July 18, 2013
Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Abnegates Rights
July 18, 2013
Today Complete Colorado published my article reviewing the history of Colorado’s gun magazine ban, “Dems Leave Making Sense of Gun Magazine Ban to Attorney General.”
See also the web page of John Suthers (Colorado’s AG) for his media release and related documentation regarding his “technical guidance” for enforcing the legislation.
The points I make in the article include the following:
- Suthers offered the narrowest possible interpretation of the ambiguous phrases “continuous possession” and “readily convertible.” This means that gun owners can temporarily lend their 16-plus round magazines to others, and they can possess and transfer 15-minus round magazines that have removable baseplates.
- The fact that the legislation was poorly written comes as no surprise given its intent: to “spearhead a national gun control campaign orchestrated by the Obama administration and by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”
- Suthers’s reading of the legislation runs contrary to the interpretation of the measure by its own sponsor, State Representative Rhonda Fields.
- The magazine legislation is still bad, in that it “violates the rights of peaceable gun owners to self-defense, to peaceable trade, and to private property.”
Image: John Suthers
June 22, 2013
We Already Have a “Media Shield”: The First Amendment
June 23, 2013
A Miraculous Pope?
June 26, 2013
Obama’s War on Energy Producers and Consumers
July 3, 2013
Don’t Delay ObamaCare—End It
July 6, 2013
Toast the Re-Legalization of Homebrewing
I have been using the trademark “Free Colorado” for many years, and I here assert my right to keep on using it.
Unfortunately, another group has called itself “Free Colorado,” and that group claims to be “a non-profit organization registered in the State of Colorado.” (I was not able to find a record of the group on the Secretary of State’s web page.)
This group could not possibly have failed to notice that I have registered “FreeColorado.com” or that I call my site “Free Colorado.”
Unfortunately, this other group lists no contact information on its web page, FreeColorado.net. And a “whois” search of that domain lists only Proxy, LLC of Arizona as the contact information.
I have nothing against this other group (other than it using my name), but I wish it had picked some other name, or at least asked me first if I’d sell them or give them the rights to call their group “Free Colorado.” At this point, I request that the group select some other name.
At this point, I want to clarify that I have nothing to do with this organization, and it has nothing to do with me (besides using my name without my permission).
The Objective Standard published several of my book and film reviews in the Summer 2013 issue:
Django Unchained (free)
The Intouchables (free)
The Sessions (free)
June 8, 2013
Our Spectacularly Improving World
June 16, 2013
Superman’s Moral Ambitiousness
Complete Colorado‘s Page Two recently published two of my articles.
Gun-restriction legislators displayed profound ignorance on subject
“Many of the Democrats supporting gun restrictions displayed profound ignorance about firearms, self-defense, and even their own bills.”
Bipartisan support for tax discrimination in Colorado legislature
“If the legislature wishes to create a business-friendly tax environment, it should establish lower taxes for every business, and make the effective tax rate the same for everyone.”
May 14, 2013
Gosnell Justly Convicted for Grisly Murders
May 15, 2013
IRS Violates Americans’ Rights Every Day
May 28, 2013
Zach Sobiech, Victim of Cancer, Lover of Life
April 28, 2013
“Attack Countermeasures” Video Shows How Not to Be a Victim
May 2, 2013
Pope Absurdly Blames Unemployment on Profit
May 5, 2013
Penny Nance’s Strange Bedfellows
(No, the Enlightenment did not cause the Holocaust.)
The school board of Dove Creek, Colorado, has taken the safety of its students seriously by allowing school administrators to carry defensive guns.
Nancy Lofholm reports for today’s Denver Post:
In a first-of-its-kind move in Colorado, a rural school board has given two of its top administrators new job titles—security officer. The new titles make it possible to bypass state gun laws and carry guns in schools. . . . Their security officer contracts were approved by the board at a February meeting. Each will be paid $1 a year for their officer duties to make the deal legitimate.
I wrote about this possibility late last year:
Colorado law already allows schools to invite those with lawfully permitted concealed handguns into their halls—if schools do it the right way. . . .
Colorado law allows “public” schools to bring in “security officers” “retained by contract” by the district. The law is non-specific as to how much a security officer must be paid. So my plan is simply for a school to hire 40 (or so) concealed-carry permit holders—parents, retired police officers, military veterans, etc.—at a dollar each per year, to take shifts patrolling the school. . . .
[O]bviously willing and trained teachers and administrators could be declared “security officers” as well.
Hopefully other school districts will follow the same sensible policy—and hopefully those officials carrying guns will get top-notch training in using a firearm in emergency situations.
April 14, 2013
3D Metal Printing Revolution Makes Possible the “Impossible”
April 24, 2013
“There Are no Values” through Islam
April 1, 2013
Bionic Eye—Not a Miracle
April 4, 2013
Stockton Ain’t All that’s Bankrupt
April 9, 2013
Margaret Thatcher: Warrior for Liberty
April 11, 2013
States Pass Rights-Violating Abortion Restrictions
The Objective Standard published two of my pieces in the Spring 2013 issue (not counting my blog posts).
The first in an interview: “Robert G. Natelson on State-Driven Amendments to Restrain Federal Spending.” (Elsewhere I published a series of videos of Natelson speaking on the same subject.)
Natelson summarizes the issue at hand:
Essentially, though, there are two ways to propose amendments for ratification or rejection by the states. One is for Congress to propose; the other is for two-thirds of the state legislatures to require Congress, through resolutions called “applications,” to call a “convention for proposing amendments.” A convention for proposing amendments is essentially a meeting of delegations sent by the state legislatures themselves, organized on a one-state, one-vote basis. In lieu of Congress, the convention decides whether to propose one or more amendments for ratification or rejection.
My second piece is a book review of Beyond Politics. Overall, I thought it was a pretty good book about “public choice” economics, but it has some serious problems. I conclude:
Despite its serious theoretical problems—problems shared by most economic texts today—Beyond Politics offers a powerful critique of many types of government economic controls. Those who read it carefully will better understand the common rationale for government intervention in the economy—and the “public choice” criticisms of such intervention. Although Simmons does not offer anything like a complete case for capitalism that integrates morality and economics, he offers some important economic tools useful in building or fortifying such a case.
You can read the complete articles—and all the other great content in the Spring issue—over at The Objective Standard.
The gun laws recently proposed (or passed) in Colorado and at the national level will not reduce violent crime. Something that will reduce the number and destructiveness of mass murders is citizens preparing for such attacks and responding appropriately.
Of course, your chances of ever finding yourself in the middle of a situation like that at the Aurora theater or the school in Newtown are extremely low. A tiny fraction of homicides are mass murders, and a tiny fraction of mass murders are the random and large-scale events that generate international headlines for months on end. You’re far more likely to die in a car crash than to die at the hands of a mass murderer.
Still, there is some chance, however slight, that you will find yourself confronted by a mass murderer, so it is worth some time thinking and planning how to respond. Perhaps surprisingly, even the New York Times picked up on this theme in an April 6 story written by Erica Goode. Following are some of the highlights from that article:
The speed and deadliness of recent high-profile shootings have prompted police departments to recommend fleeing, hiding or fighting in the event of a mass attack, instead of remaining passive and waiting for help. . . .
Research on mass shootings over the last decade has bolstered the idea that people at the scene of an attack have a better chance of survival if they take an active stance rather than waiting to be rescued by the police, who in many cases cannot get there fast enough to prevent the loss of life. . . .
In the absence of a police presence, how victims responded often made the difference between life and death, Dr. Blair said.
In 16 of the attacks studied by the researchers [at Texas State University], civilians were able to stop the perpetrator, subduing him in 13 cases and shooting him in 3 cases. In other attacks, civilians have obstructed or delayed the gunman until the police arrived. . . .
“The take-home message is that you’re not helpless and the actions you take matter,” Dr. [J. Pete] Blair [of the university] said. “You can help yourself and certainly buy time for the police to get there.”
Here is the video from the Houston’s Office of Public Safety mentioned in the article:
I’ve produced two videos and an interview on the matter.
The interview (with my father), available at TOS Blog, is “Linn Armstrong on Self-Defense and Guns.”
I also conducted another interview on video with my dad:
And I conducted an interview with Alon Stivi (with whom my father has worked), who developed a program for Attack Countermeasures Training.
So don’t be paranoid, but do be prepared.
March 3, 2013
The Fruits of Capitalism Are All Around Us
March 7, 2013
Minimum Wage Laws: Economically Harmful Because Immoral
March 11, 2013
Judge Properly Tosses New York City Soda Ban
March 12, 2013
Guns: Legislation Should be Based on Individual Rights, not Group Averages
March 16, 2013
Thomas Friedman Embraces Keystone Extortion
March 20, 2013
Cyprus Rejects One Form of Theft, Leaves Others Intact
March 22, 2013
The Real Purpose of Central Banks
March 28, 2013
What’s Wrong with Stomping on “Jesus”?
March 30, 2013
As Some Filipinos Try to Die, One Tries to Live
Constitutional scholar Robert Natelson spoke at a Pro Second Amendment Committee banquet in Grand Junction March 23. I’ll release his entire speech soon. In this segment, Natelson compares the right to have sex with the right to keep and bear arms—and he points out that the majority of Colorado’s Democrats hypocritically protect the former while infringing the latter.
Ask yourself, what would be the reaction of the Colorado legislature’s majority to a proposal requiring a background check before anyone could exercise the Constitutional right of nonmarital sex?
What would be the reaction to a bill saying that the eager couple even had to pay the fee for the background check?
What would be the reaction of Speaker Ferrandino or Senate President Morse to a bill stating that the eager couple was limited to “fifteen rounds,” so to speak?
Absurd, our legislative leaders might say? Indeed not. Natelson points out that the annual number of deaths due to sexually transmitted diseases is comparable to the number of violent deaths involving firearms.
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Alon Stivi, CEO of Direct Measures International, recently attended an event in Grand Junction, where he agreed to a short interview. Stivi developed a certification program in Attack Countermeasures Training to help school administrators, teachers, and office personnel effectively respond to active shooters and terrorist attacks.
One of the points Stivi makes is that renewed military action in the Middle East (which seems very likely to me within the next few months) could spur terrorist organizations to step up their attacks on American and other western targets. And “we need to be prepared,” he points out.
Colorado’s Republican leaders fought valiantly against the anti-gun bills promoted by the Democrats. And yet, as angry as I am with the Democrats—including Governor Hickenlooper, who just this morning signed into law the ambiguously drafted, rights-violating gun magazine restrictions and the registration requirement for all gun purchases—the simple fact is that Republicans bear much of the responsibility for the passage of these bills.
By promoting rights-violating policies of their own, Republicans did two things that brought about passage of the anti-gun laws. First, they handed Democrats all the arguments used to restrict gun sales and use. Second, they handed Democrats control over every branch of Colorado government by alienating most Interior West voters.
When Democrats pass anti-gun bills, that’s just Democrats being Democrats. As State Senator Evie Hudak made clear, Democrats think that individuals are too stupid and irresponsible to make their own decisions and lead their own lives, so therefore Democrats must step in and control people’s lives for them. No surprise there. So it is the Republicans, who very often pretend to champion individual liberty and free markets, who are the real disappointment. Consider some examples.
The Drug War
We know that Democrats want to outlaw so-called “high-capacity gun magazines,” however defined. But Republicans hardly put themselves in a position to complain.
Last fall, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, allowing possession of low-capicity bags of marijuana. Many Republicans fought against not only high-capacity bags of marijuana, but low-capacity bags as well. Why? Like their ideological brothers in the Democratic Party, these Republicans think that individuals are just too stupid and irresponsible to make their own decisions and lead their own lives, so therefore politicians and bureaucrats must tell people what to do—and throw them in jail if they stray from that path.
And yet let’s compare the two items. If someone consumes marijuana, about the worst thing he’s likely to do is sit on the couch and munch Doritos. Sure, he’d endanger others by driving or operating other heavy machinery, but the same goes for alcohol. On the other hand, a criminal who obtains a gun magazine actually can kill a lot of people with it. So when Republicans advocate the prohibition of high-capacity and low-capacity bags of marijuana, but say they’re all for “high-capicity” gun magazines, their arguments ring hollow with hypocrisy.
Amendment 64 also legalized hemp under Colorado law. Why have Republicans opposed the legalization of hemp? Quite simply because the hemp plant looks like the type of marijuana plant that contains the drug TCH. The party that wants to ban the sale and possession of plants based on what they look like, is hardly in a position to offer any serious protest when Democrats want to ban so-called “assault weapons” based on what they look like.
Likewise, the party that wants to throw my wife in prison for seeking an abortion—even in cases of rape and risks to her health—for buying the “wrong” sorts of birth control, and for seeking the “wrong” sorts of fertility treatments, is hardly in a position to complain when the Democrats want to throw my wife (and me) in jail for trading the “wrong” gun magazines.
The Democrats honed their strategy of attacking Republicans as waging a “war on women” right here in Colorado, starting with Ken Buck, the U.S. Senate candidate who endorsed the anti-abortion “personhood” measure before backing away from it. Colorado now has three sitting members of Congress who have supported the same nonsense. And even now Rand Paul is floating a nationwide “personhood” measure (although not consistently).
Not only are anti-abortion Republicans wrong in the issue, they have destroyed the dominance once held by Republicans in this state.
Republicans who oppose equal protection under the law for gay couples, hardly can seriously complain when Democrats deny gun owners equal protection under the law.
As a political strategy, nothing could have been stupider than for the GOP to agitate wealthy, technologically savvy gay men—Jared Polis is worth $160 million, while Tim Gill is worth $400 million. And these men have helped bankroll the Democratic takeover of Colorado.
And look how Republicans handle arguments about things like gay marriage and civil unions. Colorado’s gay speaker of the house, Mark Ferrandino, said the civil unions bill is “about love, it’s about family, and it’s about equality under the law.” What did the Republicans argue? Rep. Lori Saine, R-Dacono said, “What this bill is about, really, is the Bible. Is it right or wrong?”
In other words, one side makes plausible moral arguments and argues equality under the law; the other side invoked ancient mythology and ghost stories. (Some Republicans did support the bill; they’re excluded from the criticisms of this section. Please note that I don’t support every aspect of the bill, although I do support gay marriage.)
The Democrats have proudly assumed the mantle of the party of reason, while the Republicans have proudly surrendered that mantle. So, when the Democrats pretend that all they want are “reasonable, common-sense gun restrictions,” their claims have a superficial plausibility, thanks to the faith-based claims typical of Republicans.
Many Republicans support federal background checks for employment. Can they seriously oppose federal background checks for gun sales? Such Republicans are ridiculous.
Many Republicans openly and loudly endorse government action to blatantly violate the rights of business owners to freely negotiate labor contracts. The injustices of such Republican policies dwarf the rights violations of the Democrats with respect to gun sales.
The Republicans tell business owners, “You may not hire undocumented Mexicans to manufacture large gun magazines.” The Democrats merely add, “You may not hire Americans, either.”
* * *
As I tell my friends, Democrats have not won a single important election in Colorado in many years. The trouble is that Republicans find a way to lose every important election (a few safe seats aside). How do Republicans manage this?
To a large degree, the Colorado GOP has been the party that wants to throw women in prison for controlling their own bodies, the party that’s hostile to homosexuals, and party that’s hostile to immigrants.
Colorado Republicans have developed a reputation—largely earned—for being the anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-women party, and then Republicans stand around after getting their asses kicked, election after election, scratching their heads and wondering what happened.
So, yes, the Democrats deserve blame and condemnation for ramming through the anti-gun laws. But, really, they’re just following in Republican footsteps. Perhaps this loss will serve as a wake-up call for Republicans to change their path.
Image: Wikimedia Commons