Libertarian Commentary on the News #13-11A: Congress, guns, and laptops

Congress in action – Federal collapse
New problem for House GOP leaders: Rank-and-file may vote against rules

(The Hill) House Republican leaders have a new problem. They can’t count on their members to support them on procedural votes. Sixteen Republicans defected Wednesday in a vote on the rule governing consideration of a government-funding bill meant to prevent a government shutdown. The defections could have caused the rule to fail since most Democrats voted also voted against it.

Nathan: Thanks to Steve for this one.  This isn’t a “new problem” for the GOP “leadership” (I cannot repeat what they REALLY are.)  And they should not be surprised, seeing how this “leadership” treats their rank and file members when it comes to issues like immigration, Obummercare, and everything else. This indication of the dysfunctional nature of the GOP is just one more: the only reason it still exists is that the Dems (Tranzis) find it advantageous to have an “opposition.”  The Hill talks about the House, but the Senate is no better.

Stupid government – Hoplophobes and hoploclasts
Colorado Sheriff talks about threats for opposition to gun control bills

(The Blaze) One Colorado sheriff is claiming that Democrats are pressuring pro-gun sheriffs in the state with tactics he think border on extortion. In a radio interview with KVOR on Saturday, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said he received an email last week with a threat to stop or stall pay raises to the state’s elected sheriffs if they don’t support Colorado’s pending gun control legislation.

Thanks to Debby and Scott. Scott’s comments: What “2nd Amendment”? It’s Section 13 [of the Colorado State Constitution]:Section 13. Right to bear arms. The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

Nathan: Although most of Colorado now permits concealed weapons (with a lot of rather fatuous requirements), the original logic for this statement in 1876 was that carrying concealed was a low-life, weasel-like, Eastern sort of deception that wasn’t honorable.  It did not, apparently, apply to women carrying in a purse, according to some claims.  But Scott’s point is VERY important: it is NOT so much the FEDERAL Second Amendment that these dirty, lowdown, rotten and stinking excuses for humans in the General Assembly is violating: it is their own sovereign state’s constitution and bill of rights.

As for the sheriffs, it appears that MOST of Colorado’s sheriffs are opposing almost all of the gun control bills that are being rammed through the General Assembly – now in the House and expected to go to the governor for his cheerful signature within days.  The laws are staggering: a friend from Florida called to ask me why even a state that voted as it did last year is creating laws that make hundreds of thousands of people criminals, drive businesses out of state, destroy other businesses, and open themselves wide for a wave of violence.  The Sheriffs, many (mostly small-town) police, and tens of thousands of people have protested, written, testified, and made it clear that these laws are not needed.  So why are both Chambers of the General Assembly doing this?  Here are my thoughts:

a. After the 2010 Census, the Democratic Secretary of State subtly gerrymandered the state to create a lot of safe Democratic districts and more than a few liberal Republican districts, which skewed the 2012 elections to give dominance across the board.

b. Not content with that, the power-hungry, greedy, and somewhat liberal GOP establishment alienated hundreds of thousands of conservative, tea-party-movement type Republicans and fractured the party.  Paulistas fared very badly, and a lot of people stayed home.

c. Biden came to Colorado last month and lobbied the General Assembly on the gun laws (an illegal action in my opinion), and I suspect he promised a lot of bribe – excuse me, campaign funds – to keep Dems loyal.  There have been one or two “conservative” Democrats who are opposing the gun bills, but not nearly as many as were boldly claiming they would stand up for self-defense rights in 2012.

d. Denver Police Department and a good many other departments in the Denver Metro area and Front Range have become even more thuggish in the last decade, want their citizens disarmed, and are willing to use gang tactics on anyone opposed to them.

e. Oddly enough, I think in the more rural and remote areas of the state: the Eastern Plains, the northern tier of the West Slope counties, and other spots like the San Luis Valley and Four Corners, have started ignoring the laws passed by the legislature, as much as they can.  They figure that they can’t win in the General Assembly because of the huge population of the Front Range, and don’t care if a six-round-capacity shotgun or an AR-15 or a HiPoint carbine are illegal or not; they’ll do what they want and are reasonably confident that the local sheriff will ignore the law, too.

f. People are on edge about more radical work or action, as my friend has seen used successfully in Tennessee and Florida, because they are fearful that someone will push or be pushed too much and something really, really nasty will be triggered:  shooting and worse.

Mama’s Note: This last, of course, is a growing concern. With enough provocation, something has to give somewhere. Who will fire the first shot? I don’t know, but I’m starting to think it really doesn’t matter as much as we used to think. There has been ample ethical and rational reason to begin for a very long time. Much as we wish they’d just leave us alone, that’s not going to happen.

Home front – TSA/BP thuggery
Court curbs laptop searches at U.S. border

(Washington Times) A federal appeals court said the Border Patrol cannot confiscate or download every laptop or electronic device brought into the U.S., ruling people have an expectation their data are private and the government must have “reasonable suspicion”

Nathan: I would LIKE to think that this is good, and that it will make life more normal again for those who travel back and forth.  But “reasonable suspicion” is a LONG way from what the Constitution supposedly required:  a warrant detailing the items.  All this does is slow things down, especially taking into consideration the war on some drugs and the ‘long war” against “terrorism.”  The courts have already made it clear that the government’s fears (“suspicions”) are reasonable against EVERY air traveler, or we’d no longer be strip-searching Anglo grannies and 3-year-old girl-children at major American airports.  To me, this is little more than an attempt to lull people into stupidity.

Mama’s Note: Stupid indeed, but there it is. Several good work-around ideas could help most travelers. First, back up your entire computer to an encrypted thumb drive before you leave on a trip. Mail it to your destination, preferably to a good friend or other secure location. Partition a portion of your hard drive and sequester your encrypted data there. A casual “inspection” won’t locate it, and the data won’t be available to snoops even if they confiscate the machine and discover the partition. Just don’t forget your passwords! I don’t know anything about the mobile phones or other devices, but I wouldn’t travel with one carrying sensitive data that could not be encrypted.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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