Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: The Arts Mechanical

the_arts_mechanicalThis is not exactly a weapons website, but this technology blog by JC Carleton is very, very interesting if you have any interest in, say, manufacturing. Or innovation. Or technology. Or entrepreneurship.

In other words, if you read this blog you might like to read that blog. (Are we insane around here, in that at least once a week we send our readers away? Possible, but it’s all part of our commitment to public service. Duty doesn’t end just because the bones go crunch and the doc shakes his head and the unit boots you out).

The Arts Mechanical grabbed us at the start, just over a year ago, with a splash graphic of a crowded, gritty machine shop. And Carlton has made his first, brief blog post sticky. In it he explains:

I am a Senior Mechanical Engineer deeply interested in all sorts of technologies and how technologies relate to human life. I take sort of different outlook than most people because I believe that technologies are not autonomous and cannot be separated from the scope of human life.
Technologies are tools and the whole reason for a technology to exist it that it makes people’s lives better.

Recently, he had an impassioned criticism of the CFO’s function and, particularly, of CFO leadership. We’ve seen what CFO leadership has done to companies like General Motors.

All too often the CFO is the guy that gets put in the corner office of the C-suite. From personal experience, that doesn’t end well. Trying to run a company by looking through the rear view mirror leads to some strange things. To say nothing of a lot of financial maneuvering rather than actual working on making things more productive.

His alternative is, to a B-School droid like your humble host, challenging, if not revolutionary:

…allow the production management and engineering people time to think. It’s nice to think that you need to maintain a high level of productivity, but the constant push for new projects and more work leads to burnout and overwork. The problem with that is that when you are pushing to get things done all the time it’s all too easy to just travel down familiar paths and build the “next one” just like the “last one.” Giving engineers some sabbatical time between projects allows for some time to rethink and maybe try new approaches.

You should also allow the production and engineering dept’s a slush budget.  This is money not dedicated to a particular project, but set aside as ‘fooling around” money.  Innovation is fooling around, more often than not and allowing for that kind of thinking allows the creativity to flow.  The problem is that the typical corporate culture is mired in Taylorism.

Almost every productive, creative business would benefit from this. A long time ago, we combined reporting for a living with serving in the USAR SF. And even in something like trade journalism, the productivity and quality you got out of centrally assigning beats or projects versus putting a clever reporter on “enterprise reporting” (meaning, “go discover something neat and write it up”) was immense. Sure, you had to send cub reporters to press conferences at trade shows, but you built relationships by what Steve Jobs called MBWA — Management By Walking Around.

He calls out, in that same post, an unintentionally entertaining Harvard Business Review article. Carlton dismisses it in a blunt sentence, and our inner MBA told us “it can’t be that bad,” until we went there and saw, we are not making this up, “Only involve them in meaningful work…. they simply won’t engage in meaningless work.” The author suggests that you give the meaningless work to uncreative employees. Consider our inner MBA to have just gotten a well-deserved reality beatdown.

Uh, why does your company have meaningless work? Or uncreative employees, for that matter? Naturally, the guy who wrote this is a hyphenated-name career academic. Naturally.

Carlton does find interesting technical materials as well. For example, this page contains two videos about the engineering and manufacturing of an everyday product — the aluminum beer or soft drink can. If you’ve ever wondered, “how do that do that?” well, here’s your answer. And if you’ve never wondered that, seeing the thoughtful and continuously-improved mechanical engineering of this everyday container.

It’s of particular interest to us because the aluminum beverage can processes can easily be seen to be derived from well-established brass cartridge case processes dating back to the 19th Century.

There are probably some of Carlton’s posts that you won’t like, because he does range far afield from “The Arts Mechanical” at times. But we defy you to find one that’s dull. 


As you can probably tell if you’re waiting for posts, we’re running a couple of posts behind. Can’t be helped. We hope to be caught up by late tonight (cinco de Mayo), but we’re not entirely sure how that happens. We have a ton of good stuff that’s just a little further upstream in the production snake.


Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 17

This Tour d’Horizon is going up a bit late, and for that reason may be more telegraphic than usual. We regret the impertinence.

This week’s installment includes:


I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Free Magazine, if you Kannst Deutsch

dwj_50_year_anniversary_coverThe Deutsches Waffen Journal is a major German gun magazine, founded in 1965; over 600 editions have gone to press since then. If you know enough German to  wend your way through the DWJ Online store, register and select the product (match this cover you see on the left at the link, and look for the magic word kostenlos), they will happily deliver to you a .pdf of their May, 2015 edition. German shooters are definitely under legislative and regulatory threats right now, as are all EU subjects, but a look at the magazine teaches a Yank that our Continental brethren might be a small minority in their nations, and may lack our particular freedoms, but have a robust and worthwhile gun culture to defend.


dwj_50_year_anniversaryOne of the pages of the 50th Anniversary was this collection of covers. I remember hitting the Hauptbahnhof frequently on days off to see if a new DWJ or Waffen Revue was on the newsstands. The wall of covers tells me that if a digital subscription granted access to digitized back issues (like Guns Magazine and some aviation mags), I’d be all over a subscription like Richthofen on an F.E.2B.

The store also has a lot of really interesting books for collectors. Again, you have to read German, at least a little (you poor monoglots can always look at the pictures, though).

How Blowback Works

Max Popenker has started a new series of articles on firearms operating systems at, an international gun website. His initial post is on Blowback firearms. In our view it falls just a hair short because it does not cover the advanced primer ignition that reduced weight of, first, the Oerlikon 20mm gun, and later, many global submachine guns. (API is also why lots of cannon cartridges feature rebated rims, but that’s another story. Generally a good introduction to the theory of blowback, or “mass locking” as this never-actually-locked system is called in some languages.

Many thanks to Max for sending us the link. We look forward to reading his next post.

A Thorough SCAR 17S review

We’ve mentioned before that these things are really popular with the guys in a 10.3″ CQB configuration, especially as more and more hadjis turn up bent on mayhem and wearing the armor we gave our valiant Iraqi and Afghan allies before we, and they, bugged out. Yes, the plates will stop one or two 7.62 rounds, but how many times do we fire, class?

Anyway, Shawn at (yes, the 1000-yard M4 guy!) has a good evaluation of a SCAR-H. (His test rifle was not box-stock, as it came to him already fitted with the Geissele Super SCAR Trigger). He took it out to his favorite strip-mine site and made 19 of 20 hits on a skinny-man gong at 750 yards with 168-grain ball.

Shawn shooting SCAR-H

He has a pretty good breakdown on what it can and can’t do. Read The Whole Thing™!

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Bang, Bang, You’re Sued

Law of Self Defense Andrew BrancaIn this case, it’s a pretty safe bet that the homeowner did not read The Law of Self-Defense, or attend the seminar either. Instead, he shot the fleeing career criminal. (The seminar explains why you can’t, generally, do that).

The homeowner did some time for a misdemeanor, not much but 30 days or so.

And then his troubles began. He got out to find that Lightfingers McGurk is suing him for pain and suffering. And the crook may actually win. Of course, the homeowner put himself in that position by plugging a plug-ugly who wasn’t posing a proximate threat at the point of pluggery.

Cognitive Biases

This article on cognitive biases was picked up by Aviation Week from Business and Commercial Aviation magazine. Despite its aviation focus, it’s something of value to any of us.

There are 100, or more, cognitive biases that are well known to psychologists. They influence or control ranges of behaviors, including eating and drinking, along with social, economic, religious and political actions. A few help us make good decisions with virtually no conscious thought. Most are relatively benign as long as you stay on the ground and steer clear of heated discussions. But there are about a dozen such biases that can kill you in an aircraft.

Such biases are formed through formal learning, personal experiences and hereditary factors. We use them to conserve our limited memory processing time and capacity.

For the astute readers of this blog, it should be relatively straightforward to adapt the arguments of this article to both firearms safety and to gunfighting. This is the kind of thing we’re talking about when we say the aviation world has been all over human factors, far more than we have been.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Hey, Why Punish Criminals?

Seth Barron at City Journal describes the New York City Council’s newfound solicitousness to their central constituency: the “people who litter, drink from open containers, and urinate in public.”

Brooklyn council member Jumaane Williams previously sponsored a bill to end enforcement of turnstile-jumping in the transit system, arguing that being arrested can be “very disruptive” and “cause financial hardship” to the arrestee.

As you might expect from a dude named Jumaane, his constituency includes a lot of criminals and criminals’ family members. Since they apparently can’t do the time (or, for these small offenses, pay the fine), this kind of misconduct needs to be redefined as legal. \

Of course, New York went down this path during the Dinkins era; it seems to be in a hurry to go back. And the answer to the question in the titles is, in part, to make criminal behavior costly in personal terms, and thereby reduce it. 

Cop Gets Hep C… with Tragic Consequences

Some low-life addict bit a cop, and the cop contracted the bloodborne liver disease, Hepatitis C.

The cop is OK so far, but not his wife, who contracted the disease from him.

She’s dead. 

Will De Blasio Be the Next One Indicted?

We were hoping for Cuomo, but it looks like his downstate mini-me might go first in conjunction with campaign-finance corruption. His people are not saying he’s innocent, only that he was within, if barely, the letter of the law.

President Wants Felon Preference for Feds

Kind of like veterans preferences, but for the people he likes better. Right now, felons, who are usually career criminals, are supposed to be restricted from Fed jobs.

Here’s an 800-yard Drug Tunnel

The War on Drugs continues, but drugs seem to keep advancing. Here’s the longest tunnel ever found across one of the rare defended areas on the Mexican border.

Until the next one.

The Perils of Kathleen: Call That Girl a Waahmbulance

Our perennial gun-banning crime-doin’ crimefighter Korrupt Kathleen Kane, got spanked (as noted in last week’s edition) for whining about “selective prosecution.” After seeing her mouthpiece, one Gerald Shargel, threatened with contempt, she (or Shargel) withdrew some of the more outrageous demands she’d placed on the court.

She’s now filed a new motion (giving up on the idea of doing it under seal), alleging selective and vindictive prosecution. Remarkably, her defense is, at this point, essentially admitting the charges but using a tu quoque defense: the old “Billy did it toooo!” every parent has heard before.

She’s also appealing the judge’s rulings against her sometimes fanciful pretrial motions to state court, an appeal the prosecutors are contesting.

And she’s telling political supporters (pinky-ring union leaders) that she never planned to run for a second term, even before her indictment, law license suspension, etc.

Hey, what’s that disbelieving look on your face? She would never lie — she’s a lawyer! (well, she was).

Why are we interested in Kane? Because, financed by anti-gun activist money, she took office with an objective of eliminating self-defense and defensive carry in Pennsylvania and by Pennsylvanians in other States. She singlehandedly erased just about all the previously concluded reciprocity agreements, while going easy on actual armed criminals. So we not only want to see her face career and personal destruction, we take a malicious glee in seeing the rubble bounce.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

Is He Reading the Same Magazine?

Thomas Ricks, the anti-military military expert formerly bashing us at the Washington Post, appears in Foreign Policy bashing the Army (gee, that’s a breakthrough) and goes on to praise Army Magazine, the galactically dull party-line waste of wood pulp of the association you’re compelled to join if you’re an officer. Ricks:

ARMY magazine continues to impress me. It used to be at the back of the pack of military magazine — ProceedingsMarine Corps Gazette, and so on. But for the last couple of years, it has led the way.

Is this bozo reading the same magazine? The current issue includes the usual party-line drivel, including a turgid article by a command sergeant major of the current crop of reflective-belt micromanagement NCOs. Army is not worthless because it can be shredded and used for kindling. But apart from that use… it remains about 20 IQ points lower than the Naval Institute’s Proceedings. 

By the way, Ricks goes on to call fellow reporter Sebastian Junger a “combat vet.” In what world is Junger’s employer during his embed, the gay men’s fashion magazine GQ, a combatant? This is a perfect example of one Beltway self-serving (and self-servicing) drone bestowing on another a title that is not his to bestow. Not that this stops them. Nowhere on Earth are men more empty of merit and swollen with self-regard.

By the way, what Ricks sees as Junger’s “new skeptical lens” looks to the rest of us like the usual Beltway urbanist disparagement of Flyover America. Ye gods! We live in our own houses and drive cars, instead of piling into urban Cabrini-Greens and riding the buses like good proles.

Are Defense Pensions Defense Spending?

In case you were wondering how Russia and China manage to field modern weapons systems without the budget bloat for declining capability seen in nations like the US and UK, that’s one big reason. Vet pensions are part of the military budget in the democratic nations, and they’re high and growing, eating more and more of the budget.

In the UK Telegraph, Simon Heffer notes:

Donald Trump’s remark – echoing one by Barack Obama – that Nato countries rely too much on America for defence, and don’t spend enough, recalls my point last week about the Government shamefully including war pensions when claiming it spends 2 per cent of GDP on “defence”. A reader tells me that his 92-year old mother, a veteran in receipt of such a pension, is ready to report for front line duties if necessary. He adds that this magnificent lady saw more enemy action than has the entire present House of Commons put together. Thank God we have her when Putin turns ugly, for we have little else.

The US is similarly situated, actually. Vast amounts of social spending are baked into the military budget, including everything from Hognose’s pension to Davis-Bacon Act handouts to connected unions, to various Congressional mandated cashflow streams to various literal and figurative Congressional nephews. Nobody is talking about this, so thanks to Simon for bringing it up.

Ash Carter Resists Arming Troops

In a gentle FU to Congress in October, Carter announced that rather than develop a plan to allow military officers and NCOs to arm themselves in self-defense like other Americans, he would merely deputize a handful of recruiters and other “off-installation” workers to carry issue firearms in MP guard-mount style. This week, the defense authorization bill as approved by the House Armed Services Committee will cut Carter’s social-engineering slush fund by 15% if he doesn’t produce a plan this year, and also declares adult military dependents (spouses, mostly) residents of the state of assignment for the purpose of gun-buying locally. Anti-gun committee Democrats opposed allowing service members to exercise what they see as the privileges of carry licenses, but were outvoted on party lines; some of them joined the Republicans on the spousal residency issue. The bill still has to pass the full House and the Senate; it is widely thought to be veto-proof, politically speaking.

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?. 

 VA Still Lying About Wait Times

We’ve previously mentioned this month’s GAO Report about how the agency lies about wait times. Here’s the report [.pdf], but this graphic shows how most of the wait time…


…is simply waiting for the VA to get off its dead ass and call the vet back. And the VA misreports total wait time by leaving this 80% of it out!

As Martin Matishak at The Fiscal Times points out, that’s where we are two full years into the scandal, and, as his headline-writer put it, “System Still Stacked Against Vets”. Word.

In Tomah, WI, They’re Designing Their Way Out of Crisis

How? Literally. By hiring an interior designer. Vets Need Not Apply, but current Federal drones have the inside track. This is the hospital that local drug users call Candy Land because of its opiate-dispensing practices, where they call the cops on reporters, but not on mental-health employee Charles Davis who is charged with being a serial groper of female vets.

The Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak notes presciently that, “A focus on appearances has often seemed to be VA’s way of covering for deeper operational problems,” and points out that the VA, which always cries about lack of money, went $1 billion over budget gold-plating a Colorado project, and blew $1.8 million on “art” in 2014. (And no, not in the year of 2014. In September 2014. The amounts for the other eleven months are unknown, but could be another million-plus each).

Senior Executive Service Association Tied to Shady Law Firm

The union that represents corrupt, violent, and other bad senior Federal officials, the Senior Executive Association, turns out to be little more than a front for the shady DC law firm of Shaw Bransford & Roth. The indispensable Rosiak:

There are nine employees listed on SEA’s website, but its personnel and resources are closely intertwined with the law firm, which it pays as its largest contractor, tax forms show.

Before he died in 2013, William Bransford, also a partner at the law firm, did double-duty at SEA. SEA was founded by the law firm’s other named partner, Jerry Shaw, in 1980.

The officials at the Senior Executive Association generally were never government executives; they’re just functionaries of the bad-officials’ defense law firm. Read The Whole Thing™.

Chicago VA Hospital adds Protein to Meals

Too bad it’s in the form of cockroaches. (On the bright side, we’ve finally found something that a VA hospital can’t kill!) But hey, the Senate is promising to fix it all. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

VA Union Official Assaults AG Investigator, Walks

David de Silva, a local Vice President with the American Federation of Government Employees, the union that represents bad VA rank-and-file employees, physically attacked OIG Agent (FNU) Lore during a presentation, for suggesting that employees should tell the truth and not take the fifth during OIG investigations, a position that bad-employees union official de Silva found personally enraging.

C. Allen Pool, a union-connected arbitrator who normally rules in favor of thieving and abusive employees, ruled in favor of de Silva and the union. Employees, unlike every other American, needn’t testify truthfully to Federal law enforcement officers.

Hat tip, Rosiak (who else)?

The Next VA Scandal?

The San Diego Union-Tribune, noting how the callous, incompetent handling of his mental health appointments led a local vet to attempt suicide, and how no one has been held accountable (they initially reported three officials were fired, but they were mistaken), concludes:

T]he next infuriating VA scandal is a question of when, not if.

And we’d add: “when” is a question of weeks, not years. Are we ready to disband this thing yet?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Remember the Lady Whose House Got Leveled by Mistake?

The demo crew read an erroneous GPS and knocked down the house by mistake. The business owner has apologized and is trying to make it good.

“Bubble” Culture and the Military

Are you in a bubble?

Are you in a bubble?

Lucky enough to get stationed only 40 miles or so from home, when the 10th Special Forces Group , or our little slice of it, at least, wasn’t out and doing, the gang regularly surged into the Hognose family manse, for any of a number of reasons. This put Hognose’s parents — a corporate executive and a teacher, the first in their families to have attended college — in close proximity to a crowd of high-functioning but demographically diverse SF teamies and support guys.

‘Nose didn’t notice anything unusual… the team guys were about similar, in intellect and interests, to his high school and college friends. It was his mother who noticed something: she was the only one of the guys’ mothers still married to the guy’s father. Many of them came from families that were marginal, if not chaotic.

A series of explorations on the cultural divide that PBS, of all things (Public Broadcasting System, a teleision and radio broadcaster run by the Government as an alternative to commercial channels, and a de facto infotainment subsidy for the wealthy elite) has been running, made us think about how the culture of the Army and armed forces in general is so different from the culture of the corrupt, greedy, inbred snobs who are running the country into the ground.

Charles Murray notes, in one of these posts:

One of my central propositions in my 2012 book “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010″ was that a high-IQ, highly educated new upper class has formed over the last half century. It has a culture of its own that is largely disconnected from the culture of mainstream white America. I could expect that many of my readers would be part of that new upper class. The problem that stumped me for a while was how to convince them that their isolation is real. Eventually, I decided to try self-recognition. And so Chapter 4 of “Coming Apart” was titled “How Thick is Your Bubble?” and contained a 25-item quiz that let readers see for themselves where they stood on a 100-point scale. The lower their scores, the thicker the cultural bubble that separated them from the lives of ordinary Americans.

For a kid from a well-off, bookish, and somewhat genteel family, the Army is a culture shock. For ‘Nose, it was a welcome shock, like diving into a cool lake on a baking August day, but for some others, it’s a horrifying one. This is kind of like the shock PBS viewers and listeners get as their rich-man’s-welfare-broadcaster shows them the horror of Trump, and worse, from their point of view, his teeming horde of oiks.

10th SF -- not a bad bubble to be in, 1980-1985.

10th SF — not a bad bubble to be in, 1980-1985.

You get the impression that the PBS types are all for democracy, but not if it means their guys can be voted out.

To the credit of PBS, someone over there is trying to understand, In any event. They have been asking the eminent social scientist (if there is a such thing) Charles Murray to clarify things, and he’s developed a quiz based on social isolation…. the Do You Live in a Bubble quiz.

Our hypothesis: most of the readers of this blog, don’t. Even though it’s probable that they average higher than, well, average, on markers of social status like education and income.

Murray on what your Bubble Score says about you.

Murray on the most socially inbred zip codes in the country. Stop us if this surprises you, but they’re not places like Hog Waller, Tennessee, Dry Toad, Tejas, or Brother Darrell, Vermont. They’re pretty much all in Manhattan.

The service can also be isolating, if you let it be. We know many vets who get along fine with vets and nonvets alike, but whose preferred social circle is, at its core, the Brotherhood that has Seen the Elephant.

It’s easy to get isolated from other vets if your veterans’ group is of low density on the ground — you can always find another soldier, but how many SF vets live in your community? In Nose’s, he’s it, although there’s at least one guy two towns south — social media is lifesaving. SF guys have an email list of some 20 years’ standing, a more recent Facebook page (SF Brothers), and a number of forums, some for SF alone (like and some for all-service SOF (like; all of these require authentication to post, or to be identified as an SF vet. There are other means of communication that open up once you’re tapped in to the community, but they operate according to the First Rule of Fight Club.

The armed forces also has the effect of raising your bubble score (higher the score, the lower the cultural isolation). Our guess is that the Blogbrother, who is not a vet, but who is by far the more social, less misanthropic brother, will score substantially lower on the quiz than Hognose, his own brother. That is because many of the things that raised Nose’s score apart from his mere veteranitude, are things he only experienced as a consequence of joining up — marching in a parade, living in poverty, living among a lot of non-college grads (which neither of us does anymore, our neighbors are all Ward and June Cleaver) .

Come to think of it, Blogbro went through a financial cauterizing, too, at one point in his life, and definitely lived on a low income — probably lower than mine as a private.

Thinking of it, Nose should not be proud of his high score (56) as it’s mostly an artifact of his decision to join up decades ago. But that alone had some pretty profound de-isolating effects.

Where did the New York Times Get the Gun-Ban Idea?

Probably in their own pages, 83 years ago today.


The Times is unlikely to note this comparison, but readers of this blog will probably notice that this is not a lot different from what the police in New York have been doing, except in reverse. And, of course, the New York cops can be bought, which seems unlike the Nazis until you come to the stories of Adolf Eichmann’s macabre negotiations with the Zionist organization, to trade Jews’ lives for trucks, or money.

Gun Control always and everywhere is a vector for police corruption. Write a “may issue” law and bestow on somebody discretion, and you have also presented him and all his delegates and successors temptation that, sooner more likely than later, he will succumb to.

The name of the group lording it over some other group changes with the tides in the affairs of men, but the fact of oppression and abuse of power is as ancient and as durable as human society.

Hat tip, an old post by Joe Huffman. He in turn credits Jew With a Gun, who observed:

History will note that as Muslims commit genocide against Christians in the Middle East, President Obama and other world leaders attended a conference where they discussed the weather.

And this Christian notes that the only reason the Muslims in the Middle East are not ethnically cleansing the Jews, is that they already did. All the ones who didn’t have guns, at least.

Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 16

This Tour d’Horizon is going up a bit late, and for that reason may be more telegraphic than usual. We regret the impertinence.

This week’s installment includes:


I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Compare a few M1911 Receiver Blanks

Receiver blanks, or “80% Receivers,” as they’ve come to be called, despite that term having absolutely zero currency with regulators, are available for everything from ARs to Glocks. Here’s a video comparison of several different 1911 blanks that let you put your own name on your own .45. They range from light alloy frames, to GI frames, to alloy/polymer blends, to trick railed race gun frames.

At least now, in 2016, we can do this. Next year we might be calling this the good old days.

Tracking Point has a New Ad Campaign

Go thence, and see it. They are pulling hard for military business, it looks like.

Did We Mention Files the Last Two Weeks? NEW

Yep, it’s time for the Official FOSSCAD Megapack to be updated. Enjoy. You will need a BitTorrent client to download it, which means the FBI will probably put you on Their And Hillary’s Enemies List. It’s a link to a page from which you can avail yourself of the ~1.2 GB torrent.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

Nothin’ this week, sorry

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

The Stupidity, it Burns NEW

We were going to be brief, but this one deserves to be quoted at length. Michael Boren of the Philadelphia Inquirer, back on 16 January:

“You’re disgusting,” a woman who was on the phone to 911 said to Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, as she and other shocked residents on Simontown Road in Pemberton Township waited for police to arrive.

“It’s not mine,” Dorvilier replied, as heard on the call. “It’s not mine.”

Then she said, “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it.”

What’s she lying that she didn’t do?

A dispatcher at first could not understand the correct address from a frantic 911 caller. Another neighbor also reported fighting and screaming in the street before discovering the child.

“There’s a baby on fire,” the first 911 caller told dispatchers. In the background, a man could be heard telling Dorvilier to get down. “You’re not going anywhere,” he told her.

Another dispatcher then came into the call.

“I’m sorry, what is on fire?” that dispatcher asked.

“A child,” the first dispatcher told him. “An infant!” the caller screamed.

The second dispatcher asked if the baby was breathing.

“I don’t know if the baby’s breathing,” the woman responded. “Just send someone.”

As the call continued, the woman said, “You’re disgusting,” to Dorvilier before telling the dispatcher, “It’s dead.”

About a minute later, the woman reported that the baby was alive. “Oh, my God, it’s still breathing,” she said.

Dorvilier’s first audible words emerged soon afterward. “I’m sorry,” she said.

“You just had the baby,” the 911 caller told Dorvilier.

“I didn’t know,” Dorvilier replied.

“Well, then, who had it?” the woman asked. “How could you do this? You should have dropped it off at the hospital.”

“I’m sorry,” Dorvilier said, repeating that several times.

Yes, she lit her newborn on fire. At the trial, her defense attorney, Karen Thek, seemed to skate right up to the Margaret Sanger line. After all, “it’s a choice, not a child.”

It didn’t fly, and the judge found Dorvilier not only guilty, but “vicious, heinous and depraved.” Sounds judicious to us, but her family members attended the sentencing and advanced the curious legal theory that the baby girl had it coming, as she was the product of rape. Judge didn’t buy that, either. Perhaps there are some judges out there worthy of the title?

High Tech Cyber Crimes Center Cuffs a Creep

What do you do if you’re a Fed, and you work for a President who has forbidden the enforcement of the laws your agency exists to enforce? If you’re Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s demoralized special agents, you find a crime you can prosecute that’s so heinous even pro-criminal pols can’t complain about your arrests. Like kiddie diddlers. You need to read this whole story of how high-tech imagery enhancement brought one perv to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for the next 110 years.

The agents and support personnel of ICE might be forbidden from hassling violent alien criminals, but even the most pro-criminal pol isn’t ready to stand up for the baby bangers. Yet.

The Perils of Kathleen, Undiscovered Email Edition

It turns out that Korrupt Kathleen Kane, the embattled and extremely anti-gun Attorney General of PA, has been concealing information that was supposed to be handed over to civil litigants and criminal investigators. Kane has been hiding her emails by using unauthorized and insecure AOL and Yahoo mail for things she wants to hide from various parties… like grand juries.

Kane is responsible for setting office policy and had the authority to exempt herself from those rules, spokesman Chuck Ardo said.

Oh, it’s all okay then. Part of being a law officer is being exempt from laws! Why did she do it?

n Kane’s case, the practice hindered the investigation that led to charges against her in August. After sweeping the state’s servers, detectives discovered chunks of emails were missing.

They were in Kane’s personal accounts.

Ah, that’s why she did it.

Ardo, a man of no fixed integrity, previously denied that there was any AG office policy against using personal emails. He went all Joe Isuzu when the Associated Press’s Mike Sisak got hold of the 18-page policy.

The Perils of Kathleen, Judicial Spanking Edition

“When the facts are on your side, bang on the facts; when the law is on your side, bang on the law; when neither is on your side, bang on the table.” The table got a little relief Thursday when one of Kane’s unindicted coconspirators attorneys, Ross Kramer, got spanked for lying to the judge, and also lying about the judge. We don’t know what year in law school they teach that tactic, but we do know that the judge was not amused:

In a previous filing, Ross Kramer, a member of Kane’s legal team, said the judge, Diana Anhalt, had warned that she might hold Kane and her lawyers in contempt if they filed a public defense motion alleging that Kane was a victim of selective prosecution.

But in a court order made public Wednesday during a hearing in Norristown, Anhalt said that was not so.

“This court never made the statements attributed to it by attorney Kramer,” Anhalt wrote, adding that Kramer was guilty of an “intentional misrepresentation.”

After Kramer was chastised, Kane’s lawyers abandoned their bid to file their selective-prosecution argument secretly, under seal, viewable only by prosecutors and the judge in Kane’s pending criminal trial.

Most people don’t trust lawyers as far as they can throw them, but it seems that courts make a fetish of pretending that the Ross Kramers of the world are not what they are — shifty weasels you wouldn’t let babysit your garden rake, let alone believe a statement from, without extensive corroboration from more trustworthy entities, like telemarketers, used car dealers, or nephews of Nigerian dictators.

Noe, Judge Anhalt will probably pretend that she’s giving Kramer the benefit of the doubt, but at this point nothing he can say or do is going to help his client. Quite the contrary.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

Heroic Ship Deserved Better

independence-sonar-aircraft-1200USS Independence (CVL-22) was a carrier built on a light cruiser hull in great haste in WWII. We didn’t note this at the time but year ago this week, NOAA scientists found her in 2,600 feet of water, where she’s been resting since 1951, expended as a target. Before then, she’d survived being nuked not once but twice, in the 1946 Bikini Atoll tests, and before that she’d survived the Japanese version, doomed, brave kids in planes dashing themselves to death on Independence’s decks.

Here’s what she looked like right after being nuked, with her badly battered (and now radioactive) fantail on fire.

Independence CVL-22 post nuke

And here’s a close up of that fantail after she cooled off a bit. Note the two sailors, standing there. Gives a whole new meaning to “soakin’ up the rays.”

Independence CVL-22 fantail

And this is what she looked like, shortly before being sent to Davy Jones’s Locker in 1951. Note that the damage to the wooden flight deck in the sonar images was mostly there already 65 years ago!



Army Definitely Deserves Better

Here’s a video the Army no-kidding really shows the troops. (Sorry about the link, but the Army’s so far from proud of this one they make it non-embeddable).

And the Great Buggernaut rolled on.

Meanwhile, to resolve this apparently rampant problem of Joes involuntarily getting buggered, the White House demands the Senate release a hold on the Secretary of the Army nominee who was selected precisely to advance gays in the service. Sounds like they’re advancing just fine without him!

Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?. 

 VA Boss’s Lie Exposed by GAO

VA-veterans-affairsMonday, VA Supremo Bob McDonald (who’s a career SF phony/admitted poseur, which is all you need to know about his integrity) swore to Congress that:

97 percent of VA appointments are completed within 30 days, with the average wait time from three to six days

Monday, the GAO reported that:

…patients new to VA health care found that veterans wait three to eight weeks for medical appointments.

(Second story here). (Third story here). So, McDonald was lying. Either that, or “weeks, days, same thing,” which does sound kind of typical of .gov employees (we nearly wrote “workers,” but came to our senses).

But wait, there’s more!

Others could not see a primary care doctor at all because VA staff did not handle the appointments correctly

Well, that’s one way to game the averages.

Note that this is completely different from deputy supremo David Shulkin’s perjury before Congress which was about a different issue (whether a violent criminal in VAMC San Juan was fired). Shulkin also lied about a doctor at that facility who “improperly prescribed controlled substances as favors to friends,” suggesting that she had been let go when VA actually promoted her and she “was now in charge of quality control.”

According to Shulkin’s bio (.pdf), he is not a veteran.

Average Beltway Drone Named New VA Inspector General

Michael Missal does not appear to be a veteran, just another interchangeable lawyer/lobbyist/payroll patriot from the Beltway nomenklatura. Doesn’t seem prudent to expect much from him.

VA Claims to Discipline 7 for Misconduct

Discipline them how? The VA won’t say. That tells you all you need to know.

Fun Fact: A Vet can Go To Prison for Lying to the VA

Case in point. But there’s no accountability for VA leaders like Bob McDonald who lie to vets.

Are we ready to disband this bottomless barrel of bozosity yet?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Want to Make Your Own Meals, Long Range Patrol?

Freeze Dryer White-1024x1024Harvest Right has a sale on some pretty cool freeze-drying machines. These were too rich for our blood at $5k but $3k is, well, at least 40% more tempting. They come up with cool uses for freeze-drying in their blog.

Made by the Lowest Bidder….

The following video shows a heavy drop gone bad.

It’s a keen reminder that one’s parachute (like the equipment’s, here) is a bunch of cloth and strings, each part made and assembled by the lowest bidder, and packed by a parachute rigger who’s in that job because he didn’t have the GT score for your job.

Note that the audio track is NSFW; might want to mute if you’re one of the beasts roaming the cube farms.

Here’s what the aftermath looked like:


That was a HMMWV. With a typical installation of weapons, radios, it will be $50k to $100k to replace. And you just watched three of them auger in!

Russian paratroopers supposedly train to drop in their tanks. No tanks, we’d rather not.

Guns Behaving Badly

Pistol Slides are Not Supposed to Undergo Mitosis! But this one seems to have done:

Walther P1 slide failure

Pistol looks like a Bundeswehr issue P1 or commercial alloy-frame P-38. These have a reputation for breaking frames (especially the ones before the steel cross-lug was incorporated in the frame), not slides. But here’s proof it happens!

Meanwhile, in Darkest Africa…

(And what part of Africa would that be? Increasingly, all of it….)

TFB has a story of a traveler who came across a poacher with an, er, weathered AK-47. The pictures were taken by that traveler, one Jon Wayne Taylor.

unkillable african AK2

Supposedly, this relic still shoots, even though it looks like it spent a decade in salt water, or perhaps underneath an open-pit latrine, or just as possibly in the ashes of a cataclysmic fire.

Here, it’s ready for its close-up:
unkillable african AK

Note what appear to be pin-holes through the billet (actually, forged, we think) steel. the rust may be the matrix holding whatever else is here together.

If you think you’ve ever torture-tested an AK, take a look at this and tell us how your torture-test protocol beats the traditional Russian technique of giving it to an illiterate peasant. When the Russians achieved full literacy, well, where are they going to find illiterate peasants to torture-test their AKs? Bingo, Africa. QED.

Still, just because this clown got away with this with his AK, that doesn’t mean you should try to emulate what his decades-of-neglect-meets-bailing wire maintenance approach has wrought.

It’s enough to make Mikhail Timofeyevich weep. But it says something about the durability of his design.

How Many Inspections does the ATF Do?

Here are some numbers from ATF themselves, in infographic format.

ATF Inspections Infographic

So then, about 6% of licensees get a compliance inspection in any given year. About 8% are new applicants, who get a “Firearms Application Inspection”.

Despite a push from the Firearms Industry Branch’s leader, Ed Courtney, in conjunction with gun control groups, numbers were down from the previous year, when USA Today reported:

In 2014, according to ATF records, the ATF conducted 12,404 firearm license application reviews, while compliance inspections numbered 10,429. There were a total of 140,446 licensees in 2014, including 55,512 individual firearm dealers.

While application inspections were down significantly, the resources don’t seem to have gone into compliance inspections. They’re down even more!


2014 2015 ∆ inspections







App reviews





Comoliance insp.






Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2016 Week 15

Tour d’Horizon is that portmanteau in which we stuff many things we could not get to otherwise. Something for everyone, a comedy tonight!

This week’s installment includes:


I don’t wanna work, I just wanna bang on my gun all day.

Bubba the Cerakote Artist

Just the gift for your classic-seeking, fashion-forward, uh-about-the-grandkids-you-want-Dad friend:


Hey, if you want to play with a pink .32 PP, we can hook you up. At a local FFL at a substantial discount over the usual well-worn German cop trade-ins.


Printed Lower, Several Uppers NEW

This Imgur thread (post? album? What is the proper name for an “Imgur thing?“) shows several different AR uppers — conventional, suppressed, left-side-chargimg — on a freshly printed Vanguard style lower. Gibbz Vanguard AR The photos are also good to look at how the lower has been redesigned for thermoplastic and thermosetting materials, which have radically different physical properties than the original aluminum. Album (or whatever it is) is here on Imgur.

Nix Mittengrabben!

Something’s wrong with the picture of this old P1. And it’s not that the twin recoil springs are missing (although they are).

Walther P1 slide failure

If you’re of a certain age, you remember the mock warning plaque guys used to put in their Volkswagen dashes? It went about like this:

Das machine is nicht fur gerfingerpoken und mittengrabben.
Das macht schnappen der Springwerk, blowenfusen und
poppencorken mit spitzensparken.
Ist nicht fur gewerken by das Dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken
sightseeren grabben das Jesus Bar, relaxen und vatchen das blinkenlights…

Did We Mention Files Last Week? NEW

We did, we did. And as it happens, the files for the latest version of the Shuty MP-1 (v. 4.0) may be found online.

Avoid the many ads on that page. There is a download button above a “save to my account” button. That’s your huckleberry.

Rather have a version that uses Glock mags? That’s the Gluty. Same caution on ads.

These were not released by their creator, but magically, they’ve gotten out. Data has a way of doing that. Just ask the Office of Personnel Management!

Can Cannon Cleared

No longer Banned in Boston -- and everywhere else. (Well, maybe still in Boston)

No longer Banned in Boston — and everywhere else.
(Well, maybe still in Boston)

Remember the X Products Can Cannon? Yeah, so do we! We recommended it, and bought one. (At the same price everybody else pays, because that’s how we roll). And then ATF said, “Not so fast, there.” And ruled it was a SBR on a rifle lower and an AOW on a pistol lower. Definitely harshed our mellow, as the Bernie canvassers who ring our doorbell (smelling of non-standard pipe fillings) might say.

X Products submitted a revised one to ATF and at the end of March got the papal blessing from Firearms Technology Branch. They just put it up on their site today. The word to the wise is, hang loose and they will implement a parts swap that will bring us early adopters into compliance.

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way.

This is Not a Shotgun Target NEW

When guns are outlawed, some idiot in Britain did this to Puss-Puss the cat.


Fortunately, the black and white furball has only lost one of its two eyes, and one of its nine lives, but is otherwise recovering. Between the shooting, after which Puss-Puss ran away, and the owners’ being able to recover their pet, a whole week elapsed. Reminds us of a classic SF song, “The Cat Came Back.”

We think it was JAFO in the comments that mentioned that as excited as people get about animal cruelty, the hominids that walk among us do horrible stuff to kids all the time. Frankly, we’d treat child abusers and animal abusers the same way, at least until science ran out of medical experiments.

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

A Real Ball Breaker

Some clown in Cleveland wanted to steal some other guy’s money. So he kicked him. In the junk.

[Jackie] Pierce kicked [Willie] Cannon in the crotch during a May 11, 2013 attempted robbery near East 65th Street and Lansing Avenue, according to police.

He stole Cannon’s wallet and ran away, court records say.

The kick ruptured Cannon’s testicle, which later developed a gangrene infection.

Cannon died June 8, 2013 at MetroHealth of sepsis…

Yep, the crotch kicker is now indicted for murder. Now they just have to find Pierce, having lost touch during the three years it took to make the case.

Sometimes the Cop might be a Crook, continued

A few years ago, we covered a missing M16A1 that the Philadelphia PD had misplaced, and last week noted that embattled Lieutenant Vinny Testa shot himself to death. Testa’s decision to take the .40th left his underling Anthony Magsam holding the bag. Magsam, no longer a cop, was arrested this past week.

These Thefts are Nuts

California is plagued by an epidemic of nut thieves. It’s probably not squirrels. Unfortunately, the nuts they are stealing are the ones that grow on trees, not the ones that end up in Vacaville with Charles Manson, that great ambassador of California culture. If someone stole Charlie we should write something very nice about the thief.

 The Perils of Kathleen, Episode We Lost Count

It’s not easy being AG in the Keystone State:

Of the five elected attorneys general since 1980 (previously, the post was appointed), three ran for governor (Ernie Preate, Mike Fisher, and Tom Corbett); one, Corbett, became governor; and two were charged with crimes. Preate went to federal prison; current AG Kathleen Kane awaits trial.

Korrupt Kathleen is not running this year on grounds of ill health — the voters are sick of her. But she already has a successor of a similar level of integrity:

Allegheny County DA Stephen Zappala Jr…. should be favored. He’s a well-regarded 18-year DA in the state’s second-most-Democratic county, from a political family…Plus, Zappala is backed in Philly by Mayor Jim Kenney, the Democratic City Committee, and power-broker union boss John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty. And Kenney has known the Zappalas since the days when Kenney was tight with former state Sen. Vince Fumo (who went to prison after being convicted of 137 corruption charges).

The news hounds will have stuff to write about in Pennsylvania, if they’re so inclined.


Unconventional (and current) Warfare

What goes on in the battlezones of the world — and preparation of the future battlefields. (We’ll have more next week)

 The Lady is a Grunt (Wannabe)

The Army has recruited its first female recruit for MOS 11B, rifleman. Uh, rifle entity.

As the press writes it up, you’d think Al Q and ISIL are despondent, queueing up at the local mohel to get snipped so they can convert to the strong horse… having known a few of these guys over the years, our take is that they’re probably laughing themselves incontinent.


Veterans’ Issues

Is it time to disband this thing yet, and letting all its bloatoverhead seek its own level in the Dreaded Private Sector™?. 

Guess Who Doesn’t Want Bad Managers Fired?

dunceThe Bad Managers’ Union (known as the Senior Executive Association at VA).

House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and former presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, R-Fla., have teamed up in recent days to lobby for a pair of pending bills that would speed the process for firing any VA employee, calling them common sense reforms needed to fix the department’s woes.

The Senior Executive Association has already called the proposed changes — which would allow VA leaders to offer more hiring and employment flexibility but dismiss managers without any outside appeal — a scapegoating move that will hurt experienced supervisors without fixing any problems.

Here’s our fix for the lined out bit:

an accountability move that will hurt corrupt supervisors who aren’t helping any vets.

Of course, all these assclowns in Congress like to talk about broken-down vets but they like the real folding money the government unions, like the Bad Managers’ Union, spreads around a lot better, so this is all grandstanding that will accomplish nothing.

“Thank God” We Don’t Hire Vets — Manager

Vietnam Memorial Soldiers by Frederick Hart

Fool said whaaat?

C’mon, he didn’t really say that, did he? Luke Rosiak at the Daily Caller:

[A] VA dentistry chief was asked if being a veteran helps someone get a dentist job in the agency. His response was “not really. And thank God,” The Daily Caller News Foundation recently discovered in a court filing.

Yep, he said it. And then he doubled down:

Being a scout master in the Boy Scouts would do more to help someone get a top job at the VA than serving in the armed forces, Dr. Gonzalo Solis Sanchez of the VA Caribbean Medical Center said.

Was he maybe misquoted? Speaking off the cuff? Nope. He said that in a sworn deposition.

The VA does hire vets, but mostly only physicians. The agency avoids combat vets at all costs, or hires them into menial positions doing close-order mop drill or mustering bedpans.

VA Doesn’t Fire Dope-Dispensing Doc…

…in the final analysis, even though she announced to the public that she got rid of him, Victoria Brahm, the acting director of the VA’s Tomah, Wisconsin hellhole, couldn’t bring herself to give Dr David Houlihan, “the Candy Man,” the ax. Ultimately, the bonds between payroll patriots are forged in the fires of greed; no mortal force can sunder them.

So the paradox has arisen that Houlihan, who has lost his medical license at least temporarily, is welcome on the Tomah wards, but all personnel have been warned to call the police on any pesky reporters who show up asking questions.

That’s because Houlihan is just a threat to the lives of vets, and Brahm couldn’t care less. Reporters, on the other hand, are a threat to her fat paycheck, and that she takes seriously.

Unlike, for instance, the lives of vets.

Are we ready to disband this cavalcade of clownery yet?

Lord Love a Duck!

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

We Need to Do This

Neo-Neocon writes:

I’m going to talk about my blog. It turns out that I’m a hoarder of post drafts. I didn’t see this coming—it developed slowly, over many years. …. The other day I noticed that the number of drafts on this blog (which I still think of as my “new blog,” although I’ve been here since 2007) was approaching 600.

That’s ridiculous.

She went to town and deleted about half of her calcified drafts. She still has hopes of bring some of the other 300 to life. That’s how hoarding begins, kid.

Our Draft count, at this writing (subtracting 1 for this post!) is 415. And we’ve only been in business since 1/1/2012. A Draft Hoarder. Sounds like the sort of thing that would get you a .32 in the back of the neck in the heyday of Scientific Socialism.


Poly-Ticks: Lying About Guns in New York

Ticks“Poly-Ticks,” n, pl.: from the Greek poly, “many,” and the Anglo-Saxon ticks, “small bloodsucking arthropods.”

We know some of you weary of politics. So do we; but when politics turn into attacks on firearms ownership based on false and fabricated phony “facts,” we feel impelled to respond.

The following, from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is typical of the sort of charge and countercharge being hurled as Mrs Clinton, D-Highest Bidder, and Mr Sanders, D-Lubyanka, compete for the Oval Office.

Here’s what I want you to know. Most of the guns that are used in crimes and violence and killings in New York come from out of state. The state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont. So this is not, ‘Oh, you know, I live in a rural state, we don’t have any of these problems.’

via Clinton blames New York crime on Vermont’s guns « Hot Air.

Far be it from us to question or besmirch Mrs Clinton’s reputation for probity and integrity, but let’s pull up the actual data, shall we? She claims to be working from these very data, from one of her favorite government agencies.

ATF press release alert!

ATF Tracing Data is reported here.  (Some other stats as well. A useful page for the analytically minded).

They’re not blindingly fast with it. Over 100 days into 2016, the most recent US data they have is 2014. (Reportedly, they’ll pull 2015 data sometime in May and take a month or so to make their slide deck).

New York specific data is here, in government style, which is to say a .pdf full of gaudy graphics but not giving up much actual data.–-2014/download

7,686 guns were traced from New York in 2014. While you can use the ATF’s table, here’s ours:

2014 trace data
Kind of gun Number Percent
Total traces












   Total handguns









   Total long guns



Machine guns









  Total misc



Source: ATF trace report.pdf

If you look at those numbers, you see that most of the traces were for handguns. That’s pretty normal, as that’s what’s used in crime. However, it’s a mistake to think that 1 trace = 1 crime. People like Mrs Clinton present the data letting the implication hang that the guns traced are murder weapons and weapons used in other violent crimes like assault and robbery. The ATF’s own data tell a different story.

2014 trace data
Reason for Trace Number Percent
Total traces



Found Firearm



Investigating Firearm



Other Category



No Reason Given



   Total: no crime



Drug offense



Weapon Possession



Weapons offense



   Total: non-violent crime









Firing Weapon






   Total: violent crime



Source: same

As you can see, most traced weapons are nonviolent crime, often malum prohibitum violations, and one third are traced in circumstances in which there is no reason to believe that a crime has been committed with that firearm at all (for example, stolen firearms recovered from a burglar’s stash). While some of the Weapons Possession and Weapons Offense crimes probably implicate violent criminals, only 7% of New York State traces are associated with a violent crime.

There is also a bias in firearms tracing. Busy cops do not trace 100% of firearms, but a murder weapon? For that, they make the effort just about every time. (Wouldn’t you?) So violent crime firearms are likely overrepresented in this sample.

Is that the impression that politicians talking about these laws leave you with?

Also, The Narrative™ that criminals go to states with lax gun laws to acquire guns is, apart from a relative handful of traffickers, not proven by these data. Here’s another statistic, which the ATF, which institutionally is pulling hard for Mrs Clinton, itself gives a misleading label: “Time-to-crime”. First, the stat, for New York, then, our beef with ATF’s propagandistic, pro-gun-control label for this data point.

2014 trace data
Time to Crime  Number Percent
Total Guns Traced



   0 to < 3 months



   3 to < 7 months



   7 months to < 1 year



Traced in 1 Year (sum of the lines above)



   1 to < 2 years



   2 to < 3 years



Traced in < 3 years (sum of the lines above)



   3 years or over:



Total with a TTC found:



TTC not found: 



Source: same

That doesn’t really look like the “iron highway” that pro-criminal, anti-gun politicians like to bang on about (no pun intended). The biggest single reason that the ATF cannot find a Time To Crime is that the gun’s first retail sale was decades ago, and the records no longer exist. There’s also a number in which that the gun was never in lawful commerce in the first place. ATF tracks these numbers internally, but they don’t release them. Only 5% of firearms traced — and traces tend to be disproportionately of newer firearms and firearms (as we’ve noted) involved in more high-profile crimes — were put in for tracing within a year of a sale in lawful commerce. Most of the firearms successfully traced were first sold over 3 years ago. (And you may take to the bank that the unsuccessful traces skew higher still).

Our beef with the Time-to-Crime statistic is that ATF’s nice Mohammed Ali rhyme misstates what the stat means. It really means “time to trace,” because many traces are not associated with a crime.

Now that we know that most firearms are more than three years from a Federal Firearms License dealer when traced, and only 1% of traces are linked to a homicide, let’s look at Mrs. Clinton’s deadly flow of guns from lawless Vermont — and other states — in to very-well-endowed-with-laws, not-so-much-with-order New York.


The first thing to note is that, while the ATF claims to have traced a lot of those guns, they can’t seem to identify the source state for a large minority of them:

2014 trace data
Source State I Number Percent
Total Guns Traced



   Source State Not Identified



   Source State Identified



So lets look at what they did learn about Source States on the less than 2/3 where they figured one out:

2014 trace data
Source State II Number Percent of All Percent of ID’d
Total Guns Traced




Source State Identified




New York




















North Carolina




South Carolina
















West Virginia




















Avg of remaining states + Guam (each)




So… Vermont, no doubt singled out because it’s Bernie Sanders’s third home after New York and Stalingrad, provides a hopping 1% of New York’s traced guns, of which 1% are homicide guns. If we’re dealing in integers, 1% of 1% rounds to the Roundest Number.

Bottom line: No, Vermont is not a significant contributor to the New York City criminal armory.

Whether that causes one to recalculate his or her previous faith and trust in the probity and integrity of political candidates, we leave as an exercise for the reader.

Bear in mind, also, it’s perfectly legal for a Vermonter (or resident of any of the 57 states) to pick up and move to New York, bringing firearms in legally under Federal (if not always NY) law. Many people move to New York for school or work; they’re not criminals (unless they are reported for owning a firearm without one of the panoply of required permits).

There are also a number of significant caveats that accompany the trace data, to wit:

  • Includes traces with a recovery state of New York. Traces in which the recovery state was not provided were included when the requesting agency state was equal to New York.
  • Includes Firearms Recovered and Traced between 1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014, or, if the recovery date was blank, the trace entry date was between 1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014.
  • Duplicate traces, Firearms Not Recovered, Gun Buyback and Firearms Turned In are not included in this figure.
  • Data was extracted from the Firearms Tracing System (FTS) on May 1, 2015.
  • All traces may not have been submitted or completed at the time of this study.

In addition, many of ATF’s shiny bar graphs are based on a subset of the data without disclosing that they’re working off the subset, for instance, of successful traces.

Hat tip, John Sexton at Bearing Arms.