Friday, March 21, 2014

The Cutting edge of Freedom

Whatever your views of personal security and freedom, it’s worth considering that other people may not share your concerns, plans and opinions. I recently attended a meeting at a local company where we all had to fill in a paper ballot for a vote. The ballot slip was on the bottom of a piece of photocopy paper and had to be filled in and then torn off the sheet and handed in. I folded my piece of paper and then used my Spyderco folding knife with 3 ¼ inch serrated blade to neatly separate the ballot slip from the sheet.
I got a few general comments from other people in the room questioning if the knife was legal; what a big and dangerous blade it had; asking why I carry a knife and whether it was permitted on company premises. I defused the situation by making a joke out of it and saying that I carry a folder because carrying scissors would be silly.
However, here’s the more serious problem: Some people regard objects that may be used in a dangerous manner as always dangerous, regardless of the skill, intelligence, morality and maturity of the person in charge of that object. As a society, we are losing our ability to judge individual situations and behavior on their merits. Instead, we dumb down everything to the lowest common denominator.  There is a saying that I believe originated in the old East Germany back when it was a part of the Soviet Union: “everything which is not allowed (by the government) is forbidden."
There is an underlying sentiment that everything is forbidden unless it is specifically allowed. If this is the way we want our society to function, then it should be made clear who has the authority to make good decisions and why they are so much better at making good and appropriate decisions than the individual citizen.
I choose to carry a knife because it’s a valuable tool that I use in a responsible, lawful and appropriate way. I resent having to explain that to my colleagues who don’t understand the way that a free and open society operates.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Founding father Benjamin Franklin from his Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 26, 2013

More information on electronic car keys

In my 8/19/13 post about my problem with electronic car keys, I did not realise that the car will only start by pressing the button if the car keys are actually close to the car. So, it would not be possible for a thief to simply press the button and start the car if the keys were not present. Thanks to Andy for pointing this out. of course, it still leaves the problem that if the doors cannot be locked due to an electrical fault in the system, any items can still be stolen from the vehicle. Thanks again, Andy for the correction.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Problems with Car Keys

I recently rented a car from one of the large car rental companies. It was a late model, mid-size auto with the usual keyless electronic door lock system. Inside, instead of the traditional key activated ignition, there was a button that you press to start the engine. I drove to my hotel, got out of the car and tried to lock all the doors with the key fob. The doors would not lock. I tried to lock them manually, but when one door locked, another unlocked. Finally, I called the 800 number for customer support and was advised that there was a fault in the system and that I’d have to return the car to the rental place and get a different vehicle, which is what I did. The real problem was that since the ignition was activated by a button, and not with a key, anyone could have climbed into the driver’s seat, started the car and driven away. 

I admit, I’m not a big fan of electronic gizmos, and this is part of the reason. Why would a car designer not include some sort of manual override to insure that the vehicle is secure when the owner (or renter in my case)  is away? In future, I’ll ask for a rental car with a standard keyed ignition. At least I’ll have improved the odds in my favor a little bit of not coming back to an empty parking space where my rental ought to be.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The American Flag

I am the American flag. The Stars and Stripes. Old Glory. I am thirteen stripes, seven red alternating with six white to represent the original 13 colonies, with a white star on a blue background for each state. The colors are also those of the British and French flags; two countries that, in their own way each contributed to the birth of a new American nation, the likes of which had never been seen before. Over the years, more and more stars have been added to me, but not one has ever been taken away.

I have been carried by troops in every war from the Revolutionary war, Civil war, the war to end all wars, the war after that one, Korea, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been carried by athletes, by mountaineers, skydivers, on suit lapels and leather motorcycle jackets; I’ve even been carried into space and planted on the Moon. I have been carried on seas and oceans around the world and to the bottom of Pearl Harbor. I have flown at the Olympics, The White House, every state Capitol in the Union, school graduations, Boy Scout camps and NASCAR races. I have been trodden underfoot or burned by foreign dissenters and enemies of my country as well as Americans expressing their opinions. I have lain, draped over the coffins of those who can no longer salute me. I have flown at half mast to signify respect and remembrance for those who can no longer carry me in their hearts or hands. 

There are many flags in the world, each with their own story, each one unique. But I am not them and they are not me; for I am the American Flag.

© copyright John Higgs, 2013 Distribution for non-commercial use only.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Leader of the Colorado senate faces a recall

Here's an update to my April 4 post about some Colorado politicians facing a recall by their constituents because they supported gun control legislation at the state level. Senate President John Morse could be an ex-Senator soon. It seems that supporters of his recall had no trouble raising the required 7200 signatures from Senator Morse's constituents. In fact, they raised a whopping 16,000 signatures! Now those signatures must be verified by the Secretary of State to be sure enough of them are valid. If there are enough valid signatures the Senator will have the option of stepping down--in which case the Democrat party would appoint a new senator to fill the remainder of Morse's term of office, or if he doesn't resign, the governor would call a special election for Morse's senate seat. Obviously, when the senator adopted an anti-Second Amendment position, he didn't consider the large number of pro-freedom voters in his constituency.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Talking on Armed American Radio About the Murder of a British Soldier in London

Last weekend I was on Armed American Radio with my friend, host Mark Walters and guest Rob Pincus discussing the despicable murder of a British soldier in SE London in a terrorist attack by two men with knives, a gun and a meat cleaver.

Here's the link to listen to the first hour of the show and part of the second hour:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Recalls of Politicians Who Support Gun Bans

Following Colorado's latest gun legislation bills, which the governor has signed into law, it looks like the recall of politicians who support gun control is beginning.

 Basically, a recall is the procedure by which a public official may be removed from office by popular vote. It usually means that the elected official has failed in a big way to represent the people who elected the official and that a sufficient number of the electorate feel  the official should not complete their term in office (and be defeated in the next election), but should be recalled as soon as possible by a vote of the electorate in that official's voting district.

Leader of the Colorado Senate, John Morse is one legislator that gun owners are eying for a recall. Read the full story by clicking here. In addition, recalls are planned for State Rep. Mike McLachlan, both are Democrats.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Colorado Democrats Push Gun Bans in the Legislature

I spent Friday sitting in the gallery listening to the Colorado  Senate debating seven different gun bills. I had to leave while #6  (magazine ban over 15 rounds) was being debated, but the first five bills passed the committee along party lines with democrats voting for and republicans voting against. Interestingly, voice votes were (in my opinion and in the opinion of those sitting around me)  too close to call, but the Dem chairperson passed them anyway. The Assault Weapons Ban bill was held over until next week for debate. As the wording of the bill stands right now, it classifies all semi-auto rifles that use a detachable magazine (including .22 rimfire) as assault weapons. It bans any magazine over 15 rounds capacity, although the wording implies that any magazine that has a detacheable floorplate and that could accept an extender to increase the capacity over 15 rounds would also be banned. This means a de facto ban on any magazine with a removeable floorplate.

One win for the pro-freedom side: The magazine ban on tubular shotgun magazines was changed from a limit of 8 rounds, to a magazine length of 28 inches. Not surprisingly, the bill's author did not know that shotgun shells run in size from the short Aguila rounds to the 3 1/2 inch magnums     (2 3/4 and 3 inch lengths being the most popular.) A big "thank you" goes to gun rights activist and legal eagle David Kopel for helping her to rewrite that part of the bill and bring a tiny piece of common sense to a bad bill that will likely pass.

A big thank you goes to Colorado magazine manufacturer Magpul for supporting gun rights and standing firm on their comittment to leave the state if the magazine ban passes. Other local Colorado companies who supply Magpul testified that their businesses will be badly affected by Magpul leaving (further reducing employment and revenue in the state), but they all blamed the bill, and nobody blamed Magpul for their decision.

There was a long discussion about how  business and revenue in Colorado will be being adversly affected by the anti-gun bills. An Outdoors/hunting video production company stated they are pulling plans to video hunting in Colorado because the universal background check bill has such draconian requirements. They risk breaking the (proposed) law if a firearm is passed around from crew to presenters to hunters during filming! That's about a million dollars lost to the state, not including revenue from hotels, restaurants, gas stations etc. In fact, many out of state hunters could break the proposed backgound check law by carrying a rifle on the hunt that they borrowed from a friend or relative.

Yesterday, republican senators who made comments during their speeches about specific gun ban bills criticizing   the Democrats  for not standing up to the Mayor Bloomberg (New York)  initiated legislation were chastized by the Democrat Chair. So much for free speech!

Last week at the House Committee hearings, I heard a Magpul employee tearfully testify that if the bill passes she
will have to decide between leaving Colorado and splitting up her family (two kids in college here)  or staying in Colorado and losing her job--her husband and another family member also work for Magpul. The reply from one of the Democrat female committee members was, "Talk to your employer." That was a nasty, egotistical comment for an elected official to make to a constituent.
We all know what happens when you give teenage boys whiskey and car keys. We are about to see what happens when you give left-wing politicians Bloomberg Kool-Aid and a majority in both Colorado legislatures.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gun Control bills threaten green, environmentally friendly non-gun businesses

The current round of gun control bills working their way through the Colorado legislature include a ban on ammunition magazines with a capacity greater than fifteen rounds. Magpul is a Colorado based company that makes top quality magazines for the AR-15/M4/M16 series of civilian and military rifles. Magpul has already said that the company will leave Colorado and set up in a gun-friendly state if the magazine ban becomes law.

Today, I was talking to the owner of a local recycling business. They accept computer hardware among other recyclables and disassemble the items into their base components: plastic, steel, aluminum, etc. and then sell the raw materials. Their biggest supplier of donated plastic scrap is Magpul. The recycling guy told me that if Magpul leaves Colorado, he will not have enough raw material to keep his business running, and will be forced to close down. I counted six employees while I was there.

Every committee vote so far in the Colorado legislature has been passed along party lines--Democrats voting for, Republicans voting against. Do you think any of those Democrats realize--or even care--that their attacks on the lawful use of firearms by law-abiding citizens also costs Green jobs in an already weakened economy?