Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:


Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Republicans and Democrats fight to restrict freedoms

Ugh: House Republicans move to introduce new gun control law, House Democrats vow to fight it because it will allow for due process.

From the second link:

A Democratic source said the more controversial gun-purchase provision may be similar to a bill sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that’s backed by the National Rifle Association. Democrats say the Cornyn bill doesn’t go far enough since it includes a “probable cause” standard that would require law enforcement officials to prove that a gun buyer is an actual terrorist rather than a suspected terrorist. Instead, Democrats want a vote on legislation that would bar firearm sales to anyone on a terrorism watch list or no-fly list.

Without a vote on their own legislation, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and other Democrats have threatened to take control of the House floor once again after they return from the Fourth of July recess. On Wednesday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and dozens of other Democrats held events around the country demanding action to stop gun violence.

It is disgusting how Democrats no longer support the idea of due process, that they are cool with the idea of secret lists that can deny any American his or her constitutional rights. Boy will they squeal when those lists are used to deny them their rights!

However, it is just as disgusting that the Republicans are playing into the Democrats hands here by introducing any gun control legislation. This is not how you fight Islamic terrorism, by denying Americans access to guns. You fight Islamic terrorism by standing up for our rights while aggressively going after the terrorists who commit those acts of violence.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • wodun

    I suspect that the Democrats want to create a precedent and then create other lists through executive actions. The lists will be named with some sort of euphemism but populated with groups that Democrats dislike or that don’t vote for Democrats.

  • m d mill

    I agree with your comments about due process, and the assumption of innocence in any proceeding.
    Most liberals simply want to remove all guns from general circulation, and will give any excuse to do so.

    But you imply there should never be any new law that restricts any gun possession rights.
    We currently do restrict gun rights to current felons (in prison) and ex-felons (I believe) who have paid for their crimes , and many civilly committed persons who have committed no crimes at all. So there is a constitutional basis for restriction, based on the general well being, even though no violent felony has been committed, and no intention of violent felony has been proven.

    Then I would ask the following question:
    “Should the average adult be allowed to buy sticks of dynamite “on demand”? And if the answer is “no” (as I presume), what is the justification? Now apply the same justification to any other weapon designed for mass killing.

    Perhaps the question, more pointedly, should be :
    “Should a person who has expressed a desire to do felonious violence to American citizens, in the name of Islamic jihad, be allowed to buy sticks of dynamite “on demand”? And if not, should not the same justification be applied to other weapons designed specifically for mass killing?

    Is it wise to always wait for the atrocity to occur before any action is taken?

  • ““Should the average adult be allowed to buy sticks of dynamite “on demand”?”

    Until the 1970s, any ordinary American could do exactly that. At the time we lived in quite a safe country, and were free.

    “Is it wise to always wait for the atrocity to occur before any action is taken?”

    There was also a time once in America when liberals and conservatives both agreed that prior restraint, the ability of a government to take an action to restrain someone’s rights prior actually doing something wrong, was considered unconstitutional.and wrong, in a free society. Giving the government such power was clearly understood as the first step towards tyranny.

    It still is. The unfortunate thing is that America is willingly and eagerly rushing down that first step.

  • Cotour

    ““In 1975, New York state had over 80 school districts with rifle teams. In 1984, that had dropped to 65. By 1999 there were just 26. The state’s annual riflery championship was shut down in 1986 for lack of demand. This, sadly, is a familiar story across the country. The clubs are fading from memory, too.”

  • pzatchok

    Until we know the exact wording of the law the Republicans are proposing I cannot claim it will restrict our rights.

    Just calling it a gun control law does not in anyway actually mean that it will control anything. It could in fact actually takeaway some of those already set in place restrictions.
    Such as the “probable cause” clause in this one forces the Government to prove you are guilty.

    I would like to see the 1986 (FOPA) machine gun manufacturing ban removed. Along with the restricted sales of silencers or suppressors.

  • wodun

    Is it wise to always wait for the atrocity to occur before any action is taken?

    Then why not put them in jail or expel them from the country?

  • Edward

    m d mill asked: “Is it wise to always wait for the atrocity to occur before any action is taken?”

    I believe that the movie “The Minority Report” goes a long way to answering that question:

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *