Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ruminations on Stuff

With all the hoo-hah recently over the 10th Amendment, states rights, conservatism and libertarianism, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring.

We'll start with the 10th Amendment and states rights. I think the federal government has grossly overstepped its bounds and has been doing so in ever-increasing steps since the early 1900's. This overstepping has been accelerating at an alarming pace since 2001. Most citizens, and states for that matter, operate on the whim of the federal government. How you may ask? Look at your pay stub and look at your tax rate. Savor it, because after 2010, it goes back to the rate in 1999 under Clinton. Also take a look at what has transpired over the last 4 months. Never before has government gone after private citizens and private business with the zeal we've seen recently. One investment firm was told point blank that if they didn't play ball with the new administration, they would bring the full power of government to bear on them. Think that can't happen? Try this one. Congress now believes it has the power to break contracts. Look at what happened to AIG. If they can go after an insignificant amount of people over bonuses that were specifically protected by law, then what's to say they can't go after you?

A recent study showed that the primary source of revenue to state coffers wasn't the citizens of those states, but in fact, the federal government. How upside down is that? With all those federal dollars comes strings. Some folks see these strings as beneficial. I mean if a public university receives federal funding, they have to abide by the strings that federal money comes with, like diversity issues like Title IX. But then there are the extortion schemes. Mandatory seat belt, DUI, and minimum drinking age laws come to mind. I mean, who can't be a fan of these laws, right? One mandates safety in your car, another is meant to keep kids from getting drunk and the other is meant to keep drunks off the road. Sounds all nice and rosy, doesn't it? What is lost in all this mess is the extortion behind the scenes. States that failed to pass these mandatory laws in a timely manner were threatened with having their federal highway funds withheld. That sound good to you?

Next, libertarianism vs conservatism. While I do hold some libertarian views, such as drugs, I believe there is a need to some form of limited government. Now there are certain federal agencies that are an abomination that deserve to be abolished immediately if not sooner, but there are also federal agencies that make life much better. Case in point are the Occupational and Mine Safety and Health Administrations. OSHA and MSHA, respectively. These two organizations under the Department of Labor are geared to make sure our workplaces, whether it be an office, a machine shop, or a mine are safe places to work.

Where I diverge from the libertarian line is that while I agree that less government is always better, there are instances where government has to be there. I mentioned OSHA and MSHA, but also, there's also the FAA, and certain entities under the Departments of Transportation and Agriculture that come to mind.

There is an argument to be made for all of these. Hopefully, sooner rather than later that dialogue can take place. This country has gotten so far from it's founding roots it has lost its mooring. If, by some quirk of science time travel were to become possible, I believe our ancestors would look at what we've become today and shake their heads in disgust and shame. Disgust for what we as a collective people have allowed ourselves to lured into, and shame for allowing the sacrifices they made, however big and however small, to be in vain.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Warrior Reborn

About 6 weeks ago, I bought a Remington Rand 1911A1, manufactured in 1944. There were some issues with it, as the previous owner had made some "upgrades" to her. A BOMAR rib, an adjustable trigger, an oversize attachment to said trigger, Pachmyer grips, and chrome safety and mainspring housing.

(Click to biggerize the pics)


After 6 weeks at the doctors office and some gifts to the gods of GunBroker, all of the upgrades were reversed. Witness a warrior reborn:


I decided to have her re-blued since I had to have the 6 holes in the top of the slide filled and welded over. Some will say I ruined the collector value, but that was already shot when I got her, with all of the things that were done to her. Jared and crew at Jack First Gun Parts did a top notch job putting her back to right for the amazing amount of $153

I've always admired the lines of the 1911, and after shooting a buddies 1917 manufactured Colt 1911, I got the bug. Now, I've had two other 1911-type pistols, both of them Kimbers. An Ultra Carry, and my current carry piece, an Ultra Raptor. While the lines of the Kimbers are graceful, there is nothing quite like the elegant lines of a true 1911, or 1911A1 in this case.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's About Damn Time

Read the text at the link. What we have here is a bill by the Wyoming Congressional delegation to force the issue of carrying a concealed weapon in accordance with the laws of the state in which the National Park resides. It'll be interesting to see if the bill ever makes it anywhere in either chamber, considering who has the reigns of the runaway stage coach that is the US Congress.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If a state such as California doesn't allow carry of concealed weapons in a park (state, local, or otherwise) then carry won't happen in, say, Yosemite.

However, Wyoming and South Dakota, in particular, allow concealed carry in their parks. South Dakota just recently passed this important clarification 2 or 3 years ago. While Wyoming allows for carry in its parks, discharge of a firearm is a crime. (Although if it were a defensive gun usage or DGU, say to prevent a forcible felony like rape, I believe that would be OK by their standards.)

Bless Senators Barasso and Enzi and Congresswoman Lummis for bringing national park regulations into the modern era. 48 states allow some form of concealed carry (39 shall issue, 9 may issue, and 2 no issue, with DC recently being upgraded to may issue).

(h/t to Snowflakes in Hell for the link)

This is one bill that needs to see the light of day.

UPDATE: Kevin Baker of TSM pointed out that the actual number of shall issue states is not 39, but 37. Vermont has no requirement for a permit and Alaska does have a permit, but only for reciprocity with other states. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

While We're On The Subject...

Of things that make my blood boil are those tools who, after seeing the evidence to the contrary, still insist that banning guns (whether they be handguns, "assault" weapons, or any other arbitrarily defined class of firearm) will lead to a reduction in the crime rate. God, those people really....

Anyway, there have been few in the last couple of weeks that can't seem to get it through their thick skulls. One guy writing in the Casper-Star wanted all of us "gun nuts" to turn in all of our guns so they could be turned into ploughshares. This, after he insisted nobody wanted to come after anybodies legally held firearms. Anyone else see the irony in this?

Then, there's the "just one life" crowd. These buffoons argue that if a law "saves just one life" it's worth it. Hogwash. Whose life are they referring to? The creeps that break in to rob and kill a room full of college students? (Thanks to Bruce @ mAss Backwards for the link) The guys who intended to rape, rob and murder them? Because there's one guy that was there that had other plans. I think he chose right. Let's see here. Two goons with (most likely illegal) guns vs 10 college students, one of whom was legally armed. I'll take the legally armed college student for $500, Alex. Unfortunately, one young woman was wounded in the exchange, but given the alternative, I think she's one very lucky lady.

Because as Bruce points out repeatedly, there are those in this country that believe the right of two scum sucking cretins to rape a room full of college coeds and murder everyone in the apartment is apparently more important than the students right to life.

Hate Crimes Legislation

Listened in on a discussion on hate crimes legislation. Specifically, adding gay/lesbian/trans-whatever to the list.

Seems the legislation in question has been around since 1987. This is one thing that really boils my blood. What, exactly is a "hate crime"? If you listen to some, it's a crime that is committed because someone has a skin color, religious proclivity, or gender that someone else doesn't like or approve of. What we have, in essence is carving up different classes of folks based on their creed, national origin, gender or any of a number of ways to politically identify someone.

Hate crimes legislation was crafted for one purpose. Gender Identity Politics. The liberal left has made it their mission in life to segregate this country based on artificially defined victim classes. Oh, I'm black and a white guy picked on me...Boo Hoo. Or I'm a female and that guy told a dirty joke...Boo Hoo. But if you're a white guy and someone of a different race, religion, gender, or somesuch does anything to you, then tough twinkies pal. You've just got to deal with it. Bull. Shite.

So answer me this, then. This is for all of you who think hate crimes legislation is the be-all end-all. If a black Muslim man is assaulted and killed by a half white, half Asian gay woman, while saying and doing all the things the FBI says are hallmarks of a hate crime, was there a hate crime committed?

All hate crimes legislation needs to go. Period. You don't need special protections because you're something or other. Murder, rape, robbery, and a whole host of other things are all illegal. Throw the book at them. Put them under the jail, heck shove a tuba up their backside and make them fart show tunes, I don't care, but punish the perpetrator, not the mindset of the act. It doesn't matter if the perp was quoting the Beer Hall Putsch or Malcom X. Dead is dead.

This is the United States people. You know, equality for all? Oh, I forgot, unless you don't fit into one of those pre-determined special victim groups (black, hispanic, asian-pacific islander, buddhist, muslim, hari krishna, female, GLTGTT-EIEIO, did I leave anyone out here?), then you're not as equal as everyone else.

You want to know who the biggest impediment is to proper relations between people right now? The lunatic fringe of the dhimmicrat party, that's who. Nobody can talk to or about anyone else in this country without fear the PC police will come get them.