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Showing posts with label guns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guns. Show all posts

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Worst Dictator Ever


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Yay Hawai!

It looks like Hawaii is moving a more sane direction regarding guns. All firearms owners in Hawaii will now be in a federal database.

The bill involves an FBI database known as the "Rap Back" that currently tracks people who are in "positions of trust," such as school teachers and people who work with the elderly. Stephen Fischer of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division told The Associated Press. Hawaii would add gun owners to the list.

It's not too surprising that bowels are being blown in the Gun Cult. Oh well. Considering they fully support mentally unstable people acquiring firearms easily, they can fuck right off.

Friday, May 27, 2016

NRA Members Want Background Checks?




I guess they do:)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Doing His Part

I take solace in the fact that if the president wins re-election in November, he will have done a major favor to this market in our economy. See? He is adding jobs:)

Remember when they all rushed out to buy guns before he took office the first time?

Fool me once...

Thursday, February 03, 2011

What You Afraid Of?

It's been a few weeks since the tragedy in Tuscon reignited several debates. One of them was the gun debate and in all of the swirl of dialog, a question arose in my head.

What you are afraid of?

I am asking this question specifically to the gun rights folks that migrated to this blog from Kevin's site. After the Tuscon shooting, gun sales skyrocketed. Many gun rights proponents told me this was due to fear of a new wave of gun control yet the only thing that I have seen being seriously considered is a ban on the high capacity clips that are similar to what Loughner used. I guess I wouldn't have a problem with that but I'd like to see tighter controls on the mentally ill being able to purchase guns before that sort of ban.

I'm still lost, though. Was there another reason why people rushed out to buy a gun? I think so but I'll get to that in a moment. I get the fact that people should be able to own guns and use them for hunting, sport, and target practice. I even get the collectible side of it...I'm the world's biggest pack rat with comic books, CDs, and DVDs, books...so I get the obsessive need to collect.

But what I don't get is the ridiculous notion that an AR-15 is for home protection. Or a Glock with a high capacity clip is used to protect oneself on the street. Again, if it's just because they are cool and you want one, fine. I'm that way with stuff too. But don't give me the BS about protection. And that goes for just about every situation regarding protection.

In some situations, I can see it. I have a friend who lives in Chicago who got mugged a few times and bought a gun. She has since been nearly mugged three times and her gun has been an effective deterrent. Women protecting themselves....I get it...no problem. But I had someone tell me the other day that if Abe Lincoln had a gun, he would've been able to turn around and shoot John Wilkes Booth. He was serious but I just laughed at him. Where would he have kept it for easy access? In his hat?

Then it all dawned on me. In their continued adolescent power fantasy, people who (over) use the line of protection think they are living their lives in an episode of 24. Or in the film Die Hard where John McLane duct tapes guns to his back and tricks the bad guys. This is complete fiction. It NEVER happens like this. Yet these folks thinks that it does and that's a big problem. They are so afraid of...something...in their lives that they primarily reside in a world of fantasy (Ayn Rand) in which they are Campbell's archetypal hero...shooting their way to security.

I've always been a huge action film and TV fan. I love 24, the Die Hard films, and have been obsessed for over 20 years with HK action flicks (Chow with two guns=Mega) but I know that they are complete fantasies and have no resemblance to real life. The same person who told me that if Abe Lincoln had a gun, he would've been able to defend himself said the same thing of Gabby Giffords. This mentality is so silly that it's hard to even comment. She would've had no time to react and the one guy that was there with a gun didn't even draw it because was uncertain as to who the gunmen was during the incident.

This is how the real world works, folks. So, if you just like guns because they are cool to collect or you have a legitimate reason to defend yourself, fine. Fess up. If neither are true, however, I ask again.

What are you afraid of?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cold, hard facts and cold, dead hands

Video games have been blamed for much of the violence in the last decade. I have no doubt that sooner or later that someone will make that connection with Jared Loughner. But video games, as simulations of reality, can offer some insights.

Computer and role-playing games model reality in many ways, but most break down combat into offensive and defensive capabilities. Offensive capabilities have statistics such as basic to-hit chance, accuracy, weapon speed, type of damage, rate of fire, and raw numerical damage. Defensive capabilities have statistics such as deflection, dodging, parrying, and damage resistance or damage reduction.

Most games model armor and helmets as providing damage resistance and sometimes deflection. Shields more often provide deflection rather than damage resistance, and provide a chance to block attacks. Hand weapons such as swords, staves, polearms and the like have statistics such accuracy, speed, damage, parrying chance and the like. Missile weapons such as bows, thrown spears and guns have stats for basic hit chance, accuracy, damage type, total damage, and rate of fire.

Some games provide additional rules for resolving total damage inflicted based on hit location: a shot to the hand can't kill you immediately and the total damage is often limited to some fraction of a torso hit. A shot to the head will do double or quadruple damage based on ammunition type.

Note the total lack of defensive statistics that missile weapons provide.

The other thing you learn from video games is tactics: strike first, strike hard, and strike from concealment.

It's been widely reported that Gabrielle Giffords was a supporter of gun rights. After the door of her office was smashed in during the health care tirades (they were hardly debates) she apparently decided to carry a pistol. Arizona has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country: a recently passed concealed carry law allows almost anyone to buy a gun and hide it on their person almost anywhere they go.

But as anyone who plays video games knows, guns provide no defensive protection. At best they provide first-strike capability if the attacker is detected, or more likely, a retributive strike after the initial onslaught. At worst, guns provide no protection at all if the shooter is fast, agile, calm and prepared.

And that's exactly how it played out in Arizona. Giffords never had a chance because Loughner came at her from behind and capped her. With a high-capacity clip, he was then able to shoot almost two dozen people in a matter of seconds. Giffords may well have had her pistol in her purse. It didn't matter. If she had been wearing it on her hip, or even holding it in her hand, it still wouldn't have mattered.

The only way this would have played out differently is if Giffords had had an armed security detail that had identified Loughner as a potential threat. They might have been able to stop him from approaching Giffords from behind, but given Arizona's gun laws, he had every right to meet the congresswoman while packing heat. So they would have had to let him talk to her. And at any point during the conversation Loughner could reach into his jacket, pull out his pistol and shoot her in the heart. Maybe the security detail could stop him, maybe not. But there was no detail, so it's a moot point. (And I wonder how long it will be before Giffords is called irresponsible for not taking precautions? "You screwed up -- you trusted me!")

And security details can sometimes be the problem. A Pakistani politician was killed by one of his guards last week. The killer -- a conservative Muslim who despised the liberal policies of the governor of Punjab province -- is now being celebrated as a hero by many devout Muslims.

Now imagine, as I'm sure many of you are, that every person in the crowd was packing. After Loughner shoots Giffords everyone is momentarily stunned. During that time Loughner shoots the aide standing next to her. Then the judge standing in line to talk to her. Then he starts shooting randomly into the crowd.

Semiautomatic pistols fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. Someone practiced at this can fire two or three shots per second, maybe more. Loughner apparently got a lot of practice and was a good shot.

Then the crowd realizes what is happening and they all reach into their jacket holsters and purses for their pistols, fumble to find and click off the safeties, and raise their weapons to aim and finally fire. Five seconds have gone by, and Loughner would have gotten 10 to 15 shots off. He's shooting into a crowd, firing at random. His shots will find targets no matter how bad his aim is.

Now the crowd -- untrained, panicked old ladies, moms with kids, and middle-aged men -- start shooting at Loughner. It's well known that handgun accuracy among even well-trained policemen is abysmally low in live-fire situations. Here it would certainly be lower. Ninety to 95% of the bullets fired would miss Loughner. But they could very well hit other people in the crowd, or even Giffords herself.

Remember the old joke about the circular firing squad?

Then there's the problem of identifying the aggressor. Early on in the war in Afghanistan more troops died from friendly fire than enemy action. If everyone has guns and is shooting, how does anyone know who the bad guys are?

In the Arizona incident there actually was a guy with a gun who came onto the scene. Joe Zamudio heard the shots, came rushing in and saw a guy with a gun. Zamudio put his hand on his weapon and . . . did not draw it. As it turned out, the guy with the gun had just taken it from Loughner. Zamudio kept his weapon holstered as long as possible to avoid being mistaken for the shooter. If he'd had it out with a round in the chamber, giving him that much less time to observe the situation, would he have shot an innocent man? He counts himself very lucky.

This is why cops wear uniforms: so that they can identify each other easily and civilians can recognize their authority. Cops coming on to the scene of a mass shootout have no way of identifying who's who, and could easily shoot the "good" guys.

Then there's the psychological angle. If you buy a gun you have to assume you're going to kill someone some day. Because you can't just threaten someone with it. Odds are they'll see the fear in your eyes, and they'll take that gun from you. And they may use it on you and your loved ones. Unless you're prepared to kill someone, owning a gun "for protection" is foolish.

Finally there are the consequences of killing someone. Cops and soldiers often suffer severe psychological trauma after a shooting. And they're trained to deal with it, fully expecting they will have to kill someone someday. Civilians without training would be at least as devastated, unless they're already halfway down the road the Loughner is on.

The tragedy in Arizona is really no different from Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood and dozens of home, postal and office rampages. Some suicidal nut job motivated by religion, politics, divorce, alienation, or revenge gets a gun and shoots people up.

Because a gun is not like a Kevlar vest or a ballistic helmet, it is not protection in any meaningful sense. It is a deterrent only because it threatens retaliation. If someone doesn't care whether they live or die, or they believe that they are faster and better and can outshoot their victims, or they are attacking from the rear, from cover or from great range, guns provide no protection whatsoever.

The one exception is in the theater of war, where it is (usually) obvious what the threats are, and threats can be preemptively neutralized. This is the proverbial best-defense-is-a-good-offense sort of protection.

But it points out the fallacy of carrying a weapon in a civil society. It is no sort of protection for the average person: the bad guys will just shoot first. Like Loughner, they will just cap you from behind if they think you're armed. Do we really want to turn our streets into warzones where people shoot first out of fear?

In Arizona there are six more pairs of cold, dead hands because we as a nation refuse to acknowledge the cold, hard facts about guns.