Think Free, Live Free

An intellectual and visceral examination of all things free, with a healthy emphasis on the right of free men to own arms.

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Location: Macon, Georgia, Southeast United States

Co-founder of the Mercer Law School Second Amendment Society and fan of freedom at home and abroad. Admirer of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Ronald Reagan. Detester of political correctness and the false dogma it imposes. Not entirely as vain as this profile sounds.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

War on Individuals?

Just in case you hadn't caught it yet, this is how the Left in this country and around the world views the "individual."

"At a time when our entire country is banding together and facing down individualism, the Patriots set a wonderful example, showing us all what is possible when we work together, believe in each other, and sacrifice for the greater good."
-Sen. Ted Kennedy, statement on the Super Bowl victory of the Patriots, Feb. 4, 2002.
(emphasis added)
can be found on Sen. Kennedy's own website: http://www.senate.gov/~kennedy/statements/02/02/2002206351.html

You can figure out that the Left doesn't like "individuals" just from looking at their policies: Government controlled retirement and medicine, no firearms in the hands of people so there is no right to self defense, hostility to private schools (vouchers), high confiscation rate of private property (taxes), labor unions (the "group" makes decisions), regulation of business and economy, etc.
I am grateful to Sen. Kennedy for coming out and saying something that we can all figure out but is rarely admitted.

This "war on individualism" that Sen. Kennedy has admitted to is one of the greatest threats to freedom in this country. The United States is different because it was founded on individual liberties, not subjugation of the one for the many. Who decides what is "good" for the many? If you cannot respect the rights, dreams, and desires of one person, how can you even pay lip service to the rights, dreams, and desires of many people? It takes a high level of hubris to assume that you know what everyone needs and desires.

Think Free, Live Free,
C.A.G.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Pro-Gun Bill Signed in Kansas

The Gov. of Kansas signed a bill that simplifies some of the states' gun laws. Hopefully KS will take the next step and get concealed carry soon. Victories like this keep expanding and protecting our rights and wasting our opposition's time. The Brady people were rather opposed to this bill I think.
http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/legislature/11410009.htm

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Constitution in Exile

The Volokh Conspiracy blog has an ongoing and quite interesting series of posts about the New York Times' descovery of the Constitution in Exile movement, which according to The Conspiracy, doesn't exist.
learn here:
http://volokh.com/posts/chain_1104346631.shtml

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Legislative Update

Anyone can get a list of firearms related legislation currently in either house of Congress by going to this webpage: http://thomas.loc.gov/ and searching "firearms."
Bills of interest were relatively few early in the legislative session but now there is plently going on. The anti-gun block of Senators has introduced a bill to reauthorize the Assault Weapons Ban, S 645. In the good news category there is a bill in the House to restore firearms rights to the District of Columbia, HR 1288. In addition, a national concealed carry reciprocity bill is in the House, HR 1243, and the gun industry civil immunity bill has been reintroduced in both houses, S 397 and HR 800. Interested parties should contact their representatives in Washington to epxress support for the pro-gun bills.

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

One Great Idea

Arizona will now allow school students to take a class in marksmanship. Schools can offer a class in marksmanship (and actually shoot a rifle) as well as request training from the state Game and Fish Dept. I am incredulous that this law passed the State Senate without opposition. It is a refreshing idea as well: teach youths responsibility and safety while letting them exercise what they have learned. I am shocked that anything like this got by a legislature in this day and age, but I guess this means there is hope.
http://www.kold.com/Global/story.asp?S=3195702

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Ohio CCW's First Birthday

Ohio's concealed carry law is one year old. This anniversary passed without the doom and gloom so direly predicted by the gun control advocates in the state of my birth. There were fewer permits issued than were expected however. Gun control types tried to say that meant that the law doesn't represent the true majority of Ohioans. That is like saying that a law establishing a public park doesn't represent the majority of the people unless a majority of them visit the park. Or that corporations law doesn't represent everyone because only a small amount of people form corporations. Concealed carry in today's United States is policy decision that many legislatures have wisely made in the past couple decades, and everyone doesn't have to carry a gun for everyone to reap the benefits. The fact that criminals don't know who has a gun benefits everyone, and I feel sorry for everyone who walks around in fear of the people who got trained and applied for a permit. They need to be worried about the criminals who want to prey on them and every other peaceful citizen. And, they could always move to Chicago, where "civilized" folks don't carry guns, just cops, criminals, and politicians.

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.
(http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050409/NEWS01/504090342)
(Spotted on www.keepandbeararms.com )

Friday, April 08, 2005

Collective Rights Logic Refuted Part 1

The collective rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment says that the amendment grants the states the right to maintain militias. It denies the right of individuals to own arms. Sometimes collective rights theorists discuss the right of individuals to bear arms in connection with a state run militia. Since there aren't too many of those running around, we know what kind of "right" that creates.
Lets look at one version of the collective rights theory: the 2nd Amendment grants states the right to maintain militias, not individuals the right to own arms.
Fine, well, doesn't the Constitution talk about state militias? It does!
Why would the drafters of the Constitution write provisions into that document allowing the states the maintain militias and then later, when they come up with 10 extra special rules to go along with the Constitution, make rule #2 a redundant provision? Good question.
Why would the drafters of the Bill of Rights place in the #2 spot in that document an amendment that means nothing to individuals, surrounded by other amendments that apply to individuals?
Yes, it is true the 10th Amendment reserves rights to the states (and the people), but the 2nd Amendment refers to "the people." Why would the drafters write "the people" when they meant states?
No matter how many word games you play with "militia" and "people" and "arms," the collective rights interpretation still renders an entire amendment to the Constitution null and void. Probably not what the founders had in mind...

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Second Amendment Scholarship

I ran across the Second Amendment Research Center at the John Glenn Insitute at Ohio State University a couple of weeks ago. http://secondamendmentcenter.org/
Recently I was reading on a couple of other blogs (http://armsandthelaw.com/ and http://geekwitha45.blogspot.com) and was alerted to a connection between the Second Amendment Research Center and the anti-gun Joyce Foundation. Geekwitha45 has an explanation of Joyce in his blog. (Recommended reading)

Observe this exerpt from the Glenn Institutes' press release: http://www.glenninstitute.org/glenn/news_details.asp?id=109
:::::The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, drafted more than 200 years ago, is generating new controversy as courts struggle to determine whether the Amendment grants individuals the right to own guns or merely protects the states' right to organize a militia. The United States Supreme Court seemed to endorse the latter interpretation during the 1930s, and most courts had adopted that view. But now a number of test cases -- building on some recent scholarship, a Court of Appeals decision, and the Justice Department's new policy -- are working their way through the federal courts. The Supreme Court may address the issue during the next few years. :::::::

italics mine

The release states that the Supreme Court "seemed" to adopt the collective rights view. "Seems" to me like the individual rights view faces a threat from scholarship that "seems" to be unbiased and neutral, but is in fact bankrolled by an anti-gun organization. The press release says the Joyce Foundation gave a grant for the Research Center. The release also says that the "Research Center will also develop curriculum materials for high school, college, and graduate students. Ohio State will offer new interdisciplinary courses in the field, and high school teachers will learn how to incorporate Second Amendment materials in their courses. Cornell and Merritt stress that the Second Amendment debate is both inherently interesting to students and an excellent "case study" for understanding the ways in which courts interpret constitutional language and invalidate statutes adopted by a legislature."

Anti-gun scholars ARE going to try and shape the debate in schools. They know the collective rights view is in danger (example: the Justice Department memo, Emerson case) and they have take the offensive. They will do so posing as neutral scholars; the press release says that Research Center will present information from both sides of the issue. If anyone can find anything that "seems" pro-individual rights on the Research Center website, I'll give them a cookie.

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

American Legal Unrealism

Who do we have to thank for the current judicial activism bemoaned by many on both sides of the political spectrum? Well, none other than the hero of American law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and his friends, the American Legal Realists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_realism). Americal Legal Realism was a school of legal theory that began to take prominence in the early 20th century. Before that time, legislating from the bench, all so common today, was not the role courts took. Sure, there were some bad decisions, the Dred Scott case comes to mind, but we weren't to the point we are today.

American Legal Realists were mostly progressives. They liked redistributive economic policies, and were selfless protectors of civil rights. O.W. Holmes, Jr. was such a defender of the people that he voted to uphold the state mandated sterilization of retarded individuals. See Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927). Okay, so the American Legal Realists weren't that interested in people's rights, just in socialist economics and allowing judges the freedom to implement policies that they deemed necessary.

Some American Legal Realists wanted to infuse other areas of scholarship, mainly sociology, with law. Mixing sociology and law is like taking a magical trip to a place where fairness is only accomplished when the wealth of the hard working has been distributed to the many and people are made to feel good about themselves and absolved of responsibility for their lives. In other words, its a scary place.

American Legal Realism cast doubt on the importance of rules and facts, instead placing the importance on judges. This lead to a morally relative grey area where judges are expected to make the best decision for everyone. Their stated goal was to make law more predictable by focusing on what the judge will do. Unfortunately, giving judges the power to decide what is best based on their whims is hardly the most predictable system.

This theory reminds me of today's progressives telling us in warm and fuzzy soundbites how nice our Constitution is because it is a living, breathing document. What relevance does a changing Constitution have besides functioning as an authorizing document for the Government of the day? American Legal Realism and a "living Constitution" stray far from what our founding fathers imagined for our legal system.

"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." --Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. ME 10:419

Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.

Monday, April 04, 2005

T.J.

Grand Opening

This post is the opening salvo in Think Free, Live Free's outright assault on liberalism, laziness, and the lies of political correctness. Most posts will focus on the right to keep and bear arms, my area of activism. This blog is inspired by a few basic postulates. Those who disagree with these rules will in most cases find this blog an insipid rant by a crazed lunatic, and if this is what you are thinking right now, feel free to take your leave from this place and back to the politically correct world where came from. Here are the rules:
1. The police cannot protect you. They only have to clean up the mess. You must protect yourself.
2. Free people own (or can own) arms. History shows that when someone wants to completely control a population, they deprive that population of the means of defense.
3. People create more (money, goods, art, etc.) when left alone. Redistributive economics is a sure way to let everyone be poorer.
Think Free, Live Free
C.A.G.