Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quote of the Day - Tam Strikes Again

I love Tam. Her mastery of the ancient arts of snark and verbal vizualization seems to be unparalleled in the blogosphere. Even in a short, simple post about a bike ride, she manages to bring her artistry to bear yet again:
So we pressed north on the Monon, some eleven or twelve miles from Roseholme Cottage to the workface of the trail mine, where jets of high-pressure tax dollars are used to hew bike path out of raw native railbed.

Like I said, an artist at work.

Self-defense works

Via Tam:

Prowling teen gets two shots to chest from homeowner.

A 15-year-old prowler was shot Friday night in a face-off with a South Knox County homeowner, authorities said.

The shooting happened just before 11 p.m. at 837 Lester Road, Knox County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley said. The homeowner, Jonathan Stevens, 20, told deputies he and his wife were watching television and heard their dogs barking.

When Stevens, pistol in hand, walked outside into the driveway with his wife, the teen confronted them with a shotgun, Dooley said.

“He shot twice at the couple,” Dooley said. “He never got in the house. The homeowner shot twice at the suspect.”

Both bullets hit the teen in the chest. The couple weren’t hurt.

The boy ran. Deputies found him lying in the road, Dooley said.

Fifteen years old, and already looking to attack people with a shotgun. No doubt the Brady's will include him in their "tragic child victims of gun violence."

This part is rather chilling:

Three other teenagers lurking outside the home ran, KCSO spokeswoman Ashley Haynes said.
What were four teenage males planning to do to a young couple at gunpoint? Would they have stopped at robbery, or would they have 'entertained' themselves with the man's wife before killing them both?

Even without being shot at right away, that makes it seem like a pretty clear case of self-defense. Remember, despite what the Brady Bunch and most anti-gunners would like you to believe, criminals often will hurt or kill you even if you cooperate (stories collected by Zendo Deb at TFS Magnum). Do you really want to trust your life to the 'honor' and goodwill of someone who is stealing from you and threatening your life?

Even without being shot at right away, this seems like a clear-cut case of self-defense.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reward increased in killing of two VT students

Reward in killings increases to $50,000.

Hoping to aid the investigation into the killings of two Virginia Tech students last month, a Lynchburg cardiologist has raised $40,000 in reward money since Labor Day. Adding the $10,000 put up by Virginia Tech, the total reward now stands at $50,000.
Hoyt said anyone interested in contributing to the reward can make checks payable to the CPD Citizen Support Group, c/o Virginia State Police, 3775 W. Main St., Salem, VA 24153.
I'm starting to worry that this one may remain unsolved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Terrorists take care of themselves

I found this video while wandering teh interwebz today. Premature detonation, a la "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" at about 2:43 into the video.

The best part? As the pilots seem to be preparing to attack after the child has wandered away and the device goes off, you hear one say "Nevermind!"

That video gives me the warm fuzzies.

Edit 9-15-09: Fixed the embedded video.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cash for Clunkers = Fail

Apparently, the "cash for clunkers" program has had some unfortunate side effects.

While most dealers are grateful for the boost, they're paying for it now with fewer customers. The government rebates drew people into the market who otherwise would have kept driving their clunkers due to uncertainty over the sputtering economy. Those customers might have made their purchases later in the year.

"It was good while it lasted," said Phil Warren, sales manager at Toyota Direct in Columbus, Ohio. "Now we're a little bit concerned about what happens next. The program may have just taken a lot of people out of the market."

Making matters worse, many dealers depleted their stocks with clunker sales, and automakers have been slow to ramp up production to replenish the lots. Grahl says Ford has built the cars he ordered but mysteriously hasn't shipped them. So the selection isn't very good for people who do want to buy.

Gee, it's almost like government interference unbalances the free market or something.

As a result, U.S. sales of cars and light trucks rose to 1.3 million in August, a roughly 30 percent increase from July. But now that the clunkers program is over, industry analysts expect poor September sales, even lower than the July rate.

And then, of course, there is the usual government efficiency.

Kesel, like many dealers, still hasn't been paid for most of his clunker sales.

"Most dealers are in a cash-flow crunch because of the federal government not paying up on this," he said.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

UPDATE; Still no suspects in recent double-murder.

Update 9-11-09: Task force set up to investigate Montgomery County double homicide.

A multi-agency task force has been formed to investigate the double homicide of two Virginia Tech students.
The task force is made up of officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office; the Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Virginia Tech police departments; the Virginia State Police; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the United States Marshall's Office; and the United States Forest Service.

What a list! It seems like everybody who can be involved is involved. I can see the US Marshals, and the Forest Service - it happened in a National Forest, so it's federal land and under the Marshals' jurisdiction, and the Forest Service is expected - and the FBI, while unexpected, is not surprising, but the ATF? How did they get involved?

Virginia Tech offers $10,000 reward in killings.

Virginia Tech is offering a $10,000 reward for information that helps solve the killings of Tech students Heidi Childs and David Meltzer last week in the Jefferson National Forest.
Police are following leads and tips, but believe the killings may have been random because investigators have been unable to find a motive.
No leads, no idea if the killer is still around, or if or when he'll decide to kill again.

Be careful, and remember the first step in self-defense is being aware of your surroundings.

Quote of the Day - 3 September 2009

From Roberta X:
Somewhere around here not too far away, there is some person or entity big enough and mean enough to have depantsed a giant and made it stick.
Yeah, that would worry me, too.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

On Self Defense

Rich at Shots Across the Bow has a good post up about one of the fundamentals of self-defense - avoiding the need to defend yourself. You should read the whole thing, but here are some

Today, my son texted me and asked me how much it cost to get a Handgun Carry Permit. I gave him the ball park figures for the class and the application. He thanked me and told me that his roommate had been robbed at gunpoint the night before.,

Yeah, I called him immediately.
That should prompt a call from any parent.

"Your roommate was robbed by two men with guns right at your front door, on a well lit street, and they got away clean. You live in a bad neighborhood."
This is really the only point I disagree with. While crime happens more frequently in "bad neighborhoods" (which is usually why they're considered bad neighborhoods), it's certainly not limited to bad neighborhoods. This could have happened in the most upscale, hoity-toity part of Beverly Hills or the most run down part of Detroit. This one incident, by itself, doesn't make it a bad neighborhood. Crime knows no boundaries.

"The first step in self defense is being aware of your surroundings." [emphasis mine]
That is the money quote, right there. I'll repeat it - The first step in self defense is being aware of your surroundings. The three steps of self-defense are avoid, evade, fight. You cannot avoid danger if you are not aware of your surroundings before you enter the area of danger. If you take nothing else from his post, take that truth with you.

His final paragraph sums things up nicely.

Anyway, I believe I got the point across to my son that carrying a gun is only one small part of self defense. The first piece is maintaining an awareness of your surroundings, and the people in them. The second is forethought. Have a plan. Know what you're going to do when things go south. The third piece is to have multiple layers of defense, but that's a post for another day.
The idea of awareness as the first part of self-defense is especially important in my town today. It seems there are still no leads in last weeks double homocide in Jefferson National Forest. There is no indication that there is a suspect, and no way to know if the killer is still around or if he's fled the area, if he lives here or was just passing through, if he targeted the victims or if they were randomly chosen, or if it was a one time event or if he'll do it again.

Maintain awareness, please.

(h/t to SayUncle)