We Are 1776 http://weare1776.org Conservative News & Commentary Sun, 08 Sep 2013 21:35:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Free-Market Environmentalism http://weare1776.org/7280/featured/free-market-environmentalism-2/ http://weare1776.org/7280/featured/free-market-environmentalism-2/#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 19:57:20 +0000 Ivan Glinski http://weare1776.org/?p=6247 By: Ivan Glinski

“Free-market Environmentalism” – these words are rarely found together, and if they are, they’re usually contrived as polar opposite solutions. Supporters of free-markets hold economic regulations in high disdain as another vehicle through which government can exert its force to rob productive businesses and industries of their profits. On the other hand, most environmentalist actions, including the ones that the Democratic Party has been advocating for the past few years, achieve nothing more than the creation of a standard of unnecessary government intrusion. However, to discount all environment-protective action by the government as statism would to be ignore a crucial feature of the free market system: the elimination of the tragedy of the commons.

The tragedy of the commons, in short, is the gaping hole in collectivist theory. It’s effect originated in medieval English towns and villages, which, while sustaining private ownership of land, also held land that belonged to the public – the “commons”. Historians, through research, have demonstrated that the commons were some of the worst-kept lands in the region: overgrazed, filthy, and and undeveloped. This all contributed to the decline of the commons in the centuries-long privatization of these regions. The reason seems simple – the land belonged to everyone, and therefore to no one. The entire community used it for their advantage, but there was no purpose for anyone to maintain the land since such an action would benefit others at the expense of that individual’s time and effort.

Now we can transplant this problem into the modern day and the types of commons that we have today – most significantly, our air and water. Both of these resources are not privately held by anyone – our streams, rivers, oceans, and air are all public goods, so to speak. Wells and springs can be privately owned, but most water, if not held by the government as an absentee owner, is public. If it rains, one can collect rainwater without it being considered theft. Environmentalists understand that the tragedy of the commons is a very real threat to our environment, and so they argue that government regulation can prevent the destruction of these resources. Supporters of free-markets have to understand the tragedy as well and propose market-driven solutions. Unfortunately, the only solution provided so far is to allow the commons to continue to exist, unregulated and abused, ultimately strengthening the arguments of environmentalists.

However, environmental regulation, done properly, is as much of a free-market practice as trading. One of the ways that this regulation can be handled effectively is through carbon credits. Whether one believes in global warming or not, it is undeniable that carbon emissions pollute our air and can lead to diseases in plants, animals, and humans in high concentrations - diseases that cost money and effort to treat. In effect, a factory emitting CO2 is laying an additional cost on the surrounding population and may be currently held unaccountable for it. In a purely free-market system, however, that pollutant would have to pay for any damages it causes. Just like if a heavy piece of machinery fell and injured somebody and the factory has to pay damages, so too would they have to pay for damaging the environment. Through the issuance of carbon credits, businesses can be held accountable for their pollution to the public. For every certain amount of pollution that they emit, those businesses would have to pay a certain cost to revitalize the environment. Depending on local contracts, this could include paying for clean-up crews, replacing lost crops, and healthcare for those who get diseases, such as asthma and other lung-related issues, that can be attributed to higher carbon levels. Surely, more research must be done into the effects of carbon pollution, but the framework for the free-market to care for the environment has been, and always will be there.

Ivan Glinski is a We Are 1776 contributor.

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Free-Market Environmentalism http://weare1776.org/6247/commentary/free-market-environmentalism/ http://weare1776.org/6247/commentary/free-market-environmentalism/#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 19:57:20 +0000 Ivan Glinski http://weare1776.org/?p=6247 http://weare1776.org/6247/commentary/free-market-environmentalism/feed/ 0 Obamacare Could Shrink Workforce by 900,000 http://weare1776.org/7277/uncategorized/obamacare-could-shrink-workforce-by-900000-2/ http://weare1776.org/7277/uncategorized/obamacare-could-shrink-workforce-by-900000-2/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:32:11 +0000 Michael Gray http://weare1776.org/?p=6562 By Michael Gray

Currently, the most widely opposed piece of legislation in Obama’s presidency, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is receiving new criticism from the National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent think tank. The study, named the “Public Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Employment Lock, explored the possible consequences of low-income Americans (those making under $22,000 a year) with no dependents and their eligibility for state sponsored health insurance. The number of encompassing Americans ranges from 850,000 to 1.5 million.

Over the course of the study, it was determined that the vast majority of this populace remains at their current workplace solely for the benefit of health insurance. Many of these jobs could be classified as ‘undesirable’ due to their demanding nature and limited earnings. It is the combinations of these two aspects that have lead the authors of the study to speculate that a sharp decline in employment, or significantly reduced hours, would appear within this income bracket. According to the study, all of these numbers would be triggered by the voluntary actions of those eligible, as it will become the path of least resistance to work less, forgoing employer-provided insurance and receiving socialized healthcare.

The study analysis suggests:

“Applying our labor supply estimates directly to this population, we predict a decline in employment of between 530,000 and 940,000 in response to this group of individuals being made newly eligible for free or heavily subsidized health insurance […] This would represent a decline in the aggregate employment rate of between 0.3 and 0.6 percentage points from this single component of the ACA.”

John Davidson of the Texas Public Policy Foundation responded optimistically, stating:

“Freedom from employment lock’ could also have the effect of encouraging people to take economic risks, such as starting a small business or some other entrepreneurial venture,” Davidson said. “If they can get health insurance elsewhere, they are likely to engage in economic activity in some other way rather than drop out of the workforce entirely.”

Essentially, subsidized health insurance, guaranteed under Obamacare, will tempt those living below the poverty line to drop out of the workforce entirely as the benefits from their employer become obsolete. As the starting date of Obamacare has been pushed back until after the 2014 midterm elections, the chief effects and consequences of the legislation remain elusive. At this point in time, 24 states have opted out of the Medicaid expansion portion of Obamacare.

References

Boehm, Eric. “Study: Obamacare Could Shrink Workforce by 900,000.” TheStreet. Buisness News, 1 Aug. 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.

Garthwaite, Craig, Tal Gross, and Matthew J. Notowidigdo. “PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE,LABOR SUPPLY, AND EMPLOYMENT LOCK.” Columbia University. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.

Luhby, Tami. “States Forgo Billions in Federal Cash by Opting out of Medicaid Expansion.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 01 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.

Michael Gray is a We Are 1776 contributor.

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Obamacare Could Shrink Workforce by 900,000 http://weare1776.org/6562/uncategorized/obamacare-could-shrink-workforce-by-900000/ http://weare1776.org/6562/uncategorized/obamacare-could-shrink-workforce-by-900000/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:32:11 +0000 Michael Gray http://weare1776.org/?p=6562 By Michael Gray

Currently, the most widely opposed piece of legislation in Obama’s presidency, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), is receiving new criticism from the National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent think tank. The study, named the “Public Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Employment Lock, explored the possible consequences of low-income Americans (those making under $22,000 a year) with no dependents and their eligibility for state sponsored health insurance. The number of encompassing Americans ranges from 850,000 to 1.5 million.

Over the course of the study, it was determined that the vast majority of this populace remains at their current workplace solely for the benefit of health insurance. Many of these jobs could be classified as ‘undesirable’ due to their demanding nature and limited earnings. It is the combinations of these two aspects that have lead the authors of the study to speculate that a sharp decline in employment, or significantly reduced hours, would appear within this income bracket. According to the study, all of these numbers would be triggered by the voluntary actions of those eligible, as it will become the path of least resistance to work less, forgoing employer-provided insurance and receiving socialized healthcare.

The study analysis suggests:

“Applying our labor supply estimates directly to this population, we predict a decline in employment of between 530,000 and 940,000 in response to this group of individuals being made newly eligible for free or heavily subsidized health insurance […] This would represent a decline in the aggregate employment rate of between 0.3 and 0.6 percentage points from this single component of the ACA.”

John Davidson of the Texas Public Policy Foundation responded optimistically, stating:

“Freedom from employment lock’ could also have the effect of encouraging people to take economic risks, such as starting a small business or some other entrepreneurial venture,” Davidson said. “If they can get health insurance elsewhere, they are likely to engage in economic activity in some other way rather than drop out of the workforce entirely.”

Essentially, subsidized health insurance, guaranteed under Obamacare, will tempt those living below the poverty line to drop out of the workforce entirely as the benefits from their employer become obsolete. As the starting date of Obamacare has been pushed back until after the 2014 midterm elections, the chief effects and consequences of the legislation remain elusive. At this point in time, 24 states have opted out of the Medicaid expansion portion of Obamacare.

References

Boehm, Eric. “Study: Obamacare Could Shrink Workforce by 900,000.” TheStreet. Buisness News, 1 Aug. 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.

Garthwaite, Craig, Tal Gross, and Matthew J. Notowidigdo. “PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE,LABOR SUPPLY, AND EMPLOYMENT LOCK.” Columbia University. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Aug. 2013.

Luhby, Tami. “States Forgo Billions in Federal Cash by Opting out of Medicaid Expansion.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 01 July 2013. Web. 04 Aug. 2013.

Michael Gray is a We Are 1776 contributor.

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Reason Trumps Treason – PFC Bradley Manning Acquitted of “Aiding the Enemy” http://weare1776.org/7279/breaking-stories/reason-trumps-treason-pfc-bradley-manning-acquitted-of-aiding-the-enemy-2/ http://weare1776.org/7279/breaking-stories/reason-trumps-treason-pfc-bradley-manning-acquitted-of-aiding-the-enemy-2/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:23:14 +0000 Joe Rivera http://weare1776.org/?p=6580 By Joe Rivera

On July 30, 2013, PFC. Bradley Manning, the Army soldier accused of leaking information from the US government actions on the War on Terror, was acquitted of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy”.  There has been much controversy over that charge.  Some members of the public viewed him as a menace to society and a traitor, while others have hailed his actions as a heroic and public service for government transparency and accountability.

When US Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge in the case, declared Manning not guilty, she cemented in our justice system the principle that intent is a major factor in the commission of a crime.  Despite Army prosecutors’ allegations that Manning showed “evil intent” and that he should have known from his training that the information leaked could end up in the hands of America’s enemies, Lind did not find substance to that claim.  Though he faces sentencing for several other charges related to his actions, Manning is not a traitor in the eyes of the law.

The implications for this acquittal are great.  No longer do soldiers have to hide behind the Nazi-era mantra of “just following orders” if their conscience guides them otherwise.  American citizens, privy to sensitive but unconscionable information, no longer have to fear charges of treason or otherwise betraying our country simply because they volunteered to attach themselves to our military services.  A new check system – that of public scrutiny – has been validated in our government, one where the citizens themselves can publicly respond to misgivings behind military actions purported to support the United States and her interests.  The people of our nation have been handed a great tool, and those governing us have been re-set in their place as representatives for the will of the people.  Of course, limits to the way information is revealed still exist.  For one, if there is in fact evidence of malicious intent toward our nation, her citizens, or their government, treason can still be charged.  However, simply committing an act which reveals government secrets does not imply a desire to harm the country.

In Manning’s situation, the prosecution could not support their claims.  True to the spirit of our Constitution, he could not be convicted of this charge because evidence did not meet the standards necessary under jurisprudence.  Judge Col. Lind upheld a great facet of Americanism, the requirement that all citizens are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Among the population, even in the week following this acquittal, a great deal of doubt seems to remain as to the motive for enlightening the world to the hidden secrets of the US War on Terror.  This is despite Manning’s testimony declaring that his motivation was to “spark national debate about foreign policy” and reveal “the true cost of war.” Reasonable doubt persists.

The reach of this acquittal could impact American government whistleblowers across the world, as well as international diplomatic relations.  Because PFC Manning used WikiLeaks to publicize this information, WikiLeaks website founder Julian Assange is also sought by the US for his role in the leak.  Assange has received refugee status from Ecuador and has been living in its embassy in London for over a year, prompted by fear of extradition to Sweden to face rape charges.  Those rape charges have since been dropped. The reason for his asylum now, however, is because Ecuador supports the claim that the United Kingdom will extradite him back to America to face a similar fate as Manning.  With Manning’s acquittal of aiding the enemy comes the very real likelihood that Assange could also be found not guilty of similar charges.

In addition, currently in Russia, Edward Snowden is a refugee for his role in a different leak of government information.  As an NSA civilian contractor, Snowden found information that he shared with WikiLeaks regarding a secret government program to spy on American citizens in America.  He is now also sought by the American government, once again to likely face a similar fate as PFC Manning.

The world has eyes on the United States government, not only because of the actions committed against civilians at home and abroad and the questionable practices during the War on Terror, but also because of the treatment of American citizens who publicize the practices.  In fact, this scrutiny is directly because of men inspired by Bradley Manning who acted as whistleblowers in an attempt to improve American awareness into the actions of our government.  When Judge Col. Lind ruled that transparency, even when provided by renegade actors like Manning, does not equate to “aiding the enemy,” she gave merit to the right that citizens have the right to knowledge about the operations perpetrated by the government supposed to represent us, the American people.

A new era is under way – one where the everyday citizen/soldier has some freedom to denounce government abuses of humanity and unethical behavior.  Of course, the Manning acquittal is only one small step in equalizing the citizen to his/her military counterparts.

When the military ordered Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba to report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad and that report was made public, we believed our government was interested in upholding decency and human rights by being transparent when atrocities occur. In light of these recent leaks, that seems to have been untrue. Now that Judge Col. Lind has acquitted PFC Bradley Manning of his most serious charge, “aiding the enemy,” the government is aware that their actions are subject to scrutiny, and our citizen-whistleblowers have a similar freedom to provide public reports on government abuse like Taguba did without being convicted of treasonous behavior.  We are one step closer to freedom from oppression by our government, because we are one step further away from the militant rule to obey and conceal the actions of the government under penalty of severe charges that we are harming the nation by enlightening the people.   We are on the cusp of freedom, because Lind upheld the principle that reason trumps treason.  One is not guilty of “aiding the enemy” simply because the government says they did.  Justice triumphed in Manning’s case, because the government learned that they are subject to the same standards of jurisprudence and must support their charges beyond their desires and whims, by proving someone has committed a serious crime beyond a reasonable doubt.   Let’s hope that this trend continues, for liberty and justice for all.

Joe Rivera is a We Are 1776 contributor.

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Reason Trumps Treason – PFC Bradley Manning Acquitted of “Aiding the Enemy” http://weare1776.org/6580/breaking-stories/reason-trumps-treason-pfc-bradley-manning-acquitted-of-aiding-the-enemy/ http://weare1776.org/6580/breaking-stories/reason-trumps-treason-pfc-bradley-manning-acquitted-of-aiding-the-enemy/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:23:14 +0000 Joe Rivera http://weare1776.org/?p=6580 By Joe Rivera

On July 30, 2013, PFC. Bradley Manning, the Army soldier accused of leaking information from the US government actions on the War on Terror, was acquitted of the most serious charge of “aiding the enemy”.  There has been much controversy over that charge.  Some members of the public viewed him as a menace to society and a traitor, while others have hailed his actions as a heroic and public service for government transparency and accountability.

When US Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge in the case, declared Manning not guilty, she cemented in our justice system the principle that intent is a major factor in the commission of a crime.  Despite Army prosecutors’ allegations that Manning showed “evil intent” and that he should have known from his training that the information leaked could end up in the hands of America’s enemies, Lind did not find substance to that claim.  Though he faces sentencing for several other charges related to his actions, Manning is not a traitor in the eyes of the law.

The implications for this acquittal are great.  No longer do soldiers have to hide behind the Nazi-era mantra of “just following orders” if their conscience guides them otherwise.  American citizens, privy to sensitive but unconscionable information, no longer have to fear charges of treason or otherwise betraying our country simply because they volunteered to attach themselves to our military services.  A new check system – that of public scrutiny – has been validated in our government, one where the citizens themselves can publicly respond to misgivings behind military actions purported to support the United States and her interests.  The people of our nation have been handed a great tool, and those governing us have been re-set in their place as representatives for the will of the people.  Of course, limits to the way information is revealed still exist.  For one, if there is in fact evidence of malicious intent toward our nation, her citizens, or their government, treason can still be charged.  However, simply committing an act which reveals government secrets does not imply a desire to harm the country.

In Manning’s situation, the prosecution could not support their claims.  True to the spirit of our Constitution, he could not be convicted of this charge because evidence did not meet the standards necessary under jurisprudence.  Judge Col. Lind upheld a great facet of Americanism, the requirement that all citizens are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Among the population, even in the week following this acquittal, a great deal of doubt seems to remain as to the motive for enlightening the world to the hidden secrets of the US War on Terror.  This is despite Manning’s testimony declaring that his motivation was to “spark national debate about foreign policy” and reveal “the true cost of war.” Reasonable doubt persists.

The reach of this acquittal could impact American government whistleblowers across the world, as well as international diplomatic relations.  Because PFC Manning used WikiLeaks to publicize this information, WikiLeaks website founder Julian Assange is also sought by the US for his role in the leak.  Assange has received refugee status from Ecuador and has been living in its embassy in London for over a year, prompted by fear of extradition to Sweden to face rape charges.  Those rape charges have since been dropped. The reason for his asylum now, however, is because Ecuador supports the claim that the United Kingdom will extradite him back to America to face a similar fate as Manning.  With Manning’s acquittal of aiding the enemy comes the very real likelihood that Assange could also be found not guilty of similar charges.

In addition, currently in Russia, Edward Snowden is a refugee for his role in a different leak of government information.  As an NSA civilian contractor, Snowden found information that he shared with WikiLeaks regarding a secret government program to spy on American citizens in America.  He is now also sought by the American government, once again to likely face a similar fate as PFC Manning.

The world has eyes on the United States government, not only because of the actions committed against civilians at home and abroad and the questionable practices during the War on Terror, but also because of the treatment of American citizens who publicize the practices.  In fact, this scrutiny is directly because of men inspired by Bradley Manning who acted as whistleblowers in an attempt to improve American awareness into the actions of our government.  When Judge Col. Lind ruled that transparency, even when provided by renegade actors like Manning, does not equate to “aiding the enemy,” she gave merit to the right that citizens have the right to knowledge about the operations perpetrated by the government supposed to represent us, the American people.

A new era is under way – one where the everyday citizen/soldier has some freedom to denounce government abuses of humanity and unethical behavior.  Of course, the Manning acquittal is only one small step in equalizing the citizen to his/her military counterparts.

When the military ordered Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba to report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison in Baghdad and that report was made public, we believed our government was interested in upholding decency and human rights by being transparent when atrocities occur. In light of these recent leaks, that seems to have been untrue. Now that Judge Col. Lind has acquitted PFC Bradley Manning of his most serious charge, “aiding the enemy,” the government is aware that their actions are subject to scrutiny, and our citizen-whistleblowers have a similar freedom to provide public reports on government abuse like Taguba did without being convicted of treasonous behavior.  We are one step closer to freedom from oppression by our government, because we are one step further away from the militant rule to obey and conceal the actions of the government under penalty of severe charges that we are harming the nation by enlightening the people.   We are on the cusp of freedom, because Lind upheld the principle that reason trumps treason.  One is not guilty of “aiding the enemy” simply because the government says they did.  Justice triumphed in Manning’s case, because the government learned that they are subject to the same standards of jurisprudence and must support their charges beyond their desires and whims, by proving someone has committed a serious crime beyond a reasonable doubt.   Let’s hope that this trend continues, for liberty and justice for all.

Joe Rivera is a We Are 1776 contributor.

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Third Parties In America http://weare1776.org/7276/domestic-policy/third-parties-in-america-2/ http://weare1776.org/7276/domestic-policy/third-parties-in-america-2/#comments Sun, 04 Aug 2013 16:12:06 +0000 Andrew Rogers http://weare1776.org/?p=6556 By Andrew Rogers

Germany has six major political parties, Canada has six major political parties, the UK has 11 major political parties, and Switzerland has 17 major political parties. They all get a wide range of choices and a wide range of voices in their government, and things get done for that reason because there is not a duopoly in those countries’ political systems. But we’re stuck with two parties that are in many respects the same and offer no real choice to the American people; for example, the CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates) was founded by both the Democrats and Republicans and is still run by them today. There is hardly any surprise the Commission didn’t let Jill Stein (Green Party) or Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) debate with candidates from the primary two parties, even though Stein and Johnson were qualified. Your choice is being crushed behind closed doors.

Editor’s Note by Sri Nimmagadda:

The most important thing is to get involved. The existence of the two-party system in America is a testament to the way we, as a nation, streamline our thought processes and points of view by automatically categorizing them into one side or the other. This is extremely dangerous for our nation; it leads to belief perseverance and accepted ignorance. In order to fight ignorance and combat our own personal biases through belief perseverance, we have to get involved in the political system, learn to critically reason, and become aware of all the different viewpoints around us.

Of course, the answer is not a spate of political parties. An entry of a large number of political parties for the sake of categorical diversity leads to stagnation in process; we can see this in the case of India’s political system where political parties are created not for the sake of political diversity but for political leverage; individuals use political parties in India to gain power. We see the same leverage in the United States because candidates from ideologically diverse parties are forcefully getting subjugated by the media. But at the end of the day, a vote is a vote and an opinion is an opinion. It becomes important for us, as citizens of the United States, to not let things slide and not let ourselves be pigeonholed into a belief system we don’t believe in, whether it is Democratic or Republican.

Andrew Rogers is a We Are 1776 contributor.

Sri Nimmagadda is a Managing Partner/Editor for We Are 1776. He is also the senior writer for the Libertarian Party of Washington State.

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Third Parties In America http://weare1776.org/6556/domestic-policy/third-parties-in-america/ http://weare1776.org/6556/domestic-policy/third-parties-in-america/#comments Sun, 04 Aug 2013 16:12:06 +0000 Andrew Rogers http://weare1776.org/?p=6556 By Andrew Rogers

Germany has six major political parties, Canada has six major political parties, the UK has 11 major political parties, and Switzerland has 17 major political parties. They all get a wide range of choices and a wide range of voices in their government, and things get done for that reason because there is not a duopoly in those countries’ political systems. But we’re stuck with two parties that are in many respects the same and offer no real choice to the American people; for example, the CPD (Commission on Presidential Debates) was founded by both the Democrats and Republicans and is still run by them today. There is hardly any surprise the Commission didn’t let Jill Stein (Green Party) or Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) debate with candidates from the primary two parties, even though Stein and Johnson were qualified. Your choice is being crushed behind closed doors.

Editor’s Note by Sri Nimmagadda:

The most important thing is to get involved. The existence of the two-party system in America is a testament to the way we, as a nation, streamline our thought processes and points of view by automatically categorizing them into one side or the other. This is extremely dangerous for our nation; it leads to belief perseverance and accepted ignorance. In order to fight ignorance and combat our own personal biases through belief perseverance, we have to get involved in the political system, learn to critically reason, and become aware of all the different viewpoints around us.

Of course, the answer is not a spate of political parties. An entry of a large number of political parties for the sake of categorical diversity leads to stagnation in process; we can see this in the case of India’s political system where political parties are created not for the sake of political diversity but for political leverage; individuals use political parties in India to gain power. We see the same leverage in the United States because candidates from ideologically diverse parties are forcefully getting subjugated by the media. But at the end of the day, a vote is a vote and an opinion is an opinion. It becomes important for us, as citizens of the United States, to not let things slide and not let ourselves be pigeonholed into a belief system we don’t believe in, whether it is Democratic or Republican.

Andrew Rogers is a We Are 1776 contributor.

Sri Nimmagadda is a Managing Partner/Editor for We Are 1776. He is also the senior writer for the Libertarian Party of Washington State.

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Column: “Without firearms, there is no freedom” http://weare1776.org/7278/rep-david-taylor/column-without-firearms-there-is-no-freedom-2/ http://weare1776.org/7278/rep-david-taylor/column-without-firearms-there-is-no-freedom-2/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 02:02:52 +0000 Alec Scheer http://weare1776.org/?p=6570 By Representative David Taylor

In my previous article, I introduced you to Initiative 594, an Initiative to the Legislature related to background checks and gun registration.

It’s important to understand the various provisions of the initiative, so today we’ll be looking at some of the issues associated with it.  The issues discussed herein are not meant to be exhaustive, only an introduction to some of the problems with the initiative.

Section 1 of the Initiative identifies “criminal and public safety background checks” as “an effective and easy mechanism to ensure that guns are not purchased by or transferred to those who are prohibited from possessing them.”  Here’s the problem: the initiative does not include a definition of what a “public safety” background check is, and a quick search of the Revised Code of Washington and Washington Administrative Code provided no statutory definition to be relied upon.  This is especially concerning given the fact that the initiative also allows the Department of Licensing to adopt rules to implement the initiative.  So what is a “public safety” background check?  Will it be defined to include all veterans?  TEA Party activists?  Members of certain religious groups?  Right now it’s impossible to say, but it’s an issue worthy of much concern.

Section 3 of the Initiative requires background checks for “all sales or transfers, including but not limited to sales and transfers through a licensed dealer, at gun shows, online, and between unlicensed persons.”  Let’s be clear: this initiative applies not only to sales but transfers as well, which are defined to include the “delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment, including but not limited to gifts and loans.”  It gets better.  Section 3 allows temporary transfers for hunting purposes, but only if the recipient has “completed all training” which is also undefined.  Once again, the Department of Licensing is given the authority to define a requirement that is not found in statute.

Section 3 also contains the specific provisions on how a sale or transfer is to occur between two unlicensed individuals.  Under the Initiative, the individual selling or transferring must deliver the firearm to a licensed dealer who is required to process the sale as if it were from their own inventory.  This is where the registration will occur.  Licensed dealers are required to document the serial numbers of all firearms they sell and send that information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

This initiative is bad news for freedom loving, liberty minded individuals throughout Washington State and must be defeated.  Start educating your friends and neighbors about the defective and deficient provisions of the proposal and urge them to not sign the petitions required to certify the Initiative.  We must work together to protect our 2nd Amendment rights in order to preserve all of our other rights.  Without firearms, there is no freedom.

Representative David Taylor is a state representative from Washington State, representing the state’s 15th legislative district

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Column: “Without firearms, there is no freedom” http://weare1776.org/6570/rep-david-taylor/column-without-firearms-there-is-no-freedom/ http://weare1776.org/6570/rep-david-taylor/column-without-firearms-there-is-no-freedom/#comments Thu, 01 Aug 2013 02:02:52 +0000 Alec Scheer http://weare1776.org/?p=6570 By Representative David Taylor

In my previous article, I introduced you to Initiative 594, an Initiative to the Legislature related to background checks and gun registration.

It’s important to understand the various provisions of the initiative, so today we’ll be looking at some of the issues associated with it.  The issues discussed herein are not meant to be exhaustive, only an introduction to some of the problems with the initiative.

Section 1 of the Initiative identifies “criminal and public safety background checks” as “an effective and easy mechanism to ensure that guns are not purchased by or transferred to those who are prohibited from possessing them.”  Here’s the problem: the initiative does not include a definition of what a “public safety” background check is, and a quick search of the Revised Code of Washington and Washington Administrative Code provided no statutory definition to be relied upon.  This is especially concerning given the fact that the initiative also allows the Department of Licensing to adopt rules to implement the initiative.  So what is a “public safety” background check?  Will it be defined to include all veterans?  TEA Party activists?  Members of certain religious groups?  Right now it’s impossible to say, but it’s an issue worthy of much concern.

Section 3 of the Initiative requires background checks for “all sales or transfers, including but not limited to sales and transfers through a licensed dealer, at gun shows, online, and between unlicensed persons.”  Let’s be clear: this initiative applies not only to sales but transfers as well, which are defined to include the “delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment, including but not limited to gifts and loans.”  It gets better.  Section 3 allows temporary transfers for hunting purposes, but only if the recipient has “completed all training” which is also undefined.  Once again, the Department of Licensing is given the authority to define a requirement that is not found in statute.

Section 3 also contains the specific provisions on how a sale or transfer is to occur between two unlicensed individuals.  Under the Initiative, the individual selling or transferring must deliver the firearm to a licensed dealer who is required to process the sale as if it were from their own inventory.  This is where the registration will occur.  Licensed dealers are required to document the serial numbers of all firearms they sell and send that information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

This initiative is bad news for freedom loving, liberty minded individuals throughout Washington State and must be defeated.  Start educating your friends and neighbors about the defective and deficient provisions of the proposal and urge them to not sign the petitions required to certify the Initiative.  We must work together to protect our 2nd Amendment rights in order to preserve all of our other rights.  Without firearms, there is no freedom.

Representative David Taylor is a state representative from Washington State, representing the state’s 15th legislative district

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