Sunday, October 15, 2017

October 15, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Why Are The Penguins Dying?"--Suspicious Observers (6 min.). Some observations concerning the record sea ice in Antarctica and some other inconvenient truths. One to note is that Earth is not the only planet undergoing climate change: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus all exhibits signs of climate change during the same period that the Earth has been warming.

  • If you haven't already checked it out, take a look at Active Response Training's Weekend Knowledge Dump for this weekend.
  • While 6.5 mm Creedmore is the hottest thing for the general shooting public, competition shooters have been working with the 6 mm Creedmore. In "Exclusive Shootout: 6mm Creedmoor vs. the 6.5," Shooting Times compares the two rounds. Basically, the 6 mm goes everything the 6.5 does, except with less recoil. Even wind drift is about the same, even though the 6.5 uses a 147 grain bullet versus the 110 grain for the 6 mm. Of course, it is possible to get similar performance (albeit with a bit more recoil) from a .243. (See "Six Key Reasons Why John Whidden Uses .243 Win. for Long Range Shooting"--Shooting Sports USA).
  • "So You Want A New AR, huh?"--Brush Beater.  The author discusses  .223, .308, 6.5 Grendel,  and 300 ACC Blackout and why, if you are looking for a general purpose, SHTF rifle, you probably should stick with 5.56/.223. Basically, however, it comes down to a few factors: (1) the .223 is more common (and less expensive) than the 6.5 Grendel or .300 Blackout; (2) the .223 doesn't require special parts like the 6.5 Grendel (different magazines) or the .308 AR (no industry standards); and (3) the 6.5 Grendel uses an inherently weaker bolt face because the lugs have to be machined out to fit the cartridge (the same issue arises with 7.62x39, so if using the latter cartridge, use a weapon designed for it such as the AK).
  • "Five Things You Can Do With a Sweet Potato (That You Hadn’t Thought Of)"--Meridian Magazine. Some recipes for sweet potatoes beyond the standard sweet potato casserole (much as I enjoy it), including a salad, a sweet potato pie, and biscuits. Some of these recipes can be made with canned sweet potatoes, while others call for whole potatoes.
  • "The 26-Yard Hunting Zero"--American Hunter. Another technique for sighting in your rifle at short distances. The author explains:
       ... if you hunt various terrain that offers both short- and long-range shots, here’s a technique that’ll allow you to hold the crosshairs on the vitals of deer-sized game or larger and keep your bullet inside the vital zone out to 280 yards, give or take a few yards depending on your caliber. It’s called point-blank range, and to maximize it you should alter your sight-in range for a particular load, rather than letting your traditional sight-in distance dictate your rifle’s zero.
           Point blank range defined is the range of distances at which you can hold your rifle on the bullseye and never fall in or out of your target’s kill zone. The point blank range for a deer, for example, is generally regarded as six inches. In other words, if you hold dead center on the vitals, your bullet can be 3 inches high or 3 inches low before it slips out of the vital zone. An elk’s vital zone is larger of course—we’ll say 8 inches. But I like to stay with the 6-inch rule of thumb because is allows for some shooter error, an occurrence that you’d be naive to assume doesn’t happen while in field positions shooting at wild game.

      * * *

                  As an example, let’s use a very common hunting round, a .270 Win., loaded by Remington with a 130-grain Premier Accutip boattail bullet that has a .447 Ballistic Coefficient (BC). It’s got a muzzle velocity of 3,060 fps. Ballistically, it falls in line with a whole class of moderately fast calibers. ...
                   Using ballistic software downloaded from, I manipulated the zero range input data until it was optimized for the greatest point-blank range. (Another great website for finding maximum point-blank range is I found that by zeroing my rifle in at 26 yards, the .270 will deliver its bullet 2.81 inches high at 100 yards, 2.80 inches high at 200 yards and 2.12 inches high at 250 yards before finally falling out of the 6-inch vital zone at 310 yards. This means that with a 26 yard zero, I can hold dead-center of a deer’s vitals and kill it cleanly from 0 to 310 yards without adjusting my hold.
                     Of course, this is an on-paper estimate, and until you actually shoot your rifle at those distances, you can’t be sure, but I’ve found it to be pretty close. For most rifles, a 25- to 28-yard zero (depending on the caliber’s velocity and bullet’s BC) will maximize its point blank range. My technique for shooting is to zero at 26 yards (if using the .270 noted above), then shade slightly low (an inch or two) when shooting at 100 yards, and hold slightly high at 300. This increases my margin of shooting error, while allowing me to not have to calculate or hold off the animal at 300 yards. I simply see the animal, range it and shoot—out to 310 yards. Any further than that, I can either use my scope ballistic reticle, or know my caliber’s ballistic data and hold over appropriately.
            • "Postural Stability: How To Improve Your Static Hold"--Shooting Sports USA. A discussion of some of the physiology for a successful shooting static (i.e., not moving) stance in target rifle and pistol shooting, but there is valuable information for the general shootist, including:
                      ... Strength is another important consideration. For rifle shooters, endurance and isometric strength are more important than “bulking up.” Strength training that involves high repetition with low weights is preferable to low repetition and higher weights.
                        For pistol shooters, both strength and endurance are important. Of particular importance is strengthening their trapezius, deltoid, rotator cuff and wrist extensors of the dominant arm. Unlike rifle, I have the pistol shooters alternate between high reps, low weight exercises for endurance and high weight, low reps for strengthening. Pistol shooters are very prone to rotator cuff tears from overuse, so this is an important preventive measure.
                  How many of you have heard of water glass?  Chemically, it’s a liquid sodium silicate solution.  Full-strength, it’s a concrete sealer.  But diluted down, it’s been used for over a century to preserve eggs.  You mix one part water glass with ten parts water, and put (washed, fresh) eggs into it, enough to cover the eggs to a depth of about 2 inches.  Kept in a cool place, the eggs will supposedly keep eight months or more.  (We’ve tested them out to five months; thus far, it’s worked a treat!)  The yolks might lose some of their firmness–you probably won’t get “sunny-side up” fried eggs out of them–but scrambled, or as an ingredient in something baked, they’re just fine.  (If you’re really worried about whether they’re good, crack the eggs into a separate bowl one-at-a-time for a sniff test, before you add them to whatever you’re cooking.)  Yes, the water glass is a bit pricey, but at the 10:1 dilution ratio, a little bit goes a pretty long way.

                    Other Stuff: 
                    • "Some Facts About Buying on Amazon That You May Not Know"--Security & Self-Reliance. The author discusses a bit how it works to be a third party seller on Amazon, including that Amazon has a liberal return policy that, while good for the consumer, can be expensive for the seller who has to bear the costs of a return. This can be a problem with fraudulent returns. The author explains:
                    I suspect that some buyers will buy multiple items at the same time and keep the one that they like best knowing that they can use the “hassle-free” return policy to get a complete refund for the unwanted items.I also suspect that these buyers are under the impression that “Amazon can afford it” and they just don’t understand that they are most likely dealing with a small business and taking a bite out of a family’s income by making a false return claim.
                    Anyway, an interesting read for anyone who has thought about trying to sell through Amazon.
                    • Some inconvenient truths:
                    • "Thousands of penguin chicks starve in Antarctica"--AFP (via Yahoo). The article reports that "[m]ass starvation has wiped out thousands of penguin chicks in Antarctica, with unusually thick sea ice forcing their parents to forage further for food...."
                           Scientists have warned the ocean creatures are producing large amounts of the strongest greenhouse gases - methane and nitrous oxides - from the bacteria in their guts.
                                This methane bubbles out of the water contributing to global warming as it as 28 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide.
                        Over the last few weeks there have been a couple mornings where the Schuylkill Expressway was jammed and I had to take my alternative route through the 30 Blocks of Squalor. I hadn’t had this inspiring dystopian experience all summer. There is nothing like West Philly when the punks, punkettes, and future prison convicts finish a summer of not working, not reading, and not picking up the trash in their neighborhoods, go back to West Philly High and not learn again. The observations will be rehashed in a stream of consciousness format, as West Philly is a smorgasbord of squalor, sordidness, filth, apathy, crime and epic government incompetence.
                        • Las Vegas Update:
                                In the twentieth century, American liberalism was defined by a very specific ideological mix: advocacy of freedom of speech, political freedom, and resistance to government regulation in the field of personal morality and culture—combined with advocacy of broad and ever-growing government control over the economy. 
                        * * *
                                 At the height of liberalism, in the early 1970s, Ayn Rand summed up the contradiction this way: “The liberals see man as a soul freewheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe—but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread.” Obviously, you can’t be both of these things at the same time. This strict separation of ideas from action, of the private from the public falls apart the moment you try to apply it to reality. What’s the point of being free to think if you’re not free to act on your thinking? And how can we say that private thinking and private preferences have no effect on others, when they clearly influence the way people act?
                                   So the liberals either had to return to the idea of individual rights that protect our freedom of action in all of life, or they had to resolve the contradiction by calling on government to regulate everything. Guess which one they chose.

                              * * *

                                        Just as Marxism created a whole system for finding real and imagined harms to be regulated in the realm of economics, the extension of Marxism to race and gender created a whole system for finding real and imagined harms to be regulated in the realm of ideas, behavior, and culture. It invoked a whole system of “triggers” and “microaggressions” that marginalize and exclude certain victim groups, even if the people in that system are not conscious of any intent to do so. Therefore, we have to be constantly on the lookout for the harm caused by ideas and root out all of these thought crimes.

                                  * * *

                                            ... With it goes liberalism’s distinction between ideas and action and its pretense of constructing some kind of special defense of intellectual freedom while controlling everything else.

                                    Thursday, October 12, 2017

                                    The Boy Scouts Admitting Girls

                                            As you probably have already heard, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will be opening their programs to girls at all levels.  Supposedly, the BSA Varsity and Venturing programs for teens 14 to 18 was already open to girls, but this change opens all levels--from Cub Scouts on up, including the opportunity to earn an Eagle Award--to girls. However, at least at the Cub Scout level, the packs and/or dens will remain single gender. Presumably this will also apply to the Boy Scout groups as well.

                                           A couple reactions from others. First, since the articles indicate that the vote to admit girls was made unanimously by BSA's Board of Directors, and the LDS Church has a seat at that Board, I presume that the Church is fine with the planned change. According to an article from the Deseret News:
                                    "The Activity Days and Personal Progress programs of the church have long been in place to meet the needs of girls and young women in these age groups, and no change will be made in church programs," said LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins.
                                    So, I don't see any changes to Church sponsored scouting groups.

                                           According to the same Deseret News article cited above, the Girl Scouts of America have criticized the change, saying that BSA's overtures to girls is a terrible idea. Of course, this is probably because the two organizations will now be competing for the same demographic, and the BSA doesn't make its Scouts sell cookies.

                                           Vox Day, of course, sees this as another example of convergence in a heretofore conservative organization, and a natural progression of the BSA's admission of homosexual and transgender boys and allowance for homosexual scout leaders. He cynically (or realistically, depending on your point of view) adds:
                                    You can be absolutely certain that after the initial rush of girls to join the Boy Scouts, the number of youth members and volunteers will begin to drop even more precipitously than it has already; membership is down 63 percent since it peaked in 1972. 
                                            My own thoughts are as follows: I agree with the Girl Scouts in their assessment that this is a move primarily motivated by money. The Scouts have seen a loss of membership due to their moving to the left and becoming more politically correct. Although it is not clear to me whether the BSA's changing stances on homosexuals motivated the LDS Church leaders to reduce their involvement in Scouting, or whether it was pressure from an increasing overseas membership, the fact remains that the LDS Church has essentially abandoned Scouting for the over-14 teens and will likely withdraw from the lower levels of Scouting in future years. (From my experience, Scouting pretty much ended in the Church when the boys reached 14 anyway, so the Church paying dues for the boys after that age was mostly just a windfall to the BSA in any event). I would not be surprised if some other large denominations also pull their support for the BSA. The end result is that the BSA is going to see its numbers plummet in the next few years, and is grasping at this as a means of keeping itself afloat.

                                           But Vox Day is also correct. Scouting has become increasingly "feminized" over the last several decades, trading field craft skills for "environmental" or "global citizen" feel good merit badges; outdoor skills for "video gaming." The BSA chose the praises of the masses over its members religious and moral objections. Although the current plan would, on the surface, still maintain a space just for boys, the overall thrust is to eliminate another refuge for boys from the feminine.

                                           Even without all this, though, I suspect that Scouting was doomed to change because of the changes to the world. I'm not just talking about the push to admit girls into what were traditionally boys activities, or the urbanization of the population, but changes in the job market. Where today are you going to find men willing and able to sacrifice an evening per week, and a weekend per month, and a week or two every year, to serve as Scout leaders? American men work longer hours and take less vacation than they did during the heyday of Scouting, and they simply are not available. It has been particularly problematic in the LDS Church (at least in my experience) because the Church assigns members to serve as the scout leaders, rather than seeking volunteers. So, combine busy work schedules with indifference, and the whole program suffers.

                                    This Seems an Unfortunate Choice of Words for a Headline

                                    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

                                    October 11, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                    "How To Make Grass Rope [Improved Method]"--Night Hawk In Light (9 min.)

                                            On Sept. 25, 1993, a former co-worker of mine named Dale Shrader was piloting a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter under night vision goggles just above the rooftops in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sordid events described in the book “Black Hawk Down” would occur a mere six days later.
                                              Dale’s Blackhawk was hit suddenly and unexpectedly in the fuselage by an RPG antitank rocket. The aircraft caught fire immediately. Dale managed a controlled crash into downtown Mogue. The aircraft skidded fully 100 meters before coming to rest. ...
                                               ... Perry was so badly injured as to be combat ineffective. Dale had a broken wrist and severe burns, but he could move under his own steam. Between them they had two M9 9mm pistols and a pair of survival knives. For whatever reason, neither of their survival radios was operational. It was pitch dark and the Somalis were hunting them.
                                                  Dale fought off the probing Somalis armed with Kalashnikovs and hand grenades for nearly an hour with nothing more than these two handguns, killing at least one enemy combatant in the process. ...
                                                    La Palma was rocked by more than 40 seismic movements of low magnitude and intensity between 1.5 and 2.7 on the Richter scale, according to the data of the National Geographic Institute.
                                                       The biggest earthquake, recorded at around 1pm on Saturday, had a magnitude of 2.7 and took place in the area of the Natural Park Cumbre Vieja, 28 kilometres deep. 
                                                         The second largest quake, of 2.6, took place at 1.23pm on Sunday in the same area, while the third quake erupted at midnight on Monday, reaching a magnitude of 2.1, according to the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (Involcan).
                                                  Yes, this is the Cumbre Vieja volcano that it is feared, if it erupts, could see a massive landslide and tsunamis striking North America and Europe. I wrote more about this back in 2012.
                                                            The 9.6x53mm Lancaster cartridge was developed by Russian Molot and Techcrim companies. It is based on the 7.62x54R case which was trimmed and necked up to accept 10.3mm diameter bullets. The shoulder of the parent case is also moved back. What makes this cartridge a bit different is that it is designed specifically to be used with oval bore (Lancaster rifling) firearms. The unusual designation of 9.6mm with a 10.3mm bullet diameter is because after leaving the oval bore, the bullet’s cross-section becomes oval too with the narrowest portion (width of oval) measuring 9.6mm.
                                                              The absence of traditional grooves and lands qualifies these firearms as shotguns according to Russian and some post-Soviet countries’ legislations. That allows owning such a firearm without the need of mandatory 5-year shotgun ownership experience required for acquiring a rifled firearm. Although the Lancaster rifling is probably not as precise as the normal rifling, it still provides performance pretty close to a rifled firearm.

                                                        Other Stuff:
                                                        • The medium was the message: "Theory of the Case"--Mark Steyn. A member of an unnamed U.K. think tank emailed Steyn with their theory of the motive for the shooting:
                                                          There is only one plausible motive for what this man did. And here it is:
                                                                   This man wished to telegraph to America in graphic form the hard irrefutable evidence that guns and gun ownership and the ease of gun purchase in America are an evil and must be controlled. On that hypothesis everything now makes sense. And it must be said his concept has a certain demented genius.
                                                                      Because even if the public learns and believes that his motive was all about 'guns' the horror of the act itself - an act to protest such acts - is in some ways even worse for being plain evidence that there is no limit to the insanity to which guns can be put.
                                                                       Here then is our argument:
                                                                          1. His long planned and carefully executed purchase of a virtual armoury of unprecedented scope and scale guaranteed that very armoury would inevitably become the central focus of the media.
                                                                            2. His assiduous removal of evidence of any tangible motive also removed the possibility that the news cycle might move on from guns - simply the means of the killing - to considering the more interesting issues of motive and message - be it political or economic or environmental or anything else.
                                                                               3. This man was a highly methodical and systematic thinker. Nothing in the scenario that unfolded was left to chance - even down to positioning cameras to surveil the corridor. It is therefore inconceivable that this was all done in this precise manner for no reason. That there is no message.
                                                                                But of course there is indeed a message. It only happens to be implicit instead of explicit. That message is 'guns'. And that message is being trawled over every minute of every day on every network in America. Given the nature of the man and the facts this is not a chance outcome. On the contrary given the known facts it is indeed the only possible outcome. An outcome so obvious that anyone given the full story beforehand would have predicted as inevitable.
                                                                                   4. The people he chose to kill supports the hypothesis on 'guns'. Country and Western fans are virtually guaranteed to own or at least to defend the ownership of guns. By a certain logic this provides the gunman with two sound moral positions (because it is not beyond possibility he has a conscience):
                                                                                     First - While killing a very large number of innocent people is an horrendous crime it is nonetheless entirely justifiable - in moral terms - if it causes a restriction on guns. Because such a restriction would - it is widely held - save innumerable lives in the long run. There is no evidence for this but it is still a widely and passionately held belief.
                                                                                      Second - Since the people he is shooting are actively or passively defenders of guns and an obstacle to gun control they are by definition responsible in part for all the people who have been and continue to be killed by guns.
                                                                                      The inscription tells of how King Kupantakuruntas ruled a kingdom called Mira that was located in what is now western Turkey. Mira controlled Troy (also in Turkey), according to the inscription, which additionally described Trojan prince Muksus leading a naval expedition that succeeded in conquering Ashkelon, located in modern-day Israel, and constructing a fortress there. [Biblical Battles: 12 Ancient Wars Lifted from the Bible]
                                                                                         The inscription details King Kupantakuruntas' storied path to the throne of Mira: His father, King Mashuittas, took control of Troy after a Trojan king named Walmus was overthrown. Soon after that, King Mashuittas reinstated Walmus on the Trojan throne in exchange for his loyalty to Mira, the inscription says.
                                                                                           Kupantakuruntas became king of Mira after his dad died. He then took control of Troy, although he wasn't the actual king of Troy. In the inscription, Kupantakuruntas describes himself as a guardian of Troy, imploring future rulers of Troy to "guard Wilusa [an ancient name for Troy] (like) the great king (of) Mira (did)." (translation by Woudhuizen).
                                                                                  • "Huge underground reserve of 'life-saving' helium in Tanzania is TWICE as big as initially predicted"--Daily Mail. This is a big deal because there was concern that we were running out of helium. As the article notes, "[m]ore than half the world's supply is stored in the US National Helium Reserve in Texas. But that supply is dwindling after the US passed a law in 1996 obliging it to sell off a certain volume of helium every year at a fixed price, in order to raise funds for the Government." Helium is normally extracted from the drilling of natural gas, but there are few easily accessible deposits with large concentrations of helium. Besides being used in balloons, it is important in certain lasers and for certain cooling processes in industry and science.
                                                                                  • Harvey Weinstein has fled to Europe and beyond the reach of U.S. law--ostensibly to obtain treatment for his "condition"--while Hollywood has begun the process of scrubbing his name from companies, production credits, and so on. Hollywood is still circling its wagons--it's just that it was forced, in this case, to draw the wagons in to exclude Weinstein. I'm sure that there are worse things being covered up.
                                                                                  • "Fearsome Plague Epidemic Strikes Madagascar"--New York Times. Not the marmot variant, but it is pneumonic plague, which is bad enough by itself. From the article:
                                                                                    •         Madagascar typically has about 400 cases of plague each year between September and April, but they are usually focused in the nation’s central highlands and spread by fleas living on rats in rice-growing areas. This outbreak is unusually worrying because most new cases are in cities and are pneumonic plague, the form transmitted by coughing. 
                                                                                                 Pneumonic plague kills even faster than the better-known bubonic form, which is transmitted by flea bites and gets its name from the infected lymph nodes that form large, swollen “buboes” in the groin, armpits and neck. 
                                                                                                    Both forms caused the infamous Black Death of the mid-14th century, which is thought to have killed a third of Europe and caused major social upheavals. 
                                                                                                      The Madagascar outbreak started in August, when a 31-year-old man originally thought to have malaria traveled by bush taxi from the central highlands to his home in the coastal city of Toamasina, passing through the capital, Antananarivo. 
                                                                                                       He died en route and “a large cluster of infections” broke out among his contacts, according to a W.H.O. update issued Oct. 4. Those contacts passed it on to others. 
                                                                                                          Plague was not confirmed until blood samples collected from a 47-year-old woman who died on Sept. 11 in an Antananarivo hospital of what appeared to be pneumonia were tested at Madagascar’s branch of the Pasteur Institute. The samples came up positive on a rapid test for plague. 
                                                                                                            The W.H.O. was notified on Sept. 13. 
                                                                                                              Plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Terrifying as the disease is, it can usually be cured by common antibiotics. Antibiotic-resistant strains have been isolated in Madagascar but are not thought to be a factor in the latest outbreak. 
                                                                                                                 The W.H.O. calculated that the antibiotics it has shipped, and another 244,000 doses on the way, will be enough to treat 5,000 patients and protect another 100,000 people who might have been exposed. 
                                                                                                                   Personal protective gear and disinfection equipment, similar to that used during Ebola epidemics, also will be sent. Local health workers will be trained to safely treat patients and to trace all their contacts and offer them prophylactic antibiotics.
                                                                                                          According to the article, "Since August, the country has reported over 200 infections and 33 deaths."

                                                                                                        Sunday, October 8, 2017

                                                                                                        Book Review: gunFight! by Richard Nance

                                                                                                        Book: gunFight! An integrated approach to shooting and fighting in close quarters by Richard Nance (2016; 309 pages). Available in soft-cover and as a Kindle e-book.

                                                                                                               I enjoy reading science-fiction. And, occasionally, an author will include in his world a fighting style or martial art that is based around the technology used. Dune, for instance, featured personal shield technology that brought back knife fighting as a method of dueling because only slowly moving objects could penetrate the shield. In his book, Hegemony, author Mark Kalina invented a martial arts which he called telestraal: "the ancient martial art of gunfighting, of marksmanship, movement and timing...."

                                                                                                             I read somewhere an article in which the author, speaking to someone from (I believe) Japan, indicated that America did not have a national martial art, to which his Japanese friend corrected him: firearms and using them were America's martial art. However, there is a gap between the use of firearms (marksmanship) and unarmed techniques (hand-to-hand) rather than a continuum. There are exceptions, of course--soldiers being trained to use bayonets and butt-stroking with a rifle, and retention techniques learned by police and anti-terrorism units--but, overall, I think my conclusion of a gap holds true.

                                                                                                               Nange's book tries (quite well, I think) to bridge the gap between firearms. He recognizes that a physical, hand-to-hand, confrontation can escalate to using a gun; or that attempting to use a firearm can rapidly devolve into having to go hand-to-hand with an assailant. He begins by noting the same gap I write about, above, stating:
                                                                                                                With rare exception, police and civilian defensive handgun curriculums focus on teaching a shooter to prevail from the five-yard-line to the 25-yard-line, with the bulk of the training taking place between seven and 15 yards. This despite the fact that, according to the FBI's 2013 LEOKA (Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted) report, nine of the 18 police officers killed with handguns that year were between zero and five feet from their offender when shot. (2013 wasn't an anomaly. Zero to five feet is always the deadliest distance for cops). 
                                                                                                                LEOKA statistics tell us that during the 10 year period between 2004 and 2013, 219 of the 474 officers killed by gunfire in the United States were shot from a distance of no more than five feet. The next deadliest range was six to 10 feet, with 77 officers killed. In contrast, only 27 were killed at distances over 50 feet (As distance increases, so do the odds of the best shooter prevailing.) 
                                                                                                                 Despite this irrefutable evidence, disproportionate amounts of training time continue to be spent firing from distances that are statistically, far less deadly. Some contend that by practicing shooting from further distances, you will be able to hit a closer target that much more easily. Although it may seem logical, this naive rationale doesn't account for the fact that mastery of shooting fundamentals such as sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control, and breath control will be of little help during a deadly force encounter at arm's length. 
                                                                                                        While there nothing comparable to the LEOKA reports for concealed carriers or those defending their homes, there are a few sources of information that suggest that citizens should also be concerned with a melee breaking out in what was supposed to be a gun fight. One such source of information is Tom Givens of Rangemaster Firearm Training Services who has kept track of shooting statistics for his students. A 2011 Personal Defense Network article noted that, at that time:
                                                                                                        Tom told me that 56 of his students have “had to use a handgun to defend themselves or family members.” He said that of the 56 students, two were in physical contact with the attacker. In three cases, the defender was forced to fire at 15 yards or beyond. The longest was 22 yards. Tom uses the length of a typical car as a training distance. He said, “Confrontational distances are conversational distances, for the most part.” This certainly makes sense and matches up with my experience investigating shootings during my law enforcement career.
                                                                                                        I would also note the recent mass shooting at the  Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee. by Sudanese immigrant and black power advocate, Emanuel Kidega Samson. When Samson entered the church and began shooting, he was confronted by a church usher, Robert Caleb Engle. Engle attempted to tussle with Samson, and was pistol whipped by Samson (Samson apparently also shot himself accidentally). Engle then went to his car, retrieved a hand gun, and was able to get Samson to surrender.

                                                                                                               The point of this, however, is to illustrate that, even if you are not trying to apprehend a perpetrator, or be openly carrying a handgun which a perp might try to grab, as do police, you are still at risk of having to shoot and fight at short distances. And at those distances, as Nance writes, "compressed reaction times and contact distance weapons such as knives and clubs and anatomical weapons like fists and feet become potential game changers." It is also at these close and contact distances, Nance observers, that weapons retention becomes important.

                                                                                                               Unfortunately, even if you are a student of the martial arts, or have had self-defense training, that training probably does not address weapons retention or use, but only disarming techniques ... and even those techniques taught may not work in the real world. A couple years ago, Matt Schaffer wrote a piece concerning problems he sees in weapon disarming techniques that illustrated this:
                                                                                                                 I was training with another instructor years back and he wanted to show me his favorite disarming technique (the one where you slap the gun and his wrist to make the gun fly across the room).  I held the gun out for him several times while he demonstrated and then he asked me to try to shoot him before he moved and sure enough he was so fast he disarmed me every time.  I then asked him if we could go a turn where I acted like a real criminal; after he said he was ready I stepped in between his legs, grabbed him by the throat with my left hand, pressed the gun into his left temple, drove him backwards and screamed “GIVE ME YOUR…(you can probably guess)!” 
                                                                                                                 Needless to say not only was he not able to do the technique but he nearly defecated himself.  Static training where you just stand there is all fine and dandy but a criminal just doesn’t appear out of thin air ready to shoot you if you breathe wrong; something always leads up to it and happens after it.  It also doesn’t teach you to deal with what I call the “Oh Shit Factor” where your brain suddenly falls out your butt when surprised with sudden violence.  
                                                                                                                 Sure, the criminal may be standing there just holding out the gun and not moving, it happens all the time; but he also might be pushing, punching, choking, or grabbing you with his free hand while he screams and the gun could be held back, shoved right in your eyes, or who knows what else.  The point is after you have the technique down you should simulate a real robbery while you have to do your disarming technique in that fast and dynamic situation.     
                                                                                                               Nance observes: "Inside five feet, shooting becomes less about marksmanship and more about your ability to fight with your gun." Thus, Nance's purpose is to "address drawing and shooting while in contact with your adversary, shooting from the ground with an adversary on top of you, addressing a drawn weapon, fighting with an empty or malfunctioning gun, and retaining your gun in even the direst of circumstances."  Accordingly, after addressing safety and legal considerations, Nance moves first to explaining the mental attributes needed--awareness and mindset--and the dynamics of close quarters engagements. This is the foundation material on which the rest of the book rests.

                                                                                                               The remainder of the book addresses the actual mechanics and tactics: from types of holsters, to the draw stroke (both how to detect and neutralize an adversaries, but how to protect against an adversary doing the same to you), deployment of the hand-gun, retention of the handgun, shooting from retention positions, contact shooting (including near contact for those using a semi-auto), using your handgun as a striking weapon, fighting from the clinch or from the ground, and dealing with multiple assailants. While there are some specific instructions--such as if your opponent does X, you should do Y--a great deal of what's in the book could be considered guides or heuristic rules to deal with a general situation because, as the author recognizes, every fight is different.

                                                                                                               The focus on mental preparation is, in my mind, important. I remember in his book When All Hell Breaks Loose, Cody Lundin spent the first part of the book also going over mental and spiritual preparation before discussing the actual mechanics and techniques of surviving a disaster. It is the will to survive that often means the difference between life and death. Nance similarly notes: "it isn't marksmanship or picture-perfect technique that will save the day--[but] your willingness to inflict jaw dropping violence on your foe is what will enable you to win the fight." He later expands on this:
                                                                                                        In close quarters, aggressiveness reigns supreme. When clinched with a criminal eager to send you to an early grave, the fundamentals of marksmanship will be of little consequence. What matters is that you avoid being shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned long enough to bring your gun to bear on your adversary and deliver fight-stopping fire. At this distance, you're involved in a fight, not a shooting.
                                                                                                        And it is how to get the time to draw your weapon to which the bulk of the book is devoted.

                                                                                                                I can't summarize his entire book, but just as a flavor of what is inside is the "push, pull, and twist technique" of retaining a handgun that is already in your hand, should an assailant grab it. Nance writes:
                                                                                                                One of the simplest, most effective handgun retention techniques I've learned is sometimes referred to as the Push, Pull, and Twist technique. Not only is this gross motor based technique easy to remember, simple to execute, and applicable against virtually any type of gun grab, it's based on sound logic. It capitalizes on the fact that the assailant can't resist both the pushing and pulling action, which occur almost simultaneously. Congruent with many traditional marital arts principles, you're able to use the assailant's own energy against him.

                                                                                                                 When employing a proper two-handed shooting grip, let’s assume an assailant directly in front of you grabs your gun. Take a lunging step forward with your gun-side leg then your other leg, allowing your hands to collapse against your chest. After the second step, extend your arms fully to drive the muzzle into the assailant. If the muzzle actually strikes the assailant, it could serve as a viable distraction. In either case, as soon as you’ve pushed your gun toward the assailant, it’s time to pull it back as hard as you can. 
                                                                                                                Stepping into the assailant causes him to back pedal. When you start to pull the gun away, take a shuffle step back, leading with your rear leg and allowing your front leg to trail. Because the bad guy’s momentum is going backward, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to hang on to your gun when you pull away.  
                                                                                                               To increase the odds of fully extracting your gun from the bad guy’s hands, twist the gun inward (counterclockwise for a right-handed shooter) as you pull. Twisting the gun will cause it to rotate in the bad guy’s hands, which will help break his grip and potentially lacerate his palm and/or fingers with the front sight in the process.
                                                                                                        And, as Nance points out, one of the nice things about this technique is that if it doesn't work the first time, you can repeat it as needed. While it could be effective to fire the weapon, especially if a revolver (see Schaffer's article that I cited above), there are a couple things that might mitigate against immediately trying to do so. First is that by having your finger in the trigger guard, if your opponent is able to twist the gun back in your hand, it is possible that your finger will be broken. Second, is whether you can fire the weapon without endangering an innocent or yourself. Third, particularly with a semi-auto, is that the weapon will probably misfeed in some way or may even be pushed out of battery and not work in the first place.

                                                                                                               Obviously, reading the book won't make you an expert at weapons retention and melee. But it gives you things to think about not only about how you carry your weapon, but techniques you can practice with a willing partner at the dojo or at home; and, in fact, the author includes specific training tips. Nance's book also provides knowledge of hand-to-hand techniques that you will find on the street, but may not have necessarily have encountered in the gym or dojo, such as the clinch. I've seen other books that have addressed retention techniques, such as turning your body away from a perp, using a raised arm/elbow to keep someone from getting close to a weapon, and, of course, techniques for disarming, but Nance's book goes well beyond these to discuss the blurred boundary between shooting and hand-to-hand combat. It would be a good addition to your self-defense library.

                                                                                                        October 8, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                        Skallagrim had previously tested a  cut resistant sleeve and wanted to see how normal clothes would compare. The dummy is dressed in a light jacket and long sleeve shirt. Although he tried various knives, none of them actually were able to actually cut through the sleeve of the jacket and shirt and cut the fake arm. Skallagrim was surprised by the result, and believed it was because of the fabric of the jacket being able to bunch up and redirect the edge of the blade. Something to think about if you are relying on slashing with a knife for self-defense.

                                                                                                        • To start off, we have this week's "Weekend Knowledge Dump" from Active Response Training. Articles on common trees you should be able to identify in North America, the different types of locks used on lock-blade knives, packing wounds, a few methods that burglars use to case rural houses, and more.  
                                                                                                        • "The AR-15’s Creedmoor? .224 Valkyrie vs. .22 Nosler and 6.5 Grendel (Modern Intermediate Calibers 025)"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel F. discusses a new caliber (.224 Valkyrie) that appears to offer much of the same performance as a 6.5 Grendel, but in .22 caliber. It's parent case is the .30 Remington/6.8 SPC.  As would be expected for a long range round, the advantage comes from being able to shoot a longer bullet.
                                                                                                        • "Canned Butter For Deep Pantry Preparedness"--Modern Survival Blog. The brand they are testing is Red Feather Creamy Butter from New Zealand. It looks like they are running just under $7 per can, with each can containing 12 ounces of butter (about the same as 3 sticks of butter). Shelf life is at least 2 years according to the seller, but a reviewer indicated opening 5 year old cans and finding everything to be fine. This is much better than most vegetable cooking oils, some of which are only shelf stable for 6 months (although coconut oil can be stored for 2 years). 
                                                                                                        • "Five Tips for Keeping Your Feet Warm in Cold Weather"--Survival Common Sense. Main point is to keep your feet dry, which requires a good boot and moisture wicking socks, and maintain circulation--i.e., make sure that your boot is sized large enough to accommodate your socks. Also, I would mention the old saying: if your feet are cold, put on a hat. 
                                                                                                        • "Emergency Cell Phone Charging"--Blue Collar Prepping. The author experiments and finds that you can use a standard auto recharger hooked up to a 9 volt battery to provide a bit of a charge. 
                                                                                                        • "Murdered in the Amazon: When Survival Fantasy meets Survival Reality"--Modern Survivalist. A woman from the UK went to the Amazon for some adventure, apparently ignored a warning or threat that her boat would be stolen and she be killed, and would up being killed by robbers. As FerFal notes: 
                                                                                                                 This woman had lived a sheltered life. She had gone on adventures in the 3rd world before, she hadn’t lived in them though. For her it was living out what she otherwise saw in Discovery Channel. She saw the amazing jungle (and it is amazing) but she didn’t see the drug smugglers, slavers, pirates, the illegal gold miners, the jungle natives that have a VERY different concept of right and wrong. Not to mention the dangerous animals and diseases.
                                                                                                                   The danger in these places is extremely real. They are places of amazing beauty and fantastic people too, but also very dangerous.
                                                                                                                      I don’t mean to insult the memory of this poor woman. In fact I congratulate the courage to go live life in her own terms. But these are the kind of mistakes you only get to make once in those parts of the world. They don’t care about political correctness. They don’t care if you mean them no harm. All they care about is that they have someone to steal from, rape and kill, and some of the most brutal people will do all three without a second thought.
                                                                                                                Or, as I would sum it up: the real world is not a Disney movie. The peace and safety that we take for granted in the West is the exception, not the rule, and is, itself, the product of centuries of conditions unique to the West.
                                                                                                                • "Bug Out Pants"--SHTF Blog. Despite the title, the author is looking at pants that will last you a long time and protect your legs when doing hard labor or hunting. The author says to forget the blue jeans and get solid work pants from Duluth Trading, Carhartt, Tractor Supply’s Schmidt, or Northern Tool’s Gravel Gear. 
                                                                                                                • "Train at Home, Train for Free: Dry Fire Fit"--Load Out Room. "Dry Fire Fit" is apparently the title of a set of cards, where each card has a different cardio or body weight exercises together with something requiring manipulation of a practice firearm. The idea is not to just improve your physical condition, but to force you to engage in dry fire type practice while tired and/or in awkward positions.
                                                                                                                • "Outlaw 'Bump Fire' Stocks? Here Is Why You Should Care…"--Ammo Land. The author essentially makes the slippery slope argument. He argues from the standpoint of this being the "low hanging" fruit and that it will encourage the gun grabbers to go after other "low" and "medium" hanging fruit. I would note that once you accept that it is "reasonable" to ban a device that makes it faster/easier to pull the trigger so as to increase the rate of fire, you also have opened the door to accepting the ban of other attachments or features that make it faster and easier to use a weapon. Charlton Heston was prescient about the NRA--he always proclaimed that the government would only take his gun from his cold-dead hands ... as he held a Kentucky Long Rifle. And that apparently will be where the NRA draws the line: when the government come after our flintlocks.
                                                                                                                • "The Lessons of Las Vegas"--Gabe Suarez. He writes:
                                                                                                                         The solution is to accept that we live in a time of war.  We have enemies in the Islamic Terror groups, we have enemies in the rising indigenous communist militants such as Antifas, and we have enemies of happenstance, otherwise known as crazy people with violent minds.  Accepting that reality is half the battle because then most of us would not elect to attend an open air concert inside a fenced area with large building looming over us that may contain snipers.  
                                                                                                                            And we would not go out into a public place unarmed.  While the presence of a pistol would not have changed anything in Las Vegas, it most certainly would have in San Bernardino, Orlando, Fort Hood, Nice, the Bataclan, and elsewhere.  The solution to rifle fire from an elevated position some 300 yards away is simple – don’t be in the kill zone in the first place.

                                                                                                                    Other Stuff:
                                                                                                                    The California Values Act, otherwise known as Senate Bill 54, blocks local police from “using resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.” The prohibited acts include detaining individuals solely at the request of federal immigration officials, making arrests on immigration warrants and inquiring into someone’s immigration status. While many California cities have already adopted such policies, the new law extends those parameters to all law enforcement in the state, including school police.
                                                                                                                    However, the acting director of ICE has responded, stating: "ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community." 
                                                                                                                              As a timeline of Paddock's professional life comes together, officials also disclosed Wednesday he had been collecting weapons since 1982, and bought 33 firearms in the last year alone.
                                                                                                                                Jill Snyder, the special agent in charge at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, told CBS News early Wednesday that Paddock purchased 33 firearms, mostly rifles, between October 2016 and Sept. 28 -- three days before the attack.
                                                                                                                          The ones he bought in October were because he thought Hillary would win and he'd make a profit; the ones after were probably because Trump won.
                                                                                                                                   A law enforcement official says investigators believe a note found in the Las Vegas shooter's hotel room contained a series of numbers that helped him calculate more precise shots.
                                                                                                                                     The official says Saturday that the numbers found on a note on a nightstand included the distance between the high-rise hotel room that Stephen Paddock was using as a perch and the concert the victims were attending.
                                                                                                                                        It was revealed that Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos was checking a door alarm on the 32nd floor when he discovered Paddock's location during the shooting. The door alert is automatically sent to the security office when a guest room door is left ajar, and Campos was dispatched up to check it. He was shot in the leg when Paddock spotted the guard on camera and fired more than 200 bullets through the door into the hallway.
                                                                                                                                          "If it was a coincidence, it certainly was a lucky coincidence for us," McMahill said, clarifying the ajar alarm was triggered by a door to which Paddock didn't have a key. "I don't believe the killer left that door open."
                                                                                                                                           Campos' actions "led the police to that location and allowed us to neutralize the suspect more quickly."
                                                                                                                                      Well, Paddock neutralized himself, but he probably did so because he thought police were about to rush his room.
                                                                                                                                                Participation in high school football is down 3.5 percent over the past five years, according to the annual survey by the National Association of State High School Federations, or NFHS.
                                                                                                                                                  The decline would be much steeper if not for a handful of states in the South and the West. Throughout the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast, in communities urban and rural, wealthy and working-class, fewer kids are playing football.
                                                                                                                                            The article suggests (but doesn't present statistics showing) that kids are shifting to other sports, such as cross-country running. The article also mentions the increase concern over brain injuries due to concussions occurring during football.
                                                                                                                                                     I don’t agree with liberals often, because I’m not an idiot and because I love America, but when they once again say, “We must have a conversation about guns!” I still couldn’t agree more. And, since all we’ve heard is you leftists shrieking at us all week, I’ll start it off.
                                                                                                                                                       You don’t ever get to disarm us. Not ever.
                                                                                                                                                         There. It sure feels good to engage in a constructive dialogue.
                                                                                                                                                            Now, we should have this conversation because in recent years we’ve seen a remarkable antipathy for the fact that normal Americans even have rights among those on the left. We should have this conversation to clear the air before leftists push too far and the air gets filled with smoke. But we really don’t need to have a conversation about our rights to keep and bear arms. They’re rights. There’s nothing to talk about.
                                                                                                                                                    • "There Is No Middle Ground On Gun Control"--Anonymous Conservative. Noting a comment by Tom Brokaw that there ought to be a discussion between gun rights advocates and those who believe "There ought to be a more reasonable middle ground," the Anonymous Conservative explains:
                                                                                                                                                              No. The conversation is between people who want to defend themselves and their loved ones, and other people who think a valid middle ground is for the capable to risk being unable to defend themselves and their loved ones.

                                                                                                                                                          * * *
                                                                                                                                                                   The reason there is no middle ground is simple. You are talking about the safety of my family. It is like saying you are going to screw up the brakes on my car, and though it will stop eventually, it won’t stop as fast as it could, but I probably won’t need to stop fast anyway, and it will make you feel better if I do it. Or you are going to add chemicals to food which will increase the risk that my kids will get cancer, but it will only do it a little bit, and they probably won’t get cancer, and it will make you feel better. Or we should add a little poison to the water we drink, so you can feel less bad about feeling sick yourself. And if we oppose the reasonable middle ground of a little poison for our loved ones, somehow we are irrational and intransigent.

                                                                                                                                                            Thursday, October 5, 2017

                                                                                                                                                            NRA Caves on Bump-Fire Stocks

                                                                                                                                                                   The NRA has released a statement calling for the ATF to reevaluate the legality of bump-fire stocks, according to The Truth About Guns. (See also these news stories from the BBC and NBC). The full statement reads:
                                                                                                                                                                    In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented.

                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world.

                                                                                                                                                                    In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.

                                                                                                                                                                    The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.

                                                                                                                                                                    In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans’ Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities.

                                                                                                                                                                     To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence.
                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not sure what the NRA's reasoning is on this. Are they trying to avoid any consideration of Feinstein's legislation? Are they setting the ground for trading bump-fire stocks for national reciprocity (specifically mentioned in the last sentence of the statement)? Are they providing cover for the Republican Congressmen that have already voiced support for banning the devices? Do they see the issue as a lost cause, and simply don't believe it is worth the fight? Or are they selling out certain gun owners as they have done so many times in the past (remembering that the NRA has backed every major gun control bill passed by Congress, including the original NFA)? What I'm sure is that this will be decisive within the gun community and will further erode trust in the NRA.

                                                                                                                                                                    First as to the decisiveness with the gun community. The truth of the matter is a lot of gun owners probably never heard of a bump-fire stock before this tragedy, would never buy or use one if they had, and don't care if they are banned. It's intended purpose, after all, is purely for fun; it doesn't serve any purpose in hunting or competition. Hence, the "right" to own one is trivial to them, and not worth a fight. However, there are many gun owners (and I think it has increased over the years) that have the attitude of not giving an inch, and won't tolerate a ban on these stocks, or will, at the least, would require some concession from the gun grabbers. For them, the fight is not over this particular item, but a general resistance to being pushed further down the slope to more general gun control. (It is not a foolish position from my perspective of having seen first hand the erosion of gun rights in the late 1980s and early 1990s that led to the assault weapons ban. I believe that the assault weapons ban was allowed to sunset partly because the number of work-arounds to the ban showed how stupid and useless it truly was). Gun owners were able to come around to defending the AR because both of these groups were able to agree that banning one type of firearm could lead to bans on others (and it helped that the AR was increasingly seen as a hunting rifle). But the "firearms must serve some useful purpose like hunting or self-defense or competition" crowd will never agree to fight over what they view as a mere gimmick, and the sense of betrayal that the "not one more inch" crowd will have may not go away.

                                                                                                                                                                   And this leads to the second issue--the legitimacy of the NRA. I have always found it revealing that when the NRA displays photographs of someone committed to gun rights, or that represent what the NRA stands for, it is generally someone posing with an expensive shotgun for hunting or competition. The NRA is, at heart, a sporting association, not a civil rights group, and this decision will confirm for many that the NRA should not be trusted to represent gun owners.

                                                                                                                                                            October 5, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

                                                                                                                                                            "How To Make A Soup Can Stove"-- NightHawkInLight (~8 min.)

                                                                                                                                                            • "Aluminum Fishing Boat Refurbishing Project: Part One, Fixing the Leaks"--Security & Self-Reliance. My dad had a small aluminum boat that he used for fishing and occasional puttering around on the Snake River. Simple and rugged. The author here recounts his purchase of a similar style boat for a good price on the used market. The only problem was a small leak through a cracked or broken seal of a seam at the bow. He describes how he used marine epoxy and Rustoleum Sealant to fix the leak. 
                                                                                                                                                            • "AR15 Trigger Buyer’s Guide: No Clickbait Edition"--The New Rifleman. The author provides some recommendations as to AR triggers based on use and preference, including a budget 1-stage (Spikes Tactical Battle Trigger or ALG Defense QMS and ACT), budget 2-stage (Larue MBT), Geissele (he gives them their own category, noting that they make triggers for any type of "job" you need your rifle to perform), drop-in triggers (basically, anything Elfman), and the Wisconsin Trigger Co. MKII for someone who wants to be able to tinker with any and all settings on their trigger.
                                                                                                                                                            • "Recent images of Rio’s drug war"--The Firearms Blog. The various police, military, and para-military units used to fight criminal gangs in Rio de Janeiro and its surrounding slums regularly showcase a large variety of different combat weapons. This article has a number of photographs showcasing some of the weapons, with links to high definition versions of the photographs.

                                                                                                                                                            Other Stuff:
                                                                                                                                                                      The bullets left two holes in one of two circular white tanks. One of the bullets penetrated the tank, but did not cause a fire or explosion near the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, another knowledgeable source said late Wednesday.
                                                                                                                                                                        The tanks are roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site, where Paddock killed 58 people and wounded almost 500. Several airplane hangars belonging to prominent corporations are also near the tanks.

                                                                                                                                                                  * * *

                                                                                                                                                                           “A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Boyd said. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”
                                                                                                                                                                    • Yesterday, I predicted that the Republicans would race to embrace a bill banning bump fire stocks and similar devices so they could virtue signal to the left. Today, The Hill reports that "[a] Democratic proposal to ban a special accessory known as a bump stock, which allows semi-automatic guns to fire several hundred rounds a minute, is gaining unexpected support from Republicans in both chambers." I don't know that it was unexpected to anyone. However, Say Uncle warns the cucks GOP Congressmen supporting this bill that if the bill passes, "the pro-gun side damn well better get something in return. Or the Republicans will lose a lot of voters."
                                                                                                                                                                    • "A Theory on Las Vegas"--John Ringo. The author advances the theory that Paddock's actions were not because he was a member of ISIS or Antifa, but because he suffered a homicidal psychotic break likely due to medications and/or a brain disorder. He notes that a psychotic break doesn't always or necessarily result in a frenzied, violent response, but may result in obsessive behavior with planning violence and presenting few noticeable outward signs to loved ones or neighbors; especially if the person is smart and methodical, as Paddock's background suggests. This article is worth the read.
                                                                                                                                                                    • Sad: "Passengers Flee in Panic as Commuter Reads Bible Aloud on London Train"--Breitbart. Passengers on a commuter train were so "triggered" by an older gentleman wanting to talk to them about Christ and reading passages from the Bible, that they panicked and some even pried open the doors to get away. Of course, we won't hear one peep about Christian-phobic behavior.
                                                                                                                                                                    • "Norwegian Army Chief: Europe Must Destroy Islam in Order to Survive"--Truth Revolt. From the article: 
                                                                                                                                                                             “I think we must be ready to fight, both with words, actions – and if necessary weapons – to preserve the country and the values we have in common,” said Odin Johannessen in a speech to the Oslo Military Society last week, according to Freedom Daily.
                                                                                                                                                                                “Europe can no longer expect to live in peace and security, without having to defend its interests and values,” he added, noting that well-trained and adequately-equipped soldiers would be crucial. “You can not win wars without having people on the ground,” he asserted.
                                                                                                                                                                        • As you know, the Spanish Government didn't take too kindly to Catalonia's attempt at holding a referendum on independence. Writes David P. Goldman:
                                                                                                                                                                                  ... For the first time since the end of the Second World War, a revolutionary movement has asserted its power over an important European region. The conduct of the Catalan independence referendum was a thoroughly organized insurgency involving the whole of civil society, from the region’s Catholic Church to the organs of public safety. Unlike the failed independence movements of Quebec or Scotland, it was not a top-down affair promoted by a small political elite with the sentimental support of a popular minority. Unlike Italy’s Lega Lombarda, it was not a regional lobby fighting for more control of tax revenues. Catalan’s independence movement is the genuine article.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Never in postwar European history have tens of thousands of citizens collaborated in a campaign of civil disobedience so well planned that it successfully countered the mass deployment of national police and the paramilitary Civil Guard, and with sufficient grit to take nearly 1,000 injuries requiring medical treatment. The Catalans kept more than 2,000 voting stations open and saved their ballots from seizure, allowing more than 2.4 million of the region’s 7 million residents to vote.  Ninety percent of them supported the establishment of an independent Catalan republic.
                                                                                                                                                                                        To frustrate the Madrid government’s attempt to suppress the referendum, the independence movement coordinated the occupation of hundreds of polling stations by ordinary citizens, including families with children. It persuaded the regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, to stand off the Civil Guard and National Police, as in this video published by the Catholic-Monarchist newspaper ABC:
                                                                                                                                                                                         It organized the fire brigades of Catalan towns to form human shields between the polling stations and the Civil Guard. It established mechanisms to hide the ballot-boxes from the national police and transport them to a secret site for counting. Where the national police forces broke through, ordinary citizens defended the vote with their bodies, resulting in nearly 1,000 injuries, against roughly a dozen injuries for police, in a display of determined but non-violent resistance.
                                                                                                                                                                                  He goes on to explain the economic and social factors underlying the push, so please read the whole thing. However, you should also note the continued heavy-handed actions of the Spanish government. Vox Day has been following this, and notes that the on Tuesday, Spain's Ministry of Defense had "ordered the sending of the Army to Catalonia with material and to provide logistical support to the Civil Guard and the National Police."  The EU has refused to intervene or even offer assistance to mediate the matter. And so, Catalonian officials are prepared to declare independence. In short, having suffered a major blow to its legitimacy, Spain is prepared to double down and lose the rest of its legitimacy. 
                                                                                                                                                                                  Recent developments in evolutionary psychology suggest that living among others of the same ethnicity might make individuals happier and further that such an effect of the ethnic composition on life satisfaction may be stronger among less intelligent individuals. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health showed that White Americans had significantly greater life satisfaction than all other ethnic groups in the US and this was largely due to the fact that they were the majority ethnic group; minority Americans who lived in counties where they were the numerical majority had just as much life satisfaction as White Americans did. Further, the association between ethnic composition and life satisfaction was significantly stronger among less intelligent individuals. The results suggest two important factors underlying life satisfaction and highlight the utility of integrating happiness research and evolutionary psychology.