You know the government is getting ridiculously desperate when it resorts to this sort of thing:
“[Defense Distributed's] files are being removed from public access at the request of the U.S. Department of Defense Trade Controls," read a banner atop the website. "Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”
The alleged claim by the government came under ITAR, which is a law that regulates the export of materials deemed to be of interest on national security grounds.
For instance you cannot export (without specific clearance) things like high-quality night-vision equipment. You can buy that sort of thing as a civilian in the United States, and it's perfectly legal. There are plenty of legal reasons to want that sort of equipment.
But you cannot export that technology to other nations with a determination that the export will not land in the hands of the "wrong people" in other nations, particularly those nations that would (or might) use that technology in warfare against the United States.
That seems to make sense on a facial level.
But applying ITAR to information is a different thing entirely. First, it's pointless, since once the information is out -- it's out. There are literally hundreds of thousands of copies of these files around the Internet already; they're everywhere. Trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle is a waste of time.
There is also the legal reality on this -- ITAR exempts "libraries" (for obvious and appropriate reasons) as it recognizes that you're wasting your time to try to stop information alone from being distributed.
That the government went here to try to force Distributed Defense to take these files down shows exactly how desperate they are. Not only is this law unlikely to hold up when challenged (and I presume it will be) that they used this excuse says quite loudly that they could not come up with an actual, legitimate legal means by which they could stop the firm from doing what it is doing -- that is, using technology to restore and protect the Second Amendment.
Technology is a funny thing -- it frequently outruns the desires of those who would exert control to project their power. Sure, the military and government use technology to spy on people, including Americans. But Americans and others can use technology to make it very hard for government to spy on them, should they so wish and be willing to take the steps necessary to do so.
In the end analysis what The Government is doing here is pointless; it cannot "win" this fight as the data is already out in the public.
But what it can do, and is doing, is throw a temper tantrum.
In response to libertarian activist Adam Kokesh's planned July 4 march in which the participants will supposedly be carrying loaded rifles—in blatant violation of D.C.'s tough gun laws—another activist says he's putting together a better, and more acceptable, event for the day before.
Austin Petersen, a video producer for the libertarian organization FreedomWorks, says that Kokesh's designs of crossing the Arlington Memorial Bridge ahead of a pack of gun-toting Second Amendment believers is a provocative discredit to the cause.
Provocative? You bet. So was refusing to sit in the back of the bus. So was insisting on being seated and served in a diner. So was marching down a street with a few hundred -- or thousand -- black people after being told "you're not welcome here."
All of which, incidentally, were "unlawful" acts -- despite those laws being blatantly unconstitutional.
But because he's still an ardent opponent of gun control laws like D.C.'s, Petersen still wants to send a pro-firearm message around the Independence Day holiday. A legal one, that is.
He intends to send a pro-firearms message? Cool -- let's hear about it.
So, on July 3, Petersen wants to head up a parade of libertarians and maybe their families hosting toy guns, like water pistols and Nerf blasters. The "Armed Toy Gun March on D.C." will follow the same route around the monuments and National Mall as Kokesh lays out for his march the day later, but the only "weapons" will be tiny water jets and foam darts.
Uh huh. This sends a message of disagreement with the blatantly unconstitutional DC gun laws?
Exactly how? Water guns and nerf pistols are neither constitutionally protected or prohibited, nor do they have anything to do with firearms. They're both toys where firearms are tools.
But like so many so-called "libertarians" (of which I've written on many) Petersen's plans fail the first test of logic -- that is, consistency that can be traced to the first principles expressed in The Declaration of Independence.
You might fit water guns and nerf pistols into "pursuit of happiness" through some bit of mental masturbation but you sure can't find a connection to life or liberty in either.
"If we want less war, we need to be less warlike ourselves," Petersen says. "The idea of libertarianism is personal responsibility. If you can't act responsibly, then you can't own a gun. We can still have fun and not be negative and confrontational."
Um, me thinks you need to do a bit more reading before trying to tell people what libertarian and personal responsibility entails.
Specifically your personal responsibility to stop someone, should you so choose, who intends to initiate force against you for the purpose of depriving you of your life.
Exactly how do you intend to discharge that personal responsibility with a water pistol?
Then there's this piece of idiocy:
"Are you going to act like Martin Luther King or are you going to act like Malcolm X?" Petersen says, noting that Kokesh's website is filled with references to the former, along with other peace advocates like Mahatma Ghandi. "Who got more done? I'm challenging the libertarian movement. If you really believe in the principles of Dr. King, come to this event and live out his principles, because he was the one who advocated nonviolence just like libertarians do."
Ok, Peterson has just outed himself as historically ignorant along with not believing in personal responsibility.
Malcolm X advocated violence. Kokesh has not, to the best of my knowlege.
But more to the point Martin Luther King was arrested some 30-odd times for protests that had no official permission and in fact he led marches, expressing his First Amendment Rights, knowing full well that the government had banned his proposed activity in advance exactly as the DC Police have informed Kokesh!
More than once MLK was beaten and otherwise abused while in jail too.
There is nothing "warlike" about carrying a firearm. Your actions only become "warlike" when you unholster or shoulder said weapon for the purpose of initiating force.
Up until that point your keeping and bearing of arms are in fact the epitome of peace, in that the very fact that you are armed and everyone knows it serves as a strong deterrent against any criminal element who might otherwise choose to initiate force against you, whether said criminals are individuals or part of some organization.
The entire point of the Second Amendment is that so long as it remains as written the odds of it ever needing to be used for the purpose it was inserted into the Constitution remain vanishingly small.
The Second Amendment is, in fact, is the guarantee of civil peace.
Write off one jackass named "Petersen."
Hirschman used the words “perversity” and “futility” to describe his best examples of reactionary rhetoric. Conservatives often object that reforms will turn out to be perverse, because they will have the opposite of their intended effect. For example, those who oppose increases in the minimum wage contend that such increases will worsen unemployment and thus hurt the very people they are intended to help -- a clear example of perversity.
Alternatively, conservatives argue that reforms will do nothing to solve the problem that they purport to address. For example, those who oppose gun-control legislation contend that such laws will fail to decrease gun-related deaths -- a clear example of futility.
Logic trumps rhetoric, and experience constitutes evidence.
For example, when Florida passed "must-issue" concealed carry the gun banners said that the result would be gunfights in the street on a daily basis. They even went so far as to run advertisements advocating that people not vacation in Florida because it was now the "Gunshine State" where mere presence on the street make you a walking target for all the crazy citizens who could now shoot you "at-will."
What actually happened? Violent crime of all sorts went down precipitously.
This, incidentally, would not be particularly convincing as an example standing alone, but it doesn't stand alone. Not far distant in time, in the same period, Massachusetts massively tightened gun restrictions, requiring permits for virtually all guns. What happened? The gun murder rate doubled in the ensuing two decades even though in the nation as a whole, and in those places where gun laws were loosened, murder rates declined.
When it comes to firearms there is an 80 year history of claims that we will "address" or "definitely help" the gun violence problem if we agree to "just one more" restriction.
The problem is that there is always one more restriction required -- the claimed nirvana never comes. Eventually a logical and thinking person is forced to abandon the idea that proscribing behavior is material to criminals and is forced to put forward the postulate that the proposed laws are not being proposed for the stated purpose, but for other, undisclosed reasons -- none of them good.
After all nobody ever hides good news or intentions -- only bad news and evil intention are hidden from public exposition. We may not know what the hidden motive is, but we can certain of one thing -- the public would not accept it were it to be put forward "front-and-center", or would have been brought forward into the public debate.
All of this, of course, is logic -- the reason we call bad guys "criminals" is because they ignore the law. A person who obeys the law is not a criminal; ergo, new law proscribing behavior that was formally not proscribed can only constrain a non-criminal's behavior!
So when you make guns harder to get the rapist doesn't care since he is already willing to risk a long prison sentence to commit his crime but the woman who is the target of the******does care because she is now constrained in acquiring the means of self-defense. The woman threatened by her former boyfriend-turned-nasty has to wait three days in this state to buy a handgun unless she first obtained a CCW license or first can get an order of protection. Both take time; weeks in the first case, days in the second, especially if it's a weekend or holiday.
How long does it take for her ex-boyfriend to******or murder her?
When seconds count the law will be by to help you out in minutes, hours, days or weeks.
This issue, like so much else, isn't about slippery slopes.
It's about knowing and intentionally false pronouncements of "fixes" for problems that by definition cannot work because instead of enhancing the certainty or severity of punishment for crimes against people, thereby decreasing the probability of a second or subsequent offense (purely on the arithmetic; a person in prison cannot offend again against someone on the outside) laws are only obeyed, as a matter of definition, by those who are not criminals.
The other night I got into a twitter-flamefest with Dylan Ratigan on, you guessed it, guns.
He tweeted something about The Senate and "reasonable" gun control and I went after him. He responded and the game was on. You can back through my timeline (as Tickerguy) and have a look if you want.
The conversation quickly degenerated when he started with the "So you're for private ownership of nukes, right?" crap and "The Second Amendment was written in a time of muskets, so that's what it covers" nonsense.
I retorted with "So the First Amendment is about movable type, paper and ink -- hand-driven -- right?"
Ah, no answer.
Didn't think I'd get one, by the way, so rather than keep hammering that I instead pointed this out the following (and it took three tweets to do it @ 140 characters each):
The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution (no government can give what it does not have)
2A recognizes the fundamental human right to self-defense, irrespective of the attacker's identity.
The Bill of Rights PROTECTS Rights, it does not GRANT them as government NEVER HAD THEM TO GRANT.
This is why we can't have a "reasonable" debate on this point with people on the other side of the debate.
They refuse to recognize these essential facts:
Dylan was looking for a place to insert a wedge because he refused to debate from principle. He wanted to look for a way to play the typical media "gotcha" game but I'm too smart for that as I've been at this for 20+ years as has he. He should know, having dealt with me on the bankster issues, that he wasn't going to get away with that crap but he tried anyway -- and failed.
If you look at principle -- that is, what's embodied in the Declaration of Independence -- then there is nothing difficult in figuring out where the lines are at all. Not here, not on the First Amendment, not on the Fourth or Fifth. All are simple.
And more importantly, all lead to inescapable conclusions for virtually every case, leaving only a few uncommon circumstances to be briefed and argued in a courtroom or legislative chamber.
The First Amendment most-certainly applies to all types of speech, because speech is a component of Liberty. Government didn't give you that right (they never had it to give away), you have it because you are human. You therefore have the right to speak, but not the right to force someone to listen or to pay to amplify your speech for you. This right extends to words printed on paper using movable type, it extends to skywriting, it extends to the Internet and it extends to other forms and means of effecting speech that we have not thought of yet but will in the future. Note that this doesn't mean that you can't face consequences for your speech after the fact -- if you skywrite "Joe Schmoe is a pedophile!" and it's false Joe can sue you to beyond the orbit of Mars.
The Fourth Amendment applies in Boston to the searches of homes and what was done there is blatantly unconstitutional and as a consequence is a crime under 18 USC 242 (and is civilly actionable under 42 USC 1983.) The so-called "law enforcement" people who committed those searches and seizures under duress without a warrant violated the law. Period. This is true irrespective of the means by which such is done because The Fourth Amendment does not grant you the right to be secure in your papers and effects, you have that right because it is an essential element of liberty; the freedom to possess privately-obtained property through the fruits of your labor without it being rifled through or stolen by anyone, including government agents, except under due process of law where probable cause exists to believe you have personally committed a crime. Again, there are logical exceptions -- if a police officer personally sees a fleeing felon he is chasing enter your residence he can follow him onto your property without a warrant. But what he can't do is guess.
The Fifth Amendment likewise attaches to the actions in Boston and also gives rise to criminal liability under 18 USC 242 to the extent that anything was seized, no matter how momentarily, without a warrant. Again, The Fifth Amendment is not a grant from government it is recognition of your fundamental liberty interests that vested in you at birth.
And finally, The Second Amendment protects your right to exercise self-defense against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that could reasonably be expected to attempt to unlawfully deprive you of your life. It is again not a grant from government either of a right or a privilege because government never had this to give.
The Declaration called forth where your right to life came from -- your creator. In other words, you have that right because you're human just like you have the right to liberty and pursuit of (but not guarantee of attainment of) happiness.
All the answers to "where is the line?" come easily and logically when you debate from principle instead of playing games. The Second Amendment therefore protects your right to keep and bear any arms that might be reasonably used in the present time for the purpose of defense of yourself or those in your charge, voluntarily or otherwise, against any reasonable threat of death or serious bodily harm by any reasonably-foreseeable malefactor who would take your life or liberty unlawfully from you.
It is therefore quite clear that you may keep and bear any gun which you are able to carry and deploy as a single individual because murderous marauders sometimes attack in packs, sometimes are jacked up on drugs and often are capable of physically overpowering you. Attackers also often keep coming even when hit in places that ultimately will be fatal; that the assailant will die from acute lead poisoning is of no value to you if he kills you first. Yes, this means you may keep and bear, under The Declaration's statement of your rights, a machine gun. Yes, this includes a gun with a "silencer" (which really doesn't make it silent.) Yes, it includes a gun with a 10, 20, 30 or 100 round magazine -- or ten of them. Yes, it includes a concealed pistol. Yes, 2 guns. Yes, if I (or someone else) invent one, a Star Trek Phasor. Yes, 100 guns and as much ammunition as you care to buy and store should you so choose; although you can only shoot two at a time (unless you're from Mars and have six hands) there may be others in your care, custody or association that could use them in the event of a need of defense when they are in your company.
Now let's look at the "nuke" argument that the left loves to trot out.
Is there a reasonable argument to be made that a person possessing a nuclear device would have reason to use it under any rationally-foreseeable circumstance that would be deemed, in full totality of the circumstance in hindsight, self-defense?
I can't come up with the circumstances under which that would apply, despite putting a fair bit of mental effort into it.
We answered the question with logic, didn't we?
So where's the line?
Let's apply logic and your right to life as the guideposts.
If there are no MS-13 gangs coming into the country with armored vehicles, then I don't need an anti-tank rocket. If there is no permanent Army with tanks on American soil, then I don't need one for the eventuality that our government may go rogue and try to blast me with one. If there are no drones based in, located in, or flying over American cities then I don't need defensive devices that can shoot them down, disable their weapons or jam their communications. And before you say "but the government would never do that" please go ask the question of the 6+ million dead Jews who would beg to differ with you, or if you prefer you may pick on the dead Armenians, Soviets, Chinese, Guatemalans, Ugandans, Cambodians or Rwandans -- and that's just in the last 100 years or thereabouts, totaling something like 80 million people or several times as many as were killed in all the wars of the 20th Century combined.
By the way -- The Constitution prohibits standing Armies -- it prohibits an appropriation spanning more than two years for the purpose of raising an army. On the other hand the Constitution explicitly permits forming and funding a standing Navy.
Guess why? Because that ties in directly to the people's right to life; a Navy is used to protect vessels at sea and the coastline and has by its nature rather limited inland reach.
That our government has wantonly and illegally violated its own founding documents doesn't change a thing. But it does change what's covered by the Second Amendment if you debate from the principles that founded this nation and are embodied in The Declaration, and the items covered by the Second Amendment are directly linked to our government's own voluntarily-taken actions.
All of the other so-called "tough questions" are likewise answered by looking to principle, and at the same time we solve, to a large degree, our crime problems.
Like, for example, this question that left loves to run:
Does a felon have a right to life? Yes, under The Declaration. During the time he or she is incarcerated The State takes responsibility for that life and is duty-bound to protect it. During the time he or she remains under supervision that duty and responsibility remains with The State. However, upon satisfaction of that person's "debt to society" they still have a right to life, which means that no law impairing their ability to defend themselves, post-discharge, is Constitutional!
But what about the bad guys, you ask?
That's simple, but we don't want to talk about it. In particular the liberals don't want to talk about it, because they're largely responsible for the dangerous animals prowling our streets.
If you are dangerous to others, as determined under due process of law, whether by reason of criminal activity or mental defect, the proper place for you is in an institution where your right to life remains but the duty to protect it is transferred to the state. At the same time since you have demonstrated (under due process of law) that you're dangerous to others you must be removed from having the ability to do that harm to others because their right to life trumps your asserted but non-existent right to murder,******or rob.
We could have prevented the shooting in upstate NY of several firefighters if we had not let the shooter out of prison after he killed his grandmother with a hammer. Likewise, most of the other murders are committed by people with violent criminal pasts. Yes, there is the exception, but it's exactly that -- an exception.
In fact, that's the history of "crime reporting" in this nation. The gang-bangers who shoot up people in Chicago literally every day rarely make the news, but the occasional nut is front-page news for weeks, despite the fact that the 20 people the nut kills are surpassed in less than a day by the thugs. Our media doesn't talk about the thugs because if we do we must face that we keep letting them out of prison with full knowledge that they are dangerous predators. Neither the media or politicians want to deal with this fact and so we bury it on page 15 -- if it gets mentioned at all.
How about private property? If I own property I may ban the keeping and bearing of arms upon it. I therefore may post signs demanding that you not bring guns into my store, theater or other place of business. I may also prohibit them in my home. The choice is mine, not yours. But on public property, where the people all have an equal right to be, they also have no obligation to give up their right to defend their life in order to be there. Therefore any peaceable person who wishes to have a firearm with them in a public park, on a beach, in their car on the road or in a public parking lot may do so. If and only if that person commits a crime by threatening others (or worse) is there cause to remove them from the people they are threatening, and the way we do that is by arresting them and charging them with the crime. If this threat is deemed (again, under due process) to be material and ongoing then we imprison them until that is no longer the case.
It's not hard folks. We don't need a National Firearms Act, we don't need a Gun Control Act of 1968 and we don't need a Brady Law. We don't need any of the 20,000+ gun laws now on the books, none of which have stopped gun violence because the definition of a criminal is a person who ignores the law. We can (and should) keep laws that enhance punishment for a crime committed with a firearm, and perhaps even strengthen those laws as they punish conduct, not possession of a device.
I remind everyone that with some 300,000,000 guns in America and about 11,000 homicides a year 0.004% of them are used in a murder annually. In other words 99.996% of the firearms owned are not used to murder someone in a given year.
None of the firearm laws will ever be effective and all of them are direct violations of your rights no matter what a liberal, conservative, cop, mayor, governor, or a man or woman in a black robe says.
They are violations of your rights because The Constitution does not grant rights -- it is incapable of doing so because Government never had any rights to begin with and thus cannot delegate what it never possessed.
There is only one solution to violent people, whether their violence manifests due to malevolence or insanity, and that is to isolate them from society until they either rehabilitate, are no longer insane, or die. That too is a fact and no amount of arguing over this can change reality. Gun prohibition has never and will never stop someone from committing a violent felony because the problem isn't a device, it's the criminal mind.
A person who intends to do harm will find a way; you can murder with a knife, an axe, a hammer, a gallon of gasoline or a Suburban. There are more people killed with hammers, baseball bats and fists than rifles of any sort, including so-called "assault rifles", each and every year. And let us not forget that the Boston Bombers appear to have chosen to use ordinary pressure cookers and fireworks to make their bombs.
Men and women with evil in their hearts are not deterred by laws. They are only deterred by being physically restrained -- that is, locked up.
If people on the other side of this position wish to have a principled debate where one must lay foundations for their positions and questions, tracing them to fundamental rights, then I'm all for it. Bring it on and I'm willing to engage. Contact me. I'm game. Let's do it, in public view.
But if all you've got is the common media game of "gotcha" you're wasting your time among those of us who understand where our rights come from, what limited government is, and what The Constitution actually does -- and doesn't do.
That's the bottom line.
It's over folks.
Look, I know that "95% of America wants reasonable gun restrictions", or so the media says.
So Obama says.
So lots of people say.
So after The Senate said "NO" to more Gun Control, after 80 years of so-called "gun control" that has not done one damn thing to actually reduce gun violence (and in the most-jackbooted areas it can be argued it has doubled homicides or more!) there should be thousands of people willing to march from McPherson Square in Washington DC to support "common sense" gun control and "Stop the NRA" -- right?
To put this in perspective, this is one of the shots I took from the Invisible Children protest that I attended last year, also in Washington DC:
That is "more or less" in front of the White House, and the crowd stretches all the way down the street well past the intersection -- and all the way the other direction too. That counted as a protest -- it was loud, it was long, and there were, I'd guess, 3,000 in attendance or thereabouts.
Oh, and here's a short video clip from the speaker's podium during the presentation, showing the crowd in the park near the Washington Monument:
That is an embarassment, there might have been 100 people there and it is a clear statement of exactly what sort of real backing you actually have for such a position.
In other words, None.
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