Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Someone's not a Fan of the NRA

The gentleman who wrote this article isn't a fan of the NRA. However, his credibility is tied up in one paragraph:
If I hate the NRA so much, why did I buy a gun at 37? As a meat eater with no particular desire to become a vegetarian, I wanted to confront the fact of killing animals for food. Once I took up hunting, I discovered that I relished the time I spent off the grid. Some might scratch this itch with a weekend camping trip. I chose to trudge into the woods before dawn, often in freezing temperatures, to keep a silent vigil in the trees as the morning light begins to filter through the branches. I rarely see a deer. Such a contemplative, frequently fruitless endeavor isn’t for everyone, but it suits me.
That's right. His opinion is worth listening to because he's a hunter. That's the only piece of credibility that he brings to the table. Well, that and the fact of the NRA's admittedly annoying robocalls.

One of his main points is that the NRA, with only 5 million members, doesn't represent the majority of gun owners. He's technically right about that, but he draws the wrong conclusion. While there are a number of Fudds like the article's author running around with only hunting rifles and not caring about any of that pesky gun control, large numbers of people who hold views somewhat in line with the NRA don't donate for whatever reaon, and there's also a significant number of gun owners who hold views far beyond those of the NRA. Those gun owners (such as myself) will, if they have the spare cash, be members of other gun rights organizations. I'm personally a member of Gun Owners of America and the National Association for Gun Rights, both of which are considerably more hardline than the NRA. Now, I'm also a member of the NRA, but, in light of past performance, the NRA has proven willing to either accept limitations upon the right to keep and bear arms (in fact, the NRA supported the National Firearms Act of 34), I donate to the GOA and NAGR to keep the NRA honest.

He uses the usual guilt trip tactics - providing examples of gun use by criminal or deranged individuals, even going so far as to call handgun supporters "handgun apologists".
Last Feb. 10 in Chapel Hill, N.C., 15 miles from my home in Durham, three young Americans of Middle Eastern descent were murdered by a home invader. The killer was their neighbor, notorious and feared around the apartment complex for flashing his perfectly legal concealed handgun. Without his weapon, he would have been an angry but perhaps harmless, crank. With it, he snuffed out three lives in a matter of seconds. The deaths affected our community profoundly — everyone seemed to know someone who knew the victims.
Handgun apologists see nothing wrong with this killer possessing both a gun and a carry permit, because he had no prior record. In the moral reasoning that NRA has honed to soundbite perfection, it was his choice to commit a crime. The gun didn’t shoot itself.
There's a lot of things wrong with this excerpt. Let's start with the idea that "without his weapon, he would have been an angry but perhaps harmless, crank". Has he ever heard of mass stabbings? The killer wouldn't have needed a gun. For three men, all you really need is a big knife and the element of surprise (and depending upon the victims, not even that). Next, the idea that those of us who support gun rights are "handgun apologists". That seems to imply that handguns are the cause of the crime, rather than the tool used to commit it. Are we to regulate just what sort of cars people can drive because of drunk drivers?

While we North Carolinians reel from the killing of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, our legislators continue to chip away at gun laws, an anti-business, anti-faith agenda that has forced shopkeepers, restaurateurs, barkeeps, schoolmasters and clergy to post “no-gun” signs on their doors.
I'm not sure how it's anti-business or anti-faith to make someone post a "no-guns" sign on their door if they don't want guns in their establishment. The only problem I have with it is that, with such a sign, you're announcing to the world that your shop is a safe place to rob/hold a mass shooting in. Or has it slipped your notice that every single successful mass shooting happened in a no gun zone or another place where the shooter could be reasonably confident that no one had a gun?

I agree with the NRA on one point: Tightening controls on gun ownership will not eliminate gun violence. And it may not do much to address the psychopathology of young men who commit mass murder. Timothy McVeigh and the Tsarnaev brothers committed their crimes with bombs, while Adam Lanza, with no criminal record, inexplicably stole his mother’s guns, murdered her, and headed off to Sandy Hook Elementary School.
 At least he's honest enough to admit that gun control won't stop gun crime. Too bad he isn't honest enough to admit that more gun control doesn't mean less crime, and in fact, often results in more violent crime.
There are some signs that this could occur. Thanks to the decline in hunting and in violent crime, the percentage of homes with guns has been waning steadily since the 1970s. In 2014, the figure was reported to be 31 percent. Although there are believed to be about 300 million guns in the United States, they seem to be concentrated in fewer, undoubtedly more fervent hands: aging hands, perhaps. Millennials and guns? Not so much.
I don't know about you, but when someone calls me and asks me if I have guns, I tell them no as a matter of principle. How am I to know that the caller is legitimate and not a criminal checking to see if I own anything of value? While there are certainly a few demographic reasons for the decline in homes with guns, I'm certain that at least part of the reason for the "decline" in gun ownership is reporting bias.

Gun control is a gimmick. A skilled individual can create a professional quality modern firearm with a few commonly available tools. Less skilled individuals can create anything from serviceable (but ugly) firearms to plastic deathtraps. It is literally harder to make meth than it is to make a gun. Moreover, guns aren't even the problem. Criminals - predators in human flesh - are the problem. If you were to somehow remove guns from the situation, all you'd be doing is removing the one chance that physically weaker individuals have against stronger attackers, because criminals don't care if they kill you with a gun or a lead pipe - and in a society where the primary weapon is a lead pipe, a 200 lb male is going to wipe the floor with a 120 lb female, unless the lady has some serious martial arts skill, and possibly not even then.

God made man. Samuel Colt made him equal. Gun control proponents want to remove that equality.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Breakthroughs don't sound like "Eureka", but rather like "Huh, that looks funny"

An early prototype for a warp drive may have been accidentally discovered. If they've actually discovered the basic design for a real Alcubierre warp drive, then we're still at least several decades from manned FTL travel, and several more after that before we get to the point of sending colonies. Don't forget the current state of affairs in space when getting excited.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

When in Doubt, blame the US

Putin is currently accusing the US of helping the Chechen terrorists. I think he's just sore because no matter how hard he tries to disarm the Chechens, the black market and shadetree gunsmiths conspire to keep them armed.
He also claims that "The west is only friendly with Russia when it is on its knees." If true, it might have something to do with such places as Crimea and Georgia, which showed that a Russia that isn't on it's knees makes a really bad neighbor.
Putin defended the annexation of Crimea as a response to the will of the people, which restored "historic justice."
If Putin gets to defend the annexation of Crimea as "historic justice", then we should just resurrect Manifest Destiny and reconquer Mexico. I mean, if that's all the justification that you need to forcibly annex large chunks of land, then we need to get back into the conquering business and really build an American Empire.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Any weapon is better than no weapon at all.

While swords aren't exactly my home defense weapon of choice, they can be very effective in a pinch. I'd rather have a gun, but there's no denying that the distances in homes are rather short, allowing you, or the home invaders to get close - at which point a sword, or even a large knife (especially one designed with fighting in mind) can put a serious hurt on anyone, no matter age or size.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Eternal Patrol

During WWII a great deal of submarines left on the eternal patrol, never to return to port. Most of these submarines were lost with all hands. After the war, submarine losses ended, at least until 10 April 1963, when the USS Thresher went down and never came up. To this day, the Thresher is the last US submarine to have sunk - while major mishaps have happened on other submarines, resulting in decommissioning (notably the USS Bonefish), none of them sank. Let us all lift one in honor of all submarines that never came back to port, those brave souls on the eternal patrol.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The First Amendment and the Anarchist Cookbook

This is a good one. Senator Feinstein has decided that bomb making manuals such as the Anarchist Cookbook and Al Qaeda's Inspire magazine do not deserve to be protected under the First Amendment.
There are a number of issues with her stance, starting with the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
It doesn't say anything in there about getting to choose what counts as protected speech. Otherwise politicians would be banning all sorts of dangerous speech, such as pretty much everything that Dr. Martin Luther King said. That isn't a can of worms that anyone in their right mind wants to open.

The next problem is the technical issues with removing it from the internet. The Anarchist Cookbook (and it's cousin the Anarchist's Cookbook) are both available from hundreds of sources on the internet, ranging from Amazon to The Pirate Bay and its contemporaries. There are a lot of downloaded copies of the book, and Senator Feinstein doesn't seem to realize just how hard it is to prevent people from sharing their copies with other people. Heck, if two parties are using steganography, the Feds might not even realize that someone's sharing the file.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Something to Check Out

Amidst the Noise, an NRA News Commentator, is doing a documentary on the media misrepresentation of violent crime rates. Check it out. I've already backed it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bad Numbers

Apparently statistics relating to mass shooting events have been either "tweeked" by the FBI or misrepresented by the media.
You have to read all the way to the end to get "misrepresentation" viewpoint, but whichever one is true, the fact that one of the most emotion grabbing types of crime has been made to appear more prevalent - a definitely political move - makes it evident that important statistics must be carefully reviewed for fraud whenever they are published.

Hillary Clinton's Email

Here's hoping that this manages to end her political career. With everything that she has been involved with so far, establishing a record of corruption and dishonesty, her political career should have been cut short years ago.
Her continued survival as a viable political candidate is evidence that the American political and legal system is damaged.

Why I love the Mosin-Nagant

The Mosin-Nagant is one of the longest serving rifles the world has ever seen. First entering service in 1891 as the standard infantry rifle of the Russian Empire, it is still in service with insurgent groups, the Finnish military (somewhat modified as the 7.62 Tkiv 85, but undeniably a variant), and possibly some Russian law enforcement. There have been an estimated 36,000,000 produced by Russia/USSR alone, and while not all countries' production can really be counted towards the total (Finland continues to use already produced parts for its guns, including receivers taken from captured Russian weapons), millions more were produced in various countries. With this long history of use, its no surprise that Mosins of one variant of another have been used in every major war since its adoption. At a minimum (Soviet/Warsaw Pact M44s and Chinese Type 53s) any Mosin Nagant is a piece of Cold War history, issued to Eastern bloc armies, militias, and affiliated insurgencies and terrorist organizations, while others may have seen service in WWI, the Russian Civil War, the Finnish Civil war, the Winter War, WWII, the Continuation War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and/or one of the various internal conflicts of the Warsaw Pact. While still in use in Afghanistan and Iraq, you aren't likely to run into a rifle used in either conflict due to US soldiers no longer being allowed to bring back "trophies".
Mosins are used by civilians for a variety of purposes, from target shooting to hunting. The 7.62x54R round can be had for as little as $0.20 a round, making it one of the most affordable rifles to shoot, and with proper ammunition, the Mosin can be used to take down even the largest game in the US.
As a defensive rifle, Mosins generally suffer compared to more modern battle rifles such as the FN FAL, AR15, and AK, due to its limited magazine capacity and lower rate of fire.
Even so, multiple Mosins may be had for the cost of a single more modern rifle, and in a really sticky situation the gun makes a very good war club or, with the addition of a bayonet, a spear, making it a good choice for outfitting a fixed defensive position, bug out bag, or even a platoon of friends on a budget.
The Mosin's issues are more than made up for by the cost of the gun and its ammunition. At current prices, even the most cash strapped can afford to own and regularly shoot a Mosin. Stockpiling ammunition is well within the realm of possibility for most individuals, meaning that, with a little bit of prior planning, you can easily have enough ammunition to last for years.
While harshly criticized for accuracy, the Mosin is considerably more accurate than most give it credit for (as long as the gun is in good condition). The gentleman in the video is hitting steel at 944 yards, without a scope.
Every man should own at least one Mosin, the budget battle rifle.

Current prices range from $139 all the way up to ~$700 for a 91/30 PU sniper. "New" production Mosins are not currently available in the US.