Saturday, February 23, 2008

February 23

What important events occurred on February 23?

According to Wikipedia, we can include the following:

Whoa! Back up there.


The raising of the (2nd) American flag over Mount Suribachi was a monumental achievement. The battle for Iwo Jima was fierce, deadly and prolonged. Heroes were born there; heroes died there, usually unrecognized and unheralded, on both sides. A few heroes, all of them American, were recognized by (as usual) the winning side; this is defined as 'those who ended up in possession of the land'.

The battle for Iwo Jima was necessitated by the need for American forces to find a spot of land from which they could launch B-17 Bomber attacks against the Japanese mainland, within the fuel range limits of the B-17 which also allowed them to carry a significant bomb weight and, if damaged during attacks, to limp to safety. It's arguable that the number of Americans who died taking Iwo Jima were greater than the number of Americans who would have died because they were crew members on bombers who ditched and were lost because they could not return to American-controlled air bases.

But in the larger picture, the loss of crew wasn't as important as the heavier bomb-load and the recovery of damaged aircraft.

Was the Iwo Jima campaign worth the loss of thousands of Americans?

In the final deciding event, the Enola Gay was launched from the island of Tinian, using a B-29 launched from the island of Tinian. The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the final final series of catastrophic events which forced the Japanese to capitulate unconditionally. President Truman had determined that conventional troop landings on the Japanese mainland would result in hundreds of thousands of American deaths, and probably at least as many Japanese deaths.

Why? Because the Japanese civilian population had been conditioned to defend the Japanese mainland 'to the last man, woman and child'. Only when it was demonstrated that American forces could reduce the entire infrastructure to rubble, and the entire population to radioactive corpses, did Japan accept defeat.

The slaughter due to firestorm attacks from Iwo Jima, and Nuclear attacks from Tinian, forced the Japanese political and military leadership to accept the literally devastating consequences of continued resistance. The result of the Japanese surrender, while it signalled the downfall of the Japanese Bushido-based culture, preserved the bulk of the Japanese population to find their destiny in the necessary evolution of a new culture based on more 'western' priorities.

Did Japan benefit from this forced evolution? That's debatable, unless you consider the current economic and cultural advances which were the ultimate result of dragging Japan kicking and screaming out of the 17th century. Certainly the demonstrated loss of life, and economic well-being, and destruction of infrastructure as a result of mass waves of bombers from Iwo Jima proved that Western forces could ultimately defeat the military might of Japan ... although the consequences to America and Japan both would be little short of genocide.

That America also demonstrated that "Death From the Sky" had a new meaning with the advent of the Atomic Bomb was a convincing argument that resistance would, indeed result in effective genocide ... certainly 'death of the culture".

Is it better to lose the infrastructure of a nation, as well as its population, to salvage it's perceived National Pride and Culture? Or is it better to lose the National Pride and Culture, and retain the infrastructure and the population?

That was the question which was, with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (remember that nobody know how many atomic bombs were available to The Americans), presented to the Japanese leadership.


Wisely or unwisely, Japan chose to continue its existence as a Nation, and capitulated to Western forces in August, 1945.

The situation was, by any measure, a tragedy. So why am I proud of the taking of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945 (my birth date)?

Because it served to demonstrate that Japan's declared enemies, who had been subjected to the most craven of sneak attacks on December 7, 1941, had both the will and the ability to either devastate the nation of Japan by an extended series of 'conventional' attacks through bomber bases on nearby islands, or by a shorter series of nuclear attacks from bases far away from any chance of Japanese reaction. (Remember that by this date the Japanese Navy had been reduced to a few ineffective ships and submarines, mostly operating without any effective defenses against Allied predation.)

The Nuclear Option was a bold decision by President Truman, and one which haunted him for the rest of his life. If the Japanese had been unwilling to accept defeat, the only recourse would have been an invasion supported by numerous and effective air attack from near islands. The death rate would have been much higher, not only among American forces but also among the Japanese general population as they threw themselves into the lemming-like counter-attacks by civilians as prepared and encouraged by the Japanese General Staff.

Without the Atomic Bomb, it would have been impossible for the Allied forces to discourage this fanatical last-ditch defense of the Homeland.

But without the availability of near-island air bases, it would have been impossible for Allied forces to reduce the resistance to invasion at all ... and the attacks would have continued until only a primitive survivalist society remained in the Japanese Homeland.

I'm proud of the American determination to show their aggressor the Two Faces of American Retaliation: Bad, and Worst.

You choose.

In the current contretemps between Western Civilization and Islamo-Fascist terrorists, the decisions are even more horrific.

Without a Host Nation, it's impossible to impose force upon the aggressors. The kind of Force on Force solutions which were available during the Second World War are no longer available.

It's simply not acceptable, for example, to apply Atomic Bombs on Tehran simply because the Iranian government 'might' develop and use the same or similar weapons against us. For one thing, there are too many Irani citizens who oppose their government's development of Weapons of Mass Destruction. For another reason, such application of ultimate force weapons would serve more to alienate potential allies (and enervate avowed enemies) than to discourage governments from desisting in their planned terrorism on a national level.

The loss of life, which was a significant criteria in WWII, is even more striking today. We lack the National Will to incinerate civilian populations, and I think that, while it handicaps our list of alternations, it is an advance in global responsibility.

We may consider WWII as "the last 'clean' war", but we must not forget that there was nothing 'clean' about it ... only a series of easily definable, legitimate targets for the deployment of WMDs.

Today, we are required to give much credence to the 'political' options to war. I'm not entirely certain that this will result in a victory for Western Civilization, but at least we can console ourselves that we fought a 'Clean War", sans nuclear weapons.

This may be a Pyrrhic victory. But at least our decedents, while they toil in dhimmitude, can console themselves that their slavery is consistent with a Higher Moral Value.

That will, no doubt, be a great comfort to my grand children.

In the meantime, I'm 63 years old today.

With any luck at all, I'll be dead before I have to see my grandchildren curse their Grandfather for his lack of determination.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Encoded Ammunition: Is it greed or politics?

Nom de guerre: Rivrdog: Micro-serialization redux - UPDATED

George at Rivrdog has the first tiny lead on who's behind the Encoded Ammunition scheme.

No way to tell about the veracity of the information provided, but this is more information than has been available before.

Go read the article, follow the links, and decide for yourself.

Is it, indeed, a "follow the money" situation?

Is it not about politics, but about gold after all?

That would be just wrong. Okay so either way is wrong, but between misguided politics and greed, it's hard to determine the relative levels of venality.

UPDATE: February 25, 2008
Syd, at his Good Neighbor Law website, has this summary of the entire 'Encoded Ammunition' controversy, comparing the bills to a 'Trojan Horse'; virus or Iliad version, it's all the same -- one thing masquerading as another. You'll find there a list of other bloggers and resources with something to say about it.

Syd's implied conclusion: Politics!

Also:

Someone ("tangent4ronpaul) on a Ron Paul website posted an excellent analysis of the "Ammunition Accountability" chain of responsibility. I have no idea who 'tangent' is, but one thing is sure ... he's an excellent researcher.

I've only skimmed this post, but the links and the wealth of detail make this one of the premier starting points for anyone who really wants to follow the possible probable links in the chain of responsibility.

(This comment may also be found on my February 15, 2008, "Ammunition Accountability" post as an UPDATE.)

The author's implied conclusion: Greed!

(Possibly the original source for most, if not all of the 'tangent' post may be found here on the AR15 forum.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Musings of a Geek Gone Gonzo

[sigh]
In the evenings, after work, as I page through my sidebar links to "Websites That I Visit Every Day", I find myself wistfully wishing that I didn't have to work for a living.

Just think: like Sondra K at Knowledge is Power, Kim du Toit at The Other Side of Kim, and David Codrea at The War on Guns (for example), I could spend my days surfing the net, finding interesting or curious articles, and being The First to Blog Them.

But alas, as my 63'd birthday approaches (Saturday), I find that after a full day in GeekDom Office, by the time I get home, fix dinner, 'have a life' (such as it is), my time available for blogging is not only limited by the need to work/sleep/eat but also by the Requirements of Life.

Recently I've been spending more time on family matters, such as addressing the computer crash so my mother can keep in touch with her very large family via email; paying bills; submitting my annual tax return and generally keeping myself informed on Events of the World.

It's not that Life is Bad, as such.

I have my health, which 'they say' is important for 'a man of advancing years'. (I attribute my success here to my propensity to avoid doctors whenever pain is not so distracting as to preclude activities which I enjoy more than talking to doctors who insist I quit smoking and drinking, and smoking, and drinking, and mile exercise via occasional visits to The Range.) And I have activities which interest me ... writing, reading, not doing housework even if it kills me.

I have my job, which I love. I've been an Applications Programmer for over 35 years, and while some programs are more interesting to write than others, I have an excellent boss (not a pointy-hair to be seen), users who are intelligent and personable -- at a University, it's amazingly refreshing to discover that they really CARE about the students whose welfare they are dedicated to serve -- and the people I work with are bright, articulate and invariably helpful to each other.

My family is a constant joy. My children never write, they never call; I never write, never call my mother, and my sibling often challenges me to eschew defensiveness in favor of actually considering that she may have a point when she emphasizes my lapses in appropriate behavior ("I never write, never call ...")

My friends are almost entirely members of the Practical Shooting community, if I may identify them so, and they are universally personable, bright, outgoing, charming and great fun to spend the odd weekend at the range with. My children are working out the problems of starting a familial life, and I can be as supportive as I like but ultimately their occasional problems are a concern, but they are not MY problems.

To put the cap on the day, I enjoy The Love of A Good Woman -- SWMBO. Another constant joy, and one of the sanest people I know. Besides which, she's as cute as the proverbial Bug's Ear. (If this seems to be Faint Praise .. sorry. It's an expression of affection. Get over it.)

So what is the source of my angst?

Actually, nothing. There is no angst.

I love my life and I'm not afraid to admit it. I am secure in my love of life. It may be popular to declare "it sucks to be me", but while to paraphrase Kermit the Frog "it isn't easy, being Geek", I get more fun out of being me than most people, I think.

I like me. I like the people with whom I choose to associate. I have an interesting job, interesting activities, and the only demurrer in my litany of joy is that there are just not enough hours in the day to do EVERYTHING I would wish to do.

I'm no 'Lotus Eater', looking for diversions as an excuse to avoid Life. Rather, I think I enjoy life ... for definitions of "Life" which suit my personal philosophy. That philosophy embraces sufficient guns to shoot; sufficient books to read; sufficient articles to read and sufficient articles to write (even if nobody reads them); people to love; a rewarding and fulfilling job that pays me just enough money to do the other things I enjoy; a home in which I feel comfortable (and which no longer leaks); and more things I want to do than I have time in which to do them all.

Envy me, O you pagans!

What's the point of writing all this down and publishing it?

Gloating, my friend. Pure egocentric gloating that, if your life sucks in the smallest possible way, I feel better.

Someday the smoking will catch up with me and I will have to deal with lung cancer or "Heart Disease". Or my genetic background will be inflict in my mind with Alzheimer's (and die in unrecognized pain and agony), or my retirement will reveal itself with insufficient funding to support myself. I will suffer some irredeemable ill or misfortune against which I have not prepared myself.

And in my ultimate discomfiture, I will reflect on a life of Selfishness, Self-Indulgence and Self-Fulfillment.

And I can say: "I have been selfish, and I have enjoyed every fricking minute of it!"

Note to self: the people I love? Be sure to tell them at every opportunity that they are loved.

Oh, and clean the bathroom, and the oven, will you? This place is a shambles.

Envy me, O you pagans!

In the meantime, while I recognize the we must all go sometime ...
("Do not go gracefully into that good night.
Rage, Rage at the dying of the light!")


I expect to outlive all of you. You're Good People, you deserve a dedicated mourner.

I can do that.

Respectfully submitted,
Jerry The Geek

UPDATE: the next day
This morning I woke with the feeling that I should not have posted this. It was all too personal (too egocentric) and more than a little too smarmy 'effusively earnest'.

No time in the morning to login at home and change the status to 'DRAFT'; I'll do it later.

But my day at the office was so busy that I never found time for lunch, so I decided to wait until I got home.

Now here I am, and there are some very nice comments. Rather than disrespect the people who cared enough to respond, I'll just leave it up. It'll soon be forgotten ... but not by me.

Thank you, good people, for the grace to let me be 'smarmy'.

Star Wars Defence Initiative


Missile Hit Dying Satellite, Official Says - Orlando News Story - WKMG Orlando
In case you were wondering, the ship-launched SM3 missile DID hit the satellite, according to "one official" (of the two interviewed). He said it was to early to determine whether it hit the specific fuel tank, the contents of which constituted a 'toxic substance' (hydrazine) which, it was hoped, would vent into empty space rather than to be carried back to the surface of the earth.

Maybe tomorrow we'll know about that.

Sure hope that it lands in the sea, as opposed to on land where people are vulnerable to impact.

For those who haven't been keeping track of the SWDI project, this is Ronald Reagan's continental defense system against ICBMs. It has taken over 20 years to develop to the point where defenders were able to destroy 12 of the 14 test missiles ... which were rated at about 3' long, which is much smaller than the satellite whose orbit had decayed to the point where it was destined to fall from the sky. The SM3 missiles had been planned to hit the satellite at an altitude of about 150 miles above the earth, outside the atmosphere, and as such constituted a much more difficult than the guided missiles which it had been designed to target.

Why was this a more difficult target?

The missile was essentially 'heat homing', as would be the case in relatively short-flight ground-launched ground-to-ground missiles with a flight time of mere hours, if not missiles -- thus retaining much of the heat of the engine firing.

The satellite had been orbiting in space long enough for the heat-energy to have been radiated away, so the only hope of the project designers was that the satellite might have absorbed sufficient heat from the sun to be detected against the background of cold space.

According to McClatchey Newspapers (via World Net Daily), the closing velocity between missile and target was around 22,000mph. Much of the preceding comments were based on information available from this website during the past few days.

(See also the article at Defenslink)

2006 King Air Gear-Up Landing


The Hobo Brasser is my ultimate source for nearly ALL the miscellaneous 'blogmeat' videos and pictures, and this one is no exception.

As the title suggests, this shows a perfect landing ... I mean, truly perfect! ... of an airplane which can't get its wheels down.

You can download this (5mb) WMV format video here, but this is how it looks in a much smaller and grainer Blogspot version.




video

Do we remember these?

Again, thanks to The Hobo Brasser (that aged reprobate).
click here

Computers: the Luddites were right!

Even my mother is a geek!

Mom, who was born in 1918 (do the math), was gifted with a computer a few Christmases ago because AOL offered a computer complete with monitor for about $200. Her children and grandchildren thought it would help her to communicate with far-flung friends and family.

Got the picture? An 80+ year-old great-gramma gets a computer and discovers the thril of email, via AOL.

What's more, she learns more than she wanted to know about computer games.

As time went on, we (her family) realized that she couldn't easily access internet photo-galleries of her grand-chilluns, because the dial-up modem was SO SLOW!

Enter best-intentioned Geek son:

"Hey, Mom! How about I get you Cable Modem access to the Internet? No cost to you. It'll be good, trust me; and Merry Christmas!"

Enter The Cable Guys, who can't complete the installation because as soon as the install the firmware (she already has a cable modem, under the Comcast "Magic Plan", she already has cable TV and cable Phone service) ... the computer won''t work.

Geek again: "Hey Mom! How about I get you a new computer? No cost to you. It'll be good, trust me; and Happy Birthday?

Today the 'new' computer (a refurbished business Dell) was delivered to her home. I drive down to Springfield to set up her new computer.

It doesn't work. Well, the cable guys couldn't get it to work last week, and simply replacing the compute still doesn't give her a screen. We don't know what's wrong.

Drive over to my sister's house to borrow another monitor. No image on the computer.

Working magic with power cables from another electric outlet (to isolate the power supply), hooking up the new computer and the new borrowed monitor, it still doesn't work.

Geek confusion: the monitor and new computer are isolated, plugged into the socket in the bathroom, and ... they ... don't ... work!

Geek is entirely perplexed. New computer, new modem, new power source; what could be more simple?

Hard to define a simpler, more pure test bed, but either two computers are toasted (one recently refurbished by Tiger Direct), or there is some weird mojo working here.

Eventually the Geek goes home without having resolved Mom's computer problems.

The only good news out of this litany of tears is that Mom and Sis give me my Christmas and Birthday presents, which are personally rewarding but embarassing considering that the supposed presents to Mom don't ... work.

Sister vowed to get a Geeks A'knocking dude to make a house call to figure out what's wrong with Mom's computer setup. Geek goes home, defeated and technically embarrassed, to contemplate his sins.

Anybody have any idea what causes this? And no, I know power is delivered to the PC. But no image is transferred to the monitor.

Darn! I hate hardware ... I'm a Software kinda guy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

AA-12


The Hobo Brasser point-shoots this video depicting a new design of full-auto shotgun. "It's the only large-bore weapon that's designed this way" That is to say, the recoil is 'totally' absorbed by the mechanism, which aids in accuracy

This video is available on YouTube here, where you can find other video demonstrations.

Most impressive is the "AA-12 Part 2" video, which shows men shooting the gun on full-auto without benefit of a shoulder-to-gun connection.

Yes, the videos show that the recoil does not cause the muzzle to rise, as is the case of ALL other full-auto weapons.

But as I watched the first minute of the original video, I noticed some dramatic misses ... usually UNDER the target, which suggests that the shooter was overcompensating for a non-existant muzzle rize.

The gun, when fired in semi-automatic mode, is capable of adequate ... even extreme ... accuracy, if the claims are to be believed. ("One hundred seventy five yard accurate fire", "You can put 12 rounds through a window at 100 yards in four seconds".)

Still, most people shooting a full-auto weapon WILL miss their target a significant percent of the time.

Why?

Because we get all excited when shooting full-auto, even if there is NO recoil-induced muzzle movement. We get so caught up with shooting a lot of ammo in a short time, we viscerally forget that the purpose of the exercise is to put the shot on the target, and then index to the next target.

This gun is (as is mentioned in the video) superbly qualified for certain specific missions. Case in point: "Clearing a room in an urban setting." I do admit that 'a lot' of 12-gauge shotgun rounds in a closed room is extremely intimidating, if not always effective. However, I'm not convinced that a full-auto shotgun is a military weapon whose time has come ....

... flashback: Viet Nam, 1969.
Dude, this would have been SO useful for point-men in a "search and destroy" mission. The problem has ever been that when you walk into an ambush, the only thing the point-men could do was lay down such a heavy base of fire that it would momentarily suppress incoming fire long enough to bail out of the kill-zone and allow your following squad, platoon or company to react to an 'instant ambush'.

Either that, or lay down to avoid being hit by enemy fire.l

Either that, or die.

Sometimes, hitting the target is not the only purpose of firing on an aggressor.
Sometimes, the best you can do is to so intimidate the enemy that they drop their volume of fire so you can escape the kill-zone.

I'm still not convinced that this new weapon is as effective as it is advertised to be in terms of lethal force.

But I am convinced that it has a certain level of effectiveness in terms of suppressing enemy fire.

In certain narrowly defined situations, it can bring a quantity of fire to bear with the effect of allowing elements of the advance party to egress an unsurvivable situation.

That alone is worth the price of admission.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Goodbye Guns and Clark Garen

The Unofficial IPSC List today offered (via listmember John H.) an interesting 'grass roots' attempt at Gun Control:


Here's the original post:

We, the people, therefore call upon you, our elected representatives, to enact legislation to remove all guns and firearms from private ownership. We, the people, call upon you, our elected representatives, to enact laws to:

  1. Create a one year period for the United States of America to purchase at fair market value all guns and firearms, including hand guns, rifles, and even antique guns and rifles from domestic private ownership.
  2. Prohibit and criminalize the domestic sale of guns and firearms, whether new or used.
  3. Seize and destroy any gun or firearm found after the termination of the purchase period without compensation.
  4. Prohibit and criminalize the domestic possession of a gun or firearm after the termination of the one year purchase period.
  5. Provide exemptions for governmental law enforcement agencies, the armed services, and bona fide museums.

http://www.goodbyeguns.org/
--
"John McCain has always prided himself
as a man who marches to the beat of a
different drummer … [h]ow depressing to
learn that the drummer is Ted Kennedy."
Okay, that last non-indented was John's personal tagline. I liked it, I included it. It's my blog, I can do that.

Being a blogger and an analyst, I was sufficiently curious that I followed the link. Sure enough the website "goodbyeguns.org" actually exists. There's not a lot of content there, but that much of the quote is extant in fact.

There's more: there is a name there ... ''
A PETITION SPONSORED BY THINK RADIO CLARK GAREN
So I GOOGLED 'Clark Garen', and I found this:

What a guy!

Despite charges of bankruptcy fraud (not proven), unresolved (contested! Free Speech, nonviolent acts of civil disobedience!) tax liens on Los Angeles property, practicing law without a license in Nevada, operating a "900" business without a business license (it was "his mother's" business, and besides it was a "976" business), a "false arrest" suit, a "large number" (7) of Bar procedures "instigated by creditors", Mr Garen's application for admission to the Washington Bar ... originally rejected due to "lack of good moral character" ... was overthrown.

Comments in the final findings, which was unable to substantiate "lack of good moral character", include:


"Mr. Garen’s apparent lack of candor makes the committee somewhat apprehensive. It appears as though Mr. Garen usually tells the technical truth, yet a lack of openness and candor is apparent both through the letters and responses to questions given to him by the committee."


and

Perhaps in hindsight Mr. Garen should have volunteered more, however, that does not demonstrate the intentional deception necessary to overcome Mr. Garen’s proof of good moral character.


Ultimately, the court offered this observation:

Oscar Wilde once said, "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people whom we personally dislike."\Fn.8

\Fn.8—Quoted in Mark R. Privratsky, A Critical Review Culminating in Practical Bar Examination Application Techniques in Regards to the "Good Moral Character Requirement"—In re Majorek, 244 Neb. 595, 508 N.W.2d 273 (1993), 74 Neb. L. Rev. 324, 325 (1995).

Given there was no real evidence of bad moral character on Mr. Garen’s part, perhaps this explains why the committee did not recommend that Mr. Garen be admitted. I can find no other.

Throughout its history, the moral fitness requirement has functioned primarily as a cultural showpiece. In that role, it has excommunicated a diverse and changing community, variously defined to include not only former felons, but women, minorities, adulterers, radicals, and bankrupts. . . . In the absence of meaningful standards or professional consensus, the filtering process has proved inconsistent, idiosyncratic, and needlessly intrusive. We have developed neither a coherent concept of professional character nor effective procedures to predict it. Rather, we have maintained a licensing ritual that too often has debased the ideals it seeks to sustain.

Deborah L. Rhode, Moral Character as a Professional Credential, 94 Yale L. J. 491, 493-94 (1985).

Mr. Garen has proven a prima facie case of good moral character. The Character and Fitness Committee has provided no express findings to the contrary. He is, and has been, an attorney in good standing for many years in both California and Texas. I, for one, would welcome him to practice in this State. I request publication of this dissent.\Fn.9

\Fn.9—By majority vote the court has denied my request to publish.


Mr. Garen, esq., has suffered a world of legal attacks and has emerged unscathed.

However, that doesn't make him a likable character. Given the sentiments expressed at goodbyeguns.com, I don't like him.

That doesn't mean he's a 'bad guy'. It may just mean that my standards are different from the Washington State Bar.

Other links for Clark Garen: "Victims"; "Firing Line Forum".

Encoded Ammunition: Maryland - They're Baaack!

Maryland Shall Issue has some new information, as well as a link to all the "encoded ammunition" articles here. The nice thing is that they have the 'local' take on House Bill 517.

I was not aware that the Encoded Ammunition bill of 2007 (which had died in committee as a result of the usual Sunset clause) was re-introduced in 2008. On January 1, 2008, in point of fact.

The Maryland bill, having been read into record, is in the Judiciary Ways & Means committee, and there will be a First Hearing on February 26, 2008, at 1pm.

All of the 'usual suspect' clauses are in HB217 (PDF): applies to "regulated firearms" (45 brands/models defined, including several shotguns and I have no idea how to encode #9 shot! but there is a clause which exempts these firearms; only encoded ammunition to be sold as of 1/1/09; all uncoded ammunition to be "disposed of" (no compensation) by 1/1/11; penalties for manufacturers, retailers and private citizens; both bullet and cartridge case must be encoded, but no requirement that the case be encoded 'on the inside'; exemptions for LEO and military; tax relief of 0.5% of sales for retailer; bill to be effective 7/1/08.

I apologize for telling you that the Maryland bill had failed. It had, but this is the "Night of the Living Dead version (2.0).

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Called on the Carpet"

The day before Valentine's Day, I posted an article titled "Encoded Ammunition - Pro and Con". There I attempted to find (besides the source of the recent attacks on the 2nd Amendment via 'Encoded Ammunition ban") an internet website ... any website! ... which represented "organized efforts at a national level to counter these bills".

I went through National NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations", such as the NRA) and finally reduced my search to bloggers.

In the process I listed the most (to my mind) prominent bloggers and described their efforts to (a) oppose the recent bills introduced to state legislatures, and (b) identify the anti-gun organizations which might be behind such anti-RKBA attacks.

I went through the links on my blog sidebar, visited the posts on each website for the month of February (during which period the majority of the Encoded Ammunition bills had been introduced in 2008), and reported on the attention that this issue had enjoyed.

The results of this survey appeared on February 13, 2008, at 11:35pm.

I was surprised that the very next day, February 14, 2008, at 3:40pm, Dr. John Lott posted an article responding to my comments.

My Comment:

John Lott - Nothing.

His response:

2/14/2008

Encoded ammunition

Here is some discussion on encoded ammunition. I am called on the carpet for not dealing with this issue, though I have written on this type of question in the past and I had thought that I had put up one post on this. The problem is that in California they already have so many gun laws this law will not actually have any effect. There will be no newly designed guns because of other gun laws even if this new rule hadn't been passed.

Labels:

posted by John Lott at 3:40 PM

...

Well, he has a point. Several points, in fact.

First, I don't know whether or not he has addressed this issue. My guess is that he has discussed the California Microstamping Law, recently passed and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, which requires firearms to 'microstamp' a serial number on the primer of each round fired through a gun. (This would be by virtue of an encoding on the firing pin of every 'legal' firearm.)

This clearly has no direct correlation to the recent proposition of bills which requires that bullets (and sometimes the interior of cartridge cases) be 'encoded' with an unique serial number which is in turn related to the serial number of a 'lot' (box) of ammunition purchased by a retailer.

Perhaps Dr. Lott is not aware of the TWELVE states which have introduced this and similar bills during the 2007 - 2008 legislative period. (Note that six of these bills have been introduced in 2008.)

Second, I'm distressed that he considers my inclusion of his blog in the list of those which have 'nothing' to say about this disturbing trend.

Third, I'm disconcerted that he seems to take a defensive attitude toward my assertion that he has done 'nothing' to address this recent, pervasive issue which has appeared in twelve states (six of them since the current 2008 legislative session).

Finally, and ultimately, I'm concerned that he appears more willing to defend his own personal position in re the "you have nothing to say" issue than the "someone is working to attack the second amendment via unsupportable bills restricting ammunition accessibility" issue.

I am confident that Dr. Lott has yet to examine, and appreciate, the issue; and when he has time to examine it, he will perform his own examination (or take advantage of that research which we have done here), and will eventually provide his own unique and reasoned perspective discourse on the issue.

Until then, we are left to consider only the reactive, defensive position initially described by Dr. Lott and we are bereft of his usually scholarly evaluation.

I do hope that Dr. Lott can get past his original dismissive evaluation of these laws, and recognize them as an organized 'back door' attack on the Second Amendment.

It's easy to dismiss these bills as something which the sponsors recognize as infeasible nuisance suits. But it doesn't take a lot of imagination to perceive that these bills, proliferated among so many states, might conceivably be passed in at least one state ... which would bode ill in other states in which similar bills might be proposed. After all, if one state passed such a bill into law, it would set a burdensome precedent.

With Dr. Lott's active support, we have a chance to successfully oppose such bills. Without Dr. Lott's active support the counter-arguments have a much lower chance of success.

I wonder if Dr. Lott realizes how important his input may be in the effort to oppose these bills.

And NO, Dr. Lott, I have NOT 'called you on the carpet'.

I only encourage you to evaluate the recent bills, and to take a stance consistent with your earlier avocation of Gun Rights.



Without the support