When Guns are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Hammers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victim Teresa Sievers

Victim Teresa Sievers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two sets of fighter rules

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

fokker_eiii

Oswald Boelcke: Dicta Boelcke, 1916.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

convincing fake beretta

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

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

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

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

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

Someone will suggest banning realistic toy guns.

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

Sunday Stretch

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

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

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

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

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

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

But can we do all those things?

Maybe. If we stretch.

That Was the Week that Was: 2015 Week 35

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

Sigh. Sometimes you have weeks like that.

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

what we’re thinking around here.

The Boring Statistics

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

Comments This Week

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

The Week in Posts

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

Going Forward

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

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

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

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

uncertain_tomorrow-surveillance_overwatch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Acting and Production

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

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

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

Accuracy and Weapons

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

uncertain_tomorrow-white_mans_fire

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The bottom line

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

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

For more information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revolvers In ATF Trace Data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

top_6_revolver_trace_states

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

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

bottom_6_revolver_trace_states

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

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

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Friday Tour d’Horizon Week 35

We’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck! And maybe some other stuff, because whatever the hobgoblin of our little mind is, we can pretty much rule out consistency.

Guns

We really wanted to write more about these gun stories. So many guns, so few fingers….

Good Stuff at Forgotten Weapons

Ian has been mining the upcoming RIA premier auction for interesting stuff. Here’s a Russian FN 1903 shoulder-stocked pistol, for example, or a 1960s retro-futuristic GyroJet Rocket Carbine.

Like Ian, we’ve always found stocked pistols cool, and fun to shoot.

The Continuing Adventures of Bubba the Gunsmith

No comment.

bubba_gunsmites_a_tokarev

Really, no comment.

State Department’s 1st Amendment Revocation Headed to Court of Appeals

The State Department’s attempt to put firearms technical information under a complete lockdown won the preliminary injunction stage at Federal district court, so the next step is a trip to the 5th Circuit. A report on the case by Scott J. Gruenwald, who appears to be suffering a degree of cognitive dissonance between his pro-liberty and anti-gun preferences, ran in 3DPrint.com. Nothing is filed yet and the DD v. US page has not been updated as of press time, but the filing will likely go there when it is delivered to the Court.

Bubba Again? There’s Gotta Be an Easier Way to Make a Bicycle

Found on Teh Interwebz:

AK47-Bicycle

Actually, this is the level of handcraftsmanship that the Bubbas at Century aspire to.

Is that mag catch going to snag a rider’s shoelaces, or what?

Apparently no one ever told this cat that you can buy a bicycle for $50 at Walmart, $10 on Craigslist, %0 on Freecycle, or just do like a Black Lives Matter poster child and steal one.

Printed? Casted? Just celebrate diversity!

That’s probably not what the President means when he’s talking about “Diversity.” But printed? Casted? Red, green, yellow, black or white? (That’s +1 on the races of the world right there).

Celebrate Diversity printed and casted

Not the President’s diversity? Just goes to show, with all due respect for the man and the office, he’s wrong.

Colt is Hiring, Sort Of

Colt has a few positions open, while it still negotiates the bankruptcy produced by a rapacious management. Meanwhile, the managers who seek to hang onto the company while expropriating bondholders of $350M have demanded millions of dollars in bonuses from the courts. The open positions are all management/exempt positions. Given the politics of Connecticut courts, they don’t dare address any part of their cost issues that relates to staying in high-cost Connecticut, or maintaining a high-cost, low-quality UAW labor force.

If the Court approves the bankruptcy as proposed, Colt’s failure is not solved, but the day of reckoning is kicked further along the road, and more to the point from the managers’ viewpoint,  they get to keep pocketing other people’s millions, which is why they became hedge fund managers in the first place.

New Flamethrower Threatened With New Ban

We recently covered the new Ion Productions flamethrower, which is made in Warren, Michigan, a decaying industrial suburb of Detroit. The Mayor of Warren, one Jim Fouts, is so alarmed that people may be buying something inflammable from his town, other than Pintos, and so determined to keep the people on welfare where he can be their Supreme Personality of Godhead, that he’s trying to bull a ban through the City Council.

“I support Second Amendment rights,” the mayor, a national socialist, says…. do any of you care to get the next word after his comma?

Yes, that would be the “abnegatory ‘but'”, the conjunction that cancels out the first clause of the sentence. Fouts doesn’t support the Second Amendment. He probably looks really spiffy in a black Hugo Boss uniform. After all, you can’t spell “Boss” without the last two letters!

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Exercise with Guns?

We don’t wear form-fitting stuff (at this age, the form is rotund anyway) and simply carry a pocket pistol in a pocket, if the event doesn’t work with a holster. But NRA has a simple one-pager of suggestions for staying gunned-up when you’re working out. It’s mostly common sense, but you’d be surprised how uncommon that is.

Defoor’s on De Toor

CT Closed OutOK, we’ll cop to the terrible pun, but Our Traveling Reporter tells us that Kyle Defoor has his 2016 schedule up (albeit incomplete, as he’s still placing dates on the calendar)…
….and they’re already filling up. (Not surprising as he’s very reasonably priced for that level of instructional skill). We confirmed this with a visit to his page, during which a Connecticut pistol class closed out (and Connecticut is a lousy place to take a class, as it’s a ban state with a 10-round mag limit, and the state’s staggering taxes make food and lodging in CT a poor value).

Kyle Defoor continues his wiseass hashtaggery. His stuff is worth reading for that alone.

Kyle Defoor continues his wiseass hashtaggery. His stuff is worth reading for that alone — in this case, especially if you’re a fan of Billy Joel’s 1980s Beatlesque album, The Nylon Curtain.

We mentioned that our handgun skills were somewhat atrophied and we were back in the Crawl stage of the famous military Crawl, Walk, Run cycle. This brought a sharp response from OTR: “Do not go to Defoor unless you’re at Run!” What he means by that is that you’ll get the most out of it if you’re already at a decent level. Here’s how Kyle explains typical prerequisites:

The 2-Day Pistol course is recommended for those that have attended shooting courses before or who have a thorough understanding of pistol and carbine basics and already have safe gun handling skills.

If your pistol, precision rifle or carbine skills meet basic professional standards and you want to take them up a level in a single weekend, he’s a great instructor. (Mike Pannone is another, and Mike’s an SF guy. Defoor is one of those frogman creatures. NTTAWWT).

Cops ‘n’ Crims

Cops bein’ cops, crims bein’ crims. The endless Tom and Jerry show of crime and (sometimes instantaneous) punishment.

New Jersey Cops bag another Concealed Carrier

Cops in New Jersey don’t pursue criminals. You could get hurt doing that! Instead, they make a regular practice out of rolling up unwary residents from other states who don’t realize that Christiestan is a rights-free zone. They just bagged another, Brian Fletcher, who had come in from North Carolina because New Jersey’s native population of hedge fund clerks and welfare recipients need to call out of state to fix their cell towers.

How Crims Get Guns in CA: From Cops

Dateline, Oakland, August

The theft of the semi-automatic pistol and other items belonging to the officer was reported about 9:59 a.m. Wednesday [26 Aug.] in the 3000 block of East Ninth Street near a Starbuck’s coffee shop in the Fruitvale Station shopping center.

Dateline, Richmond Point, August

Last Friday [21 Aug.] a loaded gun, badge, and other items were stolen from an unmarked SUV belonging to UC Berkeley Police Chief Margo Bennett, who had parked the vehicle at Richmond’s Point Isabel Regional Shoreline while she jogged before work.

Dateline, San Francisco, July.

In another incident in July, a gun stolen in San Francisco from the car of a federal Bureau of Land Management agent was reportedly used to kill Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 in the city.

Neither of the August thefts has turned up. The July stolen gun was recovered after a criminal alien used it in the murder. While California laws about gun storage are strict, being a cop means never having to say you’re sorry. In California, none of the reckless cops who left weapons unattended have been charged or disciplined at all — and none of them has said they’re sorry, the heartless, soulless BLM agent particularly maintaining a position of contemptuous, haughty and lawyered-up silence to his victim, Kate Steinle.

The CA Attorney General says this about firearms storage and responsibility:

You may be guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony if you keep a loaded firearm within any premises that are under your custody or control and a child under 18 years of age obtains and uses it, resulting in injury or death, or carries it to a public place, unless you stored the firearm in a locked container or locked the firearm with a locking device to temporarily keep it from functioning.

Unless you’re a cop. Then you have the Thin Blue Patent of Nobility.

Australian Cops Step Up Confiscation

Savage-coverIn Western Australia (one of the States into which OZ is organized) the police have been confiscating rifles. Not semi-autos, and not pumps — they already got all those, and they’ve been making noises about lever-actions. But the Target for Today is bolt-action rifles that look, in the inexperienced eye of any one Bronze at any given time, like they might be military.

The actual stocks used in our M24s? They’re OK. Some of the chassis stocks made for the civilian market, and heavy-as-the-Great-Barrier-Reef stocks made for benchrest competitors? Nope, some guy says they’re military, so to the smelter they go.

Elmer Fudd thinks the tiger isn’t going to eat him if he throws the collectors and self-defense shooters in its path. It’s just going to eat him later. 

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields

Irish Democracy meets Red-light Revenue Cameras

Here are three stories of a guy who got jammed up for knocking red-light cameras out of line and crimping crooked cop/bureaucrats’ free flow of lucre: The Federalist, Sachem Patch, and Stephen Ruth’s own Facebook Page. Most of the money from these schemes go to the politically connected, crony crapitalist companies that fun this for-profit venture.

The Train Attack — It Can’t Happen Here

Because Amtrak is a gun-free zone… just like the Thalys express train in Europe. How did that work out. Katie Pavlich writes in The Hill:

Since moving to Washington, D.C., years ago, I’ve become what is known as a Northeast Corridor Acela passenger. I often travel to New York City for work, and the train goes straight to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. It’s convenient, but the majority of the time I don’t feel safe. I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

Three years ago I was on the Acela headed north, on Sept. 11, when the train stopped between D.C. and Baltimore. The Amtrak engineer came over the loudspeaker to explain that there were wires down in front of the train on the tracks and wires down behind us, and that we wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while. “A while” turned into 10 hours of sitting on the tracks, with no option of getting off.

While we were waiting — and as I often do when there’s a delay — I thought about how we were helpless, defenseless, sitting ducks. We couldn’t get off the train, the train couldn’t move and it would be easy for someone on the train to carry out an attack or for someone outside of the train to make their way aboard.

Fortunately, if terrorists wiped out the habitués of the Acela Express, the country would survive. Yes, even the loss of the flower of Wall Street, congressional staffs, and big-J Journalism. Survive, hell, it’d probably benefit.

Veterans’ Issues

They can get ’em to join, in a major initiative to bring vets into the Federal government, but they can’t get ’em to hang around.

The bad news is that once veterans get into government, they don’t stay long. They’re more likely to leave their jobs within two years than non-veterans, the Office of Personnel Management reported.

The Small Business Administration had the most trouble keeping veterans in fiscal 2014, with just 62 percent staying two years or more, compared to 88 percent of non-veterans. Former service members left the Commerce Department at similar rates, with 68 percent staying two years or more compared to 82 percent for non-veterans.

Even the Department of Veterans Affairs, traditionally a draw for former troops, lost a little more than a quarter of its veterans within two years, compared to 20 percent of its non-veterans.

The initiative has fueled tensions in federal offices, though, as longtime civil servants and former troops on the other side of the cubicle question each other’s competence and qualifications.

So why don’t the vets stay? Maybe cause working for the .fed has all the embuggerments of serving in the military, without any of the rewards?

Lord Love a Duck!

The weird and wonderful (or creepy) that we didn’t otherwise get to.

Here’s a Congressman with a Clue:

massie non gun free zoneIs yours like this, or is he the other kind?

Hat tip, Aaron Spuler at Weapon-Blog.com. (This guy is Aaron’s Congressman).

You can’t keep a good technology down

Goodyear’s blimps are being retired, and will be replaced by a new generation of semi-rigid airships. After the US (Akron and Macon), UK (R100-R101) and Germany (who can forget the Hindenburg) had some bad experiences, the only airships left for decades were nonrigid, frameless blimps. But in recent years Zeppelin NT and others have shown that modern materials and other technologies make a framed or partially-framed airship a machine of great potential.

A more serious threat to the airships is the US blowing out Government helium stocks, which are mostly being wasted because of the subsidized low price, and the price shock coming when the ancient US reserve bottoms out.

Buy My Degree for 1/4 Of What I Wasted On it!

That’s the pitch from a woman who got a degree in the jobstopper field of Theatre from Florida State University. Hot tip kid: schools that are known for their football program are not where Broadway is looking for its next generation of talent

Stephanie Ritter, a 26-year-old Florida State University alum, has listed her diploma on eBay for the staggering sum to cover the ‘actual cost’ of attending the school.
Now $40,000 in debt and living in Southern California, Stephanie is fed up with being unable to find a job in her field, despite having a Bachelor’s degree – so she’s come up with a drastic solution to pay off her loans and ‘validate my use of time between 2007-2011’.

It’s only a solution if someone thinks an FSU Theatre degree is worth $50k, which seems unlikely. She has a Plan B and Plan C though:

Though Stephanie seems to recognize the unlikelihood that someone will actually purchase her very expensive piece of paper, she hasn’t given up all hope of achieving financial stability, and told BuzzFeed that she dreams that ‘a very rich family would adult Daddy Warbucks me.’
And if that doesn’t work out either, she has a back-up plan.

‘If that falls through, honestly, [I will] just do that thing where I pay the minimum for 25 years and then the government feels so bad for you that they wipe it clean,’ she said.

Anybody wonder why our generation thinks a large slice of her generation comprises a bunch of sniveling, spoilt, entitled wastes of skin?

A Theatre degree signals to employers: drama queen. It’s not the worst degrees, those are any kind of Grievance Studies.

Off Topic but Fascinating: Mormon and Orthodox Jewish Dating Demographics

This article at the usually worthless Time magazine is an excerpt from a book that examines, among other things, the sex imbalance in dating in certain closed communities (meaning they don’t seek a match outside their group), like Orthodox Jews and Mormons.

In both cases, a surplus of young women is facing too few men, and the reasons are demographic but different: among Mormons, young men are more likely to drop out of LDS than young women, leaving a lot of potential perfect wives unclaimed. Orthodox Jews have a very low religious drop-out rate, so the cause there is different. The demographic growth of Orthodox Jewry (thanks to their preference for large families) means that each year the cohort is larger, so a 2-3 year age difference (male over female) means there will always be more younger women for the men who are a couple years older to choose from. And unusually, among the flavors of Orthodox Jews, Hasidic Jews do not have a marriage imbalance, because their marriage practice is for husband and wife to be of equal age.

Funny, the difference between two couples, one 21 year olds and the other a 19 and 23 year old  might carry within it the demographic seed of many “extra” women who can’t find husbands. (Meanwhile, in China and other Asian patriarchal societies, the advent of ultrasound and abortion has ensured that the “extras” will be men, which has different societal problems). You can’t really match the Chinese men with the “extra” Mormon and Jewish women, not when this is all driven by culture, religion, and identity.