Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2015 Week 47

We’ll cover the usual subjects: Guns, Usage and Employment, Cops ‘n’ Crims, Unconventional (and current) Warfare, and Lord Love a Duck!

Guns

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

AIrsoft Goes to the Gun Show

At a regional weapons show in Tokyo, a correspondent for The Firearm Blog captured a Howa assault rifle “that appeared to be made by Tokyo Marui,” a maker of Airsoft toys.

They don’t seem to have considered the most probable explanation: that someone selling accessories used an Airsoft toy to host them for the same reason that Airsoft stuff exists in the first place: stringent Japanee gun laws. No, toymakers don’t make real guns. Mattel never made M16s either.

Remington to Launch New Pistols?

Remington Outdoor LogoNot a new pistol, but at least two of them, according to Shooting Sports Retailer. Go Read The Whole Thing™, not that doing that answered all our questions about Remington Outdoor’s segment strategy. SSR also notes that Remington sales are down about 20%, mostly because of declines in centerfire ammo purchases and bottom-feeding in the AR market, with entry-level products outselling high-end ARs (and a similar dynamic in 1911s).

When Gun Buybacks Go Rogue

The news reported that 1,000 people turned up at a gun buyback. But despite their excitement, the amount of firearms turned was not that great. In fact, they’re all visible in this picture: BBgunTurnin

Yes, the tag is correct. That is a Daisy BB gun and not a firearm at all. It was the only gun of any description turned in at the highly publicized event in Greensboro, NC. But the pols and white shirts all had something to say about how they “were getting deadly weapons off the street.” Along with the “deadly” BB gun (“You could put your eye out!”) the only other “weapon” turned in was a small sheath knife, a $5 inept copy of a Gerber Mk I.

Tracking Point Strategy

Shooting Sports Retailer gets a look in at the revivified company.

 

Australian Ban on 3D Printing & Machining Files

Over, Under, Sideways, Down Under. The State of New South Wales has moved to ban possession of information that can be used to make firearms. NSW is one of the states in Australia’s federal system, so this isn’t a nationwide ban yet.

This has been driven largely by hysteria and by police gleefully letting their hakenkreuz fly.

Among the provisions of the Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (PDF) is an amendment to the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 stating that a person “must not possess a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on an electronic milling machine.”

‘Possession’ is defined as “possession of a computer or data storage device holding or containing the blueprint or of a document in which the blueprint is recorded” or “control of the blueprint held in a computer that is in the possession of another person (whether the computer is in this jurisdiction or outside this jurisdiction)”.

That’s good. So far, the National Socialist Wussies of New South Wales don’t ban it if it’s in a paper book. Give them time, thought: people like this usually have at least one good bonfire in ’em. But hey, you can beat the rap, if… you successfully raise one of the affirmative defenses:

Defences for the offence include innocent production, dissemination or possession; public benefit (such as enforcing or administering a state or federal law); or approved research.

Who in the New South Wales government is in charge of approving research? How many Nobels has he got? (Or, for that matter, will NSW ever have, under this regime?)

And of course, there’s an exception for coppers, who in Oz are bronzes.

Here’s another Australian news story on the 3D file ban.

But wait! Australian police are also demanding a ban on the dread lever-action shotgun (semis and pumps are already banned). Apparently Australian officialdom believes their rank-and-file ‘Strines can’t be trusted with technology patented in the 1850s. “A traditional shotgun has double barrels,” some national socialist cop tut-tuts.

When they came for the lever actions, I was good, because I was Fudd. Then they came for my over-under… because real traditional shotguns have their barrels disposed laterally.

Hackaday Catches Up with Weaponsman

And covers the 3D Printed Washbear revolver. Didn’t we write about that in the Pre-Cambrian Era or something like that? (In case we didn’t, you might as well know we liked it and thought it was clever).

Usage and Employment

The hardware takes you only half way. (Nothing this week).

Cops ‘n’ Crims

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

Cop or Crim?  The Case of the Stolen Selfies

pamela held with clothes on

Pamela Held, in case you didn’t recognize her with clothes on.

In Sean Christian’s favor, the NYPD hired him, so he’s a cop, right? And he hasn’t been charged with anything in criminal court. Not so fast. Against that, he’s accused in Federal court of the tort of forwarding nude selfies and videos from Pamela Held’s phone during a DUI stop, and he can’t find a lawyer that will take his case — even the PBA, the Court Officer of Last Resort for bad cops, has declined to rep him. (Although, reading between the lines of that article, he may have only searched for a lawyer to take his case for free. Sean, dude, lawyers are not a public charity, and there are times in life when the wise thing is to pony up).

Without the pictures, we have no way of judging the merits of the suit. With her clothes on, Held is kind of plain, and distinctly man-jawed, but that doesn’t mean it’s alright to burgle her amateur pr0n, even if the picture pilferer is a cop. So we don’t have any sympathy for Christian’s plight. Just like all those guys you collared over the years, guy, you are the author of your own fate. Of course, there’s an element of he-said-she-said to this story:

She counted 20 nude photos and five sexy videos of her that had been forwarded to the phone number. Fearing the worst, she contacted lawyer Richard Soleymanzadeh, whose private investigator traced the mystery number on Held’s phone to Christian and learned he was a cop.

In a brief interview with The News, Christian, on the job 10 years, denied swiping the photos and videos from Held’s phone. He denied ever meeting Held or working at the 104th Precinct. Christian, who remains on the job, claimed the number that appeared on Held’s iPhone belonged to his brother.

Note to parents of daughters: they will never wind up in the New York Daily News with WeaponsMan inter alia speculating about their appearance naked and dancing around a pole, and they will never be off on the fool’s errand of recovering their nekkid selfies, if they don’t take dozens of nekkid selfies (and videos) in the first place. Famous New York non-cop (and ex-Congressman) Carlos Danger could have told you that.

And Speaking of Nekkid Women

Dallas Archer mugshotHere’s Dallas Archer, whom we mentioned when she was charged with trying to sneak a pistol into prison in her… ah, well, in her. (At least it was a North American Arms mini-revolver and not a Desert Eagle). The wheels of justice are done turning in that case and she’s earned herself three more years inside.

After, we suspect, a careful strip search by a guard familiar with her back story.

Cop or Crim, II: The answer is both.

The sheer creepitudinous of this guy requires you to Read The Whole Thing™, but just the lede gets the main ideas across:

A former Sacramento, Calif. police officer who raped a stroke-disabled woman twice in her senior home received a life sentence Tuesday.

No word on what the PBA did for him. Something, probably.

Just Another School Killing

In this case, a teacher raped and murdered by a then-14-year-old whose lawyers have him playing up mental illness to try to get off. You might not have heard about this MA killing — no guns involved, you see. The mental illness angle is being explored, imperfectly, in court. Other angles aren’t.

Cop and Crim, III (not that we’re counting)

Sheesh.

A disgraced NASA officer was busted at the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan when he showed up for a job interview Thursday armed with a loaded pistol and a fake badge, the Daily News has learned.

Cops are trying to determine if Cory Curley, 29, was also responsible for a bomb threat that was called into the Fed minutes earlier, sources said.

When he arrived for his interview, Curley told federal police officers that he was armed and was an active officer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, sources said. He also showed police a NASA badge.

But he had no official NASA police ID card — so federal police at the bank on Liberty St. detained him and alerted the NYPD.

NASA officials told authorities in New York that Curley had been fired on Oct. 8 and the badge he was carrying had a number different from the one previously assigned to him, sources said.

Did he get the job? With the Federal government, you never know.

Cop vs. Crim IV & V

Two bozos with NYPD and family troubles.

Honest, most cops are out there making trouble for criminals, not themselves. This is just an unrepresentative week.

We hope.

The Secret Lives of Dentists

One criminal the cops made trouble for was Dr John W Wolf of Manhattan, although you could say he made trouble for himself: meth and kiddie porn.

We always thought there was something artificial about his smiles!

Thanks, you’re a lovely audience, we’ll be in the blog all week. Actually, there’s something really strange about this: most meth users not only aren’t dentists, but look as if they’ve never been to one.

Unconventional (and current) Warfare

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

Counterfeiting as a Military Operation

Perhaps its more of an espionage or clandestine operation, but a favorite 20th Century dirty wartime (and cold war) trick was counterfeiting and distributing your enemy’s or adversary’s currency, with a view to spurring inflation (not that demagogues and guns’n butter spending don’t produce inflation on their own with perfect reliability). It was also a cheapskate’s way to finance your own operations.

It’s long been understood that the irresponsible deficits and careless printing of Continental state scrip were the primary driver of Revolutionary War inflation, but a great article at All Things Liberty describes how the British did their bit by counterfeiting the living daylights out of the rude Colonial money as a deliberate policy of economic warfare.

Budget Cuts and Posturing

A remarkably frank discussion between former SecDef Gates and Senator James Inhofe on budget cuts, how the DOD cuts things designed to produce an outcry, and how the Pentagon has had a great deal of headquarters bloat.

The Good Nazi met a Bad End

Wilm Hosenfeld with a Polish infant on his arm, September 1940

Wilm Hosenfeld with a Polish infant on his arm, September 1940

If you ever saw the movie The Pianist with Adrien Brody and Thomas Kretschmer (which we’re astonished that we haven’t reviewed; we could have sworn we had done), you saw Polish Jew Władysław Szpilman (Brody) saved by a kindly Nazi officer, Wilm Hosenfeld (Kretschmer), who shared his love for classicial music. But it turns out that Szpilman was far from the only Jew Hosenfeld, who has been honored by Yad Vashem as one of the  “Righteous Among Nations,” saved. As the Daily Mail explains (at some length):

Far from being a one-off act, the book ‘I Always See The Human Being Before Me’, by Hermann Vinke, shows that the man who hailed Adolf Hitler as a ‘true genius’ in 1940 rediscovered his own conscience long before the war was over.
The book is the first about Hosenfeld and draws on letters, diaries, memories from his children and even the widow of Szpilman who still lives in Warsaw, to show that his act of mercy towards the pianist was no one-off affair.
‘His moral and ethical compass remained intact during the war,’ said author Vinke, whose book has been received to great critical acclaim.
‘Hosenfeld did not only save Szpilman but numerous other Polish citizens, among them other Jews, from a certain death.
‘Against the backdrop of murder and deathly blows this officer was like a lighthouse in a time of darkness. Probably there were over 60 people who owed their lives directly to him. He was both saviour and in some ways a victim because he could not save himself in the end from death in a Soviet prison without ever seeing his family again.’

Several of the Jews Hosenfeld had saved, including Szpilman, had tried to get him released from the Soviet concentration camp. But the last person the Soviet system was willing to let go was one who had resisted the nearly identical Nazi system. They had no qualms about working with former Nazis, but former anti-Nazis got the Roach Motel treatment from the Gulag.

Like the 12 years of the Eternal Nazi Reich, the 70-odd years of Soviet Communism were a grinding nightmare for the ordinary people.

Is There Enough Money?

Not in Europe, there isn’t. Well, there is, but they’re spending it on stuff other than defense. Their defense budgets are somewhere between “too-small” and “notional” with an average of just about “tiny.”

Lord Love a Duck!

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

Interesting: Harvest Right Freeze Drying

Freeze drying does more than just preserve food, for 15 to 25 years if sealed with care, and occasionally this creative freeze-dryer company’s blog features one of those oddball stories (like the case of the iPhone saved from total immersion by overnight use of the dryer cycle only (without the freeze, before you try this at home, kids.

We’ve talked to a rep from Utah-based Harvest Right and we’d really like one of their freeze-dryer units even though we don’t have a practical use for it at the moment. We already have too many new gadgets backed up awaiting tinkering time already, but you might enjoy checking it out even if you don’t have $4k to drop on a freeze dryer (a couple grand more for the research model with more control over parameters). Harvest Right. Naturally they have a Black Friday/Christmas sale, and there’s also a giveaway for the contest-prone among you.

6 thoughts on “Friday Tour d’Horizon, 2015 Week 47

  1. Mr. AR-10

    “‘Possession’ is defined as “possession of a computer or data storage device holding or containing the blueprint or of a document in which the blueprint is recorded” or “control of the blueprint held in a computer that is in the possession of another person (whether the computer is in this jurisdiction or outside this jurisdiction)”.”

    I get it, so possession of the files necessary to drive the 3d printer to be able to manufacture a gun is a violation. Construction possession, no? Having the things necessary to be able to build a prohibited item makes you a criminal. Got it.

    I submit that simply having the 3d printer, a computer controller and a *keyboard* amounts to the same thing, as you can simply type in the required commands with the exact same end result. Sure it might be tedious, but we all know that the dedicated criminal nutjob will stop at no end to perpetrate his mayhem, a few hours of careful typing is a small thing in the end.

    It’s the exact same constructive possession, just one step removed, and the easiest of them all.

  2. James Sullivan

    “… even the PBA, the Court Officer of Last Resort for bad cops, has declined to rep him.”

    In NYS, an attorney (if that is what you meant) is an Officer of the Court but not a Court Officer. A NYS Court Officer is a uniformed Peace Officer working in and around courthouses, like a traditional bailiff but with expanded duties.

    I’m not offended by the mistake but many of my coworkers would take issue at being confused with a certain kind of defense attorney.

  3. Raoul Duke

    Reference the NYPD’s ongoing personnel integrity woes: Part of the problem is that they have so damn many people working for them- 34,500 uniforms alone, according to their website.

    It would be interesting to compare the percentages of criminal activity and deviancy in that group, versus a similar-sized town, and see if it’s low or high. Ten problem guys from NYPD look like an epidemic, but what’s the percentage?

    1. Hognose Post author

      Oh I’m sure NYPD is lower (in criminality) than average population. For one thing no felons.

      ETA: the numbers of NYPD uniforms are roughly equal to 2 Army Divisions. Ask a staff judge advocate on any big army base like Bragg or Hood how many felons are in 2 divisions, and how often they’re running General or Special Courts Martial.

  4. obdo

    “Remington sales are down about 20%, mostly because of A TEMPORARY decline in centerfire ammo purchases…”

    Fixed it for you.

  5. Max Popenker

    “the 70-odd years of Soviet Communism were a grinding nightmare for the ordinary people”
    Spending my first 18 years of life in this “grinding nightmare” I would disagree with you. Yes, in certain respects life in USSR was worse (and maybe much worse) than in USA; still, it was not “nightmare” for an average Ivan; and in fact, a lot of ordinary people lived pretty happy (and long) lives.

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