Excellent use of tax dollars…

…in these tough economic times:

The state of Delaware will hold a “gun buyback” event Dec. 17 at churches in Wilmington and near New Castle in a new effort to get weapons off the streets.Individuals will receive a $150 prepaid debit card for turning in a handgun, $200 for an assault rifle and $100 for shotguns and low-powered hunting rifles. The buyback is being funded by $100,000 in state tax dollars the Legislature appropriated for the pilot program earlier this year.

I think this is the first of these misnamed “gun buy-back” programs I’ve seen that was funded by tax money.  If individuals and organizations want to waste their own money on their feel-good programs, although I disagree with them vehemently and think they do nothing but give criminals a pass, I can at least give them credit for putting their OWN money where their mouths are.

The State of Delaware is soaking their taxpayers to fund criminal activity.  If I lived in Delaware, I’d be livid.

Here’s a letter I sent to the paper and the author of the piece – I’ll let you know if I get a response:

About your article:

The article mentioned the city’s 19th homicide, the fact that no questions will be asked and that the guns will be destroyed immediately, So when I bring in the murder weapon from that 19th homicide with my fingerprints all over it, it will be accepted no questions asked and promptly disposed of, thus precluding me from ever being convicted of that crime, correct?  Gee that works out well for me as a murderer, where do I sign up?

And, let me get this straight because this sounds too good to be true:  I can actually fence all of the guns I’ve stolen – directly to the police no less – for debit cards that are as good as cash money, no questions asked, with no threat of arrest or prosecution?

I better get busy and steal some more, I’ve only got until December 17th to stock up.  Heck, all I’ve gotta do is steal ten or fifteen more guns between now and December 17th and I could pay for my whole Christmas.  What a great bargain.

Some might think It’s kind of a shame that the people I stole the guns from will never get their rightfully owned property back…I mean guns are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars when purchased on the legal market…but I guess getting stolen property back to the victims of the crimes is pretty small potatoes when compared with destroying evidence that could link me to a murder…er…getting guns off the streets, huh?

And all at taxpayer expense.  Double plus good stuff here, because everyone knows that tax money is free.  What with our booming economy and all, I’m sure the taxpayers are more than happy to pay criminals like me good money to dispose of crime guns and fence our stolen goods.

Criminals all over Delaware (and probably many neighboring states as well) salute you.

ps:  From paragraph 2 – “low powered hunting rifle?”  Did you add that term, or was it used by one of the organizers of the event?  If it was used by an organizer, did they specify what they meant by that, because I’ve never heard of a “low powered hunting rifle”? When I’m out stealing guns, all I usually find are high powered hunting rifles like .270, .308 and .30-06 – way more powerful than those wimpy “assault weapon” calibers – what are they offering for those?

Letter of the Day/Week/Year…

…whatever.

Sent to me by CB, authored by Seth, and reprinted with permission:

Dear Ms. Brezosky,

Thank you for your interesting article on the “unauthorized immigrant” who was found sleeping in Abraham’s bosom in a Texas canal.
(www.mysanantonio.com/news/state/article/Dog-comes-home-with-human-hand-1878350.php)

I note with eager excitement your use of a new euphemism, “unauthorized immigrant,” for “illegal alien.”  But the euphemism is insufficiently documented in this case.  Specifically, we don’t know whether the son of Adam, who was found having met his maker, was an unauthorized immigrant, or an unauthorized visitor, or an unauthorized burglar, or an unauthorized worker, or an unauthorized drug seller. More specifically, it is unfair to immigrants to call him an “immigrant” when we certainly have no information as to how long he intended to stay.  If he intended to stay permanently, he might have been an immigrant.  If he intended to stay briefly, to visit the Alamo, he would have been a tourist.  We just don’t know.  But we do know that he was not a citizen.  In plain terms, he was an alien.

Nor do we know whether he was “authorized” or not.  His mother may have authorized him to visit her, or may have authorized him to depart Mexico before he departed this vale of tears.  A human-rights group may have authorized him to enter the country.  So, he may very well have been authorized by someone.  We just don’t know.  We do know, however, that the United States government did not authorize him to enter the country.  Put in stark terms, but terms that are easily understandable, he was in the country in violation of the law, i.e., illegally. 

So, in using the new euphemism “unauthorized immigrant” to describe the person who was found in the canal, having bought the farm, you were really displaying your callous indifference to accuracy.  All that is known about the fellow who kicked the bucket is that he was a non-citizen in the country illegally.  In other words, before leaving this mortal coil, the decedent was an illegal alien.

Better luck next time.

Warmly,

Seth

Washington State Senators attempt to justify "assault weapon ban"…

And Fail. A snippet:


Many semi-automatic assault rifles on the market today can be easily converted to fully automatic operation with minor after-market modifications, and are often purchased with that purpose in mind.

A less obvious point is that, when it comes to taking life, semi-automatic weapons are as lethal as fully automatic weapons, which were banned in the 1930s because police were being gunned down by gangsters.

My reply:

Re: letter to the editor entitled “Police Chiefs Call for State Ban” by Sen Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Sen Adam Kline, published on January 12, 2010

The lettter to the editor submitted by Senators Kohl-Welles and Kline was premised upon two points, both of which are fallacious.

They claimed that “many semi-automatic assault rifles…can be easily converted to fully automatic operation with minor after-market modifications”. This is a myth. Converting a semi-automatic rifle to a machine gun requires machining and tooling that is simply beyond the capability of your average street thug. It is notable that the Senators don’t support their contention with facts or statistics. This is hardly the pervasive problem that they imply and does not justify a wholesale ban of the most popular utility and target rifles in the United States.

The Senators’ second point engages in a bit of “bait and switch” trickery. The legislation that they support would ban only “semi-automatic assault weapons”. In their second point, they change the subject from “assault weapons” to all semi-automatic firearms. In doing so, they patently admit the classification of a firearm as an “assault weapon” is irrelevant. The proposed law arbitrarily targets firearms based solely upon aesthetics. Further reinforcing this point, the statistic they provide of 40 police officers killed by semi-automatic weapons over the last four years includes (and, most likely, is made up primarily of) semi-automatic weapons that would be wholly unaffected by the proposed ban. The good Senators are apparently well aware of this, thus the change of subject from the limited one of the “semi-automatic assault weapons” that the proposed legislation targets to the broad inclusion of all semi-automatic firearms.

Which leads to the obvious question: If the proposed legislation is actually justified and supported by facts and reason, why are the proponents of it forced to rely on Hollywood created myths and misdirection to rationalize it?

It probably won’t be printed, which is why I’m providing it here.

Letter to Barbara "Ma’am" Boxer

Not from me, from a constituent of hers. I’ve posted something of his once before. It was forwarded to me by my good friend CB, via e-mail. Seth REALLY needs to start blogging.

Dear Ms. Boxer:

Thank you for today’s email advising me that 20% of my income is too much for me to spend on health care. Thanks also for letting me know that similarly situated citizens of other advanced nations spend no more than 10% of their income on health care.

I value your expertise. If you would, therefore, please let me know how much I should spend on other lines of my budget. In particular, what percentage of my income should I spend on:

1. Veterinary care;
2. Gifts for relatives;
3. Clothing;
4. Food to be cooked at home;
5. Food eaten at restaurants;
6. Computers, software, and internet-service-providers;
7. Vacations;
8. Furniture; and
9. Rent.

If you would, please let me know how many hours I should exercise each week and what television programs I should watch.

Finally, if you have the time, please come to my home and advise what color I should paint the interior. And, if you would, please wash my dishes.

Cordially,

Seth

I Sent an e-mail today

To a Derrick Jackson in response to an op-ed attributed to him in the Boston Globe.

Mr. Jackson,

Notwithstanding the level of hyperbole and silliness in your op-ed in the Boston Globe this morning; notwithstanding the irony inherent in citing the violence and crime in Chicago that is occurring despite the fact that, with the demise of DC’s restrictions, Chicago now has the most restrictive gun control laws in the country; notwithstanding the demonstrable fact that all of Chicago’s efforts to “take illegal handguns off the streets” have failed miserably, there was one accusation in your diatribe that stood head and shoulders above the rest.

I was wondering…could you please cite instances of the NRA’s “censoring of reasonable, thoughtful debate”?

Thank you.

Sincerely

Curtis Stone
ATC(AW) USN(Ret)

aka
Sailorcurt
Captain of a Crew of One

cc: blog post

I’ll let you know if I get a response. Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.

In the Globe’s defense, at least they put the propaganda on the Editorial page this time instead of disguising it as “News”.

Creative definitions

Google alerts pointed me to this story this morning.

A three year old girl found her parents handgun the results have left the child in critical condition and the community in prayer for the young life hanging in the balance.

One of the girl’s parents apparently owned the gun with which she shot herself about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

While gun violence is not a new phenomenon, it’s still something that makes people cringe when they hear about it – but they especially feel the real pain of violence in their souls when they hear the terms gun violence and children connected in any sentence.

I didn’t even bother to address the faulty statistics that they cite at the end of the “article.” I concentrated on the magical morphing of an incident from “accident” to “gun violence” within a couple of paragraphs.

The “article” doesn’t allow public comments per se, but I used their contact form to submit the following:

Re: “Toddler Shoots Self in Head – In Critical Condition”

Would your news department classify a child killed in an auto accident a victim of “car violence?”

How about a child who drowns: are they a victim of “pool violence” or “bathtub violence?”

Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?

No more ridiculous than classifying an accidental shooting as “gun violence.”

As tragic as the incident was and as negligent as the parents obviously were in this situation, the fact that it involved one particular mechanical object over any number of other mechanical objects does not justify classifying it as “violence.”

Your bias is showing.

Nothing like a getting a little good propaganda with your news in the morning is there?

Letter to the State Police

Bathed in irony, a few days after attending the Town Hall meeting wherein Governor Tim Kaine revealed that he lacks reading comprehension skills and also credited the State Police with singlehandedly convincing him that the rest of Virginia was wrong in supporting SB476 which would de-criminalize law abiding citizens discreetly carrying defensive tools in restaurants that serve alcohol, I received a letter from none other than the Virginia State Police Association asking me for…get this…money!

HA!

Here’s what I sent VSPA President Kenneth Bumgarner in reply:

Mr. Bumgarner,

I recently received your request for a donation to the Virginia State Trooper’s Association. I have donated to your cause in the past and I would seriously consider it in the future, however one significant issue has caused me to take pause.

Recently, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill which would remove the current prohibition against permitted, qualified law abiding citizens discreetly carrying defensive firearms into establishments that serve alcohol, provided that they consume no alcohol while on the premises. As you are probably aware, Governor Kaine vetoed that bill. When questioned, his justification for that veto was opposition by the Virginia State Police.

Notably, the prohibition against discreetly carrying firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol does not apply to law enforcement officers, even when off duty, and there is no prohibition against off duty law enforcement officers drinking while so armed at such an establishment.

The position of the Virginia State Police regarding this issue as stated by Governor Kaine does nothing but display an “us versus them” mentality and lends the impression that the Virginia State Police believes that “some are more equal than others.” I’m afraid that I cannot lend financial support to an organization that displays such blatant disregard for their fellow citizens’ right to be properly equipped to effectively provide for the safety of themselves and their families.

Perhaps if the Virginia State Police publicly and clearly reverses their position on this issue and supports the citizens’ right to self defense as strenuously as they do their own, I may reconsider in the future.

Sincerely,

While I realize that the VSPA is not an official arm of the State Police, and that the individual troopers have no say or control over what their superiors tell the Governor, I can only hope that enough gun rights supporters would follow my lead that the VSPA would feel that such policies are giving Virginia State Troopers a bad name, are hurting their efforts to solicit donations and that they, and their member State Troopers, will voice their concerns with this policy up the chain.

To be perfectly honest, I have a suspicion (and this is completely unfounded, it is just my feeling on the matter) that the Virginia State Police did not officially advise Governor Kaine on this matter, I suspect that he came to his decision all by himself, but then when called on it, used the State Police as his scapegoat and excuse. My suspicion is strengthened by the fact that the Virginia State Police took no official position on SB 476 when it was being debated in the General Assembly. If they truly opposed passage of the bill, that would have been the place to do it, not behind the closed doors of the Governor’s office.

If my suspicion is correct, I would like to see the Virginia State Police publicly express the truth. I would like to see them call Governor Tim (quit squirming while I stab you in the back) Kaine on his BS and announce that they did not, in fact, advise him to veto the bill. Until they do that, however, I must assume that they do actually take the elitist “we’re the only ones” view that the Governor is accusing them of and I will not support an organization associated with those who would do so.

I’ll let you know of VSPA replies.

I wasn’t gonna

but now I gotta.

My good friend, fellow VCDL member, and co-conspirator on the yet to be announced big project that I’ve been working on, Clint, tipped me off to the latest campus shooting yesterday. I probably could have scooped most of the other gunbloggers had I posted on it right away, but I was very disheartened by the news.

Upon reading the blogs this morning, I noted that it was being adequately covered, so I just didn’t mention it.

In an e-mail conversation with Clint this morning, I explained to him why I hadn’t posted on it…and then proceeded to write a post about it. Because the work is already done, I’m just going to reprint that email here to express my feelings on the subject:

I simply don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before.

Several bloggers are covering it and I’ve just decided to let them handle it. If I do comment on it, it will probably be in response to something someone says about it.

What makes me sick is that within a couple of days, the press will have identified the perpetrator and his name, history, personal details and picture will be plastered all over the papers, TV and internet…granting him exactly what he wanted: notoriety. That’s why it keeps happening: combine the narcissism of our current age with the reverence afforded celebrity, with the sensationalism of the news, with the never-ending abundance of “soft targets” and we’re going to continue to see these types of acts over and over again…probably with increasing frequency.

Oops. I think I just wrote a blog post about it. Maybe I’ll just post this reply later.

So there you have it. My feelings in a nutshell. The anti-gunners are going to have no shortage of blood in which to dance. These things are going to continue unabated and probably at an even greater pace in the future.

Letter to the Editor

A couple of days ago, the Richmond Times Dispatch published this “news” item.

It seems that the “head” of the VA Tech Review Panel recommended implementing NICS checks on private firearm sales at gun shows. You see, the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech murders didn’t get his guns that way and so instituting such checks will prevent similar incidents in the future…or something.

Anyway, that article presented a target rich environment for LTE subjects, but I wanted to narrow it down to one thing so that I could keep my letter short enough that there might be some possibility of it getting published.

Well, it’s been a couple of days now and no one has called to verify my authorship so I feel it’s safe to assume that my letter didn’t make the cut. I guess I’ll just have to bypass the editorial staff of the RTD and publish it here:

The term “dealer” with regard to firearms sales has a specific legal definition (see Title 18, US Code, Chapter 44, § 921 (a)(11)). Private sales do not fit that definition. If an individual fits the legal definition of “dealer”, yet is not licensed, they are committing a federal felony. Therefore, the term you insist upon using to describe Uncle Buck selling his 20 year old hunting rifle to another private citizen at a gun show, in his living room, or in the parking lot of the local Police station, is misleading and inaccurate. I find it difficult to believe that the use of such an artificial and contrived term is accidental. Or do you typically refer to private citizens selling their personal automobiles as “unlicensed car dealers?” There is a word for using terminology designed specifically to evoke a misleading perception or leave a false impression…and it’s not “journalism.”

Oh well. Maybe next time.

ps. I also sent a copy of this LTE to the author of the article. I have yet to hear back from him either. Not surprising, but noteworthy. Perhaps I’ll send him a link to this post.

We interrupt this blogging Hiatus

For something just too funny to pass up.

I sent a letter to the editor in response to this ridiculous editorial…er…news item. (Hat tip to Nicki).

Here’s what I submitted:

Does journalism school include any training on fact checking or research? The National Firearms Act of 1934 strictly regulates assault rifles and “destructive devices” including fragmentation grenades. The Law Enforcement Officer’s Protection Act of 1985 restricted the sale of armor piercing handgun ammunition to the military and police. There is no such thing as an “armor piercing handgun”. There is only armor piercing ammunition for any given handgun. The FN Five Seven is no more capable of defeating armor than any other handgun with appropriate ammunition…which is banned to non-government actors.

If Mexican criminals are obtaining assault rifles, fragmentation grenades and armor piercing handgun ammunition in the US, they are obtaining them from government actors, either criminal, or covert. This activity has absolutely nothing to do with the lawful ownership and sale of firearms by private citizens in the US.

In response, I got a computer generated acknowledgment that they received my letter. Included in this response was the following:

We expect that you have checked your facts and that those facts are readily verifiable.

You could cut the irony with a butter knife.

Now that’s funny right there.