But New York’s Strong Gun Laws Made this Impossible

Ladies and gentlemen I’m not sure how this is possible but it appears as though there was a tragic shooting in New York over the Labor Day weekend:

Three people were killed and two police officers were injured in a gun fight in Brooklyn Monday evening — the latest bloodshed in a violent holiday weekend in New York City that saw at least 48 people shot.

An exchange of gunfire between two men broke out in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood around 9 p.m. Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.

Some of the top minds in the country are baffled by this as we were assured by the anti-gunners that New York’s strong gun laws would prevent such tragedies as this from ever occurring. I’m sure Bloomberg and his posse will be demanding more stringent gun laws throughout the country because as we all know if something doesn’t do what you want you just need to try it again harder.

Manufacturing Outrages

Miguel over a Gun Free Zone has been covering the anti-gunner’s latest manufactured controversy, a Republican fund raiser where they raffled off a Glock pistol to raise money for the party. I glossed over the “controversy” because other people were already doing a great job of covering it and honestly I’ve been paying little attention to the ongoings of the anti-gunners as of late. But now that the pistol has been successfully raffled and everybody is still alive I thought a recap would be a good idea just in case anybody every believes that this situation was controversial. First and foremost we need to note something that was well stated in the story:

The model of Glock is not the same as the one Jared Lee Loughner used in the Jan. 8, rampage. The gun used by Loughner was a Glock 19. The weapon being raffled is a Glock 23.

I’m throwing this out there because many of the anti-gunners claimed that the raffle was for the exact same gun that was used to shoot Giffords. Seriously, the verbiage some of those idiots were using would lead readers to believe that a representative of the GOP walked into the evidence room, confiscated the gun used to shoot Giffords, and raffled it off at their fundraiser. What the anti-gunners were trying to twist and mutilate to fit their mission was the simple fact that the pistol being raffled was made by the same manufacturer as the gun used by the psycho who shot Giffords. Guess what? I own three Glock pistols, many of the local police departments issue Glock pistols, many militaries issue Glock pistols, and most people I know have at least one of the damned things. They breed like jackrabbits which is possibly the reason they’re such a popular firearm.

Do you know who else owns a Glock pistol? Giffords:

A gun, by any other name, is just a gun. Unless it’s a Glock semi-automatic pistol raffled off by Republicans in Pima County, which just happens to be the same county where Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 other people were shot, six of them killed.

Then it’s an outrage.

Or so we’re supposed to believe.


By the way, Giffords owns a Glock.

Emphasis mine. That’s it, argument over! No, seriously, we’re done. I’d like to thank Snowflakes in Hell for providing the closing argument.

The fact of the matter is Glocks are extremely popular pistols and thus it’s not surprising that they end up being used in crimes from time to time. This wasn’t a case of some GOP crony sitting in the Arizona Republican Party office wringing his hands in glee as he came up with the single most offensive plan he could conjure up to raise money for his party. It just ended up being a case where the GOP wanted to raffle off a firearm to raise money because gun rights is one of the things they pay lip service to periodically. As Glock pistols are popular it made perfect sense to select one to raffle off at their fundraiser.

The simplest explanation is usually the right one as this case demonstrates.

Because His Previous Plans Worked so Well

Obama is on the campaign path (and we’re footing the bill) and this time he hit up Detroit in the hope of gaining some votes by promising the world and delivering nothing. Now he has a plan to create jobs but he needs the big bad old meanies in Congress to support him:

“We just need to get Congress on board,” he told supporters in Detroit, Michigan, saying labour and business were already behind his plans.

On Thursday, Mr Obama will use an address to a joint session of Congress to set out job-growth strategy.

Wow businesses and labor are already on board with this plan that has yet to be unveiled? When you put it that way sign me right the fuck up! I love signing onto plans that have yet to be revealed.

Seriously what an arrogant asshole. He’s claiming everybody except Congress is already on board with this plan but he hasn’t actually told anybody what the plan is. Will it be as successful as the stimulus packages? I’m sure this plan will be as well orchestrated as the Health Insurance Company Enrichment Act (better known by many as Obamacare). Who knows. I guess we’ll just have to wait until Thursday to hear Obama’s next promise that he’s not going to deliver on.

Then again his plan could be to finally eliminate government interference in the market which would actually allow for a correction. If I see a rainbow farting unicorn in my backyard Thursday morning I’ll take it as a sign that Obama’s finally pulled his head out of his ass and implemented an actual fix to our economic woes.

My Love of the Ridiculously Overpowered Strikes Again

I have a slight confession to make, I love things that are ridiculously overpowered. For example when I purchased my Ford Range I made sure it had the biggest engine available thrown in. Do I ever use it to tow things that require such a large engine? Fuck no. When I go to three-gun tournaments I shoot in the heavy metal division so I have an excuse to lug around a .45 auto handgun, 7.62x51mm rifle, and 12 gauge shotgun. Does my shoulder get sore causing me to question my thought process of shooting heavy metal instead of something more practical? For about three seconds maybe until I remember how awesome bigger caliber weapons are. I also have a Desert Eagle in .50 AE that has the titanium gold finish on it. The gun should be made of gold considering the price of the ammo but even though the weapon lacks any practicality I wanted one because it was a ridiculously overpowered handgun.

What happens when this love over all things overpowered meets my love of lasers? This:

Meet the Wicked Lasers Spyder III Arctic 1W blue laser. I’ll admit I’ve not had as much time to play with it as I’d like but I can give you a quick overview of the device. To imagine this device in your hand take a regular laser power, throw it out the window because it’s pathetic, pick up a light saber, and you’re basically holding what’s pictured above.

The laser is about the size of a medium Maglight flashlight, made of solid aluminium, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion 18650 battery. It also ships with a pair of laser safety glasses since a microsecond or so of eye exposure can cause permanent blindness.

So far all I can really say about this beast is that it’s fucking awesome. This thing gets the Christopher Burg seal of approval already just for being what it is, ridiculous. I’ll probably record some videos of the laser burning through shit because it does that quite well.

ATF Sends Ironic Letter to Licensed Dealers

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have sent out a letter to federally licensed firearms dealers to keep a look out for terrorist trying to buy firearms:

While the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has received no specific threat information associated with the anniversary, we encourage you to exercise increased awareness and vigilance as the anniversary approaches. The security of your business operations, particularly your firearms inventory, is very important; and you should heighten your security precautions in light of this upcoming anniversary.

I wonder if you’re supposed to inform the ATF agent who is forcing you to sell the firearm to the suspicious person or if you’re required to go through the red tape of submitting a formal report.

Proportional Punishment

I’m a fan of proportional punishment. That is to say punishment should match the crime, so if somebody has stolen $100.00 from you then you should be able to get $200.00 out of them (as the thief stole your right of ownership over $100.00 you should be able to retrieve that money and punish him by taking his right of ownership over $100.00). So when I read a story about a man facing life in prison for filming the police you can bet I’m not going to find the punishment reasonable:

When cops in Illinois started inspecting Michael Allison’s vehicles parked on his mom’s property, he turned on his camera while he went to see what the hubbub was about. That didn’t put that happy of a face on the police officer, and now Allison is facing 75 years in prison for hitting “record.”

Authorities have charged Allison, 42, with five counts of eavesdropping, each with a maximum of 15 years in prison. He is looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars because the state is applying an archaic law to modern technology to keep citizens from snooping around cops.

That’s right, Allison is facing 75 years in prison for recording the actions of public “servants.” As public “servants” are supposed to be our employees it would seem logical that we should be allowed to keep tabs on them while they’re on the job. But in actuality they view themselves not as our employees but our masters and thus believe they can rightly demand complete obedience.

Still 75 years for simply recording the police is insane. That’s a longer sentence that many receive for murder. I think a system of justice would require somebody who murdered another to receive a much harsher punishment than somebody who simply recorded a police officer. Hell I’m not even sure how the state can justify enforcing a law against recording police officers in the first place.

So Much for Obama’s Promise of Government Transparency

Although Obama’s promise of making a more transparent government were broken long ago it still entertains me to bring it up from time to time less people forget. Remember the legal documents produced by John Yoo that basically justified the president’s power to spy on American citizens without any need for a warrant or knowledge of the person being spied on? You probably don’t because those documents were classified and Obama isn’t showing any sign of declassifying them:

The Obama administration has refused to declassify a secret memo from the George W. Bush presidency that justified the warrantless spying conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Matthew Aid, a writer who’s covered the NSA and surveillance policy, requested a copy of a 2001 Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion by John Yoo that discussed the legal grounds for electronic spying without permission from a special federal court. The Department of Justice mostly denied Aid’s Freedom of Information Act request, saying the redacted information in the OLC opinion was “classified, covered by non-disclosure provisions contained in other federal statutes, and is protected by the deliberative process privilege.”

The government is so transparent now that you could make privacy glass out of it. The privacy feature is for the government though, not you though.

It’s Not Safe For Your Safety

Remember the mobile body scanners that the Department of Motherland Homeland Security (DHS) developed and deployed? If not an article about the machines can be found here. Basically they’re vans with integrated x-ray devices that drive around and look inside of other vehicles. Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center we now know that the mobile body scanners produce too much radiation to be declared people safe. One of the retrieved documents [PDF] states the following:

Yet the DHS authorized these vehicles to drive around cities exposing anybody who the vans pass by to doses of radiation too high to certify the device as a people scanner. Remember these vans are for your own good and we need them to keep you safe. If you don’t like being exposed to high doses of radiation then you must be a terrorist!

Monday Metal: Silicon Messiah by Blaze

After the departure of Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden the band hired Blaze Bayley as their new vocalist. He only recorded two albums with the band after which he had to depart and Bruce returned to his previous position. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the The X Factor, the first album put out by Iron Maiden after Blaze Bayley join, but their second, Virtual XI, is one of my favorites. Blaze Bayley now fronts his own band named Blaze and does some pretty amazing stuff. Blaze’s first album was Silicon Messiah and this is the title track from that album:

What’s the Difference Between the Police and the Mob

What’s the difference between the police and the mob? The mob doesn’t try to justify their actions as being for your own good. The Los Angeles Police Department have recovered a stolen Rembrandt sketch and are now refusing to return it to its proper owner:

Police investigators in Los Angeles are refusing to return a stolen Rembrandt sketch to its owners unless they prove they own it and that it is a Rembrandt.


According the Los Angeles Times, the piece’s authenticity is in question.

The authorities also say San Francisco gallery The Linearis Institute has yet to provide proof of ownership.

Let’s look at the two issues the police are citing; the proof of ownership being in question and the authenticity of the piece. First of all there is no need for the The Linearis Institute to provide proof of ownership because there are no other reports of the piece being stolen. An item can only be considered stolen if somebody is claiming it as such. For instance the police should not be able to retain one of my 10 year-old computers simply because I no longer possess the receipt as nobody is claiming that the computer was stolen from them. Proof that the piece was at the gallery (provided by security cameras) should be more than sufficient to release the sketch back to the hands of the institute.

Now let us look at the other issue the police are citing, the question of the piece’s authenticity. When the fuck did the police get into the business of determining the authenticity of artistic pieces? It’s not their job to judge whether or not a piece of art is authentic, their only job lies in recovering reported stolen property and returning it to its owner. If somebody is questioning the authenticity of an artistic piece they can hire an expert on the subject to evaluate and determine the piece’s authenticity. Unless I missed a memo somewhere the scope of such a task is well outside of the police’s job.

Considering these two facts why would the police be making it difficult for the institute to reclaim the sketch? Take a guess:

It is the latest development in a widely-reported case that began when the sketch, valued at $250,000 (£154,152), was reported stolen from a Californian hotel on 13 August.

Any property the police have recovered that hasn’t been reclaimed by the owner are sold at police auctions. The Los Angeles Police Department are likely retaining the sketch so they can sell it at an auction and get the $250,000 for it. At least when the mob steals from you they don’t try to justify the theft in a wrapping of bullshit.