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Joe Manchin courtesy

Senator Joe Manchin seems to be determined to give the voters in gun-friendly West Virginia more reasons to get rid of him. He’s made anti-NRA ads. He’s working on new gun control legislation. He’s claiming Beretta twisted his words when they said why they won’t consider relocating to the Mountain State. And now…the poster child for citizen disarmament and Manchin’s new BFF, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is hosting a fund-raiser for him at his upper East Side home on July 22. This affiliation is particularly interesting, as Manchin says he has never discussed gun control with Bloomberg. Yet, there they are. If you’re thinking about attending, better dig deep into your pockets. Tickets start at $1000 just to get in. If you want to shake hands, talk, or otherwise interact with the guest of honor, it’ll surely cost quite a lot more. But if you do go, please let us know what it’s like rubbing elbows with royalty (or at least, royal pains in the ass). Meanwhile, back on planet Earth . . .

At the risk of further flagellating an expired equid, the Christian Science Monitor wants to know “Can Gabby Giffords win over gun owners by firing off some shots?” Hmmm… they must have gone to a different event than the one where the videos we all saw were made, as they show her firing off only ONE shot with hubby Mark immediately snatching the gun away from her. CSM says it was a risky move, but not because of her total lack of gun control. “[S]he did run the risk of alienating some gun control supporters who might have found the visual too much to take.” Not nearly as much as she’s further alienated gun supporters who saw it for what it was: pandering to the media to get more attention for their vacation road show.

In May, the Australians printed a Liberator and freaked out over it. Now a team from the University of Toronto downloaded the plans and built “Canada’s first printed handgun” (that they know of).  The Globe and Mail is quick to point out they “didn’t break any laws” because “the researchers changed the design of the pistol to make it impossible to fire.” The reason for the “experiment?” The “team built the weapon to better understand 3-D printing.” (Yeah. Sure.) Now team director Matt Ratto “worries that the government won’t take 3-D printing seriously before one of the undetectable pistols is used on Toronto’s streets.”

What was Dudley Do-Right’s reaction to this? The RCMP “will continue to ‘monitor’ the development of 3-D printers” and “has no policies for 3-D printed handguns.” Montreal Police were “unfamiliar with the technology, having never come across a 3-D printed handgun. One constable was left wondering how a ‘photocopier’ could make a dangerous weapon.” Ratto offered to print a working Liberator for the Toronto police to test. They declined his offer. (And in case you missed, version 4.4 of Defense Distributed’s downloadable gun stuff is now available.)

Indiana has a backlog of 45,000 handgun carry permit applications for both new permits and renewals. State Police are supposed to have 60 days to process an application; currently the wait is almost double that at 110 days. Historically they get about 5,200 applications per month. In January they were hit with 23,000 thanks to fear of anti-gun legislation and tighter controls. State Police have more than doubled their processing staff trying to clear the backlog. I’d feel sorry for them, but I’m still waiting to hear from a claim I filed with the VA two-and-a-half years ago.

The Longview, Texas police department is offering free handgun safety courses and a hands-on day for women 18 years and older at the department’s shooting range. The course is “designed for women with various levels of firearm experience, from those who may have never fired a gun to those who just wish to refresh their skills.” KLTV has a link to download a registration form for the classes, which start July 8 or August 9. Perhaps we should all suggest our local PDs provide a similar program and see how they react.

In the ABA Journal, Radley Balko asks “How did America’s police become a military force on the streets?” He traces the evolution of Federal law enforcement which leads to other questions: “Are cops constitutional?… How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces…to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night—not to apprehend violent fugitives or thwart terrorist attacks, but to enforce laws against nonviolent, consensual activities?” It’s a long read, but well worth it.

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  1. Once again a Libertarian objects to the proper functions of government specified in the Constitution. Provide for the Common Defense, Ensure Domestic Tranquility and Provide for the General Welfare are right up there in the preamble. The Founders did not mean for the Federal Government to be weak, we already had a weak central government under the Articles, but to provide for a central government with strong powers in the areas that only a national government could perform. Libertarians have as much scorn for the actual Constitution as Progressives. For their own particular reasons both groups do not wish to live in a constitutional republic. Progressives believe in an authoritarian state where they will control all the levers or power. Libertarians are anarchists and social revolutionaries who want to immediately jump to the pure state of nature. History teaches us that organized Progressive thugs will always defeat and eliminate their anarchist allies.

    If you want to live in a Libertarian’s dreamworld move to Somalia and become a pirate. If you can’t afford that, move to the ghetto and join a gang. In the ghetto you can have all the personal autonomy you want..

    • I would have to disagree on one point, the founders did want the federal government to be weak. Under the Articles of Confederation the federal government was practically non existent. The Constitution, Bill of Rights and especially the 10th amendment were all measures to limit (weaken) the power of the federal government.

      I do agree however, that where Libertarianism breaks down is where it’s adherents start to dream of utopia. Still, read the ABA article. The militarization of our civilian police forces makes for a pretty good argument for forgetting about the “War on Drugs” and just legalizing everything.

      • Libertarianism breaks down at its’ underlying assumption – that human beings are rational decision makers. Until someone changes human nature, Libertarianism is aspirational, not achievable.

        • The appeal of libertarianism to me is that while you are correct in your assessment that not all individuals are rational actors, in the libertarian utopia, those individuals can only act on their own self interest. A much greater fallacy is to assume that those same individuals would somehow make rational decisions once they are appointed to positions of authority over others.

      • The problem of central government under the Articles was not that it was” virtually nonexistent” but that it lacked the power to compel the states to do anything. The Federal government was “virtually nonexistent” under Constitution for the next hundred years. Even during the Civil War the Federal government was not particularly large. The difference was it the Constitutional powers to compel the states and people to honor acts of Congress. If you think giving the Federal government the power to make war and then compel its citizens to fight it (militia service was not voluntary) is a weak power then I hate to think what you believe a strong power is. To be charitable perhaps you really mean they meant to have a weak chief executive and Congressional superiority.

        Libertarians object not only to the powers granted to the Federal government under the Constitution, they also reject the powers at the state level. The states being literally carbon copies of the Federal government. While Balko talks about the militarization of the Federal law enforcement I believe he also objects on “Constitutional grounds the same trends at the state and local level.

        In the end you are confusing anarchy and anarchist ideology. They are not the same thing. Anarchism is the same as radical syndicalism. It’s a form of self government. There is a reason why modern Libertarians are sometimes called anarcho-capitalists. They seem to share the same views on social organization with the original anarchists except for their belief in market economies.

        While modern Libertarians talk about economics what the really are about is personal autonomy. Their focus is not on economic issues, it is on drugs and sexual issues. Given a choice between legalized drugs and sexual freedom and individual liberty they will almost always come down on the former at the expense of the latter. Witness the attempt by significant portions of Libertarians to try to work a coalition with Obama in 2008. Ideologically Libertarians are then handmaidens of the Progressive movement. They have same relationship to the Progressives as the Russian social revolutionaries did to the Bolsheviks in 1917. Things didn’t work out as the SRs had planned. The same fate awaits the Libertarians if the left triumphs with their help.

        The Founding Fathers were Augustinians. They believed that Man was intrinsically bad. They would have said tainted by original sin. The purpose of government was restrain the evil that men do by setting up a system the emphasized rivalry. Libertarians are Rousseauian and believe that society has corrupted the pure state of nature. Eliminate government and the people will flower. That was BS in 1789 and is BS today. The Founding Fathers crafted a system that balanced the restraining force of government with political liberty for the people. That the system is now out of whack does not validate the Libertarian and Progressive rejection of Constitutional Republicanism.

        • Your view of peoples inherent iniquities is draconian at best. In as much as draconian thought is harbored, as history has shown, by the very traits of irrational thought and acts of brutality that are led by their own desires and madnesses. You see, those who are peacable, seek peace. Those who are peacable, know peace.

          In every aspect of Human histories failings, far more examples of Goodness and decency go unseen or unmentioned.

          Look no further than the current statistics of peacable arms owners. 99.9% of all gun owners are peacable, until forced to be otherwise. I am an example of such and if you so much as begin to Po ass judgement upon me then you shall reap your own judgement. So I stand, peacably, not in acceptance of your judgement.

          The limitation of the illusion of control, albeit State or Federal, is that such a body, of Government, by thinking, righting, passing and enforcing their own conceptual law, can will peoples into conformity of rational and caring thought through tthreat of punishment.
          So the very thing you use to say breaks down libertarian thought also breaks down Federalistic, even State, authority.

          The truth of the matter is thagtindividuals can live peacably together. It is and has been done. And it starts with you and you alone. No one can make it any other way.

        • People are peaceable because of the existence of government. The Law acts as a powerful deterrent to our worse natures. Take something as benign as speeding. The probability of getting caught violating the legal limit is small so we ignore it. Look at all the societies where the rule of law is weak. Violence is an everyday occurrence. . One of the most important functions of government is that of referee. When that function is missing chaos ensues because there is no way to enforce a contract short of personal violence.

          It may come as surprise to you but the rule of law in the ghetto is quite weak. What we see as senseless violence is often dispensation of justice by private parties within the cultural system. In many ways the ghetto is a Libertarian paradise. You largely get to satisfy all your appetites with only minimal interference from the authorities. Government in the ghetto is limited to getting your welfare check and an occasional run in with the police. The price of this freedom is often death for transgressing some social norm.

        • You are wrong. People, such as myself are peacable because of a common belief that others’ lives, wants and desires should out-rank their own. Only from this perspective is true peace possible.

          You can drone on & on about government this & government that but there is one inevitable truth:

          Scripture is the history of things to come. As such, Mans rule of Man will come to an end.

          Believe it or not, your beliefs of the matter are irrelevant.

          From here on, keep your disbelief to yourself as it is in your own despair that you shall dwell.

        • the fact remains that the militarization of the police forces is undeniable, and in opposition to the countries founding principles.

          Just because a libertarian is saying so, and you have some kind of need to paint them as extreme, hardly makes the observation invalid.

    • Although I am not a Libertarian per se, I would have to disagree with the assertion that Libertarians believe in some anarchist type of system. Libertarians very much believe in order, it’s just that they believe that the private sector can order itself without the government in many ways. Take regulation of the free market for example. Libertarians who want very little or no regulations of the pharmaceuticals industry want safe pharmaceuticals, but they believe that the market is adequate to self-regulate itself in this sense.

      With regards to the War on Drugs, remember that drugs are part of what caused a lot of the gun violence back in the 1960s and 1970s that has since greatly declined over the years. Can we ever “win” the War on Drugs? No, but we can manage it, which is a point I think certain people miss.

      It’s like poverty, crime, corruption, etc…you can’t eliminate these from society, but you can manage them. I would say the same is true of drugs. The War on Drugs seems to be a good case of having managed the drug problem well over the years, and thus been beneficial to gun rights because by reducing drug use, gun violence due to drug use has declined.

      I would disagree with legalizing hard drugs because people are willing to kill over the addictions those cause. They aren’t like marijuana.

      • What do you think “private order” is? It’s called mob rule, i.e., anarchy. Let’s take truly private mariage for example. That means no government enforced contracts exist. It is left up to private parties to enforce the marriage contract. Here is what would happen. The family of one party will go seek satisfaction from the other party. It will be a violent confrontation because who will have the authority to make him/her pay up? Now the victim will go to his/her family and seek retribution. Private order breaks down to the war of all against all.

        Modern Libertarianism is as much based on a fantasy world as that of the Progressive.

        • Sex! Drugs! Somalia! Maybe you should spend some time reading what libertarians actually believe instead the “Statist’s Guide to Trolling”.

          Anyway, it’s not “mob rule”. People could take private marriage contracts in court, same as other private contracts now. And we didn’t have anarchy in streets back when the police didn’t wear camouflage.

        • Seriously dude which Libertarian pissed inyour wheaties? What we want is balance. Yes there are some who want the some type of anarchist system. But hey we have R’s and D’s who are extreme as well. Don’t put us all in the same boat. Most of us understand we need a balance of Government and free market. There is no silver bullet . Things we don’t need is the Fed, DEA, IRS, BATFE. And if we need them we need them only in small amounts. Do we want Government regulatons, hell no. But it is a neccessary evil in order to some type of order. We understnd that, we don’t like it but it is neccessary. So please don’t speak for all of us.
          The article was good. I think the point is we could eliminate many of these Government entities, or at least make them smaller. Since the creation of the DHS, which was only supposed to be an iformation sharing agency, it has morphed into a modern day Gestapo. They no longer care about our civil rights. They now have a “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is for permission” attitude. Something needs to change. OBTW don’t forget a Republican started this, GW!

        • Balko didn’t make the argument solely in terms of practical need or effectiveness. He added a Constitutional dimension. The Founding Fathers would find Balko’s assertion that even the existance of federal law enforcement organization may be a violation of the Constitution riseable. They established the US Marshall service in 1789. The Marshalls served two purposes. In the states they enforced the Courts’ orders, served warrants and arrested violators of Federal laws. In the US territories they held the additional responsbility of principal law enforcement officers. The Founding Fathers were practical men. When they saw that their assumptions were wrong they made adjustments. I stand by my assertion that Libertarians are as much an enemy of the Constitution as the Progressive allies.

          Balko is obsessed with the War on Drugs which he says is a failure. Since Balko, like most Libertarians believes that illegal drugs are responsible for most crime, he needs explain why if this is so crime has dropped significantly in the past twenty years.

        • I find it hard to believe that adherents to a political philosophy that proposes the best and strongest motivation of the people lies in their own individual self interest are living in a dream world.

        • What makes it a dream world is the belief that society can function without a referee especially when it comes to the provision of public goods. It is in my best interests that you go off and fight to defend the country from attack while I stay home and make money. It is also in your best interest to do the same. Therefore neither of go and the country is defeated. The referee (the government) calls up the Militia (since 1917 the call up of the unorganized Militia is called the draft) and we both go. von Hayek understood that but those who call themselves Libertarians today don’t.

        • Sex! Drugs! Somalia! Maybe you should spend some time reading what libertarians actually believe instead the “Statist’s Guide to Trolling”.

          Anyway, it’s not “mob rule”. People could take private marriage contracts in court, same as other private contracts now. And we didn’t have anarchy in streets back when the police didn’t wear camouflage.

        • Private order is not mob rule or anarchy. Anarchy means no laws. Libertarians don’t believe in anarchy, they believe in government being more limited than what it currently is, that many of the areas that people claim government is needed do not need government.

          The core purpose of government is to protect rights, including property rights, because without protection of property rights, the market economy won’t function correctly. All the other stuff government does (defense, safety nets, etc…is all extra). But the core reasons we humans form a government is to protect our rights, so that we can all live together in large populations peacefully.

    • Spoken like a true “head in the sand and ass in the air” clover! Tell me, do you press your own S.S. uniform, or do you send it out to the concentration camp laundry? What a schmuck.

    • “Libertarians are anarchists and social revolutionaries who want to immediately jump to the pure state of nature.”

      That is not really a sensible statement. It is gross and pointless hyperbole.

      Essentially you can portray any political position in the extreme with your method and say that traditional Democrats are fascist in nature.

      Political movements and self identification have, in polities like the US, more to do with placing pressure in a certain direction than the absolute you claim.

      Let’s be honest, libertarians believe the government has gotten too big. It has. It has grown massively beyond the scope of the constitution, and is damaging the health of society, our economy, and individual liberties. Large government is inherently corrupt as well. EG the IRS, HHS, NSA, DOJ wiretapping scandals are not so much about Obama or his administration directing abuses, but simply in their beliefs and faith in bloated massive government causing these abuses organically.

    • well, if he’s a MAIG member, there is a very real chance that it is, in fact, to shoot his old lady down.

  2. Wow, Manchin really isn’t so good at this “learning” thing, is he? If insanity is trying the same thing repeatedly, hoping to get a different result, maybe he needs to have a psych evaluation.

  3. If there was ever a state that deserves Mamchin, it is surely West Virginia. They voted for a dem senator, and then cry that he is anti-2A. Duh.

    Obama said he will destroy the coal industry. West Virginia voted to elect him and then they cry about losing coal jobs.

    Really? You vote or a snake and then cry that you elected a snake. It is not like you were tricked.

  4. Just read the whole ABA article. I’ve been saying for a while now that the civilian police have no business owning fully automatic firearms, but who in their right mind believes they need bayonets?

    • Exactly. How can you justify armed SWAT serving no knock warrants in the dead of night on folks, that are, frankly, not an immediate threat, and tear ass through there risking officers lives?

  5. West Virginians need to retire Joe,seems like he has too many illusions of grandeure,just like his buddy Doomberg!I think he has totally forgotten the people that really put him in office,I hope they forget him when he comes up for reelection!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  6. Someone should start a kickstarter campaign to get a gun guy into that dinner and have some fun.

  7. I’m really surprised by the ABA article because the ABA’s President advocated for stricter gun control after Sandy Hook. It was reason enough to not become a member.

  8. Is it me or is that picture awefully “Al Gore-ish” when he was trying to decieve people that he in any way, shape or form supooeted the Second Amendement as it was written and for its intended purpose.

  9. Someone may already have said it as admittedly I didn’t read every comment. However I think what is missing from libertarian ideology is a simple history lesson. Anywhere a power vacuum exists someone or group will fill it. The direction of man from tribalism onwards and been towards more government. If the whole of the populace are a single family, you have a patriarchal government, often one man or a small group. Add more family units and you have a ‘strong man’ government where the most popular or at times simply the most powerful or aggressive person is in charge. Add more people you have a tribe, usually with the top man from the top family in charge with hereditary succession. Mix in more tribes or grow one large enough and the tribal leader is a king. . . this keeps going all the way to nation states. If you remove effective government it is the natural inclination of humans to instate a new one, and not just any government, but one appropriate to the population which seeks to establish it.

    While I disagree with the author on many points, Jarrod Diamond has a good treatise on the subject called ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’. You’ll have to ignore some feel good lefty social commentary while reading it, but it’s a decent primer on the formation of societies and their methods of enacting governments from less formal to more formal without having to buy a bookshelf full of more specific texts.

    The bottom line is that man without government of any kind immediately seeks government of some kind. Likely this is attributable to Maslow’s hierarchy; security being on the list. Have no doubt, one man always seeks more, two immediately form a partnership, 30 a band with a strong man dictator, 300 a tribe with a generally agreed upon leader, 30,000 will form a city state with expanded government controlling more aspects of life. . . the pattern continues, always adding more people to it’s dominion where practical and always increasing the functions of government that allow them to live together in such large and increasingly anonymous groups.

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