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Friday, June 24, 2016

How many world events can you pack into a couple of weeks!

Since my last posting it seems that there have been more world changing events than anyone could have thought possible! Florida seems to have been on the wrong end of fate a little to often, with 3 tragedies in quick succession. The presidential race continues unabated, events in the UK and and Europe seem to be taking the UK away from the EU, and perhaps closer to the US.

And as all this is happening, amongst the turmoil in the world, and huge issues being faced by leaders the world over, what to the leaders of this fine country do, how do they rise above the political in fighting and baiting? They decide to hold a sit-in!

That's right, a sit-in! Whilst there are those who want draconian action to stem sales of "assault rifles" (although their use in crime is actually minuscule) and others who would I am sure support a bill mandating their ownership, and people prepared to throw civilized debate, negotiation and compromise under the bus, and sit on the floor till they get their own way, there will never be any progress.

As you can no doubt tell from the posts in this blog, I am an ardent gun supporter, and a supporter of the right to own them, but even I realize that there are contradictions that could and should be addressed in the gun laws as they stand. Universal background checks is something that has been mooted on many occasions, and something which, if you accept that background checks for new firearms are acceptable, is very difficult to argue against.

And then we arrive at the current issue of no fly lists. I have to say that if someone has been placed on a no fly list it's probably for a good reason. I struggle to understand why if someone is deemed enough of a risk to be prevented from flying, they are somehow not enough of a risk to suspend their ability to purchase firearms. I understand that there is a constitutional issue surrounding due process, but I don't really see what the argument is if the person concerned is immediately offered an appeal in court, and was suggested by the republicans in congress.

Sweeping "we got to control guns and ban assault weapons" statements are ridiculous to the point of being childish. fact is that even if there was the will to 'ban' guns, there are simply to many out there, and the only ones handed in will be from law abiding citizens, leaving the vast majority in the hands of those who dream of an unarmed population.

We really need to get a grip of this argument, and find some ground where we can all agree. This 'debate' has dragged on for as long as anyone can remember, and it's time to actually find a reasonable solution.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Seems even the courts disagree with each other!!

So, we have the happy situation in that we live in Arizona, where the firearms laws are the least restrictive of any in the country. But will that always be the case? There have been some interesting and apparantly contradictory decissions by various state supreme courts recently that almost guarantee that the US supreme court will take up the matter of concealed carry in the not to distant future.

On May 17th, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon handed down a judgement that Washington DC police's requirment for "individuals to show “good reason” to obtain a permit to carry a firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital" violated the "“core right of self-defense” granted in the Second Amendment".

The judge based his ruling on previous case law from 2008, and it seems that the city, after a request to have the decission held was denied, are preparing an appeal. The original long standing ban on carrying any firearms in public was overturned by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr in July 2014. Subsequently, he issued a further opinion in May last year, saying the District’s recently passed “good reason” requirement still “impinges on Plaintiffs’ Second Amendment right to bear arms,” because it did not target dangerous people or specifically how or where individuals carry weapons.

And that would seem to have been that, or was it? Today we have a ruling that would seem to go directly against these prior rulings. In California (where else!!) a 7-to-4 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, overturned a decision by a three-judge panel of the same court. California law requires applicants to demonstrate “good cause” for carrying a weapon, like working in a job with a security threat, which would seem to be exactly the same position as Washington residents had found themselves in.

It would seem that some district courts do not agree with others, that people have a fundamental right to defend themselves. It seems that in states like California, you are only allowed access to proper self defence if you are ALREADY in danger, or are rich or important. Is that really what the 2nd amendment was/is all about?

In a wider context, it would seem that this issue is destined to arrive at the US supreme court in the not to distant future, raising another disturbing prospect. At the moment, the Supreme Court could spilt 4 vs 4 on this issue, and that would seem likely. But what happens after the election. If the democrats win in November, and appoint a more "progressive" justice, will they uphold the intent of the 2nd amendment as they have done by a margin of 1 vote in the past?

All this only becomes an issue of course if the state attempts to institute draconian CCW laws, probably unlikely in Arizona, but does that mean we should rest easy? I would suggest that sitting back and discussing how lucky we are, and how they suffer in California, we do something now to prepare for what I would suggest is an inevitable attack on your right to carry a concealed firearm in the not to distant future.

But the $64,000 question is what do we do? How can we protect our rights and the 2nd amendment? I would really like to hear your thought, what do YOU think we should do? 

Todays ninth circuit court ruling.

May's Washington ruling.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fair, who said life was fair?

Fairness, what does that mean to you? Interesting question with many answers, depending on a great many thinks. What is fair to 1 person, is an outrage to the next. Is it fair that if I get on a bus, I should give up my seat if an old person needs it, even if  - as will probably be the case - I paid more for my ticket? No, it's not fair, but it's probably the right thing to do. This logic extends to lines that people have been waiting in, even parking lots. But get it wrong, and there'll be hell to pay!!

And get it wrong they certainly seem to have managed in California! It would seem that California's draconian gun laws are only for the seething masses of unwashed. It would seem that whereas CA legislators suffering an issue need to be able to defend themselves immediately, you and I must simply use very strong language and exercise patience while the police wing their way to us, hot foot through the Los Angeles rush hour traffic. "But they are important people" I hear you cry.

That is of course true, but of all the rights someone should possess, surely the right to defend yourself is one of the most important? This extends to the rhetoric of the liberal left. Invariably, after a huge rabble rousing speech about the horror of guns and gun violence, you can watch the speaker being escorted from the building, flanked by armed guards a plenty. Are the general population somehow immune from violence that would fall upon the speech maker, to the point that they have no need to protect them selves in a similar way to those that would attack them?

Something else crossed my desk earlier this week that made me smile. It seems that local manufacturer Patriot Ordnance Factory, or POF has made "The Donald" an offer, via psychic medium, and videographer Ben Philippi  it seems he would he will be unable to resist! It seems that POF are willing to "put a free rifle in every guard tower" on the wall of Trump!!  Just some figures I am lifting straight from the article,

The wall would apparently have to be 3.5million yards long, so with towers 1200 yards apart, that's 2,917 towers. If we assume a POF AR15 comes in around $2k, that would cost POF a smidge under $6 million. Not a bad gesture!

With the NRA now also backing "The Donald", and it seems momentum building, what do you think lays in store for the shooting fraternity in the event of a ceremony ending in the words "here are the keys to the Whitehouse President Trump"?