Saturday, August 24, 2013

Justice in England; Delayed, and Demeaning

It has been a while since I picked on The Brits (those stalwart defenders of the Bastions of Anti-Gun Laws).   I must be getting soft.

There's so much to abhor in The Late Great British Empire, it's sometimes hard to choose.  Fortunately, my attention was drawn today to an article I wrote in May, 2005 titled "Yob Meat".  About halfway through it, I presented a 'sidebar' instance of one Linda Walker from Manchester.  Her home and family were being harrassed by a gang of YOBs ("BOY", spelled backwards; we call them Hooligans or Juvenile Delinquents a half-century ago) and finally attempted to drive them away during a front-stoop confrontation by firing a pellet-gun at the sidewalk.

Nobody was injured, but as a consequence the teacher Walker was fired from her job and imprisoned!

(Go read the original article for the details;  the "SCOTSMAN" link is still active, although the current date is cited rather than the original date of publication).

While I reread my own article, I wondered .. just what happened to Linda Walker?

According to a 2008 BBC article, they released her from prison:

At a General Teaching Council hearing she was given a reprimand which she must disclose to any employer inquiring about her registration status.
The reprimand will last for two years.
'Learnt her lesson'
Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Walker said: "I am thrilled to bits."
She added that she now wanted to teach adults and hoped to put the incident behind her.
Nadine Bristow, chairwoman of the General Teaching Council committee, said: "The reprimand is appropriate because Mrs Walker has shown insight and remorse into her behaviour - she has said she is ashamed of her conduct."
She said Mrs Walker "appeared to have learnt her lesson".
Mrs Walker taught children with behavioural problems at New Park High School in Eccles, Salford, when the gun incident happened.
She was jailed for six months for possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, and affray.
The appeal court later quashed her jail sentence, replacing it with a 12-month conditional discharge. 
The woman was trying to defend hearth and home and family .. with a pellet gun against a gang  ... and it took four years for England to 'rehabilitate' her back to active status at her chosen occupation (teaching).

The council hearing was not convened until  it was 'appropriate':

Nadine Bristow, chairwoman of the General Teaching Council committee, said: "The reprimand is appropriate because Mrs Walker has shown insight and remorse into her behaviour - she has said she is ashamed of her conduct."
She said Mrs Walker "appeared to have learnt her lesson".

Yes, Mrs Walker has learnt her lesson.  She now knows that the only way she can earn a living in her native country is to kowtow to absurd judicial mandate.  She must hang her head, allow her government to shame her publicly for years until she is completely broken.

I'm reminded of Les Miserables and the plight of Jean Valjean, who stole a loaf of bread to feed his family and was sentence to years as a galley slave, rowing ships back and forth while being whipped by overseers.

Okay, that was a little melodramatic.  Not, perhaps, an entirely inappropriate comparison, but over the top anyway.


If anything, I'm personally grateful to George Washington, Nathan Hale, et al, who broke the chains of British rule a couple hundred years ago.  I'm sure that "Oh, to be in England in the Spring" was an appropriate sentiment for British Soldiers in India during "The Raj", but it would break the heart of any 19th Century Tommy who looked at England today.

I've often commented on the British tendency to turn Citizens into Subjects; but in retrospect this looks far to much like being broken by the whip.

Oh .. "1984", that classic novel by George Orwell ..  wasn't Orwell British?  Didn't that have something to do with complete subjugation of the populace by a dictatorial government?  Apparently, Orwell wasn't all that far wrong.  He was only 20 years early in his timeline.  Well, The Brits have always been "conservative" on social issues, haven't they?

There is a lesson here, for America.

M&P Shield Pistol Safety Alert

Shooting Wire:
Smith  Wesson Issues Safety Alert and Inspection Procedure for M&P Shield Pistols 
SPRINGFIELD, MA --- Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that the Company has identified a condition where the trigger bar pin could damage the lower trigger in certain M&P Shields in a way that may affect the functionality of the drop safety feature of the firearm, potentially allowing the pistol to discharge if it is dropped. 
This Safety Alert applies to all M&P Shield pistols manufactured before August 19, 2013. We believe this condition is largely limited to recently manufactured M&P Shield pistols. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are asking all consumers of all M&P Shields manufactured before August 19, 2013 to immediately inspect their pistols for this condition. 
Any unintended discharge of a firearm has the potential to cause injury, and we ask that you STOP USING YOUR PISTOL IMMEDIATELY UNTIL IT HAS BEEN INSPECTED AND, IF THE CONDITION IS FOUND, REPAIRED
 See the SHOOTING WIRE link at the top of the page for the complete safety warning text.

(... and a supplemental note from Shooting Wire:)
To make it simpler for those of us who find gunsmithing not in our skill-set, there's a video online at to give video instructions for inspecting your Shield. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Modest Proposal

Justice Department to sue Texas over voter ID law | Fox News: WASHINGTON –

The Justice Department said Thursday that it will sue Texas over its voter ID law and, separately, look for ways to intervene in a lawsuit over the state’s redistricting policies -- in the latest volley in the ongoing dispute between the feds and the Lone Star State.

[Attorney General Eric Holder] ... said the step marks the department’s “continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans.” He added, “We will not allow the Supreme Court’s recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.”

Holder’s announcement follows a June 25 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that effectively removed a vital portion of the Voting Rights Act that required 16 jurisdictions to seek pre-clearance from the DOJ before making any changes to election laws and redistricting laws.

Following the ruling, Holder called the court’s decision and its reasoning behind it “flawed,” and vowed to find other ways within the law to challenge the ruling. He planned to do this by targeting other provisions in the act that would allow plaintiffs to present cases where they were unfairly targeted by the law.
“The Department will take action against jurisdictions that attempt to hinder access to the ballot box, no matter where it occurs,” he said. “We will keep fighting aggressively to prevent voter disenfranchisement.”
I have to admit, I'm not sure what Holder's problem is.   (Okay, we've all been saying that for years now, but I was talking about this specific issue.)

It's this whole "voter disenfranchisement" that confuses me.  I understand poll taxes and literacy tests to have historically been the 'litmus test' of disenfranchisement.

The stationing of two uniformed "New Black Panthers" outside the Philadelphia Ward 4 voting site in 2008 was not, however, "disenfranchisement".  Passive intimidation?  One wonders why else one of them felt obliged to brandish a club, but perhaps that's just his "pacifier".  Holder's Justice Department declined to prosecute the two, having determined that they had broken no laws.

Why, then, is Mr. Holder planning to sue Texas for doing something that other states are allowed to do?  That is, require voters to prove their identity before being given the ballot prepared for that registered voter.   Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

However, if Mr. Holder's fiefdom is permitted to sue Texas for requiring voters to prove their identity, and wins, then perhaps the rest of us can use that precedent to protect our own civil rights.

For example, I am currently required to present government issued photo ID before I am permitted to purchase a firearm.  And the Second Amendment is as clear on my right to Keep and Bear arms as other amendments are clear in protecting voting rights.

I believe that this is an illegal and unconstitutional impediment on my civil rights.  Specifically, it's a deliberate attempt to undermine German-Irish rights in America!   Look to other rights protected by Constitutional Amendments:
  • The Fifteenth Amendment extended the right to vote to former male slaves in 1870
  • women gained the vote with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920
  • American Indians gained the vote under a law passed by Congress in 1924
  • The Twenty-Fourth Amendment eliminated the Poll Tax in 1964
  •  The Twenty-Sixth Amendment lowered the legal voting age to eighteen in 1972
The national habit of using constitutional amendments for antidisenfranchisement purposes has been well established.  (And yes, I did just coin that word!)

Therefore, if the Justice Department sues Texas and wins, then he has established a precedent for the prevention of any other laws which require the use of a photo ID to prove my eligibility to exercise my constitutional rights. Such as, the right to keep and bear arms.

Obviously, the requirement for me to present a photo ID to rent a motel room or a car, or to cash a check or enter a tavern -- those are not constitutionally protected rights; they're privileges or mere monetary transactions.

So Mr. Holder, I put it to you that the Slippery Slope argument is alive and well in America.  Especially since the only people who would be 'disenfrangised' by this law are those who are attempting to commit voter fraud.

Put up or shut up.

[ apologies and appreciation to Jonathan Swift ]