Tuesday, March 30, 2021

If You Want to Save Lives- Ban Cars Not Guns

There are "constants" in the Universe. Gravity is a "constant" in the universe.  The speed of light is a "constant" in the universe.  Unfortunately, "Knee-Jerk Reaction" gun control proposals and arguments after a mass shooting event are also "constants."  Within the scope of "Knee-Jerk Reaction" gun control proposals,  there are other "constants" as well.  One of those "constants" is that eventually someone will argue, "we make people get licenses and insurance for cars, why shouldn't we make people get a license and liability insurance before they can own a gun?"

The fact is, the vast majority of those that push for increased gun control have no idea of what current laws already exist, the extent of those laws or how they apply to gun ownership, or what the process is for purchasing a firearm. A number of those that are "pro-gun control" believe that anyone can go to a store and buy "fully automatic" firearms over the counter, or that one can go to a website, pick out a gun, type in their credit card number, and the gun will just be mailed to them. Many gun control advocates give the impression that a gun show is a "free-for-all," full of individuals who could never pass a federal firearm background check and intend to go on a shooting rampage the moment they leave the show.  If one listens to some gun-control advocates, gun shows exist solely to provide a location to avoid back-ground checks for firearm purchases.

Sadly, there are a great many people who listen to these "pro-gun control" advocates, despite the fact that many of those who are "pro-gun control" have limited knowledge of guns at best.  The public hear phrases like "background checks," "keep military weapons out of civilian hands," or "assault weapons ban" and cannot help but think the proposals are reasonable.

Perhaps the best way to show why some of these proposals are unreasonable is to compare guns and automobiles.  Let's take current gun control proposals and laws and see what they look like when applied to automobile ownership, operation and licensing:

1. We must ban all Jeeps and Hummers- they have a military appearance and we can't have that.  A military appearance makes things more dangerous.  Suburbans and other quasi-military looking vehicles also should be restricted.

Firearms reality: Many so called "assault weapons bans" restrict the sale and ownership of a firearm simply because of the "looks" of the gun. These laws may ban one firearm but say another is a "common hunting firearm" and therefore permissible to own in the view of some gun control advocates. This despite the fact that both of the firearms use the same caliber of round (bullets) and both are semi-automatic.  It should not be a valid reason to ban a firearm because it "looks scary"

2. All vehicles must be limited to a tank quantity of less than 10 gallons.  That way you can't drive as much.   You must stop to reload (the tank) more often.

Firearms reality: A constant proposal from gun control advocates is limiting the size of firearm magazines (incorrectly often referred to as "clips").  If I am in a situation where I have to use my firearm to defend my life or the life of another, I don't want to run out of ammunition (personally, I am a decent shot, so I might not run out of ammo, but there may be others who don't shoot as well).  Another reason why a person may wish to have a high-capacity magazine may be that a person might not want to spend all their time at the shooting range re-loading.  The "gun-control advocate" view is that no one needs more than eight to ten rounds of ammo.  That view is false.

3.  We must place an breathalyzer interlock on ALL cars and trucks- regardless of whether the person had ever had a DUI- they might try sometime even if they NEVER drink.

Firearms reality: I have lost track of the number of times when a certain firearm is used in a crime, and "gun-control advocates" immediately want to ban everyone from having that type firearm.  The criminal actions of a single individual should never dictate the rights of millions of law abiding citizens. 

4. All states should adopt "MAY ISSUE" laws instead of SHALL ISSUE.  It should be up to the whim of local sheriffs to decide who gets to drive and who doesn't.  With the Shall Issue law if a person passes the Drivers License test and has a clean record, the state MUST issue a drivers license.  Obviously this is bad.

Firearms reality: There are nine states with either strict or partial "may issue" concealed weapons permit laws.   The most egregious jurisdiction in the eyes of many is San Diego County.  It is nearly impossible to obtain a concealed weapons permit in San Diego County. The San Diego County Sheriff's website states that to obtain a Concealed Carry Weapon Permit you must demonstrate "a set of circumstances that distinguishes the applicant from other members of the general public and causes him or her to be placed in harm’s way. Simply writing "self defense" or "personal protection" on an application does not provide the requisite proof of good cause." Other jurisdictions, such as the District of Columbia have been told by the United States Court of Appeals that a nearly identical "good cause" requirement is unconstitutional.   This issue has yet to be heard by the United States Supreme Court.  Rulings from the Court of Appeals only apply to those places where the individual court has jurisdiction.

5. One state should not be required to accept another's Drivers License.  Places like New York, California, DC etc should be allowed to ban drivers from other states from driving in their states.  To hell with the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled that interstate travel is a right.

Firearms reality: Although most states accept the Concealed Carry permit of other states, places like California do not.  In fact, because California does not allow for the open carry of firearms, and in California only a California resident may obtain a Concealed Carry permit, it is in effect illegal for a non-resident to carry a firearm.  The general belief of the public is the Constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.  The United States Supreme Court has never ruled on this issue.  Therefore, for now at least, in California, the Second Amendment does not apply to those who are from any of the other 49 states.

6.  All automobile purchasers should be required to have a background check-- UNIVERSAL Background Checks- even in the case of someone being willed grandfather's old car.  The person buying could have a background of speeding or DUI

Firearms reality: Every firearms sale through a firearms dealer requires a background check by Federal law.  The information from the purchaser is run through NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System).  This also includes sales from dealers at gun shows, as well as so called internet sales.  The fact is "internet sales" don't really happen.  A person may go to a website, such as Gunbroker to purchase a firearm, but the firearm does not go to the purchaser directly.  The firearm gets transferred to a licensed firearm dealer.  That dealer then performs all required background checks as well as any required state checks.  This also is a check against violation of state law, in that if the firearm is illegal in the state of purchase, the transfer to the purchaser does not take place.  The gun control lobby seeks to expand background checks past this point.  Under the "pro-gun control" proposals, if I were to purchase a firearm as a gift for my spouse (I have done this on several occasions, and the "gift" is greatly appreciated) not only would a background check be performed on me as the purchaser, but then my spouse would have to go to the store and have a background check run as well.  This is an inconvenience with little gain.  Background checks do not stop crime.  Career criminals generally do not go to gun stores to purchase a gun before committing a crime- they get those guns on the street, or by theft.

7.  Ban the private sale or transfer of autos, and all internet sales. The person buying the car MUST have a background check.   This includes all "car shows" - OK so even though all car dealers at car shows may be licensed  dealers AND they would already do a background check, who cares.   You can buy parts at shows and that means a bad driver "could" get a hold of a car at a show.

Firearms reality: There are proposals to ban the private "transfer" of firearms.  This would include firearms transferred by Will and Testament.   As already discussed, these type checks do nothing to stop crime.  These checks are about tracking who owns what guns.

8.  Require a background check for the purchase of gasoline at the state level.  Allow for an "instant check" for those who have bought a car in the last year (will help speed up gasoline sales). However, individuals who have not purchased a car in the last year will have to wait until they are "in the system" before a gasoline purchase can be approved.  Additionally, out of state visitors will be unable to purchase gasoline.

Firearms reality: California has enacted a background check requirement ammunition purchases.  The only persons approved immediately are those who have purchased a firearm since the state started tracking purchases.  The state wants to be sure you only buy ammunition for a gun you personally own.  If you haven't made a recent firearm purchase, you must wait for processing to be completed on your application before the state will approve your ammunition purchase.  If you are not a California resident, you would not have a firearm purchase registered with the California system and therefore you would not be able to purchase ammunition.  For those who believe that people from outside of California would have no need to purchase ammunition, there are people who travel to California to compete in shooting competitions.  There are also those who travel to California to hunt.  Regardless of the reason, these restrictions are unreasonable and have been challenged in Federal Court.  To date, this law has yet to be reviewed by any court higher than Federal District Court- however, the Federal Judge has stated he believes these laws will be found to be unconstitutional, but there currently is no injunction in place, and the ammo purchase laws are in effect.

9.  We must limit AAA.   The problem is they are to powerful.  EVERY TIME a multiple vehicle accident occurs it is because of their members and the lobbying power they have.  If it wasn't for their political influence and stranglehold on Congress and State Legislative bodies there would not be such a problem.

Firearms reality: The media and politicians love to paint the National Rifle Association an enemy of civilization.  They paint the NRA as an organization that actively tries to recruit people to carry out mass murders.   The fact is the NRA has been around since the 1870's.  And while the NRA does lobby on behalf of gun owners for "reasonable" laws, the primary task the NRA performs is education.   The NRA provides safety training. The NRA provides training for Range Officers and provides standards for firing range safety.  Millions have been taught firearms safety through courses taught by the NRA, or using NRA approved curriculum.

10. A 5 day waiting period on all car sales.  

Firearms reality: As much as some politicians like to talk about how anyone can walk into a gun store, put down a credit card and walk out with a gun, every gun sale from a firearms dealer does require a background check that may end up requiring a waiting period.  Unless a firearms dealer is told to "proceed" with a firearms sale, and assuming there has not been a "denied" issued, a firearm sale is subject to a hold.

These are just a few examples of what gun control advocates call "reasonable" proposals.  However, the public would be furious if, for example, a drunk driver hit a school bus, killing several students, and then politicians started shouting that we need a law to require Breathalyzer Ignition Interlocks on every single vehicle sold.  Rightfully the general public would be outraged and stress that just because one person got drunk and used their car to cause a tragedy, the rest of the driving population should not be punished.  However, the same general public is not concerned when politicians discuss banning a firearm from millions, because one "nut" decided to use that weapon in a murder.  The People would be outraged over restrictions to the purchases of automobiles, yet driving is not a Constitutional Right; keeping and bearing a firearm is.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

COVID-19 Precautions Side-Effect

I do a lot of reading of a variety of subjects and today my reading took me to the CDC’s data on the FLU season this year.   Basically, the data says this year, there really hasn’t been one- or not very much of one.  

Perhaps most significant is the incredible decrease in pediatric deaths from flu this season (2020-2021) so far.    The CDC only knows of one vs last year at this time there were 195.  If we go back to 2017-2018 (where we know there was no cross-over with COVID) there were 188 pediatric deaths from flu.  

I know first hand that the flu vaccine doesn’t always work- but it is worth being immunized.   I have been immunized every year since 2008, and I certainly do not regret getting the flu shot.  

Likewise, I believe it is equally important to get the COVIID vaccines.    Are the vaccines 100% effective? No.  But the protections the vaccines provide will help slow the spread and provide far, far better protection than not having the vaccine.  

The incredibly low flu numbers also seem to show that masks, staying home when sick, social distancing, etc works to slow other diseases- like influenza A or B. I am certainly not advocating permanent mask wearing and social distancing.  I do however think we should objectively look at what things worked to slow disease spread and see how those things can be applied in the future on a voluntary basis.  After all, the precautions that have been in-place may have been meant to slow COVID, but it appears one of the surprise side-effects is that influenza was slowed and lives were saved as a result.  


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

And To The Republic For Which It Stands

God Save the United States! God Save the President! God Save the Constitution! God Save the Republic!  

As one administration fades into history and another begins, one lesson jumps to the foreground.  No one person is bigger than the Constitution or the Presidency.  Despite fears from some and panic from others, no one stayed in the White House refusing to leave.  The US Secret Service did not need to forcibly remove anyone from the  Oval Office, so a new caretaker can take his temporary seat behind the Resolute Desk. 

Despite the cloud of controversy that surrounded the Trump Administration, it was not without accomplishments.   The most significant could be seen this past December, with the lightning of the Menorah In Dubai to celebrate Hanukkah.  Israelis are traveling to the UAE under Israel passports for the first time ever. There is a Synagogue and Jewish Cemetery being constructed.  Jews, Christians and Muslims are celebrating weddings together in Dubai and products bearing the words “Made in Israel” are being imported. A year ago these events would not even be considered in the wildest fantasy.  This is an incredible accomplishment.  

Yet, despite the magnitude and Earth moving nature of this accomplishment, everything is overshadowed by the events of January 6, 2021.  

Blame for January 6 has and continues to be apportioned, and although the Trump administration is certainly not without fault, there is plenty of blame to go around.  A huge number of Americans feel marginalized.   The US vs THEM mentality is probably more prevalent now than any other time in the last 40 years certainly.   The twenty-four hour news beast has become a ratings machine rather than gathering and reporting news. There is no way to under-estimate the extreme hatred the left feels for the right or the fear and total contempt the right feels about the left.  This is a plague upon both our houses.  

Yet, the Founding Fathers crated a Republic based on the concept of MISTRUST.  The Founders put limits on the powers of the President.  The Founders created a system where each of the three co-equal branches of Government could stop the others.  They provided for the PEOPLE to elect Representatives to the House; but specifically removed the “people” from otherwise voting on Federal laws, or even electing Senators directly.  The people electing Senators has only been since the 17th Amendment was ratified in 1913.  Before that time, State Legislators chose the Senators of a states, and there are a large number of people who believe repealing the 17th may not be a bad idea.  

The fact is, despite what politicians like to say, we DO NOT live in a Democracy; we live in a Republic. This is something we all must be reminded of from time to time.  

We have all been through an “interesting” four years.  Regardless of ones political views, one cannot deny that we have faced struggles unlike anything the vast majority of of us have seen on our lifetime.   A new administration is being sworn in, and perhaps now it is time for all of us to take a breath, and remember that administrations will come and go.   The actions of one administration may be reversed by the next. Regardless it is not about the person that sits in the Oval Office.  Our nation is more important than any one man.  

As one President leaves and the next is sworn in, the question must be asked again as it was asked in times past: “How Stands the Republic?”

The Republic Stands. 


Thursday, January 7, 2021

Attacks from Both Sides

There is a cost to taking a stand.  I have had disagreements with relatives, old friends and some of my readers of “The Carden Chronicles” on my statement that President Trump should leave office and that he has lost moral authority to lead.  

And while I have been defending myself on the right, I have been defending myself from some fairly vicious attacks from the LEFT- who want to lay the blame of all of this on EVERY Republican, regardless of wether we supported President Trump and who have laid blame on the grave of President Ronald Reagan- saying this is all because of “Reagan’s push for smaller government- and they have been vicious.  

I will not be backing down.   

For those on the left who cannot resist the childish urge to “rub [our] noses” in something- all you are doing is stopping more Republicans from speaking out.  YOU are the ones that will prevent action on the 25th or calls for resignation.   The more you attack from the left, the more those that should speak out will run to the right.   And I for one shall lay the blame for anything that happens next at your doorstep.  

For those from the right who keep telling me I am wrong- there is one fact that cannot be avoided.  NO MATTER WHO you think was responsible for the attack on the Capitol (ANTIFA plants or Aliens from Mars) - there was an attack on the Capitol.   The President of the United States and Commander In Chief had a DUTY TO ACT- he did not act.  He REFUSED a to call out the National Guard. The National Guard was called out by the VICE PRESIDENT sand SECDEF.  This alone creates a huge Constitutional Issue- bigger even than the question of wether Vice President Cheney gave the order to shoot down aircraft on 9/11 or if President Bush did.  

The PRESIDENT of the United States FAILED TO ACT when there was a Clear and Present Danger to the Capitol and the Congress.  He had a DUTY TO ACT.  He refused.   Alone, this is sufficient to declare he has lost all moral authority to lead and should step down or be removed from office.  

I will continue to speak out, regardless of consequences because it is the right thing to do.  I will not back down.  

(Cross Posted at The Carden Chronicles website and Facebook page) 


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

On the Sedition in Washington

We saw today something I had never dreamed I would see- an Armed Attack upon the capital of the United States.  What was worse, this attack was inspired by a sitting President of the United States and the President’s Lawyer, who minutes before the attack, spoke of “Trial by Combat.”  Never before in our history, has a sitting President or his spokesmen ever encourage such an event.  

We have had contested elections - 1800 was perhaps one of of the most controversial- with the House ultimately electing Thomas Jefferson.  But NO PRESIDENT has ever created the chaos that the sitting President caused today.   

Donald Trump has failed as President.  He has violated the Oath of Office he took in 2017.  His job is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution”.    Donald Trump failed to protect or defend the Constitution today.  

There are 14 days left of the current administration.  Despite this limited time, this President has lost any moral authority or right to lead.    Donald Trump should resign IMMEDIATELY.  Should he not take this action, he should be removed from office, by the 25th Amendment,  and IMPEACHED - so that he may be permanently barred from holding office by vote of the Senate.   

No matter ones political beliefs, we have a Constitution.  The STATES select Electors.  This was done.   Those Electors have voted. 

There was an attack on our Republic.  It was, at minimum, encouraged by the President.  At worst it was INCITED by the President.   It has been, at least in modern history, traditional for the person losing a Presidential election to call for the country to unite and work together.  Donald Trump and his spokesmen have called for the election to be  overturned.   That call resulted in violence, shots being fired, blood spilled and death in the Capital of these United States.  Donald Trump incited an attempted insurrection.  

It is time for EVERYONE- Including Donald Trump - to accept that Former Vice President Joe Biden won the  Presidential election.  

It is also time for Donald Trump to resign or be removed from office.