Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Politics makes strange bedfellows. How else can one explain Brett Kimberlin’s use of not-for-profits to support gun control? The TKPOTD for seven years ago today took note of that irony.

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Brett Kimberlin received a 50 year sentence for his conviction for using explosives to cause injury. He has claimed that his conviction was based on evidence manufactured by the ATF. Here’s what Mark Singer concluded about Kimberlin’s claim as recorded in the Appendix of Citizen K (p. 377):

To believe that Kimberlin’s conviction represented a widespread effort to frame him required the postulation of a sophisticated, ingenious, and illegal network of his enemies—nothing less, it seemed, than a “conspiracy per se.” Sometime the ingenuity with which Kimberlin credited the ATF specifically seemed too generous. For instance, on 20 September 1978, the day of Kimberlin’s arrest and the impounding of the Impala, the ATF agents involved in the search did not have the lab results from the bomb scenes. If the government had wanted to lace the Impala, they would’ve needed to guess exactly which substance—Tovex, that is, not dynamite or TNT—would link Kimberlin to the bombings. Additionally, the ATF was unlikely to have known that Kimberlin was using Tovex to excavate his property three years earlier.

It’s interesting that, although Brett Kimberlin doesn’t trust the ATF to honorably deal with crime scene evidence, he is campaigning through his NRA Watch website to increase the ATF’s gun control authority.

Go figure.

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Most of the NRA members I know aren’t the sort of people who would contribute to one of Kimberlin’s not-for-profits. Follow th money.

#BillSchmalfeldt, Abrams Tanks, and the Second Amendment


I was going spend the entire day ignoring Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt, but someone sent me a link to his latest waste of bandwidth over at Digital Journal (No, I won’t link to it.). It’s called Op-Ed: If Abrams tanks are outlawed, only outlaws will have Abrams tanks. Schmalfeldt seems to believe that ownership of an Abrams tank by a U. S. citizen is (or should be) illegal.

Other than nuclear, biological, and most chemical weapons, citizen ownership of weapons is not generally prohibited under federal law. Some are restricted. Some are taxed. But few are prohibited. Some states are more restrictive than the feds.

I don’t know how one would go about buying one, but I’m not sure that there is any federal law that bans private ownership of an Abrams tank.

There would be a lot of paperwork and tax filings involved in owning an Abrams. The two 7.62 X 51 mm machine guns and the .50 M2 machine gun would need to have the appropriate ATF tax stamps (and the guns would need to have been made before the 1986 ban). The main gun (either the 105 mm for early M1 or the newer 120 mm) would also have to be registered with the ATF as a destructive device and the appropriate tax stamp purchased.

Here in Maryland, the three machine guns would have to be licensed by the State Police, and the owner would have to pay a $10/year fee for each. The MVA wouldn’t issue tags, so the owner would be restricted to off-road use.

If the owner kept live rounds for the main gun, the ATF would impose requirements on the storage magazine, and, here in Maryland, the State Fire Marshal would get involved.

So, yes, the Second Amendment does protect a citizen’s right to possess arms.GE

Even an Abrams tank with the right paperwork.

UPDATE—Stacy McCain has more about crazy folks with guns here.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Brett Kimberlin received a 50 year sentence for his conviction for using explosives to cause injury. He has claimed that his conviction was based on evidence manufactured by the ATF. Here’s what Mark Singer concluded about Kimberlin’s claim as recorded in the Appendix of Citizen K (p. 377):

To believe that Kimberlin’s conviction represented a widespread effort to frame him required the postulation of a sophisticated, ingenious, and illegal network of his enemies—nothing less, it seemed, than a “conspiracy per se.” Sometime the ingenuity with which Kimberlin credited the ATF specifically seemed too generous. For instance, on 20 September 1978, the day of Kimberlin’s arrest and the impounding of the Impala, the ATF agents involved in the search did not have the lab results from the bomb scenes. If the government had wanted to lace the Impala, they would’ve needed to guess exactly which substance—Tovex, that is, not dynamite or TNT—would link Kimberlin to the bombings. Additionally, the ATF was unlikely to have known that Kimberlin was using Tovex to excavate his property three years earlier.

It’s interesting that, although Brett Kimberlin doesn’t trust the ATF to honorably deal with crime scene evidence, he is campaigning through his NRA Watch website to increase the ATF’s gun control authority.

Go figure.

Is This Their Legal Precedent?


Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.

—Richard Nixon

Not only is DoJ its up to ass in alligators with the ATF and Fast and Furious, now things are catching up to the DEA on laundering drug money. See here. And it’s not just the conservative blogosphere taking note. The NYT is on the case too.

UPDATE–Among the many laws and regulations violated by Operation Fast and Furious were the International Traffic in Arms Regulations overseen by the State Department, but apparently the State Department didn’t really care. DoS has been licensing legal shipments to Mexico knowing full well that substantial quantities of weapons were being diverted to the drug cartels.

The ITAR Baby


Senator Feinstein is using Operation Fast and Furious as an excuse to call for tougher gun laws.

Let me see if I understand you correctly, Senator; the ATF itself violated a whole raft of guns and arms trafficking laws, so we need to make it harder for me to buy a hunting rifle? I’m not sure I understand your reasoning.

The Senator says,

And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything, .50-caliber weapons, sniper weapons, buy them in large amounts, and send them down to Mexico.

That is simply untrue. Not everyone can buy a firearm. There are prohibited persons. .50-caliber rifles are just one type of the weapon controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Export of such material requires an ITAR license from the Department of State. The ATF didn’t just allow straw purchases—they allowed illegal export. They have a sticky situation on the hands.

Criminals, including those in the ATF, by definition don’t obey the law. “Toughening” the law just traps otherwise innocent people who are no threat to the public, people who are the public. This is really a case where we simply need to aggressively enforce the existing laws without regard to who broke them.

Nobody Died During Watergate


Bob Owens has an excellent piece on the main stream media’s apparent complicity with the DoJ’s misdeeds relating to gunrunning to Mexican Drug cartels.

When I was working in broadcasting, we viewed our news operation as a check on the government, as one of the things that helped keep it accountable to the people. It looks as if a bunch of the newsies have changed sides.

This Couldn’t Happen in Maryland


Hot Air has a report on the further missteps of the ATF in their Operation Fast & Furious. Apparently, they used taxpayer money to buy multiple guns from stores and then sold them directly to prohibited buyers. This wasn’t the sort of sting where the buyer gets busted immediately. They let the guns move on while “tracking” them.

We have one of those “One gun a month” laws in Maryland. (sarcasm_on) I guess that’s why we don’t have any straw purchases here. (sarcasm_off)

UPDATE—More on gun rights in Maryland here.