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While I understand that the most zealous gun control advocates are unlikely to listen to me because they believe I’m a psychopathic murderer who wants to kill children I know that there are a lot of logical individuals who currently advocate for gun control because they believe it will lead to a safer society. This post is for the latter group. I recently came across an interesting post on the Ludwig von Mises Institute website discussing the effects of cannabis prohibition:
Super potent pot is not a market failure. It is simply the result of government prohibition. In fact, it is one of the best examples of the iron law of prohibition. When government enacts and enforces a prohibition it eliminates the free market which is then replaced by a black market. This typically changes everything about “the market.” It changes how the product is produced, how it is distributed and sold to consumers. It changes how the product is packaged and in particular, the product itself. The iron law of prohibition looks specifically at how prohibition makes drugs like alcohol and marijuana more potent. The key to the phenomenon is that law enforcement makes it more risky to make, sell, or consume the product. This encourages suppliers to concentrate the product to make it smaller and thus more potent. In this manner you get “more bang for the buck.”
During alcohol prohibition (1920-1933), alcohol consumption went from a beer, wine, and whiskey market to one of rotgut whiskey with little wine or beer available. The rotgut whiskey could be more than twice as potent of the normal whiskey that was produced both before and after prohibition. The product is then diluted at the point of consumption. During the 1920s all sorts of cocktails were invented to dilute the whiskey and to cover up for bad smells and tastes.
The iron law of prohibition states that “the more intense the law enforcement, the more potent the prohibited substance becomes.” When a substance is prohibited the sellers and buyers of that substance have a vested interest in delivering the most bang for buck because the more of that substance they possess the harder it is to conceal. Small amounts of cannabis can be concealed in film canisters, flashlights (just take out the batteries), cell phones (once again, remove the battery), and any other object that has a hallowed out space. Large amounts of cannabis cannot be concealed so easily and therefore detection by law enforcement becomes much easier.
While the iron law of prohibition relates to drug prohibitions I think it’s also applicable to other forms of prohibition. Let’s look at the type of firearms preferred by violent criminals:
New state stats show that firearms were responsible for more than 58% of the murders statewide last year — but the biggest problem was handguns.
Of the 769 homicides reported in 2011, 393 were the result of handguns. There were 16 deaths by shotgun, five by rifle, and 33 by an unknown “firearm-type,” the state Division of Criminal Justice Services reports.
The Department of Justice’s Guns Used in Crimes [PDF] report backs that claim:
Although most crime is not committed with guns, most gun crime is committed with handguns. pages 1 & 2
This makes sense when you consider the iron law of prohibition. Much like cannabis buyers and sellers, violent criminals, especially ones who are prohibited from possessing firearms, have a vested interest in firearms that can be concealed from law enforcement. Laws prohibiting individuals from lawfully carrying firearms didn’t discourage people from carrying firearms, it merely made the need to possess concealable firearms greater. The same can be said for prohibiting certain individuals from carrying firearms, they now seek firearms that can be easily concealed.
This brings up an interesting consequence of enacting even stricter gun control laws. What would happen if advocates of gun control were able to achieve their goals of a partial or complete prohibition against firearms? Firearm manufacturing and transfers wouldn’t stop, they would simply move underground (or further underground in the case currently prohibited firearm transfers). In addition to moving underground the demand for firearms that deliver more bang for their buck would increase. Firearms would likely become more potent by decreasing in size, becoming more difficult to detect, and, potentially, increasing in power. Resources would be invested in working around the prohibition by making firearms that are more difficult for law enforcement officers to detect.
As it currently stands the demand for difficult to detect firearms is relatively low. Those of us who carry a concealed firearm want one that is difficult for the average person to detect but we usually care little if our firearm is easy for law enforcement agents to detect. Resources are put into making concealable firearms but not undetectable firearms. Criminals tend to favor currently produced firearms because they are cheaper than developing alternatives (everything is subject cost-benefit analysis). Few criminals are going to invest the resources in producing more potent firearms when currently available firearms are good enough. That would likely change under a stronger or complete prohibition. Suddenly the investment in resources to develop very difficult to detect firearms would make sense.
Prohibitions have consequences. When alcohol was prohibited in the United States manufacturers began distilling extremely potent liquors to deliver more bang for buck. The current cannabis prohibition has resulted in a similar outcome, cannabis today is far more potent then it was before the prohibition. A firearm prohibition would likely result in the same outcome, firearms would become more difficult to detect and potentially more powerful. This is something that advocates of gun control should consider when asking themselves if a prohibition would actually lead to a safer society.
There is some information that’s very important to know such as instructions for making gunpowder using household products:
The best chemistry experiments are those you can perform with items already laying around your house. With only some sugar, salt substitute and an instant cold pack, you can make your very own gunpowder! Being able to make homemade gunpowder without a trip to the store can be a lifesaver, no matter if it’s just for testing out a Civil War-era musket, blowing up stubborn tree stumps, or preparing for battle when imperialists overrun your country.
- Instant cold pack
- Salt substitute
- Glass jars
- Coffee filters
- Scale that can measure grams
- Stove or hotplate
Obviously this isn’t going to make high quality smokeless powder, or anything that can likely be reliably fired out of a modern rifle, but it’s a start. Knowledge like this and the ability to manufacture firearm parts at home is making the desires of gun control advocates more and more impossible.
A tip of the old hat goes to Uncle for this information.
For those who are unaware agorism is a counter economic system that strives to make an flourishing underground economy. That is to say it strives to make an economy free of government interference. Whenever you do work for a friend in exchange for cash and don’t report that income to the government you’re practicing a form of agorism. As the world economy falls further and further into the pit of failure agorism seems to be becoming more prevalent:
The United States continues to suffer from mass unemployment. People have had to adjust their lifestyles to the new reality—fewer jobs, lower wages, mortgages to pay that are now more than their homes are worth. Millions have dropped out of the job hunt and are trying to find other ways to sustain their families.
That’s where the underground economy comes in. Also called the shadow or informal economy, it’s not just illegal activity like selling drugs or doing sex work. It’s all sorts of work that doesn’t get regulated by the government or reported to the IRS, and it’s a far bigger part of the economy than most of us are aware—in 2009, economics professor Friedrich Schneider estimated that it was nearly 8 percent of the US GDP, somewhere around $1 trillion. (That makes the shadow GDP bigger than the entire GDP of Turkey or Austria.) Schneider doesn’t include illegal activities in his count– he studies legal production of goods and services that are outside of tax and labor laws. And that shadow economy is growing as regular jobs continue to be hard to come by—Schneider estimated 5 percent in ’09 alone.
So the underground economy in the United States alone is estimated to be roughly eight percent of our gross domestic product (GDP). That’s rather impressive, especially when you consider the fact that that statistic doesn’t including illegal activities but only activities that are legal in all ways except their complete ignoring of tax and labor laws.
I personally am in complete support of the agorist movement as I find the very concept of government involvement in the economy detestable. While the government and statists views agorism as theft I view it as a peaceful means of telling the government where they can stick their market interference, wars, and other activities they fund with money obtained through taxation. But as I said the government and statists view it as a form of theft which can be seen by how they refer to the underground economy:
Economist Edgar Feige estimated in 2009 that unreported economic activity was costing the US government $600 billion in tax revenues, and the growth in that number—from the Internal Revenue Service’s 2001 estimate of $345 billion—indicates the growth of the informal economy. Reporting on Feige’s work, Dennis Chaptman noted, “As the recession deepens and regular employment opportunities decline, unreported activities tend to grow, thereby swelling the tax gap and worsening the government’s budget deficit.”
Notice the wording, “costing the US government $600 billion in tax revenues.” Statistis view the product of all labor as property of the government as evident by the fact they consider taxation a form of revenue. Using this line of thinking you would be robbing the government of tax revenues if you took a pay cut that caused you to pay less income tax.
The product of your labor is not the property of the government, it’s your property. If you do not report your income to the government you’re not robbing them of revenue as the money they would have obtained from taxing your income was never rightfully theirs in the first place. Something can not be considered revenue if it would have never been rightfully yours in the first place.
Another way of thinking about this is through the example of a mugger. Let’s say a mugger robbed 10 people one year and obtained $100.00 from each of his victims for a total of $1,000.00. Now let’s say, due to these muggings, eight of the mugger’s victims went out and obtained a firearm and a carry permit. The following year the mugger attempts to rob the same 10 victims for the same amount but is only able to successfully mug two of them as the other eight pulled a gun on him and he ran off. As the mugger was only able to mug two victims for $100.00 each his take for the year was $200.00. Would you say that he suffered a $800.00 loss in revenue? Most people I know would not but that’s exactly what the government and statists are claiming.
Personally I’m glad to see the underground economy growing at such a rapid rate. Government interference in the free market is what originally lead to our economic woes and their attempts to lessen or shorten this depression have only caused it to linger longer and become more severe. Why should the government receive a cut of our labor if they are the reason we as a country are becoming less prosperous every day? Would you continue to pay an employee who continued to cost you money through his actions? No, you would fire that idiot and try to find somebody competent to replace him. Let us fire the government from our economy and instead move towards more underground activity where all transactions are voluntary and each participant gets to keep the entire product of their labor.
It’s the fourth of July which means it’s a holiday and thus I’m not going to be posting any updates today. Go out and enjoy yourselves and remember to be careful, you don’t want to lose any digits.
What would modernize the ancient act of the elderly whoopin’ those youngin’s with a cane? As Every Day, No Days Off points out you electrifying the cane of course! Meet the child of Mr. Taser and Mrs. Cane. It’s inventions like this that make me look forward to getting old.
You know what’s almost adorable? Wanna be “l33t hax0rz.” These are the kids who have either just downloaded Cain and Able and think they’re hot shit or somebody who just found out what Wireshark is. Usually you can identify these punks by talking to them for five seconds… they’re the ones that will tell you how they can “hax0rz ur netwurkz.” Spotting them on IRC is made even easier because they’ll usually ask for your IP address so they can “hax ur azz.” Two things become apparent when talking to these people; they don’t know what the Hell they’re talking about and they can’t spell. I actually find the former more annoying than the latter to be honest.
Sometimes I find these people amusing enough to post about them. I’m sure you’ve deducted that this is one of those times. Via a good joke thread going around I found this little gem of an article about one of these “hax0rz.”. Although the information in this article is technically correct it’s shrouded in such a thick fog of bullshit I couldn’t help but laugh. The premise here is the author has decided to show how “l33t” he is by sneaking into an apartment building and listening to traffic on an open Wi-Fi network. I’m mostly going to be making fun of his delivery of information here. Shall we begin (yes I’ve been drinking beer and feel like being a total prick, why do you ask?):
Wearing pyjama pants and an ironic t-shirt, I headed towards a large apartment building near where I live. I choose it because a lot of students live there and I could easily blend in. That and I knew there would be lots of targets.
Yes camouflage is required to sneak into an apartment. When doing tactical entries into apartment complexes sometimes it’s just not convenient to wear your tactical entry vest. Usually when I’m on one of these black ops I disguise myself in a button-down shirt, pants, and a good pair of boots. You know what? I blend right the fuck in with everybody else who wears regular looking clothes. I’m such a bad ass.
I used to be a door to door salesman, so I know a few unique ways to get into a building, but I didn’t need them. As I walked up to the door, someone else was leaving. They held the door open for me and I was in. As soon as I entered, I noticed a video camera. What I planned to do would look weird on camera and I didn’t want security on my butt, so I was more careful from there onwards.
Wait… this guy used to be a door to door salesman and thus knows tricks to get into buildings? Personally I know a thing or two about getting into buildings as well. Of course I’m not a complete dumb ass and know the best way to gain entry into a building is to just wait for somebody to let you in. You’ll not Al Capone here used that “trick.” It’s pretty damned difficult to stand outside and act like you forgot your key.
How about that camera? I know being on a laptop sure looks suspicious this day and age. Every time I’m on my laptop in a public area I get hassled by all sorts of security personnel. Wait… scratch that, I never get hassled by security because nobody sees somebody on a laptop as weird this day an age. Well I take that back, they do if you act suspicious by trying to avoid cameras. That’s why the best trick when entering a building is to walk in like you own the place. Don’t give anybody watching any cameras a reason to be suspicious such as keeping your head low when you see a camera:
When I finally made it to my floor a camera greeted me. I ducked my head low and walked over to the staircase. If security was watching me, I didn’t want them knowing where I was.
After dropping down a few floors and switching to the other staircase I decided to do my dirty work on the 18th floor. The building was huge and it would take hours for them to search the entire thing. I opened up my laptop and lo and behold, there were eight insecure networks. I picked one at random and hit the mother-load.
Remember kids if you’re going to be an elite “hax0rz” you need to avoid cameras but then post exactly where you were in the building online. That way nobody can find out that the weird guy who entered or left floor 18 is the guy who wasn’t supposed to be there. Of course being an apartment I don’t think anybody gives two shits.
The program you see those IP’s in is called Ettercap. It’s no longer in development and I don’t want to go over everything it does, lets just say it makes it so I can steal usernames and passwords among other things. All I had to do was install the program and run it.
Ettercap is so elite and secret that “hax0rz” can’t talk about it.
I then opened a program called WireShark (you can see it in the second screenshot). Using this program I can easily see the websites these four people were browsing. As you can see this person is browsing IMDb. And in the next screenshot the person is… err…
OH MY GOD! WIRESHARK! IT’S SO FUCKING L33T! In fact it’s so fucking “l33t” that I use it almost every day at work. Wireshark is a packet analyzer. What the fuck is a packet analyzer you ask? Nothing fancy. It captures traffic going across a network and saves it for analysis. Wireshark has a million and one uses (for instance I use it to debug network applications I’m developing). Basically you can view all unencrypted data that goes across a network meaning if somebody on your network is using HTTPS you’re shit out of luck.
So I’m sure you’re asking why I wasted my time ridiculing this kid. The answer is simple… I’ve been drinking which means I’m a bigger asshole at the moment than usual (hard to believe isn’t it?). Additionally “hax0r” kiddies irritate me. They prey on peoples’ ignorance of computers to make themselves look more intelligent.
What the kid said in this article is technically correct. If can turn on my laptop, sniff an open wireless access point, and obtain any unencrypted traffic going across said network. I just don’t try to make myself look like a bad ass doing it. I also don’t do it on networks that I don’t own or have permission from the owner. The proper way to demonstrate this fact would have been to setup a private open network, generate traffic on it, and demonstrate the fact you can obtain the traffic from it via another computer by simply listening.
I always find it funny how the script kiddies (a person who doesn’t actually know about security flaws but instead utilizes automated tools and pretends they’re a bad ass) are the most boastful punks. Most people with actual knowledge of security issue will explain it to you in such a way that it doesn’t make it seem like they’re trying to be an elite bad ass operator. I’m sure this kid thought he was hot shit once he realized that you can actually see peoples’ network traffic via a packet analyzer.
Honestly I’d be embarrassed if I posted some drivel such as that article on my web site. Hell I’m almost embarrassed just linking to it. Let me redeem myself by recommending the awesome beer that inspired this post.
I guess that’s all I have to say about this “l33t hax0rz.” Just remember kids, always herp before you derp.
Random Nuclear Strikes has another post showing how incompetence of our government when it comes to money management. It seems our government paid $92.86 to destroy a single firearm. The kick in the teeth is the fact that they paid to have 1.4 million firearms destroyed.
I have a proposition for our government. Should you come across another 1.4 million guns you no longer want (or more, or less) I’m offering my services to take them off of your hand for free. That’s right instead of having to waste $92.86 dollars per gun to dispose of them you can give me the firearms at no cost to you. It’s simple, it’s easy, and best of all it’s free! I’ll also ensure the firearms I do not want find good homes (don’t worry I’ll ensure background checks are completed and everything). Yup that’s right I’m going to be green on this and recycle those arms that I do not want.
So donate today to Christopher Burg’s Home for Wayward Guns.
It appears IBM slipped up a little bit:
Delegates to AusCERT, Australia’s premier information security event held this week on the Gold Coast, have taken home a little of the stuff they spent the week agonising over – a virus.
In an email this afternoon, IBM advised visitors to its AusCERT booth that its complimentary USB key was infected with a virus. An IBM spokesman and conference organisers confirmed the email was genuine.
There has to be an award for distributing a virus at a security conference.
Welcome everybody to the new year. It is now officially 2010 in the central time zone.
And no I’m not on WordPress making a post instead of drinking and partying. I’m just not that thoughtful. I scheduled this post so it would make it appear as though I were that thoughtful. Either way here is to the new year.
OK let’s set the way back machine to 1895. In this year through the will of an industrialist named Alfred Nobel the Nobel peace prize was established. The award according to the late Mr. Nobel’s will would got to:
to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
Of course this prize lost all legitimacy in 2007 when Al Gore won it due to his scam known as global warming (oops sorry I forgot it’s a record cold year this year so it’s now called climate change). Well the prize that is supposed to be handed out to those that work to bring peace has been awarded to the Obamessiah.
Yup that’s right less than one year in his first term and accomplishing nothing to further peace Obama is the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. It seems strange that a man who promised to pull us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and has done nothing to further either sentiment won a prize for the person who did the most to promote peace.
You have to love this quote:
Asked why the prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: “It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve”.
Well in that case I believe I should win the 2010 award since I’m promoting the idea of pulling our troops out of every foreign country and therefore ending a lot of wars. Come on guys do you want to support me and what I’m trying to achieve?
Seriously the award is supposed to be given out to “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work.” See the important clause there “have done” implying the person actually did something. The wording doesn’t state “shall do” or “shall possibly maybe consider” or even “shall make a promise and make no effort to keep it.”
Yeah I’m sorry I’m a little bitter. Not because a person I don’t like won the award but because the person who won it has done NOTHING to further the progress of peace.