An Engineered Solution To The Problem Of Gun Safe Weight On Floor Joists

Herschel Smith · 28 Sep 2015 · 4 Comments

There is a plethora of articles, discussion threads and other resources that presume to give advice on the issue of floor loading with heavy gun safes.  Some of them even provide professional engineering counsel, even if they don’t say so.  For instance, some articles I have seen mention the typical and customary floor design loading limit of 40 pounds per square foot (PSF) and then opine something like “but even though the load for a safe is concentrated in a small space, since the total…… [read more]

Ashton Carter Goes Whole Hog Fifth Generation Warfare

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 22 hours ago

Via Mike Vanderboegh, this:

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter would like to stop buying and launching navigation satellites—at least as a military project. Sure, Lockheed is testing GPS III, and a team at the University of Texas is working on centimetric accuracy without differential. Through the MEOSAR project, the Canadian military will even use the new satellites to update the Cospas-SARSat system for geolocating search-and-rescue beacons. But GPS is looking more vulnerable to spoofing than we previously figured. So during a podcast hosted by venture firm Andreesen Horowitz in April, Carter argued that future forces would want their navigation on micro-electromechanical chips with inertials and precision clocks. Even just by reducing the need for constant updates from above, that sort of technology could improve the systemic defensibility of satellite navigation.

At the same time, Carter pretty much wants to wrap electronics around everything, proliferating precision and combat-networking down to every Iron Man suit in the force.

Wheeee … look at me!  I’m a cyborg!

Well, it looks like Ash Carter has bought whole hog into the concept of fifth generation warfare.  Magical suits that enable anyone to do anything, meaning that it doesn’t really matter that the women who passed Ranger school shouldn’t really have passed.  And it doesn’t matter that the Navy Secretary wants to see female Marines in combat regardless of the fact that they can’t perform.

Several years ago I was with Daniel in the truck pulling into a parking lot.  We had to come to a stop for four fat ass black girls waddling across the road in High School ROTC uniforms (their race is irrelevant except for the fact that it might be a harbinger of turning the armed forces into a gigantic social program of entitlement).  I looked at Daniel and said, “There goes the future of the United States armed forces.”  He said, “My God.  I’m glad I got out.”

Except it isn’t that easy.  The Army long ago decided to turn to mechanized warfare, and the concept of marching to battle, carrying a load, and assaulting a position fell to folks in Bradley’s riding from FOBs to the front, piling out of the car, shooting a while, piling back in, and going back to the FOB so they can use their iPads and watch movies.

It didn’t work out so well in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The so-called “big dog” robot sounds like a million angry Africanized bees, requires remote power, and won’t function for long away from charging stations or maintenance technicians.  Radios require power.  Servos and motors can be shot to pieces.  And people still bleed red blood and need to be transported back to medical care by being picked up off the field of battle and carried to medics by fellow Soldiers or Marines.

I’m not sure how long it will be before Ashton wants to see those fat ass girls in the Marine Corps infantry officer school at Quantico, but the best plans evaporate in a crisis, and connectivity won’t help when brave men are needed.

The New York Times Magazine has a must-read piece on the Americans fighting ISIS.  It’s a mixed bag, but this picture of a 45 year old Texan struck me.


He looks like he could rip your balls off by reaching through your teeth.  In any fight between people like this and Ms. cyborg – subject to dust, loss of power, bullets and other deleterious effects – take a wild guess as to who will win?

For those among us who don’t believe we should have a standing Army, the good news is that when Ashton Carter gets finished, we won’t.

Note To EOTech

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 22 hours ago

Soldier Systems:

Over the past few weeks, three separate issues have come to our attention regarding EOTech’s line of Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS). While we initially thought they weren’t related as they came up one by one, we realized they were all connected once we had looked into all three. Consequently, we believe they should be presented together, along with the source documentation.

Although it’s the last one we uncovered, we’ll begin with the most glaring piece of information. On 14 September, the SOF Weapons Program Management Office at NSWC Crane released a Safety of Use Message regarding issues with EOTech’s Enhanced Combat Optical Sights (ECOS), which is how they refer to HWS. This certainly caught our attention as the PMO is responsible for USSOCOM weapons. That message ultimately serves as the linchpin, tying together the other two issues we’ll soon address.

This critical bit of information would have been a stand-alone article, but it added credence to the others and offered coherence to some otherwise inexplicable issues. It also allowed us to concentrate on the facts presented in the various documentation. We will introduce the other issues after you get a chance to read the SOUM, which was obtained by Soldier Systems Daily. The Message has no date-time-group but was transmitted via official email traffic to SOF units on 14 September, 2015 and there are no markings limiting distribution.

Click to view PDF

While there is a great deal of information in the SOUM, two glaring issues stick out. The first is the reliability of the HWS in extreme temperatures, referred to as “Thermal Drift”. The PMO has noted a +/- 4 MOA shift at -40 Deg F and 122 Deg F. Second, is the concern over the claim by EOTech that their HWS are parallax free which was the subject of a previous Safety of Use Message from the same office issued 16 March, 2015. In this case they noted between 4 and 6 MOA parallax error depending on temperature conditions. Despite the PMO working with EOTech to rectify the issues, they still have not been resolved.

Listen to me, EOTech.  Just like we have noted with Remington and the Walker Fire Control System, it would have been better, cheaper and easier for Remington had they noted the problems up front, fixed them, recalled the parts, or refunded the clients.  Instead, the lawyers and corporate executives got involved and things went down hill.  Now, Remington is a shell of what it once was.  And for good reason.  I’ll be surprised if they survive except for government contracts.

Fix the problem.  Come clean about it, explain it, recall it, refund the parts, or do whatever you have to do.  Otherwise, you will lose market share, and permanently so.  You’ve been warned.

AR-15s,Guns Tags:

Gun Controller’s Ox Gets Gored

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 22 hours ago

Anna Clark at Columbia Journalism Review:

At a time of high-profile shootings and rising crime in many cities, the journal Preventive Magazine has published a special issue on gun violence, bringing together leading scholars to illuminate a subject that is often overwhelmed by political rancor. Guest editors David Hemenway and Daniel Webster apply a public health perspective to a field in which policy decisions have life-and-death stakes.

Yet, in at least one case, an attempt to dislodge a myth had a curious boomerang effect: The media reverb interpreted the study’s conclusions to mean the opposite of what researchers intended.

In the fall of 2013, researchers from Duke University and the University of Chicago asked people with a history of gun offenses at Chicago’s Cook County jail about how they got a weapon. By analyzing their responses, the researchers hoped to find ways to limit the ability of dangerous offenders to access firearms. Most of them, it turns out, got their guns not by stealing them or by buying them from authorized dealers, but via their social networks: family, friends, and gangs. They avoided obtaining guns from people they didn’t know out of concern that the person could be an undercover officer or an informant, or that the gun could have been used in a previous crime they could be implicated in if they are found with the weapon. As one respondent to the study said: “As far as Chicago, it’s so close to Indiana … there’s gun laws, but it’s easier to get access to guns in Indiana, so most people either go to the down-South states or go to Indiana to get guns, or people obtain gun licenses, go to the store and then resell.”

A key takeaway, then, is that policing and regulations impact how the underground gun market functions. With more enforcement and the targeting of key intermediaries, researchers say, gun access to dangerous people can be even more constrained. In other words, regulations may not yet put a complete stop to illegal trade, but they do make it more difficult for guns to get in the wrong hands. But much of the media pick-up boiled the study down to the notion that universal background checks on gun purchasers don’t work—a conclusion two researchers from the study emphatically deny.

For example, the Las Vegas Review-Journal cited the study to support the editorial board’s claim that background checks are “not a cure-all.” (Media Matters for America pointed out that this stance contradicts the edit board’s earlier position.) David French at the National Review  used the study to argue that gun regulations only “make it harder for ordinary, law-abiding people to buy guns.” The National Rifle Association acknowledged the researchers didn’t conclude that background checks don’t work—but suggested the researchers were blind to where their own evidence pointed them. Even the “Mallard Fillmore” comic strip weighed in, sarcastically inveighing that “more gun laws are the answer!”

This puts the researchers in a tough position. Philip J. Cook, the Duke professor who is the lead name on the gun study, has worked in this field for 40 years. He’s had his share of interactions with the NRA over those four decades. But, he says, it’s different this time. Rather than seeing the media that supports gun rights attack his study or his own expertise, it is actually running with his study—and using it as evidence to support their opposing view.

“I would be glad to have a forum to rebut the scurrilous lies being told about (this study),” Cook says. “But how do you rebut a comic strip?”

Well bless your heart, Mr. Cook!  Did your Ox get gored?  Could you not control the narrative after publication of your screed?  Is nobody interested in interviewing you to see what you wanted people to conclude?

Here’s the deal, Anna, and Mr. Cook.  Criminals will get their guns, even if they have to make them.  Or they will get their hammers, or knives, or garden tools, or whatever they want to use to perpetrate their crimes.  The only universal background check that will work to stop the legal sale of firearms is one that disallows it entirely (we know that’s what you really want, after all).  Furthermore, my God given rights aren’t subject to the vicissitudes of your studies and what you can or can’t demonstrate with them.  And finally, I don’t really think you can meet the conditions for calling what you do science.  I don’t think you can meet the central limit theorem with any of your data, with a first (mean), second (FSD) and third (VOV) moment.  So I’m not impressed.

But even if such a horrible government program got kicked off, it would never come to fruition, and the awful, bloody civil war it started would be worse than anything a collectivist could ever imagine, with dead cops on front lawns all over America as they tried to confiscate firearms from otherwise peaceable men.

Perhaps I’m assuming too much, though.  You’re not under the impression that we will willingly go along with such laws, are you?  You’re not persuaded that there are enough LEOs in the world to make that happen, are you?  You’re not ignorant of the noncompliance movements in Oregon, New York and Connecticut, are you?  And you know, prim and proper Connecticut isn’t Marietta, South Carolina, or Fines Creek, North Carolina, or Damascus, Virginia.  Now that I think about it, you’ve never really pondered the lives of the men you would be sending to their deaths trying to confiscate weapons, have you?

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 22 hours ago

David Codrea:

“Inspired by our dialogue with Pope Francis, let all Americans engage in a politics that forges cooperation and sees the passage of just legislation that may bring us closer to grace” … Attaining “grace” is not within its scope, and thus remains outside the realm of delegated powers.

Many a problem in our history if we had simply followed the precept that the church is responsible for the administration of grace, the state for justice.  The one institution should not infringe on the purview of the other.

Smokey is dead, and he didn’t have to be.

Finally, you’re not under the impression that the Syrian and other Muslim immigrants respect you or intend to be peaceable, are you?

The DoD Throws Colt A Lifeline?

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 21 hours ago

DoD Press Release:

Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut (15QKN-15-D-0102); and FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina (W15QKN-15-D-0072), were awarded a $212,000,000 firm-fixed-price multi-year contract for M4 and M4A1 carbines for the Army and others, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 24, 2020.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received.  Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

I’m not sure what this means, except that for the Army, it will be Colt for the foreseeable future for M4s.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 21 hours ago

David Codrea:

If I have occasion to speak to the media, as I do on a regular basis with talk radio and other venues, I do so as an individual, not as an Oath Keepers spokesman.  To present myself in any other way would be inappropriate unless the board specifically asked me to field a statement, and unless that statement adhered to deliberated and approved positions.

There’s no shortage of people who would love to discredit Oath Keepers, because the group presents obstacles to their agenda of accumulating power at the expense of rights. We need to keep that in mind when interacting with the media and the public, and in how we conduct ourselves, especially while attending Oath Keepers functions or wearing articles of clothing with the Oath Keepers insignia. And we need to be careful to make it clear when we’re speaking on behalf of the organization, such as while participating in directed operations and outreach efforts, and when we’re speaking solely for ourselves.

It’s just this simple: You don’t commit someone else to your priorities without their OK.

Well, yes, but this is a sticky wicket indeed.  How does a large organization with loosely coupled rules and no means to enforce those rules, ensure discipline among the ranks?  For Oathkeepers, it just might be that they need to focus more on dissemination of literature, persuasion on the core essentials, and education.  Otherwise, they are going to face the need to enforce discipline within the ranks.  There is no means that I can see to make that happen.

Keep praying for Mike Vanderboegh.

Via Uncle, this from Glenn Reynolds: “The high school junior was hailed as a hero for intervening after he saw the ‘visually impaired’ student being repeatedly hit round the head during lunch break at Huntington Beach High School, California on Wednesday. Footage, filmed by a bystander, shows the teen knocking the bully to the ground with a single punch to stop the attack. . . .No arrest is expected for the intervening teen who has been praised by his peers and online for standing up for his classmate. But his school took a different approach and are believed to have kicked the have-a-go-hero off the football team after he breached their ‘zero-tolerance’ policy on violence.”

So now, do you remember when I said this to a young man?

I know very little about you, but I assume (you can correct me if I’m wrong) that you do not have children of advanced school age (and I have no idea whether you are married). If your children one day attend public schools (I home schooled mine for the last several years except for one), they will find this notion in spades in the school system. Let me tell you how it plays out.

The kids that know they aren’t attending college know the kids who intend to attend college. The school system has given up on the idea of finding facts, finding fault and finding intent. Hence, the kids who have no intention of attending college abuse the ones who intend to attend college. It happens this way, and hundreds of others.

Let’s say that the school lunch line of a five minute wait. The bad kids will break in line and even punch the good kids. The good kids take it, run away, and avoid conflict at all costs. They do this because they know that the principal will make no attempt whatsoever to find facts or intent if a fight breaks out. Fights means that a kid is defending himself, or even that he isn’t and sits in a corner getting the hell kicked out of him. When it’s finally broken up, both kids get suspended, it goes on record, and colleges don’t accept kids with records. End of story. The competition is too high to accept kids with records, regardless of the fact that it’s disputed. All such records are disputed by every student.

My boys could have beat the hell out of anyone who they fought, but one of them needed to attend a scholarly college to do what he does, and for him we simply planned classes to avoid the bad kids, sent him with his lunch, and prayed that he got out without being in a … ahem … “fight.” Daniel, my Marine, just beat the hell out of anyone who accosted him. It cannot be that way for everyone. The ones who need to go to college behave differently. Daniel is in college now because of the Marines.

You see, smarts comes from books. Wisdom comes from age and experience. I have that. Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. And if you have children of advanced age one day, they will get the hell beaten out of them in school, or they will defend themselves and not go to college, or you will home school them. Welcome to fact-less, intent-less jurisprudence and lack of lawsuits against schools.

Oh … listen to the older men among you, youngsters.  As the Scriptures say, ” … rise up before the hoary head” (Lev 19:32).

Should The Physically Handicapped Have Firearms?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

He is just too crippled to be shooting a rifle:

During the first week of summer camp in 1992, a Scoutmaster approached me at registration and told me he had a young Scout in his troop who suffered from muscular dystrophy. The Scout was adamant about getting his rifle merit badge.

“I’m afraid he is just too crippled to shoot a rifle,” the Scoutmaster explained. “He can’t walk and he doesn’t have the arm strength to use crutches to walk. He is confined to a wheelchair, and we will have to carry him up to the shooting range.”

He also went on to explain that he had promised his parents that he would take good care of him if they would let him go with the troop to Scout camp.

The next day the troop up the hill with Tim on the Scoutmaster’s shoulders. I quickly ascertained that Tim could sit at the shooting bench and use his hands to stabilize himself and shift his position right or left as needed. A smile came over his face as I told him that in a way, it was a blessing that he didn’t have the strength to hold the rifle up himself. That was because I was going to teach the boys to use a sling to support the rifle. All that was needed was his arm bone structure. The sling would hold the rifle for him and was perfectly in keeping with the requirements for the merit badge he sought.

It was a tough week for Tim, but he knew it would be and never complained or asked for any special treatment. On Monday, he learned the basics and only got a couple of shots to hit the paper. Tuesday was a little better. His Scoutmaster understood what I was trying to do with him, and he coached him when I had to attend to other shooters. On Wednesday, he was able to get every shot to hit on the target, but the group still wasn’t tight enough to earn the merit badge. Thursday was better still, as he settled down, followed instructions and got a score that was only five points less than the score required for the rifle merit badge.

Friday was his last chance to qualify. I reminded him that he knew the basics and had been improving all week. I told him to relax, take his time, concentrate on sight picture, let the rifle go off when it went off, and to hold the sight picture for a moment after each shot. His entire Scout troop was there to give him silent support. I think his Scoutmaster crossed his fingers behind his back as Tim got himself in position and began to shoot.

After he finished, I went up to his target to see how he had done. After looking at the target for about 30 seconds, I turned back and called out to Tim.

“OK, here is what I want you to do this time — tell your Scoutmaster and those other not-so-quiet hooligans behind you that you just earned your Shooting Merit Badge.”

The gallery erupted in uncontrolled clapping and screaming and carrying on that simply isn’t acceptable on a rifle range. Tim collapsed across the shooting bench and actually cried a little.

When the troop returned to camp, Tim called his parents and begged them to come see him get his merit badge that evening, which they gladly said they would do.

When I shared this story with Kurt Hofmann, he told me about a loathsome worm who blogs under the name Mikeb302000.  Of this video, he says:

We cannot base our gun control regulations on an anomaly like this guy. Severely handicapped people are a danger to themselves and others when armed.

As if handicapped people have gone to Mikeb and asked for help in whatever he concludes is being safe.  Mikeb wants to be important and isn’t.  To Mikeb and all eugenicists of the world, I see the image of God in the boy in the story.  How sad for you that your view of life is so bleak and dark.  I pity you.  But only up to a point.

Perhaps after reading the report above, your heart will soften.  If not, I hope your head explodes.  In the mean time, I thought I would help the author of the story, Smokey Merkley, with a concluding sentence for the article.

And God smiled.

Guns In Church In Tennessee

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

The Tennessean:

People can’t bring guns to a church, religious entity or private school — even if it is private property — if that property is being used for a school event, according to a new opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

“Under the (law), the statute pertains to property being operated or while in use by any school. The statute does not exclude property of religious institutions or any particular type of school, including parochial schools, from its scope,” Slatery writes.

Parochial schools or churches that allow the usage of certain buildings for school activities must ban guns on the property while it is being used by a school, Slatery says. The guns are specifically not allowed within the actual facility or area being used for the school activity.

“For example, if a private school were using church grounds to hold a festival encompassing the entire church property, gun possession would be prohibited on the entire grounds. However, if the school were using only a discrete and separate building on church grounds, other portions of the church’s property might not fall within the scope of (the law),” Slatery writes.

This is similar to a pissy little interpretation of the rules for many states, where guns cannot be carried in churches if they are attached to or part of schools, including parochial schools.  So any church that has a K5 ir first grade program for which it charges money and administers tests, must prohibit weapons on church property (since it is the same thing as school property to a bad lawyer).

The simple thing to do in this instance is get the legislature to make a law clarifying that guns can be carried in church regardless of the fact that the church may have a parochial school.  Folks, if you attend worship services, think for a moment about the risk.

Ingress and egress is usually limited to two or three points, and is usually behind you.  You are sitting alongside other people who block your access for egress, oh, and did I mention that you’re sitting?  If it’s a large church you are a long way from the point of egress, and your attention is usually focused on the wrong end of the building for security.

You and your family are sitting ducks.  Carry guns to worship.  I just can’t say it enough.

The Ten Commandments Of Firearms Safety

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Grand Forks Herald:

• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. Be able to control the direction of the muzzle even if you should stumble.

• Treat every firearm as though it were loaded.

• Unload firearms when they are not in use. Keep the action open when the firearm is stored and carry it in a case to the shooting area.

• Be sure the barrel and action are clear of obstruction and that you have the proper ammunition for the firearm you are carrying.

• Be sure of your target before you pull the trigger.

• Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a firearm.

• Never climb a fence, tree or jump a ditch with a loaded firearm. Never pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle.

• Never shoot a bullet at a flat, hard surface or at water.

• Store firearms and ammunition separately.

• Avoid alcohol and other drugs before or during shooting.

For those of use who continually rehearse firearms safety (like me to myself, my readers and my family), it’s always good to hear them again.

But sometimes these things turn into religious observances for the Fudds.  Take for example “unload firearms when they’re not in use,” or “store firearms and ammunition separately.”

An unloaded firearm does you no good in a home invasion or if someone attacks you when you pull over to put fuel in your car.  The government wants the criminals and idiots to be safe, and they want their LEOs to be safe.  The surest way to accomplish this is to effectively disarm you.

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