NRA Convention Expecting 65,000 People

Wow the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention this year is expected to have 65,000 people in attendance. The area tourism industry expects $23.7 million to be spent by these 65,000 people. How’s that for a stimulus plan?

How many people attended the last Brady Campaign event? Did it even break the double-digits? Who knows, they certainly aren’t bragging about their numbers. Yet another reason why we win, we far outnumber them. We’re also good for local economies to boot.

Hearing on Gun Rights Omnibus Bill Thursday

The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) have just dropped word that there will be a hearing about the recently introduced gun rights bill on Thursday. The hearing will be in Room 10 of the State Office Building at 10:15 a.m.

GOCRA is asking for as many people to show up as possible. Also remember you can’t carry at the State Office Building unless you’ve submitted prior notification. Thankfully GOCRA has posted a nice guide about submitting the required notification.

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught is Out Today

The Lost Fleet is one of my favorite new science fiction series. Quite some time ago I did a brief review/overview that hardly did the series justice but I’m not good at doing such articles without also giving away spoilers which would just make reading the series less entertaining.

Last year The Lost Fleet series was concluded in the book Victorious but fortunately Jack Campbell (actually the pen name for author John G. Hemry) announced two split off series; Beyond the Frontier and The Phoenix Star. Dreadnaught is the first in the Beyond the Frontier series which will follow the continuing story of The Lost Fleet’s main character John Geary.

My advice, get a copy.

If Grocery Stores Were Run Like Public Schools

Many people claim that private education can’t work and the only way to ensure everybody receives a good quality education is for the government to provide it. Of course these people don’t stop to realize that the government isn’t providing the education we are through our tax dollars. What if other markets were run like public education? What if grocery stores were run like public education:

Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. A huge chunk of these tax receipts would then be spent by government officials on building and operating supermarkets. County residents, depending upon their specific residential addresses, would be assigned to a particular supermarket. Each family could then get its weekly allotment of groceries for “free.” (Department of Supermarket officials would no doubt be charged with the responsibility for determining the amounts and kinds of groceries that families of different types and sizes are entitled to receive.)

Except in rare circumstances, no family would be allowed to patronize a “public” supermarket outside of its district.

Sounds pretty goofy doesn’t it. Likewise if grocery stores were run like public education people would be allowed to patronize private stores but alas would still be paying for public ones:

Of course, thanks to a long-ago U.S. Supreme Court decision, families would be free to shop at private supermarkets that charge directly for the groceries they offer; such private-supermarket families, though, would get no discount on their property-tax bills.

This is one of the things that really gets me about how public education is run in this country, like most government programs there is no means of opting out. Even if you don’t utilize the public education you’re required to pay for it at the point of a gun. There is no option to avoid paying for it even if you chose to seek a better education for your child elsewhere.

Most people in the United States wouldn’t be OK with other markets being run in this manner so it confuses me why they’re OK with the education market being run this way.

Zombies Ahead

To the person or persons who altered the road construction sign on the intersection of Londonderry and 169, you’re awesome. I realize the hack is easy and really kind of pointless but it put a huge smile on my face which more than warrants a “Hell yeah.” Sadly I didn’t get a picture (stupid iPhone camera took too long to start up) but the sign was changed to the usual “ZOMBIES AHEAD.”

Documents Released Showing 150 Gitmo Detainees Are Believed to be Innocent

What happens when a government is granted the ability to hold prisoners indefinably without charges or trial? You get innocent people held in a prison, that’s what. Documents uncovered by Wikileaks have revealed the United States government believes many prisoners held in Gitmo are actually innocent:

Files obtained by the website Wikileaks have revealed that the US believed many of those held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent or only low-level operatives.

The files, published in US and European newspapers, are assessments of all 780 people ever held at the facility.

They show that about 220 were classed as dangerous terrorists, but 150 were innocent Afghans and Pakistanis.

You got that? 150 people people held in Gitmo are presumed to be innocent bystanders by the government of the United States. Oh and this is just a classy line by our benevolent Lords:

The Pentagon said the files’ release could damage anti-terrorism efforts.

By “damage anti-terrorism efforts” they really mean embarrass the Hell out of us. This also makes an excellent case for working hard to protect our rights from government intrusion.

Larry Correia Coming to Minneapolis April 30th

Larry Correia, author of Monster Hunter International, has posted his book tour dates to promote his new title Hard Magic. He will make an appearance in Minneapolis on April 30th at Uncle Hugo’s. The schedule shows him to be there from 13:00 to 15:00 (that’s 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. for you punks on the 12-hour clock).

If you haven’t heard of Mr. Correia he’s an avid gun enthusiast who not only competes in the likes of 3-gun but also fills his titles with tons of accurate gun fights. Honestly if you haven’t heard of him and have been reading gun blogs for any extent of time I’d be shocked.

Self-Adjusting Rifle Scope

The Firearm Blog has the lead one a new piece of fancy technology brought to us by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a self-adjusting rifle scope:

Military and police marksmen could see their rifle sights catch up with the 21st century with a fiber-optic laser-based sensor system that automatically corrects for even tiny barrel disruptions.

The system, developed by a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Slobodan Rajic, precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and then electronically makes the necessary corrections. The lifesaving results are lethal.

The only current downside is the technology only appears to work with fluted barrels:

The typical barrel of a high-power rifle has exterior grooves, called flutes, to reduce weight and create more surface area to enable the barrel to cool faster. The barrel heats up as a result of the hot expanding gases in the barrel and the friction from the bullets that are propelled by these hot gases along a helical path inside the barrel.

With the ORNL technology, glass optical fibers are placed into the flutes. These flutes are either produced by the barrel manufacturer or subsequently retrofit. The sensor system contains a laser diode that sends a signal beam into the optical fibers parallel to the bore axis of the barrel.

Still this technology looks fucking awesome and I believe it goes without saying that I want one.

The More You Know

When I started this blog in 2009 (shit I’ve been writing almost every weekday for two years) I had two major concerns; I’d get bored and stop updating regularly or I’d run out of things to write about. Well it appears as through I actually enjoy writing (maybe I should start working on that novel I’ll never finish) so I haven’t had the urge to stop updating and as I learn more in life I’m finding a plethora of things to write about.

I’ve been meaning to do an introspection post where I write about any advantages I feel I’ve received since starting my blog. One advantage through writing on an almost daily basis is the extent of my vocabulary has increased quite a bit. Anybody reading this site can go through my older posts and see far fewer different words were used. The other advantage is an increase in my storehouse of knowledge.

One goal I had with this site is stating both my opinion and factual information. The engineering part of my brain requires I portray any information as accurately as possible. This leads to my using words that make no concrete confirmation such as probably and most likely. It has also lead me to look up the actual facts on subjects instead of going by information provided by most news outlets. Unlike Fox News, MSNBC, and NPR many bloggers like to dig up the actual source of information they’re talking about. For example if I talk about a piece of legislation I try to find the actual bill or law, read it, and post a link to it so others can read it. One of my pet peeves is when an article talks about a law but doesn’t mention either the bill number of reference name of the bill making the act of looking it up difficult.

Doing this fact checking has lead to an extensive increase in the amount of actual knowledge I have at hand. Instead of talking about gun laws I think are in place I can state authoritatively what gun laws are in place. Having factual information is great but it comes at a price, the loss of naivety. When you learn about the history behind laws you realize they weren’t passed with good intentions. One quick example is the fact most early gun laws were passed to prevent newly freed blacks from purchasing firearms. Another example that seems to be big these days is the extensive number of marriage laws which were originally passed to prevent blacks from marrying whites. Learning things like this really destroys any positive outlook you may have on government.

I’ve always had a libertarian outlook on life but as I’ve started researching political issues I must say I’ve moved further and further away from any belief that government is good. This position was more beaten into me than anything. Every law I research, every government action I looked into, and finding the real meaning behind words spoken by politicians has lead me to the realization that government is run almost exclusively by assholes.

With all of that said I really enjoy the fact that I’ve become a walking repository for information regarding guns. Much of what I’ve learned about firearms has only happened because I chose to write about them. I also like the fact that I usually know quite about about actual news events (I still know nothing about the latest celebrity news which I’m grateful for).

In summary I feel as though writing this blog has made me a much smarter person. When I was in elementary and high school I remember teachers telling us to write everyday. They always claimed that you would be a better person for it but alas in my youth I wasn’t smart enough to take their advice. Now that I am actually going along with that idea I’ve learned those teachers were right. Cripes I can’t believe I’ve actually come to a conclusion which agrees with what I was taught in school. Most of the information I was taught there ended up being statist bullshit, but I guess real information was there to be had outside of shop class if one looked hard enough. Lesson learned.