Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in review

Here is the obligatory year in review post. I don't mention a lot o personal stuff on here, but this post will be an exception.

This has been a pretty good year.

I began the year working as a part time science teacher. While doing my taxes, I was able to get an exemption from the Obamacare penalty, but it was obvious that I would not be able to do so forever. The penalty is going to be quite a bit more expensive for 2015, and buying insurance is also too expensive. I needed to get a job that offers health care benefits.For reasons that I am not yet at liberty to discuss, I could not return to my old career as a paramedic, so my only other option was to go full time as a teacher. So I now teach Biology and Chemistry at the High School level.

In November, I became engaged to my girlfriend of the past two years. We are getting married next fall.

There is a post to follow in this, but the bank finally managed to foreclose on the house from my bankruptcy six years ago. I am glad to finally be rid of that albatross.

This was a good year for travel.

This year, I took road trip to New Orleans in March, and one to Canada, Maine, and many places in between in July. In June, we  flew to Puerto Rico and took a seven day cruise to Aruba, St Martin, St Kitts, and St Thomas.
In November, we took two cruises: the first being a two day trip to the Bahamas, and the second was a seven day cruise to St Thomas, St Martin, and the Bahamas. We were on the French Side of St Martin when the Paris attacks occurred.
For Christmas, we decided to take a trip to Hawaii. We left on December 18th right after work. We arrived in Oahu the next day. We flew home on the 29th, and arrived home on the 30th. There are a few posts on that coming up.

All in all, this was a pretty good year. I look forward to what 2016 brings.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Armed at Disney, redux

Just after I did my post on being armed at Disney, the company came out and announced that they would be placing metal detectors at their parks. This was apparently done in response to the man who was arrested while carrying a 5 shot Smith and Wesson revolver into the park, without a concealed weapons permit.

One article made this claim:
Before you are allowed inside the park, you can see an increased security presence at the front gates. Large metal detectors are set up at the entrances of Disney World's four theme parks. Security thoroughly goes through each guest's bag, pulling out items and opening wallets.

I went to Disney's Hollywood studios in the Orlando area to test the claim that they would be looking for firearms by opening wallets and running guests through metal detectors. To test the claim, I decided to carry my J frame Smith and Wesson in a pocket holster in the front right pocket of my jeans.

There is an area just in front of the entrance where park security checked the bags of guests who were bringing bags, but this was haphazard at best. There is a "bypass" that allows guests without bags to enter the park without passing through the bag check area. Since I did not have a bag, that is the way that I went. There were security guards there, including an off duty deputy, and a security guard with a dog. I passed through without them giving me a second look, despite the fact that I was armed.

I watched them for a bit. They stopped one man to look in his fanny pack, but allowed at least three guests through who were either pushing strollers or wearing backpacks without giving them a second look. I did not, in the five minutes I watched, select a single person for a magnetometer, nor did I see a single magnetometer in use. It is possible that the magnetometers were discretely hidden, but I watched hundreds of people enter the park, and none were given more than a quick look, and most passed through without question. 

Just as I have done dozens of times, I entered the park with my weapon, walked around for about an hour, and then left. I was armed the entire time, yet I did not break a single law, nor did I do anything to hurt anyone. 

I also recently visited Universal Studios. The security there is just as much of a joke, and it is full of holes. Let me give you some examples:
If you are a guest who drives to the park at Universal, you must pass through a security checkpoint where they do the same sort of cursory inspection that is done at Disney. If you are staying at one of the hotels on Universal property and decide to walk to the park, you must also pass through a second security checkpoint. However, if you take the complimentary water taxi from the hotel to the park, the boat drops you off BEHIND the checkpoint into the "secure" area without so much as a glance.

Another security lapse at Universal is the mini golf course. It is surrounded by a 3 foot tall wrought iron fence. The golf course is in the nominally secure area, but is separated from the general public by this fence, and nothing more. 

In short, this is not security, it is theater that is designed to make people who don't know any better FEEL as if they are safe. It is all smoke and mirrors.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Armed at Disney

There is a Facebook argument raging over this news article from WFTV with a misleading headline saying "Man arrested for having gun at Disney" the headline should read "Man arrested for illegally carrying weapon without permit." (The headline has since been changed). The man was arrested because he was carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit.

The argument centers around a few points, every one of them showing ignorance of the issue. Here they are. The first few are legal arguments, the next few are moral.:

1 It is illegal under (Federal law/Florida law) to carry a gun into (a theme park/Disney).
No it isn't. There is not a single law that prohibits concealed carry into a Florida theme park.

2 Disney prohibits carry of guns. If you carry, you are guilty of armed trespassing.
This is not true either. Armed trespassing in Florida requires that the armed person be specifically told to leave, and refused to do so. A generic "no guns" policy or sign does not meet the notification requirement. The Disney spokesman seems to think that corporate policy has the effect of law, but he is mistaken:

"We immediately engaged law enforcement and the matter was resolved quickly and without incident,” a Walt Disney World representative said. “Our policies are clear, and we have zero tolerance for any violation of them."

3 Why do you need to carry a gun at Disney? Here is my only answer to that.

4 Disney has crack security. They will protect me.
Actually, Disney security, at least here in Orlando, is unarmed. They hire off duty Orange County deputies to serve as armed security. They do have bomb dogs, though. The handlers for these dogs are apparently unarmed. The only people who claim that Disney has a secret SWAT team and a crack team of secret security, the person doing the discussing has struck me as a bit of a mall ninja.

5 Why do you need to carry a gun around so many kids?
For the same reason I carry elsewhere. Criminals don't magically cease to commit crimes in the vicinity of children. Here is one such post:
All this debate about how you can take a gun anywhere with such and such licence. LISTEN TO YOURSELVES! you're trying to justify bringing a GUN into a park full of KIDS! I am not comfortable with anyone carrying guns near my kids or encouraging such violent behaviour this is why kids are killing eachother get a grip u bunch of fools!!!!!

6 The guy was obviously compensating for his small penis.
That is a good way to have a rational gun discussion: make dick jokes.

7 All people with a gun fetish should be psychologically evaluated, as they obviously have mental problems.
Perhaps they should do the same for people who want to comment on the Internet.

8 Concealed carriers don't stop mass shootings.
I pointed out the New Life Church. Here is the response I got:
I question the intelligence of someone who would fire a gun at a car in a public parking lot. She had no way of knowing whether there was a child in the car or not. She was not saving someone who was being murdered, raped or kidnapped. She wanted to be a hero, and didn't care that she might have been putting innocent people in danger. The icing on the cake is when she immaturely and petuantly declared she was "never helping another person" for the rest of her life. Is this the kind of person we want to be firing a gun in public?
9 People who carry guns because of the small chance of a crime are paranoid.
One poster pointed out that people who own fire extinguishers are not considered paranoid. The reply was pure gold that displayed the moonbattery for all to see:

Who has fire extinguishers in their home? I find a fire alarm is adequate. I guess you have a fall out shelter incase of nuclear attack too? Leave firefighting and law enforcement to the professionals.

These people are completely unhinged and will not listen to facts or reason. The good news is that many people are realizing just how stupid and pedantic the anti gun position is. 100 million firearms sold in seven years.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Australia Homicide Reporting

In my recent post on the "Australia doesn't have mass killing" talking point, a visitor, libertarianm, asked for the primary source for my claim:

Six years, six spree killers, 35 homicides.Australia, like many countries, doesn't list a death as being a homicide until someone is convicted of the killing. 
Australia's National Homicide Monitoring Program, administered by the Australian Institute of Criminology, tacks homicides in Australia. The Australian Institute of Criminology is Australia's national research and knowledge center on crime and justice. 

The National Homicide Monitoring Program has this to say about the definition of 'homicide':

Homicide is defined by the criminal law of each Australian state and territory. As a result, varying definitions exist between states and territories in terms of its degree, culpability and intent.
Since there is no national definition of exactly what constitutes a 'homicide', the NHMP uses the following definition(my comments in blue follow each point):

* all cases resulting in a person or persons being charged with murder or manslaughter.

In order for a killing to be classed as a homicide under this criteria, a person must be charged with the crime. No suspect in custody or no charges filed, no homicide.

* all murder–suicides classed as murder by police

Remember that each state and territory is left to define murder and homicide. If the police in a particular jurisdiction don't declare it to be a murder, it is not a homicide. Likewise, for the police to declare it to be a murder, there must be a dead suspect for it to be a murder/suicide. If there is suspect dead from suicide, there is no homicide.
This is an important distinction. The shooter in the Sydney Hostage incident of 2014 was not listed as a homicide incident, despite the fact that the shooter killed two people.  Why? Because he was killed by the police. The killings were listed as terrorism, despite evidence that the shooter was a serial rapist, and was out on bail after being charged with the murder of his wife. 

all other deaths classed by police as homicides 

Again, the laws vary between each territory and state. What one police department classifies as a murder, another may not. This makes it nearly impossible to determine the number of homicides.

The real problem with using ANY data from other countries as a yardstick to measure the effectiveness of restriction on firearms ownership is that different countries use different methods and definitions, making a direct comparison of data useless for statistical and comparison purposes.

Monday, December 7, 2015


How do you reconcile this statement, made just three days ago:

Attorneys for the family of Syed Farook, one of the suspects in the San Bernardino shootings, says the family is shocked by the accusations that Farook may have been radicalized by terrorist organizations.

With this statement, made yesterday:

The father of San Bernardino suspect Syed Rizwan Farook told an Italian newspaper that his son expressed support for the Islamic State group and was obsessed with Israel.

You can't. Obviously, they are lying. This is why you cannot trust Muslims when they say that they are a peaceful religion that doesn't support terrorism. Where are the Muslims who are turning in their fellow Muslims?

At this point, the attorney for the family needs to be investigated as well.


The next claim I want to take on is the one I keep seeing all over the internet:

Australia same geographical size , Prime Minister Howard =1 put in gun control and since , the 1990' NONE , NOT ONE MASS SHOOTING Tell me it doesn't work . GUNS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE
PEOPLE WITH ACCESS TO GUNS ......... KILL PEOPLE. Due to the nation’s controversial and oppressive gun restrictions, no one has died as a result of a mass-shooting on Australian soil today, for the 7158th day in a row.

Fact check coming at ya:

Since 2009, Australia has had at least 6 spree killings.
1 Lin Family murders a man murdered a family of 5 in their home after having dinner with them.

2 Hunt family murders a man murdered his entire family with a shotgun in Lockhart, NSW, Australia. 5 killed

3 Hectorville hostage standoff  mass shooting in Australia in 2011 in Hectorville, where a man took hostages and held police at bay for nearly eight hours. He shot 6 people, killing three and wounding three. Two of the wounded were police officers.

4 Quakers Hill murders a man killed 11 elderly residents of a nursing home by setting the home on fire as they slept, to hide the fact that he had been stealing drugs from the sick.

5 Cairns child killings  Eight children stabbed to death by their mother

6 Sydney hostage incident: a man robbed a bank at gunpoint. 3 killed and 4 wounded.

Six years, six spree killers, 35 homicides.Australia, like many countries, doesn't list a death as being a homicide until someone is convicted of the killing. That skews the numbers, because the killers in the Hunt murders and the Sydney incident died before they could be tried. The Hectorville murderer was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Is it any wonder why Australia reports a homicide rate of 1.1?

The US homicide rate is 3.8 per 100,000.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Changing the meaning of words to suit an agenda

There is a meme that is being pushed by the left, where they claim that there have been 300 mass shootings in 2015 alone. The supposed source for this little talking point is a website called shootingtracker. Lets take a look at where shootingtracker got their data from, shall we?

The data came from news sites all over the country, which hardly makes the data accurate or scientific. There are a number of issues with the data, including the following:

1 To be counted, the story had to claim that four or more people (including the shooter) had to be injured or killed. Note that this doesn't mean that anyone had to have been actually shot. If a guy fired a gun into the air inside of a crowded shopping mall and four people were injured trying to flee, this would count as a mass shooting, even though no one was actually shot.

2 They included ANY shooting where 4 or more people were injured, including murder suicide. So if a mother went nuts and shot herself after bludgeoning her children to death inside of her own home, this would count as a mass shooting.

3 The FBI is much more selective, probably because they have less of an agenda than the gun grabbers. The FBI defines a mass shooting as:
"the killing of four or more individuals occurring during the same incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders." (emphasis added)
Using this definition, there are far fewer mass shootings. Mother Jones, hardly a bastion of far right thought, used this definition to determine that there have only been 73 mass shootings since 1982. That is 2.2 mass shootings per year. Granted, this year has seen 4 shootings, which is more than the average, but this is not unprecedented. There have been more than 4 mass shooting a year several times during that period: 2013, 2002, and 1999. Even the Huffington post admits that violent crime is at a 50 year low.

To make the problem look worse, President Obama signed a law in 2012 that reduced this definition to three killed.

4 The agreed-upon definition of an active shooter used by U.S. government agencies for decades—including the White House, U.S. Department of Justice/FBI, U.S. Department of Education, and
U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency—was

an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and
populated area. Implicit in this definition is that the subject’s criminal actions involve the use of firearms.
 The gun grabbers that run shootingtracker are claiming that the FBI is wrong, that the definition of a mass shooting should include any incident where 4 or more people are shot, because whether or not they die is not relevant, only the fact that they were shot should count. Even using this metric, they are grossly inflating their numbers, as most of the news articles that this 'study' is based upon do not state the mechanism of injury for the injured parties. This means that a person who was not shot, but twisted his ankle in an attempt to flee the shooter is counted towards the statistic.

In order to see the manipulation a bit more clearly, let's look at the data for my state of residence, Florida. The site claims that there were 27 mass shootings in 2015. The problem is that nearly all of these shootings were gang ind drug related. For example:

One of the shootings from January was an incident where 2 men in Lakeland tried to rob a drug dealer,  a fight ensued, and 4 people wound up getting shot. Both the robbers and their drug dealing victims were convicted felons with lengthy criminal histories that were illegally in possession of drugs and firearms. In fact, the police identified gang or drug activity as being the cause of 13 of the 27 shootings.

One of them didn't happen in Florida. It was a shooting that took place in California.

One was a murder suicide, where a husband shot his wife and the man she was having an affair with, before shooting himself. One bystander was hit as well. In fact, three of the 27 shootings were murder suicides, where the victims (with the exception of the lone bystander already mentioned) were all related to the shooter, including one case where a 60 year old woman killed her daughter, also shooting her 4 grandkids, killing three of them.

In eight shooting incidents, the shooting was the result of a fight or argument that started in a bar or a party, where the aggrieved person produced a gun and began firing.

In one case, police didn't even know if anyone was shot. They could not determine the cause of the victims' injuries.

There was only one shooting where the shooter randomly shot at people in what the FBI would classify as a mass shooter, and that shooting resulted in one death and three injuries.

Another interesting statistic is this:
20 of the 26 shootings involved drugs or alcohol.
In 3 of the shootings the shooter's race was unknown, and in the 18 of the remaining 23 shootings, the shooter was black.
In the 7 shootings where a suspect was arrested, the shooter was a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in 4 of them, meaning it was already illegal for him to possess a firearm.

We have a gang problem. We have a drug problem. We do not have a problem with mass shootings. The "facts" in this meme that is being circulated are misleading and, in some cases, false.

It must be deliberate.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Arrows versus helicopters?

There was a movie made in the late 80s about the Third Infantry regiment during the Vietnam War. It was called "Gardens of Stone." There is an exchange in that movie that has always resonated with me, and goes like this:

Private: We beat England when we were the guerrillas, and we beat Hitler. We beat everybody in between. We're not gonna lose to a bunch of little Asian farmers.

Sgt:  Yeah? You take a look at that farmer. He can march 100 miles on no food, through a jungle, slaughter his own people, even babies. That's a soldier.

Private: Firepower. He can't soak up our firepower. I saw a photo, one of our choppers coming back with arrows in it! How do you beat a helicopter with bows and arrows?

Sergeant: How you gonna beat an enemy brave enough to fight helicopters with arrows?

Apply that to now:

We are facing an enemy that will do ANYTHING to win. They will even strap a bomb to their children and send them into a crowded area, in the hopes that his child will kill just a few of you. Any culture that believes in their cause so strongly that not only are they willing to die, but they are willing to kill their own children to get at you, is willing to do anything to win.

You can't reason with that kind of faith. You can't negotiate. Even the normal rules of war do not apply. Normally, a war is one when one side grows weary of fighting, when one side decides that the cost they are paying is too high. That isn't going to happen here. They will not stop, because they believe that their god has ordered them to kill you.

No, the only way this modern version of the crusades ends, is for one side to eliminate the other. Not beat the other, bur eliminate them.

We have no choice. They have brought the fight to us. Fort Hood, Boston, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and more. Now it is either kill, or be killed.

Media Spin

Here comes the media, claiming that the brother of the terrorist from San Barnardino is a Navy veteran, decorated for his role in the war on terror. They make it seem as though he was out killing terrorists with his bare hands, but the NY Daily News lists his awards:

Good conduct medal
Serve four years without getting in trouble, and you get this one.

National Defense Service Medal: 
Everyone in the military since 9/11 gets this one.

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal:
This one is given to the members of any unit that was within the theater of operations.

Global War on Terror Service Medal
All military who deploy to the Middle East get this one.

Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
This one means his ship was away from its home port for 90 days or more. Pretty much everyone in the Navy who is assigned to a ship gets this one.

He served from 2003 to 2007. His awards were the equivalent of a participation trophy. The first two are give to pretty much everyone, and the last three were because the ship he was assigned to (the USS Enterprise) went to the Persian Gulf in 2004. He got those medals along with the other 10,000 people on the ships in that battle group. This is not some set of awards for heroic actions. He was never within a thousand miles of a terrorist, with the exception of his brother.

This is spin by the media to distract us from what his brother did, and to make us all believe that this was not the act of terrorist Muslims.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A big thanks to the press

The press and the President are actually helping pro gun forces this week. You see, they all have been busy trying to spin the terror incident in California as "workplace violence" instead of the terrorist act that everyone knows it to be.  Even the people who are trying to sell this as a workplace shooting don't believe what they are peddling.

Last month, in the week after the Paris shootings, the sales of guns set a new record. For the sixth month in a row. Each month sees a new all time high in gun sales. Americans are arming themselves like never before. In fact, Americans have bought nearly 20 million firearms so far this year, and I am predicting that December will see even more sales than the previous six record setting months. My prediction is that the year will end with over 22 million NICS checks.

Why? Because EVERYONE senses the problems that are coming, and this ISIS terrorist attack is going to accelerate the trend.

So how does this add up to the press doing us a favor? Because even people who are uninformed on the issue are beginning to see the light. Gun free zones are a lie. Gun laws don't protect you. They are scared, and they aren't buying into the anti gun rhetoric any more.

The emperor has no clothes, and everyone is beginning to see.