Why Gun Control “Common Sense” Scares Me

I perused the news on Sunday morning expecting more of the same coverage of Japan, debates over whether the government is trampling on worker’s “Rights” by limiting collective bargaining, or nonsense about how the Republican Party is frustrated that the Democrats are not taking spending cuts seriously (as if the GOP’s proposed 1% cut was “serious”). Instead I stumbled upon the President’s nifty little Op-Ed on increasing the background check process in order to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals. I have to admit that it angered me. But not simply because it is another attempt to paint the gun control issue as a minor thing. Instead my ire was raised because my wounds were still so fresh. Allow me to explain.

As many of you know, I solicited advice a few weeks ago around which shotgun would be the correct one for me to purchase as a means of self-defense for my home. What I didn’t do was follow up with everyone as to what my decision ended up being or how that entire shopping trip ended up. The reason I solicited advice when I did was because the Capital City Gun Show was coming up here locally. I made my decisions on what I wanted to purchase and I headed out to the local gun show to see what deals might be available. I wasn’t looking to do any handgun purchasing there. Just the shotgun and perhaps a modification or two that I was considering to best equip it for home defense.

I arrived at the gun show, found what I was looking for, and informed the kind gentleman behind the counter that I would like to purchase said shotgun and I was willing to to pay $XXX for it. We bartered back and forth and finally arrived at a suitable figure for each of us. He handed me Form 4473, the application to purchase a weapon. The form basically gets your personal information and asks you a series of questions to ensure that you qualify to purchase a weapon according to the FBI. The dealer then calls in to give the information to the FBI, known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. I was annoyed to have to jump through government hoops to do something as simple as purchase a shotgun for defense of my home should someone kick in my door. But it is the federal government, so whatcha gonna do…

Imagine my shock when the dealer returned to me and said, with a sheepish look on his face, “I am really sorry, dude, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation says you are denied the right to purchase a gun.”

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?

I started going through my brain. Did I commit some crime I was forgetting? After all, I wasn’t always such a nice guy, maybe I strayed too far once. But NO. I spent three enlistments in the United States Army. While there I passed the FBI’s background check process for my security clearance. And that took months, yet I was denied in 30 seconds. I have worked in Washington DC (perhaps that should be made a crime, but hasn’t yet been done), been privy to classified information, and never gave up information to anyone I wasn’t supposed to. I have been a model citizen for the last 20+ years of adulthood. I have not been arrested for anything, charged with anything, or even done so much as thrown a punch at someone in over a decade. I have no history of domestic violence. I haven’t touched illegal drugs since I was a teenager and I don’t drink alcohol. I am a natural born citizen and have never renounced my citizenship. And neither I, nor any of my family or friends that I am aware of, are or ever have been members of the Communist Party.

So what gives? On what grounds was I, USWeapon, Patriot and champion of peaceful resolutions, the guy who carries spiders outside rather than killing them, denied the right to purchase a shotgun to protect my home with? “No Idea. All you can do is write in and formally appeal the decision with the FBI,” says gun show guy. So let me get this straight, I thought. The United States government had no problem with giving me some bad ass weaponry to tote around the world with the specific intent of using good judgement to shoot people when I deemed necessary. But now, when I simply want to purchase a shotgun so that criminals cannot feel free to kick in my door, Uncle Sam decides that I am no longer to be trusted with a gun in my hands?

So I filed a formal appeal with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I received my answer back from them yesterday. I was, according to their nifty little note, denied because their records show that me, or someone with a similar name or description (I shit you not, that is what the letter says), was convicted of a felony that resulted in sentence of one or more years in prison. Now, I have gotten a little wasted back in my drinking days, but I think if I had been convicted of a felony that resulted in my being in prison for a year or more, I would remember it. And what is with the “you, or someone with a similar name or description” bullshit? I have a fairly common name. And I am average height, brown hair and eyes. Doesn’t that mean nearly half the country has a “similar description”?

But they plainly admit that their “thorough” 30 second background check may have made a mistake. If I would like to further appeal, I can do so. Here is what I have to do. Take the fingerprint card they provided, go down to the local sheriff’s office and pay them the $10 processing fee to have my fingerprints done. Send those fingerprints and documentation showing that I have not been convicted of a felony (does the government keep records of the crimes I didn’t commit?) to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They will conduct a thorough investigation (hopefully somewhat more thorough than the extensive one that caused this mess) and get back to me with their decision within 8-12 weeks of my submission. 8-12 weeks after the additional legwork that I have to do because they can’t get their shit straight.

Now before anyone gets the idea that they now have 8-12 weeks to plan an assault on the USWeapon household, I must admit that the next day Mrs. Weapon accompanied me to said gun show. Mrs. Weapon is now the proud owner of a tactical shotgun.

But why should I be denied the right to bear arms? Why should I, who pays my taxes, obeys the laws, peaceably saves spiders, and who constantly tries to do the right thing, have my Constitutional rights infringed upon?

And now the President comes forth with his little Op-Ed. He says things such as, “The Second Amendment and court precedent guarantee an individual’s right to bear arms, but improved and expanded background checks are needed.” Expanded background checks? You mean we need more incompetent decisions from a bureaucratic system that can’t tell the difference between a former US military guy with a security clearance and some felon who has been in prison for a year or more?

Obama went on to say that he is “willing to bet that responsible gun owners would support laws to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few — dangerous criminals and fugitives, for example — from getting their hands on guns.” But therein lies the problem. The difference between what responsible gun owners define as “an irresponsible, law-breaking few” and what the government defines as the same are too way different things. Allow me to expand on that. Upon getting my denial, I immediately went on to the internet forums, specifically to some of the Special Operations forums to ask guys there their experiences with NICS denials. What I read was abhorrent. A few examples of things that resulted in appeals being denied after the process was completed:

  • One guy’s only criminal activity consisted of hanging his college’s flag on a stick taped to the hand of the statue of the founder on a rival college’s campus. He was 19. Charged with vandalism, given 6 months probation for a college stunt that caused no actual damages.
  • Another was stationed overseas while his stateside wife, who was having an affair while claiming to be working out their differences, filed for a restraining order requiring that he remain 300 feet from her. He was 9000 miles away with two more years on his tour. He didn’t even know about the restraining order, or understand why she requested it.
  • Another was charged with DUI in college. It seems he moved the campus police’s golf cart from the front of the building to the rear of the building as a joke while they were inside checking on a noise complaint. He was a 21 year old Senior. When questioned, he admitted he moved the cart. No damage was done.

There were others like these three examples. Were they being completely honest with their answers? I think so given the integrity of the men who serve in Special Operations. And these were guys who, after serving their country honorably, were denied the right to own a gun even after the more extensive appeals process. Is this what we mean by keeping guns out of the hands of the “irresponsible, law-breaking few, dangerous criminals and fugitives”? Because I have to tell you that it doesn’t jive with what those words mean to me.

So what will an expanded background check look like? Will we now be forced to submit to a credit check prior to purchasing a weapon? Don’t say that is crazy. Did anyone 20 years ago think that a credit check would become a common part of the background check in order to get a job? Yet here we are today with that being commonplace. Why? Because poor credit is an indicator of financial struggle, which increases the risk that the potential employee will steal from the company to make ends meet. Well if that is the case, doesn’t poor credit increase the risk that the potential gun owner will rob a convenience store to make ends meet? So credit scores should be part of the background check to purchase a firearm.

How about required psychological testing? After all, being mentally unstable does not necessarily mean that there is any sort of criminal history, or any documented history at all. The news is rife with stories of people who “snapped” under stress from losing a job or a marriage. So how can we be sure that if we sell you a gun today, that you won’t snap when you lose your job because it is outsourced to China or when your wife leaves you for the pool boy (when you didn’t even have a pool!)? We can’t. Therefore we are justified in requiring that you undergo, at your expense because Obamacare doesn’t pay for things like this, psychological testing to ensure that you are mentally stable enough to responsibly own a firearm.

According to the article, “Obama suggested three areas for reform: enforcement of gun control laws already on the books through better implementation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; rewards for states that keep the best data, and a faster and nimbler network that provides an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing.”

On one hand I want to agree that there are changes needed. His call for a faster, nimbler, network that provides and instant, accurate, comprehensive, and consistent system for background checks, certainly caught my attention. I can’t say that we can ask for a “nimbler” system than one that returns denials in 30 seconds. But more accurate would certainly be OK in my book. I would certainly like something more nimble than an 8-12 week appeal process.

But why is it that I don’t believe that the left’s version of a system that better serves the background check process is similar to my version of a better system? Why is it that I don’t believe that the left’s version of a more accurate and extensive background check is remotely similar to my version of a more accurate and extensive background check. Why is it that I feel like President Obama’s call for gun control reform is little more than a nice way of say that he wants to make it harder for the average American to get a gun?

We already know that criminals will have a gun. You know why? Because they don’t follow the damn gun laws. So why are we once again hearing the President start harping on increasing gun control?

I say no more laws around this. As a matter of fact it is time to start repealing some of the Bullshit laws that are already on the books. There is no justifiable reason to deny people the right to own automatic rifles or to submit to ridiculous processes in order to simply own a gun for self defense. The time has come to fight harder against the constant assault on Second Amendment rights. I am done asking nice. Get out of my kool-aid federal government. Defend the borders. Build some roads. Make sure people’s rights are not infringed upon. Outside of that, shut up and go away.

.

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Read the Fox News story on the President’s Op-Ed here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/13/obama-pens-op-ed-calling-better-gun-sale-background-checks/#ixzz1GXRG7SqE

 

Comments

  1. USW don’t you think that they should do background checks to see if someone buying a gun is doing a straw purchase? I mean if a woman goes into a gun shop and buys a shotgun, or a handgun that isn’t pink, it is obviously a straw purchase and they should be denied too.

    The absolute worst argument made by people that do not want handguns for anyone is that you can use something else to defend yourself with. The biggest problem with that is who do you think will win, a 6’4” 250 lb criminal coming at a 5’0” 110 lb elderly woman with a baseball bat?

    If people are not legally able to own firearms, what can the woman defend herself with? If she had a gun, the outcome might not change but at least she would have a fighting chance to defend herself.

    “God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal.”

    • Guess they should also do background checks to see if people let other people borrow their trucks.

      He shoots at roommate who didn’t refill the gas tank
      Monday, March 14, 2011
      The Associated Press
      A Westmoreland County man has been jailed on aggravated assault and other charges because police say he fired several shots at his roommate because she didn’t refill his pickup truck with gasoline after using it.

      State police in Greensburg say 30-year-old Joseph F. Demarco fired shots at the 22-year-old woman inside and outside the home they shared in Hempfield. Police say the woman was not wounded and was being shot at while she dialed 911 Saturday afternoon.

      Police said there were many bullet holes inside and outside of the house.

      Read more: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/11073/1131937-100.stm#ixzz1Ga7lHH2D

  2. Richmond Spitfire says:

    Here we go again…Proactive talk and potential legislation in anticipation of potential crime (precrime).

    Let me put on my tinfoil cap for a sec…US Weapon…have you considered the slim possiblity that you are on some $hitlist because of this site? Just have to throw that tiny little bomb out there….Heck you probably set off D_”H”_S sirens because of your humble posters!!! lol

    It’s been a while since I’ve purchased a handgun, so I don’t remember…but, were you required to include your SSN on that form? If so, one would think that from a technological standpoint that all the various data tanks out there should be able to be mixed together properly to be able to provide a sanitized list of accurate data. Also, I seem to remember that in VA, our background checks go to the State Police (but, they probably bump up against Feeb(le) data).

    Yes, you are experiencing the “Red Tape” Big Gov’t experience…so sorry.

    Looking forward to comments today on this subject… My “Constitutional” consitution tells me that NO ONE should be denied methods by which to protect him/herself; my “Mommy” feelings are a bit different!

    Best Regards to you and the Mrs…can’t wait to hear how she does with her new toy!

    RS

    • USWeapon says:

      Good Morning RS! Great to hear from you, a great start to my week!

      I have considered that my writing this blog has had negative impact. I was audited by the IRS last year for the first time in my life. This year I am denied the ability to purchase a weapon. Perhaps next year it will be that I appear on the no-fly list. If that happens, I am going to start wearing my own shiny hat…..

      You were not required to put your social security number on the form. However, it was an option. I chose to do so as I wasn’t concerned about my past. However, in their extensive 30 second approval process, giving my social was apparently no help in distinguishing between me and “someone with a similar name or description.”

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      I agree. If he provided SSN, DOB and other PII he should not have been denied.

      • Common Man says:

        Ray

        That depends entirely on the store or dealer he wanted to purchase the weapon from. If they get anything other than a “A” which means approval, then there may be a policy in place that prevents them from selling the weapon. There are 3 answers A = Approved, D = Denied and P = Pending, which means it warrants additional investigation. Places like Bass Pro Shop and Cabelas won’t sell you the gun if anything but an A comes back. And in Michigan you can’t even buy a handgun until you have gone through a complete investigation and obtained a purchase permit from the state. And that purchase permit only allows you to purchase the specific pistol you noted in the permit. Of course once you have a CCW you can buy anything you want at any time.

        CM

  3. Buck the Wala says:

    “If people are not legally able to own firearms…”

    No one is suggesting that all firearms be made illegal. But what is wrong with background checks?

    Given there will be errors made, such as what happened to USW, regardless of the regulatory scheme put in place, but surely we can work towards minimizing those mistakes.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Buck,

      It sounds more like they are just making it harder to purchase firearms. Anything the government does is a disaster, just look at their fiscal situation.

    • Buck, the problem is, there are ALREADY background checks. When there are errors, the appeal process makes it too much a problem to get an error corrected. Why should USW have to pay, or wait 3 months because some government hack screwed up?

      Now, background checks also are an invasion of privacy, but I do not have a huge problem with keeping guns away from violent felons. Away from all felons? I dunno. It is a felony to get caught with weed, but I know some people who were when they were younger. There are, in fact, a lot of felonies that are dumb college kid sort of mistakes that should not prevent them, decades later, from owning a weapon for whatever reason they choose.

      Furthermore, there is the issue of what a background check entails. Check for police record, sure, but do we need to check financial record? How about medical background? Family history? Psych testing? A lot of stuff can fall under the guise of “background checks” and sound really good and reasonable in a sound bite, but it is still a blatant encroachment on second amendment rights.

      Finally, I seriously would not be suprised if Richmond Spitfire is on to something with the red flag list. Will I have the problem USW did despite nothing on my record except a couple traffic tickets and a bankruptcy? If so, will it be because of the bankruptcy or because of thelibertarianblog.com? There is too much bureaocracy, and in it can be hidden too many other things. Just because I am paranoid of government does not mean they are not out to get me. 🙂

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Jon – if you fat finger your computer password should it just default to letting you in anyway? If your house key gets bent and you cannot unlock your house should the door default to open?

        • If I fatfinger my keyboard I get to try again without waiting 8-12 weeks or spending money. If my house key is bent I use my spare. If the government hack screws up my background check it costs 10 bucks and a bunch of legwork and a lengthy appeals process.

          A better correlation is, if a bank teller fatfingers the keyboard and deposits your money in the wrong account, should it cost YOU money and weeks on weeks to get your money back where it belongs? If a contractor replacing your door screws up and gives you the wrong keys should you just have to pay him to come out again to fix it the second time?

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            Where did a “government hack” screw up the background check? There was obviously some automated criteria that he hit on that needs to be cleaned up or addressed. He would have or should have known that was part of the risk in the process of trying to buy the gun.

            I didn’t want to state the obvious – but USW is coming awfully close to straw man in that he has stated that he deliberately had someone else go make the purchase for him – perhaps husband/wife/same house is a safe harbor – but his approach to acquire the gun is the same path used by 1000s of criminals.

            I’m surprised no one has caught onto that.

            • Ray:
              USW has security clearance, no criminal record, exemplary service record in the U.S. Military complete with more weapons training than any cop on the streets. If there is something that needs to be cleaned up or addressed it is an error in government records. Computers and automated systems work with the data they are given. So some government hack obviously fatfingered the data.

              Either that, or there is some deliberate attempt to red flag a law abiding citizen and do a denial for some reason that there is no legal precedent for denial.

              And you are incorrect about the “approach used by 1000s of criminals”. The number of crimes committed using legally purchased guns is miniscule, meaning that, if criminals are getting their wives to buy guns for them, they certainly are not using them to commit more crimes. So if, indeed, you are right and thousands of FORMER criminals are using this method to skirt regulations, the point remains moot since such purchases are not ending in violent or criminal activity.

              Finally, the point of the purchase was to have a home defense weapon that Mrs. Weapon could use. That is why it was a 16ga. shotgun instead of a 12ga. That is why the one USW chose was what it was. It was not for him to begin with. The right person made the purchase.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Jon

                Jon Said: “USW has security clearance, no criminal record, exemplary service record in the U.S. Military complete with more weapons training than any cop on the streets. If there is something that needs to be cleaned up or addressed it is an error in government records. Computers and automated systems work with the data they are given. So some government hack obviously fatfingered the data.”

                Ray responds – just to clarify – USW HAD a security clearance. Once you pass an SF-86 you are not given clearance for life. His clearance status, if anything, is “inactive”. Clearances mean next to nothing nowadays – there are hundreds of thousands of people with clearance and its childs play to get an exception passed when trying to get clearance. Also – neither of us have any idea what specific criteria are weighed and how during the check process (or maybe you do?). I doubt some “hack” messed up the check.

                Jon Said: “And you are incorrect about the “approach used by 1000s of criminals”. The number of crimes committed using legally purchased guns is miniscule, meaning that, if criminals are getting their wives to buy guns for them, they certainly are not using them to commit more crimes.”

                Huh? How are you defining what a straw purchase is Jon? And how do you assert that just because a criminal has his wife buy one then they are certainly not going to use it to commit more crime? Please explain.

                Also – no where in his posting did he mention that the weapon was for Mrs. USW. Only that the weapon was intended for home defense and that he was denied purchase of the weapon.

                Let me be clear – I am not a lawyer and do not know if there is an “exception” scenario for a purchase such as this where the husband was denied purchase and it is thereby legal for the wife to return and purchase the weapon for the original party (if it were intended to be hers to begin with then why didn’t she try and make the original purchase?). The situation feels unsettling and I don’t know that I would have stated in the article that he took her to the gun show and had her purchase the gun. She maybe the legal owner, but I would have left that out. That’s all.

              • True, the security clearance is from a previous time. If, however, they are so easy to get, why so much faith in a background check? The things they check for in a security clearance are more extensive than what is supposedly checked for under current legal statutes for gun purchase.

                As I said, some hack messed up the data, not the check. I do not know what is checked, but I know what is SUPPOSED to be checked according to the law. Criminal record and mental health record, by SSN if provided, which it was, as well as a check that the SSN and other provided data are consistent (to make sure one is not using an alternate SSN or other fake ID). My dad is a gunsmith who also has a license to sell, I am pretty familiar with what is being checked, or at least, what he is told is being checked, when he runs a background check for a customer.

                I am not defining a straw purchase, I am arguing against your assertion that 1000s of criminals use this tactic. I am basing my statement on statistical use of legally purchased guns used in crime. I am seeking consistent data, since what I am seeing varies from 0.1% to 10%. I think hard data will be buried on page 347 of google under the tons of politicized citing of stats from both sides of this issue. I will get links as soon as I can.

                In USW’s original post seeking advice on what weapon to choose he did, indeed, explain the purpose of the weapon was for home defense, and he was clear that he wanted to choose a weapon that Mrs. Weapon could use, and that the criteria for purchase were based around that. As for why he made the purchase initially, I suppose it was because he was the more knowledgeable and it just made sense, since there was absolutely no reason for him to be denighed purchase based on his legal background. If anything, it should have been easier for him, because his background included safety training as well.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @Jon

                I would not completely hang my hat on this – but I think it provides enough ground to at least assert that 1000s of guns are acquired via Straw Man.

                http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/inside-straw-purchases.pdf

              • Actually Ray, I do not deny that 1000s of guns are acquired this way. My argument was against your original statement: “his approach to acquire the gun is the same path used by 1000s of criminals.” This may be true if you are classifying former criminals as still “criminals”, but the use of these legal guns to actually commit crime does not match with the number acquired by using an alternate person to purchase. To me that means that a lot of people who have felonies on their record, which is a very large number of people, most of whom never committed a violent crime, maybe using a straw purchase to have a gun in the household, but that does not mean they are “criminals” nor that those guns are being used to commit crime or violent acts on the streets. So, are there a lot of straw purchases? Yes, I think so. Do they get used for crime? It appears comparatively rare, especially in cases of a significant other doing the purchase. An individual who is buying them and selling on the street at a profit might be a possibility, but even that will get traced to him eventually, unless the guns are being stripped of identifying marks, which is indeed happening some.

                So, is a proxy buyer a potential problem? Sure. Is a guys wife buying the gun because his record didnt pass muster a problem? Nah, I dont think so.

              • Correct clarification Ray. My security clearance is no longer active as I have been out of the military for a decade.

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Exactly Ray, The law is easy to get around. It’s a failure. When it denies law abiding citizens for no good reason, then they will use the same measures the criminals use, bypass a bad system.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                But that’s not an argument to do away with any checks whatsoever. Its an argument to fix the system.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                Unless they have full gun control, the system can’t be fixed. Even then, the black market will just expand (and yes there is a black market). They are trying to control the uncontrollable, which is a waste of more money.

              • Buck, that may be true, but the fix needs to include, not only an increase in accuracy, but a clear and open explaination of what is being checked and why. I am all for making it more accurate, not only to reduce errors like USW experienced, but to make “other reasons” impossible to hide as an “error”. In other words, if there is some FBI list out there that red flags people who dislike the government’s actions, an accurate system will make that hard to hide. If that is not the case, an accurate system will make folks less paranoid about it. 🙂

            • Ray,

              I appreciate your desire to cast me as breaking the law in having my wife purchase a gun for me since I was unable to make the purchase at the time. 🙂

              However, as Jon noted, in the original article that I posted requesting other’s advice, I specifically noted that this shotgun was meant for Mrs. Weapon’s use. She isn’t familiar with firearms so something that didn’t require quite the accuracy was the desire. I noted in that article that for myself I would be purchasing a handgun at some point in the future.

              In the end, I was buying the gun on day one because she didn’t want to go to the gun show and choose it, believing that my expertise on weapons would lead me to choose for her the proper shotgun. When I was unable to purchase the weapon, she returned and purchased it herself. She clearly annotated on the appropriate paperwork that the gun was for her use, to be owned by her, and kept in her home. No strawman purchase necessary. Remember that I was comfortable with no guns when I lived alone, the purpose of purchasing the shotgun was for the inexperienced shooter in the home.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @USW – thin skinned lately? 😉

                I am not attempting to cast you as a law breaker – I am merely pointing out that you may have left yourself open to some legal action given how the law MAY be interpreted.

                With respect to your last posting…..

                (1) You specifically state that you seek a better advantage than a kitana would give you in the event of multiple attackers – a shotgun leveling the playing field where your kitana would or could not. From that alone – if I’m sitting on a jury – I’m thinking that at minimum – you are going to be a primary user/owner of the weapon;

                (2) You state several times that Mrs. USW would also use the weapon – but based on the apparent level of knowledge you have, as well as her apparent lack of knowledge of guns and use of guns – again – if I am on a jury reading this – I am thinking at best she is a co-primary user with you – not a sole primary user with you as secondary (or ostensibly not at home, or warding off one of the attackers with a kitana or other weapon).;

                (3) You also explicitly state that “But I am torn on what shotgun I would prefer to own.” – contextually you are referring to you yourself no? Maybe that is up for debate – maybe by “I” you meant collectively you and your wife. Which is why I said that this particular aspect would have to be weighed by the Court to see if a crime has been committed. I would conclude that you’ve not be a case that the gun was solely for her use and ownership.

                The fact is that you failed the 4473 – which meant it would have been illegal for you to obtain the gun and then gift it to your wife.

                What is unclear is whether you having her return the next day to buy the gun is illegal or not (and considering you have stated previously that you would be a user of the gun).

                Hell – if you’re comfortable you did nothing wrong contact the Bureau and ask them! It’d be nice to at least have the clarification no? 😉

              • USWeapon says:

                Not too thin skinned, my friend.

                I get what you are saying and from a jury perspective maybe it is enough to convict me. I couldn’t claim otherwise. The weapon, in the end, is meant for home defense. My personal opinion, if we are both there and we hear a bump in the night, you and I know which one of us will have that shotgun in hand.

                For our home defense, ideally we will eventually have a pistol for the well trained marksman, and possibly one for Mrs. USW as well (she really liked the .357 hammerless), along with a shotgun for Mrs. USW as she is going to need a weapon with as little accuracy required as possible. That will change eventually as she progresses in training. Also assuming that I am able to clear this mess up with the FBI, I should be cleared in 8-12 weeks.

                You make some very valid points from a “jurist” perspective. I just wanted to take a moment to clear up any misconceptions about who the weapon is for, lest Mr. government snoop is reading along.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @USW – well I hope no one would get a wild hair to prosecute this.

                At any rate – if the system is throwing false positives it is likely also throwing false negatives.

                I find it discouraging you’d be flagged.

                I’m doubtful the system will get better (as doubtful as I am that the Feds will properly implement PKI to prevent another Bradley Manning).

                There is no hope. And the situation will never change.

              • Ray,Ray,Ray-“there is no hope and things will never change”-wayyyyy to negative, there is always hope. You look into the eyes of hope everyday, when you smile at your baby boy. 🙂

    • Buck

      No one is suggesting that all firearms be made illegal. But what is wrong with background checks?

      ALL firearms should be “legal” – and no one has a right to do “background” checks to “allow or deny” some one to have one.

  4. gmanfortruth says:

    Good Morning to All 🙂

    USW, That had to be very embarrassing. While I understand certain limitations for the mentally ill and those convicted of Felonies, being denied for any other reason should be cause for sueing the Federal government. Crap, next thing you know they’ll be denying over parking tickets.

    There are NO common sense gun control laws, just bureaucrats and people who lack common sense.

    • Buck the Wala says:

      “While I understand certain limitations for the mentally ill and those convicted of Felonies…”

      “There are NO common sense gun control laws…”

      Seems like you just proved there are certain common sense gun control laws — limitations for the mentally ill and criminals — which would (in my opinion) necessitate the need for background checks for all purchasers to determine at least whether they are mentally ill and/or convicted criminals.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        While the two are mentioned are current law, it seems as though the background check system in place is somewhat a mess. Per USW’s article, denials were made for other reasons that do not conform to that law. So, is it acceptable to say that the current check system is either broken, or being perversed for political reasons.

        If a system is to be in place, it should be clear as what constitutes a denial, not the BS USW got. That’s why I purchase from private gun owners. No checks, no denials.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Completely agree — there need to be very clear and concise critera for denials.

        • A mess, in part, because the denial itself admitted that it was a lousy, innaccurate check. Similar name or description? My name is friggin Jon Smith, I am of average height and build as well, I have no distinguishing marks, background and credit checks already take longer for me than the average person because of my name. If the FBI check is not on me personally, but on “people of similar name or description” then I can pretty much be sure of a denial.

          That is NOT common sense.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Every single gun law that has been imposed has failed. When D.C. had there law, they were one of the deadliest cities in the country. I can go on and on, but gun control of any kind has proven to be a failure.

            • Ray Hawkins says:

              G-man – if a law is passed to ban the same of automatic weapons…..an no automatic weapons were sold…..then it was a success. If the objective was to keep automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals….then it likely failed for some of the same reasons USW quoted above.

              The problem comes back to the objective of the law. Without a stated objective the law can be seen to fail and succeed simultaneously.

              • Ray, if automatic weapons exist, there will be sales. No sales on record is irrelevant.

                Britain and Australia banned guns completely. They did reduce their gun crime because it was harder to get guns, even through the black market.

                They did not reduce violent crime.

                They did not eliminate gun crime.

                Worth it? Not so much.

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                “if automatic weapons exist, there will be sales. No sales on record is irrelevant. ”

                And the sales would thus be illegal Jon. A narrow law as such is only going to fail without complementary laws.

                “Britain and Australia banned guns completely. They did reduce their gun crime because it was harder to get guns, even through the black market.

                They did not reduce violent crime.

                They did not eliminate gun crime.

                Worth it? Not so much.”

                You’re almost asserting that any reduction in gun crime was not a reduction in violent crime? You’re assigning little/no value to this reduction in gun crime?

                Was hoping you could be more specific and referential.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                A Country that bans firearms is “EVIL” because they are essentially taking away the rights of their citizens to protect themselves….

              • Ray Hawkins says:

                @RS – there are a multitude of ways to protect yourself that do not require a gun.

                And no one is talking about banning firearms altogether.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Seriously Ray, I do have a cute smile with the dimples and all, but my smile only protects me from the ire of my husband (and my Dad when I was a little girl)…

                The point that I was making is that the Gov’ts of Australia and England are EVIL for the gun bans that are in place.

                Best Regards,
                RS

              • @RS

                On a scale of 1 -10 how evil are we talking about? Is the US government righteous in your eyes?

              • @JS

                No Australia and the UK have not banned guns completely, the sale of handguns is prohibited in the UK apart from some exemptions but you can still purchase shotguns and rifles.

  5. Ray Hawkins says:

    My fast food menu of gun control……

    Plan A
    (1) Invest deeply and immediately in improving the NICS – integrate NICS with gun manufacturers, licensed gun dealers and all levels of law enforcement. Integrate asset management into the system;

    (2) Scope gun sales laws to permit only licensed dealers to sell guns. Outlaw all other forms of guns sales. Implement exception system to enable “personal sales” or “personal transfer” of a gun with aforementioned licensed dealer acting as an escrow;

    (3) Use existing methods of background check with inclusion of DNA testing to postively validate identity of purchaser. Used new integrated NICS system to postively associate gun ownership to a specific individual;

    (4) Signficantly increase criminal penalties with illegal gun sales and trafficking – mandatory Federal crime, mandatory life in prison – even on 1st offence;

    (5) Require cooling off period for any gun purchase (e.g. one week);

    (6) Require evidence of training in gun safety of all gun owners. Require periodic refresh of training and evidence of medical fitness (e.g. eyesight, no seizures, no mental illness);

    (7) Outlaw the sale of ammunition. Ammunition can only be purchased via designated law enforcement sales centers. Illegal sale of ammunition punishable by minimum life in prison;

    (8) Outlaw automatic weapons, extended clips, etc – illegal possession of such punishable by life in prison or a one way ticket to Eastern Afghanistan;

    Plan B

    (1) Eliminate any and all definitions of “arms”. Any attempt to define what an arm is or what is “too much arms” is pointless anyway;

    (2) Eliminate all gun control laws;

    (3) Allow guns to be carried anyway/everywhere by everyone – that way the “stigma” of someone carrying gets removed and we won’t be scared by it anymore;

    (4) Eliminate or minimize “accidental shooting”laws – or reduce them to minor misdemeanors. Accidents can and will happen. Let’s accept that and move on with a minor slap on the wrist;

    Plan C

    (1) Find a middle ground that makes sen………..wait…..there is no middle ground. Its either no restrictions or tight restrictions. Some restrictions is effectively the same as tight restrictions.

    Happy Monday.

    This btw is an issue that will never be resolved. Ever.

    • “Scope gun sales laws to permit only licensed dealers to sell guns. Outlaw all other forms of guns sales. Implement exception system to enable “personal sales” or “personal transfer” of a gun with aforementioned licensed dealer acting as an escrow;”

      I hate this type of attitude towards personal sales. That means that great great great grandpappys civil war musket has to be transferred through a licensed dealer instead of passing through the family. But how else are you going to be able to tax (we all know that the ‘fee’ that the government will charge will actually be a tax) family heirlooms over and over again, or bog down gun sales because of all the red tape of transferring a common sense gun sale. Or put them on the gun registry because of all those criminals using antique rifles.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        (1) Don’t tax the personal sale – and don’t force people to roll into an estate transfer that also gets taxed.

        (2) Point is to eliminate straw sales. Legit sales can still follow and flow.

        (3) The great-great-great-great grandson should have to follow the same scrutiny as an average buyer. A “personal sale” or “gift” is just a clever way (potentially) for someone to evade being the registered owner of the gun (from Plan A)

    • Sure it will, but not until we have a revolution. 😛

    • (3) Use existing methods of background check with inclusion of DNA testing to postively validate identity of purchaser. Used new integrated NICS system to postively associate gun ownership to a specific individual;

      Ray, any ideal how much this biometric national identification system would cost to design, implement and maintain? If it passed SCOTUS privacy challenges. Medical personal privacy is still an issue on stopping crazy people from getting guns.(you can blame it on Buck & Co)LOL

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        We already have National DNA databases – just needs to be extended.

        It would cost a shitload of money and take years to get fully operational.

        It may never work properly and would be subject to error.

        (Just reminder LOI – I’m just kicking the tires on Plan A.) 😉

        • “just kicking the tires”

          Understood. The concern on most gun control laws goes back to other laws and promises. When the income tax law was first proposed, it was limited to only the wealthy and a small tax. Maybe it was later politicians that broke those promises, but where did it end up? SS is another example, it was promised to be kept from the general fund, safe from being “borrowed” from.hehhehheh

          So it’s hard to believe any politician that promises any gun control law will be limited to_fill_in_the_blank_. Ex. They want to ban civilian ownership of the .50 cal. rifle, even though it has never been used to commit a crime in the US.
          If that ban were to be passed, and found constitutional, what would stop them from adding other high power rifles to that ban at a later date?

        • Why not just change your Plan A to ban all guns – it would be just about as accepted and workable as that mess of regulation and government oversight you’d be trusting under the Plan?

          • Ray Hawkins says:

            We could do that, and may not be a bad idea. But that’s require an Amendment which would never occur. It’d be far easier, if we ever went Plan A, to slow roll in that direction. We’d have to socialize you into the concept so you could see the merits of the approach and realize that, “in spirit”, you’d still get to bear arms. In the end it could work out nicely. You’d still be able to hunt (after you buy some ammo from local LE) and time to time do some target practice.

            • Happily, I have no need of buying ammo from ANY store or LE agency. 🙂

              I’ll not succumb to the idea that any more laws will do a danged thing to “protect” the nation by keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them (we can argue over who should or shouldn’t have them some other time). There are sufficient laws on the books, local/state/federal, and all they seem to be is inefficiently enforced.

              All the laws in the world will not protect you from one who chooses to ignore the laws in the first place (just like the police will not, can not, and won’t protect you),

              I look at places like Chicago, New York City, the State of Massachusetts and the very restrictive/prohibitive laws in those locales and see failure – violent gun related crime still exists to the extent that they are constantly crying over it and I know that more laws/rules/regulations are not the answer.

              So, those of you who want even more restrictive guns laws had better choose Plan D, “Dream On.”

    • If it could, then plan B looks better to me…

      • Liberal want big government. Power and control. What could they do with a national identification system? Didn’t Obamacare include access to our bank accounts?

        Move along, nothing to see here……

    • If it could, then plan B looks better to me…

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        We have a Plan B advocate! Thanks Terry! 🙂

        • I would choose plan b over plan a, because plan c will always go towards plan a over time because if middle ground between 0 (no gun control) and 10 (no guns) is 5 in year 1. Then in year 20 middle ground between 5 and 10 is 7.5. Then in year 30 middle ground between 7.5 and 10 is 8.75, etc.

          Middle ground to no gun people is always relative to current laws. Middle ground to no gun control people was a long time ago.

      • Ditto. I vote “Getthegovernmentoutofit” Plan B

    • So this is how freedom dies………..under an avalanche of applause in support of what is considered a pragmatic proposal.

      Revolution is the only solution.

    • Ray,

      But it is not an “issue” requiring a solution!

      That is the myth – that gun control is an “issue”. Is “food control” an issue”. “Speech control” an issue?

      It is not an issue – it is manufactured by those that wish to further protect their monopoly on violence.

  6. Bill Clinton claims the instant background check system stopped 300,000 illegal gun purchases. For example a violent felon is prohibited from owning or attempting to purchase a firearm. Those said felons who attempted to purchase a firearm committed a felony with a mandatory prison sentence….if they were charged.

    http://www.clintonpresidentialcenter.org/the-administration/record-of-accomplishment

    “Obama suggested three areas for reform: enforcement of gun control laws already on the books through better implementation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System”

    He already has the laws, all he has to do is direct the agencies under his control to enforce those laws.

    “their records show that me, or someone with a similar name or description (I shit you not, that is what the letter says), was convicted of a felony that resulted in sentence of one or more years in prison. ”

    So why didn’t they notify your local sheriff who could then investigate? If you were a violent felon and had committed a felony by attempting to purchase a firearm, they could arrest you on the spot, and maybe PREVENT the violent crime said felon might have been planning.

    • Obama wants “rewards for states that keep the best data, and a faster and nimbler network that provides an instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system for background checks to sellers who want to do the right thing.””

      USW say’s ” Expanded background checks? You mean we need more incompetent decisions from a bureaucratic system that can’t tell the difference between a former US military guy with a security clearance and some felon who has been in prison for a year or more?”

      Obama wants to be able to give rewards? So he gets to choose the winners? Cities, states and even individual gun stores who bow to his pressure will be rewarded, even if it bends or breaks the law, rules or procedures?

      I think he wants to lay the foundation for a bureaucratic system that makes it nearly impossible to purchase a gun.
      The SCOTUS decisions mean he cannot make gun ownership illegal, unless he can overturn their rulings in the future. So the liberal end run, make it such a pain in the ash that most citizens give up trying.

  7. gmanfortruth says:

    Hey Ray!

    Ray says “This btw is an issue that will never be resolved. Ever.”

    I think that puts it in a nutshell.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Hey G-Man…..sorry to seem so cynical. Its in the Constitution and there is enough passion on both sides that we’ll likely waver a little left and a little right but nothing ever “extreme”. I would consider it more likely that gun laws would be rolled back before we ever see a Constitutional Amendment rolling back the 2nd. Ain’t gonna happen.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        I agree! I’m trying to not let my passion get overblown, no need for it here. But, using “common sense” and “government” in the same sentence is just silly 🙂

  8. the Clinton Justice Department found that less than two percent of the people arrested for using firearms in homicide got their weapons from gun shows.

    http://gunowners.org/fs0101.htm
    E. Myth: The Brady registration law is dropping crime rates

    * Fact: Anti-gun journal pronounces the failure of the Brady law. One of the nation’s leading anti-gun medical publications, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the Brady registration law has failed to reduce murder rates. In August 2000, JAMA reported that states implementing waiting periods and background checks did “not [experience] reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates.”57

    * Fact: Brady checks are not taking criminals off the streets. Not every person who is denied a firearm is truly a criminal, as many persons have been denied erroneously. But even assuming each denial was legitimate, the Brady law is still not taking criminals off the streets (and thus keeping them from getting firearms).

    The Washington Times reported in 1999 that, “Although federal officials say about 400,000 persons have been prevented from buying guns by the instant check system, only one has been prosecuted by the Department of Justice in the last three years.”58

    * Fact: The Brady law has NOT stopped thugs like Benjamin Smith from going on killing sprees. In 1999, Benjamin Smith was rejected by a background check when he tried to buy a firearm from an Illinois gun dealer. But after this initial rejection, “he hit the streets and in just three days had two handguns” from an illegal source, reported the Associated Press. Three days after getting the guns, Smith went on a rampage that killed two people and wounded nine others.

    * Fact: The Brady Law is not physically keeping criminals from getting firearms. The simple truth is that any person who’s denied a firearm can simply walk out the door and buy a gun down the street. Ohio’s Attorney General, Betty Montgomery, testified to this very irony in the law in 1997:

    In 1996, 60,037 people went to licensed gun dealers to purchase handguns. Of that figure, 327 — less than one half of one percent — were denied because of a disqualifying factor…. [W]hile we were able to keep 327 people from getting a handgun at point A — each of them was able to purchase a rifle or handgun the very same day at point B. To our knowledge, under the Brady Act, not a single one of the 327 people… have been prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department.59

    * Criminals bypass gun controls. A Justice Department survey of felons showed that 93% of handgun predators had obtained their most recent guns “off-the-record.”60 And press reports show that the few criminals who get their guns from retail outlets can easily get fake IDs or use surrogate buyers, known as “straw purchasers,” to buy their guns.61

    * Legal gun shows are not a problem. Some have demonized gun shows and claimed that these are the outlets where criminals supposedly get their weapons. But the Clinton Justice Department found that less than two percent of the people arrested for using firearms in homicide got their weapons from gun shows.62

    * Fact: The Department of Justice has grossly overstated the number of people who were denied firearms. The Indianapolis Star and News reported in 1998 that the U.S. Department of Justice had over-stated the number of people who were denied firearms in Indiana alone by more than 1,300%. Indiana was not an aberration, as the newspaper found that “paperwork errors and duplications inflated the [DOJ’s] numbers” in many states.63

    F. General Accounting Office questions the Brady law’s supposed effectiveness

    * The Brady Law has failed to result in the incarceration of dangerous criminals. After the first year and a half, there were only seven successful prosecutions for making false statements on Brady handgun purchase forms — and only three of them were actually incarcerated.64 With only three criminals sent to jail, one can hardly argue that the law is working to keep violent criminals from getting handguns on the street.

    * The Brady Law has ERRONEOUSLY denied firearms to thousands of applicants. Over fifty percent of denials under the Brady Law are for administrative snafus, traffic violations, or reasons other than felony convictions.

  9. Ray:
    “And the sales would thus be illegal Jon. A narrow law as such is only going to fail without complementary laws.”

    Yes, the sales would be illegal, just like the crimes committed with those guns is illegal. Complementary laws will be irrelevant because laws to not prevent crime. That is the whole point. You sound like you think making a law agianst something will make it stop. Laws against gun ownership will reduce gun ownership, but not criminal gun ownership.

    “You’re almost asserting that any reduction in gun crime was not a reduction in violent crime? You’re assigning little/no value to this reduction in gun crime?”

    I am absolutely asserting that. Just as there are ways of protecting yourself that do not require a gun, there are also ways of committing violent crime that do not require a gun. In the UK, even when gun crime went down, violent crime did not. Old couples got robbed at the point of a bat instead of a gun, and often got beat up to drive the threat home rather than just held at gun point.

    “Was hoping you could be more specific and referential”
    http://reason.com/archives/2002/11/01/gun-controls-twisted-outcome
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @Jon – I think I understand why you’re failing to make the connection. I like laws as such to “policies” in technology – you can pass a law saying do “x” but that only keeps honest people honest. Without another law that enforces the intended result the first law is meaningless.

      Such as in the corporate world – I can have a policy that says don’t steal data via a USB stick. If I don’t have a policy that enforces that at the USB drive level then the first policy is really unenforceable.

      And Jon – from your own reference:

      “criminologists say crime figures can be affected by many factors, including different criminal justice systems and differences in how crime is reported and measured.
      New Home Secretary Alan Johnson is to make his first major speech on crime today

      New Home Secretary Alan Johnson is to make his first major speech on crime today

      In Britain, an affray is considered a violent crime, while in other countries it will only be logged if a person is physically injured.

      There are also degrees of violence. While the UK ranks above South Africa for all violent crime, South Africans suffer more than 20,000 murders each year – compared with Britain’s 921 in 2007.

      Experts say there are a number of reasons why violence is soaring in the UK. These include Labour’s decision to relax the licensing laws to allow round-the-clock opening, which has led to a rise in the number of serious assaults taking place in the early hours of the morning.

      But Police Minister David Hanson said: ‘These figures are misleading.

      Levels of police recorded crime statistics from different countries are simply not comparable since they are affected by many factors, for example the recording of violent crime in other countries may not include behaviour that we would categorise as violent crime.”

      • I saw that in there Ray. There were other links that discussed the denials and found them to be largely excuses (they were not included to avoid the 2 link limit), there are certainly differences and variances in measurement, but not so much that one can discount the entire bulk of violent crime in a country that has outright banned all guns for all citizens.

    • @JS

      Never quote anything from the Daily Mail ever, it is a terrible paper and fully supported the Nazis before WW2.

      Anyway, what the Daily Mail forgets to mention is what constitutes violent crime in the UK. If I make a verbal threat at someone such as saying “I’m going to kick your ass” that is counted as a violent crime. Less than 5% of those numbers actually involve someone getting physically injured.

  10. Background checks are iffy at best.

    Applying for a job in a hedge fund for the first time, I was required to get a background check. My company used another private company. They used my name, SS#, address, phone number, education history, etc. This was a long form.

    I was hired before the completion of the background check which would take a few weeks, pending a clean result.

    I nearly lost my job because the results returned a conviction of securities fraud. Apparently, I had had committed this fraud and served 10 years in prison while going by the alias Magdalene Gutierrez. Of course, HR did some quick thinking and realized that it was unlikely that I had done 4 years of college and 10 years of prison by my 22nd birthday.

    Still, it’s easy to point fingers at the feds for a lousy background check, but private companies are not much better, it seems.

    Just my two cents..

    • wow, someone in HR doing work for free, because we all know that they are not paid to think.

      • Ha.. I actually had to point out the problem. The HR lady actually asked me if I ever went by the alias Magdalena Gutierrez.

    • True, but they are still using government data. there is no private database of criminal record, that is the government’s department. So, while it is possible that the private company screwed up the check, it is equally possible that the errors occurred on the government side, the private company merely requests government info for the criminal portion of the background check.

      • Maybe, but one would think there should be a check to show that I didn’t commit securities fraud at the age of 8.

        Or, if I did commit securities fraud at the age of 8, I’m some kind of a super genius and should be hired immediately (though watched carefully).

        I wonder if I tried to buy a gun if I would be able..

        • Granted, the company should have caught the error themselves based on your age alone. Private firms are prefferred by free market fanatics like myself, but I am certainly pragmatic enough to admit that they screw up too. 🙂

          • To say nothing of the gender, ethnicity, SS#, address…

            But I wonder what percentage of people who aren’t allowed to buy guys are, like Wep, false positives and what percentage are the kinds of people who really shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

            Adding, under your personal philosophy, is there anyone who should not be permitted to own?

            • Unless we had a society like BF favors of complete self government, I do not have a problem with restricting purchase of guns by persons who have poven they will break the law in a violent way. In other words, if you use a weapon to harm or threaten another person without provocation, you forfeit your right to ownership of weapons. This comes down to my belief that rights are one’s own. No one else grants you your rights, but you can forfeit them by your actions if you choose to.

            • Hmmm…….

              Mathius,Magdalena,Mathius,Magdalena,Mathius,Magdalena

              Something suspicious here………

              😉

  11. Truthseeker says:

    I just recent wrote an essay about Gun Control for my writing class in college. The statistics are very interesting and does not justify the coverage that media gives to guns. Here are some snipets:

    According to the United States Census Bureau, 307 million people are living in the United States (Census). An estimated 300 million firearms are owned by civilians, which averages 97.7 firearms per 100 people. This does not mean that 97.7% people own firearms; many firearm owners own multiple weapons. With this staggering statistic, only 13,636 murders occurred during 2009, and out of those, 9,146 were committed using firearms (FBI Homicide). That is an average of five deaths per 100,000 people.

    Federal Bureau of Investigations. “Crime Rates Fall in First Half of 2009.” FBI 21 December 2009. Web. 21 February 2011.

    There are plenty of other things that kill far more people and it doesn’t get the coverage that Guns do. I wonder WHY?

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Thanks for the numbers Truthseeker….

      13,636 murders – we say “only” 13,636 murders. How does that compare to countries similar to us? Comparisons are helpful if we’re going to say “only”

      I agree that there are plenty of other things that kill people. But I am supposing those deaths are not the result of homicide. In terms of remedy – it would not make sense to address death from heart disease the same as death from gunshot would it?

      • Truthseeker says:

        Here is another sniper then for comparison:

        In comparison, the most violent place on earth for 2008 is Honduras. From an estimated population of eight million, they averaged 61 deaths per 100,000 people (UNODC 22). A popular destination like Jamaica averaged 60 deaths per 100,000 residents. Another place that few would think could be more violent is the Bahamas.

        United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “Crime and instability, Case studies of transnational threats.” UNODC February 2010. Page 22. Web. 5 March 2011.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Truthseeker – subjectivity gets slippery – I would not have thought of Honduras or Jamaica as similar to the US.

      • Ray,

        If guns are used more often to successfully protect people than to do them harm, is it really going to help law abiding citizens by making it harder to own a gun?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

        Self-protection

        Between 1987 and 1990, David McDowall found that guns were used in defense during a crime incident 64,615 times annually.[60] This equates to two times out of 1,000 incidents (0.2%) that occurred in this time frame.[60] For violent crimes (assault, robbery, and rape), guns were used 0.83% of the time in self-defense.[60] Of the times that guns were used in self-defense, 71% of the crimes were committed by strangers, with the rest of the incidents evenly divided between offenders that were acquaintances or persons well-known to the victim.[60] Of all incidents where a gun was used for self-defense, victims shot at the offender 28% of the time.[60] In 20% of the self-defense incidents, the guns were used by police officers.[60] During this same time period, 1987 and 1990, there were 46,319 gun homicides,[61] and the National Crime Victimization Survey estimates that 2,628,532 nonfatal crimes involving guns occurred.[60]

        The findings of the McDowall’s study for the American Journal of Public Health contrast with the findings of a 1993 study by Gary Kleck, who finds that as many as 2.45 million crimes are thwarted each year in the United States, and in most cases, the potential victim never fires a shot in these cases where firearms are used constructively for self-protection.[62] The results of the Kleck studies have been cited many times in scholarly and popular media

    • Truthseeker says:

      I noticed my sources got cut off:

      Federal Bureau of Investigations. “2009 Crime in the United States, Expanded Homicide Data.” FBI September 2010. Table 20. Web. 5 March 2011.

      U.S. Census Bureau. “National and State Population Estimates, Annual Population Estimates 2000 to 2009.” US Census Bureau December 2009. Web. 5 March 2011.

    • Truthseeker says:

      Again, my hole point is that Guns should not be the focus on saving lives. Understand that I think any death is horrible and I am not discounting Homicide but there are better things to put resources into:

      CDC:
      Deaths and Mortality
      (Data are for the U.S.)
      •Number of deaths: 2,423,712
      •Death rate: 803.6 deaths per 100,000 population
      •Life expectancy: 77.9 years
      •Infant Mortality rate: 6.75 deaths per 1,000 live births
      Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
      •Heart disease: 616,067
      •Cancer: 562,875
      •Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
      •Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
      •Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
      •Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
      •Diabetes: 71,382
      •Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
      •Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448
      •Septicemia: 34,828

      Guns are not even listed.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        @Truthseeker

        What is the comparison of resources spent on homicide from guns (proactive measures) versus maybe the top 5 you listed?

  12. Ray Hawkins says:

    On page 166 here:

    “Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide”

    http://www.atf.gov/publications/download/p/atf-p-5300-4.pdf

    …the purchase may be considered a “gift” – the rub is that USW was denied under a 4473 which makes it murkier. The State websites I checked where the show was likely held were not helpful in posting whether the buy in this scenario was unquestionably okay or whether it could be interpreted as straw man.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Ray, I have to ask this. Since the DHS has named Oathkeepers as a “dangerous” organization (which they are not), should all members be denied gun purchases?

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        It wouldn’t appear the necessarily violate anything under 4473 – maybe I’m missing something?

  13. A Puritan Descendant says:

    Never beat your spouse over the head with a pillow either >

    Possession of Firearm After Conviction of Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9)

    As of September 30, 1996, it is illegal to possess a firearm after conviction of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. This law is retroactive and applies to convictions both before and after September 30, 1996. A qualifying misdemeanor domestic violence crime must have as an element the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.

    • I’ve had some, er, interesting pillow fights in my day.. none of them resulted in a domestic violence charge, however..

    • A Puritan Descendant says:

      Also be careful what State you dump your unwanted pets into.
      From WABI tv > ” They point to the fact that Maine has felony penalties for cruelty, neglect and abandonment, and enhanced penalties for repeat abusers.”

      • A Puritan Descendant says:

        From LD 760 of proposed Maine Law >
        “7. Responsibilities of county sheriff. Each county sheriff shall maintain a registry of animal abusers in the sheriff’s jurisdiction who are required to register under this section. Within 10 days of receiving an initial registration, the county sheriff shall:
        A. Forward all registration information obtained from the animal abuser to the Department of Public Safety, State Bureau of Identification; and
        B. Contact every residence, school, humane society, animal shelter and any other business within a 1/2 mile radius of the animal abuser’s residence or location and provide them with the animal abuser’s registration information, with the exception of the animal abuser’s social security number.”

        “summary
        This bill requires a person convicted of animal cruelty under Maine’s criminal law or convicted of a comparable offense in another state to register as an animal abuser with the county sheriff for a period of 15 years. It requires the county sheriff to maintain a registry and disseminate information on the registered animal abuser. It requires the Department of Public Safety, State Bureau of Identification to maintain a central registry of animal abusers.”

  14. Ahhhhh…….you know that the “old unknowing Colonel” would not let this subject go by without comment.

    @ USW…. it is a damn shame that this happened to you, however, as distasteful as it is in today’s environment, you should pay $57 per year and have a complete backgraound check run on youand your wife to make sure that no mistakes have been inputed. A computer, as you know, is only as good as the programmer or data input person. Any person that does not run a complete check on themselves from criminal to credit history is asking for these types of problems. Please do not misread me….it is a damn shame to have to to this because our government considers you guilty before innocence….but it is a fact of life.

    @ Ray…..glad you are not making the gun laws, my friend.

    @ Obama and his administration: There is nothing you can do that I would deem trustworthy and believe that ther is not a more sinister reasoning behind your so called “common sense” approach.

    @SUFA…..gun control….it is the RIGHT of every citizen to own or possess a weapon of any kind….whether a stinger missile or a pea shooter. I am an advocate of criminal background checks. THe fact that you were a hippie in the 60’s and you burned your draft card or a flag does not make you a threat to society. If you were a “c” student in college, it does not mean that you are a threat to anyone. If you are a military trained soldier with an SSIR clearance, it does not mean you are above the check. But if you are a felon, you gave up your right to own a firearm and I would be even more strict. DUI, for example, should always be a felony. I am an advocate of eliminating straw purchases. They should be illegal and the violation of said purchase should be a felony and the person loses their right to own or possess a firearm. I am an advocate of eliminating gun show sales to individuals without background checks. I am an advocate that citizenship should be proven….say with a passport or certified birth certificate. ( Not a perfect system but harder to get false ones ).

    Owning a gun is a right but it is also a privilege. I would, however, be against registration of said firearms. It is not the governments business nor the business of law enforcement to know who owns a weapon of any type. ( I do not buy the argument at all that a policeman should pull up a persons residence to check and see if there are firearms present ). I would be against the registration of serial numbers and social security numbers for the purchase or ownership of weapons. I would be against the registration and keeping of social security numbers or driver’s license with the sale of ammunition. If I want, I should be able to purchase and own a tank if I want…providing I passed a simple background and citizenship check.

    There are other aspects….but this will get me started.

    • D13

      But if you are a felon, you gave up your right to own a firearm and I would be even more strict.

      Why?

      • Pretty damned good question…and not one that I have a satisfactory answer for EXCEPT my opinion. In my opinion, I feel that statistcs prove that most felons are violent (crimes against person) types. I also feel that gun ownership is a privilege as well as a right. Privileges, in my opinion, are earned and a law abiding citizen should carry more rights and privileges than a non law abiding citizen. Bear in mind, that I am coming from the fact as things are now….not how I would like them to be. As to using DUI as an example (the more strict), I do not see any difference than driving a vehicle under alcoholic influence that someone wielding a weapon under the same influence. Both are weapons. Car/gun…no difference.

        I do not like gun control at all….period….and wish there were none…..but I cannot be naive either.

      • On self-defense grounds.

        Having committed a (violent or criminally negligent) felony, you have shown that you are a danger to society. Since weapons amplify the ability of one to do harm to society, they become a threat in the hands of a felon.

        Take it to the extreme.. my neighbor is a homicidal maniac. Though he has never threatened me (perhaps because I am armed), he has killed numerous people for no reason. He has, thus far, done it with a knife. He is now trying to get a gun. If he has this gun, he may not do anything to me, but if he decides to, I will be in grave(r) danger. Thus, I deny him his right in order to protect myself from a perceived threat.

        Applied to society as a whole it’s problematic, but better (we feel) than the alternative.

        Flag, are there any circumstances under which you feel justified in preventing (personally, not via government) another person from owning a weapon (whether slingshot or biological weapon or nuclear bomb or shotgun)?

        • Mathius,

          Flag, are there any circumstances under which you feel justified in preventing (personally, not via government) another person from owning a weapon (whether slingshot or biological weapon or nuclear bomb or shotgun)?

          CLEAR
          and
          PRESENT
          DANGER

          You must satisfy ALL THREE.

      • I think what the laws regard as a “felon” have evolved over the years. We as a society equate felon with violent, but our esteemed congress has for years passed laws making damn near everything a felony. So I would favor laws restricting violent felons firearm ownership.

        • Violent and/or certain criminal negligent crimes (ie repeated DUI which shows wanton disregard for the safety and well-being of others).

          • Mathius,

            So, do you also prohibit their use of knives, rocks, cars, bottles, baseball bats, crow bars, sticks, pencils, frying pans…. as these all can be dangerous weapons?

            • Did you just admit that a rock can be a weapon?

            • Yes. Mostly. There’s a question of ability to enforce and magnitude of damage.

              Yes, I would stop him from driving a car.

              Yes, I would like to stop him from owning a knife, but they’re too accessible, too prevalent, and you can make one at home. It’s just unenforceable.

              Sticks, bats, etc.. same story. They can’t do as much damage as a gun or car (they can still kill, but not as easily, and not as many people at a time), and besides, there’s exactly no way to enforce the restriction short of locking them up.

        • Smoking the ganja should not invalidate you, I agree.

    • D13, there are people that own tanks. Don’t know what the rules are about having the gun working or not. Same goes for artillery.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @D13 – so Plan B doesn’t work either?

  15. ‘In times of tyranny and injustice when the law oppresses the people, the people will turn to outlaws to free them.’

    • I wouldn’t have pegged you as a fan of Robin Hood…

      • Robin hood stole from the government and the theocratic and corrupt church. “Robbing the rich” in those days meant robbing feudal lords and monarchies and government installations and church leaders. There were no rich people who got rich by free trade in those days. So why would you think BF would not be a fan of Robin Hood? Robin Hood was not a redistributor of wealth, he was an avenger of thieves.

        • Well now.. channeling our pirate friend, I’m feeling argumentative.

          How does he redistribute it? Is everything fungible? If the lord took a chicken, is Robin Hood justified in stealing and returning a different chicken? What if he takes money instead? Who says what the correct price is such that he’s not (A) stealing what is rightfully the lord’s property or (B) redistributing from one poor person to another by giving back a more valuable chicken?

          By injecting himself in this system, he has placed himself in a position where it is necessary to act with perfect knowledge or else risk becoming morally guilty through error and/or judgment calls.

          • Did he act with perfect knowledge? No, but he did act against the right persons. He might not have been perfect with his distribution either, as some of what he stole he used or consumed himself. However, he was supported by those stolen from, who preferred some return and some help to none at all, since they were physically unable to get their property on their own, particularly with the theft being “legal” in the eyes of the government.

            As for return of specific property, this is clearly not always possible. Equivalent value, at best, is all that is possible in most cases. Some of Robin Hood’s legendary philosophy is questionable, with more help being granted to the most needy rather than the hardest working, but in the end none get everything back that was stolen and the governernment did not have everything taken back that it stole. This was a “best effort” situation, thus still supportable.

            • If you steal 4 dollars from me and I ‘steal’ something from you which you value at $5, but which I value at $4, have I not committed a crime against you?

              Why is the fact that I made my “best effort” a defense?

              • Firstly, in Robin Hood’s case, he was taking far less than was stolen, so it is a moot point in his case.

                Secondly, if I steal from you, your determination of value is more credible than mine because I am the theif. Certainly, you could take advantage of this, but it would require an extreme case to be illegitimate. If I feel extra slighted, then maybe that will teach my thieving butt from doing it again.

          • Mathius,

            Jon did a great job answering.

  16. No one ever tries to disarm you “for your own good”. Rather they disarm you so that they will be able to do things to you which you would not allow if you were armed.

    I’m sorry for the gun stores but I will never again buy a gun from a dealer, due to the paper trail the feds create and store (illegally- even beyond the Second Amendment‘s clear “shall not be infringed” warning).

    But it’s not just Oprabama who is a monster who would rather see a woman dead in the alley, strangled with her own stockings, rather than standing over the dead body of her attacker; a smoking pistol in her hand. Any politician who does not trust everyone to be armed, everywhere they go, with any gun they see fit to carry, openly or concealed, without asking permission of anyone, ever, is an anti-gun politician whom I would not trust. Period.

    It is absolutely impossible to prevent “the mentally ill” or “criminals” from obtaining guns without making it harder for regular people to obtain and “legally” carry guns. Added to the fact that the anti-gun zealots in government get to define “mentally ill” AND “crime” just means that those definitions will be manipulated to serve the agenda.

    I’m sure I have recommended “Innocents Betrayed” before, but I do so again. Buy it and watch it (and look for my brief appearance), and share it with others.

    • Kent….check out states…the paper trail for the Feds stopped some time ago. Come to Texas….buy a weapon….the FBI background check takes less than 5 minutes and there is no registration of serial numbers or addresses.

      • I am in Texas.

        If you believe for a second that that paper trail is actually destroyed, as required by law, then I have a bridge to sell you. Plus, what do you think form 4473 is? You buy a gun from a dealer where it goes through the “instant check” and I guarantee you a record is created that will never be intentionally destroyed.

        • Form 4473 pertains to Federal Firearms Dealers ONLY….

          • Kent…there is a list of FFD’s in Texas. Check it out. Simply go to the store that is not.

          • I’m not saying you’re wrong, but… The ATF will shut down any gun dealer (or even an individual who it decides sells “too many” guns) that doesn’t have a FFL. How can a store skirt that counterfeit “law” without getting raided? Whether in Texas or anywhere? Gun distributors will not sell guns wholesale to anyone who doesn’t have an FFL. (Sure, they might sell only used guns, but then why not just buy from an individual and avoid the markup?)

  17. @ DPM……FYI…..the new laser sighted rail gun that I sent you….it is not registered.

    • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

      I won’t report you for your unlicensed raptors if you don’t report me for my unlicensed rail gun.

  18. Bottom Line says:

    USW – “We already know that criminals will have a gun. You know why? Because they don’t follow the damn gun laws. So why are we once again hearing the President start harping on increasing gun control?

    I say no more laws around this. As a matter of fact it is time to start repealing some of the Bullshit laws that are already on the books. There is no justifiable reason to deny people the right to own automatic rifles or to submit to ridiculous processes in order to simply own a gun for self defense. The time has come to fight harder against the constant assault on Second Amendment rights. I am done asking nice. Get out of my kool-aid federal government. Defend the borders. Build some roads. Make sure people’s rights are not infringed upon. Outside of that, shut up and go away.”

    BL – The law is apparently only inhibiting your capability to properly protect yourself and family…which you have the natural inherent unalienable right to do. The law is illegitimate. It does not have the right to tell you anything about YOUR guns and YOUR RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to protect YOUR family and YOUR property.

    If they do not allow you your tactical shotgun, do like the “criminals” and buy one anyway. Bypass the law.

  19. D13, Mathius:

    So both of you guys do not believe criminal “punishment” resolves the debt to society?

    • .. it’s not about the debt to society..

      In some cases there is a debt to society (ie destruction of public property).

      In other cases there is a question of needing to simply remove them from the streets (recidivist hoodlums).

      In other cases there reform is possible (teenage shoplifter who just needs to be taught a lesson).

      In other cases, a person shows that they are incapable of solid judgement. Is reform possible in some of these cases? You betcha! But I don’t know how to judge (and that’s the problem, isn’t it?). So, the guy with three DUI’s has shown that he’s not going to learn and that he’s just fine with risking other people’s lives in a careless way. He should not be afforded the opportunity to wield a device which amplifies his ability to do harm to others.

      Imagine your daughter were not the angel that she is, but rather a brat with a penchant hurting small animals, including your beloved toy poodle Fluffy. She saves up her money and wants to buy a baseball bat. Would you let her?

      • So, the guy with three DUI’s has shown that he’s not going to learn and that he’s just fine with risking other people’s lives in a careless way. He should not be afforded the opportunity to wield a device which amplifies his ability to do harm to others.

        The ‘device” he wields is an auto. How – short of locking said person up for some term of imprisonment – do you stop him/her from wielding “a device which amplifies his ability to do harm to others?”

        I’ve personally dealt with too many with repeated DUI convictions who could care less about not have a license to drive, they just do it anyway.

        • Isn’t that why they lock you up after a certain number of offenses? To get you off the street and/or teach you a lesson?

          If someone hits you with a bat repeatedly, would you feel ok letting them have a golf club near you? The “device” in a DUI may be a car, but the judgment of the person is such that, given a gun, I have no expectation that they will use it in a mature and responsible fashion. Thus they endanger me. Thus I am entitled to act.

          A car is a kinetic missile. It is 2,000 lbs of steel traveling at highway speeds. This is little different from a several gram bullet traveling at hundreds of miles per hour.

          • You chose the comparison, I used it.

            DUI violations are not life sentences – in fact I know of two men both convicted of DUI resulting vehicular manslaughter charges that netted sentences upon conviction of 30 days for one and 10 days for the second. Please tell me how sentencing laws are fair?

            Given a car there is no more expectation that they will use it in a mature and responsible fashion – anymore than the gun.

            You tell the family of the victim run over by a drunk driver that it was any less worse than their loved one being shot to death.

            • DUI laws are as obscene as Gun Laws – horrifically irrelevant and dangerous to liberty.

              You tell the family of the victim run over by a sober driver that it was any less worse than their loved one being run over by a drunk

              • agreed.

              • It is worse.

                An accident is a horrific thing, it’s sad and tragic, but it’s not the same. If someone was willingly taking stupid chances with your loved one’s life, that’s a different matter entirely.

                Scale it down: which is worse to you. I accidentally run over your beloved toy poodle, Fluffy, because she was in the road and I just didn’t see her, or I run over her because I wasn’t driving safely and hit her when I lost control of my vehicle and drove through your yard? Either way, you’re devastated by the loss, but one is a tragic accident and the other is me being reckless.

                How would you feel about me afterward in each of the two scenarios?

              • Mathius,

                So if you accidentally shoot someone with a gun it’s less tragic than if you intended to shoot them?

                Loss is loss Mathius. You killed Fluffy – the only question is the difference in the price you’ll pay for doing it.

              • Mathius,

                Loss is personal, so I cannot say how you would necessarily feel about one vs the other.

                But I believe for me and many others – loss is loss. If you sober killed my loved one or if you were drunk – it was still you who killed them

                If you were sober, but careless – this is no different the drunk – it is an act of careless too.

              • So you – you, personally, – wouldn’t distinguish between a freak and unpredictable accident that was not negligent but resulted in the death of Fluffy, and a choice on my part to get sloshed on grog and swerve down your street at 85 resulting in hitting her?

                To me, it would make a huge difference.

                But maybe that’s just me.

              • My anger at your behavior would intensify the punishment I feel you should suffer, but it is all based upon feelings.

                I am neutral in my feelings about you owning the car in the first place. It’s not that you own it, it’s how you use what you own that may cause problems.

                Now replace car with gun and it is the same argument.

            • I think we’re arguing the same point here.. behaving in a dangerous and reckless manner is behaving in a dangerous and reckless manner.

              Manslaughter is the same with a car or a gun, and a person who cannot be trusted with one should not be trusted with the other.

              • And society will be unable to stop a person from getting either one of them and CHOOSING to use it in a manner detrimental to the life and safety of others.

                Figure out how to change human behaviors and you’ll possibly change the outcome of the use in these two negative consequence scenarios.

    • PS: I think the punishment to many crimes should be treatment in the form of psychological counseling, psycho-pharmacology, education, job training, etc.

      Many crimes are crimes of desperation or poor self-control. Simply locking someone in a hole for a few years doesn’t necessarily ensure that he won’t repeat his mistakes, but if he is able to make a better life for himself afterward (ie, now he is able to read and write, so he can get a job, or he is being treated for his mental disorder and is no longer violent), then he is less likely to re-offend.

      Likewise, though there are half-way houses, this is really the most important step in getting people to integrate safely back into society.

      Too much emphasis is placed on the past (punishment for crimes, and re-payment of debt to society) and not nearly enough on the future (helping them get to a place where they will not re-offend).

      My two cents.

    • BF…..could you extrapolate just a little for me… what do you mean by “punishment” ?

      • D13,

        Our current legal system “punishes” crime.

        • Ok…that is where I thought you were going….(I am cautious around you) (picture raised eybrows)……

          Your point in asking is to mean….if a crime has been committed and the sentence served, then is the felon reduced to zero…like checks and balances. THe slate wiped clean, therefore, not allowing him to own a gun in this case, would be double jeopardy…..

          Hmmmm… I actually would have to say that it depends. A guy that makes a stupid mistake because he had a case of stupid…..say, using a fake ID or something like that….second chance???? Sure.

          The repeat offendersof any felony….even though they serve their time repeatedly….no. I would not be lenient. (Extreme example: New Mexico…man with 9 DUI’s…crosses median and kills family on vacation) Even though he served 8 previous sentences….his debt may have been paid according to law but he would appear on felony list for life.

          Hmmmm (thinking)……….

  20. Flag,

    Pirate Question: Is violence permissible if it is the only way to regain stolen property?

    • Yes, after all other options have been attempted

      • Is it sufficient that they are merely infeasible?

        I just stole your original edition Gutenberg Bible. You ask for me back and I give you 10,000 pages of forms to fill out.. in triplicate. I promise that I will return the book withing 6-8 weeks of your completed paperwork if it is in order.

        Are you obligated to fill out the paper work before you can just shove me aside and take it?

        • Matt….how does spread eagled omn a rail gun sound?

        • Mathius,

          Is it sufficient that they are merely infeasible?

          Such as?

          Attempting to do what cannot be done is illogical.

          I just stole your original edition Gutenberg Bible. You ask for me back and I give you 10,000 pages of forms to fill out.. in triplicate. I promise that I will return the book withing 6-8 weeks of your completed paperwork if it is in order.

          Good one.

          Such a demand from a thief is UNRIGHTFUL. He has no right to demand such from you.

          You can ignore such a demand and be still act rightful in your demands.

          • BF: “Good one.”

            Ok, end times must be upon us..

            I’ve got to go prepare for the rapture.. or more specifically, for the time afterward since I probably won’t be included.

  21. V.H.
    More detail on Japan Nukes

    A March 12 explosion at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, appears to have caused a reactor meltdown.

    The key piece of technology in a nuclear reactor is the control rods. Nuclear fuel generates neutrons; controlling the flow and production rate of these neutrons is what generates heat, and from the heat, electricity. Control rods absorb neutrons — the rods slide in and out of the fuel mass to regulate neutron emission, and with it, heat and electricity generation.

    A meltdown occurs when the control rods fail to contain the neutron emission and the heat levels inside the reactor thus rise to a point that the fuel itself melts, generally temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing uncontrolled radiation-generating reactions and making approaching the reactor incredibly hazardous. A meltdown does not necessarily mean a nuclear disaster. As long as the reactor core, which is specifically designed to contain high levels of heat, pressure and radiation, remains intact, the melted fuel can be dealt with. If the core breaches but the containment facility built around the core remains intact, the melted fuel can still be dealt with — typically entombed within specialized concrete — but the cost and difficulty of such containment increases exponentially.

    Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant
    (click here to enlarge image)

    However, the earthquake in Japan, in addition to damaging the ability of the control rods to regulate the fuel — and the reactor’s coolant system — appears to have damaged the containment facility, and the explosion almost certainly did. There have been reports of “white smoke,” perhaps burning concrete, coming from the scene of the explosion, indicating a containment breach and the almost certain escape of significant amounts of radiation.

    At this point, events in Japan bear many similarities to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Reports indicate that up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) of the reactor fuel was exposed. The reactor fuel appears to have at least partially melted, and the subsequent explosion has shattered the walls and roof of the containment vessel — and likely the remaining useful parts of the control and coolant systems.

    Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant
    (click here to enlarge image)

    And so now the question is simple: Did the floor of the containment vessel crack? If not, the situation can still be salvaged by somehow re-containing the nuclear core. But if the floor has cracked, it is highly likely that the melting fuel will burn through the floor of the containment system and enter the ground. This has never happened before but has always been the nightmare scenario for a nuclear power event — in this scenario, containment goes from being merely dangerous, time consuming and expensive to nearly impossible.

    Radiation exposure for the average individual is 620 millirems per year, split about evenly between manmade and natural sources. The firefighters who served at the Chernobyl plant were exposed to between 80,000 and 1.6 million millirems. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates that exposure to 375,000 to 500,000 millirems would be sufficient to cause death within three months for half of those exposed. A 30-kilometer-radius (19 miles) no-go zone remains at Chernobyl to this day. Japan’s troubled reactor site is about 300 kilometers from Tokyo.

    The latest report from the damaged power plant indicated that exposure rates outside the plant were at about 620 millirems per hour, though it is not clear whether that report came before or after the reactor’s containment structure exploded.

    Read more: Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant | STRATFOR

  22. Moviegoer killed in screening of ‘Black Swan’ over popcorn argument
    BY MEENA HARTENSTEIN
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
    Monday, February 21, 2011

    One man’s attempt to watch “Black Swan” in peace and quiet ended tragically this weekend when he was killed for complaining about a fellow moviegoer’s noise.

    The 43-year-old man was attacked in a movie theater in Latvia on Saturday when he asked a particularly loud popcorn-munching member of the audience to keep it down.

    The offending eater, 27, was apparently so insulted that he opened fire with a “legally registered” weapon, the Guardian reported.

    Identified as “a graduate of the police academy who holds a doctorate in law from the University of Latvia,” the shooter was then reportedly “overpowered by other audience members until cops arrived.”

    Initially, many sources incorrectly reported that it was the 42-year-old who had been eating loudly and that he was shot for his distracting chewing.

    *
    A fan’s plan to enjoy Natalie Portman’s performance in ‘Black Swan’ proved… (Tavernise/AP)

    The Register later clarified the story, crediting a Latvian reader who wrote in to correct the facts.

    The reader, who translated the original report from Latvian news agency Leta, also revealed that the 27-year-old “waited until the end of the movie before making his fatal move.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/02/23/moviegoer-killed-in-screening-of-black-swan-over-popcorn-argument/

    • …and if he used a knife instead of a gun….?

      • The guy would be just as dead, but the anti gun crowd would have one less thing to whine about.

      • 1. Do you really care how someone kills you? If offered a choice, most would prefer to not be killed.
        2. “legally registered” weapon, so even law abiding citizens break the law at times.
        3. a graduate of the police academy, there are bad people in every profession.
        4. Must have had a poor soundsystem if popcorn was so loud it disrupted the movie.
        5. ‘Black Swan’ ? Might ask to be shot to prevent me having to watch.

  23. Mathius,

    In other cases there is a question of needing to simply remove them from the streets (recidivist hoodlums).

    If this is true, then why do you support letting them out of jail? Should not the sentence be “life or until we think you can get out?” instead of a couple of years in jail?

    • It probably should be. Given my druthers, there would be no sentencing rules (suggested guidelines, perhaps). A judge could make a decision about whether an offender should get a slap on the wrist (I stole a loaf of bread to feed my sister’s starving child) or “the book” (I stole the bread because I was hungry and didn’t feel like paying). And that would act as a suggestion for the parole board.

      Then I would give the parole board more leeway. Is anyone perfect? No. Would such a board make mistakes and keep the wrong person locked up? Yup. Would such a board make mistakes and let the wrong person go? Yup.

      But if you treat “jail” as a therapy and council/train/medicate/etc instead of just trying to give grown ups extended time-outs, I think a lot of the error could be mitigated.

      There are “hard cases” who just need to be removed from society, and such a jail would be better equipped to separate the wheat from the chaff.. wheat gets treatment and released, chaff can sit in a box until they’re deemed safe.

      • Mathius,

        Having worked in jails and prisons I will say that there are programs there for treatment – more so in the prisons than the jails (you really need to first understand the differences in the two to understand why it isn’t as feasible in jails).

        Many inmates go through the treatment programs and all the programs for reintegrating into society and still they end up re-offending.

        With that first hand knowledge I then feel qualified to state that your ideas on it are not sufficient in and of themselves to correct the deficiencies of human behavior.

        • “deficiencies of human behavior.” I like this.

          That sounds like it fits right in with Mathius’s Laws #1-3.

          So, ok, what do you do? Because locking the “bad guys” up together in a giant time-out doesn’t seem to work.

          • So, ok, what do you do? Because locking the “bad guys” up together in a giant time-out doesn’t seem to work.

            There you have the rub that is continually argued over by the reform versus punishment crowd.

            I don’t know because I agree that the lock em up in a big time out is not going to reform anyone, Imprisonment is pure punishment only. While efforts at programs to reform behavior can be tried it isn’t THE answer to reforming behaviors.

            • OK, I’ve got it: Wyoming.

              Stay with me here..

              What we do is build a big fence around the entire state. Then we set up motion sensing gun turrets. Anyone convicted of a “serious” crime gets sent to Wyoming. They are not permitted to leave.

              They can live a peaceful life there, or they can be a menace. And they can sort it out themselves.

              • Wyoming?

                Naw, I vote for New York or California.

                And we drop the automated towers and use real people in them – decreasing the surplus unemployed and thereby aiding the recovery of the US economy.

              • You have to pay those people… We’re broke. Or did you not get the memo?

                And no one lives in Wyoming, so it’s the perfect spot.

                I suppose we could go with Rhode Island – it’s not like that’s a real state anyway.

                I don’t think anyone would notice if you used DC, but I don’t think it’s big enough.

              • Okay, I’ll compromise with you – Rhode Island it is!

                Now explain to me how we get all those New Yorkers and Californians moved into the new prison state of Rhode Island?

              • Tell the New Yorkers and Californians that R.I. is where they have to go to cash their welfare checks – they’ll be right over. If you want them to hurry up, tell them that the government will subsidize their travel expenses.

                Tell the conservatives the truth – there are no taxes and the US government enforces no laws. That blur you see right afterward will be BF and family hauling a$$ to R.I.

              • You’ll need a better ruse than that to trick BF.

                Otherwise – that was danged funny! 🙂

  24. 😉

  25. @ BF: This is the Texas Law on Felons:

    Texas Penal Code 46.04

    § 46.04. UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF FIREARM. (a) A person
    who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he
    possesses a firearm:
    (1) after conviction and before the fifth anniversary
    of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of
    the felony or the person’s release from supervision under community
    supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is
    later; or
    (2) after the period described by Subdivision (1), at
    any location other than the premises at which the person lives.
    (b) A person who has been convicted of an offense under
    Section 22.01, punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and involving a
    member of the person’s family or household, commits an offense if
    the person possesses a firearm before the fifth anniversary of the
    later of:
    (1) the date of the person’s release from confinement
    following conviction of the misdemeanor; or
    (2) the date of the person’s release from community
    supervision following conviction of the misdemeanor.
    (c) A person, other than a peace officer, as defined by
    Section 1.07, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time
    paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision, who is
    subject to an order issued under Section 6.504 or Chapter 85, Family
    Code, under Article 17.292 or Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal
    Procedure, or by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88,
    Family Code, commits an offense if the person possesses a firearm
    after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the
    order.
    (d) In this section, “family,” “household,” and “member of a
    household” have the meanings assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.
    (e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third
    degree. An offense under Subsection (b) or (c) is a Class A
    misdemeanor.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
    Renumbered from Penal Code § 46.05 and amended by Acts 1993, 73rd
    Leg., ch. 900, § 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994. Amended by Acts 2001,
    77th Leg., ch. 23, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg.,
    ch. 836, § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

  26. Mathius,

    CPD Litmus Test:

    I would have thought the words are self-evident

    CLEAR;
    Not vague, not foggy, obvious, without dispute

    PRESENT;
    here, now, not in the future, not in the past, not “over there”, right here in your presence

    DANGER;
    not fiction, not pretend, not supposed, not assumed, harm, injury, death

    • I am testing explosives right on my side of our shared property line. The explosives are unpredictable and sometimes send shrapnel flying hundreds of yards (easily far enough to hit you or your house). Thus far, nothing has flown in that direction and no harm has been done.

      I have stated my intention to continue doing this.

      Odds are good that some day the shrapnel will fly in your direction. But it is not clear that you are in any immediate danger at this exact moment. You cannot stop me?

      • Mathius,

        As you pointed out – it will eventually do harm and serious harm.

        If you were using firecrackers, I won’t care.

        You using C4, I care.

        But be wary of using ridiculous circumstances to justify an action – all you will do is justify ridiculous actions.

        • BF: “not in the future”

          “Eventually” = In the future

          Square the circle, please.

          I’m not trying to justify actions.. I’m trying to show that things are not black and white. Replace “testing explosives” with “driving recklessly” and see where we are. I noticed that you said “I care” not “I would have a right to stop you with force.” I assume this was intentional, so please clarify whether you have a right to intervene with force if I am testing C4 near your property and have rebuffed all your efforts are peaceful intervention.

          • Mathius,

            “Blowing them up NOW” = not in the future.

            You admit you cannot tell when the essetial harm will happen – but it absolutely a direct and immediate cosequencen if you blow up your C4.

            CPD is not “black and white”. It is not meant to be nor can it be.

            It is a justification of preemptive action and as such, fraught with risk upon those that use it. Yes, risk on those that use the justification – for if you error, you are the evil – not the person or circumstance you tried to prevent.

            • So you can never use preemptive action with the certainty of being right? You are always potentially evil?

          • Mathius

            Replace “testing explosives” with “driving recklessly”

            But nowhere have you made a case that “drunk” drivers drive recklessly. In fact, studies show that most drive even more carefully!

            Drunks driving DOES NOT EQUAL reckless driving. They are not co-aligned.

            You can be sober and drive reckless just as easily.

            • Fair enough. I wasn’t really talking about over the legal limit.. it’s ridiculously low. I’m talking about hammered and weaving all over the road.

              Like so many things, the government had to draw a line somewhere and they drew the line in a weird and illogical place in order (A) appear tough on the issue (B) raise more revenue and (C) have a easy way of deciding who is in technical violation, whether innocent or guilty in terms of the spirit of the law.

  27. Self defense video’s the national media seem to miss…..

    http://www.youtube.com/user/iq201#p/u/13/j-q2zHIovOE

    • if it wasn’t in texas, the parents probably would be arrested for not properly locking the guns away from their children.

      • You might be surprised. The number of states that allow some form of concealed carry is now around 40. It started with one, Florida. Florida then passed “Castle Doctrine”, and many states have followed. Castle laws make it legal to defend yourself without retreating. If you state you were
        “in fear of my life”, and can offer justification, you cannot be charged. I suppose they could try child endangerment, but a state with castle would likely throw that out without hearing.

  28. The problem with Obama’s statement is that a criminal does not give a tinkers damn about laws . . .

    I can take you places in this country that have extensive gun control laws, and if you have the right amount of untraceable cash, you can purchase any kind of weapon you want – NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

    A criminal will get whatever weapon he wants, whenever he wants it.

    Here is a fact for you; If you look up the number of known criminals vs the number of sworn police officers (google it), you will find out that the known number of criminals far outnumber the police. So, with that thought in mind, if you disarm the citizenry then only the police and military will have firearms, and if the police are so outnumbered then you will have to change the constitution around so that you will be able to put armed military on our streets to even the chances.

    NOW do you believe that there is some sort of plan behind Obama’s madness?

  29. Mathius,

    distinguish between a freak and unpredictable accident that was not negligent but resulted in the death of Fluffy, and a choice on my part to get sloshed on grog and swerve down your street at 85

    On the suffering of the loss, no. I wouldn’t make a darn difference.

    On the consequences of the driver – absolutely.

    But that is not what we are arguing here.

    You claim drunk -on its own- is dangerous. Yet, everytime you explain your scenario, you always add the danger (going 85 in a school zone).

    That danger is equal whether the driver was sober too. And that’s the point.

    It is not whether the driver is drunk or not.

    It is the ACTION of the driver that determines the danger.

  30. Common Man says:

    USW;

    Again, you know more about weapons than I based upon your history and training, but as I mentioned when I responded to your initial inquiry about a home defense weapon you should first get a CCW for you and the Mrs Weapon. That would have prevented the mishap at the gun show and would prevent any further mishaps down the road when you go to purchase more weapons.

    It is violation of the Second Amendment to require background checks, but prevents future issues when questioned.

    I would suggest you and the Mrs take the required courses and secure the CCW’s.

    CM

    • CM,

      Here in CO getting a CCW still requires the insta-check every time you purchase a firearm from a dealer. The CCW doesn’t prevent future entry errors in the system that may deny a purchase, which could realistically occur as it did for whatever caused USW to be place on the deny listing in the first place.

      The whole system is flawed and will remain flawed since we can not remove human mistakes (either accidental or intentional) from entering the system.

  31. Mathius,

    So you can never use preemptive action with the certainty of being right?

    You can never be certain, since the offensive act has not yet occurred, and by your actions, you will have changed the scenario –

    – either by destroying the potential, or because you did act, you triggered it.

    You are always potentially evil?

    No. You are not evil, as you acted not with the intent of doing evil.

    But you did cause evil to be done, if the act was unjustified.

    • ….

      So it’s possible to cause evil without being evil?

      • Mathius,

        BF Dictionary:
        “Evil” = violence on non-violent people.

        “Being evil” = premeditation or justifying the use violence on non-violent people.

        • Would you say that a willful disregard of the potential of your actions to cause harm on non-violent people is “being evil”?

          • Mathius,

            Careful, young padawon, you will trap yourself! 🙂

            Would you say that a willful disregard of the potential of your actions to cause harm on non-violent people is “being evil”.

            Yes, that could be argued successfully in some circumstances.

  32. Mathius,

    . I’m talking about hammered and weaving all over the road.

    See? There you go again.

    You try to attempt to link two, independent issues.

    “Hammered” and “Weaving”.

    The danger is not the “hammered”.

    The danger is the “weaving”

    If you were sober and weaving all over the road, you would be just as dangerous.

    Like so many things, the government had to draw a line somewhere and they drew the line in a weird and illogical place in order (A) appear tough on the issue (B) raise more revenue and (C) have a easy way of deciding who is in technical violation, whether innocent or guilty in terms of the spirit of the law

    The spirit of this law is pure evil. And with no surprise, the consequence ends up criminalizing people who have done no harm.

  33. Common Man says:

    All;

    There are reasons why the Federal Government wants specific laws structured and enforced around guns and gun ownership:

    -More control of the Citizenry leading to total control
    -It is a way to justify additional taxes and/or fines and expand elements of law enforcement.
    -Because the government fears an armed citizenry

    It is not about protecting society or minimizing the crimes committed, or about ensuring that only law abiding citizens own guns, its about control and control only.

    Guns laws are no different in nature than any other law, they are all designed to control the majority; and establish a precident to be used when punishing an offender.

    We should all realize that any law written that even remotely violates a human right will eventually grow to eliminate that same right. That is because the governments primary objective is to control the citizenry.

    CM

    • Agreed except, “the Federal Government wants specific laws “.
      Individuals and groups withing the fed want specific and general laws that reduce our freedom. Frontdoor, backdoor, they don’t care as long as they get in, get something passed.

      But there are also like individuals, etc. that are fighting such laws. In my state, even the Democrats are vastly pro-gun.
      I think the TeaParty, with their small gov. goal, will be good for the 2nd Amend.

  34. Another update on reactors. Also makes it sound like the real danger is passed-that I question but hope is true.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/14/us-japan-quake-core-factbox-idUSTRE72D31720110314

    • gmanfortruth says:

      They base their info on what the government is saying. Do you trust any government?

      • I understand that the government doesn’t want to cause a panic-so I take their information with a grain of salt. 🙂

      • gmanfortruth says:

        A third explosion at nuke site has been heard, via FOX News alert

        • This 3rd one sounds really bad-possible crack

          Japan crisis: third explosion raises spectre of nuclear nightmare
          New explosion at Fukushima plant, as engineers fought to prevent a meltdown in the second worst nuclear accident in history.

          By Gordon Rayner and Martin Evans 11:53PM GMT 14 Mar 2011

          A huge explosion hit another reactor at an earthquake-damaged Japanese nuclear power plant early Tuesday, the third blast since Saturday, the plant operator said.

          “There was a huge explosion” between 6:00 am (2100 GMT Monday) and 6:15 am at the number-two reactor of Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman said.

          The government also reported apparent damage to part of the container shielding the same reactor at Fukushima 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, although it was unclear whether this resulted from the blast.

          Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters the suppression pool of the number-two nuclear reactor appeared to have been damaged.

          This is the bottom part of the container, which holds water used to cool it down and control air pressure inside.

          “But we have not recorded any sudden jump in radiation indicators,” Edano added.

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8382139/Japan-crisis-third-explosion-raises-spectre-of-nuclear-nightmare.html

  35. Sorry off topic but I just had to post this.

    Unions Take Issue With EPA Regulations, Warn of Potential for Lost Jobs

    Published March 14, 2011

    | The Wall Street Journal

    The Obama administration’s environmental agenda, long a target of American business, is beginning to take fire from some of the Democratic Party’s most reliable supporters: Labor unions.

    Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants. Their contention: Roughly half a dozen rules expected to roll out within the next two years could put thousands of jobs in jeopardy and damage the party’s 2012 election prospects.

    “If the EPA issues regulations that cost jobs in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the Republicans will blast the President with it over and over,” says Stewart Acuff, chief of staff to the president of the Utility Workers Union of America. “Not just the President. Every Democratic [lawmaker] from those states.”

    Several unions with strong influence in key states are demanding that the EPA soften new regulations aimed at pollution associated with coal-fired power plants.

    A range of American companies that depend on fossil fuel-from coal and oil firms to manufacturers-have complained about the Obama EPA, one reason the administration has had tense relations with business. In meetings in recent days, representatives of electric power utilities that rely heavily on coal-fired plants, and some large unions, have taken their concerns to the White House. The companies and the unions have said a new regulation targeting mercury and other toxic pollutants, due to be proposed this week, could lead to higher electric bills, billions of dollars in new costs and the closing of plants that employ thousands of workers.

    Now that labor unions are joining the chorus, the pressure on the agency is intensifying. Some Democrats, worried about potential job losses in industrial states, are already urging the EPA to slow down its push to combat climate change.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/14/unions-issue-epa-regulations-warn-job-loss/#ixzz1GcOYWETS

  36. Was wondering, the Saudi day of rage didn’t…

    Japan, the #3 economy was just hit hard. They will be slow to return to manufacturing, resulting in a reduced demand for oil. Then recovery will shift to re-building.

    What’s the time frame on this?
    How will Japan’s needs impact oil on a time line?

    Not to be callous, but if gas is $5.00, we are not going to be giving as much aid.

    • LOI

      Short term, oil prices will go down (say, a month), then return to NORMAL.

      High fuel prices are due to UNCERTAINTY – primarily the wars and revolts in ME and Africa and Iraq.

      • Seems like this would have a big impact on imports and exports.

        • V.H.

          Primarily electronics.
          Buy that LCD/LED TV (on sale) today!

          PS: I believe I posted awhile back that Jan/Feb would be the best deals for LCD/LED TV’s. So …. the non-TV watching family of BF bought one last month!

          A brilliant deal
          240hz LED 42″ for under $700!! Kid loves her games on it, and Mrs. BF loves her HD movies on it.

          I love the deal! 😉

          • Deals are always fun-but I read something the other day that said we actually export alot to Japan and that this disaster would hurt our economy because of lost exports.

  37. Small miracles amid the carnage
    March 15, 2011

    Despite a rapidly rising death toll and worsening nuclear emergencies, Japan’s stoic population have been delighted by a precious few survival stories. John Garnaut reports.

    INSIDE the unlit lobby of the Shin Tomi Tei Hotel, on a safe hill above the once beautiful cove of Matsushima, holidaymakers huddle around, waiting for the latest news.

    ”There are no trains and no mobile reception because there is no electricity,” an emergency worker tells the crowd. ”And we just don’t know how long it will be until they can turn it on again.”

    The stranded hotel guests, consisting mainly of the elderly, nod their heads respectfully, ask important questions and receive detailed and respectful answers.
    Advertisement: Story continues below
    A little ball of hope … a four-month-old baby girl is carried to safety in Ishimaki by the Japanese Self Defence Force.

    A little ball of hope … a four-month-old baby girl is carried to safety in Ishimaki by the Japanese Self Defence Force. Photo: AP

    Everywhere, Japan’s stoic resilience and its tightly woven community fabric are on display.

    Outside the hotel a line of people wait patiently, as perhaps only Japanese people can.

    ”We heard there was water here,” says Makota Seki, holding a bag of empty water bottles with his daughter.
    Shimizu Yasuhiro carries his baby, Lucky.

    Shimizu Yasuhiro carries his baby, Lucky. Photo: John Garnaut

    It seems every business that has fresh water is sharing it.

    Shopkeepers who have no electricity are selling or giving away supplies on stands outside their front doors.

    Around the corner a man hooks up a small diesel generator to a series of adaptors and hangs a sign ”Charge your phone here”.
    Toll

    A small van with a man and a loudspeaker supplies drinking water to those most in need.

    Matsushima’s limestone island and cove has left the community relatively protected.

    Most people got away with a crumpled car or boat and a lounge room full of mud.

    ”We in Matsushima have been lucky,” an emergency worker tells hotel guests. ”Further north they are doing it very hard.”

    Heading into this region, a sign advertising the town of Nobiru shows a beach packed with sunbathers – but today the river next to it is littered with crumpled houses.

    Further along, four men from the Japanese Self Defence Forces resume combing the reeds on each side of the river and poke into the mud with long poles after pulling out a bloated body.

    Overhead, hawks keep a watchful eye and helicopters shuttle back and forth.

    But even in Nobiru, which is mostly destroyed, people are doing what they need to get by.

    Shimizu Yasuhiro, 26, emerges dripping from his flooded street carrying a parcel wrapped in blankets. ”My baby is 10 days old and we called him Lucky,” he said referring to the boy born six days before the tsunami obliterated most of his town. ”And he is lucky, to be alive.”

    Beside him is the beaming mother, carrying their two Pekingese dogs.

    At the main hospital at Ishinomaki helicopters shuttle in the wounded.

    At first glance the scene is reassuring. The hospital is well staffed with medicos and volunteers from all over the country.

    While the corridors are full and patients are lined up outside, those with critical injuries are being fully catered for.

    But then the hospital director, Kazuie Ilnuma, explains: ”The tsunami either left people with very light injuries and some trauma, or they drowned.”

    Despite the horror hidden beneath the mud and waves, people all over Japan’s north-east coast are finding minor miracles.

    The industrial lands around Sendai port have been obliterated and a blazing fire from an oil storage tank lights up the sky.

    Trucks have been crushed and pile up on each other like aluminium cans, factories have been flattened and their contents spill all over the surrounding lands.

    Outside one of those factories belonging to the famous beer company Kirin, residents work out how to solve their dehydration challenge.

    Littered across the mud and debris, for as far as the eye can see, are thousands of kegs and what seems like a million cans of slightly shaken but perfectly chilled beer.

    People who have been without water for days are fossicking and filling plastic bags with the next best thing.

    ”This is quite some luck,” says a Sendai lad, cracking open a Kirin wheat beer as the sun sets behind him and a blazing fire from the oil refinery behind him begins to light up the sky.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/small-miracles-amid-the-carnage-20110314-1bulh.html

  38. TexasChem says:

    Heres the crux folks.

    What iota of difference does it make if I commit a violent crime with a butter knife, a spiked club, my hands, a VCR, a hammer, a bow, a car, a TV, a drill, a saw, a khukuri, a bamboo pole, a tanto, an electric toaster, a mace, methyl ethyl ketone, sulphuric acid, a piano, or *gasp* a gun?

    Should we have laws outlawing anything that can possibly cause physical harm? What about emotional/mental harm?…

    The question we need to be asking ourselves is what is the root reason the government/tptb want an unarmed populace when the full intention of our 2nd amendment in our Constitution was specifically placed there to overthrow an oppressive, tyrannical government.

    HUNH? Puhleease if someone really wants to kill or harm another person they will do it with whatever means they are capable of using.Taking guns out of the equation solves no fracking problem at all.It creates an even larger one for the citizens of the country that loses the right to protect themselves by the best technological means possible.

    Anyone that believes gun control laws are to protect the populace has been brainwashed by the propoganda machine.

    I’d much rather be in a store shopping where all shoppers were armed rather than in a store in a state where guns were outlawed so that only the outlaw that came in to rob was armed.

  39. TexasChem says:

    Jeesh, I hate writing a reply and it getting lost in cyberspace.Guess I must have hit the wrong button.

    Let’s take this gun control issue a step further and just dig deep into the heart of the matter.Crux, crux, and crux.

    What iota of difference does it make if I kill someone with a hammer, spiked club, spiked mace, piano, butter knife, tanto, longsword, gladius, methyl ethyl death, cyanide, motorized vehicle, RPG, molatov cocktail, chainsaw, razor or *gasp* a gun? If someone truly wants to commit a crime they will do it with whatever means available to them.

    What is the root reason why a government/TPTB would not want a populace armed with the most technologicaly advanced weapon to defend our freedom and liberty? The founders of this country had already asked themselves and answered that question with the addition of the 2nd amendment to our Bill of Rights.

    The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The amendment was intended to protect an individuals right to defend themselves.In the eighteenth century the militia was composed of the entire free male population, who were expected to muster bearing their own arms.
    The right to keep and bear arms was considered an essential form of protection not just for home and family, but also against government tyranny.

    Those who endorse gun law should consider the ramifications of past governments that have been allowed to operate without check and balance.It can and will lead to tyranny.

  40. TexasChem says:

    Testing… my posts aren’t being posted!

    • TexasChem says:

      Frack it I aint writing a long post again thats two that didn’t go through. The first one I could have hit the wrong button but the second I made certain I hit the post comment.What gives USW?

      • I have that problem alot-I have found if I push the page back button-my post will still be there.

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