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Comment Re:Simple question (Score 1) 86

I'm studying nuclear physics, so I can build a nuke? Nothing big, just maybe 1 megaton.

Based on a quick perusal of Title 18, United States Code, Sec. 1102, Chapter 40. Importation, Manufacture, Distribution and Storage of Explosive Materials, no you can't. Pretty sure you can't build that nuke without explosives. The nuclear material is also likely highly regulated, but I didn't bother to continue looking as I already found a showstopper for you legally building that nuke.

Comment Restore iCloud password then back it up (Score 1) 389

Apple should investigate whether or not they can restore the password (the hash of the password) for just this one user. This assumes they have backups that cover the relevant time period. I'm sure it's not completely trivial, but it's probably a lot less work than rolling out a one-off OS. If so, then the FBI could then take the phone to a trusted Wifi, plug it in and let it back up to iCloud. Apple has already turned over the 6 week old backup that's in iCloud and could easily turn over the new data too.

Comment Backwards legal system (Score 4, Insightful) 312

When did we switch from, "who did this [obvious] crime?" to "let's figure out what crimes X committed?" The feds know what this guy did. Either it's a crime, or it's not. If it requires a massive amount of digging (by subject matter experts) to try to find some law to charge the guy with, it's not justice. I suspect any one of us could be found guilty of multiple felonies if a team of lawyers were tasked with charging us with something. Having said that, this guy's an idiot for having his name associated with a video containing two hot button issues combined together.

Comment Re:Firearm Legal Status (Score 1) 520

There is no legal definition of assault rifle. The term assault rifle originated with the Nazis, and is generally accepted as having the definition I previously provided. Given the select fire nature, assault rifles are strictly regulated under the National Firearms Act. Note: the NFA does not define or use the term assault rifle.

Over time, there have been multiple defitions of the term assault weapon. There was a Federal definition, until the assault weapons ban sunset. Several states have their own definition. That's a much newer term, which many believe was invented to cause confusion, as it's similar sounding to assault rifle.

because oh horror the media correctly referred to a weapon that is legally defined as a assault rifle as an "assault rifle".

I would request that you provide a link to this legal definition of assault rifle of which you speak, but I know you can't because it does not exist. I believe you are one of those who has confused the terms assault rifle and assault weapon.

Comment Re:Firearm Legal Status (Score 1) 520

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assault_rifle

  • It must be an individual weapon with provision to fire from the shoulder
  • It must be capable of selective fire
  • It must have an intermediate-power cartridge: more power than a pistol but less than a standard rifle or battle rifle
  • Its ammunition must be supplied from a detachable magazine rather than a feed-belt

Rifles that meet most of these criteria, but not all, are technically not assault rifles despite frequently being considered as such. For example, semi-automatic-only rifles like the AR-15 (on which the M16 rifle is based) that share parts or design characteristics with assault rifles are not assault rifles, as they are not capable of switching to automatic fire and thus are not selective-fire capable.

Comment Firearm Legal Status (Score 4, Informative) 520

An assault rifle, by definition is a machine gun. The gun used at LAX wasn't (as best we can tell from the available information). So the first sentence in the summary is inaccurate.

There's speculation, based on a photo on Twitter that the rifle is a Ruger Mini-14, in which case it may not have qualified as an "assault weapon" as defined by Federal Law. Under Feinstein's last [failed] assault weapon ban, the Ruger Mini-14 with a collapsible stock was banned, but the other Mini-14's were ok. It would depend on whether or not the stock folds/collapses.

Under California law, the pistol grip, and ability to accept a detachable magazine are sufficient to classify it as an "assault weapon."

Looks like high capacity magazines were used, although they may have had inserts to render them legal (i.e. limit them to 10 rounds). If they are large capacity and he owned them before 2000, they're legal. Otherwise they would only be legal if they were limited to 10 rounds (or fewer).

We can say with high confidence that a semi-automatic rifle was used. Under the previous Federal assault weapon ban, and the more recent failed Federal effort, this rifle may or may not have been considered an "assault weapon." Under California law this rifle is an assault weapon. The magazines may or may not have been legal.

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