Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Handgun Ownership Rising Most Quickly Among Women

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The almost amusing part of the report, however, was the seeming shock registered by the people at Harvard involved in the study.

Jazz Shaw writes: We hear repeated stories of how gun ownership is on the rise, but who are the people buying the guns? (We’re talking about legal purchases here obviously. The motives and opportunities for criminals are another issue.) It’s a complicated question because there is no “generic” lawful gun owner in the United States.

[Read the full story here, at Hot Air]

But Time Magazine is looking at one particular segment of American gun owners this week and it’s women who purchase a single firearm… specifically handguns. And the most common reason given is self-defense.

According to a new survey by public health officials at Harvard and Northeastern universities, women are more likely than men to report owning a gun for protection. The research, conducted in 2015 but previously unpublished, was recently obtained by The Guardian and The Trace.

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The data shows that, compared to men, American women are more likely to own a single handgun (as opposed to multiple guns). And as fewer men purchase guns, the proportional presence of female gun-owners is on the rise. Forty-three percent of individuals who own just a handgun are women, with almost a quarter of those women living in urban areas. The Guardian noted that female gun-owners were more likely to live in urban areas than their male counterparts, and called the data “the most definitive survey of US gun ownership in two decades.”

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A couple of decades ago this might have been seen as a shocking trend, but in 2016 it seems rather obvious. Men have been buying guns in larger numbers for a long time, but shifts in the social paradigm have made it far more common for women to catch up in this area. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: Katie Couric Sued For Defamation In Anti-Gun Documentary

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Charge: sequence in film was ‘work of fiction’ that damaged reputation of commentators.

Gun rights advocates don’t enjoy being falsely depicted as dimwits who can’t answer the most basic of questions about their No. 1 public policy issue.

Erik Wemple reports: That’s the takeaway from a defamation lawsuit filed today against Katie Couric and the producers of “Under the Gun,” a documentary about gun violence in the United States. Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, the documentary itself came under the gun in May, when members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) claimed that it slighted them by mal-editing an interview in which they’d participated. In response to a question from Couric, the film’s narrator, the gun rights advocates were depicted as sitting in baffled silence for nearly 10 seconds.

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[ALSO SEE – Katie Couric Sued for $12 Million For Defamation In Anti-Gun Documentary – bearingarms.com]

In fact, they had supplied an extensive response to Couric’s question.

Many onlookers, including the Erik Wemple Blog, blasted the film for this portrayal. Couric, the global anchor of Yahoo News, initially stood by the product but ultimately apologized for the “misleading” edit. The film’s director, Stephanie Soechtig, wasn’t so contrite. “I think it’s sad to say that these eight seconds didn’t give the VCDL a platform to speak. Their views are expressed repeatedly throughout the film; we know how they feel about background checks. They said it earlier in the film,” said Soechtig in an interview after the furor.

"The lies we told were thiiiiiiiiiiiis big"

“The lies we told were thiiiiiiiiiiiis big”

Intransigence of that sort may bedevil Soechtig in a legal action filed by the VCDL and two gun rights defenders in the film — Daniel Hawes and Patricia Webb — against Couric, Soechtig, Atlas Films and Epix, the documentary’s distributor. Filed in a Virginia federal court by Elizabeth Locke of Clare Locke LLP, the complaint states, “The Defendants manipulated the footage in service of an agenda: they wanted to establish that there is no basis for opposing background checks, by fooling viewers into believing that even a panel of pro-Second Amendment advocates could not provide one.” It seeks compensatory damages of $12 million, and punitive damages of $350,000 per plaintiff.

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

The filmmakers gave this particular lawsuit a galloping start, with a dreadful sequence that comes less than a half-hour into the one-hour-and-45-minute documentary. Seated in a circle are members of the VCDL against a dark backdrop. Couric asks this question: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?” In response, the VCDL members say precisely nothing. They stare into space, or at the floor. Brain-freeze appears to have enveloped them.

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As the suit notes, this depiction is a “work of fiction.” The VCDL members actually filled Couric’s ear; Hawes, for example, said this:

The fact is we do have statutes, both at the federal and state level that prohibit classes of people from being in possession of firearms. If you’re under 18, in Virginia, you can’t walk around with a gun. If you’re an illegal immigrant, if you’re a convicted felon, if you’ve been adjudicated insane, these things are already illegal. So, what we’re really asking about is a question of prior restraint. How can we prevent future crime by identifying bad guys before they do anything bad? And, the simple answer is you can’t. And, particularly, under the legal system we have in the United States, there are a lot of Supreme Court opinions that say, “No, prior restraint is something that the government does not have the authority to do.” Until there is an overt act that allows us to say, “That’s a bad guy,” then you can’t punish him.

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That argument, notes the complaint, is part of the six minutes that the gun rights advocates spent answering Couric’s question. Showing the VCDL as dumbfounded required some work on the part of the filmmakers. In coordinating the interview with the VCDL advocates, Couric and a cameraman from Atlas Films told them that they needed to sit in silence for 10 seconds so that the crew could calibrate the “recording equipment.” It was this passage that “Under the Gun” placed in the film instead of the actual answers supplied to the question about background checks. The suit alleges that this moment carried particular implications for each of the named plaintiffs in the case. Webb is a licensed firearms dealer (Gadsden Guns Inc.), and the edits indicate that “she lacks knowledge regarding background checks — a requirement for every gun sale she does,” argues the complaint. Hawes is an attorney who handles cases involving firearms, and the film suggests that “he lacks the legal expertise and oral advocacy skills required to perform his duties.” Read the rest of this entry »


Pink Pistols: Displaying Good Judgement and Common Sense After Orlando Shooting, LGBT Group Embraces Armed Self-Defense

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Without self-defense, there are no gay rights

Hailey Branson reports: Jonathan Fischer is never sure who’s going to be more surprised when he, as he likes to put it, comes out of the gun closet — the gun aficionados who find out he’s gay or the gay friends who find out he likes shooting guns.

“If someone was to try and break into my home, and especially if someone were armed, I don’t want to fight back with a kitchen knife, and I don’t think that’s extremist or crazy.”

— Jonathan Fischer

When the 38-year-old television editor showed up last month to a defensive handgun class near Piru with a Glock 27 pistol on his hip, he wore a T-shirt sporting a rainbow-colored AK-47. His “gay-K-47,” he said.

In the days after 49 people were fatally shot at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., this summer, Fischer wanted to do something to make his community safer. So he started the West Hollywood chapter of the Pink Pistols — a loosely organized, national LGBT gun group.

“If someone was to try and break into my home, and especially if someone were armed, I don’t want to fight back with a kitchen knife,” Fischer said.  “And I don’t think that’s extremist or crazy.

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“We wish to dispel the misleading and insulting caricature that supporters of Second Amendment rights are either tobacco-chewing, gap-toothed, camouflage-wearing rednecks or militia posers who are morbidly fascinated with firepower.”

It’s a stark contrast to how the overwhelming majority of LGBT activists andemily-gun organizations responded to the Orlando massacre, which has sparked calls within the community for gun control.

[Check out Emily Miller’s book Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

In the wake of the shooting, some gay bars like the Abbey in West Hollywood beefed up security. The same day as the Orlando mass shooting, L.A.’s annual gay pride parade was rattled after a heavily armed man en route to the event was arrested.

For all the anxiety Orlando has caused, many gay activists say becoming armed is not the answer.

“Some people say you need a gun to protect yourself from the bad guys. We just fundamentally disagree with that,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “We don’t want to live in a world where you have to be packing heat to live your daily life.”

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But for a small subset of the community, Orlando has become a call to arms.

[Read the full article here, at the LA Times]

When the firearms instructor at the range near Piru asked each person in the class why he or she was there, Fischer ticked off several reasons and mentioned the Pink Pistols.

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“What is the Pink Pistols group?” a man asked.

There was a pause.

[Read the full text here, at the LA Times]

“We’re — a gay gun group,” Fischer said hesitantly. He tried quickly to explain.

Gun owner Elizabeth Southern, left, trains with a handgun at a gun range near Piru.

“No, that’s awesome,” the man said, nodding reassuringly.

Interest in the Pink Pistols has increased since the Orlando attack, with new chapters springing up across the country, including the West Hollywood chapter and another one in North Hollywood. There was such an outpouring of support from firearms trainers, many of them straight, that the Pink Pistols’ website now has a map listing LGBT-friendly firearms instructors in every state.

[Read the full story here, at the LA Times]

The week of the attack, signs depicting a rainbow-colored Gadsden flag and the hashtag #ShootBack appeared in West Hollywood, where an estimated 46% of the population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. City officials were outraged.

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“Not all that many gay people would need to carry guns, as long as gay-bashers couldn’t tell which ones did.”

“Even during our heightened days of civil disobedience and protest, we have only advocated peaceful means, never arming ourselves and retaliating with violence,” said City Councilman John Duran, who is gay.

Gwendolyn Patton, the national spokeswoman for the Pink Pistols, has spent the summer trying to keep up with the more-guns-less-crimeall inquiries about the group and how to start new chapters.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

“People don’t like to feel helpless,” said Patton, a lesbian who lives outside Philadelphia.

The Pink Pistols has received a mostly negative response from the broader LGBT community, she said. Some LGBT centers, she said, have even specifically banned the Pink Pistols from using their facilities.

The group dates to 2000 when gay author and journalist Jonathan Rauch wrote an article for Salon.com calling for gay people to “set up Pink Pistols task forces,” get licensed to carry guns and arm themselves to protect their community.”

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“Not all that many gay people would need to carry guns, as long as gay-bashers couldn’t tell which ones did,” Rauch wrote.

Rauch told The Times he wrote the article at a time when the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard negores-guns-bookwas still fresh in the public consciousness. It woke people up, he said, to what gay people had known all along: “that we were targets of day-to-day terrorism.”

[Order Nicholas Johnson’s book “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” at Amazon]

“There is a huge amount of anti-gay stereotype in America that has to do with weakness — people calling us limp-wristed and fairies,” Rauch said. “Over the years, many gay people came to internalize this stereotype and assume that we are weak and defenseless, and of course we are not.”

The first Pink Pistols chapter, taking its name directly from Rauch’s article, was started in Boston just after its publication, Patton said. Today, there are 50 chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Read the rest of this entry »


LOOK, UP IN THE SKY: U.S. Bombers to Buzz Europe in Show-of-Force Exercise

Two Air Force B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and a single B-52 Stratofortress from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, deployed to RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, last week for the NATO exercise.

Three U.S. long-range bombers will be flying over the Czech Republic this week for Joint Terminal Attack Controller Exercise Ample Strike, U.S. European Command announced this weekend.

Two Air Force B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and a single B-52 Stratofortress from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, deployed to RAF Fairford, United Kingdom, last week for the NATO exercise, which kicked off Aug. 30.

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The Czechs are hosting the exercise, aimed to train partners in air-land scenarios, for the third time, according to NATO. The bombers will conduct day and night operations Sept. 5-16, EUCOM said. Approximately 300 participants from 18 countries will attend.

[Read the full text here, at Defensetech]

The Air Force also is adding air-to-air refueling missions during tactical aircraft and bomber missions. “US Air Force KC-135R tankers will refuel not only the German Tornado jets, Czech and Hungarian Gripen aircraft, but also US Air Force strategic bombers,” Col. Zdenek Bauer of the Czech Air Force Command, the exercise director, said in a release. Read the rest of this entry »


Royal Navy Unveils Robot Spy Speedboat 

The 34ft boat can skim across the waves at more than 50kts to track high speed targets, while navigating and dodging other ships without the control of a human.

Naval commanders believe the Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) could herald a robot fleet of high-speed craft packed with sensors to carry out spy and scouting missions.

The unarmed test craft is one of 40 prototypes to be tested by the Royal Navy in a major robot war game off the coast of northern Scotland in October.

The dawn of unmanned vehicles is likely to have the same revolutionary effect on naval warfare as the birth of flight and aircraft carriers, according to the navy’s Fleet Robotics Officer.

Cdr Peter Pipkin said: “This is a chance to take a great leap forward in maritime systems – not to take people out of the loop but to enhance everything they do, to extend our reach, our look, our timescales, our efficiency using intelligent and manageable robotics at sea.”

MAST has been built for the MoD’s defence laboratories and is based on an existing Bladerunner speedboat, but fitted with sensors and robotic technology that is still largely classified.

The boat has a sophisticated anti-collision system to avoid hazards and other craft, but current laws meant that when it was unveiled on the Thames, it had to have a human coxswain on board.

While the MAST is only a test platform for new technology and will not enter service as it stands, sources said it could it pave the way for future robots vessels that can track, shadow or spy on other craft as well as loitering off coastlines.

Elizabeth Quintana, director of military sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, said the Navy was looking at unmanned vehicles to take on “dull, dirty, and dangerous” jobs.  Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] White House: Obama ‘Concerned’ But Doesn’t Have Specific Ideas on Addressing Chicago Gun Violence 

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Gun Ownership Rises Among Women, Minorities        

‘Real feminism is about empowerment and taking our safety into our own hands,’ Dallas gun owner Antonia Okafor says.

Fred Lucas  reports: Antonia Okafor, a Dallas resident, says she believes a gun can be the great equalizer for women to defend themselves—one reason she is now the southwest regional director for a group called Students for Concealed Carry.

“A lot of minority homes didn’t have father figures growing up. The right to bear arms is a way to protect our community. Every weekend people are dying in cities riddled with gun control.”

State laws allowing residents to carry concealed weapons have been enacted in all 50 states, with varying emily-gundegrees of regulation—most recently on college campuses.

[Check out Emily Miller’s book Emily Gets Her Gun” from Amazon]

“We see ourselves as doing this as a means of empowerment,” Okafor, 26, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “Real feminism is about empowerment and taking our safety into our own hands.”

[Read the full story here, at dailysignal.com]

Okafor, who is black, said more female role models, such as Olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode, have inspired more gun ownership among women.

But Okafor—a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, where she became involved in the movement—said her mother is opposed to guns.

In an April poll by ABC News of issues millennial women are most concerned about, gun rights scored even with equal pay and abortion, each getting 11 percent.

A group of local public school teachers from nearby schools use rubber training guns as they practice proper firearms handling during a teachers-only firearms training class offered for free at the Veritas Training Academy in Sarasota, Florida January 11, 2013. The December 14 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, has sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers, prompting passionate arguments on both sides. REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS EDUCATION)

A study by the Crime Prevention Research Center earlier this month found concealed-carry permits have boomed nationally, but particularly among women and minorities. “In eight states where we have data by more-guns-less-crimegender, since 2012 the number of permits has increased by 161 percent for women and by 85 percent for men,” the report says.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

From 2007 through 2015, concealed-carry permits issued by state and local governments increased about 75 percent faster among nonwhites than whites, according to the report.

Okafor noted that those living in the inner city “are the most likely to benefit” from self-defense. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] State Department: Iranian Harassment of U.S. Ships ‘Unacceptable,’ Escalates Tensions 

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[VIDEO] OH YES THEY DID: Four Iranian Boats Harass U.S. Navy Warship

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[VIDEO] Hilarious: ‘Common Sense Gun Control’ People Know Nothing About Guns

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Political commentator and actor Steven Crowder decided to set up an experiment to see just how well people that want “common sense” gun control knew about firearms.

He set up a tent for “Citizens Coalition for Common Sense Gun Reform” to ask people that do not own or are interested in guns to see how much they knew about firearms and which ones should be banned based on “common sense.”

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Crowder quickly finds out that the people who are in favor or “common sense” gun control know very little about guns in the first place and what they are capable of. The people justdecided which guns should be banned based on how it makes them feel.

[See John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) at Amazon]

For example, many people wanted more “tactical looking” firearms banned, but yet other kinds of rifles displayed on the table were fine, such as hunting rifles. Crowder does point out on the side that the AR-15 is actually a popular small game hunting rifle but because it looks tactical, it should be banned.

People were also not well informed on what types of guns were used in crimes and thought that the AR-15 is used in many cases, but as Crowder points out, from 2007 to 2015, 70% of shooting murders are from handguns.

Source: American Military News

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“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.

— H. L. Mencken

Democracy? In Moderation, Please.

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Buried somewhere in the above Daily Beast article is probably a perfectly decent, arguable case for a certain kind of small-ball, incremental legislation. Unfortunately, but predictably, its case is comically undermined by hateful, shallow, silly, dishonest writing.

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Ohh! Those evil Republicans! They should be taken out and horsewhipped! Here, hold my drink. I’ll do it. Get outta my way. I’ve got some GOP ass to beat. Oh, never mind.

Never mind that this advocacy item masquerading as journalism doesn’t even attempt to demonstrate how the measures will have any impact whatsoever, to “avert mass shootings”. Which is understandable. One; averting mass shootings is not, and never was, the goal of activist gun-control legislation. And two; There’s no evidence that “averting mass shootings” can be accomplished by legislation in the first place.

Think the gun debate isn’t polluted with toxic stupidity from the Left? Read on:

“…But with the substantial distortion of our democracy around guns, they are the issue with which this particular method most adheres to the original intentions of the progressives who created it a century ago, at a time when large interests such as timber and railroads blocked popular reforms in legislative bodies around the country.”

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The progressives who created it a century ago. Right.  Wait, you mean the puritan, racist, anti-constitutional Wilsonian reformers of that era, the progressive activists who gave us segregation, prohibition, and Jim Crow laws, those guys?

The early 20th-century progressives’ “original intentions” are in stark contrast to the intentions of our founders. Cautious, deliberative men, keenly aware of the historically destructive effects of “direct democracy“.

Ever notice how our most sacred and treasured rights are intentionally safeguarded, hardwired in the Bill of Rights? Completely out of reach of voters? 

Everett Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), portrait by David Martin, 1767

The founders were no fans of democracy.

“When two wolves and a sheep decide what to have for dinner.”

Benjamin Franklin definition of democracy is as clear now as it was over two centuries ago. Read the rest of this entry »


Report Shows No Group of Americans Is More Law-abiding Than Concealed Carry Holders

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Cortney O’Brien reports: “Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the U.S. that is anywhere near as law-abiding” as concealed carry permit holders. So concluded the Crime Prevention Research Center following its new report, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States 2016.”

“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers. For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”

The center studied the rate of criminal offenses among concealed carry holders in Florida and Texas when coming to its conclusion.

The findings speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


China To Develop Next-Generation Modular Missiles with Artificial Intelligence 

Next-generation cruise missiles equipped with artificial intelligence and capable of being tailored for specific combat scenarios, are set to debut in China.

Ryan Pickerel reports: Future conflicts will demand cost-effective and versatile weaponry, such as modular cruise missiles outfitted with artificial intelligence, Wang Changqing told the China Daily, at the 2016 Hiwing Forum in Beijing.

“We plan to adopt a ‘plug and play’ approach in the development of new cruise missiles, which will enable our military commanders to tailor-make missiles in accordance with combat conditions and their specific requirements.”

Changqing is the director of the General Design Department of the Third Academy of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp.

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“Moreover, our future cruise missiles will have a very high level of artificial intelligence and automation.”

— Wang Changqing

“We plan to adopt a ‘plug and play’ approach in the development of new cruise missiles, which will enable our military commanders to tailor-make missiles in accordance with combat conditions and their specific requirements,” explained Changqing. “Moreover, our future cruise missiles will have a very high level of artificial intelligence and automation.”. Changqing indicated that China is already a global leader in artificial intelligence.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

The new cruise missiles will “allow commanders to control them in a real-time manner, or to use a fire-and-forget mode, or to add more tasks to in-flight missiles,” Changqing said.

U.S. Navy leadership and senior officers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (Navy) meet for lunch aboard the Chinese destroyer Harbin (DDG 112) marking the conclusion of a U.S.-China counter piracy exercise between Harbin and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87). Mason is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary M. Keen/Released)

A modular missile is well-suited for future combat. The “destructive capacity, flight mode, and range” of the missiles can be easily adjusted to counter threats on the ground and at sea, Wang Ya’nan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge Magazine, informed China Daily. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] BIDENMAGEDDON: Joe Biden Exposes Military Aide with Nuclear Codes During Campaign Rally for Hillary

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Meet The Army’s New Pocket-Sized Drone

Jennings Brown reports: A recent glimpse at the future of robotic warfare proves tank robots aren’t ready for the battlefield just yet—but soldiers are enthusiastic about tiny drones that can be mistaken for birds.

“We need to be making sure we’re fielding new technology as quickly as we can. It doesn’t do any good if we’re just investing in great technology if we don’t actually get it into the field for soldiers.”

— Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning

Unites States soldiers based in Hawaii spent half of last month testing out cutting-edge robotic prototypes in exercises as a part of Pacific Manned-Unmanned Initiative (PACMAN-I). Members of the 25th Infantry Division controlled air and land drones to determine what technology could actually benefit soldiers. It was the third time in history human that soldiers have collaborated with robot counterparts in a simulated war zone.

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Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning visited the exercise on July 26, a sign of the interest the Army is taking in the battlefield applications of unmanned vehicles. “We need to be making sure we’re fielding new technology as quickly as we can,” Fanning said, in a statement. “It doesn’t do any good if we’re just investing in great technology if we don’t actually get it into the field for soldiers.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Vault: V-2 Rocket; Assembling and Launching, 1947 

Reel 1 shows a V-2 rocket assembled from German parts at White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico. The alcohol tank, oxygen tank, propulsion unit, and tail housing are placed in position.

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The rocket is carried to the firing area and raised to a vertical position. Reel 2, final checks are made and the rocket is fired. Its course is followed by radar. Parts are recovered after the rocket has crashed.


American Shooter Wins First Gold of the Olympics

Stacy Dash writes:

I love to see strong American women with guns. Way to go, Team USA!

American teenager Virginia Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Saturday, holding her nerve against two Chinese Olympic champions to clinch the women’s 10m air rifle event.

The 19-year-old American edged out China’s Du Li, gold in Athens in 2004, with an Olympic-record score of 208. Defending Olympic champion Yi Siling, also of China, took the bronze medal… Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Marine Corps Aviation: Today’s Military Readiness Crisis, Tomorrow’s Capabilities

Years of flat budgets amid an increasing operational tempo has thrown Marine aviation into a readiness crisis, forcing pilots to scrounge museum aircraft for parts simply to keep their aircraft flightworthy. Nevertheless, Marine aviators must prepare for high-intensity warfare against increasingly sophisticated foreign adversaries.

A U.S. fighter jet flies over an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. Associated Press

Can the Marine Corps triage aircraft readiness if sequestration continues? How will the Marines integrate next-generation technology as diverse as autonomous vehicles, the revolutionary F-35B Joint Strike Fighter, and a new heavy-lift helicopter into future operational concepts? Read the rest of this entry »


Philadelphia Gun Range Owner And Activist Say ‘Black Guns Matter’

“No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates,” said Maj Toure.

There was one shooting every six hours on average last year in Philadelphia. In the past 10 years, more than 14,500 shootings occurred, with at least 2,600 killed by guns — many of whom were black residents.negores-guns-book

“What I can say to the American people from whatever background you are, is exercise your Second Amendment rights. Be open-minded, be objective and learn.”

— Maj Toure

While some see the numbers as a reason to increase gun control, others see things differently.

Yuri Zalzman of North Philadelphia’s The Gun Range and Maj Toure of the activist group Black Guns Matter have come together to try to find solutions.

[Read the full story here, at Here & Now]

Both teach inner-city residents how to properly handle firearms and believe the effort to reduce the number of guns in the city would mean residents would be less safe.

[Check out Nicholas Johnson’s book “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” at Amazon]

[Also see – [VIDEO] How the Civil Rights Movement Changed Black Gun Culture]

Here & Now’s Robin Young visited The Gun Range and spoke with Zalzman and Toure about their efforts.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights hang on the wall of The Gun Range in North Philadelphia. (Dean Russell/Here & Now)

The Constitution and Bill of Rights hang on the wall of The Gun Range in North Philadelphia. (Dean Russell/Here & Now)

Interview Highlights: Maj Toure & Yuri Zalzman

On individuals and gun ownership

Maj Toure: “For one they should choose to exercise anything that will defend themselves. If someone has a firearm and you don’t, you lose. That’s it. No different than if someone has a knife and you don’t have the means to defend yourself, you lose.

So I think that the community that I’m from, I think that information is deliberately kept away. It’s made to seem that if you have a firearm you’re either law enforcement or you must be the bad guy. No one can deny, with the things that have happened over the last few weeks, we’re being murdered by law enforcement — and in our own community — at alarming rates.”

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On police in Dallas being suspicious of black men who were carrying rifles

Toure: “That’s the police officers’ and law enforcement’s responsibility to balance that out. Because there’s one or two or a few bad apples, I wouldn’t say throw the whole bunch out. You cannot group and have a monolithic statement or blanket solution for everyone when people don’t fall in alignment with that particular… I don’t even think it’s even a level of confusion. That’s law enforcement’s responsibility to be better trained and execute their duties in a much more productive way.”

On how Dallas police had to control the situation with the shooterYuri Zalzman: “What we’re talking about is one additional, very unfortunate tragic event. We don’t normally have these situations I think that the discussion should not take place on the fringes, no more than it is pleasant to have a conversation with somebody whose thoughts are at the extremes one way or the other. Read the rest of this entry »