Missouri lawmaker wants tax increase on gun purchases to fund cop body cams

As more police departments throughout the nation are adopting policies requiring officers to wear body cameras while on duty, one Missouri lawmaker believes the cost of the new equipment should be offset by levying a new tax against lawful U.S. gun owners.

Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Democratic state lawmaker from Kansas, has introduced legislation that would require all Missouri law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. A separate piece of legislation would pay for the new cameras through a 1 percent statewide tax increase on firearm and ammunition sales.

The funds raised would go to the “Peace Officer Handgun and Ammunition Sales Tax Fund” for use by police departments.

Gun rights advocates have decried the plan, noting that it amounts to a punitive tax on legal gun purchasers.

“Forcing law-abiding Missourians to pay an additional tax on firearm and ammunition purchases is unmerited,” the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action said in a statement. “Gun owners and purchasers should not be responsible for funding these projects.”

But, as Guns.com pointed out Monday, the tax wouldn’t be the first of its kind: “In Cook County, Illinois officials enacted a $25 one-time “Violence Tax” on each gun sale to fund indigent gunshot victim care at the county-run hospital. This came at the same time that legislation was proposed in Maryland, Massachusetts and California to add extra fees to ammunition sales to finance various mental health initiatives.”

Cartoon roundup

Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant

In a newspaper office in Paris this week, Islamic terrorists failed miserably in their mission. Their goal in the brutal terror attack that took place in the office of Charlie Hebdo was to put out the flame of liberty and silence critics of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Many people, including a handful of talented cartoonists, are dead. But freedom of speech lives on — in fact, it thrives. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.

Hajo de Reijger, The Netherlands
Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE
Peter Broelman, Australia


Paul Zanetti, Australia
Manny Francisco, Manila, The Phillippines
Arcadio Esquivel, La Prensa, Panama, www.caglecartoons.com
Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, Germany
Martin Sutovec, Slovakia
Tom Janssen, The Netherlands
Tom Janssen, The Netherlands
Dario Castillejos, El Imparcial de México
Joep Bertrams, The Netherlands
Frederick Deligne, Nice-Matin, France
Frederick Deligne, Nice-Matin, France
Kap, Spain
Patrick Chappatte, The International New York Times
karikatur für tribüne-ruhe in frieden
Petar Pismestrovic, Kleine Zeitung, Austria
Osama Hajjaj, Jordan
Martin Sutovec, Slovakia
Luojie, China Daily, China
Hajo de Reijger, The Netherlands
Osama Hajjaj, Jordan
Hajo de Reijger, The Netherlands
John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune
Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com
Larry Wright, CagleCartoons.com
John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
RJ Matson
Statue of Liberty seen from the Circle Line ferry, Manhattan, New York
RJ Matson
January 8, 2015
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune
Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune
Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
Gary McCoy, Cagle Cartoons
Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico
Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons
January 9, 2015
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com


White House as surprised as anybody that Harvard profs are mad about Obamacare

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had his logic inverter running at full speed Monday, as he attempted to respond to a reporter’s question about why so many Harvard professors are angry that their healthcare costs are going up (and their benefits down) under the Affordable Care Act.

Fox News’ Ed Henry asked Earnest about a story in The New York Times, which revealed that Harvard faculty members were outraged about their coverage changes — despite the fact that Harvard was a bastion of support for Obamacare in its infancy and development.

“I can only imagine the question you’d be asking me if The New York Times reported that the faculty at Harvard was getting a great deal,” said Earnest, failing to see the absurdity of his hypothetical (and tacitly acknowledging that the faculty at Harvard isn’t, under Obamacare, “getting a great deal”).

“I haven’t seen exactly what Harvard has said, but I do think as a general matter that the results that we’ve seen so far — they’re early — but the early results speak to the enormous benefits that the Affordable Care Act has paid to middle-class families across the country, to small-business owners, to the government’s bottom line and to the success that we’ve had in lowering healthcare costs,” Earnest said.

“… Let’s be clear — there are some important benefits that they do see under the Affordable Care Act; there are some patient protections that apply to everybody. So everybody who’s on the Harvard faculty can get a free annual checkup from their doctor.”

If you’re a Harvard faculty member and you’re reading this, we’d love to know how you feel about getting a free trip to the doctor under Obamacare.

… Never mind that some Harvard faculty may no longer be able to use Harvard’s own network of hospitals under the ACA’s new qualifying coverage guidelines.

Boehner to remain as House Speaker

John Boehner (R-Ohio) endured a minor conservative revolt to earn a third term as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday, reaping 216 votes in a roll-call election that garnered a momentary flash of publicity for promising — but failing — to elevate someone else to the position.

Boehner finished far ahead of the nearest Republican challenger, Daniel Webster of Florida, who received 12 votes. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) received 164 votes. Four Democrats — Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Gwen Graham (Fla.) — voted for someone besides Pelosi.

The conservative dissent to Boehner’s speakership came from a loose group of 25 Republicans, although no single candidate emerged as a clear alternative.

According to The Hill, Boehner was “visibly emotional” and teared up following his victory, delivering a “humble and poetic” address to House members.

The Hill listed the following GOP House members, all of whom voted against Boehner:

Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

Brian Babin (R-Texas)

Rod Blum (R-Iowa)

Dave Brat (R-Va.)

Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.)

Curt Clawson (R-Fla.)

Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.)

Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)

Scott Garrett (R-N.J.)

Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.)

Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)

Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)

Walter Jones (R-N.C.)

Steve King (R-Iowa)

Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)

Mark Meadows (R-N.C.)

Richard Nugent (R-Fla.)

Gary Palmer (R-Ala.)

Bill Posey (R-Fla.)

Scott Rigell (R-Va.)

Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.)

Randy Weber (R-Texas)

Daniel Webster (R-Fla.)

Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

Jailed for weeks: Reason shows what happens when a checkpoint refusal goes wrong

In a new video report, Reason Magazine tells the story of Greg Rosenberg, a long-haul trucker who was recently jailed for 19 days — with no charges filed — by border agents in Laredo, Texas.

A naturalized U.S. citizen who came to the nation from Armenia a decade ago, Rosenburg says he is a checkpoint refusal activist because he believes it resembles political oppression people in his home country endured under Soviet rule.

Via Reason:

Rosenberg’s ordeal began in the border town of Laredo, TX. He and his friend pulled onto I-35 North at around midnight on September 26 in a truck carrying a load of Xerox machines destined for Ft. Worth. But only 29 miles north of the border, they’d encounter the Laredo North Border Patrol Station. And Greg would undergo a checkpoint interrogation like he’d never experienced before.

“They arrested me for what I looked like, but they pressed the charges because of my beliefs,” says Rosenberg.

H/T: Reason

What a year!

Whew, it’s been an interesting political year and an exciting year for liberty. And with the run-up to the 2016 presidential election and the potential for increased scrutiny congressional scrutiny of some of the Obama administration’s unconstitutional actions ahead, 2015 looks promising.

For now, we’d like to remind you that Personal Liberty will not be publishing a P.M. Edition for Thursday, Jan. 1, or Fri., January 2. But stay tuned, the P.M. Edition will return on Monday, Jan. 5, to keep you up to date on all of the latest political happenings.

Wishing you a safe and happy new year,

PLMG Staff

Cartoon roundup

Larry Wright, CagleCartoons.com

As 2014 draws to a close and we reflect on the past year, we are reminded that 2014 was not so great and we’ll be happy to be looking at it in the rearview mirror. That said, not much of anything was resolved. So looking ahead at 2015, it will likely be more of the same old same old for the foreseeable future. It’s a shame we can’t just fast-forward to 2016.

John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri
Luojie, China Daily, China
Mike Keefe, Cagle Cartoons
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune


MSM is a great source for news — if you’ve got some free time and a video editor

If you’re one of those people who’s given up on the mainstream media as a source for any useful information, or if you just like to check in on MSM reports solely for their comedic value, why not give it another chance? All it takes is three minutes and change (and, perhaps, a sense of humor).

The Washington Free Beacon mined the major TV news outlets for a fast-clip edit to recap the “news” of 2014, demonstrating in the process that it’s (somewhat) possible to find coverage of topics that are often better reported by alternative media. Finding good coverage… well, let’s not get picky.

The fact this clip is only 3:32 in length — and padded with plenty of pop culture fluff and several MSM follies — only underscores the fact that, in the traditional 24-hour TV news cycle, the mainstream press fills most of its time talking about stupid, stupid stuff.

We’ll see if this DNC graphic has the Gadsden flag’s kind of staying power

Try as it might, the left side of the Internet and TV world hasn’t been able to stigmatize the Gadsden flag and its “don’t tread on me” message successfully enough to deter anybody from slapping it on their bumpers and windows, or from rocking it on a mug or T-shirt.

So let’s see how well the Democratic National Committee does with its newest attempt at fighting the culture wars on the Tea Party’s turf: this handy coffee tea tumbler, which (for $30) professes a pithy antipathy for “obstructing progress” (wow, two of the ideological left’s favorite words, right next to each other!).

tea tumbler

Not only will the “I Hate Tea (Parties)” travel tumbler keep your beverage warm, it’ll give the DNC a grass-roots boost (because you bought it) in the process. And it’ll let people know you identify with a group that hates another group (isn’t there a convenient name for a group like that? We can’t quite put our finger on it.)

Anecdotally, we see a lot more Gadsden flag iconography — even in cities — than we do “Ready for Hillary” bumper stickers and the like. In fact, the only Democratic graphic that people seem unashamed to continue sporting is the classic Obama “O” decal that abounded during the president’s campaign cycles.

Again, that’s just our observation. What’s yours?

Christmas classic re-imagined: ‘Twas the Night Raid Before Christmas

In an effort to raise awareness about the continuing erosion of U.S. privacy and property protection, Reason Magazine has reimagined a Christmas classic to include forced police entry and civil forfeiture.


‘Twas the Night Raid Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our home

Not a creature was stirring but CNN’s gnome;

The stockings were hung by the family tree,

In hopes that St. Nick would come visit Philly.


The children were nestled all snug in their beds;

Except my wayward son, a sugar plum head;

With mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

He snuck to the porch and sold 40 bucks of smack.


Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Downstairs, to the entrance, I flew like a flash,

A yell of “Police!” and the front door was smashed;


When what to my wondering eyes did appear,

But cops with guns drawn, not a single rein-deer,

One arrested my son so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment he was not St. Nick.


More rapid than eagles, my house they did seize,

“How can you do this?” I pleaded from my knees.

“It’s called civil forfeiture,” bellowed the cop,

“I’ll take what I want, and I’m not gonna stop.”


A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had so much to dread.

“In just Philly alone, in just 10 years’ time,

One thousand private homes are now mine, all mine!”


The grip of a rifle he held tight beneath;

The laser sight circled my heart like a wreath.

His scope—how it twinkled! trained on my dog Thor,

He kicked out my family, padlocked our door.


“Loitering, jaywalking, BS traffic stops:

All excuses to rob you—’cuz we’re the cops!

TVs, cash, cars galore: everything is fair game,”

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:


Take church funds! Take shark fins! Take crosses, SUVs!

Buy Vipers! Buy hookers! Buy drones and Zambonis!

To the billions we seize! with no charges at all!

Now dash your hopes, dash your rights, dash away all!”


Then with that last word, he went straight to his work,

And stole all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a snort, he said “Sucks your son blows.”


He sprang to his cruiser as his team he advised:

“The rest of our wish list, we’ll seize from good guys!”

And I heard him exclaim, ere they drove out of sight–

“Happy Christmas to all. On to the next house tonight!”

More at Reason.