Ian Underwood, Author at Granite Grok

Ian Underwood

Not red flags. Purple flags.

Constitutional issues aside, the two main practical problems with red flag laws are (1) once the guns are taken, it can be difficult and expensive to get them back (and sometimes impossible to get them back undamaged), and (2) there’s no accountability for the people who ‘warn’ the authorities about problems that don’t actually exist. …

Not red flags. Purple flags. Read More »

What NH can learn from CA

Strange as it is to say that New Hampshire can learn something from California, the people of Santa Cruz recently put on a clinic regarding a lesson that we desperately need to learn here.

The Cardinal Choice

There are two ways of looking at the relationship between the rights of individuals, and the powers of government.  The first, which based on the ideas of the Declaration of Independence, is that people have the right to do pretty much anything, except when they delegate specific powers to government for the purpose of protecting …

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Let’s move forward, not in circles

Driving home from PorcFest this evening, I noticed that on I-91, Vermont has combined traditional exit numbers with the new distance-based exit numbers mandated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  For example, one of the exits is marked Exit 18/Milepoint Exit 120.  This seemed like a nice way to combine the old and the new.

Clothes make the law

About a year ago, I suggested that elected officials should dress down (chambray shirts or polo shirts; jeans or khakis) instead of dressing up (suits and ties).  Dressing up misrepresents the nature of their jobs, allowing them to obscure what they’re doing — which is acting like our bosses instead of like our employees.  Now I’m …

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What makes something ‘constitutional’?

Here’s a little thought experiment.  Let’s say the New Hampshire constitution says something.  Call it x.  But the legislature passes a statute saying the opposite of that, ~x. The governor signs it.  And when challenged in court, the Supreme Court approves it.  Two questions:

Karen vs. Karen

Imagine that two people are doing something that is voluntary, consensual, and peaceful.  Now imagine that a third person — let’s call her Karen — objects to what they’re doing, not because it directly affects her, but because she disapproves.

Punishing the innocent

One of our oldest and most cherished principles is that punishing innocent people is to be avoided at all costs.  (Blackstone said that ‘it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer’.  Benjamin Franklin raised that from ten to a hundred.)  And yet, in the last few months, punishing the innocent …

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