Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The U.S.S. Forestall Fire

Since the recent passing of Arizona US Senator John McCain, there have been many posts expressing sympathy, but also many posts expressing dislike toward the now deceased Senator.  But regardless of how you feel about him, lying about a dead man (or lying about anyone, for that matter) is just not acceptable, in my opinion. So allow me to jump on the band-wagon and chime in as well.

First of all: I do not care for the vast majority of John McCain's politics and policies and never have.  Being a staunch conservative, I always felt that the man's ideas were at times too liberal for him to even be considered a Republican.

Having said that, I am going to absolutely scream if I see one more person post on social media that fairy tale about how John McCain single-handedly started the fire on the USS Forrestal by "wet starting" his A-4 Skyhawk.  That just is NOT how this accident happened.  

The fire started as a result of a Zuni rocket being inadvertently fired from an F-4.  The rocket fired because of an electrical surge, and also because of possible failure of (or lack of) proper arming practices by the aircrew and ordies (see paragraphs 3. and 7. in the document below).  An immense conflagration followed due to jet fuel everywhere, and other ordnance exploding.

By perpetuating that false story, the people doing so are doing a severe injustice to the men who died in that fire and the lessons learned in their blood.  Those lessons affected me personally.  The very lessons learned from that accident governed the procedures my integrated weapons teams had to adhere to when we worked on avionics and weapons systems on fighter aircraft.  The other big takeaway for us was in how I and all of my fellow flight deck crewmen were trained to fight flight deck fires and perform shipboard damage control.  The lesson about telling pilots not to wet start jet engines was not mentioned to us.

So for the people who like to perpetuate these ridiculous and false stories: stop it!  Stories like this, while sounding dramatic and "fun" to tell, are simply not true.  It is a severe dishonor to the men who died, and to the men who fought the fires on that ship.

If you see these stories on social media, first read the now declassified JAG findings and then tell whoever is posting it to do some homework and stop posting incorrect information!

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Did Socialism Turn Apple Into a $1 Trillion Dollar Company?

As we approach the mid-term elections, it seems that the trend of the Democrat party is to move even farther to the left than they already have by touting popular, rising young stars who are self-proclaimed democratic socialists.  Bernie Sanders is absolutely beaming!  Bernie and his fellow democratic socialists continuously denounce capitalism, in favor of socialist ideals such as open borders, free money, free healthcare, free education, and basically free everything (except guns, of course) to all.  They hate capitalism and all that it stands for.  

But how are these young socialists taking today's news?  These people absolutely worship their Apple products, and wouldn't be caught dead without their iPhones and such.  So today it was announced that Apple is now a $1 Trillion Dollar company.  A company achieves this great milestone and success by being ardent and enthusiastic participants in  - wait for it - CAPITALISM!

These democratic socialists must be so internally conflicted right now.  They wouldn't have their toys if not for capitalism.  But they HATE capitalism, don't they?  Too funny!

So here is my shameless capitalist plug:

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The Second Amendment is second in importance only to the First!!!  Indeed, it's the Second Amendment that allows the general population to defend all the rest of them from any attempt at tyranny.

"While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny."

Rev. Nicholas Collin, Fayetteville Gazette (N.C.), October 12, 1789

The following is a quote from James Madison sixteen (16) months before he introduced the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1789.

"Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of."

James Madison, The Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Coming To a Theater Near You!

I don't know what's worse, the over-the-edge hyperbole, the purposeful intellectual dishonesty, or the blatant ignorance displayed by people like Senator Richard Blumenthal when they talk about these 3-D Printed guns.  I mean really - could these people possibly know any less about firearms or current firearms laws?  Or is it that their unchecked emotions are keeping them from realizing the simple principles of physics and mechanics upon which firearms operate?

Their chief concern is that people will be able to make these 3-D printed guns without background checks and without the guns being able to be traced.  They are also worried that these guns,  being printed from a plastic material, will be virtually undetectable, and therefore can be smuggled into any airport, onto any flight, into any school, into any ballpark, or into any other venue where weapons might be otherwise detectable with metal detectors.

Before I get into the practicality (or lack thereof) of an all plastic firearm, let me just point out that 1) federal law already allows individuals to manufacture their own firearms for personal use without any special licenses or permits.  2) If the people making them are ineligible to possess firearms and are caught with one, there are already laws in place to deal with that.  3) Firearms with plastic components already exist.  4)  Kits to make un-serialized firearms by individuals, typically referred to as "80% lowers," have been available for years. And 5) CRIMINALS already possess illegal firearms, whether they steal them, obtain them through straw purchases, or manufacture them themselves.

The 3-D Printed Firearms In The News:

About these little 3-D guns in the news right now:  They are what I refer to as "one-shot" wonders.  They are all plastic, basically, don't have any ammunition capacity to speak of other than one or two rounds manually loaded into the gun, and don't last very long anyway.  In fact, in early testing, the plastic material used in these all-plastic 3-D guns wasn't even strong enough to sustain being fired more than a few times before failing.

"Unlike traditional firearms that can fire thousands of rounds in a lifetime, the 3D-printed guns normally last only a few rounds before they fall apart, experts say. They don't have magazines that allow the usual nine or 15 rounds to be carried; instead, they usually hold a bullet or two and then must be manually loaded afterward. And they're not usually very accurate."  


These little guns are a cool concept, and I commend the designer for coming up with this.  As the plastics get better, I'm sure this will evolve into a very practical method for individuals to manufacture firearms components to use in their legal gun builds. This exercise of personal freedom indeed sends a strong message to those who would try to oppress freedom of design, freedom of ingenuity, and freedom to possess arms.  And shame to people like Richard Blumenthal for getting so spun up and frantic over something that is perfectly legal for the law-abiding citizen to take advantage of.  This little gun is just not capable of being used as a tool for some sort of mass shooting attack. And criminals will find a way to do others harm whether these are available or not.  But as usual, all the efforts of these uninformed people seem to forget all that and target the law-abiding citizen.  Their intent is to use yet another current event to spool up hatred of firearms by the general public because they want to ban ALL firearms, period.

The Future Plastic Weapons of War:

Now - let's talk about where the "frightened people" think this is heading.  Richard Blumenthal stands beside a picture of two AR-15 rifles, using them as examples of where these 3-D printed guns will evolve.  He appears to be trying to make the uninformed believe that these guns in his picture are completely made of plastic and seems to believe that even these will be easy to slip past security at various venues, including aircraft checkpoints.  He wants everyone to believe his fairy tale that these 100% plastic firearms (even though they aren't) will be a HUGE threat.

Well, I suppose that would be true IF the ENTIRE firearm in his little picture there, and all of the ammunition, were made of plastic.  AND if the guns themselves were visually and X-ray equipment invisible, the bad people might be able to sneak them past TSA.  But these full-size guns made with plastic components will be neither, so Blumenthal's argument is moot. 

What Richard Blumenthal and others like him fail to realize is that plastic, as well as aluminum "80%" AR-15 lower assemblies and various plastic 80% pistol frames have been available for years.  He is just now jumping on a bandwagon to spool up more public hatred of guns.  Plastic firearms components in general already exist!  But they are mainly used for the basic (stripped) lower assemblies and frames, and certain parts of upper assemblies, but with the other METAL components added to make the firearm functional, practical, and durable.  The firearms in their entirety are not, and will not be, made of plastic. 

The firearms components such as the barrel, bolt, firing pin, and springs, not to mention the ammunition, are all made of steel, brass, aluminum, or other metals.  They have to be in order to sustain the stress and pressures that firearms produce when ammunition is fired through them thousands of times. Fire ammunition through a plastic barrel sometime and see how long it holds up.  Likewise with a plastic bolt and firing pin.  There are not too many plastic springs that I know of that would hold up to the stresses that they endure inside a bolt carrier, inside trigger assemblies, or absorbing recoil over thousands of rounds being fired from the gun.

And let's talk about ammunition for a moment.  Plastic cartridge cases would melt, and I'm pretty sure you can't make a functioning primer out of plastic.  Those better be some hefty plastic bullets if a crazed shooter wants to commit mass murder.

Earth to Idiots:

C'mon, people!  If you're going to spin up public outrage about these things, then please at least use enough intellectual honesty to give people all of the FACTS.  And just when I thought that no one could outdo the ignorance or blind emotion based dishonesty of Kevin "Ghost Gun" DeLeon, Richard Blumenthal comes along and sets a new standard.  The sad thing is that there are many uninformed voters who lack critical thinking skills that will blindly fall for their hype.


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