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This is my first post in a long time, but I thought this community would find my new organization, the "Independent Firearm Owners Association" (IFoA), of great interest. I’ll get into the reasons for the new group shortly. By way of re-introduction, I'm Richard Feldman, the author of Ricochet Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist,  I’m also the former Executive Director of the American Shooting Sports Council (firearm industry trade association) and a Regional political/legislative director for the National Rifle Association. I worked in the Reagan administration, am a former police officer and an attorney.  

Labels are useful to categorize and divide us. Sometimes I would be considered quite liberal and other times more libertarian. As a lobbyist I’ve always been a radical centrist because that’s where the swing votes reside in any close legislative fight necessary to forge a winning majority. I’ve watched the gun debate for the past 35 years. Not much has changed. The same groups are having the same fights over the same issues talking right past one another. If anything the rhetoric is harsher, the policy issues more distorted, and our civic engagement and confidence in our ability to self govern increasingly suspect. These are dangerous trends.

Compromise, once a hallmark of civil society and democratic progress has somehow been transformed into a dirty word, or worse, a “fighting word”! No one wants to “give an inch” anymore. Posturing for partisan political advantage is more rewarding (to both parties and most politicians) than protecting the principles of liberty, freedom and the empowerment of the individual over the unbridled power of the state. We are a far cry from that “shining city on the hill” the world once saw in us, and we believed in as a compass if not our destiny. As a nation we are being drained financially, spiritually and emotionally. Our society has become culturally depressed by endless wars – foreign and domestic. We now have a ten year war on terrorism, a 40 year war on drugs and another going on since 1968 against the role of firearms in a free society that ostensibly trusts its citizens, “the people,” over everything else.

Why then a gun rights group? Fifteen million liberal Americans own guns, (I know, I married one). Sixty million self identified moderates own guns. The defining central issue over firearms ownership has been decided already. The Supreme Court ruled, {Heller v. DC} that you have a right to own a handgun for self protection and local governments may not impose restrictions designed to absolutely prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising that right. The remaining firearm policy debates revolve around what process or procedure should there be to possess/carry/purchase/sell a tool which is now a constitutionally protected right. There are a range of answers that are generally acceptable to most gun owners and most non gun owners alike.

Meanwhile, at about the same time the gun issue was born (1968 Gun Control Act), the Nixon “war on drugs” began. That never ending money pit continues unabated with gargantuan police, judicial, and military expenditures which have led to disastrous unforeseen consequences in our country and indeed the world. Our efforts have raised the price of marijuana and dramatically lowered the street cost of cocaine and heroin. It makes you wonder if our anti-drug warriors ever bothered to study free market economics.  

The drug war has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens seriously eroded our constitutional freedoms all due to propaganda, powerful entrenched interests and huge quantities of money and political inertia. Our jails are full of non-violent criminals costing us billions of dollars at a time when we face national bankruptcy. Politicians are addicted to spending your money on a flawed philosophy proven time and time again … not to work!

I believe it’s time to join forces on these seemingly disparate issues. They really are not so different. As a Jeffersonian Republican, I want the least government intrusion into my life as possible. Yet we need government to set the boundaries, protect us from others but do we want or need the government to protect us from ourselves?

Gun owners have learned to successfully exert the type of grass roots influence on elected officials that are the envy of every corporation, issue group and trade association in Washington and many state capitols. Declaring an end to the wars on drugs and gun owners and replacing both with pragmatic national policies are objectives that demonstrate how much the two issues are interconnected  in ways far beyond ATF’s “Fast and Furious” embarrassment on the Mexican border.

So why the Independent Firearms Owners Association?  Call it, if you will, a rights and empowerment group that is serious when we say “the debate stops here!” It’s time to stop re-hashing the polemics of the 70s, 80s and 90s and  move beyond bumper stickers. IFoA has solutions that target societal problems in an intelligent, sophisticated and professional manner in an environment where uncomfortable truths are discussed without vitriol or condescension. These issues infringe on our rights whether we are Liberals, Moderates, Conservatives, Democrats, Libertarians or Republicans. It’s time to jettison the political insanity practiced by so many groups repeating the same unproductive behavior for decades yet hoping against hope for a different outcome. It’s time for something 21st Century, a professional organization you retain to get results. If we meet your expectations - keep us, if not fire us! That’s the IFoA.  

If you are ready for a contemporary oranization where individual opinions matter and your personal involvement with our efforts are the lynchpin for our early success, we want to work with you. Operating from the Radical Center we can refocus the cultural and political debate on both these contentious issues.  The decision to engage is yours alone.  Isn't it time we move the agenda forward instead of just talking about it?       See www.IndependentFirearmOwners.org

 What do you think?                  

Poll

Would a group that combines firearm civil rights with the reform of marijuana laws be of interest to you?

66%26 votes
12%5 votes
5%2 votes
10%4 votes
5%2 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (10+ / 0-)

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin-

    by RFELDMAN on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:10:04 AM PDT

  •  How tasteless (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sayitaintso

    This cut-and-paste diary could not be more inappropriate on a day when the nation focuses on a gun nut in Florida who murdered an innocent black kid.

    The claim of gun owners' righteous need for "self-defense" has never rang less true than today.

    You should take this diary down.

    Please, before you create a shitstorm.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:27:31 AM PDT

  •  Question for Greendem (4+ / 0-)

    Please explain your comment on the post being "tasteless?"  

  •  Not a lobbyist for a right to a jury trial? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greendem

    Not a lobbyist for protecting the right to a jury trial?  Or a lobbyist to make sure all eligible voter have access to the voting booth?  What about lobbying for guaranteeing all Americans government search and seizure?

    You wish to position yourself as a centrist, yet you have spent your professional life lobbying for greater availability of guns - the only civil right enumerated under the US Constitution from which an industry can make a profit.  How very conservative of you.

    Of course you are a lobbyist for the gun industry; how could you expect to make money as a lobbyist for the right to a jury trial?  How very conservative of you.

    A true centrist might show some concern for preserving some of the other civil rights that are now vanishing or are threatened in today's political climate: the right to vote, the right to be free of government search and seizure, the right to a jury trial, the right to know the charges against you and to have access to legal counsel.  These are civil rights of concern to ALL Americans, not just those who make a profit by selling guns and ammo.

    Go spend some time lobbying for these important civil rights and THEN come and talk to me about your strong position in the middle of the political spectrum.  

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:39:51 AM PDT

    •  Everyone (8+ / 0-)

      has a key issue. This does not mean there is no room for concern about anything else.
      You don't like guns, I get that. Frankly, I'm glad that there are other-than-NRA people (even if they are "ex") who will stand up for this particular right.
      I am a progressive.
      Human rights are a progressive value.
      Self defense is a human right.

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:48:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your right to self-defense has been restricted (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greendem

        Your right to self-defense has been abridged and in some cases removed entirely.  Not by limitations on the 2nd Amendment (gun rights and gun availability has actually expanded in the past 25 years or so), but by limitations on Amendments 4, 5, 6, and 7.

        and yet, you and the lobbyists for the gun industry are only concerned about your rights under the 2nd Amendment, and have ignored how your (and my) rights have been abridged in other ways.

        And I point out again, that the reason the gun industry spends so much money lobbying our law-makers about civil rights IS NOT because of the great concern of the gun industry for the rights of US citizens, but because of their interests in creating greater profits for themselves.

        For the gun industry and their apologists, profits trump rights every time.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:07:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You know this how? (7+ / 0-)
          and yet, you and the lobbyists for the gun industry are only concerned about your rights under the 2nd Amendment, and have ignored how your (and my) rights have been abridged in other ways.
          You might want to check out the diary/comment history of the poster you're responding to. Just because you support the second amendment doesn't mean that's the only amendment you support.

          Quite frankly, I don't care about the reason why someone supports my civil rights.

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:10:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OK, prove me wrong (0+ / 0-)

            Prove me wrong: show me how much money the gun industry spend on lobbying law-makers for expansion of the 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th amendments.

            Because the gun industry has spend millions of dollars lobbying law-makers for expansion of the 2nd amendment.

            The gun industry tell Americans that it is very concerned about their rights.  But interestingly enough, the gun industry has spend a great deal lobbying to expand the 2nd amendment, and little or nothing on expanding any other constitutional right.  Despite their claim of great concern with American rights, the only right they will lobby for is the one that provides profit for the gun industry.

            For the gun industry and its apologists, profits trump rights, everytime.

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:49:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What are you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theatre goon, KVoimakas, gerrilea
          you and the lobbyists for the gun industry are only concerned about your rights under the 2nd Amendment
          some kind of fake psychic? You don't know me or what I think. At ALL. Take your ignorance and arrogance and stuff them both, thanks.

          "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

          by kestrel9000 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:21:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hugh, I agree that it's beyond 2nd A alone. (6+ / 0-)

          I also believe those persons posting to your comment will have a well-established record of seeing things your way on First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Amendment rights.

          Many RKBA'ers were active this past fall in OWS events, seeing first-hand the effects of a all-powerful police state.
          I'll point out yet-again, the current Administration along with the then-majority Democrats in both House and Senate, did NOTHING to reverse the Bush II decimation of the Bill of Rights.

          I believe it's due to a different meme, using the same agenda.
          Democrats see intrusive government as a force for the greater good.  You are stopped, searched, and detained under the Patriot Act without benefit of Counsel or Habeus, due to two factors:  
          1) Societal Safety, and
          2) the prevention of injury to yourself by radical or stupid actions.

          It's nothing other than a classroom "time-out" for adults intended to address those who'd be disruptive.

          Of course the Orwellian issue is no less than under the power-consolidation which drove the Bush II Administration, but the INTENT that put you in confinement - that's what's important.

          Or... not.

          Oh, and BTW, I thought my continued donations to the ACLU were to address these "other-than second amendment" issues.

          A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

          by 43north on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:53:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Doesn't any body read (7+ / 0-)

      Hugh Jim Bissell, my friend, venting your personal bias is illuminating only your bias.  Didn't you read the post?  This fellow Feldman appears to be opening a door to the voices of those shut out by NRA and their friends.  Seems to me  that is defending the rights of all who don't share your bias but who were voiceless in the debate over their right to own various things you seem to find personally distasteful.  I didn't get the idea that he's selling or lobbying for guns, only that he is a viable alternative to the conservative groups.  You really should be a bit more tolerant of diversity of opinions.

    •  As for current marijuana laws (0+ / 0-)

      As for current marijuana laws, I am sure there is a for-profit prison industry association somewhere that will pay you to lobby law-makers for stricter enforcement of drug laws and longer prison sentence for violators of those laws.

      You might want to look into that -  a centrist such as yourself could make a lot of money with those organizations.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:52:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unsupported accusation of shilling? (8+ / 0-)

        Really?  That's the best you can do...?

        I don't care for the diary itself -- it smacks of a new user trying to drive traffic to his own blog, but that's a far cry from baseless accusations of shilling for various industries.

        I'm hoping that I am mistaken about the diarist, so I'm reserving judgement for the moment.  But what you have done here is regularly, and rightfully, in my opinion, HRed.

        Well, when it's any other subject, of course.  This one seems to be allowed -- it often seems that site rules can be freely ignored when it comes to certain subjects.

        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

        by theatre goon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:56:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Please re-read my dairy (10+ / 0-)

        My point is that the drug laws are counter productive, expensive and create violent black markets.  My organization is interested in moving this agenda forward and there are 50-60 million gun owners that agree that marijuana should be legalized. Why would I want to lobby for an issue (for-profit prisons) that I oppose?

        "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin-

        by RFELDMAN on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:58:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The commenter (4+ / 0-)

          is an established enemy of the right to keep and bear arms on this site. His intent was to ridicule and dismiss you.

          "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

          by kestrel9000 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:01:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You want to lobby for more guns (0+ / 0-)

          If you want to lobby for more guns, you should go right ahead.  That is your right, and I will even support you in exercising that right.

          Now you also want to lobby for marijuana use, and I agree that you should do that.  Again, I support your right to lobby your government (a right that is currently being abridged for Americans as so amply demonstrated by the Occupy Movement in cities across America - and a right you "centrists" never seem too concerned to speak out about.).

          What I object to is your claim to centrism.  Your political goals are those of a conservative (smaller government, more guns).  You are a "centrist" the same way that Romney will be a "centrist" in August - out of convenience and perceived advantage rather than due to any life-long conviction.

          Here's a tip: ONLY conservatives describe themselves as "Jeffersonian", or more tellingly a "Jefferson Republican"  Democrats and Independants never use that sort of language.  Only conservatives need to use that language to signal to each other the importance of states' rights.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:47:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  More guns != conservative value. (6+ / 0-)

            That's a rather poor stereotype. Yes, the most vocal organizations are right wing. Yet, you have small groups of liberal firearm owners.

            Lots of Democrats own guns. Lots of independents own guns. There is a HUGE chunk of single issue voters who vote GOP because they think the Dems will take your guns. If we could correct this perception issue, it would go a long way towards removing the GOP from any position of power. Republicans cause more damage than guns do.

            Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

            by KVoimakas on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:51:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Now THIS (4+ / 0-)

        I can speak to as well, or rather, offer something that does.

        "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

        by kestrel9000 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:58:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What diary did you read, Hugh Jim? (9+ / 0-)

        Calm down, Sonny Jim.  I went to the IFOA website and read their Huffington Post piece on Marijuana reform and found you are totally off base. If anything the group is for ending the criminalization of mj.  What's set you off son?  Your rant is misleading, uncivil and totally incorrect.

      •  Hugh, I read your comments usually with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gerrilea, PavePusher

        great enjoyment, even when we disagree on substance.

        You're offering the best of all strawmen here:

        YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MY LIBERAL CRED.

        Thirty years from now, with three decades of liberal crusading - the diarist will still have 30 years too little "lib cred" to write a diary... and will face the same derision.

        I see it in the LGBT community, with those who at one time (or still do) have relations with the opposite sex.
        You'll NEVER be gay-enough to voice an opinion.

        I've seen it in the black community:  "Mighty black comment from a 'high-yellow' dude like yourself."
        or  "Damn easy for a Redbone like you...".

        All this infighting does is feed the hate radio/teahadist/cracker troll.

        A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

        by 43north on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:03:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll cop to this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          43north

          OK, I'm guilty of using "you'll never be as liberal as me" thinking.

          However, my "you're not as liberal as me" thinking does not excuse Mr. Feldman for claiming to be something he is not - a "centrist".  Unless, of course, a centrist now means someone who is for "smaller government" (now there's a tell right there - non-conservatives speak of government in terms of its function, not its size), states' rights, and describe themselves as "Jefferson Republican".

          Hey!  Do you remember all those republicans who changed party affiliation to "independents" after finding out how publicly embarassing it was to admit to being republicans after two terms of the republican hero George Bush?  Do you think the change in label went along with a change in political philosophy?

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:39:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I do. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PavePusher
            Hey!  Do you remember all those republicans who changed party affiliation to "independents" after finding out how publicly embarassing it was to admit to being republicans after two terms of the republican hero George Bush?  Do you think the change in label went along with a change in political philosophy?
            Though I believe the political philosophy you write of, is that of the RNC and the rabid right 10% who drive the national debate.

            I doubt for example, Lincoln Chaffee would self-identify as a Republican, I know this is why Olympia Snowe is leaving the Senate.  The label RINO RINO RINO is given in permanent marker, just as soon as a compromise is reached on important legislation.

            I can point to some here on DKos who believe any compromise that causes a woman to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion is unconscionable.  DINO DINO DINO!!!

            Most (not all) women I speak to also hold that a 24 hour, "think it over" isn't a bad idea - particularly if you're being pressured into having the procedure by family or the would-be father of that child.

            Now if that resulted in funding for all women's health services - including abortion, 79% of women would say it was a good job.  10% on each side would go HELL NO.
            1% would be undecided.

            The radicals claim Government is to serve the 21 percent... and that the 79% will be served by serving the 21 percent.

            So far, I call bullshit on that message, as I have yet to see it work.  Your mileage may vary.

            A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

            by 43north on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:35:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  People don't profit handsomely from speech (7+ / 0-)

      and religion?

      Really?

      I've got some multimedia companies and prosperity gospel preachers for you to meet.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:59:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, I disagree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, theatre goon, PavePusher
      he only civil right enumerated under the US Constitution from which an industry can make a profit
      Who owns our media today? Who owns the "free press"?

      You really can't be serious here. Investigative reporting is dead because there's no profit in it.

      What about those damn pen manifacturers? Bic pens anyone?

      What about those paper companies, Mead anyone?

      What about those "televangelists"?

      Did you protest when GE, Disney, etc lobbied Congress and the FCC to allow the "deregulation" in the 90's?

      So conservative of you...

      -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

      by gerrilea on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 12:48:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  RFELDMAN is new (0+ / 0-)

    He has exactly two diaries.
    Both pushing his gun organization.

    This diary is not just cut-and-paste,
    it is commercial spam.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:00:48 AM PDT

  •  Main Point (6+ / 0-)

    If you belive that government should keep its hands out of your bedroom, den, and kitchen then there is an important link between gun owners and drug policy reformers.  If you don't see it that way - fine, if you do dig deeper.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin-

    by RFELDMAN on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:09:37 AM PDT

    •  Mister Feldman (6+ / 0-)

      We've a solid history of blog whores pushing an anti-gun agenda, and driving traffic to their site(s).  
      Google "Nasty Jack" for a recent incarnation.

      Therefore, be prepared to hear "shill" "whore" and "spammer".

      Be certain your content posted here, is posted here.
      Not: "Crossposted to IFoA"

      Do as you've done today, engage the commenters.
      Most Blog Whores post a diary in the wee hours, write a comment or two like this at 5am EST:

      "Evidently the RKBA'ers are struck deaf dumb and blind by the truth of Brady Center and MAIG arguments."
      They then take a powder back to their own sites, crowing how they've smacked the DKos loyal opposition into silence.

      Don't be that person.

      A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

      by 43north on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:37:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Copy/pasting content from one site to another... (7+ / 0-)

    ...is not explicitly against site rules -- many diarists do it -- but it is often frowned upon.  Cross-posting is quite acceptable.

    What is generally considered against site rules is simply driving traffic to another site, other than this one.  Well, if not against site rules, it is considered in very poor taste.

    For that reason, I am neither tipping nor reccing the diary itself, even though I agree with much of what it contains.  

    In defense of the diarist, he is staying with the diary and responding to commentary -- making it obvious that this is not meant as a spam or hit-and-run diary.  It would therefore appear that this is a new user not fully versed on site rules and tradition.

    My advice to the diarist -- when cross-posting, it is usually seen best when one crafts some new content to add here at DKos, to be more fully engaged in the community.

    HRs of the tip-jar are very out of line, and are nothing less than ratings abuse.

    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

    by theatre goon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:13:56 AM PDT

  •  While I support, in theory, the individual (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, greendem, Hualapai

    right to keep and bear arms, as others pointed out your timing couldn't possibly be worse.

    Currently in Florida and other "stand your ground" states, it appears to be legal to murder someone with a firearm if you feel threatened and aren't currently trespassing. These laws require reform, and those reforms will necessarily take the form of restricting gun possession and use. The right to bear arms has to be balanced with other societal needs, such as the need for public safety, and the need to settle disputes with courts and police instead of by armed shoot-out, and most of us feel at this moment that this balance has not been achieved.

    I believe in the right to keep and bear arms like I believe in free enterprise: I support the concept, yet what troubles our society right now is not too little of the thing but too much. I can't be your fellow-traveller on this issue at this moment in time; perhaps in a few years should the pendulum start to swing the other way.

    I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

    by eataTREE on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:27:22 AM PDT

    •  Stand your Ground (10+ / 0-)

      My understanding of the Sanford tragedy is that the gun owner (vigilante) took offensive steps.  That is not "stand your ground" - it is simply unacceptable!  I don't have all the facts, but it sure looks like murder, not self-defense to me.

      "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin-

      by RFELDMAN on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:34:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed that is is, or should be, murder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        and yet this is far from the first dodgy case in Florida where a person has claimed "self defense" in questionable circumstances and got away with it due to the broad wording of this statute. When participants in a fatal gang shooting are walking away because neither side was tresspassing and each felt justifiably threatened by the other, the law requires reform. You may not feel that the law requires that, but judges in Florida do, and their interpretation is the one that matters.

        I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

        by eataTREE on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:51:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's not getting away from it due to the wording. (6+ / 0-)

          He probably won't get away from it now due to the national scrutiny. The burden here lands on the police.

          Can you cite me that example you gave or was it just an off the top of your head example?

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:53:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The "fatal gang shooting" scenario does not (5+ / 0-)

          fall under the protection of the law if there is probable cause to suspect that at the time of the shooting, one or both parties were acting unlawfully.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:09:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm only quoting from the record (0+ / 0-)

            of what has already happened under the law. I'm not making it up. Follow my link to read about that case and others. That people are shooting each other under highly suspect circumstances and getting away with it due to this law isn't some hypothetical from the anti-gun crowd; it's a statement about what has already happened and is still happening.

            I'm not pro-gun exactly, but neither am I opposed to concealed/open carry in states where such policies reflect the will of the majority. But that under this particular law, people are literally getting away with murder, isn't a statement about my gun control opinions but a statement of fact. You can have carry permits without a law that seems to have had the practical effect of allowing people to shoot each other.

            I support torturous regimes! Also, I kick puppies.

            by eataTREE on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:31:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

        HR removed.

        "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

        by greendem on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:09:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is simply not true. The content of the law (8+ / 0-)

      has been repeatedly misrepresented.

      The Florida "Stand Your Ground" law simply removes the common law obligation to retreat before using force in defense of self or others. It also requires several criteria to be met before the person using force is considered justified:

      1) The person using defensive force must not be acting unlawfully
      2) The person using defensive force must be in a place he/she has a right to be
      3) The law does not permit pursuit and confrontation, only removing an obligation to retreat
      4) If all of these are satisfied, only then is the "reasonableness" of the belief that force is necessary to prevent grave harm to self or others, or to prevent a forcible crime, is considered.

      Pursuit, confrontation, and verbalized animus (like Zimmerman's racial epithet) immediately destroy the reasonableness of the action.

      The law provides the following provisional protection as well: that while investigation of the incident will proceed, arrest and prosecution of someone claiming self-defense requires the bar of "probable cause", and should arrest and prosecution occur and a judge determine that probable cause was not met, the judge can award the person who used defensive force damages. And if a cop or prosecutor can't prove probable cause, they shouldn't be arresting anyone under any circumstances.

      None of these provisions permit any of the scenarios you cite. The law is vastly narrow than that; and the information already out about Zimmerman's actions put him well outside its protection.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:35:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "insensitive diary" (5+ / 0-)

    Each and every day, there's a sound reason for diaries not to be written:  
    IGTNT diaries should fall silent on the anniversary of Wounded Knee.  "If I have to explain why, you shouldn't be on this site."

    Pootie diaries should fall silent on the anniversary of my cat being run-over by a truck.  "If I have to explain why, you shouldn't be on this site."

    To use the death of Trayvon Martin, who none of us believe should be dead, as a means to silence the pro-Second Amendment voices?

    Well, next month will be the 25th anniversary of a 15 year old boy I knew the family of to a self-inflicted firearms wound, a/k/a suicide-by-handgun.  
    Everyone should STFU that month.

    My pet ferret died in May.  STFU then too.

    My mother was diagnosed with cancer in June.
    She was born in July.  My grandfather died in August. STFU STFU STFU.
    I have more.
    [snark]

    The one thing I'm really trying to say is:
    I want everyone to STFU with these diaries where I disagree with your meme, your deeply held belief, your political agenda.  
    Just STFU and have some goddamn consideration.

    Of me, as I'm all-important.

    [/snark]

    A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

    by 43north on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:10:21 AM PDT

  •  Florida "Stand your Ground" thoughts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, KVoimakas, OMwordTHRUdaFOG

    Please read Professor Adam Winkler's comments in todays New York Times.

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin-

    by RFELDMAN on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 12:12:02 PM PDT

  •  NYT Prof Winkler (4+ / 0-)

    Here is the correct location,
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Ben Franklin-

    by RFELDMAN on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 12:14:55 PM PDT

    •  He makes a common mistake... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound, PavePusher, KVoimakas

      At least, what seems a common mistake around here, lately.

      From the linked article:

      Indeed, given the law’s authorization of the use of deadly force to protect other people and, as the law also provides, “to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony,” Florida’s law unambiguously authorizes people to pursue and confront others.
      My emphasis.

      This is simply untrue.  The law goes into quite a lot of detail explaining exactly when force may be used in self-defense -- it does not authorize such force in pursuing and confronting others.

      In fact, it seems to me that it requires some very creative interpretation to find such authorization in the law itself.

      Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

      by theatre goon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 01:43:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the diary Richard (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, PavePusher, KVoimakas

    i enjoyed your book. Its my understanding a huge % of gun deaths & shootings are tied to the drug war. Legalazation will definatly be getting alot more attention since the presidents of mexico, guadamala & our VP want it honestly considered.
     I see the drug war as fueling the culture wars, with unlimited resourses, which bring me to the comment in your book, "rather fight than win"

    Six million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S.—more than were in Stalin’s gulags

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:38:32 PM PDT

  •  IFoA sounds good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PavePusher, KVoimakas

    Think you could manage a logo with that Obama rising sun;=)

    I'll favorite the web page and stop by once in a while to look for movement.

    "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:23:33 PM PDT

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