Dec 24

a worse one

An even worse misconception related to guns and the military that I’ve been reading frequently recently relates to the Fort Hood shooting and military bases.

Civilians, especially liberal ones who’ve never served in the military and have never known or met anyone who has ever served in the military, appear to believe that domestic military bases are like armed camps where everyone walks around with loaded weapons all the time.

I’ve seen this in the context of the Fort Hood shooting a great deal recently.

On all military bases, weapons are very strictly controlled. No one (except the military police) walks around with loaded guns of any type. Ever.

If you do have a loaded weapon, it is on the range only and only while you are firing it*.

You are far, far (far!) less likely to find a soldier walking around a military base with a loaded weapon than if you were to say, stop a hundred random people on the sidewalk.

So when I see things like, “If Nidal Hasan couldn’t be stopped by thousands of armed soldiers on a military base, then there’s nothing we can do!” I just shake my head at the sheer ignorance that would lead to such a statement – especially when gun control advocates (whom I support) could be using the reality of military bases, where weapons are strictly controlled, as an example gun control working.

Statistics are hard to find, but I’d wager that the rate of shooting on military bases is far lower than in the civilian world due to the facts that I mention above.

*The only real exception is that hunting is allowed on many military bases.

Dec 23

Pair

The end of this parallel bars routine might be one of the most badass things I’ve ever seen.

What makes it triply awesome is that not only is it a perfect routine that collapses the bars at the end, but then she never even looks back to see what happened.

Dec 23

Hacked off

Reading people on Hacker News talk about economics.

It’s like reading toddlers debate the validity of quantum mechanics. So much that’s not even wrong as it’s too stupid to be anything. Yeah, tell me how Le Chatelier’s principle fucking relates to land prices, O Omniscient Economic Genius.

Never mind that two percent of the people in the US own 75 percent of the land.

Fuck.

I don’t know that I hate all engineers, but I certainly do hate the engineering mindset.

Dec 22

reloading

Just to clarify, I think that limiting clip sizes is valuable because not everyone who goes on a rampage will be a quick reloader. Probably not even the majority, given their state of mind.

The shooter who attempted to assassinate Gabby Giffords, for instance, was stopped when he attempted to reload

However, smaller clip sizes is not some cure-all and a skilled gunman can load nearly supernaturally quickly. Yep, even a revolver.

Too often, people who are inexperienced latch onto some little change they think will solve everything.

But incremental steps matter. That’s the only way America’s gun problem will ever get solved, as there never will be in anyone’s lifetime reading this a blanket ban on guns.

Limiting clip sizes is a good step, and one I support.

Dec 20

reasons

One of the main reasons that I refused to vote for Obama is that I knew he’d bargain away Medicare, Social Security and other vital programs – and Congressional Democrats would go along, as he’s a Democrat.

Turns out, he’s doing just what I thought he would.

Surprise!

Dec 20

Need it

I realize I am an atypical user (but not that atypical), but Firefox suspending development of their 64-bit version is completely idiotic. I run up against the 2GB process limit of Firefox in 32-bit all the time:

image

Then my Firefox slows to a crawl.

Way to meet the future, Mozilla. They’ve made the interface shitty, dumped many necessary features and now are retreating from necessary development. What next, a “new, innovative” 16-bit version that runs on fucking phones?

Dec 20

poor

It’s so true that you never get over being poor.

I remember looking in the refrigerator and seeing nothing but a few pieces of a loaf of white bread.

And I know that people from overall poorer countries have difficulty understanding this, but in rural America where I grew up you absolutely need a car to survive.

I remember my parents getting their car repossessed as they were unable to make payments. Imagine the effect that had on our lives — 10 miles from anywhere, and no car.

I remember looking through the couch cushions to find change to buy food.

My grandparents started helping out when I was 7-8, and life got better after that.

But I’ll always remember the desperation I saw in my parents and felt myself in the darkest times.

Now, I could quit working for years and be fine. If I were careful, I could probably quit working forever.

Now, I buy generally what I like and often don’t even look at the price if it’s something I really want.

But still, there’s always that nagging thought in the back of my head that asks, Do I have enough? What if the worst happens? What if someone takes it all?

Irrational thoughts, but having been poor, and having lived so close to the edge, those thought really never go away.

Dec 19

go for the gold

Golden Eagle Attempts to Snatch Kid.

It only failed because a human is heavier per apparent size than the prey it’s accustomed to.

I will completely understand if in 20 years that kid starts a War Against Eagles.

Update: Apparently, the video is fake, but golden eagles do go for prey larger than that all the time. They have been known to attack and kill full-grown deer.

Dec 19

smaller magazines

I agree completely that smaller magazines and restrictions on the types of rifles and other weapons available to most people would be a good step to preventing massacres like Newtown.

But I’ve also seen a lot of myths out there, mostly among people who’ve never handled guns.

The most noticeable one lately is how long it takes to reload.

I’ve handled guns all my life, but I’m by no means the fastest I’ve seen even in person.

That said, I can drop the magazine on a pistol and have a new one locked and ready to fire in about half a second. (And by dropping the magazine, I mean literally dropping it and letting it fall on the floor; this saves time. If you’re right-handed, have the fresh one in your left hand and as the spent one falls clear, slap in the new one. Done.)

Nope, not exaggerating. I just did it, and I was that quick even after years of not practicing. With practice I could do it much, much faster, so fast you could barely see my hands move.

In the army, I could reload my M4 just as fast (similar to the rifle that Adam Lanza used).

Smaller capacity magazines would help, but they aren’t the panacea they are made out to be. I’m just saying that anyone skilled with guns can reload way, way faster than a liberal who has only ever seen a gun on TV can imagine.