Wednesday, 19 December 2012

07:55 – The newspapers are still running articles and editorials about the Connecticut school shooting, most of them demanding that the government Do Something. That’s understandable, and it’s not politically motivated. All they want, all anyone wants, is to do what’s necessary to make sure this never happens again. It’s not a liberal vs. conservative issue or a Democrat versus Republican issue or an anti-gun versus pro-gun issue. It’s a human issue. No one, no matter what his politics, wants ever again to see headlines about US school children being slaughtered.

The problem is, there’s nothing that can be done to stop lunatics from trying to slaughter schoolchildren. Nothing. More gun control laws won’t help, even slightly. More mental health programs won’t help, even slightly. Of course, the last thing anyone wants to hear is that there’s nothing that can be done. They desperately want to believe that new laws can stop the slaughter. They can’t.

Current laws establish schools as predator-friendly zones, places where a would-be shooter is guaranteed to face no armed opposition. Ordinary people are compelled by law to be unarmed and defenseless in schools. Of course, a would-be mass shooter is also breaking the law when he carries his weapons into a school, but somehow I don’t think that enters into his calculations.

So, if we can’t stop would-be mass murderers from making the attempt, what can we do to at least minimize the damage? The most we can hope for is that such lunatics can be stopped in their tracks. The police can’t do that. As the old saying goes, when seconds count the cops are only minutes away. The only people who are in a position to stop such outrages in their tracks are ordinary people who are willing and able to take extraordinary action: the school teachers and administrators who are already on site. But in order to do that, they must have the tools they need. We’ve already seen what happens when unarmed teachers and administrators go up against an armed intruder. They die valiantly, trying to save the children, and the shooter continues shooting those children.

The obvious answer is to get rid of the laws that prohibit firearms on school campuses. Allow any adult to be armed on school grounds. Offer training programs to school teachers and administrators and encourage them to carry their personal weapons while they’re on school grounds. Some percentage of them will choose to do so, and as a result of that the school will be a much safer place. Is it an ideal solution? No. There is no ideal solution, but it’s the best available solution. And I see that Texas is taking steps to make this happen. Good for Texas. Now the other 49 states need to follow Texas’s lead.

08:54 – Well, that’s it. We’re officially out of both biology kits and chemistry kits. I’ve left the web pages for the kits showing that they’re both still in stock because I’m building a dozen more of each today.

10:47 – Okay, we’re back in stock on the CK01A chemistry kits. Now to assemble some BK01 biology kits.

47 thoughts on “Wednesday, 19 December 2012”

  1. Oh, I don’t know. It’s allowed in Texas now, and they’re actually taking steps to encourage it further.

    That image I posted back on the 15th of the Israeli woman protecting the schoolkids with an M-1 Garand (I think…) is actually a pretty good test. Show it to someone and ask them to choose between two one-word descriptions: “reassuring” or “scary”.

    Most of us here would choose reassuring, because most of us here are rational and understand that that rifle is a tool that that woman, if necessary, will use to defend the lives of those children at the risk of her own.

    But a significant percentage of the US population are irrational and see that rifle, by itself, as a threat, as something “dangerous” that shouldn’t be allowed around children. These people react to a simple weapon as many women react to a snake: irrational and crippling fear.

    Could an armed teacher or school administrator go nuts and start shooting? Sure, it could happen. But it will happen regardless, and if/when it does, it’s better to have the sane adults in that school (or mall, or wherever) armed and able to respond effectively.

    Could an armed teacher or school administrator returning fire against an armed lunatic instead hit a child or other innocent civilian? Sure, it could happen. In fact, it probably will. On the other hand, lots of innocent bystanders are also shot by the police when they engage in shootouts with bad guys. It’s collateral damage, and it’s unavoidable. But the real metric should be whether stopping a bad guy sooner is worth risking collateral damage. I don’t think any rational person could say anything but that it is worth the risk.

  2. Agreed with Robert on all counts here, and also with the ex-cop out in Chicago whose link I posted earlier. But in this country most people are used to wringing their hands and whining for their mommy, Our Nanny the Almighty State, to step in and fix the boo-boos. I cheer Texas but know also that that sort of thing is hopeless to wish for up here in the librul Northeast Megalopolis or out on the Left Coast, where most Americans are concentrated. It will fly in the western and southern states, maybe.

    “… These people react to a simple weapon as many women react to a snake: irrational and crippling fear.”

    The late Col. Jeff Cooper called this “hoplophobia.”

  3. Unfortunately here in California where the democrats now control the entire state government this is what we get…

    On Tuesday, one Democratic lawmaker said he will propose a bill to require Californians to obtain a permit and undergo background checks before purchasing any ammunition in the state. Another said he will introduce a measure to require annual registration and background checks for every gun owner. And a Republican lawmaker said he wants to bar gun ownership permanently for anyone deemed by a court to be a danger to others because of mental health problems.

  4. Legislator cretins will simply drive people into other markets; enforcement is gonna be a joke. They still don’t get it that the genie is out of the bottle and can’t be shoved back in it. Even some of the most fanatic librul anti-gun nuts get this now. Of course they’re trying all of a sudden to go “moderate” and find a “middle ground” and compromise, but too late, morons! You can all go fuck yourselves.

  5. LOL, love the vid. I keep my ferret on a leash just to avoid such babysnatching. We have bald eagles across the way from my apt. here in Seattle. The crows are actually a bigger pest: crazy, wonderful birds. Hell of a memory, too.

  6. Crows and the whole corvid family are wicked smaht. We have a professor up here at UVM who’s written several books on them, Bernd Heinrich:

    We have golden and bald eagles up here, north end of the Lake, an inland sea, really.

    Apropos of not much, some may recall my earlier postings of PowerPoint captions I occasionally see from the catwalk between buildings here at work; we share a building with a huge DOD contractor and we are ourselves DOD contractors.


    Today we have naming of parts. Wait–no, that was a poem by a WWII poet:

    No,today we have: “ACTIVE PROTECTION SYSTEMS: IRON FIST AND BRIGHT ARROW” with colorful pictures of artillery and armor, presumably contemporary.

  7. Well every time I hear some advocate for gun control I simply ask them, “What gun control measure would have stopped last week’s tragedy?”

    They cannot give you a real answer. This is what every politician should be forced to publicly face.

  8. Speaking of crows, we had a large die-off of crows in Saskatchewan, not long ago. At first, there was concern about avian flu, but necropsy showed that the birds died by an impact from a large object. A behavioral study was conducted to find what was going on.

    Being opportunistic eaters, the crows naturally eat the carrion left by road kill, and post a lookout crow to protect the rest of the flock. Turns out they can say “Caw” but they can’t say “Truck”!

  9. Turns out they can say “Caw” but they can’t say “Truck”!

    Arrgh. Arrgh. Arrgh.

    Which brings up a question I’ve been wondering about. Why is it that every man but no woman I’ve ever met understands the difference between “Arrgh!” and “ARRRR!”?

    They misuse it both directions, using “Arrgh!” on Talk Like a Pirate Day, and “ARRRR!” in response to horrible puns.

  10. Charley Reese wrote a column about the pols who “run” the country (he wrote it in 1984 but it keeps popping up as though it’s new):'s_Final_Column/20504/0/38/38/Y/M.html

    I believe the 545 are just figureheads now anyway; the real rulers work behind the scenes, mostly. And no, I’m not a conspiracy nut; it’s fairly obvious what’s been going on for decades now, since we became a national security state in 1947-49.

    As for the women not getting “Arrggh” they probably see only literally that the “gh” is normally silent. Other than that, they’re clueless on so many things, really. Which is what they say about us, but they’re clueless about that, too.

  11. I can safely say that Swiss press (and I am pretty certain the entire European press) hasn’t got the foggiest concept about weapons in the USA. The media here are parroting the standard line about how out-of-control weapons are in the USA. They just don’t see that:

    – The mass murder of 20 kids had nothing to do with the gun laws in the USA.

    – Even if it did have something to do with guns, there is no way to change the laws in the US, because of the Constitutional guarantee.

    – Even if there were a way to change the laws, the American populace would refuse.

    – Even if the incident had something to do with the gun laws, even if one could change the law, and even if the population were willing to do so – it wouldn’t matter, since there are hundreds of millions of guns out there that are not going to go away.

    So one should just flush all of the above, and look elsewhere for explanations and possible solutions. However, that would require thoughtful journalism and actual effort, as opposed to what the media has become accustomed to…

  12. Hell, it ain’t just the Euro press that don’t get it; the media here still don’t get it, either. After all these years they still can’t even get firearms nomenclature right, and I used to think it was just them, but even the cops screw this up. Semi-auto rifles become “assault rifles”, the most common example, and they certainly don’t know the difference between a pistol and a revolver. They also assume that those “assault rifles” fire like machine guns, and have only recently cottoned on to the fact of magazines and how big they might get.

    On a related note, sad as it is, Mrs. OFD and her colleagues anticipate more work as a result of this latest shooting incident. After the one in Arizona where the Congresswoman got hit, her outfit saw their activity in that state shoot up 700% immediately. I have a feeling that she and her co-workers are heading to CT and NY soon. (She was on-site immediately, and I mean within an hour, of the hadji Army major shooting at Fort Hood).

  13. I can safely say that the press hasn’t got the foggiest concept.

    Fixed that for you!

  14. Good work! But exceptions can be found in the various rightward-leaning press and media, the blogs, and of course the firearms-related media. One or two librul types seem to be starting to get it, finally, here and there. The rest simply parrot our Northeastern Megalopolis hacks like Nanny Bloomberg, Asswipe Cuomo, Mumbles Menino, and then we have the witch Feinstein out on the Left Coast. These people are on the way out, though. Nooses are being fashioned as we speak.

  15. Hmm. My first and second attempt at this went into the bit bucket.

    In Texas, the decision to ban CCW holders from carrying on school property is a local decision. I saw a story last night on the news about a small, rural school district where some of the staff have CCW permits and have access to guns during class hours. The principal was intentionally vague about who had them and how many. They changed the rules to allow CCW onsite because the nearest Sherrif’s office is 20 minutes away.

    Here’s a good article that looks at the options that have been brought up: “There’s Little We Can Do to Prevent Another Massacre” at the Daily Beast website, look for Megan McArdle’s Asymmetrical Information blog. (URL left out to prevent bit bucketing.)

    From the lede: “The things that would work are impractical and unconstitutional. The things we can do won’t work. ”
    and later on:
    “There’s a terrible syllogism that tends to follow on tragedies like this:
    1. Something must be done
    2. This is something
    3. Therefore this must be done. ”

    She’s not very sanguine about allowing teachers to carry. I tend to concur that having a kindergarten teacher with a holster is asking for trouble. However, if some of the office staff had quick access to a gun, it might do some good. We have to look at the tradeoff of accidental discharges vs. school shootings, but that’s not likely to be done rationally. (Especially with that idiot Biden leading the charge.)

    And accidental discharges do happen. A friend of my mom was eating dinner at a restaurant and was shot in her thigh and intestines when a derringer fell out of the coat pocket of a nearby patron and discharged. The gun owner claimed he didn’t know the gun was there and she now requires assistance to walk, even after months in the hospital and rehab.

  16. “The gun owner claimed he didn’t know the gun was there”

    My, that surely helps. I suppose one shouldn’t ask why there was a round in the chamber with the safety off? Incompetent gun owners are the second worst enemy of reason (the media being the first).

  17. Ah, Davy. There are always outliers, and when one properly manufactures a broad tar brush, you must always reject the outliers.

    Accidental discharges “don’t” happen. The incident ech refers to above is a classic case of an idiot in possession of a firearm, but not in control of the firearm. No competent gun owner would “forget” where a gun was, or what it’s state of readiness is. I hope your mom’s friend sued to ass off of the derringer owner, and if I had my way would be in jail for a considerable length of time.

    Speaking of which, the RCMP here in K-town have managed to arrest a man in possession of both a loaded .45 and an Kbar at a local pub. Turns out he is out on parole and is forbidden any form of weapon, or even to be in a bar. They’ve managed to hit him with 13 different weapons charges, let alone the parole violations, which should put him away for decades. I bet this gets plea bargained down to three years, and he’s out again in 18 months.

  18. My, that surely helps. I suppose one shouldn’t ask why there was a round in the chamber with the safety off? Incompetent gun owners are the second worst enemy of reason (the media being the first).

    I’m not a gun expert by any means, but where would a bullet be in a loaded derringer besides the chamber? And would a derringer even have a safety?

  19. Yes, a loaded derringer by definition has a round chambered in at least one of its barrels. Of course, the same is true of any loaded firearm. Some people would call an autopistol loaded if there’s ammunition in the magazine but no round chambered, but I wouldn’t.

    All modern derringers have safeties. Many old ones do not. All most safeties do is prevent the trigger from being pulled. They don’t actually prevent the hammer from contacting the firing pin. (There are a few exceptions, such as cross-bolt safeties, that physically lock the firing pin or block the hammer from contacting the firing pin.)

    More importantly, modern derringers have transfer bars, which prevent them from firing even if the hammer is struck a heavy blow. Old West six-shooters were actually usually loaded with only five rounds for just this reason, leaving an empty chamber under the hammer. Otherwise, dropping the pistol on its hammer could easily cause a discharge. I think it was Ruger that invented the transfer bar back in the 40’s or 50’s. In a pistol with a transfer bar, the hammer can’t actually contact the firing pin because the frame blocks it from doing so. Only when the trigger is pulled does the transfer bar raise into place between the face of the hammer and the firing pin. The hammer strikes the transfer bar, which transmits that strike to the firing pin.

  20. “….or out on the Left Coast, where ” I was walking my dogs in view of the Pacific Ocean.

  21. Re: the derringer discharge.

    The injured party has filed suit. The gun owner (who did have a CCW permit) is probably well-to-do and anything outside his house, pension, personal belongings, and “tools of his trade” are fair game to be taken if he can’t pay a judgement. I’d guess that his homeowner’s insurance, if on the hook, will try to settle quickly and for the max. Even a jury in gun-friendly Texas would look unfavorably at a damfool that “forgot” he had a .38 derringer in his coat pocket.

    The case got some national run because the bullet entered through her buttocks, but it went through to her intestines and lodged near her lungs.

  22. Ah, but Ray perhaps the daring were the kids who did it, and frightening was the number of people taken in? Hmmm?

    Nah, I’ll go to my corner… later!

    Bob, I submit for your use during Saturnalia, the Chemistree!

  23. nd frightening was the number of people taken in? Hmmm?

    As I said, Borged.

    I already did my penitence in the corner. Other office workers looked at me oddly and I just mumbled something with the words “Windows 8” in the sentence and they left me alone walking away with an understanding look on their face.

  24. Bob, I submit for your use during Saturnalia, the Chemistree!

    Very cool. I have most of what I need to make one, but I am short of pear-shaped flasks.

  25. Yep, that was Ruger that came up with the transfer bah, and if you owned an older Ruger without that, you could send it in and they would fix it up for ya, no charge. One of my all-time favorite companies. RIP, Bill Ruger.

  26. Am I the only one thinking that there may be some awesome bargains at the gun shows in a few months as the gun buying craziness winds down?

  27. OFD wrote:

    “And no, I’m not a conspiracy nut…”

    If anyone here is inclined to believe this I have a bridge I’d like to sell them.

    Oh, and Dave, what does Mrs OFD do, if I may ask?

  28. @Lynn: You can often find really good deals at gun shows, but you gotta know what you’re doing and looking for; preferably go with someone who mos def knows if you have any doubts about your own ability. Also do early recon of a show, including what characters are hanging around outside in the lots or nearby roads for more than an hour or so; still there three hours later, just sitting in their vehicle/s? Also, pack a handheld scanner, preferably an older one, that can pick up cell phone calls. Or the contemporary equivalent of same. And have fun!

    @Miles_Teg: Even paranoids can be right once in a while; there have always been conspiracies; why not now? Mrs. OFD is a ‘mental health first aid’ instructor, one of maybe eight or ten in North America, currently. She trains the trainers, all over the U.S, only missing five or six states right now out of the fifty. About once a month for a week each time; sometimes two or three weeks in a row and in December, not at all, usually. Next trip is Kalifornia, next month. They have new training stuff going on for law enforcement (which is already a large segment of their students), children, and the NFL, the latter in probable market response to recent incidents that made the nooz bigtime.

    She has ‘All But Dissertation’ for a PhD at Dartmouth and a Master’s from Columbia. While I was getting my ass shot at in SEA, she was an admitting nurse at Bellevue in NYC.

    She’s also a blue-eyed redhead at 5’10” and can pick me up off the floor. For about five seconds. Can ride a hoss real well and has shot skeet.

    Probably TMI, but hey, full disclosure for our friends in Oz; we will never forget the Aussies and Kiwis on our side throughout the last century’s wars. Her dad was USN in the Pacific; uncle also; and ol’ OFD himself was USAF in the Pacific. Big frigging ocean, let me tell ya; six hours from Kalifornia to Hawaii; another six to Guam; six more to the Philippines and then three hours to RVN. OFD stayed off-base in one town in a compound formerly occupied by Aussie spec ops troops. Locals remembered them fondly.

  29. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.”

    Everybody’s jealous of me that I’m no longer paranoid.

    I don’t know how any woman would be strong enough to pick you, or me, or Bob up.

  30. You have my word for it that Mrs. OFD can pick my 265 pounds up for the floor for a few seconds and she and her 84-year-old mom move all kinds of heavy-ass furniture by themselves constantly. I do as little of that as possible and prefer to save what little strength I have left for the really monstrous stuff.

    Not paranoid, just very watchful; comes from mil-spec and cop training and experience. On Cooper’s yellow alert most of the time, and occasionally orange.

  31. My only experience with gun shows is the monthly one at the George R. Brown here in Houston, Texas, USA. Covers about 4 to 5 acres and has 20,000 to 50,000 visitors over a weekend. Is a total zoo but the prices are HIGH.

  32. @Lynn; When I see my issues of Gun Digest and Shotgun News I see the vast majority of shows in the western and southern states, natch; there must be dozens within range of you in the great Lone Star State. We can count on one hand the ones up here in Nova Anglia, despite the hunting and fishing traditions of the northern three states.

  33. Yes, the Houston area has hundreds of gun shows every year. Heck, the 40 local VFWs have one most every weekend. I’ve just been to the GRB one twice in the last couple of decades. I would like to go to more but am busy watching too much tv on the weekends. And buying a new home.

  34. Actually, you DO have an editing feature, that works for thirty minutes after you make your post.
    You have to join WordPress to use it, though. You have to be registered and later signed in via one of the last options in the right-hand column (to the right of our posts) that starts at the top of the page. It isn’t the same thing as just being signed in to this board. It will log you out occasionally without notice, while still leaving you logged in here. Check the bottom(ish) of the right-column and if is says “Log in” rather than “Log out”, then you need to log in to have access to the edit feature.

  35. I AM logged in. The site was experiencing problems and I think it was connected to the edit plug-in. Editing is gone.

  36. Mmm. Interesting. I used it very recently, but doesn’t work now. It looked good. I was about to go back in and edit that post to prove it, but no go. I have logged out and back in – let’s see if that gave it back.

  37. I had to disable the editing feature. It’s incompatible with the current version of WordPress.

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