Some writers can write

Well no duh! I can hear you say. Every different community has its issues, events, and disputes. Being somewhat more than a mere spectator but less than a main combatant is an odd and interesting place to be.

The recent and ongoing kerfuffle in the sci-fi community between the SJW’s and and the Ilk of the Evil Legion of Evil has been educational, and many fascinating words are being spilled. Take, for example, Brad Torgerson, one of the principals in the whole Sad Puppies affair. His recent post titled Flaming rage nozzles of tolerance is great. Kind of long, but he does a good job of breaking down the current “we must blame ourselves for everything” SJW narrative-driven mindset as a modern secular take on Original Sin, and the competing with the free minds of people responsible for their own actions and nothing more. Well worth the read.

Huh…

It looks like I made the final ballot for the Campbell Award for best new sci-fi writer. With only one published book (and one short story, also in the same universe) I figure I’m a long shot, even if I have a re-write, a sequel, a prequel, and a children’s historical book scheduled for this year. In any case, even getting to the final ballot short-list is an honor… Well, interesting, anyway. No clue what the competition is like, but it should be fun to watch unfold. I can almost hear some brains exploding from here.

Also on the list: Wesley Chu*, Jason Cordova, Kary English*, Eric S. Raymond (*Finalists in their 2nd year of eligibility.)

Mixed words on making the short list for the Prometheus. But as I hear the competition is strong this year, so I’m a long-shot there, too. But how many people manage to make both a “best new X” list at the same time they make the list for some other category in the field competing against long-time pros?

Just getting nominated for either award is proof the universe has a twisted sense of humor. If I happen to win, I know that my little corner of the cosmos is a very strange one. Not a bad one, mind you, just more than a little bit odd.

And then there were…five?

Kansas Gubnuh signs “constitutional” carry bill.

There’s also talk about lowering the legal age for open carry to eighteen, some citing the fact that eighteen year-olds can fight for their country. Well, yeah. I havent seen any age restrictions in the second amendment, but maybe I didn’t look close enough. That sort of thing (for those under 18) should be up to the parents, and Uncle Sam is not my daddy or my kids’ daddy.

ETA: If we didn’t think she’d be arrested for it, my daughter would be packing right now. Instead we’re forced to decide whether we’re more concerned about her being judged by twelve (actually since she’s under age it would be judged by one) or carried by six.

“I believe we can lower the age to 18 at some point in the future. I think after everybody sees that there are not going to be any of the dire predictions coming true, and they relax a little bit, then we can talk about that.”

OK; why do some people need to be “relaxed” before others can exercise their natural human rights? Where in the constitution does it say that? There must be one hell of a long list of qualifiers that I haven’t seen yet.

I’ve mentioned “control by freakout” before, and this is an excellent example – media get people all hyped up and “un-relaxed” and our rights are violated as a result. I must say it is a brilliant tactic.

Exactly like an Obama ad

This Ted Cruise ad could be an Obama ad, except for one single word (and the face). It may in fact BE a recycled Obama ad, with the tiniest bit of editing. Check it out.

Someone needs to be fired, and right now too. The same old crap such as this won’t do this time around. It won’t do at all.

Ted declares his candidacy

The Democrats are totally ill-equipped to defeat him. He simply doesn’t fall for their game, and so it will require the combined efforts of Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, the American Communist Party, et al, plus Jihadists and other foreign interests, to defeat him. This will be interesting.

The predictable, or rather a common, outcome would be that someone would get to him and convince him (threaten, bribe, cajole, lie, intimidate, mesmerize, etc.) that “For the Greater Good of the Party” he should quit before he does too much damage to the 2016 prospects. That or they primary him right out.

Mugme Street news

The following event occurred one block from what Barb and I fondly call “Mugme Street”. This has been my bus stop on the way home for a year and a half:

Police arrested a man who was seen counting his heroin stash Downtown Monday afternoon.

Bike officers were on patrol Downtown when they noticed a man acting strangely at 2nd Ave. and Stewart St. just before 1 PM. The officers approached the man and could plainly see him counting baggies of heroin, all of which were individually marked with a price.

Police arrested the man and collected the heroin as evidence.

I’ve had very strange people approach me at this location. When I’m waiting for the bus here I get and keep my back to the wall until the bus arrives.

I don’t want to work in downtown Seattle.

Quote of the day—John Robb

The corporation, and particularly tech companies, are particularly bad organizations for warfare.  One reason is that they are too centralized.  In particular, the institution of the CEO is a grave weakness (a systempunkt in global guerrilla lingo).  The CEO’s centrality to the corporate network makes him/her a single point of failure for the entire organization.  Another is that executives in most of the western world are very soft targets.  Easy to find (Google and Google maps), easy to isolate, and easy to kill…

John Robb
March 2, 2015
It’s Open Season on the Tech Elite
[ISIS threatened the life of Jack Dorsey, a co-founder and Chairman of Twitter. I wonder if the gun free zones of corporations will protect CEO’s as well as they do schools. Will corporate security protect the upper management, their families, and corporate facilities and continue to insist the little people must be unarmed?

Interesting times…—Joe]

Mugme Street news

From the Seattle Police Blotter:

Bike patrol officers noticed a man near 3 Ave and Pike Street make a suspected narcotics sale around 2:30 PM. Officers contacted the man and found him to have a Federal warrant for his arrest.

After arresting the man, officers found him to be carrying about twenty-eight grams of methamphetamine valued at around $2000. Officers also discovered a loaded gun on the 40-year-old man, which had been reported stolen in Seattle.

3rd and Pike is ground zero of Mugme Street.

Stolen government money

It seems that someone just embezzled three billion dollars from the US treasury. Well, actually, it was some insurance companies, and the Treasury just cut them checks. And it wasn’t authorized by congress. And the treasury told congress to go piss up a rope when they said “you can’t do that!” That story and other bureaucratic contempt for the law here.

The rule of law is dead, unless some pols and appointees start going to jail, or otherwise paying for their crimes against the people.

A day away from fundamentally transforming the internet

And hardly anyone is noticing, apparently. This is one of the biggest power grabs regarding free speech in the history of history, and it seems to be going through without much discussion, or even much notice.

I’ve been saying for years that the left really, really MUST gain control over the internet, and right now it seems they’re just a day or two from initiating their Solution; FCC control. Goodbye Wild West. Hello Federal Department of the Internet. I hope you like your new overlords.

The role of the government education complex

How much more clear can it be?

University of Michigan Activism class.

Just heard about it on Rush.

The university goes on to say that they’re not exhibiting any political bias. In Left-Speak that would be true of course, because “Bias” means any opposition to the Progressive authoritarian system.

Another chink in the wall

Via the Firearms Policy Coalition:

In another victory for Second Amendment civil rights by attorney Alan Gura, a United States District Court found a provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968 unconstitutional as applied to some people who, like the plaintiff in the case, are currently law-abiding and not felons, adjudicated as mentally defective, or have a violent criminal history.

This is the second ruling striking down parts of GCA ‘68 in as many weeks.

It’s taken us 47 years to do this but we are finally making progress.

Run, hide, fight @BvuePD

As I mentioned in the QOTD this morning last night I attended a presentation entitled Active Shooter Preparation by the Bellevue Washington Police department at the Newport High School.

The presenter was Officer Scott Montgomery who usually is a traffic cop but is also on the SWAT team and is a “certified active shooter instructor”.

It was a relatively small group attending. I was fairly close to the front making it difficult to see everyone and didn’t take a close inventory but I expect it was about 30 people.

At the time the Columbine massacre happened police training was that the police should secure the area and wait for the SWAT team to arrive and possibly enter the building. Of course the shooters had long since run their course by the time SWAT entered the building. This was a wakeup call and police training changed in response.

The training now has long been that the school should go into “lockdown”, people hide wherever they can, and they wait for the police to arrive. Upon the arrival of three or four police officers they would form a team and enter the building to engage the shooter. No active shooter incident has ever been stopped by such a multiple officer team.

At the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting there were students on the football field when the shooting started in the cafeteria. The school went into “lockdown”. The people on the football field went back into the school toward the shooter because that is what you do in a lockdown situation. They were following their training.

Active shooters evolved their tactics and so both the police and private citizens need to evolve as well. The Virginia Tech shooter took advantage of the lockdown and upped it one. He brought his own lock and chain. He went into a classroom, locked the doors shut, and started shooting them.

He had practiced this. We know this because people at the gun range where he practiced reported, when interviewed after the Virginia Tech event, they he did something very odd when he was at the range. He put his targets on the ground in rows. He then walked down the “aisles” with a gun in each hand and shot the targets as he walked by.

Montgomery told us they train using Simunitions in actual schools that are about to be remodeled or torn down. He stressed that even though they train for active shooter situations in a school they cannot be there in time to prevent horrific outcomes. “You are the first responders.” he said. If you do nothing, that is wrong. Fight, flight, and freeze are very natural responses. If you have children under your care you will probably not leave them. It is against our nature to fight. Almost no one practices fighting. Hence, if you have not thought about the situation you almost for certain will freeze. You just won’t know what to do.

You need to think about these things now, frequently, and prepare yourself mentally to do something other than freeze.

What private citizens need to do is think about all the “What if?” cases and plan for them ahead of time. What will you do? What are your options? How many exits are there in your situation? Don’t just think of the doors. Windows can be broken and dropping from a second story window is probably going to result in fewer injuries than waiting for a bullet to find you as you hide under a desk.

Teachers of younger students are particularly resistant to “losing track of a child”. “What if they get lost out on the street?” He response to this is, paraphrasing, “Which would you rather have, a lost kid on the street with every cop in the state converging on the site or the kid at immediate risk of being shot? We can find the kid on the street in the next hour. We can’t protect them from a bullet in the next minute.”

He told us that in police academy they were taught there are three types of people, “Sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs”. Most people are sheep. The police are clearly the sheepdogs. But you don’t have to have a uniform to protect your flock.

An active shooter is a dynamic event. Things change rapidly and the police cannot tell you what is going to be the best action to take. The people on the scene right then and there have to adapt to the situation and take appropriate action based upon the information available to them:

  • Know your situation
  • Do what is necessary to survive
  • Remember your responsibilities

People need to develop a survival mindset: Awareness and preparation are key:

  • Be familiar with your surroundings and environment BEFORE an emergency occurs.
  • Entry and exit points?
  • Areas where you can hide
  • Objects that can be used as weapons

Make a decision:

  • Run
  • Hide
  • Fight

This is the new mindset people must develop. It is not a static decision. Adapt to the changing situation.

If you have to fight allow yourself to have a “righteous anger”. You can be a “mother bear”. If you attack do it with a full commitment until the threat no longer exists. You may have to take their life.

Your mindset is important. His mindset which he encouraged others to have, “I’m not going to give my life for someone else. Someone else is going to have to take my life.”

DHS produced a video to teach the new mindset:

He was generally okay with it but with some minor issues. The two issues I remember were that it portrays women, but not men, as inclined to freeze. Men freeze too. Women can and will fight. This is particularly true when defending children.

The first police to arrive will be extremely single minded. They will not be friendly. They will not help you. They may yell at you and/or push you aside. Their mission will be to engage the shooter as quickly as they can so the total number of victims can be minimized.

When you encounter the police show your hands. Don’t worry about having a cell phone in it. It is very unlikely they are going to mistake your cell phone for a gun and your cell phone may come in handy later.

They will be doing active shooter response training, similar to fire drills, with the schools. It’s not quite the same thing and the results will never be as good, but keep in mind that in the last 50 years they have been doing fire drills no student has ever died in a school fire. Training works.

Much of the presentation seemed to presume there was a single shooter. I asked something like the following, “I realize Columbine was a somewhat unique event but there were two shooters and they used explosives as an significant component of their attack. Does this change your training?”

Montgomery said 67% of the active shooters in this country have been a single person. But they train for multiple shooters and even well planned team attacks such as a terrorist group might implement. It doesn’t change the mindset of the private citizen much. Events are dynamic and you won’t have perfect information. Yes, you may be running away from a shooter into an ambush but you are running away from a known threat. Be prepared to change your actions based on new information.

Someone else asked about the layout of the school and the risk of all the students exiting into the common area. It is surrounded on three sides by the building with a hill overlooking it (the eastern part of the parking lot). School officer Greg Mills explained they have timed the various paths to exit the buildings and can exit in reasonable times to other areas.

I then pointed out, paraphrasing, “I think was in Arkansas in the late 1990s where two shooters pulled the fire alarm and then waited in the tree line with rifles for when the students came out into the open. A similar attack at Newport might look inviting.”

Mills also addressed this. He said that during fire drills he is not responsible for evacuation of the students. He immediately exits in that direction and looks for “anything out of place”. He said, paraphrasing, “I might be the first one shot, but we are aware of that risk and try to address it.”

I was tempted to ask about private citizens with firearms because strictly speaking the presentation wasn’t just about active shooters in schools. But I decided not to. First off it is illegal for private citizens to have a firearm on school property and this was primarily a presentation for parents and students. Secondly this is a tremendous change in attitude from cowering and waiting for the police. If this new mindset takes hold then private citizens with guns to defend themselves and their children will come naturally. The culture is changing and the law will follow.

This is huge

H/T to Sebastian and a tweet from Firearms Policy.

This court victory is not on the scale of Heller or McDonald but it is still huge.

Firearm Policy describes it in a rather obscure manner:

The Court issued its order granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment. It is therefore ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED. The Court DECLARES that 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3), 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.99(a) are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions.

SO ORDERED on this 11th day of February, 2015.

For reference purposes 18 U.S.C 922 is here* and 27 C.F.R. § 478.99  is here**.

But as Sebastian elaborates:

This case challenged the ban on interstate transfers of handguns through an FFL.

The court applied strict scrutiny, and despite the government’s attempts to argue they needed the restriction in order to prevent criminals from circumventing state guns laws, the judge wasn’t buying it. What’s also very interesting is that he argues that the Brady Act changed the game for the GCA ’68 restrictions, with the idea that in an era of instant background checks, some GCA requirements cannot stand up to strict scrutiny.

Furthermore, the court said the interstate sale of handguns would not pass intermediate scrutiny either.

GCA ‘68 is under attack and just lost on a major issue. This has huge implications to Washington State residents and other suffering from repressive regulation in their home state. If you can go to a more free state and buy a handgun then you can bypass home state registration by keeping the gun out of state. You also avoid the expensive and difficult to obtain permission to purchase a gun as you thumb your nose at the local tyrants. All those guns banned by California, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York will now become extremely difficult to enforce.

Assuming this is upheld upon appeal and applied nationwide it will be interesting to see what sort of response the state legislators come up with. Will they attempt to make it illegal for you to purchase a gun in another state? In my case I can easily, and correctly, claim I keep any gun purchased in Idaho in Idaho and don’t “import” it back to Washington state. Then what? How is this different from someone visiting Washington or Colorado and purchasing some Marijuana?

Other GCA ‘68 restrictions that I suspect will soon be subject to attack is the restriction upon imports and the “sporting purpose” restrictions.

Can the government legally prevent you from importing a book when similar books, perhaps differing only in the edition or type of cover, are available for sale in the U.S.? Of course not. It makes no sense. The same with importing of firearms. I could see there being legal grounds for the government to impose taxes on such imports but they couldn’t be exorbitant.

The “sport purpose” test has to be almost in imminent jeopardy of falling. What constitutionally protected right can be dependent upon it having a “sporting purpose”. Constitutionally protected rights are not for sport.


* 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3):

It shall be unlawful … for any person, other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to transport into or receive in the State where he resides (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, the State where it maintains a place of business) any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained by such person outside that State, except that this paragraph (A) shall not preclude any person who lawfully acquires a firearm by bequest or intestate succession in a State other than his State of residence from transporting the firearm into or receiving it in that State, if it is lawful for such person to purchase or possess such firearm in that State, (B) shall not apply to the transportation or receipt of a firearm obtained in conformity with subsection (b)(3) of this section, and (C) shall not apply to the transportation of any firearm acquired in any State prior to the effective date of this chapter;

18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3):

It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver – … any firearm to any person who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located, except that this paragraph (A) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee’s place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States), and (B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;

**27 C.F.R. § 478.99:

§ 478.99 Certain prohibited sales or deliveries.

(a) Interstate sales or deliveries. A licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector shall not sell or deliver any firearm to any person not licensed under this part and who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the licensee’s place of business or activity is located: Provided, That the foregoing provisions of this paragraph (1) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of a rifle or shotgun (curio or relic, in the case of a licensed collector) to a resident of a State other than the State in which the licensee’s place of business or collection premises is located if the requirements of § 478.96(c) are fully met, and (2) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes (see § 478.97).

Interstate Transportation of Firearms and Ammunition Bill

HR 131, recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.)

Current federal law guarantees the right of law-abiding persons to transport firearms between two locations where they have a legal right to possessand carry them, regardless of state or local laws that would otherwise apply. The firearm must be cased or otherwise not readily accessible. Unfortunately, anti-gun local officials are using overly restrictive state licensing laws to harass and prosecute travelers who have made every effort to comply with the law, resulting in seized guns that are sometimes never returned, delayed travel, legal fees, and sometimes even unnecessary guilty pleas.

H.R. 131 would ensure the law has the effect Congress intended when it passed more than 25 years ago. Specifically, the legislation would make clear that transportation of both firearms and ammunition is federally protected, as well as expand the protections afforded to travelers to include “staying in temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental” to the trip. Additionally, the bill would place the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that the traveler failed to comply with the law.”

Emphasis mine. So some state clowns have been flouting federal law in going after people who travel innocently through their states with gun.
Continue reading

Responsible Body Armor Possession Act

HR 378

The title is of course misleading, as is all the speech of authoritarianism. Is it to protect the possession of responsible body armor? But an inanimate object can be neither responsible nor irresponsible. Is it to protect responsible bodies with armor? If so, why does it limit said armor? Is it to protect the responsible possession of body armor? How then would body armor be possessed in an irresponsible manner? Are there hoards of people possessing their body armor in some obnoxious fashion, say, wearing orange body armor with red clothing? One is given to wonder.

With all the Progressives pretending to be concerned, to the point of hyperventilating, about all the carnage carried out with guns, you’d think the one thing they’d want to see, besides a monopoly on gun possession for criminals, is more people wearing more effective body armor. Oh wait…

Authoritarians are of course insane, so in that sense there is nothing to see here.

One has to wonder what the authoritarian Republicans will do with this. My gut tells me they’ll be very much in favor of it, but will at the same time feel uncomfortable about letting their support be known. How that will manifest itself in their political actions I cannot guess. This sort of thing is an on-going problem for them (damn those liberty-minded little Hobbits!).

Please try to avoid getting caught up in the matter of the technical details of the various classes of body armor. This has nothing to do with any of that you know.

If the truth be known (perish the thought) this is one of many signs indicating that Congress is preparing for war with the American people. Many of them are no doubt blissfully unaware of that prospect, but it must be understood that blissful unawareness, and the vehement defense thereof, is a key component of such campaigns, right up to, and through, the the very end.

Fire, prosecute, and scorn them

Via Dave Hardy and Kelsey Harkness, we have the December 8, 2014 Staff Report on Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Involvement in “Operation Choke Point”. It contains these key findings:

  • The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the primary federal regulator of over 4,500 banks, targeted legal industries. FDIC equated legitimate and regulated activities such as coin dealers and firearms and ammunition sales with inherently pernicious or patently illegal activities such as Ponzi schemes, debt consolidation scams, and drug paraphernalia.
  • FDIC achieved this via “circular argument” policymaking: there was no articulated justification or rationale for the original list of “high-risk merchants.” Yet a list of “potentially illegal activities” included in FDIC’s formal guidance to banks justified itself by claiming that the categories had been previously “noted by the FDIC.”
  • FDIC’s explicitly intended its list of “high-risk merchants” to influence banks’ business decisions. FDIC policymakers debated ways to ensure that bank officials saw the list and “get the message.”
  • Documents produced to the Committee reveal that senior FDIC policymakers oppose payday lending on personal grounds, and attempted to use FDIC’s supervisory authority to prohibit the practice. Personal animus towards payday lending is apparent throughout the documents produced to the Committee. Emails reveal that FDIC’s senior-most bank examiners “literally cannot stand payday,” and effectively ordered banks to terminate all relationships with the industry.
  • In a particularly egregious example, a senior official in the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection insisted that FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg’s letters to Congress and talking points always mention pornography when discussing payday lenders and other industries, in an effort to convey a “good picture regarding the unsavory nature of the businesses at issue.”
  • FDIC actively partnered with Department of Justice to implement Operation Choke Point, and may have misled Congress about this partnership.
  • Because of this pressure by the FDIC private companies which create and sell compliance and risk management training software incorporated things such as:

    image

    The pressure was far from subtle. The official referred to in the following is Jim LaPierre, Regional Director of the Kansas City Region:

    The official told the banker, “I don’t like this product, and I don’t believe it has any place in our financial system. Your decision to move forward will result in an immediate unplanned audit of your entire bank.”

    This is what you get with government employees who believe they are masters rather than public servants.

    A good start on the way to restore public trust would be to release the names of the scoundrels so they can be publically scorned. While I am sure there are many more here are some names from the report:

    • Anderson, James L.
    • Bar, David
    • Benardo, Michael B.
    • Bowman, John B.
    • Bresnick, Michael
    • Brueger, Kathleen S.
    • Brown, Luke
    • Butler, Janice
    • Delery, Stuart
    • Dujenski, Thomas J.
    • Eberley, Doreen R
    • French, George
    • Gray, Andrew
    • Gruenberg, Martin J.
    • Jackson, Michael L.
    • LaPierre, Jim
    • Lowe, Anthony M.
    • Osterman, Richard J.
    • Pearce, Mark
    • Plunkett, Sylvia H.
    • Miller, Jonathan N.
    • Miller, Rae-Ann
    • Sagatelian, Marguerite
    • Sawin, April D.
    • Spitler, Eric J.
    • Sweet, Joel
    • Watkins, James C.
    • Valdez, Victor J.
    • Weatherby, Katheryn M.

    The public servants who “debated ways to ensure that bank officials saw the list and ‘get the message’” need to be sent a very strong “message”. They should be fired, prosecuted, and held personally responsible for the harm done to the business affected and the general public by their illegal and immoral actions.

    Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 4

    See also Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 1, Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 2, Seattle Smart Gun Symposium part 3, and Smart Gun Symposium in the news.

    Margot Hirsch
    President, Smart Tech Challenges Foundation

    Hirsch didn’t really say a lot but what she did say demonstrated she was generally knowledgeable about the technology. The only thing I thought she was off base on was she thought smart guns would protect against thieves. The other thing of note which she said was that the market for this technology were families.

    The following information is from the bio given to participants:

    Margot Hirsch is the President of the Smart Tech Challenges Foundation (STCF) a non-profit focused on reducing gun violence through the technology and innovation. The STCF was formed in 2013 with the mission of bypassing the political gridlock and polarizing debate around gun control versus person freedoms, by spurring innovation in technologies that serve to reduce firearm-related injuries and death. By awarding grants directly to innovators through the first-of-its-kind Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge, Margot is on the leading edge of inventive challenge philanthropy, finding market-based, entrepreneurial solutions to a social problem that claims over 30,000 American lives annually. She is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the foundation, running operations, board development and fundraising.

    Prior to joining STCF, Margot was Regional Vice President of Blackboard, Inc. where she led international sales for the Connect division of Blackboard, a leading provider of learning solutions to the education market. With over 25 years of sales and business development in the technology industry, Margo has held business development and sales management roles at Smartforce/Skilsoft, eProsper, Angel Investors, Global Village and American Express.

    More information about the organization and some of the people and technology they have given grants to can be found on their web site.

    Mark Burles
    Vice President, Penn Schoen Berland

    Burles presented polling data from a recent survey they had done for Washington CeaseFire. One should be careful using their data. From their website:

    What We Do

    How We
    Do It

    1

    DEFINE YOUR
    COMPETITIVE
    ADVANTAGE

    We measure a brand’s strength in context with its competitors to identify its assets, liabilities, & unique niche in the marketplace relative to the competition.

    2

    FIND YOUR
    “BASE” & “SWING”
    AUDIENCES

    Our model not only identifies a brand’s loyal customer base, but also uncovers persuadable consumer segments who can be taken from competitors to grow the brand.

    3

    CRAFT A
    WINNING
    MESSAGE

    PSB’s proprietary message development process delivers a clear roadmap of what to say, how to say it, and to whom to say it.

    4

    DELIVER A
    PERSUASIVE
    CAMPAIGN

     

    In this instance their customer is Washington CeaseFire.

    That said this is the data Burles presented to the audience:

    PennSchoenBerland01

    PennSchoenBerland02

    Online poll of 800 respondents, representative of the US General Population. Margin of error is +/- 3.46 overall and larger for subgroups.

    Questions:

    1. Is there currently a gun in your house (either owned by you or by someone else who lives with you)?
      Definition: Smart guns are guns that can only be operated/fired by the owner or per designated individual due to technology or other constraints.
    2. Would you consider swapping the guns currently in your home for new, safer “smart guns” when they come on the market?
    3. How strongly do you agree or disagree that guns dealers should be allowed to sell “smart guns”?
    4. How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Once the technology is commercially available, there should be a law saying that all firearms sold must be so-called “smart guns.”

    How do they do an online poll without a self-selection bias?

    PennSchoenBerland03

    31% of the people polled answered “Yes” to the question, “Is there currently a gun in your house (either owned by you or by someone else who lives with you)?”

    PennSchoenBerland04

    40% of the gun owners said they would swap their current gun for a smart gun. But these numbers decreased with the age of the gun owner. If the gun owner was 55+ years old only 23% would swap their current gun for a smart gun.

    PennSchoenBerland05

    66% of the public agreed that gun dealers should be allowed to sell smart guns.

    Of those that agree 87% are gun owners, 75% are women, and 59% are women.

    I don’t get this. Of those that agree, how can there be 75% men and 59% women? Surely they meant 75% the men agree and 59% the women agree. Right?

    PennSchoenBerland06

    Over all 51% think there should be a mandate for “smart guns” if the technology is commercially available. But only 38% of gun owners agree while 62% of the general public agrees with a mandate.

    PennSchoenBerland07