30 April 2007
Unfortunately, I don't think H&K got the bid because of the problems the XM8 had--or, at least, that's what I heard from someone who worked over at the Cold Weather Testing Center over at Ft. Greely. Kind of a shame, because the concept behind the XM8 was really good--a modular battle rifle, able to be reconfigured for a variety of roles (full auto support, marksman, and basic configuration).
Still, the below battle rifle is my absolute favorite:
The venerable G36. I wonder how that civvie got hold of one...
29 April 2007
After being used to .44s and .45s., .40s seemed so...small!
Anyway, this has nothing to do with comparing calibers, but rather some numbers I've been coming across while hunting up stuff for the blog.
Specifically, the number of guns in this country. If you remember last year, I quoted the Brady Bunch as estimating some 200 million guns in this country. Recently, though, I've seen someone quote 240 million, and while watching a fuller version of Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t concerning gun control, the number seems to have grown to 250 million.
This drives down the ratio of guns used in violent crime to overall guns in the country. If the 250 million estimate is correct, then the 277,868 incidents of violent crimes involving a firearm comprise a miniscule .11% of all known firearms in this country.
And for those of you who haven't seen that Penn & Teller feature, here it is in three parts. Worth a look.
And Part 3:
27 April 2007
Funny how tragedy fuels libs to jump to the most extreme of conclusions, without any thought to its effect on our liberties, save some oblique disparagement of the "gun lobby" who would no doubt work overtime to prevent such an overt flouting of Federal Law.
But look at this...no discussion over the Constitution whatsoever. It isn't mentioned once.
And, naturally, with that kind of disregard, the sort of scenario Mr. Simpson describes could very well happen:
- Steep financial penalties and a year in prison for exercising a human right.
- Government control of personal property.
- Police Squads searching and seizing personal property, including scenes like this little jewel:
On the streets it would be a question of stop-and-search of anyone, even grandma with her walker, with the same penalties for "carrying."
Thank God this moron isn't in office, nor running for office.
25 April 2007
From the University of Oregon, we get a threefer from the Daily Emerald. The first, appearing in April 23. Elon Glücklich identifies two major parts to tragedies like this: The disturbed individual and the weapon used. Hmmm, nothing new nor necessarily profound there.
Since (says Glucklich) you can't do so well identifying a potential killer, then you "logically" must control the tools they can use. So, it seems to him that the threat he has chosen to major on are inanimate objects which don't suffer from disaffection (kind of reminds me of the "why beer is better than women" line of jokes). And, to get to them, he will gladly call the Second Amendment outdated:
The Second Amendment used to make a lot of sense. When I say "used to" I mean about 200 years ago. The United States of America was a lot different back then.
Is this sounding like a broken record to you folk? It would seem that our high schoolers are by and large spending four years under some sort of an academic Gleichschaltung, because I am hearing the exact same lines of reasoning from all these anti-2A positions.
My brother's girlfriend is a public school teacher. I'll have to check around for some handbook or something when I go visit them in a few weeks.
The article elicited two responses, explaining some of the shortcomings of Glucklich's thinking. The first response points to the need to consider the disturbed individual, and blames intolerance for Cho's state of mind (teasing, harassment, racism). In passing, he mentions the deterrent value of weaponry.
The second blasts Glucklich's ignorance on self-defense situations. We've heard and understand these sort of arguments, but it may be a first to an Ivory Towerer like Glucklich.
Ohio: The broken record plays over at Bowling Green, starting off with a very whimsical account of having attended a candlelight vigil for the victims over at VT. But then the emotionalism disengages the higher functions as the writer laments over how easy it is to get a gun at a pawn shop, and that some screening process is needed, without understanding that Cho's gun purchases were done completely by the book, including background checks.
However, Cho could have been denied the purchase by Federal law had some consideration been given to two stalking incidents that happened in 2005. However, this is definitely a case of too little, too late.
In my former home state of North Carolina, we find one short but to the point opinion expressed in the Seahawk:
Ted Nugent alluded to on CNN that gun-free zones could become targets for those who already plan illegal actions. If someone wants less resistance to his or her violent force, the best place to be is where no one can fire back at you.But, on the flip side, a student at Wake Forest attempts a different approach at the broken record. But instead of attacking 2A outright, he vilifies the NRA and another organization (National Association of Firearms Retailers) as part of some sort of conspiracy to keep our country dangerous.
He laments the sunset of the AWB 3 years ago: "This ban did not threaten anyone’s right to bear arms; it merely restricted the purchase of automatic clips for handguns, as well as semi-automatic assault rifles." What he failed to see was the ban's ineffectiveness at stopping gun-related crime.
He says in the next sentence: "Even in the wake of horrific mass-murders, no major action has been taken to limit the availability of the weapons that facilitate these tragedies." Erm, Matthew, the AWB was in full force in April of 1999. But yet, it didn't prevent Columbine.
Come to think of it, the AWB didn't prevent any of the following school shootings, either:
Richland High School, Lynnville, TN (1995)--1 student, 1 teacher killed.
Frontier Junior High, Moses Lake, WA (1996)--2 students, 1 teacher killed.
Bethel, AK (1997)--Principal, 1 student killed.
Pearl High School, Pearl, MS (1997)--2 students killed, 7 others wounded.
Heath High School, West Paducah, KY--3 students killed, 5 wounded.
Stamps, AR (1997)--2 students killed
Westside Middle School, Jonesboro, AR (1998)--4 students and 1 teacher killed, 10 others wounded.
And some 21 others that happened during the years of the AWB. Bill Clinton's words are ringing in my head now: "Now tell me that this bill will not prevent crime!"
Point being, Matthew--the government's actions to restrict gun ownership in the interests of preventing crime have been, by and large, impotent.
24 April 2007
Now, this link's title is a little misleading. It and the commentator mention something about "force fields," but it actually uses a shotgun-like blast to set off RPGs before they contact the armor.
I saw this very thing featured in the Hammer's Slammers series of novels and short stories some 20 years ago, where their tanks and combat cars are outfitted with radar-triggered point-defense mines to destroy incoming "buzzbombs."
Additionally, someone posted another blog which may be worth watching. It's the Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog.
22 April 2007
UCLA Prof: Guns are the issue. They kill people. Too many of them are around. Ordinary citizens can't handle them. It makes my hair stand on end just thinking about it.
Professor Hatter: If guns kill people, mine are defective. If they are truly the issue, why are 99.87% of the ones in the U.S. not used in crimes? Please qualify the statement about "ordinary citizens." If you're setting yourself as the standard of what a citizen should be, and attributing your discomfort and inability to handle firearms to the whole of the U.S. population, that is pure Ivory Tower Arrogance.
As for the hair, it isn't anything a dab of Brylcreem couldn't take care of.
"Evil is as evil does, and laws disarming guaranteed victims make evil people very, very happy. Shame on us.
"Already spineless gun control advocates are squawking like chickens with their tiny-brained heads chopped off, making political hay over this most recent, devastating Virginia Tech massacre, when in fact it is their own forced gun-free zone policy that enabled the unchallenged methodical murder of 32 people."The Hat: preach it, brotha!
While you're visiting LGF, check out the Penn & Teller vid on gun control. I had been looking for it online for ages!
21 April 2007
First, I want to dedicate #7 and #7.5 to a professor who gave his life in defense of his students:
A survivor (Holocaust, Cold-War Communist Romania) who gave his all to help the next generation do the same. Because life is worth defending. L'shanna tova tikotavu.
A very short blurb. The only remark of interest was another tired assertion that "Statistics show that the more guns a population has, the more likely people will die or get injured by one." Yep, automobile deaths and injuries have proven that, yet we have made no strides towards stricter car control.
And, if you want to compare statistics, remember that the Brady Bunch claims there are some 200 million guns in the U.S. The 2004 FBI stats I looked at last year report 277,868 violent crimes involving a firearm. That amounts to .138% of all the firearms owned in this country. That is not a bad rate.
Now, a slightly more sensible, if not rather pessimistic, editorial comes from elsewhere in the state, in UT-Arlington's Shorthorn. The subtext of the title reads "School shootings will continue, and we have only ourselves to look to."
There is a collective moan among the Jonesboro, Columbine and now Virginia Tech generation. We resist the obligatory gun-control debate, which is ineffective on a national level. We believe the Second Amendment is here to stay, and that Virginia Tech’s tragedy will not be the catalyst for gun-control reform, despite becoming the deadliest shooting in American history.
While he understands that 2A is not the source of the problem, he doesn't really pose any solutions, other than some more navel-gazing.
Meanwhile, over at UT-El Paso, the editor in chief of the Prospector decides to honk the gun control horn, especially since 2008 is not that far away: "The first step should be taking a closer look at the Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and make sure we elect a leader in the 2008 presidential election who will take concrete actions towards mending our outdated gun laws."
Again, another "novel" idea from a captive of the Ivory Tower. Rapunzel here has dropped her brains out the window.
I get a little irked whenever I hear these elite-wannabes talk about "taking a closer look" at our "outdated" Second Amendment. Would these same types also consider due process outdated? How about free speech? Protection against search and seizure?
Let me again quote Alan Dershowitz: "Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming that it's not an individual right or that it's too much of a safety hazard don't see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like."
Another response to the VT massacre, this one coming from the University of Pittsburgh's Pitt News, was written by someone who identifies more with the gun-control crowd, but interestingly enough states that gun control would not work in the U.S., simply because firearms are too embedded in our culture. He does a lot of comparisons with Western Europe, whether it be a lament that we are not more like Europe or not, I don't know.
An attempt to take the political pulse in light of the VT shootings is featured in Swarthmore College's The Phoenix. There, the writer seems to show a certain amount of astonishment at what seems to be reticence of politicians on both sides to address gun issues in light of the shootings. But I think he fails to see just how around-the-way most politicians have been over this issue, and seem to have realized the rather imprudent practice of leveraging a tragedy's emotional impact for the sake of furthering a political agenda.
Furthermore, the writer seems to be largely clueless about the state of gun rights support in Pennsylvania:
House Bill 760 was recently introduced in order to institute certain reforms, but despite Governor Rendell’s support it will face serious contention from the General Assembly, which is mostly comprised of lawmakers that support gun rights. The fact is that in Pennsylvania, as elsewhere, the minority is louder than the majority that supports gun control.
I don't think the author really thought about what he was writing when he typed out the above. He claims that PA's gun rights advocates are actually a minority (without giving any evidence--a common propaganda tactic to make it look like you have the moral high ground, when in fact, you're grasping at straws), but the previous sentence states that elected officials are mostly pro-2A. Who elected those officials? The minority?
I know Pennsylvania to be a state where there are a lot of hunting enthusiasts, so I find his assumptions about the minority and majority to be another case of ignorance borne out of Ivory-Tower isolationism.
More to come later this week, as I continue to search through the op-ed pages I can find online.
20 April 2007
You know that the VT massacre is going to stir up all sorts of hype. The Bradys, within hours of the disaster, were hitting people up for money for their cause. And since campuses can be full of people with a lot of ideas to express, but not a whole lot of experience to help them discern what makes sense and what does not, I expect a lot of lamenting over gun issues from people who don't know a Glock from a doorknob.
Wisconsin-Madison, as ever, leads the way knee-jerk responses from the shortened left leg. Max Schusselberg spearheads this parade of idiotarianism as only a freshman in journalism can do:
The Second Amendment is Out of Date...here are the highlights. Tremble before the wisdom of the nascent barking moonbat!
There was a time in American history when the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms” promoted safety and a sense of well-being among the citizenry of the United States. Today, however, the Second Amendment seems to do nothing more than act as a precipitant of violent and life-threatening behavior.As to be expected, it's the same old stuff we hear from that corner all the time...praising the metropolitan over ruralites, paranoia over the NRA, trying hard not to paint all gun owners as unstable fanatics but failing miserably, advocating trust in the police (as if cops were somehow absent in Blacksburg this past Monday), and being very long on opinion, but short on any real research, much less original thought.
For example, despite the title of the article, there is very little discussion over 2A itself. I don't think the fellow has even read the amendment, especially the parts concerning the freedom and security of the state. I guess such notions are out of date, aren't they?
But I'll give Max a little slack. After all, he is a freshman. And, happily, you have the option to respond to such idiotarianism in the Badger-Herald. I did. The responses at the bottom of the page are probably worth more than the article itself.
Getting closer to the epicenter of our most recent social earthquake, WVU's Athenauem publishes a half-hearted attempt to address the violence. Mr. Doyle, who I guess is a regular columnist at the paper (makes me feel sorry for the rag) doesn't offer much in the way of arguments that have a lot of bite in the issue. Just the usual "2A didn't take into account these kind of weapons," "why do you need this for hunting?", "you should rely on the cops more." As if these youngsters were coming up with something really enlightening.
Again, let me say that opinions are fine. But please, give us something we can think about, not something that's been shot down time and time again. 2A isn't about what kind of hardware you may or may not have (and it mentions nothing about hunting), it's about defense--read the wording, and you will see security and freedom for the state written right into it.
As for reliance on cops, remember, Blacksburg has an armed PD. But it didn't keep Psycho Cho from ruining 50 lives this past Monday.
Jumping out west, Will Lewis of WWC's Collegian admonishes us not to let emotionalism drive the gun debate.
Out at Arizona, you have four letters to The Wildcat's editor regarding gun issues. Three express shock at just the notion of allowing guns on campus, and go so far as to say they would make no difference in averting another VT shooting. Only one advocates gun safety--and by that, I mean responsible gun ownership--as a measure to increase campus security.
One of the antis really put on a display of ivory-tower arrogance, basically painting gun owners and 2A advocates as something less than lofty as the chattering class. I personally take offense at that. I hold more degrees than this bozo, speak more languages, and have owned a total of five firearms in my life. How's that for being a "brute?"
More to come later...gotta run for now
19 April 2007
Definitely not the ATF's brightest moment. Certainly shoots holes (no pun intended) in the leftist notion that their side of the political fence acts most in accordance with the best interests of America.
No mention of it made much in the mainstream media...CNN had an article referring to it today, only because a former Branch Davidian, and one that disagreed with Koresh, split off, and formed his own splinter sect, wanted to establish a new church on that site. From the tone of the guy, it sounded like he would be little better than Koresh.
However, there was a very good column in WorldNetDaily by Jack Cashill talking about something not many people knew about the debacle: that it involved the deaths of 27 blacks. That fact, plus a ton others (like Cashill, I strongly recommend renting out Waco: Rules of Engagement for much that didn't appear in MSM coverage of the massacre), were nicely covered up by the Clinton Administration and overlooked by the MSM. Didn't want to alienate a voting bloc, now that the Dems finally had a president in (the last and one of the worst of the XXth century, we would later find out), and control of Congress.
Additionally, this week marks the twelfth anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing, which was supposedly a reaction against the FUBAR'd Waco op.
But wait! It gets better! This week marks the eighth anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.
And, finally, this recent horror, ending the lives of 32 or 33 students. What is there about this particular week in the month of April that makes everyone so whackball?
18 April 2007
The fellow responsible for 50 deaths and injuries at Virginia Tech a few days ago was identified. Cho Seung-Hui was a 23-year-old senior, majoring in English.
From what I read of the article from the Badger-Herald, he was a sullen loner, obviously suffering from some intense inner turmoil. Warning signs were plenty evident in bits of creative writing he did for his classes, depicting gruesome, violent scenes.
Again, proving that it isn't the instrument that's to blame, it's the fellow behind the trigger.
He had even been referred to VT's counseling services.
One of weapons used was a Glock 9mm. Sheesh. Pretty bad advertising for Glock (of all the quality handguns used in crimes--as opposed to cheap disposable weapons generally used--that one seems to pop up the most).
The weapon had been purchased legally. Cho had no prior criminal background.
Now, naturally, the antis are getting their pontification engines warmed up. The Anti-Gun Guys have their two bits to say to try to find some explanation for what happened.
Two bits of what, I'll let you insert here...it ain't worth two copper coins, I'll tell you that much.
First, they turn to the Violence Policy Center...a very unbiased organization in such matters, to be sure, where a little history lesson is given on sidearm marketing trends since 1980, and the shift from revolvers to semi-autos as the choice of a handgun.
Naturally, the Guys chime in with their laments: "These weapons are definitely at or beyond the level of weaponry carried by even our law enforcement officers, and some of the weapons even rival what’s carried by our armies. These kinds of weapons simply don’t belong in civilian hands, and yet not only are they available to almost anyone– they are finding their way onto our streets by the millions."
Geez. Civilians outgunning LEOs and soldiers? They obviously haven't noticed too many police officers or security guards lately. All the ones I've encountered carry semis, not terribly different from the ones I keep locked in my closet. In fact, I bought my H&K from a Kentucky LEO.
But, for all their boo-hooing and hand-wringing over firearm-related tragedies, they leave out the most critical aspect of such shootings: they were carried out by a severely disturbed individual. If guns were such a critical factor to crime in this country, then why do crimes involving firearms represent about a tenth of a percent of all firearms owned in this country?
I mean, I currently own two handguns...according to the totemistic beliefs that undergird much of the antis' hysteria, I guess I stand as much of a chance to blow away my neighbors as this Cho (and since they are larger caliber than what Cho had with him, does that increase my susceptibility to some form of the "Dirty Harry" syndrome?). And since I have owned five in my lifetime, including an evil, military-style "Assault" rifle, I suppose I need a State Trooper following me around wherever I go, in the interests of public safety.
But the reality of the matter is, despite having been a gun owner since the 1990s, I have never committed a single crime with any of my weapons. So much for guns being the source of crime.
16 April 2007
I guess you guys already know the story...33 dead at VT thanks to some disturbed adolescent who couldn't get over his girlfriend troubles. My inner volcano of rage stirs at the thought that 50 unrelated people (33 dead, 17 injured at the time of this writing) had to suffer because he didn't have the balls to face his own personal problems and go on with life like the rest of us.
What will even make this situation worse is how people will use this to fuel their own agendas. Take, for example, the philistine simpletons noted by 186k per second who get the knee-jerk in their shortened left legs that this matter was somehow "staged" by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.
Headline: At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass shooting in modern American history — and the death toll may rise.
I could go on and on… unfortunatately.
This is staged. We need to ask questions.
I'm telling you, radical liberalism is symptomatic of a serious mental condition.
The Bradys are going to have a heyday with this, for sure. But they, like their ilk, are going to miss the point entirely. It wasn't the gun that was the root cause of the tragedy. It wasn't the tool that possessed the guy to shoot up the place. It was a disturbed fritzoid possessing the gun.
Michelle Malkin has some excellent coverage on the matter, including some correspondence from VT students:
Finally one of the guys in the front of the classroom was brave enough to get up and move the desk in front of the door to prevent outside entry. About twenty seconds later, the shooter rattled the doorknob trying to get in. When he couldn't get in he fired two shots through the door (single solid piece of wood) and left. We heard him go in to 206 (the room across the hall) and shoot the people in that room. If we hadn't put the barricade up when we did, I and all my classmates would be dead.
If a barricade was sufficient to save lives, imagine what an armed student could have prevented.
Michelle also links to an IM exchange between another blogger and a VT student while the whole thing was going on.
And the pièce de resistance, flashing back to last year, when a bill allowing CCW on campus was being deliberated over. Michelle also quotes yet another blogger commenting on the same matter, saying "Just imagine if students were armed. We no longer need to imag[in]e what will happen when they are not armed."
No doubt this will be the focal point of much discussion of RKBA matters on campus, so therefore, I will be taking back the RKBA Campus Round-Up project from A Keyboard and a .45. Thanks for taking up the burden, bro, but it's time for me to handle it again.
And while you're at it, pray for the surviving victims and the victims' survivors. Losing a loved one under any circumstance is bad enough. They need the sort of peace that only God can give.