Archive for May, 2010

05/26/2010

Good thing he was breaking the law

by wfgodbold

Cause if he hadn’t, the home invaders could have killed him and his wife.

There is no way, barring cyborgs or alien technology, that people in their 80s can reliably defend themselves against criminals in their 20s or 30s.

The invader was probably emboldened by Chicago’s harsh gun control laws, and expected the occupants to be unable to defend themselves.  Those same laws obviously didn’t prevent him from carrying a gun around; this time, though, he wasn’t the only one breaking the law.

If this man and his wife are charged for defending themselves, it’s a case tailor-made for jury nullification; they may have broken the law, but it is a bad law, and should be struck down.

05/24/2010

I don’t understand how I missed this

by wfgodbold

They’re making a Solomon Kane movie!

Or rather, they already have, and it’s already come out in Europe, with an American release to follow this summer.  James Purefoy plays Robert E. Howard’s brooding Puritan swordsman, and if the trailer is any indication, he does a great job.

He might not be as famous as Conan or Krull, but Solomon Kane’s struggles against the forces of darkness made for great pulp short stories.

The film is slated to be the first in a trilogy, and it’s been well-reviewed; hopefully it will make enough money to justify making the second and third films, so that we can see more than just Solomon Kane’s origin story.

Speaking of origin stories, Ridley Scott’s latest film spent its 2.5 hour length telling us how Robin Hood became an outlaw, instead of the interesting things he did as an outlaw (no archery competition, no defeating the evil sheriff, and very little stealing taxes from John).  Russell Crowe did a masterful job portraying himself, and the audience was given the chance to see him fighting in two more countries.

The summer blockbusters for the most part don’t look too promising; the Prince of Persia movie will probably be okay, but I’m really looking forward to the A-Team film and the Expendables.

Nothing says summer movie like gratuitous gunfights and explosions, and both of those movies are sure to deliver.

05/21/2010

And the truth comes out

by wfgodbold

It turns out that when he’s giving an interview (instead of remonstrating against the Arizona immigration law), Mexican president Felipe Calderon doesn’t have nearly the progressive immigration views regarding his own country as he does regarding the US.

If you want to walk across the southern border to Mexico, you have to fill out a form, and they check to ensure that you aren’t a criminal.

If you don’t have papers, they send you out of the country.

Truly, this Arizona immigration law is the first of its kind, and is a horrible affront to the sensibilities of all right-thinking people.

Especially since sending people across the border to work here and send money back to Mexico is an essential part of their economy.

It is impossible to be ironic in a world where Iran is involved in advancing women’s rights, Cuba denounces the US for its oppressive laws, and the mayor of Chicago threatens to shoot a reporter to prove the effectivess of its gun ban.

05/20/2010

I assume he came here legally

by wfgodbold

Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderon, addressed a joint meeting of the house and senate today.  This gave him the perfect pulpit to use for his continued criticism of the Arizona immigration law (you know, the one that is exactly the same as our current federal immigration law (and the same as California’s obviously unenforced law)) and more repetition of the Mexican Gun Canard.

The now-lapsed 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban did not make possession of machine guns illegal.  Machine gun ownership has been regulated since 1934 (and civilian ownership of machine guns manufactured post 1986 is illegal thanks to the Hughes amendment; pre-1986 machine guns are perfectly legal).  The ’94 ban merely made certain combinations of features illegal; your AR-15 could have a pistol grip or an adjustable stock, but not both.  The aftermarket price of pre-ban magazines shot through the roof; possession of high capacity magazines manufactured post-ban was limited to the law enforcement and military.

AR-15 style rifles are extremely customizable; you can get one in any of a dozen calibers, and choose whatever grip, handguard, and stock you prefer.  They are making inroads into the hunting market, and are handy for home defense.  Any resurrection of the AWB is political suicide, and generally only popular in states that already have extremely restrictive gun laws (CA, NY, MA, IL).

Calderon should worry more about making sure his military doesn’t lose more weapons to the gangs than it already has; I imagine that is a much larger source of guns than the US is.

05/18/2010

I had a brilliant and thoughtful post all planned out

by wfgodbold

In my head, anyway; but instead of posting it immediately, I thought I would get to it later, and now I have no idea what it was.

I really should have written it down.

Instead, I’ll talk about video games.  Xseed Games announced that they are going to localize 6 PSP games for Nihon Falcom: Ys 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys Seven, and Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 1-3.

05/17/2010

Complete and untested

by wfgodbold

UPS delivered the Stag Arms 2H complete upper receiver from Palmetto State Armory last week.  I replaced the stock heat shield handguards with Magpul MOE handguards in olive drab, assembled my second lower receiver (this one with a Magpul CTR stock instead of the UBR stock on the other lower receiver), and attached a Viking Tactics sling.

 

There are many like it, but this one is mine.

 

The only issue I had was that the receiver extension tube Palmetto State Armory sent me was commercial instead of mil-spec.  Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this at the time (I need to get some calipers so I can double check these things), and now the mil-spec CTR stock is stuck on the tube.  It was snug when I was installing it, but I didn’t realize I had put a 1.17″ peg into a 1.15″ hole until I tried to collapse it and it didn’t move.

My lesson is learned; trust, but verify.

05/14/2010

They’re called *illegal* immigrants for a reason

by wfgodbold

CNN is trying to stir up sympathy for Jessica Colotl, a college student (how that happened, I have no idea).  They paint her in a good light even in the headline: “Undocumented student’s arrest called part of civil rights disaster.”

Per that article, she was arrested for not having a driver’s license and giving a false address to the arresting officer; her only identification was an expired passport (from Mexico).  Driving without a license is illegal (or is she just an ‘undocumented’ driver?); giving false information is apparently against Georgia law; and finally, an alien who is in the United States without a green card or a visa is BREAKING THE LAW.

Countries are entitled to define who is allowed to enter and leave, and who is allowed to immigrate; in the modern world, it has always been thus.  Congress has laid out the method for legal immigration, and decide as a matter of policy how many people are allowed to immigrate.  No one has the right to force themselves upon our country, but that is what Colotl’s defenders are claiming is a civil right.

The only reason this is in the news at all is because of the passage of the recent Arizona law, which essentially copy-pasted federal immigration law into the state code.  The US attorney general, Eric Holder, gave us his opinion on the law (that he has not read); just like his boss did when Prof. Gates was arrested last year.

I am perfectly willing to hold forth on subjects with which I am unacquainted with the details; perhaps I have a future in government.

As far as Jessica Colotl is concerned; put her on a plane back to Mexico and send her to the back of the line.  If she really wants to immigrate, she should go through the system like thousands of people do; according to wikipedia (stalwart bastion of reliable information that it is), the US accepts more immigrants (legally) than all other countries in the world.  Combined.

Allowing unchecked illegal immigration is an affront to all those legal immigrants who followed the law as it is written, and trying to excuse illegal aliens by disguising their status as “undocumented” is unacceptable.

05/07/2010

More rifle stuff

by wfgodbold

Well, since the last update, I have yet to order a complete upper receiver.  Instead, I looked in to ammunition prices and saw that 6.8 mm SPC cartridges are roughly 3-4x more expensive than 5.56 mm NATO cartridges, and so I ordered some standard caliber AR-15 magazines; I could then shoot the 5.56 mm weapon cheaper and save money.  The 5.56 mm barrel is also the right diameter for shooting .22 LR rounds; a cheap conversion kit and a few magazines would let me shoot for 3-4 cents per round instead of 23 cents per round (5.56 mm) or 85 cents per round (6.8 mm SPC).

Anyway, I checked Silver State Armory‘s page today, and they’ve come out with their cheap plinking round for 6.8 mm SPC rifles; it’s only 35 cents per round.  This still isn’t quite as economical as .22 or 5.56 mm ammo is, but it’s a lot better than it was before.

What I may end up doing is getting a carbine upper chambered in 5.56 mm first, and then later getting a rifle length upper in 6.8 mm SPC.

They say black rifle disease is bad, but I had no idea how bad it would be.  I don’t even have my first rifle built yet, and I’m trying to figure out how to build the second.

Update:  It turns out that I misread SSA’s page, and what I thought was their cheap plinking round is actually just the bullet, not the entire cartridge.  Since I don’t have any reloading equipment, that doesn’t do me any good.

05/05/2010

Μολὼν λαβέ

by wfgodbold

You want ‘em?  Come and take ‘em.

No potential for abuse here at all!  I certainly couldn’t imagine someone painting their political opponents as terrorists; if this push by Lieberman and Bloomberg succeeds, that would be enough to deny them their 2nd amendment rights.

In fact, this could be disastrous for people who are accidentally on theses lists; after all, if one guy named John Smith is on the watch list, then every John Smith who tries to do fly, or buy a gun, will find himself stymied by the federal government.

If the prohibited person category (which included felons, domestic violence offenders, the mentally unstable, and illegal drug users) were expanded to include those on the no-fly or terrorist watch lists, the number of people affected would skyrocket.

If one John Smith has ties to terrorists and is legitimately on the watch list, and some other John Smith (who has no idea that the other John Smith even exists) is pulled over while legally carrying a concealed weapon, the police will find that he is on the terrorist watch list and is thus a prohibited person.  This will result in felony charges and an expensive uphill court battle for the unfortunate non-terrorist John Smith.

Living in a free society means that sometimes people will choose to do terrible things.  That is the price we pay every time we go to the store, or get on a plane to go on vacation, or walk through Times Square.  People can only be punished for what they have actually done; this is not Minority Report, there is no department of pre-crime, and you can’t be denied your right to keep and bear arms because a bunch of panicky politicians are afraid of what you might do with them.

05/04/2010

Oil spills and cleanup difficulty

by wfgodbold

The media is rightly covering the disastrous explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Opponents of drilling for oil are thrilled; they can hold this up as proof that the oil industry destroys the environment and that we need to find new sources of energy as soon as possible.

No one is disputing the fact that it is just good business sense to be exploring and developing new energy technologies.  Part of the blame for this accident, though, can be laid at the feet of the federal government.

Because of the moratoriums on new offshore drilling, and on drilling in ANWR, or processing oil shale, oil companies (in the US; the Chinese, Russians, Venezuelans, and Arabs have no problems with any of this) have been forced to rely on already drilled wells, regardless of their location.

Had this well been drilled in ANWR, and there been an explosion and spill at the site, the environmental impact would have been far less than what we are seeing in the Gulf of Mexico, simply because it’s far easier to cap off a well that isn’t hundreds or thousands of feet below the surface of the ocean.

This isn’t the same as a manufacturing problem; after all, if you want to drill for oil, you have to drill where the oil is.  You can’t just build your facilities wherever you want, like you could a factory.

Saying that the oil companies don’t care about the environmental impact of their accidents and what happens because of spills like this is ridiculous; any oil that is spilled is oil they can’t sell, and any oil that is spilled is oil they have to pay to clean up.  That doesn’t even take in to account the investigating they will have to pay for to determine the cause of the spill, and whatever fines are levied by the government.

No one likes oil spills; not the environmentalists, not the government, not the people, and definitely not the oil companies.

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