Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Another one from Quora, in response to the question Do most British people not want to have the ability to purchase firearms?
I used to be anti-gun, until the London riots where control of the streets London was lost completely for a week. Around that point the trivial stupidity of passing a law to prevent criminals using guns became apparent to me. "Criminal" means "non-obeyor of law" right? Instead, I realised that the police really can't protect me from criminals. It's my duty to protect myself and those I love.

At that point, I first moved out of London. This week, I'm leaving the country.

A number of straw men turn up above. The right to own guns in the home isn't the same as the right to bring them to the pub. There is no reason why gun ownership shouldn't be limited to those with NO convictions (including driving offences).

Two final points:
1. disarming the law-abiding increases the value of a gun to a criminal.

2. giving a woman a gun is better defence against rape than any propaganda. The "rape culture" can't last if you Mom/wife/sister/daughter can defend herself.

-- Anonymous

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quote of the Day - Hoplophobia Defined

Right now I was[sic] given a gun, the best gun in the world, the only thing I'd want to do it find a way to be as far from it at all times. Guns make people do stupid things, they attract problems and create situations where people get killed.

Thomas Goodwin
Thomas Goodwin

(Bold emphasis mine.)  Sounds like another Barry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Markadelphia: Stalker

I was somewhat aware that, even after being voted off the island, Markadelphia just couldn't stay away.  I've been told that he writes posts at his blog about stuff I post here, and - to be honest - I visit his site every month or three just to see what he and his peeps are writing about.  And to be even more honest, I find it amusing as hell that his comments seem to be pretty much exclusively occupied by a couple of MY readers.

Well, I know for a fact now that Markadelphia is, indeed stalking me.  He showed up at Quora.com to give moral support to my latest adversary.  To wit:
Andy, I'm going to give you some advice from someone who has spent some time debating Kevin Baker on his site (and was voted off). Kevin is part of a group of people in this country who have very serious issues with control and authority. They are tremendously insecure and paranoid people who likely had very poor relationships with one or both of their parents and were probably bullied in school, hence the need to be constantly adolescent and contrary.

And, of course, their need for guns:)

They take their personal feelings of anger, hate and fear (again, from childhood and probably an enlarged amygdala) and place them all on the federal government. This is the base of the conservative movement today. They live inside of a bubble that acts as a giant echo chamber that acts as an enabling device. As you have noted, their entire ideology is based on logical fallacies (ad hom, misleading vividness, appeal to fear, appeal to probability, straw man) and they employ a serious of tactics to make you look and feel as weak as their position actually is. Here is a handy list of those tactics.

Dr. Cynthia Boaz: 14 propaganda techniques Fox "News" uses to brainwash Americans

Look familiar?:)

To give you an idea of just how insecure Kevin is, go to his site and take note of how he has cut and pasted his discussion with you on there to get high fives from his band of mindless sycophants. Would a man confident in his assertion do such a thing? Nope.

You are correct in pointing out that they don't really think and far too rude and emotional to be taken too seriously. They ignore facts and basically lie. An example of this would be the "violence is down" meme. The reason why it seems this way is due to how these statistics are reported. Deaths are indeed down but it's because medical technology has improved so more lives are being saved. That doesn't mean that any less people are being shot. For more on this, read here...

In Medical Triumph, Homicides Fall Despite Soaring Gun Violence

The main thing to remember is how deathly afraid they are of the truth and the changes that our country is going through. They don't really care about the 2nd amendment. Their chief concern is their own hubris and ego, which might seem massive on the outside but is really that of a frightened child on the inside.

Take comfort in the fact that they would never survive a debate outside of their bubble in any sort of peer reviewed forum of critical thinkers. They can't argue on the facts alone. They must resort to their usual tactics, fallacies and personal attacks because they feel just that inferior about themselves.
My response (You know I had to leave a response...):
Mark!  I knew you were still stalking the blog, but really! I'm touched that you still care so much!

I also note that you're still up to your old style.  Let us fisk:

"To give you an idea of just how insecure Kevin is, go to his site and  take note of how he has cut and pasted his discussion with you on there to get high fives from his band of mindless sycophants."

Wow.  I'm insecure.  You don't see me stalking your blog. Wow. EDIT: I originally replied: And yes, I cut-and-paste from my blog because I've spent ELEVEN YEARS acquiring the knowledge and writing the words there. Seems a waste not to take advantage of all that work. Sorry, I read that wrong. My bad. Yes, I cut and paste discussions from Quora to the blog because I'm spending time here and not there. When you're a blogger, you need content. This is content. It also is not against Quora's rules. END EDIT.

"They ignore facts and basically lie."

Really? 

For example: "An example of this would be the 'violence is down' meme."

Gee, let me cut-n-paste from my blog.  How about this one from 2010:  Clueless. It has graphs from the Bureau of Justice Statistics showing that not only has the homicide rate declined but the rate of NON-fatal firearm related crime and non-fatal firearm VICTIMIZATION is down.  That means fewer people are getting shot and shot at. Rape rates are also declining, as are robbery rates. Improved medical technology isn't magic, Mark.  It has no effect on these statistics.  The decline in violent crime isn't a "meme," it's a FACT.

As always, your assertion fails the smell test.  Nice to know that hasn't changed.

"The main thing to remember is how deathly afraid they are of the truth and the changes that our country is going through."

Projection much?

"Take comfort in the fact that they would never survive a debate outside  of their bubble in any sort of peer reviewed forum of critical thinkers."

He says on a forum where anyone can post.

"They can't argue on the facts alone."

Coming from you that is so freaking rich.  You wouldn't know a fact if it bit you on the ass, developed lockjaw and was dragged to death.  (See "Violence is down meme" above.)

I've missed you, Mark. I mean that, honestly.  The crap you spewed in my comments over the years inspired so many incredible comment threads, and so many really excellent posts.  I mean, seriously, there's an entire section of my "best of" selections dedicated to YOU.  The place just hasn't been the same.

And remember - when you were voted off the island by my "band of mindless sycophants" it was a VERY close vote.  If they were mindless sycophants, shouldn't it have been a landslide? And shouldn't that comment thread (that ran 176 comments long) have been one long tirade against you?  Well, OK, it was, but still.

I'm honored that you find me so irritating that you just can't leave me alone!

Monday, April 21, 2014

More Fish-in-a-Barrel from Quora

OK, so someone asked the question Why is the NRA is so vehement that the 2nd Amendment is interpreted as broadly as possible and is interpreted as if it's 1776?

One "Andy Zehner, statistical analyst at Purdue University" gave an answer. Let the frivolity begin!
They espouse a strong interpretation of the 2nd amendment because it works to their favor. But I don't believe the NRA is much concerned about civil rights as a principle. The NRA works for what is beneficial to gun manufacturers.

From their point of view, more guns is the only answer. If the problem is "Not Enough Guns," then the answer is "More guns." If the problem is "Too Many guns," the answer still is, "More Guns."

Are you sure about the second part of your question? I don't think the NRA wants to "interpret as if it's 1776." I think if Thomas Jefferson came into the room, Wayne LaPierre would dismiss him as quickly as he dismissed the Sandy Hook survivors. Cleaving to 1776 and original intent means justifying private gun ownership in terms of a "well-regulated militia." That isn't something the NRA wants to have to do. They want "The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," and damn the consequences.
I replied:
Cleaving  to 1776 and original intent means justifying private gun ownership in  terms of a "well-regulated militia." That isn't something the NRA wants  to have to do.

So you mean that the NRA wouldn't want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine, body armor, and a standard infantryman's loadout of ammunition at home? (See The Militia Act of 1792.)  (And given their support for women with guns, perhaps them too?)  Actually, I don't think they'd really have much of a problem with that.  But if instead you mean that they're more interested in making sure that deer and duck hunters get to keep their wood-and-blued-steel guns, well, you may have a point.

What they've worked for in recent decades has been ensuring that law-abiding citizens are not made unable to defend themselves by state action. The NRA (along with the Second Amendment Foundation and many other national and state pro-rights groups) have worked towards expanding right-to-carry laws nationwide, so that now there are NO states where concealed-carry is outright prohibited, and only eight states where the law remains "may issue" instead of "shall issue."

And the worst thing that can be said for this massive expansion in the right to arms is that it might not have contributed to the massive drop in violent crime that's been recorded since the mid-1990's.

So, yeah:  "More guns" does seem to have been "the answer."  Or at least, it's not "the problem."

Facts are funny that way.
Of course, he took the bait:
"So you mean that the NRA wouldn't want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine, body armor, and a standard infantryman's loadout of ammunition at home?"

No, I don't think the NRA would want that. Dictating which weapons and the amount of ammunition would be a considerable curtailment of gun owners' rights as they exist today. If I want a BushMaster or a Glock, what right has the government to tell me I have to have a M4?

And more to the point, the makers of the BushMaster and the Glock wouldn't want that (unless one of them happens to make the M4, which I don't know and am not going to bother to look up.)
So I set the hook:
Of course you won't bother to educate yourself.  Your mind is made up!  Facts are irrelevant! 

Yes, Bushmaster does make M4 carbine clones.  As do over two hundred other manufacturers including (but not limited to) Armalite, Colt's Manufacturing, Stag Arms, Rock River, DPMS, H&K, Fabrique Nationale, Barrett, and on and on and on.  The AR-15 platform is the most popular rifle sold today, after all. 

What right would the government have to tell you you must have an M4?  Surely you jest!  The same right it has to tell you you must have health insurance, of course!!  (Though in point of fact, it isn't the government's right - governments don't have rights.  Governments have powers.)  Supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable (yeah, right) Care Act held up the 1792 Militia Act as a model for the individual mandate.

And the government wouldn't tell you you must have a Glock.  If anything, they'd tell you you must have either a Beretta 92 (standard 9mm issue sidearm) or a 1911 (the previous standard issue sidearm).  I'd bet on the latter, since there are just as many manufacturers of that weapon as there are manufacturers of M4 carbines.
We'll see if he doubles-down on the stupid.

UPDATE:  He did.
There is logical fallacy called "shifting ground" or non sequitor(sic), in which the arguer fails to address the rightness or wrongness of what has been said, and instead jumps to a different place without connecting what they are saying now with what was said previously.

Here's an example:

Earlier Kevin Baker said: "So you mean that the NRA wouldn't want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine?"

I responded that I thought the NRA would not want that. I responded to the question he asked, which was about what the NRA would want. I said nothing about whether the government would want that or would do that. Clearly, what the government would or wouldn't do is a different question from what the NRA would want.

And then Kevin Baker implies (rudely) that I'm all kinds of wrong because the government would do one thing rather than something else. But we weren't even talking about what the government would do.

Oh, and here's a bonus logical fallacy: All the minutia about which gun maker manufacturers which types of weapons proves that Kevin Baker knows more than I know about guns. He know a lot about guns, in fact. But it's all just stacked evidence or extraneous detail. He could expend any number of words listing which manufacturer makes which guns and it wouldn't erode the validity of my point in the slightest. My point stands: The maker of any particular gun wouldn't want people to be required to own different guns from the ones they make, and the NRA wouldn't want such requirements as opposed to unlimited right to own guns.
Sounds like he's got a little sand in his mangina. We'll see if he replies to this:
Oh, there's some "ground shifting" going on, but it's not coming from me. 

"Earlier Kevin Baker said: 'So you mean that the NRA wouldn't want all eligible males of military age to be required to keep an M4 carbine.'

"I responded that I thought the NRA would not want that. I responded to  the question he asked, which was about what the NRA would want."


My question was in direct response to your original assertions: "The NRA works for what is beneficial to gun manufacturers." and: "Cleaving  to 1776 and original intent means justifying private gun ownership in  terms of a "well-regulated militia." That isn't something the NRA wants  to have to do."

Given those two assertions, I asked if you meant that the NRA wouldn't want all males of military age to be required to supply themselves with rifles suitable for militia duty as per the Militia Act of 1792?  After all, if "The NRA works for what is beneficial to gun manufacturers," what would be more beneficial to gun manufacturers than a need to produce, oh, 100 million M4 carbines?

"I  said nothing about whether the government would want that or would do  that. Clearly, what the government would or wouldn't do is a different   question from what the NRA would want."

Read your own reply: 

"If I want a BushMaster or a Glock, what right has the government to tell me I have to have a M4?"

Since what people decry is the NRA's involvement in legislation (or stopping of said legislation) then the basic question is what the NRA can or can't get the government to do.  Restoration of the Milita Act - "justifying private gun ownership in  terms of a "well-regulated militia" - would fit that bill.

"And  then Kevin Baker implies (rudely) that I'm all kinds of wrong because  the government would  do one thing rather than something else.  But we  weren't even talking about what the government would do."

And that right there is "ground shifting."  I imply you're "all kinds of wrong" because you're all kinds of wrong, but we were most definitely discussing what the government COULD do if influenced by the NRA for the benefit of gun manufacturers, as you asserted is their raison d'etre.

"My  point stands: The maker of any particular gun wouldn't want people to  be required to own different guns from the ones they make, and the NRA  wouldn't want such requirements as opposed to unlimited right to own  guns."

But you didn't assert that the NRA exists to benefit "the maker of any particular gun". (Thus, you're shifting the ground, not me.)  You asserted that the NRA exists to benefit gun manufacturers.  All or most or many of them. If this is true, then creating a demand for, say, 100 million M4 carbines and 100 million 1911 pistols (both of which are made by numerous manufacturers) would be a net benefit to "gun manufacturers," Q.E.D.

And once you've established not only a right, but a DUTY to possess weapons suitable for use in militia service, what does it matter if those same individuals have "sporting" rifles, shotguns and handguns?  In essence, haven't you established an "unlimited right to own guns" (from your perspective)?
UPDATE II:  Aaaaand this one's over:
You're all sound and no sense. You really don't see your errors, do you?
Pot? Meet kettle.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Idiot-Bashing at Quora.com

Since I'm not posting here much, I guess I can recycle my stuff from other sites.

In today's episode, I take one Nick Lilavois to task for his response to the question "Why are fully automatic guns banned for civilians without special permits in the US?"

Here's the thread to date, his responses in blue background, mine in green:
Why are only people with special permits allowed to fly a plane?

Because those who do not have those permits would be putting people's lives at risk.

Requiring some training, and some reason, why certain people are allowed to do certain dangerous things is a way to minimize death and injury for all of us.

And as a side thought- I get why someone would want to fly a plane. While it may be dangerous, when used properly it is not.

It is just not the same with a gun. When used properly, as intended by the manufacturer, someone ends up dead.
Really? I might agree with you concerning my M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, No. 5 Enfield, 1917 Enfield or P14, but my Thompson/Center Encore? My Ruger Mk II? My Remington XP-100? These are all designed to kill people?

My what an odd world you occupy.

Oh, the "tax stamp" you get from the government that allows you to possess a fully-automatic weapon, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, suppressor, "destructive device" or "any other weapon" covered under the 1934 National Firearms Act is NOT a "license to operate" in the way a pilot license is. It's just a tax form. It requires no training nor "reason" - just approval from the government.
Quote:
"These are all designed to kill people?"

Pick any one of the items in your collection, load it, point it at your spouse or child and pull the trigger.

Notice what happens.

The odd thing about the world I occupy is that people like you would even WANT to own such things.
The odd thing about the world I occupy is that people like you don't seem to understand who is responsible for their safety. As a friend of mine once put it,
In a truly civil society peopled primarily by enlightened, sober individuals, the carriage of arms might be deemed gratuitous, but it is nonetheless harmless. In a society that measures up to anything less than that, the option to carry arms is a necessity.
We know what the world was like when nobody had firearms. It was run primarily by large men with swords, and was not just, fair, or democratic.

Now, which of us belongs to the "reality-based" community?
Still me, I'm in the reality-based community, because I realize the people responsible for my safety are the police and the military, and to an extent judges, lawyers, wardens, etc.

Not regular citizens with guns.

I never said I had a problem with cops having guns, and soldiers without guns would be silly.

As the constitution says rather clearly in the 2nd amendment, it is perfectly OK for men in a well-regulated militia to bear arms.

Not regular citizens NOT in a militia.

Heck, you still don't get that guns were designed to kill people, so you certainly can't claim you are dealing with reality.

BTW- you do know that democracy was invented in ancient Greece, LONG before the invention of guns, don't you?

You do realize that the presence or absence of guns has nothing whatsoever to do with curtailing the power of the government, because your vast arsenal will do nothing to save you from a drone strike, a tank, a grandee launcher, or anything else that took down the cult in Wacco, Texas? You do understand that, right?

So the whole concept that people having guns protects us from an imaginary government out of control is just a bunch of mental masturbation because, let's face it- you have guns because you WANT them. You LIKE them. You do not NEED them.

You collecting guns is no different from an old lady collecting little porcelain figurines from the Hallmark store, except that very few people get killed by porcelain figurines.

See? THAT was reality.
"Still me, I'm in the reality-based community, because I realize the  people responsible for my safety are the police and the military, and to  an extent judges, lawyers, wardens, etc."

So, have you ever read the Supreme Court's Warren v. District of Columbia decision from 1981?  Or the more recent Castle Rock v. Gozales decision from 2005?  I suggest you might find them enlightening.  From Warren:

"A publicly maintained police force constitutes a basic governmental service provided to benefit the community at large by promoting public peace, safety and good order. The extent and quality of police protection afforded to the community necessarily depends upon the availability of public resources and upon legislative or administrative determinations concerning allocation of those resources. Riss v. City of New York, supra. The public, through its representative officials, recruits, trains, maintains and disciplines its police force and determines the manner in which personnel are deployed. At any given time, publicly furnished police protection may accrue to the personal benefit of individual citizens, but at all times the needs and interests of the community at large predominate. Private resources and needs have little direct effect upon the nature of police services provided to the public. Accordingly, courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community." (Bold my emphasis.)

"Individual members of the community" being, well, YOU.  And me.  Something bad happens, they don't show up, they're not at fault.  They do show up and don't do anything, they're not at fault.

THAT'S the "real world."

"As the constitution says rather clearly in the 2nd amendment, it is  perfectly OK for men in a well-regulated militia to bear arms.

"Not regular citizens NOT in a militia."

Oh really?  Are you familiar with 10 U.S. Code § 311 - Militia: composition and classes?

"(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32,  under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of  intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female  citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard  or the Naval Militia."

In other words, if you're between the ages of 17 and 45, male and are or intend to become a U.S. citizen, or a female citizen member of the National Guard, you, my friend, are a member of the militia - by Federal law.

Have you read the 1857 Scott v. Sandford Supreme Court decision?  This one is reviled because it denied citizenship to blacks, free or slave, but it did so under the reasoning that citizenship:
"...would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognised as citizens  in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State  whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport,  and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to  go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without  molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a  white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of  speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own  citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went."
It seems the Supreme Court of 1857 understood the Second Amendment somewhat differently than you do, seeing as THEY did not consider milita service to be a requirement.  So after a war in which hundreds of thousands died to determine just who WERE going to be citizens, we passed the 13th Amendment making blacks citizens, and the 14th Amendment ensuring that they would get the same rights as everyone else.  Of course, that didn't pan out too well with all those Jim Crow laws.  But in 1875's U.S. v. Cruikshank the court once again declared what it was the Second Amendment protected, while denying that protection to blacks:
"The right there specified is that of 'bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government, leaving the people to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-citizens of the rights it recognizes...."

In other words, "It's not the job of the .gov to protect your (pre-existing, individual) right to arms (also not mentioning militia service). See your friendly neighborhood Klansman about that."

So we finally got another Supreme Court decision on the topic of the meaning of the Second Amendment in District of Colubia v. Heller, in which the Court said:
"The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes...."

And slightly later the McDonald v. Chicago decision "incorporated" the Heller decision under the 14th Amendment's "privileges or immunities" clause (which wording dates back to the Dred Scott decision) "Due Process" clause against STATE infringement of the fundamental, individual right, just as the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendments have been. (Third, too, but not by SCOTUS.)  [Ed. note:  I originally stated that McDonald was decided under the "Privileges or Immunities" clause of the 14th.  That was an error.  In the 5-4 decision, four Justices found in favor of McDonald based on the "Due Process" clause.  Clarence Thomas found in favor based on the "Privileges or Immunities" clause.  I happen to think he was correct, but that's not the basis of the majority decision.  My error.]

THAT'S the "real world."

Democracy did originate in Greece, but it was a strictly limited franchise - you are aware of who the Helots were, right?  They didn't get to vote.

Or own swords.

"You do realize that the presence or absence of guns has nothing  whatsoever to do with curtailing the power of the government, because your vast arsenal will do nothing to save you from a drone strike, a tank, a grandee(sic) launcher, or anything else that took down the cult in Wacco(sic), Texas? You do understand that, right?"

I admit that I'm really curious as to what a "grandee launcher" would look like, and why would I want to launch a Spanish nobleman anyway? As to whether guns might "curtail the power of government," you might want to check in on what just went down in Nevada over the weekend.  Not the best example, but who blinked first?

Personally, I'm more concerned about what happened in places like Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots, or New Orleans post Katrina, when law-enforcement (you remember, those guys who are not responsible for your safety?) broke down in the face of riots and natural disasters. I recommend you read Jew Without a Gun on the topic of the LA riots.  Very enlightening.

True, I like guns, I want them, and I hope - fervently - never to NEED them, but as others have said it's better to have and not need than need and not have.

Finally, I'll quote Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the topic of the Second Amendment from his 2003 dissent to Silveira v. Lockyer:
"The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed - where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees.  However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once."

Should those contingencies come to pass, I intend to still have a vote.

So: the government ISN'T responsible for your protection; depending on the courts is hit-and-miss; if you believe in non-discrimination, pretty much EVERYBODY is the militia; the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms OUTSIDE militia service; Grecian democracy wasn't really all that democratic; the government DOES pay attention to armed citizens; and being armed is not useless in the face of adversity, disaster and runaway government.

And THAT'S the world I live in.  I submit that it reflects reality a great deal more closely than does the one you apparently occupy
No response as of yet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Got Called RACIST!™ Again

A while back over at Quora.com I responded to the question,  "How do you solve the gun problem in the United States in a realistic way?" thus:
America does not have a "gun problem."  It has an inner-city violent crime problem.  Yes, I understand that the majority of deaths attributable to firearms are suicides, but suicide rates seem to be unaffected by firearm availability.  If firearms are not available, other methods are substituted and are equally effective.  The U.S., for all of its guns, ranks rather low for suicide internationally.

Criminal homicide is heavily concentrated in large urban centers, in specific areas of those large urban centers, and among a very small, self-identifying group in those specific areas.  Yet no one raises a hue-and-cry when one more inner-city youth is gunned down by another inner-city youth, especially when both of them have long criminal records of escalating violence. 

It's been two years since Trayvon Martin died.  During that period, more than 10,000 young black men 34 years of age or younger have died of criminal homicide by firearm. 

Name three without using Google or another search engine.

Yet every time the media gets a victim they can run with, it's the rural gun owner in Ohio or Wyoming they want to slap new restrictions on.  We've watched it happen for literally decades, a slow-motion hate crime against gun owners, because "the problem" is defined as (and only as) "too many guns."

Young black men are killed - overwhelmingly by other young black men - at a rate six times higher than the rest of the population.  A demographic that consists of less than 7% of the population makes up over 40% of the victims, but no one wants to talk about it, or try to find a solution for it other than "midnight basketball" or greater welfare subsidies.

No, it's much easier (and politically safer) to blame "gun availability" and the "gun culture."  Here's a newsflash:  There are three distinct "gun cultures" - one recreational, one defensive, and one criminal.  Guess which one "gun control" doesn't have any effect on?
So tonight I get an email that someone has responded to my answer. Here's the comment in its entirety by one "Jesse James Richard":

Interesting answer, but yes the US does have a gun problem by the standards of highly developed nations based on gun related deaths. From your answer I get you're saying gun related death don't matter because they are committed by black people.

Violence in the developed world is invariably related to poverty, so by extension I read that it gun related deaths don't matter because they happen to the poor and should be dismissed because they rarely effect white (important) people.

I am a gun owner.
Here's my reply:
"From your answer I get you're saying gun related death don't matter because they are committed by black people."

Then you need to improve your logic skills.

"Violence in the developed world is invariably related to poverty, so by  extension I read that it gun related deaths don't matter because they  happen to the poor and should be dismissed because they rarely effect  white (important) people."

So I'm not only a racist, I hate poor people too.  Check.

"I am a gun owner."

You forgot the "But...."  My logic skills are quite good, though, so I know it's implied:  "I am a gun owner, but not a racist, classist, homophobic, anti-immigrant climate-denier like you."  Did I miss anything?

Now that we've gotten your obvious social sensitivity and implied moral superiority out of the way, let's discuss FACTS.

Here's the deal, Jesse James:  facts are not racist.  They're not classist, they're not homophobic, they're not anti-environment, anti-immigrant, anti-handicapped or anything else - they're just facts.

The inability to look at FACTS because of the fear of saying something politically incorrect is the reason nothing ever gets done.

Gun control - what politicians do instead of something.

I'm saying deaths - all deaths - matter, not just "gun deaths."  And that if you want to affect THAT problem, then you have to look at who is dying and where they are dying and why they are dying.  Making rural and suburban gun owners license and register their firearms does not address the deaths of inner-city youths, regardless of the color of their skin.  It so happens that inner city youths are overwhelmingly black, but that is not the fault of guns.  But addressing the epidemic problem of inner-city youth homicide can't be done because to do so would be considered "racist" by our political victim class.

The FACT of the matter is that homicide in the U.S. is heavily concentrated in a very small, easily identifiable demographic to the point that it severely skews the overall numbers.  If it were possible to reduce homicide within that group to the same level as the average of the rest of the population, then the overall homicide rate in the U.S. - despite all of our guns - would be more in line with the rest of the "developed world."

Look up the Centers for Disease Control's WISQARS tool.  Here are some relevant FACTS.

Leading causes of death, all races, both sexes from 1999 - 2010, from 15 years of age to age 34

1. Unintentional injury
2. Homicide (15-24 years of age) and Suicide (25-34)
3. Suicide (15-24) and Homicide (25-34)
4. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
5. Heart disease
6. Congenital anomalies (15-24), HIV (25-34)
7. Flu and pneumonia (15-24), Diabetes (25-34)

Now, if we look specifically at black men in those groups:

1. Homicide - both age subgroups, by almost TWICE the runner-up, "unintentional injury."  Over that twelve year period, the CDC recorded 57,349 young black men between the ages of 15 and 34 died as a result of homicide - 46.2% of the total victims of homicide in those age groups (though they are only 7.2% of that population), 58% of the male victims of homicide in those age groups (14.2% of that population - I guess I'm anti-male, too), and 27% of all homicide victims, though they make up only 2% of the total population.

But I'm racist for pointing this out and saying "LOOK!  THIS IS A BAD THING WE DON'T TALK ABOUT!"

Yet you want us to believe this is a "GUN problem"?

The homicide rate in 2010 according to the CDC was 5.27/100,000, all races, both sexes, all ages.  For young black men ages 15-34 it was 73.21/100,000 almost fourteen times higher. 

When performing triage on a patient, don't you want to stop the arterial bleeding first?  Or am I a racist for saying that?

If we could somehow reduce the homicide rate in this group to the 5.27/100,000 average of the nation, that alone would have saved the lives of 4,343 people in 2010.  Is that not a goal to strive for?  Then why are we talking about "assault weapon" bans and magazine size restrictions?

Oh, and by reducing the homicide rate in that demographic to 5.27/100,000, the total U.S. homicide rate would then decline to 3.86/100,000.  I leave extrapolation of THAT data to you. 

Yeah, we kill each other a lot.  I get it.  But when arterial blood is spurting from a limb, putting a Band-Aid™ on the victim's finger doesn't help.  (OMG!  A brand name!  I must be in the pay of evil CORPORATIONS!!)
I wonder if he picked up on the subtle "FUCK YOU!" in my response?

UPDATE:  He replied!
First let me state that your retort is great and your band aid tm made me laugh. You can chose to value or devalue this as disingenuous if you so see fit. It's not.

By no means do I think you're a racist or hate the poor, but it sure reads that way and this why:

If this question was about anything that killed people en-mass race, or really any social subclass, say gender, height, weight, educational background, surely would not have been brought up, right? It's only because it's guns and violence that we talk bout thugs before we talk about the guns.

1) do we have a problem with obesity in this county
2) do we have a problem with car accident-related deaths in this country
3) do we have a problem infant mortality in this count

You could never answer "we don't have a problem with shitty drivers, we have a problem with women who are four to one more likely to crash a car." That might be true, but you still have a problem with cars killing people.

You didn't really answer the question, that's my point. You skirted the issue and said we don't have a problem with guns we have an inner city violent crime problem. Both might be true, but the fact that the US has between 5 - 10 x the gun related homicide deaths compared to other developed counties. This does suggest you have a problem with guns.... Or not, I guess. That's up to you as an American.

Stats aren't racist, on that we can agree.
He's a Canuck, BTW.  Haven't decided if I want to beat on him some more.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Remington Rifle Recall

Came across this at AR15.com tonight.  My new .300 Win Mag 700-5R is affected, and it's got a muzzle brake, a detachable box magazine conversion, and a trigger job. Oh frabjous joy.
Remington Arms Announces Voluntary Product Recall

April 11, 2014
Madison, N.C. - Remington Arms Company, LLC (“Remington”) today announced a voluntary recall of Model 700™ and Model Seven™ rifles with X-Mark Pro® (“XMP®”) triggers, manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014.

Senior Remington engineers determined that some Model 700 and Model Seven rifles with XMP triggers could, under certain circumstances, unintentionally discharge.
IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, THESE PRODUCTS ARE BEING RECALLED.

Remington’s investigation determined that some XMP triggers might have excess bonding agent used in the assembly process, which could cause an unintentional discharge. Therefore, Remington is recalling ALL affected products to fully inspect and clean the XMP triggers with a specialized process. Remington has advised customers to immediately cease use of recalled rifles and return them to Remington free of charge. The rifles will be inspected, specialty cleaned, tested, and returned as soon as possible. Do not attempt to diagnose or repair recalled rifles. Remington established a dedicated website and toll-free hotline to help consumers determine whether their Model 700 or Model Seven rifle(s) are subject to recall:
Website: http://xmprecall.remington.com

Toll-Free Hotline: 1-800-243-9700 (Prompt #3 then Prompt #1) Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.
The website and hotline provide guidance on returning recalled rifles free of charge. “Remington takes safety extremely seriously,” said Teddy Novin, Director of Public Affairs and Communications. “While we have the utmost confidence in the design of the XMP trigger, we are undertaking this recall in the interest of customer safety, to remove any potential excess bonding agent applied in the assembly process. We have established significant safety and technical resources to determine which rifles are affected and to minimize any risks. Our goal is to have every recalled firearm inspected, specialty cleaned, tested and returned as soon as possible.”
“We’re putting our customers and their safety first by voluntarily recalling all potentially affected rifles. We also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety,” Novin concluded.

The Free Ice Cream Machine

As you've possibly noticed, the TSM free ice cream machine has been on the fritz for a bit.  That's going to continue to be the case for the next couple of weeks, I think, as I deal with some work issues and some personal stuff.  I may throw some stuff up in the mean time, but I promise:  when I come back there's going to be an epic-length ├╝berpost.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Modern Education

No, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data," but I had an interesting occurrence this evening.  I'm out of town on a job, and had dinner at a little restaurant.  Standing at the register to pay, the waitress rang up my total as $15.54.  I handed her a $20.  She punched $20 on the register, and the display showed "PPPPPPP."

"Well, that's different," I said, as she stared at the display.  But when she reached for a calculator, I said "$4.46."

She looked at me like I'd just pulled a rabbit from a hat.  "I can't do math in my head like that."  She appeared to be about 19 years old.

I weep for our future....

I Know the British Army is Economizing, but Seriously?

British sniper in Afghanistan kills six Taliban with one bullet

A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.

--

The same sniper, with his first shot on the tour of duty, killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1,465 yards (1,340m).

Several hundred British and Afghan soldiers were carrying out an operation in December when they were engaged in a gun battle with 15 to 20 insurgents.

"The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch,” said Lt Col Slack. "He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.

"They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, 'I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber'. The rest of them were killed in the blast."

It is understood the L/Cpl was using an L115A3 gun, the Army's most powerful sniper weapon.
No, this is NOT an April Fool's post!

This is the L115A3, an Accuracy International .338 Lapua rifle:

Nice shooting!!