Quote of the day—Associated Press

An advisory panel charged with looking at public safety in the wake of the deadly Newtown school shooting agreed Friday to include in its final report a recommendation to ban the sale and possession of any gun that can fire more than 10 rounds without reloading.

Associated Press
January 21, 2015
Newtown School Panel to Include Proposed Gun Ban in Report
[H/T to Kurt Hoffman and JPFO.

Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you that no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 3

See also Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 1, Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 2, and Smart Gun Symposium in the news.

Robert McNamara
Co-Founder,
Trigger Smart

McNamara and Trigger Smart are based in Ireland. This, as he admitted, biased his views on “smart guns” in the U.S.

His technology is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based and he told us it would add about $300 to the price of a gun.

He saw them as being used for prevention of children having an accident and used for recreational firearms. He didn’t seem to have a sense for what it would mean to have his technology on a self-defense gun.

As King County Sheriff John Urquhart pointed out police officers who loose control of their gun are almost for certain going to be close enough for the gun to be authorized to shot when the bad guy pulls the trigger. If the bad guy were to run some distance away before shooting then it would be useful but in the immediate struggle it wouldn’t help. Hence an RFID based authorization system is of limited value in a struggle for self-defense situation.

He seemed to think there were some people that wanted them banned. It could be that he was just misunderstanding the situation with the New Jersey mandate and how that would essentially ban other types of gun. Hence many gun owners are hostile to the introduction of “smart guns”.

Since it is dependent upon radio communication someone in the audience asked about how it would deal with an attempt at being jammed. He didn’t seem to think it was possible. Looking at his bio I can excuse this error. His background is in property development, construction, and real estate. As an electrical engineer I can assure you it is possible to jam the communication between the gun and the RFID tag worn by the shooter.

Loretta Weinberg
New Jersey State Senator Majority Leader

Weinberg takes credit for the introduction and passage of the New Jersey “smart gun” mandate law.

She told many stories of children accidently shooting people. Her keynote speech was emotion packed and got the expected response from the CeaseFire people in the audience. I was annoyed with this because the number of people accidently killed in this manner is much less than the number of small children drowned. But we don’t have symposiums on or laws mandating “smart bathtubs” or “smart swimming pools”.

But what really irritated me was when she said it might have prevented the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting or the terrorist shooting in France at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. To believe things like that requires a special kind of crazy. I doubt Weinberg actually believes such a thing. I suspect she is just exhibiting her credentials that enabled her to be a New Jersey politician for such a long time. She can lie convincingly when telling people what they want to hear. She was speaking to the CeaseFire audience and not to people with technical competence.

She said there was a lot of talk among gun control people about the “smart gun” mandate law. The law had the unintended consequence of stopping the research. And you find that CeaseFire is opposed to the mandate and the Brady Campaign tried to sue and get New Jersey to enforce the mandate.

She wrote a letter to the NRA saying that she would work to repeal the law if the NRA would stop the opposition to “smart guns”. They didn’t respond. This got groans from the CeaseFire people in the audience. I thought this was probably the smartest thing they could have done with the letter. Anti-gun people can’t be trusted. What sort of guarantee could we have in place that would prevent them from pushing for a mandate again as soon as there is a gun on the market that sort of works but makes self-defense more risky than it already is? There isn’t any.

Judith Leftwich
Legal Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

When asked by moderator Dave Ross, “Is there anything wrong with letting the market decide?” Leftwich made it clear she supports mandates. When asked about the legality of mandates in light of the Heller decision which said the D.C. safe storage law was unconstitutional she told the audience that Heller only required that guns be functional. A safe storage law, in general, was not unconstitutional. D.C. had required the guns be disassembled. A “smart gun” should pass constitutional muster. Her questioner (someone from Guns.com, I think it was Max Slowik, their report is here) followed up by pointing out that Heller said that firearms “in common use” could not be banned. Leftwich drew parallel to seat belts and air bags in cars and said you can still drive old cars without airbags or seat belts. Guns shouldn’t be any different.

Leftwich also said “smart guns” would prevent gun theft. I so wanted to ask the other panelists who actually had technical knowledge what their opinion was. But there were other people asking questions ahead of me and the answers rambled on for so long that they put a halt to the questions before I got my turn. I told her directly after the symposium that the technology couldn’t possible some someone with a little mechanical or electrical smarts from defeating it. She responded that thieves generally aren’t very smart. I pointed out that they could still sell the guns to someone who had the smarts. She insisted that it would still help some. I told her that the mandate will get extremely strong resistance because of the self-defense issues of reduced reliability. I don’t know if I was just starting to annoy her or if it was that particular question but her attitude changed and she didn’t seem at all interested in talking to me any more. I let it drop.


In part four I will cover the “smart gun” poll results presented by Mark Burles, Vice President Penn Schoen, Berland.

I received fairly detailed information on the testing of the Dynamic Grip Recognition technology. I don’t yet have permission to publish it here. I hope to get at least permission to say which of my concerns have been addressed to my satisfaction and which I think need more work. That permission probably will not be granted until Monday, if ever.

What ball game?

XKCD gives me the intro:

super_bowl

Be sure to check out the image caption by hovering over the image with your mouse.

My hobby results in conversations similar to this:

Someone: What did you think of the game?

Joe: Which game?

Someone: The Hawks.

Joe: Is it the Sea Hawks? [If I could pronounce it differently I would say “See Hawks”.]

Someone (hint of confusion in their voice): Yes.

Joe: They play football, right?

Someone (they get a shifted eyed look, perhaps looking for an escape route): Yeah…

Joe: Good! Glad I got that right. Do they play with a spherical ball or the funny oblong one?

Someone (grim look): [Crickets]

Joe: I missed that game. I was probably shooting, having sex, or doing something else fun or productive. Was the game on Sunday? There seemed to be a lot of woman interested in me the other day.

Quote of the day—Vindu Dara Singh‏ @RealVinduSingh

We have to ban the production of guns & all war industry any nation who won’t gets sanctions and bans! Savages #PakSchoolSiege

Vindu Dara Singh‏ @RealVinduSingh
Tweeted on December 16, 2014
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

For the ‘Save the children’ Progressives

Bill Whittle brings the facts;

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE

You decide. Would you rather raise your children in Democrat controlled-since-the-Stone-Age, Detroit, or in Gun Nut Central, Plano, Texas?

(Hat tip Kevin Baker)

Would you rather more places be more like Detroit, or more places be more like Plano? There are causes and effects involved here. Are you interested in cause and effect, or are you more interested in furthering the Progressive agenda?

If you’re interested in “saving the children” the answer is fairly simple, and yet you’ll reject it out of allegiance to your political agendas. Therefore you’re not interested in saving children, QED, and no one should listen to you. You’re interested in something else entirely, and it isn’t pretty, or noble, or based on compassion or understanding.

I’ve often criticized the use of statistics, when asserting the principles of liberty takes back seat, and I will likely continue to do so. This bit from Whittle however will be very useful in the sentencing hearings of Progressive operatives who’ve been depriving people’s rights under color of law. One of those rights being deprived is the right to protect one’s children using a gun, and a very high death rate has resulted from that deprivation. Progressives are killing people at an astonishing rate, right here, right now.

Save the children; get a gun. Save the children; defeat Progressivism and relegate it to the dust bin of an ugly history. Save the children; advance the American Principles of Liberty.

ETA; There can be no “getting along”, or making nice, or living with, an idealogy that violates human rights on a wholesale level as a matter of national policy. Practicing Progressivism is in fact a crime, right now. All of it. It’s a violation of everythig America stands for and a violation of the constitution, and it’s perpetrators should be dealt with accordingly. The only question left is; are we going to it the easy way or the hard way?

Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 2

I’m arranging my post by the people who spoke in no particular order. The chronology and the topic of the panel in which they talked isn’t particularly important. I suspect there will be video available at some time but in most cases there was a lot of rambling and the information could have been presented much more concisely. Because of this you won’t see many exact quotes but my attempt to rephrase what I think is their position. I may get something wrong or miss something they believe to be important to understand their position and if they wish to contact me I’ll be glad to discuss and correct such errors.

Ralph Fascitelli
President Washington CeaseFire
IMG_2041CroppedAdjusted

I was annoyed with Fascitelli and tweeted about him a few times during the event:

9:59 AM:

Amazing number of lies and distortions in Washington Ceasefire Ralph Fascitelli’s opening statement.

11:20 AM:

Washington Ceasefire’s Ralph Fascitelli says guns are a “public health plague”.

Fascitelli said smart guns are similar to e-cigarettes. By this he meant, in part, the established industries are opposed to them and although they are safer some anti-smoking (and anti-gun) people are concerned that because they are safer they will lead to greater use/acceptance of conventional cigarettes/guns. He is opposed to smart gun mandates and realizes that has hindered development of the technology. He hopes that people on all sides of the issue can find common ground and reduce gun violence. He recognizes that gun owners and gun rights groups do care about innocent lives.

He strayed off topic some and said:

  • Guns are a “toxic plague” and in another instance a “public health plague”.
  • He wants limits on magazine sizes
  • He wants a ban on assault weapons

Some of the distortions and lies I found annoying included:

  • He conflated the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty by someone using a gun with those killed by someone using the officers gun. He said it was “500 over ten years”. The actual number was 511 but only 51 were shot with a department issued firearm. Fascitelli never mentioned the 51 number and expressed the “500” number in such a way that strongly implied “smart gun” technology could have saved some or all of those 500 officers.
  • During the press conference he said there were about 18,000 suicides per year using a gun and approximately 50% use a third party gun. I suspect he really meant a second parties gun but whatever. Then during the symposium he changed the numbers to 20,000 suicides per year and 10,000 people using a “third party” gun.
  • He said people under the age of 21 are not allowed to use handguns. This is false. They aren’t allowed to purchase handguns but they can own and use them.
  • He said about 10,000 U.S. children and teens have firearm injuries per year. I don’t recall if he did this or if it was only others but there were lots of stories of preteens killed and injured and then they used numbers which always included teens. The inclusion of teens of course brings in 19 year olds being shot while attempting to kill an innocent victim.

He and some others made a point that guns currently aren’t 100% reliable but “smart gun” critics demand the “smart gun” technology be 100% reliable. I suspect he is smart enough to know this is being disingenuous. We don’t want gun reliability to decrease to unacceptable levels. One failure out of 100,000 is probably acceptable in your self-defense hand gun. A 99% accurate smart gun means one failure out 100 and is not acceptable.

Depending on how you arrive at the numbers (see my email here) a gun that stops a kid from firing it 99.9% of the time may mean that if they try it 500 times they have a 60% chance of getting at least one shot off. 99% reliable may mean a 60% chance with just 50 attempts.

He hinted at a great divide in the anti-gun movement over smart guns. There is the obvious unintended consequence of mandated smart guns impeding development of them. But they also have concerns that if guns became safer to own guns would be more accepted in society.

This last point leads me to something else. I wonder if this contributes to their vehement opposition to armed school personal and sometimes even police being in schools. Are they concerned school shooting would decrease or stop and they would be less able to get traction on their anti-gun agenda? The same might be said of self-defense both inside and outside the home. Some, if not most, don’t really care that much about safety in general they just don’t want there to be guns and they even can admit this to themselves in some situations.

John Urquhart
Sheriff, King County
IMG_2045CroppedAdjusted

I really liked what Urquhart had to say and the way he said it. He was much more concise and to the point that the others and his points resonated with me. “Smart guns” aren’t ready for prime time. His deputies are very skeptical of them. You can see the mechanism of guns, you can take them apart, you can see parts are in need of maintenance, and you can clean and repair them. You can’t see into the electronics and software. You can’t know a failure is imminent with the electronics and software. A mechanical device is understandable.

This probably paraphrasing but instead of an exact quote, “A lock box isn’t going to save your life in an emergency but a gun may.”

Alan Boinus
CEO, Allied Biometrix
IMG_2047CroppedAdjusted

Boinus is licensing the commercial rights to a dynamic grip biometric device.

He thinks the phrase “smart gun” should be dropped. It should be a “user authorized gun” or something similar.

He sees potential for preventing accidents by children. He is adamant that thieves and terrorists (as suggested by one panelist) would be not be deterred.

While he is against legislation mandating the technology he would welcome legislation or at least some standards established before a gun could be put on the market. He doesn’t want a “bad-actor” to get into the market with a poor quality product that would trigger New Jersey type laws or sour the market for technology that might deliver on the promise of a high tech gun. “We can’t afford a 404 error code.”

He is also concerned about the liability issue. What if the technology fails and someone who is unauthorized to fire the gun successfully gets a shot off? Currently gun manufactures are shielded from such liability. But it seems unlikely a product that failed to do as it was advertised would be shielded. Even if it worked 99.9% of the time the liability from the 0.1% of the failures would be unacceptable. I suspect this is part of the desire for the standards body or legislation. If the tech passes some test criteria then they might claim it does it’s job good enough even though it is not perfect. I didn’t mention this to him but I think an argument could be made that it is similar to seat belts and air bags. They don’t work 100% of the time but they work well enough to save lives in many situations.

He says the technology isn’t quite ready yet. He also made the point, “Why would consumers accept the technology if law enforcement won’t?”

He claims his technology works about 99.9% of the time. I asked for details on how that was measured and he referred me to someone else. I called and sent an email yesterday but I have not heard back from them yet.

In one-on-one I asked about the price his technology would add to the gun. He dodged the question somewhat and said that survey’s showed “the sweet spot” was about $200 to $300 per gun. The parts would be considerably less than that but licensing, marketing, markup, etc. would bring it up to that range.

Boinus wrote an article for USA Today last year which covers some of these points and more.


Tomorrow in part three I will cover what Robert McNamera had to say about “smart guns” and his product Trigger Smart which is based on RFID technology. Also Juliet A. Leftwich Legal Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey Senate Majority Leader.

Smart Gun Symposium in the news

This was the Smart Gun Symposium I attended yesterday.

From KIRO TV:

By Danny Westneat Seattle Times Columnist, Smart guns’ may be smart way to keep kids safe:

There is a way to stop all the shootings involving kids getting their hands on guns. But it’s bogged down in toxic gun politics — something a Seattle activist hopes to change.

The contrast between the two reports of the same event is astounding. What also surprised me a bit was that it was originally published the day before the event. With that information you should not be surprised that nearly all the information about the event is from one source, CeaseFire President Ralph Fascitelli.

By Mike Lindblom Seattle Times staff reporter, Weapons of the future: ‘Smart guns’ would fire only for owner:

“Smart guns,” weapons that can be fired only by the owner, so as to reduce shootings by children, by suicidal people or by a criminal who wrests away a cop’s sidearm, were the topic at a symposium Wednesday at the Washington Athletic Club in Seattle

Prometheus

Cool. Very cool, and very unexpected.

Just got word from Vox Day that The Stars Came Back has been nominated for a Prometheus Award for this year. It’s the award given by the Libertarian Futurist Society.

Past winners include Sarah Hoyt, Harry Turtledove, L. Neil Smith, Vernor Vinge, Terry Pratchett, Ken MacLeod, Poul Anderson, James P. Hogan, J. Neil Schulman, and many more big names. Even if I come in last place, just being nominated to potentially stand amid such a group of names is quite an honor.

Quote of the day—Yorkie‏ @pdherd

Six dead in Pennsylvania shootings. What will it take for the U.S. to ban guns? Another avoidable tragedy. #Sickening http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30484534 …

Yorkie‏ @pdherd
Tweeted on December 16, 2014
[Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to take your guns.—Joe]

Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 1

Today I attended the Seattle “Smart Gun” Gun Symposium presented by Washington Technology Industry Association in association with Washington CeaseFire.

As you might guess Washington CeaseFire is the primary anti-gun group in Washington State. Ralph Fascitelli, president of Washington CeaseFire, spoke several times and was clearly hostile to gun ownership. But he was fair to and respectful of gun owners.

I talked to several people from the panels and Washington Ceasefire board members one-on-one during and after the event and will report in detail with my next post.

One of the people on a panel was Alan Boinus, CEO, Allied Biometrix. Allied Biometrix is a California based startup that is licensing commercial rights to firearms user-authenticating technology developed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He clearly understood the limitations of the technology and did not overstate the potential as some of the anti-gun people did. For example New Jersey State Senator Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg suggested the technology could have made a difference in the Sandy Hook and the Charlie Hebdo shootings. When I asked Boinus what his opinion on this was he said, “Give me a break!”

Boinus has some technology that I could see having promise in certain applications. I asked him for test result information and he requested I contact someone else for that and gave me a phone number. I called the New Jersey phone number but it was after 6:00 PM their time and the call went to voicemail. Using the name and phone number I found the contact’s email address and sent him the following:

From: Joe Huffman
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:23 PM
Subject: Error rates for dynamic grip recognition.

Background:

I’m a software engineer with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. When I left Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in 2005 I was a Senior Research Scientist working on biometrics.

I was at the Smart Gun Symposium today and spoke with Alan Boinus of Allied Biometrix. He suggested I contact you to get my questions answered.

Questions:

Can you give me the approximate error rates with the dynamic grip recognition technology used with firearms authentication?

I can envisions there being many ways to test this. Can you elaborate on the test methods used to arrive at the numbers you claim?

In particular claiming a 0.001 false authorization rate when testing with a single unauthorized user attempting to fire the gun 10000 times is different than testing 10000 users for one attempted false authorization each. Also, there is the matter of unauthorized users deliberately attempting to defeat the system via changing their grip versus repeatedly using it in a natural, to them, manner.

Similar issues can make the numbers for false rejection of an authorized user problematic. For example I would expect a high stress situation or injury would change authorization rate. As might hands swollen or partially numb from the cold.

Can you give me test data that would at least partially address my questions?

I would like to use any information you provide me on my blog. But if you would prefer I keep information confidential and just use general information I can respect that and would be grateful for any information you can give me.

Thank you.

Joe Huffman
208-301-4254
http://blog.joehuffman.org/

I will have one or more posts on the symposium by the end of the day tomorrow and if my contact on the dynamic grip technology supplies extensive test data I’ll devote an entire post to that.

Dave Workman was sitting just ahead of me for the press conference (about an hour before the actual symposium) but left before the symposium started. He does have his response to the press conference here and it is something you should read.

The math doesn’t work

Computer CPU clock speeds are now well into the gigaHertz range, meaning that there are potentially billions of things per second that can be done by the computer. Billions. Thousands of millions of cycles per second.

Why then is it impossible for my tablet to keep up with my typing? I’m not a fast typist, but a modern computer should be able keep up with the kind of fantasy, hyper typing that pushes the limits of the human hand’s ability to withstand the G forces involved in moving the fingers.

You can record audio and video simultaneously and with fairly good resolution with this thing, and one would think that taking key pad instructions at rates of a few hundred strokes per minute, converting them to text, displaying the text on screen and making a click noise would not tax the computing power beyond its limits, but it apparently does. I find this more than curious.

Either a large number of programmers and project managers have crap for brains, or we are being intentionally messed with, or converting display screen address touches and converting them to text is one of the most extremely complicated things a computer can ever do. It has to be one of those three, doesn’t it? What am I missing?

Quote of the day—Catalina Kelly

The families blamed Bushmaster for creating an aura around its model XM15-E2S that allegedly empowered the shooter, giving him the ability to perform like a solider in the theater of war.

Catalina Kelly
January 23, 2015
(CT) Remington pushes Newtown lawsuit to federal court
[While a bit of exaggeration there is more than a little truth to this.—Joe]

Quote of the day—CSGV ‏@CSGV

Stop fondling your gun and grow up.

CSGV ‏@CSGV
Tweeted on December 19, 2014
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday! Via a tweet from Minutemaniac (@Minutemaniac).

It’s very telling when we have SCOTUS decisions on our side and an anti-gun organization resorts to childish insults.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Anonymous Conservative

The problem I see is, the left imported the Muslim threat. Then the leftists at Charlie Hebdo inflamed it with leftist snark to the point that it began shooting at them, and even killed innocent citizens in the Kosher Deli. Now they want everyone to “stand with them,” which really means fight the enemy they imported and angered, while they hide under the table, so they won’t have to face the consequences of their own stupidity.

Anonymous Conservative
January 22, 2015
Are We All Charlie Hebdo?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Mugme street news

From downtown Seattle on the street Barb calls “Mugme Street” via the Seattle Police:

Two men were wounded by gunfire Wednesday evening in downtown Seattle.

Officers on foot patrol near Westlake Center heard gunfire just after 8 p.m. Wednesday and ran toward the sounds of the shots. Police saw a large group of people running from 3rd and Pine St, where officers found two men with gunshot wounds.

I don’t even like being there during the daytime.

Quote of the day—Paul Koning

Why should it be your responsibility as a seller to verify the intentions of the buyer any more than it is for the seller of a car or a crowbar?

The basis of this background checks notion is the idea of collective responsibility, the uncivilized idea that you should feel responsible for the wrong acts of someone else.

Paul Koning
January 23, 2015
Comment to Carrots versus Sticks?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Bulk ammo sale

Via email from Bulk Ammo Direct. These look like good prices:

Bulk Ammo Direct is having a sale on the following items:

-Federal American Eagle 5.56, loaded with Lake City Brass to NATO specifications. This ammunition is an ideal choice for the shooter looking for a great, affordable round for target shooting, training and practice. The ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer-primed, reloadable brass cases.
$283.00/case of 900, 30 rounds/box, 30 boxes/case
$30.00/case flat rate shipping fee to be added
Minimum order 1 case

-New Federal .223 in bulk. 55GR FMJ – 1,000 rounds per bag encased.
$315.00/case
$30.00/case flat rate shipping fee to be added
Minimum order 1 case

-New production 22 LR
$85.00/Brick
$850.00/case of 5,000 rounds
$30.00 – $40.00/case shipping fee to be added
Minimum order 1 case

We also have another supply of pulldown WC 872 propellant, packaged in 40 LB boxes, 60 boxes per pallet, total of 2400 LBS/pallet.
$6.25/LB plus shipping
Minimum order 1 pallet

To order ammo, go to: www.bulkammodirect.com, or email: sales@bulkammodirect.com.

To order propellant or 22 LR ammo, call or email:

Marc Coury
Bulk Ammo Direct
OFF: 310.766.1121
DIRECT: 949.645.3815
marc@bulkammodirect.com
www.bulkammodirect.com

Jeff Semko
Bulk Ammo Direct
OFF: 310.766.1121
DIRECT: 310.493.9400
jeff@bulkammodirect.com
www.bulkammodirect.com

Lessons Learned

Some background; local cops have been out for me and my family. Not in a big way, just looking to take advantage of opportunities. Both of my kids have had run-ins with the law. Some serious and some very, very, laughably trivial. I was once the victim of selective enforcement regarding dogs being off-leash ($100 dollar ticket) on or the day after the local cops were subpoenaed to appear in court as witnesses on one of those trivial cases, they’ve threatened to have the dog destroyed, and recently one of the cops was seen prowling in my yard, and was not forthcoming as to why when I called him on the phone afterward. One of the former cops from the same department had been “hitting on” my under-age daughter and her under-age friend. That’s 2.

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