Quote of the day–Eugene Goodrich

My bill will crack down on gun shows and illegal gun trafficking, ban violent juveniles from ever being able to buy a gun and close the loophole that lets juveniles own assault rifles.

From Clinton’s weekly radio address, the transcript of which I encountered at http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/Clintonradio_littleton99044.html

Please note that apparently there is a loophole that lets juveniles own select-fire carbines.

Seriously, though, this is an important step forward.  If juveniles had not been allowed to own assault rifles (or even semi-automatic centerfire rifles with a black anodized coating), the two teens in Littleton would not have made pipe bombs or shot a bunch of people at their school with shotguns and pistols.

Eugene Goodrich
(Member of the Microsoft Gun Club)
Sat 4/24/99


I have virtually no interest in anything computer related right now.  Thing are unpleasant at work and I just want to escape having anything to do with computers. I actually started cleaning out the garage today.  I found my solar powered ear protection I had left in the rental car in New Mexico last month.  I called them and asked they send to me and they said they would.  But despite me asking everyone here at home no one said anything about them arriving.  I found them in a UPS plastic envelope in the recycling.  I looked up the tracking number and found they had been delivered on April 20th.

Barb and I have been spending a lot of time watching movies. Two yesterday and two today.  Nothing really good, nothing really bad.

Ry had lots of excitement last night.  Burning rubber, 60 MPH on residential streets, lots of police, and there was the car crash (hit and run) and the smoke and fire.

Quote of the day–Jeff Cooper

We ran into a pleasant interlude up in Vermont which emphasized the wisdom and social utility of the Vermont firearms laws. It seems that some foreigner from down below was in a supermarket when he observed one of the customers wearing a pistol openly. He got all flustered and immediately called 911. In due course a cop showed up and located the complainer, who pointed out the “culprit.” The cop agreed that the man really was carrying a pistol, and then he asked what the problem was. I suppose the poor fellow rushed off out the door and went back where he came from. Obviously the state of Vermont was too dangerous for him.

Jeff Cooper
From Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
Vol. 6, No. 3
March 1998

Quote of the day–Henry David Thoreau

Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institution-such call I good books.

Henry David Thoreau
U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist.
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, “Sunday” (1849)
[First Amendent, Second Amendment–I would claim the same sort of criteria is useful when choosing a firearm. — Joe]

Cute phrase

I just finished up a presentation I am to give next week in Houston.  I looked through my collection of quotes and things and found this to conclude my talk with when I turn it over to questions and comments:

If your mind goes blank, don’t forget to turn off the sound.

The attribution is hazy.  It probably was from an email received at Microsoft but I don’t know who wrote it or when.

Almost all politicians and about 75% of meeting participants could benefit from this advice.

Our future with ID cards

The Brits did a trial run on a biometric ID card with 10,000 people.  The results are in:

THE technology behind the government’s controversial ID card scheme fails to recognise one in every 25 people, it emerged yesterday.

A Home Office trial that collected the biometric details of 10,000 volunteers showed at best the technology was 96 per cent foolproof if iris scans were used.

It was even less accurate for black people and the over-59s, and worse for those with disabilities, as the scans had more difficulty recognising them.

It was also revealed that the estimated cost per card had risen to £93, up from £85 in November – an amount that did not include the start-up technology costs. Running costs over ten years are estimated to be £5.8 billion.

A report on the trial said the reasons for the lower success rates among certain groups remained unclear and that more work was needed to identify the reasons.

Meanwhile, facial biometric technology was only 69 per cent accurate, while using fingerprints was 81 per cent failsafe.

David Winnick, Labour MP for Walsall North, insisted he would continue to oppose the bill and pointed to the government’s shifting the justification for identity cards, from thwarting terrorism to identity fraud.

I’m actually surprised the results are this bad.  I know biometrics isn’t really up to the task it is being asked to do, but this was much worse than I thought it would be.  This is great news for freedom lovers everywhere and in the U.S. in particular.  Our government is running a little behind the U.K. in police state race.  To see the U.K. fail so badly in this important (to would-be tyrants) tool may mean we will be spared the expense.  Yeah, I know, Real ID passed but all it requires in terms of a biometric identifier is a digital photo of your face and your signature–two of the least accurate biometric measures.  Real ID will accomplish only one thing well–making a few people feel good and the U.K. experience will be further evidence of that.

Ry to speak on Boomershoot at Microsoft Gun Club

Ry says he is not sure he will have much to say.  Wow!  He’s spent many 100’s of hours involved with Boomershoot.  He could talk about firearm selection.  He fired nearly 1000 rounds through an AK-47 clone to connect with his first boomer but a few years later could connect almost at will with an AR-15 with a “deep space telescope“ mounted on it.  Or if he wanted to talk about stuff “behind the scenes“ he could talk about the dozens and dozens of experiments we have done (and all the windshields we have replaced).  All the fireballs that weren’t.  All the boomers that went pop.  All efforts that went into the various target bodies.  All the tests we should have done but didn’t.  Or how about the games we (mostly Ry) came up with using boomers.  Why there probably won’t ever be any legal gambling on a boomershoot type game.  Or the hours and hours of video we (mostly Ry again) have collected but neither couldn’t make into anything sustaining our interest for more than a few seconds yet the professionals at KING 5 were able to turn similar video into four and a half minutes of excitement.  He could talk about chemistry of the boomers.  He could talk about dealing with the ATF.  He could talk about the design and building of the Taj Mahal (Ry did most of that).  He could talk about the all the unintentional fires we have create and put out–sometimes just seconds from diasater. 

Do these guys have any clue?

Well, they are gun grabbers so I suppose the title question is rhetorical.  But they call themselves Freedom States Alliance but they are actively working to limit freedom.  I got an email from them that, in part, says:

As we continue to fight to end the terrorist threat posed by .50 caliber sniper rifles, we work hard to ensure that you’re kept abreast of all the latest developments in our struggle.  We are drawing a line in the sand and telling powerful special interest groups that there is no place for battlefield weapons in civilian hands.  There’s plenty that you can do to help!

This campaign has only just begun, and we’re picking up momentum.  The NRA and its friends in the gun industry declined comment because they know this is a battle that they will lose.  These guns are not your grandfather’s hunting rifles.

With so much success after such a short time, we just wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your help.  And if you’re a supporter of the campaign, won’t you consider helping to spread the word to your friends and family?  Or make a donation at our website to help us get the message out.

We must stop .50 Caliber Terror.  It’s just common sense.

What does “Freedom States Alliance“ mean?  Could it be they deliberately left it ambiguous so both those for and against freedom would feel comfortable contributing to their cause? 

How many crimes have been committed in the U.S. in the past 30 years using a firearm that shoots the .50 BMG cartridge?  One?  Maybe two?  How many terrorist acts have been committed in the U.S. using a firearm that shoots the .50 BMG cartridge?  Zero–right?  They say, “We must stop .50 Caliber Terror.“ but what is there to stop? 

They have no common sense.  They only have their blind hatred and an alliance against freedom.

Quote of the day–Arthur B. Robinson

Most of America’s assault rifles are in the attics, basements, and closets of patriotic Americans who never fire them and to whom war against their own government would be an unthinkable nightmare.

The problem is that millions of such weapons are now being stored in the homes of ordinary Americans, especially in the Western United States. Assault rifles have a military appearance and contribute in a subtle, psychological way to growing resistance to government oppression. Most farmers, ranchers, and loggers who see their lives and families entirely destroyed by Babbitt and retainers will never fire a shot. The existence of these weapons, however, makes resistance, even legal resistance, more thinkable to these victims.

The bureaucrats and politicians do not fear armed criminals or armed political zealots so much as they fear peaceful Americans who will probably never use their assault rifles – but whose mental toughness may be enhanced by possession of military weapons.

The gun controllers are not deterred by the facts about guns and crime, because their primary fear is not of criminals. They fear ordinary Americans whose lives and freedom their policies are destroying. In this fear and in their world, they are on target.

Arthur B. Robinson Ph.D.
Access to Energy
July 1994, Vol. 21, no. 11


Some wacko (redundancy alert) gun control activist “chopped off the tip of his trigger finger to protest efforts by the gun lobby to scuttle tougher firearms laws.”  It happened in 1994 and he is now auctioning off the homemade guillotine and small hammer he used to do it on eBay; Which is why it is in the news now.  Read about it here.

It certainly takes a fair amount of dedications to do that but it doesn’t compare to burning yourself to death in public like some Buddhist monks (and I believe some Quakers) did to protest the Vietnam war.  And I have to give him credit for symbology too, assuming he is not left handed, or chops off the other “trigger finger“ this week.  But of course gun control is all about symbolism rather than substance so one can’t really expect much real dedication from him.  But I have been thinking what he, and his fellow activists, might do if they had the dedication of the aforementioned Buddhist monks.  I’ll leave the details to your grisly imaginations, I would rather not give them a road-map for even temporary political success, but it involves changing the national statistics on murder and suicides committed with firearms.

A most pleasant visit from ATF Investigator Crystal

Yesterday I spent essentially the entire day with Crystal.  That last time I had a visit from the ATF it was Sue that came down from Spokane.  I had spoken with Crystal on the phone at least a time or two but this was the first time I had met her. It had come up in my conversation with Sue that Crystal was very likable and fun to be around.  Crystal is a character.  She was constantly making jokes and laughing.  You have to either like her style of humor or get away because it never stops.  I liked it.

Her card says ATF, not ATFE, and her shirt and coat both have ATF in big letters on them–she calls them her “shoot me clothes“.  While at A&W, where we met, she wore a different coat over the top of her “shoot me shirt.“

We talked about regulations and changes since the Safe Explosives Act, and examined my paperwork.  There was one issue that bothered us both as we sort of danced around the issue for a while.  She said I had to have production records for everything I manufactured.  I knew I had to have storage records for everything, unless (I thought) I used the material within 24 hours of it’s manufacture.  She said I needed production records for everything no exception if used within 24 hours.  I couldn’t recall anything like that and I didn’t have them.  I asked to see it in the “Orange Book”. She looked it up and showed it to me.  Ouch.  There it is.  Subpart G 55.123 (b):

(b) Each licensed manufacturer shall not later than the close of the next business day following the date of manufacture or other acquisition of explosive materials, enter the following information in a separate record:
(1) Date of manufacture or other acquisition.
(2) Manufacturer’s marks of identification.
(3) Quantity (applicable quantity units, such as pounds of explosives, number of detonators, number of display fireworks, etc.).
(4) Name, brand name or description (dynamite (dyn), blasting agents (ba), detonators (det), display fireworks (df), etc.) and size (length and diameter or diameter only of display fireworks).

I was sure there was an exemption if it was used withing 24 hours.  She couldn’t recall anything like that and didn’t see it either.  I was looking at the book upside down across the table from her and asked if I could look closer.  She gave me the book and a few seconds later I found what I was looking for.  Just before (e):

Exception: A licensed manufacturer is exempt from the recordkeeping requirements of this subsection if the explosive materials are manufactured for his own use and used within a 24 hour period at the same site.

We both smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.

It turns out I still have a minor problem.  I had the production record information combined with the storage record.  Technically I need to print the production information on a separate piece of paper.  It won’t happen again.

It was typical Boomershoot weather–raining.  She rode in my car out to the Boomershoot site where she inspected both explosives magazines, did inventory and found my count matched hers.  The magazines were clean, properly ventilated, and built according to specification.

Every year I send the local fire chief (not sure of his exact title) an email a few weeks before the Boomershoot.  I describe the methods I plan on using to prevent fires and loss of materials both during and after the event, and I invite him to show up at any time during preparation, the event, or during clean up.  Recently I have been telling him when the ATF will be out to inspect things and invite him to show up at the same time.  This time he accepted the invitation and wanted to bring the assistant chief along.  It turned out the chief couldn’t get away and just the assistant chief, Don, showed up.  After Don showed up Crystal informed me there was a new requirement for me.  I need to notify the local fire chief verbally, and in writing, of the status of the explosive magazine.  “Joe needs to tell you whatever it is you need to know.  They just want to make sure you guys are talking to each other”, she said.  I need to communicate a little more frequently and with more detail, but basically I had been complying with the spirit of the regulation already.  I think I got some “brownie points” for demonstrating I was a little bit ahead of them on that point.

After we finished up the magazine inspections I told Don we were going to dispose of the 32 targets left over from the last Boomershoot either by shooting them or burning them and he was welcome to hang around if he wanted.  He said no thanks.  He has been a spectator for the last three years and next year he plans to be a participant so there was much novelty in standing around in the rain watching Crystal and I dispose of the targets.  So he left as I loaded up the magazine for my evil black “assault weapon”.  Crystal offered to help set up the targets and I asked her to get them out of the magazine while I positioned them.  I told her I didn’t want her slipping in the mud and getting hurt.  If anyone was to get hurt I wanted it to be me.  About 15 seconds after saying that I slipped, with my hands full of targets, and fell on my ass in the mud.  I laughed.  She was polite enough not to.

We got a back about 25 yards and I started shooting the targets.  Nothing happened.  I tried other targets.  Nothing but holes in them.  The stuff was completely dead.  Okay.  We have to burn them.  I piled up a bunch of them and got out my lighter.  It lit after a few attempts and burned for a short time but not long enough to catch the now damp target box on fire.  The lighter wouldn’t ignite a second time.  Crystal didn’t have any matches and I didn’t either.  I drove over to the neighbors place just a few hundred yards away.  No one home.  I called my brother Doug.  He sent my brother Gary over with newspapers and a box of matches.  I got the first pile on fire with the first match but it took two matches for the second pile.  It turns out the burning targets work pretty well as “smoke bombs”:

After the fires were out we drove back to Moscow laughing and telling stories.  I dropped her off at her car, went home, took off my muddy and wet shoes, socks and pants at the door and called it a day.  A very good day.  A welcome change from the rest of my week.

Quote of the day–Charles Schumer

We’re here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true!. We’re going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy! We’re going to beat guns into submission!

U.S. Rep. Charles Schumer
November 30, 1993
NBC Nightly News

Health care in UK follow up

As I said the other day government health care means you do not get to decide whether you get to decide whether you get life saving treatment or not.  Someone else will decide whether your life is a good allocation of resources or not.

THE National Health Service should not have to give life- prolonging treatment to every patient who demands it because that would mean a crippling waste of resources, the Government said yesterday.

A lawyer for Patricia Hewitt, the Health Secretary, said that a ruling granting a patient the right to request life-prolonging care had serious implications for the NHS.

The Department of Health, backing the GMC’s attempt to reverse the ruling, said that if that right were established, patients could demand other life-prolonging treatments.

Philip Sales, for the Health Secretary, told a panel of three appeal judges, headed by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers: “A general right, as identified (in the High Court), for an individual patient to require life- prolonging treatment has very serious implications for the functioning of the NHS.

Mr Sales said that the ruling had led to a confusion of the roles of doctor and patient — decisions over treatment were for doctors, not patients.

Read that last sentence carefully.  Decisions for treatment are for doctors not patients.  And the doctors decide whether it is “a waste of resources” for you to be treated or not.  Keep that in mind when someone advocates government health care.

I thought it would stop with knives

Brought to my attention by The Smallest Minority who has a somewhat different viewpoint.  In an effort to “banish street crime“ they are banning certain types of clothes in England now.  And I thought banning knives was so low the only way they could go was up.  I was wrong:

The United Kingdom is the most-monitored nation in the world, with more than 4 million closed-circuit television cameras operating around the country. But culprits frequently evade Big Brother’s watchful eye by concealing their identities with the ubiquitous head wear.

“I think the fact you go around with these hats and these covers… I mean, it is a uniform, in a sense,” Prescott said last week.

As a result, a large shopping center in southeast England offered a new tact by implementing a “code of conduct” that includes a ban on the wearing of “hoodies.”

“I think it’s marvelous,” Bluewater shopper Jill Hopper said of the initiative this week.

Cropper, a doorman, and Thomas, a bar manager, both added that they would like to see a complete ban on caps and hoods in city centers.

What will it take for them to realize the problem isn’t that they don’t have enough laws but they have too many?  If a few potential vicitims emptied a couple of 15 round magazines of jacketed hollowpoints into a gang of thugs attempting a violent crime two things would happen:

  1. Thugs would be less inclined commit crimes.
  2. There would be fewer repeat offenders.

But that won’t happen.  I can’t imagine what will be next but I’m certain they will think of something else to ban.