Archive for January, 2016

Geek Is As Geek Does

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

I was reading this essay about Aragorn’s claim to the throne of Gondor.  (Hat tip to Sarah at Glenn’s.)

What is that?  You don’t know what or who Aragorn or Gondor is or are?  The two names come from the Lord of the Rings books, and you should probably just ignore the reference if you aren’t interested in really involved high fantasy novels.  After all, discussing whether or not a fictional character is entitled to rule other fictional people smacks of way too much inside baseball.

Still, I am hardly immune to such discussions myself.  In fact, one such geekout occurred way back in 2002 when I went to see The Two Towers, the second movie in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.  I made the mistake of bringing along Ralph, a buddy of mine who is blessed with an extremely active imagination.  This means that he is rarely bored like the rest of us, but it also means he has never come across a work of fiction where he could resist putting himself in the middle of the action.  This was no exception.

A little background.  See, some Viking dudes who ride horses had a vast enemy army bearing down on them, so they bunkered up in an ancient fort.

helms-deep

Up on the wall were the good guys, hugely outnumbered and looking worried.

Theoden_at_hornburg

Down in the plain below the walls were these guys.

orc army at helm's deep

orc soldier at helms deep

Things went along well enough for me so far as the cinema experience is concerned, but then the defenders decide to thin out the invading army via some bow-and-arrow work.

archers on the wall at helms deep

That is when Ralph leaned over and started to voice his opinion as to what the guys on the wall were doing wrong.

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Drop In The Bucket

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Couple of things came to my attention this morning.

The first is this oped which notes that European citizens are arming themselves in record numbers after the Paris terrorist attacks in 2015.  This makes perfect sense, as evil people hellbent on slaughtering innocent people always lay plans to attack where there are few or no police. No matter how tempting, they tend to avoid those places where there is a heavy police presence when contemplating mayhem at the point of a gun.

troops guard the eiffel tower

The cops usually show up to take down the terrorists only after the body count has risen.  Not their fault, they just weren’t there.

So what is the solution?

If I were a member of the European Union, I would introduce the following legislation: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Obviously not gonna happen, but a nice fantasy nonetheless.

In a similar vein, we get this from the BBC.  It seems that the London Metropolitan Police are going to add 600 armed officers to their ranks in order to boost their anti-terrorism response.

met armed police officer

(Picture source.)

Just one city, and they already have plenty of armed officers.  Not a bad idea, I think, but allowing law abiding citizens to arm themselves would be way cheaper.

(Hat tip to Glenn.)

Crime Pays!

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The Trace presents itself as an actual news website, when it is actually a rabidly anti-gun organization funded by the rabidly anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg.  Just like all propaganda sources which religiously pursue an agenda without thought to the facts, any claims made on the site should be assumed to be twisted to fit the narrative.

That having been said, I came across an article which claims to have parsed the police reports in Chicago to find the types of guns seized from criminals.  I found the results to be a bit surprising.

Trace-ChicagoGuns

(Picture source, and please click on the pic for a larger version.)

Long time readers know that I worked as a fingerprint technician back in the early 1990’s for the police in Columbus, Ohio.  At the time, the officers I worked alongside mentioned cheap .25 autoloaders as being the gun of choice for criminals.  Although extremely small and concealable, the makes and models of the guns seized were shoddily made as well as being extremely cheap and inexpensive.  There were a few quality firearms found, but not many.

According to the chart above, the world has turned a lot since I last inked some prints.  The crappy guns are dead last, while the vast majority of criminals seem to be able to afford the good stuff.

One exception are handguns produced by Hi Point, which are in fifth place on the chart.  That particular manufacturer produces reliable guns that are certainly as capable as more expensive designs, but which are priced at the lower end of the spectrum.  I would have expected them to have been more numerous, but whatever.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, in the past quarter century,  the criminals have upgraded their illegal arsenals so far as lethality is concerned.  Very few small caliber guns, and a great many that chamber the same potent ammunition used by the police.

Crime has been on the decline over that same period, which is a very good thing indeed.  But while the odds of encountering a violent criminal has fallen, it seems that the bad guys have looked to more deadly means to carry out their vile intentions.  And law abiding citizens should disarm to counter this increased threat?

I don’t think that is very reasonable.

What Kind Of Sewer Was It?

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

El Chapo Guzman, the head of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, has been captured once more.

el chapo captured

The Mexican government sent in the Marines to storm the suburban compound where the drug lord was hiding out.  Leaving his men to shoot it out with the troops, he grabbed an assault rifle and hoofed it through the sewers.  He emerged some distance away, where he commandeered a vehicle.  It didn’t do him any good, as he was captured soon after.

I’ve heard some reports that the tunnels where he played rat was a “drainage sewer”, but below is a picture that supposedly shows the gun Guzman abandoned when he popped out onto the street.

el chapo abandoned gun

I can almost smell it from here!