Quote of the day—Maj Toure

America would not have even been created without firearms. Some people say it’s a contradiction for me as an African-American man to have a position: “When they wrote the Second Amendment, they didn’t mean it for you.” I don’t give a fuck who they meant it for. It’s mine now.

Maj Toure
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 26, 2017
Why Black People Own Guns
[Actually, the Second Amendment applied to all free people. Maj Toure is not a slave. He is a free man. It always did and still does apply to him.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Carlton LeFlore

I have a hammer for my home improvement. I have my gun for self-protection. They’re just tools to me. I don’t give them any power other than that. And I feel like most people give the gun so much power, but the gun can’t pull the trigger itself.

Carlton LeFlore
Winter Garden, Florida
December 26, 2017
Why Black People Own Guns
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John Robb

Over time, perhaps in as little as twenty years, and as the leverage provided by technology increases, this threshold will finally reach is culmination—with ability of one man to declare war on the world and win. Now, with every improvement in genetic engineering and nanotechnology (only some of many potential threats), we come closer to the day when a single individual will have the budget, the knowledge, and the tools necessary to make this future possible.

John Robb
2007
Brave New War, page 8.
[As Brett has told us:

Three weeks of utilities are all that separate us from savagery.

And also:

What people can do with what they buy at the gun store doesn’t bother me much. It’s what the brilliant molecular biologist who has gone sideways can do in his basement in mayonnaise jars that absolutely terrifies me.

I don’t see any insurmountable obstacles to Robb’s claim. And if he is correct then we are now 10 years or less from this prophecy becoming a reality.

I’m reminded of a t-shirt I have. On the front it says, “One man can change the world.” On the back it says, “With enough ammunition.” Perhaps the back should be edited to say, “With the correct type of ‘ammunition’”.—Joe]

A white Christmas in Bellevue

Although there will frequently be one or more snowfalls per year in Bellevue Washington it’s rare that the timing and the persistence matches Christmas. This year it did. It started snowing on Christmas Eve about 3:00 PM. This morning we had about four inches of snow:

WP_20171225_12_17_50_Pro

WP_20171225_12_39_35_Pro

WP_20171225_12_39_45_Pro

IMG_9579

Its not North Central Idaho, but it does feel a lot like an Idaho Christmas.

Boomershoot Christmas presents

Daughter Kim and her husband Jacob gave Barb and I Boomershoot Christmas presents!

Customized range officer vests:

IMG_9577Cropped

IMG_9578Cropped

From Daughter Xenia and her husband John gave me a rear shooting rest bag:

WP_20171225_13_19_43_ProCropped

From Barb’s daughter Maddy I got an earmuff and hearing protection carry bag:

WP_20171225_13_28_03_Pro

It’s protection for my ear protection.

Among other things Santa put 200 rounds of ammunition in Barb’s stocking (it’s a good thing it is a sturdy stocking!). She says, “It’s the good stuff!”

Quote of the day—Leah Libresco

I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.

Leah Libresco
October 3, 2017
I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.
[Leah Libresco is a statistician and former news writer at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. The three months she and her colleagues spent analyzing the deaths of people who died via gunshot wounds arrived at conclusions most gun owners had arrived at decades ago.

So, why do the politicians propose such nonsensical policies? It’s about the control of gun owners.

See also Quote of the day—Ramesh Ponnuru.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dave Workman

Perhaps the biggest “fake news” of all is that gun control has worked and will work even better if laws restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens are made stricter.

The consensus among firearms owners is that such nonsense – as opposed to common sense – takes a distant second, especially at this time of year, to believing in Santa Claus.

Dave Workman
December 20, 2017
‘Fake News’ Annoying, And Abundant from Anti-Gunners
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

It’s going to be a white Boomershoot Christmas

When Kim and I were at the Boomershoot site last week there was some snow on the ground and occasionally in the air. We plowed some snow with my vehicle as we wandered around doing various things. We replaced the battery for the solar powered lights at the Taj Mahal, inspected the repaired driveway into the shooting area, removed snow blocking the weather station aerometer, removed snow from solar panels, and removed one of the webcams for the Boomershoot Live web page. The road webcam was just mounted temporarily with wire and I don’t think I have enough solar input to handle two webcams during the middle of winter. I removed the road cam until next spring and will have a permanent mount made by then.

Pictures below the fold.

Continue reading

Crayon Boomerite

About a month ago daughter Kim sent me a video of someone successfully making colored smoke bombs using “oil crayon”. I couldn’t find the type of crayons I think they were using in the video but I did find some cheap bulk crayons on Amazon and ordered them:

WP_20171201_08_00_35_Pro

We know that if we put several pounds of colored powder on top of an exploding target it will disperse the powder into the air and give some color to the explosion. But it would be nice if the explosive itself also resulted in colored smoke. I also ordered some colored corn starch powder from Amazon which I thought also might be worth a try:

Last Saturday, December 16th, we melted the crayons in an electric skillet.

WP_20171216_10_51_46_Pro

Then added the ammonium nitrate.

WP_20171216_11_27_34_Pro

Then we mixed in the other ingredients to make Boomerite.

WP_20171216_11_48_37_Pro

We also made a batch of Boomerite with a cup of the colored corn starch powder mixed in.

WP_20171216_12_09_05_Pro

We then took the targets out for testing. None of the targets resulted in any colored smoke.

I knew the additional ingredients would make detonation harder so I used 50 grain VMAX ammo in a .223 rifle with a 24 inch barrel to get the best velocity and expansion for a better chance of detonation. All the targets hit with these bullets, from 20 yards away, detonated. The velocity at the target was probably just over 3300 fps.

Hitting them with slower FMJ bullets, as fast as 3200 fps, just punched holes in the target. A slower expanding bullet once resulted in a small pop which destroyed the target.

WP_20171216_14_17_53_Pro

Although we didn’t get any colored smoke we did manage to blast away quite a bit of the little berm we were shooting into. In the picture below the small mound of dirt the target is sitting on use to extend parallel to the target across where the crater is now.

WP_20171216_14_13_19_Pro

Quote of the day—DebateChallenge

If you care about saving lives than you should crack down on cigarettes. Cigarettes cause about 480,000 deaths per year, there are far more deaths by cigarettes than there are deaths by guns. And of those 480,000 deaths, about 41,000 of them are from secondhand smoke. So just secondhand smoke alone causes about as much, if not more, deaths than guns.

DebateChallenge
December 17, 2017
Comment to Should Hawaii become the model for nationwide gun-control?
[Good point. One could debate the numbers of deaths correctly attributed to secondhand smoke, but those who are anti-gun (control freaks) tend to be the same type of people who want to claim secondhand smoke is a serious threat as well.

While I think one can make a freedom/liberty case for unrestricted recreation drugs for consenting adults, including tobacco and alcohol, they aren’t a specific enumerated right and the push back against restrictions would have less constitutional standing.

So, when someone want to ban guns (such as “assault weapons”) “for the children” you can point out that if they really wanted to “save the children” they should be an advocate for banning tobacco instead of guns. They would have a much higher potential pay off with less constitutional resistance.

We all know it’s not about saving lives and if you point out their misdirected concerns they will come up with some rationalization to remain fixated on guns. But you can hammer them with their lack of logic and make it clear to everyone “in the room” the motivation for this person is not “saving lives”. It’s about control of people who would own guns.—Joe]

Quote of the day—James B. Jacobs

The SAFE Act succeeded in making a big political splash. It generated widespread and intense protest by gun owners and mobilized Second Amendment advocates and advocacy groups. In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo was reelected by a much diminished majority and Republicans regained control of the State Senate. This demonstrated that even in a very blue state like New York, gun owners are a significant constituency, one that punches above its weight because it includes so many one-issue voters. In the legislature, Democrats continue to introduce new gun control bills at the rate of about 50 per year, while Republicans regularly introduce bills to repeal or at least scale back the SAFE Act. Neither side currently has any chance of actually passing new legislation.

The SAFE Act’s impact on gun crime, suicides and accidents has never been seriously assessed, although both gun control proponents and gun rights advocates make extravagant claims. In truth, there seems little likelihood that the SAFE Act has had much, if any, effect since it has been only partially implemented, almost completely unenforced, and widely ignored.  Its various provisions are easily circumvented.

James B. Jacobs
December 19, 2017
Assault Rifles and The Impact of New York State’s SAFE Act
[It’s a very factual article with near zero emotional content. I like it.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Charles C. W. Cooke

Ed Asner, is a 9/11 truther. Given that, the quality of the work is about what you’d expect. Having proposed that Congress, the Supreme Court, and the majority of Americans “claim the Second Amendment is not simply about state militias but guarantees the unfettered right of everyone to own, carry, trade and eventually shoot someone with a gun” — ah, yes, the right to “eventually shoot someone with a gun,” so beloved to those of us who can read — Asner and his co-author, Ed Weinberger, proceed to offer up the most comprehensively illiterate and most embarrassingly researched example within what is, alas, a growing genre. As an example of Second Amendment trutherism, this one will likely never be beaten.

Charles C. W. Cooke
December 19, 2017
No, Salon, the U.S. Was Not ‘Founded on Gun Control’
[I’m skeptical of the claim that it will never be beaten. Human genius has limits but stupidity and evil do not appear to be so handicapped.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Steven Strauss

What National Review’s “Republicans in Name Only” don’t understand is that “freedom!” trumps federalism. This act will free people from places like Mississippi from having to learn about other states’ laws when they visit those states. And the GOP really has a valid point here. Learning isn’t one of the strengths of the great state of Mississippi — it ranks 49th in the U.S. for the educational attainment of its citizens. Having to learn about another state’s laws before visiting there with a concealed, highly dangerous weapon is clearly too much of an imposition on residents of a state who have trouble graduating high school and college at the same rate as other Americans.

Steven Strauss
Opinion columnist, USA Today
December 18, 2017
Concealed carry reciprocity isn’t enough. What about drugs, driving and sex?
[Strauss was careful to call out Mississippi for comparison with (elsewhere in the opinion piece) with New York. Vermont, with gun laws even more lax than Mississippi with higher education and lower homicide rates than New York would not fit the narrative.

He doesn’t stop with cherry picking his data to reach is conclusion. He conflates speed limits and other rules of the road with a concealed carry license. A fairly reasonable comparison would driving licenses and concealed carry licenses. Explaining how “full faith and credit” does not apply is required too, but Strass has a narrative to fit and wouldn’t want to hear of a fair comparison. Implying gun owners are uneducable and being smug is more important than truth to him.

One could conclude that Strauss is a bigot and make a good case for that. But you should also leave open the option he has evil intent and put him on your list for consideration of prosecution.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Ed Asner & Ed Weinberger

Let’s consider the case made by the NRA, its Congressional hired hands, the majority of the Supreme Court, and various right wing pundits who claim the Second Amendment is not simply about state militias but guarantees the unfettered right of everyone to own, carry, trade and eventually shoot someone with a gun.

Ed Asner & Ed Weinberger
December 16, 2017
Sorry, NRA: The U.S. was actually founded on gun control
[This is what they believe our, and the Supreme Court’s, opinion of the right to keep and bear arms is. You know they have a weak case when they start out with a straw man argument.

They continue with claims that the individual rights conclusion of Heller decision was a completely new interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. They claim it ignored 200 years of precedent and historical context when all nine justices agreed it referred to an individual right. Yes, only five justices agreed that D.C. had infringed upon the right but all nine agreed the 2nd Amendment protected an individual right. Apparently a couple of people who are best known for their work on the television series “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, a work of fiction, think they know constitutional law and history better than the nine justices on the U.S Supreme Court in 2008.

I know these Hollywood types can develop an exaggerated sense of self importance, but WOW, these guys are operating on a different plane of existence.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Jonathan Walder

When your proposals never would have stopped the massacre that inspired the proposal, it makes it very clear that the proposals are not made in good faith. As we’ve seen, the problem lies not with the private sale exception, but with the fact that the NICS checks are not particularly effective. Fix that before you start passing unenforceable laws that require drug dealers to run background checks on other drug dealers.

Jonathan Walder
December 14, 2017
Comment to SANDY HOOK ANNIVERSARY: THESE ARE THE GUN CONTROL LAWS THAT HAVE FAILED SINCE THE NEWTOWN SHOOTING
[“Fix that”? I don’t think it is fixable. Well, maybe getting rid of NICS and spending the money on something more productive might be considered a “fix”.

Prosecuting violent criminals would seem to be a good alternative.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Korwin

The FBI set a record for checks! The FBI had to pull staff from other crucial tasks to manage the management of innocent shoppers! The federal agencies spent enough money to beef up the system from last year’s record, to handle this year’s record! Here, lapdogs, take your handout. Everyone did.

Missing was the blatantly obvious — were any criminals caught, any crime stopped, by this over-hyped, ultra expensive, democrat-promoted system? Not one word addressed that — the supposed reason the thing exists. Not one story posed the question. It is a 100% error of omission or misguided spin. Hooray for our side, we set a record! Did we do any good? Who cares, we don’t report on that.

Alan Korwin
November 30, 2017
Background Check “News” Deceives
[It’s because it’s not about catching criminals or stopping crime. It’s about hassling gun owners and getting one step closer to gun registration.—Joe]

Interesting psychology

As you read the news about all the sexual harassment claims and denials keep in mind the human mind is a tricky thing. For example:

Several studies have shown that people are more likely to label a given behavior as sex to the extent that their significant other did it as opposed to themselves. In a study of 839 college students (96% heterosexual) who were asked whether oral contact with another person’s genitals counted as sex, it turned out that just 36% of women and 39% of men said it did when they imagined themselves doing it. However, when asked to imagine their partner doing the same thing with someone else, 62% of women and 63% of men suddenly viewed it as sex.

Truth is extremely elusive. Definitions matter. Measurements matter. Numbers matter. There are facts and there are opinions. A lot of what we are seeing in the news are opinions and what is important are the facts.

Quote of the day—Ramesh Ponnuru

Public support for a ban on the civilian ownership of handguns has been falling for decades. In 1959, 60 percent of the public favored the idea and 36 percent opposed it. By 1975, support had fallen to 41 percent and opposition risen to 55. Now there’s a 76–23 percent supermajority against the idea.

Ramesh Ponnuru
Senior Editor of National Review
November 6, 2017
Why Gun Control Loses
[Which is why the anti-gun organizations don’t mention handgun bans anymore and in 1988 deliberately pivoted to “assault weapons” which they knew were confused in the public mind with fully automatic weapons. They are now nearly stalled on their “assault weapons” push and are pivoting to “universal” background checks and “Extreme Risk Protection Orders”.

We need to keep encouraging our culture by coming out of the closet and taking new shooters to the range. We are winning battles but the war will never be completely over.—Joe]

Quote of the day—C.S. Lewis

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C.S. Lewis
1948
God in the Dock
[See also this more recent and on topic interpretation.

This is the essence of most of those who demands we give up our guns. Don’t ever forget they think of us as infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals and they demand to control us. For our own good.—Joe]