Actions speak louder than words

In an update to my post on the federal court in Texas that issued a restraining order barring the Department of Homeland Security from implementing Obama's executive amnesty, I said that the director of that organization had announced that he would abide by the order.

It seems I spoke too soon.

Judicial WatchThough a federal court has blocked President Obama’s amnesty order the administration continues working behind the scenes to quickly award multi-million-dollar contracts to firms that can expeditiously process millions of illegal immigrants, a government source has alerted Judicial Watch.

This is actually consistent with earlier reports that the Obama administration has for the last 6 years been issuing more work permits and green cards than allowed by law.

What does this mean?

It means that the administration is determined to make immigration a fait accompli, gambling that possession of a work permit or a green card is 9/10ths of the law and that courts won't undertake to decide which to take away once granted. By the time Obama leaves office, the courts will be faced with millions of people holding work permits, green cards, and other documents officially issued by the government in contravention of the law.

How can a court, an employer, a police officer possibly be expected to determine whether such a document is legitimate or not?

The result -- the intended result -- will be chaos and amnesty.

Sat Feb 21 10:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


Firehand has an example of nuclear-grade stupidity.

Sat Feb 21 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Stay requested in Mance v Holder, the interstate handgun sales ban case

Traction ControlDefendants respectfully move for a stay of the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 11, 2015 [ECF No. 40] for 60 days, in order to allow adequate time for the government to determine whether to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, whether to seek a stay pending appeal. The determination whether to appeal is entrusted by regulation to the Solicitor General of the United States.

This sort of temporary stay is granted routinely when requested in a case like this. Certainly the BATFE is likely to take more than that time to update regulations and issue guidance to FFLs if they choose not to appeal, and frankly, I expect that they will decide to appeal and a stay will be granted pending the final resolution of that appeal.

What all that means is that, if this stay is granted, it doesn't mean much. A right delayed may be a right denied, but there's nearly half a century of status quo here. Large apple carts tip over slowly.

Fri Feb 20 11:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

New York legislators proposes complete ban on machetes

New York Daily NewsThe sale of machetes should be outlawed after several recent attacks, a Queens pol said Wednesday. State Sen. Tony Avella plans to introduce a bill to ban the possession of the scary blades in New York. “The fact that anyone can easily purchase this potentially lethal tool is just crazy,” he said.

Note that it's already illegal to actually carry a machete, along with any other knife longer than 4 inches. Before long they will be banning kitchen knives and insisting on rounded tips to prevent stabbings.

You can't fix criminals by banning their tools. They will just use different tools.

Fri Feb 20 10:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Does government licensing of professions improve quality?

A friend of mine regularly argues for government necessity based upon such things as food safety; claiming that the private sector combined with the court system could not, or would not, regulate itself to the point that eating out at a local restaurant would be safe.

The obvious counterarguments are:

1) Existing examples of private food preparation licensing (eg, kosher food can be certified through a number of organizations);
2) The obvious logical point that restaurants which poison their customers will rapidly go out of business as customers do not return due to sickness, death, aversion conditioning, or reputation damage;
3) Government regulatory agencies would not actually make the food any safer.

On point three, a recent study on opticians concluded that government licensing doesn't make those services any safer, though it does make them more expensive.

Daily Caller
On both measures, they find that premiums are almost exactly the same regardless of whether a state requires licensing of opticians, indicating that insurance companies “do not appear to consider a lack of licensing a risk factor.”

Their findings are further borne out by the outlying case of Texas, which has no licensing requirements for opticians but does offer certification, without which an optician can still ply their trade, but is not allowed to use a professional title.

Granted, this is somewhat thin gruel, since it's basically drawing large conclusions from the small, individual conclusions of the national insurance market. Still, the logical train is sound.

Fri Feb 20 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another Gun Control Act provision unConstitutional

Firearms Policy Coalition via Joe HuffmanIn the decision released today, Middle District of Pennsylvania Judge William W. Caldwell ultimately held that “Plaintiff [Julio Suarez] has established that his background and circumstances place him outside of the intended scope § 922(g)(1), and therefore the application of [18 U.S.C.] § 922(g)(1) violates Plaintiff’s Second Amendment protections.”

Another victory for Alan Gura, this case is an as-applied challenge to the felon-in-possession rules. The plaintiff is an individual who was convicted of a misdemeanor for unlicensed carry of a handgun in Maryland; because that particular crime in that particular state carries a possible penalty of between 30 days (minimum) and 3 years (maximum), federal law counts it as a felony and bars firearms possession by those convicted of it.

But, crucially, the plaintiff in this case demonstrated that he was not a dangerous criminal, and barring him from firearms ownership for life violates the 2nd Amendment.

The decision comes on the heels of another Gura victory, striking down the prohibition on out-of-state handgun sales in the same 1968 Act.

People said the earlier decision was a big deal. This one is far, far bigger. Fundamentally, it says the state cannot simply bar people convicted of crimes from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights; it can probably still do so for serious and recent crimes, but those who are neither violent nor habitual criminals now have recourse through the courts if they wish to possess the tools of self-defense.

It's also worth noting that the crime which barred the plaintiff from possessing firearms was itself a victimless, non-violent licensing issue in a state which makes licenses for carrying a concealed firearm difficult to obtain.

The anti-rights folks will probably attack this decision as allowing criminals to possess firearms. It's more appropriate to say that this ruling blocks states from criminalizing the public exercise of your 2nd Amendment rights in order to deny those rights, both public and private, to you forever.

Read the full decision.

Thu Feb 19 12:33:27 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ignorant or dishonest?

PoliticoIf DeFillipis and Hughes could refute any of our rebuttals, that would be news worth attending to. They do not, however, identify any problems with our refutations, such as errors in our logic, or superior evidence that contradicts any of our rebuttals. Instead, they just pretend they are not aware of the rebuttals, even though our first systematic dismantling of Hemenway’s speculations was published in the exact same issue of the journal that published Hemenway's 1997 critique, on the pages immediately following the Hemenway article.

Recently, Politico published an article claiming that self-defensive gun use was rare, despite much convincing evidence to the contrary. Now, in a mea-culpa moment, they are publishing a refutation of their original article by Gary Kleck -- a refutation which was originally published contemporaneously with the criticisms of their work, in 1997, 1998, and 2001. You'll note that those refutations were published 17 years ago, the first of them in the same issue of the academic journal which carried the criticisms, yet the recent article not only failed to address those points, it failed to even let readers know they existed.

It's the academic version of anti-gun writers closing comments on their articles to prevent their readers from exposing their lies and mendacity.

Thu Feb 19 12:01:44 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DoJ almost ready to issue final IRS report

Bayou BuzzAttorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he expects the Justice Department to soon release a list of final recommendations stemming from its probe into whether the Internal Revenue Service wrongfully targeted conservative groups.

"I am satisfied with the progress that the criminal division has done; the civil rights division as well," Holder told reporters at a press conference. "I expect that we will have some final recommendations coming up relatively soon.

I think it's very telling that a "final report" is almost ready before Congress has even been provided with the IRS emails recovered by the Treasury Inspector General, and before any criminal charges have been brought. I think they plan on issuing the final report as soon as they are sure they have scrubbed the recovered emails sufficiently to match with the cover story they agreed to originally.

This oversight stuff really needs to go through a truly independent party. DoJ cannot investigate itself or other presidential agencies when it is complicit, and the executive branch must not control the evidence required for independent sources to do so.

Thu Feb 19 11:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Operation Chokepoint was worse than we thought

ZeroHedgeOperation Choke Point is an initiative of the DoJ that was announced in 2013 which investigates bank interactions with certain businesses believed to be at higher risk for fraud and money laundering. When first disclosed it was heavily criticised for bypassing due process with critics warning that "it's a thinly veiled ideological attack on industries the Obama administration doesn't like, such as gun sellers," and precious metals dealers. However, as Mike Maloney explains, it is far worse than that... "it violates the most fundamental principles of the rule of law and accountable, transparent government."

Two videos and a lot of links, useful for getting back up to speed if you haven't been following the news on this topic. I've been following this pretty closely, and while it was obvious the banks were being told not to talk about why they were closing accounts, this is the first time we actually had proof.

Aside from the practical effects of that secrecy demand making it harder to figure out what was going on, secrecy is the first refuge of the criminal who knows his actions are illegal. That "Operation Chokepoint" was a secret operation conducted by the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, designed to operate by threat of regulatory force in silence and darkness, never to be brought to a court of law for a fair trial, speaks volumes.

Thu Feb 19 10:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How should a democracy resolve questions of income distribution?

Power LineIn any event, a victory for the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell shouldn’t be viewed as the Supreme Court deciding to take away subsidies. It should be viewed as the Supreme Court placing the decision in the hands of the federal and state legislatures, where issues of income redistribution should always be resolved in a democracy.

The guys at Power Line are pretty much the Republican Establishment, and they get this question totally wrong. Yes, "questions of income redistribution" are usually decided by the legislature these days. Arguably, that's only to be expected in a democracy. But we are not a democracy; we are a Constitutional Republic, and the powers of our federal government are limited and do not include income redistribution.

Thus, the proper place to resolve questions of income redistribution in federal law is in the courts, and the proper answer is no.

The states will need to look to their own founding documents individually if they wish to tax the middle class to give to the middle class.

Thu Feb 19 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

When they break their own laws, throw the book at them

A prominent anti-civil-rights lawyer got caught allegedly trying to sneak a gun onto a plane. He claims it was accidental, which would be quite believable for someone who took a shooting class recently. It's somewhat less believable for David Malik, who is known for his anti-gun politics. While I would normally argue for leniency in a case like this, because I do not believe that people making innocent mistakes with no harmful intent should be punished, I make exceptions for gun control advocates who get caught violating the unjust laws they have been imposing on the rest of us.

Wed Feb 18 12:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Physics teacher spending a week on so-called white privilege

National ReviewA high-school physics teacher has developed his own six-day curriculum that he uses to teach about institutional racism, privilege, and social justice as part of his seniors’ physics classes.

He was inspired by the teachers in English and History, who in his words, "got to talk every day in class about society and how it worked and how to be moral and caring and kind." I don't know about you, but my English and History classes actually taught English and History, not political indoctrination.

Wed Feb 18 11:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Doing feminism right

Mother Jones via A Geek With GunsThe royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle. As instructed, the Crown Prince climbed into the front seat of the Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind. To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Women are not—yet—allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen. His nervousness only increased as the queen, an Army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead.

If true, hilarious and well done. If not true, well, spread the rumor anyway, his subjects will never be able to check the facts.

Wed Feb 18 10:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Islamists burn Florida church; leave Allah Akbar graffiti

With 2 years left in Obama's administration, we're going to see more attacks like this arson in Florida and this stabbing attack in Detroit. The only questions are how many... and how big.

Wed Feb 18 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

5th Circuit judge issues restraining order against Obama's amnesty

Legal InsurrectionThe United States of America, its departments, agencies, officers, agents and employees and Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection; Ronald D. Vitiello, Deputy Chief of United States Border Patrol, United States Customs and Border Protection; Thomas S. Winkowski, Acting Director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement; and Leon Rodriguez, Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services are hereby enjoined from implementing any and all aspects or phases of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAP A”) program as set out in the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s memorandum dated November 20, 2014 (“DAPA memorandum”), pending a final resolution of the merits of this case or until a further order of this Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the United States Supreme Court.

The Obama Administration has two possible responses here. First, they can stop any implementation activities on the amnesty until the case is decided. Historically, this is the correct response from the executive branch. However, the Obama administration has already demonstrated a willingness to outright defy similar court orders. That leads to the second response: "How many divisions does the judge have?"

The answer is none. The sole defense of the Constitution lies in the respect each official, elected or appointed, holds for the rule of law. When the president and his appointees are lawless, there is little that can be done to stop them.

UPDATE: DHS Secretary says he will abide by the order. Appeals are probably inevitable, but may last beyond Obama's term in office, in which case a successor can just drop them.

Tue Feb 17 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

BATFE plans regulation change to ban certain rifle ammunition

Tam has the details and instructions on how to leave a comment. This is basically gun control by slight of hand; there is no legislative change to justify this, nor is there a crime problem with the ammunition being banned -- M855 and M2 surplus ammunition, also known as 30-06 and .223.

Note that BATFE is not required to honor any of the comments received or change their mind, but if they get a large number of comments they will understand that the public is watching this issue. If we let them know it matters, it also lets Congress know it matters.

Mon Feb 16 12:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why are gun control bodyguards so violent?

A bodyguard for Moms Demand Action has allegedly assaulted a peaceful open-carry advocate.

Mon Feb 16 11:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Another fake hate crime

A Muslim woman in Texas claimed a man in a pickup truck followed her and threatened her with a gun because of her religion. She admitted Saturday that she was lying.

It's like no one tells these people the story of the boy who cried wolf. Each time they fake it, they reduce the chances of real bigoty and real threats being taken seriously.

Mon Feb 16 10:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Executive Amnesty plan makes it easier for illegal aliens to vote, drive drunk

Washington TimesPresident Obama’s temporary deportation amnesty will make it easier for illegal immigrants to improperly register and vote in elections, state elections officials testified to Congress on Thursday, saying that the driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers they will be granted create a major voting loophole.

While stressing that it remains illegal for noncitizens to vote, secretaries of state from Ohio and Kansas said they won’t have the tools to sniff out illegal immigrants who register anyway, ignoring stiff penalties to fill out the registration forms that are easily available at shopping malls, motor vehicle bureaus and in curbside registration drives.

If illegal aliens weren't already voting in large numbers, the Democratic Party wouldn't be so desperate to cater to them. This is only going to make it worse.

And that's not the only bizarre side effect of Obama's amnesty, either.

Judicial WatchObtained by Judicial Watch this week, the notice is titled “Enforcement Options With Alcohol-Impaired Drivers” and directs the 4,000-plus U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson, Arizona sector to “release” individuals under the influence and “allow them to go on their way.”

So if a Border Patrol agent stops someone at a border checkpoint who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol, they should just ... wave them through? On what planet does that make sense?

Not only does Obama want them to vote, he wants them to be privileged from arrest on the way to the polling place, and he wants to redistribute our tax dollars to them.

Washington TimesOn Wednesday, he said even illegal immigrants who didn’t pay taxes will be able to apply for back-credits once they get Social Security numbers. The EITC is a refundable tax credit, which means those who don’t have any tax liability can still get money back from the government.

So, if you are an illegal alien, and you get a work permit and social security number under the new rules, not only can you do a job an American would like to do, you can drive to that job drunk, vote, get a tax "refund" via the Earned Income Tax Credit every year, and get a one-time bonus payout from the IRS. And if you have three children and file for the past, say, 3 years, the payout is nothing to sneeze at: over $18,000 in one lump sum. Despite being here illegally.

Mon Feb 16 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

National concealed-carry reciprocity law introduced in the Senate

NRA-ILAOn behalf of its five-million members, the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced its support for The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, which was introduced today by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (TX). The legislation would respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry.

It's long past time we had legislation like this. A concealed-carry permit should be at least as honored in other states as a driver's license is.

There are, admittedly, some federalism issues when you compare states with highly restrictive gun laws (New York, for example, where you have to be famous to carry) to states with very open gun laws (Vermont, Arizona, and Alaska, where carrying a gun does not require any sort of permit at all). However, we're talking about a protected constitutional right here; there needs to be a national minimum standard for gun rights that includes "bearing" arms as well as keeping them.

The blue states are just going to have to start respecting the civil rights of visitors.

Sun Feb 15 12:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

The British are no longer on the leading edge of tyranny

The Guardian via Mark SteynAnti-terror units handed local police officers the names of British newsagents who stocked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the Paris attacks. It comes after police were caught asking British newsagents which sold copies of the satirical magazine for details of the customers who bought it... Shopkeepers in Wales, Wiltshire and Cheshire reported that police approached them and demanded personal information on readers of the magazine.

In America, we are much more civilized. Rather than sending the police around to query shopkeepers individually, we simply access your credit card and internet records directly.

Sun Feb 15 11:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A pattern of obstruction

Newsmax"TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal," The Hill said, adding that TIGTA refused to comment for the article.

TIGTA has come under fire in the past from outside groups for refusing to be forthcoming with other FOIA requests. Cause of Action, a nonprofit group, sued TIGTA after announcing in December that the agency refused to turn over more than 2,000 documents.

Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, has also sued the Obama administration, saying in December that the Department of Justice has withheld 832 documents related to meetings between the IRS and the department's Public Integrity Section and Election Crimes Division.

It's almost like the Obama White House has something to hide.

Sun Feb 15 10:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How to stop a mass shooting

We've tried a few different things:

Joe HuffmanAt the time the Columbine massacre happened police training was that the police should secure the area and wait for the SWAT team to arrive and possibly enter the building. Of course the shooters had long since run their course by the time SWAT entered the building... The training now has long been that the school should go into “lockdown”, people hide wherever they can, and they wait for the police to arrive. Upon the arrival of three or four police officers they would form a team and enter the building to engage the shooter. No active shooter incident has ever been stopped by such a multiple officer team...

If you are IN the situation, and not armed, your best bet is to get OUT of the situation as fast as possible. If you can't escape, hide. If you can't hide, fight -- and fight smart, not in a panic.

If you are a police officer or private citizen who happens to be armed and nearby, you have two choices. If you are the first person who arrives at the scene, you can wait for the police to arrive in enough numbers to feel safe before you enter the building, and the odds are that you will arrive in time to help clean up the mess. Or, you can take it upon yourself to enter the building and do your best at risk of your life.

We used to call these people heroes.

Sun Feb 15 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FEC trying to regulate blogs

Washington Examiner
During a broad FEC hearing to discuss a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated some donor limits, proponents encouraged the agency to draw up new funding disclosure rules and require even third-party internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would extinguish a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the Internet.

To understand why the Democrats want to make disclosure of donors required, just remember what happens to people whose donations to certain causes are "accidentally" exposed.

Sat Feb 14 12:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Courts continues to duck surveillance cases

Ars TechnicaThe Electronic Frontier Foundation sustained a notable blow in one of its oldest ongoing surveillance-related lawsuits—its motion for partial summary judgment was denied on Tuesday, while a counter motion filed by the National Security Agency was granted.

According to the ruling, the plaintiff cannot prove that she was surveilled via the internet and thus lacks standing to sue on that matter. Other means of surveillance, notably telephone records collection, are still at issue.

Sat Feb 14 11:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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