NYC Lawmakers Can’t Even Stomach 3-D Printing Of Firearm Components

A bill proposed in the New York City Council to regulate 3-D printed firearms would not only make it illegal to produce the firearms using printer technology, but would also make it a criminal offense to produce any part of such weapons without a gunsmith license.

The bill, proposed by a Democrat representing Brooklyn, could also include provisions requiring the licensed gunsmiths who are legally allowed to print the firearms to adhere to the same regulations that makers of traditional guns must obey. Some of the rules include specifications regulating systems to feed bullets, requirement of a serial number and regulations against destroying weapons once they are produced.

A separate legislative effort in the city would make it a felony for anyone to manufacture, sell or use guns or ammunition magazines made with a 3-D printer.

Cody Wilson, the young American behind the world’s first blueprint for a working printed firearm, said the city’s proposal is in violation of American gun rights in an email to Epoch Times. 

Referring to the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the National Firearms Act, Wilson said, “Such legislation is a deprivation of equal protection and works in clear ignorance of Title I and II of U.S. gun laws.”

Wilson’s blueprints for the 3-D gun he was able to produce are currently under siege by the Federal government. A notice on Wilson’s website for Defense Distributed, an organization he set up for 3-D firearm research, indicates: “DEFCAD files have been removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”

Federal law dictates that individuals are not prohibited from manufacturing their own firearms without license as long as the weapons are not intended for sale and comply with current Federal rules regulating barrel length and automatic firing capability.

Obama Family Vacation To Africa… $100 Million, Shooting Holes In Sequester-Impact Lies… Priceless

Between $60 million and $100 million worth of Federal assets — including a large naval ship, 56 support vehicles, truckloads of bulletproof glass, fighter jets and hundreds of Federal personnel — will soon be shipped to sub-Saharan Africa. Is a small scale military operation being planned in an area of civil unrest? Nope… President Barack Obama is taking the wife and kids on vacation.

The costly preparations for the Presidential were revealed in documents obtained by The Washington Post. The newspaper reports:

Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.

Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts, giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace, so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.

The extraordinary security provisions — which will cost the government tens of millions of dollars — are outlined in a confidential internal planning document obtained by The Washington Post. While the preparations appear to be in line with similar travels in the past, the document offers an unusual glimpse into the colossal efforts to protect the U.S. commander-in-chief on trips abroad.

While Obama’s predecessors have also taken costly family trips to the same region, the current President’s costly African adventure comes after months of his warning that across-the-board government budget cuts would cripple public services. His Administration made the decision to shut down White House tours to drive home the point.

N.J. Bill Would Allow Cops To Search Cellphones After Car Wrecks

A New Jersey State Senator has proposed legislation that would allow police officers to confiscate drivers’ cellphones if they have “reasonable grounds” to believe that the driver was talking or texting at the time a wreck occurred.

The bill, from Senator James Holzapfel, would allow police to confiscate the mobile device belonging to the victim of a crash and thumb through its history in order to determine if the driver was guilty of distracted driving.

Bill S2783 states “whenever an operator of a motor vehicle has been involved in an accident resulting in death, bodily injury or property damage, a police officer may confiscate the operator’s hand-held wireless telephone if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the operator was operating a hand-held wireless telephone while driving.”

Some law enforcement officers in the State have applauded the legislative effort, calling it a deterrent to distracted driving.

“A lot of your accidents are happening due to distracted driving,” New Jersey Police officer Brian Metzler News 12. But, the officer added, police need a way to prove a driver was at fault.

Evidencing technology’s always-growing prevalence in American life, mobile phones have seemingly been a hot topic within the law enforcement community throughout the Nation over the past few years — and not just because they can cause distractions behind the wheel. Officers, unwilling to be taped by video phone-wielding civilians, have increasingly made it standard operating procedure to attempt to confiscate the cellphones of anyone they come into contact with.

Civil liberties advocates contend that an officer confiscating, or conducting warrantless searches of the contents of a civilian’s cellphone, directly violates the 4th Amendment.

In New Colonial America, The King Resides In Washington

The existence of America’s Constitutionally protected free press has come full circle. The Barack Obama Administration’s disdain for whistle-blowers, combined with politicians’ calls for attacking journalists who publicize information provided by leakers in the interest of “national security,” suggests the Nation has reached an age in which its leaders feel comfortable publicly advocating for a total state monopoly on information.

In February, before the Presidential Administration found itself fielding a barrage of scandals, Vice President Joe Biden decried conservative alternative media for shouting down mainstream efforts to soften public perception of Congressional gun-control efforts. The Vice President called on the Nation’s “legitimate news media” to discredit any grass-roots information initiatives that have the potential to derail government propaganda.

“We’re counting on all of you, the legitimate news media, to cover these [gun policy] discussions because the truth is that times have changed,” Biden said.

Then, we likened Biden’s proclamation that alternative media was spreading a bunch of “malarkey” to British efforts to quash Colonial America’s first multipage newspaper, Publick Occurrences, Both Forreign and Domestick, which was first printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris in Boston on Sept. 25, 1690.

The British efforts stemmed from information included in the publication that stirred up public grievances against the overseas rulers of the new lands. Upon shutting down the publication, government officials announced: “The Governour and Council having had the perusal of said Pamphlet, and finding that therein contained Reflections of a very high nature: As also sundry doubtful and uncertain Reports, do hereby manifest and declare their high Resentment and Disallowance of said Pamphlet, and Order that the same be Suppressed and called in; strickly forbidden any person or persons for the future to Set forth any thing in Print without License first obtained from those that are or shall be appointed by the Government to grant the same.”

Following the American Revolution, the Nation’s Founders sought to ensure that the public would forevermore be protected in its right to speak — rightly or wrongly — against government actions, with the inclusion of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press have, for the most part, remained sacrosanct in the United States in the eyes of the Nation’s highest court, which has sparingly limited certain forms of “at risk speech” (calling for violent actions, immediately jeopardizing national security or knowingly publishing libelous content) in some cases.

There have also been legislative actions to suspend free speech in certain moments of national or local distress via sedition acts on the Federal and State levels, most famously during the Nation’s Civil War and during World War I and World War II.

Currently, there is no law in the United States barring the publication of classified information provided by whistle-blowers; and no journalist has ever faced prosecution for doing so. But, citing a supposed grave threat to national security produced by recent whistle-blower revelations (Bradley Manning’s military document dump and the recent revelation of the National Security Agency’s communication surveillance dragnet), some lawmakers are seeking to change that.

Speaking about the NSA leak on CNN earlier this week, Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) said that reporters who published whistle-blower documents should be pursued with the same vigor by government prosecutors as the actual whistle-blowers.

“If they willingly knew that this was classified information, I think action should be taken, especially on something of this magnitude,” King said.

“I think on something of this magnitude, there is an obligation both moral but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something that would so severely compromise national security.”

King’s logic is out of line with the Constitution on many levels, most jarringly when one attempts to consider what the lawmaker must believe the intention of including a free press in the Nation’s Founding document must’ve been. He associates the recent leaks with a national security threat because he is being told, by the very people under public scrutiny stemming from the revelations, that revealing their Constitutionally questionable practices produces a threat.

King is not alone in his view, but he is definitely challenged by public perception — and even among his Congressional peers. For many observers, it’s a little puzzling when a government “for the people, by the people” wants to shred whistle-blowers and assume control of public information outlets — if only through threat of reprisal for pulling back the curtain — anytime an issue presented by the press makes the public question whose best interest is being tended.

For some, a more appropriate proclamation from government officials who have decried the NSA leak — and media’s involvement — would be: “This leak severely threatens the supremacy of the Federal bureaucracy.” Or, “This leak severely threatens government’s ability to keep dissent, even in its most benign forms, in check.”

Many Americans simply cannot go along with King and others citing a threat to “national security,” which should mean a threat to the well-being of the Nation’s citizens — at least not so very soon after two foreign-born terrorists were able to blow up a rice cooker, after months of planning and public demonstration of their own radicalization, at the Boston Marathon.

Considering that attack, it could be argued that the true threat to national security is how ineffectual NSA surveillance must be, which begs a question: What the hell is the government doing with all of the information it collects if it isn’t using it to catch real terrorists?

And, in a Nation that once prided itself on requiring agents of the state to shoulder the burden of proof in justifying that their actions are warranted,  other scandals — such as the explosive Internal Revenue Service abuses that are now public knowledge — probably aren’t helping America’s bureaucrats make a strong case for more control.

Looking back to the original minds behind the Constitutional guarantee of press freedom, a definite theme is recognizable: America’s Founders were not so naïve as to think that a free press would always be in the best interest of government affairs. In fact, Thomas Jefferson held a view that was quite the opposite.

Writing from Paris in 1787 to Edward Carrington, whom he sent as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1786 to 1788, Jefferson discussed the importance of newspapers and why, even when the free press inhibits government ability, it must not be suppressed:

I am persuaded myself that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves. The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.

Based on his remarks, it’s hard to doubt that Jefferson would hold steadfast in support of today’s whistle-blowers and the journalists who have publicized their leaks. Of course, if Jefferson were in America today, it’s probably also safe to assume that he would have already secured himself a spot on more than a few government watch lists.

Republican Lawmaker Attacks Conservatives; IRS Agents With AR-15s; Obama Sneaks In Carbon Regs; Feds Attack Jihad Magazine; Obama ATF Nominee Under DOJ Investigation: Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 6-12-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Republican Lawmaker: Conservatives Concerned About NSA Snooping Are Acting Like Michael Moore

Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) said during an interview that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden be prosecuted as well as the U.K. Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, an American citizen living overseas who broke the story. Read More… 

Lawmaker: Why Do IRS Agents Train With AR-15s?

Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) may have discovered where at least a few of those rounds of ammunition the government is buying massive quantities of is going when he visited the Maryland Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in May: the Internal Revenue Service. Read More… 

Obama Administration Sneaks 60 Percent Hike In ‘Social Cost’ Regulation Of Carbon Emissions

The Administration of President Barack Obama, acting through the U.S. Department of Energy, has just raised the so-called “social cost” of carbon emissions by 60 percent — and it did so by quietly piggybacking the change on a routine update to energy efficiency standards for microwave ovens. Read More… 

U.S. Intelligence Officials Cyberattacked Online Jihad Magazine

U.S. intelligence officials reportedly launched an attack against al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine last month by garbling articles and removing sections, prompting the magazine’s terror-advocating creators to remove the edition from the Internet. Read More…

Special Counsel Investigation Doesn’t Deter Obama From Nominating ATF Director; Senate GOP Outraged

President Barack Obama has nominated B. Todd Jones to fill a seven-year vacancy to direct the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), even though Jones is currently being investigated by the Office of Special Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) over allegations he retaliated against a whistle-blower when he was a U.S. Attorney in Minnesota. Read More…

Republican Lawmaker: Conservatives Concerned About NSA Snooping Are Acting Like Michael Moore

Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) said during an interview that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden be prosecuted as well as the U.K. Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, an American citizen living overseas who broke the story.

“No right is absolute; even the press has restrictions,” said King, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
 
 
King also accused Greenwald of threatening to release the names and locations of CIA assets worldwide, compromising national security.

“That to me is a direct attack against Americans, putting American lives at risk,” King said.

The Republican lawmaker also had a message for conservatives concerned about the NSA’s tactics: Stop acting like Michael Moore.

“Too many Republicans and conservatives have become Michael Moores, and I think it’s really dangerous to our country,” he opined.

Lawmaker: Why Do IRS Agents Train With AR-15s?

Representative Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) may have discovered where at least a few of those rounds of ammunition the government is buying massive quantities of is going when he visited the Maryland Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in May: the Internal Revenue Service.

Duncan, chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee, said during recent interviews that he wants an explanation from IRS officials about employees of the agency he observed training with AR-15s during his visit.

“While we were sitting there,” Duncan told WYFF4, “the gentleman told them to sling their weapons and load a 30-round magazine into the AR-15s they were training with.”

Upon learning that the marksmen were IRS agents, the lawmaker said he was a little confused as to why the Nation’s tax collectors needed so much firepower.

“Why do IRS law enforcement agents need standoff capability that you would have with a long rifle or with a weapon similar to an AR-15? They’re generally investigating tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. We think of the IRS as an audit agency more than doing the type of law enforcement where they have to use an AR-15.”

The lawmaker, acknowledging that the IRS has an enforcement division, also questions why the agency wouldn’t collaborate with other Federal agencies that are geared more specifically to law enforcement in the event that heavy firepower was needed.

The IRS has issued a statement in response to Duncan’s concerns: “As law enforcement officials, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents are equipped similarly to other federal, state and local law enforcement organizations. Special Agents receive training on the appropriate and safe use of assigned weapons. IRS Criminal Investigation has internal controls and oversight in place to ensure all law enforcement tools, including weapons are used appropriately.”

U.S. Intelligence Officials Cyberattacked Online Jihad Magazine

U.S. intelligence officials reportedly launched an attack against al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine last month by garbling articles and removing sections, prompting the magazine’s terror-advocating creators to remove the edition from the Internet.

A new version of the magazine was later reposted, including a section touting the Boston Marathon bombings as an Islamic jihad success story.

Inspire, created by advocates of Islamic terror in 2010, publishes articles that encourage readers to orchestrate terror attacks against American citizens. In its spring 2013 issue, the magazine included “how to” articles to give readers tips on creating oil slicks on roadways to cause mass transit chaos and setting parked cars on fire to scare American motorists.

Unnamed intelligence officials told The Washington Post that the cyberattack was conducted as part of a wider effort to derail al-Qaida’s online propaganda initiatives.

“You can make it hard for them to distribute it, or you can mess with the content. And you can mess with the content in a way that is obvious or in ways that are not obvious,” one intelligence official told the newspaper.

According to reports, there is an ongoing discussion in the intelligence community about whether the government could justifiably broaden its efforts to disrupt websites that “promote radicalization.”

Drones For Snowden; Biden Worried About Young GOP; Tranny Restrooms in Cali Schools; Rand Paul To ‘Find A Place’ For Illegals; Kerry Talks Syria With Brits: Wednesday Morning News Roundup 6-12-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories that Personal Liberty staffers will be keeping an eye on throughout the day. Click the links for the full stories.

  • Former Representative Ron Paul said that he is concerned about the well-being of National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden. He thinks the government might just take out the whistle-blower with a drone.

 

  • Vice President Joe Biden said Americans should be concerned about the sway Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have over the GOP.

 

  • Schools in the state of California will soon be required to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their preference or provide altogether separate facilities.

 

  • At the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, Senator Rand Paul (R.-Ky.) said to illegal aliens who want to live and work in the United States: “[W]e will find a place for you.” He said he envisions today’s illegal aliens becoming additional “taxpayers.”

 

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosts British diplomat William Hague for talks in Washington today focused on the situation in Syria, as both nations inch closer to arming rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.

Obama Should Blame Bush, Thank Whistle-Blowers And Keep Up The Bad Work

During his Senatorial career and the earlier parts of his Presidential tenure, Barack Obama was an outspoken advocate of government transparency and whistle-blower protections. Sometimes, the President still makes feeble attempts to claim he holds the same views today. But most Americans agree that one thing is certain: If Obama’s White House is the “most transparent in history,” as he claimed it would be, America has been in serious trouble for a long time… and there’s no end in sight.

It would require an outrageous amount of willful partisan ignorance to claim that the current President is solely responsible for the surveillance state that gives off increasingly sinister vibes or for the Federal bureaucracy’s unforgiving and increasingly common attacks against any insiders who dare attempt to reveal secrets in the interest of the public. In fact, Federal veins of secrecy run deeply through the Nation’s relatively short history.

Unfortunately for Obama (whether he simply told a lie he had no chance of covering or — betrayed by lofty idealism — has fallen victim to changes he failed to understand as a tech-savvy, information-hungry public and a post-9/11 paranoid state began to engage in proxy war in the Internet age), he is at the helm of what is likely the least transparent Administration in history.

The President makes a convenient target for scrutiny, as he stands at the forefront of Federal action. And, for his part, Obama has not been the sort of President capable of delivering any of the lofty promises he made during either of his campaigns — especially the first — with regard to restoration of Constitutional safeguards or the dissolution of the government’s most ambitious surveillance efforts.

Following the terror attacks on 9/11, a shell-shocked American public, distracted by patriotic fervor, ensured its own culpability in green-lighting the unConstitutional tactics currently employed by Federal agencies. A perverse notion that conservatism was synonymous with support of the military pursuit of “evildoers” at any cost to civil liberties at home and human rights abroad became evident in some circles. President George W. Bush and a number of Republican henchmen in Congress were able to capitalize on the terror attacks to lull many of the same conservatives who are barking mad today into believing that the Patriot Act initiatives were necessary, safe and temporary.

At the same time, Americans leaning to the left of the political divide were spending most of their time calling Bush a civil-liberties-abrogating war criminal. Just as conservatives were quiet then, many on the left have remained quiet today. But the gap between conservative and liberal may become less defined in coming months than it has been in decades, due to the widening divide between public and government interest.

Polemicist Noam Chomsky described the current state of the executive branch in April as follows: “What it is is the same kind of commitment to expanding executive power that Cheney and Rumsfeld had. [Obama] kind of puts it in mellifluous terms and there’s a little difference in his tone. It’s not as crude and brutal as they were, but it’s pretty hard to see much of a difference.”

Try as he might, harkening back to social issue pandering hasn’t even given Obama the tools to reverse the tide of public discontent over government actions. And barring extraordinary circumstances, the President can hope to serve the remainder of his term on the defense.

Perhaps Obama, for the first time, has a legitimate opportunity to pull the “blame Bush” card. He should fault Bush for putting into place unConstitutional measures, justified only by fear, which the current President simply couldn’t resist getting his own turn to abuse. It’s sort of like the idea of a drug addict blaming the pusher on the corner for all of his life problems and failures.

And when he finishes blaming Bush for the gift of surveillance state tools, former Representative Ron Paul has a suggestion: The President ought to sit down and write thank you cards to all of the whistle-blowers he wants to skewer.

Paul said during a recent interview:

The American people are starved for the truth. And when you have a dictatorship or an authoritarian government, truth becomes treasonous. And this is what they do. If you are a whistleblower or if you’re trying to tell the American people that our country is destroying our rule of law and destroying our Constitution, they say they turn it on and say, “Oh, you’re committing treason”….

…And I think the large majority of the American people are sick and tired of hearing how many people are having surveillance on them, whether it’s their phones, their internet, and e-mail and everything else. Matter of fact, I think the president ought to send him a thank you letter, because the president ran on transparency, and we’re getting a lot of transparency now. So, finally we’re getting the president to fulfill his promise about transparency. So that’s pretty exciting for me, because I believe in transparency.

Obama’s promises of Constitutional respect, if public interest remains heightened, can be fulfilled. It will take more whistle-blowers and more scandals, but Obama really does have the opportunity to bring about change — albeit probably not in the manner he intended. He simply just has to keep doing what he’s doing and, by 2016, a large number of Americans on both sides of the aisle will likely be tired of big-government politicians who believe government is always right. This could pave the way for a transformational Presidential candidate with broad political appeal. Feels a lot like gearing up for 2008, huh?