COFREE 1999 Shorts
The entire purpose of government schools in America, dating back to the 1850s when children were marched into government schools at gunpoint against the wishes of the parents, is to separate children from their families so that they can be properly propagandized by the State. If you want access and involvement in your child's education, you need to advocate the mass firing of all education bureaucrats and a return to parent-controlled education. - Ari Armstrong
Japanese Suffer Youth Violence
But how could that be? According to America's leading leftists, cultural violence is caused by guns. Japan doesn't have any guns. Might this indicate deeper social factors are at work? Nah; that would deny the Democrats their opportunity to fear-monger and hate-monger against gun owners. - Ari Armstrong
Rosen Dispels Another Gun Myth
In his May 12 column, Rosen pointed out the false assumptions behind the claim that "guns kill thirteen children a day." Rosen writes, "The great majority [of those deaths] are virtually adults between the ages of 17 and 19, and most of those are gang members, not young children who are victims of household mishaps. 'Trigger locks would do nothing to stop gang members from using guns,' says [Yale Professor John] Lott."
Finally we find people in the mass media willing to talk sense on the gun issue. - Ari Armstrong
Cops Steal Drug Money
Well, yes. But to me, whether the police use the funds for their personal gain or for the gain of their department, hardly matters. The police should never have taken that money from citizens in the first place.
A May 3 Rocky Mountain News article didn't mention whether the funds were taken from victims who had been found guilty in a court of law. In the drug war, officers can take property and money without even charging the victim with a crime. The News article specified only that "cash is missing from three homicides and eight drug investigations."
What this story does demonstrate is that the war on drugs tends to corrupt police departments. That's just one of the many reasons to end drug prohibition. (Interim Chief Gerry Whitman said, "We have reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime has occurred.") - Ari Armstrong
Rosen Gets It Right
Constitution Does Not "Give" Rights
Rest in Peace
Friendly Advice from Nevada
Hey, Get this: Colorado stands to lose up to $5.4 million dollars in federal funds if they do another Census undercount like they did back in 1990. Colorado gun owners, if your state is off by 2.1% or more, Gov Webb & Co. won't get jack from Uncle Sugar. This all according to Price Waterhouse. So, wanna get back at the SOB's? Now you've found a good use for those Census forms...See you at the Gun range. -SierraTimes
Tempting! However, I'll stick to my advice of filling out only the question pertaining to the number of persons, as per the Constitution. - Ari Armstrong
Touchy-Feeley Gun Control Spin
They believe that, by God, if we go for gun control, the next thing you know jackbooted thugs will come in and take our guns and they'll be rappelling down from black helicopters... But nobody is talking about taking guns away. All we're talking about is reasonable restrictions to make sure guns don't get in the hands of criminals and children. We're trying to close loopholes at gun shows, get people to store guns safely. (16A)
What's amazing is that Feeley can make so many false claims in such a short space. First, Feeley's characterization of gun owners' fears is wrong. Nobody believes the jackbooted thugs will rappel from black helicopters -- they'll just bust down your front door as they have done dozens of times since June 7, 1971, when they planted a bullet in Kenyon Ballew's head during a no-knock raid issued on faulty information. At Ruby Ridge, a jackbooted thug by the name of Lon Horiuchi simply shot Vicki Weaver in the head as she held her infant child in her arms. This vicious government assault resulted from an entrapment based on a technicality of the 1934 National Firearms Act. (There were government helicopters there, though.) Feeley burries his head in the sand and pretends such atrocities never took place.
Civil gun rights activists don't think gun confiscation will take place "the next thing you know," as Feeley asserts. Instead, confiscation will be the end result of decades of ever more restrictive policies (unless current trends reverse).
Feeley's claim that "nobody is talking about taking guns away" is equally ludicrous -- in fact, it's an out-right lie, as everyone knows Californians are suffering some gun confiscations as I write. The fact of the matter is that many leaders of the anti-gun lobby explicitly call for the eventual ban of at least all handguns. They also explicitly call for incremental restrictions toward that end.
Feeley tells another lie when he claims, "all we're talking about is reasonable restrictions to make sure guns don't get in the hands of criminals and children." However, Colorado Democrats proposed legislation that would discriminate against law-abiding citizens ages 18-20, who are neither criminals nor children. He says his proposals to restrict gun ownership are "reasonable," yet neither he nor any party in Colorado has mounted a reasonable case for those proposals. Instead, anti-gun advocates pretend that if they repeat the word "reasonable" often enough, it will somehow come to apply to their demonstrably unreasonable proposals.
Mandatory storage laws have actually increased accidental gun deaths in some states with such laws. In addition, they have increased crime in those states because they render firearms useless for self-defense. Thus, Feeley's allegedly "reasonable" laws result only in more innocent deaths at the hands of violent criminals.
And there is no "gun show loophole" -- today all private transactions, in or out of gun shows, are subject to the same policy. As Feeley well knows, if the gun show "loophole" is closed, the next step will be to close the remaining private transaction "loophole" and require universal background checks. At that point, the Federal government will acquire information on every (legal) gun transaction. The real solution to any "loophole" is to repeal background checks altogether and restore America to a system of freedom and civil rights. Obviously Mike Feeley's goal is to squash freedom, not expand it. - Ari Armstrong
NRA is Right about Clinton
March 13, 2000
The NRA should stand steadfast by Executive Director Wayne LaPierre and NRA President Charlton Heston. I am glad the NRA has finally spoken out despite the expected criticism from the liberal media. The truth is the NRA is correct.
Instead of going after repeat offenders, hardened criminals and violent offenders, President Clinton has asked for more gun control directed at the law-abiding and for more BATF agents, agents which Rep. John Dingell, a Democrat himself, called "Jack-Booted Thugs." These measures are designed to intimidate law-abiding citizens, as well as to establish a federal police force and impose a National ID card. These are the very hallmarks of tyrannical government.
When LaPierre said the president was exploiting the tragedies to pass more gun control, he was echoing the great journalist, H.L. Mencken, who wrote: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed and thus clamoring to be led to safety." Mencken was in turn echoing James Madison, who wrote that in government arrogating itself power, "Crises were the rallying cry of tyrannical government."
This time all pro-Second Amendment groups should applaud and stand by the NRA. Knees must not buckle.
An "enumeration" does not include information about race, income, or any other tidbit of a personal nature. Indeed, the federal government arguably cannot lawfully ask for anything except the number of people, in accordance with the Tenth Amendment.
What is the purpose of the federal government asking for personal information? It is to help perpetuate the welfare state. In the words of Kenneth Prewitt, who signed a letter dated March 6 as the Director of the Bureau of the Census:
Official census counts are used to distribute government funds to communities and states for highways, schools, health facilities, and many other programs you and your neighbors need. Without a complete, accurate census, your community may not receive its fair share.
Note Prewitt's presumption that he knows what we "need." Yes, the feds know best -- just ask the children at Waco. The funny thing is, I can't find in the Constitution where the federal government is empowered to fund any of the projects Prewitt mentions. So, again, according to the Tenth Amendment, those programs are illegal. The only provision that comes close is the Section 8 bit about "post Roads," which hardly fits the description of modern highways.
These facts suggest that those who defend the U.S. Constitution are duty bound to not answer any of the questions on the census, except the one pertaining to the number of people. The extra questions themselves are illegal, and so are the programs that information will be used to perpetuate. - Ari Armstrong
She wrote to her mailing list on March 5: "It may be that some of you have mistaken that rather 'star wars' looking thing on the main web site as a gun. I thought so, too, at first, but it isn't a gun; it's an automatic shell shot loader (for making your own shotgun shells.)" In other words, Hopkins barely knows what a gun even is. Where does she get off trying to regulate the guns of those of us who actually know what we're talking about?
Hopkins apparently feels that her emotions are sufficient for crafting legislation. She said, "I also wasn't pleased that the Beretta site had a $25 gun that I would consider a Saturday Night Special." Oh, well, if Kathleen Hopkins would "consider" a gun to be something evil, we'd better ban it! God forbid we offend Kathleen Hopkins' prejudices.
Not only is Hopkins ignorant about firearms, but she's paranoid of gun owners, too. She said, "I believe that [a radio host], along with [Norm] Resnik (sic) [of the American Freedom Network on 1360], are inciting the gun-owners into this dangerous and frightening opposition to us." Eh? Dr. Resnick has explicitly called for lawful, peaceable, political action. Or does Hopkins find the First Amendment as "frightening" as she finds the Second? Maybe she only approves of those civil rights which apply to her. I've had the good fortune to meet many of the civil gun rights activists who have attended the recent rallies, and they are decent, honorable men and women, moms and dads. For Hopkins to speak ill of them shows only a flaw in her character. - Ari Armstrong
Ed Stein vs. Straw Man, Round One
Yet Stein does just that. In a March 8 cartoon, one character exclaims, "Try the little monster as an adult, I say." In a previous cartoon, Stein suggested the NRA would want to arm six-year olds. That's completely ridiculous, though: the NRA has explicitly come out against armed minors (outside of adult supervision). Absolutely no one has suggested that six-year-olds ought to carry a gun. Even L. Neil Smith wants only mature teens to carry guns.
So what's Stein's game? Obviously, he can't rationally counter the position of civil gun rights advocates, so he creates straw men, which he can easily topple. Of course, Hopkins praises Stein's work. Both are biased against at least some gun owners, but neither seems to know why. - Ari Armstrong
Horowitz on Trigger Locks
A six-year-old African American shoots and kills a six-year-old white girl in Michigan. The six-year-old shooter has been suspended before for stabbing another child with a pencil. Police discover that he lives in a crack house with his criminal uncle with outstanding warrants for arrest. The boy's father is in jail. His mother is a drug addict. The President of the United States responds to the tragedy by summoning leaders of Congress to the White House to pass a new law, requiring trigger locks on guns. If ever there was a case revealing the moral bankruptcy (or is it idiocy?) of liberalism, this is it. ... Why would a family of criminals, like the one actually responsible for the murder of Kayla Rolland observe a trigger-lock law if it was passed?
Even IF We Could Get Rid of Guns...
Another argument you can utilize is that if it were possible to relieve all the violent criminals of all firearms forever (and obviously it's not) people would still need guns to protect themselves. The elderly, the sick, the slight of build, the ladies and even full grown tough guys can succumb to an unarmed attack from a 250 pound behemoth w/ no fear, since all of the guns will be (for pretend purposes) gone or regulated out of reach from the honest people too.
Post, News Cover Rally Fairly
Mike Soraghan and Dave Olinger of the Post wrote two excellent, fair-minded articles at http://www.denverpost.com/news/leg/leg0307b.htm and http://www.denverpost.com/news/news0307g.htm, respectively. (In addition, Soraghan wrote a good article about the matter of concealed carry privacy at http://www.denverpost.com/news/leg/leg0307c.htm.) Soraghan did a great job with his details. For instance, he did not just blithely grant that expanded background checks for private sales at gun shows will close a "loophole;" instead, he attributed that characterization to "gun-control supporters." Good show! He also gave Dudley Brown of RMGO a fair amount of space to voice his alternate views. Kelley Harp contributed to Soraghan's article and so deserves credit as well. The only problem I have with Soraghan's piece is that it quotes a poll claiming to show 84% support for expanded background checks, even though I've argued at length that such poll results are dramatically inflated. Also, Olinger understated RMGO's membership by several thousand.
At the News, Crowder helped make amends for a previous article I regarded as biased. In a pair of articles, http://rockymountainnews.com/news/0307exil2.shtml and http://rockymountainnews.com/news/0307brad3.shtml, Crowder presents both sides with reasonable fairness. I have just a few gripes. First, the sub-head uses a police estimate of the number of ralliers of 300, even though RMGO took a hard count of 492. (Crowder may not have been responsible for the sub-head, and police estimates may have been based on an early count before others arrived.) She referred to Bob Glass, Mark Call, and other civil gun rights advocates who attended the afternoon "Project Exile" meeting as "hecklers." Well, they asked pointed questions, but they had as much right as anyone else to attend and ask questions. Finally, Crowder referred to RMGO and the ralliers as Wayne LaPierre's "troops," even though some of the protesters aren't NRA members. Overall, though, the articles were pretty good.
I give criticism where I believe it is due, but I also give praise when it's deserved. Today, both Colorado papers deserve a big thank you. - Ari Armstrong
So Far, So Good with Rallies
I think the notion of self-policing is key. I don't mind mild confrontation (such as loudly chanting "Guns Save Lives!") -- so long as it is lawful and issues-based. Certainly our side shouldn't do anything we would criticize the other side for. The "golden rule" applies. I also like the ideas of less confrontational singing, public readings, and the like. So far, everything has gone remarkably well. There have been very few, very minor problems. We're the good guys here -- let's keep it that way. - Ari Armstrong
Owens Catches Hell in Washington, D.C.
But friends in Virginia voiced the concerns of Colorado gun owners in person. Michael Romano, a Washington, D.C. correspondent for The Rocky Mountain News, Reported March 1:
[A] gun-rights advocate loudly accused [Owens] of lapses in his own character. The Virginian man branded Owens a liar and a hypocrite, accusing the governor of bowing to political pressure following the Columbine High shootings and betraying his promise to protect gun rights by backing new gun [restriction] laws.
GOA is the parent organization of RMGO. Owens said, "I'm a strong supporter of the Second Amendment," thus demonstrating that he has no business speaking on matters of truth or morality. As a quick refresher, Owens wants legislation to prevent lawful adults ages 18-20 from practicing their Constitutional rights, he wants CBI to be able to deny gun purchases based on faulty or incomplete records, he wants expanded background checks on private sales of guns, and he wants gun owners to render their guns useless for self-defense by mandating storage. - Ari Armstrong
Taxation IS Theft
But now it turns out that some IRS agents have been stealing funds in the base sense of that term, above and beyond what the law permits of them. According to a Scripps Howard story by Richard Powelson (published March 1 by The Rocky Mountain News), 65 IRS agents were fired because of criminal histories, but not before over a million dollars in funds were stolen from the agency.
But if taxation is theft, is stealing from the robbers really so bad a crime? Frankly, I believe my tax dollars would do more good in the hands of those 65 criminals than in the hands of Washington politicians. At least the common criminals won't actively spend my money to make my life worse. - Ari Armstrong
Million Moms to March in Denver
[T]he local chapter announced this week that its efforts are now focused on a Denver march.
Interesting. - Ari Armstrong
Man Defends Home with Semiauto Pistol
If Tom Mauser and his anti-gun group Sane Alternatives to the Firearms Epidemic had its way, the homeowner's gun would have been locked up in a safe. After the criminals pulled a knife, what would have happened, had the homeowner not had access to his gun? - Ari Armstrong
Triple Murder in Denver Drug Related
Heritage Foundation Sponsors Owens Talk
As Coloradans are well aware, Owens was among the first to call for new restrictions on gun owners. Among other proposals, he wants mandatory storage, increased background checks, and a higher age limit to buy handguns. Owens proposals violate both the U.S. and the Colorado Constitutions.
Call the Heritage Foundation and tell them that if they fund a talk by Owens, they will lose all credibility as a pro-freedom institution. The Heritage Foundation can be reached by phone at 800.544.4843 or by fax at 202.546.8328.
Citibank thus demonstrates a callous disregard for the Bill of Rights and the heritage of freedom for which our forefathers died. The company would empower criminals by discriminating against lawful gun sellers, thus making the right of self-defense more difficult to exercise. Citibank also weakens the "well regulated militia," upon which the security of our free nation depends. - Ari Armstrong
CFR Editor Debates Mauser
Paladin Arms' Bob Glass had appeared previously on the show, hosted by Aaron Harber. Glass complained that the other participants ganged up on him unfairly in debate. Perhaps complaints about Glass' treatment made for a more fair environment when I taped. I found Harber to be interesting and respectful.
Mauser, a paid lobbyist, admitted he has never exercised his right to keep and bear arms. He struck me as a kind though misguided gentleman. He adamantly denied being a "gun-grabber," though by expressing support only for "hunting" rifles, he made it clear he has little respect for the fundamental right of self-defense.
Mauser showed me a hateful letter sent to him, apparently by a pseudonymous mailer. The letter contained not a single rational argument, but instead only strung together a barrage of filthy words. Mauser aptly described the results of the letter: "This hurts your side." On that point, Mauser and I firmly agree. I urge advocates of gun-owner rights to win the political battle by pushing rational argument and evidentiary studies. We're right! We don't have to stoop to ad hominem attacks. Leave that to the other side, which has been demonizing gun owners for decades for political advantage. - Ari Armstrong
The Wall lists the names of 3,000 victims of gun violence. Conspicuously absent from the wall is the name of Ismael Mena, who was wrongfully killed on September 29, 1999 when a Denver SWAT team riddled his body with eight bullets. Also absent from the wall are the names of those killed by victim disarmament laws. John Lott found that in 1992, laws restricting concealed carry resulted in 1,839 additional murders, 3,727 additional rapes, and 10,990 additional aggravated assaults (More Guns, Less Crime p.58). Other types of victim disarmament laws have also resulted in innocent deaths.
But letting in protesters and facts supportive of the right to bear arms just wouldn't help Webb suck up to Al Gore, now would it? - Ari Armstrong
Columbine Student Defends Right to Bear Arms
In the February 17, 2000 Rocky Mountain News, Shaun Lee of the Columbine class of 1999 wrote a poignant letter to the editor. It reads:
What happened at Columbine High School was not because Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were able to buy guns. These classmates of mine were bent on destruction and they wanted a way to hurt and murder as many people as possible. Even in their videos, they said they would have found something else to use had they not be able to acquire the guns. We could restrict and limit our constitutional rights by enacting tough gun-control laws, as Tom Mauser suggests, but what would we really be doing? We'd be telling ourselves that we aren't responsible enough to make our own decisions. This is not about putting a lock on a gun, but about making the decision to become aware and educate ourselves about the capabilities of a gun. It is about making the decision to be responsible with guns. Personal, and not legal, responsibility is the key here.
Amen. - Ari Armstrong
Solution to No-Knock Violence
When should no-knock warrants be issued? Only when the life of an innocent person is directly endangered, such as in a hostage situation. In less serious cases, the dangers of no-knock warrants -- both to innocent civilians and to police officers -- are simply unjustifiable. - Ari Armstrong
The Gun War Will Lead to More Innocent Deaths
This country has been trying for decades to get rid of illegal drugs with no-knock raids, filling prisons... and confiscation of property. But drug use still goes on. How are more laws to get guns "out of the hands of kids and criminals" going to do any good?
In today's anti-conceptual society, many can't see the relationship between Mena's death and new gun laws. - Ari Armstrong
"If Mr. Mena Had Not Had a Gun..."
Some have called for Webb's resignation over the police killing of Ismael Mena. By his statement, Webb justifies such calls.
On September 29, 1999, a Denver SWAT team busted into Mena's home while he slept, charged up the stairs, and shot Mena as he held a pistol in self-defense. Police now acknowledge they had the wrong address for an alleged $20 drug sale. One officer has been criminally charged with lying to obtain the "no-knock" warrant. Of course, the police claim Mena had plenty of time to recognize the intruders as police and drop his weapon. But there will be only one side to this story, as Mena's bullet-riddled body is now six feet under. With the police acting as criminal gangsters, is there any wonder Mena was skeptical of their claims to be officers of the law? This is assuming Spanish-speaking Mena even heard the word "policia" in all the confusion.
Now, to add insult to murder, Webb dares to blame Mena for the police's crimes. If only Mena hadn't exercised his Second Amendment right of self-defense. If only citizens would willfully lie down and lick the jack-boots of the thugs running the Police State.
Can you imagine what Jefferson would have wrote in the Declaration of Independence if King George's minions had acted like the Denver police department? Is there hope for our nation? - Ari Armstrong
Republica del Norte
Now there's talk of a new secessionist movement in the South West. Frank Zoretich released a terrific article through Scripps Howard today about the matter, which focuses on the work of Dr. Charles Truxillo of the University of New Mexico. The new Republic would consist of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, northern Mexico and the southern edge of Colorado.
Unfortunately, Truxillo's dream is a nationalistic one. He talks of an "Hispanic homeland" and says "Southwest Chicanos and Norteqo Mexicanos are becoming one people again." He says some Hispanics are attracted to "the American economic way of life" but are reaping "cultural anarchy."
In other words, Truxillo believes one's heritage properly dictates one's modes of life. It's just not right to "assimilate" with others. That's along the lines of what many Germans believed earlier in the century.
For libertarians, secession is about so-called "cultural anarchy." We want a country where all cultures are welcome; where all peaceful lifestyles are tolerated or openly accepted; where race, sex, heritage, and religion are irrelevant to politics. In a word, we want freedom.
The secession I prefer would consist of the Four Corners states plus Nevada and perhaps Wyoming. If Truxillo wants to take California for his nationalistic state, that's fine by me. If libertarians could succeed in creating a new country out of the Four Corners region, the open-boarder policy would of course permit Hispanics and anyone else who wanted to live free settle in.
Another good possibility for secession is Alaska plus parts of Canada and Russia. Of course, a leader of that movement turned up dead, which may have something to do with the fact that secession has never been popular with the federales. One can dream, though. - Ari Armstrong
Why Teachers Won't Teach
I am a private tutor. I refuse to work in government schools. Why is that? For one thing, I have a moral problem with living off tax dollars which are forcibly taken from others. But most people don't share that concern. I have other concerns which are more widely recognized. I simply can't abide by the red-tape and bloated bureaucracies of government schools. Further, I will not surrender my autonomy. Why should those incompetent to teach tell me which course materials and teaching methods to use? The politicization of government schools is as sickening as it is inevitable.
The younger generations are not interested in kissing up and "playing the game." We generally want autonomy, satisfaction in our work, and a sense of being true to our beliefs and our abilities. That's the exact opposite of what government schools tend to offer. - Ari Armstrong
And -- if you can believe it -- these guns are dubbed "smart guns" by the PC crowd. The guns incorporate fingerprinting technology. The only thing dumber than these guns are the politicians and disarmament activists who named them. - Ari Armstrong
Just Because You're Paranoid...
The Post Makes the Effort
On February 4, the Post ran three letters critical of Mike Keefe's bigoted cartoon from January 28. Keefe had likened NRA members to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. (That the Post would publish such flagrant bigotry as Keefe's cartoon in the first place is indicative of the state of the culture.) These letters almost make up for the editorial, "Keep background checks," from the same page. Earlier in the section, Sean Kelly wrote a fine article about the Second Amendment civil rights march that took place on February 3. In addition, the Post printed an excellent op/ed by Paul Kelly in defense of civil gun rights. Kelly's is perhaps the finest article on the subject I've ever read in a main-stream publication. I disagree profoundly with the perspective of the Post's editorial board when it comes to matters of civil gun rights. But I respect those on the paper who run material supportive of those rights. - Ari Armstrong
Some segments of the documentary were well-done, but other parts manifest astonishing ignorance and regurgitated demonstrably false items of government propaganda. According to the documentary, the gasoline shortages in the 1970s were caused by the Arab oil embargo. But the real cause of sustained oil shortages in the United States was price controls imposed by the United States government.
In his book The Government Against the Economy (and in his more recent Capitalism,) George Reisman explains why price controls prevented U.S. consumers from bidding up the price of gasoline so that national companies could have afforded to step up production and import oil from other suppliers. Reisman sums up:
If we had had a free economy, the only lasting effect of any embargo the Arabs might have launched against the rest of the world would have been to strengthen our oil industry at the expense of their oil industry.
The PBS documentary is largely an apology for expanded federal power. If it had bothered to get its facts straight, and, what the hell, maybe even taken seriously the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the tax-subsidized PBS program might have been a little more hesitant to endorse national expansions of power. - Ari Armstrong
Elian's Abusive Father
Not according to his grandmother. In a January 22, 2000 story released by the Associated Press, Diego Ibarguen quotes Elian's grandmother Raquel Rodriguez as having quite a different view. The story ran in The Rocky Mountain News on page 2A. Rodriguez said:
I know that many say that it was Elian's mother's will that the child remain here. I speak for her because I was her mother: I know what she thought and how she acted. She came here because her husband was very violent and threatened her... I ask and beg those who are interested in helping us, to do everything possible so that the child will be handed over to us, his grandmothers, so that my daughter may rest in peace.
Instead of send Elian back to an abusive father and an abusive dictator, why don't U.S. officials invite Elian's grandmothers to live with him in the States? - Ari Armstrong
The Oral Tradition
While campaigning for George W. Bush in Iowa, Colorado Governor Bill Owens said, "I'm pragmatic. We need to defeat Al Gore" (Rocky Mountain News, January 25, 29A). Certainly Owens is correct in his conclusions. And, in rare situations, a pragmatic answer is the only one possible. Unfortunately, Owens seems to have enshrined pragmatism as policy.
Take, for instance, the disarmament package Governor "Gun Control" Owens is trying to push through the legislature. Owens himself has argued that his proposals wouldn't have stopped Columbine. He has never tried to counter the arguments leveled against the various disarmament bills he supports. Does anyone believe Owens offered the proposals as anything other than a way to appease the Democrats and appeal to voters who don't understand the importance of the civil right of gun ownership? The premise behind Owens' "leadership" is, "I'm pragmatic."
The problem is, pragmatism doesn't work. Only by taking a principled stand can one hope to rationally persuade others of the validity of one's position. Indeed, the pragmatic politician abnegates leadership. Ayn Rand wrote of the follies of pragmatism, and her ideas were discussed by Leonard Peikoff:
The two points central to the pragmatist ethics are: a formal rejection of all fixed standards -- and an unquestioning absorption of the prevailing standards. The same two points constitute the pragmatist approach to politics, which, developed most influentially by Dewey, became the philosophy of the Progressive movement in this country (and of most of its liberal descendants down to the present day).
Hopefully Owens will reject pragmatic politics and find the courage to stand on principle. - Ari Armstrong
Disarmed Colorado Woman Robbed in D.C.
When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. - Ari Armstrong
Wyoming Sheriffs Assert Authority Over Feds
Mattis characterized relations between his office and federal officers as "good."
Hopefully, ATF, IRS, FBI and other federal agents will get the idea that abuses will not be tolerated by local law officers. Surely local sheriffs taking a more activist role in federal activities will result in more consistently "good" behavior by members of those agencies.
The tension between local and federal power poses a problem for libertarian theory. Libertarians oppose civil rights abuses by any level of government. Federal agents acted brutally in the cases of Waco and Ruby Ridge. On the other hand, local agents have also acted tyrannical, as when some officers in the South ran with the KKK and either ignored or participated in civil rights abuses against blacks. Oppression is evil whether practiced by federal, state, or local officers. Perhaps the best answer approach is to encourage each agency to curb the abuses of the others.
Of course, the main problem today is a host of laws against "victimless crimes" that grant arbitrary power to legal enforcers at all levels. The best protection against State brutality and injustice lies in repealing those laws. - Ari Armstrong
CBI Checks and the News
Out of the total, 47 people had been arrested (not necessarily convicted or even charged) for homicide, 148 for sexual assault, and 1,455 for assault. The News reports that "hundreds had criminal convictions."
Based on these numbers, it appears that CBI checks may have denied permission to buy a gun for more citizens who can lawfully own a gun than for felons. (The actual number of wrongful denials is unknown, keep in mind.)
Also, just because CBI stopped "hundreds" of felons from buying a particular gun, that doesn't mean it stopped the felons from buying guns. Now, criminals can buy a gun legally from other sources. If background checks are expanded, criminals will resort to theft and the black-market to get guns.
Honest citizens shouldn't be treated as criminals and suffer a loss of their Second Amendment rights. The law should only punish criminals.
Below is a letter I sent to the News:
The *News* deserves praise for its objective reporting of firearms issues. The lead January 22 editorial provides the most detailed research yet published on gun background checks conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, providing information of both the honest citizens and the felons who are denied permission to purchase a gun by the CBI.
- Ari Armstrong
Self-Defense Against Criminals and Tyrants
Generally, I use the term "self-defense" in its broad meaning to imply defense against both criminals and tyranny. However, the threat of tyranny is more long-term and less certain, whereas the threat of violence at the hands of criminals is immediate. - Ari Armstrong
Billy the Kid Takes Aim at Gun Makers
Our fearsome tyrant, der fuehrer Clinton, once again has me up in arms over another of his relentless attacks on the people of the United States. With callous indifference toward each individual's right to self-defense and with flagrant disregard for our Constitution, he now targets the Second Amendment.
Under the guise of protecting 3.25 million public housing residents whose security alone costs taxpayers $1 billion annually, he has directed the federal government to set its sights on Colt, Smith & Wesson, and other highly esteemed manufacturers of precision firearms. "Billy the Kid" aims to gun them down in cold blood just as he's already blown away the tobacco companies.
Which industries are next on his hit list? Automotive? Tool? Kitchen cutlery? Video game? Junk food?
Gary Kleck has shown that approximately 2.5 million incidents of guns used defensively save some 400 thousand lives every year. If Clinton's most recent propaganda crusade prevails, undoubtedly the lives of many law-abiding citizens will be sacrificed.
The impeached liar's deceitful rationale for proceeding with this lawsuit is that about 350 total shooting deaths occur in the nation's 100 largest government housing projects each year. With more than 250 million privately owned firearms, when will the body, vehicle, and home searches begin?
Forced registration of all firearms, including those acquired prior to the advent of gun-control legislation, and their subsequent confiscation--which has always preceded enslavement and genocide--would be the only means to prevent criminals from obtaining them.
While Democrats such as Clinton aggressively seek to disarm us, Republicans meekly acquiesce to the mounting infringements of "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms" to avoid losing elections. Only Libertarians comprehend the meaning of "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State."
George Washington and George Mason formed the Fairfax County Militia in 1774 to oppose the edicts of the British crown and its agent, the governor of Virginia. They regulated their militia well, which was necessary to gain security for their free state during the Revolutionary War. Both were also members of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Both certainly remembered what they had done thirteen years earlier.
Puzzled by Judicial Decisions?
"In 1997, U.S. District Judge John Kane agreed with the contractor, ruling that Pech -- white and male -- had suffered illegal discrimination in Colorado because of his race and gender.
That's why. Because. The courts don't have to use reason in arriving at decisions any more. They just decide things any way they want ... because. Is this a great country, or what? - David Bryant
Justice for Mena
A Denver SWAT team killed Ismael Mena on September 29, 1999 on a no-knock raid based on false accusations by an informant. - Ari Armstrong
Happy New Year!
The United States has remained largely civilized, but even here the government killed dozens at Waco and thousands more in foreign lands because of the drug war and other interventionist policies.
There have been some good developments. The civil rights of blacks and women are, on the whole, better respected than they were a hundred years ago.
Unfortunately, civil rights generally have steadily eroded. The drug war has left the Second and Fourth Amendments in tatters. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are forgotten relics. Tax rates sit around 50%, and government interferes with practically all voluntary interactions.
But there are signs of hope. In academics, free-market ideas proliferate despite the dominant Marxist and Post-modern ideologies. Think-tanks pump out market ideas to politicians and the interested public. Especially the younger generations are disillusioned by big-government "solutions" to social problems.
While the calendar is an arbitrary marker, the turning of the digits and the coming new millennium offer a reason to pause and reflect on the state of the culture.
The past thousand years have seen the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the Digital Revolution.
With undaunted effort and persistent optimism, the next thousand years can be the Libertarian Revolution. Civil rights can be extended universally, government can be restrained to its proper role of protecting property rights, and the economy can be freed to improve the human condition at fantastic rates.
I for one am restless for the day when the 20th Century is viewed as a dark era of barbarism, when war and oppression ran rampant, and the time has come for individual rights, peace, and limitless prosperity.
Live in the present, but fight for a free tomorrow! - Ari Armstrong
What's truly frightening, if we "read between the headlines," is the realization that the type of men recruited for police duty are those who have no compunctions about terrorizing and even killing others accused of drug crimes the police recruits themselves have committed. Might we wonder about the moral character of those guilty of such flagrant hypocrisy? - Ari Armstrong
Cash, Phones, and Other Drug Paraphernalia
Incredibly, a December 6 story in The Rocky Mountain News by John Ensslin begins, "Denver police are breaking more doors to search for drugs. And most of the time they are finding them, as well as guns, cellular phones, cash, scales, and other drug-related items, court records show." I guess these days we're innocent until proven born. (Perhaps even that is optimistic; drug warriors could probably confiscate a fetus for trafficking drugs under the doctrine of "deodands.")
The News checked up on 47 recent no-knock invasions. The paper couldn't find information for four of the cases, but found that in three of the cases the police found no drugs. In other words, between 6% and 15% of the time, the no-knock failed to yield evidence of a crime (based on the News's limited inquiry). That may not seem so bad, except that no-knocks are severely traumatizing to the innocent victims of the raids. Just consider Ismael Mena, whom a Denver SWAT team killed with eight bullets September 29 in a no-knock invasion. (No drugs were found on Mena or in his residence.)
But this is a war, after all. There will be "collateral damage." What a pleasant substitute phrase for "cold-blooded killing!" In war, the rules of civility are suspended. We're in a war, a war on drugs, so if the police blast down your door in the middle of the night to take your cash, phones, and other "drug-related items," even if they kill you, that's your problem. We're in a war, so you got no rights. - Ari Armstrong
"Tax-funded Ineptitude Disorder"
Following the conference, Representative Penn Pfiffner held a legislative session devoted to hearing diverse opinions on the matter. Then, the Colorado state school board voted to discourage the practice of drugging school children.
Most recently, George Will discussed the matter in The Washington Post, mentioning the school board but overlooking the efforts of the Institute and of Pfiffner. Will's article is excellent: it notes the absurdity of labeling children "disordered" merely because they fidget in class. (The article is reproduced in the December 5 Rocky Mountain News.)
So-called "attention deficit disorder" is just another way the failed government school system tries to blame children for the system's incompetencies. But can children be blamed for being bored and acting fidgety in the politically correct, dumbed-down inanity that passes for education these days? The real disease plaguing our communities is "tax-funded ineptitude disorder," and the only way to cure that disease is to privatize the government schools. -Ari Armstrong
Thill's Mistrial and Racism
Yes, racism still plagues American culture. However, few people in our culture are racial bigots. A Rocky Mountain News headline from December 3 reads, "Verdict outrages black community." Well, it also outrages the white community.
One Denver resident says about the trial in the News story, "It proves racism still exists and we have to protect ourselves. They don't care about human life unless you're white."
Were the jurors who voted to acquit Thill of first-degree murder racists? It's often impossible to get inside the heads of others to determine their motives. Probably these jurors simply bought the defense argument that Thill is mentally ill and therefore incompetent to understand his behavior. Thill once said, "Maybe I just need to stay in a mental hospital," and warned he might murder if released (News, December 3 story by Ann Imse). The dissenting jurors did want to convict Thill of second-degree murder, after all. Most likely, these jurors would have voted against first-degree murder if Thill had murdered a white person. So the racism charge directed against the jurors is unsubstantiated. Perhaps the jurors were gullible, but that doesn't make them racists. Nor is there proof that any other party involved in the trial was racist (except Thill himself).
White people and black people alike should try an exercise suggested in the disturbing but excellent film, A Time to Kill. If Thill had killed a white man, what would the headlines have read after a mistrial? If a black man had killed a white man because of race, what would the reactions of white and black leaders have been to a mistrial? Might some jurors have been sympathetic to the defense claim that the black man was mentally ill? Such exercises are good for helping each individual check his or her objectivity on the race issue.
Many white conservatives bury their heads in the sand and pretend racism no longer exists in our country. However, many black leaders see racism where none in fact exists. If our culture is ever going to move beyond the problem of racism, both these errors must be overcome. - Ari Armstrong
"Coercion is Freedom" in Phone Industry
In a genuinely free market, the government would have no control whatsoever over the telecommunications industry (except to enforce contracts and to prevent fraud). No company would be coerced into offering services to competitors. And no company would receive corporate welfare or government favoritism in excluding competitors from markets.
What course should the Colorado Public Utilities Commission take if it truly wants to benefit consumers and promote free competition? DISSOLVE ITSELF! - Ari Armstrong
Is DeGette's Clock Ticking on Freedom?
Why doesn't DeGette instead call for the repeal of those disarmament laws which now make children and adults easier prey for murderers and rapists? Congressman Tom Tancredo nailed this one: the Democrats hope their scare-monger tactics will benefit them in the upcoming elections.
A better clock would be one which counts all the times armed civilians protect themselves against criminals -- between 700,000 and 2.5 million times every year. Even by the low estimate, that's 1,918 times per day, or about one defensive act every 45 seconds. - Ari Armstrong
Owens Gloats About Disarming Poor
Whether police resale of firearms in fact significantly affects the price of guns, Owens has revealed his motives.
Psalm 72 exhorts political leaders to "judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice!" Proverbs 15 says, "He who oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors him." And Proverbs 31 offers the advice of King Lemuel: "Open your mouth, judge righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy."
Bill Owens has opened his mouth to abuse the poor. FOR SHAME!
- Ari Armstrong
Pseudo-Science Distorts Truth About Guns
The piece reads:
Dr. Garen J. Wintemute and colleagues at the University of California at Davis found that buying a handgun is associated with an increased risk of suicide by firearm or by any method. Their study was being published in today's New England Journal of Medicine.
Could it be -- just possibly -- that people who want to commit suicide often buy a gun just for the occasion? Indeed, that is far and away the most plausible causal explanation. Or perhaps guns are possessed by suicide-demons, which they transmit to the purchaser? I guess that's what the anti-gun-owner lobby wants us to believe.
David Kopel explains that "international data provides little reason to believe that handgun control could reduce suicide, and some U.S. data also suggests that while gun control does reduce gun suicide, it does not reduce overall suicide" (Saint Louis University Public Law Review, Volume 12, 1993, http://www.i2i.org/SuptDocs/IssuPprs/lrstlupl.htm. In other words, if somebody really wants to commit suicide, they will likely do so with or without a gun.
Of course, such articles as the recent Associated Press release are used as anti-gun-owner propaganda by activists to call for more victim disarmament laws. But does it really make sense to base general public policy on the actions of a tiny proportion of the population that is mentally ill? That's a bit like whopping off one's leg in order to deal with an ingrown toenail.
It becomes increasingly obvious that anti-gun-owner activists are not interested in the truth or public safety, but only in imposing their social controls by promulgating half-truths and outright lies. -Ari Armstrong
Clinton's Sense of Humor
Time for Salazar to Go
We need an attorney general who supports civil rights, not one who tramples them. Gun ownership, besides being guaranteed in the U.S. and the Colorado Constitutions, documents Salazar has sworn to uphold, is a fundamental civil liberty essential to the preservation of a free society.
In my view it's perfectly acceptable -- and sometimes even a good idea -- for private colleges to intentionally boost their minority enrollment. After all, one of the benefits of college is to expand students' horizons and expose them to a wider range of ideas and culture. However, it's wrong of Salazar to try to force taxpayers who disagree with racial preferences to pay for colleges that rely on those practices. But this argument is over the heads of most modern politicians. So let us merely criticize Salazar because of his Orwellian double-speak that would have us believe "numerical goals" are somehow fundamentally different from "quotas." Discrimination is discrimination regardless of how many people it affects.
With regards to the debate over racial preferences, ultimately the only solution consistent with freedom and civil liberties is to separate school and state on all levels. - Ari Armstrong
The Jews who lived under German occupation suffered incredible horror; the Holocaust is in a unique class of human evil. However, we must learn well the lessons of the Holocaust in order to prevent anything even remotely as bad as that from happening again.
In his book The Ominous Parallels, Leonard Peikoff discusses some of the ideological similarities between German fascism and modern American culture. Reading Mila 18 has impressed upon me some of the habits of the German occupiers which certain characteristics of American culture are beginning to resemble.
The Germans issued innumerable directives aimed at restricting the activities of the Jews. Today, tens of thousands of Americans fill federal prisons because they violated an arbitrary, ambiguous directive. Thousands of gun owners are in prison on legal technicalities. Under Nazism, government propaganda and scape-goating ruled the culture. Glimmers of this tendency can be seen in America, particularly among anti-gun activists. Uris describes of the situation in Poland,
And the billboards which once announced Irene Dunne movies found her replacement with drawings of bearded Jews violating nuns, bearded Jews using the blood of Christian babies for their rituals, bearded Jews sitting atop piles of money and knifing good honest Poles in the back. For the most part, the German program met with universal success. The Polish people, who could not strike at their noblemen who had now vanished, nor at the Russians who had betrayed them, nor at the Germans who had massacred them, were willing to accept the traditional Jewish scapegoat as the true cause of their latest disaster...
- Ari Armstrong
Witch Hunt 2000
Good Show, Scott!
Rocky Mountain News
Of course, the News has also published some outrageous material attacking civil rights. But that's to be expected, I suppose, of a main-stream paper. At least the exchange gives us the chance to educate the public about our viewpoints and allows us to hone our communication skills. -Ari Armstrong
Columbine: Behind the Rosy Facade
Even though, in the aftermath of the murders at Columbine, we've seen the moral strength of many of the students and faculty at Columbine High School, a darker side to the school has emerged. In an article that received curiously little attention in Colorado, Lorraine Adams and Dale Russakoff describe for The Washington Post (June 21, 1999, National Weekly Edition) some of the horrors that composed daily life for many students at Columbine before the murders.
One football player, expelled from another school for fighting, routinely physically, verbally, and racially harassed other students at Columbine. The athlete's teachers and administrators did little to stop him. He was, after all, a state champion in wrestling.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold deserve the harshest moral censure for their abominable acts. The murderers' moral culpability, however, does not relieve the lesser blame for those students who abused others, and it does not excuse the administration's flagrant negligence in ignoring the prior violence. - Ari Armstrong
The Politically Correct Bill of Rights
If you said the Second Amendment, you get a Gold Star!
The above image comes from page 126 of The Challenges of Freedom, Laidlaw Brothers 1984, which was used at Arvada Middle School in Jefferson County during the 1980s. Apparently, some Amendments in the Bill of Rights are now more equal than others, with the "major/minor" classification of freedoms.
The caption that goes with the graphic reads, "The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution -- also known as the Bill of Rights -- guarantees the basic freedom of all Americans." At least the book reproduces the Bill in full under "Reference Materials," along with the explanation, "Congress cannot take away a citizen's right to serve in a state militia or to keep arms."
The book proves one thing -- one of the central "challenges of freedom" is passing on the American heritage of liberty to school children fed politically correct dogma sanctioned by the political elite. - Ari Armstrong
How Not to Defend Gun Rights
On page 38A, George W. Bush, after taking criticism for backing the NRA and concealed carry laws, is quoted as saying, "If law-abiding citizens legally carry a gun, I see no harm." I see no harm? That's the best you do, George? Gee, thanks for that heartening support. How about something like, "Concealed carry laws have demonstrably reduced crime in states with such laws. They reduce assault, rape, and other vicious crimes. Because I signed a concealed law in Texas, your daughters can walk safer, because rapists know women just might be armed." Now THAT would be a defense of gun rights!
On page 57A, Charlton Heston does some serious back-peddling, saying, "Arming teachers is perhaps not a good idea. Perhaps that was a careless statement on my part." Why was it careless, Chuck? Because it's wrong? No, because you caught political flack over it. But the real carelessness is in not defending a defensible position. How about, "Joel Myrick, the principal in Mississippi, saved lives by retrieving his gun from his car and stopping a deranged youth from killing more kids. In Israel, school terrorism stopped over-night when teachers and parents armed themselves."
Mealy-mouthed defensive positions will get us nowhere but fascism. We as gun rights activists are right! The moral high-ground belongs to us! We don't have to apologize for speaking the truth, saving lives, and preserving freedom! - Ari Armstrong
Political Corruption "Down Under"
In 1996, the Australian government confiscated the peoples' firearms. Within 12 months of disarming Australian citizens, homicides were up 3.2%, assaults were up 8.6%, armed-robberies were up 44%, unarmed robberies were up 21%, unlawful entries are were 3.9%, and motor vehicle thefts were up 6.1%.
Logan writes, "Firearms are being used less often in murder, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and armed robbery." Duh! When the government disarms its citizens, criminals can more easily kill, rape, and assault others (especially women) with knives and other weapons. Anti-gun laws in Australia have clearly increased crime over-all in that country.
Curiously, Logan reports that gun-related homicides declined from 348 to 333 between 1996 and 1998. This is only a 4% decline -- in the wake of the most comprehensive anti-gun laws in recent history! By her implicit admission, Australia's "comprehensive registration system" has basically failed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
Like most American politicians, Logan is concerned more with spin and her country's politically correct image than with the safety of the citizens. - Ari Armstrong
Some "Hate Crimes" Are More Equal Than Others
I strained without success to find any mention of the term "hate crime" within the story. Isn't a "hate crime" one motivated by racial or sexual prejudices? Come to think of it, I can't remember a single example when the assault of a heterosexual white person has been called a "hate crime."
Federal hate crime laws are a terrible idea. But then the entire tendency to federalize criminal law is a travesty. The entire purpose of the judge in criminal sentencing is to take into account extenuating factors. A particularly heinous or senseless crime warrants a harsher penalty, and judges and juries already have this flexibility.
Every crime is motivated by hate. The criminal hates him or herself, the victim, the whole world, or probably all three at once. There's no sense in using federal law to define some types of crime as special categories. Let the punishment fit the crime, whatever the particulars of the motivating factors. - Ari Armstrong
Hope for the Youth
25% of those under 25 say they don't trust any level of government, and 91% don't trust the federal government. Apparently, children are learning something in government schools, to not believe everything you're told. - Ari Armstrong
The Republicans' Political Death Wish
Gun owners went elsewhere, supported third party candidates, or simply did not vote.
Gun owners are irate at Republican politicians both in Colorado and nationally. Gun owners are more resolute now than they have ever been. They will not tolerate being sold out by the Republican party again. Thus, we can expect a very interesting legislative session.
Gov. Owens may be willing to test the theory that gun owners have nowhere else to go, but he will do so at his peril. Owens won by the smallest margin in the history of the state. Gun owners made the difference. Gun owners are directly responsible for his win and are critical to his re-election. Asking them to bend over will probably cost Republicans control of Colorado and the nation.
If the Republican Party decides to screw gun owners again I will become a Democrat and work to get the traitors out of office. In my precinct all of the activists will re-affiliate rather than support the slime balls who have sold them out. They will not put up with being sold out by politicians that they worked long and hard to elect.
They have worked long and hard to elect a Republican governor and finally did so. If he sells them out they will work hard to kick him out. - Ed Cole
Government Control, Not Gun Control
Agents of the United States government killed over 80 men, women, and children at the Mt. Carmel religious center in Texas. We need government control, not gun-control restricting the lives of responsible citizens!
Besides the Waco conflagration, the government also caused the deaths of 99 children since 1993 by mandating the installation of dangerous air bags in automobiles (Patrick Bedard, Liberty Magazine, October 1999). In this same period, 82 students have been murdered in school shootings. And yet the cry is to increase the government's power!
My new mantra: Government Control, Not Gun Control! - Ari Armstrong
To Serve and Protect?
The latest thing in Calif. is for cops to dupe people into committing crimes. There just aren't enough homicides, robberies, rapes, etc., to keep these guys busy -- or perhaps these crimes are just too wearisome to deal with -- so now they wander the streets and web sites offering prostitution, photos of naked boys, or illicit drugs (perhaps they'll be including illegal diet pills soon in their solicitations!) to whomever. A purchase is made -- and whooppeee! -- instant crime. A nice arrest, and justice has been served. Thinking of all those men in blue showing such initiative -- actually "seeding" a crime into existence rather than waiting for one to occur -- it makes me feel safe to walk the streets again (in broad daylight near a doughnut shop, of course!). - Jeff Olson
L. Neil Smith
Lord God have mercy! The world may come to an end unless federal and local agents spend tax payer money to -- hold everything, this is earth-shattering, bigger than an "Extinction Level Event" probably -- prevent people from... TAKING DIET PILLS!
But it gets even worse! Not only did the infamous Bill Romanowski -- TAKE DIET PILLS -- but his wife may have participated in a -- CONSPIRACY TO PURCHASE DIET PILLS!
When evaluating this case, one can only wonder why the D.E.A. has not yet brought formal felony charges against this productive and popular football player and sent him and his conspiratorial wife to prison. Won't the Denver community be so much better off when it does so? (Of course, this never would have been a problem if authorities had sent Romo to the electric chair for spitting on that ref, as justice demanded.)
As soon as the D.E.A. completes its task, federal and local government agents can get back to the always-pressing tasks of busting J-walkers, cracking down on ticket scalpers, and ensuring the safety of donut shops everywhere. - Ari Armstrong
Gun-Control Empowers Criminals
Hearing this quote made me seethe, since as a boy I grew up helping my grandpa plant peach trees, thin them, water them, and so forth. I poured my sweat and blood into raising peaches for years, so Hall's comment is offensive to me, to say the least.
It's also offensive to many of the locals who earn their livelihoods growing peaches. So Hall is simply ignorant when she calls them "hobby farmers." But beyond that, what business is it of government to make judgments about the value of private property? The sole purpose of government is to protect property rights, not break those rights by playing favorites.
The controversy revolves around zoning. The problem is that yuppies from California and elsewhere have started moving into the area, thinking of it as an idyllic farming community perfect for raising kids. The problem is, the tractors, the noise, the odors, the insects -- all the realities of the farming industry get in the way of the idealized vision. So then there's political pressure to control the farmers or even drive them out.
Of course, the real solution to this problem is simply to recognize the full property rights of the farmers, who were after all there first. If a farmer has been spraying during nights since time unknown, that's part of the property right, and newcomers have no right to complain about noise or whatever.
But of course such a solution is impossible in today's age. So the farmers are attempting to change the zoning laws such that farms cannot be broken up. While this will help solve the problem of yuppie-infringement, it creates the problem of interfering with the property right to subdivide land. It's a tough situation, and the libertarian solution is not presently within the realm of possibilities. I wish the farmers the best, and I hope power-monger politicians like Hall, who add absolutely nothing to the local economy but only leech off of it, will refrain from destroying the property rights of those who work the land. - Ari Armstrong
Kopel Defends Paladin Press
The book is read by thousands of readers, notes Kopel, strictly for information or entertainment. Factually, the murderer did not rely significantly on the information in Hit Man to commit his crime, though he had a copy of the book.
Does the suit make sense? No, but then neither do the lawsuits aimed at filmmakers or gun manufacturers. We've nearly reached the logical conclusions of blaming the everything but the criminal for the crime. Isn't it past time we returned to a system of individual responsibility? -Ari Armstrong
Do Gun-Control Advocates Have the Courage of Their Convictions?
All unarmed house-holds in the state of Colorado must post a sign on or by their front door which is clearly visible from the street, with red letters on a white background of dimensions to be specified, stating, "The residents of this home do not own firearms."
There don't have to be any enforcement provisions included; obviously, the bill wouldn't ever pass (nor do I really want it to). The point of the bill would be to draw attention to the fact that anti-gunners free-load off the efforts of the rest of us who scare away the criminals by taking the responsibility of arming ourselves. The Democrats want gun bills -- let's give them this one. If they're so proud of opposing guns, they should be all for this law.
If we can't get a bill up, this would be a GREAT publicity stunt for the LP: make up a bunch of said signs and offer them to known anti-gun zealots, with the press watching, of course. We could call it the "anti-gun pride campaign" or something. -Ari Armstrong
911 Privacy Emergency
I received a 4 page questionnaire which began with name, phone number, and directions to my house. Next they asked about medical conditions and prescription drugs. Then they wanted to know what "Hazardous Materials" I keep and where they are kept - things like paint, fuel, chemicals, fertilizer, guns, and ammunition. Then they asked for a list of pets and to tell them which ones are vicious.
Hmmm... do I really want to give all this information to a government agency? How will they use this information and who will have access to it? Is it paranoid to think that government might use this information badly? Just ask the New Yorkers who registered their guns -- as required -- and later had them confiscated because the police had a list of their guns. -Sandra Johnson
Governor Gun Control
Owens expressed approval of mandatory trigger locks, better known as "death-locks" because they will empower criminals and turn homeowners into victims. He wants to force private dealers at gun shows to conduct back-ground checks, which will make guns harder to buy for self-defense and will expand the national database on firearms owners. Owens also wants to disarm adults between the ages of 18 and 21, leaving them defenseless against crime.
Of course, none of the gun control measures Owens has proposed will stop criminals. Instead they will give criminals the upper hand by making it tougher for honest citizens to defend themselves.
Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, put the matter this way: "Governor Owens has staked his claim as Governor Gun Control. He got many of the gun owners' votes in his election, but has been stabbing us in the back ever since." -Ari Armstrong
No Smoke Screen from the News
The editorialist's straight-forward libertarian message moistened my eyes. Here are some excerpts:
The city has no business telling restaurant owners how to run their businesses. They're perfectly capable of deciding how to handle tobacco... [V]irtue coerced is no virtue at all... Just because some habits are bad... doesn't mean they should be outlawed.
If the writers of the News would apply these insights consistently, their paper would be the most libertarian in the nation. The principles expressed imply we should get rid of all victimless "crimes" as well as all State regulation of businesses. - Ari Armstrong
My Native Blood
Supposedly the Seminoles are still technically at war with the U.S. Federal government. Today, I'm in a strictly ideological battle with the Feds for similar reasons: they're stealing my property. I have to admit, though, that I'm being treated a lot better than were most of the Natives. (Others in our society haven't been so lucky -- just ask Randy Weaver.) The Seminoles weren't just victims, however; they also took Federal money to hunt down other Indian tribes. I suppose the lesson I'd take from this is to never sell out others to oppressive forces. In the most succinct words I've heard from a person of any ethnic heritage, Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." If we take those words to heart, perhaps tyranny won't have as great a chance in the future. -Ari Armstrong
Kopel Warns Against Mandatory Death-Locks
Kopel notes that nearly all individuals already handle guns safely. A child has a much greater chance of drowning in a bucket than of being killed with a gun.
Advocates of death-locks often compare the gun locks to "child-proof" safety caps on aspirin. Surprisingly, Kopel and Volokh relate, poisoning deaths actually increased after Congress mandated "child-proof" medicine caps because parents became less careful about storing medicine.
Death-locks would interfere with other gun safety features. In addition, they would render guns useless against crime, and send the message to criminals that they will have the upper hand in any home break-in.
Kopel and Volokh explain eloquently why death-locks will lead to results opposite of those intended. But Congress may just be foolish enough to mandate them anyway. -Ari Armstrong
Squish Tancredo Threatens Public Safety
But his latest betrayal is the most serious. In an interview with Michael Romano published in The Rocky Mountain News June 18, Tancredo said he now supports mandatory death-locks for guns, which will result in more crime and more death at the hands of criminals. He also supports more background checks by the Federal government, the first step in the confiscation of firearms. Finally, he supports the ban of certain ammunition magazines, which will render some guns useless for self-defense.
I tried to believe the best, but Tancredo seems hell-bent on proving he's an enemy of freedom. The people of the Sixth deserve better. - Ari Armstrong
Ed Stein's Unintended Support for Gun Ownership
Dear Mr. Stein,
I love your Denver Squares cartoon.
I also strongly agree with the sentiment in your May 30 political cartoon, in which you ask, "How many school shootings will it take to change the gun control debate?"
Like you, I am disturbed by trends in gun control over the last few decades. For instance, before the recent series of school shootings, in 1995, the Federal government prohibited parents and teachers from carrying guns onto school property, thus rendering them and their students defenseless against armed thugs. Thank God Principal Joel Myrick willfully broke this law last year at Pearl High in Mississippi, and was able to use his pistol to stop the killings at his school! When will politicians and the gun control lobby learn that the more gun control measures the government passes, the more vulnerable citizens will be to criminals? You're right to ask, how many more shootings will it take before we learn this lesson? God forbid we follow the path of Australia and ban guns; that country has since seen an increase in armed robberies of 44%. An armed society is a safe society, as history proves time and again.
Thank you for raising your pointed question; keep up the good work.
Where's the Responsibility?
This kind of blatant irresponsibility -- and the death it caused -- turns my stomach. Didn't any of the kids at the party have parents who taught them anything about gun safety or even rudimentary common sense? What kind of fool mixes alcohol with guns? Why didn't anyone at the party stop the craziness before it was too late?
Why do parents continue to send their children to government schools which "teach" children to be passive and obedient and to unquestioningly follow orders and go along with the crowd? Who is prepared to stand up and do what is right?
In a June 17 letter to the News, Kerry Neuville naively advocates national (socialist) gun registration. However, she does make an excellent point when she urges gun owners to be "more pro-active in controlling their own." This kind of senseless tragedy makes me outraged! - Ari Armstrong
Scripps Howard Bias Against Guns
(How many gun owners flat out lied to the Federal agents conducting the survey is unknown. What gun storage has to do with "disease" is also unknown.)
True, parents should keep guns safely away from very young or ignorant children. However, parents should educate their older children how to handle firearms safely. Parents should also consider keeping a loaded firearm ready to protect their family from criminals. The article mentions the "accidental" deaths caused by irresponsibility with guns, but it entirely fails to mention the number of lives saved every year because loaded, ready guns deter crime. - Ari Armstrong
Victim's Father Denounces Gun Control
Lakewood Students Defend Their Rights
Federal laws have already largely taken pistols out of the hands of young people. Next the gun control zealots want to take guns out of the hands of 18-21 year olds. If the trend continues, soon few will grow up learning how to handle a gun safely and effectively. And then gun confiscation will be that much closer. - Ari Armstrong
Gun Rights Get a Good Rap
10 million Africans stolen from original land, 2 million slaves genocide and left in the hands of the man...
Check the flow and peak gun control and how the set up begun, sadly on blacks... Hitler used it on Jews, genocide don't be confused, while we chose to stay slaves, what's in store for the race?... Drag a man behind a truck, lynchin tactics... Gun Control! Democrats want me to stress like that...
Michael Stipe and Stallone, Rosie O'donnell push on, in the midst of a battle alone, gun control will have us gone... Liberal Hollywood hypocrite, abusing guns to make your flicks... Jewish Senator Chuck Shumer of all people, to impose Hitler law is just pure evil... Colorado black lynched by racist youths, Clinton's gun control laws sets racists loose... We know who's pushing laws on blacks, gun control, fanatical Liberal Democrats...
Charleton marched with Martin Luther King, to attack Mr. Heston is assault on our King... Heston Fights for our rights both day and night, Liberals all hate him, because they know he's right... George Washington said guns restrain evil interference, listen to George, cause they don't hear us...
Liberals rip the second amendment from the constitution, by doing so they erase our contribution, do you hear me!
Landslide for Webb
The Rocky Mountain News reported May 5 that Webb won 80% of the votes cast, but only 15% of those registered to vote even bothered to show up at the voting booths. In addition, only around 80% of those known to be eligible to register choose to do so, and not all who are eligible to register are known to the statisticians.
And the News refers to this election as a "landslide for Webb." A landslide of apathy and cynicism, perhaps. - Ari Armstrong
Al "Capone" Gore
Mona Charen, a columnist I hardly ever read, happened to write a great piece which ran in the June 17 Rocky Mountain News. She wrote, "[T]he vice president said preschool should no longer be voluntary but should encompass 'every child, in every community in America.'" That's all we need -- children spending less time with their parents and more time with government officials. We also need to pay higher taxes to put more education bureaucrats on the government dole. Why didn't I think of that?
Gore strikes me as one of the more decent individuals running for president. But why does Gore evade the simple fact that he's attempting to bend people to his will in the political arena by forcing them to pay for programs they don't want? If people do want such programs, then they will pay for them voluntarily, without Gore implicitly threatening a prison sentence. Politicians, like Mafia gangsters, just don't play nice. - Ari Armstrong
Suing for Peace
According to the Constitution, "The Congress shall have Power... To declare War..." (Article I, Section 8). I suppose it depends on how you define "war." It depends on what your definition of "shall," is. - Ari Armstrong
Madison Warned Against Presidential Wars
The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war [and] the power of raising armies...
Madison also details how war leads to the loss of liberty, through higher taxes, more executive power, and the expansion of government. Freedom Daily is published by The Future of Freedom Foundation. - Ari Armstrong
It's fairly well substantiated that Clinton is a rapist and that hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians have been killed under his watch (including American women and children at Waco). While his policy in Yugoslavia is stupid and his ineptitude in handling military security with regards to China is frightening, hopefully Clinton harbors no secret desire to enter another world war. However, surely he has increased the risk of catastrophic war, if unintentionally.
In the immediate future, there seems to be greater risk from Clinton imposing martial law over Y2K problems, though I'm not looking for that to happen, either. We could see serious problems, though, if several events converge: a significant Y2K problem, on top of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, on top of Russian unrest, on top of U.S. inflation (say if Greenspan has a heart-attack or something), and we could find ourselves in deep trouble. Again, I'm not looking for such a convergence, even though possible dangers dot the horizon. -Ari Armstrong
What a Tangled Webb We Weave
In a 1991 letter to the Independence Institute's David Kopel, Webb stated, "I do not believe that a citizen should have to prove some unique 'need' to be issued a [concealed carry] permit." The News picked up the story on April 13 in an article by Kevin Flynn.
On April 12, Kopel and Jon Caldara, President of the Independence Institute, discussed on Caldara's radio show Webb's change of heart, as well as the ways a better-armed citizenry becomes a safer citizenry, hysteria from some Democrats notwithstanding. They also reviewed the history of gun control laws, which were originally passed specifically to disarm black people. The problem the anti-gun crowd has in debating David Kopel is that he is one of the foremost authorities on the issue, intimately familiar with the history and effects of gun legislation in the United States and around the world. Perhaps that's why the Democrats avoid discussing substantive issues and resort to scare-tactics - Ari Armstrong
Gun Classes Swamped
Many, it would seem, put more trust in themselves than in "Big Daddy" Clinton to provide for their personal protection. Bill Clinton may "feel our pain," but personally I'd rather he didn't have to.
Gun control kills children! An armed society is a polite society! - Ari Armstrong
Red, Red, White and Blue
DeGette Votes Against War in Yugoslavia
"I think Congress should have been consulted before the president went in with airstrikes," she said, as reported in the April 30 Rocky Mountain News. While hardly a principled recognition of the Constitutional prohibition of Presidential wars, this is far better than the mealy-mouthed positions of many Democrats on the issue. - Ari Armstrong
Trial By (Politically Correct) Jury
It turns out that Kriho had once been arrested, but not convicted, for an alleged drug violation. She failed to volunteer this information to prosecutors, and they never asked. But that wasn't good enough for the judge, who went after Kriho with a vengeance. Apparently, only those who think the way the government wants them to are suitable for jury duty. But all should remember that they have every right to nullify an unjust law as a juror, despite what a judge may happen to think. (Kriho denies she was exercising jury nullification, but only deciding on the merits of the evidence.) - Ari Armstrong
Buy Back the Junk
As far as gun proposals go, this one isn't so bad, so long as the money comes from voluntary contributions rather than taxes. If somebody's dumb enough to buy a $50 gun for $100, let them. Needless to say, nobody will turn in a gun worth more than $100. Presumably, a "gun" wouldn't even have to be functional to qualify for the cash. (I doubt those buying the guns are able to tell the difference.)
King's fear of guns is understandable, having lost several family members to assassins. However, King would do well to consider the usefulness of guns in self-defense. There's a reason the first gun control laws were passed specifically to disarm the black community -- bigoted whites wanted to be able to prey on blacks without fear of retaliation. - Ari Armstrong
A clean environment is a worthy goal. Unfortunately, the Sierra Club usually puts the (non-human) environment above human progress. It also proposes legislation that squashes property rights. There is a healthy free-market environmentalist movement in the libertarian movement, led by the Political Economy Research Center in Montana. Jane Shaw of PERC co-authored a book entitled Facts Not Fear, which is an excellent introductory text to the environment and an invaluable teaching aid. - Ari Armstrong
You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party
That's what happens when bureaucrats on the government dole have nothing productive to do with their time. We'd be better off paying these jokers to take a permanent vacation on some tropical island. At least then they'd just be taking our money, instead of taking our money to interfere in our lives. - Ari Armstrong
Tracking Teachers' Success
Seebach notes that students who have "top math teachers" three years in a row are likely to score well on standardized math tests, while those who have poor teachers are likely to score poorly on such tests.
This supports the view that pedagogy is the most important aspect of education. It also disproves the myth that some students are naturals in math and others "just can't get it." (There may be some natural aptitude, but this is a minor factor relative to individual motivation and quality of teaching.)
But shouldn't it be obvious to school administrators who are the good teachers and who are the bad ones? Why does it take advanced statistical techniques and state-wide database systems to track the effectiveness of teachers? The answer is simple: the tax-funded government education bureaucracy has no incentive to make sure that their schools do a good job. Usually, they get paid more if they do a worse job. If parents want consistently good teachers and good schools, they will demand to regain the right and responsibility of financing education for themselves. - Ari Armstrong
As O'Keefe put said, "According to Thomas Aquinas, a law is just if it is directed to the common good and the burdens it imposes on citizens are distributed with proportionate equality."
Too bad O'Keefe ignores the more fundamental issue that the pro-union laws themselves grant privileges to union members at the expense of other workers and consumers. Government should be neutral on the issue of unions. No legislation should force businesses to bargain with unions, as this artificially inflates union salaries, thus weakening the affected businesses, causing unemployment, and inflating prices for consumers. The wage market has always been more successful at resolving wage unfairness, anyway. If a business pays its employees too little, other businesses lure the workers away with higher salaries. Any possible useful service unions might provide pales in comparison to the efficacy of the market. - Ari Armstrong
Mark Paschall: Defender of Freedom
"I am tired of the legislature turning a right into a privilege," said Paschall. "The secret goal of government is to incrementally take away our freedoms, and I won't be a part of it."
In a brief interview, Paschall continued, "It doesn't happen just with guns. Government has the tendency to identify normal behavior, then outlaw it, and then permit it under regulated circumstances."
"We're becoming virtual slaves. The government controls our will and our capacity to act for ourselves, and it promotes legal plunder. I love freedom. I fear this nation is going to allow its freedoms to be eroded to the point where we won't even deserve them any more."
Paschall has courageously offered his Vermont amendment every year and may offer it as an independent bill in the future. Our hats are off to you, Sir. -Ari Armstrong
Bumper for President
Hornberger has all the right qualities to pull off a successful LP run. (A "successful" candidate would pull in over 5% of the vote, thereby attracting the media's and the public's attention to libertarian ideas.) He's a real libertarian, not one of these Statists in libertarian clothing that seem prevalent in other parties. However, he's no dogmatist -- he does his homework and backs his radical ideas with evidence and sound reasoning. He's an eloquent, passionate speaker who will play well on television. He may manage to dip into the Hispanic vote, as he speaks Spanish fluently and has long been an ardent supporter of open boarders.
I think Harry Browne was a fine candidate, but he suffered from two problems: his positions often came across as weak-kneed libertarianism, and he was never able to present them in an exciting way. Hornberger is self-confidently extremist in a way that is both assuring and inspiring. I haven't been this enthusiastic about a national political candidate -- well, since ever.
GO BUMPER! - Ari Armstrong
Update: House Votes to Ease Campaign Restrictions
A Smaller Bigger Government
Tom "I'm Not a Libertarian" Tancredo
Go, Doug Dean!
Gordon, on the other hand, served up the same tired, disproved, and irrelevant arguments. He says, "Guns in America are overwhelmingly used either in a moment of anger against a person the shooter knows or in a moment of depression for suicide." However, he cites no evidence to suggest concealed carry permits will increase gun violence, whereas Dean cites plenty of figures that suggest concealed carry laws decrease violence overall. Gordon misses the point entirely: Guns reduce crime without even being used! The mere fact that the citizenry is armed makes criminals think twice before trying to commit a crime.
Further, Gordon never tries to address the point that the vast majority of gun owners use guns responsibly, so why should they have their rights infringed because of the irresponsibility of a small minority? - Ari Armstrong
The Half-Million Dollar Student
Lobbyists of the World, Unite!
The Politics of Blame, Hollywood Style
Discrimination and Academic Standards
In case you weren't aware, top student athletes don't have to meet the admission standards of top colleges. They can meet the much lower NCAA standards to play sports at the school. (And I mean MUCH lower.) Even if the athletes don't meet the NCAA requirements, they can still often attend the school, only they're not eligible to play sports for the first year.
So when I saw today's headline, I figured that the federal judge from Philadelphia had ruled against the NCAA requirements because they let students get around the higher standards.
I should have known better. It turns out that the judge ruled against the standards because they're too high -- it seems many black athletes can't meet them, and that's why they're "discriminatory."
But there is of course a difference between discriminating on the basis of academic ability and discriminating on the basis of race or ethnicity. Blurring this distinction is dangerous and unjust. - Ari Armstrong
I have recently been miffed by a couple market organizations. I wanted to schedule a rehearsal dinner for my wedding at the Armadillo, a restaurant in Arvada, but the manager of the restaurant told me he had to make a "business decision" to refuse me service. I was livid. More recently, I brought some papers into Kinkos to three-hole punch. I thought there was a standard rate per punch, as their machine punches reams of paper at a time. However, they charged me a per-sheet rate that cost me several times the price I expected.
I'm sure everyone has stories of market organizations that didn't meet their expectations. Why is the market so much better than the State? Because at least I'm not forced to do repeat business with the market groups. I simply won't return to the Armadillo or Kinkos. What would happen to the quality of service if businesses were able to force their "customers" to keep paying them, regardless of level of service and wishes of the customer? The answer is obvious -- they would have no incentive to do right by their customers. Try telling the Federal government that you'd like to try a competing way to save for your retirement instead of Social(ized) (In)Security, or restrict your charitable contributions to market organizations. If you don't do business with Kinkos, you go across the street to Office Depot. If you don't do "business" with the State, you go to jail. - Ari Armstrong
Wisdom from the Rocky Mountain News
Folly on Social Security
Squabbling Over the Tobacco Funds
It's the Drug War, Stupid
It's the Government Schools...
Happy Valentine's Day
Shawn Mitchell: Defender of Liberty
Privacy for Sale
Destruction of the No-Zone Layer
Don't Knock Nock
Taxcutter Rides Again
Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution establishing a $25 tax cut to lower each 2001 state and local tax bill for each utility customer tax and franchise charge, vehicle ownership tax, and specified income tax and property tax, and, in connection therewith, increasing the tax cut $25 yearly thereafter; requiring state replacement of local revenue when yearly state revenue increases $200 million or more above that year's replacement increase; requiring yearly state audits of tax and spending limits; allowing the state to limit actions that increase replacement costs; specifying rules for construing this amendment; and awarding mandatory attorney fees and costs to successful plaintiffs only?
Mandatory, Regulated Savings Accounts
Deregulating the Schools
Stealing Property for Fun and Profit
- Ari Armstrong
Life is Beautiful
Government for the People?
Random Selection of Officeholders
The Stadium Tax
At least that's straightforward and accurate, I thought to myself. But then I noticed the sub-heading:
Now that would be more accurate if it read as follows:
- David Bryant
LP: Savior of the Republican Soul?
Who Pays for Health Insurance?
I understand that people who write headlines don't have all the room in the world, so I made some allowances for this piece of double-speak. But the article which followed was no clearer. Throughout, it perpetuated the mistaken notion that employers actually pay for health insurance.
Get this straight, guys! The "cost" of health insurance for an employee is paid by his productive labor. The employer is just a financial intermediary. The price of fringe benefits is deducted from the wages which the laborer might otherwise have been paid, and the employee's total earnings include not only his cash wages, but also the benefits and services he receives through his employer.
Economic concepts are hard enough to grasp without the double-speak. Let's use plain language when we talk about them. Next time just say
- David Bryant
Moral Lessons from the State
Under the section entitled, "Teaching Goal: To Correct Certain Misbehaviors/Problems," is listed, as a "misbehavior/problem," Self-Interest. The section "Sacrificing vs. Using" states: "Explain that sacrificing is giving up personal needs or wants to help other people get what they need or want. The opposite of sacrificing is using-manipulating others so that they give you what you want or need."
Of course, this analysis completely ignores the possibilities of mutual self-interest and benevolent trade, the cornerstones of a market, voluntaristic, civil society. Dismissing the possibility of benevolent cooperation is convenient for the State, for that leaves only the options of acting meanly or sacrificing. And what organization is better than the State at demanding sacrifice?
In 1880, the State stole children from Cape Cod parents with the force of guns and herded the children into government education camps. The State continues to force those of us who believe government schools harm children to subsidize such schools. Those who continue the Statist tradition of coercion are among the least suited to teach morality. - Ari Armstrong
Why Does Sun Hate Gates?
State Backs Down, Stops Stomping Private Property and Free Speech
Thankfully, ACLU lawyer Mark Silverstein beat back these tyrannical actions of the government. In the July 7 Denver Post, Silverstein was quoted, "The Constitution does not permit government inspectors to monitor private businesses to ensure that the owners express themselves in accordance with government-approved standards of good taste." Would that the ACLU were consistently so libertarian!
Obviously, the Department of Revenue has too much time and too much money on its hands. It's budget should be dramatically cut next year by the state legislature, and its liquor enforcement division should be gutted.
If our concern is with the quality of health care, education, housing, and transportation -- rather than with the power of politicians -- then we should advocate getting the government out of all these programs, not expanding the government's role. The reason there's a problem getting child care is that a collective tax burden of nearly 50% forces both parents to work. In addition, welfare dependency encourages having children irresponsibly. The reason there's a problem with housing is that the government skews the market place, in some cases preventing development, in other cases encouraging dumb developmental projects. And America's medical system, now nearly socialized, used to work just fine before politicians like Comrade Webb got their hands on it.
It seems clear that Webb is more concerned about legacy-building and his political future. If he were really concerned about the well-being of the residents of Denver, he'd leave them alone.
Give Me Liberty or Give Me Cabbage
Pythagorean Theorem: 24 words
Tancredo's "Third Way"
In the "survey," Tancredo lists only two alternatives: either support Project Gestapo (Exile), or pass new gun restriction laws. (Do you want BIG government or BIGGER government?) Of course, this list is not inclusive of the possibilities. An alternative which Tancredo doesn't even want to acknowledge exists is, "REPEAL the 20,000 unconstitutional gun restriction laws now on the books and return to freedom and Constitutional government." But in today's America, freedom is not presented as an option, at least not by Republican sell-outs like Tom Tancredo. - Ari Armstrong
SHAFTed by the Drug War
Yet in the June 23, 2000 edition of the Rocky Mountain News, page 8D, Paramount calls for stepping-up the drug war. The entire ad reads as follows:
Still the Man
Do not have any doubts that the drug war is a colossal failure. Do not have any mercy for black mothers and fathers who are separated from their families for years or decades because of a minor role in a drug offense. Do not show any mercy for Peter McWilliams, who choked to death on his own vomit because Federal agents prohibited him from taking his anti-nausea medication, marijuana. No drugs, no mercy, no doubt. Somebody forgot to mention, "NO JUSTICE."
Shaft is back. It's only too bad he's being used as a pawn in the Federal government's unconstitutional and unjust war on drugs. - Ari Armstrong
Great -- now even more pencil-pushing bureaucrats can live off the wealth eared by the rest of us. You don't actually think that money would go to improve education, do you? If anything, there's a negative correlation between funding and performance -- the more money spent per pupil, the worse the results. To put it another way, the more non-teaching bureaucrats a school hires, the more time and money it wastes on the latest "educational" fads that detract from true learning.
If education were the true standard here, rather than lining the pockets of the teachers' unions, funding for government schools would be gradually reduced -- all the way to zero. That would leave parents and private charity organizations free to pursue an education that works best for the students. - Ari Armstrong
Don't Waste Your Vote on Bush
Lock Up My Safety? No Thanks...
-- Laura West, Washington Times Weekly, April 30, 2000
The American Spirit
-- British-born actor Roy Dotrice in accepting his Tony Award Sunday for "Moon for the Misbegotten," reprinted in the Wall Street Journal.
So far, so good. But the 14th Amendment was passed in part to overturn the Jim Crow era laws that disarmed blacks. Minorities -- including blacks and gays -- have always been most empowered by the right to keep and bear arms. But Webb only invokes the Constitution when it's convenient for him. When it's inconvenient, he has no qualms about riding roughshod over it. - Ari Armstrong