Freedom Updates: June 8, 2006
by Ari Armstrong
Mixed Bag of Bills
Chris Frates of the Denver Post reports on June 7 that the day before Governor Bill "Owens signed House Bill 1411 to prohibit governments from taking property for economic development..."
While Owens continues to do many things hostile to individual rights, on this point he deserves credit.
He also signed "legislation creating a 24-person immigration unit within the Colorado State Patrol. Senate Bill 225 creates the team to enforce recently passed laws making human smuggling and trafficking a felony."
However, in the case of Mexican immigrants, the people being "smuggled" want to be smuggled, and they pay to be smuggled. The solution to this problem is to legalize immigration. What is the definition of "human smuggling and trafficking?" I'm not sure. But I won't be surprised to eventually read that the new dedicated agents will act on the widest possible definition, thereby imprisoning all sorts of harmless people guilty only of the "crime" of productive work.
Guns, Welfare, and the Constitution
The Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 13, states: "The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question..."
The Rocky Mountain News reports on June 6: "Denver's controversial gun laws will remain in effect thanks to a divided Colorado Supreme Court that upheld the ordinances on a 3-3 vote." The ruling allows Denver to ban arbitrarily categorized semi-automatic guns, ban inexpensive guns that the poor can afford, and require gun owners to render their tools of self-defense less functional in storage.
The Colorado Constitution, Article XI, Section 2, states: "Neither the state, nor any county, city, town, township, or school district shall make any donation or grant to, or in aid of, or become a subscriber to, or shareholder in any corporation or company..."
The Rocky Mountain News reports on June 6: "Gov. Bill Owens signed a bill giving the state's tourism office a fourfold increase in advertising dollars... The long-sought legislation was part of a sweeping $26.5 million economic development package that includes $19 million for tourism, as well as money for the arts and financial incentives for companies that bring jobs to the state." The increase in corporate welfare is possible "because of Referendum C," State Senator Jim Isgar told the News. The breakdown is $19 million for tourism, $3 million for select companies, $2 million for bioscience, $1.5 million for arts, and half a million for films.
The AP reports (June 7), "Prosecutors have accused some of the 17 Muslim terror suspects arrested in Canada of plotting to storm Parliament, take hostages and behead the prime minister unless Canada withdrew its troops from Afghanistan, an attorney for one of the suspects said."
The alleged plot was thwarted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Meanwhile, here in Colorado, the Joint Terrorism Task Force has managed to secure the conviction of a firefighter who sold to an undercover federal agent a machine that's perfectly legal, except that the firefighter failed to obtain the required federal tax paperwork. (The federal agent who purchased the machine, of course, is not subject to that law.)
The Denver Post reports, "A federal jury on Wednesday [June 7] delivered a mixed message to Denver firefighter Stan Ford, acquitting him of three weapons charges but convicting on one count of illegally selling a fully automatic machine gun.... Ford, 35, a seven-year veteran of the Fire Department, faces up to 10 years in federal prison."
Initially, officials claimed that Ford had some sort of connection to a "domestic terrorist organization," but apparently that claim -- the claim on which the entire investigation was launched -- was a fabrication.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force has diverted its limited resources and spent probably hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars (and counting) to bring down a firefighter for being stupid.