A Geek With Guns

Discount security adviser to the proles.

Archive for March, 2012

Something I’m Curious About

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There has been something I’ve been curious about for a while now. In regards to the idea that the Republican Party can be reformed and therefore liberty minded individuals should work hard to infiltrate it, I’ve noticed two fates that befall the attempted infiltrators: they either leave in disgust or get sucked into the Republican Party machine.

Obviously I’m in the former category. Just the idea of playing the political game makes my skin crawl. Yet I know many people who were good liberty minded individuals fall into the latter category. They entered the Republican Party hoping to enact change and they worked their asses off to develop the influence necessary to develop that change. However, unlike those of us in the former category, these individuals started becoming apologists for the strategy. After being shut down time and time again they continue saying that the road to reform is long and that we merely need more liberty minded individuals to achieve success.

Yet the thing that really gets me is when those poor souls begin lashing out at those of us who left in disgust. Suddenly we become the enemy as if we abandoned some kind of post during a military engagement. Instead of lashing out at the inner party members who constantly maneuver against reform, the hopeful reformers lash out at their fellow liberty minded allies. They become part of the Republican Party immune system that sees liberty as an intrusive organism, assimilated into the machine they had sworn to fight.

There is also the tendency for the hopeful reformers to ally themselves with less and less liberty minded individuals within the Republican Party. Politicians they previous deemed disgusting and tyrannical are suddenly “better than the alternative” and “can be brought to understand the liberty message.” Instead of outcries against tyrants these hopeful reformers start stating fale dichotomies by asking what we’d prefer, a slightly liberty minded candidate or a complete tyrant. It’s almost as if they’ve invested so much time and energy into their strategy that they’re unwilling to admit failure.

Perhaps it’s akin to Stockholm syndrome, they spend so much time with their aggressors that they begin sympathizing and identifying with them. It puzzles me and I’ve seen so many of my fellow libertarians succumb to it that I can’t merely wave it off as an oddity.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with

Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter the Political Realm

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As I said in my previous post, I attended my local basic political operating unit (BPOU) convention last night. Why would a man who despises politics, politicians, and the entire system of the state participate in such a thing? Because I would like to see Ron Paul get elected.

Unfortunately I left with my hatred of everything politics reaffirmed. You can never understand the idea of adults acting like children until you’ve attended a political convention. I felt as though I was in a kindergarden class full of unruly children who all wanted the same toy during recess.

I came as an alternate, which is a fancy way of saying a poor schmuck who becomes a voting delegate if the designated deletes from your caucus don’t show up. We had seven delegate seats available, two delegates and myself showed up meaning I got seated. When we registered delegates received blue name tags while alternates received red ones, after being officially seated we were told to go to the front to receive blue tags.

Although I’m poor with estimations I’d guess something like 1/4 to 1/3 of the room left to get new name tags, at which point a bunch of shit got rammed through because the chairperson knew it would be far easier to ram shit through with a good chunk of people missing. Yes, the people running the convention purposely put the alternates into a position where they would be forced to leave the room just so some shitty rules could be rammed through with less opposition.

From here things just went downhill. It demonstrated how corrupt party people are and how willing they were to toss the rules to the wind in order to get their way. My objections to the fact we were told to leave the room only to come back to rules being passed was entirely dismissed by the chair, in fact the chair lied by stating we were told not to leave the room. Yes, he just flat out lied in front of everybody and there wasn’t a damned thing we could do about it. I tried following the guidance of several members of the Paul campaign that came to help us fight against such party shenanigans but my attempt was only met with the threat of having me removed from the convention.

For those of you out there that hold any hope of reforming the Republican Party let me just say this: abandon all hope. The higher ups; or as I like to call them, the inner party; don’t want us involved in their political process. They want obedient automatons to tow the party line, people who won’t challenge the desires of the inner party. All their talk about wanting young people engaged in the party is complete bullshit. If the inner party had any decency they would tell the truth, they want people who won’t shake up the status quo. Members of the inner party don’t believe in liberty, limited government, or free enterprise; they only care about power.

Trying to reform the Republican Party is an act of lunacy when you think about what the plan entails. In order to reform the Republican Party from within one must play by the Republican Party rules, rules that are ignored of changed whenever it suits the inner party. Calling the inner party members out on their blatant disregard of the rules they put into place is a futile effort as well because the majority of people in the audience are mindless obedient automatons, they will shout you down because their masters in the inner party desire it. The combination of a power hungry inner party and followers unwilling to critically think leads everywhere but towards liberty.

Obedient automatons are members of what I call the outer party. These are the people who want power but don’t have the influence to obtain it. They exist on one hope, the hope that their service to the inner party will eventually be rewarded by inclusion in the inner party. What these people fail to realize is that the outer party are seen merely as trained monkeys to those in the inner party, trained monkeys who will continue doing what they’re told so long as a banana is thrown to them once in a great while. One does not move from the outer party to the inner party, hoping for such is futile but when you lack the ability to think critically you never come to understand this fact.

Everybody involved in politics has an agenda. My agenda is getting somebody into office who is actually liberty minded, really it’s self-defense against an ever more tyrannical state. Outer party members have varying agendas beyond simply moving into the inner party, they also want to use the state’s gun to force make people comply with their petty desires. Some outer party members want to ban gay marriage, others want to ban gambling, others desire war with Iran, etc. They see these conventions as a way to get Republican Party candidates to move these petty desires through the legislature, failing to realize the fact candidates don’t follow the party platform. In the end the outer party members spend hours debating something that is entirely pointless because it won’t lead to any changes. Finally inner party members continue with their agenda to gain more power for themselves.

Think of the ability to fulfill agendas as a toys and those trying to get their agendas fulfilled as children. The children fight over the toys. It’s not enough for each child to get the toy they really want, they also want every other toy because seeing their fellow children happy causes them great discomfort. This fighting over toys leads to some of the most ruthless non-physical combat you could ever witness. Nothing is off the table, every dirty trick is pulled out in the hopes it will allow one to achieve victory. Are the rules previously agreed to inconvenient to your hopes of getting all the toys? Ignore them, you’ll probably get away with it because other children also want to ignore the rules so they can get all the toys. Some of the children hope they can get the toys by forcing everybody to strictly adhere to the rules, a hope that is pointless because the other children were the ones who wrote the rules.

I’m shocked that the attendees of the BPOU convention weren’t throwing themselves to the floor screaming and crying. Their demeanor was literally that bad. Most of the people attending this convention pay lip service to the idea of party unity, but throw that idea to the wind the second something doesn’t go their way. “We’re all Republicans” they say (obviously they don’t know me), “we shouldn’t be fighting one another!” It sounds good but you only need wait two minutes to hear the same people denounce supposedly fellow Republicans.

The convention went from approximately 19:00 to 1:30, and in all those hours we had nothing to show for it. Some people were vote to move up to the state and congress ion district conventions where they would be forced to play the same game again, but nothing of actual value was accomplished. No experience is an absolute waste of time mind you, I feel my hatred of politics and politicians was strongly reaffirmed, but that’s it.

Hoping to reform the political process through the political process is akin to hoping for a rainbow farting unicorn. The system is rigged against reform, every rule is geared towards maintaining the power of the inner party. Those who walk in with hopes of changing things only have to options; realize the futility of the effort and leave or get sucked into the monster and become another cog in the political machine.

Abandon all hope ye who enter the political realm. There is nothing to gain and much to lose. Decades have been spent molding the system to ensure the power of the inner party. Members of the inner party are specialists, their specialty being the ability to maintain power. Those entering the carefully crafted system can’t hope to fathom a machine so large and complex, and that lack of understanding leads to defeat. Only the most devious mind could hope to understand a machine developed to be so convoluted, and those minds will tend towards the power of the inner party instead of the liberation of others.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

The Free Ice Cream Machine is Running Low

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I’m sorry but the free ice cream machine is running a little low today. I participated in my local basic political organizational unit (BPOU) convention last night and now I’m filled with dread, hopelessness, and rage. Needless to say I can’t find the energy to write anything at the moment so you’ll just have to check back later.

Let me say this: what I witnessed last night was something I’d expect to find in a kindergarten classroom. The people who go to political conventions are children, they show up to fight amongst one another for scraps from the power table of the higher ups, they want a piece of the power and don’t give two shits about anybody else. There will probably be a long rant explaining my sheer distain for political conventions and the people who attend them but I’ll have to wait to write it, the feeling of hopelessness for the future of humanity is just too great right now.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Posted in Side Notes

Tagged with ,

Not Helping

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I criticize our legal system often enough that people probably believe I hold no faith in it. Truth be told I don’t really hold much faith in it but even I will admit that it’s a damn side better than courts of public opinions. When you go by public opinion the evidence is no longer considered and only what the media tell you is accepted as fact, which is why tweeting the supposed address of George Zimmerman’s home doesn’t help the situation:

An elderly Florida couple have been forced to move into a hotel after their home address was wrongly tweeted as belonging to the man who shot teen Trayvon Martin.

The tweets were traced back to a man in California and the address was also reportedly retweeted by director Spike Lee to his almost 250,000 followers.

The couple, aged 70 and 72, have been harassed with hate mail, been hassled by media and had scared neighbors questioning them since the tweet, their son Chip Humble told the Orlando Sentinel.

Fearful for their safety, and hoping to escape the spotlight, the couple have temporarily moved to a hotel.

This is what happens in a court of public opinion, the supposed facts aren’t verified and lynch mobs go after innocent people. The two people who lived at the address tweeted by Spike Lee were forced to flee their home because of harassment by those demanding Zimmerman’s blood.

Yes our legal system is broken, and yes this is caused, in part, by monopoly maintained by the state over the court system, but it’s still better then roving gangs of blood thirsty idiots deciding who lives and who dies based on little evidence and unverified information.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30th, 2012 at 10:30 am

The Flawed Sheep, Sheepdog, or Wolf Analogy

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Are you a sheep or a sheepdog? It’s a question periodically asked by advocates of self-defense that tries to shove the person being questioned into a false dichotomy, either you’re a helpless sheep that simply follows the flock or you’re a brave sheepdog who guard the vulnerable sheep from the wolves.

In one of the more annoying advertisement e-mails I received it stated:

Christopher – you are it. You are the country’s last line of defense. The minute-man…. the sheep dog.

[…]

This guy completely understands sheepdogs like you and I.

I’m not a bloody sheepdog. The sheep, sheepdog, or wolf analogy pisses me off because it exists mainly to boost the egos of those who carry firearms. Instead of merely being a man who happens to carry a firearm one can now think, “I’m a sheepdog, the protector of the sheep, I am what lies between the average man and evil doers in our society, I am Batman!” Using the analogy seems rather mastubatory to me, a way of making one’s self feel good.

Since I refuse to adopt the sheepdog nomenclature I must be either a sheep or a wolf, right? Wrong. I’m a human being, but if we’re going to use animal analogies I’ll take a page from the Free State Project and use the porcupine as my totem animal. Porcupines are great, they walk around foraging for food, and avoid starting shit with other animals. So long as you don’t attack a porcupine you’ll be OK but if you fuck with a porcupine you’re going to get a face full of wrath filled quills.

The most important part of self-defense is mental. Even if you have a quality firearm with the skill to utilize it you’re likely to lose if you’re not in the game mentally. Thinking of yourself as a sheepdog put you in, what I believe to be, a bad mental state. Instead of merely being out to protect you and yours you’re now assuming responsibility for others. Putting yourself in harms way is the opposite of self-defense and I believe it to be poor form to adopt an attitude of being a guardian to everybody else. Don’t be the sheepdog, be the porcupine.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Reasons to Carry a Gun

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Why do I carry a gun? Because 20 to 1 odds aren’t good and the police are often useless even if they’re already at the scene:

A trio of cyclists were biking down Nicollet Mall about 7:45 p.m. when a group of men at a bus stop suddenly approached them and started throwing punches. One of the bikers was left with a broken jaw; another was beaten but sustained less serious injuries.

The incident happened right in front of Minneapolis police, who chased the 15 to 20 suspects and ended up arresting one adult and several juveniles. It was the fifth “flash mob”-style attack since the beginning of February.

Even the most well training martial artist is going to find themselves in a bad situation when facing 20 angry attackers. Make no mistake, getting mobbed by 20 people is life threatening. In such a situation your only hope of self-defense really becomes a firearm. I almost always have a firearm on me, even when I’m riding my mountain bike. You never know what kind of danger you might be facing from wild animals to a gang of assholes. What’s even more worrisome is the incident mentioned in the story is the sixth such case since February:

• Feb. 3: 9:25 p.m. at 7th Street and Nicollet Mall. Several suspects, one displaying a handgun, assault a group of five young men, ages 18 to 19. No serious injuries or arrests.

• Feb. 20: 2:22 a.m. at 119 N. 4th St. Six to seven young men, one with a handgun, threaten and then assault a 28-year-old St. Paul man, taking his cellphone and leaving him with face and torso injuries that did not require hospitalization. No immediate arrests.

• Feb. 25: 2 a.m. at 413 Nicollet Mall. Suspects assault two men, ages 22 and 25. Neither victim required hospitalization. No immediate arrests.

• March 11: 8 p.m. at 6th Street and Nicollet Mall. Four men, ages 21 to 30, attacked. Two bikes stolen; one recovered. No hospitalization or arrests.

• March 17: 11:45 p.m. at 90 S. 7th St. Two men, ages 23 and 27, are attacked. The younger man is seriously injured and admitted to intensive care at Hennepin County Medical Center.

It seems mob violence is getting more common, something not too surprising in harsh economic times. Another thing to note is that the first two listed incidents involved a member of the attacking mob being armed. When people ask, “Why do you need to carry a gun?” you can answer them with stories like this. A firearm can tip the scales more towards your favor and they give you an option to defend yourself against an otherwise superior attacker (or attackers as the case may be).

Written by Christopher Burg

March 29th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Divide and Conquer

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Divide and conquer is one of the most successful strategies in existence. Fighting a single large unified force is hard, fighting several small factions who are fighting amongst themselves is relatively easy. So it comes as no surprise to me that advocates for banning gay marriage are trying to divide their opposition:

An internal memorandum from one of the country’s leading organizations against same-sex marriage outlined a plan to help its cause by exploiting unease among blacks over the issue.

The undated memo was one of several documents unsealed by a federal judge on Monday in a case in Maine, where the group, the National Organization for Marriage, helped finance a successful ballot initiative in 2009 overturning the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

“The strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” the memo says, describing an initiative called the “Not a Civil Right Project.”

The complete text of the document is a pretty interesting read but the methodology described under “Not a Civil Right Project” is downright damning:

THE STRATEGIC GOAL OF THIS PROJECT IS TO DRIVE A WEDGE BETWEEN GAYS AND BLACKS — TWO KEY DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUENCIES. FIND, EQUIP, ENERGIZE AND CONNECT AFRICAN AMERICAN SPOKESPEOPLE FOR MARRIAGE; DEVELOP A MEDIA CAMPAIGN AROUND THEIR OBJECTIONS TO GAY MARRIAGE AS A CIVIL RIGHT; PROVOKE THE GAY MARRIAGE BASE INTO RESPONDING BY DENOUNCING THESE SPOKESMEN AND WOMEN AS BIGOTS. NO POLITICIAN WANTS TO TAKE UP AND PUSH AN ISSUE THAT SPLITS THE BASED OF THE PARTY. FANNING THE HOSTILITY RAISED IN THE WAKE OF PROP 8 IS KEY TO RAISING THE COSTS OF PUSHING GAY MARRIAGE TO ITS ADVOCATES AND PERSUADING THE MOVEMENT’S ALLIES THAT ADVOCATES ARE UNACCEPTABLY OVERREACHING ON THIS ISSUE. CONSIDER PUSHING A MARRIAGE AMENDMENT IN WASHINGTON D.C.; FIND ATTRACTIVE YOUNG BLACK DEMOCRATS TO CHALLENGE WHITE GAY MARRIAGE ADVOCATES ELECTORALLY.

What we have is a rare black and white demonstration of political divide and conquer strategy. Usually political advocacy groups try to wrap their strategies in fuzzy sounding words in an attempt to make their strategy appear benevolent. They will usually cite several studies showing the dangers of allowing their opposition to win and use that as justification for whatever strategy gets concocted. It’s exceedingly rare to see a political advocacy group come out and just state what they plan to do.

What I find funny is not just the strategy of dividing blacks and gays but also the statement that they desire to find attractive young black democrats. Ugly black democrats need no apply, people won’t listen to them as closely. Reading through this document I believe the National Organization for Marriage v. Walter F. Mckee is going to be a very interesting case indeed. What other blatantly stated strategies has the National Organization for Marriage come up with?

In the end I still find it hilarious that people are battling over legalizing gay marriage instead of demanding the state get out of marriage entirely.

On a side note, because incriminating memos have a habit of falling down the memory hole I’ve uploaded a local copy of the document here [PDF].

Written by Christopher Burg

March 29th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Count the Anti-Gun Memes

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Articles written by anti-gunners usually bore me. Instead of bringing up new arguments and solutions to the problem they perceive they continue regurgitating the same bullshit over and over again. Let’s play a game, I’m going to call it Count the Memes. The idea is simple, to count the number of anti-gun memes mentioned in an average anti-gun article. In this pose I will point out the meme, give a brief explanation about each meme when it first occurs, and keep a running score of the memes dropped in the article. The contestent today is this article titled Silencing the Guns:

That was not, however, the first bipartisan moment related to the attack on Gabby Giffords, nor would it be the last. In 2004, Congress let the assault weapons ban Bill Clinton had passed “sunset” despite overwhelming public support.

“Assault” weapon ban + 1

“Assault” weapon ban points are awarded for mentions of the “assault” weapon ban as a mechanism that would prevent crimes involved criminal uses of firearms.

Total Memes So Far
“Assault weapon ban: 1

That law limited the number of rounds of ammunition a shooter could fire before having to reload, and letting it die an untimely death allowed a mentally ill young man in Tucson to purchase a handgun with a 33-round magazine. Had the assault weapons ban remained in place, he may well have been able to shoot the congresswoman, but he would not have been able to empty his clip, killing 6 people and wounding 13 others, before being tackled to the ground.

Ignorance of gun law + 1

Ignorance of gun law points are awarded when an article incorrectly states what a law legally defined.

Total Memes So Far
“Assault weapon ban: 1
Ignorance of gun laws: 1

But on neither that national day of mourning nor on any day since has the president or the members of Congress, who are either too frightened or too corrupted by the National Rifle Association, honored Giffords or the memory of those who died in that massacre in Tucson in the most appropriate way: with a return to common sense, like reestablishing the assault weapons ban that might have saved their lives.

The evil NRA + 1.

The evil NRA points are awarded for instances where the National Rifle Association (NRA) is mentioned with some kind of clandestine power or other undue influence. This point gets awarded often as anti-gunners like to mention the NRA as some kind of powerful puppet-master that has total control over our government and people.

“Assault” weapon ban + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 2
Ignorance of gun laws: 1
The evil NRA: 1

Later in January, Representative Carolyn McCarthy and Senator Frank Lautenberg proposed legislation to outlaw high-capacity magazines; it has gone nowhere.

High capacity magazines/clips + 1

High capacity magazines/clips is awarded whenever an article mentions standard capacity magazines. The award contains the verbiage magazines/clips because most anti-gunners are too stupid to realize there is a difference between the two.

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 2
Ignorance of gun laws: 1
The evil NRA: 1
High capacity magazines/clips: 1

The first President Bush, unlike his swaggering son (who advocated the demise of a ban on assault weapons whose sole purpose is to hunt humans) showed political courage by publicly quitting the N.R.A. in disgust in 1995 when it began advocating ideas like its contention that citizens need military-style assault weapons to protect themselves against our own government (members, for example, of the National Guard).

Insurrectionist + 1

Insurrectionist points are awarded whenever an article mentions militias, insurrectionists, or other anti-government individuals or groups in a manner meant to strike fear into readers.

“Assault” weapon ban + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 1
The evil NRA: 1
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1

One of them, of course, is Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which discourages de-escalation of potential firefights in public with predictable results, like the shooting death in Sanford, Fla., of Trayvon Martin.

Ignorance of gun laws + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 1
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1

If an assassination attempt on one of their own did not move members of Congress to ask whether the N.R.A. has a little too much sway in their chambers, a few dead and wounded teenagers, medical patients, and their family members were not going to unlock their safeties.

The evil NRA + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 2
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1

Most have clearly made the risk assessment that they have more to fear from the N.R.A. than they do from an occasional sniper.

The evil NRA + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 3
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1

In the 2010 election cycle, the N.R.A. spent over $7 million in independent expenditure campaigns for and against specific candidates, and it has a remarkable record of success at taking out candidates and elected officials with the misfortune of being caught in its crosshairs.

The evil NRA + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 4
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1

Last year alone guns killed or wounded another 100,000 Americans; roughly 30,000 of them died.

Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides + 1

Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides points are awarded whenever an article mentions statistics involving firearm related incidents without differentiation between the number of suicides, accidents, self-defense cases, and homicides. Anti-gunners purposely avoid differentiation to make their case look stronger by using artificially inflated numbers.

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 4
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1

We don’t know exactly how many have been killed in the fighting in Libya, Egypt and Syria, but our elected officials have had far less trouble calling for the ouster of Middle Eastern leaders than the leadership of the N.R.A.

The evil NRA + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 4
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1

In contrast, everyone but the lunatic fringe in America supports gun safety laws — such as eliminating the gun-show loophole that allows the sale of military-grade weapons without background checks, and has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans as well as Mexicans, whose drug cartels find the loophole extremely helpful.

Demonizing gun owners + 1

Demonizing gun owners points are awarded whenever an article attempts to demonize gun owners in a general sense. Usually this is done by stating gun owners are uncivilized rednecks from or by questioning the size of a gun owner’s penis.

Gun-show loophole + 1

Gun-show loophole points area awarded whenever an article makes mentioned of the fictional gun-show loophole. When anti-gunners state gun-show loopholes they really mean the legal ability of two individuals to perform trade between one another without government involvement.

Military-style weapons + 1

Military-style weapons points are awarded whenever an article arbitrarily states a firearm is military in nature. This award is based on ignorance as bolt-action rifles are based on military weaponry but generally never mentioned as such.

Background checks + 1

Background checks ponts are awarded whenever an article makes references to background checks. Statements regarding background checks are usually made in an attempt to make gun owners seem unreasonable. That is to say most people accept background checks as a good thing and therefore people opposing background checks are seen as ignorant, extremist, or simply evil. It’s related to the demonizing gun owners category although happens with enough frequency to merit its own category.

Ignorance of gun-related events + 1

Ignorance of gun-related events is awarded whenever an article makes a statement regarding a gun-related event without actually knowing what happened. In the case of Mexican drug cartels getting firearms, they were given those guns by the United States government through a smuggling operation called Fast and Furious, not a loophole in any existing firearm law.

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 4
High capacity magazines/clips: 1
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1
Demonizing gun owners: 1
Gun-show loophole: 1
Military-style weapons: 1
Background checks: 1
Ignorance of gun-related events: 1

In national testing, we’ve found that a simple, non-equivocating statement focusing on that point of intersection — law-abiding — beats the toughest “they want to take away your guns” message we can fire at it. It leads every demographic group other than those who stockpile weapons to support common-sense gun safety laws.

Special side note: it’s interesting to see an article admit that anti-gunners use the manipulation of language to persuade people to support gun control. Usually they aren’t so brazen as to outright state such a fact.

Offered a message that speaks to their ambivalence, people readily recognize that a 33-round clip makes it virtually impossible to tackle a shooter until he has had time to kill 15 or 16 people.

High capacity magazines/clips + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 4
High capacity magazines/clips: 2
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1
Demonizing gun owners: 1
Gun-show loophole: 1
Military-style weapons: 1
Background checks: 1
Ignorance of gun-related events: 1

hey understand that allowing people to purchase military-style weapons at gun shows without a background check renders gun safety laws meaningless.

Military-style weapons + 1
Gun-show loophole + 1
Background checks + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 4
High capacity magazines/clips: 2
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1
Demonizing gun owners: 1
Gun-show loophole: 2
Military-style weapons: 2
Background checks: 2
Ignorance of gun-related events: 1

Beginning with a statement of principle both makes clear the speaker’s intent and inoculates against all the slippery-slope arguments used by the N.R.A. and the elected officials in its employ or fearful of its power: “My view on guns reflects one simple principle: that our gun laws should guarantee the rights and freedoms of all law-abiding Americans. That’s why I stand with the majority who believe in the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns to hunt or protect their families. And that’s why I stand with the majority who believe they have the right to send their kids to school and see them return home safely at night.”

The evil NRA + 1

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 5
High capacity magazines/clips: 2
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1
Demonizing gun owners: 1
Gun-show loophole: 2
Military-style weapons: 2
Background checks: 2
Ignorance of gun-related events: 1

This shouldn’t be an issue of left or right. Grocery stores in Tucson, where Gabby Giffords was shot (and where my mother-in-law shops — she just happened to be out of town that Saturday), are not hotbeds of “socialism.” I don’t know the party affiliations of the fallen teenagers in Chardon or the staff members, patients or families in Pittsburgh, but I suspect they ranged across the political spectrum.

Pretending to relate to a gun-related event + 1

Pretending to relate to a gun-related event points are awarded whenever an article author tries to tie themselves with a gun-related event in an attempt to generate sympathy from readers. It usually involves a mention of the author’s mother’s friend’s uncle’s cousin’s former roommate living within 100 miles of where the gun-related event occurred.

Total Memes So Far
“Assault” weapon ban: 3
Ignorance of gun laws: 2
The evil NRA: 5
High capacity magazines/clips: 2
Insurrectionist: 1
Not differentiating between suicides, accidents, self-defense, and homicides: 1
Demonizing gun owners: 1
Gun-show loophole: 2
Military-style weapons: 2
Background checks: 2
Ignorance of gun-related events: 1
Pretending to relate to a gun-related event: 1

In the end this article composed of 14 paragraphs had 23 memes with zero citations to backup any made claims. Overall I feel the meme score for this article was fairly average. In the future I would advise the author to work harder to get insurrectionist points and pretending to relate to a gun-related event points. Focusing on the evil NRA points is common and makes it difficult to distinguish one article from another.

Unfortunately the predictability of anti-gun articles make them a bore to read. All I do anymore is count the memes as they never contain original material, research, or information. As you can see the meme counts can get pretty high in short articles meaning this would make a very harsh drinking game. Now that I think about it I believe I’ll begin writing drinking game rules for this.

Police Surveillance Video of Zimmerman

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Well this video doesn’t help Zimmerman’s self-defense claim nor grant much believability to the police report:

A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no blood or bruises on George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who says he shot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his head slammed into the ground.

The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed.

Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven. He appears well built, hardly the portly young man depicted in a 2005 mug shot that until a two days ago was the single image the media had of Zimmerman.

The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning.

His lawyer later insisted that Zimmerman’s nose had been broken in his scuffle with 17-year-old Martin.

You can watch the video here. I do want to say ABC news could have found a better place to drop it’s “ABC New Exclusive” banner as it obscures the video of Zimmerman’s head for much of the video. Either way the video shows no sign of injury on Zimmerman brining the claim that Martin knocked Zimmerman on his back and began pummeling his face in question.

The grand jury hearing is going to be interesting. As of right now we have evidence flying back and forth that supports and opposes Zimmerman’s claim and may even uncover an attempt by the police department to cover up a crime. Either way we won’t know until next month when the grand jury has access to all the available evidence and makes a decision on whether or not Zimmerman will be tried.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 29th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Never Ending Punishment

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A phrase that used to be common in my area was, if you do the crime you do the time. Two things were implied by this saying: a person convicted of a crime would be punished and once the guilty person served their time they would be free to rejoin society as their debt had been paid. Unfortunately the last part isn’t recognized in our culture, especially if you’ve been charged with a felony.

I’ve been an outspoken critic of the law prohibiting all felons from owning firearms. What ground exists for banning a person charged with tax evasion from owning a firearm? None as far as I’m concerned. Yet in this country if you’re charged with a felony your life is suddenly worth less than other people’s. In fact your life is worth so little that it becomes a crime to defend yourself:

Anthony Robinson, 19, allegedly was trying to break into Wright’s home in the 6400 block of South Morgan Street to steal liquor about 6:30 a.m. Monday when Wright shot him in the leg, police said.

Wright was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, police said.

Robinson, of the 6600 block of South Wood, was charged with burglary. He appeared in bond court wearing a blue hospital gown that he held closed with one hand. Authorities said Wright had shot him in the ankle.

Court records showed Wright pleaded guilty to a 1990 theft charge and served two years on probation, and then served another 2-1/2 years on probation for a 1994 charge of unlawful use of a weapon.

Wright took measures to defend himself but, because he pleaded guilty to theft in 1990, will likely spend time in a cage for having the audacity to value his life over a person breaking into his home. This kind of thing is ridiculous. After ~22 years Wright is still being punished for his crime. ~22 years for pleading guilty to theft. Not only that but the state has also said that his life is now without value simply because he pleaded guilty to an act of theft.

How is tossing somebody convicted of theft in a cage for two and a half years and prohibiting him from defending his life in the futre justice? He should have been made to repay what he stole (I’d actually say he should be forced to repay double what he stole) and all costs of recovery and nothing more. Our so-called justice system does many things, but delivering justice isn’t one of them.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 28th, 2012 at 11:30 am