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Comment: Re:Great, but who's going to use it? (Score 1) 558

by karmatic (#43867955) Attached to: 'Smart Gun' Firm Wants You To Fund Its Prototype

Oh, they have their place. In terms of raw stopping power, in a single target, with time to line up the shot (for example, an aggressor breaking down a door), a TASER is a rather effective device, and will outperform most handguns. Unlike a firearm, it doesn't rely on a CNS shot or blood loss to stop the threat. One hit, and the threat is stopped.

There are plenty of situations where a TASER is the wrong tool for self-defense, but to say they aren't dependable is absurd.

Comment: Re:Why can't we have rational gun control? (Score 1) 1862

by karmatic (#42597815) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

That number's not really important, as it could be perfectly legitimate transfers, like from parent to (presumably adult) child or between good friends who know that the other is not a criminal. No harm there.

Of the 40% cited (likely from this study), 39% of the approximately 40% were transfers to friends and family. 4% were from gun shows, but a good percentage of those were likely from licensed dealers, and thus subject to background checks.

Comment: Re:Why can't we have rational gun control? (Score 1) 1862

by karmatic (#42597787) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

Citation needed.

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf

It's acquisitions, though, not purchases. 39% of the approximately 40% of acquisitions not done through a FFL are from either friends or family members, and the vast majority of those were likely purchased from FFLs, or acquired from friends or family.

It's a misleading statistic, to be sure.

Comment: Re:Almost no one is killed by "assault weapons" (Score 1) 1862

by karmatic (#42597523) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

Best statistics I've been able to find: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=328876

There was a recent self-defense case in which a woman put 5 of her 6 rounds into a single burglar, who was still mobile for a period of time. Had there been a second attacker, she would have had no ammunition left in her firearm.

If you want an extreme example, see http://www.afn.org/~guns/ayoob.html . He's been the target of 35 robberies, and in one case ended up firing 105 shots in a few minutes. There were 7 armed robbers.

That's ultimately what makes the difference. A single attacker isn't likely to require 10 handgun rounds. Facing 3 or 4 quickly changes things.

Comment: Re:Why can't we have rational gun control? (Score 2) 1862

by karmatic (#42597375) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

I live in one of the most gun-friendly states in the country (AZ). I've been to a number of gun shows. The vast majority of the dealers are FFLs, which means that you have to follow federal background check laws. Trying to see how "easy" it was to get from a private dealer, I went to most of the dealers in the Crossroads of the West show. In the whole show, I found two private dealers - one for handguns, one only selling long-guns. It was far, far, far less than 40%. Here in AZ, I'd estimate the percentage of guns sold at major gun shows by private sellers to be in the single digit percentage.

The original 40% statistic, by the way, likely came from this:

Bloomberg’s office pointed us to a 1997 study by the National Institute of Justice on who owns guns and how they use them. The researchers estimated that about 40 percent of all firearm sales took place through people other than licensed dealers. They based their conclusion on a random survey of more than 2,500 households.

This is very different from being a "gun show" thing. If you actually read the study, the study looks at transactions (including acquisitions). 19% of people acquired their guns as a gift, and 8 percent obtained them through inheritance or a swap of some kind (often trading one gun for another, which doesn't really increase the number of people with guns).

Again, from the survey:
"About 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved federally licensed dealers". 39% of gun acquisitions come from family members or friends. 4% of guns came from gun shows, many of which are licensed dealers. All in all, about 1-2% of gun acquisitions appear to be from private party gun sales at gun shows. This would be consistent with my personal experience.

What gun show loophole?

Comment: Re:Oops, they forgot something (Score 1) 1862

by karmatic (#42597209) Attached to: 3D Printable Ammo Clip Skirts New Proposed Gun Laws

> they need the extra killing power of an assault rifle.

First off, assault rifles are already banned. Assault rifles have at least one mode where they fire more than one bullet per trigger press.

The "assault *weapon*" bans ban scary features. A bayonet lug, for example, does nothing to the lethality of a gun.

As for the magazine size restrictions, there's a big difference between a self-defense situation and premeditated mass-murder. As recent events have shown, you can put 5 bullets in an attacker, and have him still be functional enough to drive away. Had the burglar not been alone, she and her kids would have been defenseless. In self-defense situations, one often doesn't have a spare magazine, and reloading under that kind of stress is a difficult proposition.

I've personally been in a position with my wife where we had a carload of individuals hollering at us and trying to chase us down and box us in in their car. We managed to keep them on the other side side of the road median, we were luckily close enough to make it to a store, we were lucky enough that they didn't follow us in, and we were lucky that the cops came quickly. I don't know what they wanted, but it wasn't good. One of my sisters was raped about the same time of night by a stranger, and LGBT people are regularly victims of violence.

Had I been forced to defend myself and my wife, there's a big difference between facing four assailants with 5 bullets, and facing four assailants with a larger magazine (like the one that came stock with my current pistol). Someone who is planning a mass murder is free to pre-load as many magazines as they want, like the Virginia Tech shooter (who used standard capacity magazines, including 10 round magazines, which are legal even under states with strict size regulations). Even NY's new 7 round limit grandfathers in pre-ban 10 round magazines, ensuring even the rather strict new laws still wouldn't have limited his ability to go on the rampage he did).

The sandy hook shooter was shooting children, and ended his life as soon as emergency services arrived. An extra few seconds spent reloading in a classroom wouldn't have made a difference. He killed 26 people in about 20 minutes, and even a bolt-action rifle can easily accommodate that.

> Your argument is basically this: we shouldn't ban hand grenades or rocket propelled grenades because some asshole can always make some sarin or fly an airplane into a building using a box cutter.

No. The argument is that politicians are basically saying "Something must be done! This is something, therefore, it must be done!", while none of the offered "solutions" would actually do anything to prevent the problem they are claiming to try to.

Education

Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek's Charitable Donations Go? 263

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-accept-all-major-credit-cards dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I'm in the position to direct (or at least suggest the direction of) a fairly large amount of charitable donation on behalf of a foundation interested in promoting education. As a lifelong geek, I'd like to see some of this money directed toward organizations involved in things geeks-like (e.g. spreading technology in education to those without it, improving the use of technology for those who have it, etc.). If it was up to you, what charitable organizations would you support and why?"

Comment: Re:Seatbelts? (Score 2) 643

by karmatic (#38616132) Attached to: What a Black Box Data Dump Looks Like

Get rid of seatbelts. Get rid of airbags. Put broken glass into the dashboard.

That should act to straighten out a lot of car drivers!

I'm a fan of replacing airbags with a giant well-sharpened spike in the middle of the steering wheel. It would reduce average road speed significantly, both from voluntary compliance from responsible drivers, as well as a rapid reduction in the number of irresponsible drivers on the road.

Comment: Re:No.. that would be silly. (Score 1) 397

by karmatic (#35026904) Attached to: Sony Wins Restraining Order Against Geohot

See Concurrent Jurisdiction.

Long story short, the Federal and State governments often can both regulate things. This is not considered double jeopardy either, as you have broken both laws - you are being tried for the offense against each.

Unless it's something specifically listed in the constitution as being reserved to the Federal government, the States have the right to regulate it. While the feds have overstepped their bounds with the commerce clause, they (constitutionally speaking) can't preempt the states. That's why they (for example) use highway funds as a tool of control. Basically, it's "we can't regulate it, but we can make it worth your while to do so."

Comment: Re:Is free cheap enough? (Score 1) 286

by karmatic (#34321936) Attached to: SSL Certificates For Intranet Sites?

Does this mean that if third-party users access my web site, they will be "stopped" with the typical warning that the site is secured with an unknown certificate - and make them go through the ususal steps to add it, etc?

You tell me.

In all seriousness, if you install the certificate chain properly (just follow their instructions), you're fine. They verify you, then don't charge to verify the certs that are tied to you. Makes more sense to me.

Comment: Re:It's being done in the US too (Score 1) 193

by karmatic (#32909414) Attached to: New Chinese Rule Requires Real Names Online

What carrier are you going to put that on that doesn't require an ID or SSN?

T-Mobile.

Call them. Lie about name and SSN.

When you fail the credit check, they put you on prepay rather than postpay. The SIM comes in the mail. If you have some blank T-Mobile SIM cards already, they can activate them for you.

The plans aren't bad, and you don't end up paying the prepaid penalty either.

Comment: Re:Well for starters (Score 1) 517

by karmatic (#32400382) Attached to: IRS Wants a Cut of Sales On eBay and Craigslist

The obvious way to fix this that I've heard some propose, is to allow exemptions for the poor, etc. But now you're getting back where we are now, where individuals have to keep track of their finances and report to uncle sam for their rebates. Except now individuals have to keep track of every single purchase, rather than just their annual income from their employer.

You are aware that the "FairTax" proposal would replace other taxes with a sales tax, but apparently did not bother reading the proposal in full before attacking it.

The proposal calls for a "prebate" - basically paying _every_ taxpayer an amount equal to (Poverty Level * Sales Tax). So, those living at or below that level would pay no (or negative) taxes.

It doesn't have any exemptions whatsoever, and that is kind of the point. The poor pay just as much as everyone, but the effective rate is extremely low due to the subsidies. Individuals don't have to keep track of finances, or report things for rebates. Are you a citizen? You get a check. The check does nothing for Bill Gates (percentage wise), and makes all the difference in the world for someone living off $20,000 a year.

Let's look at tax rates. 2 scenarios:
1) Someone who spends all their money on food and rent. Rather poor, no disposable income.

Under the FairTax, the rent would be pre-tax money (as it effectively already is with someone who pays no income tax). No change there. If their grocery budget is $50/week (generous for a single person) - they would pay ~$215 a month in food costs. They would pay $50/mo in taxes, which would be more than offset by the $2500/year ($208/mo) prebate.

2) Family of four. Per census bureau, the "real" adjusted for income median household income was $50,233.00. Poverty level is 22,050. After prebate, even if they spent 100% of their income on things that were directly taxed (say they own their home), they would effectively only be taxed on the $28,183 difference, and it would be paid at 23%. So, on a $50,000 income, a family of four would pay ~$6500 in taxes.

As your income rises, it would approach 23%.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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