Sunday, September 29, 2013

Obama's Pseudologia Fantastica

"Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over 100 times, does not increase our debt." - President Barack Obama
I figured out how President Obama does it! The man can't possibly have a moral center because his ability to look into a camera and lie is truly awe-inspiring. He knows that raising the debt ceiling will allow him to increase the national debt. It's a mathematical certainty. He lacks compunction for all the boldface lies he tells. I'm told by our mainstream media that Obama is extremely intelligent, so I can't attribute his singular ability to do this to diminished intellectual capacity.

I figured it out when I was researching Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, environmentalist and author of 1968 alarmist tome The Population Bomb. I was researching this because his book, as well as the Eugenics craze and the DDT scare, reminded me of how leftists get things implemented in this society. I was trying to determine how the Climate Change hoax and hysteria is going to end. In short, virtually everything that Dr. Ehrlich predicted in this rehash of Malthusianism (i.e., mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals) was wrong. Yet Dr. Ehrlich insists that many of his fundamental ideas and predictions have been proven by science. He is of course completely wrong and is the poster child for cognitive dissonance.

Who worked with this man to develop the theories and predictions in The Population Bomb and participated in a failed bet on those predictions? Dr. John Paul Holdren, the current senior advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology issues. I'll give it to leftists. They go out of their way to protect their own. Ideology trumps EVERYTHING! Failed leftist almost always end up in academia with a tenured position. It is not a coincidence.

There's the thread. Here's my observation on why Obama can lie without compunction. He religiously believes in the cause he's trying to forward. I can only surmise that he's a devout Machiavellian and therefore will do anything to forward the leftist movement. Just look at what he said on the Senate floor just 7 years ago. In 2006, he called increasing the debt limit a "failure of leadership." But now that he's the leader, its essential to our democracy. Furthermore, he knows he has a co-dependent media that will whitewash his every move.

Obama will say or do anything to forward the cause and that's the advantage that the left has over the right. For the right, their religion is the God of Abraham, Isiah, and Issac. For the left, their religion is the implementation of a utopian society brought on by collectivist ideals where everything and everybody is equal. Of course, that society has never existed in human history and is grandly unrealistic. What is more likely to happen is a society that mirrors the environment detailed in Kurt Vonnegut's short story, Harrison Bergeron.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Military-Style Assault Weapons

Literally minutes after the recent mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. the anti-gun lobby was at it again. They jumped the gun (pun intended) by assuming the gunman used an AR-15 rifle, but dispite that mistake they are still pushing the language of gun control. More specifically, they are adamant about banning semiautomatic military-style assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. As the story goes, these are the firearms that allow a gunman to fire a large number of rounds quickly and without having to reload. According to them, if these are banned there will be a significant reduction in mass shootings and citizens will be safer.

I was going to dissect the phrase "semiautomatic military-style assault weapon" but that's been done ad nauseam since 1994. Rather, let's dissect the argument itself.

According to the 2013 assault weapon legislation submitted by Dianne Feinstein assault weapons are:

"All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel."
These features make the rifle displayed below "military-style" but there's something crucial missing in the analysis. Of the military features listed, which one makes the rifle dangerous from a functional perspective? The grip and stock characteristics make the firearm easier to hold and adjustable for different situations. Not a single mass murder in the history of the United States has included the gunman launching grenades or rockets at their targets! Furthermore, why is a barrel shroud (the cylindrical part directly above the word "Bayonet" in the picture below) dangerous? Its sole purpose is to prevent the gunman from injuring themselves on a hot barrel.

Basically, these are features that make and AR-15 rifle look like its military counterpart. But looks and functionality are completely different things. There are multiple assault rifles (this term is a real one with distinct functional meaning and not meaningless the phrase "assault weapon") that are standard issue for the U.S. military. They are the M14, M16A4, M4 carbine, Heckler Koch HK416 (special forces), FN Herstal Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle. They all have a similar function that the AR-15 and all the rifles in the 2013 assault weapon legislation don't have. SELECTIVE FIRE!

"A selective fire firearm has at least one semi–automatic and one automatic mode, which is activated by means of a selector which varies depending on the weapon's design. Some selective fire weapons utilize burst fire mechanisms to limit the maximum number of shots fired automatically in this mode. The most common limits are two or three rounds per trigger pull. Fully automatic fire refers to the ability for a rifle to fire continuously until the magazine is empty. "Burst-capable" fire refers to the ability of a rifle to fire a small yet fixed multiple number of rounds with one trigger pull. Semi-automatic refers to the ability to fire one round per trigger pull."
Military personnel doesn't use semiautomatic rifles in the field. They are inadequate for combat.

So, from a functional perspective the assault rifles they are trying to ban behave like your typical Chiappa White Rhino Revolver. Don't believe me? For comparison, here are videos of the worlds fastest shooter, Jerry Miculek, firing 6 rounds from a Chiappa White Rhino Revolver and an AR-15 Modern Sporting Rifle. Note that each firearm requires one trigger pull per round fired. There no dramatic difference in the time needed to get off six rounds, is there?

What else is a major component of the ban? Large capacity magazines, defined as a magazine that accepts more than 10 rounds. There is no coherent explanation for the 10 round limit. It is arbitrary and meaningless, as New York has already tried to reduce that from 10 to 7 rounds (they are backing off that because 7 round magazines don't exist.)

The claim is that banning high capacity magazines would reduce crime or prevent mass shootings. It's said that mass shooting culprits could have been stopped if they were required to change the magazine more often during their rampages. Besides being utterly false, the anti-gun lobby has physics against them. You see, the reason Gabrielle Giffords' shooter Jared Loughner was stopped wasn't the magazine switch. He was able to do that. The problem was after he switched the magazine, the handgun jammed!

This is a common problem with high capacity magazines because of a physical property called compressive strength. In short, the more you compress the springs in a firearm magazine, the closer that spring gets to its compressive stress value - where the material fails completely. More rounds equal a higher compressive stress value which leads to more firearm jams (Physics is a beautiful science!)

Ironically, this means that lower capacity magazines are less likely to jam. It's possible that the Virginia Tech shooter knew this because he packed his bag with 19 magazines that carried between 10 and 15 rounds each.

See the real problem here? The anti-gun lobby knows almost nothing about firearms. So their representatives in Congress invariably author legislation that is illogical, ineffective, superficial and counterintuitive. Having someone that knows little about firearms author firearm legislation is like having Gorgon Ramsay teach dancing classes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Intellectual Dishonesty on Gun Control

"I have no problem with an American believing that their right under the constitution is that they can defend themselves, especially in their own home if they're being attacked." – Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan and his ilk have been on a gun control crusade for decades. Fortunately, they have been thoroughly unsuccessful. The question is, why? It's very simple and can be summed up in two words. Intellectual dishonesty. In more blunt terms, lying; both to themselves and the public.

They speak very passionately about their desire to save our society (and the children) from destruction by banning "military-style" semi-automatic assault rifles. They invoke murdered children, horrific personal stories, and even realistic sounding statistics. Unfortunately, they quite often have no idea what they are talking about, and when they do know, the public seems able to detect their dishonest nature. Need examples? Not a problem.

"I was the one that found Supervisor Milk’s body, and I was the one to put a finger in a bullet hole, trying to get a pulse" - Dianne Feinstein
Almost every time Senator Dianne Feinstein is in front of a camera discussing gun control she recounts the murder of Harvey Milk. This is supposed to be the event that completely changed her stance on firearms. So what if she didn't get rid of her .38 Special until 4 years after the event. Narratives are influential in politics but this one seems strange. Her explicit mention of putting her finger "in a bullet hole" is meant to evoke a visceral response. Here's the problem. Based on the research I've done including the coroner's testimony and her own testimony during the trial there was no bullet hole in the standard places that one would take a pulse (i.e., neck and wrist). Is she lying? I'll let you be the judge, but in your consideration think of this. Have you ever heard of anyone putting their finger into a bullet hole to check some one's pulse? It kind of reminds me of Jesse Jackson and the Martin Luther King, Jr. bloody shirt incident.

More importantly, she adamantly says that she only wants to ban dangerous guns like the AR-15 (so-called "assault weapons".) In fact, in a recent interview on PBS, she said she hasn't gone after other guns in the past. That is an outright lie because in the past she's said that if she had the votes she would have banned all firearms. She just needed 51 votes.

"He would have needed 14 spare magazines beyond the one in the gun with the extra round in the chamber. Reloading 14 times. You think he would have still pulled off the whole thing in less than five minutes?" - Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow presents herself as an intellectual. I don't question her intelligence, in fact, I applaud it. However, she's a master at presenting facts and statistics that are extremely misleading and intellectually dishonest. In March of this year, she was in rare form and doing her rant schtick to perfection. This time, she was talking about Sandy Hook and kept hammering home the fact that the gunman was able to shoot 152 rounds in 5 minutes with an AR-15. She concluded her rant with the statement above. It was passionate, thought-provoking and completely misleading. Why? Because the logic is completely flawed and she knows it.

That 5-minute time frame and the need to reload several times is utterly irrelevant. Yes, the AR-15 can hold a 30 round magazine, but it takes very little time to reload. So let us do a thought experiment. Assume conservatively that it would take the shooter 5 seconds to reload. As a gun owner I can assure you that it doesn't take that long but for argument sake, let's make that assumption. So, 14 magazines would take 70 seconds to reload time. Is she seriously saying that 70 seconds would have made all the difference? Need real-world evidence?

Well, the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history was the Virginia Tech massacre. I'm sure Ms. Maddow knows about this one. Weapons used? Glock 19 9mm pistol and Walther P22 .22 pistol, both semi-automatic handguns and no "assault rifle" in sight. Semi-automatic means one trigger pull, one bullet. Total deaths 33. Wounded, 17 from gunfire. The shooter had nineteen 10 and 15 round magazines, and nearly 400 rounds of ammunition! The event that caused the most deaths - 31 shot and killed - lasted 10 - 15 minutes.

The 10 round limit is what lawyers call arbitrary and capricious. Why do I say that? Just Google Luby's massacre. It's the deadliest non-school shooting rampage in American history. Weapons used? Glock 17, Ruger P89, both semi-automatic handguns. Total deaths 24. Wounded; 10 from gunfire. The Glock 17 and the Ruger P89 use a standard 17 round magazine. An assault rifle ban would have done nothing. I have fired thousands of rounds with my Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm handgun. It has never jammed, ever! But Rachel Maddow would have you depend on the malfunction of the equipment to save your life. Ironically, in my experience semi-automatic handguns are more likely to malfunction with large capacity magazines.

I'll leave you to read the details but as Piers Morgan would say, Ms. Maddow's argument is facile (definition: appearing neat and comprehensive only by ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.)

"What I haven't heard is one coherent reason why any civilian in America needs an AR-15 'military style' assault weapon." - Piers Morgan
Finally, a segue to Piers Morgan. He says he wants to know who needs an AR-15. He's lying. He doesn't think there is any reason a civilian should own one and giving him a coherent reason will not change his mind.

Just to placate him, here are two. First would be during a riot. In 1992 after the Rodney King verdict Los Angeles erupted into total chaos. A group of Korean store owners got together to defend their property. They had shotguns and assault rifles and as you can see from the video, no one looted their establishments. Secondly, would be during a natural disaster. After hurricane Katrina, there were reports of vigilantes with assault weapons shooting African-Americans. If I had to choose between having a pistol and having AR-15 during a natural disaster where the law enforcement authorities are unable to respond, the AR-15 wins every time. Present these arguments to Mr. Morgan and he'd likely have the same response as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who said that the natural disaster scenario is "a hypothetical in a world that doesn't exist" despite the evidence of it existing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. These are the coherent reasons that have been rejected by the anti-gun movement.

So it is only logical that the most recent attempt to ban so-called semi-automatic, military-style assault weapons failed. The NRA and some Republican leaders have been very effective at exposing the lies propagated by the anti-gun movement. Unfortunately, they will not give up their cause. Fortunately, neither will we.