Gun details are coming out

It’s still early but this seems to be detailed enough to be believed:

Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, had an arsenal of 17 weapons in his hotel room, mostly military-style rifles, according to a law enforcement source.

At least one of them had been modified with a legal “bump stock” style device that allows the shooter to rapidly fire off rounds without actually converting it to a fully automatic weapon, the source said.

The devices modify the gun’s stock so that the recoil helps accelerate how quickly the shooter can pull the trigger. The devices are legal in the U.S.

Other weapons may have been converted to fully automatic fire, and were still being examined, the source said.

Paddock had four Daniel Defense DDM4 rifles, three FN-15s and other rifles made by Sig Sauer.

Glad to hear it

CBS did the right thing:

CBS fired a company executive Monday after she criticized some victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting as “Republican gun toters” who did not deserve sympathy.

She wrote:

If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters.

Don’t forget, this is what some people think of gun owners. They do not think of us as fully human and deserving of life and/or liberty. Violence in support of their beliefs is easily justified. It’s part of their nature.

Something to remember

On this day of extreme sadness and the predictable attacks on private gun owners remember this evil person could have chosen a worse weapon to kill and injury. From Nice France in 2016:

On the evening of 14 July 2016, a 19 tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people[2] and the injury of 458 others.

If “properly” equipped such a vehicle could have killed many times more than this in some Las Vegas venues.

That didn’t take long

Early this morning The New York Times posted an editorial by Nicholas Kristof titled “Preventing Future Mass Shootings Like Las Vegas” and described infringements upon the right to keep and bear arms which would have done absolutely nothing to have prevented the mass shooting:

After the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, the impulse of politicians will be to lower flags, offer moments of silence, and lead a national mourning. Yet what we need most of all isn’t mourning, but action to lower the toll of guns in America.

Here is what this liar said, “that would, collectively, make a difference”:

  1. Impose universal background checks for anyone buying a gun.
  2. Impose a minimum age limit of 21 on gun purchases.
  3. Enforce a ban on possession of guns by anyone subject to a domestic violence protection order.
  4. Limit gun purchases by any one person to no more than, say, two a month
  5. Tighten rules on straw purchasers who buy for criminals.
  6. Make serial numbers harder to remove.
  7. Adopt microstamping of cartridges so that they can be traced to the gun that fired them, useful for solving gun crimes.
  8. Invest in “smart gun” purchases by police departments or the U.S. military, to promote their use.
  9. Require safe storage, to reduce theft, suicide and accidents by children.
  10. Invest in research to see what interventions will be more effective in reducing gun deaths.

The intentional deception continues with comparison to regulations on ladders in the workplace and automobile accidents. This deception conflates accidental deaths with intentional deaths. If he were being honest here he would have compared accidental deaths by falls off of ladders or automobile accidents to firearm accidental deaths. Or the use of automobiles in violent crime such as bank robberies, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks. That would be fair. But it’s obvious Kristof is not interested in fair or honest.

Lets do an “apples to apples” type comparison with accidental firearm deaths and see how gun ownership stacks up. I’ve reported the accidental death by firearm numbers before, but here is it again with slight editing to make it consistent with this blog post.

Here is the data I downloaded from the CDC on accidental firearm deaths.

From 1985 to 2015 the total number deaths dropped from 1649 to 489. A decrease of over 70%. And if we look at the death rate instead of total deaths it went from 0.69 to 0.15 per 100,000. That’s a drop of over 78%. And that’s without a government program.

I can’t say that it is cause and effect but the NRA Eddie Eagle program (gun safety for children of any age from pre-school through third grade) was developed in 1988. And there was a big push for more NRA firearms instructors in the mid 1990s.

AccidentalDeathByFirearm1981-2015

AccidentalDeathRateByFirearm1981-2015

But don’t expect Kristof or any other anti-gun person to talk about the successes of the private sector or gun organizations. It’s not about safety. It’s about government control.

Worst mass shooting in US history

The numbers are subject to change but the current count is 50 dead.

The shooter was on the 32 floor of the hotel across the street from a music festival.

No known motive. The best info on the shooter I have seen is here.

Speculation the shooter was a Democrat is premature. Speculation that Democrats will immediately use this horrific act for political gain is a winning bet if you could find someone to bet against you.

This could save millions

This is great news:

Scientists have engineered an antibody that attacks 99% of HIV strains and can prevent infection in primates.

It is built to attack three critical parts of the virus – making it harder for HIV to resist its effects.

The work is a collaboration between the US National Institutes of Health and the pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

The International Aids Society said it was an “exciting breakthrough”. Human trials will start in 2018 to see if it can prevent or treat infection.

If this works out the people of Africa will probably benefit the most, but there is no continent that won’t have significant number of lives saved if there is near universal vaccination of those at risk. And if the technology can be adapted to other viruses, even just colds and flu, it will be a significant win for humanity.

Be sure of your target and who is in front of it

“All’s well that ends well” isn’t one of the rules of gun safety, at least so far as I know. Nor is, “If you can walk away from it, then it was good gun handling”. Maybe that does apply to rocketry though.

Seen at Zero Hedge

One round skipped off the ground just a few yards from the guy walking in front of the truck. I guess he had a memorable day.

It reminds me of a W.W II story in which an American unit was taking heavy artillery fire. Their commander, realizing that it was friendly fire, reassured his troops saying, “Don’t worry, Boys; those are our guns!” or something to that effect.

It’s the radiation, Stupid

They started with weightlessness as the reason, they did drop the R-word in the middle (can’t throw out all credibility), but only in passing, then reinforced the weightlessness meme again at the end.

I see it like this (because this is how it is); you can’t get the money if you aren’t offering the hope of something exciting (like a Mars colony) or something excitingly catastrophic (like the end of the world unless government has total control). Therefore you can’t come out and say that a Mars colony is a stupid idea because then you lose your funding.

In fact you’d have to live underground on Mars, or die of radiation. If you’re going to live underground, well, you can do that here on Earth much more easily and cheaply. AND…you don’t want to do that anyway, because living underground forever is boring, so forget the whole thing.

On second thought, no; I’m wrong about all of that so give me a hundred billion dollars and I’ll get you’re dumb ass to Mars. You’ll need to pay in advance.

Epiphanies

Epiphany (not the Cristian feast / celebration): a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you.

They can be useful. When the world seems to be going utterly insane, and you wonder why it’s not all making sense, and you get an insight, a realization, that makes all the pieces fall into place. You gain clarity. Sometimes its an almost religious experience. It might be nothing more than the realization that… you are not alone in seeing what you see. The moment the little boys shouts out “But the emperor is naked!” and nobody in the emperor’s retinue is close enough to beat the kid into silence and word spreads.

Everyone has that point where the “obvious” is no longer “crazy” and becomes “true.”

A FOX news headlines shout “Charlottesville white supremacist rally blamed for 3 deaths, 35 injuries.” Oh no, that’s horrible! many exclaim.

Then you come to find out that two of them are from a crashing police helicopter. The third was from a guy driving through a crowd that was armed and violent, after the police not only failed to protect the marchers, but were actively helping the Antifa, and the government had done their best to deny their free speech rights. More here and elsewhere.

(short background: they applied for a rally permit, got shot down because of the content of their speech, went to court, got it reinstated. Come the time for the rally, they were not protected from the Antifa counter-protest, but actively herded through it, then the police vanished. The cops were, to all appearances, in collusion with the armed and violence Anti thugs trying to shut down a permitted and lawful free speech rally. I.i., they are obeying orders of their left-wing paymasters. Now questions are rising about the actual identity of the driver (false flag? in any case, the pieces presented as “known” are very inconsistent). All the violence was initiated, as usual, by the left. All the news headlines are misleading.

People are starting to notice, and suddenly go “waiiiittt a minute… maybe they are NOT being honest in their coverage!” and they start not believing anything the media says. And the more hysterical the media gets, the more they double down, the more obvious it becomes, the more people look at their friends at work and quietly go “do you believe any of this crap? No? Me neither.” The nod their heads at the HR meetings, and quietly think to themselves that it might be time to vote differently. And they hope, they pray, that it’s still not to late for votes to matter, because the next steps are really, really unpleasant for all concerned.

Interesting law suit

From the top headline at Drudge this afternoon, comes a story about a guy suing the Republican Party for fraud. He donated significant money because they ran on the “Repeal Obamacare” platform and are now clearly not interested in fulfilling their promise.

The suit will probably never go anywhere, but it is worth noting. I’m not sure which is worse, or which is more likely to get results; all of us suing each other rather than accomplishing anything, or shooting each other rather than accomplishing anything.

The Republicans will, in any case, add the word “Replace” to the word “Repeal”. If they end up doing that, we won’t get repeal. Instead we’ll get some equally horrid, government-managed, socialistic and equally unsustainable (but I repeat myself) pile of feces, and then claim that we voters got what we wanted. Later they’ll blame us for their bullcrap.

So no; I will no longer use the term “repeal” and neither should anyone else who believes in liberty. Instead use “Laissez Faire”, which would require a repeal of not only O-Care, but all the rest of the federal shenanigans surrounding medicine. The medical industry is a price-inflated, over-complicated mess because of government interference, so get rid of the interference.

But, oops; Trump has been outspoken as an advocate of “Single-Payer” (commie care) which has been the pipe dream of the Progressive Marxist revolutionaries for generations.

Still, I advocate laissez faire. At least let the individual states destroy their own medical industries – We know they are capable of doing that without federal help.

Education quirk

Interesting. Short version: PISA is the “Programme for International Student Assessment”, it tests schools/kids from around the world. 65 nations entered. America ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. Ouch. Nations that didn’t enter were mostly places like all of sub-Saharan Africa which routinely score badly on such tests; it’s safe to assume the US did better than Haiti, even if they didn’t take the test.

However… Someone looked at how kids performed in each nation by ethnic backgrounds within a country, and compared them across borders (i.e., compare American Chinese to Chinese in China, American whites to whites in Europe, Mexican-Americans to Mexicans in Mexico, etc). Quote:

Asian-Americans outperform all Asian students except for Shanghai-Chinese. White Americans outperform students from all 37 predominantly white nations except Finns, and U.S. Hispanics outperformed the students of all eight Latin American countries that participated in the tests.

African-American kids would have outscored the students of any sub-Saharan African country that took the test (none did) and did outperform the only black country to participate,Trinidad and Tobago, by 25 points.

Huh. That means that one (or both) of these two cherished narratives are false:
(a) American schools are abject failures for the amount of money we spend per student, and spending more money will fix the problem, or
(b) There are no real and significant racial /ethnic /cultural differences, and the low academic scores highly correlated with economic achievement of certain groups is the result of white racism, oppression,  discrimination, etc.

You can lead a horse to water… etc., etc.

You can’t have it both ways with this analysis of the data. Personally, I think we should treat all people as individuals, and do what we can with / for them. Move to an ability-based class-placement system for most things rather than age-based.

Quote of the day—Christopher Burg

Some people might claim that the people being robbed aren’t innocent because they’ve been accused of a crime but civil asset forfeiture occurs before somebody has been found guilty of a crime, which is the problem. Under a justice system where one is supposedly innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt there is no justification for stealing an accused individual’s property. So, yes, Jeff Sessions announced that his department is going to be stealing from innocent people and that should have everybody up in arms.

Christopher Burg
July 19, 2017
Jeff Sessions Announces Justice Department Will Increase Theft
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dana Loesch

Only people with a predilection for violence would mistake a condemnation of violence as a ‘call to violence.’

Dana Loesch
July 3, 2017
A gun-control group’s cheery response to the NRA’s ‘dystopian’ recruitment ad
[It’s not a “mistake”. It’s rules #1 (lying) and #3 (projection) in SJWs Always Lie.

In the last few months the political left has caused a million dollars of damage in just Portland alone and openly saying (emphasis added):

We are committed to the idea that people in our community should be able to participate in resisting this bigotry in whatever capacity they find appropriate. For this reason, we have chosen to make the primary focus of the event a rally at a separate location that is adjacent to the Alt Right rally.

We are unapologetic about the reality that fighting fascism at points requires physical militancy.

we are not opposed to the tactic of property destruction

In Baltimore, 2015, damages were estimated at nearly $13 million. In Ferguson the costs of the riots were in the tens of millions. And millions more in physical damage.

Then, last month, someone from the political left shot Republican Congressmen at a baseball game.

And the political left has a “cheery response” to Loesch’s “dystopian” video expressing concern about the violent left?

The only reason they are “cheery” is because they are getting away with their criminal behavior.—Joe]

If you carry don’t provoke

In several of the self-defense classes I have taken the instructors have told the class that if you carry a gun you will be held to a higher standard of behavior than those who do not carry. And specifically, do not pick a physical fight you are nearly certain you are going to win.*

We now have a real life example playing out of why this can cause you (and the gun rights movement in general) serious problems.

Remember the University of Washington incident involving a speech by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos (see also my blog post here) on January 20th of this year? The couple who were involved in the shooting are now in trouble because there is evidence they went to the event with, shall we say, “a poor attitude”:

Assault charges filed Monday against a Ravenna couple in connection with the shooting of a protester outside a speech by former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos on Jan. 20 allege they went to the University of Washington campus that night looking for trouble.

Marc and Elizabeth Hokoana had armed themselves — him with pepper-spray and her with a Glock semi-automatic handgun in a holster under her coat — and went to the protest intending to goad demonstrators they knew would be there, King County prosecutors allege. Some witnesses said Marc Hokoana appeared to be intoxicated.

According to the charges, the day before Yiannopoulos was scheduled to talk at Kane Hall, Marc Hokoana had messaged a friend on Facebook, stating, “I can’t wait for tomorrow. I’m going to the milo event and if the snowflakes get out off hand I’m going to wade through their ranks and start cracking skulls.”

His friend asked him if he was “going to carry.”

Hokoana responded, “Nah, I’m going full melee,” but then wrote “Lily … is,” referring to his wife, Elizabeth.

I’m sure Elizabeth Hokoana didn’t help her case when she was interviewed by the police.

H/T to Julie S. for bringing this new information to my attention. She is also a personal friend of Josh Dukes who was shot by Ms. Hokoana.


* I would generalize this to don’t pick physical fights, but there may be some people who have an issue with that and that discussion is beyond the scope of this post.

Quote of the day—Chelsey Gentry-Tipton

Watching the congressman crying on live tv abt the trauma they experienced. Y is this so funny tho?

The very people that push pro NRA legislation in efforts to pad their pockets with complete disregard for human life. Yeah, having a hard time feeling bad for them.

Chelsey Gentry-Tipton
Nebraska Democratic Party Black Caucus Chair
June, 2017
Via Omaha World-Herald
[This is what they think of you.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Chris Collins

Capitol Police officers were heroes last week — their bravery and quick thinking probably saved the lives of Rep. Scalise and my other colleagues — but self-defense is my responsibility, too.

As Americans in my district and across the country know well, responsible, legal gun owners have every right to protect themselves, and that applies to members of Congress as well. I’ve worked to make sure these core values, preserved in the Constitution, are upheld. For my own protection, and for the protection of those around me, I’m putting these values into practice. Now, more than ever, I truly believe that the best place to be, during a terrible episode like the one in Alexandria, is next to a good guy with a gun.

Chris Collins
June 19, 2017
I’m a member of Congress. I’m going to start carrying a gun.
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

And their point is?

From The Washington Post:

The gunman who opened fire on a GOP baseball team in Virginia had a local storage locker with more than 200 rounds of ammunition that he visited daily, including less than an hour before he shot more than 60 times at the team during a morning practice June 14.

I sometimes reload 200 rounds in the morning before I go to work. And then I shoot that many or more at the range at lunch time.

This explains why he got so few solid hits. He didn’t practice enough. But they don’t even suggest anything along those lines.

[sarcasm] I wonder what their intended point is? [/sarcasm]

To me this demonstrates their ignorance and/or maliciousness.