- TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training.
- One of the items in Greg Ellifritz's "knowledge dump" for this week is a research paper on law enforcement use of deadly force. I haven't yet had time to read the paper, but I'm thinking about it because of this incident: "Police shot unarmed gamer dead during a 'swatting prank': Member of online community was gunned down by a SWAT team after rival 'falsely told cops he was holding hostages at his home during row over a $2 Call of Duty bet'"--Daily Mail. Apparently some pranksters Swatted the man--called police and reported that there had been a shooting at the address. The man reportedly was unarmed when he heard a noise outside his house, and opened the front door to see what it was and was shot. The incident is still being investigated, so police haven't offered an explanation as to why they shot the homeowner.
- Related: Weapons training can't cure stupid. "Pittsburgh police officer under internal investigation for use of Taser at Downtown restaurant"--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The officer used his Taser on the proprietor of a pizzeria for no apparent reason. Thought it was funny? Just curious what it would do?
- You may remember posts that I've made about the Glock Gadget (apparently now just called the Striker Control Device). Well, the manufacturer is taking pre-orders for versions intended for the Glock G42, G43, and Gen 5 pistols. The pre-order price is $60, or $19 less than the regular price.
- Marlin is releasing new lever action models in .357 and .44 Magnum, which will have threaded barrels for mounting a sound suppressor.
- "Shades of Gray…"--Priority: Performance. The author notes that, in our modern, urbanized (suburbanized?) society, it is unlikely that you will ever face someone in the pitch dark. But there are lots of opportunities to be accosted in dim parking lots or parking garages, or even in your own home at night (with the dim glow of a half-dozen electronic devices). In any event, the point that the author raises is that these dim settings may present enough light that you don't need a flashlight or weapon mounted light, but not have enough light to illuminate a fiber-optic sight, nor reflect off a white or fluorescent painted sight. In such environments, it makes sense to have tritium night sights.
- Update: A reader sends: "You don't have to choose between fiber-optic sights and tritium sights. The TRUGLO TFO sights are a hybrid design combining fiber-optic light gathering for lighted environments and tritium for low-light/dark environments. So far, I've installed them on three Glocks in my household."
- "BIG Freakin’ Cartridge Test 004: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 20″ Barrel"--The Firearms Blog. Nathaniel continues his testing of .223/5.56 ammunition, this time shooting Golden Tiger out of a 20-inch barrel. The take-away is that the longer barrel resulted in a more efficient powder burn, as there was significantly less variability in velocity than he saw in the shorter barrels.
- "Why Black People Own Guns"--Huffington Post. I suspect this article is skewed because there seemed to be a very limited spectrum of why they owned firearms (for instance, a lack of anyone owning firearms for sporting purposes). The summary from the article:
HuffPost spoke to 11 black gun owners about their reasons for owning a firearm. Trump was a non-factor. Instead, they talked about wanting to protect themselves out of fear that no one else would. They talked about their anxieties during interactions with the police and their complex views on gun regulation. Where gun advocates often adduce the imaginary heroics of a hypothetical active-shooter scenario to their arguments, the black gun owners we talked to referred to specific incidents, specific provocations — as if redlined, too, out of the fantasyland of American gun culture. And most of them returned to a sentiment as old as the nation itself: that owning firearms is a rebellion against a system bent on keeping them out of the hands of black folks.
- It is not okay to flash the OK hand sign: "EXCLUSIVE: White power at the White House – Trump intern flashes 'alt-right' symbol used by notorious extremists during group photo with the president"--Daily Mail. Supposedly the OK hand sign can be interpreted as the three-unused fingers describing a "W" and the pointer finger and thumb describing a "P", standing for "white power." Or it could just mean OK.
- FYI: "1.8 Million Immigrants Likely Arrived in 2016, Matching Highest Level in U.S. History"--American Renaissance.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "The SpaceX light show yesterday"--Behind the Black. This December 23 article discusses a December 22 launch by Space X.
I was able to catch the booster ascent, stage separation, second stage burn and what looks like the booster spinning with at least one engine firing. The spinning went on for a while so it must have had some fuel left.
I read SpaceX said they would not land this booster so maybe they had some fun with it for us folks in LA. It spun around for a minute like a pinwheel. A great show.
A great photo at the link. The author of the article went on to muse:
As is typical of SpaceX, they waste no opportunity to test their equipment and find out what it can do, on the extreme. I suspect these maneuvers were designed to push the first stage’s ability to recover from an out-of-control spin. From the call-outs by engineers during the launch, it appears that this test was a success, as it appears from those call outs that the first stage “landed” properly upright in the ocean.
- "Religious Thoughts Inspired By Reddit?"--Anonymous Conservative. A Reddit post caused AC to reflect on Christianity and faith:
Religion survives because it is a broader truth that describes things beyond our mere mortal plane. And even though we see its truth rarely on this side of the curtain, every so often trustworthy people get a glimpse behind the curtain, and report what they have observed. And they are believed by trustworthy people, who tell others, and that builds faith. I am convinced that without being truth, and without that truth manifesting in periodic reaffirmations by trustworthy people, Christianity would have failed, and quickly.
Once in a while, what is behind the curtain intervenes on this side of the curtain, and makes things that seem almost impossible just happen, all to further a greater cause. Those who have caught the spark of belief from a story from trusted friends, can see the linkage. Those who’ve had a glimpse behind the curtain can feel the awe.
After discussing instances of divine intervention at key times in America's history, AC continues:
My own suspicion is God enters the world to offer his support most in our worst moments, when everything is at risk of falling down. You don’t see such accounts of God’s interventions in the Roaring Twenties, or the Dot-com boom. He wasn’t seen much on such a grand scale in the fifties, just as the eighties were not filled with such accounts of being rescued from doom by divine providence. But when the smoke is in the air and blood is spraying, or just dark moments are about that seem unable to be resolved any other way, the curtain can be lifted, and people will see behind it.
He's correct. You can no more communicate your religious faith to someone that has not experienced it, than you can communicate the rich interplay of colors to someone that has never seen. The best you can do is testify of your faith, and hope that the Holy Spirit communicates it for you.