01 October 2013

Greg Abbott for Texas Governor


I'm thinking of jumping on the AG's bandwagon for his campaign for governor.  I sure like his take on the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment.

Watch this space for updates...

27 September 2013

My Conversation with John Cornyn

I had the opportunity to spend some quality phone time with Senator John Cornyn this afternoon, immediately after the vote to strip the defunding amendments from the Continuing Resolution from the House. It was just the Senator, me, Derrick, and some other blogger who joined late on the call, on an open call.

The Senator opened with some comments, where he reiterated his distaste for ObamaCare, and stressed that he had acted in a manner that he deemed the most effective, namely to vote for cloture and proceed to vote on the CR, with the hope of 5 Red State Democrats crossing the aisle to vote in allegiance with the Republicans. Of course, that tactic was DOA, and failed. I'm not sure why anyone thought that a Democrat would jump ship on its party's defining legislation victory.

I posited that since this was now a done deal, and knowing what we know today, would he have chosen a different set of tactics? He replied in the negative, asserting that he didn't see the logic in voting against the CR, which in its original state, would have defunded ObamaCare.

I asked that since these tactics he spoke of had failed, what in fact, was the long-term strategy? Was it to wait for 2014? I'm not sure I got a straight answer. He referred to Manchin's ploy to delay the individual mandate, and to 2014 to be sure.

I thought to myself: if delaying ObamaCare to 2014 is a Republican strategy, then why did the Democrats initiate it? I'll tell you why: because without the delay, the American public will find out how badly they've been shafted, and would vote out the incumbents in rage. So delaying ObamaCare merely serves to keep the incumbents in office. Any of this ring true with you, dear reader?

I asked why, in the face of certain failure, didn't he just take a stand with Ted Cruz, not whip the other Republicans against Cruz, and at least make a stand? In my mind, this would help cement his image with his constituency, and virtually guarantee re-election in 2014. He replied once again, that he didn't see the logic in that. He spoke several times about a "family disagreement" on tactics, and how it didn't make sense to vote against the CR that would defund ObamaCare. He spoke of his experience in the judiciary and his experience as a Senator, that he was ranked the second most conservative Senator, and that his hope had been that we'd have more trust and confidence in his decision on tactics. That's when I decided he needed a wake-up call, that his constituents were disappointed in his tactics.

I asserted that his constituency that I have contact with on social media, and even on his own Facebook pages are howling that they've been betrayed. He responded strongly, as if he were shocked, as if this had been the first time he heard that people felt betrayed, and he was frankly and genuinely offended by that characterization. I offered that he should spend some time on his own Facebook page, and see that I'm not alone in this sentiment. Yeah, I pissed off a senior U.S. Senator.

Let me summarize what I heard: "I know what's best for the people, despite your opinions to the contrary." In my opinion, John Cornyn has lost touch with his constituents, and has succumbed to DC and the mainstream media, to whom he is apparently beholden. I saw today as a defining moment, a turning point for the senior Senator from Texas. Is it time for a change? Maybe. Cornyn has had our back on myriad issues, but this one issue will have a deeper, more far-reaching impact on the United States economy than any other. It's something to think hard about.

I'll give Derrick his chance to chime in with his thoughts.

Cornyn: I Will Vote To Defund ObamaCare

Well, I'm hopping mad over this press release in anticipation of the call for a cloture vote. This is what John Cornyn is hanging his career on: "And I hope that we have five democrats -- perhaps those who hoped in 2010 that Obamacare would actually work, but in light of subsequent experience will reconsider and say maybe we ought to start over again because Obamacare has not worked."

Sorry, but I've had a belly full of hope from this administration, and it's time for that change.  I'm going to start with a campaign against my state's own Senator.  I can't believe that John Cornyn has sold out his constituency for NOTHING.  That's what will be accomplished today.

If a miracle happens and those 5 Democrats cross the aisle, I'll eat my words, and run out and buy a lottery ticket. But this will be the straw that breaks the electorate's collective backs.

United States Senator - Texas
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Megan Mitchell, (202) 224-0704
Drew Brandewie, (202) 224-0703
Friday, September 27th, 2013

Cornyn: I Will Vote To Defund Obamacare
‘The real vote today is going to be on the vote that the majority leader will offer to strip out the defunding language’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said on the Senate floor today that he will vote to defund Obamacare and encouraged Senate Democrats to join all Senate Republicans in voting to defund a law that does not work.

His full speech can be seen here, and excerpts of his remarks are below:

“We will be voting today on a very important provision which will give us an opportunity to start over again to address the failures of Obamacare that even some of its most ardent advocates had hoped it would meet.

“[T]oday we will vote on a number of matters, including a cloture vote on the underlying bill, that I will be voting ‘yes’ on cloture because I don't understand how I can otherwise vote on a matter that I want to see passed.

“In other words, we will vote to proceed to a bill that defunds Obamacare, and I believe we should defund Obamacare. Indeed, just as we did on the motion to proceed, we had 100 senators vote for cloture on the motion to proceed.

“I don't know why we wouldn't vote to proceed on the cloture vote on the underlying bill, especially those of us who believe that we ought to go ahead and defund Obamacare today in light of experience between 2010 and 2013, which shows it hasn't lived up to expectations and promises.

“So I think the real vote today is going to be on the vote that the majority leader will offer to strip out the defunding language. And I hope that we have five democrats -- perhaps those who hoped in 2010 that Obamacare would actually work, but in light of subsequent experience will reconsider and say maybe we ought to start over again because Obamacare has not worked.”

The Vote on Cloture


I'm posting this cop-out because I want everyone to know that John Cornyn has decided to squander the only chance he had to stop ObamaCare this year in exchange for...nothing. The chances of these Democrats crossing the aisle are the same as John Cornyn's chances of making it out of the primaries next year. This is one of the lamest attempts to blame someone else (the Democrats, in this case) for not having the cojones to simply do what his constituents asked him to do, and vote NO on cloture. There's still a chance, John Cornyn - vote no, or risk evisceration at the hands of Texas voters.

17 April 2013

Die, S. 649, Die!

I've been waiting with bated breath for this amendment to S.649.  When this bill hit the Senate floor, I expressed the sentiment that it was time for our senators to start introducing amendments that would kill it dead.  Although I'd love to see national reciprocity, this amendment is more likely to scuttle that odious legislation.

What continues to haunt me is that so many people think that S. 649 in its pristine state is good legislation. The first time this legislation either a) doesn't stop a maniac or b) results in the prosecution of an innocent person, all litigious hell will break loose.  It's a bad bill and needs to die.

United States Senator - Texas
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Megan Mitchell, (202) 224-0704 
Drew Brandewie, (202) 224-0703
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Cornyn Introduces National Conceal-Carry Reciprocity Legislation
Allows Permit Holders to Carry Concealed Weapons Across State Lines
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced an amendment to S. 649 which would guarantee the rights of gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines and within other states that also have conceal-carry laws.

“Balancing two of this nation’s most fundamental rights, this measure ensures that law-abiding Americans are able to lawfully carry their weapons across state lines while respecting the rights of each individual state to pass laws that are right for them.”

The Constitutional Concealed Carry Act of 2013 would treat state-issued conceal-carry permits like drivers’ licenses, allowing law-abiding citizens with conceal-carry privileges to conceal-carry in any other states that also permits it by law. The amendment is supported by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees.  He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

20 March 2013

John Cornyn on Background Check Legislation

For those of you who don't get regular updates from your senators.

United States Senator - Texas
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Megan Mitchell, (202) 224-0704
Drew Brandewie, (202) 224-0703
Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ICYMI: Cornyn: Background Checks Have to Keep Guns From Severely Troubled Buyers
Background checks serve a critical role in ensuring that guns stay out of the hands of those not responsible enough to use them…we must refocus our efforts to make sure the current background-check system works to screen out the dangerously mentally ill.’

WASHINGTON – The following column authored by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) appeared in the Houston Chronicle:

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn
The Houston Chronicle
March 20, 2013
These pages recently criticized my March 12 vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee against legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., that would require all prospective gun purchasers to undergo a background check. ("Senate judiciary panel's Republicans remain true to NRA," Page B7, Wednesday) It was suggested that my vote indicates I am opposed to all background checks on any individual purchasing any weapon. This is false, and I'd like to take an opportunity to clarify my position.

I believe background checks serve a critical role in ensuring that guns stay out of the hands of those not responsible enough to use them. Therefore, I believe we must refocus our efforts to make sure the current background-check system works to screen out the dangerously mentally ill. What we should not do is obsess about ineffective window-dressing reforms, or we risk putting symbolism over substance.

The mass murders in Colorado, Arizona and Virginia were committed by killers who passed their background checks. How did they slip through the cracks? And how can we seal those cracks in the future? The murderer of innocent children in Connecticut killed his mother and stole firearms that she kept in their home, which she purchased legally and for which she passed background checks. Unfortunately, Sen. Schumer's legislation glosses over these gaping holes in the background check system.

If there was a common thread in the tragedies at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown, it was the mental illness of the shooter. No one wants disturbed young men or women to have access to firearms, and lawmakers should bolster the relevant safeguards.

The Schumer bill appears to be rooted in the belief that private buyers and sellers of firearms are not to be trusted. For example, in the recent bipartisan talks on background checks, Democrats quickly shifted the argument from universal checks to universal record-keeping, which is a separate and even thornier issue. Why is it that some do not trust law-abiding gun owners to make responsible decisions?

Unfortunately, legislation proposed in the Senate, such as the so-called "assault weapons ban," focuses not on the perilous intersection of mental illness and guns, but on the cosmetic features of certain firearms. I wasn't sent to Washington to pass another law that will not address the real root cause of mass violence. Recent tragedies across the nation confirm that we must improve mental health reporting for the background check program.

This is why I support legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would plug the holes in our background check system. Federal and state authorities alike have criticized ambiguous guidelines in the current system that fail to include many existing mental illness records. The NICS Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 would clarify outdated legal definitions so that we could more effectively screen out individuals who are prohibited from buying guns.

As an elected official, I take my responsibility for the safety and security of all Texans very seriously. I welcome a robust debate over the best measures to ensure that: (1) the rights of law-abiding citizens are protected and (2) guns are kept out of the hands of severely troubled individuals. I believe that fortifying our current background-check laws is a critical step, and I will continue fighting to protect the rights and livelihoods of all Texans.

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees.  He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

06 March 2013

Americans for Responsible Solutions

Brace yourselves, because this may come off as being a little mean.

Gabby Giffords. She was a Democrat member of Congress who suffered a gunshot to the head at the hands of a madman. She is lucky to be alive, and everyone is thankful for that. However, she has suffered significant trauma, and continues to have difficulty speaking and walking, and her right arm is paralyzed. She's lost 50% of her vision in both eyes.

It's worth noting that she was a strong pro-gun representative, and expressed a firm belief in the Second Amendment.

However, things change. Now she is the figurehead of an anti-gun organization, "Americans for Responsible Solutions," that is largely run by her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. In just the last few months, most notably after the Newtown tragedy, Kelly has stepped up his anti-gun campaign, pandering to the masses for support of, you guessed it, "common-sense" gun control.

You might hope that given the name of the organization and given the distinguished service of its founders, that this organization is somehow different from other "responsible"-sounding organizations.

"We have a problem -- where we shop, where we pray, where our children go to school," Giffords says to the camera in one of the ads. "But there are solutions we can agree on, even gun owners like us." The screen then says: "Tell Senator Grassley to support background checks." Gabby Giffords has become the James Brady of a new generation, a lightning rod for sympathy in the face of tragedy. In other words, we have an emotional tie, and that's where the lies gain a foothold.

"Even gun owners like us." This is subtle, but effective, and is from a 6-figure ad campaign running in Arizona right now. An almost identical ad ran earlier in the year: "The ad -- at a six-figure buy -- will air this week in DC, as well in the cities represented by congressional leaders: San Francisco (Nancy Pelosi); Cincinnati, OH (John Boehner); Louisville, KY (Mitch McConnell); and Las Vegas, NV (Harry Reid)."

So there you have it. What little respect I had for Mark Kelly has now gone the way of Nancy Pelosi. I don't blame Giffords, because quite frankly, I believe she's being used the same as any other defenseless pawn in this game.

There's no common sense here. It's the same attack, using the same pathetic tactics, using a tragedy to promote a political agenda. Don't fall for it.

17 February 2013

Ted Cruz is Doing the Job I Asked Him to do!


Oh, the Democrats are just jumping mad these days.  They're upset about the freshman Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, and his in-your-face, apolitical politics.  They're upset because he's fighting the status quo.  They're upset because he's not taking the typical freshman approach to D.C., namely, learning how to "play the game," and learning how to "get along," and learning how to "make deals."  How does Ted Cruz feel about this?

He could not be more pleased. Washington’s new bad boy feels good. 
“I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo,” he said in e-mailed answers to questions, in lieu of speaking. “That is what I intend to do, and it is what I have done in every way possible in the responsibilities that have been granted to me.” 
I love it.
Of course, his opposition does what they do best: get emotional, angry, and downright nasty.  
Without naming names, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, offered a biting label for the Texan’s accusatory crusade: McCarthyism. 
“It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,’ and, of course, nothing was in the pocket,” she said, a reference to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s pursuit of Communists in the 1950s. “It was reminiscent of some bad times.”
Yes, if you can't get someone to comply with your idea of Washington, by all means, start trotting out then name-calling and mud-slinging.  Even the prominent RINOs are getting angry with Cruz.  John McCain got all upset because Cruz apparently wasn't "respectful" enough to Chuck Hagel during his nomination hearings.  Boo. Hoo.  Last time I heard, we weren't electing senators to be nice to each other and hug and kiss.  In fact, our political history has calmed down quite a bit from the days of fistfights on the floor, and duels in the field.  

Ted Cruz hurt your feelings?  Too bad.  We hired him to do a job, and if that hurts your feelings, offends your delicate sensibilities, or even changes the way things get done in D.C., well, get used to it.

25 January 2013

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz Comments on the Feinstein's Proposed Assault Weapon Ban

Press Release 
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 
Subject: Cruz statement on Feinstein Assault Weapons Ban.

From the office of
For immediate release:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz Statement on Sen. Feinstein's Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) today issued the following statement regarding Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) Assault Weapons Ban of 2013:

Washington politicians shouldn't be taking advantage of recent tragedy to try to push an aggressive gun control agenda. Real assault weapons-machine guns-are already functionally illegal, and they have been since 1934. This proposal would have done nothing to prevent the terrible murders in Newtown, but it would limit the constitutional liberties of law-abiding citizens. And gun control doesn't work - the empirical data overwhelmingly demonstrate that strict gun-control laws consistently produce more crime and more murders.

The Second Amendment exists to ensure that law-abiding Americans can protect their homes and families, and I look forward to helping lead the fight to defeat this bill and to protect our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

20 January 2013

Rantin' and Ravin'!

With respect to the current gun control arguments, I've been seeing a  lot of fuss and bluster on both sides.  I say "both sides," because there are very few who are in the middle.  In fact, one group or the other would claim that if "you're in the middle," you're part of the problem (a position I hold, by the way).  Nonetheless, I'll try to leave those folks out of this discussion.

I'm great with people being passionate about issues, as long as they can back it up with logic and facts.  What I don't have patience for is foaming-at-the-mouth, spit-slinging tirades that are no more than emotional rants based on one person's opinion of how the world should function.

After reading the Dallas Morning News today, there's no shortage of face-palm inducing, head-shaking, sheer bewilderment over what passes for logical arguments.  There's an interview titled "In search of sensible gun control," in the Points section with Tom Diaz, a former senior analyst at the Violence Policy Center, touted in the article as "a think tank that studies the gun industry."  Just like the Taliban is a "think tank that studies American lifestyles." But I digress.

Needless to say, Diaz is pro-gun control, in spite of claims that he's a one-time NRA member, and has fired actual firearms, including AR-15s and AKs.  His answer to "if you had your way with Congress, what laws would you pass to address gun violence?," is "An effective ban on the production, import, and transfer of semi-automatic assault weapons, and high-capacity magazines and a universal background check on all gun transfers."  I think that defines what he views as "sensible."  

When asked if the majority of Americans know what an "assault weapon" really is, he states, "No...and that is precisely the axis of the problem of crafting sensible public safety laws."  Public safety laws, not gun control laws.  Nicely crafted, but also a deflection of an answer to the question.  He doesn't define what an "assault weapon" is, but he believes that banning them is the answer.

When asked about Gov. Rick Perry's reaction to the President's proposed legislation, he had this to say, "I think many Americans and many Texans would disagree, as I do, with Perry's assessment."  No hint of a suggestion for a better course of action, just a dismissal.

Here's what sums up the whole interview for me, a quote from Mr. Diaz, "What has changed?  Have Americans gotten crazier? No. The profile of gun ownership in America has been changed by a cynical gun industry that has flooded the country with military-style killing machines - namely, high-capacity semiautomatic pistols and semiautomatic assault rifles."

And there it is.  Your foaming-at-the-mouth, spittle-slinging assessment of where the problem lies.  All in spite of the facts, statistics, and laws already in place.  It's the gun's fault. 

16 January 2013

The Great Divide

Today we'll find out the President's proposals for the gun violence problem that we've been hearing so much about.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Either we go after criminals, or we criminalize law-abiding citizens.  One approach makes sense, the other makes no sense whatever.

The President has before him a chance to heal the widening rift that grows in America. He has an opportunity to effect real change, but he will have to eschew feel-good legislation in order to do so.  If he succumbs to the feel-good crowd, he will simply further alienate the rest of us who logically exercise common sense.

I've noticed that there has been an ongoing polarization in this country.  It seems the Liberals have gotten more so, as have the Conservatives.  There is more polarization between the givers and the takers, too.  There are hard feelings from those who now, more than ever, feel they are being used to fund the "entitlements" of others.  

This polarization is evidenced by the wide swings in party politics and elections, whereby the pendulum swings wide to either side, and never settles anywhere near the middle.  This continued polarization will continue unabated until a more centrist approach can be found.

If the President chooses to attack the Second Amendment, he risks a further, deeper rift that this country has not seen since the 19th Century.  If he chooses to criminalize the lawful activities of law-abiding citizens, he is making a critical mistake.  If he chooses to try to fix societal problems by going after guns, he is making a critical mistake.  

What he needs to do is to enforce and strengthen the existing laws.  He needs to prosecute criminals.  He needs to recognize that criminals don't care about laws, and leave the law-abiding citizens of this country alone.  He needs to recognize that personal responsibility for self-protection is the natural order of things, and  that trying to prevent us from protecting ourselves serves no good purpose.

It'll be an interesting and revealing day, where we all find out what our President's true intentions really are.

14 January 2013

Ted Cruz on the Road

While the President was busy being...presidential, some of our Senators were out doing some actual good.

U.S. Senator for Texas
B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Contact: Sean Rushton
January 14, 2013

Senator Cruz Visits Afghanistan and Israel with Congressional Delegation

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced today that he and four other Senators just completed a visit to Afghanistan and Israel.
Cruz joined Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the trip, as well as Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Deb Fischer (R-NE). During the trip, the Senators met with U.S. military personnel, military officials and political leaders to discuss political, economic and security issues affecting bilateral and regional relations. 
In addition to visiting troops from Texas, Sen. Cruz joined the Senators to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Major General Larry Nicholson, and General John Allen, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force. The delegation returns to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

11 January 2013

Andrew has been thinking...

From my very good friend, Andrew Colglazier:

I have been thinking about the things some people have said to me during the many debates I have participated in since the Sandy Hook murders.
There is no doubt that our country has been shaken by the killings in that school. It has caused many to question the tradition we have of private citizens possessing weapons of various sorts. Some have begun to call for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.
After such a horrible event as happened in Connecticut, it is understandable that some might begin to believe that the price we pay for widespread gun ownership is too high, and that the ideals espoused so clearly by the men who founded our country, and which stand behind the words of the Constitution are out of date, obsolete, and invalid in our modern society.
The call, which we have heard before when such tragedies have occurred, rings out once more. "Turn in the guns! We don't need these weapons! Destroy them!" We turn to our government for a solution, and our government begins to formulate ways to grant us our wish.
Never mind that there is a strident group within our population which, anachronistically, clings to the idea that the power of an individual is important. That, ownership of a weapon makes a human more than a subject, or a slave. Never mind that the Constitution itself seems to forbid this. Never mind, that since time immemorial, Man has had to fight for every scrap of freedom.
So, a portion of our elected government puts in motion legal action to grant us our wish, to be free of fear and safe from violence. There is by no means unity within the government on this action. There is by no means unity within the population for this action, either.
But after a horrible killing public opinion seems to be in favor of measures which have been tried before, but which failed because they didn't go far enough. These failed measures are again put forward, but with enhancements. The types of guns to be banned will be more inclusive; the ability of the citizen to transfer weapons already owned will be forbidden; the possibility of obtaining more guns in the future, illegal.
The motivation of the government in taking these steps seems clear. Our elected officials wish to take "reasonable" steps to protect the lives of innocents. They wish to grant us what we seem to want, security. A benevolent goal, and one which will surely save lives.
And yet.... and yet. Before rushing headlong into this undertaking it might be a good idea to stop, take a deep breath, and ask ourselves, and each other, a few questions.
We stand at a precipice. There is a change ahead of us, many of us can feel it. It's a turning point of a type this country has never faced.
In the history of this country, the progression has been trending in one direction. The progression has been the winning of rights and freedoms by more and more people. These rights and freedoms were originally only held by the rich, the white, the landholders. And before that, by royalty and despots.
In this country, a group of men called for independence. Independence from thousands of years of subjugation. After a long and bloody war, this group of men put together a philosophy of thought which was based on two important tenets.
First, human beings have rights and freedoms which they hold inherently, without having them granted by other humans who claim the right of rule. Second, a government must be formed in such a way that these rights are protected from infringement by the government itself.
Our progression has been to broaden the rights first held by our founders, so that now more of us than ever enjoy them. This work is ongoing, it isn't finished, there is more to do.
But now, many of us say we are ready to start relinquishing these rights and freedoms. The cost of the right to keep and bear arms is too high, we say. It's exercise too frightful. It scares us. We don't want it anymore, we are ready to give it up. This is something new which we Americans have never done before.
After all, why do we need a right to keep and bear arms? Our government is stable, our country is secure. Our economy is strong, our society is on the road to inevitable improvement. What need have we of weapons?
What need indeed? We see the fruits of weapon misuse every night on our television sets. Bodies, murder, blood, mayhem. Young men killed, children murdered. Robbery, assault, assassination. It must stop.
But what if we did turn in our weapons? Are we at a place in our history where this would truly be a good idea? Does anyone use their weapons for a purpose besides crime and murder?
We are a nation of more than 300 million people. There are an estimated 250-300 million guns in the hands of American citizens. That number is increasing rapidly.
With that many guns, why is it that we don't have more dead? The fact is that while the numbers of guns in private hands is increasing, the death toll associated with misuse of firearms is decreasing. DEcreasing.
Why do we have so many guns? So often I hear people bemoaning how many there are, but I never hear anyone ask WHY we have so many.
The number one reason, and the reason which covers every conceivable use is this; because we CAN own them. Americans from the inception of this country have believed that we have a RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Americans still believe that we have this right, even though many wish to deny it. Even though some of us now want this right to go away.
Can one person misusing a firearm cause the downfall of this country? Let's think of the worst mass killings in recent times; have any of those incidents come anywhere close to destroying this country?
What if five people went on similar rampages in one day; would the deaths of 150 in one day through the criminal use of firearms bring down this country, change it from what it is today into a place where there was no rule of law, no safety, no protection from violence?
No. No, even if such a horrible thing happened, it would not cause the downfall of this country. Why? Because even with such happenings, we would still have our representative system of government. We would still be able to enjoy our lives as we have now for many years. We would still live in great safety. We would still have our individual freedoms. This would still be the United States of America.
But let's say we all turn in our arms. Let's say we give them all to our government for disposal. By committing this act, we are telling our government that we are abdicating any responsibility for our own safety. We are ceding personal sovereignty. We are giving up any meaningful ability to defend ourselves, and we now expect our government to fulfill these duties for us.
For a long time we have enjoyed the benefits of our representative system of government. We still, for the most part, believe that our government functions with our interests foremost. Generally we believe that our government is trustworthy.
Could one man within our government destroy our country? Probably not. We have a system of checks and balances after all, designed to prevent such things from happening. So far they have worked well. What if five men connived to warp our governance into something we could not accept? Could five men do it? Could ten? How about 100? How many people would it take within our government to short circuit the system and hijack it? 200? 500?
There is a tipping point there, somewhere. I don't know where it is, but it exists, and that number of people is a tiny, tiny number compared to the rest of the people in this country. If that tipping point were reached, how could it be stopped?
Forget the Supreme Court. It has no power. Forget the Legislature; it has no power. But the Executive, that is the branch which must always be looked upon with suspicion. The Executive holds the true power in our country. It controls the various agencies. It controls law enforcement. It controls the military. The Courts and the Legislature only pose a check on Executive extremes so long as things are stable. In times of instability, all power flows to the Executive.
What exists to oppose the Executive, should that be necessary? The military? Perhaps. I would like to think the military would refuse to follow. But if the military, or a large part of the military moved with the Executive to seize power, as has happened in so many countries through history, what then? Who could oppose them?
My point here is that individual freedom can be misused in such a way as to cause harm, there is no doubt of that. It happens every day. People are killed through the misuse of our freedom by the thousands every year. And yet at no time can this misuse of freedom destroy our country as we know it.
By ceding our individual power and sovereignty to the government however, we gift any future despot a clear road to seize control of this country. If we lose our confidence in ourselves, and give away our freedom to a government which we can never believe will always be a benevolent one, then we open the door to losing our country. The misuse of power by a small number of men in key positions in our government can cause all of us to lose our freedom, when the random violence of any number of citizens cannot.
If we give up our right to arms, we may decrease the amount of mayhem in our country, but we may also be handing our freedom to a small group of men who would never give it back. Arms held legally by large numbers of citizens can present significant opposition to a government out of control.
We have murder and mayhem, albeit in decreasing amounts, in our society. This is a horrible thing, and we should work to make it as rare as possible. But we must beware the fallacy of giving up individual rights in exchange for some fleeting measure of security. We can truly give up what it is that keeps us free. Should we give up the vote? The right to pray? The right to an attorney? The ability to travel, to marry, to work towards success? Anything which allows us the ability to be free will bring with it risk, and failure, and even death. We must think very, very hard before we give up any of the rights and freedoms which we as Americans fought so hard to obtain.

10 January 2013


I'm sick and tired of fools.  I know the world is full of them.  I'm just disappointed that the United States has so many of them.  

'While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.'  -- 1 Thessalonians 5:3

I'm pretty much done suffering the foolish.  You need to look after yourselves.  The next person that tells me, "I'm glad you have guns.  If anything really bad ever happens, I'm coming to your house," my response will be, "You just stay home.  If I need anything, I'll come and take it from you." 

I'm more than happy to help someone who has the foresight to anticipate trouble before it comes.  But if you're part of the herd, part of the flock of sheep that bleats about "peace and safety," you're too naive.  It's a hard, mean world, full of bad things that will come and get you.  You're food, unless you decide you're not food.  

It's not up to me or anyone else to protect you.  It's up to you to wake up, smell the coffee, and realize that letting someone else (Obama, the NRA, the U.S. Government, the Brady Center, Crazy Uncle Bob, whatever) "take care of things" on your behalf is utter foolishness.  

If you're willing to give up ANY freedoms for imagined safety, then you'll just get what you deserve.  Natural selection will tend to the flock.

Cornyn Op-Ed: Why I Can’t Support Hagel

‘By Nominating Hagel for Defense Secretary, the President has Sent the Worst Possible Message to Our Closest Middle Eastern Ally and Our Greatest Middle Eastern Enemy’

WASHNGTON — The following article, authored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), appeared today on CNN.com:

To the surprise of many, including me, President Barack Obama has nominated former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary. Like many Texans, I am grateful for Hagel's courageous military service, but I fear he is the wrong man to lead the Pentagon.

One of the biggest foreign-policy challenges of Obama's second term is preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons -- which means we need a defense secretary who understands the nature and magnitude of the Iranian threat. Based on his record, Hagel does not.

In July 2001, 96 U.S. senators voted to extend sanctions against Iran. Chuck Hagel was one of only two senators who voted against sanctions. A year later, he urged the Bush administration to support Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization.

Even more disturbing, Hagel voted against a 2007 measure that called for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be designated a terrorist group. (At the time, the IRGC was aiding and equipping Shiite militias that were murdering U.S. troops in Iraq.) A few weeks after this vote, Hagel sent a letter to President George W. Bush asking him to launch "direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks" with the Iranian government, which the State Department has labeled a state sponsor of terrorism every year since 1984.

In July 2008, Hagel recommended that Washington go beyond direct talks and establish a U.S. diplomatic mission in Tehran. Later that month, in a Senate Banking Committee vote, he was one of only two senators to oppose the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act. (Obama signed a subsequent version of this bill in July 2010.)

Finally, in his 2008 book, "America: Our Next Chapter," Hagel appeared to suggest that the United States could live with a nuclear Iran, writing that "the genie of nuclear armaments is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does."

These comments and actions indicate that he does not fully appreciate the dangers of a nuclear Iran or the character of the Iranian regime. It is a regime that has effectively been at war with the United States since 1979 -- a regime whose proxies (such as the terrorist group Hezbollah) have killed Americans in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. For that matter, Tehran was recently implicated in a plot to blow up a restaurant (and the Saudi ambassador) in our nation's capital.

This is not a government that calculates self-interest the way America does. It is a messianic theocracy intent on exporting its violent Islamist revolution. And if Tehran gets the bomb, we might soon have a nuclear arms race in one of the world's most volatile regions.

It is no exaggeration to say that a nuclear Iran represents an existential threat to Israel. And yet, while Hagel wants us to be softer on the Iranians, he thinks we should be tougher on the Israelis. In October 2000, at the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada, he was one of only four senators who refused to sign a letter to President Bill Clinton affirming U.S. solidarity with Israel. More recently, in January 2009, Hagel signed a letter advising Obama to spearhead direct, unconditional talks with Hamas, a terrorist group that had just fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

Lest we forget, Hamas is an Iranian proxy whose senior leaders openly pray for genocidal violence against both Israelis and Americans. Last year, for example, a Hamas official named Ahmad Bahr, who serves as deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, declared in a sermon, "Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, destroy the Americans and their supporters. Oh Allah, count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one."

Thus, by nominating Hagel for defense secretary, the president has sent the worst possible message to our closest Middle Eastern ally and our greatest Middle Eastern enemy.

Senator Cornyn serves on the Finance and Judiciary Committees.  He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee. He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.

09 January 2013

Go Fix Something That Needs Fixing

Here's what bugs me the most about the current firestorm over gun rights, executive orders, etc.: it would appear that almost half of our population in these United States of America are OKAY with abridging, if not discarding, our rights for the sake of what? Imagined safety? A warm, fuzzy feeling that we've done something, even if it's futile? We've already tried this experiment, and it FAILED.

People, you can't discard your inalienable rights. You just can't.

You live in a hard world full of both good and bad people. Go get the bad people, and leave the good ones alone. The good people are your allies, not your enemies. Do something that will impact the bad and the sick. Fix them, not the people who don't need fixing. And trying to fix THINGS is just...misguided. Going after (pick your poison) guns, alcohol, drugs, baseball bats, knives, whatever...isn't addressing the issue.

You're trying to fix the things that aren't broken. Go fix the broken things.

06 January 2013

Ted Cruz - Keeping up the Pressure!

I hope someone caught this today.  I missed it, but watch the videos.

Cruz Addresses Debt Ceiling, Second Amendment and
Potential Hagel Nomination on Fox News Sunday

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) today sat down with John Roberts on Fox News Sunday, addressing issues related to the debt ceiling, the Second Amendment and President Obama’s expected nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Below are excerpts of Sen. Cruz’s comments and links to video clips of the interview.

Debt Ceiling:

“I am happy for there to be lots of new revenue. I am not happy for there to be new taxes. The best avenue for new revenue is economic growth. If the economy is sputtering along at 1%, 1.5%, 2% GDP growth, tax revenues plummet, people hurt, people are out of jobs.

“If we get the economy up to the historical level since World War II, the average has been 3.3%. In the fourth year of Reagan's presidency, our economy grew 7.2%. If we can get GDP growth up to 3, 4, 5%, that will be dramatically more revenue to pay off the deficit and debt, but the way to do it is through pro-growth policies, not new and additional taxes.”  

“I do not support default on the debt. We should never default on the debt. And the only players in Washington who are threatening default on the debt are President Barack Obama and Harry Reid.” 

“There is plenty of revenue to service the debt and any responsible President would have stood at that podium and said, ‘Under any circumstances, whatever happens with the debt ceiling, we will always pay our debt. We will never default on the debt.’ 

“And the reason the president isn't doing that is he is trying to scare people. He is trying to raise the specter of a financial apocalypse.” 


“Every parent was horrified by what happened [in Newtown]… it takes your breath away. But within minutes, we saw politicians run out and try to exploit this tragedy, try to push their political agenda of gun control. I do not support their gun control agenda…

“I don't think the proposals being discussed now make sense.  Look, are there things we can do? Sure.  One of the things we could do is we could improve the quality of the federal database [for background checks]. Right now a lot of states, a lot of local jurisdictions are not reporting criminal convictions, not reporting mental health, barriers to ownership - and so the federal database is not nearly as good as it should be.  That would be a common sense improvement…

“Sen. Dianne Feinstein's bill would create a national gun registry. I don't think the federal government has any business having a list of law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. “

Hagel as Secretary of Defense Nominee:

“If Hagel is nominated, it is very difficult to imagine a circumstance in which I could support his confirmation.

“It's interesting. The President seems bound and determined to proceed down this path despite the fact that Hagel's record is very, very troubling on the nation of Israel. He has not been a friend to Israel, and in my view the United States should stand unshakably with the nation of Israel, and he has consistently advocated weakness with respect to our enemies… 

“The job of the Secretary of Defense is to be a serious, credible strength and deterrent, and unfortunately, I think weakness in a Secretary of Defense invites conflict because bullies don’t respect weakness.”

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid!

Here in the post-holiday depression season, I'm reminded of the classic movie, "A Christmas Story," the tale of Ralphie and his quest for the ultimate Christmas present: a Red Ryder BB rifle.  All through the story, Ralphie tries everything he knows to convince those around him that he must have that rifle.  

And all through the story, the common retort from authority figures is the same: "you'll shoot your eye out, kid."

This story is an analog to our government's current crusade, where we're being told what's good for us.  We're being told that, "hey, we got this - we're your elected officials, and as such, we know better than you what's good for you.  Guns?  You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

So what?  So what if I shoot my eye out?  Bad news for me.  But I won't shoot my eye out.  I won't shoot anything but cardboard or steel in all likelihood.  I won't shoot another person, unless they're in my house when they don't belong there, or if they try to steal my car, or they try to rob me, or they attack my loved ones, or...well, hopefully you get the point.  

The government's concern for whether or not I shoot my eye out is nothing in comparison to my clear and present desire or need, and my inalienable right to own the firearm of my choice.  Go solve some real problems.

05 January 2013

Senator Dianne Feinstein's Proposed Gun Ban

On January 22nd, 2013 or thereabouts, Dianne Feinstein plans to introduce a new "Assault Weapons" ban.  If you haven't taken the time to examine this legislation, you need to.  You may think that just because you don't own an "assault weapon," that you've got nothing to worry about.

You'd be wrong.

Let's look at a few of the things that will make a firearm fall into the category of "assault weapon." Source: http://www.nraila.org/legislation/federal-legislation/2012/feinstein-goes-for-broke-with-new-gun-ban-bill.aspx

  1. Any type of grip on a rifle.  "grip . . . or any other characteristic that can function as a grip." Also, the new bill adds "forward grip" to the list of prohibiting features for rifles, defining it as "a grip located forward of the trigger that functions as a pistol grip." Read literally and in conjunction with the reduction from two features to one, the new language would apply to every detachable-magazine semi-automatic rifle. At a minimum, it would, for example, ban all models of the AR-15, even those developed for compliance with California’s highly restrictive ban.
  2. Any "semiautomatic, centerfire, or rimfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds," except for tubular-magazine .22s.  Read that carefully.  No more than 10 round detachable magazines for any rifle, period.
  3. Any "semiautomatic handgun with a fixed magazine that has the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds," and any semi-automatic handgun that has a threaded barrel.  No more than 10 round magazines for any modern handgun.  
  4. If you currently own an "assault weapon," you'll be required to register it as an NFA weapon.  The National Firearms Act of 1934 was for the regulation of machine guns - fully automatic weapons.  Now your hunting/sporting rifle will be classified as an NFA weapon, requiring a $200 tax stamp, registration, fingerprint and photo, and approval from a local law enforcement official to possess it. That's your rifle, handgun, and presumably your shotgun.
  5. If you have to do this, your firearm becomes non-transferable.  That means that when you die, the government must seize it. You can't sell it, you can't give it away, nobody can inherit it.  It becomes property of the government, and they can come and take it.  And you can bet they'll have more than 10 rounds in their guns.
Chances are good that you own a firearm that will somehow fall into this category.  This legislation cannot stand.  It circumvents not only the 2nd Amendment, but common sense.  You'll note the use of the term "semi-automatic" to specifically address certain firearms.  Feinstein knows there's a difference between semi and full, but she just doesn't care. 

She wants your guns.  Period.

Contact your representatives today, and tell those people that work for you to stop this nonsense now, today.  Use this handy link:

03 January 2013

"Assault Rifle" - Ignorance and Apathy

I'm so sick of the ignorance regarding so-called "assault rifles."  An AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, the same as any other sporting rifle.  It is NOT a machine gun.  It is NOT fully automatic.  The same applies to the civilian variant of the AK-47.  Not a machine gun, people!

Just because a rifle looks like its fully-automatic cousin, it doesn't make it one.  Not any more than an Airsoft rifle is a real rifle.  It's a toy that looks like a real rifle.

The problem is that most people don't know the difference, and they don't care.  They won't care until it's too late.  Ignorance and apathy defined.

As I discussed in an earlier post, fully automatic weapons are regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.  Non-military/law enforcement people cannot purchase an automatic weapon manufactured after 1967.  You can purchase one manufactured before that date, but they're very expensive ($10,000+), and require a tax stamp ($200), fingerprints and photos, and approval from local law enforcement.  As a consequence, very few people possess fully automatic firearms. 

The legislation being put forth in various states and now at the federal level want to treat your semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, and rifles the same as automatic weapons.  Look at that again: your Beretta shotgun, your Ruger pistol, your Remington rifle would be treated like machine guns, and restricted like them.

What's worse, the proposed legislation would make these firearms non-transferable.  When you die, the government gets your gun.  How's that grab you?

That leaves you with revolvers, pump shotguns, and bolt-action rifles, and those will be next.

I suppose the toy fully-automatic Airsoft rifles are next after that.  

Contact your congresspersons ASAP and voice your opposition to any restrictive legislation whatsoever.  Do it now, and use this link to make it happen: http://capwiz.com/gunowners/home/