How Not To Solve A Problem

Colt 1911

Yet another example of how legal Canadian gun owners – and not the criminals – face all the hassles

If you’re a legal gun owner in Canada, you’ve probably heard the buzz about how the Liberal government would like to ban all handguns. Maybe you’ve even begun to wonder why it is that every time there is a high profile shooting, “progressive” politicians come after you, rather than targeting criminals with illegal guns.

After all, over the last 25 years you’ve enrolled in (and passed) the government’s lengthy courses on the safe handling of firearms. You’ve applied for, and been granted a licence to possess firearms, and to buy ammunition.

For a time, when it was required, you registered every old gun you had, and every new gun you bought. You acquired (at significant expense) all the trigger locks and gun safes needed to comply with safe storage rules. You informed the government of your new address every time you moved. And when you went to renew your firearms licence, you dutifully informed the government of any changes in your marital or employment status.

You even went to the trouble of acquiring a transport permit to carry a gun from your home to an approved shooting range, locked in a case, locked in your trunk. And rather than stopping for a pee at a gas station, you held it on the way home because, technically, that’s what Canadian law requires.

If you are an official gun collector, you’ve even agreed to let police search your home randomly, without notice, once or twice a year. In other words, you’ve jumped through every new hoop that Ottawa could think up to burden law-abiding gun owners, in the name of solving gun crime.

Now you learn that’s still not enough. If they can figure out a way to do it, the Liberals want to take away any handgun that you own altogether. All of that is frustrating enough, but there’s something that you didn’t know, that will blow your lid: No-one who has ever been banned by the courts from owning firearms is subject to the same scrutiny.

Neither Canada’s criminal justice system, nor its police information computers, keeps track of the whereabouts of people subject to weapons prohibition orders. The federal firearms center reports that there are nearly 450,000 convicted criminals prohibited from owning firearms, including thousands who should be “monitored closely because of their high risk to acquire firearms illegally and use firearms in the commission of a subsequent offence.”

The Federal Government doesn’t keep track of people who have been banned from owning guns, as closely as it keeps track of ordinary duck-hunters, and target shooters. Here’s the ultimate irony – or is that hypocrisy? We know that the banned 450,000 already have criminal records, and we also know that crime rates among law-abiding gun owners are lower than for the population as a whole.

Governments who want to ban, restrict, or register legal guns in the name of reducing crime, are truly going after the wrong people. Of course, to justify this unwarranted targeting of legitimate gun owners, governments and police services have recently begun spinning the tall tale that legal owners are the No. 1 source of guns used in crimes, either because they have carelessly stored them and the guns have been stolen, or because they have sold their legal guns on the black market.

This is utter bullshit! Little by little, over the past few months, Public Safety Canada, the Toronto Police Service, and others, have been forced to admit that they have no data to support their contention that most crime guns start out as legal guns in Canada.

This is just another way that legal gun owners in Canada are being blamed for a problem that they have not caused. If governments want to reduce gun crimes, they need to stop wasting so much effort on the good guys who own guns.

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Buy And Sell

CB750K

My first motorcycle was little more than a scooter, an anemic little, 450 CC ‘learner bike.’ After I’d got a year’s safe riding experience, and resisted the impulse to let’er rip, I decided to trade up to something a bit bigger, more powerful, and able to carry my fat ass adult frame.

I saw a 750 CC model that I liked, advertised in the newspaper. It said, “Available to view any time” so I rode over. Somebody’s wife let me have a look at it. He had removed part of the front fairing, and dismantled the air-intake system. “Are you interested?” It seemed that she was interested in getting rid of it.

When I jostled it, there was no slosh from the gas tank, and it had sat so long that the tires were soft. It had been ignored, perhaps neglected, for some time. Probably the battery needed a charge. I told her that I wanted to know for sure that it would start, first time – every time. I wanted to hear it run, and I’d like to take it out for a short test ride. It seemed in good shape basically, with low mileage (Canadian kilometrage).

“I’ll get my husband to put it all back together and get it running some night this week, or on the weekend. Come back in a week, and it will be ready.” I didn’t get back for almost two weeks, and thought it might already be sold. No worries, it was still in parts.

“Would you like to take it?” I don’t take any pig in a poke – “I don’t think so.” “Well, I know my husband wants to sell it.” I said, “No he doesn’t. If he did, it would be ready to ride away. He wants somebody to just come along and buy it. That’s a very different thing.”

Which brings us, by motorcycle, to a recent blog-post, titled, I’m 34 And Never Been Kissed. I’d like to feel sorry for this gal, I really would. Heaven knows, she started out in life with several strikes against her. She was born and raised in a Fundamentalist Christian small town near Waco, TX. She was home-schooled by her mother, and not allowed to date, or use makeup, till she was 16.

By the time she entered the social swirl, the gals who’d been ridin’ herd on the guys, since they were 11 and 12, had them all roped in and hogtied. She saw some fellas that she was interested in, but didn’t know how to show enough interest in them, to get them interested in trading up.

It only got worse when she went to University. Her girlfriends and fellow-students were all too busy with boyfriends, and fiancés, and engagements, and weddings, and careers and/or families to even pass along some rejects.

She studied hard at school, got great marks, and got a fantastic job with a generous salary. She has a BMW, and a well-furnished condo in an upscale, security building. She has female friends that she socializes with. What she doesn’t have….is a man.

She says that she doesn’t even want a man, just for the sex. She would like someone to talk to about their life, someone to kiss her, and hold her hand, and pat her back and maybe rub her feet, and cuddle with on the couch, while they watch TV.

Her female friends tell her that to get a man, she’s going to have to put some work into it. She dismisses that suggestion by saying that she’s not going to change who and what she really is, just to trap a guy. I believe that she is mistaken, and misinformed.

There is no need to make any basic changes. She may have a wonderful product, but it needs to be marketed. She doesn’t want to leave her comfortable rut to sell herself. She just wants someone to come along and buy. Without some advertising, any suitable guys won’t even know that the product is available. 😛

 

Vulcan At The Forge

Gods

My friend BrainRants is paving his back yard with beer cans.

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Actually, he’s only paving a 20 foot diameter fire pit – less the 5 foot diameter central concrete burn area, and he’s using more than just beer cans – but it makes a great story.

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I don’t want to use the word ‘unusual,’ because many may read it and think strange, or weird.  It’s not strange or weird (or maybe that’s just me), it’s just uncommon.  He melts aluminum down in a homemade furnace, and casts 6 inch hexagons.  His input may include discarded patio tables, or salvaged broken storm doors.  Cans often include soft-drinks, but beer cans comprise the bulk of the base stock.  14 cases of mixed cans produce 10 of these tiles.

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He built his own little furnace, in a 5-gallon metal pail, using special, high-heat concrete and chicken wire for support.  He also poured a concrete lid with a breather hole and handles.  A purchased propane burner is inserted through a hole in the side to provide the heat, and crucibles, purchased online, contain the molten aluminum.

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He made his own wooden hex replica, and uses it to form wet-sand moulds, into which he pours the hot metal.  This project is nearly complete.  He had 820 hexes when I arrived, including a few bronze ones, and I helped him by staying safely out of his way, drinking beer, while he poured his self-imposed weekly quota of another 20, over two days.

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Here is Vulcan, beginning to pour 5 tiles.

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He’s getting closer, and that stuff is HOT!  Stand well back.  All of this was done in a garage, on a hot, muggy DC August day.  I can think of no better excuse for a couple of cold beers….and another to celebrate a safe, successful conclusion.

Dos Equis

 

Helicopter Parents

Helicopter

Helicopter parents, stop hovering and come in for a landing.  You’re not doing your children any good.

After a bit of anecdotal research, a local community service group is organizing Basic Life Skills seminars for youngsters this summer.  Parents who do everything for their children forget that they’ve never taught the kids how to do things for themselves.

A smart and accomplished 17-year-old neighbor did not know how to use a can opener.  An otherwise bright 15-year-old nephew tried to microwave a plate of spaghetti, with a fork in it.  A female Uni student singed her eyebrows off, when a baked potato exploded in her face.  She thought that the fork holes that her mother put in them were just for decoration.

One young lad used the dining room table as a makeshift bench, to cut a piece of wood, forgetting that, in cutting the board, he would also cut off a giant slice of the table.  His sister once called her dad to ask how she would know when water on the stove was boiling.  He hung up on her.

Courses will include
How To Iron Clothes.  Turns out that there’s more than one way to mess this up.  One college lad tried ironing his shirt while he was wearing it.  Another used the new couch as an impromptu ironing board, and melted the foam in two of the cushions.

How to set a table properly:  Also, how to wash dishes by hand, and load and unload the dishwasher – and what soap to use.  One woman says that a couple of college interns at her work have poured dishwashing detergent into the dishwasher.  “Bubble for miles!”

How to use a paper map:  One woman was driving her son across town to a soccer meet, when both their cell phones died.  They dug a street map out of the glove compartment and, with a little help from her, managed to get where they were going.

How to order food (like pizza) using a landline phone:  This will ensure that they know how to use the land line, how to politely order something over the phone, and how to interact with a delivery person, and calculate a tip.

How to mow the lawn:  Also how to identify/pull weeds, and plant/water flowers.

How to do the Heimlich on yourself:  There is nothing scarier than choking while you’re alone.

How to cut up common fruits and veggies:  And how to do it without requiring medical attention.  This course goes over basic knife skills – also, how to wash fruit and vegetables properly.

How to shop for groceries:  How to compare prices, the value of store brands, how to choose fresh produce, how to interact politely with a cashier, and how to bag the groceries without crushing the bread.  One woman waits in her car, and sends the kids in with money, and a list.

How to write – and mail – a thank-you note:  What to write beyond, “Thank you for the ______.”  How to address the envelope properly, write the return address, stamp it and mail it.  One office manager says she has college-aged interns who don’t know where to put the stamp.

How to do laundry:  What to wash in hot or cold, where to put the detergent, the magic of drying things slightly, then hanging them up (no ironing), how to fold clothes for a trip.  A young woman who moved to Arizona to attend University, was so befuddled by laundry, that she shipped it home – to Minnesota – by train.

If you haven’t taught your kids these things, and many others,

How to turn off water to an overflowing toilet
How to plunge said toilet
How to turn off water to an entire house
How to make a few simple meals
How to relax when you can’t sleep
How to be a good guest
How to politely address adults
How to recognise the smell of propane and natural gas, and what to do when you smell it
How to show good etiquette
How to resolve a dispute
How to make an important decision

it’s time that you started.  I’ll be here when you get back.

Smitty’s Loose Change #8

BC Mountie

How the Media – and the Police – Hell, just about everybody – lies to you

“A traffic stop in Calgary yielded drugs and several weapons, including a semi-automatic submachine gun.”

This is where I say….  Cat <-> Dog, Wet <-> Dry, Day <-> Night.  A semi-automatic weapon fires once each time the trigger is pulled.  A ‘submachine gun’ is fully automatic, capable of rapidly firing through a far larger ammunition magazine.  It’s one or the other.  It can’t be both – says the guy who invented it, and the word.

Police issue statements like this to appear to be protecting the public – from dangers that don’t necessarily exist.  Newspapers cynically use headlines like this to sell papers!  Don’t you feel safe?  It’s a good thing that liars don’t give off radiation, or we’d all glow in the dark.

***

In Ford though, they see a my-road-or-the-highway politician…. I realize that the subtle, nuanced, ABAB rhyme scheme of, My way, or the Highway, can be a bit difficult for a columnist from Toronto’s poshest newspaper to detect but, come down from your ivory tower, and listen to how ‘the little people’ in the street actually speak, and how they view their political representative, before you disparage him.
BTW:  He got elected.

***

There is none so blind as he who will not see.

(Ontario Premier) Kathleen Wynne is not popular, for whatever reason, whether because there is a hunger for change, or because she is an older, lesbian woman.

Perhaps it’s because she and her Liberal government shut down all the coal-fired power generating stations, before the renovations to the nuclear and hydro ones had been completed.

Perhaps it’s because she and her Fiberals threw away 5 to 10 billion dollars over 25 years, by signing contracts for solar and wind-powered electricity.  They wasted 2 billion dollars by cancelling 2 clean, gas-fired generating plants, because they were too close to rich, influential voters.

They raised Ontario’s electrical rate to the highest in Canada, and almost the highest in North America, causing manufacturers to re-locate elsewhere, losing 40,000 jobs – including mine – thank you very much!

They blew a billion dollars on the Province’s medical helicopter-evacuation fleet – without any improvements or upgrades being achieved.  They blew another billion dollars on a computer system to make all medical files in the Province available to all health-care professionals – only the system doesn’t work, and has been abandoned.

They blew a billion dollars on a computerized payroll system for all Provincial employees.  It is so badly f….ouled up that some workers are a month behind on their pay, and it will take another billion to straighten it out.

Most Ontario voters would accept Marvin the Martian; the premier could be asexual, white, black…. or plaid.  We don’t merely want change for the sake of change; we want change for the better.

***

Skepticism is my nature!
Free thought is my methodology!
Agnosticism is my conclusion!
Atheism is my opinion!
Humanitarianism is my motivation!
Faith is what adults call ‘pretending.’

 

Firearms VS. My Skull

Shotgun

Have you ever had your head blown off with a 12 gauge shotgun?  I have, almost, and it still gives me shivers when I’m reminded of it!  Actually, that’s a silly question.  If you’d had your head blown off, you wouldn’t be here, answering this silly survey.

Children in my small hometown owned weapons. 14, 15, 16-year-old boys possessed rifles and shotguns.  It was not unusual, of a warm, sunny summer Saturday, to see a group of armed youths, ‘going hunting’, if hooting and yelling, and telling jokes while clomping through the near-by woods could be called hunting.  All the animals were hiding behind trees and snickering.  The only things that got shot were trees and fenceposts – or old appliances and food tins, if we reached the city dump.

One well-armed wight once boasted of ‘bumping off a chickadee’, as if he were a mob hit man. From a distance of 20 feet, he blasted away with a 12 gauge shotgun, leaving nothing but a fine pink mist.  He was also the genius who found an arm-thick, wild apple tree amongst the evergreens, and ‘chopped it down’ using three blasts to its base.

The rifles we owned were mostly little .22 caliber plinkers, capable of very little serious damage. Those who carried 12 gauge shotguns though, were far more dangerous.  .22s are only 22/100ths of an inch wide.  Even .45s, a large handgun shell, are less than half an inch.  12 gauge though, is .730 inches in diameter. And the power comes from the ‘squared’ portion of the Pi/R/Squared formula.  See the size comparison below.

Gauge

I had moved away to get a job, and had returned for Christmas. I’d been able to get presents for my Mom and Dad, but admitted to him that I had no idea about what to get my brother.  He told me that my brother wanted to be armed like his friends for ‘hunting season’, and also told me where there was a bolt action shotgun for sale, much like the one at the top, only in far better shape.

Bolt-action, for a shotgun, is quite rare. It cocks, ready for the next shot, when you lift the bolt handle, rotating a wedge-shaped section backward.  After you manually insert another shell and close the bolt, it is fired by pulling the trigger, to release the spring-loaded portion….usually.

After I had presented it to him on Christmas Day, the brother oohed and aahed over it, and took in into his bedroom, ‘to put it away in his closet.’ I had a small repair chore to do for my Dad, and stepped out into a shed, attached to the back of the old, frame house, with a work area in it.

I was standing close to the house outer wall, with a file and screwdriver in my hands. Suddenly, there was a loud bang, and my head and shoulders stung from small impacts.  I thought at first that a two-bulb, 4-foot fluorescent light fixture had exploded in the cold….but no, I still had light.

I turned, and there was a head-sized hole in the wall, right beside my head.  I could see my brother inside, with the shotgun in his hands, and a dismayed expression on his face.  By the time I’d left home, I’d acquired almost 300 hours of gun-handling and safety training.  Not so my brother, and his gun-toting friends.

He just HAD to know how the gun operated, and inserted a shotgun shell.  Apparently the gun had a 6-inch split, at the back of the barrel.  Instead of cocking, as the bolt was raised, it allowed the cocking cam to slip out of a groove, machined into the barrel, and hang up on the barrel’s rear edge.  When the bolt was pushed forward, it stretched the firing spring, and when the bolt was cranked down, to lock it, the cam snapped back into its slot, and suddenly flew forward, firing the gun.

A couple of fortuitous degrees of angle, or inches of difference in where he, and I, were standing, were the only things that prevented me from becoming a Wisconsin Swiss-Cheese-Head. The gun’s vendor had not wanted to lose a sale by mentioning the flaw, but had to refund my money, and got a good blast from both me and my Dad.  My brother never did end up owning a gun, and it’s probably just as well.

Do any of you have an almost-died story that you wish to share?  This is not my only one.  My brother also almost drowned the both of us one time.   😯  I’m alive and safe now, and look forward to hearing from you again soon.

 

 

11/11 Remember!

With the exception of a little explanation here at the top, and some added notes at the bottom, this will be a republication of last year’s November 11th post. I may not have said it the best that it can be said, but I’ve said it as well as I can say it.

remembrance

No matter what you call it, this is a little reminder that tomorrow is Remembrance/Veterans Day. Take two minutes at 11:00 AM to stand quietly and remember, respect and honor those in the Armed Services, past and present, who have given so much, so that we can have peace and security.

Take some time tomorrow – Hell, take all day if you want, and take a bit of time any other day, whenever it’s possible – to shake the hand of a veteran, or current Serviceman. Smile, and say, “Thanks!”

Canadian Flag

veterans

Times, and social situations change. Wars are no longer only fought by going to the other guy’s country and shooting him, or just blowing up his shit till he stops being an asshole.  In addition to the Vets and current Armed Services personnel, mentioned above, we should also remember to thank and think of (because of the job they do, and the way they must do it, they’re invisible, but invaluable) Intelligence and Internal Security Officers, as well as the folks building SkyNet, who feed info to them, so that they can keep us safe from gas attacks, poison and biological assaults.  They also prevent attacks and loss of service to our increasingly technologically-dependent Internet lifestyle, with their Ninja-like handling of all those little 1s and 0s.

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