Unintended Consequences

Posted by freedomforall 1 year, 3 months ago to Books
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Excerpt from Unintended Consequences

Present Day

It was late afternoon when he finally heard them coming to kill him. The wind was blowing gently towards
him, and it carried the sound well. Two choppers, he judged from the pitch of the engines, possibly three.
Henry realized that his first emotion upon hearing the sound of rotor blades approaching was an
overwhelming sense of relief. The waiting was over.
His next thought concerned the relatives of the men that were about to die. The widows will never
understand that their husbands died because the government got a little too heavy-handed after June of
1968. He scanned the sky until he spotted the aircraft approaching from the north.
That isn't quite right. The Kennedy and King killings weren't the first links in the chain that dragged us
here. No, the death sentence was handed down before World War II. Henry settled in behind the big
Solothurn and checked his field of view through the weapon's optical sight. The gleaming example of Swiss
craftsmanship had been manufactured in 1939. The irony was not lost on Henry Bowman.
In March of that year, the U.S. Supreme Court had heard a case involving a moonshiner who had been
arrested in 1938. A Federal District Court had thrown out the charges as being unconstitutional, and the
government had appealed. At the hearing, something very unusual had happened. Neither the moonshiner
nor his lawyer had seen fit to appear before the Court to argue the case. They didn't even bother to file a
brief on the moonshiner's behalf. The Court ruled for the government, judicial precedent was set, and the
issue was never again heard by the Supreme Court. The 1939 ruling became the foundation on which many
additional laws were constructed.
Supreme Court's been ducking that issue ever since Henry thought as he strained to hear a change in the
approaching noise. Well, guys, the tide has turned. It's time you thugs had a little history lesson. I don't
suppose you're familiar with what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. A small smile appeared on his
lips, as Henry remembered something. It's just like the story Uncle Max told me when I was a kid. About
Billy Dell, pulling a Paul Bunyan.
Henry Bowman's right hand tightened around the walnut grip of the Solothurn S18-1000. The weapon had
been a present from his father, given to him on his fourteenth birthday in 1967. Cost $189.50 back in the
sixties Henry thought irrelevantly. / thought that was a steal. Dad's friends thought it was astronomical.
Wonder what they'd think now.
As he followed the progress of the helicopters through the binoculars, Henry Bowman reflected that the
1930's era weapon would now likely cost over ten thousand current dollars to manufacture. It had been
made in a time when production methods and philosophies were much different. Fewer than 500 of the
obsolete Swiss guns had been imported over a ten-year period in the '50s and '60s, before the law change.
Pay attention here, guy Henry chided himself as he focused on the problem at hand. You don't get any
practice runs with this one. Henry twisted his head methodically and arched his back as he lay there on his
stomach, working the stiffness from his body. He had lain prone for over an hour with his face pressed
against a pair of binoculars, and he needed to be loose for what he was going to have to do.
The helicopters appeared over a ridge that Bowman had previously determined was a little more than two
miles distant. They were following a heading that would take them to the spot that he had selected, next to
the water-filled quarry pit. He steadied the binoculars by resting his right wrist on the top of the Solothurn's
receiver and cranked the zoom control from ten power all the way up to twenty. The binoculars amplified
the heat waves in the air that are invisible to the naked eye, and called 'mirage' by competition shooters who
use high magnification optical sights.
The boiling, shimmering image in the glasses gave a surrealistic appearance to the approaching choppers,
but Henry could make them out well enough. Three of them. Bell turbine model, Jet Ranger or its
descendant. A door gunner with a belt-fed machine gun poking out of the right side of each one. Possibly
the Belgian MAG-58, but more likely M60s, he thought with derision.
They should have brought armored Apaches carrying napalm, he thought. Or nukes. A grin split his face.
Oh, those poor bastards.

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  • Posted by $ for_no_other 1 year, 3 months ago
    United States v. Miller, the latter being found guilty of possessing a weapon not covered by the Second Amendment, because it was erroneously argued that the U.S. military did not maintain shotguns, specifically short(er) barreled shotguns in its inventory. They ruled that 2A only covered citizens using weapons regularly used by the military. Miller was found guilty because he did not have a regularly used military weapon when he crossed the Texas Oklahoma border. The decision is well worth reading.
    So is the book, Unintended Consequences. Perhaps not the best written, but the message is phenomenal.
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    • Posted by $ Commander 1 year, 3 months ago
      Was that decision not reversed upon appeal by the SCOTUS? I thought it was a District Court that asserted guilt. Time runs short this eve....I'll read the brief tomorrow.
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      • Posted by $ for_no_other 1 year, 3 months ago
        You may be right, I seem to remember that SCOTUS upheld the lower courts decision, especially since Mr Miller was dead, and his attorney did not show. I’ll have to do the same.
        One of the things I really liked about Unintended Consequences were the footnotes and excerpts were we could read the authors sources. If my memory serves me, I believe this is were I first read the judges instructions to the jury for the Branch Davidian trial. That really bothered me.
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        • Posted by $ Commander 1 year, 3 months ago
          I was incorrect. The questioning that arose in my mind was from a conversation almost 2 decades ago. Did SCOTUS have the "right" to take up a "complaint" and persue a decision without competent rebuttal or defense? Did SCOTUS take an illegal part in proceedings as litigant?

          I don't know if this has ever been challenged.
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          • Posted by $ for_no_other 1 year, 3 months ago
            Hey, that’s what is so great about this community. I am always happy to expand my knowledge with the teasers I get here. You bring up a very good question that I might not have considered. Be sure to post if you learn more about this, I know I will.
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  • Posted by CrustyOldGeezer 1 year, 3 months ago
    I have always held the opinion that 'precedent' was just somebody elses POOR JUDGEMENT ON ANOTHER PERSONS POOR PERFORMANCE.

    And no judge that has ever used 'precedence' to decide a case has been more than JUST PLAIN LAZY!
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  • Posted by $ Commander 1 year, 3 months ago
    "History has shown us that government leaders often ignore the fundamental fact that people demand both
    dignity and freedom. Because of this disregard, these decision-makers then initiate acts that are ultimately
    self-destructive. To illustrate this point I will remind the reader of the origin of two of modern history's
    most destructive events, and of all the warning flags that were frantically waving while the instigators
    rushed headlong towards the abyss."

    History...repeating. The following is an interpretation from 2500 years past. Poem 29; Tao te' Ching

    Those who would take over the earth
    And shape it to their will
    Never, I notice, succeed.
    The earth is like a vessel so sacred
    That at the mere approach of the profane
    It is marred
    And when they reach out their fingers it is gone.
    For a time in the world some force themselves ahead
    And some are left behind,
    For a time in the world some make a great noise
    And some are held silent,
    For a time in the world some are puffed fat
    And some are kept hungry,
    For a time in the world some push aboard
    And some are tipped out:
    At no time in the world will a man who is sane
    Over-reach himself,
    Over-spend himself,
    Over-rate himself.

    Thank you for the offering. Looks like my bedtime story is secured for a few nights.
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