Free Society

Brady Campaign — Irrelevence

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

 

The Brady Campaign talks about requiring universal background checks. This will require online sales and gun show sales to be subject to background checks. This ignores the fact that all dealers are required, as condition of licensure, to conduct background checks. The question is whether the Campaign is grasping at straws or is just generally irrelevent.

First, of the 2.1 blocked sales, these were generally people who were not aware that they were prohibited persons. The fact that they were going through the process indicates that there may be a number of prohibitions that screen individuals who are otherwise law abiding citizens. Note that Mark Kelly, a “gun safety activist” was denied a sale on an AR because his actions indicated he was not, in fact the end recipient of the weapon—he could have been prosecuted for a false statement on his 4473.

Second, all federal law is governed by the Constitution of the United States. The authority of the Gun Control Act of 1968, as Amended, is the Commerce Clause. Dealers are licensed because they deal in “Commerce among the States.” While the preamble of the Act references “Public Safety” there is no (nul, zip, nada) grant of power to Congress in this area.

And, despite the people, such as my wife, who believe there are inherent powers, this was a deliberate omission because the “framers” assumed that public safety was one of those general governmental functions the States would perform. Further, the anti-federalists pushed through an amendment which stated “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In other words, before the late Nineteenth Century, when Congress discovered the Commerce Clause as a means to enact criminal penalties, there was a general belief that the safety of the population was a function of the States which have independent sovereign powers as opposed to delegated powers. (No, the Fourteenth Amendment did not repeal the Tenth, and the Tenth Amendment does supersede both the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause.)

Now to the nitty-gritty. My wife sold a shotgun to an individual in another state through Gunbroker.com. We shipped through a dealer to the buyer’s dealer. The transaction was handled through the normal process. I have purchased weapons from companies that deal on the internet—in those instances the weapon was sent to my dealer and I filled out the 4473 and my dealer ran the background check. In other words, the Brady Campaign has been disingenuous in this claim.

At gunshows, dealers use the 4473 process. But individuals will sometimes bring items they want to trade or sell. There is no jurisdiction to regulate these sales at the federal level. The Peoples Democratic Republic of California does regulate all transfers, but that is at a State level. I have had to go through background checks for most of my purchases—no, money under the table will not substitute and there are ATF agents at most shows. If someone is dealing commercially without a license, then the ATF needs to make a case and prosecute.

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Citizenship, Economy, Free Society

We fought a war for these freedoms

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

In 1743, Sam Adams and James Otis, Jr, were admitted to the degree of Master of Arts with Honours by Harvard College. These two gentlemen were both allies and rivals over the next few years and the intellectual fathers of the American Revolution in Massachusetts Bay colony.

James Otis, Jr, was appointed advocate general of the vice admiralty court in Boston where he was an advocate enforcing the onerous Acts of Trade of 1751. As the residents of Massachusetts Bay sought extra-legal relief (Messrs John Hancock and Sam Adams being involved in such activity) Parliament came up with the use of “General Warrants” which allowed the Kings officers to search what they chose, when they chose and where they chose without specifics.

In 1761, partly because Gov Bernard appointed Thomas Hutchinson rather than James Otis, Sr, as Chief Justice, the younger Otis resigned his position as advocate general and took up the cause of the merchants of Massachusetts Bay. He did this pro bono or without fee.

His five hour argument in February of 1761, included the following:

A man’s house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he is as well guarded as a prince in his castle. This writ, if it should be declared legal, would totally annihilate this privilege. Custom-house officers may enter our houses when they please; we are commanded to permit their entry. Their menial servants may enter, may break locks, bars, and everything in their way; and whether they break through malice or revenge, no man, no court may inquire.

Does this sound familiar? Does the justification of NSA surveillance by such “defenders of our freedom” as Rep Peter King (R-NY) ring familiar?

James Otis, Jr, had begun his argument with the following.

I was desired by one of the court to look into the (law) books, and consider the question now before them concerning Writs of Assistance. I have accordingly considered it, and now appear not only in obedience to your order, but likewise in behalf of the inhabitants of this town, who have presented another petition, and out of regard to the liberties of the subject. And I take this opportunity to declare that whether under a fee or not (for in such a cause as this I despise a fee) I will to my dying day oppose, with all the powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments of slavery on the one hand and villainy on the other, as this Writ of Assistance is.

John Adams, Sam’s more conciliatory cousin who had doubts about independence characterized this as the first act of resistance. It was the first action in an intellectual war of small actions which culminated in the shots fired at Lexington Green on 19 April 1775.

The court, presided over by the corrupt Thomas Hutchinson, rejected the argument. But the speech was amplified and published over the years. In December of 1773 Hutchinson was to be the recipient of a shipment of tea that would be forfeit to his warehouse on 17 December of that year. James Otis, Jr’s classmate Sam organized a costume party (it took place on Beethoven’s third birthday) that result in the tea being tossed into the harbor so it could not be unloaded.

Through the assistance of the anti-federalist movement which in the newly free and independent Commonwealth of Massachusetts included Sam Adams and the sister of James Otis, Jr, Mercy Otis Warren, ten amendments restricting governmental powers were adopted and ratified. These included the Fourth Amendment which reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

After “9/11” supposedly changed “our democracy forever” the United States passed the USAPATRIOT Act which greatly expanded the powers of the US Department of Justice, the NSA (LBJ’s Secret Police) and government in general—we now have a Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security with seemingly unlimited powers. (I could posit that the events of 11 September 2001 did not substantially change the risk level for the United States but only the fear level.)

This legislation is not “the law of the land” in that it is passed, not pursuant to the powers granted in the body of the Constitution and contrary to the limits on federal power bluntly stated in the fourth article amending that Constitution. In other words, the argument is that an emergency grants extraordinary powers to ignore the basics of governing in a free society. In the 1688 Bill of Rights, the British Parliament objected to standing armies in time of peace—and since 1688 every monarch has assured military adventurism as a means to keeping standing armies. In 1798 John Adams wanted emergency powers because he had a gotten into a shooting conflict with France—his successor refused to enforce those powers. Since 1914 the United States has been in conflict with one or more foes—only twice, 1917 and 1941, have there been formal declarations of war although Bill Fulbright posited that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution might be so considered.

The advantage to the powers that be of “emergencies” is that the electorate, with a dire threat from the outside, is willing to forgo freedoms in the belief that such willingness will diminish the threat. Ergo, since Muslim extremists were capable of flying a couple planes into buildings we are under threat—although we currently have no enemies with industrial capabilities, having reached a rapprochement with Red China and having caused the downfall of the Soviet Union through a massive spending war. However, we have a “Global War on Terror” as a result of G.W. Bush acting like John Adams on steroids and Barack Obama not being Thomas Jefferson in any sense.

Going back to the Fourth Amendment, James Otis, Jr, began a revolution of thought. As the kernel of the idea grew, it was added to and built up pressure. By April of 1775, the American Revolution was over—what lay ahead was a War for Independence. Yes, for these ideas and freedoms we went to war, not to give power over to a government that took crises as a rationale for going back to a time before it all happened and back to a government that made Leviathan look like a gila monster.

 

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Citizenship, Free Society

Piers Morgan – the Brit does not understand

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Piers Morgan, a CNN host whose previous experience was as a BBC presenter, has called for the government to seize “assault weapons” and made pious remarks about civilized countries. On September 12, 1814, Brigadier General William Stricker’s brigade of Maryland Militia stopped General Robert Ross’s “unbeatable” regular force on the road from North Point to Baltimore. That action, plus the failure of a naval bombardment to dislodge Fort McHenry with heavy guns and Congreve rockets effectively ended any necessity for Americans to take suggestions or demands from Brits.

Morgan, not real knowledgeable of American history, stated on national television that the second amendment was about muskets, not assault weapons. He has obviously not read my article on the Well-Regulated Militia https://loboviejo.com/2012/03/09/well-regulated…-of-definition/. Nor does he realize that the anti-federalists were addressing the nature of government rather than the technology of weaponry. The nature of government had not changed since Aristotle’s treaty nor has it changed since 1791.

Any argument is going to have to be settled on American terms by Americans. And draconian measures are not going to work any better than they did in 1775 when the governor of Massachusetts Bay sent regular troops to seize arms.  A statist foreign outlook is not appropriate or welcome in that debate.

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Education, Free Society

Forget November — Start Now

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

This was titled After November What?! The problem is that after the election lethargy sets in and everyone starts talking like the fan who calls into sportstalk radio after the BCS championship game to state that no wimpy SEC team that never played in Lincoln can call itself the National Champion. Everyone who has ever listened to sports talk radio understands this point. And there are thousands of fans that realize that bad calls happen and there is nothing that can take them back. They quietly wonder about next year and realize that there are five or six seniors for whom there will be no next year.

So every election night is like Super Sunday to the faithful—it just drags on like a game between two teams that have decent defense and no offense. And that is what makes it a spectator sport. Every election night, the losing side talks big about the next election. And a few make good on threats to move out of (city, county, state, country). And there will be a few for whom there will be no next time.

The reality of 2012 is that there are two major party candidates who are not defenders of the Republic. Romney does not understand and Obama is openly hostile. They believe in a system where they divide the spoils and they increase the influence of their respective parties. And they have a public that demands entitlements—yes, subsidies on agriculture, protective tariffs, and bailouts are all entitlements.

So I was writing this to talk about after November. What is going to happen? The party pros are going to be working on the next election, it’s the people who will be overjoyed or distraught. The pros are talking about marketing. What message needs to get out to win the election? How do they sideline the nuisances like Paul or Kucinich?

People are not going to be involved until they are needed—the strategy is to formulate the program and get people involved when there is work to be done. This is not a strategy—it is a habit. The establishment goes into sleep mode for three years, then expects to energize like Popeye slamming a spinach flavored AMP and take on the big boys.

Let’s look at it. The Democrats have been at this since Andrew Jackson lost the Presidency in the House of Representatives in 1824. Did he make a concession speech and go into Ostrich mode until September of 1828? No. He got off his duff and formed alliances. He wrote letters and met with leaders including Martin Van Buren who had organized Tammany Hall. 1828 was the year John Quincy Adams and the National Republicans went down in defeat. The main goals of Democrats are winning elections and governing. Since 1913 they have espoused a cogent progressive stance, and while out of power they still actively push their philosophy and agenda with a major consistency and do not sleep. In other words, campaign mode never ceases. And while they have been out of the White House more than in it since 1950 they have kept Congress with few exceptions.

The Republicans, on the other hand, have been in business since 1858 and, despite a run from 1861 to 1909 with two breaks for Grover Cleveland and one for Andrew Johnson, have been the minority party. If you look at American history, it is a hodge podge of defunct political parties—Federalist, National Republican, Populist, Progressive. The Republican Party may follow suit. The reason is that the Republicans eschew full-time politicians as a necessary evil. So the dilettante of the season with the program of the season is nominated—and surprise, it’s the nominee that the establishment wants except when there is a massive movement like Goldwater.

So how does the Liberty Movement take over a party. First, whether Obama or Romney wins in November the Republican establishment can best be described as moribund. It can hang on for one or two more elections, but it is looking back to the glory of Reagan without a sense of what Reagan was about. The Reagan years were not a significant dint in the march of Progressivism. What youth wants is a march to Freedom. And if they cannot get it, they will not put up with the Party, and the party that does not have youth has no future.

I am of two minds on Romney. He is a dilettante who has a feeling of entitlement because his father was denied the nomination. His idea of foreign policy is the PAX AMERICANA. He supports the policies of Bush and Obama regarding “the war on terror.” His campaign has resorted to dirty politics for the purpose of making the Convention in Tampa a coronation that will lead to the conquest of Obama. The only reasons I can cast a vote for Romney are: 1) He would appoint some fairly vanilla justices to the Supreme Court whereas without a Republican majority in the Senate and even then a lot of them roll with “history.” 2) He would wake up a substantial segment of the anti-war movement that sleeps while “the chosen one” occupies the house at the juncture of New York and Pennsylvania Avenues.

Remember that our goal is not putting Romney in the White House. While there is hope that he can be brought around—he had a “come to Jesus” moment at the NRA convention—he likely would continue on the path to implosion at a slightly smaller pace—it is even likely that he will serve only one term, leaving Obama out there plotting to pull a Grover Cleveland. The more likely scenario is that a popular Democratic Governor will emerge. Both parties look for the (con)man on the white horse. Our goal instead is to advance the cause of the liberty movement, to bring down the Imperial Presidency and to restore the Republic with its limits on power and its individual rights against the tyranny of the majority.

There is the alternative of a “third” party which has been defined as any party not Republican or Democrat. American history is littered with third parties. The key is to capture the Party without getting sucked in. This means going precinct by precinct, county by county, state by state. It is better done outside of an election year, but you need to start where you are. Remember, the socialists never sleep, the establishment never sleeps. Unless we can take back the Republic we might as well sleep through it and line up for goodies.

THE REPUBLIC IS WHY REPUBLICANS EXIST.

This will not be an easy battle. No political battle is. But what is the alternative?

The alternative is an evergrowing government surrendering the sovereignty of the American people to the a world government under the United Nations. And it has been politicians who have given over the sovereignty that is not theirs to give.

The alternative is a copy of an East Bloc “Peoples Democracy” where your papers are being asked for.

The alternative is a national police force where the crimes are interpretations of vague concepts.

The alternative is an isolated Presidency, unfettered by the law and advised by commissars.

The alternative is an education system where the learning and literature of the past is thrown in the fire for the latest fad from UNESCO

The alternative is that the next generation (yet unborn) will have no knowledge of our history.

The alternative is a catastrophic failure of all the systems of government with no clue what to do other than beg from the Chinese.

Do we want these alternatives?  Or do we want to spread the word, work for the future. Socialists believe in the inevitablity of their cause, that the end of history is the dictatorship of the proletariat. Long ago they abandoned the withering of the state—Marx was a crackpot; it was Lenin and Stalin who determined the course of history.

Are we ready to say no to that dialectic? Are we ready to say “YES” to the struggle for Liberty. And if we say “yes” are we ready for the long struggle that answer entails. Some of us will not see the end of the struggle, but it will require us to begin.

So start talking to friends. Get hold of Heinlein’s book Take Back Your Government—read it and share it. Work on issues as they come up.

And pray that the whole system does not implode.

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Compleat Idler, Education

U.S. Marshals – real versus reel

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

In a world of semi reality, I like to retreat to what Fran Striker called the days of yesteryear. when the action was on the silver screen.  And between the real and the movies is the U.S. Marshal.

Question 1: What famous Western lawman was killed in 1924 during an altercation with a Federal Agent.

Question 2: Name three Deputy U.S. Marshals who were present in Coffeyville, KS, the day the Daltons came to town.

Question 3: Besides Tilghman and Earp what member of Wyatt Earp’s Dodge City Police Department later became a Deputy U.S. Marshal.

Most of America’s consciousness of the U.S. Marshal has come from novels, movies and television where they swept into the small towns to fight corrupt local sheriff. And we know Matt Dillon who loomed ominous in the voice of William Conrad on radio and larger than life in the frame of James Arness on television. For those unacquainted there are episodes of Gunsmoke on the internet.

The vision is almost always positive—an affirmation that our federal government will protect us. The character of Rooster Gogburn, who played whichever side of the law was convenient, may be a little more accurate.

William Matthew Tilghman may be the straightest of the old west lawmen. As far as I can tell he did spend a night in jail, having been caught taking county records to the true county seat from the other true county seat back during the County Seat Wars in Kansas. He was the main inspiration for the character of Matt Dillon. At age 70 he was hired as marshal by the city of Cromwell, Oklahoma. He immediately offended Prohibition Bureau Agent Wiley Lynn who asked the sheriff not to sign Tilghman’s commission. Tilghman responded by getting his commission directly from the Governor. On the night of November 1, 1924, Tilghman was having coffee with some businessmen downtown when he heard shots being fired outside. Tilghman then went outside where Wiley was firing his weapon and staggering. Tilghman disarmed Wiley and was attempting to subdue the agent when Wiley put two bullets in Tilghman, Wiley was acquitted because he intimidated witnesses but lost his commission. He was killed in 1930 in an altercation with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.

When riders were seen coming up from South Coffeyville it was assumed that it was just another Marshal’s posse up from the Indian Territory. As they rode into town and parked their horses people were uneasy. When it started things got confused. Charles Connelly, the Town Marshal, was shot early on—reports are mixed as to whether he was even armed or returned fire. Most of the shooting was done by immigrant blacksmith John Kloehr with a rifle borrowed from the hardware store. When it was done four of the five robbers lay dead and the fifth lay seriously wounded. Connelly was not a deputy US Marshal—he was town marshal, high school teacher and truant officer. He seldom carried his breaktop, five-shot .32 revolver. The three Deputy US Marshals for the Indian Territory were Grat, Bob and Emmett Dalton—the District Judge in Wichita had not bothered to revoke their commissions.

William Barclay Masterson was called “Bat” because he had to use a cane because of a damaged pelvis from the Battle of Adobe Walls. A Canadian, with no documentation of naturalization that I have been able to find, Masterson moved from the Dodge City Police Department to the office of Sheriff of Ford County in November 1877. After a career as a lawman, he was a gambler, a hired gun for the Santa Fe in the Raton Pass dispute, a fight promoter, a sports writer and editor. In 1903 he was appointed Deputy US Marshal for the Southern District of New York (New York City). The Sullivan Law in New York cut into his practice of buying old guns in pawn shops, carving a few notches and then selling them as the gun he carried in his lawman career, His pal Damon Runyan used him as the model for Obadiah “The Sky” Masterson in The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown which was the basis for Guys and Dolls.

The United States Marshals have served the Federal Courts and the other branches of the Federal Government since 1789. But they were not the “saviors” the movies showed. In the area of general law enforcement, the states handled that before the Franklin Roosevelt administration. Up until 1896 the Marshals were paid fees by the courts for serving warrants and process and guarding prisoners. They also served process for banks with their fees set by courts.

But if you like B-westerns—I grew up going to the Gothic with my big sister on Saturday afternoon—you know about U.S. Marshals. They come into town, order sarsparilla, get into a fight with the town bully and get arrested. In the sheriff’s office, they identify themselves and talk about the rustlers—they always shoot for the gun hand which would make a low energy video game. And despite the wiles of the schoolmarm, they head for the next town when the banker is packed off to the state prison for running the rustling ring so he can foreclose on all the ranches (who does he think he is–FmHA).

“Out in the territories it was a U.S. Marshal and the smell of Gunsmoke.” Never mind that Dodge City was in the state of Kansas and the gambler named Holliday who built the rail head was called Colonel, not Doc. Never mind that from 1876 to 1882 the homicide rate (including police shootings) was 1.5 a year. Never mind that Dodge had a police department. And never mind that the cattle drives ended in 1882 when a standard gauge railroad provided a direct line to Kansas City from Fort Worth. Okay, for twenty years Matt Dillon was America’s marshal and averaged 13 lethal force incidents a year.

And Abilene had no shootings until they got proactive and hired a marshal. When the marshal was killed they recruited a gunfighter named JB Hickock. Hickock liked killing but was beginning to show signs of macular degeneration—he was fired after killing his own deputy. But then we remember Wild Bill Hickock and his sidekick Jingles riding around in buckskins as a US Marshal cum Knight Errant—sort of your freelance after school lawman. Of course JB Hickock wore a buckskin jacket over a fancy silk vest with a waist sash into which he stashed a brace of 1851 Colts in .36 caliber. (Take that, you cowboy action folk who insist on .44s and .45s.)

So the Marshal is in our psyche, along with the Texas Ranger and the Lone Ranger. And what the Marshals are doing now is the day-to-day court security, contracting transportation and confinement and cleaning up after other federal law enforcement agencies. Not real exciting stuff. I’ll probably get the new True Grit. I’m really behind though with a bunch of martial arts flix I have yet to see and I haven’t seen 3:10 to Yuma.

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Compleat Idler, Education, Free Society

Things to come

SEPTEMBER:

There are a couple of crucial events in the history of freedom.

12-13-14  1814  –  Battle of Baltimore

General Ross’s finest troops take on the “ill-prepared” Maryland Militia.

Vice Admiral Cochrane discovers that Congreve rockets make an excellent light show

23  1779  –  “I may sink, but I shall not strike.”

New vs refitted ships

DECEMBER:

Repel of Volstead Act

6 Dec 1933

Right in the middle of the month, having nothing to do with the Old Wolf’s birthday are a couple days to remember.

15  1791  –  George Mason prevails

Ten articles for liberty.

16  1773  –  Costume party at Griffins’s Wharf

Break out your Welsh flags

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Free Society, Preparedness

Night military maneuvers in Massachusetts

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

A cautionary tale

There was a night Back in ’75
Or so I’m told, the story’s alive
The officials went out with 800 boots
to confiscate the powder that shoots

And maybe capture a traitor or two
Old Adams was there and Hancock too
There’d be no alarm at Concord of Course
They’d captured Revere, and taken the horse

And there as they arrived at Lexington green
Were armed Minutemen–very few were seen.
The officials alert so quick to the gun
They neglected two men on the run

‘Twas over in minutes- the rebels in retreat
And redcoats marched on up the street,
To Concord where there was powder none
Except that loaded in horn and in gun

While Adams and Hancock who thought redcoats silly
Sat in the coach that would take them to Philly
While the Redcoats back to Boston did go
Pursued by the rebels with no spoils to show

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