2012

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Liberty Notes – January  2012

Liberty Notes – February  2012

Liberty Notes – March  2012

Liberty Notes – April  2012

Liberty Notes – June  2012

Liberty Notes – July  2012

Liberty Notes – October  2012

Liberty Notes – December  2012


 

Liberty Notes – January  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

Lt. Ilario Pantano, USMC, was accused of murdering insurgents in Iraq by a sergeant he had demoted and who had changed the story several times.  The Marines charged Lt. Pantano with murder.  It was found that an autopsy was necessary to convict him so one was arranged.  A forensic examiner found that the insurgents had been shot in the chest, not the back, to the surprise of Marine officers who had been loudly declaring Lt. Pantano’s guilt.  This is not the first time guilt was presumed on questionable evidence.  Once a Congressman, himself a retired Marine, declared a group of Marines to be war criminals.  They were later found to be innocent but the congressman never apologized.

I watched a DVD “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?”  My life is pursuit of justice and I have always wanted a picture of it.  It records a Harvard philosophy course.  The professor is good; he does not tell students the “right” answer or ridicule student comments.  Much of the DVD is composed of student comments.  I was disappointed in the quality of these comments finding them to consist largely of clichés.   The class raises interesting cases and proves the legal adage, “Hard cases make bad law.”  The first is a British case “R. v Dudley & Stephens.”   The guests of honor were officers on the Yaught “Mignonette” when it sank.  Four men made it to the lifeboat.  After 19 days adrift two of the survivors killed the weakest survivor and ate the body.  The third man did not participate in the killing, but did in the eating.  He became a prosecution witness.  The two were convicted in a convoluted procedure and sentenced to six months in prison.  Despite public sympathy the prosecution wanted to establish the principle that no matter how desperate the circumstances the law does not countenance the murder of the weakest member of a group.  The case stands for the proposition, which I have said many times, you can’t kill and eat people.  Under threat you can kill and in extreme circumstances you can eat persons already dead, but you cannot do both.

The Harvard class covers Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative.”  Kant insisted that one must always tell the truth regardless of the circumstances.  The class discussed the ethical response if a murderer comes to your home demanding the location of a friend you have hidden.  Not one of these Harvard students suggested putting a pistol in his face and ordering him to the ground.  If I can legally kill the fellow, I can lie to him.  A murderer has placed himself out of the human community and I owe him nothing.

I’d like to know what the learned Larry Swickard thinks of this DVD.  If a few hundred of you could force him to watch it, let me know when you are finished.

A group of men celebrated the 4th of July by shooting a pistol at a lake.  The bullet bounced off the water like a flat rock skips across a pond and killed an 11-year old girl a mile away.  The gun’s owner pled to manslaughter.  There is now a demand to make firing a gun in the city limits a felony.

It is claimed that the Iraq war is over.  The enemy still exists and is still active but American units are no longer there.  This proves we have no intent to occupy the area, but the enemy will spin it that we were driven out.  America is famous for advertising, but we sell soap better than we sell our story.

Some regard all wars as evil unless against nazis, and one pacifist voted against that.

Gun “buybacks” claim to be a “success” getting guns from non-violent owners.  They actually get junk and sellers get good deals for broken guns.  I have heard of collectors working the line of sellers to skim off anything valuable.

I saw another DVD “Relentless Enemies” which concerned the battle between lions and buffalo on an island in an African swamp.  The lions prey on the buffalo who present a wall of horns in defense.  When the lions catch a straggler the buffalo charge and drive him off, but never press their charge home.  This shows the defect of a purely defensive strategy, the lions will take a straggler, but the buffalo never take a lion.

I’ve had a run of clients who want to tell me how to practice law.   That’s unfair, I don’t tell them how to steal.

Immigrants with criminal records are placed in deportation.  This is ironic because some of our ancestors came here as an alternative to being hung.

The Tea Party is vilified because racists tried to influence it.  The same anti-Semites are working on the “occupy” movement yet the same critics have nothing to say.

On 12 November, 2011 Luke Boenker of Maryland Heights Missouri became the first Missourian in thousands of years to take a deer with an atlatl.  An atlatl is a spear throwing stick which increases the speed and power of the spear.  It was the “assault weapon” of the Stone Age.  It was replaced by the bow and arrow.

In 2000 Attorney Richard Buchli was charged with the first degree murder of his law partner.  In 2008 the Court of Appeals granted him a new trial because the prosecution had not disclosed all the evidence to his lawyer.  In December, 2011 the same court upheld the trial judge’s order essentially dismissing the murder charge because the prosecution had still not disclosed all the evidence to the defense.  This is not a trivial matter.  Generations ago the US Supreme Court ruled that disclosure was a defendant’s constitutional right.  The failure was not trivial.  A video showing that the defendant had less than 4 minutes to beat his partner to death, wipe off the blood and go down 13 floors was critical to the defense.  The court was told that the video had been destroyed; that was a lie.  The prosecution not only had the video it had enhanced it.  A blood spatter expert was summoned to a deposition by the defense, only to have the prosecution cancel the defense deposition on the grounds that the expert had done no further work on the case since the last deposition.  That was a lie.  The expert had done more work at the request of the prosecutor.  The re-trial had been delayed four times because the prosecution failed to follow the specific discovery orders of the judge.  A few days before the hearing on discovery violation, the prosecution revealed that it had 22 cases of documents, about 20,000 pages, which it graciously allowed the defense to review in the prosecution office.  The prosecution represented that its witnesses had no criminal record.  That was a lie.  One witness had a number of felony convictions.  The prosecution claimed that Mr. Buchli had not been inconvenienced by these failures.  Any piece of this hidden evidence might have cleared Mr. Buchli at trial 11 years ago.  He was been confined for 11 years waiting for a fair trial and it is clear that the prosecution had no intention of letting that happen.  The scary part is that they pulled this on a guy with the financial ability to hire a great lawyer and fight.  What are they doing to everyone else?

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – February  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

Justice Stephen Breyer was robbed of $1,000 while vacationing in the West Indies.  Justice Breyer dissented from our victory in Heller and McDonald, stating in McDonald that the Second Amendment, alone of the bill of rights, costs lives.  The assailant had a machete.

I saw “Child Warriors” a DVD from the History Channel A & E Television Networks LLC 2007.  It concerns children as young as five (5) recruited or press-ganged into various armies, primarily in Africa.  Given perfunctory training by psychopaths, the kids are forced to kill, given drugs and thrown against other armies, who may also be children.  It is a real-life Lord of the Flies.  Children are cheap, they absorb bullets; after they do so older soldiers, the children who survived their early battles, can close with the enemy.  One person interviewed claims that an AK 47 goes for the same price as a textbook.  I am not sure of that, the cheapest I have heard of AK’s going for was the equivalent of $14.  The most common prices I have heard range from $50 to $100, with ammunition.  Of course, there is supply and demand.  The Russian Army currently has more AK’s than they can ever use, and is about to replace them with a new rifle.  The old models will be dumped on the market.  The UN will then claim that our rights must be sacrificed.

I have determined that TSA screening serves the same function as SEAL training, to get you mad enough to kill first terrorist you see on a plane.

A letter to the editor refers to “home grown handgun terrorists.”  The writer is referring to us.  If that is how they see us, they will not compromise, they will not give up.  They will harass us at every opportunity.  The Supreme Court has still not ruled on the standard of review for gun laws.  This is critical.  There are laws which burden freedom of speech, but they are given strict scrutiny and there must be a compelling reason for such laws.  The prohibitionists say that gun laws must be judged on a “rational basis.”  This means that if they can make any excuse whatsoever, the law will survive; we will then have a right to own guns, but it will be so burdened with “safeguards” as to be impossible to exercise.  A recent series in a Washington DC newspaper recounts the efforts of a reporter to buy a handgun.  It took $500 in fees, months of effort, and three days off work to buy a single handgun, and the license must be renewed periodically.  According to the prohibitionists, this is “reasonable.”

Editorial cartoons continue to vilify us as Neanderthals, psychopaths, inbred hillbillies, racists and the like.  Prohibitionist commentators blandly assure us that any gun owner who has not killed his neighbors is about to.  Then they demand that we be “reasonable;” to which I say “You first.”

A cartoon bum asks another why he would vote for lesser of two evils.  The other replies, “Because the lesser of two evils is better than the worse of two evils.”

We will be presented with this choice in this year’s presidential election.  Every one of the surviving Republican candidates has bad history with us.  Even Ron Paul, a theoretical Second Amendment supporter, voted against the very practical Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and would have allowed prohibitionists to sue gun makers into bankruptcy.  How do we tell the leaders of both parties that we want strong Second Amendment candidates?  I confess to going back and forth among the candidates.  Who is the best one to take votes from Obama and motivate the base at the same time?  We are sure to get a less than perfect candidate, but perhaps he will name Sarah Palin as his running mate and allow her to “go rogue.”  I have made peace with the fact that I must make every effort to defeat Obama and if I am given poor tools for this task, well, if it was easy anybody could do it.

An outdoor store called “The Outdoor Store” has opened across from the County Courthouse in Platte City; this is only two blocks from Centerfire Gunshop.  It sells solar cookers, which could be handy if electricity fails and the sun shines.

It is essential that we answer insults to the gun community.  Editorials in the paper, comments on the radio and slurs on the internet must be answered.  I have seen pro-gun letters in the local newspaper; it can be done and needs to be done.  Newspapers have versions on the web with the opportunity to comment on articles.  Talk Radio welcome provocative topics and the internet is our world.  Comments must be short.  The shorter they are, the more likely they are to be published.  Profanity is out, personal insults are out.  It is difficult to respond to anti-gun screeds without calling the author a liar.  People don’t like to decide who is lying, which is why people hate jury duty.  I have had luck describing the opposition as inaccurate, or not telling the “truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”  There is no such thing as “our side of the story,” there is only the whole story which is our story, which is what we tell, and very briefly.

A comedian reports on helping her boyfriend study for his citizenship test.  Going through the bill of rights he told her that the Second Amendment was the most important of the rights.  “More than the freedom of speech?” she asked.  “Yes, when you have a gun you can say anything that you want.”  Sounds like an immigrant with possibilities.

Another comedian reports that his father has guns for self-defense, but is alarmed that one of them will shoot up to 300 yards.  He does not think it is possible to act in self-defense at such distances.  It is unusual, but not impossible.  If the assailant has a similar rifle, is in a car or behind cover such a rifle would be useful.  The accuracy of a rifle can be valuable at much closer range.  Police SWAT teams and increasingly patrol officers carry AR-15 rifles.  Police cannot use these rifles any more freely than can civilians.  They go into harm’s way and the Unintended Consequences of such boldness may be threats beyond the range of pistols and shotguns.

A woman took shelter from a home invader with a baby in one arm, and a pistol in the other hand.  As the invader kicked at the door she asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got in.  The operator replied that she could not give that advice, but ventured that she should protect her baby.  These government employees cannot tell people to do the obvious thing.  We have each other.  The lady protected her baby and the world is an idiot short.

A client was arrested because his handguns were not “registered.”  The officer claims to have called somewhere and discovered this violation.  Of course Missouri has never had a registration law and the “permit to purchase” system was abolished years ago.  The officer also claims that the man’s hollow point ammunition is “armor-piercing” and thus illegal.  The officer eventually released the man, but kept his property.  We have some work to do.

Another client was the victim of domestic violence.  Responding officers confiscated her SKS rifle (with 30 round magazine) with the comforting advice that she could call and get it back the next day.  The rifle was not involved in the assault it was only there.  After a year of excuses that it was the preferred weapon of criminals or that it had to be ballistic tested, a letter threatening a lawsuit got it back.  Refusal to return property is a continuing problem.  We have work to do.

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – March  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

Iran has had an election, very much between Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee so far as the rest of the world is concerned; the factions differ only in personality.  All of the reform candidates were prohibited from running.  If a reformer cannot get elected, he will not enact reform.  The United States shall not have the same problem this year.  Whoever gets the Republican nomination will be significantly different from the current administration, if only in the amount of damage he can do.

A comment from a Second Amendment writer is engraved in my mind.  He wrote that he voted for President Obama, “rather than the slightly more centrist McCain.”   What a difference “slightly” can make.

Administration apologists point out that gun owners’ rights have expanded under the current administration.  This is true, but very much against the will of the administration.  The administration has frankly told prohibitionists that it must operate “under the radar.”  Given a second term we can expect the administration to be less shy and appoint anti-gun judges, officials and policies.

Reading cases on Second Amendment challenges to various laws I am seeing the courts employ “intermediate scrutiny” to the right to own, carry and use guns.  This gives license to some balancing tests.  If the administration has the opportunity to appoint another Supreme Court justice, or even some junior and appellate judges we may see a balancing test which compares events in Mexico and the United Nations Small Arms Treaty with the rights of American citizens.

I see court comments discussing the right to defend home and hearth.  This is wrong.  The right of self-defense is to defend people, not property.  The right is more obvious in the home but it applies only to the people in the home.  One cannot set a booby trap to defend an unoccupied home.

I’ve read the book Gunfight which focuses on the Supreme Court fight to recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right.  The author goes into the history of the case, and of guns in America.  It has been reviewed as remarkably even-handed.  I would agree, but in trying to be fair it sometimes leans over backwards to give undeserved credit to the prohibitionist side.  For example, the author states that there were gun laws in the colonial period which the NRA would never allow today.  He is correct, but misleading.  He is referring to colonial laws which banned gun ownership by slaves and Indians or that disarmed Loyalists during the Revolution.  It is not unusual for a country to disarm the presumptively disloyal elements.  These laws were the equivalent of modern laws which attempt to disarm criminals or the insane.  He admits that murders were rare in the old west, but attributes this to those towns which banned carrying guns.  Those laws were designed to disarm opposing political factions, not control crime.  They did not ban ownership, and politically connected persons, such as Doc Holliday, could and did get permits to carry.  The book contains an interesting history of gun control in America.  The NRA supported gun control efforts early in the twentieth century.  It was very much an elitist sportsman’s club in those days and saw nothing wrong will keeping guns away from the riff raff so long as it preserved guns for the sports.  This compromise did not stop the anti-gun crusade, a lesson learned by our generation.  The lawsuit leading to the Heller decision came from libertarians not connected to the major gun groups.  The NRA is reported as being nervous about the suit and with good reason.  We had enjoyed some success with legislation; going after a Supreme Court decision took a chance of losing which would put us on the defensive for decades, probably more.  The fact that it was eventually a 5-4 decision shows how easily things could have gone terribly wrong.  The libertarians reasoned that a case was going to get to the Supremes and it would be better for us to control it.  Certain criminals were claiming violations of Second Amendment rights and it would be more difficult for the Court to uphold their interests.  Several of the initial plaintiffs were tossed out of the case for lack of “standing.”  The lack of standing means that the District’s laws did not injure them.  Again, this shows how easily things can go wrong.  The District helped the cause by mindlessly holding on to severe restrictions.  The restrictions where known to be a failure, and a compromise would have saved the core restrictions, but they were certain that they alone knew what was best for America and would not bend.  My favorite part of the book was an incident in which a California man drew a pistol on gay-bashers.  One of the thugs demanded to know if “That pistol was registered.”

Gunfight recounts the Ken Ballew incident, one of the early disastrous raids by BATF.  The agency heard that Mr. Ballew was involved in illegal firearms and a search warrant was written up, including that shots had been fired in the vicinity of his apartment.  This was a dubious relevance to Mr. Ballew, but it got the raiders’ adrenaline up.  The door was not opened when the raiders announced a search warrant.  They claimed to hear heavy objects being moved and a ram opened the door.  Mr. Ballew was naked and his girlfriend half naked, apologists for the raid made much of this; it may account for them not noticing the knock on the door.  Mr. Ballew was shot holding a replica cap and ball revolver.  The book justifies the raid by claiming that grenades where found in the apartment.  It cites for this the book Very Special Agents written by an ATF agent who is positively venomous towards gunowners and of dubious reliability.  The agent refers to Black Talon hollowpoint ammunition as the armor piercing “cop killers.”  The court decision found that there were practice and smoke grenades in the apartment, both legal.  However there was gunpowder, primers and fuse in the apartment.  The court found that these things could be used to rearm the grenades.  There was a large hole at the bottom of the grenades, but the court found that this could be stuffed with paper or lead and the grenades would then work.  This is nonsense.  Under such circumstances the plug would blow out the hole to no real danger.  The point is that a court can rule based on a supposition built on absolute nonsense unless the citizen puts in expert testimony.  Expert testimony is expensive.

I have seen an article about zombie deer.  It refers to deer with brain abscesses caused by infection entering the brain.  This causes them to wander aimlessly and may have puss leaking from their eyes or antlers.  The article claims that only the brain is affected and it is likely safe to eat the meat since cooking should kill the bacteria.  This term “likely safe” is not the ringing endorsement I am looking for.  I am not eating any zombie deer.  I am not going near any zombie deer.  I will, however, see the movie.

A combat veteran with depression called what he thought was a military emotional support hotline.  It was actually a suicide hotline.  He was asked if he had firearms but said nothing to imply suicide or violence.  After a short conversation he went to bed.  At 4 AM a bullhorn woke him up.  He stepped outside and locked his door.  The police asked for permission to search his home.  He said no.  An officer then said, “I don’t have time for this constitutional bullshit!”  The veteran was handcuffed and taken to a VA hospital.  His home was trashed by searchers, in the course of which his fish were killed.  After his release from the VA with a clean bill of mental health he was arrested and spent two weeks in jail.  I find this disturbing on several levels.  Not mental health disturbing, I don’t want anyone to think that, not with certain people having no time for the Constitution.

Vets who are uncomfortable talking to the government must talk to other veterans.  There are any number of veteran groups anxious to help old comrades.

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – April  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

Someone wrote that Winston Churchill “Mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”  This is an excellent sentence worthy of the old orator himself.  We must do the same.

Bill Cosby says that the debate regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida should not be about race but guns.  In a CNN interview he said that the bigger question was what Zimmerman was doing with a gun.  The bigger answer is, “The same thing you were doing with a gun Dr. Cosby.”  Dr. Cosby (he has a doctorate in education) is one of the politically connected persons in New York City with a license to carry concealed weapons.  He says that he no longer has a gun.  Other people have come to different decisions.  Some of these people also have doctorates.

A church sign reads, “Some people’s minds are like concrete, all mixed up and permanently set.”  There appears to have been more information inside the church.

A recent case states that intent is determined by a person’s actions before, during and after an event; in that case, an assault.  So it is not mind reading after all; nor can it be determined by knowing the racial identity of the parties, despite what the media might say.

Anti-gun people dance in the blood of the slain.  They are the Paxton Boys of our age.  The Paxton Boys were a mob of western Pennsylvanians in the 18th century.  There had been an Indian raid and they wanted revenge.  The hostile Indians were hard to find, and hard to punish if found.  However, there was a band of Indians who had surrendered, converted to Christianity and given up their weapons.  The full force of the Paxton Boys fell on this helpless band.  Anti-gun people do not try to catch real criminals; they come after us instead.  Our weapon is political power and we must never give it up.

President-for-Life SHEILA has been re-elected president of WMSA.  She arrived at the Board meeting and told us that she had already conducted the election, thus kindly sparing us the care and trouble of voting ourselves.  It appears to have been unanimous.  In her inauguration speech she declared, “All children under 12 years old are now 12 years old.  Underwear must be changed three times a day!  Underwear will be worn on the outside, so we can check.  Our national language is now Swedish.”   One of us asked if that wasn’t a speech from the Woody Allen movie “Bananas.”  She leveled her spear at him and declared, “Yes, we have no bananas!”  I’m not sure if that means we are supposed to eat more bananas or less.  To be on the safe side, I intend to do both.

What was once called “finely textured lean beef” is now called “pink slime.”  It was never a matter of public concern until someone started calling it slime.  Businesses making the product have shut down; people have lost their jobs.  There was never an allegation that the product was unsafe or not nutritious, only the name was changed.  This shows the power of language.

I saw a news clip in which a TSA official advocated “modified shotguns” for pilots instead of the .40 pistols they have now.  He warned that a pistol bullet could go the entire length of the aircraft.  The official sneered at a pilot who protested that there was no room in the cockpit for a shotgun.  Those of us familiar with shotguns know that a shotgun pellet will also go the entire length of an aircraft and the pattern will expand as it does so.  I wonder what is really going on here.

I read El Sicario published by Nation Books NY 2011.  The authors interviewed a former assassin for the Mexican drug cartels.  His training consisted of being enrolled in the Mexican police academy.  Out of 200 cadets, 50 were already members of the cartel.  On graduation the rest were given the choice of being paid in silver or lead.  At page 172 he mentions getting weapons from army and police stocks.  Guns brought into Mexico come through Army checkpoints.  I was puzzled by the subject referring to himself as a “Sicario,” even a native Spanish speaker did not understand the reference.  On investigation I found that it is from the Latin Sicarii or “dagger men,” in effect “assassins.”  He discusses casually how people were kidnapped, tortured and their families forced to come up with ransom.  The victim was then killed and buried in a graveyard with many other such victims.

The WMSA Board has considered going to an e-mail newsletter.  However, many of our members do not use e-mail and I believe that there is value in a tangible newsletter.  We will continue putting out a physical newsletter.  Mr. & Mrs. Davis print and mail out the newsletter and do so in an efficient and determined way.  Postal workers fear them.

I saw a police officer texting in his squad car.  I thought of making a citizen’s arrest, but then thought better of it.  In the course of a shift police officers must drive the car, watch the road, watch for crime, watch for threats and listen to the police radio.  It is a wonder they do not have daily accidents.

President Obama picked a fight with the Catholic Church over birth control.  Republicans stepped up to defend freedom of religion.  This was spun as a “Republican War on Women”.  Creating one crisis after another in this manner is how the administration intends to get re-elected.  The right to birth control was decided 40 years ago.  The question now is who will pay for it?  As a practical matter the government could save money by paying for it.  Doubtless the learned Larry Swickard can point out the Unintended Consequences of such a policy.

Looking around I see some instances where birth control would have been a decided improvement.

I was in St. Louis for the NRA Convention.  Everyone was very friendly, which is not something you expect from St. Louis.  I met Lt. Col. Oliver North very briefly.  He spoke at the legal seminar’s lunch on the Rules of Engagement in the current war.  These rules tell troops when they can fire on a target.  These rules are important to us because we are better than the enemy.  He had a very practical experience in these rules from his time in Viet Nam.  I saw “Gunny Emory” at the Glock booth, but only from a distance.  There was a world of people who wanted to have their pictures taken with him and he was being gracious to all; but I think you had to be registered to vote.  I saw rock legend Ted Nugent.  This was interesting.  In the same booth was a lady of such impressive measurements that I believe her bosom had its own zip code.  She was drop dead gorgeous, and still people wanted pictures with Ted Nugent.  That is how we know he is a legend.  I spoke to a couple of appellate judges who said that many lawyers do not know how guns work.  Worse than that, they THINK they do know how guns work.  This baffles me.  For medical, accounting, engineering, even traffic accidents lawyers consult experts, but they just assume they know how guns work.  I’m been working on a primer on guns for lawyers; perhaps I should work faster.  The theme of the Convention was that we are “All In.”  True, it will take all of us to prevent a presidential disaster this year.

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – June  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” General George S. Patton Jr.

“To you who call yourselves ‘men of peace,’ I say, you are not safe without men of action by your side.”  Thucydides

“Do as you’re told.”  President for Life Sheila.

I went shooting at the Parma Woods Department of Conservation range.  There were wasps hovering around the firing line.  Shooting at the wasps was discouraged.

The Parma Woods Range is well-designed.  By the use of overhead cover, baffles and backstop it is impossible to fire on the range and have your bullets go anywhere but the backstop.  I know because I hit the backstop every single time; the target was more elusive.

I was test firing a new pistol.  I put 150 rounds through it.  I found that recoil does not mix well with arthritis.  This is another reminder that we must repeal the requirement to fire 140 rounds to qualify for a license to carry.  Some instructors choose to run courses in which they fire this many rounds, but it should not be required for qualification.

I saw a DVD set called “The Unknown War.”  It purports to be a history of the Eastern Front in WW II.  Made in 1978 it is clearly Soviet propaganda.  It takes a great deal of truth and uses it to mask a world of lies.  To believe this film is to believe that pre-war Soviet Union was a land of plenty with no forced collectivization of agriculture, no mass starvation.  Its invasion of the Baltic republics is not mentioned.  The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40 is dismissed as a “border dispute.”  The Soviet alliance with Hitler was clever diplomacy to gain time and its invasion of Poland was to protect the Poles.  One would think that the only contribution of the Western Allies was to provide the occasional tank to the Soviets and damn little of that.  This is the film history that is available of the Eastern Front and what history teachers will present if they present anything.  I remember seeing a film in the Army called “Along the Trunk Road.”  This was a post-war German film which claimed that they could have beaten the Russians if not for the Western Allies.  Well, they should not a picked a fight with the entire world.

I saw another DVD about the battle of Iwo Jima.  Nasty fight, glorious victory, then the island was declared secured.  The island was overrun, the Japanese killed in place, there was a flag raising with a picture and everything.  An Army unit was told that it would be rotated off the island the next day and was told to turn in all its ammunition.  That night a group of Japanese soldiers climbed out of tunnels deep under the island and attacked their position.  Some of the shifty, disobedient soldiers had not turned in all of their ammunition.  They held long enough for relief to arrive.  There are many lessons here.

We have won a number of significant court cases.  We have passed a number of laws.  However we have not rooted the enemy out root and branch.  We are under attack under the guise of opposition to stand your ground laws, or at least what the opposition claims these laws are.

Attorney General Eric Holder is found in contempt of congress for refusal to turn over a significant percentage of documents concerning his gunwalking program.  This is denounced as “racism,” the last argument of the guilty.  Early in his administration the Brady’s complained to President Obama that he was not doing enough to ban guns.  He told them not to worry they were doing something “under the radar.”  Now we know what that something was.  They complain that American guns are in Mexico, send American guns to gangs in Mexico, and demand that we give up some of our rights because American guns are in Mexico.  There was never an attempt to track the guns going to Mexico, this is not a botched program, it is a criminal conspiracy against our rights.  There is a film clip of Attorney General Holder from years ago in which he states that Americans must be brainwashed about guns.  We cannot expect fair treatment from these people.  We can expect much worse.  Our only alternative is an election.  That means President Romney.

Mr. Romney has some bad history with gun owners, he has some good history, but not much.  He has come over to our side and if that is only for political advantage I will take it.  A concentration camp survivor told me that he lived through the war because he survived one day at a time.  The famous novel of the Soviet Gulag is entitled One Day in the Live of Ivan Denisovitch concerned an inmate’s efforts to survive the day in a Siberian camp.  We must see that our rights survive one day at a time.  If we can get Romney elected president, we will have saved our rights from President Obama’s plots.  President Romney may do nothing but as Will Rogers said, “Nothing is what was needed doing.”  We need to encourage the Republican Party to have a good Second Amendment platform and we need a good Second Amendment vice-president.  We can spend the next four years fighting for our rights every day, or we can spend them building on our Supreme Court victories.  We need to expand recognition of the right to keep and bear arms outside of the home.  This seems like a simple thing, but it is not and we are fighting it in the courts.  We have only so many assets.  If we make a supreme effort to elect Mr. Romney now we will have some time to fight these other battles.  There is no question of who is the most dangerous enemy.

I saw where a Libertarian (no less) argues that President Obama can be beaten.  He argues that no one who voted for McCain in 2008 will vote for Obama in 2012.  His African-American support has softened due to his endorsement of gay marriage.  His Hispanic support has softened because he has not reformed immigration procedures, although his recent executive amnesty may change that somewhat.  His union support has softened because he did not help them in the Wisconsin recall and when there are no jobs, there are no unions.  His youth support has now graduated and cannot find jobs.  The loss of a few percentage points in these groups could change everything.  These percentage points don’t have to come over to Mr. Romney, they just have to stay home.  We can be the deciding factor.  If we are the deciding factor it will be noticed not just by the Romney administration but by all politicians.

Obamacare is Constitutional, but I don’t feel any better.  We now know that the government can tax us in any amount for any purpose.  That could be trouble.  Telling this administration that it may not require us to do certain acts under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, but may tax us for not doing them is handing them a big stick with which to beat us.  We have proposed a tax deduction for gun safes.  Imagine a tax penalty for not locking up guns, and the IRS checking.  There are predictions that the new health law might be used to centralize medical records invade privacy and deny gun ownership on medical grounds.  There are too many “could bes” and “maybes” in this argument, but there is no need to take the chance.  Elect the guy sworn to repeal it, or see the guy elected who will expand it.

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – July  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

A National Geographic series of DVD’s, Civil Warriors, follows the descendant of a Confederate soldier exploring his ancestor’s life.  He is outfitted with a uniform which he describes as uncomfortable, hot and itchy.  That may explain why the war was so bloody, when you live with discomfort every moment of every day, you want to kill someone.

An information sheet from a pharmacy warns of possible side effects then says, “Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.”  I recently read an article in the April 2012 Scientific American magazine which stated that some varieties of polio vaccine can cause polio.  Certain other vaccines risk deadly side effects.  Countries in which these diseases are endemic accept the risk because of the greater benefit received.  Criminals do terrible things with guns every day as they always have, but the Founding Fathers decided that the benefit is greater than the risk of side effects.

A cartoon says “I’m not saying that you’re stupid, I’m just saying that you have bad luck when it comes to thinking.”  I have trouble with people who have bad luck with the truth.  It is surprisingly difficult to call people liars in court or debate, even when they are bald-faced liars.  The problem is that the audience or jury or judge hates the effort required to decide who is lying.  You must first prove the opposite to be true and that the witness knew the truth.  Yet it must be done.  I have had some results with “You have been misinformed.” Or the stronger “Whoever told you that lied to you.”  I was watching a Second Amendment Debate in which a representative of one of the national prohibitionist groups, (I do not remember which one and it doesn’t really matter), claimed that there were no laws regulating firearms other than zoning and tax provisions.  This was a bald faced lie.  The man representing our side did not call him on it.  During the 1999 Proposition B referendum the other side appears to have made a conscious decision that they could lie faster than we could tell the truth.  I attended a press conference in which a number of political figures, including congressman Cleaver and a state senator who was staggering drunk during a conference to declare us irresponsible.  They claimed that the bill would allow child molesters to get a license to carry concealed weapons.  I was looking at a section of the bill which specifically barred such perverts from getting licenses.  I desperately wanted to ask if they were lying or simply didn’t know what they were talking about. We had been advised to take the high road and not to call them liars.  Also they had police circling.  They won.  I decided that I would not suffer anyone to lie to my face without being challenged.  It is difficult to do successfully.  If it was easy anyone could do it.

I had an odd stovepipe jam on Glock 19.  The case jammed under the extractor and I had to lock the slide back for it to drop free.  I realize that it is blasphemy in some quarters to suggest that Glocks might not always be perfect.  It is possible that it was an ammunition problem.  I have noticed my ammunition conspiring against me, bullets refusing to hit the target, cartridge cases bouncing off my forehead; this is better than dropping down my collar but still annoying.  If anyone else has these problems, let me know.  We may be able to get a class action lawsuit going.

Mitt Romney appeared at the NAACP.  He was famously booed when he vowed to repeal Obamacare, but I notice he got some applause as well.  It is reported that he received a standing ovation at the end of his speech.  This tells me that the most hard-core demographic supporting the president is softer than we imagined.  Liberals went berserk over the event claiming that “Obamacare” is a “racist code word” designed to get the racist vote.  It seems that liberals believe that racists might vote to re-elect President Obama.  I think that even a racist would have noticed that the president is black.  They are not very bright but can be counted on to notice one thing to the exclusion of all others.  Speaking of not very bright.  Liberals scream racist every time they are losing.  Let us hope that they scream it a great deal in the next four years.

A cartoon in the Star (a daily tabloid) shows the Founding Fathers handing a copy of the Constitution to a modern man saying, “Take this document, hold true to its principles and it will protect you from the over-reach of government.”  The modern man says, “Wooo!!!  Thanks, dudes!!!”  He promptly folds it into a paper hat.  The Constitution is not a force field; it is not a magic talisman.  It does not protect us on autopilot.  We must use it to protect ourselves.  It does not work unless we are actively involved which is what WMSA has been doing since 1989.  It occurs to me that in just two years we will have been at this for 25 years.  We have had many successes but we have a long way to go.  If we stop, the bad legislation will start.

Federal law allows us (allows) to transport firearms through all fifty states District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam as long as possession is legal in the state we start from and the state where we intend to end up.  It seems very straightforward.  BUT, people who have guns in checked baggage have been diverted to airports in unfriendly jurisdictions.  When they try to check their guns in on the new flight they are arrested for possession of a firearm without a state permit, which is impossible to get.  Recently a veteran transporting guns between legal states stopped in Washington D.C. for medical reasons and was arrested because he stopped.  The theory is that you must be in a continuous journey without a stop and the federal statute is only a defense to be raised in court.  It is impossible to drive completely through some states without stopping to replenish driver or vehicle.  Forcing us to raise it as a defense means jail, bail, lawyers and returning to a strange place for strange rituals.  This is unfair.  Congress is considering HR 4269 which would amend the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act to allow stops for food, fuel and rest during interstate travels and to put the burden of proof of violation on the state.  This needs to be a priority.  To make it happen probably needs a new senate, and definitely a new president.

Mr. Zimmerman was on Hannady’s program on Fox News.  He went over very well.  I have had clients who wanted to get on programs like that.  I used all of my considerable eloquence and whatever dregs of charm I could scrape up to talk them out of it.  The more statements you give, the more likely someone is going to find an inconsistency.  They will beat you to death with that inconsistency; I have done it myself.  People think that the truth is easy, straightforward.  They think the memory is photographic and a true story will be told the same way every time.  They are wrong.  The mind tries to seal up memories like that, they seep out bit by bit.  It is not what people expect, and they believe that you are lying.

We have initial reports of another mass murder in Colorado.  We have no reliable details but the prohibitionists are dancing in the blood.  It is reported that he was wearing a bullet-proof vest.  Shooting back under such circumstances is difficult.   However, repeated hits to such a vest will serve to distract and possibly disable long enough to prevail.  The history of such attacks is that when confronted with resistance, even ineffective resistance, the psychopath commits suicide or in rare cases surrenders.  When a psychopath attacked a church in Colorado he was confronted with a woman with a handgun.  She wounded him and he committed suicide.  The psychopath had already committed mass murder at another church, and was carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition, but could not take resistance.

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – October  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.
A Topeka man will spend 15 consecutive weekends in jail; pay a $1,500 fine and 8,000 in restitution for killing a record whitetail buck. The problem was that he was poaching when he shot the deer. He also lost his hunting privileges for 5 years and had to surrender the deer’s antlers and the gun used to kill the deer. He was caught when he took the antlers to the Monster Buck Classic where he was recognized for having the largest antlers ever taken in Kansas. The antlers were recognized by conservation agents as having come from a deer 100 miles from where the man claimed to have shot it. He confessed to poaching. In the immortal words of John Wayne, “Life is hard. It’s even harder when you’re stupid.”

I saw “Deciphering Dogs,” a DVD about the relationship between wolves and dogs and between dogs and people. It seems that dogs have shared our caves for at least 13,000 years, some say 100,000. Dogs have physical differences from their ancestor wolves. There is some indication that if the gentlest cubs of a litter are interbred, the result is a species with a gentler disposition and physical differences. If a human points at a certain place, the dog will investigate, (something not even a monkey will do). If a dog points, the human shoots at birds.

If you are to fail at anything, fail at suicide. Once you have failure out of your system, you can go on to greatness.

I have inquired. The earth will not cease rotating in honor of the Sabbath. I cannot do less than a ball of rock and mud. It should be noted that the earth does the same thing over and over while I put a little variety into the day.

In the old TV series “Paladin” the title character carries a seven and a half inch Colt .45 Peacemaker. In the initial episode Richard Boone pointed the cocked revolver at the camera and evenly announces that it has a one ounce trigger pull. In a later episode it is said to have a two ounce trigger pull. In either configuration the vibrations from Richard Boone’s rich baritone alone would cause the gun to fire. It sounds ominous as can be but I am not going to carry a gun that will speak when it is not spoken to. I am collecting examples of such superstitions for a primer I am writing currently called “How Guns Work.” I might change that to “Guns for Dummies” but the dummies corporation may have a copywrite on the term. Anyone with similar superstitions to share, please send them my way.

There are Heroes in the world. A 14 year-old Pakistani girl is threatened by the Taliban for advocating education for girls. She continues this “crime” and a thug enters her school bus with a rifle and shoots her. She has survived, indicating that the Taliban are not only psychotic tyrants but bad shots. She will live and the indications are that this unarmed schoolgirl will continue to fight for an education.

It is a good day for Liberty. I had an arraignment hearing recently. This is typically a routine appearance in which the defendant is reminded that he is charged with a crime and all that business with handcuffs and jail cells was not a bad dream. My client had been charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated and his bail conditions demanded that he not possess alcohol or firearms until the case was over. My client is a hunter and suffers from a debilitating disease which might make this season his last. I asked that this condition be dropped on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. When I made this motion the low buzz of sound in the courtroom stopped as if a great door had closed. Since Heller and MacDonald have declared the right to own guns to be a personal right, a defendant cannot be deprived of his Constitutional rights until after he is convicted or found insane. The judge asked the prosecutor’s opinion. I had discussed this with her just before court in the faint hope that she might agree. She did not of course, but could not tell the judge she needed time to research the question. She claimed that the circumstances argued against the modification. The judge asked for some detail, knowing only what was in a very brief complaint. The prosecutor, having little more background than the judge, went through an inaccurate recitation of the genesis of the charge. She, and the judge seem to have assumed that the charge involved firing a gun in the vicinity of a person. I objected to the recitation. For some time my client had been attacked in his own back yard by his neighbor’s dogs. He began to carry a gun when going to feed his own dog. I told the judge that she could deny him alcohol, because there is no right to drink alcohol, but there is a right to possess guns. This gave the judge an easy way to split the baby and get these silly people out of her courtroom. In the end, we got less than half. My client was allowed to possess firearms under circumstances reasonably related to sporting use. Some days the magic works. This is not much, but many other big principles grew from small cases. I cannot claim to have come up with this argument myself. I saw a reference to the principle on one of the e-mail boards. Each one takes a piece of the struggle and they add up.

A court has ruled that the Lawful Commerce in Arms law is unconstitutional and a crime victim can sue the company which made the gun the criminal used. We thought that we had won this argument. Now another case must wind its way to the Supreme Court. Another court has ruled that American citizens living in foreign countries cannot purchase firearms of any kind under any circumstances because they do not reside in one of the 50 states. President Obama has pledged to impose a new Assault Weapons Act and further burdens if re-elected. Citizens continue to be arrested for making casual stops when they transport firearms across the country. Citizens are arrested due to involuntary stops when flying across the country with unloaded guns in their luggage; this is another one we thought that we had won. Citizens continue to be charged for acts of self-defense. The drug wars in the southwest are used to excuse compiling illegal lists of gun ownership. Such lists only expand. No matter how the election goes, we shall have work to do.

I see increasing numbers of letters to the editor and editorials denouncing gun owners as dangerous, evil, idiots. The NRA is depicted as a greedy Machiavellian force quite willing to endanger children. These comments are accompanied by cartoons of Thuggish, Neanderthal brutes wearing NRA caps. When the NRA is depicted as the essence of evil they are talking about each of us. Even those of us who are not members of the NRA are painted with this broad brush. We must push back. Every time there is an anti-NRA/Gun Owner cartoon or editorial we must write letters. The paper will print them because then people will buy papers. We cannot let these things slide. Many people will not take the Star because of its prejudiced editorial policy. This hurts us more than them. We can still read the paper on a computer, or the library for that matter.

Mary Sanchez, columnist for the local tabloid, dismisses surveys of self-defense cases as merely anecdotal. There are eleven studies of self-defense frequency. Their results range from 1.5 to 3.5 cases of self-defense per year. The most detailed study finds 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year. That is about one every twelve seconds. If we do not present this data in a calm, polite manner, no one will.

We shall overcome.


Liberty Notes – December  2012

K. L. Jamison


It is a good day for Liberty.

RALLY DAY 18 APRIL, 2013

ROTUNDA OF CAPITAL BUILDING JEFFERSON CITY 10-NOON

For obvious reasons the next Rally Day is important to us. Those who hate us have their expectations up and the administration has said that it will be more flexible in this term. Within hours of the election returns the United Nations revived its “Small Arms Treaty” designed to force government controls on guns the government tolerates in private hands. The administration has said that it approves of such a treaty. It must be stopped.

We do not believe that the Missouri legislature will have a say in this treaty, although we will be denounced for thinking so. It is merely a mechanism for the voice of Missourians. We have to show that the grassroots rejects this treaty. We cannot have the media present it as a “reasonable” international agreement.

We are told that we must accept “reasonable” regulations. However by some of these people “reasonable” consists of being “allowed” to possess hunting guns so long as they are secured in the police station and issued when appropriate.

I see a great many hate cartoons in the local tabloid. A favorite is a news conference in which the police official is asked, “Did the gunman have an accomplice?” The policeman looks knowingly at a figure labeled, “NRA.” Make no mistake, when the media refers to the NRA, they mean all of us. I know that many of us have had disagreements with the NRA. I have had tactical disputes with them. I know gun people who are livid about the NRA, sometimes because it is too hard core, often because it is not hard core enough. Regardless of opinion, membership in GOA, SAF, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership or none at all; to the media we are all NRA. The cartoon is one of my favorites because it so vividly demonstrates their attitude towards us. My very favorite shows a bestial Neanderthal labeled, “NRA.” I like to know what my enemy thinks of me. I love it when they think I’m stupid.

The media claims that Ms. Kassandra Perkins would not be dead if Chief’s Linebacker Jovan Belcher did not have a gun. Tell that to Nicole Simpson. According to a jury she was stabbed to death, along with an unfortunate waiter by an ex-football player no longer in the peak of physical condition.

I was listening to a CD of the book Columbine. I was hampered by defects in the recording or the disk or both. Six-hundred year old technology does not present such problems; these things did not happen on Star Trek. The book continually complains that the psychopaths acquired their guns through the “gunshow loophole.” The book also states that the psychos were initially prevented from buying guns at a gunshow because they were too young. They acquired their guns though an older girlfriend; a straw purchase. The author has no trouble stating two contrary statements at the same time. Prohibitionists have no trouble with such statements; they make up their own facts. This raises the question of how to call someone a liar.

In the presidential debates Mr. Romney tried to make a point of the President’s failure to immediately call the Benghazi attack an act of terror. The “moderator” quickly entered on the President’s side declaring that he had called it terrorism and the President smugly asked her to say that again. Mr. Romney looked stunned, as if no one had ever lied to his face before. He could have called the president a liar. However, trying to convince even neutral parties that a person is a liar is a chore. Lawyers face this regularly. It is a difficult decision to make. I find it easier to argue that someone was misinformed or mistaken. In Romney’s place I would have told the President that if he has “forgotten” what he said that day a video of the speech would be on the campaign website by morning, and a personal copy would be sent to the moderator. I doubt this would have changed anything, but I always take comfort in telling a jury they do not have to believe me, the prosecution witness has said . . .

At the last general membership meeting a member asked for good book on the Constitution. I regret that I did not get his name. I have been browsing through my library and have not been satisfied with the results. I have weighty tomes from law school; they are complete, but not terribly clear. I was impressed, about 90% of the time, with In Our Defense byEllen Alderman and Caroline Kennedy (THAT Caroline Kennedy) William Morrow & Co NY 1991. It only covers the Bill of Rights, but that is a significant start. For the Second Amendment it takes the now overruled Morton Grove Case as authority; this case finds the Second to be an absolute Constitutional right to join the National Guard. I will continue my research. Failing that I may have to force the learned Larry Swickard to write an appropriate treatise.

A Massachusetts Attorney contacted me regarding Missouri gun law. One of his clients is moving to Missouri and wanted to know what obstacles he faces. He had been the victim of a nasty divorce, a family protective order and criminal charges. He was acquitted all around but in Massachusetts the police chief must find that a citizen is a “suitable person” in order to own guns. Despite acquittal the chief no longer considered him a “suitable person” and refused to give back his guns. The other attorney asked if this administrative action would create a problem in acquiring guns in Missouri. I told him such an administrative action would have no impact because we don’t do such things here (anymore). He asked what rules Missouri had, beyond the federal requirements, to buy or own guns. I had to convince him that we don’t do that (anymore). He asked what kind of license was required to transport a gun from home to the range. Again there was some effort to convince him that we don’t do that. It seems that Missouri will soon have a new citizen anxious to breathe free air

The conversation reminded me of what we have accomplished in Missouri. So many of the petty regulations he feared no longer exist in Missouri, the grassroots groups have abolished them. We have prevented other petty regulations from becoming law; so far. Together we have prevented another Massachusetts.

Board Member Bob Hanson has found me the perfect weapon. It is a 1911 pistol attached to a sword. It is said to have been designed by General George Patton. This will be the perfect weapon to encourage the Learned Larry Swickard to write a treatise on the Constitution, it only costs about $20,000. Bob is retiring and should have no trouble throwing a little of his retirement funds towards the purpose.

I was asked my response to those claiming the latest school massacre proves the need for gun control. I said they are idiots. The first question was if this was the worst massacre. It was not. The record was a Detroit school in 1958 where an arsonist killed 92 children and three nuns. It also establishes that without guns, these things continue.

We shall overcome.