Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Austin police on Friday said they tracked down and charged a man they said vandalized Austin's iconic statue of blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. Witnesses on Monday -- the day after the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl -- saw a man spray-painting the base of the statue and place an Eagles jersey over the monument on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, police said. Passers-by also got the license plate number from the man's vehicle and called 911. read more

Thursday, February 01, 2018

In their political afterlife, former politicians and their staffers are hoarding unspent campaign donations for years and using them to finance their lifestyle, advance their new careers and pay family members, an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times, 10News WTSP and TEGNA-owned TV stations found. Their spending makes a mockery of one of the fundamental principles of America's campaign finance laws: Donations must be spent only on politics, not politicians' personal lives. read more


Rule 609. Impeachment by Evidence of a Criminal Conviction

(a) In General. The following rules apply to attacking a witness's character for truthfulness by evidence of a criminal conviction:

(1) for a crime that, in the convicting jurisdiction, was punishable by death or by imprisonment for more than one year, the evidence:

(A) must be admitted, subject to Rule 403, in a civil case or in a criminal case in which the witness is not a defendant; and

(B) must be admitted in a criminal case in which the witness is a defendant, if the probative value of the evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to that defendant; and

(2) for any crime regardless of the punishment, the evidence must be admitted if the court can readily determine that establishing the elements of the crime required proving -- or the witness's admitting -- a dishonest act or false statement.

(b) Limit on Using the Evidence After 10 Years. This subdivision (b) applies if more than 10 years have passed since the witness's conviction or release from confinement for it, whichever is later. Evidence of the conviction is admissible only if:

(1) its probative value, supported by specific facts and circumstances, substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect; and

(2) the proponent gives an adverse party reasonable written notice of the intent to use it so that the party has a fair opportunity to contest its use.

In short, court's generally don't care about criminal convictions more than ten years ago.

Well, the House just approved $50 million to do just that.

It's $50m per year for 2019-2028. www.congress.gov{%22search%22%3A[%22Students%2C+Teachers%2C+and+Officers+Preventing+%28STOP%

"In 2014–15, there were about 13,600 public school districts (source) with close to 98,200 public schools, including about 6,700 charter schools (source). In fall 2015, there were about 34,600 private schools offering kindergarten or higher grades (forthcoming)." nces.ed.gov

You do the math.

To conceal and carry... Not to own...

"To legally possess firearms or ammunition, Illinois residents must have a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police to any qualified applicant." www2.illinois.gov

"[Chicagoans] who keep guns in the home must hold only a valid FOID card. Gun owners who carry a firearm outside the home must have an FOID and a concealed carry permit." www.chicagotribune.com

Seems Chicago's problem is the illegal firearms market according to the article.


As I suspected, your vision of licensing goes beyond minimum proficiency. Liability insurance is more an economic question. A couple fundamental premises. Cars are permissive, firearms are a right. Thus government is more constrained in the latter. Rights can't be substantially burdened absent a compelling government interest. Monetary requirements can become a substantial burden.

That said, I don't think licensing the person is a substantial burden. Having the government verify that you are not a "prohibited person," and that you have minimum qualifications (self taught an option) is minimal. A pain in the a** like voter ID but minimal. Much like voter registration i.e. you are qualified to vote is this precinct or district or needing a permit to speak at certain time or places doesn't substantially affect your right to vote or speak.

Liability insurance is more difficult. Minimum liability auto insurance for the wife and I for two vehicles is about $1200.00 a year for 30/60/25 in Harris County, Texas. That's a lot of money to pay for a right. There are far fewer accidental firearm injuries and deaths than with vehicles so the premiums should be far less. Nevertheless, there are low income persons whose right would be substantially burdened. Since a good number are already covered, homeowners, I think it could probably be figured out.

Storage, registration, mandatory reporting and "finger printing" raise a whole host of other issues. Most glaring, "storage" laws were a central focus of both Heller and McDonald; if you gotta lock it up or render it unusable that's not just a substantial burden but a denial. But that's for all the other gun threads. I just wanted to explore licensing and insurance. Next up implementing them at the federal level.

The National Academies published a similar report in 2005. FIREARMS AND VIOLENCE A CRITICAL REVIEW

One theme that runs throughout our report is the relative absence of credible data central to addressing even the most basic questions about firearms and violence. As we often state in the report, without much better data, important questions will continue to be unanswerable. This is unacceptable when we see the impact that firearm-related violent injury and death have on American society and especially some of the most vulnerable segments of that population. The fact that little can be said about the prevention and control of these levels of death and injury -- when for some segments of the population they are the leading causes of death and injury -- is of concern to us as citizens and scientists.
Contrary to the gun-control crowd talking point about a "funding freeze" the report was funded in part by grants from the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The National Academies published another similar report in 2013. PRIORITIES FOR RESEARCH TO REDUCE THE THREAT OF FIREARM-RELATED VIOLENCE Once again, contrary to the talking point, the study was funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation.

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