Posts tagged ‘AR-15’

01/12/2013

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – Wikipedia

by wfgodbold

Apropos of David Gregory’s violation of Washington, D.C.’s  strict liability standard capacity magazine ban, and the D.C. attorney general’s decision to forego prosecution:

Historically, selective enforcement is recognized as a sign of tyranny, and an abuse of power, because it violates rule of law, allowing men to apply justice only when they choose. Aside from this being inherently unjust, it almost inevitably must lead to favoritism and extortion, with those empowered to choose being able to help their friends, take bribes, and threaten those from they desire favors.

Of course, if you’re not David Gregory, and don’t have David Gregory’s connections, the D.C. attorney general is not nearly so understanding.

Tens–likely hundreds–of millions of such magazines are lawfully possessed in the United States by law-abiding gun owners. More than 1 million PMAGs are backordered from Magpul. Brownells sold through three-and-a-half years worth of magazines in three days.

Magazines like the one Gregory displayed on Meet the Press, and Magpul’s PMAG, are not complicated; they are made up of a box and a spring. Given the sheer number of standard capacity magazines in the United States, and the infrequency of mass shootings (they are not becoming more common, and your chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about the same as your chances of being struck by lightning), these magazines, as well as the AR-15 rifle (and all semi-automatic weapons) are in common use for lawful purposes.

If in common use is to mean anything at all, it must cover the AR-15–America’s most popular rifle–and standard capacity magazines.

 

12/18/2012

Those proposing bans on semiautomatic firearms* want to take us back to the ’80s

by wfgodbold

The 1880s.

Those of you who are good at math will note that that is closer to the 1791 ratification of the Second Amendment than to today (~90 years vs. ~130 years). Certainly far closer to the framing than TV, or the internet, but about on par with radio.

Proposing that somehow the arms protected by the Second Amendment are only those in existence at its framing and ratification is the first step down a dangerous road. If that logic applies to the Second Amendment, there’s no reason it couldn’t apply to any of the others.

Twitter? Facebook? The entire internet? TV? Movies? Video games?

Not protected under the First Amendment because at its framing and ratification you had to own a printing press and print pamphlets or stand on a soapbox and shout at passers-by to be heard.

Email? Cars? Your computer? Cloud storage?

All searchable without a warrant, probable cause, or even reasonableness, because the framers did not have any of that technology.

If you don’t like the Second Amendment, you’re welcome to try to repeal it, but consider: Would repealing the First Amendment mean that we no longer have the freedom of speech, or the press, or religion? Rights are not conferred by the government–they are, in the words of the Framers, unalienable.

Self-defense is a human right, and the best, effective means of self-defense is a firearm. A firearm puts the weak, the infirm, and the small on equal footing with their attacker.

To abrogate that right in the face of media-driven hysteria would be wrong, particularly when that hysteria is based on several false assumptions: (1) Mass shootings are not becoming more common, (2) An assault weapons ban would not have stopped the CT shooter, (3) Anything that would have prevented the CT shooting would have serious constitutional problems, and (4) America has already had a conversation about guns, and the gun control side lost.

I understand the drive to do something, but gun control proponents are focused more on doing anything, whether it would work or not, and whether it would be constitutional or not.

*Including, among others, the NY Post, which somehow fails to note (probably because of the pearl-clutching) that the AR-15 was invented in the late 1950s. The NYT notes that the AR-15 is the most popular rifle in America (and yet disingenuously posts a picture of a rifle that would be illegal under CT law, instead of one that was legal, like the shooter actually used). In Heller, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects arms in “common use.” (554 U.S. at 627) The most popular rifle in America surely falls under this “common use” umbrella.

08/20/2012

The right to exclude…

by wfgodbold

Is the whole point of patent law.*

The sovereign grants the patentee an exclusive right to make, sell, import, etc. into that sovereign’s jurisdiction the subject matter of the patent.

In this case, that means Lewis Machine and Tool, has the right to exclude others from making, selling, importing, or using monolithic AR-15 upper receivers of their design.

Linoge is upset by this, and thinks it removes competition from the market.

He’s right, and he’s wrong.

It removes competition for this particular item until the term of the patent has ended (which should be in ~2029 or so; patents last 20 years, and if prosecution takes more than 3 years, patentees get additional time added to their patent duration).

However, it also encourages competition–LMT’s competitors will have to innovate, find ways around the patent specifications (because a patent only protects what is claimed; if another company were to make a product that was similar, but not substantially similar, the patent wouldn’t protect it), or go in a whole other direction.

Linoge also sounds miffed that LMT was forward-thinking enough to apply for the patent back in 2002. That’s not necessarily the case.

The law of patents is fraught with peril–when you apply for a patent, two dates are important: the application date itself, and the critical date. The critical date is exactly one year prior to the application date.

If you have published anything, made public use of your product, offered it for sale, or anything else** before that critical date, you’re shit out of luck. You can’t patent it.

The law encourages filing as early as the inventor possibly can; if you have an item that you think you can get a patent on, you should apply as soon as you can–when the invention is reduced to practice (the prosecution process allows for amending your application, so long as the prospective patentee only narrows claims).

In theory, patents protect inventors against the market; without patents, inventors would lose out on their inventions as soon as someone else with enough money to take advantage of economies of scale figured out how to reproduce it.***

I have no idea why this LMT patent took ten years to prosecute. If the system had worked (instead of being typical government bureaucracy), LMT would have been issued their patent in 2005 at the latest, and they’d be halfway through the duration of the patent by now. Instead, the public loses out by not getting the invention put into the public domain as early, and the inventor loses out by not getting the exclusive rights to his invention when it would have done the most good.****

If anyone is to blame for the headaches that the patent system causes, it’s the Venetians.

*Once again, I emphasize that I am a lowly law student–if you take anything in this post as actual legal advice, you do so at your peril. Especially since this is mostly info I learned over the summer in the Patent and Trade Secret Law course I took.

**Experimental testing is allowed, provided it’s actually experimental (records, strict inventor control, no more use than absolutely necessary, etc.). In Lough v. Brunswick Corp., the inventor (Lough) lost because he gave out several copies of his device to friends of his for testing, but he never asked about it again, or asked for its return, or anything else. Because this was more than a year before he filed for his patent, Brunswick got it invalidated and didn’t have to pay for the license.

***Patent law protects inventors by giving them a right to exclude in exchange for making their new and useful contributions to the art public; once the term of the patent has expired, anyone can make/use/sell/import the invention. Trade secret law is different; it relies on absolute secrecy (NDAs, non-competes, etc.). If you don’t want to patent your invention, and if you can keep it secret, then the only way your product can be legally reproduced is if someone else either develops it on his own, or reverse engineers it (reverse engineering doesn’t allow you to infringe on a patent, however; if you reverse engineer a patented item, you can remake it and sell that, so long as the resultant remade product is non-infringing). This is a common mistake in TV shows (cough Leverage cough). Patents are public information. Trade secrets are not. (This is why Coca-Cola ripoffs never taste right (the recipe is a highly protected trade secret), and why no one knows the secret blend of herbs and spices the Colonel uses to make his tasty chicken.)

****I get the feeling I had more to say on this, but I got distracted by footnotes and forgot it all.

07/23/2012

Tab clearing (Blood Dancing Edition)

by wfgodbold

Everyone has by now heard about the tragic shooting at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO. I think this is the third mass shooting to occur since I started blogging (the other two being Loughner’s rampage in Arizona, and Brevik’s in Norway); James Holmes’s spree seems (at this point) to have more in common with the latter than the former, especially given how much planning was involved.

Of course, the usual suspects wasted no time in clamoring for an “honest conversation on gun control,” which means, of course, the same thing as “compromise.” That is, they get everything they want (more gun control), and we are left holding the bag.

Roger Ebert kicked things off, Friday, with his opinion piece in the NYT, in which he calls our gun laws “insane.” He talked about how no one at the theater in Aurora shot back, even though people say they need guns to defend themselves. Apparently Cinemark has a no guns policy. This policy was just as effective here as they were at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, and pretty much everywhere else there’s been a mass shooting in the US. Ebert also mentions a guy he knows in Chicago who was carrying a pistol, and showed it off to Ebert and a mutual friend in a bar. That can’t be; guns are all but banned in Chicago, and carrying them is right out. Ebert even brings up the recent shooting in Toronto. Canada has stricter gun controls than the US (and has a de facto ban on carry), and yet those stricter laws didn’t stop that shooting.

For that matter, Australia has even tougher gun controls, and yet the violent crime rate there is greater than in the US. In fact, the gun crime rate increased after gun control measures were implemented.

Eliot Spitzer, the erstwhile governor of New York, who resigned in disgrace amid a prostitution scandal (he’d spent ~$80,000 on call girls while he was NY’s Attorney General and governor), felt the need to chime in, too. Apparently, the shooting was “inevitable,” and we shouldn’t be shocked given our lax gun laws. He hits all the Brady and CSGV talking points: we should ban “military-style assault weapons” and “assault clips holding more than 10 rounds,” and we should require microstamping. Unlike the federal Assault Weapons Ban of ’94, New York’s AWB had no sunset provision; standard capacity magazines and weapons that have more than one “scary” cosmetic feature are still banned there (unless you had them prior to the ban, in which case they’re just fine). Microstamping is infeasible; the cost alone is prohibitive, and it could be defeated by simply swapping the firing pin out. Even setting that aside, microstamping would have affected the shooting in Aurora not at all. The shooter was the only one armed, and he just waited for the police to show up. There’s no question what guns the casings in the theater came from. Spitzer wants “meaningful gun control,” like what other nations have put in place. Too bad the gun control those other nations have doesn’t actually make anyone safer (see above!).

Amy Sullivan joins Bloomberg in demanding an “honest debate about guns.” Of course, Bloomberg has made his disdain for the Constitution clear in the past (what with his very own anti-gun organization (MAIG), and his blatant, repeated, and institutionalized violations of the Fourth Amendment (stop-and-frisk)). Sullivan immediately starts blasting the NRA for opposing the UN Small Arms Treaty, since it wouldn’t supersede the Constitution, and would only apply internationally. Well, if that’s the case, why would she use the Aurora tragedy to advocate for this treaty? After all, if it’s only international and wouldn’t supersede the Constitution, bringing it up seems like a complete non sequitur. She doesn’t bring up any domestic gun control ideas at all (she feigns horror that Congress has done nothing in the two years since one of their own was shot in a similar mass shooting in Arizona); all she talks about for the entire last half of her piece is the UN Small Arms Treaty.

Even the New York Post gets in on the blood-dancing game. They do admit that this shooting is no reason to get rid of the Second Amendment, but they also say, “there is no legitimate reason for gun-sellers to be peddling militarized accessories, like high-capacity ammunition magazines, speed loaders and such.” I know it might be hard to believe, but aside from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Maryland, and Connecticut (I think that’s all of them), “high-capacity” magazines are perfectly legal. In fact, they’re not high-capacity at all; 20- and 30-round magazines are standard for the AR-15. As I understand it, Holmes did have a 100-round drum magazine (which don’t come cheap). For that matter, 15+ round magazines are standard for pistols (my P226 holds 18 rounds of 9mm in each magazine); I think the .40 S&W Glock models Holmes used both come standard with 15-round magazines as well. In fact, the large magazine the shooter used here backfired; it jammed (something similar happend during Loughner’s shooting; his 30-round magazines for his pistol were more unwieldy than standard magazines, and his fumbling them provided an opportunity for people to attack him (IIRC, anyway)). If Holmes had used standard 30-round AR-15 magazines, I doubt he would have had the problems he did with his 100-round drum magazine.

The New York Daily News puts the blood on the hands of Obama, Romney, and the NRA (and not, you know, on the actual shooter). The editorial board demands gun registration (how gun registration would have stopped Holmes, I have no idea; the worst thing on his record before this was a traffic ticket, I think). They talk about how street-crime shootings dwarf the big massacres (in terms of body count), and if only we had laws limiting access to guns, this would magically stop. They are shocked that Holmes was able to drive around with his guns (how else are you going to get to a gun range, or get home from the store where you bought your guns?). And, of course, they clamor for a reinstatement of the AWB at the very least. They even bring up the Columbine massacre. Of course, they don’t point out that Columbine happened in 1999, right smack-dab in the middle of the ’94 AWB. If an AWB were going to stop mass shootings, wouldn’t it have stopped that one?

Actor/comedian Jason Alexander went on a long rant about the Second Amendment and gun control, and how rifles like the AR-15 shouldn’t be in civilian hands. He quotes Alexander Hamilton and Merriam-Webster on militias. He doesn’t, however, quote George Mason, who said, “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few public officials.”  Alexander rants for a while, and trots out various canards, finally closing with this statement: “I’ll say it plainly – if someone wants these weapons, they intend to use them. And if they are willing to force others to “pry it from my cold, dead hand”, then they are probably planning on using them on people.” Now, the AR-15 is probably the most popular rifle in the US today; people use them for hunting, for target shooting, for home defense, for varmint control, and for shooting competitions. They buy AR-15s because they look cool, because they’re easy to use, because they’re modular, because politicians don’t want them to have them, and because it’s virtually identical to the rifles they used in the service. These rifles are rarely used in crimes (if you’re going to commit a crime, are you going to lug around a rifle, or are you going to stick a pistol in your waistband?).

Not all of the media coverage has been negative; CNBC points out that the forces agitating for gun control are now mostly impotent.

The shooting in Aurora was a tragedy. It was not, however, the nefarious work of the gun lobby, or the NRA, or politicians. It was the work of one man, who, in the words of Alfred, just wanted to watch the world burn.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

The anti-gunners, though, are just using this to try to drum up political support and donations so they can push their misguided views on the rest of us.

04/26/2012

Damn you, Woot!

by wfgodbold

In case you were unaware, woot.com is doing one of their periodic woot-offs right now, and so when a new item is posted, the image loads a few seconds after the item’s name.

When I saw “AR iPod/iPad Docking Station,” I got my hopes up. Surely this would be some kind of rail-mounted doohickey for hanging your phone off your AR!

Unfortunately, the image at right loaded.

The AR is the brand name abbreviation: Acoustics Research, and it’s just a regular old docking station/stand.

I should have known better, but given woot’s propensity for putting weapon lights up, I didn’t think I could rule it out.

Maybe next time!

Tags: , , , ,
04/08/2012

The Clearing of the Tabs

by wfgodbold

The Upotte anime has begun (Weerd mentioned it; it’s got a bunch of anthropomorphized guns for characters). Crunchyroll is legit; they’ve signed licensing deals with the Japanese companies for the right to stream the series they have listed. Don’t worry about the copyright police kicking in your door.

I reread The Witches of Karres the other day. It was still entertaining; not bad for a book written in 1966. I do kind of wish Baen had used the cover art for the Japanese translation (at right). But then, I’ve always liked Hayao Miyazaki’s work.

Auto-firing pirate-killing drones? Can Skynet be far behind?

Wrath of the Titans was ok. Certainly not good enough to warrant a whole review, but it was ok. I wouldn’t pay more than $5 for a ticket, and even then only if you liked the first. They’re playing even faster and looser with the myths than in the first one; at this point, they might as well just shave Sam Worthington’s head, give him some tattoos and a kusarigama and call him Kratos. Also, Rosamund Pike is hot.

Germany is going to jack up taxes on the young so that the old can live in the standard to which they have become accustomed.

Remember, kids, Facebook isn’t free. If you don’t have to pay, you’re what’s being sold.

I saw a billboard today advertising AR-15s for $599 at a local gun store. Usually the only gun-related billboards I see are advertising upcoming gun show. We’re winning. I’ll try to get a picture of it at some point.

10/13/2011

Quote of the Indeterminate Time Interval – paul

by wfgodbold

Thingiverse has a big discussion going on about whether they should allow weapon designs to be posted. Commenters have come down on both sides of the issue, with some suggesting an age- or location-based filter.

And then along comes commenter paul, who says

My sense is that the weapon designs are there not so much for printing (they’re way huge for ordinary machines and wouldn’t work in common media) or even study but as political statements. So I don’t really have a problem with a decision to restrict them.

Apparently paul is just fine with restricting speech he doesn’t like.

Unfortunately for him, homemade weapons are actually not that hard to make.

You can’t uninvent the gun.

06/09/2011

How I became interested in guns

by wfgodbold

Since it’s all the rage among gunbloggers right now, I thought I’d chip in with my own unremarkable story.

Growing up, we didn’t have any guns in the house; I’d fired a rifle and shotgun at Boy Scout camp, but that was it. Most of my friends in high school hunted, but our family didn’t. It was just one of those things.

A few years ago, my apartment was burgled and ransacked; the only thing taken was my PlayStation 2 (with the memory card and game; I was more pissed about the loss of the memory card than the console itself), but when the thief left, he left behind his crowbar.

It didn’t sink in immediately, but if I’d been home, he could have done some real damage with it; I have no desire to play a headcrab to any criminal’s Gordon Freeman.

I called the cops after the burglary, but nothing ever came of it. I assume the thief tried to sell the PS2. I doubt he got much for it (it was a Japanese model, and the PS2 is region-locked), so even though I lost hundreds of hours of save data (I’d had the PS2 for ~5 years at this point), I still had the last laugh. Kind of.

My parents also suffered a break-in around the same time (while they were present), but the would-be thief spooked and ran off.

A few years later (during the 2008 election, actually), I was clicking around on various blogs and news sites, and eventually learned that the police have no duty to protect you. This spurred my interest in self-defense (well, that and reading One Second After in the spring following the election).

Unfortunately, I was living in New York at the time, and after reading the various laws, I decided it would be easier not to bother. Too many hoops to jump through, and it would be too easy to fall afoul of some regulation or other (which is the point; if gun ownership becomes too onerous, then fewer people will buy guns). I wasn’t keen on going, hat in hand, to the government to ask for permission to buy a handgun.

After moving back to Arkansas, I did some reading, and signed up for a concealed carry class.  I bought my first gun (a Bersa Thunder .380 CC), and then followed that up with a couple of AR-15 lower receivers. A few months after that (after realizing how expensive .380 ammo was; I didn’t research as thoroughly as I’d thought), I bought a P226 classic .22, and then I was hooked.

Reading various gun blogs has turned me into more of a libertarian than I was before; given how the government has treated the 2nd amendment, it’s easy to see how other basic rights could be abrogated. I don’t know that I’d call it a road to Damascus moment, but it’s pretty close.

If the government can’t be trusted to obey “shall make no law,” “shall not be infringed,” or “shall not be violated,”  when it’s spelled out plainly, why can it be trusted to obey other limitations on its power?

04/12/2011

Fear the deodand and its awesome totemic powers!

by wfgodbold

Twenty-round "assault clips" of doom!

Or, you know, don’t.

The Brady Campaign’s so-called “assault clips” (Yes. Really. Thirty-seven years of trying to ban guns and they still can’t get the terminology right. (H/T Sebastian)) are common; aside from a handful of states that have their own state-level assault weapons bans on the books (NY, MD, CA, and a few others, I think; most states don’t), you can buy magazines (clips are something completely different!) of any capacity you desire.

Anti-gunners have never been inclined to let the facts get in the way of their cause; even the UN’s data correlating civilian gun ownership with various indices (freedom, suicide, homicide, corruption, and economics) doesn’t jive with their gun control goals.

But who cares about that! There’s blood in the streets, and it’s not going to dance in itself!

An Evil Black Rifle and 30-round "assault clips;" run for the hills!

In addition to the twenty-round magazines above, I also own several thirty-round magazines (at left).

And yet somehow I have managed to resist the mind-control rays emitted by these plastic boxes and metal springs; my “clips” have “assaulted” no one.

I mean, I guess you could really do some damage if you took a full thirty-rounder and beat someone with it; even then, the villain wouldn’t be the magazine. I’ve never shot anyone; I’ve never even pointed one of my guns at anyone (and I hope never to have to).

Hell, I’ve never even been in a fight!

Now, you might say, “But Jared Loughner used thirty-round magazines assault clips in his pistol! That’s completely different!”

Fine.

Handguns and rifles are completely different. If someone were so inclined, he could wreak far more havoc with a rifle; they have longer range, and are more powerful than handguns by a significant margin. Of course, rifles are almost impossible to conceal; that’s why Loughner and Cho and the more recent mass shooters have chosen to use them. After all, if you’re going to illegally carry a gun into a victim-disarmament zone, someone might notice that rifle you’ve got slung over your shoulder.

Oh noes! Eighteen-round "assault clips!" They're everywhere!

Don’t worry, though; I have assault clips for my pistol, as well! Sure, they’re not thirty-round magazines like I have for my rifle, or like the extended magazine Loughner used in his Glock, but eighteen-rounds is still nearly twice the arbitrary ten-round limit the anti-gunners have set their sights on.

Banning “assault clips” won’t prevent nutjobs from snapping and going on a rampage; the Rio shooter used a pair of six-shot revolvers and killed twice as many people as Loughner did with his evil assault clips.

The right of self-defense can’t be abrogated by act of congress, or executive order, or even by popular vote.

Amending the Constitution to remove the second amendment wouldn’t abolish the right to bear arms or the right to self-defense, either.

Guns are the most effective method for defending oneself yet invented; like Weerd Beard says, “they’re the greatest force multiplier you can get.”

Firearms allows smaller, weaker people to defend themselves against larger, stronger criminals.

Like the saying goes:

“God created man, but Sam Colt made them equal.”

02/07/2011

Only a week and a half remaining

by wfgodbold

To watch Cat Shit One for free on youtube!

The actual episode starts at 3:45 or so; before that is an action figure ad and a short teaser for the episode itself. The English voice acting was as bad as I feared it would be; if you’d rather have the Japanese voice track, then you can buy either the DVD or the Blu-ray.

I know I’ve posted about this before, but it really is good. If they don’t get enough support from us, IDA Entertainment and the creator have already said that they won’t be able to make more episodes in the future. Apparently they didn’t sell enough copies in Japan to cover their production costs.

Even if you’re not all that into anime, you might like it; the gunplay is better than what you see in a lot of Hollywood movies; the guys they used for motion capture clearly knew what they were doing.

It’s also probably the only chance you’ll get to see an AR-47 in action. So to speak.

Give Cat Shit One a chance; it might surprise you!

Disclaimer: I in no way profit from Cat Shit One (unless you buy a copy of it using the links in this post); my motivation for promoting it is purely selfish. If they can’t make money, they won’t make any more!

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