People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Some Plain Talk About Gun Shows

You'd do well to read this editorial in today's Richmond Times-Dispatch. It takes a lot of the misinformation and mystery - as well as the hysteria - out of those now-infamous gun shows where criminals - seemingly - flock to buy their death-dealing weaponry by the boatloads. A snippet:

[Virginia's Crime Commission] hopes to find out (a) how many guns sold at gun shows are sold by individuals who do not have a federal firearms license, and (b) how many of the guns from that pool are then used in crimes. What if it turns out that only a tiny fraction of them are? The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives reports, for instance, that 57 percent of the guns used in crimes are sold by 1 percent of gun dealerships.

An honest study might help clear up some common misconceptions. Even Del. David Albo, the chairman of the commission, says he doesn't understand "why one person who sells guns has to be federally licensed and another person doesn't. And I imagine no one else in the House of Delegates does, either."

That's easy: Just as not all vendors at gun shows sell guns (some sell knives, books, gun safes, tasers, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other paraphernalia), not all the gun sellers are in business. Some people at gun shows bring a weapon or two from their private collection to sell or trade. They are no more "gun dealers" than a person who sells his car through the Auto Trader is a "car dealership." Such non-commercial sales might merit background checks, but requiring a federal dealer's license is absurd.

So are the remarks of Del. Kenneth Melvin of Portsmouth, who gripes, "It might as well be the public policy in Virginia that if you're not a convicted felon, we want you armed to the teeth." Open hostility to the self-defense rights of law-abiding citizens offers a bracing reminder that those who grow complacent about their liberty are printing a license for others to steal it. (link)
That last is a line for the ages; one I intend to steal and use liberally in the future.

"Those who grow complacent about their liberty are printing a license for others to steal it."

Here's to the gun show. Long may it be there for the common law-abiding citizen to sell and trade his wares free of heavy-handed government interference.

It's them vs. us, fellas. Don't ever forget it. That license is yours to deny.

A Head-Scratcher

When you have no moral compass, and very little grasp of perspective, you write mindless crap like this:
We sometimes note that morality has evolved greatly since the 1950s, when blacks were excluded from public theaters and hotels, gays were sent to prison, and it was a jail offense to buy a cocktail, lottery ticket or sexy magazine. Now, a new report shows that hunting is fading across America, even in woodsy West Virginia. We wonder if this is another example, caused by doubts about the morality of killing animals.
"Potpourri," the Charleston Gazette, May 5, 2008

Supporting Gov't For Gov't's Sake

Here's the problem we have with our elected officials in Richmond in a nutshell. Its outlined in an article in this morning's Roanoke Times:
Gov. Tim Kaine and state lawmakers might have hoped that a long-running debate over transportation funding had ended last year when they passed a multifaceted bill to generate new road-building funds and address acute needs in the congested regions of Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

But the ink had barely dried on the compromise legislation before parts of the package came under attack and eventually fell apart.

To make matters worse, Virginia transportation officials reported earlier this year that a slowing economy and rising maintenance costs would force the state to divert $388 million in highway construction funds to meet maintenance needs during the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Kaine's administration has warned that the deficit could balloon to more than $575 million by 2014 unless lawmakers approve new revenue for maintenance.

Against that backdrop, Kaine plans to call the General Assembly into a special session in late June to revamp the regional transportation plans and find new money ... (link)
News flash: There is no such thing as "new money." There is only OUR MONEY. And, as is pointed out in the article, the economy has slowed, which means we have less of it. So how does the governor respond to the "transportation crisis" here in the commonwealth? He's going to recommend that the state of Virginia confiscate more of that which we have less of.

The government, after all, comes first. The government at all costs ...

She's Doing What Needs To Be Done ...

... even if it makes Chelsea Clinton look like she's nothing more than a gatepost in this heated election season. I can't be as critical of her performance in the campaign (after all, her role is supposed to be one of doting daughter who stays away from issues) as Ian Shapira, writing in the Washington Post, is:
In the 90-second video entitled "Madison audience Defend Chelsea Clinton," a crowd member asserts that the former first daughter's phone calls to superdelegates on behalf of her mother's presidential campaign are somehow "unethical." And then Chelsea launches into what, to my ear, sounds like one of those perfume-scented, floral-patterned Mother's Day greeting cards:

"Well, I disagree," she replies. "I'm, I'm so proud of my mom," she says, her voice softening. "There's no one in the world that I love more or respect more. . . . I'm so proud of my mom. I hope that your daughter is as proud of you or your children are as proud of you as I'm proud of my mom."

The Wisconsin crowd was applauding, but I was scratching my head. This is a 28-year-old with degrees from Stanford and Oxford. This was the best she could do? (link) (emphasis in the original)
With the damage that Bill Clinton's utterances has inflicted on the Hillary campaign, who can argue with the fact that Chelsea is saying absolutely nothing of importance out on the campaign trail? After all, her role in all this - rightly - is to get before crowds of young people and look ... uh ... cute?

Well, Someone Had a Sense Of Decency

An interesting footnote to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright story. Her reasons may be a bit too self-centered, but at least Oprah knew she didn't belong in the hatemonger's pews:
Something Wasn’t Wright
Why Oprah Winfrey left Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church.
By Allison Samuels, Newsweek

According to two sources, Winfrey was never comfortable with the tone of Wright's more incendiary sermons, which she knew had the power to damage her standing as America's favorite daytime talk-show host. "Oprah is a businesswoman, first and foremost," said one longtime friend, who requested anonymity when discussing Winfrey's personal sentiments. "She's always been aware that her audience is very mainstream, and doing anything to offend them just wouldn't be smart.

But Winfrey also had spiritual reasons for the parting. In conversations at the time with a former business associate, who also asked for anonymity, Winfrey cited her fatigue with organized religion and a desire to be involved with a more inclusive ministry. In time, she found one: her own. "There is the Church of Oprah now," said her longtime friend, with a laugh. "She has her own following." (link)
Oprah found Jeremiah Wright - and God - to be drags on her campaign to capture sainthood.

I'll have to ponder that.

But at least she had the good sense to get the hell out (pun intended) of that den of iniquity that went by the name of Trinity United Church of Christ.

'And these Folks Want To Be President?'

The Wall Street Journal explains how damaging the Democrats' approach to high gas prices is going to be:
You may ... be wondering how a higher tax on energy will lower gas prices. Normally, when you tax something, you get less of it, but Mr. Obama seems to think he can repeal the laws of economics. We tried this windfall profits scheme in 1980. It backfired. The Congressional Research Service found in a 1990 analysis that the tax reduced domestic oil production by 3% to 6% and increased oil imports from OPEC by 8% to 16%. Mr. Obama nonetheless pledges to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, which he says "costs America $800 million a day." Someone should tell him that oil imports would soar if his tax plan becomes law. The biggest beneficiaries would be OPEC oil ministers.

This tiff over gas and oil taxes only highlights the intellectual policy confusion – or perhaps we should say cynicism – of our politicians. They want lower prices but don't want more production to increase supply. They want oil "independence" but they've declared off limits most of the big sources of domestic oil that could replace foreign imports. They want Americans to use less oil to reduce greenhouse gases but they protest higher oil prices that reduce demand. They want more oil company investment but they want to confiscate the profits from that investment. And these folks want to be President? (link)
It frightens me that a viable candidate for the highest office in the land need know virtually nothing about how this country - and the world - function.

The Pot Said To The Kettle ...

This is a bit rich. Hillary wants you to pay attention only to what she says today, not to what she said and did over these many years. What, does she think we're stupid?
Clinton mailing attacks Obama on guns
By Ben Smith, The Politico

Hillary Clinton has re-opened her sharp attack on Barack Obama's position on guns, with a mailer in Indiana that seeks to raise questions about him with both supporters and opponents of gun rights.

The mailing -- perhaps the sharpest-edged of Clinton's five negative mail pieces in Indiana -- casts him as a typical politician, saying different things to different audiences. It also revives his damaging comments in San Francisco that small town people cling to guns.

Then, making the harsh case more broadly, the mailer asks: "What does Barack Obama really believe?"

The piece is particularly striking coming from Clinton, who has been seen for most of her career as a firm advocate of gun control, but more recently has emerged -- without dramatically shifting her stance on specific issues -- as a defender of the Second Amendment who fondly recalled being taught to shoot by her grandfather in Scranton. (link)
There was - until days ago - no one more virulently anti-gun than Hillary Clinton. Suddenly she's one of us?