Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just exactly what is an insane libertarian?

This insane libertarian is one who believes that if we cut government by 99% that would be a good start.

'But what about roads and schools and police' I hear the statists cry. Yes, these are all critical services, and we all know how well the government does providing roads and other infrastructure, government schools, and police protection.

But showing that gov't provides a service badly does not mean private industry can do it well. So let's look at some examples of private roads: The Dulles Greenway is one such example, residential area private roads are another. An area near where I live is almost exclusively private roads. The area bounded by Crestview Drive, Londin Lane, McKnight Road and Mailand Road has only two publice roads: Dorland Road and Pond Avenue. All the other streets in that neighborhood are private, maintained by the homeowners' association.

But what would we do without those government schools? According to their own fact sheet, in 2007-2008 the Minneapolis government schools spent $18,931.26 per pupil. The Blake School (the most expensive one I found in a quick search) accepts 60% of applicants, costs each pupil $17,745 a year and has much higher academic achievement, graduation rates and college attendance rates. Totino-Grace (where my step-daughter attended) accepts 95% of applicants (so much for 'cherry-picking) and costs $8050 per year. It also significantly outperforms Mpls schools in every academic metric.

As for the myth of police protection, court after court has ruled that police have no duty to protect individuals, that their responsibility is to society at large. And even that responsibility can be abandoned if it becomes too dangerous or onerous. Thus it is incumbent upon the individual to take whatever steps s/he chooses for self-defense. If some choose to be a victim, that is their right, but they have no right to prevent me from obtaining, carrying and (G-d forbid) using whatever tools I choose to defend myself and my loved ones.

This insane libertarian believes that any behavior, any behavior, which does not cause actual direct physical or economic harm to another, or the immediate danger of such harm, or which curtails someone else's freedom of action, should be lawful.

Smoke dope? No problem.
Collect a hundred guns with ten thousand rounds of ammo for each? Go for it.
Cut down the 500 year old oak in your front yard and put up a 7 foot purple blow-up gorilla? None of my business.
Engage in risky sexual practices with one or more consenting adults in the privacy of your own home or sex club? Enjoy.

Do what you want with your property and your body, as long as it does not does not cause actual direct physical or economic harm to another. And don't try to deny me the same rights.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I have seen any number of antis and fellow-travelers commenting on the massive increase in sales of guns and ammo over the last few months, asking why gun owners are so paranoid.

Here are some facts for them to chew on:

Fact: Obama the candidate said that he wanted to 'renew' the Clinton era ugly-gun ban, by which he meant pass a much stricter version which would prevent manufacturers from 'evading' the law. By 'evading' of course he was referring to the fact that when the AWB passed manufacturers complied with it by changing some purely cosmetic features. This is what happens when you base legislation on purely cosmetic features.

Fact: Obama the transitionist's website said that he wanted to 'renew' (see above) the AWB.

Fact: Obama the President has stated (as has his Attorney General and Secretary of State) that his administration wants to 'renew' the ban.

Now, pause for a question: Is it 'paranoia' to believe what your opponents say?Okay, back to facts.

Fact: The Obama administration and the President himself have repeatedly said that 90% of drug war guns collected in Mexico are traced to the US, even after that number was thoroughly debunked. What the ATF said was that 90% of the guns the Mexican authorities requested that the ATF trace, were from the US. The Mexican authorities only submitted about 20% of the recovered guns for tracing, since it was quite obvious in 4 out of 5 cases that the weapons could not have come from the US.

Now I would never accuse the President of being too stupid or incompetent to get the correct number, so his use of the incorrect (and inflammatory) number means that he is deliberately lying. What reason could he have *other* than to push a discredited gun ban agenda?

Fact: President Obama has said that he won't push for a renewal of the AWB, but will try to get the Senate to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA) treaty.

This sounds perfectly reasonable; after all who could be opposed to banning the illicit manufacture and trafficking of firearms? But the devil, as they say, is in the details.

If you read the treaty you will discover that a government license is required to manufacture or assemble firearms, ammunition and other related materials. Thus reloading and handloading are out the window. As is building your own rifle from components (which is currently perfectly legal since the Brady checks are required on a key component). Now what is that about "other related materials"? These are define as "any component, part, or replacement part of a firearm, or an accessory which can be attached to a firearm". So you would need a government license to attach scope rings to a firearm, to change scopes, to upgrade your trigger or to replace a broken part.

In fact, given that 'assembly' is prohibited, a strict reading of the treaty would require a government license to so much as *load* a semi-auto.

Then you have these "Ammunition Accountability" bills being pushed throughout the country. These bills would require registering each and every round of ammunition sold in the US. Do you have any idea how much that would cost? You would need a database and support staff capable of handling hundreds of millions of transactions per year. Every time I moved, I would have to inform the government of every single cartridge that I was bringing with me, and some government bureaucrat would have to enter the information. Oh and not so incidentally possession of 'unregistered ammunition' (i.e. pre-ban ammo) would be prohibited after a certain date. Unless, of course, you are a criminal. The Supreme Court has ruled that criminals and other 'prohibited persons' can not be required to register or punished if they fail to do so because that would constitute 'self-incrimination'.

So now can you see why gun owners might be the teensiest bit concerned about our G-d given unalienable personal, civil and human rights? And we haven't even talked about the 'gun show loophole' (i.e. the banning of all private sales) or any of the other items on the Brady agenda.

Hi! My Name Is insanely libertarian

Here is another copy of my Google profile:

I came to being insanely libertarian in the usual gradual fashion. When I was in Elementary School I was a liberal, believing that government could cure all ills. Like my belief in the tooth fairy, that didn't last. By early high-school I had morphed into a laissez-faire conservative with libertarian leanings. Eight years in the Navy cured me of any remaining naievete about the efficiency and efficacy of government. Science Fiction nurtured my libertarian leanings and gave me examples of how minimalist government societies could work. I got involved with Second Amendment rights when Minnesota was working on passing a 'shall issue' carry law and I saw the huge gun lobby (hundreds of people donating $5 - $10 to support a few dozen activists who worked for gun rights while working for a living) vs. the poor underdog anti-gunners (a couple of paid 'activists' running an astroturf effort supported by soccer moms and single payer grants of $50,000 - $250,000).

As I became more involved in Second Amendment issues my eyes were opened to the horrendous abuses of an out of control government which burst through any concept of 'limited enumerated powers' decades ago and who have continued to trash the ragged remnants of the Bill of Rights with increasing ferocity.

Free exercise of religion? Sure, unless your religion called for you to seek enlightenment and visions through vegetative compounds in use since the invention of fire.

Freedom of speech? Of course, unless it is 'hate speech', or political speech within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election, or outside of a 'free speech zone'.

Freedom of the press? Sure, as long as you are an 'authorized journalist' working for a mainstream media monolith.

Peaceable assembly? See above about your 'free speech zones'. And make sure that you have a permit, and that it is the correct kind of permit for the proper location.

Second Amendment? What part of shall not be infringed is hard to understand?

Secure in your houses, persons and effects? Of course, unless you are a suspected terrorist being 'sneak and peeked' or warrantlessly wiretapped. Or unless you are a 'drug kingpin' whose door is kicked in at 3AM by armed men who are free to shoot you if you make the slightest threatening move.

Do I need to continue?

So although my main focus is Second Amendment issues, I will also give the occasional rant about police state excesses like squelching dissent, or people who are above the law, or bureaucrats who 'teach a lesson' to some smart-aleck who actually believes that s/he still has rights.