Dec 10, 2015
This one evidently caused by an Israeli student. And ending with yet another Police Praise PSH. (Hey, maybe we need another tag, Sebastian?) This should be interesting to watch unfold. That had to have annoyed a lot of commuters, too; US 9 is a major artery for the area, as is NJ 18.
No pictures yet – if I come across one I’ll update. Wonder if he’ll be invited to the White House?
Dec 8, 2015
It’s always amazed me how often the gun control folks fail because they simply can’t help themselves from going a bridge too far. I can speak anecdotally that not many left-leaning folks have been willing to stand up and enthusiastically get behind the Terror Watch List proposal. But in this case, we can stop just speaking anecdotally, and note that the LA Times thinks the proposal is a bad one. That was followed up by Slate.
I’ve been of the opinion that the entire Bush-era “no fly” list as applied to flying is and ought to be ruled completely unconstitutional. Neither the 9th Amendment to the Bill of Rights, nor the “Privileges or Immunities” clause of the 14th Amendment does much for us these days, but it has been recognized to protect the rights of citizens to travel the country unimpeded. It’s good to see there are still some traditional liberals out there who find the use of secret government lists to restrict the liberties of citizens distasteful.
Via Glenn Reynolds, who notes: “To be fair, the whole thing was just intended as a distraction from Obama’s many national security failures, not as a serious proposal.”
When Democrats would rather talk about gun control, an issue that they not long ago regarded as poison, how bad have things really gotten for them?
Nov 20, 2015
I don’t see how this “case of mistaken identity” had a positive outcome, other than no-one was harmed by the police responding to a bogus “Man With Gun” call. And then the cops double down and encourage people to make bogus calls. Topped off by the Lancaster Safety Coalition “review[ing] footage” and “see[ing] how the tripod could be mistaken for a gun at first glance.” Mrs Grundy in the 21st Century?
Nov 16, 2015
A few figures on the right politicized the terrorist attack in Paris pretty much while it was happening. I might agree with the sentiments expressed, that people are generally made safer by having a well-armed population who are well-trained (dare I say well-regulated?) in the use of those arms. But I agree that jumping right in with fodder intended for domestic political audiences is distasteful. But my question for the folks arguing this: is it wrong when Obama jumps in with political rhetoric immediately following mass shootings? Is it wrong when gun control advocates immediately start pushing their policies in the media immediately in the wake of mass shootings? If you say it’s wrong for Newt Gingrich to do it, but fine for Barack Obama, then you have a double standard, and pardon me if I don’t then start thinking your an unthinking partisan. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having the policy discussion. That will inevitably come. But I do think it’s the decent thing to do to tame the rhetoric until people have had a chance to process what happened. At least give it a few days.
And notice, in the linked article, the Washington Post laments politicizing the attacks, and then turns around and belches out several anti-gun talking points, like they couldn’t help themselves, and like that itself is not controversial or political. So who’re really the assholes here? You’d almost think for as narcissistic as some in the media are, they might look in the mirror now and then.
Oct 2, 2015
No doubt as soon as the murderer’s name was known, his face was plastered all over the news. It was disappointing to even see people on our side doing it. Now it has come to light that the UCC murderer may have had the attention on his mind. Notice what the killer said about the Roanoke TV murderer:
On an interesting note, I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are. A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.
And thus the seed was planted in the mind of the next whack job. I feel a bad for quoting his writing here, but I want people to see, and see clearly, that when people on our side suggest the infamy the media offers these losers is a big part of what drives them to do these horrible things, we’re not blowing smoke. Here it is, plain as day for anyone to see.
Last night I was introduced to this effort by the family members of one of the Aurora victims. I’ve had a policy for a while now that I won’t mention the mass killer’s name. I won’t print their pictures or publish their manifestos. I won’t help them find what they seek. If only the media would do the same.
Oct 1, 2015
… Lauren Holter of Bustle, who points out the evils of the National Rifle Association for, before the mass shooting, mind you, sending a tweet showing how to get a good sight picture. Because I guess people who are into shooting just shoot wildly around the range, consequences be damned. Completely ignoring NRA’s 144 year history of teaching marksmanship, which is its primary mission (the political stuff exists only because people won’t fucking leave us alone), she then goes on to accept Bloomberg’s claim about school shootings hook, line and sinker, even though these claims have been debunked even by left-leaning fact checkers.
While the NRA focused on how shooters can improve their aim, 10 people were killed in Oregon because a school shooter knew how to aim a gun. It’s quite simple really — mass shootings always involve at least one gun.
Congratulations, that is officially the dumbest thing I’ve read all week. But don’t despair, there’s sure to be a lot stupid thing flying around the media until the Storm of the Century of the Year pushes all this off the front page, so maybe you’ll get topped.
Sep 22, 2015
L’affaire Ahmed has been reverberating across my facebook feed for a while now, and it looks like we’ve gotten about all the facts that are going to be shaken loose outside of discovery in a civil suit (if there is one). And while I can’t say I’m surprised at some of the knicker-twisting, I’m a little disappointed. First, a picture of the clock (or hoax bomb). CNN says this is police provided. No real scale is provided, but note the power plug – the case is approximately the size of the top half of a piece of paper, when closed, per this amazon listing. (Amazon listing complete with self-amusing internet jokers in comments)
According to this post and comments (which is where I pulled the above pics from), the guts are a 1970s-1980s vintage digital clock, contained in a pencil box available on Amazon. Since the CNN article notes that it was discovered in Ahmed’s backpack when an alarm went off, I’m going to assume that there was a 9V battery in place at the time (or some other on-board power source since removed).
Now, there are (at least) two competing narratives running around. Ahmed’s story is that he made this as an alarm clock, brought it in to show a teacher, and then another teacher discovered it and brought it to the attention of the authorities, who then flipped out, etc. The other narrative is that he deliberately made a fake bomb, and allowed it to be discovered, because Reasons. The second narrative really doesn’t pass Occam’s Razor for me, though. First, that’s a really bad fake IED. A real IED is supposed to be innocuous, of course, and not draw attention to itself until too late. A fake one, that you might want to use in a bomb scare, on the other hand, needs to be obvious. This is a pencil box when closed up, with nothing (except possibly the power cord) showing on the outside to make you think it’s anything else. And when it’s open, where’s the “payload?” Even Hollywood Bombs have obvious explosives in them. No play-doh, no red-painted cylinders with wires coming off of them, nothing that shouts “I’m a thirty-minute bomb, I’m a thirty-minute bomb!” Secondly, there’s the whole “he didn’t make that” meme, because it’s a commercial product, disassembled and half-way mounted into the case; rather than being a from-scratch project. The thing is, it’s a 30-ish year old clock, in a recent case. There’s an incongruity there that irks me. Finally, Ahmed’s behavior doesn’t fit. Why did he establish the device was his own practically as the first thing he did upon bringing it to school, and why did he maintain possession of it the entire time he was in school?
Here’s my theory. A 14-year old tinkerer was bored one day and opened up a broken alarm clock made before he was born, and got it working again (loose wire, broken solder, what have you). He decides to install the repaired clock into a pencil case, and he’s “made” himself a custom alarm clock from stuff lying around his desk. In a fit of 14-year-old enthusiasm and forethought typical of 14-year-old enthusiasm, he takes this alarm clock he made into school to show his friends and teachers this cool thing he did. In previous times, it might have been a shiny new pocketknife, or a wrist rocket (slingshot), etc. He shows it to a friendly teacher, who may have encouraged his ambitions, but tells him to keep it out of view because someone might overreact. Ahmed goes on with his day, forgetting he has an alarm set (or not knowing. I have a similar vintage alarm clock that is distressingly easy to accidentally arm the alarm on, and it’s defaulted to 0000 hrs. Very annoying). Alarm goes off in his backpack, disrupts class, teacher wants to see, teacher freaks. Then the school administration, being a bunch of zero-tolerance idiots, freaks and bring in Johnny Law. Ahmed insists he’s done nothing wrong – it’s a clock, see? Keeps time and everything. Possibly following the advice given out regularly around these parts of “don’t talk to the law without a lawyer.” The notable thing at this point is that the school administration never believed it was a real bomb, since they didn’t do evacuate the school or otherwise put into action bomb-scare plans. Instead, they jumped right to bringing down the hammer on what, at most, is a little understandable high-school-frosh eager stupidity, and thus splashing this all over the country.
Bringing the thing into school wasn’t the wisest idea in the world, and I’m not going to say the school should have not reacted at all, but calling the cops in and interrogating a student without benefit of counsel with the cops present? Yeesh.
Sep 8, 2015
In last week’s news link we covered a tweet from CSGV of a protest outside the office of Virginia State Senator John Edwards:
It would seem the local CBS affiliate in southwest Virginia has turned that fantastic crowd of people into “dozens” of protestors. To be fair, it looks like there were one or two more people than are showing in CSGV’s picture, but that doesn’t raise the number to even a dozen, let alone “dozens.” That implies a crowd of at least 24, and more realistically 36. You don’t have 24 people at that protest. The gun control movement would have died years ago if they didn’t have the media willfully helping them drive their preferred narratives.
Aug 17, 2015
If I had a list of rules of effective political advocacy, on that list would be that you should be able to know and argue your opponents position as well as, or better than they can. The left-leaning Vox.com runs an article speaking truth about who they are up against in the fight for more gun control, and I think they pretty much get it right.
But money alone cannot explain the gun lobby’s success. Members of the NRA and allied groups bring an intensity, volume, asymmetry, and geographic reach of passion that is rare in American politics. Until that is matched on the other side, the gun lobby will continue to win.
This is essentially why Bloomberg struggles for success, despite being able to outspend us. If the Democrats were supportive of the Second Amendment, even if it was just lukewarm, I could probably find better things to do on election days when I’m dissatisfied with the Republican choices on other issues (which I usually am).
Aug 17, 2015
Apparently someone at CNN Money heard of a company selling surplus flamethrowers for $1600 bucks, and laid an egg when they found out that they are totally unregulated. It seems even more silly to ban flamethrowers as it does firearms. A super soaker would not be the world’s safest flamethrower, but if you were hell bent on harming people it would do in a pinch. It won’t set you back $1600 dollars either. I believe it is Joe Huffman who often argues that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted with matches and gasoline either. It would seem there are plenty of people who agree! But probably not in a way that promotes freedom.