A Crushing Weight

February 22nd, 2015

This news article from 2011 claims that a fully equipped police utility belt weighs up to 40 lbs.

portland police utility belt

So how much does a full suit of plate armor weigh without the helmet?  About the same.

suit of plate armor

Thinking Outside The Box

February 22nd, 2015

A long-time reader was kind enough to send me a link to this news video.  (Thank you kindly, Greg!)

The short CNN segment reports on a device offered by Alternative Ballistics.  It consists of a mounting bracket that fits over a handgun, and a ball which sits in front of the muzzle.

alternative ballistics ball and mounting bracket

alternative ballistics bracket and ball attached

The idea is that a bullet will clear the barrel, only to slam into the base of the ball.  This causes the ball to fly downrange, striking a violent criminal with less lethal force.

alternative ballistics ball with bullet imbedded in base

It reminds me of bean bag rounds used in shotguns.

beanbag shotgun round

Increase the surface area of the projectile to try and prevent penetration, and hope that it still has enough energy to discourage the bad guys when it strikes the target.

So we have a new way to turn a handgun into a less-lethal impact weapon.  Would it work?  Yeah, probably.  Don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t, although I would be worried that it would interfere with the slide and cause the gun to jam.

But that isn’t the main issue.  The very first thing that popped into my mind was “So what is wrong with all the other less-lethal options modern police officers haul around with them?”

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Thrilling Tales Of Wonder!

February 16th, 2015

Amazing-Stories-October-1934

(Click on all pictures for larger versions.)

Why is that guy wearing a breast implant for a hat?

breast implants

See?  Can’t be anything else!

Cash-as-Cash-Can-Black-Mask-pulp-cover-September-1944

Dammit, will you get off the phone already?

15881166937_67b91905a8_o

For Pete’s sake, woman!  Can’t you see that now I’m on the phone?

For-Men-Only-cover-October-1965

Cripes!  Now she’s on the phone again!

King-Dragon-Paperback-Cover-Ace-Books-1980

Seems that Saddam Hussein had a copy of this painting hanging on his wall.

Future-Science-Fiction-33-1957-Summer

This is for all you cat lovers out there.

All of these came from the excellent site Pulp Covers.  As many of the magazines and pulp novels featured are in the public domain, links are provided so you can download those available for free.

Read a few of the novels and stories, however, and you will discover that most of the cover art is far more interesting than the tale.

All-Detective-Magazine-January-1935

A Tale Of Woe

February 10th, 2015

Columbus, Ohio is like most college towns in that there is a high population density near the campus area.

columbus ohio short north district and ohio state university

Lots of rental property, and lots of businesses to cater to the students.  Restaurants, bars, clothing stores, video game and music stores.  Things like that.  Everything is jammed together so closely that it is possible to walk everywhere you need to be.

Dan worked as a waiter in on of those restaurants.  After the eatery closed its doors, he liked to stop in for a few hours at a bar along the way home.  He made good tips, but spent whatever was in his pocket every night.

inside a rowdy bar

One evening he downed a few too many.  Four guys offered to walk him home in order to make sure he “… got there safe.”  He thought nothing of it because he had been drinking with the same fellows off and on for the past few weeks, and he knew all of their first names if not their last.  The erosion of sound judgement that comes from too much strong drink was on full display.

When the group arrived at Dan’s rented duplex, the four almost-strangers forced him inside and beat him up enough to ensure passivity. They ransacked the place, but became enraged when they found that there weren’t piles of cash lying about for them to steal.  Burglary and simple assault turned into rape.

Yes, men do get raped.  My experiences have convinced me that it is a far more common crime than anyone realizes, just as I am convinced that it is extremely difficult for male victims of the crime to report their experience to the police.  All of the support for rape victims, either cultural of institutional, is designed to help female victims.  Males often feel stigmatized and alone.

To his great good credit, Dan went to the police.  All of his attackers were arrested, and they were sentenced to lengthy jail terms.

A happy ending?  Well, not exactly.

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In Prison, Going Stabby

January 25th, 2015

prison shank 1

prison shank 2

prison shank 3

prison shank 4

prison shank 5

I kind of like the way Number 2 looks.

My Love Life Summarized

January 22nd, 2015

my love life summarized

A Lack Of Certainty

January 16th, 2015

There are a number of people who, when they find out about my charity work, decide to attack me verbally.

angry man pointing finger

They are angry, livid even.  They don’t like the idea that I teach violent crime survivors the rudiments of armed self defense, and they are certain that they have found a flaw in my reasoning that proves all my efforts are in vain.

“So what happens if the bad guy gets the drop on you?  Huh?  What happens if they already have their gun in hand before you even know they are there?  What happens if they come up behind you in the street and shoot you in the back of the head without you even knowing they are there?  Your gun won’t do you much good then!”

gregory peck with a fgun to his head

I have encountered people presenting this argument, if you can call it that, ever since I started my charity work more than two decades ago.  My answer is always the same.

Carrying a gun doesn’t ensure that anyone will be able to escape a violent criminal attack unscathed.  In the face of unreasoning and active violence, there is no certainty that the innocent will prevail.  Instead, the only thing that a gun carried by a trained citizen will do is give the good guys a chance.

The people who raise the objection detailed above seem to think that there is no reason to bother playing the odds unless there is some sort of guarantee.  I, however, deal in reality.  The real world is messy, full of chaotic factors that are beyond the control of anyone.  You do your best and you take your chances.  My job is to make sure that innocent people have that chance.

So I don’t give guarantees.  If you want a guarantee in the real world, you better go buy a washing machine.

1901 one minute washer antique washing machine

In the light of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, there has been some discussion here in the US concerning whether or not it a good idea for journalists to arm themselves against violent extremists bent on taking their lives.  This has caused some rather overwrought hand wringing from the usual suspects who claim that having a gun just leads to more violence, or that the best defense for violence directed against the press is the fact that journalists are assumed to always be unarmed.  In fact, the only objection that makes any sense whatsoever is that a handgun would be of little use against a rifle, such as the AK-47’s used by the terrorists that attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Picture source.)

So the argument against journalists arming themselves is that they have a better chance if they continue to be helpless against rifle equipped terrorists who are willing to die as long as they kill the members of the press?

The logic escapes me.

So far as the point that handguns are little match for long guns, it seems obvious to me that not having any gun at all when someone is hell bent on shooting you is not a strategy that will enhance your chances at survival.  Better to have some chance, no matter how small, than to suffer and die with no chance at all.

High Octane Nightmare Fuel

January 9th, 2015

hornets nest formed around mask in a shed

I Don’t Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

January 9th, 2015

I work the midnight shift for a large company.  The building where I toil contains about six thousand people during normal business hours, but is virtually uninhabited after the sun goes down.  The vast parking lot outside is empty except for a few cars clustered near the employee’s entrance.

My coworker approached me last night with a tale to tell.

“You know what I saw as I was coming in?  A guy in the parking lot trying to break in to a car!”

masked car thief

“And you know what?  The security guards didn’t know about it!  I walked around the building to the front lobby, where the security offices are, and I found the guy inside asleep in his chair!”

security guard asleep on the job

“What did you think he was going to do about it?” I asked.

This question brought my coworker up short.  He cast about for an answer, confused and taken aback that I wasn’t sharing in his contempt for the guards.

“Well, I … I don’t know!  Something!!!”

“You mean like call the police?” I asked.

My coworker seized upon this tidbit that I threw to him.  At last, a reasonable response from me!

“Yes, that’s it!” he exclaimed.  “They should have called the police!  And they should have done something to stop the bad guy!”

“So why didn’t you do it?  You had a phone.  You wasted five minutes walking around the building.  Why didn’t you call the police?” I asked.

Once again, confusion reigned.  He just didn’t see what I was getting at.

“It’s just …That is … It isn’t my job!” he said with anger.

“It isn’t their job, either.” I explained.

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“Hokey Religions And Ancient Weapons Are No Match For A Good Blaster At Your Side, Kid.”

December 29th, 2014

gandolf admires an ak

A line from a movie that could bee applied to oh so many situations.