This is what happens in places without guns–Case XVI

Handguns are banned in the U.K.  So this couldn’t have happened:

Gun gang hit church club

THESE sickening CCTV images show merciless robbers storming a church social club where they threatened to shoot OAPs.

The three cowards, two with guns, stopped two elderly women escaping the venue. They bundled one over before dragging the 83-year-old into the main hall.

The gang then told the ten staff and customers to sit with hands behind their heads at Our Lady of Assumption Church’s parish club in Childwall in Merseyside.

Manageress Lynn Goulding, 54, said: “The gun sounded like a firecracker. I grabbed one of the men through sheer panic but he hit me on the chin.

“I can’t believe I was inches from a man pointing a gun at me. It was the most horrific experience of my life. I’m still shaking.”

The gang stole £970 and fled Wednesday’s 1am raid in a 4×4.


Quote of the day–Jeff Cooper

Anyone who studies the matter will reach the conclusion that good marksmanship, per se, is not the key to successful gunfighting. The marksmanship problem posed in a streetfight is ordinarily pretty elementary. What is necessary, however, is the absolute assurance on the part of the shooter that he can hit what he is shooting at – absolutely without fail. Being a good shot tends to build up this confidence in the individual. Additionally, the good shot knows what is necessary on his part to obtain hits, and when the red flag flies, the concentration which he knows is necessary pushes all extraneous thinking out of his mind. He cannot let side issues such as fitness reports, political rectitude, or legal liability enter his mind. Such considerations may be heeded before the decision to make the shot is taken, and reconsidered after the ball is over; but at the time, the imperative front sight, surprise break must prevail.

Thus we have the paradox that while you almost never need to be a good shot to win a gunfight, the fact that you are a good shot may be what is necessary for you to hold the right thoughts – to the exclusion of all others – and save your life. This may come as a shock to a good many marksmanship instructors, but I have studied the matter at length and in depth, and I am satisfied with my conclusions.

Jeff Cooper
From Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
Vol. 5, No. 1
January 1997

Released felons and RKBA

SayUncle brings up an interesting point. I don’t bring it up very often, but my position has long been that if someone has proved themselves so dangerous to society they can’t be trusted with possession of a gun then they can’t be trusted with a can of gasoline and a book of matches either. Either lock them up and try to keep them from possessing any weapons or let them out where they have access to all types of weapons. Prohibiting them from possession of a firearm just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Are Tannerite’s days numbered?

A couple months ago I heard some rumors of police hostility to Tannerite in some jurisdictions. And I also keep getting hits from “interesting” places looking at my posts on Tannerite. I wonder if it’s getting a little bit too much attention from the wrong people. I’m nearly certain that it stores very well if kept cool and dry (and protected from theft!). You might want to stock up…

Here are some of the hits I’m getting:

This is the most recent:

Domain Name ? (United States Government)
IP Address   156.33.195.# (U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms)
ISP   U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms
Continent  :  North America
Country  :  United States  (Facts)
State  :  District of Columbia
City  :  Washington
Lat/Long  :  38.8933, -77.0146 (Map)
Distance  :  2,072 miles
Language   English (United States)
Operating System   Microsoft Win2000
Browser   Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Javascript   version 1.3

Resolution  :  1024 x 768
Color Depth  :  16 bits

Time of Visit   Aug 30 2006 7:12:15 am
Last Page View   Aug 30 2006 7:12:15 am
Visit Length   0 seconds
Page Views   1
Referring URL…,RNWE:en&q=tannerite
Search Engine
Search Words tannerite
Visit Entry Page   http://blog.joehuffm…ite And The Law.aspx
Visit Exit Page   http://blog.joehuffm…ite And The Law.aspx
Out Click    
Time Zone   UTC-8:00
Visitor’s Time   Aug 30 2006 7:12:15 am
Visit Number   96,907

Update: Here’s another one:

Domain Name ? (Network)
IP Address   65.86.162.# (Charles County Sheriff’s office)
Continent  :  North America
Country  :  United States  (Facts)
State  :  Maryland
City  :  La Plata
Lat/Long  :  38.5163, -77.0154 (Map)
Distance  :  2,085 miles
Language   English (United States)
Operating System   Microsoft WinXP
Browser   Internet Explorer 6.0
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; InfoPath.1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Javascript   version 1.3

Resolution  :  1024 x 768
Color Depth  :  32 bits

Time of Visit   Aug 31 2006 7:00:38 am
Last Page View   Aug 31 2006 7:00:38 am
Visit Length   0 seconds
Page Views   1
Referring URL…e&btnG=Google Search
Search Engine
Search Words tannerite
Visit Entry Page   http://blog.joehuffm…ite And The Law.aspx
Visit Exit Page   http://blog.joehuffm…ite And The Law.aspx
Out Click    
Time Zone   UTC-5:00
Visitor’s Time   Aug 31 2006 10:00:38 am
Visit Number   97,072

Quote of the day–Donald Rumsfeld

It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among western democracies, when those who warned about a coming crisis, the rise of fascism and Nazism, they were ridiculed or ignored.

This enemy is serious, lethal and relentless. But this is still not well recognized or fully understood. It seems that in some quarters, there is more of a focus on dividing our country than acting with unity against the gathering threats.

Donald Rumsfeld
August 29, 2006
Voice Of America News August 30, 2006

Rescue a woman from slavery

Alright guys. This has to rank near the top of the list of the most despicable crimes. Keep your eyes open as you go about your business and report anything suspicious.

Neighbours who believe they live next to property being used for sex slaves are being urged to help the fight against human trafficking.

A drive will also appeal for men who frequent brothels to contact the police anonymously and without fear of prosecution with concerns about women who appear to be working there against their will.

Senior officers want people to look out for women who cannot speak English, seem reticent or afraid and are not allowed out without being accompanied by a man.

The next time Barb takes me to a brothel you can be sure I’ll be on the lookout.

Recognizing the folly of their ways

At least some people that will be listened to are talking about it:

Security officials should concentrate on people not objects at airports but simplistic racial profiling is not the way to thwart potential attacks on airlines, experts say.

They warn, however, that more effective behavioural profiling would be very labour-intensive, expensive and would not guarantee success.

“It’s the only methodology that can stay ahead of terrorism and terrorists,” said Philip Baum, editor of the magazine Aviation Security International.

“Screeners are spending far too long trying to confiscate scissors and shampoos and gels from people who pose absolutely no threat.”

A debate over the merits of profiling — where security staff focus their search efforts on people they regard as suspicious on grounds such as ethnicity and religion — has erupted since British police said on August 10 they had foiled a plan to blow up trans-atlantic planes using liquid explosives.

Immediately, airports across Europe and the United States tightened security: passengers were banned from taking liquids or hand luggage on board and travellers were rigorously checked. Some of those measures were later relaxed.

Baum said such actions, which caused airport chaos, flight delays and cancellations, were unnecessary and ineffective.

“The existing technologies have been proven to have limited effectiveness,” he told Reuters. “They haven’t as yet identified anybody who has been carrying an improvised explosive device on their person or in their baggage, whereas profiling has been proven to be effective.”

This is all prior to boarding and I don’t disagree with any of it. Once people are on board more changes are necessary. All alternatives should be investigated.

Rumsfeld reporting

It’s interesting how the different media organizations spin things. This particular time it is Rumsfeld that gets run through the spin cycle of the media washing machine.

Forbes mentions the lessons of history in regards to Hitler:

In remarks prepared for delivery to the American Legion’s national convention, Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failed efforts to appease the Adolf Hitler regime in the 1930s.

CNN noticed that too and goes further:

Addressing several thousand veterans at the American Legion’s national convention, Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failed efforts to appease the Adolf Hitler regime in the 1930s.

“I recount this history because once again we face the same kind of challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism” he said.

Rumsfeld recalled a string of recent terrorist attacks, from the 9/11 attacks to bombings in Bali, London and Madrid, and said it should be obvious to anyone that terrorists must be confronted, not appeased.

The Seattle Times didn’t mention the above and focuses on:

“They are actively manipulating the media in this country” by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

“They can lie with impunity,” he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.

Rumsfeld made similar points later, in remarks prepared for delivery at a Reno, Nev., convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“The enemy lies constantly — almost totally without consequence,” he told the veterans group.

And from the UK again no mention of the parallels of the fascism of the 30’s with the fascism of today, just about the media being manipulated:

‘The enemy lies constantly — almost totally without conscience,’ Rumsfeld said. ‘They portray our cause as a war on Islam when in fact the overwhelming majority of victims of their terrorism have been thousands and thousands of innocent Muslims.’

Similar oversights occur in most of the media reports and Democrat commentators either ignore it (Harry Reid) or call it absurd (Stephen Elliott) without even giving us their reasoning. But one shouldn’t be surprised by this. Expecting them to reason, let alone articulate it, is like expecting a dog to be able to drive a car. They may think they are doing just fine but they will very shortly crash and drawing the unwanted attention of the entire world to their deficiencies.

Who cares what the founding fathers thought?

That’s the point of this editorial. Okay. Fine. All you have to do then is amend the constitution. Just don’t pretend it doesn’t exist.

You can’t get the votes to amend the constitution? Tough. Your bright ideas must not have been all that bright then. Your options are now rather limited. You can move to another country more to your liking. Maybe you can find one with the all the socialist trimmings you whine about not having. Want a few bucks for the one-way plane ticket out of the country? I’ll be glad to contribute to you leaving. Another option is you can start a revolution and overthrow the existing government by means of violence. Your choice Mr. Kurlansky. What’s it going to be?

Taj Mahal locks are approved

In May of 2005 ATF Investigator Crystal visited my explosives magazine for the mandated inspection. It was the first time she had seen my magazine and contrary to what every other ATF representative had said she wasn’t sure my locks met the letter of the regulations. She decided to ask the authorities “back east” about it and in June of 2005 sent me an email saying I had to correct the deficiency. I made what I thought were the required changes and sent her the pictures in September of 2005. I hadn’t heard anything about them by March of 2006 and was starting to get worried. Boomershoot 2006 was approaching and I required the use of the magazine. I wrote her an email and got a call from her a couple minutes later. I followed her suggestion and asked for a determination on the locks and hoods. Nothing by Boomershoot time and used her suggested Plan B.

After being not being home for a month I went through my big pile of mail tonight and found a letter from the ATF dated July 18, 2006. In it they said, in part:

After careful review, ATF has determined that the 1/4-inch protective steel coverings do not prevent lever action on the locks. However, ATF believes that the combination of the construction of the locks and the protective steel coverings is substantially equivalent to the requirements of the regulations. Therefore, you are granted a variance from 27 CFR, Part 555, Subpart K, to use the alternate locks for you Type-1 outdoor magazine.

Finally! Bureaucracy moves slowly and unsurely. It wasn’t quite what I wanted but it’s good enough.

I can again legally store thousands of pounds of explosives in the Taj Mahal if I so desire. And I do desire that. Planning for Boomershoot 2007 is underway.

Drive-by shootings in shall issue states

I just read this and came up with a hypothesis I would like to explore. The hypothesis is, “States that have shall issue laws regarding concealed weapon have lower rates of drive-by shootings.”

I specifically wonder about drive-by shooting because I envision them happening in the evenings/nights when people are more likely to be carrying their personal protection tools with them. During the day bigoted employers have rules prohibiting the exercise of your rights while on company property and violent crime against these people, even if temporarily off company property, is less likely to be met with an armed response.

I haven’t even done a simple search engine inquiry for the data yet, but has anyone seen any papers/reports that address the issue?

Oh, I also wanted to point out that the newspaper reports it was a “gunman driving a car”, not a “car driver with a gun”. And of course the response will be that we need to eliminate gunmen, not eliminate car drivers.

The future of air travel

I don’t have a problem with being interviewed before flying commercially. I do have a problem with searching through my stuff, especially when it including the clothes I’m wearing. That’s why I think it’s possible, but not likely, for these efforts to bear palatable fruit:

In the U.S., small teams of TSA screeners walk around Logan and Dulles, among others, trying to find people who look nervous. The program — dubbed Screening Passengers by Observation Technique, or SPOT — was first used by state police at Logan.

They consulted with psychiatrists to develop a behavioral profile. In addition to obvious things like someone sweating excessively on a cool day, the teams look for people whose facial expressions are deemed to be hiding an emotion. The teams haven’t caught any terrorists though they have detained several people with outstanding criminal warrants, TSA spokeswoman Peppin says.

The agency wants to expand the program and replace contractors who collect identification at airport checkpoints with staff trained in interrogation and behavior identification, Peppin says.

`Conversation With Congress’

“It may be something that we roll out initially in small airports,” she says. “Any kind of total transition would require a larger conversation with Congress and our airline partners.”

The reason I think it’s unlikely to be acceptable is because of their underlying attitude:

There may be no better time to push for tougher measures, Loy says. He contrasted today’s climate with a 1759 comment by Benjamin Franklin, who said those who would give up liberty for “a little temporary safety” deserve neither.

“He wasn’t getting on airplanes,” Loy says.

That statement hightlights they don’t fully understand the problem. The problem isn’t just that existing airport/airplane security is a joke, the problem includes that there are certain inalienable rights being infringed.

Talking to the barking moonbats

I can’t imagine who would believe this:

Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Saturday that the heavy-water plant will also be used to treat and diagnose AIDS and cancer, and for other medicinal and agricultural purposes.

Well, there are the barking moonbats I guess. They probably will believe it.

I just read Scott Adams thought experiment about dealing with Iran. Scott’s hypothesis is it’s mostly about pride. But I think he is ignoring the Islam component and nearly a 1000 years of history. But while I regard it as a worthwhile thought experiment I don’t see any reason to revise my inclinations on what to do about Iran.

Quote of the day–Robert A. Humphrey

An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.

Robert A. Humphrey
[Early in my career as an engineer a wise technical manager, Ken M. at Teltone, told me it was more important to define the problem than discover a solution. It took me a few real world experiences to fully appreciate this observation. Now I see the wisdom of his counsel all around me. Gun control becomes crime control, airport security becomes defending against terrorists, and the war on terror becomes the war against Islamic extremists.–Joe]

Just in case you had some doubts

Airport security is a joke. It only exists to make some people feel better. Case in point:

HOUSTON – A college student’s checked luggage on a Continental Airlines flight to Houston from Argentina on Friday contained dynamite, and federal authorities are investigating why he had it and what he intended to do with it, an FBI spokeswoman said.

“Certainly we are doing a thorough investigation and trying to find out what this individual’s intention was in trying to bring dynamite here,” FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap said Friday.

The dynamite was found during a luggage search in a federal inspection station at Bush Intercontinental Airport shortly after Continental Flight 52 landed about 6 a.m. Friday. Marlene McClinton, spokeswoman for the Houston Airport System, said a bomb-sniffing dog “had a hit” on explosive residue during a further search.

Read that closely. They found the dynamite AFTER the plane landed.

This has to be one the easiest to detect cases. One of the problems with explosives sniffers is that someone can custom make an explosive that isn’t detected by existing detection devices. The problem is similar to the computer anti-virus vendors. They have databases of “virus signatures” they compare suspect attachments and files to. If it matches something they have in their database they flag it as a virus and handle it appropriately. If a new virus shows up they have to update their database with the new signature. Commercially available explosives, such as dynamite, should be within the capabilities of the explosives sniffer.

Even in this easy case the system failed. We don’t yet know why it failed this time but in general it’s an exceedingly tough problem because of what is called the “attack surface”. There are many hundreds of airport, thousands of sensors, doors, gates, fences, and walls defining the “secure” areas, and tens of thousands of people with privileged access to the “secure” areas. Each of these airports, each of these secure areas, and each of these people is a potential point of attack. Together they form the “attack surface”.  Because the attack surface is so large the probability of their being a weak spot someplace is very high. Hence the problem is very difficult to solve.

IMHO the problem is so difficult to solve using the existing paradigm we should divert all the existing resources to a different paradigm. That new paradigm is being on the offense rather than being entirely defensive/reactive. First (back in the 70’s) we defended against guns, then box-cutters and knives, then cigarette lighters, and most recently liquids and gels. We are always defending against the most recent attack. We need to make them be defending against our attacks. This paradigm change would also stop the infringment of some of our rights.

But, as you know, airport “security” isn’t about actual security. It’s about making some people feel better.

Update: I forgot to mention that Sean gave me the link to the article.

Quote of the day–David Crockett

Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has not the power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.

Representative David Crockett (TN)
[See also this quote by Crockett.–Joe]