1. Da Bears
2. Da Bulls
3. Da White Sox
4. Da Cubs
Now, back to studying for the bar exam.
Griping about Games, Government, and Guns
Though the Firearm Blog and Lyle voiced their concerns about Microsoft being the latest in a line of companies to refuse their business to those engaged in lawful commerce in arms, I think their criticisms are, for the most part, unfounded.
The currently-in-force agreement incorporates the code of conduct that bans the sale of firearms and ammunition (the 2009 code of conduct referenced by TFB). However, MS has updated its terms of service (as of June 11, 2014), and the new terms–which go into effect on July 31, 2014 and replace the current terms–do not incorporate the reference to the 2009 code of conduct. If you wish to read the outgoing terms, they are listed halfway down the page under the heading “Archived Microsoft Services Agreement.”
The new terms also do not ban using the products to sell firearms or ammunition; instead of a long list of prohibited conduct, they have cut it back to general principles:
i. Don’t use the Services to do anything illegal.
ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.
iii. Don’t send spam or use your account to help others send spam. Spam is unsolicited bulk email, postings or instant messages.
iv. Don’t publicly display inappropriate images (e.g. nudity, bestiality, pornography).
v. Don’t engage in activity that is false or misleading (e.g. attempts to ask for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else).
vi. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to the Services or others (e.g. viruses, stalking, hate speech, advocating violence against others).
vii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g. unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, photographs and other Content).
viii. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.”
Those are all of the restrictions in section 3.6: “What type of Content or actions aren’t permitted?
So while it is technically true that the Microsoft Services Agreement–as it stands right now–prohibits using its products in conjunction with the sale of arms or ammunition, at the end of July it will not.
Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Rely on it at your own risk. I wrote this mainly because I needed a break from studying for the bar exam.
There are a few things that need to be said:
1. It isn’t new; it’s from 2007.
2. It was published in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which is the official journal of the Federalist Society (and so, despite the Harvard name, has a more right-libertarian bent than one might expect; in fact, the top of the Journal’s homepage bears the legend “The nation’s leading forum for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship.”).
3. The authors do not appear to be affiliated with Harvard. This is due to the nature of law review publications (which the Harvard J.L. & Pub. Pol’y most assuredly is). Law professors and attorneys write articles and then submit them to reviews for consideration for publication. The staff of the review will check the articles and their sources, making sure that cited authority actually says what the author claims it says.*
Now, I haven’t read the article itself or looked at the sources or methodology. I am in favor of its conclusion (as should be obvious from this blog). Its truth or falsity should be determined irrespective of its source.
Breitbart.com‘s calling it a Harvard study is bending the truth nearly to the breaking point, and Hot Air‘s assertion that because this article is from HARVARD!!11!1 it settles everything is flat out wrong.
I was originally going to submit this as a comment over at Alphecca, but decided instead to get in my one post for August (I have no idea why this has become my new schedule, but I will try to post more frequently).
*If you remember, gentle reader, I am currently a member of the law review at my law school. Reviews are predominantly student-run, and we spend most of our time running down sources and editing submitted pieces.
Before I get into the meat of Act 746 of Arkansas’s 89th General Assembly (on which both Clayton Cramer and Sebastian and Bitter have recently written), let me congratulate Illinois on its actual passage–over the governor’s vet0–of a shall-issue concealed carry licensing scheme. Welcome to the club!
Now, here in Arkansas, much hullabaloo has been made over Act 746, which went into effect on July 1st. That act changed the language in Arkansas’s law regarding the offense of carrying a weapon (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120), and in the law governing possession of handguns on school property (Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-119).
The main issue is with § 5-73-120, which previously read:
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.
(b) As used in this section:
(1) “Club” means . . . ;
(2) “Handgun” means . . . ; and
(3)(A) “Knife” means . . . .
(B) “Knife” includes . . . .
(c) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that at the time of the act of carrying a weapon:
. . .
(4) The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person’s checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon; . . .
Note that though this section provided the “journey” defense, subsection (b) did not actually define what qualified as a journey.
As of July 1st, the statute, as amended by Act 746, now reads:
(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.
. . .
(b) As used in this section:
. . .
(3) “Journey” means travel beyond the county in which a person lives; and
. . .
(c) It is permissible to carry a handgun under this section that if at the time of the act of carrying a weapon:
. . .
(4) The person is carrying a weapon when upon a journey, unless the journey is through a commercial airport when presenting at the security checkpoint in the airport or is in the person’s checked baggage and is not a lawfully declared weapon; . . . [emphasis added]
So, the amended statute now defines journey, changes defenses to carrying a weapon to when it is permissible to carry a weapon, and adds what appears to be a mens rea element to the offense itself–the person’s purpose must be to unlawfully employ the handgun.
The situation is further muddled by AG Dustin McDaniel’s official opinion on the new journey provision of § 5-73-120, delivered in response to a state senator’s request for clarification of the meaning of the journey provision. McDaniel is very careful in his opinion to limit it to the meaning of this provision–in footnote 7, he states:
The act defines as one element of a possession offense under subsection 5-73-120(a) having “a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.” Acts 2013, No. 746, § 2 (new language underlined). Although one might debate the significance, if any, of this change in terminology, it is clearly immaterial to your question.
Because the state senator only asked about the journey provision, McDaniel dodged the more material question of whether the changes to § 5-73-120(a) by themselves decriminalize open carry in Arkansas.
I will remind you, gentle reader, that I am a law student–not a lawyer–and nothing in this post is offered as legal advice.
That disclaimer out of the way, I will say that I don’t plan on being the test case.
Oh, right, I have a blog. Sorry about the
absence dearth lack of posts laziness.
Anyway, I’ve seen much bandying about of “treason” and such regarding Snowden, the private contractor working for the NSA that leaked information on what the agency is actually doing, and I thought I would point this out:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. U.S. Const. art. III § 3.
I doubt this applies to Snowden; he didn’t adhere to our enemies, nor did he give them aid or comfort.
Nidal Hasan, the Islamist psychiatrist who shot up Fort Hood (*spit*), is intending to use the “defense of others” defense in his trial. He even said–in court–that he did so to protect the Taliban from deploying soldiers.
So, Hasan confessed in court that he killed American soldiers to protect the Taliban. I doubt that qualifies as giving aid or comfort, but it certainly seems to fall under the umbrella of “adhering to their enemies.”
Treason is a term of art, gentle reader. Don’t bandy it about carelessly.
Macaulay may be no Kipling, but Horatius at the Bridge is still amazing.
Oblivion makes great use of a stanza from Horatius (not, obviously, the lines quoted in this post’s title). Much like The Dude’s rug, it really ties the film together.
Yes, it does star Tom Cruise. Yes, it is in a bleak, blue-filtered post-apocalyptic future.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great story.
I got the bulk of my gloating in by quoting Conan the Barbarian, but I couldn’t let Bloomberg’s and Giffords’s post-gun-control-failure statements just sit there.
Today’s vote is a damning indictment of the stranglehold that special interests have on Washington. . . . More than 40 U.S. senators would rather turn their backs on the 90 percent of Americans who support comprehensive background checks than buck the increasingly extremist wing of the gun lobby. [emphasis added]
I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending. [emphasis added]*
President Obama, of course, was not one to leave the special-interest-bashing to others, as the New York Times noted:
Standing in the Rose Garden next to former Representative Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of gun violence, Mr. Obama flashed anger as he said that the gun rights lobby had “willfully lied” about the legislation, and that Republicans and Democrats had “caved to the pressure.”
Bloomberg, of course, founded and bankrolls Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a notorious anti-gun organization filled with criminal mayors. Giffords similarly started her own super-PAC to push for strict gun control.
I’m not saying that Bloomberg and Giffords aren’t free to spend their money (or in the case of Giffords, donor money) to lobby for policy changes they support. Free speech and the right to petition legislators and the government for the redress of grievances are at the heart of our political system.
That said, it’s disingenuous at best, and damnably hypocritical at worst, to bemoan the grip that other special interests have on Washington merely because they defeated your special interests.
Gun control isn’t about guns. It’s about control. Control of you, gentle reader. I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Rudyard Kipling’s The Gods of the Copybook Headings:
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”
*For a complete list of the various fallacies Giffords employs in her blatant attempt at emotional blackmail, check out James Taranto’s response at the Wall Street Journal.
Thanks to all who called their congressmen to read them the riot act. Of course, just because gun control was defeated today doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, etc.
This bill is like trying to plug the holes in Swiss Cheese by cutting out plugs from the same slice and inserting them into the holes that are already there.
I’ve only read excerpts of the bill so far, but I’m not impressed. I’ll try to read it this weekend and post my thoughts in between preparing for my trial advocacy final and grading legal research assignments for class I’m the TA for.
By the internet-famous Marko Kloos!
Terms of Enlistment–a milSF work–should nicely cleanse the palate after two long fantasy works (elves, orcs, goblins, Roman legions, a Catholic Church analogue, Vikings–what more could you want?).
I’ll probably finish it by the weekend, if I can work in some reading time in between work and class.