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Yes but isn't regulation of your economic life ultimately a regulation of your personal life? It only took me 30 years to figure it out (I'm slow) but the problem isn't the democrats or the republicans, they are each merely different sides of the same coin! The problem is us! Remember when we were all bold proponents of the free market capitalist system? We were all going to get rich selling property to each other! Where did those folks go when things started to get tight....Uncle Stupid.....help me, bail me out, protect me! I don't exempt our captains of industry from this accusation! Its not as if they haven't been back to the window with their begging bowls more than once!

America is dead....we're Europe (and we all know how thats going....cough cough DemographicWinter.com)! Bow down before your god the omnipotent state!

Okay, rant ended! We may now all return to our otherwise pointless lives!

Tom, on a separate note, I find your ability to support Senator McConnell when he supported what you wanted and opposition when he backs something that you oppose......refreshing! In all seriousness, politicians of all stripes are fundamentally whores and should all be ridden like carnival rides! The sooner the citizenry understands this the sooner we can correct some of the more egregious policies implemented by this government!

I stuck with Jim Leach (a Republican I supported for over 12 years) at least one election cycle too long.

I would merely point out to you that without the 2nd amendment, there is no guarantee of the first. The individual right to keep and bear arms is the single greatest obstacle to the government's ability to stifle those things we hold dear, like free speech.

And while I have very rarely crossed the aisle to vote Democrat, I have actively campaigned for the removal of incumbent republicans who have become heady with power. More often than not my candidate loses in those struggles, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pull the party lever just because they tell me tell. I'm the king of the write-in candidate.

I, personally, find the idea that the sorts of guns people own are of any value at all in fighting the government -- which has, among other things, tanks and air cover. That said, I have gone from being seriously pro-gun control to being seriously ambivalent. The only sort of gun control that would be effective would be absolute: no guns, nowhere. The odds of that happening are zero. So the most that couple possibly be hoped for would be the kind of compromise that results in the disarmament only of the law abiding.

I also have a problem with group punishment. I didn't like it in middle school when the whole class got penalized for the misbehavior of a few troublemakers (admittedly, often me), and I don't like the idea of penalizing responsible gun owners for the misbehavior of criminals.

There's a case pending before the Supreme Court that will define whether the 2nd Amendment really provide an individual right to gun ownership. The language, with it's talk about "well-regulated militia," is ambiguous. A couple of weeks ago, while listening to a report about the case on NPR, I found myself reacting with horror that the courts might allow exactly the confiscatory policy I used to advocate.

So, apparently, I'm a gun nut now.

I, personally, find the idea that the sorts of guns people own are of any value at all in fighting the government -- which has, among other things, tanks and air cover.

Which is exactly why some believe the RKBA means all weapons, pushing that private citizens should be able to purchase and own any weapon available out there. I find that a much more murky topic and haven't really worked out exactly where I stand on that yet.

So, apparently, I'm a gun nut now.

It happens to the best of us. Many of my own beliefs have morphed over the years. I'm much more conservative on some issues, and much more libertarian on social issues. In the mean time, welcome to the club.

And if you ever decide you would like to dip your toes into the world of sport shooting, I would happy pack up my small arsenal and make the trek to Louisville for a day of killing clay pigeons and the like.

There's not much left after you shoot and clean them, but I hear they're good eating.

Actually, I've done sporting clays. It's like golf, but louder.

The highlight of my shooting career was firing off a 155mm howitzer down at Ft. Hood, Texas, when I was making a documentary. We were out with a crew taping indirect fire exercises, and the Colonel in charge rolled up in a humvee to grab a little face time with the camera.

The Colonel was Ray Odierno, now General and right-hand of David Petreus. Odierno, that afternoon, had a half-smoked cigar clamped in his teeth and the kind of personal presence one usually associates with movie stars. Without even trying, he charmed one of our female producers almost literally out of her pants. Hell, I'd probably have done him if he's asked real nice.

Anyway, he authorized us to fire off a couple of rounds and drive an M-109 A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer around for fun.

Oh, and I also own a .22 caliber target rifle.

I found myself reacting with horror that the courts might allow exactly the confiscatory policy I used to advocate.

I knew there was a reason I liked you......

You know, I've got a blog, and it never hurts to have a link from such a widely-read ambivalent as yourself.

By the by, a 'small government liberal' is what our Founding Fathers were, which means you're really a conservative in Crocs sipping some fancy wine. One day, you'll absolutely have a moment of clarity and understand that pissing in your economics Wheaties is the same as pissing in your personal Wheaties.

Viz guns and the gummint - you use a pistol to get a rifle - you use a rifle to get a mortar - you use a mortar to get some artillery - you use some artillery to get a tank - you use a tank to get some air cover. It might take every last one of us, but in the spirit of the Alamo, I'm going to go down fighting before leaving it to the Mexicans (whom I consider a damn fine analog to Democrats.)

Not crocs. Not ever crocs.

Oh, yes, my friend. I see Crocs in your future. Crocs, whose color is dictated by your wife or Barry. That's how we're going to tell the patriots from the pretenders...footwear.

So when cra-a-a-zy ol' Squidley says that the Second Amendment is more important than the First because it's the one that ensures our ability to exercise all the other rights, including those enumerated in the First, I get subjected to the usual opprobrium. When poker-playin', whiskey-drinkin', burger-eatin' Scott points it out, you agree with him.

Well, whatever. As long as you acknowledge, one way or another, that I'm right ;-)

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