Most of the time I do geeky things behind the scenes at FTR Radio so that our regular hosts can be heard. But as you may have noticed from other posts here I’m interested in firearms, the Second Amendment, and gun control. Tonight Fingers Malloy is giving me a chance to talk a little about that.
I hope you’ll wander on over to FTRRadio.com tonight at 8 pm Eastern to have a listen. The chat room will be open if you want to join in chat during the show. (Don’t use a password, that’s only for moderators right now.) While you’re there check out the schedule; we have programs running 24 hours a day.
Via @littlebytesnews we learn that the suspect in the Saint Louis school shooting was a prohibited person, one who under Federal law may not possess a gun or ammunition. Having either one can get you 10 years in prison.
Johnson was wanted for allegedly violating the terms of his parole in a 2009 attack on a cab driver in St. Louis County. The driver, 53-year-old Belete Mekuria, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Johnson smelled of alcohol after he was picked up at Lambert Airport, so Mekuria asked for $60 up front.
Johnson paid, but later reached into a shoe and pulled out a box cutter. Mekuria said he caught Johnson’s hand and pinned him down as the cab hit a median barrier on Interstate 70. The men were still scuffling when police arrived.
Johnson pleaded guilty to reduced charges of unlawful use of a weapon and second-degree assault. At a hearing in 2011 he was placed on probation for five years and ordered to take medication for an unspecified mental illness. His attorney, Eric Barnhart, declined to discuss the mental health issue. But he said Johnson was a productive member of society only when he was on his medication.
A judge ruled on May 21 that Johnson violated his probation — court records don’t indicate why. An arrest warrant was issued three days later, but Johnson was never taken into custody. St. Louis police didn’t respond to several messages requesting an interview.
So he was already prohibited firearms and ammunition under Federal law as a criminal and a fugitive from justice. It’s not clear if he was judged insane under the strict definitions of the law, but court ordered medication for mental illness would tend to argue that he might have been. But whether he met the legal definition of insane or not he was clearly a mentally disturbed person who was not legally permitted a gun under current laws.
You can read the whole story here:
I’m not sure if this is theater for the credulous press or the top brass at the LAPD really are as stupid as stupid as this piece makes them seem. In a bit of anti gun theater the LAPD produced a pair of “rocket launchers” obtained at a recent gun buy back. Upon examining the video what I saw was a pair of empty AT 4 tubes.
The AT 4 is an antitank rocket invented in Sweden and made in Sweden and the US. US forces used it in Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. (The US Army calls it “Lightweight Multipurpose Weapon M136.”) You can not reload the AT 4; It’s disposable. Once you have fired the missile that comes with it the remaining tube is an inert non-weapon, not even heavy enough to make a decent club. Even if you managed to get another rocket from somewhere the tube is not strong enough for a second shot.
But the CNN field reporter calmly assures us that since it’s “US made” it must have been smuggled in from somewhere. The “International Security Expert” LAPD has consulting for their gun buyback makes sonorous noises about an “RPG Launcher” and “assault weapons.” As someone hired to undermine the Second Amendment he’s earned his thirty pieces of silver. Candy Crowley and the field reporter wonder about how many other rockets got smuggled in.
Well… Maybe someone did smuggle in a pair of working AT 4s. After all, our borders are so porous you can smuggle in an entire Tyrannosaurus skeleton. And maybe Los Angeles is such a war zone that someone fired off a couple of antitank rockets without anyone noticing. Or maybe.. Just maybe.. something that’s been happening since we changed from having mobs to having armies happened. Perhaps these were expended units smuggled from a military base in the States and sold to a surplus store to raise quick cash a couple of days before payday.
It’s an INERT SHELL weighing about six pounds. It’s less dangerous than an empty steel ammo can, which has sharp corners. It’s only good as a display piece in somebody’s man cave, whence someone probably liberated it to trade in for gift cards right before Christmas. Don’t believe me? Here’s FM 3-23.25, “Shoulder-Launched Munitions,” in PDF format. In chapter 2 you’ll find that if you have to retreat and leave a bunch behind the fastest way to destroy a bunch of AT 4s is to fire them. They are then useless as weapons. If you go all the way down to Appendix B you’ll see a heavier metal lined thing that looks like an AT 4, the M237. It has a narrow opening and won’t handle the real 84 mm rounds, just skinny little practice rockets. Sections about the M237 with the skinny little practice rockets (“subcaliber munitions” in the manual) is also the only place where you will find anything about reloading anywhere in the manual.
The gun grabbers count on the media being ill-informed and shrieking over and over in a horrified voice “They had ROCKET LAUNCHERS!” They also count on people believing that corporate media tell the truth. You likely already knew how unlikely it was that major media would tell the truth about guns while they’re not just cheer leading, but actively pushing an anti gun agenda.
Or it could just be that everybody involved was just plain stupid. There’s one way to find out. Someone living in Los Angeles who still has Christmas paper rolls may want to spray paint the inner cardboard tubes olive-green and scrawl “ROKIT LUNCHER” on the side in Magic Marker to sell at the next LAPD gun buy back.
Once upon a time there was a conservative lawyer and columnist. She was mostly a conventional conservative columnist, though she tossed a bit more red meat to the crowd than most of her contemporaries. Her most memorable physical attributes were that she was six feet tall and skinny enough to have served for a model for a Tim Burton animated character. I was a fan, and read her column every week on National Review Online or Jewish World Review.
Then came 9/11/2001. Her best friend was on the plane that hit the Pentagon. Her next column was due to appear on 9/13. It did appear in some places. Other places passed on it. It was full of pain and rage, and advocated a genocidal response to 9/11, with any survivors being forcibly converted to Christianity. She declined to change it, and the dispute became so public that she was cut loose.
Having burned some bridges she started making lemonade. She threw a lot more red meat to the crowd while simplifying her message. She said outrageous things to draw headlines. She developed a whole shtick. In a short time she had reinvented herself as the Ann Coulter we know today.
More than once I’ve thought Coulter had jumped the shark. But somehow she usually landed safely, grinned into the camera, said something mocking about those who were outraged, and gone on. But this time I suspect Coulter may have jumped not a shark, but a killer whale.
Late Monday night Ann Coulter tweeted the following:
This is highly offensive on a number of levels. Even if you leave aside the evolution of terminology (and it could be argued that changing the name is just a way of manipulating the symbol in an effort to magically affect the thing) mocking the retarded (whatever you call them) is unkind. (Disclosure: In my misspent youth I worked at a summer camp where our campers for half the summer were kids brought by The ARC. This was so long ago that “ARC” still stood for “Association for Retarded Citizens.”)
Another issue is the office of the president. We’ve taken turns having what could easily be called a derangement syndrome. A bit after seeing Bush Derangement Syndrome appear I got the feeling that the symptoms were familiar. It took a bit, but I finally figured out they seemed familiar because I’d had a similar problem – Clinton Derangement Syndrome. I fundamentally disagree with Barack Obama on many issues and believe that he is failing the country, but having experienced or watched the disease for 16 years I do my best to deal in facts and rational projections of where certain actions might lead over time. No matter who wins the election in two weeks I feel we need to get back to this. Not respecting the office of the President of the United States is a form of not respecting the United States.
Others are unhappy for other reasons. Twitchy collected a sampling of responses to Coulter’s tweets.
That bright columnist of the 90s has been consumed by the shtick. Conservatism has come of age. The Right has grown their very own Helen Thomas. But in this Internet age where one Dog Year equals seven Internet Years Coulter (who is several years younger than I am) is becoming a shriveled caricature of herself before our eyes.
The diminution of a bright talent that I once enjoyed so much is sad. I must join with Twitchy in saying Ann Coulter does not speak for me. And while her ideas often overlap with those of conservatives, I believe she does not speak for most conservatives any more.
This started off as a note to go with sharing GoDaddy’s statement on their outage yesterday on Facebook. It grew. It’s a bit geeky, so I shan’t be terribly offended if both of my readers skip over it.
The only political angle to this is that the anarchist hackers at Anonymous
claimed credit accepted blame for it. But it appears someone was just capitalizing on events that they had nothing to do with.
GoDaddy says that they were not hacked, nor was there a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. There was ”a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables.”
Reading between the lines, (and having witnessed many stupid things while working at various networking companies) (well, maybe I was a participant rather than a witness once or twice) I can easily believe this.
I suspect we won’t hear the details because it’s embarrassing to say something like “The new guy put a default route in the routing table instead of an access list so it sucked all of the traffic from the neighboring routers into itself, then sent that traffic back to the neighbors, which sent it back to them. But before they got overloaded they advertised that default route to THEIR neighbors, so that all of their neighbors sent their traffic towards the first router, which valiantly tried to send the increasing load back out. Meanwhile the second ring of routers told all of THEIR neighbors about this neat default route to anywhere on the Internet, which THEY promptly passed on to all of the routers they had for neighbors as they began happily sending their data towards the one poor overloaded router at the center of things where the problem began. If you’re lucky the spread stops at the edge of your routing domain. If you REALLY screwed the pooch it gets into the global routing tables. This will cause other network operators to ask embarrassing questions.
There’s a reason we call a place that traffic can’t escape from a “Black Hole.” it works very much like the collapsed star. And like the stellar black hole, the thing at the center gets crushed, often so badly that you can’t log into it to issue commands to correct the problem. I recall one event where the only way to correct it was to physically pull the power connectors on a router.
Of course I don’t know that it was a black hole, though it fits. Nor does a black hole require someone making a mistake at that moment. Another way is for someone else to make a configuration change to a router, but not save it to permanent memory. The next time that router is rebooted the changes all vanish. Depending on the nature of the changes to the configuration the results can be quite bad.
If you cause a black hole at 5 am, fess up at once, and everything is fixed in 20 minutes you may survive at that employer, though you wear a virtual Cone of Shame till someone else steals the spotlight. (Don’t ask how I know.) Causing a big public hours long outage during the business day may be somewhat harder to survive professionally.