22 August 2007

From Fred's Ammo Belt - Target NYC

A New York State of Mind

Posted on August 21st, 2007

By Fred in Commentaries, Second Amendment

When I was working in television, I spent quite a bit of time in New York City. There are lots of things about the place I like, but New York gun laws don’t fall in that category.

Anybody who knows me knows I’ve always cared deeply about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. So I’ve always felt sort of relieved when I flew back home to where that particular civil liberty gets as much respect as the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, New York is trying, again, to force its ways on the rest of us, this time through the courts. First, they went after U.S. gun manufacturers, seeking through a lawsuit not only money but injunctive control over the entire industry. An act of congress in 2005 blocked, but did not end, that effort.

Now, the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani’s administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers, has done it again. Last week, he created a bizarre justification to allow New York City to sue out-of-state gun stores that sold guns that somehow ended up in criminal hands in the Big Apple.

The lawsuit has been a lesson in out-of-control government from the get-go. Mayor Bloomberg sent private investigators to make “straw” purchases – illegally buying guns for somebody else. According to the ATF, NY’s illegal “stings” interfered with ongoing investigations of real gun traffickers.

Obviously, New York won’t get much cash out of the few dozen shops being sued in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia; so the purpose can only be political. Some of those sued have already buckled under the financial strain of legal defense and agreed to live by New York City rules.

Ironically, all of this comes at a time of historically low violent crime rates and historically high gun ownership rates nationally. States where it is legal to carry guns are also at an all-time high, up to 40 from 10 in 1987 by NRA reckoning.

While this attack by New York City on the Second Amendment reinforces the importance of appointing judges who apply the law as written, there is another important legal point. Federalism, though usually seen as a protection of the states from the federal government, actually grew out of the need to protect states from other states that interfered in free commerce beyond their borders – as New York is doing today. In this case, we need Federalism to protect states from a big bully in New York City.

See also: NY Times on Fred, 2nd Amendment and politics

From the NYT article: Mr. Giuliani was a strong proponent of gun control in his days as a federal prosecutor and later as mayor of New York. As mayor he called for a national system of gun licensing, and broke with many Republicans to back a ban on assault rifles.

But such views could put him at odds with some of the conservative voters who wield influence in a Republican primary — a tension that Mr. Thompson may have been trying to call attention to with his Web posting.

Mr. Giuliani’s campaign Web site calls him a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.

The Web site contains a video of Mr. Giuliani discussing the issue. “My position is that whatever my personal view is, the Constitution of the United States decides this,” he said in the video. “The Constitution of the United States says that you have a personal right to carry arms, to have arms.”

As a Jew, I am always concerned when smug liberals tell me that the personal safety of my family and myself is limited to what the government can do to protect me. I am further concerned when that same government says, you can't have a firearm. Where have we heard this before? Why should I believe this nonsense given the course of Jewish and human history? Bear in mind, I am not apocalyptic nor I am paranoid, expecting a Cossack run at my house. But I do understand the lessons of history. And, I do understand how balance of power plays out in costs and benefits.

The Republican party has consistently supported the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution assures that Americans have a right to own firearms. This is not a debate despite the liberal think tank deliverables to the fading few who still listen to them. Despite the tear-filled eyes of vast numbers of Democrat party members, the debate is essentially closed. Americans have a right to own firearms.

Why then is it that candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, mayor Rudy Giuliani, an advocate for gun control wants my vote? What is the mayor's opinion of the attempt by a federal court in NYC to sue firearms salesmen in other states? Why does it seem that in regards to bellwether Republican party issues does the mayor have to repeatedly defer to the logic of 'it isn't my opinion that matters'?

According to the article Giuliani's website "calls him a strong supporter of the Second Amendment". Maybe the mayor's website and the NRA website should discuss this matter? And if the mayor has always believed that the Constitution guarantees the right to own and carry firearms, did he ever say so before his Presidential campaign? What happened to federalism? Why does he believe his personal beliefs are more important than the solemn rights of the people granted by the US Constitution? His history of stiff gun control policies would seem to answer these inquiries.

Please see the interesting comments and informational posters found on the A-Human-Right website. The writer was born in the old Soviet Union and is Jewish. He understands how the tyranny of authoritarianism/totalitarianism is dependant on disarming the citizenry.

From A Human Right website
Historic precedents of this kind are depressingly numerous. We cannot open a history textbook and pick even a decade in which genocide and government oppression of civilians were absent. Where most people are defenseless, even small numbers of ill-meaning agents of a government or an organized criminal group have murdered thousands with impunity.

Even the pretexts for the imposition of strict gun control remain constant. The 1938 German weapons control law, which stripped Jews of all weapons, including sticks, was enacted as a response to "Jewish terrorist activities". The 1968 laws adopted in the United States were based closely on the 1938 German law and cited very similar reasons for the enactment.

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david leone, aka fradale.d said...

There's the cliched phrase "gun control" and the abstract ideology associated with it and then there's a specific reality of a big city mayor making his city safer.

NYC when Guiliani was elected mayor was a city experiencing high crime and murder rates and the "gun-control" that was enforced was a common sense reaction to criminal behavior. Any attempt to demogogue this issue by Fred Thompson is short sighted and only further erodes his credibility, which is not very deep.

Rudy Guiliani has a record of accomplishments including lowering the murder rate in NYC by 75%. While FDT was a senator he was the lead sponsor of five bills (wow) that became law, one naming a bridge, and the others of similar import.

Gun regulation is a reality. There is no such thing as unfettered access to gun ownership, but gun control is yet another issue some in the Republican party choose use as a wedge to distort and obfuscate Guiliani's record and positions.

aprpeh said...

When has more restrictive gun ownership laws reduced crime?

That means that firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to shoot with criminal intent. Of these defensive shootings, more than 200,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual abuse. About half a million times a year, a citizen carrying a gun away from home uses it in self-defense. Again, according to Kleck amd Gertz, “Citizens shoot and kill more criminals than police do every year [2,819 times versus 303].” Moreover, as George Will pointed out in an article entitled “Are We a Nation of Cowards?” in the November 15, 1993, issue of Newsweek, while police have an error rate of 11 percent when it comes to the accidental shooting of innocent civilians, the armed citizens’ error rate is only 2 percent, making them five times safer than police. from your friends in the ultra libertarian movement, (note their full opposition to foreign aid too) FFF

that Rudy put people in jail to stay is a positive thing. that he put cops on the streets is a positive thing. that he favored restrictive gun ownership laws as mayor of NYC and now says he is a proponent of the 2nd amendment is dishonest and misleading. Why would you support someone who can't tell the truth regarding what they believe? Maybe you should ask his ex-wife if she enjoyed his honesty?

as for being the crime mayor, this too is in dispute. If it is still possible to cite Wikipedia, it appears the statistics are not clear:
During Giuliani's administration, crime rates dropped, continuing the trend that had begun under his predecessor, Dinkins, in 1990.[58] Giuliani's presidential campaign website has described the drop as occurring under his leadership.[59] The extent to which his policies deserve the credit is disputed, however. A small but significant nationwide drop in crime preceded Giuliani's election, and he may have been the beneficiary of a trend already in progress. Additional contributing factors to the overall decline in crime during the 1990s were federal funding of an additional 7,000 police officers and an overall improvement in the national economy. Many experts believe changing demographics were the factor most responsible for crime rate reductions, which were similar across the country during this time.[60] Because the crime index is based on the FBI crime index, which is self-reported by police departments, some have alleged that crimes were shifted into categories that the FBI doesn't collect.[61]

Rudy is a prescription for splitting the Republican party. Of course, he will not win the nomination when those issues that matter to Americans, those that you think aren't issues, become the debate. There are differences between FDT and Rudy in foreign policy which will not be clear to the voters and are in the realm of policy wonks and single issue concerns. Those matters which will separate the two in the primary are the traditional conservative issues. Rudy will not win the Republican nomination when Republican voters start paying attention.

david leone, aka fradale.d said...

I have never claimed that Guiliani single handedly stopped crime in NYC. The fatc remains however, that while he was a prosecutor and mayor, he established a public record of lowering violent crime, putting drug lords in jail, prosecuting organized crime bosses, throwing Arafat out of the city and also greatly improved the quality of life for New Yorkers by cleaning up the subways and Times Square to name two areas he improved.

There is nothing wrong with some regulation of guns. If you think that there should be zero regulation, I do not think this is a view shared by many. To accuse Guiliani of having a hypocritical position vis a vis gun control is a distortion of reality.

While you attempt to water down Guiliani's record of accomplishments, you tout FDT, a man with no documented accomplishments at all.

I do not find it a compelling argument.

aprpeh said...

Fred Thompson served in the US Senate from 1994-2003.

Since you choose to ignore FDT's Senate career, you can start looking here

or you may wish to look here

you can track his Senate rankings here

and his voting record here

Rudy, otoh, has no voting record nor are his actual preferences on the major issues known except for campaign rhetoric and television performances. FDT is on the record and the record is available for all to see. America cannot afford an unproven commodity as President. Rudy is all talk and little record. The truth is opposite of what you say.

What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.

Children's Poetry Booklet Recalled After Arabs Complain
(Israeli censorship kowtows to Arabs.
When Will We Tell The Truth Without Fear)

(IsraelNN.com 7 Sivan 5768/June 10, '08) Ynet's web site and Arab complaints against a ten-year-old boy's poem about terrorists has resulted in the recall of all of the Nes Ziona municipality's children's poetry booklets.

Ynet boasts that its coverage of the poem resulted in its being recalled.

The text of the poem (Ynet's translation):

Ahmed's bunker has surprises galore: Grenades, rifles are hung on the wall. Ahmed is planning another bombing!What a bunker Ahmed has, who causes daily harm.Ahmed knows how to make a bomb. Ahmed is Ahmed, that's who he is, so don't forget to be careful of him.We get blasted while they have a blast!Ahmed and his friends could be wealthy and sunny, if only they wouldn't buy rockets with all their money.

Poetry competition director Marika Berkowitz, who published the booklet, was surprised at the protests and told Ynet: "This is the boy's creation and this is what he wanted to express. Of course there should be a limit, but I think the there is no racism here. 'Ahmed' is a general term for the enemy. These are the murmurings of an innocent child."

The Education Ministry told Ynet: "The local authority that published the booklet should have guided the students in a more correct manner through the schools. The district will investigate the issue with the local authorities."
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