There are two types of people in the Ferguson debate. Racists, and people who understand Brown was a thug attempting murder.
Michael Z. Williamson
December 14, 2014
Is Ferguson Still A Thing?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]
There are two types of people in the Ferguson debate. Racists, and people who understand Brown was a thug attempting murder.
Michael Z. Williamson
December 14, 2014
Is Ferguson Still A Thing?
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]
Modern history suggests that when the Jews are fleeing your country, bad things are going to happen, probably self-inflicted.
January 10, 2015
ANTISEMITISM IN FRANCE: The Exodus Has Begun
[I have nothing to add but my tears.—Joe]
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?
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.
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.
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.
How much more clear can it be?
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.
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.
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:
People need to develop a survival mindset: Awareness and preparation are key:
Make a decision:
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 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.
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;
§ 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).
“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.
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.
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:
Because of this pressure by the FDIC private companies which create and sell compliance and risk management training software incorporated things such as:
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
“BASE” & “SWING”
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.
PSB’s proprietary message development process delivers a clear roadmap of what to say, how to say it, and to whom to say it.
In this instance their customer is Washington CeaseFire.
That said this is the data Burles presented to the audience:
Online poll of 800 respondents, representative of the US General Population. Margin of error is +/- 3.46 overall and larger for subgroups.
- 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.
- Would you consider swapping the guns currently in your home for new, safer “smart guns” when they come on the market?
- How strongly do you agree or disagree that guns dealers should be allowed to sell “smart guns”?
- 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?
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)?”
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.
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?
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.
Co-Founder, Trigger Smart
McNamara and Trigger Smart are based in Ireland. This, as he admitted, biased his views on “smart guns” in the U.S.
His technology is RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based and he told us it would add about $300 to the price of a gun.
He saw them as being used for prevention of children having an accident and used for recreational firearms. He didn’t seem to have a sense for what it would mean to have his technology on a self-defense gun.
As King County Sheriff John Urquhart pointed out police officers who lose control of their gun are almost for certain going to be close enough for the gun to be authorized to shoot when the bad guy pulls the trigger. If the bad guy were to run some distance away before shooting then it would be useful but in the immediate struggle it wouldn’t help. Hence an RFID based authorization system is of limited value in a struggle for self-defense situation.
He seemed to think there were some people that wanted them banned. It could be that he was just misunderstanding the situation with the New Jersey mandate and how that would essentially ban other types of gun. Hence many gun owners are hostile to the introduction of “smart guns”.
Since it is dependent upon radio communication someone in the audience asked about how it would deal with an attempt at being jammed. He didn’t seem to think it was possible. Looking at his bio I can excuse this error. His background is in property development, construction, and real estate. As an electrical engineer I can assure you it is possible to jam the communication between the gun and the RFID tag worn by the shooter.
New Jersey State Senator Majority Leader
Weinberg takes credit for the introduction and passage of the New Jersey “smart gun” mandate law.
She told many stories of children accidently shooting people. Her keynote speech was emotion packed and got the expected response from the CeaseFire people in the audience. I was annoyed with this because the number of people accidently killed in this manner is much less than the number of small children drowned. But we don’t have symposiums on or laws mandating “smart bathtubs” or “smart swimming pools”.
But what really irritated me was when she said it might have prevented the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting or the terrorist shooting in France at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. To believe things like that requires a special kind of crazy. I doubt Weinberg actually believes such a thing. I suspect she is just exhibiting her credentials that enabled her to be a New Jersey politician for such a long time. She can lie convincingly when telling people what they want to hear. She was speaking to the CeaseFire audience and not to people with technical competence.
She said there was a lot of talk among gun control people about the “smart gun” mandate law. The law had the unintended consequence of stopping the research. And you find that CeaseFire is opposed to the mandate and the Brady Campaign tried to sue and get New Jersey to enforce the mandate.
She wrote a letter to the NRA saying that she would work to repeal the law if the NRA would stop the opposition to “smart guns”. They didn’t respond. This got groans from the CeaseFire people in the audience. I thought this was probably the smartest thing they could have done with the letter. Anti-gun people can’t be trusted. What sort of guarantee could we have in place that would prevent them from pushing for a mandate again as soon as there is a gun on the market that sort of works but makes self-defense more risky than it already is? There isn’t any.
Legal Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
When asked by moderator Dave Ross, “Is there anything wrong with letting the market decide?” Leftwich made it clear she supports mandates. When asked about the legality of mandates in light of the Heller decision which said the D.C. safe storage law was unconstitutional she told the audience that Heller only required that guns be functional. A safe storage law, in general, was not unconstitutional. D.C. had required the guns be disassembled. A “smart gun” should pass constitutional muster. Her questioner (someone from Guns.com, I think it was Max Slowik, their report is here) followed up by pointing out that Heller said that firearms “in common use” could not be banned. Leftwich drew parallel to seat belts and air bags in cars and said you can still drive old cars without airbags or seat belts. Guns shouldn’t be any different.
Leftwich also said “smart guns” would prevent gun theft. I so wanted to ask the other panelists who actually had technical knowledge what their opinion was. But there were other people asking questions ahead of me and the answers rambled on for so long that they put a halt to the questions before I got my turn. I told her directly after the symposium that the technology couldn’t possibly stop someone with a little mechanical or electrical smarts from defeating it. She responded that thieves generally aren’t very smart. I pointed out that they could still sell the guns to someone who had the smarts. She insisted that it would still help some. I told her that the mandate will get extremely strong resistance because of the self-defense issues of reduced reliability. I don’t know if I was just starting to annoy her or if it was that particular question but her attitude changed and she didn’t seem at all interested in talking to me any more. I let it drop.
In part four I will cover the “smart gun” poll results presented by Mark Burles, Vice President Penn Schoen, Berland.
I received fairly detailed information on the testing of the Dynamic Grip Recognition technology. I don’t yet have permission to publish it here. I hope to get at least permission to say which of my concerns have been addressed to my satisfaction and which I think need more work. That permission probably will not be granted until Monday, if ever.
I’m arranging my post by the people who spoke in no particular order. The chronology and the topic of the panel in which they talked isn’t particularly important. I suspect there will be video available at some time but in most cases there was a lot of rambling and the information could have been presented much more concisely. Because of this you won’t see many exact quotes but my attempt to rephrase what I think is their position. I may get something wrong or miss something they believe to be important to understand their position and if they wish to contact me I’ll be glad to discuss and correct such errors.
I was annoyed with Fascitelli and tweeted about him a few times during the event:
Amazing number of lies and distortions in Washington Ceasefire Ralph Fascitelli’s opening statement.
Washington Ceasefire’s Ralph Fascitelli says guns are a “public health plague”.
Fascitelli said smart guns are similar to e-cigarettes. By this he meant, in part, the established industries are opposed to them and although they are safer some anti-smoking (and anti-gun) people are concerned that because they are safer they will lead to greater use/acceptance of conventional cigarettes/guns. He is opposed to smart gun mandates and realizes that has hindered development of the technology. He hopes that people on all sides of the issue can find common ground and reduce gun violence. He recognizes that gun owners and gun rights groups do care about innocent lives.
He strayed off topic some and said:
Some of the distortions and lies I found annoying included:
He and some others made a point that guns currently aren’t 100% reliable but “smart gun” critics demand the “smart gun” technology be 100% reliable. I suspect he is smart enough to know this is being disingenuous. We don’t want gun reliability to decrease to unacceptable levels. One failure out of 100,000 is probably acceptable in your self-defense hand gun. A 99% accurate smart gun means one failure out 100 and is not acceptable.
Depending on how you arrive at the numbers (see my email here) a gun that stops a kid from firing it 99.9% of the time may mean that if they try it 500 times they have a 60% chance of getting at least one shot off. 99% reliable may mean a 60% chance with just 50 attempts.
He hinted at a great divide in the anti-gun movement over smart guns. There is the obvious unintended consequence of mandated smart guns impeding development of them. But they also have concerns that if guns became safer to own guns would be more accepted in society.
This last point leads me to something else. I wonder if this contributes to their vehement opposition to armed school personal and sometimes even police being in schools. Are they concerned school shooting would decrease or stop and they would be less able to get traction on their anti-gun agenda? The same might be said of self-defense both inside and outside the home. Some, if not most, don’t really care that much about safety in general they just don’t want there to be guns and they even can admit this to themselves in some situations.
I really liked what Urquhart had to say and the way he said it. He was much more concise and to the point that the others and his points resonated with me. “Smart guns” aren’t ready for prime time. His deputies are very skeptical of them. You can see the mechanism of guns, you can take them apart, you can see parts are in need of maintenance, and you can clean and repair them. You can’t see into the electronics and software. You can’t know a failure is imminent with the electronics and software. A mechanical device is understandable.
This probably paraphrasing but instead of an exact quote, “A lock box isn’t going to save your life in an emergency but a gun may.”
Allied Biometrix is licensing the commercial rights to a dynamic grip biometric device.
He thinks the phrase “smart gun” should be dropped. It should be a “user authorized gun” or something similar.
He sees potential for preventing accidents by children. He is adamant that thieves and terrorists (as suggested by one panelist) would be not be deterred.
While he is against legislation mandating the technology he would welcome legislation or at least some standards established before a gun could be put on the market. He doesn’t want a “bad-actor” to get into the market with a poor quality product that would trigger New Jersey type laws or sour the market for technology that might deliver on the promise of a high tech gun. “We can’t afford a 404 error code.”
He is also concerned about the liability issue. What if the technology fails and someone who is unauthorized to fire the gun successfully gets a shot off? Currently gun manufactures are shielded from such liability. But it seems unlikely a product that failed to do as it was advertised would be shielded. Even if it worked 99.9% of the time the liability from the 0.1% of the failures would be unacceptable. I suspect this is part of the desire for the standards body or legislation. If the tech passes some test criteria then they might claim it does it’s job good enough even though it is not perfect. I didn’t mention this to him but I think an argument could be made that it is similar to seat belts and air bags. They don’t work 100% of the time but they work well enough to save lives in many situations.
He says the technology isn’t quite ready yet. He also made the point, “Why would consumers accept the technology if law enforcement won’t?”
He claims his technology works about 99.9% of the time. I asked for details on how that was measured and he referred me to someone else. I called and sent an email yesterday but I have not heard back from them yet.
In one-on-one I asked about the price his technology would add to the gun. He dodged the question somewhat and said that survey’s showed “the sweet spot” was about $200 to $300 per gun. The parts would be considerably less than that but licensing, marketing, markup, etc. would bring it up to that range.
The CEO of Allied Biometrix wrote an article for USA Today last year which covers some of these points and more.
Tomorrow in part three I will cover what Robert McNamera had to say about “smart guns” and his product Trigger Smart which is based on RFID technology. Also Juliet A. Leftwich Legal Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey Senate Majority Leader.
Cool. Very cool, and very unexpected.
Past winners include Sarah Hoyt, Harry Turtledove, L. Neil Smith, Vernor Vinge, Terry Pratchett, Ken MacLeod, Poul Anderson, James P. Hogan, J. Neil Schulman, and many more big names. Even if I come in last place, just being nominated to potentially stand amid such a group of names is quite an honor.