Free Markets, Free People
From The Hill, this paragraph concerning the brothers who perpetrated the Boston bombings:
The news that the suspects were not authorized to own firearms will likely add fuel to calls for tougher gun laws – an issue that was put on the back-burner last week after the Senate blocked the central elements of a gun-control package backed by President Obama.
A) I told you so … I said a few days ago that the defeat of the latest gun control legislation was only a set back and hardly the end of the left’s efforts to further restrict the right to own a firearm. B) I also told you I feared the aftermath of the bombings. And here we go. And finally C) WTF?
It is clear that Massachusetts’ very strict gun control laws has no effect here. None. Absolutely zero. How many times and in how many ways must we say that scofflaws don’t obey laws? How often does the “we ought to pass a law” crowd who think legislation and restriction is the answer to everything have to see that their way is a failure before they quit trying to take our freedoms away?
Gun control laws don’t work. If they did, there’d be no criminals running around with “illegal” guns, would there? There’d be no source of those guns if those laws worked. But, in fact, criminals almost exclusively obtain “illegal” guns and/or completely ignore any gun control legislation. Look at Chicago for heaven sake. Some of the most restrictive gun control laws in America and criminals have all but made it a free-fire zone.
When will the left understand that the problem isn’t guns, it’s criminals? How often does it have to be pointed out to them that criminals, by definition, don’t obey laws? How will more legislation suddenly stop (or even deter) two determined people, like the Boston bombers, from illegally obtaining guns? Harsher penalties? Obviously they were willing to take the risk. And that seems to be the case with all the other criminals who use guns in the commission of their crimes.
The only people that will be deterred and restricted by new gun control legislation are the law abiding. And watch out for this – at the end of this road (or slippery slope if you prefer) is the rationalization that the only way to “control gun violence” is to completely outlaw guns. It is the logical end of the left’s push for more and more restrictive gun legislation. And, as they often do, they’re willing to spend the time, exploit and politicize tragedies and achieve incremental success in taking guns away. It’s no different than ObamaCare. That’s not the end of anything. It is the first grab. The end state, if you are a student of the left’s actions at all, is fully government run single-payer health care. ObamaCare is just the beginning. Once it fails, because government has, whether on purpose or inadvertently designed it to fail, government will blame “the market” and claim it is the solution.
It’s an old pattern being repeated, in a slightly different way, in the gun control saga. One only has to harken to the era of prohibition (or not even that far back … how about drug laws?) to know that restrictive legislation doesn’t work, has never worked and will never work.
Violence and criminal behavior are the problems. Passing all the laws in the world won’t change that. As usual, government chooses to treat the symptoms and go after a tool rather than the actual problem.
If and when they finally find a way to ban all guns, run gun manufacturers out of the country and put more untold thousands of citizens in jail, they’ll be shocked, shocked I tell you, when gun violence continues and violence in general rises.
See the UK and Australia for case studies.
This week, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss the Boston bombings and polygamy.
The direct link to the podcast can be found here.
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Apparently Barack Obama threw a bit of a hissy fit when the gun control legislation went down in the Senate. And, as James Taranto points out, Gabby Giffords managed, in a 900 word screed, to employ about every logical fallacy one can employ in here denunciation of the failure of the legislation to pass.
Finally, the NY Time’s Jennifer Steinhauer weighs in claiming that the vote went against the will of the people and that it was the gun lobby’s fault.
Gun lobby? Oh, we all know about the NRA. However here’s something I don’t think the left fully comprehends. The real “gun lobby” is the majority of the American people. In the US, there are 88.8 guns per 100 people. The highest in the world. Yet all the rhetoric about increased gun violence simply doesn’t pan out. Certainly there have been some high profile sprees and shootings, but on the whole, there hasn’t been an increase in gun violence, and certainly nothing like being claimed.
The left’s problem may be that the people of the US know that. And they’ve also sniffed out the ulterior motive for this incremental attack on the 2nd Amendment.
So while they throw their hissy fits and put forward their fallacious arguments, they continue to miss why there is so much resistance to gun control legislation.
Because, quite frankly, a large portion of the people simply don’t trust government. And you can add to that a fundamental understanding that self-defense is a personal responsibility and right.
The left just can’t wrap it’s head around that concept. If they pass laws and give the responsibility to government then we’ll all be safer, right?
Sarcasm aside, don’t even begin to think this is the end of the struggle.
They’ll be back again soon.
Just hide and watch.
Walter Russell Mead points to something that is a good indicator of our “favored victim” form of politics. If you’re not among the favored victims, well, no one really gives a crap:
Since 1979, inflation-adjusted hourly wages fell 20 percent for men ages 25–39 with only a high school diploma, while wages for their female counterparts rose by one percent. In the same timeframe, the number of male high school graduates with jobs fell by nine percent and rose for women by nine percent.
Part of this is due to the evaporation of jobs in industries that were previously filled by less educated men, like manufacturing and construction. But women have adapted much more quickly to a world in which a bachelor’s degree is increasingly important for landing a job. In 2010, among 35 year olds, women were 17 percent more likely than men to have attended college. Lower- and middle-class men lag behind women in their social class in education, employment, and wages.
If the gender roles were reversed here and a generation of women has suffered huge setbacks, we would have a great hue and cry with blue-ribbon panels, academic roundtables, and a lot of national soul-searching. But men’s problems don’t seem to interest anyone much, not even men.
Because, you know, men are brutes and white men, well they’re the worst kind (you see they “enjoy” white privilege – never heard of it? It’s on all the liberal websites).
The point, of course, is the media nor the left (but I repeat myself) has any real interest in the struggles of men, because it is a article of faith among the left that all the ills of the world can be traced to a single source. Men.
A caveat – if you are a “less educated” man, that’s your freaking fault. And if that lack of education has you in this situation, unless the problem of getting such an education was beyond your control, I have no sympathy for you.
That said, while I agree with Mead’s point, I’m thankful that we aren’t involved with costly “blue-ribbon” panels, etc. We’ve seen how effective government has been in the economy for the last 5 years. Lord knows we don’t need to give them any excuses to meddle even more. That could actually cause women’s job rates to drop and there we’d be, knee deep in “blue-ribbon panels, academic roundtables, and a lot of national soul-searching.”
And we know who’d be paying for it, don’t we?
Obviously my heart and condolences go out to those who were killed and injured in the cowardly bombings in Boston yesterday, and, as with everyone, I stand with the people of Boston. However, that all said, I have to tell you that when I heard what had happened yesterday, I had a sinking feeling that hasn’t dissipated yet.
I know, as usual, we’re going to over react. Well, perhaps not “us” as in you and I, but our betters in positions of elective power will. It is as sure a bet as the sun rising in the east.
Prepare yourself for more restrictions on you liberty and freedom. That’s a given. The only answer government has, in reality, is to clamp down even further on our ability to interact freely without it monitoring those interactions. How else, it will tell us, can it work toward ensuring another Boston doesn’t happen?
And, of course, this will manifest itself in the form of even more laws and restrictions all in the name of safety and security. Prepare for more justifications to intrude on your privacy. More laws that will restrict you from purchasing certain items. More scrutiny when you travel. In sum, less freedom and more government.
I’d love to believe that won’t happen. But it will. It’s not even in doubt. Just as we have seen government over-reaction in the aftermath of Newtown, CT, you can count on the same thing happening when the carnage is so much more.
Part of that will be driven by the usual media overload, the result of the 24 hour news cycle combined with “if it bleeds it leads” and the partisan talking heads who simply don’t know when to shut up. Chris Matthews, among many others, is an example of that ilk. And, of course, it will all boil down to opposing political agendas with the freedom and liberty lobby taking the usual beating.
We’ll also see a substantial portion of the population laud these new restrictions and laws, still not understanding who it is that pays no attention to (or figures out ways to circumvent) them. Instead the law abiding will live with the loss of liberty, while the terrorists and criminals will ignore the government’s “solution”.
We’re a nation without the ability to put events like this in context (thanks in part to the saturation coverage by the media and the alarmism by politicians). We’re a nation that has run scared for years.
It’s time to suck it up and stand up. These things are going to happen. None of us like that or find it acceptable. But what should be equally unacceptable and unliked is the continuous bleeding away of our liberties.
Free nations should understand that with that freedom comes risk. And, as we have seen, no matter how many laws and restrictions we put in place, these things still happen. I’m not saying we should be vigilant and take precautions. I’m saying we shouldn’t over-react like we constantly do.
Boston is a terrible tragedy. We don’t need to compound it by taking away more of the freedoms we have apparently taken for granted in the past.
After considering the check being written by me to the scumbags that run this joint, I’m not in a particularly good mood. They’ll waste it as we all know. There are millions, if not billions of items or programs or, well you name it, that government has no business even being near that they’re up to their rear ends in. And, as we’ve said a million times, government’s have no money … they can only tax it or borrow it. At this very moment, while they’re taking an obscene percentage of what I worked very hard to make last year, they’re planning on borrowing even more to spend on crap like this and tell us it’s “necessary.”
Anyway, this is as good as it gets today.
See you tomorrow.
Orwellian, in that his claim is as follows:
President Obama is marketing his new budget by saying it has “more than $2 in spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue.” Is this true?
In a word, no.
In fact, his spending increases and advertised spending cuts cancel each other out—leaving only a massive tax increase.
Here’s a graphical representation of the point:
Yeah, I know … big surprise.
A politician lied again.
Apparently President Obama is sure his newest budget proposal is so good there’s no room or need for negotiation. Or so a senior White House official says:
“We don’t view this budget as a starting point in the negotiations. This is an offer where the president came more than halfway toward the Republicans,” a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity to detail the forthcoming document.
“So this is our sticking point,” the official said. “And the question is: are Republicans going to be willing to come to us to do serious things to reduce our deficits?”
Obama is proposing a $3.78 trillion dollar budget. Estimated tax revenues for 2014 are $3.22 trillion. Yet, this is being touted as a “budget cutting” budget and the White House claims it is exactly what the Republicans have wanted.
What … another deficit?
By the way, I don’t want “reduced deficits”. I want NO deficit. I.e. any budget that begins with an amount higher than the estimated tax revenues for the year is Dead On Arrival.
And that’s precisely the declaration this budget (like all the other budgets Obama has submitted) deserves.
Apparently Marshall Poppin Fresh is still mouthing off about war. Now his state run media has issued a warning to “foreigners” in South Korea:
North Korea issued its latest dispatch of ominous rhetoric on Tuesday, telling foreigners in South Korea they should take steps to secure shelter or evacuation to protect themselves.
The unnerving message, announced by state-run media, follows a warning from the North last week to diplomats in
its capital city, Pyongyang, that if war were to break out, it would not be able to guarantee their safety.
North Korea has unleashed a torrent of dramatic threats against the United States and South Korea in recent weeks, but many analysts have cautioned that much of what it is saying is bluster.
It appears what we’re likely to see is some missile tests in lieu of “war”. Why? Well the WSJ says:
While a missile launch would be seen as a major provocation, South Korean and U.S. officials have repeatedly said there are no signs that North Korea is preparing for any kind of attack. Instead, a missile test and possibly a new nuclear test by the North are seen as efforts to keep tensions high, hone the isolated state’s weapons technology and send an internal message of military strength.
Trust me, we have the means to know and we certainly know what “war prep” would look like. Massive mobilization
and extensive troop movements would be easily spotted. Apparently none of that is happening.
In fact, we may find war to be less of a threat the more belicose they are, if you want to believe the experts and the NORK record:
Experts and officials say that while the current period of harsh language and provocative behavior still carries a risk of accidentally spilling into military confrontation, North Korea’s record shows it poses more of a threat when it is not making warlike statements.
“I worry more about North Korea when they are not rattling the saber,” said Scott Snyder, an expert on North and South Korea at the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank.
Acts of aggression from North Korea, experts note, are almost always surprise attacks designed to cower South Korean administrations that have taken a tough line with the North or that aren’t providing sufficient aid.
Note the last phrase. In fact, all of this may be North Korea simply establishing a bargaining position.
Well, not really. Not when it comes to things like union membership. It would rather you not have a choice. Because when you do, you do stuff like this:
More than two years after Scott Walker’s showdown with organized labor in Wisconsin, the official numbers for the state’s public sector union membership are in — and they are down. Way down.
According a Labor Department filing made last week, membership at Wisconsin’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 40 — one of AFSCME’s four branches in the state — has gone from the 31,730 it reported in 2011, to 29,777 in 2012, to just 20,488 now. That’s a drop of more than 11,000 — about a third — in just two years. The council represents city and county employees outside of Milwaukee County and child care workers across Wisconsin.
Labor Department filings also show that Wisconsin’s AFSCME Council 48, which represents city and county workers in Milwaukee County, went from 9,043 members in 2011, to 6,046 in 2012, to just 3,498 now.
For the left, “choice” is selective. I.e. they get to decide when you should have a choice. For instance, you should have choice concerning “reproductive health” and the “right” to have someone else pay for it (those paying have no choice you see).
In the case of public service unions in Wisconsin, when finally given a real choice, about a third of those who had been forced to be members have opted out because the value they receive for the money taken isn’t worth it to them. And, now, to keep the rest of their members and because they’re now answerable to them, union bosses are going to have to actually preform.
Oh, wait, that’s good right?