Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: July 27, 2012


The usual unfounded calls for reinstating the assault weapon ban

They are as predictable as sunrise after something like Aurora.  But, the gun banners have less of a leg to stand on now than they did way back then, although some, like Ezra Klein, try to make the case with selective statistics and the usual arguments.  Howard Nemerov takes the time to demolish both.

The fact is there has been less violent gun  crime since the lifting of the ban than when it was in place.  In fact, we haven’t seen this low a level of violence since 1972, even while the number of guns in the country increased.

So attempting to find some correlation between the number of guns and amount of violence seems not to be there.

That doesn’t stop those who would ban your access to guns from trying.  And one of their favorite means is by trying to ban scary guns … er,  I mean assault weapons.

Much like politicians who rely on the public’s economic ignorance to sell economic policy that is, frankly horrible, they do the same with gun bans.

Assault weapons.  Scary.  Used in war.  Kill bunches of people.  As opposed to “regular” weapons which I guess aren’t as scary, aren’t used in war and, presumably as such logic must go, don’t or won’t kill bunches of people.

Perhaps a graphic is the best way to refute that “logic”:

 

gun leg

 

It isn’t the way the weapon looks that makes it dangerous, it’s the nut wielding it.  Banning so-called assault weapons is about as effective as banning cars that look like the one in the top left.  If the idiot behind the wheel of the one on the right decides to drive it into a crowded sidewalk, are the people he kills any less dead because it didn’t look like the car on the left?

Of course not.  The common denominator?  The nut using the tool.

Not the tool.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Economic Statistics for 27 Jul 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

The Commerce Department’s initial estimate of 2nd Quarter GDP is that it grew at a disappointing 1.5% annualized rate, down from a revised 2.0% in the 1st Quarter. The GDP Price index, an inflation measure, showed prices increasing at a 1.6% annualized rate. The main cause for the drop in growth was personal consumption expenditures, which fell from 2.4% in the 1st Quarter to 1.5% in the 2nd Quarter. Imports also jumped to 6.0% from 3.1%. On the plus side, as bad as this GDP report is, it was better than expected.

Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was 72.3, a 0.3 gain from mid-month and a 0.9 decline from June.

~
Dale Franks
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2Q GDP at 1.5% — Annualized to 1.3%

While the media obsesses with MItt Romney’s supposed gaffs in the UK (were some of them gaffs or the usual selective editing?), here at home the GDP sucks:

U.S. economic growth pulled back further during the second quarter of the year as consumer spending slowed–a reading that suggests domestic fiscal worries may becoming a more significant drag.

The nation’s gross domestic product–the value of all goods and services produced–grew at an annual rate of 1.5% between April and June, the Commerce Department said Friday. The reading is down from the upwardly revised 2.0% growth rate during the prior three months and a 4.1% rate in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected 1.3% annualized growth during the second quarter.

That performance redefines the word “pathetic”.  But, you know, that’s not something we really want to talk about during this election season, so let’s concentrate on frivolous things instead, shall we (hey, I thought the left hated manufactured controversies?)?

Forward.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


When government chooses not to enforce the law of the land

As you might imagine, it has consequences, and, given this situation, it is very hard to pretend the consequences are unintended.  Why? Because even a 5th grader could have predicted this outcome:

In a startling allegation, the president of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers claimed illegal immigrants are "taking advantage" of a new directive allowing some undocumented residents who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country. Union boss Chris Crane said the policy ends up allowing illegal immigrants to avoid detention without any proof — particularly so-called "dreamers," or those illegal immigrants who would benefit under the "DREAM Act" proposal, which Congress has not passed but the administration  has partially implemented.

"Prosecutorial discretion for dreamers is solely based on the individual’s claims. Our orders are if an alien says they went to high school, then let them go," he said at a press conference with GOP senators. "Officers have been told that there is no burden for the alien to prove anything. … At this point we don’t even know why DHS has criteria at all, as there is no requirement or burden to prove anything on the part of the alien.

"We believe that significant numbers of people who are not dreamers are taking advantage of this practice to avoid arrest," he said.

Whether or not you agree with the immigration laws of the country, executive fiat is not the method the Constitution outlines as legitimate redress.  And, unsurprisingly, those illegals who would benefit, even if not actually eligible, will exploit an opportunity such executive fiat presents.

According to Chris Crane, that’s precisely what is happening. 

The allegations from the union were expressed in unusually blunt terms Thursday.

George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council union, said the Department of Homeland Security has made it impossible for agents to do their jobs.  

Crane said it’s led to disorganization and "confusion" at ICE.

Not that ICE hasn’t had its share of confusion in the past, but now, it is even more difficult to do their jobs. 

Crane cited one case in which, he said, an immigrant facing criminal charges was let go under the policy. Further, he complained that officers are "under threat of losing their jobs" if they defy the policy.

Anyone who thinks this is how our system should work needs to re-examine the Constitution.  One branch creates the laws (legislative) and one branch enforces the laws (executive).  If you don’t like a law or want it changed or repealed then it’s back to the legislative branch.  And no, inaction by the legislative branch doesn’t mean the executive branch can arbitrarily ignore the law or decide it’s not going to enforce it.  Not and still be a Constitutional republic.

I’m on record saying our current immigration system sucks.  There’s no reason in this day of cyber advances that we couldn’t have the slickest and quickest system on earth.  And yes, I hold Congress directly responsible for the inactivity that has led to the mess at the border. 

But that doesn’t give the executive license to ignore laws or selectively enforce them.   Kings do that, not presidents, and we have no kings.  We just have a president who thinks he’s one.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO