Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pennsylvania Gun "Control" Bills

I did a short piece over at the Window blog about an e-mail I sent to my state representative, Stan Saylor:

PA House Bill 521

House Bill 521 (2013) would require all persons holding a License to Carry hold liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.  When I heard about this, I immediately wrote to Rep. Stan Saylor (who is, it turns out, my across-the-parking lot neighbor).

Rep Saylor,

This is what I refer to as a "nibble"... a "feel-good" means of nibbling away at citizen's rights.  It is an underhanded attempt to make it more difficult (in this case, expensive) for citizens to exercise their Constitutional right to own and carry firearms.

Please vote "No".

Thank you,

After the protest last Saturday, I decided to see what else our busy little state people had in mind for us.  Turns out, quite a bit!  Aside from the liability insurance ploy, they're proposing:

(Links to the full text of the bills.)
HB 517 - an "assault weapons" ban.  Like elsewhere, the criteria are all pretty much cosmetic.  It starts out with this:

"(c) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "assault weapon" means:
 (1) Any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semiautomatic or burst fire at the option of the user or any of the other following specified
(list follows)

I don't know if this means my semi-automatic .22, which is incapable of full auto fire.

The bill then goes into a full Chinese menu of cosmetic features, any two together resulting in the wepon being banned.  I want to know how law enforcement is expected to remember all of this??

HB 239 - a firearms registration act:

"Section 3.  Registration.
(a)  General rule.--All firearms in this Commonwealth shall
be registered in accordance with this section. It shall be the
duty of a person owning or possessing any firearm to cause the
firearm to be registered. No person within this Commonwealth may
possess, harbor, have under the person's control, transfer,
offer for sale, sell, give, deliver or accept any firearm unless
the person is the holder of a valid registration certificate for
the firearm. No person within this Commonwealth may possess,
harbor, have under the person's control, transfer, offer for
sale, sell, deliver or accept any firearm which is
unregisterable under this act."

Further along, the best part:

"Each person holding a registration certificate shall:

(3)  Keep any firearm in the registrant's possession unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock, gun safe or similar device unless the firearm is in the      registrant's immediate possession and control while at the registrant's place of residence or business or while being used for lawful recreational purposes within this Commonwealth. This paragraph shall not apply to law enforcement personnel or security personnel while in the course of their employment."

Does that supercede my carry permit?  Will I have to keep my pistol unloaded while I carry it?  How much will registration cost?

Next up, HB 518 - Imposes a duty to retreat

"Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general principles of justification, further providing for definitions, for use of force in self-protection, for use of force for the protection of property and for use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others.

(1) The use of force is not justifiable under this

    (iii) if the actor knows that he can avoid the
     necessity of using such force with complete safety by
     retreating; or
     (iv) if the actor was instructed by a peace officer
     or public safety dispatcher to not pursue another person."
Those two phrases are scattered throughout the existing bill.

I suppose if a police officer said "Don't follow him", I'd be inclined to stay put.  Don't know if I need that spelled out.  But, if some shag-nasty is coming after me with a knife, I would prefer not to have to be forced to spend time figuring out if I'll be safe under the bed or not. Thinking about that, versus the immediate threat, seem to be, well, unsafe.

And, don't worry.  The state Senate has gotten into the act too, with SB 435.

SB 435 - "Assault Weapons Ban"

"Class 1 assault weapon." Any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic center fire rifle capable of accepting detachable magazines and a pistol grip protruding conspicuously below the weapon's action, a thumbhole stock or folding or telescopic stock; a flash suppressor, grenade launcher or flare launcher; or a forward pistol grip.
(2) A semiautomatic center fire rifle with overall length of less than 30 inches.
(3) A semiautomatic center fire rifle with a fixed magazine capable of holding over ten rounds of ammunition.
(4) A semiautomatic pistol capable of accepting detachable magazines and a threaded barrel; a second handgrip; a capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside the pistol grip; or a shroud attached to, or partially or completely encircling, the barrel allowing the bearer to fire the weapon without burning the bearer's hand, except for a slide enclosing the barrel.
(5) A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine having the capacity to accept over ten rounds.
(6) A semiautomatic shotgun having a folding or telescoping stock; a pistol grip protruding conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon, a thumbhole stock or a vertical handgrip.
(7) A semiautomatic shotgun with the ability to accept detachable magazines.
(8) A shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

"Large capacity magazine." Any detachable ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. The term does not include any of the following:
(1) a feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds;
2) a .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device; or
(3) a tubular magazine that is contained in a lever action firearm.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days."
Nibbles, as I said to Mr. Saylor. I'm gratified to find that his name is on none of the House bills.

I shall be paying him a visit, soonest!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day of Resistance

What started out as the morning dog walk tuned into a peaceful assembly/protest.  Who knew??

I didn't know anything about it until I turned the corner onto Main St. and saw this:

We cut  the walk short, and went home.  I swapped my Breakers cap for my NRA cap, and went over to join in and get some photos:

The crowd across the intersection.

Two speeches were given.  Acoustics were crap, but I caught quotations from the Declaration of Independence.  We were exhorted to read and know the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  He said (I paraphrase) "The Second Amendment is the gun law for this country."  We recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
A couple of folks came bearing arms.

Nifty signs

I haven't been to a demonstration since the 80s.  This one seemed to me to be important to participate in.  The direction President Obama is taking this country is wrong.  No government should have as much control of peoples' live has his assumed, from health care to unconstitutional laws trying to disarm the citizenry.

I have not been this afraid since the early 60s, when I wondered every day if  the Russians would push the button down.  I do not want the sheriff coming to my door to inspect my guns.  I want to afford to shoot  them, which means nothing but sales tax on ammo.  I don't need expensive liability insurance because I own guns.
The people I met today seemed decent, rational, and patriotic.  Several people recommended a particular gun club to me, and I plan on joining.  I don't want to be alone in this mess.

Main and Broadway is a busy intersection, PA routes 24 and 74, from the MD state line, up to York and Carlisle.  We got a lot of support from passers-by, honking horns, waving, and giving thumbs-up.  I'm happy be where the kind of government intrusion Obama seems bent on will be resisted.  I am glad I wound up here.

(Cross posted over the Window on Red Lion)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Washing Cats...

...and four year olds.

Got this link from one of my Boeing friends:  
 Oakland Cat Stuck in Washer, Survives Cycle 
...which started a small, dark e-mail thread:

 I replied:

When I first got Shin-wa, he was very interested in the dishwasher.  He would hop in and poke around.  I was afraid of locking him in for a cycle, so, one day, when I had it open and empty, he happened to hop in.  I shut the door, and 'bumped' the lever that locked and started the machine, just enough for it to make the noise it did.
I opened the door.  Shin-wa stood rock still, blinked twice, and popped out, never to enter the machine again. 

Shin-wa, the Quick Learner
 One of my other friend replied to the original:

Sounds like something that could catch on. Since it works with cats, why not difficult to clean 4-yr-olds, too. which I replied:
Rob - four-year-olds are generally too big for a top loading machine.  If you have a front loader, it might work, depending on the size of said four-year-old.
I preferred to strap them to the top of the car and take it and them through the car wash.  Of course, you have to flip 'em and go thru again, which is why I used the automated self-service washes.
It was easier when I had the old Subaru "Brat".  It was a small pick-up with seats in the back.  Made it much easier...
More as it breaks.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Guest Post: We Should Control Our Government (Updated - links added)

As I've announced, we have a guest post today from the lovely and talented Sara Hoyt.  
The whole subject of gun control baffles me. Of course, those who know me will tell you that this is because my astigmatism is so bad that I can’t hit the broad side of a barn on a clear day – so gun control is at best nominal when the gun is in my hands.
The other type of gun control baffles me too. I grew up in a country (Portugal) at a time when guns were very tightly controlled. I’m not sure what the laws were, but I know that if you were a private citizen and needed a gun for defense, even if you were, say, transporting gold in your car and had received threatening letters, your chances of getting a license to carry were… infinitesimal.
So… My dad taught all my friends to shoot in grandma’s backyard. Guns? Well, I used to be offered guns for sale every time I went into the train station to go home from school. (I guess school made me look like I really wanted a gun. Oh, wait. Yes, it did. Well, you can’t blame me. First, it was an all girls school – I want the idiots who write about peaceful all female planets to go to all girls school, as a girl, for a day – and second this was the school where I studied many things but they were all Marxism.) I never bought any simply because dad had told me that the safest person would be the one I aimed a gun at. (And I knew he was right.) But they were right there. I got offered guns more than I got offered drugs. (Though that might have had something to do with how upset I looked.) This, in Portugal, in the seventies, meant that there were guns available on the street at every moment and for every price.
The idea that government can keep something that everyone knows is available out of the public’s hands is insane. At most they can keep law-abiding (and fearful of trouble) but not out of the hands of criminals and those inclined to mischief.
Which, of course, makes you wonder why it’s such a popular idea over most of the world.
I have a theory about that. The greatest fear the people in charge have – always – is of a peasantry capable of opposing them and imposing their will. (This has been made worse, of course, by the American revolution and our dangerous ideas of a government by the people…)

So while gun control is a really bad idea for keeping the guns out of the hands of bad actors, or preventing crime, or whatever it is, it is a very good idea to keep the civilians from having weapons that could oppose the army or other state-endorsed people. And so, they sell it as saving us from crime, and they keep pushing.
Which is why we shouldn’t let them rolls us. Because it doesn’t do anything we want it to do, but it does render us defenseless in front of the statist leviathan
It is a danger to our life, our liberty and our pursuit of happiness
And though I’m still very bad with guns, my characters use futuristic guns very well in my book Darkship Renegades, just out from Baen, and in the upcoming book – also from Baen – A Few Good Men, the first book of the Earth revolution.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Updated!! Hello and Welcome, Sarah Hoyt!

 Update:  I heard from Sara yesterday.  She apparently had an horrific Christmas, followed by a mad rush to get a manuscript for yet another book - Noah's Boy - to the publisher.  We agreed on a post about gun control.  Hers is a different take, colored by her experience growing up in Portugal.  I'll post it tomorrow, so ya'll come back, hear?!

I was introduced to Sara Hoyt through the P.J. Media blog.  Sara posts there, as well as holding down two blogs of her own, According to Hoyt and Sara A

Smiling Sarah A. Hoyt!

At P.J. Media and According to Hoyt, she writes thoughtful, profanity free posts on politics and literature.  The Sarah A Hoyt site is devoted to pimping her novels such as Darkship Thieves, and Shifters, as well as her boatload of short stories.  She also is posting a chapter a week of her new novel, which you can read for free here: Witchfinder

She appears here because she is on a virtual book tour for her newest book, Darkship Renegades, the second novel in the Darkship series, which is being released this Tuesday, December 4.

I don't have a clue as to what Sarah may decide to grace leelu's place with, and I'm sure it will be good!  Watch  this space!!

Go. Read.  Enjoy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Birthday Request

If you've wandered by here, please take a moment or two to go read this post over at the other blog.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

For St. Valentine's Day...

...without comment:

Via Mme. Sherzo

(Bumped, just because this is more important than my note to SK)

Letter to Scott Kurz - Updated

Update -  Scott replied to my e-mail:

I'M catholic. I'm mocking my own religion. I'm not singling out anyone but myself and the dogma I was raised in.
 Not much of an answer, I guess.  But , hey, it's his strip.

I wrote  this to him after reading today's strip.  If I receive an answer, I shall post it.

Hello, Scott,

I've been reading PvP since I discovered it quit a few years ago, and have read the entire canon.  I truly enjoy your work, and miss it when you are unable to get it posted.

Yet, I have to take issue with the Holy Ghost/Pope story today.  First, we generally refer to it as  the Holy "Sprirt", to avoid cliche' associations with Casper, Ghost Busters, and others of that ilk.  Second, the Holy Spirit is regarded as the source of spiritual wisdom and guidance, so it would be natural for the conclave to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  Since prayer is a form of meditation, it is a process of opening one's self up to the Holy Spirit, to recieve needed guidance.

Anyway..., are you going to Hell for this strip?  I doubt it.  Will you lose readers over it?  Maybe one or two.  Invective?  Possible, but unlikely.  However, since it is considered near hate speech to say words like "fag" or "queer" in contexts other than their meanings of a "burning  bundle of kindling", (or "cigarette"), and "odd" - a good thing, too, I respectfully request that you extend the same courtesy and respect to Catholics and their faith.

This one goes much deeper into bad taste than the usual "fart and dick jokes".
I have a guess or two about this one, based on the inference that he is gay.  He has posted some pics of himself with his partner (mentioned, I think, only in the context of their work together).  That said, Scott is often looking at Kris the way I look at Te'a Leone.  But I'm just  guessing, and willing to be wrong.  The "go-to" guess is, of course, the Church's stance against homosexuality (but not against homosexuals), and the attendant refusal to consider sanctifying gay marriage.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

This Oughta Get Me My Own fatwa...

 ...from my two un-PC cousins:
Two Coffees in Heaven
Having arrived at the Gates of Heaven,
Barack Obama meets a man with a beard.
'Are you Mohammed?' he asks.
'No my son, I am St. Peter; Mohammed is higher up.'
Peter then points to a ladder that rises into the clouds.
Delighted that Mohammed should be higher than St. Peter,
Obama climbs the ladder in great strides,
climbs up through the clouds and comes into a room
where he meets another bearded man.
He asks again, 'Are you Mohammed?'
'Why no,' he answers, 'I am Moses;
Mohammed is higher still.'
Exhausted, but with a heart full of joy
he climbs the ladder yet again.
He discovers a larger room where he meets an
angelic looking man with a beard.
Full of hope, he asks again,
'Are you Mohammed?'
'No, I am Jesus, the Christ;
you will find Mohammed higher up.'
Mohammed higher than Jesus!
Man, oh man! Obama can hardly contain his
delight and climbs and climbs ever higher.
Once again, he reaches an even larger room
where he meets this truly magnificent looking man
with a silver white beard and once again repeats his
question:  'Are you Mohammed?' he gasps as he is by now,
totally out of breath from all his climbing.
'No, my son, I am Almighty God, the Alpha and the Omega,
but you look exhausted.
Would you like a cup of coffee?'
Obama says, 'Yes please!'
As God looks behind him, he claps his hands
and yells out: "Yo, Mohammed, two coffees!"
Keep your trust in God;
I'm still wondering what Obie is doing in Heaven in the first place.

Monday, February 11, 2013

What I've Been Doing Lately

...for the "extra" denero.

The classes are all free.  Take as many as you want, whenever you want.

I'm currently writing the section on "Introduction to Programming".

If you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

For Rodge...


Cheer up!  They've named an ale after you!!

My first taste left me at "What the heck was that??"  But it's damned good!!

Got it at Golden Crust Pizza, here in Red Lion.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's OK to Use Drones... Kill Americans:

EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Which leads me to this:

Laser pen  capture
More info here

Dots.  Connect.

NBC - reporting real news.  Who knew??

Via Drudge

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Public Service Announcement

I gather there's a football game tomorrow?

Yesterday, it turned out, was a great day to graze my way through Sam's.  They were busy pimping munchies and big TVs.

Didn't have to make lunch when I got home!