Wednesday, October 3, 2018

October 3, 2018 -- A Quick Run Around The Web

"AK74 Ammo Test Part 3: Monarch"--Ak Operators Union, Local 47-74 (4 min.)
I hadn't heard of this brand (Monarch) before, but it apparently is produced in Russia. Velocity was advertised at over 3,000 fps, but out of a 16-inch barrel it was just over 2,700 fps. I didn't think that the standard deviation was bad, but the author thought it typical. The author was getting 1.5 MOA, which he also thought was just average.

  • Grant Cunningham has posted this week's Week Day Hump Reading List. Topics covered include prioritizing your preps, concealed carry and wheelchairs, immediate care for strokes, a review of the Ruger PC carbine, normalcy bias, identity theft, and a concealed weapons carrier being charged for accidentally leaving a gun in a store. I want to comment on the latter issue.
        According to the article about the incident, the man went into an Ikea store and, at some point, sat on a couch. He was carrying a small pistol in a pocket and it apparently fell out and in-between the cushions. After the man had gotten up, a couple of kids found the pistol and discharged the weapon. No one was injured. The man returned while police were investigating, presumably looking for his pistol. According to the article, the man was charged with one count of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon. Although it is nowhere in the story, the headline indicates that it is a felony charge.
         Cunningham believes it is appropriate that the man was charged with felony, explaining that "[h]e was negligent and gives the rest of us a bad reputation!" The only statute that I could find that seems to apply is MSA section 609.66 on dangerous weapons. Violations, depending on the type, can be either misdemeanors or felonies. It appears that the only section that would be applicable to the facts and a felony charge are subsections 1b, furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor, or 1c, furnishing a deadly weapon "in conscious disregard of a known substantial risk that the object will be possessed or used in furtherance of a felony crime of violence." Given the reference to "recklessness," the latter provision is most likely the one in operation here. 
         Frankly, the charge is ridiculous. The statute was obviously intended to prohibit someone from delivering weapons to criminals. There is nothing in the story indicating that the man intended to deliver the weapon to the children with the knowledge that the firearm would or could be used to commit a felony crime. It's not even clear that the accidental discharge of the firearm would have been a felony. As even Cunningham acknowledges, this is, at most, a case of negligence, not criminal recklessness. In other words, it was an accident; unfortunate, yes, stupid, yes, but still an accident, and it does no good for prosecutors to overcharge such incidents. Rather, it is just another example of the general hostility toward gun owners. 
        Charges like these would be more palatable--just slightly--if they were applied equally, but they are not. If you Google news stories of police officers loosing firearms or having them stolen from easily accessible places, you will find that it is much more common than you think. But I have yet to come across an instance where the officer was charged with a felony ... or charged at all, for that matter. 
        It also raises the issue of how quick people are to jump to imposing criminal penalties for matters that aren't criminal. Under the common law (way back when the Constitution was adopted), felonies were crimes that were capital crimes or warranted long prison terms--murder, rape, burglary--not lapses of judgment. Injuries--even deaths--due to negligence were dealt with via civil lawsuits, not via the prosecutor's office.
  • Someone is kickstarting an Historical Firearm Coloring Book (h/t The Weapon Blog). These are high quality drawings intended for the adult coloring books.
  • "Gun owners are more politically active, study finds"--University of Kansas. The study found that not only were gun owners more likely to vote, but they were more likely to contribute money and time to help candidates. And this activity increased over the period of the study, 1971-2012. The authors found that only about 1 in 5 of gunowners belong to the NRA, so they figured that something other than NRA drives must be motivating gun owners. Their hypothesis: 
"Owning a gun for hunting doesn't necessarily mean being a hunter is a core part of your identity," she said. "But owning a gun because you think it's an essential right guaranteed in the Constitution is more a part of your political identity. It's something more attached from the get-go to politics."
Or maybe it is a reaction to being a despised minority.
  • "Guns stolen from Memphis UPS facility were found en route to Chicago"--NBC. Over 400 firearms were stolen. They were recovered in Midlothian, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Most likely en route to Chicago gangs.
  • "Communications Gear Import Ban"--The Captain's Journal.  The FCC is cracking down on hand held Baofeng ham radios, ostensibly because they can broadcast on frequencies that are verboten for that type of transceiver. 
  • "Mugging Near San Francisco’s Dolores Park Caught On Camera"--KPIX 5 (CBS San Francisco). The video is useful because it is another example of how fast these incidents can go down. In this case, the victim was walking down the sidewalk, when a thug raced across the street. By that point, the victim was out of sight of the camera, but apparently the first thug must have stopped him or her. Then two other men raced across the street to block the victim's possible escape.
  • "Are You Shooting The Best AR-15 Ammo Possible?"--Gun Digest. The primary issue is reliability. The author reminds the reader to select ammo appropriate for the chamber dimensions of his or her rifle: .223 or 5.56 NATO or .223 Wylde. The author also recommends considering whether your rifle has the extended feed ramps or not, warning that the shorter feed ramps may not reliably feed soft-point ammunition. Finally, he warns against using steel cased ammo, writing:
           Steel doesn’t expand as much or as fast as brass, so there’s more blowback of powder residue and carbon into the chamber. And if the chamber becomes too tight due to residue, cases start sticking. This is especially true if you switch to brass-case ammo after shooting a lot of steel-case rounds. Steel is also rougher on the extractor than brass, so inspect it and the extractor spring regularly, which you should do anyway.
             Most steel-case ammo is loaded with a bullet featuring a steel jacket with some sort of thin copper coating over the steel. There’s a big debate on whether steel-jacketed bullets are harmful to the barrel or not. I think they do harm the barrel. An average shooter may not have a problem, but a full-time shooter will shorten their barrel life by about 50 percent, from around 10,000 rounds down to 5,000 or so.
      And he adds:
      During classes, I see more function problems with steel ammo than with brass rounds because steel-case ammo can cause additional feeding problems by binding up in the magazine — it’s not very slippery. My advice: If you’re spending a lot of time and money on a shooting trip, take brass-case, high-quality ammo. And no matter what, always test-fire enough of any ammo to make sure it functions properly in your gun.
      The author then continues with a discussion of loads for accuracy and self-defense. Read the whole thing.
      • One of the key things that sets a liberal apart from a conservative is the inability of liberals to care about consequences--it is all about how they feel: "Increased Crime By Mentally Ill Homeless Worries San Francisco North Beach Residents"--KPIX 5 (CBS San Francisco). The comments to the story are priceless, especially those calling for the mentally ill homeless to be hospitalized. Nice try. That was banned by an ACLU lawsuit during the Reagan administration (which kicked off the homelessness problem).
      • "Standard Manufacturing SKO Mini 12 Gauge FIREARM"--The Firearm Blog. A semi-automatic "non-shotgun" firearm. It also uses detachable magazines. This looks like it has potential.

      "EASILY Clean Battery Damage In Electronics"--electronicsNmore (9 min.)
      The author demonstrates how to clean contacts and wires damaged after an alkaline battery leak. He uses a toothbrush to get off the bulk of the corrosion, then Q-Tips with white vinegar to dissolve the acid, and, finally, rubbing alcohol to clean up.

      • "LGBT Fight Comes To Orthodoxy"--Rod Dreher at The American Conservative. Dreher reports on pressure for Orthodox religions to engage in "dialogue" with the LGBT crowd on issues such as abortion, ceasing to condemn same-sex orientation or transgenderism, and ministry opportunities for LGBT. Dreher warns that "There is no dialogue to be had. None. Nor is there an escape from confrontation." He also, correctly, points out that "[t]o enter into this phony 'dialogue' is to prepare to surrender." People of the gun ought to understand this better than anyone--the left never compromises, but it is always a left ward ratcheting of laws and mores.
              LDS members should not be complacent. The Church has already engaged in this false dialogue, and it is already bearing fruit. The leftists within the Church are excited because the "New YW [Young Women] and RS [Relief Society] boards include two black women, 'Common Ground' LGBT inclusion advocate." The latter reference is to Liz Darger, a senior associate athletic director at BYU, and a member of the leadership team of NCAA Common Ground Initiative. Per the article, the Common Ground Initiative is "an effort by the NCAA to promote diversity and inclusion in college athletics, specifically making college sports safe for LGBT athletes." The author continues:
      The initiative is especially focused on how to dialogue about LGBT inclusion (and basic safety) at religiously-affiliated schools, like BYU. However, BYU was not initially invited to participate, and it was basically Darger’s single-handed leadership and active lobbying in all directions that brought BYU into the coalition, and her ongoing commitment that has resulted in concrete changes at BYU in this area. The Common Ground Initiative’s annual meeting will be hosted at BYU this year, a sign of just how far Darger has advanced the conversation. Obviously BYU and the church still have a long ways to go before they can begin to undo the damage of exclusionary doctrines and policies and be safe places for LGBT folks. But Darger showed incredible courage and initiative on this, and the thought of her serving on the YW board is frankly blowing my mind right now.
      • Doubling down on stupid: "Germany to ease immigration rules to tackle worker shortage"--Yahoo News. Apparently the African and Middle-Eastern migrants they have been importing have not been able to fill needed openings in "the areas of mathematics, computing, natural sciences and technology." 
      • No, just the cucks: "Are Republicans Born Wimps?"--Patrick Buchanan. Of the several points addressed in the article, I think the most important is his observations of the Supreme Court and why Supreme Court nominations have become such points of contention in recent decades (e.g., Bork, Thomas, and Kavanaugh):
                Yet the stakes here are immense. Consider how the Supreme Court has remade the America we grew up in.
                  Since World War II, the court has de-Christianized all public schools and the public life of a land Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman called a “Christian nation.” It has established secularism as our state religion.
                    Despite civil right laws declaring race discrimination illegal, the court has given its blessing to affirmative action, deliberate discrimination in favor of peoples of color against white men in the name of diversity and equality.
                     The court has declared that what were once crimes, abortion and homosexuality, are now constitutional rights all Americans must respect.
                       These changes were not legislated democratically but imposed dictatorially. While a Senate confirmation of Kavanaugh would not reverse these mandated changes, it might halt any further imposition of this radical social revolution by unelected judges.
                         But while the Democratic left, understanding the stakes, is fighting bare-fisted, Republicans are sparring with 14-ounce gloves and seeking to observe Marquess of Queensberry Rules.
                           Rabbits follow “r” selection.  (The “K” and the “r” originate as variables in an equation that you’ll never use, but here’s the link (LINK) if you want to stare at it.)
                             It’s the opposite of K selection in many ways.  r selection depends upon having significant amounts of resources available.  These resources make life easy, so strategies change.
                               Part of winning biologically in a resource-rich revolves around having the most number of offspring.  So, have as many as you want, as many as you can so your genes spread far and wide.  Since resources are abundant, mating for life is silly.  Mate with . . . whoever.  Whenever.  However.  As long as you have babies.  Since a rabbit has lots of babies, each gets little attention, and the idea of a rabbit protecting offspring is unknown – rabbits run away, hoping you’ll eat their offspring as long as you don’t get them.
                                 Resources are plentiful, so there’s no real reason to work together strongly.  Not that the rabbits won’t hang together, it’s just that there’s no rabbit that will ever inconvenience themselves to help another rabbit.
                                   Biologically, the rabbits avoid competition for resources – there’s no need.  Whereas the wolves focus on mating for life, promiscuity is required for rabbits.  And rabbits are single parents.  Rabbits are single parents who come to early sexual maturity and have children young.  And they will sell out other rabbits to save themselves.

                               * * *

                                       We see echoes of r/K selection in our society today.  When the economy tanks?  Divorce rate plummets.
                                         As social spending goes up?  Sexual promiscuity in youth goes up.  Single parenthood increases.
                                           The numbers of children born to unwed mothers goes from 3.8% in 1940 (before welfare) to 5.3% in 1960 to over 40% by 2008.  The numbers stayed small as long as resources were limited, but once resources were free?  Boom, many women become r-selected rabbits, which is paralleled only with the behaviors seen at the beginning of the decay of empires (which I cover better than anyone else, ever, at this link (LINK)).
                                             But a core of society remain K selected, which was the norm prior to 1960 and the mass rollout of welfare.  So, blue state/red state?  Republican/Democrat?  Liberal/Conservative?
                                               Or r/K?
                                                 That’s where we find ourselves today – much of our political division now having root in differing biological strategies.  When the strategy is rooted so deeply, it becomes a point of self, not something abstract.  When someone attacks an idea that supports that strategy, it’s often viewed as a personal attack, rather than a discussion.  Ever see a political discussion go from zero to yelling in under thirty seconds?  Chances are, someone attacked one of the deeply seated r/K differences.
                                                   Thomas Sowell, economist and philosopher and the best thinker in my opinion of the last 70 years, wrote in what I consider to be his magnum opus A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles that human beings philosophically break down, crudely but sufficiently descriptively, into two fundamentally opposed worldviews that they are effectively born with, not that they reach through reason:
                                                     Sowell calls one worldview the "constrained vision." It sees human nature as flawed or fallen, seeking to make the best of the possibilities that exist within that constraint. The competing worldview, which Sowell terms the "unconstrained vision," instead sees human nature as capable of continual improvement.
                                                       You can trace the constrained vision back to Aristotle; the unconstrained vision to Plato. But the neatest illustration of the two visions occurred during the great upheavals of the 18th century, the American and French revolutions.
                                                         The American Revolution embodied the constrained vision. "In the United States," Sowell says, "it was assumed from the outset that what you needed to do above all was minimize [the damage that could be done by] the flaws in human nature." The founders did so by composing a constitution of checks and balances. More than two centuries later, their work remains in place.
                                                            The French Revolution, by contrast, embodied the unconstrained vision. "In France," Sowell says, "the idea was that if you put the right people in charge--if you had a political Messiah--then problems would just go away." The result? The Terror, Napoleon and so many decades of instability that France finally sorted itself out only when Charles de Gaulle declared the Fifth Republic.
                                                              I would argue that France hasn't exactly sorted itself out, but it is for the moment stable enough. My point here is that those born with the "unconstrained" worldview are the ones that can be, and often enthusiastically are, receptive to the Utopian promise of Marxism.  The problem is that those born with the "constrained" worldview aren't, and they don't understand that. As a result, as Charles Krauthammer put it:
                                                        To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.
                                                                  So President Trump got elected to the shock of almost everyone, everywhere. No one in the political establishment, entertainment or information media could understand it.  He was, despite his wealth and education, not part of the Ruling Class, but he was President and a danger to the status quo, so everyone who is part or imagines themselves part or wants to be part of the Ruling Class has agreed that he won illegitimately and must be gotten rid of, regardless the cost. All those people who voted for him? Moronic knuckle-draggers, Christian fanatics clinging to their faiths, evil gun owners clinging to their pseudo-penises, evil greedy capitalists clinging to their ill-gotten gains, white supremacists longing to bring back slavery, etc, etc, etc. In short, the non-human enemy that cannot be reached so it must be wiped out.  You know, like Hitler and the Nazis.
                                                                   The irony, it burns!
                                                            I’ve spent my whole adult life in rarefied academic circles, where everyone has a good income and excellent working conditions. Yet I know many people in that world who are seething with resentment because they aren’t at Harvard or Yale, or who actually are at Harvard or Yale but are seething all the same because they haven’t received a Nobel Prize.
                                                                   For the past year scholars James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian have sent fake papers to various academic journals which they describe as specialising in activism or “grievance studies.” Their stated mission has been to expose how easy it is to get “absurdities and morally fashionable political ideas published as legitimate academic research.” 
                                                                      To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia.