January 28, 2013
Guns & Security
By Brett Joshpe
Exclusive to The National Security Roundtable
I have written in several publications of late that as a conservative Republican, I would support sensible new gun laws. The question, of course, becomes “what is sensible,” the answer to which depends on what is the goal. The goal of gun rights and regulations in society should be to promote security and safety in a way that is consistent with Second Amendment jurisprudence. We should ask ourselves constantly whether we are furthering our ultimate goal through various proposals.
Naturally, in promoting that goal, there will be — as there always are — tradeoffs. A limitation on magazine sizes very well could save lives in the context of mass shootings. As has often been stated in the wake of these horrible massacres, “every second counts.” To the extent that smaller magazines buy us seconds, these limitations are worth considering. It may seem a trivial difference for a shooter to shoot 90 bullets, rather than 100, in the course of minutes, but not if your child was killed by bullet number 91.
We must also be honest about the fact that such limitations can result in tragedies in other instances. For instance, one can envision a scenario in which several intruders invade one’s home, gunfire erupts, and the innocent homeowner needs another shot he does not have to neutralize the threat. In limiting the features of the gun and the ammunition, any solution will be imperfect because the gun can either be a life safer or a life taker.
Of course, this is only one part of the equation and only part of what legislatures around the country are considering. Enhanced background checks are the most obvious area where we could further our goal of being more secure in a regime where gun ownership is a constitutional right. For those who say the answer to addressing gun violence is dealing with mental health, enhanced background checks seems like the ideal place to beef up regulations.
Then there is the question of banning assault weapons, which Senator Dianne Feinstein has proposed. The definition of assault weapon fundamentally hinges on aesthetic characteristics, rather than how the weapon actually functions or shoots, or how fast it does so. The effort to bans these weapons is essentially rooted in the fact that they look scary and militaristic and not like the kind of guns we think citizens should have. Personally, I think we glorify guns and violence too much in this society, and there is nothing wrong with trying to make them “less cool.” But is that the job of the federal government? Does banning a weapon because of how it looks really make sense and does it further the ultimate goal of making us more secure?
I have reservations about whether it does, although, in light of the latest tragedy in Connecticut, I believe adamantly that we have failed so far to find those regulations that would best promote our end goal. I believe we can do better and still be true to our Second Amendment tradition. I concede that finding the ideal balance is complicated, but we should keep common sense in mind as we search for it.
Brett Joshpe is an attorney in New York City and runs the law firm Joshpe Law Group LLP. He is co-author of the book "Why You’re Wrong About the Right"; a regular commentator on political, legal and economic issues; and a member of The National Security Roundtable.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of The National Security Roundtable, Inc.
February 21, 2012
Looks like the most anti-Israel president in U.S. history, President Barack Obama (Jimmy Carter comes in a close second) is confirmed to speak at the upcoming annual AIPAC conference, which includes "more than 12,000 pro-Israel Americans" (according to an AIPAC announcement).
Oh joy, and thanks for making our day (NOT).
What part of anti-Israel do these "pro-Israel Americans" not get?
Probably the same part that allowed them to choose Chicago entrepreneur, Lee "Rosy" Rosenberg, as their new AIPAC president. Mr. Rosenberg, according to the Washington Post, was one of President Obama's staunchest Jewish allies during the 2008 presidential campaign, as well as one of his earliest political backers. He advised the president on foreign policy in the Middle East and Israel, and to that I would say: Rosy, you're doing a heckuva job!!
[Posted by R.S.]
January 23, 2012
In his New York Times op-ed entitled "Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb-Bomb-Iran?" Bill Keller writes regarding the prospect of living with a nuclear Iran:
"In that case, the fear of most American experts is not that Iran would decide
to incinerate Israel. (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does a good impression of an evil madman, but Iran is not suicidal.) The more realistic dangers, plenty scary, are
that a conventional conflict in that conflict-prone neighborhood would spiral into Armageddon, or that Iran would extend its protective nuclear umbrella over
menacing proxies like Hezbollah, or that Arab neighbors would feel obliged to
join the nuclear arms race."
"Most American experts" and their families don't live in Israel, so perhaps we should ask Israeli experts what they fear?
As to Mr. Keller's statement that "Iran is not suicidal," we'd be very curious to know if Mr. Keller would be willing to stake the lives of his children on testing that theory?
Mr. Keller also neglects to mention in his list of "more realistic dangers," the danger of Iran's terroist proxies, like Hezbollah, getting their hand on a nuclear weapon. Are they and their suicide bombers not suicidal either?
In his closing statement Mr. Keller writes: "Bombing Iran is the best way to guarantee exactly what we are trying to prevent."
Well, news flash, Mr. Keller, NOT bombing Iran is an even better way to guarantee exactly what we are trying to prevent.
[Posted by R.S.]
January 12, 2012
Check out the email below from "Barack," paid for by "Obama for America." [Addressee's name withheld].
We appreciate Barack's love and devotion to his wife, Michelle (aka "FLOTUS"), and admire his concern about her upcoming (48th) birthday, but is FLOTUS's birthday really the best reason to support, or re-elect her husband as our next Commander-in-Chief?!
If it is, and more importantly, if it works, then Houston, we've got a problem in this country.... and it's a BIG one.
Sent: 1/12/2012 1:06:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
When you become president, one thing that happens overnight is that you and everyone you love get a bunch of new nicknames.
I was already pretty used to this. But "FLOTUS," short for First Lady of the United States, is really something else.
I'm writing because our FLOTUS, Michelle, turns 48 on Tuesday, and I know I'm not her only fan out there.
The decision to become part of this campaign was deeply personal for a lot of people, and Michelle and I are no exception. But we both knew, like anyone else who believes in what we're trying to do here, that this was never going to be easy.
This fall, Michelle and I will have been married 20 years. The next 10 months will be harder than any we've experienced together, and I couldn't do it without her. I know she'd love to hear from you today:
Thanks for your support,
P.S. -- This weekend, people are getting together to volunteer in their communities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Find out how you can join in at serve.gov.
January 10, 2012
What else would you call these two clowns?! (See below.)
btw - Take a look at the officer saluting in the background. Does he not look like something straight out of central casting for Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie, The Dictator?
[Posted by R.S.]
"Saudi Arabia has today [May 21, 2013] beheaded five Yemenis and displayed their bodies in public. ...Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking, sorcery and witchcraft are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of sharia, or Islamic law."
~ The Commentator, on our friends, the Saudis, and the wonders of sharia (Islamic) law. Story here.