damnum absque injuria

January 20, 2013

Basic Gun Safety

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 3:13 pm

Safe handling of a firearm is not rocket science. All you need to do is follow the four basic rules:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are. In other words, don’t do this:


  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. In other words, don’t do this:

  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. In other words, don’t do this:

  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified. In other words, don’t do anything this guy would:

July 3, 2010

British Justice

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 2:36 pm

On the island that used to be Great Britain, Muslim actress Afshan Azad was physically assaulted by her Muslim brother and father, who prosecutors believe threatened to “honor” kill her for dating a Hindu. Trial has adjourned until July 12, and her assailants, having pinky-sworn not to carry out their planned murder at her home until after they’ve stood trial or served their puny sentence for the threat if convicted, are out on bail until July 12. Meanwhile, this being formerly Great Britain, Azad herself and her Hindu boyfriend are forbidden to own any item that could possibly prove helpful in defending themselves or each other should either or both of her assailants decide to break their promise – or, for that matter, encounter her anywhere other than her home. What could possibly go wrong?

Ace has more.

June 14, 2010

Moron of the Day

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 4:05 pm

This dubious distinction goes to Steve Lawson who, without recognizing the irony, decried “those who have blamed the president for the Bush-inflicted economy” in response to a polling question having nothing to do with either Bush or the economy. Dishonorable mention goes to the Winston-Salem Journal for reporting that only 70% of their respondents said “yes” to the poll while a whopping 305% said no.

June 11, 2010

And Now, a Word from Reverend Right

The White House Press Corps gives her the privileged seat, allows her to act like a jackass for years, and then her apologists want us to say “God bless Helen Thomas.” No, no, no, God damn Helen Thomas, that’s in the Bible.

May 27, 2010

Marriott Update

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 12:11 am

Looks like I may have spoken too soon. Seems that Marriott hasn’t taken down any anti-gun-owner signs (yet?) and that its anti-gun roots run deeper than previously thought. Stay tuned.

May 22, 2010

Raise Eric Schoenberg’s Taxes, Please

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:30 am

If you can find a way to do that while leaving everyone else’s rates alone, have at it (‘hat tip: Molly). Here’s the lowlight on why incentives don’t matter:

Consider research conducted by two psychologists, Dale Miller and Rebecca Ratner. They told a group of Princeton students that the Red Cross would be coming to campus for a blood drive. Because blood supplies were dangerously low, the organization was considering paying $15 for donations, and it wanted to get a sense of how much difference that would make. The students estimated that 63% of their classmates would donate if they got paid, almost double the 33% they predicted would donate without pay. But when asked whether they themselves would donate, those students were only slightly more likely to donate for $15 than for nothing: 73% vs. 63%. In other words, they thought their classmates would be more influenced by money than they actually were.

In other words, Eric Schoenberg is retarded. Non-retards, by contrast, understand the difference between what people say they will do and what they actually end up doing, and that incentives can help to bridge that gap. Suppose the Red Cross had actually held a blood drive at Princeton without compensation. Does anyone seriously believe that 63% of the student body would actually have shown up? Or that the same percentage who would have flaked out on a free blood drive would also have flaked out if there were money on the table? That the entire U.S. population is as idealistic as the average college student, or that a modest incentive that boosts donations by “only” 16% among spoiled rich kids* might not serve as a stronger incentive among those who consider $15 real money? Even if we do assume all this – and I don’t – increasing blood donations by 16% strikes me as a worthy enough goal to make the $15 incentive worth exploring. of course it won’t be since we live in a retardocracy that forbids people to sell their own blood even for a modest price like $15, while allowing the recipients of their gift to sell it to others for much more than that.

I will concede this much, however: raising Schoenberg’s taxes, and those of everyone else in his bracket, by a paltry $15 a year would have a negligible impact on economic activity. Of course it won’t make a dent in the budget deficit, either, which is why no one is debating a $15 tax increase on the rich. Which brings me to yet another reason why Eric Schoenberg is retarded: he fails to grasp that large incentives often succeed where smaller ones fail. Not happy with a $15 incentive that “only” increases blood donations by 16%? Then pay them more, dumbass. This isn’t rocket science.

The rest of Schoenberg’s article doesn’t even try to make the case that letting the government take even more money than it does will close the deficit, end world starvation, whiten your teeth while you sleep, or make the world a better place in any way, shape or form. Like most other liberal dogma, you are simply asked to accept this premise on blind faith. Just believe, man, just believe.

*No, I’m not suggesting that all Princeton students are spoiled rich kids, only most of them. We can quibble over “most,” I suppose, but that would miss the point, which is that majority or no, spoiled rich kids are certainly over-represented at Princeton vis a vis the population at large.

May 21, 2010

Marriott to Gun Owners: Drop Dead (But Pay Us First!)

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 9:16 pm

Sebastian thinks the boycott is premature. I say it’s long overdue.

Grass Roots North Carolina notes that the Charlotte Marriott made instant criminals of countless guests by putting up no guns” signs while the event was underway – and long after GRNC had selected the venue in reliance on it being gun-friendly (at least in the Starbucksian sense of the phrase, i.e., not openly hostile to gun owners). Many have complained, and the good news is that Marriott has apologized. The bad is that rather than apologizing for putting those signs up and exposing their guests to criminal prosecution, their apology was for not having the signs up all along:

Dear Valued Guest,

Correction: the remainder of this email will make it clear that from their perspective I am not valued, nor am I a guest.

Thank you for contacting Marriott. We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with information.

Neat, but I didn’t ask them for information. I contacted them to provide them with information.

We would like to thank Grass Roots North Carolina/Forum for Firearms Education for its business at the Charlotte Marriott City Center hotel.

In other words: we like money. Fair enough, but….

During the group’s stay, there was some confusion regarding the hotel’s position on the carrying of firearms by the public. It has been the hotel’s long-standing policy to not allow firearms by the public on the premises.

In other words, they are an explicitly anti-gun organization, which has thus far managed to stay off the NRA blacklist despite being far worse than most of the companies on it. This, in turn, allowed them to exploit that very confusion not just during GRNC’s stay, but for months before that; else GRNC members (and Lord knows how many NRA members) take their business elsewhere.

In accordance with applicable law, this policy is posted in several locations around the hotel. Marriott’s policy is to comply with all applicable laws and ordinances.

From these weasel words you’d almost thing there were some law or ordinance requiring Marriott to post no guns signs around the hotel. Of course no law does; what the applicable law (North Carolina General Statute 14-415.11(c) – there are no applicable ordinances due to preemption) does do is convert what would otherwise be a mere civil trespass into a crime that can get our Valued GuestsTM fined, imprisoned and deprived of their right to carry anywhere in the state or even purchase firearms without their sheriffs’ permission. If this is what they do to their Valued GuestsTM, I shudder to think what they’d do to the guests they don’t value.

We are a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and space for events and functions. We do this without regard to the lawful purpose or views of any specific group or organization.

Yeah, it’s might hospitable of you to not be quite as hostile to the First Amendment as to the Second, but a company serious about hospitality wouldn’t have such a ridiculous policy in teh first place. There’s certainly nothing hospitable about tricking thousands of law-abiding gun owners into patronizing your joint, only to turn around and expose them to criminal liability for taking you up on your offer of faux hospitality.

As always, the safety and security of our guests and associates is a top priority.

So high that you adopt a lame-brained policy that has no potential of making any of your guests or associates safe, and ample potential to endanger them.

Marriott Customer Care

Translated: disregards, some lying crapweasel who won’t even stand up and put his/her/its name behind his/her/its words. Let’s call him/her/it … oh, I dunno …. Kathleen Matthews? Or maybe here assistant, Marilyn Cole? I doubt it was Jim Diehl, the brainiac who started this mess.

Note that despite having non-signed the email, he/she/it isn’t quite done yet. While Marriott loves to “comply with all applicable laws and ordinances” that enable it to expose others to criminal liability for exercising their legal and constitutional rights wherever they can, that doesn’t mean they’re above quoting scary, legal-sounding gibberish where no such law applies:

This communication contains information from Marriott International, Inc. that may be confidential. Except for personal use by the intended recipient, or as expressly authorized by the sender, any person who receives this information is prohibited from disclosing, copying, distributing, and/or using it. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately delete it and all copies, and promptly notify the sender. Nothing in this communication is intended to operate as an electronic signature under applicable law.

So to the extent that receiving mail from someone is the equivalent of being on their property, Marriott takes it upon themselves to say, in essence, “by reading my smarmy email you agree not to fisk it in a public forum.” Sorry, Marriott, no dice. Gun owners made the mistake of paying Marriott a fortune last week in Charlotte. We won’t be making that mistake again.

UPDATE: The original version of this post omitted Diehl’s name and address, on the theory that he was just taking orders from on high. After re-reading the message I’m not so sure; they never actually said it was the entire chain’s policy to require its Valued GuestsTM to be sitting ducks; only that it was the longstanding policy of “the hotel.” I’ve sent them a follow-up email asking for clarification on that point, but meanwhile, I’m leaving Diehl’s name and email address up there now, because at a minimum he is the one responsible for negotiating this deal with a gun rights outfit he knew, or should have known, would expect to be allowed to carry there.

May 9, 2010

Criminalizing Heroism

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:42 pm

The island that was once Great Britain is charging schoolboy James Killen with murder for killing the guy who was murdering his mother. This seems sick even by British standards, which is saying quite a bit these days.

May 8, 2010

More Reasoned Discourse on Guns

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:31 pm

“Momlogic” says everyone should get rid of their guns since 500 kids get killed by accident every year. Dadlogic says that in a nation of over 300 million people, 500 is a statistical zero. What say you?

UPDATE: Kevin Baker has more. Seems the 500 figure, puny as it is in a country of our size, is exaggerated. Kevin also gives an example of a much more egregious exaggeration from Salon. RTWT.

Yes, Frisco, The Equal Protection Clause Does Require What It Barely Permits

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 1:22 pm

Once again, the California Supreme Court has been called upon to decide if the Constitution is unconstitutional. At least this time they picked the right Constitution, but…


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