Tag Archives: Debates

Fueling Wider Instability

But there’s a downside to DIY security. In arming itself and taking on intelligence tasks, Obo is essentially giving up on ever receiving help from Central African Republic’s impoverished government. That can only further undermine the government’s tenuous legitimacy — and could fuel wider instability in the future.

Sounds scary, they should stop before someone gets hurt. Let us go back to the beginning of the article:

Then the dreadlocked fighters from the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group — tongo-tongo, the villagers call them — rose from their hiding places in the shadows and advanced toward the fire. Others blocked the paths leading from town. The rebels killed anyone who resisted, kidnapped 100 others and robbed everyone in sight.

…The girls would be given to LRA officers as trophies, raped and made to bear children who would represent the next generation of LRA foot soldiers.

So, how, pray-tell will the villagers arming themselves make this any worse? And how, exactly, was the government able to help to begin with? What plan would you propose to solve this problem, while strengthening the government?

Alright, you smarmy little bugger, what would you propose the village do? And what should we be doing? Demand a plan of me and offer none yourself! I would say that the village should do exactly as it is now, and that we should find a way to donate a crate of pistols  to the village with a few ammo cans of the appropriate caliber. Arm the mothers and fathers with the sidearms to carry as they see fit and then see how successful a guerrilla would be in kidnapping their children. You want government legitimacy? Have the BATFE send some of its confiscated weapons over to help arm the scouts. I’d talk about improving the villages communication capabilities, but there is already a group doing just that.

But that would be illegal and the ATF exists to prevent such things! If they can send new guns to Mexico to shoot Border Patrol agents, they can send some used ones to shoot rapists in Africa.

Volunteers in an isolated community taking their valuable time to patrol for danger and communicate with their fellows. Is that threatening government legitimacy, or is that what a legitimate government should be?

(Hat tip to Uncle.)


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The Four Rules Are Not Negotiable…

…Except when they are in a couple of very select circumstances.

There is much talk of late on the topic of Cooper’s Four Rules. Opinions range from the dogmatic, to the free-world-do-what-you-want-hippy-commune-shit, to the he who is without sin, to the call-it-like-it-is crowd.

Being the opinionated asshole that I am, let me throw in my two cents:

The rules are the fucking rules. Obey them or expect to be called out. If called out, admit and accept responsibility, or we have a personal problem.

1. All Guns Are Always Loaded: Yup. “What are you doing checking the chamber, I just cleared that pistol?” Good for you, I haven’t. The weapon is now in my possession and is my responsibility. Plenty of people have been shot with “unloaded” guns. Rule one is a fallacy, yet a necessity. It keeps the famous excuse of “it’s not loaded” from being in any way defensible. This is not a cat in a box with a radiactive vial, the gun is either loaded or it is not, but the point is to always act as though your weapon is loaded. Would you feel better if we tossed the word “assume” into the rule? Rule one is about removing any temptation to violate the others.

2. Never Let Your Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Willing To Destroy: Yup, with minor exceptions relating to rule 1. If the barrel is a mere pipe separate from the rest of the weapon, it is treated as a pipe. If I need to inspect a bore and can’t entirely remove the barrel, I triple check to be sure the weapon is unloaded, put my light in the chamber, and then inspect the bore. My light acts as a chamber plug/flag, I have verified empty, and once I see what I need of the chamber, I don’t hang out, I get my head out of the way. If I need to clean a weapon where I can’t remove the barrel/slide/swing out the cylinder/pop the bolt, I keep my eye on the chamber the whole time. The exceptions also only apply to you personally, it is never okay to muzzle someone else, ever.  These are the only exceptions to the rule; no muzzling me or anyone around me and then responding with “It’s not loaded”, “It is okay because…”, “You weren’t there”, or any combination of the above.

3. Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On Target: Always, no exceptions. “What about a Mosin where you have to pull the trigger to get out the bolt?” “A GLOCK where you need to drop striker to strip?” Use a backstop that you wouldn’t mind dumping a bullet into, easy as that.

4. Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Beyond It: Absolutely, positively, always, no exceptions ever.

5. Never Try To Catch A Falling Gun: My Four Rules are like Adam’s Hitchhiker’s trilogy. No exceptions to this one, either. 

“Hey, what about the military, force-on-force, blah blah?” The four rules do not apply to military in (actively in) essential training, as far as I am concerned. Even then, the Four Rules are only temporarily on hold when a shitload of safety checks are performed. Outside of essential training, the four rules go right back into effect. This training is not, never has been, and never will be safe.

“Do you honestly consider dropping a hammer on an empty chamber at the ground to be firing a weapon?” Yes, I do, whether or not lead screams out the barrel with a boom matters not to me. If I replaced “the ground” with “a little girl’s chest” would you still think you weren’t firing a gun?

“What about blanks?” In close quarters scenes in movies, flashpaper non-guns are used because blanks have hurt and killed people. Just ask Brandon Lee if you don’t believe me. If you want to make a movie, use the same care as the military should, and don’t be surprised if someone gets hurt.

“If all guns are always loaded, we could never dry-fire.” Yes, we can dry-fire, at an appropriate backstop, and we should not be surprised if the gun actually goes bang. I use snap caps when I dry fire, it helps keep live ammo out, helps me practice reloads and failure drills, prevents firing pin damage, and the gun is loaded, just with a different kind of ammo. Dry fire on empty brass/chamber, assume that the damn gun is loaded and you don’t get nasty surprises.

Are you an idiot, bad person, incompetent who should be disarmed, asshole for violating a rule? No, unless you did it intentionally, then you are a first-class asshole.

Are you an asshole for doing anything except say “whoops” or, in the case of anyone you muzzled, “sorry” when it is brought to your attention that you buggered a rule? Yes, and I do not want you near me.

Let’s review the above point:

You post a video in which you muzzle someone and it is brought to your attention. You say, “Crap, I should not have done that.” Life goes on.

You muzzle me, and get called out, you say, “Sorry man.” All is forgiven, life goes on.

You muzzle me, and with knowledge of the Four Rules, say, “It’s unloaded.” I go home, and we no longer associate with each other. One person got away with, in the sense that we are still friends, “It’s not loaded” and that was only because he didn’t know better and immediately responded to my very angry lecture on the Four Rules with, “I’m sorry man.” I no longer go to the range with, or hand a weapon to  anyone before they know the Four Rules as a result of my friend’s unloaded comment.

I muzzle you, please call me out on it. I have muzzled people (plural) before in my younger years, and once somewhat recently*. I try my damndest not to, and if I fuck up, I need to hear it, even if it is from someone who just muzzled me.

People may not like the Four Rules, my interpretation of them, or both, but they don’t have to go shooting with me.

There, my chest, she feels lighter.

* I have become accustomed to carrying a slung long-arm muzzle down on my weak side. The day I pulled that boner, I had a 91/30 avec bayonet slung muzzle up on my strong side. I was picking something off the ground next to a friend and almost rammed my bayonet into his eye. He told me, and I said, “Shit-fuck-damn-it-to-bloody-hell, I’m sorry.”

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Filed under Meme Thingies, The Drunken Philosopher

Reactionary Politics Are Not Always Best, Unless They Are Mine

“The thought of armed students doesn’t make me feel any safer,” said Caleb Goodman, a political science senior. – Um, you had an armed student despite policy. Isn’t that a little bit of a sign to you that you aren’t safe as-is? If you were in my wife’s class, she might smack you for saying something stupid, but she wouldn’t shoot you. The mutant who would kill you in a suicidal rage is already proven to have the gun anyway, yet my wife carrying makes you feel less safe?

“I’m sure it will come back up … but reactionary politics are not always best.” – Like the ones that banned carry to begin with?

“Everyone wants legislators to make laws to protect them, and that’s our job,” explains Williams, who is NRA-endorsed, “but you can’t legislate against crazy.” – No, it isn’t your job. The laws you pass are a way to isolate criminals from society so they don’t harm anyone again.

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Filed under Politica

From the Left: The right to bear arms? Still?

“Today, we’re much more technologically advanced in so many ways. We even have the iPad. Do we still need to use guns?” – You bean a rapist with your iPad, I’ll bean him with a 180 grain piece of lead (or two, or fourteen) moving at about 900 feet per second. We’ll compare notes when we are done.

“Are people really going to shoot, and maybe even kill a robber, over a television? We would hope that people care more about a life than they care about a materialistic possession.” – I would also hope that people would care more about life than materialism. If someone cares more about my wallet than my children’s or my own safety, I will do what it takes to end the threat. That isn’t killing over a mere thing; it is killing in defense of one’s own life.

“Public safety should be left to trained professionals, such as police” – Where to start?

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“Keep it in your pants.”

The battle cry of the concealed carry crowd.

“Concealed means concealed.” Duh.

“Open carry is the original constitutional carry.” No, just carrying the damn gun is.

“Concealed means you have something to hide.” No, it just means that you don’t know I have it.

“Concealed is more tactical.” Excuse me, I’m leaving before I call you a fucking idiot. Tactical surprise goes out the window when the asshole pulls his gat first. At that point, you are behind the ball and reacting desperately. With the added benefit of cover garments to tangle in.

“Open deters crime.” Sure, maybe, possibly, potentially, theoretically, at times.

“It is simple to conceal.” Not a full-size pistol, and not in the summer. The supertuck is amazing, until you rip your shirt on the pistol’s safety practicing your tucked draw, and the muzzle eats a hole in your pants.

“Open carry is so easy and natural.” I guess, until your sidearm gets tangled in your seatbelt, wears a hole in your car seat,  your arm gets scraped on the hammer serrations, and you clunk it into your shopping cart at the store. Oh yeah, retention holsters are a fun transition from open tops. Yup, re-training muscle memory to hit the release, so easy and natural.

For me to hide my Beretta 96, I need: a snazzy $90 Supertuck, a sturdy belt, pants that are too big for me, I can’t bend, sit with someone on my weapon side, crouch, or let someone hug me.

To openly carry my Beretta, I need: a $45 SERPA CQC, a sturdy belt, pants are optional, but I wear them anyway, in MY size, and I don’t have to worry about what people see.

Both have upsides, downsides, and a unique set of challenges. Neither is wrong.

I will admit that each mode of carry has its time and place, but that is for each person to decide. How you carry is about as much anyone else’s business as whether or not you carry a rubber or whether you should be using your salad fork for your escargot.  

For the record, I conceal around town to avoid conflicts with family. I open carry out-of-town and in the woods because I prefer it. I’m not macho, stupid, tactical, discrete or looking for trouble. I am just going about my life. The holier than thou zealots on both sides can feel free to shut up.

The next installment on topics like this will either be about carrying knives or “why are you carrying that in here?”

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Filed under The Drunken Philosopher

A Maggot By Any Other Name

So, it seems that there is a bit of a brouhaha dividing biologists of the world.

I did some failed breeding with Drosophila melanogaster in high school. They are vile, smelly, annoying little bugs. If they were called Sophophora melanogaster instead, they would have still been vile, smelly, annoying little bugs.

I am becoming increasingly disappointed with the scientific community. The entire foundation of science is research into fact. Scientists, however, seem to overlook that whenever their opinions are other than what research suggests. The bug was mis-named, get over it. Taking all of the other members of the genus Drosophila, and naming them something else is just an act of hubris. Sentimentality has no place in science. Maybe these objectors should become historians instead. Then they can use Drosophila melanogaster all they want in it’s proper context, a historical one. The rest of the world can then move on and make progress.

“The similarity with Pluto is that you are talking about habit, sociology and psychology: these are more important to the name than actual science.” No, they aren’t, you stupid git.

“What the hell is Drosophila melanogaster?” Click the “Animal Diversity” link under “Interesting Stuff” on the sidebar and punch it into the search bar once you get there.

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Filed under Pocket Protectors