Update July 19 2011: It appears that the original link has gotten domain-hijacked. Link changed to a different site covering the same story.
An American diplomat in the Pakistani city of Lahore has shot and killed a Pakistani motorcycle rider and his pillion passenger, police say.
They say that the consular official fired his pistol in self-defence. US embassy officials confirmed that an American was involved.
The men were pursuing the American in his car when the incident happened.
Weapons were recovered from the bodies of the dead men.
I’m sure that this is going to do wonders for US-Pakistan relations.
Even if the shooting turns out to be perfectly justifiable and legal, there’s going to be a lot of drama.
A US military base that carries out tests to protect troops against biological attacks was locked down on Wednesday to resolve a “serious concern”, officials have said.
[...]No information was given on the nature of the problem.
They also say that nobody was in danger, which is good, but it’d be nice to know what happened.
There has been much talk in the anti-gun-rights camp about how, in the wake of the shooting in Tucson, there needs to be more gun control.
I respectfully disagree. If anything, it shows the need for people to communicate better with others, particularly when it comes to mental health.
Arizona has laws in place that make it relatively easy for people to petition a court to order mandatory mental health evaluations and, in some cases, involuntary commitment. Had family, friends, coworkers, or faculty gone through this process, the alleged shooter could have received the care he evidently needed. As a side effect, he would also have been added to the NICS prohibited persons list and wouldn’t have been able to buy the gun.
The NICS system works as designed, but they can’t block people with mental health issues if they don’t know about the issues. That’s where the courts and due process come into play.
If we can provide mental health services to those who need it, adding people to the NICS list (both with legal oversight and due process, naturally) where needed, that’d likely make a bigger dent in violent crime committed by the mentally ill than more restrictive gun control that overwhelmingly affects ordinary people and doesn’t have much of a success record.
Sometime last night, my car was broken into (note: window tinting is not too effective at stopping criminals from breaking through glass).
The thieves stole my Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop (old, crappy, and heavily encrypted). Dell service tag/serial number HQN87F1 with a StuffBak asset tag of 000KHNC. Not a big deal; it’s just hardware. The data is encrypted and backed up.
However, they also stole my Glock 19 pistol (9mm, serial MLV023). It had a full magazine of Federal HST JHPs.
I normally take both the computer and gun inside at night, but I was going to have a drink or two with friends last night so I left it in the car to be responsible. That seems to have been not a good idea in this particular case.
The police and insurance have been notified, but I’d appreciate it if folks online and in Tucson are aware.
Fortunately, I keep detailed records of all my guns, and so was able to give them all the useful information. Google Docs is a good thing.
Update: I may not have been clear in the original post: I wasn’t at a bar, I was staying at a friend’s house for the week (I work in Tucson and live near Phoenix, so rather than commute ~2 hours every week, I stay down here during the week with friends) and the drinking was taking place in the house.
Since they were kind enough to let me stay for the week, I try to keep things clean by keeping my things in the car. Normally I also bring the laptop bag and gun inside, but it seemed more sensible to keep them locked in the car to keep the computer and gun away from potentially drunk people for that night. I was evidently wrong.
Police in Britain are searching for guns smuggled from the US, according to the BBC.
The alleged smuggler, who is in custody in the US, is accused of smuggling 62 guns into the UK.
The last paragraph, however, stood out to me:
Former Scotland Yard counter-terrorism chief Andy Hayman said details of the case were “genuinely shocking”.
Writing in The Times, he said: “This makes a mockery of the stringent checks we all endure at US airports, such as removing our shoes and belts, having our toothpaste confiscated and all the other irritants.
“Steven Greenoe’s guns could just have easily been bombs.”
Mr. Hayman clearly is not familiar with how things are done in the US when it comes to firearms and air travel. There are clear rules and procedures for traveling with checked firearms. In general, the firearms must be unloaded, kept in a locked case, be in checked baggage (there are certain exceptions for police officers that allow them, in certain situations, to fly with weapons on their person), and be screened by the TSA.
Since Mr. Greenoe’s firearms were in his checked luggage, they were inaccessible to himself or others during the flight. This is in accordance with US travel laws, as well as my understanding of UK laws relating to traveling with firearms. Thus, Mr. Hayman’s comments about this incident making a “mockery” of the searches of passengers and their effects is not relevant. Don’t get me wrong, I think the current passenger screening policies are absurd and well deserving of mockery, they have nothing to do with the carriage of firearms in checked luggage. While his luggage may have contained bombs, one can hope that current screening methods for checked luggage would have detected them. In addition, bombs are inherently dangerous (for example, they could explode by themselves if mishandled or if constructed incorrectly), while disassembled firearms are simply inert pieces of metal. There’s quite a difference.
Or, rather, the lack thereof.
I don’t know how you other bloggers do it, but between a full-time job (which often turns into more-than-full-time due to the quirks of IT work) and applying for graduate schools, I have essentially no free time.
Sorry for the light content. More when I get it.