Archive for August, 2004

August 31, 2004

Dick Cheney can be so comforting

Fine with headlines:

Man Held for Coming Within Feet of Cheney

Wow, never figured Cheney was a hugger.

I love the smell of desperation

A news release:

WHAT: A rare “National Press Conference with President Bush.” As is typically the case, there will be obfuscation and no real answers provided to questions regarding the safety of all Americans and New Yorkers in particular given the Al Qaeda threat. Terrorists, mass murderers and other criminals know that America provides cheap and easy access to assault weapons. Bush will make it even easier to acquire these guns by allowing the assault weapons ban to expire on September 13. These issues will be raised during a mock press conference with five eight foot tall Bush puppets (often contradicting one another) hosted by New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV). In addition, the event will include a number of different speakers throughout the program.

WHERE: Washington Square Park (Manhattan) Teen Plaza (between fountain and Garibaldi Statue)

WHEN: Wednesday, September 1, 11:30 am – 3 pm (Press conferences to be held at 12 noon, 1 pm & 2 pm)

WHO:

— Five President Bush Puppets

— Gun Violence Survivors

— Dr. Sheldon Teperman, Trauma Surgeon, Jacobi Medical Center

— Andy Pelosi & Jackie Kuhls (executive director & public policy directors of NYAGV)

— Ellen Freudenheim, Co-Founder, The Silent March

— Edie Smith, Pres., NY State Council, Million Mom March

WHY: The Bush administration has squandered lives by not addressing a major public health crisis. 30,000 Americans die at the end of a gun each year. Instead of tackling or even acknowledging the problem, Bush and the Republican Congress are making it worse by allowing the federal assault weapons ban to expire on September 13th, rather than working to renew and strengthening the ban. One in five law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty between 1998 – 2001 was killed with an assault weapon. Some of America’s most heinous recent crimes such as the Washington DC sniper murders and the Columbine High School massacre were committed with assault weapons.

VISUALS: Five 8-foot puppets resembling President Bush sitting around a dinner table – out to lunch. Posters displaying assault weapons.

Proof you can entertain idiots with a puppet show.

Stupid Gun Tricks

Robert Douglas tell us how to be legal with our shotgun modifications. That whole post illustrates just how stupid and arbitrary gun laws are.

As another example, have a look at this. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Alright, that gun is perfectly legal to own. It’s a handgun. No class 3 or NFA tax required.

Now, look at this one. This one is an NFA subject to a class 3 license and requires a $200 transfer tax. If you possess it without the tax, the crime is comparable to illegal possession of a machine gun.

Both guns are built on AR15 receivers and function like any semi-automatic AR15. The first has a barrel length of 7.5 inches and the second has a barrel length of, you guessed it, 7.5 inches. If you register the receiver as a handgun, you can build it as pistol subject to some regulations. If it’s a rifle and the barrel is less than 16 inches, it is classified the same as a machine gun.

Here’s more info on keeping SBRs, AOWs and pistols legal.

Update: It does the beg the question: Can you slap a stock on a pistol?

Update to the update: Robert answers my question, which again affirms that gun laws in the US are arbitrary and stupid.

The Perils of Country Living

Living in rural (OK, suburban) East Tennessee, you see some things that you probably won’t see other places. If you see a gun on rack in the back of truck, you don’t think twice. If you hear a gunshot, you figure Joe Bob from up the street is doing some target practice or has varmints in his yard. No big deal, happens all the time.

The other morning, my wife awakens to the sounds of the dogs raising Hell. She looks out the window to see what’s got them fired up. A herd of cattle (about 6 or so) is walking across the unfenced portion of my backyard. She says she watches them as they meander up the side yard, through the driveway and on across the street. Eventually, they settle in one of my neighbor’s yards until the farmers (who had a tree fall on their fence) come and get them. The dogs came in and were obviously proud of having deterred these invaders.

Then, this weekend, I was smoking some ribs on the old barbecue when I hear an odd sound. I look up and see a powered parachute flying over my house. If you don’t know what those are, you can see them here. To me, they look like someone strapped a parachute onto a lawn mower. The guy is low enough to the ground (I figure within 100 feet) to see me staring. He waved. I waved back. I’m pretty sure he mouthed the word Howdy but I couldn’t hear him over the engine. A few minutes later, here comes another and then another. Apparently, they were taking off from the field behind my house.

Just thought I’d share.

Sounds to me like he’s got it down

Tom Humphrey, whose pathetic DemCon blog has been followed up by his pathetic RepubliCon blog, writes:

After all, bloggers, I am instructed, do not have to follow those ironclad rules of attribution, fact-checking, logic and such that burden the daily production of stuff to print by traditionally ink-stained wretches. You can just babble like a talk show radio guy.

People are crowing about how that is so Old Media. Honestly, it sounds to me like he’s got blogging down.

Step one: Say something stupid and unverifiable
Step two: Wait for some prominent bloggers to notice
Step three: Traffic

Calling them out

Cool little letter to the editor:

I regret that a deputy was killed and another wounded in serving public interests.

The arrested man was described as a “gun enthusiast.” Having more than one firearm does not define him as a gun enthusiast and seems to denigrate lawful possession of such items.

The fact is that many like him who are engaged in criminal activity consider the possession of guns as a necessity. As an endowment member of the National Rifle Association, I support law enforcement but also find such a statement to be somewhat disturbing if made by either the press or a sheriff such as Ken Jenne (or by his department), neither of which has a track record for supporting Second Amendment rights or providing objective non-opinionated facts.

I am sure that there were many readers who perceived the implication that it takes a so-called “gun enthusiast” to shoot law enforcement officers.

Repeating the lie enough

Mark E. Zink:

The assault weapons ban has been effective in deterring crime, for crimes committed with assault weapons are down 66 percent since the ban was enacted. Moreover, a Department of Justice study has found that the Assault Weapons Ban has contributed to the reduction of the number of police officers killed with assault weapons.

First, the ATF has said gun trace data (where the 66% comes from) is irrelevant to overall crime statistics. And the Department of Justice study does not exist. It’s a Violence Policy Center interpretation of DOJ data. What the National Institute for Justice (the research arm of the DOJ) says is:

We cannot clearly credit the ban with any of the nationís recent drop in gun violence. And, indeed, there has been no discernible reduction in the lethality and injuriousness of gun violence

and

It is thus premature to make definitive assessments of the banís impact on gun violence. Should it be renewed, the banís effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement

and

assault weapons were ďrarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.Ē

The author concludes with:

As someone who lost his father to gun violence, I can not thank proponents of tough gun control enough. Hopefully, Congressman Fossella will eventually change his mind and support the assault weapons ban.

It is sad that your father was the victim of gun violence. I don’t wish that on anyone. However, don’t use it as a tool to lend credence to the bogus statistics of your cause.

Winning the terror war

George Bush:

Earlier in the day, in an interview on NBC-TV’s “Today” show that was broadcast to coincide with the start of the Republican National Convention in New York, Bush was asked “Can we win?” the war on terror.

I don’t think you can win it,” he responded. “But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.”

Huh? Isn’t that the basis for your campaign? Obviously, you really can’t stop them all but you can deter them, which is what he was getting at (and, by the way, taking my tweezers at the airport hasn’t prevented any terror attacks). There will always be a few whackos waiting and planning to do something.

Update: Kevin has the whole quote, which it seems has been widely taken out of context.

August 30, 2004

United States Senators for Truth

With a release of a new book entitled He Can’t Even Show Up For His Day Job, the United States Senators for Truth (and they even have a hard time calling themselves that) have come forward to challenge John Kerry. They allege that the man doesn’t show up for work.

The USST has released an ad attacking Senator Kerry’s lack of a record excerpted as follows:

John Edwards: If you have any questions about what John Kerry is made of, just spend 3 months campaigning with him.

Lamar Alexander: I served in the US Senate with John Kerry.

Trent Lott: I served in the US Senate with John Kerry.

Lamar Alexander: John Kerry has not been honest about being a Senator.

Rick Santorum: He’s lying about his record, mostly because, you know, he doesn’t have one. Hell, as crappy as my record is, at least I’ve got one. I don’t even think he’s a Senator

Trent Lott: Who cares if he was in Cambodia . . . Can I try that again? You think this tie makes me look dorky?

Cameraman: Senator, it’s not your tie that makes you look dorky.

Trent Lott: Huh?

Cameraman: OK, 3 . . . 2 . . . 1.

Trent Lott: Who cares if he was in Cambodia on Christmas in 1968? He hasn’t been to a Senate Intelligence Committee meeting in, like, two years.

John McCain: John Kerry vote on an issue? I’ve never seen it happen.

Rick Santorum: John Kerry betrayed the men and women he is supposed to serve from Massachusetts, which is OK because most of them are gay.

Diane Feinstein: He showed up to vote for some gun control once, so he’s OK with me.

Trent Lott: John Kerry failed to act on behalf of his constituents. Mostly because he, you know, failed to act at all. I don’t even know if he’s really a Senator.

RepubliCon Blogging

The KNS has put up Crosswire blog, which pits South(of)KnoxBubba (representing the left) and WestKnoxMomma (representing the right, and who is married to this guy) against each other covering RepubliCon. WestKnoxMomma is actually at the convention. I guess SKB has to TiVo it.

SayUncle is off to the Motel 6 in Athens, GA to cover the Libertarian Convention. He also apologizes to The Onion for stealling their joke.

No sporting purpose, my ass

Congrats to Norman Houle for winning the NRA’s National High Power Rifle Championship for 2004. Notice his high tech looking rifle in the picture. It looks a lot like one of these. The odd thing about that gun is that it’s a modified AR15, one of those assault weapons that has no sporting purpose. Yet he won a sporting event with one. Weird.

At least they don’t have free speech zones

Whenever I see stuff like this, I cringe. A gunship over a US city. Oh, dear.

Happy Birthday to me

This blog is now two years old. I’ve enjoyed it. Hope you have too. Some numbers:

Between 255,000 and 320,000 visits, depending on which site tracker you believe.

Average of 647 or 980 visits per day, depending on which site tracker you believe.

One opinion piece published in a newspaper.

Eight dead-tree media mentions that I know of.

3,518 Total Posts

8,436 Total Comments (sorry to all the people who commented at the old blogger site, those were lost in the upgrade to MT)

407,464 Total Words in all posts

465,215 Total Words in Comments

Posts by category:

Blog Matters 420
Civil Liberties 264
Current Events 418
Eminent Domain 20
Guns 870
Humor 290
Media Watch 175
North Carolina News & Politics 5
Notes to Junior 51
Notes to Self 145
Pets 183
Politics 333
Pop Culture 111
Race Relations 43
Recipes 20
Taxes 66
Tennessee News & Politics 291
The Issues 121

I’m on my third blog software package (Blogger, Movable Type, and WordPress)

Top referrers:

Instapundit
FirearmNews
KeepAndBearArms
AR15.com
SouthKnoxBubba

Top search phrases:

Big butts
Playgirl TV
Universal Healthcare
I like big butts and I cannot lie
Bear butt chicken
Political test
Assault Weapons Ban
Types of pit bulls
Crime rates
smoke boston butt

Note: SayUncle doesn’t really have an infatuation with butts but Google thinks I do.

Soon to be number one referring key phrase: Olympic Ass

Changed the minds of at least four people regarding the assault weapons ban.

Countless arguments with several idiots.

Countless arguments with a few smart people.

Countless go-rounds with media people. Many of which responded; two of which issued retractions; two of which were just total dicks.

Total money spent on hosting and other stuff: $319.90

Compare and contrast

Oh my!

Oh, that weapon of choice for criminals

Apparently and unsurprisingly to anyone who knows anything about guns, handguns (not assault weapons) are the weapon of choice for criminals. Gunscribe has the skinny on a secret ATF study:

Now we have a story about 4,852 guns siezed in Philidephia last year and not one, single mention of any assault weapon seized. (sic)

Update: HeartlessLibertarian asks:

Now why would a report like that be confidential?

Yes, why. I’d like to know.

Mess it up for everybody

Matt addresses how some gun owners mess things up for other gun owners. A friend of mine recently accompanied his nephew to the gun show. He explained to his nephew that there were different types of people at the show:

Newbies.

Hunters and sportsmen checking out gear.

Collectors and buffs looking for rare things.

Target shooters and collectors looking for new toys.

People in camouflage and combat boots who were never in the military and probably belong to some organizations and yammer on about black helicopters and the pending race war.

And yes that last group gives us gun owners a bad name.

Assault Weapons Ban Public Service Announcement

The Geek has a public service announcement:

Congress is currently still in the August recess, and is scheduled to return on September 7th, the day after labor day, and only 4 days before the so-called “assault weapons” ban is set to expire.

The unrelenting rhetoric coming from anti-gun lobby groups, politicians, and editorial writers is becoming increasingly shrill and inflammatory, reflecting the sheer desperation felt by these people. Though they undoubtedly know the ban has had no effect on crime (they have access to the same studies that the rest of us
do), the symbolism of the ban not being renewed will be a stunning blow to their misguided cause. And, their credibility is at stake… these are the people who have been insisting that armageddon will befall our country on September 13th if the ban is not renewed. So, expect this outrageous “backed into a corner” rhetoric to worsen dramatically as we enter the ban’s final week.

Though neither the House or the Senate have shown any interest in wasting any of the precious little time that remains this session on this issue, the anti-gun organizations will undoubtedly unleash an intense barrage of mistruths in that final week, with the usual goal of trying to deceive the public into supporting something they otherwise wouldn’t care much about.

It is YOUR job to ensure your voice is heard too. There’s no time for mailing letters. Sending an e-mail won’t hurt, but the best thing you can do is to CALL both of your Senators AND your Representative on ***September 7th***, and politely state your strong opposition to renewing the ban.

Before calling your Senators, check this page to see how each voted on the Feinstein amendment to renew the ban earlier this year (the vote is in the far-right column, highlighted in yellow… green “N” was against the ban, red “Y” was for it)…

http://www.awbansunset.com/senate.html

Most politicians already know this is a loser issue that does nothing for public safety, violates the Second Amendment, and could very well cost them their job. If each gets a dozen or two phone calls from ban supporters, but receives hundreds or thousands of calls from opponents of the ban, this belief will once again be reconfirmed.

To help ensure a steady flow throughout the day, I suggest that we stagger our calls.

If your last name begins with:

A – F: call between 9:30am – 11:00am eastern time.
G – L: call between 11:00am – 12:30pm eastern time.
M – S: call between 12:30pm – 2:00pm eastern time.
T – Z: call between 2:00pm – 3:30 eastern time.

Of course, this is merely a suggestion… don’t fret if you can’t call at your “designated” time. Just call at whatever time you can! Remember, Tuesday, September 7th (the day after Labor Day) is when this phone call drive will take place.

You can easily obtain your elected officials’ contact info here:

http://www.capwiz.com/nra/dbq/officials/

Forward this to everyone you know, and let us leave no doubt in the minds of our elected officials as to just
how unpopular this gun ban is!

The rhetoric has started. Such as:

With two weeks left before the expiration of the assault weapons ban, the rhetoric is picking up. Here’s one:

From 1998 to 2001, 211 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. According to a new study of FBI data by the Violence Policy Center, 41 were felled by knock-offs of military-style assault weapons, the arms of choice for drug dealers and gang bangers.

That so many police were killed by weapons most Americans assumed were outlawed in 1994 is the best reason for overhauling a loophole-ridden ban set to expire on Sept. 13. Thatís just six days after Congress returns to work.

Quoting a discredited study that improperly classifies half the weapons listed and actually lists a Jeep as an assault weapon hardly makes the case for you.

The law halting the sale and manufacture of assault weapons barely passed 10 years ago. Enough votes were mustered only because supporters agreed to a watered-down version.

It barely passed because it was a stupid law that, in 1996, was actually repealed by the House. And the votes on this law cost a few people their seats.

Opponents of the ban say the law has proved to be ineffective and should be allowed to lapse. But closing the loopholes in a weak law makes more sense.

For example, gun makers can circumvent the law by making cosmetic changes to the design of the 19 banned weapons, give them a new name and put them on the market. It was one of these post-ban M-16 knock-offs called the Bushmaster XM15 that the D.C. snipers used to hunt down and kill 10, injure three and terrorize the nationís capital in the fall of 2002. Among their victims were three Virginians.

Now, we get to it. Nevermind that that these weapons are the same as semi-auto hunting rifles or that the DC snipers only took one shot per victim. Just use them in the same paragraph for added effect. So, you entitle the article keep assault weapons off the street then acknowledge this law does not such thing. Why push for it then?

And this one intimates the ban affects machine guns, which it doesn’t.

And this one is for the children.

Here’s one that tries to make it sound reasonable by pointing out that some gun owners are for the ban. Anyone who knows anything about guns and the ban would admit that it’s frivolous legislation.

Expect these types of articles to keep popping up more frequently in the next two weeks. Keep contacting your representatives.

Stereotyping

Not content with stereotyping the breed, now they must stereotype the owners:

Pit bull owners are mostly young, brash males with an attitude, who strut like they own the sidewalks, say some dog owners who feel terrorized by pit bulls in the area of Isabella and Church Sts.

The underlying message, they say, is: Don’t mess with me or my pit bull.

Yes, because every pit bull owner has something to prove.

Dog owners interviewed yesterday in the area where a savage pit bull attack occurred in a back alley early Saturday morning ó in which a 25-year-old man who was walking two pit bulls for their out-of-town owner was mauled by the dogs and sent to hospital with extensive leg, back and arm wounds ó weren’t mourning the loss of the two dogs, who were destroyed by police.

Dog owners, along with experts in animal training and safety, said that, as dangerous as pit bulls can be, the owners are sometimes the main problem. “Guys who want to look tough and want a macho-type dog sometimes get a pit bull, and they have no idea what they have,” said Liz White of Animal Alliance, an organization committed to the protection of animals through political action and education.

As dog owner and an expert in animal training and safety myself, the owners are almost always the problem. Yes, there are some bad apples who give the breed a bad name but a lot of us don’t. It has nothing to do with being macho for me. It’s that I like certain breeds of dogs. Don’t lump me and other responsible owners into the same category.

August 29, 2004

Quick note

One thing about the pre-game show I’ve seen on TV for RepubliCon is that the protesters aren’t locked up behind cages. . . . well, yet. Good for NY.

August 28, 2004

The force is strong with this one

hi there

Damnedest thing

Sitting on the couch playing with junior the other night with a little stuffed dragon looking thing. Took the toy dragon and started making growling sounds (why I think I know what a dragon growl sounds like is beyond me). When I made the growl, suddenly politically incorrect dog comes running to the couch, jumps on the couch. He then puts his ears back, tucks his tail and rolls over on his back. He was being totally submissive because he thought I was growling, I guess. Weird.

August 27, 2004

Police Armed with Assault Rifles

Real ones, too. Indianapolis PD to arm officers with M-16s. Not sure why that is, since we all know that these weapons are ONLY good for killing as many people as possible as quickly as possible. I’m not sure how that squares with a “protect and serve” mission, but what do I know?

The announcement follows criticism from IPD officers that they regularly face criminals who have more firepower, although officials say their announcement was not a response to those complaints.

The criticism increased after IPD Patrolman Timothy “Jake” Laird was gunned down Aug. 18 by a Southside man firing an SKS-style assault weapon from more than 150 yards away.

“SKS-style assault weapon.” Wait, it gets better.

In most cases, IPD’s 1,200-member force uses .40 caliber Glock handguns. Also, some officers have 12-gauge shotguns. Some on the force, such as SWAT members, already have access to specialty weapons and gear.

IPD received the [M-16s] last year but delayed their use, partly because of range safety issues. Indianapolis did not have a range where training with the more powerful rifles could take place safely, police said.

You gotta be kidding me. I guess it depends on what the training is going to be like. I can think of at least three ranges in my hometown where I can shoot rifles considerably more powerful than an M-16. Granted, these are from fixed positions, so they couldn’t train on fire-and-motion, or stuff like that.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Department has 49 of a similar patrol rifle, the Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic…”We felt the need . . . to equip ourselves, for lack of a better term, to meet force with force,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Phil Burton. “In order to provide safety to the public.”

I just want to know: how does an Evil Bushmaster Sniper-Rifle Assault Weapon provide “safety” if it’s only good for killing people?

Can I get an “Amen?”

Why, those sound like talking points to me

I’m sure it’s entirely coincidental that multiple news articles are mentioning that some folks feel Bush isn’t too bright. For example, this one:

These are signs of the fierce conviction of some voters — and the secret fear of a quieter and perhaps larger group — that George W. Bush is not smart enough to continue as president. Indeed, if an unscientific survey of bumper stickers, graffiti and letters to the editor in this conservative mountain region is an indicator, doubts are spreading. Yet the subject is seldom taken head-on by the mainstream newspapers and network news. The discourse about presidential intelligence appears mainly on the Internet, in the partisan press, among television comics and at the level of backyard jokes and arguments.

And this one:

His supposed intellectual failings are the butt of countless jokes, but so far the question of George Bush’s brainpower hasn’t hampered his electoral prospects. Why not? In the latest of his dispatches for G2, former New York Times editor Howell Raines asks how important intelligence really is in an American president

And this one:

Upon losing a game at the 1925 Baden-Baden tournament, Aaron Nimzowitsch, the great chess theoretician and a superb player, knocked the pieces off the board, jumped on the table and screamed, “How can I lose to this idiot?”

Nimzowitsch may have lived decades ago in Denmark, but he had the soul of a modern American Democrat. After all, Democrats have been saying much the same — with similar body language — ever since the erudite Adlai Stevenson lost to the syntactically challenged Dwight Eisenhower in 1952. They said it again when they lost to that supposed simpleton Ronald Reagan. Twice, would you believe? With George W. Bush, they are at it again, and equally apoplectic.

Cigars as political indicators

Michael Silence attempted to use candy cigar sales as a tool to predict the presidential election. These candy cigars come in a Bush and Kerry variety. At the local convenience store, I saw some for sale ($0.59 each). The Bush box had sold considerably more. What was interesting to me was that the pictures of both men on their respective cigar boxes had been vandalized. It looked as though people had taken pocket knives or keys and scratched their faces. Bush’s face was vandalized considerably more, though he had sold more cigars.

Must be that new campaign finance reform

Apparently, selling your vote on Ebay is illegal. Duh.

However, it is still legal to buy votes through pork barrel politics. Just don’t make direct payments. Go figure.

Guide for blogging

Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of advice and resources on starting a blog.

Carnival of the recipes?

Another blog meme. This one is for recipes.

I should point out SayUncle has a recipe section too.

Steve Irwin ain’t got nothing

Damn! A man is walking his dog when an alligator clamps down on his dog’s head. The man takes out his pocket knife, stabs the gator in the eye and saves his dog.

Gun control on Drew Carey

Caught an episode of Drew Carey. The plot was Drew and his girlfriend discover they have opposing political views. Drew is right-winger and she’s a left-winger. Their first debate was about gun control. Drew had a couple of one-liners I wanted to share (paraphrased). Number one:

Girlfriend: If that guy had his way, everyone would own a gun.

Drew: Well, only half of us have them now and that’s not working out so well.

Number two:

Girlfriend: You’re three times more likely to be shot by that gun. And if you keep it up, I’ll be the one to shoot you.

Drew: If you want to win an argument, shouldn’t you stay on your side of it?

Gun control in sitcoms? OK, then.

I don’t buy this for a minute

Per this:

A Union man who said he was shot in the leg when a rifle he bought at a Florence sporting goods store discharged as he was driving home with the gun still in its box has sued the store and the weapon’s manufacturer.

Michael Woosley, a 43-year-old corporate jet inspector, was driving the family minivan Oct. 14 on Big Bone Road while his stepson, Austin, admired the $240 Marlin “varmint” .17-caliber rifle, still in the box on his lap.

Michael Woosley said he had bought the gun as a birthday present for Austin.

Woosley told The Post that Austin put his hand in the box and the gun went off. The bullet struck Michael Woosley in the right leg, hitting his thigh bone so hard that the slug “went to pieces,” he said.

When most people handle guns (like, when they buy them), they check the chamber. Did this guy not do that? I find this one a little hard to believe.

And at the end:

A Marlin spokesman has said it was “virtually impossible” for a loaded gun to leave the factory because of precautions that are taken there. The company’s guns are shipped directly to Dick’s Sporting Goods stores without intermediary stops.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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