What About the Squid Farms

Yesterday I came across one of the silliest memes I’ve ever seen — and most political memes border on the idiotic — about, of course, the second amendment and protection from tyranny.

It said (only in pictures, you know, since memes are politics for the illiterate) that in 200 years guns had killed neighbors, pets, family members and innocent bystanders but had done nothing to avert tyranny.

Will someone find my eyes?  They seem to have rolled so hard that if I weren’t writing this from the airport, the cats would be batting them under furniture.

We won’t go into the other things guns have killed in 200 years, starting with deer and ending with criminals, burglars, would-be-murderers and people attempting home invasion.  (Apparently these people’s neighbors pets and family members include a great number of gang members and criminals.  Hey, I don’t judge.)

Rather, we’re going to ask “How do you know it didn’t prevent tyranny?”

And they’re going to sputter back something about armed rebellion.  But that’s not the point of allowing the populace to be armed.

Oh, sure, it’s part of the point.  If things get that bad that midnight arrest squads are going door to door and kicking doors down and trying to arrest you, sure, that’s when you need your guns to resist.  We’ve never got there.  That’s because when an armed populace is working properly to resist tyranny, it never gets to the point of midnight arrest squads.  Why not?  Because they know you’ll shoot their traitorous asses, that’s why.

How do we know tyranny is being prevented or at least curtailed?  Well, how would you know if there is no tyranny?

I think a pretty good indication is how would-be tyrants and statists hate despise and try to do an end run around the second amendment.

They know as well as you do that higher gun ownership correlates to lower crime, and they don’t even try to bring that up most of the time.  Instead, they try to ride the emotion wave, whenever there’s a mass murder.  From Sandy Hook to Las Vegas, they’re there, standing on top of barely cold corpses, demanding that guns be taken from everyone, even though objectively in every one of those cases, no regulation would have prevented the crime.

No, not even if you forbid guns utterly.  Why not?  Well, first because laws aren’t magical.  Just because you write something down, it doesn’t magically happen. Even in countries where guns are forbidden, guns still get in.  They get in through criminal connections, hostile country smuggling and myriad other means.  It’s just that it’s only the criminals who are armed.  Because law abiding people try to abide by the laws.

And honestly, even if someone like the Las Vegas shooter were unable to find a single gun, he could have done worse and thrown explosives down into the crowd.  If you think the death toll is bad now…

But the whole point is that asking us to show you when tyranny was prevented is the same as us telling you that socialism has prevented the existence of squid farms on Mars.  You can’t prove it, unless there’s a machine that shows a parallel world where different conditions obtained.

Or you can use your brain and think logically, something these particular meme=makers seemed unable to do.

You can read American history and the very real abuses of civil liberties under such would-be-tyrants as Wilson and FDR and realize they never got as bad as in other countries at the same time, because, well… because an armed populace might not put up with it.

Or you can look now, at the fact that most attacks take place in gun free zones or gun free cities.  Or in this case from enough distance to render that moot.

That might give you some indication that some attacks, domestic or government, are being thwarted.

You can also study the statistics.  There are remarkably few gun-killings by accident, despite all the crying you hear from the gun-grabbers.  Sure, there is any number of children shooting children, but those statistics, to be meaningful, had to be inflated by calling 19 year old gang-bangers “children.”  The truly accidental child shooting child incidents are probably about as many as tragic lawn mower accidents or child-pulls-pan-of-boiling water on head.

And there are a remarkably large number of times guns saved lives.  Or I should say saved innocent lives.  A number of those won’t show up except as a blip in local news, stuff like “local widow scares away burglar by pulling gun.”  In other cases, they swell the “gun deaths” statistics, because the homeowner or accosted passer bye shot the evil doer.

In those cases, it’s a squid farms situation all the way down.  Yeah, I know, I can hear the left wail about “murdering” criminals who could be rehabilitated.  But listen, okay, there’s something we’ve learned over the 20th century by virtue of keeping statistics: a) it’s almost impossible to rehabilitate criminals.  While it might be meritorious to try, it’s still an almost impossible task.  Particularly criminals who have progressed to breaking and entering on an occupied house or perhaps armed robbery.  b) most of the crime is committed by habitual criminals.

So when someone kills a criminal in self defense, there’s a good chance they didn’t just save their own life, but the lives of everyone that criminal would go on to attack.

It’s a squid farm situation, again.  You can weep over the poor dead criminal, but you don’t see how many of the victims who didn’t die were spared.

The problem of socialism is that it hides both the benefits of the policies it detests, and the injury of the policies it promotes.  Perhaps if we didn’t spend all our money paying people not to be productive or creative or industrious, and therefore had a completely different type of society, we would have those squid farms on Mars.

But for now I’ll settle for the equally impossible tyranny that was never established over these United States.

240 some years and no sign of tyranny.  Obviously the armed populace is working.  Give yourselves a pat in the back, and go forth in liberty.  And don’t let the idiots and the power-hungry tell you it would be better if you abdicated your responsibilities to governmental and impersonal forces.

Your liberties are yours to guard.  Keep it up.









449 thoughts on “What About the Squid Farms

    1. THAT is the “prevention of tyranny in the USA” example I thought of immediately myself and was going to post a comment about. Why am i not surprised it was the first comment 🙂

      1. They are either ignoring the role guns have played in helping black people or more likely they don’t remember their history since it isn’t a grievance.

    2. Even more shocking, Lexington and Concord were basically the result of a failed gun control raid. And Yes, the British Bill of Rights had a equivalent of the second amendment, “That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.”

      1. That wasn’t actually a right so much as an enumerated exception. For a very long time, Catholics and other non-Anglicans were forbidden to own or bear arms, although they had to pay special taxes to fund someone else bearing arms. (This included the infamous law forbidding Catholics to own a horse worth more than 5 pounds, since it was a potential “weapons delivery system.” This lasted longer in Ireland than in the rest of the Empire, and obviously was a terrible nuisance to the Irish horsebreeding and horsetrading industry. So yes, along with the skill of making a horse look like a better deal than it is, Irish horsetraders learned how to make a horse look worse.

        ANYWAY, at a certain point, even the non-Anglican Protestants were allowed to bear arms. (As long as you weren’t a Quaker or a Methodist or something Really Bad.) Obviously this was less onerous on the Quakers (although paying the tax stunk), but I have often wondered if this is part of why you had so many “fighting Quakers” in the American Revolution — the sheer delight of defying the UK government.

          1. *considers arguing*

            *Considers that about the only country the Irish haven’t gone “this sucks, fix it” is the US, and even that requires quibbling*


            1. ….in case anybody needs it pointed out: yeah, Irish.

              Sub-note, that isn’t really genetic– although there may be some tendencies stuck in there– it’s a cultural thing. Genetics changes what you look like, not totally how you think.

              1. I’m not saying the Irish are prone to making trouble …

                but this story has a basis in fact.

  1. >child-pulls-pan-of-boiling water on head.

    This actually happened, to my adoptiive father when he was around 5. Luckily for him, it struck him on the back and shoulders rather than head. He still bore the scar tissue to the day of his death at 67.

    O, why did not someone forbid STOVES? Or require government permits to boil water? :O

    Did no one think of the CHILDREN?

      1. Given the stereotypical resistance of children to bathing, I suspect many kids would support such a ban. 🙂

        1. My daughter would definitely like to sign that petition.

          (As an aside, would anyone care to explain to me how it is that a six-month-old can be so clear on the difference between “going swimming” and “taking a bath”? She has a great time with the former and screams bloody murder at the latter.)

          1. Does she have a swimsuit she wears when swimming? That would probably be the kicker I think. I have been lucky where my little enjoys bath time. Sometimes too much.

            1. Yeah. I guess I’m not surprised that she can notice things that tell her the difference, it’s more an issue of, why is the baby, a rubber duck, and some shallow water in a swimming pool a source of joy, while the baby, a rubber duck, and some shallow water in a bathtub a source of terror.

          2. I always thought that girls would be easier in this regard. However, It’s like pulling teeth to get my daughters to shower. I sometimes wonder if not having a bath tub (shower only) is part of the problem, but so far it isn’t worth the money I would spend installing a tub to find out.

            1. Ditto, but since the carpet crawler love baths because they were basically a warm as toast swimming pool, we got one of those shower hose attachments so she could spray around herself and lined the bathroom with towels.

        1. The thought is that human actions can be controlled by external factors and that items that are one or more association distant from a human hand. Plus school shootings are attention grabbing. I’d bet more deaths from one on one attacks in school than any mass killing by one person.

    1. The burned hand teaches best.
      What most people avoid acknowledging is the ones who get burned often are the slowest learners; and require more than parents warning them, getting close and feeling the heat themselves and avoiding slapping their hands right on the glowing red metal.

      1. I dunno.

        When our eldest boy was a year old, my husband and I decided to enjoy the evening by lighting some little tea lights around my mother’s front porch and around the little fish ponds and the front foot path, and sat outside with my mom, chatting and drinking sodas. Vincent crawled up to one of the little tea lights in it’s glass holder, reached out and tried to grab the flame, enchanted by how pretty it looked. He yelped when it got burned, looked utterly betrayed at the flame, grabbed a handful of dirt and threatened the candle flame with it.

        I don’t think he was too happy with his parents either, since we both burst into laughter at that point. But he never tried to grab a flame ever again, and learned that if he can feel the warmth from a distance, that thing is probably hot.

        1. That would be one of those unforgettable memories, littluns’ can do the cutest things, sometimes.

          1. Oh yeah. There was this time where he made himself a little mud wallow in the yard back at my parents’ home. I got my camera to take photos, but when he heard the door open he thought he was in TROUBLE and fled. I chased him around the house a few times and then caught him as he rounded the corner – and oh, how his face lit up when he saw I had a camera in my hands, and he wasn’t in trouble!

            I sadly don’t know where those photos are; but I figure I must have sent them to Rhys at some point. Aff describes Vincent as this ‘invincible ball of happiness’ so I guess we did something right…

            1. Aff describes Vincent as this ‘invincible ball of happiness’

              Wait until V discovers girls, especially girl friends before you employ “invincible” to describe his happiness.

          1. EEeegh. That one Rhys and I have a very strong memory of. Rhys happened to see him toddle toward an electrical socket with something in his hand, and ROARED a single word: STOP. From across the house. Boyo froze – so did I! – and he burst into tears as Daddy rushed over and yanked him away from the danger zone. We soothed and assured him that we loved him and told him that the reason why Daddy shouted was to stop him from doing something terrible that might get him badly hurt or killed. He was 3. From that point on, Vincent made sure to stay away from the plugs and sockets, as it’s a ‘grown up thing to handle.’

            We got lucky that day. Honestly, I’m pretty sure we got lucky with the kids. Despite the fact that we swear at home a LOT, the kids don’t – we actually explained that adult language is something you learn to use when appropriate, and when not to use it. Since it’s something they haven’t learned when it is or isn’t supposed to be used, they shouldn’t.

            The one time Vincent did swear (at someone who was being an asshole to him) he admitted that he did, and when we listened to the circumstances, let it slide as ‘appropriate use, but don’t do it again especially where a teacher could hear you.’

            1. One of my few clear early childhood memories is of watching the result of having inserted a bobby pin into a wall outlet. I am guessing that the plastic coating of the tips took a few moments to burn away, allowing me to escape undamaged, although I am reliably informed that, prior to that incident, I was never known to pun.

              1. A paper clip does not have that momentary protection. Trust me.
                But, honestly, 120V through a paper clip isn’t that *twitch* bad.

              2. Sticking something into an outlet is generally not too life-threatening. It may or may not cause the arm muscles to contract, but if it does, then it will generally cause your biceps to pull the arm away from contact. It’s when you wrap your fingers around an anchored wire that the serious dangers start.

            2. Ah yes. I have fond memories of high school social studies class when we were watching an excruciatingly boring movie, probably some leftist indoctrination piece since all memory of the content is gone. Sitting in the back row, I folded up the foil wrapper of a stick of gum, bent it into a u-shape, and placed it in the electrical outlet, then tapped it in with a ruler. The jet of flame as the current flash ignited the paper and vaporized the aluminum foil was truly spectacular. Better still, it destroyed all evidence of the crime. 😉

              1. Nah, that’s just the way I grabbed it.

                Experimental was when I split two pencils and hooked the wires of an extension cord to the graphite so I could see what kind of arc it generated. Fortunately, by then, I was old enough to make a small wood frame to strap them to in order to get the points close. And even then, found that I needed to bridge the gap with a small piece of wire (used a single steel wool wire) to actually get the arc started.

  2. Can we discuss the Civil War as a possible prevention of tyranny? Can we discuss the extent to which armed victims limited the tyranny of Jim Crow and Segregation?

    1. Reconstruction. The first thing local authorities tried was firearm confiscation from blacks. And, curiously enough, those with an affinity for white sheets tended to pay a visit after the firearms had been confiscated.

      What’s particularly interesting is that they had a sound legal argument for firearm confiscation from freed slaves: former slaves were arguably not US citizens and thus did not enjoy the protection of the Second Amendment. That’s an actual argument from that era. The Fourteenth Amendment closed that particular gap, but good look finding this aspect in history books.

      Here’s something that’s interesting: The legal codes, circa 1860, of each Confederate state is likely available online in PDF form. I know Georgia’s is. Look up the laws affecting the liberties of slaves, such as assembly and firearm ownership. Then compare it to what the Democrats now want nation wide. Then know that all these laws came about out of fear of rebellion. In short, they were all aimed at the continued subjugation of slaves, and later, blacks. Then ask why they wish to pass the the same thing on us all.

      This is why I’ve taken to call them slavers. That seems to be their intent.

      1. Correct, and no, the Progs HATE to talk about it.
        One good book on that time and problem is Stephen Halbrooks’ Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876, reprinted in 2010 as Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms.

    2. My mind immediately turns toward our own Whiskey Rebellion shortly after the founding of the nation, gubmint wanted to tax the manufacture and sale of alcohol so the farmers took up arms in protest. Washington himself ordered the army to suppress the rebellion. In the end the tax was very difficult to collect and eventually repealed.
      Then there were the Deacons for Defense and Justice, an armed group of African Americans who provided security for black leaders during the protests in the 1960s.
      And too that modest dustup in Athens TN where veterans “borrowed” arms from the local National Guard armory to help in protesting a crooked election.

      1. Good point. Most historians seem to hold the Whiskey Rebellion up as; (1) justification for federal use of force to put down rebellions, and (2) that it was indeed a FAILED rebellion. However, in light of the fact that the tax was eventually repealed, perhaps that rebellion was necessary to show the costs were too high for the government to continue that form of taxation. Just as brandishing a gun can change a criminal’s behavior without actually shooting them, engaging in a rebellion, even if the rebels lose, may get those rebelled against to do what you want anyway. (I still prefer not to be on the losing end of things like that. I prefer to be alive and free to enjoy the fruits of my efforts.)

        1. Sadly, the majority of contemporary academic historians (as opposed to popular and/or amateur ones) seem to view their avocation as revising history rather than reporting it.

          That, apparently, is where the grant money is.

        2. We could make the argument that the Feds could get involved in the Whiskey Rebellion as they were revolving against their own representation. Putting down insurrections is listed under Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution under the Powers of Congress.

            1. Yeah, but the ‘losers’ of that stand off are either in court, waiting for court, or in prison. One of our local minor politicians is spending some time in the crowbar hotel, even though he never even drew his weapon while there.

              1. Several of them got either mistrials or not guilty. It’s proven to be an interesting exercise in jury nullification.

        3. Well, remember that we live in a day and age in which the recently-failed presidential candidate of one of the two major political parties can advance the theory, without a bit of intended irony, that 1984 is arguing for *MORE* deference to the government.

    3. The stated and intended purpose of the country’s first gun bans was to keep guns out of the hands of blacks.
      The stated and intended purpose of the 14th amendment was to put a stop to that practice. Unfortunately, dishonest justices simply ignored that purpose.

      1. During a visit to Jamestown this summer, the tour guide played the character of 17 century black freedman Anthony Johnson. Who was not happy about how things were looking for the future, including how blacks slaves were no longer allowed to own guns.

        1. From a PRAGMATIC standpoint, the prohibition on black slaves, and to a lesser extension, on blacks in general, from owning guns was perfectly reasonable in the Antebellum South in light of the experience in Haiti. To be clear, I’m not defending the bans, just putting them into context. OUR Revolution had, by historical standards, very little of the common post-victory butchery of the losers. Haiti’s revolution? Looked a lot more like that of their linguistic “papa” (the French) than their geographic neighbors, i.e. ours.

          One of the greatest tragedies of the Civil War was that nobody was able (or perhaps even willing) to figure out a way for the South to get out of the economic and psycho-social corner into which they found themselves. How do you convince a people, especially the “leading lights” to totally gut their economy and destroy their OWN economic enterprises? Because that’s what “freeing the slaves” meant. The most valuable asset the plantation owners had was their workforce, the slaves. And a great many of them, in the time honored fashion of agriculture, were leveraged to the hilt, mostly to British banks. “Free the slaves” literally meant losing the farm.

          Play this thought experiment: Transformers is RIGHT. Our cars ARE sentient beings. And somebody is demanding that we free them. Oh, but we have to keep paying the loans…. And getting to our jobs to pay the loans. And if we don’t pay the loans, since they can’t repo the cars anymore, they’ll just take our homes instead.

          helluva bad spot we’d be in, eh? Oh, and we’re moral reprobates for having cars in the first place. (Yes, I know, there’s a greater distinction between us and cars and than between a slaveholder and a slave, but work with me here….)

          1. From a cultural relativity approach, the bans were an eminently practical adaptation, and anyone who denounces them — or the institution of slavery — is guilty of cultural discrimination, with any attempt to interfere an exercise of cultural imperialism.

            Selective ethnocentrism is the worst kind.

          2. “One of the greatest tragedies of the Civil War was that nobody was able (or perhaps even willing) to figure out a way for the South to get out of the economic and psycho-social corner into which they found themselves.”

            The solution was about 50 years further on; completing the mechanization of agriculture would have rendered that labor redundant, and the societal impulse toward abolition would have led to the owners getting rid of an excess workforce they couldn’t afford. Exactly what we would have done with the newly freed is an interesting conundrum. In history, because their labor was still needed, we ended up with sharecropping. Of course, the presence of all the lower-class whites who weren’t killed off in the Civil War would have complicated that….

            1. That’s kinda what Johnson’s Great Society was. If we’d had the wealth to throw at it, something similar might have been done.

              I think some of the South’s post war economic woes were simply an artifact of the corruption that maintained Democratic political control. If I believe that the third world’s poverty is an artifact of corruption, it is plausible that corruption could cause the same problems in other types of countries.

            2. Well, yes and no.

              The freedom would have come in bits and bobs, as individual slaveowning farmers mechanized. One wouldn’t see the mass dumping of former slaves into society overnight.

          3. John, I wasn’t talking about antebellum gun bans, I was talking about POSTbellum gun bans. Those were among the abuses that prompted the adoption of the 14th Amendment, as Stephen Halbrook (in “That every man be armed”) documents in detail.

  3. “And honestly, even if someone like the Las Vegas shooter were unable to find a single gun, he could have done worse and thrown explosives down into the crowd.”

    In this case, the guy apparently owned two planes and was a licensed pilot.

    1) Imagine him loading a plane with as many cans of fuel as it could carry, then crashing into the crowd.

    2) Worse still: imagine him buying a crop dusting rig and making low passes over the crowd, spraying them with fuel. Then crash the plane (or just throw out some lit road flares).

    Ugly, ugly, ugly.

    1. Bombs are quite effective when it comes to creating mass destruction. The most destructive in America to date (if you do not consider the use of planes as bombs) is the Murrah Federal Building bombing, which killed 168 people and injured more than 500. The deadliest attack on an American school was 1927 The Bath School Bombing, which killed 45 including the bomber, 38 of them children. Bombs can be dangerous to build, as demonstrated in 1970, when three Weathermen who blew themselves up along with their Greenwich Village townhouse.

      I would also supposed that for some the use of bombs would be too impersonal, too abrupt and lacking the prolonged terror and panic that such a shooting brings.

      1. A bomb would not allow the predator class to agitate for gun control (though they would anyway) – see calls for gun control after the Boston Marathon bombing.

        1. I noticed no replies to a comment (not here) that the biggest gun-related killing involved but a single gun which fired only once. Granted, it was a certainly a Special Case.

      1. Especially if he had gotten ahold of vintage Celluloid billiard balls, made from guncotton and camphor. As its inventor, John Wesley Hyatt, wrote in 1914:

        In order to secure strength and beauty, only coloring pigments were added, and in the least quantity, consequently a lighted cigar applied would at once result in a serious flame, and occasionally the violent contact of the balls would produce a mild explosion like a percussion guncap. We had a letter from a billiard saloon proprietor in Colorado, mentioning this fact and saying he did not care so much about it, but that instantly every man in the room pulled his gun.


        1. There are … things that he could have used which would have made the carnage much worse. Like grenade launchers. Thin comfort, I know. My daughter (the two-hitch Marine) looked at some pictures of his weaponry stash and ammunition which were posted today, (Daily Mail, IIRC) and said that if he was an experienced professional shooter (like a number of veterans in the crowd that he was shooting into), he could have done much more damage. Again – thin comfort.

    2. My only disagreement with the “thrown explosives” argument is the distance from the hotel to the crowd. They would have had to be “launched explosives”. That’s marginally harder to do.

      But, then again, he managed to get 10 suitcases of arms and ammunition into the hotel room. So, “launched explosives” isn’t too far-fetched.

        1. Gasoline, bit of diesel, and soap makes napalm iirc. White phosphorus is probably a bit too difficult and unstable for home cooking.

                1. A tennis racket has certain obvious drawbacks, but a jai alai cesta or even an atlatl would be simple, easy to use and effective at the range involved.

                  1. One would probably want to be on the roof, rather than in a room for those.

                    Unless the room has exceptionally tall ceilings.

              1. We got delicious knishes and kosher champagne –
                The kosher champagne – that’s two cents plain;
                Pastrami, salami, matzos, and jam.
                You should pardon the expression: We even got ham!
                But yes, we ain’t got bananas.

                — Spike Jones

                1. Now I’m hungry and making perogies (at least in the quantities where my kids won’t immediately lynch me for leaving them out) is an all day affair. 😛

      1. Meh. Paintball gun, with something other than paint in them. Heck, he could have used a super-soaker squirt-gun loaded with a skin-absorbed hallucinogenic. There are also worse things which we need not discuss.

        1. Note, how everything suggested here is already prevented as much as stuff can be simply by knowing what the guy did in this case.

          I know danged well there are other options, and I’m not even mentioning some of the inspired by stuff because I’m not 100% sure it’s being watched.

          But it is kinda impressive.

          1. Foxfier, I KNOW this is being watched, having had first hand experience with the U.S. Marshalls decided to ‘interview’ me for saying on the TownHall blog a few years ago that a certain corrupt attorney on the other side of the continent ought to have been taken out and shot. (Said attorney was deliberately interfering with anyone who objected to the Fast and Furious gun running that ended up getting a border patrol agent killed, and the Obama Administration was flexing their muscles trying to stifle anyone who complained.)

            Big Brother is always watching. The problem is, they often miss what’s in plain sight. And often can’t tell the difference between real threats or mere hyperbole. If it’s any consolation, this and all the other conservative blog sites writers run and solicit are probably considered very low threat since your primary weapons are words. But then you’re dangerous enough that the feds did want an internet on/off switch, and probably have one worked out with the telecoms. After all, it’s not censorship of a particular site if they turn the entire internet off now, is it?

            “We are experiencing technical difficulties Technicians are working to restore your connection. Please check back later.”

                1. Now, granted that it was a fictional story, but it was co-written by someone with actual DOD consulting experience, remember who they called in as consultants in Footfall? Writers. Specifically, SciFi writers. You put ten SciFi writers in a room and give them three hours, laptops, and plenty of coffee, and they’ll have 157 ideas that can be made to work with a couple of visits to a hardware store, a home goods store, a liquor store, and a sporting goods store..

                  1. Or for that matter (and more recently) in the first of both the Posleen and Vorpal Blade books.

            1. Mike, the Chinese government realized they needed to control the internet when Tiananmin Square happened in 1989: they went to shut off the internet as it existed then, and were told by various Chinese ministries and commercial interests that they couldn’t (Jerry Pournelle wrote about it in Byte) because even then turning it all off would have done more damage to their economy and country than letting the world see them crush the dissidents (because no one of importance was going to do anything effective). Today, it would only be worse, which is why they’ve invested so much in censorship tools to try for a selective takedown.

              1. HRC and others of similar ilk certainly wouldn’t care if a shut down caused damage to the economy. It’s just temporary, and she’s not going to be significantly bothered by it. Regional or local shutdowns limit that collateral damage even more. And there’s always the brute force DDOS attacks that can be targeted and launched from third party locations using zombie systems. Heck, just getting your ISP to lose your account can take you down for several days waiting for them to fix it unless you choose to grab a laptop and find a wifi spot to connect from. In fact, there’s so many means hackers (government or other) can employ to make on-line access hell, it becomes difficult to identify as a systematic assault on a particular individual by any agency until you start adding it up over a period of days to a week or more.

                1. Oh, absolutely. And like I said, the current focus is on selective takedown via whitelist if there’s any official action at all.

      2. Incidentally– I’ve got photographer relatives.

        It is REALLY not odd for basically nine TRUNKS of stuff to be put on a luggage cart and brought in, and then you go back for cheap stuff like clothing and jewelry–heck, when I travel by car I pack into rubbermade type storage boxes, because I don’t need rollers, I need stackability.

      3. Wouldn’t need much pressure from a potato gun to get that distance from that far up. Small air compressor, some pvc pipe…

    3. I must have missed where he owned planes. Your improvised fuel air explosion beats my construction equipment improvised tank attack.

    4. My husband thought of the plane crash scenario as well. He would have killed at least as many as were injured and injured many more.

      1. Some nimrod actually said that if he had crashed a fully loaded 747 into the crowd it wouldn’t have done as much. Yes, we have no brain cells. At least not in actual use.

        1. Positing that all the passengers of the 747 would have died, he actually would have had a higher body count if he crashed a fully loaded 747 into an empty stretch of Nevada desert.

          1. 22,000 fans packed shoulder to shoulder. 747, heck any large wide-body jet, full fuel load might get great fires going, but just the jet itself pancaking into the crowd would have killed more than 9/11. Paddock owned 2 single engine airplanes, either one loaded with fuel, extra fuel bladders and the Tannerite he had, crashed into the crowd and detonated probably would have killed 5 times the number shot.

  4. If somebody is a small time criminal and everything went wrong, this often causes them to reconsider their lifestyle choices. But generally this means stuff like simple theft, or desperation murder with a good reason.

    A lot of crime is associated with drugs or gang obligations. These folks are unlikely to change their minds unless they totally change their lives and move out of contact with almost everyone they know.

    Arson and burglary are often associated with psychosexual issues, which is why today’s arsonists and burglars rarely stop. Burglars often escalate to rape and murder, instead.

    And of course we all know that many rapists and murderers repeat their crimes as often as they are permitted, or find it convenient. Again, they enjoy the thrill of playing God.

    1. The shooter was allegedly the child of a bank robber. My comment in post will be late about corruption of blood seems to have been lost. Obviously we could have prevented the shooting by jumping on the ‘innate criminality in the blood’ bandwagon. XD

    2. As I recall there was considerable discussion during the George W Bush presidency (’43) regarding the effectiveness at preventing recidivism of various prison ministries. Apparently the Christian-based ones provided quite significant success (for certain values of significant; the figure that comes to mind is in the 23% range, considerably better than nothing.)

      Naturally this was a form of rehabilitation unacceptable to our enlightened betters of the Progressive persuasion, who much preferred the imprisoned lean about Allah.

      1. Rehabilitation of criminals isn’t impossible. But it is difficult to do on a purely secular basis. (Even a change of philosophy would be more effective.)

          1. Well, you are right that it often comes down to a matter of coercion that we can’t win with what we are willing to do. But you can break anyone with torture. It is just that the alleged purpose of reform includes functioning human beings.

            (Reason number #90732 I am glad to have all you all diluting my vote when it comes to prison management.)

            1. Get too tough in your judicial system, and you will wind up making some very tough criminals. No one has ever accused the Russian prison system of being “soft on crime”- yet Russian Organized criminals are some of the toughest around.

              1. It has been alleged that Russian crime is organized by the intelligence and security services. So the harshness of the criminal justice system may not be the root cause.

                1. The Russian Thieves’ World was a pretty dang tough bunch back in the time of the Czars. Stalin tried to stamp them out, and that resulted in an even tougher bunch.
                  Some have noted that the Soviet Union would have fallen faster without the Mafiya helping to make things run unofficially.
                  In the case of modern Russia, it’s often hard to tell who’s running who- if the FSB is running the gangs, or vice-versa.

                  1. I can’t remember who said it, but The biggest problem Russia has post USSR is only the moon had the experience to run a capitalist system, and only the KGB knew hope to work with them, so that is what you got as a govt.

  5. And they’re going to sputter back something about armed rebellion. But that’s not the point of allowing the populace to be armed.

    Let this be a parable unto you:
    Several years ago I was diagnosed as diabetic. I was placed on oral medication and, in addition, went aggressively “low carb” to ensure my blood sugar remained in safe levels.

    My blood sugar remained low. My A1C worked its way down to “non-diabetic” levels. My wife, bless her heart, thought that this meant that my treatment was no longer necessary.

    No, the fact that my blood sugar is low does not mean the treatment is unnecessary. It means it is _working_.

    1. That’s a very basic human psychological response in almost any arena, come to think of it:
      – Problem X occurs (“Wolves in the fold!”);
      – Countermeasure Y is adopted (“Train some sheepdogs to guard the flock!”);
      – Problem X diminishes or disappears (“The wolves are gone!”);
      – Countermeasure Y is eventually perceived as unnecessary and is discontinued (“Thank God, now we don’t have to spend money on training and feeding those sheepdogs any more, let’s ditch ’em”);
      – Problem X ultimately recurs, and often more strongly (“Oh no! The wolves are back, and they’re meaner because they’re hungrier!”);
      – Countermeasure Y is reinstituted, though often more haphazardly and against greater resistance (“If the sheepdogs had really worked the wolves wouldn’t have come back! We’ve got to try something else!”)

      And so on and so on. I call it the Virtue Paradox: the more successfully a virtue is practiced, the less necessary it appears and the less people consider themselves obliged to practice it, until the momentum of that success dissipates and suddenly it is critical to practice again.

      Q.v. G.K. Chesterton’s famous dictum about reformers: nobody should be allowed to knock a fence down if they have no idea why it was put up in the first place.

      1. Hard times make good men.
        Good men make easy times.
        Easy times make weak men.
        Weak men make hard times.

      2. Stephen, there’s a government variant of what you describe:
        1. “Wolves in the fold!”
        2. Establish the Wolf Prevention Agency.
        3. “There are more wolves in the fold than before!”
        4. “We need more funding for the WPA!”
        Note that the WPA will not actually prevent wolves, since that would cause its funding to disappear and its parasites, errr., bureaucrats to be unemployed.

      3. I had a friend who did computer virus prevention for a large company. Eventually, one of the muckety-mucks came to his office and said, “You know, we never get viruses. I’m not sure why we need you.”

          1. Yep. Two statements about Y2K, both true:

            1) The journalists blew it all out of proportion like they always do (no, planes would NOT have been falling out of the sky even if no effort had been made to fix Y2K bugs), and

            2) There were some real problems that got fixed before Y2K so nobody but the coders who fixed them ever found out about them.

            1. I know of one actual Y2K bug which caused a multi-million dollar business to shut down. I know about it because I made it.

              (And fixed it within 24-36 hours; the backed-up transactions went through, and all was well.)

            2. And the folks (programmers) who were blamed for the problem pointed out the issue *decades* before it was close – but were told to basically shut up and get to work on important things… until it was the 11th hour. Most official statements are so much used toilet paper: full of crap.

              1. Speaking of pointing out an issue decades before it’s a problem…

                Any Unix-based systems that have 32-bit processors need to be retired from service, and replaced with 64-bit processors, within the next twenty years. Specifically, before January 19, 2038. After that point, any Unix systems that are using 32 bits for their clock (which counts “seconds since Jaunary 1, 1970, at midnight UTC”) will “roll over” into negative values, and those systems will start thinking that it’s December 13, 1901.

                Thankfully, most computers are already 64-bits and uses 64 bits for their clock, but there are definitely going to be a few “dinosaurs” still in place twenty years from now. And there’s also going to be another scramble to replace them… in 2037, but not before.

                Fallout got it slightly wrong. It’s not war that never changes, it’s human nature. The can will be kicked down the road for as long as there still appears to be road (which is always just a little bit longer than there actually *is* road).

                1. Yes, 32 bit UNIX systems will have clock issues when 2038 rolls around. However, that’s 20 years down the road, and many (most?) UNIX systems in current use out there are already 64 bit. I suspect by 2038, the UNIX world will have moved on to bigger and better things and even 64 bit UNIX boxes will be relatively rare. Network/data security requirements have gone a LONG way towards pushing this along, even in industries that traditionally move slowly when it comes to upgrades (Banks, Medical, etc.) When the newest software no longer supports 32 bit. there really is no choice but to upgrade (I’ve seen this a couple of times where I work).

                  1. I suspect 32-bit UNIX systems are less of a problem than the two bit government legacy systems and a procurement system that takes long enough to approve a purchase that the technology is obsolete before it is installed …

                    Texas Republican: Quantum Computing Will Determine Superpower
                    Department of Defense had been using eight-inch floppy disks – a 53-year-old technology – to coordinate some of its nuclear forces.

                    Other mind-boggling discoveries detailed in the GAO report included Treasury’s use of a 56-year-old program to retain tax records, Veterans Affairs’ 53-year-old timekeeping and payroll system, Justice’s 35-year-old program for keeping certain inmate records and the Social Security Administration’s 31-year-old system for determining retirement benefits. This is all despite the fact that the federal government spends about $90 billion annually on major information technology acquisition.

                    Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), a former CIA operations officer, said on Friday that the U.S. continues to lag when it comes to good “IT system hygiene” and basic federal housekeeping, which is concerning given the rise of quantum computing and the role it is expected to play in national security. Quantum computing is supposed to usher in a new era of computing, allowing classic computers to complete new, highly complex tasks.

                    “It is going to upend and change how we do encryption. It is going to change how we operate in the digital space,” Hurd said at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

                    [END EXCERPT]

                2. “… Unix-based systems that have 32-bit processors…” no, that’s not at all relevant. What matters is whether they use 32 bit timestamps. It is utterly trivial to use 64 bit integers, such as time stamps, on 32 bit processors, or 16 bit processors for that matter.

                  1. You’re right; I’d forgotten that the timestamp size isn’t necessarily tied to the processor size. Oops. That does make the solution simpler, since it’s a pure software solution and won’t require replacing hardware.

                    OTOH, the processor size isn’t completely irrelevant, since the processor’s native int size is a convenient default to use, and will end up used in most situations unless the coder makes an explicit decision to use a different number of bits.

  6. The other problem with rehabilitating criminals is that we do not have a reliable test for whether a criminal has been rehabilitated, as is shown by the criminals who are found to be sufficiently rehabilitated, let out on parole, and then end up back in prison. A private manufacturer whose quality testing of its products was that poor would have been sued into nonexistence.

    (Of course, one of the reasons early release is almost impossible to do away with is that it’s an effective bribe that can be offered to keep prisoners from rioting. A prison system whose policy was “you were sentenced to X years and you’ll serve X years” would probably need more guards and more stringent security measures. But that’s like defending plea bargaining because the American court system couldn’t work without it.)

  7. Or you can look now, at the fact that most attacks take place in gun free zones or gun free cities. Or in this case from enough distance to render that moot.
    The hotel has a “no guns” policy, as did the concert venue.

    1. I understand that the Aurora CO theater shooter passed up several theaters closer to his home, picking the nearest with a no firearms policy. Obviously he wanted helpless victims so as to ensure a high body count.

  8. What Vince just said. Plus Clark County and some of the screechers there make it hard to carry a gun in the city. When I was there in the early 90s a lot of people still carried hand guns on their hips. Now you rarely see it in LV and Henderson.

  9. …in 200 years guns had killed neighbors, pets, family members and innocent bystanders but had done nothing to avert tyranny.


    If you were to look at 1918 October Revolution where you exchanged the Tzar for the Lenin and Stalin, or the Chinese Communist Revolution that brought Mao into power in China, or the Cuban Revolution which brought Che Guevara and Fidel Castro to power, or Les Trois Glorieuses which established the People’s Republic of the Congo, or the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia which brought Pol Pot to power … oh and ever so many more people’s revolutions … I guess you could make a pretty good argument that in all those cases the use of guns established tyranny, not averted it.

    But there are also many countries where the use of guns have stopped such revolutions and the establishment of subsequent tyrannies from succeeding.

    Somehow I have my bets that the people who published this argument would’t want to discuss the tyrannies brought about by the various people’s revolutions around the globe.

    1. Were the normal citizens allowed to be armed?
      If not, they could not help to defeat the commies.
      Were the normal citizens allowed to be armed AFTER the commies took over?
      If not, how could they then rebel and overthrow the commies?
      In either case, weapons in the hands of citizens are their best protection from tyranny.

      1. To your questions, in order:
        1) In some cases, yes.
        2) Certainly.
        3) Hell No! Of course not. What are you thinking?
        4) That’s the point.

        I am a fan of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

  10. What scares me is NOT firearms. It’s realizing that if someone was even slightly more patient and more willing to lurk in the background, that something FAR deadlier and more menacing than guns (or bombs) could be done… without all that much expense. And here is where I shut up.

        1. My husband is a gamer and a GM; he was in an office with a couple of other gamers/GMs, all with military backgrounds and…well, they’re geeks.

          Being DOD, they were assigned a terrorism prevention class. With guys who are honest to gosh experts in REAL terror prevention. (is that not an awesome way to keep your skills fresh?) At one point, broke out into groups and assigned to create a terror attack.

          …My husband’s group scared the planners. In part because… RPers. They said “what did the famous, successful terror groups do? We’ll do that.” And did.

          Thank God, most sincerely, that the sort of mental angles that promote terrorism tend to not work well with the mindset of those guys!

          1. Thing you have to remember about terror attacks and terrorists, as they were conceptualized during most of the Twentieth Century: They’re theatrical events and theatrical types, intended to play their stories out for the masses. They don’t really want to be “effective” or “efficient”, because both those things would be counter-productive. What benefit do you get if all the people you want terrified and groveling at your masterful feet are dead and decidedly incapable of groveling…?

            This may change, as time goes on, but for now…? Don’t mock the terrorists for being amateurish and ineffective: Your perception of them as such is part of the effect they want. They know that if they push things too far, then the reaction they get is going to entirely disproportionate. 9/11 is an example of mis-calibration–bin Laden never dreamt that the US would put troops on the ground to hunt his ass in Afghanistan. He’d gauged the US response off what Clinton did in reaction to earlier attacks, and that’s why he chanced 9/11.

            It’s a theater of the absurd, with guns and death included. But, you’d better believe that the terrorists and their enablers who support them do not expect a response that includes an existential threat to themselves and their families–Which is why these attacks are gauged so carefully as mere pin-pricks. Sometimes, they mis-calculate, and the results are entirely unexpected. I’m thinking that one of these days, they’re going to go too far with the Israelis, and then the next thing anyone will notice is a serious lack of Palestinians in the areas surrounding Israel…

            1. Aye, it’s about “flash & splash” over real _effectiveness_ by death-toll. Subtlety might be deadlier, but immediate widespread media coverage and panic don’t call for subtle.

            2. It’s the fact that they are theatrical that makes them ineffective and amateurish. There are far more effective ways to instill fear in the hearts of the masses that don’t leave them all, or even nearly all, dead. And likely without the massive retaliation that a 9/11-scale event would involve.

      1. And when I used to travel by (commercial) aircraft I played the mental game of how-to-defeat-security. I stopped playing it for the same reason folks give up Tic-Tac-Toe. And, again, it’s not that I thought long and hard about it – but that I did not need to.

        1. When I worked daily in the Superior Court building, I thought about how to defeat security. Before 9/11 it was trivial, afterward not quite so much, but it’s still relatively porous..

          Someone, whom I was not in contact with, used a variation on one of my ideas. Since they would not put fluids through the x-ray machine, someone cut the bottom off a two liter soda bottle and spray painted the inside dark brown then fit a Glock into the base of the soda bottle and reattached it. He put the soda bottle on the desk, and the rent-a-cops handed it to him after he passed through the metal detector. He then went to the closest Sheriff’s Officer, handed him the soda bottle and informed them that the court’s security sucked.

          1. Oh, my, you were there, too? I was, but before 9/11; I certainly hope they have tightened it up. We smokers would routinely chock the stairwell doors open, including the one off of the parking garage…

            The only “security” episode I remember was a suspicious package in the 3rd floor restroom. IIRC, that was one of the courtroom floors, yes?

            1. They did a remodel about 2005 and added courtrooms and judicial offices to the third floor. Before that it was storage for exhibits.

              After 9/11 they locked all the stairway doors so you had to go from floor to floor by elevator. Prior to that I’d take the elevator up to 9 and then walk by way down to the first.

              Around 2010 they remodeled the 8th floor from Adult Probation offices and into more courtrooms and moved the probation offices into the old Health and Welfare building, all the Health and Welfare stuff, including birth and death certificates, got moved to a new building down by Kino Hospital.

              1. Thank you. I must be confusing the locations with a later jury call experience. Just checked the resume, and, dang! Just about 20 years to the day from when I shook their dust off of my coattails.

                They all thought I was crazy to give up those “benefits” of government service. Right – for twice the salary, no getting up in the middle of the night to run all the way across town to the jail when the Pretrial app went west, only 15 minutes of staff meeting a week (none of which was spent watching the boss play with his new Palm Pilot).

                I’m a bit confused about the stairways, though. They can’t completely lock those and be in code. How they were when I was there was that you could only get into the stairwell from the second floor up, not out of it – only at the garage level could you get out of it.

                1. The stairs work as channels now, you can’t get out until you’re at the street level exit.

                  1. That’s how they worked in the ’90s, too. Get in on any secured floor, get out only on the street (or the plaza / first floor). Wouldn’t surprise me, though, if the idiots there changed that sometime after 1997 when I left, and then went “Whoops!” after 9/11.

                    1. When I was doing court runs the first time, ’93 through ’97 you could get in and out of the stairwells the entire length of the building. It was easier for court staff to take the stairs than wait for the elevators.

                      Also I got stuck twice in court elevators during the 90s, and another two times in the elevators in the County Attorney’s building; which just reinforced my basic hatred of the damned things.

        2. I once worked in a pharmacy that had… interesting… security.
          After a while I noted that all the security was directed at keeping people from taking things *out* of the building. Nobody was watching for people bringing things *in*.

          A local dollar store had a sale on stuffed animals. I bought a bunch of them, stuck them in my locker, and over the next few months distributed them in places throughout the building.

          It eventually caused a huge security flap all the way up to Corporate, out of state. None of which reached the lower ranks where I was, until meltdown had already occurred…

          The pass-through openings just small enough to pass narcotics from the secure area to the non-secure area work both ways… for some reason they had doors, but no latches. So I could just open the door and toss a toy through in some direction, close the door, and nobody ever knew where they came from…

          1. If you’ve not read, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” I suggest you consider it. I suspect you will find it amusing… and a touch familiar.

        3. I used to have a really nice Swiss Army knife. I no longer have it because I tripped over a pattern in the flooring, dropped my purse, and it, along with everything else spilled out.

          A kindly airport security dude helped me up, determined I was fine,(I do actually know how to fall) and helped me gather my stuff. He confiscated the knife AFTER handing it back to me, and doing a double-take.

          It’s forgotten I had it. But we were on the other side of the x-Ray machines…

      2. Or watch any of the crime shows and use them for inspiration. Sure, they get details wrong, but it’s a start.

    1. I know of several methods of achieving high visibility, high body count tragedies within my local area. I have a good idea what would be involved mechanically, financially, tactically.

      God help us if anyone with evil intent ever realize what I have, and have the ability to follow through. Because you can NOT stop all the bad things in life.

      1. Thats my takeaway on this one. Outside of a full confiscation of any autoloading rifle the only chance of stopping would be significantly heightened security at outdoor events or not getting a useful hotel room. Hell, even a bolt action would have caused mayham.

        1. If you only count kills, Vegas Boy’s kill rate was less than one per minute. A skilled muzzle loader shooter can beat that.

          Sure, there were some misses, and some hits weren’t kills, but each bullet also likely hit more than one person, too.

          72 minutes before the police got him, only 59 kills, using the last news cycle’s numbers. That’s an Imperial Stormtrooper level of marksmanship. He could probably have done better with a 4×4 pickup.

          1. Eh, in terms of stats it’s poor but it’s a mental effect that would do more damage to rights. Beltway snipers vs school shooters.

          2. No, the Imperial Stormtroopers would have only hit 58 people in an hour. He actually hit an average of one person every 7 1/2 seconds.

            That is also a bit better than a muzzleloader could do (even given more than one hit with some rounds).

            1. I have to question the kill count assigned to the shooter, if only because I’ve experienced a thing or two about the dangers of crowds. An offhand comment about the ground zero being littered with “…purses, baby strollers, shoes…” and a note that triage handled “everything from sucking chest wounds to sprained ankles”, has me wondering how many were killed & injured by crowd crush vs. gunfire.

              1. This. I figure a majority of the injuries, and at least a few of the deaths are only peripherially associated with him shooting. At least one radio report* I heard noted that some of the fatalities were the result of trampling.

                *we all know how reliable news reports are, but I would be more skeptical of one saying none were the results of crowds panicking.

                1. I recall that very early in the timeline, reports went from “X dead and XX wounded” to XX dead and XXX injured” to include those injured but not shot.

            2. Given a better timeline (17-20 minutes) (and assuming all injuries and deaths were gunshot-related), he hit someone on average every couple of seconds, and killed someone every ~20 seconds. 😦

            1. I don’t know how long it was, but what tipped the cops off to what exact room they needed was the fire alarm finally tripping from the fumes/smoke from firing and highlighting his room as the source of the alarm

              1. What I’m seeing now is that there was firing for about 15-20 minutes, then it stopped, but it took the cops 72 minutes to get set up for the room breach. At which time the guy killed himself, despite having enough warning setup to have known they were coming, and more than enough ordnance that could have shot them through the walls of the room to make the approach interesting.

                  1. Also, from the facts related to the public, the story so far has ample room for conspiracy theorists to come up with stuff. I’ve already heard some, starting from the same base here, with the timeline.

                    The information management on these events needs to improve, or they’re just going to wind up reducing their credibility to zero. I’ve already heard people looking at the delay in getting to the room and identifying it who say that it all points to the involvement of other parties who left a dead Paddock behind as a fall guy, and escaped the scene.

                    I have no damn idea what the hell “really happened”, but I can already tell you that there’s gonna be years worth of people coming up with cockamamie conspiracy theories and apologia for Paddock–And, it’s all going to stem from the less-than-forthcoming manner in which they’re putting things out there, as well as the little things like his online presence being eradicated before anyone could really see it. Assuming he really had any, that is… How many single guys in their sixties really maintain that much of an online presence, anyway?

                    I have this feeling that this isn’t going to be something that comes to a satisfactory conclusion, in terms of closure for most of the public.

                    1. I’ve already heard people looking at the delay in getting to the room and identifying it who say that it all points to the involvement of other parties who left a dead Paddock behind as a fall guy, and escaped the scene.

                      Mark Steyn relays reports:

                      He didn’t “snap”, but instead calmly planned his act, identifying and securing the perfect corner suite in a massive hotel and then discreetly moving in dozens of weapons over four days and constructing platforms in front of those two windows.

                      Some of these quirks do not appear to be particularly consistent, and the Aussie in the adjoining room, for one, says there were “multiple shooters” and “they killed a security guard on my floor”.

                      from Australia’s Courier-Mail.

                      No way to judge the credibility of this report, but it will certainly feed doubts about the official version.

                    2. A report of a cop/security being killed inside the hotel may be a misreporting of one member of hotel security being wounded by a shot through the door of the shooter’s room by Paddock. If he’d set up cameras in the hallways outside his room, it would make trying to slow down the security response seem reasonable to try.

                    3. Just googled my dad’s first name and last. ~ 80, no Facebook or Twitter khreppola, but I found more than we’ve got on the Democrat shooter in Vegas.

                      It was scrubbed.

          3. He only fired for less than 15 minutes. His kill rate was better than 4 a minute, with more than 20 a minute injured. Of course, some of those injured could easily have been stampede injuries.

            That’s better than Stormtrooper level, much better.

        2. I started counting, and then realized I’d never come up with all of them – the people that I know who could cause massive casualties without laying hands on a firearm.

          It is a testimony to the human race that so few of us go off the rails in such a disastrous fashion.

          Most of those people, when I think of it, are in the IT field. I am actually surprised that every professional-grade hack so far has only been for either money or national intelligence. Stuxnet excluded, of course, but that wasn’t a nutcase. Well, considering the people in the CIA these days, maybe so…

          1. If you only knew… You’d likely never sleep comfortably at night, ever again. I only do because I long ago resigned myself to knowing that there are probably a dozen different things that could kill me in my sleep, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

            Just as an aside, if you really want to scare the hell out of yourself, just go find a reasonably thorough industrial safety manual, read it, and then keep an eye out as you go through daily life for the things you read about.

            If you don’t want to scare the hell out of yourself, don’t read the manual, and don’t ever pay attention to the safety placards on the vehicles hauling things through your community.

            Examples abound–This one I remember from my childhood, and hearing eye-witness stories about it:


            That area is now surrounded by homes and other development. The trains still run through there, and there’s still a lot of “interesting” cargo on them.

              1. Nobody gets out of life alive. Well, with the alleged exception of a couple Biblical folks like Mary and Elijah iirc.

            1. There are times I am astonished that the first woodpecker to come along hasn’t utterly destroyed alleged civilization. And there’s the touchy stuff…

    2. What almost happened in Barcelona. If the guys had managed in what they were attempting to do, as opposed to what they did… It would have made Nice and OKC look pretty d-mn mild.

  11. I find it curious that we still know very little about Paddock; the media don’t seem to be all that interested in ferreting out and interviewing friends, neighbors, fellow pilots and gamblers, associates … it’s almost as if they don’t really want to know what he was about, or it’s just too much work, after getting used to the shortcut of skimming through a a perpetrator’s social media profile.

    1. The most charitable is that antisocial recluse. Think Professor Kaczynski. More concerning to me is suppression of news that media and LE dislike.

      1. Yes, that’s the scary part; we are having to work out the story by what LE and the media AREN’T saying. It’s really like Russians reading their newspapers back in the bad old days.

        1. And disturbing is that it might just be the guy wanted to cause destruction and evil but there is no reason to trust tptb.

              1. Wasn’t that the name of the Heinlein story where Asian invaded the U.S. and a group of scientists basically unlocked the unified field theory allowing them to develop all kinds of multiple spectrum devices and weapons?

                1. It was published under two different names, one of which was, indeed, “The Sixth Column”, but I can’t remember the other one, even though I’m pretty sure that’s the one I have.

        2. The media/police/government response is, as usual, setting the situation up to create the maximum possible amount of fodder for conspiracy theorists. They do this so often in these situations that I almost think they have to be intentionally doing it, because the things they do are so damn consistent.

          Go back to Oklahoma City, for example: For years, the story was that the bomb built by McVeigh was a simple ANFO device. Anyone with any experience with that stuff looked at the blast effects that were demonstrably there, and went “Bullshit”. With damn good reason–Simple ANFO won’t do what that bomb did, which raises a ton of questions.

          Now, what came out at McVeigh’s trial? Oh, yeah–It wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb, it was instead ammonium nitrate and another hydrocarbon component, which raises the RE or Relative Effectiveness factor up to damn near the same range as C-4.

          Had they put that out early in the process, before the trial? The information would have done a lot to quell questions and conspiracy theories stemming from that aspect of the event. Granted, it would have raised other questions, like where the hell a chump like McVeigh got the knowledge to build the damn thing, which was actually a bit more sophisticated than he should have been able to achieve…?

          Information management in these events is piss-poor, and almost guaranteed to leave people going “WTF…?”.

          I have some questions about just what the hell this character was using, because when I listened to the recordings of the weapons fire from the event, it damn sure did not sound like what I’ve heard from standard US-issue automatic weapons, and it did not sound like the bump-fire sessions I’ve been around in the past. I don’t know if that’s because of poor recording quality, or whatever else may be involved, but to my ear? Those were unfamiliar-sounding weapons, in terms of rates of fire and so forth.

          I’m sure there’s an explanation for it, but with the limited information being put out, the potential for encouraging conspiracy theorists to glom onto unexplained little details like that is all to likely to result in a bunch more people going down the rabbit hole.

          Which I think is counterproductive, in the extreme.

    2. He is said to have established residence in Mesquite. However, he was not registered as a voter there. This looking at the database which included voters whose address of registration returned the county election board’s mailings. His father apparently was imprisoned in Texas, IIRC, and assuming Redstate did not confuse him with someone else. What locations has he lived in over what time periods, and do the voting records of these places exist from back then?

      Joel seems to have been saying that the man owned two private airplanes. That means money, where did it come from, and what else did he do with it?

      1. Family says real estate. And since has a PPL I’m guessing no obvious mental history that would be on paper. Family seems at best to have been remote.

        1. IIRC, at least one news report indicated he was an accountant for aircraft manufacturers (.e.g., a predecessor company of Lockheed-Martin) for a number of years. Assuming low cost of living and moderate frugality (likely if he was investing in real estate) he could have easily amassed a not inconsiderable pile of assets. Reports that he bet large sums on video poker do not mean he lost money gaming.

          1. Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock was a high-stakes gambler who ‘kept to himself’ before massacre
            ORLANDO — He liked to bet big, wagering tens of thousands of dollars in a sitting. He owned homes in four states but preferred staying in casino hotels, sometimes for weeks at a time, as he worked the gambling machines.

            He grew up the son of a convicted bank robber who was constantly running from the law. But in his own life, Stephen Paddock, 64, had stayed out of trouble until Sunday night, when he suddenly unleashed a firestorm of bullets from his casino hotel room, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500 more on the Las Vegas Strip.


            e was worth more than $2 million, relatives said. Before retiring, he made a small fortune from real estate deals and a business that he and Eric Paddock sold off. He traveled a lot and had millions of free airline miles.

            At various points of his life, Stephen Paddock worked for defense contractor Lockheed Martin and as an accountant and property manager. As a retiree, he had no children and plenty of money to play with. So he took up gambling.

            “It’s like a job for him. It’s a job where you make money,” said Eric Paddock, adding that his brother could lose $1 million and still have enough to live on. “He was at the hotel for four months one time. It was like a second home.”

            He recalled one time when the entire family took over the top floor of the Atlantis at the casino’s expense.

            His brother was very particular about the games he played. “It had to be the right machine with double points, and there has to be a contest going on. He won a car one time,” Eric Paddock said.

            “He’s known. He’s a top player. He’s the small end of the big fish.”

                1. I don’t know that bank robber qualifies as psychopath. Granted I haven’t bothered to research his father, he very well may be one, I just haven’t heard anything about it mentioned yet.

                  1. his father was apparently a psychopath who was a bank robber, and bank robbing was not his only crime. He also broke out of prison, and was caught running illegal bingo (heh) in Oregon, and the list was longer, but I was walking past the CBS news report on the radio and wasn’t paying attention to the rest, though I think I heard burglary mentioned.

                  2. Apparently quite a lot of different murders, of the sort one wouldn’t normally rack up without being insane or evil. I had the impression that there were more than would be committed over a professional violent criminal’s employment if he were restricting killings to necessity or a consequence of shoot outs.

            1. Okay, so the Mesquite residence says nothing about where he may have voted from.

      2. He definitely had money, according to all accounts. He spent lots of time in Vegas gambling, and was apparently considered at the low end of the Big Fish.

          1. Unless you’re talking actual theft, 47 weapons acquired illegally aren’t exactly cheap either.

            (He says, only guessing at black market prices.)

      3. Guy is from FL, and apparently helped his family make a fortune in real estate in FL and NV.

      4. However, he was not registered as a voter there. This looking at the database which included voters whose address of registration returned the county election board’s mailings.

        Perhaps he was one of the millions of Americans who didn’t bother to register to vote…

    3. The removal of the FB pages and no reference to them is the best evidence that he was a LIB. If there had been ANYTHING else, we would be hearing it 24/7.

      1. Oh, yes – we would have been deafened by it. The silence is damning. It remains to be seen if he was a Bernie Bro or a Hillary Hag, though.

        1. Definitely. If he’d (say) voted for Nixon in his elementary school’s mock election back in 1972, there’d be screaming headlines all over the place.

          There’s also a possibility he was a recent Muslim convert. The GF is a Filipina of Indonesian descent, which strongly indicates that she, at least, is a Muslim.

          Also, the guy apparently wired $100,000 to the Philippines within the last few days. It will be interesting to hear where that money wound up, assuming they figure it out.

          1. It is possible that it was for nefarious purposes; on the other hand it’s also possible that it was for investment property reasons, or building a large home on a property (Something that seems very common for the older couples I’ve run into here in Australia – moving to the Philippines because it’s cheaper to live there, and what is a few ten thousand back home is several million pesos, so I can see the appeal.) On the other hand, even if it was done for the purpose of building a home, it may just be to throw off any other suspicions of his plans from those closest to him.

            I do agree that it’s very, very curious (smelly, in fact) that any bit of the shooter’s political affiliations or opinions have been effectively deep-sixed.

            1. Supporting evidence– standard practice for the PI guys in the Navy is to do their time in the Navy, retire, and move to the PI.

              Decent number of “never been there but shore leave” guys, too.

              …all I can think of are guys, but I only knew one lady from the PI and she cared more about family than having a huge, awesome house.

              1. I’ve certainly met enough USAF guys who *planned* to retire in the Philippines, anyway. All of them lived off-base when they were stationed there, and came to like the place a lot.

                On the other hand, I know people who were stationed all over the world, but they might as well have never gone anywhere, because they never went out the gate…

          2. The GF’s sisters were interviewed in Australia. They apparently said that Paddock surprised her by booking her flight to the Phillipines before she even knew that she was going. I suspect that the money transfer was somehow tied to his desire to get her out of the country.

      2. Wait, the facebook was outright removed after the event? Not before? There’s evidence for this?

        1. I’ve heard, but not seen firsthand (though I do trust the source) that he did have a social media account that was full of anti-Trump, anti-“fascist” rants.

          Unfortunately, there’s no way (that I know of, anyway) to prove that at this point.

        2. Per the guys on KFI, it was FREAKY– you’d open the page, it’d load, and then you’d WATCH stuff vanish in seconds. And every time you reloaded, t’d do it again.

                1. A recent update says it wasn’t him. Which I’m glad for, because the video looks to be altered. It claims that he’s wearing a NASA shirt, and some shots seem to show that, but others show a logo that looks far more like a cancer awareness ribbon next to the number ‘5’ (maybe another digit next to it, hidden by stick). Also, unless it’s homemade, NASA uses a very distinctive font which does not have a crossbar on the “A”, unless it’s also got the blue circle logo behind the name.

                  1. Oops, the potential second number is behind someone’s head, not his stick. But the “S” on the NASA-looking section looks suspiciously like a ‘5’ as well.

          1. After the first time this happened, did nobody think to start hammering the Printscreen button after each reload?

            1. No idea– and the search results coming up are STRANGE. Why on earth am I getting sent to heavy.com?
              Several results say he didn’t have a facebook, his girlfriend did.

              Even more results are that idiot Joker/Harley pair that got kicked out of the Bundy ranch as looking for trouble.

    4. I’m thinking that a lot of leaks got plugged, and reporters are lazy. And most of the folks with non-leak sources are not trying to step on investigations.

      It’s strange, but a neat change.

  12. Militias idea goes back long time, I know in fourteenth century England males were expected to learn how to use longbow starting when they were seven or eight years old. England did not have large permanent army like many Europeans states did, instead males were forced to train in longbow use and so they were proficient in weapons during times of war.

    Many revolutions have been started by army generals who want more power to create new State but not in Britain or America. United States, and junior Britain, having massive armed forces since end of world war two is outlier.

  13. The thing that gets me is twofold. First it is how this is the second major illegal.use of automatic firearms in the US that I can recall in my lifetime (other one was North Hollywood) but immediately that (not outlawing scary guns people dislike) is the problem. The peaceful and pacific state of France had Bataclan with almost double the deaths also using automatic rifles. Pretty certain there are few privately owned automatic armaments, including demilled museum and reenactment pieces). The same act with anything but a bolt action or slower would have produced just as many casualties Imo. The front of a concert is just bodies on bodies. Add in that lots of the wounded in the first barrage probably took time to get out of area as fire continued. Regardless of automatic or slidefire (my understanding was both were found and most of rifles were not used but no confirmation as to what rifles) this was going to be a bad case for same reason as Bataclan.

    Second, of course folks are jumping around in the blood pools before even stopped bleeding. All it does is suggest that the intent isn’t a solution but to push hobby horses. (For instance apparently I’m a mass murderer)

      1. Sorry. The “pretty sure” was a remark on France. I knew about 200k civilian hands has been the number bandied around which matches that article.

          1. Although I will note that including this event even though it was non NFA as far as I’m concerned hearing, you have about 65 deaths from NFA automatics (I am unsure if the 3 cases stat is for just auto or all nfa). Even as a miniscule .07% of legal firearms that still has to be an astronomically small rate. With a rough typical firearm homicide of 10k/yr even all in one year it would be .065%.

            Yes, they can create dramatic events but how can we actually affect violence vs achieve political goals if the focus is so myopic. Not that the other suggestions would help much.

            1. Last I heard there had been only two murders with NFA machine guns since 1934. One of them was a police officer who killed his wife with it. It made the news here because it was semi-local.

              1. I’m being generous; three is what reason noted. One was MD, one cop. Don’t know third. My point was that even including Vegas, the total killed is miniscule even for one year.

  14. “But what are hunting rifles going to do against DRONES?!” -this seems to be Twitter idiot’s version of Usenet’s “what are they going to do against TANKS?!” sneer.

    I think I’ll load up Fallout 4 or watch the Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 DVD I got recently. Then again Twitter is like a train wreck: You just can’t not watch.

      1. …but the progs can’t let that happen. So they come up with the dumbest ideas as “proof” that Resistance is USELESS!

        Like some idiot thinking that “rednecks” will try to shoot down a drone at 10k feet, which is impossible so therefore guns are “useless” against tyranny.

        1. Resistance is not useless. It is voltage divided by current. So.. no matter how much potential, the potential is rather pointless until it is actually applied.

        2. Of course you don’t shoot down the drone. Instead you wait patiently and when they least expect it you slit the throat of the drone operator.
          Stupid fools, have they not been paying attention?

          1. Like the “how do you deal with tanks?” issue: You shoot the guys fueling it. You poison the food being delivered to the post. You blow ambush trucks or blow up pipes carrying fuel to the base. Or you wait until the crew is off duty and you catch them in town.

            And what, pray tell, are they going to do with those tanks? Are they going to run them through Downtown Minneapolis because there are some insurgents in town? It’s one thing to do that in a foreign country. In the US? People get squeamish about collateral damage when those caught in the crossfire are complete strangers, but when it’s their own friends and relatives? Military personnel have family and friends all over the country. “Bomb Indianapolis? My cousin lives in Indianapolis.”

            People, both those who are “itching” for a revolution (and those idiots do exist) and those who are dismissive because “what can a few rednecks with their hunting rifles do?” have no idea how truly ugly things would get.

                1. This. We just sent thousands of young men and women (and some less young) through a graduate level course titled “Improvised Splodey Stuff – What Works and What Doesn’t: Lectures and Practical Lab.”

                  And the Institutional Military is making moves to once again unlearn all the hard won counterinsurgency knowledge they had to rebuild in favor of the big battle stuff they’ve neglected. Some specialties are trying to retain what they’ve learned for the next time they have to go all hearts and minds, but go read the Armored branch professional journals – those folks want to put all that yucky walking around and talking to the locals stuff well behind them.

                  So if, God forbid, things go all Kurt Schichter here, it would go very splodey very quickly.

                1. Admittedly, such an attack would only work in well forested regions. Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas? Not so good.

                  1. That would depend on the part of Arizona or New Mexico you’re in.

                    Actually with it’s cities and interlocking mountain ranges, Arizona is not a good tank battle location.

          2. Nah, you just hijack the drone with your 4Chan Drone-A-Matic, recover it, and sell it on eBay…

        3. I consider it a step forward that the Washington Post fact checker actually called out Shrillary’s inane remarks about “silencers” by pointing out that noise suppressors make rifles as quiet as jackhammers:

          Why the debate over gun suppressors isn’t really relevant to what happened in Las Vegas
          In the wake of Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 58 people dead, the attention of those advocating for stricter gun control laws seized on a current debate in Washington. The Hearing Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), would allow more people to purchase silencers for firearms — which, some argued, would have made the shooting in Vegas much deadlier.

          Among those making that case was Hillary Clinton. “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” Clinton wrote on Twitter. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”

          But the effect of having a silencer probably would have been negligible. Clinton and others appear to be assuming that silencers — or “suppressors,” as they’re known in the industry — work the way that they do in the movies. Screw a little barrel on the end of your pistol, and you can run through enemy headquarters picking off bad guys with no more audio footprint than a little zip.


          Those Hollywood scenes in which James Bond takes out a dozen enemies as he makes his way to his target is wrong for another reason: Suppressors don’t last forever.

          “Back in the day, when we had silencers … you could screw a brand-new silencer on a weapon, and maybe the first two rounds were really suppressed,” Satterly said. “Once you shoot the baffles out” — the rings of rubber that absorb energy in the suppressor — “the sound is almost the same.” As you shoot, in other words, the suppressor loses its effectiveness. Satterly was referring to a handgun, not an automatic weapon. An automatic weapon creates so much heat that it rapidly deteriorates the effectiveness of sound suppression (or simply melts it).


          Satterly noted that a more effective means of suppressing the sound of those shots would have been to simply stand farther back in the room, letting the sound be absorbed by the room itself instead of escaping in all directions outside the window.

          As Satterly pointed out, then, allowing the use of suppressors more widely probably wouldn’t have made the tragedy in Las Vegas much worse.

          “I can definitely say it wouldn’t have changed anything,” he said. “It wouldn’t have hidden the sound enough. Again: That’s just Hollywood.”

          1. This “argument” also ignores the fact that the suppressor quiets the noise of the propellent gasses, not the sonic boom of the actual round as it flies downrange.

            1. The article does acknowledge that, in portions I excised in order to not take up more blog real estate. For an MSM article it is surprisingly well-informed.

          2. As usual, the comments section is a cesspool of willful ignorance, with a bunch of “internet experts” pretending they know more than what people actually knowledgeable about firearms accessories have said, leavened with a sprinkling of stupidly ridiculous hypothetical situations that in no way match what little is actually currently known about the scenario and assorted conspiritards dismissing the experts quoted because what the experts said doesn’t fit the fantasy Narrative(tm) the respective posters wish to advance.

            Some times I think that Mad Mike’s woodchippers can’t come soon enough… 😛

            1. Good Grief! Why, oh why, would you read the comments section of a WaPo or NYTwits article? At those sites the general rule is that the less a person knows about a topic the more aggressively the person displays their ignorance in a comments section.

          3. some of the newer ones get quieter after a few shots, but they will eventually get dirty and louder until removed, dismantled, and cleaned out. It goes something like 25 db reduction, 28, 30, and then stays near 38db reduction or so for some time until it jumps up to only a 20something reduction and gets noisier from there.
            For the lay peoples out there, wearing good earplugs is only 29 to 33 db reduction. Also going full auto, like he apparently did, only a mag, maybe, would be anywhere close to “quiet”. So it’d been a jack hammer that got louder as it went after the first few seconds. The really quiet fully suppressed weapons in full auto are pistol caliber, and the “barrel” is actually mostly a suppressor, and they use sub sonic ammo.

            1. To be truly quiet, you need to shoot subsonic ammo, otherwise you can suppress the boom of the propellant gases exiting the barrel, but not the sonic boom of the projectile itself. Some suppressors also use grease as a sound absorber and to slow the propellant gases. They tend to be a little messy, but quiet as long as you use subsonic ammo and keep the grease filled up. I know people who own suppressors legally, and have shot hundreds of rounds through them, with them still functioning as well as when they were new. So the authors claim that suppressors are only good for a couple shots is incorrect, it depends on the suppressor.

              Interestingly enough in many European countries (which are much more anti-gun than the US) it is illegal to shoot a gun WITHOUT a suppressor. It is a noise ordinance thing. They call them mufflers there (a much more accurate term than the “silencer” so popular in the US) and view them the same as mufflers on cars, it is rude and inconsiderate to operate either without a muffler.

              1. yeah, but subsonic AR ammo really sucks at killing in job lots, and is hard to come by. Also the newest style (monoblock) will still only work for a short amount of time even with subsonic, and one is only looking at a 40bd at best or less reduction in sound signature. He need rifle strength to do what he did, or needed 500 Whisper or something not easily gotten or made, and he, it seems now, bought all his weaponry recently (not sure how accurate that account is, supposedly his girlfriend mentioned this fact) so might not even know about subsonics in any version.

                Ya know, from the way the press is acting, I think there is some leftoid, anti-trumpish stuff to this guy. If there was anything remotely right-wing about him we’d be hammered with it. Because of who he targeted, and with statements like that made by the now former lawyer at CBS “Likely Trump voters” etc etc, the left can’t use the racism slant, they’re using the gun control mallet, and even medication he was on while looking for the motive.

                1. “Because of who he targeted, and with statements like that made by the now former lawyer at CBS “Likely Trump voters” etc etc, the left can’t use the racism slant, ”

                  Someone apparently thought about that, because Daily Beast is trying to start the idea that he was actually targeting a rap concert the week before.


                  1. Don’t think race had anything to do with it, he was looking for large numbers for a higher hot ratio,
                    The crap news report I heard this morning implied he tried for more than one other room overlooking concerts. The c&w was the first to come through.

    1. Plan on letting military loose against populations? A true civil war where extermination is on the table will not be nice and neat rows of troops. Can’t think of any where it didn’t go open season fast.

    2. “what are they going to do against TANKS?!”

      Tank crews gotta get out of their beasties eventually . . . }:-)

      And are these the same panty wetters who complained about high power rifles being able to ‘take down’ an airliner?

      1. Such weapons are USELESS against tanks, drones, heavier than air craft and modern ballistic armor.

        That is why our pacification of Iraq and Afghanistan was so easy and so complete.

        1. There are times when I wonder if they believe that the methods employed by the American government against an American insurgency would be more intense than those applied against Iraq and Afghanistan.
          I suspect the politicians whose lives were at stake would be willing to employ such means–I would not bet my life on a majority of American servicement or law enforcement going along with such.

          1. That’s exactly what they think; after all, crushing “fascists” “by any means necessary” would get instant UN and NGO approval.

        1. “The War can be lost or won by the guy behind the guy behind the gun.”

          There is sound reason for that WWII poster that summed it up as: Our response? PRODUCTION!

        2. During the 1956 revolt in Hungary, soviet tanks were sometimes taken out by a combination of plates (as in stoneware dinner) and liquid detergent to set the trap.

          Narrow, steep streets; a tank comes around a corner, sees what looks like some mines badly hidden ahead of them, try to back up/turn around, and slide downhill into a building. Spinning treads. Molotov cocktail in the upper hatch.

      1. Exact. A. Mundo. Upper level mgt. High enough up to be making “bad guy decisions”, but not executive level, for those folks will be “hard targets.”

        Precision and limited. Leave waging war indiscriminately to the tyrants.

      1. I have a feeling they are a combination of too lazy to research and too stupid to think outside the box. Plus their sneering seems intended at either convincing the people they hate to meekly comply since resistance is deemed futile by them or generally trying to piss of said people they hate.

  15. Don’t know about squid farms on Mars, but socialism certainly isn’t protecting us from the threat of octopus cities right here at home.

    Give these guys a couple of centuries and they’ll be farming. And brewing beer. And demanding a free trade zone.

  16. … had done nothing to avert tyranny.

    Not so. There was Athens, Tennessee (as above noted) which had taken advantage of the men being away at WWII (stopping tyranny, so I’m told*) to embed a thoroughly corrupt local administration, mayor, sheriff, judges, et al. Once the soldiers returned they instigated an armed urban renewal and cleaned up that mess.

    There were also those civil rights advocates in the South in the Fifties who, once provided weapons and taught how to use them by the NRA stopped receiving surprise night callers bringing house-warming gifts.

    The American West could easily have developed tyrannies in many places, save that with so many gun-owners it was difficult to maintain. Shane, Shane, come back, Shane!

    *Leave us not ignore that one reason American draftees were also militarily effective was wide-spread ownership and use of guns,supplemented by NRA-sponsored training courses..

    1. It was here (ATH) I think that I read that many WWII vets had markmanship medals or such that were even more tucked away than the rest as “it was only shooting” or such – that is, it was considered about as meritorious as a medal for having a heartbeat.

  17. And here in Alberta with our strict gun laws, someone tried to kill a whole bunch of pedestrians with a truck.

    Hate finds a way.

  18. When I was 2 I pulled a frying pan with pork chops cooking in it onto myself.
    Don’t do that.
    The perp’s family seems surprised, then we learn Daddy was a psychopath, serial criminal, and who knows what else. Isis claims have been triple down asserted. I wonder if the psycho used them to get his
    means for those ends .

    1. Girlfriend was from the Philippines. I understand there is an active violent Islamist movement in the Philippines.

      1. Always has been, though Black Jack tamped them down a bit for some time. They are a big part of the reason for the .45acp being adopted in the 1911.
        We used to want our enemies to stay shot.

        1. Insert rant about “Barbie Guns” and the downfall of the West commencing when we switched to ammo intended to just piss off our enemies instead of killing them.

          1. Modern combat tactics place a much higher value on the ability to put lead on vicinity of target so target keeps his head down while you get close enough to plug him good, than it does in knock down. Perhaps the spread of effective body armor will change this dynamic, but right now, EVERY major and/or highly experienced military in the world uses an intermediate cartridge as their primary round. So being able to carry more ammo is of greater importance than chuckin’ a big bullet.

      2. *dry* I’m from the Philippines. I wouldn’t have the foggiest notion of how to even find ISIS or it’s criminal elements there. Besides, the woman in question was previously married to an American, then an Australian, and seems to have lived most of her life outside of the Philippines.

          1. Be white in the wrong area. We decided NOT to bring Rhys back to my mother’s home province on the news that the NPA had gotten a lot more active in the area. We weren’t sure being related to kin with political clout was enough to protect him from being kidnapped and held for ransom. While Dad was alive we did bring Rhys to visit my father’s home island – At the time, Dad had enough people who held him in high enough esteem that knowing that Rhys was Dad’s guest protected him. A kidnapping would be ultimately bad for business – the island was gaining reputation for being an excellent place for scuba divers, especially European ones. Romblon’s lucky because kidnap for ransom never was considered particularly lucrative for the area. (There is, in fact, a documentary about an American who lives in the more remote areas of the island, and loves it.)

            That said, I still wouldn’t have the foggiest clue of getting in touch with ‘the criminal elements.’

            1. *considers what little, 10+ year old data she has*

              Does not contradict on the looking white thing.

              I think it’s less a getting in touch idea, than an active recruiter idea. I know the ship was worried about the…uh… “social” ladies who showed up when the ship hit port, being “compromised” elements.

              It is kinda an old trick, pardon the pun.

          2. Oddly enough, I just noticed an email purporting to be from an acquaintance who had gotten robbed on a trip to the Philippines, and needed some money. (Haven’t authenticated or acted on it.)

            This is a strange case, and the reasons to suspect the integrity of information sources a) breed rumor b) mean implausible scenarios need to be examined and tested.

            It may well mean that the suddenly developing brain impairment model is correct.

            It may well be that the family environment left him with a subtle undetected twist in his thinking.

            It may well be something recent, like finding out he was terminally ill, conversion to Islam, or TDS.

            In hindsight, there probably wasn’t enough time between the election and this to have gone to the Philippines, become a radical Muslim, come back, and prepared all this. Maybe the girlfriend situation was longer term than that.

            I’m confused, so I try and figure it out. Big questions usually are 1) What long term was different? 2) What short term was different?

      3. More interestingly, reports now assert he had recently* shipped some $100,000 to the Philippines.

        *For some values of recently.

      4. MILF

        Stop laughing. That’s *really* their acronym! Moro Islamic Liberation Front!

        Based on what I’ve seen so far, though, there’s nothing to suggest that the girlfriend radicalized him.

    1. Don’t forget the boat guys. The US Navy depended on privateers for a long time.

      An armed warship was the most powerful single weapon known to history, up to that point. Up to 1945, in fact. Anyone with the money could buy or build one, and a lot of people did…

  19. Whenever the hoplophobes start mewling for more ‘gun safety’, I always wonder (to paraphrase El Neil), ‘What are the b*stards planning to do to us that they don’t want us to have the capability to resist?’

  20. The Violence Policy Center quotes statistics which prove that defensive gun use is a myth. You see, in 2014 according to the FBI there were only 224 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen and a firearm. Such a tiny number. And of course defensive gun use only counts if the bad guy is killed.
    What they don’t mention is the FBI statistic of 500,000 reported defensive gun incidents over that same period. And since that only includes those that actually were documented the true full numbers are thought to be closer to 2.5 million.
    So, as the saying goes, figures lie and liars figure.

    1. > 2014 … 224 justifiable

      “Law enforcement reported 721 justifiable homicides in 2014. Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 444 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 277 people during the commission of crimes.”


      You do have to keep in mind that “justifiable” means something completely different depending on whether it’s applied to the police or some ordinary schmuck.

        1. Yeah, I think I was resident in Texas for at least a couple of months, before I read a story in the daily rag about some dear sweet little old 80-year old lady on the South Side (which is where most of this stuff happens, go figure) who realized that some dirtbag was trying to break down her front door. She warned him that she had a gun, Dirtbag continued trying to break down the front door … and she drilled him through the front door, and left him bleeding out on the doormat.
          I think that the SADP must have a special award program when this happens. “Thanks for Taking Out the Trash” is what it may be called.

          1. The famous “taxpayer relief shot,” or so I’ve seen it called. Also known around some places as “S/He sure saved the county a lot of money.” Usually used for circumstances like Celia described.

    2. The old VPC number of 224 only counts officially adjudicated “justifiable homicides”. Completely ignoring any events that never went to trial at all.

  21. Some years ago I spotted this quote at the bottom of someone’s email:
    “Simpletons assert that America doesn’t need armed citizens since it has never had a despot or tyrant for a leader. What they don’t realize is that America has never had a despot or tyrant as a leader because American citizens are armed.” — Ira Weitzel, Dachau survivor.

    I asked the sender about that quote and if he meant Elie Wiesel. I think the answer amounted to “I don’t know”. I’ve been trying to authenticate the quote ever since, without success. But whether we’re sure about the author, the sentiment is obviously valid.

    I also like this one, from Gandhi, for which I did find an authoritative source: “He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi, “The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi”, cited at http://www.mkgandhi.org/nonviolence/phil8.htm

        1. You’re welcome to verify it yourself, I gave the attribution. I’m pretty confident it’s authoritative.
          Two others, also with attributions, that show the same not-so-well known aspect of Gandhi:
          “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, p. 446
          “I do believe that where there is a choice only between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi, Young India, August 11, 1920 from Fischer, Louis ed.,The Essential Gandhi, 1962. pp. 156-57.

    1. Just doin’ what I can to raise Squid Awareness in America and on the web. Y’all are welcome.

  22. Golly gee, it was just yesterday, or perhaps the day before, that the Democrats were whining about a fascist Trump and fascist murdering cops.

    We’ve even had idiot athletes refusing to stand for the national anthem for weeks now because of the fascist cops.

    And now they suddenly want to take away our guns and make it so only the government and the cops can be armed. How does that work?

    1. If you’re looking for an ability to experience cognitive dissonance in a left-wing, Democrat, or Socialist…? You’re gonna spend a long time looking.

      The people who are most likely to follow these ideologies are generally bereft of any real cognitive ability beyond rote repetition of what their controllers have told them is “goodthink”.

      1. Remember Billy Jeff and Hillary boasting about their ability to “compartmentalize” during the Lewinsky impeachment scandal?

        I never thought I would hear a politician bragging about being psychopathic, but there they were …

  23. As a side note, I’ve come to the conclusion that what the people who say that civilians couldn’t resist a fascist government actually mean is that they’re scared that the people with the guns would actually support the fascist government.
    Before you say I’m crazypants, consider the following: most gun owners are conservative. Most of the hardcore gun-grabbers consider anyone to the right of John Kasich to be proto-fascist at best. Ergo, if there were a fascist government, it would be supported by gun owners, which would make the leftist revolution more difficult.
    Yes, the second premise has no basis in reality, but the logic itself is sound.

    1. To the right of Kasich?

      A few weeks ago, we learned here that Stalin and Lenin were right-wingers!

    1. *sinal salute*

      I note that they listed the obstacles to getting an abortion…

      …. and conveniently “forgot” to list the obstacles to getting a gun.

      1. Even if there were no obstacles to getting a gun (as they are claiming by omission)…

        One of these things has a 100% chance of being used to end a human life. The other has about a 0.0001% chance of being used to end a human life. Which one should be more restricted?

    2. Wow. That deserves a thorough fisking.

      – “mandatory 48-hr waiting period”: Already been done. Didn’t help any. Wouldn’t have made any difference with the Vegas shooter. Not in force in all jurisdictions as pertains to abortions. Abortion is rather permanent for one party involved, buying a gun is NOT.

      – “parental permission”: A minor can’t buy a gun ANYWHERE in the US. An adult can’t buy a handgun ANYWHERE in the US, nor carry it concealed (have to be 21). Also not in force in all jurisdictions (though I will acknowledge those places technically require a legal loophole be jumped through to avoid parental notification).

      – “a note from his doctor proving he understands what he is about to do”: Again, permanence is a huge factor here. Also, positive versus negative effects – killing a fetus is a negative action, removing or destroying something, while buying a gun is a positive action, acquiring something, that could just sit on a shelf for decades.

      – “a video he has to watch about the effects of violence”: This would be called “the evening news”. At least, if it still had any credibility.

      – “an ultrasound wand up the ***”: OK, this is idiocy, since that’s NOT how ultrasounds are done for fetuses. And, I would say that a background check is pretty much the same thing, anyway (depending on thoroughness).

      – “close down all but one gun shop in every state”: Well, that’s what some locales have done with their restrictions on weapons. Oh, and taxes (cf. Seattle). But, it’s also not what has been done to abortionists – merely that they have been required to follow medical rules for invasive surgery, and can’t seem to manage that.

      – “Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos… people who call him a murderer…”: Again, the evening news seems to fulfill this requirement.

      – “no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?”: Well, if you consider the womb to be a “room”………

      It’s amazing the stupidity that goes viral, isn’t it?

      1. An adult can’t buy a handgun ANYWHERE in the US, nor carry it concealed (have to be 21).
        OK, that’s thoroughly confusticated. Should be
        An adult can’t buy a handgun ANYWHERE in the US, nor carry it concealed unless he is 21.

      2. The “waiting period” for guns also results in innocent death.

        Friend my mom made at a class was going to come visit– she ended up not, because she dumped her abusive boyfriend, got a restraining order, and…was beaten to death with the little paper saying when she’d be allowed to pick up her gun literally in her purse, right next to the restraining order.

  24. OK, stupid question time.

    Does Las Vegas not require high-rise windows to be tempered glass? The broken windows are definitely not the shape they would be if they were tempered.

    1. They may pre-date those kinds of codes and have been grandfathered. Plus I don’t recall if the MGM-Grand fire led to any requirement for “easy to kick-out” windows or similar.

          1. Ah, a market! Portable inflatable drag chute with CO2 canister!

            Made of Mylar, about 8’x12′ (enough to keep you to a survivable, if not comfortable, fall rate, with air channels along the edges and a CO2 bottle to fill them, opening the canopy quickly, and short lines (to keep them from tangling) to an under-the-arms sling. Knock out window, open chute, jump.


            1. I recall as a kid jumping off the roof of a short shack, without any added drag, and while holding some tarp that made a very slight “parachute”… it wasn’t much, but it was a decided difference. Enough that we stopped jumping without it. That wasn’t very big… and I weighed a lot less way back when.

        1. No, but for helicopter or cherry-picker rescue. I recall for a while the idea of plucking people from the windows of burning high-rises with helicopters was discussed in a lot of venues, before the actual helicopter-flying people pointed out how terrible an idea it could be. I could easily imagine a city code board insisting on easy-to-remove egress windows at some point for “if it saves one life” reasons and never removing the requirement, or grandfathering older construction “until substantial remodeling occurs.”

      1. Oh, they were broken with the long, straight edges of ordinary window glass like you can get really hurt on when accidentally breaking a window in your house.

        The reason I asked is because I was scanning an article about the shooting, and passed on by the pictures of the windows with little attention paid, then the subconscious started pecking at the back of my brain, and I went, “HUNH??!?”

  25. The problem with trying to control dangerous objects is that humans tend to be very, very good at figuring out ways to kill other humans.

    1. I was going to point out some of the improvised weapons (which include news papers, for heaven’s sake, not even going into laptop power blocks etc)– but hell, HUMANS area deadly weapons.

      Some more than others, but even I can take someone out in the right situation.

      1. *mischievous smile* Well, there’s the whole thing too, about the latest iphones having issues… and there was that phone that would explode… I remember seeing a joke meme about running out of grenades and tossing cellphones instead.

    2. One observer pointed out it would have been a whole lot worse if he had used his airplane rather than his guns.

    3. Prior to 9/11 I believe the most deadly terrorist attack ever involved chaining the fire exit doors shut on a movie theater, dumping a bunch of gasoline, and setting the theater on fire. (Cinema Rex attack)

      1. 9/11 itself merely required airline tickets and box-cutters (and the knowledge of how to fly a commercial airliner)

  26. And on the book of faces, someone is wondering how they can drop their kids off at school without fear because there are people like that out there.
    Sorry to break it to you sweetheart, but there are always people like that out there. They have always been out there.
    Vigilance and situational awareness are scary, scary things. Many people just don’t want to think about the bad things that possibly could happen, because it is so very scary. They want someone else to make any possibility of bad things happening just go away. So they don’t have to think about scary bad things.
    But you can’t nerf the world. The bad things are out there, and always will be.

  27. CBS (via Ace of Spades) tweeted out this:
    While the guns Stephen Paddock used in Las Vegas fired automatic rounds, they were perfectly legal under ATF rules
    Reading further, it seems he’s thinking about ‘bump stocks’. But, seriously, “automatic rounds”? The ignorance of the media astounds.

          1. And these are just examples which were confirmed by mass media with police reports.

            Squid farms on mars? It’s ant farms in your backyard and a po-faced crook telling you that insects don’t build structures.

        1. He was expecting a lot of negative comments and getting screamed at, I guess. Apparently his opinions don’t make him very popular, especially in the atheist circles. I came out for breakfast one morning and Aff cheerfully told me that he’d had a very productive evening, and was banned from a number of atheist IRC channels. Apparently an atheist who doesn’t hate religious people (and thinks Christianity had a good influence – see Western Civilization) is verboten and should be removed from having any kind of voice posthaste.

            1. Addendum: I’ve noticed that “must hate religious people” bit rather often. Enough to sarcastically wonder if I missed a manual somewhere that says I was required to do so when I became agnostic.

              1. A matter of playing the odds- and probably a feeling of betrayal, too.

                Agnostics, if they are honest in saying “I do not know, I need more information,” are vulnerable to getting sufficient information and changing their mind.

                Only by hating religion can you be fairly sure to stay a non-believer, and thus not “betray” the group.

              2. Atheism is still a form of theism, a claim to knowledge not held. It thus defends its turf quite as zealously as the most fundamentalist faiths.

                Agnosticism is the sensible response to facts not in evidence.

                1. I’ve always been just a bit put off by that claim.

                  “So if you had evidence, you’d change your mind?”
                  “Of course.”
                  “So, agnostic, not atheist.”

                  “Do you believe in $CREATURE?”
                  “No, of course not.”
                  “But if you saw one, could satisfy yourself it wasn’t a hoax or such, you’d change your mind?”
                  “Of course. I’m not an idiot.”
                  “Aha! You are $CREATURE-agnostic. You don’t REALLY disbelieve.”
                  “NO, I’m just not an idiot.”
                  “Guess what? I’m also just not an idiot.”

                  1. Don’t parallel; atheist believes they do not exist, rather than not believing they exist (which is where agnostic and atheist overlap)– there are actually people who will declare that, oh, dog/coyote hybrids do not exist, because they believe other stuff which requires that they not exist, so any evidence is dismissed.

                    That is very unusual, probably because not very many people care that much about if dog/coyote hybrids (or whatever other contested animal) exist. (only ones I know had a very strong emotional investment in species boundaries being solid, and a dislike of the idea coyotes and wolves can cross)

                    Rather obnoxiously, some of the better cryptozoology sources got invaded by a funky hybrid of the two atheist viewpoints, stopped debunking claims and started basically just screaming “Creationist!” about everybody who thought there might be cryptids. It sucked.

                    1. Yes, “I don’t believe X exists” is considerably different from, “I believe X DOES NOT exist”. One is a statement of, “I dunno” and the other is a statement of “I know better”.

                      Regarding wolves and dogs, however, that’s not much of a species boundary.

                    2. The ones I ran into were totally willing to admit dogs are basically highly bred wolves; they were not willing to admit that coyotes are a slightly further out group of the same.

                      The page I use to share for that disappeared after genetic proof that the three are more like a color-ring than different groups. And coydogs in captivity.

                2. Actually, atheism defends it’s turf more zealously than the most fundamentalist of faiths.

                  “Why is that you ask?” Because atheism has no, zero, nada, redeeming features. Atheists can’t point to the hospitals they’ve established in the name of atheism. Nor the orphanages. There is no “Ten Commandments” that they can point to that says “see, atheism makes us BETTER.” Atheism doesn’t stand FOR anything, it only stands aside, or as so often, against. Atheism is, at best, poi for the soul.

                  So, to establish their psychological – moral bonafides many of them go on the attack. Those who are secure enough don’t bother, but those are also the atheists that we rarely ever hear about. They are the ones that we can be confident believe that God does NOT exist. The attackers? They don’t know, but they DO know that they hate religion and/or religious people. Because of some real (or occasionally imagined) hurt done to them. I’m speaking from personal experience here. Every passionately anti-God (which 99% of the time means anti-The LORD God Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, with the other 1% actually having serious objections to Allah and/or Vishnu and/or Gaia and/or etc….) atheist I’ve ever known has been deeply hurt “by religion.” Often, it’s not religion, it’s not even religious people acting in accordance with their faith, or even in reference one way or the other to their faith. It’s just people being people who happen to be religious people. The attack-attack-attack atheists tend to be about as rational as anti-Semites and/or anti-Catholics.

                  1. (Catholic, here)
                    They are working on that “Stand for something” thing.

                    OK, it’s not a HUGE thing, but– the local Atheist group adopted a stretch of road on the far side of El Paso, and it is no worse than most and better than some.

                    I think this is great– they’re not going to overcome the CCD group that adopted part of the military loop a few miles past that, but by trying to find and promote good they are moving towards good, and that’s addictive. When you have to stand FOR something, you’re going to get sucked into it– and that might help some of them, at least.

      1. There is political debate over where Mexico’s guns come from.

        Obama et al. claim the United States.

        The people I trust suggest that, Fast and Furious aside, there are a lot of overseas sources. (Apparently organizations that can smuggle drugs into the US by air, sea and land can smuggle arms into Mexico by sea and air.)

        In theory we might be able to collect all the arms if we had a civil war. But it is at the same level of remote possibility as baking a cake by setting oneself on fire and holding the pan of batter.

        1. Of the weapons confiscated in Mexico, which they ask the US to try to trace, something like 90% are from the US. (Some of those, incidentally, legally— from memory, a lot of them the last official record is them being legally exported from the US, and THEN they vanish. But that is “from the US.”)

          So other than the weapons that they already know where they came from, that you can’t even bother to trace, or that couldn’t possibly have come from the US….

          1. What they found is that lots of those “US weapons” were sold to the Mexican government by various manufacturers….. and then the were sold to / stolen by the cartel.

            1. Which is the relevant information that they “helpfully” edited out.

              Because, as the running meme has been on this page, “guns are bad.”

            2. Yep. And it’s not 90percent. That was a lie Obama told then concocted fast and furious to ‘prove’. It’s about 25percent. The rest is the usual third world Hodge podge

  28. So, somewhere in here I mentioned they were talking about something he was taking drugwise.

    Ringo and Miriam give us a bit of highly possible insight.
    As someone who tends to get the really off the wall side effects (example: Pepcid AC makes me a nervous non-functional wreck), I can totally see someone like this guy was supposed to be become what Ringo says Miriam was on her way to

    1. With the added caveat not as competent as Miriam (from what I’ve heard, few people are).

      1. That caveat is likely why she realized something was up and needed to change.
        I took only a few days off being stupid, and unable to do simple tasks to sit and type out what changed recently to work out why pepsid, Prilosec and to a far lesser extent, even zantac mess me up.
        On a related note.
        I used to know a doctor who prescribed an acne med to his son and it caused the boy to commit suicide.

    2. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of ‘new drug side effect’, which, considering my usual ‘what was the history of recreational drug abuse’ is probably evidence of the problems I’ve had this week in my personal life. Sixties is a time for new prescription drugs, and if he didn’t have close family watching him, it is really easy for side effects to creep up without notice. It pretty much explains everything, and very neatly. Including the ‘why now and not earlier in life?’

      The sheriff is now saying he thinks Paddock planned to survive, and may have had confederates. FBI guy at the same press conference said that he isn’t making any assumptions, and that assumptions should not be made.

      1. Also, as he had psychosis in family, he may well have been more susceptible to the break. So he goes it, and even if asked, instead of Miriam’s ” something is wrong here” he said ” no” and continued planning.
        All too plausible.

      2. My family didn’t notice that I was developing a mild form of ‘Roid Rage when I was prescribed an oral steroid for my hip and knee injury in High School. My Sunday School teacher noticed, asked if I was taking anything, and lo and behold… I’ve been really, really careful ever since.

    3. Heard late yesterday that the day before, it was on the news that he’d been on anti-anxiety meds. Very good chance those were the culprit.

      1. #2 son takes anxiety meds. After he got picked up for “Public Intoxication – Non-Alcoholic”, I looked at the less common side effects (and now he is on half doses until he receives a prescription for something different). This is definitely a possibility.

  29. They sure stopped it in Athens, TN.

    But even ignoring the cases where they were used to stop tyranny, by this idiot’s logic you could just as easily say that American nuclear weapons didn’t prevent the Soviets from pushing into Western Europe.

  30. Q: Has a tyrant assumed control of the United States?
    A: No.

    Ah. Then tyranny has been averted.The 2nd Amendment says, “You’re welcome.”

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