Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guns and intelligence.

A conversation I had yesterday prompted to look at the intelligence gathering ability of the 18 or twenty US intelligence agencies, of which 17 are actually named and several have fortress-like buildings as big or bigger than the Pentagon.

The second item is the assault weapon ban which is going to go back into effect within about sixty days.  Worst case will be that firearms which LOOK like military weapons will be banned from sale and the 10 round magazine ban will go back into effect for all firearms.  That means your AR-15 just quadrupled in value - except you won't be allowed to sell it unless you do it now - and as of today, EVERYONE WANTS ONE.  

Best case will allow you to sell pre-ban guns, but not buy new ones and all new high-cap pistol mags will suddenly become illegal.

It will still be impossible to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals - so the government will try to ban ammunition, or something equally as stupid.  But no matter what they do it will be too much - like the switchblade knife ban after the movie 'West Side Story' came out because of the horrible danger of switchblade knives - which were never any sort of danger at all- but they are still banned.  

The other thing it will do is immediately - in fact it already has - created a huge market in black market firearms.  

None of that affects me because I am not an 'assault weapons' person.  I am perfectly happy with a couple of old pistols - none of which carry more than 8 rounds anyway and my revolvers only carry five or six.  I am OK hunting varmints with a pellet rifle.  If they are further than about fifty yards and they are after my baby chickens, I have an old single-shot .22 rifle that will handle it.

Of my other rifles, one is an antique and certainly isn't an 'assault rifle' and the other one is a bolt action that can hold five rounds. I have at least a couple boxes of ammunition for these so the zombie apocalypse will get me eventually anyway.  I don't hunt and I don't like to kill things.  I save spiders out of the shower so they don't drown, but that's just me.  I'm certainly not a spree killer.  With very few exceptions, spree killers end up dead in their spree.  And with very few exceptions, the right person at the right place could stop a spree killing.  I would be honored to be able to do that but the odds are astronomical against it.

The issue is that at some point the laws that ARE going to be passed - to no avail whatsoever - will eventually affect me in some unintended way because no one actually thinks out laws.  They just pass them for political traction and assume that everyone will obey them.  Criminals and psychopaths won't.  Stripping more liberties from 350 million people will in no way deter the 350 people who are going to do something like this; and we can't know who they are until they actually act out.

I have some suggestions but they are not foolproof.  Never underestimate the ability of a fool or a psychopath. There are about a million sworn Law Enforcement officers in the US. "Sworn" generally means people with the power to arrest.  There are at least another million highly trained and qualified retired Law Enforcement officers in the US; many of whom could be called to duty as reserves or volunteers or simply armed citizens.  Still, the odds that one of them would be in a place where a spree killer might strike is exceedingly low and no one calls the police until it's too late.  Firearms aren't allowed on school campuses.  Firearms are not allowed in many malls.  How well does that stop spree killers?  Not at all.  It facilitates them. All the laws in the world will not stop a crazy person. Even they are smart enough to search out soft targets.

Now for part two.  Surveillance of individual Americans.  if the battery is in your phone, someone knows where you are.  That's why you can't change the battery in your iphone.  Your microphone and camera can ~GUARANTEED~ be activated without your knowledge.  It will use your battery at a slightly faster rate than normal, but it will not register as a connection on any network.  EVERY phone call you make and EVERYTHING you send across the Internet is now being collected.  Email - chat - Skype....all of it.  and it is being spun up onto a bottomless database (soon to me moved to the National Intelligence Database in Bluffdale, Utah), and automatically checked against every purchase you make and every one you know - even if you don't really know them (FB).  Every search you make is recorded.  Every website you visit.  Every professional affiliation.  The odds are very high that if you have given blood or had blood drawn within the past six years - or had a surgical procedure or even if anyone was interested in you and you did nothing - not even leave your house - that your DNA is on file. Mine is.  I volunteered for one of the pilot programs.  No warrant is required for any of this and you will never know.  I am a civilian - but I can find out more about you than you know about yourself in most cases. 

In fact, most of this 'gun control' nonsense is to appease the public.  We are ALMOST to the point at which we can predict crimes like spree killings and intervene.  Give it another five years.  Something else you may not know is that in most of the world - including the United States - one of the 17,000+ employees of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency can LITERALLY look through your window from ~230 miles up and take pictures at something well over a million megapixels in 12 bands.  You can see three bands.  But that's just one agency.  There are almost twenty more.

It must be very difficult for the President to sign off on drone shots when he has such an enormous capability at his disposal.  There is so much intelligence capability that the President doesn't even know about the upper ten or twenty percent of it.  Elected politicians and their appointees aren't approved for this stuff.  Neither am I, of course, but if PFC Bradley Manning busted the entire State Department's secret messages, at least 500,000 additional people have that same access and thousands have VERY high clearances - and at least a couple of them are double agents.

I happen not to be paranoid because I know there's no place to run to, Baby - No place to hide.  So if I have secrets, I know they aren't secret.  If I ever popped up on some screen, someone correctly decided that I am not a danger to America; that I don't 'disappear' by wrapping my phone in tinfoil (not that it would help.  My truck is kind enough to provide me with cell and location service.  So are my HAM radios.  So are the cameras at almost every intersection.)   So is the bank, Post Office, all my credit cards, my gas card, my VA card, and last but not least, my computer.  But it's not just THIS computer.  I have five computers online at any given time - six if you include my snitch truck....SEVEN if you include my wireless weather station....NINE if you include my two smartphones.

I'm not hiding.  I am authorized to carry a concealed firearm, and sometimes I do. I have owned a firearm now for sixty years.  I think I ought to be able to own and carry any firearm in the world I can qualify with once a year as an expert.  And I think that if you have not volunteered for the military and been trained with an individual weapon, you probably shouldn't be able to carry one.  But I also believe that you have every right to protect your life and property and family and that if someone breaks into your home it ought to be the last thing they ever do.  Trust me.  It ain't gonna be Santa Claus.  Jumping out the back window to enable a burglar to ransack your house and murder your kids is a ridiculous idea.

I'll say this right up front. I have the right to be safe in my own home - no exceptions.  You kick down my door in the middle of the night, and the very first person you are gonna meet is Jesus. Tell him your problems.  I'm not interested. 


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