The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage

That was the subtitle of Brian Anse Patrick’s book The National Rifle Association and the Media.  It’s still paying off.

Gallup’s most recent poll on gun control informs us that “Americans’ Dissatisfaction With Gun Laws Highest Since 2001”. I’m sure that’ll be the Media Narrative™ in all of the subsequent news reports – if any. But here’s the kicker:

Americans may be dissatisfied with gun laws because they believe they should be stricter, or because they believe the laws are too strict as they are. Therefore, Gallup asks those who are dissatisfied with gun laws to choose among explanations for their dissatisfaction. Those who are dissatisfied have historically leaned heavily in the direction of wanting stricter rather than less strict laws.

But this year, the gap between those wanting stricter gun laws and those wanting less strict laws narrowed as a result of a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans who want less strict laws, now at 16% up from 5% a year ago. Support for making gun laws stricter fell to 31% from 38% last January. The January 2013 poll was conducted shortly after the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy, which sparked some state governments to consider new gun laws and a robust national discussion about the issue.

In addition to overall dissatisfaction with gun laws rising, more Americans this year are “very dissatisfied” (35%) versus “somewhat dissatisfied” (20%).

(Bold emphasis mine.) Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to make it into The Narrative™ without enough spin to put a tornado to shame.

GOF Update

As I posted at the beginning of the month, commenter Grumpy Old Fart lost his mother and his home early in December.  He left this comment this morning:

Okay, I have a paypal account. Sorry I took so long to reply, but internet access has been… problematic. However, with that said, I know basically nothing at all about paypal, so I don’t know what good it does or how to tell you to link to it.

With luck, I’ll still have consistent internet access for another day or two, so feel free to let me know what I should be doing with all this. Life has been… interesting lately, in an ancient Chinese curse kind of way.

I think he may be badly needing some other stuff, too.

The stuff I need most is stuff nobody can help me with. The Red Cross has been very good with the basics, clothes, toiletries and such, to the point where for a while I had more stuff than I had places to put it. The glaring issue right now is that I no longer have a picture ID, a SS card, or even a birth certificate. At this point my biggest problem is convincing anyone that I exist at all.

Kevin, you should have my email address in your contacts, so feel free to get in touch with me. You can understand why I’m unwilling to post it on a public forum. I tend to trust the people who post here, but that’s probably not the entire list of people who could conceivably see this either.

Ship-to address is something I’m a lot more comfortable with however:

1350 Rikisha Ln.
Beaumont, TX 77706

Thanks, folks. Just knowing you care makes more difference than you probably realize. Since that’s something you don’t really get a feel for until you’re in a position like this, I hope none of you ever do realize it either.

For your PayPal account, all we need is the email address you use for it, I believe.

UPDATE:  First things first, I just traded emails with GOF.  He needs a computer:

I have some contract work writing for a publishing company in the UK, but since my computer burned I’m having to start all that from scratch as well. More to the point, until I get another computer, I can’t even make a start at redoing all the work I lost.

So… what do I need that you can provide? The only thing I can think of is funds toward another computer. That should probably go into paypal, since the donation account is pretty much meant for bill money.

Anybody got something they can spare?  Can we get together and buy him something?

THIS Was Caused by a Video

…I think it’s safe to say.

Cook’s Postulate is:

The key to understanding the American system is to imagine that you have the power to make nearly any law you want. But your worst enemy will be the one to enforce it. – Rick Cook

Dinesh D’Souza, vocal critic of Barack Obama and creator of the film 2016: Obama’s America, has just been given that lesson in spades.

D’Souza has been arrested and indicted for violation of campaign finance law. Specifically:

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D’Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign.

The Justice Department in the form of the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, proclaimed:

As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process.

The mind simply boggles.

Nothing was done about voter intimidation in Philadelphia.

Nobody at Justice said “boo” when the Obama campaign accepted unverified credit card donations during his re-election run.

Not a peep out of the DoJ when Al Franken “won” his Senate race through voter fraud.

The list of “corruptions of the electoral process” are long and have been getting longer each year, but NOW the DoJ is ON THE JOB!

Like when the Bush DoJ prosecuted prominent lawyer Pierce O’Donnell for illegally contributing $26,000 to John Edwards’ presidential campaign the same way D’Souza is now accused.  O’Donnell accepted a plea deal and got “60 days in prison, a year of supervised release, 500 hours of community service, plus a $20,000 fine.”

I’ve been reading Harvey Silverglate’s Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, and one thing he points out early on is the power the DoJ has to coerce people into being witnesses:

Prosecutors are able to structure plea bargains in ways that make it nearly impossible for normal, rational, self-interested calculating people to risk going to trial. The pressure on innocent defendants to plead guilty and “cooperate” by testifying against others in exchange for a reduced sentence is enormous – so enormous that such cooperating witnesses often fail to tell the truth, saying instead what prosecutors want to hear. As Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz has colorfully put it, such cooperating defendant-witnesses “are taught not only to sing, but also to compose.”

Can’t wait to see who the prosecution will be dragging out as witnesses.

A recent Gallup poll indicates that “trust in government” is at an all-time low, with 57% of those polled indicating the trust the government “not very much” or “not at all” when handling domestic problems. But when queried on their faith in the Judicial Branch, 62% of those polled said they had a “great deal” to a “fair amount” of faith.

I think that’s about to change, too.

No matter what, the DoJ has bottomless pockets, and unless some high-powered law firm agrees to represent him pro bono, D’Souza doesn’t. 

It’s called “Lawfare,” and when practiced by the government against its citizens, it is particularly vicious. I have very little doubt that this is what is going on in the prosecution of D’Souza. I don’t know if he’s guilty or not. I DO know that when the Left is profiting, not a word is said, not a soul is prosecuted. When it’s their ox being gored, SOMEONE MUST PAY! And, honestly, I do not doubt that the Obama administration through the Holder Justice Department is exercising “the Chicago Way” here. As Glenn Reynolds put it:

Is there anything this administration does that isn’t politically motivated?

In other words, I know who I trust, and it isn’t the .gov.

UPDATE:  Read this.  Had enough yet?

Quote of the Day from Erik Prince, ex-CEO of Blackwater:

“Look,” he says, grasping to end our talk on an optimistic note, “America can pull its head out at any time. That happens at the ballot box. Ballot boxes have consequences still in America.” He continues: “But the American electorate has to actually pay attention, has to turn off the Xbox long enough to pay attention. Otherwise they’re going to continue to elect the government they deserve.”

This is Why 18 U.S.C. § 922 Needs to be Amended

A couple of days ago in the little town of Orrville, Alabama, a man “waving a gun” walked into a Dollar General Store and forced a cashier and a customer into a break room.  Oddly enough, the force field generated by the posting of this sign

did not prevent Kevin McLaughlin from walking through the doorway, gun in hand.

The customer, one Marlo Ellis, was – in accordance with the sign – carrying his firearm concealed.  He turned, drew his weapon and shot McLaughlin once in the chest.  McLaughlin was DRT.

Alabama law does not require a permit for open carry, but does for concealed.  According to the story, the police are checking to ensure Ellis was properly permitted, though the DA stated that he didn’t believe any charges would be pressed, regardless.  HOWEVER, Ellis is currently out of jail on bond, facing charges of “rape in the second degree and enticing a child for immoral purposes, stemming from a 2013 investigation involving a girl under the age of 16.”  The DA stated in the story that Ellis was within his rights to have a CCW permit because he has not yet been convicted.

I don’t think so.

Question 11b on BATFE form 4473 (PDF) asks:

Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year?

And the instructions for questions 11b through 11l state:

Generally, 18 U.S.C. § 922 prohibits the shipment, transportation, receipt, or possession in or affecting interstate commerce of a firearm by one who: has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence; has been convicted of a felony, or any other crime, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year (this does not include State misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment of two years or less); is a fugitive from justice; is an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance; has been adjudicated mentally defective or has been committed to a mental institution; has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; has renounced his or her U.S. citizenship; is an alien illegally in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa; or is subject to certain restraining orders. Furthermore, section 922 prohibits the shipment, transportation, or receipt in or affecting interstate commerce of a firearm by one who is under indictment or information for a felony, or any other crime, punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Mr. Ellis is under indictment.  He is may be a “prohibited person” and can might be charged with possessing and carrying a weapon illegally.

A weapon which he used to, quite possibly, save several lives, including his own.

The local DA might not charge him, but a Federal prosecutor certainly could, and I wouldn’t put it past them.  The number of “crimes” that carry a possible sentence of “imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” is insane.  Just being under indictment for one negates your right to arms.  Crimes like “providing police with a false name” for instance.  Or walking out of a restaurant on a $25.01 tab.

Mario Ellis might very well be a child-raping scumbag who should be thrown under the jail – but until he goes to trial he should either be sitting in a cell or he should have all the rights of any other citizen.

UPDATE:  After carefully scrutinizing 18 U.S.C. § 922, I’m certain that it’s illegal for someone to SELL to a person known or believed to be under indictment, but I’m not so certain that it’s illegal for someone under indictment to possess.  I think it’s a gray area that Prosecutors might play in.  I have altered the post to reflect this.