Gold, Guns, Ammo, and Food – That’s Crazy!

I love Nevada.  We have wild horses, slot machines, legal brothels, and guys who die leaving $7 million in gold bullion stored in their garages.  We also value a certain arms length congeniality.  So when Carson City resident Walter Samaszko, 69,  passed away in his home in June of a heart attack, it was a few weeks before anyone started wondering where he was.

“He was a good neighbor.  I never saw him that much,” said Joe Baxter.

The men had exchanged waves on occasion from across Mountain View Street,  a modestly quiet area in the northeast part of town.  Baxter didn’t know Samaszko very well, but recently accepted an offer from a real estate agent friend to go through some of the dead man’s possessions  prior to putting the house on the market.  Imagine their surprise when they came upon a couple of ammo cans filled with 4000 ounces of gold coins.  They contacted the Carson City County Clerk Alan Glover and that’s when the clucking started.

“The amount of it was what was overwhelming.  They had to use a wheelbarrow to move boxes and boxes of gold from the house,”  claims Glover, but while 4000 ounces is 250 pounds, the volume only occupies the space of about 1.5 gallons of water.  I may well have used a wheelbarrow, too, but boxes and boxes?  This sounds like something of an exaggeration of the facts.  Easy to do in a case like this, but Glover continues.

“He was a hoarder.  He had cases of salmon.  Cases of tunafish.”

Apparently Glover doesn’t shop at Costco, where it’s common to see customers rolling Kirkland tuna out of the store by the case.  And because Mr. Samaszko possessed what Clerk Glover characterizes as conspiracy books along with some guns and cases of ammo, he concludes that:

“It appears he did not like government very much.”

It’s not apparent in print, but if you watched the KRNV video, Glover clearly comments with some disdain about a man who really can’t correct any of Glover’s conclusions or possible misconceptions.  For example, the use of the term “hoarder” in today’s vernacular connotes crazy people from reality TV who cram their homes with junk, but gold, guns, ammo, and food are not junk.  We like that sort of thing out here in these parts.

And just what does Glover mean by conspiracy books?  Did Samaszko have a copy of The Creature From Jekyll Island or, God forbid, Ron Paul’s End the Fed?  Is that where he got the whacky idea that gold bullion might be a valuable thing to keep around.  Wow.  How crazy is that?


Cory Maye got lucky

Cory Maye got lucky. He may be on death row, but he didn’t die yet at the hands of the police (his “protectors”, you know) the day after Christmas, 2001. He’s on death row now, which makes him in far more dire straits than myself, but he’s better off than Anthony Diotaiuto, Ishmael Mena, Donald Scott, Annie Rae Dixon, Alberto Sepulveda (age 11,) Robert Adams, Mario Paz, the son of Bobby & Kathy Bowman (age 8,) Scott W. Bryant, Pedro Oregon Navarro, Delbert Bonar, Robert Lee Peters, Manuel Ramirez, Bruce Lavoie, or Ralph Garrison. All were shot dead, in their own homes, by the police. Some were in fact “guilty” of the non-crime of possessing drugs of which the state disapproves; some just happened to live with, next door to, or in a previous address of someone involved in the drug trade. Some were unarmed, some were defending themselves against what they thought were common criminals. Instead, they found themselves up against the uncommon kind. The kind that comes in force. The kind that has little fear of being prosecuted for murder if they shoot an innocent homeowner. The kind who almost always wears body armor.

These cases illustrate one obvious way that the state, which claims to protect us, actually makes us less safe. They might simply stop by your house in the middle of the night and shoot you. But there’s another, subtler consequence. How many people have been or will be killed, beaten, or raped because when a criminal broke into their home, they hesitated to grab for a gun or other weapon just in case it’s the cops? Most people who have a gun in the house for protection will consider themselves to face pretty good odds against the average criminal, after all. The cost vs. benefits analysis is pretty clear: there’s probably only one or two of them, and they’re out to do something nasty to you anyhow, so it’s wise to have a gun pointed at the bedroom door as they enter. The likely downside, most of the time, is that they carry out their original intentions. With the police making “tactical” entries, however, that analysis changes completely. Leaving the gun under the bed will result, most likely, in an arrest. If they have the wrong house, it may result in an apology. Having the gun in hand when the perpetrators come in… well, this time there are ten of them in body armor, guns drawn, and on a hair trigger. You do the math. Cory Maye got lucky.

An Uncommon Person

Brazilian President LulaBrazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is obviously an uncommon person. He is quoted as saying, “common people having guns won’t provide security” after casting his ballot in favor of the proposed gun and ammunition ban, which was rejected by 64% of Brazilian voters–perhaps just the common ones. Not that such things ought to be decided by voters, common or uncommon. Yet, I strongly suspect that Lula’s bodyguards, and perhaps even Lula himself, regularly carry guns and ammunition.

Some obvious questions are, of course: security for whom? Security from whom? Choose appropriate answers, and perhaps Lula, like all tyrants, is correct in this matter, after all.

Apparently, though, an uncommon person can still be a private citizen. Scroll to the bottom of the above linked article for this one:

Lula joined actors and musicians favoring the ban to say in a newspaper opinion article on Oct. 9 — written as a “private citizen” — that the 2003 gun control bill already helped reduce violence.

Yes, I’m sure the common criminals disarmed as quickly and thoroughly as the uncommon ones.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Much to-do is being made by the so-called “gunbloggers” over the supposed illegality or unConstitutionality of the gun thefts in New Orleans. I say that that’s missing the point entirely.

Think: if the US Constitution were amended to explicitly state that the government could take whatever it wanted, what would these people argue from? In fact, such an amendment would logically have to constitute total victory for them: the government would have admitted its wrongs and rectified them via the legal system.

Is that what they really want?

Gun Control: A Good Thing

This story really strikes a nerve with me. A four-year-old boy, right between my boys’ ages, accidentally shot by his older brother, aged seven, in my city.

I’m not one to shelter my boys from every danger, and there are likely seven-year-olds, even today, who have been taught to properly respect guns, and could be trusted to handle one without pointing it at anyone. This boy clearly wasn’t one. The article also mentions that one of the boys was playing with a lighter under his covers and set the house on fire to the tune of $20,000 damage just four years ago, at the age of five. Clearly, the parents and grandparents in this case are irresponsible to the point that I wonder how they get dressed in the morning without help.

I’m not advocating protecting children from every possible danger. Responsibility and respect for dangerous objects and situations cannot be learned unless children are exposed to them. However, a child can learn valuable lessons from, say, a hot griddle, a sharp corner, a steak knife, or an electric drill, and survive the experience mostly intact. There’s very little chance that they, or someone else, will die in the process. Guns, on the other hand, along with other things you might own like cars and table saws, are deadly serious tools. Respect for them, and proper handling, must be taught, explained, and demonstrated to children, if they might get exposed to them. Guns are designed to kill. That’s what they do when working properly. An adult, or an already responsible child, can grasp this by having it explained to them once. Small children, who may not even understand the concept of death as a finality, cannot.

Now, I’m not advocating for a law, of course. The article itself demonstrates the futility of that approach:

An Illinois law, passed in 1999, makes it a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave a loaded firearm that a minor can gain access to without permission from a parent or guardian and use it to injure or kill. A firearm is properly stored if it is secured by a trigger lock, placed in a securely locked box or placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secured from a minor.

The law did no one any good in this situation, as I would expect. Anyone who would leave a gun accessible to an irresponsible seven-year-old is unlikely to change his mind due to the law. ” Let’s see, if my kids find my gun and one gets shot, one of them will die. But wait, I’ll also face a fine and jail time… that settles it, I’m locking it up.”

The guidelines in the law are overkill, in any case, but might be a good starting point for those incapable of thinking, who need a law to tell them what to do, who probably shouldn’t have guns in any case. People even dumber than politicians. A gun in a locked box, or with a trigger lock, is less useful for its intended purpose, which is keeping your young charges from being killed or kidnapped by criminals. No, the only thing required here is basic responsibility on the part of the “adults” in charge. If you have a gun, and you have children in the house, you should know where it is with certainty at all times. You should know that those who can’t handle one properly and responsibly can’t pick it up and play with it. You should be able to get it immediately if you need it–otherwise, why bother having it? You should know how many cartridges are in it. This is the essence of proper gun control.

You can take your children shooting when you judge them responsible enough. They can probably learn respect or at least some understanding of the kind of damage they can do by seeing milk jugs or watermelons shot with hollowpoints (plus, that’s just plain fun for grownups.) You could try a book, like Massad Ayoob’s Gun-Proof Your Children, which I don’t have myself but about which I have heard good things.

Just don’t go through life like a brain-dead moron who thinks that bad things won’t happen since they haven’t so far.

Now I’ll Tell You *Why* An Italian Died

This National Review piece previously cited by No-Treason’s own John Sabotta sure is interesting. A portion of this ramble-fest tells of Fabrizio Quattrocchi, an Italian hostage kidnapped and murdered in Iraq.

As the gunman’s pistol was pointing at him the hostage “tried to take off his hood and shouted: ‘now I’ll show you how an Italian dies,'” he said.

But there’s more to this heroic tragedy than Leeden is telling us. I’ll clue you in:

The four Italian security guards kidnapped in Iraq had their personal protection weapons confiscated by American soldiers just hours before they were seized by suspected rebels, colleagues have revealed.

Breaking his silence about the incident, Mr Simeoni said the Americans claimed that the Italians had flouted gun permit rules. The soldiers issued a receipt so that the arms could be collected at a later date.

The men, who had been on their way back to Italy, were forced to return to their hotel and search for substitute weapons. They managed to find just a single machine pistol and two handguns, which friends fear left them vulnerable to their attackers.

One of the hostages, Fabrizio Quattrocchi, was executed by the kidnappers, an Iraqi Islamist group, two days after the men were captured, on April 12.

You get that? The wonderful American liberators of Iraq forcibly disarmed Mr. Quattrocchi and his companions, leaving them defenseless when they were confornted by local guerillas. While it’s possible that Quattrocchi would have still been kidnapped and killed, I seriously doubt that that man would have gone down without a serious fight, had he had the means to do so. The US military is culpable here for stealing Quattrocchi’s guns, leaving him with a “receipt” and a few scrounged guns with which to fight off the Jihadists. A fucking receipt, probably filled out in carbon-copy triplicate, signed and dated and delivered with a daddy-knows-best-now-go-away-Citizen sneer that every armed government drone seems born with.

Isn’t it strange how National Review’s Micheal Leeden utterly fails to take notice of this?

Principles? Don’t You Know There’s A War On?

Another day, another heartening story from Iraq:

DRAGNET: Officers impose gun control one house at a time, take each family’s AK-47

That’s the short of it: government gun confiscation in lovely, liberated Iraq. Not that I’m shocked, or anything – if you’re willing to drop “precision bombs” into crowded city neighborhoods, helping the local thugs rough up a few locals and take their stuff probably isn’t going to bother you too much.

These sorts of tidbits have been appearing since the opening of The War Against Terror, and there’s been one thing in common throughout the continuing reports of thefts and assaults: the deafening silence from folks who are supposedly against gun control. Oh, there’s plenty of talk-talk about Schumer, or Feinstein, or Boxer, or Kerry. Heck, there’s even occasional mention of weapons confiscation in Britain or Canada or some other socialist paradise. But Iraq? Afghanistan?

Nothing. Or worse:

Peshawar, Pakistan, located only a few miles from Afghanistan`s busiest border crossing, is one of the world`s most notorious cash-and-carry gun markets. Machine guns are common. One can send a 12-year-old boy with a few $20 bills to the bazaar to buy an AK-47 as easily as an American mom sends her child out for a loaf of bread.

Unlike U.S. gun shows–where licensed dealers must do the same background checks and fill out the same federal forms as they do when selling a gun in a store–Asia`s gun markets are infamous for cash-and-carry transactions. Anyone of any age who has the money can buy, no questions asked.

“Notorious”! “Infamous”! “Cash-and-carry”! The horror! The horror!

People have a right to keep and bear arms, and it’s an absolute right, for everyone, everywhere. Unless they’re funny-looking foreigners in a country the US government doesn’t like. Then they better shut their dirty wog mouths about it before they get their feelings hurt, see. People have a right to be secure in their homes and property, unless American troops really, really want to kick down their doors and have a look around. And no one ought to go shopping at a free-market gun bazaar, where they sell machineguns and stuff and don’t even do a background check.

And the “blogosphere”? Pardon me while I snort in disgust at what I’ve seen offered up from conservatives here. Most of it’s mush-brained cheerleading for “our boys”, the rest sneers at the evil brown-skinned natives.

And what, in the end, is all of this utter repudiation of principle going to gain them? Nothing. Absolutely nothing at all, except perhaps the ability to pretend not to see the knives waiting in the shadows. Knives that they’re helping to sharpen, right now.

Contemptible, every last one of them.

The Perils Of Wonkism

So this guy here notes a really stupid idea from this other guy there about some sort of “gun-tracking” scheme:

So, we’ve got a technology professor at some university who thinks he has a really new, useful, good idea what to do to make firearms safer. He’s proposing that each gun has its own “log”, making a record of exactly where and when it has been fired — perhaps even contacting the police. Presumably, this feat would be accomplished by means of a GPS receiver, a computer chip of some kind, and a wireless transmitter.

And our hero then goes on to a meticulous analysis of exactly why the idea is impractical and unimplementable. He concludes:

The only thing that a system like this can do is inconvenience law-abiding gun owners. It is less effective and less reliable than existing systems while being both more expensive and more intrusive. It is, in short, just as wrongheaded and ineffective as all the other “smart gun” proposals out there.

Brilliant! Devastating! Or not. Y’see, the author is really missing the point.

Note the bolding, there. I added that, because that is the point he missed in all of this wonking about. If any smart-gun (so called) proposal is enacted into law, it will be precisely because it will inconvenience law-abiding gun owners. Only it won’t say so on the box – no, it will ostensibly be for The Children or Public Safety or one of the myriad other Orwellian cause-names that the voting public has adopted into their little black, rotten hearts. But the real purpose will remain: to simply disarm the American populance.

Note some other key points: the author has implicitly endorsed a scheme such as this that would not “inconvenience” folks. Inconvenience will presumably be defined at a later time, by someone, somewhere. All of his objections center around the practicality of implementing such a scheme as this, with nothing said about morality. Morality as in “Who in the hell are you to tell me what to do with my stuff, pal?”

Also and more chillingly, he drags out that NRA Approved Phrase “law-abiding gun owners”. Law-abiding gun owners register their weapons when the law tells them to. Law-abiding gun owners turn in their weapons for destruction when ordered to. A quick study of history shows that “law-abiding gun owners” are eventually forced to choose between being law-abiding and owning guns. When he’s at that point, maybe the author rethink his love for the law and his disdain of criminals.

This all is an example of the perils on Wonkism: trying to explain a subject so thoroughly that you lose sight of the root idea, so much that you actually bring arguments against it. Wonks tend to trip themselves up with page after page of print, when in 90% of all cases, a simple “Hands the fuck off!” would suffice quite nicely.