thing smart dictators do is remove guns from registered owners.

Well, yeah, but even hunting can be seen as an act of independence, protection against hunger itself. And any act of independence is anathema to those who would rule us.

Hunter Lovell in the Washington Examiner:

The South Carolina senator made the comments to reporters aboard Air Force One that he maintains an AR-15 in case “there’s a hurricane, a natural disaster, no power, no cops, no anything.”

His remarks were first revealed by Voice of America on Twitter. A reporter then asked him to clarify if he meant the semiautomatic rifle was for looters.

“Yeah, people, they’re not going to come to the AR-15 home,” Graham responded. “Well, I think if you show up on the porch with an AR-15, they’ll probably go down the street.”

One of the survivors of the awful El Paso massacre, Christopher Grant, a black man, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo that he was surprised his mother didn’t have her gun with her : “I ran towards my mother to try and shield her. And I’m like ‘mom.’ Cause my mom is a gun-wielding grandma. She carries a snub-nose Smith and Wesson, 38 special with a built in scope in it — everywhere she goes.”

This was probably not something CNN wanted to report while visiting survivors in hospital. Why did this black woman carry a gun? For protection, of course.

It still has not occurred to the Left that gun laws only impact the law-abiding. Criminals break these laws all the time but politicians continue to ignore the fact that good people with guns prevent more mass shootings than gun-free zones. In fact, gun-free zones only place targets on the backs of the innocent humans there.

I think they know it well, and there are plenty of reporters who are capable of reporting it. But it will never happen. When we say “It doesn’t fit the narrative”, what we really mean is that the Dem, the left generally, and the press ( Yes, I repeat my self, they are all the same insidious block) will never report this, it will reduce dependency on them. The blacks aren’t the only slaves on the plantation, after all. And nothing is more liberating than the heft of a loaded gun in your hand, no longer a slave, you become a man or woman who has at least something to say about your future.

You know, in thinking about it, this may be part of the cause of these mass shootings, we have emasculated boys in our culture, maybe this is a perverted (because of the lack of father figures) grasp at agency over their life. Hard to say, and I’m no social scientist. But I know this when I pick up a gun, just like for me when I pick up a pair of Kleins, or a screwdriver, or meter, I become not some random opinionated guy on the internet, but an expert, a guy that knows how to do it, and more to the point, how not to do it.

I think somebody said this sometime, if they didn’t, they should have, and now I did.

We form our tools, and then they form us.

That is true whether it is a  screwdriver, a truck, a rifle, an MBT, or anything else. But tools are objective, they do not know good from evil, they can form either, that’s on us. And we are failing.

Attacking Kiwi Rights

PM Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand.
Working hard to reduce Kiwi freedom

Some of our governments, don’t appear to support freedom. One of them is the government of New Zealand. What do I mean? Let Greg Jones in The American Spectator explain.

Terrorists, it seems, hate lots of things. And most of those things are either rooted in or expressions of freedom.

Some hate speech that contradicts their beliefs; others clothing that goes against their own religious or cultural norms; and yet others societies in which different races and classes of people are free to live side-by-side. In fact, one of the more popular theories regarding why Muslim extremists so despise the West relies on their resentment of the freedom enabled by Western ideals.

Those who hate freedom naturally gravitate toward its opposite, control, which is at its root the motivation behind any terrorist act, including the horrific attack in Christchurch, New Zealand that took the lives of 50 innocent Muslims attending mosque.

While the gunman claimed to be waging war against Islam’s infiltration of the West, his actions were ripped straight from the playbook prized by jihadis and every other type of fringe lunatic, regardless of ideology. What terrorists can’t control, they kill. Pot, meet kettle.

Such control, however, is anathema to Western culture, which largely shuns zealotry and intolerance in favor of more dynamic, and by extension successful, societies.

Which is precisely why the actions taken by the New Zealand government following the attack are so disheartening. In an odd attempt to prove that terrorism works, the Kiwis have begun rolling back the freedoms that made the nation great and, ironically, served as the motivation for the country’s Muslims to travel halfway around the world and settle in the remote island nation. […]

Immediately after the attack, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern channeled the advice of former Obama Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel, who notoriously declared “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” by announcing a ban on assault rifles and “military-style semi-automatic weapons.”[…]

Of course, such increased control seems a logical policy to the new left, and the government’s private-sector sympathizers have proven eager to pile on. The country’s telecommunications companies, as well as their Australian counterparts, quickly leaned on the attack to implement authoritarian censorship measures. Per Ars Technica:

Internet service providers… temporarily blocked access to dozens of websites, including 4chan and 8chan, that hosted video of last week’s New Zealand mass shooting.…

In Australia, ISP Vodafone said that blocking requests generally come from courts or law enforcement agencies but that this time ISPs acted on their own…

“Acted on their own”?

There’s more, and I urge you to read it. But here is the takeaway. While Kiwis are mourning the dead, their government and its allied authoritarian companies are removing their rights, and not merely one by one either.

Rights, once suppressed, for what God gives, man cannot remove, are extraordinarily difficult if not nearly impossible to recover. The price is usually reckoned in blood. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee before the Kiwis freedom is not only sold down the river but well out to sea.

And Remember:

One can kill a lot of people with a knife, let alone a gun in 36 minutes if those people have no means to resist.

And the killer was stopped by a civilian who picked up one of the killer’s guns, or so most reports say. So what does the government do? They take the guns of the law abiding citizens. If you think the terrorists are going to turn theirs in, well AOC has a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Of Liberators and Free Speech

From The Federalist:

In 2013, Cody Wilson and an organization called Defense Distributed released plans for the first fully 3-D printable gun: The Liberator. The design was named after the eponymous sheet metal pistol that the Allies airdropped behind enemy lines during WWII to arm resistance fighters. That gun was crudely made and unreliable, but it was far more successful as a propaganda point. In Nazi-controlled France, where private gun ownership was illegal, anyone could secretly have a gun. Even worse, they could use that gun to get their hands on a better gun.

Wilson’s plan was similar. Outside the Defense Distributed headquarters, Wilson is installing a tombstone etched with the words “American Gun Control.” The point is well taken. As gun control advocates look for new ways to chip away at the protections guaranteed in the Second Amendment, the Liberator undermines all of that. How can gun control possibly work when Americans can use a 3-D printer — now available for as low as $100 — to build their own firearms in the comfort of their homes?

It’s a real firearm, and it works, by all accounts, albeit not that well, and not particularly long. That’s hardly the point. The point is that while we all say that the 2d secures the rest, the First has just secured the 2d.

In short, gun control, which has been mortally ill since birth, succumbed on 1 August 2018. If only it would rest in peace.

And you’ve always been able to build your own guns in America. From the Kentucky rifle on down to the AR 15, we’ve been mucking about in the garage, the blacksmith’s forge, everywhere really, trying to make something better and/or cheaper – to get rich, to feed the family, or just for the hell of it. We’re a nation of tinkerers, inventors, and salesmen.

And if I can write down how to machine a gun, in a home hobby machine shop, it is my free speech right, and I can, how is the code to tell your 3D printer any different, more accurate maybe, or maybe not, depending on your skills. Different material? Sure, but Glock pioneered plastic guns long ago. Undetectable? No, if I understand correctly there are 72 metal parts in a Liberator, and in any case, the ammunition, even if it used powder and ball (it doesn’t) it is detectable.

In other words, the left (and their Seattle judge) are caterwauling over spilt milk yet again. This is one of the rights given to us by God, and we ain’t renouncing it. Not going to happen, no matter how much of a twist Chuckie Schumer gets his knickers in.

The Obama State Department had blocked it over export licensing rules. ATAR, I believe it is called, which requires an export license for various militarily useful things. You see it most often on night vision equipment and such, it’s an effort to keep us ahead militarily, which is fair enough, and it doesn’t mean you can’t have it, just that you can’t sell it to Joe Chinaman. Ole Joe can go figure it out for himself or do without, not America’s problem. But 3D printing is best understood as a short run, usually for prototypes, manufacturing system. It’s not a sensible way to mass produce anything. I presume that is what led the State Department to settle.

In any case, the average street hood simply isn’t going to work hard enough to 3D print and assemble a Liberator. He’s going to do what he always does, steal one, or acquire one (likely also stolen) on the street, or rob a gun store. It’s cheaper, it’s easier, and requires no forethought whatsoever.

So quit worrying about that, in the unlikely event you were, and enjoy being an American, where we can make anything we want, almost, and people are free to tell us how.

Trying to Form a More Perfect Union

stearnsThis morning at the Watchtower, Chalcedon started his post with this:

Democracy is boring. It involves discussing things in representative assemblies – aka ‘talking shops’; it means compromises – aka ‘fudging things’; it involves not always getting what you want  – aka ‘selling out’.

Do go and read it, I’ll wait for you, and this will make more sense, with his as background.

I certainly agree, and would add that it is a feature, not a bug. As an American, when I look at the British government, well it’s terrifying. Parliament can literally do anything. The Prime Minister is a creature of parliament. Parliament itself is the supreme court. No checks, no balances, nothing. Only the Grace of God to prevent what the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury feared from happening even more often.

As I have said, there are two points or two characteristics of the Radical programme which it is your special duty to resist. One concerns the freedom of individuals. After all, the great characteristic of this country is that it is a free country, and by a free country I mean a country where people are allowed, so long as they do not hurt their neighbours, to do as they like. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like. That is not my notion of freedom.

And that is why so many of us refer to the United States as a Republic. We have rules, set, as close as man can, in stone. The key thing actually is that the federal government is a government of enumerated powers. It can only do the things it is chartered to do, essentially what the preamble to the constitution states.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, 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, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Granted it has gotten stretched well beyond what the founders had in mind, and the states are plenary government, that can do anything not prohibited.

A few points here.

  • Our founders feared a strong central government. That’s why the government’s power is so circumscribed, and then divided three ways.
  • The founders also feared what John Adams called ‘Mobocracy’. That’s why the president is not elected by the people, we elect electors in each state who then elect the president. And that is also why the Senate used to be elected by the state legislatures. It was designed that way to slow down the passion of the mob and allow a cooling off period.
  • They also feared a standing army (with cause). That why the US Army, alone in the government can only be budgeted for 2 years.

It’s all about keeping the people, and only the people, not 50% +1 of the people, sovereign, not Congress, certainly not the President, not even the Supreme Courts, or the states, only the people.

Reagan said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

He meant it and we still do. So Chalcedon is right as well about the second amendment. No, it’s not about hunting, although many of us enjoy that. Nor is really about the right of self-defense, although that is valid. And while the man who put the terrorist down last weekend in St. Cloud, MN is a sworn officer, he is a reserve and hadn’t been on duty for two months. What he does for a living is that he is an NRA certified instructor, mostly teaching and training concealed carriers. This was said once:

The right of self-defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.”

— Henry St. George Tucker (in Blackstone’s Commentaries)

And that is the purpose, it follows on from the inbred distrust in Anglo-Saxon communities of standing armies and aristocracies. Many say it can’t work anymore, but I wonder. Does anybody think the Americans can’t make as good partisan fighters as the Afghans? You might ask Lord Cornwallis about that. We wrote that book, with a fair amount of input from the Native Americans. It’s also germane that there are over 300,000,000 small arms in civilian hands here. It’s not a sure thing, for either side, and so prudent men wait and think and try to find a better way.

Putin and Assad are, perhaps, representative of their societies, but they are not of ours. Chalcedon is again right when he speaks of Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, and Stalin. And while they were not as evil, Wilson, FD Roosevelt, George HW Bush, and Obama could be included. And likely some British PMs too. The wanting for a man on a white horse to right our perceived wrongs is as universal, as it is pernicious.

The identity politics we are seeing in the west, if we don’t get over it, will destroy our civilization. Jess and I wrote a short series on this a while back. Since this is already overlong, I’ll simply link you there, you’ll find them here, and here.

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