Ramon Casiano is a name you won't likely recognize. At a show this weekend, the Drive-by Truckers debuted a song called, Ramon Casiano, which you can listen to here. (it's track 18. I couldn't find a way to link directly to it. It tells the largely forgotten story of Ramon's murder in Texas in 1931 by Harlon B. Carter, who went on to become head of the NRA, and is largely responsible for changing the organization from one that promoted hunting and sportsmanship to one that focuses on combating anything that smacks of "gun control."
America's gun problem is completely unique: Why is it that for all the outrage and mourning with every mass shooting, nothing seems to change? To understand that, it's important to grasp not just the stunning statistics about gun ownership and gun violence in the United States, but America's very unique relationship with guns — unlike that of any other developed country — and how it plays out in our politics to ensure, seemingly against all odds, that our culture and laws continue to drive the routine gun violence that marks American life. [more inside]
Benjamin Dixon writes about the death of Corey Jones, a Florida musician who was shot and killed by a plainclothes officer in Florida on Sunday morning, after Jones' car had broken down on the side of the highway. [more inside]
"For four years, a Dartmouth student had been relentlessly stalked by an older man. The legal system couldn’t protect her, so she wanted permission to carry a gun on campus. One year after becoming a gun-rights poster girl, Taylor Woolrich tells her story."
"Police responding to reported disturbance at a community pool in McKinney, Texas, are seen in a video posted to YouTube aggressively subduing black teenagers and, at one point, pulling a gun on them."Scott Neuman, NPR [more inside]
Loaded with Lead. America has an estimated 10,000 gun ranges and 40 million annual recreational shooters. But when guns are fired with lead-based ammunition, they spread a toxin: lead vapor and dust. A year-long Seattle Times investigation shows that due to poor ventilation and contact with lead-coated surfaces, thousands of workers, shooters and their family members have been contaminated and been made sick at shooting ranges nationwide. Reckless range owners/operators, unenforced regulations as well as a lack of oversight and inspections are to blame. [more inside]
Mods for GTA 5 are everywhere, but this could be the best yet. Watch the "Vehicle Cannon" wreak havoc on buildings, people, other cars... Two videos within. One NSFW.
"What They Left Behind" is a 35 minute documentary produced by Sandy Hook Promise. Today, the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut honor the lives of the twenty first graders and six adult helpers who lost their lives in that school shooting. No public events will take place today in Newtown. [more inside]
Last night, a 28 year old man named Akai Gurley was shot to death in a stairwell by an NYPD officer who was patrolling the Pink Houses in East New York. Gurley and his girlfriend had decided to take the stairs because the elevator was taking too long. Police Commissioner Bratton said today that the victim was “a total innocent” and called the shooting "an unfortunate accident." [more inside]
Gun Wars: the struggle over gun rights and regulation in America, in the aftermath of the Newtown school shootings and the ongoing congressional stalemate over federal gun legislation. An investigative report from "29 students from 16 journalism schools, as well as an experienced staff of editors" for Carnegie-Knight News21. [more inside]
The U.S. Navy has just unveiled two rail-gun prototypes that it will be testing in 2016. [video] [more inside]
"For a long time, being both liberal and a gun owner didn’t seem like a big deal. 'Guns were certainly an issue,' Robinson says, 'but owning firearms wasn’t enough to get you tossed out of the movement.' After Sandy Hook, though, that changed 'with a speed that was truly breathtaking.'"
A refreshing, well researched, measured take on gun control The police officer smiled and handed me a bucket with a revolver and thirty loose rounds of ammunition. Outside, it was dusk and the snow was falling sideways.
The Simple Facts About Mass Shootings Aren't Simple At All
The first step in stopping future mass shootings is figuring out what we know and working from there. Unfortunately, the real first step is getting rid of a bunch of stuff we “know” that turns out to be wrong.[more inside]
Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
The TSA has started an Instagram page showing confiscated items from TSA checkpoints in airports around the country.
Jury acquits escort shooter. Texas Penal Code s. 9.42 has been interpreted to possibly allow the shooting of sex workers who accept money at night but do not then perform sexual services, and Ezekiel Gilbert was therefore found to have the legal right to shoot at a sex worker over a $150 dispute. This interpretation of the defence of property has come under some criticism, and although the jury may have reached their decision on a different ground, the possibility of this defence under state law appears to be sound.
How-To: Paper Micarta, Micarta from blue jeans, How To Make Homemade Micarta. Micarta is a genericized name for any paper or fabric, layered, soaked in resin, then dried, shaped, and polished.
The UK Peace Index [PDF], a new publication from The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), has produced a startling new headline: against public perceptions of crime, both crime and homicide have fallen significantly. The fall over the last decade has resulted in the UK homicide rate now being roughly equivalent to that of the Western European average, and it is now at its lowest level since 1978. [more inside]
Despite widespread popular support, on April 17th, 2013, the US Senate voted to defeat four legislative amendments that would strengthen background checks for gun purchases and place a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Victims and survivors of victims of recent shootings who were in the Senate audience were heard to yell "Shame on you" at legislators as the final votes were tallied.
Inventions that Changed the World is a 2004 BBC Miniseries in the vein of Connections (previously) hosted by Jeremy Clarkson (yes the Top Gear guy). The Gun. The Computer. The Jet. The Telephone. The Television
This playlist documents the restoration to operable status of an early US Army 1911 (1918 pattern) pistol. The 1911 was recovered buried in 3 feet of mud in Tennessee alongside an old bootlegging road. Wanna see the 1911 in action? The incomparable hickok45 gives a run-down of its history and fires a few mags.
The AR-15 is more than a gun. It's a gadget. It's an addiction and the future of firearms manufactures. It's the most wanted gun in America and more than anything it is a symbol of the cycle of fear that drives assault weapon sales.
A Contagion Of Violence
In exploring the occurrence of violence, researchers have recognized the tendency for violent acts to cluster, to spread from place to place, and to mutate from one type to another – similar to the infectious disease model, in which an agent or vector initiates a specific biological pathway leading to symptoms of disease and infectivity.Is It Time To Treat Violence Like A Contagious Disease? [more inside]
A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads From Africa’s Wars Back to Iran. Iran’s Cartridges & Their Quiet Distribution to Brutal Regimes and Many Wars. [more inside]
They love firearms, hunting … and Jesus. In outback NSW (Australia), Jack Marx joins Steve “I Like Guns” Lee and crew for 24 hours in pursuit of feral pigs.
Finally, Gilbert Arenas reveals the whole story behind the infamous Washington Wizards guns in the locker room incident.
"Not only did the .30-30 go through, but this is you." Ballistics expert Paul Harrell demonstrates the stopping power of various objects. [more inside]
With a tough economy and less money to go around, gang members in New York City are resorting to sharing guns hidden in easily accessible places.
The long strange trip of a Singaporean Cold-War-era assault rifle into the hands of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, and what it reveals about the unintended consequences of the global trade in small arms and ammunition. [slnyt]
Machine guns still firing, 70 years later. The BBC's Dan Snow joins in an dig in Ireland to uncover a Spitfire mk2, hoping to find one o the machine guns in reasonable conditions. They find six, and then it's time to see if they still work. Okay so they stripped the six to rebuild just one good one, and used modern .303 calibre ammo as opposed to the ammo in the ground, but hey. 70 years and still spitting fire. Of course the WWII in me will point out that the mk V's Hispano cannons were far more effective, but hey, that's not romantic enough for a modern news bulletin.
"Americans who carry a firearm are often viewed as rough, gruff, middle-aged men with over-developed trigger fingers. [more inside]
Badass Lego Guns, a short YouTube video (1.55) showing five working guns built from instructions from the book of the same name by Martin Hudepohl. [more inside]
Michael was born without arms, yet he has managed to learn how to load and shoot a 1911 pistol. (SLYT)
"Fast draw is the fastest thing a human being does. Nobody does anything faster than what I do with guns." [more inside]
"I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion. [...] I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these, infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance."Leonardo da Vinci's cocky, violent resume
Double guns were invented so you can shoot twice. Double guns have been around for a long time now. They followed the British around the world, to Africa and India. You can buy one if you can afford it.
Though President Obama has signed no laws since taking office that prohibit gun purchases and ownership, that hasn't stopped permit applications and weapons sales in the United States from rising through the roof and worried state legislators from passing laws they wouldn't otherwise pass, which greatly ease access and allow carrying weapons in, among other public areas, city, state and national parks. Schools may have to get their kids prepared.
So I got arrested by the SWAT team last night… Jeremy Bell's office was stormed by Ontario Police looking for some Lego blocks he bought online. An eyewitness account.
Does carrying a gun protect you from physical harm? Research by epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests that carrying a gun makes one 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault, than someone not possessing a gun. Resisting increases one's odds of suffering harm even greater. [more inside]
DIY Portal Gun on flickr, with a few other pictures and build notes. You want of your own, you can either contact this guy or just ask Aperture about working at their test facilities.
UnNerfed - the Nerf dart blaster overclocked to 500 rounds per minute.
The single-shot Palm Pistol... The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted a conceptual, ergonomic 9mm handgun — designed for people crippled by arthritis, muscular dystrophy, or similar conditions that render them too weak to operate normal handguns — as a Class 1 Medical Device.... doctors could eventually write prescriptions for it and then be reimbursed by Medicare.
Culture Of Fear. An interesting look at the security concerns National Football League players harbour in the wake of the death of Sean Taylor, who was robbed and shot within his own home. Previously. [more inside]
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