Category Archives: War on (some) drugs

BradyWatch: Ban it all I say!

Ever since I’ve gotten involved in the movement, I’ve believed that gun rights is an excellent Libertarian litmus test. Not a Democratic or Republican one, mind you, because you can find plenty of folks from both political parties who like guns. No, I’m talking about statism vs liberty. Because the only real way to restrict guns is to embark down a dark path that treads dangerously close to permitting government restriction of anything at all.

The Brady Campaign’s Dennis Henigan illustrates this perfectly. He’s calm and measured, but under that mask lurks a dangerous seed of reverence for absolute government power. Don’t believe me? Read it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Defending our Constitution means defending its specific grant of power to Congress to “regulate Commerce . . . among the several states” and to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper” for executing that power. It also means defending the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, by which federal law “shall be the supreme Law of the Land . . . .” Can there be any more direct expression of contempt for the Supremacy Clause than the premise of the “Firearms Freedom” statutes that individual states have the authority to determine for themselves the extent of federal power?

[…]

There is little doubt that the federal courts will make mincemeat of these “Firearms Freedom” laws. The first ruling came down last week, as a federal magistrate judge in Montana struck down that state’s law. Agreeing with the Brady Center’s brief, the judge found the law flatly unconstitutional under decades-old Supreme Court precedent recognizing federal authority to regulate entirely intrastate activity if exempting that activity would undercut federal regulation of interstate activity. As recently as 2005, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court reaffirmed this precedent by recognizing federal power to prohibit the purely local production and medical use of marijuana authorized by state law.

Observe the approval with which he notes that the federal government has used its power to render unlawful the growing and medical consumption of marijuana — acts that are neither interstate nor commercial.

Dennis Henigan is the type of man who, should he succeed in eliminating guns, will go after knives. And toy guns. And bludgeons. And who knows, maybe violent movies next. Perhaps alcohol after that. We already know he’s okay with the federal government having the power to ban anything it wishes, so who knows what’s next?

What a scary man.

Don’t hide behind your car and do more failure drills

PDB has a fascinating report of an after-action report taken from a recent drug cartel shootout. Here’s a PDF version of the scribd document linked to there.

BradyWatch: culture and circumstances don’t matter; guns are the cause of all problems in the world, really!

I just don’t get it. The Brady Campaign’s Dennis Henigan is once again beating the assault weapons ban drum following the whole Mexican gun canard coming up again. Unlike Paul Helmke, though, I get the sense that Henigan is a more measured, rational man, and I sense great intelligence in his posts. So why can’t he tell that the assault weapons ban is a sham? And wasn’t he listening when these very same claims were debunked last year?

I mean, a ten year-old would be able to figure it out; the issues involved are actually really simple and straightforward. People talk about these “high-powered, high-caliber” guns and imply that they are especially suitable for long-range murder or indiscriminate slaughter, and are more akin to machine guns than hunting rifles.

I’ve gone over these claims before, but I’ll do it again because I’m a firm believer in the power of knowledge and education to banish falsehood and fear. Anyway, there are a number of problems with these specious arguments, because the assault weapons ban…

  1. …did not mention caliber and thus did not ban the most powerful weapons, such as those used for hunting.
  2. …did not mention scopes or sights and thus did not ban the guns with the capability for long-range precision shooting, such as those used for hunting.
  3. …banned guns based on cosmetic and ergonomic features, not their internal mechanisms or how rapidly they can fire. A semiautomatic weapon with a pistol grip and a flash hider would be illegal and banned, while the same gun without those features would be just fine.
  4. …did not mention machine guns at all and thus had no effect on their legal status.

This video illustrates just how simple the issue really is:

You can see pretty clearly that guns branded “assault weapons” receive that moniker because of their menacing appearance, not any actual difference in operational characteristics.

And then there’s one final ridiculous claim:

President Calderon told Congress that Mexico has seized 75,000 assault weapons and other guns and over 80% of those traced originated with American gun shops. He said the escalation in Mexican drug violence “coincides with the lifting of the assault weapons ban in 2004,”

You’ll notice he says “80% of those traced” and not “80% of all guns recovered”. The truth is that only a fraction of guns were ever submitted to the ATF for tracing at all, because most were obviously not from the U.S; when Mexican police confiscate a gun with Mexican markings or Spanish written on it, or a fully-automatic assault rifle that’s the standard armament of the Mexican military, there’s no need to ask the ATF where it came from because the answer is totally obvious.

Is Henigan really trying to convince us that an upward tick in drug gang violence in Mexico is because of the ability of Americans to legally put pistol grips and flash hiders on their semiautomatic rifles at the same time? Might it instead be due to powerful cultural and legal issues in Mexico relating to corruption, poverty, and diplomatic pressure, or Philippe Calderon trying to prove his muscle after a contested election by escalating the battle against drug trafficking? Nah. It has to be guns. Booga booga!

This sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen in a free country

Dunno how I missed posting this. A SWAT team raids a family on suspicion of marijuana possession. Shoots the dogs in front of the 7 year-old son. Points guns at the wife. Tears the family apart. Finds a bit of dope they can’t charge the husband with because the town has decriminalized it, so they fine him $300 for possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Child endangerment! After they’ve burst in and put bullets in the family dog.

But the stupidest thing of all? The cops filmed themselves doing it. The video will make your blood boil.

Say no to drugs? Yes, but also say no to the war on ’em.