Thursday, August 8, 2019

Serious Gun Law Fixes Demand Serious Discussion by Serious People



Unfortunately, that leaves out the Washington Post (WaPo) and ALL the Democrat Presidential Candidates!


Passing laws dealing with gun “cosmetics” rather than “ballistic characteristics” is stupid so as soon as I hear a politician or reporter use the terms “assault rifle” or “military style” I immediately dismiss them as clueless. We need a serious discussion of the issues by people that actually know what they’re talking about but all I hear from people that couldn’t pick the AR-15 out in a line up with Nerf guns is we need "common sense gun laws." To help educate these people I have put together this graphic so they can identify the different types of weapons.




Seems Politicians and reporters that keep demanding gun legislation never seem to be able to suggest many "common sense" Laws and the WaPo is no exception. I’m all in favor of universal background checks, keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and people who have received less than honorable discharges from the Military, and “Red Flag” Law. I’m also for limiting magazine size to 10 rounds although a trained shooter can change magazines in a fraction of a second. Unfortunately, most of the mass shootings would not have been prevented by a background check as the shooters didn’t have anything recorded that would have stopped them from legally buying a gun.

How about we start by fixing the major flaw in the Background Checks system by making states report data and require the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) be checked BEFORE ALL gun sales.  Presently over half the States do not populate the NICS with State criminal or mental health information. Unfortunately, the fix may be difficult. Using the same argument California is using to defend their Sanctuary State Laws protecting illegal aliens from ICE Agents, it may be impossible to force States to enter data into the NICS to keep people with disqualifying criminal or mental conditions from purchasing a firearm.

Next, maybe we should be writing laws that address acceptable weapons and ammunition ballistic characteristics rather than using such meaningless terms as “military style” and “assault rifles.” It would probably surprise most anti-gun zealots to learn that if I were to saw the pistol grip and flash suppressor off a semiautomatic AR-15 it would not fit the Federal or any State definition of an “assault rifle” yet the lethality of the weapon would be unchanged.  It’s like passing “cosmetic” laws banning two door cars because they look sporty so people that drive them may be inclined to speed. When NY state passed the SAFE Act shortly after Sandy Hook, it basically outlawed AR-15 style rifles yet within a week manufactures were selling a work around that was the same basic gun missing a couple features like the pistol grip.

I would add the true definition of a Military “Assault Rifle” is “a selective-fire rifle (capability to be adjusted to fire in semi-automatic, burst mode, and/or fully automatic firing mode) that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.”  Hence, Military “Assault Rifles” have been strictly regulated since passage of the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. This federal law regulates fully automatic weapons, suppressors, short-barreled rifles and shotguns and was subsequently modified in 1968 by the Gun Control Act and in 1986 by the Firearm Owners Protection Act.  NFA items are highly regulated and a special license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is required to manufacture, sell, and own any of these items, without exception.

One final piece of educational material for the WaPo, Military Style semi-automatic Assault Rifles are not the major problem as the vast majority of firearm deaths are caused by handguns. Also, in fact Assault Rifles are LESS Lethal than the standard hunting rifle.  The .223 round fired by the AR-15 (the single shot civilian equivalent of the M-4/M16) is less lethal than the .308 Winchester which is the standard round used in hunting rifles.  The .308 is very similar to the military 7.62x51 NATO cartridge fired by the M-14 rifle and M-60 Machine Gun, but the .308 is loaded to higher pressures.  In Vietnam I’ve seen enemies hit with both the .223 (5.56mm) M-16 round and the 7.62 fired by both the M-240/M-60 and the M-14 and given the choice I’d much prefer to be hit by the smaller and less powerful .223 every time.  Seems those who have never served don’t know this.

In conclusion, I support the US Constitution and the Second Amendment that guarantees every citizen the right to own a firearm for self-protection. Ask any citizen who has been directed by law enforcement to “shelter in place” because a crazed killer was loose in their neighborhood and if they answer honestly, they will confess they wished they had had a firearm. But I also agree there are some limits such as the ban on automatic weapons and high capacity magazines that should be enacted but law abiding citizens should never be deprived of their Constitutionally protected right to possess a fire arm for self-protection; otherwise, only criminals that don’t abide by laws anyway will have guns and the rest of us will be classified as “their victims.”

Serious fixes demand serious discussion by serious people. Unfortunately, knowledgeable serious people are few and far between and certainly don’t include anyone at the Washington Post, New York Times or most of the media and very few in the U.S. Congress.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

GREEN BOOK WINS AT THE O$CARS BUT LOOSES AT THE BOX OFFICE! THE PUBLIC HAD ALREADY VOTED FOR AVENGER WITH THEIR WALLETS!


BUT BLACK PANTHER WAS A DISTANT SECOND




Again this year I truly appreciate the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members telling me that GREEN BOOK was the Best motion picture of the year, but in the ONLY category that really countsMONEY MADE – it appears the International audience made a different decision.  When it comes to picking movies, I always "trust the mob" so here is how the movie going paying public ranked this year’s movies as of 25 February 2019.


In a departure from the norm, two of this year’s eight nominees for Best Picture are among the eight top money maker of the past year with Black Panther coming in a distant second at $1.347 Billion and Bohemian Rhapsody was #6 bringing in $861 Million.  This year’s Top earner and crowd favorite was AVENGER: Infinity War with a whopping $2,048.4 take at the box office.  That means AVENGER made nearly 30 times more money at the box office then the Academy’s “Best” picture selection – GREEN BOOK.  Although I’m sure winning the Oscar is a great honor, I’m confident the producers of GREEN BOOK would gladly trade their Oscar for the extra $1.979 Billion Avenger earned.

Hence, as in past years in the money spending public’s opinion it was again no contest ….and the WINNER is, bank statement Please (drum roll), the hands down winner by a country mile is (sorry GREEN BOOK): AVENGER: Infinity War!

As a footnote, if BlacKKKlansman had won the Oscar for Best Costume Design, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam would have been really pissed off since it would have been a rip off of his 1984 Halloween costume and he has his Medical School yearbook photo to prove it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

HOW MUCH BORDER FENCE DOES $5.7 BILLION BUY?


Based on the cost of border barriers already completed, $5.7 Billion should just about seal the entire US-Mexico Border. According to a recent US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) briefing (slide above), between 2007 - 2009 (2 years) they built 400 miles of Border Barrier in support of US Customs and Border Protection at a total cost of $1.3B. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Cumulative Price Change since 2010 to today is 15.16% (yearly average inflation rate has been 1.78%). Doing the math that means $1.3B of 2009 dollars is ~$1.5B in 2019 dollars ($1,497,042,502.84 to be exact) so $5.7B should buy another 1523 miles of border wall. Given USACE has already built 400 miles, if Trump builds another 1523 miles then he should have 1923 miles completed. The entire United States and Mexico border is only 1954 miles so that leaves only 31 more miles to build to completely seal the US-Mexico border 100%.

All I did was take the briefing slide from the USACE briefing (the briefing is posted on the Army Engineer Association website under the August 2018 Industry Seminar) and extrapolate from the numbers there to estimate the cost. In the construction World, past experience or analogous estimating is a recognized method for estimating the cost of future work of similar scope but that number would be the contracting costs so would include any access roads but not land purchases nor would it account for significant differences in terrain.  I can’t speak to what other “experts” estimate, only how much the existing 400 miles of barrier actually cost. To be honest, I don’t contemplate all 1954 miles of border will require fencing nor do I expect the unfinished portions of barrier be as easy or inexpensive to construct as what has been completed.  I do believe the $50 - $70 Billion some Members of Congress are throwing around wildly exaggerate the cost and that the actually cost will be in $7 - $10 Billion range for what really requires fencing.  Just something to ponder.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Washington DC 2018 Yearly Homicide Statistics Just Out - DC Regaining their "Murder Capital of the National" Mantle


Today, New Year’s Day 1 January 2019, the Washington Post published the homicide statistics for Washington, DC and the surrounding Maryland and Virginia adjacent suburbs in an article entitled: "Homicides spike in District as shootings become more lethal, police say" . The stats once again clearly demonstrated that any WaPo reader so na├»ve as to believes the myth that onerous gun laws yield safer communities needed to look no further than the stats in this WaPo 1 Jan 19 article to be disabused of that fantasy. Using the data in that article and the latest Census Bureau population numbers, I calculated the homicide rates of DC and the adjacent Maryland and Virginia suburbs.  Here are the results:


Maryland:  4.3 Homicides/100,000 citizens – 85 Homicides
(Montgomery Co Population = 1,058,810 – 19 Homicides; PG Co = 912,756 – 66)

Virginia:  2.3 Homicides/100,000 citizens – 35 Homicides
(Arlington Population = 234,965 - 3 Homicides; Fairfax = 1,148433 - 14; Alexandria = 160,035 - 4)

DC:  22.8 Homicides/100,000 citizens - 160 Homicides
(702,455 Population – 160 Homicides)

This means a DC resident, where firearms are virtually impossible to own, is almost 10 times more likely to be a homicide victim then one of us Gun Tottin Virginians who live in a state where gun ownership is almost unrestricted.  Even a Marylander with very restrictive gun laws is over five times less likely to be a homicide victim than a DC resident; much better than DC but a Marylander is still almost twice as likely to be a homicide victim than one of us Virginia Gun Totters!


This article clearly shows the breathtaking disparity in homicide rates between the jurisdictions of DC or Maryland that not only don’t have the death penalty but where criminals have little chance of being confronted by a law abiding citizen who just might have a gun of their own and Virginia where gun ownership is almost unrestricted and the only question for murders is “do you prefer the needle or the chair?” That same WaPo article noted that 40% of DC homicide offenders had a previous gun arrest

 

The statistics clearly demonstrate that contrary to liberal rhetoric, it is an “inconvenient truth” that “guns actually do make us safer.” Ask any Bostonian who was directed to “shelter in place” during the Marathon Bomber manhunt how they feel about owning a gun now!  Could it be that homicidal maniacs would much rather commit their crimes in jurisdictions like DC and MD without the death penalty and are not so anxious to attack law-abiding VA citizens as they might be "packing heat?"