Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Putting Weapons Back On the Street"

From CNN:
New laws force police to put guns back on the street
Well that's one heck of a charged headline. The implications of blood in the streets and dead police officers are par for the course as far as the anti-gun agenda goes. There are a few other real gems in the article, such as:
"My job is to keep my officers safe," said Fred Fletcher, the police chief of Chattanooga, where there have been more than 100 shootings this year. "To send them out to face the same guns they risked their lives to get off the street is a big concern."
While some law enforcement officials support the sale of confiscated guns, a number of police chiefs like Fletcher are speaking out against the practice -- arguing that the risk of selling a gun back to a criminal far outweighs the amount of money they could make.
 Do they not run background checks? You know, the same background checks that every FFL has to run when they sell someone a weapon?
... For those police departments that sell the guns, some only sell to federally-licensed gun dealers, which include everything from online gun emporiums to brick-and-mortar firearm stores. Other law enforcement agencies sell the guns directly to the public through auctions, often at a steep discount compared to what the gun would cost new from a gun store. Safeguards, such as background checks, are required. But that's not always enough.
 Oh, so they do use background checks. Just like FFLs. I'm still waiting to see how this is different from the business that a gun store does - in which used guns are sold for a significantly lower price than new.

... This kind of transaction, known as a straw purchase, is illegal. Garant, who pleaded guilty to making the straw purchases, was sentenced to a year in prison. Meanwhile, the Duluth Police Department told CNNMoney that it has suspended the sale of firearms "until our department develops sound strategies in keeping firearms from individuals who are ineligible to lawfully possess them."
"A gun that should have been destroyed instead was sold back to the public," said Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek, who oversaw the investigation of the shooting. "This is the worst nightmare that could have happened."
You know, a straw purchaser would have been able to do the exact same thing to an FFL. They are literally complaining something that their policies concerning selling guns off or destroying them will have no effect on.

...As a result, a number of Arizona law enforcement agencies have started selling seized guns. And major departments like Phoenix have discontinued buyback programs altogether -- which had previously resulted in the destruction of thousands of guns.
 Buyback programs are about as useful as tits on a boar hog anyway. There are three types of people who sell guns to buyback programs: People who don't want guns anyway, but ended up with one for one reason or another, Criminals trying to get rid of evidence/broken guns, and Gun Owners scamming the system by selling low quality improvised guns/broken guns to make a profit. Most of the guns destroyed by buybacks are pieces of shit that nobody cares about.

..."What's really concerning is the political power of some of these groups that at end of the day are more focused on getting guns on the streets than getting them in the right hands," said Austin, Texas Police Chief Art Acevedo.
 The right hands? It's impossible to keep criminals from getting guns. They steal them from legitimate gun owners. They conduct straw purchases. They make their own. They buy them on the black market. No department's policy on sale or destruction of seized firearms is going to have an effect upon crime. Spare me the stupidity.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

No, You don't Need a Factory To make Firearms

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The original AR-15 design is 58 years old (it's precursor design, the AR-10 is 60), the original AK design is 68 years old. The 1911, one of the definitive semi-auto pistol designs, dates from, you guessed it, 1911, with precursor designs and prototypes from the late 1890s. Machine guns predate the 20th century, and rapid fire crank weapons predate the American Civil War. Sniper rifles with effective ranges in excess of 800 yards were used to great effect in the aforementioned American Civil War, and current top-line sniper rifles are generally bolt action, which predates smokeless powder and metallic cartridges. Since all of these inventions, manufacturing technology has done nothing but improve. Basic machine tools, available to everyone, can be used to produce professional quality firearms. New developments, such as desktop CNC mills and 3-d printers simply reduce the amount of space and skill required.

So it should come as now surprise when criminals circumvent the law with homemade firearms.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Happy Birthday to the US Navy!

On this day in 1775, the Continental Navy, precursor to the modern US Navy, was established. Let's celebrate 240 years of defending America!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Lion Fools

The whole deal with Cecil the Lion is just plain ridiculous. The amount of vitriol aimed at a dentist for killing a lion was just astounding. Serial killers don't get that sort of response. The extradition requests from Zimbabwe, one of the most corrupt nations on Earth, the protesters outside of his office, all because he shot a lion. Well, the extradition request is gone now, because the dentist's papers were all in order.

For anyone still freaking out over the whole thing, he shot a lion. Not a human, a lion. Your response might be justified if he'd shot, say, Mother Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi. It is not justified for a lion.

Columbus Day

I have only one problem with Columbus. He didn't do anything that hadn't been done before.

Discovering the Americas? The Vikings beat him to it by over 400 years. And they even colonized Newfoundland.

Proved that the Earth Was Round? Already been done. At the time, it was widely accepted that the Earth was round. In fact, Eratosthenes, a Greek mathematician of the 3rd and 4th centuries BC calculated the Earth's circumference about as accurately as possible (given the measurements and tools available to him), as compared to Columbus' calculations of circumference which were so off, that he only survived due to the blind luck of there being another continent in between him and Asia.

Conquered, oppressed, and wiped out the natives? Not only was this not exactly new to Columbus' culture, but this definitely wasn't new to the Americas. Conquest and oppression are, unfortunately, endemic to humanity, and occasionally one group or another gets wiped out in the process.

In other words, Columbus didn't do anything deserving of great accolades, nor did he do anything deserving of condemnation, given that you'd have to condemn almost every tribe and nation that has ever existed.

On this day in the Year 2000

The USS Cole was attacked, blowing a 40x60 foot hole in the hull. The ship was saved only because of the heroic damage control efforts on the part of the crew. It should be noted that this attack, paid for and directed by Al-Qaeda, preceded 9/11 by eleven months. Let us not forget the brave men and women who, in the finest of Naval tradition, kept the ship afloat despite having a hole in the side of the ship large enough to fit a school bus in - sideways.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Combat Vets" and "Gunslinger Fantasies"

Some people think that those of us who are in favor of defensive firearms usage want to be a real life John McClane, and bring in combat vets and LEOs to support their argument. To to start with, there are plenty of combat vets and LEOs out there who disagree with them (also, I'd like to hear a recording of their interviews with the combat vets).
Of course, the police don't really have a leg to stand on in this argument:
According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study evaluating the New York Police Department’s firearm training, between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate during gunfights was just 18 percent. When suspects did not return fire, police officers hit their targets 30 percent of the time.
From Pennsylvania MPOETC:
The handgun course of fire for the police firearms course that all Waiver of training applicants must successfully complete with a minimum score of 75% and all police officers must successfully complete annually in order to satisfy mandatory in-service re-certification requirements will meet the following minimum standards:
A handgun course of fire must be considered a generally accepted police qualification course consisting of at least fifty (50) rounds of duty ammunition. A minimum of ten (10%) percent of the rounds must be fired at a distance of 25 yards or greater.
The course shall include stages to determine the applicant's or officer's overall proficiency; including, but not limited to marksmanship, safety, weapon operating procedures or tactical skills (i.e., use of cover, tactical reloading), with the weapon s/he will use in the performance of their duties. Requirements for distances of firing positions are: Stages no closer than one (1) yard and at least one stage of fire from the twenty-five (25) yard line or greater distance.
 Speaking from personal experience, it is entirely possible to meet the minimum requirements for qualification that are required for Pennsylvania LEOs the first time you pick up a gun. While standards are not completely uniform across the US, they tend to be similar. Some LEOs shoot once a year, and others only shoot to familiarize themselves with their weapons and for qualification.

They use SWAT members and infantrymen to make their point that "civilians" don't have the requisite training to successfully defend themselves (despite defensive gun use estimates ranging from 67,740 to 2 million and comparable justifiable homicide rates to cops) and ignore the fact that you can literally pick up a handgun for the first time and match LEO qualification requirements, and that non LEO civilians regularly stop mass shootings.