- TGIF: This week's Weekend Knowledge Dump from Active Response Training. An outstanding selection of articles and videos this week. As always, I try to pick out one or two to highlight, which, in this case, was difficult. I finally settled on two, which are "Legal Guidance: What to Do As NJ Police Come for Your Gun Magazines" from Ammo Land and "The Telling Geography of American Gun Violence" from Gun Culture 2.0. The former is self-explanatory, while the latter discusses and provides links to a tool that can show you the number of firearm related injuries or deaths in your town or city since 2014.
- Jon Low at Defensive Pistol Craft has posted his monthly roundup of articles, quotes, and his commentary.
- You can't stop the signal (or something like that): "Guns Flow Into UK Despite Strict Laws; US Crime at Historic Lows as Civilian Gun Ownership Soars"--The Truth About Guns. Dan Zimmerman takes note of an article from The Guardian reporting that police in the UK are seeing an increased number of guns being smuggled into the country; and, concurrent with that, are seeing more "new" firearms rather than the same firearms being used again and again as they are rented out.
- "FBI: Record number of illegal immigrants barred from guns"--Washington Examiner. Or, in other words, more illegal aliens are trying to buy guns.
- "Even Sen. Feinstein Knows the Trump Bump Stock Ban is on Thin Legal Ice"--The Truth About Guns. She wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post preparing her acolytes for the possible rescission of the ban by the President, or the rule being overturned by a court.
- Herschel at The Captain's Journal warns about the increasing number of coyote sightings and, even, attacks in urban areas.
- "Not a prepper, but want to be? There's an app for that"--Daily Herald. The app discussed in the article is Prepify.
- Sheriff Jim Wilson, writing in Shooting Illustrated, discusses "Personal-Defense Planning: Always Have an Exit Strategy." Key point:
Our awareness plan should go something like this: When we enter a public place, we first scan it for any obvious trouble. Next, even though we have not seen anything alarming, we look around for objects that would be handy to use for cover. Third, we locate the various exits and try to position ourselves close to one of them. In time, these things become a natural part of our defensive observation and can be accomplished rather quickly.
- Related: "Self-Defense for Women: Being All Ears"--NRA Family. The author, Wendy LaFever, observes that "many people find that it's easier to concentrate and process visual information when auditory distractions are reduced." So get those earbuds out and pay attention to your surroundings.
- "Owl Eyes: A core awareness skill"--Wilderness Awareness School. A technique for maximizing your peripheral vision. From the article:
Imagine that you are an owl. Look straight ahead and imagine that your eyeballs are stuck in your eye sockets and cannot move.
Now, look straight ahead toward wherever your body is facing. Pick a spot directly across from you that you can train your eyes on without moving. Hold that spot in the center of your vision as your focal point. If your eyes wander off, bring them back to your focal point again. Always return to that one spot.
While staring at that spot and without moving your eyeballs, notice that you can also see part of the ground or floor between you and that spot. And without moving your eyeballs you can see part of the sky or ceiling between you and that spot. You can see the ground, the sky, and that spot all at the same time using your peripheral vision. This is owl eyes.
Build on this peripheral vision now by adding to your awareness the farthest thing you can see to the left and the farthest thing you can see to the right, all without moving your eyeballs. You can see these five things at once: your focal point, the ground, the sky, the extreme left, and the extreme right.
I can't remember where I heard or read this, but another tip (especially useful for self-defense purposes such as entering a building from the bright outdoors) is to lower your eyes slightly so that your peripheral vision can catch what is going on in front of you without you necessarily "staring" at someone.
- "Research: Would cops notice a gun on the dashboard during a traffic stop?"--Police One. The impact of inattentional blindness on police officers. According to the article, "[a]cross those conditions, 58% of recruit officers and 33% of the veteran officers failed to notice the weapon at any point during the simulated vehicle stop." Also:
[The officers] expected that such threats would automatically capture their attention.
Instead, they experienced “inattentional blindness” – when people focus on a task that demands their attention, they often fail to notice unexpected objects or events that occur in plain view. In other words, officers who do not “expect” to see a weapon on the dashboard will often fail to notice it, especially if they are focusing attention on something else, such as the driver.
The author suggests that the primary issue is that the officer is so focused on the driver and his interaction with that driver, that he misses other details; and that the solution may be to have a second officer approach from the other side whose focus should primarily be checking out the interior of the vehicle.
- "Thug Burglars: Tunnel Vision and Stress"--Personal Self-Defense. This article discusses inattentional blindness in the more familiar context of "tunnel-vision" when faced with a threat. The author notes research showing that not only does our focus of vision narrow, but we also lose auditory acuity. The author also includes stills from a video of a home invasion showing this tunnel vision effect in action. In the video, three burglars entered a home and apparently woke the owner that came out to investigate. She sees two of the burglars (and they see her) and opens fire. Her targets scramble to get out. The third burglar, in a different part of the house, also scrambles to get out, even bumping into the woman and pointing his firearm at her, yet there is nothing in the video to indicate that the woman ever saw the third burglar or that the he saw her.
- For more reading on the topic, you might want to check out this 2001 article, "Sights unseen: Research on a phenomenon known as inattentional blindness suggests that unless we pay close attention, we can miss even the most conspicuous events" published by The American Psychological Association. It discusses both "change blindness"--the failure "to detect change in their visual field, as long as the change occurs during an eye movement or when people's view is otherwise interrupted"--and inattentional blindness. It, of course, mentions the famous "gorilla suit" experiment:
In a particularly dramatic demonstration of the inattentional blindness effect, half of the observers failed to notice a person wearing a gorilla suit who walked into the middle of the basketball game, stopped to face the camera, thumped its chest and walked off the screen--spending a total of nine seconds on screen.
- And a 2012 article from Industrial Safety & Hygiene News entitled "Are Your Workers Blind To Safety?" This article explains:
The major cause of inattention blindness is not how much sensory information the employee is trying to process; it is due to the cognitive workload. The deeper an employee is concentrating on something, the less likely he or she is to notice incoming hazards. The one factor that seems to make a difference is a sensory gradient. If the incoming hazard looks very different from everything else in the visual field, it stands out more and has a better chance of being noticed. But most safety hazards are more likely to resemble the background and won’t pop out enough to be noticed.
Although discussing training to overcome inattentional blindness in drivers and the industrial setting, the article noted that the more realistic the training the better it was for training out inattentional blindness.
- "Illegal immigrant from Jamaica, 18, is charged with murdering 12-year-old boy in Connecticut drive-by shooting a week before Christmas"--Daily Mail. The murderer, Tajay Chambers, had already been arrested for an assault on another teen in October 2018. Apparently the victim's older brother had shot at Chambers car with a BB gun, and Chambers returned with some accomplices with the intent of killing the older brother. However, Chambers wasn't a very good shot and instead struck and killed the 12-year old boy. He is being charged with murder, among other crimes. Although the article doesn't discuss this, this is another example of transfered intent: Chambers didn't intend to kill the boy but the boy's brother. However, per the doctrine, that intent was transfered to the victim, and instead of manslaughter, Chambers is facing a murder charge.
- Dreamers gotta dream: "MS-13 allegedly used a 13-year-old girl to lure murder victim to Queens bird sanctuary"--New York Post. According to the article, "Police have arrested four people in the gruesome killing, including an unidentified 13-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy." The other two "youths" involved in the killing were 22 and 18 years old, respectively. The article indicates that police believe that the 4 used the same tactic to kill another Hispanic youth on December 18.
- "The Marxism That Must Not Be Named"--William S. Lind at Traditional Right. Lind addresses a New York Times op-ed that essentially says that "Cultural Marxism" and the Frankfort School is an illusory bogyman invented by the right. Lind writes:
My answer to the professor (of history no less) is “Read some history.” The literature on the Frankfurt School is immense and most of it is written by scholars on the Left. The definitive work is Rolf Wiggershaus’s The Frankfurt School. Martin Jay is the principal American scholar of the Frankfurt School, and his book The Dialectical Imagination is also quite good, although it ends in 1950 and thus misses most of Herbert Marcuse’s influence. Lorenz Jager’s recent biography of Theodor Adorno, simply titled Adorno, is excellent. No open-minded person can read these books and not find in the Frankfurt School’s work the origins of what we now know as political correctness.
Lind adds: "The easiest way to tell you are dealing with cultural Marxist is if he denies the existence of cultural Marxism." If you don't want to read books written by leftists, you can read up in Michael Walsh's book, The Devil's Pleasure Palace, or Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.
- Cultural Marxism in action: "Fewer NYC high school students identify as heterosexual than ever before"--New York Post. The article reports that "[n]early one in four teens, 23.6 percent, now identify in categories other than straight — the highest level ever recorded, the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey has found."
- China's new colonialism: "China's African debt-trap: Beijing prepares to seize Kenya's port of Mombasa"--Taiwan News. From the article:
African media reports that Kenya may soon be forced to relinquish control of its largest and most lucrative port in Mombasa to Chinese control.
Other assets related to the inland shipment of goods from the port, including the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), may also be compromised in the event of a Chinese port takeover.
This is coming just as African nations implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is intended to make the continent tariff free.
- The wages of
sinsocialism: "Special Report: Oil output goes AWOL in Venezuela as soldiers run PDVSA"--Reuters. The Venezuelan national oil company is seeing it production continue to decline even after the military took control of those companies. The article recounts:
Soldiers with AK-47s, under orders to prevent cheating on manifests, now board tankers to accompany cargo inspectors, rattling foreign captains and crews.
Workers who make mistakes operating increasingly dilapidated PDVSA equipment now face the risk of arrest and charges of sabotage or corruption. Military chieftains, moonlighting in the private sector, are elbowing past other contractors for lucrative service and supply business with PDVSA.
In a little-noted reversal of the Socialist government’s two-decade drive to nationalize the industry, the lack of expertise among military managers is leading PDVSA to hire outsiders to keep afloat even basic operations, like drilling and pumping oil. To the dismay of many familiar with Venezuela’s oil industry, some of the contracts are going to small, little-known firms with no experience in the sector.
Things may turn around--at least as to oil production. Russia is going to help Venezuela financially in exchange for taking at least partial control over Venezuela's oil industry.
- "Rare phenomenon caused the shocking blue glow over NYC’s skies". The New York Post reports that "[a] faulty piece of equipment charged with 138,000 volts of electricity erupted into an 'electrical arc flash' that cast an eerie blue glow over the skies of New York, Con Edison officials said Friday morning." That's the official story, but we all know it was time-traveling Terminators.
- "The First War on Christmas"--The American Conservative. "Three days after Christmas, the Catholic Church observes the feast of the Holy Innocents, or Childermas. It memorializes a massacre of infants [by King Herod]. That also is part of the Christmas story." Read the whole thing.
- A reminder that we live in the 21st Century: "New Horizons: Ultima Thule is Dead Ahead"--Sky & Telescope. On January 1, 2019, the New Horizons probe will pass by 2014 MU69 (nicknamed Ultima Thule), a large Kuiper belt object past Pluto, which is currently about 4 billion miles (6.4 billion km) from the Earth. There is a bit of a mystery with Thule: its "light curve" should change as the object rotates, but current measurements are not showing a light curve--there is no change in brightness. This suggests that New Horizons may be approaching the object along its axis of rotation (unlikely) or that the object is surrounded by a cloud of gas or debris masking its light signature. In 2017, scientists did detect variations in brightness, which led them to believe that Ultima Thule might have a small moon orbiting it.