Sunday, April 27, 2014

Standing Our Ground

The best narratives regarding the Constitutionality and morality of the Stand Your Ground statutes, can be found in the voice of Andrew Branca.
The past several days I’ve been attending the National Rifle Associations’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, having been invited to speak at the NRA’s 17th Annual Firearms Law Symposium as part of the larger gathering. 
The Annual Meeting is a massive event, with something on the order of 70,000 people attending, hundreds of exhibiting vendors covering more than 9 acres of exhibit space, and talks by pro-2nd Amendment Senators, Governors, and television/radio personalities. 
Given that context, my own little talk on Stand-Your-Ground ranks perhaps among the most modest of the Annual Meeting’s constituent components. Even taken just within the context of the other Firearms Law Symposium–which included such well-known civil rights scholars as Stephen Halbrook and David Kopel, as well as Indiana Supreme Court Justice Stephen David (whose talk was particularly outstanding)–I was a small fish, indeed. 
Nevertheless, I’ve received repeated requests for video of my small talk, and I aim to please. Much of the substantive content of the talk–and, really, I talk substantively only for about 25 minutes–will be familiar to those who have previously seen my Stand-Your-Ground commentary from the pro-SYG victory at the UC Berkeley debate, from my posts here and elsewhere, or from my book and seminars. 
In the interests of avoiding a straight-forward droning delivery of the law, I’ve interlaced what humor I could into the talk, and in particular the last four minutes or so consists of the “Downfall” parody that was prepared following CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin’s refusal to honor her “Zimmerman wager” with me following the Berkeley debate, as covered at length here: CNN analyst welches on bet after Andrew Branca wins “Stand-Your-Ground” Debate. - Andrew Branca
Watch the videos here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A kickass treatise on our professional military

In terms of actual fighting, we've kicked ass and always kicked ass. If you want us to do something other than fighting, like Somalia, Lebanon, the rebuilding of Iraq an Afghanistan, by the very definition of what Armies are, we kinda suck at that. 

Seriously, do you want an Army that specializes in 4th Gen conflict when China is looking hungry and Russia is getting all imperial? This is a serious question, and one that the American public should probably be involved in. 

Do you want a Navy that keeps the sea lanes open, or a Navy that projects power forward to rattle the saber as needed? A Navy built around anti-piracy measures is entirely different from one built around aircraft carriers and cruise missile launch platforms. 

Do you want a Marine Corps that specializes in disaster relief and humanitarian evacuation? Or a Marine Corps that specializes in amphibious assaults and forced entry? 

Because right now, the Officer Corps in the Army at least, is working on trying to figure out what the fuck we'll be asked to do in the near future. From being Warrior Diplomats" in the Regionally Aligned Brigades to being "America's Kickoff Team" in the global ready brigade or Ranger Regiment. 

It is utterly impossible for a military to do all things well.  Hell, even with an extravagant budget we can't even do all things good. At the very best we choose where we are competent and where we suck.


Light blogging.......and Priests gone wild!

So I'm deployed to the Pacific once again [six month tour] blogging may be light and spotty.

In the interim, many of you may have seen this...but I bring you a 'Priest for the masses'.

Article link

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Good Things...Explained


Monday, April 7, 2014

Blackwater in Najaf....10 years later

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tempering fanaticism....

The other day, noted journalist and gay rights advocate [and himself homosexual] took a stand against calls for then-CEO Brendan Eich, to resign over donations made in the past in support of California's Proposition well as support for controversial pundit and candidate Pat Buchanan.
Openly-gay journalist Andrew Sullivan expressed his “disgust” over Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich’s resignation for his one-time opposition to gay marriage, calling it a symptom of gay rights “fanaticism” and warning the movement is fast becoming “no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us. 
The former editor at The Atlantic and The New Republic is widely regarded as the intellectual father of the gay marriage movement. He wrote the first story to advocate for gay marriage in 1989 — a piece many regard as the blueprint for gay marriage laws and the normalization of homosexuality in America — and has a “tendency to view virtually everything through a ‘gay’ prism.” 
But despite his activism, Sullivan is furious over Eich’s persecution for his $1,000 donation to California’s Prop 8 campaign in 2008, which made gay marriage illegal in the state. 
“The guy who had the gall to to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists,” he wrote in a blog post titled “The Hounding of a Heretic.”
Daily Caller

I agree with Sullivan. Not only because opposing equal privileges and protections in the form of marriage for homosexuals is a losing opponents have been utterly unable to provide the mist basic and easy form of legal challenge...that of rational basis; but because it is never in your best interest to use the very tactics that you deride your opposition for using.

I often query fellow Conservatives, that since there already exists so much evidence in which to admonish the current Administration, and proffer rational, conservative arguments...why would they use the tactics of the left....those of hyperbole, fabrication and fanaticism?

Regarding the latest Mozilla flap, and others....George Will summed it best by calling some gay rights advocates 'sore winners'.

I suppose the temptation to be overblown and hypocritical is too much for some to abstain from, when they reach the ability to do so.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fort Hood shooting...and armed Hooahs

* Hooahs. A term of varying degrees of endearment describing the average Private; usually used by senior NCOs when speaking collectively of his charges, usually preceeded by the adjective 'fucking'.

No need to recap the shooting yesterday on Ft Hood. But the event has spurred a renewed interest in allowing Soldiers on military installations to be armed. As a matter of course, service members on duty at stateside garrisons [and overseas, excluding combat theaters] are not armed, due primarily to Army Regulation 190–14, issued on March 12, 1993 and Department of Defense Directive Number 5210.56, issued on November 1, 2001. This is of course, excluding the carrying of issued military weapons in the course of training...though this is usually absent of ammunition, unless on an active range.

There are legal provisions for some military members to be armed, in accordance with 10 U.S. Code § 1585 - Carrying of firearms, which stipulates: Under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, civilian officers and employees of the Department of Defense may carry firearms or other appropriate weapons while assigned investigative duties or such other duties as the Secretary may prescribe.

After the first Fort Hood shooting in 2009, some members of Congress called for allowing service members to be armed, as stated in H.R. 3199: Safe Military Bases Act. This, or a similar bill, may be revived again, after going nowhere initially.

But the bill, and the general idea of arming military members while on peacetime duty, is fraught with logistical issues. I wholeheartedly support the premise of carrying, but the duties inherent in the peacetime drudgery of military service don't always lend themselves to carrying. This begs several questions that the aforementioned bill, and the good intentions of many, don't address:

- What firearms are we speaking of ? Privately owned weapons [POW] or military issue? If POW, what type/caliber and training requirement? Believe it or not, not every service member is required to train or qualify on the standard issue Beretta 9mm pistol.

- How would this comport with exiting firearms laws for the surrounding civilian community? Many military members live off post, in the civilian community.

- How would said weapons be stored during times when a service member can not or does not desire to carry?

I could go on, but the point stands, that good ideas aside...any allowance for service members to be armed, at will...must be accompanied by a thoughful discussion of the implementation and second order effects of such an allowance.

Your thoughts?


Sense of Events is asking much the same line of questions on this quasi-proposed policy.

Sense of Events: Should soldiers on base go armed?