MonthDecember 2012

Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 66

In Chapter 66, Chief Warrant Officer Eric Stahl (US Army, ret.) and the rest of Zombie Strike land in Panama to meet up with the local forces. As the team and local forces move into the Panamanian jungle, they are briefed on the vampires that are supposed to have attacked a village. Then the attack comes.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

What Price Gouging?

I keep seeing charges price gouging by the some of the major Internet retailers. I also see pictures of stores stripped of evil black rifles and their associated paraphernalia. These two claims are contradictory. If we are asserting there is an unusually high demand that has resulted in a low supply of AR’s and parts, we shouldn’t be surprised that the prices would have go up, sometimes dramatically. We understand this when we see prices go up for gas in an emergency (Hurricane Sandy being the most recent), but seem oblivious to it when it affects our hobby.

Sure we can complain “oh it’s just a simple piece of aluminum/plastic with a spring,” but there’s a scare supply. Brownells went through what would normally be a three year supply in three days. So, if some retailers have adjusted their prices to match the hyper-demand with low supply, that is not price gouging, that is how prices are determined. What will the market bear? If we as consumers believe these suppliers are charging too high a price, then we choose not to buy at high-priced dealers. When the supply increases or the demand (panic) decreases, those retailers will be forced to decrease their prices or not be able to move their inventory.

This is economics, not a conspiracy.

Friday Quote 12/28/12

The only real consensus I found [in the literature] was that these types of school shootings, or even spree killings, are too rare to do any kind of meaningful analysis of cause and effect… There’s more variables than there are data points. So you can’t do any kind of meaningful analysis. So we just don’t know what the important influences are and policies might reduce the risk of this happening again in the future.

Dr. Steven Novella, on the Skeptics Guide to the Universe #388

Everyone has been rushing to find a solution to these types of incidents. It must be guns, it must be violent video games, it must be because we don’t have armed security, it must be because of mental illness. The truth is we just don’t know.

Zombie Strike Part 7 Chapter 65

In Chapter 65, Castle is watching the beginning of a new satellite constellation and musing on his success in infiltrating most of the world’s sectors. One of Alan’s sorcerers call Castle to inform him a “tear” has opened in Panama. In Panama, Robyn and Tredegar wait to meet with a contact about a need for Zombie Strike in the country.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

Collective Guilt

Penn Jillette went on the Wendy Williams show (which I’ve never even heard of) to pimp his new book Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday. He’s caught up in the roundtable discussion:

If you were able to make it through that video, Penn makes some great points. We don’t know enough right now to make judgements on how to stop these types of murders. So why are we so willing to punish people who had nothing to do with it?

Most people who own guns, even AR-15s, do not murder people.

Most people who who play violent video games do not murder people.

Most people who suffer from mental illness do not murder people.

Yet, there is a cry to punish each of these groups because someone did something horrific and we think these might have contributed to the horror. We can discuss the lousy state of treating mental illness and the stigma of having mental illness. We can debate if letting children play video games for long hours without supervision stunts emotional and social growth. We can talk about if the availability of guns has an effect on these types of murders. The problem arises when we are willing to punish these groups with ill-thought-out legislation in a rush to “do something.”

Why would we ever assume collective guilt of a segment of our population based on the actions of one individual?

Zombie Strike Part 6 Chapter 64 – Epilogue

In Chapter 64, Mateo is forced to hand off his daughter Mercedes to his former sister-in-law and her husband with some help from Robyn Adams. On Skull Island, Chief Stahl, now a member of Zombie Strike, counsels Jess. In Keflavik, Alan brags to Castle about securing part of the prophecy.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

Zombie Strike Part 6 Chapter 63

In Chapter 63, Mateo’s team is in a desperate fight against Alan’s monstrosities. As the battle ends, Collin takes action. Mateo is forced to invoke an option.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

Friday Quote – 12/21/12

The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.

Col. Jeff Cooper, firearms pioneer

I will not play the game of “if there had been someone with a gun” game with the current tragedy, but the truth remains that armed citizens do deter crime and stop violence. Guns are not magical talismans, but they are powerful tools. Like any tool, like a car or a lawn mower, they can be used to hurt people or to make people’s lives better. That can only be done by the person wielding the tool.

Zombie Strike Part 6 Chapter 62

In Chapter 62, Mateo’s team faces off with Alan. Except, Alan is not alone.

Narrator: Kenn Blanchard

Story: Derek Ward

This episode was originally broadcast on the Urban Shooter podcast.

Super Plus Quote

Gun control is the complementary and alternative medicine of public health policy. It is homeopathy and acupuncture and chelation, and what little positive benefit we see from it is more wishful thinking of the placebo effect than actual results. It never fails to astound me how so many educated, intelligent people who purport to believe in evidence-based medicine can still swallow this snake oil from the hucksters and carnival barkers who peddle it.

Ambulance Driver, in this post.

This has got to be one of the best metaphors I have seen for gun control in a very long time. Thanks Kelly, you just gave us a way to talk with the skeptical community in terms that they understand!

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