Archive for the ‘gun violence’ Category

America’s Gun

There isn’t a consensus on what exactly that firearm would be. I’ve learned more than I have ever cared to know about the AR-15 in the past month or so. The AR15 definitely qualifies since it was designed by an American, Eugene Stoner. Enough of them are out there in the US that any chance of an “assault rifle ban” would be really difficult. And that’s even with a buyback.

I feel the same way I do about the AR15 that I do about Margaret Thatcher: I don’t like either of them, but I respect what they are in relation to their respective country’s culture. The AR15 is probably more symbolic toward US culture than Margaret Thatcher will ever be to Britain’s.

It is a symbol of militarism since it was designed over 60 years ago for the US military, with variants  used by military forces worldwide. Part of its attraction is that it is the civilian version of the US military’s weapon. And its deadliness is one of its attractive features. It is proven in combat and mass shootings.

The AR15 platform allows for it to be built in a myriad of different ways. It is also fairly easy to build with various kits being sold; from complete upper and lower receiver assemblies to the parts for making a ghost gun. Although, ghost gun means a firearm made “80%” lower receiver and parts. It is the AR15’s ability to be built by anyone which should cause people to pause.

I personally would not want to invest the time and effort into making an actual ghost gun. Complete stripped lower receivers are also available, which is the lower receiver block without the parts. That allows someone to create their custom gun. It’s easy to customise a completed lower receiver as well. Just look up a video on how to do that mod to your gun.

And there are the AR15 pistols as well, which I am mentioning since there is the debate as to how often these weapons are used in crime:

Mass shootings involving rifles like the AR-15 can produce dozens of victims at one time, and combined with extensive media coverage of these events, many people have been led to believe that such rifles pose a significant threat to public safety.

However, such shootings are extremely rare, and a look at the FBI data informs us that homicide with these types of rifles represents an extremely small fraction of overall homicide violence. Banning or confiscating such firearms from the civilian population would likely produce little to no reduction in violent crime rates in America.

Given the amount of variations on the AR15, there are a fair amount of pistol versions. One manufacturer lists barrel lengths from 8 inches to 20 inches for their upper receiver assembly. An interesting riff on all this since Orlando, Florida, authorities revised their initial description of one of the weapons used in the June 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub. After initially describing it as an “AR-15-type assault rifle,” police said it was a different type of firearm, the Sig Sauer MCX.

One the the variants of the MCX is the Rattler SBR (short barrelled rifle)[1]. While SBRs are NFA weapons, it’s pretty easy to bang one up using the AR15 platform. I would also toss in that semi-auto pistols that accept high capacity magazines are banned in some places. Additionally, a submachinegun is a machinegun that fires pistol calibre ammunition. That means that submachineguns are basically pistols that can have a very high rate of fire.

But the main reason I would say that the AR15 is America’s gun is that it will probably never be regulated despite the carnage it is capable of causing. Despite the deadly shooting in Las Vegas to the 20 toddlers killed at Sandy Hook, these weapons are more than freely available to anyone who wants one. You can buy an 80% receiver with no background check to build whatever version of an AR15 you want.

That means that anyone who is adept with metalworking tools, or just adept with tools if it’s a polymer 80, can crank out a weapon intended for the battlefield.

That should cause you to pause and think no matter what your opinion of these weapons happens to be.

[1] Short barrelled rifles are another topic which I am not going to get into.

Go ahead, scumbag, make my day.

I’ve found that lower receiver assemblies can be bought in all sorts of interesting designs. Or if you get a blank, you can have it custom engraved.

The reason I titled this what I did is that some non-full auto receivers are marked with an, inactive, full-auto choice.

Not sure I want to have that if I get stopped by the cops. Sure, it can be disproven, but still why risk it?

I almost bought an AR Part II!

Well, we are being treated to an even BIGGER turn out to protest. Toss in that there is a threat of explosions at least Philadelphia’s demonstrations.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

Anyway, the gun people should be laughing their asses off that the do-gooders are doing one of the best jobs to pump up gun sales. A few months back, it looked like there was a saturated market in Assault Rifles. Now demand for the suckers has driven up the price better than the executive order of 1989! Although Assault rifles and firearms tend to have a high rate of price fluctuation depending on the political climate.

That said, I did have a few options if I didn’t want to wait in a long line only to be disappointed at the slim pickings; even in the high end department.

Ghost or parts guns. Which is kind of a big category since you can have a parts gun from a upper receiver from one company and a lower from another. There are some SIG516 uppers out there which now are in the four figure range, after a period when Sig was practically giving them away (about US$450 range). Stick that on a lower receiver, Such as Palmetto State Armoury, which is a reasonable price. It has a serial number which means it isn’t a real “ghost gun”.

The other advantage is that putting together a complete upper from one company and a complete lower from another is still like putting together an assembled firearm. Unlike a ghost gun which is a bunch of parts and sound like way more work than I want to be bothered with. Toss in that I wouldn’t trust a gun I built from scratch since I’m not a trained gunsmith. Any “advantages” to a “ghost gun” are far outweighed by the possibility of it blowing up in my face.

Bottom line, I would buy an H&K MR556 or a SIG516 right now, but it is real hard to do.

Once again, the market place helps to control firearms.

Reality versus gun rights

It’s really fun watching people defend the rioters and looters in the current situation. I’m going to use Pennsylvania law, but there is Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55: Riot, Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses, which means that the destruction and looting caused by the rioters is illegal.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Trashing stores and stealing the contents is not a political act, but a criminal one.

Let’s add in that not only is it a criminal act, but it is actual violence. As I said to one person being able to understand the rioters would also mean that you understand why people are protesting the Covid-19 lockdowns with guns. As they say, they may not agree with the method, but they understand the frustration.

Actually, I find the armed protesters less of a threat than I do an out of control mob who are actually engaged in violent acts. Arson is a major cause of loss of life and injury in commercial properties. Strangely, the people who somehow find that the rioting and looting are justified have an issue with people exercising their right to self-defence.

Rioting, looting, arson, and the other illegal acts mentioned in Title 18, the crimes code, and specifically Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55, are just that crimes and illegal. On the other hand someone does have the right to self-defence if they have a reasonable belief that are in danger of death or serious bodily injury. Which happens to be a very real threat if you are in the sights of rioters.

One person said, “couldn’t you get out of their way, or leave town?” Is that a fair question if you get the lockdown order and AREN’T allowed to leave? Someone in that situation is pretty much stuck.

Which gets to the gun rights type’s question: “shouldn’t the person be allowed to defend themselves?” To which “Fuck, yeah!” seems to be the most sensible answer. And if the best weapon happens to be something semi-auto that can accept a large capacity magazine: then they should indeed be allowed to have such a weapon.

Which is why I titled this the way I did.

The person who somehow feels that the violence is “justified” or “understandable” should also be able to accept that people have a right to protect themselves. And the right which is lawful is the one of self-protection.

Not rioting.

Or as Donald Trump said: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

While I don’t like Trump or the underlying events which led to the protests, the movement to violence has changed the game to a no win situation. And the people who are going to be the big losers are the ones the protests were supposed to help.

Likewise, I have made it clear that I don’t support “gun rights” or believe it to be a real thing, but if people are going to condone violence, then they need to accept that the cycle of violence will continue.

And isn’t ending the violence what the protests were trying to do?

You can condemn the violence, yet still support the underlying cause. If anything, it makes far more sense to condemn the violence instead of allowing the cycle of violence to keep rolling on.

Gun Control Irony

Yeah, yeah. I try not to post this stuff on my blog, but this one is pretty important.  It was posted on Penigma, but I want my other post to get a few more views before this shows up again on that blog.

On the other hand, this needs to get out there.  That said:

It would be really ironic if instead of all the mass shootings the US has suffered (my condolences to the victims and their families of those), that the incident that caused people to realise the US needs gun control is an out of control suburban mother fighting over a notebook in a suburban Wal-Mart.

No, pulling a gun in this situation is not self-defence by any stretch of the imagination.  No one was fearing death or serious bodily injury which would justify even the threat of deadly force.

The woman pulling the gun is committing Felony Assault under Michigan law, Section 750.82.

The offense of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), is also known as Felonious Assault in Michigan. ADW is felony which is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. ADW is a crime which involves an assault with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or any other instrumentality which is fashioned or used as a weapon (car, club, bottle) which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. A criminal charge or conviction does not require actual physical contact or an injury. The offense is considered complete upon placing another in fear of an assault by a person who possesses a deadly weapon

Michigan law requires that the defendant “must have honestly and reasonably believed that he or she was in danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted” in order to use deadly force.  Additionally, the defendant “may only use as much force as he or she thinks is necessary at the time to protect himself or herself.”

While a person may believe he or she had acted in self-defense, the police, prosecutor, judge and jury may disagree.

No shots need to be fired for her to be found guilty.

I’m not sure how the “pro-gun” crowd can defend this action.  I know responsible gun owners don’t, but it’s time they stepped up to the plate and admitted this shit happens too often with the relaxing of concealed carry law for it to be condoned.

It’s time to give Presser v Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886) yet another plug.

One of the many failings of the Heller-McDonald bullshit is that those cases were not cases of first impression, but that post is coming in the future.

See also:

What Does Brandishing Mean? And Why You Should Never Do It…

The Physics Of Mass Killing

Excellent article on how firearms technology enables mass killing which takes it beyond the “cosmetic features” talk.  I strongly suggest that anyone involved in this issue read this article.

The Physics Of Mass Killing.

One trivial criticism the P228 comes with a 13 round magazine, but accepts larger.

The Last Hand Gun On Earth

Take an old movie serial, add a new voice over by the Firesign Theatre and you have some very funny stuff.  In this case, the gun loon’s nightmare: Big Brother’s henchmen come for the last handgun on earth.

“To think people used to sleep with these things under their pillows.”

Please sign this petition–thank you.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/require-mandatory-liability-insurance-be-carried-every-gun-owner-every-firearm-they-own-lease-or-use/8BghF8j2?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

require mandatory liability insurance be carried by every gun owner for every firearm they own, lease, or use. Once the cost of the liability gets involved, change will happen. Require gun insurance just like car insurance!

Less than a day since I did my last post…

And there is yet another mass shooting in the US.  ‘Seven killed’ in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting!

Maybe gun control won’t stop mass killings, but not having gun control definitely doesn’t stop them!  In fact, looking at the past 230 odd years of the US being an indepndent country, we have seen that it is a highly violent and blood thirsty country.

WhoWhatWhy has an interesting piece about mass shootings:

One of the most striking things about shooting incidents in America…is how common they are. Another striking thing is how often the media fails to note the previous point, or to explore what that means—or what might be done about it.

Late last night, a gunman walked into a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killed 12 and injured 50. Two days earlier a gunman opened fire outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in an incident in which at least 17 were hurt. These were not really so exceptional. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence, and every week, people calmly enter our schools, our workplaces, our leisure gathering spots and open fire on innocent bystanders.

Whenever we tweet or post about these, often the only people we hear from are those who say we need more guns not less. “If I had been there with my gun….” The problem, of course, is the public at large is being asked to arm everyone and trust that, while the rest of us cower, “the right people” will quickly dispatch “the wrong people” in the modern equivalent of the Shootout at the OK Corral. No mention of whether the teacher is supposed to be armed…when a nut walks into a preschool and starts firing away.

Given that there have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine, you think some serious solutions would be mentioned, yet it seems that there is the consistent response of inaction, or worse, the loosening of restrictions which make it easier for these incidents to happen.

Unfortunately, a realistic discussion of this aspect of US life never happens while the bodycount keeps rising.  Instead, we keep hearing that the US needs more guns, but that is the cause of the problem.

Man with a plan

This is a graphic of the gear that, James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado shooter had on him during his shooting spree:

This graphic can be found at:  http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/07/25/graphic-james-holmes-was-a-man-with-a-plan/

If you consider that at least three of the last big mass shooting incidents were  done by someone who bought his gun LEGALLY (Virginia Tech’s Seung-Hui Cho, Tucson’s Jared Laughner, and Aurora’s James Holmes), you would think that some alarms would be going off in people’s heads in the US.  Yet, the usual reaction of  “oh, there’s nothing that can be done about this sort of thing” is once again to be heard.

Sure, there will be some people talking about actually doing something about firearms, but it will once again go quiet once all the outrage dies out.  That is quite a difference from how these incidents are handled in other parts of the world–especially one’s that share a heritage with the US.  Hugerford saw a tightening of UK gun laws, Dunblane led to pretty much  all handguns being taken from private possession in the UK, And The Port Arthur incident saw Australia’s gun laws tighten up intensely in less than a year.  But, the US averages 20 mass shootings a year.   The Brady Campaign has a tally of these since 2005.

Mother Jones has an interactive map of mass shootings in the US since 1982.  Some estimate the figure to have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine: I don’tthink the number is that low.  Mother Jones found that out of the 132 guns possessed by the killers, more than three quarters were obtained legally. The arsenal included dozens of assault weapons and high-powered handguns. (See charts below.) Just as Jeffrey Weise used a .40-caliber Glock to massacre students in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, so too did James Holmes when blasting away at his victims in a darkened movie theater.   Mother Jones also found that half of the cases involved school or workplace shootings (11 and 17, respectively); the other 28 cases took place in locations including shopping malls, restaurants, government buildings, and military bases. Only one of the killers was a woman. (See Goleta, Calif., in 2006.)

Of course, that is a limited guide to mass shootings since very few people have an accurate grasp on how much firearms harm society, and that’s the way the gun lobby would like it.  Like the climate denial crowd, they want to flood the marketplace of ideas with shit science.  The fact that the NRA is so terrified of correct and accurate numbers being collected that they obstruct any legislative attempt to do so is as clear a red flag that they know an informed public will not follow, support or agree with them as you could ask for as an indicator of a serious problem.  But, like climate change, the truth is out there (I give a pitch for this blog) if one is willing to sift through an internet filled with loads of bullshit.

Fact is, the carnage has been going on at least since the 1978, but probably much longer, yet no one wants to do anything about it.  There is too much fantasy out there about people being able to outshoot the gunman, which is total crap in this case since they would have had to do it through a haze of tear gas.  Unfortunately, it is the fantasy which will win out in all this as it always has seemed to have done in recent years.

But, as the graphic says: “By looking closely at Holmes’ ammunition and equipment, it becomes clear the attack at the movie theatre could have been much worse.”  The question is when will it be so bad that people in the US will finally feel some outrage at the carnage happening around them and say enough?

More on hoplophobia

It was made up by Jeff Cooper who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the combat mindset. So, is he saying that we shouldn’t be concerned if we see someone carrying a firearm? I think this goes to point of VPC’s study Unintended Consequences where Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-defence. In other words, the candid voices of pro-handgun experts and exposes through expert opinion the gun industry’s lies about the illusory benefits of handguns for self-defence.

First off, this “condition is not recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (AKA DSM). It is probably unlikely to be recognised as a condition as well, despite the efforts of the people who like to use this terms efforts to get it in there. This would be due to the fact that most of the medical community is aware that the risk of harm from pistols and revolvers that is demonstrated year after year in America’s unparalleled handgun death and injury rates.

Irrational Fear? This term came from Jeff Cooper the person who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the colour coded combat mindset. The first two rules of gun safety are:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)

Rule number 2 is the most important for this critique since it concedes that guns are destructive devices. Unfortunately, the fact that guns when used properly can cause serious injury or death is one of the things the folk who tend to use this term would prefer to neglect—in particular, the person who created the term.

Is he saying that we see someone we don’t know carrying a firearm and not see the possibility of a threat? Is he saying that guns don’t deserve at least a shred of respect for their capacity to cause injury or death?

Spot the inconsistency!

Before I leave this, I should say that no one has addressed Cooper’s inconsistencies in that he has his little colour coded combat mindset and points out that guns are indeed lethal, or at least destructive with his four rules of gun safety.

YET…

He would call people who are concerned about those who would carry firearm in a civilian setting hoplophobes.

Instead he wants people to walk around in condition white about someone who is carrying a deadly weapon:

 “Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”

But the ultimate absurdity is that Cooper taught COMBAT firearms use.  In fact, the colour coded mindset was expounded upon in a book called Principles of Personal Defense and refers to the states of awareness in combat, or the combat mindset

People who have served in the military, especially in combat arms and are quite used to the presence of weapons know the difference between war zones and civilian life. Being in the military is different from being in a civilian population. And that is a rational consideration, not mental illness. The civilian environment does not have life threatening danger around every corner. It is not a combat zone.

Civilian life is not combat. You would have thought a battle hardened marine like Cooper would have caught on to that fact. One usually does not encounter weapons in a Civil Society which is at peace.

So,which is it, are you tryiing to create a society where it is considered normal to be in a combat state of awareness?

Or do you live in a society where there is peace and laws?

Are you a hoplophobe?

I have to admit this is one of the most idiotic terms I have ever heard, yet it is repeatedly used to castigate those who support gun control.  I have devised this simple test to determine if you are a hoplophobe or not:

A madman is pointing a large firearm at you (e.g., 12 Bore riot-shotgun with 00 buckshot, Desert eagle .44 with hollow points and laser sighting device, or something else of your choice which would most likely seriously harm, if not kill,  you).  He is far enough away that any attempt to disarm this person would be futile.  Likewise, any attempt to pull a weapon would be met with his (or her) getting in at least a shot that would probably result in your being hurt, if not killed.

Are you:

  1. Afraid
  2. Not at all scared since you know full well that guns are not harmful in anyway, especially not in the hands of the insane or criminals, and you could not be hurt no matter how lethal the weapon or good the person’s holding its aim.

I am sure those gunloons out there will say that they have no fear and fit squarely into category 2.

Whereas anyone with a shred of sense would be afraid and say 1.

This is why the discussion of gun violence in the United States makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  “Gun rights” advocates place themselves and others in this situation through their policies, yet want to imply those who oppose them are in some way not sensible.

More Bad Taste from Starbucks

I can’t think of a reason to want to buy Starbucks’ Coffee: They allow gun toting clients in the USA (“would you like hot lead with that?”).

Now, they have the bad taste to ask the Irish why they are proud to be British!

Inviting followers on Twitter to “show us what makes you proud to be British” as part of a diamond jubilee promotion must have seemed like a good idea at the time at Starbucks.

But after tweeting the invitation to nearly 2,000 Irish followers of its Twitter account on Tuesday, the coffee giant has been on the receiving end of a backlash over its seemingly shaky grasp of political geography.

If allowing gun toting customers isn’t bad enough, they have to show how DUMB they are by asking Hibernians (the Irish) if they are proud to be British--TWO DIFFERENT ISLANDS.

I should repost the C G P Grey video post about the difference between the United Kingdom and Great Britain

It never fails to amaze me how culturally ignorant the Yanks are with this  error coming months after another global brand, Nike, found itself on the back foot after falling foul of sensitivities over Irish history.

The sportswear giant said no offence was intended after issuing a St Patrick’s Day-themed shoe which raised memories of a British paramilitary unit which gained notoriety during the Irish war of independence.

IRELAND IS NOT BRITAIN, BUT NORTHERN IRELAND IS PART OF THE UNITED KINGDOM (FOR THE TIME BEING).

Sorry!

For those of you glued to this blog for Second Amendment/Gun control posts–

DON’T BOTHER READING THIS BLOG ANYMORE!!!!

I now use MikeB’s blog, http://mikeb302000.blogspot.com/, to post that material.

You will be seeing more of the things that interest me, and a few anoraks, here from now on.

Man with silly hat and gun (from Microdot)

When Mike B posted this, it didn’t have the animation. I managed to get the animated pic from the Brain Police: