Monthly Archives: September 2009
The Rangemaster October 2009 Newsletter is now posted.
This issue has a few things worth reading. One is a fantastic dry fire regimen which I’m about to print out and keep in my practice area (it mirrors the skills I learned in the Combined Skills course). The other is discussing some data. One of those I think is well worth sharing so I’m going to reprint it here:
The National Safety Council, chartered by an act of Congress, is a nongovernment, not-for-profit, public service organization with a mission to educate and influence people to prevent accidental injury and death. They collect and report the facts about accidental injuries and deaths from all sources. Recently, the NSC released data from 2007. Here are some facts:
Accidental Firearms Fatalities are at an All-time Low. Firearms are involved in fewer than 1 percent of all accidental fatalities in the United States. In a side by side comparison with other forms of injury, firearms have the lowest rate of accidents.
Public firearms safety education projects, like Hunter Safety Courses, Handgun Permit Courses, NRA First Steps programs, and similar educational programs are credited with contributing to the decline in firearms accidents. Firearm related fatalities in the U.S. have been decreasing consistently since record keeping began in 1903 and have reduced dramatically in the last 20 years.
During the last decade, the number of unintentional firearm related deaths for children 14 years of age and under has decreased by 61%, and by 77% in the last 20 years. Firearms are involved in 1% of accidental deaths among children 14 years of age and under, the lowest cause of accidental fatality.
Firearm related accidental deaths in the home are down 50% from 1987 levels. In the entire United States in 2007 there were only 400 accidental firearm related deaths occurring in the home, in a population of 300,000,000 people. In contrast, in 2007 about 1,000 people drowned in their own homes and another 11,600 died in accidental falls in the home. Removing bathtubs and stairs from your home would be more prudent than removing the firearms.
Hunting is a sport deeply involved with firearms, but it is one of the safest sports. The number of injuries reported for participants in various sports in 2007 included:
- Baseball – 167,661
- Bowling – 21,819
- Football – 455,193
- Golf – 36,886
- Soccer – 198,679
- Volleyball – 57,039
- HUNTING - 916
Thus, one is 22 times more likely to be injured while bowling than while hunting. Remember that the next time somebody tries to tell you how unsafe it is to have a gun in the home.
For the purposes of record keeping, the US Justice Department defines “violent crime” as Murder, Aggravated Assault, Forcible Rape, Robbery, and Kidnapping. The Justice Dept recently released figures for 2008, indicating there were 4.9 million of these offenses during last year. That is roughly a rate of one violent crime per 60 residents.
Another set of data provided in the newsletter is about where attacks occur. Some people think it’s sufficient to have a gun at home, or to just keep a gun in the car. While that’s certainly good, the likelihood of needing it in those locations isn’t as high as other locations:
To illustrate, here are some statistics from the United States Department of Justice, looking at Robbery Locations for the year 2007:
- Street – 43.8%
- Commercial- 13.9%
- Residence- 15.2%
- Banks- 2.1%
- Gas station- 2.6%
- Miscellaneous- 16.8%
So, you are almost three times as likely to be robbed on the street than at home, and in the home only accounts for 1 robbery in 6. Similar patterns exist for rape, aggravated assaults, etc. In fact, good locks, an alarm system, and proper lighting can reduce your risk of violent crime at home to very low levels. Once you leave your home, though, you have no control over such items. The one thing you can control is having your emergency safety equipment with you, so you can respond to emergencies that occur away from home. Remember, the gun you left at home won’t help you anywhere else.
For the past few weeks I’ve been having some pains in my hands, especially my left hand. It’s difficult to grip things even slightly tightly. Trying to get that Todd Jarrett Kung-Fu Action grip on my gun? forget it, it’s way painful, especially in the knuckles of my left hand.
I have some spring clamps in my garage for woodworking and repair needs. I sometimes just squeeze them to work on my grip strength. I can barely squeeze it with my left hand, without pain.
I don’t know what’s wrong, but I’m suspecting it’s due to typing all day and having slacked off recently in my posture. Especially with my left arm because I picked up a bad habit of resting my left elbow outward while typing thus canting my left wrist and stretching out the ligaments on the back of my hand leading up to my index finger. When I look at the mechanics of it all, it makes sense given the way the pain hits me.
I haven’t been to my martial arts classes in a couple weeks because it all involves either hitting things with my hands or having to grip/grab things. I figured there was no reason to risk making it worse. My hands are very important to me, especially given how vital they are to my earning a living.
But I just came in from doing my first workout in weeks. Swung my sticks around for a while, then some calisthenics like push-ups. Things to work with my hands but not work them too hard. It wasn’t too bad. I think I’m going to get back into the swing of things and just take it as it comes. Of course, I’m also kicking myself for not working out at all. I could shadow box, I could work on other empty hand things, or I could have just gone back and practiced my Kuk Sool hyung to keep my conditioning up. I don’t know why I didn’t do that stuff, but back in the saddle I go.
General George S. Patton:
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
While it came from Gen. Patton, the remark goes well beyond fighting and war to just the general notions of life and death. When people die, all too often those they left behind are stuck on mourning the loss instead of being thankful the person ever lived in the first place. We are so focused on avoiding death, I think sometimes we forget to live. You’ve only so much time and energy in a day, it’s up to you how you want to spend it: dealing with death or dealing with life. I like dealing with life.
So the big buzz on the gun blogs today is about Sebastian’s pondering on loading his own carry/self-defense ammo.
A few of my own thoughts on the matter. But first, I’m not a lawyer. This is my own opinion on the matter, and as I discuss it more with folks, read more on the topic, I may well change my mind down the line. But for now, here’s what’s rolling around in my head.
Three militants stormed into Rukhsana Kauser’s home in a remote village in Jammu region on Monday and started beating her parents in front of her.
Ms Kauser, 18, and her brother turned on the gunmen, killing one and injuring two more. Police praised their courage.
Here in the US there would be little praise for those actions, and likely followed by recommendations that people not fight back and take that course of action, and probably saying such things should call the police or just say “NO!” in a loud voice, run away, or other such fairly useless actions.
“Without saying anything they [the militants] started beating my parents and my uncle. They beat them so badly that my parents fell on the ground. I could not see that and pounced on one of the militants while my brother hit him with an axe,” she said.
“I thought I should try the bold act of encountering militants before dying.”
Ms Kauser said she grabbed one of the militants by the hair and banged his head against the wall. When he fell down she hit him with an axe, before snatching his rifle.
“I fired endlessly. The militant commander got 12 shots on his body.”
Her brother, Eijaz, 19, grabbed one of the other militants’ guns and also began shooting.
Ms Kauser said the exchanges of gunfire with the militants had gone on for four hours.
“I had never touched a rifle before this, let alone fired one. But I had seen heroes firing in films on TV and I tried the same way. Somehow I gathered courage – I fired and fought till dead tired.”
So to those that wish to ban guns, to those that feel women and elderly are better left at the mercy of predators, that feel violence is never the answer… tell me, how would you have handled this situation?
The whole “two party” thing causes problems if both parties pass the laws they think are necessary when they are in power, yet nobody ever repeals the laws that they know in what passes for their hearts are wrong.
This is how we’ll wind up in a country with both the PATRIOT Act and National Health Care. The way things are going, there’ll be a six month waiting list to get wiretapped, and you’ll only be able to be waterboarded by a government-provided doctor. Folks will be sneaking off to Mexico for gray-market torture.
Hrm… get this. That previous link to AppleScript takes you to the developer web pages for AppleScript. I originally wanted to link to Apple’s user/commercial page for AppleScript: www.apple.com/applescript. But if you click on that, notice what it takes you to: Automator. That tells you what Apple thinks about AppleScript as a technology.
It’s scripting for the rest of us.