Democrats in Minnesota have introduced legislation that commands all “assault weapons” to be surrendered, destroyed, registered with the state, or removed from the state by September 1, 2013.
The bill (H. F. 241) defines an “assault weapon” as any semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, or rifle with a pistol grip, telescoping stock, or a thumbhole stock, as well as other arbitrary features.
The bill provides no means of compensation for the owners of any of these lawfully purchased firearms, and calls for the prosecution of those who fail to submit to state registration. Those who register their firearms will be subject to home inspections to assure proper storage.
The bill is authored by the following Constitution-shredding Democrats:
This affront on the 2nd Amendment, if enacted, will obviously have no effect on violent crime. However, Democrats in Minnesota have made it clear that they have no intention of discussing the effectiveness of their legislation.
The “Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011” (HR 347) may not be a particularly insidious piece of legislation in and of itself, but it does make it easier for the government to abuse it’s power.
To be clear, HR 347 did not create any new laws. It simply amended a trespass law originally passed in 1971.
That trespass law, still in effect, makes certain temporary locations restricted where individuals under Secret Service protection are present. Certain conduct within these restricted areas which would “disrupt the orderly conduct of Government,” is a criminal offense.
As the ACLU points out, the passage of HR 347 makes it easier for the government to convict these “disrupters”:
Under the original language of the law, you had to act “willfully and knowingly” when committing the crime. In short, you had to know your conduct was illegal. Under H.R. 347, you will simply need to act “knowingly,” which here would mean that you know you’re in a restricted area, but not necessarily that you’re committing a crime.
The president should be able to give a speech without being interrupted by protestors. But with every reasonable allowance, there is always the possibility that it can be abused.
Democrats keep saying they want to have a “discussion” on gun rights in order to pass “common sense” solutions to combat gun-violence.
So imagine my surprise when 5 Minnesota Democrats decided to march out during expert testimony from two firearms experts.
— Rob Doar (@robdoar) February 6, 2013
The presenter, Rob Doar, calmly, and rationally explained how the gun-control laws currently being proposed would needlessly outlaw cosmetic features which have no affect on the accuracy or rate of fire of the weapon.
Apparently, that was an inexcusable offense.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom, Rep. Shannon Savick, Rep. Dan Schoen, Rep. Erik Simonson, and Rep. Linda Slocum, all walked out of the room.
— Rob Doar (@robdoar) February 7, 2013
Perhaps Rep. Debra Hilstrom could have provided the insufferable presenter they invited with examples of all of the criminals inflicting additional damage due to a retractable stock that she encountered as a prosecutor. But alas, the public was deprived her rebuttal.
As a former mayor, I assumed Rep. Shannon Savick would be used to the agony of listening to the grievances of the commoners. With her vast knowledge of firearms, she could have provided an articulate reason as to why the presenters’ testimony was worthless.
Surely Rep. Dan Schoen has no objection to police officers using so-called “assault weapons” to protect themselves – even retired ones, such as himself. Perhaps, due to his experience, he already knew everything presented and felt patronized by the expert.
Rep. Erik Simonson is the co-sponsor of a bill to ban “assault weapons” and “large-capacity” ammunition magazines. His devotion to having a meaningful discussion on the effectiveness of his proposed legislation apparently ends as soon as someone attempts to have one. Rep. Simonson’s self-described greatest qualification as a lawmaker is found in his ability to reach “common ground” between adversarial parties – unless, of course, the adversarial party actually challenges his predetermined viewpoint.
Rep. Linda Slocum is the classic irrational hoplophobe, who describes her position as “not real pro-gun.” Quite ironic that a teacher, who likely has little knowledge of the information which was presented, decided to remain willfully ignorant, leaving the room in order to protect her naïve, unsupported views on firearms.
These representatives are contemptible cowards. Completely unable to refute factual evidence, they couldn’t scurry out of the room fast enough.
Democrats have no intention of having a “discussion” on firearms. They want you to shut up and turn in your guns.
The current debate over raising the minimum wage provides a perfect example of how little results seem to matter when compared to good-intentions.
Unlike many proponents of raising the minimum wage, I do not question their intentions. Most everyone who supports minimum wage laws genuinely believes they protect the worker against “exploitation,” decreases poverty, and provides a “livable wage” to the youngest, poorest, and lowest-skilled among us.
The tragic irony is that the very groups which these good-intentions are directed end up the most negatively affected.
Walter Williams put it succinctly, “The best way to sabotage chances for upward mobility of a youngster from a single-parent household, who resides in a violent slum and has attended poor-quality schools is to make it unprofitable for any employer to hire him. The way to accomplish that is to mandate an employer to pay such a person a wage that exceeds his skill level.”
Most people do not earn the minimum wage their entire lives. In fact, according to data from the Employment Policies Institute, about two of every three minimum wage earners get a raise within one year. Through education and work experience, individuals acquire new skills and are able to compete for higher wages. But if someone is unable to obtain employment, even at a low wage, they are unable to develop the marketable skills necessary to advance beyond the minimum wage.
This traps the poorly-educated and the lowest-skilled at the bottom. For these people, raising the minimum wage will only hurt their chances of gaining employment.
As Milton Friedman noted, ‘The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying employers must discriminate against people who have low skills.’
Industries vary, and therefore, higher labor costs are offset in different ways. One way to lower labor costs is to lower the amount employed. If the minimum wage is set higher than the productivity of an employee, the business would take a loss employing them.
If reducing the workforce is impractical, benefits may be reduced, or, the price of the product or service may increase.
If a baker produces $8 worth of bread each hour, but is required to be paid $9 an hour, by artificially inflating the price of a loaf of bread, the baker can now produce $10 worth of bread each hour and is again able to justify his or her wage.
But the result is higher prices – not only on bread – but innumerable products and services.
The minimum wage earner may be able to offset some of these higher costs with higher wages, but only at the expense of the non-working poor, who pay higher prices for essentials with no such compensation. (This is also true of every worker who earns more than the minimum wage.)
Higher prices on consumer goods are terribly regressive. A rich person may not care if a loaf of bread that was $3 yesterday is $4 today, but to the poor, who expend most of their income, higher prices amount to an onerous tax.
Despite the poor results, the minimum wage will likely be raised. The good-intentions it represents will be enough. Once it is agreed that the desired effects have not materialized, there will be calls to raise it again.
Of course they do.
Trevor Loudon wrote Thursday that Sam Webb, leader of the Communist Party USA, “hailed the election of Party ‘friend’ Barack Obama, as the ‘dawn of a new era.’”
“The Party is cock-a-hoop over Obama’s victory, seeing it as both a repudiation of the conservative agenda and an opportunity to move the United States further towards socialism,” Loudon wrote.
“The Communist Party said a year ago that the 2012 elections would be the main front of the class and democratic struggle, and subsequent events have confirmed that fact,” Webb wrote at the Communist People’s World Tuesday.
Jim Hoft posted a screenshot of another article at the People’s World celebrating Obama’s victory. That article, published the day after Tuesday’s election, declares “We won!”
Transcript from video:
“There are growing problems with security here in Benghazi. There is growing frustration with the local security police and the forces here. They can’t control this area. They are too weak to keep this country secure. We need more help.”
H/T Pat Dollard
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that Obamacare is a tax.
The problem with this decision is that in order to challenge a tax in court, under the Anti-Injunction Act, the tax must first be assessed. Thankfully, to address my confusion, Chief Justice John Roberts explains, writing for the majority opinion, that it actually is not a tax, but a penalty, thus, the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply:
“The Anti-Injunction Act applies to suits ‘for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.’ Congress, however, chose to describe the ‘[s]hared responsibility payment’ imposed on those who forgo health insurance not as a ‘tax,’ but as a ‘penalty.’ There is no immediate reason to think that a statute applying to ‘any tax’ would apply to a ‘penalty.’
Congress’s decision to label this exaction a ‘penalty’ rather than a ‘tax’ is significant because the Affordable Care Act describes many other exactions it creates as ‘taxes,’”
This is consistent with the dissent, which argued that there is “a clear line between a tax and a penalty: “‘[A] tax is an enforced contribution to provide for the support of government; a penalty . . . is an exaction imposed by statute as punishment for an unlawful act.’”
This is also consistent with how Congress wrote the legislation, and with how the government argued it – the statute being the individual mandate, and the unlawful act being non-compliance.
Roberts concludes that since it was not written, or intended as a tax, but as a penalty, the case may continue:
“The Affordable Care Act does not require that the penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate be treated as a tax for purposes of the Anti-injunction Act,” writes Roberts. “The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not apply to this suit, and we may proceed to the merits.”
Simple enough, it’s not a tax it’s a penalty, on to the merits, where we shall witness the transformation of the penalty, back into a tax.
The government’s primary argument was that the Act was a valid exercise of Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause.
The Court rejected this claim, stating that instead of regulating commerce, “it instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce.”
This is where Roberts turns to Congress’s taxing authority:
“The most straightforward reading of the mandate is that it commands individuals to purchase insurance. After all, it states that individuals ‘shall’ maintain health insurance. Congress thought it could enact such a command under the Commerce Clause, and the Government primarily defended the law on that basis. But, for the reasons explained above, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power.
Under our precedent, it is therefore necessary to ask whether the Government’s alternative reading of the statute—that it only imposes a tax on those without insurance—is a reasonable one.
Under the mandate, if an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes. That, according to the Government, means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition—not owning health insurance—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS.
Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.
It is of course true that the Act describes the payment as a ‘penalty,’ not a ‘tax. But while that label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, it does not determine whether the payment may be viewed as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power.”
Roberts simultaneously views the individual mandate as a penalty for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, and as a tax for the purposes of Congress’s taxing authority.
“The same analysis here suggests that the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax, not a penalty,” he says.
To clarify, by not having health insurance, individuals will pay a “shared responsibility payment” which is a penalty for not having health insurance.
This penalty, though, is technically a tax, which, for the purposes of complying with the Anti-Injunction Act, is a penalty.
Not complying with the law, however, is not unlawful – an individual will simply have to pay a tax as a penalty for not complying with the law.
Aren’t you glad I cleared that up for you?