|WISE FWOM YOUR GWAVE!!!!
||[Dec. 15th, 2009|09:49 pm]
Yep, still here. Revising for an exam, but I thought I'd actually write some things I mentioned I'd do a few posts ago. Uni and sleep kept me busy (got into the course, yay), so I'm sorry if anyone still reading this thought I'd died.
Anyways, politics. A combination of poly, meaning many, and ticks, which are bloodsucking insects. If you look at the current political bullshit, it's easy to see how apt the word is.
A while ago, I stumbled onto a number of blogs for the Libertarian Party UK, about the only party around that supports restoring freedoms that other political parties have happily removed from the country. They're also about the only party that supports sensible gun laws, but the whole freedom and civil liberties thing appealed to me.
So, first two links are the LPUK homepage and their blog, which some members post copies of their own blog articles relating to their views:
Next is Devil's Kitchen, one of the two Libertarian blogs I read from time to time. DK posts to his own blog and LPUK, so there might be a few repeats. DK is more than a little passionate about politics, as is evident by his swearing.
The other blog is Old Holborn's blog. To be honest, I love his views on improving the political scene in our country (usually involving lampposts and rope), but he does have a number of good discussions on the go usually.
Last, this isn't a Libertarian blog, but a Labour one, with discussions started by the members of the Labour party. I mainly read this to see what they're saying. They value input from anyone, but tend to belittle any of the other parties who come in to speak.
Anyway, that's the political blogs I read, next up is the gun blogs.
|It's that time again...
||[Jun. 16th, 2009|10:46 pm]
Yes, it's Showtime.
For those of you who aren't in my town, it's like Chicago, without the size, the glamour or.... any of the good stuff. We've got the crime though. The guy who runs the Motor Museum is currently facing extradition because the American DEA found he was using his chemistry supply company to help make crystal meth. Yay us.
Anyway, this week is the local High School's annual musical, one week before our Town Fair. As part of the local operatic society, I can lend my skills to them if needed. Hardly saying much as I only run a spotlight, but they appreciate it anyway.
The end of this year's show comes with a brilliant dance number, the end of which seems to lend itself to the lighting/effects department's favourite toy, the Pyrotechnics.
Now, the Pyro we used to use was a small one, that we always took precautions to use. However, the chief told me why we can't use them, the reason for yet another long and incoherent rant.
Health and Safety.
Or, to give it the "proper" title, as their victims use, HAFS (Health and Fucking Safety).
Okay, so I might be a little unfair here. A lot of HAFS regulations make sense, mainly the ones that involve manual labour and such. However, from what I see, there's three types of HAFS regulations. There's the reasonable, the ones you don't know why they made them, and then there's the pants-on-head retarded. I mean, the type of stupidity that just makes you feel the need to take a blunt object and cram it up the nearest covered orifice.
Guess what one I mean?
There's the anecdote about them wanting kids to wear goggles while playing conkers "just in case", which is silly, but then I thought of one that I know actually happened:
About two years ago, the HAFS people of the local council decided that the balcony of our town hall was dangerous to kids, who might fall off it, or to people who trip on the stairs on the balcony seating area, so they had a "safety" rail installed.
Now, I wasn't sure if I should mention the railing, so I asked my Mum, who this year got her 35 Year medal from the operatic society. From what she tells me, they've never had any kind of accident like that.
I'd say this is a "just in case" measure, but then I saw them install the railing in the middle of the Society's last rehearsal before that week's performance. They had months before that to put it up. So, despite the fact that it might interfere with a few angles of our lighting, I thought it might be a good idea.
Then I saw it. The fucking thing is way too big. There's a space between the railing and the actual balcony large enough for a kid or even someone falling just right, to go through without pausing. Hell, I can fit through it and I'm a lardarse.
I can see where both arguments come from (railing and pyros), but given the safety measures taken using the pyro, not to mention the ill-planned railing, makes me think that a number of HAFS regulations are made just because they think that it makes a sensible idea. As the Brady Campaign constantly shows us however, one person's sensible idea is a majority's idea of bullshit.
Anyway, rant over, just thought I'd rag on a few show-related things that I had to get off my chest.
|I live.... again.
||[May. 1st, 2009|02:54 am]
No, I'm not dead. Been busy with college and some other stuff. Programming's hard, but when you're asked to program an interface using methods you've never been taught...
Not to mention the course I was applying for got abruptly cancelled for no apparent reason. Seriously, one of the largest colleges in Scotland, and the highest up people are fucking idiots, cancelling a course with no warning, especially since so many people registered interest. But I digress.
To be honest, there's a hell of a lot going on, and by the time I get my lazy arse to post on a subject, it's already been said, far more eloquently and with less cursing.
Anyways, I'll try and post something in a week or so. I just found out about the UK Libertarian Party, so I might post on that, and I'd like to post about my favourite gun rights and political blogs, so we'll see how that goes.
Oh, and a way too late Happy New Year to anyone who still reads this.
|Who watches the (Media)Watchers?
||[Nov. 23rd, 2008|11:19 pm]
As anyone who reads this blog will know, I really dislike groups like the PTC and the Brady Campaign. Groups that claim to want to make the world better, by forcing their viewpoints on people via irresponsible and unjustifiable laws. Well, there's a group over here called MediaWatch-uk, which has taken it on themselves to go after videogames.
MediaWatch is an organization that claims to "(provide) an independent voice for those concerned about issues of taste and decency in the media." In other words, they're another moral advocacy group.
If anyone's been bothered to read as far back as 2006, not that I've posted much since then, then they'll see that I've mentioned MediaWatch before, talking about how they blamed a violent game for the death of a teenager, an accusation that was soon after, proven to be false by the police investigators. An accusation that MediaWatch has still not apologised for (Not so moral after all, it seems).
Well, they're at it again.
A few months back, Sega announced a new game for the Nintendo Wii, called Madworld. The game involves a lot of violence, including chainsaw evisceration, impaling people with roadsigns, and ripping out hearts.
Now, the Wii has had it's share of violent games. Resident Evil, The House of The Dead series, hell, they're even getting a version of the 360's Dead Rising. You'd think that this one would be no different, right?
John Beyer, the Head of MediaWatch, claimed that "It seems a shame that the game's manufacturer have decided to exclusively release this game on the Wii. I believe it will spoil the family fun image of the Wii."
He also said "I hope the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will view this with concern and decide it should not be granted a classification. Without that it cannot be marketed in Britain. ...We need to ensure that modern and civilized values take priority rather than killing and maiming people."
First of all, the Wii has a number of violent games, some of which I've already listed, and none of which MediaWatch has complained about.
Second, the availability of violent games on a console does not remove a family friendly or "family fun" image. All three of the current-gen consoles have parental locks and instructions on how to use them, making them more than family friendly.
One thing I'd like to know is, who the hell does Beyer think he is? Unless I've missed something, this game is intended for (and will be marketed to) adults. There's no reason it should be denied any classification, preventing adults from making their own choice whether to play it or not.
So, as you can imagine, MediaWatch got bombarded by emails from gamers exhibiting righteous fury. From the MediaWatch autumn newsletter:
"Within hours of these remarks being published a rain of hostile emails from gamers poured into our office telling us to "shut the f*** up", suggesting that we have "got our knickers in a twist", demanding, as though we were on trial for an heinous crime, to know what right we had to impose our "narrow minded bigotry" on them and stopping them playing an "adult" game of their choice."
Now, I'm not condoning the abuse. As for the second part, their demand to circumvent adult's right to choose to play this game, even before all the facts of the game are known, might as well be a "heinous crime".
The fact is, games are played more by adults than kids. Most research shows that the average gamer is in his 20s-30s, adult age. If such a person wants to play this game, that should be their right.
MediaWatch seems to jump at games for no reason, as in the Manhunt case. Now, when they are confronted by people who want them to justify their bullying, they claim to be the victims.
I'd rather wait until more is known about Madworld before jumping to conclusions. But that's me.
|The McFate of gun control
||[Nov. 23rd, 2008|09:09 pm]
Hey. Long time no see. I did say I'd post something, about three months back on this, but had a few problems. I'll post something about that after the two I promised. First off, here's the first one I promised:
In July, a website called Mother Jones posted An article, exposing a "spy" inside the anti-gun movement.
Mary McFate, a member of anti-gun groups, was in fact Mary Lou Sapone, a "research consultant" who once worked for the NRA.
Yep, there was a shitstorm that day. The robes and flaming crosses came out for the NRA. There's been statements to the effect that Sapone was the "face of the NRA", a face of deception and underhanded moves.
Now, this has been done to death by people who are closer to this than I am, and by people who know more about this than I am. I'd just like to focus on two things.
First off, one of the statements by Bryan Miller, head of one of the Ceasefire groups. Talking about the whole thing, he claimed that "In the battle of ideas with the gun lobby, we're at a constant disadvantage because we're honest".
My last post mentioned one of his more emotional outbursts. In addition, there's his treatment of gun owners in general:
A few months back, a lady called Meleanie Hain had her CCW permit unfairly revoked for open-carry at a football game. She was on a show, debating with Miller. I'll let her words for their first meeting tell the tale:
"When Bryan Miller walked into the green room I was in there with one of the staff members who introduced us. The first thing out of Bryan's mouth was "did you bring your gun?" and I said "yes of course". He said "what a jerk!" I said "why thank you Bryan for bringing your true colors to share with us today." Steve (staff member) says "what? what did you say to her?" and he says "I called her a jerk! She's a jerk!" and Steve said "there's no reason for that. it's her right" and Bryan cuts him off and starts YELLING "what right? she has no right! There is NO SUCH RIGHT!""
It's kind of a shame he didn't go off that way during the show. Would have been nice for people to see what kind of bigot he really is.
Oh, I forgot, This link to the video should work. Sorry if it doesn't, I'll look for another.
During this "debate", a woman was introduced who had defended herself from a violent assault by use of, yep, a gun. Miller, being the "honest" person he is, congratulated her and offered his symapthies.
Whoops, sorry. He actually stuck up for the attacker and hurled insults at her. He rejected any right she had to defend her self, but fully supported her right to "scream for help".
Wow. What a guy.
I'll say this about Bryan Miller. I find it disgusting that he can in one place, claim to be honest, and in another, all but support an individual who was stopped from attacking and possibly raping a woman in a bathroom, simply because he was stopped by a gun. That's not honesty, that's bigotry, no two ways about it. "because we're honest?" Gun control advocacy is a position that requires someone to be totally dishonest. I should know, having agreed with such an organization in the past.
The second thing I'd like to mention is the amount of flak the NRA got for this. In the months following the uncovering of McFate, most of the people who oppose the NRA talked about how McFate was the "face of the NRA".
The thing is, I've never seen this kind of thing before, and I've looked. The NRA has never done something like this, and that's why it was such big news.
The anti gun groups lie on a regular basis, and yet their statements are published in media as fact, often without no opportunity to refute them. Their demands for Assault Weapons Bans and .50 weapon bans are steeped in lies, demanded for no legitimate reason, and yet they are still considered credible.
So, I ask you, which is worse? The NRA, who seems to have taken a first step into the evil side of politics, or anti-gun people like Bryan Miller, who started there?
Update 27/02/10: Sadly, Meleanie Hain was murdered last year, shot by someone close to her. Bryan Miller gave his sympathy to her family.
Bugger. Sorry, confused him with someone capable of human feelings besides hate.
When the news broke, he gave a statement to the news saying (paraphrased) "See? I was right! I may have no evidence, but I can claim I'm right without her proving me wrong!"
And this man claims to have the moral high ground? SHITE!!!
|Epiphany on gun control advocates
||[Aug. 25th, 2008|12:02 pm]
Hey readers(if there's anyone still there). Sorry about the lack of new posts, but there's very little new that I can post (or at least, very little that hasn't already been done better on other blogs).
I'm getting my life back on track just now, and I haven't really been able to post, what with college applications. However, I hope to have a couple more posts in the coming weeks. I've been meaning to look at the Mary McFate thing that happened recently, as well as another well-deserved bitching out of MediaWatch.
Anyway, a few months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States, or SCOTUS, upheld the complaint brought by a Mr Heller, that the Washington D.C. ban on handguns violates the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Common sense, I'd think.
We're a few months past that now, and the debate's all said and done (apart from a few bigots who whine about the SCOTUS "misinterpreting" the 2nd Amendment (in other words, reading it as it should be read). There's not much I can say that hasn't been said in better ways, by better people.
During the discussions of the last few months however, I had a bit of an epiphany regarding how anti-gun people treat the honest people in the gun debate.
Set the Wayback Machine to 2003. I've just gotten into the whole gun debate, and found the website Keep and Bear Arms, an American website that posts the pick of the day's online articles regarding the Second Amendment and gun crime, as well as having some good political cartoons.
I remember seeing One of Scott Beiser's cartoons called "Learn to Listen". It was a cartoon regarding the difference between what gun owners say, and what anti-gun people hear.
The "What gun owners say" picture was of a man in a suit with his children, holding a rifle, saying "We just want to live in peace and be able to protect our kids".
The "What anti-gunners hear" is a picture of the steryotypical "'Roid-raging Rambo", holding a rifle to a childs head, both of them held in his other arm, saying "We just want to blow everyone to pieces, especially kids!", with rabid foam dribbling from the side of his face.
At the time, I thought it was kind of funny. Now, as I write this, I'm looking at that cartoon, and it's kind of scary how true it is.
Over the past few months, with the SCOTUS decision, there's been a lot of discussions, especially on Democratic Underground, one of my favoured sites for reading the debate of progressive against pro-gun control (Yes, there is a difference).
As I said before, I'm on the left end of the political spectrum, but on DU, there would be no place for me, because anybody who shows a truly progressive attitude towards guns is belittled on every place except the Guns sub-forum, a forum referred to as "The Gungeon" or Gun dungeon.
Okay, I'm not bashing DU. There are good people there as well as bad. It's just that outside of the "Gungeon", there's a hell of an attitude towards gun owners, which can only really be described as bigotry.
Seriously, it seems that every time there's an article involving an accident or gun crime, these people do their damn best to blame the innocent gun owners. There's references to "Gun Nuts", "Gun Loons", "Gun Fanatics", "Gun Fetishists", I've seen people who blame the NRA and the "Holy Second".
Every time something happens that's gun-related, there's a number of individuals who are hell bent on blaming innocent people for no good reason.
Even the higher-ups in the debate are guilty of this. Bryan Miller, head of one of the Ceasefire groups, has a blog where he told of how he wept at a comment left by one of the pro-gun contingent on the site, which he claimed was "ill-concealed and pathetic rage and misinformation", after reading about an officer's death in the paper the same day. He went on to describe his rage at the person, who he called a "fanatic", who "by both twisting the truth and attacking the caring and bereft, seek to derail any attempt to inject reason into the debate about guns".
What was the comment? This person, "VeroFeritas", had posted an angry and sarcastic comment on how Mr Miller had used the death of his brother to attack thousands of innocent gun owners.
Whether he likes it or not, it's true. These people did not "enable" the felon who committed the murder, they were not with him pulling the trigger, they had nothing to do with it. And yet, these innocents are the people he has convinced himself must pay, for no legitimate reason.
Don't get me wrong - the death of any innocent is a tragedy, no matter the circumstances. But you've got to be one fucked up person to think that the answer is to penalise equally innocent people, and belittle them when they make valid observations.
And "derail any attempt to inject reason into the debate about guns"? Injecting reason into the debate is all that people like VeroFeritas do. People like David Codrea, like Sebastian the "Pro-Gun Progressive", all they ever do is inject reason and logic and common sense, and for that, they are called fanatics, and attacked with such misplaced hate, that you'd expect their attackers to be wearing white robes and burning crosses on their lawns.
Looking at the "What anti-gunners hear" picture, I now realise that they actually believe this shit. They've deluded themselves into believeing that they're the arbitrators of reason and logic, and believe that shouting down legitimate criticism is the right way to have "Reasoned Discourse".
Take "Assault Weapons", for example. The AR-15 is one of the most popular target rifles and is adequate for defense too, but anti-gun people see the resemblance to the M-16, and say there's "no legitimate reason for it to be in the hands of civilians", picturing, as I said before, a "'Roid-raging Rambo", when in truth, there's thousands of them which are used for several legitimate reasons, including the two I listed.
If the anti-gun contingent is so convinced of their righteousness, then why in the nine hells do they do this? Every time there's a debate, they respond with bigotry, with hate, with unjustified aggression.
If anyone reading this is offended, I'm sorry, but the facts are the facts. What these people do is wrong, and instead of facing that, they unleash hate towards people who are only trying to protect themselves. Those people are called "paranoid", yet the advocacy for their disarmament is because they "might" go nuts and shoot up a mall or a school, which is just as paranoid.
Again, I'm sorry, but I'm tired of the whole damn thing. I've seen good points on both sides of the debate, but the gun owners win out, simply because for the most part, their points aren't wrapped up in slander and bile.
Instead of attacking those you distrust, and only reading the retaliations in their replies, read it all. Look at their facts, don't just dismiss them. I mean, going back to Mr Miller, Feritas did have a point in his reply. However, his reply was angry, based on the slander of a gun shop owner that was the subject of the blog post, and his point was lost in that anger. Mr Miller saw the anger, and ignored the point altogether.
That's kind of the whole thing. Gun owners are slandered left, right and center on anti-gun blogs, and when they do reply, their points are ignored in favour of a minority of angry comments, that antis hold up as "proof" of their slander. Why even start with the slander? Here's a thought - tell the facts, without the name calling and misplaced aggression.
Look at the people you're criticising, not the stereotype you've built up in your mind. Put the hate to one side, and talk to the gun owners you've been attacking. You never know, you might find you have more in common than you think.
Okay, rant over. Discuss if you want.
|Thoughts on Hungerford...
||[May. 29th, 2008|10:42 pm]
EDIT 27/02/10: Recently, a fellow from the forums the quotes in this aricle came from pointed out in the comments that parts of the quoted person's other statements turned out to be shite. This does kind of make the claims in the post seem dubious. Sorry to let the readers down.
As with my other mistakes, I'm keeping this one up with this disclaimer, and a request that if anyone else knows anything about this, could they clarify things in the comments?
We now return you to your scheduled program:
Since beginning this blog, I've posted a few times about the handgun ban over here, as well as the misinformation that the Gun Control Network has pushed while stifling actual debate and legitimate criticism.
I've posted about various gun enthusiasts in America, as well as various anti-common sense groups such as the Brady Campaign and the Joyce Foundation. I have also mentioned a few times, the people on one of my favourite reading spots, Democratic Underground, who have verbally abused the few true progressives in the "Gungeon".
However, I've neglected an important part of the history of British gun laws, the Hungerford Massacre. To be honest, I didn't know much about this tragedy, having been born less than a year before it. I didn't know about the madman who gunned down several people. I didn't know about the backlash against innocent gun owners.
However, a person on one of the forums I watch knew him, and compared the hatred towards Airsoft to the anger misdirected at the semi-auto rifle owners then. What he says does seem a little different from the "official" story on Wikipedia:
On the subject of Ryan..that's a little close to home.I was with him at the Wiltshire Shooting Centre in Devizes when he brought the AK in,he'd just bought it from Westbury guns in Westbury and got his 300 rounds of steel cased steel core commie block ammo from Dave & Andy at WSC.He didn't have any ammo for the M1 carbine as WSC had none in stock.Ironically enough he couldn't get the magazine into the AK (the tilt and turn method) and got quite arsey when we all took the ###### about it.Of all the shooters there he was always the one who bitched when we used to shoot at coke cans and fag packets on the 100 yard indoor rifle range "They aren't approved targets" etc etc and not once in the 2 years I shot at the same club did he EVER rurn up in combats ...
Had all the facts come out about the hungerford incident the new gun laws probably would never have gone through ,instead there would have been some red faces and sideways promotions in the local constabulary.
Just a few interesting facts that youmay wish to look at when people wonder why I'm cynical...
He had NO armour piercing ammo,he simply had M39 steel cored commie block stuff.Steel cores are used to promote tumblin and for reasons of cost.(this I know to be true as I still have some of the empties from that day at the club that I personally fired through his rifle)
The counter signature on his Firearms application was provided by the police officer who lived next door.
He had previously had his shotgun ticket revoked for "reasons of public safety" but it was returned after his mother made a complaint.
He was shot through the right upper jaw hinge just below the temple leaving no signs of powder burns from a gun publicly stated that was taped to his left hand.(Ryan was a lefty)
Again publicly stated he removed the magazine keeping one round in the chamber that he shot himself with(His 92F varient had been modified for target use and had a disconector sear that prevented it firing without the magazine in place)(I used that very pistol at the club 4 days before he used it in hungerford)
The impinge glass from the fatal shot to his head was on the INSIDE of the window on the floor.(If you want to see what I'm getting at fire a shot at a sheet of glass!)
There are a number of others things that don't add up about the entire incident but here isn't the place as I don't want to go off on what may appear to be an anti establishment rant.
There does need to be gun laws to protect the public and society from the most dangerous people IN society however never in legal history has penalising the honest ever had an effect on the criminal other than to make the honest easier targets.
Okay, before anyone posts to criticise, I'm not making any sort of conspiracy claim, there's enough of that kind of shit around already, what with the "Bush caused 9/11" people.
What I am interested in is honest discussion about the shootings, or at least starting a discussion on it. Probably nobody will even read this, but I'd like to think I tried.
|Covered in BATF(eces) Part Two: My thoughts
||[Apr. 24th, 2008|04:04 pm]
Okay, sorry 'bout the wait. Seems like whenever I thought of how to go about this, something else comes along that completely derails my train of thought. I'd like to apologise to David Codrea, who I mentioned this post to in a comment on his blog, since it's taken me so long to get my arse in gear.
Unfortunately, I only know little bits of what's going on, so here's what I've managed to piece together:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not content with their infamy after what happened at Waco, Texas, have decided to go after various firearms stores in America for what they deem "willful" violations of the law. They can't define "willful", just that it's being done. So, what is this violation malarkey? Are they selling guns without a background check? Making "illegal" machine guns?
Well, no. Nothing so grandiose.
Seems that the so called violations are nothing more than allowing customers to abbreviate their "Yes/No" answers to "Y/N" and, in some cases, allowing them to put the shortened form of their state.
So, one of these "violators" was Red's Trading Post, the owner of which, Ryan Horsley, has a blog, on which he's detailed some of his plight. Some of the posts on his blog are almost unbelievable. For example, when ATF inspectors visited his shop, one of his customers tried to film them. When he refused to cease filming, the ATF claimed Ryan was "harassing" their inspectors. Riiiight.
So, the trial continues. From what I've heard, the ATF's spent several million dollars on this one case. They've wasted a load of taxpayer's money, just for a simple paperwork error. But then again, that sums up the ATF in one go: a waste of money that shouldn't be there in the first place.
But then something very interesting happens. David Codrea, author of the blog The War on Guns has been following the case for some time. He also lists news articles in which ATF and other Law Enforcement Officers commit crimes for which they recieve a slap on the wrist, if any punishment at all. Some of these include crimes that would have non-LEOs behind bars for decades. It's really quite disgusting.
On the day Ryan Horsley was testifying in court, he was met by David A. Meyer, a US Marshal Judicial Security Inspector. He was threatened with jail under a new law, and was told to pass the same message long to Mr Codrea, that if there's any threats on his site, he'd be jailed.
Thing is, I've read David Codrea's War on Guns page for a few years now, and I've never seen him post a threat against any person. The only thing that comes close is when he suggests that corrupt police be put in prison where they belong. The only people who could actually find that threatening are the aforementioned corrupt police (which, come to think of it, might be what Meyer is getting at).
Okay, I admit I know very little about American laws. However, I'm pretty sure that what Meyer was saying counts as a threat too. So if Codrea isn't actually threatening people, what is he doing?
Well, he's shown his support for Ryan Horsley, who's fighting the ATF's bogus charges all the way.
That's right. A US Marshal was making threats against a good, honest man for not sucking the required amount of Government dick.
Unfortunately, it seems as though Meyer will get away with his crime. Threats against innocent people are okay when you're a Marshal, it seems. That's what amuses me. The Department of Justice can commit any injustice it wants to, but tell the truth a few times, and you've got threats up the arse.
Good luck to Mr Horsley and Mr Codrea. I hope you win your respective fights.
|Covered in BATF(eces)
||[Mar. 13th, 2008|01:38 am]
A few days ago, David Codrea, the author of the pro-gun rights blog The War on Guns was threatened with arrest if he made any threats towards the officials persecuting Ryan Horsley and Red's Trading Post over trivial errors that they falsely claim to be "wilful".
He's suggested that readers make a copy of that post in case anything happens. Since I'm busy this week with the local Opera, I'll add my own comments in a seperate post sometime next week.
For now though, here's Mr Codrea's blog post:
An Open Response to
US Marshal Judicial Security Inspector
David A. Meyer
I understand you took Ryan Horsley aside at the conclusion of trial testimony and instructed him to advise me of the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007, specifically, "Inspector Meyer asked me to contact you in regards to posting any information with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or incite the commission of a crime of violence against that covered official... "
In other words, this:
`Sec. 119. Protection of individuals performing certain official duties
`(a) In General- Whoever knowingly makes restricted personal information about a covered official, or a member of the immediate family of that covered official, publicly available--
`(1) with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or incite the commission of a crime of violence against that covered official, or a member of the immediate family of that covered official; or
`(2) with the intent and knowledge that the restricted personal information will be used to threaten, intimidate, or facilitate the commission of a crime of violence against that covered official, or a member of the immediate family of that covered official,
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
`(b) Definitions- In this section--
`(1) the term `restricted personal information' means, with respect to an individual, the Social Security number, the home address, home phone number, mobile phone number, personal email, or home fax number of, and identifiable to, that individual;
`(2) the term `covered official' means--
`(A) an individual designated in section 1114; or
`(B) a grand or petit juror, witness, or other officer in or of, any court of the United States, or an officer who may be serving at any examination or other proceeding before any United States magistrate judge or other committing magistrate;
`(3) the term `crime of violence' has the meaning given the term in section 16; and
`(4) the term `immediate family' has the meaning given the term in section 115(c)(2).'.
Your message has been received loud and clear--along with your warning that you will not hesitate to come down and arrest anyone you suspect of violating this law. Before I give you my reply, I want to make it clear that my response is mine alone. Any retaliation is mine to face, and taking it out on the man who passed your message along at your direction will not be something you can now do outside of a brightly focused light.
That said, OK, I recognize bait when I see it. I'll bite. Here is my considered response. Now that you've snagged me, hang on tight.
First off, if you have anything to say to me, say it directly. Don't go presuming sovereign citizens are your personal messenger boys.
Second, how dare you?
Don't presume to have authority to impose any prior restraint on what I write. Don't presume to warn me about what you will or will not allow me to say.
For you to imply any of my work might be illegal is a vile slander and you know it--if it wasn't, I'd already be in custody (assuming I was allowed to survive the arrest). Hell, you even admitted as much, but qualified that while I hadn't broken any laws, people who comment on this blog might.
That ain't your call, either, Bub. Don't presume to tell my guests what they can say--I run this site, you don't. I don't moderate and pre-approve comments, so if you have a problem with that, take it up with Blogger, which provides this as a standard option.
I've made it clear on numerous occasions that I allow "comments except for those that are...something that could be legally perceived as a threat against a specific person other than myself..."
Those get removed. And I've even warned people against it.
I've also speculated that comments that may be perceived as threatening are invariably posted anonymously, and that trolls doing it could very well be agents provocateur attempting to bring discredit or worse to my site. Heck, they might even work for the DoJ--it's not like you guys don't hang out here at all hours.
But you apparently need to establish a plausible cover story. Let's see--the same mighty BATFU that sends armed invaders smashing into people's homes and businesses is just scared out of their jackboots over what's being said about them on... blogs, so they need to enlist a protector, that would be you, against "Homegrown terrorists".
That would be people like me?
I dunno, Dave. It seems more likely they don't have confidence Judge Lodge will arrive at the verdict they've invested--what--how many hundreds of thousands of dollars in(?)--so they're coming up with Plan B in case they don't get the vindictive satisfaction they crave?
And we know they don't like light being shined on their activities--hell, we knew that when they presumed to authorize whether or not reporters could be present when they conducted public business, and maintained that bloggers were not "Authorized Journalists."
For the record:
I've never threatened anyone nor encouraged anyone else to threaten any one. I don't threaten people.
I've never given out any specific identifiable information about any of the agents, inspectors or witnesses involved in this case.
Now we get to the word "intimidate" and boy, that's kind of like beauty, you know--in the eye of the beholder? I mean, that's kind of like the anti-gun loons who say they have a right to feel safe, like I have any control over how they react emotionally.
So with no watchdog press, and with this edict you're warning me about in practice, "intimidation" might be construed as taking of photographs of government agents in action who end up being witnesses. If this is now verboten, well, there's only one set of lights left to turn off: RKBA (look it up) bloggers.
Now I have on occasion meant to ridicule, like now, and even dare and defy, like..uh...now again.
So if you think you have grounds to arrest me for violating this new law you just had to issue an official warning on, if you think you can prove I'm out there doing anything illegal, immoral or fattening, well, y'all know where my taxes get sent to, so I don't think you'll have any problem finding me.
I think it more likely you're just engaging in one of those color of authority abuses to try to chill free speech. I think BATFU's tired of having their vindictive actions exposed and they wanted you to throw some fear out there to make it stop. Well, hell, why would you expect people who don't respect the Second Amendment to give a damn about the First?
Funny how unintended some consequences are, isn't it? Instead, here I am calling attention to things even louder. Say, do you think Judge Lodge will appreciate hearing about your ham-handedness in this? I'm going to write him and find out.
So here's the thing, Dave. If you want to take this further, just say the word. I won't talk with you on the phone unless I can record the conversation, or in person unless I have an attorney present, but you're free to email me back (dcodrea AT hotmail DOT com) as long as you know I'm going to post it at WarOnGuns. Aside from that, if you want to go even further and arrest me (and why would a US Marshal send me a warning that he was prepared to do just that if that wasn't the ultimate card in your hand?), I do hope you can conduct things peaceably, as I would have no intention of missing my day in court.
At the risk of sounding paranoid (right, BATFU fears people like me and my site visitors?), I want to establish a record that I will not physically resist. If anything transpires that says I did, it will be a lie.
Easy. I've got kids in my house.
So with all that out of the way, I guess there's nothing left to do but present you with this. I bit, so now it's your turn:
This warning on the part of a federal marshal is chilling, and it was intended to be. By making specific mention of not just this blog, but of you who comment on it, and by warning us against something we've never engaged in, it's pretty clear what the intent was here.
Unlike many bloggers, I write under my own name. I do so because better men than me pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, and bequeathed to me a sacred inheritance. If I am to consider myself even minimally worthy of their great sacrifices, I can do no less than strive to do the same--albeit with full humility in acknowledging my comparative shortcomings.
But I knew when I got involved in 2A activism many years ago that doing it sincerely would involve potential legal repercussions--from defying the state of California on registering my property, to chiding the City of San Francisco on their elitist hypocrisy and lawlessness. I do this not because I'm self-destructive, but because these are the agents of the state who rely on fear to impose their will, and I'm more resentful of that than I am afraid.
Governments are instituted among men to secure the blessings of Liberty. People should not be afraid of their government. I want to help dispel that fear. And I can't do that if I'm hiding in the shadows. I can't encourage others to do that--which is what we need if we're ever to secure meaningful reforms.
So I long ago made the decision that my Internet activities would be an open book. What I have written cannot be erased--at least by me. The good marshal here is free to look at everything I've ever said on this site and elsewhere, and he'll not find a shred of evidence supporting his decision to warn me--and you, the WarOnGuns correspondents--against committing a federal crime.
It's the same with emails. Many of you have written me and know I always make a good faith attempt to write back. And yes, at times I've wondered if some of my unknown correspondents might be trying to get me to write something imprudent. I've not only never taken that bait, but I don't even use encryption--something I've been urged to do, but my instincts say I will be better able to defend myself if I can demonstrate I've never tried to hide anything.
Regulars here will note that this post is a lot longer than I usually write. I did it because this time--with the specific mention of willingness to make arrests on the part of a federal LEO, I know making a post like this will not only anger him, but will get me as close to the line as I can get--knowing full well that this may still inspire him to increase the pressure, instead of just going the hell away and leaving me the hell alone.
Without meaning to sound paranoid, if the fedgov did decide I'd crossed their line with this and sent someone out to enforce their new edict against me, what do you think the chances are they'd send out someone to the home of a known "gun extremist" to politely ring my doorbell and hand me papers?
I figure my best protection at this point is to either let them cow me into silence, in which case this post would never have been written--or else shine as much light and bang as many pots as I can in case they decide to follow through. That's what I'm doing.
The ball is now in their court.
The floor is now open for comments. Careful now, both in what you say here and in what you say if you choose to email Inspector Meyer. As with so much else, and as he has made abundantly clear, intimidation and threats are the sole province of "The Only Ones," and they will brook no competition.
And if anybody wants to make a copy of this post, just as insurance in case there are repercussions, go right ahead.
||[Mar. 7th, 2008|05:56 pm]
A week or two ago, there was another college shooting in America, prompting the local bigots to come out en masse.
Now, I'm not going to go on about the state of gun laws, or anything. It's their law, and they can do what they want with it. What pisses me off, however, is how unconcerned the gun control nuts were for their fellow humans compared to their need to dance in the blood of innocents and use the tragedy to lie.
I mean, before the facts were even known, before the police had even made statements, the Brady Campaign had sent emails begging for money, and telling their subscribers that they wanted more bans and restrictions that they don't need.
Right, now everyone who reads this blog (if anyone still does) knows that I might not be able to articulate my words very well, but I do get my point across eventually. So, before I go into another visceral display of pessimism and righteous wrath, I'd like to say something.
My sympathies are with the families of the victims of the past month's shootings. I wish those wounded a speedy recovery.
Why couldn't Mr Helmke and his acolytes say such a thing? Oh, I forgot, they were too busy LYING about innocent people.
If you're reading this, you'll note that it's a couple of weeks after the shooting. Unlike Helmke, I have the decency to wait until the families of those wounded and killed have had time to mourn. The Bradys, however, had their lies out whithin a few hours.
Not to mention the shite on the forums I read.
As a geek, I read a few forums covering various subjects, one of those being guns. As a progressive, I read Democratic Underground, though I lurk due to the fact I can't be arsed registering to another forum (not to mention remembering yet another frigging password).
I was reading DU that day, and guess who used the tragic shooting as an excuse to attack innocent gun owners? billbuckhead, lynrd_skynrd, zanne, Paladin, people who, if you know the forums, would be called "the usual suspects". Less than a few hours, and they had made snide comments about "gun nuts", "gun loons", and various disgusting accusations. If those people (among others) were any more bigoted, you'd find them marching around in white sheets, burning crosses on gun owner's lawns.
One of the most disgusting things I saw on DU was when one of the pro-gun, pro-common-sense people on the forums was accused of not caring about those shot, when the same pro-gun person's cousin had a blood relative (unclear as to which) who was wounded in the attack. The accuser did not even have the decency to apologise. Note: Since I can't find the thread I read this part on, I was going to delete it. However, I decided to strike it through, so you can still read it. Like both sides in the gun debate, I make mistakes. Unlike the Antis, I don't cover mine up.
To the poster, I hope your relative will be okay. (To the false accuser, I hope you fall out of a plane, and land arse-first on the jagged spire of a cathedral).
One thing that's coming out of all of this, is the push to allow qualified students with permits to carry concealed on campus. These people can carry almost anywhere in their relative states, but if they're attacked in class, they're dead. Sounds like a good idea to at least think about it, yes?
Well, only if you're actually capable of rational thought. In the months since the Virginia Tech shootings, the Brady Campaign and their supporters have:
- Suggested that all college students are drunkards and druggies, and used that to justify rejecting Campus Carry right away, while claiming they were "open to any options".
- Suggested that qualified people with permits should drop out of college instead of being allowed to defend themselves
- Accused the pro-common sense group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus of being paid by the NRA and gun companies.
On the last one, SCCC responded a few weeks ago by giving an interesting proposal: they would let the public see all of their accounts (proving that they have no link with the NRA or anyone else but students), if the Brady Campaign would do the same.
The Bradys have not responded. I wonder why?
As always, feedback, anything I've missed, feel free to comment.
||most recent entries