Friday, 21 December 2012

07:55 – Believe it or not, we’re still getting kit orders as of this morning, presumably from people who want the kits in time for Christmas. We’ll ship those today and even tomorrow, and just keep our fingers crossed that they arrive in time. We also had several emails overnight from people wanting to know if they could buy gift certificates and have them delivered by email, which we’re not set up to do.

Today, other than processing orders and shipping kits, I’ll be working on the manual for the LK01 Life Science Kit. Tomorrow we get started on Barbara’s Deep Clean, beginning with the basement and working our way up.


13:38 – I see that the NRA has finally spoken on the Connecticut school massacre. The NRA proposes putting an armed police officer in every school. That’s better than nothing, but certainly inferior to the proposals to allow teachers, administrators, and other adults to carry firearms on school property.

The main problem, especially if the cops are in uniform, is that a would-be shooter could easily identify the cop and simply kill him or her first. That’s not an issue with teachers carrying concealed. The other problem for cost and other issues is that we’d be lucky to have one cop on site at each school. That means the school would have a single-point defense. If/when that cop goes down, as is likely to happen, the school is again defenseless. Finally, what kind of cops would be assigned to school duty? I suspect school duty would be treated as a good place to put cops near retirement, those with physical disabilities, those who can’t hack being street cops any more, and so on.

Also, the sad truth is that most cops are really rotten shots, both in absolute terms and relative to the average civilian who carries concealed. I know. I’ve shot with enough cops that I soon ceased being surprised at what terrible shots they were. It’s only to be expected. Unless they also shoot as a hobby, the only time most cops fire a pistol is during once- or twice-a-year qualifying. And, believe me, the standard required to qualify is ridiculously low in most departments: usually one box of ammunition (if that) at short, known range on well-lit, high-contrast targets, using only the dominant hand. And even at that many departments don’t even require the qualifier to keep all shots on the paper. Not a tenth of the cops I’ve shot with could come close to meeting what Jeff Cooper described as minimum competence.

32 thoughts on “Friday, 21 December 2012”

  1. Robert,

    Since you’ve failed to take out the Big Guy in the Red Suit these past few years, I suggest this year you consider deploying a Patriot Missile Launcher in your backyard. An advantage in using the Patriot Missile is your able to engage the Big Guy and his eight Reindeer at a distance that would leave the messy body, animal and sleigh parts laying in someone else’s property thus relieving Barbara of after action clean up chores :-;

    Steve

  2. Well, I didn’t have much luck with the Patriot the year I tried it. I had my best success the year I used the ZSU-23/4 Shilka. I didn’t knock down the sleigh, but one of the reindeer had black smoke coming out of its asshole.

  3. “I didn’t knock down the sleigh, but one of the reindeer had black smoke coming out of its asshole.”

    I almost spit out my coffee reading that line! 🙂

  4. Back 20 years ago, stationed up in Alaska I hunted Caribou (Reindeer). I found that while the animals are fairly large like Elk their skin is pretty thin and didn’t require as large a rifle caliber to harvest as their Elk cousins.
    Me thinks your aim is off when you engage the Big Guy in the Red suit. ;-(

    Perhaps twin mini-guns mounted in tandem coupled to a 3-D tracking radar would be the ticket.

    Note: Under the new rules for Obamacare, you must ensure the Big Guy is fully deceased to prevent any healthcare costs.

    Steve

  5. Well if a cute redhead in a filmy negligee back then wanted to give me some kind of stem cell treatments, I woulda studied hahduh in them subjects.

    Instead I had fossilized mummies droning on and on, like the distant buzz of bees on a warm summuh afternoon….

  6. Nah, those anti aircraft guns are only good for small flying objects like fighters. Santa qualifies as a big flying object.

    I have a friend of mine who was a copilot on a B-24 in WWII in the Pacific. They spotted a bridge in Japan and had run out of bombs on previous targets so they decided to use the the 50 cals on the bridge. They came downriver about 200 ft off the water and right before they got to the bridge, one of those Japanese four barrel anti-aircraft opened up on them. It was parked on the bridge and they never saw it.

    The gun put over 130 holes in their B-24 and did not hit a single man (10 man crew) nor a vital system. They flew back to Iwo Jima and landed. The crew chief got a tractor and dumped the plane off the runway for spare parts. My friend, who is now 88, said that the entire crew crew thought they were all dead. That was plane #2 for my friend and they got another plane ferried up to them real quick.

    And yes, they took out the bridge and watched the four barrel fall into the river.

  7. I’ll never forget my dad talking about the time that they got a new B-17. First mission, they got shot up pretty badly, although miraculously none of the crew was even scratched. When they got back to base, the crew chief was jumping up and down, shouting, “Jesus Christ! What did you bastards do to my new fucking plane?”

    They ended up counting the holes in the formerly-new plane, which varied from tiny holes to two made by a 30mm cannon round that had passed in one side and out the other without exploding (fortunately for my dad and the rest of his crew). The total number of holes was something like 2,200. The B-17 was one tough airplane.

  8. Assuming you’re not joking about not getting it, RBT, I believe the joke is the reference to the cancer of the unions and stem cell treatment for that. And the “if you like” was just another way of saying “I suppose you could put it that way”.

  9. Believe it or not, we’re still getting kit orders as of this morning, presumably from people who want the kits in time for Christmas.

    They may not want them in time for Christmas so much as January 1st makes a convenient cut off to end one subject and start another. A new “semester” of sorts.

  10. Actually, I think that Steve from Colorado is in the best position of all of us to take down the big guy in the red suit.

    A few years ago he admitted to “borrowing” a nuke when he left the Navy. All he has to do is set it up on top of Cheyenne Mountain with a remote control, and when Santa flies over just push the button. Poof! No more Santa. And no more North Korea, PRC or Russia… 🙂

  11. Do cops or others have to be able to shoot with their off hand? If I had to shoot with my off hand the safest place in the world would be what I was aiming at.

  12. The STEM cartoon. She kinda reminds me of my Year 12 maths teacher, except that Miss De Nardi had black hair that went on for ever and ever and ever.

  13. I think many of the objections to having cop/s in schools could be overcome. There’s no need for them to be in uniform, they could get a proficiency allowance. Since unemployment is fairly high over there there’d have to be an available pool of ex-military and cops available for this.

    I agree with the sheepdog theory but even the gun control lobby couldn’t object to armed and sworn cops in schools. Well, one hopes not.

  14. Not being familiar with US arms laws, I gathered from previous posts here that carrying a concealed weapon is either prohibited or needs a apecial permit/licence in the USA. Also I gathered that in some states you need a permit/licence only when you transport a weapon in a vehicle, and, presumably across state lines. Please correct me where I am wrong.

    The funny thing is, in South Africa, you need a licence for each one of your weapons, they need to be kept in a gun safe, you can only have 200 rounds per weapon, and you are required to carry it concealed if you carry it at all.

    I can imagine occasions when it is better to carry concealed (the school situation for example), and then again on special occasions, like a meeting where one wants to advertise the presence of an adequate profilactic security force, carrying unconcealed.

    The reasons for our strict anti-weapon law has more to do with the government’s fear of rebellion from its subjects, than any other reason.

    I am in total agreement with sentiments expressed here. It should be a universal right to defend yourself and your own. No surprise, that right is not included in the South African Constitution.

    The stupid AI (title conferred to me previously)

  15. State laws vary dramatically, from Vermont which has essentially no restrictions on possession or carrying of firearms (and a correspondingly low rate of gun crimes) to states where it’s impossible in practical terms to legally carry concealed. North Carolina is intermediate. In NC, anyone can carry openly but carrying concealed requires a permit, which isn’t too difficult to get.

    The real problem is that there are so many restrictions on permit holders in most states that it becomes impossible to carry concealed even if you have a permit. For example, most CC states prohibit carrying weapons into specified locations, such as bars and government offices, but those bars don’t provide facilities for checking your gun at the door. So you either don’t carry or you break the law.

    Our gun laws are there for the same reason yours are: the government fears an armed populace.

  16. Perhaps Vermont has a low gun crime rate (and low overall crime rate) not because of non-existent gun laws but because of nearly non-existent black and hispanic subpopulations. One could argue that, as a matter of anecdote, scientific survey results, and common sense, non-whites cause crime as well as consume more than their share of public assistance. States can and should restrict the number of non-whites they allow. Perhaps require a license for them to move in. Sure, not all black and hispanic persons commit murder or other crimes, and some even contribute to society, but if it saves just one life, then these laws are worth it.

    I feel an essay coming on. The only trick will be to write it to point up the absurdity of the “logic” behind gun control laws, rather than as a serious-sounding polemic against non-whites.

  17. Do cops or others have to be able to shoot with their off hand? If I had to shoot with my off hand the safest place in the world would be what I was aiming at.

    Sorry. I meant to reply to this earlier.

    As I said, most cops do not have to qualify with their off hands, and very few in my experience have ever fired even one round that way. Shooting with your off hand is part of most combat-pistol competitions, and with good reason. What happens if you’re wounded in your dominant hand/arm? You have to be able to continue returning fire effectively with your off hand. That’s why pistols customized for combat-pistol competition have ambidextrous safeties.

    When I was shooting a lot, I got to the point that I was barely acceptable shooting with my off (left) hand. I defined that as being able to keep a full magazine inside a silhouette target with my left hand at 50 feet. But a lot of serious combat-pistol competitors were fully ambidextrous, shooting equally well with either hand.

  18. nearly non-existent black and hispanic subpopulations

    While there is truth to what you say, the problem is the inner-city culture. I’ve lived in cities with white slums, and things aren’t any prettier there. The problem is just that every city above a certain size has a black slum, and the culture that has developed in black slums – the total lack of male responsibility, leading to single motherhood and the next generation of boys getting their male role models from the streets – is particularly pernicious.

  19. Scientifically, there’s no correlation between race and criminal tendencies. The factor with the strongest correlation is wealth/class. Middle-class blacks and Hispanics who live in nice middle-class suburbs are no more likely to commit criminal acts than similar whites. And poor/lower-class whites are as likely to commit criminal acts as similar blacks or Hispanics.

    Now, it’s true that whites are about 50 or 100 times more likely to have crimes committed against them by blacks than the converse, but that’s merely an artifact of the relative numbers of people of the two races in the different socio-economic conditions.

  20. “…a lot of serious combat-pistol competitors were fully ambidextrous, shooting equally well with either hand.”

    It was a revelation to me way back in the day when I found I actually shot better (and got higher scores) with my off-hand (left). So, while not a serious and regular competition shooter, I have nontheless remained ambidextrous with revolvers and pistols.

    On the subject of crime and suchlike, as I’ve mentioned before, this is a vastly white state; we think Polish and Italian people are tres exotique. And suspicious. Need to be watched closely. (just funnin’, y’all).

    It’s our local yokel huckleberries, young males mostly, but stretching often into the 30s and 40s, who commit the usual low-level crimes, the kind you see/saw on Fox’s old show “Cops.” Drunks, fights, brawls, accidents, domestics, dope deals gone wrong, the occasional meth lab, mostly garbage. I do note, however, that in recent times the armed robberies, whether of banks, convenience stores or other dope dealers, have been committed mostly by black and Hispanic imports/visitors, who stand out like the proverbial sore thumbs up here, and almost always have NYC addresses. A couple of them made the very bad mistake of busting in on an ordinary citizen/homeowner and got blown away instantly. I dunno WTF they were thinking. We have folks up here with machine guns and grenade launchers and rocket launchers and I’m sure that holds true in other places, not to even mention the arsenals of semi-auto rifles, shotguns and handguns. Plus mountains of ammo.

    If TSHTF bad enough and hordes of “zombies” descend on us from the 4-million metro area of Montreal to our north and from Megalopolis to the south, they’ll get shot to pieces before they get much beyond the state lines.

  21. On a somewhat related note, you know you’re in Retroville when you come out of the retro market and leaving the exit driveway you notice across the street a house has that old-time black lawn jockey holding a lantern. Another sign that a lotta folks up this way may be unaware that much has changed since, say, 1955. Other than the internet and cell phones.

  22. you notice across the street a house has that old-time black lawn jockey holding a lantern

    I guess it is OK as long as it is really a statue it is OK.

    RayT: who is watching Roots on TV.

  23. On a somewhat related note, you know you’re in Retroville when you come out of the retro market and leaving the exit driveway you notice across the street a house has that old-time black lawn jockey holding a lantern.

    A friend of mine’s house had two black lawn jockeys growing up. When my friend was a kid, he painted one white.

  24. Miles_Teg says: A few years ago he admitted to “borrowing” a nuke when he left the Navy. All he has to do is set it up on top of Cheyenne Mountain with a remote control, and when Santa flies over just push the button. Poof! No more Santa. And no more North Korea, PRC or Russia…

    I have no recollection of a stolen nuclear weapon, but if I were to have one, i would have been sold to the French DGSE who plan to use it against the new “Rainbow Warrior II” while the ship is in-port in a Country Down Under :-;

  25. SteveF says at 22 December 2012 at 09:33

    The only trick will be to write it to point up the absurdity of the “logic” behind gun control laws, rather than as a serious-sounding polemic against non-whites.

    Yep, that’s the problem, all right. As we’ve seen, one mild little leg pull and the whole damn chorus line comes crashing down. Maybe you should take up selling bridges for a living.

  26. Miles_Teg says:
    22 December 2012 at 22:31
    Steve, your memory is even worse than mine…

    Memory? We don’t need no stinking memory!

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