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Comment: Re:It's crap (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775885) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

No the founders wrote extensively about this. The point of the 2nd Amendment was that they didn't want the US to have a federal, standing army, they wanted the States to have their own militia. Which they do - the National Guard. The founders never intended to allow random people to form private armies to oppose the government - we're citizens of a democracy, so we're supposed to have elections and abide by the results, not shoot at each other!

Comment: Re:The Canadian Exodus.... (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775881) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

So you're advocating that guns in the US should be as unregulated as they are in Switzerland? I agree with you. But you need to learn a bit more about Switzerland, because I suspect that you don't agree with your own position.

As for the Swiss guns in homes keeping them save from Hitler, Nazi Germany planned to dispose of that country's independence after it had defeated its main enemies on the continent first. They weren't put off by the prospect of Swiss self defense - they planned to take the country with just 11 divisions, because the Swiss didn't have much military capacity. But after D-Day, the Germans stopped expanding, so they didn't get to Switzerland. So what saved the Swiss? The US Army (among others).

Comment: Re:No advocating banning guns (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775831) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

To be clear, he's just proposing that we return the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the founder's intent, and how it was interpreted for the first 200 years of our history. He's making the point that over the last few decades it's been stretched by a stacked judiciary bent on rewriting the law, and saying that Congress can restore the original intent through legislation.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775817) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Remember, until the late 1970's, the NRA supported the 2nd Amendment the way it was written and intended by the founders, and how it was understood for the first 200 years of our history. It was only after the "coup" where the gun salesmen took over that they suddenly decided that it needed to be re-interpreted as protecting the rights of felons to buy guns untraceably.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775745) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

No, you're cherry picking data to try to make an easily disproven argument. There was a short-term increase in crime, but long-term, both went down substantially after guns were regulated.

"Actually, Australian crime statistics show a marked decrease in homicides since the gun law change. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, a government agency, the number of homicides in Australia did increase slightly in 1997 and peaked in 1999, but has since declined to the lowest number on record in 2007, the most recent year for which official figures are available."

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/...

Note that they didn't ban guns, they just regulated them, and gun ownership dropped from 7% to 5%. And saved a lot of lives.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775703) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Interesting hypothetical. Back in reality, the statistics care clear - people who live in houses with guns in them are much, much more likely to be shot than people who live in houses without guns. Of course, this makes sense - most gun deaths are either suicides (the majority) or shot by a family member (already in the house). So having a gun in the house just makes those two cases easier, and thus more likely.

I don't think anybody argued your "straw man" position, that lethal self-defense is never necessary. I would argue, however, that based on historical data, statistically the gun you buy for self defenses far more likely to be used in a suicide or to kill a family member than it is to be used to save their lives.

So let's invert your hypothetical: "Do you accept that suicide or murders are sometimes successful? Are you prepared to sacrifice the lives of these people?"

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775681) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Yep, and the founders very CLEARLY wrote that they intended for the People as a whole to be armed by forming state militia, under control of the states. It's a state right, not an individual right. They were very clearly opposed to the idea of private armies. Remember, they founded a country, not an anarchy.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775675) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Taxes are actually relatively low right now - lower (relative to GDP) than they were under Reagan.

Your problem is that your taxes are because corporate taxes (tariffs, etc.) and taxes on the wealthy are down to less than ½ what they used to pay, while *our* taxes went up to cover what they refuse to pay for. So you shouldn't be pissed off at "taxes" you should be pissed off at the people and corporations that are making you pay more than your fair share because it's good for them.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 2, Informative) 1365

by laird (#46775593) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

You have pretty much all of your facts wrong.

In Australia, gun deaths dropped, and overall violent crime also dropped. You're cherry-picking a brief increase right after guns were regulated, which was then followed by a sustained decline in both gun deaths and violent crime in Australia.

It's absurd to pretend that "the only thing standing between a crazy gunman and an elementary school is a piece of paper" - laws are enforced. If nobody (other than the police) at a school can have a gun, then anyone with a gun is obviously breaking the law and can be stopped. If people with guns can roam the school, the only way to tell that one of them is a killer is that they've just shot someone.

The shooting in the movie theatre illustrated how ineffective people with guns (there were several in the audience) actually are in stopping gunmen, which is to say that they didn't do so. The reality is that a gunman can position themselves, and have body armor, and then then shoot everyone in sight. And that generally speaking civilians without training for combat situations cause a lot more harm than help, because they tend to panic and shoot the wrong people, or fire and miss, etc. There's a reason that policemen and soldiers train constantly, and it's because it's the critical difference that makes them effective.

Also, most gun deaths are suicides. More guns strongly correlates to more successful suicides. Limiting access to guns reduces suicides.

Similarly, letting soldiers on bases carry loaded guns leads to more people getting shot, not fewer. That's why soldiers are only issued ammunition when they need it. I'm pretty sure that the Army isn't anti-gun, but they do like to keep our soldiers alive.

I agree that you're not a lawyer, and deliberately misleading.

Comment: Re:Militia, then vs now (Score 1) 1365

by laird (#46775519) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

Stephens' logic is completely consistent with how the 2nd Amendment was understood from the time of the founders until the 1970's, which is that "the People" as a whole have a right to bear arms by forming militia, but that there's no universal individual right to bear arms that cannot be regulated or restricted in any way.

Comment: Re:We already knew this (Score 1) 90

by laird (#46755323) Attached to: Carpenter Who Cut Off His Fingers Makes "Robohand" With 3-D Printer

In practice, we're finding that PLA is too fragile, users are happy with ABS, and Nylon is indestructible.

As for "in the same price range" you can print a hand, and buy all of the bolts and lines, etc., for under $50. Commercial prosthetics are $10-50K. Volunteers and 3D printing is _much_ cheaper.

Comment: Re:Medical Device Certification? (Score 1) 90

by laird (#46755305) Attached to: Carpenter Who Cut Off His Fingers Makes "Robohand" With 3-D Printer

Using traditional manufacturing, prosthetics really ARE very expensive. Remember, they have to manufacture all of the parts in a range of sizes and designs to fit everyone, someone has to come spend time with the patient to fit it, etc. And that's great for people who can pay $10-50K for a prosthetic.

e-NABLE and Robohand's approach is to replace the expensive manufacturing/stocking process with 3D printing, so you can print just what you need when you need it. And instead of professional designers and doctors getting paid, we're all volunteers (often professionals, but donating time).

Comment: If you want to help... (Score 1) 90

by laird (#46755269) Attached to: Carpenter Who Cut Off His Fingers Makes "Robohand" With 3-D Printer

If you want to help with enabling people to 3D print prosthetics at home, a group actively working on it is e-NABLE (http://enablingthefuture.org). There are numerous open source designs, and lots of people using them and providing feedback. We have Google Hangouts (https://plus.google.com/u/1/communities/102497715636887179986) on various topics several times a week (there's an R&D group working on the mechanisms, there's a group building a web site so that people can put in their measurements and get parts out scaled to exactly fit them, etc.). There are 600+ people in the community now, and there are tons of projects that people can contribute to. There's a map of volunteers (http://www.zeemaps.com/pub?group=609826&legend=1&geosearch=1&search=1&locate=1&list=1&shuttered=1&add=1) so if you need a hand, or you want to help others print parts, etc., you can find volunteers near you.

Comment: Re:We already knew this (Score 1) 90

by laird (#46755239) Attached to: Carpenter Who Cut Off His Fingers Makes "Robohand" With 3-D Printer

Actually, 3D printing in wax is routine in jewelry and dentistry, because it's a great material for casting. It's not a consumer technology, so it's not covered in the mainstream press, but those guys LOVE 3D printing. The machines are $5K and up, as they're sold as a business/industrial product, not consumer.

For the home 3D printers, it's quite common to use the "lost wax" method, but using PLA instead of wax.

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