Gopher State Re-education

Depending on who is crunching the data, the effect of concealed carry on crime is either 1) concealed carry causes a reduction in violent crime, or 2) concealed carry has no effect on the rate of violent crime.

My amateur analysis is just a little different.  Reports out of Chicago show a decrease in crime as a result of Illinois CCW.  Reports out of Texas, show that more concealed carry does nothing to reduce crime.  The way I see it, concealed carry is a deterrent.  Some percentage of criminals will avoid committing certain crimes because of the risk that a CCW permit holder will shoot back.  As more people get carry permits, the crime rate decreases, until as many criminals who can be deterred by CCW will be deterred, and the decrease in crime levels off.  An increase in the number of CCW after this point has no additional effect.  So a state like Illinois, which didn’t have concealed carry, adopts CCW and the crime rate goes down.  Texas has had CCW for years, so adding more permit holders really doesn’t do much at a statistical level.

What we can agree on, is that concealed carry has not turned every fender bending into a shootout at the OK Corral or caused the streets to run red with blood.  This is the inconvenient truth that anti-gunners do their damnedest to play down.  They will lie, they will obfuscate, they will look rape survivors in the eye and say concealed carry wound’t have protected them, or that their gun would have been taken and turned against them.  They will tell you that 0.0066% of carry permit holders are representative of concealed carry as a whole and so CCW needs to be banned (849 “concealed carry killers” according to the VPC out of 12.8 MILLION people with CCW permits nation wide).

So when 6,000 Minnesotans a month apply for concealed carry, it causes the anti-gunners to go into rectal pucker mode.  Not content with that fact that Minnesota requires CCW applicants to go through firearms safety training and a comprehensive background check, antis feel compelled to try and “reeducate” their fellow citizens with lies.

[A] significant number of Minnesotans believe that having a gun makes them safer, and unfortunately, this is not true except in very narrow circumstances. It means we have a lot of work to do in educating the public about the hazards posed by guns..”

They antis are losing on the issue of concealed carry big time.  The demands for permits is shooting through the roof.  So what is it that the antis do?

In the words of Adam Savage:

Charm City up close

I have been watching a show on Discovery Live, called Shock Trauma: Edge of Life.  It is filmed live inside of the emergency room of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  It is considered the best Level I Trauma Center in the United States, was the first hospital to use helicopters to transport trauma victims from the scene to the ER, and the model by which all trauma centers in the US are based.  Also, my sister works there.

The season only started in the new year, so there have only been five episodes so far.  The fourth was the most interesting since it was filmed during the Baltimore riots.  So far, there has been at least one shooting featured in each episode.  This is not surprising as Baltimore is listed at the No. 19 overall (No. 2 for US cities) in the top 50 cites in the world for homicides at 54.98 per 100,000.  On a side note, there are four US cities on that list, St. Louis (No. 15), Baltimore (No. 19), Detroit (No. 28), and New Orelans (No. 32), and you might notice a trend in which way these cities lean politically.

So far, only one of the shootings what gang-on-gang violence.  What caught me off guard was the number of people who were shot AFTER being mugged or were the victims of random violent crime.  One girl was shot in the belly by a guy in a convenience store, another guy was shot in the arm and his brother killed by some teen with a gun for being on the wrong street.  You watch these people tell their stories and by every account (including that of the police) the did everything “right” according to the school of “just give the criminal what he wants, you won’t get hurt if you resist” thought.  They didn’t resist.  They got shot away.  Their life’s were forever changed because of it.

The lesson to take away from this is: there is no “right” thing to do.  Give the mugger your cash, your watch, everything you have, and he’ll still shoot you if he wants.  This “your money isn’t worth your life” attitude puts you 100% at the mercy of the worst people.  There is no guarantee that capitulation will lead you be being unharmed.  Is your money worth fighting back for?  No, but your life is.

 

Equality under the gun

I have a young son, so my home life is a DC and Marvel universe crossover.  A lot of what is on the TV in the evening is superhero cartoons.

Being a gun guy, this got me thinking.  The old expression is God created all men, Sam Colt made them equal.  I believe this.  So what would gun ownership and CCW be like in an America where you are as likely to be the victim of a home invasion by a couple of punks as being the victim of a planetary invasion by a race of ancient, super powerful, inter-dimensional aliens?  Or when the guy who tries to mug you at the ATM isn’t just high on drugs, but can also turn his skin into a nearly impenetrable armor?

The basic moral justification for CCW is that no person should have to find themselves at the mercy of a bad guy.  What happens when the bad guy can jump tall buildings in a single bound?  A gun is a tool by which you can defend yourself.  In a super hero universe, I believe that people should have access to weapons that have the ability to take out superheroes.  I for one would be carrying, at the very minimum, something high capacity loaded with Hornady’s Mutant Defense Vibranium tipped, Krypton core ammo.

The SHOT Show would be a bazaar of awesomeness.  Every company would be trying to hock their latest and greatest in anti-super-villain ordinance.  I’d want to see Hickock45‘s review of the new Sig Sauer matter destabilizer.  If the bad guy can out run a bullet, you have to level up to directed energy weapons.  It’s just basic physics.

Also, if you can defend yourself from rape and bodily harm with lethal force, what about unwanted psychic probing?  Could you shoot a telepath for trying to read your mind?  I’d support that.  Nothing is more personal than your inner thoughts, and I don’t want someone in my head without permission.

I know that there are some politicians who say that it should be illegal for civilians to possess weapons of that power.  But would it really matter if I can buy a death ray if there are people running around born with the ability to destroy buildings with a glance or summon tornadoes on demand?

Maybe I’m over thinking it a little.  I don’t know.  What are your opinions on gun ownership in a superhero universe?

28th Amendment

I am sick of Iowa.  I am sick of the caucuses.  It is February 1st, and I am sick of the 2016 election cycle.

I propose a new system: Presidential Hunger Games.   All the candidates, Republican and Democrat, will be dropped into an arena to face nature and each other in fight to the death for the Oval Office.  Deployment to the arena will occur on the first Tuesday in November, and the last one alive wins.  If there is more than one candidate alive by the first Tuesday in January, a general election will be held on the following Tuesday to pick the winner.

Campaign contributions to candidates will be in the form of supplies of food, water, survival equipment, and melee weapons.  You can donate whatever you want, but a candidate can only eat and carry so much, rendering huge donations by a moneyed elite and big business pretty much obsolete.

I know, I know, this isn’t very democratic.  I think the last few elections, however, have shown that Americans, by and large, can’t handle democracy.  Being a responsible and educated electorate is just too difficult in an era where know-nothing reality TV stars are the primary source that many American’s get their political opinions from.

Like H.L. Mencken said: “When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand.  So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost… All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

If we work hard, we might be able to get this Amendment ratified in time to affect the 2016 election.  Then I propose we make this year’s arena in somewhere in the middle of the Serengeti.  Nothing would make me happier than to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump get turned into Hyena shit on national television.

Or maybe I’m just feeling bitter.

 

Making do with what you got

Australia is a mostly gun free paradise, with no appreciable violent crime, worth emulating by the United States, according to President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.  So imagine my surprise when I read about an armed robbery that occurred down under.  The store owner, lacking any legal firearms, did his best to defend himself from two armed individuals, with what he had… a homemade flamethrower (not pictured below)!!!

the-man-behind-the-awesome-flamethrower-guitar-player-in-mad-max-fury-road-is-a-popular-australian-musician

Armed with his bug spray and BBQ lighter, the store owner valiantly defends his life and livelihood for about a minute, and then is overpowered by the men with guns.  Fortunately for the store owner, he managed to escape with his life.  This could have ended a whole lot worse, which is what happens when you bring bug spray to a gun fight.  This is of course the same bad advice that NBC has given on the Today Show, minus the fire.

Beyond the theft of $680AUS, the real crime was that one of the robbers mutilated a Marlin Model 56 Lever-Matic .22 LR.  That alone makes me wish the store owner had managed to light one of the robbers on fire.

Lever Matic

As far as I’ve been able to glean from the interwebs, the store owner will not be charged with a crime.  At least he has that going for him.

I can’t say the same for the poor peasants living on the other side of the globe from Down Under.  In the wake of the Cologne New Years Eve rape-a-palooza, a Danish girl had the audacity to defend herself from a migrant attacker with a can of seasoning.  For her actions defending her womanly virtues, she is being punished for carrying a weapon.

In the countries our progressive betters believe are so much more sophisticated, the people have lost first the tools to, then the right to defend themselves.  There are states and localities in the US that are pushing for the same sophistication.

This I cannot abide.  I’m sorry, but pepper spray is not a weapon.  A Sig Sauer is a weapon.  Which is why I chose to carry the latter not the former.  Then again, I’m also an American.  And in my America, if you try to rob a store store owner at gunpoint or rape a woman, you get shot.  Then again, I’m as sophisticated as my paring of a bottle of Sam’s Club wine, Hickory Farms Smoked Cheddar Blend cheese, and Netflix.

California dreaming

Miguel made a couple of posts about the Hugh Glass of Possums.  I thought nothing more of it until the Academy Award nomination worthy story of the possum came back to me the long way around through the Book of Face.

As I read the comments posted on  Sunshine Haven Animal Rescue & Wildlife Rehabilitation‘s page I realized this episode is a perfect example of the incredibly wide and continuously growing cultural gulf that exists between liberalism and conservatism.

Between the two Facebook posts by Sunshine Haven, the original post and the one about the possum’s recovery, I counted 33 posts referring to the possum as a “baby” (including six calling him a “sweet baby”),  six calling him an “angel,”  as well as a few calling him “little guy” and “sweetie.”  A dozen people offered to adopt the possum.  There were demands that the person responsible be punished for animal abuse, and one person felt that the person who did this should be maimed.

Possum 1

The possum went though extensive surgery, and is recovering with a course of antibiotics.  I have not seen a cost listed for the surgery on the possum, but I know when my dog was playing with some of my wife’s yarn and then had bloody diarrhea, it cost us $900 to find out that she DID NOT swallow something and need to have surgery.  So I can only being to imagine how much saving this possum cost.  If there are any readers out there who work in animal or veterinary medicine and want to speculate, please leave your guess in the comments.

Over on the other side of of the known universe…

Here are some things facts about possums.  They have one of the smallest and least developed brains for a mammal of their size, and are remarkably stupid creatures.  Their lifespan is described as “unusually short” being only 2 to 4 years.  Possums rarely carry rabies, and eat ticks which helps prevent the spread of lime disease, but they poo a lot and can spread a number of parasites through feces as well as diseases like salmonella and toxoplasmosis.  They can do extensive property damage, a lot of it relating to pooping in insulation (gross pics).  There are a number of posts about the problems possums pose to chickens and horses.

While I, and most people, have no problem with possums in the wild, they are disease spreading nuisance creatures when they invade your home and yard.  Growing up in South Florida, I can attest to the annoyance they do when they get under your house and die there.  There are a number of websites that talk about how to get rid of possums, including how to humanly kill them.  They are no where near endangered and relocation can be difficult or illegal, not to mention all you are doing is making the possum someone else’s problem.

Of course there is no excuse for animal cruelty.  While I don’t know the motivation for someone putting two crossbow bolts through a possum, my speculation is that it was someone trying to dispatch the critter while it was on his property.  Given that there is a $5,000 reward for information on the shooter, made available by through donations by people who presumably have their pitchforks sharpened and torches lit, we may never know the motivation.

Possums are notoriously hard to kill.  I showed Miguel’s post to a coworker who is a big time hunter.  I mean, has a taxidermy animal at his work station level hunter.  He commented that possums are just about bulletproof, recounting that his dad put about a dozen rounds of 22 LR HP into one, and had to finish it off with a splitting maul to the head. The ability to withstand multiple gunshots, both 22’s and 45’s has been confirmed on other message boards.  So I can only imagine that the shooter thought that he had made two good, killing, shots on the possum, not realizing just how Wade Wilson these critters are.

So there you have it.  One side that thinks of possums as “sweet babies” and “little angels” and just wants to give them hugs and snuggles; and will spend an incalculable sum of money to save one from death for another… 6 months to a year of natural life.  The other side who acknowledges that they are wild animals and a nuisance that spread disease and are damaging to property and livestock.

This difference in attitude is how Californians can prioritize the water needs of a bait fish over hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland.

This difference in attitude is why places like California and Colorado can decriminalize marijuana in defiance of federal law while clamping down on gun rights in a continuous attempt to do away with the Second Amendment in their states.

This difference is seen in every response a terrorist attack and mass shooting, whether we should increase the number gun free zones or ease how law abiding citizens obtain concealed carry permits.

This is the difference between believing “hands up don’t shoot” and a non-indictment by a grand jury.

I think Bill Maher put it best when he said “I think liberals have to stop insisting that the world is the way they want to it be instead of the way it is… [Y]ou cannot just insist that the reality that you think about in your head is the reality that exists in the world.”  Sure he was talking about ISIS, but he could be talking about just about any issue in America anymore.

How we as a nation address our national problems is a directly related to how we view them.  Were the rioters in Ferguson and other cities sweet babies or wild animals?  What about the San Bernardino terrorists?  Homeless peeing in the streets of NYC?

Like Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”  For me, the fact is a possum is a nuisance animal.

 

New York News

There has been a slashing spree in New York City.  There have been a number of edge weapon attacks in the NYC Subway system recently, including a woman hacked up with a machete.  In response to this, the Mayor of NYC has encouraged residence of New York to buy and carry guns to defend themselves from blade wielding attackers.

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I’m kidding.  Of course he’s not.  The NYC government just decriminalized peeing in the street and turnstile jumping  because… post Giuliani NYC was just too nice?  No, the local media is downplaying the Subway slashing with a “crime happens, nothing to see here” casualness.  Of course more people will be killed, but as long nobody gets killed in an act of self defense, who in NYC really cares?