Bundy Stand Off and Beyond

I’m getting political.  This is my blog so I get to write about whatever I want :P  Anyway, I’ve got to comment on the Bundy Ranch standoff, I mean it was in Nevada after all.  But that’s not all I want to say.  Look, Bundy is wrong.  We are a country of laws, even if you don’t like those laws.  He has lost in court and should pull his cattle off of Federal land and pay his grazing fees.  End of story.

However, there’s always an however, he might be right on the larger issue.  What gives the Feds the authority to push citizens around like they do?  Can they just bully people around in the name of some supposedly threatened species (and for the record, the desert tortoises are like rats in Washington D.C., they are everywhere).  I submit they can but they shouldn’t.  We have this thing called the Constitution and I’m having a hard time finding the part where the Federal Government gets to take stuff from citizens without due process and compensation.  In other words, they just can’t declare land off limits arbitrarily and force ranchers, for instance, out of business without paying them…but they do it all the time.

But beyond that, where do they get off sending a virtual army (and what else would you call agents of the BLM dressed in fatigues and body armor carrying automatic rifles?) to confront citizens over cattle and grazing fees. Continue reading

Tax Reform Now!

As Rahm Emanuel likes to say, never let a a good crisis go to waste.  Unless you live under a rock or work in upper management at the IRS – that’s a joke – you have no doubt heard that the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting conservative groups and individuals for extra scrutiny when filing for tax-exempt status.  Many of these groups have never been granted status seriously impeding their ability to exercise their First Amendment rights on a level playing field with other groups expressing other view points.  Ah, isn’t big government grand?

I’m not going to hash out the whys and wherefores or try to explain how this activity threatens everyone’s liberty and freedoms.  I mean if you can’t figure that out, you’re either stupid or you voted for Obama (sorry, couldn’t resist).  But this situation goes to show what big government and punitive tax law can do.  It can be used to hurt, to ruin or to silence individuals.  The tax code is full of loopholes that benefit all manner of different constituencies and is so complex it is difficult not to file incorrectly.  The tax code is used to coerce individuals and businesses into acting certain ways, engaging in certain activities or avoiding others.  It’s a freaking mess and not the kind of tax system that should be used in a free and open society.

So, you are no doubt about to ask, what can we do that is more fair, more equitable and makes this kind of scandal less likely to occur?  Well here’s a few ideas to ponder: Continue reading

Gun Control or Gun Safety?

Yesterday, April 17th, the U.S. Senate defeated every amendment to the gun control bill under consideration.  One was a pro-gun amendment (nationwide concealed carry recognition) and one would have recognized veteran’s due process rights when having their 2nd Amendment rights considered.  Notably, the Manchin-Toomy background check amendment was defeated and without that, the larger bill is likely dead in it’s current form.  Also defeated were the “assualt weapon” and magazine bans.  As I wrote this, Harry Reid (and I could write a whole post about his treachery) pulled the legislation from the Senate floor.  All in all, it was a good couple of days for liberty.  [By the way, Dean Heller, voted to preserve our rights and deserves your support]

Black Guns

Scary, huh? They are only tools in the hands of law-abiding citizens.  It the criminals and the insane, not the guns, you need worry about.

However, this could drag on as proponents seek to massage the bill with further amendments or work backroom deals with fence-sitting senators.  Reid promised we would revisit this.  The Democrats in the House are looking at pushing their own version of gun control legislation.  Wait, I mean “gun safety” and “gun violence reduction” measures.  Notice the language.  Gun control is a dirty word.  You ask the American public if we need more gun control and they usually say no.  However, if you ask them if we need to reduce gun violence or enhance gun safety, they will say yes.  Wouldn’t you?

I would.  Reducing gun violence and increasing gun safety is a good thing.  The difference between me and those like me and the gun control crowd is we aren’t willing to give up our rights to accomplish these lofty goals. Continue reading

Gun Control, Outraged Yet?

I’m a proud gun owner and member of the NRA.  I firmly believe in the 2nd Amendment and it’s intent to allow citizens to arm themselves against those that would do them harm including a tyrannical government.  A man (or woman) cannot truly be free if he cannot defend his own life, those of his loved ones or protect his property.  People cannot truly enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if their government does not fear them or forgets from where that government derives its power.

So it is with great interest that I watch Congress and several states try to make us all safer by banning high capacity magazines, banning certain weapons and further clamping down on the free exchange of legal goods.  I’m not going to focus on the specific stupidity of these measures.  They are apparent to anyone with the ability to employ reason and logic.  As if fifteen rounds will save lives as compared to twenty.  As if banning weapons because they look like a military weapon instead of function like one accomplishes anything.  As if criminals or the insane give a damn.

No, what I want to focus on is the politician that thinks passing these feel good measures will solve any problems.  I want to focus on whether or not they even care. Continue reading

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