May 19, 2010
May 18, 2010
This year’s convention was almost mandatory Charlotte is an hour away, but it would have been well worth the drive even if I lived nowhere near there. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Sister Toldjah, whom I’ve followed off and on for almost as long as either of us have been blogging. Just as sweet in person as you’d think from her blog; not a gunnie but I’m working on that. Also had the pleasure of meeting Breda, Jay G., PDB, Alan, Weer’d Beard, Unix Jedi, OrangeNeck and others whose names I’ve already forgotten. And of course it was good to catch up with Bitter B., Uncle, Sebastian, Joe Huffman, Caleb, Mike W. and Countertop again. Among the missing were Robb, Tam and Sailorcurt, along with too many others to count. As to the all stars, we were lucky enough to meet with both of the Daves, although our light blue law allowed the first Drinking With The Daves to proceed as Kopel Runneth Over, while reducing the second, a Sunday brunch while liquor was banned, to Hardly With Hardy. Both events were highly educational, however, as was Saturday night with Alan Gura. Missed opportunities consisted of John Lott, who was also there but our paths never crossed, and Paul Helmke dba Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The gunbloggers present at the Federalist Society debate, consisting of Countertop, Uncly-Wuncly, Joe H. and myself, actually chatted with the
entire organization guy briefly after the debate, and I failed to ask him even once if he … um, I mean, his organization … has anti-gun ranges at their national conventions. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn.
Of course, not everyone in Charlotte this weekend was pro-gun:
May 16, 2010
One of my many former hometowns, San Diego, CA, learns the hard way that lame political boycotts are better to give than receive.
May 14, 2010
Starts with a silly crack about glasses and some gratuitous digs at Jane Fonda Network and Washington Compost. Moving to Twitter now.
Just took the stage.
So far the usual NRA talking points about how Hollywood liberals are to blame for gun violence, and how we don’t need more stupid, fascist, unworkable gun laws, we just need to enforce the stupid, fascist, unworkable gun laws we already have. Entertaining, though, as any Palin speech would be.
Nice quote: “In Alaska, we eat, therefore we hunt.”
Talk of press wanting to portray us all as racist rednecks. “I’m not ashamed of being called a redneck, that’s fine with me.”
Now she’s on to discussing predator control and the anti-hunting wackos, who love cute little wolves she supposedly shoots from helicopters, but don’t care about the smaller and cuter caribou they’d kill if we didn’t.
Sarah’s predicting the McDonald, like Heller, will likely be decided 5-4, which she cites to remind us all that elections have consequences. Reminds us all of John McCain’s sponsorship of legislation to force DC to finally abide by Heller. Yeah, that same McCain all the gunnies called a sellout, but I digress.
Here are pics of Alan “Mr. Second Amendment” Gura and Paul Helmke dba Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, soon to face off at the Federalist Society. More later.
May 12, 2010
Here’s a capital idea. Since everyone knows that black people are generally stronger than white people, let’s pass a law making simple assault one thing, and “assault on a white boy” another. The statute would read like this:
(a) Any person who commits a simple assault or a simple assault and battery or participates in a simple affray is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
(b) Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who commits any assault, assault and battery, or affray is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor if, in the course of the assault, assault and battery, or affray, he assaults a Caucasian person, he being a person of African descent of at least 18 years of age.
No constitutional problems there, right? After all, nobody is being punished simply for being black, only for assaulting other people, which you’re not supposed to do, anyway. So surely a law like this would pass constitutional muster. It wouldn’t, of course, and rightly so. However, G.S. § 14-33(c)(2) sure comes close – just substitute “female” for “Caucasian person” and “male person” for “person of African descent,” and there you have it.
OK, you say, but surely this one of those crazy laws that just sits on the books, right up there with that one about cussing boisterously on public streets in counties other than Pitt or Swain. No one really gets charged under such a blatantly unconstitutional law, do they? Yes, they do.
It’s a trap, folks. Speculating on Elena Kagan’s sexuality is a no-win. Attempting to out her, makes it look like you look like a complete douchebag if you turn out to be wrong, and even if you’re right it makes you look like the Spanish Inquisition for caring – only this time, they do expect the Spanish Inquisition. Just don’t go there. We already know where she stands on gay rights, namely fanatically pro, even to the point of endorsing an attack on the Solomon Amendment so frivolous that all eight participating Justices, which included all four liberals, rejected it. Where she stands on issues like that is our business. Whether she is gay or not herself, or whether she now lives in the world’s most transparent closet, is not.
UPDATE: The original draft said all four liberals currently on the court rejected Kagan’s position on the Solomon Amendment. Of course that is wrong, as Justice Sotomayor was not on the court yet.
May 8, 2010
Sideshow Bob Hege and his lesser-known colleagues got trounced on Tuesday, but the push for Senate Bill 351, which would ban felons from running for sheriff in the future continues. What I want to know is, why are they only considering a ban on felons serving as sheriff? Better we should ban felons from holding any elective office. Show me a convicted felon who should ever be allowed to serve as a legislator, a judge, a governor or what have you, and I’ll show you a felony that shouldn’t be a felony. Fix that instead.
This is only the latest of a series of “don’t throw out too much of the bathwater” reforms that seem to be the rule rather than the exception in this state. Here are some other examples of reforms enacted as though the General Assembly’s heels were stuck in tar:
- In 1995, we went shall-issue, allowing a person with a concealed carry license to carry anywhere he wants, except where he can’t, which is almost anywhere in the state.
- That same law exempted CHP holders from our infamous, Jim Crow era law requirement that any prospective gun purchaser obtain a discretionary permit from his local sheriff to purchase the gun, but did not reform or otherwise amend the permit requirement itself. So while I, as a CHP holder can walk into any gun store from Asheville to Nag’s Head and walk out with all the guns I can afford, my next door neighbor can’t purchase any guns at all without visiting the local sheriff first, in person, and asking him to please, please, pretty please give him a permit to buy one gun. And the sheriff will have nearly unfettered discretion to turn him down.
- All but seven U.S. states have had the good sense to abolish the common law tort of alienation of affection. North Carolina is easily the best known, and probably the most egregious, example of the “but seven.”* In 2007, Clemmons dentist Kirk Turner killed his estranged wife Jennifer, a killing prosecutors argued was motivated in part by an alienation of affection suit Jennifer had filed against his girlfriend. Last August, Turner was ultimately found not guilty by reason of
the jury’sSBI’s insanity. The General Assembly responded not by finally the rest of the civilized world in abolishing the infamous tort, but merely by restricting to conduct that occurred prior to separation. The current suit against the girlfriend goes forward, and if the next alleged homewrecker so much as winks at the next Kirk Turner one day before he moves out, that case will go forward too.
- North Carolina has one of the most oppressive annexation laws in the country. Residents of an area targeted for annexation, who may have deliberately chosen that property because they did not wish to live in a city, have no voice in the annexation process at all. The leading “reform” bill, House Bill 524, purports to address this by allowing a referendum, but only if a petition is signed by 15% of the registered voters in the combined area of the existing municipality and the area targeted to be gobbled up by it. Even if that insurmountable hurdle is miraculously met (bear in mind that 15% of the population of the combined area will often exceed 100% of the population of the targeted area), the referendum itself calls for a vote of the combined populations, as well. And even this illusory “reform” remains highly controversial, only barely passing the House last year. The real reform bill, SB 494, doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.
- As one of those quaint states that still have dry counties, it should come as little surprise that we have socialized alcoholism too. Lately our government-run pushers have been plagued with scandal, so our governor has kicked around the idea of … um … trying a baby form of privatization most ABC customers won’t even notice.
Given this long track record of preserving bath water on the off chance there’s a baby somewhere, I guess I should be thankful that the current proposal would cover all felons, rather than just the ones who committed their felonies in the course of their duties at the very office they now seek, and then only if they previously put prisoners in pink cells, slapped cheesy front plates on all of their cop cars, filmed reality shows and generally acted like all-purpose douchebags before they became convicted felons.
*The other “but six” are Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota and Utah. By way of comparison, Mississippi finally got around to abolishing slavery in 1995.
UPDATE: Two commenters (albeit with a shared IP) argue that I’m wrong about the Turner case, and that Kirk did indeed act in self-defense. Admittedly, I haven’t followed the case nearly as closely as they seem to have done, so I can’t rule out the possibility that they’re right. I don’t believe, however, that this affects my greater point about alienation of affection suits in general, or the one against Turner’s girlfriend in particular. For one thing, I think the odds of the lawyers for Jennifer’s estate advancing the theory that their own client was a would-be murderer (or at least a would-be Lorena Bobbitt) are extremely remote. For another, no matter who you think the aggressor was, it’s plain as day there was no love lost between the Turners, and therefore, no affection for anyone else to have alienated.
UPDATE x2: Given the more recent reports about the State Bureau of Investigation’s grossly unscientific behavior in this case and others, I hereby retract my allegation that the Turner jury was insane. Any case that depended too heavily on “evidence” produced by that back of Mike Nifong wannabes has reasonable doubt written all over it.