Saturday, December 06, 2008

Speaking of 'This database and your information is secure',

The state worker who unwittingly ran an improper child-support check on the man known as Joe the Plumber told lawmakers yesterday that a deputy director later "dictated" how she was supposed to cover it up.

Vanessa Niekamp, an administrator for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' Office of Child Support and a 15-year state employee, said that when Deputy Director Doug Thompson came into her office, "He appeared very upset, his neck was bright red, and he was shaking. He closed my door."

Thompson told her she must write an e-mail to the agency's information-security officer, and then "dictated word for word" what she wrote, Niekamp said. He also reminded her that she could be fired at any time, she said.
Situation: "Oh God, there could be real trouble about this; let's get it covered up quick!" As opposed to, oh, trying to do the right thing about it. Couldn't have that, no...

Happily, Niekamp actually seems to care about things like the law, and security:
"Within an hour, I took the rest of the day off -- again using my vacation time -- and went directly to the office of the inspector general. I told them everything I knew about what happened."
Niekamp took another day of vacation yesterday to testify before the House State Government and Elections Committee about legislation that calls for the firing of any unclassified state employee who improperly accesses confidential personal information

And the only thing keeping Niekamp from being screwed over is the wide public knowledge of this crap. And you know her 'superiors' will try it anyway, most likely; it's the standard crooked/scared/jerk bureaucrat response to someone telling an inconvenient truth.

I don't like that 'unclassified' part; it should be 'any state employee'.

"Doug told me that the person Carri had asked me to look up was Joe the Plumber -- the one who was talked about in the national news. He said he needed my help explaining something," Niekamp said.
"Doug then told me I must write an e-mail to our agency's information-security officer to explain why the file had been accessed. He turned my computer screen so he could see it and dictated word for word what he wanted me to write. ...
"He then told me that we needed to make sure that we answer questions about what happened the same way, so that our versions were not different from each other. Before he said that, he reminded me that I was an unclassified employee -- which, as you may know, is someone who can be fired without cause."
Niekamp said she knew the checks were improper because the staff undergoes training and must read and sign a form explaining when they can access confidential and personal information maintained by the department.
"Both Doug and Carri can access the (child-support) system and could have accessed a file without my involvement," Niekamp said. "To this day, I do not understand why they asked me to look at this information when they could have easily done this themselves."

Because they're used to telling other people to do things, and it wasn't until the heat started that they realized they'd screwed the pooch. So they needed you to cover up for them, and threw in the threat of firing to back it up.

Which comes back to the 'unclassified' bullcrap; someone like that can be fired at any time for any reason, this needs to address the classified employees, the people in charge of this mess.

Now we'll see if the authorities there actually care about trying to protect these damned systems from abuse.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Columbia Univerity: the place of speech codes and

'You will be PC or else' attitude, seems to have a problem with the concept of other people owning property. And, unsurprisingly for a bunch of progressives, are willing to steal it under color of law.

Yes, the link's REALLY fixed this time. No clue why it took three times to take.

Wanted a copy? Monster Hunter International

now available for preorder.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I did my previous post just before heading for the airport

to pick up the son, who's home on leave.

Bloggage the next couple of days may be rather light.

Can you imagine the kind of disregard for life and responsibility

that led to all those police with absolutely no practice with their arms?

Think about that. Not just the general stupidity, but the overall. India is a big country, lots of people of many beliefs, which has had problems with terrorism for many years. They’ve had bombings and mass murders, the whole works. And yet their police had no practice with their arms.

What kind of uncaring stupidity can look at their situation, write laws that the police SHALL have dedicated ranges and SHALL meet training specs, and then provide neither ranges nor ammo, or the money to obtain them?

And you know, without question, that some of the same people responsible for this garbage will be among those blaming the police for not performing to the specs they’re supposed to. Wonderful, isn’t it, being a slimeball politician? Refuse to give people the places and supplies needed to train, and then blame them for not being trained when things blow up. I have no idea what the rules are on things like airsoft guns, but there’s a fair chance that if someone had suggested buying some of those so they could at least practice in an office with them, that would’ve been turned down: “What do you mean, wanting to spend money on toys? Do you not have have it in the law requiring you to have a firing range and practice with your real guns? Don’t give me squealing about no money for ranges or ammunition, it is required! That is your problem!” Etc.

Uncle, I think, linked to a story of some officer complaining that the subguns some of the terrorists had ‘are far more deadly than the AK47s we were issued’. Which is either CYA whining, or another result of bad or no training. If you’re not familiar with them, the MP5 submachinegun uses the standard 9mm(9x19mm if you want to be picky) handgun cartridge; the AK47 and clones use the 7.62x39 rifle cartridge. While the MP5 has better sights, the AK is more powerful and, for the ranges involved, quite accurate enough. IF you’re trained. IF you know how to shoot. IF you have some actual idea of what you’re doing, and what TO do. Which seems to have been the most basic problem.

Which brings up the question, what else haven’t they trained on? What other gaping holes in their capabilities are waiting to show up? Because you know damn well that if they haven’t had any training with their arms, they’ve also had little or no real training in other areas; training in crowd control or responding to a disaster or attack or riot should include use of arms- if nothing else when to and not to use- and if you don’t train in that…

Without question the special response units, the Black Cats and so forth, had ammo and places to train, but that just takes you back to the question ‘Who is there first when something like this happens?’* Unless there’s an alert and the special units are out, the first official people on the scene are the local cops. Who were not trained with/had not practiced with their arms. At all, from the sound of it.

Which brings us back to the feckless morons responsible for requiring training and places and supplies to train with, while not bothering to provide money and/or authorization to get the stuff. I wonder if they feel any guilt at all for their part in this?

* We can forget the fact that some armed citizens just might make a difference; India is one of those places where the peasants are greatly frowned on for even wanting to own a firearm(from what I’ve heard you have to get a government permit for a pellet gun, for that matter), let alone carry one; a lady noted in one article was saying that it’d taken damn near forever to get a permit for her firearm, and now the government wouldn’t allow her a permit for ammunition.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

MADD and other prohibitionists

Take a look and see what you think.

By the way, is Glenn Beck giving anyone else an urge

to drink in the morning? Overall I've always liked his show. But lately... he gets started on "We're all going to die, or be stomped flat by the politicians here and foreign screwing the economy, and if you save and prepare enough there might be enough left after it burns out to try rebuilding", and I'm ready to say "Screw this, will you shut the hell up?"

Awww, the CNN guy actually asked Obama a question

and is pissed at the answer.

I have a question, you miserable excuse for a reporter, where were you with questions DURING THE DAMNED CAMPAIGN?

If you think this is going to make us trust you now...

This brings the term 'lack of preparation'

to a whole new level:
MUMBAI: The state constabulary was grossly unprepared to deal with the worst-ever terror attacks on the metropolis because of an acute shortage
of weapons and ammunition
How bad a shortage?
In the absence of a firing range and of ammunition for practice, members of the law enforcement agencies have not opened fire in the last ten years. ‘‘I’ve been in the police force for a long time, but I had no occasion to open fire for practice,’’ a senior inspector of police said.

Ten bloody years. Not just officially, remember; India is one of those places they make it as hard as they can to allow the peasants- which includes the police- to privately own a firearm, so there's no chance for them to practice on their own, either. And if the government isn't willing to see that you practice, why should you worry about it, right? After all, apparently the firearm is mostly a badge of office as opposed to an actual fighting weapon.

The manual also prescribes mandatory training for all officials, especially shooting practice at the firing range. According to a senior IPS official, the norms prescribed in the manual now exist only on paper because of the acute shortage of ammunition for practice and the non-availability of a firing range.

As per the rules, every district should have a firing range exclusively for the police. But official records indicate that more than half the state’s districts have no independent firing range.

‘‘We have constables who have not opened fire even for practice ever since their recruitment,’’ the official said
There is no excuse for this. Period. None at all.

So we know the truth, the reason so many of them didn't fire at the bad guys was they didn't know how. And how many people died because of it?

Here's a little further on the "Be nice to the dirtbag politician"

push from Sen. Dick Durbin(Wonder what he's hiding?-IL):
Durbin couldn't recall writing a president asking him to step into a case.

The former lead prosecutor in Ryan's trial, Patrick Collins, said a commutation is supposed to be an extraordinary measure in an extraordinary circumstance.

"To me, what is extraordinary is his defiance," Collins said, citing Lura Lynn Ryan's comments to the Sun-Times last week. She said if her husband had to do it over, "he would govern the same way as he did before."

Collins said the severity of Ryan's crime and lack of remorse were reasons he should serve out his sentence.

"This state of all states doesn't need the message that commutation might send," Collins said
Yeah, it's not like IL is known for honest politicians and lack of corruption.

The former GOP governor was convicted in 2006 in a racketeering fraud scheme that included his efforts as secretary of state to quash a probe into a crash that killed six children of the Willis family in 1994. Durbin called on Ryan to apologize to the public and to the Willises.

A lawyer for the Rev. Scott and Janet Willis said the couple opposes any leniency for Ryan.

"There has not been one single expression of remorse in any way," said attorney Joe Power. "They're very much opposed to any type of pardon or commutation, especially in light of what George Ryan's wife quotes him as saying, that he has a clear conscience and would do the same things over again. I mean that's absurd."

Let me note this from 'Best of the Web' yesterday:
Ryan would later insist--angrily and often--that the trucker, Ricardo Guzman, had been legally licensed. No problem here in Illinois. In 1998, George Ryan was elected governor of Illinois on the strength of that lie about the Willis case. An internal memo later established that, just eight days after the Willis tragedy, at least four officials in Ryan's office were aware that "there is a strong possibility that this individual obtained his [commercial driver's license] illegally." Elsewhere at least three other people died in crashes involving truckers improperly licensed by Ryan's staff. . . .
Bad enough that Ryan's minions sold driver's licenses to bribers--some of that blood money wound up in Ryan's campaign coffers. Bad enough that Ryan gave his pals illicit influence over the conduct of state business--according to prosecutors, the cronies themselves pocketed a combined $4.77 million in sweetheart deals. Bad enough they rewarded Ryan with gifts and favors--some of that lucre went to Ryan's family members, spreading a now indelible stain from the discredited governor to his loved ones.
Ryan has claimed all along that he did nothing wrong and that he knew nothing about the crimes of his compatriots. His evident attitude toward his own corrupt acts mirrored the phrase his lawyer frequently used during the trial's closing arguments: "Who cares?"

While it's possible that Durbin is actually showing compassion, it's also possible, and more likely, that this is part of some deal with somebody. Either case, the answer to this pardon request should be "HELL no!"

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

And, as you probably guessed, of COURSE Mumbai

was our damn fault.
In his CNN interview, he was no less clear. What happened in Mumbai, he told the interviewer, was a product of the U.S. war on terrorism, that "our policies, our foreign policies" had alienated the Muslim population, that we had "gone after the wrong people" and inflamed moderates. And "that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay."
Because we all know moderates set up mass murders when their feelings are hurt.

What I want to know is why anyone is asking this moron his opinion, let alone giving it air time?

I will note that (fG)Britain has a fair share of worthless

excuses for lawmen:
A judge has condemned an apparent police assault on a soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Mark Aspinall, 24, was thrown to the ground by three uniformed officers after a night out with friends and punched eight times.

The violent arrest - caught on CCTV - shocked a crown court judge, who called it appalling
What makes this crap even worse than that sounds?
Eventually, Mr Aspinall was bundled into a police van in handcuffs, with injuries to his face and neck. He was taken to Wigan police station and kept in custody for 20 hours.

He was charged with two counts of police assault and a public order offence.

On September 22, at Wigan magistrates' court, the officers read statements claiming Mr Aspinall had been behaving violently.

Despite viewing the footage, magistrates found him guilty of the assaults, sentenced him to community service and gave him a suspended-prison sentence. They also ordered him to pay £250 compensation
So add 'miserable excuse for a jurist' to the plagues.

He lodged an appeal against the conviction and on November 13 at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Phipps saw the footage and asked: 'Where is this man of violence? I am shocked and appalled at the level of police violence shown here.'

The judge said he had 'great concerns' about the CCTV footage and questioned the truthfulness of the officers' statements.

'I would go as far as to say the statements contain untruths,' he added
Gee, you think maybe?

Sounds like the police(there and here both, I'll add) need a refresher in Mr. Peel's Nine Principles.

Well, it worked for one

and not for the other. Cast bullet load report.

With the cost of things, I finally decided to get a mold for a bullet that'll work for .303 and 7.62x54r. Found this one at Grafs, and since I already had a .311 Lee sizer, decided to try it first. Used a .30 caliber Hornady gas check and ran a batch through.

Test rifles were a #1 MkIII Enfield for .303 and the Finn M39 for 7.62x54. Results, as the title says. The Enfield shot bloody lousy with it, the Finn liked it. As in 1.5" group at 30 yards(indoor range; no time to go to the outdoor range, and it's cold and windy outside). Recoil in both was very light.

After I got home I slugged the bores. The Enfield, which groups pretty well with ball, came out about .312, which explains the lousy groups; the bullet just wouldn't fit the bore. The Finn came out about .309 to .310, so the bullet fit it pretty well.

I know where I can get the use of a #4 MkI Enfield that has a tighter bore, and a Mosin Nagant 91/30(bore unknown) to try these bullets in. The next larger sizer Lee shows is .314, which'd be too much for the M39(I think) but about right for the #1.

Dad has a Lyman luber-sizer, which we put a heater on a few years back so we could use some of the hard lubes, and it's great and we use it a bunch; but you have to get a sizer die(about $22) for each size and the proper top punch(about $9 now) to fit the bullet; different bullet profile, probably need another top punch. The Lee has to be used(yeah, you can get around that but lets keep it simple) with their Liquid Alox lube, but the whole setup costs $15, which includes a bottle of lube, and it mounts on your single-stage loading press; no top punch needed. If it turns out need the larger size I'll get one of the .314 sets and try it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

There's enough idiocy going on out there to merit

just wandering around a bit. Like the fact that CNN, along with being biases, seems to have no working brain cells:
From her home in Penarth yesterday, Mrs Shaw said: “We have been asked by the British terror police not to talk to the press.

“But the reason I would not want to talk to anyone is because our safety was actually compromised by CNN, which broadcast where we were.

“The terrorists were watching CNN and they came down from where they were in a lift after hearing about us on television. For that reason I would appeal to the media to be very careful about what they broadcast
It has to be asked: in this age of Blackberries and so forth, how damn smart do you have to be, how much thinking is required, to consider not putting out information that will help the bad guys?

You know how worried Rangel is about the House investigation? Not at all:
High-ranking members of Congress were flown to a lush Caribbean resort this month for a three-day conference planned and paid for by several of the country's most powerful corporations - a violation of federal ethics rules, critics say.

Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus attended the 13th annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference in sun-drenched St. Maarten, including embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel and New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne
Three guesses- and you won't need two- as to whether Nancy Most Honest Congress Of All Pelosi will do anything except maybe make excuses.

Mark Steyn points out(again) some of the PC-based stupidity that infects the major media:
There was a photograph that appeared in many of the British papers, taken by a Reuters man and captioned by the news agency as follows: “A suspected gunman walks outside the premises of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus railway station.” The photo of the “suspected gunman” showed a man holding a gun. We don’t know much about him — he might be Muslim or Episcopalian, he might be an impoverished uneducated victim of western colonialist economic oppression or a former vice-president of Lehman Bros embarking on an exciting midlife career change — but one thing we ought to be able to say for certain is that a man pointing a gun is not a “suspected gunman” but a gunman. “This kind of silly political correctness infects reporters and news services world-wide,” wrote John Hinderaker of Powerline. “They think they’re being scrupulous — the man hasn’t been convicted of being a gunman yet! — when in fact they’re just being foolish. But the irrational conviction that nothing can be known unless it has been determined by a court and jury isn’t just silly, it’s dangerous.”

Yes, as a matter of fact, our culture IS better; he's right about that.

Anyone who still makes excuses for these sorry bastards should be considered incapable of adult reasoning:
Asked specifically if he was talking of torture marks, he said: "It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were executed in cold blood," one doctor said.

The other doctor, who had also conducted the post-mortem of the victims, said: "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks. It was clear that they were killed on the 26th itself. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Corroborating the doctors' claims about torture was the information that the Intelligence Bureau had about the terror plan. "During his interrogation, Ajmal Kamal said they were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis," an IB source said
India DOES seem to have the right idea on some things:
A senior National Security Guard officer, who had earlier explained the operation in detail to, said the commandos went all out after they ascertained that there were no more hostages left. When asked if the commandos attempted to capture them alive at that stage, he replied: "Unko bachana kaun chahega (Who will want to save them)?"
Damn straight; now if they'll take the step of burying them with bacon or pig guts...

And last, Sen. Dick Durban(Evil Party Slimeball-IL) is truly a proper Illinois politician:
Yet this was not merely more of the old Durbin passive-aggressiveness. There was nothing tepid or formally indifferent about it. This one was awfully active.

It was as if the Combine reached out and grabbed the people of Illinois and slapped us hard with a backhand across the mouth, letting us know who runs things, the sting of the knuckles on our nose to remind us that Illinois is not Camelot.

Ryan betrayed the people, who have a right to expect honest service from their government. His corruption also left a body count. Nine people, including the six Willis children, were killed in crashes with truck drivers who paid bribes for licenses when Ryan was Illinois secretary of state.

Dozens of others in his office went to prison before him, convicted of selling licenses for bribes, with much of the money going into Ryan's campaign fund so he could be elected governor. And others were ruined.

And now his allies want to redeem him, though Ryan refuses to acknowledge his specific crimes? In what universe does redemption come without cost, where cynicism so casually dresses itself up as mercy and compassion?

Here. In this place. In Illinois
I'll add, "In the Land of Obama."

"Your records will be safe and secure;

unless the State Police want to go fishing through them."
The Delaware State Police have been conducting secret background checks of some gun owners since 2001, a process known as "superchecks" that may violate federal law.

The checks have resulted in confiscation of weapons, some for legitimate reasons, but have subjected many citizens to a search of mental health records that in most cases police would be unable to access.
"Because We are Only Ones, and the law doesn't apply to us if we want to try to dig something up on you."

I've said it before: every time some politician or LE official demands a new database of people and promises "It will be safe and secure", I don't know anymore whether to laugh, cry or scream and reach for a pitchfork.

Through a request made under the state Freedom of Information Act, The News Journal obtained the results of nearly 4,000 background checks conducted by FTAP from 1998 to 2008 in which gun purchases were denied by state police. The state must destroy records of approved gun purchases within 60 days under a law designed to prevent agencies from compiling lists of gun owners.
We already know from the previous story about the Delaware State Police that they were violating that law
The FTAP program was created by lawmakers, and funded by taxpayers, to aid licensed gun dealers, but The News Journal found that more than 10 percent of background checks denied by FTAP were requested by state troopers, not by gun dealers attempting to authorize a legal sale.

And check this out:
Attorney General Beau Biden's office is aware of superchecks, but would not comment on the practice.

"In terms of whether we condone the practice, our response is any additional response would violate attorney-client privilege," said Biden's spokesman, Jason Miller. In Mac Leish's correspondence with The News Journal, he sent a copy to acting Attorney General Richard Gebelein, who is running the office while Biden is in Iraq
Gee, and here I thought the people of the state of Delaware were his 'clients', not the State Police who're violating the law. And that name, Biden... where have I heard that recently?

I repeat: this is another case of a law enforcement agency violating the law, and getting away with it, and the people who're supposed to be riding herd on them making excuses and trying to make it go away instead of fixing the damn problem. And we're supposed to trust these people?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So CVS Pharmacy can do without any of my money

since they're acting with the gun ban weenies:
Guns are completely safe -- as long as they're unloaded, locked away, and never touched. But as soon as a bullet enters the chamber and a hand nears the trigger, guns become a serious hazard to children. In the United States 2,852 children and teenagers died of gunshot wounds in 2004, and more than four times that many suffered acute injuries -- many of them in the home.

Of course, the surest way to protect your child from guns is to keep them out of his life. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly urges parents not to store guns at home
And, as proof that bogus numbers will be repeated forever by these people,
If you think you need a gun for protection, consider this: According to the AAP, a gun in the house is 43 times more likely to kill a friend or family member than an intruder.

And so forth.

CVS, goodbye. Which I just told them with their contact form.

If this is indeed what happened, they shouldn't be fired;

these sorry excuses for men and lawmen should be beaten with clubs or whips. THEN fired.
The guardsmen, both of whom have served two tours of duty in Iraq, were in the Dells for weekend training. Two police officers stopped them in the early morning of June 1.

The suit says officers Wayne Thomas and Collin Jacobson accused the guardsmen of urinating in public and pointed out a wet spot in an alley that they thought was urine. The guardsmen denied having relieved themselves there.

In order to prove that it was not their urine and avoid citations, the officers made Anderson and Schiman lick the ground, the lawsuit claims. Schiman also was made to eat a plant that was drenched in the liquid, it states

In most circumstances I'd first think "C'mon, even the most brain-dead dumbass cop around...", but I noticed where this happened: Madison, Wisconsin. Coming out of that place, I can believe it could happen.

I'd say thanks to Xavier for pointing out this marfi, but this just pisses me off too much.

Added: I noticed this the other day, but for some reason didn't comment on it then:
The lawsuit states that Thomas, 19, was fired the same day as the incident and Jacobson, 20, was suspended for two weeks without pay. Both were limited term police officers.
How the HELL were a 19 and a 20-year-old in police uniform, carrying sidearms and on patrol? That's effing illegal, so far as I know. And it increases the chances of the incident having occurred as the suit alleges.

Speaking of police and politics

(which I wasn't really, but who cares?) take a look at this, one of many Theo's linked to the last couple of days. Basically, various people were really ticked about leaks of information and called in the cops. Which is a mess, which became more so when it turned out that(among other things) they used anti-terrorism cops in the arrest/raid.

He's got lots of links on this. Do be aware that his site ranges from mildly to strongly NSFW, depending on the standards used.

The Seven Stages of an

Undercover Investigation. Worth reading. Two points to note:
First, there really are good guys in ATF, who care about the law and catching actual bad guys.
Second, along with bad general agents, there are a lot of bad/dumbass/treacherous people in the upper reaches:
The root of Dobyns’ problems may go back to the publication of a book about the Hells Angels, another recreational group of fun-loving motorcyclists known for their civic spirit. Sort of like the Boy Scouts on wheels. Angels of Death: Inside the Biker Gangs’ Crime Empire describes in some detail Dobyns’ infiltration of the Hell Angels, even becoming a full patch member, as part of ATF’s Operation Black Biscuit. I was told that the book’s description of undercover “sources and methods” gave ATF management a serious case of heartburn. It did not help that the federal prosecution basically fell apart when the case went to trial, with ATF management and federal prosecutors turning on each other as the mosquitoes dive-bombed their case.
That the good guys can repeatedly put their ass on the line, knowing the past history of the brass and prosecutors, is somewhat amazing. A good thing, but amazing.

Blackfive has some thoughts on the Mumbai terrorists,

and he's not buying the 'highly-trained, professional' stuff. One thing he notes was this piece from one of the pieces I linked to the other day:
"They were firing from their hips. Very professional. Very cool," says D'Souza, the newspaper's photo editor.
As he notes, that's not exactly a sign of professionalism, or even half-decent training; as he puts it, more in the line of "chimps with an evil purpose". Which was all it took for most of this, an evil purpose.

We'll find out a lot more in coming days, but I'd bet he's right; this was a bunch of murdering dirtbags with some minimal training("This curved part makes it go 'bang', don't pull it unless you want to shoot"). Which would, I think, make the part of armed citizens even more powerful should such an attack take place here; citizens who actually practice at hitting individual targets facing terrorists who spray is not really a winning combination for the bad guys. Question then becomes, will the bad guys actually train at aiming and controlled fire?

If you're new to this blog, let me put something up front: I would very much prefer the military and LE forces stop the bad guys before they get here. Or right after they cross the border. But, considering the actions of a lot of politicians and PC-minded LE(especially on the federal level), we have to face the real possibility of bad guys getting in and making such an attack; I'm really surprised it hasn't happened before, combination of luck and hard work by the good LE and military and intelligence guys. Given a choice, I'd rather I never have need of a gun for anything but collecting, target shooting and hunting.

But I don't have that choice. There are bad people in the world, ranging from muggers and home-invasion burglars to terrorists. If I decide I'd rather be unarmed, that's my choice; but the fact is I have no choice in whether or not there are threats. To me, my family, friends, people on the street. I'd rather consider the possible threats and be somewhat prepared for them. And a mess like this might be one of them.