Friday Evening Open Thread: The NRA Lost This Election

More good news of the Blue Wave!

Forensic pathologist for the rebuttal:

I Don’t Understand Gun Culture

With the shooting in the Thousand Oaks bar having been committed by a veteran who allegedly had PTSD, I did some thinking while driving today, and I have just come to the conclusion that I will never understand gun culture. I just simply do not get it.

I mean obviously I have shot guns and know how to use them. I’d wager I have probably shot more weapons than your average gun humper, having fired all sorts of handguns ranging from .22 long barrel to m9 beretta to a cz-75 to a .44 and a .45 and on and on. And then all sorts of long rifles, from your run of the mill .22 and .30-06, to ar-15’s and multiple variants of m-16’s. And countless shotguns of various types. And then the various machine guns from a .240 and M60 and a .50 cal. And then the big boys, including a 90mm recoilless to a 105mm on an M1 to a 120mm on an M1A1 and TOW missiles. Hell, I’ve set off claymores, thrown grenades, set off a bangalore torpedo, gone through more c4 and det cord than I can remember. Hell, I was even taught how to make explosives with fertilizer and diesel fuel. What I am trying to say is I’ve been around them, I’ve used them, and I’m not afraid of them.

But they don’t interest me in the least. I’m not even remotely drawn to them. I simply do not understand the allure or attraction.

Mind you, I am not talking about hunting culture. I have a lot of friends who hunt. By friend Amy who I trade veggies for eggs is typical of the kind of people I know who hunt. She hunts turkeys, deer, etc., and she eats them. But for her, it’s not so much about the firearm, although she does go shooting recreationally from time to time. For her it really is about the hunt, and she just likes being outdoors and enjoys hunting with a bow and arrow the most. If you could describe her dream day, it would be out before the ass crack of dawn, looking for game, and then an afternoon riding her horses and dinner and a couple beers with her husband. She just likes being out there and a good day hunting doesn’t mean having to kill something. It just means a good day out there.

So I’m not talking about people like them, and to be honest, if there were not people like her around you simply would not be able to drive around here between the hours of sunset and sunrise, there are so many deer.

I’m talking about the idiots who just worship guns. Recently I’ve seen a bunch of gomers driving around with a silhouette of an M16 on the covering the entire back windshield of their car. It’s like they are advertising that they are assholes and warning the rest of us. I just simply do not understand them- the hours they spend reading about guns and thinking and saying things like “oh that’s a sexy piece” or “check out this grip” and getting excited about something like fucking grip tape. It’s just so foreign to me I do not get it.

And I don’t get the people who are so scared they need to have a gun with them all the time. It’s not that I am particularly brave- there are tons of things that scare me. But I simply do not understand being so afraid that you literally can not go anywhere without a gun to “protect” yourself. It’s nuts. When someone says they need to carry a gun with them everywhere to protect themselves the first thing I think is “jesus you pussy.”

I wonder what percentage of guys who were in the military feel the way I do. Since I got out of the service, I bet I have fired a weapon maybe a half dozen times, and easily haven’t fired on for fifteen years. It just does not interest me.

There’s no real point to this post. Just I don’t get it.

My Pet T-Rex

Did you know some of the founding fathers kept birds as pets and livestock? It’s true — you can read all about it in the Federalist Papers. The right to keep and bear birds is as American as apple pie.

Now, some people claim that the right to keep chickens, parrots, ducks, peacocks, etc., shouldn’t extend to a right to keep and bear a T-Rex that has been cloned from DNA found in blood consumed by a mosquito that was fossilized in amber.

That’s an anti-science way of looking at it. Everyone knows modern birds are descended from dinosaurs like the T-Rex. On a DNA level, there’s very little difference between a parakeet and a T-Rex.

While it’s true that a T-Rex can bite people’s heads off and slaughter dozens in just a few minutes, a parakeet could kill you too, or at least peck out your eye if you didn’t stop it.

Every now and then, someone’s pet T-Rex gets loose and kills a bunch of people. It’s a tragic thing caused entirely by irresponsible T-Rex owners. So why punish responsible, law-abiding T-Rex owners for something they didn’t even do?

Owning a T-Rex is thrilling and manly. Maybe if everyone had their own T-Rex, we wouldn’t have to offer up our thoughts and prayers about these tragedies involving rogue T-Rex owners so frequently.

A T-Rex-armed society is a very polite society. Or at least a very STILL one.

[Image from Chicago Reader.]

Guns, Suicide, And Starting To Change The Argument

So, fellow Jackals,

I’ve got a piece up today in the Boston Globe on what firearm-suicides tell us about who is most at risk from a gun in the home.  The answer leaps out of the numbers — 2/3 gun deaths in the US are self-inflicted, and another notable fraction are murders within or close to the gun household.

What caught my eye amidst those numbers is the attempt by public health figures to frame the discussion of guns in gun-friendly states around safety rather than control.   So I wrote about it.

Trigger warning: an unhappy painting and more on a tough subject below the fold.

ETA: switched out the art to be slightly less on-the-nose.

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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!