Thursday, September 22, 2011

No MGs in Fairfax

According to an email response from range management, the NRA Range only permits full-auto after hours and by pre-arrangement.

Since I have said otherwise based on a handout I got once, I am retracting that.

Freedom and enemies

I use a term here, "enemies of freedom," often fairly perjoratively. Because I am a self-professed conservative, and tend to blog towards conservative issues when I am not blogging firearm issues, I might appear to be using this as a synonym for liberal.
There are, of course, enemies of freedom within the conservative movement. Having heard him speak, I am forced to include Gov. Huckabee in this grouping. He is a great speaker, and I like some of what he says. But he is a religious man who wishes to impose the dictates of his religion as public policy. As I said on Twitter when he proudly proclaimed he clung to God and Guns, "Sorry, Governor Huckabee, one of the fundamental freedoms of America is that someone can cling to a different God than you."
Likewise, I wouldn't call every self-proclaimed liberal an enemy of freedom. The ACLU is a prime example of an organization that is viewed a "liberal" that is anything but an enemy of freedom.
Finally, when I use the term, I mean to describe the politicians and political organizations that are instigating anti-freedom policies, not the supporters who vote. Nor am I attacking them as people; but target their politics and policies.
This is sort of like Megan's prediction that healthcare would not, could not, would never, no way, pass. Because it was political suicide. Which was, in retrospect, exactly like those predictions from 1910 that there could never be another Europe wide war, because it would be economic and demographic suicide for the British Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Tsar of Russia, the German Empire etc. The analysis may be correct, but the prediction is wrong.

A knife is a tool

Since all the Cool Kids are doing it, I've posted a pic of the chunk of steel that rides in my pocket at all times. Not shown, the ballistic nylon pouch containing a vast selection of screwdriver bits to slot in.
Also, not shown, the pair of flashlights that came in the package I got, one of which survived a trip through the washer and drier. (The Monarch 300, a single-AAA-powered LED flashlight with the activation control on the butt cap.)

 The black tube behind the bottle opener is a capacitive stylus used to prop the thing up for Cecil B DeMille.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Class Warfare

Seen on Twitter: “The Chairman of Merck took home $17.9 million last year. This year Merck announces plans to boot 13,000 workers. Any questions?”

To which my question is “long division, can you do it?” Even were the chairman of Merck to take not a penny in compensation, the money saved by Merck would not pay for a tithe of those jobs. This is straight-up jealousy and rabble-rousing. (Each of the laid-off workers gets approximately $1400 from the Chairman forgoing his annual salary completely. A tithe (10%) gets $14,000 which is less than $10/hr in annual wages).

Sure, he makes more in a year than I’ve made in my life to date. I’m unlikely to see a tenth as much in annual income at any point in my life. Who cares? I don’t – the amount of money he makes has a vanishingly small impact on the amount of money I can make. Yes, in one sense that pie is finite – but it is so very large that it is effectively infinite. You have to express in scientific notation the fraction of the US economy that went to this guy’s bank account last year. And it’s not like it vanishes into a black hole when he’s paid it. Money moves on, from his back account to other bank accounts. It’s entirely likely that a fraction of my paycheck comes out of the money that Merck paid him last year due to him paying my employer. If he didn’t directly, the money he spent on other good and services went by various and diverse trails into my employers coffers and indirectly into mine, just as I put the vast majority of the money that comes into my coffers into someone else’s; gaining positive energy as it goes by.

If you’re that concerned about the workers of Merck, don’t order your drugs from foreign pharmacies – that’ll be more effective than whining about them what has money.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why A Glock 18?

I DVR Top Shot and watch it later so I can skip commercials. (But not the Llama – I enjoy the Llama). The elimination weapon this week was a Cornershot fitted with a Glock 18. The challenge didn’t involve any automatic fire, and the extended magazine will work in any 9x19 Glock, and Colby didn’t say anything about the Glock itself being unusual in any way. I was left scratching my head as to why they bothered with the G-18 when they’ve got any number of Glock 17s lying around, based on previous challenges.

Then it hit me – the Glock 18 is a Machine Gun; and therefore doesn’t need a SBR tax stamp when it’s placed into the Cornershot…

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rocks and Bows–followup

This story has a few more details – including that the occupants of the car were likewise teenagers. (Who left the scene and are being sought by police.)
Poking at various instances of the original AP story, most of the comments seem to agree the rock-thrower at least had it coming and generally that the thrower was lucky he wasn’t dead in a justified self-defense incident… There does seem to be a certain strain of “he’s just a child,” though. Look, the thrower was 16 and committing assault, probably assault with a deadly weapon, in his late teenage years. 16 is considered old enough (most places) to have the judgment to safely control a deadly weapon (to wit, a car) under most circumstances. He’s not “just a kid.”
(More info here – but apparently their ‘bots got tangled up with a carj-acking story – as far as I can tell the two events are not related)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Because no-one ever needs to defend themselves in the home

Surgeon accused of attacking teen, threatening to kill him in Scotch Plains

Scotch Plains isn’t exactly a dangerous town (though it is next door to a not-so-nice couple of towns). This ended well enough, and it looks like the suspect is being charged with some serious crimes. But it could have gone much worse.