Saturday, December 26, 2015

We now return you to ....

Christmas is over.  Is it okay to revert to the normal state of irreverence now?

There are two things that I don't understand, but I'm willing to accept:

  1. Electricity
  2. Religion
I know when I flip that light switch, the lights will brighten up the un-vacuumed corners of my hovel.  Which isn't always what I want to see, but I'm willing to accept the bad with the good.

And I know that when I pray to God ... I don't see the light.   But I know he's there anyway, because the bible tells me so.
Also, because God has this very weird sense of humor, as evidenced by a lot of embarrassing personal incidents in my life which I have absolutely NO intention  to discuss!

But the thing about Christmas is that people say and do a lot of irreverent things, and there is no news reports that they were struck by a bolt of lightening for doing so.  Therefore, I think maybe I can get away with showing a few of the videos other people have made.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Delaware Violence: NY Times disappointed in CDC reporting

Delaware has a problem with "Violence" which is among the greatest in America.   That much we can say.

So Delaware asked the Center for Disease Control to research the problem; which the CDC did.

But the New York Times (and people in Delaware) are disappointed that the CDC report covered 'violence in Delaware' rather than "GUN Violence in Delaware'.

NPR said the things that Delaware wanted to say, but the CDC couldn't report that information directly.

The New York Times: (note: unable to append the NYT video interview because of proprietary constraints it isn't available on YouTube) covered the CDC report, but focused  on the disappointment that: ",.. (u)nfortunately they [the CDC] feel like they can only talk about part of the problem, they can’t talk about the gun part of the problem... ”
[emphasis added]
The Wilmington research [by the CDC] sidestepped the funding restrictions, because it was a response to a request and because “it doesn’t focus as much on the issue of guns themselves; it really focuses on these other risk factors and ways to intervene,” said. Dr. Linda Degutis, the former director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the C.D.C. She added that it was frustrating to be unable to do an extensive study on gun violence while she was there.
 David Hemenway, a director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, said that could be a shortcoming of an effort to look at gun violence. “Unfortunately they feel like they can only talk about part of the problem, they can’t talk about the gun part of the problem,” Dr. Hemenway said, adding, “Looking at the supply side — how do they get these destructive weapons?”
 Questions remain about whether the focus on risk factors before a shooting amounts to profiling people who have not committed a crime, and how exactly to coordinate data, social, health and educational services that could help intervene. Still, public health experts say it is a methodically sound and instructive study, if limited. “If there were adequate funding on firearm-related research, there would have been papers out on this a decade ago, not just in Wilmington, but in many other large cities,” Dr. Miller said.
Shouldn't any report on "Violence" consider all forms of Violence?  Unfortunately, too often news-source reporting will focus on "gun violence" rather than 'all violence'.

Unless you are the 800 pound Gorilla in the story .... the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
And then ... you are congressionaly BARRED from glamorizing Gun Violence

The CDC has found itself constrained from researching/reporting strictly on "Gun Violence" because for a time their research on that subject was unbalanced; they spent their efforts on the negative aspects of firearms ownership while ignoring the positive aspects.  Specifically, they declined to report on the lives saved by individuals who were able to defend themselves, their families, their homes and their possessions because they had legal access to firearms.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Darwinian Solutions

Sweet Suffering Jehovah, has it been only one day since I posted this article about people pointing toy guns at people carrying real guns?

Now we hear that "merry pranksters" are similarly risking their lives with "toy" bombs:

No, The Fake-bomb Tossing Jalal Brothers Didn't Get Shot:
Videos from three Arab-Australian brothers have been shared everywhere on social media in recent days as they’ve turned fears of terrorism into fodder for pranks.  They dress up in “traditional” Arab dress, walk up on unsuspecting citizens, and throw backpack “bombs” at random citizens before running away, capturing the victim’s desperate attempts at escaping on hidden cameras.
Apparently there is even a sham element where one or more of these fun-loving adolescents (?) is reported to have been shot during such an ill-considered act of sophomoric japery.

These heckle-and-jeckle idiots have so far got away with their shenanigans in Australia because that country's citizens has been emasculated disarmed by their government.

But even if there is little danger of being shot, some people won't tolerate rude behavior.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Seattle Follow-up

Comments are often the most interesting things that happen on this blog.

In reference to the Article:
Seattle, the big target isn't the people who cause the problem

There was an especially interesting aside from ARCHER:

Archer said...
Besides which, the Seattle Times gets it wrong in their title line: It’s common sense for Seattle to tax gun sales to study violence

The money isn't going to "study violence". It's going into "'gun violence' prevention programs". There's a subtle difference.

It's been known for years that "'gun violence' prevention programs" are a euphemism for "gun control" programs and groups. The "tax" basically forces lawful gun owners to fund the demise of their own rights.

Should toy guns be illegal?

Man with toy gun killed by Baltimore cop. Should toy guns be illegal? ( video) -
An off-duty Baltimore policeman on Saturday shot and killed a man he says appeared to be holding him at gunpoint in the suburbs of Linthicum Heights. But when Anne Arudnel County detectives surveyed the crime scene, they realized the would-be robber was wielding a toy gun.
Amid national debate over US gun laws, some think banning fake guns is a no-brainer.
By Story Hinckley, Staff DECEMBER 21, 2015  

I agree, I think banning fake guns is is a no-brainer.
As in: anyone who thinks banning fake guns has no brain cells worth preserving.

Don't blame the "gun"; blame the actors who precipitate the tragedy.  (Often the person who gave a kid a realistic-looking toy gun.  See below.)

We read a couple of stories a year about someone getting shot (usually by a police officer) because they are brandishing a toy gun.   Sometimes that is a tool which a person is using to commit a crime, as in this case.

Sometimes it is a toy which a child waves at a policeman, thinking it a harmless joke; it never is.  
It's too often a tragedy:

See: Tamir Rice
See: Andy Lopez

In the child's case, they needed to be taught by their parent, guardian, responsible adult or that weird 'uncle' who shows up to talk to mamma .... that it is never a good idea to threaten someone with a toy, even as a joke.   That's Lesson Number One in Responsible Gun Ownership (and if you don't think kids learn how to be responsible when they get their first toy gun, you are part of the problem.)

In the case of a hold-up, life is like a box of chawk-uh-lahts; you never know what you're going to get when you're trying to strong-arm an armed cop ... or citizen.

Why would a hold-up man (or boy) try to rob a stranger using a toy gun?  

  • he's very new to the game and can't afford a real gun; 
  • or because he keeps buying dope with the money he's stolen before and forgets to buy a gun;
  • or because he's trying to avoid being charged with Armed Robbery in case he gets busted;
  • or because he is desperate;
  • or because he doesn't REALLY want to shoot someone, and figures the worst that can happen is he gets the crap beat out of him:
  • or because he is stupid.  (Well, that much is reliably assumable, right from the get-go!)
He probably doesn't expect to get shot.
(Which right there, in four words, is the best argument for Concealed Carry Laws As An Aid To Social Respect.)

The thing is, the cop doesn't know it's a toy.  He has to assume it's a real gun, and he's about to get shot.  It's that thing about decision-making, judgement, confusion, Situational Awareness and Rule Number One (see below).

What the hell is "Safe Hollow Ammunition"?

I just found this .... curious .... terminology in a Daily Caller article (see below) by reputable author Alan Korwin (see citation below).

It is an interesting article, and starts by examining the basis of the theme (KORWIN: America’s Real Gun Problem - The Gun Myths | The Daily Caller:) with a comprehensive enumeration and discussion.   Overall, a pithy and entertaining essay.

Toward the end of the article, I ran into this paragraph:
The Off-Duty Officer Myth: Off duty or retired LEOs, if given national freedom to carry, particularly outside their jurisdiction, will mistakenly shoot innocent civilians and cost cities billions in liability. Proven false. When the LEOSA act passed in 2004, after multiple failed attempts, every honorable former and current peace officer gained the ability to carry discreetly nationwide (a precursor for the public’s similar right,which hasn’t yet materialized). Further law was needed to let officers carry safe hollow ammunition, to which some jurisdictions ignorantly raised objections
I admit, I'm not any kind of authority.  I'm 70 years old, got my first rifle at age 10, killed my first deer at 13, my first antelope at 18, etc.  Platoon Sgt in Vietnam.  And yeah, competition shooter for over 50 years blogging here for 7 years this month.   But I have never heard the term SAFE HOLLOW AMMUNITION.

I first thought thought it might be a simple un-noticed typographical error; but the phrase "safe HOLLOW" instead of "HOLLOW-POINT" threw me.   How could that slip through the final draft of a professional writer?

I goggled the term, received links to the same article at FIVE different websites (one of which was a broken link) and checked the comments; nobody else seems to have been confused enough to follow up on the terminology.

So here I am at the court of public opinion, requesting assistance from the greater experiential database of my mulliions (sic) of dedicated readers.


Alan Korwin is the author of 14 books, 10 of them on gun law. His book After You Shoot examines ways to lower your risks after a self-defense shooting. He has been invited twice to observe oral argument in gun cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. Reach him at, where he is the publisher of Bloomfield Press.

Monday, December 21, 2015

SpaceX Rocket Destroyed on Way to Space Station

I was born in 1945.

I grew up listening to "Space Rangers"  (who flew the space skies in the rocket ship "Polaris")  on the radio.

Who knew that, in my lifetime, headline stories such as this would become so common-place that they would receive so little attention?

SpaceX Rocket Destroyed on Way to Space Station, Cargo Lost |
An unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station broke apart Sunday shortly after liftoff. It was a severe blow to NASA, the third cargo mission to fail in eight months. The accident happened about 2  minutes into the flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. A billowing white cloud emerged in the sky, growing bigger and bigger, then fiery plumes shot out. Pieces of the rocket could be seen falling into the Atlantic like a fireworks display gone wrong. More than 5,200 pounds of space station cargo were on board, including the first docking port designed for future commercial crew capsules, a new spacesuit and a water filtration system.

Life is worth the living, because you can never guess what's going to happen tomorrow ... which has become today.

Congress passed a new budget

Nancy Pelosi is happy with the budget.

Anything that Nancy likes ... frightens me.

OH ... and Congress-critter Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is a frightening representative!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tip of the Ice Berg

Open letter to the City of Seattle, Washington:

Dear Seattle;

(Image courtesy of CNS NEWS)

It’s common sense for Seattle to tax gun sales to study violence | The Seattle Times:
Washington’s law prohibits the regulation of firearms by local governments, but Seattle is within its authority to impose fees to pay for a public-health crisis caused by gun violence. A $25 tax on each firearm sold within the city is reasonable, as is a 2-cent- or 5-cent-per-round tax for various types of ammunition. The city is so serious about tackling this problem, it plans to pay for research and prevention even if the court sides with the gun-rights coalition. But the city shouldn’t have to. If Seattle gets this right, other cities should also pitch in to solve this public-health crisis.

(All emphasis added by me)

Reasonable.  By your standards, perhaps.
Unconstitutional, by the Second Amendment.

When your article inserts the word "but ...", it's a tacit acknowledgement that you're advocating a measure which undermines the civil rights of your readership.  And you know it.  You just think that your readers are so stupid, or so already-in-your-court, that you can say ANYTHING and your readers will accept it.   Because they trust you.

You are trading in the trust of your customers, undermining their rights, and you have such disdain for them that you assume they won't notice your goal ... which is to serve them up for the dinner which is your political masters.

There is nothing new in your plan to impose "reasonable, common sense measures"
(BZZZT! Bullshit Alert!) for benign administrative purposes.

New York Senator  Daniel Patrick Moynihan had the same idea in 1993 when he proposed a 10,000% tax on ammunition.

November 04, 1993|By John Fairhall | John Fairhall,Washington BureauWASHINGTON -- Demanding action to stop the country's epidemic of violence, a powerful Senate chairman declared yesterday that his panel would make handgun control an integral part of health care reform by drastically increasing the tax on bullets.
Finance Committee Chairman Daniel Patrick Moynihan said the panel would build into health reform legislation such a huge increase in ammunition taxes that the most destructive types of bullets would effectively be taxed "out of existence."
The New York Democrat introduced a measure yesterday -- which he would incorporate into a health care reform bill later on -- that would impose a 100-fold increase in the tax on certain bullets and a 50 percent tax on all other handgun ammunition, with the exception of .22 caliber rimfire bullets used in target shooting. The current tax is 11 percent of the manufacturers' ammunition price.

His legislation also would slap a $10,000 "occupational tax" on manufacturers and importers of handgun ammunition.

But Moynihan, then, was more honest than Seattle is now:
  • Mr. Moynihan said he believed the new taxes could raise as much as $1 billion. The current federal tax on ammunition, combined with federal taxes on handguns, shotguns and rifles, generated $143 million in 1992, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  • But the senator said his major goal was not to raise revenue but to tax "out of existence" ammunition "which has the sole purpose destroying bodies."

... while you, Seattle, dodge the issue by suggesting that "... it's common sense to tax gun sales ..." for whatever transparent excuse you choose to employ.

In truth, Seattle Times, and Seattle Washington, you just want to tax ammunition (and firearms .. both of which are legal products) "out of existence".

This proposition for a tax on the Second Amendment is like putting a frog in a crock-pot; if the water is initially only 'warm', the frog won't notice that sooner or later it's being boiled.

Why do you advocate this?
Because you can!

Is it any wonder that Americans have increasingly demonstrated that they no longer trust their government, but fear it?  This happens when the Government which they have elected has turned against the best interests of their constituents ... or should we say "Subjects"? ... to further a Political Goal?