Boomershoot 2008 update

Today is a good day. I got the last of the new ammonium nitrate stored away at the Taj Mahal. I even had room for one more bag:

I wasn’t watching really close since I was on vacation and it will take me a little bit of effort to figure out exactly when Boomershoot 2008 filled up but it is completely full now. This is ten months before the actual event! There will be some cancellations so send me an email if you want to be put on the waiting list.

Just a few minutes ago I completed the last of the important electrical work and have verified it is all working correctly (this blog post is made from the Taj Mahal using the new power supply for the WiFi access point Boomershoot2).

I don’t know why anyone would want to live in Idaho

There’s nothing but red-necked, knuckle-dragging, Neanderthals living in Idaho. Those cretins marry their cousins, they let kids play with guns, the women are ugly, and they even play with explosives. People from places like California, Florida, and Chicago who visit should just spend their tourist dollars quickly and go home before they get shot or something. I just got back from vacation and have the photographic evidence:

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Phones like this are still in active use (my parents ring is three shorts). I had to explain to the tourists how to use this one at the Powell Ranger Station.

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The plants are damaged. It’s probably from all the gunfire and exposives nearby.

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Children with assault weapons!

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More guns and kids!

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Me, the Cease Fear Instructor–Gays and Queers take note.

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I think this is supposed to be the state flower or something.

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Just over the border into Montanna near Lolo Hot Springs

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Caleb on the rocks above Lolo Hot Springs.

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Caleb and Kim above Lolo Hot Springs.

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Daughter Kimberly Joe at Johnsons Bar on the Selway river. This is what you get when cousins (Barb and I) have kids.

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Johnsons Bar on the Selway River. White water is dangerous you know.

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Caleb and Kim. Can you tell they are going to be married soon?

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Nancy says the scar on her nose doesn’t show nearly as much as it used to. She probably got it while in a fight with her sister Barbara over who was going to marry their cousin Joe.

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Tourists from Chicago and Florida spending money.

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The guide took their money and led them off into the woods. I haven’t seen or heard from the tourists since.

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Another example of when cousins have kids. Daughter Xenia whose expression says, “Don’t bug me when I’m taking pictures.”

Quote of the day–Mahatma Gandhi

Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.

Mahatma Gandhi
[Closely related is Erich Fromm's "There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.” Those that advocate gun control or claim health care is a right need to study a bit more philosophy.--Joe]

Quote of the day–National Counter Terrorism Security Office

Terrorists generally select targets where they can cause most damage, inflict mass casualties or attract widespread publicity. VBIEDs can be highly destructive.

National Counter Terrorism Security Office (U.K.)
Police explosives experts prevent carnage at the Tiger Tiger Club
[Just in case you have forgotten, I gave you the minimum evacuation distances for Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs) here. It's only a matter of time before we see them in the U.S. You should be prepared.--Joe]

Omie and Geoff go to the range

I got a call a few days ago while I was away on vacation from Omie who is a a reporter at the local newspaper. She wanted to talk about class 3 firearms–full automatics in particular. I arranged to take her and her photographer, Geoff, to the range as soon as I got back. This morning we went off to the range with the closest thing I have to what she wanted–“An Evil Black Rifle”.

Omie had zero experience with firearms. I didn’t ask but I suspect she is doing a summer internship at the paper. She did say she was assigned the topic and that it was partially motivated by the recent courthouse shooting. Geoff’s background with firearms was essentially zero as well.

We talked a little bit about the history of NFA 34 and how infrequently legally owned full-autos are used in crimes. And what my opinion of full autos are. Basically I don’t have use for them because I can get more shots on target per unit time with a semi-auto than I can with a full auto. And the full-autos are so much more expensive to feed. But they are fun to shoot and I don’t think they should be so heavily restricted.

We talked about the 1994 “assault weapons” ban, it’s history, and the statistics related to crimes committed with those type of firearms. I told them of the definition of an “assault weapon” and that I had an example for them to shoot today.

We also talked a little about my history as a gun owner (inspired to buy my first gun by the election of Bill Clinton), as a gun rights activist, and director of Boomershoot.

After that I gave them some safety lessons and did some dry fire exercises with my STI Eagle. I didn’t want them to dry fire the rim-fire gun I was going to start them with. I then started them out with my Ruger Mark II (.22LR) from about 10 feet away. They did pretty good. I could tell Omie was a little scared. The first live round caused her to jump quite a bit. Her second shot wasn’t even on the paper. She then settled down some and did okay. Geoff did well even with his first shots.

After this we talked a little bit. Omie confessed she was afraid that if she held a gun she might do something terrible with it, like shoot herself. I told her about my fear of heights. When confronted with a situation where it is possible to jump off of a high cliff/building/whatever I feel an urge to do so. For years I thought there was something wrong with me for feeling this. I then found out it is a common manifestation of a fear of heights. I suspect the same thing happens with a lot of people about guns. She told us she has a similar fear of heights and seemed to agree that her reaction to firearms was similar.

I moved them to about 20 yards away and did some more dry exercises with the AR-15 before going live. Geoff was really nailing the 10 ring and I was actually rather impressed. Omie didn’t do quite as well and I could see her shaking some even when she wasn’t holding the gun.


Geoff with an Olympic Arms AR-15 carbine.

 


Omie with the Olympic Arms AR-15 carbine.

I didn’t notice until after looking at the picture above that Omie was looking over her glasses through the rear site. That could explain part of why she didn’t do quite as well as Geoff.

They then wanted pictures of me shooting so I emptied several magazines from my STI into an IPSC target and explained a little bit about “Practical Shooting”.

I think things went well. We’ll see how the article turns out.

Update: I messed up the spelling of Geoff’s name. I originally had it as Jeff. If I were to change the title now it would break the link in Sebastian’s post.

Update2: Sebastian says he’ll fix his link so I fixed the title.

Quote of the day–Otto von Bismark

Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable… the art of the next best…

Otto von Bismark
[This is probably more true than I like to acknowledge. It also applies to engineering, as in this quip, "There comes a time to shoot the engineers and ship the product." As freedom activists we want perfection but that is seldom possible. If we want any action in our favor we probably must accept far less than our ideal. When fighting a restriction on our freedom we are sometimes better off working to make the proposed legislation less onerous than we are to fight a losing battle against a greater infringement. That is achieving what is attainable rather than what should be.--Joe]

Independence: Imagine That

I’ve known of Hillsdale College for some time, but only recently did I learn from their publication, “Imprimis” that they long ago swore off federal funding, and the restrictions that naturally come with it.  Here’s a sample, but you’ll want to read it all:

The thousands of young men and young women who have studied here have been taught some fundamental truths; among these is that the freedom guaranteed them as citizens of this great country is the freedom to dream and aspire without limit and the freedom to fulfill their dreams and aspirations without interference; that our country’s greatness is the result not of government benevolence but rather of individual initiative and enterprise; and that responsibility is the counterpart of independence.

We hold these views to be as valid today as they were in 1844 despite the appearance and growth of a contrary philosophy based on government paternalism.

It is our conviction that this contrary philosophy is negatory to the traditional beliefs and teachings of Hillsdale College and is to be deplored as harmful to the continued development of our country, both morally and economically.

It is therefore the decision of the Board of Trustees of Hillsdale College to reaffirm its historic independence and to resist subsidization of its affairs by the federal government. Acknowledging that the possibility of failure is a concomitant of independence, the Trustees place their trust in God and in the dedication and generosity of students, alumni and friends who share their views.

They have courage and good principles.  You have to give them that.  The feds even tried to claim rule-making jurisdiction over the college based on the fact that some of the students were taking federally guaranteed student loans (surprize, surprize).  Well, Hillsdale was having none of that, so they started their own financial aid program and today they are flourishing.  Hillsdale is apparently one of the few institutions of higher learning that does NOT serve as a socialist indoctrination center.  Imagine that.

Now I have to find out if they support concealed carry on campus.  According to packing.org, Michigan and Washington State have a reciprocity agreement.  That’s a good start.

Now I have another reply for those people who have “Support our Troops, Opposed the War” bumper stickers:
“Support Education, Pull the U.S. Out NOW!”  I could go on about mistakes, quagmire, and how the Department of Education is nothing but a political tool for the empowerment of a few politicians and enrichment of the largest labor union in the world, but I won’t.

Quote of the day–Ambrose Bierce

Peace: In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

Ambrose Bierce
The Devil’s Dictionary
[I don't know if it's wisdom or just cynicism, but as I get older I'm more and more inclined to believe that fighting is the normal state of affairs in the interaction between large groups of people.--Joe]

Corrupt Prosecutor, Rope, Tree…

Now that most of the months-long hype (or was it years? It seems like years) over the Durham / Nifong scandal has died down, we can discuss it here (’cause now we actually know what happened and we can’t indulge it guesswork and flapjaw).

All I can say is, well, both Ann Coulter and Thomas Sowell say it far better, so I’ll add just one point:

Nifong needs to hang.  Literally.  Its not because I hate him– I’ve never met him.  Its because he committed the worst possible form of betrayal: Someone in the Public Trust turning Public Predator.  Someone who’s sole job it was to protect Liberty & Justice turned enemy of Liberty & Justice.

I pity the fool, yet at the same time realize that if he doesn’t receive the maximum possible sentence, others will more likely follow in his footsteps.  If he gets away with disbarment and saying he’s sorry, we will have demonstrated that the cost of such a despicable and far-reaching crime is quite low.  We will have invited more of the same and we will get more of the same.

As much as I love Liberty, as much as I love my children and want them and every other American to live in Liberty, free to pursue their dreams of excellence, I want this pile of crap, and a few others who went along with him, to swing.  In Public.  Justice demands it, as an example to anyone who might get similar ideas, and as an example to all of us that someone believes our Liberty to be worth defending.  This society (our country of millions!) is not a toy for the cheap amusement of a few thousand public “servants”.

Quote of the day–Jonathan Ryan

I want to shoot the black rifle!

Jonathan Ryan
Age 9
June 26, 2007


Me giving instructions to my nephew Jonathan. Photo by my daughter Kim.

[And so he did. It was interesting to me that he came up with the name of "The Black Rifle" on his own. We were shooting lots of other firearms but the kids all seemed to like the AR-15 the best. Scott, age 18 and with lots of shooting experience, said it was the most fun to shoot gun he had ever shot. Yeah, they are pretty fun to shoot.--Joe]

Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From ‘Safety’

It bugs me every time I hear it or see it in print, but I haven’t been able to articulate it.  I will try anyway:

I do not want (nor could I ever believe it would be possible) for someone in government to “keep me  safe”.  I feel all icky whenever a politician, or anyone else, but especially a politician, tries  to assure us that they’re working hard to “keep us safe”.  I liked Joe’s title to a post on June 24th (“Help Kill Terrorists”) because it more clearly and directly addresses the job at hand.

When our president, blowhard senator du jour, or DC culture kool-aid drinker talks about “public  safety” I feel a lot like I did after a middle-aged man approached me at a Spokane, WA city park  when I was around 7 years old.  He asked me if I wanted to earn five dollars.  “OK” I said,  whereupon he led me to the restrooms and asked to see my underwear.  I dashed right out of there of  course, and never forgot the lesson: Someone you should be able to trust can turn out to be a predatory scumbag who sees you as nothing more than a means to his self gratification.

So here’s the deal.  I DO NOT want to be kept “safe” by my government.  Letting them try is far too dangerous.  I want my kids to feel reasonably safe, sure, and aware of their surroundings at the same time, but that is my responsibility and mine alone.  It is not the government’s job to make us “safe”.  It is the government’s job to be there to retaliate when someone violates our rights, and to make it known that the retaliation will be sure and swift.  To value human rights is to demonstrate intolerance for human rights violations.

In the best of circumstances you are going to be exposed to many risks (some of the richest lives are full of risks) and guess what; you are still going to die.  Its what we DO WITH OUR LIVES that matters, and for that we need maximum Liberty.  Living in a padded room in solitary confinement might be considered “safe” but somehow I doubt that is what the Founders of this Republic had in mind when they wrote the Bill of Rights.

When it comes to terrorism I want one thing and one thing only–  I want the Jihadi sons of bitches to die.  That is all.  I want them, and anyone who supports them, hunted down, shot (or bombed, etc.) and left to die in the dirt.  Let their countrymen clean up the mess, too– that’s not our job.  That killing the jihadis might make a few of us more “safe” is a side benefit.  Liberty and Justice are the aim here, and they’re not the same thing as safety.  They are very different, though slightly overlapping, concepts that should never be confused.

Meanwhile, I will not be trying to delude myself into believing that I am ever safe, either from the jihadi idiots, or from politicians trying to chip away at my rights for their self gratification.

I want to live in a civilized, polite society.  I do NOT want to live in a society with barriers, checkpoints, restrictions, surveillance, or some dipshit walking up to me and demanding, “papers please” no matter how “safe” a few deluded individuals might feel, and no matter how important it makes a politician or a woman in uniform feel.

So, Mister politician, lay off the talk about “safety” and start talking Liberty.  You couldn’t take the danger out of life even if you genuinely tried.  I want to you to protect our Liberty, and though there may be some overlap with safety, Liberty is a very different and far more precious thing.  It is the American way, and as much as you might like to forget it, you are sworn to it.

I think the slogan for the web site, American Snipers, then, should read: “Help real snipers get the real gear they need to kill more terrorists more efficiently.”  I like that.

Quote of the day–Rev. Jesse Jackson

I think people have the right to bear arms at a hunting reserve. But you’re not hunting deer with semi-automatic weapons. We’re going to keep protesting until America becomes more conscious of the domestic terrorism allowed by guns.

Rev. Jesse Jackson
Arrest motivates Jackson to fight for gun control
[Interesting. I've read the 2nd Amendment many times, as well as several state constitutions. It's only been in recent years, and in just a few states, that I've seen any mention of a right to hunt. Jackson must be living in some other reality. But I suppose it could depend on his definition of "hunting reserve". If you define "hunting reserve" as all 50 states with no bag limits on government employees then he is in line with the true meaning of the 2nd Amendment.--Joe]

Help kill terrorists

Ry has been telling me about the equipment deficiencies of our snipers in the sandbox and I had been meaning to blog about this for while. Kevin’s post reminded me. American Snipers appears to be a very efficient way of getting needed equipment and supplies directly to the people that will, as their home page says, “Help real snipers get the real gear they need to help keep us safe.”

If you want to help deliver a 168 grain message to terrrorists this (or this) seems to be one of the easiest and most efficient ways to do it.

Quote of the day–Mac Johnson

What the left does not get about the 2nd Amendment is that it is not about the National Guard, or sporting firearms or gun collections. It does not guarantee the government an army, nor does it guarantee civilians the right to hunt and shoot skeet. It’s about the right of the people to maintain some portion of the ultimate power of government — violence — to themselves.

Mac Johnson
Court Rediscovers 2nd Amendment, Liberals Fear Other ‘Rights’ May Soon be Found
March 15, 2007

Summer explosives camp

Caren sent me a link to this article about a summer camp where teenagers learn to use explosives. At first I was so disappointed that I didn’t have something like that available to me when I was a teenager. Then I realized that I was working with explosives before I was a teenager and I was making my own explosives when I was 16. Okay, so maybe I wasn’t so deprived after all. But I would have liked the opportunity anyway.

Mathematically impaired

Most people can’t do simple math. If they could they would have immediately seen something wrong with these results:

A new federal survey about sex and drug use in the United States reveals that an average American man has sex with seven women during his lifetime, compared with four male sexual partners for the average woman.

The latest survey, which claims to have used the high-tech methods to solicit candid answers on sexual activity and illegal drug use, found that approximately 29 percent of men reported having 15 or more female sexual partners in a lifetime, while just over 9 percent of women reported having sex with 15 or more men.

Every time a man has sex with a new partner that woman has sex with a new partner. The writer of this story should have clarified they are not using the usual definition of “average” (the “mean”). If they were then the average for both men and women must be the same. This article clarifies they are using a measure less frequently used by (excuse the pun) lay people, called the “median”.

I don’t have the time to go looking for it in my sex archives but this anomaly in survey results has been known for a long time and it was about five or six years ago they figured it out what was going on.

It turns out prostitutes are under represented in nearly all surveys. Most surveys were done with phone calls during the evening hours. The evening is during the working hours of the “ladies of the night” and hence they are under represented. A simple example will demonstrate why the numbers above, interpreted as a mean, must be bogus and the prostitute answer explains how it could happen.

Suppose there are 100 men and 100 women in a given closed population. Each of the men pair up with one women. But one woman, wanting a little something extra, has sex with not only her partner but the other 99 men as well. The true mean number of partners for the men is (99×2 + 1×1)/100 => 1.99. The true mean number of partners for the women is (99×1 + 1×100)/100 => 1.99. Yet if you did a sample of 20 men and women with a bias against surveying women who were likely to have large numbers of partners then you would probably end up with numbers of 2.0 and 1.0. In any example of heterosexual sex pairings you can come up with in this population the mean number of different partners for men must equal the mean number of partners for the women.

Slime-balls

If you read far enough into Schneier’s essay I quoted yesterday you would have found this:

Subjects were divided into two groups. One group was given the choice of these two alternatives:

  • Alternative A: A sure gain of $500.
  • Alternative B: A 50% chance of gaining $1,000.

The other group was given the choice of:

  • Alternative C: A sure loss of $500.
  • Alternative D: A 50% chance of losing $1,000.

These two trade-offs aren’t the same, but they’re very similar. And traditional economics predicts that the difference doesn’t make a difference.

But experimental results contradict this. When faced with a gain, most people (84%) chose Alternative A (the sure gain) of $500 over Alternative B (the risky gain). But when faced with a loss, most people (70%) chose Alternative D (the risky loss) over Alternative C (the sure loss).

Interesting. But even before I read the results I felt myself drawn to alternatives A and D even though I knew it was illogical. And today I got real world confirmation of this phenomena in a very similar “test” of the felons at Battelle/PNNL when I got a look at their response to our second interrogatory. They had a choice. They could answer our questions which almost for certain would result in their losing the case and perhaps ultimately leading to felony convictions or they could refuse to answer the question and risk discovery abuse as well as losing the case and risking the felony convictions. But by refusing answer the questions they have a chance of escaping entirely. I don’t think they will escape and actually I’m pleased they made the choice they did. It increases the total penalties that I may be able to inflict upon them and removes all guilt I might have for making things difficult on the innocents at the lab. But I have to hand it to them, they have a lot of chutzpah.

One of the requests we made was for an email the proves one of the projects I briefly mentioned on my blog only had a very small portion (which I did not mention) of data that was restricted. The rest of the project was completely open and this email said it was acceptable that I publish papers on it as well as file for a patent and license the technology to a university. This blog posting of mine was used as evidence against me when they were discussing my possible termination. The email would have proved there was nothing wrong with me posting that information on my blog. In response to our request for that email they responded with:

Object: This request is beyond the scope of permissible discovery and not calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Another request of ours was “Please produce a copy of the email containing a link to the web page http://www.joehuffman.org/Freedom/ScreeningFails.htm which was clicked on by Una Carriera on Friday May 6, 2005 at 18:34:07 GMT.” We believe this email (and others we requested) would show they were interested in my gun rights activism.

Their response:

Object: This request is beyond the scope of permissible discovery and not calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Furthermore, this request requests information that is unduly burdensome to produce.

This type of answer was a favorite of theirs and they used it for almost every response. They refused to give us “comparators” for how they did or did not discipline others that had “adult content” on their computers or people who let non employees use a company laptop (the one thing I did do wrong) for a few hours.

Basically I only obtained two new pieces of evidence out of 16 new interrogatory questions and 12 new requests for production. Those bits of information were SPEEDY was Marty Peterson and PUCK (the main investigator of the websites) was Cullen Tollbom.

I felt no qualms whatsoever when I clicked the button that yielded this:

And I didn’t feel any qualms when I did that repeatedly. I was hoping to avoid causing certain innocent people to do extra work. But they have had over two years to find new jobs or push out the felons from the inside. I now regard them as part of the problem. This quote comes to mind:

The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Edmond Burke

I’m doing something. The people inside the lab could be doing something too but to the best of my knowledge they have not and are not. You can do something as well. Make a donation to my legal fund by clicking on the button near the top of this page.

Quote of the day–Bruce Schneier

The reality of security is mathematical, based on the probability of different risks and the effectiveness of different countermeasures. We can calculate how secure your home is from burglary, based on such factors as the crime rate in the neighborhood you live in and your door-locking habits. We can calculate how likely it is for you to be murdered, either on the streets by a stranger or in your home by a family member. Or how likely you are to be the victim of identity theft. Given a large enough set of statistics on criminal acts, it’s not even hard; insurance companies do it all the time.

We can also calculate how much more secure a burglar alarm will make your home, or how well a credit freeze will protect you from identity theft. Again, given enough data, it’s easy.

But security is also a feeling, based not on probabilities and mathematical calculations, but on your psychological reactions to both risks and countermeasures. You might feel terribly afraid of terrorism, or you might feel like it’s not something worth worrying about. You might feel safer when you see people taking their shoes off at airport metal detectors, or you might not. You might feel that you’re at high risk of burglary, medium risk of murder, and low risk of identity theft. And your neighbor, in the exact same situation, might feel that he’s at high risk of identity theft, medium risk of burglary, and low risk of murder.

Or, more generally, you can be secure even though you don’t feel secure. And you can feel secure even though you’re not. The feeling and reality of security are certainly related to each other, but they’re just as certainly not the same as each other. We’d probably be better off if we had two different words for them.

Bruce Schneier
February 28, 2007
The Psychology of Security
[In a large part this is the battle gun rights activists are fighting. The probabilities are on our side and to a large extent the anti-gun bigots have a lock on the feelings. As you read the essay you realize why it's so important to make guns familar and common. Part of Boomershoot is making the public comfortable with guns and thus help people reduce their negative feelings towards firearms. Do your part and come out of the closet as a gun owner.--Joe]