Well, Brady died

You’ve seen the news elsewhere that Brady has finally died. genuinely, given what happened to him and how he spent his life after having gotten shot, I genuinely wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s overkill and just gives people someone who they can parade around as a talking point, and that person isn’t capable of expressing any interest or lack of in the thing. They get to be a puppet for whatever talking point.

Now that he passed away in a nursing home, his death has been ruled a homicide and he’s now going to get pushed as a ‘gun death’.

I wish I could make this stuff up.

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Untitled, except I guess it is sort of titled

Apparently, one thing that’s a major part of the Sikh religion is the kirpan dagger, and as a part of their religion they must have the “courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of their colour, caste or creed” to quote Wikipedia.

Anyone willing to protect the oppressed or protect the innocent is in my book, one impressive person.

This is just to say one short thing: Well done.

Remember Gun Disassembly 2?

Finally, the problems from Gun Disassembly 2 have been fixed with World of Guns: Gun Disassembly. The bad camera controls and imprecise selection of the tablet, phablet and phone versions have been replaced with a free to play version for PC, available for free via Steam. The terrible camera has been replaced with right click to slide, left to pan and tilt and the scroll to zoom. Selecting parts is now the exponentially more precise mouse pointer.

The game also includes shooting ranges, constant updates and new gun models, support for both Engish and Russian, and Steam achievements in addition to basic in game achievements.

Compared to 2, WoG uses an experience point based system, where once you have enough points you can unlock the next model on a branching tree system. Guns get more expensive the further along the tree you go, and they only show you a little in advance what guns you could unlock, making finding the one you want that has yet to be revealed effectively guesswork. The game also includes a purchasable point system to allow you to buy the extras such as skeletons, motorcycles, and cars. Compared to 2, WoG also includes a BMP-3 and a HMMWV for the low low price of 50 credits for the BMP, or $8 USD. The bonus models are only able to be bought through steam DLC or in game purchases of credits, you cannot unlock them with experience. In addition, the experience is greatly slashed and every time you achieve something the game shows your earned experience 9a flat score, thankfully) and reminds you that you could get 2.5x that if only you bought a booster. Boosters last only about an hour and cost about $3. Of course, if the depressingly slow rate of gaining experience annoys you, you can do the gun identifying quiz, where they show you a gun at the worst possible angle and in about one shade of grey, making identification purely based on outline and ensuring you will make mistakes on some of the models, which results in an instant fail and earning none of the experience you had built up from the correct questions.

Luckily, for only $49.99 USD you can buy the lifetime access which unlocks all current and future models, and they say they will release 2-3 models per month which you will have for free. If anything, while it seems like a blatant cash grab, the $50 for a wide variety of guns to learn the basics of assembly and disassembly as well as a fairly interesting puzzle game requiring solving 3D puzzles and figuring out order of disassembly for the perfect score may well make it worth the price.

They say it’s high quality models, but they’re honestly pretty rough. Either the models are not of the highest quality and/or the developers don’t have a 3d modeler, or they simply are terrible at topography of a model. I’m not asking for Star Citizen render levels of quality, but something that isn’t so rough as to elicit a response of “are they even trying with the textures and models?” would be nice.

Finally, the game wants some really weird things done for assembly or disassembly. On the AK model, I was trying to get the perfect achievement on assembly, and one of the tries resulted in me failing it because I tried to put the gas block back onto the rifle before I put the spring back in the magazine. It slashed the perfect score off, notifying me it was the wrong part. I had failed that achievement so I clicked hint, at which point it told me the correct thing to do was reassemble the magazine. In super game that would have been even more annoying, as wrong part click would have lead to an instant loss entirely. That oddness isn’t limited to just the AK model, as several other guns do the same thing. however, I have had good luck tricking it by disassembling a piece at a time, pulling each into sub-assemblies and individual parts before moving onto the next section and reversing that for assembly, resulting in only having to snap together a few pieces to complete the assembly.

For the cost of free however, it can be a pretty good puzzle game or learning game to cover firearm assembly and disassembly. Less blatant grabs for money would be nice and the quiz working like any actual quiz would be nice as the current way just feels like a “screw you, maybe you should just buy some experience instead” especially due to the fairly poor images of the guns used. If you find yourself enjoying the game I would recommend the lifetime access DLC, as the more models they release the better of a deal it becomes, and it will save you from having to worry about earned experience for the next unlock and allow you to enjoy your puzzles/guns. Hopefully they add a lot more guns and especially uncommon ones. Browsing Forgotten Weapons and adding models of effectively every gun on that sight would be perfect, as how often would I get a chance to disassemble a 37mm Hotchkiss, a Throneycroft carbine, or any of the development rifles that lead to the M1 Garand? Odds are I never will even see one of those, so adding in such models would be a nice touch for the firearms enthusiast as well as for the puzzle fan, as finding hints in the form of an assembly guide would be notably hard.

Good Luck on That

Now given how annoying and restrictive gun laws are and the rumor floating around that something like, oh say the Hughes Amendment was voted against but mistakenly recorded as being voted for and passing, what we as gun owners really need to do is start a strong legal push to take these laws back and to educate people. There are people that believe bullet buttons stop rifles from being fully automatic and that people can just buy machine guns but need a bullet button.

A strong effort to push back and research into that rumor to sue as a possible way to get that law overturned if it was not legitimately voted for would be what is needed, so the best way to start is by making an online petition on the White House site!

Sorry, I got lost now. What exactly have online petitions done other than either create a bunch of emotional drama over a subject (including petitions to have Zimmerman found guilty, which ignores the entire legal system) to every petition on various topics on the White House site? The petitions they don’t agree with aren’t even used to learn that people might be opposed to something or disagree with a policy, they just look at the few petitions that don’t agree with their philosophies and reply with “haha, sucks to be you thinking you could influence something.”

The NRA, 2AF, Calguns, The Pink Pistols, and other organizations are fighting the legal battles. Petitions show you’re invested only enough to just sign a piece of paper. Why not take some more action instead of just a passive gesture? If you can’t afford to donate or don’t fully agree with the organizations, write letters. If you can’t afford that many stamps, send emails or make phone calls. One person calling their representatives to express their viewpoint does a lot more than signing a petition, as your representatives will never really know their constituents support or don’t support something based on a petition they never see.

The ideas of this petition are great, and I personally dislike the Hughes Amendment. Personally, I’ll call my representatives and let them know my opinions on existing bills. It gives them a name and a voice; it gives them the knowledge someone they represent has an opinion and will take the effort to voice it to them.

Plus, it can really help if you thank them for things they voted for or against that you agree or disagree with. A “hello Senator X, I was calling to voice my thoughts on Y bill and this is why I think that it’s good/bad [choose one]: blah blah blah. I also wanted to thank you for your support for/opposition to z bill.”

Feinstein is back!

CISPA has now returned with a vengeance, this time allowing the NSA even more access to private information and  giving companies that share the private data with the NSA legal immunity, regardless of their legally binding EULA that also says they will never share your information.

Here is the bill hosted from Feinstein’s senate website. I linked to her page as it seems she is the biggest proponent and supporter of the bill, plus it adds in that extra bit of this is the person who wants the NSA to be able to examine all of your private details and have it be legal.

However, please let it also be noted that Feinstein is the one who had major issues when her group had data collected on them, but she still supports data collection on everyone else. Perhaps not all politicians think the laws and government spying should only be done on the little people, but Feinstein sure believes she is above all of us. The interesting thing is given how California has things like Recall, that the fairly liberal people you’d expect to be fans of an open and free internet haven’t tried to pull her from office. At the very least it would be surprising if she gets re-elected.

Even though an argument is “if you’ve done nothing you have nothing to fear” but the issue is the morality of it. Why should it be legal to violate the privacy of anyone who isn’t a politician? There is no warrant or anything required, which we have laws about. Checks and balances exist to make sure there is reason to investigate and reason to examine anything private about someone. Why should that be violated? Even ignoring any sort of slippery slope idea, it destroys the checks and balances of the legal system.

Further resources:

[1] Washington Post: Senate intelligence panel advances cybersecurity bill.

[2] Electronic Frontier Foundation.

[3] Sunlight Foundation: Pro-CISPA forces spend 140 times more lobbying than opponents.

[4] Online petition to encourage voting against CISPA.

[5] I don’t know who your representatives are, so I cannot exactly give you the names considering readers from every state show up here. Whoever it is, they are a good resource: write, call, or email to encourage them to kill this bill as soon as possible.

BattleZiP SBR

Remember the ZiP pistol, that tiny little gun chambered in .22 that jams, fails to feed, fails to eject and requires cocking by pushing a plunger over the barrel that is as long as the barrel? Well, there is good news! The company that makes it has released a stock kit to turn it into an SBR. I’m not sure how that addresses the main problem, but I’ll leave being hard on ZiP to everyone else.

The pistol requires a rail accessory to fit onto the SBR stock as well as the registration as an SBR (the NFA needs to die) and then you are ready to go! For convenience the ZiP can be detached and turned around for storage on the stock, which I personally think is a convenient touch. Plus, the stock has a storage pouch on the one side and holds a spare magazine in it, which doesn’t look terribly easy to get at as opposed to pockets or regular magazine carriers. The best part about this is none of that, though. Looking at the ZiP page for the stock there is a “coming soon to Amazon.com”, meaning this stock will soon  be purchasable through Amazon. Talk about a way to get people interested in guns, or who have guns interested in SBRs and such, hopefully leading to them being politically active, just sell the parts for the SBR conversion on a website that is seen by such a huge number of people.

For the rest of it, well, just look at it! It takes the funky looking ZiP and makes it into a full on blocky spacegun and embodies every bit of spacegun design. It might actually look worse when you add the suppressor kit, which I feel like I should mention: they have a threaded barrel kit for adding a suppressor onto it, and no .22 suppressor I have found really looks that great on blocky spaceZiP, which is what I am now calling this.

I also need to thank ZiP, because at $179.99 for the stock (plus the fees) along with the $24.99 rail and $199.99 for the ZiP, it makes a really affordable spacegun and extremely affordable entry into SBRs. The reason I need to thank them though is they made me want to buy one of them now. That price for the whole setup and the use of basic Ruger magazines along with that aesthetic make it something that ends up on my wishlist. At most I would slap a Zeiss Z-Point red dot sight on top of the stock and that would really be it. The best part is at $599.99 the Zeiss would be essentially as expensive as the whole gun itself, although the Zeiss will run its red dot off of the small solar cell while in sun so it doesn’t drain your battery.

Time for me to start saving up about a grand (as I can’t be bothered to add it all up currently) to be able to snag a spaceZiP and a Zeiss red dot.

Minor test, update, and some cleaning

As a part of getting back into the swing of things, some minor housekeeping was in order. I added a small bit to give warning about future things such as SOPA and PIPA, mostly as I am a big supporter of a free internet. SO yes, I’m biased and am showing it since my personality doesn’t consist of the sole bullet point: guns. The horrible mass that was on the bottom has also been condensed, as that all was set up for a sidebar type theme, but while I like this theme (especially due to the low cost of free) it lacks such things as a sidebar, so it has been reduced in scale.

Oh, Chicago. You… Just You.

A lawsuit filed by the Illinois branch of the National Shooting Sports Foundation challenging the ban on gun stores in Chicago resulted in the judge ruling that the ban on gun stores was unconstitutional and that Chicago would have to pay almost $1,000,000 in legal fees to the lawyers who won. The lawyers submitted their bill for the Attorney general to pay, at which point the Attorney general is refusing and fighting that, saying the fees are “inflated” and that the NSSF didn’t win.

Apparently Chicago’s Attorney general doesn’t realize that good lawyers cost a lot of money and that a judge deciding in favor of one side and making a ruling on a case means that that side won. I personally would hazard a guess that the reason they don’t understand that or the lawyer fees are maybe because they are a bad lawyer, especially with evidence suggesting they don’t know how a legal case is won.  My second guess would be massive cognitive dissonance or being willfully obstinate.

So, Zimmerman Can’t File a Libel Suit

According to Legal Insurrection, the judge ruling over the case he filed against NBC dismissed it because his victim status made him a public enough figure to the point where NBC can doctor things to make him seem racist and get away with it, in other words, libel is okay against him!

Of course, when NBC did doctor the call log for the air he was not YET well known and the court case wasn’t that big of a deal until it was made into one by the selectively edited call records. So he’s a public figure because they edited the call to create controversy and manufactured the public figure.

Without wading into the legal muck, mostly because I am a lawyer, I’m instead left to wonder why NBC edited records instead of just reporting the news as it happened. Perhaps it’s not as lucrative as editing stuff and then constantly reporting on it with a bias to get constant views you can run ads to and eyes you can sell to advertisers, but whatever happened to “X happened at Y time on Z date and that is all the details we have” before moving on to the next topic?

 

Gun Restraining orders-seriously?

CA FFL and various other groups have just recently sent big warnings via email on this, so I really should report it becase this is probably one of the worst ideas I have heard that was said in a serious manner. Essentially, it’s a restraining order resulting in firearm confiscation for any reason really. Someone doesn’t need a cause or danger to file one and there is no penalty for abuse, so someone who just dislikes someone could file a restraining order on them provided they live in California and have their firearms confiscated and be barred from ownership.

The biggest problem is that the bill AB 1014 eliminates legal concepts like “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty”. Given that those legal concepts are some of the backbones of our legal system anything that compromises either should be never allowed to pass. It doesn’t matter if it’s firearms or a vegan salad, words said or things thought, sentences typed but never sent or thing read on a forum; nobody should be liable in a way that circumvents due process and innocent until proven guilty, as the loss of those is effectively asking for abuse of the legal system. Even better, given how many things this would affect, it could be argued that it goes against the Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth amendments to the US Constitution.

Of course, since there is no repercussions for abuse of AB 1014 I guess if it does pass, someone could just file restraining orders on every anti-rights politician in California who has a permit, concealed or otherwise since there is no repercussion for that. Then of course the inevitable lawsuits to overturn that bill would also happen, so if someone really wanted to abuse it against the people who made it they’d have to be fast. I really don’t condone that happening but with or without me saying it, assuming such a bill passed I’d be surprised if nobody did that.