I hope everyone enjoys their memorial day, even though the weather doesn’t know what season it wants to be. I actually got a little sleet in the rain today, and there are other parts of Pennsylvania that are getting a little global warming falling from the sky. Today is one of my office days, and I’m busy working on drawings to give to the contractor to fit out our new data center. I’m hoping to finish so I can actually enjoy a holiday weekend.
For something work related, I was looking up the color codes of the activation temperature for automatic sprinklers, and found this tidbit I didn’t know:
In 1812, British inventor Sir William Congreve patented a manual sprinkler system using perforated pipes along the ceiling. When someone noticed a fire, a valve outside the building could be opened to send water through the pipes.
A large furniture factory had repeatedly burned down, and Hiram Stevens Maxim was consulted on how to prevent a recurrence. As a result, Maxim invented the first automatic fire sprinkler. It would douse the areas that were on fire, and it would report the fire to the fire station. Maxim was unable to sell the idea elsewhere, but when the patent expired the idea was used.
Of course, Hiram Stevens Maxim is well known for another invention, which many of us are familiar with. A whole generation of unlucky Europeans, some Americans, Canadians and Australians, became unfortunately familiar with Maxim’s other invention as well, when they went over the top and were cut to pieces.
I don’t fundamentally have a problem with the market offering solutions like this one, to allow users to track and disable their gun if it’s stolen, like you would a smart phone. My only concern over the development is that it will soon become mandated, because on my own, I would never buy one.
For one, it’s useless. A firearm is a mechanical device. Any disabling technology could easily be circumvented. The article brings up an example of OnStar, but most cars these days have electronic ignition, and a car can essentially be made into a brick just by the car’s computer refusing to operate the ignition (and there are ways around that, still). Firearms use mechanical ignition. Electronic ignition has been tired, but it was very unreliable. Any “safety” which causes the gun to be disabled electronically could easily be re-enabled by anyone with enough mechanical aptitude to change a car tire. The only way you could successfully disable a gun is by destroying the mechanical parts. If this “smart gun” activated some thermite and seized up the lockwork, maybe it could work. Of course, I’m not sure how safe that would be under ordinary circumstances, and it wouldn’t be too long before Cletus burns the house down because he misplaced his gun and thought it might be stolen. That’s not even considering whether you could hack the device. Even if you could make a gun that had reliable electronic ignition, there would be ways around it. Guns are much simpler than cars. I tend to view that “smart gun” technology, even if it were made to be reliable enough, would only really be useful for reducing the already low number of accidents. We’d be better developing smart plastic buckets and smart bath tubs if it’s really lives that are the main concern here. Smart guns wouldn’t do anything to hinder criminals.
There’s a lot of hand wringing by the folks who dislike gun ownership over the fact that guns are dangerous, and can’t really serve their intended purpose without being dangerous. There are no safe guns, there are only safe users.
This incident illustrates, if nothing else, the endpoint of the social engineering of the West. It has been remarkably effective. From a certain point of view the British crowd behaved perfectly and this is the way “they” all want us to behave. The populace sheltered in place, didn’t do anything rash, talked to the perpetrators as people. They waited for the police to come and the hospital helicopter to take the corpse away. Some will doubtless get counseling to overcome their shattering experience.
The Connecticut gun control package is going to be challenged in Court. It’s not just Connecticut, but Maryland too. I don’t honestly have much faith in the Courts to do the correct thing in these cases, but circumstances would seem to have forced the issue front and center. I’ve mentioned before, I feel much more comfortable with SAF’s strategy of carefully pressing issues one-by-one, but it’s not clear whether a carry case is going to reach the Supreme Court, given they’ve turned down cert from two appeals in two circuits now, and now Illinois is changing its law.
A lot of folks are upset that a deal has been reached over the CCW issue in Illinois. It would seem neither side likes the deal. But the leadership of the Illinois Legislature has essentially signaled this is as far as they’ll go, and if we walk away, they’ll shove a may-issue bill with gun bans down our throats. Note the GSL source:
There is no June 9th cliff.
We don’t have enough votes willing to go over the cliff. Not even close.
We do have the latest bill submitted by Brandon Phelps.
Put your drink down and take a deep breath.
Go ahead and start your deep breathing relaxation exercises. Seriously.
In fact, you might want to pour yourself about three fingers of your favorite adult beverage and get a good start on it before reading further.
Read the whole thing. A lot of people didn’t understand why there was even negotiation over a shall-issue bill, believing constitutional carry was in the cards if Illinois defied the court. That was always a pipe dream. If they had passed a may-issue bill, a lot of the issues would have had to be re-litigated, and Madigan would have been in a more comfortable position. I also think the deal sets us up for long-term success. Also from GSL:
It also has across the board pre-emption on all local firearm regulations and restrictions.
Chicago’s gun registration regime? Gone.
Chicago’s ban on mags, lasers, etc.? Buh bye.
Cook County’s black gun ban? History.
Local “safe storage” ordinances? Into the dustbin of history.
It also means we only need a simple majority to tweak it in coming years, not a 3/5ths majority.
Yes, we’re actually REPEALING so-called assault weapons bans and gun registration programs in post-Sandy Hook America. Heck, we’re doing it in one of the bluest states in the nation.
Getting rid of the supermajority requirement will be a big deal, because that’s been the primary obstacle to getting shall-issue in Illinois. My only concern would be, as I understand it, whether a supermajority is required is really at the discretion of the leadership. What’s to prevent them from imposing it anyway? I can’t find anything in the rather lengthy bill stipulating that for future amendments.
My feeling is that it’s a shall-issue bill, with preemption. It’s the final offer from the leadership. I’d take the deal and then work to improve the bill through legislation, and I’d re-litigate over the steep fees and argue that many of the places you’re prohibited from carrying are not “sensitive places” per the Heller decision. I’m also guessing this will mean that the Moore/Shepherd case will not be appealed to the Supreme Court, which begs the question, will the Court take a carry case? Maybe not.
Looks that way. Too many Republicans think there is a middle ground on this issue. There isn’t. It’s either you throw your lot in with us, or you throw it in with the gun control people. The gun control people will never vote for you, no matter how much gun control you vote for, and I have better things to do than vote or volunteer for Republicans who support mag bans. The only middle ground is not signaling you’re a whackjob on the issue. At this point, supporting concealed carry and opposing magazine bans does not make one a whack job. Those are mainstream positions.
A discussion in U.S. News and World Report. It’s an interesting question. If an arm is protected by the Second Amendment, how much does it matter how you bear it? But it also raises a question of how useful a drone is for self-defense. If the drone is bearing the arm, how is whatever you’re targeting a threat to you? But if your government decided to start stuffing people into cattle cars, I can imagine and armed drone would be damned useful.
I would be quite surprised to see the courts adopt a Second Amendment rationale for drones, but to be honest, I’m not sure how much it matters. If you can play with drones, and play with guns, putting guns on drones if the shit hits the fan isn’t much of a stretch. I’m not sure arming drones with firearms is even really the best use of them, even in a dire situation, like a government stuffing citizens into cattle cars.
[UPDATE: Article is a year old. I'm pretty sure I got this one from Google, which sometimes resurfaces old material. I usually catch it, but sometimes if it was a year ago, similar date, I miss that the year is off. This is one of those cases.] Via Human Events:
As Dershowitz points out, the evidence released in this case means Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law isn’t even a factor in Zimmerman’s defense. Much political hay has been made out of this law, but if Zimmerman was on the ground getting beaten to a pulp, withdrawal from the encounter was physically impossible for him. “A defendant, under Florida law, loses his ‘stand your ground’ defense if he provoked the encounter,” observes Dershowitz, “but he retains traditional self-defense if he reasonably believed his life was in danger and his only recourse was to employ deadly force.”
That’s what we’ve been saying all along. The whole “stand your ground” nonsense was ginned up by political opportunists.
According to this Denver Post article, the first of four attempted recalls targeting Democrats who voted for the gun control bills has failed. However, I would note that it really only failed on paper at the moment because there are some key points that look good for pro-gun advocates if they can get enough people motivated to work their butts off in 2014.
From the article, the requirements are that recall organizers must obtain signatures from enough voters to represent 25 percent of the votes cast for all parties in the last election in that district. The recall organizers who claimed that they had no professional help, no funding, and a completely grassroots local effort did manage to get about 20 percent of voters from the district to sign on and say they are so pissed off at him that they don’t even want the guy to finish his term. That is not a good sign for the incumbent to have that many people that pissed off so early.
There are still three more recall efforts to go in Colorado, so we’ll see how they go.
But this shows that kind of showing in a relatively unorganized recall effort shows that Colorado gun owners can turn this situation around if they get off their butts. There are no excuses for Centennial State gun guys and gals next year.