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Unsurprising

A man reports that he was shot in the Pine Hills neighborhood of Orange County, FL. Pine Hills is a known drug and crime infested area, called “Crime Hills” by locals. I am not surprised in the least. This is a neighborhood that people are wise to avoid after dark.

This is very near where the Central Florida Fairgrounds are located. Gun dealers have been robbed leaving the gun shows there, and last year a cop was killed during a robbery at an ATM machine just down the street. I used to work for a couple of ambulance companies that are located in the area. I never went there in my POV if I was unarmed.

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Moron- er, I mean- More on who gets my vote

I am tired of voting for the lesser of two evils and being told that it is the only game in town. I am tired of hearing that I am throwing away my vote unless I vote for either a Democrat or a Republican. I will no longer vote for someone because that person promises to kill this country at a slightly slower pace than the other guy. Doing so is throwing away your vote in my opinion.

In the Florida Senate race, I voted for Alex Snitker, the Libertarian Candidate. His platform is very close to my beliefs.
For Governor, I voted for Rick Scott, mostly because he supports Florida Open carry.

The independent Jim Lewis got my vote for Attorney General, mostly because Gelber supports Obamacare, and wants to sue the Legislature for violating a state constitutional requirement to fund a “high quality” public education system, while Bondi wants to stamp out gay marriage, as if that were any of her business.

I voted no on every single amendment proposal except amendment one, mostly because they all involved raising my taxes for the benefit of others.

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Douche and Turd

>I voted today. As I looked at the ballot and thought to myself that the people on there were all I had to choose from, I vomited in my mouth a little. South Park has it right: Every election is a choice between a douche and a turd.

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One at a time: A range report

There are many who claim that Liberals are stupid and illogical, especially when it comes to gun rights. I would agree that some of them are. I would also say that some know better, but deliberately hide the truth to fit an agenda. Some Liberals realize that the right to defend one’s life and health from attack, aided by the right to keep and bear arms, is just as important as other human rights.

However, it is my opinion that the vast number of people who say they do not like guns or are afraid of guns, do not have this opinion because of logic, they have this opinion out of ignorance. I am not saying this as an insult, as I know a few people who think this way, and they are pretty intelligent people, who in many cases, will listen to reason and can be convinced to change their mind. Let me give you a couple of examples:

There was Julie. She was a fairly liberal, college educated Jewish woman that I dated for about two years. When we met, and she found out that not only did I own guns, but actually routinely carried one, she nearly went ballistic. She was especially concerned that it was legal to carry a gun into a bank, because an armed person might rob the bank. I pointed out to her how illogical her position was, and how a having a gun doesn’t make you a bank robber any more than having a computer makes you a hacker, and told her: “So a person is about to rob a bank, when he realizes that it is illegal to have a gun in a bank, and so he goes home and gets a job?”

A year or so later, she told me that I was one of the least violent people she had ever met, and that I had totally changed her opinion on gun owners. Even though she now has no interest in owning a gun herself, she is at least no longer antagonistic towards gun owners, and has seen the light.

There is Jennifer. She has been a friend of mine for about 10 years, and is a 30-something college educated professional who works in the medical field. She is a self described Liberal, and until she met me had never even seen a gun before, except on TV. I took her to the range last night, and she genuinely enjoyed it, even though she tells me that she would not care to own a gun herself.

I made jokes, and put her at ease. I told her that for safety reasons, it is customary for first time shooters to dress like Catholic Schoolgirls, so that other shooters know that they are new and are careful around them. She laughed, and then said, “Not a chance.” 

A little gentle persuasion, and a trip to the range to shoot a Sig Mosquito, and she is hooked. I gave her a lot of encouragement, a quick safety lecture on the four rules, and let her shoot the less powerful guns ( Sig Mosquito and a Glock 19 with subsonic ammo). Couple that with a large target at 7 yards, and she did well. She grinned like a Cheshire cat. All of her shots were in a 6 inch group, and she kept the target to show her Liberal family and friends. After,. we went to dinner, and she told me that she had been afraid and nervous all day, and now saw that there was nothing to be worried about.

Perhaps I will take some of her liberal family and friends shooting as well. No matter what, I will not start them off on a scary hand cannon or large bore moose gun. No, I have a Sig Mosquito, and a Ruger 10/22 that is used specifically to teach people new to guns that shooting can be safe and fun.

That is how you win the fight. Many Liberals are smart, conscientious people who will make the smart, logical choice, if the information is given to them in a non confrontational, non intimidating way. We will win the fight for our rights, because logic and reason is on our side.

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Scene Safety

How many safety issues can you spot in this picture? This picture was posted on the internet by some responders who though it made them look “cool.” It was reposted by another responder as an example of what not to do. The response to this was defensive and immediate. People from the offending department circled the wagons, and began demanding the picture and comments be removed. Then it got nasty:

Watch what you say and post on the internet, right?? Just sayin… Not the brightest idea to bash an FD you share a response area with, especially when you sometimes work at that joint station. Accidents happen.

 I responded that the comments there sounded like a threat. The response?

It’s not a threat, I’m quoting what was said earlier about being careful what you put on the internet. I personally would never post something to make another dept look like crap, and I would expect that if I did such a thing a supervisor would approach me and tell me to take it down. People make mistakes, take a long look at yourself before you point fingers at others. I’ve seen guys from other department make mistakes and I’m not going to air it out on the internet and post pictures.

 So the message I get from this is that we would rather punish and threaten people who point out the mistakes instead of correcting them. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and if we ignore it so as not to make waves, we will never improve. That is how people get hurt.

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The Right thinks our rights are technicalities too.

I was listening to the Mike Church show on Sirius Satellite this morning, and the topic was the mortgage crisis. His take was that we have not yet reached a bottom (I agree) and that the bottom is being delayed because of the technicalities that homeowners are using to delay foreclosure. He also complained that the few hold outs were prolonging the recession for the rest of the country.

That “technicality” is the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees due process to each of us. That includes, among other things, the right to have my day in court. The right to demand that the government can’t take my property:

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.

Before any of go off about how the 4A only applies to the government seizing your home, ask yourself who owns your mortgage. It is likely FNMA (Fannie Mae), which is owned by the government.

In order to take my home in foreclosure, the bank needs to prove:

1 That I fall under the court’s jurisdiction (the land being foreclosed on is in the court’s jurisdiction)
2 That the bank has the capacity to sue me for foreclosure
3 That I owe the bank money (where is the original note? If they can’t produce it, how can the court know if they sold it or not? What if they did sell it? What would stop the other party from trying to collect later?)
4 That I failed to pay that money (can they prove how much I owe?)
5 That the loan is secured by my property (is the mortgage and note proper?)

I leave you with this quote:

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).

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Yard sale day

It seems like today was the day for everyone in my town to have a yard sale. There was a guy down the street who had a sign out, saying he was having a yard sale that included a gun collection. I had to go check it out. There were a lot of “quality” pieces, including several revolvers from Miami Firearms, a couple of HiPoints, a Jiminez, and other total pieces of crap. He had a Taurus .357, which he tried to sell me by telling me that it was even better than Smith and Wesson. He did have a single Smith, but the cylinder would not lock up. In other words, junk.

He wanted top dollar, though. He was asking $400 for the Smith, and $500 for the Taurus. The Hi Points? $350.

There is no way I would buy that crap unless I could get for cheap enough to take it to the local “gun buyback” for a profit.

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Orlando Slantinel Opinion on Open Carry

The Orlando Sentinel Slantinel has published a commentary by columnist Mike Thomas on the Florida Open Carry movement. I want to take a few moments and respond to his screed.

So you are walking down Park Avenue, window shopping for all the stuff you once could afford, and suddenly coming down the sidewalk you see three gunslingers.

It’s like the Wild West except they’re drinking lattes, and instead of six-shooters, they have Glocks clipped to their matching Gucci belts.

Would this bother you?

Well, it could happen because the “open carry” movement has come to Florida.

More “wild West” references. I remember the Sentinel (and other outlets) bringing out the tired references to the “wild west” every time there is a gun law coming up that they don’t like. Funny thing is, the wild west scenario they dream of never seems to happen.

Open carry means just that. Any law-abiding citizen is allowed to openly carry a handgun.

If they are law abiding, why is it a problem? Don’t you anti gun people who oppose our rights constantly say that the goal is to disarm criminals? Since I can already carry a concealed firearm nearly anywhere I want, what you are really afraid of is seeing the icky, scary guns. The only thing that changes with this law is that I won’t have to worry if my coat flies open on a windy day. 

These guys conduct open carry demonstrations, where they stand around like exhibitionists, exposing their weaponry for all to see. What would Freud think?

 Insert obligatory dick reference here.

They even have figured out a way to hold these events in Florida. By state law, you are allowed to open carry while you are fishing — a frightening thought if you’ve ever been to Sebastian Inlet at the opening of snook season.

So they go to fishing piers and stand around with their guns on hips, pretending to fish. And if someone hooks a stingray, they’re not even allowed to shoot it. Well, maybe if the stingray raises its tail it would be legal under Stand Your Ground.

GASP!! Law abiding citizens have found a way to COMPLY WITH THE LAW. Then, we slam on the Stand Your Ground Law at the same time. Aren’t you clever!

Read the whole thing, and you will understand why I canceled my subscription to that paper.

Images courtesy of Rob Allen

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The Third Amendment

“No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Many people refer to the Third amendment as useless. They claim that no one has to worry about the Army turning your home into a training barracks. The prohibition on the quartering of troops in people’s homes was not about people getting upset over rumpled sheets. In the colonial era, the practice of billeting British troops in private homes was a widespread. One of the complaints against King George III in the Declaration of Independence was “for quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.”

Why do you suppose King George III did this, and why do you suppose the colonists were so upset about it?  It is a fairly effective form of intimidation: putting an agent of the State inside the houses of people whom the State considers “troublesome.” Having an agent of the State live with the troublemakers has an absolutely chilling effect, and most especially when the agents start abusing the power—”pushing the envelope,” as such agents so often do. This would have been known to the authors of the Bill of Rights. The Third Amendment was put there to prevent just this sort of thing.

It was impossible for the founders to foresee the advent of electronics, video cameras, microphone “bugs” and the like, but the fact remains the same: the presence of agents of the State present in people’s homes, intimidating them by their very presence, and by their presence also enforcing the State’s policies, as well as reporting (to a superior rank or office) any opposition towards the State. Whether the actual person is present, or the person is “virtually” present, the effect is the same: a chilling of the rights of the people to oppose the policies of their Government.

With the advent of computer networking, the Government no longer needs to put troops in your home. They can simply monitor you remotely- a virtual soldier present in your home.This is why I find today’s article so troubling. It seems as though we are seeing a constant erosion of our rights and liberties, inching ever so much closer to a police state. One day, we will wake up, and it will be too late.

Maybe it already is.

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Judicial Corruption.

This is simply unbelievable. A sitting Judge promised the chairwoman of the Commodities Exchange Commission that no complainant would ever win a case in his court. For nearly 20 years, he has kept his word.

Read This:

Judge Painter Notice and Order.dcpdf-1

The Chairwoman who made the judge promise this? Wendy Gramm: key Enron player and wife of Phil Gramm. Phil Gramm is the sponsor of the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Act, the law that made our current real estate mess possible. You know, the same real estate scam that destroyed our economy.

What are citizens to do when there is no justice under the law?