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A Scarlet Letter For Gun Owners!

(from Gun Talk Media – SAF)

A Scarlet Letter for Gun Owners

Imagine being a grandfather seeking custody of his grandson. The state says that will be okay, but you’ll have to give us the serial numbers of all your guns. A caseworker says, “If you want to care for your grandson you will have to give up some of your constitutional rights.”

You appeal to a court of law, and the judge says, “We know we are violating numerous constitutional rights here, but if you do not comply, we will remove the boy from your home.”

That’s what happened in Michigan, and it is why the Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit against that state’s Department of Health and Human Services. The state prohibits foster parents and adoptive parents from having guns — a clear violation of constitutional rights — fully acknowledged by the judge. (Hear from attorney David Sigale this Sunday on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio!)

This kind of branding gun owners as less desirable is part of a larger pattern, where zoning laws treat gun stores as though they were sex shops, and won’t allow them near schools. Responsible gun owners and shooters are treated, by law, in ways that other identifiable groups would never stand for. Get a permit for free speech? Have financial services denied through a government program (Operation Choke Point)? Be required to be photographed, fingerprinted, and have a mandatory background check to exercise what clearly is a fundamental right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights?

We simply must challenge every single one of these blatant discriminatory laws and practices, and it takes all of us. It takes the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, state groups, and individuals — you and me. It’s why I created the Gun Talk Truth Squad more than a decade ago — so we can challenge each one of these. So we WILL challenge every media slight, smear, and lie. Every. Single. Time.

A lie left unchallenged becomes the truth.

~Tom

 

Tom Gresham
Author, outdoorsman, gun rights activist, and firearms enthusiast for more than five decades, Tom Gresham hosts Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk, the first nationally-syndicated radio show about guns and the shooting sports, and is also the producer and co-host of the Guns & Gear, GunVenture and First Person Defender television series.

This kind of unconstitutional BS really torques my jaw!

We have won many battles, but have not yet won the war.  We must continue to be vigilant.

 

Phoenix Delays Sanctuary Policy Amid Mounting Pressure After JW Report

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

Phoenix Delays Sanctuary Policy Amid Mounting Pressure After JW Report

Days after Judicial Watch exposed a new policy banning Phoenix police from contacting the feds after arresting illegal aliens, alarming pressure on the city council and chief of police has forced officials in Arizona’s largest city to postpone the order. Crafted at a Hispanic advisory committee that promotes open borders, the policy also prohibits officers from asking about suspects’ immigration status. The new policy’s two principle measures violate key provisions of a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leave the city vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

In the aftermath of Judicial Watch’s story, which included a copy of the Phoenix sanctuary Immigration Procedures, police management is backing off and reconsidering the ramifications. Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Judicial Watch that Phoenix Police Department brass is worried about getting sued under an Arizona law that states the following: “No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.” The measure also states this: “If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States is convicted of a violation of state or local law, on discharge from imprisonment or on the assessment of any monetary obligation that is imposed, the United States immigration and customs enforcement or the United States customs and border protection shall be immediately notified.”

Following Judicial Watch’s initial report, the chief of the Phoenix Police Department, Jeri Williams, issued an unusual and unprecedented Employee Notification System (ENS) delaying the new sanctuary order. The ENS was titled “Operations Order 4.48 Revision” and states the following: “Operations Order 4.48, which provides direction regarding immigration related issues, is still being reviewed and revised.  The anticipated effective date, July 10th, 2017, is no longer achievable. The final revisions should be completed within the coming weeks.  A new effective date will be shared once the policy has been finalized.” Williams is Phoenix’s first female police chief and agency sources tell Judicial Watch she tried to quietly implement the sanctuary measures, perhaps hoping they’d go unnoticed. Earlier this year the chief, who was hired last summer, alluded to her stance on immigration enforcement in a local newspaper article questioning whether Arizona’s 325,000 illegal aliens trust the police. Chief Williams is quoted saying this: “We maintain open communication with our diverse residents and want to ensure that our crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable and confident when reporting crimes to our officers. As your chief, I commit to you that racial profiling will not be tolerated.”

The Phoenix Police Department has about 3,000 officers that were permitted to use “sound judgement” at any time under the agency’s longtime immigration enforcement policy. That allowed front-line officers to directly contact federal immigration officials involving criminal illegal immigrants. Under the revised policy, all contact with federal immigration partners must be funneled through a single Violent Crimes Bureau (VCB) desk sergeant who will document all immigration related data and give authority to call ICE. “This will bottle-neck the process,” according to a veteran Phoenix law enforcement official who added that the new policy was generated without any input from rank-and-file. Arizona law enforcement sources also told Judicial Watch that no other restrictions of this kind and magnitude regarding a federal crime are found in Phoenix Police Department policy. Officers continue to have the discretion to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) without fear of violating department policy.

If an illegal alien is arrested for a state crime, officers in Phoenix would no longer be allowed to take them directly to ICE for deportation and document the crime in a report if the sanctuary measures get adopted. Taxpayers must fund a mandated booking into county jail under the new rules, which state; “if there is a federal criminal charge and the person is under arrest for a state and/or local charge/s…the person will be booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office…” Keep in mind that Maricopa Sheriff Paul Penzone doesn’t like honoring ICE holds on jailed aliens and considers illegal immigrants “guests.” The new Phoenix Police Department rules also eliminate a table showing state immigration enforcement laws as well as documentation of police contacts with verified and/or suspected illegal aliens, a troublesome change that omits valuable city crime statistics.

Besides forbidding questioning suspects regarding place of birth, country of citizenship and legal status in the United States, the postponed Phoenix policy says that transportation of illegal aliens to ICE by officers has been eliminated for civil immigration violations unless the illegal alien “consents to a transport.” Both restrictions violate key provisions of a 2010 Arizona law known as Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB1070). Open borders and civil rights groups fought the law in federal court and succeeded in getting rid of many of its mandates but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld two key clauses in Section 2 of the measure. The first, requires law enforcement officers to determine a suspects’ immigration status if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. This grants officers the discretion that has just been stripped in Phoenix. The other clause in Section 2 allows state law enforcement officers to transport illegal immigrants directly to federal custody. The new Phoenix sanctuary measure, also replace the term “illegal alien” with “a person unlawfully present.”

Judicial Watch will continue investigating Phoenix’s efforts to provide illegal immigrants sanctuary and has filed public records requests for the police department’s communications with third-party groups pushing for the now-paused policy change.

What if metropolitan areas decided to create ‘free zones’ for other criminals?  Burglars, armed robbers?  Something less violent?  Forgers, counterfeiters?

(I know, reductio ad absurdum much, Guffaw?)

Especially, if it impacted national security and sovereignty?

How should the federal government react?

I only bring this up as Phoenix is in my back yard (or I theirs…)

(I know, only questions today…)

Apologies for the poor copy/paste – it was the only way I could get it all in.

Anti-Libertarian Ideologies On The March: The Existential Threat To Liberty

(From Libertarianism.org)

Tom Palmer lectures on modern threats to liberalism and individualism, exploring the philosophical roots of these threats and explaining the danger they pose. He touches on the theocratic threat of Islamism and the leftist threat of identity politics, but the bulk of the discussion focuses on the recent re-emergence of the type of nationalist, racist collectivism previously exhibited by fascists in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

The slides associated with Palmer’s lecture are posted on SlidesLive.

I’m a ‘conservative’ libertarian.  I disagree with the National (Libertarian) Party on a number of points, mostly regarding open borders.

But, I still believe all liberty-loving folks need to band together, regardless of minor sticking points, to battle the evils of Statism.

Lest we lose it all over infighting!

 

The Opioid Crisis 

There has been much media attention of late regarding ‘the opioid crisis’.

This is directly parallel to the the so-called Drug War.

Or ‘gun violence’.

Those who wish to insert governmental controls into private actions often label (insert issue here) as a ‘crisis’.

President Nixon started the War On Drugs in 1971. Here 40 years later, billions of dollars later, thousands have been incarcerated, and little illegal drug commerce has been stopped.

And numerous States have decriminalized and/or medicalized previously illegal drugs.

People continue to be shot en mass in Illinois and elsewhere.

And people with legitimate prescriptions are being squeezed more and more because their physicians and pharmacies are. 

By the ‘well meaning’ federal government.

A recent study noted that something like a whopping 1% of those who have opioid prescriptions are abusing them.

The lions share of abuse comes from those who steal, smuggle and illegally obtain such drugs.

Are you surprised?

I’m not.

I sometimes take a relatively low dose narcotic, which I get through a legal prescription, to deal with my chronic pain. I know others who take a much higher dosage than I, who must constantly wrestle with the increasing pressure on the medical community.

While the bad guys make billions from illegal users, largely unchecked.

Read between the lines.

 

Sore Loser?

(from TFB, in part)

GLOCK VICE PRESIDENT: “Continue MHS, Don’t Settle for SIG”

– Glock Asks Army to Keep Testing Pistols

Glock isn’t done yet: Despite being passed over by the Army and having their protest of the MHS contract rejected by the GAO, Glock is still hoping for a chance. In a recent interview with Matthew Cox of Military.com, Glock Vice President Josh Dorsey spoke out against the Army’s decision to adopt the SIG Sauer P320 as the new M17 Modular Handgun System. Dorsey’s comments, excerpted below, express dissatisfaction with the Army’s selection process:

“This is not about Glock. This is not about Sig. And it’s not about the U.S. Army,” Dorsey, a retired Marine, told Military.com. “It’s about those that are on the ground, in harm’s way.”

It comes down to “the importance of a pistol, which doesn’t sound like much unless you realize, if you pull a pistol in combat, you are in deep s***.”

“So one of the least important factors as they said in the RFP would be the price; that is what became the most important factor,” Dorsey said.

“So let’s think about that for a minute … you are going to go forward making that decision now without completing the test on the two candidate systems that are in the competitive range? Does that make sense if it’s your son or daughter sitting in that foxhole somewhere?”

I recommend readers click through the link to read the whole thing.

Ultimately, the question of whether SIG Sauer’s P320 handgun will meet Army requirements seems, at the moment, moot. In the face of a 13-year-long procurement process, a suite of already mature competitors, and a $100 million dollar price difference between the bids of the two companies, Glock’s argument for a continuing competition seems thin. There certainly is an argument that Glock’s offering was indeed superior, especially given that Glock was evidently able to satisfy both full-size and compact requirements with a single configuration. However, this must be weighed against the consequence of more time, effort, and money spent to procure a weapon that may not be substantially better than the one already selected. If the Army has made a truly grievous error in procurement, or if there was foul play, then certainly the results of MHS should be re-examined. If, on the other hand, the US Army selected the best deal out of several satisfactory pistol offerings, then re-opening the competition seems unnecessary.

I’ve no dog in this fight.  I’ve never been in the military, but I have paid taxes.  I’ve owned Glocks; I’ve owned Sigs.  I’ve no financial interest in either company.

I like them both, sufficiently.

If it were up to me, we’d still be issuing 1911s…

TFB’s last couple of lines state it best:

If the Army has made a truly grievous error in procurement, or if there was foul play, then certainly the results of MHS should be re-examined. If, on the other hand, the US Army selected the best deal out of several satisfactory pistol offerings, then re-opening the competition seems unnecessary.

Amen!

 

OK, So Which Is It? 

As my Dad used to say, “I used to be young and foolish; I’m not young, anymore!”

I remember going to a local pizza parlor chain with ‘Gramp’, my beloved maternal grandfather.

We’d split a sausage pizza; he’d get a draught beer (Schlitz?) – me, a soda. (I was a kid).

But he’d always say,” We’re going to have an apizz.” 

And, I thought he was weird and corrected him.

Well, I was wrong. 

Gramp was from Hamden, Connecticut, arguably the birthplace (New Haven area) of (thin crust) American pizza!

There are businesses there advertising APIZZ, not PIZZA!

As there have been for over one hundred years. 

Turns out, the Italian immigrants who settled this region were from Naples, and made Margherita  (thin crust) pizza.

And called them ‘apizz’.

8. APIZZA

Perhaps less well-known, although no less delicious, is New Haven-style pizza, known in local vernacular as apizza. New Haven-style is thin like New York pizza, but if you walk into an apizza parlor and order a “plain,” you’ll get one without mootz (pronounced as foots), or mozzarella.

Apizza and mootz both come from the dialect of Naples immigrants who arrived in the area in the early 1920s. Apizza is pronounced uh-BEETs, with a silent final A.  (Mental Floss)

While we’re on the subject, some parts of the country call them ‘pizza pies’.

3. PIE OR PIZZA?

While to east coasters, it might feel perfectly natural to say “pie” when referring to a whole pizza, not so for those in other regions. In an informal poll I conducted, “pie” was described by west coasters as “pretentious” and “only something someone in a movie would say,” while one Brooklynite described those who didn’t use “pie” as “heathens.” The reason for this sharp divide is unclear. (Mental Floss)

Others, no mention of pie (some places think you are requesting a dessert!)

Great.  Now I’m hungry, with no pizza places open (0730 AZ time)! (And this is the 5th largest metropolitan area of the United States!  A travesty!)

Doesn’t matter, I’m broke, anyway…

Spoiler Alert!

As I grew up doing magic (eventually becoming semi-pro in my teens), I know many secrets – even if I cannot perform them personally.  😛

And, sadly, knowledge kinda ruins watching other magicians!  I’m looking for the gimmick, misdirection, the gaffe, the secret – other than just enjoying the performance for entertainment sake.

It takes an unusual talent to keep me interested in the actual performance.

I am also an AZDPS certified/NRA trained instructor.  And have trained people professionally in safe gun-handling and proper techniques.  I also shot in IPSC competition for a short time.

The point being, while I’m no big-time trainer/shooter, I have been around.

And, this has spoiled many TV shows and movies for me.

It’s hard for me to suspend my disbelief when I see a magician perform poorly (and not on purpose for comedy, ala Carl Balantine!)

The same thing applies to gun handling from Hollywood.

In recent memory, the TV show 24, with the counter-terrorist expert Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) holding his pistol as a cup-and-saucer.  Obviously, the set firearms trainer didn’t bother, or the actor didn’t care!

To be fair, Hollywood has generally improved in this area – Michael Mann with Miami Vice and Heat brought in weapons experts.  We don’t see the ‘grabbing the wrist’ thing as much as we once did.

I’ve been binge watching Bosch on Amazon.  Based on Michael Connolly’s book character, the plots are generally riveting and well acted.  And Titus Welliver as the lead is pretty good, as a driven, ‘colors-outside-the-lines’ LAPD detective.

But, they had a big parking lot gun fight last night (Season 2), and many of the ‘professionals’ (both mobsters and cops) confused concealment with cover, and kept doing the jack-in-the-box thing (jumping up from behind something to return fire).

Smile for the camera!

It kinda took the wind out of my sails…

I plan on continuing to watch it, and hope the acting and the plot hide the poor action sequences.

Also, the lead character wears two extra 1911 magazines – placed backwards in the mag pouch (about half the time), making tactical reloads problematic!

I know – picky, picky, picky

Bosch

 

 

 

Supreme Court Declines To Take Carry Case

(from NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS VOLUME 24, NUMBER 26, in part)

Supreme Court Declines to Take Carry Case, but Gorsuch Casts a Solidly Pro-Gun Vote

Gun owners received disappointing news on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that effectively let stand California’s “may-issue” permitting regime. The upshot of this decision is that law-abiding Californians in many areas of the state will be effectively denied the right to “bear” arms in public for self-defense.
But there was a silver lining to this development as Justice Neil M. Gorsuch – President Trump’s pick to replace the late, great Antonin Scalia – came out strongly in favor of the Second Amendment by joining a dissent from the court’s decision penned by Second Amendment stalwart Justice Clarence Thomas. Gorsuch’s participation in the dissent confirmed that he, unlike so many of his colleagues in the federal judiciary, is indeed prepared to take the Second Amendment seriously.
The underlying case was Peruta v. San Diego. The plaintiffs had complained of being arbitrarily denied concealed carry permits, the only way for law-abiding persons in California to exercise the right to carry loaded, operable firearms in public for self-defense. Each plaintiff met all the qualifications for a permit but one: they could not show an extraordinary need for self-protection that distinguished them from the general population, as required by licensing officials in their counties of residence.
The case therefore presented the court with an opportunity to clearly state whether or not the Second Amendment extends its protections beyond the home. Indeed, the three-judge panel that originally heard the case in the Ninth Circuit recognized that its defining issue was “whether a responsible, law-abiding citizen has a right under the Second Amendment to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
The panel answered that question affirmatively, stating: “the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.” The panel also noted that it was California’s own decision to make concealed carry permits the only lawful path to do so. It therefore held the plaintiffs could prevail with “a narrow challenge to the San Diego County regulations on concealed carry, rather than a broad challenge to the state-wide ban on open carry ….”
After the panel’s opinion was published, the full Ninth Circuit voted for a larger en banc panel to rehear the case. The en banc decision, however, avoided the real issue presented by the case and held that “the Second Amendment does not preserve or protect a right of a member of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public.” It therefore summarily disposed of the plaintiffs’ claims without confronting the question of whether the Second Amendment applies beyond the home at all.
The Supreme Court majority, as is typical, did not issue an opinion explaining why it refused to review the en banc decision. Its refusal to do so does not, however, represent an endorsement of the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning or holding. As commentators have mentioned, federal appellate and state courts of last resort have come out different ways on the scope of the Second Amendment’s protection for carrying outside the home, and these disparate outcomes are not affected by the Supreme Court’s decision this week. The court may simply have decided, for example, that it did not want the differences between the panel and en banc approaches to the case to cloud the issue presented for its own resolution.
Whatever the majority’s thinking, the opinions of Justices Thomas and Gorsuch came through with vivid clarity in a sharply worded dissent from the decision to pass over the case. “At issue in this case,” Thomas wrote, “is whether [the Second Amendment] protects the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.” They called the en banc court’s resolution of this issue “indefensible” and “untenable” and asserted it was “not justified by the terms of the complaint, which called into question the State’s regulatory scheme as a whole.” They also opined that that “[h]ad the en banc Ninth Circuit answered the question actually at issue in this case, it likely would have been compelled to reach the opposite result.”
Thomas and Gorsuch additionally chided their judicial colleagues for treating the Second Amendment as a “disfavored right.” Thomas explained:
The Court has not heard argument in a Second Amendment case in over seven years—since March 2, 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742. Since that time, we have heard argument in, for example, roughly 35 cases where the question presented turned on the meaning of the First Amendment and 25 cases that turned on the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. This discrepancy is inexcusable, especially given how much less developed our jurisprudence is with respect to the Second Amendment as compared to the First and Fourth Amendments.
The dissent also contrasted the plight of the average citizen who must largely provide for his or her own security with that of government elites “who work in marbled halls, guarded constantly by a vigilant and dedicated police force.” The Framers, Thomas wrote, “reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

A Melting Pot? Seriously?

(from Brock Townsend)

This map shows the US really has 11 separate ‘nations’ with

entirely different cultures

Via David

Note, this is not from some far-right blog, or racist screed.  Business Insider!
This does, in some general manner, explain the political forces in certain regions, however.
What do you folks think?

About The Raising Of The Minimum Wage…

Here’s what that bastion of liberal thought, Harvard University, has to say about it:

(from the Daily Wire)

Harvard Study: Minimum Wage Hikes Killing Businesses

Erik Mcgregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty ImagesA rally in New York City for hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Feb 13, 2017.

A new Harvard Business School study found that minimum wage hikes lead to closures of small businesses. “We find suggestive evidence that an increase in the minimum wage leads to an overall increase in the rate of exit,” the researchers conclude.

The study, titled Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit, looks at “the impact of the minimum wage on restaurant closures using data from the San Francisco Bay Area” from 2008-2016.

Researchers Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca chose the Bay Area due to their frequent minimum wage hikes in recent years. “In the San Francisco Bay Area alone, there have been twenty-one local minimum wage changes over the past decade,” they write.

The Lucas found that lower-quality restaurants (indicated by Yelp scores) were disproportionately affected by wage hikes, increasing their likelihood of closure relative to higher-quality, established restaurants.

“The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage,” says the study. “Our point estimates suggest that a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating), but has no discernible impact for a 5-star restaurant (on a 1 to 5 star scale).”

While “firm exit” was the focus of the study, the researchers also noted that there are often other consequences from wage hikes, such as worker layoffs, increased pricing and hour-cuts for existing workers:

While some studies find no detrimental effects on employment (Card and Krueger 1994, 1998; Dube, Lester & Reich, 2010), others show that higher minimum wage reduces employment, especially among low-skilled workers (see Neumark & Wascher, 2007 for a review). However, even studies that identify negative impacts find fairly modest effects overall, suggesting that firms adjust to higher labor costs in other ways. For example, several studies have documented price increases as a response to the minimum wage hikes (Aaronson, 2001; Aaronson, French, & MacDonald, 2008; Allegretto & Reich, 2016). Horton (2017) find that firms reduce employment at the intensive margin rather than on the extensive margin, choosing to cut employees hours rather than counts.

Such findings were backed up by Garret/Galland Research’s Stephen McBride, who highlighted in March the “minimum wage massacre.”

“Currently, rising labor costs are causing margins in the sector to plummet. Those with the ability to automate like McDonalds are doing so… and those who don’t are closing their doors. In September 2016, one-quarter of restaurant closures in the California Bay Area cited rising labor costs as one of the reasons for closing,” McBride wrote in Forbes. 

“While wage increases put more money in the pocket of some, others are bearing the costs by having their hours reduced and being made part-time,” he added.

As noted by Red Alert Politics, the Bay Area is headed for a $15 minimum wage in July of 2018, though they’ve already seen over 60 restaurants close since September.

While it would behoove the Bernie Bros picketing for $15 an hour to take a look at this study, it’s entirely unlikely that such evidence would deter their entitled attitudes.

I posted regarding this phenomena before, but I obviously don’t have the gravitas of Harvard (nor, apparently the other sources I borrowed stole from!)

It’s basic economics – businesses expect X dollar profit to be profitable – having the gov’t mandate paying their employees more money lessens profit.  Something has to give.

We’re seeing many more kiosks on restaurant tables and counters these days.

They cost less.

Q.E.D.

“Come With Me If You Want To Live!”

Harvard ‘Shock’ Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures

When I was making minimum wage, I changed jobs when I saw I couldn’t make rent and eat on that income.  This was in the 70s, when I began making $1.60 an hour, and moved up to $2.10…

 

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…