Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Cracked *almost* gets the point.

Cracked has a pretty good piece on things Hollywood gets wrong about the US legal system.

Crime show fans think there are 2 1/2 times as many murders happening than there really are, and there are also concerns that voters are pushing for overspending on prisons to protect people from violent crime that doesn't actually exist.

Gee, I wonder if there are any other things where voters overestimating a type of crime might cause a negative, distorted legislation.

Why take this recent pol which found that 20% of voters think Mass Shootings are the most common cause of gun deaths in the US.

Horrific as they are, mass shootings represent a tiny fraction of gun deaths in America. They account for a few hundred deaths every year, as compared to an average of roughly 19,000 gun suicide deaths. There were 23,854 suicides by firearm in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And even with a murder rate well above other developed nations, gun homicides, which account for roughly 12,000 deaths per year in the U.S, are a distant second compared to suicides.

And no the Cracked article actually takes a mild anti-gun swipe  where two paragraphs before the quoted section they say

TV has no shortage of violent robberies, vicious murders, and brutal rapes. It's a madhouse out there. We should teach our dogs to use guns. We should teach our guns to use guns. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

It's too late to ban Assault Weapons says... the NYT?

From Alex Kingsbury who in his own admission has lobbied for years to ban them.

And from the article is is clearly no friend of these weapons.  And in general fairly hostile to guns and attributes some... odd qualities to them.

But he is right that firearms can last a long time (pointing out that an AR now could work in 2119 easily).  And he rightly points to the extremely low compliance rates whenever "assault weapons" are banned.

And even when drastically low balling the number of these guns in the country (he says 15 million) he points out that appreciably removing them from the country would be nigh impossible.
(The issue of criminal importation and manufacture isn't even mentioned...)

This does not mean he is friendly to gun rights folks or against any real gun control laws.  Merely that Kingsbury is looking at the logistics and effect of such a ban.

However, he misses one thing.

A massive side (or perhaps primary) goal of an AWB is not to get rid of said guns,  but to stigmatize the public usage of them.  If they are reduced to being hidden safe queens then "gun culture" will greatly diminish.

Which makes subsequent bans even easier.

As a bonus with millions of now illegal (and thus more scary) guns all over the country.  They make handy boogieman on the scale of Emmanuel Goldstein that can justify all sorts of confiscations and registrations.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

At least it's not the NRA stepping in it...


Cracked has a quick (and non list article!). Decrying some republicans (including the President) who decided to make noises about violence in video-games.

If you ignore the reflexive, and brief, anti gun screed, it's not a terrible post.

By Cracked standards it's fairly sedate.  I guess we'll see what they post next.
(It's kinda... odd that they haven't reported at all on the NRA's massive internal problems).

Monday, August 5, 2019

What Politico Gets right about gun culture. What they get wrogn.

This article isn't...  bad  as it gets how gun owners group together and among each other gun ownership is normal and something to talk about.

The first warning signs come early...

The view of guns as neutral tools, a view shared by conservative defenders of gun rights as well as liberal advocates of gun regulation, misses a crucial fact about guns and gun ownership. It wrongly assumes that the distribution of guns and their presence in their owners' lives are totally independent facts that don't shape the opportunities and choices of the people who use them.
Right, because gun control advocates aren't about deodand thinking and "the trigger pulls the finger."

The article does seem to, at some level, get things.

In part because of their danger and allure and in part because they're the center of a sporting culture with deep American roots, guns draw adherents together in contexts like expos, gun ranges, and online chatrooms. At the recreational level, participants can indulge in hobbyist debate and discussion; on a political and cultural level, they can also forge a shared commitment to armed citizenship.
 Gun owners bond over their shared fear of diffuse and unpredictable threats of contemporary life. The Pew survey concluded: “Many, but not all, gun owners exist in a social context where gun ownership is the norm. Roughly half of all gun owners say that all or most of their friends own guns. … In stark contrast, among the non-gun owning public, only one-in-ten say all or most of their friends own guns.”

But the it goes off the rails at the end. Here's the second to last paragraph.

Any real gun law reform is going to need to take this community and value system into account. Liberals need gun owners as allies. Today, in the wake of more mass shootings, good citizenship requires that the millions of gun owners who say they support gun regulation do more than think about their own way of life. They need to turn that support into vocal activism. In so doing, they may help bring about changes necessary to protect the communities that we all share.

Funny how after all the talk about how despite that gun owners "neither trust the government nor believe that it will protect them" now suddenly,  "good citizenship" requires them to do...  exactly what gun control advocates want.

Namely back gun control.  Not just back but become activists in support in.

Funny how that works.

Okay... so what will gun owners get in return? Well here's the last paragraph.

In order for them to be willing to do so, gun owners need assurance that liberal gun reform advocates will  not march down a slippery slope from red-flag laws, regulating semi-automatic weapons and large capacity   magazines and closing the gun-show loophole to intrusive regulations that start to break down a culture that millions of people value greatly—one that enriches their lives and whose  roots go back before America's founding.

So...  gun control advocates get...  just about everything they want. 
And gun owners get "assurances" that gun control advocates won't ask for more.

Except  banning the most common  guns and IS breaking down the culture. 
(Also... Assault Weapon Bans are now semi-auto "regulation"? Which is all pistols and the majority of rifles...)

And if the writer doesn't think destroying the culture isn't the goal of gun control advocates then he's more of a sucker than those gun owners who bought into those "assurances" of those "gun reform advocates".

Look at the states that have passed the laws the writer so clearly wants. What's the worth of any "assurances" to gun owners living in California or New Jersey?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Cracked may be ignoring the NRA Meltdown...

Which is... odd given their writer's past history with anger at the organization.

And one would think a very visible and mud-slinging breakup with their long term PR firm,  the closing of their crazy off-mission "TV" branch (run by said PR firm), the paranoid accusations of a "coup", the forced resignation of the head of their legislative lobbying group,  the removal of many board members from their committee assignments...

One would think there would be plenty to go after.

And yet...

Instead Cracked (and Adam Wears!)  has a fairly good article pointing out some of the legit crazy of the Democratic Primary field. 

Given the size of the article they only cover... 1/4 to 1/3 of the field but it's something.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Cracked: 5 More reasons the NRA is the worst

So... Adam Wears has a list of  more "under reported' reasons why "the NRA is the worst"
(And true to his... tone there's plenty of scatological and juvenile humor)

Now given the NRA just recently kicked out their president Oliver North out of office in an internal mess that included them using their massively dysfunctional ad agency, and said ad agency that threatened to blackmail long time power behind the throne Wayne LaPierre exposing his flagrant spending on wardrobe and other luxuries on the NRA's dime or that the New York AG is investigating their non-profit status.

So there is a lot of dirty laundry that Wears could talk about.

Instead we get  the expected the NRA are conspiracy theorists, racists, domestic abuser supporting paranoids who know good guys can't stop shootings*, and deludingly want to harden schools.
*But Wears brags about how guys with fists are supper effective.

It's not quite a repeat of the last time Wears wrote this article, but these are all things he's written before. It's his flat out boilerplate.

And he posts yet another rage filled screed when... as mentioned the start, there's plenty of bad stuff that is openly being reported in major publications.

So he may be angry about hating the NRA, but he's also lazy about it.

Maybe in a few months Cracked will pick up on it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Cracked: Non-stupid self defense advice.

So two days after whining about a jurisdiction where nunchucks might be legalized. (Seriously, this is a thing they have a habit of doing).

Cracked now has an "article" of... rather okay self defense advice. Specifically mocking "self defense myths"  That is not even token-anti gun or anti-self defense.  Now article is in quotes because it's not written by their staff or really written at all, instead it's a user submitted  meme-list.

So maybe that's it.

And the "self defense myths" are legit (as far as I can tell).  Such as
  • cautions that pepper-spray can blow back
  •  size is a factor and attackers tend to target those they perceive are smaller and weaker
  •  the importance of deescalation techniques
  •  that you are very likely to know your attacker
  •  that if someone wants to kidnap you then your "unlikely to come back" and should get out.
When they talk about guns it's literally guns require training and "whichever gun you chose, you have to learn how to handle one."

Which is... quite good advice.  

Monday, May 6, 2019

Cracked: Banning weapons due to a moral panic is stupid...

Unless it's guns!

So, Arizona might repeal their nunchuck ban.  And Cracked is there to fret about it.

Now unlike an earlier article where they fretted about at Judge in New York daring to cite McDonald vs Chicago to overturn a weapon ban.

This time they complain that prole are less influenced by movies and moral panics saying "Huh, weird to think there was once a time in this country when movies could get a weapon banned, but now multiple school shootings every year somehow don't."

But nobody wants to ban guns.

This also shows that Cracked can't even write an article laughing about the banning of literal sticks with a chain, without having to go on about gun control.

And for more amusement, the article asserts "nunchucks have been on the same ban list as sawed-off shotguns and silencers,"... except those are legal to own in Arizona.


Monday, April 29, 2019

Indy Councilman accuses Jewish deli owner of supporting Nazis

By unwelcoming NRA attendees during a convention. For reference this is the same Councileman Zach Adamson (D-17) who last year was part of a push to get the city-council to pass a law that amounted to demanding the state legislature ban all sorts of guns in Indianapolis.

It started with Zach Adamson (D-17) a grandstanding fellow who read his resolution and bragged about being in DC for a "die-in"

He did the standard litany of "weapons of war" and "designed to kill" and went with how assault weapons are specifically to mow down lots of people. But would not define /what/ caused it.

It turns out that Zach hates preemption. He railed against the statehouse taking power for itself and limited what the municipality could do.

He also went on about how congress made it legal to own "tools that can only kill mass amounts of people"

And on the "fetish with guns is out of control"

Now last year this did not even get out of committee (because 2 committee members of Zach's party did not bother to show up and thus when it went to a party-line vote it failed.

Still... the guy is very angry about Hoosiers having guns so this is not surprising at all.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Wired: "Guns are like free speech! Which is why the state should ban speech in a crisis!"

Welp. Now the advocates of Government Control are directly saying "we should regulate free speech like guns." Via Wired which is being especially totalitarian.
I remember when pointing out if someone were hostile to the Second Amendment they were likely to be hostile to the First was something only paranoid gun-nuts would say.
We need social network control—sensible rules about where, when, and what kinds of platforms should be free to operate, much the way nearly all governments in the world impose comprehensive regulations about where, when, and what kinds of guns should be allowed in communities. To fail to rein in social networks because of appeals to “freedom” would be like allowing vague words written 250 years ago to get in the way of controlling guns.
This is not written by someone parodying gun control talking points. This is written by someone who is praising a country banning social media after a terrorist attack. A country that the writer openly admits "has a relatively unfree press".
Note the writer is explicitly using the "The founders would never have intended X!"
An attack where guns were not even used.
But by focusing on those individuals’ shortcomings, wasn’t I buying into the argument that there was a good way for these social networks to operate, even during a time of crisis or during divisive elections? If only they had the right leaders! In essence, I was replicating the tired defense of unrestrained gun ownership—social networks don’t kill people, people kill people. In point of fact, guns magnify the violence of their users, as do social networks.
And this scary bit? Note how "decisive elections" are slipped in there.when talking about a media and clamp down after a terrorist attack. A terrorist attack done by an organized cell, not some lone person or group of social media trolls. But like how gun control advocates will use an attack where the killer murdered to get his guns to blame the manufacture's advertising or attacks where the killer passed a background check due to governmental incompetence to demand expanding the existing background checks. The facts simply don't matter.
I recommend reading the whole article. Its is a frightful example of how the folks who soothingly say they only want "common sense gun control" and then turn around and demand speech control.
Another scary part is that the author out and out lists several defenses /against/ the totalitarian controls he dreams of framed explicitly using firearms analogies:
* People should be able to defend themselves, good guy with a gun / users should be able to make their own speech to counter speech they disagree with
* Social media bans have can result in more violence / cities with more gun control have higher gun violence 
* So what if other people use free speech for bad purposes, I did not. IE "I don't care if every other person in the world murdered someone with a gun, I did not. 
* Social media can allow people to communicate in a crisis, firearms can allow people to defend themselves in a crisis.
Annnnnd... the writer's response to all that? Ignoring it. Except for the first which was dismissed as " every-person-for-themself anarchy" (which is really scary because if someone were to make an analogy that only the state should have guns to free speech...) and a conclusion that says that people *not* demanding for free speech controls are like people saying "Thoughts and Prayers" instead of offering real solutions...

Like using a terrorist bombing attack to try to ban free speech... or ban guns.

Monday, March 25, 2019

NZ Chief Censor shows it's not just the 2nd Amendment they hate...

New Zealand doesn't have a Second Amendment,  their Prime Minister recently bragged about how firearm ownership is a privilege over there (a couple days before deeming a whole bunch of guns banned without even bothering to put a bill before parliament)

But they also are  going after free speech.

It's one thing to deny the terrorist bastards the infamy and fame they so desire.  It's another, as NZ has done,  to make it a crime to posses or show people their manifesto. 

And conveniently this particular manifesto is where the monster says he expects and endorses the State to take certain actions.   Actions that the State eagerly and proudly did.

"The Office of Film and Literature classification announced Saturday that the document is objectionable under the law."

Well...  isn't that a handy power for their State to have.

This was said by.....  "New Zealand's Chief Censor David Shanks."  And yes, they do have a Chief Censor. Take in this puff piece on the office from a couple years ago

Keep that in mind,  all the people going "We should be like New Zealand."  They have a Chief Censor,  who will ban documents that are problematic for the goverment.

Of course you'l say "It's on the internet, so it's silly for them to think they can ban it."  Which I say "Welcome to the Party, Pal."

But more importantly... 

Now only is the NZ goverment doing some of the things the terrorist wanted,  but they are literally making it a crime for someone to provide evidence of it.

Just consider the incentives of that.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Founders could never have imagined....

See....  Normally When someone goes "The Founders Would never have Imagined X when they were drafting the bill of Rights!"

That argument is used to say that gun control is (up to even banning handguns) is a-okay.

And the obvious rejoined is.  Well does this apply to First Amendment?  The Founders couldn't imagine internet and TV and...

Well this letter to the editor the New York Times published decided that was a good argument for speech control.  (One of three that they decided to highlight)

Unmoderated internet echo chambers are a danger that the founding fathers never envisioned when they wrote the First Amendment.
Americans love the First Amendment, but as with the Second Amendment, we have to have a conversation. In this digital era, is unrestricted free speech worth the proliferation of hate, and potentially more tragic events like those in New Zealand?


And there's the race (or is it?)

So the PM of New Zealand is strutting about with how "they did something" And she's oh so proud to announce that in a week (Take that Australia!) she's made her gun control. And is demanding the proles turn in their guns. So far 37 (which is weak for a neighborhood buyback level)
And all the gun control advocates are cheering. Except... the bans aren't even before parliament yet. And they'll be introduced on in "the first week of April".
So... maybe 20 days. Huh. Though the scary part is that despite there not being a law (yet) the PM is already demanding guns be turned in and rounded up. As someone noted "
Gotta keep up appearances against Australia."

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Race to "Do SOMEthing!"


One doesn’t have to be opposed to strict gun control — as I am — to
find this both dangerous and a little creepy. Indeed, I am struggling to
imagine to many other circumstances in which the suggestion would be as
uncritically repeated. Some of the worst legislation in all of history
has been passed in the middle of crises or in the immediate aftermath of
tragedies that engendered extreme emotional responses. Invariably,
“don’t listen to the naysayers” is bad, bad advice. So, too, is “If the
government is swift, it can do exactly what it wants to do.” And as for
“don’t let the dissenters show you they are good people” . . . well,
I’ll let you decide whether you want to live any country that heeds that


But for the point of how Philip Alpers appears a lot in these articles.

Go over the gun control articles being pushed and you'll find that particular name cropping up again, and again, and again. Also note the PM of New Zealand has pledged gun control in 10 days. Ten. And by pure coincidence Australia had their giant gun confiscation 12 days after their atrocity. Yes... it is that much of a tit-for-tat.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Using the "Standard Model"

The standard model is after a mass atrocity like NZ is for those who already wanted X to be banned to use the fear, panic, high emotions, and demands of "we must do something" to well... do something.

Both advocates of gun control and advocates of gun rights know this mechanism.

But now we have yet more evidence that these murderous losers are also aware of this dynamic.

That is that their horrific actions are used as justification for trying to change law, to change government policy.

Ponder that, you have losers who, by and large are acting out of a need to validate themselves, to make themselves (in)famous. To have their bile read around the world, to become the most famous person in the world...

And they're realizing they can also change governments.

Don't think this will stay to just weapon policy. As long as these murders advocate for something tangentially related to their horror, and push for something that those in power already wanted but did not have a pretext for...

(There's clamoring for all sorts of free speech restrictions about too)

Well, the urge to do something is strong. 

(And yes... the dynamic of State actors doing X because of the horrific actions of a terrorist.... when the terrorist also had interest in the state doing X....)

To use an example. What if an eco terrorist planted incendiary devices in an oil refinery / storage area / transportation. And caused a massive fire. And wrote a manifesto that said the hope was to cause people to get afraid of the damage petrochemicals do.
And then a Green-friendly government used that attack to... clamp down on petrochemicals.

Note the dynamic at work

Maybe bans on streaming video or social media he NZ government is also looking to do that. And has arrested people for sharing videos.

Yes... .they're calling for real-time monitoring of everyone's activity online with instant ability to silence anyone for any reason...

So wait...   they want a Chinese style control of the net?

And recall... that the killer in NZ thought China was best government.

Giving the terrorist what he wants.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Cracked: The FBI investigating cases where the victim is a bad guy sure is crazy, and super villain-like.

Cracked has an interesting idea on "supervillain actions" in this list article.

Some of this is not bad as a lot of it about China doing China stuff (interestingly not their social credit score system but hey a good example non the less) and Turkey doing Turkey stuff. 
But it's interesting that when talking about bad things the Philippines does.... they go after how their draft is done via lottery.... and you can escape the draft by volunteering for military service.

Huh.... that's not exactly the top list of nutty supervillainous stuff I'd think of when I think Philippines.

In fact that's.... sort of how drafts work.  Maybe a bit more flamboyantly implemented but that's the whole idea of a draft.

Similarly one of the entries is the FBI.  Now when it comes to crazy the FBI has a looooong history of questionable programs.

But... this article decides to go with the FBI having the gall to investigate one questionable group plotting crimes against another, worse group. (That is By Any Means Necessary versus the KKK).

I can't wait for the next article where Cracked decries the FBI  or local cops for wasting resources whenever a mobster or drug dealer is killed in a gangland slaying. Or whenever some other "obvious bad guy" is found robbed or beaten or stabbed or shot.

Because a tacit desire that only "good people" should fall under the protection of the law, won't encourage more vigilantism against groups law enforcement considers "bad" and thus won't  actually investigate. 

(Not to mention said "bad" people will feel, justly, that the Legal System will not care for them and that if they want any form of Justice...  they'll have to get it themselves, and thus more retribution and vengeance on their part)

Hmmm... which reminds me of a book about the mechanisms of inner city violence in the US  In short, a lot of the problems with such murders are increased because municipal authorities don't close murder cases and there's a permeating sense of "well the people being killed aren't real victims, so many of them are gang bangers too".   Sounds familiar no?

PS and sure Cracked hates the KKK now, but I'm sure they're quite happy to have a KKK member's help, on the Supreme Court no less to help save the New Deal.

PSS:  Kind of funny how the people screaming "Trump is eroding norms!" are jumping up and down to trample norms like.... "even bad people get legal representation"  or "even crimes against bad people are still crimes"

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Well... Well... Well...

Wow.... there's a segment of the Dem House caucus that reaaaalllyy hates the idea of a universal background check being.... universal in that it would apply to citizens, non citizens, and non citizens here illegally.
That's um.... an interesting take.

Though much of their ire could be because there /were/ enough members of said caucus to vote with the other party to add that provision to HR8.

Though I suppose it is consistent given how /infrequent/ people who fail a background check due to felonious convictions are actually /prosecuted/ for the crime of lying on said check.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Senator gets cornered by "Think of the Children!" tactics.

A bit of irony,   Feinstein's the one hit with the "think of the children!" unthinking sloganeering and demands to go with legislation she thinks would be ineffective.

It's presented so her attempts to explain things aren't as simple are shouted down by people thinking she's uncaring.

And as a bonus it's all edited down to make her look uncaring and out of touch.
(I mean...  yes but...)

Friday, February 22, 2019

Nearly a Hundred Co-sponsors to the House Assault Weapons Ban?

Okay then.
Pelosi who is trying to make a UBC bill seem all Appleball and Basepie is probably having a "You said the loud part quiet and the quiet part loud" at this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cracked: Technology is scary! Ban all the things!

It's... always funny to see a supposed "technology" (and society and satire and humor)  publication clutch its pearls over new technology.

And this article  5 Scary Ways Technology Is Outrunning The Law is brimming with it.

Sure there's foot stomping over how things like files for 3D printed guns aren't banned, at least in the US. (Which ignores how utterly ineffective such a ban would be given other countries have tried to ban such files...)

The article is a bit sensible in that it admits such guns aren't terribly effective but then freaks out about how keys can be copied with a camera and 3D printers.

(Which is true, but ignores that most all locks are hilariously easy to subvert).

This is expected for an article that starts bemoaning an assassination attempt on Maduro and then going "well why didn't the US ban drones in response!"


After the drone-based assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a few months ago, the public, press, and government demanded that immediate safeguards be put in place to protect Americans from the threat of tiny murder machines. Wait, our bad. It stayed in the news cycle for about as long as a celebrity DUI, and was treated with about as much gravitas, because "remote control robot murder in one of them foreign countries" doesn't excite our deadened imaginations.

Note... this is a publication that rants about the US goverment's flagrant use of "remote control robot murder in one of them foreign countries".

The bulk of the article is bemoaning loopholes,  lack of goverment power to " "redirect, disable, disrupt control of, seize, or confiscate, without prior consent" any drones that pose a potential danger",  and simple complaints that things which are already very illegal are getting  easier to do via tech advances.

Now... the strange part is that the list also...  goes on about support animals being abused by people claiming any old pet is a support animal.

Still.. this shows that Cracked isn't just anti gun but full on Luddite and literally begging for the state's bootheal because technology is scary.