Monday, April 8th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues
When you are in the minority in the Senate, there is one thing you can do to stop unconstitutional legislation from getting started. You filibuster the motion to proceed with debate. We are all painfully aware that once the amendment process gets rolling, too many GOP senators are enticed into cutting a deal. Momentum builds for passage of the underlying bill, and Republicans feel the pressure to merely ameliorate the bill instead of killing it. That is what happened with Obamacare. That is what is about to take place with the gun control bill.
As early as this Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to bring the most sweeping gun control bill to the Senate floor since the ‘90s. The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a slew of gun control measures in short order without bothering to submit a committee report. Reid, with the help of Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy, has combined many aspects of those bills into one single bill – S.649, which is given the Orwellian name “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013.” Reid will attempt to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed early this week.
Republicans must pledge to block it from the floor and use every dilatory tactic to ensure that the train never gets rolling. Senators Cruz, Rubio, Rand Paul, Lee, Inhofe, Crapo, Moran, Burr, Johnson of Wisconsin, Enzi, Risch , Crapo, Coats, and Roberts have already pledged to filibuster the motion to proceed. We need 29 more commitments, including a willingness on the part of the Mitch McConnell to lead from the front on this issue.
Yesterday, the Maryland state legislature voted to infringe upon my Second Amendment rights. In a state already riddled with violent crime despite (or rather because of) some of the strictest gun laws, law-abiding citizens have no recourse. Under the new law, hundreds of guns would be banned, high capacity magazines would be prohibited, all gun owners would have to submit to finger printing, and state police would have wide latitude in auditing gun dealers.
This is a state that has granted in-state tuition rights to illegal aliens. This is a state with some of the loosest criminal justice laws. Yet a peaceful American citizen cannot live in this state, protect himself, start a business or support himself without Soviet style laws. And there is nothing we can do about it. If Moses himself were to run for Governor as a Republican and Satan as the Democrat, Satan would win. There is a supermajority of people in this state who will vote for these malcontents unconditionally. Some counties that voted overwhelmingly Republican just 20 years ago now vote 60% Democrat, due to demographic changes.
This is exactly what the Constitution was supposed to prevent. This is exactly why popular elections are not a sufficient means of preserving liberty. This is pure democracy.
A pure unbridled democracy is a political system in which the majority enjoys absolute power by means of democratic elections. In an unvarnished democracy, unrestrained by a constitution, the majority can vote to impose tyranny on themselves and the minority opposition. They can vote to elect those who will infringe upon our inalienable God-given rights. Thomas Jefferson referred to this as elected despotism in Notes on the State of Virginia (also cited in Federalist 48 by Madison):
Conservatives must remember that although we have focused as a movement on budgetary issues and profligate spending, we are under assault on a number of other fronts. I have noticed that there are a number of conservative in Congress who don’t care or know much about issues not directly related to the budget. That is especially true on the issue of immigration. The irony is that amnesty for illegal aliens and boundless low-skilled immigration will break our budget quicker than any other policy initiative. Yet, many conservatives in the House are either indifferent or downright supportive of some of the amnesty proposals percolating through congress. We have certainly seen this with some social issues as well.
Over the next few weeks, the focus in Congress will shift from the debt to issues to guns and illegal immigration. We must stay engaged in all issues that relate to our liberties and sovereignty as a nation. While some Tea Party and libertarian organizations have sat on the fence on some “non-economic” issues, the Heritage Foundation has continued to fight for all three legs of the Reagan stool. If you read nothing else today on the web, I encourage you to take a look at two articles from Heritage’s Vice President, David Addington. The first one, on immigration, cuts to the core of the duplicitous language that GOP and Democrats supporters of amnesty have been advancing:
Thursday, March 14th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News
If Ted Cruz keeps this up in the Senate, Democrats might try to impose gun control on his Cruz missile strikes. Earlier today at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns, Ted Cruz directly challenges Dianne Feinstein to answer how her gun bans are constitutional if the same language protecting the right to bear arms (“the right of the people”) is used for the First and Fourth Amendments, which presumably, nobody would try to limit in the same way. Of course, she had no answer, except to act like a pugnacious school child.
It’s probably not a good idea for Senator Feinstein to argue with the man who represented the states in the Heller case on the ramifications of the decision. Yet, this is someone who believes that its the job of a senator to legislate, irrespective of the constitutionality of the law.
Indeed it is a new day in the Senate with Ted Cruz. And there are an awful lot of Democrats that are not happy with the paradigm shift.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News
We’ve noted many times that issue polling (unlike election polling) is worthless. It’s garbage in, garbage out. The poll is only a reflection of the way the question is asked, the choices that are offered, and the context or background that is provided. Depending on how you ask a question, you could probably get 75-80% support for almost any issue. Today’s Rasmussen poll on gun control is a perfect example.
When asked whether we “need stricter gun control laws,” a slim plurality (50-45) said yes. This sounds like a choice that supports more law and order. Yet, when asked whether stricter gun laws would reduce violence, only 32% answered in the affirmative. So what gives? Why do the other 18% believe in stricter gun laws if they admit those laws won’t fulfill their primary objective? There is no answer to this question. It all depends on how you present the issue.
Friday, February 8th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues
We really need to make Republican members of Congress sign a pledge that they will not engage in gang violence against the party. This secretive bipartisan gang work is getting out of hand.
While working on ways to stop the hemorrhaging in our party from the Schumer/Rubio amnesty gang, I discovered today that Senator Coburn is working with a Democrat gang to advance a universal background check law. To my knowledge, this news came as a surprise to his fellow conservatives in the Senate as well. Who is he working with? Among others, Chuck Schumer! What in the world does Chuck Schumer have over the heads of senators from some of the most conservative states?
In recent years, individual Republican members have embarked on a Benedict Arnold approach to legislating by granting cover for squishy Republicans and red state Democrats to support bills that would otherwise never pass. Instead of working openly with fellow conservatives to draft a statement of principles on the issue at hand, these ‘gangsters’ work in secret with the most liberal members to chart a path for 60 members to pass bad legislation. All too often, these members back away at the last moment and vote against the proposal, something I’m sure Marco Rubio will eventually do with the amnesty bill, but not after the damage had already been done.
What on earth would impel Senator Coburn to give cover for red state Democrats to pass broader unconstitutional gun bills? This year we have a unique dynamic in which there are a record number of Democrats who stand for reelection in states that oppose gun control (and almost everything else on the Obama/Reid agenda). These Democrats cannot be caught dead voting for an “assault weapons” ban. Yet, by giving them an opening to sign onto a more mellifluous-sounding proposal like universal background checks, they will have the cover to oppose the other harsher amendments, while signing the fate of the final bill.
Friday, February 8th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues
It sure seems like it’s hard to come across ammo these days. Whenever I call up the store and ask if they got in a new shipment of ammo, they all say “you better come quick, it will be gone in 15 minutes.” Why is there such a strain on supply?
Undoubtedly, many civilians are running out to stock up on firearms and ammo ahead of any new legislative gun-grabbing measures that might pass on a federal or state level. But the 800-pound gorilla in the field is actually the federal government. And we are not just talking about military contracts. As The Blaze reports, DHS is buying up a ton of ammo these days:
On a semi-private website is a solicitation by the Department of Homeland Security for a total of 26.1 million rounds of ammunition, which it is seeking to purchase from a small business. Although this might seem like a lot, sources tell us it is not out of the ordinary.
Hmmm..federal domestic law enforcement agencies have been stocking up over the past two years. I’m wondering why they need so much ammo. Maybe we should start setting quotas on how much they can purchase.
Meanwhile, yet another secretive “gang” of senators is convening in an effort to hash out a universal background check for gun purchases – another attempt to create a national registry, which will give rogue organizations like the ATF power to monitor law-abiding gun owners. Senators Schumer, Manchin, Kirk, and Coburn are working in secret to negotiate a bipartisan agreement. This is yet one more example of Joe Manchin betraying his constituents and one more example of Tom Coburn sacrificing his values for the sake of working across the aisle. Why don’t we ever find Democrats working with Republicans to push conservative ideas?
Thursday, January 31st, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues
At yesterday’s Senate hearing on gun control, Ted Cruz once again stood out as an articulate voice for commonsense. After declaring the Senate to be a “fact-free zone,” he went on to destroy the myth that there is a consequential difference between an “assault weapon” and a regular semi-automatic rifle. You can watch him in action for the first 3.5 minutes of the clip.
Beginning at the 3:45 mark, Cruz finally confronts gun-grabbers with a question they can never answer. He asked Baltimore Police Chief Jim Johnson why states like Texas have a low homicide rate, even in urban areas, while gun-grabbing cities like DC, Chicago and Illinois are like warzones. Of course, he dodged the question and retorted with non-sequiturs and red herrings:
What an incoherent fool! I think he is suggesting that the homicide rates are not solid evidence of the number of shootings because of the modern medical care that saves people’s lives. If Baltimore and every other utopian blue city lacked the hospitals that places like Austin, Texas enjoy, he would have a point. But to my knowledge, every major urban area has good hospitals, and that is actually one positive thing about the city of Baltimore. The arguments to promote tyranny just get kookier by the day.
I’m from the city of Baltimore, and had to put up with the consequences of a failed city reminiscent of the third world. The prevalence of violent crime, among the other inherent vices of a blue utopia governed exclusively by leftists for a century, has chased out almost half the population. Baltimore is considered a major city, yet its population has dipped to 600,000 – less than some other cities that were considered small towns just a few years ago.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, Issues
Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have reached a final deal to limit the filibuster, block individual members from offering amendments, and eliminate the ability of back-benchers to block conference committees. The end result will be less power for individual senators and more power for Reid to parachute in unsavory policies into must-pass bills with little recourse to stop them.
You’re going to hear garrulous claims about the need to unfreeze the Senate from its state of gridlock over the next few days. You’re going to see a lot of reports about Reid caving on his plans to stop the out of control Republican filibusters. But none of the media reports will provide the proper context for this debate. Republicans are not the ones who have shut down the Senate, and the Reid/McConnell plan is not a capitulation from Reid. It rewards him for his bad behavior, and is not something we should support.
The Senate was deliberately structured to slow down bills. Much to the consternation of the modern day liberal, the Founders actually did not want government to do too many things. Unlike in the House where the Rules Committee controls the entire floor debate on behalf of the majority party, the Senate vests each individual senator – both from the majority and minority – the right to offer amendments to any bill. Harry Reid has vitiated that practice by blocking the amendment process on every bill, in order to shield his members from embarrassing votes.
He has also brought up a number of bills that have not even gone through the committee process. He proceeds to file cloture immediately on a major controversial bill that has not gone through regular order. In that sense, it’s not that Republicans are automatically filibustering the motion to proceed on every bill that comes up through regular order; it’s that Reid is preemptively filing cloture as a means of bringing up legislation like the House. To that end, the only recourse for Republicans was to filibuster the motion to proceed with debate, as a means of forcing him to allow amendments to go through.
According to my sources in the Senate, this is how Reid plans to proceed. He is splitting up his four reforms into two resolutions; one requiring 60 votes to pass and the other 67 votes.
First he will offer a rules change that would need 60 votes to get over a filibuster of the rules change because it has been drafted up as a “standing order.” The Senate’s rules can be changed with a simple majority, yet to shut down debate on a rules change itself the Senate would need 67 votes. With a standing order, you only need 60 votes to shut off a filibuster because it only applies for this Congress or the next two years. So with 55 Democrats in place Reid only needs 5 Republicans to support his filibuster “reforms.”
Monday, December 17th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, News
Here is yet another statistic that runs contrary to the media narrative that is being propagated throughout the country, courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales.
The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011. When state population increases are factored in, gun purchases per 100,000 Virginians rose 63 percent.
But the total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped more than 27 percent, from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 crimes in 2011.
The numbers appear to contradict a long-running popular narrative that more guns cause more violent crime, said Virginia Commonwealth University professor Thomas R. Baker, who compared Virginia crime data for those years with gun-dealer sales estimates obtained by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Look, in light of the massacre in Newtown, CT, there’s no point in making sense of the senseless. There will be evil perpetrated in this world that is so unfathomable, yet we are so helpless in stopping it. We could attempt to lock up all guns, we could attempt to lock up all mentally ill, but it will not stop every last act of evil in a country of 310 million. So when the media interjects itself into personal tragedy by peddling a political agenda to attack guns, they should also report the exculpatory evidence, which proves that crime has dramatically declined over the past two decades even as gun laws (or possibly because of) have been loosened.