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Feds Enlist Local PDs to Scan Gun Show Attendees’ License Plates

Feds Enlist Local PDs to Scan Gun Show Attendees’ License Plates

An idea that just will not go away . . .

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Federal agents have persuaded police officers to scan license plates to gather information about gun-show customers, government emails show, raising questions about how officials monitor constitutionally protected activity.”

The activity revealed in the emails suggests that the known incidents are limited to border control and occurred in California in 2010.

The WSJ continues:

Emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency crafted a plan in 2010 to use license-plate readers—devices that record the plate numbers of all passing cars—at gun shows in Southern California, including one in Del Mar, not far from the Mexican border.

Agents then compared that information to cars that crossed the border, hoping to find gun smugglers, according to the documents and interviews with law-enforcement officials with knowledge of the operation.

The investigative tactic concerns privacy and guns-rights advocates, who call it an invasion of privacy. The law-enforcement officials say it is an important and legal tool for pursuing dangerous, hard-to-track illegal activity.

There is no indication the gun-show surveillance led to any arrests or investigative leads, but the officials didn’t rule out that such surveillance may have happened elsewhere. The agency has no written policy on its use of license-plate readers and could engage in similar surveillance in the future, they said.

This is not the only federal agency, however, that has considered scanning the license plates of gun show attendees.

The ACLU reported at the time:

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers, according to a newly disclosed DEA email obtained by the ACLU through the Freedom of Information Act.

The April 2009 email states that “DEA Phoenix Division Office is working closely with ATF on attacking the guns going to [redacted] and the gun shows, to include programs/operation with LPRs at the gun shows.” The government redacted the rest of the email, but when we received this document we concluded that these agencies used license plate readers to collect information about law-abiding citizens attending gun shows. An automatic license plate reader cannot distinguish between people transporting illegal guns and those transporting legal guns, or no guns at all; it only documents the presence of any car driving to the event. Mere attendance at a gun show, it appeared, would have been enough to have one’s presence noted in a DEA database.

Responding to inquiries about the document, the DEA said that the monitoring of gun shows was merely a proposal and was never implemented.

Additionally, the ATF was allegedly planning to work with the DEA to scan and record the license plates of gun show attendees.  This plan, however, was also reportedly scrapped.

According to Fox News, “Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said his group also opposes such surveillance. “Information on law-abiding gun owners ends up getting recorded, stored, and registered, which is a violation of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act and of the Second Amendment.”

Scanning gun show attendees’ license plates is a plan that federal agencies continue to revive and revise.


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hateful hillery wants to take down the NRA and gun owners.
Published on Sep 30, 2016

The ATF has been for decades a rogue agency. They WILL fabricate evidence and lie overtly on the witness stand. I know this for a certainty.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Ragspierre. | October 4, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I could understand this better if you said they did it covertly. If they do it overtly, wouldn’t someone – a judge, a prosecutor, the media be doing something about this. Are all prosecutors, judges and the entire media in on it.

    If you are so sure the ATF(E) is doing this, how can you be sure police departments aren’t doing this to blacks? They claim they are unfairly targeted. Do their lives matter?

    One other thing – I pass through license plate camera checkpoints regularly. In one town, they blatantly post a police car in the median of a main thoroughfare. I don’t like it. But they are obvious. Is this a claim that they are doing it surreptitiously? Is it being done for intimidation. In the case of the gun shows would it be necessary if everyone had to pass a background check – no exceptions?

    These are a lot of questions and you don’t like me. But this doesn’t just affect conservatives. Everyone who values his/her civil liberties is affected. I give a sheet about this, too.

      Decades ago now, a friend of mine defended a gun smith accused of making fully automatic weapons out of semi-autos.

      The ATF planted parts in the gunsmith’s shop. My friend proved this by the tool marks on the planted parts.

      That’s how I know.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Ragspierre. | October 4, 2016 at 9:07 pm

        And nobody was sanctioned? Then you have already lost.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Ragspierre. | October 4, 2016 at 9:13 pm

        You do know that the FBI set up the Black Panthers around the same time? Heard of Cointelpro?

          ORDA, google shoestring machine gun. ATF once declared it so.
          Google Milwaukee ATF sting. Heck go to CUATF (Clean Up ATF). Maybe you can see the original post that started Fast and Furious.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 6, 2016 at 1:07 pm

          @4Fun I did as you suggested. I even read the legal abstracts. The tricked up semi-auto was quite entertaining. It does make a strong case for not banning anything. Of course I can easily buy prohibited drugs, but they are illegal. I will be happier when the gun enthusiasts go back to working with the anti-prohibitionists – as was common in the early ’90s.

          My thoughts are mixed on your shoestring. If you sent the ATF (Is it still the ATF or the ATFE) a picture of a pressure cooker and ask if it was legal, some bureaucrat would send you a legal response. A different one would send you a different response.

          But if you send him a photo of the pieces of a pressure cooker bomb, even thought they are individually legal, the response would be unequivocal.

          I suspect that if you were to build a device like the one I saw in the video and you were stopped by a cop, you would have some ‘spaining to do. If it was used in the commission of a crime, there would be additional charges for possession of an automatic weapon.

          Thank you. It was an interesting exercise.

      “…and you don’t like me.”

      Hey, you’re finally right about something.

      “…If they do it overtly, wouldn’t someone – a judge, a prosecutor, the media be doing something about this…”

      Did you just fall off the turnip truck? Who the hell do you think is coaching the cops if not the prosecutors? I can’t speak to the ATF, but I do know that in NYC police reports are just boilerplate. Guns, ammo? They’re just constantly falling out of people’s pockets or rolling around on the floor of the car in plain view. Just fill in the time, date, and location in the blank spaces.

      No, this didn’t happen to me.

      You may think after hearing the exact same story a couple of hundred times a judge might catch on. If you do, you believe that justice just like the tooth fairy and Santa Claus exists.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Arminius. | October 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm

        You bit, Mr. Turnip. That was my point. Interesting, though, I got 6 thumbs down for pointing out it was done to the Black Panthers (quite successfully).

        Black Lives Matter doesn’t get a lot of solidarity around here either.

        You probably think Trump is going to fix it – for whites, anyway. Exactly who fell off the turnip truck?

        FYI, the term the police used in NYC was testilying. Trump didn’t have anything to say about that, either. In case you hadn’t noticed, Trump wants to take ‘Stop & Frisk’ national. Do you have any idea how many marijuana busts happened because a cop ‘saw’ a weapon?

        One other thing – every once in a while a judge does wake up and create a Commission. They made the movie Serpico about 1 of them.

        It seems to me you only care when your ox gets gored. Try this on for size:

          BLM deserves not solidarity here. Because the only black lives that matter to them are violent felonious black lives. As demonstrated by the parade of poster children they keep citing as “innocent” black people getting killed by cops just for sport, when it keeps coming out that their poster children are pointing guns at cops (like that stupid b***h posting pictures of herself doing exactly that to her Facebook page while also holding her five your old son as a human shield because she didn’t want to be served with a warrant), are felons in possession of illegal guns, or trying to steal the cop’s gun.

          But since the topic is lying on the witness stand, what the hell does BLM have to do with this, other than allowing you to accuse me of racism. Besides, BLM was founded on lies, some of their original celebrities also lied when they testified under oath to the Grand Jury in Furgeson, and unlike BLM and you I actually do care about black lives. The majority of black people share my disgust with the BLM crowd, and realize that there black lives don’t matter to BLM. If some black thug like Michael Brown gets killed by a cop they aren’t going to shed a tear for him. They don’t like having him for a neighbor any more than you would. And when the protesters who would later from the BLM crowd tried to paint Florida’s “stand your ground” law as a racist law passed by racist whites so that that racist white Hispanics like George Zimmerman could get away with racist murder, the majority of black Florida voters urged their state legislature to retain the law and not modify it. Because that law disproportionately protects blacks as they tend to live in higher crime areas.

          Basically, ORDA, you’re the racist, not me. Your first racist instinct is to assume that BLM actually thinks black lives matter, because the black criminals they support kill and harm largely other black people whose lives don’t matter to them or you. And that since they call themselves Black Lives Matter, racists like you assume they speak for blacks. They don’t speak for the majority of them, and I know black people who despise the group just as much as I do.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm

          Yep, whites are the victims.

          I cop to being a racist.

          ’nuff said.

      “…Well, as I just mentioned, Federal law allows us to fly all over. So, if John Doe was flying from Florida to Maine and had a connection in New Jersey, he would be fine and have no problem at all if he simply went from one plane to the next and the airlines transferred his luggage as they always do.

      But, let’s say John Doe flies into Jersey and he misses his connecting flight. Let’s say there are no other flights out that night so he decides to get a hotel room. And since John Doe is a responsible gun owner he goes and retrieves his bag from the ticket agent because he doesn’t want his bag containing a gun left in the airport until the next day.

      Well, the next day arrives…

      And John Doe walks up to the ticket counter in the New Jersey airport and declares his firearm and ammunition, as he should. And as soon as he does this the ticket agent picks up the phone, calls airport police and John Doe is arrested for having possession of a weapon…”

      I’m familiar with such similar cases. A guy flying from Salt Lake City, Utah to Allentown PA when his plane was diverted and forced to land in Newark, New Jersey. His firearm was being legally transported unloaded and in a locked case as part of his checked luggage, his ammunition legally transported separately. As the article goes on to note, typically in these cases eventually all the charges are dropped. But as the saying goes, the process is the punishment. The guy spent ten days in jail before he was allowed to post bail, then had to hire an attorney before, months later, New Jersey dropped the charges. And the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey illegally refused to return his gun and ammunition for three years. The only one on the guy’s side was his lawyer, and that’s because Utah man paid him.

      “…He said it was not his fault the airline stranded him in New Jersey by making him miss his flight and routing his luggage to the wrong destination.

      Prosecutors said it doesn’t matter whose fault it was: Revell was arrested in New Jersey with a readily accessible gun in his possession without a New Jersey license.”

      (And Comey wants to tell me that Hillary Clinton can’t be guilty of violating the Espionage Act because gross negligence is certainly an umamerican and potentially unconstitutional standard for establishing mens rea, but there are people in prison merely for traveling through New Jersey who weren’t even being negligent let alone grossly negligent and everyone including the prosecutors agree had no criminal intent whatsoever.)

      I’m especially amused by the thought that the media would do something about ATF(e) agents lying overtly on the witness stand. Who are these agents lying about? With very rare exceptions, people the vast majority of reporters in the newsroom or broadcast studio disapprove of. The media will enthusiastically help them lie about gun makers, gun smiths, gun dealers, gun owners, and hunters.

      It’s like the old joke about the man saving a kid who falls into the lion exhibit at the zoo. A reporter on his day off witnesses the entire thing. The man jumps in to save the child, stuns the lion by punching it on the nose, then hustles out with the kid.

      The reporter thinks it’s the most amazing thing he ever saw in his life. Naturally he talks to the man. As he’s interviewing the man, he notices the star of David sewn on his motorcycle jacket. It turns out the guy is Jewish and belongs to a motorcycle club that gets together for weekend rides. The reporter leaves to file his story, and as he’s leaving he tells the guy, “This story will be in tomorrow’s paper, look for it.

      Sure enough it is. What’s the headline?


      That’s a joke, but not by much. The media is beyond parody. I have friends who used to be reporters and news photographers (I don’t have any friends who are currently reporters) including one who used to be an editor for the San Francisco Chronicle before he got disgusted with the business and left.

      This guy was one of the rare exceptions. Actually was and still is my hunting buddy. (Ever drive through San Francisco with two freshly killed hogs in the back of the truck? I highly recommend it, all the right people blow a gasket. Also I can highly recommend the Save-More Meat Market in Pacifica, who turned those hogs into such good Italian sausage that my friend’s wife who was at first iffy about the whole hunting thing now makes us go. In addition to being a great butcher shop, when you go hog hunting in Mendocino you get to drive through SF to get there, and can enjoy quality time shocking the natives.)

      I’ve heard all the war stories. When he was junior reporter he worked the crime beat. It was incredible how his articles would get mangled by his editors, especially if there was a gun involved no matter how irrelevant to the story. I recall one individual arrested over a traffic violation. It was a serious violation, obviously, but it’s not particularly memorable. What turned it into a story was that when the police searched his car, in the trunk they found one of those “complaint department, take a number” fake hand grenades, a plastic Star Wars light saber, and a bolt action .22 rimfire rifle. Which was legal, as it was unloaded and in a locked trunk, therefore not accessible from the passenger compartment.

      His actual offense was eminently forgettable, and as I recall at most a misdemeanor. So he can still legally possess that .22 unless he’s committed some felony in the intervening years. But how did my friend’s paper report it?

      MAN ARRESTED WITH MILITARY ARSENAL IN TRUNK OF CAR! Seriously, the San Francisco Chronicle turned a dummy grenade, a plastic star wars toy, and a legally transported .22 rimfire rifle into a “military arsenal.”

      Heaven help you if you are forced to use a firearm in self-defense, particularly if there are racial overtones, as we have seen in the Zimmerman and Darren Wilson cases. But even without a racial angle, the press can and will lie about you generally by omission. A typical story is a shooting that took place in Petaluma, CA. A man was forced to shoot a very large, angry teenager who flew into a rage (it might have been roid rage) when the older gentleman asked him to turn down his car stereo, and actually chased the man into his own house, swearing at and threatening him. The man was able to get to his gun, and shot and killed the teenager. He was charged, but later acquitted, of manslaughter. But after the incident was reported to the police, and the crime beat reporters got wind of it, how did their papers report it? You would think some angry old man just gunned down the teen in cold blood over loud music. When they lie by omission they can always claim, as NBC did when they edited Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him sound like a racist, that they merely edited it for length. But they edits always make the gun owner/defender look as bad as possible.

      The most recent, high profile example of the media out-and-out lying about gun owners is Katie Couric’s “Under the Gun” documentary. When she interviewed Virginia firearms activist she and her producers set them up. Before the interview began they asked the activists to sit quietly while they calibrated their sound equipment. Unbeknown to the group, Couric’s people were recording them, then later they spliced that video of them sitting mutely, staring at the floor or looking up at the ceiling to make it appear they couldn’t think of anything to say when Couric asked about how terrorists and felons could be prevented from buying guns without universal background checks. They actually had an answer, but that was edited out to make them appear as stupid as possible. Fortunately they’re suing Couric and others involved in making the documentary for defamation and claiming $12 million in damages.

      So it really is amusing that you think if ATF(e) are lying on the stand you’d expect the prosecutors, the judge, and funniest of all the press to do something about it.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Arminius. | October 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

        Whew. that is a lot. I agree that the kind of justice that includes days in jail, lawyer’s bills and the confiscation of possessions is not justice. Unfortunately, it is not an argument for allowing the laws of the most permissive states to prevail. If a woman gets pregnant in NY and moves to Texas, can she get an abortion based on NY law?

        Personally, I solved that particular problem. By avocation, I am a sailor and have been privileged to sail in many places in the world. At the least, I always carry a very sharp and expensive knife with a long spike (called a marlin spike). I usually have a number of other items that would be prohibited in carry on luggage. I do not trust checked bags. I try to travel light. So I use an express carrier to ship my tools. With planning, they always beat me to the location. There could be customs problems, but I have never had any. I have gotten good at filling out the forms.

        I have little to add on Clinton. I am not convinced she did anything wrong with her emails. She used an entirely different system for classified material. An attache attended to the details. The leaks started when partisans demanded to see them.

        Moving on, it was not my claim that the media is in league with the ATF. I merely pointed out that they would have to be for the gross violations of civil liberties claimed in the article to not be exposed. In this case, they were. FuzzySlippers was passing on material from another source.

        I have never heard your ‘old joke’ and I am sorry I have heard it now. You are right that it not much of a joke and I have seen no examples like it in the so-called MSM. In general, the MSM seems quite sympathetic to Israel. If occasionally, the Palestinian side if told, that is not unfair. I probably have more at stake here than you do.

        BTW, the media has always been biased. It was the NYTimes that has tried to be ‘objective’. At least they and the original 3 networks tried. As a member of the Vietnam generation, I have had more than a few bones to pick with them, too. The only advice I can give you is to carry on. Eventually, Walter Cronkite decided the war was wrong.

        I think I would stay away from writing about Zimmerman. Win, lose or draw there is something seriously bent in that man.

        I agree that one should be very suspicious of any edited expose. I have heard similar complaints about Fox News – O’Reilly in particular.

        I agree that if the protections don’t work, we have a real problem. Prosecutors are supposed to seek justice – not convictions. Judges are supposed to be impartial.

        But if you really want to get outraged, think about the fact that blacks represent over 50% of the death-row exonerations even though they represent 13% of the population. Doesn’t that trump ( no pun intended) your examples.

        Trump actually inserted himself into the Central Park 5 case by buying full-page ads and making impassioned, grievance based speeches. Punch-line they were kids and they were railroaded.

Henry Hawkins | October 4, 2016 at 7:42 pm

ATF. Alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. That’s a list of party supplies here in eastern NC.

It is only going to get worse under Hillary. Way worse.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Anchovy. | October 4, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    You really trust a grifter like Trump?


      lol… someone needs to lay off the KoolAde.

      even if he was a fraction as evil as you’ve been told he is, do you really think, even for a moment, that the MFM, the Demonrats and the GOPe are going to roll over and play dead for him they way they have for Obola, and how they will if the FAB gets in the White House?

      you’re either trolling or deluded.

      either way, your concern is noted.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to redc1c4. | October 4, 2016 at 9:19 pm

        Fool, you can’t even get your analogies correct. The ones who drank the KoolAde are dead. I am still very much alive.

          How is calling someone a fool helping your case? You clearly understand where you are and where we stand, so you are already engaged in an uphill battle. Are you just trying to demonstrate for us all the reasons we disagree with and often dislike leftists?

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 5, 2016 at 12:46 am

          @Fuzzy Slippers I am not sure where to begin.

          1st: About the only thing I can do here, is burst a few bubbles.
          2nd: I am not a leftist. I tend towards libertarian, but I understand that with 7 Billion on the planet and a lot of bad actors, that is not entirely practical.
          3rd: When someone starts talking about laying off the KoolAde, they aren’t interested in persuasion, don’t understand the metaphor they are misusing and are displaying an utter lack of wit and originality. A squelch seems appropriate.
          4th: There is an appalling amount of group-think right here. This is hardly a place where people think for themselves.
          5th: To win the crowd around here, all Trump had to do was become ‘pro-life’ and be anti-gun control. Having grown up in NY, I can’t remember DJT ever holding either position until he ran for president. He didn’t even speak up when Cuomo pushed through a strict ‘assault’ rifle ban after Sandy Hook.
          6th: Trump took out a full page ad demanding the death penalty for the Central Park 5. They were innocent. So much for Trump as great civil-libertarian.
          7th: Trump has bragged about corrupting politicians and gaming the system – and he is not lying (for once). He isn’t that brilliant, either. He leaned on his daddy’s money and connections. Then he got tutelage from Roy Cohn.
          8th: Trump has hired illegal immigrants and failed to pay them; Stiffed small businessmen and their employees; Been one of a very select few to own the House and lose money in the gambling industry; licensed his name to ripoffs and run ripoffs on the very demographic that populate this site (I am taking an educated guess on the demographic)

          Lastly, I will not be popping the cork on Nov 8th no matter which of them wins. But if I have to choose between a captain whom I know will hit the rocks because he has never even studied a chart and one who won’t steer where I want, the choice is easy. At least I will still be dry when one of them leaves office.

          Pop-quiz: One recent president got us into a quagmire. Another didn’t get us out. One President left office in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. One is leaving after a mediocre recovery?

          ORDA, to your points: drinking the koolaid does reference the Jim Jones travesty, and it has come into the vernacular to mean cultish followers of politicians, particularly but not limited to Obama, who believe–without apparent thought or question–what they are told by their chosen godlet with a fervor nearest resembling blind faith. This makes this figure of speech more akin to a simile than a metaphor. The term was not misused, at least not in the–perhaps inverted–spirit of its vernacular usage. Even if it were, however, so what? Misusing a figure of speech doesn’t make one a fool. Intelligent people do it all the time when speaking or commenting off-the-cuff. Your pedantic response to a throwaway comment says more about you than it does about your target.

          “Group think” is an over- and misused term. You appear to use it to mean that right-leaning people share many of the same ideas, values, and principles. You are correct that people of a given ideology share these things; you are incorrect in your use of the term and in your statements that follow (apparently to prove your point, the premise of which was faulty anyway.).

          There are a lot of people here who are not on the Trump train. Their reactions range from better Hillary than that buffoon to #NeverTrump to yuck, I can’t stand either one but Hillary is marginally worse to well, I said I’d support the GOP, so … to sure, he’s rough around the edges but maybe he’ll do some good to a number of other tepid responses to Trump.

          No matter what, though, minds are made up about Trump. You will burst no bubbles here … and you won’t/can’t be taken seriously when you call people fools.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 5, 2016 at 2:24 pm

          @Fuzzy Slippers: I know that after the original usage is corrupted, you might as well bow to the new usage. It just did my heart good to point out the origin because I don’t drink anyone’s KoolAde.

          I was never foolish enough to think that Obama would fix everything and end racism. That was a phony projection used to discredit those who voted for him. I am not denying that I have met a few Obama acolytes. But they are few and far between.

          Saying my comments are incorrect does not make it so. I understand that it would be time consuming to have responded to them. But in the absence of an actual rebuttal, they remain undisputed.

          There are some #neverTrumpers on this site. But in the end, most will join Ted Cruz. The rest run the gamut from A to B.

          It is unfair to pick out the one comment where I called a fool a fool. My comment about the Black Panthers was panned, too. At this moment it is 0-9. There is indisputable proof that the Black Panthers were victims of the kind of illegal governmental action you deplore.

          Some people on this site dismiss Jim Crow and its lasting effects as a minor inconvenience to a few people. I trust you know better.

          I understand that you are politely telling me to go elsewhere. I appreciate your tact. But is there no common ground? My guess is that there is no common ground as long as we disagree about abortion. The rest is just noise.

          One last thought about voting for Trump because he will pick a judge like Scalia – Scalia wrote in a dissent: A claim of actual innocence is not grounds for an appeal. How does that fit into your philosophy? I ask again: Is there no common ground?

          ORDA, you need to read people’s comments on this site more carefully before making your blanket pronouncements from on high. That aside, whether people choose to vote for Trump is completely up to them; I have other things to worry about and do than fret about who supports and will vote for Trump and who will not. I’m not making lists and checking them twice. We’ll know the answer soon enough.

          I didn’t respond to your comments about Trump because I had nothing to say. You seem to latch onto things and just never let go; this is not healthy. It’s also self-defeating.

          So what if someone or even multiple someones aren’t hiding in shame and quivering with guilt about Jim Crow laws? It may have escaped your notice, but those haven’t been on the books in over five decades. Is it really any wonder that people here (or anywhere) don’t think it a pressing issue in the 2016 presidential election? Or did I miss a Trump press release stating that he’s all for reinstating Jim Crow on a national level (which it never was to begin with)? And before you start blathering on about Jim Crow is alive and well . . . don’t. I know the arguments, I understand the point made, and I do not agree. At all. I am far more interested in the way that Democrat policies have resulted in mass unemployment and mass poverty among our nation’s minorities, in Johnson’s statement that it was important to pass a Civil Rights bill that would have no actual effect and that would keep “them voting Democrat for a generation.” Well, it’s been more than one generation, and Democrats are still saying one thing and creating laws, policies, and quasi-intellectual arguments for rejecting things like school choice, welfare reform, the elimination of affirmative action (they prefer the lowering of standards to accommodate stunted ability, motivation, and even self-worth their own policies created in the first place). Wailing about Jim Crow and stating that voter i.d., etc. is required to create equality is counter intuitive and illogical. We’ve tried the Democrat’s “war on poverty” and their fun concept of racial division and identity politics in this country for decades, and nothing at all has improved for the poor or for black people. That would suggest to most people that the approach is bad. Not to Democrats, they double down, throwing more money, more energy, and more “soft bigotry of low expectations” policy devoted to keeping the poor and minorities perpetually and forever “other.” On this, we will never find common ground, so it’s a pointless discussion.

          You seem to think that every comment on this site reflects the thoughts of every other commenter on this site. You lump everyone together and make blanket assertions that are not based in any reality with which I’m familiar. You keep hammering Trump voters as if you think I am one or as if you think all Trump voters are the same (or that they fit in two “baskets”). Some people who support Trump or who intend to vote for him (there is, I trust you understand, a bit difference) may indeed think that his statement about picking a judge like Scalia is sufficient cause to vote Trump. What makes you think that’s what I believe? You must believe I believe that, right? Why else ask me to defend it? Why, in fact, ask me to defend every comment made by every person on this website? It may have escaped your notice, but a lot of use disagree on a lot of issues. I can’t defend their stances any more than they can (or should be asked to) defend mine. If you want me to defend something I have actually expressed, then ask me to do so (I may or may not, but that is up to me).

          Sure, there’s middle ground, but the key factor in achieving a middle ground is realizing that doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with you, address your every utterance, or otherwise behave and react as you desire (demand?). You must realize that you can’t control others, so why attempt to do so here?

          You muse about how common ground can’t be found because we disagree on abortion; how does one point of disagreement mean that, automatically, there is no common ground to be found? Common ground doesn’t mean agreeing with everything all the time; it means finding areas in which there is overlap or where give and take is possible. Your goal of common ground, as you present it, is clearly impossible. I don’t know one person with whom I agree 100% of the time on 100% of issues that are important (or even on what is important; some things that are vital to one person may be meaningless to another.). And that’s okay. Or it should be if you hope to get along with anyone ever.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 6, 2016 at 12:51 pm

          @Fuzzy Slippers I read your reply in its entirety. I thought there was a chance to explore common ground, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. So I won’t dispute anything you wrote. You are free to claim that the absence of a response means I don’t have one – as I claimed earlier point.

          I respect your willingness to continue this dialog when you could be posting an article. I would gladly continue this in a private exchange. I assume you would have access to my address as a member of the staff. If not, we might cross swords again. But I have taken to heart your opinion that there is little to be gained from my continuing to comment on this site.

          I was pointed to this site by a comment directed to me on the HuffPo. It was about Andrew, your legal blogger. He seems to stick to the law and is quite informative. But I couldn’t help noticing that the rest was, IMO, biased. Long ago I gave up on the HuffPo, too. Perhaps, offering criticism there would be more productive considering that they lean closer to my point of view. But I want to stress that I do not tolerate bias, even when the conclusions are closer to my point of view. I was trained as a mathematician, logician and computer scientist. Logic and facts will always be my touch stone.

          Damn, I am wordy. This was meant to be short and to the point!

          ORDA, I honestly wasn’t telling you to leave this site; you just assumed that. I was trying to point out that there is a way to engage in dialogue with people you know hold opposite views to yours and to even find common ground with them. Calling them names and demanding they “compromise” by accepting your point/s is not fruitful. That’s all I meant.

          As to the rest, yes, of course I am biased. I make no pretense otherwise. I was a staunch Ted Cruz supporter from the beginning of the GOP primaries and remain so to this day. I heartily dislike the majority of Democrat policy, particularly that with progressives tinges (tinges, it should be noted, that I dislike just as much in progressive Republicans). I’ve said all along that Donald Trump is a repulsive and disgusting human being with no redeemable qualities whatsoever, and I still believe that (actually, in light of his vile and vulgar opinions of women, I believe it now more than ever.). Oh, yes, I’m incredibly biased. You see I have opinions, beliefs, and principles, and I’m incredibly blessed to have a job where I can share those with readers.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm

          @Fuzzy Slippers It is only bias if you ignore inconvenient facts, misrepresent the other side or take things out of context; otherwise it is a point of view.

          It is also bias if you allow ideology to override facts, logic and circumstance. I abhor that in anyone; regardless of whether I have sympathy for their positions.

          It is also bias if you cannot admit when you are wrong or cannot change your mind.

          None of the above is meant as criticism. It is merely a caution.

          I have a couple of friends who reflexively take the liberal position. I chide them.

          There are people on this site that question my sincerity and honesty. They call me stupid or a troll. Calling me stupid or illogical doesn’t bother me. I have enough validation of my intelligence and rationality in the real world. Nothing they write like that will bother me. But that type of ad hominem attack does frustrate me because it avoids a substantive discussion.

          BTW, you may have noticed that I took a different tack in a couple of recent posts to your articles. I believe the substance of those posts on free trade; although the language is meant to be satirical.

          I think Hillary was a coward for abandoning her free-trade positions because of Sanders. Now it could come back to bite her because of wiki-leaks; but mostly because she was wrong. Is it enough for me to switch to Trump? – no effin’ way. Besides, he is a demagogue. I doubt he knows what he really thinks.

          One last thing about why I am here. I have learned some interesting and important things on this site from articles and commenters. But there are a lot of balloons to be popped whether that is possible or not.

          ORDA, oh, I can and do change my mind. For example, when the Patriot Act was first proposed, I supported it; however, since then, I have come to regard it as a huge mistake. Another example: many years ago, I fully supported gay “marriage” (though I did object to the term “marriage” in that context) and over time, I saw that the agenda was more about quashing religion and demeaning Christians / dismantling Christianity, so I changed my mind and now oppose gay “marriage.” I also changed my mind about legalizing pot. I used to think it wouldn’t be a big deal, but as study after study showed that those who regularly use pot are stupider and lazier and more likely to move on to harder drugs, I changed my mind. I also changed my mind about Social Security; I used to see it as something we paid into and were “owed,” but now I realize that it’s a Ponzi scheme that is bankrupting our country. I could go on and on, but I think these examples demonstrate my openness to other ideas and my ability to change my mind on key issues. Heck, I’m pretty open-minded in that regard! 😛

          Here’s the deal on being called names by our LI community and you calling us names: we can, you can’t. Simple. Think of it this way: you can insult your wife or best friend all day long, but the minute someone else does, you get angry and defensive. Same here. We may disagree about Trump or whatever, but we will stick together when an “outsider” criticizes one of us. Another example: for about a year (maybe longer), I was a somewhat regular commenter on the far far leftist, utterly, insanely progressive FireDogLake (now defunct, but you may have known it). I was the odd gal out. I was the sole Tea Party voice, and I found that being rational and noncombative (to the point of, yes, ignoring personal attacks) eventually led many of the commenters there to have a grudging respect for me (even though they constantly said I was the sole voice of reason amongst a group of racists, etc.).

          I didn’t go to FDL to “pop balloons,” though. I wanted to try to understand their worldview, to see if what they said made any sense at all to me (it didn’t for the most part). If popping balloons is your goal here, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. We aren’t youngsters here, and we are pretty self-aware and thoughtful. If you are trying to understand our worldview and to find common ground, that is entirely doable.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | October 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

          @Fuzzy Slippers Wow, I mean wow! You opened up a whole carton of cans of worms.

          I never thought the Patriot Act was a good idea. It was pushed through in a panic.

          Gay marriage is not about your religion. It is true that when the LDS Church got into the Prop 8, they entered the realm of nasty politics. Same for right-wingers who claim this is a Christian country. Sorry, it is a non-sectarian country. I actually did construction contracting in the Greenwich Village at the time of Stonewall. The wealthy gays were converting old lofts into cool living space. These guys just got tired of being blackmailed, extorted, hassled, busted and beaten up. You should welcome them. The only weddings I attend nowadays are gay – exaggeration, but not by much.

          Pot – what is the alternative? Prison? Shouldn’t the same logic apply to alcohol? Didn’t we try that? Besides, I know quite a few very productive people who smoke a joint, occasionally, at the end of a long day. Believe me, they are not stupid or lazy. I do think that scientific studies are important. I think you actually got your ideas from stoner characters in the movies. Do you really think Sean Penn was a stoner because he played one?

          The same best friend I mentioned elsewhere, was growing a few plants for the benefit of his sister-in-law who had advanced MS. He didn’t smoke, anymore. When his sister-in-law died, the police arrived after the EMTs reported him. The police had no search warrant and violated his civil liberties. You do care about those? Anyway, he could afford a good lawyer. He made bail and $10K later he was a free man. Good thing he was middle class and white!

          As to the name calling. I don’t care if they call me names. If you saw me in person, you would understand that I was subjected to more personal, and much worse as a kid. I survived and prospered. All it tells me is that your community has a fair number of dolts and people who can’t think for themselves. You have claimed that they are not all of the same mind. That is true, if you want to split hairs. But mostly they are ideologues.

          I haven’t made up my mind about you. But I know that the vast majority of gays are not even remotely interested in hurting Christianity if Christianity will just leave them alone. Unfortunately, the very existence of gays is an affront to right-wing Christians – the old testament and all. So I guess it depends on your point of view.

        Common Sense in reply to redc1c4. | October 4, 2016 at 9:42 pm

        Right on both counts!

        Trolling and Deluded

this is a joke: #Failifornia has had a 10 day wait for *all* firearms purchases for years, even for C&R holders.

you can’t go to a gun show and buy a weapon w/o going through the process… and it’s an article of faith among gun owners here that anyone willing to make a non-DROSed sale is a cop looking for a fool.

It has long been known/rumored that California cops (state and/or local) would come to Las Vegas gun shows and take down info on cars with CA license plates, to make pretextual stops of those cars when they returned to CA, looking for weapons.

Unlike CA, there is no requirement of background checks or waiting periods for handgun sales between private individuals in NV, so there may have been CA residents [illegally] buying firearms at the NV gun shows.

    redc1c4 in reply to Geologist. | October 5, 2016 at 2:45 am

    nope: too late to go into details, but, as i remember it, handgun sales between states, private or otherwise, are still required to go through the screening process, and to abide by whatever restrictions there are at the receiving state.

    IOW, i can’t go to Arizona, Nevada or Oregon, buy a handgun not on our “Safety list” and bring it back home to #Failifornia.

    and i’d still have to wait 10 days to pick it up were i bought it.

      tphillip in reply to redc1c4. | October 5, 2016 at 9:27 am

      I’m going to need some citations on that.

      Unless there is federal law governing the issue, California cannot force any other state to enforce their laws.

      For example I can go to PA and buy guns that violate the NY SAFE Act without any restrictions (Eg: Magazine size). Only once I cross the NY border with the item in question can NY bring down their legal hammer on me. PA has no obligation to do NY’s dirty work for them.

The Friendly Grizzly | October 5, 2016 at 11:11 am

Pretty soon the police will have no friends at all. To paraphrase Lyndon Johnson, “When you’ve lost the law abiding, you’ve lost the country.”

Nothing says fascist quite like scanning a licence plate at a gun show for future Peace Keeper gun confiscation.

Now that it’s 2016 and the California law requiring background checks for ammo purchases has gone into effect you can expect more of this. For years California required ammo purchasers to show ID and provide a thumb print. Now ammo purchasers will be required to undergo a criminal background check. Essentially this will end same day ammo purchases. California tried to ban internet ammo sales in the state, but when they realized that would violate the commerce clause they amended the law to require all ammo purchased online to be to a licensed gun dealer or state-approved ammunition vendor where the transaction must be completed face-to-face so the vendor must verify the purchaser’s identity and submit the information for the background check. The gun dealer/ammo vendor has to report large purchases of ammunition to local law enforcement.

All in all, it’s a bureaucratic mess, which means it is working as intended. I’m not entirely sure if ammo buyers have to go through this every time they buy ammo, or if they can get some sort of permit good for a set period of time. I don’t care as I’ll never purchase another round of a ammo in California again. I may never go hunting again in California, as I see the state as a legal minefield when it comes to possessing a firearm of any type, but if I do I will bring all the ammo I’m going to need.

Naturally, California gun owners know they can legally buy ammunition out of state, and all of my friends plan on doing exactly that. I wonder what pretext the bandits who run the state as the California Democratic Party are going to invent to try to confiscate out-of-state ammo along with fruits and vegetables at their wonderful highway checkpoints?

States that have the license plate on only the rear of the vehicle need only to back into the parking space to keep it from being scanned by the van.