• It’s a general comment, as I don’t believe the dogwhistle of “We’re smarter than those people” could be blown any louder in this thread without violating several laws of physics. No, no open claims of immunity. Just a lot of smugness about “low information voters” and such.

    And what I’m saying is not “Both sides do it.”. It’s “Don’t be blind to when your side does it.”. The tactics of the Right do not suddenly become noble and just when employed by the Left. I could give a rat’s ass about the DC media. I’d just prefer to not see all the gains we’ve made in this country over the last few decades get flushed over hubris.

  • 1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units.
    2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
    3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it.

    I’m not sure what’s more sad, that this actually has to be spelled out or that the people spelling it out and cheering about it being spelled out somehow think that makes them immune to doing any of those things.

    The last year or two has shown me that the Left is just as willing to make up wild theories, spread lies and believe something is true because a “majority” of other people agree as the Right is. They’re also just as easy to motivate into making public policy based on who it will screw with rather than who it will help. And they’ll defend every last bit of it as viciously as any teapartier.

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the blog post The most powerful Amendment of them all

    2013-07-11 15:34:44View | Delete

    Ah, so now “zero tolerance” policy is another one of those things that magically goes from “excessive and vicious” to “righteous and just” when it serves the interests of the mainstream Left. What would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sickening is that this is practically a mirror image of the conversation on the Right who didn’t give a fuck about “zero tolerance” when it was being used to stomp all over kids they didn’t like but now see it as injustice and oppression when it’s applied to their kids.

    It’d be real nice if people could stop making exceptions for authoritarian bullshit like zero tolerance according to their tribal lines.

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post In Memory of Dr. Tiller, on the Fourth Anniversary of His Death by RH Reality Check.

    2013-06-01 15:06:44View | Delete

    Yeah, you left out the part where those almost-full-term pregnancies would have either killed the woman carrying them or would have resulted in babies that would have lived ludicrously-short and agony-wracked lives. But that doesn’t fit the narrative does it?

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the blog post Yep, it’s America

    2013-05-27 14:09:36View | Delete

    65 people out of millions of legal firearms holders. Of course there’s no information at all that any of these people were not felons illegally possessing firearms, but I’ll give you that for sake of argument. So, 65 people out of millions do something irresponsible and stupid. This proves what, exactly? Because I could swear that whenever it’s any group that’s hounded and persecuted by the Right, the actions of a few do not prove anything about the larger number of people they come from.

    Why does this standard suddenly not apply? Why does it become okay to label millions of people as “crazy”, talk about involuntarily committing them? Oh I know what the justification’s going to be: “We’re not talking about the GOOD ones!”. Just the same as the Right says, with the same implication: that there are next to no “good ones”. So we see stories like this get flogged over and over again. We a handful of mass murderers trotted out over and over again. We see this small number of stupid, irresponsible, or outright violent people used to indict millions. Guilt by association. When did that suddenly become part of an honest and logical debate and not the same rhetorical dirty trick the Right used to get people behind two wars?

  • Awesome, the edit post function apparently includes a hidden feature that turns any properly-spaced-out post into a wall of text. Apologies.

  • There are other materials with tensile strength equivalent to steel – fiberglass, and carbon fiber for two, both of which are eminently suitable for home manufacturing.

    This is not true. Only specialized (and expensive) laminates of fiberglass approach or equal the tensile strength of steel but are still far more brittle than steel and will fail by shattering under load where steel will flex What makes for great bullet-resistant glass does not make for a firearm barrel. Similar problems exist for carbon fiber, which is why although there are rifle barrels with carbon fiber outer coatings there are no firearm barrels at all that are entirely made from carbon fiber.

    There is a reason that this pistol needs a chamber and barrel thickness close to what would normally be seen on a .50 BMG rifle even though it’s firing a piddly little .380 ACP round: polymer can’t do the same job as steel, period. Once we start talking about someone crafting ceramic or stone bullets (which would work fine with black powder but would shatter inside the barrel from the ignition of modern smokeless powder), we’re in the realm of a particularly wacky episode of CSI.

    Honestly at this point, I think the gun control crowd is being played for suckers because they’re making all kinds of completely ludicrous leaps in logic to paint this thing as some kind of actual danger. It’s a thousand-dollar zip gun made using a machine most people don’t know how to operate and can’t afford in a world where someone can build a shotgun out of pipe for ten bucks.

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the blog post 3D Printing Tech Comes To Guns

    2013-05-08 01:59:18View | Delete

    If there is to be a discussion, it would be a lot better if it was heavy on the facts regarding the actual capabilities and limitations of the technology and minus the hyperbole that has characterized the discussion of the firearms issue so far.

    As it stands right now, this is hundreds or thousands of dollars to produce a bulkier and less durable version of a “zip gun” that can all ready be slapped together using no tools or materials more modern than anything available in the 1930′s and without any plans beyond a basic understanding of how a firearm works. Until a polymer composite exists with the same material characteristics as steel, this is a strange little proof-of-concept gadget with a heavy helping of the designer’s conceit involved, not the herald of the Plastopocalypse.

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the blog post 3D Printing Tech Comes To Guns

    2013-05-07 14:15:59View | Delete

    The gun is plastic. The ammunition? Not so much. Still detectable by metal detectors and xray. There has been some dabbling with polymer-cased ammunition but they run into the same problems of plastic not being able to tolerate the same physical stresses as metal. If you go beyond that into plastic bullets as well, you might as well be throwing styrofoam peanuts.

    As far as building improvised firearms not being a common skill, that’s what we have the internet for. That information is relatively free, especially compared to the cost of of even a low-end 3D printer and the materials to run it. The available materials are also far more common than 3D printers. I will not go into any kind of construction details for obvious reasons but it really is easier than you might think; even unskilled people can assemble basic single-shot firearms using nothing more than what they can find at Home Depot. They’d also be doing it without being part of a still rather small group of people who own 3D printers.

    At this point, it’s still easier to circumvent a metal detector by bringing weapons in by hiding them in deliveries, with the aid of someone working security or by using social engineering tactics to bluff your way past security. The idea that we’re going to start seeing a rash of assassinations committed with 3D printed plastic guns is bordering on Hollywood-style thriller fiction. It’s almost the same logic that has suppressors (silencers) so heavily regulated in the US, it’s extremely rare that they’re used in any kind of crimes (and when they are, they’re typically improvised single-use ones) but the popular perception is that they’re an assassin/criminal tool because that’s the media presentation of them.

    Also, curious what kind of oddball gun you have because I’m a huge nerd like that.

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-07 12:12:07View | Delete

    Crane, the difference that I’m noticing is that you are not letting your previous experiences poison your interactions with other people. You are not one of the people who has let past tragedy color how they see everyone else and ascribe dark motivations to them where none exist. You are a necessary part of coming [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the blog post 3D Printing Tech Comes To Guns

    2013-05-07 11:58:08View | Delete

    I believe you misread the quote:

    I guess this story disproves the theory that it is the porn prawn industry that is responsible for all major technological innovations.

    Being able to trade cat food for power armor and directed-energy weapons is definitely an innovation.

    I do have to say I’m not terribly impressed with this thing, nor did I expect to be. Only thing keeping it from exploding on the first shot looks to be the fact that it’s a gigantic block of plastic containing a tiny little chamber. It requires such a massively larger quantity of plastic to do the job of a piece of steel that would be a tenth the size and that’s the major limitation of these things. Honestly, I could go down to the hardware store and get the parts to build something that would be a heavier caliber (12 gauge), would be half the size and would cost me maybe $50 in parts. With actual machine tools I could build anything from a copy of the old British Sten submachinegun to a reasonable Kalashnikov knockoff and I still wouldn’t come close to the same investment required for a 3D printed gun. Plastic just can’t handle the same physical stresses steel can and it takes a lot less technical savvy to operate much more common tools like a basic lathe or metal press.

    Now where this technology will most likely make an impact is in accessories for firearms. Stocks, grips, forends, any parts that are all ready made from polymer composite. I don’t think it’ll steal a whole lot of the market away from the big companies like Magpul, but it could open up a whole new market for firearms owners who want to design their own furniture or for firearms owners who have physical disabilities who may benefit from very specifically customized parts. But printing a complete and functional firearm that would be the equivalent of an AR-15? Not until someone comes up with a plastic composite material that’s the equivalent strength of steel at a 1-to-1 volume ratio.

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 19:12:25View | Delete

    Last but not least, the sign of the times in Randolph County, NC: Guns and Loans. It is indeed a gun shop cum loan company.

    Sounds like the pawnshops around where I live to be honest. They’ll give you a “loan” on a firearm but if you don’t pay it off in a month or so [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 18:59:48View | Delete

    I seriously cannot imagine how the heck that bra holster thing would be even remotely practical at all. But I will tell you that a ton of impractical and silly stuff is marketed to the firearms community, with mixed results. Sometimes it catches on, more often than not it flops and then four or five [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 13:56:43View | Delete

    I’d like to take this moment to thank the participants for this very civil and enjoyable conversation. Something I’ve never wavered on is the idea that safety training should be mandatory and it should be either inexpensive or subsidized (or both) so that is is not a barrier to firearms ownership for those of lesser [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 13:36:34View | Delete

    You are absolutely not elbowing in, please don’t worry about that, this is your conversation that I’m participating in. :) What you’re talking about is absolutely top-notch in terms of safety and should be the standard.

    It raised my feminist hackles a little. They could have easily left it at being sized for “smaller framed shooters” [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 13:13:03View | Delete

    One more thought on edit: The ad managed to be a little sexist as well, with that little ‘even moms can do this’ sort of diss, as well as the making the rifle pink for little girls, as if little girls must bring ‘girl fashion’ to their sports. Was it just me who thought that part [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 13:05:51View | Delete

    Also, even when shooting is a family activity, four years old is far too young to learn anything about firearms except that they shouldn’t be touched. The impulsivity and motor control alone are a nightmare waiting to happen.

    When my kids were that age, we didn’t even own any firearms. I don’t think we had one [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 12:49:38View | Delete

    Understood. I would prefer that the ad included visuals of secure storage as well as safe use of the firearm and would like it even more if they included the rules of safe firearm handling at the end of the ad with a voiceover. Just because they’re the basics doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be repeated [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 12:13:29View | Delete

    I think I’m unclear on how the ad is irresponsible. Every single time a younger person is shown firing one of the rifles, there is an adult no more than a foot away from them at all times. No one even loads it unless it is safely pointed downrange. Fingers don’t get anywhere near the [...]

  • MertvayaRuka commented on the diary post Ads That Make You Go Hmm… by Crane-Station.

    2013-05-05 12:10:52View | Delete

    That is pretty much the textbook definition of negligent. I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw anyone who knew anything about firearms refer to an “accidental discharge”, it’s always “negligent discharge”. Basically the idea is, if that gun goes off and you didn’t mean it to, you’re still at fault. Either you had [...]

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