Lunch Links

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
  • Obama to reinstitute “assault weapons” ban. Attorney General Eric Holder cites the violence in Mexico as part of the reason. Of course, ending the drug war would do a lot more to end the violence in Mexico. But we can’t have that. The only acceptable actions in a crisis are those that strengthen government and inhibit freedom, not the other way around.
  • Canadian mounties say they tased a man five times–killing him–because the man intended to harm them with . . . a stapler. Does that make these guys the new “gun nuts?”
  • Really bizarre story: Chicago man keeps getting tickets in the mail for parking infractions he couldn’t have possibly committed.
  • (Very gradual) change we can believe in.
  • Mermaids!
  • Healthy eating hysteria has kids afraid of food.
    Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark
  • 53 Responses to “Lunch Links”

    1. #1 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      I think its sad that if these politicians really believe that gun bans work, as we all know, criminals obtain weapons illegally.

      Of course, its all about government control. *sigh* Oh, can anyone define to me what a “cop killer” bullett is? Because if my .45 doesn’t have them, and I shoot a cop during a no-knock raid in the middle of the night because some prankster hits a tip-line, doees the cop and am I liable?

    2. #2 |  Bronwyn | 

      “The Problem Solver is not naming the officer because he has not been charged with any wrongdoing.”

      So if he hasn’t done anything wrong, it should be ok for us to know his name, right?

      Right?

      I mean, they’d splash *my name* all over the city if the tables were turned. Fair’s fair, and the police are all about justice, right?

      Riiiiiiight

    3. #3 |  claude | 

      It’s really bad in Mexico. Over 6000 killed in 2008 and 1000 in january 2009. Its one of my favorite places. Makes me sad to see the US drug war destablize that nation to the extent it has.

    4. #4 |  Euler | 

      Because there is violence in MEXICO, we need to ban assault weapons in the US? Something is wrong with that logic.

    5. #5 |  Woodland Critter | 

      Regarding the Tasering, “What about pointed sticks?”

    6. #6 |  claude | 

      “Because there is violence in MEXICO, we need to ban assault weapons in the US? Something is wrong with that logic.”

      Most gun rights restrictions in the last couple decades have been in the name of the drug war and the problems caused by prohibition. Youd think people would figure that out after a while and stop supporting a drug war.

    7. #7 |  Cynical in CA | 

      From the Chicago parking ticket-writing story:

      “There seems to be a hole in the system,” [said Geinoski].

      More like an a-hole in the system.

    8. #8 |  Cynical in CA | 

      “The only acceptable actions in a crisis are those that strengthen government and inhibit freedom, not the other way around.”

      As long as individuals delegate their natural responsibility for self-defense to an unaccountable superagency, so it shall be forever and ever amen.

    9. #9 |  Dave Krueger | 

      My parents used to ride my ass about my unhealthy life style when I was a kid, too. My mom didn’t like my smoking and my dad thought that drinking was something that should be done after school rather than during lunch. I have no doubt that that stressful environment will be the cause of my premature demise.

    10. #10 |  David | 

      Canadian mounties say they tased a man five times–killing him–because the man intended to harm them with . . . a stapler.

      Was it a desk stapler? Or one of those intimidating cardboard box staplers?

    11. #11 |  UCrawford | 

      Ah, Obama…congratulations. You’ve officially set the record for the least amount of time it took me to hate any sitting president. Even Bush took two and a half years, but you’ve managed to do it in less than two months by pushing gun control.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some shopping to do.

    12. #12 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      This is what I get for not proofreading my posts…I meant to say “Does the cop DIE, and am I liable if he does?”

    13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #11 UCrawford

      Even Bush took two and a half years…

      Wow! People admit stuff on here that most folks wouldn’t confess to their priest.

      (j/k!)

    14. #14 |  andyinsdca | 

      Pelosi has said that she won’t support an assault weapons law right now…
      http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/pelosi-tosses-cold-water-on-reviving-assault-weapon-ban-2009-02-26.html

    15. #15 |  pierre | 

      I cant say I didnt see that coming. What are the odds he wont be able to push the AWB through congress?

    16. #16 |  parse | 

      Healthy eating hysteria has kids afraid of food.

      Speaking of hysteria, the Times article notes To date, there have been no formal studies on whether parents’ obsession with health food can lead to eating disorders. But hey, anecdotal reports from a couple of “eating disorders specialists” is all the evidence we need to claim this is a phenomenon that effects a significant number of kids in significant ways, right? And the two doctors who agreed that this isn’t a significant problem–well they were pretty far down in the story. Maybe you just didn’t read all the way through, Radley.

    17. #17 |  fmb | 

      Let’s see a real AK47 in the US goes for about $14K and requires a lot of fingerprinting etc. A bogus AK47 (semi auto) goes for about $600-$800. On the world market a true AK47 goes for about $15. Yeah, those stupid drug dealers are gonna blow their profits on a bunch of high priced weapons when then can pick em up in the third world for nada.

    18. #18 |  Howlin' Hobbit | 

      Good thing I don’t have a weak heart. Because if I did, reading that Nancy Pelosi said “…we need to enforce the laws we have right now.” instead of “YES! More gun grabbing!” would have certainly done me in.

      Oh… and the mermaid story is way cool.

    19. #19 |  J. Blanton | 

      “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

      -Thomas Jefferson

      “A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

      -George Washington

      I just wish one of these interviews with Obama would have a question asking him if he believes that our founding fathers were wrong to believe the sentiments expressed above.

      @#11 “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some shopping to do.”
      -I agree whole-heartedly…I think I’ll be making some purchases this weekend.

    20. #20 |  ElScorcho | 

      TOO MUCH WRONG!!!! DONT KNOW WHERE TO START!!! HEAD EXPLODING!!!!

    21. #21 |  UCrawford | 

      Dave,

      I was willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt the first couple years (although I didn’t see much that he did right) only because I considered the Dems worse…right up until he invaded Iraq. There was no justification for that war. Even if Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (which he didn’t and which we had no evidence to say otherwise), that wasn’t sufficient justification for that war.

    22. #22 |  nicole | 

      Not that it surprises me, but the Tribune had a disgusting number of comments from people actually defending the police after a guy continued getting parking tickets for a car he didn’t own.

      Also a disgusting number of comments from people suggesting he stop parking illegally if he doesn’t want to get tickets. Serious reading comprehension issues here in Chicago–maybe the cop couldn’t read either and that’s why he was getting the plate number wrong…

    23. #23 |  UCrawford | 

      J. Blanton,

      The weekend? I’m planning on popping down to my friendly neighborhood gun store after work today so I can avoid the rush. They’re even a licensed class 3 dealer. :)

    24. #24 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

      #23 – Avoid the rush? Ever since the election, gun shows and gun shops have had blistering sales. Ammunition is hard to find for most common calibers (try finding .380 ACP in most places!). Sales of magazines and semi-autos with capacity of more than 10 is way up. SKS and AK values have shot up, like #17 was showing. Here in TX, concealed permit have shot up something like 20%, with a backlog of over 3 months. Its nuts. The populace is spooked.

    25. #25 |  Dave Krueger | 

      #21 | UCrawford

      Dave,

      I was willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt the first couple years (although I didn’t see much that he did right) only because I considered the Dems worse…right up until he invaded Iraq.

      I believe I was exactly the same. By the Iraq war I was convinced he was totally incompetent and by his re-election I believed he was the worst president ever. He totally destroyed any respect I ever had for the Republican party. It also destroyed any respect I had for the Democrats, because it’s a pathetic party indeed that looses to the worst President ever.

    26. #26 |  Mike Healy | 

      WHEN is Canada going to WAKE UP and start licensing and registering staplers?!?!? Won’t SOMEONE think of the children?!

    27. #27 |  Kristen | 

      “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes”

      PERSACKLY! I, a law-abiding citizen with a security clearance, can’t get one of these bad boys, but the meth cooker down the road sure can!

      Does anyone else think the parking ticket guy’s ex started dating the cop in question? Or one of the cop’s colleagues?

    28. #28 |  Bad | 

      Of course: ending medicinal marjuana raids is no big deal, but if people can’t have access to scrotum enlarging rifles that look like military issue, it’s the end of the world!

    29. #29 |  UCrawford | 

      Kristen,

      Does anyone else think the parking ticket guy’s ex started dating the cop in question? Or one of the cop’s colleagues?

      Or all of the cops who wrote out the tickets…which would mean that guy was probably smart to dump her. :) That story was just plain creepy, though.

    30. #30 |  UCrawford | 

      Dave,

      It also destroyed any respect I had for the Democrats, because it’s a pathetic party indeed that looses to the worst President ever.

      Amen. Bush is the primary reason I have zero respect for Pelosi or Reid. I mean, you’re talking about a true mouth-breather when you’re talking about Bush, and yet Pelosi was so incompetent that she couldn’t outsmart him. And now the Republicans are such morons that when they’re getting outsmarted by Pelosi (as evidenced by having Bobby Jindal give a thoroughly idiotic rebuttal speech that’s blown up in his face).

      I’ve basically rejected both parties as worth voting for…the Democrats will always be a waste, and until they start embracing governors like Mark Sanford and Congressmen like Jeff Flake, the GOP’s got nothing to say to libertarians either.

    31. #31 |  MikeL | 

      There is some hysteria going on. It’s at the NY Times, where at least one writer has convinced herself that children are in mortal fear of food, because Mom pointed out that Pepsi and cheese doodles for lunch will make you fat, and that’s unhealthy.

      Sorry, Mom is right on this one. Just because Ayn Rand thought smoking was cool doesn’t make it so.

      “Health Food Junkies”

      I have a friend who’s been a heroin addict for 20 years. Anyone who would even consider this outside of satire is an idiot. Trust me, he would happily pay to trade his heroin addition for “health food” addiction.

      What’s next, water and air addiction?

      Looks to me like you’re gotten sucked in by an astroturfer from the food industry.

      Excessive hysteria isn’t a liberal problem, it’s a human problem, and this is the perfect example of it.

      In summary: eat an apple won’t hurt you, no matter what the makers of Doritos think.

    32. #32 |  Whim | 

      I would expect that Socialist/Populist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would be happy to sell all the small arms to the Mexican Drug Cartel as they would like to buy.

      He’s happy to do anything to destabilize the democracies of Central and South America. He was caught giving safe haven to the Columbian Guerillas.

    33. #33 |  Brandon Bowers | 

      Hey Bad: They haven’t yet ended the medical marijuana raids, if you’ve been paying attention. Besides which, there have been a good dozen posts here about the raids since Obama and his promise to end them took office. Of course, the two issues, in this case, are entirely unrelated, so your post doesn’t really make any sense at all…Did I just feed a troll? Sorry guys.

      PS, most of the regular readers here are against the assault weapons ban, medical marijuana raids, and prohibition in general. So many problems in this country, Radley can’t make every single post about one issue. It would be a disservice to his readers, and the public awareness he is trying to serve.

    34. #34 |  David | 

      In summary: eat an apple won’t hurt you, no matter what the makers of Doritos think.

      The point of the NYT article is that neither will a single slice of cake, and that (a few) people have gone from one extreme to the other.

    35. #35 |  Bad | 

      The AWB is a nonsense issue: a symbolic head-butting and chest preening issue of little relevance to anyone’s actual freedom to own and use deadly firearms in self-defense. It’s not where the 2nd amendment battle is (which is primarily about defending handguns and the right to carry them around with you, not what stupid shapes morons make rifles into)

      On the other hand, declaring an end the raids (yes, some happened after he took office, but the AG is outright saying that that will no longer be US policy going forward) is a HUGE deal that affects the lives of tons of people and potentially avoids all sorts of wrongful imprisonment. It means that the feds are backing off on the idea that they should override state law on med. pot.

      I wasn’t referring to Balko so much as the person who declared that the goof issue made him hate Obama.

    36. #36 |  MassHole | 

      I had thought that Obama would have enough sense to leave the AWB alone. Guess I was wrong. What a great way to alienate a lot of your supporters. I certainly hope that the congress pushes back hard enough they drop it. As always, the article doesn’t even know what their talking about. “Automatic weapons” can only be legally purchased by a small number of people and they are extremely expensive and ownership is tracked by the ATF. You cannot transfer one of these guns legally to someone who is not authorized by the ATF to own one. As mentioned above, it wouldn’t make economic sense to buy fully automatic weapons from the US. Grenades shouldn’t even be mentioned in the article.

      Anyone who is familiar with the AWB knows it’s bullshit and half the way they define a AW is through cosmetics. The AR-15 is one of the most popular target shooting guns today.

    37. #37 |  BamBam | 

      I’ve basically rejected both parties as worth voting for…the Democrats will always be a waste, and until they start embracing governors like Mark Sanford and Congressmen like Jeff Flake, the GOP’s got nothing to say to libertarians either.

      And Ron Paul.

    38. #38 |  chance | 

      “The point of the NYT article is that neither will a single slice of cake, and that (a few) people have gone from one extreme to the other.”

      Who stops at a single slice? Looking around, a little health hysteria might not be such a bad thing…

    39. #39 |  Balloon Maker | 

      A little background on the stapler story. I saw a video of the incident on MSNBC or some such station. The gentlemen was Polish (and didn’t speak english)(insert solar powered flashlight joke), and after spending about 10 hours wandering around customs looking for his mother (who was waiting at the baggage claim), got extremely agitated. Mounties show up, man gets even more agitated (and is VERY confused, sleep deprived, dehydrated). He’s dead within a minute or so. Of course, 2 mounties holding him down, one pulling the trigger on the taser repeatedly. It was disgusting.

    40. #40 |  Cynical In CA | 

      “Looking around, a little health hysteria might not be such a bad thing…”

      The way things are looking, chance, the American public is going to “benefit” from a scarcity of food any day now…

    41. #41 |  Agent Provocateur | 

      “Assault weapons” ban in America will help deminish violence in Mexico?

      They are using fully automatic weapons in Mexico … not one pull one shot ‘assault weapons” in the hands of America.

      The idiot is trying to scare the gullible. Nothing more.

      Well, I tell you what Mr. Government Agent man … come and get my “assault weapons”.

      And you ATF goons … I know you don’t do it because it is right or wrong … you do it for the rush.

      Here:

      And how we burned in the camps later, thinking:

      What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say goodbye to his family?

      Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling in terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst; the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!” – The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    42. #42 |  Frank | 

      While we’re doing gun quotes:

      “I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of
      individuals, such as the Sullivan Act of the State of New York. I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of
      democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.”

      “Whether the authorities be invaders or merely local tyrants, the
      effect of such [gun] laws is to place the individual at the mercy of
      the state, unable to resist.”

      Bonus points granted for naming author and circumstance. Hint: Same man, same letter.

    43. #43 |  nic | 

      “Stapler could be a weapon, RCMP officer tells Taser inquiry”

      WTF?! My shoe “could” potentially be used as a “weapon” – But that doesn’t mean you got to kill a person just because they are in possession of a pair of shoes! Geezus, a pencil “could” also be used as a weapon, so “could” a plastic bag. So, where does the line get drawn? Sure, police should be able to act in self defense when they feel they are in life threatening and imminent danger…but getting potentially scratched by a stapler is no reason to kill a man! And the thing is, there’s no discipline or accountability in these types of cases…all they have to say is “errr, well, you see, I killed him because I felt “threatened” by the wet paper bag he was carrying”…and no matter how illegitimate the excuse, the result is usually nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

      There has to be some way to keep these people from acting like paranoid homicidal maniacs…right now, as things are, I feel that the police are a bigger threat to freedom than the actual gun toting criminals.

    44. #44 |  paul | 

      I really struggle to understand why it’s so important to be allowed to have assault weapons. I mean, I can just about see a case for handguns – for self defense, but Assault weapons are for, well making Assaults.
      This site has shown over and over again the folly of allowing the police to have bigger and badder toys to play with. Now I’m no fan of the police, but generally they do have a modicum of training and restraint. How much more dangerous are those weapons in the hands of the general public?
      And if you allow that you have a constitutional right to have Assault weapons, where do you draw the line? Machine Guns? Field Artillery? a T 34 main battle tank? Inter continental ballistic missiles?

      Much like a spoiled child, gun enthusiasts will cry when their favourite toys are taken away. I suggest they are made to sit on the naughty step until they can learn to play nicely.

    45. #45 |  markm | 

      “Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades,”

      So Attorney General Eric Holder cites the violence in Mexico as part of the reason for the AWB – citing weapons that are not “assault weapons” (these are semi-automatic rifles made to look like full-auto assault rifles) and (except for heavily regulated antiques) are illegal for anyone but police or military to purchase or own in the USA.

      Automatic weapons (machine guns), grenades, and grenade launchers were regulated by the National Firearms Act of the 1930’s, amended in 1986 to completely ban anything manufactured in 1986 or later.

      For weapons manufactured before 1986, you can own them, but you have to pay a $200 registration fee and go through an FBI background check that takes months. That is, if you are a quite rich gun collector and want to buy an antique machine gun if you can find one at a dealer, you pay the dealer and he stores them while you send $200 and a long form off to the FBI and wait for the FBI to clear you. Getting a top secret clearance to read the technical documents of some of our best military systems only took six weeks, but the NFA investigation may take six months! If you want an antique grenade launcher, you have to pay $200 and send in the form for each grenade as well as the launcher.

      Since new weapons are completely banned, scarcity has pushed the price of even the cheapest NFA items to several thousand dollars (versus about $100 to produce new AK47’s, for instance).

      The drug gangs aren’t buying or even stealing collectors’ items. They might be smuggling weapons from China or planting people in factories to steal them, but most likely they just suborn Mexican police or military to “lose” their government-issued weapons. If such sources could be cut off (and they can’t), it would be cheaper to set up their own factories for AK47’s and grenades than to try to get NFA weapons. (Any machine shop could do it. There are Pakistani villages where local craftsmen will build an AK47 to order while you wait…)

    46. #46 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

      Paul:

      Much like a spoiled child, gun enthusiasts will cry when their favourite toys are taken away. I suggest they are made to sit on the naughty step until they can learn to play nicely.

      Thanks for that shining example of the arrogance we ordinary Americans can’t let succeed. You and your ilk aren’t our daddies.

    47. #47 |  Jim Collins | 

      Nice to see that BDS is alive and well. Hell, the guy’s been in office one month and there are already signs of ODS.

    48. #48 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I’ll end the suspense — Robert Heinlein.

      ed. note: I cheated.

    49. #49 |  nemo | 

      As someone who’s responsibly owned and used firearms for 40 out of his fifty years, served his nation proudly and believes in a strict interpretation of the Constitution, I find expositions by those favoring gun control to be especially specious…as well as deserving of suspicion.

      Those who feel themselves to be uniquely qualified to determine whether their fellow citizens have the right to defend themselves rarely subject themselves to the same standards…largely because of a false a priori assumption of superior knowledge on their part equating to (equally false) superior judgment.

      This usually manifests in situations in which the hypocrisy of such a position is laid bare by actual events. For example, the case of the late Carl Rowan comes to mind.

      Rowan was a cultured rather than rabid promulgator of gun control…except when it came to his own safety, of course, in which he showed no compunctions against using an illegal handgun to defend himself against a home intruder. He was never punished for violating the law his ‘principles’ demanded he foist upon others.

      Some animals are more equal than others, I suppose. Me, I’ll prefer the principles as enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights before I subscribe to another human being’s beliefs as to whether I deserve to be able to defend myself…with whatever means I may have at my disposal.

    50. #50 |  RCMP claims TASER death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport justified by deadly stapler victim was holding | Popehat | 

      [...] Via The Agitator. [...]

    51. #51 |  Ukulele & All That Jazz | 

      Mermaid’s dream…

      I have somewhat of a thing for mermaids. So when The Agitator posted this link about a double amputee who gets realistic-looking mermaid tail so she can swim, I was thrilled. A quick excerpt from the article:

      "Good: double amputee gets pros…

    52. #52 |  MikeL | 

      “Much like a spoiled child, gun enthusiasts will cry when their favourite toys are taken away.”

      This is a great argument for not letting children have firearms, but I fail to see how it relates to a responsible adult.

    53. #53 |  supercat | 

      //I really struggle to understand why it’s so important to be allowed to have assault weapons. I mean, I can just about see a case for handguns – for self defense, but Assault weapons are for, well making Assaults.//

      How often are so-called “assault weapons” (as distinct from machine guns) used for criminal purposes by anyone other than government personnel? What is it about them that makes them so nasty? Have there been huge numbers of drive-by bayonettings?

      The objection to the AWB isn’t so much that someone who might have bought an AR15 would have had to buy a version with an integral muzzle brake instead of a threaded barrel, but rather that if the government is allowed to ban some weapons for one set of arbitrary and capricious reasons, there is no reason it couldn’t impose any number of additional arbitrary and capricious bans to the point that it was impossible to find any weapon that didn’t fall afoul of some particular restriction.

      Further, divide the number of “assault weapons” in the hands of people who are not on felony probation or parole, by the number of innocents killed by such people wielding such weapons. Pretty big number. Now compute the same figure for such weapons in the hands of the police. In whose hands are such weapons more dangerous?

    Leave a Reply