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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On Closing The Gun Show Loophole ...

... the Richmond Times-Dispatch comes out swinging:
Gun show sales not big source of problems

Recently, the state Crime Commission deadlocked over whether to recommend closing the so-called gun-show loophole. The issue has become a perennial at the General Assembly, which is considering the matter once again this year. Once again, legislators should vote no.

Licensed firearms dealers — those who buy and sell guns as a business — are required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers.

The “loophole” in question refers to the fact that individuals selling guns from their own private collection do not have to — either within gun-show venues, or in the parking lot, or in their own homes.

Gun-control advocates often muddy the issue by referring to “unlicensed dealers” at gun shows, of which there are indeed many. They sell holsters, flashlights, hunting knives, T-shirts, books, gun safes — even jewelry. But an unlicensed dealer who sold guns as a business would invite felony charges under federal law.

Gun-control advocates also suggest, albeit with scant evidence, that gun shows supply a significant share of the weapons used in crime.

Federal data indicate otherwise. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, “Firearm Use by Offenders,” only about 1 percent of guns used in crimes come from gun shows.

Another study, by the FBI concerning attacks on law-enforcement officials, found that 97 percent of the offenders had procured their weapons through illegal means.

Private sales among the hunters and target-shooting enthusiasts who frequent gun shows are simply not a significant source of weapons used in crimes. Gun shows, then, are not the real issue — except to those who recoil viscerally at the sight of large numbers of firearms in one place.

Referring to a “gun-show loophole” muddies the issue by implying, falsely, that individuals can sell or buy guns freely and without background checks only at gun shows. In fact, they can do so many places. [link] [my emphasis]
So why all the fuss? People can buy and sell guns (nearly) anywhere anytime. Why are gun shows singled out?

On a related topic, why would seemingly sane people see the carnage unfold at Virginia Tech in April, 2007 and relate what happened to gun shows?

The only explanations I can come up with are that some citizens are mindless idiots, easily led down a path, while others have nefarious motives that go well beyond the silly argument relating to the "gun show loophole." They see it as one small step toward an outright ban.

In any case, they all need to stop. If they think their efforts are going to - in any way - reduce crime - they are sadly mistaken and/or delusional.

On This We Agree

The editorialists at the Roanoke Times denounce the Democrat stimulus bill working its way through Congress, for good reasons:
Stimulus and too much more

It's almost as if members of Congress want to go home early. How else to explain the bloated economic stimulus bill they are negotiating? Rather than remaining narrowly focused on recession busting, lawmakers are inserting seemingly everything they need or want to do this session.

The economy needs help; there is no question about that. Democrats who control Congress and the White House are working on a plan to deliver $825 billion worth of assistance. They approach it with little discipline, though. Lard, misplaced priorities, unrelated programs and ineffective spending quickly infected their bill.

If this bill really is must-pass legislation, then Congress should treat it as such. Stay focused and include only what is necessary. Do not veer into areas that have nothing to do with economic stimulus. [link]
I agree.

Studies have shown, by the way, that government spending in and of itself does nothing to stimulate the economy, so the gurus in Washington ought to (but they won't) give up on that silly notion. It is, after all, a matter of "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

No, there is only one way to quickly stimulate the economy.

Slash corporate taxes. Allow companies to invest. Let them hire. They'll do the rest.

Didn't George W. Bush just take us down the path of government "stimulus" just months ago? What again were the results?

Suppose Boucher Will Take Credit?

We read the other day a piece by one of Congressman Rick Boucher's minions that there are 5,000 new jobs here in Southwest Virginia - "here because Boucher brought them." (An interesting number in that when Boucher last ran for reelection against someone, in 2006, he claimed that he had created 20,000 new jobs).

Well, tell me this - If he can claim that he brought us 5,000 (or 20,000) new jobs, can he also take credit for this?
Volvo to lay off at least 650 workers
By Duncan Adams and Jeff Sturgeon, The Roanoke Times

Randy Collins, a truck assembly worker at Volvo Trucks North America, said the mood in the factory near Dublin was grim Tuesday after word came down that 650 workers will be laid off.

"They knew that it was coming. The number was a shock," Collins said.

The declining economy also hit home at two other New River Valley manufacturing operations.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced it will close its Radford plant on Friday, costing 18 workers their jobs.

And Corning Inc., a New York corporation with a plant in Christiansburg, announced it will lay off 13 percent of its work force, or 3,500 employees, by the end of the year. It is unclear how many, if any, of those layoffs will be from the Montgomery County facility. [link]
One can argue - and some of you will - that the current economic climate is the cause. But Volvo, at one time, employed 3,500 workers in Dublin. It will, if these layoffs occur as announced, be down to 600. And it's not hit bottom yet.

I contend that this trend - there are only 11,000 manufacturing jobs remaining in all of Southwest Virginia - is a direct result of the efforts of Democrats to "create jobs." With your tax money.

And with corporate tax money.

In attempting to entice bribe companies to relocate or expand here, politicians have to seize from existing employers exorbitant amounts of wealth. Having been seized, they skim a portion for themselves - and for their army of Washington bureaucrats - and then hand a wad of cash to their favored client.

It is no accident that companies have been leaving Southwest Virginia in droves over the years that Rick Boucher has been in office. The costs of doing business here have become too great.

So he claims he has created ... a whole lot of new jobs. It's time someone put pencil to paper and estimated the number of jobs at Mack Truck, Ethan Allen, Celanese Acetate, Johnson & Johnson, Lear Corp., Dan River, Tultex, Spring Ford Industries, National Textiles, Buster Brown, Natalie Knitting Mills, American of Martinsville, Virginia Glove, Virginia House Furniture, Lea Industries, ArvinMeritor, Alcoa Wheels, Rowe Furniture, VF Knitwear, Vaughan Furniture, Webb Furniture, Burlington Industries, Renfro, Hooker Furniture, Bristol Compressors, Stanley Furniture, Dana Corporation, Thomasville Furniture, Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Bassett Furniture Industries, and Pulaski Furniture...

... and now at Volvo, Goodyear, and Corning ...

... that Congressman Rick Boucher has pissed away.

Want to "create" jobs, Rick? Ease the burden. Reduce taxes. Allow the companies that remain here to thrive. They'll do the rest.

A Sow's Ear

On the stimulus bill, a few brave Republicans step forward and tell it like it is. Mike Pence of Indiana:
"The Democrat bill won't stimulate anything but more government and more debt," Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the Republican conference, said Tuesday. "The slow and wasteful spending in the House Democrat bill is a disservice to millions of Americans who want to see this Congress take immediate action to get this economy moving again."
In fact, this bill may have more pork in it than all other bills ever written by Congress in its 209 year history - COMBINED.

The American people deserve to know this.

Quote of the Day

"Big government is where once successful nations go to die."

Quote of the Day II

Peter Kirsanow:

"So . . . we're going to have a tax cheat in charge of the IRS, a man instrumental in the pardoning of terrorists as top terrorism watchdog, and a woman whose husband gets tens of millions from foreign governments in charge of implementing foreign policy.
Press reaction: Move along . . . nothing to see here."