HOAX: When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have Nigerian cuisine.


It sounded like a great story, but we’ve been had. The BBC Swahili Service, original source for the story, reported:

“The story about the Nigerian restaurant which we published here was a mistake and we apologise. It was incorrect and published without the proper BBC checks. We have removed the story and have launched an urgent investigation into how this happened.

The story remains up, here at WeaponsMan, below, for transparency’s sake; but we formally retract it. -Your Eds.

cannibal pot

Quick, what do Nigerians eat? Well, in one recent case, the answer was: assorted other Nigerians. Those responsible are believed to have been arrested.

A Nigerian restaurant has reportedly been shut down after being accused of serving human flesh following the discovery of bags containing human heads in the kitchen.

A report on the BBC’s Swahili service said police were alerted by local people who suspected something horrific was going on at the restaurant in the south-eastern province of Anambra.
The police raided the establishment and allegedly found the heads, dripping blood into plastic bags, and weapons including grenades. Ten people were arrested.

It it possible that some of the customers wound up here because they were avoiding the Chinese restaurant up the street because of the cat rumors? (Well, the name, Cat Hay Buffet, was always a little bit suspect. And, if we’re going to be culturally insensitive, at least we’ll be evenhanded about it).

Most people would be shocked at finding out the neighborhood eatery specialized in Long Pig. But apparently some locals had long suspected something was not entirely on the up-and-up:

One resident said: “I’m not surprised at the shocking revelation… Every time I went to the market, I observed strange activities going on in the hotel.

“People who were never cleanly dressed and who looked a bit strange made their way in and out of the hotel, making me very suspicious.”

A local priest who ate at the restaurant was alarmed at the prices it was charging after being presented with a bill for £2.20 – nearly four times the daily wage for millions of Nigerian labourers.

He was told the high cost was because of the piece of meat he had eaten. “I did not know I had been served human meat, and it was that expensive,” he said.

via Nigerian restaurant shut down for ‘serving human flesh’ – Telegraph.

We dunno what’s worse, the Soylent Green aspect to the food, or the fact that the restaurateur was price-gouging his working-stiff (no pun intended) customers.

There’s an old saying in SF, “They can kill me but they can’t eat me, that’s against the law.” Even in Nigeria.

We grew up during the great wave of decolonialization, and everyone was thrilled to see the Africans getting  their freedom. Looking back, you have to wonder if the nations of Africa hit Peak Civilization just before the withdrawal of their supposed British/French/Portuguese oppressors.

Rangerettes: What They’re Doing Now; Tom Kratman Called It

Rangerette 6We have been around and around on this, but while we’re waiting for the 8 miserable recycled female survivors (and some dozens of their male peers) to reflow into the Camp Darby phase of Ranger Class 7-15 after bouncing out of 6-15, we have a few other relevant things, things we should have covered previously but haven’t.

Today, Life Sucks for the Women of Class 6-15. And the Men.

For the moment, spare a thought for the unhappy recycles, who must survive the Gulag’s daily harassment (“reinforcement training”) until their inject date to 7-15 comes up.   (One suspects that the presence of the 31 Observer Advisors and whatever rump media are still following the surviving gals moderates it some, in the case of the women). One of the biggest things tormenting them is the self-doubt in every heart, and the knowledge that a second chance at a single phase is probably all you get. (There may be an exception for the women, as there have been so many exceptions made already, but we’re sure no one has told them that). And each one knows, in his or her heart, that they’ve already blown it, already failed, once.

Somewhere in each little would-be Ranger brain is a voice whispering words of failure. Success depends on their ability to suppress that voice, to strangle the little doubtnik speaking those words. That is a highly individual thing, in a class where you’re graded individually, but also graded, by your instructors and your similarly stressed peers, on your teamwork.

The Army has studied for years the candidates and graduates of this program, hoping that something in personality inventories and psychometrics can predict who will fail and who will pass. They have never really succeeded, and one of the reasons is that in each man (and now, woman), the war of self against self, of doubt against determination, is fought anew each day.

For two months.

Unless you recycle, then the battle lasts longer.


Class 6-15: Getting smoked!

Right now, the recycles are being smoked by Ranger instructors. (“Smoked” is a Ranger verb, that, like the Ranger cry “Hooah!”, has spread across the Army and on into culture. A couple years ago we had a household contractor say, “This is how we’re going to fix that, hooah?” Knew he was one of Our People. Fixing old rickety stuff on Hog Manor had him smoked).

Tom Kratman Actually Called the 6-15 Results Before it Started

We have missed some developments and some materials about the whole Rangerette thing that are still worth sharing. We’ll get in a moment to the often-cited Israeli experience (which is more mixed than either “side” in America wants to admit), but first, we have to doff berets (the real, earned kind) to Hugo-nominated Novelist Tom Kratman, who in a column at EveryJoe.com called the outcome for the women in Class 6-15 before the first one signed in to the RTB.

So now what’s going to happen? I am not sure how far along the Army is in coming up with those hopeful three-score. They’ve got their Zampolits, the female political commissars tasked with ensuring the doubleplussungood, gender-cisnormative, evilwickednaughtybadbadbad males running the school can’t be too hard on the women going through it. I have it on pretty good authority that, on being told they’d have to cut their hair very short,3 the Zampolits either became upset, or freaked out, or came totally unglued. Allegedly, too, the women were extremely interested in what types of birth control would be allowed.

As we know now, the Ranger head shave was relaxed for the women, who received about a 3/8 or 7/16 inch buzz.

One can almost sympathize. The amount of hair a male soldier finds comfortable and flattering for himself will come back in a few weeks. For women, it’s a matter of years. And the hair’s more important to them, generally, too, early rock musicals notwithstanding.

Exercise for the reader (heteronormative trigger alert, heh). If we were to go into your master bathroom, and count hair care items, what would the F/M ratio be? We’ve never tried to add it up. Hognose here owns one bottle of shampoo at a time, and might use soap for a week before remembering to buy another bottle.

I can’t imagine the Army giving a rat’s patootie about what kind of birth control the Zampolits use. If any actual female ranger students are going to worry about it I’d suggest they’ll be very, very optimistic. More on that, and related factors, later in this column.

One subject of discussion back in the dawn of time in Class 1-83, long about Florida phase, was (crudity coming) “Does anybody remember when he last had a woody?” This caused a momentary panic, and worry about whether this capability would ever return to these men, aged 19-33 with a few outliers high and low, for whom the said biological reaction was a frequent fact in daily life. You’re way, way past sexual fantasies at that point. The most common subject of discussion was what you’re going to eat afterwards. These food fantasies would be appalling to normal, well-fed Americans (our recollection follows):

“I’m going to the McDonalds drive through and order one of everything.”

“I’m gonna eat a whole lobster. Shell and all. With two pounds of butter.”

“Hey, think of this, guys…. just imagine the smell. I’m going to go to a bakery.

(Chorus): “Mmmmmmm, a bakery.

The faces light with religious fervor. If only they knew the direction of this bakery, they’s shoot a azimuth to it and prostrate themselves.

(Continued after the break).

Continue reading

You can’t drill a #40 hole with a #40.7 or so Drill

OK, not gunsmithing here, but planesmithing. And something has been going wrong for a while, but we were too blind to see it.

bent drill bit

The first phase of building a RV-12 involves drilling a lot of holes. It’s not arduous; many of the holes are already drilled in the parts, although undersize; hundreds need to be finish-drilled to size; some parts need to be clecoed together and match-drilled so there’s zero relative movement when they’re riveted together; a few holes need to made in virgin metal. Once the holes are drilled, they need to be deburred (we use a single-flute deburring tool) and some of them need to be countersunk for flush rivets. (Some, in thin sheet metal, are dimpled instead of countersunk).

In the tail section, relatively few drills are used. Because the AN rivets and pulled rivets are expressed in fractional sizes, most of the holes are drilled with numbered drills, and the ones that got a workout were #12, #30 and #40. (Drill gauge is like shotgun gauge: larger numbers are smaller diameters). For instance, the right hole for a 3/32″ rivet (0.09375″) is not a 3/32 (no clearance), but a #40 (0.098) gives you about four thousandths for clearance — and tolerances.

We found making holes to be easy, but there were a lot of frustrations when it came to using those holes. We couldn’t get the countersink’s pilot in the hole all the time (we wound up using an unpiloted countersink). Clecos, the small spring-loaded pins used to temporarily join sheet metal destined to be riveted, didn’t always go. Some of this is tolerance in the Clecos, and we through some troublesome ones away. (You can never have too many Clecos when building an aluminum airplane, but bad tools need banishing or they just cause trouble). Then, when it came to riviting… the rivets didn’t fit. It was hard to fit them in. When we did, the friction was so heavy it was hard to form good heads.

On the bright side, we got some practice at drilling out rivets. So there was that.

Last night, we had an epiphany. So many of our holes were undersized, yet, you could slip the drill bit right through no problem, so we hadn’t made the holes with the wrong bits or anything like that. But we had always been using our new Hertel drill bits, the same ones we made the holes with, as measuring tool. We took up an older #30 and tried to slip it into the hole the new #30 had made, because the AN rivet spec’d for the hole wouldn’t go.

Neither would the older #30 bit. Oh, crap, were our new, high-quality drill bits undersized?

We didn’t want to think so. Therefore, we measured all three of the ones we’d used a lot.

Drill Bit Nominal size Measured size ∆ size
# 12 0.1890 0.1890 0.0000
# 30 0.1289 0.1170 0.0119
# 40 0.0980 0.0940 0.0040

(Note, we’re not claiming that our digital caliper technique is accurate to four decimal points. We just added zeroes where needed to make everything line up).

The bad news: we’re going to have to redrill every freaking #30 hole, and some of the #40s as well. (If a rivet test-fits without pressure, we know we’re good). The drill bits were actually undersized, #40 by four thousandths, and more than one hundredth.

They didn’t get that way from us using them — we’re not cutting anything but sheet 2024 aluminum alloy.

The good news: we now know why we were bedeviled by non-fitting rivets.

The moral of the story: from now on, test drill and check for size using a gage pin, every time we change sets of drill bits.

The company that made the drills is Hertel, and it was a quality (and pricy) set. The supplier was MSC. It will be interesting to see what happens when we call them with this problem.

Hunting with AR-type Rifles?

One of the coolest things that you get with membership in the National Shooting Sports Foundation is access to the NSSF’s research. We’re looking over a survey that they conducted about hunting with AR-type Modern Sporting Rifles. While we can’t share the proprietary survey in its entirety, we can comment on a couple of the things that really struck us.

AR-15 Model 601

The Survey

question markWe’re not experts in surveys, but the firm NSSF contracted to do this one appears to have great pains to reduce sources of bias and error. For example, they called both landline and cell phones. In addition, they called up to five times, on multiple lines if necessary, to eliminate the bias that results if you only sample those easy to reach by phone.  The questions were what a layman might call fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, and scaled questions using the Likert scale or a variation, something you’ve used even if the name comes up blank: “On a scale of one to five, with one being not at all interested and five being very interested…”

If we were working for a major shooting-sports manufacturer or retailer, we’d read this survey and give some weight to its findings.

General Opinions and Demographics

None of these really seems to overthrow conventional wisdom; instead, they reinforce it.

Hunting is something that is taken up by the young, primarily. They start a little younger in, say, the West than in the Northeast, but most hunters start off as minors — the center of the distribution seems to be in late childhood, in the tweens and early teens — and those who start after Age 21 number in the mere single digits . That strikes us as a hint that there might be an untapped market for introducing adults who may be hunting-curious to the sport. I wonder if there are guides who ease first-timers into it?

Yet, one of the reasons people do it the most, may explain the youth bias of beginners: 26% do it “to be with family and friends.” (Of course, another large number, 25%, hunt for meat. This is one where a respondent might have given multiple answers, but the survey made them pick one).  The largest group do it for the sport, or recreation Some do it to be close to nature (14%), and trophy hunting is described as a motivation by very few.

Hunting with MSRs

Elmer FuddMany more hunters haven’t used this kind of rifle, than have (72 to 27 percent). An awful lot of hunters are not interested in it:  the principal reasons are emotional ones. It strikes some as nontraditional, even nonsporting. Others have practical reasons not to use them, one of the most common being that hunters already have the right firearms for the hunting they do. It’s not cost that holds hunters back; it’s lack of a perceived application for the AR in their form of hunting.

Those that do hunt with ARs primarily hunt varmints and predators.

Looking into the Future

One glimmer of hope in the data, for MSR manufacturers, is that those who have used an AR or MSR for hunting have taken it up very recently, within the last five years. As we’ve seen in the past, 50 years ago, such rifles weren’t even mentioned in gun magazines aimed at the shooting public, except as military curiosities. Twenty-five years ago, they were much more popular, but not in a hunting context. It is in the last few years that we’ve seen the emergence of a hunting culture that uses modern sporting rifles.

Right in line with that survey data, the hunting culture has emerged first in varmint and predator hunting. The shooting of feral hogs and coyotes is not constrained by the sporting traditions of deer and elk hunting.  No one is shooting hogs to “feel at one with Nature,” he’s doing it because Nature is uprooting his cash crops! But with the emergence of ARs in large-game calibers like .308 and .300 Win Mag, we can expect to see more hunters whose first rifle, perhaps, was a black one, moving on to larger game.

The trend is certainly for wider penetration and acceptance of the MSR and certain accessories (including suppressors, which are now in the camel’s-nose position MSRs were in hunting three decades ago), into the hunting market.

Savvy manufacturers and retailers are, even now, studying this report and trying to figure out how to reach that half or more of hunters who have an emotionally negative reaction to the idea of hunting with an AR.

Well, it took a good 50 years for the bolt action to catch on with hunters, and here in the East (we should mention, one of the interesting features of the report is its regional crosstabs)  there are still many holdouts with lever-action carbines. That means there’s a lot of upside for MSRs as hunting rifles — if they can overcome the resistance of the traditionalists, a very open question as the majority of hunters are hunters because they are observing traditions.

When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have gravity

wile_e_coyote_gravityWhat goes up, must come down. Because gravity is not just a good idea. It’s the Law.

A Notre Dame death left students and faculty stunned at the prestigious University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The death comes one day before graduation ceremonies. According to a Notre Dame release, a 21-year-old senior from Colorado gained access to the curved roof of the Joyce Arena athletic building, slipped, and fell to his death.

Reports ABC News: “William Meckling, 21, was set to graduate Sunday, according to a news release from the university. A Notre Dame Security Police official found Meckling unresponsive on the ground next to the Joyce Center – an athletic building that houses the Notre Dame basketball arena – at about 4 a.m. Saturday.”

via Notre Dame death: Climbing up on Notre Dame roof, grad slips, falls to his death – Long Island Top News | Examiner.com.

Sad story. Another victim of easy access to firearms, alcohol, and bad judgment, but mostly, bad judgment.

Ramadi: Can’t They All Lose?

ISIL flagIn this corner, flying the black flag, you have the ravening whelp of miscegenation between Ba’athist butchery and Islamist idiocy, The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, aka ISIL, ISIS and Da’esh.

They’re Faction Number One. Nobody wants them to win.

In this corner, you have the Iraqi Security Forces and the Shia-controlled elected government that controls them.

They’re Faction Number Two. There are people that want them to win, but based on their performance to date, which includes breaking, running, breaking and running, and generally bugging out, nobody with a clue thinks that they can win. (We do recognize the “clue” bit does exclude much of official Washington, like the President and his slapstick national security team, and Martin Dempsey, the spineless yes-man heading up the Joint Chiefs). The ISF are the Montesquieu ideal of “a rational army”: that is to say, they ride far and fast, away from the sound of the guns.

The Iraqi flag increasingly marks Shia militia under Iranian command.

The Iraqi flag increasingly marks Shia militia under Iranian command.

And in this corner, you have the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and their expendable cannon fodder, the fanatic Hashd al-Sha’abi sectarian militia/sectarian cleansing corps.

This Axis of Shiites makes up Faction Number Three. Almost nobody wants them to win, especially the Iraqi Sunnis whose necks are already on the chopping block thanks to ISIL. So Sunnis not presently in one of the other factins have the choice of try to make nice with ISIL, and probably get whacked anyway, or try to make nice with the Hashd. And probably get whacked anyway.

The reason it’s almost nobody, is that the US Administration is so desperate for a deal, any deal, with Iran, that they’re willing to see an Iranian client state where Iraq used to be. (Heck, they’re willing to see Israel nuked, if only they can have something to point to that erases the asterisk on the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, with an establishment teeming with Establishment anti-Semites, like John Kerry and Susan Rice, they might not see that as a trade-off at all).

Flag_of_Kurdistan.svgAnd in the last corner so far, you have the Kurds.

Formerly divided into factions themselves, they are now more or less unified as Faction Number Four. The Arabs who make up most of the other factions want them — dead, that is. The Persians who stand behind (and sometimes alongside) the Shia factions want them dead, too. The Arabists in the US State Department fall into line with the leaders of their area of interest. The Turks will gladly revisit the Armenian Genocide on them, and then deny it for a century. The only reasons that the Kurds have not been exterminated to date, in the face of all this militant, armed loathing, are about the same reason that Israel still stands:

  1. The Arabs have many gifts as a race, but a command of war is not among them
  2. The Kurds (like the Israelis) insist on their own self-defense.

There is one other significant group — the Gulf Arab states. Formerly allied with the United States, they’ve been cast off in the hasty, drunken tilt towards Iran. Should a Sunni force that could resist ISIL emerge, you could expect the Gulf to support it, US preferences be damned; but with essentially all of Sunni Iraq now under the black flag and dripping sword of ISIL, they need the one thing that money can’t buy them: fighting men in boots on the ground.

What Happens to Iraq?

First, when some Beltway lordling makes strategic noises, you can discount that completely. The more GEN Dempsey, Sec. Kerry, Samantha Power, Susan Rice natter about how “everything is  proceeding as we have foreseen,” the more you realize why people feared Darth Vader and laughed at Baghdad Bob. The US has sacrificed most of its potential in the area; all we’re doing now is ineffectual, symbolic airstrikes, at the risk of real, American lives; and some pinprick SOF raids that can hurt the enemy a little, but that never risk beating him.

For a predictive model, look to the Congo, Chad, Somalia. The collapse of unifying institutions (which in Iraq was basically only the Armed Forces; thank you again, L. Paul Bremer) leaves two possibilities, endless war (which is de facto favored by all players trying to restore an impossible status quo ante), and Failed State, the war of each against each, where men fight for nothing but their lives and their families, and where, every day, they have to.

S&P Drops Colt Defense Below Junk to “D for Default.”

colt_logo_mAccording to a notably focused and clear analysis by Laura J. Keller of Bloomberg, Colt’s bonds’ rating has been dropped from an abysmal CC to D, as low as ratings go, sometimes called in the finance world “D for Default.”

Standard & Poor’s reduced Colt’s rating two grades to D from CC, according to a statement Tuesday from the credit grader. The new rating means S&P considers the company “in default or in breach of an imputed promise” and that it has ruled out the possibility the manufacturer will make good on a missed interest payment during a 30-day grace period.

As we mentioned in comments to our last report on Colt’s Perils of Pauline fiscal drama, they were technically in default as soon as their interest payment came due and they did not have cash on hand to pay it.

The weapons maker didn’t pay the $10.9 million due May 15 to holders of its $249.4 million of 8.75 percent unsecured notes due November 2017, according to S&P. Colt had warned in November it was “probable” it wouldn’t have the cash to make the payment if it didn’t meet internal sales forecasts.

Colt received an unsecured loan from Morgan Stanley for $70 Million in November, just barely avoiding default at that time, by using the loan proceeds to pay the bond interest increment ($10.9M) and fund ongoing operations. Most of that cash is gone now, with only $8.4M in unencumbered cash available at the end of April (and another $10.9M payment due May 15th). (Colt has a few million more than that, but the cash was used as security for a loan, and paying that specifically earmarked “restricted” cash back takes priority over other debt, in a bankruptcy scenario).

The Sword of Damocles hanging over the bond holders is the probability that they’ll be zeroed out completely in a bankruptcy. Colt had hoped that imminent threat would get them to accept a 70% haircut to roll their bonds over into newer and even more speculative debt. When they didn’t bite by 12 May, they rolled the dice for another week, and then, on the 18th, rolled the dice again. Colt’s net assets, per Bloomberg, are over 100% collateralized, meaning in a bankruptcy, bondholders are left with an empty bag.

In a bankruptcy scenario, not much would be left for holders of the 8.75 percent junior notes, according to S&P. Since the $102 million of collateral available to Colt’s secured lenders is just shy of the $103 million they’re owed, S&P estimates holders of senior unsecured debt would recover between zero and 10 percent of their investment.

In other words, even in a liquidation, these bondholders get to the head of the line only after all the juice has been squeezed.

Naturally this has an impact on the market for the bonds:

The junior notes traded in odd-sized lots at 27.75 cents on the dollar at 4:37 p.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

It’s a little surprising that they’re worth that much in the market, because it’s hard to imagine any way to get a 25¢ recovery on these bonds at this point, unless Colt’s intellectual property brings a lot more at bankruptcy auction that the market values it at.

Elsewhere in the Industry

Colt is not the only firearms maker in the news. Cerberus, a hedge fund, has announced that it has failed in its attempts to sell its firearms holdings, now organized as Remington Outdoor, and instead is offering  to cash out institutional investors, including politically-managed California public employee pension funds, that have the vapors over buying guns. Cerberus managers have claimed that because of public perceptions of guns as naughty things, they couldn’t even get the underwriting to take Remington public.

This is nonsense. Look at how Morgan Stanley stepped up to make that unwise $70M loan to Colt, and consider how low and even negative interest in “safe” investments has investors taking wild, inadvisable risks. But the nonsense may serve Cerberus’s ends well. If they can get CALPERS, etc., and other “socially conscious” investors out and bring their former stakes in-house before going public, they would likely leave Cerberus investors with the best kind of financial problem: how to handle massive capital-gains taxes on a hugely successful investment. But the Remington story has already been spun as a sign of the “collapse of the gun market.”

It is only a matter of time before writers for the anti-gun daily media start combining these stories (and HK’s woes in Germany, which are political and don’t financially threaten the firm, yet) to crow that the gun industry is dead: only, it isn’t. For example, here’s a paragraph from New York Times anti-gun activist reporter Michael de la Merced, emphasis ours, from their report on Remington’s cash-out offer (which the Times illustrated with a photo of their close allies, professional protesters at an antigun rally):

Compounding the problem has been the reluctance of big lenders to participate in the sales process for fear of potential hits to their reputation. Banks like JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse have rarely advised or lent money to deals involving firearms makers, making it more difficult for potential buyers to afford Remington….

(Emphasis in the above is ours. We guarantee you that timidity about reputation is not what drives Wall Street). The more key revelation is buried in the report and apparently unnoticed by de la Merced: the cashout values Remington at 880M, about the size of S&W’s market cap, far lower than the $1B-plus Cerberus earlier estimated for the firm’s value. (Of course, valuation of a private company is one of the thorniest problems in finance; in the end, value is what you can actually sell it for, and funds like CALPERS, which would long ago have been bankrupt if they had to meet the financial requirements of private firms’ pensions, have to decide how big a bath they want to take for the sake of political purity).

While 2014 sales for the industry may have been down from the 2013 peak, they weren’t down much and indicate that panic buying has subsided into a new and higher level of ongoing sales. There are many of indicators of this. For example, in 2014, the FBI’s National Instant Check System was overwhelmed with call volume, leading to unprecedented delays in answering calls:

Many call center operations have a target goal of answering 80 percent of calls within 20 seconds. However, the NICS Section’s goal is to answer Transfer Process calls (background checks for firearm purchases transferred from the NICS Contracted Call Center to the NICS Section’s staff) within 9 seconds. Based on historical data specific to transaction and call volumes, the NICS Section is able to forecast anticipated levels of staffing needed to effectively process incoming work. In 2014, the NICS Section’s Transfer Process calls were answered on an average yearly rate of 109.27 seconds due to several months of high call volume.1

If their usual objective is 9 seconds and “several months” of high volume blew their delay out to almost two minutes, think about the mathematics of that… those peak periods had really high volume, then.

Also, when the media writes that gun sales are down… bear in mind that 12.7 unadjusted NICS checks were done in 2008, the last year before the Salesman-in-Chief amplified gun sales. 2014’s down number rounds to 21.0 million, from 2013’s 21.1 million… to two places, it’s so far down it’s 99.41% of prior years.2 (We used to call that “flat,” but we just have an MBA, not a J-School sheepskin, so what do we know?)

As readers of WeaponsMan.com know, Colt’s problems stem only partially from the company’s struggle with new products and market forces. Colt’s traditional products, the 1911A1 pistol and AR-15, M16 and M4 rifles remain popular worldwide (42% of the value of sales is overseas, according to the firm’s most recent SEC filings). The real mortal wound was inflicted by the company’s own managers: the company was overburdened with a fatally toxic load of debt. They did this, not as fiduciaries for the company, but in their capacity as the individuals who personally pocketed much of the money.

When Colt goes bankrupt, an event we see as unavoidable now, expect the innumerates of the New York Times to crow that the failure results from some imagined unpopularity of guns and increasing popularity of New York style gun ban regimes. Politicians who believe them and act accordingly will likely be slaughtered at the polls in all but the six or seven states where gun bans are legitimately popular.

The Bloomberg report on Colt Defense’s financials is concise and accurate, though, so do Read The Whole Thing™. Hat tip, Daniel Watters in the comments to our last Colt report.


  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation. 2014 NICS Operations. Page 6. Retrieved from: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/2014-operations-report
  2. Ibid., p. 12.

New Jersey: Drugs, Guns, and Crime

North Jersey is a remarkable little corner of the planet. Cheek by jowl with some of the most expensive real estate in America are some of the nation’s most down and out losers. The drug addicts are mostly invisible to the Wall Street nabobs who sleep well in Jersey — at least until one of them breaks into a nabob’s house and steals his stuff. (Many of these addicts, though, are too disorganized and dysfunctional to successfully travel a few miles and conduct a residential burglary in a wealthy area. Instead, they steal from other poor people nearby).

Back in February, Bergen County prosecutor John Molinelli tweeted this video out on his media twitter account.

In Heroins Grip. All should follow this.

via John Molinelli (@johnlmolinelli) | Twitter.

The video wouldn’t be complete without some Rev’rend intoning that it’s all because the people don’t have jobs. Earth to Jersey: addicts aren’t addicts and dealers aren’t dealers because there are no alternatives. They’re that way because they like doing drugs, and they like selling drugs, and that’s the alternative that they like. Maybe because, in the world of the therapeutic state where everything’s a disease to be cured, the consequences, prior to an early death, are low enough that the cost-benefit calculus looks good — to a malformed mind.

If you read deeper into Molinelli’s Twitter account, there were dozens and dozens of fatal ODs in his county last year — about one and a half to two per week on average. Of course, if his county is like the other ones we hear about from LE (many of these deaths never even make the newspapers!), they don’t come at a steady rate, but occur in clusters.

A lot of them are young people who got off the life track and onto the drug track. (As the video sort-of notes, the dealers may be from the urban black underclass, but most of the customers come from the white suburbs). We have a dozen or two a year in our own, much less populated, county here in NH; the ambulance we saw the other day in front of a homeless shelter (conveniently located near the high school!) may have been the latest, or it could be that that title still belongs to the kid they found in the woods a couple of weeks ago. The woods where he had been living, as he injected 100% of the earnings of his crappy retail job in the form of heroin, or what someone sold him as heroin.

These drug users are pitiable, lost souls. But they commit a lot of property crime, and a good percentage of violent crime. Another large percentage of violent crime is, you might say, the Alternative Dispute Resolution system employed by the jobbers, distributors and retailers of recreational pharmaceuticals. If it weren’t for these drug users, an awful lot of crime wouldn’t be occurring. (Or maybe they’d be doing it over alcohol. Criminals commit crime, as a Geico ad featuring them might say).

And how did they get, in the title of the short video, “In Heroin’s Grip”? Did it reach out and grab them? Or did they offer themselves as sacrifices to the dark gods of momentary pleasure? We think we know the answer to that one.

We’ve always thought of an OD as a neat and orderly terminal dot at the end of a chaotic life of rampant crime. Cruel but true.

We have tried soft love, and it fails. We’ve tried tough love, and it fails. Maybe love is not the answer.

Maybe cruelty is the answer. Maybe it’s time to stop treating the real world like a Hallmark after-school special. If we really thought of the Drug War as War, we’d clandestinely inject fatal impurities into the drug supply chain and let the users kill themselves off, and the suppliers go belly up for lack of clientele. We don’t do that, so the whole thing is empty, vain posturing.

Molinelli, of course, is a good New Jerseyite. He wants to ban your guns because his dope dealers (that get wrist-slapped in the NJ courts, and released to commit further crimes) are committing gun crimes. More empty, vain posturing, but in this case, at the expense of real people.


When Guns are Outlawed, only Outlaws Will Have Crazy Girlfriends

The look of cray-cray: Shaynna Sims smirks at the mugshot machine.

The face of bughouse cray-cray: Shaynna Sims smirks at the mugshot machine.

The good news: the victim in this case was already dead (none of the stories say, of what, which, given the decedent’s rival’s relative youth, is interesting). But at least this particular crime isn’t a murder. That’s pretty much the full reach and extent of the good news.

Prosecutors added a fourth felony charge against 26-year-old Shaynna Sims on Thursday, accusing her of removing both breasts and a toe of the deceased woman during a viewing at a funeral home in Tulsa. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.

What, that’s it?

‘Fraid so. Fact is, our laws were evolved for the usual run of axe whackers and baby rapers, an element of society that always seems to have been there, at least since Cain slew Abel. The law’s just not ready for Industrial Strength Bughouse Cray-Cray®.

Sims was arrested at the dead woman’s apartment after she attended the viewing on April 30. Police said Sims also stole the dead woman’s shoes and was carrying a knife with the woman’s hair attached to it.
Witnesses told officers they saw Sims reach into the casket during the viewing. The dead woman’s face was found slashed from her hairline to the tip of her nose, her makeup was smeared and her hair was on the floor, police said. The additional mutilation of the woman’s body was discovered as it was being prepared for cremation.

via Oklahoma woman accused of removing dead rival’s body parts – SFGate.

Sims and the decedent were apparently romantic rivals for Sumdood, who goes unnamed in the story. He must be a real prize.

Note: no guns involved, but the Bat Guano Crazy® is strong with this one.

How would you deal with her, if you could imagine your own perfect set of laws into being?

What’s the right penalty for Shaynna Sims?

pollcode.com free polls


Decisions, decisions.

Can’t she collect ’em all?

More on the Pennsylvania Registry-not-Registry

pennsylvania_state_reg_formIn comments to our last on the Pennsylvania State Police’s gun-registry-that-is-not-a-registry-because-it’s-so-fulla-holes, we were challenged by a Keystone State resident who doesn’t recall filling out the PSP form. Here’s what we’ve learned.

At one time, they just had the dealers send 4473 copies, but some time relatively recently (~10 years ago), their lawyers had them discontinue that, and generate their own form, PSP SP4-113 (+ variable numbers).

The PSP deliberately does not put this form on the intertubes. That is because their registration bureaucracy, the Firearms Records Unit, came up with a complex numbering system, where each form is uniquely numbered to the FFL that sold the gun (or handled the transfer, for a pistol between private parties). There is also a state ID number which is used not just to ID dealers but also for private transfers done by any county Sheriffs who offer this service. PSP explains:


Application/Record of Sale Form (SP4-113)

This form will be provided by the Pennsylvania State Police and all requests for this form must be submitted in writing. You can fax your requests to (717) 772-4249 or mail requests to Firearm Records Unit, Pennsylvania State Police, 1800 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Note the pre-printed numbers on this form are assigned to your dealership. Therefore, you can not loan copies to other dealers or duplicate this form. Please allow several weeks for the processing of your order. This form is not available online.

They do make a graphic instructional version available [.pdf], of which we’ve made an illustration here (it embiggens). You can see from this illustrative sample that the form was originally drafted to be used with short and long guns, but now it is required only for handguns.

While a single 4473 can cover multiple guns (our personal record is six), this state form must be done all over again for each gun in a multiple buy — even though they’re all on a single federal form. For each firearm sold or transferred, the dealer collects a $3 surcharge and a $2 Instant Check Fee, which are aggregated and remitted monthly to the State Police.

The copies our Fed friend found in a violent career criminal’s closet, in the boxes with the guns, were copies of this form — PSP SP4-113.

When the other copy gets to the Firearms Record Unit, it’s supposed to be entered in the database, but LEOs think it’s far from a certainty that this will happen, soon, or at all. That’s how you wind up with felons with over-the-counter guns in Pennsylvania —

Meanwhile, some jurisdictions are busting even licensed carriers if their guns don’t show up in this registry-that-isn’t. These cases may not stand up in court, but they’re a way to hassle gun owners — one of new Commissioner Marcus Brown’s major goals for the State Police.