Category: Personal Defense

Monday Links

I hope everyone is having a good Memorial Day weekend. There will be a bit of tab clearing since we didn’t have a links post last week.

I’ve got a slew of Reason articles to start.

A look into how bad science is keeping bad regulations around nuclear power. We need more nuclear power. Because we need more power. Because we need to reduce our dependence on oil. Not just climate change, but because of the politics and other environmental hazards of oil.

A look at how zoning regulations empower the people we don’t want to have power.

Surprise, surprise, the real reason for self-checkout bans is not the stated reason of stopping theft. Incentives matter, and that doesn’t change once the issue becomes political.

No, Super Size Me was not a documentary. It was a bullshit publicity stunt that did nothing to address what it purported to address. Other than getting Mickey D’s to change it’s branding.

NYT says that looser gun laws caused the spike in homicides. Um, yeah. Keep thinking that.

This one about a New York man being convicted of building guns made the rounds of the gunblogs, but here’s Reason’s coverage. The judge telling the defense the Second Amendment doesn’t work here was surprisingly unsurprising.

Now on to other sources.

From Ground News, we have an aggregation of Uvalde parents suing Meta, Microsoft, and Daniel Defense because the bad guy was on Facebook, played Call of Duty, and used a DD rifle. I’m kinda glad the plaintiffs are pulling in Meta and Microsoft, as they can slap down those better than Daniel Defense.

From 404 Media – all those nifty northern lights that folks were able to see earlier this month? Yeah, that same coronal storm caused issues with tractors talking with GPS, which has resulted in issues with planting. Which will definitely have some downstream effects in the food supply chain.

Nature published an op-ed decrying climate scientists being climate activists. This has been one of the big problems with doing anything about climate change. The moment you step out of being a neutral dispenser of information to a partisan, whatever information you provide is degraded. Either because a swath of the population will no longer believe you, or your information becomes shaded. Because incentives matter.

Ars Technica has an article on a company that had its Google Cloud account completely wiped out. Including the backups. Fortunately, the company had backups other than Google, but it’s an interesting case study.

Via The Brother, here’s the transcript from a talk Bert Hubert delivered on Cyber Security and war.

From the local TV station, we have an article about a homeowner who killed an intruder, by stabbing him, after the intruder shot her in the face. In a fight for your life, don’t stop until you can’t fight anymore. Or the threat is stopped.

Monday Links

Israel and its adjacent topics are a big theme in this week’s links. So, let’s start with our normal slate of Reason links (which include more than usual Volokh Conspiracy entries).

The UF president laid out his thoughts on campus free speech and protest.

Jewish students at Columbia did their own letter on their “lived experience” since October 7.

Here’s a pair of articles on the Supreme Court’s recent (disappointing) ruling on civil asset forfeiture. One from Reason and one from Volokh.

Now for some Ground News aggregations.

Biden halts arms shipments to Israel over the invasion of Rafah.

US alleges Israel broke international law while using US weapons, but on incomplete evidence. Both of these stories are troubling, because its showing how weak US resolve can be to even our most trusted allies.

US tells Intel and Qualcomm they can’t sell chips to China.

A US Airman was killed by deputies who broke into the wrong apartment.

Now on to other stories that crossed my transom.

SkyNews reports on a “massive” hack of Britain’s Ministry of Defence (Brit spelling). While officially, the hackers are “unknown,” bets are it was China. Reminds me of the OPM hack ten or fifteen years ago.

Bloomberg that there are over 40,000 AI-voiced audiobooks on Audible. I’m kind of torn on this. First, as a small author, if I want to convert one of my stories to an audio version, it’s nice knowing that there’s a lower cost alternative. As a consumer of audiobooks, I understand how important a good narrator can make a book come alive. On the gripping hand, I see this as where the great narrators will still be in demand, but lesser narrators will be pushed out of the market.

An American Cop piece on why “high-ready” might not be a safe way to hold your weapon. The expected audience is cops, but good points for non-cop folk. Things to keep in mind if you’re on either end of the gun. (h/t Tam).

Gizmodo reports on Victorinox announcing it was going to be offering bladeless versions of their famous “Swiss Army knife”. This is another good case to ignore the headlines and the sturm und drang on the internet. Victorinox is simply coming out with new versions for sale in areas where knives are banned/restricted. They’re still selling bladed versions. I’m kind of wondering if these new ones will be TSA compliant.

Tampa Bay Buisness Journal is reporting of Florida Aquarium getting funding for a planned $15 million expansion. It looks pretty interesting.

Another good article from Angry Staff Officer. This time on how fantasy armies never screen their flanks. I like reading him to make my writing better.

PCGamesN reports that Civ 7 will be out sometime later this year. Needless to say, I’m very excited about this news. As of this writing, I’m up to over 7,700 hours on Civ 6. Which, to be fair is a very different game now than when it released many moons ago.

Flashlights and Guns

Tam has thoughts on weapon-mounted lights following a story of an ND by an NYPD ESU officer during the recent takeover at Columbia.

I have a flashlight mounted on my normal carry piece. I’ve heard the arguments back and forth, but my logic comes down to this:

  1. There’s a strong likelihood that if I’m going to need my weapon outside the home, it will be in a low-light environment.
  2. If I’m going to need my weapon outside the home, I do not want to be juggling more devices than necessary.

However, as shown in the linked story, there is an inherent danger of using a WML as a flashlight instead of illumination for your weapon. A flashlight is for searching, a WML is for better view of a target.

This is why I have a separate flashlight. That is for searching around when it’s dark. My WML should only go on if my weapon is out. And my weapon should only be out if there is a strong possibility I’m going to need to use it.

Monday Links

Some of these are a little older, as I haven’t had the links post for the past couple of weeks. So, this is also kind of a browser tab dump.

The Reason segment:

Colorado decided not to join the blue wave in expanding the types of “sensitive places” where concealed carry would be forbidden.

Congress wants to limit credit card swipe fees. When they did that for debit cards, a bunch of companies dumped their rewards programs. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see brand new fees put in place.

Voters push back on sales tax to build stadium. I wish this would happen more. Particularly since the Tampa Bay area is looking at least one new “community-financed” sports arena in the next decade.

Now on to Ground News aggregations:

Several dead in a “mass stabbing” in Australia. While I can’t say a CCW in that instance would have helped the situation (although it has in the US), I wish that the Aussies had that option.

Anti-vaxxers are threatening elimination status of measles. Sweet FSM, it’s like everyone wants to drag us into the before times. I blame both sides for their bullshit on the COVID vaccine now spilling over to much more deadly diseases.

Zimbabwe has a new idea for combating rampant inflation – back their currency with gold. I’m not a gold bug, but I like the idea of taking some of the power away from central banks to artificially inflate the currency by “adding some zeroes.”

Microsoft learned from it’s Internet Explorer fight and is unbundling Teams from Office before getting dragged into litigation. Which is stupid, but unsurprising considering the recent state of activist regulators.

South of me, a house had some orbital debris fall through the roof. I don’t think most folks understand exactly how much space junk there is up in the orbitals that we’re going to need to clean up.

Now on to other stories.

WSJ has a story on the coming legal battles as to who’s responsible for what AI’s say and do. Note: paywalled.

The Verge is reporting that AI gun detectors installed by NYC as a pilot program resulted in an 85% false positive rate. H/t The Brother

War Is Boring analyzes the recent brouhaha over tweet from the Navy showing one of its captain’s requalifying on an M4. Let’s just say the picture was embarrassing enough that the tweet was deleted after everyone roasted it.

Speaking of service arms, TFB reports Taiwan has a new service rifle. Surprise, it’s an AR-pattern weapon.

More gun stuff. The Reload reports on the administration’s new “rules” regarding who needs an FFL. I use scare quotes because of they’re still fucking vague and leave too much open for interpretation by prosecutors and agents. Who, I don’t really trust to interpret.

DeSantis signed a couple of bills that worry me on the civil liberties front. One bans the use of civilian review boards of police in favor of the sheriffs/police departments appointing their own review boards. Um what? I can understand getting pissy about anti-cop activists worming their way onto those boards, but how is letting the cops review do their own reviews a way of holding them accountable? The other penalizes folks who “get too close” to first responders. It looks like it’s aimed at people video recording public servants doing public work.

Here’s a couple of critiques of the media.

The Freepress has an article from a long-time NPR reporter describing the change at NPR from “left-leaning” to “left-activist,” and the resultant loss of trust from the citizenry.

Almost as if to prove the point, NotTheBee has an analysis of a recent WaPo article on a Chicago Police shooting. Sweet FSM, there’s enough police misconduct, you don’t have to push a story claiming a man who opened fire on cops is some kind of martyr.

Walking Away Is Always an Option

This is an old story that recently came across my transom. I’m not big into horror movies, so I was unaware of the movie “Smile” or its guerilla marketing campaign.

In preparation of Smile’s release, Paramount hired “smilers” to show up at random public places, like the Today Show and a Yankees v. Red Sox game, and deliver their most haunting smirk.

The creepy marketing stint quickly reached virality on the internet as clueless onlookers captured and posted the startling promo happening before their eyes.

I thought this was an interesting situation because if I came across one of these situations, I would just see someone acting creepy for no good reason. As a person who routinely carries a gun, it behooves me to accurately assess a “creepy” situation.

If someone is acting creepy, it’s probably better to leave if possible. If the creepy continues to engage? Well, then, it’s best to have a variety of physical and mental tools at hand.

But walking away is always a good option.

Monday Links

Let’s start out with Reason links.

The Supreme Court listened to arguments about the ATF suddenly deciding that bump stock were bad. It’s been a long standing issue with the ATF that not only do they get to decide that things they said were okay previously are now felonies.

Apple shuttering its car project. It figured out that its rivals were eating its lunch in regards to AI.

To no one’s surprise, California is playing silly buggers with people’s Second Amendment rights based on nullified convictions.

Now on to other tech stories.

Elon sues OpenAI.

Microsoft is putting Copilot into Excel and Outlook. I’ve been using Copilot for a few things here lately. This could be interesting.

The New Yorker has a look at what could happen if there was a major solar storm.

Here’s a story on the increasing number of gun owners among the queer community. I’m including this because Erin Pallette of Operation Blazing Sword is quoted. And it’s good to remember that new gun owners do not look like you expect. Please be welcoming.

Now on to the local front.

First, New College in Sarasota has been sanctioned by a professors group. The New College situation has been an exercise in becoming what you hate. Both the illeberalism going against the left instead of the right. Plus throw in what looked like some good old fashioned corruption, and it’s “a pox on both your houses” kind of thing.

Speaking of the Florida university system, University of Florida is getting rid of its DEI Office.

One of Tampa’s most famous eateries, Alessi’s, is moving to a new location.

For our final item, one of the life-size Gundam exhibits is shutting down. The Wife and I keep hoping to get to Japan at some point, and seeing one of those big Gundams is high on my list.

EDC Post for 2024

Another in my series of seeing how things change year over year. I tend to carry a lot of stuff. Here are my previous posts:

2018 post.

2019 post.

2020 post.

2021 post.

2022 post

2023 post.

I had to do some revamping of my carry stuff since last year.

Just Around The House

This is the EDC I will carry most days that I don’t go outside the house.

Phone

I’m using an iPhone 12. I have the 128 GB model. I used to need to have all teh space, but since I work from home, I can manage more under Wi-Fi and need less space. My case is one of those that allow me to use MagSafe chagers and has a small wallet that attaches to the back of the phone.

Earbuds

I’ve switched back to my Apple AirPods Pro. I particularly like Apple’s “transparent” mode which allows more of the outside sound through. I’ve experimented with a few other earbuds, but I keep coming back to my Airpods.

Pocketknife

I carry a Leatherman Skeletool for just around the house. Much to The Wife’s chagrin, I’ve found I need a knife or one of the myriad of little tools far too often.

Flashlight

For walking around the house, I upgraded my Streamlight ProTac. It’s good for quickly looking in shadowed and/or darkened areas. Like under the bed. It’s also surprisingly good at finding where one of the cat’s decided to mark its territory.

Pepper Spray

I’ve started carrying some POM pepper spray around the house on a retractable lanyard. I can’t carry around the house, and this is good for when I have to step out of the house to walk to the mailbox.

Watch

I’m using a 44mm Series 5 Apple Watch. I like the always on feature.

Going to the Gym

In addition to my normal walking around the house gear, I wear a 5.11 LV6 Waist Bag. Due to it’s teal color, it is referred to as the “Richards Simmons bag”. Inside I carry my first gen S&W M&P9c loaded with Speer Gold Dots.

The “gym bag” is a Maxpedition Versipak with a first aid kit and a canister of cleaning wipes. There’s also usually a bottle of water and a small towel for The Wife to use during our workout sessions.

Going Out Of The House – On Person

Additional stuff when I’m going out.

Wallet

I use a <a href=“http://www.saddlebackleather.com/large-leather-bifold-wallet”>Saddleback Large Leather wallet.</a>. I keep a Tool Logic Credit Card inside it. It’s not that I use it that much. Mostly, it’s because I’ve had the damn thing for probably twenty-five years, and my wallet feels empty without it.

Keys

My brother picked me up a Lifelong Ring 300 key ring system. I mainly use the main big ring and have all of my keys on the wire key rings. In addition to my keys, I have:

  • Kingston 32GB Flash Drive – Because you never know when someone has a file they want to give you

  • Gerber Artifact – I’m not sure if Gerber is still selling these, but their Shard would be a good substitute

  • Surefire Sidekick – Of course, I have to have another flashlight. It doesn’t get used as much as it did when I was commuting in the dark early morning, but it’s still come in handy a couple of times.

Pocketknife

If I’m out of the house, the Leatherman gets switched out for a Kershaw-Emerson CQC-10.

Flashlight

For going out of the house, I carry a Streamlight ProTac 750 lumen flashlight. It’s too big to really be a pocket flashlight, so I carry it in one of my IWB spare magazine holders.

Pepper Spray

I carry a small POM pepper spray for when I need something between strong words and deadly force.

Pen

I carry around a CRKT tactical pen.

Sidearm

Unless I’m going to someplace I’m not legally allowed to carry, I generally have my Smith and Wesson M&P9 M2.0 equipped with a Streamlight TLR-1 and Trijicon night sights. I keep it and the spare magazine loaded with 124-grain Speer Gold Dots (since that’s what the local cops use). These days, I’m using my Raven Concealment OWB holster and a Blade-Tech OWB dual mag holder.

Going Out – The Bag

I carry a 5.11 LV10 Sling Pack for all the other essential bits and bobs I want available.

Electronics Support

  • Spare cables – usually a USB-C to lightning, a USB-C to USB-C, and USB-A to Mini-USB, and USB-A to AppleWatch charger. I may have a couple of others

  • A spare pair of Apple EarPods – In case my Airpods are not available.

  • Anker MagCharger Battery – I like this because I can charge my phone just by slapping this on the back. Or I can run a cable if I need to give someone else’s phone a boost.

  • Anker’s slim USB-C wall-plug – This will recharge my phone or battery pretty fast. Plus, it’s slim and tiny.

  • Anker four-port plug – For when I need to do multiple devices. Plus it’s a backup for my slim plug.

First Aid Stuff

Tools

  • Bic disposal lighter – Must Have Fire

  • Leatherman Skeletool – This is not the one I carry around the house. This is another that I happened to have. It lives in my bag since this one came with all the little bits Leathermen made to fit into the modular screwdriver.

  • Mini Tape Measure – I think mine is actually from Tractor Supply, but running around with The Wife necessitates having a tape measure when she finds stuff for the house.

  • Reusable twist ties

  • Smith and Wesson M&P tactical pen – Because writing. And tactical. And there may be more than one.

  • Streamlight Polytac X Flashlight – Yes, I have another flashlight. Don’t judge. I like this one because it has a rechargeable battery, but will also run on a couple of CR123’s.

Odds and Ends

  • Amazon Microfiber Cloth – These are really handy for cleaning my eyeglasses and my electronics’ screens.

  • Hand Sanitizer – I prefer the small little bottles from Bath and Bodyworks.

  • Post-It Notes – Because you never know when you’ll need to write something down or leave a note for someone. I like the vibrant colors in case I need my note to draw attention.

  • Travel Pack Tissues – Because allergies. And occasional cleaning.

  • Emergency cash – No, I’m not going to say how much

Monday Links

Surprisingly, just one Reason link this week.

New York’s child protective agents bully parents to allow warrantless services.

I have a bunch from Ground News.

The administration is considering delaying the conversion to EV’s. While I think electrics will overtake internal combustion engines, prematurely forcing the issue will not help their adoption.

A privately-owned robot landed on the moon. Well, that’s an interesting wrinkle in the space race.

Alabama’s AG comments on their recent Supreme Court ruling on IVF. Great, you’ll use your prosecutorial discretion. How about getting the legislature to fix a bad law?

On a similar vein, the US Supreme Court’s approval rating falls to 40 percent. If there’s one thing that’s been coming out of recent decisions is that if Congress was doing its job instead of being a parade of wannabe talk show stars, then maybe the executive and judicial branches wouldn’t have to fight it out in the courts.

On to other news.

From Bloomberg, the US and 11 other countries did yeoman work to take down one of the biggest ransomware hacker groups. I am supremely unmotivated to feel any concern for the discomfort of the cyberbandits.

There’s been a brouhaha among the WorldCon community who run the “prestigious” Hugo awards. Seems they catered the Chinese government to censor or keep out works that could be critical of the regime. Cue Shocked Pikachu face.

Delta is offering “eclipse” flights so passengers can watch the total eclipse in April. Although I am highly interested, I have other trips that require that cash.

The Telegraph has an article on Finland opening 300 new shooting ranges to bolster defense. I mean, what could happen by getting a bunch of Finns interested in marksmanship?

Finally, an article from Active Response Training on “The Bag of Doom.” Interesting idea.

Monday Links

This is going to be a combination of current stuff and backlog from when I wasn’t posting the links. So, buckle up.

We’ll start with Reason, of course.

Cop hears acorn hit his car and empties his service weapon into his cruiser. Which was occupied. The deputy has resigned, but based on the available information, he should be charged. Why? Because I don’t doubt that if I made that kind of mistake, I’d be up for attempted manslaughter, assault with a deadly weapon, and whatever else the prosecutor felt like throwing at me.

A think piece on why the US government shouldn’t be giving additional funds to Ukraine and Israel. I need to write a longer post on these. Because I have conflicting feelings on both of these situations.

Moving on to a couple of Ground News aggregations.

Justice Department issues damning report on Uvalde Police response to shooting. “No urgency.” The police had no urgency to engage the murderer. But if I give up my guns, I can just depend on the cops. When we have so many examples of them not.

Hardly any plastics are recycled. Plastic recycling is one of those bullshit “feel good” things that governments and NGOs push, but are boondoggles for the “recycling” industry. You know how I know? Because the manufacturing industry wasn’t pushing for recycling like they did with aluminum or glass.

Now on to other stuff.

Ars Technica has a story about private-equity owned hospitals having worse outcomes.

From War Is Boring, an article on lawmakers proposing a bill to ban civilian militias. Of course, it would impact firearms instruction. And it goes against voluntary association.

From Bloomberg, Amazon backing out of its purchase of iRobot. Because regulators. Which is annoying, because part of the reason we upgraded to iRobot was Amazon’s purchase would make it easier to get parts on subscription.

From Brian Niemier, an article on why Brandon Sanderson has issues with Audible. Which mirrors things I’ve heard on writing podcasts. Which annoys me because I listen to more books than read books.

From FEE, an analysis showing guns are used more times in self defense than people die in car accidents. Self-defense uses are more common than people know.

From a local station, Tampa had a loose kangaroo.

Here’s a New Yorker profile on the Advisory Opinions podcast and its host Sarah Isgur. I listen to this podcast to get the legal nuance skipped over by most talking heads.

Shooting Illustrated says Pennsylvania State Police will now field Walther PDPs. I certainly didn’t expect that.

And now for our lighter items.

The Drive has an article on a company converting old trucks to diesel-electrics. I find this concept intriguing.

Anime Herald has an article on Carl Macek’s impact on anime.

CBR has a listicle of the most “iconic” mecha.

Angry Staff Officer uses the Harry Potter world to demonstrate the principles of raiding. I lover ASO when he uses fiction to demonstrate good and bad examples relating to real-world military actions.

Schrödinger’s Gun

Saw this mentioned on the Book of Face as an alternate way to describe Rule 1 – Treat Every Gun As If It’s Loaded.

To sum up, until we physically check the gun, it could be loaded or unloaded. Therefore, it is best to act as if the gun is loaded.