Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How Can the Obama Administration Ban Gun Sales Without Banning Gun Sales?

A funny thing happened on Black Friday... Twice. People, myself included, spurred on by THREE anti-gun bills (OK, one is a treaty) working their way through congress, and the Obama Administration coming out with strong support for a new "Assault Weapons" Ban, have decided that if they are going to buy a gun they better do it now before something happens.

They went to the gun stores in record numbers. About 160,000 registered purchases of firearms that require background checks were made. The volume was so high, that the computer that actually does the checks, the National Instant Check System (NICS), crashed. Twice. All states require a NICS check before the purchase of a firearm. With NICS down no purchases could be made. And a thousand light bulbs went on over the head of anti-gun activists everywhere.

I have said time and time again, that with the current congress, and the next congress, it will be very difficult to get another Assault Weapons Ban, or any type of firearm ban through congress. The Republicans still hold the House, and they just won't allow any of the anti-gun legislation through. Their base consists of too many single issue voters for the House Republican caucus to budge on this issue. However, the Democrats own both the White House and the Senate. These two bodies have tremendous power to make life difficult for gun owners, and potential buyers.

First, the Office of the President is the Executive power in our government. That means that all of the inner workings of the Government are controlled, ultimately, by the President of the United States. With this power comes the power of Bureaucracy and Regulation. Because Congress long ago ceded its regulatory power to the Executive, it is up to the President to take laws passed by congress and put them in to enforceable practice. Thus when the Brady Bill became law, it was the Executive that set up this NICS computer to comply. What if the President decided that the computer was too expensive and we needed to do everything by pen and paper? Boom. Done with a stroke of a pen. What if the President decided that human signature and oversight was needed for each application? Boom. Done. To pay for all of this additional overhead the user fee for a NICS check is raised to $100 per check. Or $200 per check.
Not possible? Guess how an application for an automatic weapon is processed... Paper copies, finger prints, and a $200 processing fee. Is it in the law? No, it is in the regulations.

This is how the Administration will go about making life difficult for gun buyers. A good pistol already costs upwards of $500. Tack on tax and NICS processing fees, and you have a $500 gun that is flirting with $700 retail price.

How could you increase the prices of guns? Require "micro stamping." Micro stamping is a process in which the serial number of the gun is etched on to the firing pin. What's a firing pin? Do a search on this blog for it... I have written plenty about it. Anyway, every time the gun is fired the serial number is stamped on the primer of the cartridge. Under a microscope the Police can then trace the cartridge to the gun the fired it. The process is incredibly expensive. Driving the price of the firearm up by an estimated $200. So now your $500 pistol is now flirting with $1000 price tag. All of this done without congress, just with the power of the executive.

Now we add in the Senate. What can the President do with the Senate's approval? Make treaties. What is a treaty that is working its way through the United Nations with the approval of the Obama Administration? An international registry on gun sales. I wrote about it earlier.

So, what next? A treaty with Mexico that bans gun sales. This would require legislation to prevent weapons crossing the border. More regulation. More expense. Before you know it, you are priced out of the market, with firearms being so expensive the normal person can not afford them.

Think it can't happen? How much does a Cessna 172 cost now as opposed to the 1970's before regulation? Same air frame. Same engine. Go ahead look. Can the normal person afford it?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cover Better Than the Original?

Brooke Benton wrote a little song in 1959. His friend, "The Lion of the Blues" Bobby Bland, recorded it in 1960, and they had a minor hit. It has a similar feeling to many of their contemporary Nina Simone.

The lyrics and slow rhythm makes it an easy cover for many artist trying to present themselves as soulful singers. Most recently Drake and Rihanna created this musical abortion:

I mean WHAT THE FUCK????? It makes my ears bleed. Instead of taking some musical initiative with awesome material, and using Rihanna's considerable talent to create something very special, they bent poor Brooke Benton over and Legitimately Raped him. Like the bad kind of rape, not the kind that you will get a "Gift from God" from, but the kind of rape where a woman shuts down her reproductive process. I think it is called "rape-rape" or some such.
Have these "artists" every heard of a melody? Seriously, WTF???

The good news is that Beth Heart and Joe Bonamassa also did a cover of this song. Beth is well known for a soulful voice that is reminiscent of Janis Joplin, if Janis could actually carry a tune from time to time.

So, which is better? My opinion should be clear... I think the Heart/Bonamassa cover is amazing. The original is nice, but a little uninspired, and the Rihanna/Drake cover is just pure crap.

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Term, New Assault Weapons Ban??

In the election between Santa Clause and Santa Clause Lite, Santa Clause won and with the win, and the idiotic Constitutional term limit enforced on Presidents, President Obama is free to pursue what ever agenda, no matter how unpopular, he wants to.

One of the Constitutional powers the President, granted to him in Article II Section 2 is
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The important part of this clause is "He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur". Keep this in mind as we move forward...

This week, actually Wednesday (yes, I am well aware that it was AFTER the election...), Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice moved that the General Assembly take up talks to ratify the U.N. Treaty on Small Arms. This measure passed, and they will take up talks on March 18-28.

This Treaty is very controversial in the U.S. first because it would require signature countries to keep a 20 year record on the "end user" of any gun purchased across international lines. So, for example, I own a Beretta PX4 pistol. If the treaty would have been in effect at the time of my purchase, the U.S. Government would have to keep track of me, and my gun, for 20 years. Telling Italy every time I moved, bought a new gun, or sold the Beretta. It is effective gun registration for any gun purchased from a foreign company...
Add to this the sketchy language "take the necessary legislative and administrative measures, to adapt, as necessary, national laws and regulations to implement the obligations of this treaty" it gives anti-gun judges the ability to use this treaty as a way to effectively ban certain types of weapons.

But, Mr. Ninja, you say, doesn't the Senate have to have a two thirds majority to ratify the treaty? Excellent question, I reply. The answer is NO. Take a look at the language in the Constitution.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur
They just need two thirds of the Senators present. In the past, both parties have used this language to ram through legislation and even treaties by calling for their vote in the middle of the night, during holidays, etc etc etc. The fact of the matter is that the Majority Party in the Senate controls the agenda. All the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Harry Reid, needs to do is announce the vote when he has support of two thirds of the Senators present. This is how the Democrats will get this piece of very unpopular legislation passed.

But..., you say, Judges just can't ban types of guns outright. They need congress to pass laws!!! No, I reply again.
Congress has given over its regulatory power to the Executive. Things like gun registration and background checks, how deep they go, how much they cost, blah blah blah, are up to the Executive. Using this new treaty as a justification, the Executive can, without the need of congress, and with out the fear of not being re-elected, can regulate in to obscurity those weapons that could be used in the illegal weapons trade. What weapons are those??? "Assault weapons" that is read, scary looking ones with external magazines, and picatinny rails, and LASERS!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!! I scared myself.

So... What do we do about it?? Myself, I am going to piss my wife off something spectacular by buying a rifle that will surely be banned in a few months. When I buy the rifle, I will buy at least 4 high capacity magazines for it. I will also buy as many high capacity magazines for my pistols as I can, likely another 3 or 4 per gun. I will also buy a tube magazine extender for my Remington 870.
I will have to wait and see how things play out for optics... Eventually I want to purchase a red dot optic with variable 1-4x magnification. I don't know if these will be banned... They make the gun look scarier, so maybe it will banned. If it looks like these optics will be banned as well, I will risk my wife's ire again and buy a good one.