Archive for November, 2015

TV Review: Blindspot

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

A friend suggested I check out  new action show on television called Blindspot.

“You’ll love it!” she gushed.  “It has the most gunfights of any show I’ve ever seen!”

Oh, okay.  But I thought Westerns weren’t popular anymore?

old west gunfight

“It isn’t a Western.  It takes place in modern times.”

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - September 10, 2015

Alright, I decided to give it a go.

The premise is that a naked woman is discovered in Times Square, suffering from amnesia and covered in tattoos.

The tattoos hold clues to serious crimes and conspiracies, so the FBI race to decipher the tats in order to prevent such things as terrorist attacks and the like.

Okay, fine.  Interesting premise.  Shows promise, I’d say.

The problem I had right out of the gate is how an extremely small team of three FBI agents are dispatched to investigate clues that are gleaned from the ink, and they let the amnesiac woman tag long!

Hell’s bells, people!  Her skin is covered in clues about crimes and conspiracies!  Doesn’t it occur to anyone that she most likely is complicit?  And, when they discover that she has had extensive weapon and military training, no one seems to think that is a bad thing!

Okay okay.  Let me just take a look at Episode One an see what they do with it.

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Trouble Brewing

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

trouble Brewing

An old picture, but one I enjoy anyway.

Pop That Pepper

Friday, November 6th, 2015

It was way back circa 1990 or so.  I was working for my local police department as a fingerprint technician, and just about every law enforcement agency in the country was urging their officers to use pepper spray.

magnum can of pepper spray

Tear gas had been in use since just after World War I, but a number of suspects had died while in police custody after being sprayed.  Wrongful death lawsuits were being filed, and most departments were tying to find ways to keep the lawyers at bay.  Maybe they could find some measure of immunity if they switched to a kindler, gentler form of persuading the bad guys to give up and come peacefully.

police officer with defensive spray

It would eventually turn out that the suspects which died had serious medical problems which killed them, mostly heart attacks brought about by the drugs they had gulped down before the cops arrived.  But it took some time for that to be determined, and police officers were urged to give up their tear gas sprays for pepper.

I would be the last person to claim that pepper spray is useless, but the sad fact of the matter is that it just isn’t as potent and effective as the good ol’ tear gas sprays.  While some departments made the switch, most law enforcement agencies in the United States decided to keep the good stuff on hand.  What ain’t broke….

There was one aspect to this whole issue that tuned out to be very interesting.  Dried pepper compound can be loaded into common paintballs, and paintball guns can be used to deliver the burning goodness.

pepper paintballs

If there is a protest or riot in a built up area, the crowd can be peppered with pepper paintballs.  That way only the violent mob can suffer the sting of police largess, while using traditional tear gas bombs would inflict innocent and guilty alike as the clouds drifted where they may.

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Ammunition Upgrade

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

The FBI was involved in a deadly shootout in 1986.  They decided to shun handguns chambered for the 9mm Parabellum round afterwards as being too ineffective.

pile of 9mm parabellum cartridges

Bullet technology is like any other technology.  If there is money to made by developing an improved product, someone is going to put on a lab coat and try to build a better mousetrap.

scientific study

Seems that advances in ammunition design has prompted the FBI to switch back to the good old 9mm.  (Hat tip to Glenn.)  Load up with the new and improved, and the same guns which fell short in 1986 will now get the job done.  A big reason for the change is the impressive capacity that comes with carrying a 9mm autoloader.

beretta p92fs magazine with 17 rounds of ammunition

Okay, so a huge Federal law enforcement agency is going to use more effective ammunition.  Why should you care?  It isn’t like you have access to easily understood test data so you can make an informed choice about your own defensive loads.

Well, actually, you do!

The good folks at Lucky Gunner, an online ammunition seller, have conducted the tests you need.  They also tested other calibers besides the 9mm, so you can see how each round stacks up.

lucky gunner gelatine ballistic test

Simple, easy to use, and with every step of the testing process explained so you can decided for yourself if they know what they were doing.  What is not to like?

James says check ’em out.  The FBI aren’t the only people who might have to clear leather in order to save innocent lives.