I wonder what other parts of due process she'd be okay with ditching.

> The fact that there can be any question about how the Court would rule in a case on whether **accused** domestic abusers can arm themselves reveals just how broken the Court has become. (Emphasis mine)

Yes Shannon, people who have only been *accused* of crimes still maintain their rights, strangely enough. Else, I could merely *accuse* her of child sexual abuse, and she could lose any number of rights, even without any sort of actual trial. For example.

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There is something to be said for applying the law like that. Find some things that one could accuse Shannon of and remove some of her rights and help her understand why removing rights based merely on accusations is a bad idea. I often think that the reason we have so many bad laws is that they are applied so unevenly.

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Who is going the apply the law(s) of which you speak?

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Well, that's the tricky bit, although it tends to highlight the hypocrisy of the law enforcement aspect when the law isn't applied evenly when it is actively sought. So when things like accusations or "protective orders" don't result in the same treatment when applied to men and women, that is a good example then to hold up that the law isn't being applied fairly. If it does turn out to be applied fairly, that's a good way to demonstrate to supporters that it isn't a good law, assuming they don't like it when it is applied to them.

My bigger point was that often many legal rules or procedures are utilized unevenly. So, for example, imagine there are 100 really bad local ordinances about how you have to keep up your landscaping and what you are allowed to do. Most of your neighbors are not assholes, so those ordinances are largely ignored and everyone is fine. No one thinks the ordinances are a problem (if they even grasp they exist.) Then you get one prick who wants to micromanage everyone else's behavior to his liking, and suddenly there are complaints resulting in fines, etc. Suddenly people start thinking "These rules are ridiculous!" but generally only those people who have them enforced against them, or are closely associated with them.

Or, alternately, complaints come in here and there, but the local authorities only enforce the complaints against the people who they dislike. Again, most people don't interact with the ordinances so they don't mind them, but the rules become a weapon to use against those the government dislikes, as a gotcha.

In general, I think there are far too many restrictive laws, and that is sustained by the fact most are never enforced, until someone wants to really screw you, that is. Whether that person is a deranged ex, a political opponent or just some pissy official is moot.

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No argument. But it would appear that, your exemplary analysis notwithstanding, you're still at the micro level -- the issue is overactive government as a cancer at all levels. I wish that I knew the answer -- require all laws to be chiseled in granite before they're enacted? Or -- seriously now -- all laws sunset at a fixed date, if not reaffirmed before that date? All of which dodges the question of unequal application. Because no angels are available for law enforcement duty, I've got no answer, even tongue-in-cheek, on that one. Thanks for the response, and be well.

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Well, I think that's the thing of it, you really have to consider the function of the law at the micro-level to get to the limiting of excessive law at local, state, federal etc. levels. After all, how the laws get enforced, and who enforces them, is a micro-level question. I think the more we delve into the actual "how does this rule get enforced?" questions, the more it highlights how limited we are in our capacity to actually make those laws get enforced the way we want, to get the outcomes we hoped for. (Then again, my day job is process and system design, so I have to focus on "Who pushes this button? How do they make that decision?" level stuff, so I might be biased :D )

Totally agree on the mandatory sunset for every law. I have long advocated for a 5 year (or whatever is slightly longer than the relevant legislator's term) sunset on every law, at which point it needs to get passed again to exist. If nothing else it keeps things from just continuing from inertia (it is currently as difficult or even more difficult to abolish a law as to pass one) along with forcing legislators to actively put their name on a vote to support a bad law they have some questionable reason for allowing to continue. No more "Oh, this law is terrible, but what can you do? We can't get a majority to abolish it" nonsense.

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Most excellent. RE: Your day job: Mine at one time involved attempting to apply analytical risk tools. Which entailed something called Human Factors Analysis. Which at the time assumed that if a human was charged with a single, bi-stable operation (ON or or OFF), the probability of the right choice is exactly 0.5, absent "modifiers;" ie, training, posted instructions, "compelling feedback" (my favorite), etc.. Law enforcement has, arguably, as many -- if not more -- negative modifiers to the prosecute/not prosecute question at every step of the process.

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Off-topic, BJ, but I wonder why friends and family don't take more responsibility regarding securing firearms when someone is mentally ill (e.g., Robert Card, Lewiston, ME, Travis Reinking, Nashville, TN). When my FIL developed dementia, and my MIL used his incapacity to dredge up every slight, real or imagined, that she had ever experienced at his hands, this resulted in screaming fights between them. My husband took all of the guns and ammo out of their house, even to the point of going through drawers and looking under sofa cushions and mattresses. When they protested, he replied, "Do you want me to have the police do it? Because someone is going to get hurt if I don't."

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

My father did the same thing when my mother started to show symptoms of Alzheimer’s. He brought all his guns to my safe.

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Typo: "montsanto" should be "monsanto".

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> It boggles my mind that she hasn’t thought about that yet.

this is the typical blue tribe playbook. change the rules to the game when it suits you and then cry havoc when it's used against them. they'll never learn because it's their entire game plan.

may she be waterboarded with glyphosate. maybe then moms demand action can be galvanized to take on the scourge of monsanto?

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Regarding the caution that "the other side can pack it with partisans too," I imagine Ms. Watts is calculating that packing the Court would be one measure among several that would cement permanent one-party (Lao Dong Dem Cong) rule.

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Quite a good breakdown of Watts' faulty logic. I would like to expand this a bit by examining 10 arguments from her CNN article and see if we can find some interesting things:

Argument 1:

• If the Supreme Court makes it easier for domestic abusers to get guns, people will be less safe.

• The Supreme Court is about to rule in a case that could make it easier for domestic abusers to get guns.

• ∴ Then the Supreme Court's ruling could make people less safe.

[The argument ignores the reality that victims of DA can also access guns and court protections.]

Argument 2:

• A Supreme Court with a majority of conservative justices is likely to rule in favor of gun rights.

• The current Supreme Court has a majority of conservative justices.

• ∴ The current Supreme Court is likely to rule in favor of gun rights.

[Notice from here on she inserts terms such as 'majority' into her arguments. We'll see how this is faulty in later arguments. Secondly, with this argument one may ask, is it only because they are majority conservative they are in favor of gun rights or that they, the Supreme court, properly understands the 2nd amendment as relates to everyone's rights?]

Argument 3:

• Expanding the Supreme Court could help to balance out the power of conservative justices.

• The current Supreme Court has a conservative majority due to lobbying by the gun lobby.

• ∴ Expanding the Supreme Court could help to counter the influence of the gun lobby.

[Following from the second argument, she thinks there's a majority of conservatives. Or really, they do not see things as she does so we need to "expand" the Supreme court. Which I take to mean she wants to put people into the Supreme court until they no longer conflict with her views no matter what the 2nd amendment says or what gun lobbies may do.]

Argument 4:

• If the Supreme Court rules against popular gun safety laws, it will lose the trust of the American people.

• The Supreme Court has ruled against many popular gun safety laws.

• ∴ Then the Supreme Court has lost the trust of the American people.

[Obviously faulty reasoning. Yes, it is 'popular' among the leftist crowd to favor this laws because they are clothed as "gun safety" laws but the rulings against such laws demonstrate that the courts understand what the laws are really trying to do and see it as unconstitutional.]

Argument 5:

• If the Supreme Court favors the gun lobby, it is not putting the welfare of Americans first.

• The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the gun lobby in many cases.

• ∴ Then Supreme Court is not putting the welfare of Americans first.

["Favors the gun lobby". Rather deceptive how this is all underpinning the gun lobby. I challenge her to show me in the statements of the Supreme court judges that their decisions are primarily or ultimately made due to the gun lobbies. As if the gun lobbies, pardon the pun, have a gun to their heads and they have nothing else to go on... like with respect to the 2nd amendment and other legal precedents.]

Argument 6:

• There is widespread public support for common sense gun laws.

• Grassroots groups have been successful in getting new gun laws passed.

• ∴ There is widespread public support for common sense gun laws.

[Again this is an appeal to a certain majority opinion amongst a group that is not the Supreme court. Her proof of this assertion is grassroots groups. Her prior argument made it seem like the Supreme court only ever listens to the gun lobby and now she frames it as the public backs these grassroot groups while the Supreme court backs the gun lobbies. Again, she needs to prove this is the case. Otherwise I will conclude that she would rather prefer that the Supreme court only listen to these grassroot groups advocating the "common sense" gun laws.]

Argument 7:

• Expanding the Supreme Court could help to balance out the power of the conservative supermajority.

• The current Supreme Court has a conservative supermajority that favors pro-gun positions.

• ∴ Expanding the Court could help to restore balance by allowing for additional appointments that may not favor pro-gun positions.

[And here we see the "balance" in response to the "majority" problem she claims is in the Supreme court. The balance here I suspect is a bait-and-switch. Because objectively "balance" the way she's arguing it would entail that around half the court is pro guns while the other half has skepticism of the other half. But in practice this 'balancing' ends up being stuffing the court with liberal judges that favor her side of things until there are no more conservatives judges that are pro 2nd amendment. And oddly when that kind of thing happens do we see the likes of her complaining about a lack of balance?]

Argument 8:

• Experts and elected officials support Supreme Court expansion as a way to restore the Court's balance.

• Legal experts, Senators, Representatives and others have expressed support for expansion.

• ∴ Experts and elected officials support Supreme Court expansion as a means to restore the Court's balance.

[Just an appeal to authority figures which favors her side of things.]

Argument 9:

• Congress has the authority to change the size of the Supreme Court through legislation.

• Congress has altered the size of the Court in the past through legal means.

• ∴ Supreme Court expansion would be constitutional.

[This "expansion" would be constitutional when the court modifies itself in order to stop hindering the laws she supports. Following this advice would ignore the decisions the court has made on its own merits and not judging whether those decisions were made in respect to the 2nd amendment. Stuffing judges that only support your laws is not more constitutional than sitting judges that favor things you don't.]

Argument 10:

• Advocacy movements for gun safety, reproductive rights, and racial justice support Supreme Court expansion.

• These advocacy movements are calling for expansion as a long-term goal.

• ∴ Key social movements see Supreme Court expansion as a strategy to advance their important causes.

[So then she lumps in even more groups that, while they differ in their scope, ultimately have the same conclusions she has on gun rights and these should all take precedence over what the gun lobbies argue or common Americans that are pro 2nd amendment would argue.]

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Granted, packing the court would be stupid. But did you say that the best option for victims of domestic abuse is to arm themselves? Because those TROs aren't that good at stopping bullets.

Fortunately for armed domestic abusers and people who don't want guns taken away from accused abusers, many victims don't report the abuse due to fear of the abuser coming back and revenge-killing the victim for reporting them.

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To clarify, I was pointing out that in one of her arguments she neglected to talk about victims arming themselves, as if that wasn't in the realm of possibilities. Like only abusers can go out and get guns to use against their victims.

Now, victims failing to notify the authorities for fear of reprisal is a legit concern, but that applies whether we have a world with gun rights or not, right? We would prefer victims go through the proper procedures to get a restraining order and other protections to help secure a societal threat but failing that they ought to at least have some means of protecting themselves.

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Nov 7, 2023·edited Nov 7, 2023

Not saying victims *shouldn't* arm themselves, but I'd rather see a hundred accused abusers disarmed than one victim, or even one abuser, be murdered. (I happen to know of a case where a gun-wielding abuser of his pregnant girlfriend settled down [with a different woman] and has been a good father to their child, better than the mom. Obviously, if either of them had gone that one extra step it would be an entirely different story.)

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> but I'd rather see a hundred accused abusers disarmed than one victim, or even one abuser, be murdered.

Okay, fair enough, but how do we get there? How does Shannon Watts think we can get there and do you agree with her?

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Ms. Becker [the director of the National Center on Gun Violence in Relationships at the Battered Women’s Justice Project] continued: “There have been so many cases where we have prevented a homicide because after she got the protection order and tried to leave, he went to buy a gun at a gun dealer. The background check system spotted the protection order. And it stopped the gun sale. This is huge.”

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"Over the past 25 years, people who tried to buy guns at licensed gun stores were rejected because of having active protection orders about 78,000 times, according to the F.B.I."

Supreme Court will be ruling soon on the issue.


I favor term limits of 18 years. Don't see how packing the court would really help anyone.

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> Don't see how packing the court would really help anyone.

We agree on that at least.

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Brilliant. Not only can't she read a line graph, but neither she nor the "experts" she is quoting apparently know that we live in a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. Sheesh. And anyone who thinks that Hank Johnson, who thinks that a military base can tip over an island, has anything intelligent to say? Well, that says a lot about their own intelligence.

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Whenever you read or hear the words, "Our Democracy," it is a tell . It means that the author tells you when you can have "Democracy" and when it's not your turn, which is often.

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Court packers never give any thought to “what goes around, comes around”. They think they’ll be in control forever, which it kinda seems like at the moment, but we shall see.

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I wonder if she has considered how many Americans would die of gun violence (and every other kind) in the civil war she is trying to foment with that court packing bullshit.

Though I'd laugh my ass off if they passed the law and then Trump won the '24 election and got to put four more justices on the court.

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Why stop at four? Put eight justices on the court so there's a super-duper majority.

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When you can prosecute and potentially jail / disqualify your leading political opponent, you probably don't need to think about what happens when things flip.

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I suggest the fact that no one electable (I almost resisted saying "dumb enough to be elected") is very good at perceiving Mr Bastiat's Unseens. Even when (Dobbs, anyone?) the unseen isn't that hard to spot.

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"I hope that by the time they’re done they make it easy for cops to take guns from dudes who get a TPO filed against them, while also punishing loony ex girlfriends for faking TPOs to use as a revenge tool."

I wouldn't be in favor of this. But, perhaps I'm missing something on how this works. I'm assuming a "TPO" is similar to a TRO, temporary restraining order. I'm assuming that the phrase "TPO filed against them" means a judge has issued a TPO, rather than an applicant just filing the paperwork seeking one.

Still, there's some practical considerations that should come to bear. Judges frequently rubber stamp TROs (or TPOs) in domestic situations. To the judge, the issue is: Do I want to be the judge who makes headlines if there's ever a domestic violence incident and I refused to sign the paperwork? As a legal matter, applicants are supposed to meet a legal threshhold with evidence. Usually, it is something like, (a) there has been violence in the past; and (b) it is likely there will be violence in the future.

My experience is that courts frequently ignore this, or they accept conclusory statements as proof, e.g., 'my former spouse has been violent in the past,' or 'my spouse has committed mental and emotional cruelty toward me.'

The consequences of issuing a TPO can be extreme. I have a colleague who nearly lost his business of 20 years when one of these things was sought. If I described the circumstances, you would justifiably be outraged. Suffice it to say there had been no violence nor threats of violence, and the complaining party had done something truly egregious vis-a-vis one of his deceased relatives.

I would instead be in favor of rolling this back. If you're going to confiscate firearms, there must be an evidentiary hearing. And, this is coming from someone who's not even a big gun rights advocate.

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"(B) could have easily been three times as deadly if the dude took his Cessna (which he owned, he was a pilot) and 9-11ed the concert with a drum of fuel oil in the back."

I need some data on this. I hadn't read that he was a pilot, so I went looking and the only information I came up with during a cursory search indicated he owned a Cirrus SR20 and another plane. I haven't been able to figure out exactly which make and model the other plane was.

The concern I have is that, on the face of it, this claim doesn't make sense to me. A fuel drum is typically 55 gallons. His rating was for Aircraft, SEL, which rules out owning and flying a twin. If his other plane was, indeed, a Cessna, a large single would be a 210 or similar. I've not flown a 210, and it is probably that one could make weight and balance work with a full 55 gallon drum in the back if one removed the rear seat and positioned the drum at that station, so I'm going to accept that it is at least possible for him to have put a 55 gallon drum of fuel in the back and flown the aircraft in a controlled manner into a crowd, but where does the figure of a Cessna (assuming 210) with 145 gallons of fuel (The later Centurion models had 90 gallons usable) having the potential to inflict three times the casualties of his shooting come from?

Even with an aggressive CFIT, light aircraft are surprisingly sturdy and, while post-crash fire is always a concern, they're kind of designed to minimize the frequency of post-crash fires. Likewise, for the 55 gallon drum to do much damage, in addition to there being a fire from the aircraft, the drum would need to rupture. Fuel drums are quite sturdy to begin with and the airframe would absorb a significant portion of the impact energy, making the odds of it rupturing catastrophically and spreading burning fuel over a wide area seem low.

I could see a controlled landing into a crowd of people causing significant casualties, but I'm not sure that adding fuel and hoping for a large fire would actually guarantee more casualties than a somewhat controlled landing, designed to maximize rollout to run down as many people as possible.

Do you have some sort of citation (no pun intended) here?

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Nope. Your research is better than mine. But whatever he did have, and as much accelerant as he could pack into what he did have, would have tripled his kill count if he verticled it into that crowd.

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"Whenever Shannon cites “mass shootings” she’s cooking the books by including any instance where four people catch bullets in street crime in her numbers, as we explained here. "

Not even bullets. 4 "injured"

4 people could fall and hurt themselves when kne of them mistool an umbrella for an evil black rifle and they'd try to count it as a mass shooting.

They've been caught treating airsoft/paintball attacks as mass shootings. (A bruise is technically an injury)

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Okay, we found an anti-gun woman who's pretty easy to refute. We've also been able to point out the folly of packing the Supreme Court. But what about term limits? There are many pieces arguing in favor of it; I'm linking to this one because it's published in the conservative Washington Examiner. Not sure if it's off-topic, since it's not specifically about guns, except in the sense that when Thomas, Roberts and Alito leave, the Court will likely become more liberal.


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Term limits don't bother me that much, but the term should be long. I also wouldn't mind an age limit, both on the low and high end. Say 40-70 is the window and anyone over 70 ages out, so we'd know in advance when the gaps are instead of waiting for the next SC obituary.

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Nov 7, 2023·edited Nov 7, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

The general suggestion is 18 years, hopefully balancing out the party of the President, and I suppose Congress, although there certainly should be a lot more clarity about when a Justice can be appointed and put up for confirmation. As far as upper age limits, the vast majority of people who make it to 70 are going to make it to 75, so I'd prefer that as the upper limit. There are some very sharp 75-year-olds out there.

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Yes, I could definitely get behind that. Maybe a little lower on the top end though. How bout 65.

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Anyone can croak at anytime without an announcement, so unpredictability would always be a factor.

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Nov 7, 2023Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Okay, who brought the actuarial tables?

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