Gun Violence is a Social Healthcare Issue?

The story on The Blaze about gun violence as a social healthcare issue is extremely naive.

(The Blaze/AP) — Is a gun like a virus, tobacco or alcohol?  According to “public health experts,“ who in the wake of recent mass shootings are calling for a fresh look at gun violence as a ”social disease,” it is.

What we need, they say, is a “public health approach” to the problem.

Dr. Garen Wintemute of University of California, Davis claims it is no longer enough to tackle gun violence by focusing solely on the people doing the shooting.  Dr. Stephen Hargarten, who treated victims of the Sikh temple shootings at the emergency department he heads in Milwaukee, feels the same way.

“What I’m struggling with is, is this the new social norm?” he asked, before asserting: “This is what we’re going to have to live with if we have more personal access to firearms.”

He continued: “We have a public health issue to discuss. Do we wait for the next outbreak or is there something we can do to prevent it?”

About 260 million to 300 million firearms are owned by civilians in the United States; about one-third of American homes have one.  Last year, 55 percent of Americans said gun laws should either remain the same or become more lenient.

There are some very serious issues with this man’s thinking.  If we are going to look at it like a Disease, we need to look at the Vectors.  What is causing this to spread?  Because it does indeed seem like these shooting sprees are happening more often.   If we are not allowed to look at the Shooter/Lunatic/Criminal as the source of the issue, then let’s look at this issue like we’ve examined other “Social Diseases” such as Smoking.  It’s not fault of Tobacco, it’s just a leaf.  And a firearm is nothing more than a tool.  So again, social, not the object.  Okay, with Cigarettes, the social vector was damn near every movie and tv show and advertising showed us that it was Cool to Smoke and Cool People Smoked, so if you wanted to be cool… you smoked.   So they started limiting smoking in Films and such.  That was a Social response.  But that’s not happening with Gun Violence.  In fact, just the opposite is happening.
When someone goes nuts and starts a shooting spree, the more public and dramatic the better.  The news agencies cover the story in every direction and angle and we see the shooter’s face damn near everywhere.  We know their names, where they lived, and we give them what they want… Fame.   If we want to limit exposure and the glorification of committing a shooting spree… we need to turn our backs on the Shooters.  Don’t make the shooters famous.  Don’t say their names.  Don’t show their pictures.  Report the story, fine, but don’t go about it to make the criminal a pop-star.  They need to be forgotten.

Psycho Killer, or Girl Afraid of Nothing?

Access to firearms is not a correlation to gun violence.  Where I live – we have probably the highest per capita of gun ownership as any place in the nation.  I live outside of a small town.  We have a number of gun stores.  2 of the top ten of gun stores in the state, with the one I’m working at… last time I looked, we were 4th in the state.  We’re also 3 hours from Population.  One estimation is that we have on average 18 firearms per home.   We have a lot of guns out here.  Shooting sprees have not happened here.  Shooting sprees don’t happen at gun shows either.  Having guns doesn’t mean we’re going to have blood in the streets.

Another Social Issue that we have that allows these shooting sprees to propagate is the fallacy of “Gun Free Zones”.    Most of these shootings happen in Gun Free Zones.  Where good honest Victims are unable to defend themselves.  At the Theater in Colorado.  At the cafeteria in Ft. Hood.  At the campus of Virginia Tech.  The lack of guns in these gun free zones was a contributing factor here.  Notice in each that the shootings only stopped when the guys with the guns showed up.

Guns Save Lives.  Like Parachutes, Helmets, and Seatbelts.  If we are going to cure this social issue… we need to make it cool to for people to Carry and get Training.

Training is the key here.   Just like all other social issues – Education is the Solution.  Learn to use your guns and have them with you.  Have one on you.


War in America

The talk of potential civil unrest in America has been becoming more and more common even in quiet parts of town. I know it’s not a happy conversation that I have listened to more than once.

This article brings it to the forefront.  Go, read it, think about it, then come back.  I’ll wait.

I’m talking to the Members of the Military here… Now, here’s the problem.  The Tea Party is a non-partisan lose group of people who believe in the US Constitution.  The same Constitution the US Military has sworn oaths to uphold and defend.    If you disagree with them – if you take issue with them – then you hold your Oaths with treasonous hands.

This asshole’s scenario, of a Tea Party Insurrection – if these people are pissed enough to take some sort of action – there is probably a damn good reason and it’s probably one that you should be in support of.  Because this has indeed happened before in the United State.  Here’s a little piece of American History for you.  After WWII, the Veterans came home to find some problems that peaceful means of resolution failed to correct.


Now, this is the very scenario that this Ahole is saying that the US Military needs to stop. Look at who these people are you are going to be fighting here… Your Brothers. Your fathers. Guys just like you after you “Get out”. Guys just like you, who have sworn the same Oaths. And these Oaths do not have an expiration date. The Oaths are never voided.
You guys in Uniform – You need to pick your sides. Do you hold your Oaths or are you an Oath Breaker and a Traitor to your Nation?

The Porch in Vernal

There is a new joint to eat in Vernal called “The Porch”. For the locals, it’s the new place that is occupying where “The Red Onion Grill” used to be. I was told this was “Cajun Food”, but it’s not. It’s “Southern Food”, and that’s not a bad thing, but it’s not Cajun. However they tried a couple Cajun things. Such as the Gumbo. Then a Po-Boy sandwich.
Let’s give you the run down. 20 minute wait to sit down, 30 minutes until food arrived. I ordered a cup of Gumbo and their Shrimp Po-Boy.
It was a tasty sausage soup… but it wasn’t Gumbo.
The sandwich though… Let’s just say that when it landed on the table, Jer, across the table looked at it and said, “Dude, I’m sorry.” It was an Embryonic Po-Boy… One that if it was left to come full term, could have grown into a Po-Boy, but as it was, it was just a sandwich. With 5 shrimp on bread not much bigger than Golden Coral’s dinner rolls.
A. This sandwich was 15 bucks. B. It wasn’t a Po-Boy.
It was a tasty sandwich if I had just ordered a 4 dollar shrimp sandwich. But I didn’t. I ordered a 15 dollar mother of all sandwiches called a “Po-Boy.” If you don’t know what that is… Watch this.   It’s huge.  It’s over-stuffed.  Normal humans usually can’t finish one in a single sitting.  You order one and you take half of it home with you – THAT is a Po-Boy.  That’s what I paid for.  But that’s not what I got.  And the last time I had a real Po-Boy, it was 7 bucks and they kept the drinks topped off without question.  5 Shrimps… Five.  WTF is that?  3 bucks per small undersized and overcooked shrimp.

So I left “THE PORCH” having dropped 23 bucks and the only real thing I got that I had ordered was the Sweet Tea.  They made a good Sweet Tea.

Now, I can cut The Porch some slack for being slow.  They were busy.  But the prices and the portion size don’t line up.  Dan ordered a Rib Eye.  It was half fat and gristle.  Fenris had a Shrimp stew, which looked just like the Gumbo but with more rice.  Jer had a big bowl of Gumbo… but again… it wasn’t Gumbo.  It was Soup.  Soup and Gumbo are two different things.  Gumbo is freaking Gumbo.  Saying Gumbo is Soup is like saying Chilli is Soup too.  This will get you a beating in some places.

Anyways… yeah… I’m not going back to The Porch.  If they don’t know what a Po-Boy is… and had the audacity to charge 15 bucks for it… No.  Not ever again.  This makes me said as I really wanted to like this place.  I went in excited about this place.  The disappointment was staggering.


The SIG ACP arrived.

Unfortunately the adapter clamp wasn’t in the kit, so I can use it yet.  But within moments of the ACP’s arrival, and my mentioning of this… SIG already has it on the way.
First impressions:
Yeah, its cool.  If fact, I am not sure that SIG is going to get this unit back.  I may have to buy it from them.

I suck.

I called a friend the other day and his response was “Dude, you have never called me before… What’s wrong?”
Huh.  Really? This has been bothering me ever since our conversation.
I guess what is wrong is that I’ve never called him before. We’ve been friends for over a decade… talk online all the time… but that’s not the same… its not really talking.  Its sad because I consider him a brother.  I suck.
And another friend… I only see when I need to crash at his place.  Damn it… I really suck.
I have good friends, but I am not a good friend.
I need to work on this.

Any of my friends are cool to call me any time. If I can’t talk, I’ll call you back the instant I can. You don’t need to leave a message, I’ll return the call. You can send text messages. Now, if you call, and I answer, but you only hear wind… I’m on my bike with my ear buds in and I can hear you… probably… and when I stop… I’ll call you back.

Google’s Nexus 7 tablet.

I got one tonight.  I’m geeking out about this thing. 
Quad core processor, 16 gigs, 7” screen, Wi-Fi, thin and light.
The Android OS is cool too.  See, I’m running Droid on my phone… I got all my apps and stuff… its all set up.
Now, when I started up the Nexus 7, I signed into Google and within seconds I had all my apps, pictures, everything.  Just like my phone.  And thanks to G-Drive and Cloud… I have all my Docs and Music.  Bam.  Just like that.
250 bucks.

Monday’s Motorcycle: Kawasaki ZX10R

The Bike of the Week this time around is the Kawasaki ZX10R.  Another one from The Big Green.  Unlike my ZX11, which is aimed for “Sport Touring”, the ZX10R is pure sport.  The differences are in Rider Position, Engine Tuning, and Suspension geometry and settings.  It’s a completely different animal.  Like a Ford Escort is almost completely unrelated to the Mustang GT.  This bike is all about Aggression.  Speed and handling.  This thing is a monster.

We have a small group that watches a couple motorcycle races every few weeks.  Primarily we really only pay attention to the Liter Class Wars.  We’ve noticed a distinct trend.  The first handful of laps are always led by the Kawasaki ZX10R.  After about the 5th lap or so, the Ninja starts to drop back a few positions… and usually ends up coming in 7th place or something.  However, the last time the Ninja stayed up front  all the way to the Almost End.

I say “Almost End” because in the last lap, that damned Messerschmidt Pilot tucked in to the Ninja’s 6 O’Clock and in the last few corners… gunned him down in Cold Blood… Passed him and took the race.  It was something the BMW Pilots have been doing to Honda, Aprilia, freaking everyone.  What’s different this time though is that the Ninja was finally leading, and he did so by a good long margin.  It really came down to not the bike, but Tire Selection.  Looks like they finally found the right one.  Now if someone could just sabotage the BMW’s, they might win!

Outside of Racing, the ZX10R remains a fantastic street bike.  According to Motorcyclist Magazine, if you want the Best Liter Bike you can buy – that’s not the BMW – then it’s the Ninja.  It’s got more than a huge following… It’s one of the best selling Liter Bikes out there.  This bike doesn’t have any new huge advances in technology, just an evolution of everything Kawasaki has been doing right since the move Top Gun.

Oh, and yes, Maverick is a fucking Squid.

Continue reading Monday’s Motorcycle: Kawasaki ZX10R

I like my AR again.

My AR has been bugging the hell out of me.  The thing was heavy as hell.  No, seriously, we’re talking at AR-15 Carbine that weighed more than a Springfield M1A National Match or a SOCOM II.  It just weighed a friggen ton.

Here’s what it looks like now.

Much better.

The parts I took off were really not all that heavy to be honest.  The Surefire Rails, Weapon Light Mount and Light, the Rail Covers, Tango Down VFG, and the VLTOR Stock.  It’s just that the MOE stuff with a Pistol type Weapon Light are much lighter.  The problem though really stems from the fact that my AR has Rhinemetal 120mm barrel on it off an M1 Abrams.  Or so it feels like that.  Even stripped, it was still a touch heavier than an M1A Standard Synthetic.   My Take Offs on a normal gun would be just fine.  But that’s not the AR I have.  Mine is a freaking Tank.

Anyone want the goodies I took off the gun?

Not shown is the VLTOR stock.

The Surefire Rails are “Mid-Length”, not Carbine or Rifle.  Who wants to make an offer on the parts?  I take Cash in Person or PayPal and I’ll ship it to you.  I’d like to start the bidding at a hundred bucks.

Open Letter to the Gun Industry

Please for the love of all that is holy… Stop using cheap Styrofoam in your packaging.  Use better quality stuff.  Remington uses some, but it’s denser and generally problem free.

Here’s a Winchester.

This was a Shotgun and the area where the barrel’s gas ring was chewed the foam up during shipping.  This caused little foam bits to be all over the gun.  Not too bad but I hate cleaning brand new guns after just opening up a box.  Even when a little bit comes apart… it quickly becomes a mess.

Here’s a Stoeger.

This was just ridiculous.  That stuff was freaking everywhere and it had collected some static so it stuck to everything and fought being wiped off.  It took some time to get it cleaned out.  But for weeks after we would still pull foam bits out from inside parts.  External, Internal… just a train wreck.

Not gives a customer confidence in a product they have just purchased, when we open the box up and it looks like that.    There has got to be a better way.  Eh?

ZX-11 Update

This last weekend the trip to SLC on the bike was both good and bad.
The bad was because if my knee.  The tendon took a couple minutes to stretch back out.  This meant when I came to a stop, I could only put down my right foot.
That’s not good.  If I tipped to the left, I’d have gone down because I had nothing to stop it.
Once I was rolling though, it was smooth sailing.  The bike loves to cruise.  It ran flawlessly and turned in 48 mpg.  I topped off in Lapoint and didn’t have to gas up again untill I was well into SLC.
On my Magna or Superhawk, I’d have refilled twice more. I’ve never had a bike with this much range.
I couldn’t be happier with the Kawasaki.