17 February 2011

I'm Still Alive; Work Just Owns Me

Sorry for the extended absence, but forgive me while this accountant has tax returns to prepare, monthly reconciliations to prepare, and an audit about to commence.

Factor in family birthdays and other commitments, I've got a stack of stuff to get to as the world unhinges itself.  Look for some items late today, but probably tomorrow and this weekend are more likely.  

10 February 2011

Thoughts on Apple iARs

If you're a follower of gun blogs, no doubt you've seen this and this, and perhaps this.

As others are saying with the whole "Uses proprietary ammo. Shuts off when shooting unapproved targets," those thoughts aren't completely unfounded.  In the gun community, should we be concerned that this is a wolf in sheep's clothing?

Let us considering this; Steve Job's campaign contributions over various election cycles for the past 20 years.  It ain't pretty.  From Fox:
“Steve Jobs is Democratic-leaning based on who he gives money to and what he says. And Jobs has never let it be known how he votes, but he supports Democratic causes and has contributed about $225,000 to Democrats since the 1980s,” McDonald told FoxNews.com.  While Jobs may appear Democratic, Apple's policies are simpler, he said: "They promote what's going to make them the most money.”
And for what it's worth, former Vice President Al Gore is also on the Apple board of directors.
Obviously, the list has some pretty unfriendly names upon it, including good old Dead Fish very prominently at the top.  So what is the end game here?

Obviously, being a free market guy, I have no problem with Jobs and company trying to make a buck.  Admittedly, my wife is an iPhone geek and a Mac user, and perhaps I'm becoming a convert, but what merrying of computer and guns will we see from Apple?  Should we have to worry about a push of technology for "smart guns."  With Jobs' billions and seemingly political clout, what new front does this acquisition of Saber Defense present to the gun rights movement? 

Obviously, this announcement should be treated with a bit of skepticism at first, but perhaps we will see innovative products that will permeate through out our armed forces, and thus, into the hands of the civilian market.  Until we see any changes from the Saber Defense portion of Apple's portfolio, we should proceed with caution, and hopeful optimism.  However, let us put Jobs on notice that pushing products that are contrary to the protected and functional meaning of the 2A, and then further using his clout and the legislative process to game the economic system to his advantage, will absolutely not be tolerated. 

MD Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Bill on Mag Limits Today

I just sent off this letter to the members of the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee that will be debating and hearing testimony on a magazine capacity limit (limiting to 10 rounds down from the current State's law of 20 rounds).  

Honorable Members of the Judiciary Committee:

I am writing this letter in very strong opposition to Senate Bill 162, Firearms - Detachable Magazines - Maximum Capacity for Ammunition.

While I understand that this bill is primarily a reaction to the abhorrent tragedy that occurred last month in Arizona, it is my firm believe that this bill erroneously and incorrectly limits freedoms enjoyed by law abiding citizen. I wish to make it clear that the efforts of this state to protect its citizens and legislators should be focused on the actual acts of violence and the perpetrators thereof, instead of focusing on the tools used to commit such acts. Considering that the tool in question here (guns and their detachable magazines) are used for lawful purposes by those whom follow the law, I must question whether this bill will have any impact in effecting a decrease in criminal activity, specifically mass public homicides.

As you convene your committee hearing this day, please consider the following views of this constituent.

Arms in common use: Currently, Maryland law restricts the capacity of any ammunition feeding device to an arbitrary 20 round limit. While this law does not currently limit most arms that honest citizens can acquire and use for sporting and, more importantly, Constitutionally protected self defense, a decrease to ten rounds would almost assuredly cause a decrease in the supply of firearms within the state of Maryland. While some members of the committee might think limiting access to arms is a noble goal, it does nothing to address the potential for criminal homicides, regardless of the weapon used.

Further, with many law enforcement agencies in the state choosing to use handguns that often carry in excess of 10 rounds of ammunition, please note that even our government agencies agree that more rounds equals more opportunities to win in a self defense battle. Please recall that last year this committee enacted legislation to exempt homeowners from liability suits brought by the criminally negligent. Why do we want to regress in terms of defense of family and self by arbitrarily limiting the amount of ammunition one can use in any firearm at any time?

Economics: While we do not economic means test enumerated civil rights, it is hard to ignore the impact to small and local business that sell detachable magazines and the arms that operate with them. Considering the current economic climate, we should foster every opportunity to promote and encourage sales growth, cost savings, and business opportunities, as well as tax receipts to the state. At present, limited capacity magazines are both expense, produced in small numbers, and not widely available on the shelves of Maryland gun dealers. When cash flow for a small business can mean the difference between keeping the doors open or going out of business, we can ill-afford to upset this delicate balance as we force dealers to liquidate their products on hand, and replace them with something that may not even sell.

Looking to other "model" states as a product of such bans (California and Massachusetts), one sees that such magazine capacity restrictions impact the consumer as well. Manufactures of magazines are forced to produce a product they would not otherwise produce, thus limiting supplies and increasing the cost of both the magazine and the arms that use them. I would hope that you note that this will disproportionately affect the classes of people whom need them most to level the playing field against stronger criminals. Elderly, poor and economically stressed persons, as well as those living in under-privileged, crime ridden neighborhoods would effectively be priced out of the market place here in our state. Even if you don't agree with the recent Supreme Court decisions regarding the Second Amendment and its Incorporation, shouldn't we all strive to increase exercise of freedom afforded by all civil rights?

Impact Upon Crime: In the days after the Arizona tragedy, critics of firearms were quick to point out that these types of magazines were banned under the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Unfortunately, what the firearms critics failed to point out was that even the FBI was never able to correlate a reduction in crime statistics for those ten years to the reduction in "assault arms" and their accessories. If it is the attempt of this committee to decrease mass public shootings, I suggest we focus on mental health and criminal intent by better data-basing of crime reports and mentally deficient adjudication records before enacting legislation which only a law abiding citizen will follow.

As this legislation is discussed, the four surrounding neighbor states of Maryland should serve as an example to the ineffectiveness of this legislation. All four states currently do not impose arbitrary capacity restrictions limiting detachable magazines to 20 round, and all four states have lower crime rates than that of Maryland. Let us be realistic in this assessment however and not fail to realize that the culture and demographics of our neighbors is different from that of Maryland's, but from a straight forward correlation of more magazine capacity related to criminal shootings, it is nearly impossible to make such a connection.

In summary, I strongly urge the committee to discard this bill and withhold it from the full Senate. As outlined above, it is easy to see an increase to the arbitrary magazine capacity limit will do nothing to prevent crime, nothing to deter crime, and will only act to put further restrictions upon a civil right that is enjoyed by many Marylanders.

Thank you for considering the input from this concerned citizen as you hear today's testimony.



06 February 2011

Happy Birthday Gipper!

Goodness grief, it's the Gipper's birthday and I've never dedicated a single post to him?  What am I thinking!

Born in the land of Lincoln, we were given a man that captured the hearts, and more importantly, the minds of men and the world, Ronald Reagan would have turned 100 years old this day.  I would say that it is not a coincidence that less than 1 month ago we celebrated 1911 day; meaning good things truly do come in bunches. 

Without further ado, I give you two of Reagan's finest speeches that helped to shape America's history.  Enjoy. 

04 February 2011

Century Bonds? Yeah, That'll Work!

When the yield curves are totally screwed, lengthen the term

I'm sure that will generate some wonderful demand.  I wonder what the price of a 100 year bond would look like?  Oh, that's right. 

Hello inflation! 

Parking Lot Attendents Earn 90+K

Massachusetts tax dollars hard at work.

And people wonder why we muni-bonds are about to go Tango Uniform

Ron Paul: We Need More WikiLeaks on Fed Res

Never one to be scared by controversy, Dr. Ron Paul is on the record as stating we need more public pressure on the Federal Reserve and Congress to make the Fed more transparent.


H/t to the Daily Reckoning.

03 February 2011

Jews Should Soundly Be Against Gun Control

Of any people on the face of the planet who should be against gun control, Jewish people should top the list.  Of course, those who live outside of Israel itself, seem to favor left of center, pro-grabber policy pitchmen, instead of participating in the freedom of self defense that those within the Jewish state practice on a daily basis.

H/t to New Zeal.

02 February 2011

Justification for High Cap Mags

As the attack upon our ammunition feeding devices comes into sever question upon Capital Hill, and the marginally legal Executive Branch pushes shotgun import restrictions (all the while controversy swirls the agency itself), it becomes imperative to seek out the truth with regards to lawful firearms ownership. 

In a story that is more than a decade old, we can point out the benefits one can achieve with multiple standard capacity magazines and common use arms.  The Beckwith Incident shows how a 65 year old gun store owner was able to confront seven armed thugs, aged 16-21, by himself, AND (as a bonus) use restraint to limit the defense of his shop to one justifiable homicide.  Had Mr. Beckwith been restricted to just 10 rounds of ammunition in any magazine, chances are, he would have been run over while reloading by the car he stared down while using his AR-15.  This would have allowed the criminals to flee the scene before the police arrived, and chances are thousands of dollars worth of arms and ammunition would have ended up in the hands of countless criminals.  This article shows how lawful use of Class III weapons in the hands sensible and responsible gun owners can level the playing field against multiple threats, and that using such weapons is not directly related to mass murder (but quite the contrary).

Read the article (and if anyone has the original, please send a PDF scan of it my way and I'll see if I can't get in contact with the author and publisher to host it), take note, and use it in your letters to your representatives. 

Hat tip to AK Fan. 

Stark Reminder of USA Gun Rights

Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are something that most of us here in the USA take for granted.  We are very fortunate to have not only the law on our side, but also legal precedent to enforce and codify the civil right enumerated in both our Constitution and our history.  

Unfortunately for our northern neighbors, the Canucks aren't as lucky.  As can be read about here, the legal precedent and enumerated protections are both not part of the Canadian legal system.  Further, and what is worse, even though historical right to self defense exists for the citizens of Canada, the doctrine isn't necessarily recognized or held with such convictions for their government overlords.  These believes are evidenced by the over zealous, anti-gun, anti-freedom prosecutors to our North who arrange deals with criminals by trading reduced sentences for testimony against gun owners who use arms in self defense.

I would not only call this a failure of justice, but more appropriately the persecution of the lawful.  (After all, no criminal would ever have reason to lie to avoid more jail time when sanctioned by a prosecutor, right)? 

Take note of two things from this article: 1) That a citizenry that doesn't exercise or stand up for their rights looses them on a prima facia scale, and 2) For as much fighting against our enemies and infighting that our various supporters and groups have, we are still have the best laws and the best lobbying, education, legal, and training groups in the world (save for maybe Switzerland or Israel).  The point being, that as Canada lurches more left on the individual freedom afford by arms and the defense they provide, We The People, continue to move forward.  Let this remind us (along with the events of the last several weeks) that progress is not a constant.  Nor is progress easy, but as long as you aren't moving severely backwards, the end goal of advancing freedom can remain in our sights.  (Gun pun intended). 

01 February 2011

Goreacle Off His Rocker: Warming to Blame for Snow!

I shouldn't even link to this, but in reality, it's too good not to link!  The Goreacle (aka Al Gore, aka Algore) has stated on his blog that massive snow storms are due to "the warming." 

I'm not sure who died and made this hypocrite the spokesmen of the planet, but I'm pretty sure (and even as he admits) it takes cold f'ing air to make snow.  Cold is the opposite of warm, and can typically be associated with winter.  However, when seasons get in the way of agenda, don't let that slow ya down. 

Though, as a skier, I don't mind the powder, but I certainly hate the ice storms.  Maybe the windbag from Tennessee can be so kind to blow a little of his hot air up here to Marylandstan.

NOTE:  Mr. Gore does not enable comments on his blog, so as to provide balance, we will enable people to post comments here. 

World Wide Caution?

State department has issued a world wide caution for travelers.

So, ah...is this TEOTWAWKI?