Quote of the Day – Jeff Colonnesi (8/19/2014)

There is a serious problem that needs to be addressed in this country when infant gas masks are a reasonable part of emergency supplies, for the sole reason that they might be needed for protection against ones own government.

Jeff Colonnesi – Facebook Comment
August 18, 2014


[I have nothing else to add other than Nomex/kevlar blankets might be good for your kid to sleep in too along with a sloped cover for your child's crib. Otherwise cops might look at it like a basketball hoop. -B]

Sweat the little stuff

I’ll start with a little background on what prompted this post. Yesterday was an especially frustrating day at work. It wasn’t so much that there was any terrible thing that happened, but it was more of the same little frustrating things. Yesterday hit some of my team members especially hard which in turn hit me hard since I’m the project manager. In reality, it’s not really any different, good or bad, than it was a few months ago, but these types of things are cumulative and at times exponential. I’ll come back to this later.

This got me thinking about how relatively little things in the past have added up to bigger things. If we look back to the events of April 19th, 1775, it could have just as easily been just another day in colonial America, but it wasn’t. Individually, the events of Lexington Green, the North Bridge, and Miriam’s Corner don’t add up to a revolution, but tensions had been building for the better part of a decade leading up to this. For years, the colonials had been dealing with and pushing back on the Intolerable Acts, and once the Regulars started the powder raids, it really kicked things up a notch. The key point here is that the events of April 19th add up to more than the sum of their parts because of all the relatively little things that preceded them.

This brings us to a question that is often asked but never answered. Where does that put us today? The truth is that we really don’t know. The colonials couldn’t have told you April 18th that tomorrow they would become Americans, and I can’t tell you today when things will change for us, but I believe that tensions are high and the powder keg is not far from being lit. Our version of the events of April 19th could be just around the corner, or it could be years away, but a relatively small chain of events could happen at any time. It could have been Ruby Ridge, Waco, or the Bundy Ranch, and it could just as easily be in my home state with the seemingly imminent passing of I-594.

My hope is that your take-away from this is that maybe we should sweat the small stuff a little more. I don’t mean you should stress about every little thing that happens, but you should be aware that those little things can add up to more than the sum of their parts. In your work life, remember that all the little things can add up be they good or bad. Saying hello to everyone and little complements can really make it a much more positive place just like the opposite is true. In the rest of your life, be just as aware of the small things because you never know what the next Miriam’s Corner is going to be. Stay vigilant and maybe sweat the little stuff a little bit more.

~BSB

Apologists, Syncophants, and Surrender Monkeys

imgresSo the last piece related to the NRA had two distinct responses. There was a third type but that was largely only done by a single individual and he was the exception more than the rule.

The first type of response was simply that of agreement and relaying that they had encountered similar issues within fights in their .

The other, largely the source of this blog post was blindly defensive of the NRA without actually discussing any of the issues why, there was one exception as noted above. Which brings me around to the post title.

What was I really focused on?

It appears that the crux of my complaint was missed or oblivious to people so let me lay it out here:

Why should I donate money to an organization who is not working to defend my rights in the fight with is going to have the largest impact on ME?

Think about that for a second, they called asking for money but are no where to be seen in the 591/594 fight. End result I am spending my personal time and effort doing what they aren’t.

The response from others:

There were people who left comments to the effect of:

It’s just so much easier to bitch about the NRA than get off your ass and do something for yourself though.

Or the ever entertaining:

The gun culture will be destroyed when your last neuron stops firing from blood loss. Apparently, people like Barron, are cowards who will obey gun laws, gun confiscation,etc. If you have and love guns, you need to understand and be prepared to do the unthinkable if it comes down to it. I would hope that the gun culture in Washington will only be destroyed when there is physical death and destruction of every gun loving resident in that great state and not before that point. I guess people in New York and CT have harder balls than people i Washington.

That last comment is by someone who obviously is not familiar with the legislation and what it’s actually doing. Not to mention this seems like the rantings of someone perpetuating the “deranged knuckle-dragging stereotype.” I’d also like to point out that the goal of combat and war is not to die for your cause or principles, it’s to make the other poor bastard die for his. I-594, while certainly creating a system of backdoor gun registration, does much worse. I-594 makes felons from those who engage in instruction, sport, and education with its overly broad definitions. You’re right, the gun culture will die with my last breath because I was effectively prevented from bringing new people into the sport.

Where it all comes together:

The biggest gold mine was Facebook:

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.59.18 AM Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 10.59.33 AM

First, a quick reminder, let’s I wrote the post. Now lets rip apart those arguments shall we?

The NRA is working to elect pro gun candidates in every state. That’s a very bold statement, that would mean they’re working to elect pro gun candidates right here in Washington since it’s every state. Let’s look at the PDC shall we?Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 8.44.34 PM


The reason that the I-676 numbers are specifically called out is because the argument is the NRA is supporting candidates right?  We quickly discover that by far the biggest contributor to elections in Washington since 1998 isn’t the NRA but WAGOAL. By a ratio of ~1.5 to 1. But lets see exactly where the NRA is spending our donations.Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 2.01.17 PM

So it seems the NRA has a solid covering, but what is interesting is some of those candidates aren’t in serious battle areas. They are already very “red” and quite pro-gun as it’s the more rural parts of the state. Interestingly though Pam Roach, who is quite honestly one of the most gun friendly people up for reelection, is in a heated showdown to retain her seat has only a single contribution from the NRA this year. Know what’s interesting about that? She is quite literally in the middle of some of the most gun unfriendly territory in the state. So explain how the NRA is going to be helping pro gun candidates, when it seems their philosophy is to fire a shotgun at the wall and hope that something sticks. If you have limited funds, one should make sure to maximize the effect from what you do spend. Same goes for residents, comparing the NRA to say WAGOAL in terms of supporting candidates, I’m sending my money to WAGOAL.*

WAGOAL may look light on this years donations to political candidates, however they have contributed heavily to the 591/594, where normally they would be focused on candidates not an initiative battle; which when taken into account easily moves them to twice what NRA has contributed this election cycle, even with the NRA’s shell campaign.

What changed?

In 1997 the NRA committed, quite heavily I might add, to defeating I-676.  As you can see above the NRA brought over $2 million into the fight. This time we get crickets.

We get a lack of commitment on an opposing initiative that would help secure a legal challenge in the even I-594 passes. We get a battlefield of restraints our local representatives are constrained by. Ultimately I see the process of engineering for failure.

So how do I view this overall?

When you criticize the NRA or question the notion that the NRA is the “gun owners best friend and can do no wrong” mentality, you get excuses. Sort of like the battered spouse crying “Sure he beats and rapes me but he protects me from all these other things! He’s a good provider!”

Others see that parallel with the NRA’s relationship to gun owners. They claim that the NRA is fundamentally opposed to any idea that didn’t originate in Virginia, that the NRA is unwilling to work with other pro-gun organizations and that the NRA is the first to claim credit when things go well – and shift the blame with equal vigor.

These same people who then tell us that the NRA response to I-594 and I-591 is precisely what we should expect – a token effort or a shell campaign opposing I-594 so that NRA “leaders” in Virginia can claim victory if I-594 is defeated, and that “well, we tried” should it win. That we should be unsurprised when the NRA dismisses I-591 as irrelevant – as, after all, not only was I-591 not born in the depths of the NRA halls of Virginia, it was homegrown. After all, nothing good EVER happens when gun owners think for themselves and take the lead. That is the modern NRA – not the NRA of 1997, still equipped with a spine and marching into the fight with $2,000,000 in their pocket.

Objectively it almost seems as if there’s actually two different NRA’s.  There is local NRA and field reps trying to find ways to be effective locally — whether that is testifying to the legislature or standing behind a booth at the fair, working a gun show, or any other task an activist must do.

Then we have the second NRA, sitting on the pocketbook – dismissive and uninvolved, a bureaucratic multi-headed monster in Virginia that works against those local representatives. The body that coughed up a total of $25,000 late in the game, in a seeming act of self-serving symbolism.

Representing that NRA we have Brian Judy, an NRA Senior State Liaison, has worked tirelessly within the dysfunctional ball field the Medusa of Virginia created in the Washington initiative battle and was fantastically effective during the Legislative Hearings in Olympia. Judy literally crushed the opposition without blinking an eye and did it effectively, without reserve, with an educational tone that nailed the subject at hand.

The NRA serves a purpose – but I seriously wonder how much they are really self-serving versus actually serving gun owners. They were helpful during the national fight January 2013, but at the same time they stabbed Washington State in the back – was that two NRA’s working to cross purposes?

Maybe it’s time to start working on solid local leadership we can depend on – if we cannot depend on the NRA of Virginia.

*Note I do not represent or claim to represent WAGOAL and could care less where you send your money. I am merely providing the information as an educational service. Do with it as you please.

Area of Operations
Why should I donate money to an organization who is not working to defend my rights in the fight with is going to have the largest impact on ME?
The representatives local to the state of Washington.

Quote of the Day – Karl Denninger (8/15/2014)

A very large number of black people aren’t rioters and thugs just like a very large number of white people don’t go around pointing machine guns at people and kidnapping them.  The common thread among all of those who don’t do the nasty things is that they’re not criminals, and have an inherent civil right to resist violence attempted against their person — a right that is constantly under assault by those who do commit the evil acts, whether they happen to have magical blue suits on or not.

Karl Denninger - Let’s (Properly) Rewrite A News Story

August 14, 2014


[First go read the whole thing, it's absolutely worth it and illustrates one of my biggest problems with law enforcement and how they're treated. Here's an illustrative picture of exactly what he's talking about.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

K, all read up? Here is another recent incident:

image33

That woman is pointing the firearm at another person, her finger is on the trigger. There is no question that woman is committing assault with a deadly weapon.  However thanks to the fact she's a police officer in the LAPD this has just been kicked to internal affairs and she will at most get a slap on the wrist.

Think about that for a second. A cop can do this:

checkpointguns3

and it's perfectly acceptable and OK. Never mind rule 2. Cops evidently are exempt and when they point a gun at someone it is NOT a threat of deadly force, it's just them doing what cops do. This is NOT acceptable in a free society and should not be tolerated. The problem is, who's policing the police. That's right, they've made it us vs them and that's why Ferguson has turned into a battle ground. If I heard there was a militia rolling that way tomorrow it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

If you aren't questioning the militarization of law enforcement compare it now to 20 years ago. This crap needs to stop.

Besides, when cops behave like the above is it any surprise that innocent unarmed people are shot? The rules exist for a reason. -B]

2,000 Times….

That’s how many time’s I’ve hit the submit button. This post is #2000 that I’ve published. I saw this morning when I went to check on the blog it was sitting at #1999. We’ll there’s a post scheduled for later this morning but I like nice even round numbers.

So here’s a couple Ear Worms to start off your morning:

Make sure you actually let this play at least to 1:30, the rest is an intro. Real song starts @1:48.
(I know not everyone likes heavy metal.)

Beware it might get dusty…

Quote of the Day – William McCormick (8/14/2014)

A valid point Mike. Not a contradiction of mine, but ….I have to say, one of my biggest beefs with the LE community. If you want my respect and consideration, that REQUIRES you to police yourself.

[Emphasis mine]
William McCormick – Facebook comment
August 13, 2013


[This was in reference to an incident by LAPD where they shot and killed a hostage after shooting every last square inch of a vehicle. I don't know all the details of said shooting. I do know if I shot an killed an innocent person while trying to defend myself in such a reckless manner I would be prosecuted for not exercising judicious marksmanship.

Look I get it, some times bad things happen. Problem is just because of your job you shouldn't be held to a lower standard than everyone else. If anything it should be higher. More importantly that statement above illustrates my issues with law enforcement currently quite accurately. I don't hate them, I don't think their all evil. I however have no respect for them as they cannot even keep their own house clean.

Doubly so as we then have people in the Seattle PD who go out and publicly endorse things like I-594, as members of the department. You want to make me a felon for teaching people how to shoot a firearm and I'm supposed to respect you for it? Thankfully WACOPS doesn't support I-594 and it's a glimmer of hope, but publicly denouncing that type of behavior goes a long way for the public trust, which at this point is dying. And at least WACOPS isn't someone doing so as a member of the department but as an organized body. I view this as the equivalent of me stepping up and saying something while claiming to be representative of my employer. Military members are not to make political statements while in uniform, why is it different for the police? -B]

Beware of the Snake Oil

So browsing through my FB feeds this morning I saw this “paid advertisement.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 7.15.30 AM

I all the sudden felt a recon red team exercise coming on. I go head and click on over to the website. There was a lot of snake oil in that page and as someone who understands this crap from a system’s perspective, any time you use wireless there are serious possibilities for remote vulnerabilities or exploits. So when I saw this line, my bull crap meter red lined.

Old wired technology. Traditional alarm companies want to put wires in your walls, because they know that ripping their wires out is hard and expensive.

On that above quote, let me tell you, removing wires is not that difficult. It’s called a pair of dykes, knife, spackle, and paint.  I can “remove” that wire in about 5 minutes for about 15 bucks. Actually I can remove every wire associated to any alarm system.  Hell if it’s actually dropped into an electrical box, just put a blank cover plate on it for like 10 cents.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept and give it two thumbs up from that stand point and for most burglars this will probably be fine, until someone makes an App that turns off, disables, or denies service to any SimpliSafe system. Given the sensors communicate wirelessly with a central base station, this seems not only possible, but very within the realm of possibility.

Further as it’s a wireless system said app can now tell me which homes have something inside that they feel the need to protect using a system that I am now capable of disabling.

As I said above, great concept but if one thing as an engineer has taught me, especially with some time in product development, I have never seen someone come in with an idea and really consider security and take it serious from the start. It’s always an afterthought and treated like a bug. Even more than that, wireless is often thrown around like a buzzword as if it’s somehow better just because.  There are serious benefits to wireless but like everything it’s a trade-off.

If I had extra time now I’d totally pick up a system to beat the crap out of. My advice, it’s probably better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick but eventually it will be the equivalent of painting an invisible radiating target on your house. For the most part you’re not protecting your house from people like me which is the one saving grace. That said, this will be a joke to any determined attacker for the reasons outlined above.

If they want to send me a system to evaluate, seriously not asking cause my time is precious right now, I’m more than happy to withdraw my basic observations above should they be proven wrong.

*Again I haven’t actually dug into said product, this is based on a review of their site literature and advertising. I am merely providing this as an educational service and food for thought. If you’re from SimpliSafe and feel epic butt-hurt from the above, contact me and we can chat about it.

Where the F*** is the NRA?!

Background

46f45fc1d77a6c0a37791ab4003e0e0aFor those of you who don’t know, a serious fight kicked off last January in Washington state. Lately I have volunteered my time to speak at gun shows and other events and let me tell you something, I am terrified. Out of the people visiting their local gun show you would expect at least 90% of the people to have at least heard about what’s going on, it’s more like 50%. Most have no real knowledge of either of the initiatives or their real legal impact and what it means for them as gun owners.

Recently gun owners accomplished a great feat in Missouri and everyone is all ecstatic, thing is strategically Washington has a lot of ground to cover and is quite likely to cause failures in other states. Not to mention they had no opposing ballot initiatives in their fight.

For those who don’t know, Bloomberg and his “Everytown” group have pledged 50 million dollars to aid in pushing Initative-594. Bloomberg has been stating he wants to crush the NRA, what better way when the NRA doesn’t even bother to show up, I’ll explain in a bit. Quite literally this is the biggest fight going on between gun owners and Bloomberg.

There is also an opposition bill, I-591, which Washington gun owners want to pass that will prevent the state from confiscating firearms under a declared emergency.


Current State of the Fight

Polling DataYardSignSTOPGUNblackfinal

First off, current polling data I’m getting through the grape vine, remember this fight began in January we’re 8 months in with 3 to go.

The news is, frankly, bad. We’re 8 months into a 11 month fight and running out of time. According to my sources, the numbers are running against us on the anti-gun I-594 stealth gun registration scheme, with voters polling over 2:1 in favor.

On I-591, the Gottlieb sponsored initiative banning gun seizures and forcing Washington to refrain from background checks at least until a consistent federal standard is passed is doing better – about half of voters polled support it. We can win 591 if folks get off their flabby… and start volunteering and writing checks.

The War Chests (The core data showing something’s wrong)

Our Side

Now lets talk war chests and who’s been providing support and where:

Data for the contribution statistics above can be seen here.

The good news is there have also been a pile of individual donors so the total contributions thus far are in the $1 million range.

What about those pushing for I-594?alt_pro594

What does it actually look like?

Total raised: $3+ million dollars, including a single $30k contribution from MAIG.

What about the NRA?

The NRA has showered this fight with a whopping, wait for it, $25,000. You read that right, MAIG has actually put more money into this fight than the NRA.

What’s being done with the war chests?

It isn’t always about how much money you raise, it’s about how you spend it. Here’s how each group, on our side of the fight, has spent their contributions to the war effort.


 

imgres-1

  • Created POGR
  • Created I-591/594 Campaign Art
  • Created I-591/594 Bumper Stickers
  • Created I-591/594 Yard Signs, currently in productions
  • Staff for the Washington Arms Collectors, Falcon, Knodel, and other gun shows regarding I591/I594

logo recreaction

  • Reference section regarding 591/594
  • Comped tables for anyone associated with POGR at any WAC show
  • Comp’d tables through CCKRBA for the NRA
  • Public Representation
  • Law Enforcement Networking*

*Quite honestly that is probably the biggest thing WAC, or anyone has done in this fight. You would think the NRA would have been able to do this but it was WAC. What am I talking about?

WACOPS declared support of I-591 noting that it protects background check uniformity, allows the background check debate to continue on the federal level and allows WA state standards to change if, or when, federal standards change.

At the same time WACOPS noted the many flaws of I-594 and made clear their opposition to the measure as an organization.


NRA-logo

  • Two field reps, who are forbidden to support I-591
  • No campaign materials
  • Outdated self-promoting material
  • Complete lack of coordination in working with any of the above for the common goal
  • A committee with an unknown name and no resources to actually be allowed to call itself such.

I wish I was making the above up but I am not. I have met both of the lovely young women who are working as field reps for the NRA, they expressed frustration at the way the NRA seemed to be dragging its feet. Even more importantly how they are restrained from being fully effective. The reps are being constrained from being effective by the NRA.


What exactly is the deal with I-591?591-594 Bumpersticker

If you are a Washington state resident you want it to pass, doubly so as it creates a very interesting legal problem if I-594 passes as well. This is a part of a legal chess game and honestly this all goes back to 2013 when I wrote this earlier article. Gottlieb saw 594 on the horizon and was trying to cut it off at the pass, destroy the Washington state pistol registry while really giving them nothing. The key to screwing our enemy is make them think they have a win when they actually get nothing. Well it was done so well that the NRA that sounded that alarm, portrayed Gottlieb as a traitor and move their residential members to have the bill struck down.

Now we find our selves facing 594, and 591 was created as a response to try to help gun owners, as usual though the NRA doesn’t like it, presumably because they didn’t come up with it and their committee to form a committee hasn’t come back with an agreement yet.

Interestingly the NRA doesn’t even seem to be really reaching out to their local members except to call up and ask for more money. Tell me, why would I give a contribution to the NRA to “Help fight Michael Bloomberg” when in the biggest ongoing battle with him you’re nowhere to be found? <- Seriously they called me last week wanting me to donate money and I was starting to dig up this information. I’m about ready to say I will not be getting the life membership I was thinking about getting this December as a birthday present, much less renewing.


Does the NRA hate Washington State?

It certainly feels that way. I have heard through the rumor mill that the NRA has a serious dislike for Gottlieb and they view this as a “let’s screw Gottlieb” moment. The catch is they’re screwing over every gun owner in the state of Washington over petty personal politics.

No one has been able to figure out why the NRA hasn’t endorsed I-591, it’s only a page long and so simple even a child can understand it.

If the NRA feels that 594 is too likely to pass so why bother investing in the fight, why not then endorse 591 to give the best possibilities in a legal challenge? Preventing a total victory for our opponents.


Tactical fallout:

There is, as with any battle, a list of tactical consequences that come with defeat and it is no different in this political fight. There are implications both nationally and locally.

First, despite the NRA seeming to think they do not have a dog in this fight, should 594 pass and 591 fail, MAIG, Every-town, and every other wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg Inc. will declare this a victory over the NRA.  The NRA has been portrayed to be the big evil nasty villain that is impossible to conquer. This fight, the opposition may do exactly that.  That gives the opposition momentum. Momentum creates opportunity and allows for more losses.

Which brings us to similar types of initiatives being brought forward in Nevada, Arizona and elsewhere shortly there after should they win.

And then the local fallout.  Expect to see attempts for a semi-auto and magazine ban in the state of Washington most likely in 2016 when there is also a presidential and gubernatorial election and the Peoples Republic of Puget Sound will be out in full voting fury.


Conclusion:

There is no doubt this fight is a big deal. A bigger deal than most people realize.  Implications are reaching far and wide and it seems that the largest most effective group with the largest reach is sleeping at the wheel.

We have a fight on our hands, if you’re a gun owner in the state of Washington, be sure to educate your friends and family about I-594 and I-591, the implications and facts behind them.  If you’d like to volunteer in some way hit up this contact form.  If you’d like to donate to Protect Our Gun Rights, go here.

And I will say it again, “Where the F*** is the NRA?”  Feel free to ask that the next time they call asking for money.

*It should be noted that my main complaint here is that the NRA is more than happy to take my money but then is no where to be found when things actually go sideways. While some would say, “quit complaining and do it yourself,” well that’s exactly what I am !@#$ing doing. As such I’ll be taking my money with me, cause obviously I need it for the fight they’re not willing to take on.