Nov 23, 2013
You’ll need to pardon me for venting, but I’m just getting really sick of petty tyrants and nanny staters in all walks of life. It’s not just in the gun issue. It turns out that my newest hobby – genealogy – has some rather extreme examples, as I have recently discovered.
Getting into genealogy, you quickly learn that you will never stop learning and that you’ll never know everything. You have to understand people, families, history, local issues to where everyone was living, etc. The best example of just how complicated it can get just doing the paperwork genealogy is in this summary of a shifting political boundary situation highlighted in a DAR brochure: “Thus, in 1800, a man who had lived on the same land in Mason County for less than a quarter of a century had resided in two states and five counties, and he had not moved an inch!” This doesn’t include the nightmare of different record keeping requirements for different times and states. In other words, you have to be a naturally curious person who is eager to learn in order to effectively and correctly conduct genealogical research.
Now, mix in genetic genealogy. This means taking DNA tests to discover genetic cousins who you might not have found yet doing traditional genealogy. This also means learning even more about science so you know how to use those results, along with everything you need to know about traditional genealogy. In other words, you have to be a seriously inquisitive person to really take up this hobby. Sebastian and I are pretty inquisitive folks, so we’ve been learning quite a lot as we go along.
To supplement our learning, I joined a Facebook group set up by super users of an atDNA comparison tool to learn from the conversations and questions that come up there. It’s administered by a couple of women who are very experienced with genetics, so I have learned some things. (For example, there’s a ~50% chance that any of your given 4th cousins won’t show up as a DNA match, despite the fact that you both likely carry at least some DNA from the people who were your common ancestors.) However, I recently discovered that these women are kind of psychotic gatekeepers. It’s like the worst stereotypes of the church trying to keep the masses uneducated for their own good in that place.
I merely argued that Maryland’s current system that restricts DNA testing through companies like 23andMe is silly because people shouldn’t be given barriers to their own genetic information. Good lord, it’s like I advocated for complete anarchy. “But people might get confused!” “But people might not interpret something correctly!” “What if someone makes a bad decision?” Suggesting that people make poor decisions every day and that there are already many things that confuse many people, and that maybe confusion is what inspires learning got me banned. Yup, banned. (More about the NY & MD restrictions on DNA testing here if you’re interested.)
We’re not talking guns here, folks. We’re talking education. They were appalled that I would suggest opening up the doors of testing that might lead more people to better understand their own personal DNA. I was actually criticized for being possibly more reasonable than other people and daring to assume that others are even capable of being as logical as I might be.
But it didn’t stop there.
Someone posted a link to a genetic genealogy blogger who recently solved a 30-year genealogy mystery through DNA connections and she used thresholds lower than normal to do it. They are normally thresholds of measuring DNA that aren’t worth investigating because they are too small to easily point you in the right direction. However, because this woman has discovered many genetic cousins and identified their common ancestors, she knows how to effectively use these smaller connections and tells people about her success. In the group run by petty tyrants, she was condemned for daring to share her discovery because somewhere, someone might possibly read it and get their hopes up about making connections on these small shared DNA segments.
So, in other words, they are against giving people access to their DNA results since someone might get confused. They are against bloggers blogging about how they have successfully used DNA results to make genealogical discoveries because someone might get confused. They are against allowing conversation on topics which might confuse people, too. (They recently announced a ban in the group on conversations about smaller segment DNA matches since even the conversation might confuse people.) To me, it was like the BS that Chicago initially tried to pull after McDonald – you need training, but we won’t allow ranges where you can learn. The same thing in Boston (assuming they still do this) where you have to shoot a certain score on a target to get your gun license, but you can’t buy your own handgun to practice with until you get the license.
I don’t know how you solve this problem when their ultimate goal is to keep people stupid. Clearly, this is not a new attitude in human history. We’ve seen it repeated over and over. Regardless, it still drives me nuts since I can’t seem to get away from them, even when I take up a new hobby!
Nov 22, 2013
This is interesting. According to an AP interview with NSSF’s CEO, they considered moving their Newtown headquarters where they have been for 20 years in response to the shooting there.
The article says that even though they didn’t get political until the gun control proposals that would hurt the industry were brought up, their employees who were also impacted by the shooting were still bothered by neighbors who complained about their presence.
Nov 20, 2013
The women behind Moms Demand Action don’t believe that you’re allowed to have a voice at all. See, they are encouraged to lobby and engage in activism. But, if a pro-gun person does it, it’s classified as a case of bullying. There is no disagreement allowed in their world. Everyone must always agree, or they must be treated and punished as bullies for daring to express an alternative view.
Nov 20, 2013
If your spunky little niece comes home from college for the holiday and sits down at the table to lecture the family on the benefits of Obamacare and gun control, cut her a little slack. She’s just obeying orders from her president and a billionaire businessman who wants to run her life.
Seriously, have these people ever heard of keeping politics and religion away from the dinner table at the holidays? Why are they trying to convince young people that a great way to sell their message is to annoy the hell out of everyone who just wants to celebrate Thanksgiving?
On second thought, I hope many of them will do it. Go on little lemmings and annoy your family members during this holiday season. Be a representative of overly obnoxious government intrusion into all aspects of our personal lives! It will do wonders for your cause.
Nov 19, 2013
There’s a move afoot to designate an official state firearm for Pennsylvania. What would it be? The Pennsylvania rifle, of course. From Sen. Richard Alloway:
I plan on introducing legislation that would designate the Pennsylvania Rifle as the official firearm of the Commonwealth.
The Pennsylvania Rifle played a vital role in the development of firearms in the 18th century and is considered the first truly American firearm.
Developed by gunsmiths in Northampton and Lancaster counties, the Pennsylvania Rifle was a long-barreled rifle that differed from any other type of firearm in existence. It was lauded not only for its exceptional accuracy and range, but also for its unique beauty and craftsmanship.
Upon its development, the Pennsylvania Rifle was widely used by frontiersman during the American fur trade and was an important tool of survival as our ancestors traveled west and south to discovered new lands.
Given the appreciation for firearms among many Pennsylvanians, I believe that it is time for the Commonwealth to acknowledge the significant heritage of the Pennsylvania Rifle.
It is my hope that designating the Pennsylvania Rifle as the Commonwealth’s official firearm will help our citizens to be aware of the substantial role that this rifle has played in the Commonwealth’s gun making traditions and in the development of America.
The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission features a write-up on the history of the Pennsylvania rifle.
If your state doesn’t already have an official state firearm, what firearm would you pick for your state and why is that your top choice?
Nov 19, 2013
The Brady Campaign is claiming that they are right on the cusp of getting a win on federal gun control legislation:
The president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence claimed momentum Tuesday in a renewed push for more stringent federal gun control regulations.
The article notes that conventional wisdom says that, um, gun control is dead for this Congress, and very likely for the next session, assuming the GOP doesn’t screw up just about every Senate race to the same degree they did 2012.
It could be argued that conventional wisdom is correct, especially with Joe Biden using the gun control group’s efforts as an example of what not to do for immigration policies.
On the other hand, Gross’s claim is that they focused on chipping away just a few of the folks who supported the Second Amendment to reach 60 votes. This is likely just a claim since he refused to name any names, but it is a reminder that gun owners in those purple, blue or just barely red states who had either Democrats or Republicans voting with us need to remind those lawmakers that they are still watching any moves they make on the gun control issue.
Nov 19, 2013
Did you know that in Ohio, some police officers are allowed to be on their way to legal intoxication, get in a car, drive to pull over other motorists, and arrest people who have lower BACs than the officer making the arrest? This special protection is offered through union contracts, and chiefs who have been disturbed by the double standard can’t get it removed.
This is just a reminder that it’s not just on gun issues that we see special protections for police officers who may have the authority to arrest a citizen for engaging in the same kind of behavior that isn’t hurting anyone else.
Nov 19, 2013
Mike Bloomberg believes in guns for personal defense. Of course, he means hired guns that few can actually afford unless you’re one of the elite.
According to the NY Daily News, Bloomberg has offered his ~15 member security team who are all current NYC officers $100k salaries to retire from the force and keep working for him.
If you can’t afford $1.5 million+ every year in security detail expenses, well, then that’s just too bad.
Nov 18, 2013
From the Virginia Shooting Sports Association:
Gun control activist Lori Haas has been appointed to the McAuliffe transition team.
This woman is not a general political leader who just happened to stick her toe into the gun control waters. Her entire mission is gun control, and she now works for CSGV. Obama doesn’t even recognize them as a mainstream enough gun control group to invite them to the weekly White House meetings, according to the press.
And, yet, this is what Virginians voted for in regards to gun laws. Good luck, folks.
Nov 18, 2013
Mike Bloomberg knows how to find the very best representatives to help him in his effort to promote gun control for the little people. Men like Monticello, NY Mayor Gordon Jenkins support his efforts, and Bloomberg proudly boasts of their support.
Let’s look at the man who wants to help Bloomberg take the most popular firearms today off the market through gun bans:
In 2011, according to news accounts, Jenkins admitted to “selling knockoff Nike sneakers and bogus DVDs” out of his store. He was convicted and paid a fine.
In 2012, Jenkins was arrested for hitting and injuring a local police officer in an altercation outside of his beauty supply store. That case against him is actually coming up next month in court.
This weekend, Jenkins was arrested for drunk driving, refusing to take the sobriety test, then resisting arrest, and punching police department property once they finally got him down to the station.
This mayor who, based on his arrest record, seemingly likes to punch law enforcement-related things – officers and property – is the kind of guy that Bloomberg is proud to promote as his ally today. (h/t to NYSRPA)