On Promises

Over the last few days, I’ve heard a lot of people say “Obama isn’t going to take away your guns, I promise”, or “Your taxes will go down, I promise”, or “If you already have health coverage from your employer, nothing will change, I promise”, etc.
Such people don’t have the authority to make such promises, as they have no idea what anyone else will or will not do. They also have no negative side effects if they’re wrong.
If a store says they’ll repair or replace a product under warranty and they don’t, a consumer has many options: escalating to a higher-level manager or corporate office, publishing their expeirence, etc. But if John Q. Public says “That store will replace anything that breaks under warranty!”, then such a promise is worth the air it’s spoken with. Same thing with promises made on the internet.

When Common Sense Isn’t

I’ve never understood why anti-gun folks always refer to their proposals as “common sense gun laws”.
When I think of “common sense” things[1], I think of liberty, fair and impartial justice, and personal responsibility.
I don’t think that taking inanimate objects away from tens of millions of law-abiding citizens will have any effect on the tiny fraction of people who commit crimes. I don’t think that restricting guns (again from the law-abiding) with certain cosmetic features will have any more effect on crime than restricting ordinary cars that look fast will have any effect on street racing.
I certainly don’t think that making it illegal for one citizen to sell a gun to another will make life even the least bit more difficult for criminals.
I don’t think that limiting magazine capacities to an arbitrary number of cartridges will do anything except inconvenience ordinary, non-criminal people.
Indeed, I’ve asked several non-shooters and anti-gun friends of mine what they’d consider “common sense” solutions to violent crime would be, and none of them suggested any of the above. One did suggest banning handguns, but changed her mind when (a) she went to the range and had fun, (b) discovered that police and private citizens use their guns to stop criminals more often than criminals use guns in crime.
Who actually believes that the anti-gun beliefs in “common-sense gun laws” are actually sensible or commonly held? Certainly not me or anyone I know.
[1] Other than things like “water is wet”, “fire is hot”, “objects fall towards the earth”, etc.

AR Mags

For those looking at AR magazines, I highly recommend these. While their retail pricing is a bit high at $18/each, Midway dealer pricing is ~$10/each + shipping. Not bad at all. Best of all, Midway has them in stock.
They feed flawlessly and the 4-way anti-tilt follower works well. They’re no longer gray with an easily-scuffed finish, but are black and look remarkably like the mags that came with my DPMS M4gery (except for the floorplate and the follower).
For those in Tucson who want to get in on a group buy, let me know. I just bought ten, but may be tempted to get more.

Oh, hell.

Address Gun Violence in Cities: As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn’t have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.

From here. As an aside, does it disturb anyone else that there’s already a “change.gov” website for the president-elect?
Hmm, let me see if I can sum things up:

  • Open up gun trace data for political purposes (read: lies), as police already have access to trace data for bona fide law enforcement purposes.
  • Ban on private sale of firearms. (There is no “gun show loophole”.)
  • Mandating “smart guns” that don’t exist and probably won’t work.
  • Banning scary-looking guns, permanently.

That sounds remarkably like the list of talking points at the Brady Campaign.
It looks like all my friends who claimed Obama was a friend of the Second Amendment were wrong. I hate to say “I told you so”, but…well, I told you so.
Look, I agree that violent crime is reprehensible. I agree that violent criminals should have no business owning a gun. I agree that we, as a society need to work to reduce violent crime…but putting these restrictions on law-abiding citizens has no effect on crime. California’s banned the private sale of firearms, and it’s done nothing. There was a ban on scary-looking guns for ten years, and it did nothing.
Rather than pushing for these stupid feel-good measures which have been tried over and over and over (and have inevitably resulted in no change in violent crime rates) and which only affect law-abiding citizens, why not actually try to address the root causes of violent crime?
Update: Hat tip to Sebastian. It was bad form of me to not credit him first.


I really should buy this t-shirt:

Unfortunately, I’m a bit tapped out for cash. The new AR, pistol, and a bunch of new mags (I needed them anyway, and today was a good a day as any…) have left me without much money. Oh well. I’ll have to wait a bit.
(Hopefully Commander Zero doesn’t mind me hijacking his picture — it’s better than the one at the store.)

On Voting

Year after year, people line up in huge lines at polling places to vote. Some wait in line for a substantial fraction of the day.
What the hell is wrong with these people? Many states offer early voting, while nearly all of them offer absentee voting where you simply mail in your ballot.
I’ve been doing the absentee ballot thing for years now, and love it: I relax at home, drink tasty scotch, and vote. No lines, no obnoxious election volunteers, no last-minute stumping by various campaigns…what’s not to love?

Quote of the Day

Coworker*: [looking at ruler]”Wow, I had no idea that there was about two and a half centimeters per inch.”
Me: “Actually, there is exactly 2.54 centimeters per inch, by definition.”
Coworker: [glares sharply at me, then attacks me with ruler]
* Coworker at my day job (doing IT for a university department). He’s not really a science/math type.