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Comment Re:NRA and gun control (Score 1) 1139

The original compromise that SAF tried to broker with the Manchin-Toomey bill made some sense: what they were trying to pull off there is universal background checks combined with national reciprocity for concealed carry, and a well-defined system to challenge and remove (when justified) legal restrictions on gun ownership on felons, drug users etc after a reasonable time period and after a court review (they're currently banned for life with no recourse in most cases). It sunk because carry reciprocity was rejected by the anti-gun groups.

Comment Re:For the Record (Score 1) 1139

Um, Oregon has universal background checks, for starters. That alone puts it in the "more restrictive than average" category. Otherwise it's a fairly typical law, with permits for concealed carry, and open carry allowed without permits but with some restrictions.

Comment Re: Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1139

Push guns underground, and they become much more expensive and risky to buy. Why not just divert all the money and resources in the "war on drugs" into the "war on guns", and it'd be won inside a decade, I reckon.

It won't, really. Guns are actually easier / less dangerous to make than most drugs (that require labs to produce, or farms to grow, or both).

Here is a shotgun that can be made out of two pieces of pipe and a screw, readily available in any hardware store, not requiring any machining skills and minimal assembly. It's single-shot, but it's so cheap to make that a spree killer could easily make a dozen or two, preload them, and just use and discard them one by one.

Here is a book detailing how to make a fully automatic 9mm submachine gun at home, with no machining, out of pipes and other stuff also readily available from any hardware store. Its only deficiency compared to the "real thing" is that it has a smooth bore, not rifled - which will not matter in the least if used at distances under 50 yards or so, or against a crowd. We know that it works because the author has sufficiently made and tested one - and ended up in prison for it, being a UK citizen.

The only thing that can be realistically regulated is ammo. Even then you're looking at modern smokeless powder rounds with primers - cases can be reloaded, and bullets can be cast, and smokeless powder can be made, but primers are complicated. OTOH, black powder cap and ball revolvers are much more low-tech, and yet still quite deadly.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1139

And do you really think a darkened room full of amateur gun owners opening return fire is going to in any way lessen the death toll? Against a gunman with body armour?

It probably would, actually. Even the best armor doesn't make you immune to bullets - penetration or not, all that energy has to go somewhere, and when the bullet hits an armor plate, it's basically translated to a very heavy and rapid punch of the plate against the body. This results in, at the very least, a massive hematoma, and quite possibly in broken ribs, depending on what exactly the round was.

Alternatively, if this is soft armor (e.g. kevlar alone - what police typically use unless it's SWAT), then the bullet actually creates a bump on the other side that can easily be 2-3 inches deep - and if there's body behind the plate, then that's what gets protruded by said bump. There are safety standards that define the maximum size of such bumps, but their point is to make sure the person wearing the armor survives, not that they're not damaged at all.

So yes, several people unloading handguns at the armored shooter at the same time would, at the very least, knock him down and hurt him significantly, possibly enough to buy more time for others to get out of the way, and possibly even to disable and subdue him.

FWIW, the Aurora shooter wasn't actually wearing body armor. He had a plate carrier that was capable of accepting armor plates, but he didn't actually have them in it, using it simply as a load bearing vest. He did have armor on some other parts of the body (head, neck, legs), so it's probably because he was buying things without understanding what they are, and bought a plate carrier thinking that it is armor.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1139

Your interpretation of the Second Amendment is based on a very contorted reading of it. It doesn't say "right of the militia". It doesn't say "right of the well-trained people". It does say "right of the people", with no further qualifications (a rationale is not a qualification).

This doesn't preclude background checks and many other things. But it almost certainly does preclude your suggested regulatory scheme. If you still want it, you can always advocate for a constitutional amendment - that procedure is there for a reason.

Oh, and please, leave the bullshit "judicial activism" whining for the right-wingers. It has been diluted so much that by now it simply means "I don't like the decision the court has made".

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1139

No law-abiding citizen may have access to an M-16 for entertainment purposes. Now there are certain organizations that may have access to an M-16 for business purposes, but no citizen may own one.

You can own an M-16 just fine as a civilian, if you find a pre-86 one on sale, and are willing to pay somewhere around $20K for the privilege plus $200 in federal transfer tax. There are no laws on federal level that prohibit civilians from owning full auto firearms; only importation and manufacture for civilian market is prohibited, but everything that is already there can be resold with a tax stamp. Some states specifically ban full autos, but there are enough that do not.

Comment Re:GPLv3 - the kiss of death (Score 1) 302

The ones who need this format are the users. But they won't actually get it because none of the mainstream browsers will use a GPLv3 library. And until at least one popular browser has it, others don't really have any incentive to implement it.

So, in effect, the project is stillborn, entirely due to the licensing decision of the authors. Which is exactly the point.

If that's a victory for freedom, then, I suppose... yay?

Comment Re:Hypocrisy (Score 1) 258

I want either a true free market with competition (i.e. the one where I'm not required to go shopping), or else a properly regulated market. Anything in between is unacceptable, because it is forcing me to buy a product from a private party without limiting how much the party can charge me; in such a market, the natural strategy for the providers is to collude on prices.

Comment Re:Hypocrisy (Score 1) 258

The price control is called "competition".

Yeah, right.

I am required to buy auto insurance, since I insist on driving on public roads. I can shop by price, and change insurance companies to save money. It works essentially the same way.

Yes, and it's equally ridiculous. In BC, for example, the auto insurance company is run by the state, allowing it to control prices, so mandating it makes sense.

Comment Re:Hypocrisy (Score 1) 258

The public option plan existed also (and indeed, was the preferred one). It was scuttled.

It's debatable whether ACA is actually better than what was before it long term. It does force you to buy insurance without putting any meaningful price controls in place on the cost of said insurance.

Never trust an operating system.