National Reciprocity Bill – mixed emotions

Here’s one I have mixed emotions on: H.R. 822: To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

Basically, national reciprocity.

On the gut level, I like it. Means I could carry in California. The wording strives to honor the state’s laws and intentions. That’s all good.

But yet, this bothers me because it isn’t honoring a state’s intentions. California wants to consider most US Citizens as untrustworthy (they’d rather let everyone smoke pot than background-checked citizens carry guns… yeah, which is more dangerous, but I digress): they are may-issue to their own residents, and they won’t honor licenses from any other state. If California wants to behave that way, why shouldn’t we let them? This federal bill steps over state’s rights.

Now, here’s your NRA presser about it. And yes, that’s all right and good. But the analogy they make is using drivers licenses:

It would not create a federal licensing system; rather, it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.

As far as I knew, recognizing drivers’ licenses was also a state thing, just so happens all 50 states (and the various territories) recognize the drivers licenses from all 50 states. At least, that’s the impression I’m under. Consider Texas Administrative Code Title 37 Part 1 Chapter 15 Subchapter E Rule §15.92

The Department grants like reciprocity for driver licensing to residents of other states.

(1) Nonresident recognition in Texas of licenses held by persons from other states, territories of the United States, provinces of Canada, and the United States military service is based upon Texas Transportation Code, §521.029, and administrative policies. Thus:

(A) residents of other states, including the District of Columbia but excluding United States territories and the provinces of Canada, who are at least 16 years of age may drive in Texas on a valid license from their home state, as a Class C or Class M driver only.

Looks like the state is granting it, not the Fed. However, is there something codified in Federal law that forces all states to honor each other’s drivers licenses? Or perhaps if not formal law, incentive (e.g. all states have the drinking age at 21, but that’s merely uniform not Federal law… but it was Federally coerced because .gov said if you want to keep getting federal road funding you’ll up your age thus every state did). I honestly don’t know and my Google-Fu is weak this morning. If you know and can reference the section of Federal law that grants this, that would be appreciated.

And even if you look at Section 2 “Findings” in H.R. 822’s text, it does provide justification as to why the Fed can do this. But yet, it’s hard to say. There are ways to justify it, there are ways to not justify it (because there are legit places for the Fed to override the State, and places where they overstep). Hrm. I’ll just say I’m unwilling to gain a win for my side, no matter how much it benefits me, if it’s not the right way to get the win. I want a clean win. Would this be a clean win?

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Can we simplify “The Rules”?

Karl Rehn blogs about “The Rules” of safe gunhandling.

When most people recite “the rules”, they tend to gravitate towards Col. Coopers 4 rules. The NRA has their own version of the rules that uses only 3 statements. Karl argues that really all we have and need are 2 rules. Might sound controversial, but read what Karl has to say because he has sound reasoning to back it up. As a good engineer we should strive to make something as simple as possible, but no simpler. Karl is working to simplify.

It’s laudable because when people only have to remember a few basic things, we tend to handle it better. Imagine if we had to remember 10 rules, or 20 rules. Could you manage that? The modern movement in martial arts is to simplify and break things down to build upon natural responses and give you a few techniques that work for a wide range, instead of learning thousands of esoteric movements. Imagine if the IRS code was the size of a pamphlet instead of the monstrosity it is. Simplification is good, no matter how you slice it.

Karl touches upon one reason the NRA version is superior: it tells you what you should do. I’d like to briefly elaborate on that topic. I see it all the time. A kid is running through a place he shouldn’t be running. Some adult yells “DON’T RUN!”, so the kid starts to jog or do something else, which gets the adult upset because the child “isn’t listening”. No, the kid did what you said and stopped running. The trouble is, what is the kid supposed to do? By saying “don’t run” the adult eliminated 1 of a million possible things to do, so the kid picked something else out of that pool, but it wasn’t the one the adult wanted. If instead the adult told the child what to do, “WALK!”, then everything would have turned out peachy. I see this when teaching classes. A student is yanking the trigger. We’ll point it out to them, then the student starts to say in their head “Don’t yank the trigger, don’t yank the trigger….” and what do they do? Yank the trigger. If instead they tell themselves what to do, “slow smooth press”, chances are high they will do what they should do and achieve higher success.

Another point Karl touches upon is NRA rule 3: ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use. Karl wonders if that rule is necessary. I say it is, if you define what “ready to use” means. A gun being used for self-protection is of no use if it’s unloaded; so when it’s in the holster on your hip, it is ready to use. I think this is one of those rules that’s good to have because you never know what someone’s level of education or ability to grok the concept is. And that doesn’t mean people are stupid. Rather, look at kids. You aren’t born knowing how to safely handle a gun, so we much teach everyone everything. While I grant Karl’s stance, I think promoting this rule to kids (or adults) is good towards helping them develop proper safety habits and mindset. Imagine if it wasn’t in the ruleset, we might not discuss it at all or at least might not give it the emphasis it needs.

The NRA’s rules are simpler in their phrasing. They are direct. They tell you what to do, and don’t put any unnecessary conditions in place (e.g. “sights are on target”; read Karl’s reasoning there).  They are absolute, and you can’t be absolute if you’re unnecessarily complex. I mean, look at all the controversy around “all guns are always loaded”, and would that deny us the ability to dry fire? NRA’s rules should be followed even with dry fire and do not have any confusion if you can practice dry fire or not.

We can’t discount Col. Cooper’s contributions to the gun world: so much of what we have today wouldn’t be possible if not for him. But he was just a man, not a god. Not everything he did was infallible and perfect. If there’s something better, we should be willing to consider and adopt it. The good Colonel helped the gun world evolve, and we shouldn’t be afraid to continue evolving if it means improvement.

What Brandon Moore can teach us

Brandon Moore, a sheriff’s detective in Morrow County Ohio, was involved in a shootout with a marijuana grower.

Here’s raw footage of an interview with Detective Moore. He discusses what he went through and covers many bases. Insightful.

A few things I took home from his experience:

  • Carry a reload
  • When you plan and visualize, visualize yourself as calm, cool, collected. Seems it paid off for Detective Moore.
  • The fight isn’t over until it’s over. Keep fighting, don’t let panic overtake you. Keep fighting.
  • He emptied his gun. He said the last shot ended the fight.

The last point hits home. I’m not sure what his duty gun was, but these days it’s likely something that holds more than 10 rounds.

Who needs a gun that can hold more than 10 rounds?

Detective Moore, for one. Good thing he had more than 10 rounds, else today his wife would be a widow and his children would be fatherless.

Understanding Derivatives – A Primer

Someone sent this to me. I see it posted in other places it online, perhaps changing the name of the bar owner and where the bar is located (e.g. Heidi in Chicago or Detroit). But whatever. It gives you something to think about.

Understanding Derivatives — A Primer

Terry is the proprietor of a bar in Kona.

He realizes that virtually all of his customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize his bar.

To solve this problem, he comes up with a new marketing plan that allows his customers to drink now, but pay later.

Terry keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers’ loans).

Word gets around about Terry’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Terry’s bar. Soon he has the largest sales volume for any bar in Kona.

By providing his customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Terry gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, he substantially increases his prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

Consequently, Terry’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Terry’s borrowing limit.

He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral!!!

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINK BONDS.

These “securities” then are bundled and traded on international securities markets.

Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AAA Secured Bonds” really are debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb!!!, and the securities soon
become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices still are climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Terry’s bar. He so informs Terry.

Terry then demands payment from his alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts.

Since Terry cannot fulfill his loan obligations he is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Terry’s 11 employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINK BOND prices drop by 90%.

The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Terry’s bar had granted him generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the BOND securities.

They find they are now faced with having to write off his bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.

His wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, his beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off
150 workers..

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.

The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, nondrinkers who have never been in Terry’s bar.

Now do you understand?

ISR Matrix

Over at LowTechCombat, a review and interview about the ISR Matrix.

ISR Matrix is a self defence system which teaches a linear response that aims to overcome an attack in a progressive manner. The defenders response can be scaled depending on the nature of the attack. In particular, the response is scaled according to the legal use of force continuum. For a more aggressive attack, more force can be used where necessary. Where little real threat is present, control is used to neutralize the attack.

You can read more on ISR Matrix’s website.

That sounds interesting. I wonder how it compares to Tony Blauer’s S.P.E.A.R. System.

Sunday Metal – The Map of Metal

Behold!

\m/ The Map of Metal \m/

Beavis, this is pretty cool!

It’s (yet another) attempt to trace the evolution and geneology of heavy metal music. I love the graphics and artwork and how they put it all together. I also like how they have interactive audio samples of each genre. I discovered some subgenres I didn’t know existed (Oriental Metal? Mathcore? Djent?), and also got to explore some bands I haven’t listened to in a long time, and listen to some new stuff.

There will be endless debates about classifications, and really in the end it doesn’t matter. But this is still pretty cool.

Thanx, now go away

Y’all remember Jeanne Assam? She’s the woman that, back in December 2007, stopped a mass murderer at her church, New Life Church.

Now Jeanne comes out of the closet. She’s gay.

She now claims that New Life Church no longer welcomes her. Story here, and here.

Looks like there’s a bunch of “he said, she said” going on here. Not sure what the real truth is, but hopefully it will come out.

Metablogging

I thought about this last night, and just now as I responded to a blog comment I saw something.

I saw on my blog, the Archives. The archives are listed per month, and next to each month is a number indicating how many posts were made that month. I observed the number going down. Oddly, my readership has gone up. Quality over quantity? I don’t know. :-)

I haven’t blogged much lately because I just haven’t been feeling it. The job transfer a couple of months ago has left me a little depressed. I am not complaining about the fact I still have a job that pays well with good benefits. It’s just not what I want to work on, plus I think there’s a lot of misguided behavior. Let’s just say that while I love money and have no problem making it or with people who wish to make as much money as they can, to chase money for the sake of money rarely pays off in the long run. If you solve true problems, you do much better. If you make software (or any product) that doesn’t suck AND that solves people’s problems or truly makes their life easier and/or better, you do better. I’ll leave you with two quotes:

Virtue does not come from money, but rather from virtue comes money and all other things good to man – Socrates

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur C. Clarke

To me, software should “just work”. You shouldn’t have to think about it. I guess that’s why I like Mac because, on the whole, the design ethic of Good Mac Software strives to “just work”.  And yes, to some level that makes it indistinguishable from magic… at least at first, because eventually we get used to it and it becomes the norm.

Yet, I just haven’t felt it to write. I remember when I started the blog, it was because I was wanting to join that “gun blogger” community. And while at first I blogged heavily about gun stuff, I just can’t find myself blogging solely about gun stuff. There are folks like Sebastian or Joe Huffman or The Firearm Blog that do such a better job than I ever could. Yes, I feel a little guilty about it because I know part of my readership is here because of gun stuff. But I also did realize from the get-go that a single-topic blog is hard to do, thus it’s “Stuff from Hsoi: writing about whatever interests me, and maybe you”. I left it totally open-ended. I know that I myself change. I learn new things, I explore new things. I will change, I will evolve, I will grow. Consequently, whatever I’d want to write about would change. I’m glad I left things open.

I still strive to post at least one thing every day. So far, I’ve been succesful at that. Doesn’t mean I have to write every day… sometimes I’ll write things and queue them up for posting later (the “schedule” feature is useful!). But I want to ensure one post a day, because hey… if you’re going to read, you want there to be something to read, right? Of course, I still wonder why people want to read what I have to say, because I’m just some guy… I’m no one special.

Anyways, I shall continue to write, tho the topics may change. It will be what it will be. Numbers and stats may feed the ego, but they don’t mean a whole lot in the end. I mean, I’m not writing this to see how much stuff I can post in a month or how many readers I can get. I’m writing because I like to write, even if it’s meaningless ramble like this. :-)

You’d think he could do some research…

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa is worried that the proposed legislation to allow concealed carry on campus could make schools unsafe.

Hrm. What is Mr. Cigarroa basing this upon? Facts? Data? Supporting evidence?

No.

Chicken Little.

Cigarroa says parents, faculty and campus law enforcement agencies have expressed concern that the law could lead to an increase in campus violence.

Geez. You’d think being the head of a University that he might have access to scholarly research and data, history, and might even know something about basing decisions on facts.