Monthly Archives: August 2015

Gun Free Zones Arming MO Murderers

gun-free-sitting-duckThe AP missed the lede of a recent story: one of the biggest contributors to an explosion of homicides in Missouri is, indirectly, the state’s network of Victim Disarmament Zones, often misleadingly called Gun-Free Zones (the Zones are only “free” of legally carried gunsl; they don’t alter criminal behavior). Missouri’s robust criminal networks, formal and informal, have put the word out that the parking lot outside a school, court, stadium or other VDZ is an excellent place to go trolling for guns.

Auto burglary, even if a gun is stolen, is not taken seriously by the courts there, or almost anywhere else. Likewise, Felon in Possession charges are unlikely to be brought except against the Great White Defendant; violent felons usually get a bye on this charge from their enablers, prosecutors. The Associated Press’s Jim Salter (link is to US News version, which is illustrated with a picture of — guns in a legal gun shop, which are not the subject of the story):

More than 170,000 Missouri residents hold concealed-carry permits and many bring guns when they venture to high-crime areas like St. Louis. Numerous city-dwellers, too, own firearms. But once they arrive at their destination, they often have to leave their guns behind.

“When they go to a baseball game or an event at the convention center … they can’t take their weapons in with them and they leave them in cars,” Dotson said. “Criminals know there are guns in cars and they break into cars.”

More guns are around overall. Both sales and applications for concealed-carry permits have spiked in the St. Louis region in the past year, after unrest that followed the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown led to safety concerns. Brown, who was black and unarmed, was fatally shot by a white officer last summer, leading to protests, some looting, fires and violence.


This is the usually dishonest Jim Salter from Associated Press, so he doesn’t mention that Brown, while unarmed, attacked the officer, nor that the riots (not “protests, some looting”) were fed by dishonest reporting and fabrications from reporters, like, for instance, the AP’s Jim Salter.

When a grand jury declined to indict the officer in November, violence sparked again.

Fed once again by false media reports by Jim Salter, who even today a year after the incident keeps preserving The Narrative™ of innocent “unarmed black man” murdered by a white (therefore, in AP world, evil, unless you’re one of AP’s almost all-white staff, like the fishbelly-white Jim Salter).

Experts say that, inevitably, with more guns come more gun thefts. Remy Cross, a professor at Webster University in suburban St. Louis, said those who steal guns often sell them to other criminals.

“It’s easy to move them,” he said. “If you have a gun and don’t intend to use it yourself, because of the loopholes in laws around gun shows and resale, it’s relatively easy to get these guns into criminals’ hands.”

“Experts say” = “This reporter’s opinon is…” most of the time, but this time he has found an expert to agree with him. So Prof. Cross thinks St. Louis urban skells that steal guns take them to a gun show to sell them to their own social circle of urban skells? There are some ideas so retarded that an innocent retarded person couldn’t possibly form them: you need the advanced retardation that comes with a PhD.

Police say stolen and illegal guns are at the root of violence across the country.

Which leads us to another inference that Salter, in his adhesion to The Narrative™, will never make: restriction on legitimate owners can’t have a meaningful impact on criminal use, because the only intersection of the two groups is when the second (crims) victimize or try to victimize the first (legitimate, peaceable owners).

In San Francisco, the gun used to kill Kathryn Steinle, who was fatally shot in July as she walked with her father along a scenic pier, was stolen.

Salter here uses the passive voice, which the AP Stylebook these days apparently suggests that reporters use when lying about events. He makes “the gun” the subject of that sentence. And he never mentions the rather key data point that the unsecured gun was stolen from a Federal agent, who remains to this day lawyered up, uncooperative with the investigation, and who has gone (and will go) completely unpunished. But yeah, the gun did it. Preach it, Jim.

Chicago has already seized nearly 4,700 guns – nearly all of them stolen – this year.

That is, nearly none of them bought legally. At a gun show or otherwise.


Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that’s seven times more guns seized than New York City, and three times the number in Los Angeles.

“They’re the engine of violence in Chicago,” Guglielmi said. “These are guns that are on the streets used to fuel the violence in Chicago.”

We submit that leniently-handled Chicago career criminals are the engine of violence in Chicago. Maybe the guns are the transmission, but they would commit no crimes, absent a criminal’s intent. (Even Bubba the Gunsmite knows how to apply Loc-tite to the loose nut behind the trigger. When will Chicongo learn?)

In Jacksonville, Florida, gun thefts from cars are so common that police have launched a social media campaign to persuade people to keep their weapons at home.

Yeah, ’cause criminals never steal guns in residential burglaries — which is what they would do if this idjit campaign was 100% successful and everybody left their guns at home. What, do they assume criminals do not react to incentives unlike every other known life form?

“It’s a big issue,” Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said. “Criminals are just going car-hopping, looking for unlocked doors and people who are leaving their guns in their cars.”

There is no updated national data on gun thefts, but a U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics report found that 1.4 million firearms were stolen across the country from 2005 through 2010. It also found that the vast majority – at least 80 percent – were never recovered.

This is a case where an ATF master list of stolen guns could be a national benefit, but it would only work if ATF were a trusted broker; instead, ATF leadership is content to have their bureau be known as a politically partisan and untrustworthy (even to its own most courageous agents!) organization.

Suspects who authorities say were wielding stolen guns were shot by St. Louis-area police in two recent high-profile cases, worsening racial tensions that have simmered since Brown’s death. Both of the 18-year-olds shot this month by police also were black.

And, of course, the media has been all over the cops shot blacks version of the narrative, and has soft-pedaled the a couple black career criminals pointed or fired stolen guns at cops version, which is at least equally true (and a hell of a lot more complete).

During a protest in Ferguson on Aug. 9 marking the one-year anniversary of Brown’s death, Tyrone Harris Jr. shot at undercover officers using a semi-automatic 9 mm gun that was stolen last year from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, police said. Officers fired back, striking Harris several times. He was critically wounded.

Last week in north St. Louis, Mansur Ball-Bey ran out of a home during a raid and was fatally shot after pointing a gun at officers, Dotson said, though the attorney for Ball-Bey’s family claims that he was unarmed. Investigations by an internal police unit and the city’s Circuit Attorney’s office continue. Dotson said Ball-Bey’s handgun had been stolen in Rolla, Missouri, about 100 miles southwest of St. Louis.

via Guns stolen from vehicles increasingly used in violent crime.

Gee, who are we gonna believe, the cops holding the dead skell’s stolen gun, or the ambulance chaser hired by the family to get some money out of their expired former member’s kamikaze assault?

And on a final tactical note, does the predictable snuffing out of these sub-geniuses have a knock-on effect of raising criminal mean IQ? We mean, most people are aware banzai charges didn’t even work for the Japanese, and they executed them with considerable numbers and unmatched verve. Guys like Tyrone Harris Jr. and Mansur Ball-Bey must have been the other kind of retarded from PhD retarded.

When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Hammers

Rodgers (l), the hammer guy, and Wright (r), the supposed friend.

Jimmy the Hammer Rodgers (left), the hammer guy, and Wayne Wright (right), the supposed friend.

This is a bizarre case. It seems that all the twists and turns haven’t been released, but at least one of the accused was on probation, and the murder weapon is apparently our old standby, the hammer.

Two men were arrested this week in connection to the murder of a well-regarded Florida doctor and married mother-of-two who sources say was beaten to death with a hammer.

Curtis Wayne Wright Jr, 47, and Jimmy Rodgers, 25, were arrested in Missouri and are facing charges of second-degree murder in the death of Teresa Sievers, 46, who was found dead in her Bonita Springs home on June 29.

Wright is a longtime friend of Sievers’s husband, Mark Sievers. The two went to school together and are friends on Facebook.

via Curtis Wayne Wright and Jimmy Rodgers arrested in Missouri for ‘hitman’ hammer attack | Daily Mail Online.

Victim Teresa Sievers

Victim Teresa Sievers

The victim was a holistic physician. One of the accused is not only a friend of her husbands, but an employee of hers. The other appears to have been the hammer guy.

Neighbors heard screaming and arguing coming from the family’s home the following morning. When Sievers didn’t show up to work, police visited the home, where her body was found.

Though Lee County officers have not disclosed how Sievers was killed, sources say she was beaten to death with a hammer.

Rodgers used the nickname ‘Hammer’ on his Facebook page, which has since been deleted, according to the Naples Daily News.

‘He always talked about how his favorite weapon was a hammer. He said it to me multiple times, “My favorite weapon was a hammer”,’ a neighbor of Rodgers said.

As we’ve seen in these pages, so many times we’re sick of writing it, a hammer is a perfect;y effective weapon to kill something fragile like a human being. But Rodgers (or as he styled himself on Facebook, Jimmy the Hammer) had a good reason to prefer a hammer: as a convicted gun felon, on probation when he and Wright committed the murder, he was a prohibited person, and could not buy a gun legally. He probably should have gone by Jimmy the Jailbird; Rodgers is a career criminal who has been a felon since he was 17; he’s only on probation now because his lawyer played all the sympathy cards at his last felon-in-possession conviction.

The two suspects were friends and hung out together. Now they are charged with 2nd-degree murder. Why second degree? That’s one of the many puzzles in this case.

Two sets of fighter rules

These two somewhat similar sets of rules were developed by two different leading fighter pilots in World War I. While they apply particularly to the air combat of the area, they are also, to one extent or another, guides to principles of combat and of warfare that are useful to all warriors at all times.


Oswald Boelcke: Dicta Boelcke, 1916.

This was the first real written set of the principles of aerial combat.

  1. Try to secure advantages before attacking. If possible, keep the sun behind you.
  2. Always carry through an attack when you have started it.
  3. Fire only at close range and only when your opponent is properly in your sights.
  4. Always keep your eyes on your opponent, and never let yourself be deceived by ruses.
  5. In any form of attack it is necessary to assail your opponent from behind.
  6. If your opponent dives on you, do not try to avoid his onslaught, but fly to meet it.
  7. When over the enemy’s lines, never forget your own line of retreat.
  8. For the squadron: attack on principle in groups of four or six. When the fight breaks up into a series of single combats, take care that several do not go for one opponent.

Mick Mannock: 1917. We’re not sure if Mannock ever named these principles.

  1. Pilots must dive to attack with zest, and must hold their fire until they get within 100 yards of their target.
  2. Achieve surprise by approaching from the east.
  3. Utilize the sun’s glare and clouds to achieve surprise.
  4. Pilots must keep physically fit by exercise and the moderate use of stimulants.
  5. Pilots must sight their guns and practice as much as possible, as targets are normally fleeting
  6. Pilots must practice spotting machines in the air and recognizing them a long range, and every aeroplane is to be treated as an enemy until it is certain it is not.
  7. Pilots must learn where the enemy’s blind spots are.
  8. Scouts must be attacked from above and two-seaters from beneath their tails.
  9. Pilots must practice quick turns, as this maneuver is more used than any other in a fight.
  10. Pilots must practice judging distances in the air as these are very deceptive.
  11. Decoys must be guarded against – a single enemy is often a decoy – therefore the air above should be searched before attacking.
  12. If the day is sunny, machines should be turned with as little bank as possible, otherwise the sun glistening on the wings will give away their presence at a long-range.
  13. Pilots must keep turning in a dog fight and never fly straight except when firing.
  14. Pilots must never, under any circumstances, dive away from an enemy, as he gives his opponent a non-deflection shot – bullets are faster than aeroplanes.
  15. Pilots must keep an eye on their watches during patrols, and on the direction and strength of the wind.

In retrospect, Boelcke’s shorter, simpler set of rules are more nearly universally applicable; many of Mannock’s applied only to the particular circumstances of the Western Front and the evenly balanced aircraft there; to commit to a turning fight and not dive away would have been doom for most Allied pilots facing the Japanese in the next war, for instance. Today, squadron bars and ready rooms are more likely to display a framed copy of the Dicta Boelcke.

Of course, Boelcke’s era was two to three years before Mannock’s, an eternity in wartime. Boelcke was the pilot who first tested the Fokker machine-gun synchronizer that allowed the Fokker E. III to fire forward through the propeller, in 1915; he was a contemporary of Max Immelmann in the earliest days of air combat, and flew the early Fokker monoplanes and later Pfalz and Albatros D. II biplanes. He was so well regarded by all sides that he would receive a decoration from his French enemies (for saving a drowning child).

Mannock flew the Nieuport but is primarily associeted with the S.E. 5a, a biplane with an engine of 160 to 200 horsepower, numbers unheard of in Boelcke’s day, and two forward-firing guns. An Irishman whose estranged father was a British Army NCO, Mannock hoped Home Rule for Ireland would be one result of the war. As a civilian, had been a captive of Germany’s ally Turkey and been abominably treated, and he seethed with hatred for the enemy and was contemptuous of chivalry and compassion. To his subordinates (he ended his war leading a squadron), he was a committed teacher and the sort of a leader who would put a squirt in an enemy plane and let the wingman finish it; where the early aces Boelcke and Immelmann competed to see who could score more kills, Mannock’s final score, all histories agree, can’t be known with any certainty, only that it was higher than his claims.

Neither ace would survive the war. Boelcke perished after a midair collision with a wingman, Erwin Böhme, in October, 1916 (his other wingman that morning was a relative newbie named Manfred von Richthofen; Böhme and Richthofen both became great aces in their own rights); British airmen in a POW camp sent a card to his funeral. Mannock, after handing a shared kill to a young wingman he was instructing, led the formation over a machine-gun post and both planes were shot down. The wingman managed an emergency landing in friendly lines, but Mannock went down in flames. A few months later, the war ended, but Mannock’s bleak prediction to a friend had come true: “For me, there is no ‘after the war’,” he reportedly said.

NYPD: Half-assed Firearms Training + Unsafe NY Trigger + burst fire = Another Shot Bystander

NYPDThis time, they killed the guy. No, not the guy they were shooting at — he’s in stable condition, and going to recover fully. That’s the guy they should have killed, the guy who held a gun to a cop’s head and later turned and pointed it at him. (The gun turned out to be an Airsoft fake, but was convincing enough you have to agree with the decision to engage the suspect. We have an NYPD official photo of the suspect “gun” below).

But despite firing 11 or 12 rounds from his real gun, the cop only hit armed robber and wannabe cop-killer Alvin Smothers, 36, three times, none in an incapacitating or even solid hit. Two negligently fired rounds struck bystander Felix Kumi, 61, killing him. The other six or seven rounds went Christ-knows-where.

You can’t blame the officer for firing. While the police thought they were carrying out a sting against a black market gun dealer, the “gun dealer,” Jeff Aristy, 28, and his accomplice, Smothers, thought they were going to rob a couple of non-street-smart gun buyers. Since they were supposedly selling these guys guns, they were not expecting an armed response. The Daily Mail:

According to the NYPD, the killer officer was trying to set up a suspected gun dealer in a months-long undercover operation.

First, did they have to say, “killer officer”? The guy didn’t pick up his gun and badge that morning and say, “Patience, my ass, today I’m going out and kill something!” He was badly let down by departmental policies and training. And if he’d only shot the worthless Smothers, and stopped there, he’d be a hero.

Suspect Jeff Aristy, 28, contacted the officer with an offer of guns for sale, then drove him from the Bronx to Mount Vernon to carry out the deal, police said.

Criminals do stuff like this because jailhouse lawyers tell them a New York City cop can’t bust them outside of the five boroughs. Jailhouse lawyers are, in this and many other things, wrong.

After Aristy parked his car, Smothers, the second suspect who was shot, allegedly got into the back seat and pointed the fake gun at the officer’s head, demanding money.

The officer handed over a wad of cash, waited for Smothers to flee, then chased after him, police said.

During the chase, Smothers is said to have turned round and aimed the replica weapon at the officer, prompting him to open fire – hitting both the suspect and Kumi, a local man who happened to be in the area.

It is hard to fault the decision-making of the officer here. He functioned pretty well for a guy who had just had a gun to his head. Here’s the gun:

convincing fake beretta

Would you recognize it as a fake in mere seconds? We wouldn’t, and we carried a real one as a personal weapon for 2-3 years and then as a service weapon for another 25 or so.

This Airsoft toy is a close-enough replica of a Beretta M9A1 that you have to look very, very close to see indicators that it’s not real — and that’s with it just sitting there in the photo.

What they don’t need to do is make an example of the copper here. The guy was hanging it out, doing one of the riskiest jobs in law enforcement, and while he handled the attempted robbery with notable sang-froid, most people in any large group of trained shooters will revert to their training in combat. That’s what he did, and that’s why a citizen is dead and a nogoodnik is not. Because his training was self-evidently unsatisfactory to his requirements.

The real problem is the department’s mixed-up, tossed-up, never-come-down firearms training and policies that generate these disasters over and over again.

New York Police Department needs to inject some realism in its training, and to lose the unsafe Glock New York Trigger (or NY2 or whatever ultra-heavy trigger they’re specifying now). With a gun like a Glock that has no manual safety and requires a trigger pull for routine maintenance, nothing you do to the trigger is going to prevent a department with 30,000 or 40,000 cops from having the occasional ND. (Hanging those who have NDs from a construction crane in front of One Police Plaza might help, but it will never get you to zero. Remember, they had NDs when they were carrying .38 Specials).

Someone will suggest banning realistic toy guns.

New York already does. How’s that working out for them?

Sunday Stretch

Have you ever seen an animal stretch? Of course you have. Dogs do it all the time; some of them do it every time they get up. Cats are even more athletic stretchers, which probably goes a long way to explain their prodigious jumping ability. (Our late cat, Khalid bin Mahfouz — named after a terror financier who escaped justice by expiring of natural causes — would periodically turn up on the kitchen rafters, some nine feet above the floor. Sure, he was jumping from the counter to the cabinets, but these were still amazing leaps).

Stretching is good for the human organism, too. Not just physically; physical stretches seem to clear the mind as well.

And figurative stretches are important, too. Recently Your Humble Blogger and the Blogbrother completed the rearmost tailcone bulkhead of the RV-12. It was intimidating to us, as it had a number of rivets that had very long protruding shanks (AN 470 AD4-6s, if you’re a rivet geek, through only about .080″ or so of sheet). It is depressingly easy to turn a long shank, and some of the parts of this bulkhead assembly had required some machining that we wouldn’t care to do over if we wound up having to drill out rivets and produced oversized holes. The tail skid bracket needed to be cut off just so, and from another direction it needed a hole drilled and tapped. Nothing hard, just time-consuming in the setup to do it on a drill press. (A tap is done manually, turning the chuck by hand, with the press just serving to locate the tap and keep it straight). It had been a long time since we’d tapped a hole and we had that virgin delight of test-threading the bolt and having it fit perfectly, a delight that wanes when you do a lot of these, but that comes back in full cry when it’s your first in years.

The hardest stretch is finding the time for everything, and the only thing that works for us is maintaining a list and ruthless prioritization. As a result, there are always things on the list that don’t get done on time or don’t get done at all.

Some of the delayed items include this blog post, which is four hours plus late (albeit backdated); yesterday’s Saturday Matinee, which was posted this morning, about 13 hours late; and yesterdays TW3, which has not been posted at all, yet. (And might not be, as we’re already looking forward to this week).

A variety of mundane delights call us today — the lawnmower, the hedge-trimmers, the wash-and-prime cycle for the next batch of airplane parts, a dunk in the Blogbrother’s pool. A bike ride. PT has suffered a lot, and we can’t have that; we happen to be among the people who will croak if they don’t exercise, so we should be a bit inflexible about it, and this summer, haven’t been.

But can we do all those things?

Maybe. If we stretch.

That Was the Week that Was: 2015 Week 35

That was the week that was TW3This week was a busy one, with two of our Saturday posts (Matinee and this TW3) being posted late, and last week’s overdue Saturday posts never getting done at all.

Sigh. Sometimes you have weeks like that.

But we also published some good stuff, and we worked on some good stuff which isn’t published yet, it part because it was more work than we expected. (Funny how that happens).

what we’re thinking around here.

The Boring Statistics

This week was a slightly above average week. We posted 28 posts with a disappointing 269 comments by press time for this post, and a total of over 22,000 words. If we hit any statistical milestones, we didn’t notice them. .

Comments This Week

As mentioned, our comment count was down (many recent weeks have broken 300, and some even 400 comments. Not last week or this one). But we did get some comments of notable quality, and to our delight, the most commented thread was a technical thread on the 1968 vintage Quiet Special Purpose Revolver.

The Week in Posts

Here’s the recap of our posts for this week (note: we’ll come through and blurb and link each of these sometime Sunday night or Monday morning (stricken as done)– apologies for the delay, but analog life takes precedence right now):

Going Forward

We have another incident of a questionable police shooting — but is this one really questionable? The cop lightly wounded the suspect, enablling his apprehension, but killed a citizen in the background as he sprayed out-of-control rounds in random directions.

And we should be able to finish our piece on the so-called “Spetsnaz” ballistic knife, whose origins are lost in the shadows of urban (or prison) legend, but which actually came to be made — and banned — as the legend spread in 1983-84.

We have two guest reports on historic sites in St Augustine, FL, from Our Traveling Reporter who is traveling (what else?) in that region of the country, and they’re stuck in the queue for editing.

Saturday Matinee 2015 35: Uncertain Tomorrow (Web pilot, 2015)


They do show surveillance in a defensive setting. Click to embiggen these photos (and see the detail in the dark).

This is something very different from the usual review, because it’s a review of a ten minute, all-but-dialogueless webisode of a video that’s meant to be sort-of infotainment for preppers and those considering making preparations for family survival in the event of disaster accompanied by failure of Rule of Law.

And further webisodes may never be made; it’s on Indiegogo now, and it’s dying on the vine there, perhaps from a paucity of promotion.

The show is also unusual in that it is sponsored by a gun shop, the Savannah River Armory from Georgia, and an unusual one in that its manager and workers are veterans of the recent unpleasantness.

Georgians now have the emergency survival problem that people in built-up areas like the Northeast and Southern California have long had: most of them live in urban environments that hang together only by the rule of law and its fair and firm enforcement. In the event of a collapse of lawfully constituted authority (which is not as far off as you think; in 2005 the New Orleans Police Department evaporated into nearly half no-shows and nearly half who joined the  looters) the dependent masses, particularly youth that are already feral, become a hazard to everyone in town and out.

Uncertain Tomorrow aims to show us, through the actions of a small band of determined survivors, how such a calamity can be survived with confidence and integrity.

The story begins with our survivors in sub-optimal positions. One, a former military sniper, is in the long chains of cars that have become stuck in jams leaving the city. He opts to walk to what turns out to be a preset rendezvous point.

Another has a problem — he’s not just trying to flee himself, but protect his womenfolk as well, as the city collapses into  riots. By the end of the episode, they’re established in the countryside, but now have to deal with unprepared people seeking help.

Acting and Production

Before we comment on it, we’ll embed the 10-minute pilot for your edification.

The acting seems okay for what appear to be amateurs, but there’s no dialogue in the pilot episode, which they tell us cost $1k/minute (and they also tell us, that’s about standard for a production these days. To us, it seems low).

The episode has decent production values apart from its unusual “silent film” nature (it’s not really silent, as there are sound effects, unintrusive music, and ambient audio). Edits are snappy, camera angles interesting, situations don’t stretch plausibility more than any of these films do. (For example, why did the solo guy have to give up his vehicle and walk, while the family were able to drive from the burning inner city out successfully?)

Accuracy and Weapons

By and large their guns are sensible for the situation, and their use of them is much more realistic than the full-zombie-assault movies that are currently in vogue.


Right about now, this guy’s night vision is on a par with Stevie Wonder’s.

In some specific cases, the survival techniques looked unrealistic to us. The lone survivor, building a White Man’s fire and sitting staring into it? Not a real great policy; the forest is neutral but the people in it all have to be considered red forces until proven otherwise.

Also, snappy, squared-off patrol movements are easy to do in the first ten minutes after you pick up the gun. These guys never show what it’s like after ten hours under a ruck, and in this situation, ten hours is unfortunately a warm-up.

Driving right up to a building, even your own camp, that’s in an unknown security state? No; not in this situation. Your property may well be occupied by armed, scared squatters. You surveil it, then clear it, with someone providing support from a covered and concealed position. The folly of “just driving up” is driven (no pun intended) home later in the webisode, when Sumdood drives up and finds himself having to trust the survivors’ willingness to play, “Hand up, don’t shoot.”


The building-clearing techniques are asking for trouble against armed resistance, but to clear a building properly and safely you need more people and more training than these survivors have. If you don’t have that, you’re better off surveilling the building than trying to clear it. (A small band of survivors hasn’t really got the sand in its pockets to surveil a large building around the clock, either).

And the overall idea — when things go sour, drop everything and head to your woodland redoubt — may be a case of too little, too late with respect to sensible survival. A better approach, if survival in rule-of-law regressive times is your objective, is to do as James Wesley, Rawles practices (and preaches) and relocate now to a defensible remote location. Given that human beings are by definition social animals, very, very few people will do that. Instead, they’ll run the risk — also a reasonable decision, but know the decision you’re making.

Backing up the alley where you left the car, unsecured and unobserved; shuffling the womenfolk behind you? That's assuming a lot of risk. You might have no other choice.

Backing up the alley where you left the car, unsecured and unobserved; shuffling the womenfolk behind you? That’s assuming a lot of risk. You might have no other choice.

As we’ve pointed out, Hog Manor is six miles from a certain nuclear first-strike target generally to our north and about ten miles from another in the opposite direction, and is set between the grey Atlantic to the east and suburban sprawl to the west. We’re two days’ march (for shambling city folks) up the highway from a conurbation packed with people who already riot over sports scores, many of whom are on Year Eight of the Undergraduate Experience® and are about as societally useful as you’d figure, from that.

We’re running a hell of a risk in the event of societal collapse — but Your Humble Blogger is also a few months’ medication interruption from sudden death from one thing or agonizing disability from t’other.

Personally, we believe the best prep is gradual, realistic and risk-based. Remember that risk is a product of probability and severity, so start with being ready for the things that are very likely to screw your life up for a few days (loss of power, severe weather of the sort common in your area), then start planning for less likely and longer lasting problems. Yes, it’s intimidating to set aside rations for a year, but could you put three days’ foods (things that your family already eats) in some shelf-stable format in a Tuff Box in your basement? It wouldn’t be hard. (A kid can get adequate nutrition for a week from two or three cans a day of spaghetti, beef stew or hash, plus a multivitamin. And, if no power, can eat right out of the cans. The cans store damn near forever and if you pay $1 each you weren’t shopping the sales).

The bottom line

Uncertain Tomorrow is on Indiegogo and it is poorly subscribed to date; maybe they need to promote it more widely, maybe they need to shake up their campaign or up their rewards, or maybe the potential audience for this film has all their cash tied up in Krugerrands or something. We’ll consider this coming week whether we want to throw in on it; we’ll tell you on Friday or Saturday what we decided. Right now, we’re leaning towards a contribution, because we’d like to see more episodes of this. Yes, we’ve criticized some of what they show in the current brief episode, but they got us talking, didn’t they?

They are not, however, planning to make money with it, at least not directly, and that’s probably what’s going to hold them back more than any lack of contributions. Still, have a look at it!

For more information

None of the usual sites related to this particular film apply here. You’ve simply got:

When Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Market Corrections.

wile_e_coyote_gravityMarket corrections and gravity, but in all honesty, mostly gravity. But then, if we’re really honest, it wasn’t the fall that did him in, but the sudden stop at the end.

This incident happened in Shenyang, the industrial city home to many arsenals, aircraft factories, and industrial production of all kinds. The city was known as Tsientsin before the revolution produced a change in Chinese-English transcription (among other things).

A 57-year-old man has allegedly committed suicide in Shenyang, the largest city in Liaoning Province, by jumping off the 17th floor of a building, possibly in response to a recent stock market crash in China, local press reported.
The building belongs to the city’s Chamber of Commerce and the 17th floor hosts a security exchange center, reported citing a local newspaper. The incident took place Tuesday afternoon at around 2:00 p.m.

Extra style points for executing this dive, triple gainer, double axel or whatever it may have been, from the Chamber of Commerce building that hosts a stock exchange. A tip to our Chinese readers — since about 1929, roof access anywhere on Wall Street has been kind of difficult.

Prevents people from making a permanent solution to their temporary problems.

According to a witness, a black briefcase ‘full of stock-related materials’ was found on the ground next to the body of the man who was reportedly identified as a local resident.

While authorities are investigating the reason for the dive, it has been suggested that the suicide was connected to the recent stock market crash.

That does seem to be a reasonable inference. It’s not the first time.

In July, a woman leaped to her death in Shanghai’s IAPM mall in a suicide also linked to plummeting stocks, according to

We saw what you did there. “Plummeting” stocks indeed.

The problem with reacting like this to plummeting stocks, is that plummeting stocks can rebound. Plummeting humans, not so much.

Turns out the Chinese cops take a dim view of stock-market-related suicides. Not making them, but apparently talking about them.

Last month, Chinese authorities arrested a man who had allegedly been spreading rumors about people jumping off buildings in Beijing because of a stock market crash, China Central Television reported. The 29-year-old man allegedly wrote on social media that “there are people, because of the stock market crash, who have jumped off buildings in Beijing’s Financial Street.” The post in question disappeared the day after it was created, thought to have been deleted by the state censors. Its author was detained for “disorderly behavior.”

via Man reportedly leaps to his death over stock market crash in China — RT News.

We wonder what Chairman Mao Tse-Tung would think of it — in his day, Chinese people didn’t have to kill themselves — he took care of that. And they didn’t have a stock market to kill themselves over — he took care of that, too.

Tom Spooner’s “Old Soldier” — Sung in a Special Operations team room

Tom Spooner put the following online a year ago; we missed it at the time. OTR flagged us to it last night. As we understand it, Tom wrote this song, but it is another D guy performing it, in a team room. A bit long and sad for our taste in music, but it deserves a wider audience, and that’s you guys. Tom is former SF and retired Delta, with most of his time spent in Delta. When there’s a pic of a bunch of guys and one face isn’t fuzzed out, that’s Tom.

Not all the images used here are Delta shots or even Army or SOF guys. You’ll recognize Marine First Sergeant Brad Kasal, for instance. The pictures all do fit the “Old Soldier” theme.

Now, we never went to Delta. We know little about the JSOC elements, but what we do know can be encapsulated in a sentence: those who talk don’t know, and those who know, don’t talk, and that’s as it should be. 

We’ve lost a lot of good guys in these long, fruitless, ill-supported wars. But if there’s anything that deserves to be known to the public, it’s that we have a lot of good guys who still show up every day, take the mission they get handed, and do it with brio.

The mission in the GWOT was different from the mission in the 90s, which was different from the mission in the 80s, or 70s, and back in the sixties there were guys running recon in denied areas, because that was the mission then.

The mission next year, decade, next war, is going to be different. The only thing in common is that “young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, to whom a kinds of tricks would be taught” will turn out and take that mission and make history with it. Sometimes the history takes 10, or 30, or 100 years to be released to the public, but remember what we said about the ones that know and don’t talk?

For them, it’s quite enough that they know. 

Revolvers In ATF Trace Data

S&W Revolver Cylinder (Note: this is a JC Blauveldt custom moon-clip job. Look closely! Nice work).

S&W Revolver Cylinder (Note: this is a JC Blauvelt custom moon-clip job. Look closely! Nice work).

We’re going to start with a disclaimer: ATF trace data is not a real solid statistical base for anything. The firearms that are traced are not a random sample, but tend to be crime guns, found guns, and recovered thefts; and the ATF discourages local PDs from requesting tracing of older guns. (For political reasons, they’re trying to drive time-to-trace, which they disingenuously call time-to-crime, down). So a gun’s presence in the data depends somewhat on how ugly it is, and how new. But it struck us that they did collect a lot of data, so the Law of Large Numbers might be working for us, a wee bit. And they break down the data by both state (or territory) and by type of firearm, allowing all kinds of creative crosstabs, in this case, pistols and revolvers by state (or states by percentages of pistols and revolvers).

It struck us further: if revolvers are more or less commonly traced than average, the data may represent the degree to which there are regional variations in automatic pistol vs. revolver preferences. (Almost all “pistols” on the ATF list are automatics, although there may be occasional oddities in there). Again, this is limited by the non-representative nature of ATF trace data.

All in all, the trace data show that ATF traced 175,361 handguns in calendar 2014. Of these, 131,562 were pistols and 43,799 were revolvers, a 75.0/25.0% breakdown. How much do individual states vary from that? Extracting the pistol and revolver data from the ATF’s spreadsheet, we made our own. First thing we ran was the MIN and MAX formulas, determining that the range of percentages was from 14% to 50%.

The first revelation: not a single state or territory saw that a majority of traced handguns were revolvers. Not one. And only one split fifty-fity, and it turned out to be a very peculiar place indeed. To give you an idea of how far out of whack that was, the next highest percentage of revolvers traced was barely more than 1/3: 33.8%.

The high scorer on percentage of revolvers was a case where the law of large numbers probably wasn’t working for us: only 18 handguns were traced in the territory of Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, 9 each pistols and revolvers (50% revolvers). The low scorer was another territory, Puerto Rico; of the 1,030 handguns traced there, 886 were pistols and only 144 revolvers (14%).

To show that Guam was really an outlier, off 16% from the next state, here it is with the next five states in order:


Fascinating that the second largest percentage of revolvers was traced to Guam’s neighbor (to the extent anything in the vast Pacific is a neighbor), Hawaii.

At the other end of the spectrum, Puerto Rico shows less of an outlier status, being off only 2% from the next state:


We should probably have put it in the images, but this is all from Calendar Year 2014 data as reported by BATFE.

After the jump, there are some data tables and a linked spreadsheet for playing with them your ownself.

Continue reading