Tag: bad regulations

The NRA Doesn’t Fight For Your Gun Rights

By Thomas DiGennaro | United States

It is both a difficult realization for many pro-gun Americans, as well as a confusing contradiction for many anti-gun Americans, that the National Rifle Association is NOT a true gun rights advocacy group. As I mentioned before in a previous article, Ruining ‘Adam Ruins Guns’, “the NRA is a bunch of corporate suits and lobbyists who are only concerned with lining their pockets”. They have constantly rolled over on the NFA, the GCA, and federal background checks. Most recently they show support for Trump’s proposals for ‘no fly, no buy’, and other measures of “taking the guns first, due process second”. And of course, there is the glaring issue today of the Trump Administration and the ATF’s ban on bump-fire stocks.

The War on Bump Stocks

Many have ‘justified’ the bump-fire stock ban. “It’s just a stupid range toy, no one actually uses them, and they’re inaccurate anyway” are among such claims. Essentially, they don’t care because this legislation isn’t regulating or confiscating any firearms themselves. While this may entirely be true, these arguments completely miss the point of opposition to these bans. It is about the slippery slope that occurs when we start regulating guns. If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want a glass of milk. And you can be damn sure that the Democrats in office are working very hard to get that glass of milk, and they will have enough support and seats in government to do it sooner or later.

The second ‘justification’ we have seen in defense of this proposed legislation is very similar to the previous, and that is that rolling over on bump-fire stocks is playing chess and appeasing the anti-gun crowd in order to protect semi-automatic rifles. The mouse is going to want that cookie.

We also see one of the underlying principles of capitalism and attempting to regulate the market; the rise of the black market and alternatives. Obviously, there will still be bump-fire stocks sold on the streets long after the ban. Some owners simply will not turn theirs in. The latter, the alternatives, do wonders to show the ineffectiveness of such legislation. The same effect of a bump-fire stock can be simulated using a binary trigger. Hell, even through crafty use of rubber bands or the belt loop on your pants.

What Does the NRA Say About This?

This is an excerpt from the official statement released by the NRA on the issue, “Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.  The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations”. Does this sound like a principled gun advocacy group? Does this sound like people who are fighting to defend the rights of their members?

The most hypocritical aspect of this all: could you imagine the holy hell that would be raised by Republicans and the NRA if the Obama administration was moving to pass this law? For reasons I will never understand, Republicans have no problem trampling their rights as long as it is a Republican administration doing it.

The NRA has also refrained from having Senator Rand Paul speak at their conventions. He is “too extreme” on gun rights. Why would the NRA turn away such a principled gun advocate? Because defending gun rights above all else is far from their agenda. Rather, they line their own pockets through memberships and alignment with Republicans like Trump.

Who Do We Turn To?

So where do we turn in terms of making our voices heard in government as gun owners and libertarians? Look no further than the Firearms Policy Coalition and Gun Owners of America. Both of these organizations have taken legal action against the ATF and the Trump Administration for the legislation banning bump-fire stocks. GOA filed suit against the constitutionality of the ATF’s ban, and “that courts should be highly suspect when an agency changes its “interpretation” of a statute in order to impair the exercise of an enumerated constitutional right”. FPC has moved to challenge the legality of Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Attorney General, and therefore his actions as Attorney General. FPC has also filed a separate suit aiming to show the differences between bump-fire and fully automatic fire. Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and Thomas Massie actively work with GOA. Not so much the NRA.

There are several principled and well-run advocacy groups actively working for your gun rights. In addition to FPC and GOA, the National Association for Gun Rights and the Second Amendment Foundation certainly make the list. The takeaway here? Don’t give your money to the NRA.


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Legalizing the Use of Child Labor

By TJ Roberts | United States

On May 8th, 2018, the Trump Administration announced their desire to repeal multiple child labor laws. While this is a cause for celebration, he should take it a step further. Trump should aim for the repeal of ALL child labor laws. Government overreach shows itself when it forbids a child from engaging in voluntary trade, or specifically telling them how they can work, for whom they can work, and for how long they can work.

While the masses hold child labor laws as sacred, one of our oldest and most valuable laws, child labor laws are comparatively new. The federal ban on child labor emerged from the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (the same act that brought about the disastrous minimum wage), a Depression-era regulation that artificially lowered the unemployment rate, by banning certain classes from working! In a time when people needed work the most, the government made it harder to work and prolonged the depression.

This legislation, however, had little impact in the long haul. By 1930, only 6.4% of minor children between the age of 10-15 actually had jobs, so the 1938 law did nothing more than give the government more control of your life. As a nation, America has been wealthy enough to not need child labor by a considerable margin for years. Otherwise, this law is not only useless, but inherently immoral.

And what of nations/localities that are so poor that they need child labor? Child labor laws won’t stop people from sending their children to work if they absolutely need the money to survive. Child labor laws just make it worse for people as children resort to black market activities (such as prostitution or gang activity). Child labor laws make people more desperate to survive, disproportionately hurting poor communities the most.

In addition, suppose you are a parent. Would you send your 8 year-old child to a sweatshop for an additional $200 per month? I most certainly wouldn’t. I most certainly hope you wouldn’t. There are opportunities that are much better for children, especially as they become more tech-savvy. If a parent would do that, that is a cultural issue, not a political issue.

Child Labor is consensual. A willing child worker applied for a job, and a willing employer hired the child. With this in mind, both parties must believe that this exchange is mutually beneficial. To tell a minor child that they cannot work is to claim that you have the right to violate the property rights of both employer and worker.

This is just another example of the need for freedom of choice. Child labor laws restrict the ability of you to choose what you do with your time. In fact, the government forces children to partake in labor for them through government schools. Horace Mann, the father of the American education system, made it very clear that government schools are not to make good people, but obedient citizens. It is a form of indoctrination that the State compels upon children. It is forced labor, although not “hard” labor.

America is seeing the results of this now. Employers overwhelmingly claim that college grads are unprepared for the workplace, and its no surprise. Government schools force you to consume much of your time focusing on obedience and not innovation. Where critical thinking and soft skills are essential to the workplace, government “education” miserably fails to prepare an individual for a career.

Government-mandated labor, however, has even more dire consequences: the loss of entrepreneurship. Since children have no legal ability to join the labor force, they are encouraged to follow orders, not think for themselves. Kids have been at the forefront of innovation historically, but that has been changing as young people have been forcefully adopted by the State, ripped away from their families that actually want what is best for them. Experience in the workplace is good for people. Child labor laws, however, are disastrous. They are a breach of fundamental liberties.


This post was originally published in LIFE.

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We’re Gonna Die: How Oregon’s ‘Gas Crisis’ Shows the Psychological Trap of Government Intervention

By Mason Mohon | OREGON

The world is ending, or at least it is in Oregon. Since 1951, Oregon law has mandated that all gas stations have attendants working there to fill up gas on behalf of drivers. 

The intent of this law was to boost employment. Ever since it was made known that rural towns within Oregon would no longer have to abide by this law, all hell broke loose. Oregonians are afraid, and this “fear” shows an all too real issue in American society today: People have become attached to the state, so much so that they cannot bear to see life without it.

First, the situation within Oregon must be analyzed. As NPR reports, “As of Jan. 1, gas stations in counties with a population of less than 40,000 are permitted to offer self-service. While the change in the law is expected to affect a small number of people, Oregonians took to social media to express their discontent.” This discontent was great indeed and echoed what I would see in a post from The Onion. NPR went on to say “The responses to a now-viral Facebook post by a local TV station ranged from concerns about smelling like gasoline to being attacked by drifters lurking around stations. Some said they didn’t even know how to pump gas.”

Yes, these Oregonians are this scared and are this fearful of gas. As somebody who lives in Texas and pumps his own gas, I can confirm that pumping gas does not make you smell like anything.

This hysteria has raised a dangerous issue – once the government intervenes, people cannot even imagine life without it. A classic thought experiment free-market economics professors like to do is telling the student to imagine if the state were to nationalize t-shirt or sneaker productions. Most likely we wouldn’t be able to imagine life without it. The ones who do, though, are what Bastiat called the “good economists,” who were those that saw what was unseeable to the layman.

Oregonians were dependent on this regulation, and they are so scared of life without it that it has turned them into a national joke. This government dependent attitude is not new, though. Recently, taxes were cut, Obamacare was nearly destroyed, and net neutrality was repealed. People got so afraid of every single one of these actions in every end of the political spectrum. People couldn’t imagine the internet functioning without government regulation, nor could they imagine the rich paying fewer dollars in taxes or even being responsible for your own health.

This is a dangerous psychological threat to people everywhere. We cannot sit by and expect the state to do everything for us, because what if something goes wrong one day? What if the state collapses, shuts down, or misallocates resources? You’ve been so dependent on it that you will be helpless without it. People become dependent on the state, so they give it more power. The people in charge live off the dependent backs of the masses, and nobody will ever question. This is the danger of a lack of personal responsibility – when you become dependent on a person or organization, they can now control you.

Thankfully, Oregonians may discover a nice law of the free market. Chances are, they are going to discover that the market serves demand. Although there may not be much competition in rural areas, the stations that have servicemen filling up your car for you will probably have a competitive edge on other stations. Either way, though, this will probably cause Oregonians who do not see a continuation in served gas will both learn how to do a very easy task that they will have to do anytime out of the state and save a few dollars.

We must be incredibly wary when advocating for government involvement in any market, ever, for its damages can be detrimental to masses of individuals and society as a whole. The term “sheep” tends to be a bit of a cliche, but when it comes to being dependent, it definitely applies. Men are responsible. Sheep are dependent.