The Kavanaugh Hearings: At Long Last, Sir, Have You No Decency?



Monday Morning Open Thread: Reasons to Believe


 
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3D Printed Guns or Dude Why are These Shards of ABS Plastic Sticking Out of My Hand and Other Parts of My Body?

There’s been some chatter in the comments over the past several days over the DOJ settling with the anarcho-libertarian who set up a company to make the blueprints for 3D printing guns and gun parts readily available and to sell his own CNC machine so that people can machine gun parts at home using the blueprints available from him. Yesterday a Federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on the release of the blueprints by Defense Distributed. The simple truth is the temporary restraining order is pointless. The CAD files are available from download at numerous other sites on the Internet. As all good browncoats know, you can’t stop the signal!

Before anyone starts to freak out because people will be able to 3D print their firearms, you can’t 3D print any form of firearm that is going to do much but blow up in your hands after a few shots. The plastics just can’t take the pressures. So you can get a shot or two plastic zip gun and maybe that’s it. Even the highest end, most advanced 3D printers that can print metal aren’t advanced enough to fabricate a decent firearm that is going to be sturdy enough. If you’re looking to print a new butt stock or the grip module for say a SIG P320 or a Beretta APX – both of which have a removable fire control unit that under Federal law is the serialized gun – then 3D printing is fine. But printing the lower receiver for an AR pattern rifle, which is the serialized part of an AR pattern rifle and therefore technically/legally the gun, is just stupid. All you’re going to do is hurt yourself because the plastic lower receiver can’t take the pressures. And you can’t print barrels out of 3D plastic filament that can handle the pressures either.

Not to rag on SIG Sauer, but SIG just released a brand new subcompact pistol, the P365. It is a similar concept to their P320, which with a couple of modifications, is the new duty side arm for the military the M17 (full size) M18 (compact). The actual firearm for both the P320 and the P365, according to the law, is the removable fire control unit (FCU), which is the serialized part. The slide is machined steel. The FCU, the return spring, the striker, the trigger springs, etc are all machined. Either directly produced or by metal injected molding (MIM). The trigger is plastic and the grip module (frame), is polymer. The magazines are metal. SIG spent significant amounts of money designing, creating a prototype, testing a prototype, etc. In the first several months of the production run they’ve been making rolling adjustments to both the production process and the design of several parts as a small number of problems have been reported. Initially it was barrel peening because of the fit between slide and barrel as it returned to lock up. Then it was a problem with the trigger spring on the FCU, as well as issues with the striker.

This is not surprising. There has not, as far as I know, been a new handgun debuted that hasn’t had production teething issues. Largely because they are mass produced items where the parts have slight variations while still technically being in spec. SIG has this problem with the new P365. They had a different issue that came to light last year with the P320. In fact Springfield Armory, which just rolled out a new variant of their pistol that is a direct competitor to the P365, has also introduced a marketing campaign that takes direct aim at the new competition without naming the competition.

Remington has had significant trigger problems with the triggers on one of their best selling shotguns. There are so many of these shotguns in circulation that it will take them decades, if not hundreds of  years, to replace all the triggers if they do nothing but replace triggers 24/7. GLOCK, known for their GLOCK Perfection advertising campaign, have had several issues as they move from generation to generation or introduce new items within a generation. And these are just ones I can think of off the top of my head. And that’s before we mention that even in a perfected, if you will, firearm, because there are always some variations in production runs of parts, even a largely reliable, trouble free firearm line will produce the occasional lemon.

If the professionals, with professional gunsmiths and hundreds of years of experience among those gunsmiths, have teething issues in their professionally manufactured and assembled firearms, all the 3D printed ones made at home are going to do is get a lot of people self perforating with ABS plastics. Unless and/or until the 3D printing technology, specifically the 3D printing technology for metal, gets a lot more advanced and a lot cheaper for personal purchase and use, all that is going to happen is that people trying to make ghost guns are going to be just as likely to blow their hands up as hit what they might be aiming at with a roll your own gun made of plastic filament. And then the lawsuits for damages will start. The 3D printing manufacturers will claim that injured people need to sue the anarcho-libertarian pushing to publish the plans. And then he’ll be in a lot of legal jeopardy.

Obligatory musical accompaniment:

Open thread!



Saturday Night Incivility Open Thread: TRUCK FUMP



Monday Morning Open Thread: The Work Goes On

From the Washington Post, “Students begin tour to address gun violence, uniting suburban and urban survivors in Chicago”:

CHICAGO — The nation’s contentious debate about guns came here this weekend, to a small, nondescript South Side park in a city where violence is rampant and the homicide count is escalating. Survivors of a suburban school mass shooting in Florida joined with survivors of an ongoing urban shooting epidemic in an effort to unite the nation’s youth ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

But instead of the walkouts and political speeches and boisterous rallies like one Friday night at a nearby church — which included music stars such as Chance the Rapper and Jennifer Hudson — on Saturday the students got down to work. In an understated effort in the struggling Auburn Gresham neighborhood, about 20 teenagers with the March for Our Lives movement began a 20-state summer bus tour with a drive to register young voters and encourage them to go to the polls.

The students and recent graduates of Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a mass shooting in February that left 17 people dead and created a renewed effort to battle gun violence, said they don’t want a repeal of the Second Amendment or to banish guns. Instead, they want to galvanize the youth vote to make their peers understand how they can play an important role in getting more sensible gun reform laws on the books.

“The only horse we have in this race is living until tomorrow,” said Cameron Kasky, 17.

Volunteers maintained a registration kiosk as a DJ played music and local residents could pick up free fried chicken and ice cream. Partnering with teenagers from Chicago anti-violence groups, packs of young people canvassed surrounding blocks and rang doorbells. The Parkland and Chicago students, some of whom met during a Florida visit in March, walked leisurely as they talked and laughed with a familiarity that obscured the troubling circumstances that brought them together…



Scatter Gun

A week ago, our local paper got its mitts on the NRA survey that the gun cartel lobbying group’s mouthpiece here in Florida — Marion Hammer — sends out to candidates running in the state. Hammer was extremely, uh, triggered by the gun safety measures the wingnut super-majority Florida legislature passed earlier this year in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. The questions include the following:

1. In our view, completion of this questionnaire and signing your name is giving your word. NRA and USF [Unified Sportsmen of Florida] members as well as other constituents in your district trust you to keep your word. Do you agree that your answers are giving your word and that we expect you to keep it?

2 (c). Do you believe elected officials commit an act of malfeasance if they violate their Oath of Office and support legislation that contains provisions that they believe are unconstitutional?

Gun Granny Hammer has ruled the Florida GOP with an iron fist for decades, so I cannot tell you how delightful it is to see her insert snippy, passive-aggressive queries into her own survey to snipe at Republicans who defied her. Democratic candidates have also made hay of this year’s survey, featuring themselves defacing it or throwing it in the trash. Ha!

Also, a short while ago, The Post reported that the NRA has yanked all of its old legislator grades from its website. Post reporters asked why and got a variety of answers, including “nope, we didn’t change anything” and “it’s just an IT glitch.” An unnamed NRA flack admitted that “our enemies were using that.”

Another NRA flack, Jennifer Baker, did go on the record:

“Our grades are a member service,” she explained. “Our members vote and one of the services that we provide them is to assess — to the best that anyone can — the candidates’ position on the Second Amendment and make a determination what candidates in a very specific election are the best candidates to protect and defend their constitutional rights.” The grades are issued as close to the election as possible in order to have the most relevance to that election.

Pressed on the rationale for the change to the website, Baker first expressed frustration at the question.

“I don’t understand– Why are you asking? What does it matter to you?” she asked. “The grades are not relevant after the election.”

Baker promised to get back to The Post about the rationale behind the change on the NRA site, but then she ghosted, ignoring follow-up emails.

I think it’s pretty obvious why they’re making these changes. The Parkland kids and their allies are shining a bright light, and the roaches are scattering. Good.



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Pride

From “mostly lurker and very occasional commenter” BlueinSLC:

This is a GREAT story about how awesome and diverse Salt Lake City is and has become. We have an incredibly vibrant LGBTQ community here, and a great Pride parade. Unfortunately, at last weekend’s pride parade some idiots harassed some participants on their way home. They sought refuge in a local ice cream shop, where one of the employees bravely confronted a crowd of 15-20 harassers. They attacked this guy, but he kept them at bay, eventually turning them away from the shop…

Here is a link to the Salt Lake Tribune article about it, and about how people have since been coming by to thank him. It’s a nice, hopeful, and sweet story, and one that (I hope) shows off where we are going.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

On Saturday night, the 21-year-old was working behind the counter at Doki Doki dessert shop during a quiet shift. Just before closing, about 10:30 p.m., four frightened men who had just left the Utah Pride Festival burst through the door. The group of guys that had chased them in was gathering outside, making taunting gestures and yelling homophobic slurs.

[Terrance] Mannery ran to the entrance to block the mob from coming into the cafe.

One attacker shoved Mannery into the glass and metal door, breaking its hinge. Some of them started punching. It was dark and Mannery couldn’t see how many there were. He felt at least seven hits; one left a dark red scratch on his cheek. Witnesses have said he was trying to fend off some 15 to 20 muscular men.

The group, described by one bystander as some “wholesome Utah boys,” dispersed when a security guard approached. Mannery went back inside Doki Doki. Not knowing what else to do, he went back to taking orders. The four victims who ran in left in a Lyft. It was over in minutes…

“Even in hindsight, I would have still gone out,” said Mannery, who came to Utah from Wisconsin three years ago for school. During his first summer here, he went to the 2016 Pride Parade. There were a few protesters but nothing like what he saw Saturday.

“I hope this inspires more people to stand up, but hopefully they do it in a safer way. I don’t want people to try to take on entire groups by themselves, but if you hear your friends making jokes, definitely say something.”