Fisked by Phelps, So I Don’t Have To.

I read about this letter by idiotarian (but still fair musician) John “Cougar” Melonhead Mellencamp, and I wanted to tear him a new one, but The Everlasting Phelps has done a capital job of it, so I don’t have to.

I’ll just go back to work on my upcoming opus on the War on (some) Drugs™.

For the Children

With no sarcastic little ™ either.

Science fiction author L. Neil Smith has written an open letter and posted it on Usenet – and it’s a doozy. I hereby submit for your consumption said letter without comment (which I leave up to you, gentle readers):

The October, 2003 issue of Discover contains one of the saddest letters I’ve ever read. Gil Bell, of Duluth, Georgia, writes

” … one would have to conclude that travel out of our solar system is impossible. The fusion, fission, and antimatter engines require too much fuel … The laser sail is doomed by the fact that building a 6,600-mile-wide collecting mirror is simply not feasible, and … a 600-mile-wide sail would be torn apart by cosmic debris on a daily basis. And why build a fusion ramjet when there’s no fuel in space to run it, and its design would not allow it to attain the speed it needs?

“The fusion or fission engine concepts would be useful in getting around out own solar system, but what’s the use in traveling to other planets in our neighborhood? Venus will never be inhabitable and neither will Mars or any of the Jovian planets or their moons, and changing the environment on another planet will never be within our capabilities. It is fun to speculate on way that humans might accomplish interstellar travel, but in the end it is just more science fiction.”

There are lot of unsupported assertions in Mr. Bell’s letter, and a great many factual errors (most of them, I’m afraid, based on an incredible ignorance of history), but the saddest thing about it is its spirit of defeat. As I said in a recent essay, Americans seem to have given up on the future. This letter from Discover is typical and symptomatic.

But it doesn’t speak for everyone.

I’ve been reading the works of Robert A. Heinlein (as the Brits say, “man and boy”) for forty-six years, having found his books when I was sent to the school library to spend several afternoons there as a punishment. After all these years, I don’t recall what for, more’s the pity.

In all that time (and earlier, in fact) I always expected that, sooner or later, I’d end up space myself, maybe even die there (after living a couple hundred years, like Lazarus Long). And although I didn’t necessarily want to move there, the one sight I always wanted most to see in person was Saturn and its rings, from one of its inner moons.

As I grew up, I became disappointed and disillusioned. The Mercury program came and went, the Gemini program came and went, the Apollo program came and went, followed by SkyLab, the Shuttle program, and the International so-called Space Station. What they all taught us (unless you actually care about fruitfly reproduction in microgravity) was that the only individuals who would ever be allowed to get into space were precisely the kind of government-approved jockstraps who were on the varsity football team when you were in high school — oh yes, and an occasional cheerleader — oops, make that public school teacher.

To all the rest of us, meaning those who are “encouraged” (at the point of a gun) to pay for these programs, the message was clear: “Get lost. Outer space, 99.99999999999999999999999999999999 percent of all there is, is government property, like the Lincoln Monument and Area 51.”

Nothing has happened in all that time to change that. Just look at the bewildering maze of impossible regulations the government relies on to keep anyone else from trying out a new vehicle design, or from launching anything without their permission and supervision. Or the way they squirmed and struggled, trying to keep that zillionaire space “tourist” on the ground. Or the way they’re employing the handy (if illegal) Homeland Security concept in an attempt to shut down model rocketry.

Novelist Victor Koman was dead right, when he said (in his great work, Kings of the High Frontier) that the actual mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — its not-so-hidden agenda, having nothing to do with the development of space travel and exploration — is to keep scum like you and me from ever getting into space.

At the same time (as Victor also points out), NASA mouthpieces have been telling the public since the 1960s that our being able to visit space, perhaps even vacationing on the Moon, or in zero gravity at a space station, was “only about thirty years away”. That’s what they said in the 60s, that’s what they said in the 70s, that’s what they said in the 80s, that’s what they said in the 90s, and that’s what they’re still saying today. It’s always just about thirty years away.

In a way, you can’t blame the government. Being what they are, politicians and bureaucrats, they have a very unhealthy tendency to project their own ethical and psychological shortcomings onto others, especially members of the unwashed public. Even before September 11, 2001 — and before Luis and Walter Alvarez discovered what it really was that killed the dinosaurs — someone in government read Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (individuals are paid to do that; see James Grady’s Six Days of the Condor), in which penal colonists on the Moon ultimately achieve their independence by threatening major cities on Earth with boxcar-sized rocks, launched from an electric catapult.

Like politicians who push victim disarmament (erroneously known as gun control), they’re afraid they’re going to get what they deserve. So if you ever want to see Saturn’s rings (or any other astronomical wonder) up close, you must absorb the following truth and never forget it: given their way, governments will never let ordinary people into space.


Quite aside from the question of boxcar-sized rocks, think of the historically unprecedented savagery with which the Union prosecuted the War between the States. Think of similar savagery at Waco. Think about the War on Drugs — and recall why many folks use drugs to begin with.

You’re not allowed to escape.

Governments will do anything — absolutely anything, no matter how violent or morally repulsive it happens to be — to prevent anybody from getting out from under their authoritarian thumb. If you don’t shut your mouth, sit up straight, fold your hands, look at them when they’re lecturing you, and spit that gum out this minute, they’ll kill you.

However if there’s on thing I’ve learned about politics over the last half century, it’s that, when there’s something you need to do, and government (or anybody else) stands in your way, you simply say you’re doing it “for the children” — and it helps if you really mean it.

I really mean it.

I have a little daughter I sometimes regret having brought into this world because it’s become such a dark and horrifying place. If I believed that she could live her life in some of the places I’ve described in my novels — that I’m describing again in the novels I’m writing now — I would do virtually anything I could just to make that happen.

And if I could go there myself … Well, there just might be a way.

Roughly a hundred years ago, Lord Robert Baden-Powell was having a tough time, don’t you know, in one of Britain’s last fun wars, because the soldiers she shipped to South Africa by the, er, shipload, didn’t have a clue how to survive in the open country. Their foes were Dutch-African settlers — “Boer” means “farmer” — who lived and worked there very day. They knew what plants to eat and where to find decent water.

When Baden-Powell got home to Old Blighty, he created the group that was to become known as the Boy Scouts, to fix the shortcomings he’d seen in Africa. The idea was imitated in many other countries, including the United States to impressive effect. I was in the program myself, from 1954 as a Bear Cub, to about 1963, by which time I was an Explorer Scout, an Eagle, and a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow. I also held 23 merit badges, a God & Country Award (believe it or not), a translator bar (German), and a whole ladderful of BSA/NRA sharpshooter bars. Although the roots of the Boy Scouts are sordidly statist, scouting was practically my whole childhood, and a very good one.

About the same time I first got into scouting — and well before the Soviets’ Sputnik scared the Eisenhower Administration shitless, spitless, and witless — I began to collect newspaper clippings and magazine articles about space and space exploration. I also bought a book about going to the Moon on a visit to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry — the author opined that no single government would ever be able to afford such a trip, so the idea must be turned over to the United Nations; and wouldn’t that have been interesting? — and I’d vowed that very evening to stand, someday, on the Moon, myself.

So what have I found in all my experiences that might be useful in solving our little space problem? The basic idea is simple, it’s just a lot of hard work. At the moment, I’m writing Ceres (a sequel to my 1993 novel Pallas) which concerns itself with terraforming asteroids and preventing “extinction level events” like the one 65 million years ago that killed the dinosaurs. Ceres is not meant to be anybody’s fantasy (although one of my former editors informed me that I’m not qualified to write on this subject); it’s meant as a blueprint for the future.

I’m also doing research now for another novel, Ares, which will stand, chronologically, right between Pallas and Ceres. It’s about the men and women who terraform Mars, despite violent opposition from Earth.

At the same time, I’ve begun collecting ideas and material for a third book, the working title of which will be (for lack of anything better) The Space Scout Manual. That book will try to do three things.

First, it will help young people (I’m aiming the book at a certain mindset, rather than a given age group; it should appeal at some level to everyone of both sexes between the ages of 5 and 20) to prepare themselves for working, living, and eventually settling in space, in more or less the same way that my old Boy Scouts of America manual, A Handbook For Boys (1955 edition), helped to prepare me to survive — and even prosper — in several different kinds of wilderness on this planet.

The book will also contain detailed instructions and suggestions for establishing your own local chapter of what I’m presently calling (again, for lack of anything better) the “Space Scouts” and everything necessary to affiliate it with a national organization of the same name. Unlike a great many other organizations I’ve been involved with, I want this one always to grow from the ground up, not from the top down.

The The Space Scout Manual‘s third mission will be to establish a political constituency for abolishing NASA and getting government out of the way of space exploration. If the book, and the organization it creates, are useful and interesting enough, then within a few years, there should be hundreds of thousands of young Space Scouts and maybe, a few years after that, millions. Politicians and bureaucrats will eventually be up against an enormous group of voters who are educated, tough, who won’t take “No” (or even “Give us another 30 years”) for an answer.

I want this book to get into conventional distribution channels and to show up on paperback racks everywhere. I want this book in airports and grocery stores where the words SPACE SCOUT MANUAL will leap out at all those who had almost — but not quite — given up the dream.

Please note that the manual will not be about the current hardware of government space exploration (which is constantly changing anyway) but about personal physical, mental, and moral preparation. It will draw on history, and on both factual and fictional sources. Also, it will give its readers the beginnings of a decent science education (another thing public schools were never up to), and encourage in them a proper skepticism with regard to public education and the democratic process.

Another reason not to get bogged down in such details is that there’s no telling what methods of spaceflight will evolve if this idea works.

The book’s moral outlook will be rooted in the Bill of Rights and the libertarian Zero Aggression Principle, but it will not preach. It will assume from the outset that individuals own their own lives and the products of their lives, and that no one has a right to initiate force against another human — no, make that sapient — being for any reason.

The book will advocate “Reconstitutive Unanimous Consent” as the preferred means of making group decisions and settling disputes. It will also advise politicians and bureaucrats that, from the moment that the first off-planet settlement is created, on Mars, on the Moon, in the Asteroid Belt, or wherever, it should reasonably be expected to become politically independent of Earth whenever its people want it to be.

Don’t let any of the above mislead you, however. This will not be a book about libertarian or constitutionalist philosphy. It will be a book about getting into space and staying there. It will be guided as much by the scientific method as it will be by the Zero Aggression Principle. Its largest section, by far, will be a detailed survey and commentary (despite that editor’s view that I’m not qualified to write it) on everything that’s known, at the moment, about the Solar System, including its constituent star, its planets, moons, planetoids, and comets.

It will also talk — again in detail — about all of the many reasons we might want to see these things close up, and even go to live on, in, or among them. Those reasons will range from what might be called the “spiritual” — because it’s the destiny of humankind and a good first step to the stars — to the exceedingly practical: our species won’t survive another rock like the one that put an end the Cretacious; we’re 15 million years overdue, so we have to go out and stop it, the topic of a lecture I delivered to the Eris Society in 2000.

Your thirty years are up, NASA.

They’ve been up a couple of times over.

There will be no more waiting politely. Even if it has to be done like the moldy old joke — the hotel clerk admits that a room is available, but you’ll have to make your own bed; upstairs you find you’ve been supplied with a hammer, saw, and lumber — it will be done.

So this is what I’ve given up electoral politics for — at least this decade, when the goodguys are powerless. But I think I’ve traded up. I’m ready to make my own bed. And to plant the seedlings for the lumber.

How about you?

What are the Gun Laws in Detroit, Again?

Via Clayton Cramer comes this Detroit Free Press story of a drive-by by the good guys:

Police seek shooter who saved teen girl

They say passing car stopped and passenger opened fire, killing pipe-wielding assailant

A man was beating a 16-year-old girl with a pipe Wednesday morning on Detroit’s west side.

Something people need to remember, firearms are used in violent crimes only about 18% of the time. If neither party has a firearm, the bigger one with the most effective weapon generally wins. And a 22 year-old man with a pipe wins out over a 16-year-old girl – until…

Suddenly, the man was dead, shot several times by a passenger in a passing car.

A good guy with a gun shows up, be it citizen or police officer.

Police are looking for the driver of the car and the gunman, who might not be a criminal suspect, but a much rarer species — a drive-by vigilante.

“Under certain circumstances, a citizen taking violent action to protect themselves or others is warranted,” said Detroit Police Cmdr. Craig Schwartz of the major crimes division. “We need to know if these actions are justified.’

With the assumption being “guilty until proven innocent.”

The dead man was identified as Johnny Donaldson Jr., 22, of Detroit. Police said he was swinging a metal pipe at several women and girls at Northlawn and Plymouth at 7:45 a.m.

That’s when the motorist, with the passenger next to him, rolled by in a silver Pontiac. The driver stopped, and the passenger opened fire from inside the car. Then, police said, the car might have driven over the man.

Just to be sure?

Police were investigating Donaldson on Wednesday evening and had no motive for the pipe attack. It was not known if he knew his victims.

Several children and adults suffered minor injuries from the pipe, police said. At least two of the girls were on their way to Mackenzie High School.

So this will end up as another incidence of “school-related” violence, I’m sure.

Police said they do not have a description of the two men.

For that I’m glad.

“We need them to come in to talk to us and tell us exactly what happened,” Schwartz said.

“The information is that a girl was being violently assaulted at the time of the shooting. We really need to talk to these guys to get their side of it.”

Let me translate: We really need to identify the people who took the law into their own hands. We know that the shooter and the driver probably have long records, because honest law-abiding citizens don’t drive around with loaded firearms and drive over the body of the SOB they just shot. So we want to get their side of the story, then charge them with illegal possession of a firearm, discharging a firearm within city limits, and any other charge we can come up with.

The peons should not be defending themselves. This must be Nipped. In. The. Bud!

That’s Not Logic, My Friend

Fedup Citizen has a post up about why he can’t understand how good people don’t believe in Jebus. (His links appear bloggered, so scroll down to “How can such logical people be so illogical”.) I’d have responded to him in an e-mail, but he doesn’t have an address up. Perhaps someone will point him to this.

Let me see if I can explain it to him:

I start from the question of, “Where did all of this (universe, earth, life) come from?” If you answer chance, sorry. Chance is not a creative force. Chance merely describes a condition of mathematical odds. There only three possible explanations for the existence of everything you see around you. Either it always was, or it created itself, or some intelligent entity created it.

Um, you missed one – it just is. More on this later.

Point number one gets thrown out by the laws of physics. Second Law of Thermodynamics. Look it up. Created itself? Think about it. Imagine the computer in front of you not existing, but then deciding it needed to exist and willed itself into existence.

You failed physics, didn’t you? The Second Law of Thermodynamics essentially states that for a closed system (that’s critical) the amount of entropy contained within must increase. That’s essentially it. What it does not say is that order cannot occur within a closed system either spontaneously or with intent. All that takes is the application of energy – and in that application of energy, the net entropy of the system must increase, even if the entropy of a locality is decreased. If the Second Law was as you apparently interpret it, planets could not form, the sea could not be separated from the land, hell, you couldn’t build elements heavier than hydrogen. That’s not the case.

People misapply the Second Law of Thermodynamics quite a lot. This is just another example.

Let’s dispense with the ignorant question, “Well, who created God?”

Let’s not.

Sorry, but using linear logic, that question is pointless.

It is? I’ll give you that point if you agree that asking “Where’d the Universe come from?” is exactly the same question.

The assumption is that God always was, (and here I’m going to really offend some people) just as the Bible asserts. It is perfectly logical to assume that if only one answer fits the given conditions, it must be correct. If points one and two are obviously wrong, point three has got to be it.

Here’s where your ‘logic’ fails. You believe God exists and is responsible for the creation of the Universe. You admit that you cannot know where God came from, and that therefore he has always existed. I don’t believe that God exists, and I admit that I cannot know where the universe came from. But it’s here – I can detect it, measure it, perform experiments on it. The fact that it exists is not a matter of faith. Whether or not it was a billion-to-one chance, it doesn’t matter because we hit the jackpot! Else we wouldn’t be here discussing it. Or, as some believe, the Universe has always existed and is cyclical – ever expanding then contracting then starting over again. Or, it may be steady-state and will some time in the incomprehensible future become a vast volume all at one uniform temperature. We don’t know, but we keep trying to understand.

Look at biology. Living systems are incredibly more complex than that of our most sophisticated technology at NASA or the DoD. But even a mousetrap or a handgun illustrate irreducible complexity. For those unfamiliar with the concept, tell me which item you can remove from a common mousetrap and it will still function as intended. Even Darwin admitted that the eye gave him fits because you just couldn’t explain it apart from an intelligent designer. This was more than a century before Watson and Crick discovered DNA. The chance of a single nucleotide forming by accident is one in 10 to the 23rd power, yet it takes millions of such nucleotides to make up all the genes necessary to create a human being.

To look at that incredible amount of design and figure there is no God is tantamount to looking at the space shuttle launching and saying, “gee, wonder how that happened.”

There’s that Second Law problem again. There is no reason that life, in all its complexity could not be chance. If it were impossible, we wouldn’t be here discussing it. The fact that we are here, as we are, is not proof of a designer. Because if there is a designer, you just pushed the question of “faith” back one level. That is all. Because, as flippantly as you tried, you cannot dismiss the question of “Where did God come from?” It’s exactly the same question as “Where did the Universe come from?” And the answer is the same: You cannot know. The difference between those of us who do not believe in a God and those who do, is that we who do not believe don’t require that there be an all-powerful being in charge of it all. The only difference between my faith and yours is that I believe I can’t know where the universe came from. You believe in a God you cannot measure, test, or even detect. As someone once said:

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”

I’m not an atheist – I accept that, just as I cannot know where the universe came from, I cannot know that there is no God, but I find the idea quite illogical. Occam’s razor says, in my logic, that the existence of a God is a more complicated explanation for the existence of the Universe than “it just is.”

I Feel Safer Already (not)

Ravenwood links to this story of the BATFE running a months-long “investigation” of retired gun collectors being busted for “engaging in the gun business” without a Federal Firearms License – something the BATF purposely doesn’t define. As the article states:

The BATF and its predecessors have always opposed any objective standard of what constitutes an “illicit gun sale” – as opposed to unlicensed buying and selling for the purpose of enhancing a personal collection, which is specifically authorized in the law.

At the 1968 NRA convention in Boston, officials from BATF’s predecessor, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit of the Internal Revenue Service, discussed what constituted “engaging in the firearms business” at a crowded NRA Gun Collectors Committee Meeting.

The Midwest Region ATTU director considered the dividing line six gun sales in a year. The head of Boston ATTU contended two sales made a person a dealer. (That guy later charged a Fall River, Mass. memorial group with failure to register the 16-inch guns on the Battleship Massachusetts.)

Significantly, the ATTU official from Washington declined to give an objective definition, saying “dealing” should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Pardon the hell out of me, but a retired guy selling a few guns each year out of his collection is a far cry from a guy selling guns out of his trunk in downtown Chicago. You can bet your ass the guns these guys were selling weren’t cheap handguns.

This is what pisses me off about the BATF – they spend months and tens of thousands of dollars to build a case, get a warrant, arrest and prosecute the wrong people – because it’s easier to find, charge and prosecute people like this than it is to find the guys who provide guns to VIOLENT CRIMINALS. And with the BATF, it’s all about getting convictions.

Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools

Good news, this time. From a link at Opinionari comes this Newsday story about the increasing incidence of black families homeschooling. Money quotes:

Nationwide, increasing numbers of African-Americans, dissatisfied with public and private school systems, have turned to homeschooling. For some it was a last resort, found after years of shifting schools before deciding that their children would get a better education at home than in classrooms where minority children often get caught in a cycle of low achievement.

African-Americans have grown from 3 percent of homeschoolers in 1994 to 10 percent in 1999, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

And blacks make up about 13% of the population, so this is a very good thing, IMHO. Hell, more would be far better, considering the school systems.

Parents of different races said they homeschool primarily to avoid the crime, drugs and lack of discipline in schools, Slatter said, but several African-Americans said their choice is an effort to combat low expectations traditional schools set for black children.

(Emphasis mine) Kids will live up to what you expect of them – regardless of color. That single paragraph is a damning indictment of the public school system.

“A lot of families are saying there is a stigma of minority underachievement … and we can’t allow this to happen anymore,” said Jennifer James, founder of the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance. The organization, launched on-line in January, 2003, has 230 members, said James, who homeschools her 5- and 2-year-old in Chapel Hill, N.C. “In some circles of the African-American community, homeschooling has become sort of a push … because there really are no options,” James said.

And more and more families are waking up to the fact. But there are many that just cannot take the financial hit required to homeschool. The loss of a second income is very difficult for many families.

No formal research on achievements of homeschooled African-Americans exists, said Ray, but data from ACT, the company that administers a college exam, homeschooled students of all races consistently score one to two percentage points above the national average.

So much for the idea that homeschooling is a poor choice educationally. If you can homeschool, you should. The public school system is broken beyond repair, and sending your children through it does them a severe disservice.

When it Comes to Restricting My Rights, the Burden of Proof is on YOU

Tim Lambert (the guy hard after John Lott) poo-poo’s Glenn Reynold’s take on increasing gun crime in England:

The story also states that gun crime has increased to 0.15 gun homicides in England and Wales per 100,000 population in the previous year, compared with 3.6 per 100,000 in the US. Reynolds take: gun control is “Not a smashing success, so far”. Gun control may not be responsible for the difference, but it seems a bit much for pro-gunners to point to a gun homicide rate one twenty-fourth of that of the United States as evidence for a failure of gun control.

I took issue with Tim’s position in his comments:

You miss the point. “Gun control” is supposed to control GUN violence. By extension, I suppose, all violence, but gun violence for certain. The mantra chanted at the (somewhat less than) Million Moms March was “England can do it, Australia can do it, we can too!” Well, England has systematically (through the death-by-a-thousand-cuts method) ensured that the law-abiding population is, for all intents and purposes disarmed. There are a few who still have rifles and shotguns (that they may not have for defensive purposes, must keep locked up separate from the also locked ammunition, etc., etc.) and it hasn’t made them SAFER from gun crime. What so many gun control advocates so adroitly ignore is that England’s firearm homicide rate has always been 1/20th of ours – REGARDLESS of the firearms laws in either country at the time. It was true in 1919 and it’s still true today. You point to England’s rate as if gun control were somehow responsible for it, and it’s not. Correlation does not equal causation, but the facts remain that America has passed no significantly restrictive gun control laws and our homicide rates (historically very high) have dropped to the levels they were last in the 60’s. England has passed ever-stricter gun control laws up to and including a ban on handguns (with all legally owned and registered ones handed in) and their gun crime is continually increasing.

So the typical reaction is: “It would have been worse if we hadn’t passed these crucial laws!”


To which Tim responded:

Kevin, I didn’t say that English gun control was definitely responsible for keeping their gun crime rate far lower than the US one. It’s possible that it would have stayed low anyway. But I don’t see how you can rule out the possibility that the laws might have helped keep the rate low.

A few years ago, the gun crime rate in England was decreasing. Do you think that any of the pro-gunners reported that?

No changing the subject, Tim! My response was such that I felt it appropriate to copy the thread here:

Tim, “A few years ago, the gun crime rate in England was decreasing”? How many years ago, and how much? It’s never been high – never – but that hasn’t stopped ever more draconian “gun control” legislation from passing there. Now the law:

A) Bans all fully-automatic weapons

B) Bans all semi-auto and pump-action rifles

C) Severely restricts semi-auto and pump-action shotguns

D) Bans all modern handguns

E) Requires “safe storage” of the few weapons still legal

F) Prohibits carrying a firearm (or any other weapon) for self-defense

G) Requires all legally owned weapons to be registered and all legal owners to be licensed

H) Severely restricts (legal) firearms distribution

and so on and so forth.

All these things (we are told) will make us safer. Here’s what we know:

1) The number of legal owners is at an all-time low.

2) England has never had a high homicide rate, but that rate is increasing, and the percentage committed with firearms (handguns in particular) has gone up since the ban.

3) Crime committed with handguns has significantly increased there.

4) Incidents of crime committed with fully automatic weapons are increasing there.

5) Incidents of crime involving hand grenades (easily smuggled along with firearms) have occurred.

And remember – England is an ISLAND. A fact hasn’t affected “gun availability” to the criminally inclined.

AT BEST the gun control laws in England have affected “spree shootings” by licensed gun owners. (Hey, if it saves just one life!) But those incidents are extremely rare, and the net number of homicides doesn’t seem to have been affected for the better.

“I don’t see how you can rule out the possibility that the laws might have helped keep the rate low.” I’m NOT ruling it out – I’m asking you to prove it. According to the recent CDC report, all the gun control laws passed here have proven inconclusive in their effectiveness. I’d say the same can be said of England’s.

I believe there is an individual right of law-abiding citizens to possess weapons for defense of themselves and the state. I believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees us that right will not be infringed by the government. I believe that the laws of England are offensive to that right, but it’s their country. I believe that gun control activists here want to pass laws identical to those of England. I believe that’s unconstitutional, and if allowed will do irrepairable damage to our individual rights. I also believe that, once the law-abiding are disarmed, our criminal class (which has never been shy about shooting people) will have a free playing field and our rates of firearm-involved crime will skyrocket.

(Some typos corrected for readability)

The burden of proof isn’t on the gun rights side.

I TOLD You I Was Cutting Back

Got up at 4:00AM, hit the road at 5:00, two hundred mile drive, six hours at the customer’s site, two hundred miles back, got home at 6:45PM.

Oh well, no entry in the Carnival of the Vanities this week.

I’m still fermenting that essay, though. Maybe this weekend….