All the News That's Fit to be Tied

I have an axe to grind, but unlike the New York Times, I freely admit it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Gun control is a fool’s argument

I may well have offered to many concessions on my original gun control compromise because the intransigence of the liberal left has made me realize that, like Islamic Radicals, any concession you make is viewed as a weakness and a reason to move the goalpost instead of reaching an accord. In my original post I offered a ban on weapons that could be converted from semi-automatic to automatic and potentially a civilian ban on handguns. For liberals this is not enough so I renege and take the position of Planned Parenthood and NARAL on abortion: Any restriction imposed on abortion (guns) is an opportunity for the opposition to increase those restrictions (The infamous “slippery slope.”). Unless we can ban mental illness or crazy people there is no way any form of gun control can prevent people like Adam Lanza or the Colorado gunman or anyone else for that matter from using guns to kill others. The man in China killed 24 with a knife. Schoolchildren were killed in Chechnya with a Bomb. One million children are killed every year by abortion and no guns were required for those killings. Gun control is a fool’s argument.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Automatic vs Semi-Automatic Gun Control

Is there such a thing as sensible gun control? Is there an accommodation between some guns or no guns, some guns or all guns, some weapons or no weapons? This is the battle that always emerges with each side trying to turn the argument into all or nothing and no space in between. If the extreme liberal left had its way everything except single shot 22’s, bb guns and double-barrel shotguns would be prohibited. If the extreme right had its way only tanks, bazookas and flame throwers would be prohibited. So for the rest of us there is plenty of middle ground if we could just operate there. The last assault weapons ban had one major flaw; it did not exclude “assault” weapons. The liberal left had widened the definition of assault weapons into include semi-automatic weapons and as a result permitted the semi-automatic  rifles like the AR-15, the AK-47 and other military style weapons to be included in the vast arsenal of hunting rifles like Winchester and Mossberg semi-automatic weapons. In fact Diane Feinstein’s proposed weapons bill has 900 semi-automatic exemptions and grandfathers all current guns currently in private hands. Perhaps a simple change in definition could help the Congress come up with a sensible bill that could pass both Houses, preserve the Second Amendment and eliminate assault weapons in the public market. Instead of semi-automatic weapons, why not ban automatic weapons and those can be transformed into automatic weapons. (The AR-15 and the AK-47 are perfect examples that can operate in semi-auto and automatic mode.) For those who do not know the difference: Semi-automatic are rifles that automatically load and eject cartridges and require a finger pull to fire each round. Automatic weapons fire continuously as long as the trigger is in the firing position. This latter category is the weapon typically called an assault weapon. In contrast most modern hunter and sports models are semi-automatic, is it’s easy to see how the desire to ban all guns has confused the issue and made the prohibition of assault weapons unattainable. I think most people would agree that automatic weapons as well as bazookas, tanks and flame throwers are not sportsman or hunter weapons and could easily fit in an assault weapons ban. It would include the most dangerous automatic weapons that can operate in semi-automatic mode and make their possession illegal for most civilians. At the same time it would protect owners of the semi-automatic weapons in use by most hunters, sportsman and target shooters. Even this ban would not have prevented the carnage in Connecticut, but a ban of automatic weapons is overdue. However, if you team up a federal requirement for possession of a handgun with an assault weapons ban you have a real chance of limting the carnage that occurred last week. A national handgun requirement would mean that most people would only qualify to have rifles, which are much more difficult to hide than handguns and reduce the chances they can be used as they were in many of the public shootings that have occurred. I find myself very ambivalent on this topic, but I agree that we must start someplace.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boehner Should Return to Regular Order

It strikes me starnge that John Boehner is bargaining with the President. There is a legislative procedure. The House sends legislation to the Senate and when both agree the President signs it and it become law. So why is the Speaker bargaining with the President? The House should be bargaining with the Senate in a House/Senate Conference Committee. Doing so will put the Reid Democratic Senate on the spot, which is where the spot belongs. The Senate has not passed a budget for four years and refuses to bring up House bills for debate. Obama is just covering for Reid and Boehner should restore the proper procedure so an agreement can be reached. Boehner should break off discussions with the President, call for regular order, and let the Senate take its rightful place in this mess. His response to the President should be "there is a procedure and I intend to follow it."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Party of No Return

I feel as though I have awakened into a new world; A Bizarro world where everything is backwards and the past only a few weeks old. In the few weeks since the election the Republican party has become the party of raising taxes, which of course requires a complete eradication of history back to George Bush's famous "read my lips" speech. Somehow people have been convinced that over a ten year period $850 billion in new taxes on the top 2% is going to have a significant effect on $30 trillion dollars in spending. (For those of you who like math that's .028%.) You notice they tell us how much we are going to save, but not how much we are going to spend. The number between $850B and $30T is pretty big, so if you think you are going to get a tax break that is your brain on drugs. The point here is that through sheer trickery or Republican ineptness Speaker Boehner and company are now in the position of defending tax increases to pander to the class warfare crowd. Somehow it is beyond their ability to point out that while they fought to lower everyone's taxes in 2002 it was the Democrats who insisted on the Sunset rule that would end the tax cuts in 2008. That was the deal Bush 43 had to cut the get everyone's rates lowered. People's taxes must go up, not to punish the top 2%, but to pay for a government that is spending a $1 trillion more every year than it was before 2008, not including the stimulus of that year. Yes, your government is spending a trillion dollars more every year, and that is why the taxpayers need protection from this ever-expanding bureaucratic nightmare. That is why we must cut spending starting with the so-called Fiscal Cliff negotiations. The Democrats must not be permitted to increase taxes now and cut spending later because if they are there will never be cuts in spending. Republicans should be fighting to make all the Bush cuts permanent and put the stopper on uncontrolled government spending. There can be no backing off by Republicans who must stay in the fight to reduce taxes or forever become the Party of No Return.