Would you carry a revolver with an empty chamber?

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Tens of thousands of police officers and military personnel go their entire careers (several decades) without a negligent discharge. The “negligent discharge crowd” is a small group. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m saying that the likelihood of it happening is so low as to be statistically insignificant. I’m saying that it’s like liberals that want swimming pools and cry about how firearms put children at risk. Well Mr. Mrs. liberal with a swimming pool, your child is more likely to die in your pool than from a firearm…

As usual gun related statistics are hard to find. I’ll do us both a favor and steel man your side of the argument with what I find. Here’s the best I can do.

a) According to the CDC, in the most recent reporting year, there were 606 accidental firearm deaths. Not all of these were really accidents and not all were negligent discharges. However, for the sake of this argument, I’m going to pretend every single one of 606 accidental deaths was caused by a CCW with a round in the chamber. That is a a .005 % chance of what you are claiming actually happening. 5 thousandths of a percent.

b) If all I do is adjust for population, there are 11 million CCW holders in the USA and an adult population of around 240 million. So worst case possibility would be that CCW holders (4.5% of the adult population) could have caused 28 accidental deaths. Now we are down to 2 TEN THOUSANDTHS of a percent. You’re going to say, “but that doesn’t provide numbers for ALL accidental gun discharges, just the ones that result in death.” You are absolutely right. And I’m going to say, “remember I counted EVERY SINGLE accidental discharge that resulted in death as the result of a CCW with a round in the chamber…”

If you want something more than just a YouTube video providing anecdotes… https://www.officer.com/tactical/firearm-accessories/ammunition/article/10711536/negligent-discharges-preventable-or-inevitable The best part of what this officer has to say: “Forcing cops AND other gun carriers to perform some kind of kabuki dance where they are constantly handling their guns in a non-shooting fashion is setting them up for failure. We are either armed and prepared to face deadly threats or we are not. Antiquated Weapon Codes and the Clearing Barrel Mentality will eventually lead to mistakes and sometimes tragedy.” If you like to wear guns as jewelry, feel free to. But don’t tell me that carrying a round in the chamber is “risky.” That claim is absurd when I consider the evidence.

Ma brand…

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I have just opened an Etsy store to sell these morale patches. I wanted to provide secular conservationists, bushcrafters, and ultralight backpackers with a little something to decorate their gear. Stop by and order one.

But the U.S. government already practices gun control…

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Out of boredom, I did a little informal poll. I asked recruiters of the 4 branches of service the same question. “Why are there questions related to mental health when someone is joining your branch of service?” The answer consistently was, “recruits are going to be trusted with weapons,” as the first thing out of their mouth.

AS THE FIRST THING OUT OF THEIR MOUTH. Why not “state secrets?” Because 11B infantry don’t require that level of security clearance but operate many different types of firearms/weapon systems.

So I’m curious, why do we require people have demonstrable mental acuity when joining the military and handling weapons, but not when handling weapons (in civilian life)?

For the record, I support a person’s right (and duty) to defend themselves. I also support the governments right to make sure that recruits can handle a firearm safely and not kill the men and women they serve with.

I just also support the government using the same standard so that children have the same protections as adults.

*Don’t try to use the argument “voluntary service.” Because “draft.”

So, why do we have a higher standard for protecting adults, and a lower one for protecting children? I’m all ears.

Seeing is believing but blindness is faith?

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If I present you something as fact, you have options. One of the options is to accept my claim. If you do this without requiring evidence, we call this believing. To believe is to accept a claim without evidence. If you continue to believe after being provided evidence to the contrary of the claim, we call this having faith.

So how do I provide evidence for the claims I have made above? Easy. Did you accept the claims I made without evidence? If you did, we say you believed me. If you did not, then we say you did not believe me. If I showed you something that made it clear I was wrong, and you accepted the claims anyway, we would say you have faith in what I said.

Suppose we use another example. Suppose we have someone that has just been diagnosed as an alcoholic. They tell you that they are giving up drinking, right now, forever. The issue you have is NOT one of belief. Why? The evidence shows they can not control their drinking. They are addicted. The determination has been made that given an offer of alcohol they will accept, to excess, and endangerment (to themselves and others). The evidence is clear. The only question is, do you accept their claim despite the evidence. Do you have faith in the person that claims, “never again.”

Assume that they get on the bandwagon, and are there for a while. Then they fail, end up drunk, and call for help. Are you going to accept, “never again,” again? And the next time? And the next time? And the time after that? How many times would you accept, “never again?” At what point are you being foolish for accepting the claim, “never again?” How many times will you have to deceive yourself into accepting the claim?

A delusion is a version of reality that does not reflect reality. It is a personal thing. Something that people use to protect themselves from responsibility, or realization. The more you accept a claim of a reality that is different than what can be demonstrated, tested, and verified, the more you encourage delusion to the detriment of all involved. You literally harm the person claiming that “it will never happen again.”

Why does this rant about faith matter, and what does it have to do with believing?

Belief is a symptom, faith is the disease. If you are in a relationship with someone that is an alcoholic, you did not just arrive at the day they were diagnosed without belief getting you there. Believing them when they said they were fine. Believing them when they said it was all under control. Believing them when they said they can stop whenever they want to… First you are required to believe. Then, after investing with emotions and money, you are required to have faith.

You KNOW they are not fine. You KNOW there is no control. You KNOW they do not want to stop. But because you have traveled this far, and invested this much, you MUST deceive yourself to continue in faith. The evidence says one thing, but you put your ego ahead of the evidence, and convince yourself that all that is needed is a greater investment. In for a penny (belief), in for a pound (faith) you tell yourself.

So you drink the Fool-Aid with them, and reap your reward. And you tell yourself it is your fault because, “I did not believe enough, I did not pray enough, I did not understand enough…” The reality is, you put yourself in a position to be deceived, and once the evidence was presented that you were in fact deceived, you chose to continue to expect your wants to be fulfilled, while reality shook its head.

So what am I saying at the end of this? Belief shows nothing. Faith shows nothing. Belief and faith are tools of con men bent on taking from you. If you expect something for nothing, you will get nothing for the something that is asked of you. And what is most frequently asked of you, is to believe, and when the evidence shows that does not work, you are expected to have faith.

There is no such thing as, “blind faith.” It is literally an impossibility. In order to have faith, you must have the evidence. And if you have the evidence, you were not blind. The correct term, would be “blind stupidity.” You blind yourself to the evidence you were presented, and pretend, hide in delusion, and then find out to your detriment, that you will be paying.

This is what makes religion such a dangerous weapon. It convinces the uneducated to ignore the evidence. It convinces the educated that their ego is more important than the evidence. It makes good people do bad things.

Reality is that good people do good things and bad people do bad things. To make bad people do good things, you need education. To make good people do bad things, you need the opposite of education, it is called religion.

Time for amateur radio to catch up

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YAESU-FT2DR

Yaesu FT2DR

This is one of my favorite handhelds. I am partial to Yaesu, because it was also my first handheld. When I was originally licensed 17 years ago, I got an FT50. Since then I have owned a VX-6, and this.

The FT2D is Yaesu’s handheld foray into the world of digital modes. This handheld uses C4FM. It can connect directly to other handhelds, nodes, and repeaters using digital modes. It can transmit voice and data simultaneously. The people you are communicating with can know who they are talking to, where the person is, and even see what is going on (camera mic attachment).

As neat as all this is, I hope this radio is just a proof of concept. Here are the must have changes that need to happen in the next iteration of this radio.

TOUCH SCREEN

Use a capacitive eInk touch screen that is the full size of the front face (minus the speaker). Get rid of all buttons on the front of the radio. Raise the resolution of the screen (800 x 450 minimum). That is a 16 x 9 ratio, yielding a 2 x 3.2 inch screen size. With capacitive touch, you can be wearing gloves and it will still respond. There are color eInk screens that refresh fast enough to show video. Use one.

Tri-Band

Time to add 1.2 GHz. Why? Data speeds. This radio must be able to handle 256kbps data speeds to other radios, repeaters, and nodes. This can be done using C4FM and 128K baud transmission. Using this speed a 12 MP jpeg (average 5 MB) could move from one device to another in 20 to 30 seconds.

Android

Add the computer to the handheld and make a SmartHT™. Use Android so that people can use the mountain of already available Android software. They can edit/resize photos, create/edit documents, log, track satellites… This would become the most common radio in the field during emergency exercises.

Get rid of everything on the right side of the radio and make it flat.

YAESU-FT2DR-right-side

Starting at the bottom, the EXT DC IN must go. The USB 3.1 standard allows for 9 watts of power and data to use the same connector. Stop requiring connectors to do a single job. If it MUST be on the radio, make it do as much work as possible. Combine the data and DC power connector into a single connector, and put it on the bottom in the right corner.

Next one up, the MIC/SP connector. GET RID OF THIS. Have you NOT heard of bluetooth? Why are you requiring the use of cables in 2017? Make a MIC/Camera handheld device that is bluetooth based. Make the Mic rechargeable by having a micro USB connector on the bottom. This way it can use any phone charger, connect to a computer, connect to the port on the bottom right, etc. And while we’re talking about a camera, 12 MP. Period.

We’ve already talked about the Data connector.

Now we are down (up) to the microSD card slot. This is unnecessary. If the radio can connect through USB (which we’ve already addressed), make it so that the storage inside the radio is read like a drive on the computer that is connected. Then backup files, logs, and configurations can all be accessed directly. The software for configuring the device can read and write directly to the onboard memory. Since there is going to be a camera and applications, a minimum of 32GB of onboard storage is a must.

With all that gone we can now make the side flat so that someone can set the radio on its side and use it as a monitor (connecting a bluetooth keyboard). The power cable will not knock the radio over when connected. This makes the configuration field expedient and functional.

Drop in

The drop in charger should make contact with both power AND data. Keep the removable battery. We MUST be able to swap in the field. All in all this radio is a good first step. We need to catch up with tech to make the next handheld everything it can be. This recipe will not put amateur radio back out in front like it used to be, but it will make it so that we are in striking distance of cutting edge again.

AnyTone D868UV

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img_0019I picked up an AnyTone D868UV dual-band transceiver to replace my single-band Tytera MD-390. I am happy with the purchase. I have decided to update the codeplug for this radio weekly. When I do that I will post the new codeplug, along with an explanation of what changed. I will update the user database every Friday morning. Feel free to come by, download, and update.

Keep in mind that my codeplug will be based in Colorado. If you find errors or omissions please leave a comment. I was planning to make videos about programming this device. It looks like WoodburyMan beat me to it:

  1. How to do a firmware update to your radio.
  2. How to do a user database import for your radio.
  3. How to do an initial setup on your radio.
  4. How to do your own codeplug setup on your radio.

You and they don’t represent me…

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Charlottesville.

There has been much said regarding what happened in Charlottesville. Some, say that it was a group of people that filed a permit to peaceably assemble to protest a statue coming down. Others, say a group of people standing up for minorities fought against a tyranny.

And both of these positions are wrong.

What happened in Charlottesville was a group of people, that represent what should be a dead ideology, used the pretense of filing for a permit to peaceably assemble, to draw out a group they knew would show up, to be physically combative. I am against the unnecessary use of violence. If this had been a rally for speech purposes only, I would have defended it.

The group that showed up to respond to the “peaceful protesters,” represent what should be a dead ideology, used the pretense of representing minorities, as an excuse to be physically combative. If this had been a rally for speech purposes only, I would have defended it.

When the two groups got what they wanted (a fight), someone died, and many were injured.

These “rallies” were not about right and wrong. They were about wrong in disguise of white robes and wrong in disguise of black robes doing wrong and someone died. That’s it. There were no good guys on the field. No one was there stopping this madness. No one was there saying “children, please, let’s use our words.”

So when you pretend that one side or the other was in the right, because a small part of what they represent agrees with a position that you hold you are ignoring the fact that people are being injured and killed and property is being destroyed because of temper tantrums. “Good” goes out the window when you are unnecessarily using violence to try and show that a position that has no evidence to support it is in the right. There is no excuse for the physical violence, and you are wrong.

I am on the side of stopping unnecessary violence. I am on the side of freedom of speech. I am on the side of there being no right to not be offended. I am on the side that I am no better or worse than anyone regardless of any demographic. I am on the side of the Constitution.

If you prefer to violently represent an ideology that is based on claims without evidence, I am better than you, and will stop you. I do not accept claims without evidence. I will not represent claims without evidence. I will interfere and intervene in your attempt to push claims that do not have evidence. I represent the “other.” I have been in the military. I cast my lot defending the Constitution of the United States. I swore to defend against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC.

I am not alone. If you (National Socialists and Anarcho Communists) continue down the road you are on, you will hit a stop sign.

And I (and those like me) will be holding it. You have been warned.