Friday, December 19, 2008

The First Lady of Star Trek

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, Feb. 23, 1932 - Dec. 19, 2008

She was known for her roles as Nurse (later Doctor) Christine Chapel in the original Star Trek series, and as the voice of Federation computers in most of the series and movies, a role she took on again for the new Star Trek movie by J.J. Abrams. She also played the first officer, known only as "Number One," in the original pilot.

She will be missed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All I want for Christmas...

It looks like it's gunny Christmas list time. As long as I'm dreaming, here's mine:

1) a basic, but good quality, 1911, with 2 spare mags
2) a Ruger LCP with a spare mag
3) holsters (IWB for both, and an ankle holster for the LCP)
4) an M1 Garand, with a dozen clips and a bayonet
5) 2000 rounds for each of my guns

It would be nice.

H/T to Robb at Sharp as a Marble.


Must be one heck of an eggbeater.

It doesn't get more deadly than an AK-47

Well, I haven't done the fisking thing before, but this article just cries out for it, and I haven't seen where anyone else has done it yet. So, here it is:

It Doesn't Get More Deadly Than an AK-47


The recent discovery of two rapid-fire, high-powered assault-style rifles in Peoria has alarmed police because they know the devastating punch they pack. And when police are worried, residents ought to be.

Rule 1: The language is always loaded.

The first gun, a knock-off version of an AK-47, was recovered Oct. 29 from a Central Peoria house as police raided the home looking for drugs. Three days later, another AK-47-type semi-automatic rifle was used against officers in a shoot-out that ended with the gunman being killed.

"It doesn't get more deadly than an AK-47," Peoria police spokesman Doug Burgess said.

What about those horrible .50 caliber rifles? Aren't they supposed to be able to cut a man in half from a mile away, and knock 747s out of the air? That sounds more deadly to me!

Figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives show a marked increase in the number of AK-style weapons traced and entered into the agency's computer database because they had been seized or connected to a crime.

The number of such tracings rose even while the federal assault weapons ban was in effect and has continued to climb since its expiration.

So wait, you're saying the AWB didn't work?

Since 1993, the year before the ban took effect, ATF has recorded a more than sevenfold increase in the guns - which includes the original Russian-made AK-47 and a variety of copycats from around the world. The number of AK-type guns climbed from 1,140 in 1993 to 8,547 last year.

The numbers confirm what is happening here locally with the guns: They're getting into criminals' hands.

But.... they're criminals! It's illegal for them to have guns! There oughtta be a law against that!

"Personally, I know a lot of these guns are out there," said Peoria police Sgt. Doug Theobald, adding officers occasionally find the rifles during raids or arrests. "Most of the time it's regular gun owners that have them in their gun safe. They don't sell drugs or shoot at police.

"The concern is if a criminal has one," he said. "It's not the gun itself, but the person standing behind the gun."

I'm surprised this made it into the story. It almost sounds like they're trying to say that regular gun owners aren't criminals. That's completely contrary to what the MSM's masters at the Brady Campaign say. It must be a typo.

Because the weapon is shoulder-mounted, its accuracy is substantial.

Shoulder-mounted? You mean it attaches to your shoulder, unlike every other rifle out there?

The standard bullet, a 7.62x39mm, is highly lethal as it can travel up to 400 meters.

WOW! Up to 400 meters! That's really lethal! But, wait a minute, I hear a .22 can travel over a mile. So a .22 must be so lethal it can kill you just by looking at you! The killer doesn't even have to pull the trigger!

The common AK-47 magazine holds 30 rounds and is flat with a curve in it to allow the bullets to feed properly. Other higher-capacity magazines, some holding twice or triple the normal amount, also can be used.

With such a large magazine attached, the rifle has the capability to "lay down suppressive fire," meaning it can shoot 20-30 high velocity rounds as fast as the gunman can squeeze the trigger, said Theobald.

So if I only shoot 19 rounds, it's not suppressive fire? What about 5, or 10?

"(The bullets) can go through brick walls, a car, just about anything," Burgess said. "The penetrating power of the round is unbelievable."

So can almost any round used for hunting. In fact, the rounds that can't are generally not allowed for hunting in most states, because they're not considered powerful enough.

Police have reported finding the rounds inside the former Warner Homes public housing complex after they blew through the exterior brick wall. Two years ago at Landmark Apartments, eight bullet holes were found in an apartment. Shell casings found outside the apartment matched bullets used in an AK-47 assault rifle.

Another example of the gun's packing-power is in the 1999 homicide of Marcus Risby. Charles Childs fired an Egyptian-made AK-47 rifle 30 times into a house on Garfield Avenue. His best friend, Risby, was killed by one of the bullets as he stood outside the front of the house, as part of a plan to get revenge on the home's occupant. The bullet went all the way through the house to kill him.

When faced with criminals armed with these kinds of weapons, Peoria police are equipped with higher-powered guns to match the threat.

I thought it didn't get more deadly than an AK-47. How can the police have higher-power guns if they don't exist?

"We have the capacity of going against weapons systems like that," said Theobald, who oversees the department's Special Response Team, whose members are trained and certified to use fully-automatic, military-style assault rifles.

You mean the bullet-hoses-of-death? The ones that no one can possibly control? I thought the only purpose of those was to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. The police shouldn't need to be able to do that, should they? They should only shoot at the bad guys, right?

Thirty-two patrol officers also are commissioned with semi-automatic rifles and have the guns with them while on-duty.

So, there's some magic field that means the police don't need to worry about overpenetration? Just the criminals and "regular gun owners?"

"The concern for the public is the same as for police," Theobald said. "These bullets will keep traveling and go through cars and houses, regardless of what the intended target was for the bad guy. They can hit innocent bystanders."

They just keep going, and going, and going....

H/T to David Codrea at The War on Guns for this one.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

On the whole Plaxico Burress mess.

Xavier has a post up with his take on Plaxico Burress. While I agree that Plaxico is a complete idiot, and a thug, I have to disagree with the overall thrust of the post, which seems to be that we should let him hang (figuratively) for what he did, and that he should not be allowed to use the Heller decision to challenge the law he's being charged under. I urge you to read his post, and my comment, which I'm also posting here because it sums up my position fairly well.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you on this one, Xavier. If you believe the law he broke is unconstitutional, then his motivation, knowledge, intent, recklessness, stupidity, and arrogance should all be irrelevant. He has the same right to challenge the law on Constitutional grounds as anyone else. His money simply gives him a better ability to do so, and his fame is what brought it to our attention. Right or not, that is the way it is.

Heller does apply, not because it applies to him, or to the situation, but because it applies to the law that he is being charged under. If New York's law equates to a de facto ban on handguns, it is unconstitutional under Heller, and a persons reasons and intent are irrelevant. Even if he was carrying it so that he could go kill someone later, he still should be able to challenge the law in question. An unconstitutional law should be challenged at every possible opportunity.

Is Plaxico Burress an ideal person to be doing this? No. Is he one of us? Heck no. Should he be charged with other crimes? Yes, he should be charged with criminal negligence, reckless endangerment, making false statements to police, and (if it's in New York's laws) carrying a firearm while intoxicated. He's an idiot, and it's only blind luck that no on else was injured or killed.

You said "If he decided to go, he did not need to carry a gun." Since when is need supposed to be a requirement to exercise one's Second Amendment rights? Since when is the lack of ability to hire bodyguards, or the lack of "other options" supposed to be a requirement to exercise one's Second Amendment rights?

It is not about "bend[ing] the law unjust when the man who caught the winning touchdown in the 2008 Super Bowl violates it" or for getting him "preferential treatment in a court of law." It's about striking down an unconstitutional law. To paraphrase your own conclusion, "The Constitution is simply the Constitution, and it applies to New York City."
*Please note that the "stupidity" label for this post is for Plaxico Burress's stupidity, not Xavier. I have nothing but respect for Xavier, and I don't think he's stupid, or even being stupid in his post.

Monday, December 01, 2008

You can’t have effective gun control in a free society.

Jim W makes an excellent observation in a comment over at SayUncle.
The main problem is that gun control people think that they can take guns out of the hands of criminals by passing laws.
Without prison type levels of control, you can’t effectively disarm people who don’t want to be disarmed. And even then, you are not going to have a foolproof success rate.

And if these measures barely work in prison (which is enormously expensive and the residents have no rights at all) it sure as hell isn’t going to work in a society where people have rights to privacy and not being searched, etc. You can’t have effective gun control in a free society. [emphasis mine.]

Think about it. In prisons - where the inmates are subject to detailed searches whenever the guards want, where their contact with the outside world is severely limited and constantly monitored, where their daily movements and activities are severely restricted and constantly monitored - prisoners still get weapons, and still kill other prisoners.

If we can't keep weapons out of prisons - the most restrictive environment we can create - there is simply no possibility of keeping them out of a free society.