Archive for month: April, 2018

Diversity Is A Good Thing, As Long As You Know What To Diversify

19 Apr
April 19, 2018

Reason put out this article earlier this week on the dangers of Silicon Valley’s burgeoning ideological conformity. Let’s look at the first couple of paragraphs:

quote When it comes to software, Silicon Valley understands the threat of monocultures. If 100 percent of computers run the same code and malware authors discover an exploit, 100 percent of computers will be vulnerable to the same attack. Fortunately, the way to reduce such risks is straightforward: Increase diversity.

quote Alas, this insight seems limited to software. Technology executives have yet to fully recognize the risks posed by the potent political monocultures forming inside their own companies.

The problem is that so many who push “diversity” fail to understand what they need to diversify. For these tech companies – and other places pushing diversity for diversity (cough, universities, cough, literary circles) – they are mistaking the biological for the mental. In essence, they are saying because they have both golden labradors and chocolate labradors, they are diverse – and they don’t see the problem when large numbers of their dogs die off. For tech companies, the biggest threat from this failure to recognize they are not really diverse is going out of business because they’ve alienated enough customers.

However, the same issue is impacting the RKBA. I keep hearing how we do we get more women, POCs, young people, etc. involved in the gun rights battle. Too many times, I see the RKBA making the same mistake of substituting outward diversity with inward diversity. You can’t invite people with one breath, and with the next demand they immediately conform to every thing you believe outside of RKBA – such as God, abortion, economics, and/or the current issues of the day.

We’re not breeding stronger livestock, so we shouldn’t be looking for biological diversity. We’re trying to breed stronger ideas, so we need ideological diversity.

Wall Street Journal Tries To Look At the Smart Gun Issue

18 Apr
April 18, 2018

The Wall Street Journal decided to examine the smart gun issue. It seems the authors of the piece can’t figure out why no one on in Silicon Valley is willing to fund smart guns, and dismisses the concerns of gun owners and RKBA activists.

For example:

quote For decades, firearms companies have refused to sell smart guns because of glitches in some early models, as well as a backlash from conservative gun-rights activists, who fear the technology will prompt state legislatures to mandate it broadly. The activists say their fears were confirmed by a 2002 New Jersey law requiring all handguns for sale in the state to have smart-gun technology once it became available. (emphasis mine) Smith & Wesson’s parent company said last month it was still wary of making smart guns.

Excuse me, but this isn’t a case of activists making an unsubstantiated claim. I would call that empirical evidence.

Further, the authors have to pull out that this would stop a highly publicized event:

quote But in theory, a gun with a fingerprint reader or RFID technology might stop murderers like Adam Lanza who used guns purchased and stored by his mother, and to a greater degree prevent accidental shootings and suicides.

Did they even read how this tech was supposed to work? First, Lanza’s mother took him with her shooting. Are you telling me that an RFID reader or fingerprint scanner would have stopped someone already granted access? About the only one of these claims that has some merit is accidental shootings. My problem is that: 1) the situations prevented are already rare and 2) the lives saved may be outweighed by the number of lives lost because tech failures preventing people from defending themselves. Oh how can you quantify that people would be put in danger by tech failures? How many times has the fingerprint scanner on your phone failed to read in good conditions? How many times have you had to rescan a badge for entrance because the reader was being temperamental?

Here’s my take on the smart gun issue. I’m a geek and I love technology. However, I don’t trust governments not to abuse any advances in smart gun tech to restrict the rights.

Metal Tuesday- Gemini Syndrome – Stardust

16 Apr
April 16, 2018

This band, like so many, was brought to my attention by The Brother. And as usual, he was very correct that I would enjoy it. So, of course I’m going to share.

First Pistol Competition AAR

16 Apr
April 16, 2018

Last Friday, I went to my first pistol competition. There was some doubt as to whether I would go to the competition or not. I get this weird anxiety when facing new situations, and it makes me want to stay in my nice, safe home. Even more when I’m doing something alone. Yay introvert brain. Fortunately, I have a very supportive girlfriend and brother who encouraged me to go, and told me that if it weren’t for prior commitments, they would have come to watch. This from my girlfriend who is still somewhat uncomfortable around my pistol. So, it was with much trepidation that I belted on my holster and mag carrier and went out to my first pistol competition. My goal for the night was simple – finish and not DQ.

When I got to the range, the RSOs shepherded us into a classroom for the safety briefing and for us to begin setting up. There were about twenty of us competing. For at least a quarter of us, this was our first match. So, I don’t feel so bad about not realizing one big thing. The flyer said I needed 100 rounds of ammo, OWB holster, mag carrier, and three magazines. I didn’t realize that was the minimum requirements until I saw some of the other participants belting on four or five spare magazines. Fortunately, I kept extra spare magazines in my range bag. Unfortunately, no extra mag carriers. I loaded up five magazines – one for the pistol, two in the mag carrier, one tucked in my belt, and one in my pocket.

After sign in and getting our scorecards, the twenty of us were walked through the course of fire. Most of the targets were standard IPSC silhouette targets, and scoring was raw time plus additional time for hits outside the A-rings, for procedurals (breaking the rules), and for failing to complete. After Stage 1, the participant could chose to go to Stage 2 or 3.

 **Stage 1** - Center of the bay. Engaging four targets at about fifteen yards through three ports - each target shot twice through each port, for a total of twenty-four rounds. Port one was shoulder height, so I would be able to shoot that without changing stance. Port two was about stomach height, and I would need to crouch to shoot through. Port three was about knee height, and I would need to kneel for that one. 

 **Stage 2** - Right side of the bay. Engaging three targets at five yards - each target shot five times, for a total of fifteen rounds. Target two had half the torso blacked out to represent cover. Target three only had the head available. 

Stage 3 – Left side of the bay. Engaging two clay pigeons as “poppers” at fifteen yards. No round restrictions, but the clays must be at least 75% destroyed before the stage was considered cleared.

So how did I do? Well, I succeeded in not DQ’ing.

On Stage 1, I think I got a bit of buck fever. One miss, a few D-rings, and the rest split between C-ring and A-ring hits. Even though I kept telling myself I would need to reload on the third port, it was still a surprise.

Stage 2, I settled down some. Three misses due to hitting the blacked out parts of target three, but two B-rings, three C-rings, and the rest A-ring hits.

On Stage 3, I emptied the remaining half of my magazine for some chipping away at the pigeons. Reloaded and fired three more times. I pulled the trigger the fourth time and click. I reached up to rack the slide, and it didn’t want to budge. So, I let the RSO know, and I ended up with a failure to complete and a raw time of 129. My diagnosis on my equipment failure is a hard primer and me not yanking hard enough on the slide to clear the round. I’m basing that on the fact that when I handed my pistol to the RSO, he cleared it without issue.

The good – I had fun and was glad I overcame my anxiety. Drawing and reloading was smooth and easy.

The bad – Accuracy needs to be dialed in for small targets.

The ugly – I need to spend more time on malfunction drills. I also need to avoid IMI ammo for competitions. My M&P does not consistently work with that brand.

Rules and Harm

13 Apr
April 13, 2018

The girlfriend and I were out shopping because she needed a new pan. In the parking lot, we came across a truck that had taken up two parking slots. The GF harrumphed and said how she hated people who did that. I saw the same thing, but it didn’t bother me so much. Why? Because the truck wasn’t in a premium area of the lot, and there was plenty of other parking.

My girlfriend was annoyed because the driver was breaking the rules. I wasn’t annoyed because (s)he wasn’t causing harm. I’ve found that such criteria has become much more important as I’ve matured.

I Actually Made It Out to the Range

12 Apr
April 12, 2018

I played hooky from work and took my mom to the range. Some tidbits:

  1. There was a bus from The Villages retirement community parked outside the range when we pulled up. That must be an interesting group activity.

2.Playing with the SIRT while teleworking helped my flinch. Now I’m going low and left.

3.Mom’s revolver started throwing keyholes about halfway through the session. Need to research that. It’s one of Taurus’s polymer revolvers, so I’m having all sorts of nasty suspicions.

  1. The range is trying out an “action shooting league” to try and cash in on the three-gun money. They’re starting with just pistol. There’s a match on Friday night. I’ll probably try that out. I’ve never done a competition, and almost all the professionals I know recommend it.

  2. The range had a Colt All American 2000 for $450. I was very tempted just to add it to my inventory. They also had a Boberg (whatever Bond Arms is calling it). That’s another I want to add as a novelty.

  3. Mom handed me a box of 20 gauge shells. You know what this means. I need to get a 20 gauge shotgun. Honestly, I wouldn’t say no to one of the new shorties.

  4. It seems the IMI generic ammo is no longer using the depleted uranium primers. I still have half a box of stuff my M&Ps refuse to fire.

  5. I am buying my niece, nephew, and mom electronic muffs. The ability to communicate is so worth the extra warmth.

  6. It’s been long enough since I’ve taken the kiddos shooting that we need to refamiliarization. Particularly since the boy is now taller than me. At thirteen.

BOA ups Citi’s Ante

10 Apr
April 10, 2018

Bank of America stated on Tuesday that they are going to “step away” from firms that make “assault weapons” for non-military users. The bullets from CNBC are vague on exactly what that means, but considering several of the big manufacturers are current BOA, this could mean a nasty shake-up.

The antis have found a rather insidious means to attack us by focusing on access to capital. I don’t doubt they were inspired by Operation Chokepoint. BOA may decide it can afford to lose its corporate and personal accounts from the pro-gun side. Wells Fargo has been holding steady against attacks so far. If they’re smart, WF could recoup a lot of the lost business it suffered from its fake account scandal last year by bringing in former BOA clients.

That’s fine in the short term. I’m concerned about the long term of these tactics. It’s another push to drive the gun community underground and make it seem disresputable.

Metal Tuesday- Queen – We Will Rock You

10 Apr
April 10, 2018

Surprisingly, I didn’t select this one because it’s one of the best arena rock songs in the known universe. No, it’s because of this little piece of fan fiction.

Ignoble End to an Upstart?

09 Apr
April 9, 2018

At the grocery store this week, The Brother and I saw a Tesla 3 in the wild for the first time. The Brother wants a Tesla for his next car, and to be honest, they tempt me as well. I wish there was a version of the Chevy Volt’s electric with gasoline backup system that was built into an SUV. Both The Brother and I believe that electric vehicles will phase out the internal combustion vehicles, but that’s going to require time for the infrastructure to be built up.

I’ve also been a fan of Tesla in its history of disrupting the market. Tesla has done a lot to “mainstream” the electric vehicle – much in the same way Apple mainstreamed the smartphone. For me, I’ve enjoyed them working to fight back against the franchise car dealership system.

Which makes this analysis of Tesla’s cash crisis from the Economist disappointing. My read is Tesla is burning through cash because there is a corporate culture of chaos and letting the better get in the way of the good.

Tesla received four hundred thousand $1,000 deposits for the Tesla 3’s. That’s an initial investment of $400 million. I can’t see any of the big car firms not being able to set up a new line for that sort of initial capital.

I’m really hoping Tesla manages to push through, but I have a suspicion that it will revert to a boutique manufacturer of innovative EVs while the big firms bring the electric car revolution to the masses.

Random Thoughts on a Friday

06 Apr
April 6, 2018
  1. Physical therapy is much easier to deal with when liberal amounts of Sabaton are applied.

  2. Facebook thinks I’m politically “very conservative.” This May come as a shock to some of my conservative friends who think I’m too liberal.

  3. I don’t know why my iTunes refuses to go past step 5 on syncing my phone. And google has not been much help either.

  4. Reading a bunch of resumes makes me glad that I don’t have a job that requires me to do that on a regular basis.

  5. That point of just finished being sick is almost as bad as being sick. I feel so much better that I think I should be able to do everything I was doing before, but not back to full strength, so I can’t.

  6. Trying to put something on my blog every day makes me appreciate the folks who manage to do that and keep a regular full time job that isn’t blogging.

  7. As much as I enjoy working from home, there are times that having my home workstation so close to my personal system provides too much temptation. Particularly when I finally figured out something for the story I’m working on.