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Thread: Did I overdo it?

  1. #1
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    Did I overdo it?

    One of my county council members replied to my message asking if I was being sarcastic.

    Here's an excerpt of my response:

    Washington State voters passed I-594, and that defines a firearm as a "weapon or device from which a projectile may be fired by means of an explosive such as gunpowder." The flare guns, nail guns, and novelty items that I listed all seem to fall within that definition of a firearm. I am asking you to petition the county prosecutor to prosecute any and all violations of I-594 as it revises state law, because the duty of his office is to prosecute criminal offenses that occur in his position. I am asking you to petition the sheriff's office as well, because they have a duty to enforce the laws of the State of Washington. If you allow them to ignore violations of this law, you are allowing them to undermine the very foundation of modern policing Robert Peel laid it out in his principal #5 which states that police need to demonstrate absolute and impartial service to the law. Every time that the sheriff's office knowingly allows any unlawful firearm sale and any time that the prosecutor declines to prosecute an unlawful firearm sale, they undermine public support and respect for the law. My goal in petitioning you as a resident of Whatcom County and one of your constituents was to seek your assistance in petitioning the Sheriff's Office to uphold the law as we the People of the State of Washington have enacted it. According to the Constitution of the State of Washington, all political power is inherent in the People. The People have spoken, and stated that they wish their government that derives its just power from the consent of the government to uphold state law, and require all items that the law defines as a firearm to be subject to a background check. We the People have Spoken, and revised the law to suit our requirements. I am simply calling upon the elected officials who derive their power from my consent and the consent of thousands and millions of people like myself to uphold the law as We the People have determined that it shall be written. To to otherwise is to fail the people who have delegated to you your political power.
    Did I overdo it? If anyone else feels so inclined, they can use this as well.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Either enforce the law to everyone equally or don't enforce the law at all. There is no just action in selective enforcement. plain and simple.
    Armed and annoyingly well informed!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    Either enforce the law to everyone equally or don't enforce the law at all. There is no just action in selective enforcement. plain and simple.
    You should write your county council members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jered View Post
    You should write your county council members.
    He did and a response rec. by one was something like "your response was just sarcasm..no further response"

    How else did the guy want a letter to say?

  5. #5
    Regular Member SovereigntyOrDeath's Avatar
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    Sounds like you found a chink on the armor of the anti-gun law in your state.

    Anybody with a powder actuated nail gun can potentially fall on the wrong side of the law.

    The law sounds unconstitutional to me and I would rather see the thing repealed.

    The sheriff is the ultimate law enforcement in your county and is sworn to uphold the Constitution.

    Keep us posted.
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    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    From what I gather, Grim_KNight is more than "somewhat" involved in OC activism; I'd recommend looking at the thread he started about an uppity VP thinking the law need not apply on the college campus.

    As to your question: no, you didn't "overdo it". If anything, it can be said that you are being forced to remind a county council member and the county prosecutor to fulfill their obligations. Hopefully they realize that feel-good, rushed, convoluted laws do nothing but criminalize Lawfully-Armed Citizens (LACs).
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

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  7. #7
    Regular Member Rusty Young Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereigntyOrDeath View Post
    Sounds like you found a chink on the armor of the anti-gun law in your state.

    Anybody with a powder actuated nail gun can potentially fall on the wrong side of the law. SNIP...
    It is the "or device" part that criminalizes the powder actuated nail guns and even party poppers/streamers (the "novelty items" I'm assuming Jered listed). The wording of the law shows it was clearly written either without much understanding of the English language, without proper understanding of what a firearm is, and/or with the intent to make everyone a felon (unlikely, but you never can tell with antis).
    Last edited by Rusty Young Man; 12-18-2014 at 10:03 PM.
    I carry to defend my loved ones; Desensitizing and educating are secondary & tertiary reasons. Anything else is unintended.

    “Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.” - Frederic Bastiat

    "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." - Edmund Burke

  8. #8
    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Young Man View Post
    From what I gather, Grim_KNight is more than "somewhat" involved in OC activism; I'd recommend looking at the thread he started about an uppity VP thinking the law need not apply on the college campus.
    Which reminds me that I need to go back and replace all the stuff that I deleted from that thread. And I see what you did there >.>
    Armed and annoyingly well informed!

    There are two constants when dealing with liberals:
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    2) Liberals are never satisfied.

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Night View Post
    Either enforce the law to everyone equally or don't enforce the law at all. There is no just action in selective enforcement. plain and simple.
    Aggressing against two people using an immoral law isn't somehow better than doing it to only one, unless two wrongs suddenly started making a right since the last time I checked.

    There is no justice in the enforcement of an unjust law. Full stop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Aggressing against two people using an immoral law isn't somehow better than doing it to only one, unless two wrongs suddenly started making a right since the last time I checked.

    There is no justice in the enforcement of an unjust law. Full stop.
    I'm going to leave this quote from a Taylor Caldwell book here and see if it helps you to understand.

    While "defending" the devil, he must awaken the people to the presence of evil, and the horrors which it represented.

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jered View Post
    I'm going to leave this quote from a Taylor Caldwell book here and see if it helps you to understand.

    While "defending" the devil, he must awaken the people to the presence of evil, and the horrors which it represented.
    Oh, so two wrongs make a right, but only when we can summon quotes from popular fiction to our defense?

    Listen, guys, I'm all in favor of pointing out the absurdity of this law. I even think your letter is an appropriate means to do so – read as sarcasm.

    But when you start seriously advocating "equitable" enforcement of an unjust law, you let your emotions cloud your judgment. You no longer possess the moral high ground. Plus, down that road lies the dark side.

    Take my opinion, or leave it. You won't, however, convince me that it's ever moral to enforce an unjust law, even in the lame of "equitability", for I've had too long to think about such things.

    (Would it have been "more moral" to require the Nazis to "equitably" gas everybody, or was the only possible moral outcome the end of their mass murder outright? You decide.)

    In my estimation, it is immoral to enforce an unjust law. To the degree that you advocate for the enforcement ("equitable" or otherwise) of an unjust law, you are in my estimation immoral. That's really the long and short of it.
    Last edited by marshaul; 12-18-2014 at 11:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I have a slightly different view. Hold to account those who do not enforce this law as it is currently written. Do not demand that they enforce this crap law equally. When they do not enforce it, even once, then drag their happy butts into a courtroom. The risk? Everybody gets nailed? Nope, no cop is gunna nail Pa Kettle for buying a nail gun. No cop is gunna arrest Little Jimmy working the Home Depot checkout counter for "transferring" the nail gin. Imagine, a cop wants to do a little home improving and needs a nail gun...

    The law will be dispatched right quick and in a hurry. It is the state and their agents that let this happen, not the voters.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    The more complex and convoluted the law the more power is given to the lawmakers and executors as they can make up their own interpretation on the fly. Remember their agenda is seldom straightforward. They will not respond to logic and have a logic tight compartment.

    The only way to handle this is to sacrifice yourself and make a test case and have the law struck. Good luck with that.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Superlite27's Avatar
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    Are fireworks "powder actuated devices"?

    Because if a roman candle, bottle rocket, or firecracker is considered "powder actuated".......

    The 4th of July is going to be a very tedious time for FFL's and the BATFE with the untold number of background checks they will be processing in order for folks to buy fireworks.

    What are the laws on fireworks stands, sales, and deployment in Washington?

    Here in Missouri, anyone can simply stop by a fireworks store and load up, year round.

    In the weeks before the 4th of July, tents begin popping up alongside the highways like mushrooms in a damp, shady spot in the woods.

    I couldn't imagine the fiasco it would cause the BATFE and the general citizenry if they had to stand in line by the thousands just to purchase a few ladyfingers because of a law that was passed.

    Not only would it be very lucrative for FFL's (the majority of which also donate heavily to pro 2A organizations) it would also have a tendency to frustrate idiots who voted for a law without thinking of the unintended consequences.

    Having a brigade of dedicated pro 2A supporters ensuring that absolutely nobody broke the law by purchasing any "powder actuated devices" such as roman candles without a background check would be an upstanding and responsible thing to do, wouldn't it? I'd be ensuring that any fireworks vendors were conducting background checks as per state law. The police are sure going to be busy responding to any calls made to report unlawful purchases of powder actuated devices around the 4th of July.
    Last edited by Superlite27; 12-19-2014 at 09:18 AM.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Primus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Oh, so two wrongs make a right, but only when we can summon quotes from popular fiction to our defense?

    Listen, guys, I'm all in favor of pointing out the absurdity of this law. I even think your letter is an appropriate means to do so – read as sarcasm.

    But when you start seriously advocating "equitable" enforcement of an unjust law, you let your emotions cloud your judgment. You no longer possess the moral high ground. Plus, down that road lies the dark side.

    Take my opinion, or leave it. You won't, however, convince me that it's ever moral to enforce an unjust law, even in the lame of "equitability", for I've had too long to think about such things.

    (Would it have been "more moral" to require the Nazis to "equitably" gas everybody, or was the only possible moral outcome the end of their mass murder outright? You decide.)

    In my estimation, it is immoral to enforce an unjust law. To the degree that you advocate for the enforcement ("equitable" or otherwise) of an unjust law, you are in my estimation immoral. That's really the long and short of it.
    Nailed it. +1 good explanation.
    "The wicked flee when no man persueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion" Proverbs 28:1

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    Campaign Veteran ak56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superlite27 View Post
    Are fireworks "powder actuated devices"?

    ...
    Fireworks are considered firearms under Washington law, but they are not subject to the general firearms laws (chapter 9.41).

    9.41.320
    Fireworks.


    Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the possession, sale, or use of fireworks when possessed, sold, or used in compliance with chapter 70.77 RCW.
    No right is held more sacred, or is more carefully guarded, by the common law than the right of every individual to the possession and control of his own person, free from all restraint or interference of others, unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. Union Pacific Rail Co. vs Botsford as quoted in Terry v Ohio.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    If the law is never enforced then it will never be challenged. I-594 places the responsibility for the background check on the seller.
    You sure? I'm not- not the way the document is written:

    (3) Where neither party to a prospective firearms transaction is a licensed dealer, the parties to the transaction shall complete the sale or transfer through a licensed dealer as follows:
    (c) The purchaser or transferee must complete, sign, and submit all federal, state, and local forms necessary to process the required background check to the licensed dealer conducting the background check.

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    You see, the purchaser or transferee may complete, sign, and submit every day of the week
    and twice on Sundays, regardless of the existence of any hubcaps, bacon or firearms.

    Means absolutely nothing, until you introduce the seller handing over a firearm. He performs
    the act of transferring [with or without the BGC].

    You cannot charge 2 people with a single act. Only one person commits an act.

    The burden is on the seller.

    OK

  19. #19
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    Two wrongs don't make a right but two wrongs can make things right.

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    Separate statute; Separate crime.

    If you're standing in the driveway as a look-out while I steal the car, you're not stealing the car. You're an accomplice.

    Thanks for playing.

    OK

  21. #21
    Regular Member ()pen(arry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by O_Kellogg View Post
    Separate statute; Separate crime.

    If you're standing in the driveway as a look-out while I steal the car, you're not stealing the car. You're an accomplice.

    Thanks for playing.

    OK
    You clearly aren't familiar with felony crime escalation. Felony murder is routinely leveled at people who were not actually party to the murder, but were involved in the felony being committed. It is even leveled at people involved in a felony when the related death wasn't even murder. If you think Dan Satterberg is going to pass up the chance to charge both parties with violation of I-594, and if you think a judge and jury won't agree with him, you're hopelessly naive.

    So take your flippant dismissal and shove it up your butt. He was right, and you're both ignorant and rude.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    But when you start seriously advocating "equitable" enforcement of an unjust law, you let your emotions cloud your judgment. You no longer possess the moral high ground. Plus, down that road lies the dark side.

    Take my opinion, or leave it. You won't, however, convince me that it's ever moral to enforce an unjust law, even in the lame of "equitability", for I've had too long to think about such things.

    (Would it have been "more moral" to require the Nazis to "equitably" gas everybody, or was the only possible moral outcome the end of their mass murder outright? You decide.)

    In my estimation, it is immoral to enforce an unjust law. To the degree that you advocate for the enforcement ("equitable" or otherwise) of an unjust law, you are in my estimation immoral. That's really the long and short of it.
    Ignoring your invocation of Godwin's law....

    You are arguing from the position of false dichotomy. You assume the choice is to either enforce the law or not enforce it. In that fiction, of course we should not enforce it.

    Let me point out the real world third option of an unjust law being enforced only against unpopular minorities, or those unable to effectively challenge it. In such a case, the injustice of the law is perpetuated because those with the means or inclination to repeal the law were it to affect them personally, are not being personally affected.

    It is the injustice of may-issue permits. So long as the well connected, rich, powerful, and famous can get their permits, what do they care if nobody else can effectively defend their lives? Going a step further, so long as laws against concealed carry are only enforced against racial minorities, poor people, or other "undesirables", if the upper members of society have effectively zero risk of ever being searched nor of being prosecuted if they are found in violation, how does the law change?

    Having a bad law go unenforced entirely is better than having it enforced. But even this leaves the specter hanging over your head. Having a bad law enforced selectively against an unpopular minority is worse. Enforcing a bad law against everyone--including the mayor's kid, and the senator's wife, and businessman selling nail guns--is about the best way to assure that the law is repealed and never again enforced against anyone.

    Charles

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jered View Post

    Did I overdo it? If anyone else feels so inclined, they can use this as well.
    Sounds like the law could be challenged for vagueness.

    Have you got some legal folks who can figure out how to get standing and mount a challenge without someone having to get arrested?

    Sometimes making clear that you intend to do something that could fall into the purview of the law is enough to get standing without having to be arrested. Obviously, you pick something like transferring a nail gun, or letting friend borrow your gun while at the range together, etc.

    Charles

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utbagpiper View Post
    Enforcing a bad law against everyone--including the mayor's kid, and the senator's wife, and businessman selling nail guns--is about the best way to assure that the law is repealed and never again enforced against anyone.
    That's a wonderful theory, with two problems:

    1. If this law managed to accomplish its main intent without all the collateral, it would still be bad law, but it would no longer affect the mayor's kid and the senators wife, much less the businessman selling nail guns. Moreover, those groups could easily have the law reformed to still achieve its intended effect while no longer affecting them. (Guns are evil and scary, doncha know.) In either event I would continue to argue that less enforcement must always be better than more.

    2. I see little evidence that your contention is actually true. Every Californian is, for instance, equally subject to the state's onerous yet silly firearms laws (no standard capacity magazines, handgun roster, AW ban, etc etc etc) yet these remain un-repealed.

    The best you can say about your approach is that it might eliminate laws above some certain degree of onerousness. Assuming the current law does, in fact, exceed that level, it would take remarkably little "reform" to rectify that whilst leaving a bad, immoral law on the books.
    Last edited by marshaul; 12-24-2014 at 06:41 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    That's a wonderful theory, with two problems:

    1. If this law managed to accomplish its main intent without all the collateral, it would still be bad law, but it would no longer affect the mayor's kid and the senators wife, much less the businessman selling nail guns. Moreover, those groups could easily have the law reformed to still achieve its intended effect while no longer affecting them. (Guns are evil and scary, doncha know.) In either event I would continue to argue that less enforcement must always be better than more.
    Again, if the gun law applies to everyone it is more likely to be repealed than if it is enforced only against an unpopular minority. Enforcing against a small minority is offensive and might go on forever whereas if enforced against everyone, there is greater chance of a demand to repeal.

    To a different topic, if rich white kids got treated exactly as poor black kids for illegal drug use and possession, how long do you really think it would take for rich white parents to demand some changes in the law? I note that with a black president and black AG, the DoJ is very actively making changes in sentencing guidelines for various non-violent drug offenses. Coincidence? Clinton admitted to trying a little dope as a kid. But did his children and grandchildren run the sake risk of having their entire lives destroyed by a minor offense as do those children who are likely to be personally known to Obama and Holder?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    2. I see little evidence that your contention is actually true. Every Californian is, for instance, equally subject to the state's onerous yet silly firearms laws (no standard capacity magazines, handgun roster, AW ban, etc etc etc) yet these remain un-repealed.
    First of all, rich Californians can obtain may-issue permits to defend themselves. Or the truly rich can hire private security and not even have the inconvenience of carrying guns themselves.

    Secondly, it is entirely possible that the gun laws of the left coast are actually quite agreeable to the majority of their citizens. If that is true--and I see no evidence to the contrary considering who they elect as their senators--then the only recourse is to fundamental rights that must be protected against majority vote. The courts seem to be coming along slowly on that one for RKBA.


    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    The best you can say about your approach is that it might eliminate laws above some certain degree of onerousness. Assuming the current law does, in fact, exceed that level, it would take remarkably little "reform" to rectify that whilst leaving a bad, immoral law on the books.
    The approach might help to eliminate laws the majority finds more than some level of offensive. Obviously, if the majority finds the law agreeable, then by definition, only a minority is likely to suffer.

    "Fixing" the law to apply only to firearms would make the law less offensive--though no less unconstitutional, IMO--than applying it to nail guns. And that could happen. But the point is, enforcement of the law would lead to some change in the law until the law is less offensive.

    There is no guarantee of perfection.

    For better or worse, in a constitutional democratic republic, we can get the government we deserve. The population of Washington State voted to create a really bad law. In the absence of evidence of vote fraud, this is what the majority wants. It is offensive to our rights. But it gets rather difficult to overcome majority sentiment in any system (like citizen initiatives) where majority desires are allowed to rule. Allowing minority sentiment to rule can be just as bad in many other cases.

    Charles

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