Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Thoughts On Owning A Nuclear Weapon

Disclaimer: I Am Not A Philosopher.

When discussing the Second Amendment with an anti, the question of whether individuals should be allowed to possess nuclear weapon often comes up, dragged in as the ultimate absurdity.

I am comfortable with my understanding and/or interpretation of the Second Amendment, which is that the individual should be equipped comparably ("well regulated") to a regular soldier (modern light infantry).

To me, this means at least a semi-automatic rifle in a military caliber. Full auto or select fire? Sure. Grenade launcher? Sure. Mortar? Eh...yeah, okay. Heavy machine gun? Um...okay. 20mm cannon? Yikes...but yes.

Artillery? No. A tank? Strangely enough, yes. Rocket launcher? No. Bazooka or TOW? Yes. Flamethrower? I honestly don't know.

I see that my acceptance or rejection of the above seems to be based on the individual pulling the trigger. A firearm must be aimed at a chosen target by the shooter for the weapon to be effective.

A mortar is not aimed the same way, nor as precisely. I believe a tank is aimed precisely and so I have no quarrel with ownership of one (or hell, even several).

But drive one into my neighborhood and I'm going to be uncomfortable with that, to the point of looking for a bazooka or other tank-killer. To me, taking a tank into a residential or business area is a declaration of intent to cause great harm, out of proportion to your individual capability.

So what about a nuclear weapon?

Is it a defensive weapon? Not really. It's a terror weapon, a weapon of mass destruction that kills out of proportion to its existence, its...quantity.

So, should individuals be allowed to possess nuclear weapons?

No, in the strongest possible terms. Like a tank driving down a neighborhood street, individual possession of nuclear weapons is a statement of intent to cause great harm, way out of proportion to the individual's capability otherwise. It should be an automatic death sentence for the individual, no appeal, no stay of execution, shoot on sight.

"But what if he's got a deadman switch and kills lots of people even when he's dead?"

I know that all of those deaths would be a horrible tragedy. But you can't negotiate with Evil, and that's what individual possession is.

And I realize that this is close to what the antis believe, that guns kill out of proportion to the individual's capability, and that they (and those who possess them) are Evil, and that only the police or the military should have guns.

But the police and the military have no secret gift or talent that makes them moral or just or especially qualified to deal with Evil. Bad Guys with guns are Evil and can only be stopped by Good Guys with guns.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Saturday Poetry

Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)

Exegi Monumentum

I have erected a monument to myself
Not built by hands; the track of it, though trodden
By the people, shall not become overgrown,
And it stands higher than Alexander's column.

I shall not wholly die. In my sacred lyre
My soul shall outlive my dust and escape corruption--
And I shall be famed so long as underneath
The moon a single poet remains alive.

I shall be noised abroad through all great Russia,
Her innumerable tongues shall speak my name:
The tongue of the Slavs' proud grandson, the Finn, and now
The wild Tungus and Kalmyk, the steppes' friend.

In centuries to come I shall be loved by the people
For having awakened noble thoughts with my lyre,
For having glorified freedom in my harsh age
And called for mercy towards the fallen.

Be attentive, Muse, to the commandments of God;
Fearing no insult, asking for no crown,
Receive with indifference both flattery and slander,
And do not argue with a fool.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Glendale Gun Show

The Glendale Gun Show is this weekend, August 12 - 13, Saturday 9 - 5, Sunday 9 - 4, at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.

Free parking, cheap admission, some decent stuff here and there. I need to replace the American Eagle ammo I bought at the Ventura gun show, since it won't reliably cycle my .22 rifle. I probably need to clean the gun, too.

Plus I need more Wolf for the SKS, and maybe some 185 grain .45. Knives are always good to look for, plus a cotton web sling for the SKS. Maybe another piston, too.

Update: Well, that was disappointing. The same people selling the same stuff for the same prices, maybe a little more (Wolf ammo). Couldn't find anything that I was looking for at a decent price and I didn't much care for any of the other choices.

Has the Glendale Gun Show run its course? Hmmph.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Political campaign material

Since tomorrow is a statewide election day, we here at Casa Mr. Bruce have been receiving pounds of mail every day about the virtues and talents and importance of various people running for office.

In the midst of all this drum-pounding (dead horse beating?), one mailer really stands out as an example of the mindset of the Democrats. Senator Jackie Spier (San Mateo county) is running for Lt. Governor. One of her quotes reads: "I rely on my own outrage meter...I figure if it upsets me, it's likely to upset the average person in my district, and it's an issue worth taking on."

It's hard for me to express my dismay and disgust coherently. Based on only her mailer, she has no spine, no vision of government's role in anyone's life and having gotten on board a gravy train, has no desire to get off.

I'd like to see somebody campaign on the basis of what laws they have successfully repealed--that would sure get my attention.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Review: Joss Whedon's Firefly

Firefly Boxed Set review

I got the Firefly boxed set for my birthday last March, and I'm just now starting to watch it. I had seen the first episode ("Train Job") when it aired on Fox and I liked it.

Why am I not liking it now?

I've watched the first two discs and I'm not satisfied. Mal, the official hero of the series, isn't heroic. He's just angry. The official mystery passenger, River, is just a crazy homeless person, albeit government-created.

Shepherd Book is the most interesting person. He's also the oldest. Think there's a connection?

Joss Whedon's vision of the future is nasty and brutish. The Alliance (aka "the government") has no goals or purpose, democracy is nowhere to be seen, religion is not viewed positively (Mal's "Just don't say it (grace) out loud"), and capitalism has been replaced by thievery and slavery (apparently they're the same as capitalism).

It would've been a much more interesting series had Whedon taken not the western as his model, but the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Kimball .30 Caliber Carbine Auto Pistol

Reading the January 2006 issue of American Rifleman the other day, there was a small squib "50 Years Ago" about an ad in the January 1956 issue for Kimball's .30 (carbine caliber) auto pistol, modestly billed as "The World's Most Powerful Automatic Pistol":

(Picture found at 5 of the thread, post #82.)

It's not clear from any of the excerpted articles below, or any pictures that I've seen, whether the gun is loaded via a separate or integral magazine.

From Canadian-Firearms Digest V1 #851:

In 1955, the Kimball appeared on the scene, looking rather like a lightweight Colt or High Standard on steroids. Using a lightweight half-slide like those two .22 rimfire handguns, Kimball chambered his offering--are you ready for this?--in .30 M1 Carbine. A very illogical design!

So he had an excellent way to lock the breech CLOSED until the pressure dropped, right? WRONG. He gouged an annular ring around the inside of the chamber. On firing, the case expanded into the ring, and blowback forces swaged it back down to size as the cartridge pushed the slide back.

The NRA was highly interested in this new "wonder30." They got one of the first specimens off the line, and fired it. In a VERY short period of time, it stopped working, with the slide unwilling to move. They disassembled it.

The design allowed the slide to run back until it hit a vertical post at the rear of the grip -- again, like the .22 rimfire Colt or High Standard. The post was so battered and distorted by trying to stop that light slide that it had mushed out to the sides and jammed the slide.

The NRA sent it back. Kimball explained that the problem was poor heat treatment, and sent another. It failed almost as quickly.

When the second specimen was disassembled, they found that the new hard post had cracked, bent, and was obviously ready to shear off completely. A quick estimate of the path of the slide if the post HAD sheared completely indicated that it would end up in the middle of the face of the shooter--and, given the hammering it was doing when it reached the post, it would probably fly all the way to the face--and some distance into the shooter's head.

The Kimball company ceased production after 238 specimens had been made.

From GUNS Magazine, December 2001, by Mike Cumpston:

In 1958, the J. Kimball Arms Co. went into business (and out of business quite shortly) producing a .30 Carbine caliber pistol that closely resembled a slightly scaled-up High Standard Field King. It was extremely well-made and functioned on a delayed blow-back principal. This one contributed much to the mystique of the .30 by coming apart in the hands of one W. B. Edwards of GUNS Magazine. The rear slide lugs fractured on the 192nd round. No provenance is found for the legend that the Kimball has lodged its slide in the eyeball of several unlucky shooters, but the story is widely believed.

J. Kimball Arms Company (Detroit, MI), another American gun-maker gone.

Update: But not forgotten! GunsAmerica has one for sale, only $1950 (#185 of 300, condition is new, but there's no box).