Saturday, February 27, 2010

...from my Cold, Dead Hands!

That's where they can take them from, the sonsabitches!

What am I rambling about? Why, nothing much, just Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to ban my hunting rifle!

Yes, all the major news outlets are reporting that Mr. Holder is pushing for not just a reinstatement, but a PERMANENT reinstatement, of the "assault weapons" ban.

Okay, I'm sorry, but I've been speaking the English language for the better part of three decades. I understand that "assault" is an ACTION, not an OBJECT.

The reason for wanting to reinstate the ban on "military-STYLE" weapons? It has absolutely nothing to do with crime in America, and everything to do with crime in MEXICO! Well, that's the excuse we're getting, anyway. In reality, it has nothing to do with crime ANYWHERE, and everything to do with the disarmament of the American people.

You see, for ten years (1994-2004), America was under the "Assault Weapons Ban" (henceforth known as the "AWB"). Violent crimes involving assault weapons were CUT IN HALF! Yeah, but then read the fine print. You see, crimes involving assault weapons went from 2% to 1%. That still leaves out, of course, the 98% OF ALL VIOLENT CRIMES THAT WERE NOT BEING COMMITTED WITH SO-CALLED "ASSAULT WEAPONS" TO BEGIN WITH! The AWB did absolutely nothing in the way of actually deterring violent crime. All it did was make it more expensive for target shooters, collectors of militaria, et cetera to purchase the rifles they wanted.

How does that work? The same way the amendments to the National Firearms Act in 1986 made an M16 more expensive to own! You see, these weapons were not actually "outlawed" outright, you could still own them. You just had to jump through more hoops to get them, and their supply was limited because full-auto weapons could not be manufactured for civilian use. Any full-auto weapon owned by a civilian had to be taxed and registered with the BATFE, which caused a $1,000 rifle to instantly become priced at $10,000.

Every day, we're hearing about how Mexican drug cartels are waging war in the streets of Mexico. They're shooting people in broad daylight, like it's the cool new thing. You hear about automatic rifles and hand grenades being used regularly.

And yet, Mr. Holder thinks that this is because of some sort of "gun show loophole". BULLSHIT. Unless you have been fingerprinted, had your personal paperwork signed by the local chief of police, and gone through a very thorough background check via the BATFE, YOU CANNOT BUY A FULL-AUTOMATIC RIFLE. In all likelihood, you won't even ever see one of these at a gun show, since most vendors bring what is available to the general public...even if they have a Class III Federal Firearms License.

So where do these weapons come from, if the Mexican cartels are using them to murder people in record numbers? Armalite M16 rifles, the full-auto rifles used by the US Military, get to Mexico via the US government. They are either given, or sold at below market value, as part of our "foreign aid" to Mexico in our efforts to win the "War On Drugs". Unfortunately, the government of Mexico is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mexican drug cartels. If you have an army officer responsible for a few hundred automatic rifles, and the cartels want those rifles, that officer will either be a few thousand dollars more wealthy, or that officer will be dead.

Full-auto AK47 rifles are also not available in America, nor are hand grenades...but American law cannot prevent manufacturing plants in Venezuela, ComBloc eastern European nations, or China from producing and selling these weapons. Obviously, the gun control laws that outlaw private citizens from owning firearms can't stop it either.

Oh, you didn't know that? That's right, it is ILLEGAL for the average Mexican citizen to own a firearm. In order to own one, he must meet certain legal addition to registering the rifle and every round of ammunition. On top of this, it is a "may issue" situation, as opposed to a "shall issue". In other words, the government doesn't have to issue the permit if it does not want to. Even still, the TYPES of firearms that may be purchased by Mexican citizens is severely restricted. A Mexican citizen is FORBIDDEN to own anything capable of firing a "military caliber", such as ***dingdingding*** an AR15, an SKS, an AK47, and countless other so-called "assault rifles".


Obviously, gun laws won't stop criminals. Criminals, by definition, do not obey the law. "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns", and all that jazz.

In nations where guns are outlawed and the police departments aren't COMPLETELY corrupt, such as China and the United Kingdom, the rate of violent crime is not much different than here in the United States. Notice I didn't say "violent GUN crime". Obviously, if it's next to impossible to obtain a gun even by illegal means, you're going to use something else. In England, the weapon of choice is a kitchen knife. In China, it's actually rat poison!

Furthermore, the "90%" figure all too often thrown out about the number of so-called "assault weapons" being traced back to American buyers is complete bullshit. It's 90% of TRACEABLE weapons being traced back to American buyers. That's 90% of all weapons that have serial numbers that can be traced...which is a very small fraction of a percentage of all weapons recovered by the Mexican government. Did I mention that most weapons used by Cartel members can't actually be traced to anyone, and that the entirety of the Mexican gov't is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the drug cartels?

Now, let's get to this supposed "gun show loophole" that Mr. Obama and his ilk keep referring to. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE". This "loophole" they refer to is nothing more than a lack of a legal requirement to register a transfer of ownership of a firearm between two private parties via the federal government, according to federal law. If you go to a gun show, and see a guy at a booth selling firearms, that guy has a federal firearms license...which means that he's going to either do the paperwork and background check, or he's going to risk jail for breaking the law. If you purchase a firearm from someone who is NOT A LICENSED DEALER, you don't have to do a background check. It doesn't matter if this person is your grandpa, your next-door neighbor, or some random individual walking around at a gun show trying to sell his deer rifle. You don't have to do an FFL transfer from a private seller (at least not in this state, I am not sure of other states).

So what does this mean? This supposed "loophole" does not apply to gun shows, but rather, every single individual gun owner in the United States of America that does not sell guns for a living.

Okay, so moving right along. We've discovered that the weapons used in cartel violence aren't coming from Joe Bob the redneck that bought a truckload of Semi-Auto AK47s at a gun show so he could smuggle them into Mexico. Why would they, when the cartels can just as easily import the real deal from Venezuela? But anyhow, let's now look to WHY there is cartel violence in Mexico to begin with!

If you outlaw a substance that people are going to continue to consume illegally, you're going to create a black market for it. You haven't reduced its consumption, you've merely increased its potential for profitability. When the demand is extremely large (such as that of, oh I don't know, COCAINE), and its supply is limited to those willing to risk a life sentence in federal prison to get it here, the price is going to skyrocket.

Unlike alcohol or marijuana, cocaine cannot be easily and readily produced domestically. The climate, labor requirements, et cetera for producing cocaine make its domestic production next to impossible. As such, it must be imported.

Smuggling in cocaine through customs at an international airport in the US is rather difficult, especially if one is wanting to bring in enough to make it economically viable. Our porous border to the south, on the other hand, is ready to rock and roll...and has been, for decades. This is how the drug cartels became so powerful! Coca plants are grown in south and central American nations, smuggled up into Mexico, and then trucked across the border via NAFTA trade routes. If you don't believe me about the NAFTA thing, check every major cocaine bust coming in on a truck from Mexico!

So how do we stop it? Do we start shooting people who smuggle cocaine? We could start doing that, but it won't put a dent in the problem. The short answer is, of course, WE DON'T STOP IT. If a man is willing to risk a life sentence for smuggling tons of cocaine into America, you're not going to stop him with the threat of death. There is a market for cocaine in America, and there are willing participants in other nations that smuggle it in.

So the proper answer to this? LEGALIZE IT! Yes, I said that. Legalize the sale, use, and possession of crack, coke, smack, meth, weed, and every other illicit drug known to man, for those over the age of 18.

Wait, did I just really say that? You're damned right I did. Almost every person in America knows, right now, that smoking crack is bad for you. There's a reason why the term "crackhead" has such negative connotations. Regardless, we're still not even close to putting a dent in the consumption of cocaine in this nation.

But imagine what would happen if you were to legalize the sale, use, and possession of drugs in this nation...and have them regulated like you would with a bottle of Maker's Mark.

About half of the prison population would be GONE, instantly. About 20% of our prisons are comprised of inmates incarcerated solely for the non-violent sale and/or possession of drugs...which is, with the exception of marijuana, a felony in every state. Then, you have the other 30% who are incarcerated for the violence revolving around drug-related issues that cannot be solved in a civil court due to the fact that disputes involving illegal activities cannot be resolved in such a manner. Of course, old cases of murder and assault will still be housed...but there will be drastically fewer new ones, if you could buy your reefer or coke at a "dope store" like you can with tequila at a liquor store. Remember how debts were settled in the days of alcohol prohibition?

Then, you look at treatment and education. While they comprise less than ten percent of all the money spent on our "drug war", they have been shown to be 16 times more effective than "drug interdiction" (read: arrests and incarcerations). Double or even triple your efforts in these areas, and spend zero money on the DEA, and you're saving billions of dollars every year while simultaneously reducing the number of people who are actually using drugs.

Then, think of all the money, man-hours, and other resources that can be saved at the local law enforcement level. You've got fewer users because you are educating more people before they start to use drugs, you've got less users still using because you've treated more of them, and both of these things equate to fewer drug-related crimes not involving sale or possession (i.e. theft, robbery, et cetera). These crimes will be further reduced by the fact that a drug habit becomes less expensive once it becomes regulated and can be sold by any licensed dealer...just like alcohol licensing provided more competition and lower prices.

Then, you have fewer children using drugs. Children typically have far less money than adults do, which means the market for selling DAMNED NEAR ANYTHING is going to be more lucrative if you are dealing your dope in a regulated market and abiding by the rules. If these rules say you'll lose your license and go to jail for selling a rock of crack to a 17 year old kid, what's the incentive to do so when you have an adult customer willing to buy it legally?

When you have a free market, there is money to be made, just like there is with tobacco and alcohol. I am unaware of any deaths over "turf wars" involving alcohol sales, since the end of prohibition in America.

As usual, the proper answer is less regulation, not more. The same applies to firearm sales.

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