Tuesday: Going Alone

I’ve been so damned angry I’ve had difficulty wrapping words around what I want to say. It’s still Tuesday somewhere, so I’ll grit this out.

Assault weapons should be banned for sale to civilians.

Spare me the crap about hunters and taking their guns. My freezer contains 25 to 100 pounds of venison at any time. This household lives off the results of hunting and respects the power of firearms. None of this meat required an assault weapon.

If an assault weapon had been used, it would have been a waste of a deer tag. There’d be no meat left.

The embedded video above shows the damage hunting ammo does at close range — approximately 15-20 feet — on meat. The next video shows the damage #4 and #8 birdshot can do at short range, even through multiple layers of denim and drywall. Imagine what an assault weapon would do to flesh at similar range.

Better yet, listen to what a combat vet says about assault weapons.

There’s nothing in the Second Amendment to suggest a prohibition on certain weapons is wrong; if anything, the framing of a ‘well regulated militia’ suggests limitations are in order.

There’s also nothing in the Second Amendment to suggest that gun manufacturers have an absolute right to an unrestrained business model, or to profits at the expense of the public’s general welfare.

Nor does the Second Amendment say a damned thing about catering to ‘gun enthusiasts’ who want guns for ‘pleasure’. A ‘well regulated militia’ doesn’t possess guns but as necessary for the ‘security of a free state’, not personal enjoyment.

And both embedded videos embedded make a bloody good case that arguments about assault weapons being necessary to stop a home invasion are trash. Birdshot at close range can do one hell of a lot of damage, as do 00 buckshot and a 1-oz slug.

Congress — more specifically, the GOP — needs to strap on its spine and draw the line on assault weapons. How many more dead Americans is it going to take before Congress clues in the terrorist threat is already here? It’s domestic, and it’s better armed than the police because GOP-led Congress is as weak as the GOP is against Trump.

Spare the empty moments of silence and prayers which might as well be to Moloch after another human sacrifice. Such fail at protecting the American public.

Speaking of which…

Information Security Fail

  • USAF database with records on ~100,000 investigations ‘lost’ (Defense One) — This is such bullshit, I can’t even…why is a CONTRACTOR, which may be the subject of any one of the 100K investigations, hosting and managing a database like this? What a massive conflict of interest. The database included constituent and congressional inquiries. Don’t even get me started on the fact this system relied on Microsoft Internet Explorer. Where have we seen this kind of massive loss of data including failed backups before? Hardly a surprise the data covers the period including most of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as the construction of the F-35. Somebody better lose their job for this crap, and there’d better be a respectable investigation instead of the usual fluffery hiding billions of lost dollars.
  • DNC database infiltrated by the Russians (WaPo) — DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz needs to be walked out the door for this bullshit, along with responsible IT management. As if anyone able to sit up and take nourishment couldn’t see the DNC computer systems would be a target for cybercrime and cyberwarfare. No excuses for this during the run-up to a general election season, especially when her favorite candidate is already floundering because of information security failures during her tenure as Secretary of State. This bit:

    The depth of the penetration reflects the skill and determination of the United States’ top cyber adversary as Russia goes after strategic targets, from the White House and State Department to political campaign organizations.

    Total blowjob for access. If the hackers got in by spearphishing as suggested in the article, there’s no finesse required. Just poorly trained/educated users and no firewall between email and database. The only thing that surprises me about this is that ransomware wasn’t deployed. Imagine it: a major U.S. political party ground to a halt by spearphish-delivered ransomware.

  • University of Calgary paid CDN$20K after ransomware attack (Calgary Herald) — First heard about this attack the end of May. Looks like the school had no choice but to offer the bitcoin equivalent of $20K to release their systems, which says a lot about backup systems and rebuild cost. Considering the broad range of users at universities and widely different levels of experience and training, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more ransomware attacks on schools. Though monetarily they’re less appetizing than other targets, and may have more resources to deal with the threat if they have a strong IS/IS program.
  • Chinese IBM employee arrested for trade secret theft (Reuters) — The indictment (pdf) says the now-former IBM employee stole proprietary software related to hyperscale storage clusters, or what most consumers would know as ‘cloud storage’. This is a technology segment in which the U.S. still has considerable clout in terms of marketshare, and in terms of global economic impact based on its use. Reporting on this indictment has been vague, referring to the technology at the heart of this case as ‘networking software’. It’s more complex than that; the proprietary software underpins storage and retrieval of data across networked large storage devices. (Hi blueba. Just checking to see if you missed me. Can’t let the Russians have all the fun.)

Basta. Enough. Let’s hope Wednesday is kinder than the last handful of days have been.

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
28 replies
  1. Larry says:

    Floundering? Really? You’re living in a self-imposed wishful-thinking ignorant thought bubble cut off from the reality of the candidate’s national strength and widespread and deep support. Quit embarrassing yourself with this idiosyncratic sore-loser malcontent bullshit.

  2. blueba says:

    I am glad to see my posts are actually read.

    I have a high regard for this site and am appreciative of what I learn from it.

    I have been critical of some of the comments about China especially when cutting edge Chinese technology is immediately compared to a Western product and the suggestion is made immediately that it sure “looks like” the Western device suggesting that China is only capable of copying and stealing and incapable of developing new technologies on their own. That view, to me, has underlying racial tones.

    There are all sorts of tech stories which might be written about Chinese technology and its discoveries and breakthroughs – they have announced a (eventually global) quantum communications network which features encryption which can be broken but if it is both the sender and receiver know it immediately because of the changes in quantum properties. Of course a site which talks so much about technology and privacy has no interest in a communications system with built in strong encryption – because it is Chinese and not Western it is ignored and probably stolen from the much smarter tech saints of Silicon Valley.

    Neither China or Russia are any more evil than the US which just now is bombing 7 countries, China has lifted 600 million people out of poverty and is bombing no one. The US has trillions of dollars of military equipment including nuclear submarines encircling China and is making provocative moves against China.

    Perhaps how China has used technology in its large and successful effort at reducing human suffering might be in order instead of the constant anti-China drumbeat of their spying as if they shouldn’t only the NSA can do that.

    The reduction of poverty and human suffering by China this century is nothing short of remarkable, but of course that is not the subject here – the subject here is to harangue China for every single “human rights” perceived violation while ignoring the “human rights” violations taking place in a black ghetto near you. What about the “human rights” of those 600 million people do you think they were diminished as their suffering decreased?

    The Enlightenment view is not immutable and there are other approaches to “freedom” rigidly applying Western views as sacred texts which apply in all circumstances is narrow minded and false. Apparently the freedom from need and want and worry don’t count as real “freedom” to be free you must be able to access FaceBook 24/7 and give away your personal information to a greed driven oligarch – that is real freedom.

    A constant drum beat of negatively presented stories about China all of which are without context only serves to support the US anti-China belligerent policies.

    The reason I write these comments is because I have high regard for emptywheel. I would like to see it improve. I am certainly not going to comment like this at the Guardian a leading voice of Neoliberal ideology they are not going to be effected at all by what I say.

    If empthwheel has thoughts on my comments perhaps a reply to them would be appropriate instead of backhanded insults.

    Can you even imagine what it must be like in China trying to deal with the NSA et al attempting to hack and spy 24/7 do you think they don’t see the activity? Do you not think the US barrage of aggression toward China does not include cyber?

    All you report is evil oriental and mysterious China spying without the slightest attempt at context.

  3. Rayne says:

    Larry (5:29) — HRC is polling with a scant lead barely breaking MOE against a thrice-married, four-time bankrupt who’s working without a campaign, and who’s literally using Hitler as his role model when he builds his immigration policy and his tagline, America First.

    She’s lost a double-digit lead since autumn against a goddamned American Nazi whose own party detests him, while relying on so-smooth persuasion of supporters like you who assume every voter is hers in spite of her crappy handling of the State Department email scandal and the miserable assistance of Little Debbie who’s run the DNC into the ground.

    Let me point out HRC has done very little to build the party over the last 12 years — about as much as her spouse ever did — and frankly as much as Obama did during his term in office. She’s done the same amount to assure the disenfranchised minority voters she’s counting on to wield the swing vote she needs are going to be able to vote. Ditto her girl DWS, and it’s DWS’ job as DNC chair to do just that, get out the vote.

    Yeah. F-l-o-u-n-d-e-r-i-n-g. Flopping like a fish on reality’s deck. Come back at me when you’ve figured out how to win friends and influence people on behalf of your candidate. You’re going to have to do better because some of us actually have skin in this game. What exactly do you think a Nazi-like president will do to a mixed-race writer who posts at a well-known dissident website? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. I’ve read enough history.

  4. Rayne says:

    emptywheel (7:33) — Gee, I wonder if all the details related to the 2007 Minot “Bent Spear” Nuclear Incident were in that database? Certainly is curious there’s so little reaction — almost as if a roll-up were anticipated.

    blueba (8:52) — We’ve been over the racism issue before. You don’t have a legitimate beef. As for your concerns we don’t praise China enough about its development: it didn’t happen without the U.S. permitting soft technology transfers through investment in manufacturing in China, or outright sales like IBM’s former PC/laptop production as Lenovo. The U.S. had a vested interest in assuring China was focused on pent-up consumer demand rather than military aims like nuclear weapons. As for the human rights issue, I won’t argue which country sucks harder at imprisoning or killing civilians because it’s hard to defend it whether the U.S. or China does it. Thanks for reading, see you next time I post about China.

    • blueba says:

      It is pointless to attempt a respectful discussion with the press, which is never raciest and always perfect.

      The idea that China has relied on existing technologies to develop its advanced aircraft and other stuff is hardly unusual. Companies make deals get useful technologies where they can be found. Google did not invent every single function it uses.

      The US has almost completely surrounded China and now the Modi government is fully in the Neoliberal empire. The US made a deal with India to see to it that Modi (negotiations were started by Bush and completed by Obama) has the fuel to build far more nukes. The US has moved 60% of its nuclear armed submarines into the seas around China and has made the extreme threat of flying B-52 nuclear capable war planes over Chinese claimed territory. The US maintains a policy of first use of nuclear weapons. But, heaven forbid that they should try to protect themselves using whatever means their weak position in the face of the massive US military build up on their periphery. It’s the same old shit, China evil military buildup.

      What the f*** would any reasonable party do in these circumstances?

      But of course this kind of context is not worth a mention.

      What do you know about the technology and encryption capabilities of the Chinese quantum communications network? How will it effect privacy?

      Nothing you show the least interest in reporting from a site that is dedicated to that sort of thing.

      I guess I’m evil too because I would like to know about advances not made in the USA. And, as you say, China just steals it never develops anything on its own. Additionally, it uses its thefts to build up its military which surly is far more serious than being surrounded by nuclear weapons and now THADD missal systems on Russia’s border and in South Korea which completely upset the MAD balance of power and make a US first strike even more possible.

      All just fine because the Chinese people must be free to call the Chairman’s wife a fat slob otherwise they are miserable and oppressed.

      China is not at war anywhere on the planet and is in fact working to reduce the misery of its population that is an undeniable fact. The US can make no such claims its population is becoming poorer and less safe and economically miserable by the day. I certainly would not expect you to “praise” these policies and the huge successes they have delivered, but they do deserve mention form time to time – for context you know.

  5. lefty665 says:

    “The only thing that surprises me about this is that ransomware wasn’t deployed.”
    .
    Uh, it was Russian Govt related. They were after information, not money. The idea was to not tip off Debbie WS and the rest of the geniuses at the DNC that they’d been had. Asking for ransom is a pretty clear hint something is wrong. You’re right, walk them all out the door. Wonder if this overlapped with Hillary’s server? It would be too ironic if an email from (or to) Hillary was the tip of a spear.
    .
    Both the Constitutional academic world and courts recognize the 2nd Amendment as an individual right, Need to bring your logic up to date. You also seem to confuse the round a gun fires and the gun.
    .
    There’s little doubt that at close range a shotgun is the ugliest weapon of all. Doesn’t much matter what’s in it.

  6. bevin says:

    So far as assault weapons are concerned I do not disagree.

    But, to put the Second Amendment into perspective, the “well regulated ,militia and the armed populace were intended to take the place of, that bugbear of C18th libertarians, the standing army.
    The equation is still valid: if the government wishes people to give up their arms it ought to be setting a better example. As we all know the state is doing the opposite: not only does it maintain a standing, mercenary army of millions but it also sponsors heavily armed para military and police forces. Between them they sport the sort of firepower those who drafted the Bill of Rights would never have dreamed of.
    And, it is used: around the world people, sometimes by the hundred, die at the hands of the Standing Army’s weaponry. Every day across the country police personnel deploy and use deadly weapons, of which assault rifles are close to being the least.
    The government sponsors a culture of violence unlike anything anywhere else on earth, removing some of the weapons of civilians would be like spooning water out of Lake Huron.
    It is not assault weapons that are the problem but the attitude of mind which, essentially, insists that dead men tell no tales, so that the obvious solution to any problem, be it an eloquent critic of foreign policy in Yemen, a 12 year old with a toy gun in a Cleveland car park or a dark skinned kid who looks threatening in Florida, or a regime which does not bow sufficiently low in Syria is to liquidate it, using a gun.
    Get rid of the assault weapons in private hands by all means-we will all feel safer- but get rid of the SWAT teams in Atlanta too and the armed drones and helicopters bombing Philadelphia.

    • wayoutwest says:

      Too many people seem to believe, myself included until recently, that the right to bear arms was invented by our founding fathers. This basic human right was codified long before our founders included it in our founding document and it has little to do with hunting or sport, it has its roots in history even before civilization engineered ways to deny it to many people.

      Your statement that we will all ‘feel’ safer if these weapons are banned may be true for some people but feeling and being safe are not the same thing and when some people again start to feel unsafe, because these restrictions don’t produce safety, what will they want to ban then?

      I don’t know if there is any way to convince the people who think feeling safe is a desirable excuse for denying human rights that they are confused or reactionary and they certainly don’t support disarming the State or even regulating its violence so we have to depend on the gun nuts to protect our basic rights.

  7. Denis says:

    Your ‘well regulated militia’ argument is a good one and not raised nearly
    enough in discussions of the 2d A. But if the argument is followed to its
    conclusion, what it means is that the government has the power to take
    away any weapon — including bird-shot, bear spray, and sling-shots —
    from anyone who is not part of a well regulated militia.
    .
    And the reason I say it is that it is obvious on a plain reading of the 2d A
    that it’s intent is to protect local militias from a centralized government,
    and protecting individual gun ownership — ala’ the NRA — is only
    secondary to that original intent. Outside the context of militias,
    the 2d A has no meaning. Even if I was a quadruple amputee I would
    have enough fingers to count all the people I know who belong to a well
    regulated militia and who, therefore, have a “Constitutional right” to
    bear arms.
    .
    The point of 18th century militias was that they were a means for locals
    to stand up to an overbearing centralized government and its military. At
    the time the 2d A was written, caplock or flintlock muskets were what “arms”
    meant — they were all that anyone had. And so a well regulated militia
    might actually have had a fighting chance against the “standing army,”
    as the Civil War demonstrates. (Which raises the point that the Constitution
    was so flawed it couldn’t even hold the country together for 80 years . . . but
    we don’t talk about that.)
    .
    Today a bunch of locals with AR-15s are not going to be a match for Predators
    or F-22s, so the whole point of the 2d A — protecting militias — was flushed down
    the shitter decades ago. But as the Branch Davidians and the Malheur dildoians
    have shown, a few pissed off militia-like wannabe’s armed w/ semi-automatic
    weapons can still make their point, as long as there is 1st A free press, free
    speech, and freedom of association. They’re gonna’ end up in prison or
    dead, but at least they can make their point. There was no way for the Fondling
    Fathers to anticipate the technology 200 years down the pike and so it should
    not be surprising that much of what they wrote is irrelevant today, including
    the 2d A.
    .
    I agree with Bevin 100%. Do we want a society where only the wacko SWAT
    f’wads are armed with powerful weapons? With the current contagion of cops
    killing innocent people in the US, the wackos with badges are killing more
    innocent people than the wackos without badges. Check the Guardian, they’re
    probably the best source for a running body count of US cop killings. So if
    you’re serious about reducing the gun carnage in the US, demilitarize the
    local cops first. I’ll take my chances of getting dinged by an armed wacko
    like Mateen.
    .
    But, if I may speak my heresy, the real point is that the Fondling Fathers
    weren’t really all that bright. Even for their times the 2d A, is a semantic disaster,
    which is pretty typical of the whole, and I say that as one who has spent
    untold hours studying USSCt opinions that purport to tell me WTF the
    Constitution says. The Constitution is so screwed it takes 9 unelected
    justices with no accountability to anyone to do a de facto re-write of the
    thing over and over, with the results dependent upon which end of the
    liberal/conservative spectrum controls the bench at any given time. And then
    it takes hundreds of thousands of lawyers at $300/hr. to tell the people what
    the justices say it says (at least for the moment, come back tomorrow with
    another $1000 and we’ll up date you).
    .
    The country today, unlike in 1787, is mostly literate. It should be possible
    to write a constitution that anyone with a high school education and a IQ of
    100 can read and comprehend.
    .
    Which brings me to my final point: the Constitution was never meant to
    apply to a world with AR-15s, electronic media, IVF, PornHub, or a non-Christian,
    secular sense of morality. It was written by Christian, sexist, racist,
    uber-elitist white guys who had power and intended to keep power; who
    wore wooden dentures; who rode in horse-drawn carriages; who used corn
    cobs for toilet paper; and many of whom owned other humans as chattels.
    IOW it was written by people from another planet and was not intended for
    people on the present planet. It needs to be disassembled and re-written
    from the ground up to address the present norms and technology, including
    a sunset clause so that it will be re-written every century or so because we
    can’t anticipate what the future will look like in 200 years either. As it is, the
    venerated US Constitution is, to paraphrase one justice, a suicide pact — one
    whose time is upon us.
    .
    Jeesh, I’m ranting again . . .

  8. blueba says:

    I would like to offer my sincere apology for being pugnacious in my comments regarding race. I do not think emptywheel is overtly or consciously raciest toward Chinese people.

    Emptywheel, for me, is a reliable and trusted source of information and commentary on current events.

    What I am troubled by both here and almost everywhere in the Western press is that commentators seem to understand almost nothing about Chinese culture or norms, the only perspective is that of very narrow application of Enlightenment views which can’t apply to a Confusion culture in the same way they might in the West. Additionally, China is NEVER EVER given its own voice. In the South China Sea it is as if China has no foreign policy has no reasons for its actions, and never responds to US belligerence and accusations. There is no analysis coming from China that has any value what so ever they are rendered mute.

    That deliberate stiffening of Chinese views is a dangerous element of the Western press.

    Again, sorry to have offended. Time to move on.

  9. LibertarianRN says:

    You do realize AR15s (the stereotypical “assault weapon”) are illegal for hunting in many states because they are underpowered? What are you talking about, “If an assault weapon had been used, it would have been a waste of a deer tag. There’d be no meat left.” Its standard chambering is in .223/5.56. Your hunting rifle is much more powerful.

    • Rayne says:

      LibertarianRN (1:40) — And yet any localized state bans on assault weapons for hunting you mention fail to stop gun rights activists from spouting about taking assault weapons from hunters. Also hunting rifle or shotgun can’t fire as many rounds as quickly as an assault weapon, reducing the potential damage to targeted game. My point was and is the hunting argument is DOA.

  10. omphaloscepsis says:

    “None of this meat required an assault weapon.”

    Sounds like the fictional Michael (De Niro) in “The Deer Hunter”.

    “A deer’s gotta be taken with one shot.”

    Whatever happened to that concept?

  11. omphaloscepsis says:

    Update from Emily Latella:

    http://www.af.mil/News.aspx

    “AF recovers data after Automated Case Tracking System outage

    By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs , / Published June 15, 2016

    WASHINGTON (AFNS) — After aggressively leveraging all vendor and department capabilities, the Air Force made a full recovery of the Automated Case Tracking System database, the Air Force inspector general system of record for all records related to IG complaints, investigations and appeals.

    Although the brief data loss caused some delays in processing IG inquiries, the recovery allows the service to move forward with minimal impact.

    The Air Force has no technical indicators to believe that the loss was the result of any malicious activity.

    Once full database stability is ensured, the service will bring the ACTS database back online for users to access. Airmen concerned about their active cases are encouraged to work with their base IG offices to determine the impact this outage had on their individual cases.”

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Is there absolutely any reason to believe this ‘news’ is any more
      accurate than the initial ‘news’ that the database was lost?
      Seriously, it really truly is all bullshit. Because, it is certainly 100%
      believable that trying to run a DB on Microsoft with over
      100k investigations (which means certainly over 1M rows), is just
      asking for trouble. (please, someone say they were at least using
      Oracle 6 instead of Access! Either way, you know it was old, and
      probably required IE6 to function.)
      So even after a thorough ‘scrubbing’. Do you smell that smell?
      Was the database really corrupted or was this really a cover
      for a detailed cleaning?

  12. lefty665 says:

    The 2nd Amendment stands behind the 1st to enable and guarantee it.
    .
    “Listen my children and you shall hear
    Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
    On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
    Hardly a man is now alive
    Who remembers that famous day and year….
    .
    You know the rest. In the books you have read
    How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
    How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
    From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
    Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
    Then crossing the fields to emerge again
    Under the trees at the turn of the road,
    And only pausing to fire and load.” – Longfellow
    .
    and
    .
    “By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
    Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
    Here once the embattled farmers stood
    And fired the shot heard round the world.” – Emerson
    .
    Mao had it right – Revolution comes out of the barrel of a gun. Our founders knew that in the spring of 1775. Our nation too was born from armed revolution. The founders ensured through the 2nd Amendment that we could maintain that capability should it be needed again.

    • P J Evans says:

      We weren’t going to have a standing army. We were going to have militia units to defend the country. That went away after the War of 1812.

      The people who say it’s to protect us from government are generally not people whose opinions I’d trust.

  13. Rayne says:

    Reply to those of you (several) who argue for gun rights:
    1) Pick up some American history and read it, will you? There was considerable back and forth about a ‘well regulated militia’ in lieu of a uniformed army in the colonies/early states. Note the The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia while you’re at it; arming themselves to serve in lieu of a uniformed army offset militia members’ taxes and similar liabilities. They weren’t required to equip themselves with canons — those would have been reserved for the government. Assault weapons can hardly be different in that respect, a weapon designed for military use which could be reserved by government.

    Once there was a standing uniformed army and a national guard adjunct, what becomes of the militia? It’s not needed to replace army or guard and therefore does not need to be as well armed. One could make the argument to retain assault weapons as a civilian, they would have to submit to education, training, and duty as militia as well.

    2) The right to bear arms as common law natural right of self-defense isn’t argued here, though the Second Amendment clearly intends gun ownership to be part and parcel of providing not only individual self-defense but the common defense. Assault weapons trespass the line between self-defense (which clearly can be accomplished with other lower powered weapons suitable for hunting) and the common defense when they are used far too often to crush the latter by criminals and terrorists.

    3) Wouldn’t hurt to read up Documents on the First Congress Debate on Arms and Militia to note the founders had concerns about rebellion and insurrection. You may claim assault weapons are necessary to revolt, but what exactly is the process for delineating your personal revolution and independence from a tyrannical government so as not to be identified as a treasonous insurrection and rebellion? The rest of the public should simply ignore stockpiling of military-grade weapons and continue with democracy as usual while you plan to vacate the social contract on a whim? So much for the common defense.

  14. Rayne says:

    omphaloscepsis (2:26) — Thanks for that update. I’d like to know how we are supposed to trust there was a full and complete restoration of data given the description of data corruption. Hmm. Color me skeptical once again.

  15. lefty665 says:

    Assault weapons have been illegal for civilians to own since the Firearms Act of 1934. Pejoratively misidentifying guns that superficially look like assault weapons makes it hard to have a rational discussion. We tend to confuse things with what we call them. Again, “military grade” is a misrepresentation that makes discussion difficult.
    .
    The British certainly regarded the rebellious colonists as treasonous. In addition to the colonists arms and powder the British were after Sam Adams and John Hancock on their foray to Lexington and Concord. They, like many unsuccessful rebels, would likely have been hanged or shot had they been caught. In short, the victors do the delineating.

  16. lefty665 says:

    Rayne, you apparently don’t understand that the .223 (5.56mm) “assault weapon” cartridge you vilify was developed from, and is a small variation on, the .222 Remington. That was introduced in 1950 and used for decades as a varmint load. It was never intended for hunting deer. Anyone who used it that way would be laughed out of the woods.
    .
    Prior generations of popular deer rifles included the WWI “assault rifle” the 1903 Springfield, the Spanish American War vintage “assault rifle” the 30-40 Krag and the Winchester lever action brush guns dating to black powder days in the latter part of the 1800’s. Currently smaller caliber/higher velocity cartridges are favored.

  17. Denis says:

    1.
    @ #20 lefty665 said: “Assault weapons have been illegal for civilians
    to own since the Firearms Act of 1934.“
    .
    That’s not precisely correct, unless one defines “assault weapon” to
    mean automatic weapons, aka “machine guns”.
    .
    But an assault weapon is usually considered to be a semi-automatic
    rifle with certain features such as a flash suppressor, pistol grip,
    detachable magazine. For those who don’t know the distinction, a
    semi-automatic fires only one round with each squeeze of the trigger;
    a fully automatic weapon keeps firing as long as the trigger is held.
    .
    The National Firearms Act of 1934 does not prohibit semi-automatic
    weapons; it prohibits machine guns. Originally there were some
    exceptions for registered gun dealers/collectors, etc. but those exceptions
    were shut down on May18|1986 by federal law that froze all new
    registrations for automatic weapons.
    .
    A federal law that banned assault weapons was passed in 1994 under
    the Clinton I administration following the Cleveland Elementary School
    massacre when 34 kids in California were gunned down by a loser named
    Patrick Purdy using an assault weapon. Due to a sunset clause in the Assault
    Weapon Ban it only lasted 10 years, expiring in 2004, and it never applied to
    weapons existing as of Sep13|1994, so it didn’t have a huge effect in taking
    assault weapons off the streets. Federal law allows assault weapons to
    be manufactured, sold, and possessed. I’m not sure about how
    many state laws place restrictions and of what kind.
    .
    One complicating factor is that M-16-like assault weapons, notably the
    wildly popular AR-15 used by Mateen, can easily be converted to fully
    automatic. The M-16 we carried in VN could be flipped back and forth
    between automatic and semi-automatic merely by turning a switch.
    This is not possible in standard AR-15’s; however, if they have M-16
    internal parts (which is legal) they can be easily converted to fully
    automatic weapons by what is called a “drop-in sear.” However,
    drop-in sears and conversion kits were outlawed in 1986, although
    those existing at the time were grandfathered – they are called
    “registered drop-in sears” or “RDIS”. These devices were dirt cheap
    when the ban was initiated, but now they are so rare they sell for up
    to $50,000. They are so simple that anyone with a bit of mechanical skill
    could easily make one in the garage. Here’s an interesting YT on RDIS’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdR7rEuLrvE
    .
    2.
    Rayne @ #17: “Pick up some American history and read it, will you?”
    .
    And, lady, that’s just what I’m going to do, and you couldn’t stop me if you
    wanted to, to borrow a line from Lyle Lovett.
    .
    I love American history, especially about the parts about the past.
    There is an excellent piece by historian David Kopel published in 2012
    in the American Bar Association’s “Administrative and Regulatory Law News.”
    It describes in detail why the American Revolution was not primarily about
    tea, stamp taxes, or a despot king, as we were all taught in HS American
    History.
    http://www.davekopel.org/2A/LawRev/american-revolution-against-british-gun-control.html
    .
    According to Kopel, the American Revolution was primarily about the
    British Parliament trying to disarm the colonists. One of the sources he
    cites is the 1775 “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up
    Arms,” which John Dickinson wrote from initial drafts by Jefferson.
    .
    Early Americans saw the right to bear arms as an extension of the
    inalienable right of self-defense – both individual defense both criminal
    individuals and collective defense against criminal governments. Kopel
    also discusses the central role of pre-Revolutionary militias and Britain’s
    bloody attempts to disarm them – which, again, makes the distinction
    between the right to bear arms individually and collectively. Those first
    battles at Lexington and Concord, for instance, were instigated by British
    General Gage trying to disarm the local militias at the behest of Parliament.
    .

    To the Americans of the Revolution and the Founding Era, the theory of some late-20th Century courts that the Second Amendment is a “collective right” and not an “individual right” might have seemed incomprehensible. The Americans owned guns individually, in their homes. They owned guns collectively, in their town armories and powder houses. They would not allow the British to confiscate their individual arms, nor their collective arms; and when the British tried to do both, the Revolution began. The Americans used their individual arms and their collective arms to fight against the confiscation of any arms. Americans fought to provide themselves a government that would never perpetrate the abuses that had provoked the Revolution. – Kopel

    .
    This is not the American History I got in HS in cow-town America. The truth
    about Americans’ historical view of the right to bear arms is probably deemed
    to be too dangerous teach kids, which is why you are so right: PICK UP SOME
    AMERICAN HISTORY AND READ IT. And if people follow your excellent advice,
    maybe they will understand why the right to bear arms is so important to
    so many Americans.

  18. lefty665 says:

    Denis “That’s not precisely correct, unless one defines “assault weapon” to
    mean automatic weapons, aka “machine guns”.
    .
    Exactly, “assault weapons”, M-16’s et al, are fully automatic. Ar-15’s and variations available to civilians are semi-automatic. That means they self chamber a round, but do not fire until the trigger is pulled.
    .
    The “assault weapon” crap has polluted the discussion since ’94. It is intentionally pejorative and intended to rouse emotional responses that prevent rational discussion. We tend to confuse things with what we call them.
    .
    A good sign is that several recent articles have used the term “assault-style”. That is at least descriptive and is a start. The cosmetics have nothing to do with function. That was one of the clear lessons from the now expired “assault weapon” ban ca ’94-’04.
    .
    Sure would be nice if we could have a discussion of how abysmally we have addressed young adult onset schizophrenia and other profound forms of mental illness in the US. Who knows, we might even find it more effective to support and treat a small number of people with severe mental illness than to abridge the rights of 300 million citizens.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Good points. One note to add, semi-automatic can be hacked
      into full-automatic depending upon the design and the effort
      and skills of the person doing the hack. But you never hear
      reports of a crime involving a hacked gun, because it is too easy
      for one to get a full-automatic anyway, and the perp probably does
      not have the skills and patience to do the hack. In fact, one that
      could do the hack is probably not mentally unstable and not
      likely to commit a crime in the first place.

  19. Denis says:

    Lefty: Exactly, “assault weapons”, M-16’s et al, are fully automatic.
    Ar-15’s and variations available to civilians are semi-automatic.
    .
    Lefty, I apologize; I’m not getting my point across very well and it is
    an important one in the discussion of what weapons the government
    currently bans and should/shouldn’t ban.
    .
    An unmodified, government-issue M-16 is not – as in “no way” – considered
    to be an assault weapon in the parlance of the law or gun enthusiasts.
    .
    With respect to rifles, the Federal Assault Weapons ban defines
    “assault weapon” as:

    Semi-automatic rifles able to accept detachable magazines and two or more of the following:
    Folding or telescoping stock
    Pistol grip
    Bayonet mount
    Flash suppressor, or threaded barrel designed to accommodate one
    Grenade launcher mount

    Certain extreme pistols and shotguns are also defined by the statute
    as assault weapons.
    .
    Although an M-16 has many of the foregoing features, it is not
    an assault weapon because it is a fully automatic weapon. It is considered
    to be a machine-gun under the 1934 National Firearms Act.
    .
    An AR-15 is an assault weapon when it comes out of the box
    by virtue of the fact that it is semi-automatic, has a pistol grip, and
    a flash suppressor. Convert it to a fully automatic weapon, and it
    becomes a machine gun banned under the NFA, with a few exceptions
    related to grand-father clauses.
    .
    In terms of fire power, an assault weapon is not that much different
    from many semi-automatic pistols. The main functional differences
    between a 9mm semi-automatic Glock pistol and an AR-15, is that the
    AR-15, being a rifle, has a greater range, the Glock has a larger bullet,
    and large capacity magazines are more readily available for the assault
    weapon. However, very large capacity magazines – 50 rounds – are
    now made for pistols.
    .
    In both cases the trigger has to be pulled once for each shot, so the rate of
    fire in both cases is dependent on how fast one can pull the trigger.
    .
    This is important because the MSM and the uninformed liberals and
    politicians who are now calling for banning assault weapons are polluting
    the discussion by presenting assault weapons as machine guns – fully
    automatic weapons – which they are not. They are, essentially, big ugly
    pistols.
    .
    If both weapons have a 20 round magazine, at close quarters one would not
    be significantly more deadly than the other. At large distances — at which
    rampage killings never occur — the rifle would be more accurate.
    .
    In fact, a person with a 50 round drum-magazine in a 9mm Glock would be far
    more deadly at close quarters like in a gay bar than a person with an AR-15
    assault riffle with a 30 round magazine. First the pistol is easier to conceal,
    second it’s easier to point and fire, third you can stuff more of them in your
    pockets. The Glock and the AR-15 will both fire at the same rate in the hands
    of the same person.
    .
    Arguably, the pistol is far more dangerous than the rifle in terms of total
    annual body counts because 2x more kids are killed looking down the barrels
    of pistols than rifles because it’s just physically far easier to accidentally
    shoot yourself between the eyes with a pistol than with a rifle.
    .
    As SpaceLifeForm points out, an assault weapon can be converted
    to a fully automatic weapon, which makes them potentially far more
    dangerous than pistols for those who can get a conversion parts. I
    discussed in my last comment how registered drop-in auto-sears, which are
    very simple devices for some makes of semi-automatic rifles, including some
    AR-15s, will convert a semi-automatic assault weapon to a fully automatic
    machine gun. Contrary to SLF’s assertion that this is a difficult process,
    the conversion of an AR-15 can actually done in about 15 seconds, as the
    video I linked to shows. In fact, in the federal statutory language, the
    auto-sear itself, while not a gun at all, is classified and regulated as
    a “machine gun.”
    .
    Unfortunately, Joe Public doesn’t know shit from shinola when it comes
    to firearms nomenclature. He hears that a guy killed a bunch of people
    with an assault weapon and doesn’t have a clue what the difference
    between an assault weapon and a machine gun is, so he figures they
    are the same. Of course, the media and liberal politicians milk this
    ignorance for all it’s worth–assault weapon just sounds real nasty.
    I mean “assault” and “weapon” are both pretty scary words. The
    whole thing is scary enough without the yello journalism scare-tactics.
    .
    As Rayne says, people need to read more, and the public needs to
    know enough to be able to think through some consequences. Someone
    needs to ask, for instance, whether banning assault weapons would
    cause the market to shift to semi-automatic pistols, with the unintended
    consequence of more accidental deaths of toddlers and small kids
    without significantly mitigating the ability of Smackwater Jack sickos
    to shoot up the place.
    .
    Just talking about possible bans on assault weapons has caused sales to go
    through the roof — it happens every time. These massacres are money in
    the bank for the gun sellers, mostly because of the MSM scare tactics.

    • Denis says:

      OK, good. That last comment was superbly helpful.
      .
      Your problem, dude, is that you don’t realize that there is a
      distinction between “assault rifle” and “assault weapon”. M-16
      is an assault rifle. It is not an assault weapon.
      .
      Check out a Jun16 article in Slate explaining the difference, and
      explaining why people who don’t know what they are talking about
      are fucking up a very important conversation on gun control.
      Then check back and drop another enlightening “bullshit” turd
      on this thread.
      .
      Thanks.

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