Wednesday, October 11, 2017

the finger gun...

so there i was yesterday, innocently helping my parents with whatever... and i get a text from a woman i know...

a glorious and beautiful woman, a dedicated mother, with a smile like a spotlight that would normally light up a room.

she was not smiling...

because her 7 year old had been written up at school that day and given detention... the official reason was "inappropriate language" - but the real reason was that he made a gun out of his fingers.

wait, what?

yes, you read that right - the same thing EVERYONE HAS DONE, is now a problem in schools... gone are the days of play, farewell to 'cops & robbers', no more acting like James Bond...

and why?

she was told, "because other students may feel threatened"


now, let's look deeper into this....

we can't let our kids play because it's depicting something violent... and that supposedly violent depiction in play could cause other students such mental anguish that they... what?  can no longer function at school? 

do we need to send in counselors?  should we start therapy for the PTSD?

all because a kid made a gun shape out of his fingers??

so here i want to blame the school for being paranoid - but then i have to wonder...

what kind of children are you people raising that we can't let kids play like this any more??

what kind of kids are we raising that an obvious non-threatening play act is now treated like a potential threat?

are we trying to encourage our kids to overthink everything?  do we want them to be afraid of even the idea of something bad??

the drama of play has now become so traumatic that a finger pointed at another student is a problem, what??

...the story, gets better...

my friend later found out that when her child asked why he was in trouble, the educators explained to the SEVEN YEAR OLD all about how sometimes people show up at schools and shoot people, so we shouldn't joke about it.

yes, that's correct... the solution for not letting a child play like he has a gun... was to tell him that people come to schools and shoot people.

i guess the logic here is that we can traumatize one child with reality so that he doesn't risk traumatizing the other kids with play.

ya know... a lot of people don't want to hear my opinions because i don't have kids... because i can't know what it's like to have a child, and i can't know what it's like to have a child in these troubling times.

here's what i know:  if we are raising a nation of people we want to function in this troubling world, we better let them know that life is not easy, and that sometimes things go south, but first maybe we should let them know that it's ok to play.

now many will ask 'where do we draw the line??' and certainly someone will say, 'you can't understand what it's like to have kids that don't understand how serious things are and see them make jokes about it when they shouldn't have to deal with such pain!'

and ya know, i'm not going to say that on some level those aren't valid points - but what kind of world are we living in when a 7 year old child can't play?  he's not supposed to understand - he's SEVEN YEARS OLD, do you want to live in a world where kids can't play??  i get it, you try to keep young kids from seeing violence and sadness, and those things should be taken seriously, but this isn't Columbine - this is a seven year old making a finger gun!

and now you want to raise kids who are afraid of a finger gun?  is that the kind of parents you want to be?  are you proud of that?  i'd like to hope we aren't proud to raise kids who are emotionally stressed at the idea of a finger gun.

because none of us wants to live in a country where our future law enforcement and military is filled with people who as children couldn't handle the trauma of having a finger gun pointed at them.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

pt 2 - a gun nut's assessment of vegas

the first videos i saw from the Las Vegas Massacre were all from the first few seconds...  

the gunfire was not normal

it was too steady, it was automatic, and it was way more than 30 rounds.

i believed it was a modified semi-automatic AK, made to fire automatically, and using drum magazines.

my reason was the steady fire, the reliability, and the amount of ammunition.

the news claimed it was 'bumpstocks' - but i've fired those, they are impossible to use consistently, you're basically attaching a spring to the back of the weapon and bouncing it off your shoulder to fire over and over again, while trying to hold on to the front - you become part of the automatic fire system.

but - i had only heard the first minute or less of gunfire - and my experience with bumpstocks is limited because they are so difficult that i didn't want to bother with them.

i have seen videos online of people shooting with a bumpstock and doing very well with it - but that takes time, you actually have to learn how to do that in a fashion that can be so constant... and at that point you're basically holding on to an explosion as it rattles you over and over again, you need to be in shape to hold that for 11 minutes!

so, i concluded it wasn't a bumpstock.

then a friend of mine who i believe is equally as informed as i am told me he thought it was a bumpstock - and that i should watch the 'cab driver video', so i did.

this video is 10min long and starts after the gunfire... and you have to go a few minutes into it before you start to hear the gunfire well.

the gunfire in that video is NOT constant, it does vary in speed, and it is in bursts... still not 3 round bursts, but the kind of bursts that take place when you're a 65 year old accountant trying to hold on to a tempest of explosions.

basically what i was hearing WAS bumpstock use... but i was hearing someone who had gotten tired after knowing how to use it very well at first.

i will stand by my original assessment now in this fashion:  this was not as simple as a mass shooting.

this was more bataclan than sandy hook.

this man wanted to create destruction, and we should all grasp the depth of that.

this 65 year old man took the time to equip many weapons in a fashion that is very difficult to use, then learn how to use that as best as possible.  then he prepared a dozen or more weapons to this capacity and learned how to use all of them.

news estimates claim his arsenal at the hotel and at home cost him over $100,000.00

i can tell you it took years to research, assemble, and test...  and HE DID IT WITHOUT ANYONE NOTICING.  i havent heard anything more than records from 2 gun purchases, and i've heard nothing about testing at any gun ranges.

here's my point:  this was not as simple as 'we can pass some gun laws and this will never happen again' - no, we need to find a solution to people who perform outside the boundaries of law.

this man did all this without anyone noticing...  this man was a one man sleeper cell.

the simple will see this as gun violence.  they will be foolish and put this in the same category as a drug deal gone wrong where 6 are shot.  that's not what this was.

don't be simple, don't rattle around thinking that anything we do with gun control will control someone like this.  on some level, be happy that someone like this was lazy enough to choose guns.

as i said in my previous post - do not be lazy, do not be simple, so not approach this with the mentality that if he didn't have access to guns then it wouldn't have happened.  because this kind of person would have gone with a UHaul or a pressure cooker.

that's what we are fighting here, grasp it, and don't let your issues with street thugs and suburban madmen get confused with it.  

if you want to fight the NRA and the gun lobby, feel free... but don't do it because of this.  understand this person wasn't interested in shooting up some people, he wanted to create chaos.

and there is a massive difference.

to put all this together and manage to use it will took more effort than any of you can imagine.

i'm not sure how to solve this problem without eventually ending up in a police state, but i can say this:  the man was driven, he had the time, the money, and the talent... and if he had chosen another method like explosives under a hotel or sabotage of the Hoover Dam, this could actually have been much worse.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

i'm a gun nut, and we should be concerned...

I'm a gun nut, I like guns, and I'll ague with people all day long about how more people die from cars and fast food than guns all day long... but then Sunday night happened.

This is a lot to read, but you might learn something.  This man planned this, and used advanced skill over time to do as much damage as possible, and probably knew that in the end it he would be trapped and take his own life.

This was not comparable to gun violence, this is comparable to someone wearing a well engineered explosive vest.

Read on to understand...

I got home around 3am Monday morning... where I was is unimportant, if you know me, you can guess where I was, and yes, it was glorious.

I got into bed and the footage was typical for a catastrophic event, a bunch of reports describing exactly what we could already see in a manner that makes you wonder if they were hoping for an Oscar instead of an Emmy.

But then it happened... they had video from the event, from the moment things went wrong.  And they played it.

Everyone has seen it by now, and the vast majority of you heard gun fire, some of you could even tell it was more than someone pulling a trigger, and guns and violence and bullets and...

I heard something different... something I fear that the majority of people are not going to notice, and worse, won't understand the importance of.

Yes, it was gunfire, and yes, it was a machine gun.  Eventually anyone can figure that out.

But it wasn't normal.

'Normal'?  what's normal about any of this?

Well, nothing about the Vegas massacre was normal, but worse, this wasn't 'normal' for what we should be hearing from the average assault weapon - even an automatic one.

I realize that most people don't have my knowledge on the topic, but it wasn't normal... and now I will try to explain why.

The average soldier in the United States military carries some version of the M16, which decades ago was recognized to be hard to control when it is set to fire full auto... so the modern version, what most of our soldiers carry, fires in 3 round bursts.

And the magazines only hold 30 rounds, after that there's a longer pause for reloading

What I heard in that footage was not 3 round burst, and it was a a LOT more than 30 rounds - this is not normal.

OK, so now whatever is shooting is fully automatic, and carries a lot more than a 'normal' magazine.

NOT a normal assault weapon, even for the U.S. military.

I listened to it over and over, and by 4am I was waking up people to verify what I noticed... this weapon was either fed by a really large (and usually unreliable) magazine, or a belt feed.

Belt feed weapons are advanced, even for the military.

Then I started to think about what kind of weapon it was...

This was either a belt fed fully automatic weapon, or a heavily modified assault weapon.

>> Here's where you should start to be concerned. <<

If this was a belt fed weapon, that almost guarantees it was stolen from our military or smuggled into the country.  While it's possible for people to have things like this they are VERY rare, and VERY well tracked by our government.  No one just has one in the garage at their house in the retirement village.

And, if we find out this was a belt fed weapon - prepare for a wall, a travel ban, an import ban, and all kinds of other craziness... if this was a belt fed weapon we have bigger problems than mass shootings... I know that's hard to believe, but belt fed weapons are massive and... just, no... if this was belt fed our government was involved.

If this was a modified assault weapon...  hmm... well, it's really hard to modify an AR variant to do this, even for a skilled gunsmith... but the AK-47... that's easier, but...

Then I realized, this was (and as of my writing this on 10/3/17 this is a guess) probably an AK modified for full auto and being fed by a drum magazine.

These weapons are really hard to aim with any level of accuracy, but from 400 meters above, such a configuration could rain down bullets on an epic level with no need for accuracy.

>> Here is where you should be really concerned <<

Fully automatic AKs (really, fully automatic anything owned by the public) are well documented, they all came into the country before 1986, they are well tracked - so someone had to MAKE this weapon.  Someone had to take the time to learn how to do it, then gain the skill needed to machine the weapon, then gain the skill to make the needed internal parts, and then get the equipment to actually do it, and then test things without being noticed.... and then do it all over again for however many weapons he had.

Why is this something that should concern you?

This event is the equivalent of a pressure cooker or car bomb, this event is not a simple mass shooting.  And worse, I think he expected to die.

What happened in Las Vegas on Sunday October 1, 2017 was a tragedy.  But what happened was not as simple as gun violence.  This was not a street thug with an illegal hand gun, it wasn't even as simple as a madman shooting up a school with rifles he stole from his parents.

This was advanced weaponry - already illegal - more advanced than found on the average U.S. soldier - and I believe it was made privately by someone with advanced machine skills.

We have actually seen these before.  What is often referred to as the 'North Hollywood Shootout' involved two bank robbers who modified AK's to fire automatically, then put on full body armor to attempt to rob a bank... the cops were wildly out gunned.

That was 20 years ago.

Here's my point - this was not simple... this took epic levels of prep time and either involved stolen/smuggled belt fed weapons or AKs modified in a fashion that requires advanced skills.

Sunday October 1 2017 was not a Chicago shootout, it was not Sandy Hook, I think it surpasses the Aurora theater...  this was a next level Boston Marathon, Ted Kaczynski, Bataclan, Oklahoma City bombing level work.  It took time, and more importantly it took skill.

You will want to pass laws, and you can try, I'm not writing this to dissuade you from your efforts.  But you're going to try to control guys with handguns and crazies with store bought weapons, and if that's your thing, that's your thing... you will not be impacting people who do things like this.

This was not normal.  I realize people want to feel like they have some form of control, they will want answers they will want solutions, they will say this was based on guns and so we will control the guns.

Making this about gun violence is like making the delivery of a bomb in a rental truck a transportation issue.

No, if we have people floating around that are quietly making bombs in their kitchen - that is the problem, it's bigger than UHaul getting more advanced paperwork.

Do what you feel like you must - but please do not over simplify this.  This was not a simple mass shooting.  This was an advanced production that involved time and skill and planning which cannot be compared to anything we want to compare this to.  And your efforts should reflect that.


First, I've had a lot of people mention that they saw on the news that this guy got legal guns and made an easy $50 conversion with parts he got online.  These are called 'bumpstocks' and yes, they are easy and cheap.  But they don't fire like what I heard on Sunday night... they are not reliable, they are junk, and while the media would love to sell you on the armies of crazies who are ready to run the streets shooting off 1000 bullets a minute, this is not reality.

Second, please grasp the importance of this being fully automatic gunfire... fully automatic guns are already heavily regulated, having one illegally is a massive violation of federal and state law, so what was used is not only already illegal, but most probably HOME MADE... and that's why this is concerning.

Third, the home made aspect of this... I can't stress how advanced this is.  20 years ago the 1997 North Hollywood Shootout involved weapons that I think were used on Sunday night.  Those weapons were acquired during the assault weapons ban, and then modified.  So please understand what I'm saying here in two parts... when we had more advanced laws, the base weapon used were banned, but were still acquired and then modified illegally.  But the process is so complex that law has since been rescinded and it still hasn't happened again until now.

This was a next level event, this was not a simple mass shooting, this was choreographed carnage.

I guess what I'm trying to hit home here is this:  please understand the magnitude of what happened for Sunday night to take place.  Please do not be simple and boil this down to something like, 'guns are bad, we just need to make more laws and this will stop'.  Because Sunday night is a sign of a bigger problem.  Sunday night was not a mass shooting, Sunday night was well planned and the result of tedious work meant to devastate a nation.  You may want to blame the guns, and if you want to be anti-gun then be that person, but this person wasn't about shooting up people, this person wanted to create chaos.

Don't think I won't see your argument that he used a gun to do it, so you want to ban guns, I get it.  And really, while I don't agree, I see you point when you're talking about Chicago street violence and other stupidity.  But this wasn't some stick up kid using a weapon to rob a convenience store.  This was someone who wanted to create destruction.   And we should be concerned, because he violated laws already in place, took the time to plan it all out, managed to do things that require advanced skills, and did it all at home quietly without raising any suspicion.

Fight the gun lobby, do whatever you want.  But incidents of this magnitude are not something we can legislate with gun laws - the laws are already in place - and to prevent things like this in the future, we need to think past the guns... we need to think of how we would have stopped Timothy McVey, the Nice truck driver, or the Tsarnaev brothers.

If you really want to stop events like this in the future - find that level of solution.  Don't pacify yourself with a lot of talk about what WalMart sells and think you made a difference because you posted some anti-NRA article online.  This event is more advanced than that, and the solution will be as well.

Monday, January 30, 2017

none of you want peace...

intolerance of intolerance, is still intolerance.

here's a common thread forming in our world today:  'if you don't fight against someone i don't agree with, then we can no longer be friends!'


you feel so convicted about an issue that you're willing to stop communicating with anyone who doesn't agree with you?

how does that help at all?

last night i was talking to a woman about the refugee issue and when it came to make my point i started by AGREEING with her.  then because i want to see everyone's side and find the best way to work things out, i began to point out the concerns of others, and she instantly started to talk over me.

i AGREED WITH HER, AGAIN... and then i continued... to which she began to walk all over me again in the conversation until i finally said sarcastically, "why do you keep interrupting me, have you been drinking?"

and this - well, this was such an offensive idea (that her strong view couldn't be rammed into my face no matter what i thought that she must be intoxicated) that she got offended and told me that she wasn't going to stand for that kind of accusation...  and then she hung up on me.

awesome.   no bridge there, just a wall.

(PS - she's on the left, the side of 'acceptance', ironically)

there are a million ways to view all the issues we have today... but we are certainly not going to work them out without communication.  getting emotional about things really shows that you can yell and scream, but it doesn't really show that you can keep things together long enough to work out a solution.

some would argue that the solution is to do things your way... ok, i'll accept that.  tell me what the solution is to everything the women's march stood for, and how we can write that down and spread that nationally?

should we make a law that says, "dont be an asshole" ?

because we've already make the laws that enforce what the women's march stood for, but they aren't followed in practice.   just like we've made immigration laws... but they aren't followed in practice.  because we all just know what we know and we are going to do what we want to do and we are always right and you can all fuck off and in the end....  no communication... friendships lost... i didn't need those people anyway... i hate them because they hate...

wait, what?

intolerance of intolerance, is still intolerance.

if you're really so intelligent that you get it when so many others don't, so many that we need a protest and a march and a national effort.   you're not helping anything if you break communications with them, and you're not helping if you yell and scream and ram things down their throats...


really, the behavior i've seen out of people over the last week makes me want to leave the country... but, ironically, anywhere i'd want to go has strict immigration policies, ha!

but whatever happened to 'agree to disgree'?  whatever happened to communication?  whatever happened to Dr. King in his suit arm in arm with other men in suits, speaking clearly, peacefully marching, keeping a strong stable demeanor, and meeting with leaders to work out the problems?

tell me how you have to show up with your green hair and your vagina costume to scream and cry and be emotional, falling in the streets in tears like a 4 year old who dropped their ice cream, over the impoverished that you don't actually want in your own home, but you want someone else to take care of.  and if someone doesn't agree with you - they are NOT a friend of yours!

(this is the image the other side sees, because we aren't COMMUNICATING)

in the 80's there were quiet, peaceful, candlelit marches to force the Regan administration to move on the AIDS crisis.

and, it worked.

today, I'm seeing beautiful strong hardworking left minded women in LA post about missing flights to their jobs on movie sets because of protests... and she has decided that anyone who's protesting is NOT a friend of hers.

the effort is so solid... that... it's hurting itself.

people, no progress will be made if all we are doing is harassing others and causing disorder.  make your statement, make it clear, and have a solution in mind, but if you really want bridges instead of walls...


no one wants to be pushed around, you don't like it, and the opposition doesn't like it... everyone is just going to push back as hard as the other side pushed, or harder.

and that can only go so far before people are armed.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Thoughts On The Immigration Ban

First... I was uniformed...

when i first heard about this, i was too busy to give it any attention.  let's face it, it seems like protesting has become a daily event the last few years, and it's not like Trump hasn't been as controversial as police shootings and bathroom use, so... yeah... i didn't care.

i (wrongly) assumed this was some minor policy change that would slowly take place and in 2 months when anything actually had an impact we would be focused on the next great social travesty we are going to protest.

so first, let me say this:

Donald Trump, i want to have the Tom Hanks view on you... i want you to do such a great job that i vote for you in four years.  but this, was a dick move.

if you want to expand the process, and you want to create a policy of 'extreme vetting', that is your call, you are 'commander in chief'.

but to create a policy that instantly goes into effect while people are mid-flight into the country, is at best a dick move.

having said that...

your policy wouldn't have had half the resistance it's getting if you had set some kind of schedule that slowly took place over the next month.  your policy should have taken into consideration the handful of people who were already vetted on the old policy, and your policy should have been ready to work with those who were already holding green cards, established in country, and might just be overseas visiting family.  while i appreciate the aggressive nature of your desire to protect our nation, as a leader you need to consider what is already in place, the people, the laws, the families, and the processes.

we are a nation of immigrants.

but, this is not the world that existed even decades ago.

if people can argue that automatic weapons weren't what the founding fathers considered 'arms', then it could be argued that an open door policy doesn't fit the world we live in today.

when i wondered why all the angry lefties who claimed they were going to leave the country for Canada or Mexico didn't actually leave, some very plainly replied that most other countries actually have very difficult immigration policies, we just don't enforce ours like they do theirs.

so i get it, we don't follow our own rules, and many people think this is a problem.

if we are going to have rules, we should enforce them - period.

but you can't suddenly change the rules, especially if we haven't been following them.

now the NBA is worried that multi-million dollar basketball players may fly to Toronto for a game and not be able to get back in the country.  what??

this was not well thought out.

and i get it, 9/11 was 15 years ago, we are still at war in many ways, and our last president was deadlier than most want to admit with the drone strikes (making us as many new enemies as friends).

in a world where women get offended if a guy tries to talk to them... 'like some kinda psycho'.  sure, it wouldn't surprise me if people are paranoid of radical Islam.

but there are better ways to handle this.

you want 'extreme vetting', that's your call... you're the president, you can decide what the vetting policies are.

maybe you should consider this from a more simple view.  you can't just throw a car into reverse while it's just been coasting downhill.  apply the brakes, put your foot on the clutch, ease the clutch out a little...  c'mon man... you're not making any friends by making drastic sudden changes.

sure, there are reasons for fear.  and frankly, there's part of me that wonders why all the tens of thousands of refugees didn't unite and rise up against their oppression.  why aren't they protesting like we are here?  why aren't they armed in a way that keeps their government from oppressing them like we are here?  and if they can't get it together, do we want them here?  is it worth the risk that a dozen may slip in and cause another 9/11?  i totally get it!

but, at the same time, you have ways to vet these people... and as i understand it some of them have actually already served in wars with some of our own military - - what??  that's pre-vetted!  those people shouldn't be waiting at airports to have someone tell you they're ok, they already worked their asses off for us!  you need a reference - ask our own military!

you want to make some changes, fine... you want to make them extreme... i get it... here's a compromise - right now, thousands of people are protesting - you get them to volunteer to take in refugees into their own homes AND be liable for the actions of those refugees until they have their green cards.  boom - if someone blows up a train station, you get to send their sponsors to prison too.  if these people are so worthy of being here, this shouldn't be a problem for either side.

a compromise, and a fairly extreme one.  but if Jane Doe in Boston is willing to take someone in to her home and share a bathroom and face whatever prison sentence that could come from having the person they sponsor blow up in an airport, then you will see how serious they are.  if John Smith in LA is willing to take in a family with his and face jail time if that person suddenly disappears before they've been vetted, then you have someone to hold accountable, publicly.

but, like the rest of our policies - ENFORCE IT.

we have rules, and we haven't been enforcing them.  we've just been coasting along staring our the window, ignoring the issue... and you just through things into reverse.

this is not the right way to handle things.

back your policy up, and write one that considers everyone involved.

you can still have your extreme vetting, that is your right.  and you can make it so extreme that everyone protesting can put their own home AND their future on the line for what they believe in.  but you can't just turn off a practice which has been in place for years.

dick move.  back up, and do it right.  or don't do it at all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

corruption, delusion, and apathy

last night Donald Trump won the election... i'm still in shock.

the guy is an unbelievable jackass.

how did this guy get elected??

here's how it happened:

the left was worried about social issues.  the left was concerned about xenophobia, racism, LBGT rights, and misogyny.

the right didn't care about social issues, they cared about national issues... the debt, terrorism, and the gridlock & lack of progress in government to address them.

neither party wanted to believe their era was over - NEITHER PARTY - but it is.

BOTH parties were defeated last night.   sure, the Republicans hold both houses of congress, but that's more a reflection of the right and their apathy with social issues... had there been a hundred Trumps running for Congress, i think we would have seen similar results there as well.

'but its racism and sexism!!'   - no, it's APATHY.

the people who voted for Trump don't care about social issues.  they are women, they are immigrants, they are black and gay and muslim... and they don't care about social issues.  no one got up yesterday morning and said, "i better go vote for Trump to stop that muslim loving woman, she belongs in the kitchen!"

no one woke up yesterday and decided black lives don't matter, and no one woke up yesterday thinking gay families don't count.  no one wanted to rush to the polls in the hope that they can bring back a rash of hate crimes and a Klan controlled congress.

but 50,000,000 got up and wanted our focus to be security, immigration, taxes, infrastructure, GDP, national debt, and they want social issues to fall back to the states so laws created for people in California don't impact the people in Ohio.

the hate is NOT as profound as everyone wants it to feel.   it is DEFINITELY there, but the small uneducated pockets of hate got their candidate to the White House with the backing of APATHY.

big cities have problems that rural people and suburban people don't care about.

an example:

we are the THIRD worst country in the world when it comes to gun violence...  but if you don't include Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York... we fall, and fall big... like, suddenly we are a peaceful crime-free nation when you don't include the cities.

and last night, people outside our cities spoke.  they don't want the rules that apply to them to be decided by our big cities.  the want our government to focus on issues that apply to everyone, and they don't care about the problems facing big cities.

now, i would argue that a gay couple deserves the right to marry no matter where they live.  i would also argue that sexism and racism are very real, and very much national issues.

but, they are still social issues.  and people outside of cities are tired of our national debt doubling with every new president while we ignore it to address social issues and wars.

with that - the Democratic Party made a mistake.  they backed a politician, and they did it DIRTY.

their chairman lost her job over it, and the media was quick to bury it, but Bernie Sanders should have been the candidate from the left.

instead, the PARTY chose someone, and they chose a political player, someone with a history of scandal from a family of politicians, who's speeches were way to well rehearsed, who had a history of hiding corruption.

they used corruption to put someone in who was known to be corrupt, and the people saw her using social issues to pander for votes.

it didn't help that 8 years ago, Obama said over and over and over that she was corrupt and would say anything to get elected.

the Republican Party embarrassed themselves by allowing Trump to run.  he used fear mongering similar to the Southern Strategy to spin up focus on him, and it worked.  hopefully, we will be smart enough to not see a similar end result.

just as Bernie should have been the Democratic candidate, John Kasich should have been the republican candidate... and really, i believe that if Bernie had been the Democratic choice from the start, the Republicans would have chosen Kasich.

but... instead, the Democrats did what they did.  the lemmings got behind her, everyone listened to Katy Perry, and we all thought there was no way Trump could win.

this is what we get.

Trump said he wants the states and local governments to make their own decisions on social issues.  some will say this is rolling us back to the 50s, but i would suggest that this is an opportunity for liberal America to define themselves.  create utopias, and be the example for the nation.  when cities prove that gun control works, the nation will follow, and so on.

the good news:  FIVE more states legalized weed last night.  if they're anything like Colorado, we will have tax income to pay off the debt and buy every woman who wants it birth control, and set the example for the country.

for at least the next 2 years, we will be focused on national and economic issues, and social issues will take a backseat.  we need our bridges and roads fixes, it will boost the economy to work on those things, so we may as well take care of them.

for now, everyone has to remember a month ago when everyone left was offended that Trump wouldn't accept his defeat when it happened.  not just the left, we all were shocked on some level - i mean, what??  if you lose then you accept it and you respect who won and move on you jackass!

but, instead, Trump won.  so... we all have to be the better people, be the socially upright, accept it and respect who won.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

my gun solution

i originally wrote all this for a childhood friend after going back and forth with her and others online, where she kept asking for a solution to the problem of mass shootings in the United States. eventually i just sent her the email below, since i'm pretty sure most people don't care about the details. it was still a long explanation, but read it first, and if you want the details past that feel free to continue.

"the solution: there's not one. all guns are meant to hurt things, and the vast majority use a magazine to hold ammunition. the AR15 has a 30 round magazine and the Mini14 'ranch rifle' used by farmers uses the exact same magazine and ammunition (its a NATO standard). so if you ban one, the other is still readily available. this same problems applied across the board to all kinds of weapons... some politician 20 years ago just threw around 'assault weapon' to get re-elected, but the differences between most guns are small, and the number of people they can kill is not defined by anything more than their magazine capacity. the only true solutions are one of two - and the examples are Australia and Switzerland. Australia effectively did away with guns, moving money from other projects and buying all the guns from the citizens. after that, guns sales were severely restricted and you had to have a purpose or belong to a club that managed them for you. still, they have mass shootings when people go on a rampage and take club guns or whatever. their tragic numbers related to firearms are of course down significantly, tho some argue the methods simply changed. the problem with that plan and us: we don't have a spare $7b laying around to do the same thing here, and it would cause a revolution. the swiss went the opposite route - there's an assault rifle in almost every home, issued to them by the government. they have the least amount of firearms related issue.... but.... the people get their government issued assault weapon in the military, which men are required to do and women are encouraged to do. obviously this is being done for national defense and to keep an active reserve, but the benefit has been that people are more responsible with their weapons, and no one fucks with the swiss... including crazies. Americans would never tolerate a draft again, and we are so paranoid that our currently volunteer military isn't allowed to carry weapons on their bases much less at home. in 1994 we passed the 'Assault Weapons Ban', which was a 10 year law that defined an 'Assault Weapon' by any weapons that had more than 2 of 5 characteristics... the sad thing is, 4 of those 5 characteristics were COSMETIC, and our public is so uneducated on the topic that they had no idea assault weapons were still selling, in fact they sold MORE, just now they didn't have a flash suppressor or a pistol grip or a bayonet lug or a grenade launcher. the law was a failure and was allowed to expire when it was up for renewal in 2004. and with that, every time there's an event like this, or another law hits the news, assault weapon sales SKYROCKET. anyway, there's no viable solution for us any more than there's a solution to the healthcare mess. unless you can figure out a way to get rid of ALL of the guns, or figure out a way to train and equip everyone, there will always be someone in limbo. and realize, we now live in a society where if i see a woman getting raped, and i have a gun, i can do nothing more than use harsh language and call the police. if i touch the assailant, its assault and if i shoot him, it's murder. sure, it will all play out in court, and the odds are good i'd be set free.... after months in jail and hundreds of thousands in legal defense. we are a society of idealists in a realistic world. i know you wont like this answer, and i would guess you won't want it explained more than i have, but this is actually the short version."

more found below...

the weapon on the left is the AR15, the weapon on the right is the Mini14 'ranch rifle' without a magazine.

they both use the SAME ammunition, they both fire once for every time the trigger is squeezed.

but - any ban on 'assault weapons' would only ban the rifle on the left.

now - watch this:  the gun on the right becomes an assault weapon if you change it slightly...

what changed??

the stock, the added flash suppressor, and the MAGAZINE.

you can see the original magazine has been replaced with a large capacity magazine.  now this rifle will fire the same ammunition as the AR15, and can carry the same amount of ammunition in each magazine.

but - most people who don't understand guns won't take the time to understand all this.  they just want a ban!  they want action now!  and since they don't understand, they end up with a politician that has no idea what they're talking about proposing bans on firearms that will have NO impact on things.

and to make things worse, here is the same gun again:

now it has the magazine, but it's NOT an 'assault weapon' - because of the stock (the body of the rifle)!  yet it still holds the same bullets as the AR15 and the same amount of ammunition!

our anti-gun public is so uneducated on the topic that they allowed our government to define 'assault weapons' by COSMETIC FEATURES.

so... the real key to stopping suburban mass shootings is the magazine on all semi-automatic weapons.

but, there are just under 400 million guns in the United States... and some estimate there are 10 times as many magazines.  they are just a part, they are considered by many to be the nearly disposable extra, and subsequently they are bought and sold in bulk.

here's another example:


the pistol on the left holds 8 rounds of ammunition, but the one on the right is the SAME GUN, but it's magazine is designed to hold 100 rounds.

so... since most guns are semi-automatic, and high capacity magazines are what allows any gun to shoot at length.


- 'this gun has only one purpose, and thats killing people!' - if two guns are identical in function, but look different, you loose your argument when it has to be defined in a law.

- 'we need to get rid of all the assault weapons!' - again, if you base your ban on aesthetics, you not only don't solve the problem, but you lose the attention of anyone who understands that you're really not changing anything.

- 'i dont feel safe taking my kids to the movies knowing guns like this are out there!' - now you seem uninformed, and paranoid, and in the end you're not giving the legislators anything they can define.  PLUS now it looks like you only care about yourself since you're ignoring the bigger problem.

- 'how can we allow these assault weapons to be out there when they can kill 50 people in one terrible event!' - now you're only reacting because of a single terrible event, and worse, you're ignoring the many many many more who are killed daily by guns that don't have high capacity magazines.

- 'you don't need anything like that!!'  really?  you think you're going to win your argument by telling Americans what they need and what they don't need?  if that's the way things are going to go, be prepared for a lot more changes after guns.  you won't 'need' a car if there's public transit, and you won't 'need' alcohol, and you won't 'need' a lot.

so... to really fight gun violence you need to understand the details so legislators can make a defined law.  the problem is that most people don't understand the details....

but i'll explain them if you're actually willing to learn something.

firearms are designed to fire bullets.  most of them are 'semi-automatic', meaning they are fed by a magazine full of bullets and fire as fast as you can pull the trigger.  they are almost never 'automatic'.

and while armies of suburbanites want to rant on and on about the AR15, the vast majority of firearms death come from HANDGUNS.

so, rambling on and on about 'assault weapons' only tells those who are educated on the topic of firearms that you're more worried about the guns from the news, and not the guns that are actually killing the much larger group of people.

we have passed laws trying to regulate 'assault weapons', but there's always a way around the laws.

the worst part about the 'assault weapons' issue is that most people who argue against guns rant at length about 'assault weapons'.... and they don't realize that most guns called 'assault weapons' are called that because of COSMETIC features that don't impact the way it works.

the true threat is the magazine and how many rounds of ammunition it will fire.

---  this is important ---

an AR15 with a 5 round magazine is just as lethal as one with a 30 round magazine, you just have to change magazines more.  California recognized this years ago, and requires the AR15s in that state to have a magazine release that is difficult to use... but this only applies to the AR15.  the fools ignored everything else.

and worse - there are many rifles that shoot the exact same bullet as the AR15, and have high capacity magazines, but people ignore them because they don't have the COSMETIC features of the AR.

--- anyway ----

a lot of people want to point at Australia and claim their efforts to be a success... that's not completely true, a search on google will show you that mass shootings have happened in Australia since their major gun controls went in to place.  the most notorious since then was committed with legal handguns taken from a shooting club.

and worse for us - we would need at least $7billion to buy back all the guns in the United States like Australia did... if you think we just have that laying around somewhere after the $19 trillion in debt we can't pay off - ask a school teacher how fat their budget is... or ask someone who works in public health how much extra cash they have for projects.  we don't have the money to go the Australia route... and if we did, there would probably be a revolution.

and why a revolution?  when the Ferguson riots happened, liberals came out all over asking why the police had military weapons and vehicles.  well, now we know they have them - do you think the people are going to be ok with ONLY the police having them?

you may be ok with it, but when you get off your pulpit please realize that many (if not most) are not.  the news is full of stories about the police abusing their power... now you think you're going to sell the country on the idea that its OK for them to be overpowering?

pro-gun persons are tired of people blaming the guns and point at Canada or the Swiss who have tons of guns and rarely a gun related incident.  but... lets face it, the mentality of people in Canada is a lot more... relaxed than in the United States, and the Swiss require most of their men to receive military training, then after they have served they are sent home with their weapons.

i don't think even our most pro-gun enthusiasts will be pro-mandatory military service.

so... maybe we need more laws?

the United States has been increasing gun laws since the first big gun legislation in 1934.  that's right, we've been regulating guns since 1934.

1934's National Firearms Act was focused on 'automatic weapons' and sawed-off shotguns.

during the Regan administration, importing any 'automatic weapons' was banned, as was the sale of those made here.

let's define that so everyone understands:  an 'automatic weapon' requires only one action to fire the weapon repeatedly.  when the trigger is activated and held, the weapon continues to fire.

automatic weapons haven't been used in a mass killing, ever.  most people will only see them in a movie.  law enforcement doesn't use any automatic weapons, and the military actually limits their use to specific roles because they are difficult to keep aimed and rapidly run out of ammunition.

side fact:  the AR15 is the civilian version of the M16, which was originally designed to be an automatic weapon, but that was changed because soldiers couldn't control the weapon with all those bullets flying out.  now, the M16 will only shoots a 3 round 'burst' at most....  and the AR15 only shoots one bullet at a time.

so... if you think you know what you're talking about when it comes to gun control, and mention 'automatic weapons', you don't.

what you're thinking of is a SEMI-automatic weapon.

George W. Bush got legislation passed that banned the import of certain models of 'assault rifles' because they had no possible hunting value.  many believe this is why the AR15 is the most common rifle found in the United States today.

a semi-automatic weapon has some kind of magazine that holds more than one round of ammunition and fires one bullet for every time the trigger is squeezed.

a semi-automatic weapon should not be confused with a revolver, which has a cylinder that holds various amounts of ammunition and rotates a new round into firing position every time the trigger is pulled.

think 'Dirty Harry' - he carried a revolver.  a revolver is not considered a semi-automatic weapon, though it effectively does the same job.

so what's a semi-automatic weapon?

just about every rifle or handgun is a semi-automatic weapon.

this is important - very few firearms are made to be loaded once and fired once.  most, are designed to hold more than one round of ammunition and either automatically re-loads itself (this making it semi-automatic), or it brings a new round into firing position just before firing (a revolver).

so anyway - let's get to the important stuff everyone is worried about....

the evil 'assault rifle'

the AR15 is the most common American assault rifle, it fires a 5.56 caliber round.

the most common assault rifle in the world is the AK47, at last estimate, over 100million have been produced, and it fires a 7.62x39

here's the problem:  those two bullets are used commonly by other rifles that don't look mean, aren't usually carried in to war, and are actually used for people's jobs.

if you google 'ruger mini-14' or 'ruger mini-30', you will see the ruger 'ranch rifle' series of rifles that have been carried on farms and used by fathers to teach their sons to shoot for decades without being involved in an mass shootings.  they are plain, they come with a wood stock usually, and they aren't flashy at all.  a person could dress one up to look mean, but usually they show up looking pretty plain, like the kind of thing your grampa used to shoot at cans.

and here's the real suck - they are the shooting the same bullets as the AR15 and the AK47...  so banning the evil 'assault rifle' is just going to make psychos get the trusty wooden farm version.

so it becomes hard to regulate past the NFA when you have two rifles that shoot the same bullets and do the same damage, but one is an 'assault rifle'.

what makes an 'assault rifle'?

in 1994 the federal government passed a 10 year 'assault weapons ban', which defined an 'assault weapon' as any rifle that had 2 of 5 possible 'assault weapon' features.  these were:

- flash hider
- detachable magazine (of more than 10 rounds)
- pistol grip
- bayonet lug
- grenade launcher

here's the problem - - most of these things are COSMETIC.  none of these things actually impact how the weapon performs except the magazine.

after the 10 years, Congress realized the law was a failure and it was not renewed.

so, what did the gun makers do during the 10 year ban?  they started to make guns with big magazines and one other feature on the list - OR - they sold their rifles with a 10 round magazine and two features from the list... making people buy the magazine separately.

and really - let's get to the most important part of the gun debate:


The FBI and the CDC regularly publish data about homicides and causes of death for our country, and when you do the math, there are gun related killings every day... in poor urban areas that most of the paranoid suburbanites reading this don't care about.

How do I know this?  just yesterday i had some happy homemaker and nurse ramble at me about how i was a moron who was making it impossible for her to feel safe taking her kids to the movies.

WHAT??  there are parts of north St. Louis where it's not safe to wait for the bus because every day there's a random murder on the streets, and you're freaking out because of the two mass shootings that happened at movie theaters?   Here's some math for you my dear:  it's at best a random chance you'll be one of the few in American history to be killed in a movie theater by a psycho, but if you go for a walk down the street on the south side of Chicago, you'll be dead in no time at all.

you're more likely to win the lottery twice, on your birthday, than you are likely to be killed in a mass shooting.  but you're more likely to be shot in Chicago than you are in Iraq.

and in Chicago, they aren't using 'assault weapons'.

what's the solution?   well, the only real solution is to fix the causes of violence in this country.  fix the education system, fix poverty, promote acceptance, teach people respect.  do all that and all violence will stop.

but really...  we don't care unless there's a tiny chance it may impact us.  then we will get all excited and rant and rave for a while, and life will go on.