Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Figures don't lie

When we want to measure auto accident fatalities, the metric of fatalities per 100 million miles driven is the one that statisticians use. This formula eliminates the chance that short-term anomalies -- such as a rash of multi-vehicle or multi-passenger accidents in a certain state -- will cause fluctuations in the rate that are not related to the true cause of the accident or accidents. The fatality rate for the last 90 years in the US looks like this:

Year Fatality Rate
(Per 100 MVM)
Fatal Accident Rate
(Per 100 MVM)
1921 - 24.1 NA
1930 - 15.1 NA
1940 - 10.9 NA
1950 - 7.2 NA
1960 - 5.1 NA
1970 - 4.7 NA
1980 - 3.3 3.0
1985 - 2.5 2.2
1990 - 2.1 1.9
1995 - 1.7 1.5
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Converting these numbers into a graph, gives you the following:

Looking at these facts, I can draw a few conclusions: The creation of drunk driving laws and the lowering of the intoxication level to .08% did nothing to reduce the fatality rate. Even more remarkable is that lowering the national speed limit to 55 miles per hour in 1973, and the subsequent raising of the speed limit to 70 miles per hour also had no effect on the fatality rate.

Now we are being duped by calls for saving lives again, when the true goal is control of our lives.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Canada's gun laws

There are many on the more control side of the gun debate that like to point out that Canada has a lower murder rate, and claim that the difference is due to the strict gun laws of our northern neighbors. Comparing the US crime rates to Canada is an apples and oranges comparison.

The entire nation of Canada has a population that is smaller than the state of California, yet Canada's population is spread over an area that is roughly the same as that of the entire United States. That results in a population density that is much lower than the United States. (Canada has a population density of 9.7 people per square mile, the US 79 people per square mile.) This is evidenced by the fact that Canada only has 3 cities with a population over 2 million people.

Even so, violent crime rates (per 100,000 population) between Canada  and the US will surprise you. The violent crime rate in Canada is 1282  per 100,000. The violent crime rate in the US is 386 per 100,000.
The murder rate in Canada is lower overall, until you exclude the large urban areas from the US statistics, and compare the areas of the US with similar population density areas of Canada. Exclude US cities with a population of over 3 million, and in this apples to apples comparison, the US actually has a lower murder rate than does Canada.

I believe that this indicates that we have a problem with culture in  our large cities more than it indicates a gun problem, being that our suburban and rural communities have a higher rate of firearms ownership than do the cities. At any rate, the scientific method dictates that in examining and comparing different data sets, one must eliminate all variables, except the one that is being compared. For that reason, a straight comparison of the US murder rate and the murder rate of any other country is not a valid comparison.

Sources:
FBI Uniform crime report:
Canada Crime report:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Status Asthmaticus

A 7 year old girl is brought into the emergency room, having an asthma attack. The staff of the emergency department gives her three updraft treatments of albuterol and atrovent, and 125mg of Solumedrol. Since she is still complaining that she cannot breathe, the staff calls for a Critical Care ambulance to transport her to the children's hospital for further treatment.
Upon arrival, the critical care paramedic sees a child who is obviously tiring of her respiratory effort, and her vitals show it: Her SaO2 is 86% on 2 liters by cannula, Heart Rate is 152, BP is 102/64. Her EtCO2 (which the hospital emergency department does not have the equipment to measure) shows a waveform that is too flat to determine is the classic "sharkfin" is present or not, and has a level of 16mmHg.
The hospital is busy debating on whether to give her another albuterol and atrovent treatment, epiniephrine, or intubating her. The paramedic asks why they have not given her a smooth muscle relaxer like magnesium sulfate, and the nurse replies that the doctor was worried that it might lower the patient's blood pressure. Of course, he was perfectly willing to give a beta agonist like albuterol to a patient who wasn't exchanging enough air for it to work, and risk sending the already tachycardic patient's heart rate even higher. Epinephrine would also increase the tachycardia.

The scenario illustrates some big flaws in how hospitals treat respiratory problems:

- Hospital emergency rooms, for the most part, do not monitor capnography, even though it is the most effective way of measuring pulmonary gas exchange on a realtime basis.
- Doctors not being the all knowing, perfect beings that the medical profession would have us treat them like
- The doctor not realizing that intubation is NOT therapeutic to asthmatics. This is a small airway problem, and will not be resolved by putting a tube in the trachea. 

In this scenario, the paramedic called medical control and requested and received orders for 25mg of magnesium sulfate over ten minutes. By the end of that ten minute period, her blood pressure was still 100/58, her heart rate was down to 122, SaO2 100%, and her capnograph showed a square wave at 38mmHg. Her lung sounds were clear, and she was breathing normally.

To everyone: We should be the masters of basic medical problems. Epi and albuterol are not magic fixes for everything respiratory.
To doctors: Medics occasionally know what they are doing

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Dead cop writes 2,000 posthumous traffic tickets

In a followup to last week's post about the traffic camera ticket that was written to the stationary automobile, I found another article: Over 2,000 traffic tickets were sent out from a traffic camera, even though the officer who "reviewed" and signed the citations had been dead for months.

So much for the review system. Reminds me of the Robosigning scandal.

Pointless

The recent shooting in CT has brought them out of the woodwork. The anti-gunners. They smell blood, and they think that this is their moment. As one of my anti-gun friends put it, the shooting in CT is the best thing that could have happened for the gun control movement. They are reveling in the deaths of those children.

I made the statement that gun owners are as responsible for the CT shooting as gays are for what happened at Penn State, and I was informed by a former coworker that no one at Penn State died, and that guns kill people, and if they were illegal, we would save many lives. No matter what I said, the talking points kept coming, and no amount of discussion would allow a point to be conceded. I walked away. There is no changing the mind of the zealot. The ironic part is that this guy has such an anger problem that he was once suspended at work and not allowed to return until he completed an anger management course.

Not all of the people who are currently calling for gun restrictions are beyond reason. I asked one woman who was demanding gun laws:

Suppose it was shown that the reporting of violent crime has a causal effect on copycat murders. Would you support a law that would make it illegal for the press to report violent crime? If not, why not?

She conceded that it is a bad idea to restrict rights, but then said that 

Of course not. But I see your point and I'm not saying that taking away your 2nd amendment right is the solution. You have a right to bear arms as do I. I just don't believe that adding additional guns to an already violent and self-absorbed society is the solution. I don't know if anything can be done at this point to change things. The lack of self-control, misguided anger, obsession with violence whether in music or film is destroying this country.
 I asked how a gun law would change a nationwide obsession with violence. She did not reply.

For that reason, I have decided to only speak to people who are willing to have an actual discussion, and not simply an argument where they scream about how inanimate objects are evil, how I am a wannabe killer, or any other such nonsense. I will simply accept that those people wish to deprive me of my rights, and remove them from my life. I will no longer be friends with anyone that wants to restrict my rights based upon the actions of another person.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mass murder

The worst mass murders in United States history:

The World Trade Center Attacks: 2,996 killed by men wielding box cutters in 2001
Oklahoma City bombing: 168 killed, over 650 injured by a man with a bomb made from fertilizer in 1995
The Happy Land Fire: 87 people killed by a man using a gasoline can
The Bath School bombing: 45 killed (38 of them children) and 58 injured by a man with a bomb in 1927

Killers using guns didn't even make the top four...

Monday, December 17, 2012

YOUR rights aren't important

Although not a hard core anti-gunner, I have a friend who is a hard core Democrat. This is what she had to tell me on Facebook about new gun laws in the wake of the Connecticut shooting:

you know they have to do something, public outcry and all. and restricting guns is the easiest thing to address. i'm sure you'll get to keep most if not all of your arsenal. and soon there will be another shooting/bombing/mass casualty event and they'll realize (hopefully) they were going at it the wrong way. i'm not sure what the answer is. things like this are just always going to happen. you can't control all the factors in events like that.
This is the mental disconnect: They are aware that gun laws will not work, but will vote to remove your rights any way. Since gun ownership isn't important to them, they will gladly throw your rights under the bus.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Blood dancing

Shieffer at CBS news says that this shooting may be what gets an assault weapons ban passed.

A hostette at MSNBC, Alex Wagner, said, "Hopefully, this shooting will result in political capital to reform gun laws. It is hopefully -- and we say this every single time we cover one of these things. There's gotta be some kind of measurable change, some kind of reaction. One would hope there would be some political capital to reform the way in which we handle gun and gun violence in this country."

The Obama White House lost no time in releasing a statement calling for an assault weapons ban.

Dancing in the blood of the victims.

1984 is here, and we paid for it

So a post over at Tam's place got me thinking. Specifically, the link to the cameras and microphones on buses, and the link that Tam placed in the comments about what the Feds can get without a warrant. There is even scarier technology than that. For example, there is this software that allows a person to listen in on calls, and even activate "environmental listening" where the phone is used as a "bug" that allows a person to remotely activate your cell phone's microphone in order to listen in on whatever is happening in the room- all without the knowledge of the cell phone's owner.

You would be foolish indeed if you believed that the police have not been exploiting this capability. The government doesn't need to bug your house, you are doing it for them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Money, it's a gas

A speed camera issues a ticket to a stationary car. The real story here isn't that one car was erroneously ticketed. No, the real story is the fact that Baltimore's 164 cameras have issued $48 million in tickets over the last three years. If the amount of the ticket, $40, is typical, this means that 400,000 tickets a year are issued by those 164 cameras: roughly 2400 tickets for each camera.

The officers that review the pictures before they are issued review and issue 1200 tickets per day. On an 8 hour workday, that leaves just 24 seconds for each picture to be reviewed and a citation issued. In other words, this is nothing but a revenue generator with few safeguards or oversight.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Volunteerism is not the answer

There are a couple of reasons why volunteer fire departments don't work in many cases. In rural communities, they are an excellent resource, but after a response area reaches a certain size, they generally (with a few exceptions) don't work.
1. Insurance companies: The real mission of the fire department is not to put out fires. It is to save the members of a community money through reducing insurance costs. Fire departments are rated by the insurance services organization on a scale of 10 (no fire department) to 1 (very few departments achieve this). Rankings range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst. An ISO Class 3 rating is a very good rating especially for a department that has both paid and volunteer staff. Class 1 is very difficult to achieve as it means total fire protection. Departments that are outside city limits tend to receive Class 8 or 9 because of extended response times and lack of water supply, and this is true whether or not the department is paid or volunteer.

This is where volunteers shine. In rural areas, the cost/benefit of maintaining a paid department is out shone by volunteers.

2 Liability: In general, it is difficult to discipline volunteers. After all, it isn't as if you can suspend them without pay or terminate them. In addition, many younger volunteers tend to drive way, way too fast when responding to calls, and they tend to freelance more. This causes liability issues, especially in urban areas where there are more chances of hitting someone.

3 Activity levels: The training and response levels demanded of firefighters increases every year. In urban and busy suburban departments, a fire station may easily run 3,000 or more calls per year. It is difficult to find volunteers who will dedicate themselves like this. I know there are departments who have volunteers at this level, but they are the exception, and not the rule.

There are other reasons, but these are the big ones. I say this after spending 8 years as a volunteer and having to face all of the above issues. Volunteerism used to be fairly strong in central Florida, but it has all but disappeared within the last 5 years. That is also the case in many other areas of the country.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Medicare fraud

There are many paramedics out there who work for private ambulance companies and claim that paramedics in the public sector (like firemedics) are incompetent and lazy. While I admit that this is true in many cases, I also have to say that the state of the for profit medical world today is committing fraud for profit.

When I worked for the fire department, there were many paramedics that did everything that they could to get out of doing work: this often meant that patients were shortchanged and care suffered in the name of laziness. I fought the battle against lazy medics for years.

The flip side of that is what happens in for profit systems: systematic Medicare and insurance fraud.You see, insurance and Medicare will not pay for a patient to travel anywhere by ambulance, unless there is no cheaper way for the patient to safely get to his destination. Here is how and why it becomes a systematic fraud on the taxpayer:

When a person is in a nursing home, the nursing home gets paid a fee for the housing and basic care of the person. This includes food, medicine, and transportation to medical appointments. For a patient who is on dialysis, this means three trips a week to and from the dialysis center. The only way that a nursing home can get out of paying for the transportation is if an ambulance is required because of the person's inability to take another means of transportation. This creates a situation where the ambulance company lies to get the business, and the nursing home lies to get out of paying for the person's transportation.

It is so bad, that some nursing homes tell the physical therapists that they should stop rehabilitating a person's ability to walk once they can walk 30 feet. Anything more than that, and the person is considered no longer eligible to ride in an ambulance. The ambulance company then instructs the transport crews to avoid using the word "ambulatory" in reports, and even threatens termination for any crew that allows a patient to walk to the truck and/or stretcher.

I have been on calls before where we are supposed to take a person from home to dialysis, and the person pulls up next to us in traffic while driving their own car, and told us she will be home in 5 minutes so we can take her to her appointment. Does that sound like an ambulance is the only way for her to go?

Private ambulances doing transfers, 911 calls, nursing homes, hospitals. The health system of this nation is broken, and riddled with fraud. Making everyone have insurance is not going to make it any better.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Not a soft and fuzzy world

When I was in graduate school, I was telling some of my fellow students a story about 911 abusers, and one in particular. This patient used to call 911 at 3 am from the payphone outside of his favorite bar, and complain of chest pain. When we arrived at the hospital, he would get off the stretcher and walk across the street to his sister's house. He would also call when he had no money for food. The hospital would give him a sandwich, and he would then leave. In all, he was transported by EMS to the hospital an astonishing 284 times in a calendar year. He once broke into a fire station and stole uniforms and personal items, and was caught by the police walking down the street in a firefighter's uniform. One afternoon, he was found by a patrol officer, floating face down in a pond, having fallen in while intoxicated and drowned. We had ice cream and cake that night to celebrate his passing. The world is a better place without this welfare and resource abusing loser.

When I told that story, the other students and a professor who was there were horrified that we could be so callous as to celebrate a person's death. I was told that we should be nice to everyone, and remember that people can be down on their luck, and that we are all one month's pay from being in his shoes. I asked, "what we should do when a patient tells me to suck his dick?"
The professor, "You should tell the patient that we will not stand for that sort of language."
I say: "Then the patient tells you to kiss his ass."
The professor says, "Well, then you tell him that if he continues to behave that way, you will fire him as a patient."
I tell her, "You know that in emergency medicine, the law says that I have to treat him no matter what, don't you? The patients know this, and they know that they can have a lot of fun with you, especially if they know you are a pushover that will take whatever they dish out."
 The professor, "Well, that is why I never worked in emergency medicine."

And therein lies the problem. There are a lot of people who would and could never do your job, have no idea how to do your job, and have never seen what you have to do to accomplish it, yet are just filled with helpful advice and opinions on how you should be doing your job.

This reminds me of a scene in the movie "Demolition Man"

Squad Leader: Simon Phoenix! Lie down with your hands behind your back.
Simon Phoenix: What's this? Six of you. Such nice, tidy uniforms. Oh I'm so scared!
[the Police Officers look at each other]
Simon Phoenix: What you guys don't have sarcasm anymore?
[Police Officer talks to his automated assistant]
Squad Leader: Maniac has responded with a scornful remark.
automated assistant: Approach, and repeat ultimatum in an even firmer tone of voice. Add the words, "or else". 

To all of those people, I have a message: Until you have done that job, you have no idea what it is like, dealing with the trash of society. Many people out there do not act like those who operate in polite society. They respond to courtesy and polite language as a junkyard dog does to fear: that is, they see it as a sign of weakness, and will exploit that weakness to their own advantage.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More than meets the eye

Many on the right were quick to condemn the unions for running hostess into bankruptcy. Of course, like most issues, there is another side to the story. It seems that the union in question actually agreed to take a pay cut in order to help stave off bankruptcy the time the union contract came up for renewal in 2004. Shortly thereafter, the executives of Hostess received substantial performance bonuses and large raises.

Fast forward to 2012, the union refused to take a pay cut, fearing that the money that they surrendered would simply be used again to reward executives. It seems that the fears were not totally misplaced, with executives getting a bonus equal to 75% of their annual pay:

The update on the sale process came as Hostess also received approval to give its top executives bonuses totaling up to $1.8 million for meeting certain budget goals during the liquidation. The company says the incentive pay is needed to retain the 19 corporate officers and "high-level managers" for the wind down process, which could take about a year.

In fact, earlier this year, the CEO of the company saw his own pay rate TRIPLE to $2.5 million per year, and other executives received 80% pay raises. Blaming the union because they won't take a pay cut, but holding the executives who gave themselves huge pay raises harmless, is the epitome of cluelessness. 
 
Anyone want to take bets as to how many of those corporate officers will receive high paying jobs at the new companies?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Doomsday Preppers

This evening, I sat and watched the show for the first time. One of the families was a prepper group that was preparing for a New Madrid earthquake event. They were pretty well set up with food, farming, honey bees, and a decent skill set. They had a prepper community of about 30 people in the area that traded skills and supplies. There was one main flaw in their preparations: security.

They claimed that they ethically did not want to have guns and ammunition like the "right wingers" and said that their main security was being part of a nurturing, friendly community of people who would support each other. They said that should a marauding band of armed people come to take their stuff, they would feed them and offer to trade with them. If that failed, they claim that they will poison the attackers with the food supply, or cut their throats while they sleep.

That tells me that it is not an ethical issue about violence, but a fear of inanimate objects. It also tells me that since they have no way of protecting their food and supplies, they will not keep them for very long.

I also concluded that the preppers in this show make the prepping community look like a bunch of idiots. From the 400 pound guy running around his yard with a rifle, to the family that was building a bunker to defend against a world wide tornado swarm, this show make preppers look like a bunch of loons. Maybe that is because the first rule of prepping is to keep a low profile, and the only preppers who would go on such a show are the dumb ones.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The extent of the problem

When the US federal government spends money, expenses are officially categorized in three different ways:

Mandatory spending includes entitlements like Medicare, Social Security, VA benefits, etc. which are REQUIRED by law to be paid.

Interest on the debt. 

Discretionary spending includes nearly everything we think of related to government– the Military, all of the Alphabet agencies, the courts, Federal prisons, foreign aid, food stamps, welfare, bailouts, etc.

The two categories that must be spent every year are the interest on the debt, and mandatory spending. That totaled about $2.5 trillion in FY 2011.

The government took in about $2.3 trillion in tax revenue in FY2011. Even if the rest of government had been shut down, we would still have a $200 billion deficit. With the discretionary fund, this resulted in a deficit of $1.3 trillion.

What does this mean? This means that the government could confiscate 100% of the income of the top 1% of wage earners (anyone who makes more than $340,000 a year), and there would still be a $300 billion deficit.

In fact, increasing the taxes of all Americans by a third (133% of last year) would still require that all government discretionary spending be cut in half.

Does anyone here think that we can fix this?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Here we go

My local gun store opened at 7 a.m. this morning. By 8:30, they had sold 15 AR15 rifles, their entire inventory. Also, there are no magazines to be had, and they are running out of ammo. They also told me that calls to their distributors have revealed that all black rifles and their magazines will be back ordered for the foreseeable future.
I wonder how many of the people buying these guns today voted for Obama yesterday.

(I voted for Johnson.)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sex

Being a post whore, there is a topic that is guaranteed to get hits: Sex. A recent study showed that women's sexual appetite falls as a relationship ages, while the appetite of men remains constant.

This creates a bit of a question in my mind: For women, as the "shiny" wears off, her desire to have sex diminishes. Does this mean that this predisposes women to have an affair with a new male, who would presumably trigger increased desire, or does it mean that the man who has the same desire as he always had will be predisposed to an affair with a woman that still desires sex?

In other words, are we as humans biologically designed to preclude monogamy?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Safety question

So we all know the four rules:

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

My question is this:
When is it acceptable to violate any given rule? For example:
A gun isn't loaded when it has a chamber flag in place. In SWAT training, we have our firearms inspected to ensure that they are not loaded, a chamber flag is placed, and no loaded magazines or ammunition is allowed in training. We then spend the rest of the afternoon pointing guns at each other for training. This violates at least two, possibly all four, of the rules.

Every time you carry in a shoulder holster, you violate rule 2. Can you violate rule two if the action is locked open? If not, then how do you put your weapon in the case? Approach the firing line? Attach a suppressor? If you have a firearm that has the action locked open, and there is no magazine in the well, is it a sin to sweep someone?

For rule three, how can you disassemble your Glock?

My point is that there are times when the rules don't apply. Where is that limit?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Death penalty

I used to be in favor of the death penalty. My opinion has changed over the past few years: I am in favor of the death penalty in theory, but after seeing the innocence project and the Duke Lacrosse case, I am of the opinion that our legal system is too corrupt to ensure that we are not executing the innocent.

Maurice Patterson was convicted of murder in 2002 for a fight where the victim was stabbed 14 times. Three people witnessed the fight, fleetingly and in the dark, and a fourth witness claimed to have seen a man with blood on his hand hiding from the police. All four witnesses identified Maurice Patterson in a live lineup weeks after the attack, but they only testified regarding these identifications after being threatened with Contempt of Court.

A bloody knife was found near the scene and sent to Orchid Cellmark for DNA testing. STR test results excluded Patterson, indicating a mixture of the victim’s profile and an unknown profile. Comparison to the State CODIS DNA database revealed that the unknown profile belonged to a drug addict with a history of violence. Though the State Police Forensic Science Center had been notified that the sample included the victim’s blood, this information was never directly communicated to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors continued with the case against Patterson regardless of the exculpatory results.





Robert Wilcoxson and Kenneth Kagonyera served almost 10 years in North Carolina prisons for a murder they didn’t commit before a three-judge panel overturned their convictions on September 22, 2011, based on DNA evidence proving innocence.

In this case, a man was killed during a home invasion, and police managed to secure confessions from the two defendants. Three bandanas and two pairs of gloves were located on the side of the road near the Bowman residence and were collected by deputies as evidence in the case. The bandanas and gloves found near the crime scene were submitted for pre-trial DNA testing. Results excluded all six co-defendants, however this information was never turned over to Kagonyera or Wilcoxson’s attorneys.

Sure, we have DNA and such, but when the system is so corrupt that exculpatory evidence is "lost" or buried, we are executing the innocent. That makes us all as a society guilty of murder.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm....seriously?

So there is this category one hurricane heading for the northeast, and we are being subjected to a nationwide news blitz about how there will be death and destruction. I pointed out that there is a bit of hyperbole going on here, and I see comments about how the central pressure of the storm makes it a cat 4. You Yankees are smoking crack. It isn't the minimum central pressure that is important in a hurricane, it is the sustained winds. As of this writing, Sandy has maximum winds of about 90mph. That makes it a Category One on the Saffir-Simpson scale. At Cat1, all we do here is evacuate trailer parks and beach fronts. New York panics and closes elevators, mass transit, the Stock Exchange, and tunnels.

In Orlando, when Hurricanes Charley (CAT4) and Frances (CAT3) made landfall in 2004, Walt Disney World closed for half a day. I thought New Yorkers brag about toughness! What does this mean? Why is this a bad thing?

In 2004, the fire department that I worked for had just hired a new chief. He was from New York, and as Hurricane Charley neared, the chairman of our department's hurricane committee wanted to meet with him to discuss our disaster plan with him. His reply was that they got hurricanes in New York all the time, they were not any worse than a nor'easter, and he then left to attend a conference in New Orleans.

The town had major damage, power was out for two weeks, and he was unable to get a flight back. He had to rent a car and drive back. Making such a big deal out of a minor storm puts a false sense of security the next time a REAL hurricane nears, and that endangers lives.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

No cops here

This is what happens when citizens decide that they can do the jobs of the police: The cops, of course, claim that policing should be left to the professionals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Answer

The answer to yesterday's post:
If you look, every other complex has a different shape to the 'P' wave, and is followed by a compensatory pause, making them PACs. This means that the rhythm is Atrial Bigeminy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

For you medics

Here is an interesting strip. This is an unusual find, and the first time that I have ever seen this particular rhythm. (Hint: It is NOT an AV block.)



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Amazon fail

Amazon's customer service is horrible. I pay for Amazon prime. This costs $80 a year, and you are supposed to get free two day shipping on in stock items. On Thursday the 4th, I ordered two books that I need for work, and the items were listed as being in stock. I expected them by Monday the 8th. They haven't even shipped yet, and the expected delivery date is now showing up as next Friday the 12th. I tried to cancel the order, and a reply by automated message said that I could not, because the items had already shipped.

So, I contacted customer service, and they said:


We normally obtain the books from a supplier who can usually send it to us as soon as possible from the time your order is placed; however; in this case, the supplier has taken longer than expected to make this item available.

Our reliance on suppliers and manufacturers for information about their stock means that, occasionally, our database will not reflect all changes.

I've checked and it looks like we’re waiting to receive more inventories for your book. Though we're unable to give exact date when we can obtain stock or ship your order at this time but rest assured that we're working with our suppliers so that we can try to have your order shipped as soon as possible. I hope you'll understand that we do our best to ensure that all of our customer orders leave our fulfillment centers as fast as we can.

 In other words, the item is not in stock and never was. They are merely a middle man, and don't have anything in stock. In the meantime, I can't cancel, so I am stuck waiting. Maybe Amazon is slipping, and I will have to go back to buying from brick and mortar stores.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Enemy of the state

It seems like the ATF is a bit angry at the 3D handgun printing project. They are giving the folks a hard time about it, and claiming that manufacturing a pistol without a manufacturers license is against the law, even if you have no intention of selling it. That is not in keeping with longstanding regulations.

In related news, the manufacturer of the printer has revoked the printer lease. I wonder if the ATF had anything to do with that.

The comments on the article are pretty stupid: this is all necessary to prevent terrorists from printing guns. As if you can't already buy full auto AK47s made by hand in a cave in Afghanistan for $15.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another sign to ignore

This sign comes to us from Orlando Regional Medical Center:


You will remember from this post that Florida Hospital also has signs up. Since nearly all of the hospitals in the Orlando area are either part of the ORMC or Florida Hospital chain, going to the hospital either means ignoring the sign or becoming an unarmed victim.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cinemark

Proving that the Cinemark theaters didn't learn anything from having their theater shot up in Aurora, the Cinemark theater in Orlando posts the following sign:

First, I don't understand how me having a concealed firearm interferes with anyone enjoying the show.

See, this theater doesn't care if a shooter comes in and kills you. They don't care if you get raped, robbed, or murdered in the parking lot. Even though their policy leaves you defenseless, and is a contributing cause of your death, they won't pay a dime in compensation to you. The reason is that the law doesn't hold them responsible for what the criminal does, even though the situation that allowed the criminal to do it was entirely of their creation.

One could argue that Cinemark has a moral obligation, but good luck with that.

For that reason, I noted that Florida law doesn't grant this sign the force of law, and carried there anyway. One could argue that I have a moral obligation to obey the sign, but good luck with that.



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mid life crisis?

That is what all of my friends are saying. I bought a new 2013 Challenger RT. This car is fast, and a real joy to drive. I don't care if it IS a mid life crisis, I am enjoying the hell out of it.



With the 5.7 liter (347 cubic inch) Hemi in it, it moves like a rocket.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Requiring sick time

If you remember, I posted a few months back about a push to have a referendum on the ballot for voters to approve a law that would require Orange County employers offer sick leave to their employees. The law would require that an employer give employees one hour off with pay for each 37 hours the employee works. This will increase labor costs by at least three percent.

Of course, there were lawsuits. Unfortunately for the socialists, they sued the wrong person. By the time they got around to suing the correct one, it was too late to stop the ballots, which were already being printed.

The thinking astounds me. The proponents of the law say that "it's wrong for employees to be punished financially if they're too ill to come into work." but see no problem with punishing a business financially if the employee doesn't work.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sailor Curt hacked?

Looks like the "Captain of a Crew of One" has had a bit of a mutiny, unless we are to believe that he has posted 46 posts today about cutting hair...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Don't ask

A firefighter is forced to resign for writing a Facebook post after a call where a 2-year-old was hit by a car, allegedly stating that the child was unattended and asking where the mother was.

How many times have we all wondered the same thing? It's a shame that a man has lost his job, and three others are facing discipline, while the irresponsible parent gets nothing for allowing this child to be out on the street to be injured.

Public safety agencies are so worried about this politically correct attitude, so afraid of ruffling feathers, that they  would rather hang employees out to dry than ask why a 2 year old was on the street unsupervised.

Yet another reason why I retired. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

For the medics

Medic Protip of the day: Sepsis in an infant causes intravascular volume depletion via increased capillary permeability and vasodilation. This is a form of distributive shock. The therapy of choice for pediatric patients with sepsis (as evidenced by tachycardia and increased capillary refill time in a febrile patient) is bolus doses of isotonic crystalloid or colloid fluids. This should be done until perfusion improves, or new onset rales develops. Dose is 10-20 ml/kg, titrated to heart rate, capillary refill, urinary output, and changes in level of consciousness.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's war

So I sat through a class this week that has been given to all military personnel for the past through years, called Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC). The course was being taken by a variety of students, including two cops, five paramedics, two paramedic students, six firemedics, and a prepper.

The instructor introduces the course, and says how topical and important it is, because of spree shooters, and how they present a great risk to rescuers. He then mentions that the recent shooting in New York, and holds it up as an example of why the course is so important.

So I pointed out to him that 10 of the 11 people shot in the incident were shot by the responders. He argued with me and told me how wrong I was, until another student backed me up. His comment at that point was "Oh well, casualties of war."

That is the mentality that is present in the police force, summed up in one conversation.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Taking ownership

One of the struggles that I have as an EMS educator and as a practitioner is laziness. That is, too many people in the medical field want to take the easy way out. They want to do the minimum that will not get them fired or sued, and then move on to the next task.

I have seen incompetent doctors, paramedics, nurses, and other supposed professionals do what is in their own best interest, and not what is in the patient's best interest. In many cases, that means blindly following some algorithm or procedure, without applying even the smallest bit of thought to what is actually going on with the patient.

As an educator, I even see this all of the time. Paramedic students who are being asked to learn the underlying physiology and mechanisms of a patient, to better treat and help that patient, frequently complain that the class is too hard. They just want to learn protocol. They want to practice cookbook medicine.

I teach paramedic classes at a two year, private college. As a part of ongoing QI, the school looks at a list of data. They look at the passing rates of graduates taking state board exams, the completion rates of the students taking the courses, and they also do a quarterly opinion poll where the students get to rate the instructors. There are four instructors who work in the paramedic education department.

In this poll, the students complained that two of the instructors simply read the power points to them. I always hated that as a student, and I have always tried to avoid that. I really believe that the instructors who teach that way are doing so because they are not familiar with the material.

The complaints in the poll about my class were that it was too difficult, that they only want to learn: "if you see symptom A, give drug Y" and not have to learn anything about the underlying processes. I was told by the department head that I have to "dumb down" my classes, so that the poll numbers look better. It looks like I will have to teach cookbook medicine from now on.

I am ready to go back to the clinical environment. I have been teaching for eight years, and retired from paramedicine for 9 months. I am ready to get out of academia.I don't want to create technicians, I want to create professionals. It looks like I am trying to deliver a product that no one wants.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Getting help doesn't make you a threat

2003

Three minutes after the initial call to 911, we arrived at the front of a small, well-kept house, a typical one for the area. There are toys scattered about the yard, undoubtedly left there by a small child.

The first through the door, I arrive in a rush and take in the scene. Even now, nine years later, that image is burned into my memory as clearly as if it were yesterday. There is a small child lying on the couch in the living room, a small pitiful figure, his skin is a mottled gray. He is covered in water and appears lifeless.

An adult male is standing next to the couch. He is soaked from the waist down, his clothing disheveled; his eyes red-rimmed, he looks like a wild man. I will not find out that this man was the child’s uncle for another fifteen minutes.

I pick up the child, and he is cold. He does not stir, even when I harshly pinch his arm. I move to the door, to the safety and privacy of the truck.

On the way out to my ambulance, I quickly look him over. He is about three years old, 12 kilos or so. Lying lifeless in my arms, he doesn't appear to be doing very well. He isn't breathing and has no pulse. My mind already computing drug dosages and accessing protocols, I reach for my radio and called in a “code” to the dispatch center.

I place my lips over the child's mouth, and give gentle breaths. Chest compressions. Breaths.

We arrive at the truck, and I select the proper sized ET tube, and slide it down his throat. My partner begins squeezing the bag, and I start an IV.

I place him on the monitor, and I note that he is in asystole. Not good.

I knew then that we had already lost the battle.

As the helicopter flew away, taking with it the small, pitiful body once so full of life, so precious to all who knew him, his Uncle approached and asked me what he should tell his brother. He wanted to know how to tell a man that his baby boy drowned in a backyard pool while his Uncle took a shower.

I was in therapy for that call for a while. It was hard to deal with. I even took anti-depressant medication for about 6 months. It was tough living with the ghosts of that call. I still get teary eyed sometimes when I think about that day, about what I could have done differently. Normal reactions, I think, to such a tragedy.

There are those who would deny me the right to own a firearm because I feel pain at the loss of a child. They wish to see people lost their rights without a hearing or a trial, simply because I sought help when I needed it. Millions of Americans seek therapy, or take anti-depressants, and own firearms. None of them killed anyone yesterday.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Robin Hood

So there is this member of Spain's Parliament that uses his immunity to become a self-styled Robin Hood, claiming to rob the rich to give to the poor. Of course, he ignores the true story of Robin Hood. You see, Robin Hood didn't rob from the rich to feed the poor, he robbed from the government and returned the money to the people.

The very antithesis of Socialism.

Friday, August 17, 2012

TSA self justification

The TSA claims that they have confiscated a large number of dangerous articles, including 821 firearms; a live 40mm high explosive grenade; a bottle wrapped in black electrical tape and filled with flash powder, three M-80 fireworks; a black powder flask filled with 5oz. of black powder; an explosively-viable cannonball; a live blasting cap; and a grenade launcher.

Of course, the picture that they provided was of four different handguns. I am betting you that most of this article is complete bullshit. Why does the media only report what they are told in press releases, instead of going out and doing some investigative reporting?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vacation

This is a prescheduled post. I left for vacation yesterday, to stay on the beach and do some sightseeing and SCUBA diving. This is a mini-trip. I will be back by Thursday evening.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Signs, everywhere signs

Florida Hospital is a large chain of hospitals located in Florida. In fact, with 22 campuses located throughout the state, it is the largest chain of hospitals in Florida. A non-profit hospital, it is operated by the Seventh Day Adventist church. There are many things that the hospital prohibits on their campus, such as pork products. They are so strict, that the lease for the portion of land that is leased to Wendy's  prohibits the restaurant from serving bacon or ham.

Every one of the hospitals is posted with the following sign:


The sign is misleading. Chapter 790 only prohibits weapons and firearms in a pharmacy, and even so, law enforcement and those licensed to carry concealed weapons are exempt. Since you are prohibited from carry firearms unless you fall into either of those categories, that particular law is redundant. There are no laws prohibiting a person with a concealed weapons permit from carrying a weapon in a hospital, nor do signs carry the force of law in this state.

Even so, the law prohibiting weapons in a pharmacy does not extend to the entire hospital, just to the portion of the hospital that is the pharmacy. This sign is deliberately misleading, which indicates to me that the SDA church is being less than honest when it comes to this signage. 

I ignore the sign and enter with my weapon anyway.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cops are still a waste of money

Being retired, I still speak with quite a few of the people that I used to be professionally associated with. I was speaking with a Deputy Sheriff who was telling me a story that I cannot believe.

First, let me set the stage: There is a neighborhood in Osceola County Florida called Buenaventura Lakes. Locals refer to it as BVL. The BVL community continues into Orange County, but whichever side of the county line you are on, BVL is a high crime area where the majority of citizens don't speak English as a primary language, murders and other violent crimes are common, and the reality police shows have filmed more than one episode. Gangs are prevalent, and you don't want to be caught in this area after dark. The western edge of this area was my primary response area for eight years. I saw more than a few serious crimes in that area.

Early one recent morning, the Osceola County Sheriff's department was responding to the report of a dead body in the road in the vicinity of BVL boulevard and  Osceola Parkway. After a thirty minute search, they located the body in the middle of the road, but the body was located a half mile north of the Orange County line, where BVL Boulevard becomes Landstar Blvd. This means that the body was clearly outside of the jurisdiction of the Osceola deputies. The man had been killed elsewhere, and then dumped from a moving vehicle into the road. The deputies decided to secure the crime scene, call the Orange county Sheriff's department, and wait to turn it over to them, so that the Orange deputies could work the scene.

They were told that the Sheriff's office doesn't work dead bodies in the road, because this was likely a pedestrian accident, and that the deputies should call the Florida Highway Patrol. The Orange sheriff's office said they didn't have the manpower. Calls the SO also doesn't respond to, due to lack of manpower: Reports of shots fired, suspicious persons, auto accidents, noise complaints, and other "non serious calls."

Orange county Sheriff's office is the department that wouldn't investigate when checks were being stolen from my mailbox and being deposited in the thief's bank account, and they cited manpower issues. It appears as though those issues have not subsided.

Except that I drove six miles to work yesterday, and I saw no less than six motorists get pulled over for traffic offenses. The Orange County sheriff's office doesn't have the manpower to respond to a dead body in the middle of the road, but they can sure as hell write you a $254 ticket for running a red light.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Threats

So I was one of the evaluators for a class of paramedics. This was not a class that I had a lot of contact with, because I was gone to grad school during most of their time there. I think that I may have covered three or four lectures for that class, and that is it.

Anyway, for the final, there is a written exam and twelve practical stations. There are stations that evaluate a candidate's knowledge of cardiology, ACLS, and general medicine. Two of the stations are proctored by physicians, and the physician walks you through a medical scenario to see if you know your stuff. One of the students failed one of these physician medicated scenarios, and I went to explain to him that he had failed, and why. Once this is complete, we give the student a chance to try another scenario. A student can fail two stations and retest them. Fail three, or fail the retest, and you fail the entire year of paramedic school. While I was explaining this to the student, he got angry and belligerent, and began yelling at me. I didn't feel like dealing with it, so I told him that he would have to speak with the director of the school.

The next day, I was told to retest him. During the scenario, he stated that he wanted to give Dopamine. Since Dopamine is given as an IV drip, I asked him how to mix and administer the drug. He said that he would add 400 mg of the drug to a 500mL IV bag, and this would give him a concentration of 1600 micrograms per mL. The problem is that this results in a mixture that is only 800 micrograms per mL, meaning that the drug was mixed incorrectly at half strength. When I told him that he failed because he mixed the drug incorrectly, he began yelling at me and told me that it was unfair to give him a problem where he had to do drug dose calculations, and accused me of failing him on purpose.

I pointed out that it was his decision to give that particular drug, and when you decide to give a drug, you should know how to do so. He complained loudly to the other instructors that were there, and said how unfair it was that I treated him like that.

When I left the school last night, there was a note under my windshield wiper that said "You are gonna pay for what you did"

I teach a night class tonight, and I leave after my students at 10 pm tonight. Good thing I am armed, and good thing that the classes I teach are not in a location where I am prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon. It is also good that the school's director knows that I carry a weapon, and has no policy against it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Men are killers

So now movie theaters are not allowing men to carry bags into the theater. Women can, but men cannot. Why? Because all men with bags can be a shooter.

This is a million dollar lawsuit in the making. I wish they were local to me, I could use the money.

LA Times and PSH

OK, so the LA Times has their panties in a twist because a man in Ohio brought a loaded gun to a screening of Batman. After the cops arrested him, they found "eight rifles and handguns as well as "survivalist's gear" such as gas masks and bulletproof vests." They also flip out because he is "believed to have spent time in the military." He also sat in a seat that had its back against the wall where he could see the exit, giving himself a tactical advantage, according to police.

Wow.

I saw Batman. I was carrying a handgun. A search of my home would reveal far more than 8 firearms, and a lot of 'survivalist gear.' I even spent six years in the military. I have books on electronics, explosives, chemistry, poisons, and many other topics that could be made to look sinister. So what?

Since when did being a veteran mean that you were a murderer? Since when did carrying a concealed weapon mean that you were going to go on a rampage? Sitting in the back row of a theater makes you the enemy? Is the press in this country completely stupid?

Be sure to enjoy life

As a prepper, I frequently spend time preparing for the bad times that are to come. We must remember that we need to take the time to enjoy life, lest it become not worth preparing for. EM Forster once said "Those who prepare for all the emergencies of life beforehand may equip themselves at the expense of joy."

Do not prepare for emergencies of life at the expense of the enjoyment of  it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

India wants US to have stornger gun laws.

In the wake of this week's shooting at the Sikh temple, the Indian External Affairs Minister wants the US to have stronger gun control. Because strong gun laws like the ones in India prevent massacres like the one in Mumbai, or something. You remember Mumbai: the shooting rampage where over 200 people were killed, and 300 injured, while the police cowered in fear, don't you?
What about the gun control in India?

 Did it prevent the killing of 60 Hindus in a fire that was set by Muslims in 2002? Or the dozens of Muslims killed in the fire set my Hindus in 2011?

Does it prevent the honor killings performed in India when a person dresses in clothes not fitting their caste?

What about the thousands of baby girls who are murdered by their parents because they want a boy?

To the Indian Minister: Fuck off. Mind your own laws before you lecture us about ours.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Carry a gun

Never confront a person who is breaking into your car or home, unless you have a gun in your hand, or they just might kill you.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

PECF

The reason why nothing ever changes in this country is because the politicians in this country are not chosen by the voters. They are chosen by the people who really run things.
A good example of this is the way that campaign financing is set up. The presidential election fund is a fund that the Federal government has used since 1976 to fund election campaigns of presidential candidates. Presidential candidates of the major parties are given about $90 million of tax dollars for their campaign, plus each major party gets another $15 million in public funds. Minor party candidates get some funding, but it is in no way a level playing field.
A major party is defined as any party that received more than 25% of the votes (I believe it used to be 15%) in the previous election. You can see the beauty of this: there are only two major parties, because you need money to get votes, but the only way to have votes is to spend money to get them. This ensures that the only two major parties are the Democrats and the Republicans.
The two parties have primary campaigns, but the powers that be in the party have more to say about who wins than the voters do: think about it, how many debates was Ron Paul allowed to participate in?
This means that the party leaders of the two parties are the ones who decide who the president will be, not the people. The people who are in place will thus ensure that no one upsets the apple cart, so that the parties continue business as usual, giving our money to the powers that be.

Here is how the Presidential campaign fund grants break down (millions of dollars):
YearRepublicansDemocrats Other
2008$103$35$0.88
2004$90$116$0.89
2000$107$110$20.5
1996$117$87$29
1992$82$91$2.4
1988$91$86$0.94
1984$58.5$74.6$0.19
1980$54$44$4.2
1976$33.5$39.2$0.9


Some things here are interesting:
In 2008, Obama turned down the funds, because of restrictions on reporting and funding that come with taking the cash.
In 2000, the Reform party was not able to get the major party status funding, because Perot only captured 8.4% of the vote in 1996, but they were able to get primary funding from the
In 1996, it was the Reform party that managed to score with the campaign cash as a major party, after securing 18.9% of the popular vote in 1992, due to Ross Perot being their candidate in that year.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Squad of Geeks are idiots

Last Saturday, my computer died. I mean, I would push the power button, and nothing happened. I figured that it was either a problem with the power supply or the motherboard, but which was it? I took the power supply into the store that has squads of geeks, and they tested it, and told me that the power supply was working properly.
I ordered a new motherboard ($200) from Newegg. It came in on Thursday, I tested the system, and nothing. I wound up going to the same store on Friday and bought a new power supply. I am now back up. Thanks geeks, for the extra $200 expense.
At least my computer is back up.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Clueless Medics

I got a call from a paramedic at 1 in the a.m. this morning. She works for an ambulance service that responds as a second tier to the fire department, and transports any patients that the firemedic deems is not serious enough for them to handle. The call went like this:
"I need your help. My supervisor won't answer the phone, and I don't know how to handle this. I am on scene of a single vehicle rollover that shattered a telephone pole, and the driver is a 26 year old female who woke up in the grass and didn't remember the crash, or how she got out of the vehicle. She states that she had a single glass of wine, is otherwise appropriate, and is refusing medical care and transport. She states that she doesn't want to be on a backboard or have a C collar. Her vitals are: HR 162, BP 126/78, RR 16. The fire department allowed her to sign a refusal, but I don't think that's right. The other medics here from the fire department are telling me that I'm being too much like a "rookie." What should I do? She is in SVT, and had an accident."
The first thing that you need to know is that this particular medic only got her license 4 months ago. She is a very bright woman, but has no experience. I advised her to talk the lady into going, and if there was no other way, agree to not immobilize her if she agrees to go, and just document that she refused being immobilized. I also told her that she was not likely dealing with SVT, the patient was likely bleeding internally, was in compensated shock, and getting her to the trauma center was a high priority.
Enroute to the hospital, the woman began complaining of abdominal pain, and her abdomen became rigid and distended. It turns out that she had some significant bleeding.
Medics: This is one of the dumbest refusals I've heard of a medic taking. Lazy medics make me angry. Make fun of the new medic for confusing shock and SVT all you want, but at least she was smart enough to know what a sick patient looks like.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Funny calls

Every person who works EMS has a story about a patient who had an object stuck in an orifice. It never ceases to amaze me how many people cook or clean their home in the nude, and wind up with household items wedged in an orifice.
I saw a man with a birthday candle wedged in the end of his penis, where he had placed it for his boyfriend's birthday, so he could blow out the candle. There was the guy with the wire coat hanger, the woman and the glass Coke bottle, and the guy who claimed that a home invader held a gun to his head, and forced him to insert the wooden handle of a BarBQ fork in his rectum, leaving only the metal tines protruding.
By far the winner in this is the unknown medical that we ran to a house only two blocks from the station. We arrived to find a man holding his groin, and it turns out that he had a keyring wrapped around the base of his penis. The member had swollen to the point where it was nearly the diameter of a grapefruit, and was an angry purple color. He said that the ring had been on there for nearly 16 hours. We tried ring cutters, but the keyring was spring steel, and wouldn't even scratch it.
We took him to the hospital with an ice pack for pain, and turned him over to the staff. We found out later that they had to send a nurse to the local hardware store for some metal cutters to get the thing off of him.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Electronic Stone age

On Friday night, I broke one of my main computer rules: I turned off the system. It seems like anytime a computer breaks, it happens when you turn it off. That is exactly what happened. The computer that I built on January 10 decided to go dead after I turned it off on July 27.
Dead. The power button doesn't do anything. The power light is on, but that is the only indication of life. The power supply checks out fine, so a 6 month old EVGA motherboard is dead, the second to die like that this year. I don't think lightning is the cause, as I run the system over a WiFi internet connection, and it is powered with a UPS, which is working fine.
I ordered a new MoBo(an AsRock this time), and it will be here by Thursday. In the meantime, I am tryping this on an older system.
This computer is a Pentium 4 with 512 MB of RAM.
Slow is not the word. At least it is better than the old days, when I had a 4800 baud modem. At any rate, I am checking email on an iPhone, and since the system I have is so slow, no internet and no blogging until my system is back up. That should be Thursday night or Friday.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fringe benefits (mildly NSFW)

One of the fringe benefits of being a firefighter- it is relatively easy to talk women into removing their clothes.


Justice

This is our current justice system:


Friday, July 27, 2012

Shoot Straight

As a part of my ongoing email exchange with Shoot Straight, here is the latest reply that I got from the store:


Please excuse our lack of clarity on the point you raised. Shoot Straight certainly respects the right to lawfully conceal a firearm. As long as the firearm remains concealed, and is not exposed, our staff will not seek it. However, if a staff member sees a firearm, then they may check it to make sure that it is unloaded. The meaning of our door sign that says “concealed means concealed”, is that store patrons that choose to conceal their firearms must keep them concealed at all times throughout their stay – even while on the range. It is against Shoot Straight policy for a customer to unholster their concealed firearm, or draw from concealment on our ranges. We hope this more detailed explanation clarifies any remaining questions. However, please do not hesitate to contact us again if there should be anything else that you might need.
 My remaining question is this: If I enter the store with a lawful concealed weapon, and I want to shoot at the range, are they saying that I must unload it prior to entering the store? I am not sure how to take this.

This is for you

This post goes out to Robert Hewes, who said in comments to this post:
The only incident I can think of off-hand (where a CCW carrier thwarted a mass shooting) was the New Life Church shooting that was ended by a parishioner.
These incidents happen all of the time. They just don't make the news. A mass shooting that doesn't happen thanks to a CCW holder just isn't bloody enough to make the news.

For example, Aurora had another attempted spree shooting two weeks before the Batman shooting:



There is also this shooting, where an armed robber was herding the employees into the rear of the store, and was stopped when the manager shot him in the face. While we don't know that the robber intended to herd them into the back in order to massacre them, it is certainly probable.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Disarmed victims

In the last twenty years, there have been numerous mass shootings worldwide.

- July 22, 2011: Anders Behring Breivik kills 77 in Norway at a youth camp outside the capital. The self-styled anti-Muslim militant admitted both attacks.
This terrorist attack happened at a youth camp, where the child victims were sure to be unarmed.  Gun ownership is also strictly controlled.

- April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, kills 32 people and himself on Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.
This happened on a college campus where guns are banned, thus ensuring that the shooter would carry his crimes out in complete safety, as victims would not have the ability to fight back.
 
- April 28, 1996: Martin Bryant, 29, kills 35 people in the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, Australia.
 Firearms were already strictly controlled in the country, but the killer illegally purchased his weapons without the required license. Due to licensing, his victims, vacation resort guests, were guaranteed to be unarmed and defenseless. Australia virtually outlawed guns in the wake of this incident.

- April 26, 2002: Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, who had been expelled from school in Erfurt, Germany, kills 13 teachers, two former classmates and policeman, before committing suicide.
This killing happened in a country where guns are strictly controlled, in a school where victims are guaranteed to be defenseless.

- Nov. 5, 2009: Thirteen soldiers and civilians were killed and more than two dozen wounded when a gunman walked into the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas, and opened fire. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.
The incident happened on a military base, where in a seeming paradox, soldiers are disarmed and defenseless.

- March 13, 1996: Thomas Hamilton, 43, kills 16 kindergarten children and their teacher in elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and then kills himself.
Defenseless victims in a school.

- July 20, 2012: At least 12 people are killed and 58 are injured when a gunman enters an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, releases a canister of gas and then opens fire during opening night of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises."
 Cinemark theaters are posted as off limits to concealed carriers. 


- April 20, 1999: Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., killing 12 classmates and a teacher and wounding 26 others before killing themselves in the school's library.
Another defenseless school where the teachers and students are disarmed by the law.

- June 18, 1990: James Edward Pough shoots people at random in a General Motors Acceptance Corp. office in Jacksonville, Fla., killing 10 and wounding four, before killing himself.
 GMAC has a "no weapons in the workplace policy" that ensures that the victims would be unarmed.


- Sept. 23, 2008: Matti Saari, 22, walks into a vocational college in Kauhajoki, Finland, and opens fire, killing 10 people and burning their bodies with firebombs before shooting himself fatally in the head.
Another school in another country that controls firearms. More disarmed victims.

Why don't we hear about mass killings where guns are not off limits? Is it the criminals picking places where killing is easy? Or have their attempted killing sprees been thwarted by an intended victim who was armed? Mass killings make national headlines, but a wanna be mass killer who gets his ticket to Valhalla punched by a person who is legally carrying a weapon don't. That is why I carry.