Quote of the Day 2014-04-08: Tam on the Mozilla CEO affair

Her original post is good, but she hits a home run in the comments:

Let’s say there was a company in Jackson, MS some time ago. This company was well-known for its lack of discrimination in its hiring process and corporate culture, and was recognized in the industry as someplace where the color of one’s skin was no bar to advancement.

Let’s say they hired me in as senior management and I wound up getting named CEO, the leader of the company… and then someone found out that some years back I’d been writing checks to the Decent Citizens’ Anti-Miscegenation League.

Would I then be able to continue as an effective leader in that company?



QOTD – 2014-03-05

At SayUncle, from commenter Sigivald, talking about PSH from Illinois real estate agents.

I still just can’t wrap my head around what they expect the sign to do; if the prospective purchaser is not-law-abiding they’ll just ignore the sign and have their gun.

If they are, then they were hardly a threat in the first place.

I can’t really add to that. It’s just such an obvious thing that I can’t wrap my head around the supposed problem either. It must have something to do with Magical Thinking™.


A Second Amendment Epiphany

Linoge linked to a couple of articles last week, and one of them – once I finally got around to reading it – tripped one of those switches in my brain that said “Oh! Now I get it!” regarding the deceptively clumsy phrasing of the Second Amendment.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. – U.S. Constitution, Amendment II

The relationship between the two clauses, and how or even if they cause the Right to relate to militias, has been debated for at least a century. A popular argument among those who favour gun control – whether outright bans on all guns, or bans of “assault weapons” – is that the 2nd Amendment is preconditioned on membership in a militia, and that the National Guard and/or the advent of professional police forces has superseded the founder’s model of local militias. As a result, they argue, the 2nd Amendment does not apply to ordinary citizens, only to police and National Guard members.

While this argument certainly ignores the fact that the unorganized militia is still embodied in US law, it is flawed on a much more basic level – the 2nd Amendment clearly and specifically assigns that right to the people, not to the militia or members of a militia. This is the classic dependent/independent clause argument – that the reference to a “well regulated militia” explains the necessity of protecting the right of the people to keep and bear arms, but does not limit that right to membership in a militia.

But there was a point in reading that article where something else clicked for me, though I can’t point to any one sentence or paragraph and say “this is where I understood”. It’s a surprisingly simple concept.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, so that they may quickly and easily form a militia should the need arise.

When the Right for each and every citizen to own, possess, and carry arms is restricted, a militia cannot be formed without those people first going out and obtaining arms. If the government is allowed to restrict how, when, and if a citizen can purchase firearms – yes, even military weapons – then the government can restrict or prevent the formation of any militias.

But why, you ask, in our modern society, would anyone need to form a militia so quickly that they couldn’t wait for the government to approve it if it truly was needed?

Leaving aside the assumption that the government a) would approve it in the first place, and b) would do so quickly enough to do any good, it also ignores the speed in which bad situations can develop. A perfect modern day example of this is the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, and the events that took place in Koreatown during those riots.

With the police overwhelmed (and, by all accounts, not terribly motivated to intervene in that neighborhood anyway), it fell to the citizens there to defend their homes, livelihoods, and their lives themselves. They banded together in small groups for their own defense – the very definition of an unorganized militia. Once the riots started, they didn’t have time to go to a store and buy a gun. They didn’t have time to sit through a background check. They were dependent on the guns they had at the time.

Without the protections afforded by the Second Amendment, Koreatown would have been destroyed by the rampaging mobs.

What would have been more effective in Boston last month – unarmed citizens cowering in their homes with the police and National Guard imposing martial law (lite! with only half the jackboots!) while searching house to house, or armed citizens standing watch over their own neighborhoods while directing the police towards any suspicious activity?

I’ll say it again. The Second Amendment Right to keep and bear arms does not depend on membership in a militia, it is what allows us to form militias where and when they are needed.


Quote of the Day – 2013-04-02

From Sean Sorrentino, in a comment at Shall Not Be Questioned.

Because Compromise is the process where you lose slightly less of your rights than the anti-rights crowd asked for, BUT YOU STILL LOSE.

This. It’s what the anti-Rights cultists have been doing to us since NFA ’34. The best illustration of how it works is LawDog’s Parable of The Cake. They continually talk us into a “compromise” where we lose yet another little bit of our Rights and they lose nothing, and they consider it a win because they can always come back later to push us to “compromise” again, and again, and again, until our Rights are gone.

No more. As the anti-Rights bills move through Congress and your state legislature, tell your Representatives, Senators, Governors, everybody, “No more compromises.” Enough is enough.

It’s my cake, dammit. They’ve had too much of it already.


Quote of the Day – 2013-02-24

From Roberta X:

Defending yourself is not a matter of “punishment.”  You’re not out to correct your assailant’s behavior, you’re wanting to stop it, as quickly and effectively as possible, with the least collateral damage.  Whatever does that is what you should do.

This is the only proper response to anyone that says that self-defence  is “taking the law into one’s own hands” or something similar.


Quote of the Day – 2013-02-01

From Joe Huffman:

Background checks to prevent some people from gaining access to firearms is like checking ID to prevent underage drinking and smoking.

How long does it take your average high school dropout to find a way to light up while drinking a beer?


Quote of the Day – 2013-01-30

From Roberta X:

And I’m done listening to calls for “compromise.”  The antis don’t really want compromise.  They want whatever they can get now and they’ll be back later for the rest of your firearms rights later — followed by the rest of the Bill of Rights, already plenty nibbled-at.

It’s well past time to say “enough” — and to keep on saying it, by whatever means it takes to get ’em to hear.

This. A thousand times, this. They keep wanting more and more of our cake, and we’ve “compromised” again and again for so long that all we have left is half a slice and some crumbs. Now they want that half-slice. No more. It’s beyond time that we tell the Anti-Rights cultists to go bugger themselves.

By whatever means are required to make them listen.


Quote of the Day – 2012-12-19: Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell

In an interview addressing gun laws and school safety policies, Gov. McDonnell cut straight to the heart of what is critical in any discussion about what “needs to be done” as a result of the Newtown school shooting.

“The key is don’t overreact,” McDonnell said. “Don’t react solely when you’re emotional, because your policies may not be right, but really get to the bottom of what works and what can actually make a difference.”

When you legislate solely from emotion, as the anti-Rights cultists would have our government do, you usually end up with laws that make things worse, not better.

This goes hand-in-hand with the Quote of the Day at SayUncle’s.

Grieve first, then make decisions — not the other way around.

When you are grieving, and in pain, and reacting emotionally, you are not thinking rationally. You cannot see reality clearly enough and calmly enough to weigh important decisions.

I did not watch the President’s press conference today, where he formally announced his intent to push for more gun control, but others did. It sounds like he is going to push through a new Assault Weapon Ban, and that he will try and rush it through. There can be only one reason for that – he doesn’t want to give anyone time to look at it calmly and rationally, and to analyze it for flaws and Constitutional violations. I fully expect claims from Obama and Feinstein that – like the Affordable Care Act – “we have to pass it to know what’s in it.”

He wants to use… No. He wants to abuse the pain and grief of the nation – the spilled blood of murdered, innocent children – to push through restrictive laws that would not survive a calm and reasoned debate.

We gun owners are in for the legislative fight of our lives. Pay attention. Be proactive. Contact your representatives at both the state and federal levels.

Be polite, but be firm, and above all be unyielding. The Executive branch is against us. We cannot count on the Judicial branch to help us, and by the time it gets to that point it may already be too late. We must stop this at the legislative level.

There are four boxes in our system of government.

The Soap box. The Ballot box. The Jury box. The Cartridge box.

They are meant to be used in that order. We should only progress to the next box when the current one has failed.

I greatly fear that if the Soap box and the Ballot box fail, someone will push us right past the Jury box, with disastrous results.

I am terrified that the Executive and the Legislature might be willing to push hard enough to justify opening that last box.

I hope you are at least worried about this, too. There are rays of hope, here and there, but the voices raised against us now are deafening. This political battle will be critical, and none of us can afford to remain on the sidelines.


[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 12/18/12]

Quote of the Day – 2012-11-27

From Terry Pratchett’s Discworld character Commander Samuel Vimes.

It always embarrassed Samuel Vimes when civilians tried to speak to him in what they thought was “policeman.”  If it came to that, he hated thinking of them as civilians.  What was a policeman, if not a civilian with a uniform and a badge?  But they tended to use the term these days as a way of describing people who were not policemen.  It was a dangerous habit: once policemen stopped being civilians the only other thing they could be was soldiers.

Terry Pratchett, Snuff

Emphasis mine. I don’t have much to add, it’s a pretty plain and straightforward warning.


(h/t Firehand)

Voting complete

And yes, in what is probably not a surprise for anyone here, I voted for Gary Johnson for President.

I voted for the Republican candidates for House and Senate (R, D, or “write in” were the only choices for those two races, and the candidates in both races are pretty much straight party-liners as far as I could tell), “yes” to amend Virginia’s constitution to limit eminent domain, and “yes” to restrict when the General Assembly convenes for their annual post-veto session.

People are voting at you. You might as well go vote right back at them.*

*  If anyone can remember who originated that wonderful quip, please let me know. I think it was Roberta X, but I’m not really sure, and I can’t find where I first saw it.

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