President Obama and the Law of Unintended Consequences

In the wake of various high-profile mass shootings–the Aurora, CO theater, the Oregon Mall, Sandy Hook, and the assault on the New York firemen–President Obama has sought to impose a “meaningful ban on assault weapons”, ostensibly to keep them off the street.

If that were his true intention, he has already failed miserably. Over the past month, there has been an absolute run on semiautomatic rifles above .22LR caliber. This has only guaranteed that more of those rifles are now in civilians hands. In fact, many people who would have never considered owning a semiautomatic rifle are now proud owners of AR-15s, AK-47s, or other variants of rifles that fire those calibers. And the prices for the ammunition–especially .223 caliber–are now running at about a dollar per round.

(NOTE: I have no gripe with civilians buying said firearms; in fact, I welcome it. Will some of those folks be bad guys with malevolent intentions? Probably. Almost all, however, are seeking to protect themselves from a government that has shown to be less-than-trustworthy, or perhaps a potential breakdown of local government.)

There also seems to be a very significant number of folks–including women–seeking concealed carry licenses. Last Saturday, MrsLarijani took a concealed carry class. Every student in the class was female.

At any rate, had Obama simply kept his mouth shut and left gun rights alone, you’d have an order of magnitude fewer assault rifles on the street today.

Bumpy Ride Ahead

I’m not a Spring chicken; I’ll be 46 in less than 2 weeks. But I never thought I’d live to see the day where our White House is on the verge of launching the worst attack on American freedoms since the Wilson Administration.

I was born during the Vietnam era. While that was not a war for my generation, I probably would have found myself opposing the war while having nothing to do with the nutjobs who screamed, “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh!” and spat on our troops. The problem was not our troops–who were fighting a war for which they did not ask–but rather the policy wonks and their Commander-in-Chief.

Still, for all of the faults of JFK, LBJ, and even Nixon, Ford, and Carter, none of them had an interest in assaulting the firearm rights of Americans in the manner that the current President seeks to do. (The Gun Control Act of 1968, travesty that it was, pales in comparison to what Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has on the table, let alone the threats of gun-control-by-executive-order by our Vice President on behalf of his boss.)

I was in 8th grade when President Reagan was shot. I remember his recovery, and watching the speech he made to the joint session of Congress in his return. He could have used his own shooting as a perch to attack “gun violence” and demand more gun control. But he didn’t: he lauded the Secret Service agents who performed valiantly; he lauded the physicians who treated him; he read some of the well-wishes from children; he empathized with the family of James Brady.

In short, Reagan kept his eye on the ball, and cooler heads prevailed. In fact, five years later, he would sign the Firearm Owner Protection Act of 1986, which–in spite of the restrictions on production of machine guns for civilian use–provided badly-needed protections for Citizens who were having their rights attacked by government at all levels. (I mean seriously: before FOPA, duck hunters were being prosecuted for simply driving through the wrong counties. And the ATF’s abuses were so bad that even the DEMOCRATS were recoiling in horror.)

My point: back then, we had a President who kept things in perspective, sought to keep government out of our business, and promoted the best of America. He didn’t do everything right, but he had a grasp of what was really important. AS a result, we were a better country in 1989 than we were in 1981. THAT is how the Cold War was won.

But Obama is literally destroying this country with his threat of gun bans. I’ve never seen things this bad across the board. Every gun store is sold out of semiautomatic rifles, something I’ve never seen in my lifetime. He is taking recent tragedies and using them to promote a fascist, totalitarian agenda that has disaster written all over it. While the left will complain, “Oh come now, government will never try to confiscate guns,” one has reason not to trust them. After all, the Department for Homeland Security has enough ammo to supply every employee of said agency with over 2,000 rounds of .223 ammunition. And we have no idea who is on the “terrorist watch list.” Moreover, we have government entities who have sought to classify everyone from NRA members to Ron Paul supporters as potential “domestic terrorists”.

Against the backdrop of a government that seeks to regulate what you put in your mouth, I’d say that is plenty good reason not to trust government.

What angers me though is not Obama: he is doing exactly what I expected he would do. Nor is it Feinstein: she is doing exactly what I expeted she would do. We all know where Obama, Bloomberg, Feinstein, Schumer, and all their lackeys stand.

No…what makes my blood boil is the inaction by Republican leaders: where the heck is House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)? Where the heck is Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)? Other than our fine Senator–Rand Paul–where are the conservative voices in elective office?

And what about the military leaders who wear the uniform and have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic? Why aren’t they pulling the President back and telling him, “Mr. President, you need to cool it with your gun agenda. Not only are you on the verge of promoting a societal breakdown from which it will take decades to recover, you are committing an act of war against the American people. For the sake of this great country, knock it off!”?

It is glaringly obvious that we no longer have two parties; what we have is a bicameral fascist system where leaders only disagree on the degree of fascism. The military leaders–with perhaps a few exceptions–are just suckups to the President, as the real leaders have been “retired”. If you expect the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the President to knock it off, that will happen about five minutes after Hell freezes over.

I told MrsLarijani that I never imagined that the end of our Republic could happen in my lifetime. But–as the son of an Iranian immigrant of Kurdish ancestry who knows quite well what happened in Iran in the 1970s–that is a very real possibility.

Is it a conspiracy, or is government really that stupid? There was once a time when I would have answered no on the first and yes on the second. Now, it could be yes on both.

The next four years are going to be quite bumpy.

Boehner, Ryan, Obama, and The Never-Ending Fiscal Cliff Charade

Conservatives had better wake up, smell the napalm, and identify the real enemy to their lives and livelihoods.

It isn’t President Obama. Sure, he is no hero to the Constitution. Sure, he cares not about personal liberties or free markets. Sure, he opposes gun rights, supports abortion (even at taxpayer expense) and gay “marriage”. But let’s be honest here: he’s not selling anyone out. In fact, Obama is promoting the very agenda he has promised from day one.

Nor is it Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is recovering from a plane crash in Iranbout with the stomach flu that resulted in a concussion. Sure, she’s a socialist liberal repackaged as a moderate. But…seriously? She is the Left’s version of Pat Buchanan, only not as skilled a wordsmith. Every time she gives a speech, she pisses off more people than she inspires. This is why she couldn’t beat a one-term Senator for the nomination of her own Party in 2008.

Nor is it Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R-CA) or her ilk. Sure, she’d ban–and confiscate–every firearm in America if she could get away with it. But–seriously–if any such gun ban gets passed, it will take far more than her to get it done.

That leads me to the very enemy of the American people: the political leaders who will sell everyone down the river, as they speak of their great accomplishments. They will piss on your back, and tell you it’s raining.

I’m talking about those who claim to be on your side. Like Rep. John “Sobbing Johnny” Boehner (R-OH). Like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). These are the “conservatives” who gave us TARP. They are the “conservatives” who gave us the bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, General Motors, and Chrysler. They are the “conservatives” who gave us Medicare Part D under Bush, and lifted nary a finger when Bush expanded government beyond all recognition.

My point here is that your real enemies are not your enemies; they are your “friends”.

Sadly, there are very few friends of the Constitution in either House of Congress. Of those–such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)–few have made a forceful case for immediate, drastic spending cuts and a fundamental reduction in the size and scope of government. Even Sen. Paul has spoken in terms of balancing the budget slowly, when in fact the problems are so severe that major cuts must be made now. (Note: Rand Paul needs to make his case now. If he walks the straight and narrow, he will be the best anti-establishment chance since Reagan.)

If The Fiscal Cliff Charade–which gives us over $600 billion in taxes but only $15 billion in spending cuts–is a portrait of things to come, things are not looking good.

The President wants to take up gun control as soon as this Cliffhanger has passed.

If the GOP response here is any indicator of how they will handle the Second Amendment, I’d say we need to get ready for our “friends” to roll over on us.

Right Sentiment, Bad Ruling

While the NRA is lauding today’s ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals–which strikes down the Illinois ban on concealed weapons and orders the legislature to pass a law allowing for it within 180 days–the ruling is terrible.

(1) Like the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision in 2004 regarding gay “marriage”, it is yet another case of the Judicial branch of government usurping the power of the Legislative branch. This is not a check-and-balance; it is a power grab.

(2) The Court has made a ruling that makes the exercise of Constitutional rights contingent on an act of the Legislative branch.

What the Court SHOULD have done:

(1) Strike down the Illinois ban as Unconstitutional;

(2) Affirm that (a) the 2nd Amendment allows for BOTH open AND concealed carry, (b) the rights are not dependent on an act of the Legislature, and (c) in accordance with the 14th Amendment, they can only be revoked through DUE PROCESS OF THE LAW.

Random Thoughts

SCOTUS and ObamaCare

I haven’t commented on the Supreme Court’s ObamaCare ruling, largely due to work-related issues that consumed the bulk of my time. But what Professor Hale has on the matter is priceless, even though my butt hurts from reading it.

The Aurora Shooting

While I can understand where Vox Day is coming from, I lean against conspiracies, although the timing is definitely quite suspicious.

As for gun rights, this shooting is a great case for an armed citizenry. A guy like Holmes is going to find ways to get the arms he needs to do bad things. That he was able to get them legally means nothing. His booby traps–which were illegal–were made with very legal materials.

Even though he was clad in body armor, getting hit with 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP would still hurt him, and this would have likely been sufficient to force him into retreat. Also, a face shot would have taken him completely out of the fight. Bad guys–even with body armor–almost never expect their would-be victims to shoot back. And when THAT happens, you now have the upper hand.

Personally, I hate going to theaters. For one thing, the movies suck and are too expensive. For another thing, they are the least-secured places you can be.

Chick-Fil-A, Gays, Boston, and Chicago

The whole Chick-Fil-A fracas demonstrates that conservative Christians are among the most tolerant people in the world. After all, Starbucks would cease to exist but for the conservative Christians who patronize Starbucks, which is one of the most gay-friendly companies in America.

I often frequent Starbucks myself. I enjoy their coffee. When I want a really good healthy drink, their chocolate smoothie contains 21 grams of protein while coming in at just under 300 calories. Their breakfast sandwiches are good.

Fact is, they have a good product. Their politics aren’t mine, but–you know what–I don’t go there for the politics; I like their products.

As for Chick-Fil-A, I have similar sentiments even though I would tend to agree with the Cathy family.

My theological views: “gay marriage” is an oxymoron. It’s nothing personal; there is no Biblical precedent for it, nor is there any Biblical precedent for the legitimacy of homosexual acts.

My political take: we need to get the State out of the business of regulating marriage, which is a religious institution. That should be a matter for religious bodies to handle.

If people wish to form a union that falls under government regulation, then they can form a corporation. Those are secular entities, and have greater flexibility–think multi-partner–than a marriage would. Meanwhile, we should reform the tax code to put everyone–married and single–on the same playing field.

But here’s the thing: MrsLarijani and I go to Chick-Fil-A often, and we enjoy their products. They make excellent sandwiches, their desserts are nice, and their dedication to customer satisfaction is top-notch.

Chick-Fil-A does a much better job of that than Wendy’s, Burger King, McDonald’s, or Subway.

But none of that means anything to the mayors of Boston or Chicago, who have declared Chick-Fil-A persona non grata in those cities.

Rahm Emanuel says that Chick-Fil-A’s values are not Chicago’s values. I would contend that Emanuel’s values are not America’s values. After all, most Americans believe that citizens should be able to arm themselves against would-be assailants.

OTOH, Rahm Emanuel believes in a city that is safe for rapists, child molesters, and gangbangers.

Was The Batman Massacre a False-Flag Op?

I’ll comment more on this later.

For the record: I generally consider myself a conspiracy skeptic.

The short answer to my question: a qualified no. However… Vox Day makes one very good point: False-flag ops aren’t unprecedented. King David used them against the Philistines; Nero used them against Christians; Hitler used them against Poland; the Joint Chiefs of Staff almost used them against the American people; and–if gun rights groups are correct–Obama tried one against the American people via Operation Fast and Furious.

I would also agree with Vox on the timing of this matter: it seems too convenient for the gun-grabbers. Zimmerman is on trial, Obama’s administration is on its heels with the fallout from Fast and Furious, a 71-year-old man successfully used his firearm to ward off an armed attack on a cafe. Then this…in Colorado of all places.

Aurora is not far from Columbine, and about two hours from Colorado Springs, where the YWAM/New Life shootings occurred in 2007. If you’re going to have a high-profile shooting like this, Colorado fits too well.

The conspiracy theorists–many of whom I consider kooks–aren’t without a rational basis this time.

Moreover, I have my own questions:

(a) How did Holmes manage to get into that theater with two pistols, an AR-15 with a 100-round drum magazine, and a Remington Model 870 12-gauge shotgun, one or more teargas canisters, and a full set of body armor?

(b) How much time elapsed from when the person–presumably Holmes–exited the theater, and when the shooter came in through that exit? Was there sufficient time for Holmes to have left the theater in plain clothes, clothed himself in extensive body armor that included a helmet, gas mask, leg and groin protection, throat protection, and a vest for his torso? There certainly has to be a security camera from the cinema that shows the events.

(c) Where did Holmes learn explosives? The teargas he used was not something you can buy at a gun store. His extensive booby traps are not indicative of novice-level work. While one can look up explosives information on the Internet, it is one thing to read about, and a totally different matter to execute.

(d) Why did it take the cops so long to respond? There were cops present at the theater; Holmes fired well over 70 rounds in the theater; he even exited the theater when he was done, and was apprehended in the parking lot. But why did the cops not make it into the theater when the shooting was going on?

(e) Why weren’t the exit doors watched? At best, the cinema is going to be facing some serious liabilities here.

He was no dummy: his undergrad degree was in neuroscience–summa cum laude–and he was enrolled in a PhD program in neuroscience. His chemistry–and electricity–knowledge, which is a huge part of neuroscience, could have given him some know-how for explosives, but–like I said–there is a big difference between reading about it and actually doing it. I’d love to know where he got his information, and where he did his practice.

As for his firearm skills, I’d say he was well-prepared. He shot 71 people. Most of his shooting was in the dark. His drum magazine on his AR-15 jammed. That, plus the fact that he didn’t have night-vision goggles, kept the death toll from being far worse.

But was this a false-flag operation? I dunno. I would lean against a conspiracy here. I’m thinking that Holmes got involved in some very bad things, probably got disillusioned in life–apparently he opened an account on a site that ostensibly promotes sexual hookups–and perhaps even went schizophrenic.

Could government have used someone like him in that kind of operation? Yes, but that would be a huge risk. Using a mentally unstable person for something like this can easily backfire.

Then again, if he mysteriously dies in prison, it would be hard not to come down on Vox’s side.