Saturday, August 18, 2007
This is an annual event at ARPC for a couple of reasons. First, the sport is very popular in the Mid-Willamette valley of Oregon, and second the facilities at ARPC lend themselves quite nicely to Major Matches. Lots of bays with lots of room; lots of fields for lots of parking, dinner tents and vendor areas. Easy freeway access, within 90 drive of major airport, etc etc etc. (Shades of Yul Brynner abound here.)
SWMBO and I spent a couple of hours today (Saturday 8/18/07) walking the range, talking to the competitors and doing a lot of shooting ... using "Open Division" type compact video cameras.
The results of our picture taking can be seen at the "Shootout at Saddle Butte" album on Jerry the Geek's Video Shooting Gallery. So far, we've only posted 81 and two edited videos. We still have a few videos to edit and post here, plust we expect to spend a couple more hours tomorrow (Sunday) on the last match of the day to see what happens at "The End Of The Trail".
This sport, briefly, looks little like IPSC but the denizens of the Cowboy Corral sound a lot like IPSC shooters:
"Don't get too in interested in this, it's addictive!"
"I started this because (name your spouse, friend or co-worker) liked it. I stick with it because the people are so darned nice."
Abbreviated post tonite. You can spend the day looking at the pictures, clink the link.
More Sunday night, perhaps I won't get around to editing and posting all of the pictures for a couple of days.
It'll be worth the wait.
Two words: Colorful Characters!
I've got a video here, which (along with a lot of still pictures) you can also find at Jerry the Geek's Video Shooting Gallery.
Of course, you realize that this isn't Cowboy Mounted Shooting.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The complete list:
A - Annual
B - Benefactor
CA - Charter
CAL - Charter Annual Life - CA members who have converted to Life
members. This allows CA members to upgrade to life without losing a "super cool"
CL - Charter Life
F - Foreign
FL - Foreign Life
- Five Year
FYF - Five Year Foreign
HCL - Honorary Chairman Life, issued
to Colonel Jeff Cooper
L - Life
RD - Regional Director - USPSA President
the get an RD number and get to keep it for the remainder of their life
S - Sponsor - Not sure of the details - there is one member with
an "S" number
TY - Three Year
TYF - Three Year Foreign
The mystery about the "Sponsor" membership is easy to solve. "S1" is "Skip R", joined in 1994, has a Limited Division classification of 57%, shot one match in Open Division for score in 1991, and has 19 classifier scores in Limited Division ranging from 1997 to 2002.
I'm disappointed that "Skip R" hasn't filed a classifier in 5 years, and more disappointed that we don't know who he is.
"Benefactors" are interesting. Many of them are actually Sponsors. Read: "Vendors" Without more research, I can't tell you what the relative coste between "Sponsor" and "Benefactor memberships are, but I belive that the "Benefactor" membership cost is on the order of $5,000 (all of these "Special" membership categories include Life Membership in USPSA.)
I COULD tell you who the Charter and Benefactor members are, but then you would have to kill me.
I wouldn't like that.
Perhaps it's best that we just let it go, and acknowledge that these USPSA members are among those who are working hardes to encourage USPSA as a viable competitive sport, and are willing to put their money, as they say, where their mouth is.
I just want to shoot. My Three-year and, lately, Five-year memberships reflect my wish to save money when paying for membership in an organization of which I expect to be a member for a long, long time.
But not $5000 worth of "long time".
H/T to Rob B., and The Brian Enos Forum.
He first commented yesterday to my "The Brits Are At It Again" article with statements to the effect that "GUN CONTROL WORKS", and I replied last night in a new article attempting to refute this statement by citing both opinion articles (authored in both the U.S. and Britain), and also citing reports from the U.S. Department of Justice.
David commented on that post promptly and rather than copy it into an article and fisk it line by line, I originally chose to respond under his comment.
But my reply was even longer than his comment, so I decided to move it here, to a separate article, where it was more public. Maybe other readers would have something to add.
So I've ended up Fisking it after all. Sorry, it's not intended as a sign of disrespect.
Before you continue, however, I hope you will read the comment. If I've missed an important point, it was due to oversight.
Firstly - we both have a problem. Our two countries define crime and
analyse crime data completely differently so it is almost impossible to do nice easy comparisons. For instance in Britain an "Armed Robbery" is where the robber states he has a gun - he may very well only have a pool cue in a plastic bag (as is often the case – or indeed in one case I dealt with a cucumber) but it is still counted as a fire-arms offence. Ditto any crime committed with a toy or replica gun.
I do agree, indeed, that our countries report crimes differently. In fact, I not only made that point quite emphatically, I even quoted the DOJ report to that effect.
Mr Sowell's article is an opinion piece - not data. He is right that gun
control has only been in one direction since the 50s, as has our murder rate for gun-murders. Coincidence? You tell me.
I thought I had been clear when I identified every citation which was only an opinion piece. But it's nice to know you recognize the difference between opinion and facts.
Without objective citations from reputable sources, all we have are opinions.
Yours, for example.
I'll leave aside whether or not Britain is a socialist state or not (have you been to any real socialist states and have you been to Britain? - you'll soon notice the difference, but that's by the by.
I've never been to Britain, but I have been to New York and I have been to Canada. Is that close enough?
It's certainly as close as I care to get.
Is Britain a Socialist state? Well, how many self-identified Socialists do you have in your national government?
And how about the National Health?
Socialism: "The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved."
National Health is a big step to the left. I will concede that Britain isn't an entirely Socialist state only in as much as capitalist enterprises are not forbidden by law. Yet. But when they are, would that be a Communist state, or only a really, really Socialist state?
It may surprise you to know that I am a closet Anglophile, and as such I mourn for the lost splendor of Britain. You use to be such a great people; now you seem impatient for the next law to infringe on your individual freedoms ... such as the right to choose your own doctor.
(Comparison to America: HMO, Kaiser Health, Bush's 'Senior Prescription Drug Bill' or whatever it's called. Perhaps we aren't so far behind you, but when I need an MRI I can get it the same day my Doctor decides I need it. Can you?)
Don't think that the Brits are any less murderous than the yanks - we're
not all Hugh Grant you know. However the lack of access to firearms makes us a lot less effective as murderers. Cricket bats aren’t as effective as baseball bats as weapons either.
You have conveniently ignored that the weapon isn't the important thing; that people are getting murdered is the important thing, and as far as the murder rate is concerned, gun control does NOT work.
One of the points of contention here is that you seem to be looking mostly at the rate of murder by firearms. Myopic. Major crimes are going up because the Yobs get away with more. In America, major crime rates are going down. In the meantime, more states are passing laws permitting the concealed carry of firearms. Is there a cause-and-effect relationship? May be.
David:Your murder rate is increasing?
Our murder rate has indeed gone up; however it's nowhere near yours.
I thought that making civilian ownership of firearms was suppose to reduce the national murder rate. Yet, as more and more types of firearms were outlawed, more and more civilians died. What's that all about?
Don't think that the Brits are any less murderous than the yanks - we're not all Hugh Grant you know. However the lack of access to firearms makes us a lot less effective as murderers. Cricket bats aren’t as effective as baseball bats as weapons either.
Good Lord, man!
You take comfort in the fact that your social predators are compelled to use even more brutal, bloody, painful and debiliting methods of murdering your fellow man? How low can the servants of The Nanny State go in their drive to completion of a social agenda? You claim to be a policeman, a protector of your fellow man, and are not moved by the increased brutalization of both victim and aggressor?
You skip right over the concept of self-defence by the law-abiding, as if it is a concept not worthy of consideration.
Think about it.
When a Yob with a cricket bat meets a woman without a cricket bat, the Yob with a cricket bat usually gets whatever he wants ... and the woman (child, smaller man, whatever) gets trashed.
Murders by firearms may very well be going down in Britain, but the aggressors are just switching to other weapons. You may think it's a good thing that people aren't getting murdered by gunshot as often, but the man who was stabbed in the neck at his doorstep and seven months later shot (Peter Woodhams, of Canning Town, East London) after an ASBO was issued to his consistent attacker was probably not comforted. Neither was his widow, who still held the bloodied clothing from his LAST attack, which the police had not bothered to follow up on. What's that all about? How did gun control help him?
How did the police help him?
Your country and my country are not far apart in one important area: our politicians are all trying to pass laws to curb aggression, and one way or another it's not working.
Your country elects national leaders who have espoused gun control as a viable way to cut the murder rate. It hasn't worked in Britain, just as it hasn't worked in Australia or Canada (to name only two).
My country tried to elect a national leader who espoused gun control as a viable way to cut the murder rate, and the electorate didn't buy it ... or him. In fact, he lost in his own home state.
But you Brits keep telling us that "Gun Control Works!" despite evidence (both anecdotal and statistical) to the effect that the big losers in a "Gun Control Works!" state are the law-abiding citizens who wouldn't dream of shooting someone in a moment of pique or as an intimidation tactic.
That's why I'm opposed to gun control, as are more million Americans than there are citizens of your own country. No, this isn't the "we're more, we're better" argument. It's merely an illustration of the fact that there are a LOT of people here who oppose Gun Control.
As you continue to espouse what many of us consider wrong-minded catch phrases, though, the gun control advocates in America pick and choose from your press and cunningly insert the quotes in OUR press. We have enough woolly-headed people here who don't read critically and who don't think it through, when sufficient of them are convinced by YOU, WE have to suffer the consequent infringements on our freedom, our safety and our economy.
We don't want that.
Actually, the quote is "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will own guns".
Yes guns are used in Britain’s underworld – mainly in black-on-black gang wars. This is the Metropolitan Police’s website on the issue: http://www.stoptheguns.org/ And yes if you outlaw guns only criminals will have guns.
I'm glad that you finally offered a source to justify your claims, but somehow I don't accept that a website called http://www.stoptheguns.org/ is likely to be objective.
But I did click on the link and browse the website.
I see a lot of touchy-feely songs and videos, and "Working Together", "Get Involved", "Good News" and "Take Action" links there, but I don't see anything that compares crime rates with the advent of Gun Control laws, and that's what I was hoping for.
We get quite enough emotional pleas and factually unsupported assertions in our own national press, David. I'm saddened to see that your best effort and documentation of your position is entirely devoid of factual content. Worse, that it is (according to you) the product of "The Metropolitan Police".
Aren't you just a little bit curious about WHY the Metropolitan Police so strongly espouse gun control, but are unwilling to bolster opinion with facts? I haven't visited ALL of the pages on that website, but one would expect them to offer something, even if they had to make up the statistics out of whole cloth. (Translation: lie about it.)
Isn't ANYBODY critical of the government in Britain?
To be fair Jerry, there are holes in your argument that I imagine
you yourself can see you could drive a 4x4 through……
To be fair, David, I've got a big ol' SUV sitting in my driveway, and it's not fitting through any of the 'holes' in my argument. In fact, you haven't found any. You have not addressed one single fact which I have presented. Your viewpoint is demonstrably not objective.
And without objectivity, all we're looking at is ... opinion.
Come on, David. I'm disappointed. You can do better than this.
I got my numbers on gun murders from the police - I have
access to this sort of thing. I have no idea how many gun murders there were in the USA in the corresponding period (2005-6) - but I will eat my cat if it is anywhere near 250 - which would be a pro-rata figure.
You're guessing. Be responsible, do your homework, find us a source of your numbers that support your contention. I'm sorry to tell you that judging by the website that you say is hosted by "The Metropolitan Police", your often-referenced but never-cited source "The Police" is busted. If you are, as you claim, an actual policeman, you should certainly be familiar with the rules of evidence.
I see no evidence here. Mere conjecture, and parroting. And you won't even tell us who you are parroting.
Speaking of birds, you will probably need catsup with that cat. I predict it will taste a lot like crow.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
In this article we'll try to figure out what an ABSO (Britain's "Anti-Social Behavior Order") is, why and how it is applied to an individual, how it is intended to change the subject's behavior, and what the consequences of violating an ABSO means to its subject.
Since I'm an American, I cannot easily relate to an ABSO. I'm sure that The Brits understand what it is and how it works ... it's a cultural thing ... but I'm starting out with absolutely no background.
If you're not a Brit, perhaps you will find some value in exploring this uniquely Brit phenomenon.
I'm researching this online, so you won't have to do it. The results I display here (and I haven't yet done the research!) will be presented to you as I learn about the ASBO.
If you're a Brit, you probably already know more about this than I do. Perhaps watching my struggle to understand will provide you with some perspective of the difference between British and American cultures. I apologise in advance for my errors. If you really care, you may encourage my understanding by contributing a comment.
Wikopedia is an easy (if unreliable) starting point when researching any subject. Here's what they have to say about ASBOs:
In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland an Anti-Social Behaviour Order, acronym ASBO, pronounced /'æz.bəʊ/ (az-bo), is a civil order made against a person who has been shown to have engaged in anti-social behaviour. In the United Kingdom, this is defined as "conduct which caused or was likely to cause alarm, harassment, or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as him or herself and where an ASBO is seen as necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by the Defendant".
Fair enough. We now know the kind of behavior which may result in the issuance of an ASBO, but we still don't know why (the specific circumstances), when or where it may be issued.
However, since the links may provide indepent verification, let's continue with Wikipedia's HISTORY of ASBO, if only to provide more context:
ASBOs were first introduced in England and Wales by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Later legislation has strengthened its application: in England and Wales this has largely been via the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003, in Northern Ireland through an Order-in-Council. In Scotland, which has a separate criminal justice system, ASBOs were introduced for the first time in October 2004 by the Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004. Scotland, however, has an existing tribunal charged with dealing with children and young persons who offend, the Children's Hearings System.
So much for background and history of the ASBO.
Here's the down side, according to the Economist in a Feb. 26, 2007 article:
... by adding many new and draconian laws to the statute book, Labour
has made the criminal-justice system unmanageable and, in some respects, worse at protecting the public.
Can this be true? By enforcing the law with a new tool, has Britain actually exacerbated the societal cost of dealing with its "Children and Young People who offend"?
One writer in the Economist (2005) suggests that the ASBO law doesn't just address 'anti-social behavior' as demonstrated by juveniles and teens:
Over the past decade, anti-social behaviour—hellish neighbours, beggars, teenage gangs—has become a big worry in Britain (see article). Rightly or wrongly, people think that drunkards and beggars are more aggressive these days, that teenagers are more threatening and that bad children have got worse. Explanations vary, with some blaming 1960s liberalism and others 1980s individualism. But all agree that the normal remedies for dealing with neighbourhood tyrants are not up to the task. The police lack the time to collect evidence; witnesses are too scared to testify; wrongdoing is difficult to prove; and sentences are too mild.
In response to such difficulties, the government has created a new set of legal tools. Chief among them is the anti-social behaviour order, or ASBO. This is a list of restrictions tailored to an individual offender that can now be obtained either in a civil hearing or following a criminal conviction.
Troublemakers as young as ten years old can be barred from entering neighbourhoods, ringing doorbells, using public transport and mobile phones or even uttering certain words for a minimum of two years. Securing an ASBO is easy. Hearsay evidence, for instance, is admissible in court. The consequences of stepping out of line are weighty: a maximum of five years in prison for doing something that is not necessarily an offence in law. Not surprisingly, such a powerful weapon is popular: more than a thousand ASBOs were handed out in the first half of 2004.
That delights MPs, who were sick of hearing stories from their constituents about local teenagers who have terrorised the neighbourhood by blasting music, breaking windows and spitting at passers-by. Prosecutors and the police are also pleased. Their powers to deal with low-level offences used to be weak. Now they are so draconian that they undermine the principles on which the criminal justice system is built.
That may be the perception of The Economist, but what was the ASBO really mean?
Well, here's the perception of a Maldene:
ASBOs prevent the offender from committing specific anti-social acts or going to certain areas or even prevent somebody from associating with certain other known and identified people as well. The anti-social behavior process is person-focused rather than event-focused. An ASBO lasts for a minimum of two years and its violation is a criminal offence, for which a maximum of five years can intervene.
Acts falling within the following families are considered as anti social behavior and therefore subject to ASBOs. Noise from neighbors and vehicles; loud music; persistent alarms; shouting; swearing; street fighting; hooliganism; urinating in public; throwing stuff at people; climbing on buildings; loitering; pestering residents; abuse cards in phone booths; inappropriate sexual conduct; joyriding; racing cars; false calls to emergency services; games in restricted/inappropriate areas; making threats; verbal abuse; bullying; following people; pestering people; voyeurism; sending nasty/offensive letters; obscene/nuisance phone calls; graffiti; damage to shelters, phone kiosks, street furniture, buildings, trees; dropping litter; and dumping rubbish.
Okay, so that's one man's opinion. But what does it MEAN?
Crimeinfo.org.uk has a 'fact sheet' which purports to define the terms, but it only deals with 'youths'. Are adults subject to being served with an ASBO?
The "Home Office" offered some more information, including that ASBOs may be served on non-juveniles, and even offers the opinion that "ASBOs Work" (although it's still difficult to determine what that means.) And there are some disturbing announcements by the Home Office secretary about several issues, ASBOs included in a 2006 letter.
But can I find the actual LAW which defines ASBOs, their application and the consequences of defying an ASBO?
No, I can not.
I'm tempted to just write it off as an uniquely "Brit Thing", but I find no comfort in this abrogation of responsibility.
I'll continue to research ASBOs, and when I find some concrete information I will share it with you here.
In the meantime, I consider it significantly uncomforting that a measure designed to combat British social unrest is so poorly documented.
More later, as I find time to research the subject.
And if anyone can find a copy of the laws which support the ASBO phenomenon in Great Britain, I would appreciate your efforts to provide this information.
David, the ASBOmonger?
I encourage this, even when the comments section contributors take me to task for something I've said which they consider egregious, stupid or just plain wrong.
The other day I wrote about one of my own personal hot buttons, the socialist 'Nanny State" and I used as my example the easiest target ... The Brits.
Our English Cousins have fairly well thoroughly embraced Socialism, will-he/nil-he, and elected representatives whose agenda includes complete governmental control over their daily lives. Sure, we're well on our way here in America, but at least our Liberals are sometimes blocked by the Not-So-Loyal Opposition, the Conservatives.
In England, there's little to choose between Labour and Tory, except the number of members of the Communist Party. (The Tory's are said to have fewer Communists, not "no Communists", but the number of Socialists is apparently approximately the same if my own observations are to be trusted.)
Having written a deliberately provocative article about British Gun Control, I was pleased this evening to find a polite, well-reasoned comment by "David - ABSOmonger" stating that "Gun Control Works!" He also states that "ASBOs work."
He had a few other things to say, and while I cordially invite you to click on the link above and read the full text of his comment, I'll include a bit of it here.
... I am someone who dishes out these ASBOs and frankly, based on that I can say that Gerry you haven't got a clue.
Last year in Britain there were 46 firearms murders - which if scaled up to reflect population size would mean that the USA would have around 220 a year. But you don't have 220 a year do you?
Well ... no, David. I haven't a clue. I also don't know where you got your numbers.
I don't know what the firearms murder rate was in Britain last year, nor do I know what the firearms murder rate in America was last year.
So I GOOGLEd it.
So far, I have only anecdotal information and until I can find real hard data I am forced to rely on this. I'm hoping that David - ASBOmonger will provide me with the source of his numbers of '46' and '220'. With any luck, David will recontact me and we can begin some sort of dialogue.
In the meantime:
In a 2002 opinion article, Thomas Sowell wrote an article for TOWNHALL.COM (quoted by 'allsafedefense.com') with the following statements:
The rise of the interventionist state in early 20th century England included efforts to restrict ownership of guns. After the First World War, gun control laws began restricting the possession of firearms. Then, after the Second World War, these restrictions grew more severe, eventually disarming the civilian population of England -- or at least the law-abiding part of it.
It was during this period of severe restrictions on owning firearms that crime rates in general, and the murder rate in particular, began to rise in England. "As the number of legal firearms have dwindled, the numbers of armed crimes have risen," Professor Malcolm points out.
In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s, there were more than a hundred times as many. In England, as in the United States, drastic crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens were accompanied by ever greater leniency to criminals. In both countries, this turned out to be a formula for disaster.
While England has not yet reached the American level of murders, it has already surpassed the United States in rates of robbery and burglary. Moreover, in recent years the murder rate in England has been going up under still more severe gun control laws, while the murder rate in the United States has been going down as more and more states have allowed private citizens to carry concealed weapons -- and have begun locking up more criminals.
In both countries, facts have no effect whatever on the dogmas of gun control zealots. The fact that most guns used to murder people in England were not legally purchased has no effect on their faith in gun control laws there, any more than faith in such laws here is affected by the fact that the gun used by the recent Beltway snipers was not purchased legally either.
In England as in America, sensational gun crimes have been seized upon and used politically to promote crackdowns on gun ownership by law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing about criminals.
Please note here that Sowell addresses two issues which David has not.
First, the MURDER rates, not the rate of murder by firearms.
Second, the rates of robbery and burglary.
We'll probably get back to that, but the value of this article is that it directly compares crime rates of Britain vs America, and ties them in with firearms ownership.
Still living in the past, I quote a 2002 article in the Telegraph:
England and Wales have the highest crime rate among the world's leading economies, according to a new report by the United Nations.
The survey, which is likely to prove embarrassing to David Blunkett, the Home Secretary. shows that people are more likely to be mugged, burgled, robbed or assaulted here than in America, Germany, Russia, South Africa or any other of the world's 20 largest nations. Only the Dominican Republic, New Zealand and Finland have higher crime rates than England and Wales.
(Emphasis added - Geek)
I know what you're thinking.
You say "But Geek, this is all just opinion. It's no more than anecdotal evidence, and usually not more than that. Where are the numbers?"
Okay, here are some numbers.
Remember that 'statistics' can mean anything you say they mean, and also that not all LEO departments report crime numbers the same way. Here's a U.S. Department of Justice report from 1998, reporting a comparison of British vs American crime rates in the 1981 - 1996 period. (Note that there weren't a lot of states in America who had enacted laws permitting Concealed Carry by private citizens in this period.)
The report states that it considers "Victim Surveys vs Police Records" and it addresses the question "Is the violent crime rate higher in the United States or England?"
For the sake of brevity, I'll summarize the first few paragraphs of the report.
- Police records and Victim Surveys don't report the same crime rates.
- Whether American or British crime rates are higher in either country often depends on which numbers you choose to recognize.
Here are two quotes from the report:
American police were about twice as likely as English police to record a robbery coming to their attention in 1995. Assuming the same was true for rates of robbery recorded by police in 1996, the English rate is not directly comparable to the American rate because American police recorded a greater fraction than English police of the robberies reported to them. Had English police recorded the same fraction of robberies that were reported to them as had American police, the English robbery rate would have been 2.8 per 1,000 population, exceeding the American rate of 2.0 robberies per 1,000.
Both victim surveys and police statistics for 1995 indicated higher property crime rates in England than in the United States.(Emphasis added)
Go read the article for the semi-raw numbers and a direct comparison of crime rates by category.Another (related) report from DOJ provides highlights, which you may find interesting. This is a little more difficult to interpret than the preceding report, and David will find it encouraging despite the opening statement:
"Whether measured by surveys of crime victims or by police statistics, serious crime rates are not generally higher in the United States than England."
Again, in fairness to David's position, the murder rate in America in the reporting period varied annually between 10.0 and just under 8.0 per 1000, while that in Britain hovered reliably in the 1.0 per 1000 range.
I would like to see that expanded to include murder by firearm vs murder by other weapon, and cross-referenced to the present date against the expanded state-by-state legitimization of Concealed Carry laws, but I honestly cannot make assumptions either way.
I do note, however, that Brits are now experiencing an increased number of laws restricting civilian ownership of edged weapons (knives) while neither state nor Federal government in America seems concerned about this side issue.
One wonders .. is it because Brits who are determined to murder have resorted to 'other means'? Certainly, we don't see a change in Brit murder rate during this period regardless of weapons bans.
Let's go back to Anecdotal Evidence and November, 2002, when REASON ONLINE's Joyce Malcolm gleefully announced "Gun Control's Twisted Outcome: Restricted Firearms Helps Make England More Crime-Ridden Than The U.S." .
On a June evening two years ago, Dan Rather made many stiff British upper lips quiver by reporting that England had a crime problem and that, apart from murder, "theirs is worse than ours."
The response was swift and sharp. "Have a Nice Daydream," The Mirror, a London daily, shot back, reporting: "Britain reacted with fury and disbelief last night to claims by American newsmen that crime and violence are worse here than in the US."
But sandwiched between the article's battery of official denials -- "totally misleading," "a huge over-simplification," "astounding and outrageous" -- and a compilation of lurid crimes from "the wild west culture on the other side of the Atlantic where every other car is carrying a gun," The Mirror conceded that the CBS anchorman was correct. Except for murder and rape, it admitted, "Britain has overtaken the US for all major crimes."
In the two years since Dan Rather was so roundly rebuked, violence in England has gotten markedly worse.
Well, that's Bad News for the "Gun Control Works" crowd in Britain, isn't it?
The results -- the toughest firearm restrictions of any democracy -- are credited by the world's gun control advocates with producing a low rate of violent crime. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell reflected this conventional wisdom when, in a 1988 speech to the American Bar Association, he attributed England's low rates of violent crime to the fact that "private ownership of guns is strictly controlled."
In reality, the English approach has not re-duced (sic) violent crime. Instead it has left law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals who are confident that their victims have neither the means nor the legal right to resist them. Imitating this model would be a public safety disaster for the United States.
The illusion that the English government had protected its citizens by disarming them seemed credible because few realized the country had an astonishingly low level of armed crime even before guns were restricted. A government study for the years 1890-92, for example, found only three handgun homicides, an average of one a year, in a population of 30 million. In 1904 there were only four armed robberies in London, then the largest city in the world. A hundred years and many gun laws later, the BBC reported that England's firearms restrictions "seem to have had little impact in the criminal underworld." Guns are virtually outlawed, and, as the old slogan predicted, only outlaws have guns. Worse, they are increasingly ready to use them.
Nearly five centuries of growing civility ended in 1954.
Violent crime has been climbing ever since.
Going back to David's original comment ... now I "Have A Clue", and so do you.
I've done the research, and (no surprise to me) I have found evidence which convince me that "Gun Control does NOT 'WORK'".
With any luck at all, David the ASPOmonger will reply and point out the errors of my research. We should all learn from his counterpoint.
I still find that difficult to accept that British street cops believe "ASBOs Work". Here in America, we are familiar with 'restraining orders' which serve only to enrage husbands against their wives, with sometimes fatal consequences for the wives. It strikes me as extraordinary that a 'real cop' believes that ASBOs are a tool which allows them to take bad guys off the streets ... speaking of confining the bad guys to a jail cell.
If they were bad enough to warrant an ASBO, I wonder, why weren't the bad guys recognized as bad enough to justify jail time?
I've rewritten and republished this a few times now, and I still haven't come to any kind of Grand Finale' punch line. Perhaps this is a question that deserves more exploration and discussion.
Where were the police? They were doing their usual dithering best, which is the same as saying they were busy sitting on their thumbs in preference to doing their job.
There comes a point when one grows tired of pointing out that firearms confiscation, "gun control" laws, and Politically Correct approaches to Law Enforcement are demonstrably not serving the greater good of the law-abiding community.
This is PC speak for "The cops are a worthless drain on Society, why don't they just fire them all? The results would be no worse, and at least they could save some money to prop up their ineffective Socialist Health Care Program."
The Brits have a biased view of American society, which is that we're all a bunch of gun-mad cowboys. This provides them with a convenient distraction from the the deficits of their Nanny State which does not protect its citizens (Subjects?) from predators, but serves only to disarm the law-abiding ... to the detriment of the law-abiding.
We could say that our own 'cowboys' have guns of their own, but many states and municipalities continue to emulate the European example in that they attempt to provide cradle-to-the-grave Socialist programs (which they can't really afford to fund) while using every dirty trick they can think of to take guns out of the hands of the people who are trying to obey the law -- when it is not too stupid to be taken seriously.
I know, I know ... "run-on sentence". I'm on a roll here, bear with me.
I'm six thousand miles away from these Socialist Idiots. I don't have to live under the failed system which does not protect its citizens. Still, I'm outraged at the track record they ("The Brits") have accumulated for jailing the law-abiding while they subject their resident Barbarians with "Anti-Social Behavior Orders". (ASBO)
This is a legal device by which they cry shame on their predators, to no effect at all because it has no teeth.
Tell me, if you were a Brit and you were an Animal, and if you were served with an ASBO, would it give you pause in your predations on your fellow man if you were warned that "if you continue in your anti-social behavior, we'll be very, very angry"?
Well, probably not. And this is the kind of control on which Britain relies to keep their animals at bay.
Note to Britain: it ain't working.
Second note to Britain: eventually, you will have to arm your coppers and set them to cleaning up Dodge City. Sooner is preferable to Later. If you cease your dithering, you may still have a few Honest Citizens left by the time you're done.
I'm just saying ..
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
First, from the Miami Herald, an unarmed security guard encounters armed intruders and fights them off although outnumbered and outgunned. During the struggle, he is held by one assailant while another (the one with the gun) takes a shot at him. The guard manages to duck the shot, allowing the armed thug to shoot his buddy in the eye.
The guard escaped. The eye-shot thug is in the hospital and "is not doing well".
I think this is one for Kim Du Tuit's 'Goblin Count', and I wouldn't criticize the armed thug for being a bad shot, either.
This sounds like a 'Karate Kid' moment, in that the guard allowed his opponent to defeat himself.
Okay, Corey Tully ... take the rest of the day off. You did well, Grasshopper.
In our second, WND pundit Doug Powers pontificates on the "Shot Pandered 'round The World". It's not often that I quote opinion articles, but when I read it I found myself muttering "Damn! I wish I had wrote that." Here's the multi-paragraph money quote:
Watching people like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton vie for the presidency on a platform of doing something about the health care system is a little like Michael Vick running for dog catcher with promises of getting strays off the street.
In witnessing the slapstick-style irony of a man like John Edwards chastising the high cost of health care in this country, I felt as if I were watching the Menendez brothers whining about being orphans. But then, we live in a country where the foremost proponent of leading us toward a "better" health system is a morbidly obese filmmaker, so it's no wonder so many are as confused as Paris Hilton trying to solve a Rubik's Cube on a Tilt-a-Whirl.
Remember back in 2004 when Edwards said, in his now famous "Vermin on the Mount" speech, that if he and his running mate John Kerry were elected, "people like Christopher Reeve will walk again"? Well, Christopher Reeve never did walk again. Why? Because Kerry and Edwards weren't elected. Let's not make the same mistake again
Go, read The Whole Thing.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Some of these people are probably disappointed when, for example, they search for "Armor Piercing Handloading" they are directed to "Kalifornia's Bullet-Coding Scheme. (Note: the article references Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1000% tax of ammunition.)
As a service to my readers, I have decided to give these keyword searchers something to satisfy their insatiable quest for really kinky stuff.
Let's start out with something easy: IPSC VIDEOS
Mr. Completely posted a link a couple of years ago to 'lots of IPSC videos', so you can find that here.
Also, Jerry the Geek's Video Shooting Gallery has a TON of videos you can download.
Or, if you're impatient, you can view Jerry the Geek's videos on YOUTUBE.
If you're looking for something about the KaBOOM! Phenomenon (when you're just doing your thing on the range, and your gun blows up!), you can find the article here. Lots of links, including to Dean Spiers. I sure hope I've learned to spell his name right by now.
Looking for loading data for the .38 super, .38 super comp, the hottest 9mm load, or any other caliber? I don't carry it. I load for a small selection of calibers (.9mm, .38 super/super comp, 10mm, 45acp, 22.-250, 25-06, 12 gauge shotgun) and I won't tell you what my loads are because ... your guns may not handle the same pressures my guns do.
However, I will cite a couple of valuable resources you may find useful:
Maas is already on my sidebar, but may be out of date as he quit maintaining the original webpage a few years ago (although you can find this link there), and I need to add Smith as well. Smith, if nothing else, will regale you with morality tales or precautionary war-stories about the consequences of loading too little powder into a cartridge, and has an excellent table providing the relative burning rate of many gunpowder brands and types.
You may find it an interesting coincidence, but a search on "handloading data high power 9mm luger" will direct you to the KaBOOM! page. As does "fastest 9x19 ammunition". I think that is significant.
Is the burning question of your day: Can a 9mm can kill a bear?
You may find a reference here, but the short answer is:
NO WAY, DUDE! DON'T EVEN TRY!
At best, you'll end up with a pissed-off bear who knows to 'follow the sound of the cannons' as Napoleon once said.
"Cleaning the 1911" and "Putting the 1911 back together" will both lead you here. There are a lot of good resources on the Internet, and I stole most of what I wrote. But it's a central place to look for links, so give it a try.
Darrion Holiwell links can be found here, and my contribution is here. Or you can go directly to the link which shows him shooting the 2005 Croc Match, but the file is damaged and you can't see him actually shooting the stage. Too bad, it was a good run.
Okay, I need to do something with the link but here is the real link where you can see Darrion shooting "The Doors". Looking good ... "Powerful Stuff" ... Darrion. It's a download, you can save the file for future reference.
UPDATE: 14 April, 2008
The Ohio Classifier Percentage Classifier link is obsolete. see here for the current link.
But my recommendation, if what you really want to do is to determine how your hit-factor places you in the USPSA classifier algorithm, you should look at the Ohio Classifier Percentage Calculator, which is included as a link in my sidebar just below "Enter your USPSA number in the box below to check your classification (opens in a new window)".
What will you do? What WILL you do?
If you're smarter than the dude (I know, not much of a challenge) you feed him the bills from the cash register a few at a time until he has a wad of cash and is getting impatient. When he takes his hand off the shotgun (remember, it's laying across the counter) to stuff the cash in his pock you grab the shotgun quick-like-a-bunny and turn it on him.
Watch him run out the door, even quicker than a bunny!!
But wait, there's more.
After a few moments, he stops to consider.
Hey, that guy has my shotgun. What am I going to do for a gun tomorrow night, when I hit the 7/11 across town?
So he barges back into the store, leaps over the counter and starts to wrestle you for the shotgun.
Here's a tip: Pull the trigger.
Yep. That works.
See the video.
Worse, when you're a Gun Geek, folks expect you to know at least a little bit about guns.
I admit, with Computers I know a bit about Applications Software, but when the Blue Bird of Happiness fries my PC ... it's a hardware problem.
It's the same with the Geek Gun. No matter what happens, chances are it's a hardware problem.
I've chronicled the unreliability blues for months now, which has perhaps been a source of continued jocularity to my readers.
On the first weekend of June, I thought it was bad ammunition.
Then on Father's day, I realized that the gun works a lot better if you use oil as a lubricant, rather than gun cleaner (which was in a similar container in my range bag).
By the end of June, I decided I was using cold-weather lubrication rather than warm-weather lubrication.
At this point, the situation was becoming an embarrassment. So for the CCS Section Match in July I made it a point to clean the gun and use lots of good, heavy lubrication. The result was better, but still not right. On the very first stage (and a couple of stages later), I was still experiencing hesitations because the gun wouldn't quite go into battery. Especially when the gun was cold.
Now it's August, and since I haven't been doing a lot of shooting this month I've had time to do a little thinking.
My thinking is .... Recoil Spring!
That's right, I realized that I haven't changed the recoil spring in the Geek Gun for over two years.
Bad Geek! Go sit on your rug.
My next move was to order a couple of 10# ISMI Recoil Springs from Chuck Bradley at Shooters Connection. Chuck was quick to send me a pair, which I installed on the STI open guns that SWMBO and I are using. (I hope Dave Skinner of STI isn't reading this; he would be ashamed of me.)
I installed them this weekend, and SWMBO and I will be at the range during this week, or perhaps Saturday or Sunday, to wring 'em out.
The funny thing is, the recoil spring I replaced was longer than the replacement; except in SWMBO's gun, which I probably replaced last year and forgot about. (I tend to be more conscientious with her gear than with mine.)
You're probably as tired of reading my pissy "the gun ain't runnin'" stories as I am of writing them. If there's a God in IPSC (besides the self-proclaimed Gods), the gun will finally go back to running in its normal, 100% reliable manner and I'll have to find another excuse for my poor performance at matches.
I'm thinking ... how about 2 of the 5 scope-mount screws are missing?
No, that's not working. It's my job to locktite the screws in, right?
Okay, I'll do that tomorrow. Or later today.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
"Yeh Hum Naheem" sends that message very clearly.
And so does Wafa Sultan.
It was completed Friday, I picked it up from the local Puter Hospital Friday about 5:30. Big cardboard box, heavy, with keyboard (I already have 2), mouse (I already have 4) and speaker set (I already have 3) to go with my existing monitor (I have 2 ... both old, fat and small). But I didn't do anything with it because this was my weekend to spend with SWMBO who is recovering from minor surgery.
Well, the "weekend with SWMBO" ended this afternoon about 2pm, when I got so antsy with Puter Withdrawel that she kindly sent me packing home to unpack, install and configure the new puter.
SWMBO is a marvel, she is, and very understanding about how cranky I get without puter time.
Witness my curmudgeonly and unfair rant about 'no club match this month', for which I was soundly, if gently, put into my proper place by my friends. Sorry, folks. Even though I admitted that I was being unfair to the hard-working people who spend HOURS of their personal time volunteering to put on matches, that shit don't work around here. Mea Maxima Culpa, and I'll try to keep the whining down to a dull roar for THIS complaining-type session.
I'm working with 2GB memory, as opposed to 512MB in my previous incarnation, and I have 250GB hard-drive to store my videos. This is good, because my 150GB drive was getting full (down to about 30GB storage left) so I have room to store several years more besides the CD backups, and editing videos should go a lot faster than before. Plus, we were able to salvage the old hard-drive, so I can use that data.
Unfortunately, the applications on the old hard-drive aren't available, because the registry entries aren't available to support them. I've been digging through my application CDs, and got Norton Anti-Virus and Norton Go-Back installed ... only took me an hour, including a half-dozen restarts to install the updates available online. Consider this a blatant plug for Norton, as my annual subscription is good until October, 2007 and the re-install was trouble free.
Not so good for anciliary programs, such as WS_FTP because I can't find the install disks. Looks like I'll have to buy that one again, which will be worth it because a good FTP package is worth it.
In searching for software install disks, I found a lot of stuff that I could never use again. DOS 5.0 is a good start, as is MS Publisher and MS FrontPage ... both of which were ill-advised purchases. Also, AOL 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0. I thought I had already trashed those losers, but down there in the Geek Software Archive Cellar you can find almost anything except what you still need.
The good news is that some of my favorite tools, such as ImageShack, was entirely online and I still have the emails which point me to the registration page(s). This allows me to load multiple images, etc. and size them appropriately. I merely upload the file (using the browser option) directly from my PC, and it returns the HTML code needed to include the photo in an article.
YouTube was easy, since I had recorded the URL for My Account on my flashdrive (I have in excess of 100 URLs, with matching User ID and Password there) and BlogSpot was similarly easy and for the same reason.
The biggest disappointment is that I can't find the install disks for Microsoft Office, so my Outlook, MS_Word and Excel files are a total loss until I either find the disks or buy MS Office again.
The bottom line is: even though my old computer is toasted, I'm able to install 90% of the stuff I really need without losing more than a few hours installation time. The other stuff I'll pick up in the following weeks, as needed.
If I had known that the desktop was going to fry, I wouldn't have invested in a new laptop when I did. But I've been wanting to get one for many reasons, and while my bank account took a serious hit after buying two computers in two weeks, the only major problem I have is dealing with the consequences of a temporary lapse of civilized behavior, and eating macaroni and cheese for the next six months.
The Geek Computer Room is all warm and fuzzy again.
This doesn't get updated as frequently as it should, just like almost everything in Geekistan for the past couple of weeks.
But recently I've been following the sad, sad tale of the Egregious Scott Thomas.
Scott Thomas is the pen name of a guy who is guilty of Sedition at best, and Treason at worst (in the sense of 'lending aid and comfort to the enemy') by virtue of the fact that he has posted a series of articles which depict American Soldiers as soul-less barbarians and murderers.
It started out here, in a July 13, 2007 article in The New Republic where he describes crude and cruel behavior toward another soldier, a driver deliberately running down dogs in the street, and the desecration of the corpses of slain Iraqi infants. (Subscription required to read the whole article.)
Ten days later Chris Muir parodied him in his 7/23 Day By Day cartoon .
On July 25, Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writer's Group fisked the article in The Orlando Sentinel column "Anonymous in Iraq: Plenty of Skepticism". There, Parker suggests:
It may be that The New Republic editors and others who believed Thomas' journal entries without skepticism are infected with Nifong Syndrome -- the mind virus that causes otherwise intelligent people to embrace likely falsehoods because they validate a preconceived belief.
Going back in time, on July 20 Michele Malkin wrote about Thomas as "The New Winter Soldier?" with this introduction:
Let me make one thing clear at the outset: To question the veracity of a soldier’s accounts of war atrocities in Iraq is not to question that such atrocities ever happen. They do. But when such accusations are madeNow, here's The Rest Of The Story, as Paul Harvey might say:
pseudonymously, punctuated with red flags and adorned with incredible embellishment, the only responsible thing to do is to raise questions about his identity and agenda without fear or apology–and demand answers.
On August 7, Fox News ran a blurb by Michael Goldfarb taken directly from The Weekly Standard which completely debunks all of the claims of Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp. (It's worth the effort to remember that name, as it should remain infamous for as long as his libelous accusations remain in American memory.)
The Weekly Standard has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp -- author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article in the New Republic's July 23 issue as well as two previous "Baghdad Diarist" columns -- signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods -- fabrications containing only "a smidgen of truth," in the words of our source.
"An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."
According to the military source, Beauchamp's recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military's investigation. So as Beauchamp was in Iraq signing an affidavit denying the truth of his stories, the New Republic was publishing a statement from him on its website on July 26, in which Beauchamp said, "I'm willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name."
The magazine's editors admitted on Aug. 2 that one of the anecdotes Beauchamp stood by in its entirety -- meant to illustrate the "morally and emotionally distorting effects of war" -- took place (if at all) in Kuwait, before his tour of duty in Iraq began, and not, as he had claimed, in his mess hall in Iraq. That event was the public humiliation by Beauchamp and a comrade of a womanwhose face had been "melted" by an IED.
Those of you who have been following this story deserve to know that Scott Thomas Beauchamp is a liar and a fraud. His depiction of American service people is entirely designed to cast his fellow soldiers in the worst possible light for his own personal agrandisement. After a two-week run of notoriety, he has been exposed for the foul canker on the body politic that he is.
We hope he receives the most onerous punishment available in the Uniform Code of Military Judgement for the terrible aspersions he has cast on the U.S. Army and on the morality of his fellow countrymen.
Beauchamp deserves the ignominity which he has earned. More, he should be required to apologize personally to every current and past serving member of the military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the entire Middle East.
He makes Lynddie England look good by comparison.