Friday, March 23, 2018

When a second-grader pointed a gun at me, I'm glad I wasn't armed

When a second-grader pointed a gun at me, I'm glad I wasn't armed - Chicago Tribune:

(A teacher recounts the story of when a student pointed a gun at her ... and she wonders how she responded had she been armed.)

IN THE EVENT, she talked the child down and carefully removed his gun from his hand.

When I first read this story, I wondered why it was news-worthy; then I realized that the casual reader probably expected that the teacher would have over-reacted.

Teachers don't do that; and neither do armed citizens.  This is a point which many people do not expect, because they assume that the immediate reaction to presentation of a gun would be violent.

They think that anyone who presents a gun, intends to shoot it.
They think that the only valid reaction to threatened violence is real violence.

That's not true.

There are three scenarios when you may find yourself confronted with a gun:

1:  when it is someone you know personally, and you have established a relationshiop;
2: when it is someone you know personally, and there is no relationship;
3: when it is a total stranger.

(1) when it is someone you know, they may not have your death as their primary goal.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TAKE THE GUN AWAY FROM THEM!

They are making a statement, and your best approach is to ignore the gun.
It isn't there.  They are not threatening your life.  They don't really want to shoot you.

Ignore the gun.  Speak to them calmly, rationally, and don't talk about the threat which they have interposed in the dialogue which has not yet been identified.

They don't want to shoot you; they just want to emphasize that their interpersonal issues with you are so severe (to them), they feel the need to catch your attention.

The gun is just a tool; it is not a threat.  Listen to them; the issues they bring up may not seem significant to you ... but that may be part of the problem.   They just want you to listen to them, so listen to them!

(2) when it is someone you know, but there is no "interpersonal problem" as far as you know ... the same thing; don't try to take the gun away from them

They want to talk, and your best response is to listen to them.  Agree with then if you must, but do not agree that violence is a valid response.   It's not a time to enter into an argument, but it may be a time when their issues are more important to them than your life.

(3) when it is a stranger, who has a goal which you may not yet know  ... allow yourself to enter into a conversation.  Are they trying to rob you?  Give them your money; you can get more.
Do they have societal issues?   Be gentle with them; you may not agree with them, but arguing is not A Good Idea!

Instead, allow them to "vent" their frustrations.   It's not necessary for you to agree with them ... they just want to have their moment to express themselves.

Did Ronald Reagan cause the proliferation of untreated mental illness in America?

I've been under the impression that the Reagan Administration de-funded institutional health care for Americans with mental illness.  In fact, I understood that he closed down federal support for programs and hospitals which treated the mentally ill, and this lack of support might be the genesis of the recent wave of untreated mentally ill who have gone on to become mass murderers.

After an evening spent exploring this hypothesis online, I'm less certain than I was that it was 'all his fault". 

There are a variety of online resources which address this issue, and there are so many that it's nearly impossible to understand the situation in the 1980's which ... one way or the other ... may have contributed to mass murders today.

One online resource asserts that the defunding of mental hospitals did not originate with Reagan, but with JFK
But more to the point—the POLICY of the federal government in particular to move away from hospital care for those deemed mentally ill did not derive from Reagan, but a President before him named Kennedy. JFK was the first one who proposed, and had passed, policies with started such a process ,,,
Another (online) source asserts that the Reagan administration was solely responsible for the defunding of mental health programs:
Then came Ronald Reagan. Within a month, the Office of Management Budget announced it would curtail the budget of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), phase out training of clinicians, interrupt research, and eliminate services. Cutbacks to staff followed; chaos ensued. Experienced people left, others remained in government service but were forced into menial jobs. Trained professionals were reassigned to labs to dissect dead rats; science writers were reassigned to typing pools. The Mental Health Systems Act would be disappear. Instead, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (1982) would merge money for mental health programs into block grants, and with fewer dollars going to the states. They had the discretion to use them however they saw fit, often to perpetuate programs already deemed problematic. The pretense for all this was the president's concept of a "new federalism."
"Many of our dreams were gone," wrote Rosalynn Carter in Helping Someone with Mental Illness. "It was a bitter loss."
This latter opinion is that which is most familiar to me; the Reagan Administration  deliberately cut funding for all mental health programs, much to the discomfort of the priorities of the preceding *(Carter) administration.

Whether or not any of these presidents were responsible for the societal havoc we know today, I'm unwilling to offer an opinion.   But I would be willing to accept that none of them were without blame.   It seems to me that between conflicting priorities, an unawareness of changes in the American psyche, and an unwillingness to accept blame for the sins of preceding administrations ... these may have been among the least effective presidents in terms of protecting Americans from domestic havoc.

SO ... we have THREE Presidential Administrations   (Carter, Reagan; Kennedy) which may or may not have been primarily responsible for, or may (or may not) have contributed to, the proliferation of untreated crazy people who are now shooting up our fellow Americans.

And I'm reluctant to point the finger at any of the 3 presidents who lead the nation during the decade when our country gravitated from "a nation of individuals" to "a gun-free zone". 
(With an entirely different interpretation of "gun-free zone" than we had known before.)

Who was it who let the crazies prevail?

I have no immediate interest in imposing my own personal opinion on the reader. 

But I do wish to challenge each of you to do your own research, and express your developed opinion on ...


Republican Omnibus Bill Will Authorize CDC to Perform 'Gun Violence Research' | Breitbart

Here's the problem with the "Republican Omnibus Bill":

Long long ago, and far far away, the "Dickey Amendment" was imposed by gun-rights people who didn't think that the Center for Disease Control should use their populist power specifically to undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans by using their  popularity to campaign against Second Amendment Rights.

Specifically, they spent a lot of time enumerating the negative effects of  "Gun Violence", bur failed to balance their opinions by mentioning that many Americans had used firearms to defend health, hearth and home.  So in the interest of fairness, folks decided that the CDC website ... paid for by federal funds (our taxes!) should at least make an effort to present a "balanced" interpretation of American firearms laws.  Which CDC did .. reluctantly.

For a while.

But now, the outrage has died down, and CDC is migrating back to it's original issue of treating "Firearms Violence" as if it were a "Disease".  And a lot of folks are insulted tht their defensive measures are unjustly categorized by a public venue.
Republican Omnibus Bill Will Authorize CDC to Perform 'Gun Violence Research' | Breitbart: Republicans will be using the omnibus bill to clarify that the Centers for Control and Prevention (CDC) can perform “gun violence research.” The Democrats wanted a full repeal of the Dickey Amendment, and Republicans demurred but met them halfway by agreeing to make it clear that the CDC is not barred from doing the researc
Now Second Amendment Advocates are making an effort to "meet them half-way", which allows the Center for Disease Control to acknowledge that firearms are not-infrequently used to defend honest citizens against predation ... and are therefore not "always bad".

(The "Dickey Amendment" was intended to stifle CDC postings on 2nd Amendment issues because of previous articles which were one-sided against private ownership of firearms.)

The 'repeal' of the Dickey Amendment allows CDC to regain research on Gun Control issues.

Will the CDC again open the door to viewing Second Amendment Freedoms as a danger to Americans?   This does not bode well for the 2nd amendment, and anti-gunners are quick to take advantage of their newly opened venue for attacks on America's First Freedom.

Whether this more lenient approach to gun control research will allow more open-ness to a balanced version of gun control, or whether it will revert to its original viewpoint of total negativity, is yet to be seen.

For today, the latest responses (see above) seem to demonstrate that the anti-second amendment cadre is again using this federal study to bolster their efforts to undermine our Constitutional rights.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Candidate Calls for 'Peaceful Armed Protest' at City Council

Peaceful armed protest is welcomed. If you are planning to open carry, please do so with unloaded weapons.”

What's notable about this short news story from New Mexico is that it was published as it if were "News Worthy".

The point seems to be that a political candidate called for "Peaceful Armed Protest".

It seems that the Main Stream Media cannot conceive of a peaceful protest by armed citizens.

(I note in passing that there were no "follow-up" stories reporting a massacre at the Las Cruces City Council meeting.)
There's something wrong in America, the land of the Second Amendment, when tabloid writers consider a peaceful protest by an "Armed Citizen" to be an anomalous event.

Given the recent string of school shootings, it seems only reasonable that Americans might choose to attend public forums while armed in defense of themselves, and others.

Candidate Calls for 'Peaceful Armed Protest' at City Council | KGRT | Your Country | Las Cruces, NM:
When people say there were fireworks at a city council meeting, it’s almost always hyperbole. It may be a more apt description for today’s 1 p.m. meeting of the Las Cruces City Council following a Facebook post by Republican candidate for probate judge, William Webb. In response to a deadly string of school shootings, including the February 14th Florida school massacre of 17 people and the December 2017 shooting in Aztec, New Mexico, that left two student athletes dead, the City Council is scheduled to debate a resolution on guns. Saying the Communists and Fascists on the City Council were trying to pass a resolution to outlaw the sale and ownership of automatic weapons, Webb wrote, “Come out and stand up for your rights! Peaceful armed protest is welcomed. If you are planning to open carry, please do so with unloaded weapons.”
(all emphasis added)

Turn Up The Volume!

It don't get no better than this.

"Gun Sense Vermont" offended by NRA contributions to students

They didn't know whether to Sh*t or go blind, so they closed their eyes and pharted.

 Clai Lasher-Sommers, executive director of the gun-control group Gun Sense Vermont, said public schools and universities should refuse money from NRA-affiliated entities because their parent organization lobbies against gun regulations. "When the NRA goes in to provide bullets to students, I just find that problematic," she said. But according to Evan Hughes, a leader of Vermont's NRA chapter, the grants largely support training for women and students,

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Massad Ayoob “Cute” Lawyer Tricks.

Massad Ayoob “Cute” Lawyer Tricks.: This one is for your lunch break or post work enjoyment with adult beverage. A veritable wealth of information from Mas.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

If you don't know what you're talking about, you shouldn't be talking about it

I love it when anti-gun advocates provide specific information about why they don't like guns ... and then they get it WRONG!
Anti-Gun Group Tweets a Photo of a Gun...They've Loaded The Magazine Backwards | MRCTV:
 Everytown For Gun Safety, an anti-gun activist group known for posting all kinds of false stats about gun violence in an effort to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights, tweeted a Newsweek article alleging that arming teachers would somehow make minority children in urban schools "less safe." Perhaps even more ridiculous than the premise of the article was the photo along with it: a gun, with a magazine that's loaded...backwards.
This is just one more reason why we are justified in ignoring their pallid political posturing.

If they have a political agenda, they should at least demonstrate some expertise in the subject they're so adamantly against!

I love it when the opposition steps on their own tiny dick.

"... the real defenders of the second amendment oppose the NRA"?

A recent opinion piece in The Guardian postulates that the NRA is not a "real defender" of the 2nd Amendment.

(The Guardian?   I thought they were a British website ... why are they worried about American firearms laws?)

Only the Brits would postulate that an argument against a Constitutional Right is actually an argument FOR it.
Why the real defenders of the second amendment oppose the NRA | Corey Brettschneider | Opinion | The Guardian: Perhaps no subsection of a political movement is so passionately animated by a clause of the US constitution. As many a gun enthusiast is eager to say, gun regulation is a non-starter; the second amendment is the law of the land, so the government can’t tell me what to do with my guns. But those seeking sensible gun regulation – like the 83% of Americans who support a mandatory waiting period for buying a gun and the 67% of Americans who agree with a ban on assault weapons – should not just accept the distortion of the second amendment as fact. Instead, they should loudly respond that gun regulation’s proponents, not the NRA, are the true defenders of the second amendment. In fact, both supreme court case law and the text of the second amendment itself support reasonable regulations on guns. As written, the constitution and the second amendment permit precisely the kind of regulation Congress should enact.
Actually, this is not a common interpretation; America' defenders of the second amendment are NOT those who would undermine our constitutional right to "KEEP AND BEAR ARMS".   What part of "... shall not be infringed ..." seems complicated?

What IS complicated, and is  the most controversial part of the 2nd Amendment, is the word "regulated".   Original (18th Century) definition may offer the interpretation as "according to current usage" or "well practiced"; but recent definitions seem to emphasize "limited by law" or other similar restrictions.

The Tyranny of the Majority:
Regarding recent American politics (specifically initiatives), some writers argue that:
One of the original concerns about direct democracy is the potential it has to allow a majority of voters to trample the rights of minorities. Many still worry that the process can be used to harm gays and lesbians as well as ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities. ... Recent scholarly research shows that the initiative process is sometimes prone to produce laws that disadvantage relatively powerless minorities ... State and local ballot initiatives have been used to undo policies – such as school desegregation, protections against job and housing discrimination, and affirmative action – that minorities have secured from legislatures
The curious case of a British writer condemning the American Constitution probably isn't merely a social disagreement, but a refusal to accept that America rebelled against British rule because the mores and practices of that homogeneous culture were not appropriate to the priority of Americans to completely reject any movement which undermined our own right to self-determination.

And after 200 years, The Brits are still going "Tsk-Tsk" when they see Americans making decisions which seem inappropriate to our former masters ... who didn't have what it takes to hold on to their former "colony".   (And who eventually lost all their "Colonies" along with their power due to the effeminization of their culture.)

. Brits are forbidden to use as much as a kitchen knife to protect themselves against a home invader, and are subject to prosecution if they injure an intruder;   Americans consider an ounce-and-a-half of buckshot to be the perfect defense of property, home and family;
. Brits require extensive documentation and "special permission" to possess firearms; Americans who have never been convicted of a felony (or, now, misdemeanor "social crimes" such as family fights), are free to buy almost anything but cannons, rocket-launchers and full-automatic weapons.
. Brits are 'subjects"; Americans are Citizens.

Given all the above, it seems obvious that British citizens do not now, nor will they ever, understand why Americans are all about their rights.    The Brits, you see, are all about suppression of minority rights ... the rights of the individual.

Because, you see, we have rightsBrits only have "exceptions".

And that, Children, is why Britain was well on its way to becoming a Nazi subject-state before America entered World War II;   Brits are historically appeasers. 

There is a famous quote to the effect that "America and England are two countries which are divided by a common language" ... or words to that effect.
Americans still don't much give a damn what you think about us.
A good fight is always reason enough.

Ban Assault Weapons!

A new poll shows that 70% of Americans — and more than half of Republicans — support stricter laws on assault weapons in the wake of a deadly shooting in Florida.
According to the poll from Business Insider's partner MSN, 87% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans support stricter laws on assault weapons.
I don't know what most Americans consider an "Assault Weapon", and I suspect the most Americans don't know what it is, either; but a recent poll suggests that 90% of Americans are "against them"!
(MY best guess: it's a semi-automatic long-arm which fires one shot with one pull of the trigger, without the need to deliberately cycle a bolt or other mechanism to load the next round into the chamber.   But that's just a guess!   MSM isn't telling us what they consider an "Assault Weapon!")
I don't know why so many people are against a semi-automatic rifle,

I own a .22 caliber rifle which by the most vague of definitions, might be considered an "Assault Weapon"; but it constitutes no great threat to Joe America,

Main-Stream America seems to have rallied against the term, even if they don't seen to know what the heck it is.

Which doesn't speak well for Joe America, or the Mainstream Media ... all of whom seem determined to rally around the public outcry against a squirrel gun!

Assault weapons ban: 70% of US wants stricter assault weapon laws - Business Insider:
 A new poll shows that 70% of Americans — and more than half of Republicans — support stricter laws on assault weapons in the wake of a deadly shooting in Florida. According to the poll from Business Insider's partner MSN, 87% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans support stricter laws on assault weapons. The nationwide average of 70% is even higher than the 67% that want to ban assault weapons and the 66% that wanted tougher gun laws in general in a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Those figures are the highest ever in the 10-year history of the poll.


"The highest ever" outrage against "Assault Weapons", and they can't even define them? That doesn't speak well for either "Mainstream Media" or the "American Public".
Americans sometimes seem to pay more attention the the media than to our own native intelligence.

It doesn't speak well  of us when we allow ourselves to let strangers dictate our political and moral interpretation of the daily opinions we read in the newspapers.

Ask yourself; when was the last time you were threatened by someone who wasn't trying to hold up a liquor store or a late-night market?

And when was the last time you were threatened by a legal concealed-carrier who just wants to be left alone? 

(HINT:  You probably never knew that the guy next to you in the check-out line was carrying a concealed weapon .... because it never is shown except in defense.)

But if you really needed somebody on your side, and that anonymous stranger defended you and everyone else in the store ... I bet you were glad he was there.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Uber Dangerous

The Age of the Machine: not just A Bad Idea!

I've long had the opinion that "Self-driving cars" were not only just an idea whose time had not come, but were a threat.   It gives me no pleasure to have my anti-machine opinions vindicated at the cost of human life. 

But it was only a matter of time.

I've a decades long history of participation in the Computer Age, and I know that if there is a way for a computer to f*ck up ... it will.

Sadly, this proof resulted in the death of a human ... someone with a family and people who cared about her, rather than the extension of a bunch of bits and bytes who know no better than what it has been programmed by fallible humans who couldn't possible anticipate all of the ways Something Can Go Wrong.

Self-driving Uber kills Arizona woman in first fatal crash involving pedestrian:
An autonomous Uber car killed a woman in the street in Arizona, police said, in what appears to be the first reported fatal crash involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in the US. Tempe police said the self-driving car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that the vehicle hit a woman, who was walking outside of the crosswalk and later died at a hospital. There was a vehicle operator inside the car at the time of the crash.
[Emphasis added: it won't be the last.]

I'm probably not the first person to make this recommendation, but I join others in advocating for the absolute condemnation of "Self-Driving" automobiles.

Get them off the road, and keep them in the Dumping of Unfounded Technical Dreams.

I don't know who convinced governmental regulating agencies that "it was worth a try" to validate computerized cars, but I think the son of a bitch deserves a hanging tree.

This is not acceptable.  I'd rather see a drunk driver than a computerized car!

At least when a drunk driver kills an innocent, you know who to hang, and can be assured that he will never again be responsible for the death of an innocent.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Professional Athlete has the answer ...and it's not stupid! (Go figure!)

Shaquille O'Neal's solution for safer schools is more cops; says gun ban not the answer -
 Shaquille O'Neal is a longtime friend of the police. He's running for sheriff in Georgia in 2020, he was named an honorary officer after completing an unofficial police academy program in 2016 and he's remained outspoken on police rights. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Shaq's answer to school shootings is to make schools safer by placing cops around them, not by banning guns.
Well, more laws have never been effective.
Why wouldn't a basketball star's advice be more effective than a politicians?

So .. you want I should REGISTER my guns????

A recurring question that we are asked, not only by gun control advocates, but even by a number of gun owners is, "What's wrong with mandatory gun registration?" Usually by the time we finish telling them about the Supreme Court decision U.S. v. Haynes (1968), they are laughing -- and they understand our objection to registration.

Registration??   Fat chance, and slim chance ... your choice, Legislators!

There is an emerging legislative requirement for  Firearms Owners to join a list of nasty people who own  guns.  This is presented as a public health issue ... what if your gun is stolen? 
According to this MANDATORY law, you should  have previously identified a stolen gun (which may have subsequently been used in a crime, and you should have already reported it even if you were not aware of your loss) as "Not Now Yours").

(Some states MANDATE that you must report a "stolen gun" ... I'm not sure how that works out; if someone steals your gun and uses it to commit a crime, are you a felon if you didn't notice that your gun-safe is missing a gun?)

I (kind of) understand the "logic" behind these new gun laws; legislators impose a responsibility for every firearms owner to track  every firearm they own.

Well, I don't even know how many guns are in  my safe, but I'm sure I have the serial numbers,  and photos & description of all my guns, on a protected Internet file.

I'm sure. 

As if I would make this information available online!

Because next week, when Congress decides in a (frequently occurring) moment of inanity that All Guns Must Be Registered,  some goof whose salary is provided by the ungoverned-government, there will  a low-level governmental fuctionary goof  knocking at my (and your!) door asking to inventory your guns.

Why would they do this?  Why would our political masters  need to know what guns you own?

One reason: so they can take them away from you.  

( I don't much care if they take YOUR guns, but God Help Us if they try to confiscate MY guns!)

Because it's the first step to confiscation, IS Registration!

(And yes ... I admit that I'm less than confident that America's Government has my confidentiality as a primary consideration!)

So let me make this pont:  If we are to consider it a reasonable action of our Government to track firearms transfers ... why don't they just note the transfer of "a firearm" from person A to person B??

Why do they require the details of the GUN?

Oh ... they want to register every firearm which is involved in any sale, loan or other transfer of possession.   They dojn't care who owns it ... as long as they know the current owner, a description of the firearm, the serial number and who had it last.

They do this "for the children" I'm pretty sure.

The Traveling Wilburys

Thought I would write all about them, wanted to include a video .. then decided you could better fisk them for yourself.  An offshoot of The Beatles, not-just-good-but-GREAT music.

Want a teaser?  You probably remember them, but never hooked the name with the music.
It starts out with Tom Petty!

So here's a starter number to make you track them as I did, once I got started:

(Didn't want to jam your space with huge videos ... but you DO know who are the members of the band?     It includes The Beatles, and gets better!)

Oh ,.. and "The Wanderer"?   It don't get no better than that!

HInt:  Roy Orbison, The Beatles?

Never mind, nobody ever heard of them, they can't be that good ....

and if that's not geeie enough for you, see here!

FORCE teachers to carry arms? Not happning?

Gallup: 18% of Teachers Willing to Carry Guns in Schools - Liberty Park Press:
 A new Gallup survey revealed this week that 18 percent of America’s teachers would be willing to carry guns in school buildings, a fact that runs against the grain for a majority of educators, but might be typical of any group in which there is a small percentage of people who step forward for any task.