A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘You’re Doing it Right’ tag

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

Free Research

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I’m beginning to think that Elon Musk posts seemingly zany shit on Twitter in order to trick people into studying his problems for him for free:

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk attracted a bit of attention when he suggested that we could get there simply by nuking Mars’ poles, liberating the ice (both water and carbon dioxide ices) into the atmosphere. When asked about the prospects for the plan, a scientist said, “Whether it would really work, I don’t think anyone has worked up the physics in enough detail to say it would.” Now, a couple of planetary scientists have accepted the challenge of working up the physics, and they have bad news for Musk.

I imagine Musk sitting at home and saying to himself, “I wonder if we could nuke that water on Mars to release it into the atmosphere?” As he sits there pondering the question he realizes that he doesn’t have the physics or chemistry knowledge to figure out whether that plan is feasible. After mentally going over the physicists and chemists he does have in house he decides that they’re working on more valuable research at the moment. Finally he decides that he can just get other people to research the problem for free, logs onto Twitter, and posts that he wants to nuke the water on Mars. A few minutes later a team of curious physicists and chemists decide to run the numbers then, realizing that Musk’s idea isn’t feasible, rush to social media to say, “See? See? Mr. Billionaire is wrong!” After seeing the report Musk leans back in his chair, sips his scotch, and smirks at the thought that he has received the answer to his question without spending even a single dime.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 1st, 2018 at 10:00 am

Optimism

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which finds its spine from time to time, is pointing out what it believes are limitations of Amazon’s facial recognition system:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California said Thursday that in its new test of Amazon’s facial recognition system known as Rekognition, the software erroneously identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been arrested for a crime.

Emphasis mine.

The only flaw I see in Amazon’s facial recognition system is that it’s too optimistic. As the identified members of Congress are members of Congress they deserve to be arrested.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 26th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Court Rules in Favor of Right to Carry

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Gun control advocates have a problem with simple English. Consider the text of the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The words “shall not be infringed” are straight forward. Somehow gun control advocates can read that and come to the conclusion that the text means that any and all restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. Oftentimes their belief is taken to an absolutely absurd level. For example, the government of Hawaii believed that that text meant that an individual is only allows to carry a firearm in their home. A United States appeals court didn’t buy it:

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday that the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees a right to openly carry a gun in public for self-defense, finding that Hawaii overstepped its authority to regulate firearms possession outside the home.

[…]

In a 2-1 decision on Tuesday, the panel found Hawaii infringed on the rights of plaintiff George Young when it twice denied him a permit the state requires to openly carry a gun in public.

“We do not take lightly the problem of gun violence,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in Tuesday’s ruling. “But, for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”

Cue the gun control advocates screaming that blood will soon be flowing through the streets of Hawaii even though the exact same prediction has failed to come true every single time they have made it.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 25th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Buying Votes

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Every politician buys votes but most go about it in a roundabout way. Promises of tax breaks for companies, wealth redistribution from the wealthy to the masses, and increases to welfare benefits are common ways to buy votes. But one mayoral candidate in Chicago decided to try the direct route:

CHICAGO — Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson says he wasn’t trying to buy anyone’s vote when he handed out close to $200,000 to churchgoers.

[…]

The Illinois State Board of Elections said Wilson didn’t break any campaign finance laws because the money came from his non-profit foundation.

I appreciate this level of honesty. If a politician wants to buy votes, they should just fork out the cash. This strategy is far better for voters because they get paid upfront whereas political promises usually go unfulfilled and when that happens the voters don’t get their payoff.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 24th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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Moving in the Correct Direction

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Sometimes it seems like the United States is the sole remaining country that at least has its head somewhat screwed on straight when it comes to gun laws (and considering how restrictive the gun laws in the United States are, the bar is set absurdly low). Fortunately, there are signs of improvement in other countries from time to time. The Czech Republic, for example, is moving in the correct direction:

The lower house of the Czech parliament has agreed to alter the constitution so that firearms can be held legally when national security is threatened.

The amendment gives Czechs the right to use firearms during terrorist attacks.

It was passed by the lower house by a big majority, and is likewise expected to be approved by the upper house.

The move by parliament is a challenge to EU gun control rules which restrict civilians from possessing certain kinds of semi-automatic weapons.

Moving gun laws in a sensible direction and telling the European Union to go pound sand? Double win!

Governments throughout history have tried to varying degrees to monopolize violence. Not once has this strategy succeeded. Every time it has been attempted the result has been that the government and those willing to ignore the law have enjoyed a duopoly on violence. That means that the fools who abide by the law are easy prey for the duopolists and, predictably, end up being preyed upon. Usually the fools who abide by the law eventually tire of being preyed upon and decide to ignore the law, which sometimes even results in the overthrow of the government (but then the revolutionaries once again demonstrate their foolishness by establishing another government so that the vicious cycle can be repeated). Perhaps the Czech Republic can avoid that situation by giving the law abiding fools the option to defend themselves.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 17th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Mr. Musk’s Greater South Africa

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Elon Musk has two transportation programs, as space program, and now he’s working on a utilities program. At this point he has enough traditionally government programs to basically be a government:

For around four years now, the water supply to the city of Flint, Michigan, has been contaminated with lead. Now, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has promised to help. Replying to a request on Twitter, Musk pledged to fund remediation work to houses with contaminated water supplies.

Snowcrash’s future is actually one of the more pleasant ones and I don’t think that I’d mind being a citizen of Mr. Musk’s Greater South Africa. At least it’ll have a space presence, high-speed underground transportation, and clean drinking water.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 13th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Cody Wilson: 1, Department of Justice: 0

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When Cody Wilson demonstrated the futility of gun control once and for all but publishing specifications for a 3D printable handgun, the United States government was displeased. It didn’t like the idea that the language of the Second Amendment, namely the part that says “shall not be infringed,” might actually be enforceable by its subjects. In response to Wilson’s antics, the federal government tried to censor him. Wilson decided to sue on the argument that censoring 3D printer specifications was an infringement of his First Amendment rights. The Department of Justice (DoJ), the body of the government that tried to censor Wilson and got sued for its shenanigans, finally gave up:

Two months ago, the Department of Justice quietly offered Wilson a settlement to end a lawsuit he and a group of co-plaintiffs have pursued since 2015 against the United States government. Wilson and his team of lawyers focused their legal argument on a free speech claim: They pointed out that by forbidding Wilson from posting his 3-D-printable data, the State Department was not only violating his right to bear arms but his right to freely share information. By blurring the line between a gun and a digital file, Wilson had also successfully blurred the lines between the Second Amendment and the First.

“If code is speech, the constitutional contradictions are evident,” Wilson explained to WIRED when he first launched the lawsuit in 2015. “So what if this code is a gun?”

The Department of Justice’s surprising settlement, confirmed in court documents earlier this month, essentially surrenders to that argument. It promises to change the export control rules surrounding any firearm below .50 caliber—with a few exceptions like fully automatic weapons and rare gun designs that use caseless ammunition—and move their regulation to the Commerce Department, which won’t try to police technical data about the guns posted on the public internet. In the meantime, it gives Wilson a unique license to publish data about those weapons anywhere he chooses.

Realistically, the DoJ had no choice by to relent. As soon as it tried to censor Wilson’s 3D printer designs, the Streisand effect kicked and ensured that the files were obtained by so many people that censorship became impossible. Beyond Wilson’s case, the DoJ was also fighting a losing battle because even if it managed to censor his designs, anybody with an Internet connection could upload their own designs. The DoJ is one agency that only has authority here in the United States. The Internet is a global communication network. The odds of a single agency winning against a global network are pretty much zilch.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 12th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Public Union Profits Not Looking Good

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Unions are big business and it’s easy to see why. Most unions have a sweetheart deal where employees at union shops are forced to pay union dues. While this practice can be annoying for private employees who see a portion of their paycheck skimmed off to help pay the union boss’ six figure salary, it’s worse when the dues are paid by outright theft. Five of the nine muumuu clad individuals that make up the Supreme Court have issued a rare common sense ruling that states that public unions cannot collect mandatory fees:

The Supreme Court dealt labor unions a sharp defeat Wednesday, ruling that teachers, police officers and other public employees cannot be forced to pay dues or fees to support their unions.

By a 5-4 vote, the justices overturned a 41-year-old precedent and ruled that the 1st Amendment protects these employees from being required to support a private group whose views may differ from theirs.

The decision, in Janus vs. AFSCME, strikes down laws in California, New York and 20 other mostly Democratic-leaning states that authorize unions to negotiate contracts that require all employees to pay a so-called fair share fee to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

The problem with government employees is that they are paid with money stolen from taxpayers, which means public union dues are also paid with stolen money. As for the claim by union bosses that the fees are collected because all employees benefit from collective bargaining, I don’t want government employees benefiting in any way. They should be making shit wages and receiving shit benefits to encourage them to find honestly employment in the private sector.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 28th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Welcome to America

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A man from New Zealand flew to the United States with the intent of attacking a teenage girl. Not surprisingly he received the hospitality for which Americans are famous:

Troy George Skinner, 25, was shot in the neck by the girl’s mother after smashing his way through a glass door.

Goochland County Sheriff James Agnew said the man was also armed with a knife, duct tape and pepper spray.

He travelled over 8,500 miles (13,500km) after the girl stopped speaking to him online, police say.

Welcome to America, asshole.

As with most humans, I enjoy stories where characters get their comeuppance. If gun control advocates had their way, it’s likely this story would have been far different. While Skinner probably wouldn’t have gotten away with his crime, there would have been a far higher chance that he would have succeeded in perpetrating his attack. As somebody who enjoys reading stories about assholes like this being shot before they can perpetrate a violent crime, I’m glad gun control advocates haven’t gotten their way.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 27th, 2018 at 10:30 am