Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shooting demo anyone? Beat this girl!

Jessie Duff, champion shooter, demonstrates the comparative damage among various weapons and rounds.

Stealth Wear

Adam Harvey, a New York artist, has invented clothing that will make its wearer less visible to drone surveillance. As we are seeing with the run on guns, this is the next must-have item. Investors anyone? Cool pictures at the link:
In the spirit of fooling cameras – and messing with surveillance – Harvey has now come out in a set of hoodies and scarves that block thermal radiation from the infrared scanners drones use. Wearing the fabric would make that part of the body look black to a drone, so the image would appear like disembodied legs. He also designed a pouch for cell phones that shields them from trackers by blocking the radio signals the phone emits. For those airport X-ray machines, he has a shirt with a printed design that blocks the radiation from one’s heart.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Milton Friedman: Why soaking the rich won't work.

9. Bastiat ~ The Fate of Non-Conformists

Frederic Bastiat was a French economist and statesman. During and after the Revolution in 1848, he warned of the inevitable degeneration of socialism into communism in The LawPrevious Bastiat posts can be found here.

From The Law:

If you suggest a doubt as to the morality of these institutions, it is boldly said that "You are a dangerous innovator, a utopian, a theorist, a subversive; you would shatter the foundation upon which society rests." If you lecture upon morality or upon political science, there will be found official organizations petitioning the government in this vein of thought: "That science no longer be taught exclusively from the point of view of free trade (of liberty, of property, and of justice) as has been the case until now, but also, in the future, science is to be especially taught from the viewpoint of the facts and laws that regulate French industry (facts and laws which are contrary to liberty, to property, and to justice). That, in government-endowed teaching positions, the professor rigorously refrain from endangering in the slightest degree the respect due to the laws now in force."

Thus, if there exists a law which sanctions slavery or monopoly, oppression or robbery, in any form whatever, it must not even be mentioned. For how can it be mentioned without damaging the respect which it inspires? Still further, morality and political economy must be taught from the point of view of this law; from the supposition that it must be a just law merely because it is a law.

Another effect of this tragic perversion of the law is that it gives an exaggerated importance to political passions and conflicts, and to politics in general.

I could prove this assertion in a thousand ways. But, by way of illustration, I shall limit myself to a subject that has lately occupied the minds of everyone: universal suffrage.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Liberty is colorblind, but the left isn't

The race card has been played in the gun control debate.

Joyce Carol Oates tweeted: Is it acknowledged that the "gun issue" is a "race issue"? Most NRA members are white & their fears stem from 1960s inner city "riots."

Why don't you tell that to Deacon Chuck Hicks of Deacons for Defense and Justice?
“The Klan would drive through our neighborhood shooting at us, shooting into our homes,” recalled Hicks, 66, who grew up in Bogalusa, La., and has been a civil rights activist in the District for more than 35 years. “The black men in the community wouldn’t stand for it. You shoot at us, we shoot back at you. I’m convinced that without our guns, my family and many other black people would not be alive today.”
A commenter at Twitchy responds:

Inner city riots of 60s led to Gun Control Act of 1968. Democratic congress and Democratic president LBJ were the ones afraid of blacks. The specific bans on private interstate transfers in the Act stem from some NRA members donating rifles, shotguns, and ammunition and other NRA members travelling to the rural South, giving them weapons, and teaching them how to defend themselves when the Klan (another Democrat organization) came around.
By the way, the NRA in 1968 taught classes, published magazines, and sponsored matches. The Gun Control Act of 1968 caused the membership to revolt and insist that the NRA begin lobbying to protect our rights.

The Constitution protects the principles of freedom, and is not outdated by technology

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to explicitly restrain the federal government from infringing on specific rights considered to be most sacrosanct. It was not created to define the proper use or regulation of any select or limited list of physical goods, but to protect principles or rights key to man's existence, success, and freedom. In the case of the Second Amendment, our right to defend our lives and our property is enshrined.
Stating that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” cannot be construed to mean “citizens may bear arms unless those guns become too effective at achieving the purposes for which they are created, in which case the only arms allowed are those listed in article ‘never written’, section ‘make it up as you go along’.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama, surrounded by children, announced "executive measures" in relation to the gun control debate

The entire list of the actions Mr. Obama is taking comprises:

1. Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the attorney general to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rule-making to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a Department of Justice report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate a new director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

12. Provide law enforcement, first-responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a presidential memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the attorney general to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun-safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school-resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental-health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on mental health.

My Public Service Announcement: Basic Gun Info

With all the talk of guns in the news, have you wondered what makes something an assault weapon? Or an assault rifle? What is the difference between a machine gun or a semi-automatic? In order to be an informed citizen, it is sometimes hard to sort these things out in the middle of our hectic lives. Here’s a quick overview of what they are talking about:

Fully automatic weapons have been banned since 1934. These are what we think of as the machine guns of the prohibition era, and they continuously shoot rounds so long as the trigger is engaged. Once the trigger is released they stop shooting. Since these fire so quickly, these are fed by very large magazines – you might think of a drum magazine that contains hundreds of bullets. In the military, these types of weapons are fed by long strings of connected rounds. An assault rifle is considered a fully automatic weapon. These are not available to the public.

Semi-automatic weapons include the vast majority of all other firearms – pistols, rifles, and even shotguns. Semi-automatic weapons fire one round for each pull of the trigger. Semi-automatic refers to how each round is fed into the chamber – the person shooting does not have to stop to reload after every shot (like they used to do with muskets, for example, which would be muzzle loaded through the end of the barrel of the gun). Semi-automatics utilize multiple round magazines – a small metal box with a spring that pushes each round up into the barrel of the gun as each round is fired. Magazines can come in many sizes. A standard size for rifles fits about 10 rounds. Handguns have a range of anywhere from 5-18 or so. This is the thing they are talking about limiting – New York just limited magazines to only 7 rounds.

Assault weapon is a bit of a made up term since there is no widely accepted definition of what this is. In previous legislation, an assault weapon has been defined as any semi-automatic weapon that has a detachable magazine and contains one (as in the new New York law) or two (old 1994 federal law) of the following military-style features: a folding stock (the part that rests against your shoulder if you are firing a rifle), a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash suppressor or threads to attach one, ability to accept a grenade launcher. Eliminating these features from a semi-automatic weapon does not affect the semi-automatic capabilities of a weapon.

This is an intimidating subject, but I believe it is best if everyone on all sides of the issue is educated on what is being discussed.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Are you a recent buyer too?

Americans Buy Enough Guns in Last Two Months to Outfit the Entire Chinese and Indian Armies

Who will take Tim Scott's spot in the House?

"A fallen governor in search of redemption, the son of a liberal media mogul, and possibly the sister of a snarky TV star."

Who will run?

On the Republican side:
Mark Sanford of Appalachian Trail fame (a Jenny v. Mark contest would be interesting)
Chip Limehouse, an Establishment favorite
John Kuhn, former state senator, plans to use his own money to finance his campaign
Larry "I was Tea Party before it was cool" Grooms, state senator
Teddy Turner, dad is THE Ted Turner, but Teddy swears he's not his dad

On the Democrat side:
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, sister of comedian Stephen Colbert who grew up South of Broad

None of these choices even comes close to filling the shoes of Tim Scott.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The gun show loop hole is really a private sale loop hole

In the gun debate it's important to define terms and phrases.  What is an assault weapon was discussed here (it has to do with cosmetic modifications that have nothing to do with the actual firing technology of the gun). The gun show loop hole makes it seem as if anyone can waltz into a gun show and purchase any scary assault weapon with no obstacles. This is not true for most of the vendors who are regular gun dealers. These are dealers with actual stores, inventory, and supply connections to manufacturers. These dealers must conduct background checks and comply with all transfer laws. Another type of sale happens at some gun shows - the private sale. A non-dealer sells a gun, but in those sales this person does not do a background check since he is not in the sales system. 
The key point we should be addressing when this comes up is the fundamental fallacy of the greatly inflated stories about the “loophole” in question. When you go to one of these shows, there are sellers of all kinds. Some of them are dealers who bring large amounts of stock of various types to sell. And many of them will have some pretty high end, high tech weapons for sale. But here’s the thing… they are registered dealers, most of whom have regular store front operations, and they still have to do a spot background check before the sale.
But there are also other folks there who may only have a few – or even one – gun for sale. Some of them are collectors who are getting rid of their collections. Others may simply no longer have a need for their old hunting rifle and could use the cash. And they largely don’t have access to the system for doing an instant background check. That’s why the so called “loophole” exists. It isn’t a gun show loophole, it’s a private seller loophole.