A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Gun Rights’ tag

Overcooking the Numbers

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A lot of journalists rely on numbers reported by government agencies for research. When it comes to government reported numbers I tended to follow the advice of George Carlin who said, “I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me.” This advice has proven its value time and again because the government has a tendency to make shit up. Take the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The agency has been cooking the numbers when it comes to gun violence. In fact the agency has overcooked the numbers so thoroughly that even anti-gun organizations like The Trace, which should be happily gobbling up the fallacious numbers, had to call bullshit:

But the gun injury estimate is one of several categories of CDC data flagged with an asterisk indicating that, according to the agency’s own standards, it should be treated as “unstable and potentially unreliable.” In fact, the agency’s 2016 estimate of gun injuries is more uncertain than nearly every other type of injury it tracks. Even its estimates of BB gun injuries are more reliable than its calculations for the number of Americans wounded by actual guns.

An analysis performed by FiveThirtyEight and The Trace, a nonprofit news organization covering gun violence in America, found that the CDC’s report of a steady increase in nonfatal gun injuries is out of step with a downward trend we found using data from multiple independent public health and criminal justice databases. That casts doubt on the CDC’s figures and the narrative suggested by the way those numbers have changed over time.

This isn’t unprecedented behavior. The CDC has lied about gun violence statistics before.

In addition to not believing anything the government tells me, I’m also automatically skeptical of statistics. Statistics in of itself isn’t bad. There are a lot of great uses for statistics. However, statistics can be easily manipulated to show a desired result and more often than not it seems that people reporting statistics are reporting numbers that were specifically crafted to show the outcome that they desired.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 9th, 2018 at 11:00 am

But He’ll Defend Our Gun Rights

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Donald Trump paid lip service to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun rights, which was enough to convince many gun owners that he would protect gun rights. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody with more than two brain cells to rub together but he lied:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday his administration is just a few weeks away from finalizing a regulation that would ban so-called bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns.

“We’re knocking out bump stocks,” Trump said at a White House news conference. “We’re in the final two or three weeks, and I’ll be able to write out bump stocks.”

Now to sit back and wait for his apologists to claim that this is really just part of his 517 dimensional chess game to defend gun rights from those evil liberals.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 3rd, 2018 at 11:00 am

Gun Control Support Rating System

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Read any article discussing gun ownership privileges (sometimes referred to as rights but rights are something you take and in most cases the discussion of gun ownership revolves around what privileges the government will grant) from the perspective of a gun control supporter and it will inevitably mention the zealous National Rifle Association (NRA) and it’s absolutist position against gun control. Obviously there is some confusion on this matter because the NRA has a long history of supporting gun control. To say that the organization is absolutist is nonsense.

Because I like to be helpful, I’ve decided to put together a quick and dirty three tier rating system for gun control support. I hope that it helps people writing articles in the future (because let’s face it, anybody who claim that the NRA is an absolutist when it comes to opposing gun control is a damn fool). Without further ado, here’s the rating system:

Tier 1: Supports the abolition of private gun ownership. Examples of this tier are Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign.

Tier 2: Supports some restrictions to private gun ownership. Examples of this tier are the NRA and Gun Owners of America.

Tier 3: Opposes all forms of restrictions on private gun ownership. The best example of this tier is Cody Wilson and his company Defense Distributed.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

The People Who Decide Legality

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Anybody who has looked into the history of the politics and legalities of firearms knows that the people who write and interpret laws regarding firearms are generally clueless about the subject matter. The same is true for technology (and possibly more so). The people who write and interpret laws regarding technology are almost always completely clueless about the subject matter. But what happens when you combine firearms and technology? An entirely new level of ignorance is unlocked:

On Monday, a federal court in Washington state blocked Cody Wilson and his company Defense Distributed from putting his 3D-printed gun schematic online. The court’s order—the latest in a years-long legal tussle that has picked up this summer—largely focuses on government rulemaking procedures, but a number of times it has to consider how technology works. When it does, it manages to get the technology remarkably wrong.

Perhaps the most comical of these is when the decision considers whether letting the schematic go online will cause “irreparable harm.” Most of the files are already online, Wilson’s attorneys argued, so what’s the harm in putting them up yet again? Yet the court disagreed, saying those online copies might be hard to find—only “a cybernaut with a BitTorrent protocol” could locate them “in the dark or remote recesses of the internet.”

If you think downloading a schematic for a firearm is insane, just want until you see what else I can do with a BitTorrent protocol! You’ll have to wait though since I’m short on BitTorrent protocols at the moment (please donate).

In addition to the use of the word cybernaut, I find it comical that the Internet Archive is considered a dark and remote recess of the Internet by this judge.

What should really stand out about this story though is that court officials who are entirely ignorant about the subject matter that they’re ruling on are allowed to make official rulings. When this judge issued their spiel about cybernauts using BitTorrent protocols to obtain schematics from the dark and remote recesses of the Internet, it had the force of law. If Defense Distributed violated this ruling, armed thugs with badges could be sent out to kidnap Cody Wilson or even kill him if he resisted their kidnapping attempt because an idiot in a magic muumuu has the power to make whatever they say an enforceable law. If that isn’t a great case against statism, I don’t know what is.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 4th, 2018 at 11:00 am

There Have Been Over 1 Billion Zillion School Shootings

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It’s no secret that gun control advocates outright lie about the number of school shootings. What is kind of surprising though is that their lies have become so onerous that even their sympathizers at National Public Radio (NPR) had to call bullshit:

This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” The number is far higher than most other estimates.

But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened. Child Trends, a nonpartisan nonprofit research organization, assisted NPR in analyzing data from the government’s Civil Rights Data Collection.

We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents, either directly with schools or through media reports.

In 161 cases, schools or districts attested that no incident took place or couldn’t confirm one. In at least four cases, we found, something did happen, but it didn’t meet the government’s parameters for a shooting. About a quarter of schools didn’t respond to our inquiries.

The key to telling a convincing lie is that it should be believable. If, for example, you want to make the number of school shootings appear higher than it actually is, you should keep your inflated number within the realm of possibility. If there were only 11 shootings, you might want to keep your inflated number under 20. Inflating your number to 240 is going to raise a lot of red flags and people will likely investigate your claim.

This story also illustrates the fact that numbers reported by government agencies shouldn’t be treated as gospel. I know most, if not all, of my readers are aware of this fact but there are a lot of people out there who still believe that the government is a neutral entity that has no motivate to lie and therefore its reported numbers are accurate.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Cody Wilson Is the Most Uppity Slave

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A federal judge may have told Defense Distributed that it couldn’t provide its already widely available 3D printer files but the saga hasn’t ended. Since Defense Distributed can no longer provide its files for free, it will sell them on a USB drive:

AUSTIN, Texas—During what he called his first ever press conference, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson announced Tuesday that he would continue to comply with a federal court order forbidding him from internationally publishing CAD files of firearms. Wilson said he would also begin selling copies of his 3D-printed gun files for a “suggested price” of $10 each.

The files, crucially, will be transmitted to customers “on a DD-branded flash drive” in the United States. Wilson also mentioned looking into customer email and secure download links.

Now that the files aren’t leaving the United States, the primary argument being used to censor Defense Distributed is no longer in play.

What I find just as funny as Wilson’s unwillingness to roll over like a good little slave is how he has also become the biggest thorn in the side of gun control advocates seemingly out of nowhere. For decades gun control advocates have focused all of their attention on the National Rifle Association (NRA). While the NRA has acted as the 800 pound gorilla in the room, it has also been an extremely moderate organization. The NRA never pushed anything truly radical. Then along came Cody Wilson. He advocated something truly radical, the complete abolish of the State and by extent gun control. He also showed the world the biggest weakness in the concept of gun control: that guns a mechanically simple devices that can be manufactured with relative ease. While gun control advocates are trying to censor him, he has already done is damage. The world knows that firearms can be easily manufactured. Moreover, the designs for some basic firearms that can be created with a 3D printer have been released to the Internet and are therefore impossible to censor.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Sometimes Violence Is the Only Thing People Understand

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I tend to favor leaving over deescalation and deescalation over violence. However, there are times when leaving isn’t an option and deescalation isn’t possible. In those situations violence can be the only solution:

What happened next, however, was road rage to the extent Bowlin had never in her life witnessed.

“The one time I leave a little too much space for the car in front of me, he then proceeds to go onto the shoulder and try to ram me with his car on the passenger side of his car, on the left side of my bike and with my left leg, into the cars … to the right of us, which would be considered the fast lane,” she told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

The driver, identified as 60-year-old Bruce Jones, repeated this action a couple of times, as Bowlin tried to get away. Jones’ wife was in the passenger seat the entire time; Bowlin observed that she had a shocked expression.

[…]

In the fetal position against the barrier as Jones weighed down on her, Bowlin began to slip in and out of consciousness due to the tightness of her helmet’s chin strap. Bowlin realized in her lucid moments that Jones was going to choke her to death.

“If he had gotten my helmet off, I would’ve been dead,” she said.

It was at this point that Bowlin suddenly remembered that she had a firearm. She knew that she had to save her life.

“It was me or him,” Bowlin said. “And I was coming home.”

She managed to pull her gun out of her jacket and fire, hitting Jones in the abdomen.

These are the situations that gun control advocates seem unable to comprehend. Bowlin was in a bad situation. She couldn’t flee and her attacker, who had given her plenty of reason to believe that he intended to kill her, was physically superior to her. If she was unarmed, she likely would have died. However, she was armed and therefore able to overcome the physical disparity that existed between her and her attacker.

Sometimes there is no avenue for escape. Sometimes your attacker isn’t in a reasonable state of mind and therefore cannot be talked out of their aggression. Sometimes situations only offer you the choice of fighting and living or dying. I very much wish this wasn’t the case but, unfortunately, my wishes have so far been unable to alter the universe I occupy.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2018 at 11:00 am

I Love Living in a Post Gun Control World

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I would like to take a moment to say that I really love living in a world where gun control is no longer enforceable:

Gun rights activist groups found a way around the temporary halting of 3D-printed gun blueprints by publishing another set of blueprints on a new website Tuesday, which they say is activity protected under the First Amendment.

“Through CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, we intend to encourage people to consider new and different aspects of our nation’s marketplace of ideas – even if some government officials disagree with our views or dislike our content – because information is code, code is free speech, and free speech is freedom,” reads a statement on the site, which was created by a variety of groups including the Firearms Policy Coalition and the Firearms Policy Foundation.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the phrase, “temporarily halting.” Nothing was halted by that court ruling. All of the 3D printer files were available well before that court ruling was made and continued to remain available afterwards. That should have been the first sign that gun control can no longer be enforced. But seeing websites appear that overtly defy the court order should be a wake up call for everybody that gun control is dead.

The debate about gun control is over (it has actually been over for quite some time). Every organization and individual who is fighting for gun control is fighting a battle that they have already lost.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 2nd, 2018 at 11:00 am

Incoherent Screeching

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Shortly after Cody Wilson won his day in court the gun control crowd started screeching incoherently. Failing to understand the reality of the situation, which is their modus operandi, they started demanding that judges, politicians, and anybody else involved in the government stop the distribution of files for printing firearms on 3D prints. The latest futile attempt to stop Wilson was made by several attorneys and a federal judge in Seattle:

A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns.

Eight Democratic attorneys general filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the federal government’s settlement with the company that makes the plans available online. They also sought a restraining order, arguing the 3D guns would be a safety risk.

A judge issued a restraining order? Oh no, whatever shall we do? I guess those 3D printer files are lost to the world now. Game over.

I wonder if these gun control fanatics are actually stupid enough to believe that. While a judge may issue a restraining order that prevents Defense Distributed, Wilson’s company, from offering the files they are still available via the most censorship resilient website on the Internet, The Pirate Bay. If you know anything about the history of The Pirate Bay, you know that there is no way in hell that any judged in the United States will get those files removed from that site. Even if they could do that, those files are being hosted by a number of people so anybody with the magnet link can still get the files. The genie is out of the bottle.

The Question to Stop 3D Guns

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You find some wonderful words of wisdom on Twitter:

If we don’t scream and yell, any person will be able to start printing 3D guns this Wednesday, August 1st.

As opposed to what we can print now, which are apparently only 2D guns!

Jeff sessions can stop this.

Oh, my sweet summer child.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 31st, 2018 at 10:00 am