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Comment: Re:How hard is it to recognize a stoplight? (Score 1) 279

Tech doesn't need to overcome it, that is the territory of the law. At some point, once self-driving cars are good enough and ubiquitous, they will simply be mandatory on public roads, and taking over to control it in an area where it can drive itself would be a crime.

Comment: Re:I had one for a while. (Score 1) 325

by shutdown -p now (#48215581) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Yawing/fragmentation is basically a factor of impact energy (which it itself an impact of velocity), and the structural strength of the bullet, and the latter in particular is affected by its length and the presence of cannelure. It's quite possible to deliberately construct fragmenting rounds in pretty much any caliber, by deliberately weakening the jacket with cuts (you can even make steel-jacketed bullets fragment that way). The nice thing about 5.56, at least in its original incarnation, is that it was capable of that without any special construction, just by virtue of being that fast and having a cannelure.

Comment: Re:Except it's not (Score 1) 519

by shutdown -p now (#48214303) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

With rifles, sure. I don't see any particularly good reason to openly carry one anywhere but range or hunting grounds. And I cringe every time I see one of those videos where some idiot straps an AR to himself and goes walking around the block just so that he can be stopped by a police officer (after they get half a dozen calls) and then argue with him on camera, and upload it to YouTube to bitch about his 2A rights being infringed.

With handguns, though, concealing them is ridiculously easy. Even a full size service pistol can be carried IWB with a baggy t-shirt with no-one around being aware of it at all. Not to mention pocket carry etc. So I don't think that prohibiting carrying those is going to be easily enforceable in a manner that you describe.

Comment: Re:Considering (Score 1) 519

by shutdown -p now (#48214243) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

It would seem to indicate only that he was not specifically preparing for the spree, and little else - just went nuts, grabbed what he had, and went for it. As noted, if desired, he could have easily gotten any of those other things on fairly short notice, and there's nothing in Canadian gun laws that would stop or even delay him (if he has a shotgun legally, it means that he already has a PAL). Unless he has a criminal record, in which case American laws would have done the same.

Comment: Re:May I suggest (Score 1) 325

by shutdown -p now (#48210287) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

I never said anything about AK-47. The standard issue service rifle for Russian armed forces today has been AK-74 since, well, 1974 (in practice, since the beginning of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1979 - my dad served there early on, and they all had AK74s by then). It had all plastic furniture except for the stock (which was steel wireframe) since the very beginning, excepting some early pre-production prototypes that used wood. The latest modification, AK-74M, adopted in 1991, also adds a folding plastic stock.

I won't bother with citations, since you can find it trivially by starting with the article for AK-74 in Wikipedia. Or, hell, just punch it into Google image search, and you'll get plenty of pics. Here's some choice examples, most of them from Crimea (you can tell these are Russian soldiers by their camo):

And Chechnya:

Or here's the page on the official website of the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Bulgarian Arsenal SLR-104FR is probably the most accurate civilian clone on the market.

Comment: Re:May I suggest (Score 1) 325

by shutdown -p now (#48209969) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

Well, the main firearm for police is the sidearm. The weight that a suppressor adds makes the gun more difficult to handle. Granted, my only experience is with the old fashioned suppressors with the rubber grommets, but I don't think the new suppressors are that much lighter. Additional weight at the muzzle of a handgun may not matter in target shooting (my forte) but it really matters in tactical situations.

For a sidearm, yes, I agree. OTOH, most police aren't really using their firearms in "tactical situations", to be honest. They sure like to pretend they do, but in practice, not so much.

I was thinking more about integrated suppressors, though, not the kind that screws at the end. When you can wrap them around the barrel, they can be that much lighter, and the overall length is also much shorter. I don't think anyone does this with handguns in anything other than .22 LR currently, but there's no reason why they couldn't make a service pistol in .45 ACP like that.

Also, the new types of suppressors are much less effective in quieting a weapon. Even the volume of a suppressed weapon is enough to cause hearing damage (it's the attack portion of the envelope that causes the damage as much as it is the volume).

With rifles, a modern suppressor is really quiet enough (with subsonic ammo, naturally) that all you hear is the action of the weapon working, even with something like .300 BLK. With handguns it's definitely louder, since the pressure is going to be higher out of a barrel that short, and yes, you'd still want hearing protection... but it will reduce the amount of damage that it causes even so.

I'm pretty sure the suppressor regulations are local, not national, by the way.

It's both. Some states ban them outright (though the recent trend is to legalize in more states), but on federal level there's NFA, which requires a $200 tax for every transfer, and several months of waiting time for BATFE to process the paperwork. Plus a sign-off from a local LEO chief (or a gun trust to work around that requirement).

If anything, local police are too eager to go to their weapon to solve a problem as it is. I'm not sure you want to encourage more of it by making gunfire quieter.

I want them to have the tools that they might realistically need (i.e. handguns: yes; MRAPs: no), and to make those tools safer for me if they do have to use them. A better way to discourage their misuse would be mandatory body cameras, IMO. There's already some statistics on departments that have started using wearable cams for their officers, and the drop in police use of force, and in citizens' complaints about police abuse, are quite remarkable.

Comment: Re:Photo-realistic drawings? (Score 1) 470

by shutdown -p now (#48209715) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

But that's what we do, legislate morality. Stealing is morality. Killing is morality.

Both stealing and killing involves measurable objective harm. The only morality being legislated here is that harm is immoral. So let's make that the sole exception.

. But sex and children are an indefensible combination in any way, shape or form. I don't know that I can say even pictures of children in a sexual context made and seen only by their creator are ever ok.

Well, I can say that just fine. After all, pictures of people being murdered are okay, even though murdering people is not. Same goes for every other crime. I don't see why children should be specifically exempt from it.

(Truth be told, we as a society have gone way overboard on a lot of things pertaining to children. There are reasons to treat them differently from adults, and that includes treating them as more valuable, so to speak, but our scale is waaaay off into the "precious snowflake" territory right now... and the CP witch hunt is one of the outcomes. "Zero tolerance" policies in schools are another.)

And as far as simulated or drawn porn goes, there's no leg to stand on at all: nothing at all is harmed in any of the acts associated with the possession of it: neither in transfer, nor in creation - so there's no reason for it to not be legal, other than the desire to control what is in other people's heads.

Comment: Re:May I suggest (Score 1) 325

by shutdown -p now (#48209597) Attached to: No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

They're using silencers on the firing range? What's wrong with regular ear protectors?

They're less convenient. With a silencer, you only need one on the firearm that you're shooting, and everyone else in the room doesn't need to bother with protection (assuming subsonic ammo). Shooting rifles with ear muffs can also be awkward when trying to get a good cheek weld.

But still, both of the main types of suppressors negatively affect both control of the firearm and impact on the target, and some accuracy.

What makes you believe that?

I won't claim to be an expert marksman and have a nuanced opinion on accuracy, but I do know from personal experience (owning both guns and silencers) that any such effect, if it exists, would only matter for precision shooting (where you want sub-MOA groups, say), and is completely irrelevant when shooting at people.

Control of the firearm is affected in a sense that it becomes larger and heavier, and specifically more front-heavy. It's a bad thing in a sense that it makes it harder to draw fast (mainly a concern for sidearms), and it makes it bulkier and harder to carry around in your arms (not really a concern for police, who generally shouldn't be wielding their weapon for prolonged duration - they are not soldiers). It is a good thing in that increased mass means lower perceived recoil, which means more controllability for repeat shots, esp. in rapid fire. Furthermore, suppressors themselves reduce felt recoil by virtue of their design, further increasing controllability.

In terms of less stopping power, it depends on the ammo. Obviously, if you want your silencer to be effective, you're going to be shooting subsonic ammo, which means significantly reduced velocities. But this is generally compensated by increasing the mass of the bullet, or by using a caliber that is subsonic to begin with (like .45 ACP). Then there are calibers that are specifically designed for suppressed subsonic use, like .300 BLK, or 9x39mm of Vintorez fame.

So for sidearms, for example, if they are chambered in .45 ACP (which is generally considered as one of the better handgun calibers in terms of stopping power), the stopping power will be exactly the same with or without a suppressor. Ditto for .45 SMGs.

And, frankly, the only reason why I can see police ever needing supersonic bullets is if they have to confront someone wearing a bulletproof vest - which is a pretty damn rare occasion in practice.

Let's not pretend that the DoD equipment being shipped to local police forces has anything to do with improving policing or protecting people's safety.

This (as well as "we have plenty of evidence that police using firearms in public negatively affects the health of people at the scene") is a different issue. DoD ships a lot of equipment to local police forces, and most of it doesn't really serve a good purpose, and a good chunk of it does in fact induce abuse - but silencers would probably be somewhere on the bottom of my personal "offensive" list. Fully automatic firearms, armored cars, .50 BMG rifles and other such things would be on top. But really, the entire program itself is messed up in too many ways, especially when combined with "equitable sharing" asset forfeiture. I would be perfectly content to shut down the whole thing entirely, and have the local PDs pay for any equipment that they require out of their budget.

As far as silencers go, I would actually be willing to go so far as to mandate their use by everyone (including police officers, except in special circumstances) when shooting in public for any reason outside of designated ranges - including during hunting etc. Given the permanent hearing damage that can be induced in bystanders, I think it's irresponsible to not take care of the noise when there's the ability to do so. Of course, this is not viable so long as silencers remain regulated and taxed as heavily as they currently are in US (much more so than guns themselves).

Comment: Re:Nah, this is just stage 1 (Score 2) 323

by shutdown -p now (#48209151) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

To clarify, in a speech this July, Hungarian prime minister Orban has given some examples of countries that he considers successful, and the systems of which he thinks are worth imitating. Those countries are Russia, China, Turkey and Singapore. He specifically noted that they are "not Western, not liberal, not liberal democracies, maybe not even democracies", and went on to say that "“I don’t think that our European Union membership precludes us from building an illiberal new state based on national foundations".

And he walks the walk, not just talks the talk. There's a massive crackdown on NGOs that are pushing back against authoritarianism in the country, on the grounds that they have foreign funding and are hence "hostile foreign agents". The party, Fidesz, has a supermajority (2/3) in the parliament, which lets them amend the constitution - which they did, adopting a completely new one in 2011, which of course gives the ruling party that much more power, as well as writing a bunch of their platform directly it (e.g. recognizing "life at conception"), defining marriage as "one man, one woman", excluding age and sexual orientation from traits which are illegal to discriminate against, and inserted a bunch of references to Christianity in the preamble, such as "we recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood".

Comment: Re:Japan isn't the United States (Score 1) 326

by shutdown -p now (#48208991) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

A similar thing did happen in UK, actually, and before this whole 3D gun printing craze at that. There was a guy, you see, who figured out that you can actually make a reasonably efficient firearm (a smoothbore submachinegun chambered in 9x19mm - good enough for distances up to 50m or so) out of shelf components - steel tubes and such - if you just pick the ones with the right diameter. So he set on a quest to do just that, wrote a book detailing how to build one, and published it in 1998.

This being UK, after he published it, they charged him with construction of an illegal firearm. He's still in prison. The book is still on Amazon.

Comment: Re: good (Score 1) 326

by shutdown -p now (#48208939) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

It's an incorrect statement. The correct one is "legal gun owners are statistically the least likely demographic to commit crimes". That's because, by definition, a legal gun owner is the one who was never convicted of a felony, and the majority of criminals (esp. when it comes to violent crime) have past criminal records.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.