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Comment: Re:Of Course (Score 1) 205

Which is why they are not all that interesting from the zombie perspective. For zombies, you need to build a model that accounts for things like 300+ million civilian guns in USA, and the corresponding stockpiles of ammo.

I haven't built one, but my gut feel is that in US, the outbreak would be over in a week, tops, as zombies would be mowed down by the trigger happy redneck horde that finally gets their adventure of a lifetime.

NJ would still be screwed, tho. ~

Comment: Re:Should come with its own football team (Score 1) 102

The companies may dodge the taxes on their income, but it's pretty hard to dodge taxes on their employees. Granted, WA doesn't have income tax, but there are also property and sales taxes. It would actually be interesting to see just how much the employees of all the companies listed (specifically, their WA offices) generate.

Comment: Re:good bye to US datacenters (Score 1) 406

by shutdown -p now (#49123991) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

That's okay, for all the countries they care about (to keep tabs on their citizens), they'll have mutual agreements with. Just like Echelon works due to data sharing between USA, UK, Australia etc.

As for Snowden, he may be free from NSA, but he has Russian snoops keeping an eye on him. Google SORM-2 and see what they have in place for many years now. The same applies to pretty much any other country that would not be chums with USA.

Comment: Re:From Mall of America visitor rules: (Score 1) 241

LaPierre is a hysterical moron. It's not worth paying attention to what he has to say, and it's not worth arguing with people who take him seriously, because they lack (or voluntarily surrendered) the ability to reason logically and surrendered themselves to emotions.

I would like to point out, though, that the law prohibiting mentally ill from possessing firearms is already in place. The point that NRA keeps raising is that the checks are done on federal level, while the databases are compiled on state level in a very ad-hoc and inconsistent way. Basically, each state decides what goes on the list and when it gets to the feds. So the effect is that we have a law on the books that is supposedly helpful (I'm not familiar enough with the topic to judge whether it actually is or not, though I suspect it would be with the proper criteria), but the implementation of which is hindered in practice. It stands to reason that either the law needs to be repealed, or it needs to be fixed to do what it's meant to be doing.

Regarding allowing people to buy guns after having convictions - I don't see a problem with this in principle. Rights are rights, and the right to keep and bear arms is there on the list alongside the right to free speech or to privacy and protection against warrantless searches. We don't refuse the latter to criminals after they have served their sentence, why should we refuse the former? (BTW, the right to vote is also one thing that is unfairly denied to such people, and that so many states still do it is a travesty).

The bigger problem there is the justice system that's designed to be punitive in nature rather than corrective or deterrent - we release criminals on the streets knowing full well that they're still sociopathic, and we put people in prison for years for crimes that don't harm anyone, or that they wouldn't repeat anyway because they already understand the error of what they did (and after they spend those years in prison, they often turn into sociopaths). Fix that, so that sociopaths remain isolated so long as they remain a danger to society, and gun rights for felons becomes a non-issue.

As far as terrorist attacks in malls go, it would seem that actual terrorists don't have a problem sourcing weapons for them even in countries where gun laws are fairly tight (like, well, France). In any case, in US, even if you were to make them all illegal overnight, you'd end up with all those millions of guns ending up on the black market, still readily available for those who intend to use them for some nefarious purpose. It would take not years, but literally decades for the circulation to scale down - a time scale that doesn't really mesh with the "here and now" nature of the terrorist threat.

And, of course, terrorist attacks are usually not gun massacres. Explosives were, and remain, a best and most reliable way to wreck havoc on a large number of people at once for maximum shock value. In Nairobi mall attack, it took at least four (almost certainly more, initially they reported closer to a dozen attackers; 4 is how many they have arrested in the aftermath) guys with AKs, engaged for several hours, to kill 67 people. In Moscow metro bombings, it took two women with suicide belts a few seconds to kill 40. Much easier logistics, too - no training necessary for the bombers, and explosives are homemade stuff with nails and scraps of metal for a shrapnel load. Pretty much the only reason for them to use guns is when they want to fight off police (in e.g. hostage scenarios like Beslan, or simply when they want to make a statement of how inept the government forces are by holding them back, like in Nairobi).

Comment: Re:From Mall of America visitor rules: (Score 1) 241

I can understand the restrictions on firearms in environments where people are expected to get intoxicated or otherwise get their judgment impaired. Those kinds of restrictions are actually very old policy in most places they exist, dating back to 18th century, and I suspect that when they were enacted, it was very much experience-driven (i.e. that drunken shootouts were not uncommon, prompting such laws).

But everywhere else, your sole argument seems to be, "people are more likely to use it for suicide". Which is extremely dubious, especially in case of places such as malls and the like, since 1) people wouldn't generally go there to commit suicide in any case, 2) even if they did, it doesn't really affect you in any different way compared to witnessing the same thing in the street, and 3) if they really want to do it, they'll just ignore the sign/law.

As far as on-campus carry goes, it's really two unrelated things. One is for people who are basically just visiting the campus (this includes the students who don't permanently reside there) - in that scenario, it's not really different from a mall or any other public place, and it's still not at all clear why it requires a different policy from a busy street just outside it (or, for that matter, a small town 50 miles away). The other is for students residing on campus; but at that point you're talking about restrictions on possession in general, not just carry, and your suicide argument is really about possession as well.

Comment: Re:From Mall of America visitor rules: (Score 2) 241

An automatic weapon is generally the one that is capable of firing bursts. Getting a full auto weapon in US legally is possible in some states, but prohibitively expensive (on the order of $15,000K for a Vietnam-era M16), and puts you under ATF scrutiny and on their registry. There was exactly one legal full auto gun used in a crime in the past several decades, and that one was by a cop.

As far as terrorist attacks with firearms go, notice how it happened in France first - a place that's presumably pretty tight on their gun laws. Yet the guys who did it had no trouble sourcing a few full auto AKs (again, something pretty damn hard even in US) and even an RPG.

And I don't think that anyone says that more guns in the hands of citizens is going to solve the problem. But it will reduce the impact compared to what we saw in Kenya, for example. There's a difference between slaughtering unarmed civilians, and getting into a firefight, even when the other side has less effective weapons.

Comment: Re:From Mall of America visitor rules: (Score 1) 241

Who said anything about automatic weapons?

You already have many malls "full of handguns" all over the country, by the way. Not all of them post "gun free zone" signs, and those signs don't have the force of law in many states in any case, so many people simply ignore them.

I understand the general mindset that leads towards gun control. But given that guns are out there anyway, under the current legal regime, how are "gun free zones" doing anything helpful at all?

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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