The Power of Law

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Laws have power.  Mostly they have the power of the government behind them.  As in: if you don’t do this, we’ll kill you and/or put you away for a long time.

That’s it. That’s the only power laws have.

The left meanwhile seems to think they’re some kind of magical incantations, which, by existing, would make it impossible to do/think/say something.

I don’t understand that.

It is most notable in their crazy rush to forbid guns, which give middle aged, out of shape women like me the possibility to defend themselves against crazy people who might want to kill me. (Up to and including the government, should things go that way.)

What puzzles me about the idea that if you forbid guns no one will have any, and there won’t be any crimes committed with guns is that it’s so widespread. Europe has tried this. Yeah, they still have guns.  Britain is now forbidding knives, and yes, they still have knives.

Soon enough all British citizens will only be able to get the kind of ridiculous plastic cutlery you get on airliners.

And yet, people will still murder people. And would be spree-shooters will find other ways to kill a vast multitude of people.

Yes, America’s crime rate is higher than Europe’s. We know. We also know statistics aren’t tracked the same way there and here.  And also that, honestly, if you remove our cities which are as hot on gun control as Europe and make sure we’re comparing apples to apples, we have one of the lower rates in the world.

This is because even crazy criminals understand “I might get shot.” And even suicidal mass-shooters understand “I’ll never accomplish my glorious killing spree if I get shot the minute I fire. I might not even kill anyone.”

This is why all shootings of this kind occur in gun free zones.

Making the person or persons who decides to create a “gun free zone” liable for any shootings in the place would do more to make us safe from spree shooters than all the red flag laws in the world.

Because red flag laws can get abused. The left already think anyone who disagrees with them is “crazy.” And look at how the Soviet Union used their mental health system sometime.

And more importantly they’ll do nothing to keep guns off the hands of people who want to misuse them.  Nothing will.

Humans are cunning apes. We’ve been killing each other since we only had fists. Stone-ax control would have stopped nothing.

The conceit that a little sign saying “this is a gun free zone” is capable of stopping someone already intent on killing a multitude of people is… I’m not sure? I think believing you can turn back the sea with a word makes more sense.  This is madness on a par with the craziest Roman Emperors, an assumption of power that is not only improbable but impossible for a human being.

But it might be part of how the left thinks. They also think we can “teach rapists not to rape.” As tough you know the entire instruction of mankind has failed, but if we specifically tell them not to rape, that will stop it.

The problem with all this is that making laws that won’t be obeyed, or won’t be obeyed by those people who are intent on doing whatever it is the law is supposed to prevent, doesn’t only “not work” and lead to more bad laws, when the hysteria sets in.

No, the problem is that it creates a highly corruptible system, full of contradictory injunctions that can be exploited by fallible and corrupt people, who are often attracted to positions of power and force.

And the other problem is making everyone is a criminal.

Laws that can’t be obeyed, won’t be obeyed. A lot of behaviors will go underground, where they are more dangerous.  For instance, if you forbid cloning, you’re guaranteeing cloning will be used for body parts (or whole-body transplants) instead of, say, for infertility issues, or to make a twin for your kid (which whatever you think of the morality, is infinitely more benign.)

Forbidding guns will disarm the law abiding and trusting, leaving them, therefore, vulnerable to those who couldn’t care less.

And giving our law enforcement agencies a mass of self-contradictory, unenforceable law to enforce will corrupt them too. For illustration, look to South America.

Heck, we’re already halfway there.  There is no one, left or right in this country who truly believes that Epstein committed “unassisted suicide.”  No one. Not even the people who TRY to.

That tells you where we’ve got to.

And that’s the problem.  Because the only power of the law is knowing an impartial authority will enforce it with clear eye-ed impartial vision or as close as humans get.  That is what makes laws worth respecting. That and the fact that they are not only useful but enforceable/trackable/doable.

When you lose that, and can’t trust your authorities who are just another gang, you’re on your way to the time when every man’s stone ax was needed, every day, to protect his meager belongings.

Neither prosperity nor civilization will survive that.

 

311 responses to “The Power of Law

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    “If men were angels, we’d need no government (ie laws)”. 😦

    Oh, in the military there’s a saying that goes “Don’t give an order that won’t be obeyed”. (With the assumption that nobody would obey it.)

    • There is only so much compliance in the average human being, in my observation. The amount does vary, and you can “train” more into them via judicious and reasonable environmental behavioral cues, but the raw fact is this: There’s only so much. It’s a finite thing; you use all of it up when you impose petty and senseless rules on people, and then the Really Big, Really Important ™ stuff is going to go by the wayside.

      Most of the idjits we have running the country and the world are not paying attention to these things; they think that the world runs on Diktat; what they say is creating reality, and if they say something, it will happen.

      Epstein’s “suicide” is a perfect example of these principles: The people running the MCC made these policy and procedure rules, and then expected them to just “happen”. The idjits never went to look at how they were actually working, out in the real world, where staffing levels aren’t where they are supposed to be, and not all of the people are available whose presence those policies and procedures are predicated on. Epstein was supposed to be checked on every thirty minutes; reports are now out there that the guards were pencil-whipping those checks, and actually asleep. And, if other reports are true, who the hell can blame them? The one guy was supposed to be on his fifth 18-hour shift; the other wasn’t even a qualified guard.

      So, you see the point: You only get so much compliance out of the average human. Those guards were given policies and procedures to carry out, and then none of the surrounding matrix of support which was assumed by those policies and procedures. And, when you’re talking about prison guard duties, I’m not so sure that I’d be the guy who didn’t write off doing the checks, and then getting some sleep–This is the same facility where a guard was blinded not that long ago by one of the Blind Sheik’s compatriots, by having a pencil shoved into his eye. Care to be dead-on-your-feet tired, and dealing with that sort of environment? If these reports are accurate, I’m kind of on the side of the guard–Nobody should be worked to death under those conditions, and that’s pretty much what they’re asking for, when someone who’s exhausted and worn-down is supposed to be dealing one-on-one with dangerous prisoners…

      So, yeah: Only so much compliance. Don’t waste it on stupid sh*t.

      That’s a baseline realization that all too many leaders and managers simply don’t “get”–You want to be effective, and not be constantly be stomping out brushfires of stupidity, you need to have the self-awareness of what you’re doing. From the sound of things, policies and procedures at the MCC were not reality-based, and as such, weren’t ever going to be honored.

      Other effect is, when you have things set up to enforce the impossibly stupid and ill-advised, what also comes along as a side-effect is that not only are your stupid and ill-advised things ignored, the important stuff gets vanished away into that same oubliette.

      Assuming that there were no nefarious things going on with Epstein, I can totally see this being the result of leadership idiocy.

      • I can totally see this being the result of leadership idiocy.
        Or exploitation of that “idiocy”. When humans create those sorts of bogs, smart bad people come along and exploit them.

    • One way human relationships have a tendency to have…. flaws… For values of “flaw” equal to “closest approximation to literal hell on earth that we can make”.

      This applies to the law as well; respect for the law is vital to having a functioning civilization, but it requires that The Law has a duty to be something worthy of any respect.

      • The Law has a duty to be something worthy of any respect.

        Therein lies the fundamental quandary of The Left: they respect only themselves, with their “superior” understanding of morality. Laws are to manage the Deplorables.

        See: Weinstein, Epstein, Clinton, and others.

  2. Hmmm. What would the proper rule of thumb be here, for legislatures at whatever level…perhaps: Don’t pass laws intended to apply to the non-law-abiding, as the laws will never have the desired effect. Rather than laws restricting gun ownership and use among the law-abiding, which will only make things easier for the non-law-abiding, I’d support David Burkhead’s ideas here as a good starting point for discussion:

    https://thewriterinblack.com/2019/08/13/ensuring-the-militia-is-well-regulated/

    • That’s very much in line with how I’d reconstitute the Militia if I were ‘King for a Day’.

    • I would say, rather, pass laws only against behavior that immediately harms others, or is highly likely to. The non-law-abiding will murder, unless the likelihood of being caught and punished is high enough.

      Don’t pass laws against driving while intoxicated. Pass laws against driving dangerously; speeding outside of a margin of safety. Weaving from lane to lane. Let the drunk guy who is plodding along in the right hand lane because he knows damned well he’s stewed get home.

      For one thing, this would negate the necessity of fighting a long legal battle to keep DWI defendants from gaining access to the particulars of how a breath-tester works, because it would no longer be necessary to keep the public from knowing how broadly inaccurate they are.

      Recent efforts to lower the legal blood alcohol level simply ignore that breath-testers are barely accurate enough to make the old level of .1 (as I recall, from when dinosaurs walked the earth).

      The law should not seek to punish actions that may, in future, lead to harmful behavior.

      • While I concur in the sentiment, I foresee many many protracted court challenges premised on the subjectivity of police officers, along with Disparate Impact claims about inherent bias.

        • That is what dash-cams and body-cams should be for.

          “You claim you were pulled over because you’re Black? Then how do you explain this dash-cam footage of you driving the wrong way down a one-way street?”

          • A one-way street? Just another instance of White-Supremacist culture, telling black bodies what they must do!

    • I’ve been advocating using the schools to “regulate the militia”. Put firearm safety courses in every public school, along with ‘qualification’ courses (that would primarily allow for rewarding excellence and weeding out really problematic people – you would only FAIL by shooting yourself repeatedly, or shooting other people, though you could fail to PASS by not being able to hit your own target; hey, somebody will have to provide suppressive fire). You are issued a carry license at graduation. (Conscientious objectors would still have to pass the safety course, but could spend their range time learning trauma first aid or cooking.)

      Oh, and I think firearms should be tax-free. Exactly opposite Faux-cahontas’ proposal.

      • And such a program, if forced through somehow, would have the additional benefit of causing many Lefty teachers’ heads to explode.

      • Given the present achievement levels in core disciplinary studies — reading, writing, arithmetic, history, sex ed. and the like — are you sure this is a good idea?

        • Well, there IS that, Mr Wallaby. There is that.
          (Though I did set a pretty low bar.)

        • A skilled opponent might be deadly, but a weaponized imbecile is terrifying.

          • In a similar vein, the best swordsman in the world doesn’t fear the second-best swordsman. He fears the worst swordsman, because he can’t predict what the idiot will do.

            • I’ve actually won chess games because someone thought that I had to be playing up my ignorance, NOBODY could be that dumb.

              • The first chess game I ever played (and the only one I ever won) I won by trying to lose. I got bored and tried to make it shorter. My opponent figured I must have some weird strategy that meant taking the obviously offered pieces was the Wrong Thing… and after that dragged on, I decided I might as well try to win – and to my shock, did. Opponent was a bit sore upon learning my super strategy was “lose quickly so I can go do something else.”

                • my super strategy was ‘lose quickly’

                  This is absurdly easy, although as a novice you could not be expected to know the proper form.

                  1. after the first several exchanges of moves (exactly which moves does not matter) gaze thoughtfully at the board for a matter of minutes, occasionally reaching out to tap one piece and another.

                  2. Sigh ostentatiously, tip over your king and announce, “Mate in thirty-seven. Well played.”

                  3. Walk away. Refuse to answer any questions about how that mate was to be achieved, except with such uninformative statements as “Wasn’t it obvious?” or “Sorry; if you couldn’t see it I don’t think you could follow my explanation.”

        • Ah, RES does have a very valid point.

        • No worries. After the five minutes it took Admin to notice that unreconstructed males were enjoying school the hands-on course-work would be shut down.

        • Anything the school system touches turns to anti-matter.

          Do you want a unanimous repeal of the Second Amendment? Because this is how you get a unanimous repeal of the Second Amendment.

      • Firearms and ammunition are taxed because sportsmen years ago agitated for it, with the tax money to go to wildlife management. The fact that the maligned hunters have contributed far more to the environment than so-called “environmentalists” is not often mentioned.

  3. If I understand right, you don’t even need to cut out entire cities for our crime rates to drop, just a few neighborhoods in a dozen or so cities would do it.

  4. There’s the other half of this: Every time a law goes unenforced, ALL laws are weakened. What good is the rule of law if laws can be ignored?

    • tregonsee314

      Right the unenforced law (or Drak’s unobeyed order) erodes the folks trust in the law maker/order giver. It also makes the law maker look like a fool (not that this is needed).

      • There is a “thing” here, which an awful lot of people either don’t understand, or outright just ignore. That “thing” is the fact that what is actually going on inside the environment of government, leadership, and organizational management is far different than what we’re teaching and training these leaders and managers to understand and control.

        Put all of this into the context of behavioral conditioning: Everyone experiences their life as a continual series of Skinner Boxes, behavioral modification gates. And, within that context, what the leaders and managers are really doing is trying to control and modify behavior of their organization/society members.

        They don’t think of it in those terms, though. They fail to realize and recognize that these virtual Skinner Boxes exist, or that nine-tenths of their actual job is to manage and control those things. Most leaders and managers think of things in terms of that Diktat model I mentioned above: They sit in their offices, they make a decision, they make a policy or a law, and then that “action” of policy or law making then shapes reality and the behavior of the subject member of the organization.

        The actual fact is that the stimulus-response cycle is far more complex than just Johnny reading the new policy letter or law and complying with it. There are other signals in the environment, other influences–And, that whole environment potentially has more effect than mere words from on high.

        The dysfunction usually goes along these lines: Bob, the manager, sees something he doesn’t like–Say that the employees are using a man door on the processing plant that’s adjacent to the production line, and that is constantly causing problems because the open door lets in contaminants. So, Bob says “New policy: Don’t use that door…”. Policy doesn’t work, because nobody actually obeys it. Constant enforcement has to go on, disciplinary action, and all the rest. Huge bone of contention–Use of the door becomes a union issue. Eventually, it is alarmed and set up with an emergency-only exit system, but employees are constantly caught bypassing it. Bob is continually losing his sh*t over the issue, publishes letter after letter, disciplinary actions taken, employees fired–This door is a constant and consistent source of problems.

        Then, the plant is expanded, and the problem goes away, seemingly by magic. What happened? Bob basically failed to analyze his problem properly, and failed to comprehend that the main employee parking lot was behind the plant, with that door being the quickest and easiest way for a late employee to get to the line. It was also the easiest way to get outside for a smoke break. Walking from the employee parking lot and doing it the “right way” meant that you’d basically have to walk all the way around the main plant building, which was damn near a half-mile.

        Bob’s Diktat was basically just noise, not signal, in the face of all the other environmental cues and incentives for the employees. No wonder that nobody paid the slightest bit of attention to them. There were dozens of different policies and rules that encouraged employees to bypass that door’s rules, and Bob was operating in complete obliviousness to them. He thought that if he said something, then it would happen.

        That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works–And, most of our managers/leaders/politicians think that it does. Which is why they keep misidentifying what’s going on in the environment, what signals are being sent by the actual systems and situations that they’ve created with other rules, regulations, and laws. This is what creates all these perverse incentives–The idiots making them completely fail to comprehend what the hell they’ve been doing, or the actual environment they’re working within.

        And, because we don’t ideate things in these terms, we’re going to keep right on screwing this up by the numbers. We very badly need to come to an understanding of how things really work, or we’re going to wind up like Bob, trapped in a damn office and railing at the world not behaving as we expect it to. The simple act of getting out of that office, and observing what was going on in the plant would have told Bob where his problems really were, and how to effectively modify the behavior of the employees so that they quit using that door. Any number of measures would have worked–The one that actually did was the fact that the plant expansion wiped out that employee parking lot, and they were given a nice new one that was sited better, on the same side as the building’s “official” entrance.

        Bob never figured that out, though–He just thought that his policy letters and rules finally took effect, after seven years of making them… He considered the employees to be “slow learners”.

        I think Bob was an idiot.

        • That goes a thousand-fold for government workers and politicians. They ALWAYS make their decisions in a vacuum without an understanding of the mesh-network laws and regulations exist in. Which is why eliminating rules and regulations usually makes things easier to comply with, with fewer unexpected side effects.

          • I would change ALWAYS to HAVE TO because most of us are mushrooms.

            But I’ll be testing that theory fairly soon. Wish me luck.

          • Note that it’s not just the “created” reality that they are oblivious to, but also the concrete physical one. Plus, cultural, and all the rest.

            I think part of the problem is that we teach and train people to think of the world around them in terms of the Diktat, and fail to properly instruct and mentor them to actually take more into account than just the universe of command and rules they can create.

            Sometimes, all you need to do is make a really minor change to the physical world, and all the mindspace you had devoted to command and enforcement becomes completely unnecessary. That’s something that all too many people fail to really comprehend…

            We badly need a more holistic theory on how to achieve things as leaders and managers, something that includes the idea of changing the terms of the conversation between individual and environment that results in specific behaviors being encouraged, developed, and demonstrated.

            Nine-tenths of the pernicious social effects we see from law and law makers results from this crap–They never think about the actual signal they’re sending with the things they do and enact. They think that the mere summary of intent is enough, and that everything will magically fall into place around that. Which is simply not how it works.

    • Not simply the problem o laws going unenforced.

      Passing laws and ban their enforcement — such as campaigns against “Stop & Frisk” practices.

      Essentially we see the contradiction embodied in Nat Hentoff’s formulation of how so many understand the First Amendment: “Free speech for me but not for thee.”

      Note that every gun control proposal will permit the wealthy to hire bodyguards to wield guns on their behalf. For a faction that condemns all wealth as theft it seems contradictory to enhance the ability of the wealthy to lord it over the rest of us.

      • I’ve been on the receiving end of “stop and frisk” waaayyy too many times. After a while I got hostile enough they’d radio for backup. No, they had nothing on me the previous DOZEN times, so they’d just stop me and make me late for work to screw with me.

        That was when I was young and moderately cooperative. Now I’m old, hostile, and armed to the teeth. And I carry a bodycam in my shirt pocket.

        You don’t have justifiable cause to stop me? Buddy, I can work the system too.

        • TRX, does that mean you’re not in the automatic category of being a white male supremacist? Or is it the T-shirt that says, “Support Urban Free Range Foraging!”

          Hmmm. On the other hand, I get stopped almost all the time in the airport for enhanced screening, and I’m a clean-shaven, business-dressed, old white guy and the TSA screeners almost always seem to be NOT ME.

          • I forgot about that. And the Patriarchy, and the Half-Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Dirty rotten biker and left handed Linux user, too…

            I know several people who do a fair amount of business travel, also in the “gets enhanced search every time” category. Because if they check anyone else, they’re open to howls of racism, yadda yadda yadda, and everything grinds to a halt while the supervisors apologize profusely to the upset travelers.

      • Louder With Crowder had a Change My Mind segment with a German media gal who went spare on him “You’re lying!!!” because he claimed Germany didn’t have freedom of speech.

        He eventually got her to calm down enough to acknowledge that Polezei would come to visit you if you posted Hate Speech. When it dawned on her that Mr. Crowder was one of those “no limits” people, she calmed down even further: Oh, you’re just one of Them. “A liberal”

        Bonus value: She told Mr. Crowder “you would have voted for Hitler!”

        Deconstructing this young woman’s mixture of morality, ignorance, and brainwashing is either useful or cause for despair. Especially when you realize, pace Mrs. Hoyt’s post that rule of law is rapidly disintegrating across the U.S. It’s all (or soon will be) who / whom.

        It may even be too late to weaponise the law against the SocJus establishment. But I’m with anyone who tries.

    • It depends if the lack of enforcement stems from the criminals’ being forced to be secret. That can help. Flagrant crime not getting the law enforced is always bad.

    • Especially when all the non-enforcement and “prosecutorial discretion” benefits only one political party.

  5. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Sarah’s post reminded me of a scene in Harry Turtledove’s “World War” series. (Aliens invade Earth during World War 2.)

    If it wasn’t bad enough for the “Fleet Lord” to have to deal with humans more advanced that his people expected, he got reports that his people were becoming addicted to ginger with interesting results.

    So he issued an order banning use of ginger expecting it to be obeyed. Need I say that it wasn’t obeyed? 😈

    • Banning ginger probably gave some of the less-connected the clue that ginger might be something interesting to look into.

      Just like salvia divinorium wasn’t on a lot of people’s radar until states started to ban it. Reading about states banning it was what made me look into what it was. Subsequently, I looked into ordering seeds for my garden (yes, I know it’s dangerous, but I really wanted it more to HAVE than to actually USE). Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on your viewpoint, Florida’s ban was passed and signed into law before I found a source that I trusted, so I didn’t end up getting any seeds after all.

      • Some time back there silly people doing the “Cinnamon Challenge.” As evidence that I am Not Evil, I did not make any effort to upstage or usurp it and try to get people to do a ‘Nutmeg Challenge’. Sure, the effects would not have been as immediate – but that’s exactly what would likely have made it the more insidious.

  6. And… every Bad Law that must be disobeyed weakens the rest and discredits the system that created them.

    • It depends on why you think they’ve passed so many laws …
      From Atlas Shrugged:
      “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  7. The Democrats love Gun Control Laws but they refuse to enforce them.
    The Primary example is a Law that absolutely everyone agrees with. That is Felons with gun/ammo. The Fed level is 5 years per count. The States I have seen are about 3 years.
    But these are almost never enforced. Plea bargain the gun away for a robbery and give them 2 years.

    The Fed Felon with a gun was enforced in Richmond many years ago. The Fed Prosecutor decided to enforce it. Within a couple of months gun crime had dropped by over 50% and stayed down as long as it was enforced.
    The Next Prosecutor didn’t like it so stopped enforcement. Gun Crime went back up to where it was before the enforcement.

    Gun Laws are NOT ENFORCED because the Democrats are afraid they might work. They want the issue to gain MORE Gun Laws, until they have their BAN.

    • Gun crime in Richmond did go back up, but nowhere near where it was beforehand.

    • That the laws do not have the effects they claim for them is a feature, not a bug. They want the laws to fail to curtail violent crime because that then gives them the excuse for more laws and restrictions.

    • The Primary example is a Law that absolutely everyone agrees with. That is Felons with gun/ammo.

      What’s this “we” s*** kemosabe?

    • Lying on the Form 4473, the form that must be filled out and kept for 20 years by the licensed dealer when buying a firearm from said dealer, CAN NOT BE PROSECUTED if the would-be purchaser is a felon, despite it being a federal crime to lie on the form. This is why they scream about all the felons who tried to buy guns through dealers not being prosecuted. Problem is, the 1968 Supreme Court ruling in Haynes v. United States said that a criminal could not be prosecuted for lying on a gun registration form (and the Form 4473 is a gun registration form, whatever they say it is, as it registers a particular gun to a particular person), because to require it to be filled out accurately and thereby make the criminal subject to prosecution violates 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination. Most of the people prosecuted for Form 4473 violations made paperwork errors; it is not a useful law-enforcement tool.

      • They enforce Form 4473 violations???
        I would like to know how many cases are brought each year.

      • “and the Form 4473 is a gun registration form, whatever they say it is, as it registers a particular gun to a particular person), because to require it to be filled out accurately and thereby make the criminal subject to prosecution violates 5th Amendment protections against self-incrimination. Most of the people prosecuted for Form 4473 violations made paperwork errors; it is not a useful law-enforcement tool.”

        Which is why they still keep it. They want the registry; if they can get that then they won’t care what a court says when it’s time to use it for confiscation.

  8. Hunters using plastic knives?

  9. its like… when voting for judges in CA, i’d do a little research, and one would usually be center or just right of center (rare) and the other would be left… so much for impartiality.

  10. I saw someone point out that many assaults are with blunt objects, so after gun control and knife control would come object control… except… track register every (blunt) OBJECT? Why, as some of us know from direct hard experience, there are fields of rocks for the picking!

  11. I would weep for our cousins in the formerly Great Britain were it not for the fact that they did it to themselves either by choice or a lack of sufficient resistance to the notion that banning inanimate objects was a solution to crimes of violence.
    https://thefederalist.com/2018/04/13/britains-knife-control-bad-parody-gun-control/

    • They were discussing a program for issuing specially blunted knives to female victims of spousal abuse.

      I fully expect to see the same thing here in Canada in future. Its a positive feedback political loop. See problem, ban something, get re-elected. See new problem, ban something, get re-elected. Problems persist and get worse, ban something else, get re-elected.

      • As if whetstones and grinders don’t exist.

        “Sir, you cannot buy a knife.”
        “Knife? No, no, I just have some shelves to assemble. What I require is a screwdriver.”

        • If pressed you can sharpen things “good enough” on the sidewalk. Just takes water and a little time.

          Aluminum baseball bats are banned in Tokyo, or so I’m told. No word yet on the “Pointed Stick And Random Stone By The Side Of The Road Control” movement… but we used to say that about knife control.

          Taking bets on how long before soap in a sock is a banned weapon.

          • And ropes, lead pipes, wrenches and candlesticks.

            Poor Misses Peacock will have nothing left in the kitchen to do it with!

            I swear, the anti-gunners are all Clue-less.

              • Plug for Hobbs and Shaw movie. Our femme fatal is an MI-6 agent and beats the ever loving snot out of an agent in the holding cell with her with a folding chair.

                • A folding chair??? Whatever happened to just ramming them head first into the walls?

                  N.B. – in a pinch, iron bars and/or concrete floors may be used in lieu of walls. When irresistible force meets immovable object, aught caught between them tends to fare badly. As Sinatra observed: something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give, something’s gotta give.

            • All pillows would have to be made from “breathable” materials. For that matter, plastic bags would be right out (I know – they’re on that one, if not for that reason.)

              The number of ways a battered spouse can eliminate the abuser is nigh unto infinite, limited primarily by imagination — particularly if the abusee is doing the cooking and cleaning.

            • Colonel Wrench in the pantry with the Mustard…

          • Soap? I eagerly await the first trial on charges of unlawful possession of sand.

            • “Your kitty litter license, sir?”

              • Would that make you a ‘shitty kitty permittee’?

              • With background checks and limits on the size of your socks.

                Pantyhose would have to be banned, of course, and not simply because criminals wear them over their faces (although that should be reason enough!)

                • Probably contributes to rape culture or something.

                • A friend very nearly got shot while working as a cashier at a liquor store. A robber came in, and Mike started laughing at him, which made the robber angry and shouty and threatening to shoot him if he didn’t STFU. Finally he realized the clock was ticking and ran back out of the store.

                  Mike said the guy had pantyhose pulled over his head with the legs dangling like beagle ears, and was looking out through the sewn-in “crotch panel”…

  12. I see that I am channeling Sarah again today. Must be all the yard work.

    https://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.com/2019/08/white-man-gun-raaaaacist-but-not-in.html

    Ideas so stupid they’re not even wrong, just hateful.

    Incidentally, gun control is and always has been the way White people keep Black people and immigrants from getting guns. I want to see some Lefties chew on that little fact for a while, and then swallow.

    • At best they are all at heart Lyndon B. Johnson. At best. At worst, they are Margaret Sanger.

      • Wasn’t Margaret Sanger a full-on hospitalizable fruit-loop? I seem to remember that from somewhere.

        • I’m currently reading Dinesh D’Sousa’s Hillary’s America. Apparently Sanger flat out admitted she wanted to exterminate all blacks in America; abortions by Planned Parenthood was one of her primary methods.

        • Sanger was pretty much a bog standard left wing activist. So, yes, a full-on hospitalizable fruit-loop in any sane society.

        • So was LBJ, and from what I’ve read, he was a lot more evil. Sanger was one-note evil; LBJ had more of the long-term in mind.

          There’s a video interview with Sanger on YT… fairly obviously nutty.

          • Sanger set up abattoirs that still function today. How long-term do you need her to be?
            Johnson wanted dependency, Sanger wanted genocide.

            • Point, tho I think LBJ’s has had broader reverberations. Sanger’s abattoirs only killed their victims; LBJ’s policies impact practically everyone living in a poor or urban area, even those who nominally have nothing to do with ’em (paying the taxes to support the system, or suffering the crime from the fatherless and aimless young men).

              • Sanger’s group is upping its game, however:

                Abortion trade group announces prepaid gas card rewards program for women seeking an abortion
                Well. This seems perfectly ghoulish. The abortion industry’s chief trade association is unveiling a program to award prepaid gas cards to women seeking to terminate their children.

                The Very Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, an Episcopal priest who serves as the National Abortion Federation’s interim president and CEO, hailed the rewards program Wednesday in a statement provided to the media.

                “In addition to helping patients cover the cost of their procedure, we also provide case management support and help covering travel-related expenses,” she said. “We have already seen an increase in distances patients have had to travel to obtain the abortion care they need and expect this trend only to get worse.”

                Ragsdale’s statement adds, “Travel-related assistance is a service that shouldn’t have to be provided. People should have easy access to the health care they need – including abortion care – without the help of hotlines and donated funds. Unfortunately, due to the anti-abortion bans and medically-unnecessary anti-abortion restrictions, politicians have made it impossible for many to obtain the care they need. We’re here to do something about it.”

                We are just a few years away from the NAF also offering abortive procedures delivered right to patients’ doorstep, aren’t we? Uber Eats, but for terminating your pregnancy.

                If things work out, the NAF hopes to expand this pilot project nationwide.

                • “Abortion trade group”?!?
                  What in the ever-living-hell is that? And people get all exercised about the freakin’ Illuminati?! That right there is Lucifer renting out a store front!

                  Just wow. We are SO screwed.

                • Poe’s Law of the day. I can’t believe that’s real.

                  IIRC, Sanger was originally against abortion and was pushing for birth control. At some point, she changed her mind.

          • Yes, LBJ apparently said something about “keeping the n* voting Democrat for the next 200 years” by continually giving them scraps through various government programs; but never enough to become independent of those programs

      • And dumb enough to think both are compliments.

  13. 11B-Mailclerk

    Politicians do not fear the arm d criminals who prey upon the public. Those sort seldom target politicians.

    They fear -you- armed, because you might get the idea you do not have to obey, and worse, might decide to do something about it.

    Fearful, you must obey your patron “protector”. They do not want you remembering that it was intended for -them- to be the servant, not the master.

    Simple rule of thumb: if they want you disarmed, even a little, they see you as the servant and themselves as the master.

    • Every time some new restriction on the ownership of firearms is introduced, I ask myself L. Neil Smith’s question, “What are they planning to do to me that they don’t want me to be able to resist?” I believe the answer to that question was posted in comments here last week viz. the long-term plans of the Weathermen . . .

    • I think that might be overthinking the motivation a little. Any politician who has genuine rational cause to personally fear violence from his electorate is already in too much trouble for legislation to make a difference; if they’re already armed, they won’t obey laws confiscating weapons, and if they’re not, they won’t obey laws prohibiting their acquisition.

      Most politicians aren’t afraid of anything except losing the next election, and pretty much any platform they adopt has to be evaluated in light of that calculus. A politician doesn’t have to be afraid of his electorate to recognize that some of his electorate are afraid of the rest, and capitalize on that.

    • Correction:
      Simple rule of thumb: if they want you disarmed, even a little, they see you as the SERF and themselves as the master.

      Let’s get feudal, feudal…

    • Oh, not entirely. They are afraid of the Jared Lee Loughner-types; who are so anti-government (for whatever reason) that they target anyone in office.

  14. There is no one, left or right in this country who truly believes that Epstein committed “unassisted suicide.” No one. Not even the people who TRY to.

    As more information comes out about the covered-up incompetence of the prison staff overseeing him, I am, to be honest, coming around to the view that it’s at least possible Epstein was able to kill himself by himself.

    That said, the idea that the only things driving him to the decision were merely age, despair, and fear of incarceration (upper- or middle-class sexual predators without gang support do very poorly in prisons) remains too much of a strain to accept without extensive investigation. As Sarah has often said, you don’t need a conspiracy to explain coherent action when everybody already thinks the same way — but exactly what they’re thinking, and why, should be investigated.

    • I agree that it is at least a little bit POSSIBLE that Epstein did for himself. I can imagine, if he did, it was probably preemptive because he (probably rightly) expected SOMEONE to off him.

      Maybe I just have a poor view of rich people, but really, I can believe him punking out because he knew he wouldn’t get away with it THIS time.

      • It’s possible all the air molecules in the room will dash off to one side and leave you gasping for air. But it’s about as likely as Epstein suiciding on his own.

        • THIS! It’s well beyond Hanlon’s Razor, and somwwhat past Heinlein’s addendum.

        • Autopsy report is in?

          Autopsy finds Jeffrey Epstein had several broken neck bones
          Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy determined the convicted pedophile suffered multiple broken neck bones, according to a report.

          One of Epstein’s breaks was to the hyoid bone, an injury that experts told the Washington Post is more common in homicide victims.

          The discoveries were disclosed to the paper by two people familiar with the findings of the autopsy, which was completed on Sunday, but warranted more information by the Medical Examiner’s Office before they make a final cause of death ruling.

          [SNIP]

          The Washington Post spoke to Jonathan Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, who said a broken hyoid bone — which is near the Adam’s apple — is more common in strangulation murders than suicidal hangings.

          “If, hypothetically, the hyoid bone is broken, that would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging,” said Arden, who is not involved with the Epstein autopsy.

          Numerous studies were also cited by the paper that found hyoid bone breaks were found in the minority of suicidal hangings. One such study conducted from 2010 to 2013 that looked at suicidal hangings in India found that hyoid damage was present in just 16 of 264 cases.

          • Gonna be a lot of people hating that coroner about now… I wonder if they’re going to call in a “more expert” one to try to change the determination?

            • Change MULTIPLE BROKEN BONES to what??
              The multiple broken bones in the neck is already out there and it’s not like they can take it back.

              • From somewhere on the internet: While the medical examiner was eating lunch, Epstein cremated himself.

                What broken bones? Prove it.

                • OR

                  Multiple broken bones in the neck that occurred post death from the improper removal of corpse from hanging mechanism in the attempt to save the already dead’s life …

                  ^^^ Oh. Look!!!. I can too write fiction … 🙂

                  • You saved me from having to type that in.

                    Or they could “Oops, wrong report, here’s the right one!”

                  • …aaand now the news is reporting the coroner’s official decision is “suicide.” And the body got claimed by an “undisclosed” person a few days ago and is gone.

          • Remind anybody of the pistol being found in Vince Foster’s hand? That’s rare in suicide as well.

          • Was just about to mention that. Yeah, this pretty much moves me from the “implausible but not unreasonably impossible” camp back into the “technically possible but frankly unbelievable” camp.

          • Let’s say that this case seems DESIGNED for conspiracy theories.

    • The real problem is the sheet. The normal sheet in the prison should NOT be able to be used to commit suicide. If he had a sheet that could be used, someone sent him a message.
      The details of how he used the sheet are important.

      • If I understand the articles I’ve read correctly, he’d actually been off suicide watch for a couple of weeks by that point. But you’re right, it’s certainly plausible that even if he wasn’t, somebody got him the “wrong” kind of sheet in deliberate foreknowledge of what he’d most likely do with it.

        The problem is anything that can be convincingly covered up as incompetence can also, by definition, quite likely be actual incompetence, and the latter’s a lot more frequent.

        • The problem is anything that can be convincingly covered up as incompetence can also, by definition, quite likely be actual incompetence, and the latter’s a lot more frequent.

          Of course, if the designers of a system perceive a potential use for incompetency within the system and those responsible for implementation of that system perceive a potential use for incompetency then incompetency becomes not a bug but a feature.

      • tregonsee314

        It’s worse than just the sheet. Epstein was 6′ plus. So to get enough tension he’s going to have to kneel because there (intentionally) is no where to attach stuff above. This is not death by breaking cervical bones and severing the spinal cord. This is death by asphyxiation. It takes some serious determination to kill yourself by asphyxiation because as the oxygen supply gets low natural self preservation instincts kick in. Even the most resolute stoic subject WILL struggle to get air at the end. If you’re doing this kneeling all you have to do is stand or rise up and the torture stops. I’m not sure who would have the guts to stay kneeling. I somehow doubt a gutless worm like Epstein would manage this. Something is clearly rotten in New Amsterdam…

        • Alternative theory: Epstein was actually engaged in autoerotic asphyxiation, and they’re just too embarrassed to admit they let it happen…

          David Carradine did himself in, that way. And, consider that Epstein was a sexual freak with limited self-control, plus alone for the first time in awhile. You can’t get your freak on like that with an audience, and maybe he thought that he’d be getting a new roomie soon, so had to get while the getting was good…? And, being inexperienced at the act, managed to kill himself.

          Frankly, even if that were a lie, I’d have put that story out there as the person who killed him. Who’d ask questions, if the story was “Well, we found him strangled with his willy out, whacking it…”. Everybody would be so squicked by it all that the commentary would be much reduced about any conspiracy theories, and we’d all be making the same jokes as we did about David Carradine…

        • About the only way to bypass that self preservation reaction is in the middle of sexual climax. e.g David Carradine’s accidental death. No report of Epstein doing that. Plus, if you’re kneeling, as soon as you pass out, you’re more likely than not going to fall over sideways, and relieve the pressure. No. Someone got to Epstein. And the two guards who were supposed to be checking on him are either in on it, or deliberately chosen as being the dumbest in the prison so someone could do it.

    • Possible. Even probable. But… both monitoring fell asleep at the same time.. sure, incompetence can and does happen. But it still has that bad feeling of being just a bit beyond coincidence.

      • There are too many stories predating this one that show that many prison workers have the intellect of a boiled potato…and the natural compassion of a turnip.

        If the man WAS killed, or if he was allowed to commit suicide deliberately, I would suspect the ‘conspiracy’ to be much lower down. Some prosecutor who has learned that, because of malfeasance in his office, the conviction os likely to be thrown out. Or some low level stooge thinking to curry favor with one or more of the elite idiots implicated.

        Orson Wells told the tale of how, when CITIZEN KANE was released, he was almost ‘found with an underage girl in his room’, a fate he escaped by not staying in that hotel room. He never thought Hearst had ordered it. He thought it much likelier that it was somebody who worked for Hearst who thought Hearst would want it done.

        It think that IF there’s a conspiracy, it will be like that.

        But I also think that ordinary stupidity is the more probable explanation.

        • “He never thought Hearst had ordered it. He thought it much likelier that it was somebody who worked for Hearst who thought Hearst would want it done.”

          A number of Ricardians who prefer not to think of Richard III as a man capable of ordering the killing of his 12-year-old nephews explain the Princes in the Tower this way: they assume the murder was done not on Richard’s orders but in either anticipation of Richard’s approval or determination to protect him.

          (Side note: If Martin’s Game of Thrones is based on the Wars of the Roses, and Robert Baratheon is a pretty clear stand in for Edward IV — famous warrior king of youth who ages into obese decadence in peacetime — then Ned Stark, Protector of the North who comes south and winds up realizing the heirs to the throne may be illegitimate, is actually a stand in for Richard of Gloucester, Richard III. Is the entirety of the first book of the series a Take That to Ricardians who want to think Richard III was “a good man” by pointing out that if he was a good man, he would have failed?)

    • “As more information comes out about the covered-up incompetence of the prison staff overseeing him, I am, to be honest, coming around to the view that it’s at least possible Epstein was able to kill himself by himself.”

      To quote a famous DemocRat: “At this point, what difference does it make?!”

      Media coverage red herring. It does not matter a damn if he was a suicide, or was murdered. He’s in supposedly the most secure US federal jail there is, in the Big Apple. He’s a material witness in a huge case. They can’t keep him alive? Are you kidding me?

      What the hell does that mean for Joe Average? It means that old saying “There Ain’t No Justice” takes on a whole new meaning.

    • BUT that incompetence still assisted him. This being the whole point.

      • Epstein was at the very least an assisted suicide.
        The massive speculation focuses mainly on the level of assistance.
        He had to have been told that bail was not an option, so no bugging off to some country without a US extradition treaty.
        Somebody took him off suicide watch, and that is simply not something doable with a simple request from the prisoner or his lawyer.
        Cellmate was removed.
        Material suitable for use as a hanging rope was provided.
        Standard protocols for prisoner observation were massively violated.
        Perfect storm of incompetence and errors combined to remove a prisoner who some believe had a massive amount of dirt on some very powerful and influential people.
        All simply coincidence I’m sure.

        • Cellmate was removed.
          And a new one was not put in place.

          Oh, and …
          “Once is accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

    • This morning’s autopsy report says Epstein had several broken neck bones. With the exception of the hyoid bone, that’s not possible for a suicide in his circumstances. Pretty conclusive that he was murdered and made to look like a suicide.

      • Has it been long enough since the last attempt for them to see healing, if they’d been broken then?

        That would explain the lack of cellmate and the broken bones; HIPPA or similar would explain the bones not being mentioned.

  15. The left meanwhile seems to think they’re some kind of magical incantations,

    I am not so sure. While attributing coherent thought to the Left is always a dubious proposition, they certainly do not think Law applies to them. Thus I would suggest they think Law has a function upon the RIght — Conservatives being inherently law-abiding people.

    Abut the only thing I would conclude the Left actually believe in is their own unchallengable moral superiority. All else is subsidiary to that and exists in order to enable its functioning.

    • As said elsewhere, there is a not a dial, but a switch. So far, that switch has yet to be flipped – but if it is… it will take more than mere status quo ante to flip it back.

    • I have seen a leftist whose response to discussion of how well gun confiscation works was to say that then you would own an illegal gun.

      That was his entire argument.

      • His entire argument was that if only we would outlaw guns, only outlaws would own guns?

        I marvel at his brilliance. If only all our political leaders were so bright we wouldn’t need “renewable” energy sources.

      • But what he’s saying then, is that you can and will be arrested.
        Honestly, I think that is the point, at least among the smarter leftist set. Get the guns banned, KNOWING that many conservatives and libertarians simply will not comply.
        Bam. Now they’re all felons and lose voting rights, employment, and most of what we take for granted as everyday rights and privileges.

        • Ah, and that’s when they stop arguing that felons should still be voting.

        • And they believe that facing that conservatives will just accept it and peacefully go to jail. Their lives destroyed and their families impoverished, these people will quietly go to jail, I don’t think so. WHAT will they have to lose?? Their lives, maybe, but they can take some of the bad guys with them. Die fighting or die on your knees. Progressives choose knees, conservatives will not.

          • “Die fighting or die on your knees.”

            Yes. This comes under “Well guys we’re late” (how to start a revolution) proverb of the Chinese and Russians.

        • Any law “making firearms illegal” would be an illegal law, a violation of the Constitution and would strip a government effort to impose it of any patina of legitimacy.

          And it does not matter how many Supreme Court Justices declare such a law to be constitutional.

        • No, his point was that it would be illegal. If he meant arrest, he would have mentioned sooner or later.

          The ones who threaten tanks coming to the door generally have no answer when you mention “tragic canoeing accident.”

        • And their guns become paperweights. Can’t take them to the range, can’t use them for self defense (because you were an active felon when the crime event started, therefore you can’t claim self-defense). Can’t buy parts or ammo or anything connected with them because “why are you buying parts for a gun you aren’t allowed to own?”

          The gungrabbers won’t bother with door to door.

          • Of course you can use them for self-defense. You just can’t call the cops after.

            Parts and ammo is why there is a black market. There are likely to be black-market ranges, too, but of course in the country, who needs one?

  16. Remember right after 9/11, when the idea of arming airline pilots was first mooted? There was a pretty hysterical reaction from the Left. One woman said it would make her *very nervous* to know that there might be a gun on the plane. Another commentator said they wanted to flight crew to concentrate on flying the plane and landing it safely. Again, this was right after 9/11.

    There was a lot of concern about the fact that pilots are not ‘trained law-enforcement officers”…an example of Leftist obsession with credentialism, the opposite of Heinlein’s piece on what a human should be able to do.

    And perhaps most oddly, there were comments that “gunfights at 35,000 feet are something out of a Tom Clancy movie,” as if this proved anything and as if “something out of a Tom Clancy movie” hadn’t just actually happened.

    So the fear of firearms, in this example, was wrapped up with a lot of other fallacious thinking.

    • When they did start the program, they made sure the training was hard to get to, expensive and that the rules for the Pilots carrying were strict.

    • wanted to flight crew to concentrate on flying the plane and landing it safely.

      If all passengers grasp that there is a gun in the cockpit and any unauthorized person entering the cockpit is liable to be shot, it seems highly probable there will be nothing to distract the flight crew from their customary duties.

      As for “trained law enforcement officers” the history of FBI Special Agents and Secret Service agents mishandling their firearms ought disabuse any fantasies of the sufficiency of certification.

      • The other day the ex-police-commissioner for NYC filed an amicus brief on the NYSRPA vs NYC suit. Among other things he complained that any guns in the city were an inherent danger because of population density and self defence shootings having a accuracy rate lower than 50%.

        The fact that the officers he supervised have an accuracy that would horrify even the worst stormtrooper was strangely not up for discussion.

        • Empire state building a few years ago. Dozens of shots. Iirc 4 wounded. None were the suspect.

        • Philadelphia just yesterday. Dozens (possibly 100+) of shots fired, six cops wounded — none life threatening as far as I know — suspect and (AFAIK) bystanders were uninjured.

          • Shot:
            Philly mayor calls for more gun control after six officers are shot
            Washington Examiner, 08-15-2019 @10:56 AM

            Chaser:
            Alleged gunman in Philadelphia shooting has history of gun law violations
            The Philadelphia suspect who engaged in a gun battle with police for hours on Wednesday has an extensive criminal history, including convictions for violating gun laws.

            Police say Maurice Hill, 36, is the local man who shot six officers. His first arrest when he was 18 years old was in 2001 for having a gun with an altered serial number, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

            Hill has been arrested around a dozen times since he was 18, including being convicted six times on charges that involved illegal possession of guns, drug dealing, and aggravated assault. Hill has been to prison multiple times, including a 55-month sentence in 2010.

            Hill pleaded guilty to federal gun charges in 2008 after he was caught with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver and a Taurus PT .45 semi-automatic, which he was not lawfully allowed to possess due to his prior felony convictions. He was sentenced to four years and seven months in prison.

            After an hourslong standoff that started when police entered the building to serve a warrant, Hill surrendered and was taken into custody.

            All six officers who were shot were taken to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

            In a press conference, Mayor Jim Kenney called for more gun control in response to the shooting.

          • Haven’t heard more than one clip off of that, but didn’t the active shooter have two drug enforcement guys, and their prisoners, locked down in the building? And the outside cops were the ones trying to keep him from going in to execute the cops and get the suspects loose.

            • No idea. The news media wasn’t saying anything except “this is still an ongoing situation” as if when I went to bed last night (suspect surrendered after Midnight) and I didn’t have a chance to check for updates before I left for work this morning).

              • Here we go:

                Two Philadelphia police officers and three civilians were trapped inside the row home with the suspected gunman before being safely evacuated by SWAT team members around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

                That would be the folks they were serving the narcotics warrant on.

                ….and this, folks, is why they are supposed to show up with three times the number of cops that would give a 1:1 vs the folks inside. The cops upstairs are lucky they’re not dead.

              • K, got more information.

                The guy who decided the police serving a warrant upstairs were there for him WAS SHOOTING UP THROUGH THE FLOOR.

                I think, this time, we can give the cops a pass for not being able to hit the badguy.

                That explains why they weren’t killed, at least.

      • Is it time for Mr. Glock Foh-ty? I think it is.

      • mishandling their firearms
        Or CA cops firing 100+ at a little blue pickup thinking it was that rogue cop… and only hitting the truck ~5 times, and not hitting either of the occupants.

    • Don’t get me started on that subject. From my perspective, it’s simple. The pilot is Captain. He IS the Government in transit. Any attempt to interfere with him wearing a sidearm is, therefore, prosecutable.

  17. There is something scary out there.
    Search for Justin Olsen Ohio.
    He was supposed to start UT Austin on an ROTC scholarship.
    They arrested him for COMMENTS, NOT ACTIONS!
    They took his FATHERS Guns and Ammo and boy are they making a big deal about what HIS FATHER had.

    Very hard to find out what the actual posts were.

    The FBI are being pressured to arrest Right-Wing domestic terrorists.
    This 18 year old was the BEST they could come up with???

    If the Comments were as bad as the FBI says, they would be quick to show them. None of the stories I have seen even provide a link to the comments.
    I believe they are stretching and taking the comments out of context.

    Again he was arrested by the FBI for his COMMENTS!!!! Not Actions.

    • I saw somewhere today that the FBI has feelers out for technology to scrape data from the social media companies. Because warrants aren’t convenient, I guess.

      • The FBI has been doing it for years, starting with CARNIVORE monitoring Usenet back in the 1980s. NSA’s ECHELON did the same, plus phone switches.

        The Feebs have been asking for bids for a “social media” scraper/analyzer for at least a decade, but the fact that they keep soliciting bids indicates whoever got the previous bids turned out to be unsatisfactory. Note that Fecesbook *already* has multiple subcontractors for censorship/policing; they could get Feeb money to pay for that if they bid on it…

        • Except… Carnivore went online in 1997.

          Yes, we made skynet jokes.

          • Wikipedia says that, but it was actually earlier, before the Web existed.

            People used to put “Carnivore food” in their .sig files in the newsgroups.

          • Timothy E. Harris

            Well, usenet wasn’t available to the average person until about 1995 (My oldest emails [yes, I still have them saved] are from December that year and I was a fairly early adopter for those not at University nor in Government) so that’s pretty quick for Government work.

          • I have saved usenet messages going back to ’87 when I had an account at a local university. Bridged my BBS into it in ’88 as a freenet node, using uucp.

            The ‘net was a lot smaller in those days… and quieter, before Cantor and Siegel.

    • That sounds like the Progressive Dream. They would love to be able to arrest anyone, anytime they wish. We really need to watch this find out what the content of those comments was. If it was anything short of a DIRECT THREAT OF VIOLENCE. we (as liberty loving people) need to push back hard.

      Sure, that might mean that we’ll put ourselves in the position of defending someone who commented some pretty terrible things (if indeed his comments WERE terrible things), but hey, I’ve argued for the free speech rights of Socialists, Communists, Marxists, and Progressives. We fight for the liberties of those we disagree with, because how could we deserve our own liberties if we don’t.

      • Direct and credible. I mean, I’ve been known to say in public that certain public figures should be drawn and quartered…. No one thinks I’m going to do it, though.

        • Of course no one thinks you’re actually going to do it, though. IT’s terribly messy and proper clean-up a right bitch of a job. And the environmental impact statements and forms to be filled out!!! A simple bullet properly placed and a well-managed pig farm are all any snowball needs.

        • Saying someone should have something done to them is not a direct threat. It doesn’t become a direct threat until you say that you are going to do that thing. The credibility of that threat isn’t examined until it is a direct threat.

          • Saying someone should have something done to them is not a direct threat.

            Depends on the situation. If, for instance, you’re inciting an angry mob by saying “someone” should drag the family down the street (against whom the mob is already riled) and shoot them, that’s a pretty serious threat.

            Then there’s always the famous “will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

            • Yes, but when Sarah says “certain public figures should be drawn and quartered” she isn’t saying it to a riled up mob looking for an excuse… and I would bet that horses, let alone those public figures, are on hand. Opportunity is also part of the equation.

              • I’m not disagreeing with that. I was disagreeing with the blanket statement which seemed to go too far. There are situations where “somebody should…” is a real threat. Those situations do not apply here but they do exist. That’s all.

            • Which Barack Obama raised to an art form.

      • This is how “red-flag” laws actually work.

    • Depends on the nature of the comments.

      “I’m going to kill, shoot, beat up, strangle, etc. so-and-so.” is considered a viable threat and will get you brought in.

      I got “interviewed” by U.S. Marshalls during the Fast and Furious not investigation for writing that, I thought somebody should take the crooked DA out and shoot him. Yeah, a nobody from 2500 miles away saying what he thought that wasn’t a direct threat, and certainly didn’t have a band of minions nation wide to carry out my slightest whim, unlike a former first lady. Hell, if I was MS-13 I could have made a phone call and had it done and nobody would have been the wiser. makes you wonder who in the government is benefiting from MS-13, doesn’t it?

  18. Those in power want to be able to do to us what the CCP are doing to the people of Hong Kong.

    They might get their wish. I’m feeling very pessimistic of late.

    • THIS. They won’t get their wish. America bristles with guns and pissed people.

    • Things could go south real fast for the PRC even if Beijing rolls out the tanks. Major urban areas – like Hong Kong – can quickly swallow up even very large armies, even if the defenders start out unarmed (they don’t end unarmed, though…).

      The 6000 or however many paramilitary police that Beijing has posted outside the city will only be enough if the residents of Hong Kong decide that they don’t want to keep escalating.

      • Considering the financial leverage Hong Kong represents for the PRC, they should spend some time meditating on the Fate of the Golden Goose.

        • Xi probably sees no golden goose as preferable to no Xi.

          And there’s a good chance it will swiftly change to no Xi if he gives in to the demands of Hong Kong’s citizens.

          • Yes. Because rumor has it that rumblings have begun among people in other places in China to the effect of “If Hong Kong can have basic rights, why can’t we have what we were promised, too?”

          • Xi is probably concerned that without a golden goose to keep that economy (looking as if it is) growing, there will be no Xi.

            The question would seem to be: How would Xi prefer to be damned?

            [Sigh. I ban having hard thyme remembering Xi is not Xi’s chosen pronoun.]

          • Hong Kong is a festering wound in China’s government structure. “One Country, Two Systems” was the declaration; HK would be capitalist, the rest of China Communist.

            The problem was, too many people in Communist China wondered why they couldn’t have the privileges and standard of living of HK, and started talking about it in public.

            China would lose a lot of foreign exchange if HK’s financial systems went down. It would hurt… but not as much as an actual insurrection.

            The USSR ran into the same problem when too many Soviets wondered why, if Communism was so great, people in the West were living in some futuristic science fiction universe.

      • Having read the following item, it seems there is an obvious and bold step Trump can take if China cracks down on Hong Kong democracy advocates: Ban export of Hollywood movies and television programs to the Peoples Republic of China. It would be a nice opportunity for Trump and Hollywood democracy advocates to stand together and instruct the PRC on democratic morals.

        After all, if Hollywood thinks they should boycott Georgia over its restrictions on abortion, surely they would want to treat the Butchers of Hong Kong more severely?

        If China Cracks Down on Hong Kong, Will Corporate America Remember Its Morals?
        One of the most inflammatory developments in America’s ongoing cultural conflict has been the decision of so-called “woke capital” to use its considerable commercial power to threaten or impose economic sanctions on American states that implement public policies it doesn’t like. We’ve seen this play out many, many times — from boycotts against Indiana when it had the audacity to expand religious-liberty protections in the state, to punitive measures against North Carolina after it passed its so-called “bathroom bill,” and to threats against Georgia in opposition to its own religious-liberty bill and then its abortion restrictions. Progressive corporate America has made its position clear. It will take a moral stand, even if that stand potentially hurts the bottom line.

        It’s always been hard to take that position seriously, however, when many of the same companies happily do immense amounts of business in the People’s Republic of China, a regime that systematically and ruthlessly crushes dissent. In China, the boycotts and bold stands are few and far between. Instead, there are glittering movie premieres, gleaming new factories, and intense marketing campaigns — all aimed at opening up one of the world’s most lucrative markets.

        But are there limits? As we watch Hong Kong police beat pro-democracy protesters and as Twitter fills with images of police and military force massing near the border, will corporate America remember its morals? Will it use its commercial and cultural power to punish China if the government intervenes? Or will it be business as usual for America’s woke corporate giants?

        [END EXCERPT]

        Of course, it goes without saying that Google, Facebook and others upbraiding Trump for anti-democratic policies will want to cut out the Chinese as well.

      • You don’t send an army into a city to take it door-by-door. You just send it to the choke points – water, sewage, power, roads – and shut everything down. Then you kick back and wait for them to come out on their own, hands on top of the heads. They’ll be plenty cooperative when they’re thirsty enough.

        • Only works if the army is willing to kill big bunches of people that try to get stuff turned back on. Also the people may turn cooperative but you have made EVERYONE in the city an enemy, who will hate you and try to get you for many years. Not a good way to win in a city of many millions, most of whom are NOT demonstrating and causing trouble. A good way to turn thousands of enemies into millions.

          • Your point? Does Xi care?

            • Only if he can do without all that lovely foreign exchange HK provides. Not to mention the fact that if he pushes too far someone might decide they don’t care if Ebola gets introduced to Beijing.

        • How’d that work out for the initial Russian attempt to pacify Grozny?

          That’s the theory. The actual practice can go awry real quick, depending.

  19. “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

    A very true saying. What the Progressives and their drones don’t understand (or don’t care) is that all the good people who believe in self defense will also be as much outlaws as your worst homicidal gangbangers. Because we’ll either keep our guns and ammo hidden, or make our own (it’s not that hard), or worst case, take what we need from other criminals or the government when necessary.

    They may have to exterminate us to get rid of us; but since they intend to do that anyway, we don’t have anything to lose but our lives, our fortunes, or our sacred honor.

    • Here, have your scrap of flag, you USAian you.

    • The way I see it, it’s always been a battle between the control freaks and the rest of us who just want to live our lives on our own terms. Goes back to the Enclosures in Scotland and England, where the asshole elites started declaring the commons to be private property, and then shipped off all the troublesome folk who objected to either the Americas or, later on, Australia.

      They got what they had coming, during the Revolution. And, for a short term, the rest of us had some peace and quiet, until we bred up our own bunch of control freaks, and let them get control of things because we weren’t attentively watching what they were doing. The control freaks also got a lot more cunning and sneaky, so they couched things in terms of “doing things for our own good…”, rather than simply taking the commons.

      I fear we’re reaching another one of those world-historical moments, where a bunch of people are going to have to make a bunch of really hard choices about how they want to live. The Left is arming up and threatening the people and contractors working for ICE; I don’t doubt but that will be used as a pretext for the next stage of things, where they tell us that we have to give up our rights for the common public good, and then turn on us with the same forces and agencies that the malfeasance and corruption of the left necessitated the creation of. It’s always, always easier to go after the non-complying “good citizen” than the actual criminals; the criminals will shoot the cops on sight; the “good citizen” naively assumes that the authorities are on their side, right up until the doors get kicked in and their dogs shot.

      • Kirk, I am shocked at you! “Goes back to the Enclosures in Scotland and England“? Goes back to the Romans and the squabbles between the Patricians and the Plebians. Back to the Egyptians, too, I daresay. Probably further yet, but records are spotty.

        And you’ve got it backward when you attribute it to “the asshole elites started declaring the commons to be private property” — it was all property of the crown until some arsewipes started nonsense about “private” ownership being possible.

    • What they fail to comprehend is that there are outlaws and then there are outlaws. Robin of Locksley was an outlaw, as were John Wesley Hardin, the Daltons and John Dillinger. That does not make them equivalent.

      For that matter, Attila and Genghis were not outlaws, nor were the Borgias.

    • “Well we are going to be late”

      If the left gets the semi-auto ban they are so gleeful about I’m going to thoroughly enjoy watching their heads explode when they realize that the peasants started drilling giggle holes instead of turning in their weapons.

      In for a penny in for a pound.

      • This, too. The plans for Lightning Links and drop-in auto sears are out there. And there were a hell of a lot of Sten parts kits imported…and the receiver on one of those is a length of steel tubing with holes cut and some bits welded on.

      • That’s one of the reasons why a new civil war would be very messy as drloss’s link below shows. If it gets to a shooting war state, the lists of targets are already drawn up. It starts with the portion of law enforcement attempting to enforce those confiscations and disarms, then to the elected Democrat/Communist/Socialist politicians, and works its way down through the list of registered Democrats. Literally brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor that would make the 1860;’s American Civil War look tame. I’m not real happy with any of the possible outcomes; although I’d be even less happy living in the United Soviet States of Amerika.

        • The main reason it will be nothing like the Civil War is that there are no lines. There are no states on one side and other states on the other side. There are mostly the cities (Democrat, anti-gun, anti-USA) and the non-cities (Republican, pro-Constitution). Yes, they are mixed but the numbers are there. The Democrats believe because they control the Cities they control the Country. They have no idea how fragile the cities are.

          • The Democrats believe because they control the Cities they control the Country.
            Funny. Some other autocrats figured that out (but, with castles) several hundred years ago. But Dems aren’t very good at history……..

      • And they’re also going to learn, among other things, that there are a bunch of Deplorables in Flyover Country that can consistently hit targets at 800+ yards with old single-shot buffalo rifles using only old-school iron sights. Followed shortly thereafter by the fact that when you find yourself in a gunfight with a buffalo hunter, there ain’t really such a thing as “cover.”

  20. > And the other problem is making everyone is a criminal.

    That’s not the problem, that’s the goal.

    Like the STASI’s famous files, it would be the universal justification for… anything they want to do to you. Such a deal!

  21. Dammit, Sarah! I can’t get that Huey Lewis & the News song out of my head!

    The power of law is a curious thing
    Make a one man weep, make another man sing
    Change a hawk to a little white dove
    More than a feeling that’s the power of law

    Tougher than diamonds, rich like cream
    Stronger and harder than a bad girl’s dream
    Make a bad one good make a wrong one right
    Power of law that keeps you home at night

    You don’t need money, don’t take fame
    Don’t need no credit card to ride this train
    It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes
    But it might just save your life
    That’s the power of law
    That’s the power of law

  22. This seems like an appropriate place to call folks’ attention to a couple of very recent columns by Angelo Codevilla:

    Igniting Civil War

  23. Re. figures lie and liars figure. England calculates the murder rate (as of the last time I checked) based on murder convictions. So if the killer is never found, or not convicted of murder, then the death gores into a different column.

    It’s like how the US seems to have a much higher infant mortality rate than the rest of the ‘Developed World,” until you realize that we assume life until death is declared, i.e. from birth. So a child who takes one breath and dies is an infant death. In Germany, England, and other places, the child has to live a certain minimum time to count as other than “stillbirth.” And still births don’t get added to infant mortality numbers. A few places (and I don’t recall where off the top of my head) don’t count premature babies as infants until they reach the equivalent of 40 weeks (term).

    • The truth of the matter is that if crimes committed by a certain demographic group are removed(particularly gun-crimes) from the U.S. crime stats, the crime rate in the U.S. is way down the list.

    • They’ve started including homicides, recently!

      ….that requires a finding of homicide. And lots of places aren’t counting things like folks who aren’t declared dead of a beating until they hit the hospital.

      Definitely not US level “well, it COULD have been human action, even though we don’t have a body…homicide!”

  24. Your comment on cloning reminded me of an article I saw last week, where they were able to successfully create a working heart using cell tissue. They first took an unusable donor heart, processed it until with was a biological scaffold (with things like cell markers scrubbed away to make it not rejected), then took adult stem cells, did whatever process they do to turn them on again, and grew them on the heart scaffold. Then they hooked it up like Frankenstein and got it beating.

    Just imagine, self-cloned organs. No anti-rejection drugs ever again, and if you’re using biological scaffolds, you can probably start with pigs in many cases. (Of course, they’ll probably be able to 3D print them soon.)

    We now return to your regularly scheduled snark.

  25. UK crime statistics have been faked for decades. Interpol won’t accept them for that reason.

    And firearm owners have discovered the power of civil disobedience. As the Maryland T-shirt says, “We Will Not Comply.” Which is all about seizing the moral high ground – the instant you kick in the door for simple firearm possession, you lose any claim to legitimate action.

    That being said, never forget that gun laws are all about class. The Left’s fantasy world is one of Lords and Serfs. They are to be the Lords, and we get to be the Serfs. And go hat-in-hand to Big Master to beg for a few pieces of moldy bread.

  26. BTW, it’s always a good idea to have an 80% receiver or two squirreled away. Be sure to pay cash.

  27. The conceit that a little sign saying “this is a gun free zone” is capable of stopping someone already intent on killing a multitude of people is…
    I think it’s akin to the seatbelt laws, where it’s something extra you can hit the perp with when you throw him in front of a judge.

    Except, of course, most mass shooters don’t make it to a judge. So… not much help there.
    Maybe we could try something else? (Oh, and TXRed, could you bat my one eye out from under the couch? It rolled quite a ways.)

  28. knowing an impartial authority will enforce it with clear eye-ed impartial vision
    What we used to call “equality” – that is equality under the law.

    But, when you make everything political, then nothing can be equal anymore.

  29. Nitpick,

    There has been at least one mass shooting event that did not take place in a gun-free zone. The Gabby Giffords shooting. There may have been others by now. When arguing with the Demented Left it is always wise to be more precise than they are.

    For one thing, it tends to derail some of their pre-loaded talking points.

    • I don’t think the site of the Vegas shooting was posted as gun-free, either.

      While you are right about it paying to be more precise than Leftists when arguing, it is also absurdly easy.

      • Easy, but important. Let them argue with half-truths, part-truths, and outright lies. It catches up with them. We should stick to facts, if only because it annoys them.

        • As Joe Biden said, they prefer Truth to facts.

          • In Knowledge and Decisions, Thomas Sowell talks about “political truth”. The discussion is in the context of totalitarianism, but from what I’ve seen it’s popular to authoritarian regimes even when they don’t rise to totalitarianism. “Political Truth” is something that’s declared true simply because the underlying ideology requires it to be so. And one of the features of political truth is eschewing any argument based on facts and empirical evidence. Dealing with facts and empirical evidence runs the risk of undermining the political truth. Instead, as Sowell points out, the purveyors of political truth attack the motives of those who challenge the political truth. To this end “-ists” and “-phobics” are very useful labels.

      • Don’t know about posted, but having to be wanded and searched has been routine at concerts for 20+ years.

    • It’s actually a good thing to note against the wild west routine (apparently the roadshow coming to Oklahoma trying to strike constitutional carry). There was one carrier in the crowd, armed. But because of environment ended up dog piling shooter, not blindly firing or injuring others.

    • Loughner was pretty much a drug damaged, schizophrenic anarchist who hated all government on general principles, and was fixated on Ms. Giffords, and apparently not for anything in particular that she might have done wrong.

  30. This doesn’t seem to fit the narrative …

    Canada’s Trudeau Found to Have Broken Conflict-of-Interest Law
    Canada’s ethics watchdog ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke conflict-of-interest laws by trying to steer the then-attorney general away from criminally prosecuting a Montreal company.

    N.B. – link is to WSJ, which is a pay sight. Searching for a specific phrase ought provide the full article, as I think Google requires (or used to) that news providers offer full access to cached stories.

    • …and his punishment will be… a faint hint of a frown. Or possibly a discreen finger-waggle. Then on to Business As Usual.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      (insert shocked face comment here)

    • FYI, usually if you have the article title, you can search Google (dunno about DuckDuckGo, offhand) on the exact wording (using quotes to make the search for that specific string) and “site:wsj.com” and get the full article via the Google link.

      It doesn’t always work, mind you, but I’m not sure what’s the tripping point.

  31. analytical-engine-mechanic

    In the broadest sense, “the power of law” includes all its effects — its power to affect events and change behavior — which really do fall pretty neatly into the categories of raw, direct force (coercion, “As in: if you don’t do this, we’ll kill you…”) or its credible threat, and everything else (persuasion, as in ‘we can’t really stop you from doing this but please don’t because…’).

    And the second, the habit of obedience or an agreement with the stated aims, is really (as has also been said) a lot more like an implicit social contract than a coercive threat. Which feature (as also noted above) seems to have been, ah, *progressively* lost on so many people over time. So much that the old familiar phrase “unforeseen side effects” barely starts to cover some of what might be about to happen if some of those sillier ideas are tried.

    (And that’s why this comment is *so* long… the more questions I asked, the more answers I got; and some of both were, oh, interesting. At least to me.)

    Why do we have a recognized Constitutional right to keep and bear arms? In a practical sense, not that weak ‘we have a Second Amendment but don’t really know what it does’ sense that lasted for, say, a couple centuries or so..?

    Gun control laws. Leading to that Supreme Court case. (No, it does *not* just mean your state gets to have a National Guard and you get to join. Sorry. But not sorry, ref. D. Lovato.) If not for those, we’d likely *still* be in a fog.

    What happened when the “energy crisis” led us to impose a national 55 MPH speed limit? Almost everybody (as I remember it) followed the new, lower limit just as they’d followed the older, higher ones. For awhile. Because the “crisis” was real, real as the gas lines and the stupid even-odd rules and all the rest.

    Then the shortages went away with the price controls, the “crisis” was over, but the 55 MPH limit stayed, because… inertia? Opportunism? No rationale, no excuse, just the legal equivalent of ‘stale data in the cache.’

    So people started going 5, 10, 15 MPH over 55 (or about back to the old speed limits the roads were designed for). And that new habit replaced the old habit of obedience. So effectively that when the “energy crisis” 55 finally got its long deserved stake through the heart, and the limits went back up, many people kept going +5, +10, +15 or more over *them* (and far as I can tell still do).

    Maybe ticket-bots could change this… by risking *another* spin of the wheel.

    But, in the meantime, we obviously can’t even get people to drive the speed limit, or signal when they change lanes, or (often) act as if there *are* lanes.
    (And note, there is no enumerated Constitutional “right to speed” X miles per hour over the speed limit, or an article of the Bill of Rights dedicated wholly to establishing a “right to own and drive cars” for a clever posterity.)

    (And I’ll barely mention our state-run drug cartels here. More, maybe, later.)

    While some of us (all, surely not many of us *here*) think a few laws *will* be enough to keep people who dedicate *months* of their lives to planning some kind of massacre (with or without guns, be thankful the latter are so relatively inefficient at killing people and no I am *NOT* being ironic there) from doing *anything* with that dedication… that such will just, somehow, oh, sit down and binge-watch “My Little Pony” reruns or go play Pac-Man for a month. No.

    But what they *can* do is create enough resentment, backlash, opposition, or just plain “H*ll No!” energy to smash that implicit social contract to bits. (Will do… is another question, which can only be answered by experiment.)

    And, after due consideration, I’d have to guess that “Red Flag Laws” are close indeed to the very best purpose-built tool for that job, just as if someone had sat down and carefully designed one. Because if you look at them with any care at all, and I don’t mean only the details but the very idea itself, this is not a can of worms, it’s a whole crate full of cans full of different and distinct and often novel kinds of worms. Yuck, but yes.

    Most fundamentally, Red Flag laws are designed to take away your right to keep and bear arms (firearms), just as if you had (and see comments above) already committed a felony. By searching your home and taking your guns away. And with it (and them), much or most of the necessary physical means to exercise your right of self-defense in lifesaving fact, not just empty theory.

    This might or might not violate your freedoms from unreasonable search and seizure, your right to due process, your right to property (H. Beam Piper was complaining in a story about Law Enforcement seizing and *never* returning guns in the late 1960s, IIRC.), et cetera, et cetera, et cetera… these things are at least *possible* to preserve, if the laws are / were written *and enforced* carefully enough.

    Abusable? To the moon and back with bells on. But it *could* be done.

    But at their very heart, Red Flag laws are based on punishing you, taking away your rights and your property, based on something which *has not happened* and would *never happen at all* outside of someone’s fantasy or guesswork. It is quite literally the same “Pre-Crime” philosophy featured in Philip K. Dick’s “The Minority Report” from the mid-50s (which I haven’t really read) and the later movie “Minority Report” — but without the help of (supposedly / allegedly) infallible telepaths / precognitives. It literally treats you like a felon (though you evidently do still get to vote, and drive, and so on, even if you get Red-Flagged), without much (or maybe anything) in the way of due process — *first* you get punished, then you get to try to prove your *innocence*, and *if* you do, *then* it (finally) stops. (Wow!) And fixing its due-process problems… is not enough.

    This isn’t like a restraining / protective order, which does nothing (directly) but force you to keep away from one person. (Which balances loss of your right to free association against her, let’s say, right to freely *not* associate with you.)

    This isn’t like an involuntary-commitment proceeding, where someone has to prove, first, that you are “a danger to yourself or others.” With standards that are supposed to be met. (Maybe imperfect ones, look at Laurie Helgoe’s account, IIRC, of campaigning succesfully for some months against an initiative to have “introversion” labeled as a pathology[!] in the next edition of the DSM; if I’m remembering aright it’s in her book “Introvert Power.”)

    Best I can tell, it’s a new thing under the sun. (Whee.)

    Its entire aim is to act pre-emptively to *prevent* a crime *before* it happens. A la “Minority Report.” It admits this overtly and explicitly, and aims to justify it *retroactively* by pointing to events that, by *the very nature* of the way it will claim to have worked, *have never happened and never will* — if they do, it’s failed. (Look, no precognitives in sight.) This is not conspiracy prosecution (that needs “at least one overt act” toward the alleged / planned goal, thank you Niven & Pournelle in “Oath of Fealty”)… this is Pre-Crime. Pure and simple.

    Just watch, hypothetically, how Red Flag Pre-Crime applies to the First Amendment. Someone is convinced the Washington Post (might as well make it fun) is about to publish something that will be libelous and/or slanderous (with podcasts etc. the written / spoken lines get blurred). So the Dept. of Pre-Crime raids their offices, confiscates their computers, presses, and everything, and invites them to prove their innocence to get it all back. Because they *might* have been about to publish something actionable; before lawsuit, evidence, judgment, *or offense*. Pre-Crime.

    And the First Amendment’s free speech is about the *only* right I could think of, that anti-gun Red Flag laws could not easily (depending on both language *and* enforcement) make… vanish.

    Calling this stuff “insanely dangerous” might be the biggest understatement of a new century.

    At the state level, maybe it’s best to “appeal it all and let SCOTUS sort it out”.

    At the Federal level… maybe those Pot Party State cartels *could* help us.

    Because (and I’ll have to save the rest for later) State Nullification Sauce for the goose is, quite possibly, also State Nullification Sauce for the gander.

    • And the First Amendment’s free speech is about the *only* right I could think of, that anti-gun Red Flag laws could not easily (depending on both language *and* enforcement) make… vanish.

      They may not be written with explicit language targeting the 1st, but that will be destroyed before the ink is dry. The insane left is already cackling with glee at all of the false red flags they are going to do to anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

      • Any Red Flag laws should include cause of action for abuse of process, said cause to be in addition to slander, libel, court costs, legal fees and whatever else the falsely accused’s counsel can come up with.

        Tying up the courts with false and frivolous assertions is a serious matter. Anyone asserting a reasonable claim for stripping another of Constitutionally recognized Civil Rights ought be able to provide, like, reasons or compensation.

        [Rod Serling voice*] Imagine, if you will, an Alabama civil rights marcher, accused of being a potential threat of violence and stripped of his firearms, sitting in his living room while Klansmen set alight a cross on his lawn.

        *sotto Serling? Serling voce?

        • As much as it irks me to compliment my home state on anything, the IL red flag law that passed apparently does have mechanisms for dealing with false reports. Which makes it among the “best” in the country.

          • And do you trust Leftist government officials and judges to actually apply them to other Leftists? In Heavens Name, WHY?

            We are long past that level of societal trust on our way to the reckoning.

            • Not in a million years.

              Actually I though of another layer of terrible in these laws: If your children are in school you had better hope they are popular enough for everyone to like them, but not enough to have any enemies.

              What? You say you don’t actually have any guns? I’m sure the police will believe you once they have tossed every room in the house, dug up the yard, and then done the same to every person you know.

    • We ought note that “unforeseen side effects” are not synonymous with “unforeseeable side effects” nor that often those side effects were only not foreseen because the policy’s proponents proceeded with eyes wide shut and fingers in their ears.

      Lost in the depths of Historical Revisionism is that the proximate cause of colonial uprisings were attempts, as in Williamsburg, of governors to seize the armories, rendering the settlers helpless in the face of numerous hostile indigenous peoples. [Ref: The Gunpowder Incident, April 20, 1775]

    • there is no enumerated Constitutional “right to speed” X miles per hour over the speed limit

      Oh, it’s there, all right. It’s in the penumbra and emanations — don these smoked glasses and squint just right and you can find them.

    • at their very heart, Red Flag laws are based on punishing you, taking away your rights and your property, based on something which *has not happened* and would *never happen at all* outside of someone’s fantasy or guesswork.

      Meh. It is based on the same premise as “diminished capacity” law, allowing the Court to determine a person incapable of rationally conducting his affairs and assigning a trustee or conservator to act in the … accused‘s behalf.

      Subject to abuse, sure enough, but merely a minor extension of established precedent.

      • analytical-engine-mechanic

        This idea — a Red Flag initial action hearing based on a standard diminished-capacity hearing — actually sounds pretty decent or even good. Especially if it comes with the procedural / Constitutional protections in your reply above.

        But it doesn’t seem to reflect how… some? many? most? actual existing Red Flag laws are operating. (The details vary and are not always easy to come by. Two examples from Hawaii, and from Colorado via the NRA, follow below.)

        Apparently (having now done some of the research I’d been avoiding earlier) it’s often more (too much more) like this:

        Petitioner(s) approach a judge, who decides if what they claim merits Red Flagging their target. If it does, law enforcement serves the order and seizes the guns in a search. This *is* first notice to the target that something is going on… who can *then* “demand” *another* hearing to try to convince the judge to reverse *what has already happened* — where both he *and* the petioners get to argue their positions — and if he “wins” that round, then *sometimes* the Red Flagged target will get his (already confiscated) guns back.

        One source for Connecticut says out of 764 petitions, 68% were granted and only 20 guns were returned to their (former) owners and 15 were returned to family members (possibly the petitioners)… but “In over 70% of the cases, the outcome of the hearings was unknown.” (No, that’s not scary at all.)

        A recent NRA story (see below) says “In Colorado, nearly half of the state’s sheriff’s departments are in an uproar against a new ‘red flag’ law” and one sheriff is even vowing to go to jail rather than enforce it (law, oath of office to uphold the Constitution, pick one but only one).

        Oh, and note the apparent potential for initial “judge shopping” by petitioners.

        In this Red Flag model, the target has *no* clue anything is happening until the petition has been approved (if it is) and their guns are already being seized. Due process? Right to confront and try to rebut your accusers? Not so much.

        Also note, a diminished-capacity approval puts *someone* specific in charge of your affairs. A Red Flag action, as above, takes away your means of self-defense, but makes *no one at all* responsible for doing *anything* to replace that protection.

    • Just watch, hypothetically, how Red Flag Pre-Crime applies to the First Amendment. Someone is convinced the Washington Post (might as well make it fun) is about to publish something that will be libelous and/or slanderous (with podcasts etc.

      Case law and SCOTUS precedent are fairly well-established in not permitting prior restraint, but take a more serious f’rinstance) and suppose the Post was preparing to publish the US had broken the Japanese Imperial Military codes? Okay, time of war exceptions. Dial it down just a little and imagine they were intent on publishing a list of CIA operatives? Or the locations of secret US military bases … or an impending military strike to decapitate Iranian (or North Korean) nuclear capacity?

      Whether or not prior restraint is legally permitted, you can be confident something would prevent such disclosure. It might be a virus in their linotypes (or whatever the modern equivalent), it might be a sudden power outage (or surge) at their printing plants, or cyber-attack hacking their systems, or an “accident” involving a drunk hit & run driver hospitalizing a recalcitrant editor.

      And such would be justifiable (which is not equivalent to justified) inn the eyes of many. Because we have long since established what we are and are now merely haggling over price.

    • part of the excuse for keeping the 55 mph limit was the reduced lethality of accidents.

    • analytical-engine-mechanic

      Two Red Flag references, mentioned above, w/ excerpts:

      [From www dot governing.com slash topics/public-justice-safety/tns-red-flag-gun-law-hawaii.html, via, en dot wikipedia dot org slash wiki/Red_flag_law]

      The new law creates a process for police or family members to petition Family Court for a protective order to prevent a person from accessing firearms if that person “poses a danger of causing bodily injury” to anyone, including the gun owners.

      .
      .
      .

      “It’s completely unconstitutional,” [Hawaii Rifle Association President Harvey] Gerwig said. “It completely violates the constitutional rights for due process — they’re just gone — because they can come and confiscate your property without any due process, zero due process.”

      The new law allows the court to hold a hearing — without the gun owner present — where the judge can decide to temporarily confiscate the gun owner’s weapons, Gerwig said. The gun owner can then demand a hearing to determine whether the firearm seizure was warranted.

      “In the meantime they have confiscated your property, stripped you of your rights, with no due process whatsoever,” he said.

      [From the National Rifle Association, at www dot americas1stfreedom dot org slash articles/2019/5/23/why-nra-is-raising-a-red-flag-over-red-flag-laws/]

      In Colorado, nearly half of the state’s sheriff’s departments are in an uproar against a new “red flag” law that would require law enforcement officers to confiscate the firearms of any Coloradan who has been deemed unsuitable to retain his Second Amendment rights, and that would do so in a way that violates the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One sheriff, in rural Weld County, is so concerned by the idea that he has vowed to go to prison rather than administer it.

      .
      .
      .

      The sheriffs who are openly discussing going to jail belong to the latter group— which, naturally, is not a comfortable place for them to be. By their nature, “red flag” laws require law enforcement officers to act proactively, immediately and without nuance or discretion. If, as is the case here, those law enforcement officers believe those laws to be unconstitutional, they are presented with a terrible choice: Violate the oath they took to uphold the Constitution, or refuse to follow their orders. In Colorado, we are seeing a sizeable number opt for the latter course.

    • analytical-engine-mechanic

      *Second* try on these ‘Red Flag’ references (w/ brief excerpts). Willie Pete delenda est!

      [From www dot governing dot com slash topics/public-justice-safety/tns-red-flag-gun-law-hawaii.html, via, en dot wikipedia dot org slash wiki/Red_flag_law]

      The new law creates a process for police or family members to petition Family Court for a protective order to prevent a person from accessing firearms if that person “poses a danger of causing bodily injury” to anyone, including the gun owners.

      .
      .
      .

      “It’s completely unconstitutional,” [Hawaii Rifle Association President Harvey] Gerwig said. “It completely violates the constitutional rights for due process — they’re just gone — because they can come and confiscate your property without any due process, zero due process.”

      The new law allows the court to hold a hearing — without the gun owner present — where the judge can decide to temporarily confiscate the gun owner’s weapons, Gerwig said. The gun owner can then demand a hearing to determine whether the firearm seizure was warranted.

      “In the meantime they have confiscated your property, stripped you of your rights, with no due process whatsoever,” he said.

      [From the National Rifle Association, at www dot americas1stfreedom dot org slash articles/2019/5/23/why-nra-is-raising-a-red-flag-over-red-flag-laws/]

      In Colorado, nearly half of the state’s sheriff’s departments are in an uproar against a new “red flag” law that would require law enforcement officers to confiscate the firearms of any Coloradan who has been deemed unsuitable to retain his Second Amendment rights, and that would do so in a way that violates the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One sheriff, in rural Weld County, is so concerned by the idea that he has vowed to go to prison rather than administer it.

      .
      .
      .

      The sheriffs who are openly discussing going to jail belong to the latter group— which, naturally, is not a comfortable place for them to be. By their nature, “red flag” laws require law enforcement officers to act proactively, immediately and without nuance or discretion. If, as is the case here, those law enforcement officers believe those laws to be unconstitutional, they are presented with a terrible choice: Violate the oath they took to uphold the Constitution, or refuse to follow their orders. In Colorado, we are seeing a sizeable number opt for the latter course.

      • Will they accept?

        “Well officer don’t have any guns. See we were canoeing at lake/river/creek/swamp Whatever, and the canoe tipped over. Lost everything in the canoe – all the fishing gear, bear spray, guns, and canoe.”

  32. For instance, if you forbid cloning, you’re guaranteeing cloning will be used for body parts (or whole-body transplants) instead of, say, for infertility issues, or to make a twin for your kid (which whatever you think of the morality, is infinitely more benign.)

    No, it will be used for body parts either way.

    Either way, humans as manufactured goods. We can even look at IVF and Surrogacy and see how “wonderfully” that goes.

    Being unable to stop the more-bad thing is a terrible reason not to prevent (because it won’t be stopped, either) the less-bad thing, especially since once you gut the principle involved it’s much harder to argue against the more-bad thing.

    • “And after your custom bottle baby is born, you have your choice to Standard Programming Packages we can instill in the creche. If you’re wealthy enough, management track. With enough IQ points, socialist academic. Otherwise, consumer class.”

      “Remember, an ignorant consumer is a happy consumer!”