Guns and Kids

Pretty good report on the subject from the local CBS station

 

 

 

 

 

Our gun club also helps out with several area school clubs; I think we are up to 3 – maybe 4 clubs using our fields for practice. So it is good to see a positive report on the subject.

One of the things not mentioned in the report is how much family involvement goes on behind the scenes. Just like band or other school activities, it takes a considerable number of parents to make it work. We see a large number of parents helping out, working with the kids and learning about the sport.

And joining the club   :)

Solar Flare Saturday?

Put on your tin foil hats for just a few minutes and check this out:

 

 

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Experts say the combined energy from two recent solar events will arrive at Earth on Saturday, prompting the Space Weather Prediction Center to issue a strong geomagnetic storm watch.

Wait. What kind of watch? Basically, the sun is a giant ball of gas: 92.1% hydrogen and 7.8% helium. Every now and then, it spits out a giant burst of radiation called a coronal mass ejection.

These ejections are sometimes associated with solar flares, the most explosive events in the solar system. The sun has released two ejections in the past two days, and both are linked to solar flares. NASA says the second flare is an X1.6 class, putting it in the most intense category.

The energy from those two ejections is heading toward Earth.

X1.6 class sounds pretty intense; doesn’t it?

Space weather experts aren’t sure what this solar storm will do.

“This is a pretty strong solar storm, and we just won’t know until it gets here” what it will do, said CNN meteorologist Chad Myers.

Earth’s atmosphere usually protects us humans, but you might want to keep a flashlight handy. Solar storms can knock out power, interfere with GPS and radio communications — including those on commercial airliners — and damage satellites.

“People on the ground really don’t have to worry,” said Lika Guhathakurta, a program scientist with NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. She said solar storms don’t affect humans on the ground, although astronauts could be at risk.

And our technology.

But don’t worry too much. NASA can take steps to protect the crew members on the International Space Station, and satellite operators can turn off sensitive sensors on satellites to mitigate the risk to your smartphones and wi-fi connection. There may be temporary glitches, though, Guhathakurta says.

Of course they barely  mention the possibility of blowing up transformers or affecting just about all the electronic components modern life depends on now.

“FEMA has been notified of these events just in case,” Thomas Berger, director of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center, said at a Thursday news conference.

On March 13, 1989, a solar storm knocked out power for the entire province of Quebec for 12 hours. Power grids in the United States were affected but didn’t have blackouts. NASA says some satellites tumbled out of control for hours during what’s known as the Quebec Blackout. The space shuttle Discovery was in orbit at the time and had a mysterious sensor problem that went away after the storm, NASA says.

I’m not suggesting everyone head for their bug out locations. Just be aware that it is happening.
It might make sense to take a few precautions; keeping some times turned off, removing batteries from others, watching the news instead of binging out on NetFlix.

If something does happen, well “The chair is against the wall, Charlie is wearing a long coat”.  :)

 

Future Technology — Bears Watching

One of the accusations used against gun owners so often is we try to prevent technology from improving ‘gun safety’. Here is one that I believe we should carefully watch because a.) it could be useful if applied in a very limited fashion and b.) the government and the antis often see this type of technology and drool.

 

Detecting Gunshots Using Wearable Accelerometers

Charles E. Loeffler mail

Abstract

 

Gun violence continues to be a staggering and seemingly intractable issue in many communities. The prevalence of gun violence among the sub-population of individuals under court-ordered community supervision provides an opportunity for intervention using remote monitoring technology. Existing monitoring systems rely heavily on location-based monitoring methods, which have incomplete geographic coverage and do not provide information on illegal firearm use. This paper presents the first results demonstrating the feasibility of using wearable inertial sensors to recognize wrist movements and other signals corresponding to firearm usage. Data were collected from accelerometers worn on the wrists of subjects shooting a number of different firearms, conducting routine daily activities, and participating in activities and tasks that could be potentially confused with firearm discharges. A training sample was used to construct a combined detector and classifier for individual gunshots, which achieved a classification accuracy of 99.4 percent when tested against a hold-out sample of observations. These results suggest the feasibility of using inexpensive wearable sensors to detect firearm discharges.

 

Yep the same technology in your phones, in your exercise equipment is being viewed as a way to ‘reduce ‘gun violence’. The author envisions this being applied to only those ‘under court-ordered community supervision’ but how long until that expands into everyone?

After all, if you don’t have anything to hide then you shouldn’t mind the government knowing if you are shooting guns or not, right?

 

In related work, researchers have achieved success using wearable accelerometers to detect and classify commonplace human behaviors [11]–[15]. In addition, they have recently demonstrated the potential of wearable accelerometers to detect fall events [16], seizures [17], and concussive head trauma [18] from a continuous stream of movement data.

They might try to sneak it in as part of a public safety/health concern; after all who wouldn’t want a loved one monitored for seizures or concussions. But things like this often go from “hey that is a good idea” to “it is recommended” to “it should be a law” to “We’ll arrest/shoot  you if you don’t comply with the law” in short order. Look at seat belt laws for an example.

 

The potential use of sensors to monitor firearm use among community-supervised offenders also raises important public policy and civil liberties concerns. These include the selection criteria by which judges or other releasing authorities would place individuals on this form of supervision; whether it would be used on the existing community-supervised offender population or on an otherwise incarcerated offender population; the necessary level of sensor system accuracy before sanctions, such as revocation of release, could be imposed; and the procedures that would be taken to minimize the collection of non-firearm-related wearer information. While none of these issues are peculiar to a wearable gunshot detection system, these longstanding concerns regarding offender monitoring systems should be revisited as monitoring technology evolves.

 

In conclusion, this study suggests that low-cost and low-energy motion sensors can be used to identify firearm discharges. This development offers criminal justice practitioners a potential alternative that overcomes the low signal-to-noise ratio that has characterized many location-based behavioral monitoring tools [7], [8] and community-wide acoustical gunshot monitoring systems [3]. This development would be more in keeping with the experience of remote monitoring technology for detection of substance abuse [28] and the promise that if reliable and low-noise signals of other illegal conduct can be found, such conduct could be reduced through enhanced detection or deterrence [29], [30].

Some of my concerns are addressed in here. We are being accustomed to people that need such close monitoring being released back into society that this might not be such a huge leap. Of course my personal opinion is simply if they need such close monitoring, we might want to revisit letting them loose in society to begin with.

As technology advances we should really question not just if we should do something but is it good for society. We can implement all sorts of Orwellian surveillance but is it making us better people or improving society to do so?

 

Please join the discussion.

Gmail Hacked

Time to change your password again. A database containing nearly 5 million Gmail user accounts and passwords was leaked on Bitcoin Security, a popular Russian website devoted to the cryptocurrency.

The text file was published on Tuesday night by user tvskit, according to CNews, the Russian news outlet that first broke the story. The leaker claimed that the majority of the accounts belong to users who speak English, Russian, or Spanish, and that approximately 60 percent are active. The passwords not only give access to Gmail, but a slew of other Google services such as Drive and the mobile payment system Google Wallet.

 

One of the major reasons I haven’t gone to digital wallets; all too often the service itself is hacked.

You can verify whether your account was affected by clicking here and entering your gmail address. It’s that simple. You can also enable Google’s 2-step verification by following the company’s easy steps.

International Business Times is cautioning against ‘verifying your account’ though

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) users concerned that their own identity might be listed among the stolen usernames are advised to avoid typing their username and password into any website that claims to check if that name has been compromised. Cybercriminals frequently use this kind of method, known as a “honeypot,” to steal even more identities. A number of sites have already appeared to distribute phishing messages under the guise of offering help.

 

 

It’s best to  simply change passwords again. Sigh……now to come up with something I can use but still remember.

Hi, We’re from the Government and You Are On Your Own

Somewhere in a Department of Homeland Security warehouse, thousands of doses of antiviral medications are about to expire.

Another warehouse stores thousands of expired respirators.

This is the equipment and medicine that was supposed to help protect government personnel in the event of a deadly pandemic.

And there is more

A federal investigation has found that the DHS is totally “ill-prepared” for something like the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic — or something worse, such as a global Ebola outbreak or the 1918 flu pandemic that killed an estimated 21.5 million people, according to a report released by the Office of the Inspector General on Monday.

In 2006, Congress gave DHS $47 million to prepare for such a national medical crisis. And the department did go shopping; it spent millions on this equipment that might now be completely worthless, missing or unnecessary.

For example, the audit found more than 4,000 bottles of expired hand sanitizer in storage with the DHS. Many of those bottles have been expired for up to four years.

Some 81% of the antiviral drugs the DHS has will expire by the end of next year. And 100% of the Tamiflu is set to expire in 2015.

Some 46% of the Relenza DHS has will expire then as well. It was unclear to investigators whether the antiviral medication had been stored at a proper temperature.

Oh yes, doesn’t that just fill you with confidence and comfort? So if a pandemic hits (and with Ebola spreading ‘exponentially’ that could be sooner than later) the government is ill prepared to do a darn thing well….if they can do anything at all.

“The Department of Defense has just declassified a copy of its 2009 Concept of Operations Plan for an Influenza Pandemic. Among the Plan’s scary yet reasonable assumptions are that in the United States, such a pandemic will kill 2 percent of the infected population, or about 2 million people. The plan also assumes that a vaccine won’t be available for at least 4 to 6 months after confirmation of sustained human transmission, and that the weekly vaccine manufacturing capability will only produce 1 percent of the total US vaccine required. State and local governments will be overwhelmed, and civilian mortuary operations will require military augmentation. Measures such as limiting public gatherings, closing schools, social distancing, protective sequestration and masking will be required to limit transmission and reduce illness and death. International and interstate transportation will be restricted to contain the spread of the virus. If a pandemic starts outside the US, it will enter the country at multiple locations and spread quickly to other parts of the country. A related document, CONPLAN 3591-09, was released by DoD in 2010.”

At least anything we would want them to do. Just started reading the information in the first link – (PDF alert) at least what isn’t redacted. Folks, it is pretty clear that the military will be deployed internally to quarantine the country. Stopping travel, limiting gatherings, probably even interfering with the flow of information; all in the name of public safety of course. I’m not a conspiracy theorist; this is their own plan. We need to be aware of what the government plans, what it is capable of doing and how much we will be forced to rely on ourselves for our health and medical issues.

None of this is really new information; people have been saying it a long time. Heck they even made movies showing us what they plan to do decades ago.

A couple of points just to think about

I. State, Local and Tribal jurisdictions will be overwhelmed and unable to
provide or ensure the provision of essential commodities and services.

m. DOD reliance on ”just-in-time” procurement will compete adversely with
US and foreign civilian businesses for availability of critical supplies.

bb. A surge in private demand for consumer goods (stockpiling) will cause
DOD shortfalls.

e. Forces  and assets that traditionally support response to critical disasters
will not be available.

Combine that with the information that Homeland Security has seriously screwed the pooch on basic inventory control measures and you can see how life will get interesting in a relatively quick and painful way.

Please join the discussion.

Why Carry At Kroger?

Because crime can happen even there.

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A 25-year-old man said he was attacked by the group as he walked to his car. Two Kroger employees, 17 and 18, ran to help the man. Both were repeatedly hit in the head and face.

The teens told police pumpkins “in excess of 20 pounds” were thrown on their heads while they were on the ground.

Police say both teens lost consciousness.

Eventually, a security guard stopped the attack.

So Shannon Watts until human nature evolves to such a point where attacks like this don’t happen; please stop trying to restrict our right to protect ourselves, eh.

Contrast that attack with this one from Wisconsin where a violent gang of teens encountered someone carrying a concealed firearm.

 

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Never forget that Moms Demanding Action want every single one of us to be unarmed when faced with similar situations.

 

Please join the discussion.

Location, Location, Location….

….not just important in real estate; but in selecting the proper place to try something like this

 

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Notice they don’t try something like this in Lubbock for example.