NEVER BEEN SHOOTING? Would you like to try it?
An offer for Louisville Metro area residents.

If you have never been shooting, are 21 years old or older and not otherwise barred by state or federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm, I'd like to invite you to the range. I will provide firearms, ammunition, range fees, eye and hearing protection and basic instruction.

(Benefactor Member of the NRA, member of KC3, former NRA firearms instructor, former Ky CCDW instructor)

Email me if you are interested in taking me up on this offer. Five (5) people already have.

October 31, 2007

Why they are able to convince so many that arms are not necessary.

“The prudent see danger and prepare, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Proverbs 27:12

Fred Thompson on the UN's position on individual ownership of guns

(would that the other candidates (excepting Dr. Paul) were so clear on the 2nd Amendment)

Last year, the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights declared that international human rights law requires all nations to adopt strict gun control laws. These "minimum" provisions are much more restrictive than any of those on the books anywhere in the U.S. and would almost certainly violate the Second Amendment of our Constitution.

Besides concluding that all nations are obligated under international human rights law to control the small arms and light weapons to which its civilian population has access, the UN report remarkably denied the existence of any human right to self-defense, evidently overlooking the work of Hugo Grotius, the 17th century scholar credited as the founder of international law, who wrote, "It is to be observed that [the] Right of Self-Defence, arises directly and immediately from the Care of our own Preservation, which Nature recommends to every one. . . ," and that this right is so primary, that it cannot be denied on the basis that it is not "expressly set forth."

There is another disturbing aspect to this call for international global gun control. Throughout modern history, the forced disarmament of people by its government has often been accompanied or followed by that government's commission of often massive human rights abuses. In fact, no genocide in the 20th century occurred when the victim population still possessed small arms, legally or illegally, with which to defend themselves.

So now the UN wants to disarm civilians? Where was the UN when the massacres in Rwanda occurred? What did the UN do to protect the victims of ethnic massacres in Bosnia? Disarming civilians under the guise of international human rights law will only lead to more such genocides by ensuring that civilians can never defend themselves! It would be funny if it weren't so perverse.
Thankfully, the Framers of our Constitution recognized this potential peril to our liberty, and enshrined in our Second Amendment the more basic right of self-defense. The U.N. can say what it likes about other countries' citizens' possession of small arms being a violation of human rights law, but so long as the United States is a sovereign nation governed by its Constitution, its words will have no effect here. And I am glad for it.

"Just give them what they want..." (insert your favorite expression of disgust here)

Marko says:

No, the appropriate response to violence is not submission. Submission encourages the thugs, and it gives them absolutely no incentive to consider a career change. When you preach submission, you only guarantee more of the behavior that takes advantage of that submission. The only appropriate response to violence is white-hot anger. When someone sticks a gun in your face and threatens to kill you over the contents of your wallet or your register, your response ought to be rage. The very thought of some low-life thug threatening to snuff you out and make your children orphans for no reason other than the money you carry ought to make you furious.

Go over and read the rest.

October 30, 2007

My sweet wife and Rascal

I posted a cat video below in Who's been talking to my wife?, and I thought I'd post a picture of the principals at our house. This is my sweet wife and Rascal. He earned his name as a kitten. I wanted to call him Monster, and did for some time, but she thought that a bit harsh. It may have been, but it was more accurate. He's at least 14 years old now, and though he has some difficulty getting around, it doesn't seem to be a problem to walk on our heads in the morning.
Hobbes, our newest addition, hasn't figured out the "wake us up" part. I'm sure that will change.

Free intro to handgun ownership, safety and shooting for Louisville Metro residents at OpenRange Sports

First shots seminar offered at Openrange Sports.

OpenRange at 6401 Cross Keys Blvd. in Crestwood will offer a First Shots seminar offering Louisville-area residents a free introduction to hand gun ownership, safety and shooting.

This seminar is for first time shooters and will include classroom and range time.

This event will be 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 3rd.

Pre-registration is requested. For information or to register,
call 243-8282.

October 29, 2007

Enumerated Powers Act (HR 1359) Write your Representative to co-sponsor this bill.

(Thanks to The Patriot)

HR 1359 IH


1st Session

H. R. 1359

To require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws, and for other purposes.


March 6, 2007

Mr. SHADEGG (for himself, Mr. WESTMORELAND, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. FLAKE, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. MARCHANT, Ms. FOXX, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. HERGER, Mr. AKIN, Mr. CONAWAY, Mr. BISHOP of New York, Mr. PAUL, Mr. MCCOTTER, and Mrs. MYRICK) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To require Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Enumerated Powers Act'.


    (a) Constitutional Authority for This Act- This Act is enacted pursuant to the power granted Congress under article I, section 8, clause 18, of the United States Constitution and the power granted to each House of Congress under article I, section 5, clause 2, of the United States Constitution.

    (b) Constitutional Authority Statement Required- Chapter 2 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 102 the following new section:

`Sec. 102a. Constitutional authority clause

    `Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. The failure to comply with this section shall give rise to a point of order in either House of Congress. The availability of this point of order does not affect any other available relief.'

    (c) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 2 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 102 the following new item:

      `102a. Constitutional authority clause.'.

Another comment that did not appear in the KY Kernel

Staff at the Kernel must be very slow in moderating comments, or they have decided not to allow them to be posted. I posted two comments last week to the  UK KY Kernel editorial 'For safety's sake, campus gun ban should remain," and they have not yet appeared . A friend forwarded me a comment he posted yesterday. I doubt it will appear, so, I post his comment here.

"UK is currently a deadly-weapons-free campus"

It wasn't just over a month ago according to the alert listed on the UK Police website:

"September 8, 2005

A male victim reported that at approximately 11:52 PM on September 7th he had been robbed at gunpoint while sitting in his vehicle in the Commonwealth Stadium Green Lot directly in front of Oswald Building."

It seems to me that you could just as easily declare the campus crime free and there wouldn't be any need for the police or their weapons.  Unfortunately, one would have to ignore the fact that it isn't crime free, just like the Kernel Editorial Board must ignore the fact that there ARE deadly weapons on campus now in the hands of people willing to misuse them for their own gain.

The opinion of the Board seems to suggest that people smart enough to be accepted to UK are not intelligent enough to use a defensive weapon within the law. "Misperceived crime results in shootout!" does not seem to be a very popular headline yet this seems to be the sole reason to deny the entire student body the opportunity for self-defense.  Why must the rest of us submit to your illogical wish that a better situation exists than the available data suggests?

So how do we make students safer?  "Please Mr. Rapist, before you begin I just need to use that emergency phone over there and then you can continue." or maybe "Do you think we can wait just a moment before you proceed, with the increased size of the UK Police force I'm sure an officer will come by shortly."

This just doesn't sound any more feasible to me than simply declaring the place a weapon free zone.

October 26, 2007

University of Kentucky student paper editorial is all opinion and no facts.

In an editorial titled, "For safety's sake, campus gun ban should remain", The University of Kentucky student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel, the editors praise the Empty Holster Protest participants for their "peaceful" exercise of their First Amendment rights. Delivering the usual feed good nonsense backed up by nothing, they come to the conclusion:

For the sake of their own safety, students should support the current deadly-weapons-free policy. Hiring additional police officers and installing more emergency phones on campus would be much better methods of increasing safety on campus than allowing concealed possession of firearms would be.

Comments on the Ky Kernel site are moderated, but neither of my attempts to comment have been posted. Here is my second comment.

I agree! Look at all the violent incidents in the university system in Utah where they allow concealed carry Oh, wait. THERE HAVEN'T BEEN ANY!!!

This editorial is all opinion and no fact, so why don’t we look at a few.

Fact: Concealed carry license holders commit statistically insignificant crime compared to the normal population. This is because they are law-abiding citizens who understand the responsibility of carrying a firearm.

Fact: Every school shooting has happened in a Gun/Weapons Free Zone. Made a real difference, huh? Have you notices most folks don't go on a shooting rampage at gun clubs and police stations?

Fact: Personal arms are used in approximately 2.5 million incidents of self-defense every year in the United States. How many police were standing there, I wonder? Why carry a gun? Because a whole cop is too heavy.

Fact: Every time concealed carry has been authorized in a jurisdiction the opponents have cried, "The streets will run red with the blood of vigilante justice!" Every time they have been horribly wrong. 39 states is a large enough test case to put this one to rest, don't you think?

Fact: There are students carrying concealed every day at the University of Kentucky but you do not know it. Why? Because they take the concealed part as seriously as they do their commitment to be able to protect themselves, that is why.
Fact: Government entities (police, public schools, etc.) have no duty to protect you and incur no liability when they do not protect you. So says the Supreme Court in numerous cases since 1856. Just Google "no duty to protect" and look at some of the thousands of entries, many of which will give you specific citations. If you do not protect yourself, no one will.

Fact: Extra police officers and additional phones will not do you any good when you walk across campus and an attacker steps out of the shadows. Criminals typically do not wait for their innocent victims to call the police before they attack you, no matter how many new officers are hired,

Fact: The presence of weapons does not presuppose increases in violent crime and suicide. See the Kates and Mauser international study "Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?" recently published in a Harvard journal. Just one small quote:
     "Whether gun availability is viewed as a cause or as a mere coincidence, the long term evidence is that gun ownership spread widely throughout societies consistently correlates with stable or declining murder rates."
I would also point out that there have been several studies of this nature conducted over several decades, and they have all come to the same conclusion.

Fact:  Universities grossly underreport campus crime. If most students knew the actual levels of crime on campus they would be, rightly, scared stiff.

Fact: Predators avoid prey that they think might fight back. That's why wolves hunt sheep, not mountain lions.

"For the sake of their own safety," eligible students and faculty should be able to bear arms to protect themselves wherever they are.

Why not Darfur?

The Washington Times reports that

“Authorities are considering emptying the massive UN headquarters building for at least three years to get a long-delayed renovation project back on track and on budget.” .

Maybe it would be less expensive to build somewhere else. I'd suggest Africa. Why not Darfur? They could use the boost to the economy.

October 23, 2007

UK has more sense than the jokers in Florida re: Empty Holster

Here's the memo sent out at the University of Kentucky regarding the Students for Concealed Carry on Campus Empty Holster Protest.

The University of Kentucky has been informed that our campus may be one of the sites across the nation this week (Oct. 22-26) for a protest regarding concealed weapons policies. SCCC (Students for Concealed Carry on Campus) has announced that it is planning a peaceful protest where individuals will wear T-shirts and empty holsters as a form of protest against state laws and campus policies which prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms on campus.
At UK, we cherish and affirm the right of free speech on campus and certainly recognize and respect the right of this group to conduct a peaceful protest.
The reason for this proactive message is to make all students, faculty, and staff aware that such an activity may occur, so as to diminish and diffuse any sense of alarm which may arise.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that UK is a "deadly weapons free" campus.
Thank you.
(If you are a supervisor, please communicate this information to all of your staff, especially those without computer access.)

There are rumors a statewide Kentucky gun rights group is looking forward to working with these students in the upcoming legislative session.

How would you answer these?

Are these reasonable questions? When will we see something like this in a public opinion poll? I'd like to see my legislators address these. I guess it's up to me to at least ask them.

1. Do you have the right to defend you and your family from a malicious, life threatening, unprovoked attack by a criminal:

a. in your home?
b. in your vehicle?
c. in a public place?
d. at your place of employment?

2. If you answered no to any of the above, upon what legal or moral grounds do you support your position that your life is less valuable at that particular location than it is at one of the locations where you answered yes?
The Supreme Court and other Federal case law has found no government entity, Federal, state, or local has a general legal duty, obligation or responsibility to protect people in their jurisdiction from any criminal activity, including violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery, assault, and murder. (see here for case citations)
If you answered no to any part of question 1 does this information change your view?

3. Since no government entity, Federal, state, or local has a general legal duty, obligation or responsibility to protect you from any criminal activity including violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery, assault, and murder, with who does the responsibility for your protection lie?

4. If you have the right and responsibility to defend yourself from a malicious, life threatening, unprovoked attack (since no government entity has any responsibility to protect you from any criminal activity including violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery, assault, and murder), should any government entity which has no responsibility to protect you limit your ability to defend yourself and/or your family from violent criminal activity?

5. If you answered yes to question 4, upon what legal or moral grounds do you support your position that a government entity, which has no responsibility to protect you, may limit the means you may use to defend yourself and/or your family from violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery, assault, and murder?

If property owners of public places (stores, parks, restaurants, public buildings) limit the means you may use to defend yourself by posting signs which disarm you on their premises (gun free zones, no weapons, etc.), should they be held liable for injuries or death caused by attacks on your person while you are disarmed on those premises because you complied with their posted limitations?

October 17, 2007

Who's been talking to my wife?

In 18 1/2 years of marriage, my cat loving wife has gone thru this thousands of times. I know because she always complains about it to me. But she does love our cats, in spite of their usually very early morning antics.

What if we really were...

Bitter, over at The Bitch Girls, talks about perception and the NRA, and this is my contribution.

Too many think that just owning a firearm, for whatever purpose, and paying dues makes them an NRA member. Technically that may be true. I think it just means they bought a magazine subscription.

While their presence on the roll is beneficial, what if all those NRA "members" participated in local NRA activities, wrote letters to lawmakers and newspapers, manned booths at local events, even non-firearms related events?

What might happen if they all showed up on the steps of the State Capitol when hearing were being held on anti-2nd Amendment bills? What could the state and national organizations do if these "members" actually sent in more than just their subscription money? (I joined the NRA 35 years ago as an annual member. I am now a Patron Member, and I have never made over $40K/year.) It can be done.

What if they were interested enough to READ the magazine they subscribe to and see that when comes the knock on the door, at some point in time it will be for their (fill in their favorite type of gun here).

Heck, what if only half of them did these things?

A few years back, there was a campaign that said, "I am the NRA!" What if we really were?

For TRUE Gun Free Zone believers...

Of course, walking the talk might be dangerous, but hey, if you really believe...

Here's one for the windows of your house.

Go here for Gun Free Zone products for sale (really!) and for free downloads.

October 16, 2007

Brad Paisley fan shoots self in foot

Article calls it an accident. However, the circumstances they describe are NEGLIGENT, not accidental.

He was charged with using a weapon while intoxicated and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.

Loading a gun while loaded is not a good idea. If he's convicted, I'm thinking a concealed carry license is not in his future.

The nagging question in my mind after seeing Mr. Stringfellow's mug shot is do they put you in stripes for your mug shot in Ohio, or did he come dressed for it?

American Civil Rights Union files amicus brief in D.C v. Heller

(not to be confused with ACLU)

ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara wrote the brief, stating,

"The courts cannot treat the Second Amendment as a politically incorrect, disfavored stepchild of the Bill of Rights. Fidelity to the Constitution requires the courts to give it the same zealous protection as every other right stated in our founding document. But the ruling on standing in this case does not reflect equal access to the courts for Second Amendment rights as for other rights."

He talks purty. See the entire brief here.

"Pistol-Packing Grandma" pulls pistol at Louisiana candidates forum.

No, it's not what you think. See the article here. And it didn't help her in her bid for an endorsement.

The specter of crime, and the memory of her own close brush with it, turned state Senate candidate Polly Thomas of Metairie into a pistol-packing grandma who showed her hardware during a recent candidate forum.

While addressing members of Crimefighters Inc. on Oct. 5, Thomas pulled a Glock 19 semi-automatic pistol from her handbag to dramatize the point that she will be tough on crime if elected to represent the 9th District.

"I told them that it's a shame when a grandmother feels she has to be armed to feel safe," said Thomas, 60, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and assured the audience that the pistol she aimed at the ceiling wasn't loaded.

"These are people who are very attuned to and protective of people who've had crimes committed against them," said Thomas, who was robbed at gunpoint in her driveway a decade or so ago, but armed herself only after Hurricane Katrina.

Thomas said she told organizers before the forum that she would display the firearm, but it obviously surprised other attendees.

Oregon teacher wins first round in her right-to-carry battle

See the entire story here. I know many will characterize this as a gun rights battle, but it isn't. It's a civil rights battle for Ms. Katz's Second Amendment rights. Guns don't have rights, people do. You remember "the people" don't you.

MEDFORD (AP) — English teacher Shirley Katz won the first round of her legal bout for the right to carry a pistol onto school grounds when a judge said Thursday he would not dismiss the case, but would rule on her lawsuit against the school district.

And her lawyer continues to make interesting and accurate statements.

“The idea that having a gun-free zone makes a safe zone is a fallacious theory,” Leuenberger said.

A theory proven wrong over and over again, one must add. I wonder how long this will be tied up in court?

How well do you know your dictators?

(via email)

A little history quiz: If you don't know the answer make your best guess. Answer all the questions before looking at the answers. Who said it?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."
A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We)...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."
A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their order t o crea te this common ground."
A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."
A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."
A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above
(1) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/29/2004
(2) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 5/29/2007
(3) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(4) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(5) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 6/4/2007
(6) D. None of the above. Statement was made by Hillary Clinton 9/2/2005

Oh, and She Who Must Be Obeyed supports your Second Amendment rights, too. Be very afraid...

The Supreme Court HAS spoken to the individual right to keep and bear arms. Specifically.

In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990), the Supreme Court said the rights enumerated in the 4th, 1st, and 2nd Amendments are the same, individual rights.  Though dealing primarily with 4th Amendment claims, the section of this decision below seems to use the individual nature of the 1st and 2nd Amendments as examples for the individual nature of 4th Amendment rights.

My emphasis in bold italic below.

The Fourth Amendment provides: [494 U.S. 259, 265]

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
That text, by contrast with the Fifth and Sixth Amendments, extends its reach only to "the people." Contrary to the suggestion of amici curiae that the Framers used this phrase "simply to avoid [an] awkward rhetorical redundancy," Brief for American Civil Liberties Union et al. as Amici Curiae 12, n. 4, "the people" seems to have been a term of art employed in select parts of the Constitution. The Preamble declares that the Constitution is ordained and established by "the people of the United States." The Second Amendment protects "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms," and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments provide that certain rights and powers are retained by and reserved to "the people." See also U.S. Const., Amdt. 1 ("Congress shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people peaceably to assemble") (emphasis added); Art. I, 2, cl. 1 ("The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the people of the several States") (emphasis added). While this textual exegesis is by no means conclusive, it suggests that "the people" protected by the Fourth Amendment, and by the First and Second Amendments, and to whom rights and powers are reserved in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, refers to a class of persons who are part of a national community or who have otherwise developed sufficient connection with this country to be considered part of that community.

October 12, 2007

Hillary says she would negotiate with Iran...

Of course, if it were under the terms stated by Will Rogers, that might not be so bad.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers

Judge Nixes Oklahoma's Guns-in-Locked-Cars Law

(More judicial and regulatory interference with the Second Amendment.)

By Susan Jones Senior Editor
October 10, 2007
( - A federal judge in Tulsa has blocked an Oklahoma law allowing employees to keep guns in their locked cars on company property.
In a written order issued last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Terence Kern issued a permanent injunction against the law that was passed in 2004.
According to the Tulsa World, Kern said the law (a series of amendments to the Oklahoma Firearms Act and the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act) conflicted with the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act, which is intended to protect employees in the workplace.
Parties to the federal lawsuit included (at various times) Whirlpool, the Williams Cos., and Conoco Phillips, all of which objected to the Oklahoma law on the grounds that it violated their private property rights -- and interfered with corporate policies intended to protect workers.
According to the National Rifle Association, the issue arose in 2002 in Oklahoma, when the Weyerhaeuser company fired eight employees for having guns in their cars on company property.
In response, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law -- unanimously in the House and by a 92-4 vote in the Senate -- prohibiting "any policy or rule" that barring law-abiding people from "transporting and storing firearms in a locked vehicle on any property set aside for any vehicle."
Safety vs. self-defense
"The judge made the right decision in this case," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "The safety of American workplaces should take precedence over allowing individuals to rapidly arm themselves with dangerous weapons."
The Brady Center said similar laws should be repealed in other states, "based on Judge Kern's clear findings in this case." (Similar laws have been passed in Alaska, Minnesota, Kentucky and Kansas; 13 other states have rejected such laws.)
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence issued a report in November 2005 arguing against "the NRA's campaign to force businesses to accept guns at work," and that report was cited prominently in the judge's decision last Thursday, the Brady Center said Wednesday in a news release.
The National Rifle Association supported the Oklahoma law, arguing that most gun-related crimes in the workplace are committed by non-employees. It also noted that people bent on violence will not be prevented from opening fire by a company policy against having guns in cars.
The Tulsa World last week quoted the Oklahoma bill's sponsor, Democratic State Rep Jerry Ellis, as saying that Judge Kern's ruling will do nothing to protect workers, but will erode employees' self-defense capabilities.
Ellis said the judge's decision increases the chances that a disgruntled person will be able to kill a lot of people at their workplace before police can respond to a 911 call.
"I guess federal judges can do anything they want. They don't have to worry about the voters," the newspaper quoted Ellis as saying.

It seems Judge Kern could use a remedial course in Constitutional law. Which came first, the Constitution or OSHA?

Oregon teacher carrying concealed in school...

In Medford OR, teacher Shirley Katz is apparently allowed to carry concealed until a judge issues a ruling. See the story from KOIN here.

October 11, 2007

It's about time...

Six-Figure Bonuses Retain US Commandos

The Pentagon has paid more than $100 million in bonuses to veteran Green Berets and Navy SEALs, reversing the flow of top commandos to the corporate world where security companies such as Blackwater USA are offering big salaries.

What was it the Bard said about lawyers?

Cop Sues Family of Brain-Damaged Tot

One year old all but dies in a drowning accident and the cop answering call slips and injures her knee on a puddle of water in the home after the child was brought inside.  And the lawyer says,

"It's a situation where the Cosmillos have caused these problems, brought them on themselves, then tried to play the victim," Heil said.

I don't know about the legal merits of the case, but this jerk gives real meaning to the old phrase, "Some people just need shootin'."

Let's see, violations of the 1st, 2nd, 4th... And Thought Police to boot!!

Hamline University Student Suspended After Advocating Concealed Carry for Students

School Orders Psychological Evaluation

October 10, 2007

FIRE Press Release

ST. PAUL, Minn., October 10, 2007—Hamline University has suspended a student after he sent an e-mail suggesting that the Virginia Tech massacre might have been stopped if students had been allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Student Troy Scheffler is now required to undergo a mandatory “mental health evaluation” before being allowed to return to school. Scheffler, who was suspended without due process just two days after sending the e-mail, has turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help.

“Hamline’s punishment of Troy Scheffler is severe, unfair, and apparently unwarranted,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Peacefully advocating for students’ ability to carry a concealed weapon as a response to the Virginia Tech shootings may be controversial, but it simply does not justify ordering a mandatory psychological evaluation.”

On April 17, 2007, Hamline’s Vice President of Student Affairs, David Stern, sent an e-mail to the campus community offering extra counseling for Hamline students in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings. Later that day, Scheffler responded directly to Stern, arguing that Virginia Tech’s ban on concealed weapons was part of the problem and advocating that Hamline eliminate its similar policies. Scheffler also wrote that the university’s diversity programs may have angered some in the student body, himself included.

On April 19, 2007, Hamline University President Linda Hanson e-mailed the campus community again to address the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Scheffler responded directly to Hanson and again criticized the university’s concealed weapons ban, academic standards, financial policies, and the university’s efforts to promote diversity.

Hanson replied to Scheffler on Friday, April 20, offering him a chance to meet with university personnel to discuss his views the following week. Yet on Monday, April 23, before Scheffler was even able to respond to Hanson’s invitation, he received a hand-delivered letter from Dean of Students Alan Sickbert notifying him that his e-mails to Stern and Hanson were “deemed to be threatening and thus an alleged violation of the Hamline University Judicial Code.”

Sickbert’s letter also informed Scheffler that he was being placed on immediate “interim suspension” that could not be lifted unless he agreed to a “mental health evaluation” by a licensed mental health professional.

FIRE wrote to President Hanson on May 29, 2007, vehemently opposing the sanctions against Scheffler, since neither of Scheffler’s e-mails even came close to meeting the legal definition of a “threat.” FIRE also pointed out that Hamline maintains a “Freedom of Expression and Inquiry” policy that encourages the public expression of opinions and the freedom to examine and discuss all questions of interest. FIRE wrote that “it is difficult to reconcile these admirable commitments to freedom of expression with Hamline’s hasty actions against Scheffler.”

FIRE also informed Hamline administrators that subjecting Scheffler to a mandatory psychological evaluation poses a grave threat to liberty at Hamline. FIRE wrote, “A psychological evaluation, to be overseen by a Hamline administrator, is one of the most invasive and disturbing intrusions upon Scheffler’s individual right to private conscience imaginable. Because Scheffler has shown no proclivity toward violence and has made no threatening comments, this psychological evaluation seeks to assess his political opinions….”

Hanson responded to FIRE on June 11, 2007, claiming that there were several reasons for Scheffler’s suspension, including the e-mails, his failure to meet with administrators when invited, and “critical input from various members of the Hamline community.” FIRE addressed each of those claims in another letter to Hanson on September 17, 2007. Not only did FIRE reiterate that Scheffler’s e-mails were not threats, but it also pointed out that Scheffler was given less than one full business day before his suspension to respond to the invitation from school officials to discuss his views. FIRE also noted that the alleged information from “various members of the Hamline community,” which supposedly played a role in determining Scheffler’s sanctions, had not even been revealed to Scheffler himself, denying him the right to defend himself or present his side of the story. In a September 28, 2007, response, Hamline’s attorneys refused to address FIRE’s concerns that Scheffler has been denied his due process rights.

“How can Scheffler hope to defend himself when Hamline refuses even to tell him what he is accused of doing?” FIRE Vice President Robert Shibley asked. “Hamline’s policies promise freedom of expression and basic due process to its students, but this case brings the sincerity of those promises into serious question. FIRE calls on President Hanson to either admit that the suspension and order for a ‘mental health evaluation’ had no justifiable basis or give Scheffler all the information he needs to respond to the charges against him.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty across America can be viewed at


Robert Shibley, Vice President, FIRE: 215-717-3473;

Linda Hanson, President, Hamline University: 651-523-2202;
David Stern, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Hamline University: 651‑523-2088;

Just Stand There While I Die

(Found here at NRO)
The D.C. government has that right, and exercises it frequently.

By David Freddoso

The first time someone tried to mug me in Washington D.C., I ran away as he threatened to shoot me from behind.

The second time, when the exact same situation arose, I knew better. I stopped and turned around to confront the robber as soon as he threatened to shoot: “Hey, buddy!” I said confidently. “Who do you think you’re fooling? Guns are outlawed in the District of Columbia — I know you don’t really have one.”

He shot me in the face with a crossbow.

Okay, sorry, I’m just making that part up. What really happened is I ran like hell and got away, both times. Both times, the cops showed up about an hour after I dialed 911.

I have no idea whether either of my muggers actually had a gun — they each chased me from behind, and I was too busy running to ask. But a few years back, my best friend and his brother knew for sure that real guns were being trained on their heads as they were forced for several minutes to lie face-down, just blocks from the Capitol, on the red-brick sidewalk in front of their D.C. rowhouse. They both survived the robbery (two blocks from the local police precinct), but neither of them thought to ask the important questions: “Excuse me, were those guns legally registered before 1977? Are they grandfathered under the District of Columbia Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975?”

I hope that now you can understand where I am coming from when I read District of Columbia Attorney General Linda Singer’s hysterical court filing in the Heller case, which may strike down the District’s 31-year-old comprehensive ban on gun ownership.

“Whatever right the Second Amendment guarantees,” wrote the District’s chief law enforcer, “it does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die.”

What an excellent example of unintended humor — the District’s government is a national leader in standing by while its citizens die. Our homicide rate hit a 20-year low in 2005 — just 29 victims per 100,000 residents. That is slightly better than New York City’s rate (30.7) under Mayor David Dinkins in 1990, when the Big Apple suffered 2,250 homicides.

In 1991, the D.C. murder rate reached an astounding 81 per 100,000 — that was two years after Mayor Marion Barry famously told the Washington Press Club, “Except for the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.”

D.C. residents are strictly forbidden from owning handguns, even in the privacy of their homes. Any long guns must be registered and kept “unloaded and disassembled.” It is not even legal, strictly speaking, to assemble and load your gun when you hear an intruder downstairs. A lower court ruled the ban unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will decide later this year whether to take up the case.

In the debate over the gun ban, there is a strong statistical case that an armed citizenry is safer than one disarmed by unconstitutional laws, but this argument is not even necessary. There is absolutely no valid case that the District’s gun ban makes me safer as a District resident. When Singer and Mayor Adrian Fenty (D., of course) penned a September 4 Washington Post op-ed stating that “The handgun ban has saved countless lives,” were they really suggesting that without the ban there might have been 1,000 murder victims in 1991, instead of just 482? The implication is that D.C. is so totally ungovernable that only a total deprivation of constitutional rights can make it barely livable.

It is bad enough that the District government takes away constitutional rights in the name of safety, and then fails even to provide safety. But the story is actually better than that. In their response to the attorney general’s brief, Heller and the other plaintiffs in the case responded to Singer by noting the following irony:

Petitioners correctly note that the Second Amendment “does not require the District to stand by while its citizens die.” … Yet the city consistently fights to secure its right to stand by while its citizens are victimized by crime.

Yes, you read that correctly. The plaintiffs’ attorneys refer to a series of cases in which the District literally asserted its right to “stand by” while its citizens are victimized. The most dramatic is Warren v. District of Columbia, in which three women were sexually violated because of gross negligence on the part of Metropolitan police officers responding to their call. In the early morning hours of March 16, 1975, two men broke down the back door of a D.C. townhouse in Northeast and began raping a woman on the second floor. Her two roommates, hiding one floor above, called the police. According to the court’s opinion, a squad car responded, and the officer failed even to exit his car before leaving. The two women, listening to their roommate scream, called the police again. This time, an officer went so far as to knock at the door, but then left without further inspection.

Once the attackers discovered the other two women, they had their sick, twisted way with all three of them for the next 14 hours (I will not describe any of the details). The women sued the District of Columbia, which argued that “a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen.” The District won the case based on what is actually a long-standing legal principle.

Singer, with her silly, dramatic argumentation, has reminded us of this fact — something for which we should all be grateful.

It is our misfortune in Washington to be governed by such simpletons, but it is also a hidden blessing that their legal team shows this level of incompetence. It may be our best chance as District residents to take our safety out of their hands and put it back into our own.

— David Freddoso is an NRO staff reporter.

It's time to do away with the crime of concealed carry in Kentucky

"Western's policy is very clear. You cannot carry a weapon on campus or in any of our buildings," said Gene Tice, WKU's Vice-President of Student Affairs.

Tice said officials suggested a number of changes following the Virginia Tech shootings to improve campus safety. Those suggestions did not include guns, he said.

"We have never discussed nor have we ever considered anyone carrying weapons on campus. Only our police officers are authorized to carry weapons and we're very firm about that," Tice said.

Students carrying guns might actually create a more dangerous environment, he said.

"My concern would be the person would not have that kind of training in a highly charged emotional situation the way our police would," Tice said.

Training. OK. So when someone jumps out from behind a bush or vehicle and tries to attack a student who, except for your regulations, could be carrying a firearm, the student should say, "Excuse me, would you mind if we did this off-campus? I can't carry my otherwise legal firearm on campus and I'm at something of a disadvantage."

The answer is obvious. The law needs to be changed. It's time to do away with the crime of concealed carry in Kentucky and loosen the unconstitutional restrictions on our most responsible citizens. (Yeah, I know what the OAG says, but consider the source.)

October 10, 2007

And this is different how?

“You can turn on the radio or TV 24/7 to be preached at. This is one hour a week of the public airwaves that offers an alternative.” —Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation on liberal talk-radio network Air America launching the “Freethought Radio Program,” a nationwide show promoting atheism

I don't see how this is different from 99.999% of the non-religious programming out there. Even it there is some sort of lip service to God's existence in it, that .001% of "religion" hardly makes up for the 99.999% functional atheism of the remainder.

Even the Devil and his minions grant there is a God. There is condemnation for the Prodigal's brother, for even as he confirmed his Father's will, he did not DO it.

I'm glad to see at least one hour of non-religious programming out there setting forth its goals in such a straight-forward manner. Would the rest were so honest.

When a progressive looks for reason...

In a post called "The Gun Control Argument" SmellyCat-13 was looking for some answers. Pro-gun control to start with, SC13 was asking for information. What happened to this request for reasonable discourse? Flames from the anti's, reason and facts from the pro-gun crowd. The result?

"The Gun Control Argument part 2" wherein we find,

"Yes, I have changed my mind on the gun control issue. I really want to note, though, that it was only because of the responses that were written kindly which convinced me. As I've said many times before, these responses are always the ones most well received - I think that the fact they changed my mind is proof enough, as it is so hard for so many people to change their minds on subjects such as this one. There were plenty of informative responses that were written much more angrily and it was very easy for me to brush them off because they had, in one way or another, offended or hurt me. I really want to stress that, because, in all honesty, the majority of those comments I received were angry and rather mean and made me hesitate to return to Progressive-U and see the new comments. They have also made me anxious for the end of the scholarship contest so that I can stop coming here, striving for points. If it weren't for the more kindly written comments, I can safely say I never would have come around to the conclusion that I was originally wrong about gun control.

Your Granny was right. You do catch more flies with sugar.

October 8, 2007

Gun control doesn't protect us -- guns do

Self-proclaimed Florida liberal Mike Thomas has a commentary with the above title. Another anti- sees the light.

He starts:

Tiffany Barwick and Michael Ruschak asked the cops to protect them from Barwick's former boyfriend.
She told them he had harassed her, threatened to kill her, bought a gun and sent an image of her riddled with bullet holes.
A Seminole deputy advised her to get a protective court order. We all know how effective they are against the criminally obsessed.

The deputy also would send her complaint to the State Attorney's Office, which is akin to tossing it into the Grand Canyon.
There is a lesson in all this.
The cops can't protect you.
The cops could not protect Erin Belanger and her five friends who were beaten to death by Troy Victorino and his band of thugs in Deltona.

and says,

Given this reality, given that Central Florida is turning into a bad Mad Max sequel, my liberal belief in gun control is getting wobbly.


It seems we pass laws that feel good without a lot of proof they are doing any good.


When Florida liberalized permits for concealed weapons in the 1980s, critics predicted a Wild West bloodbath. It never happened.
Responsible gun owners don't use guns irresponsibly. Go figure.
Until the cops get better at enforcing gun control on those who shouldn't have guns, a better alternative for the rest of us is gun education, gun classes and secure gun storage.

and more.

My only observation is that cops will never get better at enforcing gun control on those who shouldn't have guns. They can only get better at enforcing the laws on those who misuse guns for criminal purposes. (If the courts also jump aboard)

Only the police should have guns, er, uh, well....

Horrible story from Wisconsin. I've been a bit out of touch this weekend, but I'm sure there will soon be more calls for more gun control because everyone knows that only the police should have guns, er, uh, well....

People are people, no matter their occupation, and sometimes people do terrible things. No uniform is a guarantee from stupid, criminal, or any other anti-social behavior.

A gun-free zone is like...

Isn't the Left's reaction to a shooting in a gun-free zone like propping open the door of a chicken house and putting up a sign saying, "No Foxes or Weasels Allowed," then getting outraged because the foxes and weasels ignored your sign and killed all your chickens?

October 7, 2007

Louisville 8th Safest Metro Area Over 500,000 Population.

The Morgan Quitno Awards: 13th Annual America's Safest (and Most Dangerous) Cities

Louisville turns up as the 8th Safest. Not bad.

CITIES OF 500,000 OR MORE POPULATION: (32 cities)

Safest 10: Most Dangerous 10:

1 San Jose, CA

1 Detroit, MI

2 Honolulu, HI

2 Baltimore, MD

3 El Paso, TX

3 Memphis, TN

4 New York, NY

4 Washington, DC

5 Austin, TX

5 Philadelphia, PA

6 San Diego, CA

6 Dallas, TX

7 San Antonio, TX

7 Nashville, TN

8 Louisville, KY

8 Charlotte, NC

9 Fort Worth, TX

9 Columbus, OH

10 Jacksonville, FL

10 Houston, TX

October 5, 2007

Second Amendment Foundation Gun Rights Policy Conference 2007

Well, it's been touch and go for the last few days, but I made it to the GRPC today. Tonight was registration and a reception for networking, and thought I had some volunteer obligations that kept me from the reception proper, I have met a number of interesting people.

I was particularly impressed with one young lady who was constantly pulling out a notebook and writing down web site URLs, book titles, blogs, authors to follow, etc. I am also impressed with the high turnout of the "gentler" sex. And make no mistake, they are passionate and informed about their Second Amendment rights.

I understand over 300 have registered so far, with more expected tomorrow. Dr. Ron Paul, candidate for the Republican nomination for President is scheduled to speak tomorrow night. I expect the crowd to swell for that session.

Most of those attending are not from Kentucky, and I have fielded quite a few questions regarding carrying concealed in our fair Commonwealth. Most are surprised to hear that Kentucky recognizes EVERY valid carry permit from EVERY state that issues them, even if those states do not recognize a KY permit. If you're interested in the very liberal carry laws in KY, you can get more information on the Kentucky Coalition to Carry Concealed (KC3) web site,, or If restrictive gun laws in your jurisdiction have you looking for a new state of residence, Kentucky is one of the best places to consider. But I'll admit I'm prejudiced.

I'm going to blog between sessions, but it may be difficult with my volunteer obligations.

October 4, 2007

Seeing the Second Amendment for what it is? Almost.

Ahab has a good commentary on an essay in USA Today. A self-proclaimed liberal law professor thinks the 2nd Amendment might just mean what it says. Lots of errors, but what would you expect?

Click through to his site for the original article.

Federal ban on mandatory RFID implants?

Interesting article on ZDNet calling for Federal ban of mandatory RFID implants.

...I’m not fundamentally opposed to RFID technology or RFID implants, but I do oppose the idea that anyone should be forced to implant one in their body and it would be just as offensive if my employer asked me to tattoo a bar code on to my forehead."

October 3, 2007

‘Can we vote our way out of a war?’ General Pace thinks not.

via The Patriot Post

“I just want everyone to understand that this dialogue is not about, ‘Can we vote our way out of a war?’ We have an enemy who has declared war on us. We are in a war. They want to stop us from living the way we want to live our lives... We will prevail; there’s no doubt about that.” —outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace

October 1, 2007

Not much has changed...

“This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. ... Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.’ The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.” —Ronald Reagan

SCOTUS decisions predicted to lean Left this term

Article on predicts Liberal shift to major cases coming before the Supreme Court this term.

"The image of the court could be very different in the run-up to the 2008 election,'' said Thomas Goldstein, a Supreme Court advocate at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington. "This term has a large number of high-profile cases in which Kennedy is going to be much more sympathetic to the left. And because he's the decisive vote, the term as a whole is likely to come across as much more liberal than last term.''

Progress in Iraq? If this is your metric, it looks like it.

From an AP story

US, Iraqi Civilian Deaths Fall Sharply

BAGHDAD (AP) - Deaths among American forces and Iraqi civilians fell dramatically last month to their lowest levels in more than a year, according to figures compiled by the U.S. military, the Iraqi government and The Associated Press.

The decline signaled a U.S. success in bringing down violence in Baghdad and surrounding regions since Washington completed its infusion of 30,000 more troops on June 15.

A total of 64 American forces died in September - the lowest monthly toll since July 2006.

The decline in Iraqi civilian deaths was even more dramatic, falling from 1,975 in August to 922 last month, a decline of 53.3 percent. The breakdown in September was 844 civilians and 78 police and Iraqi soldiers, according to Iraq's ministries of Health, Interior and Defense.

In August, AP figures showed 1,809 civilians and 155 police and Iraqi soldiers were killed in sectarian violence.

The civilian death toll has not been so low since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died.

Pro or con on the war in Iraq, this is good news.

Do you think Government is unaccountable?

OK. what have you done about it? Holding Government accountable is your job, you know.

In Kentucky, the current population is estimated at 4,206,074, of whom 3,217,646 would be eighteen years of age or older.

As of September 17, 2007, there are 2,823,919 registered voters in the Commonwealth. There are approximately 395,000 adults in Kentucky over the age of eighteen who are not registered to vote. Even considering those who are ineligible due to felony convictions or other reasons, there are still around 300,000, or a bit less than 10% of people eligible to vote in Kentucky that don't even go to the effort to register.

There are 468,011registered voters in Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District. If only 1% of the registered voters showed up for a public meeting with Congressman Yarmuth, over 4.600 voters would be in attendance. Now, I am not accusing Congressman Yarmuth of ignoring his constituents. On the contrary, I am accusing 3rd District voters of ignoring Congressman Yarmuth.

Why do so many elected officials ignore us with impunity? We are not involved. We don't communicate with our elected officials. When was the last time you went to a local government meeting or a public meeting with a representative or senator on either the state or federal level? Is it asking too much of government officials to care about issues when we don't think think the issues are important enough be involved?

It doesn't take much to get involved politically. In fact, you may be doing more than you think if you approach what you may already be doing with political awareness. This excellent article in the Terre Haute Tribune Star shows 10 simple things you can do to improve politics.

Many situations today have people wondering what can be done to help our political system

By Thomas L. Steiger
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE— With approval of the President and Congress at nearly historic lows, no doubt some wonder about our democracy. Indeed, desultory conclusions that democracy stinks but is better than any other system is hardly something likely to sustain our democratic way of life. And when you have political parties actually launching strategies to suppress votes, there is no doubt that ordinary, everyday people need to take steps to safeguard our precious democracy. In an age of big money politics, what can individuals do to strengthen our political institutions? Here are 10 simple steps they can do.

10 simple things you can do to improve politics

This is third in a series of five essays about simple things individuals can do to improve our social institutions. A social institution is a framework for solving societal problems. All societies must solve the same problems, but they do it differently. They must tie adult responsibility to children (marriage and family), socialize children into productive roles (education), solve the problem of order and leadership (politics), justify societal practices as “good” (religion), and produce and distribute needed goods and services (economy). My suggestions are not about changing our institutions as much as making the current ones, as currently defined, work a little better. Today’s focus is on politics.

Get to know your neighbors. (Politics is coarse enough; at least knowing your neighbors makes the most local stuff more civil.) Public opinion polls show that Americans are fed up with the bickering and seeming inability to get anything done in Washington and our state capitals. Part of that phenomenon is due to the many, many wedge issues that have been used by our leaders to get elected. By getting to know people, you find that they don’t fit into neat categories. Yeah, your next door neighbor may be a Republican, but she might also be pro-choice, pro-environment, as well as pro-gun. Most people are NOT the activists of the parties who themselves line up so perfectly with their parties.

Get involved in the civic life of your community; school, church and local service groups are easy entry points. While these groups are not overtly political, they help in getting to know cross-sections of your community and make discussion easier and less nasty. Moreover, civic groups solve many community problems WITHOUT having to resort to the government. Making the government the solution to all community and social problems is little different than those states, totalitarian regimes come to mind, that in fact do solve, or claim sole responsibility to solve, all problems. Besides, having other institutional frameworks reduces the gathering power of our central, federal government.

Pick (at least) one local, state and national issue to follow and understand. Even if not involved, follow it in the newspapers, on the broadcast news, on the Internet. Only by being informed about issues can you really judge the positions and actions of our politicians. Also, if we don’t follow something, then we are left to judge, at the end of the political cycle, by who has the best ads, not necessarily who has or would be one to reflect our points of view on the issues we think important. To do that, you need to follow your issue and be informed about it.

Know who the following are: the mayor of your town (if you have one), city manager (if you have one), your city or county representative (councilman), your state representatives (with bicameral legislatures, you have a rep and a senator), your congressman, both of your senators, your governor, the president and vice president of the U.S., the speaker of the House, and the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Know who they are; they are among the most powerful people in our society and in your local world. There is no way to spin findings that Americans are more likely to know who celebrities are than the people who wield power over them on a daily basis. It is a measure of disengagement that threatens democracy as much, if not more, than all the money washing over politics today.

Vote in every election no matter what. Think about it. More people get upset at suggested changes to a schoolhouse indoctrination ritual, the Pledge of Allegiance, than get upset that eligible Americans don’t vote. There are reasonable explanations. Those who don’t vote tend not to have much at stake, meaning they are not property owners, maybe not parents, don’t have high-paying jobs. But that doesn’t explain everyone. Others give feeble explanations like “the system is corrupt, I don’t participate” or “the politicians are all the same, so what difference does it make?” Well, if you begin to follow just that one issue, then you’ll have the basis to make a difference. These excuses are more the excuses of people who don’t care to participate because they are disengaged. The more people who vote, the more the politicians have to actually pay attention to us.

Don’t be an ignorant voter. Pick one race that matters and make an informed choice about that one race if you do nothing else. For some of us, following politics is second nature. For many others, it is not. Don’ t base your choice on the media advertising that your candidate provides, but based on your own digging and decision making. Know why you are voting for who you vote for.

In the next year, attend one of the following: 1) a city council meeting; 2) a school board meeting; 3) a public forum with your state rep; 4) a public forum with your congressional representative. Few of us ever get to actually see our elected officials at work. Go watch them in their public roles. That will do more than any campaign ad, by either side, to give you a sense of both your candidates. but also what goes on in the process of democracy. Whether it inspires or sickens you, at least you know.

Articulate your interests, that is, on anything you take a stand on or support (issues-wise), be able to state why you hold to that position in terms of your own interests. If you oppose an increase in the minimum wage, be able to explain why doing so is contrary to your interests. In other words, how will it threaten you? Same if you are for something, how will it benefit you? In many cases, you won’t be able to find a reason, and you should begin then to separate out the issues that directly affect you and those where your interest lies in affecting others, but not necessarily yourself.

Be able to articulate the interests of the other side in a way the other side would not object to. Coupled with item 8, these two make for more civil politics. Being able to articulate the other side’s viewpoints doesn’t mean you have to accept them, but it shows taking the other side’s views seriously.

Know your values. Many issues are highly emotional, like abortion, stem cell research and capital punishment, to name a few. The highly emotional portion of our response to these types of issues has to do with a feeling of threat to values we hold dear. Responding to the values and not the fear should make for greater understanding as well as finding additional grounds to address these issues.

Copyright © 1999-2006 cnhi, inc.

Pro- Gun News from Hawaii, Michigan, and California

Motion to dismiss civil rights suit in Hawaii states there is no individual right to keep and bear arms in the Aloha State. 2nd Amendment is not a civil right according to Hawaii County.

Detroit Free Press says "Gun law helping victims of crime." I believe Michigan's castle doctrine law is one year old today.

The Ventura County Star says, "Women take aim. Growing numbers pick up guns for security, fun."

We, like sheep, have gone astray...

"The great leading objects of the federal government, in which revenue is concerned, are to maintain domestic peace, and provide for the common defense. In these are comprehended the regulation of commerce that is, the whole system of foreign intercourse; the support of armies and navies, and of the civil administration."

-- Alexander Hamilton (remarks to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 1788)