A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for February, 2018

Read a Book

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Believe it or not, every once in a while somebody will ask me how I know so much about a given topic. My answer to them is always that I’ve read a book on the topic:

If you want to be stronger, more powerful, and the driving force in your own life; if you want not to be tossed by every wind, irritated by every opinion, persuaded by every protest, losing your self in the presence of dynamic people, read more books.

The more concepts, metaphors, and ideas you fill yourself with, the broader your conceptual and verbal language, the better you know yourself and navigate a world populated with the selves of others.

If you don’t dive into long-form ideas regularly, you won’t know how to think them or respond to them.

I’ve been told that I’m a bastard in debates. I don’t attribute that to my knowledge or skill but to other people’s lack of knowledge and skill. Most debates today seem to take the form of parties throwing soundbites or memes at each other. An anarchist will argue that governments need to be eliminated entirely and a statist will respond by asking who will build the roads. Neither party will likely go beyond those soundbites. However, if either party is well read on the topic, they will have a significant advantage because they’ll have the foundational knowledge that both soundbites are built on. Having such familiarity with their argument and their opponent’s argument will allow them to utterly crush their opponent.

YouTube and Wikipedia are great for general overviews but if you really want to arm yourself with detailed knowledge, you should read books.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 28th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Posted in Individualism

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Just Ban Bump Fire Stocks, That’ll Make Them Go Away

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Politicians have been quick to descend on the corpse in Florida to push their gun control agenda. A flurry of gun control bills have been introduced throughout the United States. Many of these bills are a hodgepodge of restrictions that gun control advocates have been drooling over but have lacked the body count necessary to make a strong emotional appeal. One of these restrictions is a ban on bump fire stocks. Why would a ban on bump fire stocks be introduced after a shooting that didn’t involve a bump fire stock? Because there is a tragedy to exploit and everything on the wish list is introduced.

But a ban on bump fire stocks is meaningless at this point because anybody with a 3D printer can fabricate one:

My Google search of “3D printed bump fire stock” revealed exactly what I expected: a YouTube video of the test firing of a 3D printed bump-fire stock, which was posted by SilkyDionysus4 in April of this year. On October 10, 2017, gun rights advocate, The Jack News, published an article called “Here’s How to 3D Print Your Own Bump Stock Before Congress Bans Them. The article links to a collection of FOSSCAD digital blueprints for a variety of AR-15 parts, including a bump-fire stock.

We live in an age where firearm prohibitions are pointless. Although manufacturing firearms and firearm accessories has always been doable by anybody with a modest shop and a decent amount of knowledge, technology has advanced to the point where even individuals without a shop or a decent amount of knowledge can manufacturer firearms and firearm accessories. 3D printers can print up any number of firearm accessories. Products like the Ghost Gunner allow individuals to finish 80% receivers without any metal working skills.

And it’s not just firearms, prohibiting anything has become pointless. The same technology that enables individuals to easily manufacture firearms and firearm accessories also allows them to manufacturer almost anything else. I’ll reiterate once again that laws are irrelevant and the only thing keeping individuals safe the choice of other individuals to not to bring harm against them.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 28th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Perverse Incentives

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Shortly after the school shooting in Florida, a threat was made against a school in Orono, Minnesota. After that threat was made, a GoFundMe campaign was established for the family of the child who issued the threat and managed to raise $31,000:

An online fundraising campaign has raised more than $31,000 for the family of the boy who posted threats on social media last week that triggered the lockdown at Orono public schools.

The GoFundMe page was started with the blessing of the boy’s family on Saturday. The boy, who has autism, was arrested Wednesday at school and is being held at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Facility.

[…]

According to the post, the boy “is deeply broken, and the situation is dire. He is despondent, and his special needs condition prevents him from coping with his detention. He is in an immediate health crisis and needs legal representation to navigate through his circumstances and get him the care and treatment that he desperately needs.”

If you read the GoFundMe description, it appears that the boy has been diagnosed with autism but the description doesn’t indicate where on the spectrum the boy falls. However, raising $31,000 for a child who called in a threat to a school is what is called a perverse incentive. Other parents of children with autism looking for a cash payout of tens of thousands of dollars may decide to encourage their child to issue a threat to their school. And, unfortunately, there are parents who care less for their child’s welfare than money and would be willing to pull a stunt like this.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 28th, 2018 at 10:00 am

The Arbitrary Nature of Laws

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There are always vultures swooping down after a mass shooting to pick at the corpses. Here in Minnesota the vultures, after gorging themselves on the dead in Florida, have introduced one doozy of a gun control bill.

The bill contains it all. Mandatory registration of firearms, a ban on aesthetically offensive firearms, a ban on purchasing ammunition online, banning people who owe child support from owning firearms (which is rather random), etc. The bill has obviously been sitting on the back burner waiting for a tragedy to exploit.

I think the bill is an excellent example of the arbitrary nature of laws in general. If this laws is passed, I would be declared a criminal. Not because I hurt anybody but because some politicians decided to change the rules on a whim.

That’s ultimately the biggest problem with government. It’s impossible to do any long term planning when the rules can changed arbitrarily. Consider the seemingly simple prospect of buying a home. A home is generally a long term investment. However, a single change of the rules one evening could force you to flee the state less you be arrested for violating the new rules. Suddenly your long term investment becomes a liability that needs to be offloaded so you can regain some capital to acquire a place to live in another state. Moreover, unless you live near the border of a friendlier state, you will likely have to find a new job and social circle.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 27th, 2018 at 11:00 am

To Cower And Hide

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The school shooting in Florida has really demonstrated the incompetency of law enforcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was informed about the shooter on several occasions but never bothered to investigate, the local sheriff received 18 calls about the man but never took any meaningful action, and as the bullets started to fly four law enforcers hung around outside of the school instead of going in:

Not one but four sheriff’s deputies hid behind cars instead of storming Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, Fla., during Wednesday’s school shooting, police claimed Friday — as newly released records revealed the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received at least 18 calls about the troubled teen over the past decade.

One of the pillars of gun control is that nongovernmental individuals don’t need firearms because law enforcers provide adequate protection. But law enforcers have no constitutional duty to protect you and as we saw in Florida they very well may let you get gunned down instead of trying to protect you.

If you find yourself facing a life or death situation, the only person you can rely on is yourself.

A Tolls Is a Toll, And a Roll Is a Roll

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Whenever I bring up the subject of privatizing roads, some statist screams, “But then all the roads would be toll roads!” While many private roads would likely be toll roads, at least I would only have to pay for them once:

Roy presented the Minnesota Tolling Study Report to the House Transportation Committee Monday, and fielded questions on how the money would be collected, what the impact on lower income people would be and how it would affect prices of consumer products hauled by trucks.

He told lawmakers this was a “high level study” based on a lot of assumptions, as opposed to a formal feasibility study, which would be more detailed, take longer to do and cost much more. Roy compared the new study to the general range of quotes you get from an auto mechanic after you describe the noise it’s making.

The study estimates that Interstate 94 corridor would generate the most revenue, roughly $5 billion across the next three decades. But it wouldn’t all be pure profit that could be spent on other highway projects.

First you make the tax paying suckers build and maintain the roads then you charge them again for access. That sounds an awful lot like a stadium come to think of it.

While Minnesotans have so far managed to avoid paying tolls on roads, the politicians keep testing the waters because, as the study shows, there is a lot of wealth that can be expropriated by charging the tax payers tolls as well. With billions of dollar on the table, I believe that it’s only a matter of time until Minnesota drops toll booths on its major metropolitan highways. Once that happens the only difference between a private and public toll road will be the fact that you don’t have to also pay taxes for the private one.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 27th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Monday Metal: The Wars Has Begun by Nordic Union

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Written by Christopher Burg

February 26th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Media

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Tossing Aside the Unwritten Rules

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I’m currently reading The Storm Before the Storm by Mike Duncan, which covers the period preceding the fall of the Roman Republic. It’s a fascinating book that covers a period of Roman history that doesn’t get enough attention. One of the reoccurring themes in the book is how long established unwritten rules were being continuously violated by ambitious politicos.

Political debate here in the United States is experiencing a similar trend. Although political matters here haven’t quite devolved to the point where politically ambitious individuals are able to raise a street gang to murder their opposition, plenty of other unwritten rules are being violated. For example, at one point there was an unwritten rule against using children as political pawns. That rule has been violated numerous times already but even by past standards the gun control advocates are being extremely blatant:

We’re seeking wisdom from the mouths of babes, these days. So I asked my 12-year-old son if the country would be a better, safer place if the government tried to disarm some or all Americans to reduce violent crime.

“I think that would have the opposite effect,” he said. “The fewer people who are armed, the fewer people there would be to fight against criminals.”

So there we have it: the launch of Pre-Teens Against Infringements of the Right to Self-Defense, right here in my living room.

If you’re less than bowled over by my son’s insights, you’re forgiven. He’s short on experience and incompletely developed in his analytic skills. He also is one person, offering an opinion heavily colored by his parents’ views and the particular American subculture in which he’s raised.

There’s no logical reason why his participation in the discussion—which his mother and I encourage as a stepping stone to full engagement in the world around him—would be more convincing than the arguments of pundits, criminologists, and philosophers, just as there’s no logical reason to pay special attention to the teens now calling for more-restrictive gun laws in the wake of the Parkland shooting. There’s no logical reason that is—but we keep conscripting the tykes into political disputes in an effort to end debate, not advance it.

It’s rather ironic that gun control advocates are, on the one hand, claiming that 18-year-olds aren’t mature enough to own a firearm but people much younger than that are mature enough to be taken with the same seriousness as adults in political debates.

My point in this post isn’t that kids should be ignored during political debates. Different people mature at different rates. Some people are incredibly mature at a young age whereas others seem to never mature. Some kids certainly do have the maturity and intelligence to discuss political matters whereas some adults do not. However, most of the gun control advocates aren’t genuinely listening to what the kids are saying. They’re using the kids as political pawns. Their participation is being pushed so their parents can claim that anybody who opposes gun control hates children. Of course, this is how children are always used in political debates, which is why there was an unwritten rule against using children in political debates.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that the United States is the same as the twilight years of the Roman Republic. History doesn’t repeat itself. It does rhyme though. And there are a lot of things that rhyme between the United States and the Roman Republic during its twilight years.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 23rd, 2018 at 11:00 am

Fifteen Dimensional Chess

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A lot of Trump supporters said that his announcement to push for a ban on bumpfire stocks was really just a game of four dimensional chess. In that case this must be a game of fifteen dimensional chess:

At the same time, Trump made clear Thursday that he will urge several new gun law restrictions — including raising the age for purchasing firearms, something sources said he was considering.

“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue—I hope!”

I should be surprised by how well Trump, a man with a history of supporting gun control, managed to convince so many gun rights activists that he was really a supporter of gun rights. But I’m not surprise. Politically involved individuals tend to be especially gullible. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be involved in politics.

Gun control advocates should be cheering Trump right now because he’s playing their game of incrementalism. Outright banning firearms has been made difficult by various court rulings. But the courts have also supported banning classes of individuals from owning firearms. Gun control advocates have latched onto this fact and have been pushing to expand the number of classes that can be prohibited. One of the classes they’re currently working to add to the prohibited list is people between the ages of 18 and 20. Of course, none of them seem to want to prohibit 18-year-olds from joining the military so I’m not convinced that they actually believe people that young are too immature to possess a firearm. But it would remove gun ownership privileges from a lot of people and that’s their goal.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 23rd, 2018 at 10:30 am

Don’t Hire Government Amateurs

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Yesterday it was revealed that the school in Parkland, Florida had an armed guard. However, the guard was a government amateur so, as is so often the case with law enforcers who have no actual duty to protect you, when he was needed most he abandoned his post:

An armed security officer on campus where a gunman killed 17 people never went inside the high school or tried to engage the gunman during the attack, a Florida sheriff said Thursday.

That officer has now resigned.

“I think he remained outside for upwards of four minutes,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Scot Peterson, a sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school, “was absolutely on campus through this entire event. He was armed, he was in uniform,” Israel said.

If you want quality security, hire private professionals who have a vested interest in keeping you, their paying client, safe.

This revelation also, quite obviously, spits in the face of gun control advocates who believe law enforcers are sufficient protection for everybody. As it turns out, government agents aren’t terribly motivated to protect you since they tend to get paid no matter what happens. If you fail to protect yourself, you end up severely injured or dead. If a private security provider fails to protect you, they no longer have a source of income (and may even face a lawsuit for breach of contract). If a government agency fails to protect you, everybody still pays their taxes to fund that agency.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 23rd, 2018 at 10:00 am