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Comment Just like aircraft & ADS-B (Score 1) 25

Large commercial aircraft have to have a transponder that transmits (among other things) their height, bearing, speed and position. Each one has a unique identifier (ICAO24 hex code). All aircraft will be required to be equipped with these things after 2020. You can track them with a home mode aerial, a Raspberry Pi & a DVB-T dongle, using SDR. It's all broadcast in the clear (it has to be - the logistics of making sure everyone has keys for decryption would be a nightmare).

Comment Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

The guns/suicide link comes from studies from Harvard (, The University of Southern California (as linked before) and the New England Journal of Medicine ( So you might want to reconsider your views on it. The Japan thing is a separate country with a very different culture, so a red herring. The above suicide studies are all within the US, so culture factors are already controlled for.

Given the wide variance of crime rates within the US, I would suggest that the states with higher murder rates implemented tougher gun laws as a response to high murder rates. The leakage of guns from adjacent states with lax laws would hamper those law's effectiveness. In order for it to work, the laws would have to be country wide, but I don't see that happening.

I'm quite happy for you to live your life as you wish, providing you don't go about gratuitously harming others. I just don't want a cultural meme, which has shown itself to be problematic, to say the least, to be exported to my country.

Comment Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

Australia banned lead in gasoline in the early 80s (I remember it happening).

Lead poisoning leads to poor impulse control, aggression etc, all of which are implicated in murder, assault, robbery and other crimes. If you look closely at the crime stats for Australia in those previous replies, you'll see that the homicide rate did indeed drop, but other crimes, such as robberies etc, including armed robberies, not so much. Indeed they stayed fairly constant, and in some cases even rose.

So you could argue that it's a combination of a couple of factors - less brain damaged people and reduced availability of tools to commit murder.

In the US, the proportion of households with guns has been steadily dropping ( so a similar mix of causes would be in effect there.

And as mentioned before, you're 3 times as likely to commit suicide and twice as likely to be murdered if you have a gun in the house. More & more people are wising up to that fact, and that's why the proportion of households with guns is dropping.

Comment Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 1) 573

So, explain to me why the gun usage, as a percentage of homicide rate, did not actually drop significantly? Could it be that the HONEST people were the ones that gave up their guns while the criminals kept theirs?

The actual overall murder rate dropped from 1.8 per 100,000 population in 1995 to 1.1 in 2012. So if the proportion of gun homicides in those murder rates remained the same, the actual rate of gun homicides dropped. To some 60% of what they once were. So yeah, a success. No mass shootings and a reduced rate of murder.

Comment Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 2) 573

Yup, the gun laws are responsible for EVERYTHING. It must have NOTHING to do with the population density, the criminal justice system, the social system, the economy, the government, or the family structure. Gun laws dictate everything.

Well, we haven't had a mass shooting since the ban went into place. They were fairly regular occurrences before.

Yes, there are other factors than the lack of gun laws that cause the absurdly high murder rate in the US, but guns make killing and suicide that much easier.

If you have a gun you're 3 times more likely to suicide and twice as likely to be murdered - see

So for the sake of your own health, mental as well as physical, giving up that gun sounds like a good idea.

Comment Re: Thanks, assholes (Score 4, Informative) 573

You've carefully elided the fact that homicide rate in Australia is about a quarter of that of the US. The reason the homicide rate in the US fell more, is because it had a lot further to fall - and it's still four times that of Australia! You might consider the trade-off worthwhile, the tree of liberty needing to be watered by the blood of innocents from time to time and all that, but we don't. Over here you look like a bunch of crazed loons.

The knife thing is about knives over a certain size (poor Crocodile Dundee!). I have carted around a Leatherman (the knife) plenty of times and have not been hassled.

Comment Re:Why just guns? (Score 1) 264

Exactly. If, instead of reducing lead, the government had simply banned guns, and we still had lead in gasoline and paint, how well do you think that would have worked out? With people still having behavioral problems, and using knives and baseball bats instead of guns, do you think that the 49% drop in the murder rate would have still happened. Thank you for proving my point. Crime is a symptom of a deeper problem, and guns are NOT the cause of the problem, they are just tools that criminals use, but they are used MUCH MORE by honest people.

If guns had actually been removed, I believe the murder rate would've dropped a bit, because guns make it a lot easier to kill people. There's a lot more effort involved when using a baseball bat. Unfortunately, you've got that particular tiger by the tail, and the guns are unlikely to disappear unless there's a mass community movement to do it, like there was in Australia.

And what do you expect? The honest gun owners are very much AGAINST crime, just like all of the honest non-gun owners, but how are gun owners supposed to "put a lid" on crime. If I have a gun to defend myself, do you expect me to put on tights and be "Super Shooter Dude" running around saving the city by myself? Then I would be called a "vigilante," which is generally frowned upon.

I wasn't expecting honest gunowners to be vigilantes - I was expecting them to condemn the more out there pronouncements of the loons.I'm not seeing that happen at all, which makes me think that perhaps they agree with the nutters. Not good for peace of mind.

By the way. I am not a "prepper" or a "survivalist." At least not much. I have been through a couple of hurricanes. I know what it is to be completely without power and water for a week or so -- and it is not fun. After any disaster it may take the government a few days to a week to come to your rescue, so you need to be prepared to meet your own needs for up to a week. That is just common sense. I am not preparing for the end of the world.

Didn't think you were one of the nuts - you appear to be able to consider evidence and make reasoned arguments.

In my case, I just want my children (yes, I have children) to know and love the freedoms that I grew up with. And, if some scumbag wants to attack one of my daughters, I plan on teaching them how to defend themselves. I would rather have a scumbag wind up being shot than one of my daughters wind up being raped. I also do not like people telling me what to do for NO GOOD REASON. There is a speed limit on the roads -- that makes sense, so I happily obey (well, mostly). I believe in being nice to other people. But, telling me that I cannot own a rifle when I have not hurt anybody and have no plans to hurt anybody is just plain stupid.

In violent agreement here - although in my daughter's case, she took up martial arts. Australia isn't the gun desert that people imagine - there's a gun club about 20 minutes drive from where I live. It's right next door to a Defence training area, so there's plenty of loud bangs from time to time.

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce