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Amusing Mistakes

A Geek With Guns points to yet another case of incorrect terminology about guns in the news.  This time it doesn't seem to be the journalist's fault, but Mayor Daley's (Chicago, I presume) instead.  It seems the Mayor is worried that his police may be out-gunned by people carrying "semi-fully-automatic" weapons. 

At first I was sure that a semi-fully-automatic weapon couldn't exist.  We all know about semi-automatic (one bullet per trigger pull, very common) and fully-automatic (fires until the trigger is released, very heavily regulated).  But semi-fully-automatic firearms don't exist, right?

That's what I thought too, until I actually went looking for some.  It turns out that semi-fully-automatic firearms are available after all.  Some of them are indeed really scaryOthers are smaller, but still enough to ruin your dayThere are some early examples of the deadly semi-fully-automatic technologyAnd some are just plain weird.  I certainly wouldn't want to run into a criminal carrying any of them.  Or, err, leading a team of horses hitched to one, either.

What? 

Sorry, Geek, I don't know where you can buy any of those examples, but I think the last one may be available at your local nerf dealer, or even a street corner near you if you live in the right area.

2010-09-27 12:51:38.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

So...

[... a left-leaning somewhat-independent friend of mine suggested I read this NY Times opinion piece recommending that the tea party not push too hard.  I got... a little carried away.]

There is no wisdom there.  All he's doing is reading the tea leaves for the November elections (a remarkably apt analogy!), then curling into the fetal position and whimpering "Please don't hurt me too badly."  Comparing our current government to what was in place under Lincoln or even when the Whig party was in power is patently absurd.  The comparison to FDR is a little more accurate, since he started most of our big government projects... including, I should note, Social Security, one of the entitlement programs that are about to bankrupt us.  I don't consider that a particularly good role model to follow no matter how politically popular it is to force the relatively young and healthy to pay for the health care and retirement of the elderly.

Fact is, the Tea Party as a whole is damn tired of politicians telling us how far we can go.  Look at Obama -- how far has he gone, with his majority in the house and supermajority in the senate?  If we take the house, we'll pass everything that we can possibly ram through the senate.  If we capture the senate, we'll pass everything we can ram through the filibuster.  We'll force the president to veto everything.  And when he does, come 2012 he'll have a record to run away from.

Has the department of education accomplished anything more than increasing federal control over schools that continue to fail just as badly while funnelling union dues to democrats?  Eliminate it.

Has the department of energy accomplished anything more than blocking new nuclear reactors from serving the energy needs of the country?  No?  Eliminate it.

Did the recently-renamed department of mineral resources accomplish anything other than spending our tax dollars inspecting drilling rigs that failed anyway and spending more tax dollars pretending to buy cleanup equipment that somehow wasn't available when it was needed?  No?  Eliminate it.

Has Obamacare accomplished anything more than bankrupting medicare faster and raising the cost of health care?  No yet -- and what it plans to accomplish is horrifying, so we'll eliminate THAT before it has a chance to do more damage.

I can go on for hours like this.  2010 is just the opening volley.  2012 will clear the rubble.  I fully expect Presidentess Palin to veto any bill that she can't roll up tightly, sharpen the tip, and stab into the heart of some vampiric beaurocrat.  She's like Chuck Norris, only cuter.  And she shoots wolves.  From helicopters.  With frikkin' laser beams.  (Well, I may be exaggerating about the laser beams).

UPDATE: FDR can't be blamed for Medicare.

2010-09-15 11:57:29.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments

Modern civilization was built upon the gun

[A minor debate about gun control broke out in a blogged re-read of a fantasy series I have enjoyed.  The comment below is taken from my contribution to the debate.]

Gun control: Leigh, you're way off base in considering gun control to be the more "civilized" option.  In many ways, the existence of firearms enables civilization.  Consider the saying: "God made man, but Samuel Colt made men equal."  With a firearm, an honest man can face an attacker on terms close to even.  It matters little if he is old and frail, rich or poor, trained or not, noble or serf.  To attack the honest man armed with a firearm is to risk everything on even odds. 

Significantly the odds do not change even for small groups of attackers; a criminal gang is no safer than a lone bandit.  Though such a gang may overpower a man with a firearm, they may not do so without risk to their own members; trading one for one with honest men will shortly reduce the supply of criminals to nothing.

What does this say for the rights of women, whose physical qualities (on average) make it difficult to defend herself on equal terms when attacked by a male criminal?  The right to carry a gun is the right to face a rapist on equal terms, the right to say no and make it stick.  The right to carry a firearm has done more to ensure the equality of women in society than any other single factor, with the possible exception of the right to vote.

Finally, consider what happens when civilization breaks down and must be enforced.  With a sword or a knife held by the defender, an attacker may feel that he has a chance of success.  He may be willing to risk and even to take injury in order to complete his attack.  The result is a bloody melee where neither party escapes unscathed. 

With a firearm the vast majority of defensive uses involve mere threats.  "Freeze or I'll shoot!" leaves no blood on the ground and the police can sort out who was at fault at their leisure.  The threat of instant death often removes any necessity for actual harm, resulting in a civilized resolution of the dispute in a court of law.

I don't consider it hyperbole to state that modern civilization was built upon the gun -- and I consider this to be a very good thing indeed.

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2010-09-10 14:02:20.0 by TriggerFinger. 0 comments
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