Another newbie joins the ranks

January 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Newbies 

This time, on the pages of Elle Magazine.

Too many money quotes in this one:

My next thought is, I want to do that again! I have an immediate, exhilarated reaction. Partly it’s that what I’ve just done initially frightened me, so there’s a sense of a limit overcome. For many people I know, guns remain unreal—the accessories of fictional characters, or at least of the Other, not you and yours. Yet to fire a gun is to realize you can do it: You can operate one, understand how it works. Shooting gives me a rush that comes from a feeling of (admittedly incomplete) mastery.

The author also does a good job describing the “zen” of shooting.

Plus, the sensory experience of target shooting—readying your stance, controlling your breath, focusing on the target—is so absorbing that I can’t indulge my free-floating worries. I can’t have a self-conscious intellectual reaction when firing a gun. It’s almost meditative. At one point I glimpse a woman in her sixties dressed in a white polo, creased khakis, and pristine white sneakers—attire for a day of golf at the country club; she’s brandishing a Glock. I have to stop myself from laughing with delight.

When people ask my why I shoot, I say to relax. And it is exactly how she described. You have to be completely focused on the task at hand…no room for day to day worries.

H/T to Shall not be Questioned.

On the opposition

January 20, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Bigots 

Sean has an excellent post up on why we have to press the fight on the anti-gunners.  Sean has been both tireless and creative in getting the pro-gun message out.  It took a big, brass pair to participate alone protesting the “Too Many Victims” rally.

I have a policy of not linking to the moonbat in Duluth, or the one in Oregon.  I do so for a very simple reason.  I don’t want to legitimize their arguments.  They have both demonstrated that they are not serious about conversation.  They say things that are demonstrably untrue.  When they are called out on it, they call us names and tell us we are big meanies.  It’s the internet equivalent of baby talk, and my refusal to engage is the internet equivalent of “Hush up, the grownups are talking.”  Engaging with them is not worth the time it takes.  Sebastian has a good take on this.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we should ignore all of them.  Consider the civil rights movement.  We have reached our high water mark: segregation is no longer legal.  Now we need to change the culture so that it is unthinkable that a reasonable man would consider it an option.  Part of that was taking the gloves off.  You had to call a bigot a bigot, and show the world the ugliness of his bigotry.

And so it is with gun rights.  It’s all over but the crying in the legal arena.  The anti-gunners are determined to fight to the last man.  They aren’t reacting rationally.  (Consider Chicago.  Who in their right mind would think that a law that simultaneously requires training and bans the means of that training would stand?  It was the legal equivalent of “Oh, yeah!  Well, you can’t make me!”)  We’ve got four states that practice constitutional carry, and soon there will be more.  It’s only a matter of time before we have constitutionally protected, shall-issue concealed carry.

But the work that we have left to do is to show the world the ugliness of the bigotry.  And part of that is calling things what they are.  The anti-gunners like to portray themselves as victims.  They say that they speak for the victims of “gun violence.”  I say that they make sure there are more victims.

Joe has his just one question, but to be frank I think we need to put it more emphatically. I’ve decided to call them out, and put the blood back on the hands of the likes of Joan and Baldr.

So let me state emphatically, for the record: Joan, you get people killed.  Baldr, you get people killed.  Mr. Troll at the CSGV who publishes the names of bloggers but doesn’t have the stones to post under his own name: You. Get. People. Killed.  Your bigotry is ugly, offensive, and it’s getting people killed.

 

On Piracy

January 19, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Dumb laws 

Question: How is SOPA/PIPA/EIEIO like gun control?

Answer: They are both nonsensical solutions to a problem that doesn’t exist.

Nonsensical, in that DNS is a completely optional piece of the internet stack.  Pirates will simply set up their own, or go directly to IP addresses.  DNS blocking will in no way solve the problem.  I stated to type up the technical details, but Borepatch did it better.  Go there.  I’ll wait.

“The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.”
–John Gilmore

As for the problem not existing:  The error that everyone makes here is in assuming that pirated material displaces a real sale.  In the vast and overwhelming majority of cases that is not the case.  How much do you think the folks who remix Hitler videos are going to be willing to pay to license the content?  Umm….nothing.  Which is exactly how much you got for it.  Enjoy the free marketing and call it even.

What about whole works?  Are those folks going to plunk down full price for your movie?  Or are we extending to people who would have never seen your work in the first place.  To paraphrase Steve Ballmer:

“If they are going to be pirating, I want them to be pirating my stuff.”

So at the end of the day, we have a horrible, intrusive set of laws that penalize people who have done nothing wrong, and not only fails to solve the problem it claims to address, but is structurally incapable of doing so. Where have I heard that one before?

Quote of the year!

January 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Freedom 

Breaking self-imposed silence in protest of SOPA/PIPA, and we are presented with the Quote of the Year by Larry Corriea of Monster Hunter and Hard Magic fame:

As for all of the people out there on the internet having a massive freak out about the government potentially damaging something they love… WELCOME TO THE PARTY.

For those of us who love the shooting sports, government intervention in an effort to destroy what we love is nothing new.

On Strike!

January 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Freedom 

Today, Newbie Shooter will be on strike in order to protest SOPA/PIPA.

Does it matter if it was a gun death?

January 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Crime 

This is a sad one from just around the corner.

Charlotte Mecklenburg and Fayetteville police arrested suspect Mark Anthony Cox, 22, at around 1 p.m. in Fayetteville in connection with the death of Danielle Watson and her unborn child.

Her fiancee got a call from the victim, but no one was on the other end.  He called the police, and somehow they ended up going to the wrong address.  They found her body 6 hours later.

The shopping center that the restaurant where the young woman was killed in is very upscale and considered very safe. It’s about two blocks from my daughter’s school. It’s the last place you would expect anyone to be murdered.

The suspect is here. As you might expect, it’s not his first rodeo. He got released from prison on 11/1/2011.

Finally, I found this story, which contains a sad detail:

“After [Cox] left my daughter,” David Watson said, “he took her car and I guess he maybe got $2600 at the most at the safe…he went home. That’s where he lives with his parents across the street, and his sister, and from what I hear he told his sister what happened.”

“He just said he did something really bad,” added Denise, Danielle’s mother.

The writing is terrible, but the way I read that is that the suspect lived across the street from the victim’s house. UPDATE: I read it wrong. The suspect lived across the street from the Flying Biscuit Cafe. And worked a second job a block away from my daughters school.

But a stabbing, not a gun death, and so, not counted by the Brady Bunch.

Alone at night, with a felon, and murdered for $2,600. Carry your guns, people.

Now that’s a fisking!

January 16, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Gunnies 

Barron takes on She Who Must Not Be Named, and wins.

Another view of deaths

January 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Gun Death? 

One more crack at the numbers.  This time, I only looked at data from 2007 (the most current year available) and I broke out homicides, suicides, and accidents into gun related and non-gun related.  The data here is a little strange.  the CDC system only allows the top 20 categories to be broken out.  Therefore, anything not in the top 20 gets aggregated into “All Others”, which as you can see is my third leading cause of death.  It is likely that there would be more specific causes of death after HIV, but before Non-Gun Homicide.

Running the numbers

January 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Gun Death? 

Our opponents on the anti-defense side of the aisle like to point to the metric of “Gun Deaths” as a problem that must be addressed by banning firearms from the hands of private citizens.  How big a problem is “Gun Death”, anyway?

I did some cracking into the numbers that the CDC provides.  All of this data is available through their WISQUARS system, and the numbers are current as of the date of this post.  I recorded the total number of deaths for each year, then pulled three specific numbers:

  1. The number of homicides committed with a firearm.
  2. The number of suicides committed with a firearm.
  3. The number of accidental deaths from a firearm.

Those numbers, when added, give us the number of “gun deaths” per year.  We can compare this number with the total number of deaths, and it gives us a sense of how big a problem this really is.  First the raw data:

 

Gun Deaths 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
Homicide 12,632 12,791 12,352 11,624 11,920 11,829 11,348
Suicide 17,352 16,883 17,002 16,750 16,907 17,108 16,869
Accidental 613 642 789 649 730 762 802
Total “Gun Deaths” 30,597 30,316 30,143 29,023 29,557 29,699 29,019
Total Deaths 2,423,712 2,426,264 2,448,017 2,397,615 2,448,288 2,443,387 2,416,425
Total Homicide/Accidents 13,245 13,433 13,141 12,273 12,650 12,591 12,150
Total Deaths 2,423,712 2,426,264 2,448,017 2,397,615 2,448,288 2,443,387 2,416,425
% Gun Death 1.26% 1.25% 1.23% 1.21% 1.21% 1.22% 1.20%
%HOM/ACC 0.55% 0.55% 0.54% 0.51% 0.52% 0.52% 0.50%

As you can see, “gun deaths” are consistently about 1.2% of all deaths in a given year. Excluding suicides, we get “unintended gun deaths” at about 0.5% of all deaths in the country. (After all, someone who uses a firearm to kill themselves is intending the outcome of their own death.) Let’s look at that graphically:

Maybe we should ring a bell for something else…

Examining the data

January 15, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Gun Banners 

One of the benefits of living in the future is the ease of which one can access primary sources.  I was preparing to refute some Common Nonsense, and was looking at the causes of death for children, and I was able to generate this graph:  (2007 is the latest data that the CDC provides.)

What is interesting, is that on the CDC site, you can click into the bars and further break down the data (these are raw numbers, not per 100,000). I knew that firearms were way down on the list. What I didn’t realize was how high some other things were on the list.  And some of the data is oddly specific:

  • 304 children drowned in swimming pools.
  • 276 children drowned in natural water.
  • 305 children died after “Accidental poisoning by and exposure to narcotics and psychodysleptics [hallucinogens], not elsewhere classified”
  • 141 children were killed as an “Occupant of special ATV or other MV designed primarily for off-road use”

So there you go. Three specific things that are demonstrably more dangerous to children than firearms: Swimming pools, narcotics, and ATVs. I can only assume that since this is for the children, you will change the focus of your group immediately.

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