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By H-Dizzle

I have a “McGovern ‘72” tattoo on my arm, if that is an indicator of where my political ideals fall. Fell. Still sort of fall. The gun control debate has truly rattled my previously stout and proud liberal foundation, and left me alone and wandering in the ideological desert. I’m a man without a party . . .

How does a guy whose vanity tags once read “GOP SUX” and who worked nearly for free getting Democrats elected stray so far from the party line? For me, it really boiled down to guns. Granted, asinine concepts like Bloomberg trying to decide what size soda I could drink exacerbated the situation, but really it was the gun-grabbers and their reactions that solidified my giant step back from the Democratic Party.

It started a year before Newtown. I had recently gotten back into target shooting and had acquired a few new firearms, and was enjoying the relative freedom that living in Virginia provided. On moving back to New York, all of that began to change starting with the fiasco that is applying for your NY State Pistol Permit.

For people not living in New York, here is the quick and dirty of the application process. Each county is somewhat different, but they are fairly similar. First, there is a fee, just to get the application. Ten dollars. And then fingerprints, $105. After that, you fill out a very lengthy form, and must find three references. In my county, those references have to fill out forms vouching for you, which they must have notarized.   On top of that, there is a form you need to bring to your employer that tells them you are applying for your pistol permit, which they have to complete and sign.

In my county, your permit lists your place of employment and occupation.

After all of that is submitted and reviewed I had to schedule an hour-long interview with a Deputy Sheriff who wanted the details of every gun I owned, my complete work and residential history, and a general assessment of why I wanted a pistol permit. To get to this point in the process takes about seven to ten months. Part of it is waiting for the FBI fingerprint results, while most of it is waiting for New York State to check you in their mental health databases. (This is undoubtedly a throttle point by design, because they are more than willing to allocate millions of dollars to an ammunition database, so there is funding for firearms form processing out there.)

After everything is filled out and approved, your permit goes to a judge for review. Thankfully, in my county both of our judges are pro-2nd Amendment and generally approve unrestricted (concealed carry) permits. If I go 10 miles east of my house, they do not issue CCW, only range and home permits. It is a county-by-county decision left up to the judges, so it pays to do some research on where you live in upstate New York. A few miles closer to my job and I’d have lost my Constitutional rights.

Once your permit is approved, you must take a 10-hour NRA-certified course to keep your permit ‘unrestricted.’ In my case I had that requirement waived by the judge because I had a CCW from Virginia.

Now you are ready to purchase a pistol. Sort of. Your choices are to get a ‘coupon’ from the county clerk, which is good for 10 days and go shopping, or to purchase the pistol first, present the clerk with the S/N and bill of sale (and your $3) and get your coupon then. Either way, FFLs will not release your pistol to you without a coupon. Every pistol you carry must be listed on the back of your permit.

Now on top of this, when I moved back to New York, we already had the tightest restrictions on modern sporting rifles outside of California: 10-round magazine limit (grandfathered pre-’94 mags OK), no bayonet lug, no muzzle device (suppressor or compensator.) Handguns were also limited to a 10-round maximum capacity. I knew all of this when we decided to move back to New York and I was grudgingly willing to live with it.

And then Newtown happened and suddenly our Governor, whose eye rarely strays from what he views as his path to the White House, raced to make New York the first state in the nation to totally over-react. And thanks to New York City Democrats and some spineless Republicans, he was successful.

I won’t go into the details of the “New York SAFE Act” because that has been hashed out here many times, but suffice it to say it sent a shockwave through upstate New York. There was a run on all things firearm, similar to what happened nationally but here it happened faster and more violently. Gun shops, Wal-Marts, sporting goods stores, literally had empty shelves. A few rounds of .270, a few stray shotguns, but rifles, handguns and anything that might be going on the banned list were scooped up.

I was as guilty as anyone of rushing out and contributing to this madness. I bought anything I could get my hands on. I paid $1 a round for .223. As someone who follows New York state politics closely, I had real concerns that the other shoe was going to drop and eventually ammo and even fairly standard firearms would no longer be permitted.

I realize that seems a little paranoid, but our governor had just classified a Ruger 10/22 with a thumbhole stock as an “assault weapon,” so anything was possible in my mind.

The passage of the SAFE Act alone was enough for me to take a hard look at my political party. Nearly unanimously they had voted for passage of this abomination. And then the drumbeats started again, locally and nationally, for more. More gun control, restrictions, micro-stamping, registration, limits…anything and everything other than addressing the one thing that every mass shooting has in common: mental health.

Governor Cuomo is not an advocate for mental health, mental health funding, or mental health services. So he has no interest in having mental health as part of the discussion on gun violence. And, it turns out; neither do the rest of the Democrats, right on up to President Obama. It is always about the inanimate object, the tool, and never about the shooter and why they did it, or where we failed to identify a person in need of mental health services until it was too late.

And then A Million Moms and Bloomberg got all frothy and really set to work demonizing people like me. I’m a hunter, a firearms enthusiast, and a CCW holder who has never had anything worse than a speeding ticket, but somehow according to them I am a paranoid radical extremist and I am the source of the problem. And as they continue to say ‘no one is going to take away your guns’ out of one side of their mouth, the other side is actively doing just that. It reminds me of when I was a kid and had a loose tooth, my grandfather used to say “C’mere and let me see that. I won’t pull it out, I just want to see how loose it is.” Yoink! Every time, that is what he said, every time I fell for it, and every time he yoinked out the loose tooth on me. It took me a long time, but finally I have learned not to fall for that trick anymore.

So, back to politics…who am I now? I worked for a Blue Dog Democrat congressman and we had Remington in our district and an A+ rating from the NRA. Proudly. Lately, those same Blue Dogs are under fire from the extreme left of the party who seem intent on pushing them into a corner on things like gun control. More than ever I feel like a man without a party, and it is in large part because what was a dormant issue in our party platform has taken center stage again.

When will it end? Thankfully, and you can quote me, I think it will settle down quite a bit after this November when the Democrats get their asses handed to them in the congressional elections. That will take the piss out of a lot of these folks whipping the gun issue into a frenzy. It will re-emerge in the 2015/16 presidential primaries just as a matter of course, but by that time any candidate with half a brain will touch on it and move on to something else.

And how will I vote? Well, I’m not ever going to vote for anyone who I suspect could threaten my 2nd Amendment rights. Period. But I’m also not interested in voting for a pro-life or anti-marriage equality candidate. In 2012 I voted for the Libertarian candidate for president simply because I could not stomach either a Romney or Obama vote. And until I see some sanity start to creep back into the Democratic Party, I will take everything on a case-by-case basis and apply my litmus test.

So for now I refer to myself as a left-wing libertarian or a Blue Dog Democrat and I search for candidates who share my views. Unfortunately, they are few and far between in the State of New York.

** Note: Yes, I realize that McGovern’s 1972 platform called for a ban on handguns. Aside from that one issue with him, I still feel he would have been a fantastic president. I don’t expect a lot of agreement from the TTAG community on this, and that is OK. Agree to disagree.

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120 Responses to P320 Entry: How Gun Control Changed My Politics

  1. You’re right, I will totally disagree with your evaluation of McGovern’s presidential potential. But I will say, as liberals go, I have helluva lot more respect for McGovern than for just about any other liberal politico.

    • Well when your choices are McGovern and Nixon…. Its kinda like between Hitlery and Bush.

      • In 1972 my Draft Lottery Number was 3, my student deferrment ended in ’73. The Dems started the war and Nixon promised to end it. I voted in my self-interest. I became a conservative later when I wrote my first check to the IRS.

        • “my Draft Lottery Number was 3”

          My draft lottery number was 305. Funny how you don’t forget some stuff.

        • My draft lottery number was about 312, but I don’t remember it as well as the rest of you because in ’72 I’d already been to ‘Nam and back. 😉

    • Yeah, at least he was honest. It’s like my buddys dad told us one night, when we were getting drunk and arguing over vietnam; “I can respect the commies in nam more than the ones here; at least they’re willing to FIGHT for it.”

      • I didn’t even get mad at him when he said “begging is better than bombing”. He earned the standing to say that by flying a bomber in WWII, he saw firsthand what bombing was about. Still disagree with about every position he took on the issues.

      • Uh… he died in 2012. But he was never conservative, and was a stand up guy all the way. He screwed up bad with the Eagleton thing, but other than that the man was 100% open and honest, even to his electoral detriment.

        From Wikipedia: “Starting on November 11, 1944, McGovern flew 35 missions over enemy territory from San Giovanni, the first five as co-pilot for an experienced crew and the rest as pilot for his own plane, known as the Dakota Queen after his wife Eleanor.”

        Not many politicians have had the integrity that he had.

        Also from Wiki: “By the final week of the campaign, McGovern knew he was going to lose. While he was appearing in Battle Creek, Michigan, on November 2, a Nixon admirer heckled him. McGovern told the heckler, “I’ve got a secret for you,” then said softly into his ear, “Kiss my ass.””

        No, I still can’t reconcile with his position on handguns, obviously, but aside from that I have nothing but admiration for the man. The opposite of what I feel for our current President.

        • You’re using Wikipedia as a source? It’s on the internet you say? It must be true.

        • I used Wiki for the ease of it, those are two very well documented facts I’ve seen in multiple sources including his own autobiography.

          I understand the hairy eyeball toward internet facts, which is why I went with two very well known stories.

        • My dad was a lifelong Republican, fought in Pacific in US Airborne in WW2. His brother flew B-29 and died. When McGovern ran, even though he did not support McGovern’s platform, he had a heck of a lot of respect for him. Essentially McGovern, fought in the most dangerous highest risk role in of any nominated presidential candidate before or since. GBush senior also fought in a tough role, but one with a lower casualty ratio.

          Disagree with McGovern’s policies all you want, but he was a proven patriot.

        • @Dave: I have actually found Wikipedia to be no less reliable than the dead-tree sources I have consulted. You just have to do the same kind of thing, compare with multiple sources, look for signs of bias, etc, etc.

  2. Your employer has to know? Why?!

    “Governor Cuomo is not an advocate for mental health, mental health funding, or mental health services. So he has no interest in having mental health as part of the discussion on gun violence. And, it turns out; neither do the rest of the Democrats, right on up to President Obama.”

    How does this play out in light of Elliot Rodger?

    • In Delaware you have to take out an add in a major newspaper (last I heard) before they will issue you a carry permit. Just in case you had any illusion of a right to privacy left.

    • Well, all the D’s talk about mental health, and pretend that they really care.

      What they want is control. They don’t care if a program actually works. The important thing is to make sure the proposal makes people FEEL GOOD! In the end, if defenseless people die at the hands of lunatics that slip through the mental health cracks, they won’t even try to fix it.

      ‘Cause they really don’t care.

      • What Cuomo and his Wall Street buddies really care about are controlling the monopoly of violence in the case the hoi paloi in their megalopolis get tool restless. Protect the Capital is the name of the game.

    • Congratulations on your first step from the plantation.

      Gun control is just one of many issues that you might start to question once you exited the gates.

      If you would like to watch some intelligent and well produced 5 minute segments about econmics/life/religion you should take a look here====> http://www.prageruniversity.com/

      You give us five minutes.
      We give you a semester.

      • Life is so much more complex and beautiful than partisanship, dogma and polarized political ideologies.

  3. As long as you don’t vote for Progs, I have no issues with you. Glad to see another person wake up. Statism needs to be fought with everything we have, regardless of whether the statists are socially liberal or socially conservative. As it happens, Democrats are pretty much the party of statism right now, but there are statists in the GOP too who would love to force their ideology down others throats if they had the power. Not nearly as many as in the DNC, but some for sure.

    Either the libertarians need to take over the GOP (like the communists took over the DNC), or we need a viable third party. If we can shrink government back to it’s legal boundaries, it won’t be powerful enough to either disarm us or tell us who we can marry.

    • Yup. As much as I rant about the democrats, the GOP has its share of evil ones, like Cheney, Rumsfeld… Them Nixon types… I believe Nixon eventually wanted to push for gun control at one point as well. I mean, the guy did have a concentration camp built in Colorado for political dissidents.

        • Um. No. I personally hate SOBs that have never served a day in their lives employ retarded tactics like the “Rumsfeld doctrine”. It was even dumber than McNamara’s body count philosophy. I was there, and I’m not anti war. I’m very pro Iraq war, still to this day, having been there and done it, and listen to all the crap the come since. But the tactics employed by Cheney and Rumsfeld were absolutely retarded and anyone with any degree of military foresight could see that.

  4. I would personally like to know what happened to the conservative democrats. I’ve never been a fan of democrats, but that use to be all the rage in the Midwest/north like in WI, MI, MN, IA areas. All areas are hardcore blue, (well WI is turning more red now, which is good) but all areas are or at least were very pro 2A areas for the longest time. I live in GA now, (thank God) But when I was a kid I lived up there with some family for awhile, and in the rural areas you couldn’t tell much was very different from the political standpoint of the rest of the Midwest and the South.

  5. At the federal level the two parties are just two competing companies selling the same product with a different label and slightly different flavor. Pepsi and Coke. The posturing for the masses on social issues becomes pretty irrelevant– just marketing to the masses (Pro life? whatever- they’re not going to get Roe overturned). Same sex marriage? It’s gonna be decided by the states and the courts (and AGs refusing to do their job in defending state laws. I.E. CA. If they’d defended it in court, SCOTUS would have been forced to make a ruling settling whether its a federal civil right issue or a state rights issue vice just kicking it for lack of standing).

    These folks get in power and do the same things- they take money from the same folks, give money to the same folks, reward allies and punish enemies, trade on insider information, trade favors (stuff that would get a federal employee locked up), and take care of themselves and relatives. I don’t have any party allegiance. The only folks benefiting from party allegiance are the politicians themselves where the party determines their career path, what committee assignments they get etc.

  6. Also a New York resident (Hudson Valley). I was saving a very similar essay for the next contest, hoping the prize would be a rifle or shotgun (a non-scary one), precisely so that I don’t have to go through the madness of getting a NY pistol permit to claim the prize if I win.

    I’m facing the same problem. Can’t vote democrat, can’t vote republican. It’s sad but I may not vote the next go around. Voting for the lesser evil gets really old. I just don’t want to vote for evil period.

    I think the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement have a lot more in common than either side is willing to admit. Hopefully one day people who are fed up with both political parties can somehow manage to get a viable alternative together. If things go on like this much longer, I think we’re all in serious trouble.

    Good Luck with your entry.

    • I also live in the Hudson Valley and have a pistol permit. The wait was 6 months when I got mine about 10 years ago. I hear the wait now is over a year. Why? Good question, but no good answers. I had to jump through all the same hoops described by the author. Even with all that my permit is stamped “Target” meaning I can only carry at home or at the range, so it’s pretty useless, which I guess is the intent of our 2A-unfriendly county legislators.

      As for not voting, I urge you to reconsider. In NY, not voting is the same as voting for Cuomo and his ilk. Please support Rob Astorino for Governor. We need all the votes we can get.

      • Your NY permit stamped ‘Target’ is a de-facto unrestricted CCW in most upstate and western NY counties. The ‘restrictions’ are probably unenforced by most LEO’s.

        THAT said, I’m pretty certain there are no CRIMINAL penalties for carrying outside of ‘restrictions’ because stamped ‘restrictions’ have not been codified – they are not mentioned in law – hence there are no criminal penalties. There are, however, administrative penalties – specifically, the issuing permit officer can revoke your permit. IF he finds out you’ve carried outside stamped ‘restrictions’.

        Of course, none of this applies to the counties surrounding NYC, which have their own brand of double-secret probationary supra-insane restrictions. Heck, I’m down with free-states specifically EXEMPTING anyone with a NYC CCW from any sort of reciprocity. Frankly, treat them as a felon if they carry. Consider them KGB agents, because their political masters (Andy Cuomo, Sheldon Silver) act like KGB officers.

  7. Man without a party. I can relate to that. GOP vs. DEM feels like two bites from the same dog. Or something.

  8. Good to have your point of view here. Politically you might be surprised how many libertarians frequent this site.

    Stay away from the progressives. Or as I like to quote:

    “I fear Greeks, even those bearing gifts”

  9. I’m lucky, I don’t have to deal with this moral delimmea simply because there is NO alternative to the established anti gun Democrats…third party? I think the pig farmer guy died. Republicans? They’re either non existent or out buying Volvo’s.

  10. I’m another frustrated left-of-center gun owner. Where I live, at least the Democrats are fairly sane on gun issues, so for local elections I don’t have to hold my nose too much. National-level elections, a different story. (Especially what styrgwillidar said.)

  11. First, there is a fee, just to get the application. Ten dollars. And then fingerprints, $105. After that, you fill out a very lengthy form, and must find three references. In my county, those references have to fill out forms vouching for you, which they must have notarized. On top of that, there is a form you need to bring to your employer that tells them you are applying for your pistol permit, which they have to complete and sign.
    The most restrictive (non-NFA) purchase I’ve ever made is a handgun in WA, where, when buying from an FFL holder, we have to fill out a state form after the 4473.

    A few miles closer to my job and I’d have lost my Constitutional rights.

    I hate to have to tell you this, but based on the first paragraph, I’m pretty sure you lost them long ago.

  12. “McGovern ‘72” tattoo on my arm Need to borrow an ax? Still running that Obmua/Biden bumper sticker as well?

  13. Keep voting Democrat, and keep getting more and more statist control freak edicts from on high.

    What was the quote again? Something about “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” being the definition of insanity.

    The deal is, regardless of what a democrat says to get elected, they will ALWAYS vote in lock-step with the party line.

    If the part says “ban guns!” even the “conservative” democrats will immediately demand that we ban guns, for the children.

    They are lying liars who lie. They will say anything to get elected and then do what they are told when they take office.

    Republicans are worse. They tell you what you want to hear to get elected, and then go AGAINST what the party and their constituents tell them to do.

    As a fellow man though, I am curious as to why you have such strong feelings about whether a woman should kill her unborn child or not.

    I personally think it’s abhorrent to nerf a baby because you don’t want to raise it. HOWEVER, I also do not want to tell someone else that they must live their lives to my standard, so I don’t think it should be illegal. I just think it ought to be seen for what it is, the killing of a child. All this euphemism about choice and reproductive rights is bullshit to cover over or skirt around an idea that most anyone would rightly find highly unsavory.

    So, while I find the ideal personally repellant and would never participate in the act myself, I am not willing to have the gov’t use force to make people see it my way.

    You, on the other hand, are advocating for the inverse position. You’re actively rooting for babies to be killed. The question I have, is why?

    I’m not assigning you sinister motive here or anything, I genuinely want to know why you advocate against people who don’t want to kill babies.

    I can understand advocating against someone who expressly campaigns to outlaw abortion in every instance, full stop, but that is not what you said. You said you would never vote for someone who is pro-life, which seems an odd stance to take, thus the question.

    • “So, while I find the ideal personally repellant [sic] and would never participate in the act myself, I am not willing to have the gov’t use force to make people see it my way.”

      This sentence right here IS the pro-choice stance. Pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion. Believe me no one goes into a clinic full of glee that they’re about to kill a fetus. It’s a decision that will likely haunt them the rest of their lives, even if they go on to produce other children. Conservatives preach “small government” but then turn around and push for legislation that would otherwise force people to live a certain way (just like certain other theocracies we often call “enemies”). I’m actually shocked more conservatives aren’t pro-choice simply because they’re against welfare.

      • The language a person uses says very clearly the way a person is thinking.

        “Pro-choice is NOT pro-abortion. Believe me no one goes into a clinic full of glee that they’re about to kill a fetus”

        This is why James, people can do an abortion; they aren’t murdering a baby, it’s only a “fetus”. The reason mass murder can happen is that people first dehumanize the human beings they want to murder, and so when they aren’t human, Viola! it isn’t murder, it’s simply a “choice”.

        So when a mother is five and almost a half months pregnant that wants to have the baby is killed, the killer is charged with two murders. That same mother can suddenly realize she no longer wants the baby, and go have a legal abortion./(murder).

        The delusion, the lie James that people tell themselves is that a five and almost a half month old baby isn’t really human but a five month old and over a half month baby is.

        So a human being that could live for over eighty years, that has all the protections against the willful murder by another human being, is not human for the first five and a half months of his life. So the person is human for seventy nine years and three and a half months and is protected from murder; but the first five and a half months he isn’t human and has no protection from being killed.

        Yep; makes total sense to me.

        • I did not say I approve of the practice, no. In fact, I’m quite against it but it is no ones choice to make but the woman who has to carry it. If all you pro-lifers are so determined to make the choice for them, then step up and offer to pay for medical expenses until the baby is born and then adopt it. In your double murder example you missed the biggest part, the murderer took her choice away by killing her. I see all these so-called Christians chastise the woman for making the choice and then also calling her a slut with a bastard child if she decided not to. Wasn’t God all about choice? In the end it boils down to a decision between her, her doctor and her “God” and no one else’s.

          I wonder how many unborn children died during the Great Flood?

        • James,

          You wrote, “If all you pro-lifers are so determined to make the choice for them, then step up and offer to pay for medical expenses until the baby is born and then adopt it.”

          That is exactly what pro-lifers are doing. There is so much demand for these babies that the wait time can be several years.

        • @James: The “choice” ends where another human life begins. It’s that simple–and that complicated.

        • @Another Robert: Not if the woman wasn’t given the choice to conceive (i.e. rape).

        • That’s why some “pro-lifers” will accept the “rape or incest” exception-which, BTW, only amounts to a tiny percentage of abortions I’m told. Personally, I think the fact that a baby was conceived in a rape does not make the baby any less human, and certainly not a guilty human deserving of the death penalty.

        • If it’s conceived in an act of violence, then letting it incarnate against its mother’s will opens space for the kind of spirit that would override its Divine Mother’s Will, which grows up to be the kind of person who cheerleads for the tyrants and murderers, or itself grows to be a tyrant or a murderer in its own right.
          .

    • Yeah CoolHand; when I was raised in Liberal/progressive land; (The Bay Area and Santa Cruz, CA) I was more of a libertarian/progressive. I was absolutely convinced that Abortion was simply a choice, “Murder? Come on; your just a bible thumper!” (eye roll). I was also agnostic; then I found Spirit and then Christ and I woke up.

      It was like a dream, or more like a nightmare. The things that I believed as “obvious truth” and as “laws of the universe” I now see as complete and utter lies, delusion and denial.

      One of the big ones is that abortion is a “choice” for what is actually the murder of an unborn child.

      I also vaguely remember what it was like to be in the nightmare land of the progressive. It is like being in an altered state, a dream, another life. Completely bizarre now that I could have ever believed as accepted obvious truth the various tenets of the faith of the cult of the Liberal/progressive.

      But I do also have empathy for those that are still in that place; but that it is still a choice; they don’t have to stay there; if they want to wake up, it is possible. Just very frightening to do so. But once the choice is made to be free from the lies; there is a whole community of like minded individuals to support the new life of freedom.

      • You wanted freedom from the lies and you chose to become a Christian? Seems kinda counter-productive to me. That’s the whole reason I became agnostic. I find it amusing that somehow morality only comes with religion, I say it’s just the opposite.

        • Yep James; I was agnostic, and I truly believed that anyone practicing any religion, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, New Age, etc. (they were all the same to me) were fools chasing flights of fancy and tyranny by listening to a bunch of guys in orange togas, funny turbans or guys and girls with poofy hair doos on TV brandishing a bible.

          Then I had my transcendent experience that showed me that there is a universal intelligence that I was connected to; and that intelligence was pure and unadulterated love. Love that made as a pale shadow that I had experienced up to that point with another human being.

          For me James; finding this connection has set me free. But that freedom comes not with license, but with responsibility, obligation, duty and a commitment to helping my fellow human beings.

          Did I need that connection to be a moral, just or honest man? No, I was all of these things before I found that connection; but that connection has helped me to see as to what I consider to be the lies that I had been taught to believe as truth by my liberal/progressive up bringing.

          That is freedom. Thank G-d! But until I surrendered my will to the I AM and the Christ, it never would have happened, I was too stiff necked and hard headed.

          “Became Agnostic to become free”. Interesting, how did that happen if I may ask?

        • I had long been agnostic growing up as my parents never indoctrinated me by forcing me into a religion at birth. Then about 12 years ago, I turned to the LDS church during a particularly dark time in my life. I jumped in head first, had a calling, home teachings, etc…

          Fast forward a few years and then the whole Prop 8 thing in CA was going on and then I realized just how powerful the organization of the LDS church was. I started seeing past all the sunshine and rainbows and regained my vision of what religion truly is…control. Through the LDS practice of home teachings and other “outside-of-church” activities, they were able to put a strong backing behind Prop 8 without any funds directly coming from the church thereby not violating their non-profit org status. Suddenly the reality set in…how can someone say “God IS Love” and then use God to justify hate all in the same breath.

          I truly believe that there may be only one religion that’s worth following and it doesn’t have a “God” at all, Buddhism. But I’m a technophile and love cars, guns and other earthly possessions so if there is some truth to Buddhism, I will not be finding nirvana with this life. 🙂

        • Yep; My parents didn’t have any religious beliefs, my dad was agnostic, so I was as well. Your observation that most organized religion is about control is also what I see, which is why I’m still looking for a church I can attend. Meanwhile, I practice my belief as I am guided; if there is a compatible church or private group for me to attend; I’ll be guided to it.

          My sister is kind of an on again off again practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism; we have some fun talks about our beliefs.

          As for the abortion debate; well, it comes down to whether the unborn baby is an individual life with the mother as a temporary custodian and the baby having the right to be protected against being killed; or whether the baby is property the mother owns and can kill at will, for the first twenty two weeks; after which the baby suddenly becomes human and THEN deserves the protection as all human being deserve.

          Sorry James, the mental gymnastics of saying before twenty two weeks the baby is a “Fetus” that isn’t human and can be aborted without consequence, and that after twenty two weeks, suddenly the baby is human and deserves protection against being murdered is too great a leap.

          This is the process of dehumanization that I choose not to do. I see it a violation of the baby that hasn’t been born yet. To me, it’s a violation of it’s unique spirit as a child of G-d.

          So if I accept that the baby is still a unique human being unborn; then any economic argument to justify a murder of the child would make no more sense to me than to make the same argument after the baby was born at nine months and the mother was faced with the same economic circumstances.

          So what are the mothers choice after the baby is born and she can’t afford to raise the child? Adoption, and there are waiting lists of childless couples that would be happy to pay the mothers bills, waiting for such a child.

          The other thing you brought up about G-d “murdering” whole populations of men. women and children during the Christian history in the bible? Well, that for me is pretty simple; Free Will. G-d gave the gift of free will. So when a person is a drug addict, and they end up stealing from their company, losing their job, getting divorced with his wife and kids moving away and he ends up in the gutter an addict, did G-d do it him? Of course not.

          G-d created the law of gravity; so if a person walks off a cliff he didn’t see and falls and dies, did G-d do it him? Of course not.

          G-d very clearly laid out the laws that rule the universe, (one of which is gravity), and he very clearly said what happens when the children of G-d violate those laws; whether on an individual level as well as when a society violate them; so when a catastrophe, (on an individual as well on a societal level) happens; as he warned would happen if we violate those laws; did G-d do it to us? Of course not.

          As for the children that are caught up in the catastrophes that their parents created through the free will that G-d gave them; they are the pure souls that will be accepted into G-d embrace without hesitation or judgment.

          The parents will be the ones that will face the consequences of their bad choices, as to what will be the end result? That is not my call to make; but for me; I have given my soul to the Christ and to the I AM, and we will all find out at some point what is on the other side; for me; I am at peace as to whatever happens when it is time to move on from this plane of existence.

        • How does your agnosticism distinguish itself from atheism in your behavior? In other words, what do you differently as an agnostic that an atheist wouldn’t do?

        • None of the existing belief systems is wrong, but none of them has a complete picture of What Is. I’ve found http://www.godchannel.com very helpful in my understanding of Deity and how the Universe works. Some years ago, I also read most of the books in the Right Use of Will series, but they’re not for everybody.

          I know there’s some truth to the website and the books, because of what I experienced when I opened my root chakra. That also explains why I’m such a loon. 😉

    • CoolHand,

      Regardless of labeling, babies that are still in the womb are human beings. They have all of the same DNA as every other human … and different DNA from all other animals. It is a bad situation when an entire class of humans have no rights simply because of their identity.

      Please realize that women have plenty of choices without abortion. They have a choice whether to engage in sex before conception. They have a choice whether to use contraceptives. They have a choice whether to keep the baby or have someone adopt it if they conceive.

      I support all of those options for women. I would even support the option of abortion if it didn’t require killing the baby. But it does. And we all hold that murder is wrong. That is why we should support life and reject abortion.

      • “Regardless of labeling, babies that are still in the womb are human beings. ”

        This is pre-empted by Self-Ownership.

        Unless the woman tells you so, there is no legitimate, legally or morally acceptable way for you to even know that there’s a fetus inside of her.

        The skin is the final property line, One pregnant woman is one person, period. Everything inside a person’s skin is her exclusive property, and attempting to control how another person uses her organs is just mumbo-jumbo for what amounts to chattel slavery.

        Even God Himself acknowledges this: “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7

        Breath of Life => Living Being.

        Or are you saying that the Bible is wrong too?

        • You keep saying the skin is the ultimate property line. Your 8-month “fetus” has skin, doesn’t it count?

        • That’s irrelevant, because first you encounter the skin of the woman you’re attempting to conscript into your service as a brood mare.

      • Why address this comment to me? I agree. Hell, I just said the same thing.

        I’m just unwilling to use the coercive force of the state to make people see the world as I do.

        Even in instances of rape, the kid didn’t do anything wrong. Seems kinda crappy to kill the littler feller since the whole mess wasn’t his doin’. Strictly speaking, he wasn’t even a bystander really, coming into the situation quite literally “after the fact”.

  14. Move to Montana and fight the good political fight. Montana is about as close as you get to fair and balanced. Montana is still a young place and hasn’t had the time or population to merit a truly bureaucratic legal junk heap yet. If you want to fight for liberty, personal freedom, and the pursuit of happiness then Montana is the place to be and personally we need help trying to fight back against some hardcore California Dem influence. Lots of folks come from other states with big money and dump it into little pet projects. The scare tactics meth commercials and billboards would be a pretty clear example.

    So if you’re a libertarian and you want to emphasize individual rights and love the great outdoors with as little government BS as possible come on down we’d love to have you.

  15. I’m sorry, but any self-proclaimed “libertarian” who votes for the anti-business democrats is one confused “libertarian.” The resdistribution/income inequality dogma that permeates the Democratic Party is like kryptonite to any sensible libertarian. I know full well that the GOP no longer respects the small-goverment principles they profess to hold, but someone who considers themselves libertarian and votes for the Dems is off of the reservation. Taxes and the non-aggression principle are simply not compatible.

    • I think this is where the “faux libertarian” thing comes into play. Sex drugs and rock & roll are not the only freedoms, there is also the personal economic and religious freedom that allows you to pursue happiness in even more meaningful ways. Somehow the left only sees one side of the spectrum and not the other.

      • You forgot the whole mantra “Sex, Drugs, Guns, and Rock n Roll” lol

        The basic principle of libertarianism is volunteerism or just basic “Free Will” of the individual. Live and let live. Just dont force your will on anothers individual liberty…then we got problems.

  16. Yeah – pretty much my situation. I’ll never vote for a liberal democrat, but the republicans are also terrible for a litany of reasons.

  17. I don’t have tats, but if I were to have any political ink it would be “Goldwater in ’64.” If the GOP could field a man like that, he would remake the country. Again.

    • I’m a recovering Democrat, but the more I learn about Goldwater, the more intrigued I get. Certainly a very different politician than what we see today.

      • The Democrats did a great job of demonizing Goldwater, claiming that he’d push us into an expanding war in SE Asia. So the fools elected Lyndon Johnson, who killed and crippled more Americans than polio.

        What a wasted opportunity.

        • The Democrats did a great job of demonizing

          A lot new with Barry and in the demcrap party!

  18. I propose we start the “GUN” party. Almost half of all Americans own guns, that’s a lot of votes!

  19. Everything I read about, and hear about lately when it comes to ‘shooting sprees’ is that it is due to one, or a combination of things: mental health, ease of availability of firearms, and lack of ‘oversight’. Let’s face facts on a couple of things here: mental health is the same type of flag that anti’s are waving about availability: total BS. Mental health issues are not a new thing; it has been around since humans first started walking the earth. Blaming someones actions on their ‘mental health’ is a cop out of the largest magnitude, in my opinion. Some people are assholes, and some, to quote Alfred from ‘Batman’, “Just want to see the earth burn”. There is not an excuse why some sorry pieces of filth decide to kill others ‘just because’, and claiming it is because of ‘mental illness’ is trying to teach a fish to ride a bike. If all ‘mentally ill’ people are just a missed dosage away from mass murder, we all just need to stop procreating, and let humans die off: we don’t deserve to live.

    The same thing goes for the idiots who blame the tool for the damage; grow a freaking pair of stones and admit that it is not an ‘illness’ that causes these issues, and it is not the tools that cause the issue: it is the people wielding the tools who are the issue.

  20. The libertarian party is the only party in my opinion that makes sense (endorsement of free will of the individual, liberty, personal responsibility, freedom, volunteer society, no taxes or very low taxes, super small government, etc) The Democrat party has gone all crazy nazi control on things and are doing what they always blamed the Republicans of doing. “Legislating morally” even though it may not be using a neo con model in specifics they are doing the same. Example guns are “dangerous” = its immoral to allow just anyone to have them. hence we only want the police or goverment to have them. The Republicans would be great if they would just come back to the the roots of what their party was in the beginning. However progressives have taken over both parties

    We need liberty minded people in Washington and on the state level. Freedom is a good thing and it should be a easy sale to people. Why people want to control their neighbor or have a law that control their neighbor is below my understanding 😉

    Conceal Carry is very easy here in Alabama. It is a 4 step process

    1. Go to sheriff department with pistol permit application filled out (you need three references but they do not check them)
    2. The do a quick background check while you wait.
    3. Pay them 20 bucks for the year or $100 for 5 years(this depends on which county you live. some are only 7 dollars a year)
    4. Walk out with the permit. All pistol permits are unrestricted (The permit is only for pistols no rifles, machine guns, SBR’s, SBS, DD .. but hopefully that will change soon. 😉

    no mental health checks (do we do these for the 1st amendment..Washington DC would be shut down if thats the case)
    no annoying and expensive NRA classes
    no waiting time (unless 20 minutes is to much for you)

    • Which is why we are losing Remington to Alabama!

      I agree about the libertarian thing. I used to bash them due to platform points like privatizing police and fire and roads, but those disagreements aside, I’m 100% for rights with responsibilities. Liberty over being under the thumb of government.

      I work in and with government on every level and it is terrifying to want to hand these people anymore power over us. Terrifying. Corruption is rampant.

      • “privatizing police and fire and roads,”

        It’s been done, with spectacular success. You just don’t hear about it because it doesn’t fit the lamestream narrative. In fact, about fifteen years ago, the Vincent Thomas Bridge, in Long Beach CA, was a toll bridge. While I lived in San Pedro, the tolls paid back the mortgage on the bridge, and they took the toll booths down!

        I love these cartoons:
        http://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/more-amusing-anti-libertarian-humor/
        This is just a sample. I recommend following Dan Mitchell’s links for more.

      • Renewed mine last week for 5 more years. 20 minutes? Nah. More like 2 minutes. Paid cash and she printed me a new card.

        Still infringement but nothing compared to NY.

    • Glad I live in AZ. It’s only a 1-step process.

      1. Take pistol of choice and stuff it in IWB holster. Done.

  21. I can relate.No tattoo but I voted for McGovern in 1972(60 this week). I was all set to get drafted and then they quit( thank God). My draft number was 19. I’ve had many awakinings in my life too. Mostly spiritual but possibly the biggest was owing the IRS $ when I was a stupid 22year old with a wife & baby. I thought it was a pain in the a## to be armed in Illinois. Compared to NY we are a veritable paradise. Nixon was a real jag but an amateur compared to the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    • Easy to say. More true than I would like. But still, not so, certainly not at the national level. If it were true, we would still have the Clinton AWB and more. Can’t figure out why that’s so difficult to see.

  22. Coming from the same state (originally) and probably political mindset, I relate quite a bit to this post. I haven’t altered my views on a lot of topics, but I won’t vote for someone trying to ban guns regardless of their political affiliation.

  23. This is a great article that mirrors my thoughts very closely.

    I’m 30 and grew up in the unabashedly liberal area of Seattle, but much of Seattle’s liberal attitudes being imported from California in the 80s/90s, there is still a huge conservative population in the area. My dad was a 60s draft dodger liberal turned conservative, and raised me hunting, fishing, and shooting. Guns were a very nornal thing to me, and were never really taboo as I grew up. My friends and I used to roam around the neighborhood with a BB gun in the early 90s, going up to the woods behind the elementary school to shoot whatever we could find.

    I grew up into a fairly liberal early 20-something, protesting the Iraq war, and hating everything that Bush did. I never really paid much attention to Democratic corruption, probably because I had been well brainwashed by that point that anything “not Republican” was better, and I had more things to worry about, like school and partying.

    In the run up to the 2008 elections, Ron Paul suddenly became very appealing to me, but I had yet to realize the inner libertarian in myself that was screaming to get out.

    Instead, in the last minute, a young fresh faced Barack Obama showed up and wooed nearly every person in my age group (and many well beyond) with his well-crafted image as a pro-freedom civil-rights minded moderate, who would work together with Republicans after nearly eight years of neocon dominance. I forgot about Ron Paul and pulled the lever as hard as I could for Obama without very much scrutiny, scoffing at those who spoke of his history as a socialist radical. The rest is history.

    Often forgotten is Obama’s list of campaign promises, which were to be maintained on the WH web site. Soon after Obama was inaugurated, he started reneging on nearly every promise on this list. It took me about a year to begin to realize the sham that is Obama, and as I began digging and researching, I realized that this behavior afflicted nearly all of the Democratic party of today, and that Obama was not unique in having a hidden political agenda having absolutely nothing to do with what was presented to the public.

    The constant scandals of the Obama admin, and the media whitewashing of it all, already had me in total libertarian territory by 2011, and I found myself once more feeling somewhat sympathetic towards republicans – something that I wouldn’t have ever imagined ten years ago.

    The Lautenberg Amendment in summer 2012!was an often overlooked push for gun control on a national level, in an attempt to ban high-cap mags. It was silently killed after introduction, as it was too close to the elections, but it gave a taste of what was in store should the Democrats maintain the white house. Many gun owners who were paying attention got nervous and bought a bunch of mags in summer 2012, but no mass scare occured.

    Then Newtown happened, and the huge gun control push that all of us were expecting occured. The lies, obfuscation, and dirty tricks played out in the open by Democrats nationwide were astonishing. The democrats stopped even trying to pretend, or hide their disdain and hate for blue collar American culture as a whole during the gun rights “debate.” By this point I had already shed myself of all democrat support, and so none of it was even a surprise to me.

    So while I may have begun my exodus from the dem camp several years before the big push of 2013, nothing made me loathe the democrats and the Obama admin quite like it. Hopefully we can finish out his last years in term without anything that compares in any way.

  24. The decision is easy. Vote for the one who will tax you less. WIth less tax to pay you will have the ultimate freedom to best raise your family and support the causes you believe in. Oh wait – they both will tax you the same but will debate endlessly about the best way to spend those taxes meanwhile doing nothing except raising your taxes . Well then go ahead and vote libertarian just don’t be standing into the wind when you do.
    You want a voice at the Federal level? Then hire a lobbyist or marry into one of the families that control the Federal Reserve.

  25. “The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” – Hubert H. Humphrey

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. HHH was a consummate POLITICIAN, i.e., liar. Nothing he ever said was worthy of belief.

    Not even when he said (frequently) “I’m pleased as punch!” Another probable lie.

  26. Why, why, WHY OH WHY, did you move from Virginia back to New York? Surely you knew what you were getting into. Didn’t you?

    • Couldn’t take the heat or the traffic. Plus I was born and raised here, and love this craphole despite all its flaws…

  27. It is a long and daunting process. For anyone confining themselves to entirely to rifles and shotguns in NYS, I say you’re missing more than half of the experience of shooting.
    I dawdled too long but I’m really glad that I held my nose and simply trudged through it.
    Just do it – the sooner you start, the sooner it ends.
    One tip: the character references are usually the most nettlesome part. Before you get your application packet, find the required number of people to vouch for you, plus one or two in case someone gets cold feet at the last minute.

  28. Welcome to the party pal. At least you have choice to vote for Astorino in November. A little ditty I remember from the 72 election went…

    McGovernment, McGovernment
    Where income is work free
    We’ll all smoke pot and love a lot
    When we get amnesty…

    Did not agree with his politics, but he had real balls. Had an uncle that waist gunned on B17s and all those guys went up knowing there was a nil chance of making your mission count. At least the 17s were more durable, the 24s were tin foil covering bombs and gasoline.

    Took a PolSci course with McGovern after he retired. Was a straight shooter and actively encouraged debate on both sides (and would argue the other side if he called on you with a question and he thought you were pandering to his political preference)

  29. As a righty libertarian I can’t vote for anyone pro-abortion (In Horton’s words “a person’s a person no matter how small” -> people have rights) but Much like you I despise O’Romna I wrote in someone even though it did not count. (yay Ron Paul)

    As for marriage stuff, why does the .gov define it anyway? not their business imho

    • I think the reason Government has any say in marriage is that it’s an economic union as well as a romantic one. My understanding is that the legal stuff comes in when it clarifies spousal rights to property relating to marriage and/or dissolution of marriage.

    • I’m sorry, the only people who have rights are the ones that you can actually see without performing a vivisection.

      But the anti-choice brigade have never considered women to be human beings anyway, just brood mares.

      • That remark about “broodmares” is completely erroneous, of course. And a particularly insulting and gratuitous error. You need go no farther than a pro-life woman (like my daughter) to see how ridiculous that statement is. Or myself, for that matter. I hope that crack was a temporary aberration on your part.

        • Hey, as the owner of her body, she certainly has every right in the world to gestate and give birth to her own fetus! Yay! A wanted, loved baby! But no one has the authority to dictate what anyone else may or may not do with their own body.

          Maybe part of the anti’s problem is that they think “choice” means “mandatory.” If she wants to keep it, of course she can!

          But if she chooses not to, then forcing her to is slavery.

          Besides, who gets stuck with all the medical bills, and who gets stuck with the bill for feeding clothing, housing, and educating this unwanted child for the next 18 years?

          You would summarily condemn her to 20 years’ hard labor as punishment for her sin of fornicating? Or are you an advocate of the shotgun wedding?

  30. As a moderate-to-libertarian fellow upstater that’s been trying like hell to get out of the People’s Republic of Cuomo in lieu of the relative promised land that is VT or ME, I feel your pain. While I disagree with the GOP’s current policies on a bunch of fronts, at least I haven’t regretted it every time I voted for a Republican. That is not something I can say for the Dems and I haven’t voted blue either national or local since 2008.

  31. I’m right there with you. I’m a left-liberal, solidly pro-choice, anti-death penalty, pro-national health insurance, pro-science etc etc and it weirds me ou. That the politicians supposedly “on my side” are anti-2A or pro-government surveillance.

    The problem isn’t that they’re liberal, it’s that they’re really bad at being liberal.

    • Don’t you understand that the Obamacare fiasco is only one step away from “national health insurance?” The Free Market is the proper way to provide goods and services. Government’s job is to maintain a map room.

  32. I have a TX CHL which took a day of training, 2 months for background check and fingerprinting, and $300 total.

    My father-in-law has an AL CHL. It took a 5 minute trip to the sheriffs office.

    It seems to me that by asking permission to legally carry a gun, you’re showing respect for the law and obviously not a criminal; which makes the whole process more ridiculous.

  33. If all Progressives would choose choice each and every
    Time then we would solve the majority of America’s
    Problems over time!

  34. I didn’t leave the Democratic Party the Democratic Party left me.

    The problem is not the Democrats or the Republicans. The problem is both parties serve the same masters and are only distinguished by non-fiscal related social issues that at the end of the day effect maybe 5% of Americans but are emotional buttons for the majority of us.

    I always hear people say that they won’t vote for a third party candidate liberal or conservative because they don’t want to waste their vote but isn’t voting for a candidate that you don’t really like or believe in wasting your vote.

    • People might not get it that a vote for “the lesser of two evils” really IS a vote for evil.

      Voting Libertarian is truly a way to vote none of the above. But we need HUGE numbers, because the system is rigged so heavily for the two-evils system.

      • Libertarians need to get their act together first. Their conventions are a hodgepodge of different issues that culminates into a giant wet mess. It also seems that many of them too often cherry pick their values, ie I have self-proclaimed Libertarian friends who want to decriminalize most drugs (ok I can discuss that) but also want to redistribute wealth and want higher income taxes (huh?).

        • “[L]ibertarianism is about one thing and one thing only: the proper use of force. Libertarianism is not a comprehensive ethical theory. It does not try to tell us what ideals we should aspire to in our personal lives, nor does it tell us much about the way that we should interact with other people. The only thing libertarianism has to say about our interpersonal relations is that it is wrong to aggress upon their person or property.” — http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2011/12/libertarianism-thick-and-thin/

          Anyone who is for any more rules than that isn’t a true or “thin” Libertarian. But all that social activism, hey it’s great if it’s voluntary, but don’t try to hang that on the coat tails of the Libertarians.

        • Rich, I think that you are buzzing around the one area where people often misunderstand you. They don’t get the idea that the rights that refer to apply equally to each and every one of them. Or that another way of putting the last part of your quote is your liberty ends where it infringes on mine.

        • “Rich, I think that you are buzzing around the one area where people often misunderstand you.”

          That might be a good thing, because usually it’s my most radical liberty advocacy that’s the most misunderstood, because it’s the farthest from the lamestrem herd-mentality obedience doctrine.

          Democracy: “Let’s all vote on what everybody’s favorite color is!”

  35. That’s an interesting view, and I totally understand where you’re coming from as a man without a party.

    I was a reliable Dem Droid until a buddy from Prague handed me my ideological ass on a platter by pronouncing Regan a great man. Discussion ensued. I realized he had a point. When 9/11 happened I began paying attention to the news. I still pay attention to the news, and I hear so many lies! I have kids too, and there’s nothing like children to make you think about a future beyond yourself.

    I style myself a classical liberal. My politics have not changed, but the political landscape has shifted under my feet to such a degree that I now feel most at home in the Republican or Tea Party camp.

  36. I kinda feel ya with the liberal thing, although I was always a left liberal at worst. Now I’m a marxist with anarchist tendencies, shorthand, whatever.

    Just wanted to give a plug to Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor of New York- he might gain some traction. Howie also volunteered for the marines in Vietnam to organize against the war from inside I believe- how crazy, balls out is that? I’m pretty sure he supports the Second Amendment, you can ask him, don’t really think I’ve talked to him about the issue, but my impression is that he is against gun control. Could be wrong, but….

    There are also socialists like Kshama Sawant running at the municipal level and I think her brand of harder leftists are generally pro-Second….

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