A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

Archive for the ‘News You Need to Know’ Category

A Series of Tragic Events and Malarkey

Wizardpc over at has a nice writeup about the Jose Guerena murder after reading the Pima County Sheriff’s Department interview of the SWAT supervisor. All in all it appears as through a combination of unfortunate events and bullshit lead to the state murdering an innocent man.

The SWAT team claims that they were using this raid as a training session which is why it appeared to be disorganized on the released video (that’s what people claim, I don’t know enough about SWAT team operations to know a disorganized raid from an organized one). At the same time the SWAT team viewed Mr. Guerena as some kind of epic killing machine for the drug cartels. Mr. Guerena on the other hand had suspicions that drug cartel members were targeting him so he suspected a potential for home invasion.

Reading that it seems to me that the SWAT team is either lying about the potential threat they thought Mr. Guerena posed or that this raid was viewed as a good training exercise. It would seem to me that you shouldn’t send an inexperienced team to deal with somebody who you assumed would be an extremely dangerous man.

Although some would view this interview as shedding light on the situation it I feel is created more questions than answers. Why did the SWAT team members put so much fire down towards Mr. Guerena without him so much as firing a shot? Why was a no knock raid even authorized in the first place (why are they ever authorized really)? Who thought it was a good idea to use a coordinated raid as training? Why is every other word out of their mouths during the interview either “um” or “uh?” OK that last question really isn’t valid to the topic at hand it just bothered me as I read through it.

No matter how you look at it this situation blows. An innocent man was killed all in the name of our stupid war on drugs.


Written by Christopher Burg

June 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

Slate Doesn’t Know Shit About Libertarianism

Slate magazine demonstrated a few days ago that they don’t know jack shit about libertarianism. The article is a long diatribe build almost entirely on made up “facts.” Instead of going through the article piece by piece and pointing out each of Slate’s numerous errors I’m going to stand on the shoulder of giants and let others who have gone before me point out the flaws in Slate’s article.

First we have a nice piece that explains the fact that libertarianism didn’t start in the 1970s as claimed by Slate but was alive and well before that under the name liberalism. The same article points to the fact that Ayn Rand did more to bring people to libertarianism than the supposed father of libertarian (according to Slate) Robert Nozick (whom I never actually heard of until I read Slates article strangely enough).

The following links were obtained from the previous so a heartfelt thanks goes out to the author, V.A. Luttrell. First the Cato institute has a nice piece destroying Slate’s claim that Nozick disavowed libertarianism.

Slate then went ahead and made a claim that Keynes (you know an article is worthless when it’s citing Keynes as an authoritative source on anything) said a rather nasty thing about Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. What Slate got wrong was that Keynes made the comment about Hayek’s Prices and Productions but actually wrote that he found himself in agreement with The Road to Serfdom. Oops.

Slate’s article then claimed that two of the fathers of libertarianism (you know besides the apparent father Nozick), von Mises and Hayek, were nothing but corporate shills. Unfortunately for Slate that isn’t true. Whoops again.

Although I feel the fact is self-evident apparently others do not. Slate wrote the usual and completely false claim that Libertarianism is composed of nothing but greedy individuals who care nothing for others. Once again this claim is false. The fact of the matter is the libertarian movement is an attempt to make all interactions between people voluntary instead of done at the point of a gun. Libertarianism is the abhorrence of violence and coercion which is made clear by the fact the foundation of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle.

Slate would do well to actually research libertarianism before making such blatant and false claims. Of course writing a factual critique wasn’t the point, I firmly believe the author knew damned well that he was printing false information and wanted nothing more than to slander the movement he hates so much. Too bad for the author that people who do follow libertarian philosophy don’t let such falsities go without challenge.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Happy Birthday Alan Turing

Today is June 23rd, 2011 which makes it the 99th birthday of the man usually called the father of computer science, Alan Turing. The article gives a good overview of his life, which ended up being quite tragic. Turing was a genius who’s research helped win World War II:

His work, however, was advanced enough to get him noticed by the powers that be and, in World War II, Turing became an integral part of the effort at Bletchley Park to break German ciphers and decode military transmissions.

The work carried out by Turing and his colleagues at Bletchley Park was of critical importance to the war effort. General Dwight D. Eisenhower stated at the time that intelligence received as a result of the codebreaking activities at the Park, “has been of priceless value. It has saved thousands of British and American lives and, in no small way, contributed to the speed with which the enemy was routed and eventually forced to surrender.”

Most people who were of value in winning that war were held up as heros and presented metals. Unfortunately for Turing he was also a homosexual which was not acceptable back in that era:

An inherently honest man, Turing reported a break-in at his home in 1952 and admitted to police that he had been engaged in a sexual relationship with one of the suspects, Arnold Murray. At the time, same-sex relationships between men were illegal in England and Turing was promptly arrested on charges of ‘gross indecency’.

Found guilty, Turing had his security clearance revoked – preventing him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy work for the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ – and was forced to undergo hormonal castration via oestrogen injections to curb his ‘unnatural’ urges, under threat of imprisonment.

“Hey man, thanks for helping us win the war against the Nazis but your sexual deviance is unacceptable so we’re going to use our monopoly on the initiation of force and subject you to experimental treatments that will most likely kill you.” At least that’s what I image the conversation ended up sounding like.

Although crucial to the war effort and a brilliant man in general being the subject of state aggression takes a toll on most people. After being the victim of state violence Turing was unable to cope with existence anymore and sadly ended his own life:

The strain of being excluded from his beloved work and branded a pervert proved too much for Turing, who was found on the 8th of June 1954 having taken a lethal dose of cyanide to end his own life.

Many soldiers owe their lives to the work this man performed and everybody in this era owes him for computers as we know them. Happy birthday Alan Turing!

Written by Christopher Burg

June 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

Overreaction Defined

Let us pretend that you’re in charge of a reservoir that contains treated drinking water. Now let’s pretend that the owner of the reservoir is an idiot and doesn’t have some kind of cover to protect that treated water. One day while you’re happy at work doing nothing you learn that some bozo came by last night and pissed in the reservoir. In this scenario would you just shrug it off since there are some eight million gallons of water in the reservoir and thus the piss is so diluted as to be irrelevant or do you drain the entire fucking reservoir? If you answered the latter you to could work in Oregon’s waterworks:

Some eight million gallons of treated drinking water have been flushed down the drain in the US state of Oregon after a man urinated into a reservoir. Did such a vast amount of water have to be dumped?

So what you ask? Well this reservoir isn’t a privately held facility so draining the entire thing is getting it refilled is going to cost $36,000. Ouch! I wonder if they also drain the entire reservoir if they find a dead animal in it. Maybe they should look into covering that reservoir in the future, it can’t cost $36,000 for a tarp to toss over that giant pool.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 23, 2011 at 10:00 am

This is What Combining Stupidity and Guns Gets You

One of the most dangerous combinations is stupidity and firearms. That is because such a combination goes along with other lethal combinations like automobiles and stupidity. When you are being stupid with a weapon it’s likely somebody will get hurt and that’s exactly what happened in Hill City:

John Ellis thought someone had thrown something at him during the Old West shootout in downtown Hill City on Friday night.

Seconds later, he laid on the ground clutching his bloodied elbow as his two young daughters watched in horror.

“I got shot in the forearm, and it went through the other side of my elbow,” said Ellis, an optometrist vacationing with his family from Pennsylvania. “I had surgery around midnight Friday to remove bone and lead fragments.”

Ellis was standing 40 feet from the mock gun battle performed by the Dakota Wild Bunch Reinactors, when what he believes was a live round buzzed through his arm.

If you’re using firearms for reenactments the utmost caution must be taken. There should be no live ammunition on the site where the reenactment is taking place, all guns should be checked by every person participating in the reenactment, and shooting should be done in such a way as muzzles never cross the area where spectators are located. It would even better to use replica firearms that are unable to even chamber and use life rounds.

When firearms are involved lack of caution needs to be checked at the door. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being paranoid about firearm safety, especially when other people are involved. On the other hand not being paranoid about firearm safety can lead to people being injured or killed. There is a reason people haven’t been shot at United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) matches, everybody is paranoid about safety and if you violate the safety rules you’re disqualified and sent home for the day (or permanently if the error was egregious enough).

Written by Christopher Burg

June 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

This Could be a Good Thing

Apparently the wars we’re fighting throughout the world is causing a shortage of available ammunition for police officers in the United States:

Police chiefs around the state spoke of rising costs and long waits to get ammunition.

“We used to spend between $12,000 to $13,000 a year but now it’s around $16,000 to $18,000,” Hazlet Police Chief James A. Broderick told the news service.

Some chiefs said orders take a minimum of six months to get filled, and often take up to a year.

I think ultimately this is a good thing. Two things would occur if the police are no longer able to obtain large quantities of ammunition; they would need to learn how to shoot well and wouldn’t be able to murder as many innocent people. I’m sure a shortage of ammunition would have benefited Jose Guerena as the police not only murdered him in cold blood but also took 70 rounds of ammunition to do it.

Thanks goes to Uncle who lead me to Bob’s Gun Counter which had posted a link to the story.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 17, 2011 at 11:00 am

Lulz Security and Anonymous as Testers of Internet Anonymity

A hacker group called Lulz Security has been making news as of late, especially after Tuesday’s escapade. Before that Anonymous were making headlines. You’ll hear arguments both for and against the actions of these groups but what I find more interesting than their escapades is the fact that most members of these groups have avoided law enforcement.

I often talk about the importance of anonymity and groups like Lulz Security and Anonymous make great testers of the ability to remain anonymous on the Internet. People likely to be prosecuted by law enforcement would do well to watch the actions of these groups and determine how they are able to avoid law enforcement. If the tactics used by these groups allows them to avoid those who are seeking them out then the same tactics can be used by political dissidents in oppressive countries. Those wishing to release dirt on private or government entities would also be well served by such information.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm