Snapshot of a College Town

Sitting in the downtown Waffle House yesterday, I heard the folks at the next table discussing, in all seriousness, whether the rise of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars more closely resembles the transformation of Rome from republic to empire, or the rise of the Nazi regime prior to WWII.

Political history as presented in contemporary popular science fiction. Not as unserious as it sounds.

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A surprisingly balanced article on gun control

At the Roanoke Times.

About 30 years ago as a young reporter in Florida, I was assigned a series on gun control in response to gun violence, which had peaked in the U.S. in 1980.

I began the series with profiles of three gun users, including a woman who had killed her would-be rapist, the owner of a sport shooting club and a convicted murderer on death row at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Most dramatic was the woman, who was attacked as she entered her apartment after work one evening. She had just moved in and boxes were stacked floor-to-ceiling, nary a broom nor a pot to use in self-defense.

In her panic, she suddenly remembered the small derringer in her purse, which still hung over her shoulder. Already, the man had her pinned against the wall. Reaching into her bag, she grabbed the gun, pressed it to his side and, boom! He died instantly. To my question, she replied: “Hell, yes, I’d do it again in a New York minute.”

Or words to that effect.

Most chilling was the murderer, whose name I no longer recall. I do remember that his fingertips were oddly flared and he pressed them together, expanding and contracting his hands like a bellows. No doubt aware that I was nervous, he seemed amused by my questions.

“Sure,” he chuckled. “I’m all for gun control. Because that means you won’t have a gun. And I will always have a gun.” [Emphasis added - Jake]

I may not agree entirely with the author, but it’s at least a balanced and fair article, without the normal heavily anti-gun bias the Roanoke Times usually publishes. Go read the whole thing. It’s worth it.

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[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 9/20/13]

Quote of the Day #2 – 2013-09-12

By Robb Allen:

There’s a sickness in the belief that only a gov’t can keep everyone safe via regulation, regulation, regulation.

‘Nuff said.

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Quote of the Day – 2013-09-12

From Vladimir Putin, of all people:

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.

And on the 12th anniversary of the day terrorists murdered almost 3000 innocents, our government openly acknowledges that it is arming that same terrorist organization in a bid to put them in charge of a nation known to possess chemical weapons.

I am certainly alarmed.

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[Source: Yahoo! News article, retrieved 9/12/13]

Never Forget: 11 September 2001

[Image originally found here, but it seems to be gone now.]

A DGU the Anti-Rights cultists won’t count

Because no shots were fired and no one died (Autoplay warning).

CCTV images captured how a man walked into the Missouri shop and pulled out a handgun, apparently demanding money.
However, shopkeeper Jon Lewis Alexander, a former Iraq veteran, calmly pushed the robber’s gun aside and drew his own handgun, pointing it at the man’s mouth.
The would-be armed robber then backed away and ran out of the store.

If the embedding didn’t work, the link should. Check out the video at the link – Mr. Alexander appears perfectly cool, calm, and collected as the would-be-robber waves his gun around like a magic talisman.

No shots fired, but unfortunately the bad guy got away and the cops are still looking for him.

This also earned the “stupidity” tag, because from the video it looks like Mr. Alexander was openly carrying his gun, yet the crook didn’t seem to notice until he was looking down the barrel.

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[Source: The Telegraph article, retrieved 9/5/13]

Excuse me,

I believe you have my stapler.

My_Stapler

It’s good to be the guy in charge of ordering supplies.

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A July 4 assault on liberty

This is still a developing story, and the veil of lawyer-advised silence is descending, but TJIC has again been targeted by the repressive government of Massachusetts and/or his local government. This time, they’ve dragged his fiance into it, confiscating her legally owned firearms after he applied for a new MA LTC. From Tam, who has been in direct communication with the TJIC household:

Well, TJIC got his Massachusetts FID* reissued, and has reapplied for an MA LTC**.

Now the local po-po*** is surrounding his crib, wanting to inspect the premises. Without a warrant. In the suburbs of Boston. On Independence Day.

More from Tam, in various comments to her original post:

Jenn was like “There’s a cop looking at me through the window with a flashlight and his hand on his holster!”

I’m on the phone with Jenn; she’s walking through the house with the officer. They’re seizing her guns as we speak.

They’re already in contact with counsel.

TJIC himself chipped in a little info:

I had an EXCELLENT gun lawyer on speed dial. It took half an hour to get a callback on a vacation day, but after that, he was with us every step of the way.

I repeatedly refused the cops’ requests for a voluntary walk-through of the house.

I repeatedly refused to answer any questions.

The cops repeatedly told me that if I had nothing to hide, I should just allow a walk-through, and if I was a good guy, I’d have a “conversation” with them.

In the end they illegally seized my FID (just plan CAN NOT do it, but they took it and wouldn’t give it back) and they illegally seized Jennifer’s firearms. My lawyer was appalled but not surprised.

Jennifer and I have been talking about moving out of MA in 3-6 years.

We are officially looking for real estate tomorrow; I will not spend one more day than is necessary in this totalitarian hell hole.

and

At the end, some of the cops who ransacked the house tried to shake hands with me. “No hard feelings”.

I refused and said “Gentlemen, please think about what you’re doing. On the fourth of july, the day we celebrate freedom, you stole legally owned firearms from a women who is engaged to a guy who made a joke you don’t like. You are not the good guys. You are ‘just doing your jobs’. Look in the mirror. You’re the bad guys.”

Response: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Have a good Fourth.”

My lawyer says that there’s a decent chance I may yet be arrested.

And with that, I should probably go radio silent for a while.

Words do not describe how wrong this is. Tam seems to have the direct scoop for now, keep your eyes open there for new information.

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I aten’t ded

Just very, very busy. New job, housework, etc. I’ll try to put something substantial up soon. In the meantime, here’s a Nyan Cat for you.

 

Nyan-cat

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Quickie movie review: Man of Steel

Good story, good pacing, good acting. Good movie!

The Kryptonian vs. Kryptonian fight scenes are very well done, and met my expectations of what that kind of fight would look like – bursts of super-speed, use of terrain as a weapon, and truly epic levels of property damage.

I think Henry Cavill did a good Superman, and will do well in the next film, too.

Directors should be fined (say, 5% of gross) for every instance of “shaky-cam” in a movie.

If your theater has older digital projectors that suffer from motion-blur issues, try to find a theater with better projectors (or one that still uses film, if you can) to see this movie in. Motion blur is very noticeable in this film, and not just in the action sequences. Sadly, my local theater has those issues.

Very good movie, IMHO. You should see it, if you haven’t already.

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