Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mr. Beck writes that the new U.N. proposals for controlling small arms make for some interesting reading.

I like this sort of thing because it lends it self easily to the game of "Internet Compare And Contrast".

From the report, comes a glowing review of the wonderful work they are doing in South Africa:

The Firearms Control Act (FCA) of 2000 replaced earlier apartheid-era regulations covering civilians and state arms holders. The parliamentary committee was directed to ‘produce progressive policy proposals which will contribute to a drastic reduction in the number of legal firearms in circulation in South Africa.’ Under the new law, civilian owners must be, among other things:
• a South African citizen or a permanent resident;
• be 21 years or older (previously the minimum age had been 16);
• a ‘fit and proper person’;
• of a stable mental condition and not inclined towards violence;
• not addicted to drugs or alcohol;
• not convicted of a violent crime within the past five years;
• in possession of an appropriate firearm safe; and
• in possession of a competency certificate.
To obtain the competency certificate, applicants must demonstrate knowledge of the gun laws
and demonstrate safe handling. The process also includes a background check and may include
interviews with intimate partners and/or neighbours. An individual may possess a maximum of
four licenses, with only one designed for self-defence. Licenses must be renewed on a regular
basis (every five years for self-defence guns, ten years for sports shooting, ten years for a private collection, two years for a business license and ten years for hunting licenses). The law also prohibits owners from lending his or her firearm to another person unless the borrower is ‘under his/her immediate supervision where it is safe to use the firearm and for a lawful purpose’. All of these regulations apply to civilians, private security officers, police and security force users.

So how is it working out? The magic Google eight ball finds a Sept. 2008 article from the Economist containing this nugget:

Police figures put the murder rate in 2007-08 at more than 38 per 100,000 and rape at more than 75 per 100,000. This marks a big fall over the past several years, but is still astronomical by international standards (the murder rate was 5.6 per 100,000 in the United States last year).

Gun free paradise to be sure.

It may be a stretch. But what the heck, I'll go out on a limb here: I don't think all the caring, sharing, morally progressive types who write this stuff for the United Nations give a rat's patoot about diminishing suffering; I think they are more interested in shoving their agenda down the world's throat so they can sit around telling each other how caring, sharing, morally progressive they are.

I wonder what the people who do the real work of helping those in need could do with the money that went into writing, researching, and distributing this report.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Doctor, it hurts when I...

You read a lot of these types of stories, and you can almost fill in the blanks after the first sentence. The basic template of the piece is... After repeatedly hitting himself on the head with a hammer, Mr. Johnson couldn't understand the reason for his headache.

Here is a clue for Michigan, Ohio, California, New York, New Jersey, and every other state in need of, as French and Wilkinson write...

young, well-educated high-income earners -- ... the people the state desperately needs to rebuild.

... if you desperately need someone, don't treat them like a cash cow to be milked to pay for political goodies given out to buy the votes of the old, ignorant, low-wage earners who make up your political base. It's not that complicated; it's just hard for politicians to accept.

If it weren't so sad, I would laugh at the sheer pig-ignorant lunkheadedness of this...

Michigan's exodus is one of the state's best known but least understood problems. Long ignored or downplayed, outmigration has been shrugged off partly because it was assumed that those who were leaving were unemployed blue-collar workers and retirees, groups that, in economic terms, don't cripple the state with their departure.

Least understood by whom? Retarded wombats? Dead roadside animals? Walleye? Because by the time any human reaches the age of seven, they understand a few basic principles: People go where they are more likely to be rewarded rather than punished; if mom takes your hard-earned paper route money and shares it out with your lazy sibling, you're going to hide the fruits of your labor; the feckless and sluggardly have no incentive to get up and look for a better deal - the intelligent and ambitious do; and finally, people will go out of their way to get back at those who hurt them - if taking a net loss in a move to South Carolina lets them thumb their noses at Michigan... they'll do it in a heartbeat.

That's not so difficult is it?