Category Archives: Police State

Banning guns makes the problem worse

As the initial shock over James Holmes’ midnight massacre subsides, the inevitable chorus of demands for tougher gun control laws is on the rise. But outrage is not a rational argument and the fact that this tragedy occurred changes nothing about the rational, evidence-based case for the private ownership and concealed carry of firearms.

Let’s keep the following facts in mind before we go demanding changes to the law:

  • We have known for at least 16 years (since John R. Lott’s 1996 study) been that taking guns out of the hands of lawful owners leads to more assault. Florida legalized concealed carry in 1997 and the murder rate declined 39% over the next 10 years because criminals were afraid that their marks might be armed.
  • Many things are correlated to homicide rate, but the strictness of a country’s gun control laws aren’t among them — income inequality, poor lack of medical care, and a large trade in illegal drugs (Fajnzylber et al, 2002) are. Gun control is a sideshow to the real problems that cause America’s problem with violent crime.
  • If you think that a willing killer is going to be deterred because he has to buy a gun from his weed dealer instead of from Walmart… well, no study to cite here, you’re just out of your mind, because even a stoner is willing to buy from that guy. In a country with 88 guns per 100 people, gun control laws will leave firearms in the hands of all the wrong people.

This should be required reading for any gun-hating, wannabe do-gooders!


The New York Times endorses slavery

In an opinion piece straight out of bizarro world, Thomas Ricks proposes we solve the “Children Question” by reinstating the draft and sending America’s lackadaisical youth off to war.

Ricks’ reasoning: if we’re going to wage wars in far-flung hellholes, every American family should have “skin in the game.” Maybe the thought here is that if enough teens die abroad, Americans will realize what a senseless waste our overseas operations have been? Is there really no better way to drive that point home than conscripting every American and making families pay an even higher blood price for the government’s folly than they already have?

Or maybe we won’t actually put them on the front lines; Ricks reasons that paying decent wages to career soldiers is so expensive that it’d be better to use 18 year olds and pay them low wages to perform menial tasks like painting and mowing the lawn at the Pentagon. In fact, nearly half the text of the article is devoted to his point about how cheap these draftees would be to employ. At this point you begin to wonder whether this unabashed statist really wants to send the kids off to war, or has merely seized upon a way to disguise slavery as patriotism — ask not what your country can do for you, but whether the generalissimo wants his car waxed today, right?

Once he’s done indulging in this totalitarian reverie, Ricks returns to his central thesis in the final paragraph, positing that perhaps if more American sons and daughters had been at risk, we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq. Yes, it always seems to come back to Iraq with the liberals, as if there has never been a greater mistake and never will be. Even if we become a nation that forces its youth to do menial labor for government bureaucrats for pennies. Unfortunately the central premise of his argument is that we can right a wrong by inflicting a far greater wrong upon even more people. I can think of no stupider solution and no greater affront to liberty.

Source: New York Times (seriously NYT, are you trolling us with this one?)

Will the War on Drugs go out with a whimper?

James Higdon at the Daily Beast reports that Obama’s FY13 budget halves funding for the U. S. National Guard Counterdrug program, which flies helicopters over remote areas of the country in search of pot farms.

Now I’d rather see this program at 0% funding instead of 50%, because I couldn’t care less if someone wants to grow pot in the middle of nowhere, and I’d rather you buy it from an American instead of from violent Mexican cartels that post videos of chainsaw beheadings on the Internet as a reminder of how unstoppable your drug habit has made them. But I’ll take what I can get.

Still, I have to ask – why now Barack, only four months before the election? You had four years so why are you just now getting around to proposing we cut wasteful and counterproductive programs like this one?

The answer is that like all Republicrats, he knows that Americans want less government intrusion, he just doesn’t want to give it to us. Just like his reversal on gay marriage, this is a self-serving attempt to energize the liberal base before the election, and on the day after Election Day he’ll go right back to showering his banker friends with pork, declaring war on Iran, and letting the military detain American citizens without a trial.

But at least when you take a hit to forget the pain, you’ll be smoking American.

News You Can Use (Really!)

The ACLU has launched a smartphone app that not only has a handy list of your rights, when stopped by the police, but it will also quickly and conveniently record audio and video in case you are unlawfully harassed or arrested. This is a great idea, its incredibly handy, and good on the ACLU for doing something concrete to protect our liberties.

Get the app here

No iPhone version yet.

Police Now Tracking Law Abiding Citizens Who Watch the Watchers.

A Harlem couple has been branded as “professional agitators” by the NYPD.  From the looks of the “DNAInfo” website and the mugshots of Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Swaye, it’s safe to say they’re left-wing activists (for instance Gonzalez referred to a judge in one of  her cases as a “white racist pig” in open court and was held in contempt).

I despise the kind of leftist victimization clap trap people like Gonzalez conjure up, and frankly I’m sure when it comes to anything other than law enforcement and the military-industrial complex Gonzalez and Swaye are fervent statists.

That said, my utter contempt for their far-left views is outweighed by my love of liberty.  More and more I am seeing troubling cases of police harassing, detaining, oven arresting citizens with camera phones or video cameras.  A police officer who works within the law has nothing to fear from public scrutiny, even when he uses force. Sometimes a baton is needed, and if video captures it…so be it.  What is not okay is police hampering private citizens from legally filming and documenting public officials (law enforcement) discharging their duties in the public square.

It should offend every freedom lover and believer in the American system of jurisprudence and government that police have “watch fliers” of people known to videotape cops, even when such people are politically radical leftists.

The NYPD posted this flyer in the 30th Precinct with mugshots of Christina Gonzalez and Matthew Swaye. PHOTO CREDIT YouTube/Christina Gonzalez

Where da drones at?

They’re already in your backyard! Map of current and future drone activities in the US that have been disclosed by the DoD