Saturday, February 13, 2016

More Guns Linked to More Mass Shootings? NO redeeming factors? Hah!

Study: More Guns Linked to More Mass Shootings | RealClearScience:
(February 02, 2016)
After peaking in the 1980s and early 1990s, crime has plummeted in the United States. The rates of forcible rape, murder, violent crime, property crime, and aggravated assault are currently as low as they were in the 1960s.
Some studies have suggested strongly that this reduction in crime can be directly tied to the increase in the number of states which allow concealed carry (and often "open carry" ... where firearms are NOT concealed but in open view ... predominately in holsters) by private citizens.  

("Correlation does not imply causation", but the author of this article uses the word "relationship" in the discussion.   Based on that synchronicity,  it seems reasonable to suggest that some 'relationship' exists between the statistics on violent crime and the increased presence of 'carried' firearms.)
 While these statistics demonstrate that Americans are about as safe from crime as they have been in over a half-century, there is a particularly horrendous type of crime that has been alarmingly on the uptick: public mass shootings. In places like San Bernadino, California, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Roseburg, Oregon, Charleston, South Carolina, and Newtown, Connecticut, innocents have been mercilessly gunned down in great numbers.
However, other studies , such as the Texas A&M study reported here dispute that assumption:
According to the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, crime, and specifically violent crime, has been decreasing nationally since 1993, with a similar decline in other Western nations. Some commentators claim the decline in the United States is attributed to the increase in concealed carry legislation. But criminologists point to a variety of factors that have lead to the drop in crime, including changes in policing, punishment, crime prevention technology and socio-economic factors.
The Texas Tribune article, quoting state Rep. Garnet Coleman, a Houston Democrat who chairs the House County Affairs Committee, which tackles criminal justice issues asserts that:
“People who commit crimes are less likely to go through that background check,” he said.  It’s also unlikely that a concealed handgun license holder would be in the right place at the right time to stop a crime, Coleman said.
That statement seems a little disingenuous.  The purpose of undergoing a background check to acquire a concealed carry permit is specifically to catch criminals ... who don't want to apply for a license to do the illegal actions for which they need guns.  ("Circular Reasoning" is a difficult concept to explain.)

As to the "unlikely" probability that a CHL holder "would 'be in the right place at the right time" is disproved daily in news reports.  For example, John Lott recently described four crimes stopped by civilian handgun carriers in one week in December, 2915.

And  in April of 2015, Lott (author of "More Guns, Less Crime") published an article titled
(Please follow the links from that starting point ... there is a lot of information, including links to published articles.)

This is all background, presented to establish the statistical evidence that firearms ownership DOES have a positive effect on crime prevention, and introducing another opinion on the question whether (civilian) concealed carry provides another approach to crime prevention.

Justice Antonin Scalia, RIP.

Justice Antonin Scalia, RIP.:
The El Paso ABC News affiliate reports, “Catholic Priest Mike Alcuino out of Presidio was called to the ranch and administered Justice Scalia’s last rights just moments ago.” The 79-year-old died in his sleep last night after a day of quail hunting at Cibolo Creek Ranch outside of Marfa, Texas. The Justice did not report feeling ill and retired to his room after dinner. The source, who was traveling with Scalia, told ABC-7 an El Paso priest has been called to Marfa. Scalia was the longest-serving current Justice on the Supreme Court. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Scalia’s death leaves a vacancy on the court. The court can operate with eight justices, but any decisions that result in a 4-4 split among the justices leave the lower court decision unchanged:

UPDATE: Supreme Court Neutrality, RIP: 
But Obama quickly vowed that he would nominate a replacement to the Supreme Court and expected the Senate to confirm his choice.
“I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time,” he said. “There will plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote.”
Obama said he took his constitutional responsibilities “seriously.”
“They’re bigger than any one party,” he added. “They’re about our democracy.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

OMG! I had no IDEA that killing Bambi was morally reprehensible !

The Victims of Gun Violence Politicians Won't Talk About:

In the brewing national discussion on gun violence, the most numerous victims--animals--are left out of the conversation. For every human life taken by a gun, hundreds, if not thousands, of nonhuman lives have also been taken. Yet for these victims, gun control advocates not only erase their deaths, but also actively promote and protect the killings. We fail to label the unnecessary killing of animals as gun violence, and instead we euphemize and romanticize it as "sportsmanship." But hunting is gun violence. A bullet ripping through flesh, puncturing arteries, taking a life is violence no matter the victim's species. And these deaths are far from as clean and easy as often presented

Liberals are SO funny when they get on their moral high-horse.

(Sorry, I imagine the expression "High-Horse" is probably species-ist.  Or whatever.)

I like Vegetarians ... like Bambi,  More tasty, less filling.

(Butterfly not included.  YMMV.)

Meat-eater comments are actively solicited.

COSMO gives us the straight poop about guns and relationships

It's Time To Talk About What Guns Have to Do With Dating:

"So can we talk about your guns?"

Oh dear, it's all about that "CAN WE TALK" thingie, all over again.

Generally speaking, the person who wants to talk about "your guns" is the one who is obsessed by them.  If it's not you ... find another partner.

If it's you ... get a life.

Keep BOTH hands on the steering wheel while driving

Man Dies In I-75 Crash While Allegedly Watching Porn Behind The Wheel, Pantsless  CBS Detroit: DETROIT (CBS Detroit)A new level of distracted driving was reached when a 58-year-old man, allegedly preoccupied by a pornographic movie on his phone, crashed and rolled his vehicle. It happened at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday on the ramp from the Lodge to I-75 in Detroit, Michigan State Police told WWJ 950. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said it’s the strangest thing he’s ever encountered on the roadway. “We see people putting on makeup, we see people doing different things as far as hygiene, as far as reading books, it’s almost to the fact there’s so much technology out there a lot of people are more paying attention to what they’re doing other than driving their cars,” Shaw said. Clifford Ray Jones of Detroit was partially ejected through the sunroof when his 1996 Toyota rolled and he was thrown from the vehicle and died.

There's a truly climactic pun here somewhere, but I'm not going to touch it!

Oh, Crap!

Okay, I should have been more ... demure .. in the title.  But still, that's what it's all about.

For no definable reason, I'm listening to NPR this morning.  Okay, it's because nobody else is broadcasting at this hour (does that mean that NPR is really needy?)

Why does nobody else listen to NPR?  Well, at this moment, the guy and gurl are talking about HIS issues with walking his dog.

As in, the dog poops, and he's picking it up in a plastic bag.

I ask you ... is that significant of a political attitude?

Guys I know just .. let the poop lay where it is.  Not THEIR problem!  (Okay, those of us who follow their path may be  discomforted ... but it's indicative of "deal with it" attitudes of Conservative people, so ... mmm okay, it IS MY problem, isn't it?

So, I'm listening to NPR (because that's the only radio station that is on at this time of day) and some of the things they say are .. wow!  just stupid!

Example: the thing I talked about before, withe the guy who walks his dog and picks up the dog-poop in a plastic bag.

I'm sure that conservative people are as responsible about their canine pets, but really?

Oh, Crap!

Perhaps I need to spend more time listening to NPR (National Public Radio), but I'm afraid that there is a limit to the degree of nausea that I'm willing to endure.

So .. what's the equanimity between dog shit and NPR?

Oh, pretty much the same thing.  I don't even have to WORK for a punch line this morning.

This is why I don't think "The Shooting Wire" is as worthwhile as it use to be!

Odds and Ends | Shooting Wire:
First, the "internet controversy" du jour: A lot of internet traffic was generated over a snippet of video that apparently depicted an unintended discharge of a firearm, the subject being a nationally known instructor. Immediately the internet peanut gallery began throwing stones. Admittedly, some of the critics have some background – but many have no apparent background. That the object of the exercise had some people making excuses didn't help. Adults in the room – Dave Spaulding and Pat Rogers – noted that people using machines have accidents and that doesn't make them "bad." Attacking people with keyboard vitriol is counterproductive and silly.
You people, those of you who consider yourself to be the intelligentsia of the Firearms Community, make the rest of us look bad.

Really bad.

WTF is this, where you're making excuses for a "professional" who can't keep his booger-hook off the bang-switch?

RICH GRASSI ... In case you were not aware, there are NO excuses for pumping a round down-range without a target.  Holy Christmas, how can you be so forgiving of a major safety fuckup?

You seem to be mildly disappointed, in a very forgiving and gentile manner, that some under-trained and over-reactive bloggers criticize this "ND" incident.

Well, we are are not as cosmopolitan as you are.  To you, it's a 'glitch'.

For some of us .. the experienced and highly trained Range Officers?\

Okay, I may have overstated it, but for me?  I think that anyone who did what this guy did (Can I say "Negligent Discharge" without seeming to be over-reacting?) should be really uncomfortable with his "oopsy", and his friends should NOT be excusing that action which is the WORST THING YOU CAN DO in a competitive environment.

So, there are people who screw up, and they are disqualified from further competition during that match.

On the other hand, there are people who screw up, and they are on the 'buddy list" (not related to a competitive environment), and their friends are all too ready to forgive them.

"Hey, it would have been worse .. the gun might not have been pointed downrange!"

Hey, Asshole .. there could have been someone downrange taping targets.

ANYONE who excuses unsafe gun-handling practices because "nothing bad happened", is not only teaching new shooters the priority of Gun Handling Rules, but is in fact supporting people who fuck up .. when they deserve to be held up as a good example of bad safety practices.

And BTW .. attacking people with a keyboard may seem "SILLY" to you, but some of us do that only because we weren't at the range when this "professional" fucked up, and we couldn't bitch-slap him at the time.

Which he very much deserved.

Oh, and Mister Apologist?

You deserve a Bitch Slap of your own,

Sixties Music: Iron Butterfly

a few days ago I eulogized Signe Tolson, citing "Tobacco Road" as her signature contribution to American musical history.

That was the 1960's version.   The saying goes, if you remember the sixties ... you were never really IN it!

Having never been a member of the drug culture, I have no idea what that means.  But I spent a LOT of time in Bars in the late sixties, and two songs that were ALWAYS on the Juke Box (kids, ask your parents what this means) were "Tobacco Road" and .... one other.

The other song was sometimes either "White Rabbit" or "Somebody To Love";

 Gracie Slick stepped in for Signe and deserves an entire accolade for herself, but honey, you gotta die to get a NUMBER ONE WITH A BULLET on this chart.  (AND yes, I did buy SURREALISTIC PILLOW on

Still ... and I'm going back to the comments section from that original post ... there are some people who just get all cranky about how hard "Hard Rock" should/could be , so the Professor crank up the Way Back Machine for this one ... special ... psychedelic moment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the unofficial theme song of IPSC:

INNA GADDA DA VIDA, by Iron Butterfly! (All 17 minutes of the Full Version .. play it as background while you surf the net ... I do.)

WHY have I designated this the "unofficial theme song of IPSC?

 Because it takes FOREVER to get through; nobody understands it, but they really like it; and if they don't, they play it once and then they never come back to it.

Trust me on this.

Al Jazeera America objects to Republicans who insist on voter photo IDs

Republicans Champion Voter ID Laws | Al Jazeera America:

Voting rights advocates say that what voter ID laws are really good at is making it more difficult for a particular subset of Americans to vote; primarily low-income black and Latino citizens — groups who tend to vote for Democratic candidates. The relative lack of academic data on voter suppression can make it a difficult argument to prove or dismiss. Voter ID proponents, for example, often point to studies showing an increase in black voter turnout in some states after voter ID laws took effect, while opponents highlight studies in other states that show the opposite result. Perez finds turnout to be an inherently flawed metric.
Has anyone suggested this in Chicago?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Draft Chicks!

Never Yet Melted  Why Republicans Were Suggesting Women Should Register For the Draft:

Many – I want to say most – men cannot handle the rigors of combat arms jobs, and it is reflected in the wash out rates just in the infantry. The two things the flurry of studies before this stroke-of-a-pen change have proven about women in combat arms are: if the president says women shall graduate Ranger school, then farking wimmin shall farking graduate farking Ranger school, and the standards shall be de facto lowered.
Oh, yeah?

You've been there?

I've between 145 and 125 pounds while I was in the Army, and I was an Infantry platoon sgt.

If the criteria was "could I have carried a wounded man" while I was in Viet Nam, the answer is NO, I could not have done so.

But I did my job, and I never had to carry a wounded man out of a combat situation.  I worked hard to ensure than my men were not needlessly subjected to the vagaries of war .. including wound.

No, I was not always able to protect them from wounds; the few men wounded under my guidance never noticed the balance I had to achieve between caution and aggression.

  No, it was not always an easy job, and no, the troops usually never noticed, let alone acknowledged, the things their Platoon Sergeant did to keep them alive.

If you think that a 125 woman could not have performed her job in the same situation, you're just crazy.  The job of a trooper may be more physical than that of a leader, but competence in a lesser role causes a member to be promoted to a leader role.  
Which is very much more complicated and onerous, but requires less PHYSICAL contribution to the mission.   (Which is why I don't think that Women should be 'shielded' from the Combat branches of the military .. such as Infantry, Artillery, and Cavalry.

(Okay, Artillery has to do mostly with toting heavy shells to the gun; that specifically requires "upper Body Strength", which is gender-specific)

Hello. My name is Johnny CasSSSccccrreeeeech LAWDOG!

One of the most entertaining blogs since Kim De Tuit has resurfaced and I'm pleased to welcome LAWDOG back!

I have been a faithful follower of Brother LAWDOG for several years, but on April 15 of 2015 he just ... quit posting!

Bummer, Dude!

This morning, I found a link to his most recent post

apparently, he resumed posting on February 01, 2015.

The most recent post was February 08, 2015 ... two days ago.

Excuse my unseemly excitement, but I've missed The Dog.

I strongly encourage you to go check out the blog.   Texas lawman, laconic sense of humor, erudite and amusing.

Public attention encourages men who provide sunshine on cloudy days.

What's not to like?

(It has been too long since I was able to use the LAWDOG label on my posts)

"Don't put that on the f*ckin' film, holy shit!"

Uncut Travis Haley Negligent Discharge:
Posted by: ENDO-Mike February 8, 2016

 I was getting tagged dozens of times in a 5 second clip of this video on Instagram.  I had no idea what the context was since the clip was so short, so I gave Travis the benefit of the doubt initially.  In this full video we see him demonstrating pushing his index finger on the magazine release at 1:46 when it slips off and hits the trigger which fires a round off.  Embarrassing?  Sure.  No one died and hopefully he learned from the incident.  What else can a person do right?  I’ve never had an accidental or negligent discharge, but I also don’t handle firearms day in and day out, and manipulate loaded firearms in front of cameras while talking and demonstrating different things.

 TOO MUCH TO SAY .. I don't know where to start!

Okay, here's a place to start:
The only 'safe place" to put your trigger finger when you have no intention to shoot is along the receiver above the trigger group.

When I saw the video and heard "Haley" say he would put his finger inside the trigger guard, but in front of the trigger .. or rest it on the magazine release housing (in front of the trigger) but "put tension on the trigger finger" I knew that was a recipe for disaster.   It made me cringe to watch it.

"Disaster" is defined as ND (Negligent Discharge).

How Police Can Get Around "Open Carry" laws to harass you

Connecticut Carry - Press Releases:
On February 5th, Senior Assistant State's Attorney Timothy Sugrue published a memorandum to the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office detailing first what everyone in Connecticut should already know: The unconcealed carry of a firearm with a valid Permit to Carry Pistols or Revolvers is 100% lawful, and that police cannot stop a person carrying a firearm unconcealed (Open Carry) to demand their permit absent Reasonable Articulable Suspicion of a crime.
Here's the link to that "memorandum".

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Up In Arms

PART 01:
The question is whether a Methodist college should sponsor a "shooting program".  The Alumni are "up in arms" because they believe that a religious institutions should not promote any activity which involves guns.

(H/T: The Gun Feed)

While it's not clear what kind of 'shooting sports program' is involved, it seems reasonable to assume that this is a .22 caliber rifle/smallbore/bullseye target competition activity.

In a word, it's similar to throwing darts in a pub.
Oh, wait; that would also be contrary to religious priorities.

PART 02:
"It's clear that the students don't want guns on campus, the faculty don't want guns on campus, the parents of students don't want guns on campus and the we feel the majority of Kansas doesn't want this either," says Meagen Youngdahl with the Kansas Coalition for a Gun-Free Campus.
Oh.  That's okay, then.  If students, faculty, parents AND "Kansas" are all agreed that they don't want guns on campus, the solution is simple, and obvious:
Don't bring a gun on campus.
See how easy that was?
Now, if you can only convince that wild-eyed 18-year-old maniac with a stolen gun that he shouldn't shoot up your campus, there should no problem.

(PS:  You might consider sending an email to ISIS ... you know, those guys with that 'other' religious view ... telling them that they can not bring guns on campus, either.  That should solve THAT problem.)

Monday, February 08, 2016

Hoplophobia: "Blue Steel"

Hoplophobia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Hoplophobia is a political neologism coined by retired American military officer Jeff Cooper as a pejorative to describe an "irrational aversion to weapons." It is also used to describe the "fear of firearms"or the "fear of armed citizens." Hoplophobia is a political term and not a recognized medical phobia.
I've been talking about people with an irrational fear of guns, and the people who own guns, for years no.  (Actually, for decades; I started talking about them in 1984 .. which seems appropriate).
But I have never rarely used the term.

Recent articles which I have published addressed this cultural dichotomy in specific situations, but never referenced the word.

I'll be using this as a label on future articles, where appropriate, because it's a much more accurate term than those which I have most often used (such as "Gun Control").

I may, time permitting, go back to recent articles and attach that label to those articles which discuss people who area vehemently against private ownership of firearms because "guns kill people".

The best example of this that I can think of off-hand is the jamie lee curtis/ron silver movie "Blue Steel", where Ron Silver's character finds a revolver and becomes obsessed with shooting people ... merely because he has a gun, and because it empowers his latent psycho tendencies. (you can watch the movie on youtube)

Because they don't trust ANYBODY, that's why: Double Think v. Cognitive Dissonance

Newtown group seeks city-wide ban on carrying guns in businesses:
February 07, 2016
The Newtown Action Alliance, a gun control group based in Connecticut, has sent a letter to all of their local businesses requesting that they make their properties gun free zones, and not allow firearms to be carried on their premises. 
As is typical of all gun-control activists, this group does not believe that anyone can possibly justify being armed in public places.

Why? Because guns kill people.

These people would rather depend on their local sheriff to defend the public than anyone with a concealed carry license.  Because they trust the sheriff, but they don't trust armed civilians.

The problem is, these Newtown folks (and others with the same mindset) find themselves unable or unwilling to accept the "vetting" process by which their local sheriff determines that specific Concealed Carry License holders are legally determined to be a minimal threat to the community.

Which is to say, they trust their local sheriff to rescue them when they are threatened, but they do not trust their local sheriff to reliably identify and approve non-LEOs to possess the means to defend themselves (and others) when 'the police are just minutes away'.

There are two psychological term for this: the first is Cognitive Dissonance

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Brits: Still Crazy, After All These Years

Bang, bang -- democracy’s dead: Obama and the politics of gun control | OUPblog:
Don't you love it when the Brits criticize the Colonists for liking guns too much?

And now here's a British Academic suggesting that what we REALLY NEED is a "Benevolent Dictator"!  Damn Brits, they still want to tell us how to live.

Would that be, like, a King?  You know, a Ruling Monarch, like you guys have.  Y'all would love that, wouldn't you?  Someone who could just wave his pen and his cell phone and declare that the  Constitution was so much shit.  (Okay, I'm getting a little scared now.)

Maybe there is a residual resentment that Americans are free citizens, rather than 'subjects', and as such we get to decide for ourselves how we want to live.  (See: "Constitution" which applies to all American citizens vs "Magna Carta" which applies to English Nobelmen.)

Those goofy Brits, they're still pissed about that whole Concord/Lexington kerfuffle where they got their ass handed to them when they tried to take guns away from Americans.   Remember that time where they resented the American Independence Movement so they tried to resolve the issue using GUNS?

Didn't work out all that well for you, did  it?   And you're STILL trying to tell us how to live.

In some ways American gun control has regressed rather than progressed in recent years as the federal ban on military assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that existed between 1994-2004 has not been renewed by Congress. But it’s too easy to exaggerate the threats or to ridicule gun toting Americans but the reality is far more sad: most deaths occur from guns being used to commit suicide, or are found by children and toddlers who mistake them for toys with devastating effects. When it comes to gun control and American politics then maybe – just maybe – could there be a case for a benevolent dictator who understands that the ballot and bullets, just like guns and safety, just don’t mix?

(The Brits have always taken the Moral High Ground when it comes to firearms.  Well, after WWII, when we shipped a shitload of GUNS to them when they were in danger of being over-run by the Krauts; and then when that wasn't enough we came over and did their dirty work for them?  They resented us.     We saved their ass, and they never forgave us for that.)  

Oh crap, these same guys (The Brits) who wanted to kill Americans 300 years ago because we were too damned INDEPENDENT  have never forgiven us for our .. uh ... independence.  But today, they seem to have finally accepted that they are never going to dominate us politically, or militarily, so they're going to smash us by Speaking Ill Of Us!

So much for us ...

... but what about THEM?

"TIME" gets it wrong again .. as usual.

The Historical Problem With the Word ‘Militia’ | TIME:

But militias have historically been in service to the American government, not aligned against it. In trading on the language of militias, the Bundy group camouflages what it really is: an armed gang attempting to pervert history.

"Militias", and other similar groups ("ref: "Minute Men"), have NEVER " ... been in service to the American Government".

They have been, historically, in service to the American People.

After more than 200 years, we are only a heartbeat away from being "an Independent People" rather than "Subjects To The Crown".

"The Government" is not necessarily "the American People", and it is difficult to understand why a respected  media outlet would make such a fundamental error .. unless it has an agenda which is contrary to the rights of "The People".

Which Time Magazine clearly represents.

(Assume 3,000 word essay describing the difference between "The Government" and "The People", and also Time Magazine .. to which I once subscribed before I realized it was a huge malodorous pile of bovine excreta.)

Shooting Culture: "Sometimes, you just need to shoot out of the box"

Competition shooting isn't just about "Hitting the A-zone"; sometimes it's about the friends you make.    Nobody talks about that any more.

I teach a monthly class (club sponsored) in "Introduction to USPSA".   My only criteria in accepting new students is that they have previous experience in handgun shooting, and that they care enough about receiving training to actually spend an afternoon in the class.  There is no charge for the class, I present the training just to encourage new shooters (or, sometimes, to discourage those who have neither the basic experience or skills to safely handle a pistol).   The class is advertised as "an ADVANCED class, and students who cannot perform basic gun-handling skills will not successfully complete the course".

SOMEBODY needs to evaluate the two-part skills sets of "new shooters":
(1) basic gun-handling expertise
(2) 'advanced' gun-handling under the stress of time factors

This is essentially a method of allowing shooters to experience "stressful" competition situations, so they can decide for themselves whether they should enter the competition pistol milieu.   It's sufficiently rigorous so that people who can't learn ... are discouraged.  (Not by me, but by their own experience in a setting which loosely parallels the competition environment which they have decided to "try out").

 Those who can learn are encouraged, because they advance their skills sets in a single afternoon of shooting.

Those who cannot learn usually never come back, because they have proved to themselves that they either need to get more training, or they just don't care enough about competitive pistol shooting to learn the skill sets needed to perform competitively.

Fifty percent of my students do not, historically, ever attempt to shoot in a match.
Fifty percent of those who do participate in competition never come back to shoot a second match.

Some of those who pass those two informal "filters" decide that they have learned what they need to know, but they are not really interested in competition.  

A small minority of people who take this class go on to compete, and may or may not continue for more than a couple of matches.

But the people who do come back are hooked for life.  And they learn more every time they shoot a match.

I've said most of that before, but for this month's class I was joined by my shooting-buddy "The Hobo Brasser" who volunteered to help me in the class.   He was not rewarded by the club for his contribution (he's not a member of the same gun club) but he just wanted to get some trigger time in, and this seemed like a good opportunity to shoot without having to pay match fees.