8 Year Old Cub Scout On Terrorist Watch List

The TSA says there are no children on the the ‘no-fly’ and ‘selectee’ lists. Yet, little Mikey Hicks (a frequent flyer), has been getting patted and searched since he was 2. Is it any wonder that I find these lists and their proposed expanded usage troublesome.

Stop the Destruction of Our Common Bonds

If you are unable to see the video click here.

Please watch the entirety of this video. I would add one thing. New immigrant blood is essential to the continued success of the USA. We do need to enforce the USA’s immigration laws. However, I also believe we need to make it easier for low skilled workers to enter the country. They not only re-invigorate our nations life blood, legal immigration helps prevent the exploitation of immigrants. We an immigrant does not fear (rightly or wrongly) reporting abuses to the authorities, it helps everyone. Since the immigrant is here legally, their wages (and yours) can not be as easily lowered. Since the immigrant is here legally, their wages will be reported and taxed correctly. If the immigrant is here legally, he/she will more likely be properly licensed and insured. There are many other benefits to legal immigration, and we need to lower the barriers to it while more severely punishing those here illegally.

Why the World and the USA Don’t Understand Each Other

Understanding America’s Identity: Individualism vs. Collectivism

This is a blog post from a Brit who I think has hit on why there is such misunderstanding between most of the World and the USA.

This discovery came after reading Mark Levin’s fascinating book Liberty and Tyranny – I reviewed it here. I learned from Levin’s book that there’s an important ideological difference between the United States and the countries I grew up in – one that goes a long way to explaining why people on the right wing think so ‘differently’ to Eurotrash like me.

In America – since the nation’s birth – individualism has been key foundation of society. Conversely, in Europe (especially following World War II) there’s always been more of a push towards collectivism.

The difference is subtle, but profound.

He goes on to show how this resulted from the USA’s founding and how it also influences politics in the USA. Individualism explains the opposition to health care, the draft, prohibition, and many other issues. He also shows how the extremes of both the left and the right are collectivist in nature. It is well worth the read.

Not a Smart Pick

President-elect Obama has chosen Eric Holder to be his Attorney General. Here are a few facts about Mr. Holder:

At the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit in United States v. Emerson, the Assistant U.S. Attorney (Holder) told the panel that the Second Amendment was no barrier to gun confiscation, not even of the confiscation of guns from on-duty National Guardsmen.

As Deputy Attorney General, Holder was a strong supporter of restrictive gun control. He advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handgun sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns and so-called “assault weapons” (cosmetically incorrect guns) by anyone under age of 21, a gun show restriction bill that would have given the federal government the power to shut down all gun shows, national gun registration, and mandatory prison sentences for trivial offenses (e.g., giving your son an heirloom handgun for Christmas, if he were two weeks shy of his 21st birthday). He also promoted the factoid that “Every day that goes by, about 12, 13 more children in this country die from gun violence”–a statistic is true only if one counts 18-year-old gangsters who shoot each other as “children.”(Sources: Holder testimony before House Judiciary Committee, Subcommitee on Crime, May 27,1999; Holder Weekly Briefing, May 20, 2000. One of the bills that Holder endorsed is detailed in my 1999 Issue Paper “Unfair and Unconstitutional.”)

After 9/11, he penned a Washington Post op-ed, “Keeping Guns Away From Terrorists” arguing that a new law should give “the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms a record of every firearm sale.” He also stated that prospective gun buyers should be checked against the secret “watch lists” compiled by various government entities. (In an Issue Paper on the watch list proposal, I quote a FBI spokesman stating that there is no cause to deny gun ownership to someone simply because she is on the FBI list.)

After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the D.C. handgun ban and self-defense ban were unconstitutional in 2007, Holder complained that the decision “opens the door to more people having more access to guns and putting guns on the streets.”

Holder played a key role in the gunpoint, night-time kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez. The pretext for the paramilitary invasion of the six-year-old’s home was that someone in his family might have been licensed to carry a handgun under Florida law. Although a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo showed a federal agent dressed like a soldier and pointing a machine gun at the man who was holding the terrified child, Holder claimed that Gonzalez “was not taken at the point of a gun” and that the federal agents whom Holder had sent to capture Gonzalez had acted “very sensitively.” If Mr. Holder believes that breaking down a door with a battering ram, pointing guns at children (not just Elian), and yelling “Get down, get down, we’ll shoot” is example of acting “very sensitively,” his judgment about the responsible use of firearms is not as acute as would be desirable for a cabinet officer who would be in charge of thousands and thousands of armed federal agents, many of them paramilitary agents with machine guns.

This is a man who will probably instigate a new Ruby Ridge or Branch Davidian incident with his heavy handed tactics and lack of respect for individual rights.

We Need To Do A Better Job

I was listening to a podcast today, and the host mentioned something that I very much agree with. We, the second amendment rights community need to do a better job. We have allowed our issue (an individuals right to bear arms) to become intertwined with the issues of religious and cultural conservatives. There are plenty of liberals, non-Christians, and homosexuals who own firearms and believe in an individual right to bear arms. However, they are turned off by the way the issue has become synonymous with the anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, fundamentalist Christian issues. It doesn’t matter whether we agree with these other issues or not. If we want to regain the freedoms we have lost in the past 100 years, we need to separate ourselves from them. Though it is seen as a liberal issue now, racial equality was championed by both conservatives and liberals in the 1960s. No less of gun rights hero than Charlton Heston marched for civil rights in the 1960s. I a dare anyone to call him a liberal. We need to convince candidates across the political spectrum that infringing a the right to bear arms is a losing proposition. We need to convince candidates across the political spectrum that having a strong history of supporting the right bear arms will help them win elections. In a few weeks, the two people who are the most against an individuals right to bear arms in the United States Senate are likely to be placed into the White House. It should have been unthinkable for their party to even nominate them. However, what is in some ways worse, the party that has most often been associated with supporting our right to bear arms nominated someone for President who has at best a lukewarm history of supporting our rights. We need to grow beyond our knee jerk reaction of automatically voting for someone with an R after their name on the ballot. We need to become more active in both parties’ primaries to fight against these kind of candidates even getting nominated.

An Interesting Article

The Texas Department of Public Safety is Swamped with Concealed Handgun License Requests

Summary: The DPS has seen a 39% increase in applications for CHLs. This is causing to take approximately 30 days more than their usual allotted time to issue the licenses. The extreme increase in applications is attributed to the possibility of an anti-gun Democrat in the White House and last year’s Virginia Tech shootings.

My Opinion: I very much agree with the Presidential race spurring this. You are not just seeing increases in CHL applications. There has been a huge surge in purchases of reloading equipment, magazines with a capacity of 10+, and what the media calls assault weapons. With congress already controlled by Democrats (including extremely anti-gun members in leadership positions), most people who value their right to keep and bear arms are dreading the results of the Novemeber election.

Obama Against Concealed Carry

Article

Quote: “I am not in favor of concealed weapons,” Obama said. “I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations.”

My Thoughts: Why should I trust someone who doesn’t trust me with a concealed firearm. If I am legally carrying concealed, I have undergone a thorough background check on the federal, state and county levels. I have also undergone training that has told me when it is and is not legal for me to use deadly force.
The sad fact is, all three of the top presidential contenders support a ban that is based more on looks of weapons than on any crime statistics or facts about lethality. As important (if not more) as the election of a new President, will be the people we elect to congress. If you oppose gun control, you must look closely at the candidates you are voting for and choose appropriately.

My Thoughts On Crime, Poverty and Children

Yesterday, February 7, 2008, New Orleans had its 21st murder of the year. At this rate, New Orleans will have over 200 murders by the end of the year. This article and the comments found on the page, got me thinking about the causes of crime and long term poverty. In my criminal justice classes, we were taught (and statistics still show) that the vast majority of crime is committed by those located in the lowest socio-economic strata of our society (the poor). Another statistic is those born and/or raised in poverty are more likely to remain poor. Yet another statistic is, the more children a poor person has, the more likely they are to remain poor. Another statistic I remember seeing is the poorer you are, the more likely you are to have more kids. This becomes a vicious cycle. A factor that helps break this cycle is having two parents in the home. Poor children from two parent homes are more likely to become better off than their parents.

Here are some ideas I had:

  1. Bring back orphanages – At one time, people who could not take care of their children would take them to an orphanage. If the child was not adopted, and they got to where they could take care of the child, the parents could get the child back. It was not the best environment, but it was a safe one. My mother was raised in an orphanage from the time she was 11 til she was 18. She was not abused and was well taken care of. She also learned the values to keep herself out of poverty.
  2. Offer free sterilization – This would keep down the number of unwanted children. And, if the person later decides they want children, they can adopt. There are plenty of unwanted/neglected children in the world to adopt.
  3. Offer to pay people to sterlize themselves – This would have an income cap (basically, if you could afford to pay for it yourself you don’t get paid). Offer $5,000-$10,000 for these people to have themselves sterilized. This would help break the cycle of poverty and they could adopt later, if they wanted to.
  4. Pay kids for good grades – This could be done in conjunction with corporate sponsorships. This would help kids realize the quickest route to success in this world is a good education. The better you do in school, the better your income. Most urban youth who are stuck in the cycle of poverty do not see education as the way out. They see three ways of obtaining success:
    A. Sports – Let’s face it, the odds of a successful sports career are slim.
    B. Fame as a musician or actor – the odds of making it this way are even slimmer.
    C. Crime – This is the route to many take. They see those slightly older than themselves making money through dealing drugs and other activities and think they can do the same.

These are the solutions that take the easy route. Would they work? Most likely, no. The other route is much harder and takes longer, but it has a much better chance of long term success (if you can get people behind it). This solution requires changing the society and culture of the poor. You have to make it societally unacceptable to have a large amount of children, children when you are to young and children you can’t support. You have to raise the value of an education above that of sports or entertainment fame. You have to teach the people to value and respect themselves and their community. You have to make it where the children do not tolerate people who break the law. Those who do break the law must be ostracized by the community and their families.

CHL Holder Fights off Attacker

Texas CHL Holder Fights Off Attacker

HOUSTON — A robbery victim turned the tables on his attacker in a grocery store parking lot, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Houston police said a gunman approached a man as he got out of his vehicle at the HEB store at Gulfgate on the South Loop East near the Gulf Freeway at about 10 p.m.
The gunman demanded money from the man, police said. The man decided to fight back.
“The complainant was able to draw his own weapon and shot and killed the suspect,” Sgt. Robert Odom said.
The gunman died at the scene. Detectives are working to determine if he had an accomplice.
“The suspect attempted to get into a car but fell out the door,” Odom said. “He didn’t get all the way in, so we don’t know if this guy was involved or if it was a situation where the suspect just tried to jump in his car.”
Investigators said several people witnessed the shooting.
The man was taken in for questioning, but no charges have been filed against him. Police said he had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Police said patrols in the area would be increased to keep shoppers safe.

Once again, one citizen with a gun has protected himself and society.