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Everything posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. .... and THIS is why I hated Trainer's EDGE when I took it. I can afford the course fee but I hate losing a whole Saturday to garbage like this when I don't need it. I would recommend the course highly to someone who has never trained or instructed kids before but it's just a little annoying after 20+ years of teaching Scouts.
  2. My Scouts haven't had 30 years of Scouting, 20+ years of military service plus associated "professional military education", numerous management and leadership courses, and Scoutmaster Fundamentals (which I also considered redundant and useless). They would benefit from NYLT, I would not.
  3. I see having someone WB-"educated" is now a JTE requirement. Gre-e-e-e-eat ...
  4. I'd rather get equipment that's good at what it does. For a portable stick-powered stove, I like the EmberLite or similar stoves. If I want to recharge my electronics, I have a 19W solar panel and 2 Li-Ion battery packs capable of storing 6600 mAh each -- more than enough for a weekend campout.
  5. dedkad, I would agree with your son's SM that Boy Scouts are a time to get a little separation but it doesn't mean complete separation. I suspect what he's trying to do is cut out the helicopter parents but every troop I know needs SOME help from parents, whether it's sitting on boards of review, organizing fundraisers, or helping Scouts plan activities. That may mean you're less involved or less busy than you thought you'd be -- if so, you can still help that Pack connect with the Charter Troop and make sure the liaison job is transferred in a way that lasts past next summer.
  6. However the vote goes, I would definitely be on board with telling the CEOs of AT&T and Ernst & Young to get lost.
  7. That piece of propaganda is actually pretty well known and it was a setup. The attackers knew who was "armed" and where he was sitting before the scenario began. The students were purposely chosen to be unfamiliar with handling their firearms and they weren't trained properly before the scenario began.
  8. So I'm glad to see RichardB here and that there is an effort from National to keep tabs on discussions here because I was afraid they were cut off in their own little insular worlds. For what it's worth, I detest most of the changes I've seen coming out of National over the past 10 years. I find the G2SS to be more of a hindrance and symptom of legalistic or nanny society than a help toward building Men for the 21st century. I follow it because I have to but don't take my acquiescence as a sign of approval. Additional required "training" hasn't added one iota to my ability to train and mold boys although it HAS taken up time and caused consternation when my newly graduated Eagle Scout ASMs were suddenly considered "not trained" (implying they were incompetent) for not taking courses designed to replicate material they'd mastered years ago -- and yes, MOST 19-22 year olds I know have MUCH better things to spend $15 and a weekend on. I found the press for the Visine (Centennial) uniform incomprehensible with all the other challenges we have. Aspects of the design like the cargo pockets were great but the only times I've ever heard a question from Scouts about green vs. red shoulder loops was when we first implemented the Oscar de la Renta uniform 30 years ago and I've NEVER heard Scouts want to get rid of the traditional white-on-red troop numerals. Want to help the program? Help us figure out and address what's causing the mass migration out of Scouting at 10-11 years of age -- I can almost guarantee you that One Oath, G2SS, bilingual medical forms and uniform changes are doing nothing positive in this vein. I happen to like my new SE so far -- the most I can tell you about the former SE is that I didn't hear anyone bemoaning his move and a lot of people celebrating the fact that we won't hear any more idiotic suggestions about selling our current camp lands and relocating the camp several hours further away in order to bulk up the endowment fund. (Heck, I made my first contribution to the endowment fund this year partially in celebration of his departure.) It would actually be nice to have an ombudsman-type presence on this forum to ask questions and pass on views from the field.
  9. Gre-e-e-e-eaa-a-a-at. More paperwork. Love it. Is National really looking for more ways to drive out dedicated volunteers?
  10. As I remember it, only 1% used to make it to Eagle. Advancement is much more professionalized these days -- more organized, more resources, more options. Membership is declining and a higher percentage of Scouts are making Eagle but another way to look at it is that the kids who aren't really interested just aren't joining instead of dropping out as Second or First Class Scouts. I've seen some paper Eagles yesterday as well as today and some EXCELLENT Eagles today as well as yesterday. Celebrate the fact that we still have Eagles, a program and fine young men.
  11. In response to Beavah's claim about no one suggesting confiscation: Sen. Feinstein suggests national buyback of guns December 21, 2012 | 3:39 pm | Modified: December 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm Joel Gehrke Commentary Writer The Washington Examiner Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said that she and other gun control advocates are considering a law that would create a program to purchase weapons from gun owners, a proposal that could be compulsory. We are also looking at a buy-back program, Feinstein said today in a press conference. Now, again, this is a work in progress so these are ideas in the development. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., already discussed the possibility of a buy-back law for his state, but he made clear it would be a forced buyback. Confiscation could be an option, Cuomo told The New York Times yesterday when discussing semiautomatic weapons. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option keep your gun but permit it. Australia implemented a mandatory buyback program in 1996 following a mass shooting. The law banned semiautomatic and automatic rifles and shotguns and put in place a mandatory buy-back program for newly banned weapons, USA Today recalls. The buyback led to the destruction of 650,000 gun. Some liberal activists want the policy imitated here. That would be like destroying 50 million guns in America today, the Center for American Progress Matt Miller wrote after noting that Australia eliminated 20 percent of the weapons in the country. The Australian outlaw and repurchase option is one approach. But if Congress balks at banning certain weapons entirely, it could make gun owners an offer they cant refuse. Instead of $200 a gun, Uncle Sam might offer $500. Feinstein also said that that former President Bill Clinton had volunteered, on a phone call, to help her get a new gun law passed. [Clinton] was talking about the battle back in 1993 with the bill that, interestingly enough, was introduced and passed within the year fo 1993 and went into effect in 1994, she said. And, of course, he was president and the White House came alive and was very very helpful in enabling the passage of that bill both in the senate and in the House. So, to have him part of the team again is really quote special for us.
  12. Anyone who can't see the President as hyperpartisan is definitely NOT in ordinary reality -- not sure if they're in any kind of reality. Like him or hate him, you have to be intentionally blind and deaf to NOT see his hyperpartisanship. In 2009 he said "elections have consequences" and "I won, get over it" in response to requests for negotiation. This year he doubled down on his request for tax increases without naming any significant reductions in spending (reductions in preplanned growth are NOT the same) then called for "balance". There aren't a lot of people reaching across the aisle from either side but denying Obama's hyperpartisanship takes a special kind of "reality".
  13. Ban light sabers. Darth Vader carried one and he destroyed a whole planet just to get a girl to talk. Ban fertilizer. Do I really need to mention Timothy McVeigh? While we're on Timothy, ban Ryder trucks. Ban radio and film. They enabled Hitler to spread his hate-filled propaganda, took the world to war and ended up getting millions upon millions of people killed.
  14. Source: http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/ I didnt want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. Ive been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. Ive heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and Ive spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I dont mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I cant stand). Todays blog post is going to be aimed at the first group. I am going to try to go through everything Ive heard over the last few days, and try to break it down from my perspective. My goal tonight is to write something that my regular readers will be able to share with their friends who may not be as familiar with how mass shootings or gun control laws work. A little background for those of you who dont know me, and this is going to be extensive so feel free to skip the next few paragraphs, but I need to establish the fact that I know what I am talking with, because I am sick and tired of my opinion having the same weight as a person who learned everything they know about guns and violence from watching TV. I am now a professional novelist. However, before that I owned a gun store. We were a Title 7 SOT, which means we worked with legal machineguns, suppresors, and pretty much everything except for explosives. We did law enforcement sales and worked with equipment that is unavailable from most dealers, but that means lots and lots of government inspections and compliance paperwork. This means that I had to be exceedingly familiar with federal gun laws, and there are a lot of them. I worked with many companies in the gun industry and still have many friends and contacts at various manufacturers. When I hear people tell me the gun industry is unregulated, I have to resist the urge to laugh in their face. I was also a Utah Concealed Weapons instructor, and was one of the busiest instructors in the state. That required me to learn a lot about self-defense laws, and because I took my job very seriously, I sought out every bit of information that I could. My classes were longer than the standard Utah class, and all of that extra time was spent on Use of Force, shoot/no shoot scenarios, and role playing through violent encounters. I have certified thousands of people to carry guns. I have been a firearms instructor, and have taught a lot of people how to shoot defensively with handguns, shotguns, and rifles. For a few years of my life, darn near every weekend was spent at the range. I started out as an assistant for some extremely experienced teachers and I also had the opportunity to be trained by some of the most accomplished firearms experts in the world. The man I stole most of my curriculum from was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Special Forces, turned federal agent SWAT team commander. I took classes in everything from wound ballistics (10 hours of looking at autopsy slides) to high-speed cool-guy door-kicking stuff. Ive worked extensively with military and law enforcement personnel, including force on force training where I played the OpFor (i.e. I got to be the bad guy, because I make an awesome bad guy. You tell me how evil/capable you want me to be, and how hard you want your men to work, and Id make it happen, plus I can take a beating). Part of this required learning how mass shooters operate and studying the heck out of the actual events. I have been a competition shooter. I competed in IPSC, IDPA, and 3gun. It was not odd for me to reload and shoot 1,000 rounds in any given week. I fired 20,000 rounds of .45 in one August alone. Ive got a Remington 870 with approximately 160,000 rounds through it. Ive won matches, and Ive been able to compete with some of the top shooters in the country. I am a very capable shooter. I only put this here to convey that I know how shooting works better than the vast majority of the populace. I have written for national publications on topics relating to gun law and use of force. I wrote for everything from the United States Concealed Carry Association to SWAT magazine. I was considered a subject matter expert at the state level, and on a few occasions was brought in to testify before the Utah State Legislature on the ramifications of proposed gun laws. Ive argued with lawyers, professors, professional lobbyists, and once made a state rep cry. Basically for most of my adult life, I have been up to my eyeballs in guns, self-defense instruction, and the laws relating to those things. So believe me when I say that Ive heard every argument relating to gun control possible. It is pretty rare for me to hear something new, and none of this stuff is new. Armed Teachers So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a national conversation on guns. Heres the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isnt a conversation at all, it is a lecture. Now when I say teachers carrying concealed weapons on Facebook I immediately get a bunch of emotional freak out responses. You cant mandate teachers be armed! Guns in every classroom! Emotional response! Blood in the streets! No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again. Police are awesome. I love working with cops. However any honest cop will tell you that when seconds count they are only minutes away. After Colombine law enforcement changed their methods in dealing with active shooters. It used to be that you took up a perimeter and waited for overwhelming force before going in. Now usually as soon as you have two officers on scene you go in to confront the shooter (often one in rural areas or if help is going to take another minute, because there are a lot of very sound tactical reasons for using two, mostly because your success/survival rates jump dramatically when you put two guys through a door at once. The shooters brain takes a moment to decide between targets). The reason they go fast is because they know that every second counts. The longer the shooter has to operate, the more innocents die. However, cops cant be everywhere. There are at best only a couple hundred thousand on duty at any given time patrolling the entire country. Excellent response time is in the three-five minute range. Weve seen what bad guys can do in three minutes, but sometimes it is far worse. They simply cant teleport. So in some cases that means the bad guys can have ten, fifteen, even twenty minutes to do horrible things with nobody effectively fighting back. So if we cant have cops there, what can we do? The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5. The reason is simple. The armed civilians are there when it started. The teachers are there already. The school staff is there already. Their reaction time is measured in seconds, not minutes. They can serve as your immediate violent response. Best case scenario, they engage and stop the attacker, or it bursts his fantasy bubble and he commits suicide. Worst case scenario, the armed staff provides a distraction, and while hes concentrating on killing them, hes not killing more children. But teachers arent as trained as police officers! True, yet totally irrelevant. The teacher doesnt need to be a SWAT cop or Navy SEAL. They need to be speed bumps. But this leads to the inevitable shrieking and straw man arguments about guns in the classroom, and then the pacifistic minded who simply cant comprehend themselves being mandated to carry a gun, or those that believe teachers are all too incompetent and cant be trusted. Let me address both at one time. Dont make it mandatory. In my experience, the only people who are worth a darn with a gun are the ones who wish to take responsibility and carry a gun. Make it voluntary. It is rather simple. Just make it so that your states concealed weapons laws trump the Federal Gun Free School Zones act. All that means is that teachers who voluntarily decide to get a concealed weapons permit are capable of carrying their guns at work. Easy. Simple. Cheap. Available now. Then theyll say that this is impossible, and give me all sorts of terrible worst case scenarios about all of the horrors that will happen with a gun in the classroom No problem, because this has happened before. In fact, my state laws allow for somebody with a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a school right now. Yes. Utah has armed teachers. We have for several years now. When I was a CCW instructor, I decided that I wanted more teachers with skin in the game, so I started a program where I would teach anybody who worked at a school for free. No charge. Zip. They still had to pay the state for their background check and fingerprints, but all the instruction was free. I wanted more armed teachers in my state. I personally taught several hundred teachers. I quickly discovered that pretty much every single school in my state had at least one competent, capable, smart, willing individual. Some schools had more. I had one high school where the principal, three teachers, and a janitor showed up for class. They had just had an event where there had been a threat against the school and their resource officer had turned up AWOL. This had been a wake up call for this principal that they were on their own, and he had taken it upon himself to talk to his teachers to find the willing and capable. Good for them. After Virginia Tech, I started teaching college students for free as well. They were 21 year old adults who could pass a background check. Why should they have to be defenseless? None of these students ever needed to stop a mass shooting, but Im happy to say that a couple of rapists and muggers werent so lucky, so I consider my time well spent. Over the course of a couple years I taught well over $20,000 worth of free CCW classes. I met hundreds and hundreds of teachers, students, and staff. All of them were responsible adults who understood that they were stuck in target rich environments filled with defenseless innocents. Whether they liked it or not, they were the first line of defense. It was the least I could do. Permit holders are not cops. The mistake many people make is that they think permit holders are supposed to be cops or junior danger rangers. Not at all. Their only responsibility is simple. If someone is threatening to cause them or a third person serious bodily harm, and that someone has the ability, opportunity, and is acting in a manner which suggest they are a legitimate threat, then that permit holder is allowed to use lethal force against them. As of today the state legislatures of Texas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma are looking at revamping their existing laws so that there can be legal guns in school. For those that are worried these teachers will be unprepared, Im sure there would be no lack of instructors in those states whod be willing to teach them for free. For everyone, if you are sincere in your wish to protect our children, I would suggest you call your state representative today and demand that they allow concealed carry in schools. Gun Free Zones Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period. Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So wheres the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back. In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that. The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law arent going on rampages. I testified before the Utah State Legislature about the University of Utahs gun ban the day after the Trolley Square shooting in Salt Lake City. Another disaffected loser scumbag started shooting up this mall. He killed several innocent people before he was engaged by an off duty police officer who just happened to be there shopping. The off duty Ogden cop pinned down the shooter until two officers from the SLCPD came up from behind and killed the shooter. (turned out one of them was a customer of mine) I sent one of my employees down to Trolley Square to take a picture of the shopping centers front doors. I then showed the picture to the legislators. One of the rules was NO GUNS ALLOWED. The man that attacked the midnight showing of Batman didnt attack just any theater. There were like ten to choose from. He didnt attack the closest. It wasnt about biggest or smallest. He attacked the one that was posted NO GUNS ALLOWED. There were four mass killing attempts this week. Only one made the news because it helped the agreed upon media narrative. Oregon. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter confronted by permit holder. Shooter commits suicide. Only a few casualties. Texas. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter killed immediately by off duty cop. Only a few casualties. Connecticut. GUN FREE ZONE. Shooters kills until the police arrive. Suicide. 26 dead. China. GUN FREE COUNTRY. A guy with a KNIFE stabs 22 children. And here is the nail in the coffin for Gun Free Zones. Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed. The Media Every time there is a mass shooting event, the vultures launch. I find it absolutely fascinating. A bunch of people get murdered, and the same usual suspects show up with the same tired proposals that weve either tried before or logic tells us simply will not work. They strike while the iron is hot, trying to push through legislation before there can be coherent thought. Weve seen this over and over and over again. We saw it succeed in England. We saw it succeed in Australia. Weve seen it succeed here before. Yet when anyone from my side responds, then we are shouted at that we are blood thirsty and how dare we speak in this moment of tragedy, and we should just shut our stupid mouths out of respect for the dead, while they are free to promote policies which will simply lead to more dead If the NRA says something they are bloodthirsty monsters, and if they dont say something then their silence is damning guilt. It is hypocritical in the extreme, and when I speak out against this I am called every name in the book, I want dead children, Im a cold hearted monster (the death threats are actually hilarious). If I become angry because they are promoting policies which are tactically flawed and which will do the exact opposite of the stated goals, then I am a horrible person for being angry. Perhaps I shouldnt be allowed to own guns at all. But thats not why I want to talk about the media. I want to talk about the medias effect on the shooters. Put yourself in the shoes of one of these killers. One nice thing about playing the villain and being a punching bag for cops, soldiers, and permit holders is that you need to learn about how the bad guys think and operate. And most of the mass shooters fit a similar profile. The vast majority (last I saw it was over 80%) are on some form of psychotropic drug and has been for many years. They have been on Zoloft or some serotonin inhibitor through their formative years, and their decision making process is often flawed. They are usually disaffected, have been bullied, pushed around, and have a lot of emotional problems. They are delusional. They see themselves as victims, and they are usually striking back at their peer group. These people want to make a statement. They want to show the world that they arent losers. They want to make us understand their pain. They want to make their peer group realize that they are powerful. Theyll show us. The solution is easy. Its right there in front of your nose. If you can kill enough people at one time, youll be on the news, 24/7, round the clock coverage. You will become the most famous person in the world. Everyone will know your name. You become a celebrity. Experts will try to understand what you were thinking. Hell, the President of the United States, the most important man in the world, will drop whatever he is doing and hold a press conference to talk about your actions, and hell even shed a single manly tear. You are a star. Strangely enough, this is one of the only topics I actually agree with Roger Ebert on. He didnt think that the news should cover the shooters or mention their names on the front page of the paper. So whenever the press isnt talking about guns, or violent movies, or violent video games, or any other thing that hundreds of millions of people participated in yesterday without murdering anybody, theyll keep showing the killers picture in the background while telling the world all about him and his struggles. And then the cycle repeats, as the next disaffected angry loner takes notes. They should not be glamorized. They should be hated, despised, and forgotten. They are not victims. They are not powerful. They are murdering scum, and the only time their names should be remembered is when people like me are studying the tactics of how to neutralize them faster. Mental Health Issues And right here Im going to show why Im different than the people Ive been arguing with the last few days. I am not an expert on mental health issues or psychiatry or psychology. My knowledge of criminal psychology is limited to understanding the methods of killers enough to know how to fight them better. So since I dont have enough first-hand knowledge about this topic to comment intelligently, then Im not going to comment Oh please, if only some of the people Ive been arguing with who barely understand that the bullets come out the pointy end of the gun would just do the same. Gun Control Laws As soon as there is a tragedy there comes the calls for We have to do something! Sure, the something may not actually accomplish anything as far as solving whatever the tragedy was or preventing the next one, but thats the narrative. Something evil happened, so we have to do something, and preferably we have to do it right now before we think about it too hard. The left side of the political spectrum loves it some gun control. Gun control is historically extremely unpopular in red state and purple state America, and thus very hard to pass bit stuff, but theres a centurys accumulation of lots and lots of small ones. There have been a handful of major federal laws passed in the United States relating to guns, but the majority of really strict gun control has primarily been enacted in liberal dominated urban areas. There are over 20,000 gun laws on the books, and I have no idea how many pages of regulations from the BATF related to the production and selling of them. Ive found that the average American is extremely uneducated about what gun laws already exist, what they actually do, and even fundamental terminology, so Im going to go through many of the things Ive seen argued about over the last few days and elaborate on them one by one. I will leave out the particularly crazy things I was confronted with, including the guy who was in favor of mandating automatic robot gun turrets in schools. Yes. Heaven forbid we let a teacher CCW, so lets put killer robots (which havent actually been invented yet) in schools. Man, I wish I was making this up, but thats Facebook for you. We need to ban automatic weapons. Okay. Done. In fact, we pretty much did that in 1934. The National Firearms Act of 1934 made it so that you had to pay a $200 tax on a machinegun and register it with the government. In 1986 that registry was closed and there have been no new legal machineguns for civilians to own since then. Automatic means that when you hold down the trigger the gun keeps on shooting until you let go or run out of ammo. Actual automatic weapons cost a lot of money. The cheapest one you can get right now is around $5,000 as they are all collectors items and you need to jump through a lot of legal hoops to get one. To the best of my knowledge, there has only ever been one crime committed with an NFA weapon in my lifetime, and in that case the perp was a cop. Now are machineguns still used in crimes? Why, yes they are. For every legally registered one, there are conservatively dozens of illegal ones in the hands of criminals. They either make their own (which is not hard to do) or they are smuggled in (usually by the same people that are able to smuggle in thousands of tons of drugs). Because really serious criminals simply dont care, they are able to get ahold of military weapons, and they use them simply because criminals, by definition, dont obey the law. So even an item which has been basically banned since my grandparents were kids, and which there has been no new ones allowed manufactured since I was in elementary school, still ends up in the hands of criminals who really want one. This will go to show how effective government bans are. When you say automatic you mean full auto, as in a machinegun. What I think most of these people mean is semi-auto. Okay. We need to ban semi-automatic weapons! Semi-automatic means that each time you pull the trigger the action cycles and loads another round. This is the single most common type of gun, not just in America, but in the whole world. Almost all handguns are semi-automatic. The vast majority of weapons used for self-defense are semi-automatic, as are almost all the weapons used by police officers. It is the most common because it is normally the most effective. Semi-automatic is usually best choice for defensive use. It is easier to use because you can do so one handed if necessary, and you are forced to manipulate your weapon less. If you believe that using a gun for self-defense is necessary, then you pretty much have to say that semi-auto is okay. Banning semi-automatic basically means banning all guns. Ill get to the functional problems with that later. We should ban handguns! Handguns are tools for self-defense, and the only reason we use them over the more capable, and easier to hit with rifles or shotguns is because handguns are portable. Rifles are just plain better, but the only reason I dont carry an AR-15 around is because it would be hard to hide under my shirt. Concealed Carry works. As much as it offends liberals and we keep hearing horror stories about blood in the streets, the fact is over my lifetime most of the United States has enacted some form of concealed carry law, and the blood in the streets wild west shootouts over parking spaces theyve predicted simply hasnt happened. At this point in time there are only a few hold out states, all of them are blue states and all of them have inner cities which suffer from terrible crime, where once again, the criminals simply dont care. For information about how more guns actually equals less crime, look up the work of Dr. John Lott. And since liberals hate his guts, look up the less famous work of Dr. Gary Kleck, or basically look up the work of any criminologist or economist who isnt writing for Slate or Mother Jones. As for why CCW is good, see my whole first section about arming teachers for a tiny part of the whole picture. Basically bad people are going to be bad and do bad things. They are going to hurt you and take your stuff, because thats what they do. Thats their career, and they are as good at it as you are at your job. They will do this anywhere they think they can get away with it. We fixate on the mass shooters because they grab the headlines, but in actuality your odds of running in to one of them is tiny. Your odds of having a violent encounter with a run of the mill criminal is orders of magnitudes higher. I do find one thing highly amusing. In my personal experience, some of the most vehement anti-gun people Ive ever associated with will usually eventually admit after getting to know me, that if something bad happened, then they really hope Im around, because Im one of the good ones. Usually they never realize just how hypocritical and nave that is. We should ban Assault Rifles! Define assault rifle Uh Yeah. Thats the problem. The term assault rifle gets bandied around a lot. Politically, the term is a loaded nonsense one that was created back during the Clinton years. It was one of those tricks where you name legislation something catchy, like PATRIOT Act. (another law rammed through while emotions were high and nobody was thinking, go figure). To gun experts, an assault rifle is a very specific type of weapon which originated (for the most part) in the 1940s. It is a magazine fed, select fire (meaning capable of full auto), intermediate cartridge (as in, actually not that powerful, but Ill come back to that later) infantry weapon. The thing is, real assault rifles in the US have been heavily regulated since before they were invented. The thing that the media and politicians like to refer to as assault rifles is basically a catch all term for any gun which looks scary. I had somebody get all mad at me for pointing this out, because they said that the term had entered common usage. Okay If youre going to legislate it, DEFINE IT. And then comes up that pesky problem. The US banned assault rifles once before for a decade and the law did absolutely nothing. I mean, it was totally, literally pointless. The special commission to study it said that it accomplished absolutely nothing. (except tick a bunch of Americans off, and as a result we bought a TON more guns) And the reason was that since assault weapon is a nonsense term, they just came up with a list of arbitrary features which made a gun into an assault weapon. Problem was, none of these features actually made the gun functionally any different or somehow more lethal or better from any other run of the mill firearm. Most of the criteria were so silly that they became a huge joke to gun owners, except of course, for that part where many law abiding citizens accidentally became instant felons because one of their guns had some cosmetic feature which was now illegal. One of the criteria was that it was semi-automatic. See above. Hard to ban the single most common and readily available type of gun in the world. (unless you believe in confiscation, but Ill get to that). Then what if it takes a detachable magazine! Thats got to be an Evil Feature. And yes, we really did call the Evil Features. Ill talk about magazines below, but once again, it is pretty hard to ban something that common unless you want to go on a confiscatory national suicide mission. For example, flash hiders sound dangerous. Lets say having a flash hider makes a gun an assault weapon. So flash hiders became an evil feature. Problem is flash hiders dont do much. They screw onto the end of your muzzle and divert the flash off to the side instead of straight up so it isnt as annoying when you shoot. It doesnt actually hide the flash from anybody else. EVIL. Barrel shrouds were listed. Barrel shrouds are basically useless, cosmetic pieces of metal that go over the barrel so you dont accidentally touch it and burn your hand. But they became an instantaneous felony too. Collapsible stocks make it so you can adjust your rifle to different size shooters, that way a tall guy and his short wife can shoot the same gun. Nope. EVIL FEATURE! It has been a running joke in the gun community ever since the ban passed. When Carolyn McCarthy was asked by a reporter what a barrel shroud was, she replied I think it is the shoulder thing which goes up. Oh good. Im glad that thousands of law abiding Americans unwittingly committed felonies because they had a cosmetic piece of sheet metal on their barrel, which has no bearing whatsoever on crime, but could possibly be a shoulder thing which goes up. Now are you starting to see why assault weapons is a pointless term? They arent functionally any more powerful or deadly than any normal gun. In fact the cartridges they normally fire are far less powerful than your average deer hunting rifle. Dont worry though, because the same people who fling around the term assault weapons also think of scoped deer rifles as high powered sniper guns. Basically, what you are thinking of as assault weapons arent special. Now, the reason that semi-automatic, magazine fed, intermediate caliber rifles are the single most popular type of gun in America is because they are excellent for many uses, but Im not talking about fun, or hunting, or sports, today Im talking business. And in this case they are excellent for shooting bad people who are trying to hurt you, in order to make them stop trying to hurt you. These types of guns are superb for defending your home. Now some of you may think thats extreme. Thats because everything youve learned about gun fights comes from TV. Just read the link where I expound on why. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/carbine-vs-shotgun-vs-pistol-for-home-defense/ I had one individual tell me that these types of guns are designed to slaughter the maximum number of people possible as quickly as possible Uh huh Which is why every single police department in America uses them, because of all that slaughtering cops do daily. Cops use them for the same reason we do, they are handy, versatile, and can stop an attacker quickly in a variety of circumstances. When I said stop an attacker quickly somebody on Twitter thought that hed gotten me and said Stop. Thats just a euphemism for kill! Nope. I am perfectly happy if the attacker surrenders or passes out from blood loss too. Tactically and legally, all I care about is making them stop doing whatever it is that they are doing which caused me to shoot them to begin with. The guns that many of you think of as assault rifle are common and popular because they are excellent for fighting, and Ill talk about what my side really thinks about the 2nd Amendment below. We should ban magazines over X number of shots! Ive seen this one pop up a lot. It sounds good to the ear and really satisfies that weve got to do something need. It sounds simple. Bad guys shoot a lot of people in a mass shooting. So if he has magazines that hold fewer rounds, ergo then hell not be able to shoot as many people. Wrong. And Ill break it down, first why my side wants more rounds in our gun, second why tactically it doesnt really stop the problem, and third, why stopping them is a logistical impossibility. First off, why do gun owners want magazines that hold more rounds? Because sometimes you miss. Because usuallycontrary to the moviesyou have to hit an opponent multiple times in order to make them stop. Because sometimes you may have multiple assailants. We dont have more rounds in the magazine so we can shoot more, we have more rounds in the magazine so we are forced to manipulate our gun less if we have to shoot more. The last assault weapons ban capped capacities at ten rounds. You quickly realize ten rounds sucks when you take a wound ballistics class like I have and go over case after case after case after case of enraged, drug addled, prison hardened, perpetrators who soaked up five, seven, nine, even fifteen bullets and still walked under their own power to the ambulance. That isnt uncommon at all. Legally, you can shoot them until they cease to be a threat, and keep in mind that what normally causes a person to stop is loss of blood pressure, so I used to tell my students that anybody worth shooting once was worth shooting five or seven times. You shoot them until they leave you alone. Also, youre going to miss. It is going to happen. If you can shoot pretty little groups at the range, those groups are going to expand dramatically under the stress and adrenalin. The more you train, the better you will do, but you can still may miss, or the bad guy may end up hiding behind something which your bullets dont penetrate. Nobody has ever survived a gunfight and then said afterwards, Darn, I wish I hadnt brought all that extra ammo. So having more rounds in the gun is a good thing for self-defense use. Now tactically, lets say a mass shooter is on a rampage in a school. Unless his brain has turned to mush and hes a complete idiot, hes not going to walk up right next to you while he reloads anyway. Unlike the CCW holder who gets attacked and has to defend himself in whatever crappy situation he finds himself in, the mass shooter is the aggressor. Hes picked the engagement range. They are cowards who are murdering running and hiding children, but dont for a second make the mistake of thinking they are dumb. Many of these scumbags are actually very intelligent. Theyre just broken and evil. In the cases that Im aware of where the shooter had guns that held fewer rounds they just positioned themselves back a bit while firing or they brought more guns, and simply switched guns and kept on shooting, and then reloaded before they moved to the next planned firing position. Unless you are a fumble fingered idiot, anybody who practices in front of a mirror a few dozen times can get to where they can insert a new magazine into a gun in a few seconds. A good friend of mine (who happens to be a very reasonable democrat) was very hung up on this, sure that he would be able to take advantage of the time in which it took for the bad guy to reload his gun. Thats a bad assumption, and heres yet another article that addresses that sort of misconception that I wrote several years ago which has sort of made the rounds on firearms forums. http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbu...-Your-Box-quot So thats awesome if it happens, but good luck with that. Finally, lets look at the logistical ramifications of another magazine ban. The AWB banned the production of all magazines over ten rounds except those marked for military or law enforcement use, and it was a felony to possess those. Over the ten years of the ban, we never ran out. Not even close. Magazines are cheap and basic. Most of them are pieces of sheet metal with some wire. Thats it. Magazines are considered disposable so most gun people accumulate a ton of them. All it did was make magazines more expensive, ticked off law abiding citizens, and didnt so much as inconvenience a single criminal. Meanwhile, bad guys didnt run out either. And if they did, like I said, they are cheap and basic, so you just get or make more. If you can cook meth, you can make a functioning magazine. My old company designed a rifle magazine once, and Im no engineer. I paid a CAD guy, spent $20,000 and churned out several thousand 20 round Saiga .308 mags. This couldve been done out of my garage. Ten years. No difference. Meanwhile, we had bad guys turning up all the time committing crimes, and guess what was marked on the mags found in their guns? MILITARY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT USE ONLY. Because once again, if youre already breaking a bunch of laws, they can only hang you once. Criminals simply dont care. Once the AWB timed out, because every politician involved looked at the mess which had been passed in the heat of the moment, the fact it did nothing, and the fact that every single one of them from a red state would lose their job if they voted for a new one, it expired and went away. Immediately every single gun person in America went out and bought a couple guns which had been banned and a bucket of new magazines, because nothing makes an American want to do something more than telling them they cant. Weve been stocking up ever since. If the last ban did literally nothing at all over a decade, and since then weve purchased another hundred million magazines since then, another ban will do even less. (except just make the law abiding that much angrier, and Ill get to that below). I bought $600 worth of magazines for my competition pistol this morning. Ive already got a shelf full for my rifles. Gun and magazine sales skyrocket every time a democrat politician starts to vulture in on a tragedy. I dont know if many of you realize this, but Barack Obama is personally responsible for more gun sales, and especially first time gun purchases, than anyone in history. When I owned my gun store, we had a picture of him on the wall and a caption beneath it which said SALESMAN OF THE YEAR. So you can ban this stuff, but it wont actually do anything to the crimes you want to stop. Unless you think you can confiscate them all, but Ill talk about confiscation later. One last thing to share about the magazine ban from the AWB, and this is something all gun people know, but most anti-gunners do not. When you put an artificial cap on a weapon, and tell us that we can only have a limited number of rounds in that weapon, were going to make sure they are the most potent rounds possible. Before the ban, everybody bought 9mms which held an average of 15 rounds. After the ban, if I can only have ten rounds, theyre going to be bigger, so we all started buying 10 shot .45s instead. You dont need an assault weapon for hunting! Who said anything about hunting? That whole thing about the 2nd Amendment being for sportsmen is hogwash. The 2nd Amendment is about bearing arms to protect yourself from threats, up to and including a tyrannical government. Spare me the whole, You wont be happy until everybody has nuclear weapons reductio ad absurdum. It says arms, as in things that were man portable. And as for the founding fathers not being able to see foresee our modern arms, you forget that many of them were inventors, and multi shot weapons were already in service. Not to mention that in that day, arms included cannon, since most of the original artillery of the Continental Army was privately owned. Besides, the Supreme Court agrees with me. See DC v. Heller. Well we should just ban ALL guns then! You only need them to murder people! It doesnt really make sense to ban guns, because in reality what that means is that you are actually banning effective self-defense. Despite the constant hammering by a news media with an agenda, guns are used in America far more to stop crime than to cause crime. Ive seen several different sets of numbers about how many times guns are used in self-defense every year. The problem with keeping track of this stat is that the vast majority of the time when a gun is produced in a legal self-defense situation no shots are fired. The mere presence of the gun is enough to cause the criminal to stop. Clint Smith once said if you look like food, you will be eaten. Criminals are looking for prey. They are looking for easy victims. If they wanted to work hard for a living theyd get a job. So when you pull a gun, you are no longer prey, you are work, so they are going to go find somebody else to pick on. So many defensive gun uses never get tracked as such. From personal experience, I have pulled a gun exactly one time in my entire life. I was legally justified and the bad guy stopped, put his gun away, and left. (15 years later the same son of a **** would end up murdering a local sheriffs deputy). My defensive gun use was never recorded anywhere as far as I know. My wife has pulled a gun twice in her life. Once on somebody who was acting very rapey who suddenly found a better place to be when she stuck a Ruger in his face, and again many years later on a German Shepherd which was attacking my one year old son. (amazingly enough a dog can recognize a 9mm coming out of a fanny pack and run for its life, go figure) No police report at all on the second one, and I dont believe the first one ever turned up as any sort of defensive use statistic, all because no shots were fired. So how often are guns actually used in self-defense in America? http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcdguse.html On the high side the estimate runs around 2.5 million defensive gun uses a year, which dwarfs our approximately 16,000 homicides in any recent year, only 10k of which are with guns. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm Of those with guns, only a couple hundred are with rifles. So basically, the guns that the anti-gunners are the most spun up about only account for a tiny fraction of all our murders. But lets not go with the high estimate. Lets go with some smaller ones instead. Lets use the far more conservative 800,000 number which is arrived at in multiple studies. That still dwarfs the number of illegal shootings. Heck, lets even run with the number once put out by the people who want to ban guns, the Brady Center, which was still around 108,000, which still is an awesome ratio of good vs. bad. So even if you use the worst number provided by people who are just as biased as me but in the opposite direction, gun use is a huge net positive. Or to put it another way, the Brady Center hates guns so much that they are totally cool with the population of a decent sized city getting raped and murdered every year as collateral damage in order to get what they want. Doesnt matter. I dont like them. We should ban them and take them all away like a civilized country. Well, I suppose if your need to do something overrides all reason and logic, then by all means lets ban guns. Australia had a mass shooting and instituted a massive gun ban and confiscation (a program which would not work here, which Ill get to, but lets run with it anyway.). As was pointed out to me on Facebook, they havent had any mass shootings since. However, they fail to realize that they didnt really have any mass shootings before either. You need to keep in mind that mass shooting are horrific headline grabbing statistical anomalies. You are far more likely to get your head caved in by a local thug while hes trying to steal your wallet, and that probably wont even make the evening news. And violent crime is up in Australia. A cursory Google search will show articles about the increase in violent crime and theft, but then other articles pooh-pooing these stats as being insignificant and totally not related to the guns. So then weve got England, where they reacted swiftly after a mass shooting, banned and confiscated guns, and their violent crime has since skyrocketed. Their stats are far worse than Australia, and they are now one of the more dangerous countries to live in the EU. Once again, cursory Google search will show articles with the stats, and other articles saying that those rises like totally have nothing to do with regular folks no longer being able to defend themselves Sensing a trend yet? And then weve got South Africa, which instituted some really hard core gun bans and some extremely strict controls, and their crime is now so high that it is basically either no longer tracked or simply not countable. But obviously, the totally unbiased news says that has absolutely nothing to do with people no longer being able to legally defend themselves. Then youve got countries like Norway, with extremely strict gun control. Their gun control laws are simply incomprehensible to half of Americans. Not only that, they are an ethnically and socially homogenous, tiny population, well off country, without our gang violence or drug problems. Their gun control laws are draconian by our standards. They make Chicago look like Boise. Surely that level of gun control will stop school shootings! Except of course for 2011 when a maniac killed 77 and injured 242 people, a body count which is absurdly high compared to anything which has happened America. Because once again, repeat it with me, criminals simply do not give a crap. That mass killer used a gun and homemade explosives. Make guns harder to get, and explosives become the weapon of choice. Please do keep in mind that the largest and most advanced military coalition in human history was basically stymied for a decade by a small group using high school level chemistry and the Afghani equivalent to Radio Shack. The biggest mass killings in US history have used bombs (like Bath, Michigan), fire (like Happyland Nightclub) or airliners. There is no law you can pass, nothing you can say or do, which will make some not be evil. And all of this is irrelevant, because banning and confiscating all the scary guns in America will be national suicide. You crazy gun nuts and your 2nd Amendment. We should just confiscate all the guns. Many of you may truly believe that. You may think that the 2nd Amendment is archaic, outdated, and totally pointless. However, approximately half of the country disagrees with you, and of them, a pretty large portion is fully willing to shoot somebody in defense of it. Weve already seen that your partial bans are stupid and dont do anything, so unless you are merely a hypocrite more interested in style rather than results, the only way to achieve your goal is to come and take the guns away. So lets talk about confiscation. They say that there are 80 million gun owners in America. I personally think that number is low for a few reasons. The majority of gun owners I know, when contacted for a phone survey and asked if they own guns, will become suspicious and simply lie. Those of us who dont want to end like England or Australia will say that we lost all of our guns in a freak canoe accident. Guns do not really wear out. I have perfectly functioning guns from WWI, and Ive got friends who have still useable firearms from the 1800s. Plus weve been building more of them this entire time. There are more guns than there are people in America, and some of us have enough to arm our entire neighborhood. But for the sake of math, lets say that there are only 80 million gun owners, and lets say that the government decides to round up all those pesky guns once and for all. Lets be generous and say that 90% of the gun owners dont really believe in the 2nd Amendment, and their guns are just for duck hunting. Which is what politicians keep telling us, but is actually rather hilarious when you think about how the most commonly sold guns in America are the same detachable magazine semiautomatic rifles I talked about earlier. So ten percent refuse to turn their guns in. That is 8 million instantaneous felons. Lets say that 90% of them are not wanting to comply out of sheer stubbornness. Lets be super generous and say that 90% of them would still just roll over and turn their guns when pressed or legally threatened. That leaves 800,000 Americans who are not turning their guns in, no matter what. To put that in perspective there are only about 700,000 police officers in the whole country. Lets say that these hypothetical 10% of 10% are willing to actually fight to keep their guns. Even if my hypothetical estimate of 800,000 gun nuts willing to fight for their guns is correct, it is still 97% higher than the number of insurgents we faced at any one time in Iraq, a country about the size of Texas. However, I do honestly believe that it would be much bigger than 10%. Once the confiscations turned violent, then it would push many otherwise peaceful people over the edge. I saw somebody on Twitter post about how the 2nd Amendment is stupid because my stupid assault rifles are useless against drones That person has obviously never worked with the people who build the drones, fly the drones, and service the drones. I have. Where to you think the majority of the US military falls on the political spectrum exactly? Theres a reason Mitt Romney won the military vote by over 40 points, and it wasnt because of his hair. And as for those 700,000 cops, how many of them would side with the gun owners? All the gun nuts, thats for sure. As much as some people like to complain about the gun culture, many of the people you hire to protect you, and darn near all of them who can shoot well, belong to that gun culture. And as I hear people complain about the gun industry, like it is some nebulous, faceless, all powerful corporate thing which hungers for war and anarchy, I just have to laugh, because the gun industry probably has the highest percentage of former cops and former military of any industry in the country. My being a civilian was odd in the circles I worked in. The men and women you pay to protect you have honor and integrity, and they will fight for what they believe in. So the real question the anti-gun, ban and confiscate, crowd should be asking themselves is this, how many of your fellow Americans are you willing to have killed in order to bring about your utopian vision of the future? Boo Evil Gun Culture! Really? Because I hate to break it to you, but when nearly six hundred people get murdered a year in beautiful Gun Free Chicago, thats not my people doing the shooting. The gun culture is all around you, well obviously except for those of you reading this in elite liberal urban city centers where youve extinguished your gun culture. They are your friends, relatives, and coworkers. The biggest reason gun control has become increasingly difficult to pass over the last decade is because more and more people have turned to CCW, and as that has become more common, it has removed much of the stigma. Now everybody outside of elite urban liberal city centers knows somebody that carries a gun. The gun culture is simply regular America, and is made up of people who think their lives and their families lives are more important than the life of anyone who tries to victimize them. The gun culture is who protects our country. Sure, there are plenty of soldiers and cops who are issued a gun and who use it as part of their job who could care less. However, the people who build the guns, really understand the guns, actually enjoy using the guns, and usually end up being picked to teach everybody else how to use the guns are the gun culture. The media and the left would absolutely love to end the gun culture in America, because then they could finally pass all the laws they wanted. Lets take a look at what happens when a country finally succeeds in utterly stamping out its gun culture. Mumbai, 2008. Ten armed jihadi terrorists simply walked into town and started shooting people. It was a rather direct, straight forward, ham fisted, simple terrorist attack. They killed over 150 and wounded over 300. India has incredibly strict gun laws, but once again, criminals didnt care. Thats not my point this time however, I want to look at the response. These ten men shut down an entire massive city and struck fear into the hearts of millions for THREE DAYS. Depending on where this happened in America it would have been over in three minutes or three hours. The Indian police responded, but their tactics sucked. The marksmanship sucked. Their leadership sucked. Their response utterly and completely fell apart. In talking afterwards with some individuals from a small agency of our government who were involved in the clean-up and investigation, all of whom are well trained, well practiced, gun nuts, they told me the problem was that the Indian police had no clue what to do because theyd never been taught what to do. Their leadership hated and feared the gun so much that they stamped out the ability for any of their men to actually master the tool. When you kill your gun culture, you kill off your instructors, and those who can pass down the information necessary to do the job. Dont think that we are so far off here. I recently got to sit down with some fans who are members of one of the larger metro police departments in America. These guys were all SWAT cops or narcotics, all of them were gun nuts who practiced on their own dime, and all of them were intimately familiar with real violence. These are the guys that you want responding when the real bad stuff goes down. What they told me made me sick. Their leadership was all uniformly liberal and extremely anti-gun, just like most big cities in America. They walked me through what their responses were supposed to be in case of a Mumbai style event, and how their scary assault weapons were kept locked up where they would be unavailable, and how dismal their training was, and how since the state had run off or shut down most of the gun ranges, most of the cops couldnt even practice or qualify anymore. So now they were less safe, the people they were protecting were less safe, the bad guys were safer, but most importantly their leadership could pat themselves on the back, because theyd done something. Well, okay. You make some good points. But Id be more comfortable if you gun people were force to have more mandatory training! And I did actually have this one said to me, which is an amazing victory by internet arguing standards. Mandatory training is a placebo at best. Here is my take on why. http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/mandatory-training-for-ccw/ In conclusion, basically it doesnt really matter what something you pick when some politician or pundit starts screaming weve got to do something, because in reality, most of them already know a lot of what I listed above. The ones who are walking around with their security details of well-armed men in their well-guarded government buildings really dont care about actually stopping mass shooters or bad guys, they care about giving themselves more power and increasing their control. If a bad guy used a gun with a big magazine, ban magazines. If instead he used more guns, ban owning multiple guns. If he used a more powerful gun with less shots, ban powerful guns. If he used hollowpoints, ban hollowpoints. (which I didnt get into, but once again, theres a reason everybody who might have to shoot somebody uses them). If he ignored some Gun Free Zone, make more places Gun Free Zones. If he killed a bunch of innocents, make sure you disarm the innocents even harder for next time. Just in case, lets ban other guns that werent even involved in any crimes, just because theyre too big, too small, too ugly, too cute, too long, too short, too fat, too thin, (and if you think Im joking I can point out a law or proposed law for each of those) but most of all ban anything which makes some politician irrationally afraid, which luckily, is pretty much everything. They will never be happy. In countries where they have already banned guns, now they are banning knives and putting cameras on every street. They talk about compromise, but it is never a compromise. It is never, wow, you offer a quick, easy, inexpensive, viable solution to ending mass shootings in schools, lets try that. It is always, what can we take from you this time, or what will enable us to grow some federal apparatus? Then regular criminals will go on still not caring, the next mass shooter will watch the last mass shooter be the most famous person in the world on TV, the media will keep on vilifying the people who actually do the most to defend the innocent, the ignorant will call people like me names and tell us we must like dead babies, and nothing actually changes to protect our kids. If you are serious about actually stopping school shootings, contact your state representative and tell them to look into allowing someone at your kids school to be armed. It is time to install some speed bumps.(This message has been edited by HICO_Eagle)
  15. I'll see your arithmetic and raise you with facts and analysis. You made the same mistake many do by confusing marginal tax rates with actual tax revenues. Your arithmetic is off because it doesn't account for how tax rates affect economic activity. The CBO shows tax revenues were declining as a percentage of GDP since the high of 2000 when the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act was passed in 2003 and continued to decline for one year as the new tax rates took effect then grew again dramatically until 2007. In terms of actual total revenues, the Federal Government took in approximately $1.8T, stayed steady then rose slightly to approximately $2.0T in 2003-2004 then climbed steadily to roughly $2.7T in 2007. That revenue growth was post-dot-com so didn't benefit from the economic spur of a completely new industry like Clinton/Gingrich received. The post-2003 revenues also didn't benefit from spectrum sales the way Clinton's and Gingrich's budgets did. In the meantime, federal expenditures grew exponentially (yes, including an unpaid Medicare Part D from Bush that was widely criticized by fiscal conservatives). It's all there in black and white and red and blue in a chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank (Federal Government Current Receipts and Current Expenditures, 1947-2012, 2012research.stlouisfed.org). I realize you like playing the country lawyer but even Matlock recognized the power of actual facts and figures.
  16. As I said, most of what newspapers or outfits like the CDC call "accidental discharge" is NEGLIGENT. In fact, Safety is one of the first things we teach in Rifle Merit Badge. "Cleaning" the firearm before positively checking for an empty chamber is negligence, not an accident. Pointing the firearm at someone except when you mean to use it is negligent. "Dry firing" when you haven't verified the chamber is empty is negligent. Most CCWers AND Scouters using firearms I know are aware of that. "I've no doubt that there are stories, eh? I could make one up right now. Now, how about a citation that establishes the implied claim that there are actual lives saved every month? Not just "there was a big scary man and I frightened him with my pistol," and not stories from da inherently biased professional gun lobby." Every issue every month of American Rifleman carries newspaper stories (including date and source) of these. EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Not stories from lobbyists, not stories generated by the NRA, actual newspaper citations (some of them papers that aren't even friendly to the NRA or 2A). I suspect actual crime and wilderness first aid statistics would belie your claim that the chances of Jane Q Public using CPR or wilderness first aid are greater than using a firearm in self-defense mainly because firearms are used in self-defense every month. Our SAR teams in Colorado are busier than those in most states and there just aren't that many incidents. The fact remains you and others here have spewed a lot of FUD about things that "might" happen if a non-LEO carried on an outing, several people have admitted to it or knew others who did and NONE of it has happened. You're reacting to the subject out of fear and paranoia. I've got several reasons for not carrying on a Scout outing -- primarily the fact that the G2SS prohibits it -- but most of the reasons cited here are pure garbage.
  17. I'll go you one better Beavah. Before we retreat from the rates that kicked off the enormous 2 decade growth spurt, how about we return to federal government spending as a percentage of GDP from that era? That's right, cap total federal obligations at what they were in 1999 or 2000 (1992 would be better but I'll settle for 2000) plus a reasonable inflation rate (2.5-3%). That's all they get, divided however they wish. Get rid of all the legalisms that force us to let foreign companies bid for US federal contracts. President Obama is the biggest nutter out there when he talks about financial hardships from "cutting" (really reducing his planned increase in spending) 1/350th of 1%. He talks about balance AFTER Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi skewed the scales not by placing their thumbs on it but by jumping onto it full force. We'd be running a surplus right now if 2004 budget plus inflation had been continued to today -- even more so if the 2000 budget had been followed. The whole tax rate issue is a red herring to keep the media and us from talking about how we are spending 40% more than the government is taking in, how spending increased PRECIPITOUSLY after the 2007 Congress took office. A 10% increase in the marginal rate will do very little -- and if anything is likely to reduce total tax revenues (federal revenues INCREASED after Bush repealed the Clinton tax increases). I think Obama WANTS to go over the cliff so he can 1) declare a fiscal national emergency and try to get emergency powers, 2) blame the ensuing triple dip recession on Republicans rather than take the blame for his reckless feckless ignorant fiscal policies, and 3) devalue the dollar (and hence the debts he's incurring). Or have you not noticed that, for all his bluster about Republicans, he hasn't made ANY good faith attempts at negotiation? He talks about Boehner needing to come to the center but his definition of center is severely skewed as he has absolutely refused to talk about any real spending cuts (except on the military). It's actually pretty easy to balance the budget. I've done it using the tools put online by both the WSJ and NPR (both of which I felt were skewed against cutting programs and neither of which allowed me to cut agencies or expenditures that aren't even authorized under any article of the Constitution). The cuts I made and taxes/fees I imposed would actually improve the overall economy in the long run to boot. I thought Clinton's and Gingrich's Enron-style accounting was bad but it doesn't even hold a candle to the insane Obama-Pelosi-Reid accounting that continues to borrow so it can spend 40% more than it takes in then declares it cut spending. The federal budget has had cancerous growth for the last 8+ years (yes, that includes some of Bush's presidency even prior to Pelosi-Reid). I sure hope none of the Personal Management counselors on this forum are advising their Scouts to budget this way.
  18. Beavah said: "If yeh get and maintain professional credentials as a LEO, then I don't reckon anybody has a problem with yeh carryin' firearms for which yeh are trained and proficient. Even G2SS is OK with it. Yeh also are subject to a much broader range of regulations, as well as professional liability." I don't know where you get this from. Hobbyists and CCW holders are much more likely to be proficient with firearms than the average LEO. You realize most municipalities have very limited firearm practice and qualification programs? They don't all train like the FBI (in fact, very few do). By your logic, none of us should bother training in CPR or using AEDs since we're not EMTs or MDs. None of us should bother carrying a tow strap or jumper cables since we're not professional mechanics. CalicoPenn talks about law enforcement calling for restrictions. You sound as if this were universal. You DO realize the LEOs making those calls are mostly police chiefs who are frequently politically sensitive or motivated? That the rank and file cops or county sheriffs often have quite different opinions? Sheriffs in Florida and Colorado have been the most vocal proponents of CCW that I've personally met. I don't use laser sights myself but they are much more universally useful than the subsonic rounds Basementdweller mentions. I also don't bother with 50+-round magazines since they're much more likely to jam (which is in fact what appeared to happen to the Aurora terrorist). I find it ... interesting ... that many of the same people who are irrationally aghast at the idea of firearms on a Scout outing also say BSA should open up to homosexuals when we've had no (or virtually no) reports of any injury suffered from CCW-licensed adults on outings and many documented instances of Scouts traumatized and victimized by the small handful of homosexuals who are also predators. We've also had plenty of documented incidents where unprepared, unskilled adult leaders were injured or got boys injured on outings through ignorance or negligence. Which group represents the more credible, most documented threat to the boys? I get it, semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 frighten you, even more so than semi-automatic rifles like the Mini-14, because they look like something you'd see in a movie or a video game. The fact remains most of the legislation proposed is inspired by myths and emotions and have little if any rational foundations.
  19. Basementdweller, our campouts usually have me and the Scoutmaster and the boys (and neither the Scoutmaster nor I have kids). Our level of parent participation is ... less than I'd desire. I certainly wouldn't suggest the situation for most volunteers; it can definitely be emotionally draining at times. I mention our situation only to let JoeBob and others know they aren't alone in this -- and perhaps to commiserate on how much attention the boy(s) require and how they are the ones who benefit the most from this program of ours. The Super Scouts are gratifying to have and can be much more fun to deal with but frankly they don't need us -- they'll do well no matter what -- while the underprivileged boys, the ones who need more help, the ones who lack father figures, THEY'RE the ones whose lives are truly changed by our work.
  20. I find it quite comical to have charges of paranoia and ridicule coming from a bunch of people who are irrationally afraid of a group of people that has the safest demographics in the nation. Some of you are expressing outright fear of being outdoors with some others who have admitted to carrying firearms when you likely would NEVER know they were carrying if it weren't for this unscientific survey. I would have to have very good reasons to violate the G2SS and carry on an outing with you but if I did I would give long odds that you would never ever know. Just in this thread we've had several people either admit to carrying on outings or know of people who do -- how many incidents have we had from someone carrying a firearm on an outing? Beavah alleges a lot of deaths caused by accidental discharge this year. Citations please. I ask for two reasons. The first is that there are numerous stories of lives every month SAVED by citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights despite the inherent bias in most major media against reporting on this. The second is that most situations called "accidental discharge" are (in my experience) NEGLIGENT discharges and condemned most vociferously by CCW permit holders. Most people I know with CCW permits are the most aware of the status of their firearms, the calmest in any situation and the most likely to think a situation through before acting. Note that I say "most" -- it's definitely not universal (but what classification of humans other than "dying" is?). How many of you carry a first aid kit while hiking and camping? How often have you had to use the large bandages in it? Why do you bother training in CPR or Wilderness First Aid when the chances of having to use either are vanishingly small? If you go scuba diving, do you practice buddy breathing or carry a pony bottle? Ever use either? How many times have any of you dug into and used the spare fuses located in your car's fuse box? I've got far more rational things to worry about like whether the unit camped across the valley is putting their fire cold out. At least I've SEEN units leave smoldering fires behind (and yes, we stopped the truck and rushed to go put it out).
  21. Basementdweller said: "So HICO if you had a handgun what would you have done????? Popped momma bear? What about the cubs popped them too???? What caliber is appropriate to kill a bear?? What happens if you wounded it and it got away????? You going to spend the entire weekend chasing a wounded bear thru the woods??????" I guess you didn't bother reading the part where I said "Our first response to seeing said animal (like the mama bear and 2 cubs that invaded our campsite last summer) is to carefully move back away from the animals so as to not be threatening." However, sometimes animals don't ALWAYS do what you expect. We knew exactly why the bears were in the campsite and we didn't panic. However, you're acting like all camping is done in the Northeast. It's not -- we encounter nature out here even in town. I've found fresh mountain lion tracks in a city park. I haven't had need for a firearm for self-defense yet -- then again, I also haven't had to use my CPR mask, my air splint or most of the other things in my first aid kit. God willing, I won't need any of that, firearms included, but it doesn't stop me from wanting to be prepared in case I do. The fact of the matter here is that you and a number of others are reacting to guns emotionally without any real data or logical reasoning. I wouldn't blame you for wanting to be sure anyone carrying is trained, proficient and aware of their surroundings to prevent negligent discharges but I DO blame you for acting like scared chicken about people who do choose to carry.
  22. Hmmm ... let's see, we have two in our troop with mild Asperger's, one being evaluated for depression and a couple more with their own (diagnosed) emotional issues. It has been quite a challenge the past couple of years as the first two boys will occasionally fly off the handle -- just when we think they're getting it under control, we had both of them go into rages this past weekend. The SM, COR and I have discussed this before precisely because of the first two but we have to think about it because of the other three as well. Our first and foremost responsibility is the safety of the boys, all of them. We have talked to the parents of all of them but at the same time, it's not going to help any of them develop into responsible members of society if we ostracize them. What this means is that we are ALWAYS watching the ones with a tendency to fly off the handle. At summer camp, this can mean one of us shadowing them through merit badge classes as other Scouts teasing them only makes things worse. I won't lie -- it's exhausting and emotionally draining sometimes -- but it's also one of the reasons I volunteer.
  23. acco40 said: So my question to those that disagree is this. If arming the citizenry is a good thing, why limit a good thing. Why can't I have 0.50 cal gun turrets mounted on the four corners of my house to stop home invasion? Why can't my high school age daughter carry an Uzi to school? Why can't I take my Glock to mass on Sunday? --- Carry, store and use them responsibly and I have no problem with any of that. Of course, that very condition means you're wasting your money with the .50-cal turrets since you can't fire them without severe risk of overshoot -- but it's your money if you want to spend thousands on useless metal decorations. The daughter probably won't much like the weight of the Uzi and ammo or how it clashes with her dress but she might well want that if she was attending school in Israel. Oh ... and if you take your Glock to Mass then you too might save lives like Jeanne Assam did.
  24. What's reasonable? Not selling to convicted felons or proven violent mentally disturbed people. Oh wait, that's already in the law. The fact of the matter is that NONE of the laws being proposed by Feinstein, Schumer, the Brady Campaign, etc. would have made any difference at Columbine, Aurora, Clackamas or Sandy Hook. In fact, they very well might have made things worse as the Klebold and Harris would likely have set off the propane bombs they'd made, Holmes probably would have set off firebombs at the theater exits, etc. One of you said fewer kids would have died if Lanza had a single-shot rifle instead of a semi-automatic. Probably true -- also probably true is that fewer children would likely have died if a trained and equipped CCW holder had been present as happened at New Life Church in 2007. Six Star Wars movies with massive death and destruction from Sith Lords but no one blamed the light saber.
  25. It's not the rifle, it was the mentally disturbed person wielding it. For some reason, a segment of the population doesn't like to blame people (except when they can focus their vitriolic hate on someone like Bush or Rumsfeld) so they focus their paranoia on the tool. packsaddle says he quit the NRA because "they became a political organization" -- really, you quit it back in 1934? The NRA has always been political when groups or people have proposed to nullify or violate the Second Amendment. Basementdweller says this terrible tragedy "may open the door for some intelligent gun laws" ... just what do you consider intelligent? Feinstein's bill is anything but intelligent. So is Schumer's. Please cite the performance difference between an AR-15 and Mini-14. Just how many crimes have you seen committed with a bayonet on the rifle? Feinstein wants to classify the M-1 Garand as an assault weapon (to be fair, it was one ... 60-70 years ago) -- just how many crimes have you heard of using this venerable veteran of WW II and the Korean War? You don't see any reason a citizen needs a 50 shot magazine (not a clip) or a laser sight -- some might question why you need subsonic rounds. Isn't that kind of round indicative of assassins? Why are you afraid of a little noise when you should be wearing hearing protection anyway (every organized shooting activity I'm aware of requires both eye and ear protection to participate)?
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