1022 is back again

“House Resolution 1022”:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1022 Back with a vengeance.

Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) is out for blood as she has reintroduced the so call “Assault Weapons Ban”, which she says is “to reauthorize the assault weapons ban, and for other purposes.” So why do I care? Well most friends wouldn’t wonder that, but I thought I’d list a few things out.

First off, let’s see what an assault rifle is. “This Blogger”:http://www.bootsandsabers.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/the_new_assault_weapon_ban/ gives a nice little breakdown of the what the bill defines as an assault weapon. Basically, the main definitions include a lot of cosmetic details that people see in movies, and think must be important for a gun to be dangerous. Does the Rep introducing the bill even understand? “View this video to find out”:http://youtube.com/watch?v=D9wxzmBW2fs . That’s right, the lady admits she doesn’t even know what the barrel shroud is, and admits the bill isn’t the best.

As for pistol grips on a rifle, I get really upset. I enjoy having this style of grip, why? Because my normal trigger finger was shattered as a teenager, and I have less movement with it, so I fire with a different finger, and a standard rifle inhibits my ability to shoot. So should I make an argument that this bill is anti-disability? In a way it is, because part of the text of the law goes on to describe that merely the existence of a kit to modify a gun to have these features makes that gun banned. That’s right, if you own a Ruger 10/22 (one of the most popular rifles ever produced) you will never be able to sell it, because of the existence of barrel shrouds, folding stocks, foregrips, and because it has an *evil* detachable magazine.

Many people contest that this ban should be ok, because what person would want a gun like that? What use does it have? Actually, quite a bit. The law is so broad that it bans guns of every type. Even your most common Scout range .22, to the most popular hunting and competition target rifles are included. Every semi-automatic shotgun, most non revolver pistols.

This bill would ban:
* Every gun that was modified to comply with the Clinton ban
* Most of the most popular hunting rifle styles
* Guns with _”any characteristic that can function as a grip.”_ (lawyers will have fun with that)
* WWI and WWII era carbines, unless rendered inoperable
* Any gun the attorney general claims is not “Sporting” (yes, up to the current attorney general to decide, no elected oversight)

Any of these guns (the vast majority that exist) could cause a penalty of “at least 10 years” in jail, followed by fines, confiscation of property, etc. Just being charged for violation would cause all weapons to be confiscated, without return!
Please “read up on the law, and some resources about it here”:http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Assault_Weapons_Ban_and_Law_Enforcement_Protection_Act_of_2007, and follow up with your representative.

Why is it the people most champion civil rights seem to be the first to want to remove your ability to keep them?

Hypocritical Venezuela

It will come as no surprise to those that know me that I am not exactly a supporter of Hugo Chavez, the current leader of Venezuela. The man believes himself to be a new Simon Bolivar, and is a very outspoken critic of George Bush, often making extreme claims of how George Bush is planning some form of attack against his country. The man often makes claims of how America is a failing democracy and that only he is leading “the people” in a new leftist revolution.

However, for a good example of how he controls his “People’s Movement”, check out this article discussing “Chavez’s repression of speech”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5755-2005Mar27.html

This is the same guy who felt it was his right to smack-talk the US while in New York. Of course he was here with one of his other well know democratic leaders, Ahmadinejad.

AARRGGHH… IDIOTS!

Fun with the media

So the white house is looking for a new Press Secretary, let me suggest the best candidate for the job, “Ann Coulter”:http://anncoulter.com/cgi-local/welcome.cgi

Can you imagine just how much fun that would be? Most media outlets have been sending the snottiest, most annoying whiners to review the white house for years, turning the average question into more of a political grandstand than useful information gathering. Imagine with Ann to give the responses it would level things out for the current administration, and make the session worthwhile to people besides those in attendance.

Ashdown

As all the local geeks are aware, “Pete Ashdown”:http://www.pashdown.org/ is running against the incumbent “Orrin Hatch”:http://www.orrin2006.com/ for US Senate. It’s not like every local group hasn’t been chatting about this for a while. While really wanting to vote for him, I can’t be positive yet, as I still have questions for him. But that’s one of the great things it seems about Pete, not only is he willing to talk to geeks like us, he’s going out of his way to do it. He’s been scheduling with every Linux group in Utah, and making time to answer real questions (yes, many extra bonus points there, and he already had a lot).

One thing we’d really like though, is the chance to actually get a similar discussion with Senator Hatch. We geeks represent a group that has a *lot* of questions about decisions he’s been promoting, and it just seems fair to give him a chance to own up to why he’s been saying what he has. But how to we get him to talk to us, and even better, with Pete Ashdown at the same time. If anybody has any contacts, the local LUG leaders would like to arrange a multi-group meeting, which could bring in the numbers that could interest them. Pete is more than willing to talk with us, is Orrin?

Personally, I would have really enjoyed it if “Steve Urquhart”:http://www.steveu.com/blog/index.html had stayed in the race, although I can see how he would have had trouble kicking Orrin out of the Primary. But Pete has a *lot* going in his favor in my opinion, and it would take some strong opinions on major issues to be able to push my vote back towards Orrin.

Online Freedom of Speech

Nice little writeup about a new bill by Senator Bill Frist, “Online Freedom of Speech Act”:http://www.volpac.org/index.cfm?FuseAction=Blogs.View&Blog_id=210&BlogComment_id=13759 . While this should be obvious in our county, many people and groups have been attempting to get legislation that limits what you can say online. Bad idea! The internet, even beyond this now popular ‘blog thing’ is a great leveler in terms of letting people voice whatever harebrained opinions they have. Let it stay that way.

Winter Olympics

I love the Olympics, but there are things that often irk me, usually sports that are critiqued on artistic levels by same lame judges. Still, I think the Olympics can stand for the best in sportsmanship and great achievements.

Apparently Bryant Gumbel feels differently about the winter games. Seems they aren’t sports, or worthwhile ones, because there are “no black athletes”:http://newsbusters.org/node/4057 . Of course, it plays along with the ‘no blacks are Republicans’ mantra.. C’mon people, this shouldn’t even be an issue.

Sure, I’ll admit I really don’t see curling as an interesting sport, worth my time. And yes, I think less of the grading of a lot of events. But I still respect what people put into them. And even if I dont’ care to watch the judging of figure skating, I still absolutely respect their talents.

A picture is worth a thousand threats

I was going to write this yesterday, but some stuff came up (will describe later)

So the world is aflame over still over the pictures published in a danish newspaper. And low and behold some European newspapers had the nerve to reprint them. Most of Europe doesn’t know what to do, caught between the the ideals of free speech, and multiculturalism. Anyways, I said a little on that the other day, but wanted to follow up with some links on the subject. Read more to get them.

Image Problem

“Cox & Forkum”:http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/000768.html have a nice comic making fun of the current uproar that some of the muslim community has about a danish newspaper doing performing the _heinous_ act of actually drawing pictures of mohammad/muhammad/mahamat/etc.