A Geek With Guns

Discount security adviser to the proles.

Security Versus Law Enforcement

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Many (probably most) people don’t think twice when they see an armed police officer patrolling their neighborhood. But if private individuals do the same thing many people will flip out. Words such as vigilante are tossed around and people such as George Zimmerman are brought up. Which is really worse though? Let’s consider the following story about armed individuals patrolling their neighborhood:

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Armed with high-powered rifles, men dressed in fatigues and black T-shirts emblazoned with the word, “Security,” trekked through the streets of a Northwest Bexar County community in the wee hours of one recent morning. Many of their neighbors, meanwhile, slept soundly in their homes.

Members of the group, called the “Armed Volunteer Security Detail,” asked us not to reveal the exact location in which they patrol. However, the neighborhood is located in the area of Loop 1604 and Culebra Road.

The self-appointed keepers of the gated subdivision also were careful to hide their identities, shielding their faces from our camera. What they were not shy about, though, was their purpose—to make their community safer.

“We’re not out here enforcing law. I want to make that real clear,” said one member, who identified himself as Mr. Black. “We’re out here protecting people’s property rights.”

Black and the others formed the group, which is not sanctioned by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, in response to what they believe is an increase in crime.

Two guys decided to grabs their rifles and patrol their neighborhood after a perceived increase in crime. They’re basically doing the job we’re told law enforcers are supposed to do. Why do people think of them differently?

Common arguments brought up against private individuals patrolling neighborhoods are that law enforcers are accountable and receive specialized training. I think the recent string of killings by law enforcers that have lead to nothing more than the officers involved receiving paid vacations invalidates the claim that they’re more accountable. At least when a private individual shoots somebody there’s a thorough investigation and in a vast majority of cases if the shooting appears questionable the shooter will stand trail.

The second argument is also wrong in my opinion. The specialized training that law enforcers receive tends to be unrelated to security. They’re often taught how to identify somebody who is on drugs, kidnap people, confiscate property under civil forfeiture, and enforce traffic citations. Their training also tends to include nonsense such as their job being extremely dangerous and that they can’t trust anybody, which breeds paranoid and discourages rational responses to situations.

The two individuals in the linked story very clearly state that they’re not law enforcement. This is important because security and law enforcement are vastly different things. Security is the act of protecting life and property. Law enforcement is the act of enforcing the law no matter how ridiculous it is. Somebody who is providing security won’t give two shits about the cannabis plants you’re growing. They just want to make sure nobody steals your plants. Somebody who is providing law enforcement will toss a flash bang grenade into your toddler’s bedroom, kick in your door, and shoot your family pet (and maybe even you) because they received a tip that you are in possession of a prohibited plant.

I have no problem with security. I do have a problem with law enforcement. The two individuals in the story are doing nothing wrong in my opinion and I’d much rather have them patrolling my neighborhood than police officers. At least I know that they will be held to some level of accountability if they do something wrong and won’t gun down my dog because they heard I was in possession of a cannabis plant.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 14th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Too Much Comedy Too Quickly

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I’m starting to think that God approached me one night when I was blackout drunk and asked me if I wanted one wish what would be it and I told him that I wanted the 2016 election to be the biggest shitshow in the history of shitshows and he granted it.

Between Hillary and Trump’s behavior, the willingness of the media to act as a propaganda arm for Hillary, and the collapse of the Republican Party this election has already been a tremendous shitshow. But now I’m kind of wishing that God would slow his roll because so much comedy is happening so quickly. The mess that is the presidential election is starting to spill over into other governmental bodies. A criminal summons has just been issued for Chris Christie:

A judge has signed a criminal summons accusing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of misconduct for his alleged role in the 2013 closure of a bridge.

The case will move to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to determine whether an indictment will follow.

The news comes as two former Christie aides are on trial for allegedly closing part of the bridge after a mayor refused to endorse the governor.

Being a member of the elite will ensure that even if Christie is found guilty he won’t suffer a severe punishment. But it’s still amusing to see his sorry ass being hit with a criminal summons. Being a man who has made a career out of thievery he is certainly deserving of such a summons but so is every other politician.

With how crazy this election season is going I can’t wait to see what happens next. Although at this rate I may just die of laughter.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 14th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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Law Enforcement Priorities

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Law enforcers are heroes! They protect us against the scourges plaguing society! Murders, muggers, and rapists will be offered no quarter… because they probably won’t encounter a law enforcers. As it turns out, our supposed heroes in blue have different priorities than we’re often told. They’re not spending a majority of their time dealing with crimes involving victims. They’re spending a majority of their time enforcing profitable laws:

Federal figures on drug arrests and drug use over the past three decades tell the story. Drug possession arrests skyrocketed, from fewer than 200 arrests for every 100,000 people in 1979 to more than 500 in the mid-2000s. The drug possession rate has since fallen slightly, according to the FBI, hovering now around 400 arrests per 100,000 people.


“Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime,” the report finds, citing FBI data. “More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year.”

In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. Law enforcers are humans and humans are self-interested. In fact everybody in the chain is a human (or a reasonable facsimile for a human).

The laws are written and passed by politicians. Politicians are self-intersted individuals who use their position within the State for personal profit. That profit doesn’t come from providing goods or services that people want but through expropriation. When they pass a law it gives law enforcers permission to start enforcing that law.

Law enforcers are self-intersted individuals who use their position within the State for personal profit (are you noticing a trend). That profit also doesn’t come from providing goods or services that people want. A law enforcer’s profit comes from a paycheck, which is issued by the State. The State issues paychecks to law enforcers so long as they do a good job. A good job in this case involves raking in cash for the politicians. And like a salesman, law enforcers are often paid commission. Their department will often receive a cut of the wealth expropriated from drug manufacturers, sellers, and users. If the department is flush with cash it can afford to issue raises.

What does enforcing laws against murder, theft, and rape net the State? Not much. Sure, they get additional laborers for their slave labor camps prisons but it doesn’t get a nice chunk of cash, which is far more liquid than slaves. That being the case, priority is given to enforcing drug laws instead of laws against actions that create victims.

There is no reform that can fix this other than abolishing the State. So long as it exists it will attract self-interested people who lack any meaningful morals and they will use the State for personal profit.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 13th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Make Way for Single Payer

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been wrecking havoc on the health insurance market. This is quite a feat considering how chaotic the health insurance market already was before the ACA was passed. But now things have gotten so bad that even the true believers’ faith is coming into question:

Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable to many Americans — and that fixing it must be a priority for both state and federal lawmakers next year.

Dayton, who has been among the strongest advocates for the package of health care reforms, said that while the Affordable Care Act has been a success in insuring more people and providing access to insurance for people with preexisting medical conditions, it also has “some serious blemishes and serious deficiencies.”

Speaking to reporters, Dayton said insurance companies have driven up costs in order to participate in the state’s MNsure program — and gridlock in Washington, D.C., has made it difficult to pass reforms that could bring those costs back in line.

What reforms could possible bring the costs down? If you’re an intelligent person you know that the only reform that would accomplish that would be the abolition of government interference in the health insurance market. But that’s not going to happen. Instead I predict that the “reform” that will ultimately end up being passed is single payer health insurance.

Advocates of the ACA are already saying the United States should transition to a single payer model because they foolishly believe that such a model is good. On the surface it looks good because the costs involved in healthcare are hidden from tax payers. They only see it as another tax, which they usually don’t notice because it’s pulled out of their paycheck before they even get it. When costs are hidden from the consumer the product begins to be viewed as free.

Once the United States is on the single payer model healthcare will truly begin to diminish because it will be controlled by a body of people who don’t give a fuck about you. What politicians care about is themselves. And unlike us working stiffs whose personal gain comes from providing goods and services our fellow working stiffs want, politicians derive their profits from stealing your money. When you pay the State for health insurance it’s interested in maximizing its profits. However, unlike a private health insurance provider, the State receives no punishment for doing a bad job. You can’t stop paying your taxes if you’re unhappy with the service you’re receiving. So the State, unlike its private alternatives, has no incentive to do anything other than provide you with a cheap and shitty service. A good example of this is Department of Veteran Affairs, which has been providing lackluster healthcare to veterans for decades.

The only thing you can guarantee when the State admits that a problem exists is that you’re going to get screwed by the solution.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 13th, 2016 at 10:00 am

You’re the Product, Not the Customer

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In his novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert Heinlein coined the phrase there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (usually abbreviated as TANSTAAFL). The phrase is used by the main characters of the book to remind themselves and others that there’s no such thing as free. This is a lesson too many people fail to learn in real life. People are obsessed with the fantasy of free. They want free food, free money, free healthcare, and free online services.

People commonly make the mistake that online services such as Facebook and Twitter are free. On the surface they appear to be free since you don’t pay to use them. But TANSTAAFL. When you’re using a service for free you’re not the customer, you’re the product:

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday outed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for feeding a Chicago-based company their user streams—a feed that was then sold to police agencies for surveillance purposes.


Geofeedia, which did not respond for comment, says it has more than 500 customers, including the Denver Police Department. That agency recently signed a $30,000 annual deal with the company. The money came from the agency’s “confiscation” fund. The department’s intelligence agency’s top brass wrote that it would allow cops to analyze and respond in real time to “social media content from anywhere in the world.”

Geofeedia, the actual customer, has been paying for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s product, your personal information. It has then been turning around and selling it to various police departments, which use the information to more effectively expropriate wealth from the people they victimize. The only person not making any money on this deal is you. In fact, you’re losing money if any of the sold information about you is used by the police to take some of your wealth.

Because this revelation could turn into a loss of product for these sites they have apparently announced that they’ve cut off Geofeedia’s access. That shouldn’t make you feel better though. That access can be regranted at any time and there are likely many other companies doing the same thing as Geofeedia who just haven’t been caught yet. So long as you continue to be the product you shouldn’t believe any of your information is safe.

The Public Education System’s Ongoing War with Education

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Since its inception the public education system has been at war with education. Instead of education people the United States public education system is based off of the Prussian system that was designed to make automatons that were smart enough to operate the machinery but not smart enough to revolt against the State. But remnants of education continued to stick around for a few generations until we finally reached the point we’re at today where the movie Idiocracy looks more like prophecy than satire.

The Hibbing School District has identified a remnant of education that has managed to remain untouched and is working to address that hiccup:

HIBBING — The Hibbing School District is considering ending its nearly 60-year partnership with the Hibbing Rifle and Pistol Club.

During a school board meeting Wednesday, Superintendent Brad Johnson said various concerns from the public regarding the gun range in the basement of Lincoln Elementary has led him to strictly limit access to the facility until there’s a permanent solution to ensure everyone’s safety and to limit concerns from the public.

The facility can only be used once school-organized activities and events have concluded on Wednesdays, or when inclement weather prevents gun safety classes from being held outdoors.

There has never been an incident on the range so safety isn’t the actual reason for attempting to shutdown the range. But teaching children how to safety and effectively operate firearms is education and potentially threatening to the State. And I’m not even talking about the potential form armed revolution in this case. People who have the ability to defend themselves and are confident in their ability are much harder to scare. Fear is the health of the State. Without fear the State has a hard time manipulating people into surrendering their autonomy.

Consider the police state we live in today. It was able to expand because first people were afraid of the communists then they were afraid of the drugs and now they’re afraid of the terrorists. People are willing to put up with widespread surveillance, again, because they’re afraid of the terrorists. Now the State is drumming up fears of war with Russia and that will be used by it to grab even more power.

The knowledge and ability to defend yourself is a significant threat to the State. The public education system has been hard at work stamping down this knowledge by teaching children to never fight back against bullies but instead run to a school administrator. In recent years schools have even begun punishing students who do defend themselves under the idea that violence is never the answer. Sometime like a gun range that teaches children how to use the most effective tools of self-defense commonly available wasn’t going to fly forever.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 12th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Hillary is Finally Getting Her Money’s Worth

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At this point I don’t think there is any serious doubt that Trump is part of Clinton’s campaign. Only an entirely stupid man or a saboteur would run a presidential campaign the way Trump has. Since Trump has made enough of an empire for himself I can’t bring myself to believe that he’s entirely stupid so that leaves the other obvious answer. On top of that he’s been friends with the Clintons for a long time and if you look at the positions he’s historically held they tend to align with the Democratic Party.

When Trump made his “Grab them by the pussy.” comment I was concerned that Clinton may not be getting her money’s worth. It appeared that Trump’s thinking was so deeply imprinted by his Democratic Party beliefs that he wasn’t able to say something that would upset most people within the Republican Party. But while a lot of his supporters did write off his comment as locker room talk or guy talk there was enough public outrage to force the hand of the higher ups within the Republican Party. Those higher ups have started speaking out against Trump and now Trump is delivering the death knell but tearing the Republican Party apart:

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opened a new front in his war with House Speaker Paul Ryan, accusing the nation’s top elected Republican of being a “very weak and ineffective leader” after Ryan said he would no longer defend the presidential nominee.

“Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty,” Trump tweeted, referring to a Monday conference call where some House conservatives challenged Ryan over Trump.

He followed that up with a tweet signaling he may take on Republican Party leaders directly while escalating attacks on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as he tries to salvage his embattled campaign: “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”

I’m ashamed that I had any doubts about Clinton’s strategy. Those Clintons know how to play a mean political game and all of the pieces have fallen into place at this point. The Republicans are at war with one another, which gives the mostly united Democratic Party a major advantage not just in the presidential race but also in other races. Merely being tacitly connected to Trump via the Republican Party is proving to be potentially poisonous to candidates. This little trick may end up giving the Democratic Party both the presidency as well as Congress.

All I can say is bravo to Clinton. Her and her good friend Trump have skillfully played the Republican Party like a fine violin.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 12th, 2016 at 10:00 am

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We’re All Terrorists Now

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In many governmental circles I’m considered a terrorist sympathizer. Why? It’s not because I’ve sold arms to terrorists or provided them logistical support. It’s because I teach people how to use secure communication tools, which can get you arrested in certain parts of the world:

Samata Ullah, 33, was charged with six terrorism offences after being arrested in a street in Cardiff on September 22 by officers from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism squad.

The charge sheet includes one count of preparation of terrorism “by researching an encryption programme, developing an encrypted version of his blog site, and publishing the instructions around the use of [the] programme on his blog site.”

Ullah is also accused of knowingly providing “instruction or training in the use of encryption programmes” in relation to “the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism or for assisting the commission or preparation by others of such acts.”

He has additionally been charged with being in possession of a “Universal Serial Bus (USB) cufflink that had an operating system loaded on to it for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation, or instigation of terrorism.”

This is the nightmare Orwell alluded to in Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The State has become so controlling that merely providing an encrypted version of your blog, which I am currently doing since my blog is served exclusively over HTTPS, can be considered noteworthy enough to mention on a list of charges. The same goes for USB cufflinks. We are at a point that even mundane activities can be labeled criminal offenses if the State decides thrust the word terrorism upon you.

I have no doubts that this will come to the United States. The United Kingdom seems to be where new tyrannies are birthday and the United States seems to be where tyrannies go to grow up. And anybody who watched the hearings surrounding Farook’s iPhone, which the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) wanted to force Apple to break into, knows that the United States government is already at war with cryptography. If it passes a law mandating all domestic encryption include a government accessible back door I’ll be a criminal for teaching people how to use secure foreign encryption.

Apparently CNC Machines Don’t Exist

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Cody Wilson stirred up a lot of controversy when he released designs for the Liberator, a single shot pistol constructed with a 3D printer. Why did a pistol constructed of materials that were guaranteed to fail after firing relatively few shots and couldn’t be scaled up to a powerful caliber? Because most gun control advocates have no concept of how guns work. That leads them to fear imaginary devices such as the mythical Glock 7 from Die Hard, which lead to the passage of the Undetectable Firearms Act. Another reason is that most gun control advocates are apparently unaware that computer numerical control (CNC) machines are a thing:

Even after reading his book, I’m still not sure what he means by this. Sure, plenty of open-source zealots favor software that can be edited, freely, by anyone. However, there is a crucial distinction here: no software, until the one created by Wilson and his followers, has ever been used to create a physical device that fires lethal bullets.

The Liberator was not the first gun created using software. In fact most modern guns are initially created using computer aided design (CAD) software, frequently simulated in software before being created, and sometimes built using a CNC machine. Software has been used to create guns for a while now. What Cody Wilson did wasn’t revolutionary, it was evolutionary. He managed to make a firearm with inferior equipment and materials that provided the most basic requirements to qualify as a firearm. I don’t mean to understate his contribution to firearms manufacturing but his real revolution, in my opinion, was to illustrate how irrelevant gun control is, especially as we march into a future where home fabrication will become easier and be able to utilize better materials.

Technology has always been the death knell of centralized control. While gun control advocates cling to their belief that a powerful central government can make all of the bad things go away the rest of the world is moving on and doing what it damn well pleases. I don’t fear gun control because I realize it’s a lost cause. Cody Wilson helped illustrate that to the world with the Liberator.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 11th, 2016 at 10:30 am

Celebrating Mikhail Kalashnikov

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While our country is busy celebrating shithead politicians Russia is preparing to throw one hell of a party for Mikhail Kalashnikov’s 100th birthday:

The order states that considering the outstanding contribution of M. T. Kalashnikov to the development of Russian small arms, president accepts the offer of government to celebrate the designer’s birthday. It rules that a committee should be formed, whose duty will be preparation, scheduling and conduction of the main events. It also recommends local government bodies to take part in the process. Reportedly, head of the committee will be Dmitry Rogozin, who is the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of defense and space industry.

According to TASS (Russian news agency) the celebration will cost Russian budget more than 20 billion rubles. That is equal to about $322 million by today’s conversion rates. There are no other details specified in the executive order, but judging from the amount of money they are going to spend, it should be a pretty impressive event.

Unlike politicians, Kalashnikov changed the world. The AK-47 is probably the most pervasive rifle in history. And it’s easy to see why. The AK-47 and other rifles based on the platform are easy to produce, affordable, and reliable. You can literally make the receiver out of a shovel and the various other parts are easily available due to how widespread the rifle is.

What’s more interesting is where the rifle proliferated. Due to the relative affordability of the rifle the AK-47 is a common sight in many third world countries. Just because you don’t have a lot of money doesn’t mean you can afford a reliable rifle.

There are few individuals whose inventions impacted the world quite as much as Kalashnikov’s. If anybody’s 100th birthday is deserving of celebration it’s Kalashnikov’s.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 11th, 2016 at 10:00 am

Posted in Guns and Gear

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