Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2012

Petition out of line

August 30, 2012


To the editor:

The River Bend Court area’s recent petition to annex 1742 E. 1350 Road was inappropriate. I’m concerned because annexation is not for personal agendas. This was just an intimidation tactic to force their neighbor to stop target shooting.

I understand the concern for safety. I also understand the right to shoot. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

Why didn’t they talk to their neighbor first? This was the perfect opportunity to teach firearm safety and get to know someone. Instead, this neighborhood chose to exercise mob rule, where a group removes another’s rights in order to force conformity. What makes people think they can do this and not have it done to them?

I’m sure residents wouldn’t like it if someone tried to have their property rezoned to prohibit children or called the police to stop them using fireworks, which are no less dangerous. If they wouldn’t like this done to them, then they shouldn’t be doing this to others!

If investigation disclosed unresolvable safety issues, then that was a matter for the sheriff. This petition was completely out of line.


P Allen Macfarlane 5 years, 6 months ago

Where in the Constitution does it specifically say that anybody has a right to shoot a firearm?

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

Actually, the constitution doesn't confer any rights to the people, it limits government infringement on rights:

Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

No Jafs, is doesn't.

I know you don't like the idea, but people are not dependent on government for their rights.

Our constituition is a list of things the government can do; if it is not listed, it is not in their power.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

Your rights aren't worth a flip unless they can be guaranteed. And that's where the government comes in. They guarantee your rights, but in so doing, it confers upon you certain responsibilities. Those responsibilities include obeying the laws of this country. It's the social contract we inherit at birth, American citizenship. Rights and responsibilities are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

No, the government does not guarantee your rights; they demand that you trade certain rights in order to retain others. This is the so called social contract that you seem to admire. No contract can be valid unless it is entered into freely, with foreknowledge and without coercion. The only form of social contract that I consider valid is the non-aggression principle. If you are not familiar with the NAP I recommend that you look it up. It solves the problem of maintaining rights without government force and coercion. BTW, when you said that your so called social contract was a birthright of citizenship are you saying that non-citizens have no guarantee of rights in this country?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

In any free society, the government assumes certain responsibilities. You benefitted the second you were born. If you want to say your parents made that choice for you, fine. Parents typically make a wide variety of choices for their children. But should you continue living here, you inherit that decision. If we lived in a closed society, where you were not free to leave, the contract would not be valid. But when you reach age 18, and become a legal adult, then every day you stay here is an affirmation of the decisions that were already made for you. Every day you stay, you are validating the social contract. You are free to go, any time you choose, to any place that will take you. There is no coercion, you are free as can be. But if you choose to stay, then you agree to the terms of the contract.

As to the issue of non-citizens, we have chosen to grant them certain rights and privileges while denying others. We may continue to expand or contract those rights at our leisure, via Constitutional Amendments.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

No, not right. As citizens we are sovereign in America. In the world you describe above, the guy carrying the peebucket could tell the king that if he doesn't like the castle, he can leave.

Sure, the guy with the bucket can say it, but the king will just find somebody else to carry the bucket. It's good to be the king.

We vote on who carries the bucket in November. Vote for who you want (write in L275 for president), but don't ever forget you are voting for employees, not royalty, not gods, not leaders... just people to carry your bucket.

L275 for president! I'll carry your peebucket. <---- new campaign slogan.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes, it does.

The Bill of Rights spells out certain rights that are guaranteed in the US.

Other parts of the constitution set limits on government power as well.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

All you can be guaranteed in by the constitution is citizenship because it defines you as such. Everything else are limitations applied to government.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

You can believe that rights come from God, or Nature, if you like.

From my perspective, they come from societies and governments.

The Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, explicitly "enumerates" certain rights guaranteed to US citizens. It also includes the amendments you cite.

And, you have no idea what I "like" or "dislike" in this regard, so please don't make statements like that.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

Jafs, Since you have explicitly expressed to me that you do not like the idea that rights are independent of government in another conversation we had, I will continue to say that, whether you like that or not. You don’t get to tell me what I can say or do. If you bother to read the writings of the founders, both federalist and anti-federalists, they are very clear in the idea that the bill of rights do not confer anything, it merely provides additional emphasis on preventing government interference with certain rights.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't believe it's true, it has nothing to do with "liking" or "disliking" it.

I probably would actually prefer it if simply being born conferred me and everybody else with inalienable rights, but that seems to be untrue to me.

Do you believe that we are created by God with those rights, as did the founders? Or do you reject that, as do libertarians, and claim that nature endows us with them?

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't believe that rights are endowed by anyone or anything. You exist, therefore your rights exist.

I am not stating it as my view but I also don't believe that all libertarians reject the idea of God creating us with rights.

The main issue I have with your theory, and that of jhawkinsf, is that an entity that gives you rights can also take them away at its pleasure. That idea that something can take away your rights is fundementally wrong in my opinion. I do believe that someone who violates the NAP gives away some of their rights, but they are not taken from them.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

But of course our government can take your rights away from you and does take your rights away from you all the time. IF you violate the terms of the contract. Break the law, and suddenly your freedom might go away. Break a small crime, such as a traffic violation, and see you property go away. Break some very major laws, and your very life goes away. The government does it all the time and they do it with the consent of the governed. In return, though, should your safety be threatened, they will assist you. Should your freedom of speech, religion, etc. be threatened, they will protect those rights.

As I said earlier, your staying here is approval of the contract. If you were not allowed to leave, the contract would be void. But you are free to live here with our contract, go somewhere where there is a contract that more closely fits your needs or you can go find some place that has no rules whatsoever, no contract. The choice is yours. What you cannot do is pick one from column "A", one from column "B" and one from column "C". A Chinese restaurant we're not.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, that is a nice description of one of the theories of the so called social contract, but it is only a theory. As I said before, you can certainly give away some of your rights, normally by violating someone else’s rights. The government is not taking, you are giving them away. This is why I don’t support punishment for victimless crimes. Tacit consent is also just a theory. The fact that I choose to remain hear does not diminish my rights or give anyone the authority to take them away. Let’s look at an extreme example: Under your theory, if I managed to get 34 states to agree to a constitutional amendment that said in effect “jhawkinsf is illegal” then your only choice would be to leave the country or cease to exist. Would you be ok with that?

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

In your example, if I were free to go, then that would be one of my options. In your scenario, the 34 states have essentially said the contract is null and void. And having done that, I am no longer obligated to do the things on my end of the contract, namely obey the law. I could begin a revolution with like minded jhawkinsfs.

Let me give you an example. Suppose your parents leave you their house in their will. It is now yours, free and clear. Do you have to pay property taxes on your house? What if you don't?

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

No, in my example you leave or cease to exist. This isn't a chinese restaurant, you know. You don't get any other choices.

In your example, you are simply showing how you statist love to violate the NAP, using government thugs to enforce your desire to steal from others. That is why you love to talk about the non-existant social contract. You think it gives you some sort of moral authority to bring harm to anyone you can gang up against.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

Essentially, you're putting me in the same category as Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, etc. If they were thugs, and I'm a thug, then I'll just have to accept that.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

That is quite the leap in logic. If the founders believed in your social contract they would have accepted the Crown's rules, trading their rights for the protection the government gave them and we would all still be British subjects.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 6 months ago

Peacemaker, Perhaps I'm just not understanding the type of community you're wanting here. Could you please give me a good example of a country that mimics your ideals, your philosophy, so that I might compare the relative benefits and drawbacks compared to our own system?

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

You can believe that if you like, of course.

I see little to no evidence that being born endows anybody with "rights".

Libertarians tend to be atheists, in my experience.

That looks to me exactly how it is - societies and government define, protect, and guarantee certain rights - different societies do that differently. Without societies, we live in nature without any rights at all - survival of the fittest seems to apply there.

It's an unpleasant reality, to be sure, but that looks like the reality to me.

Philosophically, the idea that simply existing confers rights is an example of the "is-ought" fallacy.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

Let me ask it this way Jafs: If two humans were living in an area outside of any government or society, would one of those humans have the right to protect his life and property from the other?

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

In your scenario, nobody has any "rights" at all, in my view.

People have feelings, thoughts, desires, instincts, etc.

Rights, by definition, are that which people are "entitled" to, and that's a philosophical question and concept, which doesn't exist in nature.

It's completely understandable to me that somebody would want to protect themselves and their property, but it's also understandable that somebody might want to take that, if there isn't enough to go around. In nature, without societies and governments, the stronger will prevail.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, now, let's talk about societies other than our own. Do they have the same rights we do simply because they were born? For instance, patriarchal (or matriarchal, for that matter) societies do not grant to the opposite sex the property rights of the other. Is, then, property ownership and protection by the government of that property, a "right" or is it a boon only to the "chosen" sex?

I see both sides of this debate, but have little belief that people have "rights" simply because they are people. The Government, and in this country, the people, have conveyed what we call rights to its citizens. But, by no means, were these "rights" conveyed or protected "just because".

Bottom line is that without government there are no protected rights, and certainly no agency of arbitration and clarification, so that rights can not be clarified, laws can not be fair to the populace, and anarchy reigns.

Rex Hargis 5 years, 6 months ago

True, there is no right to shoot. But it it is not prohibited either.

Rex Hargis 5 years, 6 months ago

Donttread I would never come armed on your property, unless I was called back to armed service and was ordered to.

Peacemaker452 5 years, 6 months ago

That would be a good question to ask all of our service members. It would be interesting to see the honest results.

bad_dog 5 years, 6 months ago

Was it this case?

If so, it was people celebrating the July 4th holiday, not hunters and they did identify and prosecute the responsible person.

paulveer 5 years, 6 months ago

No, it's a still unsolved case in Leavenworth County. People with guns hurt people.

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 6 months ago

Whay to many "city slickers" want to be a rancher or farmer, with there 5 acres plot

Rex Hargis 5 years, 6 months ago

None2 -- it has happened in this area. The American Civil War proved this (the Library of Congress calls this the War of Southern Rebellion). Fire on Americans? I had the responsibilty to not fire if the order was illegal.

parrothead8 5 years, 6 months ago

Your post contains some pretty ridiculous generalizations, and I think you know it.

beatrice 5 years, 6 months ago

You mean, business owners really DO build their own roads? (The correct answer: No, they don't.)

What a shame that you have to distort statements and take them out of context to fit your desires. Are your beliefs that flimsy?

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

I didn't build my house. I paid for it.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes, but we all pay for the roads.

gr 5 years, 6 months ago

So, someone does something you don't like. You don't go to them about it, but you go to the city and have them annex the person you don't like.

That will teach them!

Ok, the take away message is that annexation is BAD! It is a punishment.

Annexation is assimilation by the Borg. I hope y'all will remember that the next time there is talk about annexation. The question then is to ask, Who is being punished and why.

beatrice 5 years, 6 months ago

"Why didn’t they talk to their neighbor first?"

Yes, I always approach people who are shooting off their guns near my home to ask them to stop. I mean, what could possibly go wrong in that scenario, especially since neighbors have never been known to be violent toward one another?

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

If my neighbors were popping off a few .22 rimfires, I'd go have a beer with them and pop off a few myself. If he were shooting .223s, I'd ask him to stop.

If you know anything about guns, you'll tell me why. Two reasons. What are they?

repaste 5 years, 6 months ago

The 22 can still travel a mile, the key is what precautions they are taken to keep rounds contained.

Topple 5 years, 6 months ago

I read somewhere that the uses a hay bail backstop.

While I respect the right to fire weapons, it does seem very unsafe to do it in a neighborhood with houses all around. All it takes is a child running around outside to get hit by a stray bullet.

And you can't say the child shouldn't have been trespassing, because I'd tell you it's the same reason you can't booby trap your home from invaders. If a child tries to enter your home for safety and is injured by said traps, you will be liable for the injuries.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 6 months ago

Wrong. Haven't you ever seen "Home Alone"?

1Love 5 years, 6 months ago

As a resident in this area, I'd like to shed some light onto this subject. Consider the following visual....a bullseye, the center being Mr. Cobb's county property then the the outer ring being residential city property. Although, yes he does/did have the right to shoot a firearm, it is not very intelligent to do so within range of neighboring houses. If you live in the city and hear gun shots, it is alarming and never a good thing. He went out of his way to notify the Sheriff when he started and stopped target practice, but lacked the concern to notify neighbors in the vicinity that would naturally be frightened to hear gun shots in a residential neighborhood. Until, recently he also had several No Trespassing signs in his no, he was not perceived as being approachable as he stated. If you own a gun, I hope you also own common sense and have been through a basic gun safety course. The statement about rezoning a residential neighborhood to ban children....that's just pure lunacy and laughable and not a very good argument/point. Fireworks are illegal in the city limits of Lawrence, so feel free to call law enforcement. Good day!

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

So he was shooting towards houses? Is that what you are saying?

Also, if you knew some guy goes out and shoots a gun legally on his own property, why would it be alarming to hear gunshots from his property?

1Love 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes.... that is what I am saying.... and his target range is directly facing a house with a backyard that has children playing, and a daycare. only 50 yards from him pulling the trigger. I know that a .22 bullet travels farther than that and could hurt/kill someone. Its not a legal issue its a safety issue.

Liberty275 5 years, 6 months ago

If he was shooting towards houses 50 yards away, he would have hit one by now. How many times has he hit houses?

I'm a little suspicious because a man responsible enough to alert the sheriff of his target practice wouldn't seem to be so careless as to shoot towards houses.

jafs 5 years, 6 months ago

Somebody posted a map that was very helpful.

There were houses in virtually all directions from this guy's property, as I recall.

gr 5 years, 6 months ago

So why didn't the neighbors call the sheriff if they were frightened either of the gun or of the neighbor? Wouldn't that make more sense than to punish him by annexation?

Or maybe they did call the sheriff and he said everything is ok, that the guy had called in and notified them. This upset the neighbors so they sought revenge by annexation. Because what you said is that even if someone is doing something which is legal, if someone else doesn't like it, they have a right to punish by annexation.

Maybe you could fill the slot vacated by one who approves power plants. Power plants, who fulfill all legal requirements, but are denied. Because someone just doesn't like them.

1Love 5 years, 6 months ago

The sheriff was called, no revenge or intimidation factor was involved with the petition. It was simply how the sheriff's office informed the neighbors of how to handle the situation, due to the city/county issue. The point wasn't even to force annexation, with the petition it was simply a show of how many concerned neighbors wanted the shooting to stop. Because of that it gave the county the required legal reason to put a permanent abatement on the property. The man involved was not approachable, and had been, threats were made, it wasn't a situation that could of been handled in a civil manner like everyone likes to say. Or the fact that neighbors didn't like hearing gunshots or simply the fact that everyone has a strong opinion on the "little" bits of information they have and not the whole story.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 6 months ago

"I'm sure residents wouldn't like it if someone called the cops to stop them using fireworks". Like it or not, if you shoot bottle rockets or guns at my house, I'm calling the cops.

deec 5 years, 6 months ago

Did the gun dude live there before the houses were built? Did he always shoot guns on his property? Did the real estate agent tell the new homeowners that the neighbor like to legally shoot guns on his property?

If the answer to question one and two is yes and question three is no, then the neighbors should be fussing at the realtor, not trying to manipulate the guy's property into the city so his legal activity can be made illegal.

I hate guns. I hate people using the government to harass people and take away someone else's rights more.

1Love 5 years, 6 months ago

Bad analogy.....that is why we have zoning laws, so a business could not be placed right in the center of a residential neighborhood, or in someones backyard. This is not the country people!!! I lived in the country for half my life, we shot all the time, the neighbors shot all the time, but we had a good 1/2 mile between us and we shot in a direction where there were no neighboring houses or roads. This guy lives in the city on county property. Country and county are 2 separate entities. Just because he has the right doesn't make it right. Laws evolve all the time. The community wanted to prevent a tragedy before it happened not after.

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