Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

The Difficulty Of Language In The Interpretation Of Trump’s View Of Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
8 months ago

There is no shortage of Trump supporters, here on this blog or elsewhere.  And there is no shortage of Trump detractors.  It occurs to me that sometimes language is a barrier to communication rather than the vehicle for it.

Trump might be engaging repeatedly in 3D chess, or he might not.  His art of the deal might be selling out your rights for his benefit, or it might not be.

But in either case, it must be remembered that his predilections are those of a Northeastern progressive, with certain conservative tendencies.  He isn’t a reliable, ideologically committed conservative, or a conservative (or libertarian) based on incorrigible principle.

The strata in which he communicates and flows is ever changing, a non-fixed, malleable, very unpredictable morass of ideas and statements.  The problem comes in because of the nature of language itself.  Language, as American philosopher Gordon H. Clark said, is comprised of words and sentences, all of which is designed as tags and signifiers to help one person communicate a thought to another.

When he says that he supports gun rights, he may not be saying the same thing you think you’re hearing.  Or in other words, gun rights to him means something different than gun rights to you.  It’s a safe bet that gun rights to him means submission to the authorities, full and complete, so that red flag laws wouldn’t be a problem to him.  He believes in no principle that would cause him to oppose red flag laws.

Likewise, the notion that anyone might need or want a stock is silly, and so given that there is no principle to which he can refer to oppose such a ban, he supported it.  His nomination of Barr for AG falls into the same category.  He liked what Barr had to say about the “witch hunt” to which Trump himself was subjected, and thus he will be the next AG.

Trump can appear in front of the NRA and say all sorts of things that sound as if he supports gun rights the way you support gun rights.  He isn’t lying.  he just sees things differently.  His entire world and life view is different.  But when you get past those tags that are supposed to communicate thoughts from one person to another, his ideas are far different from most real gun rights supporters.

You cannot listen to Trump on a pedestrian level, as a freshman in college.  You must understand the nature of language, how it differs from person to person, its potential lack of clarity, and how the tags that are words can be confused, misinterpreted, and misjudged, and thus become vehicles for communicating the wrong thoughts.  Language can be clear, but in order to make it so, the speaker and hearer must arrive at compatible definitions and use the care necessary to define thinking men and women.

Trump: “Take The Guns First, Go Through Due Process Second”

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 6 months ago

The Hill:

“I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers on school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

No, you didn’t go to sleep and imagine Trump being elected, only to wake and find out that you’re still in the Obama era.  Obama didn’t say that.  Trump did.

Wasn’t this the guy that was going to save the second amendment and root out the deep state, drain the swamp and make America great again?  Or was he just a temporary stop on the way to dystopia, a delay for getting ready for what we all know is coming?

See, the whole idea behind “due process” is that it happens first, not second.  It’s not due process if it happens out of sequence.  But he didn’t think very deeply about this before he said it.  It may be what he believes and feels, but it sounds so stupid that if he thought about it, he wouldn’t have actually said it.

And if he was more of a thinking man, he might have pondered the fact that no progressive is going to vote for him in the next election for being a gun controller, but he might just have alienated the very base that put him in office to begin with.  But remember his words during the debates: “Everything is negotiable.”  That apparently includes your  God-given rights.

You don’t have enough ammunition yet.  Neither do I.

Donald Trump: “I Always Carry A Gun”

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 7 months ago

The Fiscal Times:

“I always carry a weapon on me. If I’d been at the Bataclan or one of those bars, I would have opened fire. Perhaps I would have died, but at least I would have taken a shot. The worst thing is the powerlessness to respond to those who want to kill you,” he said.

Well now.  I don’t really know you Donald, and we don’t send each other Christmas cards.  I care what my readers do, and perhaps they care from time to time what I do.  But I don’t really care what you do.

But here’s what I do care about.  How much have you pressed those communists in New York to let your fellow citizens carry guns?  You know, those poor people who are left “powerless to respond” when gangsters and thugs rob, beat and kill them?  After all, you want to be the leader of the “free world,” so shouldn’t it matter whether you’ve spoken out in favor of the rights of those around you?

Oh, that’s right.  I guess you haven’t.  I recall that informative conversation you had with Field & Stream, where you said this.

I do have a gun, and I have a concealed-carry permit, actually, which is a very hard thing to get in New York … And, you know, I’m in New York City, so I have a concealed-carry permit, and I meant to tell you—I just wanted to point that out because it’s so hard to get, and it’s one of the hardest things you can get.

Okay.  It was all about you.  Never mind.  I’m back to where I started.  I don’t really care what you do.

Guns And The Terrorist “Loophole”

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 9 months ago

The Federalist:

Having overwhelmingly lost the public debate about whether the Obama administration’s Syrian refugee screening policy should be enhanced, Democrats have retreated to more comfortable rhetorical ground: demanding more gun control.

Their new secret weapon? A bill that would ban anyone whose name appears on a terror watch list from buying or possessing a firearm. The idea sounds reasonable enough until you dig into the details and realize that the proposed Democratic legislation is a shocking assault on the constitutional right to due process. What makes the proposal even worse is that the Democrats’ assault on due process isn’t necessary to accomplish what they say is their only goal: preventing “dangerous terrorists” from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm.

The new bill, which Democrats have dubbed the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015, gives the U.S. attorney general the authority to “deny the sale, delivery, or transfer of a firearm or the issuance of a firearms or explosives license or permit to dangerous terrorists.”

According to several Democratic sponsors of the bill, the proposed law would allow the attorney general to deny a criminal background check clearance to any individual whose name appears on the national terror watch list. The huge problem with this expansive new power is that there are precisely zero statutory criteria for inclusion on this massive list. In fact, when statutory authority for the centralized government database was first codified into law via the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress gave all authority for determining criteria for inclusion in the watch list to unelected, unaccountable government bureaucrats. If some faceless Beltway bureaucrat decides you might be a terrorist, then you’re a terrorist. End of story.

It gets even worse, though. If your name erroneously appears on that watch list, which as of 2013 included nearly 900,000 names, the Democrats’ proposed legislation renders you virtually powerless to find out why your name is on there, let alone to have it removed. And having your name erroneously or fraudulently added to that list isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.

In 2014, for example, Weekly Standard writer and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes was informed that somebody added his name to the Department of Homeland Security’s terrorist watch list. There is zero credible evidence that he has any ties whatsoever to terrorism or to any terrorist organizations. Yet, under the Democrats’ new bill, he and everyone else who is erroneously listed would be banned from ever purchasing or possessing a firearm. Hayes’ apparent crime was traveling overseas for a cruise. Hayes is not alone. Each year, thousands of names end up on the terror watch list for no good reason whatsoever.

Under the Democrats’ proposal, the government doesn’t have to tell you why your name is on the list. The proposed law allows the government to keep that information secret. And if you decide to take the government to court over it, the Democrats’ bill creates a brand new legal standard that tilts the scales of justice against you.

Unlike a standard criminal trial, in which a jury must decide beyond a reasonable doubt whether you have violated a criminal law, under this proposed law the government must only show a preponderance of evidence–evidence which will almost certainly be redacted–in order to strip you of your Second Amendment right to defend yourself and your family from terrorists …

Read the rest by Sean Davis.  The whole thing is a very bad idea for increased federal government surveillance and control, except it’s on steroids.  In this case, the federal leviathan would use this bill, if passed, as a tool to circumvent due process rights.

As I have said before:

I’m a Christian who believes abortion is murder, who supports secession, who has a negative view of the U.N., who stockpiles ammunition (as his budget allows), who believes in the right to bear arms, who is deeply concerned about immigration (and not just illegal immigration), who believes in the militia, who opposes the “new world order,” who believes that Islam is a fairy tale concocted by an evil pedophile for the purpose of keeping his roving band of murderers and thugs together, who believes that the American way of life is under attack and has been for a very long time …

I am either on such a list or should be, according to the federal leviathan who wants to control the souls of all of its subjects.  As for really bad people who should purchase guns, Form 4473 should stop that, in specific question 11k.  And if terrorists aren’t in the country illegally, then what’s the real problem here?  Me and the rest of America, or our open border policies?

Oh, and gosh, looky here at just who in the GOP field of candidates likes the idea of a database of “terrorists who aren’t allowed to buy guns?”  You guessed it.  It’s Trump.  Why do you need a database if you are going to seal the borders and make everyone go home like Trump claims?  ‘Nuff said.


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