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Archive for the ‘guns’ Category

Again.

Spree shooter armed with an AR-15 style rifle shoots up a Waffle House.

Most murders are pretty easy to solve because they’re either before a lot of witnesses or they’re between people known to each other. Most murders are an abusive husband killing a wife, a gang banger killing a rival gang member, a drunken man outside a bar lying in wait for another drunken man that he feels wronged him, a neighbor shooting another neighbor who he feels wronged him. Those kinds of murders, which are spur of the moment murders for the most part, are on the decline as the population ages and the new generation of young men isn’t so touchy about their masculinity that they’ll just gun down anybody they think threatens their masculinity. Thus the overall murder rate is going down.

These spree shooting murders, however, are on the rise. The frightening thing about these is that they’re not avoidable. You can avoid being shot by your neighbor if you just ignore your neighbor’s meth lab rather than call the cops on it every other day. You can avoid being shot by your abusive husband by, well, just not going for the “bad boys” like so many women do (even women who should know better seem to go for the “bad boys” when they’re young, and find out that, well, living with those boys is dangerous). You can avoid being shot by a drunken bar-goer by not going to bars where that kind of thing happens. But if someone decides to shoot random strangers at the Waffle House where you’re eating breakfast, there’s no way to avoid that.

That’s why these spree shootings scare the bleep out of people despite the decrease in the murder rate — sure, murders are declining, but this *specific* class of murder, where a stranger just murders strangers for no reason at all, just keep going up and up and up. And scared people demand action. Sooner or later, the NRA’s ability to head off those demands is going to fail, and you’re going to see draconian gun laws that basically outlaw everything but single-shot shotguns and bolt action rifles. You’d think that, given this, the NRA would be floating some realistic proposals to do something about this increase of spree shooters. Instead, they just keep whining about mental health — even though it’d be unconstitutional to force people to accept mental health treatment (the Supreme Court has ruled that people have a right to be as crazy as they want to be) and so their whining about mental health isn’t a solution to anything at all.

— Badtux the Murder Penguin

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So that happened 243 years ago. You’ve probably heard all the silliness about Paul Revere and so forth. The most stupid silliness I’ve heard today, however, was that the British went to those two places in order to disarm the colonials.

Uhm, no. The British mission was to confiscate military weapons and munitions *STORED IN THE TOWN MILITIA ARSENALS*. Not to confiscate firearms in the possession of individuals. They were especially concerned with some brass cannon that the colonial militia had assembled. They could have cared less about the rifles and fowling pieces that were owned by individuals, they were after military weapons.

Which is a point I keep making about those who claim that personally owned and possessed firearms were a Big Deal in colonial Massachusetts militias: they weren’t. Massachusetts had always had a collectivist streak when it came to firearms, likely because of their Puritan underpinnings where early Massachusetts communities were run more like cults than like anything we have today. Their militias were heavily armed, but the muskets and cannon were kept in town arsenals along with sufficient gunpowder and shot to make them of use, not in individual homes. Individuals may have owned rifles or fowling pieces (shotguns), but they did not have a musket at home because for personal use, muskets were basically useless. They were too inaccurate and too long and heavy to make good hunting weapons.

I’ve written long discourses on Colonial era military weapons and tactics elsewhere, but suffice it to say that most of what we “know” about the era is wrong when you study the actual military weapons, tactics, and science of the era. For example, there were no battles that were settled by colonials sniping from behind trees. Even Lexington and Concord wasn’t settled by that, the British soldiers achieved their objectives, then headed home. The sniping was misery, but the sniping was because they hadn’t brought their own skirmishers with them to counter-snipe — the British knew very well (having defeated the French and Indians) how to deal with that kind of thing. They just hadn’t realized they were going to war that day, rather than a modest police action to disarm some people who had illegal cannon.

And militia… there was a single (one) battle after that initial clash where militia made an impact. That was it, in the entire war. Everywhere else they were utterly useless, thus why George Washington inserted the militia clauses into the Constitution in some hope of getting militia that was actually useful (which turned out to be wishful thinking — in the War of 1812, the militia once *again* were useless). Yet this mystique about the militia somehow winning the war remains, when the actual cause of the British basically surrendering was that they ran out of money. Seriously. The British Crown was bankrupt by 1784. Couldn’t even meet interest payments on their national debt or pay the soldiers already on American soil, much less replace those surrendered at Yorktown. And the French and Spanish were threatening India, which was far more valuable than sparsely-settled American colonies. The British could have perhaps fought on by raising taxes but to do so threatened the loss of India. They ended the war to protect India, they didn’t get defeated militarily — even the forces at Yorktown were less than 1/10th of the British forces on American soil. Granted, most of those forces were in Canada or New York City, but there they were.

None of which is taught to American students in American K-12 schools, which instead are replete with jingoistic nonsense with no basis in fact. So it goes.

– Badtux the History Penguin

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At least, that’s what an NRA dick sucker told me today.

So I was reading another one of those stories where a toddler “finds” mommy or daddy’s gun and shoots someone with it. It’s a common story. More Americans have been killed by toddlers “finding” guns this year than have been killed by terrorists. That has been true of most years all the way back to 2002. (2001 breaks that string for obvious reasons). And sometimes it isn’t even a family member who gets shot and killed, it’s someone else entirely, like the time that a neighbor’s kid got killed by a toddler who “found” a gun.

Furthermore, nearly half of guns confiscated by police when they arrest criminals are stolen. The “black market” for illegal guns used by criminals is apparently fueled by stolen guns or perhaps by legal guns purchased by “straw buyers” who then later claim the gun was stolen. Clearly there is a problem where guns are not being responsibly stored. My response: We should have a law requiring responsible gun storage. If the gun is not on your person under your direct control, it should be responsibly stored in a gun safe or other locked storage.

Response of NRA and their dick suckers: Gun storage laws make criminals out of normal Americans! And wouldn’t stop these shootings because criminals don’t obey laws! And you’re a tyrant and want to take all our guns by wanting these laws forcing us to store our guns safely when they’re not on our person!

WTF? By that logic, we should have no laws about murder, because laws about murder make criminals out of normal Americans and wouldn’t stop murder anyhow because criminals don’t obey laws. For realz? These people are basically claiming that laws against murder are useless? I mean, look. Sometimes people piss me off. Piss me off to the point where I wish I could kill them. But it *stays* at a wish, not an action, because I value my bunghole. I want it to stay its normal size, which ain’t happening in prison.

To say that laws are useless because they’re not universally obeyed is ridiculous. Most people do obey laws, because they don’t want the consequences. Sure, there’s some small percentage that doesn’t. But should we repeal the law against murder because 1% of the people who wish they could murder someone actually do so? Or should we keep it because of the 99% of other people with such a desire who actually do obey the law and don’t murder because they fear the consequences?

I’m old enough to remember when the NRA was an organization based on hunter education and gun education. But that was then, and this is now. Today a significant percentage of their membership is not there to support hunter education and gun education. They’re there to support being irresponsible. I mean, proper gun storage is part of their basic gun education package. Why in the world would they want to prevent legislation to enforce a practice that they themselves say is proper gun handling? But I guess that’s what happens when you have an organization whose main purpose for existence today is to support the right to be irresponsible.

I mean, c’mon. Mandating safe gun storage is tyranny? Me not wanting to be shot by a toddler who “found” Daddy’s gun is tyranny? For realz? Yeesh. These NRA dick suckers have sucked too many gunpowder fumes, methinks….

— Badtux the Sane Gun Owning Penguin

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Her name was Nasim Najafi Aghdam. She claimed to be a vegan body builder, though with her tall thin physique you couldn’t really tell it unless she was actually flexing, like in this photo from her now-disappeared web site:

And on Tuesday she snapped and took a California-legal handgun (i.e. 10 round limit) onto the YouTube campus, managed to injure four people (consider what she would have done with an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine! But those are illegal in California), and then committed suicide.

All of her social media accounts have been disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole. All of her writings on the Internet have been disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole. Only fragments can be found in various caches and archives on the Internet.

What is interesting is that, in the few writings that I can find, she claims that there is no freedom on the Internet and that the big Internet media companies dictate what you will see or not see. It is interesting that then the big Internet media companies immediately validate her thesis by disappearing her social media presence Orwellian fashion after she snaps. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to see what she was saying. Interesting how they prove her thesis. Too bad about Nasim though, she committed suicide for no real reason, since virtually nobody actually decided to go look for what she was actually saying as versus what the big media companies claim she said. Not that it’s easy to do so — I expect even those various caches and archives to be cleaned out shortly to finish “disappearing” her down the Orwellian memory hole, leaving us only with the prefabricated image of her generated by the big media companies rather than her own words.

2018. It’s 1984+34. War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. Censorship is patriotic. I love Big Brother, he wants only the best for me. Don’t you love Big Brother too?

– Badtux the “Hmmmm…..” Penguin

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Donations to the NRA tripled after the Parkland shooting.

I know someone who claims that the NRA deliberately obstructs any attempts to stop these school shootings and maybe even engineers them because each one results in a rush of donations to the NRA. That is, they profit over our dead childrens’ bodies.

I considered him to be just a flake because have trouble believing that even the NRA board is that cynically venal. But then I remember Woodward and Bernstein: Follow the money. Every one of these shootings results in a flood of donations to the NRA. Every single one. At some point the image of profiting from the dead bodies of our children becomes the reality of profiting from the dead bodies of our children. And the image of the NRA blocking efforts to stop piles of dead children becomes the reality of the NRA assisting the creation of piles of dead children.

Ghouls. That is the best I can say about the modern NRA.

– Badtux the Grim Penguin

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Again: The solution to school shootings is not better mental health treatment. We don’t have a mental illness problem (the US has no higher rate of mental illness than any other Western country). We have a violence problem. And the mentally ill are no more violent than any other person.

This kid who shot up the school in Florida had been evaluated by multiple psychologists over the years and not diagnosed with any mental illness. He was evil, not mentally ill. Evil is a moral diagnosis, not a psychiatric diagnosis. Thing is, it’s legal to be evil until you actually act upon your evil thoughts. Otherwise most of Congress would be in prison.

One more thought: A bomb would be even more effective at killing people in school. Set off a powerful bomb in the cafeteria during lunch hour, and you could kill hundreds. Why are these kids shooting up schools rather than setting off bombs at schools?

Hint: Bombs are illegal. You can’t just walk into a bomb store and legally buy a bomb, the way you can walk into a gun store and legally buy a gun (if you’re not on the felons list anyhow, which this 19 year old in Florida wasn’t). All you have to be is 18 years old without having ever been involuntarily committed and never having been convicted of a felon as an adult (childhood felonies don’t count) and voila, you walk out with a gun. Not so much with bombs.

In short, by outlawing bombs, we’ve reduced school bombings to, well, ZERO.

“But if guns are outlawed, it’s easy to make guns!”

Sure. It’s easy to make a bomb too. So why don’t we see it done more often? Simple: Bombs and bomb-making materials are illegal, and you can be arrested for possessing them, and people are, regularly. Half the sites on the Internet that you encounter if you type in “how to make a bomb” into Google are ATF/FBI honey traps that give you incorrect instructions and tip off the FBI (e.g. these Bronx brothers ). That is, if you say “I’m going to be the best school bomber ever!”, the FBI can check whether you visited one of these sites, then execute a search warrant to look for illegal bomb making materials. But if you say “I’m going to be the best school shooter ever!”, well, it’s legal to say that under the 1st Amendment (since it’s not a specific threat), and it’s legal to own guns, so there’s nothing they can do.

See the difference? We don’t have bomb stores on every street corner, you get arrested if you have a bomb or components for making bombs, and schools don’t get blown up with bombs. And if we didn’t have gun stores on every street corner, and you could be arrested for possession of a gun… what would that do to the number of school shootings out there?

They’d go to zero too, that’s what.

But that’d hurt gun maker profits, so clearly we can’t do that.

– Badtux the Rational Penguin

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One of the talking points that gun fondlers are always putting out is that “our founding fathers believed in an individual right to keep and bear arms in order to overthrow tyranny, and it says so right in the Federalist Papers!”.

So: I went to a site with the complete text of the Federalist Papers, and went searching for the word “arms”.

The word “arms” appears 27 times in the Federalist Papers. It appears in two contexts — in reference to the arms of foreign nations, and in reference to the arms of the militia.

There is not a single reference to arms in the context of individuals. The militia, however, are referenced 64 times in the Federalist Papers, or almost three times as many times as the word “arms”. Think the Founding Fathers thought the militia was important? If you think the Federalist Papers are an accurate depiction of their thought, they sure did! The militia are mentioned primarily in two contexts: as a defense against tyranny, and as the principal military force used to resist invasion of the United States.

Remember the militia clauses from Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution?

Congress shall have the power … To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

The arguments put forth were that the militia clauses were necessary in order to

a) make sure that the militia was properly armed and organized so that the militia, not the regular Army, could be the principal armed force of the country. The regular Army’s duty would be to hold off the attacker until the militia could be called up to deal with them, and the militia had to be armed and trained to regular army standards because the militia would work with the regular army,

b) the militia had to be able to be placed under Federal control in order to coordinate effectively when doing so.

One argument was that if put under Federal control, the militia could be used to enforce tyranny. The answer was that by reserving the appointment of officers and the authority for training to the states, if the Federal government tried to impose tyranny using the militia, the fact that the officers are appointed by the states would lead to the militia refusing to obey those tyrannical orders.

But what if a state’s militia attempted to impose tyranny within that particular state? Well, by being able to federalize the surrounding states’ militias, the Federal government and surrounding states could overthrow that tyranny and bring back democracy.

The militia, then, was viewed as the principal means to resist a tyrannical government, whether it was a tyrannical state government or a tyrannical Federal government. Federalist #46 takes that to its ultimate extreme. James Madison states that the individual states amongst them were capable of raising up to 500,000 militia from amongst themselves, and the Federal government was incapable of arming and feeding more than 50,000 soldiers, or literally 1/10th of that number, thus if the Federal government decided to use its military to enforce tyranny, the states had the ability to resist and overthrow said government.

Based solely on the text of the Federalist Papers, therefore, the only right I can see that the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the 2nd Amendment was the right of members of state-organized militias to keep and bear arms. They viewed state-organized militias, not individuals with muskets, as the principal bulwark against tyranny.

But read the text yourself and see what you think. Don’t believe what anybody else says about the Federalist papers. You’re an adult. You can read. Read it yourself and come to your own conclusions. If you think you can find an individual right to keep and bear arms in order to resist tyranny mentioned anywhere there, please let me know which paper and which paragraph you found it in. Curious penguins are… curious!

– Badtux the Reading Penguin

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