March 24th, 2013
The guy who happily used hate as a campaign tactic backs off a bit:
GOP strategist Karl Rove says he can imagine a Republican candidate in the next presidential campaign supporting gay marriage.
The statement from the former adviser to President George W. Bush appears to acknowledge that opposition to gay marriage has waned in some conservative circles.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, announced last week that he now supports gay marriage after learning one of his sons was gay.
Rove’s comment was part of a panel discussion on ABC’s “This Week.” He did not elaborate.
While the rapid pace of change has surprised even the most optimistic among us, the long game has never really been in question. Alas, I’m pretty comfortable betting that, Virginia – a bastion of backwardness – will be among the last places to come around, when it comes to the law. Remember, this is the place that fought interracial marriage all the way to the Supreme Court.
January 9th, 2013
So Virginia’s favorite emissary from the Dark Ages, Del. Bob Marshall, is back in Richmond and ready to push guns into our schools. So Del. Marshall knows the law when it comes to guns, right? Check this out, from last month:
For the record, you can take an online class and you do not need to be fingerprinted (in fact, Del. voted to repeal that requirement just last year). Further, you do not need to show any kind of proficiency with a firearm in order to get a concealed carry permit. Finally, the online class? Is a rather unfunny joke. The quality of Virginia’s legislation and legislators is on full display here.
To save readers the trouble of verifying the above, here are the requirements for residents, as set out by the Virginia State Police (emphasis supplied):
Application for a Concealed Handgun Permit
Any person 21 years of age or older may apply in writing to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which he or she resides, or if he is a member of the United States armed forces, the county or city in which he is domiciled, for a five-year permit to carry a concealed handgun.
[ . . .]
The court shall require proof that the applicant has demonstrated competence with a handgun and the applicant may demonstrate such competence by one of the following, but no applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence:
- Completing any hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries or a similar agency of another state;
- Completing any National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course;
- Completing any firearms safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by a law-enforcement agency, junior college, college, or private or public institution or organization or firearms training school utilizing instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Department of Criminal Justice Services;
- Completing any law-enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, or any division or subdivision of law enforcement or security enforcement;
- Presenting evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through participation in organized shooting competition or current military service or proof of an honorable discharge from any branch of the armed services;
- Obtaining or previously having held a license to carry a firearm in this Commonwealth or a locality thereof, unless such license has been revoked for cause;
- Completing any firearms training or safety course or class, including an electronic, video, or on-line course, conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor;
- Completing any governmental police agency firearms training course and qualifying to carry a firearm in the course of normal police duties; or
- Completing any other firearms training which the court deems adequate.
A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes; an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization, or group that conducted or taught such course or class attesting to the completion of the course or class by the applicant; or a copy of any document which shows completion of the course or class or evidences participation in firearms competition shall constitute evidence of qualification under this subsection.
No applicant shall be required to submit to any additional demonstration of competence, nor shall any proof of demonstrated competence expire.
[ . . . ]
The court shall issue the permit within 45 days of receipt of the completed application unless it appears that the applicant is disqualified.
Want an example of the kind of online class we’re talking about? Check out VAGunTraining.com, where $25 and less than 25 minutes (the video itself is 17:28) will get you a certificate acceptable for a concealed carry permit. From their FAQ:
Can I really get a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit by just taking this class?
Just like any other training recognized by the state, you will still need to apply at your local courthouse and pay the appropriate fees. You must also pass the required background check conducted by your local courthouse. Our training satisfies the competency requirement for obtaining a Concealed Handgun Permit in the state of Virginia.
Is your class state recognized?
Yes. Virginia residents are able to obtain a Concealed Handgun permit by using our state-recognized class to prove firearm competency. You will still need to apply at your local courthouse and pass a background check.
So I can get a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit without firing a gun?
Yes. The law requires passing a safety class that meets certain requirements. Our class meets and exceeds these requirements so firing a handgun is not required.
Think this might be too much? No worries:
How hard is the test?
If you watch our video, the test will be incredibly easy for you to pass even if you have no prior firearm experience. We have a 99.9% first time pass rate.
If I fail the test, can I retake it for free?
Yes, you may retake the test as many times as you it takes for you to pass the exam free of charge. If you fail, we encourage you to rewatch the video.
This hasn’t always been the case, in Virginia. Not too long ago, you did actually need to demonstrate competence at a range, and get fingerprinted (in Arlington, at least). Now? Well.
Don’t you feel safer knowing that anyone with $25 and no serious record can carry around a deadly weapon in his pocket?
August 6th, 2012
Continuing on a theme:
“Basically, saying “both sides do it” is a form of trolling. In almost every case, when a Very Serious Person says “both sides do it,” “both sides are to blame” or any of its variants, it is to shut down discussion, not to bring it to a deeper, more nuanced level. (There are exceptions, but they are few. We’ll delve into this further in future posts.) Obsessing about “tone” and other cosmetics serves the same function. ‘Sensible Centrism’ is very popular because it gives the appearance of wisdom, objectivity, independence, impartiality and so on without having to commit to much of anything.”
August 2nd, 2012
This explains it, top to bottom:
“This isn’t about mutual tolerance because there’s nothing mutual about it. If we agree to disagree on this issue, you walk away a full member of this society and I don’t. There is no “live and let live” on this issue because Dan Cathy is spending millions to very specifically NOT let me live. I’m not trying to do that to him.”
And really, it’s helpful to see what kind of people will go out of their way to support bigotry. It’s more than one might guess, nevermind might hope.
June 18th, 2012
The lengths to which politicians like Rep. Mica (R-Fl.) will go to mine for votes amongst the perpetually under-imaginary-siege gun enthusiasts is astonishing. Or at least it was in the first few years it happened.
Look – the national gun control lobby has been effectively dead for more than a decade now. But that doesn’t stop fundamentally dishonest organizations like the NRA from attempting to undermine our ongoing civic conversation in the service of their own membership-building activities.
It’s time to call bullshit on these liars. In exactly those terms.
And as I note almost every time I write about the NRA’s fear-mongering: I’ve owned a gun all of my adult life, and my first encounter with the NRA was with a hunter safety class I took when I was 12 years old. I don’t hate guns. I hate what dishonest liars like the NRA and John Mica are using guns to do.
May 17th, 2012
As you’ve certainly heard by now, Bigot Extraordinare Rep. Bob Marshall and the clown show that is the Virginia GOP continued Virginia’s grand tradition of hatefulness when:
[T]he judicial nomination of Mr. Thorne-Begland, a former Navy fighter pilot who is gay, was sabotaged by an ugly campaign of homophobic bigotry led by Virginia Republicans. In a vote at 1 a.m. Tuesday, the GOP-dominated House of Delegates, with an avowed homophobe leading the charge, killed his candidacy, thereby ensuring that Virginia state courts remain free of openly gay judges.
The usual attempts to obfuscate and cast doubt upon the reasons behind the vote have quickly made their appearances, of course. While Virginia’s got a well established tradition of narrow-mindedness and willingness to use the power of the state to discriminate, one thing it simply cannot stand is actually labeling these actions for what they are. Waldo Jaquith does a great job of sorting out the vote here.
May 10th, 2012
Looks like Mitt Romney participated in some pretty foul acts, in high school.
So, I don’t think any adult should be condemned for an act undertaken in childhood/teenage years. But I don’t think it’s at all unfair to judge him on how he handles looking back at it from adulthood.
I not only witnessed – but participated in – some awful behavior towards other kids. Did it kinda sorta make sense at the time? Sure. But as an adult, I look back, and I’m horrified at what a bunch of little monsters we were. And given the chance, I’d apologize a million times over for it.
So when you’re given a chance, as an adult, to own up to it, and you equivocate?
Screw you. You’re a shitty human being.
January 4th, 2012
Ta-Nehisi Coates draws a very apt comparison between what Ron Paul and Louis Farrakhan have offered their youthful supporters.
As surely as Ron Paul speaks to a real issue–the state’s broad use of violence and surveillance–which the America’s political leadership has failed to address, Farrakhan spoke to something real, something unsullied, which black America’s political leadership failed to address, Both Paul and Farrakhan, in their glamour, inspired the young, the disaffected, the disillusioned.
I’d never drawn this parallel in my own mind until reading this piece. But when I think back to the early/mid 90s and my friends who were drawn into the orbit of the NOI, or who traveled to the Million Man March – they weren’t there for Farrakhan’s crank theories and anti-Semitism any more than most of Paul’s younger supporters are there for his effective support of homophobia and racism.
But as sure as the followers of Farrakhan deserved more than UFOs, anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories, those of us who oppose the drug-war, who oppose the Patriot Act deserve better than Ron Paul[.]