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May 19, 2008

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So Who Knows? Politics, Presidents, and the Second Amendment

I feel obliged, as the presidential race becomes somewhat clearer, to weigh in with whatever semi-useful insights I have.

* Hillary is apparently finished as a presidential candidate. This is good news for us. All her Second Amendment b.s. aside, she despises guns and gun owners. A friend of mine at the National Shooting Sports Foundation ranks her and Chuck Schumer as the two senators who hate the Second Amendment most.

* Barack Obama doesn't hate guns or gun owners, but he doesn't see why there should be guns or gun owners, and would vote for any anti-gun law that landed on his desk. He might consider special exemptions for bitter rural people, but who knows?

* John McCain this past week went to the NRA Convention and revealed what a hell of a pro-gunner he is. However, if John McCain thought it would win him the election, he would go to the NRA and eat his grandchildren at the General Members' Meeting. The temptation, therefore, is to assume that McCain is just shining us on; however, he has the uncomfortable habit of speaking the truth every now and then.

* On the other hand, when he does this, he immediately panics and changes his story. So who knows?

* In 2009, Congress will almost certainly be controlled by Democrats.

* However, Congress will remain just as gutless and feckless as it was under the Republicans. So who knows?

* The Supreme Court decision on the Second Amendment is due next month. Any laws proposed by Congress will have to take into account what the Supremes say, pro or con. So who knows?

I am going off to look at photos of Ms. Jaime Pressley.

--- In response to overwhelming demand, here is a photo of Ms. Jaime Pressly. Ms. Pressly has the power to cloud mens' minds. If you feel dizzy or faint, stop looking immediately and switch to a photo of Rosie O'Donnell until your system returns to normal.



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Forgot to add, the Ka-Bar was in a USMC sheath.


I tend to view civil liberties -- gun rights included -- as an interrelated whole. When a president imperils any civil liberty, he imperils them all. A nation that's grown numb to being spied on, having its privacy egregiously invaded and the having its Constitution generally flouted is at greater risk of losing its gun rights.

Moreover, two specific conditions consistently lend license to politicians to usurp power from citizens: economic crisis and war. The Great Depression birthed FDR's federal "alphabet soup" bureaucracy and the culture of victimhood and helplessness that it has begotten. And I hope I don't need to enumerate the ample instances of the government trouncing the Constitution in times of war, starting with the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and continuing on to the Patriot Act of 2001.

I therefore argue that our best bet to keep our guns -- and, more importantly, the right to use them as we see fit -- is to select the candidate we believe will best secure civil liberties as a whole, and, more indirectly, keep us out of war and off of economic shoals. Feel free to disagree.

I leave open the question of who among the likely candidates would best accomplish these ends and by what criterion we should decide that question.

When it comes strictly to guns, though, my money says we're safer than we think with either McCain or Obama. Both have a "bi-partisan" (that is, weasely) streak that drives them away from issues likely to cause a big ruckus, such as guns or abortion. Don't expect to see the status quo change much on those, no matter who is elected.

Oh, and to Dr. Ralph: Thanks for the tip on Ms.Pressly's name. It certainly improved my search results. I obtained even more, er, revealing results by turning off Google Image's "safe search."

jim in nc

Call my Pollyanna if you like (and I'm sure some of y'all can think of lots more colorful things than that), but I'm just not that scared about my gun rights. The Democratic majority in congress is made up of too many people like Jim Webb and Heath Shuler for either Hillary or Chuck to be able to do what they might want to do. Gun rights have simply become a radioactive issue--or non-issue. And if the Supremes come down in favor of a collective 2A right, then we'll be even safer. IMHO, the greater threat comes from those in the GOP who'd like to rape, sell off, privatize, and "develop " the environment til there's no place left to hunt or fish. Our guns will be safe, but what'll we do with them?


Just once I'd like to have a presidential election come along that has a candidate that I REALLY want to vote for instead of trying to keep the other one out. This thing of settling for the lesser of two evils is getting old. If the three stooges (with deepest apologies to Larry, Curly, and Moe Howard) running are the best that this country can find, we are in deep you-know-what.

Ralph the Rifleman

I vote for more babe pics.
Are you listening??

Jon R

I think the last four posts really sum up the election and gun rights issue correctly--as well as seconding Ralph the Rifleman's suggestion. It's all about civil liberties and economics that will make it safer for gun rights (Emmanuel); the GOP hasn't protected our present and future outdoor environments for the sake of sportsmen (Jim in nc); and I also am tired of having to choose the lesser of two evils! We have hundreds of millions of folks living in the USA--surely some good candidates can arise some years!(007)


I wonder how many anti-gun rights laws and ordinances can be repealed if the court decision goes (as it should) our way? After all the 2nd says "shall not be infringed", not may be "reasonably" limited.
Does the NRA have any plans to pursue this line in the event the Supreme Court delivers the verdict we expect?
A wholesale eradication of gun laws could be forthcoming in the wake of this if the NRA and CCRKBA work on enforcing the letter of the law.


Have to agree, to an extent, with Jim in MO; I am more concerned for our environmental future in this election than in any previous. The Republicans recent track record on the environment is abysmal. However I am not convinced that Obama will have any more success with it for many of the reasons mentioned above regarding his not taking a hard stance on any issue; he wiggles more than a teenage boy meeting the girlfriend's father for the first time!

I am not sure that McCain will be as terrible on the environment as this administration either.

Our biggest challenge is getting out of the hot war in Iraq in a sane way; that will be the single best thing we can do for the environment and energy costs anyway! The next thing is getting serious about alternatives to fossil fuels and to internal combustion engines as well. Standing up to Big Oil is something few politicians relish doing (Al Gore and Hilary actually do it better than most) but it needs to be done.

Yes having viable alternative candidates would be really good for We The People but unfortunately not for the 'Machine' which is predicated on being in control of the country regardless of which party is in the White House or has the majority in Congress. The 'Machine' is the money for campaigns, the sensorship of candidates which could truly damage 'It' and the true power in this country. Hence we are not likely to see real choices anytime soon, if ever, sad to say.


I am one of those,(although I am a member) who has come to believe that the NRA's best interest lies in the continuing fight between those for and those against in the fight for gun rights. The money they rake in by keeping this alive is just like getting money for cancer research, it's forever with no cure even looked for anymore.

Clay Cooper

Here is something from my archives that I save
Subject: Conservatives/Liberals
Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic
hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the
summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of
beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer.
These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals; and
2. Conservatives

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the
beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can
were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around
waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the
brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at
night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what
is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live
off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing
the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement.

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women.
The rest became known as girlie-men.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of
cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of
Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest,
most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are
symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer
white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like
their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard
liberal fare.

Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have
higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers,
personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group
therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still
provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo
cowboys, Polymer Science PhDs, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, Physicists, police officers, corporate executives,
athletes, Marines, and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers
and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans
are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals
remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They
crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of
trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history: It should be noted that a
Liberal may have a momentary urge to angrily respond to the above
before forwarding it. A Conservative will simply laugh and be so
convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be
forwarded immediately to other true believers and to more liberals
just to piss them off.

Clay Cooper

What else I got to share?

I’ll be BACK!

Clay Cooper

“It is my right to be uncommon...if I can; I seek opportunity...not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stole calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid; to think and act for myself; enjoy the benefits of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, This I have done, and this is what it means to be an American.”
-Dean Alfrange

Clay Cooper

“America has many more guns than England, and a lower violent crime rate. Switzerland has many more guns than Germany, and a lower violent crime rate. England had much less crime in 1900, when the nation had no gun laws, than it does in 2000, when England has some of the most repressive gun laws in Europe. Gun prohibition leads to boldness by criminals, and passivity by the innocent - and therefore to many more violent crimes committed against the innocent.”
-David B. Kopel, in an interview with Carlo Stagnaro for Zola Times 2000-Oct-23

Clay Cooper

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”
-Col. Jeff Cooper, from The Art of the Rifle

Clay Cooper

“We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
-Abraham Lincoln

Clay Cooper

“The broad principle that there is an individual right to bear arms is shared by many Americans, including myself. I'm of the view that you can't take a broad approach to other rights, such as First Amendment rights, and then interpret the Second Amendment so narrowly that it could fit in a thimble.”
-Senator Charles Schumer, D-NY, 2002-May-8 (http://www.senate.gov/~schumer/SchumerWebsite/pressroom/press_releases/PR00975.html)

Clay Cooper

“And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the right of resistance? Let them take arms...The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
-Thomas Jefferson

Clay Cooper

I'm done for now!

Mighty powerful stuff I must say, yet there are those that will over look the past.

Instead of lighting a candle, there are those that choose to curse the darkness instead!

Think about it, that’s the deference between Conservatives and liberals!!!!

Del in Ks

They just said on the news that Ted Kennedy has a malignant brain tumor. I loath the man but would not wish that on anyone except maybe Bin Laden.

Del in KS


You crack me up. There is some truth in what you said about libs and conservatives.


More art, less politics

Don't feel so obliged to share your political wisdom. For years, I have found pleasure and insight in your writings about guns and hunting, but you're really NOT obliged to write so voluminously about politics, especially since it's of no real purpose to your readers (being repetitous as it is, of your/NRA's basic unending stances. An occasional note will be enough. And it's really not fitting to simply "get something off your chest so often as you do, either).

By the way, every so often, a female actually reads your stuff, too.....

james t

pressly for president!

Will Becker

McCain is all we have let's face it. So David, how about more pictures of Jaimie?

Dave Petzal

To Unsigned, Presumably Female, Reader: I would be thrilled to avoid politics. It is dispiriting, to say the least. But the fact is that unless we are political, there will be be no guns. Great Britain is the shining example of what lies in store for us if we are not vigilant.

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