Newspaper Editors Are So Predictable
Fisking the Seattle Times on the AWB:
The clock is running out on a 10-year-old federal ban on certain types of semiautomatic assault weapons. Without bold action by President Bush, the common-sense law likely will expire in September.
Actually, there's not much common sense about a law that bans guns based entirely on features that make them look 'evil' but have nothing to do with function.
Bush has said he will sign a bill to extend the ban — if Congress approves one. But that's unlikely without his strong backing, and he knows it.
A strong majority of Americans support the ban on the manufacture, transfer and possession of 19 types of assault weapons, such as the AK-47, the Uzi and the TEC-9. So do the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Education Association, the American Bar Association and many other organizations. They support it because it makes sense.
I haven't seen any surveys at all on this issue, and I'm sure that few if any have been done by unbiased groups. But just a couple of technical issues here, Mr Editor: the law at issue is a ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons" that are not capable of fully automatic fire. The AK-47 is a select-fire assault rifle; the Uzi is a submachine gun; both are capable of full auto fire. As such, they are controlled by the NFA of 1934 and the 1986 ban on the manufacture and import of full auto weapons, not the 1994 law. The TEC-9, while specifically controlled by the 1994 law, is included primarily because it looks mean. Functionally, there is no difference between the TEC-9 and the Glock pistols used by cops around the country.
Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske is one of hundreds of law-enforcement leaders who back the ban. He says such weapons serve no legitimate purpose for people who aren't police.
This statement needs to be amended to read "hundreds of politically appointed law-enforcement leaders in liberal dominated urban areas who back the ban." And Mr Editor, please define "legitimate purpose." The most popular rifle in NRA High Power competitions is the AR-15. Or is target shooting not a "legitimate purpose?" Heavy barrel versions of the AR-15 are also popular for varmint hunting. I thought hunting was a "legitimate purpose." And "assault weapons" in larger calibers-namely .308 Winchester-such as the HK-91, StG-58, CETME, and AR-10, have useful function for hunting deer and other similar sized animals.
He's right. These weapons aren't necessary for hunting or self-defense. They are for drug dealers, gang leaders and other criminals. They don't belong on America's streets.
I just covered the hunting issue. As for self-defense, an AR-15 or Kalashnikov pattern rifle isn't my personal choice for defending my home against intruders-I prefer a shotgun-but I have no doubt they would be very effective in this task. Actually, the sight of a Kalashnikov wielding homeowner would probably make any intruder run for the nearest exit, after he emptied his bowels into his pants.
Before we were married, my wife lived on a dead-end road in a rural part of Pierce County, an area known to have meth labs and the kind of people who run them. I remember one night when I spent the night, hearing the crunching of gravel under the tires of a slow moving car on the road. The car sped away as soon as the dog started barking, but I was extremely reassured by the presence of her roommate's CAR-15 and SKS in the living room. One would have been in my hands if that car had stopped.
I own two rifles that are classified as "assault weapons" by the AWB. They both feature detachable magazines, flash hiders, and bayonet lugs. Oh, and both-a Federal Ordinance M-14, and a Tokarev SVT-40-have wooden stocks and are almost four FEET long. Not exactly the first choice for the criminal element. In fact, weapons on the AWB list are rarely used in crimes, for the simple reason that they're farily large, and criminals prefer smaller, more concealable weapons.
I do agree that these weapons don't belong on the streets. Which is why I intend to do my part to keep them off the streets by buying another one as soon as I can afford it.
In addition to banning 19 specific semiautomatic assault weapons, the 1994 legislation identifies specific characteristics that categorize a weapon as an "assault weapon." It also bans ammunition clips or magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. At the same time, it exempts hundreds of other weapons designed for legitimate uses.
The ban isn't perfect. Manufacturers can too easily get around the law by altering their weapons.
Actually, as stated earlier, the law identifies certain features that make the rifles look 'mean' and have nothing to do with the function of the rifle. So manufacturers can easily remove the offending bits of metal and plastic to keep their rifles within the law. Which goes to prove how stupid the law actually is. The ban on standard capacity magazines is probably the stupidest part of the law, simply because so many of them existed prior to the ban. 30 round magazines for AR-15 or Kalashnikov rifles can still be found, 10 years after the ban, for the price of a couple of fancy java-based beverages from Starbucks.
Still, the fight to keep the ban in place is worth it. And it will be a fight.
The National Rifle Association is actively opposing extension of the ban. Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay said there are not sufficient votes to reauthorize the law. A bill that would have protected gun manufacturers from lawsuits died in March when senators tried to include in the bill the extension of the assault-weapons ban.
A repeal of this stupid law passed the House in 1996, but failed in the Senate. The bill containing the extension was voted down 90-8 in the Senate two months ago. It gives me hope that this senseless, unconstitutional law will die as it deserves to.
Some of our Allies are Tough Guys Too
"NAJAF, Iraq - One of his friends was dead, 12 others lay wounded and the four soldiers still left standing were surrounded and out of ammunition. So Salvadoran Cpl. Samuel Toloza said a prayer, whipped out his knife and charged the Iraqi gunmen."
Read the rest in the Washington Times.
Senate Attempting Backdoor Illegal Alien Amnesty
They're cloaking it as the Agricultural Job Opportunity, Benefits, and Security Act of 2003. Hide something behind enough verbiage and most voters get confused an/or bored and stop paying attention. Besides, who can be against job opportunity, benefits, and security? From the AP:
Sixty senators have now signed on to a bill that proposes to legalize some farm laborers and make it easier for agriculture employers to hire them.
I knew this story wasn't going to be good as soon as I saw the term "legalize some farm laborers." So, 60 Senators have signed on as cosponsors to a piece of legistlation that will do something that poll after poll shows the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose.
The legislation, co-authored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass
While I'm not surprised to find the Senator from Chappaquiddick involved in this, the fact that he's the co-author (the other author is Larry Craig of Idaho, who just lots a whole lot of my respect) is a bit surprising, given that I was not aware that Massachussetts had any significant agriculture industry.
It would freeze wages for certain farm workers for three years at the level in place on Jan. 1, 2003, while Congress studies what their pay should be.
OK, first of all, who the fuck gave Congress the power to freeze wages anyway? I don't remember seeing that in the Constitution. And what business is it of Congress' what farm workers, or any kind of workers, get paid? The workers should get paid whatever wage they and the employers can agree on. If it's $1.00 a day, fine. If it's $50.00 and hour, that's fine too. As long as both sides agree, all is good.
Now we get to the good stuff:
The legislation also would allow about half a million undocumented immigrant agricultural workers already in the country to apply for temporary legal status. They would have to show they've worked in agriculture for 575 hours or 100 work days, whichever is less, during any 12 consecutive months between March 1, 2002, and August 31, 2003.
First of all, stop calling them "undocumented immigrants." THEY'RE ILLEGAL F*CKING ALIENS!!!By their very presense in this country, they are breaking our laws. They should be arrested, held until trial (what incentive do they have to show up?), tried, and kicked out of the country. But, so as not to alarm the folks at home, they're selecting just the ones in this one special industry, to start the amnesty program. And ones who don't even work that much-575 hours translates to just under 72 8-hour days. 72 days, over 12 consecutive months out of an 18 month window. It's the gradualist strategy again-offering amnesty to illegals one group at a time, until they're all legal.
Their spouses and children also would be permitted to stay in the United States, but could not work.
OK, so these illegal aliens, who already aren't required to work very much to get amnesty, and whose wages are so low that Congress has to figure out how much they deserve to get paid, get to bring along more mouths to feed. Mouths that not only aren't expected to work, they're not allowed to. May I be so bold as to ask where the money to feed these people is going to come from? I think you know the answer-it's going to come out of my pocket-and yours too.
After another period of work, the laborers and their families would be eligible for permanent residency, a step toward citizenship.
So, sneak across the border(breaking the law), do farm work for a while (breaking the law), get yourself a temporary permit to work here. Wrok a while longer, and you get to be a permanent resident, and your crimes (entering the country illegally, working illegally) are forgiven. Maybe we can use this model on other criminals, like, say, burglars. Prove you've burgled for 72 days in the last year, and we'll forgive you and give you a permit to do it legally. Keep doing it, and we'll reward you again.
At least 7 million undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico, are believed to be in the United States. An estimated 52 percent of agricultural workers are undocumented, the federal government says, although farm labor and industry groups estimate that number is closer to 85 percent.
This, I think gets to the gist of why Big Agriculture supports this. A huge chunk of their workforce is illegal. So, in return for paying the workers a bit more, and paying taxes on the newly legal workers, they get a cheap labor supply and get to stop worrying about geting raided by the INS. Industry groups like to run around and say that these illegal aliens do work that Americans won't do. That's nonsense. Americans will do pretty much any sort of work you can name-you just have to pay them enough. They are people who work in sewers, armpit deep in the stuff you and I flush down the toilet, for crying out loud. And I'm sure they get paid pretty well to do that.
Both of my Senators-Murray and Cantwell-are signed on a co-sponsors. So is John Kerry. This bill is incredibly stupid. Write your Senators and reps and tell them to stuff this bill.
Spent My Tax Refund...in 1941
I wasn't born in 1941. My mother wasn't even born in 1941. But both the rifles I bought this weekend were made in that year.
First rifle is a Tokarev SVT-40, made at the Izhevsk arsenal. I've wanted one ever since I discovered the wonderful (but expensive) world of C&R firearms. Never saw one at a good price. Bought this one from another collecter who was selling in the classifieds. And a fun fact about this rifle: under the 1994 law, it's an assault weapon. It has a detachable magazine, a flash hider, and a bayonet lug. Of course, it also features a wooden stock and is almost 4 feet long. But I can still annoy DiFi and Chuckie with it.
Second rifle is a Finnish VKT M-39. Another rifle type that's been high on my wish list for a while. The M-39s are reputedly up at or near the top of the heap in accuracy for milsurps. I'm looking forward to taking this one head to head with my K-31s. Hopefully my shoulder can take the pounding.
Pete Coors is Running for Senate in Colorado
Maybe if he wins, he can get rid of those annoying "Make your drinking age 21 or lose your highway money" laws.
I've been stationed in Germany. I've seen 16 year olds (even 16 year old American Army brats) in bars. German young 'uns (I'm 30, I'm now officially allowed to use that term) don't have nearly the problems with bing drinking that Americans do.