Bloomberg not quick enough draw on social media

Safety FirstFormer New York mayor and anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg recently dropped another $50 million on the creation of a new so-called “grass-roots campaign” to supposedly curb gun violence, named “Everytown for Gun Safety”.  Bloomberg’s immediate job is to market the new gun-grabbing group and create a stir to elicit support.

Unfortunately for the rich and shrewd businessman, he failed to secure the Facebook name before announcing the effort.

A quick-to-the-draw Facebook user jumped on the opportunity and registered the name, using it instead as a group to support the second amendment’s gun protections and gun safety, telling BuzzFeed “I took the Bloomberg name because I wanted this page to remain open to debate, unlike his group at Moms Demand Action that block anyone with alternative views.”

Gun owners are getting a bad rep nation wide from their anti gun propaganda. As to who I am, I am your average citizen that believes the second amendment ‘shall not be infringed.’”


After knife attack, the gun debate miraculously continues

By now, most are aware of the stabbing that took place in a Pennsylvania school that sent 20 people to the hospital.  Wasting no time, anti-gun activists took the rest of the day off of work and quickly hopped onto web sites to express their joy that the 16-year old perpetrator of this crime didn’t have a gun.  After all – they argue – a gun would have turned 20 injuries into 20 or 30 deaths.

Putting the mindless insanity of relying on clumsy assumptions aside, what most people are missing in this discussion is a far more important question.  The weapon used in the attack is not the issue.  The issue is that of prevention.  How do we, as a society, prevent people from unleashing violence and havoc amongst a group of completely helpless people?

First, the issue of gun-free zones reemerges once again.  Of course, nobody in that school – for the exception of a school police officer – was allowed to carry a knife or gun, so the knife-wielding child has free reign over other helpless students until the officer arrived on the scene and took the 16-year old down.  Sadly, this school was lucky to have an armed police officer in the school.  Most schools are not as fortunate.

Second, what if this school – and all schools – had well-trained administrators who carry firearms inside the school?  20 people were knifed, some with life-threatening injuries.  How many fewer victims would there be if this school had trained marksmen working in the school?

People seem relieved that a gun was not used, completely ignoring the larger question of what makes schools safe.  Do written policies prevent knives and guns from being brought into school zones?  No.  Do signs posted outside of schools (and office buildings) prevent mass tragedies?  Again, of course not.

Do jewelry stores get robbed when armed guards are stationed by the door?  Not too often, and there is a reason for that.  Jewelry stores take visible precautions against the would-be criminal.

Schools and businesses tape signs up on windows and create written policies.

Which method do you trust more?


Sophisticated drug tunnels found in desert

Drug Tunnel found in 2012Reuters is reporting that the San Diego Tunnel Task Force has found two different sophisticated drug smuggling tunnels in the desert between Mexico and a warehouse facility in San Diego, complete with ventilation systems and railways.

Enabled by our War on Drugs, well-designed tunnel systems that travel underneath the U.S./Mexican border enable the transport of large quantities of drugs between countries.  Tunnels usually connect with innocuous-looking buildings to avoid unwanted suspicion.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said of the incident that “going underground is not a good business plan”.  In actuality, going underground is the only business plan to avoid the expensive and ineffective drug enforcement laws instituted within the United States.

The report said that in the past eight years, the feds have uncovered at least 80 different cross-border smuggling tunnels – California and Arizona serving as the more popular entrance points into the country.  This, of course, only scratches the surface of the true physical network of drug-enabling systems into the U.S.

For every tunnel found, dozens more exist.  How much money does it cost to plan and execute surveillance programs that seek to uncover drug tunnels?  When virtually any middle-school aged student can get their hands on drugs, we must ask ourselves: is it worth it?

Is it worth it?

NYC police ticket man for running “too early”

In further evidence that the police state is alive and well in the United States, New York City police ticketed New York City jogger and resident Peter Shankman for the dangerous crime of jogging through New York’s Central Park when it was “closed”.

Mr. Shankman was training for an Iron Man competition when police stopped him at 4:30am Thursday and issued him a citation because, according to city police, the park opens at 6am – making jogging through the park at 4:30 to be illegal.

Shankman wrote on his Facebook page:

At 4:30 this morning in Central Park, at mile 2 of my ten mile run, I was stopped by the police and given a summons for exercising in the park “before it opened.” Apparently, Central Park doesn’t “open” until 6am, and my exercising (running) in the park before 6am is illegal. Note – Running in the park. Not “performing sex acts for crack,” or “laying down explosive charges,” but “running.” Because apparently, a 215 pound man running through Central Park at just over a 9:10 pace is a threat to Manhattan.

To answer the question of why I was running so early – I needed to do ten miles today as part of Ironman training. If I didn’t start that early, I wouldn’t be done before my first meeting of the day.

Apparently, police in New York City are looking for things to do at 4:30 in the morning.  No murders, hijackings, thefts or violence was taking place early that morning, leaving Shankman and other joggers brazen enough to be seen jogging through a closed Central Park to be ripe for a ticket.

Enjoy your freedom and liberty…while you still have it.

TX judge strikes down gay marriage ban

Federal Judge Orlando Garcia in the deeply-conservative state of Texas has ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, arguing the ban as no “legitimate governmental purpose” and demeans their dignity.  Judge Garcia has stayed his decision until it makes its way through the lengthy and expensive appeals process.

“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” Garcia wrote in his decision.  “These Texas laws deny plaintiffs access to the institution of marriage and its numerous rights, privileges, and responsibilities for the sole reason that Plaintiffs wish to be married to a person of the same sex.”

Texas is the latest in a growing list of states that have finally decided to embrace true freedom and remove arbitrary and nonsensical bans on certain marriages.  Judges in Utah, Virginia and Oklahoma have ruled similarly, all decisions that await legal appeals.  The Supreme Court will likely be the deciding factor.

Read more from the Houston Chronical:

AZ bill did not give businesses a license to discriminate

Arizona Gay RightsAlthough Arizona Governor Jan Brewer eventually vetoed the hotly-contested bill that would have given businesses the right to use “religious freedom” in a court of law, the bill was completely misrepresented as legislation that would legalize discrimination.

The media’s attempt at improving their ratings by stirring up maximum controversy worked, and worked well.  The legislation was widely referred to as the “anti-gay” bill, described as a piece of legislation that would essentially give businesses a license to discriminate against homosexuals.

Naturally, instead of reading the actual text of the bill, emotionally-charged people jumped on-board the media bandwagon and began fighting against a bill that was entirely misunderstood – at best, and intentionally misrepresented – at worst.

This bill did not legalize discrimination.  In truth, the bill was much more simple and instituted very little actual change to discrimination lawsuits in the state.

Arizona law allows certain religious institutions to claim “religious freedom” as a legal defense in a court of law.   AZ 1062 would have expanded the use of “religious freedom” to include individuals and businesses – or any legal entity recognized by the state of Arizona.  This bill would have equalized legal religious protections.

Removing the emotional element from the debate, this bill was in no way “anti-gay”.  If Governor Brewer signed the bill into law, businesses could still get sued.  The new law would allow them to legally use the  “religious freedom” defense, but the decision remains in the hands of the jury.  Guilty verdicts remain very possible.

Like our tax system, loopholes exist today in current discrimination law that already allow any business to discriminate against any person, for any reason.  However, regardless of established law, discrimination lawsuits are expensive and rare.  No business wants to spend months fighting off discrimination lawsuits with high-priced attorneys and negative publicity.

Discrimination is bad for business.

This was a hotly-contested, politically-polarizing, completely and utterly meaningless piece of legislation that successfully got people’s attention for, honestly, no good reason.

The law did not give businesses a license to discriminate. Businesses could still get sued. Businesses would still need to spend resources for defense attorneys in court. This law MAY have given the business a slightly better shot at winning, but the money it takes for a business to fight off discrimination lawsuits remains steep.  AZ 1062 would have removed none of that, and regardless of the legal outcome, businesses never truly “win” a discrimination lawsuit.  The free market ultimately wins that decision.

Law or no law, no business wants to get sued, period.

Colorado, Utah consider smoking age hike

Cigarette and TobaccoAccording to the Associated Press, the big government western states of Colorado and Utah – both among the nation’s lowest in smoking rates – are considering legislation that would hike the legal smoking age up to 21.

In the absence of evidence, proponents of the age hike argue that a smoker’s initial addiction to tobacco typically happens as teenagers, and thus, raising the smoking age to 21 would put another three years of distance between them and an addiction to tobacco.

Embracing the idea that government knows best, Colorado Republican Cheri Gerou believes that the new law would make it tougher for teenagers to get their hands on cigarettes – ignoring completely the ability for these same teenagers to obtain drugs, already illegal for most of the population outside of medicinal purposes.

“What I’m hoping to do is make it harder for kids to obtain cigarettes,” she said.

The numbers, however, fail to provide any evidence to support this assumption.  The CDC’s own numbers clearly indicate that tobacco use is already quite high among our nation’s youth.  Nearly 30% of high school students use tobacco products.  Close to 20% smoke cigarettes.  Worse, 9 out of 10 smokers began smoking before the age of 21.

Why, then, would increasing the smoking age to 21 prevent tobacco use when virtually every middle-school aged child in America already has access to tobacco?  It is not the government’s job to ignore facts and install bigger and more intrusive government.

The law has several more votes to go, but both Colorado and Utah are farther down the road than any other state in an attempt to further restrict the natural freedoms of its people to use tobacco.