Friday, July 27, 2012

You might be a Baptist if...

Slightly Bitter Baptist productions presents:

You might be a Baptist if...

- Your churches doctrine can fit on a bumper sticker

- The pastor's name is written on your church sign in dry erase marker

- Your church has a "Committee on Teams and Committees"

- Your church has "Bible" in the name

- Your church is non-denominational

- Instead of a new members class you just have a potluck

- You've never fasted

- Your pastor wears waders when baptizing people

- Half the men in your church are named "John"

- The painting behind the baptismal involves a waterfall or a lighthouse

- Contrary to popular belief, Jesus actually turned the water into welches grape juice

- You either think drums are evil and so don't have any, or you think they are permissible, but not profitable, so you lock your drummer in transparent a box.

- Your church has hymnals but never uses them

- The earth is 6000 years old because Reasons

- You think Catholicism is a cult

- During your churches' Super Bowl party you don't show the commercials because of beer advertising. But you have a designated sinner watch them so you don't miss any of the game.

- Funerals, Weddings, Graduations, Birthdays and Going Away Parties are all celebrated with potluck dinners.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

In response to David Frum

Just today CNN posted an article written by David Frum. He begins:
There will be no new gun laws after the Aurora shooting for the basic reason that the American people do not want them.
Over the past 20 years, support for gun control has collapsed in the United States.
 Yes and thank God for that! People have begun to realize that gun control does not work.
Three-quarters of Americans want to keep the right to own handguns, weapons whose only function is to kill human beings at close range. ... Responding to public opinion, states have loosened gun laws to allow citizens to carry weapons with them almost anywhere they go.
Yes, and what has been the result of this proliferation of handguns? I'll let Mr. Frum answer:
The overall violent crime index has tumbled by one-third since the early 1990s. The worst crimes -- murder and rape -- have declined even more. American citizens are safer today from crime than at almost any time since record-keeping began, very likely safer than at any time in the history of the country.
Soooooo, I fail to see the problem?
In the mid-2000s, when crime rates were declining fast, almost 70% of Americans wrongly said that crime rates had risen over the past year. What force on earth could convince Americans that down is up? The most powerful force of all: television.
Hey cool, I hate TV too! Hey David we should totally hang out some time. But seriously folks, turn off the dang TV. You'll thank me later.

TV news creates a false picture of a country under attack by rampaging criminals, and especially nonwhite criminals. The people who watch the most TV news, Americans older than 50, also happen to be the group most likely to own a gun.
Oh, OK. I see his point now. He's about to accuse gun owners of being old, white racists. How original.

Only one-fifth of young Americans own a gun; one-third of over-50 Americans do. Republicans are twice as likely to own a gun as Democrats. Maybe not so coincidentally, Republicans are more likely to watch the scariest news channel of them all: Fox. Whites are twice as likely to own a gun as nonwhites -- and it may also not be a coincidence that gun purchases have suddenly spiked since November 2008.
Ok, David, I take back my invitation. But Mr. Frum isn't done yet, he's about to assure us that everything is A-Okay and you can go ahead and turn in your guns to the nearest police station because you definitely don't need them.
The police can protect you, and will, and do.
FALSE. Big. Fat. Stinking. Lie. See Warren vs. DC and Castle Rock vs. Gonzales. Both cases ruled that the police are under no obligation to protect individual citizens. The police are there to deter and to arrest perpetrators after the fact, not to protect you.
And a gun in the house is not a guarantee of personal security -- it is instead a standing invitation to family tragedy.
The vast majority of gun owners are realists, we know there is no such thing as a guarantee of personal safety. We do know that a gun is the great equalizer, it enables the weak to defend against the strong, the one against the many. It levels the playing field and gives us a fighting chance to survive when the bad guys decide to come knocking. Only an improperly secured gun is a tragedy waiting to happen.
In the land of the Second Amendment, nobody will take your guns away.
Ha! Tell that to the people of New Orleans. Or have you not hear about the Great New Orleans Gun Grab? The book is worth picking up, but for those of you who don't want to read it check out some videos here.
But if you love your children, you should get rid of them voluntarily.
NO. If you love your children you teach them how to defend themselves! If you love your children you teach them gun safety so that they know that guns aren't toys, and that when they are at little billy's house and he finds his dad's gun not to play with it! If you love your children you teach them how to survive and thrive in the real world, you don't shelter them from things that are unpleasant.

Sorry David Frum, but if people follow your advice, they will get killed. Yes America is safer than ever before, we also have more armed civilians walking the streets than ever before. This is not an accident. Concealed carry makes things much more dangerous for criminals. My gun protects you, even if I've never met you, because the criminals don't know its on my hip and not yours.

Though, he still gets some points for telling you to stop watching TV.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Police Force

Awhile back the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that citizens do not have the right to defend themselves from law enforcement officers behaving illegally. The ruling was such that were you to walk in on a law enforcement officer raping your wife, the only thing you could legally do would be to sue him after the deed was done. This was clearly an unacceptable situation.

Enter the NRA, just recently Indiana's legislator passed a NRA backed bill that added language to Indiana's Castle Doctrine that that explicitly allows a citizen to use force against a "public servant" if the citizen "reasonably believes" that the officer is acting illegally and if the force is necessary to prevent "serious bodily injury." This is a rather narrow definition, but a much needed one. wrote an article about this law, and I'd like to comment on parts of it. Give it a read first, and then come back here and lets discuss it!

The article starts out with a very small amount of background and then the police response: “If I pull over a car and I walk up to it and the guy shoots me, he’s going to say, ‘Well, he was trying to illegally enter my property,’” said Hubbard, 40, who is president of Jeffersonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 100.

The Fraternal Order of Police are notoriously anti-gun rights, so this reaction doesn't surprise me at all. Hubbard construes the law as giving citizens the power to shoot police for pulling them over, but this is clearly not the case. "serious bodily injury" has a pretty strict legal definition and a police officer is well within the law to pull someone over. If the above scenario were to take place, the perpetrator would most likely be sentenced for murder.

"Among them is the Stand Your Ground self-defense measure in Florida, which generated nationwide controversy after the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Florida teenager."

Despite the media's best efforts to make the Zimmerman-Martin case about Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, that law has absolutely zero bearing on the case. Stand Your Ground simply removes one of the three requirements for claiming self defense as a defense against the legal charge of murder. The first two are 1) the defendant can not have instigated the fight and 2) the defendant must be in reasonable fear of his or her life. The third, nullified by Stand Your Ground, is that the defendant has a duty to make a reasonable attempt at retreat.

In the case of Zimmerman, one of two things happened. Either Zimmerman did indeed chase down Martin, as the popular media narrative goes, and instigated the fight, in which case he cannot claim self defense. Or, if Zimmerman's account is true, then Martin pushed Zimmerman to the ground and was on top of him when the shooting occurred, in which case retreat is impossible and Stand Your Ground matters not at all. So, either Mark Niquette over at Bloomberg did not do his research, or he's pushing the "Martin was murdered in cold blood" narrative. Either way, this is not truth in journalism.

Continuing we find: "It’s not clear under the law whether an officer acting in good faith could be legally shot for mistakenly kicking down the wrong door to serve a warrant, said state Senator Tim Lanane, the assistant Democratic leader and an attorney."

To which I say, good. I don't want police killed, and I'm not against police in general. But we give police great power over us, and with that power comes responsibility. And with responsibility comes consequences. Police make life and death decisions and they need to be held accountable to those decisions less they start to make them lightly. Kicking in the wrong door is a classic example. The number of people killed in wrong door no knock raids is legion, but it is very rarely that police ever face consequences for their mistakes. Even the ones that get innocent people killed.

So yes, I want kicking down a door to be risky. I want it to have consequences. Kicking down a door is a huge violation of civil liberty, if it is to be legal it must be so only under the strictest of circumstances. Kicking down the wrong door should be considered a sign of incompetence and cause for dismissing an officer from a swat team.

Further: "In Clay County, Indiana, outside Terre Haute, the Sheriff’s Department changed its procedures because of the law. Detectives in plain clothes and unmarked cars now must be accompanied by a uniformed officer on calls to homes, Sheriff Michael Heaton said."

Seems to me this should have been standard procedure in the first place.

"Hubbard, the officer in Jeffersonville, in southeastern Indiana, said the law causes him to second-guess himself."

Well then it's working.

"The law has changed Hubbard’s view of the NRA.

He said he has been “a proud member of the NRA for years,” and while he’s still a member and NRA firearms instructor, “the day I found out the NRA was pushing behind this bill was the day I became a not-so-happy NRA member.” "

Oh boo hoo. You love the NRA when it protects your rights, but you don't like it when it protects the rights of the ordinary citizens who have placed you in a position of authority over them? Your job is dangerous, you knew this when you signed up. If it is too dangerous for you then quit. In the mean time be careful how you use your power.