Friday, January 25, 2013

Let there be Guns

I am tired of listening to the debate over the 2nd amendment and have decided to weigh in on this issue or at least one interpretation of the issue. Before I begin I will point out the three prevailing interpretations of the 2nd amendment and for reference here it is in it’s entirety.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

There are many interpretations but four are prevalent in discussion:

#1 Militia Definition: Many democrats will site this as their popular interpretation of the 2nd amendment saying that it was intended to have a well armed military and does not apply to private citizens. This definition comes from the word “Militia” being in the amendment. The Supreme court struck down this definition so it really has no practical application. If you hear anyone sighting this then they are whining.

#2 Basic Protection: Many middle of the isle politicians and especially democrat legislators, even the NRA at one time advocated this position. It is that the people deserve to have weapons to protect themselves from harm and to seek their livelihood such as in hunting. The difference between this and #3 & #4 is that there are reasonable restrictions that should be placed as basic protection and hunting only requires so much power. We don’t really need a 50 caliber tripod mounted machine gun to defend our home from burglars or to hunt squirrels.

#3 Protecting our country: The Third Interpretation is that we need no restrictions on weapons as the founding fathers intended to have the citizens armed to repel a foreign invasion. I dismiss this argument much as I have #1 as we have an army and a national guard who’s purpose is to repel a foreign invasion. They are paid through our tax dollars to do this so let the people do their jobs and stay out of their way they don’t need your untrained self in the way. If the first interpretation is mitigated by the supreme court then this one is mitigated by the fact that we have an established militia in our military force.

#4 Protecting ourselves from our country: This is the Interpretation that I will be addressing today. It is the only other possibly valid interpretation which is that the founding fathers wanted us to be fully armed in order to overthrow a government seen as tyrannical. I can understand people taking this interpretation on but they argue it wrong. When someone says “well more would have died if the guy had a fully automatic machine gun” they say “well those are illegal”. This is the wrong way to argue if you believe in #4. Really only people who believe around the way of #2 should argue in this manner. The real response should likely be “If all the kids and their teacher had fully automatic weapons then there would have been no deaths”.

If #4 is to be a valid argument then we are under a tyrannical government and need to implement changes that would allow the founding father’s vision to be realizable. Having access to high ammo magazines for semi-automatic assault rifles won’t help you when you are charging a battle field towards tanks, unmanned drones and the best trained military in the world. It won’t even really help you against the police who have access to armored transport and highly trained swat teams. I have devised changes that need to be necessary if your belief that #4 is the founding father’s intent.

1. Legalize ALL guns: We shouldn’t be dickering on assault rifles and types of ammo. We need to talk about legalizing fully automatic weapons and heavy caliber guns. If you are to take on the police and the military of the United States you need to make sure you can keep up by being able to mow down as many people as you can. On top of this if you listen to the typical argument all criminals have easy access to these weapons anyway and deaths by these weapons should be common in America so we would need these to protect ourselves.

2. Legalize all explosive type weapons: Arms is not limited to guns alone. We need to also include rocket launchers and bazookas. You need heavy artillery when you are trying to take out army tanks and anti-aircraft guns to fight off air force jets. We see how effective these weapons can be in the hands of gorilla soldiers in the middle east so these are a must. C-4 and other explosives are also a necessity in taking out army strongholds or government buildings. On top of this if you listen to the typical argument all criminals have easy access to these weapons anyway and deaths by these weapons should be common in America so we would need these to protect ourselves.

3. Military Training: Our military is one of the best training in the world. We as American people should be trained in this fashion as we are growing up so that we can be prepared at any time to take down a tyrannical government. Having a fully automatic rocket launcher doesn’t help if you are ineffective in using it. You may end up doing more damage to the revolutionary force than you are in taking on the government. If the current government would make changes to make this a necessity we could guarantee our 2nd amendment vision for people trained and ready to go revolution if it is called for. This would also be great for protecting family from killers and thieves. You may end up unnecessarily making some of the “bad guys” more dangerous but as it is said a good guy with a gun will always be able to take out a bad guy with a gun.

4. Open Access to US Military secrets: Once the military started keeping secrets about weapons from the public they already became in violation of the 2nd amendment by having an unfair advantage against the people. All government developments should be made to the people so they would be able to defend themselves against tyranny. Be it unmanned drones or smart bombs it is important that the American people be on an equal footing with the military if their 2nd amendment right is to be protected. What if an enemy government is to get these secrets and use them against us? If we are all trained and have these weapons this should in these arguments be enough of a deterrent to our enemies not to attack us. On top of this if you listen to the typical argument all criminals have easy access to these weapons and technology anyway and deaths by these weapons should be common in America so we would need these to protect ourselves. 

5. Government subsidy for weapons manufacturers: Government needs to make sure that manufacturers of these technologies are subsidized so that the prices can be low enough to offer this to the average citizen. Is it not a violation of your rights if the weapons are available but they are not affordable by the average person? It doesn’t have to be dirt cheap but the prices should be comparable so that if someone earning an average income should be able to save up and obtain the weapon or tech indicated. Most criminals are able to get these technologies cheaply so we need to make sure we have that access. The military has an unfair advantage over the citizens in their access to the weapons so decreasing the cost is a must.

6. Nuclear Weapons: This is covered under #4 but in truth these are weapons that the government could use to squash a rebellion and if private citizens had access to these weapons then the government would think twice about using them against us. If you worry about terrorists getting more ready access to nuclear weapons keep the NRA argument at heart that they would be able to easily access them anyway so private citizens having access would keep deterring them from use. Nuclear weapon related crime can only be decreased if we can keep our citizens armed with nuclear weapons of their own to defend themselves.

In all seriousness I know I lean towards the #2 second amendment definition myself. I don’t believe in taking all weapons away from the American people. I do believe though that you cannot seriously argue #4 definition without having the above measures in place. I do believe you can put out a more serious spin on the argument but the in truth if the above measures are not taken and the founding fathers did believe fully in definition #4 then this country has been tyrannical for well over a 100 years and should have been overthrown before the civil war by the people to keep the 2nd amendment rights.

In summation, if you believe that we should have overthrown our government years ago but haven’t had the ability due to restriction on the practices that should have been implemented above then I can take you seriously in the conversation. If you believe that having pistols and assault rifles make it possible for you to overthrow a government that you disagree with then in reality then picture you and your assault rifle standing against a squad of military drones then you can understand how seriously I take your argument. You have a right to advocate these changes and I wish you the best in this endeavor. Support a grass roots movement, make a list you can even go by these principles above. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Transportation Fun for all.

            I have gone over the governor’s new road plan and am a little taken aback. The fact that this plan will likely easily pass the tea party centric legislature is also something that makes me wonder. Let’s separate things and examine them.

Eliminate the Gas Tax…sort of: I had to scratch my head a while on this for a minute but after listening to the Jack Gravely show this morning I am pretty understanding of what this is about. The 17 cent gas tax will go away except for on diesel. At first you have to say “this is perfectly tea party cutting taxes and helping out the overburdened and bankrupt gasoline industry” but then you have to ask “why are they not cutting diesel?” This is not really a tax cut and it will not likely be felt by many of us other than the gas industry as the companies will pocket this and keep prices right where they are.

This is an opportunity as gas tax revenue is dropping due to more fuel efficient cars and at the same time greasing the palms of historic republican campaign contributors. If you don’t agree with this then think about the diesel tax. The main individuals that utilize diesel fuel are truck drivers and this income remains very steady. Don’t let this fool you, it is not a tax cut, it is a kick back and nothing more.

Raise the Sales Tax: Well not everyone can pay the gas tax as not everyone has a car but everyone including people begging on the street corner needs to pay sales tax. Not only can we increase the sales tax to make up for lost revenue on the gas tax but the Governor doesn’t even have to take blame for rising prices on goods he can just pass the buck and say any price increase is all the president’s fault and all republicans will believe it even as they pay an extra percent at each purchase.

It bother’s me in some way as it seems that we are looking at a party that has said “we will not raise taxes” and they are not only raising taxes, they are making sure that everyone is paying it even down to those that can’t afford an extra dollar for food. Again their followers will likely look at this and say that even if there is a record that they voted for this any mention that they were for this increase is a lie constructed by democrats in the liberal media and that these increases were really passed by the democrat minority which is currently against the plan. What happened to cutting taxes and spending without any increase?

Don’t get me wrong I really do believe we need to increase revenue sources but find this as a hypocritical move in the party.

Let’s pay out of the General Fund: We were talking about cutting things and we are going to be getting those cuts from this part. After this passes we can look forward to school and social program funding being cut with the report that they need the funding for the roads. Virginia has always had transportation in a separate fund with it’s own revenue source. This program has worked in the past but due to continued cuts in those revenue sources over the years Virginia’s road system has gone from one of the best to one of the worst. So we are getting cuts to social programs and this should be a relief to many of the conservative readers.

Tolls are Still on: I know this is not new but we have plenty of new tolls to look forward to. We only have one on the books near the Greensville area but this will only effect the poor residents of the area and vacationers so that’s ok. Let’s not talk about the fact that this will cost us around 10 million to set up and man these toll booths before we can get income from them and disrupt the traffic pattern. This toll is not a tax business should not stand for you tea party people especially as you are in control of the legislature and the governor seat. Of course we have hushed up the talks of the 360 and interstate 64 toll plans for people trying to go to the beach or to Norfolk.

Registration increase: Most of us will face an increase in our registration fees of $15. This is obviously not a tax as it has the word “fee” in it. I have to tell you if you make a fee increase it is a tax increase there is no difference and it is not only a tax increase it is a car tax increase. Of course this is not all we are also having a $100 increase for alternative fuel vehicles (a good way to continue to milk truck drivers and stick it to environmentalists at the same time). This is already pretty expensive and we get to pay yet more for our cars. I’m glad I already did a three year renewal.

Summary: I am pretty disappointed in this plan overall. I agree that we need revenue in the state but am not really happy about how it is being set up. I do think a slight increase in the gas tax (which has not been increased since 1986) without increasing the diesel tax to make us more friendly to freight transport would be able to keep funding going directly to transportation funding without having to take out funding that could go to other programs. To utilize the rhetoric of the party that is trying to pass this I will sum it up. “This is an attempt by Big Government to try and fill their pockets at the expense of the tax people”.