More Brady Stupid

About 30,000 people a year in this country die from gun violence, about 80 a day, 32 by homicide – the same number who died at Virginia Tech two years ago this month.? In the space of four months, up to nine Americans died as a result of bacteria-laden peanut butter crackers, and the government quickly took action. Some of the top government officials in our country say we don’t need to do anything different – that we should just ‘enforce the laws on the books.’? The laws on the books aren’t getting the job done. Now is the time to take effective steps to prevent gun violence.

– Paul Helmke, Brady Campaign Press Release (Emphasis in original.)
Leaving out the absurdity of the gun-cracker comparison, I fail to see how more laws would have made any difference.
First off, it’s already illegal to murder people, regardless of the methods used. It’s an additional penalty to murder someone with a gun. There’s plenty of laws already against violent crime, and violent criminals are some of the most zealously pursued and prosecuted criminals in US society.
New York also has some rather strict gun laws (( )) (( )). What more does the Brady Campaign want?
More bans or restrictions won’t prevent pe0ple bent on a murderous rampage from committing such heinous crimes — they already need to violate numerous laws and societal norms to do so. The mere presence of such laws, however, cannot prevent one from doing something illegal — it simply provides a means of punishment afterwards. With sufficient motivation, one can acquire weapons (or drugs, or other restricted items) regardless of laws prohibiting them from doing so. Clearly, the murderer had little qualms about acquiring weapons and then going on to commit mass murder.
Honestly, I’m not sure what more “effective steps” can be taken against such behavior. If anyone has any reasonable suggestions, I (and the rest of the world, I suspect) am willing to listen with an open mind. As this incident in New York and the recent mass shooting in Germany have shown, however, is that strict gun control does not prevent murderers from committing their terrible crimes.

Low-Key Shooting Invite

I’ve had a long, busy week and would like to do some low-key shooting at the range on Saturday. No huge groups, just some relaxing, low-pressure shooting at targets.
I need to practice a bit more, and figured tomorrow would be a good day to do it.
Anyone else want to go?
Update: It’s rather windy tonight, and I’m really pooped. I don’t think I’m going to make it tomorrow. Maybe Sunday, if the winds die down.


Various news organizations are reporting that a gunman shot some people and took hostages in Binghamton, New York.
Details differ depending on which source I read. More info as I get it.
My best wishes are with the victims of this crime and the emergency responders who have to deal with it.
Update: Various sources say that a “man reportedly entered the building with a high-powered rifle” and started shooting. No citations on who actually said he had a rifle. The AP cites the city mayor as saying that the gunman had a “high-powered rifle” (( Quoting the AP article, not the mayor directly. )), but no mention of where he got that information.
Update: Now that the dust has settles, the AP and other sources report that the shooter didn’t, in fact, have a rifle, but rather had two handguns (a 9mm and a .45).

April Fools!

I had a 50% surge in visitors yesterday, mostly coming from search engines looking for stuff related to “tgscom lawsuit” and whatnot.
I did a bit of digging, and it seems that TGScom sent out an email to subscribers claiming that a lawsuit they filed resulted in the NFA ’34 being overturned due to violating the Second Amendment. Evidently a bunch of people were gleeful and started searching for more information, finding two posts I made about TGScom a while back.
Folks, be sure to check your calendar before celebrating: it was an April Fools joke. A bunch of the excerpts of the email message I saw posted to forums did not include the date, which may cause confusion in the future when people read such posts.
I know, I wish they repealed the NFA as well.

Stupid Thieves

I received an email this afternoon from Bank of America letting me know that I owed about $300 on my Visa card.
This is surprising, as the last purchase I made with it was in December (and that was an annual recurring billing thing which I failed to cancel a while back — it’s now moved to my primary card) and was completely zeroed out two days after that charge went through. The card is physically in my safe, so it would not be possible for it to have been physically stolen without my knowledge.
I checked my online statement to see what charges were made. Hmm, let’s see: five different charges for paid, premium Yahoo Mail accounts, three charges for Yahoo Personals, and three charges for a reunion website. The hell? I didn’t make any of those charges.
[several minutes pass as I call the bank]
All right, my credit card account has been closed and the charges have all been reversed. A new account has been created and a new card should be here in a few days. I don’t really care that much, as I rarely use the account (it’s strictly a backup/legacy account) for anything, preferring my USAA Rewards MasterCard.
The criminals must have somehow acquired my card information or generated it, as the card has been in my possession this entire time. Go figure.
Why can’t criminals be smart? The last time someone stole my credit card info (but not the card itself) it was my CapitalOne card, and they used it to buy $200 worth of gasoline. This one buys subscriptions to an email service some personals/reunion sites. If I were a thief (and I’m not, but I’m just speaking hypothetically)? I’d buy some good durable goods, maybe a new washer/dryer set, dishwasher, or maybe some gold. Definitely not something ethereal like a service (which can be cancelled at a moments notice) or consumable like gasoline.
See, if a thief manages to pull something off like a major diamond heist, I’m impressed. That takes some serious skill, planning, and effort to pull off. They’re still doing something illegal, but they’re good at it and I can respect that, even if I am strongly opposed to thievery. But simple credit card thieves? Stupid and annoying.
Folks, be sure to double-check your credit card statements and ensure that everything’s good.

Crazy Week

Wednesday marks the beginning of Stress Week for me: three physics exams in as many days.
A life? Seeing the sun? A healthy stress level? A physicist needs not these things.
I’ve been studying for the last week, and still feel grossly unprepared.
Posting will be delayed until later in the week when I recover.