Monday, June 28, 2010

Do you honestly believe?

In the concept of freedom, I mean? Far too often, I see people on both sides of the aisle claim to be upset about losing their rights and freedoms.

Within the ranks of the "right", you hear them talk about how they're losing their gun rights and their right to make personal decisions about their health care. On the "left", they rail about losing their other essential civil liberties. All the while, neither "team" seems to care about the other, they're far too interested in winning their little games on capitol hill to secure their "rights".

Well, I've got a piece of news, son. If you're worried about a handgun ban, but think anyone caught a pound of weed should be thrown in jail to rot for the rest of his life, you either don't really give a rat's ass about freedom or you simply misunderstand it. The same holds true if you're concerned about having your emails read by government snoops, but think our government has the right to tax the ever-living hell out of a working man to pay for "universal health care".

Granted, you don't really need to smoke pot to get through daily life, nor do you honestly need a handgun to defend your home...the city of Chicago (currently under an unconstitutional all-out ban on handguns) allows a shotgun in a person's home, which is actually better suited to that purpose anyway. Just as any teenager with $50 can find an ounce of weed in Texas RIGHT NOW, any gangbanger in the Windy City can find a stolen Glock for sale. You aren't stopping the criminals from getting either, but you are creating a situation where those who would harm no one by possessing a 9mm or a joint are criminalized for this act.

Bans on dope, as well as "assault weapons", are supported because of what someone MIGHT do with it. A dopehead (of any sort) may rob, steal, or kill to get his dope. Yes, like it or not, I've even seen potheads steal to get pot...however, these were the type that were unlikely to be working a real job to begin with. Just wanted to clear that up, in case ignorant people think pot is somehow "addictive", and smokers will kill to get it. However, over 3/4 of Americans aged 12 and up used an illegal substance at some point last year, either recreationally or habitually. 3/4 of Americans aged 12 and up weren't out committing felonies to feed their heads.

Anyhow, the banning of firearms is also supported by people for the same reason. Owning one makes it more easy to go on a "shooting spree" if he has a gun, as opposed to a bow and arrow...or just a sharp pointed stick. However, even when one considers that guns are quite often the "weapon of choice" for murder in this country, there are two important facts to consider. One is that often, the number of rounds in the magazine of a typical "assault" rifle far exceeds the number of victims (in more than 95% of all murders in America, there is only one "victim"). The other is the fact that, in the majority of murders, the killer and victim actually know each other well enough that a firearm isn't a necessity.

Yet, the same people who think that we need to ban drugs in this country often seem to think we should be allowed to own full-auto machine guns mounted on the roofs of our SUVs if we can afford to buy them. Many of the same people who think we need to ban firearms because of what someone "might" do with them, are the same people who think we should be allowed to walk down a crowded street while blazing a joint.

Personally, I think we should be allowed to do BOTH of these things (albeit in the interest of ones' own safety, as well as the safety of others, we should probably refrain from doing both at the same time!), provided we can afford to do them and choose to do them, while punishing people who commit actual crimes against actual non-consensual victims.

Really? Did I just say that? Potsmokers should be allowed to own machine guns? ABSOLUTELY! More importantly, ordinary Americans should be allowed to possess anything they can safely keep without endangering the lives of others by simply owning it or using it responsibly. While I'm not opposed to checking ID (to ensure that one is not a convicted violent felon prior to the purchase of a firearm, or that one is under the age of legal majority prior to purchasing dope), I think both of these items should be for sale by anyone wishing to do so.

Murder, theft, and robbery are against the law, regardless of the motive or the tools used to commit it. It doesn't matter if you steal a television simply because yours broke, or because you need to pawn it to feed your crack still stole a damned television. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you kill someone with a high-capacity "assault" rifle, or kill your cheating husband with the family Mercedes (like my dentist did!)'ve still murdered someone.

If you're going to preach about your rights, do us all a favor and be a bit more consistent with it. Freedom...either you have it, or you don't. If you're worried about banning something because of what someone MIGHT do, as opposed to punishing someone for something that they actually HAVE done to someone else, you don't really give a damn about freedom.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A bit of anger toward our government...

Yes, I'm rather upset about our government right now. Big shocker, huh? Anyhow, this is my latest bitch with these United States, and it involves the use of our National Guard.

I just read an article today that infuriated me. Since long before my lifetime, the US military has been known as the most bad-ass armed force in the known world. For decades, our government has offered specialized training to members of the armed forces of our political allies so that they may help to further our foreign policy directives militarily.

One of these nations was Mexico. We have trained several members of their army, with the official story being that it was so they could properly help us fight a war against a bumper-sticker idea known as drug trafficking. After we trained these people, they went back to Mexico and used what they learned to train others in the Mexican military.

As if you weren't having your rights eroded away fast enough, the current administration has consistently been looking for a way to not only reinstate the "Assault Weapons Ban" (that piece of legislation that would effectively make it illegal to purchase the majority of the firearms in my home) because 90% of the "traceable" guns used in Mexican drug cartel crime are traced back to American buyers, but they also want to make it PERMANENT. In effort to further this, our beloved Secretary of Statism Hillary R. Clinton has signed a UN treaty aimed at stopping "illicit small-arms traffic".

What they aren't telling you (but I have, in my previous postings on this very blog!) is the fact that their "90%" figure is total crap. That's the number of "traceable" weapons confiscated by Mexican officials...traceable by the US government. It does not include the following:
A) Weapons without serial numbers.
B) Weapons never registered in this nation.
C) Weapons sold to the Mexican government by the US government.
The overwhelming majority of weapons used by drug cartels are NOT your standard "gun show" or "sporting goods store" rifles purchased over-the-counter in America. They are full-auto firearms imported from the governments of Venezuela, China, and the United States. You cannot buy an M16 at a gun show, period, because doing so requires hundreds of dollars worth of tax stamps and government paperwork. You cannot own a grenade, period. However, my hunting rifles are somehow contributing to the violence associated with the Mexican drug cartels.

Anyhow, I digress. The real reason I am nine kinds of pissed off right now concerning Mexico is the fact that our government is absolutely REFUSING to do a damned thing about the drug cartel violence spilling over into America. The United States has four different branches of its military available for use during foreign conflicts, and three branches available for use in domestic operations.

In this discussion, the applicable branch would be our National Guard. In Arizona, the US government has essentially allowed an invasion of Mexican drug cartels to take over three border-area counties. Not simply Mexican immigrants coming to America to work or do whatever they do, but armed gangs of drug smugglers.

If this is not a justifiable reason to have troops on the ground right here in America, I'm not absolutely certain what is. Unfortunately, Obama&Co have surrendered these areas of Arizona...all the while, National Guard units are still being shot at in another desert on the other side of the world, for the sake of "staying the course" in another war against another bumpersticker slogan called "Terror".

Many would like to blame this on American citizens providing a profit motive for the cartels by continuing to smoke/snort/inject meth/coke/smack, but I cannot justifiably lend any credence to this explanation. I cannot rightfully blame this situation on people exercising their God-given right to lead their own lives as they see fit, simply because the government has decided that it is illegal...especially when our government's prohibition is the only thing providing a profit motive large enough to engage in this kind of violence. History has shown that a market free from excessive regulation will allow entrepreneurs to set up shop peacefully, just as they did with drugs prior to prohibition of drugs. History has also shown, during alcohol prohibition, that government prohibition will not stop the trade; rather, it will only stop the PEACEFUL trade while simultaneously providing organized criminal organizations the opportunity to make a profit and protect this profit with violence. When you outlaw the sale of dope, only outlaws will sell dope...but it will still be sold!

So, you can blame this mess in Arizona on "crackheads and wetbacks", but only if you refuse to open your eyes and take a long hard look at reality. The hard reality of the situation is the fact that a large chunk of our country has been essentially taken over by Mexican drug cartels, and the following reasons are directly responsible:
A) America still engages in domestic policies requiring the outright prohibition of cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.
B) America still engages in foreign policies requiring the branches of our military directly responsible for guarding our nation (I.E. the "National Guard"'d think the name would give it away?) being in far-off corners of the world.

As I've said before, you could have a military outpost for every 20 miles of our international borders. That's "borders", plural, with an "S". You could have this, if our government would simply close down half of our completely unneeded overseas military bases. Let's do the math and see what happens when you put only 200 people at each installation...

There are 672 hours in every 28 day (four week) period. Divided into twelve hour shifts (just like process operators at Dow Chemical), you now have 56 shifts every 28 days. If you have a man working seven days on and seven days off, you need four men to make this run around the clock. It will require 80 men to secure our borders, per outpost, to put one man per mile on our border if we have an outpost every 20 miles...leaving the other 120 people to work as support staff (administration, motor pool, medical, et cetera). And, keep in mind, this is with only 200 men per outpost. Imagine if we had as many people as our foreign outposts currently have? Now, think about the logistical ease we would have, having our outposts spread out every 20 miles, as opposed to spread across the world. That's a whole lot of money!

Now, keep in mind, this would require closing only HALF of America's overseas bases...