Friday, February 27, 2009

Mexican Assault Weapon

Anyone else getting tired of the lie about the "Assault Weapon Ban" would help keeping guns from going to Mexico in their little drug war?
The attorney general also suggested that re-instituting a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons would help reduce the bloodshed in Mexico, where last year 6,000 people were killed in drug-related violence.

Increasingly, U.S. law enforcement officials see cartel violence spill into the United States, often as far away as Phoenix and Atlanta.

As he discussed the problem, Holder spoke briefly in Spanish, pledging continued cooperation with Mexican authorities who have increasingly come under direct fire from the heavily armed drug gangs.

U.S. officials have a responsibility to make sure Mexican police "are not fighting substantial numbers of weapons, or fighting against AK-47s or other similar kinds of weapons that have been flowing to Mexico," Holder said.

DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonhart said the raid showed the tentacles of the crime syndicate had spread far across the United States — not just to major cities like Washington and Los Angeles, but to quiet, smaller communities like Stowe, Iowa, which the cartel allegedly used as a conduit to funnel drugs around the country.

Recall that selling guns to someone from/in Mexico is already illegal. Not to mention the fact that selling of actual assault weapons to a foreign body is illegal without Federal licensing.
Recall that the "Assault Weapon Ban" from 1994 was related to semi-automatic firearms that had cosmetic similarities to actual assault weapons and had no affect on actual assault weapons that have been highly regulated since 1938.

I'm not saying the assault weapons that are going into Mexico aren't coming out of the US. But I am saying that they are NOT coming out of the civilian firearms trade. If they are coming from the US the transactions are already illegal and the 1994 like "Assault Weapon Ban" will have absolutely no effect.

As for the AK-47 they whine about, I am betting that it would be much cheaper and easier to get south of the Mexican border rather than north of the border. That is if they actually are AK-47 and not the semi-automatic versions that exist freely in the US. My question is, would a drug cartel with large amounts of money go to gun shows in the US to buy semi-auto versions when they could easily purchase fully actual assault rifles elsewhere for substantially less?

In addition, do you really believe restricting our rights in the US will stop the illegal activities that are already occurring. Making something more illegal doesn't stop it. Stemming our rights just leaves us wanting, not to mention vulnerable.

But we'll continue to sit by while the MSM protests that the "Assault Weapon Ban" is the only cure and ignore the reality of the situation.

UPDATE: SayUncle has more.

My favorite quote:
What is more, the sheer volume of licensed dealers — more than 6,600 along the border alone, many of them operating out of their houses — makes policing them a tall order. Currently the A.T.F. has about 200 agents assigned to the task.
My heart bleeds for the BATFE. Imagine what they could do by investigating this rather than prosecuting dealers for putting down a y instead of "yes" or fiddling around with what they consider the definition of a gun today. I think the worst of these bureaucrats should be shipped down to Mexico or the border states and forced to do some honest work.
In 2007, the firearms agency traced 2,400 weapons seized in Mexico back to dealers in the United States, and 1,800 of those came from dealers operating in the four states along the border, with Texas first, followed by California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Interesting data. Wonder how many were stolen? Or how many were purchased from a single dealer? Or how many were purchased from a single buyer? No data of course. You are led to the conclusion that they just leaked out of all dealers and gun owners. God knows we're all irresponsible.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another Broken Windows Study

Saw this linked at Schneier's.

Researchers, working with police, identified 34 crime hot spots. In half of them, authorities set to work—clearing trash from the sidewalks, fixing street lights, and sending loiterers scurrying. Abandoned buildings were secured, businesses forced to meet code, and more arrests made for misdemeanors. Mental health services and homeless aid referrals expanded.

In the remaining hot spots, normal policing and services continued.

Then researchers from Harvard and Suffolk University sat back and watched, meticulously recording criminal incidents in each of the hot spots.

The results, just now circulating in law enforcement circles, are striking: A 20 percent plunge in calls to police from the parts of town that received extra attention. It is seen as strong scientific evidence that the long-debated "broken windows" theory really works—that disorderly conditions breed bad behavior, and that fixing them can help prevent crime.


Many police departments across the country already use elements of the broken windows theory, or focus on crime hot spots. The Lowell experiment offers guidance on what seems to work best. Cleaning up the physical environment was very effective; misdemeanor arrests less so, and boosting social services had no apparent impact.

Funny thing is I always wonder where the crime went. Some no doubt just didn't happen, but there is some that would move somewhere else. I've yet to see any data that shows what happens in adjacent neighborhoods or cities. There are several people in Schneier's comments who wonder the same thing.

I don't doubt that there is some effect. I just would like to know what really happens in a broader region. If you move the bad crime down the road, you haven't fixed anything, you just changed the victim.

This hits pretty close to home since a lot of Lowell crime problems seem to leak up over the boarder to around where I live. Lowell has cleaned up a lot, but they still have higher crime rates than we do here in NH. Nashua is a lot lower, and even Manchester has lower crime in most categories.

Atlas Shrugged Sales Up

Interesting. Gun sales are over the top, and now Atlas Shrugged sales have tripled. Makes you wonder why.
Sales of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" have almost tripled over the first seven weeks of this year compared with sales for the same period in 2008. This continues a strong trend after bookstore sales reached an all-time annual high in 2008 of about 200,000 copies sold.

"Americans are flocking to buy and read 'Atlas Shrugged' because there are uncanny similarities between the plot-line of the book and the events of our day" said Yaron Brook, Executive Director at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. "Americans are rightfully concerned about the economic crisis and government's increasing intervention and attempts to control the economy. Ayn Rand understood and identified the deeper causes of the crisis we're facing, and she offered, in 'Atlas Shrugged,' a principled and practical solution consistent with American values."

Could it be people are getting a bit more buyer's remorse with our president?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Firing Antique Cannon

Antique as in circa 1592 (Well at least they were based on the antiques.). Film of the testers cowering behind cover makes it more fun.
Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest it carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard ammunition.

"This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war," says naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.

Wish I had one of those.

And They Called Bush a Fascist?

Here we go. Tell me this isn't an act you'd expect from a real Fascist Regime. Again seen at Bruce's.

The police officers who stopped Oklahoma City motorist Chip Harrison and confiscated a sign from his car told him he has a right to his beliefs, but the Secret Service "could construe this as a threat against President Obama," according to the incident report released this morning.

Capt. Steve McCool of the Oklahoma City Police Department is seen in this video frame grab. McCool says an officer who wrongly pulled a man over last week and confiscated an anti-Barack Obama sign from his vehicle misinterpreted the sign as threatening.

The sign, which read "Abort Obama Not the Unborn," was returned to Harrison later that day, the report said.

Police spokesman Steve McCool said this morning that the sign was taken in error, and Oklahoma City residents should not be worried that their First Amendment rights will be violated.
I think someone may want to point out to McCool that the guy's First Amendment rights had been violated as soon as the cops pulled him over and stole his sign.

But it only gets better:
''The Secret Service called and said they were at my house," Harrison said.

After talking to his attorney, Harrison went home where he met the Secret Service.

''When I was on my way there, the Secret Service called me and said they weren't going to ransack my house or anything ... they just wanted to (walk through the house) and make sure I wasn't a part of any hate groups."

I guess I would have called my attorney, if I had one, but then I would have called every MSM organ in the local area to visit me at the appointed hour to watch the SS visit. Nothing like transparency when the hot lights of the MSM are on. At least you can depend on them to report your arrest.

HopeyChangey better get his SS under control. This is something that should greatly concern the citizenry.

I love one of Bruce's commentors pointing out how there was no arrests of hippies by the fascist Bush administration when they openly criticized him. Hell, I recall some Frisco flakes protesting openly for his murder and they weren't even pulled over by the locals.

Political Ethics - Circling the Drain

With the Dems putting on demonstrations of how they are no better ethically than the Repubs, we keep being handed these wonderful bits of legislation that makes one question if a politician can be ethical at all. The RAT board was another feature of the stimulus package. Nice to see they rammed it past all the reviews.
The provision, which attracted virtually no attention in the debate over the 1,073-page stimulus bill, creates something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board — the RAT Board, as it’s known by the few insiders who are aware of it. The board would oversee the in-house watchdogs, known as inspectors general, whose job is to independently investigate allegations of wrongdoing at various federal agencies, without fear of interference by political appointees or the White House.

In the name of accountability and transparency, Congress has given the RAT Board the authority to ask “that an inspector general conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.” If the inspector general doesn’t want to follow the wishes of the RAT Board, he’ll have to write a report explaining his decision to the board, as well as to the head of his agency (from whom he is supposedly independent) and to Congress. In the end, a determined inspector general can probably get his way, but only after jumping through bureaucratic hoops that will inevitably make him hesitate to go forward.

Isn't that pleasant. I had to check the link because it was something I thought obviously put out by the Onion. Unfortunately, it's by Byron York and all too real.

Burris and Blago from the Chicago corruption machine are bad enough. Tax dodgers Daschle and Geithner make one question the Ones choices, not to mention Bill Richardson.

How about Feinstein revealing the Predator Drone bases in Pakistan in a public forum. No doubt she lied about her source of that tidbit and made the US work with the Pakistani government extremely difficult. With political allies like this Obambi is in trouble.

Caught from Bruce.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Icy Weekend

I went out and played some with my new camera. I'm still trying to figure out the wide angle part of it though. Seems like I've forgotten about the format every time I take a picture.

This was at the resevoir in Burlington MA. The ice was interesting and I thought I'd try a picture with the sun. Seems to work better than my film cameras ever did.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Universal Healthcare - Bend Over

As Bruce says, be afraid... be very afraid.
Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

This has so many things wrong with it that it's actually very frightening. Why would I trust a federal government database to keep my information private? They can't even keep information that is supposed to be secret from reaching the press, not to mention when some political hack in the bureaucracy gets a hardon about you and does what they did to Joe-the-Plumber, you may be finding some concern.

How about having the government telling the doctor what is appropriate? Since bureaucrats are so good at analyzing detailed information. Second guessing the doctor's diagnosis from a database, which will be fraught with errors, like say the TSA database, makes me shudder.

Next Second Amendment SCOTUS Challenge - Here Comes Incorporation

Didn't take too long. I hope this goes up their backside real fast.
The Second Amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms does not apply to override state firearms bans, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit declared Jan. 28. Under the incorporation doctrine, only certain provisions of the Bill of Rights apply to the states, and the Second Amendment is one of those that does not, the Second Circuit held....

The statute at the center of this case, N.Y. Penal Law §265.01(1), provides criminal penalties for possession of a broad range of items, including weapons used in martial arts. The plaintiff was charged under the statute after police found fighting sticks, or nunchaku, in his home. He ended up pleading guilty to a different charge and then filed a lawsuit against the county prosecutor and others seeking a declaration that the law offends his Second Amendment right to bear arms.....

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


I just bought a new small camera, since I haven't been very good at carrying around my SLR.

So I took this picture just for the fun of it.

It doesn't give you the full perspective though. I think there are about 50 guns in there. They are stacked half stock down, half barrel down. The doors are a major pain to close since the guns need to be carefully set to have the doors not touch them. You also can't see a lot of the guns because they are wrapped so that when they are stacked they won't be marked.

So, let's see.
Fusil Mas-36
Steyr-Mannlicher M-95
M-1917 Enfield
Schmidt-Rubin M-1911
Mauser Gewehr-98
Mosin-Nagant M-1891
Mauser M-1896
Steyr-Mannlicher M-95
Topbreak 38
Ross 1905 Mk II
Krag 1912
Carcano 918 Long Rifle
Carcano 918 Carbine
M1 carbine
Mosin-Nagant 91/39
SMLE No. 1 Mk III*
Mauser M-94
Berthier Mle M-1916
MAS Mle 49-56
Lee-Enfield No.1 Mk 5
Krag (1896)
Roos MkII
SMLE No. 1 Mk III*
Webley Mk 6
Mauser Karabiner 98 A
Star B
1894 Krag
SKS 59/66
No.4 Mk 1
Lee-Enfield Carbine
Webley Mk 4
Browning Hi-power
Detective Special
Hi Standard Supermatic Citation
Llama Extra
Tokagypt Super 12
Hi Standard H-D military

So does this qualify as a collection or an arsenal.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Evil Rendition Policy Maintained by the ONE

Shock. The evil Bush policy of Rendition isn't going away. (Though it started under Clinton, I thought I'd just stay within the left's whining parameters.)
The CIA's secret prisons are being shuttered. Harsh interrogation techniques are off-limits. And Guantanamo Bay will eventually go back to being a wind-swept naval base on the southeastern corner of Cuba.

But even while dismantling these programs, President Obama left intact an equally controversial counter-terrorism tool.

Under executive orders issued by Obama recently, the CIA still has authority to carry out what are known as renditions, secret abductions and transfers of prisoners to countries that cooperate with the United States.
Secret prison's are being shuttered, if you can find them and prove that I'd love to see the evidence not just the political bloviating. (and don't forget the exceptions.)
Harsh interrogation techniques are off limits, well, unless we think we actually need them.
GITMO being closed, with no plan on where to move the detainees, we'll see.

Sounds to me like a lot of wind and almost no real activity. So how is this all better than what we had?