What stops one branch of the U.S. government from becoming too powerful in the states?

That was a question at Quora. Here’s my answer:

Well the answer in Civics class is “Either or both of the other two branches.”

Problem is, the Legislative Branch has abdicated a lot of its lawmaking power to the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch has allowed it. Now we have multiple Executive Branch Bureaus, Departments and Services that serve to make regulations (Legislative), enforce regulations (Executive) and punish violations (Judicial) essentially without oversight. We don’t elect the people in these organizations. We have no power to remove them.

Our only hope is the Legislative Branch or the Judicial Branch will stomp on their excesses. The Supreme Court recently did that with the EPAs abuse of the “Clean Water Act” in Sackett v. EPA. The legislature failed to do so in their review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s recent redefinition of pistol braces, making what was legal now a federal felony. Senate Democrats reject measure to block pistol brace rule.

Edited to add this:


The Executive Branch is not happy about the Judicial Branch doing its job. Odd, that.

Still Fighting the Fight

There’s a group over at Quora, “Gun Memes R Us” where I like to read and post. I came across this one and put it up:

It has inspired a number of comments, but I want to archive this thread:

Nobody is coming to take away your guns. The only reason you continue talking about something that will never happen is that it supports your violent fantasies about murdering your fellow countrymen.


UPDATE: Paul has responded, in a sense. The reply below and the remainder of the comment thread are now gone. END UPDATE.

Look at that. Another Trumpanzee who can only communicate through memes that were created by someone smarter than you. I’ve run across your cult before. I always feel bad for you knuckleheads.

I get your message, though. You couldn’t begin to refute my comment about how no one is coming to take your guns, and that disturbed you. To self-soothe, you posted a bunch of memes in the same way someone with epilepsy might have a grand mal seizure.

Look at that, someone who comments on a meme page and complains about memes. (Most of which are screenshots of his ideological brethren.)

We’ve been told “no one is coming for your guns” for decades, while at the same time we get stuff like this from legislators:

Or this exchange between North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop and the loathsome Jerry Nadler over H.R. 1808:

“Would anyone on the other side dispute that this bill would ban weapons that are in common use in the United States today?” Bishop asked.

“That’s the point of the bill,” Nadler replied.

“So, to clarify, Mr. Chairman, you’re saying it is the point of the bill to ban weapons that are in common use in the United States today,” the Republican representative pressed.

“Yes,” Nadler clarified. “The problem is that they’re in common use.”

So, no one wants to take our guns? Pull my other leg.

I’m impressed. Most people who speak in memes literally can’t communicate otherwise. You actually made a coherent point.

It’s wrong. First, nobody is trying to take “all firearms” from you (as this meme stated). In the case of HR 1808, that’s a ban on assault weapons, similar to what we had before when mass shootings were much less frequent. You can still have the rest of your guns.

I know, I know. You’d sooner watch a thousand kids mowed down by AR15s than part with yours. That’s your prerogative. But not everyone is a sociopath, and they have their prerogatives too.

What, you’d prefer them mowed down with 12 gauge shotguns? 9mm pistols? How many children are you willing to let die? If the number of guns is the problem, then the solution must be reducing the number in circulation to as close to zero as to make no difference. That’s the logic. “If it saves one life!” So excuse me if I don’t kowtow to your “It’s only ‘assault weapons!’ “ argument. It’s bullshit.

I’ve been doing this for about thirty years now. I have the receipts.

Pundit Charles Krauthammer stated the obvious in his 1996 column “Disarm the Citizenry, But Not Yet”:

“Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically.

“It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today.

“Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic – purely symbolic – move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.”

In 1988 the Violence Policy Center, a group founded on the platform of banning all handguns (we could keep rifles and shotguns, for now) wrote a white paper entitled “Assault Weapons and Accessories in America.” From its conclusion:

“Assault weapons are increasingly being perceived by legislators, police organizations, handgun restriction advocates, and the press as a public health threat. As these weapons come to be associated with drug traffickers, paramilitary extremists, and survivalists, their television and movie glamour is losing its lustre to a violent reality.

“Because of this fact, assault weapons are quickly becoming the leading topic of America’s gun control debate and will most likely remain the leading gun control issue for the near future. Such a shift will not only damage America’s gun lobby, but strengthen the handgun restriction lobby for the following reasons:

  • It will be a new topic in what has become to the press and public an “old” debate. Although handguns claim more than 20,000 lives a year, the issue of handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and public. The reasons for this vary: the power of the gun lobby; the tendency of both sides of the issue to resort to sloganeering and pre-packaged arguments when discussing the issue; the fact that until an individual is affected by handgun violence he or she is unlikely to work for handgun restrictions; the view that handgun violence is an “unsolvable” problem; the inability of the handgun restriction movement to organize itself into an effective electoral threat; and the fact that until someone famous is shot, or something truly horrible happens, handgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority. Assault weapons—just like armor-piercing bullets, machine guns, and plastic firearms—are a new topic. The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.
  • Efforts to stop restrictions on assault weapons will only further alienate the police from the gun lobby. Until recently, police organizations viewed the gun lobby in general, and the NRA in particular, as a reliable friend. This stemmed in part from the role the NRA played in training officers and its reputation regarding gun safety and hunter training. Yet, throughout the 1980s, the NRA has found itself increasingly on the opposite side of police on the gun control issue. Its opposition to legislation banning armor-piercing ammunition, plastic handguns, and machine guns, and its drafting of and support for the McClure/Volkmer handgun decontrol bill, burned many of the bridges the NRA had built throughout the past hundred years. As the result of this, the Law Enforcement Steering Committee was formed. The Committee now favors such restriction measures as waiting periods with background check for handgun purchase and a ban on machine guns and plastic firearms. If police continue to call for assault weapons restrictions, and the NRA continues to fight such measures, the result can only be a further tarnishing of the NRA’s image in the eyes of the public, the police, and NRA members. The organization will no longer be viewed as the defender of the sportsman, but as the defender of the drug dealer.
  • Efforts to restrict assault weapons are more likely to succeed than those to restrict handguns. Although the majority of Americans favor stricter handgun controls, and a consistent 40 percent of Americans favor banning the private sale and possession of handguns,[129] many Americans do believe that handguns are effective weapons for home self-defense and the majority of Americans mistakenly believe that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guarantees the individual right to keep and bear arms.[130] Yet, many who support the individual’s right to own a handgun have second thoughts when the issue comes down to assault weapons. Assault weapons are often viewed the same way as machine guns and “plastic” firearms—a weapon that poses such a grave risk that it’s worth compromising a perceived constitutional right.

So excuse me if I reject your “They only want to take X away” bullshit for what it is. It’s a camel’s nose under the tent, and your side has no compunction about lying to achieve it.

There’s a reason mass shooters choose AR15s over a 12-gauge or a 9mm pistol. That reason is the same as why HR 1808 exists. The AR15 is an assault rifle (and yes, spare me, I know that’s not what the “AR” stands for). It can also be considered a “battle rifle,” as the cops in Uvalde called it. It’s a gun for little boys to pretend that they’re GI Joe (best case scenario) or to mow down a bunch of people (worst case). It has no positives to it.

Regarding this quote from above:

“Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this. A civilized society can’t be armed like this. However, I understand we will never be disarmed due to the 2nd Amendment and the impossibility of repealing it. Therefore, the US will never be a civilized society. Everyone in government understands that. Seriously, to find someone in government who believes we can take away all guns would require finding someone as dumb as Marjorie Tailor Greene, and the left doesn’t have people that dumb.

“There’s a reason mass shooters choose AR15s over a 12-gauge or a 9mm pistol.” Really? Pray tell, what is it? The last one had an AR, but used a Kel-Tec Sub 2000, a pistol-caliber carbine. The majority of them are carried out with handguns because handguns are portable and concealable. Columbine? Shotguns, a pistol-caliber carbine and a pistol.

But all you want is “assault rifles”? Yeah. Right. For The Children.

I want the school staff that is willing to be able to carry, and I want signs like this posted around the campus:

In the Tennessee shooting the Sheriff reported that the shooter had considered a different target, but because it had security she chose the Christian school instead.

I want to do something that WORKS. You want security theater.

Ok, you want to do something that WORKS. (Caps lock noted…you’re serious!)

Do you know any educators? How many do you think have the aptitude and inclination to use a gun to defend a class of kids against an assailant armed to the teeth? Remember, the Uvalde cops were shit scared to confront such a shooter. But you want Mrs. Harrison who teaches the 3rd grade to handle it.

Also, do you know how little teachers get paid for the amount of work they put in? But you want to add on top of that the requirement to buy a gun and be trained on it all on the same salary, because let’s face it, giving teachers more money is un-American to a republican.

Is this what you think will work?

How many school staffers are veterans? How many staffers are there compared to the teaching staff? Hell, the janitor can carry if he’s willing. Why do want to deny the willing and able? You’re using Uvalde as an example? Those guys signed up for that job, then didn’t do it. That didn’t happen in Tennessee.

What makes you think, in a nation where about a third of the population owns guns, that no school staffers – including teachers – already owns guns? Already have concealed-carry licenses? I know one teacher. She taught middle school math and science for 40 years. She owned a gun most of her professional career, but she wasn’t allowed to even have it in her car on campus.

Yes, I want schools to be less attractive targets.

Your questions are all valid. However, don’t pretend you know the answers. You have no idea if there are enough veterans or gun owners at each school to protect them.

The reason I mention the Uvalde cops is because, yes, they signed up for that job. And they didn’t do it. But you’re expecting people who did not sign up for that job to do it instead?

Also, who’s paying these people? “Oh, by the way, Mavis, starting on Monday we’d like you to start providing security for your Spanish class. It’s just another part of the job.”

This could be a viable plan if it gets past these obstacles. But I don’t expect it would.

Utah has allowed staff to carry on campus for years. I personally know that many trainers offered staff free training so they could get their permits. When was the last school shooting in Utah?

You don’t seem to have any faith in your fellows. Just because you cannot see yourself defending yourself or innocents doesn’t mean others can’t. You’d rather disarm everyone so you don’t have to feel guilty about it. (End – for now.)

I’m curious to see if he’ll come back with anything.

What Passes for Exceptional

I want to give this guy props for trying, but more importantly, I want more people to be aware, that he is EXCEPTIONAL, not average. He’s TRYING.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of U.S. adults 16-74 years old – about 130 million people – lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.

Per another study, “One out of every five bachelor’s degree holders among employed college graduates ages 21 to 65 lacks minimum skills in literacy. For numeracy, the number is one in three.”

Employed. College. Graduates.

Literacy has declined, according to John Taylor Gatto, from 96% in 1942, to 81% in 1955, to 73% in 1973. Today it’s 46%. The Department of Education was formed in 1979 in part to combat the trend. The 1983 report “A Nation at Risk” declared:

“Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that while we can take justifiable pride in what our schools and colleges have historically accomplished and contributed to the United States and the well-being of its people, the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur–others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.

“If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

It was an act of war. But a foreign power wasn’t responsible.

It’s easier to control a population that cannot think.